Sunday, June 10, 2007

Long time, no see

Childcare Challenges
Hello again. Like the phoenix arising from the ashes (or should that be "a zombie emerging from the grave") I'm back. Apologies for the lengthy hiatus. Real life has been dominated by a plague of pesky relatives and their progeny needing assistance; babysitting, kids' homework, and assorted school dramas. I suspect that Maoris' earlier mortality rate is actually mother nature's mercy; a 'deadly' escape from the tyranny of family.

Chief culprit is my darling young nephew whom I willingly look after on most weekends and some evenings while his ma & pa do their church things. Like many toddlers, he loves being picked up and carried around, and resists - at full vocal throttle - all attempts to set him down. Distractions with toys and food are my only weapons. I swear he gets heavier by the day, all the while these tired old bones of mine become ever more decrepit. Or else there's the slow stooped-over walk abouts, often in pointless circles, as he clasps my finger and mauls the pot plants. I now truly appreciate that haggard worn-out look of so many parents. The upside is that he's cured my insomnia. Eight straight hours of infant care guarantees a deep sleep to an empty shell of a body drained of vitality. I also understand why so many mothers - their youngest finally enrolled at school - give a resounding, emphatic "no!" when asked: "Are you gonna have any more kids?"

But this weekend he's off to Auckland to visit nana for two weeks. I miss him already even though I'm loving the rest & rejuvenation. A chance to reconnect with the big bad adult world out there.

Reality Rocks!
As reward for my childcare toils, I've been given a(nother) TV which sits on my bedroom drawers giving opportunity to further develop my already finely-honed TV viewing skills. My dumbing-down is near complete with a newfound passion for Reality TV. I don't care what it is, as long as a series of hectic, improbable challenges is followed by someone being eliminated, I'll watch with gleeful enthusiasm.

They're like a serialised slasher/horror movie, where one-by-one characters are regularly 'dispatched', with but one hero(ine) overcoming all foes, obstacles and humiliations to survive triumphant. Rapid-fire editing gives a continual stream of video & soundbites for the short attention spans of Generation ADD; hyper-stimulation for impatient viewers demanding constant, instant gratification.

Current faves include The Apprentice which reveals a remarkably warm, human side to Donald Trump. Although if the brittle emotional natures of these young stressed out entrepreneurs has any real-life resemblance, future corporate America is in trouble.

Next on the must-see menu is Top Chef. Except for the frustration at not being able to taste the end products, it's the perfect recipe for low-brow entertainment. Their knives spend more time in each others' backs than they do chopping up grub. I'm gorging myself on the simmering spite-fest between Betty and Marcel. You can tell those two won't be eliminated anytime soon, since Reality TV thrives on dramatic conflict. May the biggest b*tch win!

Sadly, this season of my ultimate fave, America's Next Top Model, has just concluded. I love photographer Jim De Yonker and his Covergirl shoots. His 'portraits', which always convey the infinite expressiveness of the human face, never fail to evoke a dreamy, ethereal radiance. This shot (of Eugena) is possibly the most beautiful, arresting image of a woman I've ever seen.

All in all, I adore the show's air of high camp - quite simply the gayest show I've ever seen. Unlike other queer shows (Queer Eye, Will & Grace, etc) which constantly, tiresomely allude to queerness via smutty jokes and double entendres, ATNM exhibits no such self-consciousness. A man wears garish inch-thick orange makeup or a Cinderella frock, and no one bats a (long-lasting, clump-free, waterproof mascara-ed) eyelash. Tyra herself is a drag queen extraordinaire. She's epitomises fabricated feminity at its most exaggerated and outlandish. An imposing statuesque glamorous Amazonian goddess, she's Aphrodite on steroids.

I'm totally on the Tyra love train, and would give her my vote (prohibitions on non-US citizens aside) for president. Hey, if it's a big deal about Hillary becoming the first woman prez and Obama the first black prez, then Tyra's a two-fer. With the two most important ingredients in a White House race - boatloads of cash & name recognition - she's a must-win candidate. Ok, so my knowledge of US politics is rather thin, but I'm sure she'd make a fabulous president (or at least look fabulous). At the very least she'd bring much needed elegance, poise, drama and suspense to global politics:
"Seven foreign ministers stand before me, yet I only have six free trade agreements in my hand...
Congratulations! You're still in the running to becoming America's Next Top Ally."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

dalai lama visits in 2 weeks.