Miss April Advises: Tony Christine Rudd, stop the bloat.

Dear Miss April,

I have been having terrible reflux and the occasional tourettes-like turn. I’m beginning to think I may be allergic to politics.

Apart from avoiding all forms of media and humming loudly to the tunes of Gershwin while in public social spaces, is there anything else I should do to alleviate my discomfort?

Alas, I also think the problem might be airborne as all the pamphlets being fanned at me at every intersection these days are exacerbating my weeping eyes, probably due to the stinging electoral dust being kicked up It’s playing having havoc with my psynuses. Strange though, as the dialogue is void of air or content. Can one be allergic to a vacuum?

Do you think if I took a postal vote and saw you in October, that it would be an effective remedy?

I do hope you can assist.

Tony Christine Rudd

Dear Tony Christine Rudd

I beseech you to stay! A postal vote and month long absence will be as curative as a consumptive convalescing in Bath for the Winter. Do not abandon your kin and kindred at a time when you need them and they need you.

One can be allergic to life, my fine fellow (lady?), so a political vacuum is no doubt most definitely the cause of your malaise. Do not succumb to this treacherous vacuum. It will extract the very essence of you and then abandon you as if you were a syphilitic 19th century mistress. Fill your hole. In fact, fill it with candied dates! I can direct you toward a lady who will be dispensing these sweet treats on voting day to raise the spirits of those such as you. With your candied dates and hole filled, solider on through Saturday with the steely reserve of a true voting Australian; content in the knowledge that they will at the same time cleanse your system and cure your terrible symptoms.

Steadfast and sure we shall go toward, through and beyond,
Miss April

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Miss April Advises: Iva Badd-Phelan, voting day & candied dates

Dear Miss April,

I’m wondering if you have a recipe for Candied Dates. I cant seem to find a sure fire one. Maybe you could ask about for me.

It’s a good time to refresh the larder. I hear there is an election coming between now and eternity, so what better rations than a good stock of fresh Candied Dates. I find they give the day more energy than the usual nuts and when they are dished out no one can stop talking about them.

I could head out to the long queues on polling day and hand them out to the weary public, assuming they havent been consumed already or gone rancid in the mean time. Some find them cloying, some report they go “right through you”, others like the lingering mouth feel, but everyone loves to give them a go.

Whats not to like about a sweet, well preserved fruit?

Regards
Ms. Iva Badd-Phelan

Dear Ms Iva Badd-Phelan

Haven’t we all?

Well, Election Day welcomes us with wet grimaces and vice-grip embraces this Spring Saturday, and I do hope you proceed with your exquisite plan for sweet preserves. I would like nothing more than to be greeted by you at the local booth. I could do with an injection of joie de vivre and open jar on that particular morn.

In terms of a recipe, I direct you toward the interweb device and search for a traditional Middle-Eastern recipe with an exotic cardamom for a pleasing authenticity. Word of warning, I do suspect you might be inadvertently challenging the Australian core identity by dispensing gay ethnic sweet treats that ignites the nation’s spine chilling fear of boats. Be prepared, don’t let the Queen’s supporters interpret you in the style of Murdoch re-telling. I hear they definitely prefer nuts.

I am of the opinion that a well preserved fruit could be just the ticket and potentially the saving of us all. It makes me green with envy just thinking of all those voters savouring your delicious morsels. So go forth fine lady. Show your face. Spread your candied dates. But do not forget to cast your vote!

Yours in suffrage,
Miss April

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Miss April Advises: Name-Calling Post Gay Wedding.

Dear Miss April,

With all the shouting and hyperbole coming from magazines like Whatever, Whoever Weekly and other titular aberrations, that seem to invoke popular truncations like Bradjelina and Benjen and the like.

I was hoping you could provide some clarity on an issue that also has the whiff of currency about it.
I was penning invitation cards to a casual yet highly choreographed cocktail party and it occurred to my that I was unsure how to conjoin the names of two chaps that have tied the knot. Whats it to be a hyphenated named? Where they to keep there own surnames? It seems to me that if your going to the trouble of getting married you may as well have the trouble of having married people troubles, like messing about with your name for a start. You know like regular folk.

So as there’s no patriarchal hierarchy to insist on a name order, how does one decide? If it were based on status surely that would change so often that stationers would be run off their feet. This would be come impractical and costly very quickly. Wat about enforcing a straight [ no pun intended] swap. You’d end up with people called Jeff Singer and Garry Smith. that’s just the tip of the ice-cream cone. Perhaps it should be just done by alliterative excitement or jolly good rhythms. then the delights of Vladimir Putin John would make lovely things to write in ones impeccable penmanship.

