While I agree that grief is certainly a state of consciousness that differs considerably from the everyday, I don’t think it’s quite another country as some would have it.
However, it does seem to have the capacity to throw everything outside its parameters into stark relief. Suddenly one sees that none of the emperors have clothes . For example, when I tuned into QandA on Monday evening I saw not a panel of distinguished and erudite guests, but a pack of braying, self-important, self-opinionated talking heads, about whom I could only think “Why? Why?” before silencing them with the remote.
Grief has severely curtailed my tolerance for talking heads. I have no idea why this particular group has become the target of my ill-will. I’m having the same difficulty with The Drum as I did with QandA. Who are these people? I ask myself as I collapse, stunned and exhausted on the couch, looking for a bit of relief from the demands of living and dying. How did they come to be? Why are they everywhere? From what primary source have they metastasized? How is it that they manage to reduce the most intense, the most numinous, the most awful,the most terrifying, the most special of human experiences into highly articulate banality, just by opening their mouths about it?
Grief also disturbs one’s sleep patterns. The Dog and I sit alone in the lounge at 3 am, sharing Vegemite toast and drinking tea (well, The Dog doesn’t drink tea) and watching episodes of Breaking Bad. This comforts me. I need fiction like I need food and water. I need story. I need a level of complexity and emotion that is absent in the clichés and sound bytes trotted out by the talking heads, who really, I’m beginning to believe, just want the chance to show everybody how clever they are. They’ll talk about anything. They aren’t required to have any expertise, or even to be particularly informed. All they need to know is how to talk.
I mean in what universe is it just fine for female genital mutilation to be reduced to a three-minute segment of a talk show? Write about it, read about it, think about it, but chat about it?
In the midst of all my other troubles, there is the matter of my feckin’ Swedish chair. As some of you will know this chair has caused me injury in the recent past, to the degree that I put it out for the tip but was obliged by Mrs Chook to give it a second chance. Well, it has once again decided to throw its castors and land me on my arse on the floor. In the early hours of this morning I contemplated a trip to Ikea for a new chair. I imagined shopping in Ikea in my current state of consciousness. I see nothing to be gained by such an exercise, and much to be lost.
As I’ll be living in Sydney for a couple of months from next Monday, the chair won’t be an issue and maybe someone else will go to Ikea and get me a new one so I don’t have to.
The other thing is music. I can hardly bear to listen to music because so much of it makes me howl, and I mean howl. Not for me the quiet sob. I dare not use my iPod in public, for fear I will start to howl. As there is much of a practical nature to attend to , the time for the luxury of howling is not yet arrived, though I’m considering taking some alone time over the next day to close all the doors and windows, play music very loudly, and howl and thrash till I can howl and thrash no more.
Grief can be so alarmingly visceral.
On the whole, it seems to me from my admittedly jaundiced perspective, people talk too damn much. I could count on the fingers of one hand the people who have something interesting and substantial to say. Why can’t we have good story on our televisions instead of the crap opinions of professional talking heads? Who cares what most of them think? Who cares about their blah de blah de blah de blah? Who cares about their shallow pseudo analysis? Why don’t they all just STFU
PS: Sorry for the rant.