Who the hell is Janeane Garofalo?

DO you know who Angelina Jolie is? Or Janeane Garofalo?

Do you know who Andy Dick is? (And no, this is not a dirty joke).

Good. Neither do I.

Or I didn’t, but I do now.

Angelina is a star. She has moved to England.

Janeane is star. She has been shopping in New York.

I still don’t know who Andy Dick is, and I’m glad. All I know is that his demented face appears in a magazine called NW.

I picked it up at a newsagent.

You should try this some time. Instead of picking up the gardening magazine or the home improvement magazine, move two paces to the left or right and pick up whatever is in front of you.

It’s a different world. Not necessarily better or more informative, but definitely different.

NW’s cover yells at me in five-centimetre capitals. BOOB JOBS. Anna Nicole Smith has had one. So has Christine Aguilera. Who are they? Who cares!

Cosmopolitan is more refined. It offers “Boy-to-girl genital makeovers” in very small letters.

Mind you, inside it told me how to Max my Climax. And it’s not a lesson in short story writing. It goes on to say a body-numbing orgasm shouldn’t be a special occasion.

Quite apart from the fact that there comes a time in your life when any kind of orgasm is a special occasion, I want to know who reads this stuff!

I know there are lots of real worlds out there. There is real world of the stockbroker and the real world of the jackaroo; the real world of the soldier and the real world of the tree-hugging hippy.

But whose real world is this I’m flicking through.

Who wants to know that Lara Flynn Boyle is starving to death – besides her mum and her doctor?

She’s a star, too, by the way.

Interesting thing about these stars… They have to tell you in the captions that they’re stars – otherwise you’d never know. But no-one ever had to say Frank Sinatra, star of… You just knew.

And before you accuse me of living in the past, no-one has to say Madonna, star of… either. Just as no one needs to write: Australian identity John Howard. I think.

But out there on the streets of Townsville there are thousands of people who are devouring thousands of words, mostly of one syllable, about people who have got thinner, got fatter, moved from an A-cup to a Z-cup, dropped boyfriends for girlfriends, got pregnant and got a pet labrador.

My daughter has a guinea pig. If her name was Angelina Jolie (either my daughter or the guinea pig) they’d be on the front page of NW. If they’d maxed their climax together no doubt they would have made it into Cosmopolitan, too. Or The Veterinarian magazine.

People aren’t living lives, they are reading other people’s!

Is it envy? How can you envy Donna D’Errico (a star) who believes that people only realised she was a talented actress with brains after she got bigger tits!

I think I don’t belong. I used to. Somewhere round here there’s a world where the wireless has a knob that turns it off with a satisfying click. Somewhere there’s a government department where a real human voice says, “Can I help you?” And waits for you to answer.

Somewhere there’s a magazine that tells you the best way to prune a grevillea.

But I seem to have mislaid it.