Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rock Star Status.

Those that know me, know that I have spent the majority of my adult life on the road with bands, touring, hanging out behind the velvet rope, and all of the excess and crazy bad behaviour that comes with it.

I've met a huge selection of the A-list, seen them at their worst, and in some cases, put foreign objects in their assholes. " It's boring, but it's a part of my life"- Ron Burgundy.

So when I meet someone new, and they have heard about me from a friend, the inevitable question is "Tell me a story from the road?"

They stand with baited breath, wanting to hear about the time after the awards show, when I walked a celebrity actress, a blonde perfect 10, known more for her epic chest than her acting ability, back to her Hotel, and what happened next.

Or the time on tour with the band *** *******, when we wrecked 6 rental cars in an hour.

Or the time I bent the newsreader over her desk and....

But you know what? I like this one-

One day in summer, we were in the tour vehicle, rolling along a coastline with the ocean on our right, and hills full of sheep on our left. It was one of those moments where everyone was getting along, good music on the stereo, full bellies, summer smells. Perfect.

But out in the water, I saw a white shape, and I realised it was a sheep. It was caught in a current, and was well on its way to being swept out to sea. It was kicking and trying to swim, but it kept going under, out past the breakers.

One of the guys in the band saw it too, and instructed the driver to pull over.

We all jumped out and ran to the waterline, and me being the least important, jumped right in and swam out to the sheep.

He wasn't a friendly sheep, and he wasn't small. He had horns (which makes him a ram), and he had way too much wool on him for that time of year. So when I grabbed him, he fought me out there in the water, neither of us having the luxury of being able to reach the bottom.

He weighed at least 100 kg's wet, and was almost as big as I am in the body. I kept going under, and caught a horn a few times in some excrutiating places. It took 15 minutes to get him to the shore, I was beyond exhausted.

But I wrestled that bastard back to the beach, and picked him up like a wrestler, dragging him bucking and bleating across the road to the fenceline. The band pulled down the top wire, and I dumped him safe and sound on the grass. Back in his world.

He glared at me, ran along the fenceline to the break we all just noticed at that moment, and ran straight across the road again and back into the water.

I was fucked if I was going to go get him again, so we all just sat on the beach and watched this crazy old ram headbutt his way through the waves and for all we know, swim to Indonesia.

Whenever I meet someone who works the land, I ask them "Do sheep like water?", and they always say "No". So whatever his motivation was, I'm sure it would have made an epic tale if he survived (which there is no way he did).

In comparison to moments like that, all the parties and celebrity wank, and 'here today gone tomorrow' personalities and endless stress and technical difficulties of life on the road just fail to compare, which is why I'm pretty happy being separated from it all nowadays.

The best thing about life is the living of it, not all the decorations and acoutrements we dangle off it.

Write that down.



This is knifey, from 'the internet'.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I remember...Part One in a series.



I remember :

When my last record came out, and a bunch of my readers bought a copy and played it in a bar somewhere in the USA, and posted pics of them and random bar patrons holding up encouraging home made signs, on their blog of the night. I loved every one of them.

I remember:

Walking into a random bar in Warsaw, Poland, in the middle of the night, and hearing myself on the sound system. I don't remember all the free drinks that followed, but started remembering again around the time I ate a zapiekanka.

(This is zapiekanka).

Just 2 memories of a past life, and a massive-ass picture of an Eastern European sandwich.


This is knifey, from 'the internet'.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Slow Erosion.

It's crazy how, when you have nothing, you dream about getting to a stage where you're just safe.

Safe.

Nothing's happening, you've worked your ass off for months to have a place to sleep at night, electricity, water. A job. But that's it.


There are super-positive people who will say "It's all up to you! the future is bursting with possibilities! You're only bored if you're boring!"

Fuck off.
I'm tired.

Tired when I get up, tired when I go to sleep. Tired in between. It's like the older I get, my body changes, and its receptors for excitement get burned out. I'm bored by everything.
I thought it would be a phase, that it would pass.

Not so lucky.


I'm sick of other people. The smell of other people. The noise of other people. It's not that I think I'm better, but I know how to smell good and be quiet.
I identify with all the grumpy old characters. Or the widowers in British dramas that die alone. But I'm not that old. Some people struggle to believe I'm over 30. Is this what they mean by burning out too soon?

