Life advice from Shitsville

LON67993 Marilyn Monroe on vacation in Amagansett, New York by Sam Shaw, 1957 (3)Since there is no rule that says every day on facebook has to be an inspirational quote wankfest, and to combat the tides of creepy upworthy shit, I have compiled a list of good solid Shitsville advice to guide you through this awful life. Bookmark it. Print it out and stick it on your wall. Thank me later.

1. Technically a lifeline is also enough rope to hang yourself with.

2. What most people think of as pessimism is in my case a kind of inspired prescience for being able to see shit coming from the far off distance.

3. You too might turn to drink if your atrium became a nest of rat’s heads.

4. Never let them tell you that drink isn’t the answer.

5. Scotch is an unkind mistress.

6. People who post pictures of their food on facebook can fuck off.

7. You should abandon your acting pursuits. You are 28 now. Too old to dream.

8. Every jerk thinks he’s entitled to an opinion.

9. You can sit at home and not meet anyone; or you can go out and meet people, and provided you apply yourself to this form of masochism over a period of time you will meet more and more people, and in time you will have met so many people you may find yourself wishing that you had stuck at home alone by yourself after all.

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10. The flow-on effect of the ‘everybody loves Santa’ thing is that old bearded fat guys who could be bikies or pedos for all anyone knows are automatically assumed to be jolly and kind.

11. It is safe to say that you can always judge a person by their shoes. Shoes never lie. Write this down.

12. You should really never underestimate the power that attaches to having fabulously skinny legs in white chaps.

13. Galliano is a turd: an ugly, anti-semitic dick of the highest order (like Cecil Beaton), who designs couture gowns for Disney princesses and Barbie dolls (also like Cecil Beaton, who is now mercifully dead). I would swap John Galliano for the re-animated corpse of Alexander McQueen in a smoker’s-quickened heartbeat.

14. The population is sustained by inbreeding.

15. While we do make exceptions to the rules in the case of medical conditions, ‘stupidity’ is not a medical condition, tho it is something unfortunate you have to live with.

16. “Sunshine brings out the worst in people. You can see their flaws quite clearly.”

17. They say that blood is thicker than water, but then again so is Scotch, and in my experience Scotch will quickly produce a more magnificent happiness and less enduring misery than any relation.

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18. “That’s what Motherhood will do to you: give you an aversion to small children.”

19. “You won’t like it if the vegans take you. They’ll force you to walk around free-range in the sunlight and live in a utopian commune with scraggy chickens. You won’t be the biggest cock there. Demented roosters will crow in your ear all night. You’ll catch avian flu dicking one of the water fowls. And, worst of all, they’ll spend all of their time telling you how wonderful and beautiful you are, which is an insult coming from someone who’ll wear hessian pants and brown sandals. Well I mean it doesn’t mean a lot if you’re being praised by someone who has no discernment.”

20. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that it’s impossible to ever sit around feeling content for any given period of time before some arsehole with a briefcase appears on the horizon, approaches from a distance and comes to fuck it all up.

21. “They are labouring under a misapprehension… assuming that comedians are buoyant & happy people. When really it is no joke thinking up jokes all of the time & depressing too as I think you’ll agree looking around us now that there’s little here that could be considered amusing.”

22. To improve the collective gene pool, more folks oughter marry their cousins.

23. You have to wonder why these people worry so much about going to hell when they already live in Texas.

24. There is no colour more beautiful or disgusting than pink; it is the colour of the womb, flushed lips, spring flowers, raw meat, spliced birds that have been massacred by gorgeous fluffy cats, albino’s eyes, broken veins scattered across alcoholic noses and Pepto-Bismol.

25. Once he said to me, “Honey, you gotta try harder to be nicer to people you despise.” But I said, “If I were nicer, they wouldn’t know I despised them, then what incentive would they have to change?”

26. “Surely when two women come together, and one of them says, ‘How are you, sister?’ and the other one says, ‘Sister, I’m miserable,’ then the topic of men is going to come up at some point?”

