Saturday, 31 May 2008

My Addiction...

I just wanted to tell you that although there were others before you and there will certainly be others after you, that our time together was still special.

Every moment, every taste, every sigh.

The heat and the sweet satisfaction.

It was all real

When I think back, what we shared may not stand out as a specific, identifiable moment in time but in its own way it was unique and will be with me long after you are gone.

You delicious cup of coffee...

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Neither High Nor Mighty

It can come as an unpleasant shock when we are reminded how instinctively destructive we are, when the urge hits us. Or at least we like to tell ourselves it’s a shock.

The Big Issue vendor is across the university driveway talking companionably to the security guard. His carefully positioned magazines with the neat stacks of gold coins are completely unattended and unobserved.

I like to think of myself as a ‘nice’ person, conscientious, honest, kind to small children and the elderly (no matter how bigoted the old dears are), so why am I suddenly so strongly compelled to grab the top-most magazine and tear it free? To hear the stacks of coins strike the ground in a clatter like metallic rain drops as I turn heel and run. I mean, why? The man hasn’t done anything to me, he’s trying to get back on his feet.

So why this vivid image of myself kicking him while he’s down?

Because I could.

Because I can imagine the look on his face and I know what it means.


For a moment you are vulnerable and I can strike like the opportunistic predator that I am.

For a moment I am strong and you are weak.

It’s the primal in us. The aspiring alpha. The pack animal scrabbling up the pecking order over a pile of dominated and subjugated rivals.

Despite the fact that in the population of today, your place in the order of things means almost nothing. There are too many layers for most of us to ever achieve more than a local dominance. It’s all pointless but still it persists; a vestigial instinct that is hard-wired into us, a drive that remains despite our most noble ambitions. Either that or I’m subconsciously an enormous dick.

Eh, it’s probably 50/50.

It’s not like I actually did it but still… it’s the siren call of the destructive.

The dirty little thrill that you try to deny you felt at the mere concept.

That’s why it’s not likely to fade away any time soon.

We won’t let it.

We don’t want to relinquish the rush.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Your Internet Horoscope #5

The celestial spheres have spoken…

You will get drunk and tell a stranger that the song that has just started playing is ‘all about you’. They will be slightly worried as the song in question is We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel

You will briefly develop the ability to understand the speech of reptiles but will not come into contact with any during the relevant time period and will never get to use this marvellous gift.

We have entered your time of ‘power’, your slice of the annual pie and you should be feeling replete with extraordinary powers and maximum luck. But instead you’ve been overcome by the urge to buy matching sets of crockery… Go figure.

Someone you knew who had a name that started with a letter who liked to do things that involved movement is trying to contact you from beyond the grave according to a late night phone-in TV psychic. You should look into that.

The local law enforcement authorities have been tipped off and are less than thrilled with your zombie apocalypse preparations and stockpile. For some reason explaining that the decapitation capable tools are only intended for use against the undead does not reassure them.

Research into your family history will reveal that your heritage may not be as magnificent as you might have hoped but at least none of the lines cross in a suspicious manner.

All of your suspicions are correct. All of them. Yes, even that one. I know. I was as surprised as you are but there you go.

Someone in your place of employment will get a disgusting change of season cold and will kindly share it around with everyone else. They will get their just desserts a few weeks later when the first bout has petered out and someone else brings it back for Round Two.

When the stars have aligned themselves just right you will think of the perfect retort during an argument rather than two days later. It will be the most glorious moment of your life.

An incident in the supermarket could turn you off frozen treats for life if the proper safety measures are not observed. A pinch of salt in your left pocket and a photo of Jeremy Clarkson in your right pocket should suffice.

This would be a good time to start collecting a strange and worrying array of objects, newspaper articles and hand written notes to hide for your descendents or executors to find after your death. It’ll keep the little buggers amused for a while.

You will be hypnotised by the bright garish shirt of a news anchor on a less than reputable news service and find yourself believing all sorts of outlandish things until your loved ones arrange an intervention and deprogramming.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Of Course We're The Real Deal! Would We Lie To You?

I tend to take a sort of ‘we’re all screwed anyway’ view when it comes to religion.

Any religion you’re part of will claim that it is the ‘one true’ religion and all the others are just so much snake oil and hen’s teeth and mumbo jumbo.

This is all good and well for you if you happen to be a member of the one true religion that gets to assign you your afterlife accommodation but what if you’re not? What if the rules you’ve been diligently following your entire life has had someone somewhere getting very tetchy and making copious and snarky notes on what the heck you’ve been playing at?

And what if you are part of the one true religion that is the one true religion except you’ve been following the wrong tenets?
How do you know which bits of your rambling, multi-authored, badly edited, 'everything is a metaphor except for the bits that aren’t metaphors and are deadly serious guidance for life' text are the ones you should be observing? What about the ones that kind of contradict each other?

There are great chunks of my one true religion’s teachings that I sort of just ignore on the basis that they were recorded about 2000 years ago by fallible humans who may have been trying to give themselves a social leg up as they jotted down what they thought they’d been told. I assume that any being great enough to create a universe wouldn’t be too petty about that sort of thing. Of course I might be wrong.

