March 22 2018
When I was a nipper, I remember there was always a healthy rivalry between the state school kids and those of us who went to the local convent school. Many were the days we would run the gauntlet as we made our way to school; passing the main gate or the playing grounds of our state-schooled nemeses. It was standard procedure to fire off shots at each other; not with rocks or fists; rather it was in the form of cheeky taunts and ditties we would sing in earshot of the other party.
“Convent dogs jump like frogs, in and out the wa-ter” would come the ragged taunting chorus from beyond the chain-link fence as we filed past. Perhaps spurred on by the Holy Spirit, we Mick kids gave back as good as we got: ‘State school dogs sit on logs, eating maggots out of frogs’
What devastating repartée. Nyahh, nyahh, take that.
Sadly it seems we have a puerile clutch of political commentators who haven’t progressed much beyond the silly name calling stage that most of us left behind in the primary school playground. And some of our politicians and civic leaders aren’t much better.
This week I saw Miranda Devine bemoaning the goss that Matt Damon was considering relocating with his family to Australia rather than remain in a country under Donald Trump. This seemed far too bitter a pill to swallow for Ms Devine, who sarcastically tweeted “All we need is more leftie celebrities.”
Seriously? Lefty celebrities? Most normal people would just refer to Damon as a celebrity. Who would know that he is a left winger; if indeed that is even true? Who would even care? I’m pretty sure if you asked your average punters if they disliked Donald Trump because they were left-wingers, they would stare at you curiously and tell you they dislike him because he’s a dead-set numpty.
As an aside, had Ms Devine bothered to fact check, she would have found the Matt Damon story was in fact false, but that didn’t stop her having a wail at his expense. It seems as if anything or anyone who doesn’t conform with these journos own world views sends them into paroxysms of self-righteous indignation. They either need to get out more or move from under those power lines.
If someone feels so strongly about ‘lefty celebrities’ does this mean they will now boycott certain movies? ‘I refuse to watch the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight is Right” – the guy who plays Robin is a dirty lefty.’
Because there are dirty lefties and crazy lefties now. Believe in climate change and you’re by default a lefty. Speak out on the subject and you’re elevated to the status of dirty lefty. Nyahh, nyahh, take that.
Who even talks like this? When I happen to leave the toilet seat up by mistake, my wife never says “That was a bit right wing of you.” I’m far more likely to draw a cutting response along the lines of “How about you put the seat down for once, you lazy bugger!”
So, what next? Does the whole lefty/righty thing extend to the supermarket aisle? Do breakfast cereal choices brand someone left or right? “Just Right” is a dead giveaway for conservative consumers. Will my reaching for the organic muesli result in a chorus of lefty insults from my fellow grocery shoppers? I only happen to buy it because it tastes good.
Will road rules have to change so we all drive on the right and not the left? Or will we simply choose a side according to political persuasion and fight it out like Mad Max?
Everything we say, or do, or consume is not a statement of political affiliation.
What miserable one-dimensional lives these people must lead, that they can only see life in ideological terms. I truly question the value of a journalist who cannot see a multi-dimensional world existing beyond their political bubble. In a world of colour, these people are reducing everything to either black or white.
And politicians who make similar disparaging remarks need to be reminded that they are public servants, and they are not governing for themselves and their own little cheer squad.
Perhaps it might be on account of my Asperger’s, but every time I see their tedious lefty/righty diatribe spew across my Twitter feed, the “Convent dogs jump like frogs” ditty plays in glorious stereo in my head.
Even as I write this, I’m seeing the news that Peter Dutton is condemning “crazy lefties” for their criticism of his support for white South African farmers. So apparently the journos at the ABC and the Guardian are now “dead to him.” The last time I heard such blinding eloquence was from a teenage girl on the bus – “OMG, they are so totes dead to me right now.”
So now the song is playing in my head again. Thanks, Pete. Totes.
I am driven primarily by moral compass, not by a notion of political ideology. And I would suggest there are a great many people who feel the same way.
Personally, I believe we should care for our environment and protect its flora and fauna. Hell, it isn’t rocket science – right now this is the only planet we have, and what kind of bird is stupid enough to shit in its own nest? I believe we should treat others as we expect to be treated – I would expect fairness, respect and equality. We’re not Christians and Muslims. We’re not blacks and whites. We’re humans. We all bleed and we all cry; we all need love. It’s that simple.
I don’t believe these beliefs make me anything unusual or exceptional. It does seem as though you are automatically branded a lefty if you happen to demonstrate qualities of empathy and compassion or express a desire to care for the planet. I’m not sure how that makes one “dirty.”
I don’t know about you, but quite frankly these are qualities which I would hope to find in all my fellow planetary travellers. And if sad-sack politicians and their cheerleader political commentators feel they want to call me a dirty lefty, then so be it.
Perhaps this explains why the heart is on the left side of the body.