Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Lately I’ve been shopping round for some prime TV viewing. Choosing not to embrace auction/renovation/lifestyle infotainment, I feared that I was waging a losing battle. Luckily, just as I was losing hope, I stumbled across The Bachelor III: prime viewing. Now, while I sometimes think that I might be irrationally and myopically anti-American, this crowd is totally nuts, which makes for very entertaining viewing. Backstabbing, boozing, emotional meltdowns – it’s all there. The star of the show is without doubt Amber, the drunk. In fact, I investigated the show after hearing that she totally embarrassed herself in the first few episodes. Apparently she got wasted in the Jacuzzi, almost passed out and vomited, which led to a tirade of bitching from the other contestants (“I really think that Amber made a seriously bad tactical move. She really needs to watch her drinking”). I was sorta disappointed that I didn’t get to see her vomit, but I did see her with a champagne glass clamped to her 24/7, and I did get to see her blackout regularly during conversation. Amber comes across so well because at least her boozing is genuine. After hearing every other bottle blonde talk about “connections”, the art of respectable wifehood, and the love they truly feel for Mr. Bachelor , the fact that someone can vomit on international TV is kinds refreshing. The fact that all these prim and proper puritan society-wives-in-waiting spend their down-time frantically bitching about every other contestant kinda highlights the falsity of it all (“I would never say this about anyone… but Katrina is a total bitch skank”). What’s so freaky is the way everyone involved is treating the process so professionally. It was priceless seeing the Bachelor earnestly talk about how he “really has to work to focus on each laadiieee so that she can show to me her best qualities”. I love America! If there’s more boozing and bitching, I’m definitely committing.
Sorry for the blog silence but I have been ministering to my brain. Firstly, I have been reading what the French call la littératture. Swanky eh? You know, books and stuff. Novels. There’s been a recent rash [compared to nothing] in my consumption of the things. I just finished The Virgin Suicides, which was good, but my head was constantly invaded by the movie, particularly Kirsten Dunst as Lux. Before that, I read Glamorama which was totally the toppest shit, man. I love Bret Easton Ellis. This one wasn’t as funny as American Psycho but it really kicked ass after about the first hundred pages. Way excellent, with celebrity name-drops aplenty, and also some disturbingly hot porn spanning pages 334-340 of my copy, if you were interested. Er, anyway, before that, I read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which I liked because of the Sandy character and because the Miss Jean Brodie in question was such an utterly preposterous little demagogue. Before that, The Secret History, which I thought was really well characterised, eliciting a strong identification with the narrative voice, and a sneaking suspicion that the Henry character was not to be trusted. Poor Bunny. Before that, oh, it’s getting hazy now. I think there was that Martin Amis autobiography, Experience, and those two Ian McEwan novels, Atonement and Enduring Love, but hmmmmm, methinks those take me back to a time that pre-dates the recent rash, so they should be discounted. Oh yeah, now I remember. The Harry Potter novels, all five of them in quick succession. Thems are good eatin’. I think I’m going to try the whole Virginia Woolf/Salman Rushdie thing again, which I have aborted a few times in favour of other distractions.

Other recent stimuli in the form of fillims, [what the French call, les films] have been I Capture the Castle, which had great clothes and insouciance, but a poorly cast and unappealing male love interest. I mean as if! Hellooo! Romola Garai and Rose Byrne are totally hot and bohemian English roses, so trying to make us believe that either of them would want to marry that American dullard… sheeesh! What were they playing at? We are a thinking audience, you know. We know that hot and interesting goes with hot and interesting, okay, and that there are no ways between, so give us some cred! That guy was totally blank and unworthy. Anyway, during the film something odd occurred. A scene played out in which the father was apologising to his daughter, saying things like “I’m sorry I ruined your life”, which was an overstatement, and I was thinking, “um, she’s eighteen”, and then the daughter actually said, “Dad, I’m eighteen”, with the same inflection my mind had given it, because you know, that was the reasonable response. I just thought I’d share that with you. Also saw Confessions of a Dangerous Mind which made me think Drew Barrymore and Sam Rockwell are totally cool and should have babies. A while before that I saw Respiro which was bloody excellent. Set in Sicily, totally great kids and a powerful sense of dry heat and salty air. Last week I watched Disney’s The Jungle Book, of which I had fond memories. It seemed more abrupt than I remember, but it was still good. Next week I plan to watch Alice In Wonderland, which I think might be the superior of the two. But nothing else comes close to either of them. Am looking forward to seeing Buffalo Soldiers because of the Jaoquin Phoenix factor, who coincidentally, is mentioned more than once in Glamorama.

