Just wanted to post these lyrics up here. I have known about this guy for a few years now and his songs have started to really speak to me as of late.

Lost in You – Lior

I get lost
I get lost in you
Liike a prisoner walking towards the ocean
It’s hard to imagine
How something could swallow you whole

Yeah I get lost
I get lost in you
Pearls in your eyes
Keep me alive
Wrap me up in a glow
Soft as a shadow

There was a time
I would suffer in silence
And feel like my pain didn’t matter, didn’t matter
I thought “Keep on walking
Just show your devotion
They dont know you at all”

And I grew thorns as sharp as spears
And I drowned my fears with books and with beer (?)
At a time there was time, but no horizon

Yeah, I am lost
I am lost in you
I am no longer searching
Im no longer yearning
Just learning the freedom of floating on

Thanks for following.

Our family is pretty big on family holidays. Whether it’s a quick trip down the highway to Mandurah or an overseas two week extravaganza, we love holidaying. Although we really don’t. Dad thinks it’s a waste of money, Mum just wants to relax but feels that she needs to have stuff for us to do. I always end up regretting coming because it’s enjoyable for the first three days, but ends up being just like life at home, but in a different place. My brother rarely comes anymore, largely because he has work and doesn’t like cancelling, but I think also because he has figured out that family holidays suck after the first couple of days and has better stuff to do. My sister, for whom this holiday was planned for, is the only one who really enjoys it wherever we go, apart from Singapore weirdly. She has this ability to find things to do, or to just get involved with the culture of the place.

Anyway, we went on holiday this past weekend and I kinda figured something out. A way that I can enjoy family holidays. Aside from the obvious, spend as little time with the family as possible, which is stupid if you ask me, for me it comes from experiencing and seeking out nature and culture.

Everyone can look at scenery and remark about how beautiful or engaging it is. They can talk about the colours and the land formations. They can agonise over just perfect the sky is or how interesting that rock is. To me the land means something more.

It’s something I have only just realised. It’s also something that’s hard to explain. I prefer the idea, rather than the image. I prefer the idea of sitting by a lake and taking in the experience, rather than just watching it go by on a walk, or a drive. I want to experience my surroundings.

On this particular holiday, I found myself drawn to a field with a well in it. It wasn’t anything special, the view was pretty standard for the south of WA and the weather wasn’t anything to brag about, but I couldn’t stop myself.

I went to this field and just sat.

I sat and I listened. I watched. I smelt. I tried to take in everything about it.

At the end of the trip I still couldn’t explain what drew me to it. Was it the simplicity, was it the peace, was it the hint of a better time or was it simply that I find wells deeply sexual?

I am not ruling anything out.  For me, experiencing a situation, is something that has departed society. Everybody has already done and seen everything it seems. Thanks to smart phones and the internet we have already seen the concerts and artists we want to see. Thanks to Facebook we can almost literally piece together a global image map due to the billions of uploaded travel photos. Our society is one based on the quick hit. The instant high.

Not just drugs, but television, shock jocks, movies pushing the boundaries. Faster cars, bigger houses. We have lost what little reverence we had for simplicity and nature. Traveling used to be something people wore suits for and talked about for the rest of their lives. Buying a car was a lifechanging experience, buying a second was unheard of. We worked the fields and understood the land. Now we can’t help but destroy it.

So for now all I can say is this. Take time out to experience the land. Find somewhere that you are drawn too and experience it. Take it all in. It doesn’t have to be nature. It can be a concert. A particularly good meal. A party with close friends. A well contested sports match. Whatever it is take it in. Watch the crowd as well as the game. Talk to the people no one else is. Appreciate the flavours rather than trying to get to the next thing.

Take time to observe and experience. I think if we all did, we would realise how to help make the world a better place.

