Swimfan.

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Today marks the end of the first month of Bankingcommish. One month down, almost five to go. For those of you coming to these pages a little late, let me clarify…

I’ve been challenged to write one blog post of 400 words per day or more, starting from July 1st up until The Falls Festival begins in Marion Bay, Tasmania, on December 29th.  A number of people have pledged funds for this cause, with payment due on the 29th of December (if I am able to write my one post per day until then). Currently I stand to collect $1070 in cash.

I AM NOT WRITING THIS FOR THE SAKE OF IT. That would be stupid. I’m writing it for money.

You’d have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to realise that the Olympics are in full swing at the moment; it’s on every TV, smattered indiscriminately across every newspaper and is choking up my Twitter feed like Chris Benoit on a weight machine…

I think this is the first Olympics that I’ve really noticed how saturated that the news references to social media have become… every second story seems to be about someone interacting with an athlete via Twitter or someone writing something inappropriate that causes someone else to take offense. There was the case of English diver Tom Daley, who was tormented for letting down his deceased father after finishing fourth in the ten metre synchronised diving event on Monday after stating that he was, “Hoping to win a medal for Dad”. A 17 year-old has since been arrested in Weymouth in the Southwest of the UK regarding the comments. (What do they actually charge him with anyway? Poor taste?)

The most prevalent of the Australian Twitter hate was directed towards James Magnussen and the rest of the Australian 4 x 100m men’s relay team when they finished an unfathomable fourth several days ago after going into the event red-hot favourites. People were very quick to take to Twitter and rip on Magnussen specifically, who made the somewhat unwise decision to claim, “Brace yourself” in March of this year regarding the Olympics, and also appeared in numerous ads for sponsor Coles in the lead-up to this years’ games. Australia loves cutting down a tall poppy. Give us a reason, any reason…

Oh damn it. I think I left the oven on at the Olympic Village.

It’s not just a one-way street, either; 20 year-old Emily Seebohm went as far as to say that her obsession with Twitter and Facebook may have cost her the gold medal in the 100m backstroke event (she won silver) due to her staying up late Tweeting and Facebooking (a small part of me died when I used those verbs). She was still crying about her loss in a press conference twelve hours later. The race obviously meant a lot to her, but obviously not as much as receiving a tweet like, “h3y gur1, h0p3 y0u hav a gud rac3! I kn0 u wil beat da world record! Y0u g0 4 g0ld bab3z!!! xox” from one of her fans. Why else would she deprive herself of sleep on the eve of the biggest race of her life? It doesn’t make sense.

To the athletes getting upset about some of the derogatory comments being made on Twitter & Facebook, I’ve got a simple solution. Sign out, delete your profile and forget about it. You’re at the Olympics. You’re at the FUCKING OLYMPICS! You’ve obviously busted your ass for years and years to get into the position to represent your country at the highest level, does it really matter if some absolute Gumby fuck that you’ve never met and never will meet doesn’t like you or says something mean about you on Twitter? Conversely, do you need the digital affection (not that kind) of strangers to assist your performance? Are the cheers of the crowd not sufficient?

To the media; stop writing stories about comments made on Twitter or Facebook. They’re unjustified, unscrupulous, uninteresting and unauthorised. Your fascination with reporting them causes far more harm than good. Tweets turn the news into a soap opera and you’re making society dumber by giving them credence.

To the Australian public; our athletes don’t go into these events hoping to lose. They train specifically to win. To criticize or pour hatred on an individual or a team simply because they haven’t lived up to your own expectations is patently ridiculous. Get a grip.

I hope Magnussen smokes the fuck out of them in the 100m freestyle.

/end communication

San Shitsco

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I made mention in a previous post of the hipster-friendly Australian band San Cisco. Watch their video for their highly forgettable song Awkward here (you’ll need to for the rest of this post to make sense, I’m sorry… I’m fucking sorry alright?) There seems to be a wave of people in Australia shaving one side of their head and losing themselves these days, and not in a good way (like when you have 4 tabs of LSD with breakfast and chase a magical dragon through an enchanted rainbow rainforest on the back of a unicorn that you constantly refer to as ‘your trusty steed’.)

