Miss April Advises: Con Stipation & the Case of the Missing PM

Dear Miss April,

I was wondering if you could put your super sleuth skills or powers of divination to use. The Prime Minister seems to be missing.
Not that I want to find him, unless it was under Joe Hockey in a shallow/ not so shallow grave. [just kidding CIA guys].

What concerns me is that at a time like this that he couldnt crawl out from under his rock [aka Joe hockey] to say something , even something consoling or affirming , about the terrible plight of the people of the Phillipines after the “off the scale” typhoon.

I mean its in Asia [right?] and we rely on them terribly. So does the government.

The government relies on China buying Gina’s minerals. They really want Indonesia to hide the thing that shames Australians so. I dont mean refugees, no, I mean generousity or even that icky area, compassion. The country is awash with live livestock that need to be shipped off. Dont forget cheap holidays either.

After the beach bogans all spent a quid for the other less radio-active tsnumami, surely the head bogan could speak up on behalf of the holiday-ready masses and offer assistance to another nation girthed by surf beaches. The base and gritty commonality surely should get Tones into a speedo to announce that some peoples Xmas plans will be interupted by this awful natural disaster. By natural we obviously mean made by god [not science or global warming or brown coal or dredging the barrier reef to exploit toxic fracking income]. Lets get the public announcement back in public service.

Please, do you know where he is? I’m dying to hear what hes got to say.

Regards

Con Stipation.

tonyandgina

Tony and Gina – do they eat enough fibre?

Dear Con Stipation

I do beg your pardon, I’m rather harried you see. Since I received your correspondence I have been actively seeking our Prime Minister in every logical location with no success. I have returned to my secretaire to respond to you and confess my failings. Here I sit, my ankle boots soiled beyond repair, my petticoats disgracefully muddied, my hair has fallen and caught twigs in its slovenly web. I am a disorderly disgrace.

I started merrily enough, scoffing at your histrionics. I reached for the closest broadsheet smug in my knowledge that my fearless leader will be outspoken in his empathy and active aid, putting you naysayer to shame. He is a Christian after all. After much ruffling I felt a slight unease – where was his stoic face??

I wasted no time. I knew exactly what would drag him away from his glorious duties. I flew in a modern air bus to Warsaw. Rest assured Mr Stipation, my Tony knows the importance of representing our country on the world stage; especially when our neighbours need us so much. At one point I thought I saw him from behind – ‘my lord, my lord!’ I cried. I reached for him, his tightly wound up, fraught body only inches away. Quelle horreur! It was not the hero that has won the hearts of Australians. I found myself holding hands with an extraordinarily well recompensed chap sent here to do the good work of the new minority – vilified multinational fossil fuel corporations. God speed heroes. God speed.

Panic had started to set in by this stage. Good God, the thought of letting one of my readers down was too much for my poor shoulders to bear. I even went along to the Treasury Gardens the other morn, expecting my master of men to be there teaching those Greenies a thing or two, and explaining calmly the sound science of his advisor Andrew Bolt, so we can all stop worrying and start spending!  Alas, Con, I was perplexed. Look, I don’t approve of hippies. What with their sensual drumming and middle-class fire-twirling. So I was shocked to find that all of these lefty-hippy types who are so rightly condemned within impartial Murdoch media networks looked altogether rather average. By golly, I think I saw Myrtle from church! There were twinsets (?!) ; quite a number of grey-haired retirees, and a large smattering of smartly dressed families. Their messages  all seemed so sensible and necessary.  This was becoming a true mystery.

I am not one to surrender Con Stipation. I march on! I decided to write to my good friend and neighbour President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to enlist his assistance to track down Tony. Well, I never. When I finally received his return correspondence the profanity was so shocking I had to immediately reach for the Tip Ex to whitewash the offending words. What on earth has happened there! Our fine leader, the good, hard-working Tony, the man who can make a smile look like a murder attempt, is unpopular? It’s been less than 3 sodding months!

It is only just now, Con, that I have finally solved the mystery for you. He is cheating on us – with Gina. My favourite Maitre D’ discretely informed me of his current whereabouts. An exclusive rendezvous. Just friends. No ramifications, no consequences. Just lusty lipped kisses, bulging wallets and handshakes. Oh Con, I think I really got the wrong end of the stick with this lot. He’s missing you say? I only pray they all disappear, all that glitters is not gold Con Stipation, and knowing what’s on this menu we might need a bit more roughage before we can expel this lot out.

