Category: Musings

Here Is Why The Establishment Is Losing

 I really Should Know Better

Here’s whey the establishment is losing the goodwill of the people.

I responded to a post from a Facebook “Friend” – Kenneth who had suggested that Brexit was “the longest train crash in history.”
I spar with Kenneth regularly.  It’s fair to say that I respect his views but don’t see the world the same way as him.  That’s OK – it’s great to see different perspectives and I see a lot.  I want a complete picture so I tend to subscribe to and listen to a range of opinions from the far right to the far left.  I don’t agree with any particular political persuasion but  I like to know what people think.  It helps to draw characters for my fiction work, if nothing else.  Anyway back to Kenneth’s post.  I though his statement was a bit of a stretch.

World War 1, World War 2, the collapse of many empires, the Holocaust, Pol Pot or many other major events in history that were a)longer and b) caused more damage could have been mentioned.

I chose to suggest another event happening right now  that has potentially much greater consequences for the entire world.

A Facebook Exchange Based On Incorrect Assumptions

This map of the radiation spread from Fukushima gives you some idea of why I think this is a tad important.

 

Apparently my point of view was upsetting to a friend of Kenneth’s who immediately labelled me a “quitter”

I don’t know who this guy is but it’s worth noting two things.  He labelled me and made an incorrect assumption and b/ He denigrated me because why? I didn’t think Brexit was the biggest train crash in history?  or that I said that nearly half the people of Britain disagreed with Kenneth?  I don’t know.  But I responded, it has to be said quite impetuously.

I don’t actually think Brexit is hilarious but I do think the reactions of people like David and to a lesser extent, Kenneth are.  I understand that they are fearful of what will happen, but I don’t think lecturing and name calling are going to solve anything – on the contrary they only serve to alienate people and polarise opinion.  This strategy worked oh so well for the Clinton campaign as they first alienated Bernie supporters and then labelled Trump voters “deplorables.”

You can think you are superior.  You can tell yourself that you are better, but if you don’t listen to and engage with people whose circumstances are different to yours, then you live in a bubble…..and bubbles burst.

Anyway my new acquaintance was just getting warmed up.

Getting Warmed Up

Oh dear – capital letters.  Besides his obvious distress he plucks a few scorched earth numbers from the air and continues to attempt to belittle me.  Red Rag to a bull I’m afraid.

That didn’t placate him and he drew on his vast reserves of sarcasm borne undoubtedly from his superior knowledge and education.


By this stage I had grown tired of the game and simply supplied him with a Wikipedia listing for Neo- Liberal.  Maybe I could have said simply someone who puts profits and corporations ahead of people, but I didn’t.  When you get into these debates, there’s only so many fronts you can fight on.  I could have also said the opposite would be exactly the same because when you get to the extreme edges of the political spectrum the results for the ordinary person are the same.

I didn’t get into debating the  Saudi thing.  The point that the outrage over Brexit is misplaced compared to real human rights abuses occurring on a daily basis doesn’t need a lot of debate I would have thought.

David belittled my use of Wikipedia and again assumed I was a cretin.

I asked him what his point was and if he was incapable of reading. That’s when things got really interesting.

Obviously David seems to believe I’m an idiot who has never had a job of note, can’t string two words together and hasn’t had a positive impact upon society at all.  I must be a loser.

Or maybe….just maybe people like David have a serious problem.  They are so impressed with themselves and their station in life that they have lost sight of what really matters.

Mr Munroe seems to think of himself as part of the establishment solution.  Maybe I’m wrong about him, but his attacks on me are par for the course with establishment progressives or conservatives(progressives not to be confused with greens, socialists or Bernie supporters all of whom can engage in intelligent debate).  I’ve had far better conversations with people from the “alt right” then I have had from  establishment “progressives”.  We disagree but we can have a conversation.

Former Australian treasurer Wayne Swan sensed the mood of the masses some time ago and said that there has to be real change and it has to happen soon or the bonfires will be lit and the pitchforks will be brought out.

Wayne Swan saw it.

