Sorry. And that.

I’ve been crap, haven’t I! Inconsistent blogging with months between them. I know. I’m a bad blogger. If I was a dog you’d be rubbing my nose into my computer screen. So anyway I’m sorry.

Well, as sorry as a self-indulgent mother of 2 in serious need of sleep and a facial with a broken washing machine and broken spirit, and a surprisingly well-in-tact superiority complex can be, anyway.

Not sure that anybody really cares that much. It’s not like my blogging saves lives or helps anyone, other than people who have insomnia.

You know, you random strangers out there that are so bored and wanting to be entertained because despite like a hundred new free TV channels there’s still crap on TV, so you’ll google “nice stylish boys lonely feeling sad” or “hairy condom sex” or ”Jennifer Lopez butt” or “Ryan Reynolds testicle tuck” and sadly somehow (I’m not kidding) you’ll see a link leading you to this site and go: Oh, this should amuse me for about three and a half minutes….

To those of you – I’m especially sorry. Oh and ahhh…. Also to all the celebrities who google their own name and see my 2 cents. Sorry to you too. Not for my 2 cents. But because I have soooo much more to give and I haven’t been. And for THAT I’m sorry to myself.

The kind of sorry that could apologise to an entire generation if it wanted to. Just by getting a bunch of people on a hill somewhere in Canberra and saying – I’m sorry, really slowly into a microphone and then printing it on a T-shirt and in the sky with a plane and that.

The kind of sorry that could round-house kick karate chop your arse, if it could be bothered getting off the couch… what leotard? I don’t know.

But anyway, my sorry would be wearing a sweat band Rambo style. And a red leotard with Swarovski crystals stitched into the bodice. And Christian Louboutin Mouskito Pumps in Black and Red. Because my sorry is AWESOME.

Anyway the consistent folk over at DarwinLife Magazine have this thing called a monthly deadline. So despite my absence here, I will be updating soon with Cyclone columns that appeared in June and July issues.

But for now, well you know.

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The face of Australia… CRIKEY!

After an Australian wins (or places) in a a world wide contest or competition – their face is everywhere and soon becomes immediately recognised. Jennifer Hawkins had her moment, as have countless athletes and olympians.   Similarly, after a country elects a new leader, and that leader is deemed a winner… for a time  that person becomes the face of the nation.

So back when George Bush was voted in as President of the United States for a second (and final) term, millions of people around the world including Australians gasped in shock. Nooo! IDIOTS! How could they? Is everyone over there taking a page out if his past and smoking the reefer? Songs like Greenday’s American Idiot became an anthem around the world, because it reflected our genuine (and somewhat detached) belief that if you voted for George W, then you are an idiot!

Of course I don’t live there – never have, and I’m sure the information I received on policies of the US Republics in this country was slightly filtered. But the guy seemed like a massive tool.

But this post is not all about the American elections.  It’s about how other countries make judgements on each other based on the leader they vote for.

So mostly I thought Americans were all high when they voted for George. I was amazed and also sceptical when I once asked a Taxi driver in Thailand how long the current leader has been there. Twenty years. No need to change. We’re very happy. I am constantly astounded at Cuban’s lack of democracy and wonder how a dictator can stay in power for almost 50 years.

But what do I know?? I’m an outsider to these countries and unless you’ve lived somewhere long enough to understand what impact the different leaders and parties have on the country, there’s a good chance you’re basing your opinion on propaganda, filtered news and political spin.

Cut now to Australia’s current political shambles.

I am one of those that was not overly impressed with either candidate from the two major parties, and I found myself agreeing and disagreeing with policies on both sides. I don’t think I was alone, and perhaps us being TORN is why we are now officially HUNG.

A large part of the problem with this election was the fact that neither candidate had proven themselves. Both were running as opposition leaders in the sense that we could not judge the current PM on the past term in government, because she only led that government for 6 weeks prior.

And now you have 4 Independents and one Green determining where our split votes go. Confused much? Yeah, and we live here. So what do other countries make of it all.

This video was made PRIOR to the night Julia Gillard and the Labour Party dumped K-Rudd’s sorry arse. I don’t normally agree with Hitler, but his take on our election is remarkably exact. In fact it’s a revelation, and it’s on You Tube for the world’s viewing pleasure.

So as this historical moment in Australia’s political history unfolds this week/month, as our county is left essentially leaderless because we were torn right down the middle, I find myself wondering what other nations are thinking of us right now.

 Are we too fussy? Are we just over it?  Do we all have options anxiety? Why can’t we agree? Why can’t we work it out? Do they think WE the people are unstable? Do they assume that both leaders are useless?

Here’s how an on-line News station in China reported PRIOR to the election.

Huh?

