RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: October 2005

go westies

Doing this in the intervals of watching The Simpsons with the kids and showing ten year old son what a blog is. He’s got to know some time!  This is a test of how hard it is to write profound thoughts when stupid ads are blaring out of the tv behind your back. Was explaining to kids over dinner what being a snob meant. However it’s hard to explain the concept of being a snob unless you kind of accept the concept of class.  So how do you explain class in a classless society?

Today I read that some Australian dictionary  has recently added the term ‘westie’ to its pages – meaning working class person from the western suburbs of Sydney. In Canberra the westies live in Queanbeyan. There’s a joke about the westie single mother who calls all her kids Troy. Someone asks her why and she says it’s less trouble to call them all in for dinner, etc.  But, they ask, what about when you just want ONE of them. Oh sure, then I just call the kid by its last name, she says.

So is class in Oz a sub-culture? Defined by talking with a particular accent, using particular words (a lot, like shit, mate, and putting ‘eh’ at the end of sentences), having a certain level of education (junior high school), a particular job (trades, admin, labouring, retail), and opinions about things – like that refugees should join the queue, like that a big house is better than a big garden, like that the flag matters, mothers should stay home and mind the kids, like that watching tv is more fun than reading books.  At least that’s defining it from above.

Or you could try defining it from below  – say, defining middle class as people who have no street smarts, who talk with a toffee voice, who waste taxpayers money for a job, who feel sorry for terrorists, who have more money and less sense, who sit round having soy latte mugachinos in cafes and talking about art.  But then if you only had good things to say about the kind of people who belong to a certain ‘class’ – like that westies have hearts of gold and work hard, or that music teachers love kids and truly appreciate the higher things in life…nobody would mind the idea of belonging to one.  As long, too, as you’re not stuck in the class you’re born in.  If you can get out if you want to – but you don’t just don’t feel like it. 

anyway this is enough of this guff for now

life-can you sit it out?

Suddenly had one of those thoughts the other day – the kind that you think are amazing until you think about them a bit more and realise they’re actually not. I was thinking about things that you opt into or opt out of, like sitting out a dance, or deciding to do guitar lessons, or whatever, and I thought, that’s the thing about life, you can’t opt out of it. At least, you can, but only by being dead.  There isn’t another life you can have instead, if you don’t like this one. You can’t just go, I don’t know, this is boring, I think I’ll look through some other ones.  It’s this one or nothing.  That can be depressing (depending on your life). Anyway then I thought, ok, but I guess you can change things ABOUT your life – which is kind of like changing your life, only in bits instead of all at once.  There are some people who make things happen anyway and some people who things happen to, and I’m the last sort of person – but luckily the things that happen aren’t too bad and sometimes they’re actually pretty good.  I could go on about this for a long time but I decided not to.

Ex-boyfriend making strange noises. The thing about having boyfriends who both come from a gossipy community – Nigerians in Oz – and who know each other and have friends in common, is that there’s always stuff going down the phone lines. So the ex-boyfriend is trying to make out to the current boyfriend, or so it seems, through mutual friends,that I’m calling him and want him back, despite his indifference.  What amazes me about this – one of the things that amazes me – is that he’s lying.  He always told me ‘I never lie’.  Never.  He was very convincing. I can’t get over having discovered that not only does he lie, he actually plots. So I decided it’d be easier for everyone if I didn’t speak to him again – current boyfriend will be happy because he’ll think I’m all his (which I am), mutual friends will have nothing to talk about (except ancient history), and ex-boyfriend can get on with his fascinating life. As he’s told me he doesn’t have a girlfriend, and has hinted strongly that he wants me to come up to Melbourne for (I guess) sex, life can’t be too fascinating, but hopefully it’ll improve and he’ll find better things to do with his time than fantasise.  I kind of miss the legend I’d constructed though (the man who never, never, lies). Mmm.