While some people have a fantastic ability to dedicate their lives to something, whether it is sports, comedy, intellectual pursuits or raising a family, I find it difficult to dedicate my life to anything like that. It’s not that I don’t have a deep passion for things; I am passionate about sports, my family, my friends, journalism and politics. I just can’t base my life around any one of these things. If you think of some of the greatest sportsmen and women in the world, Tiger Woods, Margaret Court and Valentino Rossi, what they all have in common is that they have dedicated their life to becoming the best. They were skilled as youth, talented as teenagers and dominated as adults. Their lives were formed by their skills. The experiences they had were formed by their skills. The way they are perceived is a result of their skills. The same can be said about many politicians. They dedicate their lives to politics and their nation and it defines them as a person. You would struggle to find a politician who isn’t changed by a campaign or by an issue close to their heart.  Their career and their decision to dedicate their life to politics define them as a person.

This is not a bad thing, as can be seen. It can give you direction and can focus your talents and your skills to an incredible point. I just can’t do it. I can’t make myself about one thing. I can’t be the sports guy, who can only really talk about sports and always watches sports and plays sports and is an expert in sport. I can’t be the fitness freak. Every moment of my life dedicated to becoming stronger, faster and healthier. I can’t be a hard-core lefty, who bemoans the idiocy of the right and their inability to understand that society is changing and to get with the times, but who jump and scream and squawk when someone questions their opinions. I can’t be the family man, who can put everything else aside and be a father. It would seem I am mocking these people and to an extent I am, but it’s mainly because I want to be able to be all of these people, even the bad ones because it would make life easier. It would mean I would have a measure to be judged by.

As it stands, I have to compare myself to these people, because there is no scale for normal people. I have to compare myself to those people who undergo incredible transformations after losing weight. I have to compare myself to people who are so sure of their career path they practically have the job already. I have to compare myself to people who are starting families. I have to compare myself to professional athletes and the hyper-fit.  Individually it is manageable. I tell myself it is fine, I haven’t dedicated my life to that pursuit and that’s why I am not as good as them, if I wanted too I could dedicate my life to something and get really good at it. When combined it is a depressing and sobering thought. It means that I am judged on what I have done with my life and where I am in life, because that’s the only scale that I can be judged on. I am a 21 year old, who is still in university, doesn’t have a girlfriend, is overweight, not particularly fit or talented at sports and who works a casual job because I have no idea what I want to do with my life.

I tell myself that this is a better way to be. Not being defined by the things that I do but by the person that I am. Something about that quote makes me want to punch a wall because while I would hope it’s true I know it is sheer ass hattery. No one looks at Chris Brown and thinks; well he is probably a perfectly nice person. They look at him and think what a scumbag. No one starts a conversation at a party by saying, “So tell me some of the nice things you have done for your friends and family.” They start with, “what do you do for work?’

In order to stop myself from just retreating into myself and living out my life in relative isolation I have to immerse myself in the things and people that don’t care if you are the best. Family, friends, casual sport are three that I have chosen. I will go through life knowing that unless something comes along that I can completely immerse myself in then I will have to be content with the life I have. I know that for some of you reading this it will be hard to understand why I can’t just do these or change things. I can’t explain that to you. I just know that I am yet to find something that sparks that irrepressible passion in me.

 

Edit: After finishing writing this I was doing reading for a political assignment I have and came across this phrase, made famous by Isaiah Berlin.  The Fox knows many things, but the Hedgehog knows one great thing. It struck me as a strangely relevant quote, especially when talking about something like this. The point of it is that it is not better or worse to be a hedgehog or a fox, you just lead different lives. If you wanted to have a look at what Berlin actually meant by it, which is some nonsense about political thinkers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hedgehog_and_the_Fox is where I tracked down most of my information.

For the love of the game

Today’s blog comes after about three weeks of ‘break’. More than anything it has been strangely difficult to write creatively with so much going on so let me fill you in on what has been happening

Since we last spoke I have been allowed, for the first time to call myself a journalist, something that makes me strangely proud. The fact that anyone can call themselves a journalist and have it be, at least somewhat, correct, is disheartening, but after 4 years of study it is special for some reason.

I watched my beloved Melbourne Demons finish perhaps their worst season to date, something which added to my lack of creativity.

I figured out how to swing a cricket ball, something which is seemingly insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but makes me strangely proud of myself.

