Monthly Archives: May 2012

On comms

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Autocorrect is white collar colonialism. Long sentences can be passive aggressive. Use ‘different from’ and never be wrong. Including a compliment with a product/service makes you quite mad. First drafts have an accuracy entitlement. Excel without colour-blocking is nudist. The generic pronoun for an organisation is ‘it’. The collective noun for Gen Y is swoop; you’re welcome. Comic sans is sans comedy. The exclamation mark is punctuation’s folliculitis: easy to pick up, hard to get rid of. And I’d know! Stationery does not stop. Like Coke Zero, Gill Sans MT is gendered. Slacks may only be worn by people suffering chronic fatigue. Blue is for correction, lead is for query and red is for women who wear zany accessories.

Dontcha… Dontcha…

All woman

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It took me ages to become a woman. Through my 20s and early 30s I’d hear females, my age and younger, describe themselves breezily as women and I’d be dazzled. We are technically adults at 18 but bah! I wasn’t and couldn’t be hurried. For the longest time I referred to myself as a chick because I wanted a word between girl and woman.

The woman thing made more sense after I read some Woolf “one is not born but becomes a woman”. In this I read I’d be one when I got there. I would make of myself some account by speaking after I’d accrued some things to say. In all fairness I think this stands for men too but having never been one, I’d not know.

Obvs I was socially there a long time before I arrived but when ‘women’ did fit me, I sat down and wrote a little list. My qualifiers were solemn as well as silly because that’s how I think.
1. Sarcasm is a choice not a reflex
2. My job is not my career
3. Hurt people hurt people
4. Domestic hygiene is a relationship deal breaker
5. Hair is not
6. Sport, meh
7. Diet coke is not a food group
8. My imagination is a resource not a refuge
9. I buy new bras before they become unmanageable
10. I spotted a handsome boy on the tube/tram and hoped he has something warmer than that to wear
11. The hot chip is the culinary pinnacle of human achievement: fact
12. The male gaze… does not define me
13. I’ll never be good at drinking no matter how much I practise
14. I accept Simon Le Bon’s decision to marry Yasmin
15. In 1986.
16. I am not my weight
17. The majority of my conversations happen
18. I have a death stare.
I wondered about my construct and what assumptions I’d hid in its coding. How I had come to them. Then my Mum said something and it clicked…

I was moving and Mum had come to stay to help me. On night two she tried to cook dinner. No easy task in a kitchen-mine. I don’t cook, I arrange. Having managed to cobble something together from a saucepan and its lid, Chef Mumsie was stymied by my lack of ‘stuff’ to serve it on. I own plates and things, a mixing bowl and some desultory Tuppaware but no fancy platter, tureen, pitcher, boat, ceramic vessel or casserole thingie, egads!

‘Oh Daughter’ Mama cried crossly, ‘You don’t live here, you camp here!’

Boom. Arm doors and cross check. That was it! I realized that in my mind I had got to a place where being a woman meant owning two sets of things; the everyday and posh. Be it knickers, cutlery or children, in my making of woman, I had downloaded my mother.

It was ever thus.

On writing

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Kitchen-sinking a noun-verb transfer rulz 4 eva. Arial narrow is urgent but I don’t care. Leveraging is a terrible thing. Always. To boldly go into a dangling modifier is just fine. Clip art is for bad people. Analysis is not something that goes around something; a scarf is something that goes around something. Century Gothic uses the least ink. Prosaic is the saddest word in the language. If the cleaner is not capped then neither is the captain. Dot points are not bullets and neither do they require semi colons. Don’t let a lawyer proofread. An ellipsis is a beautiful thing… use more. Death by PowerPoint is an offense. Note-taking in fewer than three colours is agricultural. A margin represented by a flower on a long wiggly stem signifies work of genius. A fool and his misplaced apostrophes will soon be out-smarted. Caps lock is FUNNY. Underlining is not.

The Voice.