After watching that all I can say is…. thank goodness for Miss Universe Australia 2010, Jesinta Campbell! Second runner up (third place) and voted Miss Congeniality – I’m hoping the rest of the world are looking at her for their judgement on Aussies. Young, fresh faced, and full of confidence, energy and charm. And more importantly – a kind and friendly person. (Miss Congeniality alludes to that).

Otherwise –the following faces will be broadcast to the world as those we look to for our leadership.

         

Crikey!  Australian idiots? God bless Donald Trump!

If I was running for Prime Minster

I’m a political nerd. While the rest of the country is thinking, “Enough already!” when they see an ad come on TV, I stop and turn up the volume so I don’t miss a single word, even if I’ve already seen said ad ten times in the last 2 hours.

I LOVE soaking in all the newspaper reports, news reports and social commentary around election campaign time.  I haven’t always done this and admittedly I’ve voted plenty of times in ignorance. But perhaps since studying politics at uni, my appetite for hearing and reading from political leaders and their policies is insatiable.

Have I lost you? Don’t stop reading just yet. I promise I won’t delve too deeply into actual politics.  But I MUST give some background….

In my first semester of politics we learnt about the sacking of then PM, Gough Whitlam by the Governor General:  It went against every constitutional practise in our country. The historical moment in Australian politics opened a can of filthy worms and left political experts wondering: Where does the real power lie? Who has ultimate say so? How can this happen?

Surprisingly, an equally shocking event happened less than two months ago when a Prime Minister serving his first term was sacked by his own party.

My only conclusion from these events is that Australian politics does what it likes. Sure – there’s a constitution… but that was out of date the day it was written. Sure – there’s political practise that seems like a very well oiled and tightly run ship… but even that ship gets leaks and cracks.  

So when the lights go out at Parliament house, I wonder… is it really just about WINNING?

It seems to me each party find a topic of public interest, support it either for or against and hope that the majority of the public agree with their opinion. Which got me thinking.

 I COULD TOTALLY DO THAT!

With that understanding of politics, and a vast knowledge of my own strengths and weaknesses – here are my policies for leading this nation. Do not be alarmed if you find yourself agreeing with me.  I’m naturally gifted at making my answer the ONLY answer.

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

THE REAL ME

Because that’s what Australia wants isn’t it? To see the REAL candidate running? The REAL person leading our country? Vote for me and I’ll let you watch me squeeze a zit on my makeup free face in the mirror. I may be a woman, but Women’s Weekly BE GONE! You can shove your airbrush and ‘guest editor gig’ where the sun don’t shine. Because that’ not me. In fact, if you want to see the real me you should arrive outside my house with a chainsaw at 7am in the morning and turn it on. Or you could cut me off in traffic. Oh yeah – that crazy bitch that looks like she’s talking to herself– that’s the real me.

NATIONAL DEBT

There are two types of people in this world (and coincidentally, 2 types of political parties). Those who produce and save, and those who consume and spend. Being the tragic shopaholic and ginormous spender that I am, clearly I fall into the latter, so why would I commit to policy that went against the real me??

Yes debt. We will have it.  What’s the big deal people? I’ve heard debt is good for a nation because it’s money spent on an investment in our nation’s future. THANK YOU to the economic wizard who said that! I have been trying to convince my husband of that same truth ever since we got a joint bank account.

Look, as a nation we can’t afford to buy cheap. We need to spend big on EVERYTHING! And EVERYONE! Who cares if we go into debt? Clearly from accounts I’ve read and heard – not many!

For example: The $150 shoes I buy from Nine West break in three months and become irrelevant.  The $450 shoes last well over a year. Sure – that’s more than average to spend on shoes, but the fact that they will see me though numerous seasons make them actually very affordable when you consider the alternative.

I’ve been in debt before….  I can proudly say I had a black spot against my name on credit lists around the country before I was 23. Because when you see something broken that needs replacing, or you notice a newer version, or you are made aware of new trends in fashion – you don’t want to miss out.

I would not want anyone in Australia to miss out on anything.

Not hospitals, not schools, not refugees, not small business, not big business, not unemployed, not expecting mothers, not young children, not the indigenous, not public transport, not the housing market, not those living in big cities, nor those living in remote areas… NOBODY MISSES OUT UNDER MY LEADERSHIP.

Because if we’re brutally honest, we only vote for the person that looks after OUR OWN interests. We’re a selfish bunch.

I’m not mentally ill, so why should I vote for someone who’s committing millions to that cause. But tell that to the guy who’s been suffering depression for 15 years. See? You have to please EVERYONE. And I will go into BILLIONS of dollars of DEBT to do that. Consequence? Puh! I’ll let the next government work that out and they can be the wankers that give nothing to nobody.

I know Australian families work hard to earn money, but in order to make us thrive, I need to spend that money.

TAX

Well someone has to pay for all my spending.  

 —————————————————————————————————————————————

Of course an election campaign is nothing without involving the media. Do you think the media would eat me ALIVE during my campaign?

