The Greatest Rapper in the World - Part IV

CHATPER 7
"True, it's a good indicator," Abdul from Joe's Repo Services tells me, "but I don't think that Billboard hits, or iTunes charts, are the best way to define the world's greatest rapper."
"Well, what would you say is?" I ask.
Abdul grunts as he lifts our TV free of the wall mount. He crab walks down the hallway, towards the truck. "What's important," he says, feet shuffling, "is your rep on the street, with the people."
"Example?" I ask, holding the front door open for him.
"Well, Jay-Z and Kanye West sold out Madison Square Garden for seven consecutive nights. That's impressive."
"Hmmm. I hadn't really considered using live performances as a metric. No one comes to my live shows. As a strategy it doesn't seem likely to deliver any short term income."
Abdul places the television into the truck bed next to our former washing machine and barbecue. He shrugs. "I'm just saying, no one can tell you all of Drake's hits, can they? But everyone recognises the names ‘Tupac' and the ‘Notorious B.I.G.'. They stood up, they beefed, they asserted themselves. Imagine if they'd had Twitter back then." He drawls, "shit."
Umar comes from the house with his arms full of laptop cables that he deposits in a plastic moving crate, Abdul rolls down the truck door after he seals the lid.
"You need stature, my friend," Abdul says. "The iTunes sales come after you have the people's respect."

Kelly joins me on the driveway as the truck drives away.
"What are we going to do now?" she asks.
"I don't know," I say. "I think I need to explore my feelings through a rap."
"What are we going to do for money?"
"I still think we can make it through my EP sales and your shifts at the hospital."
She squeezes my hand. "But you don't have any EP sales, at all."
"Not yet, but now I have an idea."

CHAPTER 8
In the bare living room I ask Kelly, "Who should be the focus of my diss track?"
"I still don't understand why you must do one," Kelly says. "It sounds really mean."
"I know it sounds mean, but it's a common thing in the music industry. In the game. Everyone does it, Cypress Hill beefed with Westside Connection, Dr. Dre and Snoop hated Eazy-E, there was Nas and Jay-Z, Eminem and the Insane Clown Posse, Aesop Rock and El-P, NWA and The Police."
"I've never even heard of half those rap groups."
"Neither had I, until they started feuding."
Kelly is letting me use her computer to find a potential dispute partner. A photograph of Flo-Rida fills the screen. He is posed shirtless, a teardrop is tattooed on each of his swollen biceps. Twin Desert Eagles hang from the sagging waistband of his boxer shorts.
The blood leaves Kelly's face. "Nigel, these rappers look dangerous. I don't think you should be doing this."
"I have to," I tell her. "If I want to be the greatest rapper in the world I can't be afraid of anyone. Or anything."
"What if they try and hurt you?"
"Relax, no rapper has ever actually been injured in a rap feud."
"You promise?"
"Well, no Top 40 rappers. Was The Game ever in the charts?"
"You never had fighting in your best rapper qualities though."
"I need to do this, though. I need to make myself stand out. Differentiate myself."
"Exactly," says Kelly. "You say that all rappers make mean tracks about each other, so differentiate yourself. Don't write a diss track. Why don't you write a... a love track."
"A love track?"
"Yeah, write a track where you rhyme about how much you like another rapper. Write lyrics about how cool you think they are."
"You think people would want to listen to that?"
"They should," says Kelly. "I would."
"Okay. I'll do it."

CHAPTER NINE
Before the release of my single Hug Your Homey, all of my iTunes tracks had only one download, done by me, to make sure the download was working. Hug Your Homey debuted at number 3,105 on the New Releases chart. I promoted it heavily. I sent a message to all of my old waste services colleagues telling them to download it. I changed the name of my MySpace profile from "~*MC NiG3L*~" to "~*MC NiG3L*~ Hug Your Homey available on itunes NOW!!!!"
I recorded a whole EP of friendly rap tracks, including the songs The Hug Life Chose Me, Keep Up the Good Work, Kanye and a rap over Weezer's Island in the Sun called Ain't No Blocks by the Seaside.
After the EP was recorded I spoke with rapper Evil Eddie about him appearing in a music video with me. I'm not sure if he bailed because he learnt we were filming it all on an old Nokia, or if he knew the script involved a lot of hugging, or if he realised we were filming him before we even asked him.
My YouTube video "Evil Eddie Trips Over Cat While Escaping Man-Hug [SD]" had accumulated ten views by the time Hug Your Homey faded from the New Release charts. Most of the views were mine, making sure the video was working.
One morning, as Kelly and I ate generic-brand cereal dry, I checked the video and saw it had three thousand hits, and I had a hundred comments. The video had gone viral overnight on a cat forum. Most of the messages enquired about the cat's welfare, but some said they liked my songs. I replied to each comment, regardless of context, and I linked each of them to my iTunes download page. I did inform those who queried that the cat had died in the incident.
The ratio of views to downloads was always low, but it didn't matter, because the views kept climbing day after day. Someone posted an auto-tuned remix, where Eddie's gasp, the cat's shriek and Kelly's angelic giggle became the chorus for an 808 beat.

