Well, the Voice referendum was – as predicted – a total shit show. I’m a big fan of democracy and so should support the will of the people and all, but I can’t help but feel that the vote was affected by huge amounts of people simply not understanding what we were voting about.
I disagree with the opinion of No voters who understood the proposal and rejected it, but I respect their right to have their say. And if their view was that of the majority of Australians then it’s democratically correct for the referendum to have failed. But how many voters said No because they thought the Voice would result in them having to pay rent to local indigenous bodies? Or that they’d have to hand over their house to the first indigenous person who called dibs? Or even that the entire thing was a nefarious scheme by the United Nations to destroy the white race? All of that bullshit was circulating (and being actively spread by bad actors) and all of it would have distorted the vote to some extent.
The Yes campaign seemed to have been blinded by their own comprehension of the proposal and concentrated on aspiration rather than the much more needed education. A goddam one minute explainer video on what the Voice is and what it could and couldn’t do would have been worth a thousand ads with an indigenous kid dreaming about a brighter future.
Anyway, it’s done, and now we have to live with the consequences. I can at least take some small comfort that my electorate voted Yes, and that Western Australia did not turn out to have the lowest Yes vote – the ever reliable Queensland hitting the bottom of that particular barrel.
But on to other matters.
The Saturday of the referendum also turned out to be the day of my 30th Anniversary High School Reunion at the Breakwater at Hillarys. I was not intending to go, but got badgered into it by a couple of friends. Overall… it was alright. I didn’t recognise half the people there but had a few decent catch ups. I also got a hug from the second-prettiest girl in our entire year, and the prettiest refused to let me leave before we’d had a quick chat – both very gratifying to the shy, damaged nerd that still lurks in the back of my brain. I did bail a bit early though as I felt myself starting to get a bit maudlin – which is the reason I wasn’t inclined to go in the first place. I am far too prone to maudlin nostalgia and if not controlled it can wipe me out for days. I got out before it got too bad and merely lost Sunday brooding on lost opportunities and the merciless passage of time.
(On the subject of the merciless passage of time, one of my classmates could have passed for 60. I don’t know what he’s spent the last 30 years doing, but it definitely hasn’t been kind to him…)
On Sunday, just to make my crappy weekend complete, I ran out of money. Which is not to say I had no money, I just found myself completely unable to access any of it. I misplaced the debit card for my standard bank account a few weeks back and was holding out on reporting it lost in the hopes it would turn up, living in the meantime on the hardly-ever-touched card for my savings account. As I was already feeling crap on Sunday morning I decided to bite the bullet and report it lost. With that done I decided to ease my troubled mind by downloading some truly embarrassing music from iTunes, for which I had to set up and use the savings account card.
It was in the midst of purchasing music that I got an SMS from the bank telling me that said card had been blocked because of “suspicious online transactions” and that I needed to call them right away (in hindsight I suspect that Erasure’s Blue Savanah was too much for the bank computer to handle). I did call them right away (after checking that the number in the SMS was in fact their real number and not that of a Belarusian scam artist) and was immediately connected to a recorded voice that told me I’d called them outside of business hours, then hung up on me.
(Why didn’t I log on to my account online? Because I’ve deliberately avoided setting up online access to my savings account to make it harder for me to spend it all.)
So until I was able to get them on the phone this morning and explain that no scammer would pay $2.99 for a digital copy of the 12 Inch ‘Summer’ remix of Baltimora’s Tarzan Boy I was entirely unable to pay for anything – including any more atrocious music.
Anyway, it’s all sorted now and I should soon be back on an even keel, financially if not psychologically.
So, how was your weekend?