For Suze

I think that I may have shared this little rant from someone else before, but since Suze has brought the subject up I feel it requires a revisitation.

Thank you Suze for winding me up again.

This also comes with a warning for some rather blue language.

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It’s been a long time since I wrote a blog. I’ve been busy, I’ve been lazy, I’ve been drunk and each of these things have contributed equally to our little blog falling by the wayside. Unfortunately, our silence has not meant that all is well. In our absence the world has grown more disgusting than ever. I still spend my days surrounded by people I despise and evenings drinking gin from the bottle, curled foetal on the floor.

A myriad of things have repulsed me over the last few of months. Students, onesies, students in onesies, fedoras, movember, Bognor Regis, dancing, that fella from Xfactor with the ears, that repugnant show ‘Two Broke Girls’… The list goes on and on. Top of the pile however, and by quite some distance, is the grotesque fad of ‘Keep Calm and something something’ advertising and it is fucking EVERYWHERE.

Originally developed in the 40’s to ‘Keep’ people ‘Calm’ during the Blitz, this once quite creative piece of propaganda has recently been mercilessly raped but the 21st century. It’s impossible to walk through a town centre without coming across piles and piles of mugs, tote bags, shirts, hoodies, posters, badges, magnets, bottle openers and all other manners of useless fucking tat with ‘Keep Calm…’ slogans branded on it.

Keep Calm… is the advertising equivalent of some fella following you around town and hitting you over the back of the head with a pillow.

The first time it happens is a little unexpected. ‘Oh!’ you think ‘that was weird… I mean, I guess it was sort of funny in an annoying way…’ but you presume that decency and common sense would dictate that it stops there. You continue walking about town in your own little world, wondering if you have time for another pint before football when he hits you again. ‘Fine’ you think. ‘It doesn’t hurt. It’s just annoying. I can handle annoying. He’ll get bored before I do’

Several hours later you’re sat in Grubbs trying to concentrate on your burger but the fella is still there and is now hitting you with the pillow every 30 seconds.

Hours turn to days, turn to weeks, turn to months and this fella is still following you around with the pillow, clocking you at every opportunity. You complain to your friends but they don’t see the problem ‘It’s funny’ they tell you.

Eventually the hair on the back of your head disappears through the constant abuse. Your skin thins and begins to weep puss and blood. Each blow begins to sting and burn more and more and soon a gaping hole opens up in your skull. Still your assailant bludgeons you with the pillow, now screaming at you to compound the misery.

‘Keep Calm and Drink Coffee!’ He screams

*wham*

Keep Calm and Ride Bikes!

*wham*

Keep Calm and Shop Local!!’

*wham*

‘KEEP CALM AND KILL ZOMBIES!’

*WHAM*

‘KEEP CALM AND OMG PONIES’

*WHAM*

‘KEEP CALM AND ROCK ON!!!’

*WHAM FUCKING WHAM*

Your knees buckle and you fall to the floor.

Your attacker, sensing weakness, tips back his head and screams ‘YOLO!’ and out of a nearby craft shop comes a girl in a homemade dress who starts whipping you incessantly with a screenprinted ‘Pugs Not Drugs’ tea towel. You look around for help but everyone nearby is too busy drinking craft beers from koozies or else taking Instagram pictures of the scene. More blows descend on your head and your body gives out. The last sound you hear is someone asking ‘Hey, anyone wanna go to Infinity Foods for lunch? We can go up to the craft fair afterwards’ Your torment is finally ended by the pillow wielding maniac crushing what’s left of your skull with his fixie.

I don’t want to over exaggerate things but if you make ‘Keep Calm’ merch, you are a cunt. Not only have you jumped on an already overcrowded bandwagon but you are doing so with the most minimal skill and effort possible. You are the worst. The VERY worst and you are what is wrong with the world.

Using clip art does is not creative. It does not make you an artist. The ‘Keep Calm…’ Pun that you’ve come up with ISN’T funny. YOU are not funny. There is absolutely zero merit in what you are doing.

Fuck. You.

******

And just to get in on the act …. here’s two of mine

Please don’t say “in my personal opinion” anywhere near me. I know whose stupid opinion you are expressing,

And, for my American friends …. Please don’t order a ‘tuna-fish’ sandwich within range of my ears. Last time I went fishing I noticed that all tuna seemed to be, without exception, fish.

Ulysses – a short and silly SOC

For Linda’s Friday #SoCS

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Tales? Of brave Ulysses? Who, as you may recall was enchanted by the mermaids who, as their defining feature have great tails. Not to be mistaken, as Ulysses seems to have done, for a great piece of tail. It was this error of judgement that led, famously, to ‘his naked ears [being] tortured by the sirens sweetly singing.’

Anyway, James Joyce also jotted down a few thoughts on the subject and, if memory serves me correctly produced a book that had a sort of ‘tales in parallel’ arrangement to it with limited reference to mermaids. Although ‘great pieces of tail’ infiltrate a lot of stories (Joyce’s little ditty is no exception) and are put in there primarily to divert the hero from course. So I suppose mermaids are an ideal euphemism. Have you ever seen an unattractive mermaid?

Here’s another thought. Have you ever seen a short-haired mermaid? Presumably they are depicted with those flowing locks to preserve their modesty. Which is a bit of a contradiction considering their reported behaviour. The world is full of conflicting messages. And we males place ourselves at terrible risk by complaining about these messages. So I won’t.

