Furious Eye

Month: May, 2013

Wipe Your Bum.

What’s that, you ask?

image

That, my little nipple ticklers, is an absolutely immaculate, 18yr old Talisker, dancing on the corpse of my final assessment. Ok, ok, so it’s not precisely immaculate, and yes, that is an ice cube floating in it. But before you come in here with your distillate elitism, let me ask you this: do I flay you for royally fucking up a perfectly good cup of coffee by putting milk in it, and sugar, and dumping a great choking cloud of chocolate dust over the top of it? No. So shut the fuck up.

I took the day off work today. I have done something twingey to my back. No, not from all those fucking weights I’ve been lugging off the floor like you’d think. From doing yoga. Yoga? The shit that is supposed to stretch the fuck out of all those twingey bits and turn you into a fucking flesh-coloured Gumby.

It was a good excuse though. I’m feeling a little emotionally drained the last couple of days. Well, emotionally bludgeoned more like, but you know, that’s a story for another venue. I’m not one to air dirty laundry in public. Not my own anyway. Someone else’s though, that’s another matter. Got no qualms about lifting up some other fucker’s filthy dacks and proclaiming in my quietest little shout: Hey, mate, have you looked at the state of your fucking undies lately? Look at this. Didn’t your mum teach you to wipe your bum?

Speaking of which, that reminds me of this time when I was a kid. I was at this friend’s place, somewhere in the years before I got seriously into lighting shit on fire, and sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night to throw smoke bombs through the windows of any poor fucker that just happened to live within a two kilometre radius. You know, there were those years where you just had this urge to fuck shit up. They mostly sat between the slightly younger years, where you were content to sit silently and play computer games for fourteen hours straight and the slightly older years, where you were content to sit silently and play computer games for fourteen hours straight.

Anyway, this was before that time, and we were probably just sitting there kicking the shit out of footbag on California Games or something. Those were the days: all Commodore 64’s, tape drives, and plenty of time to run down the shops for a pie and a bag of lollies, and then have a quick swim, while you waited for the game to load. The days before short attention spans… because fucked if you weren’t going to play that game until you broke it, ’cause it just took 40 fucking minutes to load.

Anyway, there we were, doing something of the kind, and this guy’s brother – I don’t know which one, they were twins, and I could never tell the fuckers apart – off in the back off the house, evidently from the toilet, suddenly yells out “Mum, can you come and wipe my bum?”

What the fuck do you say to that? What do you even think? I mean, this kid was like ten fucking years old. I don’t think my mum had wiped my arse for me since about the time I learned to stand up on my own, let alone more than half the way to fucking University.

Jesus. That’s akin to still suckling your son to sleep when the little bastard’s on the verge of going to school. That’s some seriously messed up shit right there.

Anyway. Diploma. Done. Finished. Never have to fucking edit a thing again.

No doubt it’s a familiar feeling to anyone who has engaged in any kind of prolonged education by choice. School doesn’t count. You got no choice in that. But why on earth anyone chooses to do this to themselves is currently beyond me. You spend all this time studying something fascinating, compelling, maybe even liable to get you a fucking good job – or at least a better job than the one you got now, where you spend all day playing the ape in a room full of monkeys, and the fuckers keep looking in the mirror and cracking the shits at that other monkey who keeps looking right back at them all defiant and shit. And then you get to the end of it. You slave over your last essays, or analyses, or corrections, and the last thing you ever want to even think about doing, is this same thing, ever again. And fuck making a career out of this shit.

But the good news is, you don’t have to. No, instead, now you can come home from work at the end of every day, and instead of facing a long evening of trawling through someone else’s shit, looking for where they fucked it up, or dealing with the guilt of not doing that, well, now you get to deal with the guilt of that neglected, unloved and half-started novel that keeps looking at you, all doe-eyed and pouty from the corner of the desk every time you venture into the study.

Of course, you could always just shut the door and have another whisky.