A friend ran into a West Australian in Vietnam on his way back from Europe and asked him what Perth was like (having never been there)….

“Mate, it’s fucking bullshit. Everyone dresses like those pricks from San Cisco. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.”

The Rickenbacker – often looks better than it sounds…

Right… where to begin? It’s bad enough that these talentless spooge-rats have a major recording deal. It’s even worse that their whole shtick is so clearly manipulated to harness the current hipster trend and for the most part, they’ve actually gotten away with it. It’s all just so perfect, isn’t it? The strategic framing of the vintage bike & the old-school phones in the four-windowed split-frame reminiscent of a retro film camera is executed to perfection. They even try to go lo-fi with their choice of mobile phone… Why is it that their text bubbles are carbon-copies of those on iPhone iOS and yet they’re both bashing away merrily on Nokia 3315s that use a grayscale screen and don’t have the ability to create emoticons? Horseshit!

Also, that stupid fucking pleb of a rhythm guitarist has his Rickenbacker strapped so high on his shoulder that it looks like he’s constantly trying to brush errant crumbs off of his lapel when he plays… why? A little message for you, you’re not Angus Young, you’re some fashion-forward skinny-jeans-wearing cunt playing 3 chord Muzak that some studio executive told you to play to cash in on the current trend du-jour, don’t think you’re going to call that one as your signature, I’m fairly sure Ian Curtis got there well before you, you fuck.

This is the most thoroughly unengaging band in the universe. I couldn’t even imagine watching these people play live music because the whole thing is so ridiculously contrived and lacking in substance that I’d be worried I’d walk around to the side of stage on my way to the pisser and see that they’re actually just two-dimensional cut outs, propped up with wooden planks and crude nails like sets in a Hollywood back lot.

Also, your inability to play your instruments with any sort of proficiency is not endearing. It’s fucking pathetic. Playing two barre chords in repetition for an entire song does not make you quirky; it makes you bad at playing the guitar. I don’t care how nonchalant you try to appear whilst playing them either, I can tell it’s quite difficult for you. I guess getting lessons isn’t trendy?

That chick is pretty hot though.

Oh. Right…

/end communication

Are you my daddy?

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I’m writing this half-pissed after sinking a few jugs this afternoon at our local pub in Carlton. There’s nothing more utterly pointless than drinking on a Sunday. Maybe that’s why it’s so enjoyable.

Things that people do on Facebook that piss me off (continued…)

Uploading innumerable photos (seriously, sometimes there are fucking hundreds of them) of a baby that you or a relative has just expelled from your (or their) now comprehensively wrecked vagina (or your partners’ or their partners’ now comprehensively wrecked vagina)….

I congratulate you on your newborn child. Indeed, this truly is a cause for celebration for you and your family. YOU AND YOUR FUCKING FAMILY! Here’s the rule; upload one photo (if you must) of you and your partner (if they’ve stuck around long enough to see the final product of their initial misdeed) and your newborn child. Let that be the end of it. If you’ve got relatives or friends interstate that you want to show pictures to, send them via email or in the post, surely that’s more personal?

I do not want to have to deal with four hundred photos of the same child from infinitesimally different angles clogging up my newsfeed, replacing your prior week-by-week commentary covering your mood, the baby kicking inside your stomach, how you’ve built the baby a crib, check-ups with doctors, issues with baby names etc. Just fuck off with all of it, alright?

The Laser – Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, not your son’s name.

Let’s make another thing clear; giving birth to a child is something that the majority of society can do. Indeed, it is something that’s being going on for generations and is the reason that I’m able to write ridiculous 400-word essays (and they are essays, don’t ever fucking forget that) on a computer that was built by other people that someone gave birth to in another part of the world (probably Japan, those guys know their way around a semiconductor). Childbirth occurs every day. It happens every minute. IT HAPPENS EVERY FUCKING SECOND.

