Saturday, December 29, 2012

Two songs: Sheryl Crow versus The Jesus and Mary Chain -- a case study in responses to late monoply capitalism

So I pretty much wrote this yesterday evening. It should be clear early on why I failed to complete it then. So today, fresh from another trip to the bottlo, I have tidied it up and I post this discussion on two responses to the horror of late monopoly capitalism for your consideration. *TRIGGER WARNING* Features Sheryl Crow.

* * *

For reasons I'm not sure I can explain rationally, I listened to the two songs discussed below one after the other. I *should* point out that I did leave my home in the mid-afternoon to go for a walk -- because anyone who knows me will tell you straight up how seriously I take exercise. And, strangely enough, I ended in the local pub where I drank a couple of beers with a whiskey chaser, all the while reading the new Rebus (YES! HE IS BACK! AND HE IS AS "DRINKING-TO-FORGET-HOW-HE-FUCKS-UP-ALL-HUMAN-RELATIONSHIPS" AS EVER!!!).

"Whiskey Make Crazy", so sung those Celtic punk legends The Tossers, which helps explain why, floating through a lovely whiskey-and-beer-haze, I ended up, while in the supermarket afterward shopping for dinner, seeing a cut-price pre-prepared-for-roasting chicken all tied up with string with some sort of horrible sauce/gravy type thing already so unkindly added, and concluded WHAT A GREAT IDEA!

And then I get the fucking thing home, more booze at hand, and think how fucking LONG does it ACTUALLY TAKE to roast a fucking chicken??? And the answer is TOO FUCKING LONG!

And then, after some more waiting-and-drinking, there was an "incident" with the oven during the attempt to cook the fucking chook, of which my lawyer has instructed me to make no further comment, and the fucking chicken ended up in the frying pan. So, I guess it was really no longer roasted exactly. Or two thirds roasted, one third fried, or something -- LET THE PHILOSOPHERS DEBATE IT, ALL I KNOW IS I JUST I *ATE* THAT GODDAMN "FROASTED" CHOOK! (you see what I did there?)

My point is, I was feeling a bit odd. By which I mean, pretty fucking happy, thanks to that beer-and-whiskey buzz. And yet... with this underlying sense that the word remains extremely messed up. I mean... we are racing towards a climate catastrophe of a scale it is hard to comprehend... and like, how do you DEAL WITH THAT SHIT, you know?

And I felt a strange compulsion to listen to the one song that I know of that perfectly captures the desire for hedonistic escape, just to lose yourself in the NOTHINGNESS of intoxication while the outside world goes about its pointless, ritualistic... well FUCKING RITUALS... YES you know what I am talking about... Sheryl Crow's 1994 hit "All I Wanna Do is Have Some Fun"!!!

Yeah. See, Sheryl meets Billy in a bar and it is midday on a Tuesday and they decide to *just drink*, while sitting opposite a, and I quote, "giant car wash". I know right? (or, as the kids say, "IKR?" -- see, I am down with them).

It is actually, surprisingly, for a song with such a fucking irritating chorus and hook, quite ... poetic. Which it should be, seeing as the verse were taken, almost entirely wholesale,  from a 1987 poem called "Fun" by American poet Wyn Cooper. Here are the words to Sheryl's hit:

Hit it!
This ain't no disco
And it ain't no country club either,
This is L.A.

All I want to do is have a little fun before I die
Says the man next to me out of nowhere
It's apropos of nothing he says his name is William
But I'm sure he's Bill or Billy or Mac or buddy

And he's plain ugly to me, and I wonder if he's ever
Had a day of fun in his whole life

We are drinking beer at noon on Tuesday
In the bar that faces the giant car wash
And the good people of the world
Are washing their cars on their lunch breaks
Hosing and scrubbing as best they can
In skirts and suits

And they drive their shiny Datsuns and Buicks
Back to the phone company, the record stores, too
Well, they're nothing like Billy and me


All I wanna do is have some fun
I got a feeling I'm not the only one
All I wanna do is have some fun
I got a feeling I'm not the only one
All I wanna do is have some fun
Until the sun comes up over
Santa Monica Boulevard

I like a good beer buzz, early in the morning
Billy likes to peal the labels from his bottles of bud
He shreds them on the bar then he lights up every match
In an over-sized pack letting each one burn
Down to his thick fingers before blowing and
Cursing them out, he's watching
The bottles of bud as they spin on the floor

And a happy couple enters the bar
Dangerously, close to one another
The bartender looks up from his want ads

