Monday, May 31, 2010

The undercurrent.

Normally on this blog, I try to offer solutions.

I'm not sure why really. I used to have hundreds of subscribers, now I'm down to two (Hi Dsquared and ALIfantastic!!!).

Fame is fleeting, right?

But try I do. This time though, I just wanna ruminate textually, see where it goes. Because my mind is in a bad place, and I need a way out.

I had a situation recently on facebook, where a guy who once was once my best friend got back in touch. Here's the back story:

I got my second real job, working in a record store. Back when they sold RECORDS! Cd's too, but mainly vinyl. It was 1989.

I got this job by chance. I had just been fired by the cheese factory I had worked at for a year and a bit. I'm sure I've mentioned this before. I was canned for having "no initiative". How the fuck you're meant to have initiative regarding mould ripened cultures in a refrigerated environment is beyond me, but there you go.

So I took my holiday pay to Capital City, with a mind to buy a ticket to see Metallica for the first time. I ended up in a record store, where I scored a really nice Slayer tee shirt. The guy at the counter and I got talking, and he decided I should work for the company, so he put in a good word, and next thing you know I'm gainfully employed again. That guy went on to be super succesful in his band (which shall remain nameless), and we didn't last long as potential friends.


I'm working in this store, paying off my first ever Fender Stratocaster (now I have 3 just sitting in the laundry cupboard, along with a Gibson Explorer, an Epiphone Firebird, 4 assorted Ibanez whammy guitars and a Ben Harper model prototype lap steel.) I was the guy you asked about rock and metal. There was another guy you'd ask about dance, an industrial guy, and a top 40 girl.

Through my position as the metal guy (remember this was the 80's), I got to vacuum the floors every morning, and basically be the shop bitch. That's cool, I was a bit of a bitch back then, I'll admit it.

And I met some people.

One guy, was really into metal, and shred, and he brought his first electric guitar in for me to check out- it was a BC Rich Warlock copy in black. And through our shared love of hypersonic guitar solos, we became buddies.

I'd hang out at his place for days on end (he lived in a converted nunnery with 2 sets of parents, and a whole mess of kids). Still not sure how that worked, and to be honest I don't wanna look into it too closely. Anyway, we'd jam together, and learned to program drum machines, and watched a lot of videotapes, and discovered Kruiz and Gorky Park from Russia, and a whole lot of other bonding rituals.

He had had a very sheltered life, and was one of those people who just couldn't believe anyone had done anything that didn't fit into his head. This didn't work well with me, as you will know if you read this blog, I have seen and done a bit more than your average person...I get itchy feet.

It all fell apart years after our first meeting, when he screamed in my face that most of my life was a total fabrication, that it had never actually happened, that I was a liar.

I was stunned, I couldn't speak. Total disbelief.

So I walked away and left him to whatever he was going to do next. And I continued on doing supposedly unbelievable things like touring the world with bands, being a bodyguard to celebrities, being on tv a lot, sexing hundreds of hot girls, and whatever else can't possibly have happened (but did (and in some cases, probably shouldn't have)).

The thing that cut me was, I ALWAYS feel worthless. That's why I work so hard to distinguish myself. That's why I do all the crazy things I have done, why I'm never satisfied to just live in the suburbs and work at the cheese factory with all my amazing initiative.

No matter what heights I plan for, when I get there, I always look around and say to myself "Is that it?"

If you read Aldous Huxley, he incisively hits the nail on the head as to why reasonably intelligent and free thinking individuals feel this way, but being in good company doesn't actually heal the wound.

I was so offended by this guy, so totally rocked that he had to impose his tiny world view onto my life, I couldn't get over it. It boiled inside me so much, that 17 years later, when he adds me on facebook, I exploded. I walked around the house in a murderous rage, no kidding.

I wanted to beat him senseless, so great was the offense. And I'm not generally known for losing it like that. If you saw me through the window, you'd swear I'd lost my mind...I was practically frothing at the mouth.

I denied his friend request, and sent him a message, basically saying I didn't give a flying fuck about him, or whatever he's been doing with his life. I felt like if he didn't believe me then, he's got no hope now I've actually had 17 more years to fill in!

Because I've done some things. And I'm proud of some of them. And I earned all of them. And no motherfucker (sorry Mum if you're reading this) is going to take away the fruits of my blood, sweat, and tears with a fucking sentence said in jealousy.

Like I said, I don't have a message here, a solution. I feel like venting, bleed the poison out.

At the end of this month I will have finished my Australian bodyguard certification, as well as a batons and handcuffs course, an armed security guard course, and 3 gradings in Tactical Krav Maga. That's this month.

Last month I passed First Aid, Certificate 2 in crowd control, Certificate 2 in security, and another 3 gradings in Tactical Krav Maga (back to back, in case that wasn't hard core enough for ya).

Earlier in the year I built a custom chopper for El Jimador Tequila (to be given away as a prize in one of their promotions), passed my forklift license (100% on the test, because I'm psycho about doing my absolute best), was asked by the National Archive in Canberra to create an art piece for them to archive for the good of the nation, had a trip to Queensland and one to Tasmania, all after I got back from The United Arab Emirates where I was living for 3 and a half months as a professional guitar player, and met one of my idols (Mark Chung from Einsturzende Neubauten/former senior vice-president of Sony Music International (maybe you've heard of them?)), who said my playing was "amazing" (don't worry, I have witnesses!)

I did all that while Mr Amazing was living in the suburbs and working his underwhelming job.