Sadly most of the establishment refuse to see it.  They keep calling Trump and Brexit “aberrations.” The people’s views apparently do not matter.  The establishment no longer understands.  They just lecture, ridicule and label and in doing so have become the very thing they claim to despise.

They are alienating people daily.

That’s why the establishment is losing.

Now, where’s my pitchfork?

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Mars anomalies

craftMars anomalies  – what does it mean? There are a heap of YouTube video channels, social media groups and forums and UFO conspiracy theorist sites out there all making hay out of the term and thousands of people are poring over images beamed down from  the Curiosity Rover and earlier missions in search of :anomalies” – things that don’t quite fit the official version of what has been found on Mars.

Sometimes these findings make mainstream media – the walking man of Mars and the “Mars rat” are two examples that caused quite a stir.

clearsquareMostly though, the anomalies are too inconclusive or too mundane to capture the community at large’s attention.  As Will Farrell at What’s Up In the Sky says “You see what you see – I see what I see.” A lot of what is seen can be tricks of light and shadow and to some extent is hampered by what has to be said is pretty ordinary picture quality.

That said, there are a lot of things up there that get you wondering.  Two years ago, I got right into this and was fascinated by an area called Rocks Nest which may have suffered from some massive calamity in the past.  It could be just a barren wasteland full of odd shaped rocks or it could be the ruins of something else.  Who knows?

Certainly the people at NASA aren’t going to indulge in speculations and they seem to have an interest in carefully managing the dialogue around Mars.  That could be simply because there’s nothing much to see there really other than a bunch of rocks, or it could be that they have serious reservations about acknowledging that Mars once supported intelligent life.  When you open that can of worms, it challenges many of our social  and cultural beliefs.

Many of us still stick to the belief that we (despite all our own self produced evidence to the contrary) are the highest form of intelligent life in the Universe.  To produce conclusive evidence that intelligent life once existed on our galactic doorstep would shake the foundations of our entire system.

That doesn’t mean that there is a conspiracy to shield people from the truth, but it does mean that there is a probable reason to do so if in fact Mars had once supported life.

When you start searching for this stuff you find all sorts of rubbish and wild conspiracy theories.  There are people and YouTube channels that will state that they have conclusive evidence of humanoid characters on Mars, there is one guy who will go frame by frame through images showing you how the real image has been Photoshopped out, there are other channels that will take you into realms of cheap science fiction.  But there are some really interesting and sincere people doing meticulous work.

One guy who’s work I’ve been following is the aforementioned Will Farrar at What’s Up In the Sky.  Will tries his darnedest to present objective analysis of some of the images that are freely available from NASA’s website and by  and large he does a good job.

tstoneHe has pretty much convinced me that Mars was inhabited at one time and was hit by a meteorite sometime in the distant past.  His website and YouTube channel are well worth visiting.

The video below analysing the image supplied by Nasa  was done with limited resources and its a little rambling but hopefully it will encourage you to do some investigation yourself.

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To be a man

I’m angry today.

Part of it is because of this story that I’ve become aware of this morning about the story of the woman who was stabbed to death in broad daylight by her estranged partner in front of her teenage son

Part of it is because I became aware yesterday of the abuse that a friend of mine from a long time ago was subjected to.

But most of it is directed at this sick perverse society that we live in that glorifies the objectification of women and then wrings its hands when something abhorrent happens.

There are calls this morning  for greater stricter controls to be imposed by the courts on dangerous estranged men.  Its a knee jerk reaction to a problem much greater than supervision.

The problem goes deep – right to the basis of how our society views and normalizes relationships between men and women.

What does to be a man mean?

What does to be a woman mean?

What is a relationship?

What is respect?

What is love?

I’m not qualified to answer any of those questions, I’m just a man.

I can tell you what I’m told by the barrage of media images  “To be a man” means.

We live in a society where success is measured by power, money, and sexual prowess.  All three seem to be inextricably entwined.  “To be a man” according to society you need to be in control.  You need to possess everything.

To share, to treat others equally, to not really care how others see you in the pecking order, to acknowledge that you might just be human after all – well that’s just plain weird.

