Baggage and Luggage.

Baggage. Luggage. The shit you cart around with you – stuffed in your wallet, falling out of your backpack, shoved into drawers and cupboards. That’s bad – but I’m not talking about that now.


There’s the stupid thing you once said to somebody you cared about 10 years ago, that pops into your mind at 2AM and sets you upright, thinking how different things would be if you hadn’t fucked up … bad too, I’m not talking about that either.

There’s also the baggage that we’re blithely collecting right here, right now, weighing down you and me. The encrustion of online life. Photographs and texts and fuck knows what else the machines have pieced together about you. If you were born since the Internet then there’s probably not much hope for you, you’re in your own little Truman Show and everybody is getting a good look. You might even think that’s normal, bless you, hope that job interview goes well a few years from now.

Somehow there is a rule that goes like this: the worse the photo, the more likely it will show up in online searches. It’s true isn’t it? I spend months getting fitter and happier and yet will be forever a photo The Guardian once took of me flopped and miserable, sweating with a bad flu. You might think that’s a small thing, but consider the impact on resolution, on positive feedback – do what you want, try harder, it’s not going to change a goddamn thing in “society”.

Oh and of course I can make new hi resolution videos, put heart and soul into them… but then somebody will post an old VHS on YouTube and erase everything I’ve worked on. Improvement – personal or professional – is negated by some goddamn algorithm.

Catalyst: I recently saw this band photo again –

October 1983

October 1983

on Facebook for a gig that’s happening in 2016. Like it’s a photo from 33 fucking years ago and it’s still doing the rounds. OK, so that’s tragic, but the main thing is Simon, on the right there. He’s dead. He’s been dead for years, and there he is, still staring out of the screen, freshly dug out of the grave. For pity’s sake – isn’t it time we did better than this?

Part of the culture of indigenous Australians has to do with people who have died – it is not right to display their likeness. I feel there is some justice in that for all of us. But go further. Let all the baggage evaporate, let it fade away. Some time after the event, wipe it, wipe all of it, and if it matters so much to somebody they can place it back again.

History? History is not what happened, as it happened. History is how we falsely recall from now, refurbishing the past. History is baggage. Drop it.

6 thoughts on “Baggage and Luggage.

  1. It’s a bloody disease, and it’s catching. I so often have to bite my tongue when the missus laments something that happened when she was 23, or a good friend of mine won’t go out much at all because ten years ago a lot of shit got chucked at him (metaphorically). I noticed this more when I came back to Sydney, lots of people feeding ghosts with a saucer of milk that they leave out every day as ritual. Sometimes the Stalinist approach is best. Paper over. Remembering can be valuable, but anchoring yourself to your worst years is just strange and keeps things familiarly unpleasant. If I ever become famous, I want them to update the photo every few years irrespective of hair or waistline. It’s just weirdly misrepresentative otherwise. And you can still archive shit. It’s just living it over like it was yesterday that seems so weird. Maybe I’m more agile because I’ve copped a lot of shit. Turnbullism!

    That being said, I’m going to make love to my Arp remake over and over tomorrow in an orgy of misplaced retromania. Whatever sauces your cracker!

    • If you ever become famous, you had better pay people to manage your social image. Otherwise you’ll be in a horror film where your real face is forcibly replaced by some candid shot from the worst moment of your life.

      As for the past – it’s the fart that never stops smelling. Yeah, I’ve had those conversations – terrible things happened 20 years ago therefore etc. etc. I had my ‘rebirthday’ recently, it helped a bit but I think I might have one every year along with a book burning.

  2. can I hazard a guess that it is the skull fabric that makes this pic so popular?
    and the facial (non) expressions too!

    cant change history , and the A D D generation is not sensitive I’m afraid.

    thanks anyway for the music , I still play it

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