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


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


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


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.