Scrambling up the scaffolding of destitution, Horvis Hornstripe harnesses the might of his deleted Twitter account and thrashes the Gawking Demon Dogs of Carnage…
So I have a new G.P. He went over my notes and scans last week and today he says he agrees that something is terribly wrong and he will help me fix it. He has started with a new medication that I have high hopes for. I think that if it really does work and the pain becomes manageable I will be able to come of the hard stuff. It will take time but it’s the first time I have considered not being a life long hard drug user. However when I got to the chemist to get my prescription filled (as the man said…), they told me that it is not Government subsidised and it will cost me $499.00. Now thats for a year and a half worth of medicine and repeats so it’s not as bad as it seems at first glance but it’s still twice what I get in a week and it’s out of my reach.
So for a brief minute there I felt happy and hopeful that things might improve, just a little teensy weensy minute. It was pretty funny because I handed the script over and said “Hey can you please fill this today and I will come back and pay for it on wednesday?” and they go “Yep thats absolutely fine”. It would’ve been like the time I asked the barman at the Tequilaria if I could try the best tequila he had… It was so good I had another one. It ended up being like 2 or 3 hundred bucks. Fortunately I had it on me but it was a pretty dumb move.
Dearest Kind Reader. I don’t ask for much, all I really want is your attention for five or ten minutes now and then but I really need some help. If you can, please reach out, I am not hard to track down online. I won’t ask again. Thanks for reading my unfiltered mental thoughts, I do appreciate it. Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the Container beside a polluted lake…
Hi friend. You know what? It’s not worth winding myself all up into a fucking frenzy. I think that doing that would send me straight to the bottom of a liquor bottle quicker than any of the things I am afraid of actually happening. So, in honour of not giving a fuck, here’s todays episode in a continuing saga called “The Fat Man Likes Cheese”.
POLENTA! Its Tapiocas poor cousin and something only vegans and fuck heads should ever really deal with… unless, that is, you are making Polenta Chips, in which case its badass. You will need some fresh herbs, not too many, you don’t want too many flavours detracting from Polentas famous blandness… Salt, Pepper, Milk, stock and a refrigerator…..
Here are the Ingredients. I ended up doubling it (Something I tend to do all the time to adjust for larger appetites) which turns out wasn’t necessary but I will freeze what I don’t cook today.
2 cups low-sodium chicken or veg broth ½ cup whole milk 1 ½ cups cornmeal 1 tbsp butter ½ cup parmesan, shredded 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped Salt to taste
You get the liquids to a boil then dump the polenta in and add all the other stuff and let it bubble for 10 minutes or so. Then you slop it all into a shallow dish and refrigerate until its firm. Cut it all up into chips and bake or deep fry until golden and crispy. There’s a wicked mexican restaurant in Hamilton that does Polenta chips and if mine turn out anywhere near theirs I will be happy. I didn’t add the paprika that gives theirs a red tinge but I didn’t think it needed any extra stuff. I did use chicken stock instead of vege too.
I’ve had the worst couple of days, my mental health and depression have been really bad and I have had some pretty scary thoughts and feelings. But today I received some more hopeful news about my future both short and long term and I feel much better than I did at 2am this morning. I still smell as bad as I did then though. I’d better sort that out because I am seeing my new G.P tomorrow and I need for him to have a good impression because I really need his help. The things I fear never eventuate. Can you relate to that huh?
I keep thinking that maybe I am faking it for sympathy or that I am making it out to be worse than it is. I have days where it doesn’t hurt too much but they are the days when I don’t move about much. Every time I feel like it might be ok I get smashed with a day like today. I cant stand up for longer than 5 or 10 minutes at a time. Please, kind reader, take a moment to consider all the things you can’t do if you cant stand up that long… no Knee-tremblers for this fat fuck, thats for damn sure. It can’t get any worse so it has to get better, right? Right.
Yesterday a Grand Jury handed down it’s decision regarding the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor. She and her partner were asleep when Police raided the wrong address. No one will be charged with her murder. Take a moment to ponder that, irate and righteously indignant reader….
After the Mosque shooting in Christchurch the New Zealand Corrections service did a massive reshuffle in order to separate the white supremacists currently in the muster. They were causing too much division and violence in the wake of their champion shooting up all those people while they were at church. I, like many others, got moved about too as they made space for the ratbags. I ended up in a really low security unit and, for a month or so, things were really good. Well, I say that in context of course. Up to that point I had been in some really scary and volatile units, pods and wings and so it was a little breathing room, a bit like waking up from a horrible nightmare, having a nice cool drink of water and then going back to sleep and the nightmare. Heh, like most nights…
I was terrified all the time. Every time they shift you about you just never know where you are going to end up and, more importantly, who you might end up sharing a fucking 6 foot slot with. I was in “Transit” for weeks. “Transit” mean you do not have any property, not even a change of undies or a toothbrush and they will not tell you when or where you might be going. All of your property disappears and you are given a new set of prison clothes at every new prison (The ones in Dunedin are Bright Pink!). I used to beg for a pen and something to draw on, some screws will, some screws wont… They will not tell you anything, while you are in Transit, you are just in Transit. They don’t tell you when they are going to move you, they just show up and tell you to come with them. It can happen any time and it’s hell for someone with anxiety. The worst bit was that you would get comfortable (Remember…context…) and start to feel safe with the people you are penned up with and then, wham, you are on a truck or a plane and not knowing where you are going to end up again. Your Property doesn’t even begin to make its way to you until you reach your destination and then it can take months before it gets to you. No promises that all of it will be there either. Long laggers are the ones that pack up all the property and they have light fingers, mother fuckers. “Tea-Leaf”… the worst crime you can commit in jail.
Anyway, eventually I reached my destination and it was the strangest thing I’d experienced in there. Once I was processed a guy came and took me around every single cell in the unit and introduced everyone to me. I can only cringe imagining how this might go down back at Spring Hill or Rimutaka…. there would be violence, quite quickly. But it worked here and it was kinda cool. I wasn’t there long but I got to use the instruments, they had about 5 or 6 acoustic guitars and a handful of Ukuleles and on the weekends or after 4pm you could take one back to your cell. The Music Room had drum kit, guitars, keys and bass and amps plus a box full of effects and percussion. These rooms exist in the prison system but this was the first time I’d been able to get access to one. There was a microwave, hot water boiler and a george foreman type grill in the yard that you could use during the day. There was a grassy bit in the middle of the yard and on the weekends they would play “Scrag” a more physical version of rugby league I guess. I was never up for it but now and then, particularly the South Africans, the Screws would get on the field and thats when things got really interesting. There was a library we could go to every week, there were driving lessons and a driving instructor would come once a week with a big truck that had a virtual driving simulator in it and you could practice driving and answer test questions. There was a Kapa Haka group and now and then they had little concerts. Everyone would bring a plate into the dining room and we’d have a little prison party. Prison Cake is the real deal man, google it. The prison commissary list is pretty sparse but the men and women in there have developed some pretty amazing recipes just from the meagre ingredients available. I had regular access to a psychiatrist and I was taken into town to hospital a few times for health problems I was having. None of this shit had been available to me before or after that unit. They are called “Harmony” units. You have to sign a non-violence pledge and you have to not be “I.D.U” (Identified Drug User) or a known Gang Member. There was an Art room too, with art supplies and a screen printing rig but I never managed to get enough people interested to get them to open it. As soon as i got comfortable, as is their habit, I got told to pack my bags. I put up a fight, I tried to get the psychs to make them keep me there for the rest of my lag due to my anxiety and stuff but they only managed to stall them for a week or two. Before I knew it I was back in the jungle with all the monsters. Don’t get me wrong, there were some scary, volatile and unpleasant mother fuckers in that Unit and it had it’s terrifying moments too but somehow we all got along. I only saw two violent attacks bad enough to involve an ambulance driving right into the yard during that period. We would all get locked down until it’s all over. Back in the Jungle there was at least one a day. Usually more than one. Especially given that I had to travel about the prison every day for medication, I got to see more of the wild life than others.
The reason I am remembering this today is because I met the most abrasive and horrid salesperson today. I took my keyboards into a local electrical repair man. I have used him before for musical instruments and we seemed to get along fine. Today I think it was his wife taking care of the store and she was a real fucken bitch. It all went sour when I had to spell my surname for her and she realised I am Māori…. It was amazing, as soon as I said it her whole demeanour changed and her mouth screwed up like “Eeeugghkkkk”. “Your gonna have to spell that” she snarled and from then on she was horrid. She demanded payment up front, something he has never done to me and as I was about to tap my numbers into the machine I thought to myself “I really should just take my instruments somewhere else” but, well, even though she was behaving poorly, he has never done me wrong so, fuck it. She reminded me of a nurse I met while I was down there in the boon docks. They took me in for an endoscopy/colonoscopy (Is that the right word?) The one that they do where they stick a camera all the way up and around your colon and lower intestines. She was just a bitch right from the start. “Oh so you are out at the holiday camp are you? You people are supposed to be punished, not living in luxury” something along those lines. Then she refused me the fentanyl that is supposed to come with this procedure. She said at first that they were supposed to have given it to me before I came and then she lied to me and I just went along with it. You don’t have much control in handcuffs and leg shackles… I screamed through the whole thing, it was excruciating, I don’t think I’ve ever felt pain like that. Half way though the Dr goes “Has this man had pain relief?” and the Nurse goes “Yes he’s been prepped”, meanwhile I am screaming blue murder. The Screw that I was handcuffed to said later that he has had two of them and both times he was heavily sedated, he said he’d never heard of them doing it without pain relief and that he thought I was brave for handling it so well.. When I got back to my cell later that day I read through the notes they gave me along with the printout of the scan (Pretty gross pictures). At the top of the notes it states that Fentanyl was administered prior to the procedure. Fucking People! Grrrr. Anyway, that lady at the shop and that lady at the bum camera place, they don’t have to affect me, I don’t have to lower myself to their level.
I kept in touch with just Three Men I met in there. I met hundreds… you dig? All three have now disappeared and are off the radar. Recidivism is how they get us, we end up spending our lives in and out and after a while it feels like home I guess. Thos poor fuckers, I aint never going back there, to hell. Touch wood.
Hey now listen, friend. I know that there are worse off people around the world. I know that my vanilla New Zealand Prison experience pales compared to Rikers Island or what happens in the other North American, South American, Asian and Middle Eastern Jails (Including Guantanamo…). BUT when they shut the door and leave you in a concrete box with a concrete bed and a stainless steel toilet and basin… well it’s the same hell as any other man or woman faces when they lock the door and walk away.
I’m listening to Lil Wayne, I really love this guy. The world is so very interesting at the moment. It seems in a state of flux. Venezuela is in a real crisis and the people who usually step in are too busy with elaborate comb overs and bronzer. I bought Polenta today, I am going to make Polenta chips. I hope you are doing ok. Remember, Covid is real, take care, your rights end where others begin and this plague can easily be contained if we work together. Wash hands and surfaces you touch often, wear a mask in public, don’t gather in hundreds or more and social distance. We can do this. xxx Mark, son of Mars
Remember Elijah McClain? The young African American that was brutally slain by the Aurora Police in Denver Colorado? I will not post the video here, I watched it to the end when the bodycam footage surfaced but I couldn’t do it again. There is also surveillance footage of him in a store buying drinks minutes prior to his murder. He comes across as a bit of a weirdo but harmless, respectful and friendly. His family describe him as a “spiritual seeker, pacifist, oddball, vegetarian, athlete, and peacemaker who was exceedingly gentle”. He was definitely on the spectrum but extremely high functioning. He took his musical instruments to animal shelters to play for the abandoned critters as he thought it helped calm them. He was a Massage therapist and gifted musician. During the attack he can be heard saying that he is an Introvert and for them to please respect his boundaries. He is wearing a Ski Mask, thats why some fuck head called the cops on him. I know its unusual but it’s not unheard of, even here in New Zealand, for someone to wear a balaklava in the cold. Colorado is cold, am I right? He was wearing the Balaklava in the store so I can only deduce that the local community knew him and tolerated his oddball appearance.
There are several things to take into account here. Firstly, whilst charges were not laid, the family pushed for the state to take accountability and forced lawmakers to institute change. This resulted in changes like banning the chokehold used to incapacitate Elijah and for officers to report excessive force used by colleagues (as if that will happen). In the wake of massive protests and police backlash there is also a strongly supported push for Law Enforcement to stop using chemical agents, stop shooting projectiles indiscriminately into crowds, only allow crowd dispersal when there is an urgent danger to other people, and require all police to have their body cameras on at all times. Secondly, photos surfaced later of the Officers back at the scene of the crime posing inappropriately. I haven’t seen them but I can imagine, can’t you, kind and knowing reader? Three Officers were fired and one resigned after the photos came to light. Thirdly, what actually may have killed Elijah was a shot of Ketamine, delivered by the EMTs, a therapy they use for “Excited Delirium”. (Funnily enough “Excited Delirium” is exactly the disease you catch from 3 or 4 Cops pouncing on you out of the blue…). However a later report will state that, given his height and weight they almost double dosed him. At the time the coroner could not determine the exact cause of death, but we know better, don’t we friend? Fourthly. Pigs do NOT like being told what to do.
Finally. Here is a transcript of Elijahs last words. You may want a tissue.
I can’t breathe. I have my ID right here. My name is Elijah McClain. That’s my house. I was just going home. I’m an introvert. I’m just different. That’s all. I’m so sorry. I have no gun. I don’t do that stuff. I don’t do any fighting. Why are you attacking me? I don’t even kill flies! I don’t eat meat! But I don’t judge people, I don’t judge people who do eat meat. Forgive me. All I was trying to do was become better. I will do it. I will do anything. Sacrifice my identity, I’ll do it. You all are phenomenal. You are beautiful and I love you. Try to forgive me. I’m a mood Gemini. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Ow, that really hurt! You are all very strong. Teamwork makes the dream work. Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to do that. I just can’t breathe correctly.
Fast forward to this week and we find that the Denver Police, in a massive planned strike against protest leaders, have rounded up many of the main players in the local protest movement. Many are claiming that it’s retaliation for making the cops look foolish and for forcing change on them. Combined, the six protesters face 33 felony counts and 34 misdemeanor charges. Each faces years in prison if convicted. There are places you can go to donate to their legal funds. I am sure you are smart enough to work it out, if you can help, help. I fear that this is just the beginning and under Trump we may find this repeated across america. Like Nazi Germany as they first began to round up dissidents, then Jews and then, well…. It’s a pretty extreme comparison I know but fuck man, how far is this going to go. The Police vs African America is a war that really REALLY needs to end. Fuck I felt so crappy hearing about this.
Anyway, thats where my noggin is this morning. I am listening to PRODIGY at Volume. In the night one of my fancy Monitors exploded. It was late and I was asleep and there was a big bang followed by the most horrendous crackling and Popping sound, I thought it was going to burst into flames. I got up and fucked around with it but I couldn’t get it to stop. I emailed the distributor and they directed me to a local repairer who knows their equipment but as I was preparing to put it in the car I thought I’d try it again and, by golly, it works again… weird. I must remember to switch it off when I leave the house though because if it did that while I was away… sheesh. I laid guitar tracks on all my current compositions a few weeks ago. My mate wanted his telecaster back and that prompted me to pull finger. So I have spent the last few days mixing them and they sound amazing, nothing like a deadline huh kind reader? I’m not doing very well, but I am doing everything I need to and I am stable. It’s just the pain, the constant pain and fear. Yesterday my stomach clenched up while I was in the shower, it’s like a cramp but sharp and the pain ratchets up until it feels like I am going to die. I hated it because my daughter was the only one home and no-one needs to have to deliver CPR to an unconscious and naked walrus! Jokes aside, its fucking scary. I try to not move about too much because it aggravates it but my health is getting poorly because I am not real active. I try though and I do manage to keep busy some of the time. I guess I’m doing ok. It’s just a bit miserable sometimes.
I’ll leave you there. Mostly I just hope that you give a shit.
In todays’ Episode our reluctant hero battles with beef, turkeys and Bhutanese Hip Hop in a chapter we like to call “The Death Of Susceptibility”….
For this weeks recipe you will need:
8 medium sized potatoes (2 per person usually works out ok)
6 large slices of schnitzel Anything will do so long as its fresh and please don’t use Veal… Veal isn’t cool, kind and compassionate reader….
Breadcrumbs, Lots of Breadcrumbs
One baguette, or any crusty white bread (Ciabatta works a treat)
All the fresh herbs you can lay your hands on… Namely Thyme, Rosemary, Parsley, Basil, Sage etc
One clove Garlic
Two Large Onions
One large bag of fresh button, Shiitake, Oyster or whatever your fungus jam is
Salt, Pepper, brown sugar, Chilli, Smoked Paprica and an all purpose Cajun spice rub
3 tablespoons Milk (or Water)
1/2 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup grated parmesan
12 toothpicks (Soak in water for 5 mins before using to help them not burn in the oven)
2 packs of instant Gravy
Some kind of salad, for appearances sake
Step One: Get Stuffed!
Wash Your Hands and Surfaces.
In a large bowl add half the breadcrumbs. Crumb the Baguette in a food processor and add this to the bowl also. Crush the garlic with salt and pepper and add to bowl (reserving half of the garlic for later). Finely chop one Onion and Herbs, add to bowl. I also added the cheese but thats optional…. could be overkill.
In a saucepan, melt 100g butter adding a dash of oilve oil to prevent burning. (I tend to be forgetful and have burned my share of saucepans…). Once its all melted add to the bowl and combine all the ingredients. Once you have a solid consistency you should be able to form solid clumps of stuffing without crumbling. Add more bread if its too moist, add more olive oil if its too dry, a splash of water will also help soften un the bread crumbs…. Once you are satisfied place covered bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Step Two: Grab My Terry Flap
Spread Schnitzel out on a flat surface and place a generous tube of stuffing at the widest end of the meat. Use as much stuffing as you can get away with. You want to be able to roll it up in a nice little package without any gaps for the stuffing to come out. Secure in place with toothpicks. Repeat the process until you have 6 little meat buns. I kind of repurposed the “Beef Wellington” idea so aim for that sort of thing… feel me?
Step 3: Down at the Egg Wash
So an Egg Wash is a three step trick for crumbing or coating stuff. You need three bowls. In one place half a cup of flour. In the second whisk 2 eggs with 2 tablespoons of milk (Or water) and salt and pepper. In the third place the remainder Breadcrumbs cut with Smoked Paprika and as much chilli as you like. Firstly coat the meat in flour, making sure every bit of it is dusted. Dusted as Fuck. Then drench the meat in the egg wash, similarly leaving no patch un-drenched. Use a pastry brush if you need to get into trick nooks and crannies… Finally drop the whole mess into the crumbs and, well, Coat… Liberally.
Grease a baking tray or spread out some baking paper, whatever your thing is and bake these bad boys at 210c for 45minutes until golden brown. Leave the door slightly ajar for the last 5 minutes to get them really crispy.
Step Four: No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish.