The next week I called Kelly during the last hours of her triple-shift at the hospital.
"Hi, it's me," I said. "Your favourite MC. How's shift three?"
She took a while to answer. "It's fine."
"I have great news," I told her. "I'm back in the charts."
"The new release charts?"
"No, the hot sellers. I'm blowing up!"
"You're blowing up? Are you ok?"
"No, I mean, I'm making it."
"You're making it blow up?"
"I'm making money. Do you hear that?"
"Hear what?"
"I'm swishing the scroll wheel of your mouse up and down," I say. "I'm viewing our banking e-statement. Cash money! We gettin' paid!"
The tiredness slips from her voice. "That's awesome, babe. I'm so proud of you."
"I'm the greatest rapper in the world!" I say. "Almost."
For two weeks my songs continued to sell. I wasn't making a lot, but it was more than my weekly salary at waste services. We could pay the rent again.
In week three the payments went down. I checked the charts and saw my songs plummeting from the hot sellers. And then I saw why. A new artist was emerging, his downloads rising, his track preparing to knock mine out of the charts.
The artist was True Drew. He'd written a diss track.
The track was called Fuck You MC Nigel.

The Thrilling Conclusion, Next Wednesday.


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Daylight Savings Time Gives Me Hope For Society

I was listening to someone speak about Perth and its lack of daylight savings. There weren't any cheap jokes. He explained that Western Australia has enough northern latitudes that half the state doesn't really need an extra hour of sunlight in the evening. He also mentioned that those in the southerly Perth tend to adapt an 8-4 routine over summer anyway, so they don't miss out on anything.

It was hearing this that made me realise that daylight savings really is just a population-wide, government sanctioned denial. It has taken twenty-eight years, or seven Olympics, for me to reach this level of maturity and wisdom. Halfway through January, after you've adapted to the time shift and eating dinner in the sunlight, you forget about the fact that essentially we all simultaneously agreed to lie to each other about what the time is.

Why does this give me hope for society? Well, how many people do you know that refuse to follow daylight savings time? Who is out there, deliberately missing their doctor's appointments and court sessions to prove a point? Who are manually fixing the auto-detected time of their computers, phones, tablets and smart fridges? Who are turning up for cricket matches and barbecues an hour late? Besides the skittish, almost no one. Some irrelevant percentage of people.

This isn't just amazing because all of society agrees on something. It's amazing because all of society agrees on something that doesn't immediately have a benefit. That, on first glance, might seem illogical. They're overriding their instincts, their aversion to change, their suspicion of authority and they are just going with it. The result is that everyone's reality is altered for the better, except for maybe dairy farmers, apparently.

I don't know what thing we should do together as a group next. I just like the feeling that it's possible for us to all get along.

The Greatest Rapper in the World - The Finale

CHAPTER TEN
It seemed a mighty coincidence that my second taste of real fame would come the same way as my first, the by-product of a chuckle worthy video clip going viral. It did occur to me that perhaps all fame came down to that, stringing together successive, popular video clips for enough time that you became ubiquitous in the eyes of a generation.

My second stumble into publicity came from a serendipitous technical failure, rather than any breakthrough from my hard work. The incident occurred during my first ever performance of N.O.T.O.R.I.O.U.S. NIGEL. I made the mistake of rhyming Nigel with vigil. This wasn't a major faux pas, and I implemented the lyrics in the correct way, arranging the off-pronunciation in the front half of the couplet and allowing the rhythm of the lyrics to disguise the pronunciative misgivings. It would be easiest for me to show you the YouTube video of what happened, but since we sold Kelly's laptop for grocery money I'll have to inform you with words only.

