I wake up at around 11am to my housemate knocking on my door.
‘There’s some kind of terror attack happening in Martin Place!’ She says. I detect a hint of glee in her tone. I don’t judge her. There is a certain glee to be had in delivering bad news that has happened to people you don’t personally know that i can identify with. Knowing that something terrible and out of the ordinary is happening in your local area puts a certain sheen on one’s day, makes everything new again, delivers you from the boring day-to-day mundane activities that afflict the majority of your life, and if you are the one to bring feeling to someone, you may as well put on a santa claus hat and shove half a pill up their asshole.
I turn on the news.
I quickly turn it off.
Sometimes when i watch western media i feel compelled to become a terrorist, not for Allah, but just out of spite. As they say, my enemy’s enemy is my friend. I think that’s my main problem with Islam. It’s very cliquey. Why do i have to believe in Allah to go on a Jihad? Why can’t i go on a secular jihad just because I want to? To me that’s a form of discrimination and an issue i will need to take up with my local ombudsman, whatever an ombudsman is.
I go on facebook. It’s even worse. Comments commenting about comments in the information supervoid. I am about to add to this void, but it feels futile and I quickly close facebook. If facebook was an actual book, i would burn it.
I close my eyes and sigh as tears roll down my cheeks.
First Hughsie, now this.
I think about what’s going on and about the people inside. I feel… Nothing really. It just seems like some kind of scene happening in a movie that i don’t want to watch. I seem to have a block when it comes to feeling things for strangers. I used to think it was because I was a sociopath, but then one day, i realised it was because 1) i don’t know them 2) I’m not a fan of people on the whole. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of certain people, friends and family, but in general, people on the whole I just don’t know… I just can’t bring myself to care for them, not without at least an interview for even a basic multiple choice personality questionnaire. I trace this coldness back to the victimisation i encountered during my childhood years mostly for being a fat dork, though this is understandable. Looking back on old photos of myself, even i feel compelled to go back in time and victimise myself for being a fat dork, which i still do on some level in my private moments, it’s kind of what keeps me going. The constant teasing by the other children planted the basic belief in me that a lot of people out there are terrible. And while not all of us are terrible, most of us are nothing to write home about. We are not an endangered species, and the vast majority of us, myself included, will contribute nothing to humanity’s insignificant legacy other than a few metric tons of faeces and a trail of litter leading from the womb to the grave.
While i have trouble caring for humanity, I do care a lot about non-human animals. I can watch news story upon new story of terrible things happening to people somewhere else in the world and feel nothing, but as soon as i see some news story about a man mistreating a kitten, i turn livid with rage and start throwing things about the room. Having said that, i’m a lapsed vegetarian who enjoys eating meat from time to time, but that’s mostly for physical reasons: meat is the only source of protein that my body can use to neutralise my moral hypocrisy.
But enough about me. This isn’t about me. This is about what’s happening on the media right now. Something bad is happening live, and the media is telling us that they will keep us up-to-date, minute-to-minute with everything bad that is happening right that minute. They have no idea what is happening and they tell me this in a variety of ways, live, minute to minute.
‘We don’t really know what’s happening.’ says the newsman.
‘Let’s cross over live to another reporter.’
‘Yep, we still don’t really know what’s happening.’ says another reporter.
All they know is basically four details:
1) Shit’s going down in a chocolate shop.
2) There’s a guy making the shit go down.
3) There are hostages.
4) Theres a black flag with squiggly writing on it hanging in the window.
‘Sydneysiders are advised to avoid the city.’ the reporter says.
Suddenly i feel something. I stand up, and stagger woozily as the full extent of the situation hits me.
‘Damn, i gotta go through the city today to get to a gig tonight. This is highly inconvenient for me.’ I think, annoyed. Just my luck. Then i realise with all this stuff going on, there’s a good chance there won’t be any ticket inspectors on public transport. Maybe potential terrorist situations have their upside. I go on the trip planner website and look up how to get to my gig. It says there are only minor delays and i won’t have to leave any earlier than normal.
Phew. I will still have time for an afternoon nap.
I go about my day, checking once in a while to see if there have been any developments. Nothing except speculation and unconfirmed reports. Apparently they say that the chocolate shop is just a decoy to draw attention away so the real terrorist attack can happen. Apparently they say there are some bombs in undisclosed locations around the city. Apparently they say that the coffee at the Lindt cafe is pretty good. Apparently they say nothing verifiable in different combinations of words repeatedly.
