Friday, 11 December 2015

I think I just got manshamed, fat shamed and came across as a crazy person on the interwebs.

Manshamed: The shame you feel for being male when all you’re doing is being friendly, stupid, having fun but it gets misconstrued as something else. Like flirting or being over bearing and obnoxious.

Fat Shamed and body shamed  it happens to everyone, not just females. Although I do think women cop it worse as there are idealised female forms in advertising, media and the internet. Relentless consumerism makes women feel bad in their skin and makes men search for ideals that do not exist. Basically, it’s stupid and mean and fucks people over for no good reason other than selling an unobtainable dream.

Men punish themselves at gyms to appear as Tyler Durden in Fight Club, when in reality we are exhausted from working jobs we hate, to buy things we don’t need.

Men delude themselves that looking like an over muscular chode with a small dog and small girlfriend is actually a good look. Men drink themselves to death to make up for their boring lives. Men are more likely to kill themselves. Men are more likely to be in prison. Young men are more likely to be perpetrators and victims of violent and other crime. Men are more likely to just go get a job and not follow their dreams. Men don’t get as many followers on Instagram and Twitter unless they are stupidly creative. Our Instagram’s just look lame, whereas a Taylor Swift clone’s twitter feed looks like Barbie’s dream house and everyone wants to park outside. 

But I am just as guilty of it, often I describe a local union rep as a stupid fat fuck who should go on a diet.

What I should say instead is ‘I have seen his work, and I find him and his union to be self-serving hypocrites who only have their interests on their minds, not their members. And I am glad I’m not a union member because they are a bunch of Labor party toadies just waiting to get into Parliament and sell out their members more than they already have’

Anyway back to the point of this blog post

I like to go see bands and live music. I’m a bit picky about it, I wouldn’t bother with a Hoodoo Gurus superannuation tour, but I will go see the Clowns, Deez Nuts and heavy metal and punk bands at my local pub. I will travel Australia to go see bands, especially Soundwave festivals and touring acts in Melbourne. Sometimes my wife goes with me or I go by myself. She missed out on Hellyeah because she had the worst flu ever. So I went on my own. 

In February 2015 I went to Soundwave to see Ministry and by a happy coincidence Damian Cowells Disco Machine was playing the night before at the Corner Hotel, My wife was going to come with me but had to pull out.

I really like Damian Cowell’s musical output, I love TISM and I probably listen to them every day at work. There is something refreshing to listen to music that speaks to the common man.

A man that works in a cubicle, in an office and who would prefer to be making art, but knows that art don’t pay the bills.

TISM were my favourite Aussie band when I moved to Australia from New Zealand in 1994. New Zealand bands were always a little serious and cool but I did like them a lot, especially Headless Chickens, Nemesis Dub Systems, Freak Power and the Gordons.

In Australia in 1995 TISM were the shit, not shit. I thought this band were incredibly artistic, dangerous and fun. They were like Laibach but with Australian sarcasm rubbed all over Laibach’s jackboots. Their music was a mix of rock and dance, much like other bands I bought like Pop Will East Itself.  TISM also appealed to my deep unrelenting cynicism about everything and everyone.

I never got to see TISM play live, I tried one night to go to the Roxy in Brisbane in 1995 but I had just come off a night shift at one of my many terrible jobs and just couldn’t physically leave the house. They didn’t play the Gold Coast when they did the Big Day Out tour. So I saw a shit (not the shit) Ministry slot instead.

But I’ve seen everything else Damian Cowell has done since, including a voice over for a Westapc advert that I swear contains his dulcet baritone.

I went to the Valentine’s Day Root at the Brisbane Hotel. The one where David Walsh asked DC to do a CD for his new Mona museum in Berridale and my wife danced to ‘Pauline Hanson thinks there’s Christian Muslims too’.  

For the record: Damian Cowell’s Root! is one of the few bands I’ve seen her dance to.  Root! and Down and that’s it.

  • Saw Root play at the Republic Bar
  • Saw the DC3 play at the MONA opening. Bought the $80 MONA book, but really only for the DC3 CD.
  • Made my friends go with me to see DC3 with Pinky Beecroft, at the Republic (we really don’t have that many pubs in Hobart) (so many beers Tim and Kellie , so many beers)

I’ve bought every Root, DC3 and Damian Cowell CD pre-order and the tee shirts and DVDs. I’m facebook friends with DC, which is basically meaningless because I never actually talk to him.

