I am going through my true “Mid Life Crisis” at present.
It is the time of my life when I am filing away the past and washing it all away so I can step forward into the future into a “new” life without any baggage.
So it is a very reflective time as my regular readers may have guessed by the tone of some of my recent “Pieces.” So I do apologize if the blogs are a little weird.
Years ago, I was speaking to a big drug dealer (literally he weighed 400 pounds) <<Obviously didn’t partake of his products.
We were talking about people and addictions. In the small fishing village I lived in at the time, I was surrounded by alcohol and drugs. Our little town was a distribution point for the entire corner of the state. And the guy I was talking to was THE distributor.
He was a “mate” of my ex, who he met through one of the abalone fisherman and this particular day he “needed” me to help him on a pick up as I was the only one in the group that had a license. So we drove along with me trying to keep the car, which was leaning rather dangerously heavy down on the left hand side, controlled and driving straight on the road.
Every now and then in life someone says something to you that makes you sit up and listen. And you carry that conversation through in life. You learn something from it. Scarily as it seems, Bill taught me a lot about people.
He turned to me and said “Margaret, everyone has a crutch in life. You find out what it is and that person is yours, they will do anything for that crutch.”
So simple but yet so profound. That one little philosophy is what I call to this day
“The Key To Bill.”
That sentence turned around in my head and around again. I began to open my eyes and really look at what was going on around me. Bill was the “Candyman” and I watched as his pockets seemed always to be filled with everyone’s favorite type of candy. I watched as his car boot was laden with boxes of black market abalone, the freshest buckets of silver bream, baskets of still crawling lake prawns and boxes and boxes of fresh garden vegetables and fruit. It was amazing that without word or command, he had an army of troops, running around doing his bidding.
I began to watch other people. I watched the group matriarch sit upstairs of an evening with her earplug in her ear, eavesdropping on the conversation at the table in the den below, sipping away at bottle after bottle of white wine. Every now and then she would get up and go to a cupboard and take a pill from a box. (She is a whole story in herself).
I would watch the fishermen jump off the boat after a few days at sea, get paid cash off the skipper then literally run to the Bay Hotel. Once they got there, that money would sit on the bar until it was all mostly gone. The landlords and wives would be waiting at the bar when the boats got in, ready to grab their share before that was gone too.
I watched as Trevor, the crewman on Ray’s trawler, sat at the bar’s poker machines for hour upon hour, pushing buttons, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer until his hand was to shaky to find the button and his voice was that of a toddler.
I would watch the other crewman spending it all on horses, or the dog races and football.
And I would watch Bill at the end of the bar, watching them and watching me watching them, with a glass of lemonade in one hand and a meat pie in the other. This was his busiest time but he did nothing but watch. No one bothered him or came near him, yet every minute his pockets were filling with hundreds of hundreds of dollars. He had “the brothers”, who were two of his lapdog junkies, running around the bar doing his dirty work in exchange for a piece of candy at the end of the night.
He was right. I have watched the world for the 15 years since he said that to me and he was right.
Whether it be an addiction crutch or base need.. ….
Everyone has something that they rely on to get through. crWhether it is speaking to their best friend on the phone every day, a dozen cups of coffee, a game on the Wii, a beer at the pub, a gamble, a workout at the gym, sex, love, Coke a cola, sugar, Tv, drugs and the list goes on.
If you take that away, the person will wallow to get it back.
Controlled through addictions and base needs.
And it is used by society. Our addictions cost more. The government uses our addiction to gain more tax money through gambling taxes and alcohol and cigarette taxes. Instead of the Government fixing the problem, they actually aid to “water it” or make it grow. These addictions are used to control people.
A note to the Government here.
If Cigarettes are as toxic as you make the companies put on their labels then you have a duty of care to your people to ban the sale of this toxic substance to be consumed by the people. After all you banned pot. As cigarettes in “your own words” are HIGHLY ADDICTIVE, you have the responsibility as our chosen leaders to stop producing and making such massive amounts od dollars off this practice of addiction, misery, poison and death.
These addictions are fodder for people with bad intent. The teens of today are constantly being targeted through their “crutches” by massive marketing campaigns. The candyman is constantly dangling a bag of goodies in front of society all over.
Addictions to technology, keeping up with the Jones’s, the latest and greatest in Video Games and weekend play toys, are played on and pushed towards people on a massive degree. It is one big marketing machines targeting your weaknesses.
If something proves to be a “must have” addiction, the price goes up. Matters not because people “want it” and they will buy it. They may complain a little but still put their hands in their pockets.
Basic needs can be the target…
The price of fuel rises, you need it, you have to have it, so you pay for it but nothing extra is coming into your pocket to cover it. The price of tobacco or wine rises, you pay it. Electricity even, yes can you do without it? The price rises by 17 percent in six months but you don’t blink, you pay it.
Imagine if you were told one morning no more phones, no more computer, or no more electricity, no more coffee.. and you were cut off from that one thing.. How would you feel?
The Plug Pulled?
People feed off other peoples needs and weaknesses. The companies and drug dealers get richer and richer and the people get more and more reliant on them to dish out the candy.
But Candy Costs Dearly
Society decays from candy just as a tooth does….
This following Article Highlights the problems I have mentioned above.
Russell Crowe owns one of our football clubs here in Sydney and he is anti gambling so he has proposed to get rid of the gambling machines in the club.
I believe the proposal by South Sydney Leagues Club’s co-owners to remove its 160 poker machines should be applauded. It is a decision that reportedly will cost the club some $7 million in revenue.
Yet the proposal by Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court reflects a club that is truly prepared to listen to the community in which it operates. Further, it reveals an understanding that although pokies offer a short-term revenue boon, their long term cost to the community is devastating.
Poker machines are not popular in the community. In fact, they are hated. A recent Herald Sun survey revealed 84 per cent support for the removal of poker machines in Victoria.
More personally a hotel manager just last week confided in me that he was forever being asked by patrons to borrow $5 or $10 so they could go home and feed their families after losing all they had to the pokies. He said he hated the pokies and what they did to people.
Yet across Australia, states have been too keen to embrace them with open arms.
State and Territory governments rake in over $4 billion a year in pokies taxes. The only exception is Western Australia, which apart from video poker games in Perth’s Burswood Casino, is pokies free.
Last year the gaming industry took more than $10 billion out of Australian wallets. And it is those who are least able to afford it who are most impacted.
The Productivity Commission’s landmark 1999 report revealed that 42.3 per cent of pokies losses came from problem gamblers. That compared to 5.7 per cent for lotteries. More recent studies have put this at closer to 50 per cent of losses coming off the backs of the vulnerable and addicted.
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