He writes the songs…

Someone at Rockdale Council is a genius. An evil genius. They’ve been blasting out Barry Manilow recordings to stop hoons congregating in Cook Park and it’s been a brilliant success. It’s no surprise – the saccharine strains of Copacabana would kill the mood of anyone outside a nursing home. Still, hasn’t public order in Rockdale come at a terrible price!

Residents say the non-stop Manilow marathon is driving them bananas; surely the council should at least mix up the assault so they get some variety? You can’t tell me Richard Clayderman or Vanessa-Mae would be any less effective.
In fact, rather than replicating WS-FM’s playlist, why not just pump the classic hits station directly into the park? Far more variety for the residents and the same hoon-repelling effect.
The only danger is that the park might become a mecca for dags instead. The revving that irritates the residents might be replaced by raucous all-night Scrabble marathons. Better to stick with Manilow and guarantee the park stays empty.
If drivers of garish muscle cars really can’t stand Manilow, having his Greatest Hits at the ready in your CD stacker could well prove a motoring essential. A quick burst of Can’t Smile Without You at the traffic lights could give a hoon more discomfort than their irritating bass-thumping gives the rest of us. Barry could also prove useful to stave off an attempted carjacking.
Which makes one think – if only they’d had him down at Cronulla beach last year. His dulcet tones would’ve convinced Sydney’s racists to stay home, or better yet, unite in a common cause: trashing his music.
The NSW Riot Police should purchase some compilation CDs and giant speakers immediately. Music can have powerful emotional effects.
Recently, a five-year-old girl came out of a coma after James Blunt’s You’re Beautiful whimpered out of the hospital radio. (Presumably the agonising pressure to her ears snapped her out of it.) Perhaps Philip Nitschke could look into using Manilow as the gentlest euthanasia method yet? I’m sure my subconscious would gladly pack it in after a couple of rounds of Mandy.
“I write the songs,” croons Manilow in one of his corniest hits of all. For the first time ever, the rest of us can be grateful.

Read more of Dominic Knight on the Radar blog, www.radar.smh.com.au.

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