the good parts of groupthink
last night as i was walking through the yard from the main house to my backrooms, i looked upwards and there, like always were the stars. my first thought was to stop forgetting them, to suggest to my housemate and new co-editor of a streetpress, “let’s spend time looking at these instead of/after Masterchef.” my next thought was to write a section in the next streetpress reminding all our friends to look at the stars too, and even at a specific time and day and even set up a buddy system where you text message a friend to remind them “NOW!” Now’s the time we’re all going to look at the stars together!
because we do everything together.
i’ve been enjoying Masterchef for this very reason, also for nostalgia to heal my wounded heart, but the knowledge that all round the place, the big fucking country, there’s other people seeing this too. me and the housemate got fish and chips last night after delivering the streetpress and there was a crazy eyed New Zealander sitting out there too, pinging after his footy training, smoking a ciggie, talking fast, not blinking and waiting for his fishburger. he had no shoes on, and shorts where you could nearly see into his soul. the way him and my housemate addressed each other i thought they already knew each other, but it turned out we were just connected through the telly
“we’ve only got foxtel” new zealand said, “you can’t get normal telly on it – no ‘The Voice’, no ‘My Kitchen Rules.’ i like ‘The Voice’ when they’re doing the button bit, where it’s just right at the start.”
“me too!” (that’s me talking)
well anyway, with all our friends we just do everything together sometimes and sometimes it’s a good thing. our friend started a paddle club and a swamp club and now everyone’s talking about the river – it’s not just me. we know the old name for it : derbarl yerrigan. we know the birds on it, including the yellow billed spoonbill which music photographer amber bateup told me she got to clean the cages of at the animal sanctuary where she worked.
“i had to grab them when i cleaned their cages,” she told me. “their beaks are really like spoons. if you ever get the chance to grab one you should grab the opportunity.”
all the girls too are talking about what happens to us 24/7. sexual objectification, patronisation, whistles, rape. some of the boys have no idea because they’re good guys, but as the groupthink goes they’re beginning to understand. ben witt, who releases his album soon, his eyes went very wide when he found out, yeah, actually girls get raped and then sometimes end up at the same show as the person who did it. that’s the sad group knowledge, but we all have to know. and he found out recently about a good thing – this history of the afghan cameleers who were a big part of the new culture taking over australia in the late 1800s, after whom ‘the ghan’ train is named. our schools didn’t drum this into us. our telly doesn’t tell us this, but soon all our friends will know and care about the afghan cameleers because that’s how it works here.
i kept trying to explain it to the french friends, how we just have to make everything ourselves here, perth. even the museum is closed for four years. but this is the beauty of our groupthink, and the way we will make things more beautiful all the days til we leave or die.