I can’t help but get cynical. What amazing timing for Abbott and his cronies. What an amazing political oppurtunity to seize in the wake of his rapidly declining popularity, budget cuts and general idiocy. What an amazing oppurtunity to pass more restrictive laws under the guise of national security, What an amazing oppurtunity to spread more islamophobia and anti-refugee fear. I wonder if he is behind this. This attack has all the hallmarks of incompetence that the Abbott administration has become known for. I mean this is definitely the work of a rank amateur. Taking over a chocolate shop. No confirmed bombs. And his 2 demands- an ISIS flag and a phonecall to Tony Abbott. Firstly the flag- he brought the wrong flag. This guy is not a terrorist, he is an errorist. Besides, you dont need to hold up a chocolate shop to get an ISIS flag, just go on Ebay and make a bid like everyone else you moron. This is the kind of moronic incompetence that would make him fail the ISIS entry exams if they have any. Secondly a phonecall to Tony Abbott? If you could call anyone in the world why would you pick a stuttering conversationally challenged faecal gollum like Abbott? Why wouldn’t you call Scarlett Johannssen or Stephen Hawking or even your own mother? I wonder what would he say to Abbott during said phonecall.
‘Hey Tony, okay well i’ve done everything you have asked for so you can get away with more terrible shit, what’s the next step boss?’
Ok maybe it wasn’t a set up. Maybe they just knew about it and let it happen. But while there’s many things we can’t be sure of, there’s one thing we can absolutely be sure of, and that’s that Abbott most definitely creamed his longjohns when he heard the news. He would of felt like he’d woken up in a wet dream where he was being ass-fucked with a real beheading sword and come turbans all over himself.
I get ready to go to the gig and walk to the station. Secretly thanking the suspect, I don’t bother buying a ticket. I have to head to circular quay by train to catch a ferry across the harbour. This means i will be passing right underneath where all the action is happening. This means i will be passing right through an area where there might be bombs. But i will not be cowed by one man’s actions. The thought of cancelling the gig never crossed my mind once. I’m no hero, but like all heros, I’m just a man, and like me, all heros are just men. Men like me. If the suspect is a terrorist, I will not give in to the terror he hopes to spread. If i do that, they will of won. There is a room full of people across the harbour who want -nay need – me to make them laugh. In return for sweet money. I must do it. For the money. I really need the money. I will not let that $100 fee escape me for any reason. No as-of-yet unconfirmed terrorist attack will stand between me and that sweet $100. Drugs don’t pay for themselves, and i get very irritable when i’m forced to go through withdrawal.
I’m on the train, listening to music. Really digging the tunes. Then suddenly i remember Oh yeah that’s right, i’m meant to feel terror. But there aren’t any ticket inspectors on the trains today so it’s difficult. It just seems like a regular day and no one else seems to really give a shit. We approach the dangerzone. Still no terror. Damn this inborn courage i seem to of been cursed with. If only i could feel the fear that controls the laymen, then maybe then i could become more effective at selling them things they don’t need for maximum profit. Suddenly i feel something. I feel cold and start to shiver. Is this the terror they speak of? I put on my jumper and stop shivering. False alarm. I was just cold. Suddenly i spot a man with brown skin and i wonder ‘Am i a racist to look at him longer then i normally would?’ I don’t have an answer. I wonder if he is a terrorist and what i would do if he did suddenly stand up and detonate himself. The answer seems very clear. I would die. That’s what i would do. Suddenly i realise there are quite a few brown skinned people in my carriage. They are everywhere. What are we living in a multicultural city now? What the fuck. I wouldn’t say that i feel terror. It’s more like low-level-momentary-anxiety-quickly-dispelled-by-reason, but i feel that would not make for a very catchy job description for any would-be politically motivated miscreants. ‘Oh no! It’s an extremist low-level-momentary-anxiety-quickly-dispelled-by-reasonists.’ It just doesn’t work.
As i stare at the other brown skinned people in the carriage I suddenly realise how error prone racial profiling is. I mean once you get to certain shade of brown, who the fuck knows where you’re from? You could be any number of races. Mexican, Nepalese, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Fake tan. But whatever race these people in my carriage are, I pray to Allah one of them is a terrorist, just to at least justify my growing racism. There is one in particular who definitely could be a candidate. He’s got everything you need to be a convincing terrorist suspect: brown skin, beard, that’s about it really. But it’s enough. I wonder what is going through his sick jihad infected head as we speak. I wonder what kind of sick plans of terror he is concocting to strike fear into regular people like me next. He blows his whistle to signal to the train driver to close the doors and gets back into the guard compartment. It’s the perfect cover. I stare at him and wonder why he has to be so different from me, why he had to choose to be that way. It seems unreasonable and alien why anyone would choose to be born as a different person other than me, and this thought drives me to the point where i want to cut this terrorist’s head off with a plastic souvenir sword. Suddenly a really hot girl walks by me with her ass swishing back and forth like a hypnotist’s pendulum and i forget about what I’m thinking about. I don’t mean to objectify women but i am a male with a heterosexual male sex drive i.e. I am a genetic scumbag and unlike the terrorist train guard, at least I’m willing to emptily apologise for something i cannot help being. But like it was the most perfect ass i’d seen for ages. Like not even from a gross sexual point of view, i mean this posterior belonged in the louvre like it had been carved out of marble by a gay italian dude or something. It was the kind of ass you’d want to fly a plane into. It was the kind of ass that put an end to my racist line of thought. But no, suddenly I realise i’ve been had. This is no regular ass, this ass is clearly a terrorist sent to hijack my dick. I shake my head and look away, disgusted at how an ass could develop free will and go on a cock-hijacking jihad while it’s owner remained blissfully unaware. That ass needs to wear a burkha.