Is there a rule for nomenclature in the new unions?

I do hope you can help

Fondley

George Michael

Dear George Michael

Why greetings, Sir. I hear on the grapevine you’re mightily more than a little fondl(e)y, love. Should I refer to you as Mr Goss? Or Mr Goss-Michael, or maybe just the Messrs Panagiotou. One must be in tune with the pressing concerns of the day, and if we decline to obsess over new social constructions without a sense of timeless brevity we might find ourselves at the sore end of a scathing cold shoulder.

It’s a real bother when a couple does not have the patriarchal tradition to fall back on in times such as these. Truly, who bought who and for how many goats? Those were simpler times indeed. But let us not be so glib. This is a matter that must be addressed, as there are numerous profiting opportunities for wedding planners and social etiquette authors at stake.

We, as a community, have evolved. We find ourselves in the very flux of evolution. Unfortunately, we can’t quite free ourselves of those contradictory traditions such as dominant identifiers. For myself, I imagine if I were to ever succumb to the betrothal tradition I would insist on a new name altogether. Scrap both surnames and go for something exotic, perhaps with the flair of the Spaniards – six names long, the fire of Flamenco, exhausting, confusing and aggressively fallacious.

Enough prevaricating around the bush, what you should do in this situation is address them by the names you know them as. It is the newly conjoined pair’s responsibility to address their social circle as to which naming custom they choose to adopt. A friendly word of advice though, don’t let cynicism get the better of you. After all, to come together as a family and desiring to identify as a family is a most lovely dream no matter the contradictory traditions which make up the path – and a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Yours most sincerely, Mrs April dos Santos Velasquez Morillo Guillermo Cabrerra y Morales de Wagga Wagga.

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Miss April Advises: Warning, not suitable for unsuitable readers: Hans A. Whey

Dear Miss April,

I have three things to say that are remotely connected but establish a pattern of inconsistency in the area of governence and moral governence on our behalf. Could you examine these articles and hopefully console me for I think that in the light of these observations my radical liberalism ( moral optimism) has been subsumed by hysterical liberal [voters]?

See three things below.

1.Artist works seized for illustrataing a sexualized Justin Beiber [ surely the beib’s publicist should have been the perp for premeditation BTW this content was shown under Mr Doyles watch with no mention of dripping cocks on Bourke street in the papers]
2.Blonde St Kilda footballer with respectable penis blackmailed by unnamed teenager[surely if your blackmailing you should be named no matter what your age or if not, your parents might need to explain how your child got to be there to take those pictures]
3.Bill Henson celebrates youth through beauty but is vilified [no one notices the beauty part except liberal Turnbull who owns one]

Liberal salutations.

Hans A. Whey

Dear Hans A. Whey

I’ve been quite oblivious to the current furore as I have other urgent matters at hand such as catching up with my cross-stitching and waiting furiously for the cinematic release of Behind the Candelabra.

However, after perusing recent newspaper articles at the local library I thought, golly, the powers that be really want to stoically protect our fragile minds from the corrupting scourge of collage. I then noted the key words – penis, child, degenerate, Justin Bieber, paedophilia –tax-payer funding – gasp! Dirty, dirty, words.

I am confident you are referring to the artwork of a young Mr Paul Yore. Unless I am mistaken and there is another hysterical bout of hypocritical self-serving Machiavellian manipulation Civic Duty afoot. He has been quite the hot ticket of late, in the city, along the hip-strip, amongst the leafy establishment, and now then down in the former-seedy-area-now-well-and-truly-gentrified St Kilda. Gosh, simply everywhere, so imagine my surprise that we all come so lately to the conclusion it is no longer suitable for the sensitive eyes of gallery hopping siblings and sensitive Councilors.

Look, to be perfectly honest with you Hans, I’m a bit of an old prude myself. I do not take kindly to nudity. I especially find male genitalia most distasteful when displayed both in flaccid and extreme performance mode even if it is plastic; combine this with the images of Justin Bieber children and you have just described to me the very things that I despise about the selfish putridity of adult humans. In my humble opinion, the only male grotesquery wont to be seen in the fine visual arts is the sacred penis of Baby Jesus, front and centre, so close to the picture plane it almost pokes one’s eye out whilst gazing in trembling holy rapture.

Correggio, Madonna of the Basket, c 1524, held in the National Gallery of London.

