I’m an avid reader. I like to read all things. I do not discriminate, in fact, I have an unabashed love for Jackie Collins novels that I will not apologise for. I have always been like this. For every literary novel I read in high school/young adulthood, I also read some trash. Frequently this trash was Sweet Valley High/University. So imagine my surprise when I realised Sweet Valley Confidential came out couple of years ago, the 10 year update on what the Wakefield sisters are up to. So I’m doing some catch up and Holy Geebus, stupid and depressing much? It was always vapid and I guess it never challenged why oh so smart Elizabeth never paid attention to what was going on around but I knew it was happening. On some level I forgave them because of their age, In this latest treasure they’re suppose to be 27. Playtime is over Elizabeth Wakefield! Coasting by on your looks is not enough these days honey. According to you, your sister Jessica worked this one out 8 months ago. Time to move on! We’re done here!
It’s like reading a $1 romance novel I picked up from Lifeline to pad out the set on my friend’s film. It’s rare I can actually feel myself getting dumber just by reading, but it’s happening. I think it’s being reflected in my writing as we speak… punctuation hell! I’ll still read this lil’ brain squirt and it’s follow ups, which are still being written. I’d blame this on 50 Shades of Grey (probably the only thing I have actually refused to read but Jennifer Armin Trout does a great chapter by chapter recap so you don’t have to) but this was happening long before that one ever came along.
(photo courtesy of Cracked)
Let me start by saying, I have nothing against reality TV. In fact, I have been known to watch both Jersey Shore and The Hills. ‘The Shire’ on Ten has already been compared to all. I’m not bagging the ‘reality’ of it, The Shire is nothing we haven’t seen before. A bunch of beaches, throw in some pretty looking people, that’s Australia in a ‘reality’ package. And they must be white! so so white! Well, not so white, they do err on the side of oompa loomp. Also the shows central characters Matt and Kerry are a very pretty multiracial couple so score 1 to Ten. The shire has a bit of a bad rep though, not totally deserved (as any resident of Sutherland Shire will tell you) but it’s there.
How much will “The Shire” reflect on what this area represents to many Australians? Years after the Cronulla Riots, Will these models and surfers acknowledge one of the worst racial attacks in recent history?
My guess is no. In order to make it palatable for the average Aussie, they might have a little talking heads moment but I highly doubt it will come to any breakthroughs. We have a pretty solid history of racist denial here in the “Lucky Country”. Alternatively, we have Joe Hildebrand over at the ABC, talk about being an apologist! Not only did we learn that we’re racist but we’re actually more racist than Poor Joe first thought. *sarcasm* what an eye-opener! Now before you accuse me of hating on Australia (or *gasp* being ‘Un-Australia) I’d like to clarify. I love my country, there’s a lot of good things, beautiful and amazing things & people but I’m open-minded enough to admit that we have a long way to go. We might just deserve that bad reputation.
Here’s something you need to repeat to yourself while watching The Shire… ‘First step to being the perfect racist is not admitting that you’re a racist.’
P.S. If you do also choose to watch I assure you that not all the residents of Sutherland Shire are like this.
(photo courtesy: The Leader)
Here in Australia, we’re not that big on differences. Those differences often become the punchline. Sarah has an unconventional look, which by Aussie standard means she deserves some “good-humoured” ribbing. I admit my first thought upon seeing her visage was “Holy eyebrows, who told her that was okay?” But this post is not about that, It’s not here to body snark on her cosmetic tattoos, nor the fact that she loves heels so much she’s trying to patent the “Hunner” (that’s a Heel + runner in one). Part of me wants to, but I know that it’s mean and it’s also unnecessary, especially when I know nothing about her but a few clips on TV (this is what being a grown up is about, I think). No, I’m here to discuss the name she’s been tagged with, “The Cougar”. I kind of get the feeling from the explanation of James and Sarah’s relationship on the Amazing Race’s webpage and this advertisement, they’re a little obsessed with their ages. “JAMES IS 23” it says, “Sarah is…. (dun dun dunnn) 32” *gasp* *pearl clutch* THAT’S 9 WHOLE YEARS. However, we don’t just go ahead and say we think it’s wrong or it’s odd. So we do what’s considered socially acceptable in our society, we laugh at her and label her a Cougar. Secretly thinking that the younger man, who admitted to being friends with Sarah before the relationship, is caught up in her matronly clutches. What else can Sarah do but laugh along like a “good sport” as we shame her. So what’s our problem? If it was an older man/younger woman situation would it be as much of a joke? often in that case, the man often evades target while the woman gets labeled a gold-digger. He may get the more widely accepted ‘Sugar daddy’ and a pat on the back for being such a stud. What of a relationship with 2 men? I believe ‘Twink’ and ‘Daddy’ may have been bandied around at one time or another but it seems to be far less of an issue in the queer community.
