Democratic TANTRUM


Electile Dysfucktion

The Coalition just won the Australian federal election. This result has enraged many. Those who’ve been most outspoken have typically been young lefty progressives, a political box I have put myself in since before I could vote. Empathetic, waste-conscious future-minded people have taken to digital platforms across the board to express their grief. A grief I understand. Facebook feeds, Instagram stories, magazine websites, blogs and the rest have become a minefield of political aggression. I (mostly) align with their views but I do not agree with their methods. Our steps, big and small, must be taking us towards a healthy planet. The essentiality of this is clear. What are the best steps we can take to get there? That’s not clear. What’s clearer is the steps that damage the cause. One such step is looking down your nose and shoving impassioned (albeit often truthful and genuine) pleas down peoples’ throats. This is a heartfelt and compelling gut-reaction. But it is not helpful. If you’re pissed off at what I’ve just said, I ask you kindly to wait until you’ve read my explanation before you exit. It is you I want to help.

Most Australians agree that climate change is real and nearing catastrophe (from the latest Lowy Institute survey). 84% of Australians think our government needs to focus on renewable energies and infrastructure. Only 14% think coal and gas is the way forward. Updated survey results will come out in the next month. We’re almost all on the same page. So why point the finger at Baby Boomers or Young Liberals? All that serves to do is make masses of people feel alienated. It’s self-sabotaging, and it’s a huge turn off. I’m on your side but reading petulant tripe condemning whole groups of people makes me want to buy a Hummer and dump garbage into a clean river. Imagine how more conservative people are made to feel by it.

Just because a person votes Liberal does not mean they don’t give a shit about the environment. This is but one among many areas of government policy. Yes, it is probably the most pressing. And yes, offshore detention is fucked. But there is more to running a country than building renewable resources infrastructure and assisting refugees. Politics are complicated. The major political parties have wildly discrepant views for most areas of policy. Further complicating the issue is the reality that what a major party says it will do and what a major party does are (for a variety of reasons) seldom in sync. So yeah. Labor said it would stop Adani and Labor promised to keep emissions reduction targets. Would they have, if elected? Maybe. Maybe not. Voting Liberal does not a bad person make. Striking at people for exercising their democatic right to vote? Asshole move.

It is now common to hear the argument “what good is the economy if you don’t have a planet?” and I mostly agree with it. We need our planet. I also see renewable energies as a great source of economic productivity. But if you’re going to make that argument, then I will counter with, “there’s no point having a healthy planet if everyone on it hates each other’s guts”. And I hear the replies, “but we won’t all hate each other if everyone just agrees with ME.” Well, humans are different. If we were all the same life would be fucking dreadful. Embrace differences. Celebrate common ground. Saving the planet from climate change requires all our hands. We are all responsible and we almost all agree we need to do more. So I ask those who made it this far to look at your steps with an open mind and question them. Try to decipher which are helpful and which are not.

In a time where axes fly from all over politics and media to drive us apart, we don’t need another wedge. Climate change is a massive challenge. An already devastating one. Let’s overcome it with composure, education and consideration. Not rage and tantrums and division. It is not the last serious issue our generation and the next will have to overcome. We’ll have to figure out AI and overpopulation and a bunch more that we can’t imagine right now. Let’s use climate change as a blueprint for how we tackle future world-threatening problems. Because hate sure as shit ain’t gonna cut it.

Lachie Yeo


The first thing that comes to mind, when I think of Lachie Yeo, is his outstanding bowl cut. Yeoy and his hair went together like Steve Irwin and crocodiles. Like cigarettes and coffee. Like margaritas and the Bahamas. His haircut was a beacon, when you saw it you knew you were being guided towards a good time. He had a penchant for good times.

We all have our own, unforgettable memories with Lachie. I will always remember two in particular.

The first is a long night we spent together.

We danced at Late Night Valentine until the lights came on. And then some more. When they would not let us dance any longer we congregated at a friend’s house. Then, you and I took turns putting songs on. We kept dancing. Other people danced with us. It came time to move on, so we did. To the house at Frinton, then a gazebo at the beach. More dancing. Frequently making eye contact and smiling. Thinking to ourselves, “Mate. How good is this!”