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27. He stood before the mirror every day (squinting through the grime) repeating “I must – I must be thinner. A new me. The best me I can be!” It was his motivating mantra. That day when he was thin, he said, would be the day when all of his other life’s achievements would pale in comparison. Every woman he passed on the street would be attracted to his long, lean figure, and come panting after him; men would doff their hats as a sign of respect for his ability to attract high-class crumpet. Clearly that is bullshit. Don’t bother. 

28.  You can only get hurt when you love something. If you don’t love anything, nothing can hurt you.

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You Ought to Drink Less Coke QED

vintage Coke

The incredible influence exerted by Coke and multi-nationals of the same ilk is not restricted to “advertising”, and unfortunately the impact that the company has is never as positive or democratic as they’d have us believe, as the Coke vs. the NT government case now makes clear. When the NT government wanted to introduce a “cash for containers” recycling scheme, Coca-Cola Amatil took them to the High Court and won. So what exactly was the issue here? A green community scheme that aimed to keep Australia clean, prevent viable recycling going in to landfill and reduce the number of deaths to seabirds and other wildlife? The corpses are found with stomachs full of plastic bottle-tops which they have mistakenly swallowed and are unable to digest. The parents will even ‘feed’ the bottle-tops to their chicks in that sweet regurgitating way they do. This is the point of the Greenpeace ad which no commercial station will show: Channel 7, 9, 10 & SBS all rejected the Greenpeace ad; one channel gave the rather lame excuse that it was too offensive (to whom? The type of people who leave their rubbish lying around?) Watch it here. But lest you should wonder why I, missshitsville, have so concerned myself with the topic (aside from having worked at the zoo and being really quite fond of birds and even peacocks, despite appearances) I think it’s simply rude — selfish — pure unadulterated fuckedheadedness for any human being to trash public spaces and to make your rubbish someone else’s problem. When I go walking, high up in the hills that surround Shitsville Ranch, I see plastic bottles about the place, steamed up with condensation; they drift out of the river when it floods and end upside down in Veronica bushes, and the monkeys throw them at each other — which makes it very hard for me to go on pretending that stupid people don’t exist, the similarities are striking.

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Coca-Cola objected to the scheme in NT on the grounds that it would make the cost of a can of Coke too prohibitive… It’s the old ‘make sure every good American Joe can get a 5 cent bottle of Coke everywhere he goes’ thing; incredibly endearing concern for the happiness and home-like comforts of the average Joe.

Articles in the Fuckwit ‘news’ pictorial rarely mention the issue without palpable anti-green bias (funnily enough they never mention the part that Coke plays in the issue); as expected they are on the side of ‘Victorians’, families of three to six children no doubt begotten while Joe and Sue screwed frantically to the sound of Cold Chisel, that’s how average and Aussie they are. The Fuckwit Newscorp called the deposit scheme a “green tax”, which is deliberately misleading and aimed to plug-in to some of the misogynist hatred surrounding the figure of Prime Minister Gillard who (apparently personally) dared to introduce a carbon tax which Joe and Sue are in strong agreement (bordering on insanity) about:  they dislike the carbon tax because it offers incentives to major polluters to reduce their emissions and average Aussies don’t give a fuck about that kind of shit; they’d rather spend those (all of ten) carbon tax bucks a week on… I don’t know. Umpteen bottles of Coke for the continued happiness of their entitled, dullard children I guess; those charming teenage boys who drink directly from “family-size” 2 litre bottles.

No doubt a lot of people are willing to argue that Joe and Sue have every right to spend their hard earned on whatever it is they want, however “inessential” hippies think that those things are; no doubt also that in other ways the same people standing up for the rights of Joe and Sue to Enjoy CokeTM are in the pay of the people who gave Joe and Sue the idea that buying Coke makes them happy in the first place. Let us just take a moment to think about how democratic it is to have our choice of government and their economic & environmental policies dictated to us by big business and a biased, censored media.

