Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Soundtrack to Development?

I went to a community festival in Whittlesea this weekend, in part to see how the Whittlesea Council was using the event to promote sustainable practices, and in part to see how VicUrban was using the event to advertise its new Aurora development. I won’t go into detail about the visit here, but the highlight was wandering into the VicUrban promotional area and seeing, alongside a model of stage one of the Aurora site, Aurora marketing materials, and VicUrban staff promoting the development to potential residents, a platform in which a singer was performing – at a volume that must have posed some difficulties for the nearby marketing staff, and standing in front of a VicUrban banner and the Aurora insignia – “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. They paved paradise, put up a parking lot.”

It was one of these weird moments I’m honestly not sure how to interpret. Was it an example of postmodern self-referential ironic marketing? Did someone actually approve the performance of this particular song, even though Aurora is a greenfield development, assuming that the development’s environmental intentions made the song a good choice? Was the singer actually not part of the VicUrban entourage, but had the fate of performing that particular song under that particular corporate banner?

I suppose I’ll never know…

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2 responses to “Soundtrack to Development?

  1. bruce March 31, 2005 at 6:50 pm

    I think its a case that *people* just don’t listen to lyrics, or if they do listen don’t realise the implications of or meaning of the lyric.

    One example that I remember fondly (before your time) was that there use to be a minister of religion, the Reverend Alex Kenworthy, on radio in Melbourne who did a bit of talk back radio on a Sunday night. (He left the radio program under a bit of a cloud – but that’s another story.) Quite often the Reverend Alex would play John Lennon’s classic “Imagine” indicating what an inspirational song he thought it was. If he had listened to the lyrics he would have quickly realised how anti religious that song was (“Imagine there’s no heaven above us only sky” etc). And obviously none of his listener were too concerned about this anti religious song being on a religious program or they would have rung up and complained. Or perhaps they were all laughing their heads off like me.

  2. NP April 3, 2005 at 10:17 am

    Heya Bruce! Good to see you lurking!

    I concede – that’s a more surreal example. Particularly because you could definitely be sure the guy had actually chosen to play the song.

    I’m still not clear whether VicUrban had anything to do with who was performing, or what was being performed, under their banner… I did, though, receive a very nice easter chocolate from them (apparently because I left my name and address in their marketing box at the event)… ;-P

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