There’s an advertising maxim.  “Sex sells.”

In essence what it really means is to cheapen an act of love to a base function.  Boys from an early age have access to photos of airbrushed models in erotic poses and performing sexual acts.  The message is clear to be a man is to own or possess a woman, preferably one that meets a certain standard of physical appearance (so you can brag about your conquests to your mates).
I’m not a prude.  I don’t think you can outlaw pornography, it probably has its place.

But I’m not talking about pornography I’m talking about objectification – the  dehumanization  of women to the point of possessions – a means of gratification and an affirmation that you the man has the power.

Is it any wonder that when relationships break down, that some men see it as a total loss of face and that they resort to acts of violence.  Its almost like they’re conditioned to react accordingly.

When was the last time you saw a movie where the love interest of the all conquering action hero was of “average” appearance or dare I say it, overweight.  It just wouldn’t be right – he’s a hero – he deserves a babe – never mind the fact that she can’t string two words together and the last coherent thought she had was in 2010.  Its appearances  that count.

Name the ad that appeals to a man’s intellect.

Name the product that does not use a very attractive model to promote itself.

The objectification of women also impacts upon the females psyche.

A little while ago, my youngest daughter got involved in a classroom debate about Stephen Milne, a footballer who has been charged with rape.  Its a messy case, but let’s say it revolves around the simple concept of consent.

My daughter was horrified to find that the attitude of many girls in the room was that the victim had agreed to have sex with another footballer, therefore she shouldn’t complain if another player wanted a bit as well.  When my daughter took an opposite point of view she was howled down.  One girl said that she needed to learn her place.

I find that terrifying.

Nothing reflects the attitude of society more so than our youth.  They are mirror images of how society sees itself.

I think we’re in deep shit.

For what its worth, I think to be a man means that you can rise above all the noise, and be comfortable in your own skin.  You can treat others with dignity and respect and that you value your relationships with love. To be a man means that you acknowledge the rights of others to be.

To be a man is to dare to love.

 

 

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If only I’d opened my eyes

This story is not a work of fiction – its what I remember to be true.  It first appeared in a charming little magazine called Morbid Curiosity under the title Visitor.  The original version used a fictional character to tie everything together.  I removed her and stated the whole truth. I’ve altered it slightly in other areas to more accurately reflect the sequence of events.  There  is some poetic licence.  But the key elements.  The friendship,  the visitation and the subsequent discovery are all true.

This is for Michelle.  I let you down.  I have no excuse.  I’m truly sorry.  You deserved better.

 

It took me fifteen years to work it all out but death does not scare me.  Pain does, but death certainly doesn’t.   Fifteen stumbling, fumbling years- where did the time go?  One day you’re just out of school with bugger all to look after, the next you’re approaching thirty five, greying, with the responsibility of family and the yoke of a fat mortgage forbidding you to ditch the soul destroying pastime that you call a job.  Funny that, you could die laughing.

My old mate, Chris would crack up.  He would say that I sold out and joined the other side.  I would agree, and then we would both have another beer.   Geez, I miss him.  I still wonder what happened exactly.  My mind gives the irritating itch a scratch occasionally, but never really provides any relief.  I guess it never will.

Chris and I were not always mates.  Ironically, throughout junior secondary school, I thought he was a mummy’s boy.  It was guitar that threw us together, in one of those awkward jam sessions where both players become painfully aware of their inadequacies.  Fortunately, we were both able to laugh about it and in doing so laid the foundation for our friendship.

It was not long before we discovered that we viewed the world from a skewed –almost Pythonesque- angle.  To the outsider we took nothing seriously.  Fun, couched in the form of rebellion, was the way to cope with a cock eyed world.  We bounced sarcasm and wit off each other like a kid belts a tennis ball against a wall.  I think we both were dealing with a heap of trouble below the surface and we’d chosen to deal with it in a very similar way.  Essentially we were pretty damn close to crazy.