My dear Tony is absent, he leads me not.

Yours,
Miss April

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Miss April Advises: Winny Sayer – Racing day shoe dilemma.

Dear Miss April,

Before i head out the gate for Melbourne Cup , I have a small problem regarding foot wear, on which I’d like to consult you.
A flat is obviously sensible on the turf but does nothing for the accentuation of ones calves. I have lovely fetlocks and am keen to show them off . A lovely heel would of course limit ones access to terrain and if the track is wet one may end up a bit further into it turf than expected. Nothing fascinating about that!

All that said , I’m considering a brown shoe. Are brown shoes confusing?

Not long now ’til the train departs to Flemmington [ or Barfington as its sometimes known afterwards] so your timely advice would be appreciated.

Fond Regards

Winny Sayer.

Horseshoe

Winny – yay.

horseheels

Winny – neigh.

Dear Winny Sayer

It was a most typically Melbourne Spring day. The winds were confident, the rain was temporarily resting and the sun had jumped us rather bullishly. My listless stroll was excited by an unusual scene. A young lady and her handsomely attired escort were walking ahead. Her fine lace dress, certainly cut too high and the colour rather too on the electric side of blue to be respectable, was nonetheless an appealing attempt. Things were awry though. Her dress shoes were in her hand. Her feet? Naked. Her elegant hat did not exist except within the realm of my expectations – a plucked feather was her only head attire. Her carefully painted face had been smudged by running tears, her beauty villified by a grimace of despair encouraged by an excess of imbibing. Her hapless chap, loyal but confused. Was this a dream? No Winny, ’tis racing season.

Darling Winny, not only are brown shoes confusing, to even consider donning them on your fetlocks is a travesty and a disgrace. You may gaily wear umber, burnt sienna, cacao, puce and possibly even ecru to be audaciously challenging. But not brown, never brown.

In response to your dilemma between flats and heels, can you please clarify – will you be observing the race, or will you be in it? Winny, are you a horse?

I’m sure your fetlocks are amazing, and heels do accentuate them (not to mention tightening up those haunches you cheeky equid!). But if you are actually IN the race…you know, galloping down the track, than heels are a resounding no-no. Imagine if you’re stiletto got stuck in the mud! Quelle horreur!

Vanity is one thing, pride another. Flats for you on racing day my dear!

Give my best to Rainbow Dash, yours in equine bliss,
Miss April

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Miss April Advises: Cy Lently sealed lips.

Dear Miss April,

I havent seen your informative epistles in some time. In fact there been nothing since the election.
Has there been a gag order put on you too?
Have you been outspoken on climate change, refugees, anti corruption or cosmetic ear surgery in some other forum?
It is the fashion to crack down on common sense, but , I hope you can repsond if even in code or in the the inscrutible emotion transmitting medium of poetry.

Our lips are sealed.

Cy Lently

Dear Cy Lently

I receive your words of concern with bashful pleasure. My musings have been solitary and internal, and while I fancy myself to be achieving most distinguished logical conclusions I now realise I have been neglecting my Christian duties to my faithful readers.

Nary a day passes that one may not find me layed upon my Chinoiserie chaise longue. My furrowed brow betrays my inner turmoil. Alas, there is before us the perfect storm. From every direction falderal and intimidation pursue us. We, the humanists, the logicians, the empaths, scientists, artists, advice columnists, the wise, the dumb and the living; are at the mercy of the walking dead. Common sense you say? What need have we of common sense Sir Lently when we have diamonds? Well, perhaps not all of us, I mean some of us have to toil the earth. We all have our roles you know. And certainly those imperious diamond keepers won’t live forever, and most assuredly neither will we, but isn’t it worth it? Just for one man, for one day, to say “notice me and marvel at my importance, I have a massive diamond”, while the rest of our kingdoms collapses into the void. Alas or no, he too shall inevitably slide after us into the maelstrom.

Ugh. How utterly dreary. I owe you a wealth of gratitude Cy Lently. You have awakened me from my somnambulism. Silence, although powerful, essential and undoubtedly elegant, can at times be the Sword of Damocles to the thinkers among us. Time to find our voices methinks. Would you care to join me?

Clawing my way back up the slide, yours,
Miss April

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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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