And the Oscar goes to…

•January 10th, 2012 • 1 Comment

This is my acceptance speech, my gracious reception of the Pulitzer, my acknowledgement of the exceptional taste displayed by the judges of the Man Booker Prize, my humble gratitude to the bestowers of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and my thanks for the Eisner… etc.

You may have noticed, but I don’t do this sort of thing very often.

If you haven’t noticed, you really ought to fuck off now. And don’t come back, you’re a fucking moron.

Sorry, sorry, that’s not much in keeping with the spirit of the occasion and all that is it?

So…

I’ve left this a little late, you might think, to be counted amongst the ubiquitous messages of hope and good will that are spawned by the replacing of calendars around the globe. And you’d be right. That was the point. Why the fuck we attach so much importance to such an arbitrary distinction I have no idea. We might as well start the new year on March 31st. Much more appropriate, as far as I’m concerned…

I can’t deny, however, that I have been somewhat caught up in the whole spirit of renewal, of change and hope and all that. I have actually made a couple of resolutions this time around, which is something I usually denounce with great prejudice: Honestly, what’s with the reliance on January 1st? If you want to change something, pull your fucking head out of your arse and change it.

But resolutions are irrelevant here, considering getting all in love with the world wasn’t on my list.

I did, however, get a little bit in love.

I don’t exactly work in a high stress environment, quite the opposite in fact – which is quite stressful at times. Nor do I have childrens to take up my time, or extra-curricular group events to feel obliged to turn up to three times a week, etc, etc. For all that though, my little Eastern sojourn felt like the first time in a long time that I’ve actually relaxed.

I stopped being uptight about how much I was writing everyday – or wasn’t writing, to be more precise – and I exercised because it was fun – wait, Golf qualifies as exercise right? I just spent time lying around, overeating, swimming in worry-free (read: sharkless) water. I even played a spot of tennis.

The dire result of all this tranquillity, the slackening of my furious eye, was a disturbingly invigorated appreciation of life, of the people who make it a worthwhile endeavour, and of all the wondrous places I spend time in – yes, ok Perth, even you’re quite lovely, for all your boganism and conservative propaganda.

So, while I’m still running around smiling rather scowling at passersby, let’s go back to the podium.

This is not, in fact, my acceptance speech, it’s my bestowal speech.

And the prize goes to…

Heather, of course, first and foremost. The list would take up a month if I were to go into detail, but essentially for being an unshakeable support, an inspiration, a challenge, for being funny as fuck, and for being perfect… for me.

The parents, for all usual things, for creating a family that none of us want to get the fuck away from, and for being clever enough to beget me.

Will, for being who he is, and being an artistic inspiration, and being fucking good at it. And Erin, for being a sweetheart, and for keeping him in line.

The rest of the clan, for all that clannish stuff.

The Old Man, for being eager, insightful, and a bloody good laugh. Semaj, my brother from another mother, who needs no further explanation. Shwom, who needs far more explanation than even he is probably capable of.

The Byron Christmas bunch, for starting it all off. The Sydney lot, for remaining beautiful in a city full of wankers – and by extension the Sydney High Diaspora.

The lovely Salome Jones, for… well… go and find out for yourselves. She’s amazing. And by extension, General Ghostwoods, Grim, and the rest of the Red Phone Box lot. Wazza and the Penmonkey for being freaks and all that.

The Edinburgh Clan, for adding to my pervasive nostalgia.

The Planet (universe, multiverse, etc) for being monumentally fucking amazing, awe inspiring, and inexplicable. Stop trying to work it all out you lot, and stop FUCKING IT UP you other lot.

Alright, that’s it, you’ve got your love, light and quinoa (formerly known as peace, love and mung beans). You can fuck off now. And don’t ask for a repeat, we’ll be back to normal next week.

That’s it Thing, lend a hand.

•January 5th, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I’m ignoring my writerly responsibilities. I don’t care. I’m on holiday. Which is tough. Holidays in general are tough. They’re like a little condensed version of life. It takes a little while to relax, to get used to the new circumstances. Then you start to enjoy yourself. Then you realise that if you want to do all the things you planned to, and see all the people you give a shit about, you better stop just lying around all day. The days are going past faster. In fact, you took to long thinking about what you were going to do, and now the days have gone. It’s over. Time to go back to work.

It’s potentially ruined the holiday existence, this realisation. Who wants to be left at the end of two weeks with nothing more than a clarification of how maddeningly short life is going to be? I’m going to go back to work next week thinking of how much I will not have done by the time I hop the twig if I don’t stop sleeping, or doing anything in fact, other than actually writing all the fucking stories that seem to have got out of their cages and are indulging in depravities inside my head.

And while we’re on the topic of how shit holidays are, it’s particularly difficult being on holiday “over East”. Yes, yes, I’ve had that little rant before, but this is not about the Nullarbor divide and the homogenous version of Eastern Australia that exists in the collective conscious of the great Westralian frontier towns. All I am really saying is that swimming in coastal waters where there’s no sharks, and drinking beers that cost $4.20 each, as opposed to $10.00+, is a fucking hard life. And having a circle of friends within a thousand kilometres is pretty crap as well. And it’s all made that much worse by having the Addams Family pinball machine sitting invitingly in the corner of my parent’s living room.

