Thursday, June 28, 2007
Every year at around this time, I take pause from the important work of blaspheming on a personal weblog to recognise The World’s Most Pointless Activists.
Having received its annual Vitamin B 12 shot, an organisation that regularly relieves me of any lingering omnivore guilt named two marginal television personalities as its Sexiest. These are Carrie Underwood, a country-lite blonde singer from Oklahoma and Kevin Eubanks, a guy who plays in Jay Leno’s Tonight Show Band.
I have squandered the better part of a morning looking at pictures and moving images of these two putative celebrities and trying to work up some lust. I can report, neither of them is particularly “Sexy”. And, ask any leftover from my Salad Days, my standards are pretty generous.
Kevin, frankly, just looks like a nice Dad type in clumpy shoes and American catalogue-wear. I tried to imagine him pulling my hair and calling me his beyatch. No. By eleven, all that had occurred was an elaborate and unsexy fantasy which ended with him usefully painting my cornices. By which I mean: he usefully painted my cornices.
Two time title holder Underwood, although physically lovely, is every bit as sexy as the typewriter for which she was named. In fact, I decided this long ago as she reprised Love Is a Battlefield during the ’04 season of American Idol. Those of a certain vintage will recall the AWESOME boozy jiggle enacted by Pat Benatar in the original version of this powerful tune. Miss Underwood, sadly, drained a massively sexy song of all its sex.
Jus as PETA continues to drain real activism of any actual might.
For years now, this organisation has colluded with famous idiots. Using the vacant mechanism of celebrity, it has attempted to jam the machine of animal slaughter. It has asked Naomi Campbell (still an unapologetic fur-wearer and Very Hot Criminal) to pose nude for its anti-fur campaign. It has lured vegan Playboy models into its employ and draped them publicly in lettuce leaves. Yes, girls, it’s apparently fine to inject poison into your tits to uphold the phallic standard and show your arse-hole to Hef and the world for money. But eating little lambies is Just Not Cool.
Amid all of this hypocrisy and shallow, selective World Saving, PETA never misplaced my interest so utterly as when they named Mr Paltrow, AKA Chris Martin of Coldplay, as 2005’s Mister Herbilicious.
Coldplay? Sexy? !? He contains all the strapping sexual protein of char-grilled eggplant and I shan’t be eating a slice of him any time soon.
If PETA wishes to engage the attention of myself and other potentially principled foodies, they might start by engaging our intellect rather than libido. Cos, try as I might, I’m just not seeing Caz, Kev and I in a Jacuzzi.
Monday, June 25, 2007
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
MILLIONS OF WOMEN
The International Museum of Women invites you to be a part of Imagining Ourselves, an online global exhibit featuring art, photographs, essays and film by young women in their 20s and 30s answering the question, "What defines your generation?"
If you have a story to tell and a voice that wants to be heard, we welcome your submission. We are now accepting short films for our Online Film Festival. Get to know our exhibit by going to www.imow.org and clicking on the Imagining Ourselves exhibit.
Read stories, view artwork and film and listen to music and spoken word from the many young women from all around the world.
Be inspired. Get involved. Take action.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
No. She’s an upright, Christian Girl Scout getting set to hock her sugar cookies to the culture. Yum.
As any penitent celeb would, Paris sought absolution from Barbara Walters on Sunday. From deep within her dermatitis, she told Walters, “God has given me this new chance.”
Freshly pressed into the service of the Lord, Paris declared her intention to help Those Less Fabulous. She announced astonishing plans to open something like a Centre For Children Who Can't Read Good. Then, she, like, rilly regrouped as a Total role model and confessed that her dumb act was, “no longer cute.”
Apparently abject stupidity has soured beyond its erotic Best Before date. Who knew?
PR redemption is a story that is played out every other week. Apparently, we love it. Angelina, a renovator’s delight, was once a tatty bi-curious hovel. Now she’s a rainbow cathedral of hope. Madonna was once a man eating onanist. Post Kabala, it don’t mean a thing if she ain’t got that string.
The thing is, though, Ange and Madge might actually give a crap. It is entirely possible to believe that they wish to use their charms for good instead of crotch grabbing evil.
As anyone who has seen Miss Hilton’s adult video might attest, she is not the world’s most responsive woman. So could God really prod her into a more active service?
Well, duh, no.
As is her mode, Paris simply proceeds through the motions. And in doing so, provides another handy clue to the burgeoning crappiness of the culture.
Today, she’s Redemption Barbie (with optional stick on rash). The world’s most expensive cipher has, again, drained the meaning from something beautiful.
Thanks to Paris, the practise of living has itself been refurbished and is now sold back to us as A Lifestyle Choice!
She hasn’t learnt anything so much as she has redecorated. This is salvation as performed by the Fab Five of Queer Eye.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
It is not as if I have never done this before. I do read books on occasion.
These days, I seem to prefer the internet, the advice of allies and magazines to the slow torture of entire books. Rather than immerse myself utterly in a boiler of hot prose, I prefer the cool instant fix. In this Cheat Note epoch, I reason, why should I bother? Because I should.
It wasn’t always like this.
Once, I read many books. I read them in a concentrated teenaged era of hope and fearlessness. Reading, as any active reader will attest, actually requires a great deal of bravery and commitment. As an adolescent, I had both these qualities. When these fused with naiveté, there was no stopping me.
I had no idea who or what I was reading. I was just eager to dive into it all. And I didn’t care.
I read Marx and Sartre and Graham Greene and Angela Carter and Kerouac and Flaubert. I read Mann and Kristeva and Derrida and Patrick White and, shock, even poetry. (Although, I think, I've always had some aversion to poetry. Due, I think, to a fairly practical mind and a fear of sentiment and unnecessary weeping.)
By the time I was 20, I read more, I feel certain, than I will read for the remainder of my wobbly days. One reads orgiastically at that age. One reads with genuine lust.
When I think about the dousing of this pale fire, I am reminded of a conversation with a long ago record company executive who (irrelevant to the narrative but funny nonetheless) would often attest to his will have me walk on him in bespoke stilettos while he masturbated. Ah, rock’n’roll memories. Ah, youth.
Of fading desire, he would say, “Put a dollar into a piggy bank for every time you fuck in the first year of marriage. Then throughout your marriage, take a dollar out for every time you fuck thereafter. You will always have money.”
Do excuse my coarse language. I’ve found that this maxim is neither funny nor compelling if I erase the rude words. In any case, you know what he meant. And, in all likelihood (unless you’re medicated or a liar) you’ll agree with the sentiment.
So it is, for me at least, with reading. I'll never match my youthful literary zeal. When the Honeymoon was over and the first flush of attraction had soured, I guess I suspected that Reading would always there for me when I fancied a bit. Reading was always within easy reach. I never approached it again with the energy that it demanded.
Once, I was so intimate with my literary heroes and heroines. I was, I think, actually in love with Nietzsche. I loved him. It was erotic and it was intense and I will never know a love like that again.
You might think I’m name dropping. And, clang, yes I am. But these men and women ignited my youthful libido. And it pleases me to mention them again.
So, I am reading a book. And now, I labour and I sit with a dictionary and a Dictionary of Philosophy and even in the moments of fluttery crypto-cleverness, I know I'll never explode in the way I once did. But, slow familiarity is also good. Strange, fast pleasure is the province of the young.
I am no longer young.
But, today I am reading a book.