Why So Many Fucking Rules?

This evening, I found myself, stuck between a well big rock and some almighty hard place–

I finished work an hour early to go and see a Secret Myspace (unbeknowns to me) gig with Clare Bowditch and her newly reworked Feeding Set. Or so I am to assume.

Now I love Clare. I think she’s lovely. I’ve interviewed her. I’ve met her. And her partner. And her kids, and to be fair– since relocating back to Australia four years ago– She’s become a role model of sorts for me.

Salt of the earth. An unmistakable voice. Irrespective of her gender and nationality. Unique. Coupled with a ridiculous sensitivity and comprehension of all things minor chords and/or harmonies– Plus, I happened upon her reverse parking a Tarago by the Fitzroy Gardens the day I learned I was really quite sick– some time ago now, of course– She was in her final trimester with twins. And I was impressed. And let it be known. She giggled and waved.

She’s cool, is my point.

Really cool.

So I was in a hurry to see her.

I needed some of her.

And just like that, I was once at work, then in a cab and then in front of her– seeing her–

But entertainment has grown much more complicated than all that in the last few years, if you care to note– You can’t just want to do something– and then go do it– anymore– it would seem.

The I.D. thing I get. I know. It’s a safety precaution. But I’ve travelled a bit. And in my experience, I never get carded, wherever I go. Even in the US as a 15 year old, I was never carded.

“You’ve always been old, my dad often says.

“Always… 10 going on 80. That’s my girl.”

Which is true.

My dad started taking me to musical festivals when I was 13.

Because I wanted to go and because my dad is an exceptionally good human.

I’m lucky,

He’s always given a shit.

A really big shit.

About me.

He cares where I am. He cares what I’m doing. Whom I’m meeting. How I’m feeling. And he also cares about about music, a lot. Which I think, has helped. A lot. Over the years. Really.

He’s always been actively engaged in my life, and ultimately, really interested in what I deem to be fun– as a soul mate, you know– not as a dad.

Not as an authority figure wanting to keep dibs, track of numbers, and or otherwise– but as a human. You know, with a kid. With a kid that digs music and likes to head out after dark, possibly donning bright red lips (and all other manner of fashionable catastrophes– in my hay day– sheesh– Poor mum) but ultimately being a social creature, you know… a thing in linger for something tangible, something worthy, something special, and ideally– acoustic.

I grew to wonder tonight if that’s why I feel as thoroughly unimpressed as I currently do by the state of the land– these days.

And I do. A lot.

All I really ever want after a long day at work is:

– To see some live music.

– To drink some spicy Shiraz.

AND

– To smoke a cigarette. Or two. Or three. Or ten.

Pretty tame all round.

I’m a simple girl.

Really.

And, as they say, the apple never falls far from the tree–

BUT

and

SO

It’s complicated now, no… ne?

It’s not like that anymore…

You’re actually, I reckon, these days, better off– wanting something ludicrous–

Like, say;

– Oodles of coke
– A record deal
– A free ride
– A big flat
– A socially impressive job

* See Oliver James’ ‘INFLUENZA’ for further discussion.

– A token lover.

– A well parked expensive car.

– Some shit friends that look good in pictures.

– A high profile job.

– A best friend whom happens to be GAY.

– Shitloads of money.

– A friend or two or three whom has been on Home & Away.

– A token pet. But no history of burying pets.

– A nice grandma with a tidy inheritence fund– You know, the kind that hasn’t died yet–

Basically,

If I’m really honest.

Everywhere I go

I see people whom, in my humble opinion, have experienced little
and are
all too happy
to bestow
upon you
their wisdom
about
nothing–

I say all of this, in light of the fact, I really resent not being able to knock off work, to go see some live music, to spend what I fucking spend (in Sydney) on an average glass of AVERAGE WINE and… have a cigarette.

Why can’t I?

I pay taxes.

FOR WHICH we’ve all been reminded lately– are but a governmental FARCE.

Why do we have to do that?

WHY!?

Why do they make it almost worth us not pursuing that lame couple of grand? Why do they do that?

Why does it take so long?

Why do we always feel like we’re in trouble?

Why are we all so more concerned with getting fined for NOT voting this coming weekend– then what, I dunno, say we’re all ACTUALLY voting for!?

Why is THAT!?

Why can’t I have a cigarette at the same time as I drink my wine and watch my music?

I’ma good person. I’m well behaved, mainly.

PLUS

I stopped playing music for this very reason when I moved back to Australia.

I gave it up, in part.

It didn’t feel right.

I missed the reverant Japanese audience.

I missed the cigarettes.

Even when I quit smoking for half a year– I missed the cigarettes.

Because cigarettes are just a metaphor, yeah?

They needn’t divide anyone.

But they do now.

And don’t pretend you haven’t noticed.

It’s the same everywhere outside Tokyo now.

New York.

London.

Sydney.

Fucking Lybia.

If you want a fag, you have to go else where– yet everyone still smokes.

I find it bold, offensive and naive that this kind of legislation might result in a big, bad city full of non smokers eventually–

It’s ludicrous.

Man kind will ALWAYS smoke.