It seems that the act of parenthood allows people that really aren’t that good at anything else to achieve something. Your ability to fuck or be fucked SHOULD NOT be a cause for gratuitous celebration. These types of people generally describe themselves as a ‘mother’ or ‘father’ first and whatever else they did beforehand second. They achieve no other success in life than rearing their offspring with a mediocre level of success and they want you to know about it via their Facebook page. Every time I hear someone say, “I’m a full-time mother/father” when someone asks them what they do, I feel the need to ask, “And what else do you do when the kids go to school, sit around in your underpants eating Doritos watching Oprah, you lazy fuck?”

An additional word of advice regarding naming conventions for your newborn child;

1)      If you have to make the name up yourself, it’s not a good name. A laser is a weapon that James Bond uses in Moonraker, not the name of your first-born son. Don’t give him another obstacle to overcome, God knows he looks like he already has enough as it is, you cunts.

2)      Don’t get fruity with the spelling. Jason does not have a ‘y’ in it. Neither does Daniel. Your errant placement of a consonant will serve only to humiliate your child in classroom situations and in the playground and will result in numerous fights and time spent in the Vice Principal’s office with scuffed knees and torn shirts. Trust me; I have a girl’s name…

3)      Don’t call your child ‘Tristan’ or ‘Sebastian’. Just don’t.

On the other hand, fuck it. Document the whole thing from conception to delivery. Upload the scores of images that you’ve collected and make sure that your partner has a front-row seat to capture the bloody breach of your hull & the poor nurse moving around frantically like a Space Invader as she tries in vain to capture your faecal matter as you give your final, exhausted heave and hear the visceral cries of your now doomed newborn child.

Congratulations!

/end communication

Ruined for the rest of us.

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Having sported a (quite frankly pretty awful) moustache for several months outside of November in years gone by, I feel that I’m in a suitable position to discuss the current fascination by pockets of society with the moustache without putting myself in a position to be labelled a hypocrite.

For decade after decade, moustaches were worn with pride by all facets of society; sporting heroes (Dennis Lillee, David Boon), intellectuals (Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla), tyrants (Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler), actors (Burt Reynolds, Tom Selleck), hell, even Hulk Hogan had one (and still does!)…

Somewhere in the last 5 years or so, a strange thing occurred; the moustache was wrestled back from these men’s men by effeminate, rolled-up chino wearing, top-button buttoning, empty-lens prescription glasses having hipster fucks that listen to bands like San Cisco on their iPhones via their vintage-looking studio quality headphones that they paid $600 for after seeing them in an edition of GQ several weeks earlier. I always see these pitiful cunts bopping along to some ‘new wave indie groove’ (on the aforementioned headphones) in suburban shopping centres and although I don’t (normally) follow them to find out where they’re going, somehow I just know that they’re going to one of those fucking awful shops that sells 200 different varieties of tea at significantly inflated prices.

Hipsters – You’re doing it wrong.

I walked into one of these shops once as I couldn’t really tell what their product offering was from looking through the window and my own curiosity got the better of me. I’m curious like a cat, I guess… Once inside, I realised that they sold tea. Woopee.

Whilst inside this tea shop (which was a clear illustration of the ludicrous and excessive nature of Western consumerism) I overheard two moustachioed hipsters talking about a specific type of tea that one of them liked (they were talking very loudly because both of them still had their headphones on… must be chic at all times, remember this). One of them used the word ‘bouquet’ when describing the flavours of the specific blend in question. I left immediately to stop myself from ramming both of their heads through the plate-glass window like a medieval battering ram in the 1204 siege of Constantinople.

Another thing I don’t quite understand is why hipster girls insist on having their photo taken some form of moustache being the focal point of the composition. The fake moustache, the moustache drawn on index finger and then held to mouth, the moustache pendant on necklace then held to face, the list goes on…  Facial hair has never, nor will it ever be attractive when on a girl. Cease and desist please, you twats.

Whilst hipsters will undoubtedly increase the sales of Gilette dramatically when the humble moustache once again falls foul of their ‘hot or not’ meter in several years’ time and move on to the next thing that they’ll undoubtedly ruin, it’s good to know that you can always pop Predator in your DVD player and reminisce about the days when men were men, and moustaches were moustaches.

“Dylan, you son of a bitch!”

/end communication

Pausing for impact.

