Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Hi 2015, British TV is going to make a *sit-com* about the *Irish Famine*! THAT THE BRITISH FUCKING CAUSED! HAHA! IT'S GONNA BE A GREAT YEAR!

Well Jesus Fuck, any naive illusions that the turn of the New Year might bring with it anything approaching basic fucking decency along with its endless crippling hangovers was quickly destroyed by the glorious news that British TV has commissioned a fucking *sit-com* to be set in the... Irish Famine.

Yes this *is* the same "famine" (so-called despite the fact it was caused by deliberate British policies) that caused the population of the island to *halve*, with about one million starving to death and another million forced to emigrate. HAHAHA!

What next? American TV to greenlight a hilarious new sitcom on the deliberately spread smallpox epidemic that devastated Native Americans? Or perhaps Australian TV might take a stab at a funny-yet-heartwarming comedy about the near-total genocide of Aboriginal people in Tasmania?

I got a joke about the famine for them, too --  they can have this one for free, it's a corker and it goes: "How many potatoes does it take to kill an Irishman?" The answer? "NONE!"

HAHAHA! Get it? It is funny coz it is about a million people starving to death in agony despite the fact their country was producing more than enough food to feed everyone on the island, just most of it belonged to large (frequently absent) English landowners who had it shipped off to England under English armed guard! Fucking hilarious!




AHAHAHA! Just *looking* at this Dublin memorial to the Irish hunger victims is amusing!


But what *I* want to know is who'll play the wacky-and-lovable-yet-utterly-racist-and-genocidal Charlie Trevelyan?

Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan, 1st Baronet, KCB, was, of course, the cheeky scamp of a top-ranking British official in Ireland who oversaw the policy of denying badly needed relief to the starving masses because, as he wrote in a letter, he viewed the mass starvation as an "effective mechanism for reducing surplus population" and "the judgement of God".

It is likely a moot point, as you can probably bet on the show not featuring those who ruled Ireland at the time -- you know those actually fucking responsible for it, as then-British PM Tony Blair acknowledged in an official apology to the Irish people in 1997 (perhaps in about 150 years or so a British PM might apologise to Iraq for Blair's war crimes).

After all, the show's writer, Dublin-based Hugh Travers, explained: "We’re kind of thinking of it as 'Shameless' in famine Ireland."

IrishCentral.com responded:

The Showtime US version of “Shameless” series depicts the dysfunctional family of Irish American Frank Gallagher, a single father of six children. While he spends his days drunk, his kids learn to take care of themselves.

So we are basing a sitcom on The Famine on a drunken Irish American series. Hard to beat that I'd say.

So, yes. This show looks set to be all about laughing at the poor. It is the victims of that Great Hunger, considered by many to be deliberate genocide, who will be the source of its "humour".

And why not? That seems the fad in comedy -- laughing at the poor without any care for the context of their predicament ... or who is responsible for it.

The best comedy, on the other hand, "punches up", not down. It mocks the powerful and seeks to laugh *with* their victims, not at them.

And maybe, following such an approach, maybe it would be possible to make a comedy series set in the famine -- much like a show like Blackadder Goes Forth found humour in the horrific mass slaughter of World War I. By making the humour the sheer absurdity of the situation, and the incompetence of the aristocratic officer class blithely sending others out to die for a futile cause.



I just *had* to put in another pic of that Dublin memorial. The looks on their faces is too funny!


But whatever, you might be thinking, it was a long time ago. Perhaps enough time has passed... except for the fact that there are stories like this one from January 3, about how the bones of Irish children who died in a "coffin ship" fleeing the Great Hunger 170-odd years ago had just washed up on a Canadian beach.

It is just one example of how the effect of the Great Hunger extended far beyond Ireland's shores. Large numbers of million or so people who fled in the infamous coffin ships headed for North America, but plenty headed here to Australia too. (One was my great great great grandfather who settled in Victoria -- and was a dedicated Orangeman sectarian, which just goes to show even bigots get hungry.)

Strangely enough, the decision by Britain's Channel Four to commission the series has caused widespread outrage. An online petition is calling for the decision to be reversed.

But if you want to make up your own mind, feel free to read a special secret "leaked" version of the script published by IrishCentral.com

Or have a listen to the issues as spelled out below by Sinead O'Connor. Yes, I know. Sinead O'Connor. I did not want to have to resort to such extreme methods, but really, the fucking Brits had it coming.



'..then in the middle of this, they gave us money not to teach our children Irish...' Those British bastards forced me to do this.