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If Joe and Sue McAverageaussie are genuinely concerned that the totally refundable $4.80 a container deposit scheme will add to the price of a slab of beer or soft drink (I’m assuming that’s 24 cans a slab calculated at the exaggerated “up to 20 cents” a bottle rate, and not 48 cans calculated at the correct 10 cent rate) will find them having to pay in excess of a totally refundable $300 a year (that’s 1500 cans/bottles a year averaging four bottles/cans a day, every single day of the year) all I can say is that I truly find the amount of soft drink and / or alcohol you consume to be not only appalling but concerning as well.  One bottle for every member of the family every day? As opposed to one bottle you could share as a family, occasionally? But hush, Joe and Sue, do not fret. You could get the ‘excess of $300-a-year’ back simply by recycling that absurdly large, teetering pile of bottles, or you could save even more money by drinking less coke.

Greenacres



Technically a lifeline is also enough rope to hang yourself with. I am keeping that in mind now that things in my life seem to have developed a kind of upside. I am presently ensconced in the sunny Greenacres Estate outside of the sunny state of Shitsville (TX) having absconded from Shitsville Ranch in the dead of night with my hefty Sinatra sympathy cheque.  Some jerk has made a TV show called “Shitsville Express” and I don’t want any of those sad fucks in support hosiery who go on bus tours to the “Neighbour’s” street in sunny Vermont South feeling ‘with it’ or ‘on-trend’ enough to jump into a ricketty charablanc and hightail it up the hill to peep at me and my splendid mid-century split-level Ranch and to leave their rubbish and empty Coke bottles in my hedges as such people are always wont to do.

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The precise reason that I live high up in the hills on Shitsville Ranch is because I would like at every moment of my life to be mathematically or geographically and geopolitically as far removed from other people — those vile, vile, vile half-wits and mongoloids who call themselves ‘human beings’ — as it is possible to be. Every day they — the vile, vile people — say “we are getting better and better” and “technology is changing our lives” while reverting to the pre-evolutionary state of great apes who use simple tools and frogs’ mouths to masturbate with.

I figured that by the time  Nancy Sinatra and cousin Frankie and my father Archie Shitsville awoke from their comas and worked out precisely who and what was still alive, (“Oh Nancy, dear Nancy, I did not mean to deceive you, it was a requiem for my heart which is dead,”) I would be far far away, sunning by the calm waters of a blue tiled pool, watching the fringe on the sun umbrella playing in the breeze. It is a return to God’s green and pleasant land, the endless blue days that one knew in one’s youth. There is a coral pink telephone here (unconnected) and the postman always rings twice as a warning.

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You ought to drink less Coke (Part 3)

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Let us just take a refreshing pause as we consider this Valkyrie on her modern-day horse; she is gorgeously pink and pleasantly dimpled and in so many ways a Titian vision of blonde loveliness ‘that could make a bishop kick in a stained-glass window’. Coke has crow-barred itself into this picture of joy and with its official stamp positioned itself as the preeminent consideration in the entirely spurious “Coke + beautiful woman = happiness” equation. Unfortunately adorning a product with a woman is no new trick and a marketing technique unlikely to lose its attraction any time soon; sidebar this lowest-common-denominator approach to advertising has also inflamed various kinds of terrible social problems by unintentionally reinforcing the equally spurious “woman = product” idea. While we take another refreshing pause in order to allow time for the blood to return to your brain I would like to casually suggest that advertising works by coupling the product it is trying to sell with something (abstract) that you actually want; and that the repetition of the same message over time establishes what seems like a ‘natural’ link between the two. Eventually we start thinking in shorthand; from “Coke + fantastically beautiful woman + fairground + holiday = happiness”, we collapse the equation:

“Coke […] = happiness.”

