I was watching old movies on TV such as "Follow That Dream" with Elvis Presley and "How The West Was Won ", both of them from 1962 when I was twelve years old. The theme of both was seeking out one's destiny and fulfilling one's potential. Back then I adored both films as they overflowed with heavenly music, love and adventure, and promised that I, a poor kid from a housing estate on the edges of Melbourne, might have a life full of similar joys.
As Elvis sang "Angel" I couldn't help but cry, from nostalgia and sadness, as we all know what happened to him and, in my life, things didn't work out as brilliant as I'd hoped either. I didn't know about upper class elitism, private school old boy networks, political corruption, religious cult brotherhoods, homosexual oppression and, most hard to pin down of all, sheer bad luck.
As a child, when visiting my grandfather's house, I noticed among his huge collection of bric-a-brac, a porcelain statue of a tramp stretched out upon a park bench with playing cards scattered at his feet and a legend written on its base that read something like, "The man who got trumped by spades!" It intrigued me endlessly, I couldn't work it out and, no matter how many times I asked my grandpa to explain it to me, he would just grumble and say, "You'll find out some day."
I now know that it meant, "You can take a gamble on many things in life but you may not win, especially if you make the wrong moves, like get into substance abuse, and/or if the cards are stacked against you." I worked hard, I studied, I tried my hand at many things, I even had some talent, I never cheated, stole, plagiarized or back-stabbed, and yet, here at the end of the road, I'm a bum, never met that impresario or lover who would back me, and I actually got fucked over by the penal rat-race we have here in Auz. Luck and fairness just wasn't with me.
Boo hoo hoo! Oh well, I did have a go, and at least I've got my health and brains still hanging in there. And my life sure was an adventure, you don't really need success and money for that. And one more blessing, I never got myself brainwashed and my life lost by some nut-job religious cult.
|Me as a young, hopeful filmmaker, 1978.|
When I was a young wanderer on the infinite road of soul seeking, here in Auz and in India, I passed through many camps, had a close look at the big gurus for three days, then moved on, never giving myself over to anyone, all of them just a scam to get control, enslave me for cheap labor and squeeze me of my money. No matter the charisma, the crowd hysteria, elaborate costumes and sets, I never fell for anything. Thank nogod! One good thing to say about how my life panned out, I'm my own man, independent, free, clear thinking, fun loving, adventurous, I maybe even had more fun than Elvis, I stayed alive a lot longer that's for sure, poverty means you don't over-eat.
If we add up all the cults infiltrating this world, it's a wonder there's any free thinking souls roaming about. I include religions in this, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, all with nonsensical beliefs, virgin births, walking on water, infinite levels of heaven and hell, resurrection after death, virgins in paradise, etc etc. Protestants, (Lutherans, Calvinists, Baptists,etc), Hillsong and Moonies. The Catholics, (Opus Dei, Jesuits etc.) The Orthodoxies, Russian and Greek, all amassing vast piles of lucre on Earth. The Mahayana, Hinayana and Zen Budhists, Jehova Witnesses, Mormans, 7th day Adventists, Freemasons, Skull and Bones, Satanists, Order of the Golden Dawn, Raellians, Kenjans, Freemasons, so much fucking madness secretly running the world.
Next we have all the Indian cults, Hare Krishnas, Maher Baba, Rajneeshis (Osho), Divine Lighters, Ma huggers, Satya Sai Baba zealots, Muktananda, Satchitananda, etc etc. Then there's politics, the communists, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, very much like cults. I guess "a wise philosophy to live by" is what everyone is desperate for, instead of just living, co-operative, compassionate, and rational.
I'm sure this list of cults is only partial, there must be plenty more I've forgotten or don't know about. Again, are there any people who live without any religious/political crutches, only the facts of science and a compassion for suffering humanity to go on with? Then again, a science of living, "going clear" is what Scientology promises, so what the fuck, you can't win. That's why I call our species homo sap sap sapiens, we might know that we know but we're also real saps about knowing crap when it comes right down to it.
Repeat, for all the bad luck and injustice, I'm glad I'm the nihilist deadbeat bum the world made me. And I'm not trying to start another cult with this rave, I consider it too late for any improvement in this world, I just want to end my days hiding out from all the madness in peace, painting/writing what I want, following my own dream.