I took a lot of risks in my life, not because I demanded a lot from existence, but because I didn't think things through and threw myself into bad situations a lot, just to pass the time.
I passed it a bit too well.

Everything is finite in my experience. It might be in a really big container, but everything runs out eventually. Or at least ceases to be available in your location. There might be diamond planets out there, but that doesn't help poor people here, does it?

You do run out of time. Out of passion. Out of working body parts. Hope. Health. All of it.

Use it up quick and it's gone.

So what do you do then?

Go to the park and feed the ducks?

Please.

I just do what dogs do when they run out of ideas- lie down.

My lack of motivation is at an all-time high.

I got nuthin'.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Bang bang.

No memories today, I need to talk about something dangerous...

Having a heart is a wonderful thing. Sympathy, empathy, generosity, compassion, these are all beautiful aspects of the human experience. And it is amazing when animals display any of these qualities also.

Put simply, they make life better!

And so I would never look at qualities such as these as ever being problematic.

However.

We all know people with big hearts, who care a great deal, who only have the best of intentions. Good people, but nonetheless misinformed. "Bleeding heart liberals".

I want to talk to/about them now.

It is my opinion, that the truth lies within facts. And facts are hard to discover, when you come from an immovable moral position. Morals are a framework which help us to maintain orderly societies, and relationships within those societies. But they don't exist naturally. Morals aren't like the need for food, the strongest of us can get by without them, depending on how many other people we need to interact with in order to survive.

Morals are helpful, but should never interfere with fact.

Example: Say for instance you are opposed to the death penalty. You believe all people have a right to life, that no other human person can take away.

This is a very positive sentiment, and I can see why many people believe this.

Now let's say someone has you and three friends locked in a room. And he says that he will kill all of you unless Jesus himself walks through the wall and commands him to release you. You have 10 minutes to live, and you can see a knife that your captor didn't.

So you have 2 choices:

1. Let yourself be killed. Or,
2. Kill your captor.

There does exist a natural instinct in people, to fight to survive...to resist death at all costs. And it is stronger than any moral framework (unless you have been brainwashed).

So...who in the world would blame you for killing your captor? No-one. Even bleeding heart liberals, when put in this position, would instinctively fight to live. It is legal- It is self defence.

It is this that I want to address today.

In Australia (where I live), there is a fair amount of violent street crime. There is a mentality here that in order to fit in, young men must drink as much as they can, in a very short amount of time. It is testosterone fuelled, and often results in glassings, brawls, stabbings, rapes, and sometimes shootings also. Add to this the drug problem in this country, and you have home invasions, burglaries, robberies, armed robbery, etc...

There are a lot of people who are typically idealistic young people, or middle to upper class residents of low crime areas, who criticise police and security officers in situations relating to their self defence in the face of these crimes.

I know why they do it. They feel they are correct in making judgements on these people, who are trying to protect public safety, if say, they shoot a man to death when he is armed with a knife.

From the comfort of their armchair, they do the math:

Gun is greater than knife, therefore, Knife is less than gun.

So if a knife is less than a gun, there is no excuse to shoot a man, armed with a knife.

And that sounds perfectly reasonable. As we all know, guns shoot accurately from distances outside a knifes thrusting range. And most people don't throw knives, because unless they are specifically designed for that purpose, they don't work that way.

That's the danger of judgement from an armchair.

I have met a lot of arrogant, violent, unintelligent police, who simply should not have been in that line of work. But I'm not here to address that right now. I want to speak in their defence, and leave the emotion out of it. Because the facts aren't being represented.

I have already illustrated the sliding scale of moral judgment.

Sometimes, the rules we make for ourselves have to move aside, because reality just walked in.

I carry guns, extendable batons, fixed batons, ballistic vests, and all manner of tactical gear on my work assignments. I'd love to not, but for my safety, and the safety of the public, I need to.

And while a lot of people (young guys mainly), think that must be awesome, it is actually the opposite. For every weapon I carry, the amount of freedom I have goes down, proportional to the amount of responsibility I have taken on.

It is the same for police (although they get a lot more room to move than I do).

I train every day of the week, doing tactical drills, in order to keep my mind sharp and my reaction times fast. Also because there are thousands of ways any given situation can play out. And so I need to know which way will be most effective to my objective, but also taking into account what is legal according to the authority given to me by the law.