I had an excellent time with good friends, scotch, poker and a rather fine ebony pipe. The luck of the cards was certainly not with me.

I had more than my fair share of doctor and physio appointments, for the various problems my body deems to be worthy of my time.

I was made incredibly proud week after week by my sister’s netball team. A family affair if there ever was one, we made it until one game from the Grand Final before suffering an unfortunate loss at the hands of an old rival.

I was also made incredibly proud by the efforts my three English tutoring kids put in for their final few weeks at school. TEE was a horrific thing to do and I wish them the best of luck in their mocks and TEE.

Again on a netball note, I was called a bad sport twice in one night by my father after a particularly vicious win over an incredibly undermanned team.

Pride was once again had with my sister and my close family friend sharing the honours of MVP for their netball team.

I submitted what will be one of the last assignments I will ever have to submit for journalism.

I got to know old friends better and meet new and interesting people.

I got excited about upcoming weddings and celebrated the 21sts of some of the greatest people in the world.

Most of all I got to spend a lot more time with my best friend just getting back to where we used to be and planning the next stage of our lives

So for now, I think my creativity is tapped but I have a few different blogs on the cards. Thanks if you are still reading these, it’s always nice to know that at least some of you have a totally unjustifiable interest in me.

For the love of the game.

“Silver is not a dirty word”

So with the Olympics having just finished I think it’s time to reflect on the whole thing. Firstly I am not going to complain about the coverage of the Olympics because my coverage was excellent. Congratulations are in order for Foxtel, who put on an absolute exhibition of how to do sporting events. Ten Channels, all in HD, covering every sport, life, with repeats. I have heard about the atrocity that was channel 9’s coverage and can only send my commiserations to those who missed out on some of the most fantastic moments of the games.

The actual games themselves can only be describes as awesome, aside from some teething issues to do with seating, which I am going to come to later on, the whole thing was a god damn success for the LOOC. The Opening Ceremony has been heralded as the best since Sydney and while I think that’s more Australian press being house proud, I certainly agree with the sentiment. It was such a beautiful mix of classical and modern England and the truly British parts of its culture. This isn’t a review blog so I won’t go into exactly what happened if you haven’t seen it, but I can only say you absolutely must. This blog is going to be more about the Australian athletes and our so called failure at the games.

First and foremost I am going to get this whole seating controversy nonsense out of the way. It was more of a problem to the Brits but for fucks sake people, if you buy a ticket to a concert and don’t show up, you can’t expect the concert organisers to fix it on the spot. What possible alternative could the London Olympic committee taken? Calling you to confirm if you are coming? They don’t give a shit; they have your money already. What should have happened from day one is that if you don’t rock up, within the first 30 minutes of an event they can sell a discount priced ticket to people outside. If you rock up after that, they have to leave and you get your seat, albeit looking like a douchefruit. Everyone wins. People who wouldn’t be able to get in normally can, at a discount price. The stadiums look full. You make a lot more money. This stems more from the public getting all antsy about not being able to get tickets which is fair enough. If you have a major sporting event held in your city you really expect to be able to get tickets and would be understandably upset if after trying like hell and offering money for these tickets, those who have bought them aren’t there. That’s more about whingey locals than anything serious, but it was something that confused and annoyed me.

