Saturday, 15 December 2012

List of Things That Get On My Nerves

List of Things That Get On My Nerves  
Unsalted food
People who refer to magazines as ‘books’
Grey Nomads
Grey Nomads who call their caravan arrangements ‘rigs’
People with food sensitivities
People who wax lyrical about Shantaram
Olive oil
People who use the terms ‘bucket list’, ‘me time’, ‘retail therapy’ and ‘flick me an email’
Police procedural TV shows
Baz Luhrmann’s ultra-modern soundtracks
Baz Luhrmann movies
Coffee table books
The self-help industry
The vitamin industry
South Australia
Women who fan their faces with their hands when crying/trying not to cry
Those inane configurations of ornamental letters people have in their homes spelling out words like Eat, Peace, Love, Family, etc
The words “I’m on a detox”
Rapid fire TV dialogue as popularised by Aaron Sorkin
Instagram food photos
Q&A audience questions, Q&A tweeters, politicians on Q&A, Q&A generally
Animated movies
People who still morally denounce Woody Allen’s choice of wife and use this as a reason for not watching his movies
People, pretty much

Seasons greetings and jingle bells. It’s been real.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Coping With Canberra - A Raiders Progress Report

For the football fan, summer is the soul’s winter.
For the footballers themselves, summer is the season in which to comfortingly return to character.  As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly: Proverbs 26, 11.
In Canberra, the Raiders are busily engaging in vivid and unrestrained off-field activities which cast an impression of quality living.

>>Quality living by Canberra standards I mean. Some other, non-geographically specific things which cast impressions of quality living: STD’s, rural road signs all shot up with bullet holes, getting bit by an animal while trying to get it stoned, ever using the word ‘repo’d’, seafood extender, painting unventilated rooms, ugly dogs hurling themselves against chain-link fences, trawling YouTube for footage of Flynn from Australian Idol’s rendition of Push Up! in morning’s earliest hours, tobacco-stained ceilings, managing to have both long hair and a sunburned scalp, throwing up in potted plants and any type of heaving be it dry or otherwise, threatening loved ones with shoes, staple guns or other unconventional weapons, having part of an eyebrow missing, petrol station pies, Lowes.  
It’s grim there you know. Faded, and with a weird melancholy. So while Bernard Tomic is brawling with his friend in a spa at 5:30am on the Gold Coast, which sounds hedonistic and hot, the Raiders are making the most of things in their own ways. Recent efforts have achieved some solid results, and ACT police have netted several Raiders in their wily civic web.

-         Jack Boom was thrown out of the Foreshore festival and into the drunk-tank for several hours. I read this in the Tele and then never heard a thing about it ever again but I totally buy it the boy is clearly a fiend anyone with a face as sweet as his is a certified fiend.
-         Blake Ferguson was ejected from the same festival for allegedly “spitting” “on” “several patrons”.
-         Joel Thompson has been interviewed about a bottle being thrown at a cyclist during a post-Foreshore party at his apartment. And there are non-existent reports that coach Furner was caught throwing a car battery through a senior player’s car windscreen.   

Well, shit. We liked Brando as Stanley Kowalski didn’t we, all mute surly attitude and explosions of raw seething brutality? What’s the goddamn difference?
Just as the game itself is an acquired taste, the occasionally unwholesome extracurricular activities of the most abhorrent members of society ie. football players are seen to be unpalatable by many also.  These are probably the same flat-pack people who have never slept with a second cousin more than once, never had a dark and savage night of the soul, and never sawed the roof off their car.      
So, whatever. Football is an acquired taste. My best friend told me her boyfriend regards with distaste footballers and the women who love them. He takes it to mean they’re rough or whatever.
But, Canberra. It’s weird there. As anyone who has lived there for any stretch of time will appreciate, the urge to throw bottles from balconies at cyclists is a powerful one which is not easily denied. I myself had to consciously keep two hands positioned on the steering wheel at all times when driving such was my urge to run cyclists down in my car. Nothing personal, you understand, it’s just that they somehow became a very visual and ever-present reminder of my culturally bankrupt and capitalist wasteland surrounds. This created an uneasy atmosphere of foreboding and also made driving something of an ordeal.
So I understand and sympathise with any bottle-throwing, spitting, heavy drinking, drug use, destruction of property and homicidal rampaging that goes on in Canberra. I actually endorse it. Distractions and delay tactics employed by those seeking to avoid the inevitable incursion of real life are a necessary component to coping with Canberra. If I wasn’t so burnt-out and unambitious I would run for office and seek subsidisation for it from Medicare myself.

