Monday, January 16, 2006

Thanks for the Flowers

I've just realised that I've been nominated for an Australian Blog Award for Australia's Funniest Blog. Since I'm in the running, I suppose that sometime soon I shall have to get around to doing a little electronic ballot-box stuffing or look around for a graveyard of abandoned e-mail addresses to vote.

Anyway, thanks to whoever dobbed me in for this one. I'll be thinking of you when the inevitable happens and the award goes to some tosser who specialises in inocuous posts about the hilarious antics of the birds in their back yard, neurotic rants about dentists and other topics of burning public interest.

Worth Watching

If you missed out on it the first time round, SBS is screening The Staircase again in its "Hot Docs" spot, starting tomorrow night at 10.00 pm.

The ABC is once again repeating Walking With Beasts, on Saturday afternoons at 3.30. The last episode of the series, about homo erectus, is worth taking a look at, if only for the sequence showing two hominids copulating. In any other context, you might call it fucking but this is a nature documentary after all, so it's probably more appropriate to use the more respectable scientific term. It's pretty clear that the producers of the show went out of their way to forestall any accusation that they were just slipping in a gratuitous paleo-anthropological soft porn insert. In your average stick flick, the visuals would have been accompanied by some pretty enthusiastic grunting, gasping and give-it-to-me-babys accompanied by some off-the-peg electronic music, heavy on tinkly chimes and sugary synthetic strings but, instead of that, the action is accompanied by an earnest voice over from Kenneth Branagh, explaining how the vulva of the female erectus shifted forward to accomodate an upright posture, obliging homo erectus to copulate face-to-face. In the missionary position, of course, with the female lying back and distracting herself from the whole sordid business with thoughts of all the berry-gathering she'd be doing tomorrow.

I have no idea how Branagh kept a straight face while he was reading this guff, which tells you a lot more about the sexual experience of the narrative's author than it does about mating behaviour in homo erectus. The truth is, we have no idea how homo erectus went about the business of screwing although the current state of human sexual practice suggests that they had a lot of options. Whether they had the imagination to exploit them is another matter and somewhat moot; anything we say on the subject is completely speculative, however entertaining the possibilities might be.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Nostalgia Spot (Slightly Damp)

Over at Oz Conservative, Mark is pining for the days of good old fashioned romance, exemplified in the fashion philosophy of Alannah Hill:

When I was at uni (more than ten years ago now) one of my disappointments was the mannish style of appearance of the young women on campus. The women would typically wear boots, jeans, a T-shirt, and a windcheater, with no makeup or jewellery or ornamentation of any kind.

They actually managed to look a bit boring, despite being in the full bloom of their womanhood age-wise.

I felt a bit robbed. I thought it a waste of youth, both theirs and mine.


Earlier this year, Alannah Hill was interviewed for The Age newspaper. True to form, she described her fashion philosophy as follows:

I spend most days designing the most romantic clothes so that girls when they wear them will evoke some gush of love from the opposite sex.

When I was at uni (well over ten years ago now) a female friend of mine spent one vacation doing the obligatory cheap STA whip around a few European countries where you can't speak the language. Her tour included Paris, the city of eternal romance, where she left a crowded Metro carriage one evening to discover that she'd copped a quite substantial gush of love on her Levi's. It just goes to show that even a "mannish style of appearance" is no impediment to the flowering of romantic feelings in the male heart.