In other brain-related issues, my mother sent me to a psychiatrist the other week. She worries, you see, but I wasn’t perturbed. I am fairly assured of my normalcy. And the doctor man agreed. Score! No mental disorders, no psychotic dysfunction, no personality problems nor any sign of what he termed a ‘deep dark history’. He was a poet, clearly. I felt validated. It was great to find out once and for all that I am what I thought I was - just a perfectly healthy crappy daughter whose lacklustre lifestyle sends her ma into depressive and guilt-ridden agonies. Poor woman…. Mmmmmm… I’m not freaking out or anything, but what if Mr Doctor man was only hoodwinked into giving me a clear bill of mental health by my manipulative sociopathic wiles [hey, I might have them]? What if [gasp!] he wasn’t even a doctor at all? Hah! But he was! Take that, suckers! The office in the medical clinic, and the bulk-billing, these were all clear signs. Even so, it could be argued that the hour he spent in my inane presence wasn’t sufficient to plumb and diagnose the eternal mystery that is moi. Fine! In the interests of science, [and, taking into account the subjectivity inherent to psychological consultations] I’m gonna parade my lifestyle before your good selves so that you may determine whether or not I am symptomatic of, um, something. And ‘wanker’ doesn’t count as a diagnosis, as it is an ailment without a confirmed medical cause, and does not come in the requisite Latin.

I think my lifestyle is probably typical, but hey, what would I know? I don’t get out much. I wake in the mid-afternoon, usually on the couch in the living room. Check to see what Oprah’s doing. Basic channel surfing between Passions and Dr Phil with emphasis on the former, until 4pm when Big Arvo kicks in, followed by Entertainment Tonight at 4.30pm, and then Newshour with Jim Lehrer most days. This whole afternoon TV process is sometimes eschewed in favour of listening to music, most recently with emphasis on Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Simian, Interpol, Rage Against the Machine, Easybeats, Lauryn Hill, Blondie, Hives, Dandy Warhols, with best intentions of revisiting Strokes, White Stripes, Eeels, Radiohead, BRMC, REM, PJ Harvey, Bob Dylan, Bic Runga, Coldplay, Bjork, Machine Gun Fellatio, Cat Power, Beck, Hot Hot Heat, and Nick Cave. Have designs on buying Kings of Leon, Goldfrapp, Jet, etc. If not tutoring or working, continue in this mode until brother arrives home. He joins couch. TV watching/music listening now interspersed with more commentary and demands that I get him a glass of juice, and as I’m up anyway, why not make pasta or stir fry or chocolate muffins, cookies et al, accompanied by the constant refrain, “Do we have melting choc chips?”, followed by deliberations on whether or not to make expedition to 7/11 to get said item and a few more besides, on my dollar. Much haranguing, or not, depending on mood. Time passes, phone rings a few times, entailing ungainly struggle from beneath constraints of twisted doona/poor agility/brother’s limbs and refusal to move, with kicking release and quick dash before "Hello Elanor speaking" and surprised recognition or the taking of messages. Parents return home, sometimes with mother bearing goods from supermarket prompting reconnaissance mission disguised as ‘helping to put away the food’. Evening continues in a world of couch, other family members gradually disappearing, signalling the beginning of ‘my time’, which spans the interval between the end of passable TV fare and the beginning of NBC Today at 4am. ‘My time’ spent doing one or all of three things; eating, reading, continuing the crusade against unwanted body hair. NBC Today ends at 6am. Watch first ten minutes of Sunrise in search of fodder for smugness, switch off TV, and, depending on tiredness level, either read or contemplate sleeping on couch or making the move down the hall to my bedroom. Sleeping quarter decision based on whether or not I need to wake up ‘early’ that day. Go to bedroom if I don’t need to be conscious or present at anything for at least 12 hours, stay on couch if needed in 5 hours. Powerful dreams in bed, garbled recollections on couch… The end.

I admit to being feckless and adrift, but I defy you to call me crazy.

