Monday, February 27, 2012

Pearls at Dawn


JG by Pants and I'm afraid I couldn't find the original source for MT - sorry but you know who you are.

Normally on Oscars day/night, you would find the Question why and yours not-so-truly curled up on our respective velour recliners in the home theatre on a Chardonnay drip with a vodkamisu tantalisingly in the offing. But, disaster. The Question why was suddenly called into the Australian Labor Party Caucus room to cast his vote on the future of our country and our butler-cum-vodkamisu chef - known to you as Barney - was nowhere to be found. (He later sent a cowardly text informing me that he was with the Hugo entourage. Apparently, Scorsese has an owly-cat from Barney's batch and is, well, you know, kinda sentimental about that sorta thing).

Worse still, Pants has found herself in gainful employment that simply refuses to go away. So, whilst dramas both real and imagined played out on the national and world stages, I was engaged on the erstwhile shattering issues that engulf Larrikin Shire Council, like whether or not we should allow vehicles built after 1973 to park in Maim Street.

Clearly, a new getting-one's-head-around device is required for the eerie prospect of processing the multiple challenges implicit in understanding why it should be as incongruous for a woman (pearls optional - hopefully), to be leading a government in 2012 as it was in 1979.

A week or so ago, I saw Iron Lady. I lived through most of Margaret Thatcher's Prime Ministership. It was dire for a lot of people in Britain. It was morally corrupt and sabotaged a potentially resilient social housing model to a point from which it may never recover. It very nearly managed to destroy the even more important post-war legacy of the National Health Service. It hobbles like a pantomime horse with two rear ends to this day.

When you're young, fit, well-educated, play in a band and have managed to get a hard-to-let council flat, you protest but also thank your lucky stars. Protesting is the right thing to do and you do it willingly and enthusiastically because wrong is wrong, whether or not you are personally experiencing pain from that wrong. You get to play at a Miners' benefit. That is a real thrill. From a purely selfish perspective, you know living like this is a great experience. You try your best to contribute to the sum of making things right. And sometimes it doesn't work, or it works a bit because you're one of millions who at least try.

But your experience is still your experience and I have to admit, I did go a bit 'awww, the poll tax riots' soft with nostalgia when I watched Iron Lady. It is a great film, about a monumental character and, as much as her singular screwing of a country I called home for a quarter-century rankles still, I found myself totally absorbed in the fictional portrayal of her real-life descent into gagaeity. This is the kind of extreme narrative at which Madama Streep excels. She got the Oscar, of course she did. Excuse me while I grab a frozen vodkamisu for one from the freezer and watch the replay.

And now, inevitably, we come to our very own pearl-wearing iron matron. Today, whilst La Streep basked in her third Oscar win, our Prime Minister Julia Gillard was coming up for air following a leadership challenge from the mad narcissist to whom she gave a consolation prize of a job we'd all be more than glad to have. There it was in all its irksome, laughing-stock glory. It couldn't have been more hilarious if the Coen Brothers had half-baked it and left it out in the rain for some neo-Dadaists to re-imagine. Streep was a sure thing. Julia, less so. But she won.

When the Question why returns from Canberra and Barney from Hollywood, we'll go and see The Artist. We loved Hugo, but it will be nice to see a movie for once that doesn't feel like it has to wrestle you to the floor and invite the Burundi Drummers to take up residence in your ears.

Stand down the pearls for another year. All is quiet now...