And, OK, why not, while we are on the topic. Here is Irish folk legend Paddy Reilly with his hit version of Pete St John's classic tale of an Irish man during the famine transported as a convict to Botany Bay for stealing food ("Trevelyan's corn").



'Against the famine and the Crown, I rebelled, they cut me down...'




Monday, December 08, 2014

'I just can't make it by myself' --Tom Waits turns 65 and thank god he's still here.



'I just can't make it by myself...' 

It is a very hard call, and I certainly don't stand by it. But for what it is worth, I think Tom Waits' "Shore Leave" is my favourite Tom Waits song. Or, put another way, it is my favourite song.

A vivid tale of a lonely sailor on shore leave in Hong Kong is transformed into something almost frightening in its heartfelt despair. The sailor's declaration that "I just can't make it by myself, I just love you so..." is how I sometimes feel, in my more fanciful (ie: drunk) moments, about the veteran American songwriter who turns 65 today (well OK, that is yesterday here in Sydney where I write this, but it is still before midnight on December 7 in California where Waits resides). 

Tom Waits was inducted into the Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 by Neil Young in a move Waits described as "very encouraging".

In his more than 40 years in the music business, Tom Waits has had a huge impact  -- from his songs that YouTube mash-ups prove could easily have been sung by the Cookie Monster, to inspiring disturbingly accurate parodies like Tom Waits sings Christmas songs to being immortalised on the Internet via the Nyan Waits

Waits' turning 65 really makes you think -- mostly, it makes me think: "Oh for FUCK'S SAKE you GODDAMN  BASTARD! You are NOW FUCKING 65!!! TIME IS RUNNING OUT! TOUR AUSTRALIA! FOR GOD'S SAKE JUST COME AND TOUR AGAIN BEFORE YOU'RE TOO DECREPIT AND/OR TOO DEAD YOU ARSEHOLE!!! FUCK!!!"

We are probably lucky we even have the chance, however slim, that he might come back here for the first time since 1979. After all, this was a man who spent the 70s seemingly trying to drink himself to death in a bid to inspire the ultimate barfly song.

By the end of the 70s, Waits was in a bad way -- so bad he said he looked in the mirror one day and saw Billy Joel.

He was saved by the women he married, Kathleen Brennan. But this is not some patronising "woman saves man with her love and became his 'muse'" bullshit story where the woman only exists to further the leading man's narrative.

Brennan did not just help inspire a totally new direction for Waits, starting with 1983s Swordfishtrombone, she has been his creative partner, co-writing most songs ever since. On the nature of their songwriting partnership, Waits has variously offered such insights as "You wash, I'll dry" or "I'll hold the nail, you swing the hammer". 

One example Waits gave of one of Brennan's lines is one of the finest in any Tom Waits song -- "She's a diamond who wants to stay coal" from "Black Market Baby". At first, Waits thought she said "cold".

Essentially, from the 1980s on, the musical entity known to the world as "Tom Waits" has been a more-or-less entirely Waits/Brennan collaboration.

But we can also appreciate the fact that, had he never met Brennan, by his own admission, Waits probably would not be alive right now and tormenting Australian fans with his steadfast refusal to tour here, while making infuriating comments on the topic when pressed about it, like when he told Triple J in 2011 that, while he had no plans to tour, "Life is long, I'm sure it will happen."

Yeah, life is long, Tom, but it is not fucking infinite.




'We're all gonna be just dirt in the ground...' That's right Tom. What you just said. You might want to think of your own words in relation to your long-suffering and fucking desperate Australian fans.


I am obviously a big fan of Tom Waits. His poetic tales of ordinary people staggering through a hellish world frequently make me cry -- especially, but not only, if I've drunk reasonable quantities of beer and/or whiskey.

Others say Waits makes them cry too ... but for different reasons. Not everyone shares my... well obsession is really the only word. His (in)famously ultra-gravelly voice -- as well as his often eccentric sound and persona -- tend to divide opinion between obsessives and large chunks of the rest of humanity.

But whatever. Waits' music is theatrical and sometimes cinematic. It creates an atmosphere and mood in which to tell a story and evoke certain emotions.

And no two people like the exact same films or plays or books. At the end of the day, I just don't give fuck. And through four decades or recording and performing music, Waits has never given much indication he does either.

But rather than keep adding to the many, many words I have written already on this blog about Tom Waits, I'll highlight a couple of quotes from other songwriters and performers on the man -- who has inspired much praise and awe from all kinds of performers across many genres.

