Category Archives: Life

Pornography -The View from My Pants

This was originally written for King’s Tribune. You should read it there, because there are heaps of things way cooler than this to read as well.

 

Q and A has received a fair amount of criticism of late, not least from the Tribune’s very own Justin Shaw. While much of it may have appeared fair and reasoned at the time, it can now be revealed that the writers of said criticism are terminally deluded, and seek to maliciously mislead you gentle seekers of truth.

‘On what basis does he make this claim?’ I hear you ask, as, dear reader, you are so often wont to do. The answer is simple, and undisputable.

On Monday, May 23rd, Q and A gave us the finest moment in Australian television history – possibly of all time, but certainly since Miranda Devine’s left nut popped out when she pulled her Basic Instinct move on Barrie Cassidy from the Insiders naughty chair.

I speak of course of the moment when Gail Dines uttered those three magic, oft misunderstood words, Arse To Mouth. There was silence in the streets as a whole nation collectively battled their gag reflex, or searched frantically for somewhere to offload the mouthful of sick they had just acquired. It was a thing of true beauty. Should I die tomorrow, your humble scribe will consider his life to be complete.

For those unfortunate souls who missed this exquisite little nugget of WTF, a little background information is required.

Some folk regard Gail Dines as a prime example of the Fun Police. This is not the case. Gail Dines is the Fun Mossad, assassinating pleasure with unbridled lethality.

Her mere mention of the word ‘erection’ is enough to render any mortal man incapable of having one, often for months afterward.

Her place on the panel was in keeping with Q and A’s long running policy of ensuring that the sanity of other guests is counterbalanced with at least one raving wingnut. This compliments the show’s other policy of rounding up as many mouth breathing Young Liberals as they can prise away from Mummy’s computer in the false pursuit of ‘audience balance’.

And rave? Boy did Gail rave. Gail raved harder than a metrosexual with a Hello Kitty lunchbox full of disco biscuits.

I find there is something almost awe-inspiring about watching a moral crusader in full froth. Perhaps it’s the sheer tenacity of their fervour, or their idiot child-like comprehension of life’s complexities. Most likely there’s an element of sheer relief that I can manage to get through a full day without becoming outraged at what someone else chooses to do for fun, something I doubt Gail has managed to do since she was four years old.

You see, like all true nutters, Gail knows what’s wrong with the world, and she knows exactly how to fix it. Actually she didn’t really get around to the latter, but the former certainly seems to revolve around arse to mouth.

In Gail’s World™ pornography is bad, mmkay? Apparently it was invented in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and ever since has been destroying our capacity for happiness, intimacy and something something. Our children now progress straight from Marco Polo to the uncontrollable urge to sodomise each other with garden implements. All men who watch pornography are diseased and women who watch it are actually men, or self-loathing Jews, or something something. I’m sure you get the idea.

Much hilarity ensued on twitter, and not a few thought provoking conversations carried on long after most of us had showered to wash off the bukkake of wowser we had just endured.

It occurred to me then that as deranged as the performance had been, it was not wrong (in the way that picturing Nicola Roxon giving a hummer is wrong) merely misguided, and dangerously naïve.

I don’t presume to speak for all men. That would be presumptuous. I do, however, have a penis. It is a very good looking penis and I call it Captain Winkie, but that’s a conversation for another time. The good Captain grants me the right to speak for myself on the issue of how men view pornography; certainly with more authority than some harpy who was weaned on pureed capers and wasabi.

Similarly, I know women with vaginas. They’re my favourite kind of woman. They can also speak for themselves. (The women, not the vaginas; though I would definitely take the advice of a talking vagina. Again, I digress.)

So here’s my perceived wisdom on this delicately nuanced subject. I seek to set the record straight, at least in my own terms, and for the sake of people I know: Pornography is a form of graffiti. Occasionally it can be beautiful, but mostly it just dirties the place up. Somewhere in between the tawdry and the artful is a form of communication that has been with us forever, and holds some attraction for all of us.

I enjoy watching images that reflect my own admittedly vanilla tastes. Provided the tastes of others don’t cross the boundary of criminality, I have no problem with them.

People – especially women – are sometimes exploited by the makers of pornography. It’s iniquitous and we should be talking about it, but we can do that without prefacing the discussion with an assumption that all men are violent, hate-filled slaves to their own penises.

As I write this the Perth Sexpo is ramping up in the centre opposite my apartment. Couples are indulging in the sort of behaviour that brings Gail Dnes out in hives. They seem happy, and sexually charged. They are leaving with their showbags of carnal depravity and going home to their apparently dysfunctional lives, hand in hand. They are kissing, touching and being flagrantly enamoured with each other in public.