Correggio, Madonna of the Basket, c 1524, held in the National Gallery of London.

Needless to say, I was ready with softened nib pencil to underline the compelling arguments against Mr Yore’s work, justifying the necessity to ensure that I had no opportunity whatsoever to assess for myself the level to which I objected to the work. I was not disappointed. The complainant articulates: “The Pope is f—d, Everything is f—-d, the police are f—-d, Pigs with guns…The police would have loved that one…And when you go into the grotto, it looked like teenage boys with erections, with stickers over them…Degenerate…It’s not the right time to do any of that stuff at the moment anyway, you know what I mean with all the stuff with the Roman Catholic Church.”

Touché.

However, that being said so eloquently, I am but one among many and I have enough experience to realise that everyone has a right to tell their story, and to suffocate those who try to do so is a most heinous moral crime.

So what of it Mr Yore, are you trying to outdo the Pope with your sequined dresses and garish aesthetics? Is that it? You, a formidable man of a long 25 years, who looks around you to see the magnificent institution ruled by the Holy Seed See so vulnerable now that you choose to kick it while it’s down? What with all of the terrible truth coming out and such, and those thousands of victims who survived the stuff of nightmares persecute the sacred institution? Or perhaps you see those victims who did not survive.

All I can find from Mr Yore: “We live in a time that is very important for artists and musicians and writers to express themselves and a lot of people are confused about society and see the world as a dark place”. Ha! Well thoughts like that will get you arrested in these times sir, so is it worth it? Well, actually I suspect probably now more than ever. But I hear the City of Port Philip could just save themselves around $100,000 a year, and as long as it makes good economic sense it’s a win-win, right?

Children and artists, they make from what they see. Point in hand I move on to your second article, St Kilda Teen. You say she blackmailed someone? I do not recall, I was under the distinct impression the young lass was rather generously democratic with her photography. She too shared with us the visual outpouring of the world around her, it just happened to be a vast array of footballer penii*.

Should her name have been published? I thought St Kilda Teen was her name. Are her parents responsible? Well, responsible enough to send her to school. The visiting footballers successfully seemed to take over at that point.

Or did they? A most unusual event occurred, the girl did not go away. How utterly incredulous and confusing this is for young gods such as these – desire begets undesirable consequences?? How were they to foresee that this 17-year old girl would expect they admired her and wanted to be with her just because they graced her with their penetrative presence? They, along with other naked penises needed protection, stat; and that’s where multi-million dollar businesses can truly be rather helpful.

And so it came to be. The child was a child no more, she had transformed into the Femme Fatale. Vulnerable, abused, at risk? No, monsieur, no, you have it all askew. She is a liar, a temptress, a young lady that uses her sexuality to corrupt the heroes – and, how you say, does not shut up when men tell her to. This is the perfect French film script, non?

Quelle Horreur ! The underage Femme Fatale is, in popular media, somewhat akin to the most frightening of all underage seductresses, the man-hating, satan-worshipping, teenage lesbian murderess – terrifying to powerful heterosexual men, however completely fictional to all other social groups.

So in real life when a child has quite literally been debased what do powerful people do? Why, the send in an experienced, respected, compassionate family man. Unfortunately, it was reported he might have been accompanied by a bottle of wine, illicit substances, and alas, his penis. Heroes fall quickly when we see the world through the eyes of another. And the child eventually disappears.

Mr Bill Henson is a master of beauty, a Renaissance spirit, a painter’s photographer. There is no denying the true art of his magnificent works – you know, there’s no icky bits, nor ugly truths. Chiaroscuro. Allow me to repeat, Chiii-rrrra-scurr-o. You can’t argue with that.

And let us be quite frank with each other, once there is the sound argument of ‘but he’s famous internationally; he’s in all the national collections; it’s beautiful; important; investment’ – why, debate closed! Alas, herein lies our most despicable of lost opportunities. Debate never happened; not even a delicate vapour of conversation. What we got was:

Degenerate
Ignoramus
Paedophile
Wowser
You are
Am not

Not quite what one hopes for to invigorate important public discourse and insight. It does make one wonder the role of art in the first place, yes? But Sir, it would be grotesquely remiss of me to neglect to state indefatigably and publicly: therein lies in Mr Henson’s work a potent sexuality that one would need to have their eyes poked out with hot skewers to be unable to recognise. I would like to clarify, as I am merely a lay-person more interested in sneering at neighbours through my curtained windows , I do not believe they are in the slightest way pornographic. However, I find it incredulous that anyone could look at these images and not recognise their own selves at a time in the world where adults did not exist, where emotions ran deep and strong… and unfathomable.

