Blogs are like Tequila. They should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Slut Up And Dumb Down.

I am SO excited about something I heard on the radio. Not the same kind of excited I get when Cadbury brings out a new Marvellous Creation, but mentally stimulated. I heard a news report about a new trend that has emerged among young women called ‘Vocal Fry’ or ‘Creaking’. Girls are actually damaging their larynxes by making that creaky noise with their voice when talking, so that their voice kind of trails off into thin dumb air. Theories abound as to why – perhaps women are trying to speak lower than their natural vocal range in an effort to sound more masculine and dominant, or perhaps it’s part of an obsession young people have with appearing laidback (just think of hipster fashions, bed-hair, etc). Or perhaps, it’s because there is something in the media/water/air that convinces some young girls, just as I’m sure it has for many generations before, that they need to do two things to be liked.

Slut up and dumb down.

As I said, I’m really excited about the Vocal Fry phenomenon, because I find it intensely interesting. I don’t know why young girls – not to mention some older women and celebrities like Katy Perry and Kim KarTrashian – think that weird creaky noise is attractive. It reminds me of being a kid and trying to annoy your sibling by seeing how long and slow you could draw out a creaky note. And of one time when I sat across from a drunk guy on a train and he held it for about twenty-five minutes, and then passed out. It’s not an attractive noise. But a bit of creaking does go nicely hand-in-hand with intelligent phrases such as ‘like, I was totally, like, oh my Gawwwwd’. And I hear these phrases come out of the mouths of some women who are probably a lot smarter than they let on – like the girls on Big Brother or The Bachelor. I get SO fascinated when I do watch reality television (though I am a TV junkie, I generally avoid reality TV because it's not so good for us actor people trying to have a career) by the women who dumb themselves down by changing their voice, vocabulary and IQ. They’ll say something to a camera, or to a boy, or to a flock of girls, like “Oh my gawwwd, I’m like, totally, whateverrrr”, and then a subtitle will say ‘Tara, 29. Speech Pathologist.’ Tara, Tara, Tara*. You must be smart. Why do you seem so dumb?

And while I’m on the rhetorical questions, Tara, why d’ya gotta act so skanky too? I’m not one for name-calling (except affectionately. You know you’re my friend when I give you a rude nickname), so I’m not saying these girls ARE skanks. But the faux-lesbian-dancing**, the bend-and-snapping, the explicit stories that make you sound like the village bicycle – whatever happened to a bit of class? Now, I am all for girls being as sexy/sexual/sexed-up as they want to be – just because I can be a bit prudish, doesn’t mean I don’t have a saucy red dress or two in my wardrobe (although, I do like to primly quote an amazing thing my boss said once about the girls at Melbourne Cup... “Jeez girls, throw your ankles a party and invite your hemline down!!!" BRILLIANT). But it worries and fascinates me that some girls – the same girls who are getting treated for frying their vocal chords – think that they have to compromise their true identity, voice, intelligence and integrity to be more accepted/respected/noticed.

Miley Cyrus. Oh, Miley. Don’t you hate it when you think you’re dancing like Beyonce, and then you  see yourself on video and you actually look like a perverted Mr Bean? Well, it’s never happened to me (I definitely look like Beyonce.... but won’t ever risk watching video just in case)... but it must’ve sucked for little Miley when she came down from the high induced by whatever she smoked before she put on those chicken-ass hotpants. I bet she feels really sheepish (as sheepish as a chicken-ass can feel) now that she has seen footage of her insanely unco dancing and foam finger antics. Miley’s not a dumb girl, surely. I don’t know her personally – she never returns my calls – but up until she flirted with shaved-head-emotional-meltdown territory (of which Britters Spears shall always be Queen), she seemed to have her head screwed on pretty tight. Okay, I honestly hardly paid any attention to her, so I have no idea how tightly her head was screwed on (such a weird term when you think about it too long). Until I was corrected, I thought Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana were sisters. I actually said to my friend “Poor Miley, she’ll never be as famous as her sister”... and then had the truth explained to me through fits of pitying laughter. But Miley has seemed entirely inoffensive and smart until now. So either she has gone off the rails a bit – understandable, when you are caught up in the world of Hollywood, Disney and Famous-Mulleted-Fathers – or she is trying to create a new image for herself. A new ‘sexy’ image, that has started with her slutting herself up, dumbing herself down.... and disguising her ass as a chicken.

