Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Beyond Saturn's Rings.

One of the many benefits of having gotten into Minor Threat is that, on the rare occasions that i do now drink, i end up drinking one beer, whereupon i pass out on the floor, and wake up half way through an Om record.

I mean, Om are pretty good, so it isn't a huge problem really.

At the moment I am grappling with a general melancholy. This isn't really a bad, depressive melancholy, but rather one that comes about as a result of having nothing to do.

Days tend to stretch out toward infinity. As much as i try to have plans for the day, there still seems to be long stretches of time where i find myself sitting on the coach, staring at the wall, thinking about the various complexities of boredom. While this is kind of interesting, I feel it probably has a limit.

I remember Brendan quoted some anarchist book the other month about the necessity of having secret plans. The past few weeks, following uni, I have been trying to convince myself that it might in fact be important to have no plans.

We are hard wired to believe that we have to have plans, or goals, at which to strive. If we don't the implication is that we are somehow failing at something, namely life. The result of this is that people who find themselves in situations where they suddenly have NOTHING TO DO in a slightly more severe existential sense (different from the Sunday arvo nothing to do) do one of two things: travel, or go on to do further study. This allows one to post pone questions about life direction for a later, more convenient date.

So i have no secret plans, other than vague intentions and desires to write creatively again, for the first time since i was about 12. Considering the last time i was writing seriously, i was writing about wizards, i am having a hard time playing catch up. I fucking love wizards. Please note this is before the term 'wizard' was besmirched by teenage boy wizards. I'm talking full on, bearded, with big staff wizard. Anyway.

So i guess, to state things in their most cleched form, i need more direction, and more goal oriented thoughts. I ride my bike a lot, and that takes up a lot of my time, but i feel it's pretty important i have something else to do, lest i begin to despise the thing i like the most.

In an attempt to formulate secret plans, i have had the opportunity to do a fair bit of thinking about thinking up secret plans. The kind of thinking where, if i was a smoker, i imagine i would make my way through two cartons a day while i thought about thinking.

Ironically, most of the thinking i have done while doing nothing has centred around how crucial it seems for me to have things to do during the day before i sink into an abyss of nihilistic, oppressive melancholy. This in turn ties into the feeling one has that one must be DOING THINGS at all times, for fear of WASTING TIME. Wasting time is a really hard one for me. I'm very good at doing it, and incredibly hard on myself when i do so. You would think that it would be possible to sit back and enjoy a few days of doing nothing in particular, after a hard year of study.

But the minute you do, the world loses its form and shape. Beliefs and goals begin to seem abstract, pointless, and self indulgent (which is ironic, given the nature of this post). Time passes quickly, so the day seems to have gone by in a flash, but each hour is agonisingly slow.

It's certainly reminded me how important plans and goals are in giving metaphysical shape to the world. Without an idea of where you stand, and where you might like to go in relation to that point, you kind of drown in a world without a centre or perspective.

It reminds me of the fear people felt when it first emerged that the world might in fact not be at the centre of the universe but, rather, simply a point in an endless, borderless universe. With no centre, or border, there was no possible way to position yourself in relation to the rest of the world. So people made things smaller. Ideas of the solar system started to be kicked around, beyond which there were notions of infinity, but placed in such a way that they didn't directly affect our sense of selves.

You need to position yourself in the world, so you can see where you might be headed. You need a secret plan. Otherwise you suddenly find yourself in a borderless world, of limitless possibilities. It's that very freedom that traps and suffocates you.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Worlds.

You know when you go see a show of some band you only just heard of, which you think might be interesting, but don't really expect much?

Yeh. I just saw one of the best shows of my life from a band that i heard of an hour earlier. Recorded their stuff is solid, but not mind blowing. Live, i could barely grapple with how good they were. The Northcote Social Club has never been more fun.

The singer is this fucking crazy girl who literally defines the term 'showman'.

Fuck, it was fucking amazing.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Infinite Jest.

Being away from the internet for three days is the equivalent to not seeing a good friend for a year: you don't know where you stand in relation to this person, they are really different and into new things, they have a new sense of humour, and you spend the better half of an hour trying to play catch up in a vain attempt to still be in their good books.

So you can understand my surprise when Chaz took some time off from his usual excellent coverage of anything and everything to mention some stuff about philosophy and, most bizarrely of all, me as well.

One great thing about being stupid enough to complete a degree in philosophy is that the way people consider you is divided into two groups. There is the open hostility and anger at your blatantly taking up precious tax dollars, when it could be funding wars and stuff. Then there is the perception that you are somehow very, very smart with a mystic's knowledge of the UNIVERSE and EVERYTHING.

This is of course wrong. I don't know anything other than how to handle some puzzles that some dudes who lived thousands of years ago started grappling with. They didn't really have any immediate results, and so people with nothing better to do started engaging with the fuckwittery. This continued for two and half thousand years, with no real discernible progress.

Now, generally if you start a job, and you haven't achieved anything by the afternoon, you approach the task differently. Philosophy has done this many times, with so called 'revolutions' designed to approach the same old problems differently.

There were the Ancient Greeks (who really just formalised problems being grappled with by the great poets like Homer and Hesiod - look into it, fascinating stuff) then the Ne0-Platonists, the vice like grip of Aristotelian world views for the better part of a millennium and a half, the Cartesians, the Idealists, and the most recent linguistic turn (by recent i mean in the past 100 years).

Using these different methods we 'solved' a lot of problems. Except the method that came afterwards just debunked the past method. So we find ourselves in the late afternoon of the proverbial philosophical day, and all we have achieved is the equivalent of sharpening our pencil, doodled on three or four bits of paper, made a coffee, and finally walked the dog, only to come back and find a newly sharpened pencil next to a blank page.

There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but it does make you wonder what the fuck is going on. Philosophy is very good at cocooning itself into a world where the questions being answered are ones that no one really gives a fuck about anyway, other than other philosophers. We have world views and methods that, while neat and beautiful, don't reflect the interests of the average human being.

So when Chaz paints me as somehow knowledgeable about 'stuff', i get uncomfortable because, really, all i have achieved in my degree is highlight how much i don't know. This is old ground that i have covered before, but it really is true. I'm not particularly skilled at anything. I'm ok academically, but not brilliant. I'm ok on a bike, but nothing to write home about. I can kinda write, but i get bored easily and don't proof read. Finally, i love music, but can't play any instruments, and have no musical skill to speak off, other than my sweet death metal growl.

So, I kinda know my way around, but can't really settle down with anything. Philosophy is good like that, because it allows you to ruminate about specific problems that can then be expanded to take on Everything.