And by the way, this one, it’s as immaculate as Mary was before she did the dog with Joe.

image

Advertisements

…isms I

Reaction…

I admit to a state of mild embarassment. Not, as you might imagine, for making hasty, poorly thought out polictical statements that not only lack a certain eloquence, but potentially a solid foundation in fact. Nor, as someone of milder temperament might, do I feel much in the way of shame for telling some guy to go fuck himself. He deserved it, and probably plenty more besides.

No, the chagrin comes from once more allowing myself to get all riled up by the comments of some two-bit, right-wing, Farcebook academic, lauding himself as the foremost authority on… well… pretty much everything he can wrap his lips around.

I’m no stranger to interjecting myself into someone else’s social media conversation and pointing out the flaws in their reasoning, or even on occasion delivering (not especially) thinly veiled insults regarding someone’s (differing) belief systems or apparent lack of intelligence. I’ll make fun of public figures, post photos of some twat in a pair of “skinny” dress pants, and rant about the spiralling state of degradation our chance of survival as a species is in.

It’s quite the sad state of affairs, then, that when someone else jumps in and points the same fingers at me, I display deeply reactionary tendencies, tell him to fuck off, and immediately defriend him. All the sadder given that, ironically, being a reactionary is generally associated with some of the great thinkers of the wrong side of politics. 

image

That’s me.

And yes, I know, I should say the other side of politics, not the wrong side. But, frankly, that’s bullshit… unless of course, you’re just really threatened by your imminent subjugation by the 23% of the world who is Muslim, all of whom want to kill the infidel – which is you, and even if they don’t kill you, they will infect your brain and control your thoughts and destroy your entire way of life – in which case you should really stop wasting time online and start stocking up on wagons.

The fact remains, I am far better off without having my feed sullied with the constant Islamaphobic, anglocentric bullshit, spouted by the afore mentioned Professor Polemical. Unfortunately, for all that, it seems my belief in my own cognitive abilities might be sorely misplaced. After countless occasions of (usually inadvertantly) starting fights, delivering insults and generally making an arse out of myself on any number of social media sites, you’d have thought that I’d have learned to reserve my propensity for saying stupid shit for the pub, where at least I have some fiery distillate to blame for my lack of reason and/or tact.

But no, despite having every opportunity to sit back and think, to sleep on it and to formulate an eloquently delivered rebuttal to whatever nonsense I’m being slapped with, I keep displying my intelligence by jumping straight in there and shouting FUCK OFF!

You Are Not Your Fucking Kakhis!

I knew I shouldn’t have done it, trend setters, but sometimes I’m just so caught up in the immediacy of an act, I can’t see what’s best for me… or what’s clearly not. Like that last dram of whisky in the wee hours (that slides down the throat like molten honey, but come the crack of noon is searing its way back up the same pipe) wearing a short sleeved shirt to the office seems at first to be quite the relief from the ungodly heat of the Westralian summer, but reveals itself in hind sight as an early indicator of an impending illness, less regurgitant than the whisky’s aftermath, but no less sickening.

Now, it’s been suggested that wearing said shirt says nothing about my standing as a pube1, being as it is around these parts a climatically appropriate garment. There have also, on a side note, been some spurious insinuations regarding said garment and my status as a sandgroper2; a status I categorically deny possessing. Indeed I feel compelled to oppose the former claim also, for posterity’s sake, of course, and not because I’m a contrary bastard (quiet, wife, not a word out of you). At any rate, it be with no pleasure whatsoever that I come to the realisation that a long, slow descent had begun, into an what could only be diagnosed as an advanced state of Public Service, certain to end the untimely death of the soul.