They are obviously yet to learn of the depth of their perversion. I for one am fucking glad for that, and if I was capable of praying, it would be for Gail’s overactive bile duct to rise up, detach and lodge itself in her throat. Or something something.


Interlude

Break bread and imbibe with me on this auspicious eve. Let me weave for you an air of rusted strings and broken voice, a dulcet dirge to herald the passing of all things hale and comely. Draw close. It is in tones conspiring that I warble in the dark to the few ears yet to turn away.

These are days of incandescent mediocrity. The age of conviction lies behind us as a maiden defiled. Shame hangs palpably from our wet lips as we bequeath the embers to progeny destined to feast on naught but the bitter fruit of our malaise. This is no song of hope.

Our once beautiful tongue has been usurped by the depraved and unhinged. It was not the violence of lusty battle or the failed, overreaching arc of our desperate pursuit of beauty that ferried the corpse to our door. The truth is far less palatable. We simply ceased to care. Let the mighty halls of time reverberate with our apathetic mumbles.

They do not love us, our new masters. That much is writ large amongst the letters of disdain their hackneyed machine spews forth. The machine voices the mouth, and the mouth has no eyes to appreciate its disabuse. The incessant drone of failed intellect pervades the ether like a wet fart while we quibble over the rights of the pygmies of measured thought. The sadness, the all-consuming idiocy would drive a monkey spare.


Love letter of despair to my fiance

Honey, peel off your panties and grab the cognac. We’ll roll back the sunroof, bust out of this paved prison and tear up the Hume in a streak of molten, righteous fury. Forget veering off into the city that never wakes, there’s no respite for us there. Hokey-pokey crackpot lawmakers with revolving heads are spewing enough venom to kill all the grass within a six mile radius of the special house. The air is polluted with populist hyperbole so thick that local cats are birthing two-headed kittens. No, push on we must. We’re refugees now and it’s Bandt country or bust. Crank up the Beck, we’re driving til we can scrape the tread off the Yokohamas with a cold butter knife.

It’s just not safe for us here anymore, sweetheart. The pond scum of the media have built themselves a moral vacuum that can suck the skin off a wild pig in full flight. People’s brains are spraying through their ears and the streets are awash with mega-litres of toxic zombie arse-clown. Climate change has got nothing. It’s the threat of concentrated stupid that seeks to destroy us now.

I’m not sure how to break this to you baby, so I’ll just put it to you straight. People hate you. You were born in a third world country, which makes you worth 35% of a nigger in the old scale, allowing for inflation. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how capable or how damned beautiful you are. You’re a parasite, a blight upon our way of life and a threat to national security. We have fridge magnets warning us of people like you. Hell, we have purpose-built detention centres and you’re so damned obstinate you won’t even avail yourself of their services. You’re an ingrate, and the community has had enough of you not costing the tax payer a cent after we’ve gone to such length and cost to incarcerate you.

The good news is that they hate me with an order of magnitude that dwarfs anything they may feel for you. I’m a class traitor, which is the most heinous intellectual position imaginable among those who struggle to imagine a bowl of porridge. Not only do I love you, I don’t even have the decency to be contrite about it. I couldn’t give a tinker’s curse (which is worth 82.5% of a cobbler’s curse in the old scale) if some woman wants to marry another woman. I want to marry you, and you’re only worth about a third of a nigger. Never mind that you’re of fairer skin than me, I’m white and you’re apparently not. Regarding you as an equal is an insult to every One Nation/LNP voting crab-walker with enough grey matter remaining to negotiate a decent lick of their bus window.

So put your hands or lips to this thing that has come between us, Mrs C. I’ll concentrate on pressing the pedal flat and possibly avoiding school children. Possibly. My sole concern is our survival now, and taking what few pleasures we can from the ever diminishing suite of rights the nutters haven’t yet legislated against. We’ll break into Bandt territory and claim asylum. They can’t turn us away under local rules regarding human decency. The downside is that we’ll have to live in Melbourne, but that’s another problem for another time.


A Brief History of Dickhead

Somewhere back in the dim recesses of time, when Happy Days was still new to the Earth, an evolutionary divergence occurred. Whether it happened by mutation or genetic obstinacy is unclear, but the human race split into two definitive and eternally irreconcilable strains. One branch, Homo Pragmaticus, was to progress and elevate humanity to new, hitherto unimagined realms of achievement. The other; Homo Spankis, devoted themselves to not understanding their children’s music and bitching a lot.

