November 21, 2006

"they are wreckers"

As I said in the previous post, I wasn't at the G20 protests, and as I've said elsewhere, I've steered clear of any of the organising groups because of the lackluster vision and sense of organisation. But I know where my loyalties are.

Sections of the bossy left have decided that the story of the G20 was that foreign anarchists (from New Zealand!) infiltrated a rival political force called the all-male, all-dancing "Arterial Bloc", and these foreigners took advantage of the mentally ill lumpen-proletariat that made up the numbers. The leaders of G20 demo are shocked, shocked, that people could even dream of masking-up and throwing things at police.

It's worth quoting Mick Armstrong, fearless steward of Socialist Alternative, in full:

I was one of the organisers of the G20 demo from the Stop the War Coalition and I am also in Socialist Alternative.

The anarchist crazies involved in the ultra-violence were in no serious sense part of the demo [You see, Mick can just decide that because he is an organiser]. Just like their black bloc mates in Europe they simply exploited the demo for their own purposes.

Right throughout the lead-up to the demo they made clear their hostility to and contempt [for] other protestors [meaning Mick's party] . On the day they did all they could to disrupt the demonstration [meaning Mick's party] and were hostile, abusive, threatening [and] ultra-sectarian towards people [meaning Mick's party] on the demo.

Australia fortunately has not previously been blighted by the sort of black bloc anarchist activities which had such a disastrous impact on demonstrations in Europe [meaning people like Mick's party]. These people are simply provocateurs that open up protests to police repression. In Europe their ranks have been riddled by police agents and fascists.

What gave them a certain critical mass at the G20 [remember though, they weren't actually part of the demo] was the presence of considerable numbers of anarchists from overseas. One of our members from New Zealand said he recognised at least 40 NZ anarchists. He knew at least 20 of them by name. There were also a considerable number of black block anarchists from Europe. We know of people from Sweden, Germany and England. These people are like football hooligans who travel the world looking for violence.

[Seriously, read that paragraph again. It's gold]

On top of that there were also a considerable number of anarchists from interstate.

Because of the behaviour of these provocateurs the media [and…] the law and order brigade are having a field day.

The left should offer no comfort to these crazies. We should do whatever we can to isolate them [perhaps force them to sell magazines and badges in Bourke St – a surefire way to isolate yourself]. They are wreckers. If they grow in Australia it will simply make it harder to build future protests and movements.

Of course, Mick has never cynically attached himself to another movement for his own purposes, which is why he feels no shame in bringing the charge against others.

This is a local protest. For locals.
About international economic organisation.

I'm bored of even trying to respond to the cadres of condemnation. If this somehow filters down to the party leaders, perhaps they should consider this: no-one gives a shit what you say or think, at least none of the people you seek to condemn and control. This is why you are told to fuck off when you bark orders. And that's a good thing.

I guess now is the time for practical solidarity, eh?

November 18, 2006

the day my body broke

I have had a terrible 24 hours, and I didn't even go to anything to do with the G20 protests.

It started last night. There is a squat called The Wake. It was set up as a place for like minded lovers of liberty to hangout, practice solidarity and provide a place for anarchists to live. A busload of an estimated 50 police turned up last evening (we're guessing because of the G20, though the space actually had little to do with it) and turfed everyone out. So my night was spent hastily packing the meagre belongings of the squatters, all the while being flanked by many, many pigs muttering insults and patting each other on the back for evicting the otherwise-homeless.

Cue the morning. I woke up with extraordinary back pain. I've never really been susceptible to sore backs, but this was a doozy. I figured it was from all of the hurried and repetitive lifting. The pain increased dramatically. I went to the toilet and suddenly I was in total fucking agony. As in uncontrollable moaning.

I was asked if I needed to go to the doctor. I thought maybe if I lay down awhile, it would all be okay. It wasn't. I began to writhe. I knew there was something terribly wrong. I stood up and knew I had to get to the hospital.

I should break this narrative by explaining I rarely get sick, and when I do it's usually not that bad (severe colds and the like). So from my perspective, if I decide I need to go to the hospital, it must be serious.

I announced, between groans, that I needed to go to the hospital, not the doctor. My housemates and our anarchist guests decided that this was the cue to form an ad hoc committee and decide whether I really needed to go or not. Maybe, they said, I just needed to go see a doctor. Yes, they decided, they would take me to a doctor instead. Apparently me vomiting because of the pain wasn't enough of a counter argument, and more debate time was needed.

I felt like I was in Bizarro World. No-one could understand that this was more than just a sore back and that I was in more pain than I had even been before. Finally, my friend G was convinced, thanks to the urgent prompting of my boyfriend, that we should at least get in her van and start to drive.