Sandy from Grease was a bad role model too. She went from being sweet and innocent (albeit, annoyingly so.... I always wanted to throw a bit of dirt on her), to wearing hooker high heels, a leather jacket, and pants she was actually SEWN INTO (FACT). And smoking, licking her lips and saying ‘Tell me about it... stud’, so she can win the attention of a high school boy who treated her like crap in front of his friends (by the way, I’m a HUGE fan of Grease, I’m just making a point....). Slutted herself up. Dumbed herself down. Probably started speaking in an affected voice. Probably changed into some chicken-ass hotpants later.

Fortunately, most girls in this country seem to be full of integrity, veracity and open intelligence. I feel happy that I can generalise that most girls I have met in my life (certainly all the ones I’m friends with) are made of the good stuff. There is just always a handful of girls – the same handful who are being treated for Vocal Fry, and are often lining up outside of clubs on Bourke St on Saturday night wearing dresses that show the shape of their bikini wax – who get a little bit lost, and forget that Sandy probably would have ended up with Danny even if she didn’t slut up, because he liked her for her (when he stopped being a dumb jock... the guys' version of dumb slut). A handful of girls who have forgotten that classiness can be sexy, and so can intelligence. So if you know any young girls who look to be heading in the wrong direction, following the wrong kind of role model, imitating the wrong kind of reality TV contestant – just give them a little nudge and remind them to be themselves, and wear their intelligence and dignity on the outside. Because deep down... no one likes a chicken-ass with a creaky voice.

*Tara is fictitious. If you said that to fictitious Tara, she’d probably croak “Oh my gawwwwd, what does that, like, mean?”.

**The faux-lesbian-dance has become our generation's version of The Bustop or The Nutbush. Grind up against female friends and turn all the males on with the occasional slut drop. If you don’t know what a slut drop is, YouTube it because I’ve run out of footer space.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She is probably trying to hold a creaky note for as long and slow as possible.

Monday, September 9, 2013

We Are So Bloody Lucky.

It’s been a big week for us Aussies. Political rants on Facebook, long lines at polling booths, tummy aches from too many sausage sizzles - and it’s really made me think. Whether this is the PM you wanted or not, whether you have a strong political stance or are as impressionable as I am, whether you are celebrating the result or suddenly looking at moving overseas, I hope you can see one thing as clearly as I can. We came, we saw, we voted.

We are so bloody lucky.

I will be entirely honest – when it comes to politics, I am shamefully ignorant. Note that I use the word ‘shamefully’. Political ignorance is not something I would ever brag about. I recognise that every Australian should have a well-informed opinion on who they want to run their country, as we are the ones affected by the governance. But like history, taxes and exercise, politics is just another topic that I am supposed to care about, and yet nod off whenever it is discussed. I know the outlines of policies and who’s who, I know who has achieved what and who will better support my industry, but any heavily in-depth discussions have a soporific effect on my attention span. Again, not proud of it. Some people give their lives to vote in less fortunate countries, so I will never waste my vote. I do a lot of my own research right before election day (hard, because googling ‘impartial politics’ actually leads you to a shit-tonne of extremely biased reports), and I form my own opinion based on what is important to me... but I generally leave it until the last few days to pay attention, because all the bitching and moaning and 'Blue Tie' crap bores me senseless.  And the fact that I can just throw that out here in a public forum makes me feel so bloody lucky.

Australia - Lucky the country is a lot better than the Baz Luhrmann film.

