Columns

Friday
Sep192014

You Know You're A Brunswick Mum If...

So my 12yo talks about Brunswick Mums and my 13yo talks about Lygon St Ladies.

We recently discovered they are the same thing.

Here is a guide to how they are identified according to my sons.

Do you wear,

a) Denim skirts with colored patches?

b) Gardening boots with socks pulled up high?

c) Stupid hair clip shit in your hair?

d) All of the above.

 

Do you accessorise with,

a) Cardigans?

b) Large colored beads?

c) Glasses? (They all wear glasses, Mum.)

d) All of the above.

(BONUS points if they are purchased from an op shop, hand made or the result of a clothes swap transaction.)

 

Is your job,

a) Working in a café?

b) A bullshit writing job writing shit no one cares about?

c) Drinking coffee and talk about feminism?

d) Something involving chunky shoes and/or emotions and/or writing grant applications?

 

Do you have a crocheted blanket over the back of your couch?

a)    Yes.

b)    No.

c)    Good idea.

 

Do you,

a) Have a partner you crack the shits with for not checking their privilege enough?

b) Love recycling hard rubbish collections and compost?

c) Go to an all women book group made up entirely of women with one syllable names?

d) Have one of the following names; Lou, Jo, Mon, Liz, Cath, Jane, Mish, Sooz, Rach, Bridge, Mars, Fi or Em?

 

When speaking to a child have you ever said

a)  ‘Are you making the right choices?’

b)  ‘Thats a  ‘sometimes food'’?

c)  ‘Would you like some more hummus?’

d)  ‘Is this your friend Jasper?’


Do you,

a) Have a small dog called Sophie?

b) Have children named Milo, Amelia, Sunday or Arlo?

c) Own a vibrator you keep hidden from your partner?

d) Consider yourself ‘monogamish’ and/or ‘heteroflexible’ and/or ‘bi-curious’ but that’s as far as it’s ever gone?

 

Are your turn ons,

a)  Step through bikes with baskets?

b)  Coffee?

c)  Gardening, farmers markets and chooks?

d)  Refugees?

e)  Writer's festivals, scarves and menstral cups?

 

Are you turn offs

a)  People who don't check their privilege?

b)  Big corporations?

c)  Other people's children?

d)  Screen time despite the fact you spend all your time on Facebook, Etsy, the Guardian and Pinterest?

e)  Excessive packaging?

 

Do you know the meanings of these words?

a)  Bunting

b)  Yarn bombing

c)  Quinoa

d)  Kombucha

 

Have you ever

a)  Played the ukelele?

b)  Purchased duck fat?

c)  Done extended breastfeeding?

d)  Holidayed in Vietnam?

e)  Tried Bikram yoga?

 

Do you own

a)        Cushions with triangles on them?

b)        Several pairs of wooden Swedish clog shoes?

c)        A car with a 3RRR sticker on it?

d)        A mortar and pestle?

 

Do you like

a)  Fermented anything?

b)  Free range anything?

c)  Sour dough anything?

d)  Saltwater sandals?

 

Is you hobby

a)  Craft?

b)  Hand dying colored tights?

c)  Making soy candles?

d)  Slow cooking?

 

How many of the following do you own?

a)    Clare Bowditch albums

b)    Cross-body bags.

c)    Wooden brooches

d)    Pairs of Camper shoes

 

How often do you go to Nova Cinema?

a) Once a month

b) Weekly

c) Every day

d) The book was better 

 

Sounds like you would love my Gunnas Writing Masterclass! Gift certificates available. 

Gunna write? Gunna write better, different, more or that project you're blocked on? 

Let me give you the magic pill and provide you with that creative enema you need. I'm the midwife to help you birth your creative baby. You need to come to my one day writing masterclass at La Luna Bistro. Great people, delicious food, magnificent day. Beginners and vegans welcome! 

 

Wednesday
Sep172014

I have never told my children I am proud of them

I tell you what weirds me out.

