Archives: August 2010

27 Aug 2010, Comments (8)

Friday Earworm: WAGONS!

Author: Helen

Orright, so I’ve gone from Earworm of the Week back to Friday Earworm. My blog, my rules.

You have to admit, the psychedelic-mushroom munching-hillbilly-slightly creepy and scary but hilarious vid for this song goes really well with the events of the week just gone.

And I love this quote from an old interview:

“When my relatives ask, ‘What have you been doing with yourself?’, and I tell them I’ve been playing in a country band, a grimace comes over their faces,” he says, “and they pretend to be supportive.”

I’ll be playing with Tess McKenna on Saturday, September 4 from 5 to 7 at the Union Hotel

Poster Tess Mckenna at the Union 4 September 2010

Tess Mckenna at the Union Hotel Brunswick Sat 4 September 2010, starts 5 pm

The Union is a lovely pub with a great atmosphere. The last time I was there was in the Great Hailstorm of ’10 (as we’ll all call it when we’re clacking our false teeth in the old folks’ home) and I can tell you it’s a nice place to be when the weather is cold and blustery outside. Or not.

If Abbott wins I’ll be the one sobbing into my beer.

Description: The Stainmaster carpet ad from the 1980s. A large living room with large expanse of beautiful, spotless cream-coloured carpet. Pro Hart, a popular Australian artist, uses wine, cream, canned spaghetti, a whole Black Forest cake and other food items to create a giant picture of an insect on the carpet. When he’s finished, he just leaves it. His elderly Italian cleaning lady comes in, exclaims “Oh, Mister Hart, What a mess!” and cleans it all up for him.

As I remember, this ad was on high rotation in the late 80s and early 90s. It was a lot of fun. The idea of action painting with food on your living room carpet was gloriously free and transgressive, especially getting right in there and doing it with your whole body (although Hart is mysteriously clean when the ad comes to an end.)

Here’s The Chaser’s version.

Fast forward to 2010, and Harry Hart – Pro Hart’s grandson – takes the leading role in a recreation of the original (Embed replaced by a link because it was throwing the whole template out)

So in 1988, a man has a great time action painting with food and wine on a pristine carpet, and his dear old cleaning lady cleans it up for him. In 2010, his adorable grandson Harry has a great time recreating the ad, and his (pregnant) mum cleans it up for him. In fact, rather than throwing up her hands in mock horror like the dear old cleaning lady, she beams with unmitigated delight at the spectacle of what she is about to clean. As with the previous ad, there’s a final spoken line: “Too much like his grandfather…”

I see no reason to celebrate the recreation of one depiction of a subservient woman on her knees cleaning up after a superbly creative and kooky and loveable (aren’t they all!) alpha male. I’m not the target market (more of a polished floor with rugs here and there person) but if I was in the market for wall-to-wall carpet, I’d be looking for alternatives.

It would have been too easy to update this ad to show some intergenerational progress and to recognise the humanity of women by just tweaking the ending a bit, leaving the fun part of the ad intact.

Mother enters
Mother smiles with a slightly dangerous glint in eye
Cut to mother watching lovingly as adorable child cleans the goo off the carpet. (Bonus message for client: So easy even a child could do it!)

Since we’ve entered the realm of possibility so far as to create a giant insect with food on the living room carpet, we can help break down the cleaning product ad cliche of women as servants.

But what would the voiceover at the end say in the new version? “Some things have changed since his grandfather’s time”? Other suggestions? Have at it!

13 Aug 2010, Comments (0)

Down under Feminist Carnival #27

Author: Helen

Oh noes! It’s the 27th DUFC as of last week and I completely forgot to post a link to it!

This month, the Downunder Carnival of Feminism is brought to you by Deborah of In a Strange Land.

Downunder Feminist Carnival

DUFC was started by Lauredhel Hoyden and is now run by Chally of Zero at the Bone.

If you haven’t read all her linked blogs already due to my tardiness, it’s a welcome escape from the bloody election and this chilling possibility.

8 Aug 2010, Comments (7)


Author: Helen

That’s a reference to Feminist Hulk, of course. And I was channelling Feminist Hulk on Friday reading he AGE on the train to work. It’s a worry when you’re in a crowded carriage and your tiny purple shorts start to split…

Picture of Kevin Rudd pulling his shirt apart to reveal a superhero costume with "Rudd to Gillard: I'll Save You"

No, no Disney damsel in distress narrative here at all.

I’d heard an excerpt from the Phillip Adams interview the night before so I was well aware that Kevin Rudd was going to stop sitting around in a sulk with the ALP logo erased from his placards and join the campaign properly, once he was physically up to it. As in, join the campaign. Like one of the merry band on the road to Mordor. But our news media chose to describe Rudd’s return through the lens of … Male White Hero returns to Rescue Damsel in Distress.

With a side serve of We Knew a Sheila wouldn’t be Up to the Job. Move outa the way, Gillard, and let the men do this properly.


Still from the spoof video Kevin Rudd "I will survive", juxtaposed with an ad for an article from the Business section

Tools getting you down? I know the feeling.

I didn’t put those images together – that was on the same page as the article headed “Ex-PM Rudd to PM Gillard: I will save you” by Michelle Grattan and Michael Gordon. Was a disgruntled subeditor making a veiled comment there? If they still have any, that is. And was there any evidence that Rudd actually said anything about “saving” anyone? There isn’t any in the article. But the actual journalists were all on song about the White Knight Rescue narrative.

This from Michelle Grattan, who I once respected so much:

“Knifed one day, needed the next…
…Move over Julia. Kevin’s here to help.
…Rudd looked positively prime ministerial when he spoke yesterday.

And the next day:

It’s the ultimate girl-meets boy encounter…His place or hers?


…the woman who grabbed his job from him.
(John Faulkner was) a prime matchmaker for this bizarre marriage of convenience …

There’s more, but I’d really like to keep this nice Sunday dinner down.

So, Gillard can’t win. If Labor wins the election it’ll be “she couldn’t do it without Kevin10!1!”. If she loses, well, a chick just wasn’t up to it.

Headzup to the Oz media. You’ve already been called repeatedly on your crap (non) reporting. And I’m not Robinson Crusoe with my disillusionment and anger.

Shape up, please, before we end up with this.