Tuesday, 25 June 2013

A very idle persiflage, somewhat aggravated and despairing

It is not so much that I have been idle, it is just that the things that have been in my mind are really not things I like to blog about. I cannot always be letting off steam, complaining about the technical confusion and ignorance, or the fairly torrential rain, or the cold, or the complexity of my future. No, I need deep and meaningful things to occupy my mind and thus be suitable and/or worthy thoughts to scatter upon the ether.

I had a go at writing a scathing analysis of the way journalists and commentators treat the political process, concentrating instead on leadership possibilities, public opinion polls, haircuts, suits, jackets, and, God help us, that our Prime Minister is photographed in a magazine and she is knitting a kangaroo for the expected royal baby. Shock, horror, gasp. No leadership challenge has yet happened and Kevin Rudd has just gone again to China, and there are only another two days to go before Parliament rises.

Anyway my article did not get published. Not that I was surprised. I suppose you cannot expect to get published if you criticise journalists and their failure to report what the Government, Parliament and its members are actually doing. Especially if you ask sarcastically whether the media owners and their hench-people are not rich and powerful enough yet. Don't worry, all the reactionary shock jocks are out there, blathering away, stirring up discontent by abuse and trivialisation.

So I am bit depressed, as well as angry, about the future of our polity.

Some tweeter poured scorn on the Prime Minister on the basis of what she knits might wind up being given to the homeless.

This made me really angry. I, and hundreds, nay, probably thousands of women are knitting and crocheting wraps to be given to refugees. I have made quite a number in the last year. My little group consists of wonderful strong women who are spending a lot of time and energy, not to mention quite a lot of money to pay for the yarns, to help desperate and homeless people in other countries. Such work makes us care for each other. And it makes us care for others - all those out there, out of sight, out of mind. It creates social capital. This is a small contribution overall, but it seems far more worthwhile than the sneering of journalists and shock jocks.

It is about time we recognised our good fortune, and ceased abusing, sneering and whinging.

I did watch, on the Public Affairs Channel (APAC), a Round Table discussion on the Constitution and on the referendum proposal (whether or not local government should be recognised in the Australian Constitution). It was held at Parliament House, in one of the committee rooms, with several MPS participating, and notable and erudite legal experts, political scientists, journalists and historians discussing the issues. It was a civil, moderate and reasoned discussion from which any viewer could learn a lot.

Did it get any coverage?

I bet not, except possibly in the Canberra Times, as its political editor is excellent, informed, erudite and well-spoke.

Why don't we acknowledge the good, as well as the bad?

4 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

The bad is so much more dramatic. Sigh.
And even the CT has been guilty of focussing on the non-issues of late. Bigger sigh.
You are not alone.

Friko said...

Well, your PM has announced her retirement from politics now. She seems to have been faced with an awful lot of misogyny.

It’s good to let off steam and blogging is a safe place to do so.

Frances said...

Have you tried the Guardian (AU), I.P.?
It has, in my opinion,a wider range of opinion and invites contributors to its 'Comments' section.
I find the SMH opinion pieces very predictable usually, and rarely read them.

Isabelle said...

And to bring the intellectual level of the discussion WAY down - thank you for your birthday greetings and sorry that your lovely daughter had to remind me that it was your birthday too. Happy Birthday plus one!