In our own way


This is the fourth instalment in the August blog carnival. This week’s theme is – something I don’t understand. Find out more here.

A quick explanation: this week’s blog is super late. Basically I got a temp job this week which means that I’ve been working proper, regular, working person hours. And apparently if you’re doing that while also running a festival and sleeping eight hours a day then you have zero time? Who knew.  
A long time ago I went to a trivia night and during this trivia night there was a charity auction. Said trivia night was at the Grafton Ex-serviceman’s Club and it was for a cause that I don’t remember. Probably a local person who needed a kidney machine. One of the items for sale during the auction was a jersey for a football team, signed by an applicable football person. The jersey sold for $1,000.
I was completely baffled. I couldn’t imagine going out one evening and then casually spending one thousanddollars on something that had basically no practical use. Wouldn’t you feel really guilty afterwards? Wasn’t that a lot of money? How did people just do things like that? Then I stopped. Because maybe I could imagine spending that money on a useless thing at a charity auction. A dalek for example. If I went to a charity auction and there was a dalek for sale, I would pay $1,000 for it. Assuming I could get it for $1,000 which I probably couldn’t because there would probably be a lot of people who would pay much more/outbid me.
In lots of ways a dalek is significantly more ridiculous than a jersey. In the scheme of things, a jersey is a fairly practical purchase – you can hang it on a wall. Whereas, what on earthdo you do with a dalek? I live in a one-bedroom flat! (Actually I just spent a couple of minutes deciding where we’d put it. I decided next to the TV. Although in this hypothetical world where I own a dalek, it would actually be at my parent’s house because I wouldn’t have been able to afford to transport it during my various long-distance moves).
There’s a point to this story. That night at the charity auction/trivia night I learnt an important lesson. I learnt that sometimes to understand something, you have to view it through a lens you can relate to. Whenever there’s something I don’t understand, before I judge the person, I try and imagine a situation where I can see myself doing the same thing.
Let’s be honest – I do a lot of things that other people struggle to understand. Last Sunday I saw the new episode of Doctor Who three times. I got up before dawn to watch it, had a nap, saw it at the cinema, made a soufflé and then watched it again in the evening. Getting up before dawn to watch Doctor Who has become a fairly regular occurrence at our place since the magic of simulcasting but I still understand that it’s kind of an odd thing to do. I can justify it in lots of ways – for me it’s about avoiding spoilers, it’s about supporting the ABC’s decision to simulcast at all, it’s about the ritual of the thing. But unless you can relate to those reasons, you probably still won’t be able to relate to the act.
I think everyone has something they’d get up at 4:50am for. It’s just that for most people, watching TV is not necessarily among those things. You just need to dig through your brain and find out what you’re thing is. We’re all crazy in our own way.
We are wearing half-arsed costumes. In case you can’t tell.
If you’re in Melbourne please come to the NYWF program launch at the Wheeler Centre on Thursday. You’ll be able to see the really cool slideshow I made and also say hi to me while I mutter “We made a WHOLE FESTIVAL!” at you over and over. Details here and you can book your FREE ticket here (ignore the part about picking a seat, there won’t be set seating).

You should also come to LitHop tomorrow. We’re making writers do running.

In other NYWF news – the full program will hit the website this week. Which is EXCITING. I’ll possibly do a very biased list of program highlights next week. Until then, here’s a four word teaser – dinosaurs, sandwiches, space, BATTLEDOME.

Further reading

December – home

I spent the first minutes of 2018 on the beach. I’ve never actually spent New Year