Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Farewell To Tits

It wasn’t just The Hangover that bit the dust last week; Marieke Hardy, aka Ms. Fits, posted a farewell at her award winning blog, Reasons You Will Hate Me.

Though Fits is unlikely to win a popularity contest amongst the TSSH detritus, I for one was always an admirer of her blog, as I am of her work on the ABC Book Club and to an extent, her contributions to The Green Guide (which even our resident Marieke-hatin’ baitin’ scribe Ramon Insertnamehere is slowly coming around to).

Her ‘Ring! Ring!’ manual slide-shows were at worst cute but at best bloody hilarious. Her name-dropping and tales from the inside of the entertainment industry were completely free of hubris and came across with a ‘kid in a lolly shop’ whimsy. Her political commentary was never designed or intended to be insightful – merely to entertain, which it did.

She developed quite a following over at RYWHM. An innocuous post on a conversation she had with a kid in a playground would attract in excess of 100 comments, and her contributors were a motley cocktail of sycophants, pathetic acolytes, stalkers, violent and abusive psychos (far more violent than anything posted at The Hangover) fans, friends and casual bystanders like me.

What I liked was that she didn’t bat an eyelid at any of it. The sycophants weren’t pandered to, the psychos weren’t shunned, the friends got no special treatment. She posted, they commented, end. Further, good on her for not reacting one little bit to the creepy antics of Team Lulz in the past few days.

There was the whole Pandagate disaster, and also the self-published photo of her tits (which our beloved Hack* loves to reference as justification for, umm, something) but on the whole, her blog was nothing more than whimsical left-leaning comic ramblings and she never promoted it to be anything more or less.

Now that RYWHM has gone, there’s nobody to fill that whimsical void. The problem with the whole left-leaning bloggerati is that they’re all so fucking earnest, and if they’re not earnest, they’re either loony, boring, vacuous, ill-informed or fucking retarded. Amidst this quagmire of crap, her way of saying, “Here’s my tits, vote Rudd” was harmless fun.

Say what you will of her familial connections, Bob Brown undies, Last Man Standing, Neighbours, her adjective-laden prose with impossibly long sentences and her tits, her blog was orright.

Seeya Fits, and good luck.

* I think it was Hack who had the problem with her tits - I might be wrong.

(In the interest of transparency – yes, I’ve met her on occasion and she has both interviewed and promoted my band, and we have mutual friends. But we’re not mates and none of this particularly influences my comments above other than the fact I’m happy to say she’s a nice chick not deserving of any personal insults).

(Insert personal insults below)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bill Henson? Doesn't he voice The Muppets?

The recent blanket coverage on the topic of Bill Henson’s art is both frustratingly hysterical,* and often boring. I was weary of the debate by Monday lunch, mainly because there’s really no answer to any of the questions being posed.

However, I get the feeling that the right questions are not being asked.

I went to an NGV Bill Henson exhibition about 4 years ago. On the one hand, I could appreciate his eerie brilliance. On the other hand, I was made to feel uneasy by this same brilliance, particularly because I was accompanied by a woman who was herself a victim of child sexual abuse. She too appreciated his craft, but left the exhibition clearly on edge and in tears.

I decided that Bill Henson was a talented creep.

The public debate is centred around the question of ‘art’ and ‘porn’. But I have a better question to ask, though it’s one which, like all the questions being asked, we'll never get an answer to. Based on the (often incorrect) Buddhist axiom that the ‘morality of an act is in its intention’, I ask, does Bill Henson get his rocks off on the thought of sexually engaging with underage girls? Or to put it more bluntly, is he a paedophile? Not ‘do you think he is a paedo?’, ‘IS he one?’ is my unanswerable question.

I don’t think the images are ‘porn’, by any definition. They are ‘art’ – debate over (in my head). .

But does this ‘art’ come at the expense of underage girls’ dignity, development, respect and legal rights? If so, then I think the ‘anti-Henson’ brigade have an argument to make.

Cate Blanchett may call it ‘censorship’, but if just one model turns out to be the victim of Henson’s sexual predations, then censor away, I say.

In the meantime, surely they could just put an ‘R’ rating on his exhibitions instead of confiscating the works? Confiscating his art is like demolishing a bank so it won’t get robbed.

If only Henson could use his talents for good instead of (alleged) evil.

* Oxford comma!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Go Russ Go

It is a shame that the 'early works' of the great artists are more than often lost to history. No doubt Shakespeare wrote plays or poetry in his teens but we'll never see them. Picasso, Van Gogh and Da Vinci were probably sketching from when they were little kids and how fascinating it would be to see some of these pieces. Nureyev dancing at his high school prom night, John Lennon singing at the boy scout jamboree, Beethoven's earliest jingles. All lost.

But now, with the wonder of technology, the 'early works' of our contemporary greats are freely available to us all (much to their annoyance, most likely).

Please enjoy this pre-stardom performance by the Brando of his generation, our very own Russell Crowe, appearing in a promotional video for the Seventh Day Adventist church (thanks to Melody for finding it).

(PS: It runs for 6 minutes. Maybe make a cuppa, or in Ramon's case, a slab of Coopers. You'll never get the 6 minutes back.)

Things I've done (so far) on my holidays

1. Drink a beer.

2. Go to Ikea (not through choice).

3. Get involved in a major blogging war.

4. Drink a beer.

5. Become involved in a new, disgusting blog.

6. Drink a beer.

7. Swear at the Age.

8. Assemble Ikea furniture (while drinking a beer).

9. Swear at Ikea furniture.

10. Think about drinking a beer.

Cripes, and it's only the first week.

I do lead a rich, full life.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Site Formally Known As

Well, looks like it's another day, another blog. Rather then look backwards, lets move forward, pick up the pieces and welcome a brand new day.

And please, if you are having trouble dealing with your grief, watch the video below. It will help you put it all into context.