For a while the two subspecies coexisted somewhat peacefully, in an almost symbiotic fashion. Pragmaticus would write books that Spankis would use for heating and light, and occasionally as a source of food. The latter of course constipated them terribly, and it has been postulated that diet was a determining factor in their subsequent accelerated social and psychological regression.

Pragmaticus continued to evolve, however. They developed concepts like scented candles and universal human rights. They began to uncover the immutable secrets of existence and formulated theories to explain them – such as chaos and string theory, and if you pick up that acoustic guitar and play one more fucking Joni Mitchell song I’m going to punch you really hard in the fun-sack. These insights led to technological breakthroughs that culminated in the pinnacle of all human achievement, the Personal Computer.

The Personal Computer changed everything. It was affordable, and Spankis could for the first time communicate with a world that existed outside of their own stunted imagination. They didn’t even have to get on their knees to do it, although many of them still chose to out of habit and familiarity. For one glimmering moment it seemed possible for the subspecies to reunite under the universal banner of porn.

Alas, it was not to be. Spankis failed to grasp the concept, much as they had failed to grasp every precedent societal development. While they embraced porn wholeheartedly, they introduced donkeys and their Uncle Muriel then wept with guilt in the corner, effectively cruelling everybody’s fun.

Realising that the only way to counter Pragmaticus’ dangerously guilt-free and progressive behaviour was through repetition and loud complaints, Spankis prudently incubated a number of homunculi to utilise the tools of their perceived enemy, while they busied themselves building frightening structures with great big fuck off sound systems within which to preach the virtues of humility. War had been declared and was to be waged. Pragmaticus was caught entirely unawares, as it was collectively seeking a decent Pho and arguing amongst itself as to whether Radiohead’s artistic pinnacle was OK Computer or Amnesiac.

So began the war of the bleeding obvious, a gruesome battle destined to shed much blood, and not a little semen from those amongst the ranks of Spankis who had moved on from farm animal porn and into the rarefied glory of science denial. ‘Fuck you and fuck your scientists’ became the rallying cry of those who didn’t understand that their Personal Computer was a by-product of the science they held in such contempt. ‘Humans have no impact on the environment’ cried those who wept about the population explosion bringing strange looking people into their neighbourhood. ‘Their beliefs are an affront to our way of life’ said the people who threatened doctors with creatively painful deaths. ‘I’ll pray for you’ squealed those using medicine to keep themselves alive.

The war continues. It will probably outlast this generation, and maybe even the next. Spankis is a subspecies with an enormous bank of stupid and money at its disposal. Pragmaticus is weak from eating tofu and suffering an overwhelming fear of soap. The only thing that is certain to us at this crucial moment is that the battle will be dragged further into the sewer, and the victor is likely to be the subspecies which breathes best amongst the shit. Alas, we all know which fuckers have the gills.


Gibbot’s Handy Guide to Catching Trains Without Sending Him into a Blind Rage

I originally wrote this a little while ago, however it seems that the world is just not taking my sage advice to heart. This is very disappointing and, quite frankly, you should all be ashamed of yourselves. Don’t give me that ‘I’ve never seen this crap before in my life’ twaddle. It just doesn’t cut the mustard.

Let’s be frank. I shouldn’t even have to tell you this stuff. It should be self evident to anyone with a mental capacity greater than seeded mustard. But I care, swingers. There is love in my heart. I want us to all get along in an harmonious, acoustic guitar and organic tofu kind of way. To this aim I present these simple rules of train etiquette that, if followed, will elevate our collective consciousness and bring us a step closer to world peace. Feel the love:

1. Shut the fuck up.

I don’t care who you are or what language you’re speaking. If yours is the only voice you can hear in the carriage at 6:30am there is a reason why. Everybody else wants a little peace on the way to work, and you are a douche.

2. Keep your shit food to yourself.

Unless you’re on the Ghan or an XPT there is no dining car. Whatever car I am in is definitely not the dining car. I don’t want to have to smell your cheap, greasy peasant food, nor imagine how it’s transferring itself directly to your bulging, gelatinous thighs. Eat in the park, or a soup kitchen, or whatever it is polite plebs do.

3. Turn your Ipod down.

You have shit taste in music. I know this because I can hear it, as can everybody else in the carriage. If your eyeballs bulge in time with the crappy dance beat you’re listening to, then the good people of Blackheath can hear it too – and they think you’re a tard.