Hmm… now that I think about it, the pinball might have a lot to do with how quickly the days are going by. It’s probably got nothing to do with the regular trips to the beach, the golf course, the couch, the book, the fridge…

This is rather disturbing, actually. Given that I am on holiday, and the pinball is taking up a lot of time in which I really having nothing else pressing to do, and that I am still a long way from my goal of writing a thousand words a day, every day, and when I get home I will have a lot less free time, in which to squeeze a lot more than the current fuck all, and… and… that I recently bought an x-box which is sitting at home all shiny and new and waiting for me to make the love to…

Ah, but fuck it you know, I am stronger than that. And I am trying resolutions this new year, which I don’t really do as a general rule. One of said resolutions is the writing, to be conducted in similar fashion to the wrist shuffling of a crazed, caged monkey with a penchant for masturbation. So fuck the x-box sideways… and all that.

That’s really about all to be said here.

Oh, except about the sharks. I’ve done that rant before as well, but this is not about that either. In fact, Westralia gets a bad rap (not helped by me). Both NSW and QLD far outdo the west coast for shark attacks – and fatal ones. In fact QLD has nearly three times the number of shark related fatalities than WA does, and NSW is not far behind. Still, I feel safe in the water here, and I don’t really over there. Which I know is counter intuitive, but that’s the way it is. I’ve never been known for my propensity to change my opinions based on fact.

 

Sme again…

•December 21st, 2011 • 1 Comment

http://www.therejectionist.com/2011/12/how-to-have-better-blog.html

On that note, I think I need to take a week off and think about the fact that I pretty much shouldn’t be writing any of the things I write.

And it’s Christmas pratically, who the fuck wants to write blog posts at Christmas?

Actually, it’s really almost Yule, but who am I to argue with Christendom, the great pimp, for forcing the older traditions to whore themselves out for it’s benefit?

Anyway, I’m going, I have a house to pack, and endless hours sitting at my desk to attempt to fill with anything mindless enough that I don’t notice the time going by, ticking, ticking, tick, tick, tick…

Goan. Fuckoff.

…to Sail The Seas of Cheese

•December 14th, 2011 • Leave a Comment

There comes a time for every man…

Firstly, we are boys. You ought to understand that from the start. We’re tall, some of us, we’ve grown hair in our secret places – and some unfortunate of us in our not so secret places, we’ve even started to lose some hair; we own houses, or rent them, but they’re ours; we drive slower than we used to, and we do other things slower than we used to as well – which is sometimes good, and sometimes not so much, but we’re not the ones to ask about that; we give sagely advice, and contrary to much of that advice, some of us have even assisted in creating little squealing, shitting, joyous versions of ourselves.

But make no mistake, no matter how much we resemble men, we are boys. It is an irrefutably universal truth. Accept it.

Just to clarify though, don’t you fucking dare tell us that we’re boys. It’s our job to admit that – to ourselves as well perhaps – and we’ll do that grudgingly, if at all, but do. Not. Tell. Us. Please, lest you subject yourself to an explosive anger, or worse yet, a protracted and raging silence… in fact, it is best to just keep your mouth shut at pretty much all times. Really, it’s safer this way.

Lessons would be well learnt from mothers of men, from past masters – or past victims, depending on which way you look at it. They’re too kind though, to teach these lessons early. Let the little dears have a few more years of blissful ignorance. Let them dream of Ryan Gosling.

You know, the greatest deception in modern history comes out of Hollywood. It, they, are called Romantic Comedies. Oh, yes, of course, you know, we know, they’re all make-believe, escapism, gel-coated, easy to swallow opiates for the desperately lonely and hopeful.

Incidentally, this is where fantasy novels, sci-fi films (hell, even time-travelling superhero comics) will win every time. They’re far superior forms of escapism. No one secretly believes that they will actually come true one day… ok, some people do, but they meet weekly at a private table in the back corner of a military/gaming bookshop, and discreetly pull their undies on over their jeans, and giggle. Unlike romantic comedies, they don’t produce an entire culture of the deeply delusional.

It is not that the gullible masses think that they will meet Mr. Right and, after a whirlwind romance, live happily ever after. They know that they’ll probably never meet him, and if they do, after the whirlwind romance, it will not all be golden sunsets, and lowered toilet seats. But somewhere in there, they do believe that they’ll meet Mr… eeeeeeeeeghhhh! Wrong Answer. No, you’ll meet Mstr, masquerading as Mr. and the struggle that ensues, that follows the three weeks of rampant sex on a beach in the tropics – or at least at Coolangatta – is not one of learning to operate the toilet seat for yourself, it’s of learning to come to terms with the fact that you’re now married to/cohabiting with the little boy you never wanted to have… that’s why you got your fucking tubes tied… and now all that worry free beach sex has got you right where you don’t want to be.

