Smack talk + I hate London

 

The quite moments when we shared some bitter coffee and talked over the sour reality of what lay beyond the end of our street still haunts me although almost a decade has past. These are the moments that should be cherished, for they mark a lapse in participation of our own demise. But man I’m tired, I’m tired of not being able to enjoy the things that make this city great, I’m tired of falling a sleep on the way to work, on the way home, during dinner, while I’m talking with my wife, I’m tired of being exhausted and I’ve exhausted the solutions. I once read a thing, some kind of attempt at revolutionary inspiration type thing, that ended with the question, ‘what would we if we really chose what we did with our years’? These days the time I have to wonder is running away from me, but those few precious seconds i manage to hold onto each month return answers I can’t decipher, each time I think I have it, I know I’m wrong. If you think you know, you don’t.

Alarm clocks are here to do gods work, because idle hands are the devils play thing. Things, fuck things!

No seriously though, what would you do if you chose your own life, what would you do if you had a choice what to do everyday? I know cause I did it, I dropped out the best I could, I lived on my own terms for as long as I could stand it, I payed the price of a sense of diluted freedom, and found my own way back to the slavery of participation.

Just dropout man,  its all that we have left.

Each day runs to a sound track of alarm clocks and commuter trains as the dialogue becomes more meaningless and the colour scheme turns to grey scale. There is only a wall, inches thick, that divide us from our neighbours, other beings that relate to the same treadmill on which we waste our time running, wearing down the “souls” of our shoes which will need replacing. Yeah they are close, but we might as well be wolds apart, because I’m too tired and pissed with my boss and that asshole that bumped into me on the train to exchange pleasantries. This is us being kept apart, this is us becoming less human, until the words themselves taste of poison in my mouth. This is the reality of  an occupation, something to keep us from talking, to keep us from imagining.

I don’t hate people, and I don’t hate this world, but being reduced to a commodity isn’t really living is it? So let’s hang out,  drink some of that black, black liquid anxiety and try forget about what we have to offer the highest bidder.

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Death by suburban Living

Of all the long time lovers I know, those who are most unhappy, the ones who bicker in public, all the while wearing brave looks that indicate a commitment to the ups and the downs that form the foundations of every human relationship. They all have one thing in common, an external pressure that causes them to behave unlike their true selves, after all, nothing is keeping them there, if they where truly unhappy surely they could just pick up their shit and leave?

As per usual in my unfaltering naivety, I reduce these external pressures to that which is controlled by some system of government or any financial construct. I’m over stating a very simple issue here, wouldn’t we all be happier, and get along better without debt and financial burden? Don’t we create these burdens ourselves? Do we really need the two story house in the suburbs with a 2 car garage? To me the question still remains, are these really safer neighborhoods, or are they where all humanity goes to die?

I grew up in a suburban community, almost exactly between the city and the border where tree’s finally begin to out number the square feet of concrete. I can easily see why developers decided to plonk this cesspool void of true community and human emotion where they did, easy commuting for the career hungry parents, short drives to places you can take the kids to let them see some nature on a Sunday after church.

Like most things, these neighborhoods are sold to us with the false promise of security and quality experience, so it feels only natural that every nuclear family that moves to these cultural wastelands seek to contribute and help create the perfect community. This is exactly where the great suburban dream falls down, everyone is trying so hard to uphold some kind of substance that they can base their obscene mortgage repayments on, they have no time to stop and question what they are really contributing to. The parents take their children to church so that they may learn good Christian values, as opposed to teaching their offspring how to live in the first place, the parish priest plays the role of concerned community member, after all he has to keep the numbers up at the Sunday service, the children do their best to grow up their own way all the while trying to find a way to protect the family name, even if it is subconsciously. This list of plastic smiles is never ending. The point I’m trying to make is simple, once our day to day lives are picked apart, what percentage is wasted on keeping up appearances? How drastically could we reduce our ever accumulating debt by being ourselves?

I’ve never been one to offer solutions, that’s why I have given up on activism and started writing a blog. So with this in mind I’m not saying I can solve the housing crisis, raise children, or plan (sub)urban development. All I have to offer is more very simple questions:

Do you really need that?

Do you really care what they think?

What makes you happy?

How could you better spend your time?

Then maybe we could live instead of act, and our lives will cease to be sentenced to death by suburban living.

Releasing some bad, bad tunes.

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Hey y’all,
So i haven’t been writing in a while, super busy with stuff like the band and learning the ever demanding art of Tattooing. It’s all coming along pretty well, definitely moving forward, although it doesnt feel like it, it never really does.

Today I’m releasing a demo of some new and some old songs that may be used for the band of for a solo thing or not. I was originally not going to put it out since over the years I have only put out trash, and I didn’t want to keep adding to the pile, but fuck it right? Punk fucking rock? No.

Anyway if you want you can listen to it here:

https://shiftyomalley.bandcamp.com/album/demo-2014

Many loves,

S x

Drop out he said, you don’t belong here he said.

