Tag Archives: News

Vale Cory Monteith

Mood: Can’t Stop Crying

Cory Monteith
11 May 1982 – 13 July 2013
Rest In Peace

I never knew Cory Monteith. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, or talking to him, or rushing him at a red carpet appearance like a lovesick teenage puppy. But the news of his death shook me to the core and made me so incredibly sad.

Cory played a character on one of my favourite TV shows, Glee. I was a Gleek in high school and I found myself relating to the trials and tribulations suffered by the Gleeks in the TV show. As Finn, Cory portrayed a vision of what I wanted my high school boyfriend to be – a dream boat, a jock, a leader who was not afraid to stand up for the little people, an every day man, and a friend to all. I never met such a guy in high school, but oh, how I wished he existed back then.

I’ve been in tears for the past 24 hours, since hearing the awful news. I’ve been looking everywhere for news stories about Cory’s death, and reading all the tributes on Twitter from his co-stars and fellow performers in Hollywood. By all accounts, Cory was very much like Finn – a dream boat, an every day man, and a friend to all. None of the reporters who had ever met him had anything bad to say about him; something that was very rare in Hollywood. And the more lovely and loving tributes I read, the sadder I became.

I don’t want to speculate on the cause of Cory’s death – there are enough people speculating what happened in his Canadian hotel room. I want to always remember Cory as the dream boat, jock, leader of the pack, every day man, friend to all that he encapsulated in Finn.

I read a commentary today that put into words what I couldn’t – about the tragic loss of this lovely young actor from this world. I’ve reproduced the piece in full below. Thank you, Ben Pobjie, for writing this.

Why Cory Monteith deserved a happier ending

We don’t actually know the people on TV. We know this, but the purpose and genius of television is to lull us into feeling that we do.

We gain an impression of TV stars, a personality and image cooked up from their character, their public persona, and the superimposition of our own desires, and we hang on to that.

And so the death of Cory Monteith shocked us to our core, shook our worldview, because we knew him – not as Cory, a young man with all the complexities and demons that a human is subject to, but as Finn from Glee.

And as Finn we loved him, we cared for him, and we never imagined that he would have anything but a happy ending, because Glee was a show in the business of happy endings.

Monteith was neither the best actor nor the most powerful singer on Glee – his amateur’s voice couldn’t match some of his Broadway-pedigree co-stars – but in a way this only enhanced his greatest attribute: loveability.

Finn was easy to love. The leader who never quite knew who he wanted to be a leader. The jock who found himself unexpectedly more at home among the geeks. The handsome football star who found the courage to stand up for difference. The simple everyman who was never as simple as he seemed. In his ordinariness and self-doubt, he may have been the most relatable Gleek of all.

And so we who love Glee in all its bright cheesy glory found it easy to cheer him on in his show-stopping moments. The show made its mark indelibly when Finn joined the New Directions misfits in episode one to power through Don’t Stop Believin’, the song that remains the Glee signature. Monteith was the key to unlocking that magic, just as his character was for the Glee club.

We of the Glee nation loved him for embracing his inner choir nerd then, and loved him even more when he was called on to take control in a crisis, marshalling his motley crew in competition to lead them in a rousing rendition of You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Those who hated the show would cry this was sacrilege against the Rolling Stones; we who loved it lapped it up.

Finn was the heart and soul of the show, the focal point of both the Glee club and the show’s inevitable on-again off-again romance between him and Lea Michele’s Rachel.

And so many of Glee’s most memorable moments centred on their musical partnership, their duets on No Air, and Journey’s Faithfully, providing Monteith with just greatest moments as the classic romantic lead.

But perhaps Finn’s greatest role in Glee was as the representation of change, of the ability to overcome prejudice. His rendition of Bruno Mars’s Just The Way You Are in apology for his bigotry to his gay stepbrother Kurt was a marker of this; though probably an even more powerful moment was a non-musical one, when he appeared in a bizarre Lady Gaga-esque costume to rescue Kurt from the violence of homophobic bullies.

In a show whose very identity revolved around the celebration of difference, it was Finn whose learning and growth shone brightest as an example.

In his doubt, his uncertainty, his yearning for something greater, his restless search for himself, his struggle to iron out his own flaws and find happiness in unlikely places – the quarterback singing show tunes, ditching the cheerleader for the song-and-dance girl – Finn was the Gleek we wanted to be and hoped we were.

Sadly, Finn and Cory were not the same person, and even though we may have known of Cory’s problems, maybe we let our confidence in Finn’s ability to sail through a sea of troubles blind us to the fact that in real life it’s never as easy as on TV – and that as well as we knew Finn, we didn’t ever know Cory.

But if we know nothing else about Cory, we know that in his far-too-brief life, he left us Finn Hudson to remember him by. And we thank him, and bless him, for that.

Thank you, Cory Monteith. Don’t stop believing.