Former David Lee Roth guitarist Steve Via, best known as a hard rock metal guitarist, describes himself as "an overzealous fan" of Waits. In an interview about his love of Waits last year, he spoke of the first time he ever heard Waits (when he bought 1999's Mule Variations), saying:
I bought the CD, put it in my player, and I tell you, it stopped me dead in my tracks. I was stunned into silence. I just listened to the entire CD, and then I went out and bought everything that he ever did.
On why Waits affects him so, much Vai explained:
He's 100% committed. When you watch him perform, he's fully present; he's in the moment with every single word... What I look for in music is artistry, sincerity, and simplicity and Tom Waits has all of that ... That's what I get from Tom's music, and that's pretty special.
More recently, Ben Nichols, frontman of country band Lucero (I refuse on absolute principle to use that idiotic phrase "alt. country" -- it's just fucking country music) wrote a November 12 piece for American Songwriter on his deep admiration of Tom Waits. He says:
I remember driving from Memphis to Little Rock listening to “Blind Love” from the album Rain Dogs and saying to myself, “That right there is the type of song I’d like to write in this Lucero band.”

Now, that is all well and good but I’m still trying to write a song like “Blind Love.” In the 16 years I’ve been writing songs for Lucero, I am still struggling to achieve what appears to come so naturally to Tom Waits...
Nichols concluded:
I never go very long without listening to some Tom Waits records. And actually, I just realized the best part about writing this essay … it made me want to stop typing, pick up a guitar and try to write a song, cause that’s what listening to Tom Waits makes me want to do.
So here you go, in honour of his 65th birthday, a pretty random selection of Tom Waits songs, just ones that I feel like including tonight -- there are countless ones I could post and I've done various themed Waits' song posts before.

As ever, the songs are helpfully compiled in a nice YouTube playlist. Yar, don't thank me, buy me a beer sometime. Via the paypal donate button on the right side of the blog...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM WAITS NOW COME AND FUCKING TOUR AUSTRALIA YOU GODDAMN BASTARD!

***



'Don't you know there aint no Devil, there's just God when He's drunk...' As well as just generally a great song and a cool performance, that "Devil/God" line is one of my favourite quotes of all time. And it's followed by 'This stuff'll probably kill ya... let's do another line...' Hollywood summed up.





'The smell of blood, the drone of flies, you know what to do when that baby cries... Hoist that rag...' War, via Tom Waits. One of the tracks from 2004's Real Gone inspired by Bush's futile, failed wars on Iraq and Afghanistan.





'Two dollar pistol, but the gun won't shoot. I'm on the corner in the pouring rain...' Sure, other times, I'd go for the full emotional bombast of 'Downtown Train' -- one of the most poetic songs there is about urban alienation. But I've done that before on this blog, and 1985s Rain Dogs has many more tales of the madness of urban life in a major city like New York and this is just one.





'Well my parole officer will be proud of me...' It probably says a lot about me that I tend to lean towards the "heartboken, drunk and filled with melancholy and regret" side of the Tom Waits ledger.  Here is a Waits' track cutting loose a bit.





'And all the news is bad, is there any other kind?' That one line sums up how, on this track from his 2011 album Bad As Me, Waits combines pointed social and political jabs ('It's hard times for some, for others its sweet. Someone makes money when there's blood on the streets') with his more usual territory of heartache ('Well she told me she'd leave me, I ignored all the signs...')





'The piano is firewood, Times Square is a dream... ' Well I guess I couldn't stay away from the 'bitter sweet songs tinged with melancholy and regret' for too long.





'I'm the last leaf. The autumn took the rest, but they won't take me...' Great track, sharing vocals with Keith Richards.... But still... I mean don't forget Tom... I know you sing 'I'll here through eternity, if you want to know how long. If they cut down this tree I'll turn up in a song', but you know... NOT LIVE. You live on forever, or at least until the climate change-induced eco-holocaust destroys us all, in *song*... But NOT LIVE!!! TOUR AUSTRALIA YOU PRICK!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The 6 Things You Should Never Say To A Psycopath

As anyone who has been near the internet at all in the past couple of years knows, some people in this world are introverts and others are extroverts. And both groups have their own special needs that only other introverts/extroverts could possibly understand.

But what about psychopaths? It can seem like our special nature and needs are all too often ignored.