Most distressing of all is Chaz directed all his devoted followers to this blog as being about Heavy Metal and Cycling. It used to be like that. It has somehow turned into an egotistical clusterfuck, where i just rant about anything that happens to be on my mind. This is problematic and unfortunate. I apologise.

So, Chaz, sorry, I don't have any answers about anything. I wish i did. I'll keep trying though.

Also, if, for want of something to say in a philosophical context, you ever do take my advice and yell 'Socrates!' and punch someone in the face, please don't credit me with the inspiration.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Paris Is Burning.

There were some surprises, and some non-surprises at Meredith Music Festival this weekend gone.

Amongst the non-surprises were, in no particular order: the number of white people, the amount of misplaced raving about Grinderman, the lack of vegan food, the amount of bullshit vegetarian food, the amount of mind altering substances at large, etc.

Amongst the surprises were: heaps more bogans than i thought, lots of sweet utes, decent coffee, more kids than i imagined and, finally, that i actually had a good time, and didn't particularly want to go home.

The bands I wanted to see were great. Ladyhawke ruled and proved, once again, that really good pop can be a wonderful thing. Mudhoney proved that grunge can rok, in the right way.

Bands like Off!, Grinderman, and Explosions in the Sky were bands i wasn't expecting to like, but did with varying levels of enjoyment.

But, bizarrely, the mythos behind Meredith, of which i had been so disparaging and sceptical about...namely the holier than thou hipster 'no dickhead policy', turned out to be far less sinister and, in some cases, enjoyable.

People were largely speaking friendly and polite. The music was enjoyable, and there weren't any nationalistic, patriotic, racist or sexist exploits. It was surprising, and kinda rad.

Yeh, there was a lot of hard drug taking that i wanted no part of, but even that manifested itself in the most benign way possible: "Dude, Explosions in the Sky were AMAZING!"

"Sure dude, cool. Glad you're having fun."

So in conclusion: consider my head officially pulled in. Meredith was fun, despite my best attempts not to have any.

Oh, and the toilets were great.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ruler of all of Life!

There isn't anything much more confronting than staggering into the front door, after having totally punished yourself on the bike in a weekend of brutal racing, than for your housemate to look up, mildly curious, (after having played ten straight hours of Zelda) and ask: "How was the ride?"

This is, of course, normal. Anything that involves bike riding, for the uninitiated, is simply riding, rather than racing. If i were to explain the difference, they wouldn't understand, and would probably care even less.

So I am back from the Tour of Bright. It went quite well. I am a little disappointed in the way i climbed, insofar as i could never find a rhythm, and was significantly slower than i was hoping. But i had a good time, and learnt a lot, that I will certainly be taking back with me next year.

The real star of the race, however, was of course Gene Mills. Gene faded a little in the last few kilometres of Hotham, but that was only after destroying the first third of it. I have never come across someone as willing and able to put himself in the hurt box, and then keep going. Sheer grit and determination got him through, and to quite a respectable finish! Let's not forget, of course, that Gene has been riding bikes for about two year, and only racing them for just over six months. It was a pleasure to watch you race Gene Mills. Next time though, bring your god damn helmet.

Rather than making me a little downtrodden at not having climbed as well as i was hoping, I am increasingly inspired to keep working to get better. As i have mentioned previously, next year is pretty free for me, and so i figure a few of those time gaps can be filled with riding bikes.

Maybe next year at Bright, i can get in the top 20, or perhaps even the top 10 if i work hard enough. That might be fun!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The World That You Despise.

After house sitting for my mum yet again, I can finally conclude that I am not meant to spend much time by myself. Rather than doing anything productive, I just eat too much and watch Hilary Duff movies. It's not so much the watching that is problematic, but my reaction at the end whereby i sit in front of the television, maybe sipping on some tea and think, 'yes, yes, that was actually not a bad film. Cinderella Story got quite a bad rap from the critics back in 2004. Thoroughly undeserved'.

These are, of course, the first rants of a madman, and so i can say with some relief that I am leaving the cultural wasteland of the Southside within the day. I won't be there long though because I'm off to Bright to race.

This is kinda what i have been training for (or trying to during my honours year) the past four of five months, so I'm both excited and a bit nervous. I want to do well, but I'm also very aware of the calibre of rider that is going to be out there this weekend.

As it stands, my tentative goals at the moment are to finish the Tour overall, as well as to finish in the top half up the Hotham stage. I think this is achievable.

When i get back, I reckon I'll take a few days off, and then take stock. Already i have vague plans for the new year and beyond that are bike related. But for now, Hotham awaits!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Redundant.

The first record i ever owned was Green Day's Nimrod.

It was 1998 and i was nine, in grade four. My friend Thomas, who was much smarter than me, recommended it. I didn't really know how to get a CD, so he gave it to me for Christmas.

I fucking loved that record. It was raw (comparatively speaking), there were heaps of swear words, and it made me think (for the first time) that shit could be done differently to how it was done by my parents.

Cos we only had one stereo, I had to ask permission to listen to it, cos Mum and Dad didn't much care for it. They usually let me though. So there I would be, in the living room, with the door closed, reading the liner notes. I would try and work out what the fuck they were singing about, knowing vaguely it was about stuff i didn't understand yet - and yet i would always get this shiver of excitement when i heard the work 'fuck'.

This was at a time when baggy pants, skate shoes, and chain wallets were the epitome of cool for ten year old, so i of course wanted in.

I slowly, through nagging and closet negotiation, managed to get my hands on some baggier pants, some shoes that kinda-sorta-looked like skate shoes - but i never got a chain wallet cos Mum said they were dumb. She was right, but i wasn't to know.

The final touch was a skateboard, and gelled up hair.

Very, very briefly, I was cool. Nimrod was the catalyst for change - that made me realise things could be largely defined by what I was interested in, and what i wanted to wear.

Afterwards, because everyone who liked Green Day liked the The Living End and The Offspring, I figured I would too. I didn't, in fact i hated it.

Music drifted away for a while. I got into computer games and a bit of bike riding. Until I heard Metallica for the first time, Green Day had been the only band I ever gave a fuck about.

I like to think they started something that (despite a bit of a lull between 10 and 15) set the course to ultimately change my life.

I remember thinking, when I heard Dead Kennedys for the first time, and other bands like Minor Threat, after years of listening to nothing but pounding blast beats and walls of guitar that, maybe, maybe, i had come full circle.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Where To Now, Grace?

So i finished my degree. I'd like to say that it ended with my realising the ways of the universe, but all i can say for sure is that, in fine Socratic form, i know a lot less then i thought i did. And, while we're on the topic, I'm still not sure what knowing is.