Looking back, I can see that the trouble with Chris was that he thought himself indestructible.  He loved pushing things beyond the limits.  He drove around the streets like he was shooting for poll at the grand prix.  He’d deliberately provoke the tough guys in the mall to see what would happen. He drank beyond the point of rational thought to outdo anybody who was drinking with him.  He was a loose cannon and it was inevitable that he would slide into the drug culture.  It amazes me that I did not follow him.

I stuck with him while he charged head first into the drug world, but I was dismayed to see how quickly he progressed from soft to hard drugs.  It seemed to be a matter of weeks.  By the time he started using Heroin, he had teamed up with a low life middle aged junkie, Wayne, who may or may not have had serious crime connections.  This monumental dirt bag took on the role of tour guide to the “magical” world of mind altering substances and became the central element of Chris’ life.  So central in fact that they skipped town at a moment’s notice, leaving me and puzzlingly Chris’ girlfriend, Michelle, behind.  I didn’t understand that – I thought he lived for her.

Michelle and I were drawn together for a while.  My friends accused me of being a snake in the grass.  It wasn’t like that we just needed to grieve together.  That’s what we were doing.  We went out together a couple of times and then let it drop.  No big deal.  I still kept an eye out for her.  I felt obliged to do so.

We went for months without hearing from Chris.  Then, out of the blue he appeared on the doorstep at ten in the morning, his eyes were dancing with amusement and mischief.  “Come on mate, let’s go to the pub,” he half laughed.  It was the same old Chris setting the same old pace.  It was so great to see him; it took a while to recognize the apparent changes in his attitude.

The drugs were now ever present, bubbling away just below the surface of every TV show, all music, in fact just about everything- even Barney Bananas for Christs sake.  They had become his God and he had made it his mission to convert all of his friends to his chosen path with the zealotry of a seventh day adventist.  If you weren’t into drugs, you just weren’t in the game. He was unrelenting.  I am a stubborn bastard and kept throwing it back in his face.  He would laugh it off, but the joke was rapidly turning sour for both of us.

Others, according to him, were not so resolute.  Michelle, for one succumbed.  I didn’t blame her if it was true – he was a persuasive charmer and she loved him.  No contest.   That was when I cried enough and walked away.  I could tolerate him ruining his own life, but not hers.  We still moved in the same loose circles, but I had the shutters up when we inevitably met.  Once I lock somebody out I throw away the key.  He did not seem to care overly.  We slid into different lives with similar but fundamentally different value systems.  I pretended to myself that it did not matter.  My circle of acquaintances was large and somebody was always looking to party.  I threw myself into a booze soaked half –life – an accident waiting to happen.  The irony was totally lost on me.

During this period I got involved with a girl from Melbourne; I was vulnerable and put way too much store in the relationship.   She gave me the flick and I was left to lick my wounds.

I don’t think I’ve ever been lower.  I contemplated chucking my job in at the Bank and playing guitar ten hours a day, I considered applying for an Interstate transfer, but did not have the guts to take either course of action.  I just tried to wash all of my troubles away with as much grog as my stomach could handle.  As a result, I started to take my frustrations out on anybody who was unfortunate enough to be near me.  I could see the nasty twisted thing I was becoming, but was incapable of stopping.

I needed a circuit breaker badly.  When the bank offered me a week long service course in Melbourne, I took it with both hands.

It doesn’t matter where you go you take your baggage with you.

As it turned out, I wasn’t the only country bumpkin on the course.  There were quite a few others.  Inevitably we hung out together in pubs after work hours.  It started off OK, but by Wednesday evening, I was finding this pleasant bunch of well meaning people tiresome and their modest hopes and dreams depressing.  I wondered if any of them had seen what I’d seen, or watched the deals made that I had.  I thought not.

By Thursday evening, I’d had enough and deliberately set out to provoke them. I mocked their safe middle class values and ridiculed their modest ambitions for advancement.  Not surprisingly, they deserted me.  It’s a pity one of the guy’s didn’t give me a hiding – it’s what I deserved.