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When I was in the 10th grade I had an English teacher who encouraged me to drop out of high school and get a job, because as far as he was concerned I did not belong at the private catholic school I was attending at the time. In hindsight he was probably right, hell even back then I knew he was right and considering my poor spelling and awful grammar it seems the only thing he taught me was that I wasn’t fit to sit in his perfect classroom and high school just wasn’t my jam. I wonder if he really thought I didn’t already know these facts? I spent more time trying to get out of doing homework, or any school work at all, then actually attempting to turn in a paper, they said if I spent half the time I did on ratbaggery on my education, then I may be an ok student … but where’s the fun in that? Did I mention he also had a haircut like hitlers? FASCIST!

So I’m 9 years out of high school now, after a bunch of attempts to get into University in order to further my borderline non existent education ( some of which successful, so all you haters can go to hell) I’ve come to realize that being a drop out is the best thing that ever happened to me . This does not mean that I quit everything and plan on doing so for the rest of my days, it means that the most important lessons I have learnt have come from rejects and drifters. As usual with every thought that flies around the chaos sphere that is my brain, I am well aware that this whole approach is heavily romanticized and that, that little piece of paper that says  “I know shit” people get at the end of some hard learning gets you places, sometimes.

Then there is the counter argument. I have been trying to hash out the logic behind pursuing higher education. For me there is no degree or course that I want to take that will “open doors” or create “career opportunities” I just wanna learn some stuff someday, so that maybe this fucked up world will make a little more sense. But for countless others, including many who are very close to me, University has been a shame. Whats that formula for a perfect life again? Good grades = good university, good university = good job, good job = money, money = happily ever after? WRONG! The whole thing is floored. I have seen my nearest and dearest kill them selves every step of the way through this grinder of a fabrication and come out the other end to a bottomless pit of empty promises and false securities. The most fucked up thing is that, as a result of said higher learning they are fucking brilliant at their chosen crafts, they could run rings around their teachers even.

So what the fuck is the move here?
Don’t get the learning, get dismissed, take the education, be in debt and still probably not taken seriously. In this whirlwind of shit that is modern day society i’m fucking lost for a solution.
Maybe if they had of taught something other then how to be good boys and girls in the formative years I could tell you the answers to the questions, but all the school system ever taught us is obedience and respect for authority. I’m pretty sure I could learn to read and write without having to deal with detention every week and being told that I’m on the wrong path. That’s what every year after high school entails, so couldn’t there be a few years where we could learn something valuable?

As I spent most of my time during high school riding skateboards and playing in awful bands I have no way of tying up this misguided rant, except to say: don’t swallow the shit you keep being fed, do it yourself cause no one is going to do it for you.

Fuck Abbot, Fuck the border, Fire to the prisons.

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I don’t even know what to say anymore that we all haven’t already heard.
So I wrote a song and it seemed just about the right time to release it on refugee day.

‘His little girl is in the back yard screaming,
he sits shouting back at the TV,
a fair go Australian is not what we voted for,
the heartless, still run the country

These days I can’t finish a damn sentence,
without cursing all the time,
the tears that sank the boats,
you hear a story enough times,
seems like people just, go on and stop caring

I just wanna have something to believe in,
cause I don’t have the courage myself,
but when I rode past the dealership saw them cars set on fire,
man it looks like,
we still have some heroes left

Now I’m to far away to contribute,
to the decline of the place that I call home,
but when an old man in a supermarket says what no one will,
Tone your a dickhead,
and we still have some heroes left

We still have some heroes left

What a spineless way of living,
I think I’ve heard enough,
we all have a criminal inside,
lest we forget,
where we came from,

I’m a boat person,
I’m a criminal too,
we remain ungovernable’

http://www.shiftyomalley.bandcamp.com

The worst anarchist in Stockholm

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So years gone by May Day has always been a time to get wild (or in my case deported), but not this year. This year I failed at anything that even closely resembled solidarity. Am I getting too old, too tired, or too jaded? All of the above? Either way the excuse matters not, I think deep down everywhere I have ever lived or been for the 1st of May has always been such an epic disappointment that I wrote if off, to a day we all go out dressed in black, either getting the shit kicked out of us or make a lot of racket whilst passers by stare with a look that translates roughly to, ‘what the fuck are you bunch of weirdo’s talking about? Nothing’s that bad’.
IT IS THAT BAD, IT’S JUST THAT WE ARE ALL SO DYSFUNCTIONAL WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO RELATE TO NORMAL PEOPLE IN A REASONABLE WAY! WHY DON’T YOU GET IT, YOU MASSIVE JERKS?

Ahhh, maybe that’s why they don’t get it? ‘Cause you’re acting like that? OR MAYBE, they are just a bunch of spineless suit dummies who only care about their cuff links and bottom lines? Or maybe their life is already hard enough without the bullshit and drama that comes with being involved in any social movement? So with all this flying round my head a million miles an hour the second I woke up, I still felt incredibly sentimental for the whole thing, everyone calls it international workers day, or something along those lines, i reckon it’s way more fun to call it anarchist christmas, so I did and finally made it out of the door.

