World Youth Day kicks off here in Sydney soon and the preparations are now in full swing. It is expected to be bigger than the Olympics or APEC. To keep the peace, our state parlaimentarians have passed a law that imposes a $5000 fine ($5500 including GST) for irritating Catholics. I'm not making this up ... read it for yourself.
You have to admire politicians for passing a law making it illegal to be irritating. I personally didn't think that they had it in them, especially our state premier, Morris Iemma or any one of his front benchers. Of course, the irony is probably lost on them completely. But the voters know.
And who else would citizens of a democracy so meekly give up our civil rights for? Muslims? Hindus? No, only Catholics. And, yes, we could invest that $90million in the future of everyone in New South Wales and spend it on schools, hospitals, roads, the poor, the mentally ill. But no, we'll spend it on venues and security and road closures for 5 days in July. So many young people ... so few condoms. The mind boggles.
One of my favourite stores, REMO, has set up their web site to allows anyone to design their own Tshirt to commemorate this big event and the rest of us to vote on our favourites. You can even buy one of your very own.
In keeping with that long standing Australian tradition of thumbing your nose at those in positions of authority ... what can I say, it's a convict colony thing ... some of my fellow REMO fans have taken advantage of this to create Tshirts ranging from very positive to wickedly clever. Check it out.
My personal favourites? The Pope Mobile, Annoying Catholics, Closed and Sydney Popera House. They are also some of the most popular ones, voted on here.
And, on the TV show, The Gruen Transfer, they asked some advertising executives for some slogans for the Pope's visit. And here's what they came up with.
Where are the Chasers when you need them?