Undaunted, I drank a few more pots before grabbing a six pack and heading for my third floor motel room.  The air conditioning was not coping with one of those hot sticky nights that Melbourne manages to conjure up five or so times every summer. I opened the window to let some air in and flicked on the TV.  The Aussies were getting annihilated by whoever the West Indies had bowling fast for them back then.  I cracked a can and half watched the carnage.  My mind wandered back to the performance I had put on earlier and I wondered what I was trying to prove.  “Grow up,” I whispered as I opened another can and took a hefty swig.

I turned the TV off and listened to the noises of a restless sweltering city while I wrestled with my self pity.  It was time to stop farting about and get on with things.  One way or another I had to come to terms with Chris.  It required plain speaking, but good friends should be able to speak and remain friends.  I vowed to catch up with him and sort things out.
I eyed the remainder of my beer and shrugged.  It was time to recognize when I’d had enough.  It was also time for bed.  I shut the window, preferring the heat to the babble from outside.  I crawled into bed and remarkably fell asleep.

I don’t know when I awoke.  When I did I was keenly aware of a presence in the room – the same as I am now aware of my kids wandering into my room when they want to go to the loo at night.  I don’t hear them, I sense that they’re there willing me to wake.  This feeling was the same.

I don’t  mind admitting that I was scared. My first thought was “burglar.”  If he was watching me, I did not stand a chance of confronting him. I would be set upon before I got out of bed, so I acted shamefully and kept my eyes shut, pretending that I remained asleep.  My ears strained to catch any sound, but apart from my own breathing, I heard nothing.  The sense of being watched remained.

After what seemed eons – probably only minutes – I heard a sound which I can only like to cellophane being scrunched up.  It seemed to come from all directions. My mind searched for an explanation and seized upon the newspaper that was in the room. Surely a breeze from an open window was rustling the pages.  Then I remembered shutting the window before going to bed.  Somehow, I knew that whoever was there was trying to wake me up.  I played dead, wondering why they just didn’t shake me and get it over with.  Without warning the sounds ceased.  As soon as they did the sense of the watching presence went as well.  I lay on my bed scared witless; listening for the slightest hint that something was still there.

When I finally scraped together enough courage to open my eyes, the digital display on the clock radio told me that there was little point remaining in bed.  I got up and conducted a thorough inspection of my room.  All windows were still closed, my door was still locked and nothing had been disturbed.  I could not fathom it and half convinced myself that I had been dreaming.

Morning light gives power to the rational mind.  By the time I arrived at my course, I had locked the whole affair away in a cupboard in my mind labelled “Remembered Dreams.”

The day was a long one, as days tend to be when you’ve alienated most of the people that you work with.  The day finished eventually and I headed home to Geelong.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until I called upon my parents the next morning.

My mother greeted me and asked if I was OK. She seemed very concerned.

Yeah, no worries,” I answered amused at her manner.

“You haven’t heard then?” Her voice sounded strained.

A tingle of fear scampered up my spine. “What?”

She looked at me and swallowed hard.  “Your mate Chris was killed on Thursday night,” it’s all in the Addy I’ll get it for you.”  She rushed out of the room in search of the newspaper leaving me alone with the news.

So Chris, the indestructible was dead.  My mind refused to accept the fact.  When Mum gave me the paper, I read the article over and over trying to get the story right in my head.  Chris, dead in a motorbike accident? It didn’t make sense. Eventually, I just gave up and walked out.

There was no chance of resolving things, no chance of reclaiming what was a great friendship.  Chris had self destructed as he was always going to in a way that was probably better than some of the alternatives he was bound for.

I didn’t cope at all well.   Remarkably I didn’t hit the booze – I saw nobody all weekend  I didn’t cry  I didn’t know how.   Somehow I managed to get to the funeral and sat at the back.  I was just a bit player in a cheap tragedy, watching but not participating.  They played “Because I love you” by the Masters Apprentices.   The chorus says “Do what you want to do be what you want to be.”  I smiled when it came on it was pure Chris.

Michelle kept herself together until they got to the cemetery.  When the casket was lowered into the ground, she broke down.  I stood at the back, feeling her pain but unable to approach her.  She was ushered into the mourner’s car and was driven away.  I never saw her again.  I was a cold bastard.  I’ve never forgiven myself for that.