Dearie-me, perhaps that is why the viewer can be so drawn in, but so uncomfortable. It is a world that we are perhaps not meant to observe, a burgeoning sexuality that needs to be protected from adults, from our gaze and interpretations. So much more difficult to do with photography – n’est pas? – we feel our presence, the subject’s, the photographer’s, it becomes so literal that we almost place ourselves in the role of intruder, destroyer, adult. What a lively conversation that would have made.

It is a rather interesting albeit shameful parody that we are at a point so vigilant to protect our children that we must whitewash, victimise, shame, objectify, and arrest them to do so. Alas, there is an ill wind my dear; a very ill wind indeed, and I suspect we won’t amble too much further along this path before we all turn to one another in a moment of horrific clarity and agree with Mr Yore. Everything is fucked.

Yours most sincerely, Miss April

* Penii – noun, plural. Anatomy, Zoology . the male organ of copulation and, in mammals, of urinary excretion. Miss April’s preferred pluralising of the singular form as the term penises can sometimes be a mouthful, although it can at times have a pleasing rhythm when strategically placed.

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Miss April Advises: Rhet Oracle – Heidegger Artistential Crisis.

Hello Miss April,

Ive been reading Heidegger again. Some say a waste of time. I say [ via Heidegger] Time is not a thing, thus nothing which is, and yet it remains constant in its passing away without being something temporal like the beings in time. So there.
But then I disovered this statement .

“The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking.”, which is vexing is its new relevance especially when you consider the people who chose to be in government. I think Gertrude Stein might have had a hand in this one except for their polar politics and temporal disconnect.

Do you think philosphy is a dead art, or do we need to recallibate for twitter, like a micro hiaku?
Is it better to concrete or esoteric?

Regards

Rhet Oracle

Dear Rhet Oracle

“Three dangers threaten thinking.
the good and thus wholesome
danger is the nighness of the singing poet.
The evil and thus keenest danger is
thinking itself. It must think against
itself, which it can only seldom do.
The bad and thus muddled danger
is philosophising.” –

The most profound promise I can make to you in this day is – Follow me – I follow back!

And it works. So we wander about in rather small patterns of circles. Looking busy and going nowhere.

When I was a young lass we used to spend our evenings in a candlelit parlour, knitting, writing, reading; a rather brash young suitor of mine used to read the most extraordinary verses from lands afar. My father greatly disapproved, but considering that figure of authority was a figment of my imagination I guess I shouldn’t have been too shackled by his remonstrations. Alas, strangely, I was. We philosophised, but it was called scripture and blasphemy. The combination of both made each more important and powerful. You know, the funny thing is, the devil can not exist unless our god does first.

As the Lord of Thespians the world over wrote “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” Are we looking at the end of time? Considering time is what we created for ourselves, perhaps we are. When we keep handing our power to the fools we create shorter and shorter futures for ourselves.

Yours faithfully, Miss April

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Miss April Advises: Charity Case – a moral conundrum.

Dear Miss April,

I had an unusual altercation on my post prandial stroll that has left me asserting some fresh beliefs and questioning the character of my neighbours. I saw a woman with a chair on her head walking causally and chatting to her
acquaintance taking in the cool of the night. I knowingly enquired as to the provenance of her multipurpose hat. She said she “found it outside the salvation army , no one needed it and decided to take it home”.

This got my hackles up. I announced that she was stealing from charity. Probably not the best opening line. Needless to say the conversation was cut short as she scurried off with her ill gotten goods, leaving her accomplice making knowing eyes that begged forgiveness. It was not mine to give. I’m not in the business of charity.

I see this collision this way. Someone left the chair having been fortunate enough to acquire a new one to replace it. It was left as a donation. The salvation army should have been given the opportunity to brush it down and sell it. That’s the giving to charity part, no? Assuming it wasn’t broken and was to become part of the $4million the salvos pay/ year to dispose of broken stuff left for them by kind and generous citizens. If she was nicking it, i guess it was the former.

I’m also assuming that the chair made from renewable materials, designed for disassembly, no child labour was used in its manufacture , royalties where paid to the designers and it’s original packing was disposed of responsibly. We can assume by the fact it was “donated” at the salvos that it was no classic work designed for longevity and stylistic durability and that the aspirational individual offloading it had considered all of this issues prior to selecting their replacement item. If not the donor also requires some stern finger waggling.

I’m off track. Was I correct in my assertion that the chair liberator was also a perpetrator of a complicated and misunderstood crime?

