Stupid chick stuff

I’m a little bit in love with my waxer. It might have something to do with the forced intimacy when lying there without your trousers and talking about what you’ve been up to lately. But I think it’s mainly because she’s really interesting.

Anyway, we were talking about all of the celebrity crap we know, simply as a result of doing our jobs. We don’t seek out this information, but we have absorbed it – and no doubt something really important was kicked out of our brains to make room for this stuff. Yet if women sit and talk about celebrities, guys roll their eyes at the “stupid chick stuff” and how it’s a pointless conversation. Women don’t tend to have the same dismissive reaction to guys talking about sport, but that’s a reflection on the way we’ve all been socialised to value “male” topics and devalue “female” topics.

The thing is, sport news and celebrity news are exactly the same thing. Neither actually benefits your life, yet one is considered “real news” and the other dismissed as trivial gossip. If the purpose of news is to inform you about your world – so you know about things that are happening and so you can make moral/political/financial decisions – then why on earth is almost half of each news bulletin devoted to sport? To discussion of what happened in a game where two teams did stuff with a ball? And why is there a sports section in the newspaper every single day? Knowing that player A passed the ball to player B but he was offside and then he got busted drink-driving, is no different to knowing who Jennifer Aniston is going out with or that Lindsay Lohan got busted drink-driving.

29 responses to “Stupid chick stuff

  1. Rhiannon Saxon

    Oh indeed yes. Admittedly I am more interested in what folk musician is married to what other folk musician, and for that you actually need REAL gossip as the trash-mags seem unaccountably uninterested, but I can’t see as how a bit of mental mashed-potato referring to a game is worse than that referring to what someone famous is doing. They all have some perceived talent here and there. They all do something constructive or completely trivial and unproductive depending on how ones looks at it.

    My eyes glaze over the sports section unless there is a particularly good (or bad) sports headline such as my favourite ever from the Central Coast Express Advocate some years ago – ‘Kickboxer Aims To Be Patient’.
    Delightfully ambiguous.

    I however am not in love with my waxer. I am in love with my epilator as it lets me hold a book in one hand and read while I de-hair my legs.

  2. Rhiannon Saxon

    Epilating is cheaper. Waxing is more accurate, more social, more…everything, but this way I don’t have to take my kids anywhere and then tether them while I am immobile on a waxing table, and I can stop whenever I need to. My kids have a orrible fascination with it and keep wanting to take turns. Also I can’t afford waxing. Not AND second-hand books. (or…*cough* food)

    I have Braun with lots of tweezer bits so it is quite quick. Not one of those one-hair-at-a-time types.

    • Mine’s a remmington (with many tweezers) and I heart it muchly. I find I am more accurate with my epliator than my waxist was with wax. (I think the epilator does a better job on those tiny wispy hairs not quite long enough for waxing. )
      And yeah, being able to read or watch tv while de-wookifying is the big draw for me. (i think the kids enjoyed going to the salon as the women there all loved and fawned all over them. But my waxist left and I find it so hard to find one I like each time we move….epilation is just so much easier)
      Plus, epilation makes my under arms hair free for longer than waxing did. (I’m pretty hairy.)

      • Rhiannon Saxon

        I had to do my armpits for a bellydancing concert and so I snipped the hairs and then tried using my epilator. Then through my tears I asked Craig if I could borrow his razor. “Well,’ he said, ‘you can’t use my two-sided ‘unsafety’ razor, you’ll have to use the scrotum razor.”
        I was telling a few of my bellydancing class about it and realised I was getting some pretty nervous looks…and finally one said, ‘Um…*whydoesCraighaveascrotumrazor*?”

        “Oooohhhhh….didn’t I mention his vasectomy? Ooops….it was a one-off, people!!”

  3. “Stupid chick stuff” is invariably more interesting than who did what to a ball.

    Though, that might not mean anything anymore, as the Australian Man Council may have revoked my testicles for not being a real bloke.

  4. I solve this problem by being elitist about not knowing anything of either topic.

    • See, I thought I was doing that, but then I got a job in the MSM and this stuff just seeps into your brain. (I was going to say soul, but I gave that away when I signed the AWA.)

  5. Rhiannon Saxon

    Oh and BTW I have EXACTLY the same dismissive reaction, but it is in my head. I have a lot of friends who like sport, many of them women, so I keep schtumm. SO glad my husband is not one them. Not one of the people who like sport, that is, not who are women.
    He on the other hand is a total aeroplane-spotter. And a classic-car-bore. AND goes on at LENGTH about art-deco architecture.

    • ManFriend loves watching sport, any sport (except league, thank goodness), and is brilliant for sport and geography on trivia teams. Mind you, his knowledge of celebrities is quite detailed. One night as I was almost asleep and he said “hey, did you know that Beyonce and Jay Z just got married? Thought you might like to know that for your job.” Another time he pointed to a picture of Sophie Ward and commented on how much she looks like her sister. Maybe he secretly reads NW at work?

