EKKA…AUG 23 2013
Pushing through the crowds. The prams. The show bags. I was slack jawed and wide eyed. Mentally holding back the creeping itch crossing my skin, the paranoid knowing that I swim in an infestation of bacteria dammed in by the 19th century brickwork. This was the Ekka – Brisbane’s royal show – and my first time in attendance. I’ve lived in Brisbane now for longer than I care to remember but I’ve never paid my fare, pushed past the gates and sucked in the spores of a new mutating influenza direct from the source. But this year the stars have aligned and the moons glow cast a shadow on the dial indicating the time had come.
Ekka, sweet Ekka. You give so much to see. The People, the hairstyles, the outfits, the fruit arranged in political statements! The puppy bitches, and even a few prize cocks. If I didn’t have a camera I would have clutched my pearls.
Shuffling from agriculture to alpacas to the sideshow carnival, the buzz amped up. Sucking it all in deeper, I was suddenly kite high – buzzing like I just shared a cubicle with a “friend” at a dance party. For me flashing lights and over stimulation appear to trigger some old neuron paths and saturate the brain in serotonin. Who knew!? Don’t chase the dragon kids go to the sideshow. I had the smile to prove it.
But further inside the carnival sideshow freakishness and folly, I found myself staring into the faces of too many unhappy and bleak, their bodies laden by bags of next weeks landfill. $20 for this, $10 for that. The folded notes slid into the G-String palms of the capitalist crank handle of opportunity; one turn after another, “no losers here. Step right up and win a prize.” That’s right folks everyone’s a winner in this game. Walking away the thoughts bubbled. When did people become so unhappy, that the thrill and ridiculousness of spinning machines, flashing lights and fancy ill-fitting costumes didn’t instantly awaken the child within to smile, stutter and squeal with joy. I had no answer, and the flashing light squirreled me into another direction.
Ekka, the great distractor, thank you, I will be back. You are a smorgasbord of delight and challenge, a train wreck through the senses – visually, mentally, morally and ethically.
…Although, my paranoia of germs was warranted. I did contract a new strain of mutant influenza right from the pint sized snotty nosed source.