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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

About turnipsforbreakfast

Rose has two blogs, www.butimbeautiful.wordpress.com, and www.turnipsforbreakfast.wordpress.com. Enjoy!

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