Potatoes. Who doesn’t love them, right? My mate Tony Tone Stix Growler can barely leave the house without the security blanket of a packet of potato chips within reach. He reckons it’s his Irish heritage, a hangover from the Potato famine, he gets edgy when they aren’t around… These are my mums Hasselback Potatoes, albeit with my own little touch…
Wash the potatoes and get rid of any gnarly bits. Then half them at their widest point so that you have two nice flat halves. Next, you score the tops of them with a sharp knife. Some folks do thin stripes, some do a criss-cross pattern, it doesnt really matter so long as you are consistent and don’t cut all the way through. Try to cut as many times as you can without wrecking them. I do closely spaced cuts so that it comes out looking like the leaves of a ream of paper fanned out. Heres a pic (below), because I do not think I am explaining very well. A fucking actual Lamb just came right inside my house and tried to be my friend! Only in Rural New Zealand do the neighbours livestock sometimes come inside your house for a nosey! It was pretty trippy but I liked patting it, now I’m all shaky! Poor thing, it had a cute little collar on and everything but it’s looking like its getting pretty big now… close to, um, dinner time.
Rub them (The spuds, not the lambs) down with the Cajun spices and a generous splash of olive oil and bake at 210c until golden brown. I like to really smash them so that they almost have a deep fried texture on the plate, crunch and moisture ratios optimal… yah know? Yah Know!
Step 5: Terrence McKenna Lives!
For this part slice the remaining onion into rings and quarter the mushrooms. Saute in olive oil, butter, salt, pepper and a teaspoon of brown sugar until caramelised. In a jug prepare the gravy and then combine with the onions and mushrooms in the pan. Nice and Easy.
Step 6: Plate Tectonics
Plate them up with either a salad or something green, Peas maybe? Drizel with Gravy and serve with ginger Beer, a nice Hoppy IPA or a Merlot.
I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything. I’m afraid I didn’t take any pictures, these dishes tend to disapear before they can be ready for their close-ups… Next time I will try.
Thats all. I have pain killers today so I am going to keep making music. I have the makings of an E.P and I’m working away at that when I can. I have stronger pain killers at the moment but I tend to take them later in the day because I am not much use for anything after I take them. Hey I managed to finesse a copy of the new Hand Of Glory recordings! I am listening to that as I type this. It is fucking sublime, I just can’t tell you how wonderful it is to be able to hear this… It was recorded in 1992 and then misplaced, existing only in urban legend and whispered remarks in the cups. I never thought I would get to hear them like this. This is why I was always hoping for a reunion, that being the only way I might possibly get to hear the music. Sorry, geeking out there for a moment. Maybe they will put it online at some point.
I went to a housewarming the other day. I am so painfully awkward. I notice that I have to fill silences and end up jabbering at people. I hate how I feel at the moment, I am pretty far out there in terms of mental health. I just keep taking care of myself and hoping that things get better. I feel afraid a lot of the time and that doesn’t help matters. When I do go out to see people I come away from it fearing the worst and it prevents me from doing stuff. Dude I hate going to the chemist. The way they treat me is horrid. Same as Probation and the Dr. I dread these things. At least that’s understandable but to put off seeing my friends and family? I don’t get that. Thats just how i feel today though, it’s not necessarily real or what has to happen tomorrow… I’m a strange fish, I’ll give you that. Take care out there Covid is still real, wash hands, cover face, social distance.
A busy morning for me. I have taken my car for its warrant and paid for the next 6 months registration. These are things I didn’t used to really bother with. Hell, I didn’t have a licence for 10 years, I owned a car for many of those and never once got nabbed by the coppers. I was stopped a few times too. I cant tell you how shaky a man gets after a close call like that. Nothing gets the blood pumping and the adrenaline choking all the oxygen from your fevered brain like that. Even when I have done nothing wrong those guys give me the willies. Modern Policing stems from the slave patrols, our own New Zealand ones have a nasty militia type heritage as well, adding another layer of evil to an institution that I think we could live without. Did the presence of Pigs ever stop one single crime? No. The answer is No. Speaking of which, I went to see my Probation officer. I have seen a different one every time for the last month or two. It’s demoralising having to go through it all over again, each time feeling the eyes of judgement and a curious sort of private side show freak viewing. Each of them jump to the same incorrect conclusions and I end up having to challenge them. It sucks because they have all my information in front of them and yet they always fuck it up. Today the lady was reading from a 2009 rap sheet, asking me why I am not living in River Road and stuff like that. They are not bad people but I often seem to get South African people. I was raised by members of H.A.R.T, advocates of John Minto, we sang “Biko, Bikoooo, Bikoo” around the dinner table and we studied Nelson Mandela and marched against apartheid. We were militants because under Apartheid our little family would have suffered, if we’d been allowed to live. I can’t help feeling some kind of way because I have met South Afrikaans who fled South Africa after the fall of that disgusting regime and I know the contents of their hearts. So when those eyes cast judgement on me, mine are shining right back. But I didn’t come here to rant about things I brought upon myself. I wanted to share this with you, friend and once lover.
Before the internet there was a thing called “Television”. They were big, clunky devices. The kinds of machines you bang hard with a fist on the top and sometimes it fixes them. Everyone had one or two and you had to pay a TV licence. Not that anyone ever did…. In 1991 R.E.M were on top of the world. If you do a little research you will find that they were a truly revolutionary little band, whole hearted freaks set to change the world for the better and advocates and champions for other fledgling artists. Michael Stipe did come across as a bit of a “Bono” sometimes but at least he was cohesive. This concert was on tele. There was MTV in New Zealand for a while and then, after that, there were a succession of “Youth Market” channels and I think it was on one of these that I saw R.E.M MTV unplugged. I jimmied up a cable from the headphone jack on the TV and managed to get a pretty good recording of it on tape. Tape is sort of like if you could take an mp3 and carry it around in your pocket. hehehe. sort of. I always looked for a CD copy of this concert but I never found it and that tape stayed in my vehicles until it finally fell apart. I did used to get a tiny screw-driver and open up cassette tapes to splice them back together after a break or a fatal twist when I was a teen but after CDs and then Napster, well the urgency was gone, wasn’t it kind reader? For a long time cars were the only place you saw tape decks anymore, and then they were gone, rendered obsolete. There is a movement back towards analog tape though and I feel far more drawn to tape than any digital medium. I never made the hipster switch to Vinyl. I figure Vinyl is for DJs and hip hop producers, the rest of us should leave it alone. God it sounds so great to drop a needle down on your favourite jam though. Scritch Scratch Scritch.
The point is that I loved this tape. That I’d gone out of my way to obtain the precious music on it made it special. The MTV unplugged format fagged out after a while but there are some classic moments, like this one, Eric Clapton and Nirvana. Pearl Jams Eddie Vedder does some pretty spectacular protesting and acrobatics in the first Pearl Jam Unplugged and Stone Temple Pilots absolutely crush it. My generations version of the NPR Tiny Desk series I guess. I hope you enjoy it, a trip down memory lane. I’ve just decided to act as if you aren’t a snitch, that you really are interested in the same stuff as I am, that you do give a shit and that you aren’t that fat disgusting pig. My all time favourite R.E.M song is Fall On Me and my favourite version of Fall On Me is from this recording. Please do give it a spin, you’ll like it.
I have had a rough week. I very nearly lost the plot. A few times a big bottle of Tequila seemed like a good idea. Maybe a little drunk driving and some unsafe drug procurement practices followed by some unsafe NZ Dating.com anonymous sex? Hmmmm? I didn’t, despite the Universes encouragement. I found a hundred bucks at the absolute worst possible moment for me to have a spare hundred bucks. The Universe is always doing shit like this to me. I ended up spending it on Warrant and Registration. I guess I really have made some changes. Too little too late but still. I feel ok today, well, I feel safe and thats enough for now. I have encountered some really huge feelings this week and I just needed to cry for a few days. I stayed in bed and ordered junk food. Not very helpful but nowhere near as unhelpful as Tequila.
I was describing for the Probation Officer some of the bizarre as fuck things I have done on benders and it dragged up quite a lot of old hurts. I return to those memories and it feels like I am right there again. It feels like being stuck in the moment before a car accident, a freeze frame that holds focus for minutes, hours, days, years…. I wince but it doesn’t change anything and the feelings I most feel are regret, shame and sadness at all I have lost.
I met a man living in his Van today by the gardens, his sleeping gear in the back and his feet up on the dashboard with a book. It reminded me of the times I have been homeless in the last few years. That was how I spent my days. I couldn’t drink because my house was my car and I was at least smart enough not to jeopardise that. Although, in hindsight, having no licence meant I was going to probably lose my car if I got stopped anyway so maybe I should’ve just gone for it huh? I used to string a big duvet up between the hand-holds in the back seat of the car, blocking up the back window. I’d hang another blanket (Or a towel or a hoody) up over the drivers side widow and then I’d curl up into a ball on the reclined passengers seat with at least some illusion of privacy. I broke the seatbelt thingy and it sometimes stabbed me in the night. I used the little light to read myself to sleep. I lived on smallgoods, cheese and crackers. When I had no income my friend gave me a fistful of “Free Big Mac” vouchers that I would ration out, one a day. There were always a dozen or so others sleeping in their cars so there was some safety in numbers and there was a toilet around at the stadium. Nothing will demoralise you like seeing a whole family bed down in the back of a station wagon and then get up and go to school from there. Did you know that the welfare system views a vehicle as a “Home” and so if you have a car then they do not consider you homeless and will not help you? It’s FUCKED. In the morning I’d drive around to the shopping Mall and have a wash, drink coffee and check email and repeat the day just trying not to hurt too much. It was a very lonely time. I’d go to band practice or wretch call and try to act like everything was ok but actually it was horrid. If I got stranded somewhere in the suburbs and had to sleep a drunk off then the neighbours or people in the street would always come right up and peer into the car and talk in a loud voice about how someone was sleeping in there. There was a big park in Claudelands where people walk dogs and I would park there a lot, just reading a book. I read some good books in that period. I always wondered what the caretaker thought. I’d be there when he started work and I’d be there at the end of the day when he locked up. I am sure they have seen it all. There is not much dignity in Homelessness and, especially from Pakeha people, theres a bad stigma. A hushed sort of look that says “Ewwww” about as loud as politeness allows. I accidentally gave 20 bucks to the homeless guy this morning. I had a twenty and a five in my pocket and I’d meant to give him the five but I’d already got it out and handed to him before I realised. So the Universe kind of helped him out too. After I found that Hundy I bought a Lotto ticket too coz I felt lucky. I haven’t checked it, I like the feeling that I might be a millionaire….
I just have to try and carry on and hope things get better. I haven’t been thinking about how sore my kidney is so I guess thats one thing to be grateful for… that my existential pain is worse than my physical pain. Ha ha ha, Nietzsche would be proud. I’ll leave you there today friend. I have just downloaded the new Lovecraft Country episode and maybe I’ll go grocery shopping later and get something fancy for my fancy Ladies. I’ll catch you on the flip flop. Please ignore any emails about Lil Wayne, he’s a bumout.
Hello Fellow. I’ve had a bit of a week. Something I have been holding my breath for has been pushed a bit further away and it is taking some effort to accept and process this. I don’t have that “Instant Gratification” thing anymore. I think that for a lot of my life I acted on impulses driven by desire or necessity… albeit faux necessity at times. I can remember times when I felt that I just had to have something, a car, a guitar, a t-shirt, a woman or a chemical and it coloured everything until I either got the thing I wanted or gave up and settled for something else. Expensive items that could be procured on tick, dude I am the master of impulse buying! I have owned some aaaaamazing consumer goods in my life. A Gibson Flying Vee, a Marshall 100watt valve stack (Thats the kind of amp you only really need for a fucking stadium! Ridiculous.). I guess I still like to maintain at least the bare minimum required to make art and music but I do not chase things that I don’t need anymore. I haven’t felt that way for a long long time now. I have learned restraint. I can make a pack of smokes last for a week. Dude, I couldn’t make a pack of smokes last a day! The point is I am not the creature I was and I don’t have that drive in me to get what I want at all costs. It doesn’t help me in this instance and I don’t know what to do. Crying doesn’t fix anything, no matter how hard I try.
On a brighter note. One of Hamilton Musics most legendary Bands are, tonight, having a reunion for the first time in many decades. Hand Of Glory were (and are) one of those bands that people still talk about with a little awe…. “Oh yeah I saw them at… and they….”. They had a bus that R.G Shaw had painted a recreation of a Colin McCahon painting on and they drove it around the country playing their weird jangly gypsy music to any and all that would hear it. Gillian Boyd, Peter Caldwell, Kent Ericksen, Martin Fisher and Alec Forbes made up the core of the band but there was also an all star cast of supporters and sideshows that accompanied them. Hand Of Glory is the stuff of legend, in Hamilton, and tonight they a will all be together for the first time since the mid 90s. I am hoping this spells a future live performance but for now it’s “Members Only”, apparently. I actually went around and approached each of these guys individually back in 2016 to see if I could produce a Hand Of Glory reunion show. They all said Yes but there were some pretty insurmountable distances involved and it was all conditional on certain people being in the country at the same time and, back then, it was unlikely it could fly. I feel really happy about this and I had one of their songs stuck in my head for a while after hearing the news. I’ll see if I can find it online for you… Hmm this seems to be the only thing on Youtube… it is the song I have been humming though so… sweet as.
Speaking of sweet as, I have baked some Russian Fudge for a special little ladys birthday on sunday. I am not sure how to have it delivered yet but I will sort it out. I chopped it up and put it inside a fancy pink box with love hearts and ribbons and stuff. I love doing stuff like this. I made way way too much and I have been able to share it with as many people as possible. Oh yeah I also surprised my friend with a couple of hundred grams of cured tobacco today. To say thanks for lending me his electric guitar. That felt pretty cool. He spins his medicine with tobacco. Spliff style but in a cone. It can be quite expensive for him and he’s on a benefit. He doesn’t smoke, he just spins, so 200grams could last him 6 months, maybe a year.
I went for a ride on a motorcycle today. I found that as I was blitzing along a gigantic smile came on my face, I couldn’t help it. In that moment I felt a pure, rugged joy that honestly I haven’t felt for a while.
I feel defeated today. I was having a pretty good run there for a minute too. I know that this feeling will pass but down here in the depths of it it feels all encompassing, like some vast desert stretching off in all directions. I will just get back up and dust myself off and carry on. Right? I hope you are doing ok kind reader, don’t let the bastards get you down. Peace. Love. Joy. Hope. All the stuff thats missing.
There was this Girl… Most of my stories start this way…. So, there was this girl. I won’t print her name, vanity google searches are pretty comprehensive and I’d hate for her to think I was talking smack about her on this trivial likkle blog page. Hey would it kill you guys to hit the “Like” button once in a while? Huh? Hahaha. God I’m pathetic. Anyway, on with the story.
When I was small we we’re friends with the family of a guy my Pops worked with at the freezing works. They were mates and did stuff together. Stuff like fishing and horse racing and whatever blokes did back then. I know we ate a lot of fresh fish and my memories are of deep friend blue Cod and lemon fish, wedges of lemon and tartare sauce. Crayfish and Paua (Abalone) fritters. We often spent weekends and evenings together with them as well as camping trips and holidays. Their middle daughter was my age and we were really good friends. One night the grownups were all drinking and talking and the topic of Indian arranged marriages came up. Those bright sparks decided it would be a good idea for me and her to be betrothed to each other. They said that we were “Promised” to each other. Cute, right? I think there are photos of us kissing as toddlers or something, my memory is dimmer every day. It was really just a handful of throwaway remarks after so much beer and wine but to me… to me it was serious and I carried a little torch for her from then on.
They moved away and ended up living in Stoke, a suburb of Nelson. We would always stop in for a few nights on our way to and from the North Island. We wrote love letters to each other and looked forward every year to those few days together. Bear in mind that I am talking 10 or 11 years old, this was not a physical relationship, there was never any kissing or petting it was completely innocent and adorable.
Eventually we grew up and apart. I was a wild child and it scared off nice girls like her. That was fine by me, I like bad girls anyway. I always thought fondly of that friendship though. It was quite a crushing blow when I finally accepted that we probably weren’t “Promised” to each other, that we would probably never be married. All my castles of sand crumbling back into the sea. A recurring theme.
It was nice while it lasted though. I guess that’s how I feel about all of them I guess. Sad but better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all. Correct? Correct.
I am struggling with fear. I get a bit paranoid. As I said the other day, it’s really hard to describe it because it makes no sense, if it makes no sense then how can one make sense of it? You know, perplexed and persistent reader of mine? I hear a simple sound like a car door slam and I think they are coming for me. I hear a bird building its nest in the roof and I think there might be someone listening to me. It’s a fucking deranged and selfish kind of thing, the idea that anyone, anywhere is remotely interested in me. Knowing that doesn’t really help in the moment though. I try to remind myself that, so far, absolutely none of the things I have feared or been paranoid about have ever come about, ever. That helps.
I went op shopping yesterday with my darling Daughter. It’s hard to buy clothes because it requires one to do some self appraisal and I find that to be a very unpleasant prospect these days. Alongside the fact that I have always struggled to find op-shop clothing in the right size. I like clothes baggy, in a world of skinny jeans and tight t-shirts. I managed to find a few new things though and I do like having nice new clean clothes. I look rugged as fuck these days so it doesn’t hurt for the people I interact with daily to see me put in even the least bit of effort. I can still hear Otto, the director of Higher Ground, the rehab I did a few years back… he goes “Mark, you cultivate this wild man image, whats behind that?“. I dunno, I just like it…. I am seeing a new Dr soon though and I do hope to make a good impression as I really need his help. There was a moment yesterday when I couldn’t do some parallel parking and I got a bit flustered. I ended up just giving up and going to find another easier car park. I think most parents, Dads especially, struggle to show vulnerability or fear, to not be able to do things. I don’t feel that way today, I don’t mind that I have flaws or anxieties. It’s normal, isn’t it? It’s better than acting like I know everything, thats bull pucky…
Anyway, the power is out today so I can’t heat up the smoked chicken macaroni cheese I made yesterday and I can’t make the russian fudge I’d planned to make today either. Instead I am playing guitar and listening to the New Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, Idles, Tricky and Underworld albums released in the last few weeks. It’s a good time to be a music fan.
Keep it real, Kind Reader. Be kind and practice non-violence. Black Lives Matter.
Hello friend. A strange few days. I have had extra pain relief and have been quite active. I ran out yesterday afternoon and am back to business as usual today but it has given me enough momentum to go on with. I started a handful of projects and now that they are in motion I can worry away at them when I am able. It feels good to be occupied. None of it creates revenue or esteem but I have long long since stopped caring about how I am perceived. It was nice to be able to function kind of normally, even just for a day or two. I feel a little bummed that every day can’t be like that. I feel angry but I have given up on Drs and stuff, they won’t help someone like me, whats the point?
I spend quite a lot of time thinking about what makes me tick. I am reading a book about genetics and human development. The way people end up being, the way we cope or don’t cope with certain stressors and the development of various character traits all seem to come from very very early development, in utero even. There was a study done of Dutch people who were born during or immediately after a great famine there in 1944 (The Dutch Hunger Winter). Germany, towards the end of the second world war, swiped all the food and shipped it all back to the fatherland, greedy cunts, causing an estimated 22,000 deaths. What they found in studies done fifty years later was that the people who had been in the second and third trimester during this event all struggled with obesity, diabetes, heart problems and eating disorders. The scientific notion gleaned from the study suggests that the foetus, detecting a shortage of nutrition altered its genes to make its survival chances better. This resulted in them having issues with food later on in life.