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Sex, love, youth, happiness, friendship, freedom, Victory, (“one people, one nation,” if you live in Nazi Germany) and the “Carry On” motto of the British in WW2; Coke has corralled all of these magnificent, abstract things in order to peddle its sombre draught.  Of all of these evidently desirable things, a bottle of Coke is the only one that you can actually buy; and so we do. This is exactly the public relations technique that Edward Bernays (a nephew of Freud) theorised and was an expert of: appealing to irrational, unconscious desires in order to direct and control the behaviour of the masses.

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The point I am eventually going to make if I ever stop getting distracted by the pictures (notice pretty fraulein with proffered face, breasts and tray in order of consideration) is that while companies like Coke are in the end only trying to sell us 5 cent bottles of syrupy carbonated water, with over a century’s worth of relentless propaganda it’s fair to say that we have not only been irretrievably charmed by their witch’s brew but also allowed them to define for us incredibly important concepts such as: “happiness”; “friendship” (Share a Coke with…) ; “the good things in life”; “quality family time” and indeed all “sunny and pleasant things”; that which is “home-like”; “purity and quality”; “leisure” and “refreshment” — even “health” (Coca-Cola revives and sustains, apparently; it has some undeniable yet indefinable connection to sports in any case) — in the same way that we allowed Coke to determine the way that we picture Saint Nicholas.

Coke has even bought shares in “democracy”. In the twenties and thirties Coke and all kinds of mass-manufactured products came to be thought of as a truly democratic thing: the standardisation and modern, effective methods of distribution meant any one and everyone, born high and low, from movie stars and fashionable sophisticates to okies in their old jalopy and young drifters like Bonnie and Clyde, from Fatty Arbuckle and his unfortunate paramour to the King of England — anyone could enjoy a bottle of delicious, refreshing Coca-Cola for 5 cents and know it was the same purity and quality as the one the other fellow was drinking. It was even possible for the refreshment of 5 cent Cokes to follow American soldiers around the globe during WWII — same as the Betty Grable pin-up. It is precisely this popular, ‘democratic’ appeal (and one-size-fits-all approach to international relations) which made the Coca-Cola Company extraordinarily successful and awesomely rich, and terrifyingly powerful, a lot like omniscient Santa with his ever-watchful twinkling eyes and comprehensive list of children who have been naughty or nice; those good children he leaves Coke-bottle-shaped presents for and those bad ones he brings litigation against.

Read Next: You Ought To Drink Less Coke, QED (Part Four)

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Sebastian vs. the vegans

When I got home that night there was a trail of bloodied bodies all of the way up the garden path: tiny bush mice with brilliantly red guts and a bright wasp buzzing into them; a disturbingly large bird that had been tagged by a scientist, no doubt something rare and wondrous, was now dead on its back, and the air was sparkling with feathers.

The carnage was the work of Sebastian, my peacock. Sebastian is a first class serial killer, I’ll have you know. Absolutely merciless, but so precise. He separates the tiny backbones and tails from the mice and unwinds the intestines with his beak in the admirably detached, clinical manner for which Army Medics are given medals.  I was curious what innocent tune the phoenix had dared to whistle whilst perched upon the clothesline to inspire Sebastian’s murderous vendetta. Peacocks can fly, did you know… well at least they can get off the ground high enough that you couldn’t really call it a ‘leap’. So Sebastian spends half of his time on his velvet day bed and the other half on the roof, watching over things. But he gets away with it, the most awful things, because he is so pretty.

“Sebastian!” I said, coming in. “You need to go and pick up that carnage. I have annoyed some vegans and they will no doubt be coming here shortly to protest me. And what do you think will happen if they get here and find a pile of dead animals up the garden path?!”

At this Sebastian, who was lying down, blood splattered and exhausted from the work, sort of opened & closed the fan of his tail feathers in the manner of someone magnificent giving me time to remember to whom I was speaking.

“Then you should probably hide the bodies before they come,” said Sebastian tiredly, and closed his old eyes.

