6 Times We Fought For Our Right To Party And Crushed Wack Nanny State Laws
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We're of the opinion that consenting adults should be allowed to make their own damn decisions. With laws set up to protect you from yourself, the Nanny State is stopping you from living your life.
We aren't the children of a millionaire who writes musicals, so you don't get to throw shade.
Look, we're not opposed to all laws. The law stopping your crazy neighbour hurling bricks through your windows? Good law. The law preventing dogs from driving? It removes some cuteness from the world, but it's a good law. But Sydney's Lockout Laws? As far as we're concerned, if you want to make the woeful decision to bet out, over-refreshed at 4am with work the next day, that's your call.
It's tough to scrap a nanny state law (think of the children!), but over the years it's been done heaps of times. Here, to give you the hope to crush the lockouts, are seven times that the people have crushed nanny state laws.
CUSS IN PUBLIC
There have been stacks of laws trying to control what you say, for the 'good' of public decency. In September 1962, Lenny Bruce came to Sydney, and his filthy stand-up act riled the powers that be.
The legend is that, at his first show, he took to the stage an declared “What a fucking wonderful audience,” leading to his immediate arrest, and a ban on performing there ever again.
The true story is, of course, messier. Bruce ended up performing several shows, and his offending line was the rather less poetic: “Fuck you, madam”.
The crux of the tale, however, is true. The Australian establishment thought Bruce's act was in poor taste, and used the law to try and stop his 'sick' comedy and filthy language defiling our innocent little minds.
In Australia, there are still laws to stop you swearing in public, but we've effectively crushed these laws by being so foul mouthed that effectively policing our swears would be impossible. The laws might still be on the books, but with every carefree swear, Australians get a little closer to freedom.
LETTING CONSENTING ADULTS ROOT
Although homosexuality was decriminalised decades ago, discriminatory laws around same sex relationships continue to this day - and we don't just mean the perpetual delay on equal marriage.
The age of consent for heterosexual intercourse is, in some places, different to the age set for consent for homosexual intercourse. In Queensland, for example, the age of consent is 16, unless you're a gay man, in which case it's 18.
It has been argued - by George Pell no less - that unequal consent laws are important for "protecting" people, as if queer Australian's need their love lives scrutinised for their own good. Well, as far as we're concerned, inequality can sod off.
The 6 o'clock swill-era makes our modern day lockout laws seem astoundingly liberal. It's bizarre to think that 60 years ago, the local Aussie pub closed at 6pm. If you wanted to whet your whistle after a hard day's work, you'd have to race to a bar, guzzle as much booze as you could in an hour, and then try to make your way home. Obviously, drink driving accidents went through the roof at 6:15.
Finally, bit by bit, the law of the land was changed. Treated like adults, people behaved like adults. That is, if you believe this Toohey's commercial from yesteryear.
MAKING IT RAIN ON A STRIPPER
Strip Clubs have only been going since the 1960's. Before then, erotic performance was deemed a threat to public decency. If you wanted to see somebody sexily slide down a pole, you had to hang out with firemen.
Before gentlemen's clubs were allowed to curate un-gentlemanly entertainment, folks went to absurd lengths for legal titillation. The Windmill Theatre in London started having nude shows in the 1930's but, by law, performers weren't allowed to move at all while in the buff. There were "live nude" shows, sure, but only when the performers stood perfectly still.
Thank goodness we moved on and let people go to strip clubs, because if we hadn't, we might have forever been denied the genius of strip club anthems.
WASTING YOUR MONEY AT THE CASINO
We don't condone gambling, aside from maybe two-up on Anzac day, and putting $2 on the office Melbourne Cub. However, if you're super keen on throwing your life savings away, or if you really want to give money to James Packer for some reason, that's your call.
It's tempting to think we could just ban gambling, and protect people from themselves. Regrettably, that's not how it has worked out in the past. When the state has tried to ban gambling the consequences have been disastrous.
In America during the prohibition era, folks still wanted to gamble even when they couldn't legally do so. The result was a whole heap of money going to organised crime.
Better the money goes to James Packer than the mafia, no? At least we know all those gambling losses are helping Packer's S/O Mariah Carey live it up.
HAVING A BIG NIGHT IN MELBOURNE
It's easy to forget that Melbourne used to have lockout laws, because they got shut down so fast they almost didn't have an impact. Melbournians promptly took to the streets and ended that foolishness.
It's not to say that Sydneysiders haven't tried to protest their way to late night partying, but it hasn't worked yet.
Whether it's anti-reclaim rallies, road-building sit-ins, or lockout law demonstrations, somehow Melbourne manages to make progress with their protests. Onya Melbourne - you might be a cold, damp den of scarf-addiction, but you get shit done.
Photo: Chloe Sargeant / PEDESTRIAN.TV.