But never mind.

I had this moment this arvo when i realised, unlike other years where the end of a academic year (while cause for celebration) is always structured with the promise of more structure the next year. Not so now. My entire life is stretching out before me, it's structure waiting to be formed...by me.

That's an intimidating prospect, especially when your plans for the first year are usually expressed like: "Um, yeh, might ride my bike a bit."

I'm gonna need more than that, and I already have some plans in the works. I have an essay i want to write that's been in my head for a long time now. Once i manage to write it, I'm going to try and get it published by someone (if i think it's good enough which, lets face it, is unlikely).

But there it is: as de rigeur as it is, my life is stretching out before my eyes with (while not limitless potential) enough freedom to both scare and excite the crap out of me, like no other concept.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Boulder.

Sometimes I feel, if i stare into space long enough, that i can see the ideas in my head.


Man, i don't think this library is a healthy place to be anymore.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

This is Myself!

Today, at i sat in the library, slowly going mad, I began to get a real pain in my stomach. A kind of tightness around my whole upper body, that feels like it's smothering every breath i take.

You know you're in trouble when philosophical ideas start to cause physical harm to the body. I mean, it happened to Nietzsche:


To be fair, he also had syphilis, but you get the point.

I'm so close now, everything i have been working for is so close to finally being finished, i can physically feel my body holding out for the end, so it can finally let go.

I jut hope it doesn't totally give out on me, leaving me with a broken husk for the Tour of Bright. Yeh, that would suck.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Never Ending Tunnel.

I swear, when i finish this god damn honours year of mine, I will never do another essay in my life. I can't bear to look at my computer screen anymore, and anything i write sounds like total shit.

I have to hand in my thesis in 12 days and, in between that time, i have to hand in another ten thousand words, five of which i am yet to write.

Hear that?

Yeh, that's the sound of my balls breaking.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Memory Lane

I've often wondered why it always seems to be pop songs that come to define certain moments in my life, rather than music i actually enjoy, pursue, listen to often.

I suppose, now that i actually take the time to think about it, it's largely due to the song's fleetingness. It's on the radio for a few months, I hear it a fair bit, probably listen to it a bit secretly, and then it's gone. Hearing it again some years later, it reminds you of the time when it was secreting out the air waves.

This of course never happens with Slayer. Slayer doesn't remind me of a time, or a smell. Because Slayer is timeless. They are there always and forever, and thus cannot represent a particular time or place.

With this in mind i present to you the pop songs that have so far represented a time in my life that i now look back on with nostalgia:


This song reminds me of getting up really early to watch Couch Potato on ABC. I think it started at seven, but i of course was way too excited about the prospect of watching it. So i would get up at like five thirty, and sit puzzled as i sat through an hour and half of Rage. I could never work out why the fuck people would get up soooo early to watch music videos about partying at night. It never occured to me that Generation X was stumbling home at 5 in the morning, flannel covered in chunder, to watch Shampoo with a glazed expression. Meanwhile, Generation Y was sitting there in a onsie, eating cereal, eyes the size of plates, trying to make sense of a world it just wasn't ready for.


I think this was released in 99, and all i reminds me of is pools, strange tween partying, and feeling confused. Also, my Dad really liked this song, and he would do this weird 1960's jive to it, much to my total embarrassment.


This song was released just as I was moving to Italy, so my old man could set up the Monash centre in Italy. I really didn't wanna go. I was in grade 6, i had heaps of friends, girls were just kind beginning to make sense, i was happy. I didn't wanna go to some country (where i had been before anyway) and start all over again. I was pretty depressed about the whole prospect. Thus this song is always kinda melancholy for me. I also recall wearing some epic cargo pants and skate shoes during this period in my life.


This little pearler came out while I was living in Italy. I don't think it was such a big hit in Australia, but in the summer of 2002 in italy it was THE hit. You couldn't go five minutes without hearing it. It was the World Cup, Italy had been knocked out by South Korea, it was fucking hot all the time, and i drank a lot of ice tea. In Italy, during the summer, all the italians fuck off to Germany and stuff, so the city literally empties. In Florence, there are usually more Americans than italians. The streets are bare, silent, and kind haunting. There is this timeless, sleepy nature to a European summer. This song reminds me of the empty streets, the crowds huddled around the tv in bars watching the soccer, the feeling that the world was standing still.


I was 15, total nerd, no music taste, Gwen Stefani was a babe. A cultural wasteland of a year.


I'm aware i said metal doesn't feature as representative of parts of my life. There is one exception: when i actually discovered metal existed. It was 2005 and i was on some biology camp. My friend Morgan, gave a me a bunch of cd's to listen to. I liked Morgan, but i was scared about his music tastes. I was a studious nerd, with no real interest in music. I liked books, computer games, and the occasional movie. Hearing Metallica for the first time was utterly life changing. James Hetfield's snarling vocals took me by surprise, but the aggression, the hatred in his voice (and I can't believe I'm saying this) spoke to me. I suppose to an extent the old cleche of the angry nerd was partially true. But, suddenly, this rage didn't have to be suppressed, it could be explored, and even celebrated. Safe to say, things have never been the same.


Back to shit pop. This was a huge hit in 2007, at least for kids my age. When i hear this song, I remember 18ths, being way to drunk than i should have been, laughs, stressing about year 12, trying to talk to girls, then remembering you have braces, long hair, acne, and a sweet Metallica shirt, with the logo in fluro green.


This is why i like pop music. It's so fleeting, that i comes to define the moment in your life in which it was released. Songs become time lines, time lines become stories, and suddenly your own vision of your life takes on this linear, clarified narrative.

But yeh, Slayer sums up my life.



Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Hate For You Is A Fucking Obsession.

Two of the search phrases that brought people to this blog are 'death metal shoes' and 'fixie nerds'.

While I'm aware that people interested in the above must be my demographic, it doesn't mean it hurts any less when you have the fact confirmed.

Onto other things though...

Seeing the actions of Victoria's police on Friday at the Occupy Melbourne protest got me pretty mad. One because i couldn't be there, and secondly, because it made me sick. A friend of mine who was there saw a cop bash a young 14 year old kid around the head with a baton. Seeing the screams of terror or some protesters as up to four large men dragged them away in a chokehold, was pretty awful viewing.

I don't care what you think about the cause, it's irrelevant. Everyone has the right to protest, regardless of how abstract a concept they take issue with. Refusing to move from a place of protest does not mean the Mayor can order the cops to clear these people out.