But all I wanna do is have some fun etc etc etc

Otherwise the bar is ours, the day and the night
And the car wash, too, the matches and the
Buds, and the clean and dirty cars,
The sun and the moon ,

But, all I wanna do is have some fun etc etc etc

Yeah, IKR? Fucking poetry. The full poem, unabridged and without a chorus written to for radio with the sole purpose of INFECTING OUR BRAINS, is actually marked by its contradiction between an outsider wanting to sneer at the world around them, while also feeling below the  world around, drowning that tension with beer and hiding behind an aggressive declaration that the "city is ours" (ie the drunks)

Hell, if it wasn't for the fact that Sheryl Crow chose to weld those words to what surely must be a strong contender for the MOST ANNOYING CHORUS EVER in the history of popular music...then we would have ourselves a FUCKING GODDAMN *SONG*, yeah?

But no, Sheryl had to go and add a dull, repetitive and, worse, SMUG AND SELF-SATISFIED chorus, and add in a film clip where she does nothing but look SMUG AND SELF-SATISFIED ... and all despite the fact that runs DIRECTLY COUNTER to the goddamn WORDS she is singing from a poem she nicked!

Sometimes, a chorus or the general tone of a song is deliberately in contradiction to the bleak nature of the words. Say, of many examples, The Gin Blossom's Hey Jealousy, or famously Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA. That is a possibility here, except for the seemingly straight-faced way she delivers lines about "the party has just begun."

If you ignore the chorus, the actual verses impart actual desperation, of a desire to use intoxication deliberately to block out the world, to pretend it doesn't exist, to "have a little fun before I die", a comment made poignant by the fact the character who utters it "out of nowhere" makes Sheryl "wonder if he has ever had a day's fun in his whole life".

Yeah. Profound. JUST IGNORE SHERYL'S STUPID GRIN. (Like seriously, does she EVEN LISTEN to the words she is singing?)

So that is one response to the horrors we face. In the face of society's horrors, a retreat to the bar, to the sweet lullaby that Sheryl describes as a "good beer buzz, early in the morning".

And WHY? Because "all I wanna do is have some fun" while the "good people of the world" are "washing their cars on their lunch breaks"... FLAUNTING THEIR MIDDLE-CLASS EMPTY LIVES JUST ACROSS THE ROAD FROM WHERE SHERYL AND BILLY ARE DRINKING!!!

The imagery could not be starker. Hedonism is counter-posed to the grinding life of the average pleb "in skirts and suits" under late monopoly capitalism, with its "giant car washes"!


Sure, a "happy couple enters the bar" who are "dangerously close to one another", threatening the sanctuary of the bar with all their "happiness" and "closeness"... but fear not! For "Otherwise the bar is ours..."

Sheryl and Billy are alienated from that outside world of happy couples and suit and skirt wearing folk with their "shiny Datsuns and Buicks" who are "hosing and scrubbing as best they can", before the suckers go "back to the phone company..." (oh, OUCH! Probably one of those call centre jobs too... you know, where you not just deal with arseholes constantly the entire shift wanting to know how to plug in a fucking phone extension cord or blaming you personally for how the privatised company has cut every conceivable corner, including the corner that used to be marked "MAKE THINGS FUCKING WORK" in the pursuit of the greatest profit for the cheapest outlay imaginable, but all while the bastards monitor your fucking toilet breaks and sack anyone who even *mentions* the phrase "union" on company premises... )

FUCKING SUCKERS! Billy and Sheryl are right across the road, in that darkened dive bar, getting pissed and it is only 12pm on TUESDAY! What MOTHERFUCKING REBELS!

The song depicts a desire for a somewhat extreme binge that lasts from a "morning beer buzz" right through to when the "sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard". (Interesting side point here, until I had to google the fucking words for this blog post, I had no idea what Crow was singing there, like I thought it was something to do "sitting on a couple of bars", but that never made any sense.)

And yet the ultimate tragedy, of which the story's narrator (if not the actual singer) is all-too-aware, is that the only outlet they have found to express their rebellion is alcohol abuse.

And, what is more, the actual "fun" activities, despite the presumably constant drinking, that are mentioned involve peeling labels off bottles of beer and shredding them (admittedly, this is one of my favourite pastimes), then lighting matches from an "oversized pack", letting them burn right down to Billy's "thick fingers" before "blowing and cursing them out."

Then, when that gets boring, Billy watches the empty beer bottles as they spin on the floor. Wow! No wonder Sheryl notes in the chorus that she's "got a feeling the party has just begun".

