In Sydney I succesfully sheltered myself from most of the world’s news. This wasn’t on purpose, and I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing, it’s just the way it was. It didn’t worry me too much because I figured that if something big happened I’d hear about it anyway.
Hmm, come to think of it, I did quickly check a Dutch news website almost every day, so I am not being totally honest here!
My point is, if the recent trivia quiz at work had focused on current affairs, I would’ve sucked.
Luckily (?) I feel a bit more involved again now that I am back in Europe. For instance, there is no escaping the financial crisis. Even all my girl friends seem to suddenly know a lot about shares, pension funds and putting your money into a savings account in Iceland (don’t). I still think it’s an extremely dull topic, although I must admit the sudden collapse of the Aussie dollar, just when I (for the first time in my life) have quite a few savings (in Australian dollars, in an Australian bank account) did make me swear on quite a few occasions. I’m trying to be more Zen about it now. I’m sure it’s still worth a lot in Chile and Argentina…
Last week though, the Dutch news had an item covering one of my favourite things: the opinions of the average American. Ok, I know that editing is manipulative, and that they’d rather show extremes because normal, sensible people are less interesting to watch, but boy does it make for some great tv!
They were interviewing people that were waiting to go into a community hall or something where McCain was going to hold a speech. The interviewer asked them if there was a chance they would vote for Obama:
Woman: “Hell no, he’s a criminal!!!”
Reporter: “? A criminal? How so?”
Woman (with a look of disbelief that the reporter guy didn’t instantly agree with her): “Yes! He’s a socialist!” (Socialist pronounced like it’s the most disgusting thing in the world)
Reporter: “But is a socialist necessarily a criminal too?”
Woman: “…………well,……..well,……..with his record they wouldn’t even hire him at a post office if he applied!!!”
This post office example was repeated by someone else. Apparently people seem to want a president that could just as well have been an employee at a post office. I should hope that a potential president would be slightly overqualified for a job at the post office, but hey, what do I know.
Another lady was very, very concerned that “all the foreign newspapers I read want Obama to win”. This to her was a clear sign: “Of course they support Obama and want him to win, they want America to become weaker, they don’t want a strong America”.
Finally, some shots of McCain saying nothing of any interest. Just yelling: “We have to stand up and FIGHT!!”.
Sure, that’s just what you need. Spend some more time, energy and some xx billion dollars on fighting. After all, fighting is what makes people happy. Poverty, healthcare, and the environment are nothing but topics for socialists. Oh sorry, that should be ‘criminals’, of course.