Scratching my own funny bone for shits and giggles. Lampooning books, music and being a single woman over 40. Recording observations with an almost Seinfeldian obsession for the minutiae of life. Things can get sweary around here. You understand.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

MAGAZINE MANTRAS

How I looked before the sledgehammer incident.
I’ve never been into gossip mags but when I walk into a newsagency, occasionally I am drawn to the women’s section. I quickly scan the titles looking for something new and interesting to materialise but this task is usually futile with lashings of Beckett. I’ve been reluctant to part with the green stuff for Australian magazine literature for a number of years now but I did once have a fashion magazine obsession and I don’t intend going there again. I could cry when I think of all the money I wasted before I realized I was reading the same article over and over again. There’s only so many times you can do ‘Too Fast. Too Droopy. How to Handle His Erection’ before you realize that you got the same advice from a Better Homes and Gardens article on transforming boggy wet spots in your garden. So in an effort to redress my former fiscal errantry, I’ve decided to have a virtual garage sale on eBay. In three weeks I have made a neat $500 from selling celebrity autographs and posters, CDs and DVDs, vinyl records, electronics and computer parts, sheet music, jewellery and perfume. It’s been fabulous to offload some of this stuff and make some room in my tiny living quarters and I even managed to get rid of that magazine collection. My mum and sister reckoned they wouldn’t sell and told me I was mad. Sure enough, a woman in her early thirties from Dunwich on Stradbroke Island drove to my place to pick up a slice of that collection. She was absolutely thrilled with her fifty issues of Cleo and Cosmopolitan and even offered me money for my old Rolling Stones and Kerrang! magazines but I demurred. When her husband clocked my stash he just slumped his shoulders and ambled off to back the ute up to the garage. My family were surprised to say the least. I told them it was all in the selling and my carefully constructed ad which appealed to the student of magazine journalism to read the original 'How to have 10 Orgasms and Succeed on the Stock Market by Lunch' article. Even this morning when I idly picked up one of the remaining copies of my collection: a particularly pretty issue of Vogue with Natalie Portman on the cover, I turned to read an article that I’ve seen written in so many guises that it’s getting kind of beyond ridiculous. It was one of those ‘men and their feelings’ stories written by some intern who thinks she’s channelling her inner David Attenborough but instead, comes off with all the integrity of a marzipan dildo*.

Apparently the woman from Vogue writing this article has an apartment balcony that directly overlooks the courtyard of a bunch of twentysomething guys that have pizza and beer nights regularly. She writes the article as an eavesdropper, claiming she was privy to uncensored male conversations unskewed by the presence of women or the lens of reality television. (my kinda night!) She then goes to great lengths to assure us these men weren’t metrosexual nancy boys either. Just in case we thought they were gay or something. They windsurfed and rode motorcycles. They got laid regularly. The author then seeks to prove that tough boys talk about their feelings too with snippets like these:

The next night they talked about economic disparities between men and women (“Carly earns more than me, but who cares? I just want to support her in her career” said Peter”) The night after that they had an intense discussion about the trials and tribulations of raising girls (“I’m not going to give my daughter dolls when she’s a kid – it just sets her up for being a Mum and disappointment”) This assumption that friendships between men are shallow, puerile and devoid of any emotional content remain strong.

Ahem.

It’s about at this point I give the author B for BULLSHIT. The last time I heard such a tearful soliloquy coming out of the mouth of a twentysomething windsurfer, public or not, was at a wedding and it was a lively little toast, randomly punctuated with enthusiastic expressions of affection like ‘I fucken love yous all hey’. Toward the end it kind of got rambling and incoherent not to mention further marred by cries of 'Speak up Chad!' and 'Shut the fuck up Uncle Dave, you wanker' but overall I don’t remember anything particularly emotive or pertaining to gender roles and equality. Though the sweariness factor did increase significantly when the drunken ex-boyfriend made a cameo appearance.