This is not surprising when you consider all the negative portrayals of psychopaths coming out of Hollywood. What, with films ranging from American Psycho to Texas Chainsaw Massacre to the seemingly endless versions of Snow White (seriously, couldn't Hollywood manage to have at least one of them try to depict things from the Evil Queen's perspective???) it is no wonder psychopaths are so misunderstood and even feared!

No doubt you have many preconceived, and possibly quite wrong, notions about psychopaths -- that we are all mass murderers, torturers or CEO of major banks! I mean, it just isn't true -- some of us also run large oil companies!

Well you need worry no more! I have compiled this list to help you better understand and relate to the psycopaths in your life, and also increase your chances of staying alive! Yes, here are "The 6 Things You Should Never Say To A Psycopath"! Don't thank me, just buy me a beer sometime! Seriously! Just do it! Don't make me hurt you!


* * *


1) "Why are you carrying that machete?"

Yes we know we are carrying a machete! And yes we know it is dripping in blood! This is because psychopaths find social interaction to be difficult and frustrating if we don't have some sort of deadly weapon at hand with which to brutally slaughter whoever we are talking to, should the need arise.

This is just one of the defence mechanisms we have to help us cope with the outside world. It doesn't make us lesser humans or mean we hate you. It just means we are constantly weighing up whether or not to slash your ugly face to pieces with our machete.

Healthy relationships are all about maintaining respect, so keep in mind that pointing to the deadly weapon in a psychopath's twitching hand is basically like asking a disabled person why they have a wheelchair or asking someone what their false leg is for. As well as rude, it will also likely shorten your life expectancy.


2) "Why do you kill people?"

Why do you ask stupid questions? Seriously, it might be well-intended, but asking this is almost guaranteed to offend/enrage a psychopath.

But basically, so you know, it is kinda how we recharge our batteries.

Imagine that every person has one cup of energy that can be emptied out and needs refilling. Generally, non-psychopaths find the act of brutally butchering another human being to be a draining activity, after which they will often need a decent rest or even a long holiday on an entirely different continent with a fake passport and new identity.

Psychopaths, on the other hand, find the act of slaughter to be an exhilarating and uplifting experience! It really gets the blood flowing (haha bad pun!)

Essentially, it gives us the energy we need to face another day on this truly godforsaken hellhole of a planet. Best to just get out of the way and leave us to it, if you know what is good for you.


3) "Where do you bury all the bodies?"

OK, now asking this is a pretty big "no-no". No psychopath will want to answer this one partly for some pretty obvious legal reasons and partly because each psychopath's burial ground is a deeply personal space. For many of us, the place we bury our victims is one of the few places we can ever really truly feel at peace.

Also, it can be hard to find a decent place to bury bodies and space is often at a premium. Asking this of a psychopath will just lead to us having one more dead body we have to find a place to hide and this will increase stress levels unnecessarily. So just be respectful and avoid this one. For your own sake.


4) "ARRRGGH!!! FUCK!!! YOU'RE SLASHING MY LIMBS! OH MY GOD THE PAIN!"

Yes, OK, we know. Sometimes we start hacking away at anyone in our general vicinity when we get anxious or upset. Often it happens if someone tries to ask us where bodies are buried. It is a spontaneous response and often we won't even realise we are doing it!

However, you highlighting the fact in a public situation is unlikely to help and will only raise levels of anxiety and/or murderous rage. The best procedure is to wait for a quiet moment to discreetly raise the matter with the psychopath in your life and explain, gently and very, very carefully, your negative feelings towards having your limbs hacked to pieces.

Assuming you are still alive, of course. Which is probably pretty unlikely, because if there is one thing you can say about us psychopaths, it is once we start hacking, we tend not to stop until your body is in small, easy-to-dispose-of pieces! Sorry, it's just how we are!


5) "You are under arrest."

This is definitely a very bad thing to say to any psychopath. It is about the most offensive thing you could say -- and yet amazingly, you'd be shocked at how many times I actually hear this said to me! Even in 2014, some people still seem to think this is acceptable!

And why does it always seems to be police officers?!? I don't know what it is, but I can tell you right now the police forces in this country are clearly long-overdue for some "psychopath sensitivity training". Honestly, you'd think some of them have never seen a blood-splattered psychopath standing over a dismembered corpse before!

This really is one sure way to guarantee more blood being spilled. If you say this one to a psychopath, don't expect to stay alive much longer. You've been warned!


6) "Hey, psycho!"