Perhaps sensing the one-sided inadequacies of Sheryl Crow's 1994 chart-topper, YouTube offered in its right-hand side bar of suggested related songs, for no other explicable reason, Jesus and Mary Chain's "Darklands".

In this song, the miserable Scottish bastards that are the brothers Reid actually *embrace* wholesale the misery that surrounds them. Far from hiding in some dodgy pub for a whole day or two, they CALL FOR THE HORROR TO COME AND FUCKING MEET THEM!

I'm going to the darklands
To talk in rhyme
With my chaotic soul
As sure as life means nothing
And all things end in nothing
And heaven i think
Is too close to hell
I want to move i want to go
I want to go
Oh something won't let me
Go to the place
Where the darklands are
And i awake from dreams
To a scary world of screams
And heaven i think
Is too close to hell
I want to move i want to go
I want to go
Take me to the dark
Oh god I get down on my knees
And i feel like i could die
By the river of disease
And i feel that i'm dying
And i'm dying
I'm down on my knees
Oh i'm down
I want to go i want to stay
I want to stay

Yeah that is RIGHT motherfuckers! William Reid takes on vocal duties ahead of his brother Jim on this one to sing that life MEANS NOTHING! And all things END IN NOTHING!

Listen to that Glaswegian prick! You wanna escape? You wanna seek "refuge" in drink? Well, just you remember, good friend, that William Reid teaches us that "heaven, I think, is too close to hell"!

But even the path of embracing the horror is not easy. William pleads, over a melancholic but nonetheless enchantingly catchy tune: "Take me to the dark".

But "something won't let me go to the place where the darklands are". OH NO! What? What won't let you, William? It is never spelled out. But the poor bastard is "down on my knees, oh I'm down".

All he wants to do is "talk to my chaotic soul". But "I awake from dreams, to a scary world of screams". Oh the poetry of the chaotic soul!

That 1987 classic came from the album of the same name -- a follow up the much-lauded feedback-laden 1985 debut Psychocandy that largely (but not entirely) eschews the feedback noise for a greater focus on the melodies. Dark melodies, OF COURSE.

Now, if you don't believe me, you can listen to the entire 36.09 minute-long masterpiece on Youtube, but let me assure you, the defining characteristic of the album is pointed to in its title. It is dark. Really dark.

It is dark from start to finish. Like, listening to it right now, as I type I am hearing these lines: "As far as I can tell, I'm being dragged from here to hell. And all my time in hell is spent with YOU!"

And that could be any song.

At its absolute brightest, the album manages a kind of melancholic wistfulness. Its happiest point comes in the final song when young Jimmy Reid finally concedes that perhaps "there's something warm about the rain".

I mean, it also makes a point of noting that "people die in their living rooms, but they do not need this god almighty gloom", but, nonetheless, that is as cheery as the fucking thing gets.

And such lines are, as often-as-not, put to truly great pop tunes. I mean, take the sublime April Skies ("As I stand here don't you walk away, and the world comes tumbling down...") or the equally great pop tune and lyrically self-explanatory Happy When it Rains.

I still remember when I first bought that album. It was out at Curtin University in Perth back in say 1998 or early 1999. I was "studying" at Curtin, as in technically enrolled in some first year courses. As was my want when enrolled in first year courses, I did anything except turn up to any classes. In this case, I looked over a second-hand CD stall set up on campus and found Darklands for ten bucks.

I was hung over. I was hung over a lot in those days. Much like *these days* really. A year or so past my first real broken heart, I was a mess of heavy drinking and messed up nerves caused by working too many graveyard shift at McDonald's every week. Too much sleep-deprivation, caffeine and alcohol.

I was an angry, confused, emotional wreck. The album was perfect. I was instantly hooked. I listened to it obsessively for about a year.


Yeah, I get it. But, you know, I am not 19 any more. And I can’t play guitar. And black was never my colour, not with my complexion.

Yeah, I used to go the Goth clubs in Perth, the least Gothiest citizen of that city imaginable. But I'd go, coz in Perth in the 90s, you had a lot of places for rednecks, endless places for yuppies and maybe one or two for Goths. And that was it.

And the key thing was, of them all, the Goths were the least likely to punch you if you nicked their drink when their back was turned. They'd just glare at you, but they did that anyway. It was hard to tell what was a greater crime for a Goth -- nicking their beer when their back was turned or being the sort of pond scum who just didn't look very Gothy.

