One Of My Better Ones

I have ideas, you see. Well, it’s only to be expected – I’m retired and my mind is not required to worry about other people’s money or health – so I’m free to fret about my own.

But I don’t.

I have long realised that mostly it all proceeds on an even keel if you do not go to excess in anything. I’ve even cut down on my moderation. It’s meant a loss in income for the gin joints and the gals of easy reputation, but on the other hand I can spend the money on toy cars and model airplanes. The lady at the hobby shop is starting to wink at me as she operates the till…

Now back to the idea. I have a collection of model airplanes on model airfields. I know a number of flashy females who dance, pose, and generally glam it up all round the shop. So I have decided to combine the two by making the ladies into WWII ” nose art ” on the airplanes. There’ll be an exhibition in June at the belly dancing convention and then I’ll post the pictures on the toy and model photography pages.

Already I have 8 images completed and I haven’t even started shooting the fresh material – good glamour is ageless and older pictures are just as good as new ones when you make them into posters.

Of course, there are sacrifices. I am now compelled to go to the hobby shop and buy more model kits so as to have enough noses for all the girls. I shall have to spend my waking hours chained to the model bench or the studio shooting for the exhibition. I will only take time out to eat, drink, sleep, and read racy novels.

After all, I have a duty to culture, eh?

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The Mobile Billboard

I was passed one day, on the inside, in rainy weather and heavy traffic, on a notoriously busy road by a person who used the old ploy of zooming up the road shoulder and then lurching into the lane. You’ve all had that at some stage of the game and cursed the fool who did it.

In this case the fool had an advertising screen attached to the back of her hatchback car – the type that are see-through but can carry signs and telephone numbers on the outside. I observed that it was one of the belly dancers that I take pictures of at dance shows.

I’m afraid this is probably another case of  the first-day-of-wet-weather syndrome in Perth. Edmonton and Calgary used to have a first-snow-day show of about the same sort. It paid to leave the car at home and take the bus that day.

Perhaps I can persuade this lady to take up driving in Alberta instead of here.

Pinup For Pinups

Pinup photography has certainly taken off in the last decade here in Perth – I suppose to some extent it has paralleled the growth of the burlesque scene. Perhaps it draws from this as much as it compliments it.

There are a number of fixed studios that cater to the pinup lens as well as a bevy of talented out workers. When they get together with the burlesque artists to run workshops and photo shoots there is a chance for ladies to try a form of visual fantasy that can be utterly charming.

I noted one such a collaboration between a photographer that I worked with in the Camera Electronic shop – Jennifer Villalobos – and one of the award-winning burlesque artists – Miss Lady Lace. Jen handed me one of their flyers for upcoming workshops in 2018 that will set the students in kitchens, tropical settings, at high tea, and in a giant martini glass.. Not all on the same day, I hasten to add…

I wish them all the success in the world – I’ve seen the results from Jen and Miss Lace and they are everything that modern pinup should be. Apparently the prices for the workshops are also pretty darn reasonable.

This sort of thing is very encouraging for the art – far more so than the ” contests ” that circulated a few years ago from the eastern states. They seemed to be ventures designed to harvest money from hopefuls, and I talked to a number of ladies who became quite disillusioned with them. The simple local pinup workshop is a far happier and more straightforward thing. If it whets the appetite of the artist, they can go on to bigger and better things.

My pinups in the Little Studio are also fun – no big martini glasses, but I can do a pretty good line in hot rods…

Old Uncle

The Asian cultures have Old Uncles. And Old Aunties, too. These titles have nothing whatever to do with being relatives, but everything to do with being a real someone.

My daughter introduced me to the idea – she says all the Asian food van ladies at her university are Aunties. And I have met Uncles working in Asian businesses. You see, it is an honorific given to the senior workers…because they are workers.

Old Uncle or old Auntie may not be doing quite as much as the rest of the people but they are doing something, and generally doing it well. They are engaged in daily work to benefit their families, their employers, and themselves.

All too often we in Australia see this and scoff at what is happening – saying that the old people are slaves in a culture that has no social security. What nonsense – the Old Uncles and Old Aunties have the greatest security there is – a position in the team. They have not been relegated to the sidelines of the culture – they are players along with the rest.

I have come to admire this…and I hope to be able to continue being Uncle Dick in my daily commercial weblog column. And Uncle Dick at the dance shows, taking photographs that benefit the artistic community. If I am Uncle Dick taking pictures at a wedding or in the studio – or Uncle Dick doing anything useful – I will have retained the dignity we all need.

Note: In my case it is a parlous sort of dignity as I am given to breaking into the occasional fit of folly. Mind you, I am perfectly content with being Foolish Uncle Dick as long as there are drinks and snacks available.

Normal People

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I posted a picture taken last night at a dance show on Facebook – later taking it as my new profile picture – and raised the question of normal people…none of whom I really count amongst my circle of acquaintance. One of my friends then asked me to define normal people and I’ve had to give it some thought. The best I can do is list what normal people do:

 

  1. Normal people cut the grass and trim the edges and weed the garden bed every week to make sure that they present a respectable appearance in the street.
  2. Normal people drive normal cars so that they present a respectable appearance on the street.
  3. Normal people wash the car every weekend so that they present a respectable appearance in the street.
  4. Normal people dress in the currently fashionable clothing so that they present a respectable appearance in the street.
  5. Normal people engage in mainline activities so that they present a respectable appearance in the street.

