Friday, January 29, 2010

The Death Of Holden Caulfield

Reclusive author JD Salinger, who has died aged 91, was a giant of American literature whose seminal novel, The Catcher in the Rye, lent a voice to the angst and despair felt by generations of rebellious adolescents.

One of the most admired and influential US writers following the success of his 1951 novel and its laconic anti-hero, Holden Caulfield, Salinger published nothing after 1965 and had not been interviewed since 1980.

The author died on Wednesday at his home in New Hampshire, the Harold Ober Associates agency said on Thursday. The cause of death was not announced.

Mystery surrounded much of the last five decades of his life. After being overwhelmed by his new fame, Salinger withdrew from public life, retreating to his house perched on a tree-blanketed hill in the small town of Cornish, New Hampshire.

Memoirs written by his daughter and a former lover affirmed that Salinger still wrote, but there has been no sign of any new book despite the entreaties of his legions of fans.

Indeed in a rare 1980 interview with the Boston Sunday Globe in 1980, Salinger said: "I love to write, and I assure you I write regularly. But I write for myself and I want to be left absolutely alone to do it."

News in 1997 that his last published work, Hapworth 16: 1924, which appeared in The New Yorker magazine, was about to be reissued in hard print sparked excitement in the literary world. But the publication date was frequently postponed, with no reason given.

Jerome David Salinger was born on New Year's Day 1919 in Manhattan, New York, the son of an Irish mother and Jewish father with Polish roots.

As a teenager he began writing stories. In 1940, his debut story, The Young Ones, about several aimless youths was published in Story magazine.

Then came America's entry into the war, and the young Salinger was drafted in 1942. He took part in the D-Day stormings of the Normandy beaches, and his wartime experiences are said to have marked him for life.

He married a German woman after the war, but the marriage fell apart after just a few months, and Salinger renewed his writings with a passion.

In 1948 he published the short story, A Perfect Day for Bananafish, in The New Yorker, bringing him acclaim and introducing the Glass family and its seven rambunctious children Seymour Buddy, Boo Boo, Walt, Waker, Zooey, and Franny, who were to populate several of his short stories.
But it was The Catcher in the Rye, published three years later, that was to seal his reputation. The book was an instant success, and even today remains recommended reading at many high schools, selling about 250,000 copies a year.

Sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield's adventures and musings as he makes his way home after being kicked out of school touched a raw nerve and have fascinated generations of disaffected youngsters.

Yet the novel was also sharply criticised for its liberal use of swear words and open references to sex, and was banned in some countries.

Always a private person, Salinger found his new fame oppressive, and in 1953 he moved to sleepy Cornish, in the hope of staying out of the limelight.

Other collections of short stories or novellas followed, such as Franny and Zooey, until his last published work, Hapworth 16: 1924, appeared in The New Yorker magazine in 1965.

"There is a marvelous peace in not publishing. It's peaceful," Salinger said in 1974, when he broke more than 20 years of silence in a phone interview with The New York Times.

"Publishing is a terrible invasion of my privacy. I like to write. I love to write. But I write just for myself and my own pleasure."

In 1955 he married a young student, Claire Douglas, and they had two children, Margaret and Matt. In Margaret's memoirs, The Dream Catcher, she reflects on an often painful childhood, describing her father as an autocratic man who kept her mother as a "virtual prisoner".

They divorced in 1967, and in 1972 Salinger began a year-long relationship with 18-year-old Joyce Maynard, with whom he had been exchanging letters.

In a sign of the lingering interest in Salinger, some letters he wrote to Maynard sold for more than $US150,000 at auction in 1999.

Salinger remained to the end of his life in his Cornish home, and had been married to Collen O'Neill since the 1980s. He fiercely guarded his privacy, even turning to the courts to stop publication of his letters. He refused all offers to sell the screen rights to Catcher.

One of his final moves came in July last year when a US judge suspended the publication of an unauthorised sequel to Catcher in the Rye by Swedish author Fredrik Colting.

