Life lessons from Kat Muscat

21 Jun

docsThere is no cognitive dissonance in rocking out with equal fury to death metal, “Welcome to the Black Parade” or S Club 7’s magnum opus, “S Club Party”.

Flirt with everyone.

Enthusiastic consent can be the sexiest thing imaginable.

So is pashing all your friends and lovers at every social occasion, work event, stuck lift or fuck it, pash in the supermarket snack aisle because there’s a bucket of chocolate on sale. Ya gotta celebrate that shit.

Write as you speak. Let long, laconic sentences curl around your readers. Make them feel like they’re in love with someone they’ve never met.

Don’t be afraid to give up your article’s message in the title, like Kat’s manifesto on cis-het male sexuality “so your dick isn’t perpetually hard”.

Now everyone loves you, push those boundaries. Be genial and respectful, but challenge them to realise the shit they really don’t want to give up.

Accept that pretty much everything is problematic and you can call it out and still enjoy them, albeit warily. Like when you call out the things you love most – like Orange Is the New Black and Buffy. You will look at your friend Amy like the idiot she is when she mentions her irrational dislike of Tara because you know the power of wallflowers. Now chide her playfully. She’ll eventually accept you were right (well…).

You can maintain a friendship by texting each other links to menulog even though you’re less than 10 metres apart.

Sensitivity is the most beautiful accessory of all. Listen to people – when they love you, when they praise you, when they criticise what you have done (but not who you are) and when they say you’ve hurt them.

Accept and revel in all the love you get but reject the canonising praise.

Talk to your friends about that love and sex with clarity and respect.

Every moment is an opportunity to learn about sex. Like your erotic fan fiction about Captain Planet getting it on with Voldemort and taking a moment to explain to the audience good anal sex etiquette.

Find the delicate balance of empathy with not putting up with a single. ounce. of. shit.

One can never have too many piercings.

dfeOr tattoos. Of all the tattoos you get, make space for your personal mantra. Like “Defiance Feminism Empathy” because Kat knows those are the three things that will change the world.

See those new people at the event who look nervous but are most likely cool? Go up and welcome them like an old friend you’ve wanted to catch up with for years.

Always have a giggle in your voice before you joke about something.

Have the world’s dorkiest fucking laugh that splutters and husks at high concept jokes to cringeworthy puns.

It’s ok to lay in bed and wonder when a feminist death metal band will emerge. It’s even better to plan one of your own while watching Metalocalypse in bed, rolling perfect cigarettes and intermittently yelling “THIS IS DILDOS”.

Hug. Hug like you mean it. Hug like you want to give every cell in the body all your love. Team it with a little moan just to make that hug travel further and take up residence in your soul. Let people marvel at the strength of a tiny, slight woman who can hug you like a bear that’s ready for arms day.

There is never a bad time to dance. Do it right now. Have you ever listened to S Club 7?

Snoring together on the couches as you pass out from beers, pizza and binge viewing is an act of bonding that cannot be replaced.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 10.40.33 PMBe that person who is filled with love for their friends. Make sure they always know, even if you have to resort to poetry.

Avoid bitching about people as much as possible unless they’ve really done you wrong and fucking jump into it.

Know that friendship is a mixture of give and take. Like listening and helping, or trading one exquisitely rolled cigarette for one exquisitely made cup of tea. Become the embodiment of generosity and respectful need in all that you do.

If the sun is out, part of the social contract demands you grab a six pack and drink them in a park. Ok, maybe it’s more than a six pack.

The only point of social media is to post pics of babes, Harry Potter references and request people to deliver valium to you at work. Or ask them to meet you in the park for a beer, hey.

You can be the most beautiful woman in the room and still look into the camera with the face of an unsure kid on her first day of school. But it’s ok, because you know vulnerability is nothing to feel vulnerable about.

Honesty and reflection are radical acts – combine them both and they’ll become your superpower.

Be open about sex and realise it’s equal parts sacred, profane and inutterably stupid.

photo 2Even the bad times can be good. Did you know it’s possible to have an amazing night in the Emergency Department at St Vincents? Here’s how you do it – crack your head open like you’re Harry Fucking Potter if he went through an alt-lit-emo phase, tell your friend Amy you won’t go to hospital but eventually agree after a cup of tea and chocolate while you slowly make the apartment look like Carrie’s prom. Then sit in the Emergency waiting room for four hours where together you unlock the highly contested prize of most annoying people in the room by continually laughing, making jokes, updating Facebook with a series of viscerally goofy selfies, watch tv and agree Ben Whishaw is a “generic-brand Cumberbatch”. Eventually once the doctor patches you up, you can skip down the street at 4am with a head full of giggles and start singing “take me out tonight”, reaching to devious glee of the chorus, jumping up and down and pointing at the 24 hours Maccas that “there is a light that never goes out” because it’s the last thing vegan Morrissey would want. Then eat burgers as you wait for your beloved.

For those of you who love Kat, the next few weeks will be hard. She would have been 26 soon. She would have written at least 20 essays we could have read and learnt from. She would have shared 372 hugs with you. Double that for beer. Triple it for exquisitely rolled cigarettes.

I don’t want to give you sadness. You need happiness for the time ahead. Let Kat spark up from those sad, tear-sodden embers. When you think of her, think of it a hug hello. Hug those memories for then you keep her alive. Then Kat lives.

Because there is a night that never goes out.


This piece was performed at “Amazing Babes” for the Emerging Writers Festival. Kat was present and spoke at the first Amazing Babes. Here is her speech


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