Friday, August 15, 2003

As we know, Jerry Springer is quite a repetitive show. Same old hysterics, revelations and fisticuffs everyday. So of course they need to energise a stale format by finding new ways of saying the same thing. Well, today that happened... literally. A woman finds out that her boyfriend has been messing around behind her back with another guy. Shock, horror, and her hilarious response: "I can't believe he was doing this for two months and didn't have the testicular fortitude to tell me about it". Can you believe it? Testicular fortitude! Haaaaaah! ha ha ha haaaaaah! ha haha [convulsive splutters] haa haa oh oh god haaaaaaaaaah! [tears streaming] ha haaah haaaaaaaah! [gulp] hahaaah oh oh stop ha haaaa I can't breathe hee ha haaaaaaaah!.... and so on. My god that is the funniest thing I've heard in a long time. The excessive vocabulary, the strightfaced delivery. It's just too good. It's got serious balls.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

So, the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer just aired, and it wasn't bad. Fitting, you know. Which of course meant that my two favourite characters were mercilessly killed off saving everybody else's sorry asses, no doubt to make some final point about redemption through sacrifice. Figures. I always prefer the characters that the other pricks dub 'morally questionable', even though they are totally upright and classy. Sure, Anya and Spike killed heaps of people, but hellooo, they were demons. Another example of my predeliction for the pariah can be found in my attitude to The Bold and the Beautiful. I am heavily pro-Brooke, and have ever been so. Everyone else on that show can go to hell. Dicks. Last night also showed the final ever episode of Freaks and Geeks, possibly the best show ever made. And yet, it only lasted one season. Who makes these decisions? How could dangerous shit like Walker: Texas Ranger and Touched By An Angel get renewed so interminably and yet...? Grimace. Scowl. Also, can somebody please explain the demise of Micallef Tonight? He was bloody brilliant! Every sentence he uttered had an additional meaning. He was odd and subversive, damnit! And Denton totally sucks. And Russell Crowe is a total loser. Check out the film clip for his duet with that Pretenders chick if you had any doubts. Cue Russell, sauntering on horseback, in fucking moleskins, akubra and japara. Cut to Russell, down by the fucking billabong, under the shade of the fucking coolabah tree, unbearably infused with wonder for the fucking rugged Australian lifestyle, shabbily referencing what he reckons is the fucking template of the fucking Aussie character, Clancy of the fucking Overflow and such, blah blah blah. Fuck off you faux-earthy pompous git! He totally thinks he is the shit, but he's just a total loser. I hate it when people don't know how crap they are. Geez I despise such shit. But, ah fuck it. TV rocks.
How the world turns! Last week I was stuck in stinky dog land, and only a few days later I'm hob-nobbing with true blue New York rock stars. Yes, that's right, ROCK STARS! From NEW YORK! Friday night was looking fairly dreary with the middle-aged neighbourhood drunkards converging for their weekly dose of overbearing and competitive 'joviality'. I was blocking out their presence in the bleary bliss of TV land, and I had abandoned any attempt at enlivening the situation in favour of my unoriginally hermetic default position, until a lovely friend called offering free tickets to the Interpol show that night at the Corner Hotel. And for free! Ka-ching! I felt so glamourous stepping out of the downpour past the hefty bouncers and, pausing to flick away the rivulets of rain from my glistening brow, unconcernedly informing the door girls that my friend [insert name drop here] had left two tickets for us at the door. Breezily, I allowed my bearing to communicate that, yes, we were very accustomed to this sort of occurence actually, as it happened all the time, thank you very much. It was a bloody great gig too. The crowd was remarkably well-dressed. It was rermarked on. And after the show we met up with our insider to watch the band play pool! As if they were normal people or something! It was all very restrained of course, because, you know, we're that cool. Interpol are a great band, brilliant even. In fact, they're Gods... not that I'm impressed or anything. Although I do have it on good authority from a respected source that the bass player is a total sweetheart. Nice one.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

