Archive for July, 2011

… believe?

Posted in Uncategorized on July 21, 2011 by moderngatsby

… the fourth estate?

Posted in Uncategorized on July 21, 2011 by moderngatsby

As someone who is no stranger to the power of the printed word, I sat in amazement as this titan of the media world was slowly dragged to into a necromantic arena by the very profession he has shaped to his own personal will over the past 61-yrs. From the outlawed wilderness of Adelaide to the sprawling mega-glass skyscrapers of New York; Kings, Queens (of both kinds), Prime Ministers, Presidents and everyone in between have courted and fêted him to influence the billions that his global media empire informs for their own personal agendas.

For any of us who rely on the media to communicate our message to that select audience in the vein hope that those few lines, or even a full page profile in an influential magazine, we all trade one thing off for another.  Each printed encounter hoping to garner that little bit of interest in what we are selling, adding a patina of glossiness to a well crafted message and brand or even, in most instances, sate the desire of a chained ego slavering for respectability. We all whisper and promise in dark bars where dirty deeds are dirt cheap to fulfil a desire, because at the end of the day, we are all media-whores hoping to get a head.

So imagine my surprise when the very nature of politics is infused with sensationalist journalism the stage set for a global showdown that has been brewing for a generation or two and is billed “independent”. No one is innocent or independent in these times, especially not when the expedient messenger is now shot with his own arrow, and the sinner becomes a preacher at a public pulpit of the Lower House. We gather at the new Calgary for a public crucifixion and quartering, opinions flow from twenty-four hour news to Twitter and magazines, newspapers to Facebook and like everyone gossiping, their five-cents worth is tacked-on.

My love affair with all things Rupert Murdoch started long before I read the brilliant unauthorised autobiography by William Shawcross as I travelled the long and tedious road back from Jo’burg to the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal in 1992 (and every subsequent book ever written about him). It started with the many books that I loved before that one on these lonely bus trips. The hours spent escaping in movie houses during the school holidays and the programmes that I watched on TV that kept me entertained when nothing else could.

He had managed to shape my world view long before I even knew who he was. Or even before I knew who I was.

There is not a moment in our generation’s history that has not in some part been influenced by this man and his global media empire. From the characture in a James Bond movie, to the effigy that stands outside the Palace of Westminster, men have come before him but none will be judged like him. From Beaverbrook to Hearst, the legacy that remains after the carcass has been stripped will be unworthy of the achievements, as profiteering and politics claim their victory for the self-indignant and righteous plebs.

A victim of his own success perhaps, but certainly not one that we can judge fairly, lest that first stone be cast on us as we walk home from Calgary on a tepid winter’s afternoon, and we suffer the same fate by our own hand.

… two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead?

Posted in Uncategorized on July 7, 2011 by moderngatsby

I must confess…

…I find myself having one of those moments when you can see yourself doing something you know is a little naughty and a little dangerous but just can’t help yourself because it’s so fun? While BabyBoy was out with friends, I joined my team of luxury professionals out on the town and had one of those moments a few weeks back. As I sat in the opulent epicentre of epicurean delight nestled in a world renowned boutique hotel favoured by Kings, a Queen of Talk-shows and revered elder Statesmen the gastronomic experience alone was enough to satisfy anyone. The handsome, knowledgeable and charming Sous Chef flambéing the steak Dianne left me wanting more and while restrained, I skirted along the dangerous cliff to the abyss of shadows where dirty deeds are done dirt cheap and the light exposes the hidden truths of carnal delights. In the early hours of the morning that comes afterwards, that devil-may care smile and razor sharp humour lingers like his cologne on my mind and I am bewitched.