It’s all over now, emotional immaturity reigns, most commonly manifested in a taciturn refusal to talk – especially if it concerns feelings. Don’t try to understand this, anymore than you’d try to understand how two blokes became the closest of friends following a couple of nights sitting in silence around a campfire. It just is. We’re not going to explain it – after all, that would require fucking talking.

There’s no going back to that blissful ignorance, and don’t look at us like that. We’re not taking responsibility for the way things are. We shall take no responsibility at all in fact, we’re too busy yearning for the endless summers of yore, when the only worry was whether mum would notice the dollar we’d nicked and spent on a distended paper bag, bulging with 1¢ lollies, or if there were enough bricks under that plank of wood for us to clear the creek on our bikes.

What? Oh this? It’s a remote control helicopter. Isn’t it fucking awesome?

Listen, there’s no use in getting upset about us coming home with remote control flying things, chainsaws and convertibles. It doesn’t matter that we live in an inner city studio apartment, have no room for aerial manoeuvres, no trees to fell, and can never get above 53km/hr. We need them. Need them. And we don’t give a shit that we can’t really afford them, after all, we’re irresponsible; we’re boys; we’re living the life of a seven year old… with a lot of pocket-money… enough, we don’t want to hear it, mum. No, we won’t fucking talk about it.

There comes a time in for every man boy… it’s nearly here. It’s fucking Christmas. I’ might not be any more interested than any self-respecting alcoholic in getting up early to dash into the living room and see what Santy Claus left in my stocking, but in the lead up, well, I’m back to being seven once again.

Family? Time off work? A glut of prawns? Pfft. It’s. All. About. The. Presents. I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s all I can do to stop myself looking in the other side of the closet, where I know something is hidden away from me. It’s a dire strain not to take out the things I bought for other people and play with them. Jesus, I might even have to buy myself toys in the meantime, just so I don’t expire from desperate anticipation.

No, I have no shame… ok well, that’s not really true. I have lot’s of shame. Some of it’s reserved for the therapy couch,  some of it becomes lies that tell truths upon the written page, and some of it is festering away in my black little heart. But none of it, none of it, has anything to do with being excited for the season of giving getting.

You’re a real blue flame special, aren’t you, son? [Update]

•December 9th, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I was taking a break this week, but having drunk little enough last night to keep me under the limit, and woken up with a hangover as a reward, and having lost another fucking fountain pen – which may be a karmic metaphor for the current state of my writing, I’ll get back to you on that one – I feeling highly irritable and quite frankly, am in the mood to tear someone a new arsehole.

I was (in the spirit of taking a week off) quite… happily sitting at my desk glaring at the world with a furious eye. That was, until I discovered that in the long list of useless, tired, unoriginal, shamelessly plagiaristic fucking cunts that inhabit Hollywood, someone else is getting on the remake – oh, sorry, the re-interpretation – bandwagon, and is doing a new American Psycho.

Because the year 2000 is soooo long ago, and anything made then must be soooo dated and inexplicable to the current world of blu-ray, hi-def obsession, which soon enough is going to lead to striking everything prior to 2005 from the historical record because, let’s face it, the entire world wasn’t quite crisp enough before then, and it’s just so hard to suspend one’s disbelief when remembering the budget SFX.

Waaaaaait a minute here, does that mean the entire 90s will cease to exist?

You fucking betcha. Kiss goodbye to your teenage years motherfucker, they no longer have any relevance.

But, but what about Point Break? Does that mean…

Yep, remake already in the pipeline.

Oh well, I guess I’ll just go and crawl back into my nostalgic hole over here then.

Yeah, you do that, you fucking dinosaur.

I’d laugh, really, at the very mention of thinking about maybe even considering to do a remake of Point Break, if it wasn’t so desperately sad.

Kick.

Segue.

You know, fuck Gatekeepers.

Yes, I am tangentially referring to Literary Gatekeepers – agents, and publishers and the like, who keep many a good author down, because they don’t fit into a prescribed mould of what it means to be a commercially viable Dan Brown… um… I mean writer.

Primarily, however, I meant Office Gatekeepers. You know, those petty bureaucratic receptionists who are so mind-numbingly bored (which is surprising given the average time it takes for a question to echo off the inside of their skull and come back out their mouth, only to have you ask it again) that they spend their days harassing people for parking in the staff parking lot, even though they have a clearly visible permit on their dashboard, and fielding phone calls to their boss by asking who’s calling; putting you on hold; coming back and asking you where you’re calling from; even though you told them already; putting you on hold again; coming back and asking you what it’s regarding; putting you on hold; coming back and asking you if it’s urgent; putting you on hold; coming back to tell you the boss is not available, and can you call back later, and then cracking the shits with you when you ask to leave a message.

That. Is. Your. Fucking. Job. You are a secretary, you’re entire point is to fucking well take messages.

Whew, ok. I feel mildly better now. Time for more coffee.