It’s way way more complex than this but thats the basics. There is a famous study from Dunedin which tracked the lives of thousands of people from birth to their early 20s. This also delivers some keen insight into genetic make-up and the probabilities of certain behaviours arising from certain conditions. For example, there exists a genetic marker for a propensity towards ultra violence. This gene, however, needs to be triggered by extreme abuse in childhood. Even if the abuse occurs before the subject can even remember, this trait will rear it’s head later in life. That’s not the end of it though, what they found was that if the subject was not subjected to abuse the gene would remain dormant and, in fact, they found that theses people were even more likely to be averse to violence than people without this particular gene.
I have not got to the chapter on Addiction yet. This is where I expect to get the most benefit, it being one of the main themes of my life… The constant need to self medicate to protect myself from hurting. I can remember being as young as 7 stealing tablets because I liked the way it felt. I was an awkward and fearful kid, my self esteem was shit and I felt I did not fit in anywhere. I can remember many times finally making it home from school to my bedroom, where I felt safe, and weeping because I just couldn’t seem to fit in at school, couldn’t make friends, couldn’t compete and wasn’t very liked. I doubt many of these were actually true but it felt that way to me as a small boy. I hated myself, frankly. So those times when I had tablets or solvents or whatever, they were the times I felt ok, the times I felt complete and enough. I don’t know if answers will matter much this late in the game but it is interesting and engaging. As I said the other day, the difference between understanding something and being able to change it is like chalk and cheese. Oh hey, speaking of cheese…. I think I have Gout. My Dad gets it and a couple of my friends do and it feels a bit like how they describe it. I really hope it isn’t, they really suffer when they have it. I mangled the ankle of that foot in a car accident many years ago and I hope it’s just that old injury acting up in the cold…. I really hope that’s it. Where was I? Oh yeah, Blackadder.
Yesterday I watched an interview with Rik Mayall, R.I.P. One of my all time favourite comedians and one of the fab four of british Comedy.. The Young Ones. He was pimping some show he was in and so I went and downloaded it. It’s Called “Believe Nothing” and if you are a fan of that kind of comedy then I highly recommend it. There are only 6 episodes but they are fucking funny. After that I went on a Blackadder binge.. Some of Riks characters, Alan B’stard, Adonis Cnut remind me of Blackadder and the serial sidekicks (Often played by Ade Edmondson) remind of Baldrick. So it wasn’t much of a leap. I managed to snag some big belly laughs. You know when you just can’t stop laughing at something? Laughing ’til you cry kind of laughing. Dude…. bliss.
I dunno what made me the way I am. They talk about stressors on the Mother prior to birth having an effect but I can’t think of any major events in my family back then, my lovely Mama didn’t mention anything in particular to me when she was alive. It’s a bit late to ask her now. Other things happened after I was born of course but in the end I think we are still the masters of our own destiny…. genetics or not. Do you know what I mean? Kind reader? I have a much better control of myself today, my behaviours do not control me. It took an apocalypse to bring it about though and I wouldn’t say my life is a very happy one but at least I am alive and most days I try to contribute. I was letting myself regularly get way far out of control for a bit there. I lost all hope and simply existed to get fucking mangled as often and with as much chaos as possible. I don’t feel that way today gentle friend. It sucks that I couldn’t have figured all this out when I was young.
So there you go, heavy thoughts today but hopeful and headed in the right direction. The tobacco is curing and I have planted seedlings. I’ve been spending time playing my instruments and the music is flowing as good as it ever has. I can’t stand up for long so I haven’t been playing as much electric guitar as I’d like but I often just lay into it and play as loud and fast as I can for as long as I can and that feels pretty good, despite the pain at the end… it makes for good music, even if its a bit raw and angsty. I hope that wherever you are you are creatively engaged in some kind of art or doing what you love. I hope you are safe from Covid_19 and Bullets and I hope you are both expressing and receiving kindness.
Just a quick one today. If you are a fan of Mr H.P. Lovecraft then boy do I have a treat for you. I stumbled across a new H.B.O series called “Lovecraft Country“. A mostly African American cast, it tackles Jim Crow and the civil rights struggle from the perspective of a young WW2 vet who comes home to find himself the scion of the founder of a Mystic Secret Society. He winds up in Lovecraft Country fighting Cthulu type demons and encountering magic and mystery. It’s really fucken cool and it’s a sweet little twist on a pretty relevant and important moment in time. I did not expect the social commentary when I was downloading it, the description didn’t really mention it and I imagined a run of the mill Sci-Fi type show that I’d probably get sick of after one or two episodes. It’s the balls, check it out.
Something that is definitely NOT the Balls is the new Bill and Ted Movie. I guess I kinda knew it was going to be shit but I kind of hoped they might surprise me. They didn’t, it sucks. They both look like they’ve spent the intervening 20 or so years sipping scotch and they hardly ever do that “Air Guitar” thing that was so rad in the 90s, or whenever the fuck Bill and Ted Excellent Adventure came out. It’s lame and I hate it that it’s lame because so much of my sense of humour, dress sense and rebelliousness came for this very franchise…. Well that and Waynes World…. the alternate Bill and Ted.
Today I am putting a bassline on Matts new song. I feel scared a lot. I don’t know why, I never have. It’s this feeling of impending doom that I have always felt, nagging at me constantly that everything is about to fall apart and people are going to hurt me again. I understand the mechanics of it, I know the reasons for why I am like this but they don’t help, they don’t relieve or reduce it. They just mean I can discuss it rationally sometimes. Understanding and fixing are two different things.
I am going to plant tobacco seedlings today too. I like these days, the days I have pain relief, I can get things done and feel like I have accomplished something. I don’t go to bed feeling so fucking shit. I haven’t seen much of the News lately, being invested more in escapism. I notice that President AssHat has been offending as many people as he can. I truly hope that people have had enough of him. I watched The Day After last night, remember that? From the 80s? It was the film that really cemented the fear of Atomic war in me. As a youth I remember the images from that film representing the missile strikes. The houses disintegrating, the full grown trees being swayed violently like they were straws and the humans turning to dust. There is a similar Apocalyptic scene in one the Terminator movies too. Seeing the scenes in The Day After of the Army generals turning keys and confirming codes and stuff reminded me of just how real the threat is… there is a really really fucking loose cannon with those keys, with those codes and he is antagonising the whole fucking planet…. How long before China or Russia just snuffs him out like a dog end? We will all pay for that, won’t we kind, fragile and perishable reader?
When I was in Intermediate School my friends and I went through a brief infatuation with Ninjas. We joined Martial arts clubs and we used the Metalwork and Woodwork shops at school to fashion swords, throwing stars, nunchucks, Makibishi and knives of all sorts. I was beaten with a strap by the metalwork teacher more than once for misusing the workshops to make weapons, he was a real fuckhead. On the weekends we would spend nights together running around the neighbourhood late at night in full regalia. Jumping over fences, running over rooftops, diving in and out of bushes. It was completely harmless, the object was to avoid other people, as opposed to attacking or stalking anyone. No-one was ever hurt although on more than one occasion these new found skills were used on each other in moments of anger, particularly when girls were involved. My mate Rangi had a long reach and was particularly good at high kicks. He booted me in the face once over some misunderstanding involving his girlfriend. Or, at least, a girl he thought was his girlfriend. We were hauled into the office by the principal, all surly and bloody, best mates again by dinner time.
I regret to say that he grew up in a really violent house. I once gave him a handful of diet pills that we were keen on back then and his Dad found them in his pockets. The next day at school his face was so fucked up that he could barely see, the skin around his eyes swollen and purple. I felt terrible. For the same crime my own father had grounded me for a week. He wound up being a Mobster. No real surprise there. He was such a great guy, funny, witty and up for anything. I hated knowing that when he went home he went home to a very violent battle ground. His pops was a Corrections Officer and an Ex-Military Officer, violence was just part of their lives and I was always mindful of this when we were up to no good.
Things were so different then. I have just finished watching a Netflix series about the evolution of Video Games and it pretty much tracks the path of my life, right up until my adulthood (sic). All of the major milestones of computer gaming synch up with my own. I remember when Sega first brought out Sonic The Hedgehood. I remember how basic the Commodore 64 was (Mind the pun…) and how long it took to load a game from a tape. I remember the glitchy graphics of the Apple IIe and how amazing the Nintendo machines were, you could take the Arcade home with you and you didn’t have to poke 20 cent pieces into it! I can remember taking the Heidelberg bus into town on a friday night to play Spacies at Wizards, the south Island Arcade franchise. There were Wizards in Christchurch and Dunedin too. I loved the dankness of the Arcade and the selection. I learned to love the games that nobody seemed to like because you didn’t have to queue for them, some of those games are still my favourites. Even now at 40 something years old, I play those old games and have my own set of usb arcade console controls that work just like the old machines. I have the six button arrays so I can play Street Fighter and Gauntlet. I love the old 8-Bit sound effects and the economy of pixel designs. I have long been fascinated by Mario. If you have a look at the basic Mario character he is only a handful of pixels and yet in those few pixels and colours he is expressed as a complete entity with potential and attitude. I love the story of Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe, gamings biggest scandal and Regular Shows best bit ever. I love it that Video Games represent an entirely even field. It doesnt matter who you are, what colour your skin is, who you like to fuck or how much (or little) you weigh… Once you hit the start button you are as Good, or Bad, as anyone…. after that it’s all skill.
I am not a good gamer. When we used to sit around playing Alex The Kid with my cousins in the long summers of the early 90s I would often only last for 5 minutes and then have to wait while the good players made their turn last for hours. However there are a few games that I came to master over the years. Psychic 5 is an obscure arcade game in which you choose different avatars depending on what their skills are. As you progress up the levels you access more characters until you finally have the whole team. Some are stronger, some faster, some can jump higher or fly etc. Another Arcade game I got good at is Gauntlet, it appeals to my sense of adventure. It has all the classic elements of the fantasy genre…. Wizards, Elfs, Dwarfs, Magic and monsters. I can play tetris for hours but the music drives me mental.
In the mid to late 90s I started gaming on P.C, beginning with stuff like Aladdin, Mah Jong, Pinball and Wolfenstein. Finally, like most of the rest of the world, I graduated to DOOM and that was it. Once the 486pentium came out we had the processing power to run really fast, really graphic games with intense sound effects and brilliantly rendered action. I used to like sitting there in the dark with a 95 Cab Merlot and a couple of cones playing Doom all night. With headphones on I swear you could hear the Demons breathing down your neck when they were coming up behind you. It was deliciously terrifying. When computers made the next technological leap the game to play was Quake. Much the same as Doom but just so much more detail. What followed was bigger and faster machines. Now we have the World Of Warcraft kind of generation…. Gamers that can play together as teams or as opposition, from anywhere in the world, with real time coms and realistic force feedback controls.
I’ve never used Virtual Reality. I am told there is an arcade in Hamilton where you can use total immersive software and hardware. You can game but also take a stroll in Times Square or go and explore the Great Pyramid at Giza… Pretty neat but pretty schtic-y and probably wildly expensive both to use and operate. I’ll stick with my 80s arcade games I think.
So thats where my manky head is today. My dreams have been maddening and I am really struggling with pain. The way I am using my pain relief is fucked and it is causing my moods to be quite low, some days I just don’t bother getting up. I have been using my loop pedal in conjunction with my drum kit and then lining up samples of Donald Trump saying dodgy shit to drop in and out. I am not real good at it yet but once I settle on some decent riffs I am going to try recording it all live. I am curing the tobacco today and it should be ready to imbibe within the week, as long as the sun shines. Dude, that Potato Salad was straight up fucking FIRE! Wickedness. Fat man likes to eat. Some days. My friend told me about a date they went on today, it was so nice, they had a glow on and I felt a bit jealous… Not of them but just that I want to feel that kind of happiness again too. I feel happy for them, I just have to be patient and sort these health issues out before I can open up to anything like that. I do hope there is romance again in my future but it feels distant at best from where I am sitting.
I guess thats all for today kind reader. Please do keep yourself safe. Please make sure you Vote as early as possible and keep socially distancing and masking up and washing hands. I havent been paying much attention to stuff over the last couple of days but things seem to have calmed down in my Country again. Hahaha this sign has been up, on a major highway, for a week!
medium sized Potatoes (duh) 2x Potatoes per serving per person
1 big Red Onion
6 hard Boiled Eggs
2 Capsicums (different colours will make presentation a bit groovier)
Half an Italian Salami
1 Jar of Gerkins
1x Camembret or Brie (Not Double cream, you want a Firm cheese, Firm)
1 Jar Anchovies (optional)
Any generic Potato salad dressing, find one you like
A small tub of sour cream
Firstly, wash your hands and surfaces. Wash all the ingredients before getting started too.
Chop the Potatoes into even, bite sized chunks. I leave the skin on mine but its up to you. Par Boil the Potatoes. Under cook so that they are firm to the bite. If you cook them for too long they will fall apart and no-one likes crumbly potatoes in their Potato salad, does they, epicurean reader oh reader o’ myne? Run cold water over them directly from the stove to make sure they don’t continue cooking off the heat, run the water until they are all cold. Roughly chop the Eggs, Salami and Cheese, small but not tiny. Chop the Gerkins, Red Onion, anchovies and Parsley quite small. You want a bit of everything to be represented in one fork or spoonful, use your judgement. Place everything in a large serving bowl. In another bowl combine the dressing and sour cream then fold it into the salad until everything is mixed up and coated with dressing. Sprinkle this layer with the tiniest touch of smoked Paprika (and Saffron, if you are really fancy) Chop up the avocado into smallish bits, sprinkle with salt and pepper and then drizzle with lemon juice. Arrange the Avocado on top being mindful of presentation. Finally garnish with a generous amount of parsley.
Serve with Sesame Chicken Nibbles or Tofu or whatever your jam is.
It doesn’t look like much now but in the year 2000 this house was the hub of Hamiltons fringe creative scene. One of the flat mates was an up and coming Play Write and Director, One flatmate was the Drummer in what was, at the time, the local music scenes “House Band” (A Mantle later taken on by “M.S.U” and then “The Pop Squad”). The names’ Biff Bangle and Stix Growler still command respect and awe in Hamiltron, the then City Of The Future. One of the Flatmates was a rogue student film maker and Anarchist Activist, One of the flat mates was a prolific performer, songwriter and co-incidentaly, the breakfast host on the local student radio and one Flatmate was a Law student who struggled with mobility after a motor accident. The rest of us cared for her like a little sister… Even though she often had to assume the role of “Grown Up” when things got too far out of whack. It was just that perfect amalgam of personalities in the right place at the right time.
It was a space where anyone could do what they wanted, we did not have many rules beyond the necessities for surviving… clean the bathroom and kitchen, try and don’t have a party at 4am on a tuesday… try... things like that. I can remember the ritalin days where we would spend days at a time in the kitchen, crushing ritalin and snorting it in big caterpillar lines before discussing art and politics and culture in a fervent and earnest lather. I’m sure you can relate. Between us we kind of drew in the whole community because between us we kind of knew everyone. The fence at the front used to have trees and a hedge and beyond it, just in front of the french doors was a deck and a fire bath. In the back was a sound proofed rehearsal room/recording studio and video editing suite. There was a railway track at the end of the yard and you had to sometimes wait for the trains to pass before you could record stuff, otherwise it was a fully functioning microcosm of creativity. Everyone sort of jumped out of bed and attacked the day. Young and vigorous and hopeful. Hamiltons fringe cultures only fully fledged porn movie was filmed in part at our house and if people started drinking at 10 am then there was probably going to be a party and you might as well start calling your friends.
Fuck man, it was glorious. Hamilton (and, I am sure, most university towns) has heaps of houses like this, places that existed in infamy and fondly remembered. Villa Vino, 20K, Mem Drive, places like this where weirdos and artists congregated. Heres a clip centered on the denziens of 668 Grey St…
I am sure that right now another generation is doing all the things we did back then. Except they are doing it with the advantages of instagram, spotify and blue tooth!
I have such fond memories of debauchery and absolute joy. It felt like we were free and that everything we did was good and noble. Art for Art’s sake and a random gonzo swagger that really only works between the age of 23 and 33… hell, thats why so many tap out at 27… right up on the crest of a righteous wave.
I won’t go into details. I fear I have already narrated these stories. Did you, gentle reader, let your inner freak off the chain in your youth? Or did you toe the line, pull your socks up and pay your taxes?
It’s not too late you know? Some of the finest freaks I know are 50 years plus. You still have time…. tie dye your clothes and start smoking hash from an ornate antique hookah pipe, grow some dreads, start wearing a monocle and “Turn on, tune in, drop out”… even just a little bit. Go on, undo that top button, let it all hang out. I believe in you.
ps- look… I love Chinese and norwegian cinema and I hate Donald Trumps’ America. Ok? I’m sorry if that offends you, effendi… You may, like me, think that Hate is too strong a word but I have just watched the axios interview for the third time, I have studied the warehouses full of 1980s. 1990s and millennial online content of this man speaking and he is worthy of the word. I do not hate, as a rule. Its nasty and it only ever seems to make things worse but this guy? he is despicable, completely disconnected from any kinds of human compassion, care or love, he is the antithesis of all the things good about humanity. Greed and Power and Control, those are the only thing that man cares for.
Given the choice, I’d prefer subtitled Scandinavian drama any day.
Hello. A pretty dismal day. I went out to do stuff that needs doing but within an hour I was home, gobbling pain killers and hoping they would work. I eventually got some of the things done, after the false start, but it is scary when it hurts like that. In the back of my mind I worry that it will just keep getting more and more intense. At what point do I call an ambulance? You know? I don’t, because it subsides but still it is very scary. I am sure most people have experienced pain like this in their lives… when you can’t imagine how it could be any worse and yet it can. I once lay in a prone position on the floor for 6 hours waiting for someone to come home and take me to hospital. I’d hurt my back at work the day before and when I got up the next morning, well, I didn’t get up the next morning. That was a bad day. My poor wife had to manhandle me into the car. When we got to hospital I was in agony, screaming and wracked with it… that kind of level. They started off with diazepam, to try and loosen me up, then codeine and then a shot of morpheine. They said that if the Morph didn’t work they were going to have to try pethidiene. Unfortunately the Morpheine worked…. Actually I was kinda faking it after the codeine kicked in but I have never been shy of bludging more drugs, have I kind and knowing reader? Here’s a song about Codeine, for your listening pleasure….
Anyway. It’s not so bad now. I hate this. I do not know what to do. They are not listening to me and my mental health is preventing me from reaching out. I feel like it’s a waste of time, they won’t help me. It’s pretty fucked.
Thats not why we are here today though, dearest reader of mine, we are here today to talk about Role Models. I had really good Role Models for Kindness. I witnessed my Parents generosity and the generosity inherent in the wider community. I guess living at the bottom of the world makes people a bit more aware of their neighbour, a bit more conscious of what it means to be a community. You rely on each other because thats all you have way way down south where the world meets Antarctica… Fuck I used to love standing on Oreti beach on a clear still night and looking out to the southern Horizon, the very bottom of the world, the big big sky stretching off into true wilderness. The stars are so so vivid and there’s nothing but rugged rugged coast on either side. No-one there to help if things get ropey. It is true that there is a kind of Southern Hospitality that can’t really be found anywhere else. There is also a Southern kind of Mad, Racist, Misogynistic, Bogan too but even that has Hospitality embedded in it’s engine oily core.