I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say that I was bound to end up throwing around the word coon, as seems to be rather part of the vernacular landscape hereabouts3, but I have found myself victim to terrible visions, premonitions of a future filled with a greying, serial-killer moustache and the quiet, constant grinding of teeth; a slow degradation of dreams and aspirations; the setting of low personal standards and the consistent failure to achieve them; the steady unbalancing of attitudes toward life, until the whingeing that comes out of my mouth so outweighs the laughter, it resembles the fat kid at the park who jumps on the other end of the seesaw and won’t let you down until his mother calls him for dinner, and then the desire to stuff his sweating, jowly face with whatever deep-fried slop the old lady is dishing up outstrips his malicious enjoyment at seeing you suffer.

There will be brief moments of laughter, passing glimpses of what life could be like, all full of inspiration and challenge and whatnot, like when the fat little bastard, desperate to fill the yawning void in his soul, leaps from the seesaw and runs for his dinner, and for an instant you no longer feel like your stuck in the air, dangling over a terrible fall, but are actually falling, and the adrenaline kicks in, and you feel alive… and then you hit the ground, and your knee slams into your chin and you’re suddenly choking on a mouthful of blood, and serve you fucking right for attempting to enjoy anything about your miserable existence. 

As luck would have it though, seeing oneself in the mirror, clad in the uniform of parochial office workers everywhere, is like catching an operable tumour before it turns malignant. There’s a moment of panic, the dread of a protracted, agonising death, followed by the orgasmic flood of deliverance, the knees suddenly weak with the spilling of all that seed of relief. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the surgical removal of this lackluster approach to life happens to coincide with the blissful turning of the seasons, with the comfortable donning of such finery as a waistcoat, the immediate signifyer of my separation from the rampant mediocrity of pubic office life. The cessation of sweatiness is great, and nice clothes are, well, nice, but neither do a happy monkey make.

Recovery from serious illness can be problematic. There’s all that maintaining a positive attitude bit, and making sure your convalescence comes with a view of trees, and soothing music and all that. And in an effort to engender that very kind of mental space, as well as keeping all those short-sleeved shirts firmly away from my dress-pants and other inspired moves like applying for new jobs and turning all my masturbatory time wasting into constructive exercises such as… er… exercise, I have made the (probably ill-advised) move of ceasing to be such a bibulant. At first glance this probably seems like quite the intelligent way to go about it. Unfortunately, however, along with sobriety comes a proportional increase in one’s mental acuity… a fucking dangerous proposition when surrounded by small-minded bigotry and the sort of meaningless chatter that makes the squawking of a few hens seem like a discussion of quantam mechanics…  It’s enough to leave one in a state of crisis.

What have I done? Sweet Jesus, what have I done? Have I fallen so far, and is the hour so late, that nothing remains but the cry of my hate?image

It’s enough to drive a person to the drink.

And here we are back at the whisky again. It’s a vicious cycle, and vicious cycles, as anyone who’s been living with the same person for any great length of time will understand, are none too easy to break. In fact, one begins to wonder if there’s really any point in trying. Inebriation befuddles, numbs, and yet frays the edges, making for a rather volatile existence, not much good to anyone in the long run. Whisky’s a wonderful friend but a dire companion. Abstemiousness, on the other hand, brings clarity, every detail in sharp relief; it breeds an irascible dissatisfaction.

This is probably a good thing… eventually. In the words of Tyler Durden, “You are not your fucking kakhis!”… um, rather, “Let me never be content.” Let me ever strive for something more fulfilling.

No mean feat, not once you’ve discovered the pleasurable enormity of an 18yr old Talisker, and neither when you’re as impatient a bastard as I am. But as my newfound clarity of mind keeps telling me, you can’t fit an iceberg into your whisky glass. You can, however, have at it with a pick, and the chips you gouge from it’s surface are a great fit… and eventually, without even realising it, you’ll find you’ve chipped your way down to the brilliant blue core of the thing, the reward for all those years of hard work, and positivity and shit.

Mind you, the rest of me keeps replying that “the core of an iceberg doesn’t look so brilliant and blue once it’s exposed, it’s just kind of dirty grey like the everything you’ve stood on in your quest to get to it, and once you do get it, you’ll be dissatisfied, and just have to keep striving for something else… so shut the fuck up… and pass the whisky.”