So, what’s my point? I don’t know. I was hoping to stumble across one in there somewhere. But I suppose, at least, that there’s some comfort to be taken in the knowledge that those great seafaring heroes of the past were just as easily undone by matters of the heart as have been all the rest of us. Because ‘when your fingers find her she drowns you in her body, carving deep blue ripples in the tissues of your mind’.
That’s my tale. And Eric Clapton’s too.

 

The worst poetry in existence – a fond memory.

I used to write quite a bit of poetry when I was young. Some of it was sort of OK, some of it was bad and some of it was terrible. So ….In response to this prompt HERE I offer to you the absolute worst poem I have ever written. I gave it to a friend when we were both about 15 and he put it to music. Such was his talent that it then sounded like a sweet masterpiece. He has become something of an internationally acclaimed music aficionado since. I have remained a (mostly) cheerful nobody. Importantly we remain very close friends. As a result of all that I can never really get it out of my head …..

Harry my uncle

Lives in the jungle

Resides with the birds and bees

Gorillas he likes them

But the things tend to bite him

And the pollen it makes him to sneeze.

(I think there was some sort of strange chorus and a second verse, but both are long gone from anyone’s memory)

Fading Horizon

In response to Laura’s Prompt and in keeping with my vague aim to write something almost every day.

He pulled over in no particular place and stepped out of the car. Night was approaching and behind him he could see the dull glow of the city. Ahead the sun was completing its descent and creating a clean red line that ran across the edge of the world. He had not passed another car in almost an hour and for a moment he imagined that he might be the last man on earth. As he stared into the distance he realised that he could discern the curvature of the earth. He felt very much alive.

The police would catch up with him sooner or later, of course, and the cycle would begin again, but for now there was time to stop and look at the sunset. He realised how few times he had done so before.

He reached into his pocket and retrieved the letter. Upon opening it he chose , this time, to read only the last few lines, “Remember,” the letter assured him, “that I adored every single minute of it, but I knew, from the beginning, that you would never love me. So in the end nothing has been lost.”

Everything, of course, had been lost. But not for the first time.

He returned the letter to his pocket and climbed back into the car. He turned the key and the engine responded obediently. And then he was moving again, towards a fading horizon.

Graham Long

i boast about counting Graham Long amongst my friends. i don’t expect anyone to know who Graham Long is but i look forward each week to his letter which might soon cease with his impending retirement. I copy and paste this week’s arrival because I know that some of you might find it heart-warming. There is a bit of sales pitching going on in it. Don’t be put off ….I assure you that Graham is a saint.

 

 
Dear Inner Circle,
Walking through the main street with Wayside’s Assistant Pastor, Jon Owen yesterday, a woman yelled out, “Hey! You’re too sexy to be a priest!” I’ve got a sneaking suspicion she was talking to Jon.
If you’re inclined to be obsessive, Wayside is a place that will either cure you or send you around the bend. To this day, significant things appear and no-one knows where they came from and significant things disappear and no-one knows where they went. In the little kitchen near my office, one of our staff members was lamenting that a piece of her property had disappeared. She told me how she had spent good money on this item and then labelled it in such a way that no one could pick it up and mistake that it wasn’t her property or that it should be removed from this particular kitchenette. I really desired to share her bewilderment and rage but instead I confessed that I’d just raided the fridge and taken a piece of bread, toasted it and raided someone’s butter from the fridge and then opened someone’s Wayside honey. It was lunch and I was still eating it. I could hardly feel indignant with my hands full of stolen goods.
A young, handsome, fit looking fellow lost his life this week at a nearby place for backpackers. I conducted the funeral at Wayside and so had the opportunity to meet his parents and two teenage children. He was an only child and his mother and father were devastated by this loss. On the day before the funeral, I offered each of them the option to speak the following day and although the others were too grief-stricken, the father wanted to speak. At the time he was struggling to get any words out and I doubted his capacity to speak in front of a hundred or so people who would gather at the funeral the next day. Yesterday before the funeral, this precious man visited the backpacker’s place and asked if he could lay on the bed where his son’s life ebbed away. He stayed on the bed until he believed he had a strong connection with his boy and a sense that his boy was OK. At the funeral he shared his broken heart with confidence and love. I was and remain in awe of the grace and strength of this beautiful man.
Many times I’ve conducted a wedding that had no witnesses and so I’ve just grabbed staff members or volunteers who happened to be in the right place at the right time. At yesterday’s funeral, no family members wanted to carry the coffin from the chapel out to the waiting hearse. I ran up to our marketing team and said, “I need pallbearers!” Four of our people just stopped what they were doing and carried the coffin with the same kind of care they would exercise for a member of their own family. Wayside staff and volunteers are the best.
On Valentine’s Day each year we usually ask people to donate money to help us buy underwear for the daily and constant stream of people who rely on us for life’s necessities. Our theme is “nothing says I love you like a clean pair of undies”. This year, our stocks of undies are healthy so we’re not asking for money! We’re asking for good, clean clothes. If it is time you had a bit of a clean out and wouldn’t mind giving your excess clothes to someone who couldn’t buy them, we’d love to accept them. Reg Mombassa, the famous Mambo and ex Mental As Anything band member, has designed a card especially for this occasion. If you donate some clothes, we’ll gladly send a Valentine’s e-card to your loved one this Valentine’s Day. Your special someone will receive an e-card and they’ll love you for giving away your clothes to someone in need. For more details check here.
As a special thank you for your donation we will also be inviting you to attend a special free behind-the-scenes tour of Wayside Chapel on Valentine’s Day, Wednesday 14 February at our Kings Cross and Bondi locations. Email us here to register your interest.
That’s about it. Thanks for being part of our inner circle,
Graham

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The Wayside Chapel
PO Box 66, Potts Point NSW 1335
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