4. Your dirt magnet has no place on a commuter train.

Pick your times, ffs. What is worse than the fact you’re subjecting everybody else to the screaming and whining of your ill bred progeny is the fact that you are subjecting these foregone failures to abuse. Travel in off peak times when your poor kid doesn’t run the risk of being trampled to death, and I don’t feel like beating you with a house-brick wrapped in a copy of MX.

5. Bicycles are nature’s way of telling you how much you suck.

You don’t buy three tickets, therefore you don’t deserve that much space. Should other passengers choose to tolerate your presence the correct response is fawning gratitude, not smug self importance.

By the way, you look stupid.

6. Get up before I slap you down.

If you choose to sit in the aisle seat, that’s fine. You stand to let me pass you, and I don’t need to ask. You stand when I leave. If you expect me to clamber over you then you are either pig ignorant or a disgusting creep. Whichever it is you deserve to die of crotch fungus.

7. Personal hygiene – discover it,  arsehat.

Here’s a tip. If you can afford a train ticket you can afford deodorant. Train travel can be an uncomfortable enough experience without having the air of one’s personal space befouled with the combined odour of Parmesan cheese, curry fart and sun ripened mullet. Get over your phobia of soap and consider the possibility that your cheap-arse clothes probably won’t magically disappear if washed more  than once a month. With washing powder.  Dick.

And finally, 8. Consider your reading material.

OK. This is entirely for your benefit, as I couldn’t really give a rodent’s cloaca what you read. Just be aware that if you are reading Harry Potter, Twilight or a bible (complete with highlighted passages and stupid little tags to mark the important bits you need to read over and over), people are watching you. They are watching you move your lips as you read and are eternally thankful they are not like you, or have raised children who are like you. You are our entertainment, and exist only to imbue us with a smug sense of schadenfreude which is only heightened by the irony that you don’t know what that word means, do you?

There. I hope that helps. I know I feel better.


Moving Forward? Fuck You.

So how did we come to this?

Australia – richly diverse in culture, fiercely egalitarian. The crown of the Southern Hemisphere, and envy of developed countries the world over. To be lucky enough to call Australia home was once a righteous source of deep and abiding gratitude, which spilled over into our human interactions and expressed itself with simple, soaring eloquence, embodied in concepts like ‘mateship’ and ‘a fair go’.

What went wrong? How did we get so cynical? So Selfish? So pig-humping mean? So abysmally backward, distrustful, petty and ignorant? How did we allow our national identity to get hijacked by the base, opportunistic, slime-ball ploys of the most weak  and morally bereft elected officials in our country’s short history? How high we once aspired to is only overshadowed by how far and rapidly we have descended. The ‘Eternity’ once lovingly scrawled in chalk on our footpaths has been washed away by the sour odour and dull stain of piss.

In four weeks we face the most bleak federal election in living memory, if not of all time. On offer; the largest collection of soulless intellectual cripples it is possible to assemble in the one place without creating a singularity of stupid, capable of rending the very fabric of existence. Both major parties differ only in the quality, not the quantity of ineptitude they offer the electorate, and irrespective of the outcome, the net result will be a hobbling of Australia’s interests and reputation.

Our choice, if such a word can be used without triggering gastro-intestinal repercussions, lies between a party of bumbling incompetents, headed by a wingnut whose tenuous grasp of sanity is outdone only by his complete lack of comprehension of how government works, versus a party that no longer has a fucking clue what it stands for, or whose interests it was created to represent. The leader of the latter, in the space of under a month has managed to backflip on every single issue she was mandated to act on. Her complete lack of leadership ability is roughly on par with that of algae. In the wings lie the Greens, who are utterly unable to recast themselves as anything but a protest party, and will fail miserably to capitalise on voter resentment by continuing to campaign on whale hugging issues, instead of engaging on the key areas of economics and foreign policy – the areas that would actually draw in fresh, genuine support from the voter base they most need to reach if they are ever to grow out of the image of soap-shy, incense burning potheads who want to have gay sex with trees.

It’s a non choice. A farce. The only thing that has kept me from complete despair is an ever growing, seething anger that is as close to hatred as I have ever experienced.

I want to pump pepper spray into the lower house, then while these privileged, spineless human failures are doubled over, crying, pissing and vomiting on themselves, send in every first and second generation immigrant with a pair of football boots to kick the living shit out of them. Then, and only then, will they be in any way qualified to discuss refugees.

I want to load them, and their children, and their grandchildren up with so much debt they can’t buy a chocolate bar on credit. Then we’ll talk about taxing the mining industry.

