Wednesday, May 12, 2010

If you want some background information on the cartoon above then below is a letter from the previous owner of Melbourne's The Tote on why he had to close doors. I drew this after reading that the Victoria Police and Melbourne City Council had both announced that they can see no link between live music and violence at inner city venues. Which got me wondering about the good folk who make these rules: What were they thinking down there at liquor licensing?

It’s last drinks at the Tote. This weekend.

I know it’s sudden. I didn’t plan it to be like that.

I can’t afford to keep fighting Liquor Licensing. The ’high risk’ conditions they have placed on the Tote’s license make it impossible to trade profitably. I can’t afford the new ’high risk’ fees they have imposed. I can’t afford to keep fighting them at VCAT. I can’t renegotiate a lease in this environment.

So, come into the Tote this weekend to say farewell to the sad staff and to feel the sticky carpet for the last time.

I don’t believe the Tote is a “high risk” venue, in the same category as the nightclubs that make the news for all the wrong reasons. Despite being on a rough little corner of Collingwood, the Tote has had very, very few incidents. As a local police officer once said, ’The Tote’s the quietest pub in the area.’ (!).

It’s not dumb luck that the Tote has escaped serious violence. I believe the business has been run responsibly. People don’t come to the Tote to fight. They come because they have a passion for music and love to be in an historic venue that reeks of that same passion.

The Tote is (sorry, was) an important cornerstone of Melbourne’s rich and diverse music community. It’s too late to save the Tote but not too late to try and save other inner city venues that are feeling the same pressures.

I know the sudden closure affects a lot of people. Most importantly, the hard-working staff that are being forced onto the dole queue. And the bands and artists that have had their gigs pulled from under them.

Anyway, I don’t want to get maudlin (or viciously angry). The era of the Tote is over. If you love the place, come and have a beer with us this weekend.

Regards, Bruce Milne

And this cartoon:

got changed to this

... for two reasons. 

Firstly I didn't want it read as a Fevola-Bingle-esque conquest scene in which some bloke triumphantly tweets "Look, I'm having sex!" Secondly, I didn't want it read as a gag cartoon of the "Aren't men insensitive daft creatures?" variety.
So what WAS I trying to say? Something about the voyuerism of twitter I suppose. Or the addictive nature of it. Or the inanity of 99% of tweets. Possibly all three.

I'm a still a bit uncomfortable about the cringe element of it. That and using the word "foreplay" in a daytime newspaper. What will Nanna think?

And yes, I do know about "sexting"15 year olds who really do the above but just don't get it. sigh. 
But that's a whole OTHER cartoon. I'm taking this world one cartoon at a time, my friends. 
Now where's my cape?

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