 

[Update]: So, yes, it would seem like the fountain pen fiasco is indeed a metaphorical comment upon my writing. The wifey found it a short time ago… in the Garage. Which, if I am not mistaken, is where real men go to make things. Lesson: Keep track of your shit. Get back in the garage and get shit done.

Of course, it might also be a comment on the fact that my writing belongs in a dusty box stashed away from the light of day…

Never Gonna Give You Up

•December 7th, 2011 • 2 Comments

Right, I’m taking a break this week. Quite frankly, I just can’t be fucked. Not that I think there’ll be any great cries of disappointment at the lack of rambling, tangential vitriol, but even were that not the case, the shit that I’d give would be, at most, tiny – nothing huge and smelly, but there nonetheless – you know, one of those little nuggets that disappears every time you flush, only to be merrily bobbing away next time you lift the lid.

I try you know, to be a good little blogger, by which I refer to the quantitative, not qualitative content of this here little node of disdain. But sometimes the rewards and the requisite effort just don’t balance. It’s like sharing the see-saw with Fatty Boomsticks because he’s the only other kid in the park. You so desperately wanted to play, and now, up in the air, you’re completely at his mercy, and being the subject of constant ridicule, he’s become a vindictive little prick. He leaves you high and dry, sitting resolutely at the far end of the see-saw, his glutinous mass holding tight to the ground, while you sit and lament the fact your farsighted parents refused to let you get your haircut like MacGyver, thereby damning you to endless afternoons at the top end of a plank of wood while all the cool kids gorge themselves on sugar and listen to Rick Astley at whosever’s birthday party it is that week.

Apparently there’s a lot more of you having a squiz round here these days, which you’d think would be a marvellous little ego fondle wouldn’t you? I mean just last week, I had a whole thirty seven people look at my blog. Jesus Christ I think, I’m on the verge of being invited onto Letterman… only then I happen to glance at the average length of time that anyone is prepared to devote to perusing my scribbling – under a minute and a half. Short lived glory. Like that giddy moment of elation when Fatty digs his toes into the soil, ready to thrust himself skyward and, overjoyed, you prepare to leap free of your be-planked prison. Then you realise (in that split-second time sink that is the saviour of humanity, unfortunately preventing any number of fucking idiots, at the last possible moment, from doing something fatally stupid) that if you attempt to bail on the see-saw, Fatty’s weight is going to drive your end into the underside of your chin so fast and hard that you probably end up without a tongue – and where will you be then, when the cool kids finally invite you to the party and it’s your turn at spin-the-bottle? So instead you cling on for dear life, and before you know it, you’ve bounced hard off the ground, Fatty, like a gleeful comet has shot earthward again, and you find yourself imprisoned once more at the top end of a big fucking stick.

Actually, I quite like sitting on high, clinging to a bit of wood. I’m just tired. I do this because it’s fun, not because I think anyone else gives a shit. And really, it’s a lot less confronting – not to mention cheaper – than a therapist.

I’m tired. Did I say that already? I’m not surprised. Drinking and smoking has stopped – for now, we’ll see how long it lasts. Probably until Friday at about 4.35pm – and I have been cleared to start the real abuse of my body again. The training schedule, with its attendant diet of healthy things and limited indulgence, has begun again. Relieved of my steady supply of sugar, my brain is operating at far below optimum capacity, and I am behind on work that in the scheme of things is far more important than this nonsense…

So on that note, screw you guys, I’m going home…

The Best Eyebrows In The Business

•November 30th, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I might be developing an unhealthy predilection here trend-setters – and no, this has nothing to do with the volume of beer that passed my lips over the last 168 hours. Nor do I speak of my masturbatory habits, which, as far as unhealthy predilections go, are way past the developmental stage – no, I am talking about my increasing tendency to engage in political rantage.

Unhealthy, you ask? How is that unhealthy? Valid questions, and don’t get me wrong, I am all for healthy political discourse. In fact, I think the lack thereof is one of the most deeply fucked-up things about this country… about this planet for that matter.

This is doubly disturbing to me, considering I am clearly part of the problem… a tiny little cog – and we’re talking fucking minute here – in the great big machine. Now that I think about it, actually, I pretty much epitomise the problem – I am no better than Tony Abbott… ok, ok that’s patently ridiculous, I am infinitely better than Tony Abbott. However, I pretty much treat those in the other side of the ring the same way Tozza does, by repeatedly bashing them and hoping they’ll just go away.

I am, after all, no great political analyst… let’s face it, I’m no small political analyst either. I basically just take anything political on the current media landscape, pull out everything about it that does not fall in line with my personal doctrine and abuse the crap out of anyone I deem as either responsible, or part of the problem. The only reason I manage to get away with this – ok, apart from the fact that nobody fucking reads my blog, or if they do, they’re probably my friend, and thus unlikely to differ very greatly in opinion on such matters… if they did, no doubt, they’d soon end up the subject of one of my spurious tirades, and very quickly cease to either read the blog, or consider themselves a friend – so the only other reason I get away with it, is that my political view of the world (i.e. left-wing, reasonably temperate, dismissive of unfairness, bigotry, etc, etc – as my father-in-law would describe me, I’m a Liberal Wienie) is clearly the only correct way to look at the world. Even right-wing, filthy rich, bigoted fucking cunts know this, they’re just too god-damned self-serving to want to change things.

