Zayne Malik – know him? I had no idea who Zayne Malik is? If you’re in the dark, as much as I am, be it known he was once a member of One Direction. Yep, I’d heard of them. Are they still around – One Direction, or are they a boy band who, like many of their ilk, took over the world for a year or two before fading away? But Zayne Malik left the band in March, 2015 and this was, for Brodie Lancaster, as she reports in ‘No Way! Okay, Fine’, a major life event. From the distance of the generous age gap between the author and myself it would be easy to tell her to ‘Get Real’ or ‘Get a Life’. But, then, I think how shattered I would have been if the rumours were true, back in the day, of Paul McCartney leaving the Beatles. At least there had been considerable telegraphing of the split when it eventually came. The planet, as well as myself, was prepared. Another guiding force in Ms Lancaster’s world is Kayne West. Now the little I know of this man revolves around him dissing Taylor Swift at some award ceremony, so I guess from that little effort I’ve formed a negative opinion of the man. So illogically negative is that opinion I couldn’t bring myself to read the laudatory chapter in her memoir revolving around his influence on the way she tries to live her life. It may have afforded me a totally different view of the rapper, but I think by that stage I’d probably had enough.
Ms Lancaster writes with passion about what she loves and hates about the society around her. Entitled men do not come out of it very well – and nor should they. Given I was out of my league with the icons that inform her world, for much of the time, some of her essays made little sense to me. Shows like ‘The Gilmore Girls’, ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ and ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ never have featured on my bucket list of shows of the past I must watch before I, in turn, am past it. What an old fart I am. Clearly I am not the demographic for this book.
Brodie Lancaster is a Melbourne writer, mainly operating in the blogosphere. This is her first book. As a larger sized person, she has also met her fair share of challenges, but she is not Australia’s version of Roxane Gay, nor is this book an antipodean ‘Hunger’. Her weight isn’t front and centre. There is little to fault with this young lady’s fine wordsmithery, although in tone she can be a tad ranty, if I am permitted to state. And she does redeem herself in my eyes through her love of Elvis and that remarkable young songstress Courtney Barnett, someone I also admire very much.
My beautiful daughter passed her copy of this book over to me, stating something like that I may find it interesting – and I certainly did. At least till I got to Kanye West. But I also remember that with Kate I failed to see the logic once behind her adoration of the Spice Girls and another boy band, Take That. For me the latter was indistinguishable from the plethora of similar musical dross at the time. But from that band Robbie Williams emerged and for me he is a marvel of modern day popular entertainment. My Katie loved him from the get-go – it just took this old codger a while to catch on. Who knows – in a year or two Zayne Malik maybe the new Robbie Williams.
The author’s website – http://www.brodielancaster.com/