Here are some Pics I found to illustrate (Note the Snow on the Beach…)
I learned generosity from some Masters. Lee Scratch Perry took Bob Marley in when he had no place to live. He gave him the Master bedroom and Lee took the little room in the back. Coxone Dodd gave a younger Bob a room at Studio One and treated him like a son. Similarly, it is said that when people came to Bob for help (and they did in droves) he didn’t just flip them off with a pittance, he gave in abundance so that they could really help themselves as opposed to simply surviving. The Beatles’ “Apple Corps” project funded any and all creative endeavours that applied for help. They handed out cash hand over fist. When it all finally wound up they even let people loot the place as well as the Apple boutique. There were some pretty far out things that got off the ground thanks to them. Music, literature, Fashion, Film and Theater. They even blew 300,000.00 pounds (Thats 3 million quid in todays money) on “Apple Electronics” which produced a handful of completely impractical and unusable gadgets. They funded a handful of really great films though, many of them considered classics now as well including the bizarre “Son Of Dracula” starring Harry Nillson and Ringo. It was a completely altruistic and philanthropic gesture that could only really have happened in the swinging sixties.
Time after time I watched my Parents take strays in. Usually broke, broken and at rock bottom. I can still remember how some of them smelled when we collected them in the car from wherever they had called for help from. I watched them simply love these people back to life by bringing them into our family. I know of at least 4 people in long term sobriety (20 years plus sober) who stayed at our place for 6-12 months before heading off to rehab or whatever. It was quite hard on us as kids because these folks would become family and when they left it was always quite heartbreaking. I guess much of my fear of abandonment comes from this. I hope I am a better person because of it.
I don’t give to charities and I don’t do charity work. I do keep my eyes open for opportunities though. Even the smallest thing can mean the most… you can never know what an act of kindness might mean to a stranger. I think the trick is to enjoy it, if you like giving then it is never going to be a chore. I do sometimes give to people on the street. I know, I know, but I can’t control what they do with it and who am I to judge? If I make one homeless persons afternoon just a bit brighter, shoot, thats pretty good. I do not do that often because I too am poor but I do like to when I can. I like taking old ladies trolleys back to the trolley thing or picking stuff up when older people drop things. (This town, though, is fucking strange. Strange in that many people here fucking HATE it when you help them… I’ve noticed that if I stop to give way for someone they will get all shitty at me or if I stop to let someone cross the road they will stay on the footpath and angrily wave me on. Maybe it’s me… I do have a certain effect on folks. I keep doing it anyway, fuck it. Right? Right.) I like cooking for people, thats my main jam. If I could have a job making soup or something for homeless people every day I would be pretty happy. I had money once. I gave most of it away and frittered it (mind the pun) on musical instruments, audio gear and treats for my Kids. People are still pretty shitty that I didn’t put it down as a deposit on a mortgage or invest it. I just figured that I was never going to be that flush again so I might as well enjoy it and the most joy I got from it was giving it away. You know? I was probably never going to get to spoil the children like that again so I just milked the shit out of it, it was fucking GLORIOUS! Not to just anyone though, my family and my friends mostly but there were a few nice moments when I was able to help strangers. I bought a ladys’ groceries once, she was a hundred bucks short and she was obviously a beneficiary. I was in the line behind her and I said “I’ll get it”. Before she had a chance to argue I paid for the whole thing, then I asked her if she smoked and grabbed her a packet of durrys and 20 bucks. It feels so fucking good to do stuff like that.
Sadly though, I am absolutely positive that only some of us feel this way… I reckon you probably do… hell, reading this mental shit is an act of kindness and charity in itself!
President FuckFaces’ nieces book illustrates how incredibly tight Donalds father was and his sister has just been quoted saying how Donald is as “tight as a ducks arse”, like his Dad. Can you imagine having such wealth and not sharing it? All those fucking billionaires sitting back while millions are unemployed and facing eviction because of Covid19, it’s disgusting… Obscene wealth is immoral, selfish and, ultimately, isolating. Good, Fuck those guys. Here is what my Man, Tupac Shakur had to say about President Cunt Faces wealth….
Thats where my head is today. This morning was really hard and I admit that I gave up for a moment. I can’t afford to do the stuff I need to do. My car has no warrant or Rego, my Doctor wants money, the chemist does and the Visa card that I maxed out to buy the car is suffocating me. I need emergency dental work, I need a dr appointment, I need medicine and I need for my car to be legal but today it all felt too much. I had to chose between food and all that other stressful shit. Fuck it. Maybe next week will be better? I guess you could say that I’m an asshole for just giving up but I can either stress about it, spend the nights sleepless and emotionally wrecked or I can just let the whole fucking thing slide and hope I am stronger on another day.
I guess thats all today friend. I hope that wherever you are you are safe and you have at least the basics to survive…. sometimes that’s really all we need. The rest is window dressing and masturbation.
Hiya Friend. I’ve been posting a bit lately but I felt like I needed to have a little vent this morning. They have finally released the Thomas Lane body-cam footage with Audio of George Floyds death. It seems to have gone unreported by the media but it’s there for all to see. It is hard viewing and I have had to stop it now that they have him on the ground… I don’t need to hear that, I know what happens next. I feel so angry. Right from the first contact with Police George displays everything that African America has been trying to tell us for years. He is fucking terrified. As soon as he realises there is a gun on him he panics, all of his mental health, anxieties and stressors come out to play. He knows damn well that his life is now at risk and it is so hard to watch another grown man beg for his life like that, especially from slime that aren’t fit even breathing the same air as him, oxygen thieves… the lot.
His language is caricaturish as he capers and begs and pleads with them for empathy and care. Things he knows he won’t get but what else can you do? At one point he starts begging his dead Mother for help… “Mama, Mama….”. It’s brutal. It’s really really horrible but it’s just one story among millions. Right now as I sit here typing there will be probably more than one Black American experiencing the benefits of Law Enforcement and going through the same emotional roller coaster. Not all of them will die but all of them will be traumatised and then go on to experience the further joys of Justice… Bail, Prison, Parole and the cycle continues. I dunno how to feel. I do not think it will get better. I am afraid that my inner hopefulness has dried up. I expect not only that they will re-elect President Evil but that things are going to get much much worse than before. Since the end of segregation and even since the end of slavery it has been the goal of the far Right White supremacists to incite a Race War. It’s no secret… Hell, even Manson was on the team, albeit in a strange plot twist kind of way…. Manson was backing the Black side after all.
I hate the police. I always have. I have seen such bad behaviour from them that I can never trust them. I would only call them if things were life threatening… I don’t call them when I get robbed or assaulted, they can’t help and often only make things worse. I fear them and when I get stopped by one of them I panic, my heart rate goes through the roof and I shake. Those sadistic bastards left me for 7 days without medicine. They are not allowed to, but they did. I begged every single one of them I saw. For days on end. One even made a point of coming down to the cells in the middle of the night to tell me they had my meds but that they weren’t going to give them to me. I’ve been left beaten and bloody by them and on two occasions they did it whilst I was handcuffed.
But I can’t possibly imagine what it is like for African Americans when they get stopped by police. Go and watch the footage, you don’t have to watch all of it, just watch the bit where George first realises they are outside his car…. That moment says it all.
Here’s what I really hate about our species. We have more than Abundance. We have a cornucopia. Not just everything we need, everything we could possibly want. We have 4 space Craft just for observing Mars, two of them on the surface. We have a plethora of other craft researching the rest of the solar system, one has even now made it to interstellar space. We have space stations and various other orbital craft that support long term human life. We have satellites and wireless networks working tirelessly in support of communications, financial transactions and entertainment. All of these available at our very fingertips. Many of us have, in our pockets a computing device many magnitudes more powerful than the entire “Apollo” program. We have the ability to re-watch all of Muhammad Alis best fights, at any time of the day or night on a whim. We have cheese in a can that can be sprayed onto crackers, bread or even straight into the mouth and we have things called “Pop Tarts” for when you just don’t feel like making breakfast. You can, at your local market, choose your favourite from all the coffee and wine producing nations of the world and we now have cars that will safely drive you to your destination… thats not even mentioning the personal drones in Dubai that can ferry you from sky scraper to sky scraper, never having to ever touch the ground again. Despite all this the poorest of us are still the most brutalised, the most over policed and the most ravaged by the ill effects of poverty and war. There are three current, unhindered Genocides in progress that I know about and woe to anyone attempting to escape from regions experiencing war, dictatorship or corruption… “Political Refugee” is no longer a term of endearment… A fraction of the human race own 99% of our resources. In a single day poverty and systemic racism could be cured. Then we could get onto things that really matter…. Like a Harry Potter TV series or a Transmetropolitan movie…
I hate it that we still let the minority govern us, that we still allow America to Over-Police the world and yet don’t hold them accountable for over-policing their own people. That the people of the Middle East have been made targets by the Wests thirst for more and more fossil fuel and how we have damn near destroyed the planet because of it. I hate it that we still test and produce enough Nuclear weapons to destroy the planet many many times over. Enough weapons that Russia has even forgotten about some of them and let them degrade dangerously. We have so so much and yet we are still no closer to peace. I hate it that I don’t feel hope. Do you feel any Hope, kind Reader?
What can we do? I dunno. Make your voice heard somehow. Go and deface a political bill board, march in Black Lives Matter Protests, VOTE VOTE VOTE and “if you see something, say something”. I dunno if John Lewis coined that phrase but he certainly used it a lot. Along with his advice to get in Trouble! Good Trouble! he is a man I can admire. In a world full of pigs. You know, kind reader, part of me used to be naive enough to think that if the world were just more like New Zealand, things would be ok. But I have seen how New Zealand treats Africans and African Americans and we are no fucking better. We can’t even come to terms with our own systemic racism against Māori, let alone the other peoples of the world.
Sorry, today is a bit grim. I shouldn’t have started my day with old George doing the dolphin dive like some kind of late blooming B-Boy. I was trying to research claims he was a Free Mason. It turns out he was, it seems, but heaps of people are. so… He named his kids “Mason” and at one point in the clip he tries to appeal to them as a Mason. “Look at this, Look at it” he says referring to his Masonic Tattoo. They look, he still dies. Maybe he had tried to pay his membership fee with one of those counterfeit twenties… There are a bunch of conspiracy theories going around but they are all pretty easily debunked. He was just a regular guy. The abject fear in his entire demeanor. It’s haunting. Fuck man, it reminded me of Roots, the way he responds to them. It’s an act I know only too well. You may be the biggest baddest mother fucker but once you are in custody it’s “Yes Sir, No Miss” Compliance, thats the word. Compliance and surrender and an almost effeminate non threatening approach. Hyper Compliance I guess might best describe it. Ah Fuck, kind Reader, I feel so fucking ANGRY. Bastards.
I am going to continue making music today. I feel a bit flat now though. I was making a beat yesterday using samples of Donald J saying stupid shit but all the comedy has drained from me.
I hope you are well and safe. If you are in a place where the struggle is real, you have my love and thoughts.
Urgh. I woke from one of those dreams again today and it has painted the world a dull and heavy grey colour. In the dreams I am with her again but she is always telling me that she wants somebody else and she is distant and cold. I can’t reach her and she walks away. In the dreams I have my family back and everything is perfect except for that one thing and it leaves me feeling heartache and alone. I have been waking from these dreams at around 4:30 and spending the rest of the dawn crying. I had it all. I really did. I lost it and now I am lost, all is loss. I guess it makes for some pretty gloomy music, I can at least take solace in that, In that I am able to translate the feelings into music that no-one will ever hear.
I had a really good day yesterday, I guess the dreams are a punishment for any brief feelings of happiness I may shoplift from the supermarket of life. Yesterday, and today are days I can have pain relief and so I push through the pain and get things done. Nothing fancy… cleaning, bathing, cooking, setting up instruments and playing music. Things that ordinarily are virtually impossible because of the pain. I had a scan the other day. I am waiting for the results but the radiologist said she couldn’t see anything obvious in the images. Nothing to point to why I am still experiencing this debilitating fucking pain. I sometimes feel like I am faking, that it’s probably not as bad as I think but those illusions are soon shattered. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. I feel pretty hopeless. I am fortunate to be surrounded by people who love me, I don’t think I could do this alone. Again.
I am making good music. I am using the tools I have to craft things that I find beautiful and tranquil. It is ponderous music, downtempo dub, ambient dub, psy-dub, you chose, it’s all the same. It is meditative and intelligent… born of the ragga and the ruckus. Definitely on the top shelf, for connoisseurs…. music to take drugs to. Music for the soul. Without it I’d be lost. My friend is a novelist. He is near completing the third edit of a novel and then will pursue an agent and publishing and stuff. It has consumed the last two years of his life but he has not one but three completed novels in a series and thats pretty fucken cool if you ask me. My music is like that, the work of years, decades, I am ok with that.
Here is something new, see if you might like it….
There is a lot more where that came from too, may be, just maybe your new favorite, if you give the potty mouthed little bastard a try…. go on… trat yourself.
Two days ago a New Zealand Court in Christchurch handed down the most extreme sentence since we abolished capital punishment. Life, No Parole. Thats a death sentence. We do have monsters incarcerated that will never get out of Jail, thats a thing called P.D or Preventative Detention… a sentence with no end date but even they can accumulate enough good behaviour to move back down the security ratings… someone like me is in Minimium or low medium, it goes all the way up to “does not play well with others” and those guys are segregated and managed intensively. They can’t even flush a toilet without asking for permission. Don’t believe me? It’s true. Those guys can, over the course of years, move down to a low enough rating that a parole board might consider paroling them, albeit with extremely restrictive conditions. It’s not real likely but at least it’s possible. Life, No Parole means you are going to spend your life in a cell.
This guy will definitely be in Management. A small cell with a little outside cage that can be opened twice a day for him to get some air and exercise. He might be able to talk to the men on either side of him but otherwise I expect the only people he will get to see are corrections staff and maybe some kind of religious contact if he wants it. He’ll only move about the prison for medical reasons. I wonder if he gets visits? Surely he has a massive fucking retarded fanbase out there. His P19 account will be bursting. I reckon he would have been flown out of Christchurch in the late hours of Thursday and now he will be stashed away where no-one knows where he is. He will be able to eventually do some courses and stuff and maybe he will be allowed to have commissary or canteen but I am not sure you get that privilege in Management. A Book or two and a pen and paper. At least the food is better these days, there was a big shake up when I was in there and the meals all got an overhaul. Now they are at least palatable. Many many meals used to go uneaten or traded because they were so vile no one wanted to eat them. Nowadays things are better. You can’t really begrudge them that, people have to eat…
The thing about this guy is that he will polarise the muster of any unit he is put in. The men will be either for or against him and I am ashamed to say to you, kind reader, that there will probably more fans than haters in there. The day it happened I was in 13 Charlie at Spring Hill and the White power and gangsters went apeshit, there was a riot and we were all locked down. There were Muslims in that Unit too and the things the white power guys were shouting from their Cells that day were pure vitriolic evil. For this reason I suspect he will be Managed for quite a few years before he is allowed to be desegregated. I wonder what he was thinking all those days that he had to sit there and listen to the victims? He didn’t care, he knew he was going to jail and he did it anyway. He fucking knew that a modern, enlightened society would let him live despite the reckless way he slaughtered his fellow humans.
I want to see the footage. I will not watch it but there is some little part of me that still wants to see it. I don’t really understand why I feel this way but I do. Perhaps I am so desensitised to Violence through TV and films that it wouldn’t even affect me? I am glad I can’t see it. Same goes for his Manifesto, I want to understand what the fuck he thought he was doing. I guess it doesn’t matter in the end. Fuck him, right?
Night time in Prison is seldom quiet. There are guys who just want to kick the shit out of the cell door for hours on end. You can’t stop them so you learn to filter it out. The Various Gangs have their chants and slogans. The Mongrel Mob Bark like dogs, the Black Power do their “Yo-Fuck-Yo” thing, the White Power and Skin Heads have all their catch phrases and the various other elements join in the cacophony. When the dogs start barking I used to like making farmyard animal noises. It fucking infuriates them but they have no way of knowing who is doing it…. unless your cell mate snitches on you…. I reckon that any management unit he is in will be rowdy as fuck if they find out who their new Neighbour is…
Thats what I think about that. Now we move on and try to help those people heal. I had a funny moment watching the Muslim people confronting him in the court room…. If he were in Saudi Arabia or any Islamic state for that matter, he would have been beheaded or stoned ages ago. No doubt in my mind. It was a strange feeling, thinking about that. Islam has some very very violent notions about justice and honour in extremis. Perhaps he chose this country to exploit the fact that in many other Muslim countries he would have met a less enlightened and moderate fate. I feel proud of the way my Country dealt with him calmly and methodically and without the press and spectacle he might have hoped for.
As much as I loath to admit it, I grew up in a very sporting nation. Rugby, Racing and Beer being the motto of countless generations before me. I grew up playing school boy Rugby and also played a few seasons of Rugby league in the middle. I played for two local teams of some historic standing. Star Rugby Football Club from about 7 or 8 years old and then I played for Waikiwi from 12 or so. Every saturday morning during the winter was spent rummaging around in the mud, wind and rain. Ruddy faced and earnestly supporting the idea of the “Team”. Tackling, passing, kicking, scrummaging and rucking being the fundamentals of the game. Where American children are raised to pledge allegiance to a flag, Kiwi kids are drilled with “Feed The Backs” and “Bring Back Buck”. We practiced once or twice during the week, many of us playing for both Club teams and School teams. Some boys (and now girls too) also playing at a local, National And even International levels too. We in Southland have had our fair share of All Blacks and some of them I played against at school. Jeff Wilson single handedly whipped us 115/nil once when my JHHS school team played his Cargill High School team… It set some kind of record, that he scored every try and kicked every goal… it is whats known as a “Trouncing”.
I loved it as much as I hated it. I was not very good. I was a Hooker, which is a position that requires both a tactical and brute force approach and it was also a position I played when I switched codes. The Hooker is the guy right in the middle of the scrum who’s job it is to get the ball out through the back of the scrum at the right moment in order to get the ball to the fast movers behind called the “Backs”. Their job is to race through the opposition defences and score tries. I am afraid to say that I never once managed to score a try in all those years. I took some consolation in that it is not really a Hookers job to score tries but to support the guys who do, but still… I only wanted one. I can still remember quite vividly the one time I came close. We were held up right before the try line and I had my hands on the ball. I was only separated from the line by a handful of inches but they pushed us back and we lost possession and, well, that was that. It was up the western end of the Waikiwi grounds late in the winter when the ice on the grass would scrape the skin from your arms and legs when you we’re tackled or diving for a ball, leaving your skin burning and red. Glorious Battle Scars and bloodied noses.
I liked it when we won and I liked it when we lost. I remember Rugby fondly, even after all the shame and frightful lack of self esteem and confidence. My head was sometimes a full on cacophony of inner criticism, I am amazed I survived childhood with that inner voice always telling me I was useless and stupid and ugly and fat and on and on and on. I am going to clean up today, I have been a bit of a grot and I don’t feel much like making art or music in this mess. I want to clean my car also but I will see how I get on with this first. I bet if I clean up my other courier package will arrive with the cables I need!
