Saturday, April 30, 2005

The miseries of clothes. Today we were in the car at the traffic lights and Jeremy pointed out an embracing couple outside the Intersection pizza shop. They were both rugged up in jeans, jackets and scarves. The guy was sitting on a metal railing while the girl stood in front and leaned into him.

"I always find it so amusing to see people making out in public," said Jeremy.
"Really?" I said. Personally I'm more enraged, because they're flaunting the fact that they're getting laid and I'm not.
"Look at the small movements they're making," said Jeremy. "All that repressed desire. You can see him thinking, 'I wanna get my hands on her naked ass, but I'm in public, so I'll just rest them here.'"
"Yeah," I added, "and it must be torture in winter."
"All those thick layers," said Jeremy.

We must interpret this in the light of the unsettling glimpses I keep getting into Jeremy's world. Last week a group of us were having pizza at Bimbo and Jeremy left early, saying he needs "at least three hours to unwind before I go to sleep."
I said, "You must be pretty tightly wound."
"You have no idea," said Jeremy.
Then today we were in the car and Jeremy said, "Oh, there's that girl from my work that I want to bone so bad." Later on, he added, rhetorically, "Why is it that all girls have boyfriends?"
I said, "I don't have a boyfriend," and Jeremy just made a sound like a cross between a sigh and a snort.

But he has a point, about the public discomfort of clothes. The couple must restrain themselves in public because their clothes hamper their desires. The discomfort can also be made literal. Today I was wearing a pair of black opaque footless tights. I got dressed very hurriedly today and I didn't notice that they were worn out in the inner thighs, where they were pilled and had a little hole. This turned out to be an excruciating combination, because my tender flesh, exposed by the hole, was repeatedly rubbed on the pilled surface of the other leg when I walked. It was like a cheese grater.

I just can't describe how agonising this was. This little hole in a pair of tights altered everything about me: my gait; my mood; my awareness of my body's movement through space and proximity to other bodies. I had to hitch my tights up compulsively in the street like the woman in "Tom's Diner" by Suzanne Vega ("does she see me, no she does not/she is hitching up her stockings"). The tights wore a raw circle on my thigh by the end of the day, and as soon as I got home, I hiked up my skirt and cut the tights off me with scissors. I've never done that before. It felt strangely exhilarating to rupture the rules about how to put on and take off clothes.

This incident also destroyed my sense of feeling "put together". People who don't find clothes important just can't understand how it can make or break a day for me to feel comfortable in my clothes, not only in their fit, but in my perception of how others will view me because of those clothes. These two ideas are intertwined: if I don't feel comfortable with the way I look, I imagine nobody else will either; and if I imagine that others will call my clothing ugly or inappropriate, then I can't feel comfortable. I call the feeling of successfully balancing these two ideas being "put together".

I don't quite know how to incorporate it into this argument, but I also began this post wanting to describe how sometimes I run down the stairs in my house cupping my own breasts so they won't bounce around. One of my friends once mentioned she also did this; and I remember being immensely relieved that this was okay to do and that I wasn't just boobie-obsessed.

Friday, April 29, 2005

I want to lie in bed with you. Right now, it's raining outside. I always feel so deliciously smug to have cheated the weather. The streetlight flares and dies through the venetian blinds, sending film-noir stripes across our faces. My eyelids are heavy, but my breathing is light.

I'll reach across you and take a bite out of the almost-eaten chocolate bunny that's been sitting on my computer tower for the last couple of weeks. I've been eating it slowly, over days, when I remember it's there. I wonder if Bert ever climbed in bed with Ernie while he ate cookies. But then, Bert never could see the cookie for the crumbs. Maybe I'll drop a chocolate crumb on you, making you flinch. Maybe I'll lick it off.

