Several things annoyed me over the festive season. Bad weather before Christmas, disappearance of two frogs, no tadpoles for sale. More contact with whanau, friends should have offset these minor matters. We’re older, frailer, ?wiser. I thought this would make armchair politics more fun. Silly me. Our political views have become more divergent (along with the array of parties on offer) but follow the trend of the upwardly mobile moving right, most of their offspring even more so.
The comfort of rule seems to have rendered them less well informed, more dour socially. The accretion of wealth seems, once again (or would it be more accurate to say ‘as ever’) mystically linked to a right to rule that equally mystically results in righteous rule. This saves a lot of intellectual effort.
Offsider was easily persuaded to forsake roast for a sandwich and a whanau do two hours plus away. Bad Christmas vibes linger from my childhood: exhausted mother in hot kitchen, post-war stringency, hayfever. Offsider’s whanau was more sensible, convivial and took turns at bring a plate, alcohol. Even so tears, marital spats, kitchen fatigue were regular features. Roast lamb (which nowadays seems to mean a tough old ewe nourished on Australian drought plains) is a goner, but the blame for the whole fandango I unreservedly lay on women. My sister took her brood off camping from the outset, it was years before they cottoned on to Christmas excess. It should be expunged from history. Not the history of Christianity per se. It underpinned a lot of our laws, customs and male supremacist culture.
At gatherings I did attend I convivially raised the election assuming it would still be topic of great interest and entertainment, and revealed I had voted Internet Mana. Before I could ask National voters how they accommodated the pong revealed by Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics in the Prime Minister’s office the spittle erupted. The target: Laila Harré. The best exemplars of this self-blind rectitude were women, real-life heirs to Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who I had thought of as something of a caricature. C de B is the aunt of hero Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, and is utterly opposed to his marrying the heroine Elizabeth, his social inferior of no breeding. She tells her this without restraint or manners. I got an what amounted to an ill-informed dressing down. Elizabeth not only stood her ground, she bested her attacker. Not so me. I was horrified rather than mortified.
If my moral compass is shaky where the hell is theirs?