This is hard work.

And the amazing thing about tactical training with excellent instructors, is that it shows you how incredibly quickly a situation can change from all clear, to 'you're dead on the floor', in literally one second. Officers don't go to work in their armchairs! They go to work in a world where they could (and do) die in a heartbeat. They know this, they have seen this, and so when they are confronted with a situation (which can go a thousand different ways), they do their best to survive, and arrest the perpetrator for your safety (not run away and fight another day). They put their lives on the line for you every time they badge up. Try to see it from their point of view a little more.

Armchair critics don't have any idea how guns work. They see movies, and believe what they see. The reality is that Hollywood (even when they hire weapons experts to come in and consult for them) does not realistically portray the unglamorous world of gun safety/responsibilty. And definitely does not represent how hard it is to shoot a person with a 9mm when you're both running, even from 7 metres away. We are trained to believe you just point and shoot, and it works!

It doesn't.

Guns (semi automatics especially) are tricky things to operate, and require endless repetitive drills to become comfortable with operating them safely and efficiently. Accuracy is far from guaranteed, and an immense amount of time and energy has to be put in to shoot well, even at a basic level.

Add to this the stress of being in contact with a person who is attacking you, or convincingly threatening to attack you, and many more variables come into play.

This is how a knifeman is killed by a gunman.

Because an officer isn't going to put away his gun and fumble for a baton or capsicum spray, just to try and play fair with a knifeman. And neither should he.

ANY PERSON WHO POINTS A WEAPON OF ANY DESCRIPTION AT AN OFFICER OF THE LAW, SHOULD EXPECT TO BE SHOT DEAD AS A RESULT.

Oh, but why not wound him? Because officers are trained to aim for the centre of visible mass, which is where all the major organs are. They are trained to shoot here because in a stressful situation, there is a smaller margin for error, and so they are less likely to miss the target and shoot an innocent person.

Most people have no idea officers aim for the centre of the body for public safety.

What if the knifeman is mentally ill? So what? That's not the officers problem! Where is his carer? Who is responsible for looking after them? It is definitely a sad state of affairs, but in that moment, the person who is holding the weapon had better drop it, or all bets are off.

There is talk of taking tasers from the police, as a couple of people have died lately, after being tased. If they were co-operative and didn't fight the officers, they wouldn't have had to be tased. So it is their own fault. Would it be better if it was avoided? Of course. But spare a thought for how frightening it is to be attacked, your bodies natural release of adrenaline, the stress, and the incredible speed at which people can attack. The fact officers used tasers at all is testament to their training, and their desire to use a non lethal alternative to their sidearms.

If you think it's ok to get drunk and attack police, think again. If you think it's ok to try and fight security, think again. These people are all in place to protect human life and property, in short, to help you. And if you get badly injured, saying you were drunk is not an excuse.

As an armed bodyguard, it is my responsibility to protect people who are under threat. If they weren't, I wouldn't be hired in the first place. I make an exceedingly expensive room decoration! The Greens in Australia want to take away the right of security officers to carry weapons at all. How are we meant to do our jobs, against organised, motivated, and armed criminals, without weapons?

Are we meant to simply ask them to leave us alone? Where is the logic? There is no logic.

Gun crime is very low in Australia, and none of it is perpetrated by security officers who have been checked and investigated by the police at every new level of certification, just to be security officers. Taking tasers from police limits their non lethal options.

Armchair critics (and politicians) will kill us with their well-meant but badly thought out opinions, and this has to change.

Talk about this matter with your friends. Or around the water cooler. Think about what you would do if someone burst in wherever you are right now and pointed a gun at you, or threatened you with a knife. Remember a time in your own life when you felt scared and helpless, and imagine you had an armed officer there at that moment to help you, and how you would then feel?

Good intentions are wonderful things, but they must be balanced by facts. Taking guns off the good guys isn't going to stop criminals, it will help them. Taking tasers from police won't stop deaths, they will increase them. By all means, introduce mandatory new training requirements, make available better courses and contact with training professionals, heighten the standard of training, only let the best through.

But if you take our tools, we can't work.

Who will protect you then?


This is knifey, from 'the internet'.