The other memory I keep returning to is when Lachie drove my car over one morning. It was a fine day. Neither of us had any plans. We drove to the kiosk at City Beach for a coffee and a swim. You and Annie had only just started seeing each other. We spoke about her. We spoke about your love for your brothers. About your parents. I told you about my family. Down at the beach we giggled at at a bodysurfer running over kids in the shorebreak. Later on I dropped you home. When you shut the car door I thought to myself, “I absolutely love that kid.” You were so down to earth. So content with who you were.

Yeoy had more fine qualities than anyone I’ve met.

He had this wisdom, as if he’d lived many lives before. The words he spoke were usually meaningful, always straight.

His sense of humour was sharp as any.

He was selfless, with a big heart.

He was the antidote to unhappiness. All he’d have to do is enter a room and within seconds everyone would be smiling. I don’t think that boy ever had a malicious thought in his life.

He had a strong sense of self, he knew who he was.

He was talented with the violin, the piano and the guitar. His passion for music came across in his taste. When Yeoy got a hold of the aux cord you knew you were about to be dancing.

He was such an all-round good man. He put himself before others and that was apparent all the way through to his last moments.

He brought so much joy to those around him. We are all in debt tohim for the joy he gave to us. We owe it to him to share that joy with everyone we meet. That’s his legacy.

Lachie Yeo. A hero all the way through. Rest in peace.





I had one of the roughest days in recent memory not too long ago. It was a real struggle. A real mental struggle, a real physical struggle. The whole day I felt on the edge of insanity, sometimes I was not sure I hadn’t crossed over. My mind went in a million different directions at the same time, it was impossible to keep track of. As an image it would have resembled a twisting black ball of oil; spurting, contracting, imploding and twisting at high speeds. Throughout the day I wrote thoughts down as they came to me. I stopped writing when I picked a platonic girlfriend up from her house; she stopped me thinking the thoughts that I was writing down. She replaced them with thoughts of arctic wolves, oranges, hair and bullying. So anyway, I decided to share those dark thoughts with you because you’ve probably thought similar things. If you haven’t, but you are human, one day you will think similar things. And fuck it, it’s nice to know you’re not the only one.

Progressive musings from a hard day:

I’m an idiot for ever thinking I would love you for the rest of my life. When we were together I saw so many similarities between us. Since we’ve broken up I’ve noticed nothing but differences. Big, gaping differences. You don’t know what it’s like to wear someone else’s shoes. All you want is what’s best for you and don’t bother trying give me your bullshit, give it to someone else, it’s wasted on me. You can’t change with words what I now know to be true regardless of language. Don’t fall in love kids. I hate you. I contemplate suicide once, not thinking about how it would feel but wondering how everyone would react. What would people say about me at my funeral? Would the people who I’d told my funeral songs to remember what they were? I’d jump from a tall building. I wouldn’t shed a tear if you did it. I keep seeing things, I don’t know if they’re real or not. Broken. Alone. There’s a horrible, twisted demon inside me. I smile and laugh at my fortune. I deserve so much better, yet I’m terribly embarrassed. Friends will be whispering about it all right now and not many of them have the whole picture. I realise that without the details they’re missing, I look like a bad guy. Fuck it. I can’t control it; it’s all out of my control.

And then I brought her back to my studio where we listened to records (she played her first ever!) drew each other pictures, wrote stories, doodled and talked about the whole stupid universe until 2am. After 2am we spent an hour wrapped up, breathing on each other and occasionally asking questions to see if the other was still awake. Then we fell asleep and I know I had a big old smile inside me.



My best friend has a deep pain inside. He gets excited, laughs, jokes, smiles and plays, but between I see slight sighs and hollow eyes. Whether or not he’s trying to hide it I don’t know, but it’s not hidden from me.

I know what’s causing the pain and he does too, but there’s nothing more I can do to help him. I feel the same pain; it runs deep, a gushing undercurrent of anguish. Tears threaten to spill for hours on end, frustration wants to be released in the form of fists thrown into a wall but it must be kept in because you’re in public or around people. When you’re alone the anger turns into alienation and anxiety. I feel the same pain; but it’s more temporary for me, cyclical in nature and slowly spirally upwards to recovery. I know it doesn’t run as deep for me either. I make steady, visible progress while he drags onwards so slowly he looks to be still. I so badly want to help him mend it.