And, of course, you always got to dance to Love Will Tear Us Apart. But it was mainly the drink thing. And you could score cheap dexies. But that goes without saying.

And in other news....

'I put my shoes on backward on the way out to a dance. Then I had to go back home cause I forgot my pants'

Sunday, December 23, 2012

And now available embedded on this blog -- Carlo Sands' stand up clip for Five Minutes Live online competition! WOW! THANK YOU CARLO!

This is the clip of most of my five-minute performance at Comedy at the Rox from November. It was filmed, and posted, by Five Minutes Live -- which is a Sydney-based online stand-up comedy competition for amateur comics.

It runs till next September, and the competition is based on which clip gets the most "likes". (To "like" a clip you gotta actually go to the site and sign in. It only takes a few seconds and they don't spam you, it is just to prevent repeat voting).

And the prize... *now this is the key thing from my perspective* ... the prize is FIVE GRAND! THAT IS A SHITLOAD OF BEER!!!

AND YOU CAN WIN FIVE GRAND TOO!!! FOR BEST "COMMENT" UNDER THE CLIPS!!! And I read a few of 'em, nost of em up so far aren't exactly Oscar Wilde. I AM SURE YOU COULD WIN IT!!!

Now, I am not going to pretend this whole thing is perfect -- or even close to it. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am *thrilled* they filmed and posted the clip ... *BUT*... I feel I CANNOT let Five Minute Live's terrible act of political censorship in editing my set go unchallenged... THEY CUT THE LAST JOKE ABOUT NOT WEARING PANTS!!! Everyone who knows me will tell you, the right to not wear pants is VERY important to me! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!

I raised it in the comment section under my clip and the bastards came back with some mealy-mouthed defence of "we don't censor anything" and "it was cut to fit the five-minute timeframe" ... YEAH WELL YOU CAN'T USE YOUR BUREAUCRATIC RED-TAPE TO SILENCE CARLO SANDS! I posted the censored joke there and I post it here, for the WHOLE WORLD TO READ!!!

Here it is: "[The Adelaide bus ticket] says 'Your smile is the most important thing you wear'! No. No, no, no, no, no. That is NOT EVEN LEGALLY ACCURATE! I think you'll find the cops usually insist on pants at the very least.

"And I can tell you from my own experience, that if you are standing there, not wearing pants, GRINNING at a cop... it really doesn't help. IF ANYTHING, it only makes things worse!"


Also, don't forget to sign in and click like if you liked it. If you didn't... ah, forget I said anything. No need to waste your time signing in to "dislike" or leaving a nasty comment... Just have a beer and forget about it, yeah? Here is a Hayes Carll song, just to show I love you all.

'I'm knocking over whiskey, no one's laughing at my jokes. They got me spinning round in circles, like a tin can in the spokes. When I left town this morning, with a smile upon my face, oh babe I swear I never knew I'd end up in this place.'

The NRA has a point, if you'll just get drunk enough to consider it properly

A lot of people have been greatly concerned about the seemingly never-ending spate of mass shootings in the Land of the Free.

Well, I think we can all say, after Friday's thought-provoking press conference, the NRA has got the whole "insane spate of shootings thing" (with more than 100 shooting deaths in the week *after* the Sandy Hook massacre) well covered. It took the time to avoid knee-jerk politicised reactions, and instead came up with a calm and sensible solution: militarise every school in the country.

Rather than *ridiculous* attempts to restrict access to semi-automatic weapons designed for mass killings of the sort Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza used -- let alone deal with their fucked up system, whose military slaughters children oversees, and which alienates people at home and fails to give them health care -- the NRA knows what is really needed: Armed cops in every school -- and principals and teachers also armed and trained to kill.

Now I realise that might, at first, seem a bit mad. It is, after all, a call to steadfastly *refuse* to make it harder for psychos to get hold of instruments of mass death, but rather put more instruments of death in every school.

But I promise you, if you think it through while consuming a full vat of bourbon... especially if you mix that with some powerful mescaline... then, at the end of that, I think you'll find the NRA starts to make some real sense. Give it a go, you'll see what I mean.

Coz, sure it failed to stop the Columbine massacre, in which 12 students and one teacher were shot to death despite an armed guard at the school, but that's just coz the armed deputy was not given access to depleted uranium-tipped missiles to fire from a shoulder-held rocket-launcher. Or a decent supply of white phosphourous. And he suffered from the *catastrophic absence* of a giant Death Ray.