      • Rhiannon Saxon

        That is indeed a point – I am fairly useless at sport and pop-culture in trivia comps. I am better with chemistry and biology (occasionally), literature, and history.
        And Craig can get OLD movie stuff (Because he is old) and 60s and 70s music he is a demon. (Because he is old.)
        But he listens to triple J (In fact ever since it was double-J (because he is old) so he keeps up with pop-culture that way. At least some of it.
        And we only watch ABC and SBS (Except for that all-too-short glorious period in which Craig was addicted to Queer-Eye) so we miss an awful lot of pop-culture that my friends know everything about.
        It’s official – I am a young fogey (although I felt like an old one the other day talking to my mohawk-sporting nephew and he had never even HEARD of the Pet Shop Boys. What is wrong with the world when a Clash-and Led-Zeppelin-listening pierced, mohawked young man of 20ish hasn’t heard of one of the ….ok…maybe I just answered my question.)

  6. Rhiannon Saxon

    I am totally procrastinating in order to put off packing for Canberra. I feel like I only got back from WA a minute ago (Monday actually)and my ears still haven’t resumed normal service.

  7. Rhiannon Saxon

    I am slooooooooowly writing about it but have stalled.
    Basically – it was very, very strange going to my sister’s house in her car and her not being there to meet us.
    Some of her friends had made up beds for us (it was kind of like a dorm..!)
    My nephews were wonderful and lovely, they have grown up into really fantastic (and terrifyingly well-paid) young men. Her ex-husband had come over and removed the mattress that she died on…that hadn’t occured to me to be an issue, but my other older sister was really upset about the possibility of everything still being the way it was. My sisters, mother, nieces and sister-in-law sorted out her clothes, shoes, jewellery and cosmetics and pretty much divided them up amongst ourselves, which was strange and sad, dismantling her life like that. But it was very good to be with my family. ALSO my oldest nephew really wanted us to do it, he wanted all her things to be used and accepted, not thrown away. (Karratha is not noted for its expanse of op-shops or recycling facilities either.) And so we were actually making it easier for him as executor not to have to sort it all out himself. We all now have at least one pair of Birkenstocks (even Craig) as my sis was rather…a collector. And me and Craig and my sister Guin wore them to her funeral.
    After doing some sorting out, while my wonderful niece-in-law went to the hospital to dress and make Elanor up, which I have to say was one of the kindest and most brave and generous things she could have done for her mother-in-law and for us, we went to the viewing. I kept expecting her chest to rise and fall; or her eye to crack open and her to say, ‘Why are you all staring at me?”
    My father read the instructions to the newly-deceased soul from the Tibetan Book of the Dead as my sis was a practising Buddhist and preferred the Tibetan brand. (She shook the Dalai Lama’s hand once)
    We all cried, and said goodbye, and listened to Dad, and cried some more. My middle nephew’s girlfriend had very sensibly armed herself with boxes of tissues and she handed them round at regular intervals.
    I had to lay a hand on her arm to really believe it. And I still don’t.

    It was hot and dry there, and there were frangipanis everywhere and lots of red earth. Everyone turns their air-con to freezing and then use blankets.
    The next day we did some more sorting and then dressed for the funeral.

    We all wore hot-weather clothes. A lot of the attendees wore bright pink in her memory – Elanor had been dressed in her favourite bright pink tie-dye singlet to show her tattoos (There were a lot of tattooists at the funeral!) and some of her favourite jewellery. She requested burial rather than creamtion, on the grounds that she didn’t spend all that money on tatts just to have them burnt.

    The service was very nice. We all walked in to the graveyard (which had four other ‘residents’ at that stage) behind the rather beaten-up grey station-wagon which is the closest the town has to a hearse.
    There is no caretaker for the graveyard, and no organisation, which is something Elanor was campaigning to fix up – she was a member of the tourist board and the Chamber of Commerce. It is really a ‘frontier’ town, but expanding rapidly. From the air it looks like a couple of Canberra suburbs unaccountably washed up from the sea on the West Coast, surrounded by vastness and red earth and salt pans.
    So her sons and her boyfriend chose a site under a beautiful tree, dug a grave, and then planted a garden next to it, with frangipanis, windchimes, succulents, a garden seat and two statues of the Buddha.
    We were followed in to the site by the largely-Maori motorbike club (Bikers United Against Child Abuse or BUACA) of which my white, non-riding sister was a member. (Seriously. I cannot imagine anything more bizarre, but it is so typical) My husband now has her Harley Davidson vest, which her partner wore to the funeral, but asked one of us to take afterwards.