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ZOMG! What is going on with this show? It’s absolutely massive. It’s a one-in-seven Aussies tuning-in smash hit. A behemoth. A juggernaut. A manifesto! But why? Why so much bigger than the others?

For me, The Voice is fascinating because it reflects an image of who we think we are. It is our story, manifest. It captures so very much of what we, as Aussies and as digitalized world citizens believe, understand and hope.

The reality TV format mimics production systems from mainstream media. What makes, for me at least, reality TV interesting is that it co-opts those systems to create celebrities out of folk who do not typify stardom as we know it. The Voice works this way; it uses reality TV to create pop stars out of ordinary people who would not ordinarily, pop.

All of this is probably only important if you are interested anyway. And I am. I think The Voice is fascinating. I think the music industry is fascinating. And I think celebrity is fascinating. From a feminist perspective I have heard it said and believe to be true that ‘fame has replaced romance as the dominant female fantasy’. Now, as far as I am concerned, that’s bloody MASSIVE!

Having thought about it a bit (OK a lot!) my theory goes something like this. The success of The Voice rests on three basic principles:
• It appeals to our ego in that we are each an arbiter of ‘true’ talent
• It appeals to our hope that society is merit based and talent attracts reward regardless of privilege
• It fits our sporting paradigm in which we barrack like loons for our faves.

We are all in A&R
The Voice invests us with personal power. Its choose-your-own-star format credits each of us with the ‘knowing’ of a taste-maker. Now we all work in A&R and the zing shifts from the audience’s passive consumption of what they deem great to what we deem it.

Talent vs. privilege
My favourite point in the show so far was the fact the first contestant, THE FIRST, uniquely and definitely not TV ‘hot’ and dressed as a giant strawberry, wooed us with a voice that could only properly be described as beautiful. That. Right there. A different sort of gorgeous holding her own on national TV. Casey Withooos was so far out of the narrow bandwidth of what’s considered attractive on TV as to be intergalactic. Not a very usual kick-off for Channel 9. But one that hooked me from the get-go.

The talent vs. privilege is a big part of what makes this show work and it is most obvious with the chair spinning thing. Talent before privilege. Casey… she’s big! Karise… she’s poor! Rachel… she’s blind! It’s not how things work on telly and for that, we like it all the more. In all of us is the hope that the extraordinary will shine through.

Two things
Two things I really like about the show are that a) the judges are properly qualified b) there is no use of montage of people failing at their auditions. Clearly a decision. No humiliation. No crappy ‘ha-ha they’re deluded’ fail montage. No mean screen-fill. Just people singing for us. Nice.

Prognosis
Not sure. Casey Donavan anyone? I am not sure the winning of a record contract with Universal Australia is an actual proper prize. Perhaps once, but now? Hard days for that sort of malarkey. I don’t mean to be a downer but it would be silly to think otherwise. I think for me this story is a TV one and, unless Karise wins, I am not so sure I’ll be quite so interested after the show ends. But bugger that. It’s on and I’m in. Up for it. Me and most of my mates. The Monday night ABC TV diaspora is GO!

Duran Duran 4 eva

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Duran Duran will play at the opening of the 2012 London Olympics *squeeee!*. I am gonna stay up ALL NIGHT to see them. It’ll be Live Aid all over again. Except I will be 40 years old. Samantha and Megan are invited. We’re going to watch ‘Sing Blue Silver’ after.

The line-up for the BT London Live Olympic opening ceremony celebration concert on Friday July 27 has been confirmed.

As the games kick off in the east of the capital bands representing the four home nations Snow Patrol (Northern Ireland), Paolo Nutini (Scotland), Duran Duran (England) and Stereophonics (Wales) will play the huge gig in Hyde Park.

They will all play greatest hits sets in front of 60,000 fans.

Blur have already been confirmed to play another huge Hyde Park concert on August 12 as part of the sporting event’s closing ceremony celebrations.

http://www.duranduran.com/wordpress/2012/the-olympic-games-will-be-a-brit-classy/