Why do we find it so uncomfortable that a woman might appreciate the company of a younger man? Does Sarah deserve to be the butt of our jokes because of that? or because her looks are unconventional? Not from what I’ve seen but must be missing something. Maybe I just don’t get the ‘joke’.
(sources: The Amazing Race – James and Sarah, Youtube)
Totally trying to get in before everybody else climbs all over it, like a good hipster. Love this so much! Evokes something so very Scandinavian/Nordic in music. The Uni-tard and hair just make it that much better.
Reminds me of The Knife, Royksopp maybe even a bit of Bjork…. but doesn’t everybody want to be a little bit Bjork?
Remember the days when it was all about Jake Gyllenhaal? yeah, Before Ryan Gosling came along and hey Girl’d about the place.
Page Six posted another literary masterpiece on Jake making everybody squee at Soulcycle UNion sq. I stayed in Union square when I was in New York *gasp*, I could have been that close to Jake and his spin class. *gasp* Then IMAGINE a if Ryan Gosling was at the same gym *squirt*
Sat down to read an article about Pixar’s new movie ‘Brave’ in Time Magazine proved to be an experience I won’t forget too soon. The film involves their first female lead character and the title of the piece ‘Pixar’s Girl Story‘. The character is a princess but a tough, bear-fighting scottish princess. Read Braveheart rewritten as girl with a more entertaining story attached (I hope.) It was on the third page I came across a statement that left me breathless,
“There’s guts in marketing a princess movie to boys, but it’s just bad business not to give your princess a tiara, wand or frilly pink dress, since that’s what little girls buy.” (Joel Stein, ‘Pixars Girl Story’, Time, March 5 2012)
He goes on to quote that ‘Disney Princesses make up the top selling toys in the US’ which I’m sure is true but has Joel Stein walked down an aisle in the Toy Store lately? Particularly that pink aisle which is so pervasive you can’t really escape it. Does he have daughters himself? Speaking from personal experience, when I was a small child in the 80’s & 90’s, I may have had some pink frilly things hoisted upon me but my favourite dress up was a cape. My barbies and She-ra played side by side with transformers and He-man. I may have played teacher to menagerie of toys, not one of them was particularly frilly, pink or wore a tiara.
We are taught from an early age that we must like pink, baby-dolls and other such “girly” things, Trucks are for the boys. However, at school, my girlfriends and I would play tag in the playground and make up wild stories about being on a ship. In one story I’m pretty sure Cinderella married Vanilla Ice (it was the early 90’s). We did what we wanted to do because it was play; there’s no distinct rules, certainly not in Gender.
Noone told us that we had to play one way or another, except for when we were confronted with messages in media that said ‘This’ is what girls play with. Like the Riley on Youtube I’m driven to question, Why do little girls have to buy pink & princesses? The only answer I can come up with, noone bothered to ask what we really wanted.
While I may be stretching it a bit to call it literature, I have just completed the entire Hunger Games trilogy. It captured me in a way that Harry Potter and twilight never could and still haven’t ( I have never read more than a line from each, so sue me!). Frankly, it’s left me a little depressed. I don’t know if I wanted more because it actually ended quite beautifully however I’m in a bit of a lull. I get this after most books I really enjoy so it’s not unknown to me but the thought of reading any other book in my rotation, especially Infinite Jest fills me with dread. Is this what an easy read does to the brain?
While you ponder that Statement you can check this out
Mean Girls of Panem (via Crushable)