And so this is Christmas. That time of year when you make a list of all the people that aren’t very nice and not just in a Facebook friends kind of way.
The irritating, the annoying, the truly nauseating. Like the poor, they are always with us or at the ALP National Conference with Kevin Rudd getting their participation trophy.
Kevin is the Trolley Man of Australian politics. Trying really hard to help and get photographed but just getting in the way of the authorities and making it all worse before having his lifetime membership crowdfunded. It’s important we think of those less fortunate at this time of year.
Xmas is Christ’s birthday and Jesus often said that he was writing a list and checking it twice. He also said the not-very-nice will inherit the earth but what he really meant was that they will join a political party and eventually shout down megaphones and tell the rest of us what to do at rallies because we are all too stupid to think for ourselves especially if we are 12.
This is what French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville once called the tyranny of the arseholes. Though of course there are no arseholes in France just wine sommeliers.
I have known people that were batshit-crazy. In fact, they were so bad they were JUST LIKE HITLER (JLH), which is about as bad as you can get. One of them was JLH until I met someone else who was even more JLH making them more like Benito Mussolini (MLBM) instead.
I mean Donald Trump is JLH and so is the Uber guy who delivered my Pizza Supreme cold as was the owner of the Pizza store who was JLH when he forget to add the chilli which I paid extra for. With social media it’s so easy to get outraged these days and at Xmas we lay down our electronic devices somewhere safe where no one call steal them and pray for their souls.
During the festive season, I also think of Oprah. Oprah is definitely NOT JLH however she is also not very nice except when she is giving everyone a free car and she’s never given me a free anything. So onto the naughty list she goes.
She’s like Hugh Jackman, another one of those nice showbiz Richard Wilkins-types who talks a big game with his huge toothy smiles and showcasing of the Oklahoma songbook. I suspect he is secretly naughty not nice just like the entire Today show cast (except for Karl) and not like Sunrise who are all nice especially Kochie even if sometimes he can geta bitt JLH when showing off his small business credentials to guests who don’t understand what he is talking about.
The point being it’s Xmas and the New Year approaching and a time for self-reflection and Oprah once said that there are toxic people in our lives we need to eradicate with extreme prejudice in order to find our own personal Zen.
Oprah says the answer is to get a blank piece of paper and write a list of all those blood sucking bastards you have allowed to come into your life and fuck it up – even that independent member of parliament you joke-voted for – and then read it once, say something like ‘I will not allow you to define me’, fold it into a neat square before destroying it.
But this has never worked for me. And to be honest I suspect Oprah just made this up to help fill a segment before she gave away another car.
I prefer to stick my list on the front of my refrigerator so I can brood over it each morning for the next 12 months while considering what my options are.
Michael Scammell is a freelance writer
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