Stalking Black Swans In Canberra: The City Of Plans

canberra city plan

Canberra, Australia, as we know it today, was designed by American Walter Burley Griffin between 1913 – 1920. Influenced heavily by the City Beautiful and Garden Cityi movements, Canberra is a modern city in every sense of the term; it’s an ode to top-down, Soviet-style central planning.ii While the 3′-diameter copper disk you see above represents the original City Plan, developed before the Australian states federated in 1901 and a new capital was needed, it’s the 20th century City Plan that makes me want to scratch my own eyes out with a hot poker.iii

This having been said, with inhumanely scaled boulevards and buildings, car-centric urban planning, and enough coldly calculated rational idealism to choke a cat, the city is still ever so fitting in its use as the nation’s capital. What better place to make projections about GDP and inflation?

But man cannot stop nature. He cannot stop black swans.

But who says he can’t stalk them?

more black swans
Oh hello Mr. and Mrs. Black Swan. How do you do?

black swans

En garde!

australia department of finance 1

Speaking of attacks, in Canberra’s Parkes suburb lies a row of robustly Stalinist buildings housing the Department of Finance.iv And if you look closely at the sign on the side of the front steps…

australia department of finance 2

Yup, Bitcoin is already fucking shit up at the “De Rtment O Finance.” Kinda sounds like a Dutch-Irish house, y’know?

canberra high court
And just across the street, a scant 500m away, is another place that Bitcoin is fucking up good and proper: the High Court of Australia. Oh, you still believe in the fiat legal system? That’s nice, because I’m already thinking of new uses for this already useless space. Maybe La Serenissima can repurpose it for a suntanning studio, or perhaps a grain storage silo to feed the people in lean years. Yup, that’s me, always thinking about the little guy!

Well, at least this kind of little guy :D

Spotted in the Red Hills at dusk last night, nestled into the long grasses and rocky paths overlooking the quota-driven monstrosity below, this little marsupial was none the wiser and none the worse for it.

“What plan?”, he asked.

“Why don’t you dumb apes just work from causes? Like I do?”

___ ___ ___

  1. The Garden City was formally initiated by Sir Ebenezer Howard of the UK in 1898. Think socialism was a purely Russian affliction? Study the Town-Country principle of the Garden City movement and think again: Howard-three-magnetsvia wikimedia.
  2. Very much like Brasília.
  3. Canberra_Prelim_Plan_by_WB_Griffin_1913via wikimedia.
  4. For now, the Department of Finance is set to move to a swish new pad at 1 Canberra Avenue shortly. Because reasons.

8 thoughts on “Stalking Black Swans In Canberra: The City Of Plans

  1. cazalla says:

    Don’t you go taking it easy on Melbourne, specifically Federation Square. St Paul’s Cathedral on the otherhand..

    • Pete D. says:

      I do love me some cathedrals. Despite never having been confirmed into the faith, I even attended 6:45am mass at St. Mary’s in Sydney. Watching the rising sun as it warmed its way through the stained glass windows was worth the wooden pews.

      In another life, I think I could’ve found myself atop the podium on Sunday mornings.

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