I was flown to the American city of Atlanta for a Rising Stars of Hip Hop tour. The promoter had booked me after he found my ongoing public battle with True Drew amusing, and he asked me to play the opening set of the day. Like most festivals, the opening set is attended mainly by sound technicians for later sets, food and drink vendors who are setting up for the afternoon, and whichever squares turn up at the start of a small music festival in Atlanta. The side stage was not Madison Square Garden, but I had a small crowd gathered when I began with Hug your Homey, some even sang along. After Garbage Robot I could tell the audience was about to dip, as I'd exhausted my supply of hits and on the main stage Shad's roadie was doing his sound-check. I had to do something to keep the crowd, so I decided to premiere N.O.T.O.R.I.O.U.S., my next single. I franticly signalled to my sound tech to drop the electro-dubstep-moombahton beat I'd been working on.

The chorus to N.O.T.O.R.I.O.U.S. goes:
I've made mistakes, yeah, I'm notorious,
Even if you tried you couldn't be as infamous,
Many share my name, but I'm the world's greatest Nigel,
If you try to play this game then you better keep a vigil.

I was nine and a half words into the third line when my trainee sound tech accidentally cut the power. An immediate hush came over the crowd of Georgians. Caught off guard, I waved awkwardly in a way many blogs would later convince me was a parody of a gang sign. When the power came back on I was not asked to finish my set.

The world was divided by my actions; I had haters and advocates, the passion of both groups drove my sales higher. Race divide was suddenly open for debate, and I think I kicked some goals trying to bring the world that little bit closer to unity. I think after the shock wore off I was eventually accepted. This was great, because it opened up new opportunities for me to appear as a criminal or constable in mid-budget police dramas. From there a future of movie roles and deep, introspective rap albums was assured.

Eventually the talkback shows moved on to something else. I never tried to perform N.O.T.O.R.I.O.U.S again. I focussed on new material. I think it was premature, but the next thing I decided to announce was the release of my new song The Greatest Rapper In The World.

CHAPTER ELEVEN
The Greatest Rapper was my magnum opus, my coup de grâce, my tightest shit. It was about how great I was. It was a lyrical essay that documented my entire stint in the rap game. It started with a graphic recount of my conception, then my childhood and its hardness, Kelly, all the part time jobs I'd worked, more about Kelly, then finally the ‘greatest rapper' metrics and how I was working towards achieving each one. The whole track went for nine minutes and eight seconds, one second longer than Kanye West's landmark single Runaway. I also released a radio edit. It was the same length, but with any expletives over-dubbed with sound effects.
I expected sales. My YouTube channel was still churning out visits. There was press. Kelly and I were excited.

The day before the track was scheduled for release I received the first cease and desist. Jay-Z's legal team delivered it personally. They were a comical sight, five men and women in sharp, neutral coloured suits crowded together on the landing in front of our unit's door. They told me that "greatest rapper in the world" was the protected trademark of Shaun Carter. All but one of the lawyers then left. The straggler, it turned out, was Bryan Williams' lawyer, who informed me that "greatest rapper alive" and "the illest" were both copyright by Mr Williams.
The lawyers continued all morning, Kelly and I watched as the stack of legal threats piled upwards. "The best", "I'm all that" and "Number One MC" each had legal ownership. I had no choice but to pull the song from the market or face financial ruin. Kelly held my hand through the call to my agent to end the online sales before they even began.

I was crestfallen after the call. "I've failed you," I told Kelly.
"No Nigel," she said. "I still believe in you. This is only a setback. You can still be the greatest rapper in the world."
"Shhh," I whispered, looking around for lawyers. "You really think I can do it?"
"Of course," she said. "I love you!"
I pondered. "I guess, I should make sure it's not copyrighted, but I could become the greatest rapper in the... Universe?"
On the table was the paper I'd been tracking my progresses on. "Most hits, most money, fastest rhymes, I'm not near any of these yet."
She asked, "What else could you use to determine if you're the greatest rapper in the universe?"
"I don't know." We sat to think. After thirty minutes Kelly got up and made us a pot of Earl Gray tea.
We sat and pondered for the whole day. The sun set and our bellies rumbled. Kelly offered to cook supper, but I declined. I wasn't going to eat until I could find something I was better at every other rapper at.
"I'm going to the library," I told Kelly. "I need to research."
"Okay," she said.

The library was open late, and was mostly empty when I arrived. A bank of desks had computers for public use and all but one was vacant. I sat down in front of a keyboard and pulled the plastic chair in. I tried for hours to find something, some metric, some measure I could work towards that would elevate me to the position of greatest rapper in the universe. Cars, syllables, most creative use of samples, jail stints, humorous album covers. Everything was a dead end, everyone had me beat. With heavy eyes I scrolled through Wikipedia article after Wikipedia article. I don't remember what page I was on when I fainted.
At closing time the librarian couldn't wake me. After checking my wallet she called my emergency contact and Kelly came to find me. She shook me, whispering into my ear. She kissed my temple and wrapped her arms around me in an awkward hug until I stirred. I lifted my head, the indent of half a keyboard impressed across my face.
"Hey sleepyhead," she said.
"I did it," I mumbled. "I'm the greatest rapper in the universe."
She stroked my arm. "I know you are, I've always known."
"I love you," I said. "My Kelly I love you so much."
"I love you too."
She took my hand and led me from the library and took me home.

