Like a soprano, Sydney gave its lungs a mighty work out this week. Not since I told a former Sydneysider (now living “a more relaxed lifestyle” in Newcastle) that I thought Melbourne was our loveliest capital, have I heard such a spirited defence of Sin City.
I’ll set the scene. The Opera House was centre stage. Enter stage right: the villains (NSW government, Racing NSW and Alan Jones). Enter stage left: an ungrateful mob.
It all kicked off when Jones gave Opera House boss Louise Herron an on-air spray when she said that projecting The Everest barrier draw on the sails was a rubbish idea. When Herron reminded Jones that the Opera House wasn’t a monitor in a TAB, it quickly escalated into a classic barney.
Jones let fly again. This time over the peasants turning up their noses at the filthy rich horsey types’ gracious offer to promote Sydney (a former Olympic City) to a global audience. The backwater’s residents told their foppish Macquarie Street overlords that the idea was a steaming pile of horse dung, and that the Opera House was, in fact, the People’s Palace.
The Premier backed the horsey types. Mad as hell, the mob mobilised to sabotage the grubby stain on their house with hundreds of household torches and mobile phone torch apps. It wasn’t flaming clubs and pitchforks, but we got the vibe.
Comedian Charles Firth stirred the possum by projecting Jones’s mobile number onto the People’s Palace. Jones was gutted and asked, like Kamahl, “why are people so unkind?”. He was so upset that he briefly forgot who he was and apologised to Herron. But, invariably, he rallied and made the issue all about ... Alan Jones. In his best school principal voice, he explained, slowly for the dummies, that he was not a bully, just forceful.
But, wait, there’s more. Kerri-Ann Kennerley burst out of the barrier like Black Caviar. Fuming, she warned NSW to stop picking on Jones and other filthy rich people. So, fittingly, a song and dance queen wrapped up Act 1. The crowd went wild.
Place your bets on who will star in Act 2.
I fancy John Laws, and maybe KAK in another powerful supporting role.
But, as always, gamble responsibly.
Enjoy the show. It’s illuminating.