I think the idea to start “Scallywag and Vagabond.” (SCV) originates from my myriad background and the many years I have spent in preferred cafes and brasseries extolling the virtues and subtle intricacies of ‘being’ as the Beaujolais ran, the cigarette wafted and the gentleman to my side pontificated while spraying himself with a deftly tied cravat and sun crested idolatry.’
I grew up in Australia where as a young man one was obliged to become a hero of sorts. A master swimmer, fighter of causes, ideals and disheveled denizen of aesthetics, and more often a carefree ‘larrikin’ who would occasionally poke his sun bronzed nose at authority and convention
With sanguine contradiction, intrigue about my European roots and certain effrontery to Anglo Saxon rigidity I headed off to the catwalks of Milan and Paris to strut my inhibitions.
What transpired was an introduction to the sensibilities of living a life not seen as conventional by my parents, my degree or society. On one level society idealized the visage of a young man with make-up but vilified him if he was seen drinking too many café oles with pen, paper, cigarettes and champagne flutes in tow. In some way I had become a functioning vagabond, an elegant one at that, with no proper home or particular allegiance , except to form, grace, charm and a sensibility geared to human transcendence and the ‘Musee de Picasso’ in the ‘Marais’ on a rainy afternoon.
From the Mediterranean I then found myself living for many years the charged lifestyle of a hardened capitalist in the heart of New York City. Trading equity derivatives, pitting myself against Ivy league types, rat a tat avenues and the hustle of drinking a cup of coffee (standing) out of a paper cup. Such a rude shock.
Thumping designer suits, abstract numbers and quotes I was introduced to the audience that craved gentlemen of certain dispositions that boys like me on Wall st claimed to be. By turn 5th aveneue beckoned, designer friends, accoutrements and the madams that called their doormen ‘dahling.’ I was exposed to the ‘uber’ world, but it didn’t make sense for deep down I was a ‘larrikin’ from the shores of Sydney where trophies and accomplishments were never meant to be taken seriously.
Somehow now, I have chosen to combine my zest for intrigue, dialogue and idolatry with that of the movers, the gentle shakers of this kindred society, the hiss of stiletto daggers and pouting super human beings wafted in sanguine exteriors but hardened by ‘uber’ expectations.
A gentle tow to pull from one shore to another and a mellow afternoon spent amongst cravats in fine parlors, foreign accents, noble pursuits and hapless dialects. Vagabonds, scallywags, it didn’t matter how you dressed, where you sat or which street you lived on, as long as you could hold your head up high and conjure delicate thoughts to the privy of transcendence.
Such alacrity on a wet August afternoon, 2008.
Chief Editor and cultural correspondent,