ABC’s Tony Jones would …. Although given the massive consumer I am, I would probably eat him first. Or offer him $100 bucks for his tie. $200 if he threw in those spectacles.

Channel Nine’s Laurie Oakes could not call me bile. Bile is produced by the stomach, and therefore a product. Consumers tend not to produce anything but debt. However he could very well call me a joke and a disgrace. Which if he sees me rant abuse to the dude with the chainsaw…. Yeah. Not pretty.

Then there’s the Channel Ten journos… The Bald and the Beautiful: Paul Bongiorno and Sandra Sully. Paul would grill me on my plan for the economy and discredit my campaign with past history of an unpaid Optus Mobile phone bill that doubled, then tripled when the debt collectors added their fee. Then – he’d have a good ol’ laugh when I told him the phone was in my ex boyfriends name. Sandra on the other hand would go easy. Knocking me down with a feather she likes to call: The Hard Hitting Question. “So Cindy, IS THIS the real you?”

ABC’s Annabel Crab, that savvy little mynx, would no doubt twitter to the nation that she saw me in Witchery, recklessly spending on the new season’s slouch pant. Damn the slouch pant. It’s so hard to be an upright political leader when you’re slouching.

Kochie. Oooh, tough one. Financial journalist turned morning show host…. Please don’t ask me serious questions. Please just ask your segment producer if I can skip the economic banter and political spin and be on your Angel panel. I give good advice on many issues – especially WHERE to shop for a bargain. I’ll let the nation see the real me and wear my PJ’s on set – sans bra!

And finally back to Channel Nine’s Today show. They know better than to get all serious. Nobody cares over there about my political background and qualifications. Take Karl for example.

Believe it or not he actually comes from a large family of news-men, his parents have seemingly produced deep-voiced, hair-challenged spawn in plenty: well respected media men around the globe. So no wonder that every now and then, Karl will deliver a journalistic pearl so full of insight, intelligence and sophistication that it resonates with me all day, affecting my world view and political stance at the deepest level.

But I have a feeling the segment producer would prefer me to come on the show and cook my world famous, master chef worthy meatballs.  Should I worry about policy questions while I’m elbow deep in pork mince? Will he choose that moment to enlighten me profoundly? Or shame me mercilessly? What will he say?
“Ooooooh, meatballs!  How good are meatballs?”

 And after reading the Australian, listening to talk-back radio, watching the Press Club / Town hall meetings and debates…

I’m almost certain that the media would take me about as seriously as a certain middle aged red head with a penchant for wearing pearls and attempting to look pretty at all times, who possesses a slow and slightly ocker accent, while puppeting the views held by other senior members of my party.

I’m referring of course to Pauline Hanson. You knew that right?

Chicks who kick butt!

There was quite the brew-ha-ha in the media this morning (and on Q&A on ABC last night) about the fact that Julia Gillard, our new PM is a woman. There were discussions about her suitability as a role model, given that she lives defacto with her partner and has no children, and also whether the fact that she is female will determine the polls come election time.

Our new Prime Minister is a woman. It shouldn’t make a difference, but it does! The whole discussion got me thinking about female role models.  Who decides what makes an appropriate role model.  What attributes must a woman possess to be deemed role model material. In a way, although I disagree politically on many issues with Julia, I think she is a good role model for young girls. I mean, she keeps her clothes on which is a change…

The discussions in the media this morning were in response to a column written, saying that Julia may give young girls the impression that it’s ok to live with their partner, if they ultimately wish to be married and have children.

Here are some excerpts from Bettina Arndt’s column today in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Shacking up is hard to do: Why Gillard may be leery of the Lodge

Living as a de facto with her partner may suit Julia Gillard, but does that make her a good role model for others? …….

It’s fine for Gillard – a 48-year-old woman – to live with her bloke. Yet as a popular role model for women, her lifestyle choice may influence other women into making big mistakes about their lives…..

Cohabitation produces two groups of losers among women and children. Most women want to have children – Gillard is an exception – and some miss out after wasting their primary reproductive years in a succession of live-in relationships that look hopeful but go nowhere, leaving them childless and partnerless as they hit 40.

It’s the women who end up stranded when they spend years in a succession of de facto relationships waiting for Mr Not Ready or Mr Maybe to make up his mind……

If Gillard chooses to play house in the Lodge, this choice sends a strong message to the huge numbers of women who rightly admire her and seek to follow her example. A lifestyle suited to her particular needs may be riskier for many women and their children.

I think this journo is utterly discrediting the intelligence of many young women. Julia is a role model not because of her personal relationship choices. She is a role model because of her abilities, her talents, and her ambition to occupy Australia’s top job.  Girls know that. Don’t they?

The glass ceiling may not be broken, but it’s certainly cracked, and it’s been done by women LONG before Julia’s time. Many of whom have chosen marriage and children, and career. It can be done, and it astounds me that a journalist in 2010 is suggesting that if Julia Gillard were married with children, she may not be where she is now.

