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.