I want to pump raw sewage into their water, and sulphur into their houses so they may gain some qualification to discuss climate change and the concept of sustainable fucking population.

While we’re at it, repossess their houses and withhold their salary – to dole out as is seen fit by some faceless bureaucrat. Then we’ll talk about indigenous communities.

There is almost no limit to my disdain, my disgust with this crop of pathetic failures. These people aren’t leaders. They are criminally negligent at best, seditious at worst. They are turning us into a bunch of ugly backwoods punks, and I am not proud. I am not happy.

This is not the Australia I grew up in, and be damned if it will be the Australia my children grow up in. Either we rediscover what made this a wonderful place, or I’m moving overseas. I have a feeling I will be going with the latter, and that it will happen before the next black joke they call an election.


Cairns, Crabs and the New World Order

J’ai seulement l’idée que j’ai fait de me pour me soutenir sur des océans de néant

– Henry De Montherlant

It’s 5am.  The great breathing ant nest that is Cairns is momentarily quiet in slumber. Within the hour the most intrepid holiday-makers will brave the comparative cold of 20 degrees in order to beat the rush to do whatever it is tourists do, and the city will respond to accommodate, or indeed, manufacture their desires.

At 130,000 permanent residents and at least half as many blow-ins at any given time, Cairns is no sleepy community. Its vibrancy is intoxicating and addictive, and you’re engaged from the moment you arrive. There is no casual observation possible here.  Night markets bustle with trade in the same tawdry crap one finds in any market on the East Coast. Restaurants thrive on a proven combination of great food and crap service, and boats teem with punters keen to add the reef to the notches on their worldly traveller’s belt.

My room looks out over Grafton St – deep in the thick of backpackerville. Everybody is twenty, barely dressed, and speaking in an unfamiliar accent. There is an almost imposed air of informality about the place that is highly infectious. I’m glad I took the advice of a friend and left my suits at home. I have seen precisely one worn tie since my arrival three days ago, and the wearer would barely have stood out less if he was in a chicken costume.

As close as Cairns appears to come to paradise, however, there is a darker, seedier side that you won’t find detailed in the obligatory tourist brochure the motel provides upon your arrival. The imposition of alcohol bans in surrounding indigenous communities has driven the Murrays into town, where you can find them peacefully reposing on every other street corner, or haranguing the tourists for cigarettes, spare change, or just for the hell of it. The police drive vehicles akin to minivans, and one can’t help but imagine that they devote much of their time to rounding up and ferrying black itinerants back to their digs – well away from the public eye. The racism among white locals is palpable, and unfortunately not entirely unfounded.

Last night I dined at a Greek restaurant – the easy equal of any in Sydney. I ate crab, drank Greek wine, and generally made a polite pig of myself. I made the acquaintance of a gay Aboriginal artist who helped me polish off my bottle while regaling me with tales of personal travail and triumph. As far as hardships go, he has had more than his fair share, yet the unwavering tenacity of the man – his sheer joie de vivre in the face of compound adversity was truly inspiring. Unfortunately when the conversation turned to the plight of his impoverished kin he had few answers. He talked of ’empowerment’ a great deal, but didn’t really shed any light on how this nifty word would be actualised. I can’t really fault him. It’s not a question with a simple answer.

I had a similar experience earlier in the day when I wandered into the opening of a photographic exhibition. The photos were mostly beautiful, though a little centred on ecological sustainability. The author of the multitudinous prints was a dreadlocked ranga with a thin, but captivatingly beautiful wife of Hispanic descent. Their passion is self evident, as is the righteousness of their cause. They want to change the world, and all power to them. Sadly, they too don’t have any answers. For all the knowledge they have of individual ecological responsibility, their understanding of the corporate world is non-existent, and until multi-nationals start taking responsibility for their actions as corporate citizens, all the mud brick, grass roofed, self sustained shacks in the world ain’t gonna achieve squat.

All this rambling has a point.

I think.

Maybe not.

Nah.. probably not.

If it did, however, it would probably be this; something has clicked in me since arriving here, and the Gibbot who returns to Sydney in a couple of days won’t be the same man that came here. Call it a priority shift, or an awakening (no, on second thoughts, don’t call it an awakening. That’s just too ghey). The first thing I’m going to do is re-string my guitar and see if I can’t coax some dexterity back into these stumps that supposedly pass for fingers. The second thing I’m going to do is settle down, with any luck find a girl who’ll put up with me and put down some roots. Then I’m going to use whatever meagre skills I possess to try to make a difference. I don’t have all the answers, but for the first time I think I know some of the questions that need to be asked.