“They would be displeased to have anybody call them docile, yet in a way they are. They submit themselves to manly behaviour. They submit themselves to manly behaviour with all its risks and cruelties, its complicated burdens and deliberate frauds. Its rules, which in some cases you benefited from, as a woman, and then some that you didn’t.”—Too Much Happiness - Alice Munro (via carousel)
I have an entirely romanticised view of prohibition in my head, Brisbane. I want unlicensed clubs that play jazz and punk. I want to drink out of cracked mugs. I want to drink straight out of the bottle. I would welcome secret passwords that keep out the punters in the CBD and The Valley who intimidate and scare me by marking their territory with invective or violence (or piss and vomit). Prohibition in Brisbane might bring us one step closer to the dystopian fantasises I always harbour… I know I’d have more fun.
I know I live in a fantasy world half the time but I think it’d be cool to live in a city full of the underground where there are less rules, and art and culture and music vomit out everything that is beautiful and unsafe - without the infection of thuggish violence I encounter in CBD and The Valley now. I want to take risks again. I want my heart and ears to be on fire with music in a room full of my friends.
My youth was dangerous and illegal and spontaneous and my alcohol and drug fuelled days have taught me to consume (a little) more responsibly now. I see adults who think it’s normal to king hit someone in the middle of The Valley Mall or walk into four lanes of traffic while on an ice binge or piss against the bar of a club they lined up and paid $20 to enter. I see drunkenness and violence as normalised in Australian society. I don’t think prohibition or shutting pubs at midnight is the answer though - why can’t we come up with a healthy social policy regarding alcohol and violence? Alcohol is our reason for socialising, not just part of our social experience.
I don’t go “out” in CBD or The Valley much because I don’t have as much fun as I used to (though I did have a great night at Ric’s dancing until 5am last weekend, proving that it is possible to have a great night at Ric’s once in a blue moon). My friends and I moved on from spending every weekend in The Valley when it became over run by the kind of people that used to have a big night out at City Rowers.
The Valley used to feel safer, when it was just us crust/hippy/indie/punk (insert label) kids and the homeless and old barflys. You could drink cheaply and go dancing or drop acid in the dance club where The Troubadour is now (before it caught fire in the middle of an old friend’s DJ set). When the pubs did shut we’d go to the strip clubs because they didn’t check ID (and we were well underage), girls got in for free and the beer was cheap and cold. I stumbled up dank, dark stairs of a strip club into the light on many a Sunday morning, reaching for my sunglasses.
I had fun when I was younger at crust punk house parties or shows at St. Albans Hall in Auchenflower. The community was self regulating: fights were broken up, if someone got too drunk and passed out friends would check on them throughout the night. You could run outside naked in the rain. Your friends could dance and sing along with you because your band was playing on the floor, not an on an elevated stage with a barrier and an aggressive security guard. You could wear thongs to a show and not paint your face.
I feel alone now in a crowd dressed in the same fluro, popped collar, cheap Supre dress uniform. I want the “cool” back and cool and danger (not explicit violence from ugly drunks) are in every prohibition era movie.
I felt safe and welcome in my unlicensed youth. I don’t think the danger that our Lord Mayor is so concerned over now, was the same. I’m living in a dreamy past… until prohibition becomes Brisbane’s future.
I attach myself only to names and faces; and hoard them like amulets against disaster. I choose out across the hall some unknown face and can hardly drink my tea when she whose name I do not know sits opposite. I choke. I am rocked from side to side by the violence of my emotion. I imagine these nameless, these immaculate people, watching me from behind bushes. I leap high to excite their admiration. At night, in bed, I excite their complete wonder. I often die pierced with arrows to win their tears. If they should say that they were in Scarborough last holidays, the whole town runs gold, the whole pavement is illuminated.
Therefore I hate looking-glasses which show me my real face. Alone, I often fall down into nothingness. I must push my foot stealthily lest I should fall off the edge of the world into nothingness. I have to bang my hand against some hard door to call myself back to my body.
“Lower than the stars there is nothing to stare at. No matter what train you may be traveling in, it is dangerous to lean out the carriage-door window. The stations were plainly distributed about a bay. The sea that to the human eye is never so beautiful as the sky did not leave us. In the depths of our eyes disappeared neat reckonings bearing on the future like those of prison walls.”—André Breton (via shitgaze)
In the beginning I couldn’t speak to you. Not because the words wouldn’t come; it was because they might. Not words like love, blooming where they fall; words like come here. When once you turned to look straight at me out of a crowd, I thought I must have let
the sounds inside my head come out, like “let us all go home.” I wouldn’t say to you the wet, small words that moved inside of me. I have thought that faith and patience would come to no good end, that you would say, “See here!” and never say, “Well yes, I think I’d love
to follow you home; to tell the truth, I’d love to have some wine, then talk awhile, then let you pleasure me.” Expelled to suffer here, John Milton wrote of us. I look at you and in my mind your awful kinsmen come around every corner, looking for me.
