They cost a lot of money, they make your heart beat a little faster, and they can inspire around 1 million people to take to the streets to carouse in a wealthy place like Sydney. In case you missed it, this year was the "diamond" anniversary of the bridge (75 years) and the theme of the night played on the Emerald City theme from the Wizard of Oz. Oz, emeralds, geddit?
Thanks to Mr B's high standing in the international aid community we got tickets to the "VIP viewing area". This actually meant a kind of mini music festival set up at one of the points on the inner harbour, with a band, dj, 2Dayfm broadcasts, and where you could have the pleasure of buying a hamburger for $10, wine in a plastic glass for $7 and a bottle of champagne for $35. The upside was ample space and chairs for firework viewing. They come with a soundtrack, I discovered. No idea if this was simulcast or just blasted out on speakers for us Important People. Here's a sample.
Being with a posse of doctors who have served in actual combat zones, they had a slightly different emotional response to the spectacle. And believe me, watching huge brightly coloured bombs in the sky is an emotional experience, not denying that. I personally swung from generic party vibe during "Can you feel it" by the Jackson 5 to sadness and despair during the distinctly military climax, and the whoops of my millions of comrades massed on the shore. Maybe its good to get that excitement of big bangs out once a year, in a ritualistic fashion. If only we didn't have men and women serving overseas creating far more deadly versions.