“I’m not touching that filth, you cock. What do you think the vegans will do to you when they see that mess? They’ll call the RSPCA who’ll come and take you off me.”

“If you don’t want them to take me then you should clean it,” said Sebastian.

“Maybe I’ll just let them take you,” I said.

“Maybe it will be better for me if they do,” said Sebastian. “They’ve been writing me letters, asking if I’m okay.”

“You’re okay, Sebastian. You’re lying on a velvet daybed. You drink from a marble fountain that is filled with Chartreuse.”

“For that matter, I’ll have you know that I can’t stick the way you keep me here locked up like a toy, away from my naturalistic setting, and stuff me with fatty foods as tho you’re going to make pate from my liver. I suspect…!”

“And what, pray tell, is a peacock’s natural environment?” I had to ask. “I’ve never been bothered to find out. I don’t know how long you’d get by in the jungle with a tail like that. You might as well be walking around with an All You Can Eat sandwich board lit up in neon lights.”

Sebastian sniffed.

“Besides,” I went on. “You won’t like it if the vegans take you. They’ll force you to walk around free range in the sunlight and live in a utopian commune with scraggy chickens. You won’t be the biggest cock there. Demented roosters will crow in your ear all night. You’ll catch avian flu dicking one of the water fowls. I know you too well. And, worst of all…” – this was the coup de grace – “They’ll spend all of their time telling you how wonderful and beautiful you are, which is an insult coming from someone who’ll wear hessian pants and brown sandals. Well I mean it doesn’t mean a lot if you’re being praised by someone who has no discernment.”

At this Sebastian sat up a bit. He had such mad eyes. This cheered me somewhat. I had started to make dinner, and went on chopping and chatting away. “Well anyway I have just been to the museum to see a little eagle taxidermised. If you don’t want to clean up the corpses, you should come here and help me with dinner instead. Then I’ll give the vegans something decent to complain about.”

Femme se promenant dans une foret de merde

By Thursday I had yet to hear from a certain person, despite the picture of a rat’s head I had sent him, so then I sent a concerned message asking if he minded the picture of the rat’s head, since he had decided to become a vegan. Nor, it now occurred to me, had I yet heard from my Mother, so I rang her myself.

“Hello, Mother,” I said, and she said, “Hello-?” I told her about the rat’s head, and how in fact it had annoyed me beyond belief when the boy decided to become vegan. I became very smarmy about vegans. “Once I went to the zoo, and there was a group of vegans in hessian pants out the front looking out for things to protest, and one of the girls had taken a whole clipboardfull of notes before she had even gone through the gate and seen how spectacularly the animals were mistreated and abused.”

“They don’t like to see animals in cages,” said Mother, who had lain about slinkily on bear rugs in enough glamour photos to understand the real tragedy implicit in keeping a bear behind bars for a lifetime, til it got so old it lost all of the colour and gloss from its fur.

“They’d rather see them extinct in the wild, I suppose.”

“You weren’t really upset he went vegan,” said Mother suddenly. “You were just upset he didn’t ask you first.”

“Well that’s probably true,” said I. “I love a nature lecture. And the poor fool can’t be trusted to make important decisions on his own.”

“You are condescending and a bully.”

“Yep, yep.”

“Well this has been a delightful short chat,” said Mother.  “Now I have to…”

“Mother, mother – it’s my birthday,” said I.

“Oh,” said Mother, “It’s your birthday?”

“Did you forget my birthday, Mother?”

“Did you remember mine?”

“You mean last year? When I was in Texas? I tried to ring. But you didn’t pick up. Awash with bourbon, in Texas, I couldn’t say exactly what I did to celebrate. I could have fired a pistol into the ceiling, but it would have disturbed the couple in bed on the floor above.”

“What about the year before?”

“Does it matter, Mother? The particulars? I’m sure I marked the occasion with a fitting tribute.”

Well you’d probably find it easier to remember if the tribute wasn’t so cheap.”

