Friday, October 21, 2005

Deconstructing Knifey.

So there I was, all curled up in my bed, with my dog asleep at my feet, and a gentle shower making the power lines crackle outside my window, and I started to think about all the nasty things people have come along and dropped in my blog from time to time. No doubt these people will be thrilled to think I'm losing sleep over them, but the truth is I have a big doctors appointment first thing in the morning, and I'm a bit too worried about it to sleep until 5 minutes before I have to get up. I'm a bit nervy.

Anyways, I'm not really upset at all that people have issues with me. When you write like me, and when you live like me, enemies are a fact of life. I think my latest round of album reviews for messandnoise magazine will be enough to see me ostracised forever from the Melbourne music scene, and possibly even killed to death by angry bogans. But you know, I'm okay with that. I like to think I'm honest, even when it hurts. I certainly don't mean my reviews in an angry or agressive way, more in a frustrated and educational way. Artists are sensitive people I guess, especially when they suck badly, and haven't been told by anyone else.

As far as my blog goes, I haven't been afraid to name names, and put forward my own opinions. I haven't done it from behind a shield of anonymity, as I have erroneously been accused in the past. If you live in Melbourne, or even in Australia, I'm so easy to find it's stupid. Maybe I should do something about that, i don't know. Point is, what I say on here, I would say to your face.

So with this in mind, I'd like to explore the misconceptions that surround me, because I hate nothing more than ignorance, and we all know my favourite subject is me. At least I can be honesrt about it. We all know it's really easy to open a blogger account, just to anonymously sledge someone you disagree with. It's easy, and people do it, and I really don't mind. That is, if they do it in a logical way, as opposed to just pissing in the pool to ruin the party. When someone comes along just to accuse you and assume things about you, it's terribly frustrating, because those people don't seem to see the only person they are insulting in this manner, is themselves. If they were half as clever and superior as they assert themselves to be, they would say "Hi. I'm bla bla bla, and I think you're wrong, and here's why I think that." Not "You've got no talent and a small dick and everything you do is a joke." When people do this, it's like if I assumed what life would be like on Mars, without being a scientist, or knowing anything about Mars, except the little we pick up in school, and by occasionly catching sight of a newspaper. Assumptions are a very poor basis for insult.

The way to really sting someone, so to hit them where it hurts - in their truth-y bone.

Instead of assuming things, wouldn't it make so much more sense to focus on something you know, as opposed to something you would like to be true, with no evidence whatsoever, and hitting me with that? The problem with this method, is that none of you know anything about me, except what I tell you. And who really knows the truth value of anything I say? I could be making everything up, and not have done or thought anything original ever. My blogger friends who hang out with me would disagree, but let's ignore them for the sake of the argument.

Keep it factual, or you look like a joke.

A popular insult, when it comes to me, is when people accuse me of having "no talent". I really don't understand this at all, mainly because I'm not sure I have any talent either. I know I play guitar like a tornado that's on fire in Hell, but I can't say whether I'm talented because of it, or even if it sounds good. That's up to all of you to decide individually. That's the subjectivism of all things, baby. So many people (who are coincidentally ALWAYS anonymous) assume that just because I say I'm rad, I actually think it.

I like to have fun with life. I usually try to fit these fun days in between the weeks on end I experience of abject misery, lethargy, depression, and, well...self hatred. One of the things that picks me up is when i write something, and it makes me laugh. Maybe it's a horribly egotistical thing that I enjoy the Hell out of myself as much as I do, but it works, and I like it. I'm not sure how someone who laughs at their own jokes, but hates pretty much everything else about themselves can be an egoist, but, hey, I'm open to whatever.

Some people have accused me of being a failed musician, who is bitter, and hates anyone who is succesful, like tall poppy syndrome. This is partially true. I definitely am a failed musician. I certainly never achieved the heights I had worked toward in the music industry, but I can't really complain either, because the heights I did achieve were pretty rewarding and mind-blowing, and to be honest, way higher than 99% of other musicians who had been working toward the same kind of goals. But yes, I never toured the U.S.A. with my band, or any of the other things I dreamed about, so in that sense you're right, I'm a total failure. I'll pay that. And yes, I'm bitter too. I'm bitter like anyone else who gets to look behind the velvet rope and observe first hand just how the music industry really works. No musician likes it, unless they have gone multi-platinum, and somehow beaten the major label contract to actually emerge with some money to live on. I'm not going to go on about how Joe Public thinks everyone who has ever been on TV or the radio is a millionaire, and how less than one one-hundredth of a percent (if that) actually are. I'll just say I'm bitter, and bitter for a reason, that the business of music is so obviously more about business than actual music, and that the public swallows everything it's fed, just like Aldous Huxley promised us they would. If you actually know what's going on, there is a lot to be bitter about.

