Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Underbelly: The Gangland War

By Andrew Rule and John Silverster

GET FUCKED! Not every book I read has to be highbrow la-de-fucking-da, does it? Go fuck yoursleves and suck a lemon, you who judge me. Up yours and sit on it cumrag. Pansy toff cunts!

(I was too embarrassed to buy it at Readings so I went across the road and bought it at that other store.)

As for a review, well, I mean, sweet Jesus, it is what it is. You know those concise articles Rule and Silvester write in the papers? Well, the book is just the same, but longer.

A re-print in about 20 years will be more interesting when they can actually print all the names. I got a bit confused with all the pseudonyms. I got confused anyway. There were 25 murders and none of them made any particular sense. The motives for the murders are as flimsy as a cardhouse, but I guess that's what makes them all the more compelling.

I went on a blind date last week. It didn't work out. I wanted a womb. She wanted a Trillionaire who looked like Johnny Depp. We got along okay though. Culturally we had nothing in common even though we were both skips from the 'burbs, but she was all Sex & The City and I was all Russian Ark. But anyway, we were at The Retreat in Sydney Rd and as we left, we peered down towards the Brunswick Club where Lewis Moran was shot. Our final chat was about the gangland killings. We had both watched the series on pirated DVD's and we chatted about 'em and I thought to myself, "This is such a bonding Melbourne thing." I reckon the gangland killings, like footy, is another of those great levellers that enables complete strangers to talk to one another. Carl Williams is a fucking celebrity whether we like it or not, and we're fascinated with him and his skank wife. I put it to you, behind this cloak of anonymity, that we're glad he's still alive; not because we are opposed to senseless death, but because there's a chance we can hear more about everything. The more they print, the more we'll buy The Age on Saturday, sit in a cafe and make sure everyone can see us reading the Book reviews and News Extra, but secretly we'll be busting to get home to read the GANGLAND 5 PAGE FULL COLOUR SPREAD EXCLUSIVE in the privacy of our own home where our comrades from the chattering classes can't see us. We're like fatties on diets, hiding in the toilet to eat a Mars Bar.

The Gangland Killings (TM) is interesting.

(I'm sure innocent patrons who happened to be drinking at The Brunswick Club will disagree with me).

But it's like what Jean Baudrillard said about 9/11. He made a bold statement... hell, it's more than bold. It's ugly. It's foul. It makes me squirm every time I think of it, and fuck, I don't even know if I wholly agree with it or whether there's any truth in it at all, but, I dunno, the line hits me somewhere that makes me feel very uncomfortable with myself. Here it is:

To put it in the most extreme terms, they did it, but we wanted it. If that's not taken into account, the event loses all its symbolic dimension...

- Jean Baudrillard


Look, on the one hand, Underbelly is the tale of very real people being very really slaughtered over drugs and cash, and the whole episode is abhorrent, and I'm thankful I had absolutely no connection to any of it.

On the other hand, when I read that Graham 'The Munster' Kinniburgh, when late to his own wedding, turned to his rather angry bride and said, "Sorry love, I had to see a bloke", I can't help but smile and think, "Heh. He had to 'see a bloke'"

They were a bunch of murderous thugs and utter cretins and I'm glad that they had the good manners to shoot each other instead of me.

But gee, they're kind of fun to read about. I give it a B Minus.