“Wait. Didn’t I get you that painting?” (“Woman Walking In An Exotic Forest” by Henri Rousseau… dreamy, disquieting, childlike, ‘naive’… She put it above the TV, where most people in the 80’s had a print of one of the illustrations from Animalia).

It’s the sentiment that I found to be cheap,” said Mother. Suddenly, despite the connection, her pronunciation, her round tones, the sharp ends and hisses of her s’s and t’s became distinct in frightening thespian fashion. “It has nothing to do with the magnificence, the significance, of that startling thing, you know, a Birth Day… The day on which you were born… Before which, you existed, but had not yet been born… before which time you didn’t exist at all, and it didn’t bother you, which is why I wonder why people worry so much about dying. It is like Roland Barthes said somewhere, Is history not simply that time when we were not born? So your own birthday is really, you know, a division: consciousness from non-consciousness, the separation of the “present” from “history”; it can hardly be adequately summed up with candles and a ditty, and why anyone else should pretend to care or be able to truly grasp the first and last significant moment in your life is beyond me… the beginning of your consciousness is meaningless to them, and anyway they have one of their own that they are still struggling with.”

Mother has a real talent for making me become incredibly cynical. Moreso than usual, I mean. “You’re really just bitter because you hate your life,” I said, psychoanalysing in a strikingly perceptive and emotionally mature way. “I couldn’t be an active participant in your birth, the way you were in mine, so I’m sorry, Mother, if you’ve ever felt I didn’t care enough about you to be there for you in your darkest hour. But believe me it was due to circumstances beyond my control.”

“In that case it’s only fitting that you rang me on your birthday,” said Mother. “In order to thank me for it.”

“But that’s what Mother’s Day is for!” I protested valiantly, but in vain.

“But I am your mother every day,” said Mother. “Not once a year.”

Then, tersely, twisting the phone cord round and round my lovely fingers, til they went red.  “I’m aware of that. In fact the fact weighs heavily on my mind, Mother. But I was only born once, Mother, ”(crisply). “I, your only daughter, was once of woman born (misquoting)… Once… Once, Mother… on the 28th of February (‘Février’ en Français),” (close to tears) “And the anniversary of that spectacular event was on Tuesday, TUESDAY – of all days, in the entire year, the day before the day I rang you, however fantastic the coincidence may seem!”

[ Obviously this conversation took place some months ago. ]

“Of course,” said Mother slowly. “February is the cruellest month,” (misquoting). “The twenty eighth of February…” (in the same tone in which monarchists would say, “Bastille Day”) “X amount of years ago.”

“Do you even know how old I am, Mother?”

“No. The last few decades have all been a blur. I blame the Scotch. [aside]  Or is it gin? Or do I simply not care enough to remember precisely? [loud again] That’s what Motherhood will do to you,” said Mother, in the tone she adopted when she felt warm and inspired to give maternal advice, woman-to-woman. It communicated itself down the telephone line with a cat-like vibrato. “It gives you an aversion to small children. And it’s no coincidence that I was married to your father around the same time I had you and took up drinking. Tho’ which came first in the chain of events is unclear, as I said before.”

So I said, “Mother, I hate you,” and hung up.

Later that day I went to the museum to see a little eagle get taxidermied. It was a beautiful white bird with really beautiful big black eyes that I saw the man pop out before he stuffed the sockets with cotton wool. First he put the bird on its back and made a cut on its soft stomach longways down the middle. Then it was a matter of gently working its skin and feathers off pushing with his bare fingers while he kept adding a white powder (Borax I think) to soak up any “moisture”.  He told us the eagle had been road kill, and that it had been donated, for science, he told us, to pacify the vegans protesting, like they always do, because their diet makes them tetchy, because the vegans had misunderstood the wording of “live dissection” and taken it to mean  (because they would rather believe, because it fits in with their world schema) that the “live dissection” would be performed on a live animal, rather than that the dissection would be performed, live, meaning unrecorded, on a dead animal; idiots.