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Dazed & Confused, Punch Drunk & Mad

Mood: WTF

The cartoon above might be funny, but what I’m about to talk about is deadly serious.

An article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald today that caught my attention. This article, titled “Punched over cigarette: man critical after alleged attack” dredged up a dark past that I don’t often want to think about, let alone be reminded of.

The article outlines a random and unprovoked physical attack on an unsuspecting victim, all because he refused to give the attacker a cigarette. The attack happened at around 9.30pm on a Wednesday evening, in a nice, quiet, well-to-do area on Sydney’s lower north shore, just across the street from where I use to live. The bashing victim was a young male in his mid-20s, walking with a group of friends along a main road, when the attacker approached them. After knocking his victim to the ground, it is reported that the victim’s friends had to crouch over him to shield him from being kicked by the attacker. The victim is currently in a critical condition at the Royal North Shore Hospital.

The article goes on to list some recent and equally unprovoked attacks – a young man (Simon Cramp) on a night out with friends spent just over a month in hospital after being in the wrong place at the wrong time, 48 hours of which was spent in a coma, and another young man (Thomas Kelly) killed by a king hit on his first outing to King Cross.

I look back on my younger days – my misspent youth – and it sends a chill down my spine to remember how I was involved in similar situations on a number of occasions.

On each and every one of those occasions, the attacks on my friends were unprovoked, and the attackers were random strangers. Unfortunately, none of those attackers were ever caught, free to continue their reign of terror on other unsuspecting victims.

I remember when I was 18, walking in broad daylight with a group of friends on our way to one friend’s house. We were laughing and joking around, and looking forward to more laughs and jokes once we reached our destination. We walked across a bridge, and saw a group of young men – boys, really – approaching from the other side. We didn’t pay any attention to them as they were strangers to us, and we continued our conversation. As our groups were about to pass each other, one of the boys took offence to something, and shouted “What? What are you f%$&ing looking at?” Stunned, none of us answered back, which made things worse. The boy took two big strides forward and threw an elbow into my friend Andrew’s face, sending him to the ground screaming in pain.

The gutless group of thugs ran off, laughing and yahooing as if they had planned to attack someone and they were pleased to have achieved their goal.

The elbow connected with Andrew’s open eye. The force of impact made a huge scratch on his eyeball and he ended up having to wear a patch over that eye for 6 weeks. Fortunately for him, Andrew didn’t lose his eyesight, but it was a close call according to his doctor.

We never made it to our friend’s house. We took Andrew to the hospital, and stayed with him for the next 6 hours while he waited to see someone. We called the police while we were waiting, and were asked to go down to the police station after Andrew had seen a doctor to give our statements. That took another 2 hours. And afterwards, we took Andrew home and stayed with him for another 6 hours before his parents could get back from their weekend away. It was nearly 3am by the time I got home, and I couldn’t get to sleep. I was still too wired from witnessing the attack.

I remember when I was 21, on a night out with my then boyfriend D, when we were approached by a group of young men, obviously drunk and looking for trouble. We didn’t know the men, but they started acting very aggressively towards us. D was a nightclub bouncer, on a rare night off, and really didn’t want to fight with drunken idiots. He politely asked the men to back off, but they kept coming at him, goading him and saying nasty things about me. D didn’t budge. He just kept calmly asking them to back down. Finally, one of the men lunged at D, with a knife in his hand. I hadn’t seen the knife until that point. D was sober and was able to quickly sidestep the lunging knife. Using his martial arts skills, D disarmed the idiot while shouting for me to call the cops. The rest of the idiots managed to push D off their mate, and they all ran off, minus the knife.

I remember when I was 24, on a night out with friends to celebrate a birthday, when a random drunk bloke came up to our group and asked for money. None of us wanted to give him any money, so he pulled out a syringe. With a needle. And started thrusting it at us. My group of friends scattered, and he came after me. I remember how scared I was, but I calmly tried to reason with the drunk, while my friends went to get hotel security. I remember talking to the drunk, asking him what he needed the money for, and if he wanted a drink, I was more than happy to buy him one, but he had to throw away the needle and syringe first. I remember my friends trying to pull me away, but every time my friends moved me a step away from the drunk, he moved a step forward so we maintained the same distance, no matter how far backwards I moved. I remember the sound of rushing blood in my ears as my heart pounded a million miles an hour, and I remember turning to my friends and chastising them for pulling me away, as I was having a good natter with the drunk. In the 5 minutes it took for hotel security to get to us, I think I aged 10 years. When the bouncers finally arrived and shoved the drunk away, my legs turned to jelly and my friends had to help me find a seat.