Right, so having slapped on that a long winded caveat – don’t come running to me all spouting your what an ill-informed, cycnical twat business, not unless you want me to go all Tim the Enchanter on your arse: I warned you. I warned you. But would you listen to me? Oh no, you knew it all didn’t you… and such… 

What the fuck is up with Arsetralia’s complete inability to use its fucking head, and start embracing renewable energy?

Oh here he goes again you say, doom, gloom, the world is ending, 2012 approaches, the Mayans were right, nobody cares anymore… but what about The Carbon Tax? Yay!

Look, yes, but don’t let it fool you trend-setters, a win for Greenie Liberal Weenies, doesn’t mean there isn’t still more political fucking cuntery going on, and on a grand scale too.

Who the hell does Martin Ferguson think he’s kidding? Hang on, who is Martin Ferguson? The member the Electorate of Where? Of Batman? He’s the fucking fossil fuel industry’s very own Caped Crusader, masked in a coal-black cowl, and blowing not wind up our arses, but a lungful of natural gas. What is this Energy White Paper nonsense? It’s exactly that, nonsense, of the most dastardly kind. It’s got all the value, the long term value, value as it pertains to every person in this country, of the roll of three-ply toilet paper it should be printed on, so we can all wipe our arses with it.

A consultation group discussing Arsetralia’s energy future, consisting of companies including Caltex, Origin, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, having members with uranium experience, fossil fuels and plastics, and the electricity industry? Where are the representatives of alternative energy companies, the solar and wind? And where are the members with environmental and renewable energy experience?

I thought Tony Abbot was a fucking cunt, but Ferguson is a fucking cunt who’s fucking fucking cunts, spreading his cheeks for a coffer full of dollaroos. His priority, he says, is “listening to the community, and acting in the interests of our local area”. What he means by this, is he loves a good spit roast, with him at one end, a long line of mining industry fat cats taking turns at the other, and the rest of us stuck in the middle. Yes, he’s listening to us, but all he’s getting back is the sweet sound of us gagging as he gleefully fucks the country… 

Hey it’s genius – otherwise known as fucking cuntery – right? He gets his rocks off, and at the same time can stand up and say, in all honesty, “I asked them what they thought, but nobody raised any objections”. You try objecting Fergy, with a mouthful of cock. And it’s not just us he’s doing it to here people, this is our kids and grandkids he’s feeding his fat one to. Diddling kiddies is Not. Fucking. Ok.

Jesus H. Christ people, even the God-Damned U.S.A. (yes, there is a reason they all keep begging the big fella to bless the place, ‘cause they know that as it stands, he’s pretty much waiting for the fires of Hell to rise up and burn it all to ashes), even the great great granddaddy of greed and pollution, the Commander in Chief of the We-Don’t-Give-A-Shit-You-Fucking-Hippies Army can manage to adopt the SunShot initiative, can seemingly manage to get through its historically thick head, that the economic and energetic future looks pretty grim if everything you’re basing it on is rapidly running the fuck out.

Surely if old Uncle S. can work it out, or begin to, so can we. I might be wrong, but didn’t Tim Flannery recently approach, or attempt to approach the federal government with a blueprint for getting the entire nation up and running on wind and solar by the year 20-somethingorother?

Ha ha Tim you twat. Fuck your renewable energy, fuck your future, we’re enlightened here, we’re living in the moment, and right now we’re having way too much with fun this mouthful of big fat uranium dick, with the coal lump tea-bagging we’re getting.

Apparently the only people in this country worth listening to are scumbag radio bigots, or the fucking cunts bleeding our natural resources to line their own pockets. Mr. Bob “I’ve got the best eyebrows in the business” Hawke is sitting there in his dotage, thinking “I fucking told you dickheads back in 1990 that we needed to become The Clever Country”. Sorry Bob, you’re not a rich cunt, what the fuck would you know?

 

 

In other news, I’d like to make an apology for the gratuitous images of grievous bodily harm posted in last week’s rant. I blame it entirely on the prevalence of violent computer games. Everything was going along just fine, all cute and cuddly until computer games reared their bloody heads, and all of sudden along came this hitherto unbeknownst urge toward violent behaviour…

I Love My Life As A Dickhead…

•November 23rd, 2011 • 2 Comments

Warning: the following message contains images that some viewers might find disturbing. Discretion is advised.

I have been on a bit of a trip of late, of making cursory examinations of my tendency to fail to learn from my mistakes, my cyclical state of mental ill-health, and my steady migration toward being a cantankerous old fart. I say cursory because, quite frankly, I’m either too involved in my quest for instant gratification or my borderline alcoholism, or I get too distracted by slapping epithets such as Dickhead, or Fucking Cunt, on the likes of Frank Miller, Tony Abbott, or pretty much anyone who falls afoul of my predilection for being a judgemental prick – which, whether it constitutes advanced crankiness or mental illness, or both, is frequently visited in afore mentioned examinations.

