Friday, 21 October 2011

Lara Bingle

There seems to be three types of people in this world: those who dislike Lara Bingle, those who are Lara Bingle, and those who bang Lara Bingle - which includes every professional athlete and elite sportsman who lives in, visits, or will ever visit Sydney, as well as random international r&b singers, and, probably, your boyfriend.

I fall into the first category. Lara Bingle shits me. Well, so what. Who doesn't? If all the people who agitate or irritate me were to get their own blog post I would have to become one of those people who are sooooo fucking busy that they feel it necessary - -essential even - to eat and walk at the same time, and thus saunter about the streets choking down hand held food in a grotesque and unseemly manner. No, Lara Bingle gets a post not because she shits me but because she rattles me. More specifically, the flat, crystal emptiness of her eyes rattle me.

I have a strong stomach and steely eye but I cannot - I CANNOT - look into those terrible eyes. They're vacant and clear and they creep me the fuck out. The rest of her face troubles me too, but it's those eyes - devoid of anything one might think of as human - that do strange things to me.

I have a vague theory that Lara Bingle may be Laura Palmer. If Laura Palmer lived in Sydney, in this century, and was a real person and not a father-fucking, coke-whore, prom queen creation from David Lynch's surreal and sick imagination, I mean. Details, details.

Lara Bingle could do well in taking a leaf out of Laura Palmer's book and cultivating an air of seedy intrigue and flesh-creeping mystery. It would make things much more interesting for us: her public. And for her too, I imagine. She could well be carousing in log cabins under the eyes of watchful owls and in One Eyed Jacks type establishments already, of course. This is not beyond the realm of possibility. I imagine Lara Bingle might crackle with sex and its associated psycho-drama; that it might even hang in the air around her to the same degree that Subway stinks up entire streets. And doesn't Brendan Fevola have something of the Leo Johnson about him, only a little less menacing, truck-driving redneck and a little more mouth-breathing jock goon? It's just that Lara Bingle hasn't been murdered so no safety deposit boxes have been posthumously opened and Dr Jacobi-style shrink-tapes have been played so nothing much of a debauched and fabulous nature has been brought to light. This is a shame.

Laura Palmer was Twin Peaks’ sweetheart, she did all that thoughtful stuff for all those weird people – she visited that creepy shut-in Harold and she read to Audrey’s Horn’s wigged-out little brother and as it turned out after she showed up dead “wrapped in plastic!” she also GANGBANGED REDNECKS IN SHACKS FOR KICKS. This is the true definition of ‘it’s complicated’; Lara Bingle, if you’re reading*, none of this trivial ‘how many points do I have left on my license?’ bullshit.
What I'm saying is that Laura Palmer was all complex and tragic and beautiful and doomed, whereas Lara Bingle is about as spoiled and vacant as a Persian cat, with unsettlingly empty eyes and a face that makes me think of nothing so much as Ellsworth Toohey from The Fountainhead barking "Shut your face, kewpie-doll." at some poor bitch. What I'm also saying is that I warned you from the outset that my theory was 'vague', okay?

It doesn't have to be this way, Lara Bingle. Look at Sophie Monk. She's another half-wit blonde hell-bent on some half-baked notion of making it without an end point in sight but instead of arousing animosity or derision she manages to be endlessly endearing. What a difference a personality makes! Sophie Monk is a walking, talking, massive-lipped exploration of frustration and ambition, or frustrated ambition, if you will. The key here is that, in addition to the personality, Sophie Monk seems to posess a degree or two of self-awareness. She also has a charmingly bawdy, Mae West-style sense of humour. I mean, she probably weeps extravagantly while driving in her car some days - don't we all - but she seems to have things in perspective. Not only does Lara Bingle's persepective look to be shot to shit, she also has no discernable sense of humour. This is a fundamental failing from which there really is no recovery. Or none of which I am personally aware, at least. Also, she can't drive for shit. Seriously. She loses her license continuously.

Sophie Monk stands for something; she is a public embodiment of the existential angst we feel as we (I say 'we', I mean 'I') near the end of our twenties and realise all the things we will never be and - this part can be just as if not more troubling - all the things we are.

Here, Sophie Monk emantes a soothing air of 'what-can-you-do' resignation. Her youth gone, style beyond her grasp, she spends her time, which she seems to have plenty of, playing the lead in her own private and frequently, reasurringly public melodrama, yet she still remains someone I would like to know, and even though I don't, feel a great fondness for anyway.

Also, Sophie Monk says some really wack stuff. Like that time earlier this year when she was doorstopped by Hollywood reporters in LA? REMEMBER?? How she told them that Australian Aborigines just “lie around outside and start fires and go to the bathroom wherever they want, but they wear Adidas, which is cool”??? Which led to pap website popinig that "it sounded like the coolest life ever"?? Yeh. Well, compared to life on the D-list, maybe. Still, somebody should really hook her up with the Australian tourism board because Sophie Monk is down with the SHIT.  

One of the keys to happiness, I find, is keeping your expectations low. Another is taking some care to align your ambitions with you talents. This, I feel, is one of the areas where Lara Bingle seems to have strayed from the path of reason and reality. Modest talents – in any field or sense - call for modest ambitions. Balance. Everyone bangs on about balance. The balancing of talents and ambition is a big one. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, y'know? Nor can you polish a turd. Beauty is a talent, yes, and definitely a currency, but undiminished self-absorption and a relentless drive to stay relevant is not a sustainable ambition. Also, even though many of us seem to have an enormous appetite for celebrity, we tend to tire of vacuous bullshit fairly quickly, so unless Lara Bingle is willing to run her train completely off its tracks in the wildly entertaining style of Britney circa 2008 then we really have a limited amount of time and energy and empathy for her. Listen for the bell, Lara Bingle, because it tolls for thee.  

I think what happened with Lara Bingle is that her looks distorted her perspective. That face enabled her to envisage a perfect, blessed future for herself, but ultimately left her unequipped for this drift towards a confused and irrelevant adulthood that is now well underway. I’m all for personal idiosyncrasies but can’t help but feel that this bitch’s problems have become more substantial as ahe seeks to invest herself with some sort of earthly significance. You can see it in her face – just faintly, because it’s a face as impassive and still as the surface of a pond in a pleasure garden – but it’s there; confusion and a dull, dim-witted unease. Terminal overexposure has seen the slow sink into obscurity begin. 
You could say that the culture of celebrity and the fairytale fame narrative have a lot to answer for due to the unrealistic expectations they engender. Alternatively, you could just say that Lara Bingle is the latest but not the last in a long line of girls who fail to realise that while good looks can take them a long way, an over-reliance on those same looks may leave them stranded, without a map and with no direction home.

*Lara was unfortunately unavailable for comment for this story.

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