1 – pube /pjub/ noun 2. Colloquial  a public servant.

2 – sandgroper /sændgroʊpə/ noun 1. Colloquial someone who was born in Western Australia, or who has come to regard it as his or her home.

3 – Note: I refer to use of the word “coon”, not “Coon”, the latter being a brand of Australian cheese – in itself a bit fucking dodgy, assuming the veracity of the story that it is so called due to it originally coming wrapped in black wax. Even if that’s a bullshit story, such branding is tantamount to calling a block of brown-tinged beer cheese “Darky”. It’s just fucking stupid. Or it would be anywhere other than the sort of place that supports the kind of casual racism that ensures the continued popularity of both the capitalised and lower-case versions of the word. At any rate, if the WA Public Service is an indicator of general attitudes (and in my experience, it’s probably not far off the mark) then approximately 25% of the state are in favour of the continued vernacular denigration of Australia’s indigenous population.

Come Again?

There must have been something organic left hidden in the car, some mouldering piece of fruit or half-eaten sandwich beneath the seat, because the air as I climb in is like the underside of the blankets after an all-night summer session at the Cricketers Arms, hot and flatulent.

With the door hanging open in an attempt to decontaminate, I turn the key, desperate also to relieve myself of a serious case of swamp-ass by cranking the A/C as high as it will go. The engine coughs… and dies, a dry, death-bed rattle.

In that moment of power, the radio flares for a second and goes quiet. The ensuing silence is filled with disquiet, an uneasiness spawned by a ripe, sweaty bum crack, by the briefest of broadcasts, by a voice familiar and slightly sinister.

I am put in mind of Maggie Thatcher, a mental image of some indistinct, rusted iron monument looming menacingly over the past. I turn the engine over again, and as it splutters to life, so too the radio, and the voice. I am immediately both relieved and further disturbed.

This is no Thatcher, no faceless, cold creature, no steel voice broadcast from street corners, espousing the virtues of the common good for the select few. No, this is no voice of influence, no lasting testament to severity and lack of compromise. This is Amanda Vanstone, sinister, yes, but in the way of the small-minded, avaricious perjurers who dominate our current political landscape.

And while she ain’t no Thatcher – even her own sense of self importance is no match for the lasting influence of the Iron Lady – she is a voice that belongs in the past.

To be honest I haven’t really thought about Amanda Vanstone since her instrumental days of fucking up the funding of the country’s education system (and other equally laudable activities). There is some small part in the back of my mind, though, that rather hoped that she had long since met a timely end. No such luck. Apparently she’s managed to convince the august overseers of Radio National that she deserves a regular slot. I am dismayed. Almost as dismayed as I am that anyone ever thought she was worthy of election to the senate, let alone of being given a seat on anyone’s Front Bench.

Counterpoint. What a pinnacle of journalistic integrity and objectivity. Speaking of which, I had absolutely no idea who her interviewee Gary Johns was, but having listened to the segment, I am not remotely surprised to have subsequently discovered he’s a regular columnist for that other peak of national journalism, The Australian.

Aside from his frequent opinions, unfortunately given credence by inclusion in afore mentioned newspaper, Johns has apparently been involved in both editing and contributing to a book called Really Dangerous Ideas.

Amanda Vanstone (AV): “It’s a great book because it’s the sort of book that someone who’s very busy can easily use because the essays are … short.”

Fucking winning endorsement that one.

AV: “Take a gold star for the book for starters.”

That’s more like it. Now, if I could only get Amanda to give me a gold star for this blog…

AV: “Now, let’s deal with your contribution, number nine, Abolish the Human Rights Commission.”

Gary Johns (GJ): “Yes, that’s a tad dangerous isn’t it?”

AV: “Well some people might think it is. But why don’t I let you tell us why you think we should do that?”

GJ: “Well I think that all of the hard work, looking after people’s human rights, has been done…”

Bricktop: “In the Quiet Words of the Virgin Mary, Come Again?”

