Falling the Jac
Yowie Bernardi?

Artless Bastard?



Did you know that NSW has an official “graffiti removal day”?

Well it does. And it’s today.

Just saying.

That’s the message the Premier, the Hon Michael Bruce Baird, MP posted to accompany a photographic portrait of himself standing next to a satirical painted portrait of him as ‘Casino Mike’.
It came to my attention via Christopher Moriarty, who’s Facebook page is one of the handful you need to stay atop what’s going on in the world at any time.

He added:

Did you know that NSW has an official "Premier removal day"?

Well, it does. And it's the next election.

Just saying.

I couldn’t help but point out that, come next state election, I’d be voting for Christopher Moriarty. Just saying.



I also feel I should add, for the edification of the Premiere and for anyone else: the painting is definitely [street] art rather than graffiti. The difference is the care taken with the artwork, the fact that it's making a statement, offering social commentary that speaks of the milieu (temporal, political, social) in which it was created, rather than merely the ego of the artist. But, you know, removing it, ‘disappearing’ the artist etc also speaks volumes.

By now, lots of people are passing judgement (thanks Katie and Simeon for pointing this out) and of course überblog Junkee has written it up, the site going on to note some of the cleverer comments such as ‘will you replace it with a mural of apartments?’




The most important points to be made at this point are these: the brilliant artist is Scott Marsh; and if the Premier could have just handled the political commentary, spectacular and larger than life though it is, he would have likewise been ‘embiggened’ by it.

Unfortunately, this supposedly ‘humorous’, light-hearted approach to creative political commentary has backfired – as the contributions under the picture on the Premier’s Facebook page attest.

One of my several buddies who’s a comic, bemoans the collective reaction to the Premier’s post.

“Mike Baird takes playful, ironic dig at himself on social media. Irony zooms miles overhead of the usual suspects and Facebook goes into meltdown,” he says. “Bloody hell Sydney, you deserve everything you get.”

Look, I’d like to agree, or feel guilty that I’ve over-reacted, or go easy on that good bloke the Premier (after all, I’ve seen him dressed as a civilian, chowing down on the best restaurant-bought pizza you’ll ever have, at Mimmo’s Pizzeria in Brookvale). And maybe I could. The day after NSW Graffiti Removal Day, if it turns out the mural’s still up then we clearly over-reacted at playful ironic self reflective Premier with a sense of humour. If, however, it's gone the way of live music venues, century-old houses and trees, affordable public transport etc, then I stand by my disdain and that of every detractor.

Only, it seems the mural was painted over; “months ago,” according to one Facebook commentator, “reportedly… one hour after Mr Baird finished the Facebook post,” according to an ABC report.

So as far as interacting humorously with the media, the Premier, that supreme wag, isn’t quite as much of a cool dude as, say, former PM Sir John Gorton, who in 1975 told journos trying to doorstop him that he couldn’t stop to talk, he had to “get home to watch Countdown!”

Not very Gorton at all, our Casino Mike. In fact, if he were to be compared to a former PM, some may go as far as to consider his manner less swimmingly, and his behaviour, more ‘bottom-of-the-harbour’, than Harold Holt.

Just saying.




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