Sunday, 11 May 2008

Sunday stuff...

Every Sunday the Brisbane radio station I favour, 4KQ, has Sunday Morning Sixties on it. On the whole the songs from the sixties are different and original. I often wonder how easy it is to write a new, unique song now. Hasn’t every concept to do with love, hate, passion and power been sung and written about in a song? What about new chords and rhythms? But then I suppose that’s the same with writing a romance. You have to work hard to make it different – sometimes it works – sometimes it doesn’t…anyway, my point is some of these 60’s songs irritate the hell out of me. I have already mentioned, on the blog, “What’s new Pussycat” and the ‘pussycat nose’ thing – please – what woman has a pussycat nose? Or is he referring to whiskers and her need to wax her upper lip? Either way – it annoys me. Of course when they were written in the 60’s women were still very much under the thumb and it was before women’s lib etc and women were classified as potential girlfriend, wife and mother etc. The first song this morning stuck in my mind and irritated the hell out of me. It’s called "Take a Letter Maria." For anyone who does not know it you can listen to it on the internet. Why does it irritate me? Here are some of the lyrics…

You've been many things, but most of all

A good secretary to me
And it's times like this I feel you've
Always been close to me
Was I wrong to work nights to try to build a good life
It seems that all work and no play has just
Cost me a wife

When a man loves a woman
The way it's hard to understand
That she would find more pleasure in the arms of another man
I never really noticed how sweet you are to me
It just so happens I'm free tonight
Would you like to have dinner with me

(c) Copyright 1969 by Four Star Television Co., Inc.

Okay, first up – why he can’t write his own damn break-up with the wife letter I don’t know. Is he looking for sympathy? Next, if I was Maria I would be backing away from this guy at 100 miles an hour. He is a workaholic whose wife cheated on him because he admits he spent too much time at work. I would also be questioning was he really working and why is he now cracking onto his secretary all of a sudden? Always been ‘close’ to him? Is this a suck up move? Hmmm? And why would Maria want someone so suddenly on the rebound like this? He’s suddenly noticed she’s ‘sweet’ to him? It’s her job to work in an office and take letters to get paid. What’s she going to say? Rack off, I’m not in the mood to deal with you today. I personally hope Maria said no to dinner with him but I bet she didn’t. Yes – it is just a song written in the 60’s but life really hasn’t changed that much has it? People will still do dumb things in their quest for love.

Every mother’s day the boy scouts set up a flower stall on Appleby Road. Every mother’s day I wander down and buy flowers. I normally buy them every week for myself anyway and I like to support this bunch of scouts as they work very hard for the extra $$. Anyway, I drove down and stopped at the stall. I said I would take 3 bunches of flowers. This kid, in Scout uniform, who could not have been more than 8 years old looked me up and down in disbelief and said, “Do you know how much that will cost you?” I responded I did. He said “Are you sure? It’s a lot of money.” The little smart arse was credit assessing me. I do that in my everyday job. I could use a kid with attitude on the job. I picked out the bunches I wanted and handed them to him. “Its $18,” he informed me with suspicion as he held back the flowers from me. I suspect I looked like a bad credit risk in my trackie daks, flanno shirt and scraped up, uncombed hair. I was tempted to offer him a check but refrained. I handed over the money and he looked relieved. No one’s going to put anything over that kid. As I walked away he yelled to the others scouts – “I sold three more, so there.” Yeah, a smart arse but also a tycoon in the making that one.

I read in the Sunday newspaper this morning that corsets are coming back. I am in two minds about this and I’m usually not a fence sitter. Corsets were and are torturous bloody things that made women feel they had to conform to a certain body type and I am against conformity in general. I say be yourself – but then what if being yourself means you need to feel better about yourself and your self esteem improves by having your gut and stomach sucked it by elastic and boning? It’s a conundrum to me. To elasticate or not to elasticate, that is the question. Is it nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with your tummy sticking out or let the arrows bounce off a trim, taut carefully controlled stomach? ‘Bet Hamlet never had that problem.

Can you be someone you’re not? It’s no secret that I am Janet Davies and Amarinda Jones and yet I am one and the same person. I write two different genres for two different audiences – hence the two names. I have never tried to hide it as I fear no backlash from people thinking less of me for what I do. I write and speak as I am and I make no apologies for this. I understand that other people fear repercussions in their normal lives hence the use of a pen name yet I often wonder how hard it would be to write exclusively using a pen name and acting out a part. Can you do it without coming across as a fake? Is it exhausting being yourself and an imaginary person at the same time? How far do you go in your efforts not to be yourself? Do you ever get caught out? It fascinates me the lengths to which some writers will go – fake lives, speech and beliefs. And no, I think no less of writers if that’s what they feel they need to do. So tell me – those who want to – how hard is it being your pen name or are you so used to it that it no longer seems like a pen name to you? I am intrigued. Do you ever feel like you just want to be yourself and to hell with what others think?

On that note – back to work for me tomorrow...yip-frigging-pee.

To all the mothers out there – Happy Mothers Day…to the non Mothers out there – Happy You Day.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


barbara huffert said...

The difference in corsets today is that they're hot and meant to be seen. My friend Neeley went along with a photographer friend of hers who was doing pictures for an ad for a corset shop and ended up modeling a few. Entire outfits are built around them and some are very expensive.

Anny Cook said...

Corsets are also helpful for people with back problems. So in that instance they might be more comfortable.

Pen names... hmmmm. Well, I use a pen name, but otherwise I'm me, more or less. Primarily, I use my pen name exclusively so that A)I never show up on the vast internet under my own name. B)I have some privacy. Sometimes those issues are important, particularly in this day and age when anyone can track you down. More than one author has been stalked by a fan.