GJ: “…And it was done people like you and, to a lesser extent, me…”

Hang on, Hang on. Just a fucking second here Gary Johns. Let’s for a moment ignore your extensive contribution to human rights, after all, no one has any fucking idea who you are. But Amanda “The Pacific solution has been an outstanding success” Vanstone? What fucking universe do you live in?

GJ: “…that is politicians and ordinary citizens who’re active in seeking equal rights for…” Let’s tick some boxes now Gary: “…women, immigrants, gays…” And everyone else comes under: “…and so on and so forth.

GJ: “Then, the H.R.C. comes along at the end, when it’s all over if you like, and it’s really just a bit of what I call ‘Triumphal Decoration’ at the end.”

GJ: “…there are significant acts of parliament, discrimination acts, which were all put in place in the 80s, and life has moved on…”

Phew! Legislation enacted **dusts off hands**, problem solved.

GJ: “…and those acts can be used to effect through the courts.”

GJ: “Well Graham is the Federal Disabilities Discrimination Commissioner, and a very decent person…” And I’m sure he’s very grateful and relieved to know you think so Gary. “…and took a private action against NSW Railcorp because when he was standing on the station he couldn’t hear the announcements for the trains, and a blind person needs to be able to hear that, I understand that…”

You do? Well, I’m satisfied. As long as you understand a blind man needs to be able to hear shit, we’re all good. Fuck the H.R.C., waste of space.

GJ: “…but he took the action before a Federal Magistrate as a private person and had a win. So he didn’t need to be a Discrimination Commissioner, we don’t need a Discrimination Commission … and others can take such private action.”

Tell that to this guy:

Or, you know, maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe all the hard work you’re talking about has been done since 2005… 2005 was in the 80’s right?

AV: “That begs the question, why do we have the Human Rights Commission if people can in fact, the laws are there, the processes are there for people to achieve these things in their own right?”

Assuming of course, everyone has the money (and the time) to spend untold months traversing the judicial system.

GJ: “Yes there are… and there are plenty of NGOs… that would support such action in a court.”

Which must be a huge relief for, I don’t know, young French women on Melbourne buses?

AV: “You make the point that the H.R.C. is like a lot of bureaucracies, that is they engage in ‘mission creep’ … adding commissioners all the time, finding something else to be upset about.”

GJ: “I don’t know why there’s a Race Commissioner, and an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commissioner. Presumably one would have done.”

Maybe because there’s a difference between this:

And this:

The Aboriginal Memes page is not hate speech, according to Facebook.

And they need to be dealt with differently, with different understanding of the different problems, and the different cultures, and, anyway, it takes more than one guy to change the attitudes of an entire country. Attitudes that, evidenced by you two clowns, clearly fucking need changing.

Not that things are looking like they’re actually going to change any time soon, what with Tony “Budgerigar’s Nightmare” Abbott (who’s set to start running the fucking place come September) and his mission to repeal laws prohibiting statements that offend people on racial or ethnic grounds.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for telling people to harden the fuck up, and take their testicles out of their handbags, but you know, there’s a time, and place, and a way to do it… which generally doesn’t involve removing hard-won legislative protections.

GJ: “But what annoys me most is that the Commission lobbies. It lobbies Government for resources…” And now we get to the crux of it. “…look they cost us thirty two million dollars a year … but, you know, we have a Government that’s world ranked in terms of waste, so thirty two million, hey…”

Bill Hicks: “Quit putting a godamm dollar sign on every fucking thing on this planet!”

GJ: “…but, if you have a look at the staff of the Commission, they proudly boast that women comprise 73% of the staff of the Commission. Now, that suggests to me that these are true believers, not analysts…”

What?

AV: “They’d be a bit upset, I think, if the 73% was male.”

Um…

GJ: “They would indeed, so I think there’s some pushing and plugging going on there. But let’s go back to the real world, not the Discrimination Commission.”