My house is opposite a church. I want to lie sacrilegiously in bed with you on Sunday morning, listening to the congregation singing. Dust motes dance in the sunlight. We both have hilarious sticking-up hair. We'll whisper conspiratorially about coffee, eggs and Video Hits. Maybe I'll roll towards a cooler spot and feel your warmth instead. Maybe you'll trace a circle around my hipbone with your finger.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

I had a story in the Sydney Morning Herald today! It was about the Jennifer Aniston Email that was doing the rounds last week. You can check out my sage insights into the mass email-forwarding phenomenon here.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

"They should take phones away from the tipsy." I have an unfortunate problem with text messaging under the influence. The past few days, I've done a lot of it. I have one of those old-school phones that doesn't have a sent items folder, so the following is a re-creation based on my hazy memory, and may be completely inaccurate.
Friday night I went out with a mob of poorly controlled people. Chris and Ricky had been drinking since 4pm, and they were dancing like sweat-soaked fiends. Chris was dancing with, or rather, on, a succession of chicks. Ricky was doing that kind of drunken drive-by man-dancing that consists of prancing past your friend and then turning around and prancing back the other way. They both had the most delightful, indescribable facial expressions.

Thanks to several Bellinis, I was tipsy - tipsy enough to send Bo a text message with the observation that: "They should make a dessert out of beer head. Like a babycino. It's delicious!" I remember that my phone baulked at writing "babycino". I also remember thinking Bo would certainly find this product innovation useful as a future business venture.

I was also tipsy enough to text a certain gentleman.

Me: "I'm @ the retreat, wanna come?"
Him: "I'm in north melbourne... The one night you're one block away from my house..."
Me: "The one night you're in my hood..."
Him: "Star crossed."
Me: "They should take phones away from the tipsy, but... U should call me if yr back in bruns anytime soon."

There was no response to this gem. After a while, the music got really bad at the Retreat and I decided to go home, passing Ari and Simon on the way. Although it was past midnight, they looked unbelievably fresh and perky compared to Chris, who was grinding against some chick with an expression of delighted debauchery on his face, and Mimmo and Ricky, who were drenched in sweat and fading like flowers on the sidelines.

At about 1am I was drifting off to sleep when I was woken by my phone beeping. "U still at the retreat?"

Last night I went out with Saige and her friend Craig from Sydney, which meant a night of epic drinking. Put it this way - I woke up in bed this morning still wearing my glasses. I did a lot of text messaging. But one message I can be sure of, because it was still on the compose screen, was "I just did a spastic version of crazy in love!" I wrote that to the King of Karaoke at 3:30am, from Charlton's, Melbourne's pre-mere karaoke venue. The manslave and those other Fitzroyalty types he went out with last night may beg to differ, but Charlton's offers karaoke as it should be done - free, in public, and with dancing breaks to the homie hits. Shane had just been to the Destiny's Child concert in Sydney, which he reviewed via SMS as "awesome!!!" I kept him updated on my own live R&B experience: "I'm @ charlton's! I've already done naughty girl and senorita!" Ethan's bloody sister and her friend hijacked "Senorita" by grabbing the other mic and doing most of the song, but thankfully they left me the best bits: "Feel for youuuuu!... You don't have to, baby! Whoahwhoaaahhwhoah! Feel it!"

I also did "Shackles" by Mary Mary, as well as the aforementioned "Spastic In Love", complete with a rap that sounded like Jay-Z had suffered a stroke and only recently regained his powers of speech. But that was at the very end of the night. Saige was requesting I do particular songs, which I put in to the DJ with arrows saying "Requested by drunken friend". She said I should do "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera, but mercifully/unfortunately the DJ didn't select that.

At one stage, this drunken woman came up to me telling me I had "a great voice" and alleging that she worked for Carols in the Domain, and insisting that I give her my phone number so she could pass it on to her bosses! Ha! Ha! How funny would it be to sing at that! I want to be the one singing "O Holy Night", or at least the dorky chorister with the jingle-bell earrings who gets a close-up during the Hallelujah Chorus. So I gave her my phone number.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Magic cash. Apologies to David Bowie. Yes, I went shopping yesterday using "magic cash", aka "credit", and I bought a wonderful pair of white leather cowboy boots with gold stitching. They cost a lot of magic money. Today I am prancing about like a leprechaun going "Look at my boots! I got new boots!"