Be safe and keep social distance, hygiene and mask up when in public.
My Dad asked me today how my “Music” was going, this can only mean one thing… It’s Election Time. There are only three things that me and my Old Man really can’t discuss together rationally. These topics tend to be avoided at all costs. Religion, Politics and my infatuation and fixation with making Music. That he mentioned it at all was quite shocking and I didn’t really know how to respond… Like, was he really interested or it is just that time in the calendar when you ask other folks about themselves to get a gauge on what way they might flip politically? At first I cracked wise “Well, it goes “bah-dum-dumdumdum-dum”…. he he he but I immediately felt like a bit of a shit because what if he really was interested and I miss the one time I get to try and tell him about it? So I told him that the trick is to just keep making it, rain or shine, year in, year out. Music, for me, is like religion, or a hard drug habit. It felt nice that he saw me. He is really a great Dad, after all it was him that introduced me to U-Roy, for starters…. I was pretty lucky. Some Dads are fuckheads. Aren’t they, kind and compassionate reader?
Well, it has finally happened. “Between Two Ferns” is now a feature length film on Netflix. You just can’t imagine how happy it made me to discover this. I think, a few years back, I stumbled across plans for this project but, well, life kind of happened there for a bit and I forgot all about it as more momentous things happened. Instead of just a string of standalone interviews they have tied it all together with a loose narrative involving Zac, a megalomaniacal Will Ferrell, a mismatched production team and a cross country road trip. The Cast list is spectacular and it retains the core of Zacs uncomfortable, belligerent and misinformed interview style whilst also filling in some of the blanks that may not have been apparent in the original series of odd-ball interviews. It’s dumb. It’s really really dumb lowest common denominator humour with some Buster Keaton level slapstick thrown in for good measure. It’s a light heart in a time of darkness. Hmm, that might be a bit dramatic. It’s probably not for everyone but I got a few belly laughs out of it and it prompted me to revisit previous seasons and episodes that happened while I was in the freezer…. like the Cardi B/Jerry Seinfeld bit.
I feel strange. I am effectively a hermit. I think of it as a kind of Rock n Roll meditation. I stay put because it hurts to move around but also, if I am being honest, I am afraid to go outside. I have to prepare myself for going out, like getting a little run up. Coffee helps but mostly I just have to push myself and do things one at a time. Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and Chronic Pain. Karma doesn’t fuck around huh? I do manage to function though and I am stable, I think that that is the main point. I don’t bother no-body, nobody bothers me… I hear that sentence in a Jamaican Patois, “I and I don’ dep’ pon no-one, no-one dep’ pon I and I” Jah, Rastafar-I. Right? Right! It’s confusing sometimes because I get paranoid and retreat a little further into myself. As I have said before, my pain meds don’t work and they won’t give me more so I kind of double the dose but it leaves me half a week short and so I have to choose which days are kind of comfortable and which ones are a grind. It’s no way to live and I have a review on thursday when I really hope they will help me. Someone has to stand up for me and tell the powers that be to stop treating me like a junky and start treating my kidney problem. I don’t like my chances, if I were to be honest, not one bit. Vote for Cannabis reform please. Some of us really need it.
That will do. Today I have taken out the rubbish. Hung the washing and tobacco on the line. I’ve come up with chorus parts and a baseline for the new track I’m working on and I’ve made eggs and avos on toast. I’ve perfected and installed my new stencil and I plan to take a walk this week and place said stencil in pubic space. It’s nice and light and fluffy, no one could be offended by it. I have some political stencils ready for closer to election time though, don’t you worry about that my little covid flavoured petri dish. Take care out there. Call your Mum or Your Dad and say hello. Wear a mask and social distance, wash your hands and don’t believe anything Donald J Trump says.
Who’s dance style best reflects your own, gentle and rhythmic Reader?
I know that many, if not most of you will not be very pleased to hear this. I think I kind of feel happy. Not “jumping up and clicking my heels” happy, after all we do live on a fault line… but I have felt content and hopeful the last few days. Maybe it’s seasonal, I do know that I have a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Who doesn’t though, right? It’s not for any reason that I can see in front of me. Financially, socially and materially I am fucked. I am not making any collaborative live music very often, I’m not abusing any substances, I am not in a physical relationship, I am not making much art and, most importantly, I’m not spending much time with my Children. These are the things that, historically, have made me happy and yet I do feel more optimistic than I have in a long long time. I guess I am just surprised that I have managed to become stable and to not fuck it up. I know that you will mostly resent this. I know that some of you have, in the past, gone out of your way to destroy any stability or security I’ve been able to muster. In fact I am kind of afraid that by acknowledging this it may paint a target on my shabby ass but fuck it, make hay, right?
I have been forcing myself to do stuff. I have not been torturing myself but I have been creeping right up to the edge of my pain threshold and in doing so I have found hope. I have shifted my sights and am involved in the business of increments.
Now. Anyone that knows me will know that I am not nasty. I am a black humorist with a keen eye for satire. The person I am most nasty to is myself. “self deprecating” doesn’t really adequately describe the towering and majestic spires of comedic self harm I am capable of inflicting with wit, charm and humour verging on outright hostility. So it’s with this in mind that I would like to address my “Ops”. I know what you have been saying and doing. It all comes back to me and it only makes me feel sad for you. Life is way too short to spend it hating folks. Far better to spend time creating than destroying, in my humble onion. I am the first to admit that my behaviour in the past has been atrocious. I am more than the things I have done though. We all are, kind reader, aren’t we? Let me tell you a story…
My friend, lets call him Bob. He was homeless and had been drinking so much that his family didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t live with any of them because he was too much to handle (that and he kept robbing them, bless his cotton socks.) He had a detox date and a rehab bed booked and, most importantly, he wanted to go. He needed somewhere safe to live while he waited. Both myself and his family knew that it was unwise for him to just stop drinking but we also didn’t want him on the street or worse so he came to live with me. Bob was up to two bottles of Vodka a day. The first one he would… well, in New Zealand we call it “Skulling”, the English call it “Necking”… you just gulp down the whole fucking thing. It was quite amazing to watch. After that the shakes would stop and he was kinda normal. Then he’d nurse the other bottle throughout the day. He wasn’t an angry drunk but he was occasionally a sloppy one. More than once I found him passed out naked in the bathroom, holding the toilet bowl like a lover. He used to walk up to the shop and buy the NZ Herald and spend the afternoon in a comfortable chair reading the paper and watching the Stock Market on his laptop. He was eloquent and debonair… until he couldn’t stand up at least. I used to hate the look he used to get in his eyes when he was really fucking mashed… it was a look that said “How the fuck did I become this?”. Confusion and fear and a touch of resentment. Bob is good people. His people are good people too. They cared for me when I wasn’t at my best. Not “Enabling”, thats different from “Care”.
I lived in a tiny flat with one bedroom but we shared that flat for 5 or 6 months until he went off to rehab. By the time he checked into Detox his relief was palpable. They almost didn’t admit him because he turned up shitfaced. We had to pull a few strings but eventually he got settled in and Bob is now well over ten years sober. It was easy sacrificing a little of my privacy for someone else. We tried a few different arrangements and settled on my turning the living room into my room and he had the bedroom. These are the things we do for the people we love. Family, Friends, Lovers… shit man, even strangers sometimes, am I right? Addicts and Alcoholics are a little harder to love but the same sort of approach applies. I guess my own personal opinion is that we reap what we sow. I know that Karma has a few smacks in the head owing me probably but I also hope I’ve stored up a little good Karma as well. I may not be a river to my people but I do know how to share what I have, be it material or otherwise. Bearing that in mind, you can understand how someone like me could mistakenly think everybody feels like this. They do not.
Thats my story. I have another similar one but I think I should save up stories for days when I’m tempted to re-tell one of the stories I’ve told on this and similar blogs. Like the other day. I am sure I’ve waffled on about my first year at Uni many times before. Sorry for boring you.
So when I hear about people I love taking huge, streaky corn and bile Shits on me while my back is turned, I feel a certain way. Thats all.
Think of it like this… “Bifrost”, or “Aniwaniwa”, as we say here in Aotearoa, is a bridge between the 9 realms. When you see a Rainbow, thats “Bifrost”. When the bridge is broken between realms there is often War. War is born of Hatred, Hatred sucks. It’s malevolent and it festers in the form of resentments, loss and fear. It’s the absolute cause of all that plagues humanity, the reason we continue to kill each other. The path of least resistance dictates that Hatred and the despite of our fellow humans is counter productive. In recovery circles they talk about humans having two inner beasts… a “Good” one and a “Bad” one. Whichever the individual chooses to feed… that one will grow strong. Don’t feed the inner dickhead, don’t break ties of love… those are my suggestions, kind and cautious reader. Well, those and “Don’t hit children with Jam Spoons or any other kind of improvised weapon”.
Ok, with that out of the way lets get on to politics. I can’t watch American newscasts at the moment. I become very swiftly enraged and then feel hopeless, ineffectual and doomed. Doomed. What would Hunter have to say about Donald J? It would be riveting television if it were fiction. You couldn’t write this shit. Actually you could and George Orwell did... it’s called 1984. Obama nailed it when he said that Trump is Knee Capping the postal service. Knee Capping is when you powder someones knees rendering them useless. The preferred method of delivery is a Tyre Iron.. if gangster movies have taught me anything. That’s what he has done to circumvent the Vote. A more cynical mind might go further to say that he has bungled the Covid response in order to make the Postal Vote the only safe way to vote and then fucked over the Post Office to make sure all the nails are in the coffin of democracy.
I’m no fool. I know that Western Democracy is a sham operating under the thin veneer of the illusion of choice. I know this and yet I still think that anyone is going to be less dangerous to the world than Mr Trump. You may say “What has it got to do with you?” but, dude, people are dying, Black Folks are still being shot by Cops and I want my TV shows to get their arses back into producing the next season! Especially Stranger Things, Dark and Atlanta! Gosh Damnit!!!
I’ve been playing my instruments, I made a stencil yesterday and I did some work downstairs. I know that happiness or contentment never last, the good and the bad both pass, by and by, but this is even more reason to try and hold onto the good moments and savour them. I spoke to a Dear Dear friend yesterday who is similarly having trouble adjusting to life in his late 40s. I look around at the people in my community and country and I wonder how many others also struggle the way we do. People still don’t talk about Mental Health very much, it’s still Taboo and people still have the “Harden Up” kind of attitude. I am grateful not to be like that.
I like The Umbrella Academy, in case you didn’t pick up my subtle hints. I like the dysfunction of the characters. They are all slightly (or not so slightly) damaged and yet their vulnerabilities are also their strengths. I love the soundtrack and the historical and social references. I don’t get all of it but, as generation x, I think I manage to get most of the easter eggs and in-jokes… references a Millennial or Gen Y human might not get. Go grab a piece if you haven’t already.
Take Care out there. Don’t be afraid to give, it all comes back. Be Kind but not like Ellen Degeneres…. just normal ordinary Kind.
Hey how about something nice for a change, a love story from the early 90s.
My first grownup relationship started on a thursday night in a student flat on Peachgrove Road in my first year at Waikato University. We had met these three girls at the Hillcrest Tavern, where we kind of lived back then. We called it H-Block, as in “Hey wheres your next lecture?” to which one would reply “H-Block” and that would be the end of the academic day. The Public Bar was still a bit shady, pool tables, a juke box, ciggy machine and a public telephone. It was still the days when Public Bars were a thing and at any time of day you could find a bunch of old derelicts and shady drug dealer types nursing handles or the famous $5 Jugs, the big old glass jugs and little glasses called 8ths. Next door to the Public Bar, around the back, was the Sports Bar. That was where the big stage was and most wed, thurs, fri and sat nights you could find bands or a DJ. It had Video Games and stuff, foosball and Air Hockey… That kind of Bar…. We cynically called them Meat Markets, for the obvious reasons. (Ha ha ha When I was a teenager we used to call the Northern Tavern in Invercargill “Grab a Grannies”, for similarly obvious and cynical reasons.). Most of our time, outside of study, was divided between The Wailing Bongo, The Hillcrest Tavern and the Riverina Tavern, up the end of Clyde st. All three of those Bars are gone now. There is still a Public Bar where the Hillcrest was but it’s a shadow of it’s former glory. Most New Zealand Music Histories mention the Notorious Hillcrest Tavern in Hamilton.
I digress…. So we met these three girls and took drinks back to their flat where we proceeded to get drunk, stoned and dance to loud, dank Reggae, in the dark. I think there was a play station, or what ever gaming platforms were popular back then… The girls kept talking about their other flatmate who was working a night shift at MacDonalds but would return from work soon. I was walking up the hallway when she came home from work. “You must be Sally (not her name)” I said with a sloppy drunken grin, that was all it took. We spent friday and saturday together and when the sun came up on Monday I was head over heels in love.
We spent that first Summer together. I think it was 92/93. I dropped my entire student loan on a trip down to the South Island and we worked on an orchard in Roxborough, saving money for tuition. We spent Christmas in Dunedin with my Family and, along with my youngest, we flew to Gisbourne to spend the last month of the Summer break with her family. They accepted me and my daughter like we were family and over the next 2 or 3 years we spent a lot of time living and working in and around Gisbourne in the Summer and Mid Semester breaks. We lived with my folks too for a few weeks that first year because the cousin we had left in charge of her flat had fucked off with all her stuff and we arrived home to find eviction notices and all her things missing. It took a long time for us to clear our names and fix what had been broken. The cousin had cleared the house out and just dumped it all on the front yard of the new place she moved to. By the time we tracked her down any of Sallys stuff that hadn’t been stolen was beyond water damaged. It was a tragedy and she was never compensated for it. We moved into a little flat and during that first year together and we both studied and worked. I must have done every shitty job Hamilton has to offer but they were good days and we were happy. I received sole custody of my youngest that year and we all moved into a big old house on Dey St. It was a good life, we had a Dog and by this time she had finished studying and had a really high paying academic job, I quit school to work in the freezing works and we proceeded to enjoy a really cool life together. We had a really neat circle of friends we would do stuff like taking all the fixings for fancy cocktails to outdoor concerts and set up on a picnic blanket and drink Daquaries, Harvey Wall bangers and Fluffy Ducks. It was a happy time, everyone was young and hopeful. It was her that encouraged me to return to study but this time to try Māori Performing Arts, it was her that bought me my first Fender Strat and Marshall Amp. We spent our money on travel, concerts and trips back to Gisbourne. By this time my daughter and I were part of the family. Her Dad called me “Tūrongo“, after the famous love affair between a man from my tribe and a woman from their tribe called “Māhinarangi”. It’s a cute story, she swims across a raging river with their child in an effort to reach him.
Like all good things it came to an end. A messy one too, painful and sad and hard to accept. I ended up in my first Rehab.
I bumped into her 7 or 8 years later, the General Manager of the institution I worked at introduced her to me as my new boss. It was, um, awkward. She was still beautiful, strong and capable. I quit my job eventually to pursue a music and radio career and also to not have her as my boss.
There you go Kind reader, a nice story for a change. I hope your Covid is going well. If you are unfamiliar with some of the Māori words I use please do go and do some research, the Tūrongo and Māhinārangi story is particularly special to both my tribe an hers.
Hi gentle Reader. I deleted the post from the other day. I guess I feel that I don’t really get to complain about that. Anyway. So we are back to masks and hand sanitiser and feeling a bit uncomfortable in crowds again. Look, I panic at the least little thought of human interaction. I sometimes leave it until I’m feeling really ill before I go up to the chemist because I feel anxious about facing the people there. To me, Covid_19 only heightens an already acute sense of social fear and distance. I just hope it doesn’t get worse. It’s silly that I feel fearful when we only have a handful of cases, unlike many many places around the world. One of the younguns works in an aged care facility (Is that how you say “Rest Home” these days?) and I worry about them all the time. When they said yesterday that there had been a suspected case in a Waikato Aged Care Facility (Rest Home) I nearly pooped. It turns out it was a different one, there are, potentially, hundreds after all but I still am fearful for them
I made “Rasta Pasta” last night. It is a Chicken Fettuccine but with a Jamaican “Run Down” Twist. You can also use the three colour pasta and red gold and green capsicums to give it a nice Rastafarian presentation theme but the “Rasta” bit is really in the run down. Whats a Run Down, I hear you say? Well here goes… A Run Down is a Jamaican style of cooking with fresh coconut milk, straight from the coconut. They usually use it with Salt Fish, Cray Fish, Crabs, jerk chicken, beef, goat, pork and vegetarian dishes. You crack open a bunch of coconuts and grate all the coconut flesh. Then you add a little of the coconut water and some cold water and start to squeeze and strain until, after about 3 cycles of wringing it all out and then soaking again, you are left with creamy coconut milk. You use this as the base of your rue sauce or whatever you are doing. Run Down. I dunno why its called that but it is. You can keep the leftover coconut for other uses but after the milk is extracted you are done with it for this dish. You can use the coconut shells as fuel for a fire or just toss the lot.
It took a few hours. After I’d been shelling coconut for an hour I realised what a massive job it is when I could have just bought a few cans of Coconut milk for a fraction of the price of those coconuts. I try to hide how much it hurts from my family but I’m not always very good. Yesterday was one of the days I can have painkillers this week so I tend to try make the most of those days. I have one more day to be pain free between now and tuesday, not sure which one I will choose, certainly not today. I have finally been having some success in the studio. Sometimes it feels like I have no music left in me and then, like magic, one day I’ll look up and see that I have three or four really fine tracks in good shape. It’s a good feeling. When the bits arrive from the courier the studio will be fully operational… you know? like the Death Star. I have heaps of ideas and I have been scribbling down every lyrical idea that occurs to me in earnest.
I haven’t been Reading. I do not really know why. I think I use reading to help me either fall asleep or to keep me from going mental when I can’t. I’m on a couple of pills that, at night, knock me the fuck out. So I don’t do much reading these days. It’s weird and I hope it isn’t a permanent situation. I continue to accumulate books so I guess my subconscious isn’t interested in any long term reading blight.
The world is going batshit crazy. I tuned into The Whitehouse Covid Briefing today and it was a wall to wall onslaught on Joe Biden. Any citizen hoping for news of the pandemic from their Government would have had to wonder if they weren’t on the wrong channel. Things are also heating up in NZ with our looming election and referendum. We have two issues to vote on, that I know of. One is a Bill that would help people die with dignity when they face terminal illness and the other is a referendum on how we feel about changing cannabis laws. On top of that we have to choose a new Government. I have said often that I don’t really follow NZ News but the impression I get is that the Opposition have had some unsurvivable scandals. Couple this with the overwhelming support for Jacinda and the way she has managed Covid, I would think not too much will change after the election.
I feel lonely. I spend most of my time alone. I think that a lot of my friends also didn’t bounce back from the Shut Down very well, we all seem to be much more insular and closeted. I only get into town now and then and I guess I chicken out a lot of the time when I set out to visit folks. It’s embarrassing to admit that but maybe you can relate. Not all the time, but now and then. Not just my friends either, Family and even appointments that I have made. I tried to book an appointment this morning with welfare. I really need some help from them but I cant face them on the phone and so my situation gets worse. How to explain anxiety to an entire system geared to cause people consternation and fear. If I miss an appointment from sheer anxiety, how do I explain that to a straight person? I can’t even explain it to my Dr adequately, let alone a stranger on the phone. Urgh.
