The shallow end of the political pool......


It’s on everyone’s lips. Kevin or Julia? Malcolm or Tony? Politics, and in particular, the election, is the talk of the town. Opinion pieces on the matter are flying about with everyone waving a different viewpoint or recommendation. Replace Julia. Leave her there. Oh, God the horror of having the mad monk as our leader. There’s chitter chatter about the failure of the mining tax, the death of the Labor-Greens alliance and the other stuff about boat people and taxes and what-not and something about the House of Representatives. But to tell you the truth what matters far more is what Julia wears, who can crack the funnier jokes and who can come up with the most sugar-coated bribes for the punters.

You see, the greatest mass of voters don’t give a toss about fat-cat miners except to watch the bitching in the Rinehart Dynasty that plays out like a soap opera. The Greens issue means little to many. I asked a friend, a relatively intelligent professional, what they thought of the disintegration of  the Greens-Labor alliance and the response was ‘I guess Julia isn’t saving enough trees’?!!

Political policy, of course, affects every Australian, from their education to their personal freedom to their wallets. But the ultimate choice about who wears the Grand Pooh-bah Hat actually revolves more around who was wittier on The Project last night or who was seen in mufti chowing down on snags at the Baby Bloggers barbie.

What Julia wears does matter. Because at the grass roots level, over lattes or beers, that’s what your average Joes and Joannes are talking about. Is Julia’s handbag gay? Is she gay? Who hooks up with a male hairdresser….except other male hairdressers? Let’s talk about what Tony’s hiding in his budgie smugglers. Oh, maybe it was cold. That Malcolm Turnbull is kind of cute and filthy rich. Did you see that picture of Kevin with his grand-daughter? OMG, so cute. His daughter writes kids books. Really? And his wife is filthy, and I mean, filthy rich. Hasn’t Kev got an endearing giggle? He’s a bit arrogant though. A bit? Is Julia wearing that bloody jacket again? It’s not her arse she needs to worry about but her shoes. Did you see her face-plant? OMG.

This is how it goes and these people put their ballot paper where their mouth is.

People, everywhere, love drama, love scandal, love gossip and adore celebrity. This has never been more true than right now. We live in a glossy magazine where Princess Kate’s tits are big news and something, something, something about boat people.

We are sheep and if the polls say Labor is trailing badly, we believe it is and fear going renegade and swimming against the flow. And if Sharon and Bill and what’s-his-face are voting for Tony, then perhaps we should because Bill’s got a University degree….so he’d know.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, political policy and reforms mean jack diddly squat unless it’s right in our face. The scrapping of the single parent pension after the youngest kid turns seven or eight or whatever it is….that is a wake-up call to people who might otherwise have been oblivious to the change. Less money in the pocket every week hurts but when people find the Clean Energy bonus in their bank accounts, they’re smiling again. Votes lost. Votes won.

I still call the end-of-financial-year Family Tax A bonus…the Johnny Howard money. When Kev handed out all that play money to people to avert the GFC melt-down, I did something I’d never done before. I bought him a thank-you card and sent it to Canberra. It is this and Kev’s appearances on Rove that make me love him still (and he lives around the corner and poses for photos with my son who calls him the Milky Bar kid).
I like Malcolm because he’s so dashing and speaks well and he is rich. I like Julia because she’s a fiery red-head and she’s clever and funny. And she looks good in a pair of specs. Tony’s funny too, but he doesn’t mean to be, which makes him even funnier. I’m reading ‘Tony Speaks’ at the moment. It’s truly hilarious.

Mining tax, schmining tax. At the end of the day it is a popularity test and whoever hands out the most lollies and jokes wins. Obama giving his first lady a smoochy kiss does more for his ratings than anything done in Congress and let’s face it your average citizen only remembers Bob Hawke for the beer, Paul Keating for the dapper suits and Gough for getting sacked for….something.

It’s riveting theatre. So who will take out the Political Oscar, I wonder, and what will they be wearing on the electoral red carpet? Yeah, yeah, I’m shallow but I’m swimming in an awfully large pool.


Tributes and Covers

I have a book out on book shelves called 'One Way or Another - the story of a girl who loved rock-stars' and now those bubbly, gorgeous little 'One Direction' boys have recorded a song with the same title. Never have I felt so worshiped and adored.

Oh, that's right...it's not my title but the title of a Blondie song from the seventies.

I borrowed it (there is no copyright on titles) because the lyrics summed up my voracious obsession, (a focus in one direction only, you might say)  to collect rock-star lovers ......while the world's current most scream-worthy boy band are actually 'covering' Blondie's old hit. Yep, breaking news. They really are!!

That brings me to tributes and covers. Most bands cut their teeth playing popular covers in dingy pubs while barflies and yobbos warble drunkenly along.

Covers have their place. Done well, they are a great tribute to the original song-writer and/or artist. Done badly....they can leave a bad taste in your mouth.

A girls' night out is always a top idea for a tribute band because after a gallon of Chardonnay they'll think you ARE the original band...

When I picked up my first guitar, I jumped straight in and began composing my own songs. My family promptly bought me a handful of sheet music to popular tunes and suggested I start by playing something familiar. So I strummed out the chords to 'Streets of London' and a host of Neil Diamond numbers. My pocket money went on 'Choir Girl' by Cold Chisel which I learned to play on the piano....

The boys at school tried to assemble bands which were tributes to KISS, Rolling Stones, Van Halen and The Doors. Some were awful but some made us feel that we were experiencing a pseudo live concert by the bands we worshiped.

Cover songs!

Some artists can pull it off with aplomb - Tom Jones with Prince's 'Kiss.' The Foo Fighters with Prince's 'Darling Nikki' (bias there!). Prince is clearly one artist whose work manages to contort into many shapes and styles.

But Madonna did not pull off 'American Pie' and Michael Bolton's 'Dock of the Bay' was electric-chair bad.  'Feel like Making Love,' by Kid Rock??? Making love...that's f#@@ing. ridiculous....there was no buying that one. Kid Rock makes love.....no-one ever said!

But what of covers by famous artists? It's one thing for garage bands and play-for-drinks pub bands to regurgitate the rock and roll classics, but when you become a successful artist in your own right, is it just a bit lazy to churn out another artist's hit (guaranteed $$$$)? If it worked once, it'll work again. In theory that's how it works.

Unfortunately my sneaky pilfering of a title did not see my book enjoy quite the same success as Blondie's original tune but hey.... with One Direction on board - we're talking about a whole new generation of kids to be exposed to this incredibly cool song. You cannot help but dance up and down on the spot while screaming the lyrics at the top of your voice....even in a supermarket aisle as the radio spills overhead from covert speakers (as I have done....recently).

I was once asked in an interview who was the 'best' rock star lover I ever had and I (jokingly) said Harry from 'One Direction'. I mean, of course I was joking....I'm a middle aged woman...old enough to be his mother (or really big sister) .....I'm not even sure I'd know him if I fell over him in the street!

....but I am seriously going to tell my nine year old daughter that her favourite band 'One Direction' have just put out a song describing how they desperately want to meet the author of the BOOK - 'One Way or Another'.....ME! Call it poetic license. It'll make her day.

'One way, or another, I 'm gonna getcha, I'm gonna getcha, getcha, getcha....'

I can't wait to hear this new version to see how the boy-wonders pull it off!!!!

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