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Tonight’s episode of Bankingcommish comes to you from the darkened interior of a crumpled up 2011 Subaru Impreza sedan. My mate was driving leisurely home from a long week of work when his train of thought was rudely interrupted by young girl in a late-model Toyota Echo ramming his car from behind more viciously and unapologetically than a gimp being analised by a series of rubber fists at a masochist’s convention that are gradually ascending in size. I was still at work when the fisting began, so I’ve joined him in the wreckage for moral support and eventually, transport.

We now wait for a tow truck on a non-descript and thoroughly dismal stretch of freeway with the same sort of hope that he’ll turn up in less than an hour that the drought-stricken farmer holds when he looks solemnly to the sky from the confines of his dilapidated weatherboard farmhouse, somehow suspending his own disbelief and hoping for a miracle despite the taste of sun-scorched earth forever lingering at the back of his throat from the fierce and unrelenting winds of the dustbowl that engulfs him.

If I was forced to choose what I would consider to be the worst stretch of road in ten kilometres, I’d pick here. The car is parked close to a rubbish-strewn embankment, directly underneath a vaguely sinister-looking footbridge that stretches menacingly over the freeway, undoubtedly to a location equally as awful and fear-inducing on its far side. This looks like the type of setting that a tramp would come to wheeze his final shallow, cooking sherry-soaked breath before emptying the contents of his bladder and dying an undignified and unnoticed death. In fact, I’d wager a small fortune that I could shut my eyes, spin around five times and then throw a stone and have a 50% chance of hitting someone who sells The Big Issue.

I peer out of the thankfully still-intact windscreen at the foot-bridge looming ominously overhead and my imagination takes control. I can picture it now; a group of rodent-featured twelve year old halflings lined up in an orderly fashion across the span, malnourished from years of sustaining themselves on high-starch, high-GI, low-nutrient diets consisting predominantly of chicken nuggets, white bread and fish fingers, their bodies underdeveloped and their skin ashen from years of their parents inadvertently inverting the healthy eating pyramid when doing the weekly shopping. They proceed to drop bricks onto the windscreens of vehicles as they pass underneath, spinning quickly and leaping to the other side of the bridge to fervently revel in the high-velocity fatality they’ve collectively just deliberately caused. Their tiny lips retract to form sinister smiles, revealing rows of already-yellowing, rotting teeth. Dead smiles from dead children…

I’m snapped back into consciousness by the flashing lights of the tow-truck as it pulls up in front of us. Our ordeal is over! My mood lightens when a metal-head jumps athletically from the cab, his hair flowing regally in the breeze like that of a famous conqueror entering a defeated enemy town on the back of an armoured stallion in the dying Autumn Sun.  I’d give even-money odds that Judas Priest features heavily on his Winamp playlist (he definitely wouldn’t go anywhere near iTunes).

As the tow-truck disappears from view with the remnants of my mates’ car in-tow, I pull out from the curb and we drive away. I make sure to look up cautiously as we travel under the bridge…

/end communication

The Dark Knight rises…

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After training every Thursday evening, the football club that I play for (I say play, but I’ve played a total of 4 games this year, the majority of them quite badly) announces the teams for their firsts, reserves and thirds at the local pub. One of the traditions of this evening is what could only be described as a ‘light entertainment program’, run by several of the players. The program features segments that are generally solely employed in order to have a good natured dig at the players and get a few laughs from the audience, which they often do. The hosts utilize a PowerPoint projection as if giving a high-level boardroom presentation to potential seed investors.

I’ve already had the misfortune of making several appearances on the program since I started playing at the start of this year, the most recent of which was when the enterprising hosts discovered a match report from an opposition team we’d just beaten where the following was written about me;

‘Kicking towards Royal Parade, Blacks scored first goal when its huge sequoia tree of a full-forward with a backside three axe handles wide latched onto the ball as it wafted over a pack of players at half-forward.  His long kick bounced a fair way along the ground before rolling through.’

