Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
There is someone out there for everyone.
True love exists.

We’re all familiar with these sayings. They’re our excuses. Yes, he’s a dork, but he has an amazing sense of humour and a great chest; I’m not going to settle for that vapid model, there’s someone better yet to be found; They just weren’t “the one”.

Juliet looked to like with Romeo, and together they became one of the greatest and best known couples in the world.

In the ABBA song Lay All Your Love On Me they sing ‘a little small talk, a smile and baby, I was stuck’. Surely this was the case with the star-cross’d lovers.
One glance was all it took.

No matter how often we say we aren’t waiting for fairy tale love, the stuff of knights and ladies, at some point, perhaps frequently during our lives, we find ourselves imagining the ‘perfect’ romance.

Our eyes meet across a crowded room and we are instantly aware that this is the person we wish to spend the rest of our lives with. The chemistry in the air crackles as we fly across the room and take the other in our arms.

I readily admit to (frequently) indulging in this fantasy. Although I am completely aware that ‘real life’ is not a fairy tale it doesn’t stop me from thinking about how wonderful it would be to be swept off my feet by a kind, intelligent, funny (and hopefully incredibly gorgeous) handsome prince.

Preferably, all this will occur while I am wearing a fabulous, one-of-a-kind gown, possibly whilst dancing in a luxurious garden, the summer air filled with the scent of roses.

Like it or loathe it, Gone With The Wind’s Rhett Butler had the right idea when he told Scarlett ‘you should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how’.

However, I am rarely able to completely immerse myself in this attractive fantasy before my inner cynic rears her ugly, obnoxious head. This girl doesn’t believe in true love, arguing that what people call ‘love’ is simply a confusing cocktail of lust, longing, foolishness and infuriating head rushes caused by meddlesome, uncontrollable endorphins.

Overuse of adjectives aside, I must grudgingly admit that this girl has a point. Believing that being with a particular person will make you happy by association is, arguably, part of the supreme naivety we employ to help us get up in the mornings. In my sensible moments, I like to believe that although the heart may control the blood that pumps through our veins, in a civilized society it is our brains that are the true rulers of the world.

Besides, as poster children go, Juliet and her Romeo are not the best, unless you are advocating underage sex and impulsive suicide. But it’s the teenagers’ deaths that truly capture our romantic attention. Sure, Romeo’s balcony courtship is beautifully poetic, and the way the pair leaps straight into marriage is fairly sweet. Yet it’s the fact that they cannot abide living in a world without the other that truly drives our passion for these two. They have been in love for barely a fortnight yet they are sure of their feelings.

Truly, if there is a heaven, I would much rather enter it moments after the love of my life does, knowing he will be waiting at the gates for me, than to live for twenty years alone once my love is gone.

Foolishness or not, I won’t stop searching for ‘true love’. My soulmate may live in a bark hut in Kenya, but my almost-perfect-in-every-way man may be waiting for me, just around the corner.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I have often wondered what the world would be like if we dispensed with all areas of government. Anarchy? Well, perhaps. I would like to think that all our boasting as a species that we are so far removed from apes and other so-called uncivilised animals was not us just talking out of our jauntily-placed hats.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountain, there may be cigarette trees and lemonade springs, but I bet we'd still fight over who consumed the most and who got to be first.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I like poetry, long walks on the beach..........and poking dead things with a stick.

Want to meet?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


America's fluffy sweetheart pours on the saccharine

February 8, 2010
Oh my gosh … dropping one of her Grammys last month.
Oh my gosh … dropping one of her Grammys last month.
Photo: Jenny Evans

Taylor Swift 
Acer Arena, February 6
Reviewed by Fenella Henderson-Zuel (aged 15) and Bernard Zuel (a bit older than 15)
ACCEPTING her Grammys last month, 20-year-old Taylor Swift, who writes million-selling songs about schoolyard crushes, boyfriends dumping you and exacting revenge on said ex-boyfriends in pop rock songs which pay lip service to country, was all omigosh, I can't believe this is for little ol' me. Repeatedly.
At Acer we saw another side of the same coin: a performer well schooled in working and milking a crowd (so much so that about
80 minutes of music extended to nearly two hours of show); much less of the surprised teen and much more of the star basking (that self-satisfied look she had often was instructive); and as adroit as any of the classy Disney factory in balancing cheesiness and well-practised sincerity (as in her hand on the heart declaration of ''I can't express how in love with you I am at this moment, Sydney''.)
From You Belong With Me, performed in High School Musical fashion with dancers and band in cheerleader/marching-band outfits and Swift in drum major threads ripe for being pulled off to reveal a spangly dress, to Should've Said No, nine outfits later, Swift was never less than on-message and in control.
Her voice may have no power or character when in regular mode but she has a belter setting which kicks arse. Her songs may be mostly generic but at least structurally, melodically and lyrically they feel like the work of a talented teenager not a Music Row hack. Her shtick may be old school but her audience is new school, and screamingly happy.
Bernard Zuel
AS Taylor Swift rose on to the stage to tumultuous applause, she looked like just what she was: a girl living her dream, and having the time of her life. It didn't matter that her dance moves were slightly unco-ordinated, the constant rumpling of her famous blonde waves made her appear endearingly sweet and the audience felt like they were at the concert of the girl down the street. You couldn't help but be enchanted by her.
The Fearless Tour is neither as flashy as Britney, nor as sophisticated as Beyoncé, but the use of fellow teens Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and Texas heartthrob Lucas Till in a video montage preceding the main show helped set the mood of fluffy teenage fun.
But even an excited 20-year-old may find it hard to be forgiven when she stands basking in the applause one too many times and spends 10 minutes wading through a crowd of fans, hugging and clasping hands with anyone who gets close enough, leaving the rest of the audience to wait for her to return to the stage.
Still, the concert was a great night out, an excuse to wave glow-sticks and sing till you were hoarse, to be "taken back in time" for the fairytale Love Story and dream of the boy-next-door with The Way I Love You.
Be warned: if you break Swifty's heart, mess with her friends, or fail to admit that her new album is your current guilty pleasure, she will write a song about you.
But to any guy mentioned in her songs, just count yourself lucky you didn't date Lily Allen.
Fenella Henderson-Zuel

Thursday, January 13, 2011

As true now as it was then

As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy.

Abraham Lincoln