Just think about it! If it wasn't for the fucking bleeding heart liberal Big Government fascists in Washington denying American schools such heavy weaponry, then we would see a drop in violent incidents for SURE!

More or less. There might be *some* hiccups, like that described by @SarahbaxterSTM, who tweeted: "Armed guards at school? My kids actually had one in the US. He shot his teacher ex-girlfriend and was shot by police." But look, no system is perfect.

And if you read the full transcript of the NRA press conference, actually look beyond all the sensationalist headlines from the biased press about how all the NRA can propose to stop gun violence is even *more* guns, you will see some very important analysis on what *actually* causes mass shootings.

It is not the guns. Or the bullets. It is "violent video games", "blood-soaked films" and music videos that "portray murder as a way of life". It is really not so hard to see if you are willing to think about it, particularly if you have also consumed huge quantities of mild-alterting substances: fictional depictions of violence cause violence, not the actual real instruments of violence that are actually used in real life to cause violence.

The NRA also pointed out it was impossible to stop killers, "given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill". Finally, SOMEONE has the courage to come out and SAY what we ALL FEEL: anyone with mental health problems is a menace to society who, far from treated, should be feared and demonised.

And once more, the NRA comes up with a *practical* solution, not just more sensationalist headlines -- create a national database, a proposal that would, if I might make a humble addition, be assisted by making all those with mental health issues wear Yellow Stars in public. That way, the armed guards will know who to aim for.

And has anyone *really* thought through the consequences of banning these assault weapons? I mean, check out this ad for the semi-automatic rifle, made by gun corporation Bushmasters, that Adam Lanza used to shoot dead 20 six-and-seven-year-old children.

You can't just go around banning these things! How would our "man cards" get reissued? We wouldn't be able to tell men from boys, not without making every male walk around without pants to see whether or not they had gone through puberty and that is just really fucking creepy. What a freaky nightmare society these liberal sickos want to create!

And how would Americans defend their homes? I mean, here in Australia, it is terrible! All over the country, innocent citizens are being slaughtered in their beds every night, in THEIR THOUSANDS, and everyone of them, their dying words before evil monsters bash their brains out, is a screamed: "IF ONLY BUSHMASTER WERE ALLOWED TO SELL HIGH-POWERED SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPONS OF THE SORT CAPABLE OF GUNNING DOWN DOZENS OF YOUNG CHIDLREN IN SECONDS...BUT NO, THE GOVERNMENT TOOK MY 'MAN CARD' AWAY AND NOW... OH NO... AAAARRGGHH!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Bushmaster's website points out: "Whether it's helping soldiers secure our freedom, protecting a police officer in the line of duty, keeping families safe and sound, hunting big game, or bringing home a coveted competition trophy, we understand the important role that Bushmaster plays in the lives of our customers. That's why, for us, building rifles and carbines is more than a job-it's a passion."

And passion, we can all agree, is important. But surely Adam Lanza's sharp shooting should not be forgotten! And while it was a pretty impressive individual effort, not for nothing do Bushmaster boast that "the quality materials, quality control and craftsmanship we build into every Bushmaster rifle give it the potential for exceptional accuracy".


Really, their marketing department has not got their eye on the ball. They are letting a huge opportunity to demonstrate the brilliance of their merchandise slide right past -- almost as if they are *ashamed* to highlight the role of one of their own products!

Some might say, was it really a *fair* demonstration of its capabalities? After all, while *Lanza* was armed with this powerful, accurate, just plain FINE AND LET'S FACE IT KINDA SEXY speciman of a mass killing machine, it was NOT exactly a fair fight from the perspective of the 20 kids he killed.

Bushmaster understands. That is why, under the subheading of "Junior Corner", they point out: "The NRA Advanced Junior Shooting Camp provide an excellent opportunity to hone your rifle shooting skills."

(The young sporting shooter/mass murderer can check out the NRA's youth progams via links helpfully provided by the Bushmaster's site.)

And really, if not for all those fucking bleeding heart liberal Big Government fascists in Washington who think six-year-old kids should be denied access to high-powered assault weapons, then this terrible tragedy might have been avoided. If there is one lesson from these terrible events, it must surely be ARM THE KIDDIES!

'Children have a right to guns!' Here, enjoy 'Arm Your Children', a song from Montreal punk band Schlonk from 1990! I found it by puytting 'arm children' into YouTube's search engine! ENJOY! BUY ME A BEER SOMETIME! GO ON, YOU CAN DO IT VIA THE PAY PAL DONATE BUTTON ON THE RIGHT!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Behind the scenes at Green Left TV -- how DO these "reports" get made?

