Saturday’s Age had a feature about the rising anxiety over the State Government’s proposal to move the city’s urban limits out further, and the opposing anxiety over high-density living and local amenity. It pointed out a number of inner-city sites that had been left vacant for many years where high-density development could add to the city’s housing stock without moving further into semi-rural areas.
One of the aerial shots accompanying the article showed a large expanse of land near North Melbourne station that has lain vacant since Solomon Lew purchased it 17 years ago. What struck me was the huge FCUK sign draped across the deserted factory building on the site. Unfortunately the Age online article doesn’t show the photograph, but you can see the building I am talking about here. You might also want to consider the vacuous, clinical approach that the advertisers have taken in this “project”.
I also don’t want to post the picture here because I find it crass and offensive. I’m well aware of the smarty-pants, smirking, superior marketing decision behind the choice of the FCUK brand. But why shouldn‘t people find it offensive? Why should an obscenity suggested on a billboard impose itself so insistently and aggressively onto the public consciousness? The brand proprietors can take the high moral ground and protest that the word in itself is not obscene, but these four letters have not been chosen randomly: they know full well that the cognitive pathways of a population literate in English will automatically read the word differently.
This is swaggering, arrogant visual pollution, and I resent having it forced upon me.