I sing in the car.
Nothing special about that you might think. Lots of people sing in the car. But I drive a convertible, and I don’t sound like Amy Winehouse. As a matter of fact, unlike all the Idol wannabes, even my mother has never told me I sing well. And my kids find it frankly embarrassing. They won’t get in the car with me if I’m going to sing.
But I don’t care. Singing makes me happy, particularly when things haven’t been going my way – which is often.
Personally, judging by the amount of whinging that’s been going on in this country lately, I think more people should try it.
It seems that John O’Brien has taken over from Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson as the iconic Australian poet. Just when did Aussie’s transform from “he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled” to “we’ll all be rooned”?
And it’s not just all of us who’ll be rooned – but we have to compete to see who can be rooned the worst.
I remember reading a cartoon many years ago, where the characters were trying to outdo each other with how tough they ‘d done it “Shoes? You had shoes as a kid? We had to tie dead lizards to our feet” etc.
The problem is, a lot of government policy is set for those who can scream “I’m a victim” the loudest. Tabloid (and even serious) media run story after story about how hard done by we all are. And the louder you whinge the more likely you are to get a response. And if you believe the hype, middle class white families (or should that be “hard working Australian families”) seem to be the most put upon and disadvantaged.
But this outbreak of whinging isn’t confined to the middle classes – or Australians. I was watching one of those real housewives shows the other day (with my 21 year old daughter, she loves them) and one of the women was complaining about how hard life was for her as a single mother of two children. I guess those four nannies, unmortgaged mansion and thousands of dollars a month in support just didn’t cut it!
Some people really are doing it tough, but they’re not the ones that this is about. It seems that those who really are disadvantaged often get stomped on harder by government policy, talk back radio and tabloid media, but that’s another story.
I’ve got a cartoon on my desk with an old(er) woman saying “When I was your age I had to walk ten miles in the snow to get stoned and have sex”. I love it. For me, that shows up the whole competing victimhood thing for the stupidity it is. We’ve never had it so good, but we’ve constantly got to compete to see who’s got it worst.
Well, I refuse to compete.
I love my life, the good, the bad and everything in between.
I suggest we make a new rule. If you want to complain – stop whinging and start singing it. And who knows, maybe it’ll make you “smile, smile, smile”.