Before I go any further, I’ll state for the record – in relation to the old fart comment – I am well that my early thirties hardly qualifies as my dotage, and an (albeit advancing) widow’s peak ain’t exactly bald, but as the hair on my head continues its chinward migration, I can’t help but reflect upon the gulf between the reality of life and how much I really thought I’d have sorted my shit out by now.

Right, on to the dickheads…

Now, apparently FARE has set about trying to change the way we as a nation drink. If nothing else, you have to applaud them for the sheer magnitude of the undertaking, but really, good fucking luck kids, you’re going to need it. We are, after all, a nation with some pretty questionable moral and social standards. Anywhere in which the employers of a man – sorry a fucking cunt – like Kyle Sandilands, can get away with “no comment” in response to the guy’s fundamentally reprehensible behaviour has some serious problems, to say nothing of the fact that Sandilands even has a willing audience. Mind you, in a nation that so adores Alan Jones, it’s hardly fucking surprising is it?

But what’s Sandilands got to with getting boozy? Well, as you might have guessed, I’m no stranger to glass of wine, and while it’s a good laugh, and makes an effective (though sadly temporary) cure for life’s woes, I can claim an intimate familiarity with how one’s ability to think grinds to a shuddering halt when you’ve had more than a stubbie or two. Hence the popularity of Kyle and Jonesy. Who the fuck, FUCK, would give either of them the time of day if they were in any sort of state to use their fucking brains? No seriously, this goes well beyond disagreeing with their politics and dissemination of bullshit, a la Abbott and Joyce. Sandilands ought to be locked in a room with broken-bottle-wielding victims of sexual violence, and see how fucking abusive and patronising he is then.

Back to the booze though – that’s one of the wonderful things about it though, no matter how many times you leave it, the drink always welcomes you back with open arms, and not a hint of reproof. The kind of statistics you’ll find backing FARE’s campaign for change are somewhat… sobering. I know, genius right? To say nothing of the scything of vast crops of brain cells, the connection of long term use to cancer, liver failure, and frequent, blistering hangovers, the attributable incidents of violence, child abuse, and outright death are enough to make you stagger your way to the wagon and haul yourself on board. Which is exactly what FARE is counting on. What they’re not counting on, however, is just how big a dickhead most members of the population are.

Nothing says dickhead like persisting in the pursuit of things that fuck you up. Thus, I will happily – though somewhat shamefaced – stand up and be counted amongst this great nation’s dickheads. I understand, really I do. A good boozer can be a lot of fun, but inevitably, at some point you take it too far, and do something you regret. It’s not necessarily violent, nor always abusive – at least not in the classic I’m-so-worked-up-half-the-pub-is-now-familiar-with-the-consistency-of-my-saliva kind of abusive – but it does play on your mind… assuming you remember it.

So, fuelled by the desire, the need, to stop thinking about how much of a dickhead you were – you probably still are – you take solace in a bottle of Laphroaig (or by the standards of most of Arsetralia, Bundaberg O.P.). For a little while, the problems go away, you’re feeling magnanimous, the smiles come easy, everyone gets along fine… and then you have one too many, and it’s Blue Velvet all over again, or once more you whip your shlong out in front of someone who could otherwise have gone to their grave happy, and ask them to give it a little cuddle…

It’s a vicious circle, and sometimes you have to ask yourself honestly, which came first, the dickhead or the drunk? The answer might make you don the blinkers and head straight for the nearest drive-thru bottle-o, but go on, do yourself a favour, ask it, answer it. It’s best if you know.

The more I think about it, which being onto my second beer now, is taking a lot longer than it should, I can do nought but agree with FARE’s goals. Their achievement might not, in the end, lessen the popularity of Sandiland et al – which, obviously, comes back to the dickhead or the drunk question – but it might reduce the horrendous consequences for people whose only mistake was to be either related to, or in the vicinity of, a complete dickhead. At the very least, it might help prop up the sinking international opinion of Australians – if anyone has ever spent more than about forty five minutes with other Australians in the bar of a backpackers hostel, you’ll know what I mean.

Having said that, I have to disagree with FARE’s position on one point. That alcohol-related health issues, leading to untimely death, are the slightest problem, or the even remotely death untimely. Oh, the burden on the health system, you might cry. It’s a fair fucking trade say I. There’s nothing untimely here, the sooner the dickheads take themselves out of the gene pool, away from people they’re tempted to abuse, and out from behind the wheel of a car that will no doubt – thank you Murphy – kill someone other than themselves, the better for all involved. In fact, the better for all not involved, but forced to witness from the footpath as the prick drags his missus across the road by the hair. Good. Fucking. Riddance.

Of course, this is perhaps a rather narrow definition of dickhead. Here is a completely different, though equally valid, interpretation:

Then, there is always the good old Armed Forces Dickhead, the sort of guy that thinks using the butt-end of a live .50 calibre round as a hammer is a good idea, and then wonders why this happens:

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Wine is good: Sheep, binge drinking, and the landed gentry.