"There's no more to Holden Caulfield. Read the book again. It's all there. Holden Caulfield is only a frozen moment in time," he told The Boston Globe.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

50ft Queenie

Queenie is a woman who was born and bred in Collingwood. She is an ardent supporter of community and especially of the Tote.

When she heard of it's decision to close, she got on the radio and put her two cents in. Have a listen to what she had to say. Bless you Queenie. More fiesty women needed, I say!
MORE TOTE (yes I'm afraid so)...

NOT good enough. That is the live music industry's response to a decision by liquor licensing authorities to consider easing tough security conditions on venues only case by case.

Liquor Licensing director Sue Maclellan has called on music venue operators seeking relief from late-night licence conditions to contact Responsible Alcohol Victoria so their cases can be assessed individually.
But Jon Perring, from lobby group Fair Go 4 Live music, said the offer did not go far enough.

Mr Perring, joint owner of live music venues Bar Open and Pony, will urge Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson today to drop regulations linking live music to tougher security requirements.

''This issue of linking live music with the security conditions, that's what's knocking off the gigs around town and creating the cultural carnage,'' he said.

He said Ms Maclellan indicated in a meeting yesterday that the authorities were not prepared to remove the link.

There was no research linking live music to anti-social behaviour, Mr Perring said, calling for security conditions to be based on alcohol consumption patterns and history of violence.

Mr Perring is considering taking over former Collingwood live music venue The Tote.

The Tote's departing licensee, Bruce Milne, yesterday blamed licensing conditions for his predicament, saying security costs rose from $60,000 in 2008 to $100,000 last year.

''It was the difference between the business being profitable and unprofitable,'' he said, packing boxes as he prepared to leave.

Opposition consumer affairs spokesman Michael O'Brien said Victoria's liquor licensing law was ''broken and needs to be fixed''. ''You can't have piecemeal, case-by-case exemptions,'' he said.

Premier John Brumby said ''fine-tuning'' could achieve sensible liquor laws and a vibrant music scene.

Fuck off Brumby and Co- fine tune my clacker you moron! Leave the little places alone that have been going along just fine and take your filthy money from Crown and other like minded establishment. They'll happily pay your retirement funds for you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Life Line?


January 27, 2010

LIVE music venues are expected to be the big winners from an urgent meeting today between the Director of Liquor Licensing Sue Maclellan and representatives of the live music scene.

It is believed the licensing regulator will reverse blanket high-risk enforcement on all music venues, an approach that has been blamed for the closure of popular Collingwood live music venue The Tote.

A State Government source said the director was likely to tell the live music sector that a more case-by-case approach to the tough rules would now be taken.

''The Government, director and industry all want to determine what flexibility can be exercised to ensure the ongoing viability of live music venues,'' the Government insider said.

Inner-city Government MPs faced an electoral backlash at this year's state election against the tough licensing requirements that have seen The Tote close and other venues threatened.

Melanie Bodiam, manager of live music venue The Arthouse, on the corner of Elizabeth and Queensberry streets, said she was extremely pleased about the expected change in approach by the liquor licensing regulator.

''Common sense prevailed - you wouldn't believe the smile on my face now,'' she said. Four bands will perform at The Arthouse tonight.

Apart from higher fees, requirements on live music venues had not changed since 1999. But many of those conditions, such as minimum security levels, have only recently been strictly enforced.

Ms Bodiam said venues would like more information on what a ''case by case'' basis meant. She said the new criteria should be determined in consultation with the music industry. But she said the backdown was a big win for the live music industry.

''It is so exciting to know that people have stood up and said what they want,'' she said.

Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson said: ''The Government is very concerned about preserving a future for live music in Melbourne and we will work towards getting the balance right so we keep our streets safe and maintain the viability of live music venues.''

Under the current blanket approach, high-risk conditions are imposed on venues with live or amplified music and those trading past 1am. High-risk conditions on a licence require the licensee to employ a minimum level of security and install CCTV.

