Thursday, August 27, 2009

A lovely day

I had a lovely day today. A really great day. The sun was out in a shining, clear blue sky.

True, it is August and this is perhaps a little disturbing, but there is no reason for impending doom to impinge on a pleasant summer day in August in the southern hemisphere.

So, having nothing pressing today, I figured, hell, why not spend a lovely, pleasant day wandering through Newtown? Because I really felt like nothing more on this sunny blue-skied day than getting really fucking angry at all the wankers.

With the warm sun on my face, I stood admiring that park they have there. I forget its name, but it is opposite the Courthouse. That being how I navigate myself through the wide-world, by means of pub-landmarks.

I looked at the park, the green grass, the smattering of trees, so appealing in the sunshine. I thought to myself, how lovely would it be just to go and sit under one of those trees and while away the hours peacefully reading. What paradise!

Then I turned and looked at the Courthouse Hotel.

You can imagine what went through my mind. If you imagined it was “Jesus Christ, the pub’s open early”, you’d be right.

Of course, had you actually been there, which I happen to know for a fact you fucking weren’t, you may well have said: “What the fuck are you talking about Carlo? It is 10.45am! The fucking Courthouse has been open since 10!”

Well, obviously, I know that now. I subsequently made a point of checking its opening times. And if I had actually known this at 10am this morning, then my day would have been ever better.

So I made my way into the premises and ordered myself a schooner of God’s Own Urine (sold under the commercial label of VB).

Exactly what happened with the rest of the day I couldn’t tell you for sure. My memories are few indeed.

All I know is I woke up here, in front of this computer, and decided I had better tell you all straight away what a lovely day it is I have been having.

If you were in the vicinity of Newtown today, and I believe I was mostly frequenting King Street, and you happened to come across Carlo Sands, then I would like to offer a pre-emptive apology and a request as to whether you know the whereabouts of my pants.

I do have one recollection. I entered Gould’s Books for reasons unknown. While browsing innocently, I managed to knock over one of those random piles of books Bob Gould sees fit to leave lying around.

Stooping to repair the damage, I was asked by a man who I can only assume worked there: “Was there anything in particular you wanted?”

Well, yes, actually. I wanted not to have knocked over a large pile of fucking books. It is quite embarrassing and now I feel obliged to pick the fucking things up again. But its too fucking late to do anything about it now, isn’t it, you fucking strange Gould-slave person?

On my way out, I did try to steal Bob Gould’s pants. I remember I didn’t get very far, which, all things considered, is really for the best. Carlo Sands has very few standards, but even I draw the line at wearing Mr Gould’s trousers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Reading Raymond Chandler then going to a lecture by a wiseguy

I have been reading Raymond Chandler, the genius hard-boiled detective novelist whose stories centre on hard-boiled, hard drinking P.I. Philip Marlowe.

Maybe this affected my mood as I went to a lecture at Sydney University on the evening of Tuesday, August 11 with some Latin American academic talking about the state of democracy in the region.


What I will say is every word below happened exactly as I describe it.


I walked through Victoria Park to make my way to the lecture. A ceaseless gaggle of Sydney University students passed by going the other way, fleeing their beloved campus for the day.

It isn’t that I don’t trust your average student at this illustrious institution, but I felt a hell of a lot better feeling the grip of my Colt .32.

It was only 5.30 in the evening but already the sun was making a hasty retreat. It was although it decided it had had enough of the day. I can’t say I blamed it.

I got to the rough area where the building was supposed to be. For a campus with so many buildings, they sure work hard to hide the one you want.

There was a security guard leaning against the wall of one of them, standing impassively smoking a cigarette. I approached and asked him if he knew where the New Law Building was.

He glanced at me impassively and blew some smoke. “What’s it worth to you?”

I resisted the urge to remove my Colt. 32 from its place where only dames that cause trouble and cops that do the same ever search. Instead, I said “Maybe I gotta fiver I’ve been itching to give away to charity.”