Well, my fans will be well aware that this blog has, of late, been somewhat underused. I have been so busy jet-setting all around Sydney's inner-west from one seedy pub to another in a non-stop series of open mic comedy gigs (speaking of which you *can* sign in and watch my clip at Five Minutes Live, an online comedy competition, and click like). And then there is the RANTING AND RANTING I have to do with my written and filmed Carlo's Corner for Green Left... It is all so draining...

But I thought, well, it is has been a while. What would my many fans want to know about? It it occurred to me, something of a "behind the scenes" kinda look at Green Left TV and its famous fortnightly "Green Left TV Report"!

How does the magic actually HAPPEN? How does the glory of "Carlo's Corner" come together? Do hosts Mel and Simon *really* find it amusing? Do they ever want to smile more during the show? Who the fuck designed that back drop? The questions are many.

So I thought I'd try and give you a bit of a special "insiders" look into the "making of" Green Left TV's final report for the year, filmed just this very Monday!

* * *

Well, let us start at the start!

On an evening like Monday's, which has been especially "set aside" as a night to "record" a fresh Green Left TV Report, the first task, of course, is to ACTUALLY GET TO THE STUDIOS.

Simple, you may well say, why I am sure you just GET A BUS to the famed Actively Radical Studios in the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville here in ol' Sydney Town!

Now those of you who have watched my clip on the Five Minutes Live online comedy competition, will know full well that catching a bus in Sydney is not as easy as it sounds in theory.

But as I set off in the midst of peak hour at about 5.30pm on Monday, keen as mustard to just get to the Marrickville studios and GET CRACKING WITH MY RANTING, this proved not a problem at all. I had but just goten to the bus stop on Broadway when the very bus I wanted, the 428, arrived at the stop.

And I was just about to board it when it dawned on me... I didn't actually have a FUCKING "travel ten" multi-pass FUCKING ticket and, until 7pm, you need a FUCKING GODDAMN pre-paid FUCKING GODAMN TICKET.

OK NOW FUCK... I mean REALLY. My well-laid plans of not being really late and holding up filming LIKE USUAL have already started coming unstuck. I have to miss this bus, go find a place that sells pre-paid tickets and then come back and wait for the next bus. And, as this is peak hour and many people want a 428, Sydney bus logic says there won't be one for a FUCKING LONG TIME...

So I turned my back on the bus I need, waited for what seems forever to pass *back* across Broadway and go to the newsagent to get a ticket. I told the bored bloke behind the counter I wanted a one zone ticket and he looked confused and eventually sold me the cheapest possible concession ticket, which costs $1. This means I save money, but also means he thinks I look like a student. Which, OK, I do -- but I am FUCKING 35-YEARS-OLD! I save money but lose dignity. And anyone who knows me knows just how important *dignity* is to Carlo Sands.

I made it back across the road and before too long, to my surprise and utter joy, the L28 came, which I am pretty sure is more or less the same as the 428 only a bit more express or some shit!

I now experienced a rare moment of happiness, because I will actually be more or less on time! But as we made our way down King Street in Newtown, a loud argument broke out at the back. Someone, a young, aggro lumpen bloke who just doesn’t want to take any shit, was yelling at some other guy: “What the FUCK are you looking at cunt? STOP LOOKING AT ME CUNT!”

This was met with equally loud yelling in response of “JUST TURN YOUR MUSIC DOWN! YOUR MUSIC IS TOO LOUD!” and “DON’T YOU THREATEN ME!”

This was met with the strident counter-argument of: “DO YOU FUCKING WANT TO FUCKING GO ME YOU CUNT? STOP FUCKING STARING AT ME!”

As the bus drive on, this get more and more heated and the young lumpen threatens to “FUCKING TAKE YOU, YOU CUNT!”, met with “there are a dozen witnesses SO GO ON PUNCH ME! I’LL CALL THE COPS GO ON PUNCH ME!”, itself met with “then where are you getting off you CUNT?!?” met with “STOP THREATENING ME!” met with “THEN STOP STARING AT ME YOU FUCKING CUNT!”

The louder and more aggressive this conversation gets, and the more extreme the threats of physical violence, the more intently everyone else looks stonily ahead or engages in their own quiet conversations, every other passenger committed to a united front strategy of pretending this is not happening while praying that one, or preferably both, get the FUCK OFF THE BUS ASAP.