The State Government is also working on a longer-term strategy to help sustain Melbourne's live music culture.
The strategy is being developed by Mr Robinson and will include consultation with musicians, venue owners and managers, police and the Director of Liquor Licensing. The longer-term strategy will also consider issues such as when people move into areas serviced by live music and then complain about noise.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Today Is Monday

.. and I promise I won't talk about the Tote. Enough for now.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Four and Out

Okay, you all must think I've become obsessed with this Tote business and you be right. I plan to make this my last post on the subject- at least for this week.  I'm hoping my next Tote post will be entitled 'SAVED!!!'

Myf Warhurst had this to say in today's Age and it sums up very well -along with Marieke Hardy's article-the feeling of the Tote's closure.

It shows that the feeling of great venues closing are more than just losing a pub, it's losing much,much more.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Tote-Part Three

I can't believe how depressed I am about the Tote. It's got me thinking about my life. Is it a transistion period that life and the universe is forcing me to live an old lady existence? Or just that life as I know (knew) it is being taken over by greedy,self serving bastards who gentrify the areas we love with rampant conservatism?

In case you may have missed it, the 7.30 Report on ABC aired a story on the Tote last night.  Good on you Channel 2.

To John Brumby and Co- go fuck yourselves. You go on about alcohol and violence.. your laws perpetuate it because it's profitable. To quote the late,great Bill Hicks -suckers of Satan's cock, each and every one of you...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Tote

I've been google-ing stories about the Tote and found a beautifully written piece by Marieke Hardy entitled 'The Slow Death of Sticky Carpet'.

Comedian Jimeoin once joked that being in the delivery room and watching, agog, as his wife gave birth to their first child, was 'like seeing my favourite pub burned to the ground.' It's the funniest thing he's ever said and therefore quite possibly plagiarised but he's certainly captured the horror of one thing at least - how deeply one feels the loss of a treasured watering hole.

More often than not these days local pubs are limping to their deaths via a series of turgid back 'n' forths in windowless government meeting rooms as opposed to exploding into flames, though the sentiment remains. Our locals define a neighbourhood, steeped as they are in liquor and lingo. When they've also played an important role in our musical history it only makes the bereavement more devastating.

And yet another one has left us, another solid little perfect corner shop of splintered music and barmaids with spectacular bosoms and dangerous sneers.

The glorious Tote hotel in Collingwood, Victoria has closed its doors for the last time, with beleaguered nominee Bruce Milne bowing out with shrugs and sighs. This time it's not even some po-faced inner city resident shaking a fist from their well-manicured balcony and complaining about the noise (move out of the f*cking city then, you twit) that has crippled the place, but a government helpless to control that pulsating, seething morass of testosterone Australian capital cities fondly refer to as 'Saturday night'.

As ruddy men in Ed Hardy t-shirts while away languid weekend evenings in the CBD merrily shattering pint glasses into each others' faces, those in charge are responding the only way they know how: by penalising live music venues whose crowds consist mostly of sticky-limbed music nerds and one local drooling barfly who knows all the words to Dylan's 'Hurricane'.

It's a quick fix, and an idiotic one, like trying to reign in Japanese whalers by marching down to St. Kilda wharf and punching a fisherman in the face. I do hope Victorian Premier John Brumby feels as though justice has been served at last with such a particularly butch and vacuous solution. Perhaps he could celebrate with a mince tart and a nice cold glass of Ribena, the chump.

The Tote hotel was never the prettiest of venues - in fact for the most part it was a stinking, sweaty bitch mistress, luring blinking punters in off Johnston Street with the promise of grubby sex in the toilets and twelve-minute guitar solos, and propelling them back out into the night with bleeding ear drums and the sort of blossoming liver problems once enjoyed by a young and wild-eyed Oliver Reed.

I loved it, helplessly, and was inextricably linked to the place through myriad channels - deep-set family connections, an abode I once resided in three doors down where late at night you could hear the speed metal bands rehearsing, and a long and involved music-obsessed adolescence spent variously staring up at the stage or dodging a lead singer's erratic strands of saliva.