    After them came hundreds of people on foot.
    My nephews and my ex-brother in law and El’s partner organised a marquee for us soft Easterners and also esky after esky of cold bottled water for everyone. (You can;t really drink the tap water for long in Karratha – it is so mineralised and full of industrial waste and salt that it gives you kidney stones)

    The funeral was ‘celebranted’ by one of Elanor’s colleagues, whom she had helped to achieve her celebrancy. Elanor is her first funeral service.
    Her sons spoke, and then my father told us some things about my sister’s beliefs. My mother spoke about Elanor’s life and cried at one point, but continued to speak. She told us all that Elanor was born on the last ‘Cracker Night’ in Sydney. Very appropriate. People said later that they were amazed at how calm Mum and Dad were. It was all on the outside.
    I sang, (through my AWFUL cold) and apparently sounded good – I sang a voyaging song in Irish, from a cd that Elanor taped for my when I was in my mid-teens. My niece sang ‘Fire and Rain’ and everyone pretty well lost it during the ‘But I always thought I’d see you again’ refrain.
    Elanor’s sons and partner, and two of my brothers were pallbearers, and we scattered frangipani petals and Sturt desert peas over her pink coffin.

    Afterwards people talked, and cried, and then left for the wake. Those of us left cleared up all the half-drunk water-bottles and poured them over her newly-planted garden.
    During the wake we spoke to her friends and colleagues. I was hugged a lot as I suppose I was a very obvious target – especially with my currently-peroxided hair I look a LOT like Elanor did.
    We watched a slide-show of photos of Elanor from all throughout her life.
    And then, which was a little strange and heartwrenching but also beautiful, we watched a video of her in cable car in Spain with two of my brothers and my sister-in-law K. K now has Elanor’s scarf that she was wearing in Spain, and will treasure it and take it travelling with her too. They became very good friends while they were travelling together.
    It was so strange hearing Elanor laugh again. They were seriously just crapping on about all kinds of things – politics, people, fart-jokes…all broadcast to 2 or 3 hundred people in a mining town on the other side of Australia.

    That night E’s youngest son shouted us ALL pizza and icecream. (Yes, $45 worth of icecream from a servo – four tubs. Very generous.) and we sorted, and sorted, and sorted some more.And then the next day we flew home again. One of the enduring memories of the flight was when we came into Sydney the plane was turning and I watched the wing go up…and up…and up…and then there was the full moon next to the point of the wing, above the dark expanse of the sea.
    (I love flying I have discovered…I love take-offs, and the wheel bumping on landing, I love turbulence, and watching the ailerons and flaps do their work, I love seeing the wings vibrate and flex…I wanna be a pilot when I grow up! Oddly enough it seems to be one of the very few things I am NOT afraid of.)

    I am wearing two of Elanor’s rings and two bracelets (one of which I had to firmly ask Craig to give back to me, although it actually looked amazingly good on his hairy masculine weld-splatter-scarred arm) and also a pair of her Heidi Klum sneakers – I don’t want to take off her jewellery as it is a tangible link with her. I can’t believe so much brightness and courage has gone.
    (One thing that Elanor used to say to her friends…’I won’t be here forever, but my hips will. They’re titanium.”)
    So was her spirit.

  8. Wow… I never equated the two subjects before. NWN, you have opened my eyes. Though I’ve been trying to get into the habit of following a sport so I fit in a bit more in my industry.

    • Thanks Katherine. Why do you need to follow a sport? And can it be any sport? What about darts? I do like a sport you can play at the pub, with a beer in your hand. Or pinball? ManFriend won a pinball comp (nationals, maybe?) a few years ago and the prize was a pinball machine. Actually, he won it twice – once playing a flipper each with his best mate, and the second time he played alone and won. His mate has one machine, and we’ve still got to pick up the other one. Now he’s a demon at Golden Tee (another pub machine game) and was recently in the nationals. Crazy boy.

  9. I quite like sport. But I still roll my eyes over the coverage. Because yes, the coverage IS gossipy. Celebrity news can be actual news too, as can sport, but mostly it’s gossip on both counts.
    Particularly when the bad behaviour of the minority dominates the news.
    (And it really grates at me when we obsessively report on the bad behaviour of sports stars and celebrities, because the problem is they never suffer a consequence for their bad behaviour. We just give them a half assed lashing in the media and they get off scott free with a half assed apology.)

    • Plus there’s what the media perceives as the real crime. Take Todd Carney. He got all the headlines and front pages because he was drinking when he shouldn’t have been. BUT IT WAS WATTS WHO BASHED A WOMAN yet he was hardly paid any attention. When Andrew Johns called Greg Inglis a black cunt, the media was outraged because he used the word “black”. Wait a minute, what about using a part of a woman’s body as an insult? That’s apparently not offensive. In my opinion, only people who own one can use the word.

      Wow, for someone who would rather stab herself in the nipple with a fork than watch a game of rugby league, I certainly know a lot about league players.

  10. Pingback: Marrickville, Israel and poor reporting | the news with nipples

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