Everywhere you look these days you expect to see an error message:
1/ On the dashboard of a plane as it scrapes out of the sky and into a skyscraper;
2/ In the blinking lightbulb perched over the head of the world leader who would drop retaliatory bombs on on people who live in “Iraq, and countries like that”. (quote: some blonde US morning tv presenter);
3/ Hovering over the western suburbs of Sydney, where the “average Australian” has decided that other average Australians who happen to be wearing hijab, or whose parents came to Australia from the Middle East 50 years ago, are responsible for sending aeroplanes out of the sky and into buildings.
But wait! It all makes perfect sense – obviously the error message mechanism bolted to the world is malfunctioning. What the socialists, hippies and academics might think are out-of-control hysterical and irrational actions, are in fact signs that we are human, and fiercely, stupidly proud of it.
Onya human race.
So. Maybe the only occasion where the error message mechanism has proved itself right in recent, up-to-the-minute history, is when it began beeping – first quite softly, and then louder and louder until it was whirling like a Dervish, screeching like a banshee – at me:
4/ After a couple years of freelancing, I thought it would be cool to re-enter the “real” workforce; I got myself a job. A fulltime job. These days I find myself the art department of noise, which sounds like some sort of performance art schtick in which I have a bunch of percussion instruments and some squeaky rubber dog toys and annoy the hell out of the general public while bathing in the adoration of the art critics. In fact, it’s a media arts festival for Australians (yeah, tough shit for you, illegal queue jumpers!) aged 12 to 25.
Which means, fortunately, that I get spend my days in a cute lowrise building by the water, close to the best nori roll outlet ever (tofu with crunchy peanut butter! sweet marinated pumpkin!), with the DHL shipping depot downstairs and right next door to where the big holiday cruise ships berth, and on Wednesdays or Fridays before the boat departs you can hear a live band covering famous goodbye songs like “Don’t dream it’s over” or “With or without you”.
Unfortunately it means I get to deal with people who can’t plan a deadline, who think I can just pull fully-designed whatever out my ass in the two hours before it’s due at wherever, who will give me reams of words to push around the page, and when it’s done hours later, will tell me that it wasn’t actually finalised or proofed copy, and will give me a fresh Word .doc to reformat all over again. It means I’m always tired, I’m going blind, I’ve given up trying to explain to people that a Friday printer deadline doesn’t mean *they* get until Friday to write it, and people hate me because I’ve given up trying to explain things and instead resort to concise sentences utilising the word “fucken” six times, with two at the end for good measure.
Fortunately (again), it also means I get to work on some quite cool projects1: designing books with grungy photocoped type, using bits of junk that I’ve kept in a box out of direct sunlight for years, drawing, drawing, drawing…
It’s gonna be wonderful, except for the bit about the world ending because humans are evil / stupid / crap.
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before i had a “blog”, i used to write a sporadically updated letter on the front page of my website. this is one of them. i am consolidating it into these archives, because i can.