Monday, September 16, 2013

Spoken in nightmares

Something Missing (2013) Collage by Pants

Dear international readers,

This post is not for you. Kindly move on - nothing to see here.

I wish to address my fellow Australians directly as I have a special message I would like to impart. The general gist is,

Shut the fuck up.

Please disregard this message if you received a Christmas card from me last year. I don't mean you.

Everyone else, read on. I will begin with some specifically targeted messages.

Dear Labor Party Losers,

Shut the fuck up.

Do not tell us that you realise we are sick of hearing you talking about yourselves and then keep doing it. Don't speak about anything for at least a year. No matter what the topic might be, you will end up making it about you. Don't even take the risk. If you had anything worth saying, I'm sure we would have heard it by now. Take a leaf out of your successor's book. His peers are so petrified that he'll say something stupid enough to start a war that they've banned him from speaking out loud. Take note.

Dear Tony Abbott,

Shut the fuck up.

This is a pre-emptive strike. I realise that you have already achieved Zen-grade expertise in shutting the fuck up. What your party likes to call 'measured', 'considered' and 'disciplined', we understand to mean, 'obedience to the unequivocal command to keep a sock in it at all times on pain of having your lycra set alight while you are still in it.' Whatevs. You know it works. You need never utter a word again. Just keep on nodding. The mute button on my television has expired. You broke it, you fix it.

Dear Julia Gillard,

Shut the fuck up.

I like you, Julia. I voted for you, despite your spinelessness on asylum seeker policy. I even sent you a message of support when you were being ruthlessly bullied. Not very sisterly of you to ignore my heartfelt outreach but never mind. I'm sure you had other offal on your plate. But really - take your pension and go write some books, preferably about something other than yourself. Stay busy for at least two years. And, above all - do not write any more tedious, self-serving drivel for one's beloved Guardian. Send your banal scribblings to The Monthly. That's what it's there for.

Dear Kevin Rudd,

Shut the fuck up.

Have your lips sewn together for good measure. Someone take the man's iPhone and laptop away. We really shouldn't have to hear from you again - ever. And get some therapy - seriously.

Dear Bridie Jabour,

Shut the fuck up.

Don't to be writing to the world on my behalf and telling it not to patronise our country for acting out the cliché that it so clearly is. The best way to stop people calling you a tosser is to stop being a tosser.

In fact, dear Australian media in toto,

Shut the fuck up.

It may interest you to know that my entire life does not revolve around the red-eyed blatherings of sleep-deprived politicians, the football results and the goriest details of yesterday's motoring accidents. Do get an actual life or, failing that, a job down a mine where your talent for stumbling around aimlessly in the dark may serve a purpose.

Dear everyone else not mentioned above who is resident in this country and not on my Christmas list,

Shut the fuck up,

... unless you are prepared to engage in a conversation about what is really wrong with this country. A hint - try to imagine this conversation taking place in an environment free of charred meat and involving complete sentences and the absence of yourself, your family, your electronic devices, your car or your dog as subject matter. I am not anti-dog by any means but conversations about our national malaise should not be tackled from the POV of your wouldn't-hurt-a-fly staffy.

So what is wrong with this country? Nothing if you happen to be pale, stale and male but a pain in the burger bun if the only thing you don't want to recycle is dialogue. They say the first step to solving a problem is admitting you've got one. So, here's the problem. We are not who we think we are. We are not 'better' than the actions that define us. These days not even the politicians can assert that with any level of conviction. Any Australian who thinks we aren't en masse racist, sexist, ageist and homophobic needs to revisit the definition of those words.

I think we all know that there is something horribly wrong here. Everyone seems grouchy and depressed but there is nothing obvious to feel bad about. We think, for example, that the cost of living is 'spiralling out of control' when it's actually improving for most people. We worry that people don't love us, even when we're acting like shits with spikes. We know something is missing but we assume that it has to do with shopping or sport or not being highly regarded because those are the things we've been conditioned to deem important. Except humans aren't made that way - not even Australians. We're supposed to care for each other - really care. Our ability to succeed in that, on an individual and daily basis, is integral to the survival of humanity. Pretending to care just doesn't cut it. We can't fool ourselves with that one. That's the conversation we really need to have.

Okay. I'm done. I shall now shut the fuck up myself.

Barney - a fresh chardonnay with a vodkamisu chaser, if you please.