Sunday, 6 March 2016

Mardi Gras always makes me happy

The last time I went to the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade was a few years ago when I had come down to Sydney from the Coast to see a friend. At that time I walked on the crowded pavements of Oxford Street appreciating the get-ups and the outfits of all the fabulous young girls and boys. But my links with the event go back to the 80s when I too was young and fabulous. Many people don't know for example that for my buck's night before getting married in '91 a group of us fellows went to The Albury - a notorious gay pub in the Art Deco building at 2a Oxford Street, Paddington - and hung out with all the characters you find in such places. They are usually just nice chaps.

But I would often take someone to the parade when I was young. It was just part of the Sydney scene, for me, although we never were invited to the after party. For us it just meant happily pounding the pavements watching the life of the city stream past in its glorious colours. It's an event that always offers stunning visuals, the parade.

And it always makes me feel happy. Yesterday, when I was sitting in my quiet living room watching the social graph stream past - and with the TV on as usual in the background as it is in the late afternoons - I decided to do some photo posting (those stunning visuals!). So I got out my camera and sat down in front of the TV taking pictures of the images that came up in the feed. When I had enough in the memory stick I went back to the computer and connected the camera using the little cable in the USB port on the front, and loaded the photos to Facebook. I also put some up onto Twitter, although it was soon telling me that the files were a bit too big for it and that I had to make them smaller. To fix that problem I just fired up my trusty graphics program and resized them, and saved them.

The immediate appeal of the Mardi Gras to someone of my generation - and I'm going to be 54 later this year - is the appeal of something that is native. There's no filter necessary. The thing in its natural state is enough to get through to the place where our sentiments dwell inside. It's because it was the generation just before mine that launched the event in the first place. And it was only this year that the state government and the police apologised for the brutality they unleashed in those early pioneers from back in '78! That's a lifetime for some. But for old farts like me it was just yesterday when we were young and fabulous. We'll never be young and fabulous again, so all we can do is post pictures of all the young and fabulous things in their glorious finery on social media, and have dreams of times past.

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