Monday, June 20, 2005

Melting Wax

It is unsettling reimmersing myself in Australian media after the trip through New York. The distance between me and the people I’m looking at has shrunk. The mythical New York of all the DVDs in my drawer, of Sex and the City, the city where I expected I might see Carrie Bradshaw at any moment is now a real place.

I watched Sara Jessica Parker interviewed on television today. She seemed much less hyper-real now that I have seen her eating cannolli [chocolate] on Bleecker Street. Mention of her husband, Matthew Broderick, also landed with a changed context. I saw him at the Tonys Ball and chose not to launch an attack as he was obviously overwhelmed by admirers. I noticed two things, he’s even prettier in person and his hair collapses when he sweats.

Proven human.

I always thought that if I was as fabulous as Matthew Broderick my tendency to sweat would cease to be a problem.

Colon Powell showed up on the news last night and that was strange. Here I am looking at one of the people implicated in the degenerate state of liberal democracy thinking ‘I saw you tape a TV Show,‘. I then had to scrutinise myself a little. I willingly sat in the studio and applauded on command like a lobotomized seal for Colon Powell? Did I engage the kind of blindness in the face of evil that I claim to despise? I really just went to see the Daily Show taped. In agreeing to an interview Colon earns the right to a respectful hearing.

I doubt that one could survive in New York 2005 if these quibbles were to become an over-riding concern. The end of civilisation is, however you dress it up, the end of civilisation.

My entire collection of Broadway recordings has had a context realignment. My Broadway recordings are finally the stuff of reality, I’ve been there. I’ve seen the theatres, walked the streets and breathed the air. I can’t listen to my cherished Barbara Cook without feeling a new kind of engagement. Ms Cook has become totally real, so very much more than a disembodied voice and a biography. She sounds smaller now that we have shared a moment of genuine human connection.

Any location shot of Manhattan is an all new challenge. If it’s somewhere recognizable, I’ll recognize it. Worse still, if they’re trying to fake it I’ll spot it! I am ethically and aesthetically opposed to the idea of shooting ‘NY’ in LA. LA is, quite evidently, the most successful outreach program that hell has going.

There is another level in having an injection of reality into my NY-centric pop universe. Favoured screen actors have morphed to being ‘wow, I was that close’ people. For spoiled New Yorkers it’s probably a challenge to comprehend. For an Australian hickette to be in the same room as Kathleen Turner, Jessica Lange, Tim Curry and nameless other admired actors is a magnificent thrill. To collect autographs from one or two is, I think, acceptable while I’m this side of 40.


My staple connection back to America is NBC Today Show which we get here, on delay, in the early hours of the morning. While ever Katie is in Rockefeller Plaza forcing a smile and enthusing about fluff I know that NY continues to revolve on her axis.

And now that I know that even Matthew Broderick sweats, I think it might be time to stop expecting super-perfection from myself.

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