Life went on.

I was angrier than I’d ever been and twice as self destructive.

Inevitably, I met one of Michelle’s school friends at a party.  She wanted to talk about Chris.  I couldn’t think of anything worse but she was insistent and I had a drink in my hand so things were tolerable.

The talk went around in circles.  I sensed she was digging for something and I wasn’t giving anything. Then she said it.  “I saw Chris a couple of weeks before he died and he said it was time that he patched things up with you – did he catch up?”

I grabbed her arm. “He said what?”

She repeated herself.  My mind went back to that Motel room.  I remembered the presence in the room and how I had kept my coward’s eyes shut.  My throat worked convulsively and I shook my head in bewilderment.

“Are you going to cry Hodge?”

I shook my head and blinked back some tears. I looked at her and took a punt.  “No, but something happened the night he died.  I can’t get my head around it.”

“What do you mean.”

“I think I sensed him.”

Her eyes widened.  “Michelle swears Chris visited her that night.”

That was enough for me.  I made a feeble excuse and left.  She didn’t follow me, thank God.
I walked home with tears streaming down my cheeks, cursing my cowardice and wanting my time over again.  I tortured myself with crazy notions and sad regrets…if only I’d opened my bloody eyes.

It has been fifteen years.  I feel a lot older and am hopefully a little wiser.  I still curse my lack of courage.  As it is I can only guess what happened.  Most of the time I like to believe that Chris tried to say goodbye.  For a long time I dismissed the idea as fanciful, but something inexplicable did happen and no matter how I suppress the idea it keeps bobbing up insisting that it was him.

Middle age approaches at the speed of light and I am now painfully aware of my own mortality.  I know I will see Chris again.  I’m in no hurry to do so, but I’m not stewing over it either.  I bet when we do meet, he gives me a razzing for not opening my eyes.  Then we’ll both laugh and have the equivalent of a beer.

Whatever it is.

Wherever we are.

)

For what it’s worth I still miss him.    Thoughts of him come randomly at odd times.  They sneak up uninvited and either make me laugh or feel sad.   Thats’ the way he was 🙂

 

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So..what do you do exactly?

Its a question I dread, beause the honest answer is I don’t know.  Well, I do, but I can’t really explain it.

I try and get away with I write stuff and get it published on the Internet and that always leads to the inevitable question “How much do you get paid for that?”

I have three choices – tell the truth, lie a lot or give a vague answer.

I prefer the vague answer which usually includes terms like SEO, page rank and on site optimisation because I can normally guarantee that these answers will bore people stupid, their eyes will glaze over and they’ll start looking for someome else to talk to.

That’s fine by me because what I do is not for everyone, can’t be understood by most and I wouldn’t recommend it to my kids as a secure form of employment.

But I love it just the same.

So having given the vague general answer let me tell you what I really do.

I write stuff and publish it either in the form of blog posts, articles, free reports or paid digital products.  Sometimes, I get hold of some Private Label Rights content, rewrite it and publish it for sale.  (Don’t worry its legal that’s what Private Label Rights allow me to do)

All of that is about as useful as an ashtray on a motor bike unless I can drive traffic (visitors) to it.

Essentially I want to sell my products to a targeted list of buyers.

I employ strategies to identify these through paid traffic sources and then follow them up with regular email broadcasts.

That’s my business strategy in a nutshell.

At times it can be bloody scary.  At other times it can be lucrative.
I’ve had days when I’ve had sites hacked, I’ve lost over 5000 email subscribers due to some securrity issues,  I’ve survived all of Google’s machinations (mainly because I don’t give a fig for page ranking) I’ve been ripped off more than once and I’ve made some real decent friends.

I get up somedays and have no idea what to do.

Other days I’m pumped and excited.

The work changes constantly.  So does the exchange rate which nearly killed me back in 2009.

I’ve learned skills in copywriting, SEO, Youtube video creation, email marketing, websitedesign, squeeze pages, selling, Pay per click, networking and I’ve spent thousands of hours learning it.