We are inundated with images of women in the media and through popular culture. Women who millions of young girls look up to and aspire to be like. Women who are shown to us as having little substance, some talent, but most importantly – bucket loads of beauty.

It scares me to think how many girls look to Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus as role models. Or heroines like Bella from Twilight. Talented and beautiful they may be – but what do they represent?

My main role model growing up was Madonna. She kind of lost me at her Sex book, but prior to that I saw a woman who wanted to rule the world, a woman who grew up motherless, used her ambition and determination and limited talent, and turned it into an enterprise.  In retrospect, I see that she changed women’s sexuality. Using male sub-culture, she created a woman who was sex object and sex subject at the same time, allowing women to feel more powerful and in charge of their own sexuality.

I also looked up to Princess Diana. Mainly I just liked watching her in all those outfits and hats. But also she was graceful, dignified, and charitable.

Now I admire a different kind of woman altogether, but this morning as I thought about role models, and how refreshing it is to see a woman with clothes on being celebrated in the media for her achievements, I reflected on some other female role models in pop culture.  Women/girls whose sexuality or beauty comes second to their excellence, and their ability to kick butt.

I’ve made a list, because as you may have worked out by now, I love making lists.

               

  • Princess Fiona from Shrek

She chose to sacrifice her fairy-tale looks for love, challenging our cartoon cut-out Cinderella-style expectations of a princess who lives Happily Ever After. She’s a romantic at heart, but determined, strong, spirited and seriously awesome.

  • Beatrix Kiddo / The Black Mumba from Kill Bill

She abandons her life as a hired assassin when she realises she’s pregnant with Bill’s (head of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad) child, denying him the right of fatherhood, in order to protect her unborn child. This action provokes the attacks on her leaving her in a coma. Upon waking from her 4 year sleep, she makes calculated plans to get revenge, proving that one lone woman can be more powerful and possess more testicular fortitude than some of the world’s baddest bad guys.

  • Anne Shirley

Am I the only one who remembers Anne of Green Gables? Her fiery, red-haired temperament and academic excellence, combined with her accident prone good intentions and drama queen tendencies intrigued boy-about-town Gilbert Blythe. But she would not be wooed by his tall, dark and handsome looks. Literature was her passion. Bold was her middle name. And she would sacrifice even love to follow her dreams, although love was eventually hers.

  • Hermione Granger

Here’s a girl with back bone. She’s a mud-blood in a wizard’s world, but that doesn’t get her down.  She’s studious, hard working, and knows her spells better than anyone so rather than copping it on the chin, she wields her wand at those who would bring her down and zaps them into subjects of pity. She’s courageous, loyal and undaunted by some of the underworld’s nastiest creatures.  I like her.

 

So there’s my list. In a world of botoxed, buxom, bootilicious beauties…. It’s nice to know there are some who can still be ultra-cool and clever without getting all their gear off.  No, Ms Gillard wasn’t on the list. She may be a role model for some which is great – but not for me personally. Not to say I’m not backing the carrot tops. There’s 2 out of 4 on my list that are red heads.

So who would make your list?

A letter I doubt I’ll be sending… to Kevin Rudd, PM

Dear Prime Minister

On the eve of your new budget, I thought I’d write to tell you some of my opinions, because everyone is entitled to my opinion – even you! 

First of all I should probably make one thing clear straight up. I didn’t vote for you because I heard you picked wax out of your ear and ate it. Sorry, but that was kind of a deal breaker for me.

To be honest Mr Rudd, the first time I had to vote, and was unsure who to vote for because I didn’t understand the policy, I referred to the dictionary, and this is what I read:

LABOUR

  1. to burden or tire
  2. the physical effort and periodic uterine contractions of childbirth.
  3. to act, behave, or function at a disadvantage

LIBERAL

  1. favoring or permitting freedom of action
  2. open minded or tolerant
  3. progressive, broad minded, charitable, unprejudiced

Actually, your ‘KEVIN 07’ campaign didn’t really give me much indication of what type of PM you’d be. Other than the fact that perhaps there’s be times when you like to rhyme.  Your campaign mantras included cliché phrases like:

  • The reckless spending must stop.
  • The Buck stops with me.
  • The best choice for working families.
  • Creating an education revolution.
  • Addressing the biggest challenge of our time… Climate Change.

I find empty words like that harder to swallow than fermented fish guts soup. So I voted for Howard, which was essentially a vote for Peter Costello.

That day we had to vote was a shambles, and I should have realised then; that if this is what DAY 1 of ‘Kevin Rudd as PM’ was going to be like, hold on to your stock portfolios because you ‘aint seen nothin’ yet.