I have been wanting cowboy boots for ages and ages, ever since I read Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon and read his description of Hannah Green, the young writer who boards in the protagonist's house:
She had on a man's plaid flannel shirt, tucked imperfectly into a baggy pair of Levi's, and the cracked red cowboy boots I'd never once seen her go without, not even when she prowled the house in a terry-cloth bathrobe, or a pair of sweatpants, or running shorts. In idle moments I liked to summon up an image of her naked feet, long and intelligent, aglitter with down, toenails painted red as the leather of her boots.
I particularly wanted red boots, but if I could not have those I wanted white, and if I could not have those I wanted pink. I discussed this at length with Saige and Gemma. One of the reasons Gemma is a treasured friend of mine is that we can talk at length and with perfect seriousness about fashion. Anyway, Gemma knows her boots, and she said that cowboy boots must not look new - they must be old and worn, and preferably have a scrunchiness to them. And Saige, who has been into cowboy boots for years and owns about five pairs, says that the toe has to be pointed, and the heel has to be wooden and the right Cuban shape - if it's flat and chunky it's wrong.

But then cowboy boots came into fashion this season, and in some fucking ugly colours: candy pink and turquoise and mint green and tan. I don't really wear brown, and I did think about the pink ones, but they were always so shoddy-looking, and not made of real leather, or the heel was the wrong shape or height. I saw some great vintage cowboy boots in red and white in a shop on Chapel Street, but I baulked at the price. And now I have gone and spent twice as much as that on a pair of new ones.

In an aside, yesterday I was walking back into the city from VCA and I passed playwright extraordinaire Lally Katz, whose new play Smashed has just started at the Store Room. She was wearing some great hot-pink cowboy-style boots. Pink is her signature colour.

I am also very pleased with myself because I customised this black Bonds t-shirt that I always try on but end up not wearing because it makes me look dykey and there's nothing worse than false advertising. So I cut the cuffs off the sleeves and turned them into wristbands, and I cut it to be off-the-shoulder, and I ruched the sleeves. Took me all of ten minutes, and now I have a sexy new black top. Makes a mockery of the $43 I spent at Supre yesterday on the tomato-red number.

Did I mention that The Incredible Melk has her own clothing label, Melkwear? It never got off the ground during the festival, of course, but it consists of badges (that feature my mouth sucking on a cherry), trucker hats, leather man-bangles (so-called because they are unisex), earrings and necklaces, and of course the Melkwear T-Shirt Customisation Service, in which you fill out a comprehensive form and get a t-shirt that nobody else will have, cut, printed and sized to your precise requirements. I really do want to get that off the ground.

I would also like to do some live Melk gigs with a band. I really enjoyed doing the Shaked and Stirred nights at Kitten Club, despite the sometimes-rude crowds who would talk over any entertainment even though they'd paid to get in. It made me realise that the last time I sang with a live band was 1995. And I would like to resurrect my Piss, Shit and Vomit material as a Melk side-project. Does anyone know a funk-influenced band that would like to perform my smutty songs? Tristan just laughed at me when I asked him.

Damn, I look so hot today. I am out on the town tonight with Kate and Tash. I wish you could see me. If you play your cards right, maybe you will.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Dilettante, n. 1) A dabbler in an art or a field of knowledge. See Synonyms at amateur. 2) A lover of the fine arts; a connoisseur. (Source: My first encounter with this word was in an anecdote told by Daniel, in which his supervisor had described his thesis as "dilettantish and peripatetic". Daniel is now Dr Daniel. However, I felt, and still feel, that this is a fine example of Bourdieuian distinction in action; some years earlier the same academic had described an argument of mine as "specious", a word I'd had to look up.

When it became clear that I was too stupid* to pursue an academic career, I began to call myself a dilettante as a defensive manoeuvre. I thought of myself in the intellectual tradition of voracious generalists. Leonardo Da Vinci, after all, was a philosopher, a painter, an inventor, and (as Kramer memorably reminds us on Seinfeld) a power-napper. I think it's important to think of the second definition of 'dilettante' here: someone who pursues their multiple interests out of love, because they can't bear to abandon them, and they don't want the grinding reality of a 'job' to destroy that love.

I almost had myself convinced that my various interests (academia; journalism; fashion; writing and performing music) could even fruitfully intersect and cross-pollinate to lend me interesting insights. I was thinking this as recently as a week or two ago.

Then during the Comedy Festival, I realised the nasty reality of dilettantism: it makes it impossible to succeed at anything. Think of everyone you know who's successful at what they do. That's because that's all they care about.