This.

Me “I just had a great chat with your daughter. She’s an interesting kid.”

The Mum “Thank-you.”

Me “Wh…at? Why are you thanking me? I am talking about your daughter not you.”

That’s when I back away and talk to an actual grown up. Someone who does not think they are the same person as their child.

When people say positive things about my kids you know what I say? ‘I’ll tell them.’ 

(Actually, that’s not what I always say. If someone is blowing smoke up my children’s arse in an attempt to flatter me I respond ‘My children are hideous’ or ‘actually, if you got to know him better you would find out he’s a bit of a cunt.’)

I have never once told my children I am proud of them.  

Am I the ONLY person who has a problem with people saying they are 'proud' of other people? Particularly their children. It infers a sense of ownership and propriety which exposes a feeding off other's achievement and the bestowing of approval suggesting an inflated idea of what their opinion is worth. Strangers tell me they are proud of me all the time. It's almost as if they expect me to be grateful for their approval.

STRANGERS PEOPLE!

TOTAL STRANGERS!

Despite not knowing anything about these people, their values, their morals, how they live their lives, their arrogance embedded offering is staggering. 

Happened last week at the pool. 'I am proud of you for what you did on Go Back To Where You Came From.'

Often the 'I'm proud of you' I get from strangers includes an unwanted and inappropriate familiarity, a hug a bit too long or a bit too hard, a knowing look and more emphasis on the 'I' than the 'you' in the 'I am proud of you' sentence. Gives. Me. The. Creeps.

The expected response is a humble and grateful ‘Thank-you.’ I respond ‘Why? I didn’t do it for you. I did it for myself.’

Occasionally strangers tell me they are proud of something I’ve done but chastise me for something else. Just in case I get too up myself. 

‘I was proud of you on Q&A but the swearing is unnecessary.’

‘Okay! Thank you so much for your unsolicited feedback. I’ll take that on and will do my best to meet your approval next time. Please accept my humble apologies for not meeting your expectations total stranger who’s value system and motivation I know nothing about.’

FUCK OFF YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD! 

This 'proud of you' thing has always given me the ick. 'You are living your life in a way I approve and I will award you by bestowing my blessing'. What is inferred is and ‘if you don't live your life in a way I approve I won't. And you will be sad. Because my approval and blessing is worth a great deal.’ The clutchy assertion of ownership is revolting too.

I never tell my kids I’m proud of them. If they achieve something I say I am thrilled their hard work has paid off. You can only be proud of yourself. 

Embedded in the sentence ‘I am proud’ of you is a vanity and desire for behavioral control that is unhealthy. It’s social pressure to conform to ideas of what people should do and be delivered via carrot as opposed to stick.

Why do so many people confuse approval with love?

So often movies and narratives hinge on the 'all I ever wanted was for my parents to tell me they were proud of me'. FUCKING WHY? Who cares? Live your life how you choose. If people live their lives hungering for approval from withholding parents they are not living their lives. They are living a life in a way they hope will get The Magical Tick Of Approval.

Based on what? What are these people’s credentials other than being the approval wanters parents.

People will often moan to me that they wished their parents approved of them or their choices. More often than not their parents are failures with rotten lives.  I say ‘Why do you give a shit? Their life and choices are terrible. They have lived a horrible life and made bad choices. How is their opinion worth anything?’

The other side of the ‘I’m proud of you’ coin is this; when people say you’ve changed it means you are no longer living life their way.

The ‘proud’ thing is simply control. Praise trolling. Encouraging approval junkies and people living lives that others want them too. Never once asking themselves 'What do I want to do? What makes me happy?'

 

Tuesday
Jul292014

Pearls of wisdom

just got a phone call from my friend Cass. She’s a jewellery designer. (Yes all my friends have jobs like this.)

“Dev, I’ve found a pearl to match. It’s $150 which is really cheap. The other ones were all close to $400.”