He looked at me impassively and blew some smoke. Then he pointed at a building right in front of us and said “There”.

I pealed off a note that he took impassively. “You want me to draw you a map?”

Walking off, I turned. “Nah, I wouldn’t want you to strain something.”

He shrugged impassively and blew some smoke.

I found the room I was looking for and soon wished I hadn’t.

The lecture was by some ageing intellectual wiseguy. Spent too long in the ivory towers of the world, to judge by the introduction he was given.

He was supposed to speak for half an hour. An hour into his dull and frankly counterrevolutionary spiel my Colt .32 started to itch.

I resisted the urge. Some things aren’t worth the trouble they bring.

But there is only so much guff about uppity populists upsetting democratic balances by changing constitutions to perpetuate themselves in power a guy can take. As he droned on I made my way past political science students staring at the old guy impassively and went outside. I lit a cigarette and stood there thinking some.

By the time I crushed the butt, I was thinking you can’t let some wiseguy spread his objectively counterrevolutionary and pro-imperialist garbage like that and just let him get away with it. I made my way back.

He was still talking to his endless supply of graphs proving every leftist government in the region put in power by mass movements of the impoverished who shed blood for the honour scoring the lowest on every indicator except the only ones that matters – poverty reduction and popular participation.

Those two didn’t make into his not brief presentation.

Finally, to the noticeable relief of the room, he ground to halt. I stood up the back and lit a cigarette.

The chair asked for questions. I obliged and raised my hand.

Cigarette dangling from my lips, I asked the ivory tower boy: “So what about inequality and the exclusion of the poor majorities? You think that might have something to do with all these constitutions that keep changing?”

He looked me straight in the eye with a cold hard stare that suggested maybe I didn’t want to be asking too many questions about the conditions of the oppressed. Then he started to waffle as only a lifetime academic a decade or two passed a dignified retirement can manage.

Finally the meeting had the mercy and common decency to end. I stood outside as Sydney Uni students impassively filed passed. I tried to hand out leaflets for a Latin America Solidarity Fiesta on that Saturday.

We had an agreement. I agreed to try and give the students leaflets, they agreed to refuse to take them.

The odd student broke ranks and took one. Sydney University students can be impertinent like that.

I got talking to a guy I know called Alejandro and even sold him a Green Left Weekly. He comes from a middle-class Venezuelan family and supports Chavez. This caused a split among his family and friends on account of some of them quite liking the corrupt, venal, coup-plotting fascists in the Venezuelan opposition.

Alejandro was in the minority. A minority of one.

We shared our mutual views of the presentation we had just witnessed. We mutually agree on exactly where the academic could shove his right-wing views on the “rule of law” and the “need for counter-balances” to stop the impoverished working people having too much say about their state of exploitation.

Then I lit a cigarette and made my way to the train station to catch my inevitably late-running train. I had other things on my mind.

I picked up a six pack on the way home. No Boags Draft. I was forced to drink Tasmania Bitter, cursing the injustices the world seemed intent of heaping on me.

Then I spent the night smoking my mind with cigarettes and songs that I was picking. Sorry, that's Johnny Cash.

"The beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad so I have one more for dessert". Neither Johnny Cash nor this song really relate in any way to the rest of the post.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Ben Cousins is a god damn, no good drug addict

It has taken me a full week to be able to write this post. Seven days of hurt and pain too intense to express.

I feel sadness and a sense of deep betrayal.

Finally, I feel capable of putting my feelings into words: Ben Cousins is a god damn, no good drug addict.

Now, many readers will no doubt chastise me, with a sense of bemusement, that I am a little behind the times.

Other, more dedicated readers of this blog, may, with equal bemusement, accuse me of hypocrisy — or at least a short and somewhat fickle memory.

