The Big Issue : Edition 511
THEBIGISSUE6–19MAY2016 23 culture police Fiona Scott-Norman ILLUSTRATIONBYGREGBAKES;ORIGINALPHOTOGRAPHBYMILESSTANDISH THE ELECTION IS COMING, AND WILL BE FOR SOME TIME YET... ABANDON HOPE, NOW politics instead of creating my product empire. No longer. Can I interest you in a “Happy Divorce” greeting card or some Christmas “rapping” paper with “Hoe Hoe Hoe” written on it? SOMEONE GIVE ME A JOB I’M ON FIRE. Finish your Cert IV you lazy biatch Okay, this one’s mainly for me. I began my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment at the end of last year. It’s still not finished. Partly because doing the required projects for a Cert IV is the administrative equivalent of sandpapering your eyeballs. It is, however, no less fun than following a drawn- out election campaign, and at the end of the process I might actually have a hope of employment. I don’t know what major project you’ve got piled up on the corner of your desk, but now’s the time to finish that novel – reading it or writing it – update your CV, renovate the breakfast nook or finally scrape the congealed food out from under the stove. Just turn off the election coverage before you feel the urge to kill, and kill again. Create a model of the Great Barrier Reef out of origami All you need is a limitless supply of white A4 paper. Sigh. Do a course The election is likely to be called for 2 July, and we’re already in effect in election mode. That’s THREE MONTHS of campaigning. Fortunately, there are scads of three-month courses out there, including “Dog breeding for veterinary assistants who are required to liaise with clients about canine reproduction”, “Speed Spanish” and, most excitingly, “Millennial onboarding”. Heck, I could spend three months figuring out what millennial onboarding is. Hush, don’t tell me. Create a drinking gameTM for the big night A last-ditch attempt to make the election fun. Use phrases like “The people of Australia have spoken”, “I promise to lead for all Australians”, and “Mum and dad investors”. Prepare to get drunk. On ChamPeenTM. For the next three months. I CAN’T BE the only one in despair. Not now that yet another unwanted, drawn-out federal election campaign is on the horizon. Thanks for that double-dissolution trigger, Malcolm, which none of us asked for, ever. Now it’s going to be months of polls and poll-driven policies, advertising, backtracking on tax reform, lies, prevarication, pork-barrelling and even poll-driven polls. After a brief spurt of hope when Turnbull toppled Abbott, I am now so beyond caring that I’m contemplating learning controlled breathing so I can be buried alive until it’s all over. I do remember being excited by elections. As a cantankerous student back in the day I marched against Malcolm Fraser and his razor gang (“One more cut! Fraser’s throat!” We made the evening news and my dad was appalled). I attended a pro-Keating rally with other inner-city, latte- sipping artist elites and swooned girlishly at his vision for the yartz. I was elated when Julia Gillard became Prime Ministrix (a lady ranga!), even if the circumstances (blood everywhere, revenge, night-time rendezvous), smacked of a student production of Titus Andronicus. Emotions. I had them. But now? When it’s nothing more than a popularity contest between normcore dad-bods Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten? Meh. I’m already bored by the forthcoming tsunami of disingenuous froth. Fortunately, there are other ways to apply yourself that don’t require paying attention to wall- to-wall coverage of Malcolm being smug, or Bill gradually dwindling in visibility. Here are a few. Get that boutique business idea up and running Regardless of who wins, we’re probably screwed financially. Not enough super? Don’t own a house? Can’t afford the calibre of nursing home where you’re turned regularly to prevent bed sores? Time to dust off that brilliant idea (BITM) you once had over eight wines and put it into practice. My BITMs are mostly pun-based. For example: sparkling wine manufactured specifically for hen’s nights, the bottles to be shaped like a penis and promoted under the name “ChamPeen”. Other high-concept ideas include a skin-buffing sponge shaped like a Dalek with “Exfoliate” written on it, a vibrator that resembles a light-sabre and small apple-shaped mints marketed as “iCandy”. Why I’m not already a millionaire is beyond me. Oh, that’s right, because I read the papers and keep up on » For virtually more FSN, visit fionascottnorman.com.au or follow her on Twitter @FScottNorman.