We pass under the danger zone. Nothing happens. I call up the media.
‘Yo media wassup? Nothing happened yo.’ I tell them. They quickly incorporate this into their newsfeed just in a more lengthy and different combination of words.
I get off the train at Circular Quay to catch the ferry. For once it’s less crowded and easy to navigate. ‘Praise Allah!’ I exclaim loudly, glad that for once the foot traffic is free and easy. I see a few heads turn. All the train guards are definitely on heightened watch. I see them look me over in detail. To them, i could possibly be a suspect. But to me they could all be suspects. About four or five of these train guards have brown skin. That would be the perfect cover for some would-be terrorists. It’s always the least suspicious looking people who are the suspects right? I look around. No one really seems to give a shit. Everyone’s pretty lowkey and relaxed. Suddenly i realise that the only reason why they would be so relaxed would be if they were terrorists. I am surrounded on all sides by terrorists, there’s no doubt about it. I see a five year old kid. Definitely a terrorist. I see a guy walking a dog. Definitely a terrorist. I see the Schnauzer he is walking. It has a beard. Definitely a terrorist. It looks a bit like Osama Bin laden. Maybe he is alive and well and pretending to be a Schnauzer. I wouldn’t be shocked.
‘I KNOW YOU’RE NOT DEAD OSAMA!!!” i scream at it. It barks at me defensively.
Nice method acting Osama, but you don’t fool me. The jihadist dogwalker pulls Osama Bin laden away from me.
I go into a convenience store to buy a drink. There’s some really great un-reality TV show on the convenience store TV. It looks like it’s being filmed right here in Sydney. Something about a survivor style gameshow in a chocolate shop. It looks very low-budget. I quickly get bored of it’s constant unwavering pitch of hysteria. Some pundit comes on the screen.
‘The goal of these people is to bring horror into everyday life.’ he says. I don’t need terrorists for that. That happens without any help from any outside source. All i need is this head i was born with and a state of constant horror will be generated in any given place at any given time with or without some deranged teetoller with a hardon for Mohammed waving a gun in people’s faces. I stare at the news anchor and i note the same glee in his face as i saw in my housemate. This is a great story, this great for my career i read in the invisible news feed sliding across his forehead. I am filled with horror. The news cuts to an adbreak and a commercial for X factor comes on. A wave of intense horror washes over me like a hot curtain of liquid shit. An ad for a lifestyle TV show follows. The horror increases exponentially. The news comes back on and I watch the way the media covers the event like flies with cameras for eyes buzzing over a turd that they all hope might explode. I feel the horror and it makes me feel horrible. I look at the front page of the Daily telegraph on the shelf. The horror is bottomless. To distract myself, I go on my facebook feed. Someone has posted video of their kid playing with a garden hose.
There’s no doubt about it, the terrorists have won.
I get on the ferry and depart, watching the sun set over a city in chaos, consumed with fear and terror. Back on land, terrorists are taking over every square micro metre of physical space. The whole city is just a giant terror bomb chockas full of jihads about to explode. It’s pure terrifying pandemonium. The end is near. Then i realise just cause i’m on a ferry, doesnt mean I’m safe. There are people with brown skin on this boat too. It’s more to do with their tans then their race, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a terrorist and that doesnt mean that there isn’t a bomb on this boat. I contemplate on throwing myself overboard into the sea, but then realise that there is no escape in the sea either. There could be bombs in the ocean. There could be some Islamic extremist fish down there who want to blow me up and convert me to an Islamic fish in the underwater afterlife. I don’t want to live underwater up in the clouds. It would be terribly confusing and there might be Islamic extremist flying fish up there and probably no internet connection. Suddenly, I catch sight of my reflection in the ferry window. Am i terrorist? I wonder. I have a beard and my skin is kind of brown after spending a lot of time in the sun. It all becomes very clear. Yes, I am a terrorist. I have hijacked myself and been a terrorist all along without knowing it. I feel disgusted at myself. It’s a classic example of misdirection. The terrorist was right in front of me, inside of me all along. How could i of betrayed myself like this? How could i of let Allah into my heart without noticing it? I resolve to commit a jihad on my own life and blow myself up in a public area as penance.
I look at my backpack. Perhaps I planted a bomb in there earlier. I’m too afraid to look. I reach the end point of thought and surrender myself to fate. If i go, I go. Heroically, I do nothing. But nothing is not enough, so with great heroic effort, I jut my chin forward in defiance and stay where i am on the prow of the boat. Where’s Leonardo Dicaprio to hold my waist when i need him? I must remain brave. I must go do the gig on the slim chance that i’m not a terrorist. Despite these desperate circumstances, i courageously journey on towards the gig. There are people there waiting for me, who will pay me to make them laugh. I must not let them down. I need that money. I need that money to buy drugs, because if i don’t do that, then the terrorists will have won.
A city in chaos, consumed with fear and terror
Terrorists blowing up the sun