Tuesday 8 October 2013

I live in paradise, but I still love a good whinge

Lisa Simpson - "complain till you get what you want".
Among my many favourite Simpsons episodes was one where Lisa and her school band take part in a competition.
They compete with Shelbyville in the final, and though the rules carefully state 'no glowsticks', the Shelbyvillians use them and this visual aid is enough to get them over the line to win the comp.
Lisa, Spingfield's best young sax player is incensed, and sets out to change the decision.
Eventually she escalates her complaint all the way up to the Oval office and Bill Clinton himself comes to town and reverses the decision.
At the end of the ep, Marge says to Bill Clinton, "So the lesson here is complain till you get what you want? That's a pretty lousy lesson".
To which Bill replies, "well I was a pretty lousy president". 
Actually, neither of these two assertions is true.
Bill Clinton was not a lousy president.
Despite what Republicans will tell you, Bill did an Ok job, including balancing the books, something that hadn't happened for a long time.
Also, "Complain till you get what you want", isn't that bad either.
None of us like to be labelled a complainer, or worse, a whinger, but as far as television goes, the system is set up so that it's not until someone complains that something gets done.
So just a bit of a rehash.
There is indeed a loophole in the commercial TV code of practice to allow alcohol advertising during children's viewing times, if they are part of a sports broadcast, sponsorship for example.
Thus neither the tv companies, nor the alcohol companies are doing anything illegal.
So if there is change to be made, it has to be done at the federal government level, and the Minister for Communications is Malcolm Turnbull, whose email address is: malcolm.turnbull.mp@aph.gov.au
The junior minister, known as the Parliamentary Secretary for Communications, is Paul Fletcher whose email address is: paul.fletcher.mp@aph.gov.au
If you email either or both of these MPs, you can add your voice to the call for change to this code of practice and have alcohol advertising removed from children's viewing times.
So on Monday night I sat down to watch my tv shows, thinking I had fought the good fight, when to me almighty consternation, the source of a new barney popped up.
Gambling ads.
This also happened last week, but Ch 10, where I saw those ads, removed them within 24 hours when contacted by me, and I suspect, many others.
So this week during the Big Bang Theory on Go!, Ch 9's repeater station, ads for the same gambling company appeared, before 8.30pm, I was downcast, thinking I had another week's electronic moaning and being ignored ahead of me, but I was pleasantly surprised.
I contacted the gambling company in question the next (Tuesday) morning, and got a response from them in under 15 minutes.
They said they had passed my whinge onto their marketing department.
Last night (Tuesday) I watched the Big Bang Theory and there were no gambling ads.
Well done Sportsbet and Ch 9.
I might add, that through this whole complaining process the TV, alcohol and gambling companies in question have been infinitely more responsive than our elected representatives.
So it is the ultimate in journalistic ironies that the only people who haven't communicated with me are the two ministers responsible for communication.


As before in this raving bloggery when my blood pressure got too high, I decided to head down to the beach to remind myself that I live in paradise and we are not put on this Earth to complain alone.
The picture (right) shows a near idyllic day.
No waves, but a picture of the bay that could have come from a tourist brochure.
In the end I decided to get my board and at least go out and paddle around and get some fitness training.
Once out there I discovered the microscopic waves actually had enough to ride, so I ranged around, stepped up my paddle stroke and caught my first wave.
For about 30 seconds.
For you see, even this is already descending into a whinge.
With surfing, what happens is, other surfers come down to the shore and watch, if they see someone get a wave, then they say, "Great, I can get some of that".
So they get their boards and come out and join you.
This day there were only about 6 surfers in the water when I entered, but within minutes of my first wave, there were twenty.
Thus, every wave I caught from then on, had someone else on it with me.
Dropping in, it's called.
I've had long discussions with my therapist about the difference between being aggressive and being assertive, and I've made some progress, so this day I decided not to yell, "Would you mind relocating to a different oceanographic locale", and just enjoy what I got.
Which was OK, I guess, but not ideal.
Then, I took off and a kid got in my way, this time I had to say something, for his safety, and mine.
So with my eyes widening to match the narrowing distance between us, I yelled, "WATCH OUT".
Thankfully he heard me, and was spared my full 90kgs full in the midship.
However, then I began thinking, 'well, if there's now thirty of us here and I'm getting dropped in on, and I'm likely to nail a kid every time I take off, then it's time to go'.
So I got out, showered and went round to the gym.
Whilst there I got (and was able to photograph) the two faces of life in paradise.
Suddenly all the TVs in the gym dropped out and an error message cropped up, "Due to electrical disturbance, transmission is temporarily interrupted".
I wasn't unhappy about this, because the MTV station to which said TVs are permanently tuned seemed to have One Direction on all the time.

So I stepped out to have a look and by cracky, the rain was coming down, it is hard to believe that these three photos were taken in the same town just an hour or so apart.
And there we have it for another week.
I've written 52 paragraphs and complained, or written about somebody else complaining, in 46 of them.
I'm getting good at this.

1 comment:

  1. Too many complaints Lock. This is really starting to annoy me. If it continues I warn you, I will be contacting the Minister for Blogs.