I fell in love while the jukebox played Television's 'Marquee Moon', staggered around the speaker stack wearing a moth-eaten showgirl outfit, and watched the future husband of my best friend projectile vomit in front of an oddly impressed crowd.

Like anywhere that serves as a regular meeting place in one's early twenties it was the joint where we all got happily pissed and manhandled each other on the sticky carpet. And now it has been dragged to its death by tepid bureaucracy and a few rather dull scuffles over money. Nobody ever pulled out knives at the Tote, nobody pawed intrusively at passing women - AFL players weren't usually allowed in, anyway.

There will be recriminations on both sides of course, and finger pointing, and lengthy, smarmy form letters from local MP's who are 'deeply sorry' and 'aware of disappointment' and 'relaying my views, your concerns, and the concerns of the many others who have written to me today, to my colleague Tony Robinson MP, Minister for Consumer Affairs'.

In the end, does it do any good? Young men will continue to be knocked down to their deaths on cigarette-stained footpaths outside lairy nightclubs and one by one the damp, dark, unassuming live music venues where the most violent acts play out onstage between consenting adults will be quietly packed away and left behind. And eventually, state governments will no longer be able to swing their dicks around about which city has the most thriving arts scene, because there will no longer be any.

I'll miss the front bar of the Tote. The gaffa-taped barstools and the languid gazes across the pool table and that revolting, damp sensation of sodden elbows when ordering a round.

I'll miss sitting in my front window and watching the parade of beery rock 'n' roll types peacefully lurching down Wellington street on their way home.

But most of all I'll miss the chapter of time that the Tote hotel will forever possess within its walls - the piss, the pain, the boners, the lewd and bawdy celebration of a wild, musical youth.

And in years to come I suspect I will awaken from many a deep sleep with strands of those memories slipping through my fingers like the wind.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The End Of An Era

I guess you've all heard the sad news that The Tote in Collingwood is closing this weekend. It's dodged a few bullets of late but this time, nothing can save it. Bruce Milne,owner of the Tote simply can't afford the money it's going to take to pay for the license and going back and forth to VCAT is not an option for him.

Some can argue that it's a stinky,ramshakle,sticky carpet pub and they would be right. The fact is, we need that stinky,ramshakle sticky carpet pub because it's so much more to people than just bricks and mortar. To many of us, it was a musical sanctuary where like minded people joined together to hear the same bands and drink a few beers. For those in bands, many of them got their start there. It was more than a pub, it was part of the community there. I can honestly say in all my years of going there, I have never seen a fight or even a shouting match. People of all walks of life went there. Even children and babies went there with their parents for the famous Wu B Que and various other barbeques held in the truly authentic beer garden. There was the tiki element of The Cobra Bar upstairs, where bands squeezed into that tiny alcove and hammered out a set despite the atrocious acoustics.

When those doors close, a million memories will be stored there. For me, it was the early nineties supporting bands like The Underground Lovers,The Fauves,The Glory Box,Autohaze,Rob Clarkson,Tlot Tlot and their ilk. Loading up the jukebox with coins and programming all our favorites songs - it was truly the best jukebox in Melbourne. Walking into the place and crawling out after too much to drink. Sitting on the toilet upstairs to find yourself shaking because of a death metal band playing downstairs.  Being with friends and connecting with the music and the moonshine.

The Tote closing is not just closing a venue. It's so much more. The funeral is this weekend. I'll be heading down for a few drinks to bid the old girl farewell.

Vale Tote. You'll be missed.