"Psychopath" is the proper name for people who suffer from the medical condition psychopathy, which is characterised by enduring antisocial behaviour, diminished empathy and remorse, and disinhibited or bold behavior. The term "psycho", however, is widely recognised by psychopaths as a negative slur.

Yes, a psychopath can, and sometimes will, call another psychopath a "psycho" -- often when engaged in a battle to the death over some prime corpse-burying territory. But for a non-psychopath to use the term is deeply offensive.

Other terms to avoid include "crazed killer", "deranged lunatic", "freak", "murderous fruitloop", "serial killer", "monster", "The Butcher", "blood-stained axe-wielding maniac", "The Spawn of Satan" or "The Very Personification of Pure Evil".

Also unacceptable are "the suspect", "the accused" or "the defendant" (see point five). 

Use of such terms is likely to lead to your brutal death and it is unlikely to be quick or painless. Of course, if you have a psychopath in your life, you will probably die a horrible death sooner or later anyway. But you can do your bit to ensure your last remaining time on Earth is as non-offensive to your almost-certain-to-be murderer as possible. We thank you in advance.

* * *

OK, I hope that was useful, but if you wish to know more, I recommend these tracks about psychopaths and our culture. It is important to highlight those parts of popular culture treating psychoths with respect, so no I am not putting up any versions of Leon Payne's "Psycho" -- not even the Beasts of Bourbon's version despite Tex Perkin's fine vocal performance -- on grounds it uses the unacceptable "P" word.

I hope you enjoy the below tracks, however, featuring, somewhat unsurprisingly for anyone who has read more than one post on this blog, Tom Waits, Shovels and Rope and Alberta's finest country singer Corb Lund. DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN PSYCHOPATH SONG? Suggest it in the comments.



'Cause there's nothin' strange about an axe with bloodstains in the barn. There's always some killin' you got to do around the farm...' Damn straight Tom! You tell 'em.




'She saw a thin man and a shadow make their way across the lawn ... And it'll be a long time before the sun shines on Shank Hill street again...' The South Carolina husband-and-wife duo's sensitive song by about a psychopath's sometimes strained relationship with their surrounding community.




'I ain’t got time to savour ‘em, I gotta drink ‘em quick
I’ve conveyed my urgency, I hope
If they catch me it’s all over, I’ll be way on up the creek
And I’ll be swingin’ on the wrong end of a rope'


Such a sad song by Canadian country singer Corb Lund! All about a psychopath from the American Wild West on the run from the law (does persecution of my kind ever stop?) who stops for a badly needed drink, only to be cruelly gunned down by the bar tender when he turns his back! I mean really, if you can't even trust your own bar tender who can you trust? Sad, sad song.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

All your questions answered PART 2!!! FEATURING SHOVELS AND ROPE!!!

Well fuck yeah people! I told you to tell me your fucking problems and then I answered your fucking problems! That's just how I roll! I fucking solve shit. I am a "solver".

More than that, I'm a fucking "doer". It took me less than four months to answer the last lot of "Agony Aunt/Ask Your Friendly Prophet" questions, and this time I was even quicker! Just a matter of weeks since you asked your questions!

This is what progress looks like. Goddamn governments claiming to take "the need for climate action" seriously might want to take notes here. Action should be as swift and decisive as a Carlo Sands blog post, you motherfuckers.

It did help that there were a just two questions. It helped even more that one came from a man whom dedicated readers of this blog will immediately recognise as the cad who beat me in a duel to the death -- yes, Leslie Fucking Richmond!!! Having basically killed me with the help of the Facebook quiz "when will you die?", the prick now has the sheer fucking gall to ask me a question!!!

But, personal feelings/murder notwithstanding, I made a solemn promise to my multitude of fans that I would answer their questions -- and that my answeers would come with a specially designated song by the glorious American country/folk husband-and-wife duo Shovels and Rope

I made a similar promise last time with Tom Waits and I fucking delivered... so you better believe I will come through with SHOVELS AND FUCKING ROPE!!!! Yeah? So here we go...


1) Alright let's start with the goddamn cad and get him out of the way -- literally, with any luck. "Leslie Richmond" (and I am confident that is his real name coz why would anyone impersonate such a prick?) has the unspeakable gall to ask:

Sorry, is this Room 101? I was told to report to Room 101. It looks ... scarier ... than I imagined it to be.

Well, don't you fucking even bother apologising to me, Richmond! Jesus fuck! But... to answer your question. No.

There you go. That is your answer, straight up. No, this is not "Room 101". It is not the fucking fictitious room George Orwell invented in his novel 1984, whereby people are tortured by their own worst nightmares.

