Monday, 30 July 2012

Mark Geyer is Great.

Mark Geyer rode a bull the other day. I don’t know why. He said “I’m 43 with five kids, I don’t need this” but then he did it anyway. First he rode a smaller bull called Ginger, but then he climbed aboard the ominously named Chainsaw Massacre. “They say it is the toughest eight seconds in world sport. I experienced two seconds and I have to agree. I came straight home to bed – after buying two longnecks on the way.”

James Metallica Hetfield is releasing his own line of fashionable eyewear. He says it is “built to look faster than a speeding riff and to handle the life of a road dog like me”. I think MG should be doing something like this too, I would buy MG merch. Who wouldn’t? He was some player. He was big boned and short tempered; a strange and dangerous individual who on no account should have been approached.

Then he married one of Brandy Alexander’s sisters. In today’s terms, this would be like Benji Marshall marrying Robbie Farah’s sister. Awesome, in other words.
Sister Alexander and Geyer babies – five of them – all given bogan names furnished with extra vowels and probably even some apostrophes too. I love it. Inter-team breeding should be encouraged. Players who cooperate should be awarded with cash and boat bonuses. Dynasties are sort of a thing of the past but they should be promoted as the way forward. It starts here.
Postscript:  At the very start of the season Mark Geyer picked the Bulldogs as the team to win the competition. I laughed, the people on the panel with him laughed, we all laughed. Well. Jesus Christ. The man is the Nostradamus of Penrith.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

When Anxiety Attacks

Ninety minutes of obliteration (mine – not about football)
I had an anxiety attack this morning. It lasted for an hour and a half. A light comedic movie should last this long, not a fucking anxiety attack. Ninety minutes is a really long time for the mind to hijack the body. Anyway, during that time I reached the view that the only sensible course of action is suicide. This is what happens. Then, you wind down and feel so, so tired. Just bone and meat and tissue tired, and you think perhaps you don’t want to kill yourself so much after all and you look at your desk all miraculously tidy and you don’t really recall doing it and you swoop on all that hair of yours laying around that you pulled all out of your head because you remember that, and did I switch from “I” to “you” there as some kind of dissociative distancing tactic? Is that what a psych doctor would say? IS THAT WHAT DR. DREW WOULD SAY?
I always try to listen to Dr. Drew Pinsky. It can be tricky because usually he is dealing with Teen Moms or hectic train wrecks like Michael Lohan and Dennis Rodman but he is more helpful than any of the Australian and non-celebrity doctors I have dealt with who have all been shonks and schmucks, limp wolves that stand well back from the void and tell you to take bubble baths.

P.S. I don't know who this woman is or what that thing is on her lap but I want to be her.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

How to Rear a Well-Adjusted Lamb

Life’s tough, and the world is a cold cruel place. I understand this. Does my little lamb Baby Cakes understand this? I don’t know. But I look into Babby’s eye when she rests her chin in my cupped hand and I think ‘the whole world is here, the whole world is in this eye’.

Lesson: Do transfer your existential angst onto your lamb. They’re orphaned, so they’re vulnerable and will absorb your emotional instability readily. Enjoy creating your legacy.
Babby’s whole life this far has been a series of “What fresh hell is this?” episodes. Her mother died, she and her twin brother were found crying over her cold carcass. Her brother died, I found her crying over his cold carcass.

Then her tail was banded but her distress and discomfort was so great that she ended up having the whole thing sawed off with a cold knife. Lots of blood flowed from her hind quarters. Two days later maggots were found occupying the stump. This is strange; given that it is mid-winter and there are seemingly no flies, but Babby was a problem lamb from the get go.
Lesson: Do worry if you see your tail-less lamb rubbing her junk all over spiky shrubbery in an unusually agitated manner. It may mean maggots have moved in. Don’t worry about blood splatter stains, though. In fact, adopt a laisser-faire attitude toward all excretions and emulsions. They will be plentiful. Your gag reflex will adapt.

Babby was terribly lonely without her brother Boo Boo. She cried. She didn’t want to be alone in what was their yard anymore. I put her there and she panicked. She raced the length of it and then she jumped the fence and came crying to the kitchen door. After this scene repeated itself ten or twelve times I relented and let her roam free. Her idea of roaming free consisted of loitering on the front veranda. This is now her home base. By day she denudes overhanging shrubbery and destroys potted plants, by night she sleeps under my bedroom window and snores gently.
Lesson: Brothers make lives better.

