I Am An Anarchist
I have a friend who works with a passion from Monday to Friday. Saturday morning for him is reserved exclusively for completing the weekly shopping. Religiously. I was surprised to receive an MMS of a beach some distance from where they live. I shot off a text of enquiry…………………
ME: I like what they’ve done with the shops.
FRIEND: No shopping today.
ME: Fair enough
FRIEND: It’s anarchy here………
ME: Right on man.
We all need a break sometimes. Something different from the norm. Break it up a bit, as a mate used to say.
It got me thinking though. This anarchy thing. Clearly, we are not talking about the dissolution of governance or the abolition of law and riots in the streets where chaos reigns supreme. I’m thinking more on a micro scale. Anarchy behind the picket fence. Keeping up with the Jones’, no thanks. Personal and private rejection of the socially accepted norm. Personal and private rejection of the premise that to fit in, I must drink. As front man for the LA hard rock band Rage Against The Machine, Zack de la Rocha screamed through the 90’s “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me”. Disorder in the suburbs.
Today I consider my self an anarchist. Mother would turn in her grave and the old man would hang his soaked head in shame. There existed a paradigm in my youth. Often spoken in jest, yet applied with vehement enthusiasm. “Never trust a bloke who doesn’t drink, smoke and gamble” What a raft of crap. Unfortunately, in the Australia I grew up in these three habits were the measure of a man. No doubt it was not confined to these shores and proliferated globally. I watched with bemusement as my father would work all week only to throw his wages at a bookmaker, barman and tobacconist each week. Hedonistic to say the least but more importantly for the sake of image. Like a good son, I followed. Except for the gambling. I had evolved.
Today I reject the rest as a media and advertising ruse. I am not a puppet nor a marionette, dancing to the rhythm of the street. In my anarchy I make choices. I empower my self.
The suburb I live in drapes herself in many cloaks. Holiday destination, trendy professional night spot, family day entertainment venue, backpacker haven and on the darker side, a street market for anything your heart desires from a hot laptop, narcotics and ladies with limited to no choices. Between my apartment and the next cross street there are two major retail liquor outlets and two independents. Five wine bars and twelve licensed restaurants. At that cross road, staring ominously down the main street is a two storey recently renovated hotel. It has five bars. For me, the whole lot can fuck right off and dissolve into the ether. I am left then with six cake shops and a fish ’n’ chip shop. That’ll do me thank you very much.
In that book about dragons and infanticide and subterranean monsters and stuff there is a phrase, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”. The words spoken in response to being quizzed by an invisible, omnipotent being. Overtime the response has transformed from question to statement. I am not my brother’s keeper and no I’m not. However, I have to express the gamut of emotions felt at witnessing a recent event at a local bottle shop. A queue of some forty metres extended into the street from the bottle shop. The queue an extension of the shoulder to shoulder crowd held within. This was Christmas day 2017. I first felt a little embarrassment for those queueing into the street. Ffs, it wasn’t an Elvis concert. Sadness welled as I realised the shopping throng was almost exclusively an 18–25 year old demographic and they were (in some/all instances) buying their grog out of peer obligation. “Let’s get shitfaced Y’all”. Finally, I became a little angered. Not at the kids, moreover at the bastards (liquor/advertising companies) who had the kids hoodwinked into thinking this was the only way to appear mature, sophisticated, in tune and any other bullshit descriptor you may wish to apply. I just had to walk away and go and buy my Christmas porridge.
I’m glad to be an anti-alcohol activist, a social anarchist and I haven’t even told my housemate what time I’m coming home…….huh. Crazy eh.
This post was written by YOSSARIAN BEAR for the BoozemusingsCommunity www.boozemusings.com
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