The fact that Robert Doyle had the cheek to look down from his fucking office window, as if he was some French nobleman, as young kids had their teeth kicked in, was enough for me. He might do well to remember what happened to a lot of those guys

The blatant misrepresentation of the protesters as lefty hippies is expected. What isn't is that a lot of reasonable people are falling for it. Friends who's opinion i respect, and who basically see eye to eye with a lot of what i think, commit the ultimate crime by accepting the narrative that mainstream media paint of the protesters, with a view to making them 'others'. So they appear strange, unkempt, not in line with the general public.

As i rode past city square with Brendan today, since being 'returned to the people of Melbourne' as Doyle put it, i was surprised to see it had been cordoned off and was being guarded. It was less accessible then when it was occupied.

I don't really know what's going in terms of the global movement, and i wonder whether more violent clashes are ahead of us. What i do know is that finally, finally, i seem to be living in a world where people give a fuck. The fact that the first protest failed is irrelevant. If it let's people know that not everyone accepts the status quo, then that in itself is a success.

I think it might be an interesting summer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spittle and Rum.

I spent about 15 minutes in a break away this evening in the local crit. When we finally got caught, i still felt good, and tried to set myself up for the win. With half a lap to go, i boxed myself in, and thus fucked up the sprint.

I don't really mind losing cos of something stupid i did, and having the fitness to sit in a breakaway for a while was good for confidence. Overall, it was a nice evening, followed by burritos, which is ok by me.

The team work required for a breakaway is strange. There were three of us. Steve i knew, and some guy bloke i didn't. Steve had gone off by himself originally. He was sitting out there for a bit, all by himself, until i decided to cross over to him, with old mate following me. We saw that we had a gap of a few seconds at the top of the hill. Young bloke just looked at us and just asked: "We going?" "Yeh, let's hit it!" I said. So we did. We worked together for as long as we could, on the rivet, sucking in as much air as we could. When we got caught, seeing the pain on the chasers group's faces felt really fucking good.

There's something primal about knowing you caused another person considerable pain. It's considered a bad thing in today's society, generally speaking. When you can do it legitimately, it's fun to explore the emotion.

Man, who would have thought bike racing could be so subtle and complex.



A Higher Hill.

Thrash 'til Death. Now and forever.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shotgun.

You might think the most urgent issue in human affairs is, perhaps, the imminent collapse of the global economy. You might, on the other hand, consider the environment to be the most pressing state of affairs.

You are of course wrong. The most worrying trend in human history of the past few years in the substitution of anti-establishment punk rock for synth pop in extreme sport videos.

You know the sort, the skate vids, the BMX vids, where young kids do rad shit, to sweet tunes. Once upon a time you would have found Venom, Gorilla Biscuits, Metallica, Black Flag, Slayer, Minor Threat (to name a few) as the soundtrack to these vids.

Now, on the other hand, we are faced with variations of indie pop, synth, dance, dub step etc. I refuse to accept this.

Given the situation, we can acknowledge there being two potential reasons for the above:

Firstly, different kinds of kids are doing these sports. Secondly, extreme sports have evolved to be part of the mainstream. Or both.

I don't much care to find out which one is true, because both prospects are as horrifying as the other. If different kids are getting into it, what are the other kids doing now? If extreme sports are being accepted, which sports are extreme?

As far as I'm concerned this is all bullshit and will be settled once double denim is taken back by those who it belongs to.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sacrifice!

Sometimes I worry that, what with the popularity of orthadontics for those who can afford it, the state of people's teeth will be yet another marker between the working and middle classes.

Sometimes I also wonder why I haven't got a Slayer tattoo yet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The House That Jack Built.

Not that you asked or anything, but the reason my updates have slowed is because my honours year is reaching somewhat of a peak at the moment. While my thesis is largely finished, i have to write a lot of other essays in the next four weeks.

One is about fatalism, another about Rorty and his politics, and the last one is about the difference between ontological and common sense metaphysical claims.

It's all systems go!

At the moment my days are reassuringly regular. I get up, eat food, go to uni, work for three hours or so in the library, eat a quick lunch, go back the library for another three or four hours (sometimes i have class in which case i go to that) then i go home, bury myself on my bike, eat food, then go to sleep.

The easy option would be to complain that it's boring. But, really, it isn't. I get to think about really interesting ideas for most of the day, write a few badly composed words about them, then go home and ride my bike.

Since realising that my feeling bad on the bike lately was due to a lack in iron, I have been topping up on that lately, and have generally felt like i could smash through walls. I'm getting fitter weekly, and i feel strong on the bike.

In short, I'm enjoying my academic work, and my body is working well. Oh, and it's day light saving, so it's lighter for longer, and the weather is getting warmer.

What's not to fucking love?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Deliverance!

I have always assumed that things will kind of work out for me as i get older.

However as i get a bit older, and just as I'm about to finish up my philosophy degree, the old, cliché turns out to be true. The more you're certain of, the less you know.

Sometimes I try and picture myself in ten years, and I can't see myself at all. I have no inkling of where I'll be, with whom, for what reasons, or how long I'll be there for.

This is, to some degree, kind of exciting. I feel like at this point in my life, my path could take very different routes, depending on some choices i make. It also means that i could make some serious mistakes, and end up somewhere i never wanted or intended to be.

But i think that might be the point.


Oh, and while I'm here, I will be going to this. Folks, the system is broke. If you aren't angry, then you should be. Let's make them sweat a little.

Monday, October 3, 2011

End Rant.

Angry Anderson sings in a band that represents everything i despise about pub rock.

He is also a right wing, bigoted idiot.

Fuck you Angry Anderson. Take a lesson about how to rock.



Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cruel Beginning.

When you have a Garmin cycle computer, you can upload it on the internet. All your data, where you went, what your heart rate was, your speed, your cadence...anything really, can be uploaded all onto one site. Thousands of people do it from all over the world. The front page of the site tells you little interesting stats about the collective garmin usership. For example, if you add up all the kilometres travelled by people with garmins, it's enough kilometres to have gone to the moon and back several thousand times. And enough calories burned for something like a billion lollies.

So, yeh, sometimes i wonder whether Garmin is selling all this data to governments, so that they can have the most detailed data system about global athletes ever made. I'm not sure why governments would want this in the first place, but I'm prepared to believe that it's happening. ASIO could learn a lot from my training habits, so they know exactly where to get me when I'm most vulnerable, like on Kew Boulie at 9pm, or when I've been dropped by Gene on a hill and I don't have anyone to protect me.

Yeh, I often wonder about that.

Monday, September 26, 2011

As The Guards March Me Out To The Courtyard.