And so the self loathing and boredom begins!

I arrived to the black and red demonstration as everyone was packing up the flags and books and music, man they had a killer truck, even the fucking wheels were the right colours! I ran into some buddies who told me about a good time at the local hang out, beers and snags, my kinda activism. So I went down, but as it was anarchist christmas there was no room at the inn, and I had a snowball’s chance in hell of getting anywhere near that sweet delicious home brew. So I said hi to some buddies and hit the road to meet up with a friend was heading to the feminist demo, told myself I was doing the right thing, as being a white, CIS male, I owe pretty much everyone on the planet one, not to mention the ladies.

The whole day had been kinda like a dream, all the demos I saw ending or walking past during my search for self gratification were MASSIVE. It was like, mothers and babies and normal people. As liberal as Sweden is, still, there was a lot of people out, being pissed about the same stuff as me, game changer. The Feminist demo was no different, diverse, positive, fierce (finally, I’ve been wanting to use that word for years), super good times for all.

…. or so I thought …

The speeches ended, there was some ‘fist in the air action’ and then out of NOWHERE I heard the sound of samba. Dear Jesus, I know I don’t believe in you but if you could please find it in your heart to… fuck that … SATAN IF YOUR LISTENING, STRIKE THESE FOOLS DOWN!
He was not, and the drumming continued, and just like every time this has happened before, the dreadlocks came out of the woodwork and started shuffling their hemp sneakers and raising their children as if they were Simba and someone had started singing the Circle of Life. Kill me, or them, don’t care, too tired.

I used picking up my wife from work as an excuse and made for the nearest gap between signs that said ‘veganism, primitism, flowers’ (no word of a lie, someone had a protest banner that listed flowers as one of their preferred political ideologies). After I met her and ranted about how awful I am at activism, reiterated how much I hated flower children, and true to my masochistic nature suggested we chased down the march to say hi to our friends and try to alleviate our anarchist guilt, after all it was the most sacred of all dates on our zapatista calender.

We chased ’em down after about half an hour, but upon arrival she turned to me and said ‘I’m too hungry to deal with this shit’, I tried to contain my absolute jubilation as we headed for the nearest vegetarian restaurant, and of course it was packed with leaf munching do-gooders, they must have worked up quite the appetite after all the grooving to all those tasty licks and clever PC chants.

Born with out a plan on this long and lonesome road.

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So I been drifting for a while now, if you can call it that, I mean really I have been moving from one major city to the next, taking shitty jobs and trying to start even shittier bands. About 4 months back the wife and I went out to visit friends and family in her home town up north, one of her real good buddy’s (Anna) is a killer tattoo artist and she introduced me to a wild tattooist called Noby whom I immediately hit it off with. He was all like ‘fuck the man, people are assholes, banks are just trying to screw you’ (he also does a HELL of a job drawing on people) , and I was all like ‘THANK-YOU, FINALLY SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS ME’! So after 3 long nights of heavy drinking we resolved that when we both got back to Stockholm we would have some black, black coffee and work out how we could help each other out, turns out he did most of the helping.

Man I was between a rock and a hard place, no job, loaning money to get by, life was full of good laughs but something really had to give. Once our rendezvous rolled around we talked some shit, had some laughs, held in panic attacks and vomit caused by the coffee intake and he asked me if I wanted to work in the shop 1 day a week, OH YEAH! So to cut a long story short over the last few months I’ve been working in the shop, learning the ropes and doing the best I can to not be a complete ignoramus, time passed, it got cold, then the snow melted, then it snowed again, now its raining and I have some direction in my life, for the first time since i thought there was a career in getting high.

It happened around a month or so back, i was cleaning as per usual when one of the big dogs pals came in. He called me down and introduced me as a friend and the help, to which Theo responded, ‘what so your like, not the apprentice’? I stammered back, ‘ nah man, I can’t draw to save my life’, ‘shit, this city is full of tattooist and hardly any of them can draw’. I got to thinking, I’m spending enough time here, might as well learn something, Noby’s always telling me its all about evolving, whats the point in just treading water? So a couple of nights later I asked him, ‘hey man, i dunno what you think, and like, you can say no if you want. I know I can’t draw and all but would you consider having me as you apprentice’? He bellowed laughter, as he does, i swear it comes straight from his soul, and then shouted ‘I KNEW YOU WHERE GOING TO ASK ME THAT! OF COURSE I WILL, but your gonna have to work your ass off, I aint taking no passengers’.

So thats how it happened, I went from ‘shifty no future’ to being able to say ‘HAH, see I TOLD YOU I would never have to grow up and wear a suit’.

So in addition to all the other bullshit I have on this blog, I’ll be adding pictures of all the tatties and drawings I do as they happen.

So check em out and get in touch if ya want something done!

x

Shifty