So, that whole ‘new-thing-a-day’ really went down the tube, didn’t it? Ditto the ‘blog-a-day’ thing, or at least, ‘blog-about-every-day’ thing. Turns out the last year of my twenties isn’t so earth-shatteringly exciting that I feel the need to record every last detail. Turns out, the last year of my twenties is just a year like every other year of my late twenties, in which I avoid responsibility, big decisions and grown-up choices in favour of whining, drinking too much and eating chips with cheese and garlic sauce.
Oh well, what you gonna do?
The last week has been pretty boring, which is why I haven’t bothered to blog. I was massively unwell last weekend and then I got a lot better, so I decided to celebrate by going out and drinking a lot, meaning I probably stayed a little bit sick quite a bit longer than was strictly necessary. Monday I got drunk and angry in a park whilst discussing #auspol. Tuesday I drank in a park (but did not get drunk or angry – lesson learnt from the night before). Wednesday I went to terribly trendy Hoxton to watch my terribly trendy young friend play a gig with her terribly trendy band. I enjoyed it, but part of me also wanted to just go home and re-read my copy of ‘The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart’ out-loud. My party side decided to drown my grandma side in alcohol, meaning I got quite drunk on Wednesday night as well. FYI – don’t attempt to explain very controversial ideas and theories surrounding love whilst drunk and coming home on the night bus. It just comes across as self-pitying and attention-seeking, rather than an intellectual critique of modern romantic Western culture. Little tip from me to you. Last night I headed out to see a friend perform at a scratch in Hackney. Also, I hung-out in a park yesterday, but didn’t drink at all (lesson learnt from all previous days of the week).
So, that’s the run down, now you know what I’ve been up to. And now I can tell you what I’m really worried about.
For those of you who don’t know, the Australian federal election is being held on Saturday the 7th of September. And for those of you who have been living under a rock, or who are delusional optimists,or who are not Australians, Tony Abbott is going to win.
And this guy:
Oh, and this one too:
You know what? I don’t even have the energy to argue with anyone over this anymore. I have been arguing against politicians like this since I was 12 years old and found out that my grandmother was voting for One Nation and Pauline Hanson (this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8R4DknGsaQ OH, AND HOW AWFUL IS THIS VIDEO ANYWAY? DON’T READ THE COMMENTS, YOU’LL WANT TO PUNCH THE COMPUTER SCREEN). I’m tired. It doesn’t seem to do anything. Once upon a time, I believed in a world that was steadily progressing towards some kind of social democratic utopia in which all people were looked after and treated equal and fairly (I thought the entire world was eventually going to turn into Norwegians – until I found out not everything the Norwegians do is perfect either). I know that’s not true anymore – there is no narrative, no clearly defined goodies and baddies, there is only that which we impose onto our history with the benefit of hindsight. My postmodern, poststructuralist education has left me with the ability to see all sides of an argument and the crippling inability to make a decision; attempt to convince another person of my personal beliefs or confidently see the way forward.
So let me just say: on Saturday I am going to be devastated. Devastated by a country that doesn’t realise how lucky it is. Devastated by a selfish, lazy country that wants to hoard and jealously protect its wealth and advantage. Devastated by a country that refuses to imagine the long-term, irreparable consequences of its behaviour. I am going to be devastated by a country that is going to vote in Tony Abbott. That is going to vote him in overwhelmingly. I am going to be devastated. The drinking and sad songs will not end.
And whilst I don’t really have the words anymore to fight with anyone, I have been volunteering for the Greens all week at Australia House, handing out How-to-Votes and being a presence for the party. Because I can’t, in all good conscience, support Labor and because I think Western politics needs to be shaken out of its smugness, complacency and apathy by the shock of a true alternative: genuine policy, conviction and vision.
Volunteering has been an enlightening experience – there is a lot of hostility directed at us volunteers, which I find interesting. I suppose we become the physical embodiment of the politicians they only ever see on television and so they direct all their frustration and anger at us. Yesterday a Liberal supporter (a 70 year old man who really should know better), took my How-To-Vote, scrunched it up in my face and then threw it at me. Luckily I kept my cool and told him there was no need for that and if he didn’t want to vote for the Greens he shouldn’t take the form, that he shouldn’t waste them and I would recycle the one he had destroyed. So, in the end I looked reasonable, he looked psychotic. Which is, of course, how I would like everyone to view Liberal supporters. So, win for me? I guess? A few days previously, on my second day of volunteering, a woman asked me if Labor was preferencing the Greens in all electorates. I replied that, unfortunately, I wasn’t sure, but that her preferences were her own to decide. She snapped that she knew that, at which point her friend started getting in on the act and telling me that, ‘as a Greens spokesperson’ surely I should ‘at least’ know that. Keeping my smile and the lightness to my voice, I replied that I was a Greens volunteer, not a spokesperson and that I supported the Greens, not Labor, so I couldn’t tell her everything that Labor was doing. I thought also that preferences would depend on which electorate she was looking at. I don’t understand the anger directed at me in this scenario, I can only attribute it to people’s attitudes towards politicians (‘they are stupid’ ‘they’re always hiding something’) suddenly directed at me, because I’ve got the badge on. As someone who has spent most of her life trying to be nice and trying to have people like me, it is a very odd situation to be in.
I think my other problem with politics these days is that I am no longer (if I ever was) filled with anger. I am soaked in sadness. And sadness is not a useful emotion. It is a debilitating emotion. Anger can be channelled, it can be focused. Sadness is just draining. I want to be like this: http://lookingforastronauts.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/anger-for-lucy-ellinson-and-chris-thorpe/ I want to be that angry. That focused, that direct. That useful. But, instead I am perpetually weeping in the corner.
I’m back in London and I’m back to being unemployed. Its strange how quickly you sink back into feelings of low self-worth through being rejected and useless. I mean, I haven’t actually been rejected yet. I am just anticipating the rejection. Its been a year since I last had to job search, but the first job application I filled out this week, I just thought, oh god. Here we go again. The great email silence. I don’t know how people get jobs from applications. From applying online. I don’t see how that is something that happens. Anyway, I’m making it more difficult for myself, as I haven’t rung my old employers yet to let them know I am back and happy to work. If I don’t have any success in the next week or so, I will probably do so. But, I can’t work Christmas and I’m not sure I want to go back to being a waitress. What I’d really like is a 9 – 5 job, Mon – Fri, so that I know I have my weekends free and I know what my schedule is like. Then I could take some weekend trips away, see some of the UK, do some writing etc. That’s what I want. I want a little bit of stability after months and months of rushing around and everything changing all the time.
Anyway. That’s me. Politics and unemployment. I’m a little low, but not too bad. I’m zoning out a bit too much on social media. The only thing that’s genuinely making me happy and inspired for the moment is that new copy of ‘The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart’, which I have been reading over and over to myself in bed, on the tube, in cafes… and the potential for seeing theatre at some point.