Home Pop Culture So Scallywag turns 46. Happy birthday to a tabloid hack I wonder…

So Scallywag turns 46. Happy birthday to a tabloid hack I wonder…

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Christopher Koulouris
Christopher Koulouris is also a preferred hawt bixch…

One of the privileges of having one’s own blog is that they get to write and explore what they will. Which is why two hours after turning 46 I am wondering to myself what does it mean to celebrate another year of life on earth.

But before we get round to exploring what that means one has to wonder what life in the end really means.

So here I am in my non descript studio, somewhere in Brooklyn, the maker of dreams, the liver of dreams. In the background I am listening to Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky,’ a bottle of Heineken cracked open and a pack of half finished Marlboro lights.

“And so let’s raise the bar all the way to the stars.’

That’s what the lyrics say.

I have to be honest I have no idea what life means. Well that is not true. I just try to live it. Accept as much as I can bear the journey, the heartache, the spontaneous joy I sometimes feel when a gust of wind blows over me and carreses me.

If you must know I love walking in the rain. In the snow. Along the beach. I also love kissing. Eating well. Listening to the harmonious waves crash. And sometimes simply running into people I have never met before and swapping some delightful banter.

“Do you think that chocolate sundae would taste better with a smidgen of tequila?’

“Would you agree that the value of one’s being is commensurate to the number of times they have been photographed?”

“I understand that you are a socialite? Is that true?”

Yes I can be a larrikin if I want to be .

If someone were to ask me what I have learned about life all these years I would say that integrity to self and others (and believe me that is easy to say and so hard to live sometimes, hence the moral dilemma). To be kind, compassionate, to try to respect others for who they are and what they are going through at any point of time (and I would say that often requires attempting to let go of one’s own prejudices, biases, and expectations).

I have come to learn the world is irrational, absurd and not often giving us what we are looking for at any point of time. Sometimes it does and I personally believe in life and trust in the universe, despite my own apprehension and frustration at times. I reckon we have to. Faith in ourselves and the world around us requires this. Yes put away the pain and fear if you can. I know that’s hard to do sometimes isn’t…?

I also think we have to take risks and assess those risks responsibly.

What’s the saying?: ‘The real risk of life is failing to take risk in the first place.”

Goes the song and Pharell Williams (god that kid is good isn’t he?)

“What keeps the planet spinning, the force of love beginning

We have come to far to give up who we are so let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars.

She’s up all night ’til the sun, I’m up all night to get some, She’s up all night for good fun, I’m up all night to get lucky”

Someone once asked me if why I chose to be a tabloid/gossip writer had anything to with me getting back at people and showing them who really has the power. It’s true as a young boy growing up in Australia, the son of working class immigrant parents I received a lot of flack for being a little out of the box. Well way out of the box. It’s terrible sometimes what we go through as young kids trying to make way with our spontaneous understanding of the world and being pulled apart for being a particular kind of way. Kids can be mean and merciless, so can society when you don’t fit in the box.

But actually that would be too easy to say. I know as a tabloid writer I have the capacity to humiliate, expose and denigrate as I see fit. It is an easy thing to do. As tabloid writers we all do it.  Pull punches, expose, ridicule, snark and show our contempt for certain behavior, spectacles, paradigms.

No the real reason I choose to write tabloid copy is because I am infinitely curious about the world, what life means, why some dude beat up such and such, why such and such self obliterated themselves, why men and women denigrate themselves, think women starving themselves to fit to a certain societal standard, think men who cheat and abuse their power. Think nations, our government for not honoring the principles of democracy. Think why we as a society have devalued ourselves into the shrill, the hyperbole, the misinformed and banal. And of course the inspiring story of those amongst us who excel and legitimately inspire others.

No the real reason I love writing tabloid copy is because of the power I derive of exploring the world and my own questions of what makes it tick. Of what makes me tick. All of course from the comfort of a manufactured stage, this blog.

When I first began this blog, scallywagandvagabond I had left a career on Wall street. I had spent a decade living the dream, as some would call it. Six figure bonuses, penthouse and any woman I wanted (can you see the vulgarity and arrogance?). Power, intellectual stimulation, gambling, cunning guy playing with the rest of the world and trying to outfox it and sometimes licking his wounds when he got over too much on himself.

But I did fairly well, except I didn’t really. I was tortured. I yearned for the romanticism of my youth ( I had lived a kind of romantic bohemian existence as a fashion model in my early 20’s, stumbling into unknown Parisian caffes writing from early afternoon to the dearth of late night), the idealism of my adolescence, of challenging the status quo, of exploring heart felt issues and leaving a kind of legacy. But instead I was now part of the status quo (that I innately questioned) and living a kind of betrayed existence. In the end I had used the power and money to outfox and out think myself.

