Monday, June 07, 2010


I had a surprise when I opened my 'Weekend Australian' newspaper and glanced at the real estate insert called 'Home'.

'Home' is actually from 'The Australian''s low-brow stablemate 'The Sunday Times', but it's included in the 'Weekend Australian', presumably to earn a little extra revenue for the newspaper. It's one of those liftouts dressed up as a lifestyle magazine, but mostly devoted to advertisements for convoluted McMansions with inevitable "home theatres" and "alfresco areas". As such, it's about as sophisticated, deep and intellectually nourishing as a Chicken McNugget.

The thing that caused me to do a double-take was the photo used on the cover:

It appears to be fairly standard until you look at it closely. What does the model outer-suburban woman aspire to read when she finally has a moment to herself, and she's sitting in her bedroom on her stilleto-shaped leopard skin print chair and drinking coffee out of her blinged up cappucino cup? The latest 'Marie Claire'? 'Eat, Pray, Love'? 'The Time Traveller's Wife'?

No. Apparently it's Richard Dawkins' 'The God Delusion'.

I can only say two things to this:

1) What?


2) No, seriously. What?

I can only assume that as they were setting up the picture the photographer suddenly thought that the scenario needed a book, and the crew had trouble finding one.

The closest the model had to literature was the ingredient list on a diet shake sachet at the bottom of her Fendi.

The model's agent had just bought a copy of 'The Carrie Diaries', but only as an e-book on her new iPad.

A search of the art director's RAV4 only revealed the March issue of Blue magazine and a street directory that had been moldering under the passenger seat ever since he got a GPS app on his iPhone.

Eventually the photographer's intern remembered that she had a copy of 'The God Delusion' in her backpack, along with a 'Question Authority' badge, her keffiyeh, a bag of organic trail mix, a flyer for a Cat Empire gig and her prized autographed photo of Todd Sampson. Crisis averted.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

An ad hominem attack, no matter how dressed up in nice writing, is still that, and is no substitute for an argument. The reader of that book, whoever it was, should be commended for not swallowing whole "on faith" the childish fantasy stories that are invariably invoked to justify belief in a deity. I imagine I'll be banned, ridiculed, or attacked for this comment. The only thing I don't expect is a calm reasoned defense of religion.

1:06 PM  
Blogger TimT said...

I can't get past the fact the title is in leopard print as well. Who upholstered THAT?

1:46 PM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

Wow, that was quick. I only posted an hour or two ago.

This isn't an "ad hominem attack". It's mainly about the incongruity of the picture: a bimbette in a tacky tract house, parked on a wildly vulgar piece of furniture and surrounded by cheap shiny accessories... with a book about the deepest issues of faith and psychology on her lap. Call me crazy, but it seems at odds with the rest of the picture.

There's a further issue about the appropriateness of using a book that intentionally offends many people in an advertising spread for houses and home decor, but I decided that this blog isn't the place for it. And neither is it a place for a "calm, reasoned defense of religion". In case you haven't noticed, this blog is about Ursula Andress, Lego and my attempts to burn my house down with eggs.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

I can't get past the fact the title is in leopard print as well. Who upholstered THAT?

A very unhappy leopard, I'd wager.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...


People who want "a calm reasoned defense of religion" should go here:

There's little there about egg-related house fires, but we can't have everything.

2:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home