Then there was a slow meandering through the merits of which hospital I should go to if I decided that I really trulydidn't need to go to a Medical Centre to see a doctor. After what seemed like a age had past, we had only travelled a short distance down Sydney Road. Traffic was hell.

Literally, I was lying in the back of the van, screaming and crying with pain. Swear-word mantras were being spontaneously chanted between my gritted teeth. It was as if the combined shitness and unfunniness of every episode Birds of a Feather were playing in the middle of my back. We pulled up. We weren't at a hospital, we were at a doctor's office. Once again I was asked if I was sure I didn't want to see a doctor. Once again, I stated that I desperately needed to go to a fucking hospital, and there weren't any other ways I could think of expressing that need. Hospital. You. Drive. Fast. Doctors. There. Nurses. Too.

By this stage I was sobbing and writhing more. To drop another pop-culture reference, it was alot like the belly-shot scene in Reservoir Dogs. I drifted in and out of consciousness.

The next thing I know, I was at a hospital, in a wheelchair, vomiting into a device that looked like a large condom. Have you ever been in so much pain your body starts to expel all it can? Wasn't great. I was making a lot of noise, screaming in pain. When I tried to stop myself, I made very odd, sometimes high-pitched growling noises. I opted for the more civilised swear-words.

A woman in the emergency room was also after some immediate attention, though in hindsight I suspect didn't need it as much as I did. She began imitating my wails and proclaimed she also had the same pain. Some guy told her to shut-the-fuck-up. And I was wheeled through after some delightfully brief and concise questions.

I can't describe the pain accurately. It was like being stabbed by a log on a cold day. I couldn't stop making noise and crying. It was horrible being so out of control of my responses. I tried doing a Gaius Baltar trick (as seen in Battlestar Galactica e03s07) and leaving my body etc. No dice, didn't work. I was given a dose of morphine and the intensity of the pain began to subside. That's not to say it went away, but I was no longer freaking out the little kids in the ward, and the man in the cubicle next to mine (I could see him through the curtain) stooped clutching the sides of his head like he was trying to block out memories of the Holocaust.

This time was used to regroup and more examination was done. An x-ray was performed. I decided to try to urinate in this time of calm. A couple of failed attempts (stage fright is a bitch) forced me to go to one of the bathrooms, clutching my saline drip and a bottle to catch my piss in.

Success! But my pee was brown - it was riddled with blood. Not good. I clambered up onto the trolley and the pain began to mount again. Soon I was back at the same threshold. Total, hardcore, agony.

The nurse asked me to rate my pain out of ten. "Tell her ten!" my mind yelled, but then I thought about those Iraqi beheading videos and I figured that ten needed to be reserved for something more extraordinary.

"Nine! Aaaarrk! Fuck. Oh my god! Shit! Fuck! (sob sob) Nine!" I replied to the nurse.
More morphine was administered. Then more. Then more still. It all had no effect. I was clutching at the air, clutching my boyfriend and begging the staff to knock me unconscious. My arms and legs felt delicious, but that core of pain in my back was just as strong.

I was given a suppository with another kind of opiate. Time for another quick break in narrative. Part of my fear of doctors and hospitals is of invasive examination. When the nurse looked at me sheepishly and said, "I'm going to have to use a suppository, but it should really help with your pain," without skipping a beat I replied "I don't give a fuck! Aaarrrghhh! Fuck", I dropped my dacks and up it went. No biggie.

I went into shock and my temperature dropped and I was shuddering uncontrollably. They administered Diazepam and it didn't work either. Didn't they understand that... Oh wait, it totally did work and I woke up in another ward with an oxygen mask on, feeling relatively peachy.

"We think we gave you too much morphine," said one of the seemingly-endless line of nice nurses. "o rly?" I said. Opiates make me l337 speak. "I think you gave me juuuust enough. OMG LOL WTF."

I'm calling bullshit on morphine though. I didn't feel high, or happy, or anything. I just felt a pleasant disassociation from pain and very nauseous.

Turns out I had kidney stones. Every nurse told me, in turn, that the pain is comparable to childbirth, though one said that kidney stones were worse.

What was amazing was that the pain disappeared rapidly and now, twelve hours later, I'm home, eating chocolate and blogging. I think the stone might be in my bladder, because no rocks have passed my pee hole, although they could be too small to notice.

Here are some snaps of my adventure, although none are of my weeping like a child.

Here is me still in a haze and all freaked out.

Here is me showing off the thing the put one of the many drips (three all told) in. I'm also trying to pose like its a glamour photography shot and I'm hiding my double-chin.

Here's me pretending it's 2000 and I'm flashing the
"Shocker" hand sign. But I got one in the stink only.