While I was working three days a week, plus freelancing and preparing to launch a new magazine, other comedians were gigging, rehearsing, attracting sponsorship, preparing CDs and other merchandise, promoting their shows in the media, postering and flyering, and most of all, meeting and networking with other comedians. It was not enough for me to have a tolerably amusing show. If I wanted anyone actually to go to my show, and for other comedians to talk to me, I would have to devote my entire energies to being a comedian.

It might seem quite obvious and indeed pathetic that this had never occurred to me before. But I swear, I really did feel confident of becoming a media ho, with fingers profitably and commendably inserted in a number of different cultural industry pies. Ludicrous though it is, I really did think that each of my little successes laid the foundation for the next. Now, though, I can see that none of them are related, and that I have actually been pissing my adult life away on a succession of things leading nowhere. The flipside of wanting to do everything is being mediocre at everything, and being ignored or patronised because of it. The comments I made to this post demonstrate how painfully that nasty reality took root.

In moments of depression, I start to think that perhaps my mother was right, and I should have realised this about myself, given in to living death and pursued some corporate career. There is no room for dilettantism in the corporate sphere - unless you know precisely what you want out of life, you get trampled by people who do.

However, I now see that I face a tough choice. Which of my interests do I want to attempt a living from? Will it be:
A) journalism
B) academia
C) fashion
D) writing and performing music
Before Eddie locks it in, I would like to use one of my three lifelines and ask the audience. What do you think I'm best at?

* I tried really hard on my thesis. I worked seven days and often seven nights too. I showed up at my uni office every morning and sometimes stayed there all night. Some would argue that I was not stupid, but merely was not helped and indeed was actively obstructed by my supervisor. Others would point out that I was writing a thesis full-time without a scholarship, while working 24 hours a week in my job. But I believe a truly talented and committed person could and would have overcome these obstacles to produce a passable thesis with a mark high enough to obtain a PhD scholarship. I contend that my dilettantism pre-dated this entire thesis disaster, and in fact caused it.

Monday, April 18, 2005

In many ways, I'm glad the Comedy Festival is over. I no longer have to straighten the shit out of my hair, wear contact lenses and g-strings every day, wear thick makeup that never really comes off, especially around the eyes, and trashy bling that gives me a rash around my neck. The tragicomedy is that the real Little Collins St booty hos hanging around stupidly at the club didn't even require me to take the piss out of them - they were ludicrous enough by themselves. I'd hear them on their mobiles: "Yeah, we're at the Kitten Club... yeah, it's just up from Zomp." Once, I was walking up the stairs from the street behind a herd of them, and overheard one say, "I don't know how you find these places." And last night, there was this woman displaying an arse-crack several inches long. The bar staff and all the assembled comics were pissing themselves.

But at the same time, I'm a little sad. As a creature of habit I'd got used to the routine of the show and the rhythm of the venue, and I looked forward to the opportunity to perform to a different crowd every night. Heh - a couple of chicks walked out of my show last night when I got to the "Position Description" rap with the sex-position illustrations. I'd just treated them to "Stand Up/Sit Down", which featured the witty and incisive chorus:
My dick's so hard that I can't stand up
It'll really hurt me if I try and stand up
She's saying "Come on over" but I can't stand up
Cos I've got a massive horn in my pants
Maybe I should have made it clearer that the Incredible Melk show contains "juvenile themes".

Oh, mercy - "Secret Buff" was a lot of fun last night, too. For one thing, Stuart was in the audience, and he was the model for the photos of the Melk's ex-boyfriend Joel Sinclair from Hugo Boss Posse. I thought about going, "Hey - you remind me of my ex-boyfriend," but I ended up just ignoring him. Bo was sitting in the corner with the most magnificent facial expression - I wished I could bottle it. He was glowering fiercely at me, yet with a little smug smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. He looked simultaneously imperious and uncomfortable - like when you dress your cat in a humiliating outfit and its dignity makes the situation even funnier.

The techs wanted me to make Bo the Secret Buff Man, but he would have sabotaged it somehow, and I would never have heard the end of it. So instead I picked on Tim, who happened to be wearing a white skivvy. I dubbed him The White Wiggle, which as you can imagine was rich punmanship territory. I did this thing where I put my head on his knee and he stroked my hair like I was a Bond villain's cat. It was so magnificent. Thanks Tim, for being my ultimate Secret Buff man!