It makes me wonder why women get such a boner for re-engineering man. He’s functioned perfectly well as is until now it seems. Traditional male traits like stiff-upper-lip stoicism, keeping one’s own counsel and taking risks, appear to be undervalued by today’s modern woman. Can you imagine if pre-historic man got a load of this feelings gear? A group’s cohesiveness and collective confidence depended on an unimpaired and unfettered male. As hunter and protector the last thing you want to hear from a man’s mouth when faced with a wild stampede of hairy mammoths is, ‘Hey guys, I’m just not sure if this hunting thing is working for me. I’m might go discuss these feelings with my wife, then have a Bex and a good lie down’ and yet these nutty little copy girls remain undaunted. I wish for once they’d just be honest about what women really want from men. Women want compliments. We want attention. We want to be the centre of your world and if you’re not talking about us then you must be thinking about something else and we can’t have that. Let’s talk about your feelings so we can get some closure on the issue and get back to me. I think there’s something in that for all of us
now.....don’t you?

I've been dying to work a *Malcolm Tucker quote into something!

14 comments:

Steve said...

I think what this is simply brilliant salesmanship. Women, disguised as journalists, have convinced a couple generations of women that they can offer the solution to fixing men, when in reality everyone knows it's not possible. It's like dozens of Sylvester McMonkey McBeans, trying to remove stars from the bellies of Sneetches, and women everywhere are the suckers.

Albion Love Den said...

Really? I was convinced all women did all day was fantasise about exrta long phalluses and how to precure one for long, raunchy rogerings. Oh, and shoes.

Dr Yobbo said...

Give the people what they want - and this, apparently is what the readers of Cleopolibollocks want. As that play title goes - I love you, you're perfect, now change.

And while I am neither a windsurfer nor twenty-something, unless the something is a two-digit number, not a fucking fuck are any bull-oaks I know having convos like that. 'I want to support her in her career' is not a likely topic of discussion amidst the Great Drunken Unwashed. 'I want to support her with both hands while she does acrobatics in the butterfly fuck-swing' would possibly be closer to the money.

Bondiboy66 said...

Pah, goss mags. The ONLY time to read that drivel is while waiting in line at the supermarket. Having said that, an old girlfriend of mine (some 20 years ago) used to like reading the Cleos and Cosmos. The only bits I liked were the advice columns concerning problems related to sex - stuff like 'he's too big/small, does my vag smell, he wants to put it where? Is ### a normal thing?' - she used to snip them out and mail them to me when I was out bush with the Army! Always good for giggles.

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

YOBBO: Oh FCK did I laugh.

ALD: Two out of three. Yes the shoes do it for me but the long and raunchy rogerings as opposed to the phalluses, in reality, are more difficult to procure than one would hope. So to la-la land we must travel.

STEVE: Sneetches? You Americans and your funny talk :-D

BONDI: Oh I am giggling now!

*can't breathe*

I think that's the first reported sighting of the words 'does my vag smell' ever to be spotted on this site. Call the Doctor!

Dr Yobbo said...

Old flatmates of mine used to make up dodgy questions for the Dolly Doctor and send them in. 'Yeah, erm, I'm 16 and like I can't find my vagina??' They got published. Every time. Desperate for content much?

Barnesm said...

Did this article include copious references to farting & Burping because every get together of my male friends there is much wind involved.

Your piece reads much more entertainingly than the original article.

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

BARNES: Well you and Bob will frequent all those hot-as-all-hell curry shops :-D Men do that 'unacknowledged fart' thing which I find fascinating.

YOBBO: I think I read the same question in Women's Weekly. Except the woman was 40 and hadn't had sex in a really really long time. I think it grew over.

Steve said...

Yeah, I reckon Dr. Seuss may have, in some ways screwed up American English more than helped it.

What do you expect from a German? Maybe it was a plot to slowly corrupt the US over generations.

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

STEVE: Oh yeah. Dr Seuss. Of course. It was late and I've only ever read Green Eggs and Ham and it was a looooong time ago and I had a deprived childhood and and and

...

Steve said...

I think I've employed the lessons of Dr. Seuss in my life more than those of Adam Smith, Sun Tzu, and many others.

But I was a political science major, we're pretty simple minded.

Lunamor said...

*I just recently watched In the Loop, and Malcolm Tucker was brilliant. Well done for including him!

Natalia the Russian Spy said...

LUNA! Hey it's great to read you again. We're a bit light on the ladies around here so you're welcome anytime :-D

Lunamor said...

Well, now I need to write something of substance worthy of being read :)

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