I traveled, I returned home for a year to be with my family on the other side of the world, Australia, to heal, to lick battle wounds, to find myself. I even took a job packing boxes with (tabloid) magazines on the graveyard shift with a large media company. It paid overtime and I biked to get there at the dead of night. It was good to get back to basics again. Good to feel the oxygen pumping through my veins. Good to understand the common man (and I resisted), good to deflate my ego that had gotten the better of me whilst living in NYC. I had succeeded too young at the wrong thing.

Then I returned to NYC not sure what to do with myself. Exploring life again, eventually picking up the odd bartender work and unable to bring myself to apply for posts back on Wall st. I had to be a writer. I knew it. It killed me. I was scared. Finally really going to live my dream. Who knew what would happen, who knew if I would succeed, who knew how I would finance all of this. But I went for it anyway.

It’s been five years now with the blog. I have lived off friend’s couches, empty apartments, abandoned warehouses during snow blizzards, begged for handouts when there was no money (you can judge me at will), lived in derelict neighborhoods so I could invest back into the website. Would turn up to socialite parties with barely enough money for my train fare, shoes with holes in them, but there I was being photographed by society, sipping on the good shit, nibbling the caviar and shaking hands with all sort of dignitaries, ambassadors, socialites, celebrities, fashion designers, punk kids. Then returning later that evening to my humble abode to write about it all, create furore, contention, debate, all the while making sure that my voice was getting heard.

To be honest I would never wish it on anybody to be a writer, painter, recording artist, actor, artist, film maker, etc. It is an arduous journey, a heartfelt one where if you are not careful you can fall into the abyss. There is no real security in such professions unless of course one decides to take on commercial projects (which I have from time to time) or a full time corporate job. But if one prevails, takes personal responsibility, comes across the right group of people and picks themselves up when things don’t always work out as planned, one can prosper. One can redeem themselves. One can own themselves. One can be the person that they always sought to be.

But of course the irony is the more you stare over the cliff, the better you became at your art, your passion. It is a paradox. Near self extinction can often force us into self exhiliration and a deeper sense of self and accomplishment. And hopefully if you learn your lessons, you are better able to appreciate the world around you and as a writer/creative, perhaps affect a point of view, consideration that many of us overlook or are not easily digesting.

That I think is what makes for a good artist, creative. Someone who can force a consideration, reflection of the wider collective and affect a wider discourse, feelings and perhaps some change in how we as a society go about things with respect to popular culture. Yes even if it just gossip, or a ridiculous take on some misbehaving celebrity, never mind the occasional celebrity who also raises the bar for all of us who I am just as game to write about.

What can I say. I am 46. So blessed that I got a chance to live my dream. Blessed to have you as readers, blessed to be considered and appreciated (I wonder). Never mind the occasional hate mail, potential suit or snub. It is of course part of the journey. As a tabloid writer you are bound to once in a while piss people off, write things that are uncomfortable and contentious and risk forever hurting people’s faith, reputation and trust. So yes it is a lot of responsibility. You have got to own it.

Being a tabloid writer or a creative ultimately comes down to taking responsibility for one’s passion and not living off the back of other’s reputation,dreams, and goodness and not being hypocritical, denigrating and abusive. I have been accused of this so often and sometimes I wonder if they are right, but I reckon if you are careful to frame it all as a question and have your facts right you might get a discussion going where there was none before.

Being a tabloid writer above all  requires sensitivity, trust, tact, awareness and a deep respect for those who stand by you. I have admittedly faltered in this regard, and I berate myself when I do. I admit I can be self centered, irrational, too proud, self absorbed and too reactive, and not slowing down to think about how ones actions, letters, articles may end up affecting others.

People hate you for being that way. So do I. But that too is part of the challenge. To surrender to the universe and derive from yourself what you so often are asking individuals, loved ones and the world to give to you. Ultimately you have to give it to yourself and that shit hurts. But when you get it right, it is amazing. So let’s get it right and learn not only what the world is about but who we are also for ourselves. Really isn’t that the allure of reading the tabloids, even if it does come off looking cheezy sometimes.

Happy birthday indeed I reckon. Glad I am here, glad I am still gunho about it all. Glad that I have this opportunity to matter in this world (I hope), glad that I get to tell the occasional good story. Glad that I am so fortunate that I get to express and explore a kind of existence that I always yearned for.

Thank you to all of those of you have stood by me (and of course all your kind birthday salutations) and putting up with me, you all mean so much to me, I know I can be a hand full (mom can tell you all about this as a kid), so often living outside myself (rampant imagination and a thirst for exhiliration), but then hopefully gravitating to the pulse of the wider collective. The universe.

46 and still counting…wow!!

We have come to far to give up who we are so let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars.

She’s up all night ’til the sun, I’m up all night to get some, She’s up all night for good fun, I’m up all night to get lucky”

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