Friday, April 15, 2005

With two performances to go, I have my first Comedy Festival review. Check it out here. I think it's mostly positive, although I was a little disappointed that most of it went on explaining the concept of the character. It doesn't really tell you what the show is like or whether I am skilled as a performer - you know, the kind of things that people look for in reviews to tell them whether to go and see it. Although of course I can assure you that the show is brilliantly witty and that I am preternaturally gifted - especially at shaking my arse. And I wish she had mentioned how much she laughed. She laughed a lot.
"I laughed so hard I thought I'd need to duck into Bettina Liano to pick up some new pants."
- Helen Razer, The Age.
That's the kind of thing I was after. Seriously though, it's very hard to pick out quotes to use on future Incredible Melk publicity (should I do anything in the future with this character, which I am increasingly thinking I won't. But my comprehensive disheartenment deserves another post, and not on this blog.) At first glance, here are my favourite quotes:
"Pinkly magnificent in a postage stamp of shiny cloth, The Incredible Melk dazzles"

"With an uncompromising blondeness, this MC makes no apologies as she pokes fun at both the emptiness of corporate culture and the hypocrisy of hip-hop."

"...a confusing delight."

So people, you've got two more chances to catch this show - Saturday and Sunday, at 7pm, at Tony Starr's Kitten Club.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Manslave about the house. Today I awoke late and decided to have a shower, but I couldn't turn on the taps. Now I am as weak as a kitten, but this was ridiculous even by my standards. Apparently I was making such a noise that the manslave thought I had some man in there with me, but it was just me getting mad at the futility of tugging on the taps while standing naked in the bathtub, yelling "C'mon!" like Lleyton Hewitt.

Eventually I turned them on by using my towel for grip, but when I went to turn them off again, I realised why they'd been so tight - the hot tap wouldn't turn off and was just gushing hot water. I could hear the manslave on the landing, so, panicky and slick like a seal, I burst out of the bathroom in a towel, wailing, "Help! The hot water won't turn off!"

The manslave was in a vile mood because he hasn't had a good week. I expect you'll soon be able to read his take on this. He diagnosed the problem ("The washer is fucked") and then got even angrier because fixing it would make him late to work.
"Or you could just get them to unplug you from the Matrix," I said.
Today he is wearing a black parka, black jumper, black pants and black shoes. Steph, our other housemate, snickered. The manslave was not amused.
"You're the one wearing a towel!" he said sourly.
"You'll have to speak up," I replied, "I'm wearing a towel."
He pointed soundlessly at my room.
I said, "You can kiss my fluffy white arse!"
"Any time!"

I got dressed while the manslave swore at the tap.
"Fucking panh chod!" he shouted as he banged ineffectually at the wall with a spanner. "Fuck your mother and the donkey she rode in on!"

He says shit like that all the time. I'm used to it.

Then I drove him to the supermarket where we not only bought a new tap washer, but a spectacularly ugly new shower curtain. Our old shower curtain, the one that kept coming off its hooks and needing to be tied back on at increasingly bizarre, bunched-up points, is pink and provides one of the few attempts at 'decor' in our house, as it vaguely matches the burgundy hand towel and bathmat. I had been looking for a new one for weeks, but the only ones in the shops have really ugly prints on them. The new shower curtain is no exception. It's clear, with large garish red and pink flowers all over it. Just what you want to be greeted with first thing in the morning, or at 3am when you get home feeling tired and emotional.

I was sitting at the computer when he came downstairs, saying manfully, "The shower is now fixed." Then he left for work, announcing that today "needs a good kick in the cock!"
"But what if the day is female?" I protested.

God bless that manslave! Isn't he handy! And easy on the eye, too.

Monday, April 11, 2005

The yada-yada sisterhood. Although I feel like crying myself to sleep right now, I thought I would share with you something that struck me at lunchtime, when I was reading The Age because Chong had the Hez. I was reading this article about Jeannette Angell, a US academic who wrote a book, Callgirl: Confessions of a Double Life, about her time as a sex worker.

