Saturday, January 30, 2010

Are Journos getting dumber?

OK, anyone who's shouted themselves a cursory glance at this blog will know that my spelling is shithouse. I have a twitter follower who dutifully direct messages me after every one is posted with the spelling errors so I can jump straight back in here and correct them before too many others notice. I'm not bothered. I'm a comedian, I'm not an English teacher, or a journalist for that matter.

I know the missing millionaire story has taken a very juicy turn, and it happened on the weekend so maybe was in the hands of the B Team, but I find it incredible that the teaser for arguably the biggest news story in the country has been written by a human who believes that "may've" is short for "may of". It's not. It's short for "may have "

"Could've" is short for "could have", "Would've", for "would have", and so on.

A Brisbane journo reckoned I called her a moll on the air a couple of months ago. It certainly sounds like something I would do, however no one on the show remembered it, the show she reckoned she heard it on was listened to with a fine tooth comb by a sales rep eager to prove her right, she found nothing, and possibly most damning, I'd never even heard of the moll until she started printing lies about me in her try-hard column in retaliation. If she really thought I'd called her a moll, why didn't she just print that? If she'd told the truth I'd have had no comeback but as it was I was able to shit-can her on my radio show every day for a fortnight. Dumb. Eventually her bosses stepped in at boss level and I was muzzled. Dumb and soft.

The best bit of all though, was when someone asked me a question about something on twitter to which I responded that I unfortunately couldn't answer them because some lazy journo would print it as a quote. I swear to God, the dumb moll printed it as a quote, without a hint of irony. Seriously f^$king dumb!

Where are the Jana Wendts, the George Neguses and the Kerry O'Briens of the future? Journalism has the capacity to be an incredibly noble and culture altering profession. Why does it feel like it's increasingly populated by reality tv rejects who'd rather be associated with Kochie than Kosovo?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

R.I.P. Dave Grant

To my dear friend and mentor, Dave Grant who passed away moments ago, thank you so much for everything beautiful man. I and many others would be nowhere without your patience, generosity and passion for stand-up. You MC'd almost every gig I did during my formative years in Melbourne. You taught me that 10 minutes was 10 minutes and that a bad gig was no one's fault but mine. You never received the recognition that so many of your proteges enjoy, but you are loved beyond measure. You will be achingly missed, and Melbourne comedy will never be the same.

The second beloved Dave we've lost to this shitful disease. It never gets any easier.
Here's to rearranging the room in heaven big man.


Beware: Maggots

So it's 7.47 on Sunday morning. I am back at the kitchen table feeding one baby by balancing the bottle between her cherubic lips and my cheek so I have a free hand with which to type. I'm rocking the other in his vibro chair with my foot. Just in case you think the other foot is a bit of a passenger, you should know that it's for gently nudging the dogs away from the rocking baby who's face you'd swear I'd smeared in Chum it's so irresistibly lickable.

I've already dealt with maggots this morning. You may never look at me the same again, or you may be thrilled that someone finally admitted to this, either way, here goes; on occasion, when I've pushed to kitchen bin a day too far, cramming another carcass in a take away container in, instead of taking the whole lot out to the wheelie bin, I wake up with one or two (hundred) little white wrigglers on my kitchen floor. I think it's a Brisbane thing, 'cause it's never happened to me anywhere else but I suppose it's possible my standards have slipped.

This problem used to be Adrian's domain. As the man of the house, the slaying of wild beasts threatening the tribe was just assumed to be his responsibility and never really discussed. He chased the cane toads away from the shi tsu when she needed a night-time wee, he splattered the cockroaches with his thongs, he once chased a possum back through the cat-flap from whence it came at 3 am with his loyal platoon of puppy dogs in chorus behind him, waking up the neighborhood to let them know the enemy had been routed and their master had once again prevailed. All that changed however, one night on holiday in Melbourne 7 months ago, when he and his best mate Sid wandered down a dark St Kilda alley in the middle of the night. Two drunk idiots walked in, but only one walked out. One drunk idiot had to be carried out as he fell arse over while trying relieve himself and snapped his ankle clean in two.

Yes, 7 months ago, a broken ankle. Don't bother telling me about the time you broke yours and were back at work, (as lead dancer in the Paris Opera Ballet) in 6 weeks. I know, I've heard it all before. I've met athletes who finished seasons, I've met senior citizens who kept up their gardens, I've met children who removed their own casts so as not to miss the annual holiday at the beach (true story!). Nobody is still on crutches and as useless as Tiger Woods' wedding ring 7 months after breaking an ankle. Well Adrian is.

