Friday, April 20, 2007
The East Side of Town
Pardoe Downs, Ravenswood, Bridgewater - every city in the world has an Eastside. The part of town where the lower classes live, the dole bludgers, unemployed, single mothers, druggies, slums and no-hopers. In almost every city in the world, these people live on the east side of the town, for one simple reason - in general, thats the way the wind blows, so all the smog and pollution drifts that way. These are the areas where everyone is on the lawn bitching at their neighbours, all the lawns are 2 feet high, and the marijuana, beer and cigarettes are bought before the rent is paid. Two kids have an argument in the playground and it comes to "my dad can whoop your dad"; at 3 pm at the appointed place and time only one man turns up, to find he's supposed to be fighting himself. Its the sort of area where a man can have 2 six year old daughters who aren't twins. On Father's Day the men have more houses to visit than if they were trick'n'treating on Halloween, and a kid can live in the wrong house for a week before anyone notices. The dramas that are played out daily are the source of every soap opera ever made; a wise TV producer would forget ideas like Big Brother and just install cameras in every house in the suburb, but the problem then would be how to edit it all down. A week's life in the Eastside would make a year's TV. Not that I want to get stuck into them or paint everyone with the same brush, I've been an Eastsider myself. You might think some of the above is funny, if you've never been an Eastsider. But satirical or not, its 90% true. It's not necessarily a bad thing, either. However disfunctional, this is where real family life is happening in modern society, with single or defacto mums popping out well above the average 2.6 children, and the kids leaving home in their mid teens. For all the dramas and personality shaping, THIS is where the majority of our next generation are coming from, for better or worse.