I left my phone in the voting booth, and by the time I’d realised, and returned to collect it, the booth ceased to exist. Those volunteers at the voting stations were eager to get out.  So given that I was to be meeting friends for dinner that night at a Tepanyaki restaurant, of which I knew neither its name nor exact location…. I wandered the streets of Sydney searching for Tepanyaki where my friends were. I found them eventually – only to get raw egg thrown down the front of my brand new jeans.

Eggs are precious, and not supposed to be thrown at someone’s unsuspecting bowl. I’m telling you this because it’s a metaphor which I will explain soon.

So anyway, leading up to your election, I had only the above information, and the following understanding of what KEVIN stood for….

K – Kind of feminine looking.
E – Ever been to a strip club?
V – Very good at clichés and rhyming.
I – I eat ear wax!
N – Nasally, Nerdy and Not very old.

In the last 3 years I have learnt much more about you, and I hope you sacked your campaign advisors and speech writers because here is what they didn’t tell us. 

The reckless spending must stopreally meant: The reckless spending by the liberal government on tax cuts must stop. YOU will take a 20 billion dollar surplus and create a $50 billion dollar deficit. You will spend recklessly on other things and then frantically look for ways to recover some of that money.

The Buck stops with mereally meant: The economy stops with you.

The best choice for working familiesreally meant: The best choice for anyone who is unemployed and wants to stay that way. It was also your fave quote of the campaign and we continue to hear it in every address.

Creating an education revolutionreally meant: You are hugely ambitious with grand promises, but your game plan will be slow, and a website called MY SCHOOL will be a new way to create ‘fear and propoganda’ in ‘working families.’

Addressing the biggest challenge of our time… Climate Changereally meant: You’ll throw around some ideas, travel abroad to discuss these ideas, and see what happens. If it’s too hard, you’ll let someone else work it out.

Mr Rudd, your beliefs seem to be disposable. You were there at my doorstep but you have failed to deliver me anything but junk mail. A lot of people like you.  But what I look for in a PM is performance not personality.  

Your announcements lack substance like you think we’re not ready or too dumb to hear the head spinning details.

Here is what I think KEVIN stands for now.

K – Kryptonite. You may have felt like Superman giving everyone 900 bucks, and telling us you’re here to tackle the tough issues. But you’re not faster than a speeding bullet, and you can’t leap tall buildings in single bound either. When you finished saving the economy with cash hand-outs, like Clarke Kent you went back to the office with your glasses on all sheepish and told yourself “I’m such a good person” until Lex Turnbull Luther exposed your stimulus. If the debt you’ve given this country doesn’t kill you, I don’t know what will.

E – Education Revolution. I had an education revolution at my place last week. I bought a new laptop too. E is also for ETS, but I almost forgot about that because it was sitting right at the back of the shelf somewhere.

V – Vendetta. You seem to have one for WA. Is it because they’re the only state led by a Liberal premier, or the fact that they failed to sit prettily on your proposed health reform? It’s like you’re determined to destroy their economy as you have destroyed the other major states’. I wonder who helps you dream these ridiculous plots up. Do you have Dr Evil on speed dial? Did he say to you: “Hmmmm, WA economy is booming hey?  You can destroy them.  Hit them where it hurts… the Resources and Industrial Sector. Force them to pay more tax, the oldest rule in the book.  (pats his kitty) The mining companies will have no choice but to take their business oversees, leaving thousands unemployed and the state in complete asphyxiation. Aahh ha ha ha ha ha“ 

I – In flight Entertainment. You seriously must have saved so much money on going to the movies with all the films you must watch on all those frequent 12 hour flights. So tell me..What did you prefer… The Hurt Locker or Avatar? I’m envisaging you as more of an Avatar kind of guy. It might have something to do with you apparent love of fantasy.

N – NEVER. Are you ready for this one? Never salute to the most hated man in politics – GW Bush. Never arrange insulation for anyone again. Never twitter porn. Never dine in public places with Rupert Murdoch’s men on a popular strip in a restaurant owned by a movie star. You’re going to get noticed. Never criticise the air hostess. Never laugh into a microphone that’s turned on again. Please? It’s like fingernails down a chalkboard. It hurts my teeth. Never criticise the leader of Opposition for exercising instead of discussing health reforms. Actions speak louder than words Kev, and on the subject of health, Mr Abbot appears to know more than you.

  

So back to the day I voted and my metaphor.

Like my phone – you seem lost. You’re wandering aimlessly looking past your shoulder and asking yourself, “Haven’t I already been to this spot?”

You have. It’s a place you probably saw when Gough Whitlam was in charge, and you are there. You’re actually smack bang in the middle of Way To Screw The Economy Prime Minister – Highway.

Back in your election campaign you gave the promise of a Tepanyaki dinner. A good healthy meal for all ‘struggling working families.’ But some of the meal is under cooked. Some burnt to a crisp and completely inedible. We’re getting stuff we didn’t order, and you’re telling me that what I did order, you’ve not got?

I won’t be coming back to this restaurant again. Because to make it worse, you started throwing raw eggs about, and I have a feeling that tomorrow when you announce the budget, that raw egg is gonna’ fly.

Yes Prime Minister. The eggs in my metaphor are your budget. Eggs are precious.

Every year you pollies create a budget that changes the shape of our economy. Last year your budget reminded me of when I was 18 and lied about my income to get a MYER card. I had a great 6 month spending spree and nearly poo’d my pants when I saw how much I owed at the end of it. It took me 6 years to pay it off.

So I’m begging you – to stop throwing eggs around like it’s a joke yolk… You’re making a huge mess. The economy is not a big fry pan that you can make scrambled eggs in. It’s more like a Pavlova, and the egg part is delicate and central to the success of the dish.

I’m hoping that by this time next year we’ll have new leadership, and that tomorrow will be the last time I have to endure this Kitchen Nightmare.

You’re popularity is at an all time low. It’s because you lied. You sold us Dom Perignon and gave us Brut. If you want to win the next election – be honest. Tell the truth.

Because I know how much you like to rhyme, here are some ideas. (Forget “Kevin in 2011” – it’s been done, and besides, you need to call that election SOON)

There were few good men in 2010
So you might as well bloody vote for Ruddy.

I’ll travel the world in first class
My policies will be a bit of a farce

But I’ll have a laugh, I’ll give you cash
I’ll probably make the market crash

I’ll kill small business and enterprise
I’ll tax you high, and tell you lies

I’ll reward the ones who just don’t try
And healthy, hard workers will fry

I’ll talk of challenges in our time
But most importantly – I’ll rhyme.

And there you have it.  

Anyway, I must go. I’ve just seen a headline on tomorrow’s budget that is making my head spin so fast it’s giving me whiplash.

Sincerely not yours,
Cindy

PS. Has anyone ever told you – you look like ‘Smithers’ from The Simpsons?

Is it ok to kill a croc for a ‘to-die-for’ designer handbag?

Like many, I wear leather. No qualms whatsoever. You know why? Because leather is a wearable by-product of animals that are slaughtered FOR FOOD.  The animal involved is not killed mainly for its skin -but for its meat.

Like many, I DO NOT and WOULD NOT wear fur. Fur is a different beast entirely. It is not the by-product of anything other than the fashion industry’s desire to sell clothes.

I actually think fur is gaudy and as much as I love her work… I wouldn’t even buy one of those rabbit fur-lined cardigans Alannah Hill was selling last Autumn either. (Boy did she cop it sweet for that.)

I do however, wear leather shoes, belts and bags, and I do so with not a hint of guilt.  I’m vaguely aware of what happens in slaughterhouses but it’s not enough to make me a vegetarian, so why would it stop me buying a nice leather wallet?

To be honest, I’ve always considered animal activists a bit radical. Probably because they have to be extreme in order to get noticed.  Just look at a couple of these ads for PETA…

 

What do you think? Anti-fur, or pro-nakidity?

 PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)  have a long list of celebrity support.  Like everything in society these days, if a celebrity is involved we tend to pay a bit more attention.

PETA is no different, and you have celebrities on both sides of the fence. Access Hollywood reported the following:

Catherine Zeta-Jones might be known for her beauty and style – but PETA has crowned the 40-year-old actress as its biggest fashion offender on its annual “Worst-Dressed” List.

“With her creepy cow-skin pants, ugly fox coat, and icky alligator bag, Catherine Zeta-Jones looks like she’s working her way through Noah’s ark with a knife,” the animal rights organization said of Catherine in a statement to Access Hollywood. “Maybe she’s trying to get into character for an upcoming role as a serial killer — or a taxidermist.”

PETA is planning to hold a protest outside the actress’ Broadway play, “A Little Night Music.” before Saturday’s matinee.

A slew of other Hollywood starlets also made PETA’s list for their love of fur, leather and exotic animal skins.

Jennifer Lopez, who PETA calls, “Jenny from the butcher block” is called out for wearing “old-school corpse coats.”

Jessica Simpson received some harsh criticism from the group – they said her wardrobe choices “all resemble her career – dead.”

And when it comes to Kate Hudson, the animal rights group questioned if her love of fur drove away ex-boyfriend Alex Rodriguez.

“Kate, there’s no easier way to lose a guy in 10 days than by wearing a hairball,” the group said the statement. “Maybe your furs are the reason why A-Rod ran for home.”

See my point on extreme? I mean those statements are not only criticisms for the act of wearing animal products, but harsh judgements on the person that I consider not necessary.

Fur comes from a range of animals: dog, rabbit, fox, raccoon, mink… the list goes on. I don’t care if rabbits or possums or even kangaroos are considered vermin by some. I still wouldn’t wear the fur of animals that are killed for no other reason than to make clothes – usually in the most gruesome, torturous and unregulated ways imaginable.  Incidentally, I also find people like Sarah Palin, who kill animals for sport disgraceful. 

I think mostly the fur years are over, and that the word is out – wearing fur is like serving lambs brains at a dinner party. We all know where it came from, and we just don’t want to see that. The anti-fur campaigns that started in the 90’s worked wonders. So when we do see a celebrity wearing fur, yeah we all go, “Oh that’s disgusting, that’s so cruel. How vile.”  The Olsen twins are a big target for PETA because they openly war fur, and look what happens to them:

 

Meanwhile Victoria Beckham jets about town with 3 crocodile skins slung over her arm, and nobody thinks anything of it, except, “Wow, love the bag!”

And I am one of those people.

In a world full of shoe-girls…of Carrie Bradshaw wannabes with the latest Manolo’s or Jimmy Choos, I’m just not.  I’m most definitely, a bag girl. Actually these days I’m more of a T-shirt and thongs girl, but in the silk markets of Beijing China, it was the handbag level that had my heart palpitating, my mouth salivating, and my wallet in a constant state of disabled parking – vacant & empty. So many gorgeous styles, so many wonderful colours, so many, so many… I want them all.

Posh’s collection of bags is worth around 3 million Australian dollars. My favourite bag that she is constantly seen with, sashaying through airport lounges and leaving boutique restaurants is the Hermès Birkin… named after actress Jane Birkin. It’s up there with the Hermès Kelly, a bag inspired by Princess Grace of Monaco – a woman whose style I adore.  I’m talking about bags that have waiting lists. Bags that women lust over. Bags that are considered commodities. A bag that requires approximately 3-4 crocodile skins to make and costs around US $74,000 (Current  ebay – price).

And it’s not just Posh – plenty of celebs have them.

 

We hear a lot about fur and leather… but not so much about reptiles. And I know why. Here’s my theory:

Snakes, Crocodiles, Alligators.. They’re predators that will destroy you. Nobody makes movies about killer rabbits, or even killer foxes. Hello? Cows On A Plane doesn’t have the same ring to it as Snakes does it? And Rogue? The movie that was shot in the Territory about an overprotective croc… Can’t imagine them naming a film ROGUE about a killer possum.  Surely these beasts deserve to die?

Where I live, crocs are everywhere. I see them all the time – mainly on the front page of the local paper. But as a Territory Bushranger once told me, if there’s a body of water, you can pretty much bet there’s a croc to go with it. Of course the Dept of Housing and Parks maintain croc free swimming holes for tourists, but generally speaking, the crocodiles are everywhere. And crocodiles are practically sacred up here. It’s illegal to kill them, and if a crocodile does end up dead at the hands of a senseless idiot, there is public outrage.

Geckos and small lizards aside, most reptiles are dangerous. Nasty, killers… creatures of death. If you think I’m exaggerating, take a trip down cartoon memory lane and look at who the bad-asses were. Even in Harry Potter, he whose name shall not be spoken, Voldemort – is a snake.

 

Do I personally love crocodiles? No way. They terrify me. It all started when I was about 10 years old and there was a mini-series on TV called Return To Eden starring James Reyne.  I have personal phobias with not only crocodiles, but any type of reptile. I think they are revolting and slimy and the thought of a lizard or gecko crawling up my leg, makes me feel like bringing up breakfast.

Actually, it’s quite pathetic. When I notice a gecko has snuck its way inside our house, It’s like I have a bad case of epilepsy.

So do you think we care that a beast, a dangerous reptile, a predatory monster of an animal is killed for a bag – a soft, beautiful to touch, gorgeous stylish bag? Or belt? Or jacket?

Joaquin Phoenix does. I saw this video for the first time 2 weeks ago and it horrified me.

Animals that freak me the hell out, that make me shiver with disgust, that I have wished harm upon many times…. I cried for them watching this. I dunno – call me Bindi Irwin, but I covered my mouth, tightened my throat and made myself watch.

WARNING: This video contains graphic scenes of animal cruelty and torture.

Can I just say quickly – I’m glad that Joaquin decided to lose his bush beard before filming this. He had absolutely no cred whatsoever with that thing growing on his face.

That Birkin bag? I still think I would be thrilled if I got one as a gift one day. And I KNOW that if a lizard or gecko came inside, I would still coax it into a corner and trap it until my husband came home to take it outside… (Yes, I have a special plastic container and in black texter on the lid I have written ‘Gecko Catcher.’ I think I need a bigger container though because I keep going to trap the little critters and miss their tail and it comes off and wriggles around for about an hour or so…. Eeeuw, I’m making myself gag just thinking about it….)

See? I still consider reptiles to be horrible, slimy beasts.  I would still LOVE to wear 3 of their necks on my arm though. And I still think cow leather is ok, because I still eat meat.  In fact over the weekend alone I ate at least 4 different varieties….