My concerns, fears and worries pale in comparison other folks actual hardships, not just the ones in my head. I learned a little about Hawaii and how she was annexed by the Americans for use as a strategic naval and missile base. Her Monarchy toppled and land stolen despite there being iron clad treaties and declarations of both Independence and neutrality. From what I can tell a handful of American land owners, later dubbed “The Conspirators”, moved to Hawaii and planted Sugar Cane and other slavey-type crops like that. As they became more influential they began to manipulate the Hawaiian monarchy and government to make local laws more conducive to their American ways and pretty soon it was all over. They were made a “State” in 1959 but by then it was already a playground for American wealth and had been a strategically important military base since 1919. One of the most shocking thing I learned was that it was totally legal to develop land that had been used for tribal burials but the “PunchBowl” where the American Pearl Harbour casualties were buried is sacred land and protected by law. You can built a K-Mart on a Hawaiian Gravesite but if you even think about desecrating the military graves… whoah boy!
They also have this dumbfuck thing called “Blood Quantum” which was put in place in 1921 and has never been repealed. What it states, in a coconut shell, is that to qualify as a Native Hawaiian you must have at least 50% native blood. 50% of blood tracing back to the Natives who inhabited the Islands prior to 1778. Absolute lunacy. By this standard, very very few people qualify. Estimates have placed the number of “Blood Quantum” Hawaiians as low as 8,000. Many Hawaiians see American colonialisation as a slow form of genocide. Schools were only allowed to teach English and whilst Hawaiian was never outright banned, within a few generations it was becoming rare to find fluent native speakers. This has improved with a resurgence in culture but they are so far behind the 8 ball that it will take a few more generations if it is to survive. Theres a large underclass of Natives who are “House-Less” (They don’t use the word Home-Less because Hawaii is their home, dig?). Because it is a tropical paradise it is relatively easy to live without a house but they are simply a more temperate slum. Slowly the Houseless are being forced into the Mountains or forced to try and develop arid land destroyed by Volcanic activity that nobody wants. Consider the vast wealth created by Hawaiian Tourism and Intellectual property, consider the Billions of Dollars the American Industrial Military complex throws at Hawaii. Then consider the poverty suffered by Native Hawaiians. We in Aotearoa know only too well the crushing blow of colonisation, loss of land of culture and identity. I think that Māori got off lucky that it was only the English Fucking us over, if America had been a little quicker I think we would find a fucking great big Military base down at Invercargill, a staging post for domination in Antarctica. Thats what I reckon because the main reason Elvis was able to do that Blue Hawaii film is that Hawaii is smack dab in the middle of the Pacific, between America and all of her enemies…. Hawaii never stood a chance.
Anyway, thats what I was thinking this morning as I ate my breakfast. Sometimes the world is crummy. It’s up to us, kind reader, we have to be the change we are seeking. Vote! Vote! and if you are not registered please Do So. Hey my tobacco is slowly drying. It’s all still largely green, some of it is a lovely shade of golden brown though and once it all goes that way it will be time to get cracking. I hope that wherever you are that you are safe and loved and happy. Drink loads of water and take good care of your Kidneys. When those little bastards fuck out it puts the Kaibosh on all sorts of good things.
Hola Kind Reader. It is now August of 2020, can you believe that? Just yesterday, it seems, it was 1992 and yet here we are… Donald Trump is President of America, Hawaii is still struggling for independence and the entire World is combating a ferocious virus. I had cause to buy a bottle of champagne for someone the other day. I love giving gifts. I’ve touched on this before. I often repeat myself here. You have to remember that this blog is the equivalent of a diary, a dog eared, tattered exercise book with some interesting stains and cigarette burns. I guess the human mind runs on tracks, much like a tape machine and it’s hard, over the span of decades, to ensure that each thought is original and new. Hard as all hell. I do my best and sometimes, like today, I find I have nothing particularly interesting to say but still want to flap my gums anyway. Where was I? Oh yeah, Champagne. It’s a no-brainer, everyone loves Champagne. It keeps forever and it can be as extravagant or as budget conscious as you desire. Theres a massive consensus that New Zealand Sparking wines are on par, if not superior to Champagne from the Champagne region of France. It’s been quite a while but I do remember that the Lindaur Special Reserve Brut Cuvee is a pretty bad ass wine and the Nautilus Estate do some really good ones too but, come on… it still aint Champagne, aint it?
I’ve basically been in bed for a couple of days. It hurts so much. If I use up my painkillers doing stuff during the week it usually leaves me a day or two short and so sundays and mondays are usually a bit of a grind. It sucks that I have to choose which days I am able to function on and must suffer for the other ones. I have a medical review in two weeks. As I said last week I bloody missed the last one, simply an accident, I forgot and I missed out on an appointment I’d been hoping would provide me with some better solutions to this pain issue. Anyway, two more weeks and maybe I can get some help. Hey, do you reckon the reason they wont help me is because of my history? Do you also reckon that maybe another reason is that (much like Donald Trumps handling of Covid_19) in order to help me they would have to admit that mistakes have been made and they don’t want to do that.
I continue to try and get my head around Norwegian Black Metal. It’s very hard music to listen to but once you get your ear in, you can hear the brilliance of some of it. I still really struggle to make out the words they are singing but I have made progress in identifying all the other bits. Very aggressive, very morbid, very fast and very very loud. After studying Norwegian Film, Television and Music I have determined that the Norse are the equivalent of Māori in the Northern Hemisphere. Wait, wait, hear me out… The indigenous peoples of Norway are the Vikings…. Norse Gods, Mariners, warriors etc. Then they got colonised and christianised and had to fight to regain their cultural identity. Remind you of anyone? Huh? Add to that the geography and you have an almost perfect match. Albeit with less mass incarceration, poverty, mental health problems, Health problems and substance abuse issues. Although thats just my impression so far. I have work to do and, for all I know, they do struggle with those things as well. Norway has led the way in terms of new Penal ideas and their justice system has become so good that they have empty jails that they lease out to other countries. Look, I just think Norway is pretty cool, ok?
I am still waiting for my new instruments and stuff from the internet. I bought them from an American website so it came as no surprise to me when I tracked the packages and the tracker said they had just left China! Pretty funny. Speaking of China, do you know what “BASA” is? I frequent the takeaways up the road maybe once a fortnight. I usually get a burger and a handful of Mussels or Oysters, sometimes I get Sweet and Sour Pork and now and then I get combination friend rice with cashews…. ok ok and sometimes I get Chicken Chow Mein. Not all together though. And I get a bottle of Sparkling Duet, you know, for cultural reasons…. The other day I made the mistake of buying one of those combos you see in New Zealand Fish and Chip shops…. This one was 2 x Fish, 1 x Chips 2 x Mussels for $7.50. As I was leaving I noticed that the menu said “2x Fish (BASA)” and I thought “I wonder what that means?’. When I got my meal home I discovered what BASA means…. it means SHIT, that’s what it means gentle epicurious reader, shit.
Basa is a cheap imported species of Vietnamese catfish. It has been banned in some countries and there is a real problem at the moment of Basa undercutting New Zealand fisheries. Here’s how one pundit describes it: “Basa looks like a reasonably good product but it is farmed in the putrid waters of the Mekong River, polluted with raw sewage and other contaminants.”. Now look, I am no slouch when it comes to trying new things. I’ve always known that if I chose to buy takeaways from certain places that I am probably eating Coy Carp or worse but this stuff was so bad that I didn’t even finish it, hell, the cats wont even eat it. It’s easily remedied. Next time I just wont order it. It was an unpleasant lesson to learn, I felt pretty horrid for an hour or two afterwards. This is what prompted me to do a little research… just in case I needed to tell the Drs what I’d eaten before they pump my stomach or whatever they do when you have food poisoning. Ok, I am being a bit dramatic but still, steer clear, kind reader, you are formally warned. Basa. Urgh.
All the stuff I want to do with my time is now in Hamilton and its too expensive to drive in and out all the time. We are poised to do some recording. I have hope that when the new gear shows up I’ll be able to do a bit more, musically and that will be just fine. I feel itchy when I haven’t made music for a while, its not a nice feeling. “You are only as good as your last track” as my mate Roger used to say. I know that the urge comes and goes and if I haven’t done anything for a while its ok, I don’t need to panic, just bide my time, stockpile ideas and be patient with myself. I have a few ideas for things to do this week to keep myself busy. I need to clean my car, for a start. Little tasks like that seem to be the keys to living with this. That and not getting too down on myself when I can’t or won’t do things. Speaking of which, I might go do some stuff right now.
Peace be upon you kind and spacious reader, may your seed be fruitful and you belly full.
Black Lives Matter.
ps – hey if you are also interested in exploring how other folks live, please check this guy out, he is doing some fine journalism. A crazy russian blogger putting himself in some extreme situations to tell peoples stories. Relevant and current he tries to find out how ordinary people survive in extraordinary places. He has only just started so theres only 4 or 5 hours of content but it is some of the most riveting Youtube I have found in ages. He flirts with some extremely dangerous ideas and it would not surprise me in the least to find he just disappears one day, like Li Zehua….
Yeah, as the song says “a day of tiny triumphs”. I have never been afraid to be alone. I have felt the sting of loss and longing but thats not the same as needing someone else, it just hurts when they leave is all. Those feelings don’t last. Well, they don’t stay urgent and aching, they dissipate. Some folks stomp on those feelings with a new relationship but I’ve never been like that. I’ve made mistakes and hurt people but I’ve never felt that I needed to not be alone. Love strikes when you least expect it, forcing it means you’ll miss out on the real thing when it comes along. It seems like settling to me. I know folks who just cant be alone, that just can’t be whole and complete without a partner. It’s so wonderful to be in love but it must happen of it’s own accord or else it’s just filling a gap.
Hey, new Billie Eilish video today. There have been some really good releases this week. Most notably the star studded Snoop vs DMX track that brings 90s gangster rap into the 2020s in sleek, low rider style. I was koha’d some really neat studio gear yesterday by a man that I have respected as a Musician and a Music Archivist for decades. I feel stoked that the studio is slowly coming into shape. It is hard being patient. The equipment I slagged myself into debt for is coming from the USA and it takes time. I have all these ideas and am busy assembling them into shape to record. I also found a broken toaster that is perfect for frozen Hash Browns and an old school Sony RM300 video editing suite. One mans trash is another mans leather.
I was thinking this morning, as I was driving into town, that I have everything I need. I am struggling financially but I have a home, I have food and theres gss in my car. What more do I really need? I was naughty and bought a tub of Duck Island Salt Caramel and cacao crumbs (Whatever those delicious little bastards are). I also bought a big size box of Cadbury Favorites and made a little card for the people at the Chemist. Just to say thanks for putting themselves in harms way during the Covid19 shut down. It was scary. There are some really hostile folks up there and I decided if I was faced with one of them I’d have to wait and give it on another day. One of them continues to insist on asking my name. I have been a customer there, 4 times a week since what? February? January? I did end up being served by one of the meanies. I had the chocolates in a gold gift bag with a little card taped to it and she was eyeing it suspiciously. I reckon if I’d given it to her she would have found a way to reject me. “I’m sorry we’re not allowed to accept gifts” or something like that. So I just did my usual skulking and waited ’til one of the kind people came out from the back. They were chuffed and I felt really good. I am not very good at going in there, I find it terribly stressful and I kind of have to take a deep breath and dive in. I usually just make myself known and then go find a spot to sit. I am often forgotten and have to remind them I am there, thats usually when one of the haters has served me. I think it’s my hair, my belly, my tattoos, my beard and my habit… otherwise they think I am great. Hah.
Gallows Humour huh? Fuckem.
I often have ideas for doing nice stuff for people like this but I hardly ever get the courage up to do it. Or, I guess, the funds. I reckon I’d make a great billionaire, I’d be broke within a year but many many people would be rich. Having said that, it doesn’t have to cost money to brighten someone elses day. When I was working through the “The Artists Way” book, one of my exercises was to do one thing a day for someone else without them finding out. Then I had to do one thing a day for a stranger without them finding out. That one was harder than you might think. It felt great though. One of the things I found out about years later when the person who I’d chosen as recipient told me the story of when somebody blah blah blah…. it was pretty cool. Theres a massive feel good in being kind. It is not a one way transaction… you get what you give. As the man said.
I have been studying John Robert Lewis, who passed away last week. I dunno if you are familiar with the story but he led the march from Selma to Montgomery during the American Civil rights struggle. A struggle that seems no closer to fruition today. What a guy. He literally put his body on the line in an age when bodies like his were being stacked high. I don’t pay much attention to New Zealand Politics. We have an election this year too, I think, and we are voting on Cannabis reform. Other than that I don’t have a clue whats happening in Wellington. Don’t take my disinterest for ignorance. I know New Zealand Political History, only too well, I just don’t have any faith or belief in the current political system to effect real, palpable change for people like me. I’m sure they all mean well. Ok ok, I’m sure a handful of them mean well.
I guess I will go start my day. Put some pants on etc. I’ve had some strange interactions with people this week and it has prompted me to retreat a little into myself. I think thats ok. As i said before, i don’t have a problem being alone. I know that A: Love happens in its own time. and B: I’m pretty good company most of the time. I mean, thats what Loop pedals are for huh? It’s so hard though to resist the call of Baklava from the fridge. It is way too good.
chur, peace, Love and friendly front of house staff.
Evictions are beginning in North America, the emergency unemployment subsidies have run out and there continues to be an army of Homeland Security creeps running around without identification, insignia or rank in unmarked vans attacking and kidnapping so called “Terrorists” (Read: Protesters). Did you know that my country is 2.2 times the size of New York City? With a population of 5 million, compared to NYCs 8.7 million, we are kinda, roughly about the same. One North American city is only half the size of our whole country! Mind Blowing. I watched a doco about the New York Crime Families the other day. Then I watched Gotti, John Travoltas 2018 film about John Gotti, the king of New York, The Teflon Don. I have been watching quite a bit of Travolta lately, he has aged really well as an actor, must be all those illuminati longevity drugs coupled with scientology space alien nanotech. Anyway, I am still fascinated with all that stuff. The Gambino Family, Big Pauly, Sammy The Rat etc. All the stuff Al Pacino, Deniro, Scorcese and Francis Ford Coppola have been creaming for years now. Goodfellas is a great gangster film and, of course, Scarface takes the prize for best gangster film of all time. I love Italian Mob names, Mickey the Knife, Pauly Two Toes, Moe the butcher, Big Sal, shit like that. What would mine be? Fatty the Limp. There you go, perfect.
We made Baklava today, it is cooling and setting and should be ready to eat in a few hours. I learned the recipe from some turkish guy whos family have been making it for 4 generations. Once it is finished baking you pour the honey syrup into the dish and it sizzles and pops as the syrup fills all the gaps with pure sugary yum-ness. There’s a trick to really good baklava and it is cheap mixed natural nuts. They are about $2 per 100gm. What you do is go to a shop that has bins and bags, where you fill your own, you know? You half fill a bag of the cheapest mixed nuts. Then you top it up with Pine Nuts, which are $20 per 100grams, as much as you can fit. Shake the bag so the nuts are all mixed up. That way you can cram about 50 bucks worth of pine nuts into a $7.50 sack of crappy ones. Also works for Pistachios but they are harder to camouflage. There you go, Baklava 101.
I feel ok. I have been making myself do stuff, even when it hurts. I am not really doing anything Aerobic but I am keeping active and thats good enough for today. I’ve been sleeping late but thats because I don’t really have much to be up for and I stay up all night making music. It feels good to wake up naturally, no alarms or surprises.
I was given an Intro-To-Tik-Tok today. The Indian Joker clips are so funny and creepy. I had no idea it was so huge, there’s some really funny stuff on there. I have been oblivious to the whole thing and now it’s being banned. I watched an american news clip on Youtube about how dangerous Tik Tok is… “If you want the Chinese Communist Party having access to your personal information then use Tik Tok” Alarmist bullshit but ironic in that Youtube probably does the same fucking thing for The American Intelligence Community… Privacy is an illusion, it has been for decades now. If you use the internet, someone is gathering your data, whether you like it or not.
I guess thats all I have today. I haven’t heard from Matt for a few days. I worry. He has been having seizures. I made a video for our new music last night and I have made progress re-learning how to use 10 year old software. My long term memory has it all stored away, it’s just a matter of doing.
I hope you are well, safe, loved and content.
Wash your hands, wear a mask in public, stay home, stay alive.
Hi. I’m listening to the new The Streets album. That first Streets record was so refreshing and gritty, a muddy reflection of what I might’ve been had I been English. My Mate Matt reminds me of Mike Skinner. Heaps. I am also half way through watching the new Disney version of Hamilton. It’s good but its hard work keeping up, they fit a lot of dialog and history in there. Hip Hop is already wordy, Historic Hip Hop…. sheesh. It’s good though, I am enjoying it. I’ve had a good day. I have plans for tomorrow and I have things to do tonight. I feel like the rabbit at a grey hound track, just trying to stay ahead of the pain, the depression and the sadness. Do you know what I am talking about? At Grey Hound tracks they have this mechanical Rabbit. Sometimes its just a furry ball of fur but sometimes they tie an actual dead rabbit to it, it fucking whips around the inner track on its own rail. It really goes for it. When they open the gates the dogs all chase this mechanical rabbit. I guess the winner gets to eat the dead rabbit? I dunno. Anyway, thats how I feel.
I have made some decisions in the last few days. Friday night really threw me. Those fucking people can keep their intrigue, their back stabbing and their prejudice. I am not going to live in the past, I have changed my ways, I am a better person today and I do not give one single shit about what they think. If others are carrying shit around then they can go for it, I’ll be quite happy over here far away from you. Life is hard enough already without that. I am an overweight methadone drinking ex convict mental health survivor that makes music and art. If that is all I ever am then thats ok with me. I can work with that. I miss my Boys. I dunno quite how to fix that yet. I need some help but I must not pressure people, it just has to happen in its time.
I keep having these moments where I think “This pain thing is all in your head”. I keep thinking that maybe I’m just faking it, you know? Just doing it for sympathy or something? Then I start doing something and, sure enough, five minutes later I’m gasping and groaning like a fucking champ. It feels like I am wearing a belt made of fire, or high grade construction Iron heated up to a white hot heat, like I’m going to tear apart, like my insides are being ripped apart, Have you ever had a “Chinese Burn” or an “Indian Burn”, racist as all fuck but I think you know what I mean… it feels like Godzilla is giving me a whole body Japanese Burn. Thats how it feels. If I keep still I can be pain free for a while but it never lasts. I have frequent infections. I don’t bother going to the hospital anymore, I just let it run its course, keep a puke bucket and disinfectant handy. I am waiting for packages. I have used up all my resources to buy this laptop and a handful of bits to make my stuff work properly. The Drum Kit needed some bits and all my Keyboards are dead so I needed a new one. I lost a lot of stuff while i was away, people just went through my shit and took what they wanted. Most of it I just let go, fair cop, you know? But stuff like my big screen tv or my Mini Mac… to hear that they were just stashed in someones shed and not even used kinda fucks me off. Someone pinched my Grandpas Razor too. That sucks. I have much of my treasures though…. all those bits of beach glass that we picked up in Coromandel that day, my grandmas porcelain Alsatian, My Star Wars and Adventure Time Figurines and my Buddhas, Microphones and Guitars. So I am wealthy, I have all I need to be fulfilled and useful.
