Newcastle’s Future Is Here ... Maybe ... / by Ed Vassie

By Ed Vassie

I've seen Newcastle’s future!

Our great town can be etched into the history books along with Wall Street, Silicon Valley and other famous geographical clusters of wealth, innovation and power. All we've got to do is be internationally recognised as the home of the emerging and highly profitable industry of useless industry invention.

The idea came to me while I was being subjected to one of the last socially acceptable forms of mental and emotional torture … watching the Block.

Quick side note on the Block: We should probably spare a thought for all the builders and tradies out there who have had the back-breaking work they do reduced to a 60 minute cacophony of deranged screeches, psychotic tantrums and apocalyptically unrealistic expectations. “What do you $&@+ing mean I can’t have a &@$*ing marble and pewter toilet infused with unicorn’s horn dust installed within the next hour!?!?!? I'm done, they've pushed me too far!” (an embellished quote from Episode 13 and what I now think every building site around Australia sounds like at 3AM on a Saturday morning).

Back to the future of Newcastle ... My lightbulb moment came when I was watching Kitchen Week. I  noticed that all of the couples were hell-bent on making every functional aspect of their apartment’s kitchen ‘smart’ and including a Butler’s Pantry (is it butler’s or butlers’? … I can never tell ... we have so many butlers working in our 40 square metre apartment after all *eyeroll emoji*).

After imagining everything that could go wrong with a ’smart’ kitchen - “Alexa, please flood my apartment” - my mind turned to the apparent profitability there must be in the ’unnecessary and offensive idea’ segment of every market and every industry.

So, here are my ideas for industries and inventions that we can make synonymous with the name NEWCASTLE:

  • Expanding the professional wedding photography industry to capture more awkward and inappropriate life events. I'm thinking we start with births and consider introducing other events after that no doubt takes off. Surely everyone wants to remember the face they pulled during that last agonising contraction in stunning HD.
  • Individual press conference consultants. This is taking social media to the next level. Instead of just posting forgettable and mundane status updates, you’ll be able hold forgettable and mundane press conferences. Your own personal press conference consultant will be responsible for duping the media into thinking that you have something important to say and blackmailing the relevant news editors to make sure your ’announcements’ have the gravitas you think they deserve.
  • Feedora! Why suffer the indignity of having to feed yourself the take away dinner when you could pay a 27.5% surcharge to have it fed to you by the poor bastard who risked his life riding through the city streets to deliver it to you. “FEEDORA! Digest this!”
  • Redaction glasses. You’ll never have to look at anything that doesn't 100% validate your current state of mind or understanding of issues ever again. These glasses come with a default subscription that erases homeless people from your field of vision, but for an extra $12.95 per month you could erase examples of any forms of discrimination or injustice that make you feel mildly uncomfortable. “REDACTOR GLASSES, bringing wilful blindness to the masses.”

I can see the sign greeting the traffic fanging it down Newcastle Link Road now - “Newcastle: The Useless-Industry Incubator!” 

On second thought, it's probably better if Newcastle focuses on being the gateway to the Hunter Valley wineries and home of Australia’s best beaches - unless of course, you can think of any useless and unnecessary industries waiting to take the world by storm! 

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Newcastle’s past, present and future! @djskinnylatte