You once talking about the weather with me and that was something, but it was not love, did not resemble love. Love ought to come in recognizable clothes. One day I let my plain and earthy self talk to you most gently, saying plainly, “Please come here,”
but everything went wrong, a bah-bah here, a bah-bah there. You have bumped into me by accident, I have bumped into you on purpose on the street where talk of love was inappropriate, then I have let my heart hide in the cold and watched you come
laughing and blind. No matter what may come, give me this: that all this time I stood here ignored to death and loved you while you let every chance go; say your glances at me suggested almost anything but love; say I know you cry in bed, poor you.
Believe in love. You know that I am here to let you loose. Here is my flesh for you who ay abide with me till kingdom come.
“Now,” she says, “I live surrounded with my dead passions. I try to recapture the fine fury that threw me off the fourth floor, when I was twelve, the day my mother whipped me.”
She adds with apparent inconsequence and a far-away look:
”It isn’t good for me to stare at things too long. I look at them to find out what they are, then I have to turn my eyes away quickly.”
“They disgust me.”—Jean-Paul Sartre - Nausea (via shitgaze)
“The next real literary “rebels” in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles. Who treat of plain old untrendy human troubles and emotions in U.S. life with reverence and conviction. Who eschew self-consciousness and hip fatigue. These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naïve, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The New Rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of the gifted ironists, the “Oh how banal.” To risk accusations of sentimentality, melodrama. Of overcredulity. Of softness. Of willingness to be suckered by a world of lurkers and starers who fear gaze and ridicule above imprisonment without law.” —David Foster Wallace in ‘E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction’ (via Mer)
“One day, you fall for this boy. And he touches you with his fingers. And he burns holes in your skin with his mouth. And it hurts when you look at him. And it hurts when you don’t. And it feels like someone’s cut you open with a jagged piece of glass.”—The Tracey Fragments (via viciousfrenzy)
“People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.
You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.
Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.”— Banksy (via wolfgeek) (via overdosebabyblue) (via estellaan)
“Fiction is one of the few experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved. Drugs, movies where stuff blows up, loud parties — all these chase away loneliness by making me forget my name’s Dave and I live in a one-by-one box of bone no other party can penetrate or know. Fiction, poetry, music, really deep serious sex, and, in various ways, religion — these are the places (for me) where loneliness is countenanced, stared down, transfigured, treated.”—David Foster Wallace (via tmblg) (via markn) (via synecdoche) (via ofbirds) (via dilaudid) (via unicornology)
Songs from the House of Death, Or How to Make It Through to the End of a Relationship, Joy Harjo
for Donald Hall
1. From the house of death there is rain. From rain is flood and flowers. And flowers emerge through the ruins of those who left behind stores of corn and dishes, turquoise and bruises from the passion of fierce love.
2. I run my tongue over the skeleton jutting from my jaw. I taste the grit of heartbreak.
3. The procession of spirits who walk out of their bodies is ongoing. Just as the procession of those who have loved us will go about their business of making a new house with someone else who smells like the dust of a strange country.
4. The weight of rain is unbearable to the sky eventually. Just as desire will burn a hole through the sky and fall to earth.
5. I was surprised by the sweet embrace of the perfume of desert flowers after the rain though after all these seasons I shouldn’t be surprised.
6. All cities will be built and then destroyed. We built too near the house of the gods of lightning, too close to the edge of a century. What could I expect, my bittersweet.
7. Even death who is the chief of everything on this earth (all undertakings, all matters of human form) will wash his hands, stop to rest under the cottonwood before taking you from me on the back of his horse.
8. Nothing I can sing will bring you back. Not the songs of a hundred horses running until they become wind Not the personal song of the rain who makes love to the earth.
9. I will never forget you. Your nakedness haunts me in the dawn when I cannot distinguish your flushed brown skin from the burning horizon, or my hands. The smell of chaos lingers in the clothes you left behind. I hold you there.
“People who live in society have learned to see themselves in mirrors as they appear to their friends. Is that why my flesh is naked? You might say - yes you might say, nature without humanity… Things are bad! Things are very bad: I have it, the filth, the Nausea.”—Jean-Paul Sartre (via shitgaze)