The bus pulls up at Newtown train station amid mutual, screamed recriminations about who was going to punch who and who was going to call the cops. And before the bus driver can pull out again, down storms the man upset about loud music who just would not stop staring at that angrily young lumpen man.


And, like I am sure everyone else on the bus, I am thinking “seriously, how fucking pathetic is your life that you need to deliberately provoke and then KEEP provoking some random aggro lumpen young man just so you can storm down the bus all in a fluster and claim the high moral ground?”

Like, get yourself a more useful hobby, like finding sleeping Grisly Bears to poke. Just don’t get on a bus, stare at some aggro young bloke playing loud music, and then when he calls you a “FUCKING CUNT” and threatens to beat the shit out of you, YELL BACK AT HIM. For Christ sake, they invented FLOORS for buses so you have something to stare out in such circumstances.

The driver clearly thought the same and, for a minute or two, put up an argument about why he had no desire to call the fucking cops. But eventually he cracked, in the face of the flustering insistence that this man JUST DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE THREATENED IN SUCH A TERRIBLE WAY and reached to a phone next to his chair, and called the fucking cops.

I watched with a sinking heart thinking the same thing as everyone else on that bus: “But surely this won’t hold up the bus... surely, you can’t hold up a bus in peak hour just coz two dickheads have been screaming at each other... I mean... SURELY...”

It turns out you can.

In the middle of peak hour, the driver sat there, the bus idle, not moving while the police failed to arrive.

The entire bus was getting increasingly agitated and the quiet mutterings starting growing into a generalised “OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE!” when down came the young lumpen bloke, who has had enough himself. “Look, alright, look just let me off! I’ll go!” he says.

But no. The driver, having now called the cops, won’t open the doors to let the key source of the entire hostility OUT so the bus can move on.


I went up and started begging the driver to move on. “Just let him out so we can move! It is PEAK HOUR! I am running late! I gottta be somewhere! Come on!”

The driver said “So do I! I gotta be somewhere too!” and would not open the doors.

I thought of telling him: “But you *don’t understand*, I am *Carlo Sands*! *Carlo* Sands*! You know, Green Left TV? We have a show to record and the last one had literally *hundreds* of viewers...” but I got the sense he wouldn’t grasp the importance of what I was saying.

The driver, facing growing hysteria from passengers, kept going back to the phone to call the cops again and again. Still the cops were nowhere to be seen, still the young lumpen insisted with greater and greater aggressiveness that he just wanted to GET OFF and the only problem was “THAT CUNT JUST WOULDN’T STOP STARING AT ME” and still the bus wouldn’t move.

A pissed-off middle aged bloke in a suit, infuriated that the bus was being held up by this bullshit, came down to ask the driver: “Well then just let ME off!” And the driver refused. “YOU WON’T LET ME OFF?” No, he wouldn’t.

This guy tried pleading, he tried insisting, he tried emphasising that he had to go pick his kid up from school and just let him out so he could go catch ANOTHER FUCKING BUS... and still the bus driver refused to open the doors.

By this stage, as the driver tried calling the cops *again*, there was generalised “WHAT THE FUCK?” atmosphere growing among the passengers. Like a serious disbelief that we appeared to be prisoners... and all because two dickheads no one knew or gave a flying fuck about had started yelling at each other.

The young lumpen was now pacing up and down the bus, and when he complained a woman near me said “Well this is *your* fault” and he started shouting at her to “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” Because “YOU DON’T KNOW ME! I COULD HURT YOU! I COULD BE AN ICE ADDICT WITH A KNIFE! I COULD KILL EVERYONE! YOU DON’T KNOW! IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE HURT JUST SHUT UP!”

At which point this has become a FUCKING SAFETY issue for everyone on the bus AND STILL THE DRIVER WOULD NOT OPEN THE DOORS, meaning no one could ESCAPE this ranting lunatic who just raised the prospect of killing us all and STILL NO SIGN OF THE FUCKING COPS...

Another bloke in a suit from the back comes down the aisle and puts his arm around the young lumpen and tells him he understands but we just gotta get through this, don’t worry about all these people, relax... and it has an effect... someone talking nicely to him calms him down and he starts saying “I know, I know, you just don’t know the DAY I’ve had! It has been a terrible day and then this CUNT WAS JUST STARING AT ME!”

“I know mate, I know.”