This is me giving the thumbs up, assuring all Dole Diary
readers I'm okay, but would still appreciate presents.

PS All the friends who helped me were awesome. I'm just using a bit of dramatic license. And all the staff at St Vincent's Hospital were fantastic. I was seriously impressed with how great they were.

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November 13, 2006

waking up the neighbours

The above screengrab is another example of everything that's hilarious about the internet interweb blogotubes.

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November 07, 2006

ebay: lie and sell practically anything

And I quote
I have been trying to call... couriers please was closed as it was after 5pm, I will call them in the morning and call you and let you know that tracking number.
This is a big of a burden on me as it is you! I know what's been going on in my life has nothing to do with this ebay transaction but it has affected it, and threatening to call the police is not going to make the situation any better for either of us. Before I called you before also I sent you the pic I took of the computer before couriers please came and picked it up but realised my phone did not send the ms till after... but just so u can see what will be arriving.
I will also be calling pack and send in the morning to get their two cents. When I send you the coupon number, you can go to to track the parcel.
Talk soon

What's that, you say? A note from a former lover? A departed housemate? Jilted acquaintance? No. This was one of the (precious few) emails from an eBay seller who has been jerking me around on a $2,500 purchase and getting a wee bit over familiar in the process.

I bought a G5 Powermac off eBay over a month ago now, and I'm still yet to receive it. All I have received are broken promises, lies and more than my fair share of shenanigans. And I hate shenanigans.

This guy has bullshitted me thrice about having sent the computer. He said he'd actually sent it through a company called Pack & Send. When it failed to arrive as promised, I called the stores (both in Carlton, its supposed destination, and Brisbane). They were very, very helpful, but they told me that the seller had actually cancelled the service at the last minute.

I'm not a huge fan of the police, and am loathe to involve them in any dispute, but I just don't have the resources to sort this out myself. I tried calling the seller but he never picks up his phone and rarely returned my calls (only three times in the last month). So, after getting the news about his failure to send the computer again (that's three times now), I resolved to call the po' po' if he didn't get back to me today. So I didn't threaten him, I was telling him (well, his messagebank).

When the seller called, he launched into another tireade of excuses (also lying about Pack & Send failing to pick up the computer), and as he reached a fever pitch (he was literally yelling), I interrupted him and explained that all the things going on in his personal life weren't my [fucking] problem; just send off the god-damned computer.

This is in the context of him telling me that his mother had died, which I'm fairly certain is crap, but I've decided to play it safe and not ask him outright. Still, unless his mother died three and a half weeks ago, clutching my G5, and he was unable to separate her from the casing for an additional fortnight, he still had a whole week to get over it and send it off.

Previous to the "paralysing bereavement" excuse, he offered the feeble "I've been busy at work." Obviously this didn't impress me at all, which is likely why he had to notch it up with the next, dead mum excuse.

I am scarily good at getting someone's address, especially when a whole bunch of my money is involved. The seller lives in a very swank apartment in Brisbane City and has a cushy office job, so I seriously doubt the burden is as large to him.

My trump card, if he fucks me around again, is to email him a photo of his apartment block along with his address and tell him that, if I can find his house in a couple of hours from my desk on a shitty G4 Mac, he can probably arrange a courier to come pick up my G5 in half that time. He has a whole $2,500 budget to make it happen, and I found his address with a –$2,500 budget.

Now I know why eBay has "practically" in their slogan when they say "practically anything," because "practically anything" can just as easily mean "nothing".

UPDATE: It arrived today, and things seem more-or-less hunkydory. Still waiting on the software (which is arriving separately). An interesting addendum was a phonecall I recieved from the seller the other night. After some to-ing and fro-ing, he said that, seeing as I had been greatly inconvenienced by his lateness, he was willing to throw in a couple of games for free. What were they?

Fucking Sim City and Roller Coaster Tycoon.

I said, "Uhhh... No thanks."

Apparently he is also shutting down his eBay account. I think that gves me a license to say the most insulting accurate things possible

Note to self: Next time I spend $2,500 on eBay, perhaps I shouldn't pay by direct deposit. That was incredibly stupid.

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November 04, 2006


My poor little cat Makhno has been allowed to go outside after a long period of being an indoors cat. As predicted by my friend Tones, the vet bills have now started coming in.

Little Makhno got into a fight and had his arse handed to him. His scalp was very infected and the "necrotic tissue" had to be removed and the top of his head was shaved.

He now looks like a syphilitic monk.

If you're into cats, check out this stuff combining my current passion of pets and nerds.

I suppose I should blog about my highschool reunion at some point. Maybe after this week. I've got about five days to try and pass my course. Eek.