Sheep are burdened with a reputation for being brainless. This is entirely unwarranted. Sheep are furnished with sufficient brains to suit their lifestyles. How much mental exertion does it take to stroll through pastures grazing and socialising and cultivating fine fleece and once a year yielding to a muscular shearer for the entire term of your life? Not a great deal. 
Any more than what they have would be wasteful. Any more would turn them into pigs. We don’t want that. We know what happens with pigs – they loll like crocodiles in their own stinking slop waiting for their caretakers to trip and fall, or suffer a stroke in their presence, AND THEN THEY EAT THEM.
Pigs are sinister and cannot be trusted. Also, their eyes are beady and grotesque. There is no whole world in their eyes. There are appetites in their eyes. Also, Orwell was right. There is every chance that, given the opportunity, pigs will rise up onto two legs and morph into totalitarian tyrants.  
Lesson: Piglets are sweet but pigs are scary. Given half a chance they WILL attempt to take over your farmyard. Keep pigs at your own peril. 
I have many anecdotes about pigs, and most of them are alarming.  Some are unsavoury enough to render them unfit for publication, even in a two-bit blog such as this. Growing up in the Bega Valley, our nearest neighbor was a pig farmer. As a side-project, he captured deadly snakes. The area was rife with death adders. They are a particularly lethal and grotesque snake. He was highly paranoid and heavily bearded, and he lived in dilapidated hermetic squalor. At one time, he had a prize sow. He had named her Lady Diana and she was the jewel in his crown. He treasured her so much that we speculated he installed her in his ramshackle house of a night to provide her with the comfort befitting a treasured and royal pig. He can’t have, though, because one night wild dogs came down from the bush and killed Lady Diana.
Things got a bit strange after that. Eventually, neighbourly relations broke down entirely. 
There are lessons here too numerous to count.
I watched some trashy reality show once; I don’t remember which but it was about repo men in West Virginia or some hick place so obviously it was excellent, and in it there was this large and amorous woman called Big Juicy and she said “I’m gonna lay his ass down and whomp on him like a damn hog on slop”.  
There is a peripheral lesson here and it is this: Don’t ever question whether you watch too much television. There is no such thing as too much television. If anyone else ever questions you, do as I do. Say “I read good books and I watch bad television.” Keep a few additional derogatory and patronizing comments about what you assume (rightly or wrongly, it doesn’t matter) the accuser reads up your elitist sleeve in case an argument ensues. Colleen McCulloch, Ken Follett, Bryce Courtenay and Dan Brown are always reliable vehicles for discrediting a person’s intelligence entirely. 
Anyways, sheep are very underrated. My favourite feature is their hair-trigger twitchiness. They are always prepared to bolt; they keep themselves in a state of cat-like readiness. And don’t let their boxy, bony-legged appearance fool you. They are fit. I drove my car at speed through a flock of sheep the other day and one tripped, at full tilt, lost its footing, rolled, flipped and resumed its footing all in a split second. It was as athletic a maneuver as any NRL winger could manage IF HE WAS LUCKY. I was so impressed I tooted my horn.
Lesson: Sheep appreciate positive feedback as much as the next animal.

For a while there Babby was my lamb of the various sorrows. Lambs are supposed to be international symbols of youth, innocence, sweetness, and all those nice things. Babby was young, yes, but she was sad and scared, lonely as a cloud. Things changed when I got a calf.  I called her Claudia. Babby thinks she is the sun and the stars. The whole thing is like a love story out of a Nicholas Sparks novel.  
Lesson: Occasionally, things actually get better. Shocking, I know.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Humanity and The Meth Trash

This is an age of disappointment. Most of us want our sport to reflect what is good in humanity. We want it to lift us from the mundane and the everyday. We want it to provide us with an understanding of the human condition.