Left behind us, on a piece of paper next to the computer I used were eleven words:

Greater Than Every Rapper At:
- Loving Kelly.
- Being Loved by Kelly.


Like my words? Want to buy one of my books? I think you'll like this one:

If you met yourself from the future, what would you ask your future self?
What if they wont tell you anything?

Chase: A Tomorrow Technologies Novella. Available Now for Less than a dollar!


Unloading

It's October and, because of NSW tenancy laws, that means that the only people who can choose to evict Vanessa and me before new years is Vanessa and I. If we don't move we will have spent the entire year of 2012 living in the one house, and much of it with an open lease. The concept of an open lease is a sphincter-loosening one, because I hate moving.

I moved twice last year and one thing I learnt from that is that we own a stupid amount of stuff. Owning too much stuff is a hard folly to avoid in contemporary, middle-class Australia. We all invest so much time working for our wages and spend so much of those earnings on food, housing, insurance and transportation. Sometimes it feels like all you've achieved by working is existence. And if you had to choose between existing, and existing with a massive flat-screen television, the trend for accumulating material possessions becomes obvious.

I dream, however, of a minimal life. I ponder what I could do to reduce the objects I own, and turn moving into something that has no bearing on the state of my anus.

One problem with my possessions is my penchant to purchase in bulk. I think I could overcome this, eventually, once I'd trained myself not to buy toilet paper by the pallet and crushed garlic by the kilogram. The other problem I have is that I'm a sentimental packrat. I, perhaps obviously, like keeping a connection to my memories. This leads to me doing weird things like not throwing out old phones or kitchen gadgets due to their history. It also explains why I own over fifty t-shirts, many which I never, ever wear.

I know I will need to move again, and so I tried to find a solution to this problem. The idea came to me that I should photograph the shirts I owned, but didn't wear. I would still be connected to the memories, but the capacity of my robes would be restored.

And that's why I'm posting this:

<strong>April 2004</strong><br />
<a href=\"./display.php?jid=21\">This</a> is, or was, the oldest shirt I owned. It is also the first shirt I ever wrote more than 300 words about.

<strong>April 2004</strong>
<a href=\"./display.php?jid=21\">This</a> is, or was, the oldest shirt I owned. It is also the first shirt I ever wrote more than 300 words about.



<strong>November 2004</strong><br />
Nearing summer in 2004 I went to a surf store at Marion with my brother Steve to find fashionable clothing. Steve's recommendation was that I should buy light or white clothes.

<strong>November 2004</strong>
Nearing summer in 2004 I went to a surf store at Marion with my brother Steve to find fashionable clothing. Steve's recommendation was that I should buy light or white clothes.



Steve's logic was that wearing light colours would help disguise my lack of tan. I don't think he gave enough weight to the fact that it made me stand out like a sight screen.

Steve's logic was that wearing light colours would help disguise my lack of tan. I don't think he gave enough weight to the fact that it made me stand out like a sight screen.



<strong>January 2005</strong><br />
I bought this at the 2005 Big Day Out at around dinner time, before I saw the Chemical Brothers. I wore it as a second layer during their set, over the top of my white Billabong sleeveless T-shirt.

<strong>January 2005</strong>
I bought this at the 2005 Big Day Out at around dinner time, before I saw the Chemical Brothers. I wore it as a second layer during their set, over the top of my white Billabong sleeveless T-shirt.



<strong>December 2005</strong><br />
I went to the midnight, post-Christmas sales in 2005 after a day of drinking beer and whiskey at Burrett's birthday pool party. I bought several shirts and also some underwear.

<strong>December 2005</strong>
I went to the midnight, post-Christmas sales in 2005 after a day of drinking beer and whiskey at Burrett's birthday pool party. I bought several shirts and also some underwear.



This was another shirt from that trip. If I had been sober, I wouldn't have bought it. I don't mind the colours, but I was too tipsy to realise it was really tight. It would later fit quite comfortably.<br />
Craig also attended this shopping trip and he bought the same shirt but in brown and green, so we could be "shirt buddies".

