Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dinner conversation till Aug 21.

Yesterday I commented on another Blog, a much more famous one than mine, and the response from one reader was along the lines of: take your partisan views and stuff off, we've had enough!

At that point I realised that I suffer from the same affliction as my father, one which my mother partly suffers from and even my Grandfather has been known to occassionaly reek of. Politics. It's a sad day when you realise that you eagerly await the paper delivery at 4.30 every morning and hungrily lap up all of the hype, the trash talk and the promises, promises, promises.

I am positive that I am not the only member of the community who has decided well and truly which party to support, and who is fairly robust in that support, so I am not at all ashamed of my political views. What I am concerned with is that I may just well be one of those people it is best not to sit next to at a debate, rally, campaign launch or even, heaven forbid, dinner.

Am I turning into that person who turns a discussion on the price of strawberries into a political debate about the farmers and their issues? You know the type, my father was one (still is, if I am honest).

As a kid we watched with horror as he would turn a dinner party at our house into a mini Great Debate, shifting people in their chairs so that one side represented the opposing view and the other sided with him. My mother would play the part of mediator and it would soon collapse into a crazy yelling match using words like 'idiot', 'simpleton', and 'worthless'. My sister and I learnt little about politics by watching these displays except that it was akin to sex and religion, best not to talk politics at the dinner table. It was our cue to ask any questions which would normally get a negative answer because we knew that they were so caught up in trying to change people's views that we were not really noticed at all. I can't count the amount of $5 notes, the extra pieces of cake, the times we stayed up till WAY past bedtime, scored during a particularly rowdy slanging match.

Fast forward to the adult version of that child. Did I learn anything? Last night I had a Tupperware Party and following that, a small birthday party for my 3 year old. I had spent the past few days rueing the fact that plans made weeks ago were going to clash with the debate at Brothers, could I go for just half the show? It was truly driving me nuts. I spent a few hours discussing the benefits of Tupperware bowls for kids (they really are the best product I have ever spent a fortune on!) and the next few struggling to unwrap copious amounts of Barbie paraphenalia.

Finally it was time to sit still with a few friends remaining, have a drink and relax a little. I think it took me a full 2 minutes to start in on the week that was. Ruminating on the verdict from the Gruen Nation, Yes We Canberra, the appalling comments made by Katter about Abortion (and I don't even live in Kennedy!), the letter box drops, the feeling that things in politics are just a little too choreographed..........I think you get the picture. About 30 minutes into my spiel I noticed the unthinkable, my friends were yawning,their eyes were glazing over and they were switching off. This could only mean one thing.....I AM BORING!! Argh! I am known for my colourful personality ( and currently, hair) I am vibrant, I am bright, I am cheerful, I am a joy to be around ( ok, maybe I have gone too far) but the Election, my passion for politics, my joy of a topic that not many follow, has left me in a strange place. A beige, colourless, annoying place.

I cannot promise I will change. For one month every few years (yes, it happens at state and local elections too) I will not be the one you sit next to at the dinner table if you have a choice. As much as it pains me that this is so, I think I still prefer to be passionate about something that will affect all those who I bore, than merely an impartial observer, more interested in the hand gestures, the snubs, the ads and the repetitive phrases of something that is the least trivial thing I can possibly think of, our future Government.......Oops, there I go again!!

1 comment:

  1. You can sit next to me, Leigh. I like showing an interest in my community and my country and participating in the decision making. Not for me the good ole Aussie way of sitting back bellyaching and whining, "Why doesn't someone....or why don't THEY...?" You notice how it is always THEY? This ubiquitous "THEY" or "THEM".

    I like to say, "Yes, I have contacted the Minister on that issue and they have replied...."
    or "I raised that issue at a meeting the other night and.... ".

    It is a pity that more people do not involve themselves in the process of democracy. It is what our fathers, their fathers etc fought for.

    I think of the sacrifices of my Dad, along the harrowing Kakoda trail in New Guinea...and then see all these passive slugs sitting on their backsides whingeing and whining and talking about "THEY" and "THEM"......