The Despoiling of St George

Kerry Bashford writes:

As you are no doubt aware, over the weekend in the wake of the marriage equality decision, members of a conservative christian sect attacked a famous mural depicting the late, great George Michael on the wall of the home of friends and collaborators Jonny Seymour and Paul Mac.

Now to most of you, Jonny and Paul are internationally recognised DJs and producers and EDM pioneers. Jonny, otherwise known as Seymour Butz, known for the Kooky parties, Sauna Sessions and some pretty weird noises on several seminal tracks. Paul Mac is an ARIA-award winning producer/songwriter, one half of the groundbreaking electro outfit Itch-E and Scratch-E, not to mention The Dissociatives and the other half of Stereogamous, besides being an incomparable musician, arranger and top 40 star in his own right. While that accounts for their professional credentials, what it leaves out is the enourmous impact they have had in the Sydney queer community they call home.

The local community has come under brutal attack throughout the marriage equality campaign which weaponised while the religious right and created the environment for homphobic campaigns that could last the rest of our lives. We’ve seen it before and for the most part we’ve learned to shrug it off.

But this time they came for Jonny and Paul, and this we will not abide.

We all have friends who we consider the loveliest in the world, who appear to epitomise the best of us. But in Jonny and Paul you have two people who have inspired so much love amongst the LGTIQ community.

While Australians campaigned for ‘yes’ and ‘no’, their response has always been ‘love’. They put a back beat to our deepest desires, chiefly among them the need for community and they have provided the soundtrack from the backrooms to the bright lights, from the dungeons to the dance floors, back streets and bars alike. They are not only Newtown’s finest but the greatest manifestation of queer love and joy I know of in Australia.

That’s why, when you splash paint on this wall, you are not just attacking the queer community or the legacy of a much loved gay icon. You are coming for our most precious and most revered. You are bringing your hate to their home, which means you’ve brought the battle to our doorstep. We won’t retaliate with violence or desecration, as you have. We will come at you with love and art and wit cause that’s how we do things.

At last report, clever queers have a started writing slogans and messages of support across that back paint that now obliterates most of the image. It looks like a work of art again and a reminder that love will always win in the end and that compassion can often have the last word.

So just try and erase our lives and our love. You’ll never obliterate us with colour of your dark hearts. Just try and blacken our names, our icons, our reputations and just see how far you get. We’ve lived for centuries in the shadows and that’s often where we do our best work. If there’s one thing we know, it is how to inscribe our names on the darkness.



Artist Scott Marsh said: “Thanks so much for the dozens of messages of support i have received! Ill write back to them all today. The mural’s now beyond repair, time to let the dust settle. But i can promise you George will be back bigger and better than (and with a graffiti proof coating).”