The Spring Racing Carnival has arrived and ‘the race that stops a nation’ will be attended by the rich and famous - and the rest of us. Our leader (who prefers lycra next to his skin or suit- jacketless attire) will, hopefully, wear a new tie. The ‘blue-tie brigade’ has been done and dusted. Enough is enough. Whether spotted, striped, paisley - Anything: just not another blue tie. Surely his virginal offspring (whose fashion sense is deplorable) could combine their pocket-money and buy their father a brand new tie - before the cameras roll.
Australians go to their polling booths on September 7 to elect a Prime Minister. Could their choice be more difficult; more of a dilemma. I doubt it. On the 27th of June 2013 we lost the first woman Prime Minister of Australia. I still remember the absolute joy, the cheers, the warmth felt in homes, factories, offices, on-line and elsewhere at her elevation to the highest office in the land. By the way, shouldn’t we and future generations have a permanent and visible reminder of this woman’s achievement after ll0 years of male political leadership?
The dilemma is this: on the one hand we have a candidate (generally disliked) who treated this Prime Minister (our Prime Minister) with disrespect and vitriol; aided by an American newspaper proprietor (who might as well call his papers ‘The Liberal Party Bugle’ and a campaign by the richest woman in the world earning an estimated $50,000/minute. Now that’s power.
I believe everyone, without exception, wears a face to face those we meet veiling our true feelings. It is not a deceit but a convention we instinctively adopt to avoid worrying others, appear relaxed, attractive, or give the appearance of success.
We ‘save face’ ‘face up to the music’ Tell ‘bare-faced lies’ Do ‘an about face’ Some are accused of being ‘two-faced’
It has been said, ‘her face is her fortune’ and some people ‘never forget a face’. The ‘smile on the face of a tiger’ is metaphorically an ominous sign.
A baby nearly always smiles at a smiling face. A child’s face is transparent in an atmosphere of anger, sadness or tension. The ability to wear a public face is learnt when the purity of childhood is diluted; then finally dissolved.
A mother reassures her frightened child by smiling even if she too is afraid. ‘Smile and the whole world smiles with you’ is only a good idea. It doesn’t always work.
At school we ‘face expulsion’. If insolvent ‘face bankruptcy. If poor ‘face eviction’. We are taxed to the utmost to wear the face of normalcy when confronted with devastation or horrific injuries, the obscene, the threatening or outrageous.
Apart from those who obey a religious custom, we seldom cover our face (unless you’re a robber or terrorist.) Yet, like the phantom of the opera we wear a mask. At times, caught unawares, our faces reflect the living, loving and unloving experienced. We are all guilty - although there is no guilt - of showing the face which is not in tune with our heart.
With feelings of anger, fear or sorrow, you may be blessed to be able to turn to the one in whose comforting arms you show the face denied to all others.
According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, one definition of ‘humble’ is ‘having or showing low estimate of one’s own importance.’
So, I ask you, why oh why when a great or small honour, prestigious award or high office is bestowed the recipient is ‘humbled’ to receive it. I bet my bottom dollar they are not, not a bit. It’s irritating and one suspects their ‘humbled’ is bull.
Winners should be grinners; thrilled to the back teeth; exultant and insanely happy. Can you imagine the winners at Bells, the AFL Grand Final or the Melbourne Cup being ‘humbled’? They won. The others lost. Tough. We can almost feel the winners exuberance and vicariously share their triumph.
When we the people, boards, committees or Important Personages elect to office (council, state or federal government) someone we hope will represent our interests fearlessly even aggressively ‘humbled’ just doesn’t do it. The meek does not inherit the earth.
Sour grapes - probably, since I’ve never even won a chook raffle. But ‘humble’ - never. I’d be deliriously boastful.
Though loathe to throw in a political note, nevertheless, with a change of the Australian government, which tragically seems likely, let us hope the new leader (who, apparently, has already written the winner’s speech) is not “Humbled by this great honour, etc etc.” It would be so funny you’d laugh until you cried.