I’ve made money as an affiliate, I’ve made money as a product creator, I’ve made money selling services to real world clients, I’ve made money selling advertising and as an online coach.

I don’t know what I’ll be doing next week.

That’s the exciting and most dangerous thing about what I do.

It isn’t for everybody….but it suits me fine.

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Why CLoudbusting by Kate Bush Made Me Cry

Why Kate Bush’s Cloudbusting Made Cry

Well this is awkward.   Real men don’t cry especially over 80’s music videos and I have to confess to being well, wooden would be generous, when it comes to my emotions.

But, I did cry real tears when I first saw it back in the mid eighties and I didn’t know why.

I watched it again today and I cried again, but for different reasons, I think.
I’m guessing it was 1985, maybe 1986, so I was still in the middle of what I call my wasted years.  It would have been a Saturday or Sunday morning in the wee hours.  I was sitting in one of three lounge rooms that I seemingly always ended up in on those hours at those times.  I was drunk and alone (unless you count the two or three people who were scattered sleeping around the room.)  Rage, a music video program was playing on the ABC – it still does today and I was watching it through a beer fog.

Then Cloubusting came on.

It grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go.

Six minutes of heart wrenching emotive story telling at it’s finest and by the time it had finished I had tears running down my cheeks and was sniffling like a baby.

To say I was confused by this was an understatement.  It was just a music video after all.   I bought the album the next day.

I didn’t think that it changed my life.  It wasn’t the pivotal moment in a long journey to redemption and normality, but it touched me deeply.

Now, having viewed it with the benefit of thirty years “wisdom” I think I know why it had such a massive effect.

I watched it today and I got teary again this time I could watch it from the father’s viewpoint.  I could see the special relationship between father and daughter and the unconditional trust that the daughter puts in the father.   Stories after all are all about love, redemption, courage and sacrifice.  It’s all there in the video.

I have three daughters.  I love them deeply and I’m terribly proud of them all.  I hope they know that.  There’s something confronting and deeply profound about the way the father/daughter relationship is portrayed in Cloudbusting that reflects my relationship with them.

But it’s deeper.

It’s about good memories. “Every time it rains, you’re here in my head, like the sun coming out.”  I tear up when I write that.

It’s about inevitable loss.  “I wake up crying.  You’re making rain and you’re just in reach, when you and sleep escape me.”

 

So that brings me full circle back to 1985/86 to me with tears running down my cheek, hoping that my companions don’t wake to see me like this.

I know how my daughters make me feel.  I hope that they will always have good memories of me long after I’m gone, in many ways my daughters have been my salvation.

Back in those mid eighty years I was a mess.  Emotionally, spiritually and it has to be said physically. I loved nothing, drank ridiculous amounts, made a habit of being the most objectionable person in the room and showed no emotions other than contempt or disgust.  I was a pathetic parody of rebellion with loads of talent being pissed up against a wall every other night.

I can see now I was angry and I’ll be exploring that anger in coming blog posts but Kate Bush cut through all those layers of crap and opened my heart.

She made me look at my own relationship with my own father and realize what a huge disappointment I must have been to him.

I can still remember, in my VCE year after doing something particularly stupid hearing him say to my mother  when he thought I was out of earshot “Well dear, that’s the end of Mark.”

It killed me.

Over the next five years I did nothing to give him any reason to be proud of me and plenty of material to reaffirm he’s assessment of me back then.

I’m sorry Dad.  I still remember you taking me to the footy in under tens and being Team Manager because no-one else would.  I remember the sacrifices you made for all of us while you and mum battled with my brother Grant’s illness.  I remember you taking me to Uncle Allan’s when I was four or five because Mum had to stay at the Royal Children’s I guess.  I remember that stuff.  I know you loved me.  I know you still do despite me being such a disappointment.

I wanted to make you proud.

I don’t think I ever did in those years – I just wasted my gifts and you watched on helplessly while I did.

Somehow Cloudbusting pricked that bubble. It still does.

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