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)
Just finished watching ‘Utopia Girls“! It could be considered a simplified view of the Australian Suffragettes (at times I felt I was watching a school video) however, it was packed to the gills with information that most have limited knowledge of.
In case you don’t know, Australia was the second nation in the world, after New Zealand, to enable women to vote. The first state to acquiesce was South Australia in 1894!! It was 1908 when Victoria, one of the last hold outs, finally enabled women to place their opinions in the political fray. It would be a full 12 years before the US would do the same and another 8 before the UK would concede.
It’s something that this country in all it’s modern day problems should hold onto and be proud of (have you heard? we’re drunk, dumb and racist) . Poor Vita, one of the heroes of this movement, sadly had little fanfare upon her death. Australia had already forgotten all the work these women (and some men) had done for us. Though I feel that had Vida Goldstein passed now, the information vacuum that is the Internet would have reversed and spat out to endless essays on the valuable work done and achieved by Goldstein and her compatriots. I’m not sure whether that’s any better, over-saturation = low comprehension in a lot of cases.
Utopia Girls can be screened on ABC’s Iview within Australia. Outside of Australia you may have to find illegal means to acquire it but it’s worth a watch if just to inspire us all to read more about them. My next step is to read about New Zealand’s fight, I bet there’s a brilliant story there.
Sometimes I delight in my fat rolls. I didn’t always have them. I grew up a very skinny kid, the kind that could barely put on weight. If I didn’t like what people gave me, I wouldn’t eat it. Then I’d proceeded to eat whatever my body would want.
As I grew I got jabs about how small and skinny I was, “put some weight on you.” “You’re skin and bones.” “eat more”, I realised that where others had breasts where I had barely nubbins. I felt asexual, not that you should be ashamed of asexuality, but at that time you think “what’s wrong with me?” After my first boyfriend, I realised what I was isn’t asexual. I was threatened by men, who I hardly understood but I was slowly realising that my body as it was can be a powerful thing. At 22 I started putting on weight, I developed stretch marks of which I was ashamed. I was loved but I felt I did not deserve it. So much was caught up in this idea of perfection, I would not let him touch my little stomach although he delighted in it. I lost the bit of extra weight, I gained again. I lost love, I gained love. I lost again.
So much of who I was, was tied up in this idea that I was not good enough. My figure it’s boyish but carries some weight. My thighs, my love handles, my stomach created a strange undulating silhouette but it was definitely not an hourglass, more like a jelly baby. As I get older and in my 32 year I revel in my fat rolls. they are part of me. The only time they cause me pain is when my clothes don’t fit right, when I see my bottom from behind it’s a little saggy. When I see that gorgeous girl with the larger figure, her stomach is still as flat as a pancake and her breast are a force to be reckoned with, I’m jealous.
It’s others who shame me with their well-meaning words, It’s for others that I go to my most hated place, The Gym. I want to stop listening to others because sometimes I delight in my fat rolls, they’re part of me.
I spent some time watching ‘Girls’ tonight and I realised that some things at 20, are still the same at 30. What a fucking breakthrough. I have nothing in common with these people other than the crippling anxiety that still plagues me, the ‘not quite good enough’ feeling. I feel like I’m still a pretty good person though. Which brings me to another thought.
I’m starting to think that, honestly, we’re a bunch of assholes. In fact, asshole behaviour is not just encouraged, it is celebrated. Every time we reveal a little guilty secret about having slept with someone we shouldn’t have or that zinger we trot out at someone’s expense. we’re encouraged to think of ourselves first, sure, we do charitable things but because it makes us feel better and less of the asshole we are while we look down on others who aren’t as “giving” as we are. Guess what? that makes you an asshole. We’re living our lives like an Ayn Rand Utopian vision, all the while saying ‘at least I’m not as bad as that guy.’ But then again, maybe I’m just the asshole.
Awesome podcast from the CBC on the way science and society has shaped the supposed Gender Gap.
“For the past 20 years we’ve been hearing the claims from pop psychology to neuroscience: men and women, boys and girls, have different brains. The books are plentiful: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,The Female Brain, The Essential Difference. The idea that males and females are hard-wired to learn differently, making them better suited for specific professions, has taken hold. Yet some neuroscientists and psychologists believe this leads to unhealthy gender stereotyping. IDEAS producer Mary O’Connell explores the debate.”
The Gender Gap, CBC
You may have heard by now that Jessica Simpson finally popped out a lil one after the longest pregnancy in history (probably not but lets not pretend we weren’t thinking it.) The second tidbit is that she named her little girl Maxwell Drew. The comments have been going off a bit at this info. “but that’s 2 boys names?” I will not lie a few comments tickled me a bit and made me think she really does have a good sense of humour, but the former was honestly my first thought. Luckily my developed brain then skipped straight into, What right do I have to judge what gender a name is? I expect the first girl or boy to be called Sydney would not appreciate it.
About.com has a list of 121 Unisex names and I’m sure there is more added to this list everyday including Maxwell. It’s universally accepted that Bailey can be either a girl or a boy. An let’s face it, everybody knows that you can’t look at a baby and be able to tell it’s a boy or girl. However, people get so worked up about it like the downfall of the world came with the non-gender specific onesie/romper or, baby jeebus help us, if you happen to dress a boy in pink. Just stop confusing people, you hippies!
Moral here is, it’s not my place or yours to judge what gender a name is. Save your pity and confusion for the sadly misspelled phonetic ones like Shy-anne, DestyNeigh, Madisyn.
Pictures courtesy of TheAge & AP, Funny Photos, Missworld.tumblr.com