Thursday, November 09, 2006

Cheats prosper?

Emma Tom’s “Wry side” column in the Oz is usually a pretty good read. She’s rarely laugh-out-loud funny, but her consistent contrarianism warms the cockles of my Xer heart. In fact, sometimes I reckon she could be a (relentlessly) optimistic GenX bloke in drag – but to achieve the requisite optimism from a male DNA base, she would need to medicated to a level I don’t believe a single Xer male has yet reached and lived to tell the tale. An idea of the stratospheric level of meds an Emma Tom gender-cross would require can be glimpsed in the back cover shot of Olivia Newton-John’s 1975 album Have You Never Been Mellow. There’s no mistaking the young Olivia’s pure and unadulterated Mellowness (not to be confused with mere emotions like happiness) – she seems ‘luuded sheer through to her LA-canyon-vortex cortex.

Anyway, yesterday Emma was semi-seriously defending cheating:

The uncomfortable truth is that a certain amount of selling out is necessary for survival and sanity.

Matthew Slaughter is the brooding electronic repair-dude from the 1990 Hal Hartley movie "Trust". Slaughter's hotted-up sense of morality (he won't touch dodgy components or television sets) means: (a) he's unemployable and (b) he feels the need to carry around a live grenade in case society's moral squalor gets too much and he suddenly needs to blow himself up.

It's hardly a practical approach.

I haven’t seen the movie Trust, but there’s an intriguing, escalating extremism between Emma’s two motherhood-statement bookends. If one doesn’t embrace at least a degree of cheating, she seems to be saying, one is presumptively unemployable, a state from which being a suicidal nutso is but one small step.

Perhaps. But taking baby-steps only in cheating is patently ridiculous. As with queue-jumping – whose ultimate sanction is the jumper getting jumped, ad infinitum – cheating necessarily invites an arms race, one that involves ever nastier and more organised-criminal participants.

It's hardly a practical approach. Yet it is all around us. Me, I’m just trying the Sisyphean task of achieving even momentary Mellowness, as an Xer male, like it’s never been Australia in 2006.

Trust is actually one of my all-time favourite movies. I saw it before the marketing category gen X was created though, now I see that my enjoyment of this movie is because it spoke to my time, much like Office Space does more consciously.

I now also understand why I have been unemployed for twenty years.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?