Friday, August 19, 2005

The post apocalyptic

I will try to make this calmer and cheerier reading than the last meltdown. Been doing a lot of thinking.

First, I'm going to learn to stop worrying and love Dr Zhu. This is not only because I have posted my plan to murder him on the internet, and thus am likely to be amongst the first suspects if his stoat-savaged body were to be found in the dairy section of a large metropolitan supermarket.

It's not because he's not crap, because he is, sadly. But it can't be easy for the poor bugger, being crap. It's stressful being in a new job, it's stressful being crap at your job, it's stressful being in a new job where you're crap and everybody knows you're crap and you know everyone knows you're crap. So, back to doing my job, which is actually to help him get better (while minimising the distress he causes my patients).

So - I might not be able to manage zhu-philia, but I can at least become zhu-tolerant.

What else? Next year's job may be worked out - I have to do a year of non-Emergency stuff. I was thinking paeds or psych but may have glommed a rotation working with drugs and alcohol addiction. Good hours, people who don't die on you, low stress, time to pass the exam or maybe write the novel. The good thing about this is I can have an office affair, because I get to see my wife at meetings.

And I was reading this remarkable article in Harpers the other day about the weirdness at the heart of Christian America, and I had an idea.

Say you wake up one day in a foreign country. Through some Doctorwhovian gift you are able to read the local newspaper and understand the conversation of people in the street. All that you hear is good. The newspapers and the passers by speak glowingly of the courage of their soldiers, the inspired actions of the nation's leader, the fervour and nobility and unquestioned faith of the people. Flags hang from every house, the leader's portrait is on every wall, the young sing patriotic songs.

What can you immediately deduce?

You know you're in some totalitarian hellhole, under the boot of a third-rate thug.

Alternatively, if the newspapers are full of scandal and impropriety, the man on the telly is denouncing the finance minister as a fool and a liar, and every taxi driver regales you with his plan to drag this country back from the abyss into which it must otherwise plunge, then pitch your tent, you've found a paradise.

Well, maybe its the same with George Bush's America - which, from what I can see, is very different to the America many of the people I know live in - George Bush's America and Christianity.

By the way, my football team won this week. I watched it with my brother and a dwindling cask of red. Two hours of shouting, cursing, brawling, drinking, clutching at the sky and hurling myself on the floor in abject prayer... and finally a textbook goal on the siren to get into the finals. My larynx hurts. My knees are bruised. I'm drunk and hoarse and I think I had a some sort of focal seizure back there in the third quarter. But by God it's good.


*Favourite Doctor? In some ways the current (ninth) one - dark, damageable, obviously lonely. But then there's Jon Pertwee (the patrician dandy) or Tom Baker (the goggle-eyed one with the voice)... no, it'd be the current one.

I've enjoyed moments in this last series so much I've been embarrassed to tell people. Honestly, there's been goosepimples, tears in eyes, leaping out of chairs, cheering, watching while gnawing back of hand, watching entire episodes standing with your arm holding the tv antenna wire against the curtain rod...

Seriously. Episodes like the original Dalek one, the Blitz one, Father's Day... my friend had them all downloaded free from the Internet before they came out here, and I wouldn't watch them, and I went out and bought them myself. And that line in the Empty Child where the Doctor (in 1940s England) says to the Brits "Don't forget the welfare state!", I turned to my wife and said "See!! He knows!! He knows what's going on!!". Later on I realised that I couldn't actually prove that super-intelligent benevolent extraterrestrials opposed the election of the conservatives, even if we all know it's true. But if that's not suspension of belief, I don't know what is.



Anonymous Camilla said...

We were at that game!!! We were behind and slightly to one side of the goals where they kicked That Goal :D My god, was that exciting or what?? When we all leapt to our feet, screaming after that last goal, my legs were shaking so much I couldn't stand up properly, and I actually cried with relief and joy.

I never knew footy could get me so much :D :D :D

12:27 PM  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Nice allusion to Dr. Stranglove.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Bronze John said...

Dr Strangelove is my wife's alltme favourite film - that and Brazil. "You can't fight in here - it's the war room" probably says as much about war as anything I've heard.


2:05 PM  
Blogger Bronze John said...

And as for the football...

I don't know whether to love or hate that team (The Mighty Fremantle DOckers, for anyone else). The years of despair. The days of unadulterated joy. The nail-biting, spleen-convulsing, middle-cerebral-artery-bursting excitement. The inutterable joy.

I know they were trying to get into the finals, but was it really necessary to leave it until the last few seconds?

FIfteen minutes earlier we had been playing like Galapagos tortoises in a cold snap and I had turned to my brother and said "Fourteen minutes of 2005 and five to go, and thank God for that." And then they do that.

Grinning now thinking of it. See you soon.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Camilla said...

I've been having fits of silly grins ever since. I know they're frustrating, but when they get it right, they're bloody wonderful. I could have kissed JLo when he kicked that goal, but I would have had to fight 30,000 other excited people off first.

10:56 PM  

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