Saturday, May 13, 2006

Find me a successful, non-obsessive Australian man born in 1964, 1965 or (Jan – May) 1966

Yep, I’m issuing a challenge to my readers: I undertake to blog, without directly or indirectly mentioning the b-word (boomers), for a Biblically-significant period (40 days), if anyone can come up with the name of a single successful, non-obsessive Australian man roughly my age.

Specifically, I’m interested in someone who has had (/made) roughly the same, youth-to-20s chances (/choices) in life as me, but is now through to a very different outcome into middle-age. Re the possibly odd-sounding inclusion of only some of the 1966-born, I’m not trying-on an obscure statistical gerrymander here; rather, just in simplifying the end-narrative. In case you don’t get it, I’m interested in “snapshots” of other men at 40, or soon after. There’s nothing magical about turning 40, of course, but it does have a certain ring to it. Also, IMO this age, and probably not too much before, is a reasonable proxy/predictor of a man’s prospects for the rest of his working (or not) life

First, some fine-print terms and conditions, before I go into the “successful” and “non-obsessive” stuff:

- the said man must have some sort of public (/Google-able) profile, just so we know he’s real

- the said man must be Australian-born, or at least have migrated to Australia before starting primary school

- past or present expats (= men who have had significant career success overseas) are excluded (This may sound like a silly, artificial exclusion that denies the reality of modern global careers, yada x 3, but for me in the 80s, any thought of my moving to London would have simply connoted dropping-out (= doing the tired-old hippie thing, but for new, peculiarly-masochistic reasons, given Thatcher.) (I didn’t realise until much later than Hawke and Keating were Thatcher in drag, and pari passu Australia’s economy.))

- the said man must have at least an undergrad honours university degree. Preferably, though, he will have a Masters degree or higher

- sons of billionaire media proprietors, et al, are obviously excluded

Second, this is not a quest for romance, career-advancement, or anything else on my part. I don’t want to meet the guy/s who may be suggested – just to prove a point, or not.

Finally, re his being “successful” and “non-obsessive”:

By “successful”, I don’t necessarily mean filthy-rich. But owning a nice, substantially- or wholly- paid-off house in a capital city is almost certainly a pre-requisite (unless he is an eccentric-renter type, who could transparently afford such a house in a heartbeat, if he so chose). Also a pre-requisite is a reasonably high-paying ($100k +) job or self-employment income. Again, I’d be prepared to bend this if necessary, say, to accommodate a Nobel laureate medical-researcher who’s only on $80k. But in any event, if he’s had more than one year on ultra-low (below $30k) income since his mid-20s (including, perish the thought, because of long-term unemployment), apart from when he might have been (i) a full-time postgrad student or (ii) in the start-up phase of self-employment, he’s disqualified on the basis of his “success” being erratic over the longer-term.

“Non-obsessive” is a still-looser concept. Ken Parish, probably rightly, accuses me of being “obsessive”, but – even at acute risk of deepening my own grave – I reckon that such a trait is a very common one among educated Australian men of my vintage, but that this fact remains curiously unacknowledged. Two examples here, of same-aged male public figures, who have enjoyed some career success, but who I’d call “obsessive” enough to be disqualified from my quest (assuming that they otherwise had all the boxes ticked) are Democrats politician Andrew Bartlett and gay activist Rodney Croome (both bloggers also, BTW, but I stress that this doesn’t itself cause their, IMO, “obsessive” label). If you still don’t “get” what I mean by “obsessive” with these two examples, you need to Google their careers.

I also note here that being “obsessive” can be a strongly positive characteristic, albeit in a way invariably counter-productive to one’s conventional career success. Again, invoking an example might be useful.

[On May 1, the morning after the two Beaconsfield miners were discovered to be alive] one man, miner Brett Cresswell [the duo’s shift supervisor] risked his life and crawled through rock and rubble to within 1m of the pair to pass them water and a blanket . . . Progress on a communication pipe through to the men had been frustratingly slow. Cresswell . . . orders everyone else out of the area and squeezes and digs himself into a claustrophobically small crawl space over [the rockfall area].

Cresswell, 40, is acting illegally and risking a $20,000 fine . . . Cresswell is an unassuming hero.

(Hey, no shit about the “unassuming” or “hero” bits. If it were me, I’d like to think I’d be a little bit angrier and a little less “unassuming” about Macquarie Bank, the mine's absentee landlords (and their minions, whose chain of trust plainly stops somewhere above shift-supervisor), whose ironic, newfound softly-softly safety concerns (after the duo were heard to be alive) would most probably have lead to the trapped duo dying in situ before they could be rescued. But there I go, “obsessing” again. I'm sure that Xer Brett Cresswell, in return for his zipped-lips moderation in comparison, will be getting a juicy job offer from MacBank any day now . . . )

So the rest is up to you readers: scour the country and find a stable, male, early-40s Xer who’s on the sharper side of ordinary and fits within the above fine-print.

how old is Andrew Denton? i googled a little but just swamped with enough rope transcripts...
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