((*not talking about J-Bo, Gav or Terry Campese anytime I talk about how fucked Canberra is. They all come from Queanbeyan, anyways, and besides which they are three of the best and most well-bred things – animal mineral vegetable or other - to come out of this stinking age we live in.))

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Shoulder Charge

I tend to be too lazy and depressed to work myself into a froth of indignation and in any case I need to save my energy to expend on anxiety attacks but I appreciate the indignant people who froth and foam. Especially the ones who flesh out my half-baked and unsubstantiated theories. While they are busy doing that I usually just emit a sustained groan and descend deeper into an unseen void.

I understand that the outlawing of the shoulder charge has upset many people, including but not limited to Sonny Bill Williams, who tweeted about it. He also went to see a movie. He had a large popcorn, a Coke, and the clear eyes and smooth visage of one who sleeps soundly at night. Quade Cooper was with him. He didn’t look too good but that’s probably because he’s not, I don’t know. Anyway, the entity behind veritable website understood where my concerns rested and tweeted me this picture pointing out the sizes of the Cokes concerned while everyone else was in a shoulder charge related frenzy. It’s nice to be understood.

I myself see nothing much wrong and plenty right with any action that renders men 1. Concussed and lying prone like huge sweating hams, or 2. Reeling around like drunken Irish villagers.

Rugby league is a methodically brutal game punctuated by stylish explosions of violence. The shoulder charge is the very quintessence of the game.
Some are so good that if ever asked to present a solitary work for admittance to a higher realm, the perpetrators would surely consider submitting their finest and most destructive shoulder charge.
But now “people”; brain surgeons and former players, I don’t know, have decided the shoulder charge is a pestilence for all concerned. Dreary repetitive assembly-line mediocrity hangs in the air like the stink of beef tallow out the back at McDonalds. Where is the spirit in this life? The fervor in these times?

Their argument seems to be that it dulls footballer’s brains and wits. 
Footballers are not a people one normally associates with sharp practices. Most of them are already on the brink of incoherence at the start of their playing careers. They seem very nice but they do exhibit an almost effortless idiocy and can seldom maintain a satisfactory level of intellectual discourse as it is; what difference does it make if their brains start to crackle and smoke and sometimes shoot sparks like faulty wall sockets later in their lives, condemning them to a future of witless dereliction and semi-demented poverty? It’s more than most of us are promised.        

 Anyway, there are many things that can disorder and scramble a brain. Youthful pharmaceutical adventures, epilepsy, aneurysms, the heat, the horrors, being brought up from the bottom of the ocean too fast and of course the creeping ineradicable awareness of the decay eating away at the fabric of the world.   
Life is nothing if not a series of traumas big and small.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

TRUST NO ONE They could be on the sex-offender list, or Queenslanders

Ambition, betrayal, divided loyalties and frequent use of the word ‘filthy’ to describe an emotional state… no, it’s not the Australian Labor Party, it’s the Kangaroo team.
>>The overarching theme of this post is TRUST NO ONE   
In addition to trusting no one, it is useful to maintain a raging and uniform hatred of all human life, while reserving a particularly potent and highly personal loathing for Queenslanders. Sons of bitches.
That horrendous song of theirs that is too stupid for me to even attempt to reproduce here is irritating enough on an annual-for-the-last-seven-years basis.

Cameron Smith has disappointed me. In the grimly parental ‘I’m not angry I’m just disappointed’ vein. This is similar to the ‘Clint Eastwood addressing an empty chair at the Republican National Convention’ vein. Just when I started liking the bastard. You see! Drop your guard for two shakes and people destroy it and any tenuous faith you may have allowed yourself to have for humanity like fuckwits stomping down crowd barriers at a Limp Bizkit show. That’s right Smith, the truth is out asshole. Again!   
People, pretty much whoever the newspapers can reach for comment who isn’t spread-eagled across a sun lounge or hunched over a craps table in Vegas including but not limited to highly relevant sporting identities like Steve Waugh and Ricky Nixon as he exits court facing various charges of assault (he threw up a peace/V sign! Like the President Nixon!) have said that Cameron and Billy are good blokes and that this means breaking into their inane Queenslander song can’t have been premeditated, because as we all and particularly Ricky Nixon know, good blokes JUST DO DUMB SHIT OFF THE CUFF THEY DON’T PLAN IT ONLY BAD GUYS PLAN IT.