Now I am reserving judgment on the book itself, because I am deeply suspicious of these confessional callgirl books that come out from time to time, and because the issue of what constitutes exploitation and degradation in the sex industry is too complicated for me to attempt to tackle here. No - what I noticed about the article was a quote from Angell:
The book's reception in the US has been mixed, she says. "Men seem to deal with it much better than women. The book seems to threaten women, and when they've interviewed me they've often been very angry. I didn't anticipate the accusatory nature of their reactions - 'How dare you, didn't you think of the wives of the men you were with?'."
This got me thinking about the paradoxical notion of the "sisterhood". I characterise it as an idea of solidarity among women. It is non-feminist in that it can be expressed informally through the loyalties of friendship or an imagined, shared empathy born of women's experiences (like, for example, the empathy that writers of 'chick lit' aim to create between their readers and their characters). This informal version of the sisterhood mainly uses economies of emotional and moral support - support your girls, and when The Man gets you down, you know your girls will be there to cheer you up. The latest Destiny's Child song and its Sex and the City video dramatise this particularly vividly.

However, it takes on a more militant cast in feminist thought, particularly second-wave feminism, which couches it as a political necessity and duty to share power and knowledge among women in order to ameliorate (practically or 'magically') women's systemic inequality. There is the reasoning that women must form their own homosocial networks to counter the social disadvantages they face from such powerful and pervasive male homosocial networks as old school ties, the private club, Freemasonry and sports fandom.

The trouble, I thought, with the incident recounted by Angell, is that her female interviewers accuse her of betraying the sisterhood by providing sex for other women's husbands. But I saw another kind of betrayal of the sisterhood - these interviewers cruelly castigating someone who, by the hazy gendered 'laws' of the sisterhood, they ought to champion and applaud. This makes me think that the idea of the sisterhood is ultimately unworkable.

The warm, fuzzy rhetoric of the sisterhood is completely at odds with our brutal, individualistic, competitive society. Women compete amongst each other for status, men, jobs. There's the anecdotal phenomenon of the woman who manages to break through the glass ceiling, but kicks the ladder away so no other women can usurp her position. Generally, rather than an attitude of "I've made it; now I'll help others," there's an attitude of "I've made it by myself; so should others."

When it comes to men, women are particularly ruthless, and will use their stereotypical 'feminine wiles' to thwart their competitors at every point. In fictional narratives, these kind of women are demonised and either meet nasty fates or are redeemed by renouncing their wickedness. But vixens are not the Other - they're your friends, your workmates, your relatives. One act of vixenry to get rid of their sexual rivals, and they're back to their normal lovely selves. And depending on your perspective, you can even applaud their vixenry as brilliant social strategy.

Here are three real-life examples of vixenry (names have been changed, natch):

Sally is at a dinner party hosted by Andrew, a man she fancies. Another of his female friends, Jenny, also fancies him. The guests leave, one by one, until the host and the two rivals are the only people remaining. Sally yawns, puts on her coat and picks up her bag. Jenny realises that Sally won't be a sexual threat tonight, and puts on her own coat. Andrew escorts Jenny to the front door. When he returns, Sally is still sitting on the sofa. She has removed her bag and coat.

Veronica is at a conference. She meets Kate, who's never been to a conference before, and they end up hanging out. One night at the pub, Kate confesses to Veronica that she has a crush on Julian, a hot and charismatic fellow delegate. Veronica knows Julian and is still smarting at having been rebuffed when she tried to pick him up at another conference the previous year. She tells Kate that Julian has a terrible reputation as a cad on the conference circuit, and that he always cheats on his girlfriend when he's away.

Belinda has her eye on Kevin, and has been flirting with him for months. She calls him one night to see if he's in town and wants to have a drink with her, and he invites her to meet him in a city bar. When she gets there, he's drinking with a co-worker, Michelle. The three of them end up having many drinks. Belinda is just thinking about going home when Kevin comes up and hugs her goodbye. Michelle is hovering in the background and it dawns on Belinda that Kevin is leaving with Michelle. Wanting to be sure, Belinda says she was just thinking about going herself. The three are almost at the door when Michelle starts waving a half-empty bottle of beer and saying "I can't leave, I have to finish my beer!" Belinda is pretty sure Michelle didn't have the beer before, but having said she was leaving, Belinda has to follow through, leaving Kevin and Michelle alone at the bar.