And then... screaming across King Street, scattering peak hour traffic to make room, came a police wagon and cop car with sirens blazing... causing groans from the passengers at the extreme overkill at cops who turned up to a case of two people yelling at each other with multiple vehicles and a good handful-plus of TASER-and-gun-toting cops ... and you could see in all our eyes the question: what fresh hell will these fucking cops unleash on us?

The young lumpen bloke, however, just looked relieved that FINALLY he can get off the FUCKING BUS and waited at the still-closed front door with his hands in the air in front of him, ready to be cuffed for the crime of shouting at a CUNT WHO WOULDN’T STOP STARING AT HIM.

Cops came on, dragged him off and the passengers all shout in unison at the cops that they must ALSO TAKE THAT OTHER BASTARD TOO, the one who made the driver call the cops and was fundamentally responsible for this horror because he couldn't just IGNORE the young lumpen like any one else would.

And so the cops take him off too, while he tried to tell his story. The young lumpen, meanwhile, has been pushed, spreadeagled, against a wall, cops searching him.

And still we dodn't move. By this time, myself and the other passengers were on the verge of a riot.

STILL nothing happened. A cop stood on the steps next to the front door asking the driver questions. I was hoping the cops started asking the passengers about what happened so I could a) tell them I hoped that fucker who provoked the lumpen by staring at him rots in jail and they throw away the key, and while I am steadfastly against police brutality, if they wanted to whack him a couple of times I for one would swear to any jury I never saw a thing and b) I DON’T GIVE A FUCK I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY JUST TELL THAT FUCKING DRIVER TO FUCKING DRIVE.

But no, the cop just stood there, asking the driver questions, everyone of us unable to get off. Then he went off to ask his superior questions, and then back to the driver for more questions, then back to his superior. Then he asked the driver for his phone number. This took at least five minutes. I have never seen someone give a phone number so slowly, nor the number be accepted at such a snail’s pace.

My hopes of making it on time to record my "Carlo's Corner" were history.

The cops were by now searching the young lumpen's shoes, and still had found nothing. And a random person waiting for an entirely different bus had taken umbrage at this police harassment and started yelling at the cops to leave the spreadeagled, shoeless young man alone.

THEN FINALLY... the cops told the driver he could go. And the middle-aged bloke with a suit and a son waiting to be picked up jumped off as fast as he could. The rest of us passengers put down our pitchforks and machetes and took our seats. And the bus... peak hour traffic racing around it... finally started to move...

And as the passengers muttered curses to each other... the bus turned right too early off Enmore Road, and it dawned on me. I don’t *actually* want the L28 at all. The L28 is THE WRONG FUCKING BUS!


I eventually managed to get off at the Livingstone Hotel in Petersham, a pub that says open pretty much 24-hours and which I happen to be reasonably well acquainted with -- but that is a WHOLE OTHER story.

I trudged the long walk up to Addison Road and the venue, fielding the invevitible call as to my whereabouts. I finally made it. The rest of the Green Left TV crew were hanging around, chatting and waiting for me, so they could get the last thing done and fucking go home.

I opened the beer that is a permanent prop in my Green Left TV rants -- because as I always say, if you are going to have a prop, make it one that feeds your alcoholism. And I fucking drank deeply.

Then they pointed a camera at me and I started yelling. I took my anger out on Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, who deserves it. But, really, I was still just pissed off at that sad desperate pathetic git who tried to make himself feel important by getting into a yelling match with a young lumpen who had a bad day and "WILL NOT TURN MY FUCKING MUSIC DOWN YOU CUNT! WHAT ARE YOU STARING AT YOU CUNT! FUCK YOU CUNT!"

And then, that done, we went to the pub. And so that is pretty much the story of how the Green Left TV Report is made! Obviously there is a bit more to it than that. Some other people have to actually do a shit load of "editing" and what have you. Obviously *they* didn't go to the pub! They had work to do!

But in essence that is it! I hoped you enjoyed this little "insight" into the whole process. Here is a song by Hayes Carll! It doesn't really relate to the story, I just really like Hayes Carll.

'The cops all got your number, the bars all know your name...' Hayes Carll is singing my song. Interesting Hayes Carll-related fact -- I am actually *wearing* a Hayes Carll T-shirt in that clip of my doing stand up on Five Minutes Live! You know, that competition you can sign in, watch me and click "like" in! TRUE STORY!

UPDATE: You can now watch the episode of Green Left TV Report mentioned in this post below... Watch the whole thing, but shuold you really just wanna bit of Carlo Yelling Action, I start the angriness at 17.07.