Nor, for that matter, is it the British TV show of the same name in which comics and other celebrities nominate pet hates they would like condemned to an Orwell-inspired Room 101 -- which, and never let it be said this blog is not "up-to-date" with show bizz "goss", is going to be recreated for Australian TV with Paul McDermott as its host.

So I hope this answers your question. You get a Shovels and Rope song -- even if you don't fucking deserve one. It is, however, highly appropriate. It is like the song was written for you, you evil prick.



But every now and then I get evil
I’m ashamed in the shadow of the steeple
I’m a lunatic looking thru a keyhole


2) OK I was quite grateful to receive a second question... or so I thought, until I saw the questioner! It was one "Simon Ronald", who I am sure all dedicated readers of this blog immediately recognise as that fucking freak who in the last round of questions confessed to being a degenerate and compulsive TOUCHER OF HIS EYEBROWS!!! 

Now, I'll admit it takes some courage to come back after admitting something that and daring to pose a new question. So, purely out of respect for his sheer bravery, I'll report and seek to answer the degenerate's new question, which is: 

how often should one "treat oneself"?

Well, jesus christ, you try to give a fucker a break and he throws this at you! How often should you "treat yourself"??? Now, I don't presume to know exactly what you mean by "treat oneself", Simon Ronald, but I assume, to go by your past sinful admissions, what you mean is how often should you "treat yourself" by touching your eyebrows, you sick fuck!!!

To which I can only reply: that is NOT A TREAT, THAT IS A SIN!!! YOU ARE CLEARLY BEYOND HELP AND YOU DO NOT DESERVE TREATS!!! 

Nonetheless, I shall take mercy on you. Yes, despite your degeneracy I hereby assign you the following Shovels and Rope song "The Devil Is All Around". I think you will find it highly pertinent to your "eyebrown-touching" predicament. I pray you will listen and consider its message of possible salvation.



So I'm gonna be a good man, gonna do the best I can
Though I'm a shell of the man that I once was
And if I find forgiveness in the eyes of god
It will be hard won, I assure you

PRAY LISTEN TO SHOVELS AND ROPE, SIMON, AND DO THE BEST THAT YOU CAN!!!

Well, that is your questions answered once more. I really feel that deserves a beer, which you can purchase for me via the PayPal donations button on the righthand side of the blog. I PROMISE ALL MONIES DONATED WILL BE SPENT ON BEER!!! THAT IS A CARLO SANDS GUARANTEE!!!

Do you have more questions for Carlo Sands? YEAH? YOU DO? Well ask me in the comments section under this post and I shall rush to answer them!!! I will even award you with your own personal song by Texas singer-songwriter Hayes Carll!!! GO ON!!! GIVE IT A GO!!!


BONUS TRACK

Yes, a bonus Shovels and Rope track! I have chosen "Boxcar" coz I think it speaks to the universal experience of being a couple of in-love desperados on the run from the law somewhere in Depression-era United States -- and "bleeding out in a boxcar, shot in the back". Christ, we've all been there.



Well ain't it just like you and me to go down like that?
Bleedin' out in a boxcar, shot in the back
We were all out of luck, all out of time
Law was waiting for us at the end of the line...



Friday, October 31, 2014

'There's a killer and he's coming through the rye' The Tom Waits Halloween Playlist


Tonight is Halloween -- the night of demons, ghouls and the undead. Like federal parliament unleashed across the globe.

Now, I live in Australia, and each year, to judge by social media, the angst over the fact more and more kids want to "trick or treat" and adults want to dress up and get drunk every Halloween just grows...

Because this is Australia! If you want to dress-up in scary costumes, evoke horror tales and get drunk, Australians do that on January 26 by drapping themselves in oversized flags and painting their faces the ever-horrific colour scheme of green and gold, celebrate a genocidal invasion carried out with gruesome violence and... well get drunk.

And as for trick or treating... the consensus among many seems to be Aussie kids should just go without lollies rather than cave in to the insidious invasion of American cultural imperialism, and if the kids don't understand that, if they want to be pathetic cultural defeatists, then they can expect a lecture on the subtle lingustic distinctions between Australian and American slang ("it's not a cookie, it's a biscuit!"), which is about the last serious distinction anyone can think of these days.