I harvested the Tobacco today, speaking of thieving asshats…. The large leaves on the plant, that I was saving to pick last, were ganked in the night. Someone must know what it is. So I ripped all the rest out and have it hanging to dry. I have rushed through 100gm or so just to get my eye in, its almost ready to share and I’ve got 4 people that I think will appreciate 500gm or so of tobacco in the mail. Luckily it is still legal. Isn’t it funny that our country is drawing nearer to both decriminalising Cannabis and criminalising Tobacco? As I may have mentioned, I have just finished watching ROOTS, the 1977 one and the 2016 one. One of the other things I noticed was that some of the main things that slavery produced… Sugar, Rum, Tobacco have ended up being terribly harmful. So not only did slavery create misery while it was flourishing, it reached out to cause misery hundreds of years after the fact. Sigh.
I have decided to spend less time in Hamilton. I had a conversation with someone I make music with and I said “hey why don’t you come out to make music with me, for a change, I have a studio set up etc.??”. Nah, it was flatly refused and I realised that if I didn’t bother to go to town, no-one would really miss me and I wouldn’t have to worry that I was bumming anyone else out by simply being. It’s funny, I’m not really good for much more than sitting quietly in the corner, even that seems to be too much for some folks. Also I am really struggling, I got into debt and its kinda fucked me. I can’t afford to drive to hams, even if I wanted to. Winter, its a good time to hibernate anyway.
Man the world is so crazy. Take care out there Gentle Reader, particularly if you live somewhere still grappling with covid_19. I understand that the government protection for American property tenants under Covid runs out today and they expect massive numbers of evictions, folks unable to work are unable to pay rent… and guess what demographic is expected to dominate these numbers? African American Single Mothers. Fuck man, the system is broken, the emperor has no pants on and the cities are burning! Viva la Revolution!
Hi Friend. I have had a pretty good week. the pain has been pretty steady but I’ve been making music and getting some really good results. I went into town yesterday to help someone who needed a vehicle to do some missions and I ended up sitting with a group of friends around a brazier. We made some music for a while too. It was nice but at one point some people showed up and things changed. One person in particular, it turned out, despises me. I was oblivious to it when it was happening but I did notice some whispering and secret squirrel type shit going on. I didn’t recognise this person, they certainly don’t know me, I was a bit shocked later on when it was all made clear to me after they left. I just know that they would have been straight on an instant message or a text to you, kind readers, and there would have been all sorts of things said about me as a result. It takes the tiny little puff of wind I’ve generated out of my sails and today I just feel defeated again. It’s so fucking hard. My Probation Officer says that I need to just accept things but it still gets through my defences some times. Maybe I will just never be happy again, would that please you, gentle reader?
I just try my hardest to not harm anyone and to not be a bother or even a presence where I am not wanted or needed. I figure that’s the best thing I can do. I kinda hope, in some ways, that the chest pains I have been having simply put an end to this miserable life. But. Sigh. There are still people I have yet to reunite with, there are still songs I want to finish and things I want to read. I have just inherited a part of someones library. They are particularly well read and they are a writer that I admire greatly, the only true Poet that I know. I had to weed out all the rubbish, he’s a fan of detective fiction, but once I’d got rid of the sleuthing and some of the academic texts there were some real gems in there. He wanted space on his walls to display his new paintings (his new paintings…) and so he just removed an entire book shelf, stuffed all the books into boxes and asked me to drop them off with his paper and cardboard recycling. I opened the first box up and theres an antique copy of The Prince by Machiavelli and a Bukowski sitting right on top! Who the hell throws shit like that away? To be recycled? I was mortified.
Hey I tried Uber yesterday. I still haven’t had a go on the scooters yet but thats on my list too. I’m sorry I haven’t been writing much lately, things are a bit flat. I am struggling with pain and I am really not very focused on anything else. I am sure it will pass. I just wanted to let you know that I know that you know that I know. It’s ok, I don’t expect anything less.
Good Morning Kind Reader, It’s a fine sunny South Waikato day, the fog has lifted and it feels like it might be one of the last really nice days before Winter really gets stuck in. I am watching “Roots” the 1997 miniseries based on the book by Alex Haley. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, a Mandingo Warrior from Juffure in The Gambia, West Africa. He is stolen into slavery and winds up in North America. Haley later confessed that whilst he did extensive research on his Ancestor, much of the plot was fictionalised as he tied the story together and filled in the blanks. Still, it is as bracing and attention grabbing now as it was when it was first broadcast on TV. Despite the controversy around authenticity it has served as a kind of benchmark for telling the story of how millions of Africans wound up in slavery all over the world. It is as brutal as it is heart breaking and it has never been more important than right now. To see the white slavers shackling the Black Men and Women into the cargo holds of ships is simply to see the mass incarceration of African America and peoples of colour. To see the violence, trauma and death visited upon runaway slaves by the Slave Catchers, the “PatterRollers” and the “Overseers” is to see the shootings, strangulations and brutality of Black Men and Women by Police.
Not only is it still relevant, it was remade in 2016. By all accounts the new version pulls even less punches and I have it lined up next. It is hard hard stuff to watch, there are frequently tears and frothing rabid anger, furious and righteous. How could they do those things? Fucking Animals. To think that those Men and Women who profited from slavery thought that Negros were sub human, basically beasts of burdens… They were the animals, they were the beasts.
Here are a few observations I have made so far.
During the passage from Africa to the Americas it portrays the slaves being brought up on deck in order to sluice them down and to swamp out the cargo hold, flushing away the urine, faeces, blood, puss and dead. After they are washed they are forced to dance, exercising creatures that had been manacled and chained in place like sacks of wheat, keeping them just healthy enough to survive the trip. It struck me that this is where we first start to see African Americans as the smiling, dancing and singing caricatures that culminated in Jim Crow Cartoons, Advertising and Minstrel Shows. Childish Gambino addresses this phenomenon in the video for his track “This is America”.
There were Africans and other Peoples of Colour working for the slavers. I know that during the times of slavery there were Māori Mariners, certainly by the early 18th century. Some of my Tupuna may have easily worked on the slave ships. I don’t feel any sort of way about this, mostly because we have ended up suffering under the yoke of over policing and mass incarceration anyway. Just because our police don’t shoot us as often, doesn’t mean we aren’t victims of the systemic racism inherent in the western law enforcement model. They simply grind us down with poverty and prisons, drugs and crime. They don’t need to shoot us, we are already dead.
I saw President Trumps Oval Office Patio interview/Train Wreck the other day. One of the less scandalous things he says is that people who want to wave the confederate flag are not racist, they just love the south… I bet he would watch this movie and say that there were “Fine People on both sides.”. If he could concentrate for that long. I doubt he has read the book. Incidentally, I had a teacher at school called Mr Gallagher, he encouraged me to do art and music. He was the first Pakeha man I knew who loved old timey Blues and I was surprised to find that he liked the same music as I did at 12, Sonny Terry and Brownie, Son House and Robert Johnson. He also gave me a copy of “Roots” to read. He was a kind man and I kept in touch with him into my Adulthood. When Peter Tosh Died he came to school wearing a black armband and he brought a spare along for me to wear. He was really cool. An old Irish grey haired school teacher from Invercargill! If that doesn’t give you hope, nothing will.
So thats where my head is today. I cooked last night, Bangers and mash. I was glad that there weren’t any people around while I was working because it was very hard and I don’t like looking feeble in front of people. I have to sit down periodically and loose my strength quickly. I got there though, I am doing stuff every day that hurts, but pushing through it is the only way forward. Anyway, the meal was a smash and I think that if I can just keep doing things, even at a snails pace, I will be ok. They will not medicate the pain. I fall into a too hard basket. I don’t feel like fighting. I want to do Aqua Aerobics but it has turned into a huge deal and now I kind of give up. I’ve got enough stuff to keep me busy.
What do you think about Black Lives Matters, gentle reader? Is this stuff that you think about? I love African America. They gave me Jazz, Blues, Rock n Roll, Hip Hop, Funk, Motown and Spike Lee! I hate how America has treated them, I hate how zoning and habitation laws have forced them into Projects and ghettos. I hate how policing and healthcare seem to only serve one kind of American and I hate that that the Hamburglar in Chief still refuses to even acknowledge that there is a racial problem in America. They only want to Matter, equally. He wont even give them that.
I know that my own country is far from perfect but still I feel very very fortunate.
People who shout at other people, especially when other people are within earshot, are straight up batty-creases. Conflict that can’t be resolved without shouting and name calling is, in my experience, best slept on. Shouting leads to conflict, conflict leads to war, war leads to Death.
The Grownups that I admire do not resolve their quarrels with public displays of anger, they rarely quarrel at all.
Tumeric is a spice. It stains everything a muddy yellow colour and it tastes exactly like socks. Not nice clean socks either…. All day sweaty feet socks, fresh from the hoof… Thats Tumeric. Used correctly it’s a facet of divine Indian and south East Asian cuisine.
Hello Kind reader. I’ve had a challenging week, loneliness, sadness and physical pain combine to make marky a surly and perforkulating bandisnap. Today feels better but still it hurts so much. I know that I bleat on about it. So I’ll stop. Just for today.
Kanye seems to be seriously thinking he is running for President. It’s not that I think he would be any worse for the world that old Mr Tumeric face himself, it’s more that he will split the Anti Trump vote and harm Bidens chances. Is Joe Biden going to be any better than any other President or is he simply NOT Donald Trump? Anyway, it’s making for some pretty hilarious youtubery. Kanyes first “Political Rally” is straight up comic gold all the way through and if you have time for anything today, make Kanye your first choice.
I deleted a post I put up a couple of days ago. It dealt with Suicidality and how I’ve lived with it for ever, since I was very small. However I got to thinking that what I’d posted could easily be misunderstood and I’d just hate for anyone to ever act on something I may have planted in their head. So I gave it the chop. If you read it then I hope you know what I mean. Not that I think we should silence any discourse on the subject, we should not, ever, but we shouldn’t discuss methodology and planning. I don’t think that sharing techniques is a very clever way to start anyones day. So thats why I did that. I’m sure that you, gentle reader, will understand.
I’ve spent a lot of money I don’t have this week. I feel panic rising immediately, just thinking of it. I pride myself on not having debt, I do not like this feeling. Imagine having a mortgage? It would drive me batshit knowing I owed that kind of money. It was stuff I needed to make music. Hey we signed to a UK label yesterday. They are releasing our newest track. Thats all I know at this point but even just one track is still pretty cool. As I may have said the other day, I didn’t get all the new stuff mixed before I had to give the laptop back. I thought I could just do it on the new computer but I am afraid the new computer is so old that it cant open the projects and I’m kinda bummed. I can make new music, no problem, but I can’t finish the music i had in production. Once I clear some of this debt I am going to book studio time in Hamilton and finish them off because they are really great tracks. I got so wound up about living without a means to create that I kinda did my own head in.
I find out later on today if I can do AquaAerobics. I have an appt with a Physiotherapist who does something called Radio Shockwave Therapy. I dunno what that means but it doesn’t sound pleasant, does it kind Reader? No it do not! I’ll give anything a go at this point though. I have an advocate who is hassling my GP and things are moving slowly. Slowly works for me. Everything happens in slow motion anyway.
I’ve harvested half of the Tobacco. There are still 3 or 4 plants that are doing ok so I’m letting them ripen. It is the end of July! They should not be thriving! Heres my recipe…
Hang the leaves somewhere dark, dry and drafty. Once the leaves are dry, take all the stems and stalks out and simmer them in a pot with water, cinnamon, a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of coffee leaves. Then soak the leaves in the liquid and add a 1/4 cup of red wine. Soak that for a few days in an airtight container and then take the lid off and leave it somewhere warm, like a hot water cupboard, until it is dry enough to smoke. At this point you can redo the whole process, this time using stalks and branches from the plant itself (Assuming you have harvested all the leaves you can from it). This will give a stronger, smoother smoke but you can just do it once and its passable. The real smoothness comes with age in a barrel. Most commercial Tobacco has spent at least 3 years maturing like this. The trick is to keep it from getting mould, mould can ruin an entire crop if you aren’t careful. Also, try to keep the larger leaves as much in tact as possible, only removing the big stem in the middle. What you get is a leaf shaped a bit like a fillet of fish that has had the row of bones cut out, a V shape, yeah? The smaller leaves are easier to do this with, you just have to gauge how much of that stem to take. The reason for this is that you want as much broad leaf as possible to make cigars. You use the big leaves for the outer wrapper and the smaller leaves as filler, utilising the different parts of the plant accordingly. If you have no desire to make cigars then you can be a bit less discerning, the less stems and stalks the better. Also, if you are only going for rolling tobacco then its best to wait until all of the plant is harvested so as to get a homogenous blend. Different parts of the plant have different levels of Nicotine and so you want all of it mixed up so as to get consistency. I find all this fascinating. Such a simple hardy crop, I don’t understand how it got to be so expensive because its so easy to grow and cure. I guess this could be said of lots of things.
I’ve just finished Binge-Watching the first 3 seasons of the FARGO TV show. It’s a really good watch, especially if you are a Coen Brothers fan. The 3 seasons are based in 3 separate time periods and are loosely connected and heavily influenced by the Fargo movie and the other Coen Brothers films. I can spot most of the The Big Lebowski references because that is a film I am fond of but I am sure there are heaps of other easter eggs and bits that I missed that refer to other films. Pretty much all of their films are classics, in my humple opinion. If you like that sort of black comedy, murder ballad type thing then this is for you.
So now I am back in that No Mans Land of having watched everything on Netflix that interests me. Something else will occur to me and I’ll be off again but until then I can get some other stuff done, like play my guitar or go for a walk. I caught a look at my naked torso in a mirror the other day, fucking sloppy fat fat bastard! I hate this, I have never been this big, I do not care for it, not one bit.
Thats all for today. I hope you are doing ok if you live overseas, keep safe, wash your hands, wear a mask, dont gather in big groups.
ps – I miss being in Love, I miss having someone to pine for, someone to make smile, someone to cook for, someone to fuck and someone to make love to… life is lack-lustre and beige being alone. I’m no “Incel”, just a romantic without a mate, a songwriter without a muse, a fat Man without a pie….
A Two Cup of Coffee day I think. I am motivated by the disappearance of my laptop to get the new Screw Jack records mixed and mastered before Friday. The videos are easy, they dont need to be fancy. Youtube clips can be much louder if the images aren’t very sophisticated and mine are the least sophisticated of all. It’s all in the algorithm. I am going to clean this bomb site up and get busy. I have a replacement laptop on trademe, the page is literally just waiting for me to click “Buy Now” but, of course there’s the small matter of coin… Urgh. It’s a pity I’m not good at stuff that makes money, I’m only good at stuff that makes no money. Like this….
(No Arses were harmed in the making of this pie)
Anyways, I’m going to get tidied up here and then do some music making in the afternoon. I’m excited by it, having a deadline has made me pull finger. I have spent the last two nights sporadically weeding out the bullshit and making notes and now I am ready to finish of about 8 tracks that I think have potential. Also, I mentioned the other day that this laptop was bought for a specific project… well I have been in contact with the other guy and he needs the laptop for some preproduction stuff and so the thing is still going ahead, just not as I imagined. I think I got a bit depressed that things had stalled. They haven’t. Now I need a computer of my own, then we can get stuck in.
I find it hard to make art or music with others these days. I used to love it but I also used to drive a lot of it. Nowadays I notice that if I dont drive ideas then nobody does and it has made me reconsider how much effort I want to put in… If everyone else is just coasting and I’m the only one prepared to organize people, places and things then it’s not really collaborating is it? I guess I also had better self esteem back then and I wasn’t afraid to go outside. Those things can make or break any creative endeavor. Man, my spelling is still as atrocious as it was when I was in High School. Spell Check is an amazing thing! I have a gigantic dictionary but it is more of a prop than a book these days, good for holding mic stands steady and balancing dinner plates. I mentioned the other day that I am struggling with social situations and this is kinda like that, I feel some kinda way about collaborating and Ive been avoiding it. I work OK with Matt but we are on the same page. It sucks that we live on different Islands now because we are a good team. I miss him, I’m glad that Fiber Optics have made it easy to make music with people at a distance. I cannot think of anyone else that I know currently making music like I do. He has had a raft of Cat Scans, MRIs and stuff. He’s been charted a whole bunch of anti seizure medicine and his life is not very fun. When a medical issue like seizures crops up suddenly your whole life revolves around hospitals and doctors, nurses and the smell of disinfectant and farts.
I love my Brother Matt, we are kin me and him.
That’s not to say I don’t like the music I make with the other guys. It’s just that it’s more music that they like and I play along rather than playing music that we all like. Every now and then we get to do one that I choose. The last time was Marvin Gayes “Whats Goin On?” even if some people pouted all the way through it and refused to join in. ha ha ha. Mostly though I just try and play the changes, we sound really good most of the time. We do a version of “Do Lang Do Lang” but somehow I just cant shake “My Sweet Lord” and somehow its a thing. I love both of those songs. They are so close that I cant see how playing guitar on one of them could be that much different from the other. I’m rambling. Aren’t I?
As much as I have been avoiding politics I am concerned by the few snippets I catch here and there. Another Black Youth gunned down by cops in Detroit, the Motor City, home of Motown and Marshall Mathers. On the footage you can see the young guy pull a gun on cops “You aint taking my boy” he shouts as he pops off two shots. What you don’t see is that he and his friends are surrounded by advancing armed police. To Him, his life and the life of his friend were already in jeopardy, why not shoot back for a change? Now I can see even the hardest of left winger having trouble defending his actions but I think the crux of dissent is that he was vastly out manned and out gunned. He fired two shots at an officer, point blank, and missed. They could have just let him try to run and shot him in the leg. Easily they could have.
Here’s a young Black Man to give you some perspective.
I feel conflicted about terminology. “African American” “Black” “Colored” I guess anything as long as it isn’t one of the hateful ones. I used to use the N word to shock my friends. I don’t do that anymore. My family, along with many many others, in the beginning of the 80s had a resurgence in Tikanga Māori. I can remember the night. We were around the table at out house in Banks St, Invercargill and my Dad was explaining to me and my brother what it meant to be Māori. I can remember being quite shocked by it, like “Are we really Māoris????” It was bombastic news. He taught us a song and we kinda went from there to spending much of our free time at the Marae or doing KapaHaka. The song he taught us was “Me He Manurere“, I’ll see if i can find it. My dad used to get old rolls of wallpaper and write the words to the songs on it in marker, this being the ancient Māori method of learning Waiata. This wonderful blossoming of Cultural identity, this reclamation of Intellectual property and revitalization of a living language had a flow on effect for me at School. Suddenly I was called upon for anything remotely Māori and soon kids were using the N word. Maybe I was darker back then? Maybe the deep south is just as fucking Rascist as I remember it. Either way, it is not a nice word.