Here's a good one. I'm a sell-out. I love this insult a lot, because it is basically inferring that I have made some money along the way.

Not so. Every time I have played a song on TV, even if it's one of the ones with millions of viewers, and going out live, I make on average about $200. Now, on my planet, $200 is good money, and I'm not about to go tell Sony to fuck themselves for not giving me enough. I like the money, and I like the opportunities, and I like being on TV, and I like pretty much the whole experience of it all. But let's break it down...

When I do a session for (insert artist here), I first have to learn the song. When you're as incredible as I am, this only takes five minutes, no matter how hard it is, ten minutes with backing vocals/harmonies. So that's cool. But then you have to practice it, so it's perfect, because that's what you're getting paid for. Then you have to get your gear to the studio or wherever the thing is, and that costs petrol or taxi money that you don't get back. And if there's a dress rehearsal the day before (as happens with the big shows), that's twice as much. Maybe $60 for cabs, because I don't do cars. You have to go get your hair done at the hairdressers, because you're meant to come off looking like a rock star, not Charles Manson. There's $80, right there, $140 if they touch up my streaks as well. You have to factor in the fact you can't work your regular job while all this is going on, so you may be losing money there. Then you have to add up all the rehearsal time, and actual performance time, which can run into in some cases two whole nights, and you tell me that $200 is a lot of money.

The point to this whole bit it, if I'm a sell out for playing with (insert artist here), shouldn't I be getting some stratospheric paycheck?

One of my most vivid memories of playing with Anastacia is, hanging out with (insert name of hot model here) til the sun came up, then dragging all my gear 6 kilometres home, because I had no money for a taxi, and having to clean up a pile of dobermann pinscher shit in my hallway, because the poor dog had been locked inside all night. THAT'S rock'n'roll, bitch.

Wait, I'm not done yet.

I have been accused on more than one occasion of thinking that i am better than everyone else, and on this point, you totally have me. That's exactly what i think, and so if you see that point of view as a bad thing, then I guess you have every right to feel inclined to call me names. But in my own defence, let me just say that the majority of people who constitute Australian culture at large act like the worst examples of somnambulist consumer drones you could imagine, and that I see that as pathetic. I'm not saying they aren't nice, or they don't have hearts or big brains, but all the drink/drug drivers and the smokers and the gambling addicts and the abusers and psychopaths and corrupt cops/officials and trendoid scenesters and plastic vaginas and self centred rude commuters and whoever else I see every day don't leave me much to admire or aspire to. So yes, you've got me there. I definitely think I am better than most of you. Respect is something that you earn, and if you're only out for yourself, or out for you're own, you're totally missing the fact that we're all in this life thing together, hurtling through space on the same rock, and if we don't get it together and consider each other more, we're all going to eat a spectacular amount of shit, possibly within our lifetimes.

Some would have you believe, that I live to name drop.

This might be true, I'm not sure. The way I see it, it's easier to say whoever you are referring to within the framework of a story, because if you leave out the name, people invariably ask why you're trying to be all mysterious, and to just spit it out, wanker. Besides, who doesn't want to know what the toilet smells like after Mandy Moore has been in there? I know these things, and I feel it's my responsibility to share it with everyone who hasn't been so lucky. (Just for the record, it smelled like a piano). What do Metallica like to eat on tour? Is Kenny Rogers actually a tough guy, and not the cuddly bear we all thought he was? Which national TV presenter of the Christian persuasion also happens to be a raving nymphomaniac, with standards so low she even tried to bang yours truly? Well, I could tell you, but I WOULD HATE TO NAME DROP, so I won't.

My favourite misconception about me though, is that I hate absolutely everything.