Now, I want to be as clear as I can: I don't give a fuck for the petty inward-looking, island-induced nationalism that Halloween seems to bring out in otherwise sensible people in this country, people who every other day of the year vacuum up American culture with glee, but I will tell you this straight up -- there is NO FUCKING WAY ANY GODDAMN BRAT IS GOING TO GET ANY OF MY FUCKING CHOCOLATE!!!

That is my objection to trick or treating. Plus, it encourages kids to try to talk to me, which really isn't in anyone's interest.

Anyway, it turns out the whole fucking thing isn't American at all! It's actually Irish in origin, as seems to be social media's obession with pointing out this year, and comes with this really cool tale about how this Irishman tricked the Devil to get a free drink. And I sure as hell approve of free booze, so that's enough for me.

That and the fact I'll take any excuse to create a Tom Waits playlist.





And Halloween is as good an excuse as any for a new playlist of songs by the grizzled old man of American music. 

Waits songs have always been very cinematic -- evocative images fill his wide-ranging stories populated with battered characters from the dark side of town. And, in doing so, he covers a range of genres -- or, more accurately, a range of Tom Waits tropes.

Waits himself dealt with this -- in a self-conscious if simplified way -- on his triple album of previously unreleased songs and rarities Orphans. He divided each three albums thematically into "Brawlers", "Bawlers" and "Bastards".

There's no question that Waits is justifiably best known for his "bawlers". Few have perfected the genuinely emotive "crying into your beer" tale in popular music the way Tom Waits has -- songs about having a "Bad Liver and Broken Heart", to quote the title of his track from 1976's Small Change that playfully acknowledges his penchant for the trope.

The songs on the Halloween playlist are, unsurprisingly, much more of the "bastards" type. In going for the more "horror"-esque Waits' songs, there are some obvious sources tapped -- 1992's Bone Machine, 1993's Black Rider and a couple from 2004's underrated Real Gone

One of them -- the truly unsettling "Army Ants" from Orphans -- features nothing more than Waits reading, over some basic background music, a text from a biology book about a predatory species of ant. As horror stories go, it is as spinechilling as it is simple.

But at least some of the tracks are not about horror that is supernatural or even the threat of a lone deranged killer (like the one in the post's title, from "How's It Gonna End?", who is coming through the rye, although "maybe it's the father of that lost little girl, it's had to tell in this light..."). 

Instead, the horror is wedged firmly in the society humans have created -- none more so than in "Hell Broke Luce", a very modern horror tale centred on America's Middle Eastern wars.

And that is probably fair enough. When you consider the all-too-real horror of climate change-induced droughts, fires, floods and super-storms; the gruesome unhinged violence of the American war machine echoed in minuture by ISIS beheaders; starvation; poverty; out-of-control gendered violence; and thousands of other constant, unrelenting day-in-day horrors that the decaying system of late monopoly captialism inflicts on the world; then perhaps the greatest horror is captured by Tom Waits haunting "Dirt In The Ground", when he sings: "We're chained to the world, and we all gotta pull..."



Anyway, here are the fucking songs, all 19 of them. I have helpfully compiled them into one easy-to-access YouTube playlist for your listening pleasure! And all for free! No really! Just buy me a beer sometime. You know, via the paypal donation button on the right of this blog.





Seriously... buy me a beer. I am feeling thirsty.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

'If you don't love it, leave...' THE PATRIOTIC SLOGAN EXPLAINED!



Cairns Woolworths caused outrage by stocking a singlet with the Australian flag and the phrase "If you don't love it, leave..." But, let no one be confused by such a slogan, which, at first glance would seem a little reminiscent of "Fuck off, we're full" stickers or even the famed "I grew here, you flew here" slogan raised during the 2005 Cronulla race riots.

That is all a misunderstanding, it seems. Because an online poll of Daily Telegraph readers found an overwhelming majority believe "If you don't love it, leave..." is not racist at all, but mere patriotic.

As I think we can all admit that devout readers of the Daily Tele know a thing or two about racism, it seems to me the big problem here is confusion over the slogan's meaning. If you don't love "it" ... but what exactly is "it"?

In the interest of clarity, I hereby provide some concrete examples of the slogan's meaning to clear up all misunderstandings and explain to the possibly confused reader what it means to be patriotic in Australia... OR ELSE FUCK OFF.


IF YOU DON'T LOVE...

If you don't love labelling newborn babies "unauthorised maritime arrivals", leave...

If you don't love jailing children in isolated prison camps, leave...

If you don't love racist abuse on public transport, definitely leave... Seriously, get the fuck out now.

if you don't love threatening physical violence against foreign heads of state, leave...

If you don't love shirt fronts, leave...

If you don't love bombing the Middle East, leave...

If you don't love ASIO raids, leave...

If you don't love media beat ups about terror threats involving plastic swords, leave...

If you don't love crack downs on freedom of speech, leave...

If you don't love banning freedom of association, leave...

If you don't love jailing whistlebowers, leave...



GET OUT!


If you don't love spending billions on a new war, leave...

If you don't love paying for visiting the doctor, leave...

If you don't love working till you're 70, leave...

If you don't love de-regulated university fees putting many university courses out of the reach of all but the rich, leave...

If you don't love forcing the jobless under 30 to starve, leave...

If you don't love more than 2 million people living in poverty, leave...

If you don't love politicised witchhunts against trade unions, leave...

If you don't love corporate interests buying politicians, leave...

If you don't love corporate tax evasion, leave...

If you don't love huge subsidies to big polluters, leave...

if you don't love mining companies, leave...

If you don't love Gina Rinehart, leave...

If you don't love coal, leave...



LOVE IT OR LEAVE!


If you don't love logging old growth forests, leave...

If you don't love destroying the Great Barrier Reef, leave... Really. Just go. Your are not welcome.

If you don't love climate denial, leave...

If you don't love sabotaging global talks on climate action, leave...

If you don't love more and more roads, leave...

If you don't love trying to dump radioactive waste on Aboriginal land, leave...

If you don't love stolen land, leave...

If you don't love apartheid-style laws in the Northern Territory, leave...

If you don't love Black deaths in custody, leave...

If you don't love creating a new Stolen Generation, leave...

If you don't love domestic violence, leave...

If you don't love slashing funds for victims of domestic violence, leave...

If you don't love blaming women for rape, leave...

If you don't love rugby league players getting away with gang rape, leave...

If you don't love one of the most monopolised medias in the world, leave...

If you don't love Andrew Bolt, leave...



DON'T LOVE HIM? FUCK OFF.


If you don't love Alan Jones, leave...

If you don't love celebrating a national day on the anniversary of the start of a genocidal invasion, leave...

If you don't love the Cronulla race riots, leave...

If you don't love ALL of that ...  JUST FUCKING LEAVE!!!






Now you might be saying "OK Carlo, we get the message, but WHERE are we to go?" THAT IS NOT MY FUCKING CONCERN!!! JUST FUCK OFF! 

"Will our air fare be paid to assist us in fucking off?" Jesus christ, you GODDAMN bleeding heart pinko left-wing nanny state bludgers even want a hand out when getting thrown out of the country!!! FUCKING JESUS! JUST GET OUT!

Now, in case there is anything STILL unclear about all of this, I hereby post below a clip of country punk band Sydney City Trash singing their song "Southern Cross Tattoo", which provides as clear an expression of Aussie Pride and patriotic love for the country as anyone has ever come up with. Have a listen, and if what it describes is not for you, LEAVE NOW!




There's this nation they call Down Under
But to me it's top of the world!
And I love this nation so goddamn much
I'd marry it if it were a girl!
And when you talk bad about this nation I love
Well it cuts me deep inside
Coz I seriously love, I mean actually love
Well I'm so filled with Aussie pride... 





Friday, October 10, 2014

The Reason I Have Not Jumped From My Window Today #1

I am thinking of starting a series along these lines. The world is dark, it is horrible, it is filled with bands like Mumford and Sons. Sometimes, it all seems too much. Why live in a world where shit like that passes for "civilisation"???

Because there exists acts like Shovels and Rope and listening to this clip below, one of a number of YouTube clips showing full performances of the GLORIOUS country/folk/roots/Americana duo and not even the best, just the one I have listened to today, well... that is why I haven't jumped. Because there is good in the world. And it is really fucking good.




YARRRRRRRRRR


Bonus track




We're hangin here within an inch of our lives
from the day we're born until the day we die
don't it make you want to take your time
are you gonna let it pass you by

Made every way cut you like a knife
any moment in time could change your life
will you be ready with the time you got
maker is ready if your ready or not

Hangin on by a fragile thread
livin your life like your already dead
will you be happy with the time you gave
these words will be your final days...

Wish i could look death in the face
transcend both time and space
and reclaim those bygone days
that i was such a fool to waste...

When it comes my day when it comes my time
I hope to hear y'all moaning in the second life
Just throw my ashes on some hollow ground
and sing me on my way with a joyful sound
you can sing me on my way with a joyful sound
you can sing me on my way