Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Maybe in the sub-cockle area

I would like to talk to you about the American Dream. Afterwards, there will be a short film. The American Dream is one that has those who hold its fine tenets in their brave hearts believe that they can succeed against all odds. It is the belief in freedom. Freedom to live. Freedom to succeed. Freedom from oppression.

The following short film shows exactly that. A man is facing some tough times, but he's still trying to make his way, against the odds. Being captured by the Las Vegas police isn't exactly an orthodox struggle, but going to toe with the declared authority is what founded the United States in the first damn place. In this piece you can watch as he takes an inner journey from despair to hope to belief and finally, to knowledge.
His despair arrives with realisation. The epiphany strikes, even as he cries out to an uncaring world.
"There's always someone trying to stop me from making my money." The tremored strain in his voice speaks of a life spent under the boot of oppression.
But watch. Watch on as this man, reduced to nothing but the being he is, reaches deep, deep inside himself and finds that spark. The spark from which wars are won and upon which nations are built.
This is it, he says to himself. I must fight and win, or vanish.
This is not some motivational mumbo jumbo. This is the very ideal, indeed the very idiom which spawned the United States of America as we know it today. "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" cried Patrick Henry to the Virginia Convention in 1775. Thus began the Revolution and the war for independence.
"Success is my only motherfucking option, failure's not," said Eminem, more than 200 years later, echoing an identical sentiment. Glory or nothing.
Our man in Las Vegas carries the same fight in his chest.
This is America. He takes a deep breath. I must be free. I will be free.
He speaks out loud. He voices his singular manifesto of freedom:
"I can break these ... cuffs"
The oppressor speaks: "You can't break those cuffs."
This is America, cries the spirit of every soul who ever fought for the dream.
What does this man do? In the face of all the odds?
Watch and be uplifted.


  1. He looked as though he was covered in a white powdery substance, hence his fervent belief in the dream.....

    Evil laughter from the person holding the video camera!

  2. Mele - encapsulated!


    Kath - Makes you wonder how he would make his money, were he not prevented doing so by The Law.

    Actually, after you watch this a few hundred times, you realise that someone is just filming off their TV and that's where the laughter comes from.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32