Depending on which angle you're coming at it from it could be sort of like when you are pulled over for speeding by the police and you’re sitting there being given the treatment and want to protest or give an explanation but in your guilty heart you know that you knew what you did was wrong, that you had been told it was wrong and haven’t a leg to stand on.
Or even worse, it could be like getting charged for committing an offence you weren't aware existed in a foreign country and still having no legs for standing type activities as I've been reliably informed that ignorance of foreign laws isn't a valid defence.
If we are all being closely watched by a cosmic notary - who has a list of virtues and failings all being ticked off as we muddle our way along - they're probably not much for excuses or leniency.

If I shuffle off my mortal coil and find myself face to face (or incorporeal equivalent) with an admissions clerk tapping its pen beside the column that lists how many adulterers I failed to stone I expect I’ll be told that I have only myself to blame.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

I Don't Understand A Word You're Saying But It Sounds Great!

I love randomly flicking over to SBS, you never know what's going to be on. Whether it be an opera that looks like it’s been relocated to the set of Red Dwarf where everyone is dancing around in a way that would probably get you nutted on a mining ship or some soft-core porn - also known as foreign cinema feature film - it’s usually fairly entertaining.
If you’ve got a bit of imagination and some equally easy to amuse friends you can entertain yourselves by muting the television and making up stories to go along with the faux industrial ballet or can just settle down for a nice drinking game where every time the roaming interviewer on Iron Chef says ‘fukusa!’* you all take a shot.
There are news services available in a range of languages throughout the day so depending on your cultural heritage and your willingness to get up at sparrow’s fart, turn up late for work or actually learn how to operate your VCR/HDTV recorder/magic picture box recording medium you can hear all about the world in your native tongue or try to pick up someone else’s native tongue.
Unfortunately something else you’re going to find now is ads.
SBS, the more internationally flavoured of Australia’s exciting government-funded free to air television channels has obviously fallen on hard times. It used to be that the only ads you’d get were in between the subtitled movies and documentaries and the like, all they were advertising were other upcoming exciting programs and there were never ad breaks during the actual programs. This was novel and strange to me when I was a kid and now at the venerable age of 25 I’m already explaining to my younger acquaintances how back in my day SBS was one of the only places you could go to watch something and not have anyone urging you to run out and buy a CD or a hamburger**. There are still less ads than on other channels but they have snuck in there and now every ten to fifteen minutes or so you will find your Scandinavian murder mystery interrupted for a quick capitalist inventory pimp and you can pop off to the toilet, instead of practising a bit of advanced bladder control that modern man seems completely incapable of these days.
Quick survey: Can anyone remember going to the cinema lately to watch a movie and not having about a third of the audience sneaking out to go to the bathroom at some point or another?
Apart from the natural progression through the digestive system of the inadvisably large drinks and food items that you are tempted to buy at the snack counter, people just seem to be completely unable to hold on for the one and a half hour duration of most movies.
I don’t know about you but I’ll be damned if I’m going to leave the cinema and miss part of a movie that I’d either have to shell out to see again or wait six months to borrow out to find what happened during my potty break. Because I will also nail my ear to my elbow before I become that person who leans over to the person next to me and hisses “what happened whilst I was gone?”***
Where was I…? Oh yes, SBS…
It is still however a much safer place to hang around if normal television advertising makes you twitch and start calculating exactly how many people you could take out with a hockey stick before anyone worked out it was not an amusing reality television stunt and tried to stop you.
There are no reminders to ring in and vote for any of the half dozen dancing/singing/living-in-a-box shows currently running, no flimsily clad ladies washing cars or each other later at night asking if you’d like a quick chat and none of those shitty new offers to download a ringtone for only $12 per second or to find out if your partner is cheating on you via the simple process of SMSing both your names to a magic oracle who can tell that the person is scum just by how many letters they have in their name… or however the hell it works.
SBS also has all sorts of exciting sports that don’t make it onto the more commercial channels because they are not AFL or cricket or rugby****. During the World Cup I spent a lot of time SBS-gazing and in between the football games/displays of extreme acting I also became very briefly well informed about current world events.
Another interesting point is that the fun nudie times movies seem to have been moved to an earlier time slot so we can all enjoy a bit of excitingly different plotting, non-Hollywood-style unromanticised bonking and never-going-to-make-the-Top-100-actually-good music and still be able to get to bed in time to get a good kip before work the next day. The later time slots have now been reserved for the truly worrying programming, anime.
I’m not quite sure if they just did the math and realised that more people wanted to watch world cinema than giant robots/breakdancing samurai/giant breakdancing robots but if you are amongst those that do you must either once again become technologically savvy or sit up late enough to make the start of your work day a two-cups-of-coffee-required occasion.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go watch some surprisingly well-developed teens in giant robots kick the shit out of some aliens. I’ve got the caffeine on standby.

*Or whatever the word actually is, I apologise for my phonetic attempt and the high probability of having either written gibberish or a terrible swear.
**And also, if you stayed up late enough, see some naked people!
*** I know there is a marvellous black market running in downtown cyberland but I am what the French call ‘too lazy’ to work out where the pirated movies library is located on the interwub.
**** Hence the hockey stick reference earlier… Also I have a lingering fondness for Elias Koteas’ Casey Jones from the 1990 TMNT movie…