Back in first year uni, I thought suede was what Desert Boot uppers were made of.  I didn’t know it was a band too.

What was this ‘alternative’ music?  Alternative to what?  All I knew was the Top Forty, and listening to Friday Night Request Line.  I wasn’t that many years removed from a spiral perm and Roxette.   ‘She’s Got the Look’ wasn’t, I suppose now, that much different from Suede’s ‘She’s in Fashion.

It’s just that I was never in fashion.

I used to go blank on my city friends sometimes.  They never knew how desperately uncool I was.  Or perhaps they did and were too nice to tell me.

After all, one day when I wasn’t wearing a flanno (which I took to wearing out of homesickness, and ironically, never wore them so much as in the Big Smoke), I put on my best jumper and ribbon to ask out this nice older boy in my history tute, just before we went into a lecture.

He was so desperate to get out of going with me to a party that he actually went out and busted his leg playing soccer.  The full plaster cast and amnesia-about-being-asked-out combo.  Total blank on Monday after the game.  I was too shy to ask if he was still interested.  Not that I was selfish, but you know, it took a lot of being psyched up by the family I boarded with, and picking the right jumper and ribbon…

I stood there down the hill a bit from the history lecture hall, while one of my friends went on about some English band, Ride.  I should have known what that was about.  I mean, I couldn’t even sit on a horse long enough after it oninto a canter without trying to remember the stunt roll Mum told me about when I was a kid.  I knew enough about horses to know about a band called Ride.  Surely.  Yeah but nooooo, to paraphrase e of the great thinkers ofthe twenty-first century, Little Britain’s Vicky Pollard.

My friend enthused, her beautiful long dark hair and long skirt standing across from me, as she and our other friend gabbed on.  I stood there and realised that I had been left out of the cultural loop.

Where did you find this music?  Why had I never heard of it before?  What universe had I existed in?  I would never catch up.  I didn’t even especially like the Chili Peppers.

Sure I went to the Bar on the Hill on the occasional Thursday nights, and saw these great new Aussie bands play, but I didn’t collect music, and Triple J was new.  To me.  Not to the rest of the planet.  On the East coast, near the sea, where dreams are made in blue and green waves, not red ant hills.

Although I had not been in a dream world, not lived in one for nineteen years, that moment, standing on the hill at uni, felt as if I were coming out of one.  Not a sleep dream.  And I don’t even mean it wholly metaphorically.  I didn’t say anything.

Anyway, my friends knew that I was a country bumpkin from Broken Hill, but they never knew that it was a one FM radio station town, a station that I listened to sometimes on the wireless .   You know, back when a wireless was a wireless radio, and not something sticking out of the crack of a pair of skinny jeans worn by an arseless twat who has marginally more hair on his legs than I currently sport beneath my arms.  Well, up at the top of my arms and under a bit in a lovely warm hollow, and, if you wanted me to wave to you across the street, would stop traffic.  That’s how much I need to shave my underarms.  Who the hell invented that stuff?  Men.  So they could sell razors.  Bastards.

What is it with the pits?  They just grow so damned fast.  A girl doesn’t have time to daydream, procrastinate, create, and shave all in the one day.  No, she just gets a surprise in the shower when she washes her hair.  This is so taking me back to that dose of chicken pox I had when I was nineteen.  Man (pun intended), I could not shave under there for three months in case I knocked a pox off.

But you don’t want to know about my teen pox episode.  Well, you do, but I’ll save that for another post.

Anyway, so, I have been listening to Suede lately, on Youtoot, um, YouTubaclosis, no, YouTube.  It’s so… poppy, that may be it was never alternative.  Just wanted to see what all the fuss was about, even though, by now, I’ve heard them often enough.

Anyway, the beautiful thing is that my gang of uni friends and I may be grown up now, but I have a feeling that we all still love music.

And I suppose I know what the alternative is.


c.  A Room of Heroine 2011.


Top Ten Things Not to Attempt in the Nude

Going nude can be a freeing experience.  Below are some places and occasions when you should give it a miss.

1. Job Interview.  Unless you are attending a casting for a nude film, nude photographic exhibition, or trying to psyche out the other applicants in the waiting room, it might be a good idea to keep your qualifications under cover.  Chances are you will get the job anyway, because you are the best qualified for the job and have fabulous interpersonal skills that your new employer is crying out to have onboard.

