Lazy Luddite Log


Cannot Miss

Some recent conversations I have been privy to have reminded me how much we tend to deride the political processes and institutions we have and I have been inspired to pen a short drawing room play exploring the topic somewhat. Here it is - a conversation between life partners Lidia and Stephen over Sunday brunch at home...

Lidia: Have you seen the news sites this morning darling?

Stephen: Been too busy re-jigging the look of my website babe. What's the latest?

Lidia: The Prime Minister has temporarily assumed the powers of the President, and she's suspended the coming election till the national emergency is over.

Stephen: Well, our vote never gave us any power anyway.

Lidia: We do live in a marginal seat.

Stephen: Sure, but both major candidates are always so damn centrist it makes no difference.

Lidia: That's true. May as well just give the job to whichever one has the best IQ or something.

Stephen: Exactly! What is needed is a bit of intelligence in politics!

Stephen wanders over from his desk to where Lydia is sitting on the couch with her laptop, plants a kiss on her forehead, then asks her if she would like a cuppa. She asks for a peppermint tea, which Stephen goes to fix for her, and comes back in with it and his own coffee.

Lidia: I'm looking at local news now, and apparently those Emos who get in the way down at the station have been sent away to Happy Camp to be given a new perspective on life, all expenses paid by the government.

Stephen: Wow, their parents must be chuffed, to be free of the kids at no cost to them.

Lidia: Yes, but they cannot send away the ones who are adult, and a 'spokesperson' for the Emos says that this is an abuse of their rights.

Stephen: Rights? Ha! What rights do any of us have? There's never been a bill of rights here, so who can say we have any. We've always been at the mercy of corporations and the media telling us how to live and what to consume.

Lidia: You're so right, hon, besides, I'm not sure that there is such a thing as "the right to be Emo".

Stephen: The "right to be negative and whiny all the time" more like.

Both Lidia and Stephen notice a commotion in the street outside their apartment, so Stephen walks over to the window to take a look outside.

Lidia: What is it, sweetie?

Stephen: Oh, just more of those black-shirts jack-booting down the street.

Lidia: They worry me, sweetheart, they are supposed to make us feel safe, but something about them gives me the creeps.

Stephen: I know, babe, but there's the national emergency, and besides, we've always lived in a police state if you look at how things really are. Remember how the cops used to be at some of the rallies we attended?

Lidia: I suppose you're right. Oppression has always been the norm and freedom is just a word.

Stephen: Yep. You cannot miss what you never had.

It seems to me that too many of us see things in black-and-white terms. We are aware of and critical of the many flaws in our polity and so we should be. But sometimes this perspective is so overpowering that it obscures any shades of grey. We overlook the worthwhile aspects of what we do have and forget how atrocious things could be. If we assume something is worthless we may never notice if it is eroded till it truly becomes the thing we have long imagined it to be.

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  • I'm copying and pasting comments to this same post from LiveJournal (complete with messy formatting text). See below...

    From: paul_the_bass
    Date: June 30th, 2010 05:33 pm (local)
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    Haah! Very good, originaluddite.

    There often is a kind of confused nexus between political apathy and disenchantment with 'the system'.
    (Reply) (Thread)

    From: originaluddite
    Date: July 1st, 2010 09:16 am (local)
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    Yes. I find some of the perspectives of what I call "political spectators" frustrating (even if I am pretty much one of them now). In part the problem is illustrated by the old saying "a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing" - they know enough to criticize but not to truly appreciate.
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

    From: aeduna
    Date: July 1st, 2010 11:13 am (local)
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    (Reply) (Thread)

    From: originaluddite
    Date: July 1st, 2010 03:58 pm (local)
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    Yes to all of it? Yay!
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

    From: why_am_i
    Date: July 1st, 2010 02:03 pm (local)
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    I don't wanna live in the modern world (mass hysteria)
    I am a nation without bureaurocratic ties
    Deny the allegations as it's written
    Fuckin' lies

    ...sorry, I had something to say but it was interrupted by the opportune arrival of Green Day's form of political commentary on my playlist.


    I really liked that scene. It resonated well, and I can sort of see myself in there, if I'm perfectly honest.

    (Reply) (Thread)

    From: originaluddite
    Date: July 1st, 2010 03:57 pm (local)
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    Re: I don't wanna live in the modern world (mass hysteria)
    Songs are applicable to so many things.

    I think I rattled it off quickly because it is a mindset I am familiar with, one which I have shared at times with my peers. Also I find it useful to criticize my own kind of politics as well as those that are markedly different.
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

    By Blogger Daniel, At 09 May, 2017  

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