Yes, there is now a ferry named Ferry McFerryface, and yes it’s ours. But, to those who aim criticism at the decision clearly don’t get Sydney.
Anyone who has spent any extended amount of time in this fine land will be familiar with the societal construct that binds us. We’re late on everything. We rock trends too late, not late enough to be cool, but late enough to be the last person at the party, while we crack ancient jokes when the laughs have long since expired. It’s not our fault, we’re subject to the whims of the international time delay. We’re floating alone in the pacific, away from everyone else, so we feel like we miss out. There’s a very good reason why I was able to witness Vanilla Ice in my hometown in the blistering heat of New Year’s Eve 2009 (for the record, he melted, unable to make it to 9pm), we adore love things that are well beyond their prime. Like Paul Hogan.
— ABC Sydney (@abcsydney) November 13, 2017
So, I’m unsure why the hate regarding Ferry McFerryface. It’s a perfect metaphor. A labouring out-of-date kitsch mode of transport monikered by a joke of the same colour. It’s peerless. Bonus points should be awarded (and a push for Mayor heralded) to the person who named it, as they accurately missed the point, as the only reason why we heard about it in the first place was that the Twitterverse deemed it a miscarriage of democracy. Mind you, this was the same collection in the same year that deified a Gorilla, so much so that a completely unrelated Gorilla was colloquially named Harambe McHarambeface. It wasn’t mean to be taken seriously, or worse, actually done. No-one actually wanted a seafaring vessel with a Scottish naming convention, we just wanted to the illusion that we could have it. That if enough idiots repeated an internet in-joke, we could all laugh at it. And when I mean laugh I mean it in the Internet biblical sense. Once, without a laugh, before recoiling at the sight of it, before scuttling it with the torpedos of hot takes. However, Australia, as we tend to do, have missed the subtleties. In the prosaic/prophetic tone of Dundee: You call that a joke? *this* is a joke. Get it?
But to criticse it, would be doing it a disservice. It suits us. For a city imbued with the past, drunk on the questionable liquor of tack, I believe that Ferry McFerrface should be proudly anchored alongside Jorn’s Opera House (which most famously wed a television soap star and a tennis adult who wore his hat like a juvenile offender), Nikki Webster’s syncronised lawnmower dancing, and the accepted fact that The Matrix was filmed in one of two rail bridge alcoves, but I’m unsure exactly which one, but you can almost see the start of the Harbour Bridge in the interrogation scene, just behind that building. I’ve been there.
Ferry McFerryface cuts elegantly through the waves, arriving at the wharf of truth. What we have, is no need for culture. Those were the thoughts of Barry Humphries, a man who has spent his satirising this veneer of class. Sydney follows this mantra more than anywhere else. We’re not those tosspots of Melbourne. Occasionally, we might pretend to be, but we’re not. Culture is passing fancy to us. An option not to exercise. Example. I for one thoroughly enjoyed Geoffrey Rush’s King Lear (what I understood of it) but I hit up Luna Park afterwards (because I was already out), the stains on my shirt from street waffle the souvenir I took from that production. Or the definitions of King Geoff’s prong.
It’s worth mentioning that my means of travel (before I was ingested by those gaudy fake teeth), was by ferry. So, maybe we should consider Ferry McFerryface the means of guilty pleasure transportation for guilty pleasure people those evenings when we desire something different. Call me guilty. Why not? It’s a great city in which to do it. Ferry McFerryface to the Theatre McTheatreface. Seems like a perfect marriage to me. To those who criticise the decision, and who are threatening to feed their rental agreements into the shredder, you should do it, and move out forever, because obviously you just don’t get Sydney.