As pathetic as it may seem, the closest I have probably been to a religious experience, was when i first saw Iron Maiden.

Despite the years listening to music, and the changes in taste I have undergone, Iron Maiden remains a staple.

Nothing has ever, repeat never, come close to the experience of seeing them on stage. To say iot was transcendental is embarrassing, but true. It will be a time i remember until the day i die.

To be fair, it was perhaps the crowds response that was most exciting. Everyone was incredibly happy to see this band after 16 years. I have never heard a roar so loud.

But as i listen to more punk music, and move away from the 'stock metalheads soundtrack', I can't move away from Iron Maiden. Something in their music moves me in a way that I can't put a finger on.

An Iron Maiden concert is like the theatre. The music is just one part of the entire spectacle. Costume changes, fireworks, lazers-things that are largely rejected as pompous by almost all my favourite bands-are things that make an Iron Maiden concert seem larger than life, as if you are seeing a true show. Not only that, but Bruce has a way of making it seem as if the show is for you, and that you two alone feel this surge of pure unadulterated joy. But then you look around, and you aren't alone. You're surrounded by people who feel exactly the same.

All these people who have entirely forgotten where they are, for a moment spell bound by this unifying moment.

It's pretty bizarre that a band like Maiden has created this phenomenon. I certainly don't understand it, or have any inclination to find out.

It's just a bit magical.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Coming Of The Storm.

You Can Roll Your Eyes!

And For A Second

When you live in a different country, especially one that speaks another language, you find that you develop a different personality, to fit that particular country.

When I lived in Italy, I had my 'Italian' personality, where certain ways of thinking, speaking, and gesturing were the norm. I also had my Australian personality, which manifested itself differently. Being a kid probably made this even more noticeable.

When it gets to the point when you begin to think in Italian, to see structure and patterns in the world differently than you would have in the Australian context, things become interesting.

I would often go to school, where my thought processes and real world interactions did not even come near my Australian self. The longer you stay in that place, the stronger that character becomes. I imagine if I had stayed, my Australian self would have slowly disappeared, until I was simply an Italian kid.

I remember sitting in the plane in early 2003, on the way home to Australia, being very excited about going home, but also aware that the personality i had developed in Italy, and spent so long despising, had recently become an important part of the way I looked at the world.

As the plane sped up, that roar it makes just before take off filling my ears, I recall being sadly melancholy, despite my excitement. As I watched the suburbs of Rome slip away behind cloud banks, I think i felt a bit torn between worlds. I had spent most of my life in Australia, but some important formative ones in Italy. I guess this limbo lasted the course of the flight.

We we arrived at Tullamarine airport, and eventually hopped into a taxi to head home, the driver turned around and looked at us. He was an older Australian bloke.
"Where to guys?"
"Elsternwick thanks."
"No worries!

I'm not sure what it was, but that phrase, said in that particular accent brought back all these memories of home, and I distinctly remember feeling my Italian self almost die entirely in that one moment. That way of speaking, thinking, and expressing myself seemed a million miles away. It just didn't mesh with the world i was in now.

Occasionally I find snippets of the remnants of that frame of mind. Little turns of phrase, or ways in which i tackle certain problems. But for the most part, James the italian kid is gone.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Strike Of Midnight.

When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a writer. At around the age of 12, after writing the start of dozens of stories, and finishing none of them, I realised it was really hard, and dismissed the idea.

Since then I have held vague ideas about doing some profession which requires me to use my brain, and not much else.

However, with my increasing interest in all things mechanical in the past three years, and my re-emerging interest in the written word (creative rather than academic) I think maybe I should be re-routing my life in another direction.

That's what next year is for. No uni, no structure. I'm gonna ride bikes, fix bikes, read books, and write stuff. Knowing me I am fairly certain I will run into patches of despair, creative depression, rage and probably indifference.

But I'll get through it. Who knows what new skills I might have by the end of next year?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Riders of the North




You know when a band you love turns out to represent awful politics or hate? Yeh....I hate that.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Don't Waste Your Time.

I fucking love watching Iron Maiden footage from central and south America. It truly overshadows any western crowd.

Then to observe all the old, battle hardened metal heads, acknowledge that they really are living through the 'golden years'.


Gone Are The Days.

Today I rode about a bit on my track bike, had lunch on Sydney Rd, came home, had a coffee, lounged around reading Ulysses, and listened to Bane.

It was fucking pleasant.

As the heat of the day permeated around the city, and that hot wind cut through the wide streets of Northside, I couldn't but help be stirred a bit.

Summer's been a long time coming.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Best Friends By My Side.

So i finished my first Northern Combine season by getting dropped on the same course i got fifth on in my first race.

It kinda sucked. Rather than getting better this winter, i seem to have only gone backwards, and I can't understand why.

I have decided two things though: if things don't come good within a month, I am seeing a doctor, pulling out of Tour of Bright (cos I have better things to do then pay money to get dropped), and just ride about a bit with no structure. Then, next year, i am going to get a program, stick to it, and see what happens.

It makes me excited about what I might achieve.

Friday, September 16, 2011

God Damn!

Today my friend and housemate Cat, brought a cat home.

It's name is Captain, it is sort of brownish, has funny markings, and is social as all hell. It also tried to climb the chimney, and failed.

It seems to have taken a liking to me, but i suspect that is more due to my not having gone out to party tonight.

At the moment it is sitting in bed with me, cleaning itself, and getting its fur all over my belongings.

He seems quite pleasant.

I'm a bit worried about the logistics of having a cat in a share house, especially given the attention span of my particular house mates.

That being said, i got a good feeling about this cat (in that it behaves a bit like a dog) and I suspect Captain and I are going to be good friends.

He also seems to like hardcore.


Lucky he's a boy, i don't see many girls in that scrum.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Outside of the Rider's Domain

Brendan said that a post i did a few days ago read like "a bad extract from Kurt Cobain's diary".

Fair enough, I'll try and refrain from the cardigan vibe.

As most of you know I have been going fairly crazy over the band Wolves in the Throne Room. When i write my thesis (which is every day) i tend to listen to them, and sometimes Burzum, as it creates a nice background 'white noise' kinda vibe, which actually helps me think.

Despite loving their music, I am aware that these guys are class A wankers. Punk kids way too into deep ecology, they have built up an entire philosophical repertoire by which to live. This is to be admired, partly because, just like Fugazi, they actually follow through with their way of life. This involves living on a farm in Washington state, producing their own food, and by and large ignoring the capitalist, consumerist society which they live in. They have even taken steps to limit where they play, when they do, and how much it costs (again, kinda like Fugazi).