So much for the sisterhood. I'm sure these situations are familiar to most female (and many male) readers, and you can doubtless add your own. That's precisely the point. Where the sisterhood presumes honesty and empathy, real women deceive one another with impunity. Where the sisterhood is generous and egalitarian, real women compete because they are threatened by each other.

But I don't think women should be condemned for 'failing' to live up to the sisterhood myth. Instead, I feel generally despairing that women fight each other and not the discourses that legitimise female competition. Unlike Elizabeth Wurtzel, I don't see anything positive in being a bitch, and I despise what I call "men's women" - women who are brusque with other women but sweet as pie to men, and who have only male friends because of their deep suspicion of other women. I would like to see women coming in to bat for each other the way the sisterhood dreams of, and the way men do. But I also reject the idea that women should have to model their homosocial relationships on men's, and I can't think of anything that could replace the idea of the sisterhood.

Oh, I feel so miserable. I got home at six and cried and cried. My eyes are still sore from crying. If the sisterhood existed, I wouldn't feel so utterly alone. But I know other women are bored by my sob story and will just sneer at my pathetic despair, which gives me one more thing to cry about.

Yesterday I met some old school friends for lunch, and we were reminiscing. Grace said that on year 9 camp, she remembered on the last night everyone sat around the campfire and had to say something to the group about their experiences on the camp. One of the teachers said, "I've felt quite excluded this week." What struck me is that even as a fourteen-year-old, Grace thought that was an embarrassing thing to admit, and she immediately felt less respect for the teacher. There is no sympathy for honesty, no room for admitting wrongs and weaknesses, in the sisterhood, or in life, for that matter.

Some vaguely amusing search terms. Although of course I would never presume to impersonate the master, I was struck by some search terms people used to find this blog. Of course, when you have "wild" and "young" in the title, you're asking for trouble.

mel (Google)

Congratulations, super-skilled web surfer. I can't hide from you. Cannily, you have navigated your way through billions of pages, and you have found me.

"polo shirt with a tie" (Google)

How the fuck did you know what I was wearing today? Stalkers! Stalkers! As I knotted the tie this morning I was actually musing fondly on my previous observation that the Vice crowd would describe my look as "totally played". Well fuck 'em. Business casual is here to stay.

"where are the gay footballers" (Google)

My question would be more like, "Where are the straight non-footballers?"

tits hurt from not wearing a bra (Yahoo)

Beauty is pain, ladiez.

free squealing first time arse pics (Google)

I get lots of search terms along the lines of "hot young teen cock", "g-string cameltoe", et cetera. (And now I'm probably going to get more!) But I guess it's the squealing that troubles me about this one.

Who played the human in the hit musical "Stop the Planet of the Apes, I Want to Get Off!"? in the simpsons (Google)

Troy McClure. It was the part he was born to play! But my favourite part of this query is that the musical was a "hit". I have long wanted to stage either this, "Kickin' It: A Musical Journey Through the Betty Ford Clinic" or "Oh, Streetcar!" I reckon if you did it in the Comedy Festival, people would definitely go. But the trouble is how to portray cartoon characters playing musical characters. I'd be better off to write my own musical. And as this year's bountiful crop of comedy musicals demonstrates, that would be, in the words of Vice, totally played.

pictures of Delta Goodrem's vagina (Google)

What is wrong with you people? You sick, sick people!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Is Not Magazine hits the streets this weekend! I'm so excited - but then you should see Jeremy. Stuart told me that when they first saw the magazine, he doesn't think he's heard Jeremy say "Oh my god!" quite so many times in a row. It looks so amazing - the printers have done a great job. The other night I was lying on the floor just looking at it on the wall and thinking to myself, Paris Hilton style - "That's hot!"

So it's time for the launch. We have decided to combine the traditional stand-around, wine-and-cheese, speech!speech! sort of launch with a monster party. Moscow Schoolboy, winners of the recent Australian Music Week Battle of the Bands, will be doing a live set, fresh from their sojourn in Texas and New York. Cut Copy will DJ, ably supported by Blingrid, Jason Evans and Jables. VJ Keith Deverell will remix the magazine live.