Knowing what is going on; the doubt, confusion and flat depression, but not being able to grab his arm and pull him out affects me on a strange plane. It is not my sadness but a mixture of guilt, empathy and helplessness. I feel guilty for being able to quell it, diffuse it faster than he can. I’m empathetic because I know what the pain feels like, devastating, thorough and evil yet I know he is experiencing it even worse than I. I feel helpless because my advice, my hugs, presence, care and understanding don’t and won’t heal him. Sure, those things help and probably make a decent difference, but this pain is a duel between his soul, mind and heart. No amount of outside assistance can make peace.

So I sit by him. I sit and I watch, nervous yet faithful. There is no place I could imagine I’d rather be, and I’ll be here for however long it takes. If it takes years or decades or a century it doesn’t matter, he will get better and when it’s all over we’ll drink beer and laugh. A long wholesome laugh of relief, of anticipation. We’ll grow old together whatever happens and I can say that with great confidence. There’s no one like him for me. He’ll always be my best friend.



I am a lazy fucker. I want to score well on assignments, bang beautiful women, be one of those people who constantly smile, eat well, go to work even if I’m hungover, exercise, get really mad at writing… But I can’t be fucked. Has my life just been too damn easy up until this point? Am I suffering from a sense of entitlement? Maybe, but I know people who have had things handed to them on even shinier platters than me, yet they’re hard working people. All the things I want just seem like too much hard work. To score well on assignments I’d probably have to double the amount of work I do. To screw hot girls I’d have to talk to them. Going to work hungover? I’d rather eat noodles for the following week than stand in a corporate box, serve a few beers from the fridge, politely smile when a client asks for something and watch about a quarter of a game of football with a mild headache. Thanks. I either don’t want those other things badly enough or I’m scared of failure.

I don’t know which of those it is, but I sure as hell don’t want to be that sad old balding man in an ill-fitting suit driving around in a 1996 Daewoo Lanos smoking half the filter of his Bond Street Red cigarette saying, “If I’d just worked hard when I was young, my life would be so much better,” then turning around to look at the back of a high school girl’s skirt when she walks by. Then again, being a workaholic would be just as bad, maybe even worse. Where’s the fun in devoting a large amount of your life to a noble but ultimately pointless pursuit at the expense of Tuesday nights on the piss, Thursday nights on the piss, bizarre spur of the moment tangential antics that deepen friendships (because you can’t explain what you just did to anyone who wasn’t there), reading books, daydreaming and coming up with reasons to justify why you haven’t done anything productive yet.

I’m in a library. One of my best friends Eli is next to me. He would be equal top but he didn’t pick me up from the airport at 4:00pm on Saturday because he wanted to be drunk by that time. He’s working away studiously, never looks at his phone, clears his throat, flicks through what he’s done so far and gets back on with the job. Appears to be just a lot of highlighting. The library’s old and run down, smells like lint and the surfaces are covered in a thin wax, most likely 100 years worth of dust and sweat and flu coughs. We come here because it’s always empty compared to the fancy new libraries. Not that it helps. I’m supposed to be writing a story on an expanding abalone farm due on Monday but all I’ve done is write this stupid thing. At least I look productive. Sometimes on the plane I write fake emails so people will think, “Ooooh look at that dishevelled, busy young man. He must be one of them proactive Gen Y types.” Probably not though, I bet they see right through it, “Ha! There’s no internet up here, he’s not fooling anyone!”

I probably should try to call the owner of the abalone farm. He didn’t pick up earlier. I left a message; surely he’ll call me back when he’s not busy. It was five hours ago though. If he’s eating dinner and I call him he’ll be pissed. Finally gotten home from working hard on his ingenious multi-million dollar venture to enjoy a crayfish, prawn, artichoke, truffle and mandarin oil pizza his bitching wife cooked for him and some lazy journalism student bum calls him and interrupts. I wouldn’t want that if I were him. I’ll call him tomorrow