Haven't you been paying attention?!! What about guitars and choppers and Italian/Spanish/Turkish/Greek/Brazillian girls and food that has cheese in it and Royal Crown Cola and sunshine and rain and dogs and good books and artists and bands and macrame and the amazing and totally unknowable world of deep sea creatures and technology and summer showers and travel and escapism through cinema and correct spelling and humorous spelling mistakes and GTA3 and friends and Jay Mohr with Illeanna Douglas in 'Action' and the way Sebastian Bach from Skid Row still makes me cry like a baby whenever I hear 'I Remember You' and typography and eco friendly electric cars and Beltons and horses running through the water and the French language (but don't tell them I said so) and genuine people and thinking and the ocean and swimming in it and philosophy and farts and the way pets dream and porn and flowers and the way Horatio Kane from CSI Miami talks and hiragana/katakana and Buddhist monks and Kung Fu and those times when you're playing guitar so fast your fingers become totally invisible to the naked eye and snowflakes and The World Cup Soccer Finals and the memory of all my dead homeys and Mesa Triple Rectifiers and tattoos on women and women with no tattoos and those rare days when my own reflection is appealing and Blink 182 videos and the mad genius of Schoenberg and my old University Professors and the love of my Mother and Aunts and Aqua Teen Hunger Force and orgasms and forests and exploring the Sahara on a camel and good honest bleeding and breaking down and crying and feeling refreshed and forgiven and laughter and AC/DC and standing on mountains and the feeling you get maybe once in a lifetime where you whisper to yourself "this is it!" and you feel something that can only be described as glee and consideration and manners and old ladies who strike up conversations with you outside the post office and good customer service and the suburb of North Melbourne and a girl called Mary, wherever it is she is flying to next and...

...this world is a crazy and beautiful and dangerous and rare and fleeting and precious place and moment in time.

And I am an idiosyncratic, insecure, highly educated loser with questionable intelligence and deep seated emotional issues, who is perpetually confused by the simplest things, and who can't ever see a way in which to rejoin the human race and belong.

You don't need to make me upset, I can do that myself. But if you have something to say, why not take the time to get your point across in a thought out and logical way? If I'm not worth the effort, I can hardly be worth the comment, n'est-ce pas? Because if you genuinely want to get a reaction from me, it pays to make sure I have paid what you have written a sliver of attention. Because if I see one more comment like


it's going straight in the trash can, no attention given.

This is knifey, from 'the internet'.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Hey! Who Likes Cool Stuff?!

So, my friends have all been asking me where I've been all this time, and what I've been doing, and the answer is this -

I've also been raising me little chocolate brown baby Greyhound, but I'm not going to post pics of her coz that's just silly. It's not like she's a chopper or anything!

In breaking news, it looks like I'm in the midst of another blogwar. Check out what shitheadexposer has to say, and see if you can make any sense of it (I couldn't).

And for those who like to wade through endless paragraphs of me rambling (and let's face it, who doesn't?), go here and see for yourself all the words and sentences that have been clogging up my synapses of late.

Hope you're all good out there, I miss some of you a lot.

This is knifey, from 'the internet'.

Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting...Or Is It?

One of the most frustrating things about knowing a thing, as opposed to believing in a thing, is that you are often tempted to grab those who are ignorant of the thing you know, and shake them forcefully.

Thing is, if you know anything about violence, you'll know that doing anything that involves force will only lead to further problems.

So today, we're going to talk all about kicking ass, and why it's almost never a good idea.

Probably the greatest known thinker-slash-doer when it comes to theories of nonviolence (apart from Jesus of Nazareth) was Mahatma Ghandi. I say "was", because he got so involved in the doing part, he's dead. Clearly he believed what he was putting forward to such an extent, he felt dying was a small price to pay. I'm not so sure about that, but I can't fault him on his knowledge on how to run a media based campaign of action.

He put forward a few notions I do agree with, however, not least being that all violence stems from a fear of something. I take it he was making a distinction between violence and hunting, unless you want to boil hunting down to a fear of starving to death, which I guess is fair enough. I don't think he was, because he was a vegetarian, but who knows. I would make a further distinction, that being that mental illness is in a category of its own, the rules do not apply. Psychopathic killers tend to be deluded and not that connected to reality. A by-product of this is that they generally aren't scared of anything, not because they are especially hard, but rather because they simply don't know how, any more than you know about how to be a psychopathic killer. I'm taking it on faith that my readers are relatively sane here.

Example time.

The theory goes that if you want to hurt something, the reason is because it instills within you a sense of fear, therefore, anger. Anger is seen as a by-product of fear. This fear need not be conscious, which is why tough guys who bully other people and think it makes them macho, are foolish and wrong. They're just scared, and too stupid to see it. Now let's be clear here - you don't have to be directly scared of the thing you are intending to hurt, but it should instill in you, either directly or otherwise, a sense of fear. Some scholars have put forward that the reason jews in Hitlers control were so badly treated was because they had existed behind closed shutters for so long, they were essentially unknown to the community. Combine this with strange and alien ceremonies, and their persistent usage of their own peculiar language, the net result was a sense of mistrust and fear among the rest of the citizenry who were weak-minded (as so many humans are) enough to fall for it. When it comes to monster hunts and mob mentality, it doesn't take much to get a bonfire going. Logic not necessary.