I have a few VIP's in my life who I will call when I’m election-week-confused, and they calmly and patiently chat to me about their well-informed (and differing) political views. They never make me feel dumb or clueless. I intentionally avoid the ranters who make me feel stupid for not knowing enough. I don’t like getting into arguments, so I find my approach to politics is the same as my approach to religion and Fight Club. You DO NOT talk about it. I will chat about it to people I trust (can you do that with Fight Club? Better check with Brad first*), because they make me feel safe that I won’t get attacked for having a wrong opinion. But my non-violent definition of getting ‘attacked’ for having a wrong political opinion (I am referring to verbal confrontation and name-calling by friends, not bludgeoning with bats or getting arrested) is just another example of our bloody luckiness. I want to mention one of my VIP’s, who hilariously told me that on election day, she was busily numbering all 110 candidates below the line, and in doing so, her House of Representatives ballot sheet disappeared down the crack of the cardboard polling booth. The staff were not legally allowed to give her another voting form, so she ripped open her polling booth to retrieve it, determined to have her say! She may have got some funny looks, but she didn't get arrested or shot or abused. Yet another reason why I feel lucky to be in a country where it is not only okay to rip open your carboard booth and vote, but it is more acceptable to do so than to not cast your vote at all. Not to mention, lucky that people like her exist.

Because I live in a country where I won’t get arrested for saying so, I will tell you that I did not vote for the winning party. But I am okay that they won, because not only did more than half of the country vote for them, people I desperately care about did  some of my VIP's who beautifully and patiently explained their Liberal views to me are thrilled with the result. Though it is not the one I went for, I am safe in the belief that our country is in safe hands – and I don’t mean the PM’s hands. I mean our hands. More than half of the country voted for this, and that’s the beauty of democracy. It may not have gone in the direction I voted for, but it did go in the direction that our majority voted for, and I can’t bring myself to be bitterly disappointed with that. Millions of Aussies voted for a government that they strongly (or mildly) felt would benefit their own lives and their children’s lives. You don’t have to agree with them, but you do have to accept that they too, in this beautiful democratic country of ours, are entitled to their opinion and their vote, and just because they didn’t vote the same way that you did, it doesn’t make them any less intelligent/caring/environmental/concerned/patriotic/pretty than you.

Despite my shameful ignorance, despite my relief that the election is over and news coverage will go back to baby Prince George**, this election campaign has made me feel grateful and blessed, as I so often do. Grateful for outspoken friends who will rant all over Facebook because they are so passionate about their political views (I can still be grateful without having read a single one, right?). Grateful that none of them got shot for ranting their political views, because our country is totally cool with it. Grateful for friends who will rip open carboard booths to cast their vote. Grateful that our country is so blessed in so many ways, that the media makes a big deal over things like budgie-smugglers and blue ties, because we are so peaceful and settled as a country that crap like that can actually be considered newsworthy. Grateful that the reason our country was split in their views is because neither party is plainly evil and corrupt, so it is not a black-and-white decision. It is possible that the new Government will not help Australia live up to its’ full potential. It is possible that I may be impacted negatively by the government, or that I may be furious at times with choices made by the new Prime Minister, or that I may partake in a few rallies for teaching staff or gay marriage, or that I may get my Facebook newsfeed flooded with complaints and outrage. But whatever happens, I will still feel lucky. To be in a country where I am, for the most part, safe, respected and encouraged to speak up. I am a lucky girl in a lucky country. 

Now, if you want to leave a comment below telling me how ignorant, naive, misinformed and deluded I am, please go ahead.

It’s a free country.

*Brad’s response most likely to be “I don’t know you, stop calling me and pretending we are in a club”.

**To be fair, I do have a personal interest in this, because he is my future nephew. Prince Harry is mine.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She's probably at the casino, feeling lucky.

Monday, September 2, 2013


I’m turning 26 this week. It’s not really a scary age, except that in my eyes, it is officially ‘late twenties’. That’s fine. My late twenties have brought with them many wonderful things. I now have a cavity from years of hard work eating chocolate (which I will fill when I have money, and then probably wear through again with more chocolate). I now have a better appreciation of wine (cleanskin, cask, the alcohol in a deodorant stick, whatever). I now have an aversion to loud music (when I go out and find the musical to be annoyingly loud – which is anything above my natural dulcet speaking volume – I will roll up tissues and stick them in my ears like a grumpy old man). I now have one grey hair (which was discovered two days ago, and I’m tempted to pull it out, but then apparently two grow in its’ place. But surely that can’t be true, because otherwise men could cure baldness? Just keep plucking one grey, let two grow, pluck them, let four grow, pluck them... and so on until head is covered? Anyway...) and three wrinkles on my forehead (which are sort of like ‘surprise’ lines, from raising my eyebrows too often. Apparently I live in a constant state of shock). I have a lot of things that I didn’t use to have, and I have lost some that I had (my youth, for one). But I am quite surprised that one thing hasn’t changed.