I want all this. I also want sport to provide visuals such as this, and plenty of them:

Here is a closer look at the human condition, NRL-style.
From what I understand, the fact that Jarryd Hayne went grocery shopping instead of attending the Eels Manly game as supportive injured spectator was deemed by the Eels board to be an affront so rank that it was grounds to finally can coach Kearney.  Seems a little extreme, but he had only won nine games out of a fucking hundred or so…  
Anyway, who could blame Hayne for not wanting to watch his stinking team play? I have no emotional investment in the Eels whatsoever and watching Chris Sandow ‘play’ makes me writhe in discomfort, I can only imagine Hayne’s reluctance to do the same. In public. At Brookvale. Trying to hide your private despair from public scrutiny is THE WORST.

“I’m just barracking for Braith tonight. He has a new haircut” – text to my brother, re. the Roosters Rabbits game.
Personal hair care is clearly a very high priority for Braith. I would find this offensive in, say, a Rabbitoh, but it’s Braith, so it’s charming. Last week, in that Sharks game, Braith had “an infected face” and did not play. This was bad news for me. For Braith too, I imagine.

Braith’s complicated face is one of my five favourites in the NRL. I searched it this week for lesions and when I actually saw one I experienced photo-sensitive-epilepsy type flashes of Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, which was an occurrence I found unsettling.

To steady the nerves I reminded myself of that time Braith hollered ‘AW YOU’RE OFF YER HEAD!!” at some hapless ref. This was an occurrence I found awesome. Poor Braith. It must blow being the captain of the most penalised club in the competition. Not to mention being coached by that croaky halfwit Brian Smith. He is a shrunken straw-man. Under no circumstances should he be coaching. He should be tonging sausages outside Bunnings of a weekend.

The Roosters are still persisting with that inane practice of slapping each other’s backs and hands after an error. Of which there are many. I can’t help feeling that this weird charade is symptomatic of some of the deeper problems at the Roosters. Of which there are many.  Like Brian Smith being a total shonk. As tactics go I prefer Mitchell Pearce’s last week against the Sharks when the Roosters were packing a scrum with nine seconds on the clock. He screamed “NO FUCKIN PENALTIES!!!” and it appeared to work because they didn’t concede any penalties, and god knows they are partial to a penalty or twelve. In the event, the game went into golden point the three dozen or so attempts at field goal addled my mind and dazzled my eye so much that I can’t remember who eventually even won the goddamn game. *Oh, right. It was a draw.
I think Mitchell Pearce is experiencing some hiccups in employee relations at the Roosters. I believe this is true in the same way I believe that that creepy father totally felt up his cretinous daughter during that limo ride home from the airport on The Shire last week. Some things you just know.

I’ve spent this whole season squinting at Adam Reynolds, trying to work out where I’ve seen him before. Now I know that every time I’ve caught a train to or from Bomaderry HE’S BEEN ON IT. He’s the guy nipping off at Minamurra and Thirroul to suck down a few sneaky durry drags on the platform. He’s also the guy wearing athletic snap-pants. Because nothing better signifies a disdain for societal norms than athletic snap-pants. Last time I rode this train there was a guy, to avoid confusion let’s just call him ‘Adam Reynolds’, talking explosively to someone whose acquaintance he had just made, telling them about his neighbours in Sanctuary Point. “Cunts on one side, cunts on the other.”

Incidentally, this blog has been receiving a substantial amount of traffic off of the key search words ‘how to get rid of meth trash’.

Luke Lewis. He is perfect for Cronulla. Cronulla is perfect for him. You know he would say “my dog barks at Asian people”. He was spotted last week buying a pie in Cronulla. This was early evidence of his plans to sign with the Sharks, certainly, but it was also confirmation that footballers can perform ordinary individual acts, completely unsupervised, such as basic pie consumption.
I was hoping dimly that he would come to Canberra. You wouldn’t though, would you? Not if you’re in form, not if you’re in possession of your wits. Lewis has sharp bleached blue eyes suffused with a strange Bunsen burner flame like vitality. He’d also most likely be one to bite his beer bottles open. He is basically a VB ad come to life. He knows what’s up.

Anyway, it’s heartening to know that he chose Cronulla because he wants to see out his career being captained by Gal. It’s like when Josh Dugan said he wanted to stay at Canberra to play alongside Terry Campese. Except that Campese ended up out injured for the season for a second year running, damnation. The only upside of this, by the by, is that Terry’s long stretches off the field give him plenty of time to impregnate his wife and expand the Campese dynasty. I want the whole Queanbeyan and Jerromberah area crawling with Campese babies in the next five years. See to it, Terry.