All that time he was working around the wings etc., the bird on its back, jiggling slightly, gazed at me upside-down with those beautiful eyes and the same, absolutely unconcerned and shameless stare of babies with their legs in the air when they are having their bums wiped. I mean you grow up, discover shame, then have to go on living thirty, forty, even fifty years before you rediscover that absolutely pure state, shamelessness, at the other end, when you’re mental in the old folks home: it’s there, in the garden of Eden, the pre-lapsarian state of grace, when you’re a baby and haven’t lived long enough to care what people think; then again when you are old and have lived too long to go on caring. And, coincidentally, it’s somewhere in those middle years when you do care what people think (to greater or lesser degrees) that all of the worst things seem to happen (and you become concerned with clothes).

Occasionally the taxidermist had to use something to clip around the tricky bits like the legs, where there were more ligaments or whatever, then the constant gaze disappeared and the bird’s next got turned inside-out like a sock, whereupon the taxidermist used a bone cutter, which makes the most horrible crunch, a crunch beyond description, to cut the skull away from the neck. In birds you have to keep the skull because of the beak, but that necessitates scraping the brains out – horrific crunch again – this bird “had undergone some trauma” and so the brain was just mush, which could have dribbled out.  Then he threw some more powder in, followed by more cotton wool (I’ve seen boys shove white powder, followed by tissues, up their nose in a similar fashion to prevent blood dripping on their Law Exams) and turned the neck the right way back. Then it was just flat and formless like empty clothes. The rest of the eagle, lying on the table a startling, indecent distance from its skin and feathers (comparable to a whore when she kicks her knickers off) looked just as pink and edible as your traditional Friday basted poultry dish.

This took about 35 minutes… I had, at about 28 minutes, begun to feel a little nauseous, but that was due to the smell of the little eagle more than anything, it was actually bloodless, and I’ve only been doting over the details here in order to make a certain vegan chuck. But it was close there, and getting hot, with nerds pressing in on either side of me, so the smell was not pleasant. This was on a special evening when the youth had been enticed to the museum with drinks and sexy nature lectures, so it was really packed.  But then I felt assailed by the grating, excited cackle-comments of the self-aware, B.Sci@UniMelb type; you know, they always have a slight fuzz on their faces, which impresses you with dirtiness rather than masculinity; they wear brown trousers, which impresses you with dirtiness more than anything; $5 (plastic, fuzz-covered) grey-or-brown checked, narrow brimmed trilbies, which impresses you with dirtiness and dandruff and cheapness and an actually offensive lack of discernment, because they believe their Ye Olde headwear is a genuine port-hole-like link to the sophistication of a sexier age, whether gangster, noir, a dive bar, Chicago, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney; the fifties, jazz played under six leagues of cigarette smoke, pork-pie hat sitting on the back of the head; or the rakish trilby of the well dressed gents of Jermyn St, Cork St, the Burlington Arcade, Saville Row, in the thirties, in co-respondents, swinging a cane; Kafka? (If you go to UniMelb it always comes back to Kafka, they’ll always find a way to drop in a Kafka, even in vet sciences.) I don’t think even the stinking nerds know what look it is they’re referencing, and why the narrow brims, which make the hats actually useless in the sun, why? This annoys me. Scientists, all, with a genuinely bizarre, irrational and utterly devotional misplaced belief in the stylishness of basically brimless hats and the Lynx effect [Spray for the Perceptibly Unwashed & Genetically Poor] which, they feel, allows them to sweat all night into their Batman pyjama bottoms and then dress and go to work the next day without showering in the morn…  They love either Bob Dylan or decks and beatz. Such people have taken a gorgeous thing, sported by the best of men, and turned it into wank.

