Thursday, June 24, 2004

The gay football saga, and other salacious headlines. Over the last couple of weeks I haven't really had time to blog. Did I even mention that I have recently bought the following CDs, in a pre-end-of-financial-year splurge at JB Hi-Fi, who have well and truly done it again:

Nelly - Nellyville
Kelis - Tasty
Prince - Best Of (but doesn't include "Controversy", doh!)
Cold Chisel - 2CD Best Of
Kanye West - The College Dropout
Cut Copy - Bright Like Neon Love
Beastie Boys - To the 5 Boroughs
Cypress Hill - Black Sunday
Felix Da Housecat - Devin Dazzle & the Neon Fever

But I haven't even really listened to them because I've been so busy. Mainly with my upcoming Fringe Show, The Incredible Melk's Booty Pageant. I decided to get some more freelance work after doing the preliminary budget for the Fringe show and realising how expensive it was going to be. I reasoned that by doing about six feature articles, I would be able to raise the necessary cash. I did a bit of brainstorming over a latte at St Jerome's, and came up with several ridiculous ideas, although none as ridiculous as the first article I tried to pitch anywhere, which was about cameltoes. It was called "Toe Much Information" !!

I have been writing an article for the Sydney Morning Herald about gay footballers, and it's really been busting my balls (metaphorically, that is: I'm no Secret Squirrel). A while ago I was reading Man of Lettuce. While I don't always agree with its politics, it's a thoughtful and addictive insight into Sydney life from a cabbie's perspective, and one of my favourite new blog discoveries. There was a post about how a Sydney rugby union team was competing in the world gay rugby championships. I didn't even realise there was such a competition, let alone that it was named after the guy who inspired Renee's poor-taste "let's leave this place" catchphrase, "As they say all over Pennsylvania..."

So I thought, hey, where are the gay footballers in general, with the gang rape allegations of recent months? Anyway, as it was a very 'Sydney' kind of story, I pitched it successfully to the Spectrum section in the Saturday SMH, where it should appear in two days, if you're interested in looking.

Originally they wanted 1200 words, which I supplied last Thursday. But then the editor decided to turn it into the cover story, so I had to make it 2400 words and interview one of the scariest cultural studies academics in Australia!

I felt sick all Monday after he told me this. Working as a market research telephone interviewer for almost six years has done nothing to cure my deep dislike, nay, terror, of cold-calling people. On Monday night I was berating myself for being a crap journalist, how would I ever be able to make a career out of this when I'm such a pussy, I'm a failure at everything I attempt, boo hoo, etc. Then I sat down at my (nee Guy's) computer to write some Incredible Melk lyrics. Among the pearls I came up with was, from the bridge section of Baby Got Front (which is, you guessed it, about cameltoes):

Yeah baby, when it comes to females
Cosmo ain't got nothin' to do with my selection
When that girl sashay this way
There's a little more pink in my complexion
And the gentlemen are blue in that direction

So I was at work on Tuesday, my workmates delighting in reminding me that soon I would have to call the scary academic. My hands were literally trembling as I picked up the phone. But I got some good quotes. The story had to be written by Wednesday. So I picked up some KFC after work, went straight to uni, and was there until 4am when I finished the article.

Next day, editor calls. "Yeah, it was really good," he said. I was so relieved. Then he added, "But it's a little bit AFL-centric. Can you put some more league stuff in? And maybe you can call [Scary Academic] again?"

I thought I would cry and vomit at the same time.

But anyway, it's done now. Yay. I just hope it doesn't bring more weird spazzos out of the woodwork, though perhaps that's a naive expectation, given that it's about football, rape, masculinity, homosexuality...

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