A contemporary parallel is the view that all Muslims are women-raping, goat eating Jihadists, just waiting for an excuse to break cover and detonate their hidden I.E.D.'s outside the nearest school. It doesn't help when our news is saturated with Islamic gang rapists from Sydney's inner-West who claim Aussie girls deserve it, and that they are sanctioned by God to do what they do, or Muftis dropping Fatwas on anything that moves, or terrorist cells in the suburbs numbering potentially in their thousands, but it still doesn't make it right to assume that Islam = death to all westerners.

People get scared of groups, and therefore of anyone who looks like they may belong to a group, right or wrong. Commies, niggers, kikes, gooks, faggots, crackers, whoever. If you're not "one of us", you're the enemy. Or, as George W Bush put forward "If you're not with us, you're against us". What a monumental dick.

In the space of 30 or 40 years, we've collectively overcome our fears of being converted by the reds, murdered by blacks or asians, catching A.I.D.S. from the toilet seat, or whatever Australians were shitting themselves over in the days of yesteryear. In short, we're not scared any more. And all it took was some information, of the correct and logical kind. As this info was shared, and time passed, tolerance grew. Gay bashing is not a common occurence any more. But it still happens unfortunately, and when it does, it's all down to ignorance of the facts, and fear of, in most cases, being considered gay by peers, or of having to confront one's own latent homosexuality and feelings of confusion and desire.

Here's one we've all heard before- 'what goes around, comes around'.

In the case of human emotional responses, it is 100% correct, only not in any karmic and numinous sense. As Pavlovian as it sounds, emotionally speaking, people are just big stimulus/response engines. In comes the stimulus, and out comes a response. That's what we do, it's the basis behind all of our concepts of civilisation and being gregarious (or not).

So when you attack someone, physically or verbally, that energy is transferred from you, and over to them. And that's where choice comes in. You can either fire back, which results in an escalation of the confrontation (until one of you ends up like Ghandi), or you can choose to let the energy go in a positive way. Like exercise, or laughing off the insult. There are families in Eastern Europe who have been killing each other in retributive vendettas for more than a thousand years now. It really pays to let it go, or deal with it legally.

Here's where I differ on traditional theories of nonviolence - if you are in physical danger, I think it's fine to protect yourself. I don't think going down to prove a point is clever at all, even if in Ghandi's case it helped to focus International attention to his plight. If you are physically assaulted, you should seek escape, but if cornered, you should do what any animal would do and protect your ass.

But fighting for religion is a bunch of ass, and anyone with half a brain knows it. Fighting for revenge is just as stupid. I agree with the death penalty, in that it is a way of society defending itself (albeit belatedly) against threats to the citizenry. I disagree with our selected method of proving the facts, but I see what they're trying to do. Human threats should be destroyed, just like viral ones. I just hope for proof beyond any doubt whatsoever in these cases, as opposed to merely reasonable doubt.

When you watch the news, does it ever strike you as incredible how many people are caught in the crossfire of religious, sectarian, political, racist, or military violence? Does anyone remember what we used to talk about in current affairs programs before 9/11? Who were the bogeymen back then? Have we as a race actually evolved mentally in the years since the Industrial Revolution, or have we just shifted focus onto a new set of stimuli to respond to? I do know that personal responsibilty has dropped off to an almost nonexistent level (even in the legal system), so maybe we're all collectively just passing the buck more nowadays. It does frighten me how many people out there in society have serious undiagnosed mental illnesses. What was the stat Clem, one in five Australians? They're my bogeymen, right there.

But the one thing I do know is that acting (as opposed to reacting) violently is unforgiveable behaviour for the year 2005, we should have grown up by now. Those who are violent need to be educated or diagnosed for treatment of some kind, there is no excuse any more.

Clearly none of this will come as news to my regular readers, seeing as they're all hot women and not thugs or morons, but who knows who might stop by? I've definitely made a change in my own life, and that's saying something, as I was always ready for an old fashioned smackdown, good reason seldom necessary. But now I am ashamed of any action that has bought harm to someone else, verbal or physical.

Unless they really deserved it. (Just kidding!)

Let's all try being nice humans for a change...because I'm telling you the truth when I say, the person who gets hurt the most when you lash out, is actually you.

This is knifey, from 'the internet'.