I’ve never been much of a one for doing the right thing, usually because it doesn’t occur to me at the time. I consider myself the Crown Prince of what I call ‘wit delay’, the ability to think of a highly amusing retort several hours after it matters.
I often find myself re-running conversations I’ve had with someone over and over in my head, becoming more debonair, eloquent and suave with each repetition. In hindsight, I’m a regular Bogart. The most annoying aspect of this is that the older I get, the worse I become at not doing or saying the right thing at the time, and the wittier the replies are later that night when I?m lying in bed thinking, “Jesus, why didn?t I say that? Now you think of it, you moron.” Its generally a big pain in the arse.
There is however, one exception to the rule. When it comes to politics, I?ve always been sure of where I stood. There was never any question about it. No umming or ahhing, no uncertainty or indecision, in fact the older I got the more precise and definite my interest in socialism became, the more relevant it seemed. A lot of people I?ve known were interested in socialism when they were young but as they moved into decent employment and became more affluent, distanced themselves from its ideals, and to a degree I could sympathize. Money is after all, a powerful drug.
For some reason though, the opposite effect has taken place in me. I am now 32 years old and at this point in my life I am easily much better off than I have ever been. I live in a shiny new apartment in a quiet inner city suburb, I pay my bills on time and without complaint, I can afford the odd cd on special at JB, the occasional trip to an arthouse cinema or mid-priced restaurant and I no longer have to rely on the op shop for my modest wardrobe. I still don?t own a car or a television, but that?s more due to my belief in a healthy body and a healthy brain than anything else. Now all I have to do to enjoy these few modern privileges is to work 38 hours a week for an evil, multinational, anti-Union, low paying, egg-sucking Fortune 500 company. What a deal.
Fortunately I?m very good at my job and consequently on the fast track promotion program (mainly because anyone with any sense gets out of there once they realize what a bunch of bastards they are). So I think it?s time I formalized my long-held political beliefs and became an official card-carrying member of the Socialist Party. Since it would appear I?m on the way up, it seems like the right time to do it. You see, I know where I stand and now everyone else needs to know too. Just wait til they see what I?ve got planned..
By Chris McFerran, Melbourne