This new record from Juice is good. It’s a shame that he will be remembered as a drug casualty rather than for the artist he was. The story of how he died. Fuck. One of his lyrics is “Planes Everywhere I see satan”. Dude. That fucking Pilot! Rage. I know its not music for everyone. I tried to turn Martin on to it. As always he gave it a fair listen but it wasn’t for him, he hates the modern sound of vocal treatments. Juice doesn’t use much autotune, he was a badass, his harmonies are all real but I think that his delivery is such that it grates on anyone over 30. His message is simple. He is broken and trying to find happiness and stability in a life marred by prescription drugs, addiction, gun violence and police brutality. He uses Demons and Devils as imagery quite a lot. Both the inner ones and the outer ones. I like him. I was at a Halal takeaway shop last week. It was full and I had a decent half hour wait. This young man sat down next to me and we started talking about Hip Hop. He is a Papua New Guinean from Perth, Australia here studying Biology and Horticulture. “Science for bigger buds” in his words. After a while he goes “Do you like any Rappers that are alive?” and I rattled off a handful of current artists that I like but I realised that much of the new music that reaches me does so after some tragedy brings them into the public eye. Pop Smoke, Juice, XXXTentacion, Nipsey the list goes on. I guess it’s because it’s a genre or genres that I am unfamiliar with and the only time it gets to me is when the hip hop channels that I pay attention to discus artists that pass away. I’m not some kind of necrohiphophead, I listen to heaps of different hip hop from different eras but the new ones are so prolific and so varied in their sub genres that I kinda give up trying to discover new stuff. The most recent one I’ve fallen in love with is Anderson Paak, so I do go out of my way to discover new music, there’s just so much of it! However, when one of them falls, particularly if it was avoidable or violent, I feel honor bound to listen to them out of respect. I dunno. Particularly Juice Wrld 999, he didn’t need to die. It sucks. Fucking Feds and snitches, defund em all! Fuckers.
I guess I better go and do some of this stuff I keep saying I’m gonna do. If you only listen to one piece of music today, make it this one.
ps – Hi. It’s late in the afternoon now. I’ve cleaned up my pit and have been grocery shopping. I was tempted to buy dog treats but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. The fanciest thing I bought was the “Epicure” aged cheese. It is Cheese Heroin, I don’t know a better way to describe it. I feel fucked now, I had to take many little breaks along the way. I bought a small cheap bottle of wine. Not for drinking, silly, for curing tobacco. I harvested more leaves today. Its not going to be the bumper crop it should have been but it is still going to be a decent little stash and there are sufficient leaves for a handful of cigars as well. I’m looking forward to sharing. I was reading about how you can cure cannabis leaves and heads much the same way and get a smoother smoke. Of course growing it is still illegal here so we wont find out for a few years. I also went through all the songs I am currently working on and simply deleted the tracks that weren’t working or that had become over cooked. I feel better. Even though it hurts doing simple shit like this I still feel better once I do. Today I saw a picture of my stomach, taken a day or two after surgery, and I am still amazed. They cut me in half, pretty much! From my spine right around to my belly, like a downward slash of a saber, or a machete. Oh yeah, that’s what I came back to tell you! I’ve been drinking soda water. It tastes like a treat but there are no calories. Ice Cold it is yummy. God my life is dull. Anyway, I hope you are also feeling like you accomplished something today. xxx
Hello Friend. I’m sorry I haven’t been very active on here for a bit. Swings and roundabouts, ups and downs. A good thing about my recent hibernation is that I know very little about whats going on in the wider world… if we are looking for silver linings. I am blissfully unaware of what that mandarin headed halfwit in Washington is up to. I haven’t felt very motivated lately and when I do manage to feel motivated I feel like I’m just holding my breath until I get back to the safety of my little space. Pushing through. It really hurts and I’m getting less and less better at hiding it. I spoke to my Dr today, I guess that could be considered progress. She told me that I am at the upper limit of pain relief and that I need to get myself more active, you know? For my arms and legs and shoulders? Then she sort of trailed off. Not only did she not change anything, she’s not even hiding how few fucks she gives. Oh there’s an appointment booked for me in Oct at the pain clinic…. Did I not receive a letter? No I didn’t. Also, how many times do I tell her that I tend to miss these appointments? That the anxiety rises and rises until I panic and don’t show up? That I even sometimes drive all the way there and back without going? How many times do I plead with her to go in to bat for me? This isn’t right, it can’t be right. Here are a few random quotes from Google about my condition post surgery (almost 2 years ago)…. Not just from random wiki pages either but from respected hospitals, journals and medical schools.
*Most patients return to full activity on an average of three weeks after surgery.
*Most patients are able to return to full activity within 4-6 weeks compared with 8-12 weeks for open partial nephrectomy.
*Your belly will feel sore after the surgery. This usually lasts about 1 to 2 weeks. Your doctor will give you pain medicine for this.
She laughed at me when I said I’d been on google. Six months ago.
Urgh. I’m sorry, kind reader. You know when something just takes over your whole life and it’s all you can think about?
In brighter News. I get to take care of a Dog for a few days this week. I am really looking forward to it. I wondered how unfair it might be to make a dog have to hang out with someone as challenged as I am but I can always get one of those tennis ball throwers or something and we can go for drives to parks or whatever. The last time I had a dog as a companion was in happier times. Not much happier but happier nonetheless. It will be fun and it will sort these bastarding cats out that think they own the place.
I was pulled over by a policeman yesterday. I was looking forward to getting stopped when I first got my license back. Being legal and having a legit vehicle for the first time in well over a decade is something I am proud of. I was foolish to look forward to it though, it was menacing and I can still remember the fear, the way my hands were shaking so. I don’t know if he noticed but, in that moment, I was in a full on panic attack. I remember babbling and being unable to shut up and I remember racking my brain to make sure there was nothing that could prompt this man to arrest me, even though I was innocent and it was just a routine license check.
I am supposed to be booking in for Aqua Aerobics today but I feel discouraged after talking to the Dr. I think I could do Aqua Aerobics but I think I will need more support. I will do it. I want to do it. I am seeing my community Nurse on Friday and I will ask her for help. I have been visiting friends a couple of times this week but I always go away from these gatherings and conversations paranoid and worried about what people think of me. I know that I have been very depressed and in a lot of pain lately and maybe its made me a bit mental, a bit obviously mental. I wonder what my friends make of me lately and I am also aware of a few who will take those observations and revelations elsewhere. So I chew on all this dumb shit and I feel less and less like going out. When I do I am always mindful of how long I have until I can go home. Are other people like this?
Sorry, my camera isn’t very good.
I have to give this laptop back on Friday. It doesn’t belong to me. It was bought to produce music and video clips for a project that never got off the ground. I’ve been lucky to have it all this time. Its just an entry level macbook, it can only really support one decent sized piece of software before it starts running out of memory and it is also a floor model that comes with foibles and quirks resulting from thousands of browsing shoppers, trying to fuck with it. This week I am mixing down the new Screw Jack record and will have it finished by Friday complete with video clips for youtube. Both Matt and I are struggling with mental health at the moment but it is making for good music… that’s two silver linings in one day, not too shabby. The Roast chicken I did last night wasn’t too bad either, stuffing, Yams, Pumpkin, peas and Potatoes. Silver linings coming out my arse! I am very anxious about not having a laptop or a tablet or even a TV. The escapism I get from media helps keep my brain from dwelling too long on unhelpful thoughts and feelings. I thought I could wrangle some cash for a new one but it’s just not looking good. I am not sure how I will cope without a way to record music. I guess I can take or leave the internet, there are always books after all, but I feel naked without a means of making music. I can take up painting or something.
It will be ok.
Man, todays little rant…. maybe I should be paying you for reading this, like therapy.
Hey speaking of Therapy?!
Otherwise… You know, as I said at the beginning, swings and roundabouts… you win some, you lose some. Despite how glum I feel I know that it doesn’t last, that things turnaround, I know not to forget my second wind, as Billy Joel always said, so here’s a lighter note to end on. My mate Matt has been sitting in with some serious musicians lately. Recording and performing with International level Music Makers of pedigree and talent. He sends me all the rough mixes and live recordings. None of it I am allowed to share or publish but just to get to hear it all before its released is magic. When it comes out I will post it here and you will see what I mean. If you are into that sort of thing. I feel really lucky. The people I make music with are really neat, I wouldn’t change that for the world. We had a little lash on Friday night, not a full rehearsal, just guitars and bass around a fire, Kiwi style, the only thing missing was a crate of beer. Lately I have also been playing a bit of accompanying guitar alongside an electric piano. I’ve been looping samples from those jams into hip hop and psy dub tracks for the record. Now and then I sort of drift outside of myself as I am playing. Listening to the music being made from outside of myself, those moments are blissful. Truly Blissful. I wish everyone could get to feel that. That Phil Spektor… he really was a Bumout huh?
The world is torn asunder between two kinds of people. People that know what all those tiny little gas canisters are that litter the city streets on a Monday morning and people that don’t. You and I, gentle reader, we know… don’t we dearest? Others, however, do not and so todays little spiel is about N2O, commonly known as Laughing Gas or Nitros Oxide. I saw a handful of those little silver bastards outside the probation office today and it took me back. Way back.
Nitros has been around for a long time. As you may know from film, TV and literature, Nitros Oxide was used as an early anesthetic by dentists and surgeons and is still used to this day in those two fields. Birthing units all tend to have 3 taps on the wall behind the bed. Vacuum, Oxygen and N2O. It is administered via a mask and produces an insensibility to pain as well as a mild euphoria verging on hysteria depending on dosage and tolerance. Laughing or giggling fits are often experienced. Hence the name. Dentists sometimes use it to calm patients and I’m sure there are a hundred other legitimate medical uses for it. It doesn’t cross the blood/brain barrier nor does it cross the placenta, which is why it’s so useful in the delivery room. I wonder if midwives are allowed to administer it for home births? I could easily persuade a midwife that I’m in my third trimester, with twins even…. It is also used in the hospitality industry for whipped cream machines. Because it is inert it is a perfect gas for use in food preparation and is also the pressurizing agent in those old timey seltzer bottles that clowns and the three stooges were always squirting each other in the face with in the movies. They use it in high performance cars too but I understand it’s a slightly different process and you wouldn’t want to inhale it.
Because it is so widely used and because abuse is practically harmless you can still buy it over the counter, albeit in the small little single use canisters. Back around the end of the century you used to see the big tanks at festivals and raves. They mostly used to just sell it by the balloon but I did once see a bank of comfy chairs and people using masks. Those big tanks must be highly valuable when you consider that a balloon full of gas might cost a fiver… I watched a Vice Doco a few years ago where they followed a bunch of professional N2O dealers around for a few weeks. They would target rural hospitals and birthing units, knowing exactly where they kept all the various tanks of gas on the premises. We’ve all seen those parts of a Hospital or large Industrial building, they are usually loading bay type arrangements with a chainlink fence and a bunch of hazard signs posted near various sizes of tank. Some have propellants, some oxygen and, yup, some N2O. I can’t imagine it’s very hard to do, the only problem would be that you couldn’t hit the same place with any frequency and you might run out of sources after a while.
Most people just use the little tanks though. You can buy little hand held “crackers” or, if you are into the whole paraphernalia thing, the old timey seltzer bottles. I guess the difference is that between a 2dollar fit from the chemist or Travoltas fancy little junky kit in Pulp Fiction. At the end of the day they serve the same purpose. Here’s the trick. You use a device (Called a Cracker) to A:Break the seal on the canister and B: expel the gas into an ordinary party balloon without losing it all to the atmosphere. It’s a very cold gas, you wear a glove when you “Crack” it because you can burn yourself on it as it comes out of the cracker, blistering cold, your skin can stick to the surface. Once the balloon is full, the canister spent, you inhale the gas but keep the balloon ready for when you breathe out, this way you get a few lungs full before it expires. Done correctly a couple of people can get high from the same balloon. Then, well, then you do it again. Part of the actual high is simply mild oxygen deprivation as you breathe in and out of the balloon, its a pretty tame drug.
Next time you are walking to work on a Monday morning and see all those little gas canisters in the gutter, now you know why they are there. They also look a bit like the compressed air canisters that certain types of air rifle and pistol use but I dont think they have the same contents.
What does it feel like? It’s a really nice feeling. Next time you are in a birthing unit, turn that little tap when no-ones looking and suck that shit straight from the teat… Just remember to sanitize before and after. Just because we are freaks doesn’t mean we are irresponsible in the age of covid_19. I used to like getting three or four balloons ready and then putting Pink Floyds “Comfortably Numb” on at Volume. In correct doses you can hallucinate and the intensity of the euphoria is only limited by how much of it you can do. All of your pleasure receptors light up like a Christmas tree and, for a few blissful minutes, nothing else really matters. That it doesn’t last long and that it has minimal long term effects (if any) are probably the reasons it’s not more heavily regulated or restricted. I’m not sure of its legality. Maybe its that weird grey area like Magic Mushrooms. Its not illegal to eat them, only to posses them. (Many Hippies have adopted a practice of kneeling down and biting the mushroom stalk from the ground thereby not committing the crime of possession. I’m not sure how true it is but it would sure make the mission a bit more interesting.) The most harm, in my humble onion, comes from litter and the waste of resources. Those little tanks seem wasteful, from a sustainability vantage. I have no experience of working with it in the kitchen, perhaps they last a lot longer when not used as a narcotic?
Whenever I see a little pile of spent canisters I always try to imagine what was going on… A parked car full of teens on their way to a party or a nightclub? A business man with a hooker? A Homemaker sneaking out to the car once the kids are in bed for a few naughty breaths? Something like that? I lived in a flat once where we went through a N2O phase. Every day was spent watching movies, smoking pot, drinking home brew and huffing N2O. It was relatively inexpensive back then and we would buy them by the case, $120 or so for 200 canisters. Dunno what they are worth these days, surely not much more than that. Someone worked out that if we bought it from a wholesaler we could get the price down. I wonder if they knew what we were doing with them? I had a fake bakery account with a wholesaler called Gilmores and could buy stuff like N2O, Booze and Poppy Seeds there for much cheaper than in the stores. I was a douchebag ladies and germs, no doubt about it.
That’s what I was thinking about this morning, thanks for indulging me. The last few days have been really bad, my stomach hurts. I don’t know what to do with myself when it’s like this. I just try to not hurt. I am seeing my community nurse on thursday and am going to ask for some support. My mental health isn’t that great at the best of times but lately I feel unable to ask for the help I need. I think it’s because I have been begging for help for over a year now and they don’t seem to be able to hear me. It feels hopeless. I think My GP is terrible and yet I haven’t had the courage to approach a new Dr. I know how stupid that sounds but, meh, I dunno what to tell you.
I’d like to go and visit my friends tomorrow, its been a few days of not being able to do very much and I am missing my mates. Hopefully I can get my daughter to drive me, she wants to sit her full license soon but shes not quite ready yet. We can get some parallel parking in. I’ve been working on new Screw Jack music plus I did a bunch of test recordings with one of the bands a few weeks ago and I’ve been making loops from out takes and candid little snippets of jams and stuff. They sound really good and I’m confident that people will not mind me sneaking samples of them once they hear it. They are really great musicians and vocalists and I love catching them just noodling between songs or while waiting for others to tune or get sheet music or whatever. It’s very time consuming trawling through hours of recordings looking for samples and loops but time and patience are two things I have in abundance. They sound a little like Trilli0n or, shudder, Moby. Distinctly hip hop but I’m pressing some of them into use as Dubs once I have final mixes done. This is gibberish to you probably but these are the things I get out of bed for, I get off on a really nice hook or a slick beat that that sounds unique.
I have been paying less attention to Mr Trump and the march of White America towards Fascism but I am still very aware of whats going on over there. My heart breaks for African America. I don’t like their chances of effecting change, I really don’t. Maybe some of them could come and live here as political refugees? We have heaps of space, maybe we could offer them a separate state of their own on an Island in the Gulf, I am sure my Tribe owns a handful of them. Or a large chunk of Fjordland… it’s just sitting there, hundreds and hundreds of miles of wilderness. Not that anyone ever listens to me. All the while there’s an “Anti Mask” movement. I read somewhere that if 80% of Americans wore masks while out in public the new infection rates could drop to 8% of what it currently is. How could you possibly think that is a bad thing? How could you take such a stand knowing that your actions may hurt other people? Trump, in his July 4 speech, suggested that 99% of Covid_19 infections are harmless. “Totally Harmless” even. How? Man. I just… fuck. To top it all off, Kanye has announced he is running for president. You may laugh but we all laughed when Donald Trump did the same… Nothing will surprise me anymore. The sad part about that is that Kanye is deeply Christian and a devout Trump supporter. Still… it would be pretty cool to some day have American Currency with Kanye wearing those shutter shades on it…
We are still contact tracing here. I have seen a few times where the rules are bent out of sheer laziness though. They ask you “Have you been in contact with anyone with Covid like symptoms?” and if you say yes it becomes a massive thing. I heard last week of an instance where one person in a workplace had been in contact with a person who had been in contact with a person who had had a covid test. The test was negative but still the rules had to be followed. Because she was already at work when she answered these questions they decided to send everyone else home and she was the only one there for a week! Crazy, right? Check out our Infection Rates though… Crazy works. I feel so very bad for people in countries without the kind of careful and human-centric leadership that we have here. Pretty lucky to be a Kiwi I think.
Speaking of which, that was pretty trippy the other day! I went to Google the word “Whānau” just to see what non-māori speakers might find if they went searching for the word and lo and behold there is a pic of my Dad and my Nephew along with my beautiful Nan (That’s her peering over my Pops left shoulder), cousins and Aunties.
(I posted the Pic here but I’ll leave it to you to find it if you feel so inclined…. snitches snitch about the snitchiest things dont they darlings?)
I was like, oh shit, how often does google reflect ones reality like that? Next to never. It was surreal! Give it a go if you can be fucked, it’s pretty neat. Here’s the pic. Some of those people are gone now. Those are all people that I love.
I’m just waffling now. Hey don’t huff Nitros or any other Gas, I truly believe that I destroyed my mind in my teens with solvents. I often wonder what I may have been if I hadn’t learned that particular trick at such a young age. That’s a story for another day though. I hope you are safe and well. I am joining an aqua-aerobics class next term. With all the fatties and the old folks. Even just typing it makes me want to crawl up into a ball. My weight, my tattoos, my hair, that fucking scar… I dont want anyone to see me like this but I need to do something low impact or I’m just going to keep getting less and less able to do stuff. Fatter and Fatter. I haven’t been in the water for a couple of years but I can imagine it will be less painful than, say, going for a walk or whatever. If I dont sort this out I will eventually die from it. I want to find love again. I want to make more music. I still feel young. My Probation officer was going on to me that I need to accept the last few years and I think what he means is that I’ve got to try and be kinder to myself and get back up, dust myself off and try to be a better person. He is right. It’s so hard because I really do care what other people think of me. I know that people say you should not but I think it’s part of being human, it’s certainly part of being an addict. All I can do is keep on. Some days I win, some days I lose.
I hope you are well and safe and keeping yourself and your community safe. What a time to be alive huh? Bless up and here’s a very relevant and pertinent clip from Cairo Knife Fight, for your listening and viewing pleasure….