Wracked with Joy
I hope you are well.
I had a cleaner clean my house this week, my house has never looked better and I’ve never be more wracked with guilt. If I’m honest guilt is the main thing I am wracked with. It’s rare I would describe myself as wracked with joy or indifference.
There is nothing wrong with me having a cleaner, four busy people live at my house we all chip in to pay the cleaner a good amount, but I’m still hyper aware of all the different types of privilege that I like to pretend aren’t there even though they are always wrapped around me like a warm blanket on a cold day.
The cleaner was a lovely south american woman who did an incredible job, but it would have been much better for my guilt if it was just a white dude with exactly the same level of privilege as me, some loser who doesn’t need the money, I want the first thing they say to be ‘Hey Bro, I’m just doing this to save up for windsurfing lessons, defiantly not sending it to a developing country that you could help if you were a better person, where should I start?’
A lot of people like to act like privilege is a myth, I work for a comedy news show and I have to respond to a lot of messages from the public and it’s a lot of older white dudes telling me that they are somehow the real victims.
I really want to explain to them, as white men, their lives are hard, but only because life is hard. Life isn’t hard because your a white man, being a white man is hard because of life. Being a white man is the easiest way to be a person but that’s still hard. You still have hopes and dreams, You still get your heart broken, sometimes you burn your mouth on food, having a white dick can’t protect you from these things.
I read about a program to help older men in regional areas to be better at sharing there feelings, which I thought was strange because if you’ve ever read the comments under any post about feminism, islam, gay marriage, climate change, political correctness, vaccines, aboriginal rights, trans rights, immigration, hipsters, horse racing, dog racing, vegetarians, vegans, mental health, Bullying, Parenting, Political entitlements, international women’s day. Changing the date of Australia Day legalising drugs, millennials, centre link, housing affordability, the greens party, gun regulation, the family court system… But older men in regional areas are actually REALLY good at sharing there feelings, they love it, they’re so excited to share their feelings sometimes they don’t even read the the article, there just to pumped up with feelings, they have to get it out. Sharing there feelings isn’t the problem. I think the problem we should focus on is that those feelings are exclusively blind rage.
I think a lot about the types of people sending angry messages to TV shows. I’ve been responding to these messages for nearly 4 years and I think it’s given me an interesting point of view on how similar people are deep down. I get angry messages from people on both sides of politics, and although they differ on some things, they are connected by the fact their lives are impossibly sad. Sure you differ on climate change but you both choose to spend your only life writing mean comments about a TV show you hate. Maybe they live in the inner-city of Melbourne and maybe they live in a farming town in North Queensland, they might feel like they are worlds apart, but if either of them felt the touch of another human being they would both start weeping uncontrollably.
I’m reading a book at the moment that has made me think a lot about these people. It’s called Lost Connections by Johann Hari. I heard him talking about it on a podcast, It’s about depression and anxiety but not so much from a self help point of view. It’s big and covers a range of subjects, but I’ve found it really important. Currently every element of lives is considered to be more of an individualistic pursuit than ever before and that includes our emotional health. The book presents what shouldn’t be a radical idea that our emotional distress isn’t something we are individually to blame for, or something purely chemical and out of our control, that instead we are meant to be part of a community, one part of a whole, rather than striving hopelessly to heal ourselves by reaching for trash materialist goals. It’s made me think a lot about when I was feeling horrible about stand-up. In hind sight stand up wasn’t the problem so much as the isolated and ego driven world stand up had led me too. Check it out if that sounds interesting to you. https://thelostconnections.com/
I’m going to start ending these with a couple of things I’ve been enjoying that I want share.
Elaine Song. Bethany Cosentino is the singer for Best Coast, a band I’ve loved for many years, and she teamed up with the the people who make @Seinfeld2000, my favourite dumb twitter account, to make a song out of Elaine quotes. I clicked on it because I assumed it would be funny but really it’s just a really great tune, I listened to it on a loop all day at work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cjZHAyrf4E
Shannon and the Clams: Great band, I just bought there latest album, ‘Onion’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm3cf3jsWNw I love playing them as the house music for my stand up gigs, they make me feel like everything is cool and good. I have 3 of their albums and they all get played a lot.
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