I’m also happy for Gallan. Greg Bird’s inglorious departure tore their ‘Bruise Brothers’ alliance asunder. Having Lewis alongside him to pummel bodies into barely identifiable hunks of meat will be good for him.

“Hi, I’m Sonny Bill. You may remember me from four years ago, when I committed the greatest act of treachery in the game’s history.”
Sonny Bill’s departure from the NRL was spectacular. I understand that his re-entry in 2013 will cause something of a sensation too. Sonny Bill is ridiculous. The Roosters are ridiculous. This situation where they’re letting him carouse all off-season and then piloting him in twenty minutes before kick off in round one is ridiculous. Where is the time for team bonding – running up sand hills and roofy-ing and getting shit tattoos - during the summer months? It tells everybody everything they need to know about the Roosters ethos, in case anyone missed it over the last hundred odd years. There is no fairness in it. There is no fairness in life. Sad.
Something else that is sad: Nathan Hindmarsh having to wrap up his career surrounded by dysfunction and incompetence. Did everyone see him go back and pick up the last esky for the groundskeepers after everyone else had left last weekend? His shorts were loose and sagging and his Eels had just beaten the Storm from last position and he’d scored his first try of 2012 and he was rolling this enormous esky off the field, WHAT A GUY. Age shall not weary him.

Elvis was so clapped out by the end of his career that he couldn’t have shifted an esky if he’d tried.
This Steve Price guy, who the fuck is he? Whoever he is, he is not cut out for this coaching gig he’s found himself in. No man with such an alarmingly sloping chin should be in an authoritative and public position. He is limp and surly and petulant and evasive, which is exactly what the world expects of a weak-chinned man. Fittingly, he defended that dirty little hamster Jamie Soward when he marched off at Bruce without shaking hands with a single Raider. I think he even encouraged people to forget it, get over it. Not on my watch Soward. Lest we forget.
Speaking of dirty little hamsters, the fact that Chris Sandow gets to be coached by Ricky Stuart next year resonates with me in a very painful fashion. It sticks in my craw. All the speculation and conjecture about him signing on to coach Canberra, all that fucking ‘strong mail’ that sports writers like to reference to bolster their hopelessly ill-informed stories, all of it has ended in disillusion.
Show me something that doesn’t.

((Minutes after writing this I find myself grinning inadvertently at an inane Suzuki ad featuring Slater Smith and Ryles - a terrible transgression, on all of our parts.))

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Dugan & Carney: Clams & Chowder.

“Feeling good about this arvo?”
Not especially but HELLO the Carney and Dugan action – feel the fierce.
After that abomination of a game against the Titans I didn’t pay any attention to the Raiders this entire week. I was all like TALK TO THE HAND - it was the (lopsided) equivalent of a week-long dose of the silent treatment. This ended ten minutes before kickoff when I heard Josh Dugan was back and I yelped “DUGAN AND CARNEY?? LET THE CLAMS MEET THE CHOWDER!”
Obviously, in regards to the actual game, I had no lofty expectations. I left them behind in 2010. Along with a half-finished thesis and any chance of a mentally regular future.    
Trying to foresee what the Raiders will do on any given weekend is an exercise in futility. It’s like expecting Courtney Love to keep her lipstick on straight – you can’t do it. It’s just not feasible.

 “Toddy looking more meek than fierce.”
I’m enjoying his pain.
“SO.AM.I. Especially that shocking kick!”
"He’s got the wobbles. He needs a stiff drink, steady his nerves."
"Ha! Old fella sitting next to me just said the same thing!"

Todd Carney. He didn’t look so good. When he coughed up the ball at one point I think I heard a muted trombone make a wha-whaaaaaa sound.
I can’t say whether the highly relative assertion that Origin rattled him is right or wrong. But he looked like a young man with more on his mind than in it yesterday.
This concerns me because he seems to have an easy and affectionate nature – one which enables him to patiently suffer the indignities heaped on over the years.

Look at this sweet footage of him giggling with Joey. Is this a man seduced by the allure of cheap bravado and self-hatred? I find it so cute that I can’t tell.

How sharp is Dugan’s game! Dooogz!