Really when I think about the Maroon mentality it doesn’t surprise me. The fuckers know how to win a game but have never shown any awareness of the spiritual and moral bankruptcy that stalks them. So thanks, Queensland, for further substantiating my theory.
Anyways, how boring was that game. God. It rendered my usual state of watchful intensity totally redundant, I was in a slack-jawed stupor from about the 12 minute mark and I barely noticed anything at all after that; whether this was because nothing actually happened remains unclear although I do recall Paul Gallen getting a flick pass away and finding that vaguely entertaining in a zany kind of a way.  

The only thing that could have redeemed and actually made the whole affair awesome would have been a brawl breaking out during the singing of said song. Oh, the buttoned-down traditionalists may have objected but many others would have applauded the audacity. In any event it would have been an incredible end to the 2012 season. It would have taken me to my happy place. But no. Alls that happened was “one of the Morris brothers – Josh or Brett” was seen covering Robbie Farah’s mouth with their hand, and various Blue Kangaroos were described as being “filthy”.
I know that feeling.
>>This incident is indicative of the general decay eating away at the fabric of the modern world. Discuss.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Cameron Smith's Catastrophic Plan

It started off so innocently. Tell me something that doesn’t.

First it was Horse Weyman, for reasons which are still unclear, but, okay. He seems harmless, you let it slide, you’ve made a life out of ‘letting it slide’, after all.   
Next, G.I. Well, you can understand it; I’m coming from a place of respect, he’s a leading proponent of devastation and now that he no longer looks like Precious he has a certain sleek allure and has anyone actually ever made a successful tackle on him I mean one that he didn’t casually reel out of? I think not.
Now, though, Cameron Smith? If I keep this up there will be no one left to loath. Where the fuck will it END? What, with me liking Jamie Soward?? That is the last frontier. As far as I am concerned, if I cross that terrible threshold it’s finished I’m finished this blog is finished and I will surrender myself via voluntary admission to the nearest locked ward for some electroshock therapy and Vaseline-related violations. And that would not do. That wouldn’t do at all. Vaseline is vile stuff. 

I’ve always enjoyed detesting Cameron Smith. Now that I don’t, it feels like a loss.
The son of a bitch made a clean sweep this year. Captaining the Storm to a premiership, a seventh straight Origin series and 2 from 2 Kangaroo victories over the Kiwis. The only other players to achieve this are Lockyer and Langer and they’re Broncos and if there’s one team that annoys me more than the Storm the Rabbitohs and the Tigers it’s the Broncos.
Once I started empathising with him it was all over. It always is. Empathy is an irritatingly powerful tool for dismantling prejudice, ill-will and irrational dislike. The empathising began when I started watching him closely. I can’t remember when, or why, I started doing this. I can’t remember when the sight of poplar trees dropping their leaves started setting off my preoccupation with time and death that has come out of nowhere in the last two years. I can’t remember when I vowed to never read Ulysses because to read it is to condone it, or when I decided it was ethically okay to eat Hungry Jacks but not McDonalds. You just do stuff and say stuff until gradually and then suddenly it’s entangled within you and then it is you.
So I watch him, doing work, going about his terrible business all calm and laser-like and perfect and I know I FUCKING KNOW what is going on in his head with every play every tackle every kick every run every metre and most of all with every idiot opponent he encounters and the song lyric equivalent of this is that they are all, to paraphrase, microscopic cogs in his catastrophic plan designed and directed by his red right hand and also Craig Bellamy.

Friday, 12 October 2012

James Graham Grinding on an Old Lady

There is nothing more terrible than the NRL season yielding to another filthy and relentless Australian summer. Well, some things maybe. Being tasered to death by fucking cops when you’re just a Brazilian boy on acid.  And cops in general, the cunts. Tussling with the Kafkaesque qualities of Telstra. The faces of people in food courts. A guy I work with who I blather to about what cars I see myself owning in the future telling me he’s started pissing blood. Watching my littlest cat Gepeto crying and writhing on the carpet after an apparent but unfounded snake bite and thinking he was about to die right while I was watching Intervention (Michael, meth addict) last night. These things are terrible too.

Anyway. Summer is a horizon-less wasteland. People seem to enjoy it. I don’t understand this but I have also never understood people in fact I pretty much hate them uniformly.
Wanda – I can’t stand people. I hate them. Do you hate them?
Henry – No. But I seem to feel better when they’re not around.

Still, it’s not like there’s nothing going on. Just yesterday I say photos of the Kangaroos. In training shirts. With necks and shoulders spilling out of every outlet. JT, and Billy. Good stuff, this. But insubstantial. Not enough.