That might come across as obsessed. 

I like Damian Cowell's music a lot, but it’s the lyrics that really shine. Unlike most rock lyrics DC’s work is genuinely deep and poetic. Incredible similes and metaphors reign through his output. Double entendre rolls though his lyrics, combined with cutting metaphors for life’s suburban struggle.

Very little music actually exists for life’s little vicissitudes, where is the song for the man in corporate jail? It’s in the men’s room.

The stupidity of a man’s midlife crisis, it’s Surface Paradise.

Australia kissing the arse of every other country, its’ I Still Call Australia 'HO

Hipster cool… well take your pick of every second song written by DC and Peter Minnack.

Which brings me back to the Corner Hotel and the Disco Machine. I went to it by myself the night before Soundwave. So I was alone in a quite a funny crowd of people. I didn’t have that great a time because I didn’t know anyone and drinking alone is just kind of silly. The support acts weren’t for my taste, I would have preferred to see the Bennies or Deez Nuts do a party set, instead we got the acoustic comedy stylings of Frankie Walnut . I don’t think I was Melbourne enough to like it.

For once in my life at a gig I felt too young. The average age of the audience seemed to be 55; there was a lot of grey hair, shiny heads and tidy clothes. I’m a bit used to being the oldest at gigs, which must look weird when you’re watching bands like the Clowns who are my son’s age or NOFX when a young women comes out of the mosh pit pointing to our matching Clown’s tee-shirts and says ‘well one of us has to  go home and change!

But the Disco Machine was a cool gig; the dancing, the lights, mirror balls, two drummers (who I could really only hear one of) special guests, backing singers, backing violins .

I think the best part for me was hearing DC perform the Future Sound of Nostalgia, it’s such an amazing song and proves DCs ability to write a pop song without the TISM/narrative/cynic badge. That song should be sung at Eurovision by an ex Idol winner not TISM performing.

So this now brings me to Michelle Thomas . Michelle released a review of Damian Cowell's Disco Machine gig at the Corner Hotel called THE FAMOUS BLOGGER MEETS​ THE ANONYMOUS ROCKSTAR which very nicely describes the night I  had at the gig. 

Except I think I got quoted and described really wrong and in a quite troubling way.

You see Michelle has written articles about being body shamed on tinder and was published in The Independent. What she wrote was really amazing, I didn’t realise until today that it was her who I met at the Corner Hotel, who asked me about what I liked about Damian Cowells music. To which I said it was ‘like an English teacher’s wet dream’. While probably crapping on about metaphors, how many times I’ve seen him play and all the shit I’ve typed out above this here paragraph.

Surprise, I knew DC was an English teacher which is why I said it. Some of us have studied English too.

The second bit, and I don’t know if it was me, said ‘"I've got a better picture than that for you" he bellows, ripping up his 4XL Tshirt and exposing a TISM tattoo on his back.’

I remember showing Michelle my TISM bunny tattoo because it matched that girls tee-shirt, its one of my favourite tattoos, I certainly don’t remember ripping off my shirt, as its on my inner arm and no big deal to show.  But if it was me, then being described as enormous and 4XL is bad for me or the other guy.

We can’t all be willowy , 24 year old rocker types in skinny jeans, long hair and oozing cool our whole lives. We men have to grow up (and wide) and we come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some of us are tall and don’t feel tall. Some of us are friendly and people think we are too loud. Some of us wince when we see our guts and ask ourselves ‘what does it all mean?’ Some of us are filled with indecision and would like to do art full time, but we sacrifice ourselves for our families, kids and mortgages. We would like to be rock and rollers but instead we watch Damian Cowell and drink beers with our friends and dance like no one’s watching and hopefully with a bunch of people we like to do that with.

For the record: I'm 113 kgs and wear XL. shirts and 38 inch jeans. 


  1. What? Crazy on the inter webs!?! Shame! Shame! This does not give you full credit for your crazy!! x

  2. You don't have to feel bad. My daughter was wearing the bunny t shirt and I offered to show her my Tism tattoo of the beasts of suburban on my back. Guess I am probably a 3xl size........ And did take my shirt off for her! So don't feel bad..... She saw both tattoos I guess, but your not the "enormous 4 xl" guy. Cheers Flembo.

    1. Lucky no one described her as dyed English redhead. I don't feel too bad it gave me an excuse to write about DC and TISM, and link up my videos. ☺