Tuesday, August 09, 2011

to be perfectly honest

Sometimes when things feel particularly bleak in this bizarrely beautiful and contradictory country of ours, one finds oneself dreaming longingly of a 'safe' existence.
You know, a life of low (if any) fences, unbarred windows, walks after dark, disease control, weapons restrictions, order, compliance, efficacy, accountability, normalcy. A life in say, England, or Norway, or Canada ...

Am I allowed to say that when the shit hits the fan as it has in London there's an element of relief in it for me?
Am I allowed to use the word relief in it's broadest sense and with no intended implication of schadenfreude or unkindness?
I hate what's happening in London, I'm battling to understand it and vacillating between horror at the unruliness of what seems, to my 3rd-world trained eye, to be a bunch of already well-dressed, well-fed kids breaking into high street stores to steal sneakers - as someone mentioned on face book nary a placard or political slogan to be seen - and sadness at a generation which seems to be so ... angry? voiceless? bored?
I'm concerned for my friends, concerned for the implications these events will have on their lives.
I'm disillusioned, worried, appalled.

But the lesson that people are people are assholes are victims are oppressors are dissatisfied are trying are failing are learning e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, is a valuable one that I need to re-learn often.

Today is Women's Day here. We celebrate women who've gone before and done the work to give us the rights we have today. We think about women's role in our society and try to honour that.

We walk on the mountain, and watch our little women survey their kingdom. We go home and eat cake.

We're not uncaring, but for today the shit splatters in another part of the world, and we're completely happy to call Africa home.
Tomorrow may be different. I very much hope it is for the UK, I'll be quite happy if it's not for me.


Possum said...

I completely understand where you are coming from. As I watched the news showing the appalling behaviour of those louts in the UK I thought of my Gogo and those who came before her who marched on Union square all those years ago. I dont know if I would call what I felt relief, it was more a sense of just knowing...a sort of been there gone through that now lets get on with life feeling interlaced with a lot of pride. Our Women just know that discipline, family values and respect are necessary for a civilised society. I do believe that your Little Women are going to do just fine!

MissBuckle said...

You're right! Shit happens everywhere.

And to be completely honest I have another perspective while watching the news now. It COULD happen to me.