But I don’t like the way they’re killed in that video. I don’t like that it hurts them. I don’t want them to suffer… well not that much anyway.

 Is it ok to kill a croc for a ‘to-die-for’ designer handbag?

I can’t decide.

Lookin’ like a FOOL! Raise your pants and raise your image.

So today is April Fools’ Day, and I didn’t have this post with the whole ‘fool’ content planned – honest. But I came across something today that I found remarkable.

A New York Senator has come out with a Public Service Announcement (advertisements on TV) and even erected SIX billboards around the big apple to reinforce his message, which is – Raise Your Pants.

But before I ellaborate you might remember this…

Sixty Two year old General Larry Platt became an overnight household name in America (for a while anyway) after his monumental and legendary audition for American Idol.

Here it is:

I love how he’s turned the word ‘pant’s into a 2 syllable word, but he also hit a big juicy nerve with Americans everywhere. Not only did YouTube become bombarded with remixes, Larry Platt was asked to perform live on various talk shows across the nation. He was talking about an issue – a phenomenon that has lasted decades that nobody has discussed before, well not in an open forum.  

 Unless you count Cher in Clueless when she said this,

 “So okay, I don’t want to be a traitor to my generation and all but I don’t get how guys dress today. I mean, come on, it looks like they just fell out of bed and put on some baggy pants and take their greasy hair – ew – and cover it up with a backwards cap and like, we’re expected to swoon? I don’t think so.”

 Noted, but really just good for a giggle, nothing compared to the chorus of opinion on the matter since Larry Platt’s audition.

It goes without saying that it’s the black American males that rock the ‘exposed boxer short’ look the most. In fact it’s practically a cliché. And interestingly, it’s black males that are voicing their disdain and saying it ‘aint cool. Forshizzl my nizzl.

 First General Larry Platt…. Then this guy who in my opinion made the best remix of the song.

And finally, Senator Eric Adams – also a black man. His message contains the following points:

  •  Stop the sag
  • Don’t let our communities seem foolish.
  • It’s not  a fashion trend
  • Young people are above this
  • This look comes from a prison culture
  • Young people must have pride
  • Raise your level of respect
  • Raise your pants!

 

Here is the announcement.

Some people are saying that the Senator is wasting tax payer’s money and that there are bigger issues to worry about. I tend to agree a little. I mean I can understand the senator’s gripe, but without getting too political; I’m sure there are much more important issues facing this demogrpahic: like unemployment, education, health, etc.. But the whole  ‘pants on the ground’ look – it’s a shocker. And it’s true the words: educated, successful and wealthydon’t exactly come to mind when you see it…  unless it’s li’l Wayne or P-Diddy, or Snoop Dog, or 50 cent… (the successful and wealthy part).

 

So… this look creates negative stereotypes. But have blondes not been victims of sterotypes? And red-heads for that matter? I got invited on facebook to a “hug a ranga day” and was a bit upset. Why do people think redheads don’t get cuddles too?  And what about the stereotypical Australian male?

I can’t imagine K-Rudd or any of his gang getting on TV and asking males to stop saying ‘F***’n oath Mate’ or to stop painting the flag on their face at International sporting games…. Things that if you ask me, make them look dumb! (Oh, and it’s world cup soccer this year… the dread!)

Back to the subject though, YES there is a definite stereotype for black males… one that has changed over time, but at the end of the day – the message is clear. You look like a FOOL!

You only have to think back a few months to the disaster that was Hey, Hey It’s Wednesday,    A Waste of TV airtime,    Saturday and the Jackson Jibe’s performance.  

Not only did Twitter go ballistic at the time with comments for and against Harry, it made world headlines, made Aussies out to be racist, and made Harry Connick Jr out to be 2 things:

  1.   Uptight and in need of some extra ‘chill’ powder  on his breakfast.
  2.  A warrior for racial discrimination and a spokesman for ignorance

 Not that I’m sure you haven’t already seen or read this a million times, but here is what Harry said following the performance:  

I just wanted to say on behalf of my country, I know it was done humorously, but we’ve spent so much time trying to not make black people look like buffoons, …..”

 

So black face, big lips, afro hair, pants on the ground, gold in ya mouth, cap turned sideways… these are stereotypes that make black men look foolish, dumb, silly etc.

So what about this then??????

I looked up ‘black guy’ in the Urban Dictionary to see if any of the above stereotypes appeared, but they didn’t. Instead – it read this : (their exact words and not mine)

 A man with brown skin and dick much larger than yours.

Is this not another stereotype, albeit a positive one! Something for the good Senator to think about… His message is aimed at young males who I’m positive think about sex more than I really care to know.

 

 Maybe this is WHY they like wearing their pants on the ground….

Maybe they’re just advertising?