They give me the fuckin’ shits!…You see them all over social media these days, their oleaginous flattery dripping off the sleeves of their latest hero blogger..the servile adoration sickening in its agreement and self-boosting affiliation to vicariously suck up some degree of perceived wisdom.. to what is most times an article stating nothing more than the bleedin’ obvious.
“Oh xxxx “ they’ll say..”I couldn’t agree with you more!…you’ve stated in no more than a thousand words that perfect description of : ‘Oh I knowwww’ better than Sybil or I ever could have….re–spect !”..or wtte.. What has happened, I have to ask, to that independent Australian spirit?…where has that singular individualist gone?…where now the iconic “Simpson and his donkey”.. the no-surrender young lovers in “Jedda”… that rebellious cast in life’s tapestry from Ned Kelly to the Eureka Stockade warriors?…Where the strong, independent women of Lawson’s stories and the feminist movement’s Germaine Greer in Australia’s growing nation? Are they all gone the way of the Tassie Tiger..nothing now but the rumour of a sighting amongst the wilds of a mundane suburban terrain?
Back in 1979, Keith Dunstan put out a book called : “Ratbags”..in praise of the eccentric, individual who takes pride in going against the grain of social conformity..it lists such characters as Barry Humphries, Germaine Greer, Xavier Herbert and Frank Thring among a host of others…some still living, some dead and many teetering on the edge of the abyss..
To quote from Dunstan’s book..:
“. . . A ratbag is someone who dares to be different; a ratbag is the creature who creates a pinnacle, perhaps only tiny above a great drear of conformity. . . “
Conformity seems to be the idealist aspiration in these times..the materialist perfection…the consumer adulation for gimmickry..the low-brow ambition to be in total agreeance with those you admire..or at least want to be seen to admire. And I can’t believe it is in the nature of so many people born and raised in a country free from military, social and political pressure, to want to be so embarrassingly servile to their peers to the extent of eye-watering obsequiousness..in short, to want to become that worst of creatures : A Crawler!
Again to Keith Dunstan: “ Patrick White was always under suspicion of being a ratbag. Like all great writers, he suffered merciless treatment from the critics . . . He had to win the Nobel Prize before he was accepted in his own country”…This form of cultural cringe is prevalent among the sniveling classes…where they refuse to acknowledge a person or artist without they first getting official “cred” from a “certified authority”…preferably one from overseas. That is why you will always hear a guest commentator being introduced on Radio National with gushing reverence along with a string of prize wins or credible university degrees or honours…clearly a sign of the continuing insecurity of a national psyche.
I would join with but not necessarily agree with those disgruntled ratbags and eccentrics who in disdaining the conformity of a legion of sycophantic, crawling “yes-men” whose only stamp on life will inevitably be the petulant foot of the spoilt and denied brat, and I take great pleasure in telling those who would try to buy us off with worthless materialistic currency to take their small-change opinions, their grovelling conformist posts, their “Oh I adore you!” adulation, convert them to the metaphorical zacs and dinahs and well and truly shove them up their collective, irrelevant arse!
HERE : This is an example of a ratbag of the first order…may there forever be warm slippers on HIS feet in winter, a warm meal on his table and a fire burning bright in his hearth!
The Phantom Turd Flinger of Preston.
I heard this snippet of information from a mate who was from Melbourne..He evidently had once met the above individual who claimed the title. This in itself, demonstrates the profound difficulty that both religion and the civilizing arms of a bourgeois society are up against when they proselytise for conformist behavior from the citizens of a nation.
Evidently, the desire of that individual to perform such an act arose from the result of many sleepless Friday nights when local hoons would, after closing time at the nearby hotel, commence to drink in the car-park and then proceed to do burn-outs there under the shouting and cheering encouragement of mates and girlfriends..all accompanied by the throbbing bass thumping of “doof-music”, that penetrated the very earth under the Phantoms house and rose to the surface, apparently and bizarrely under his very bed!
He set about with a vengeance driven by insomniatic hate to construct a catapult out of a discarded leaf-spring from an old Holden car (“built for Australian conditions”?) Upon completion and testing and alterations and more testing, he ended up lobbing a satisfactory test “package” at the desired target with all the skill of a trained artillery officer. One has to give credit here for the determined tenacity to try again and again the varying degrees of tension of the spring, the direction – allowing for wind speed – of the “missile” and the parabolic curve to reach the desired target with a high degree of accuracy.
Now, I have to wonder , considering the “manufacture” of his “missile” , whether he kept a few “in storage” or he produced several “on the day” of the presumed Friday night raucous. I would plunge on the latter…: “fresh is best”…as they say, for he would “deposit” a “bomb” in a soft-paper-bag, tie the top and place this in a fixed tin on the plate of the leaf-spring, drawn down in tension ready to fire..he would then set the direction desired and with a look to the sky for a hint of wind speed, do the final adjustments for the mission..
On the night in question, he set about his task with a anxious trepidation..and why not?..after all, here was the “acid test” of much planning and hard work..not to mention the pride of the idea of conception. Needless to say, going by the title of this piece that he achieved in notoriety, his “bombardment” of the hoons and their coterie was a ghastly success, judging by the screams and chocking sounds of vomiting and retching that came from the general direction of the car-park..the burn-outs soon stopped and our anonymous hero from the suburbs went to sleep once more with a happy and satisfied heart..his last waking thoughts dwelling on whether he could use his contraption to wreak havoc on some nearby industries that he found unsuitable to his contentment of habitat.
I have to comment that it must be admitted that many of us meander through this life in an aimless fashion, driven by the winds and tides of social currents, without achieving any accolades of admiration at all..So even though this chap could not without some criticism claim the title afforded him, he could go on his way with the inside knowledge of “a job well done..well done indeed!”..
Ah!..this world is full of marvelous idiosyncratic characters..which demonstrates that God, at least, must have a divine sense of humour.