I know, I know, I’ve been totally lax with the blogging. It’s not so much that I’m living some crazy-arsed lifestyle, but more that I’ve been looking for a new bee in my bonnet to get my blogging groove goin. And that bee is: politicians (and talking heads) who deny the fact that they’re being blatantly homophobic when they seek to “preserve the sanctity” of marriage as a union between men and women only. “I don’t have a problem with gays, I just think that marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman”. What pisses me off most is the measured tone in which they sprout this crap – like they expect us to actually think they’re being logical. If you’re saying that officially recognised gay partnerships are going to undermine the exalted position of male-female marriage, then that looks like a stock-standard case of homophobia. It just seems like lately all this bigotry has started oozing out of the woodwork – it seems like we’re “drowning in arseholes”, to use an Elanorism. Bush is “mindful that we’re all sinners” (particularly if you’re “foreign”); Anderson is sprouting the blatant bigotry that Howard will only elude to; the church has gone nuts. I mean, when it gets to the point that you’re claiming the recognition of gay marriage is a slippery slope towards polygamy and bigomy, I think you’re scraping the barrel of alarmism. I really don’t think my sexuality is insidious, or a threat to society, or the thin of the wedge of moral decay. I am quite a good person with a stronger moral and ethical foundation than the “moral guardians” who are sprouting this hatred.
Oh God. This blog is in dire need of... well, blogging. Guy, where are you? Off having a life, the damn schmuck. What cheek! So, because his life is just too fabulous to speak of, you will have to be stuck with hearing the minutiae of mine. I have just spent the past two weeks feeding and watering my sixteen-year-old brother whilst the parents were doing a driving tour of Tassie. Yes, that's right. We're of sophisicated stock. But it was no bother. Hilarity ensued. Except that the dishwasher is malfunctioning and it rained like a pisser so that none of the washing was ever dry, and two of our pets are suffering from lingering ailments. Purdy the cat got in a fight with a neighbour, (also a cat). It's no big deal but ministering to his (oh so superficial, he's such a wussy drama queen) wounds has left scratches all up my forearms. And our little dog Pippa is steadily removing all the hair from her body because of some skin condition that no amount of bathing and oinment seems to be able to counteract. And because she's so bald, she's too cold to eat much of her food from the bowl outside so she's losing weight and all her pudge has turned into comical/gross rolls of empty skin, which are highly visible due to her baldness. She has turned herself into a cross between a Sharpei rolly dog and one of those freaky hairless hypo-allergenic cats a la Mr Bigglesworth. It's not a look congruous to cuddly-poos. Also, because of the wet weather, the dogs can't seem to handle walking in the wet garden, so they do all their business on the safety of the path, which presents a veritable minefield for me to traverse when I return from work in the dark at 2am. But no biggie. It was glorious bliss hanging at the house without its owners. As I said, hilarity ensued. (Listen, we think we're funny and we're sticking to it). Much explosive hysterics and the playing of loud music etc. Also, not to bag mum's cooking, but we had edible meals for two whole weeks! And I never knew how much moral smugness I could get from adding spinach to a meal. It was a formative time in terms of my attitudes to parenting. Now, my parents are no taskmasters or disciplinarians, they're just irritating sometimes. And my brother gets the brunt of the nagging because he is still nominally under their care. But while he was under my care, his homework marks were uncharacteristically great (no offence, bro). I'm not joshing you. He actually became one of those Straight A students of legend, a feat of which my parents have only been dreaming. So, with only this flimsy evidence to support me, I am going to make a sweeping statement about the superiority of 'hands-off' parenting. I plan to unequivocally raise my children in the 'bum around on the couch watching TV' style that has been so unjustly blamed for various massacres and other anti-social behaviour. This style of parenting is perfect for me... oh, and for the children also. It's the easy option, and it works! Hey, who knew?

Just a little note on annoying news stories and/or their treatments this week. The Kobe Bryant sexual assault case. People are treating it as if it is simply a case of adultery - cue ill-considered celebrity vox pops in which such lines as "celebrities are targets" and "If Clinton can do it, why can't Kobe?" and "If his wife can forgive him, why shouldn't we?" are indignantly hissed, to be followed by a "We support you Kobe" flourish. But we're not talking about whether or not he hurt his wife's feelings, or whether we should be in a position to judge what happens between him and other consenting adults, we're talking about a situation in which a woman alleges that she did not consent to having sex with him and that she does not forgive him for it. And I know that he is innocent until proven guilty, but the same courtesy needs to be extended to, or at least entertained about, his accuser. I'd just like to mention that we are (or could be) talking about rape here, so I would calmly entreat people to remember that, and perhaps temper their statements accordingly. "I'm with Kobe" does have a chilling effect, because it could mean something rather bad. Another issue producing annoyance and dismay is the push to have a constitutional amendment (ie. binding in law) in the USA which 'defines marriage' (read 'bans gay marriage'). But there are too many arguments to make against this and I'm tired. Just admit that it is discriminatory to cordon off marriage as an appropriate practice for only certain members of the community, you utter prats.