I’ve got a huge issue with the comparison they’ve drawn about my arse being three axe handles wide. I mean, I know what the author is getting at (I’ve got a massive arse and he was trying to convey this to his audience…) but the example that’s been given is pretty ordinary. An axe-handle is long, but not particularly wide. My message to the author? “Your analogy sucked almost as much as your pitiful attempt at writing, you ignorant cunt. Additionally, your match report was rife with spelling and grammar errors. Give up.”

Oh and for those of you playing at home, see below image of a sequoia tree.

Image

An old family photo. I’m second from the left.

Anyway, I digress. Tonight at the pub, the program was being projected onto the wall to a group of around 50 players, coaches and support staff. I was half way through absent-mindedly eating a rather forgettable Chicken Parmigiana when I peered up from my plate to the wall and laid eyes on an all-too-familiar moustachioed face staring back at me.

Word of Bankingcommish has evidently (and inexplicably) gotten around, even at my footy club. For some reason, in the picture on the wall my head had been superimposed onto Batman’s body and they were referring to me as ‘The Dark Knight’, assumedly due to the dark nature of my social commentary and the noble origins of my family name.

I was now sitting in a room with 50 people who were being read excerpts by the host from ‘South of the river’, one of the most offensive posts I’ve written so far (albeit incredibly fucking apt!) The worst part of the whole evening was that there was no explanation given as to why I even wrote a blog and no mention of the wager whatsoever. This gave the impression that I wrote a blog for no reason other than a belief that people actually want to read what I write. This is the exact reason that I hate blogs, bloggers and the motherfucking blogosphere.  In the eyes of the audience tonight, (for all intents and purposes) I might as well have been Perez Hilton.

Fuck.

/end communication

Where egotists take flight…

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I was at a party (I say party, but it was more of a gathering, but I didn’t say gathering because I’m not in grade 10 trying to find a more exclusive word than party to call a party any more) one weekend several years ago and distinctly remember someone having a dig at me because I laughed at them (admittedly somewhat more enthusiastically than was necessary due to the ludicrous way in which they brought up the topic) when they discussed their keeping and maintaining of a travel diary whilst on an overseas trip. They then had the impudence to ask the highly condescending follow-up question, “Have you even travelled?”, the inference being that had I been as worldly or well-travelled (at this point they were unaware that I was the son of a travel agent) as they were, perhaps I would share more of an illuminated view (read: their view) on the matter.

Well, I don’t share, nor will I ever share the view that keeping a travel diary is a necessary element of getting the most out of overseas travel. Whilst I completely agree that one cannot have a rounded view of the world without having experienced different countries and their cultures first-hand, I absolutely detest the idea that in order for me to get the most out of these experiences I must document them for my own posterity. I have a perfectly good memory for that.

I couldn’t imagine a more banal task than pulling out pen and paper at the end of a long day of travelling and writing about my feelings, thoughts and impressions of the country I’m in. The concept of the diary is one that I associate with drunken 1800s Scottish poets, 12-year-old girls with a new crush & the severely mentally unbalanced. Unless you write with the fervour and perfection of Hemingway or Yeats, the whole exercise simply serves to cheapen the experience in my opinion. This is exactly the reason why I hate the idea of blogging (& bloggers) so much (and assumedly the reason why people have paid me to do it for 6 months).

These chumps go on a 12 week overseas trip and come back ‘worldly’.  I fucking despise them. It’s one thing to expand your horizons and gain a better understanding of the world around you by experiencing different cultures and different ways of life, but it’s another thing entirely to return to your home town or city with an English accent despite only having been in London for 4 weeks.

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Dear Diary: I took so many photos of people that I’m clearly richer than today!

These are the types of people that check themselves in on Facebook when in the departure lounges of domestic airports on their way out of the country. I mean, seriously, it’s not 1960. Air-travel is no longer the glamorous realm of the high-flying (yes, that’s where the term came from) elite. I liken air travel to a 55-year-old man getting his prostate checked; an uncomfortable but necessary endeavour.

Do you know the most ironic thing about all of this? The same people that are furiously writing in their diaries like they’re on some intellectual crusade to better understand the world around them can generally be found spending half of their time overseas hunched over a glimmering LED screen inside their hostel, chatting to their mum on Facebook.

/end communication

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