John Birmingham

The Wisdom: Australian Author John Birmingham

Categories Lifestyle

John Birmingham

Push play on Acca Dacca as the man who has written everything from He Died With A Felafel In His Hand to the history of Sydney imparts some wise words.

A wise man knows… when to shut the fuck up.

But you confirm stupidity by… opening your big mouth anyway

When I was a kid… I walked the earth, as I knew it. Kids can’t do that anymore, which sucks.

Now I am grown up… I try to let my own kids off the leash when I can.

If I could tweet to my teen self the message would be… that pimple on the end of your old fella will eventually go away. But there is no explaining it to the ladies. Sorry.

Success is… best delayed. Like drinking hard spirits it’s something you should come to slowly.

Failure can… be survived. Mostly.

When in doubt… cut your own path through the jungle. But carry weapons and enough supplies to get back out.

At the end of a hard day… you should ask yourself if you made it any harder than it needed to be. And if so, don’t do that again, you idiot.

I’m inspired by… people who don’t let shit get them down. They just lean in and push harder.

The book that changed my life was… John O’Grady’s They’re A Weird Mob, written as Nino Culotta. It made me laugh and realise that I wanted to write.

The blank page is… mocking you. Kick its arse. The cheeky fucker.

When I read my own stuff I… am surprised when I enjoy it. Mostly I’m reading to look for problems.

Criticism is… really useful if you can learn from it and improve. But it’s just tiresome bullshit when it’s all about the critic making themselves feel powerful.

People often underrate… the restorative magic of a quick nap.

The best place to be is… at the start of the journey. Everything lies ahead. Everything is possible.

The one thing I’ll never do again is… tequila laybacks. In a strip club. (Shudder).

If a song had to play whenever I arrived somewhere I’d want it to be… AC/DC’s “Back In Black”. It would simplify my wardrobe choices.

At parties I’m… The Enabler.

The morning after… is a lot more fun for The Enabler than for his victims.

Australia really should… learn to barbecue properly. We’re a disgrace.

Twenty years from now… there had better be a damned anti-ageing pill already.

Kids are… what you make of them. Quite literally. So don’t fuck it up.

Women will… always be their own worst enemies and our greatest allies. Seriously, you think we lazy sods could have run this awesome patriarchy for so long without inside help?

Love is… the only thing that makes us worth saving.

Looking at the stars… I worry that we’re not investing nearly enough in a warp-capable battlefleet that could see off a ruthless space monkey civilisation.

Top of my bucket list is… a cassoulet in Castelnaudary.

My epitaph will… fade. Like yours.