•November 16th, 2011 • 4 Comments

I have noted, with my usual disdain, naturally, the glut of writing advice splattered all over the cyber-pavement these days, like the minefield of vomit and dog shit that adorns Edinburgh’s footpaths of a Saturday and Sunday morning. Unlike the aftermath of the Scottish capital’s propensity for binge drinking, however, there is no delicately-trod path between the mounds of offending faecal matter and puddles of carrot chunks, but rather, a well-worn trail, as of the stampede of some great herd, the passing of countless fucking sheep (read into that what you will) through the regurgitant pools of what will (and will not) turn you into a good writer.

Of course, as with any artistic calling, there are always going to be only a select few who wear the black wool, while the rest of the flock, desperate to be the next [insert name of famous and/or talented literati here], follow each other around in the white wool of the masses, bleating and tramping the muck of advice all over everyone’s nice clean carpets.

Personally, I couldn’t really be fucked with the whole world of writing advice. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’ve never been given any, and it’s not like I haven’t taken a throatful of it to heart. And, I have to say, I certainly get a kick out of reading the Terrible-Minded Penmonkey’s advice – though that’s more to do with his amusingly expletive writing than the advice – and I’m not saying I wouldn’t spend a semester or two in front of a bunch of adoring, doe-eyed first year uni students, dispensing… well… not dispensing advice, as much as engendering discussion and independent thought – but all of that has more to do with fuelling my writerly ego than anything else – more on that shortly.

The problem I have with writing advice, is that most of it is a bunch of recycled, hackneyed nonsense, that anyone with half a brain has already worked out for themselves – and if they don’t have at least that half a brain, and haven’t worked out at least most of it, don’t worry, they were never going to be a writer anyway.

The only bit of writing advice, when it comes down to it, that sticks indelibly in my skull, is this: pull your finger out, sit on the fucking chair, and don’t stop writing. Ever.

Easier said than done, sure, but it’s not exactly fucking rocket science is it? Well, you wouldn’t think so, but people will persist in being idiots, in asking the stupid fucking questions. As Ursula Le Guin put it, upon being asked how to become a writer, [paraphrasing] “you don’t ask how to become a guitarist do you? You get a bloody guitar and you practice. So get a fucking pen and a bit of paper and write.”

Read, write, learn your craft. That’s the mantra of the advice givers. Okay, sure, why not? If you are not a reader, chances are, you don’t want to be a writer. If that is not the case, stop now. You. Are. Not. A. Writer. As for the rest, well, stick to the pull your finger out bit above. It’s trial and error, it’s a personal journey, and as long as you keep working, you’ll work it out. Chuck Wendig (the afore mentioned penmonkey) has his own mantra: I am a writer, I am done fucking around. Excellent advice. All you need. If it’s not, if you need someone to tell you how to do it… all I can say is good luck, please try not to give the rest of us a bad name.

Disclaimer: I studied creative writing at university, so feel free to take all this “you can work it out” stuff with a fist full of salt.

But back to the point, what would probably benefit all (and would-be) writers, more than this ubiquitous litany of 101 ways not to suck, is a good dose of therapy. Let’s face it, we’re all pretty much fucked in the head… or as the delightful Salome Jones put it “all good writers are broken.” I’d maintain that all writers are broken, bad writers are just more broken – they’re just as fucked in the head, but they’ve the fact that they’re crap to contend with as well. Really, what hope do they have?

The problem as I see it – and really, who wouldn’t be a bit broken, under the circumstances – is that writing is a delicate balance of severe self-doubt and rampant egotism. If you don’t have the ego, why do you want to put your writing out in the world? Honestly. If it’s for the good of humanity, you’re in the wrong field – though I’d maintain that you’re just as much, if not more, the egotist, thinking your writing will do the species any good. But that’s what politics and philanthropy are for. Note: I didn’t say that’s what politics does, but that is what it’s for.

Without the ego, without knowing you’re good enough to spout nonsense that the world will swallow as the truth (or a truth at least), you. Are. Not. A. Writer. On the other hand, without the tempering influence of self-doubt, well, you might very quickly find yourself less of a writer than a fucking wanker.

Of course, sometimes a  writer can’t be blamed for turning into an egotistical tosser. We’re all human after all, and when a writer is good enough, they get praised and idolised and worshipped and awarded for so long that, well, eventually it’s going to go to their head. Just look at Frank Miller. He was pretty much the god of comics forever. Sorry Alan Moore, I know, we’ll discuss your eminence at a later date… over a cup of tea. It was bound to get to Frank in the long run. He’s just a man.

Sure, you could consider other such gods as Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis, and while Warren seems like a dark and sarcastic cunt (in the most lovable, cuddly way of course), and Grant is possibly not of this world… literally… they both seem like reasonably well-adjusted gentlemen. Yes, in fact, the recent turn in Frank Miller might well be down to the fact that he’s a fucking bigot. But enough of hassling poor Frank, he’s written some of the best comics of all time, and he can’t help it if he’s a fucking hate-monger, it’s probably his parent’s fault.