The most frustrating and completely baffling thing was the response of the Australian media. First and foremost let me get something out of the way. Getting silver or bronze is fucking good. It means you are the second or third best in the world. Overall Australia totalled 35 medals, the exact amount the Australian Olympic Committee thought we would get. They had hoped for more gold, but c’est la vie. What was distressing was the pace and ferociousness that the media turned on our athletes. James Magnusson, a serious gold medal hope, was criticised and ridiculed in the press for his disappointment at missing out on gold twice. He is still the second best in the world, and only by a few milliseconds. This fact did not seem to have any impact on the press, who hounded and berated the athletes for pretty much the entire games. It culminated in one athlete, Mitchell Watt, being quoted as saying, “Silver isn’t a dirty word.”  Athletes shouldn’t have to defend themselves like that. They have no responsibility or requirement to win gold. If they do, fantastic, they are the best in the world. If they don’t then they are still among the best in the world at the sport of their choosing. The Olympics is supposed to be about nation building, community and friendly sportsmanship and seems to be degenerating into a big international dick waving contest. Australia is upset because they didn’t do well in the pool reports the media. Get fucked is what I have to say. Australia is upset because the media are being unreasonable cockmonkeys and causing their athletes to lose focus because they have to defend why they came second instead of first. Well why did they come second asks the media. IT’S BECAUSE THE OTHER PERSON SWAM FASTER THAN THEM YOU DUMB BASTARDS! This is a worrying trend that is creeping into sports reporting in general. Reporters asking players and officials why they lost, as if they had a choice in the matter.  This is something that has been festering in Australian society and something I will take time out to discuss in the coming weeks, our overactive sense of entitlement and pride. So for the moment I want to say this. Thirty five medals are bloody excellent. It means that 35 of our athletes are in the top three in the world. Many more come damn close as well. Take a step back and look at the way you are reporting these things.

For the love of the game.

So this story takes place in about two hours on a Thursday afternoon. Not a single piece of information has been altered and the quotes are to the best of my recollection.

So I had organised to go down to the oval with a mate of mine to kick the footy and play a bit of cricket. I was pretty excited because I had bought a new bat a few weeks ago and it was the first day where it was nice enough to actually go outside, let alone play cricket. I headed down and did a bit of warming up just kicking the footy. After about 30 to 45 minutes of warming up I figured that my friend was probably running a little late and decided I should just set cricket up so we could get right into it when he did come down. Another half an hour later he still hadn’t showed and I was guessing that he had either forgotten or had gotten tied up. So I spent some time just getting my bowling right and in this short period of time is when these two slightly ridiculous things happened.

The first story involves a group of young AFL footballers, one of whom I know as he is the younger brother of a close friend of mine.  He came over while I was practicing my bowling and was just asking how I was doing and asking me about cricket. In turn I was asking about his footy and how his brother was doing. It ended up with me having a bit of  a kick to kick with him, when out of nowhere, I can only assume they were hiding in the trees, came about 30 or 40 seven or eight year olds wearing footy jumpers and screaming for me to kick them the ball. It turns out that they didn’t have any footballs at training yet and wanted to join in. This didn’t really seem to be a problem; I like to think I’m good with children. I started just kicking the footy as high as I could and seeing if they could mark it. They couldn’t, but they enjoyed the challenge and usually one kid got the ball and Gary Abletted his way out of the pack and kicked it back to me. About 20 minutes into this, a young kid, wearing a soccer jumper lost his mind.

This is pretty much what happened.

Right in front of me, a small child, jumped on top of another young kid, started laying into his face, screaming like an animal and, I think, trying to kill him. This was where the entire thing got far too real and far too hilarious for me.  Three seven year old grabbed this kid, held him by his arms, pulled him back while yelling “He’s not worth it, he’s not worth it!” At this point in time the kid on the ground had gotten back up and was running over to where the three had pulled this psychotic kid, who was still screaming by the way. A kid runs from the side, tackles this kid to the ground, then pulls him up and drags him away from the, still screaming, insane child. It was at the point in time where the three kids were yelling, “He’s not worth it,” and dragging the disturbed child behind them, that I decided that I should take my leave. I could still see and hear the kids as I was walking away and the furore was dying down as the coach sprinted over to the group and gave them a spray. He kept the screaming child behind and had a long chat with him, which was interspersed with the kid running and screaming at anyone who wasn’t the coach coming near him. To try and explain it better, it was like when kids make lion noises except this kid actually thought he was a lion.