I especially don't need it because every day my own mind tells me I'm an epic failure, that nothing I work towards matters, I'm frustrated by the passions I wish I had the talent to follow (but don't), that I'm a waste of time/space.

I don't need other people's bullshit opinions, I struggle with my own. But you know what? At least I fucking struggle. I don't just lie down and settle for conformity, or suburbia, or limit my efforts to an industry or scene that is a microcosm of the real world, where anyone can get noticed.

I hate that fuckwit for saying what he did, because it fanned the flames of my own self loathing. But if I'm gonna get dissed, I'd prefer it was over something real.

Me being a lazy do-nothing, who needs to invent a life for himself to feel better? Not even close.

I'm out there every day, searching for the life...the one where I finally feel like I'm home. I have more experiences than most because I work for them, I search for them, and they are magnetised to me because I'm ready for them. If I'm not the best at everything I do, then I come hella close.

Can you say the same?

So like I said, no answers today. Just a crapload of bile and venom. I'm not competitive about life, regardless of what I have written here. I just want to beat my own (very high) expectations, and am continuously crushed when I see the view from there is not what I had imagined.

I got to a point back when I was a guitar tech, when I had been around the world so many times, with bands that are legendary now, that I had to ask myself "How long do you have to live like this, before you feel like it's enough?"

And I realised the first band I had ever teched for (U2 actually), was probably all I needed, if I was in it to make myself feel useful.

So I quit, and went into retirement. It was so hard, because being a tech was a huge part of my identity. Always being backstage, having access and a perceived admiration, it was addictive. But not all bands treat their crews well, and I had had enough of setting up stages for other people to be adored on. I opened Hellbourne Choppers in 2006, so I could follow my passion, be my own little star, in a sky that was meaningful to me, regardless of whatever was in vogue at the time. much is enough now?

When will i feel like I haven't wasted the little time I get to play on this blue ball suspended in blackness?

What will it take before I can feel like it's ok for me to disappear into suburbia, and work some meaningless but personally rewarding job?

Looks like that guy I hate knew something I didn't after all.

And while I was spinning all over the world trying to do everything and be everything to everyone, he was content to quietly do his thing, surrounded by family, and the glow of doing something you love, without need of accolades.

I'm glad I realised that.

Despite all my powers of reasoning, it doesn't change anything. I'm ghetto as fuck when someone pisses me off past a certain point, let alone after 17 years. I'm just glad he made his attempt on the internet and not in a parking lot.

I should probably look into doing a course in anger management and stress relief?

This is knifey, from "the internet".

Monday, May 24, 2010


So, I own a business called Hellbourne Choppers.

I love my business, and so do a lot of other people. And I'm very protective of it, and as weird as it is, I just won't sell bikes to unscrupulous people, or the people who work for evil companies.

I'm sick of banks, telecommunications companies, insurers, etc going to work, raping the public, then leaving work and wanting to hang out with/socialise/be a part of the society they as a whole, are undermining or straight up individual at a time.

It's like, if you're an evil person, go be evil away from the rest of us, BECAUSE WE DON'T LIKE YOU.

Every now and then (actually quite often), I receive emails (always from people's work accounts!), trying to buy my bikes. These people work for the big banks, or Telstra/Optus/Vodafone (but mostly Telstra).

And I reply to them in what I'm sure is quite a novel way.

I have included an example below, from my inbox this morning. And while the recipient will most likely shake their head in disbelief, then get on with their day, or, print it out and hang it up for the other Telstra vampires to have a laugh at, of course they will be missing the point.

You are all that is wrong with the world. You can't work for a company that hurts people, or that puts quarterly rises in profit above service delivery or even just being a human, and expect to be not tarred by the same brush.

Reply to>
Liam Wilkinson Senior Recruitment Specialist- Corporate
Careers Centre | Talent and OD | Human Resources
PHONE 03 8647 4302| FAX 03 950 5592

Hi Liam,

To confirm, you wish to purchase the following bikes-

  • Micargi Prado Deluxe
  • Nirve Switchblade

We are an ethical company that believes in putting people first. In this regard we operate and maintain a register of businesses that run counter to this ideal, and we under no circumstances deal with, or supply in any way those businesses. Telstra is, and always has been, at the top of this list. Also, anyone who works in or for human resources anywhere has no chance of being supplied by us.

I know this is very different to what you may be used to, but we don't believe the colour of everyone's money is the same. We promote freedom, honesty, and fun, and are one of the only businesses we are aware of that maintains those ideals above all others. We're happy to make money, however selectively. Choppers are cool...we keep them that way.

As long as unethical businesses rape the public interest and harm individuals, the people who work for or in those businesses should create and enjoy their own subculture, because ours is not for sale. We keep our prices low, and profit through quantity of turnover.

If you'd like to sign up for a 24 month plan where you pay 100 times what the bike is worth, and receive a package of perceived value-added extras that are in fact worth 5 cents each, I'm sure we can put something together for you. We will then break this contract at our own discretion, remove your access to the bike, and refer you to a debt collection firm, for no reason other than "it just happens sometimes". We call this our 'Telstra package'. Alternatively, you may fill out a 6 page privacy-invading and mind numbing questionnaire/interview process where you have to tell us why you are the successful candidate for the bicycles in question. This is our HR discount deal, and is increasingly popular with people who like to lie and/or waste their time.

I know this transmission may be a humorous joke to you, but we take it seriously. You are evil by association...Go play golf.

Best- J. 'knifey' Vanderwerff.

This is knifey, from 'the internet'.