Besides the violently dirty & be-hatted nerds there was a spectacular number of hipsters in that place, the girls leaving hyper-red quarter moon imprints on their wine glasses… real fucking hipsters, who are, in contrast to the Dylan fans, always clean; too clean, in fact; it is like the way you can tell a vampire because it has no reflection, a real hipster is inhumanly clean. The basically ugly, ironically dowdy hipster-nerd girls had round bright cheeks and precise red-orangey lips and wore housewifey dresses in an attempt to disguise their plainness and dullness with sickening, cutesy fashions. Quaint. You know the type: they admire the childishly whispery voiced like Julia Stone (ugh, fuck); the fallaciously sweet like Regina Spektor (‘isn’t she gorgeous’: vomit); they would stick plasticine on their faces and consider it “arty” rather than retarded, like Sia. Now if you’re a bit confused and trying to discern precisely how or where I’ve drawn the line between the nerds and the real hipsters, who, you might like to point out can dress similarly, and share the same tastes, in fact, you say, gathering steam, a lot of hipsters would identify as nerds and a lot of nerds would indulge in the utterly mendacious belief that they are not really nerds, but, in fact, smart-cool, hipsters. I admit there is some cross-over; it has nothing to do with brains. It is just what I said before: “nerds” are perceptibly dirty, and “real hipsters” are unsettlingly clean, they’re so cool they can not sweat, and your endurable “indie” types belong somewhere in the middle of the hygiene spectrum.

There were a few punks there (love), gay punks (even better: fifteen times the number of piercings) and I’m sure, statistics would suggest, at least one comely chap, but all in all no really comforting faces were to be spotted among the quaint ones that had been painted on, in that place full of dinosaur bones, under which a man who looked like Harry Potter gave a talk;  “The Utterly Depressing, (but strictly Scientific), Mating Habits of Bugs, Spiders, Fish, Giant Squid, etc., etc., etc., etc.” It was a nice way of being made to feel unloved, loveless, sexless and therefore lifeless on your birthday. And so, dear reader, I looked back at that dear little eagle with its eyes gone and its pinkness all out, and, like a vegan, I wept.

Modern life well it’s rubbish

Of course all of this perrenial lolling in baths of breastmilk drinking Long island iced teas, self-gazing and self reflection in deco mirrors (I’ve had to keep wiping the steam off to see my glorious reflection through the frosted palm trees) has its downside. Naturally one cannot look past the genetic physiology, that is, inferences of a less than aristocratic ancestry, hints of peasant blood, big hands and a broad flat back for logging barefoot donkeys 60 miles to the lumbermill in St Petersburg (or where have you), child bearing hips for the production of cheap labour, etc. This I suppose accounts for a secret and perverse fascination with working class louts. I once had the unfortunate experience of meeting my distant cousins at the funeral of a dear old Loved One. Third cousin John was wearing that shade of blue denim so particular to people who run up massive lay-buys at Target, and would tell me again and again how he had “worked at the railway” for thirty years; fourth cousin S- J- B- (same initials as myself) who shall take the non de plume of Jack The Ripper, had, I knew quite well, been in juvy (the Loved One told me: before he died of course: I do not mean to suggest any definite link between his death and Jack the Ripper). In any case Jack the Ripper was more than willing to show me some very affectionate and sexual miscreant-like condolences as I wept by the graveside, this despite our acquaintance going back less than 20 minutes.  There was one particular moment when I actually considered pushing him off me and into the grave, but then I didn’t want to risk the coffin cracking open and me having to regret the awful suit I had picked out for the Loved One (the same one he wore at my parent’s wedding, apparently.)

THE POINT BEING, all of this idling in stunning art deco decadence like a cocaine queen in Miami has its downside, and as it is now raining outisde after three days of suffocating tropical climate, and me truly suffering in my Gatsby pool for all of that time, it has suddenly occurred to me I belong in more Arctic climes, 5 foot deep in black black mud, morbid Irish-Catholic conscience telling you that you can’t contemplate anything other than said black black mud as the point of all life is to suffer, and the oddly consoling death-like baas of sheep as they warn me away from their spawn, and a gauntlet glove so that I can pursue my one abiding passion, that is, falconry.