2. Government Departments.   Public servants are subject to enough entertainment by the public on a daily basis, without your fronting up to the local RTA counter wearing only your car keys and a Low Income Health Care Card.

3. Funerals.  Especially if it is for someone you do not know, which is likely to occur if you lose yourself on the way to the service and end up in the Presbyterian section of the cemetery.  Funerals are like weddings – there is only room for one show-stopping bride and one hysterical guest.  Your entrance sans clothes is likely to steal the limelight.

 4. Shoeing a Horse.  There is a reason farriers wear leather aprons, and it is not because they are trying out costumes for Mardi Gras.  Ask any decent farrier, and they will tell you that you would be nuts not to wear an apron when faced with a large, possibly unpredictable cloven-hoofed animal and flying embers.  However, if you insist upon shoeing a horse whilst in the nude, be warned that the horse may mistake your hirsute backside for a gourmet variety of chaff.  In fact, avoid nuding up for any sort of activity involving welding, hot anvils, or any other sort of irons in the fire.

5.  Operating Heavy Machinery.  Agreed, posing on a stationary combine harvester or all over a mechanic’s workshop in the buff or a bikini can look hot.  But switch that circular saw on, and it may not just be logs that you split.

6. Driving Lessons.  This applies to any sort of lessons involving planes, trains, and automobiles.  It is pretty fair to say that if your physique is sufficiently arousing, your driving instructor will only be capable of doing half the job you are paying him or her for.  Then they will feel guilty that they took their eye off the ball, so to speak, and pass you with flying colours.  Which in the short term is great for the ego, but in the big picture, an absolute nightmare for anyone driving toward you from the opposite direction.

7. Public Rallies.  Any sort.  The chances of acquiring a nasty case of gravel rash if events turn rough, such as at a Young Liberals rally, are high, as are the statistics for most rallies involving peace, politics, or prurience.  So that counts out anti-war protests, union solidarity marches, and anything to do with Fred Nile.

8. Arriving  Late to Mass Nude Photographic Opportunities in Outdoor Venues.  Maybe an hour ago the police were happy to ignore a mass nudathon for the sake of art.  But this is no reason to suspect that they will turn a blind eye to your enthusiastic shortcomings, or your explanation that the bus was late.

 9. Locking Yourself Out of Your Hotel Room During a Political Conference.  Some may view this as the perfect opportunity to form spontaneous new political alliances, or get into bed with the opposition.  It can be hard to take a bipartisan perspective at three o’clock in the morning.  The stakes are a lot higher if you are the innocent party, and the person with the room key problem is your political hero.  Denuded of their intellectual prowess and oratorical charisma, you could either fancy yourself a true equal with leadership potential, or fight flashbacks to last night during their seminar on Fighting the Global Economic Downturn, or Keeping the Bastards Honest.

10. Foreign Airport Customs.  This is especially important if your luggage is lost in transit in another hemisphere, or ends up in the hold of one of Virgin’s new flights into outer space.  There is a good chance that the Customs official requesting your passport or travel documents, will not take kindly to your explanation that you have used up your hand luggage allowance and thus have no room for respectable attire.

Femme/Feminine Essentials – An Abbreviated Lissssssst

Femme/Feminine Essentials:  what exactly are they?  And why do they matter?

I first heard of  ”feminine essentials” from a work colleague some years ago.  This terminology was a world away from ”women’s things,” the shy termininology I muttered at the blushing age of fifteen on a rural towns high school orchestra tour, to the elderly male bus driver who demanded to know my reason for wanting to get back onto the locked bus when everyone else was inside the hall tuning up.  Despite having a friend with me, I couldn’t bear to state the bleedin’ obvious.

Now I see that the term ‘feminine essentials’ has a broader application.

As a member of the Femerati, with a doubtless biased opine-yon, I have decided to set sail (without help from real sailors) upon a M.O.G.I. (no, not a cat, rather a Mission of Great Importance) which explores the feminine-gendered kind.  Obviously it’s of some small concern that the ‘femme’ reference may go down a G.G.R. (Grossly Girly Route), so I’ve boiled it down:

To Discover: What Are the Top 100 Feminine Essentials?  And why.

Rules, Disclaimers, and Other Procrastivatory[sic] Bollux: the following is not an experiment in E.S. (Exact Science).  Probably because I don’t possess a white coat.  True, it has an objective (reverting to high school biology here, rather than the more dramatic GOAL which has been seconded by motivational types), and something of Methodology,  and it is possible that a conclusion or set of conclusions may be drawn from Evemadence[sic]… ooh, just notice a girly inscrimination[sic] there.