This was another shirt from that trip. If I had been sober, I wouldn't have bought it. I don't mind the colours, but I was too tipsy to realise it was really tight. It would later fit quite comfortably.
Craig also attended this shopping trip and he bought the same shirt but in brown and green, so we could be "shirt buddies".



<strong>January 2006</strong><br />
Continuing the theme of buying shirts while inebriated, I bought this shirt at the 2006 Big Day Out. I loved this shirt. I wish I'd been paying attention and noticed the massive hole in the back when I bought it.<br />
I still wore it to multiple casual Fridays.

<strong>January 2006</strong>
Continuing the theme of buying shirts while inebriated, I bought this shirt at the 2006 Big Day Out. I loved this shirt. I wish I'd been paying attention and noticed the massive hole in the back when I bought it.
I still wore it to multiple casual Fridays.



<strong>August 2006</strong><br />
On my birthday in 2006 I took the day off work and went shopping for clothes.

<strong>August 2006</strong>
On my birthday in 2006 I took the day off work and went shopping for clothes.



I was strongly influenced by Men's Health fashion pages.

I was strongly influenced by Men's Health fashion pages.



I made some average decisions.

I made some average decisions.



<strong>December 2006</strong><br />
Awesome, a shirt I didn't buy at Marion. I bought this at The Pines in Elanora. Unbeknownst to me, almost every dude I knew was also buying a green shirt for summer.

<strong>December 2006</strong>
Awesome, a shirt I didn't buy at Marion. I bought this at The Pines in Elanora. Unbeknownst to me, almost every dude I knew was also buying a green shirt for summer.



<strong>December 2006</strong><br />
I went shopping with Steve for Christmas presents and I bought this shirt from Roger David.

<strong>December 2006</strong>
I went shopping with Steve for Christmas presents and I bought this shirt from Roger David.



<strong>December 2006</strong><br />
Then, for Christmas, Steve gave me this shirt. I notice a distinct lack of light, plain colours!

<strong>December 2006</strong>
Then, for Christmas, Steve gave me this shirt. I notice a distinct lack of light, plain colours!



<strong>April 2007</strong><br />
I saw this shirt on a mannequin in the Adelaide Myer store, and I decided I wanted to buy it.

<strong>April 2007</strong>
I saw this shirt on a mannequin in the Adelaide Myer store, and I decided I wanted to buy it.



<strong>April 2007</strong><br />
Over a year after I first had the idea, I finally convinced friends to become Shirt Buddies with me. Tim, Cowan and Myself all bought this shirt from Harbour Town.

<strong>April 2007</strong>
Over a year after I first had the idea, I finally convinced friends to become Shirt Buddies with me. Tim, Cowan and Myself all bought this shirt from Harbour Town.



<strong>June 2007</strong><br />
This shirt was definitely an extended lunch-break purchase.

<strong>June 2007</strong>
This shirt was definitely an extended lunch-break purchase.



<strong>July 2007</strong><br />
I bought this shirt at Splendour in the Grass 2007 to remind me forever that I went to Splendour in the Grass.

<strong>July 2007</strong>
I bought this shirt at Splendour in the Grass 2007 to remind me forever that I went to Splendour in the Grass.



<strong>January 2008</strong><br />
I bought this shirt at Melbourne's Big Day Out to remind me forever that I went to Melbourne for the Big Day Out.

<strong>January 2008</strong>
I bought this shirt at Melbourne's Big Day Out to remind me forever that I went to Melbourne for the Big Day Out.



<strong>March 2008</strong><br />
On one casual Friday I was thrashing an advance of Tapes 'n Tape's new album and I decided I also wanted to  dress like them. For that reason I bought this shirt. For the record, in March 2008 the band looked like <a href=\"http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/tapes-n-tapes-walk-it-off/\">this.</a> I should have taken the photo with me to David Jones.

<strong>March 2008</strong>
On one casual Friday I was thrashing an advance of Tapes 'n Tape's new album and I decided I also wanted to dress like them. For that reason I bought this shirt. For the record, in March 2008 the band looked like <a href=\"http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/tapes-n-tapes-walk-it-off/\">this.</a> I should have taken the photo with me to David Jones.



<strong>March 2008</strong><br />
This also signified a time in my life when I was moving towards single colours and shunning anything that wasn't plain or a simple logo.</p>
<p>You've reached the halfway point of my shirt history. When will I post the second half? You'll have to stay tuned...

<strong>March 2008</strong>
This also signified a time in my life when I was moving towards single colours and shunning anything that wasn't plain or a simple logo.

