Story by Gregor Stronach
As I lay recovering from my recent birthday, where a quiet evening’s drink turned into a beer and acid fuelled weekend of ultimate confusion, I began to formulate many theories on irresponsibility. I feel bad because I drank so much beer. I also feel bad that I have, technically speaking, broken the ridiculous laws that demand that my consciousness remain seated at all times while the carriage is in motion. Why? Because Society would have us believe that being irresponsible is a terrible thing indeed.
Recent major events, both personal and involving the population at large, have given me reason to pause and consider the nature of irresponsibility. It has the twin abilities of making us cry and laugh. Crying is good for the soul, and laugher is, of course, the best medicine there is. Unless you have stitches in your scrotum. Then it’s bad. But even then, irresponsible things can be good, and a quick look will tell you that they’re happening all around us all the time.
I watched in awe as Albert Park was turned into a high-speed demolition derby yet again, by the travelling freak show that is Formula 1 motor racing. I love motor racing, but really – is it a good idea to be showing vehicles travelling in excess of 300 km/h on what are, essentially, public roads? Not to be outdone, some idiot came up with the idea of cramming celebrities into Minis and setting them loose on the track.
Everyone knows that celebrities, particularly Aussie celebrities, are competitive to the point of self-harm when it comes to getting their share of the limited exposure the Australian media can offer. Given half a chance, you’ll find them stepping over each other’s dead bodies in the street to get their heads on TV. Hell – they’ll even stoop to posing nude in ‘art’ magazine Black+White for a career boosting moment of pervy fame.
So giving them moderately powerful small cars and letting them try to kill each other live on national TV was probably not the most responsible thing to do.
We’ve seen irresponsibility recently in the Australian state of New South Wales’ politics as well. I question the responsibility of the two major parties trying desperately to one-up each other on the level of punishments that they’re willing to force the judiciary to mete out to hapless criminals. But God bless the Greens in New South Wales for their visionary policy that will neatly remove the seedy side of purchasing party drugs. No one’s gonna vote for them for suggesting that the state legalise pills and speed, but bless them for giving it a go. I really do think that once they manage to crowbar Cheech and Chong from their policy committee, they’ll finally begin to get somewhere. Until then, the paperless office is ought but a nightmare for the Greens – skinning up a joint with no paper is going to be a big ask, people.
My personal life has taken an irresponsible turn as well. I was granted my unrestricted motorcycle licence, merely for achieving the milestone of turning 30 years of age. Having been restricted to riding 250cc bikes, some of which are plenty fast enough, I suddenly found myself aboard what can only be described as one of the most irresponsible pieces of machinery in the world – a Suzuki Bandit 1200 S.
It sounds impressive if you know what I’m talking about, but if don’t, just consider this. Small Korean cars are being shipped to Australia for sale to secretaries and wives with 1.3-litre engines. This bike’s engine is a 1.2-litre. The main difference between the two machines is the weight. A small Korean car with a 1.3-litre engine weighs about 1200kg. The Suzuki weighs in at 220kg.
The short explanation of these facts – the Suzuki goes fast. The long explanation, for anyone still with me here, is that it accelerates like a jet fighter, and has a tendency to take off like one too. I did an enormous wheelie out the front of my parents house whilst trying to show off the bike’s abilities. I made it home in record time from my folks house, despite having to stop and clean out my trousers.
A touch of irresponsibility isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s important to keep our inner child alive. Not to the extent that Michael Jackson would have you believe, but life without a shade of irresponsibility would be like living in a mausoleum.
But the level to which some of us exercise our irresponsibility is a tad over the top. For example, dragging an entire geographically isolated nation of questionable economic and political power into a war on the other side of the globe for interests that are clearly never going to be high on our list of priorities is a bit much.
Sadly, as with everything fun in life, it appears that moderation is once again the key.
First published by Rum & Monkey back when men were men.