Sunday, April 26, 2009

The world is not a stage

Tonight I took in a play, well, two. Below I proffer a few reasons why visiting contemporary theatre chafes me so.

Having to pointedly ignore embarrassing exhibitionists who spin about in circles with arms askew in the foyer during the interval as if they were some halcyon flower-child of the sixties.

Having to pointedly ignore embarrassing exhibitionists who project their unilateral conversations as if the foyer were a stage for their fulsome overweening monologues.

Having to endure self-conscious sex scenes and prurient diatribes because the director believes such things to be terrifically progressive—Lally Katz’s works are a prime offenders. Having also to sit in the dark next to strangers who squirm about lustily in their seats I find rather disagreeable.

One thing I do like is determining who in a pride of females dressed in facsimiles of one another (tan leather Oxfords, tight jeans, red knitted jumper and tan tooled-leather bag) is the matriarch, whom the other girls defer to, and defer they simply must seeing as they subscribe to a dress code.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The dress of thought

Apparently Three Thousand's 'adjective' of choice is 'cold as a witch's tit'. Just goes to show that kids with nought but an arts degree do not make for superlative editorial pickings.

Perhaps Mr Strunk could shepherd them from ugly solecisms. Or perhaps not.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fame is vapour

Dear Dylan Moran,

So it is with regret that I must say that you are a churlish coxcomb. Why, why, are comedians unfailingly unrelenting jerks? I love Black Books: I’m mad about that unlikely trio and their boozy skylarking. It is the only television show that sees me laughing aloud. But, Dylan, we are through.

Last weekend I had the displeasure of your patronage in my bookshop—apparently you do share an enthusiasm with crusty Bernard Black: reading and a vagrant’s love of plastic shopping bags.

When a bespectacled bootlicking girl wheezed and frothed all over you like a ghastly many-tiered wedding dress, you seemed to take it with marked aplomb, and I thought, oh, I’ll not make a fuss of the chap, poor dear thing. But apparently you suffer idolaters gladly.

You then spent much time scrutinising the shelves, hunkering down on all fours (this gesture demonstrated that you really do take a delight in books). After some time of browsing you minced over to me, your moue told me that it patently nettled you to converse with the lowly shop girl. You then muttered like a half-witted child the name of some terribly erudite Romanian theorist and then when I remarked that I was sorry that we did not stock said theorist you questioned whether I could follow my own cataloguing system or indeed type on a keypad. I wish that I’d pushed you out the store with a broom.

When you left with your purchase, a dullard’s comic book, which some might call a ‘graphic novel’, I felt somewhat mollified.

So, jackanapes Dylan, this is the end of our affair. I will not call on you again.

Please give my best to Fran and Manny,

Ms Vitriol

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

“What a deformed thief this fashion is”

So, the much-anticipated Mad Men will be screening on free-to-air television this Thursday evening—and it is palpable, we are certainly to see blogs and the local aping high street awash with girls turning out their earnest and embarrassing studies of Joan Holloway and co. Nasty elasticised polyesters shall rule over silk in yet another show of how the current film world really does govern our collective imagination—how we require it to hold our hand, to direct us to the otherwise unheeded charm of ‘60s seersucker and shirred skirts.

Thus thanks to the small screen a new generation of women will be trying their hand at sixties prim-and-proper. Ladies, these garments do require girdles, diet pills, below-the-knee hems, and perhaps a copy of Bettina Arndt’s new manifesto.

To be concluded post-Mad Men screening.

Friday, April 10, 2009

“Fashions, after all, are only induced epidemics.”

Why the fuck is fur careening down the cat walk once more? Why are erstwhile ignored ratty mink stoles suddenly generating bids on eBay? Why are revolting pelts being fashioned from gorilla hair? I am just too shocked.

Insipid Gwyneth Paltrow is exhibiting yet another of her ad hoc personalities—from morose wunderkind, to misunderstood, droll poetess, to vocal vegetarian, to preppy ambassador of
luxury label Tod’s. Ensconced in fox fur and an assortment of dead things, she is touting to all the ingenuous, pliable dull-young-things—those who announce that they actually have ‘style icons’—that fur is a small extravagance, something to covet in these times of economic doldrums—and as we know, a girl likes to have her ‘little luxuries’ in recessions. Fur is no longer the tenure of the truly well-heeled, any floozy with a credit card can by herself some cheap Chinese fox or bunny and not cast her mind to how a cache of animals had their coats excruciatingly expelled from their bodies whilst they were alive and remained skinless and breathing for many minutes after.

It seems as if campaigning was just another pose of the impressionable fashion drones. Remember those ‘90s PETA advertisements ‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur’ that adorned every glossy magazine? Remember Giorgio Armani declaring he’d never use fur again? I even recently noticed that the over-crowded mess-hall that is Fitzroy’s Vegie Bar is now serving up chicken—it seems vegetarianism belongs with the bar’s dated ‘90s d├ęcor.

I cannot believe people sample values and lifestyles for fashion. We’ve had lesbian (strictly public pashing) for fashion, I’m an intellectual: I wear spectacles. What other egregious posture is next, prosthetic appendages?

During the war-time recessions women drew a kohl stripe the length of their calves to simulate stocking seams. If times get tougher will we see women saving packets of their hair and pet clippings to paste crudely with horse-glue to their balding tippets and coats? I do hope so.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Let us not then speak ill of our generation...let us not speak well of it either

Dear World,

Let us not look to Hollywood adaptations
of our favourite books for our daily dress.

Recently, I spied an obtuse-looking lad photograped in mismatched tweeds announcing that his 'style' was borrowed from Brideshead Revisited—the film. Oh, goody, I thought, please, please let me be encircled by yet another lather of unlettered dullards. Do let's be ensorcelled by the surly onscreen charm of Sebastian Flyte. Let us dress in waistcoats, starched yolks, Oxford brogues. But let us not read one page of the original work, although do let us carry about said work in an oiled-leather satchel.

Let us look too to that ridiculous moving picture of the love-letters of Dylan Thomas, The Edge of Love. Let us all admire Sienna Miller's moue but not the dipsomaniac's sullen art. Let us now wear tea dresses and scratchy cardigans. Let us buy beautiful fifties cotton sun-dresses and take the scissors to their knee-length hems.

And let's look onwards to Kubric’s apple-cheeked Lolita--a favourite of the girl-blogger. A proliferation of girls snapped in heart-shaped specs and slick mouths are popping up everywhere. Let us look to emulating sexually precocious twelve-year-old girls and to Chuppa-chups, and to malt and French fries.

And if we must read, let us look to all fictional floozies. I am made rather uneasy, indeed, (as is Ms Susan Faludi) by a staggering number of women exhibiting an eager return to the feminine—the domestic—the feeble. Local fashion bloggers have been piping in unison that Daisy Buchanan of The Great Gatsby is a ‘literary crush’ of theirs. Insubstantial, flimsy, cotton-wool Daisy. Daisy: a figurehead for all the vapidity and callousness of the roaring twenties. Do let's look to Daisy and take her remark, "[...] a fool--that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool." as sterling instruction.