Sunday, August 20, 2006

Thinking About Staying Alive.

There's a new Auzzie movie out called "2: 37" about teenage depression and suicide, making the issue hot and everybody boohooing about it for 15 nano-seconds, and yeah, real sad, kids who didn't even get a life. Then there's that other high suicide age-group, the mid-life crisis flip-outs, men between 40 and 60 who feel life is over for them, the travails, hurts and grudges piled up to smother their hopeful souls. Who wants to drift into decrepitude, fall apart painfully with no one to care or be interested in who you are and what you've done? One has to find a variation on Nirvana to keep going amidst the angst and ennui, a creative being to fill the void of irrational consciousness that's ever aware of the pointlessness if there really were no higher purpose to life.

Of course most folks have kids and grandkids to keep them occupied, some of the time, but you can't count on them, and I certainly didn't go down that path. I'm the eternal loner, wanderer, artist, freak and I daily have to dredge up the courage to keep going, sun shining or not. And thus I paint, draw and write, to keep the horror contained, and travel, read great text and watch hot movies, and swoon to exquisite music, to keep myself entranced. All of it time-pass, no dreams of future glory, too street-smart to be suckered into "I'll be famous when I'm dead", ha ha ha, an infinite Universe with 100 billion galaxies and evolution a revolving theatre-stage, and us with nuclear bombs, bio-weapons and tribal hatreds, fuck! It all freaks me out and I don't think there will be a posterity. So I went to the movies last night and got wildly inspired by a French animated Sci-fi flick called "Renaissance", it gets the rare 8 "Dings" on my schlockometer, superb style to portray futuristic comic book text. I've been a black and white artist thru-out my non-career, there's so many textures and shadows to contrast and provide a surreal look at imaginary city-scapes, I'm so inspired I'm jumping straight back into the painting I've been stalled at lately, exploding with psychedelic colours and energised by what I see others doing around the world.

I've also read some great books recently, the last was "Serphent Girl" by Mathew Carnahan, a small-time crook decides to rob the freaks at a big-top circus, so wickedly entertaining, right on the money with his use of freaks to turn the rock on society. Freaks are a common motif these days, and I use the concept often, considering myself to be an elder statesman of Freakdom. The "Furry Freak Brothers" urged us on in the '60s; in the '70s when I traveled the wilds of India, alone or with bands of fellow-travelors, we transmogrified from 'hippies' to 'freaks', for we no longer believed the "Age of Acquarius" was upon us, we knew we didn't really belong anywhere in this bad-arsed world and we just had to keep moving or hiding out. I am a freak of nature, life for me has been one long freak accident, my good heterosexual parents gave birth to a freak child that they and society proceeded to freak-out to the max. And I ran away to join the traveling freak-show and find a few moments of respite in freak sanctuaries, like the Piccolo Cafe on Damnation Alley, where Vitto cracks the whip and we human wildcats roar and jump thru flames.

Not all the Cafe's patrons are twisted freaks, many a normal, good soul comes to talk and share their humanity, but rarely do they have an interesting story to tell, it's mostly the freaks who wail at their fate and recount their misadventures, and thus I notice them more. I was sitting with Vitto's old sister, Maria, a grumpy businesswoman who rides shotgun on the Cafe's accounts, she's got lots of wimps quaking in their fairy-slippers, but I'm afraid of no-one and take her as a cartoon caricature of Ma Barker to tease and mollify in turn. A young addled junkie boy squatted on his haunches next to us and asked us if we'd seen Malcolm, his dear boyfriend. Malcolm is a local nutter who I've tagged the hunchback of Roslyn Street, every now and then he goes off the rails and calls the cops on the Cafe or rings Sophia and abuses her as a rotten old cunt. He's always getting inheritances from rich relatives and blowing 100,000s of dollars on rent boys, hotels and cars he then crashes and leaves abandoned. He'd been committed to Caritas Psycho Clinic on Taylors Square yet again and this itchy, scratchy junkie street boy was at a loss. He said he just got out of Bathurst Gaol and was counting on Malcolm to help him; white trash with a small tear tattooed on his cheek, his eyes were pinned, his speech slurred, very young and already fucked over, but not my problem. I couldn't resist asking, "What were you in Bathurst Gaol for?"

"I was working up at "The Wall" as a rentboy and I got picked up by this fag who got me to suck his cock in his car for $80. He blew his load and everything, then refused to pay me, saying I was no good. I bashed the shit out of him and he reported me to the pigs so I got sent to gaol. I then...." "Hmmmm, I got the gist, I don't want to hear anymore, it's too horrible and besides, there's old Maria here who doesn't want to hear this shit!" She grimaced her Gorgon smile and rolled her eyes, the poor boy who nobody wanted excused himself and tripped away into the intestellar dust, and I felt sad, he was me only I was smarter, and stronger, and gave myself better odds to find old age in peace and blissful resignation. I basked in the early spring sunshine at the Cafe at the Gates of Hell and counted my blessings.