But, they also say kind ridiculous stuff about the nature of black metal. They have rejected the US 'scene', stating it is a far more solitary pursuit than that. This i can accept as true. But saying things like "If you listen to black metal, but you don't know what phase the moon is in, or which flowers are in bloom, you have missed the point."

This has led to a lot of hipster fans to get upset. Partly because they live in upstate New York, and there are no wild forests through which to wander. And while what the band says is kinda wanky, it's also kinda true insofar as black metal requires more of the listener than your average power pop band.

Not because it's inherently elitist, but because you have to engage much more with it before you come to understand it. So it becomes difficult to jump on the black metal bandwagon when the music is so immediately inaccessible. And while we might think what the band is doing is a bit over the top, a bit pompous, we can't help but acknowledge that they are taking their deep ecology, eco feminist, green anarchy, to its logical conclusion. They believe their music is a gateway to the natural world, and a closer affinity with it. This makes it harder to talk about liking the music, but not the message, as a lot of trend jumping tends to do. After all, it's the image that you want to convey, not an appreciation for the music itself.

This is why I don't think BM will stay in the cool kids repertoire for long. Kinda like riding a track bike on the street, its inherently too time consuming, too annoying, and too difficult to do, if all you wish to achieve is seem cool. There are easier and better ways to do it.

But for the few people who hold on, who get it, there's an amazing world waiting for them. A world where it almost seems as if time stands still.




Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hell, I Wanna Know.

Today I woke up and felt like, to quote Bilbo Baggins, "butter spread over too much bread."

Sore, lethargic, tired, it was all i could do to not stay in bed. The presence of strangers in the bak garden holding chain saws (that's another story) was enough, however, to get me up and about.

But, it makes me wonder. Sure, i raced hard on Sunday, did a bit of lifting on Monday, and rode a bit on Tuesday...but it's hardly as if my physical schedule is off the chain. What the fuck is wrong with me? Is my body just unable to cope with physical stress?

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fuck You and Your College Dream.

So I raced the first ever cyclocross state championships on Sunday.

I raced rubbish, hurt a lot, and old mate Munners won it in fine style.

The real lesson I'm taking home from the whole cyclocross season is the necessity for me to warm up properly.

Every race I have done well in, I have warmed up really well beforehand. Cross racing and its social aspect does me no favours here, where i mill about, fuck about, and before i know it, i have to race.

In cross racing, the heart rate spikes from the first minute, and never lets up, so I never have a chance to recover from my lactic thresh hold.

Every race i spend the first 15-20 minutes feeling like death, lose heaps of time to other racers, then by about 25 minutes in i come good, begin to gain ground, but by then it's too late.

Sunday's race panned out much like that but, as the race went on, i could feel my self getting angrier. Largely due to frustration at my shit position, but also just from the race itself. I felt angry, and toward the end, I started pushing the pedals down harder, my frustration ignoring my bodily pain.

It's made me think. I was once an angry person, when i was younger. Since then I've calmed down dramatically. But maybe it would be better to bring back that rage when i race.

Maybe it would make me go faster. And that's gotta be a good thing.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Farewell to Great Friends

It's much, much easier to not care, to dismiss a problem as beyond your means, or your control.

But i find, when it's easiest not to care, it's indicative of when it is most important to take a fucking stand.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Full Capabilities

One thing that I have noticed with the onset of my taking racing more seriously, as well as eating a vegan diet, is my taking immense pleasure from supposedly boring foods.

So, I wanna talk about Heinz baked beans. My love affair started in the hours after the Hell of the West road race a few months ago. I had been dropped hard, spent about two hours by myself, and had crossed the line dazed and famished. On the way home, we stopped at a servo, and Brendan suggested we get some beans.

I have always been pretty snobby about canned foods, figuring they must be gross. But i was so hungry and so tired, I didn't think twice. I ate those baked beans cold, with my finges, in the back of Brendan's car, as he and Sam Mcgregor talked about something or other.

The taste was so overwhelmingly good, i wolfed the entire can in about five minutes, and immediately wanted more. Since then, I have been eating about three of those cans a week, generally eating half a can for breakfast, usually with spinach on toast.

And i look forward to it every freakin morning! Since becoming vegan, little parts of my diet that i once wouldn't have considered difficult to find (like treats) are suddenly precious discoveries. I can't scoff any old chocolate, so finding one that you can immediately becomes a little ritual.

Brendan Brazier is right about one thing. As my diet has changed (largely for the better) I have started craving good foods, like i once craved sugary ones. Sometimes i get home and all i can think about is salad, or avocado...or beans.

I imagine this could be related back to some kind of lesson relating to the 'simple pleasures in life', but I don't feel like making any connections today.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Turn it Up

If anyone ever asks you to route the cables for a di2 setup through the down tube of a bike...say no.

Assuming you only have your one life to offer with which to complete this task.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tell 'Em Where You're From

An aspect of 'training' that i really enjoy is the necessity of heading on odd routes, and subsequently seeing interesting things.

If you ride only when you want to, you always choose the nicest route that is convenient. However, when you follow some kind of schedule, where the importance is what you do, rather than where you can go, you eventually start pulling routes out of nowhere, deciding where to turn as you go.

The last few weeks during my easy rides with Brendan, and Gene and Jeremy when they can make it, we've gone through some Epping back roads, some bike paths around Altona, some twisting back roads of Hampton, train lines and industrial complexes over Footscray way, as well as various other little roads too and fro. Everyone contributes a little something here and there, according to where they know the lay of the land the most. All this in the past two weeks!

I have lived in Melbourne almost all of my life, and I still to this day enjoy the roads of my youth, only vague projections in my head, become tangible again, realising I am riding down a road my dad and I used to drive down on the way to North Carlton to get fish for dinner. Or having no idea where you are, only to emerge out from a labyrinth of back streets to find yourself somewhere you know, and now confident that you can get home. And slowly, as you get older, you realise you have an anecdote, or a friend's anecdote, or a memory, or a song to relate your own situation back to more and more landmarks. In others words, you become more intrinsically involved with the city you live in. Parts of you begin to spread around its confines, representing parts of your life that have past, are ongoing, or perhaps are even yet to come.

These are small victories, to be sure, but I like to think as I become more aware of how the different roads snake through Melbourne, and how they relate to each other, I become more aware of my own position in this city. As i become more confident with how the city works, I become more attached to this place.

It's kind of a rad feeling.

Sore Winners.

For some reason, this song really reminds me of long wet road rides, where you sink into a sort of trance, where you recognise that there is some unpleasantness ahead...but that it will result in a warm feeling in your belly that signifies your knowledge that you accomplished something.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hostile Crossfire

Sometimes you create (or help create) something.