I also saw photos of a gathering Tigers  Sharks coach Shane Flanagan had orchestrated; a meet, greet and get elegantly soused in the yacht club event to welcome the entire Tigers team minus Robbie Benji and Lote all the incoming recruits. And Todd Carney and Luke Lewis were seated together looking fucking lewd and generally bringing credit to their entire species just by sitting there. They can’t help it. They just have a seedy air of salaciousness about them that renders them automatically awesome.

(My brother took a long range punt on a Sharks Bulldogs grand final next year, with Bulldogs for the win. If they make it to the grand final it will totally inspire me to go out and get a commemorative neck tattoo. I don’t go for them or anything but they’re that kind of team. A team to, I don’t know; bring you to your happy place just by having a go.)     
And naturally the Bulldogs Mad Monday fallout bullshit continues. I say ‘continues’ but I mean ‘is now being perpetuated by radio stations and the like who in admirable attempts to really get to the crux of the sensitive and contentious issues at hand have started asking highly qualified media commentators and social analysts LIKE LAURYN EAGLE to comment on said issues and then immediately reporting on her comments and having others pass comment on her comments and reporting dutifully on that and so on and so forth seemingly forevermore until suck me off you dumb dog becomes, like, this decade’s Carpe Diem or whatever’. I don’t know. It’s cannibalistic and unseemly. I love it. (Not really, though.)
Probably what really happened at Belmore version #1

& #2

Things have strayed into Woodward and Bernstein territory what with talk of tapes and recordings and allegations of highly sophisticated spy equipment and meticulously researched revelations like did you know there is a 91 second YouTube video of that fiend James Graham grinding on a very old woman in the lounge area of a northern English pub that culminates in the very old woman putting her hands down his pants and going the grope and that the Bulldogs are attempting to argue that the whole Mad Monday incident was a misunderstanding stemming from this video whereby a player who is recounted as  saying “There are some ladies here to stick their heads in your pants” actually said “There’s no old ladies here to stick their hands in your pants”???
I didn’t know this. Did Channel 9 know this? Did it really happen like that or are the Bulldogs attempting to create an entirely new version of reality? Does it even matter now?

I do not have the answers to these questions but I too grapple with the underlying issues of truth and reality on a daily basis and understand the elusive nature of both. For example, today I finished one squeeze-bottle of sauce and opened a fresh one and the old one was labelled 40% lower in sugar and salt but I hadn’t know that when I bought it otherwise I never would have bought it because I love sugar and think very highly of salt too I mean for much of human history the pursuit of salt drove men to every edge of the world and anyway I hadn’t thought the reduced sugar and salt sauce tasted particularly different or particularly offensive until I opened the regular sauce and holy fuck it tasted amazing it was sweet it was salty it was altogether delicious and in that moment I knew that the sugar and salt reduced sauce had been a lie and  that I had lived that lie but hadn’t known it was a lie until I tasted the truth. 

Anyway. I don’t see the sense in asking Todd Carney’s girlfriend (Lauryn Eagle that is) what she thinks about women’s role in society, even if she is an ex-waterski champion. Personally, I would have approached Kochie’s Angels for comment long before asking for Eagle’s opinion. You know, step off Catherine Lumby and Eva Cox.    
I understand though, all of this inanity. It’s the off season, after all. The Daily Tele sports section seems to be experiencing a slump similar to the one currently over/underwhelming me. This is why they did a full page article on balls. Nuts, I mean. Not, like, Steedens and Sherrins and the teeny tiny child fingers that stitch them in unlit and unregulated hives of exploitative labour all over India in an appalling but all too common example of fat first world manufacturing industry’s reliance on and exploitation of developing nations and their heinous role in perpetuating global inequality and repression.
“League star proves he’s one tough nut.”
Well, shit. You don’t buy a meat pie for the meat. Nor do you buy the Daily Tele for the (metaphoric) meat.
As it happens I think balls are great in both a general and specific sense so an entire and alarmingly graphic article all about them and the injuries they are evidently able to withstand was and remains very pleasing. Some of my favourite phrases and sentiments are as follows:
 “When trainers performed an X-ray on Livers, they found his testicle had ‘shattered like a light bulb’
“…had his scrotum ripped open”
 “…had his scrotum torn”
“…leaving one testicle hanging free”
“…after being rucked viciously by a Frenchman”
“…had the physio stitch up his scrotum, then returned to the field before he was concussed by a blow to the head. Shelford does not recall any of that game”
“…was struck by a knee to his groin and his testicle exploded”
 “Surgery was performed to remove his right testicle”
“He returned to the rink two days later to the chant of ‘Balls of Steel’’  
“…his scrotum swelled up so badly he could not run properly”
“Livers recovered to father two children”