I invite you to think outside social stereotypes.  So please avoid the following, unless you can offer a particularly feminist reading upon your selection:

  1. Shopping
  2. Cosmetic surgery (for purely vain concerns of perfectly fine-looking persons)
  3. Other socio-gendered crap

This experiment is not for the fainthearted, the lazy, or the J.I.I.T.R.T.R.G.B. (Just in It To Read The Good Bits).  Au contraire, I offer you, the reader, the marvellous opportunity to contribute your own wild and fabulous examples of evidence which I will publish after a very long time into the future.

And when the list of Feminine Essentials Reaches 100.

Thus, to begin with, a suggestion of my own, which one hopes you shall find charming and entrancing.

FEMMESENTIALS  – An Abbreviated Lisssssst

1. Firm Foundation Garments: what a Berlei-ooody load of gender-political bollocks.  Did Boadicea wear a brassiere?  Whilst cooking upon a brazier?  In brazen times of old…

The greatest women in history were very often triumphant with the firm foundations of strength of character, bbbbraaaaains, and spunk.  That’s Australian for good looking, and for guts.  Boadicea had better things to do than hitch her herself into an iron cage before hoisting herself upon her trusty steed.  Did Boadicea’s horse wear a bra?  No. And I’m sure that Napoleon’s didn’t bother either.

What say you are feminine essentials?  And why?

No I Would NOT like to be a Flippin’ Barbie!

“No, I would not like to be a Barbie. My own Barbie was variously accidentally decapitated in a tug-of-war between my sister and the little kid from the sheep and cattle station next door, forced to wear a New Romantic haircut, and had blue biro inked on her eye lids.  Furthermore, she couldn’t sit on a horse properly, and kept losing her shoes.”

Thus I replied to an automatically generated blog that appeared somewhere near the vicinity of my Vagina Tax Alert posting.  I decided to have a squizz at it.   http://blogs.babycenter.com/momformation/2009/03/11/shes-a-barbie-im-a-barbie-wouldnt-you-like-to-be-a-barbie-too/

And the answer is no, hell no, not ever.  Why would I want to become a Barbie?  The shoes are tight, the men are short, and you cannot ride a horse. 

Not to mention the fact that millions of people around the world choose your wardrobe for you on a daily basis.  Without consultation.  If I were Barbie, I’d wake up, slash my wardrobe with a hunting knife, and ride off into the forest of Lost Toys.  

Where St Mattel is routinely burnt at the stake.

Try Gabriel Garnica’s extreme Roman Catholic perspective of the ultimate she-heathen, Barbie, she of the long legs, impossible figure, and alluring descent into radical feminism – which as we know is about 3/4 of a step away from “goddess worship”  (Garnica, G. www.dailycatholic.org/issue/04Dec/dec14gab.htm) and other such naughty stuff.   Phew!  And to think, as you will have seen from the article, she entitles her impassioned diatribe, The First Feminist Icon.  What?! 

How does one who fears a descent into goddess worship reconcile a belief in The Virgin Mary, a Roman Catholic incarnation of The Goddess Herself?  

Having returned from a trip to a mate’s wedding in Italy at the beginning of August, and, prior to the wedding week, visited St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, I have to say that idolatry is alive and well in the Roman Catholic faith, and I don’t mean faith in gobsmackingly beautiful architecture.   Idolatry is a language of worship, in which one recognises something divine, something transcendent – whether beautiful, loving, good, or no.  It is the linguistics of religion, and of spirit.  So how is a statue of the Virgin Mary holding her son not idolatrous?

Strangely compelled  to enter St Mary’s Cathedral here in Sydney a couple of years or so ago, on a literal and metaphorical journey through date palms in Hyde Park – for reasons I shall not go into – I encountered an image of the Virgin Mary.  Just inside the door was a beautiful sculpture of The Virgin Mary holding her infant son.  An image.  I could barely stop myself crying, and had to leave. 

WHAT is so bad about goddess worship? 

If I worship anything, it’s not a carefully constructed plastic doll with a jet-propelled bosom and legs which struggle to spread over the flank of a plastic horse, much less ride it to Boadicean victory across a lumpy lawn or dusty dryleaf-strewn yard.

If I worship anything – it is the spirit of the Goddess nature which IS nature, and within us. 

Besides, where I come from, a barbie is short for barbeque.