And, yes, it is true. Back in 2007, when the entire world seemed to be leaping on top of and ripping at the flesh of the Aussie Rules super star for his confessed drug problem, Carlo Sands stood up and courageously defended him.

And I stood almost entirely alone, asides from some mealy-mouthed clown called Stuart Munckton who said it was all disgustingly hypocritical, but refused to unconditionally defend Ben Cousins’ right to wreck himself whenever he wanted, wherever he wanted and with whatever substances he exercised his free will to destroy himself with.

Only Carlo Sands had the principles and courage to take such a clear-cut stand.

All this is true.

And it is true I argued that Cousins’ “only crime is generating bad publicity for the AFL via the vulture-media — threatening the AFL's ‘brand’ (read: corporate sponsorship)”.

It is true I wrote on the media’s cynical exploitation of Cousins’ troubles: “Let's be clear — this means profits for them as they voyeristically pick over every aspect of Cousins' personal life that can be sold as seedy, troubled and down right fascinating ... A lot of headlines, a lot of readers and a lot of advertising cash.”

And, yes, it is also completely true that I publicly urged him not to cave into pressure, but to front the show trial at which the AFL predictably banned him from playing for a year and proudly paraphrase Oscar Wilde’s famous trial speech with a passionate defence of “The love of the drug that dare not speak its name”.


But that was before last Sunday.

Everything I have done for Ben Cousins — and much of it remains unreported — only makes his betrayal worse.

What happened was this: The Mighty Essendon Bombers, on the very edge of the final eight in the last gasp of the AFL season, rock up to play the Richmond Football Club. The Tigers having languishing on the ladder somewhere between the bottom and very close to the bottom all season.

Essendon needed to win this game to ensure we stayed in the eight. Not only that, but more or less the entire world fully expected them to. Those four points belonged to the Essendon Football Club.

And yet they lost. By less than a goal. Five points.

And who should star in this upset, with a arguably best on ground performance collecting 31 possessions in the midfield?

One Benjamin Cousins.

It is clear he is back on the crystal meth. It is a fucking disgrace.

The fucking drug cheat. After all I did for him.

And, while we are on the topic of Richmond beating Essendon last week, what the fuck ever happened to “tanking?”

“Tanking” is the highly controversial, alleged practice by teams late in an AFL season that are near the bottom of the ladder of deliberately seeking to lose in order to receive a higher draft pick on the following season. Under AFL rules, the 16th team gets first pick, the 15th second etc.

No one has ever been able to exactly prove the practice exists.

Critics of the “tanking” theory raise how difficult it would be to ask your 22 players to go out on the field and deliberately play badly, much less for the coaching staff to coordinate such a thing.

They raise the pride players have in their game, the competitive instinct, the desire to do their best and so on and so forth.

I have a simpler explanation.

Maybe those teams at the bottom of the ladder accused in the latter part of an AFL season of tanking actually keep losing, not through any conscious design, but simply because they are really shit.

This seems the most likely explanation to me. They are just crap teams. They can’t play the fucking game. Their players suck.

They couldn’t win a wrestling match/spelling bee combo with a dyslexic dwarf.

After all, that is why they are at the bottom of the ladder in the first place. They lost most times they took to the field in the first half of the season, why should anyone expect things to be different in the second?

This strikes me as the most likely way to explain the apparently stunning phenomenon of teams at the bottom of the ladder continuing their losing streaks.

And speaking of teams at the bottom of the ladder, Essendon’s game against the West Coast Eagles in now underway. What is more, The Eagles are somehow in front.

If Essendon somehow lose this match, drugs will most certainly be involved — whether performance enhancing on the Eagles side, or a massive binge the night before by Essendon players complacent about what should be a walk over.

Hell, even the Fremantle Dockers beat the Eagles last week.

But back to Ben Cousins. The only thing I have to add is to say that I loved that man like a brother.

"Love is like a cloud, it holds a lot of rain." AFL super star and renowned drug abuser Ben Cousins has broken this bloggers heart