Sternly Worded: the Economy, Tall Poppy Syndrome & Caring About Uni

(Or, A Bi-Issue-Alternating Piece Where Your Favourite Aunty Lambastes Those Issues Sorely In Need Of Basting, Baking And Serving Up As Pile-Of-Shite With A Side Of Jerk-Wad).

Worrying About The Economy

Now Possums (to quote my favourite Dame, after Maggie Smith), I know times have been tough, and people have lost their jobs. Some of us couldn’t go on holidays to the places we’d have liked to, nor could we buy the things we’d saved for, whether they be first homes or new shoes.

But really, isn’t it time we took off our cranky pants and started going back to living properly?

Perhaps you’re thinking I’m in support of further capitalism, and/or spending sprees to help the economy back on its shaky legs. But rather, I’d like to think something like the GFC would have taught us a lesson – stop fucking doing dumb spending!!

Good fucking gracious me, just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you should buy it! Why not save up a little and buy something that will last you longer, and wasn’t made in some hellish foreign sweat shop? Or heaven forbid, forgo brand names and get something nice from an op-shop. And no, that doesn’t mean something heaps ‘on trend’ – there are certain ‘vintage’ shirts that were always going to look like vomit stains, and pairing them with no-lens, black frame faux-glasses (because yes, technically to be glasses they at least need SOME KIND of glass-like substance in them) doesn’t help.

Now I hate to sound like a social snob, but, well, I am one dearies. You aren’t ‘helping the economy’ by simply shopping – do it right, and support a local business or products too, and keep more than the check-out chick at Coles in a job! Because quite frankly, her own employer is gradually phasing out her job with self-serve checkouts. Economics may be a bitch, but you don’t have to be one all the time either.

Tall Poppy Syndrome

You’ve probably engaged in it, even if you don’t know what it means – it’s the idea that society likes us all to be on the same level, and persecutes those who rise above the mean, simply because they HAVE risen. It’s why we have trash magazines that glory in celebrities’ cellulite. It’s why we gloat over the indiscretions of politicians and sports stars. It’s why Jack Goddard told me I wasn’t any good at singing back in Year 10 Drama (yes yes, the most tragic thing about this is that I still remember it, I know…)

It’s why people are so happy to abuse the Prime Minister, in my opinion (not to mention a certain underlying slosh of sexism). Ever notice how more often than not she’s ‘Julia Gillard’ in the media, rather than ‘the Prime Minister’? Or how the first comment people will often make about her is in reference to her voice, hair, husband and/or sexuality? She really was our golden girl before she was PM; funnily enough, so was K-Rudd. We love cutting down those people who fought it to the top, it seems.

But why, my darling readers? Who gives a flying-figjam about these things? Shouldn’t we in essence be worrying about trade, and immigration policy, and whether we’re about to bomb the fuck out of Iran or something? Nah, we casually drawl, I’m not keeping track of that stuff now – some guy threw his shoe at Ju-liar though! It’s all over Youtube; ha, I love how she’s being all cosseted by the bodyguard in that shot. Was it something to do with Aboriginal rights? Dunno, will post something inane on Twitter about it instead.

Don’t treat those in the public eye like shit because they’re in that spotlights, my loves. It smacks of jealousy, and that’s very unbecoming in young boys and gels.

Not Caring About Your Uni

Use the bins. Don’t put out your cigarettes on the sidewalk – you’re killing the mother-fudging fish, which we’re over fishing anyway!

Damn well SAY SOMETHING in class – try your best not to worry too much about ‘what everyone thinks of you’; you’re never the dumbest person in class (that’s more often the person not actually there), and seriously, you only see these people for an hour a week anyway. Worst case scenario – you have class with the person for the next three years (again, only seeing them for a tiny, tiny fraction of that time), and they occasionally roll their eyes, and Facebook their friends about ‘some loud idiot’ in class.

Ooohhh noooos! They’ll get over it, or they can stick a pineapple up their rectum, coz they’ll probably learn more from that experience than by not engaging in class discussions.

Join a club – no, I’m serious. You meet people (even potential mates- woo!), you learn about how to, and not to, organise things, and someday you might get to exercise some tyrannical power of your own if you make it to the Exec. Or do a sport or something.

At least you’ll get shit loads of emails about things, filling your inbox and giving you that heady ‘I’m Popular!’ feeling of inclusion.

And finally, and most importantly, my hotty totties – give a shit about what’s happening at your uni. There’s a lot going on if you’ve got your eyes and ears open, and some of it smells fishy. Fishy as a Glad-Wrapped, badly-prepared tuna sandwich that’s going off in the sun on the Science Lawn. If you’ve loved your time at UNSW, and enjoyed its benefits and structures, preserve them for future students. Don’t be one of those nasty degree-centric idiots; you’ve got one chance to be in your late-teens/early twenties, earn a low income and be full of ideals. Try not to use uni just as a means to an end, but as an end in itself. Pretty philosophical huh? But then, Aunty does know best.

Liz Stern

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