Occasionally it fizzles out, sometimes it takes on dimensions of its own.

When something you helped make takes on the dimensions you originally intended to lampoon, you know it has well and truly become bigger than its creators.

No one is at fault. You can blame those involved who didn't get it, you can blame observers for not understanding, or you can blame yourself for being so stupid as getting involved in something that had the potential to spiral out of its original confines.

All you can do is laugh.

But when you get persecuted for a manifestation of your creation you had no say in, then something has to be fucking done.

The Helpless Won't Survive

It's student election time at Melbourne Uni at the moment.

Up until this year, I always voted, and had a bit of a crack at trying to sift through the rhetoric.

Not this year though. With the Young Liberals and the Young Labour basically fronting the same party, and the so called 'radical' parties being made up of smug socialists or patronising media-com students, I want nothing to do with it.

When challenged as to my lack of interest, I want to turn around and explain to them the rage I feel about the state of the university, the city, the country. I want to sit them down and ask them whether offering me a choice between a dipstick in a blue shirt and a dipstick in a red shirt is meant to represent electoral choice, or electoral freedom.

But i don't. I stutter, I shrug, and make some bullshit excuse.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Anti-Juno.

Brendan is right. A film about a happy couple, where the woman falls pregnant, has an abortion, and then lives happily ever after, just wouldn't fucking float in hollywood.

Fuck that.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sleepyhead

When i was young, I did not excel at school. I got by, but only just.

Then my grade four teacher told me i was struggling because i was too young. She knew i was moving school, so she said I should repeat grade four.

So i did, and from there on in, I excelled. Things came fairly easily to me, suddenly i was doing well in pop quizes, and started to be known as one of the 'smart' kids. As someone who had come from a school where i was known as the token class clown, who was a little slow, this was profoundly strange. My class clown act remained, but stopped being the thing i fell back on, cos i was engaging much more seriously with the work.

Come university time, this status quo remained. Until this year. Now I'm surrounded by geniuses, who are already tentatively exploring publishing options for some of their papers, and being invited to philosophy conferences with the professors and post-grads.

And me? Well, suddenly, I'm cracking more jokes in class. I have a whole routine about dinosaurs that gets the logic class laughing. When i don't entirely understand a concept, or I'm intimidated by someone's intelligence, i crack a philosophy joke.

Suddenly, I feel like I'm in grade three again and people appreciate me for the laughs i bring, rather than what i have to bring to the table intellectually.

This isn't a bad thing necessarily, but it's certainly a change, and something i haven't experienced since 1998.

If anything, it just confirms something i have long suspected: I make a better comedian than i do philosopher.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thrill Me

Today, it is exactly one year since my dad died.

I was going to mark this occasion by linking to a music clip that he would have hated, in keeping with the agreed upon father/son dynamic. Instead, I will put a clip he liked, and one that i secretly like.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rolling Wagons.

The last few months have been so shit bike racing wise, I had forgotten somewhat what it was like to be in the race proper.

The Coburg crit on Saturday panned out like clockwork. We decided Adrian would go for the win. With a lap to go Steve belted out a solid effort, followed by Jeremy who ran us up the back straight. Come the second last turn it was on me, and i was churning the biggest gear i had, my right leg by that stage spasming with a cramp. With about 200m to go Adrian went, and i faded into the background, spent, but happy.

My body felt good, and had responded well all race. I think Sean the Man pointed this out, and he's right. It's much easier to hurt yourself for someone else.

Sun, high speed bike racing, followed by wedges. Really, you can't have a better Saturday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Another Oil Spill!

Funny how the desire to write comes and goes. The last week or so I found that i didn't really have anything to say.

The cross season ended on Sunday with yet another cracker of a race. I felt terrible, and did very badly, but I still had a fun time. Despite some antics around the mud pit which has made some people concerned, the majority of people seemed to indulge in the CX atmosphere, without the antics that could see it become troublesome.

One thing that I love about cyclocross is the mixing of cycling tribes. It makes me incredibly happy to see national level cyclists being encouraged and heckled by local fixie punks. I think this, more than anything, is the key to any notion of a 'cycling community', where the interest in the machine and its possibilities in our lives forge strong connections, and override smaller differences in the way we go about things.

We're so close to seeing this realised. A mutual respect for each other, and the way cycling manifests itself in our own lives, is crucial here. I hope we pull it off. Because if we do, there is real potential for real, tangible change. Maybe not tomorrow, but five, ten, twenty years from now, when the repercussions of events like Dirty Deeds, begin to make themselves felt in wider communities and society. Whether it comes from the girl who got second in the kids race, or one guy who came in mid pack in B grade, events like this years cross have the potential to act as the catalyst for wider social change.

Now, that would be really something.

Friday, August 12, 2011

What's My Age Again?

I went to go check out Cadel's parade today with a bunch of friends.

It was kind of what i expected. I didn't actually see Cadel, or anyone famous for that matter. But we listened to the Premier talk about something or other, the Mayor show decisively why he was booted out of state parliament (he's a fucking muppet), and some dude wearing ridiculous yellow sunglasses.

Then Cadel rode along for a bit, and everyone cheered, and most people awkwardly tried to figure out how he won, even though he only won, like, one stage? Weird huh.

But it was a nice atmosphere, and nice to see average Melburnians cheering for a sport other than footy, and nice to see a cyclist have 'legend' yelled at him, rather than 'faggot'.

It got me thinking though, hanging out with my chums, as some dude banged on about how pleased and proud we should be to have 'our cadel' back in Melbourne. I looked around a bit, at the half dozen or so people around me, some oldish friends, some new...just how fucky lucky i am to know these people. I'm pleased for the frog man that he won but, really, I'm just stoked that i have mates to celebrate him with.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lord of all Fevers and Plagues.

As you could probably tell from my near incomprehensible sentence in the last post, I was sick and feverish at the time of writing.

This, at one stage during the night, consisted of me believing i was a captain of a ship that was sinking in the middle of the ocean. I was drooling quite a bit and, when i would occasionally wake up in the middle of the night, I would feel the saliva, think it was the water lapping at the hull, which made me more distressed.

All things considered, I'm quite glad it's over. The most annoying thing to come out of the whole affair is that, when i ride my bike now, I can barely breathe through my lungs at all. This doesn't bode well for Saturday's race which i was really looking forward too. At this rate, I'll be lucky to even make it to the start line without drowning in my own phlegm.