“Just match the pearl so the earrings are the same. Money is no object.”

“Money is no object.”  Yes, I actually said that. Don’t judge me!

All right DO judge me.

Kinda odd don’t you think? A freelancer artist single mum paying $150 for a pearl to be made into an earring to replace the one I lost? And that’s not even mounted and made! We’re talking $250 all up. That’s four tanks of petrol, five take away dinners for my family. A great donation to a worthy cause. But here I am spending in one earring! I’m ashamed. Don’t look at me, I’m hideous.

Tuesday
Jul292014

The Stupidest Study Ever 

Attention smart sheilas and dumb blokes!

There’s good news and there’s bad news. 

Good news is there’s a new study on relationships. Because god knows the world would burst into flames if a day went past and we didn’t have another bunch of nerds in white coats carrying clipboards telling us what their fancy so called science has to say about our choice of shag. Which can usually be summarized as ‘Your entire life has been a huge mistake, you have no one to blame but yourself, it’s too late to start over so you may as well just kill yourself.’

The bad news is that Natalie Portman is wrong.

I know. Catch your breath, make yourself a hot drink and wrap yourself in a blanket. It will pass. Eventually. 
Thursday
Mar202014

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014, Dev’s Must See MICF 2014 Top Picks.

I fucking LOVE Melbourne International Comedy Festival so much that for 20 years, despite being a comedian I didn’t perform in it. Instead I’d spend my nights seeing stuff. The record was 37 shows one festival. Which included a 2am secret Daniel Kitson/David O’Doherty show in Old Council Chambers Trades Hall (the room my show The Trollhunter is in this year). 

Running on café lattes, no sleep and Smith Crisps my girlfriend Caitlin and I would dare each other ‘just one more…’ and then be hospitalized for exhaustion for the three weeks after festival.

Plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead.

Even when I’m doing a show (like this year) I attempt to see as many shows as I perform. 

My rule of thumb. Put together a few nights of three shows a night. Someone you know, someone you’ve heard of and a total random you know bugger all about. Don’t research! Go in cold knowing nothing. 

I also put together a few ‘Wedding Nights’.

Something old (an established comic),

Something new (some fresh meat),

Something borrowed (international),

Something blue (transgressive, sweary, NSFW).

A week before festival people ALWAYS ask me what to see. So here’s my annual Dev’s Must See MICF 2014 Top Picks. 

Miss Itchy

Cult, out there, bizarre, the two dumpy creepy ladies, Miss Gerda and Miss Candy Girl are back after a ten-year hiatus. This award winning cry for help will scratch your itches, blow the cobwebs out of you heads and scare the fuck out of you. Top night out. Take your nan.

The Boy with Tape On His Face     

Want something to take the whole family to?  This is it. Just go. You’re welcome. 

Rhys Nicholson

Really hitting his mark and finding his voice after a few years poncing on stage, go see Dirty Uncle Rhys. A cross between Pee Wee Herman and your wrongest most perverted best friend he’ll give you a glimpse of life from the perspective of a gay pervert in your 20s. Happy ending guaranteed. 

Stella Young

For years and years we’ve all been nagging comedian, cripple and all round good time girl Stella Young to do a show. But she’s been too busy being brilliant, being a crip and swinging from chandeliers to find the time. Finally she’s decided to shut us all up and has crafted an hour of laughs, stories and smackdowns. Quite a buzz about this one. 

Joel Creasey

His third or fourth one man show this delightful homosexual from Perth who was run out of town in Colac for being gay will ring your bells, float your boat and talk about Meryl Streep. A lot. You have been warned. And he'll sing. And if you don't laugh and clap, he'll cry and throw shit. 

Nelly Thomas

The only regret of this year’s festival is that Nelly and I’s shows clash so I’ll miss it. Smart, funny and what a babe she will push you out of your comfort zone and wrap you up in a warm blanket of shit hot comedy. Get ready to piss yourself. And think.