Excuse me while I find where the fuck I dropped my jaw… Found it! It was back when in the realm of reason…

GJ: “Now, since WW2, women have entered the workforce in larger numbers, and that will continue. And one of the reasons for this is quite simple: women produce children over a smaller percentage of their life now. They are living longer. Now… in fact, I’ve got a little figure here: time devoted to raising and caring for children could be as little as ten percent of a woman’s life. So it doesn’t consume her whole life. A woman is out there looking for other things to do. That alone drives women to demand equal rights in the workplace and elsewhere. And that’s been going on for 30, 40, 50 years, in a serious way. I don’t think we need a Sex Discrimination Commissioner to tell us that.”

Now… in fact, I’ve got a little figure here: “the largest gap in personal wealth between men and women [in Australia] is within the finance and insurance sector ($330,600 versus $88,500) where many women work. By contrast, there exists only a small differential in the construction industry ($63,500 versus $62,700) where few women work. In other industries where many women work, there are large wealth gaps: for example, in health and community services ($174,000 versus $68,000) and retail trade ($84,000 versus $34,000).”1

AV: “Well I can’t think of any people who regard themselves as part of a women’s movement, who think that their being and their thinking processes and their energy towards that, comes from the existence of a H.R.C..”

Methinks we could safely end that statement at “women’s movement”.

GJ: “The Commissioners could hang up their spectacles tomorrow, and the world would get on in a less discriminatory way.”

Indeed:

AV: “You’ve raised some interesting figures about Aboriginal Australians…”

GJ: “…The key to Aboriginal success is integration … where an Aboriginal person, if you like, lives in a viable labour market … and where they mix and match, go to school, are well trained, they get work just about, not quite as much, just about the same as anyone else. Which blows away the whole myth that Aborigines are so different, and culturally distinct, blah blah blah blah. They may well be, but if they go to school, stick at it, get a job, get married [to a non-Aboriginal person2], they pay their taxes.”

Shit. I seem to have lost my jaw again…

AV: “What you’re basically saying, is, if we look at the underlying, real causes of change, we won’t find it’s the H.R.C. at all, and what we’ll see them doing is engaging in after the fact proselytising.”

GJ: “Absolutely. Nicely summed up. They remind us of the victories that have been won. By migrants, by women, by aborigines… We’ve gone thorugh, we Australians, have gone through an enormous cultural change since WW2. We just don’t need Discrimination Commissioners to tell us that.”

Colour me fucking stupid, but I was under the impression that we still have a bloody long way to go… and that we absolutely need to be reminded about that.

AV: “We don’t need someone to remind us about it every day.”

Yes. Yes we do.

GJ: “We got to be a big liberal democracy through who we are, and a Discrimination Commission reminds us, perhaps, of who we were … They’re oudated, and like any good bureaucracy, they make work, they keep themselves busy, and they try and dream up ever more remote ways in which they can keep themselves relevant.”

AV: “I have to say it doesn’t really seem such a dangerous idea to me, it seems a damn good idea.”

As is the discussion of the Prime Minister’s wardrobe, not to mention her marital status… and draping ourselves in red, white and blue Anglo iconography every 26th of January… and working for a guy who uses the word coon (and he ain’t fucken talking about cheese)… and “so on and so forth”… all damn good ideas.

There’s dangerous ideas, Gary Johns, and there’s dangerous ideas. The former, (such as Isreal Is An Apartheid StateAll Australians Are RacistAnzac Day: Best We ForgetThe End Of Growth, or Let Banks Fail3) are perhaps worth discussing, the latter (such as Abolish the Human Rights Commission, or Let’s Give Gary Johns and Amanda Vanstone a Public Platform From Which to Air Their Ignorant, Small-Minded Bigotry) are not.

1 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_pay_gap_in_Australia

2 – Gary Johns, Counterpoint, Monday 15th April, 2013.

3 – http://webarchive.sydneyoperahouse.com/fodi/