Children of Bodom are one of the few modern 'glitzy' 'power thrash' bands i tolerate. They also remind me of fond memories of seeing them in 2008, being so drunk i could barely see, and having a fucking whale of a time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Higher Truth.

While I will admit that not having access to chicken soup during times of flu (like I am experiencing now. God damn i am feverish, so I'll keep the prose to a minimum) is a bummer, seriously, no more.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Myself, I Would Like to Collect Assault Weapons.

Today, my seven year old nephew Oskar came over. He was wearing a Ramones shirt, jeans, and black boots.

As a seven year old, I was building lego, watching Tin-Tin, and sitting on our front fence at the family house in Surry Hills, pretending to shoot the drivers that drove past.

I talked to Oskar a bit about the Ramones until my sister Margaret leans over and says: "He's getting into Black Flag at the moment."

I can't work out whether it is Oskar or me that missed out on something intrinsic in childhood.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Last Claim of Self Sufficiency.

I have always believed in the positive force of the channelling of anger. I never bought the idea that anger must be a negative or destructive force. Some of the most important events in the past have come about because someone, or some people, were really pissed off.

So, I've been vaguely pissed off at the state of the global economy for some time now. This was in some part due to my hating the idea of government bail outs of corporations that didn't do so much as give a fuck during their time in the sun; but mostly due to my own ignorance on the topic.

In an attempt to remedy this I have been reading here and there. The New York Review of Books has proven excellent, as well as various online sites.

I still have a fair bit to learn, but what i do know is this:

We are proper fucked.

The EU is all caught up in itself, with countries like Greece owing money to Italy, who owes money to Germany, who needs to bail out Portugal. Basically, bankrupt countries are lending money to other bankrupt countries. When the bail outs come, more money is borrowed.

The US is stronger than the EU but, from what i understand, this is because a very significant amount of the US dollar is owned by China.

The US is printing millions of dollars every day to pay back debt but, at the same time, they are borrowing more, hence Obama raising the debt level the other day.

Printing money in large amounts leads to hyper-inflation which people seem to think can't happen in the US. Well, apparently it can, and it is.

What this means for Australia directly I don't really know but, honestly, it doesn't matter. The significance of state borders is increasingly meaningless.

So, what does all this bullshit mean? Well, if inflation continues, and the the US dollar continues to lose value, more money has to be printed to keep up with demand. Things like bread and milk will start costing outrageous sums of money. This happened in Zimbabwe a few years ago. The government printed 60 trillion dollars, three eggs cost 10 billion dollars until, eventually, the currency was declared dead.

This, theoretically could happen in the States. This means high unemployment, state controlled prices for products like bread, and general unpleasantness. Basically, the stuff that happened in Weimar Germany following the collapse of their economy in the 1920s and 30's, can happen again.

Some critics say this is the fault of the Reserve Bank. I'm yet to fully work out what the Reserve Bank does but it seems as if they regulate money a fair bit. Critics say if we don't dissolve the Reserve, which since its beginning in the 20s has overseen numerous gargantuan fuck-ups, we are headed toward a police state of the highest order.

So yeh, I knew things weren't good, but it seems they are far worse than we think.

In the end though, if we are going to hell in a relatively large handbasket, it does mean i can move to Washington state and rip trailz all day.

Ah, fuck, where the hell will i buy my sweet Trek from? Quick, someone had me an oxy!

A Lost Wisdom.

I was saying to Brendan last night that, in the past few weeks, I had kinda lost the will to race.
"But you've got a goal to get too!" he said.

That's true, I do. Tour of Bright is on the cards, and looks to be a fun weekend away.

I just wish i could get back in the mood to ride fast.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Beyond the Mountain Side.

Despite being partial to the ice-like perfection of logic, I tend also to be disproportionately lured by the romanticism of 'the wild'.

This tends to come about when I am having some period of ridiculous introspection. So, not 'what will i have for breakfast?' but, 'is there a difference between Truth and conventionalist truth, and does it even matter anyway?" This tends to lead to awkward questions like: "Wtf are you doing with your life?"

This in turn leads to a naive desire to move to the woods (despite Australia not really having woods) and live 'off the land'. I imagine this would be a novelty until I realised I would have to take a shit in said 'woods'. I have done this before, and it is unpleasant. It would probably be raining too. As well as that, as much as I romanticise being alone, I would probably get bored and lonely with 72 hours.

So when i listen to Wolves in the Throne Room (who live on their own commune in the middle of rainy Washington State, farming and making black metal) I like to pretend that one day i will go live in the country, wear big boots, a trench coat, grow my hair back, and think about stuff.


BYO cape.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Glued to the TV, While the Rest of the World is Burning.

One of my oldest friends came home from a year away on exchange. We were talking shit, almost as if we were carrying on from a conversation we had been having before he left. I was surprised, and pleased, at how natural it felt

Talk eventually drifted to my veganism, and my drinking much less (if at all). I tried showing him that I was the same person, that I still sought out the lols like i did before he left, and that it was simply a case of priorities re-arranging themselves, due partly to the forging of new friendships, and the continuation of my ever present inner-dialogue.

But, as the conversation continued to drift, it occurred to me that, perhaps I have changed. A year away is enough to judge a change in someone, and Tim clearly felt some difference in me.

I hope it's for the better.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Darkness Comes Alive

Old mate Sam didn't much care for literature. So, imagine my surprise when, some years ago, he professed his love for Pride and Prejudice.

When i explored a little more, I found out he actually meant the recent film adaptation with Keira Knightly. He watched it a fuck load for a fair few weeks. I suspect it had as much to do with the presence of dear Keira than any other aspects of the film. But, i thought, never ask to many questions when an engineer shows some sense of taste.

So, you can imagine my disappointment when, in the middle of watching said film, Sam turned to me and said: "Fuck Pride and Prejudice is good. Heaps better than anything else Shakespeare wrote."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Her Gay Picture Never Fail.

Some of the Best Days of Your Life.

I had a week off after my knee flared up. I'm back training now, and feeling great. Yesterday I did an ergo, and I felt better than I have in forever.

It's amazing what your body can do after just a week of taking it easy, and I certainly intend to pay more attention to my recovery.

It also allowed me to regather my thoughts, which have a habit of straying, and muddling while in the midst of exercise regimes. 'James,' I thought, 'you're a mediocre C grader. Fucking, get some perspective.'

This doesn't mean I'll stop trying my hardest, or get lazy. It just means that I can be a bit easier on myself when my life doesn't let me do that ergo, or that hills loop, or that gym session.

After all, as Pete says, 'you do this for recreation. The only race that matters is in London next year.'

I won't be there, so, I guess it's a bit of a laugh really.