Yours

Charity Case

Dear Charity Case

Yes.

When one commences the slippery slope of consciously dissecting moral responsibility it rapidly becomes a most complex matrix of sin recognition. You were wise to put an end to that finger wagging of yours, because once begun it is quite difficult to cease.

In short, I do agree with everything you have written. You are a beacon to us all. You have reinvigorated my faith in the common good, and I feel so safe I might once again partake in my midnight stroll alongside the tinkling aria of Dights Falls.

Once a donation has been deposited at the doors of the Salvation Army charity shops, office, or in (and around) their bins, it has become the property of the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army distributes usable objects (such as this very worthy chair) to families in need. If not required by said family, they would place it in their charity shop to sell in order to obtain monies to help feed, house and clothe our less fortunate of brothers and sisters. These are desparate times for some, and whilst the taking of a cathedra from a sidewalk might seem a light misdemeanour, in essence the thief has wandered into another time and space, the temporary shelter of a homeless mother and her children and she has taken that moment of seating, that gesture of charity, that feeling of neighbourly kindness.

Last year it cost the Salvation Army 1.8 million dollars to cart off refuse kindly dumped donated by the benevolent Australian public. So, I too would be most vexed, most vexed indeed, to witness the taking of an item that could actually be of good use.

Thank you Charity Case, thank you for acting upon your conscience. Thank you for observing your moral obligation, and do not lament the corruption of our neighbourhood as you have proven it is still of solid character.

With the greatest of respect, Miss April

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Miss April Advises: Help Didit, Help Me!

Dear Miss April,

A childish prank has got slightly out of hand and left me in a bit of a pickle. Quite an embarrassing pickle as it happens. Due to a serious miscarriage of justice, I find myself residing permanently in the local lunatic asylum. Do not upset yourself over this. It is not such a bad life. The problem arose when I decided to bring some excitement and laughter into the very dull lives of my fellow inmates who do little more than rock back and forwards in their chairs all day long or scream at the invisible people in the asylum. I felt certain that having entered the asylum kitchen and laced the staff luncheon with a mixture of strychnine and strong laxatives, a good deal of amusement would be provided for the inmates. Strychnine as you may know causes severe convulsions and of course laxatives have a single purpose for which they are most effective. The two combined are guaranteed to cause a good deal of hilarity (except of course for the person who has ingested the mix). The problem arose when I decided to add something special to the event by setting fire to the mattress in my cell. The mattresses we use are quite old and tend to be stuffed with horse hair and goodness knows what else and create a thick black cloud of toxic fumes when burnt. I have accidentally pulled the door of my cell behind me and it has locked. I cannot attract the attention of the staff who are otherwise engaged after having enjoyed their luncheon. I cannot extinguish the mattress and a cloud of toxic fumes is spreading slowly toward me. Dear Miss April, what should I do? I would appreciate your wise advice at your earliest convenience. Yours hopefully, Alfred Didit.

Dear Mr Didit

Oh, alas, wellaway, Mr Didit, wellaway….

I am overcome with self-loathing as I must assume that sir, you have passed. It has been a good week gone now, and unlike those who have been born in a modern age, I do not visit the lights of my computer regularly. I am often sitting in the garden for days on end, waiting for a lover to run over the hilltop – poetry, flowers, sunshine, my life is an imagination taking place outdoors. It is my utter disgrace to have left you locked indoors amidst your fiery hellish doom.

Alas, you have passed. My dear sir, may you find peace.

However, for those who are reading and find some similarity in your circumstance let me help you thusly. For God’s sake, use the fire extinguisher. None about? Use the woolen blanket. Throw it over the flames to smother the oxygen, hence suffocating the red dancing demon. He is gloating you know.

Now let me address some more serious pathologies of lovely Mr Didit. Death is not entertainment except to the psychopaths. Psychopaths do not need advice, they do not accept advice, they do not deserve advice. Those of others who are in bedlam but are not psychopaths are not by default dull. Oh no, they are most likely very ill and just trying to survive.

From your enjoyment of the combination of poo and eccentricity you reveal yourself as an anglophile, or merely a British Royal. Bravo, sir. You have made it to the history books. If you did not run and jump, escaping through the closest window into the murky moat, or as suggested used that lovely woolen blanket as a saviour, then I bid you farewell Sir. Life has come, and life has passed, and perhaps we are all the safer for it.

Remember Didit, fire and sexual repression go hand in hand, so hands off,
yours, Miss April

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