Born like this

Into this

As the chalk faces smile

As Mrs. Death laughs

As the ele­va­tors break

As polit­i­cal land­scapes dis­solve

As the super­mar­ket bag boy holds a col­lege degree

As the oily fish spit out their oily prey

As the sun is masked

We are

Born like this

Into this

Into these care­fully mad wars

Into the sight of bro­ken fac­tory win­dows of empti­ness

Into bars where peo­ple no longer speak to each other

Into fist fights that end as shoot­ings and knif­ings

Born into this

Into hos­pi­tals which are so expen­sive that it’s cheaper to die

Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty

Into a coun­try where the jails are full and the mad­houses closed

Into a place where the masses ele­vate fools into rich heroes

Born into this

Walk­ing and liv­ing through this

Dying because of this

Muted because of this




Because of this

Fooled by this

Used by this

Pissed on by this

Made crazy and sick by this

Made vio­lent

Made inhu­man

By this

The heart is black­ened

The fin­gers reach for the throat

The gun

The knife

The bomb

The fin­gers reach toward an unre­spon­sive god

The fin­gers reach for the bot­tle

The pill

The pow­der

We are born into this sor­row­ful dead­li­ness

We are born into a gov­ern­ment 60 years in debt

That soon will be unable to even pay the inter­est on that debt

And the banks will burn

Money will be use­less

There will be open and unpun­ished mur­der in the streets

It will be guns and rov­ing mobs

Land will be use­less

Food will become a dimin­ish­ing return

Nuclear power will be taken over by the many

Explo­sions will con­tin­u­ally shake the earth

Radi­ated robot men will stalk each other

The rich and the cho­sen will watch from space plat­forms

Dante’s Inferno will be made to look like a children’s play­ground

The sun will not be seen and it will always be night

Trees will die

All veg­e­ta­tion will die

Radi­ated men will eat the flesh of radi­ated men

The sea will be poi­soned

The lakes and rivers will van­ish

Rain will be the new gold

The rot­ting bod­ies of men and ani­mals will stink in the dark wind

The last few sur­vivors will be over­taken by new and hideous dis­eases

And the space plat­forms will be destroyed by attri­tion

The peter­ing out of sup­plies

The nat­ural effect of gen­eral decay

And there will be the most beau­ti­ful silence never heard

Born out of that.

The sun still hid­den there

Await­ing the next chapter.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Nicotine,Valium,Vicodin,Marijuana,Ecstasy & Alcohol

... it will take this and more to get me through the rest of this week...

Who needs words when a shocker like this speaks volumes?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


This weather brings out the worst in me. I hate it. Anyone who states 'the hotter the better' should be shot in the head.

Trying to exist in 43 degree heat (celcius not fareinheit my North American amigos) is near impossible and bloody frustrating.  My hair is as frizzy as Yahoo Serious's do from the eighties and I feel about as sexy as a road fatality with cascades of sweat running down my face and body. Frocking up has become a nightmare and putting make up on is almost not possible due to said Niagara Falls on my face and the heat melting my cosmetics.

The only way to sleep is wrapped in a wet towel with the fan on you after downing several troughs of beer or/and cider. I drank 2 bottles of Monteith's apple cider (bloody lovely BTW) and it did fuck all. I think I just passed out due to sheer exhaustion.

Today is another 40 degree ball buster and I won't be leaving the building until much later when I hope the temperature has dropped 15 degrees and we hopefully have torrential,tropical rain.  What a treat I'm gonna look in my red & white polka dot dress,cycling home-rain soaked... I can't think of anything better.

Just pray I don't get barbequed by lightning.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A Matter Of Opinion

I logged into and saw a headline about some star 'letting himself go'. Curiosity got the better of me to see who it was. The picture uploaded and it was the actor Gerard Butler. I feel the person who put this photo up stating he 'has let himself go' is more into boys who look like this;

Repeat after me.... "EWWWW"!!!

Now here is the said pic of Gerard Butler;

Now, I don't know about you, but the above look-six pack abs and waxed bodies on men- makes me puke. I like that GB is a bit paunchy, probably enjoys a pork chop or two, a plate of chips and a few troughs of fine lager and just relaxs. At least he's wearing boardies and not squeezing into a pair of dick dacks.

Thanks Gerard- you're a breath of fresh air. Not all women want a hairless little boy with abs. I like a man who's built for comfort, not for speed.