Morbid Love

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Aftermath/Afterword

The thought of publishing this on my blog made me sick.

I sent it around to all the respectable internet publishing magazines, hoping they would pick it up. Publication in a newspaper, magazine or established outlet like The Guardian, The Atlantic or even Vice confers a certain credibility.

This piece found its genesis in a couple of television programs on domestic violence. One was Q&A. It featured a panel of esteemed experts discussing domestic violence, former police commissioner Ken Lay and Rosie Batty amongst them. The only group not represented were the issue itself; the men who perpetrated it.

Shortly after, I read a remarkable article in The Australian newspaper about a documentary on domestic violence, Hitting Home. Again, while examining the phenomenon and the victims, none of the male perpetrators were interviewed.

There were a couple of guys who were part of a prison program to rehabilitate offenders, but they were far too addled and bizarre for any reasonable, functional man to relate to. Their problems, like their actions, were not common.

Ideally, I publish something on my blog every week, sometimes twice a week. Looking for material is rarely easy and fortunately, I have a lot of stuff that is sports-related which I can cycle back after it’s had its run in print.

I take my choice of material as seriously as any not-for-profit backyard organisation can. Imposing oneself on a reader is an egotistical undertaking and the traditional media, which once supported and disseminated skilful, incisive writing on important and engaging subjects has almost entirely died out.

Most of our news comes to us by way of dodgy outlets which have more in common with the tabloid end of the spectrum, the intellectual equivalent of junk food.

There are two quotations that guide my writing. One is from my friend, heavyweight novelist Rodney Hall; ‘All good writing has two things in common; energy and risk.’

The second comes from Ernest Hemingway’s memoir about living in Paris as a penniless writer, A Moveable Feast. When confronted by a blank page, Hemingway would write down the truest thing he knew. And at that point, he would be able to find a meaningful start.

There’s something else that I would add; it is the thing that most scares me, the thing I most want to conceal from other people. If I write that down and stare at it, I find myself with more momentum than a runaway train.

My goal in this isn’t just to engage. The real difference between a writer and an egotistical Scrivener is someone who is writing to tell you something they know that you don’t. A writer’s job is, above all, to know.

Part of the human condition, in fact, possibly the energy that propels us through life is the desire for genuine intimacy. We fashion that out of truth. We hope and believe that the people closest to us, most dear to us, will tell us the truth.

They will reveal something to us an act of faith; they will dedicate a meaningful sacrifice to wed us to their most secret heart.

Long ago, Roland Barthes declared that the author is dead but I can assure you, I am very much alive. It’s perfectly possible in the internet age that there is no Jarrod Boyle at all; he is actually the alter-ego of a cat in a box with a lot of coffee and a word processor.

I can prove that I am real. I am real because of my connection to you, which is flesh and blood. I prove my commitment to you, to our intimacy, through this sacrifice.

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