Good news for all those who've been wondering how they can get their paws on Is Not Magazine - you can subscribe on the night. A 12 month subscription is only $50, and gets you six issues of the magazine, plus free entry to all our plentiful events. Considering each issue retails at $20, you'd have to be craaaazy to decline! Plus, we have no advertising and are completely self-funded. Please don't make us have more cake stalls - I don't know how many more cupcakes Melbourne's arts-friendly community can eat!

DATE Wednesday 13 April
AT Loop, 23 Meyers Place, Melbourne
TIME 8pm til laaaaate

I will be a little late because of a certain Comedy Festival show which I may have mentioned. But if you want to see what the fuss is about, rock up and rock out.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Amazing! Astounding! I was just sitting at my computer before, wondering where my mug had got to because I wouldn't mind a cup of the Good Earl, when a mouse came scurrying out from under the desk. It paused for a second or two, long enough for me to register its unmistakable presence and think, "Fuck, what has my life come to when my house is so filthy there are mice literally underfoot!"

But before I could flesh out this idea, the mouse actually leaped into the air! I think it was trying to leap over my foot. Now I think about it, I like a mouse that can't be fucked scurrying around someone and decides, "Fuck it, I'm gonna go the high jump!" But I was convinced it was going to leap onto my foot and attack me. In the end, I jerked my foot upwards and the mouse kind of ricocheted off the edge of my thong. And as I reeled around in my swivel chair, the mouse scurried away. Dammit - I can't work out where it can have gone.

Mouse incidents are actually more widespread than my shame at my domestic filth will allow. The other day, Dan was saying that he noticed a mouse in his house. Then Bo called him saying, "Just watch out when you open the cupboard doors, because I've set some mousetraps."
Dan said, "Oh, so you've seen the mouse."
"Mouse?" replied Bo - "Try four mice!"

At least I have only seen one mouse.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Return of the Headtapes. I have been thinking about bringing back last year's weekly list of the songs that get into my head, the Headtapes. The reason I gave it up was because it's such a hassle to record every song, jingle, melody that gets into your head. And I am pretty sure that I no longer want to write an academic paper about such things, although if I did, I have shitloads of material from last year.

But I am still so interested in the analogue technologies for storing and sharing music. And what could be more analogue than getting a song in your head and then telling someone about the song? But perhaps this time, I'll comment a little more on what put them there. For example, it's a little alarming that I have so much Oz Rock in my head.

And a lot of these songs are from comedy shows that I've gone to recently, or from events like the Superstar Karaoke night at the Festival Club on Tuesday. I did "Bad Girls" by Donna Summer. Last night they had three comedians do the iPod DJ thing at the club. Now I really don't like Charlie Pickering very much, but annoyingly I really enjoyed his song selections. And Andy McClelland does tend to play the sort of songs that people with button badges on their velvet jackets like to pogo around to, but he also played "Don't Go Now" by Ratcat - fittingly, just as I was leaving.

Monday 28 March
Whiskey-O - sea shanty
The Power of Love - Huey Lewis and the News
Take Me Home - Phil Collins
Baby Boy - Beyonce/Sean Paul

Tuesday 29 March
Bewitched theme song
Waltz of the Flowers - Tchaikovsky
Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
Two Little Girls From Little Rock - Marilyn Monroe/Jane Russell
Life On Mars - David Bowie

Wednesday 30 March
Since You've Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
Crazy in Love - Beyonce
Romeo - Basement Jaxx
Time to Leave Her - sea shanty
ABC TV theme
Pressure Down - John Farnham
Flame Trees - Cold Chisel
One Night in Heaven - M People
It Was A Very Good Year - Frank Sinatra
Rich Girl - Gwen Stefani

Thursday 31 March
Flame Trees - Cold Chisel
Bad Habits - Billy Field
La La - Ashlee Simpson
You're the Voice - John Farnham
Stacy's Mom - Fountains of Wayne
Me Against the Music - Britney Spears/Madonna
You Send Me - Sam Cooke
Throw Your Arms Around Me - Hunters and Collectors
Sitting, Waiting, Wishing - Jack Johnson
Moscow - Genghis Khan
Bootylicious - Destiny's Child

Friday 1 April
Independent Woman Pt 1/Dreadlock Holiday - Destiny's Child/10CC
Drop It Like It's Hot - Snoop Dogg
How Sweet It Is - Marvin Gaye
Wrap Me Up - Alex Party

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