“A man without peace needs to smoke,” my mother often says.

And she’s right.

I, on the other hand, am a social smoker– I don’t smoke during the day, ever, really. Unless I’m scared or someone has died. I don’t smoke.

So.

When I do.

Boy oh boy–

I like it to matter, ne?

In recent discussions I have been reminded, actually of how much this is but a thing to accept;

“What can you do, Ally?”

WHAT CAN I DO!?

I was chatting online about this the other night to a good friend of mine who divides her time between Helsinki and Tokyo. A really cool chic. A smart chic. A really dear friend. And a woman, no less. I don’t have many dear girlfriends, if I’m honest– So I mention her on top of mentioning her– if you get my drift–

but I digress–

This is not my main point–

We got to chatting, this friend and I, online– about our current locations– our lives– our livelihoods– She’s in love. And I’m in Sydney.

I got to explaining to her how things close so early here. You can’t smoke anywhere. At all. Not really. And it’s a lot school. You know? And I’m adult. Come Tuesday, in fact, I’ll be 28. I’m not 13 anymore, and at the mercy of my fathers choice of park– suit– stance– I’m on my own.

So, like, why, like, do I feel like, something about Gen Y like has taken the fun out of everything? Like, like, like…

My “date” and I left promptly after the gig ended tonight.

“Hungry?”

“Kinda. I just fancy sitting, you know, after work, with a glass of wine– and a fag… Without being fucking told off, you know?”

“Sure.”

We walked some five blocks, deliberately, to my local– whereby you can smoke AND drink.

Then mid-way through our very first round the bar supervisor hones in, like a shark, with his little plaque, announcing his ill fated news.

“Sorry guys. We’ve got to wrap things up out here. Licensing, you know… You’re welcome to continue drinking inside…”

I said, “Sure… but riddle me this… In all the time you’ve lived in Australia, compared to London, yeah… Can you admit, Visa aside, that is has become a lot less fun?”

He smiled.

I continued.

“We have the best weather on the fucking planet! It’s winter, ne? Today was 25 degrees! And still… there’s a freeze on al fresco. WHY!?”

“You’re cheeky, you are…”

Was his response.

“Answer the question. Honestly. Go on. I’ll help you pack up. Share with me your insider information. Because I don’t fucking get it.”

We folded chairs as he laughed mainly.

“You’re right, you know… that’s why I’ve not said much. You’re absolutely right. But it’s no different in England really. Everyone tells you what to do, all the time…”

BUT WHY?

We ran out of chairs to fold, so I went to rejoin my friend indoors– Where neither of us really wantws to be– despite the fact we were about to pay $70 for a meal I could make far more impressively at home– $70 for a meal I didn’t really feel like eating all in one go. You know? I like to savor my food. I eat slowly. What’s the hurry? And I live in Australia. Not America. And a year ago, I nearly was, you know? I chose my own backyard over The Big American Dream because if there’s one thing I really, truly do love about my culture– It’s how we do food.

And I care about food.

A lot.

It’s not a habit to me. It’s become a real choice. A real way of life. My food is my fuel. It’s my medicine. I don’t eat when I’m not hungry. I don’t eat when I’m satisfied. I seldom grow full. I do not eat in pursuit of comfort. I eat to live. I don’t live to eat. I’m a woman. And I don’t like chocolate. I don’t see the fucking point. Food is medicine. It really is.

And we’re America, already, in so many ways– But in this ONE WAY– THIS ONE WAY– we’re not. We’re unique, I think, actually, when it comes to food. Australia is quite rare.

We have the best of the best.

We really do.

The land of milk and honey–

Plus we’ve got all the migrants any well versed fucking multi-cultural melting pot could ever hope for– We’ve got everything– Except a culture of our own– But that will come. Particularly if we keep this shit up.

And I’m not talking about the undertones–

by the way–

I’m not talking about all the lady’s men–

Or the real consequences of an absent winter–

I’m not being poetic about any of this shit–

All I’m really wondering… Is why, on the cusp of this, my 29th year, as a fully fledged fucking tax paying human on the planet of Australia– why I can not– I wonder– why– my choices, my life, my interaction with the global world, as whole, as a human, is ultimately governed by the state.

Why…

Because I don’t get it.

I do not GET why some poor underpaid British migrant is responsible for the wine I hold in my yogic little hand– a hand which is also governed by some decision some power hungry little man once decided upon in a heated, televised, no less, debate– once upon a time. I don’t get that.

Why?

Why can’t I be responsible for myself?

Why can’t I be one minute late for work without it meaning something with regards to my SAFETY rather than my WELFARE?

I could go on.

And of course I will.

But as I bunker down tonight I know no more about anything than when I rose.

Except.

Maybe.

A reconfirmation of sorts–

I won’t be voting this weekend.

And I shant be attending any more gigs in the city in a hurry.

While Leonard fills his entertainment arenas

and people continue to stop me in the street and say things like,

“I’ve been reading your blog. He’s playing the Acer Arena in November… You going?”

I will continue to pause.

And think of little.

Because as a kid–

My dreams were far bigger than all this shit.

Far bigger.

x.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: