Bondi Junction fitness gangsters are not Julia Guillard

This is by far the best hand-delivered crazy person’s letter I’ve seen today. It was left in a manila envelope at the back door of the offices of The Global Mail in Sydney, and discovered by Hugh Robertson.


There is so much to love here. The idea that Fitness First is behind the gangster takeover. The idea that all gangsters think they are the Prime Minister. The distinctly Gallic spelling of his champion’s name. The carefully selected photographs. The signature – Mark – written blockily beneath the printed text – Mark. No last name. Yes sir, I am so firmly convinced of the claims in my crazy letter that I am certainly not prepared to put my name or any identifying information to them. Take that. (Mark, do you think they don’t already know who you are?)

Oh, and the sticky tape. The dear, sweet sticky tape. 

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28 Responses to Bondi Junction fitness gangsters are not Julia Guillard

  1. I am a bit of a fan of the implication that our Loyal PM Guillard has ‘conviction in Australia’. If the Libs knew of these convictions, they could get a lot of mileage from them.

  2. Danny says:

    I see no problem with it. Clear logic, eloquently delivered. Give that man a job.

  3. Crazy Elf says:

    To be fair I often walk around intimidating society, but I go to Genesis so it’s okay.

  4. Laura says:

    How nice that you find this letter- which looks very much like the product of a psychotic episode- titillating. I usually appreciate your humour and willingness to push boundaries but this is just smug and cheap.

    If you’ve never experienced the confusing hell of psychosis or delusional thinking, lucky you. At least have the grace and dignity not to ridicule those of us who have. Life with mental health issues is difficult enough without having to contend with the wider population finding the outward (and sometimes excruciatingly public and visible) manifestations of these issues amusing.

    • geoff lemon says:

      It’s also a little presumptuous to class this as the product of psychosis, rather than a product of poor expression and misguided righteousness. There’s a long history of people coming up with loopy ideas – just read a Punch comment thread. Most of those people go about their lives regarded as perfectly sane.

      • Laura says:

        Okay sure, I’m being presumptuous on the psychosis thing. But at the very least it’s pretty illogical and off the planet. And you identified it as a ‘crazy’ letter by a ‘crazy’ person; so defending yourself by implying that you’re just laughing at a whacky notion by some regular Joe -who is probably regarded as perfectly normal in day-to-day life- comes off as disingenuous.

        I just usually see you take on public figures on the basis of political conviction, and when you do it’s acerbic and incisive and thoroughly enjoyable to read. This is just ‘let’s all laugh at this crazy person and his crazy exploits’. It’s not that I don’t recognise that on the surface it’s humorous because it’s quirky as hell, but more than that it’s cringe-worthy and pretty awful. Going to the effort of broadcasting it in this way just seems cruel. Anyway. I’ll leave it at that.

        • geoff lemon says:

          If you’re going to argue that a colloquial use of ‘crazy’ implies genuine mental illness, you’re about 180 years too late. Like we shouldn’t say ‘lame’ in case of offending amputees. People can say or do things that are called crazy, and can themselves be called crazy in relation to those things. It’s not a psychological assessment.

          Yes, I write about politics. I also write about things that have happened to me, and post things I think are interesting or hilarious. This letter is the latter, remembering that all we actually have in our possession is the letter. Nothing else. No context. Extrapolating the maybes of context and then telling ourselves to feel bad about things that may or may not be the case is… kinda pointless.

          Not to say I object to objections. I just don’t happen to agree with this one.

    • Sal West says:

      Here, here Laura. This is pretty obviously the work of someone battling some kind of disability, why would you make fun of them publicly? I thought you were going to round this up with a chiding for people being mean-spirited enough to laugh at this. Pretty cheap, dude.

      • geoff lemon says:

        And that is pretty obviously a massive assumption based on no genuine data.

        As I said above, we have knowledge of one thing in this case: the letter. We don’t know who sent it, or why, or their state of mind. All we do have is the letter, on its own. On its own, it’s hilarious.

        Adding a background story based solely on the way you presume the world to be, and then expecting other people to behave as though that story were real… well, that’s kinda bullshit.

        • Jen says:

          Heavens above, this repartee is almost as entertaining as the letter itself.
          It does however run the risk of closely resembling an Escher diagram.

        • RockstarPhilosopher says:

          Mark is a 48 year old former storeman who now lives in a box under one of the picnic tables along the beach at Bondi. His homelessness is a direct result of a psychosis induced from having the brown acid at the Guns n Roses concert/riot held at Calder Park Raceway in the early 1990s. Since that fateful day he has gone from a hard working you beaut bonzer true blue Aussie battler, to the shambles of a man you see before you. After losing his job for throwing a faeces encrusted banana at his warehouse manager his young wife walked out on him with his two young kids. She wound up taking the car, the house and even his dog Sir Barkley, after he showed up in court wearing nothing but a pair of happy pants. On his head. The downwards spiral continued as Mark made his way to Sydney, eventually having to resort to prostituting himself out George St Big Names. However, his constant delusions and rapidly declining sense of personal hygiene quickly meant that his clientele were soon reduced to the occasional cleaner and blow jobs for goon bags with his back ally brethren.

          You take this man’s pain and use it for your own cynical personal gain. For shame Lemon.

    • As someone who has suffered psychosis, I find it incredibly therapeutic to be able to laugh at what I’ve produced in those episodes.

      I also know people who are incredibly ashamed of what happens to them / what they do in similar circumstances…and could probably do with finding a bit of levity in the crazy – it’s certainly better than negativity, which all too often can kick off the cycle all over again.

      And as Geoff says: we don’t know what’s going on here. If we had more info, and this revealed more about the individual who wrote it or what they were thinking, than it might be cruel. But it’s doesn’t, and it isn’t.

      Life is difficult enough without people telling me my therapeutic pathways are not valid.

  5. Jim says:

    He who controls the mall controls the universe.

  6. julie says:

    Maybe not as crazy as it seems: could “Mark” be a recent arrival to this country? His English is not so good, as you point out, there’s a Gallic touch (or Spanish?). Maybe he has come here to get away from big fit men who walk like soldiers. Maybe Julia inspires him with confidence that he is safe here and his constitutional rights will be protected?

  7. gracemccall01 says:

    I’m with AppleMak. I think it’s a beautiful thing. My heart warmed when I read it. There are people in society who may get their point out in a different way but the writer wanted to communicate (to the Govt. no less) and went to the effort to do that. It’s not really anyone else’s call to make the decision about whether that message *should* be sent out. It’s wonderful that people want to protect those we feel are vulnerable, BUT those same people have been making decisions for citizens with a disability/mental illness for too long. Don’t be that person. It’s called DISEMPOWERMENT.

  8. I dunno, I grew up with crazy people and I found it funny. But then I always laugh at Mr Lemon so maybe I’m the crazy one.

  9. Soozee says:

    Mark LATHAM?

  10. Jen says:

    The photos, oh dear God the photos – ‘Mark’ obviously has access to a security camera or 4…….
    The silent scream of terror shared by the gentleman in the bottom right of the top larger photograph sums it all up.
    Maybe he is the intriguing ‘Mark’, maybe he just hates Malls, I guess we’ll never know.

  11. Gerard says:

    Chill peeps! This is not an insulting post, it’s irreverent. Big difference. Everyone deserves some respect even real idiots but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a chuckle.
    You are shooting the wrong messenger. Go log onto YouTube and have a look at some really vituperative, ugly, hate comments.
    I got flamed by some teenager this morning because I pointed out that his posts about raping people were just juvenile and immature. I was pretty chilled about the whole thing mainly because I was trying to calm a whole lot of other people down who were going way over the top about this kid when it was clearly a case of silly juvenalia. Just a kid trying to get a reaction.
    Life’s too short. I look for general motivation and I can’t see intent to harm here.

  12. David Muir says:

    Where did he get the photos, and why are they all clutching their balls? Is that what he means by “walking like gangsters”?

  13. Jugzilla says:

    The signature almost reads as “Monk” rather than “Mark”.

    I wonder if perhaps a certain awkward TV detective is behind these shrewd observations.

  14. Rich says:

    I want to know how that dear soul managed to photograph all of those people grabbing their crotches (some not on the 22 of March). I think those pictures should be heavily sticky-taped to the entrances of Fitness First.

  15. mrbadness says:

    I love this. The letter, the self righteous misguided rants and the follow ons. Thankyou, especially to MARK.

    My thoughts are that Mark likely works in/owns a store on the mall strip and has access to the security camera tapes. His letter is the kind of response you’d expect if he had people that regularly entered his store making him feel uncomfortable. This is his way of fighting back I guess?

    (I’m picturing MARK as a happy but energetically nervous little guy with a big heart who listens to too much talk back radio and makes an awesome meal from home grown veges and a family recipe. He dresses plainly but has awesome shoes!)

  16. kimmoth says:

    MARK is a 4’8″ albino lesbian transexual Ethiopian Muslim with learning difficulties who takes no shit.

  17. jabba says:

    I do reserve a special level of contempt for Fitness First posers.

    …But gangsters? I just can’t make the link. You actually have to work to be a gangster, not just dress up and promenade about a shopping centre.

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