Upfront

All girls. All live. Every year for the last MICF puts together an all star line up for one night only at Melbourne Town Hall. I was in the very first and I’m thrilled to be in the line up again this year along with, Nelly Thomas, Celia Pacquola, Kate McLennan, Jennifer Wong, Felicity Ward, Em Rusciano, Mel Buttle, Hannah Gadsby, Cal Wilson, Rebecca De Unamuno, Anne Edmonds, Sarah Kendall, Miss Itchy plus more!

Wil Anderson

The man is a master. This has to be close to his 20th MICF show. Watch an accomplished comedian take an audience, weave a spell and take an audience of bogans to bourgeois on a wild ride of perfect one liners, hilarious anecdotes and cultural commentary. If you’ve never seen him, do. If you have, see him again.

Anne Edmonds

Anne is one of Australia’s most exciting new stand up, character and banjo playing comedians. She’s been at it for a few years and has made a huge jump with numerous telly gigs and Anne’s a YouTube sensation with her ABC produced video ‘Raylene The Racist’ attracting over 60,000 hits. Go see. 

The Listies

Looking for a family show that’s not childish, patronizing and will have you all fully coughing your lungs up, this is it. I hate kids entertainment. But I LOVE The Listies. 

Felicity Ward

Not many comedians are as committed and accomplished as Felicity. Award winning, hard working and skilled she ticks all the boxes.  Her shows are always surprising and thoroughly rehearsed, tested and thought out. This year’s  is going to be a pearler. 

Dave O’Neil

20 years he and I have been in the business and he gets better and better and better. Such a safe pair of hands. Solid, well written and warm. Dave ponders whether things really were better back in his day. A time when it was less Twitter more Twister, less X-factor more X-Men and absolutely no Kyle, Seal or Redfoo.

Adrienne Truscott

Adrienne Truscott, one-half of the infamous Wau Wau Sisters, dressed only from the waist up and ankles down, undoes and does in the rules and rhetoric about rape, comedy and the awkward laughs in between. This is one for the people who like their lungs bursting and their buttons pushed. Adrienne performs every rape joke she has ever heard wearing no pants. Heard good things. A bit afraid. Strap yourself in.

Dave Callan

Dave Callan's show A Little Less Conversation is one of the best comedy shows, or shows full stop I have ever seen. I saw it last year and had show envy. Do. Please. It's a masterpiece.

Fiona O'Loughlin

She is the naughtiest aunt in the world. The personification of the greatest Australian comedy has to offer, irreverent, unapologetic and the hero of her own novel. This mother of five originally from Alice Springs goes there. And takes you with her. Her show about her battle with alcohol was one of the greatest theatrical experiences I’ve ever had. I have seen every show she has done and they just get better and better.

Hannah Gadsby’s NGV tours

Hannah is an obscenely talented, terrifyingly sharp comedian. With a degree in fine art. 

You heard me.

Sold out for five years in a row, Hannah’s informatively hilarious NGV shows have developed a cult following. This time round she is remounting three of her classic NGV Art Lectures.

These tours sell out. Take a mate, have a ball and get some culture into you.  Born in Tasmania Hannah’s tours are the quintessential MICF experience. 

This year's wild card? Go see Jordana Borensztain. You'll thank me. 

My show is Catherine Deveny-The Trollhunter, a collaboration with star Guardian columnist, Ikea enthusiast and award winning theatre maker n Badham. It is by far the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s a smack down, stand-up fairytale about online trolls, misogyny, anonymous internet haters and Attorney General George ‘Brandy’ Brandis’ and other Liberal party.  It’s OMG, LOL and NSFW and uses actual material sent to us by actual real live trolls. I wear a costume specifically designed for the show by costume genius Bryn Meredith (who worked on the King Kong puppet).

This is my fourth one woman show and after 22 years of doing stand up I reckon I’ve finally gotten the hang of it. The best thing I have ever done. Book now. Will sell out.