I feel compelled to say, slightly tangentially – and this has nothing to do with my increasing disappointment with Marvel Comics’ output… no really, this time I’m serious – I am slightly concerned about their current “Marvel Architects” structure. They seem to be building their entire universe on the foundation of ideas of a few select writers. Not that these guys aren’t good enough to be some of the select few, or even the select few, and they are superstars and all that… and I know, Marvel is a business, so they’re more about the fat-ass, dirty dollar than the production of story-telling excellence. But apart from the fact that this whole approach places a disturbing limitation on their creative gene pool, being a Marvel Architect, a titled (read: landed-fucking-gentry) orchestrator of the hero fantasies of nearly a full half of global geekdom (and many more besides), is probably like having a bicycle pump stuck up the arse of your ego, with Axel Alonso pumping furiously and whispering sales figures softly in your ear. One can only hope that in their (near-certain) state of inflated self-importance, they don’t chuck a Frank, and think it’s suddenly ok to publish inflammatory, religio-racist bigotry disguised as comic books.

Ok, ok, I’m sorry Frank, I’ll stop it now. Dickhead.

None of this is to say that we don’t need a good bit of ego stroking. I’ll stand up as the prime example of what happens when your self-doubt outweighs your God-damn-I’m-good. It’s a fine line. Maybe writing advice helps you sort out your internal harmony… I fucking doubt it, but maybe. There is a plethora of ways, no doubt, that you can work this one out.

Wine is good. Two glasses, and it’s all furious typing, fuck-I’m-funny, and triumphant cock-crowing, swearing at half your characters, and making the love to other half. Two and a half to three glasses, however, and the river of ideas breaks its banks, and you watch it all flood away to soak into the dry, sandy soil of a literary (and probably literal) hangover. The reservoir of confidence runs dry. Cue self-doubt. Cue self-loathing. Cue self-medication. Cue vicious-fucking-circle. Of course, if you find a way to fill that reservoir often enough, you can get as plastered as you bloody well like, and it’s all good. Take Warren Ellis.

It’s a hard thing to manage. I’m not sure I know how. I’d still be wallowing in doubtful self-pity if it weren’t for chance (for which, like the tree-hugger I am at heart – if not in practice, I’ll thank the universe) and the gentle, insistent fondling of my ego (for which the better part of credit must go to the devil in Ms. Jones). But despite the recent damming of my river of ideas, the gradual increase of my damn-I’m-good-not-to-mention-fucking-funny, induced (as any of you unfortunate enough to have been cornered in some sorry social network when I’m in my cups will know) by frequent libation, I remain cognizant of how easy it is to turn into a huge, self-stimulated, dick. And quite frankly (no, nothing to do with you Miller, you self-absorbed maniac), I’d rather stay in the tortuous world of self-doubt and writer’s block than turn into a literary masturbator.

How to blow and suck at the same time.

•November 10th, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Look, before I attract any more detractors, and before I give evidence supporting Tony Abbott’s fucking cunthood, I’d just like to clarify a couple of things, specifically a couple of things I say quite frequently, and with usually very little thought. Little thought, however, does not a moron make, and I am quite prepared to defend my usage of terms that might, and in fact have, cause some offence.

So, cunt… I have a few things to say in support of the common usage, and versatility, of the word.

Firstly, most people have absolutely no fucking leg to stand on as far as being offended by the use of cunt as a derogatory term, given how many of those same people use dick in a like fashion. Ladies like their genitalia (honestly, who doesn’t?), and men, by and large, like their dicks. I don’t mind you using dick to point out how much of a… dick someone is being, so why the offence regarding cunt?

Secondly, (and thank you Geoff Lemon for reminding us) as TISM pointed out, there is a difference between a cunt, and a fucking cunt.

Thirdly, and this is for those people who are offended by the word as a reference to genitalia, rather than to Tony Abbott, as I once heard remarked upon by a BBC commentator – whose name escapes me – the word vagina (so often cited as preferable to cunt) comes from the Latin for ‘sword sheath’, and quite frankly she (the BBC lady) would rather have hers referred to as a cunt.

Right, and so on to the dreaded retard

You will note, please, that I do not refer to individuals such as Barnaby Joyce as ‘mentally retarded’ (or in fact any other similar expression) thereby likening them to someone with a disability who only suffers from the comparison to Joyce. No I refer to him as a fucking retard and, as above, there is a difference between a retard and a…

And, as I tried to point out to Joyce, some words have a very specific definition. As dictionary.com points out:

re·tard
verb (used with object)
1. to make slow; delay the development or progress of (anaction, process, etc.);
hinder or impede.

Joyce may be quick to spout his bullshit, but I defy anyone to convince me that he’s not a fucking retard.

Now, the real point here was to register the only argument that needs to be made to show how much of hypocritical sack of shit Tony Abbott is.

What a fucking cunt.