You've reached the halfway point of my shirt history. When will I post the second half? You'll have to stay tuned...



Better Writing

If there's one thing that proves how much better I've gotten at writing in 2012, it's how bad my handwriting has become since the beginning of 2012.

image 1189 from bradism.com

Unloading II

There has been more thoughts about moving, which then made me think about my journal entries about moving. Here's some shirts, many which will not be moving with us.

<strong>February 2008</strong><br />
I bought this Industrie shirt from Trims in the city one Saturday morning to replace my Spoon shirt, which I was in the process of wearing for over a day. It was the morning after the Fringe Opening Party which I'd gone to straight from work via Scrivo's apartment. For an unplanned purchase this one turned out to be a good one, it was one of Vanessa's favourite shirts.

<strong>February 2008</strong>
I bought this Industrie shirt from Trims in the city one Saturday morning to replace my Spoon shirt, which I was in the process of wearing for over a day. It was the morning after the Fringe Opening Party which I'd gone to straight from work via Scrivo's apartment. For an unplanned purchase this one turned out to be a good one, it was one of Vanessa's favourite shirts.



<strong>June 2008</strong><br />
A shirt I bought from Threadless on a Casual Friday at the office when Chow told me Threadless were having a sale. I'd always wanted a pink shirt, and the cute, misunderstood Godzilla on this one was enough for me to finally pull the trigger. I could relate to that giant little dude.

<strong>June 2008</strong>
A shirt I bought from Threadless on a Casual Friday at the office when Chow told me Threadless were having a sale. I'd always wanted a pink shirt, and the cute, misunderstood Godzilla on this one was enough for me to finally pull the trigger. I could relate to that giant little dude.



This is another shirt with another little dude on it from the same time, but I think I bought it because it was discounted down to ten bucks. I liked the V-neck on it. I never wore this one much, it was more of a Sunday afternoon shirt.

This is another shirt with another little dude on it from the same time, but I think I bought it because it was discounted down to ten bucks. I liked the V-neck on it. I never wore this one much, it was more of a Sunday afternoon shirt.



<strong>August 2008</strong><br />
My Dad gave me this shirt for my Birthday. He bought it on a trip to China. I was always a little hesitant to wear it, especially while living in Hurstville. I did wear it to my Cuban themed birthday party two years later, much to my own amusement.

<strong>August 2008</strong>
My Dad gave me this shirt for my Birthday. He bought it on a trip to China. I was always a little hesitant to wear it, especially while living in Hurstville. I did wear it to my Cuban themed birthday party two years later, much to my own amusement.



<strong>September 2008</strong><br />
After my great success with my first Industrie shirt earlier in the year I bought another Industrie shirt. Vanessa also liked this one.

<strong>September 2008</strong>
After my great success with my first Industrie shirt earlier in the year I bought another Industrie shirt. Vanessa also liked this one.



Also in September I bought my Dad a shirt for Father's day. He asked me for my advice on minutely-formal-casual polo-tee hybrids. Remember, this is the guy who thought a Mao Zedong shirt was a fashionable idea. I bought him a shirt from Myer, and bought myself this one at the same time. In hindsight, I should have purchased the same shirt for both of us, so we could be father-son shirt buddies.

Also in September I bought my Dad a shirt for Father's day. He asked me for my advice on minutely-formal-casual polo-tee hybrids. Remember, this is the guy who thought a Mao Zedong shirt was a fashionable idea. I bought him a shirt from Myer, and bought myself this one at the same time. In hindsight, I should have purchased the same shirt for both of us, so we could be father-son shirt buddies.



<strong>Christmas 2008</strong><br />
I received this shirt as a gift from Vanessa's Dad/family. They didn't know me very well at the time, so I think this was a pretty good shirt for me based on how fussy I am about shirts. I'm not sure how they knew I'd like it, they might have listened to me tell the sad story of how I lost my Adidas Track Pants in Tanunda earlier in the year and how devastated I'd been for a fortnight until I'd replaced them with an identical pair from Rebel Sport.

<strong>Christmas 2008</strong>
I received this shirt as a gift from Vanessa's Dad/family. They didn't know me very well at the time, so I think this was a pretty good shirt for me based on how fussy I am about shirts. I'm not sure how they knew I'd like it, they might have listened to me tell the sad story of how I lost my Adidas Track Pants in Tanunda earlier in the year and how devastated I'd been for a fortnight until I'd replaced them with an identical pair from Rebel Sport.



