Wednesday, March 02, 2011

5) The Pagan Neophyte.

These stories, that have been available on Blogspot for 10 years for free, will now only be available on Amazon at the address above. They are contained in “Vagabon Freak”, the 1st volume of a trilogy titled “The 7 Lives of the Punk Poofy Cats”. I have been the archetypal starving artist in his garret, painting, drawing and writing, writing, writing as if I were some waif crying out in the wilderness. Now I need you, dear reader, to hear my cries and go to Amazon and buy a copy of my book and keep me alive. There you will find my complete tale, from beginning to end, in one place, for you to hold in your hot little hands. When you read it straight through, I assure you, it will blow your mind.

Below are introductory paragraphs and some pictures that I still retain to illustrate this story, hopefully to give you a come-on to get my book. Thanks for giving me a go, TZ.

In the ‘nuclear alert’, ‘yellow peril’, ‘red menace’ era of the ‘Fifties it was de rigueur to give boys lethal slug-guns to play with, and Arthur’s gang roamed the wilds shooting everything in sight, birds, mammals and especially each other. They often had mock battles with the “Pommie” migrants from the hostel across the creek in their weird half-water-tank, mission houses, the Aussies standing upon the opposing cliff-top of “Devil’s Canyon” waving their slug-guns and yelling, “Go back to Pommie Land ya smelly wogs, ya live in shit, go back to shit” and the Brits waving broom-stick weapons and screaming in return, “Go fuck sheep ya Aussie bastards, we’ll kill ya if ya coom near us!”
One day they caught a little British boy wandering amidst the boulders of Devil’s Canyon and, pretending to be benevolent, told him to run back on home to mummy. As he ran through the red sandstone rocks, one particularly stupid mate aimed his gun at the receding, helpless lad. Artie, realizing his purpose, shouted, “No! Let him go!” But the little bastard sneered at his softness and callously shot the small child point blank in the bum with the most powerful of air-guns available.
This sickened Arthur, it was a regression to the same bully behavior that had always demeaned him and a betrayal of his honor, for he’d promised the kid nothing would happen to him. It was so mean, so vicious, he hated that most boys were cruel, expecting him also to be cruel, and often submitting him to just as much pain. He was loathe to admit to the same hard-wiring of boys that led them to be pitiless and violent, always testing the limits of their endurance, courage, machismo and brutality, as if they were proto-warriors built to battle at the borders of their territory, mimicking the soldiers they admired in World War 2 movies.
The next day, to return the insult, the Brits caught Arthur’s brother, John and, standing him atop the opposite cliff of Devil’s Canyon, threatened to beat the life out of him with bunches of purple thistles. Arthur marched bravely into their alien tin-can camp to hand himself over in replacement of his brother. He was appalled by the threadbare conditions in which the immigrants lived, whole families squeezed into a room made out of a corrugated-iron water-tank cut in half, with kitchens and bathrooms communal. 
(If you want to read the rest of this story and more, please go to the WEB address above and buy "Vagabond Freak.")

Tom Roberts, Heidelberg School of Painters.
Olympic Village 1956