I still have the same big life goals as when I was a kid.

I’m a goal setter. I love New Year’s resolutions, because whether I reach them or not, it gives me something to work towards. This year, my resolutions were:
  1. Join Twitter (accomplished Jan 1, though still with no idea what to do and without many bird friends or whatever they are called on Twitter)
  2. Do my my first ever Fringe show (that is a show in a Fringe festival, not a show with a new haircut).
  3. Participate in a fun-run* (to change my mind that ‘fun-run’ is an oxymoron).
  4. Have a Trapeze lesson (never too late to run away with the circus).
I am halfway through my resolutions, which is pretty good for Sep 2nd. I like goals, however big or small, because they make me get off my ass and commit.

...and a soccer goal without a net is just a pole...?

However, there are a few little goals that I’m glad haven’t worked out. If 10-year-old Lucy was here, she would be embarrassed and disappointed because 26-year-old Lucy doesn’t drive a new pink Beetle. In fact, Young Lucy would be shocked that Old Lucy didn’t just buy one when she turned 18 and got all rich from being an adult. 18-year-old Lucy would be wondering where the hubby is (come to think of it, 26-year-old Lucy wonders that sometimes too), and why Old Lucy has less money now than she did when she was 18. 26-year-old Lucy doesn’t worry about money too much, because she assumes that 35-year-old Lucy has that shit worked out, and a rich husband on the side (Bondi Vet is rich, yeah?).  35-year-old Lucy probably assumes that 50-year-old Lucy has finally worked out how ‘Superannuation’ works and has a funeral plan sorted. And I bet 70-year-old Lucy is wondering why the fuck 26-year-old Lucy didn’t fill the cavity in her tooth (actually 70-year-old Lucy is probably wondering what her name is and what day is it again, love?).

I have goals right now that will probably make an Older Me laugh one day, because time changes almost everything. I no longer want a pink Beetle (all of my possessions are in the back of my Honda CRV... there is no way my clothes would fit in a VW. And I’d feel like a tool.) I no longer want to be a ballerina (turns out, they aren’t allowed to eat much. And ballet is really fucking hard). I no longer really, really, really want to be a Spice Girl (actually, I kind of do. Lazy Spice? Smiley Spice?) or marry Aaron Carter. But, as I said, there are a few goals that have stayed the same for many years, and I can’t imagine them ever changing. They are not my only life goals, but they are the things I always have and always will continue to reach for. And for the sake of making myself accountable, I am going to disclose them to you, so if you ever feel like keeping me on track, you can dangle them in front of me and watch me reach, like a fat man reaches for a Krispy Kreme**.

  1. To become a successful actor so I can be on a Fantale (I may be flexible enough to take any mention on a Fantale as success, even in another actors’ story. E.g., ‘Jake Gyllenhaal was notoriously stalked by pyschopath Lucy Gransbury’).
  2. To own a house so I can fit it out with the perfect shower (pressure, design, view... it’s the heart of the home).
  3. To live a long, healthy life, so I can experience a summer of ’69 (I’m leaving it up to 82-year-old Lucy to have the best days of her/my life).
  4. To have a happy family of my own, so I can send out an awesomely lame Christmas card (preferably with matching Christmas jumpers).

I am steadily working towards my life goals, even though they still seem beyond my fingertips right now. Some of them get further away as I get older, such as being a home-owner... last year I was renting, and now I am technically homeless, so that’s not going to plan. But I’m homeless as part of a different plan – career stuff. Although, I am currently largely unemployed.... okay, so maybe a few things aren’t going to plan. But it’s okay, because I’m having a lot of fun trying, and I always have the blind faith that things will be alright in the end. I kind of imagine that they will just slowly fall into place as I get older – with a lot of hard work, of course. Right now, I’m just gonna keep plugging away. I may not be close to achieving any of my goals just yet, but hell. I’m only 26.

* This is the only New Years Resolution that is in danger of not being achieved. If anyone has any tips, or would like to help me, or can set up a fake fun-run that only goes for 500metres, please let me know so I can start training.

** Come to think of it, this may be a good way to get me to do a fun-run.

By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She's kicking goals... slowly.