<strong>January 2009</strong><br />
I guess my New Years resolution for 2009 was to buy thought-provoking, artistic shirts to make me seem more mature. I bought this one at the Queen Victoria markets on a trip to the state Victoria.

<strong>January 2009</strong>
I guess my New Years resolution for 2009 was to buy thought-provoking, artistic shirts to make me seem more mature. I bought this one at the Queen Victoria markets on a trip to the state Victoria.



I also picked out this one. It's like, deep. Not surprisingly these  shirts shrunk about two sizes after a couple of washes and so I rarely wore them, but I moved them to Sydney with me all the same, to remember my trip to Victoria. I saw Mt Gambier. It was sunny.

I also picked out this one. It's like, deep. Not surprisingly these shirts shrunk about two sizes after a couple of washes and so I rarely wore them, but I moved them to Sydney with me all the same, to remember my trip to Victoria. I saw Mt Gambier. It was sunny.



<strong>February 2009</strong><br />
This shirt was free from the internet, due to some clothing design company's promotion. I guess their marketing worked because I paid for a second one to send to Steve. A duplicate of this shirt toured Afghanistan. Maybe that's why I occasionally get hacked by Algerians...

<strong>February 2009</strong>
This shirt was free from the internet, due to some clothing design company's promotion. I guess their marketing worked because I paid for a second one to send to Steve. A duplicate of this shirt toured Afghanistan. Maybe that's why I occasionally get hacked by Algerians...



<strong>October 2009</strong><br />
Chow was like, \"Hey Brad, you can get a shirt from this website for  but it's a surprise what you get. Are you in?\" As it was a Casual Friday I, of course, was. When he passed this to me a few weeks later I was initially disappointed, as this was a lot angrier looking than the cute little Godzilla. Eventually it became one of my favourite shirts. It survived the cull.

<strong>October 2009</strong>
Chow was like, \"Hey Brad, you can get a shirt from this website for but it's a surprise what you get. Are you in?\" As it was a Casual Friday I, of course, was. When he passed this to me a few weeks later I was initially disappointed, as this was a lot angrier looking than the cute little Godzilla. Eventually it became one of my favourite shirts. It survived the cull.



<strong>March 2010</strong><br />
Despite how happy I'd been with my pink Godzilla shirt, I'd always felt it was a little too... pink. I'd always wished for a shirt that was a little bit pink, but the more you looked at it the less pink it was. And that's why I bought this shirt. It died when I slipped over while being unco at opening a door and punctured the sleeve with the door handle. I remember being quite startled by how easily the shirt had been penetrated, and thankful it hadn't been my arm that had been punctured.

<strong>March 2010</strong>
Despite how happy I'd been with my pink Godzilla shirt, I'd always felt it was a little too... pink. I'd always wished for a shirt that was a little bit pink, but the more you looked at it the less pink it was. And that's why I bought this shirt. It died when I slipped over while being unco at opening a door and punctured the sleeve with the door handle. I remember being quite startled by how easily the shirt had been penetrated, and thankful it hadn't been my arm that had been punctured.



I bought this shirt the same day as the last one, I think to counteract the pink. Or because I was back into a plain, single colour shirt phase again, or because it was an Industrie shirt. Or because it was on clearance... These are the themes of my life.

I bought this shirt the same day as the last one, I think to counteract the pink. Or because I was back into a plain, single colour shirt phase again, or because it was an Industrie shirt. Or because it was on clearance... These are the themes of my life.



<strong>June 2010</strong><br />
There's a funny story behind how I came to own this shirt.<br />
I attended a Red Hat JBoss promotional session at a hotel in Adelaide one morning, I think mainly because there was a free breakfast. After the presentation they said there was a shirt up for grabs for whoever could tell them what JBoss stood for, something they'd repeated a few times during the talk. A room full of business folks with full bellies didn't stir. I was feeling extroverted at the time, maybe because of the six free coffees, so after it was clear no one was going to respond I stood up and gave an answer that was about 40% right. They gave the correct answer, and as no one else had tried to answer, they gave me the shirt anyway. Occasionally I wear it on Casual Fridays at my new job, which is kind of like an inside joke with myself, because I used to wear it on not-casual weekdays at my old job.

<strong>June 2010</strong>
There's a funny story behind how I came to own this shirt.
I attended a Red Hat JBoss promotional session at a hotel in Adelaide one morning, I think mainly because there was a free breakfast. After the presentation they said there was a shirt up for grabs for whoever could tell them what JBoss stood for, something they'd repeated a few times during the talk. A room full of business folks with full bellies didn't stir. I was feeling extroverted at the time, maybe because of the six free coffees, so after it was clear no one was going to respond I stood up and gave an answer that was about 40% right. They gave the correct answer, and as no one else had tried to answer, they gave me the shirt anyway. Occasionally I wear it on Casual Fridays at my new job, which is kind of like an inside joke with myself, because I used to wear it on not-casual weekdays at my old job.