The short version is that there was an infection, blah, blah, blah, and obviously that's not his fault. I have to tell you though, knowing he hasn't done any of this on purpose does little to quell my urge to hack off his foot and beat him to death with it while stoking the funeral pyre under our bed with his crutches as kindling. Particularly as he shouts himself a sleep-in on a Sunday morning while I leap out of bed at the first sound of a hungry twin to find the kitchen floor moving, the baby's nappy overflowing, the dogs bickering, the other twin stirring, the milk curdling and my blood pressure peaking.

I recovered from an emergency Caesarean in a week, just so you know. Well I had to, innit, because unfortunately for me, Adrian is the only person in this relationship who has a wife!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I Love John Butler, OK?

John Butler: Activist, troubadour, Pavlova aficionado. The day I confronted a hero and slayed a dragon, (with a little help from an ARIA winning chanteuse).

This was to be my fifth encounter with John Butler. It would be fair to say that the previous four had run the gamut from disastrous to tragic, so it was with trepidation that I stood on the precipice of interview number five. There was also a lot of respect obviously, respect for his music, respect for the causes he champions and to be honest, the kind of respect with which one would attempt to remove a piece of cheese from a feisty Chihuahua.
In my previous attempts I had managed to provoke the feisty Chihuahua in John Butler. Once I clumsily read him a nasty quote from another artist, and twice I just managed to bore him angry with the breadth of my research but lack of confidence in conversation. This is a guy who suffers neither fools nor sad-o suck-ups so I was delighted when I was able to subdue both of those elements of my character during attempt number four. JB version 4.0 as I like to call it, had everything going for it. It had thrills, it had spills and it had beat boxing. Unfortunately, and here’s where the tragedy comes in, it didn’t hit the record button and the whole thing was lost to the ages.
To paraphrase Brett Michaels from Poison as I am want to do, “Every rose has it’s thorn, but every night has it’s dawn,” and that dawn came two weeks later when John Butler agreed to do one better than attempt another recorded phone call. He came into the Nova studio for a face to face with me, Ashley, Kip and Luttsy.
“The nub is a good story,” says JB. Our attention had been drawn to the three acrylic fingernails on his right hand presumably for guitar picking. “They’re boring but the nub is good.”
“I bit the tip of my finger off when I was eighteen months old. I was standing up in the shopping cart with my finger in my mouth and when my mother turned around I fell out and bit it off. I was too young for anesthetic so they put me in a baby straight jacket and sewed me up raw.”
OK, so I’m struck by a couple of things at this point. 1) When JB decides upon the topic of discussion, the topic has been well and truly decided upon, and 2) He’s quite fun. A moment later Ashley asks him if he believes in the old writer’s cliché that he is but a conduit for a higher power. He turns to me and says ever so earnestly, “I need to be really vulnerable in this interview now and ask what conduit means.”
It means to act as a connection between two things we explain. “Hmm,” he ponders, “well I don’t know about a conduit, but it’s definitely about pulling your nub out and gettin’ busy with it.”
He inspires me to crack open some vulnerability of my own. I tell him that our previous four encounters have been quite upsetting for me because basically I thought he thought I was a cockhead.
“I don’t think you’re a cockhead,” he says, “not at all, it just depends on how much food I’ve eaten. It’s my tolerance levels for….things you know? Everything can be fine but if I haven’t eaten it’s a bit of a problem. It’s not you, it’s me. It’s a glycemic cockhead situation.”
A little more confident now, though still with all the deft touch and desperation of a So You Think You Can Dance reject, I attempt to steer the conversation toward my own area of expertise. I’m intrigued by JB’s tour dates. Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Toowoomba. TOOWOOMBA?
“What’s wrong with Toowoomba?” asks the man, his left eyebrow arching so violently it threatens to lift his compact body clean off the chair.
Oh no. No no no no no! I’ve done it again!!
The boys rally ‘round me, laughing a bit too loudly in that way you do when you feel a social situation crashing down around you like a house of cards. “She’s from there,” one of them squeaks. HAHAHAHA.
“Oh…OK.” He relaxes. The room relaxes. The relief is palpable. I feel like I’ve been watching a hungry grizzly bear as it’s lost my scent on the breeze.
Clearly John Butler is ready to go to the mat for Toowoomba. I appreciate it I guess, but I have to say I still wonder why? Why single Toowoomba out from the million other Australian towns that look, smell, and feel just like it?
“We’ve got people there, indigenous mob.” Surely he must have people in lots of places. “Well yeah, but every time we play Toowoomba, they bring us Pavlova.” A-ha. So the Toowoomba mob are all over the Glycemic knob situation.
“It’s so good. The perfect combination of crusty and soft. A little bit of passion fruit, a little bit of pineapple and a lot of fresh cream.” He’s smiling dreamily at the memory.
It’s also a bonus for the other acts on tour namely, The Waifs and Claire Bowditch; the aforementioned chanteuse who’d visited us the day before.
“She told me a lot of stuff about you actually.” He swings his chair in my direction and I fear for a moment that the bear may have caught another whiff.
“She did not,” I flirt, swinging my legs like a schoolgirl.
“She did,” he flirts right back.
“Was is what I told you before about our other interviews?”
“Pretty much yeah, I just wanted to see if you’d tell me.” He flashes me a reassuring smile.
I relax. The room relaxes. The time is up. Butler’s being shepherded out the door and Laurie lives to fight another day. It turns out the bear wasn’t really that hungry after all. In fact, just quietly, I think he might have been looking for a little tummy rub all along.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Madam Meshel’s celebrity predictions for 2010

