I hate guns. I think they should be illegal in the States the way they are here and most other places in the world. Proponents of the "right" to bear arms are fucking retarded for not seeing the link between legalized weapons and shitstorms of gun fights. But I can't help but wonder if they are the deterrent to certain types of crime in the United States. Because senseless violent crime in Melbourne is rife, and the perpetrators don't seem to be afraid (aware?) of the consequences of shit they instigate.
Nowhere else have I seen so much random drunken wreckage of one's own city. Glassing is becoming more and more common--one famous football player, Wayne Carey, glassed his own girlfriend in the face in a pub in front of a bunch of people. Large groups of drunk men prowl around the city, completely off their faces, baiting people so they can kick the shit out of them. I don't think guns are a solution to anything, I just wonder if it's that unknown variable in the States that perhaps causes people to hesitate before instigating such violence.
The pic above is a ghost bike: a memorial to a cyclist who died on the road. This is the first ghost bike I've seen in Melbourne, but they're not an infrequent sight in New York. But this is the first time I've seen one kicked and bashed by what was obviously random drunken violence. What makes this one so especially sad is that the cyclist, Carolyn Rawlins, was crushed by a bus a few months ago on Swanston Street while on her way to work. She was only 33, and she was pregnant. There are countless things that make this story so tragic, but the pointless abuse of her memorial by violent drunks is unconscionable. For one thing, what kind of monster vandalizes a memorial? I don't care how drunk you are, you don't fuck up a humble memorial. Secondly, why is it okay to kick the shit out of any bicycle? These assholes don't go around bashing people's cars--why is someone's bike any different? I'll tell you why: because the suburban pricks who demolish the city love their fucking cars, and they have no respect for people who ride bikes, and they certainly don't want to share the road with them. The really sick thing is that Safety Town is crawling with cops. But they're either blind or, more likely, just don't think all this is a punishable crime.
As if that all weren't bad enough, Safety Town has a new mayor, who insensitively ran on a promise to open Swanston Street up to regular traffic (right now it is only open to buses, taxis, and other service vehicles) right after her death. The average morning sees thousands of commuting cyclists down Swanston Street, and adding more traffic and danger is so not the answer to anything, except perhaps appeasing the morons who complain about traffic jams in a city (oh really? you say the second largest city in Australia is...full of people?!).
If you've gotten this far in my bitching, I applaud you, and hope that this preface has inspired you to suggest your own additions to the list below:
List of How to Punish Violent Suburban Drunks
1. All city residents are invited to go to VSD's McMansions and piss and vomit in their front yards without consequence.
2. If you've got a girlfriend or boyfriend you want to have an argument with, preferably a fight where you just talk bullshit in Outside Voice, I'd like to invite you to do so underneath a VSD's bedroom window.
3. Slash their SUV tires and/or bust their tinted windows with a baguette because we are all French fags.
4. Replace all the King Street strip joints with organic supermarkets and hybrid car dealerships.
6. Draw face pubes on their David Beckham/Bono posters with bike grease.
Suggestions welcome in the comments.