<strong>July 2010</strong><br />
Oh look, it's a plain shirt. Good thing I took a photo to remember this shirt forever. Hey... I'm wearing this shirt right now. Ah, I remember this shirt, I typed a whole bunch of stuff into notepad++ about shirts while wearing this shirt and then I uploaded it one image at a time into my shabbily coded journal system. Good times.

<strong>July 2010</strong>
Oh look, it's a plain shirt. Good thing I took a photo to remember this shirt forever. Hey... I'm wearing this shirt right now. Ah, I remember this shirt, I typed a whole bunch of stuff into notepad++ about shirts while wearing this shirt and then I uploaded it one image at a time into my shabbily coded journal system. Good times.



<strong>August 2010</strong><br />
Four years after I took part in the Adelaide Casino's competitive schnitzel eating challenge I returned for another shirt. I needed a new one after my original one was sadly taken from me by a cat. I didn't know the shirts would look like this. It was very disappointing. I actually think that taking this photo may have been the only time I ever wore this shirt...

<strong>August 2010</strong>
Four years after I took part in the Adelaide Casino's competitive schnitzel eating challenge I returned for another shirt. I needed a new one after my original one was sadly taken from me by a cat. I didn't know the shirts would look like this. It was very disappointing. I actually think that taking this photo may have been the only time I ever wore this shirt...



<strong>September 2010</strong><br />
Obviously tipsy on pollen, I bought this plain, single-colour shirt on a sunny Sunday shopping excursion to Rundle Mall with Vanessa. I also bought a second one that was pure purple. Obviously I had moved past my tentativeness with certain colours.

<strong>September 2010</strong>
Obviously tipsy on pollen, I bought this plain, single-colour shirt on a sunny Sunday shopping excursion to Rundle Mall with Vanessa. I also bought a second one that was pure purple. Obviously I had moved past my tentativeness with certain colours.



<strong>February 2011</strong><br />
This was the first shirt I bought after moving to NSW. I needed new shorts, and I bought a pair from a surf store that was offering  towards a shirt if you bought a pair of shorts. Can you guess how much this shirt cost?

<strong>February 2011</strong>
This was the first shirt I bought after moving to NSW. I needed new shorts, and I bought a pair from a surf store that was offering towards a shirt if you bought a pair of shorts. Can you guess how much this shirt cost?



<strong>April 2011</strong><br />
The history of my shirts, 2004 - 2011, ends with this shirt that I purchased in Brisbane on a trip to visit Steve. If you pay close attention to the dates of the last few shirts you'll notice my shirt-purchasing propensity plummeted towards the end. I bought this shirt specifically because I had not bought a shirt for a while. This is usually a bad reason to buy a shirt, but I'm happy with this one. Even though I saw in Facebook photos that Chow also bought this shirt around the same time as me. As long as I don't wear it to Adelaide I should be okay.</p>
<p>Stay tuned, I will publish the shirts that I owned between 2012 - 2019 in 2020.

<strong>April 2011</strong>
The history of my shirts, 2004 - 2011, ends with this shirt that I purchased in Brisbane on a trip to visit Steve. If you pay close attention to the dates of the last few shirts you'll notice my shirt-purchasing propensity plummeted towards the end. I bought this shirt specifically because I had not bought a shirt for a while. This is usually a bad reason to buy a shirt, but I'm happy with this one. Even though I saw in Facebook photos that Chow also bought this shirt around the same time as me. As long as I don't wear it to Adelaide I should be okay.

Stay tuned, I will publish the shirts that I owned between 2012 - 2019 in 2020.


Thus concludes my summary of my shirts. After taking these photos I actually did feel less hesitant about no longer possessing these pieces of fabric that had shared a portion of my life with me. I plonked two garbage bags full of shirts into a charity bin and walked away knowing that, while the shirts were gone, the memories would always remain in my photos. Plus, now I had a whole bunch more wardrobe space. When I returned home and I looked around and pondered what else I was hanging onto simply for the memories. What else could I photograph and then dispossess? How many more journal entries could I knock out where I just take photos of things I owned and ramble like a elderly person with visitors? This reminds me of a story. It was back in the day, I forget the year and the month, so I'll make them up. I was sitting at my computer and.