The second story takes place about 20 minutes after the first. I was back into bowling when a gentleman stumbled over to my net. These were the words he slurred to me. “Mate, did you mind if, urm….hic…. I had a little bowl and bat with yourself.” Now I could tell he was not entirely together, but I kinda wanted to use my bat so I agreed and started to pad up. He stopped me as I was walking into the net and said, “I haven’t been entirely truthful. I may have had a few bourbons.” At this point in time I honestly didn’t care. He also told me that he used to be a really good fast bowler back when he played cricket. I hopped in the net and he had a bit of a bowl, was useless and then told me that,

“The last time I played cricket was back when I was eleven; I’m 28 now, so that’s what like…..”
“17 years?”

“SHIT! It is 17 years, fuck you’re smart.”

Anyway, he wasn’t very good so I didn’t spend too much time batting and as I was de-padding, he came over and let me in on a little secret.
“So when I said before I had had a few bourbons, I lied. I had like, eight or nine bourbons but that’s not all I had. I also had some valium and codeine. SO that’s why I’m not very good at cricket.”

I thought about calling someone, but he seemed harmless enough.
He hopped into the nets with no pads, no helmet, no box and a pair of gloves and a bat, my new bat.

Anyway, he was about as good with the bat as he was with the ball but I made sure to give him a few dollies that he could have a whack at. The last amazing thing he said, which was surely an indication of his mental state was, “Hey, dude. Don’t go easy on me, just because I’m high. Bowl as fast as you can. It doesn’t matter if I get hurt.”

I made sure to bowl that one way down the offside.
After that, he hopped out and wanted to know where he could go down to play cricket.

I suggested Hilton Park.

For the love of the game.

I know that everyone knows that perception and self-image have become the buzzwords in marketing and as a result, in society. The sexualisation of teens and the persecution of those who don’t fit a certain stereotype or mould assigned by society has become common practice. The rise of bullying in youths and in young adults has exploded and the discrimination has found its way into the business world, where people are able to be rejected for jobs based on any number of criteria not pertinent to their ability to perform the required task. I bring this up now, only because I have experienced some of what these people would be going through.

I have always been overweight and for the most part it hasn’t bothered me too much. Sure I don’t like it, but my friends and family have always been incredibly supportive of whatever measures I decided to take to try and fix it. Lately though, and this is purely a result of a few medical hiccups, the tone has changed. It has gone from one of; ‘yeah you should probably lose some weight, you’ll feel a lot healthier and a lot better about yourself,’ to; ‘If you don’t lose weight you are condemning yourself to a life of health problems and ridicule’. Now I know that the only reason people are saying this to me is because they are concerned for me. They want to make sure that I know the risks and that I am aware of the decisions I am making. This got me thinking as to why this is the case.

Recently I had a discussion with a friend of mine about death. Not in the kind of, man can you imagine, or how would you like to go kind of way, but in a mature and well-reasoned way. We talked and finally realised that society is so afraid of death it has condemned pretty much anything that could lead to it. Being overweight, drinking too much, smoking, staying up partying, sleeping with many people, indulging too often, not exercising and a great many more. We also realised that most, if not all, of our medical research has gone towards attempting to extend people’s lives. I don’t mean to criticise modern medicine, largely because without it I would be struggling to walk and the comfort that it brings to people’s lives can never be underestimated, however that doesn’t mean that because it exists, we must therefore live as long as possible. Surely it is the prerogative of humanity to live how they see fit, so long as they don’t interfere or obstruct the lives of others. If people want make the decision to be overweight and to indulge themselves then it should be their choice and they should be free of societal judgement, while if someone wants to dedicate their life to eating healthy and exercising then that is they prerogative too.

What I am trying to get across here is that life lasts for exactly as long as you let it last. Not in that nonsense “The Secret” if you imagine it hard enough then it will happen, kind of way, but in the, if you choose to take care of your body and exercise and spend time making sure that you will live a long and healthy life, then all power to you. If you choose to live your life indulging then that is your own damn choice as well. So people, the next time you see a friend take up smoking, or eat fast food, or enter into a promiscuous sexual relationship, restrain your judgement because these people have every right to the way of life they choose and the only way that we progress as a society is when we are done with this ludicrous image problem we have and accept that people of all shapes and sizes make up the earth and people of all shapes and sizes are the true heroes as well.

For the love of the game.