I remember when I was 27, on my way to meet up with my then boyfriend P for dinner, when I got a call from the hospital saying P had been in an accident. I raced to the hospital, to find P’s head was covered in stitches – massive cut on the back of his head, cuts all over his face, big gash above one of his eyebrows. And to top it off, he had 3 cracked ribs and 2 broken teeth. P told me he’d finished his shift at the pub and was walking to his car, minding his own business, when he was approached by a man asking for a cigarette. P told him he didn’t have one, and the man asked again. P repeated that he didn’t have any cigarettes, and turned his back to continue on his way. The next thing he remembered was waking up on the footpath, seeing a pool of blood, and knowing that he had been robbed. Thankfully, P wasn’t stabbed or hurt any more than he was, and whilst he lost his wallet and around $50, he was alive and with a lot of scars to show for his beating.

None of my friends nor I asked to be attacked. Each time, we were minding our own business, but were set upon by idiot trouble makers looking to punch on. What goes through these thugs’ minds when they set out to look for someone to punch? How many idiots go out on a nightly basis, looking for trouble? We are only hearing some of the more vicious attacks – surely, there must be dozens of similar incidents every night. And how many times do these dirtbags attack people before they call it a night?

The attacker who killed Thomas Kelly assaulted 4 other young men on the same night. Thomas was the 2nd man he’d struck. He went on to assault 3 other men before ending his violent spree, when he ostensibly headed home to smugly reflect on what a great night of punch-ons he’d had. This idiot was recently allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter instead of facing the greater charge of murder. This coward was basically given a “Get Out of Jail Free” when he was allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter, because with time served, he will probably end up only spending a couple of years in the clink, for killing a man – a man who was someone’s son, someone’s grandson, someone’s brother, someone’s nephew, someone’s boyfriend, someone’s friend, who was enjoying a night out with his friends, minding his own business, when his life was cut short. So unfair.

The article today made me wonder about the choices I’ve made in my life, and how lucky I’ve been to still be in one piece, married to a beautiful man and mother to a gorgeous son. It also made me wonder about the choices my son will make when he grows up. It will be my duty to teach him that real heroes walk away. It will be my duty to teach him that violence solves nothing. It will be my duty to teach him that drinking in moderation is much more fun than getting totally shitfaced. It will be my duty to teach him to watch for signs of trouble, and to move away from it as safely and as quickly as possible. But how will I teach him to avoid a king hit, when there are cowards in the world who attack you even after you’ve walked away?

I hope, when Master S is older, he will be smart and safe on a night out with friends. He will know how to look after himself, and how to look after his friends. And most importantly, he will know when enough is enough, and come home to sleep it off. I hope, with all my heart, that cowards like the ones who have been attacking innocent young men in recent months will never cross paths with my darling boy, because they will be behind bars, rotting away for the senseless violence they spew out of their pores.

Pray for Boston

Mood: Sad

There is so much evil in the world. And so much hate. I just can’t understand why there is so much evil and hate, and why people can’t move past these feelings without bringing violence into the equation.

I woke this morning to news that 2 bombs exploded near the Boston Marathon finish line, killing 2 people and injuring hundreds more. My thoughts were instantly with a number of our friends and associates who either live in Boston, or are in Boston for the marathon. A recently engaged friend has lived in Boston for the past 15 years, and being a runner, I thought there might have been a chance he and his fiancée were running in the marathon. A friend was racing in the marathon, which made my heart leap and sent me scouring the Internet to see if he was OK. A couple of J’s colleagues are also based in Boston, one of whom had only just relocated to Boston in the last month.

Thankfully, the news was good for us. Everyone we were worried about are safe and sound. My poor friend who was racing in the marathon is currently stuck in his hotel after the building went into lockdown, and he has no idea how long the lockdown will last. He is due to head to London to race in the London Marathon later this week, but I have a feeling he’s not really thinking about the race in London right now.

It’s unfathomable how much hate there is in this world. There is no other way to describe the motive behind the horrific Boston bombings. To maim and kill innocent people partaking in a happy and carefree pastime is to hate life so much that you would do anything to disrupt it. The most unfortunate thing about the people who perpetrated this hateful act is that they look like regular normal people, without any impediments or defects, but their cores must be a rotten mess of evil black to plan and execute their hateful plan of attack.

It took me weeks to get over the senseless murders in Colorado in July 2012. A hateful, senseless act of evil. Add cowardice to this picture when the murderer’s attorneys offered to have him plead guilty to try to avoid by the death penalty. No, dude, you do the crime, you do the time. The death penalty is too lenient on this oxygen thief anyway, in my opinion.

I have only just managed to stop crying every time I heard or read an article related to the awful events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School just before Christmas last year. I won’t make any comments about the shooter in this tragedy, other than hope that his soul is now at peace. I have nothing but sympathy towards all the families affected by this enormous tragedy. But yes, this was an act of hate, and I hate that so many people will never see their loved ones again.

I am so sad for the city of Boston and for all the people affected by this heinous act of hate. Sending love and prayers to all the good people of Boston and hope the city stays strong and fight back.