You might think that the common thread here is respectability, but I submit that the common thread here is the street.  Normal people are playing to an audience – the street  – and are engaged in a theatre of deception as much as any strolling player. They do not seek applause – merely respectability. The strangest thing is that if you went to them and expressed respect specifically they would startle and run. They’d know the jig was up…

In contrast, I form my acquaintance amongst people who:

  1. dscf3623Leave the lawn and garden to deal with itself. They have far too many other occupations to spend time trying to make the front of the house look like a picture on a seed packet.
  2. hot-summ-15-18Drive cars that make them horny. They also make other people horny. Air-horny, in some cases…
  3. dscf9545_edited-2Wash the car when it needs it. Some cars need less washing than others. They are not above doing little touch-upo jobs on the paint either…
  4. _dsc0852-2Dress in the current fashion, but adjust the dial on the current so that it runs either slower or faster than it does for other people.
  5. _dsc0734Indulge themselves with art, thought, action, and achievement far away from the mainstream of sport and greed.

I have been immensely enriched by all the people I surround myself with. Sometimes I forget this but pertinent questions like those asked by Ken Barker and Marvin Brown can re-focus my thoughts. I am grateful for that. And, no, they are not normal people either, I am happy to say…

 

Bosoms, Hurrah!

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Boobs.

Titties

Puppies.

Secondary sexual characteristics of mammals.

Hugh Hefner’s Retirement Funds.

Honkers.

Hooters.

Zoobs.

Bristols.

Embonpoints.

Endowments.

No matter how badly you mangle the language, the human breast has always attracted attention. And the interesting point is that it has nearly always been favourable; with the exception of the Amazons, no-one in classic literature has had a bad word for the female chest. I am fond of them myself, and most of my friends share this sentiment.

FSG Pink Hafla 201631

Every year I am privileged to photograph a dance show dedicated to the preservation of boobies and the women who wear them. It has been organised in celebration of sensible medical surveillance, timely diagnosis, and successful treatment. I am delighted to do it, and wish to echo the advice given by the main organiser:

Ladies, check your boobies.

She goes on further to urge vigilance, close links to the health professionals, and positive outlook. I just like the bright colours as they dance.

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Enjoy.

Cultural Inappropriation

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Or ” How to be politically correct so that everyone sees you doing it…”

The question of cultural appropriation is a hot topic right now amongst people who have not got any other topics in the oven. In some cases the intellectual Aga is turned up to gas mark 9 and smoke is billowing out of the doors. The odd thing is that the people cooking up the controversy are not turning off the fuel supply, smothering the flames, or opening up the social window to let the smell out. In fact I think they are loving it…

I have probably not encountered enough of these arguments to say that I have seen all the parties involved – I avoid a lot of television and motion pictures because of a religious belief that watching them will make me feel sad. But I do see ideas as they pass in review on the internet and I suspect that the complainants in this case are people who want to complain. And that if they were not complaining about someone wearing an Indian…oops, sorry, Red Indian…oops, sorry…North American Indian…oops, sorry…North American aboriginal…oops, sorry…First nation…

O0ps be damned. I can’t keep up with the Newspeak. A feather war-bonnet. A Hissaboo hat.

Well, if anyone other than Sitting Bull is seen to wear one, there is an almighty kerfuffle that cultural appropriation is taking place. I was going to say that the complainers will complain like the haters will hate, and the basis upon which they grizzle is highly skewed. None of them make a fuss when the cultures that are being appropriated appropriate culture from the cultures that are supposedly appropriating. Or in other words there is no culturally sensitive tit for emotionally supportive tat.

Mind you, there seems to be a great deal of tat for tat. The magnificent, noble, and put upon natives – whether they are Sioux or Suomi – are going off to Big W and Walmart and buying the worst of the ugly no-fashion garments invented by cosmopolitan culture and wearing that. And should be as roundly condemned for their lack of taste as the urban customers.  If they would like us to step out of the buckskins and beads we can, but they should also be encouraged to doff the hoodies and Ed Roth tee shirts.

There may also be an underlying feeling amongst people in some ethnic groups that they are ever so much better culturally than other ethnic groups and no melding can take place. They then squawk if they are not allowed to meld elsewhere as they see fit. They cite democracy in one direction but practise hypocrisy in another.

I personally believe we should wear what we like, like what we wear, and look upon others with tolerance. With the exception of 92% of cheap tee shirts sold at hot rod shows, Nazi regalia, and things that tourists wear, nearly everything else is fine. If a garment fits badly it is a greater punishment to those inside it than those outside it, and the distress can be terminated at the end of the day with a pair of scissors or a lawn mower. No clothing or colour or fabric is exclusive or inimical to any one group of people. If the cap fits…and it is cold and you are getting bald…wear it.

I know a number of other people who look even better than I do who think the same. They dress well and they draw their idea of style from many places and many peoples. And they do great honour to those places and peoples.

Heading image: Jane The Model in a dress from Rajasthan. The parasols are from there as well. She owns twenty of them and is looking for buyers. If you ever had an ambition to be Mary Poppins, contact me and I’ll email you her number.