Jennifer Aniston will adopt Tila Tequila mistaking her for a charming if sexually precocious 11 year-old Vietnamese boy. Angelina will have the last laugh yet again.

A dozen more horse-headed mingers will reveal their affairs with newly-minted-golfing-bad-boy Tiger Woods, proving once and for all that men actually do sometimes go out for horseburger when they have fillet steak at home.

Britney Spears will take top honors in Who’s annual “Sexiest slags you’d tap only after having taken a high powered house and a bottle of domestos to ‘em” issue. Lindsay Lohan will be devo’d.

Cate Blanchett’s luminosity will be spotted from the space station just in time to push her Oscar votes right over the top for the second time. During her acceptance speech, her cool demeanor will refreeze the polar ice caps and she will be named the ninth wonder of the world. (Ruby Rose having already been named the eighth.)

Lisa Curry Kenny and Grant Kenny will remain both estranged and identical.

A big Hollywood producer will see pics of Nikki Webster in her sexiest outfit and cast her in the coveted roll of Jean-Benet Ramsay in a bio pic.

Australian Idol will be replaced by wealthy middle-aged TV executives poking retarded people with sticks for an hour every Sunday night. Andrew G will both host and condescend.

Monday, January 11, 2010

'Cause I can't get a column.

As I type I'm at my kitchen table wrapped in a towel. It's a 'bath sheet' actually, as you and I both know, a standard towel would not encase my outer Goddess. I've not had a chance to dress since showering with my infant twins, one at a time, in an attempt to establish the concept of bed time in their soft little heads. They both missed the meeting about going straight to the cot and a sound slumber from the shower so I'm rocking one with my foot and my husband Adrian is rocking the other with his. Don't know which, does it matter?

Bouncy rocker things have changed since my day when they looked like an old moll's fishnet stocking strung over a contorted clothes hanger. These ones send a vibration through the baby's nether regions and play show tunes. Sounds like a pretty good night out to me, however the babies are so-over-it and now demand to be rocked as well as vibrated. In fairness, that does sound like a better night.

All the time we attempt to send them off, the fairly newly acquired shelter dog BJ stands directly between them barking at the cat. Every time he does it, we scream "BJ!" in unison. He glances over his shoulder smiling broadly and barks again. I decide to poor myself another glass of cask wine rather than throw the glass at the little blighter and realise the tempo of my foot rocking has increased to catapult speed. The occupant is quiet and has his eyes close so I continue apace.

Adrian reckoned he would cook Spag Bol tonight but it's 7.15 an there's no sign. I'm hungry enough to eat the bum out of a low flying duck but I say nothing as it'll shit him and ruin my chances of a bit of action later on. Not that my chances are great mind you, but you gotta know when to hold' em. I'll eat some gherkins from the jar. (Not an analogy, actual gherkins).

OK, so now that you have a picture of the true suburban banality of my life, and the jaunty resignation with which I live it, TELL ME I SHOULDN'T HAVE MY OWN COLUMN SOMEWHERE!

You know, like a newspaper column or one in a magazine. A little strip down the side of the page with a photo of me with too much make up and a forced smile at the top. One of those bits in the magazine that you only read when your on a flight or in a waiting room, and you've read all the good stuff so you go back and read the book reviews and Jennifer Hawkins interviews and columns and that. I want one of those.

It's bullshit, it really is. I've been trying for years to get one. I eventually tried to get just a local one in Brisbane which frankly would not have satisfied my literary dreams but I thought it would be a start. Well, the Brisbane 'media' expects you to work for free, and even then national anonimity appears to be a prerequisit. They let me fill in for their resident domestic diva once when she went on holidays, then refused to cough up the fee afterwards and that was that. Bullshit.

Just check out my credentials. I'm 36, (old enough for self-deprecation, see bath towel gag at top,) married 13 years, (not as long for murder etc. etc. etc.) have just given birth to IVF twins (career girl leaves run too late and almost misses out, should not be subsidised by rest of society, see current Medicare safety net debate. Topical.) I am relatable as f@$%.

So, I've decided to blog as no one can stop me and if I'm not going to get paid, I don't expect to have to follow any rules either. Let's go bitches.