the world is a joke but no one's laughing

is it just me or is the world just getting way too serious?

over the last week or so i’ve been trying my hand at a bit of street photography in and around the brisbane cbd. nothing too special, just the usual kind of stuff like buildings, laneways, street signs etc.

in that week, i reckon i’ve been told off by security guys, or guys in suits who act like security guards, at least five times. now i’m not a total fool. i understand the concept of private property and i totally appreciate that the owners of the property have every right to request that i don’t take photos on their premises.

that’s cool. no problem there. however. tonight i was told off twice for photographing a laneway in the city that happened to share a wall with an upmarket shopping centre. i was told the owners of the property requested that i not take photos as it was private property. to that i replied that i was actually on public land and the laneway was in public view, and all i was shooting were some lights.

because i’d gotten what i wanted from the location i decided not to argue and moved on. but as i was walking away i couldn’t help but feel just a little bit dismayed at the ridiculous degree of protection and control that is placed upon both public and private space. i wasn’t harming anyone. i wasn’t taking any thing from anyone, but i was still treated as both a nuisance and a threat.

the day before i copped an absolute earful of abuse from a property developer after i happened to inquire about the possiblitiy of taking photos of an old cinema (the dendy on george st for brisbanites) before it is most likely torn down and turned into a stack of generic office buildings. the guy told me there is a sign on the front that says “For Lease”, and unless i intend to lease the property i should stop being a fuckwit and go away, or in his elegant words “fuckwittery is for fuckwits, and we don’t do business with fuckwits”. if his choice of words hadn’t have been so colourful, i may have been more offended.

but anyway, my point is life is getting way too serious. it seems like everything these days is owned by someone, and it’s becoming near impossible to freely use public space without being harassed or judged by some kind of official or person of ‘authority’, even if you’re not actually doing anything wrong.

we’re becoming such a stale and gentrified society that people just accept these kind of constraints as normal, much to the detriment of the society as a whole, at least in my view anyway.

so, that’s my rant for today.

goodnight and merry christmas.

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