…I find myself in another hotel dining room, no less impressive but more discrete in the Mother City a few days later trying to keep warm beside an open wood fire while an ocean swept wind whipped and whistled around the white walls of the Twelve Apostle Mountains outside. Opposite me, my business partner and an old friend enjoying their meals. Somewhere in the darkness without, one of my largest corporate clients and his colleague are enroute, driving not only my future but the plans we are crafting while eat. My friend, like the prince’s of fairytales we read is tall, handsome with waving chestnut hair and with effortless ease charms you unknowingly with his anecdotes, private-school boy manners and light humour. With BabyBoy thousands of miles away yet always in the back of my mind, the hour is late, the night dark and cold I make the offer. In the silence of the cavernous hotel suite I lay there listening to his breathing, not because we are sexually compatible, but because I am too excited by what will come and I am bewildered.

…I ordered another cappuccino before slipping the complimentary magazine from its phallic sheathe and flipped through the unmemorable content printed on the pages within. But then, one picture seen so many times before, crippled my inhibitions and I am obsessed once again by this pagan g’d I briefly conversed with and dismissed over a glass of wine while standing in a dimly lit courtyard at a gallery opening. Rushing home, I find myself searching for the invitation that may, or may not contain a name or some sort of clue to who this statue of corporal perfection may be. And like the sun-g’d Apollo, he stands bronzed and a reminder of the polysensual desires we all have deep inside to have that perfection ourselves, and if not, possess it for only a night of carnal discovery and satisfaction. With my own BabyBoy tucked safely in bed next to me, I find this demi-g’d more like Aristogitien with his own Harmodius no less impressive. My imperial inclinations whimper and whither knowing history will be my legacy not the might-have-been but rather leave as friends in the morning.

… the looking glass?

Posted in Uncategorized on July 7, 2011 by moderngatsby

As I stood there in the parking lot reserved for the ambulances rushing into the ER unit, the frosty wind whipped the smoke from the dying embers of the cigarette into my watering eyes; I looked up at the eclipsed moon and was lost to my wandering thoughts. In that moment the silence amongst the sirens and bustle reality hit. Inside, beyond the doors of the ER, lay something between my dreams and reality. My bête blanc who offers some rescue from the tepid waters that I seemed to treading in of late. And after the moment of love had passed, the fear crept in that I had walked the highest tightrope of my professional career and almost fallen from grace in risking everything by betting the house.

My highwire act, the culmination of two years hard work after I set out to establish a company two years ago that would mould and shape an industry to my wants and desires. I stumbled. I picked myself up. I tripped a few times but can safely say that I have achieved something more: respectability. And from that he had become a flashpoint to everything good, as the six months passed between us, found me once again in the no-mans land where I often stand. Somewhere beyond the automated doors, behind a pale cream curtain a team of doctors were working to heal something broken but for the first time in a long time, the emptiness missing from my life was less understandable.

Fast forward a few weeks later and I find myself sitting opposite some of the most influential businessman in the land discussing the very things I am passionate about. The saying that “those who know keep quite, and those that don’t speak the loudest” rings true for the accomplished do not need to speak of their achievements because they speak for themselves. So I sit and watch the few around the table who, instinct tells me are kindred spirits and like minded to the cause. Beside me sits my bête blanc, naive and willing. Opposite him my bête noir, cynical and disqualified. The two sides of the same mirror whispered about in so many Carroll novels.

The moon wanes, the cold becomes frigid and in-between the secrets whispered by lovers nestled under down-feather duvets that insulate the act of love making, the days become shorter. You question the little things that come your way and make big decisions about the future yet unrealised and hope that they will inform the realities you wish them to become. Love becomes blind to the insecurities of greying hair, a few extra wrinkles around the eyes and the indulgence of a few good meals evident in the tightness of a bespoke suit. When the mere words “I love you” makes you believe in incorruptible emotions and the actions therein outweigh the fear without you start to believe in something else.

What that is right now I’m unsure of. What I do know is that for now the tidal fear has drawn back leaving a pathway of smooth, shiny rocks to navigate my journey along a diverging path of my own choosing. I know I’m going to stumble again. I know I may even fall. I know that I have friends, and a lover, who will help me up and hold my hand as I learn to take one step at a time towards greatness.