Dugan is back. Dugan is fucking gangster. Dugan is a PIMP. Holla.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Dave Taylor is Dense - Part 1, of many

Last week was a big one. Heavy. Between Katie giving Tom the slip and Origin putting me through the wringer and then the Raiders upsetting the Storm in fabulous fashion and my baby lamb having her tail cut off and given to the farm dog to run around with in her mouth as a chew toy for the next two days the damage to my nerves has been considerable.

Regardless, the rat-wheel keeps on rolling.
It rolled out a rude truth about Queensland and the Maroons. I needed something to ease the pain of the Blues’ substandard performance in game three, so this is medicinal – it is balm, soothing and smooth, a cool hand on a hot fevered forehead.
Even so, these Queenslanders, they are trying my patience.
Research (vague, sullen rumination) revealed to me that the players who have migrated to the southern states for club football seem to have rounded themselves out, as players and as people. Publically, definitely, and probably privately too, although in a world where ET can be exposed as a sordid philanderer you never know for sure do you? Anyway, these migrated players have grown gracious and civilised. They are in possession of their wits. Sometimes they even use them. Think Darius Boyd, David Shillington and the Big Three.
Those who have continued indulging in an alternative, soft-edged reality by staying in Queensland are charmless, devoid of grace. Their wits are slower, their vowels are flatter, and they play like dogs. Justin Hodges is a dog. Brent Tate, Ben Hannant, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker: dogs! Mongrels, hurling themselves repeatedly against chainmail fencing and seeking to separate toddler’s faces from their skulls.    
The exception here is Dave Taylor. He went south, yes, but it didn’t exactly take, did it*?  As such, he will soon be returning to his shallow-end-of-the-gene-pool roots, having signed to play for Gold Coast next year. The rigours of polite Sydney society were obviously too much for this unreconstructed behemoth. This doesn’t surprise. He is a caveman. He looks like his concept of food storage does not extend beyond the hanging of a carcass within a cave. He also looks insufferably, unspeakably stupid. The fact that he signed a major deal with the Titans at the height of their much publicised financial meltdown, while they were reportedly struggling to pay their current players, is clear evidence of his dwindling cerebral resources. Here is some more:  

In the olden days, before the advent of emoticons, floriography was the go. People would exchange flowers to convey emotions. This went far beyond our unsubtle use of red roses, a tacky signifier of relationship-based guilt available to buy in well-stocked service stations. A tuberose, for example, signified voluptuousness, heather expressed admiration, and primrose said I can’t live without you.  
So, say I handed Dave Taylor scarlet geraniums. Scarlet geraniums indicate stupidity. He would probably eat them on sight but if he cared to respond he could hand me a daisy, saying “I share your sentiment” a general geranium, which would say “you are childish”, or a bay leaf: “I change but in death, bitch.”

Dave Taylor is so dense that he had to be told to take up a hobby. By a coach. He complied, because he is nothing if not dim and pliant, and bought a boat to catch fish from.
Dave Taylor is so dense that he fell out of bed at Origin training camp and sustained a semi-serious head injury. Or so the Maroons would have us believe. Even if he didn’t fall out of bed, even of this was an excuse that they invented to cover up evidence of mass team drunkenness, the fact that they allocated him an alibi involving falling out of a bed speaks volumes. Do you know what it says? It says ‘we believe that you will believe that this is a man too stupid to lie safely in a bed.’

Do you think they would have assigned the same excuse to Billy Slater, or Cameron Smith, or Cooper Cronk? Of course not. They would have said they strained their eyes in an all-night, three-way chess marathon or something.
Southerners will appreciate where I am going with this. Queenslanders will have snagged their slow-moving, sub-par minds on the mention of carcasses hanging in caves two paragraphs up. They will not make it this far.  Story of their lives.

*See also: Nate Myles. Combine a heavy team drinking session in Terrigal with unreconstructed ablution habits and what do you get?  An un-house-broken Queenslander taking a dump in a carpeted hotel corridor, that’s what.

- Johnathan Thurston is excluded from all of this for obvious reasons – these being that he is an unearthly being who transcends time, space, place and state lines.  He’s really good-looking, in other words. A stone-cold fox.  (Lillies, Calla – magnificent beauty)