I try not to watch too much tabloid reality TV (except Masterchef and the Biggest Loser because they’re great and don’t count in my middle class snooty selective TV watching), mainly because it’s shit and I’ve got a shed load of binge series backed up on Netflix. To keep myself up with the cool kids, I tend to watch Gogglebox, which not only makes me laugh (what a malaka) but also gives you a quick précis of all the crap telly that’s on.
This week, amongst the usual dross, was the ultimate dross, Married at First Sight, which is currently airing on that bastion of the highbrow taste, Channel 9. For those not in the know, complete strangers meet for the first time at the altar and get married. We then follow the outcome of this pretend marriage to see if loves eternal sigh has been reached or they just fucking hate each other. All good stuff (apparently).
Now, normally I wouldn’t give this sort of fluff a passing thought. If you want to make a dick of yourself on national TV by looking sad and desperate, knock yourself out. It’s your crummy life after all. But in the week when we have the political debacle which is the same-sex plebiscite, this bloody show really stuck in my craw.
OK, so your far-right, still living in the 1950’s, Christian nutbag can’t seem to accept that society has moved on from a paternal dominated society, that your archetypal family is not (and hasn’t been for a long time) Mum, Dad and two rosy cheeked kids and that all the polling indicates that the majority of us would like to join the rest of the western world in the 21st Century and afford same-sex couples the same rights us breeder hetro’s have been enjoying for centuries.
A quick glance at the internet and these are the main arguments the socially challenged put up in their retro-defence:
- It Is Not Marriage (yes it is)
- It Violates Natural Law (I don’t even know what this means, but sounds incorrect)
- It Always Denies a Child Either a Father or a Mother (But offer’s a loving and caring home)
- It Validates and Promotes the Homosexual Lifestyle (And?)
- It Turns a Moral Wrong into a Civil Right (according to whom?)
- It Does Not Create a Family but a Naturally Sterile Union (Or a loving home for an orphan perhaps)
- It Defeats the State’s Purpose of Benefiting Marriage (Horsehit, just share the rights around equally.)
- It Imposes Its Acceptance on All Society (fine by me, I’m progressive not regressive)
- It Is the Cutting Edge of the Sexual Revolution (Ooh those naughty gays with their iOS 10 style sex stuff)
- It Offends God (How do you know? Has anyone seen her/him recently?)
(Source: TFP student action (twats)
Back to the stupid show. This programme does a lot more damage to the sanctity of marriage than will the coming together of two loving and committed adults of whatever gender. It’s a total fucking farce and I’m not the only one who thinks so. There is a petition on Change.Org which I urge you all to sign. If its Ok to totally devalue marriage like Channel 9 seem so happy to do in the pursuit of profit and ratings then it should be totally OK for our MP’s to do their frigging job, grow some balls and vote it through Parliament. It’s a win/win – our broad community gets to enjoy the same rights whichever team you play for, the government can then save the $200 million odd it was planning to waste on the plebiscite and could then spend it on something far more worthwhile, like a school perhaps, or a hospital or foreign aid even.
I’m pretty confident we’ll get there eventually, but it saddens me that we have to make it so hard and convoluted for ourselves. With that and our wonderful treatment of refugees we must look like the ranting and eccentric uncle of the global family. The one we humour, but we are all just a bit embarrassed by and hope they go home soon.
You oft hear that one of the reasons cited for marriage breakdown is the drifting apart explanation, so it is with a heavy heart that I have to tell you…nah only joking, I’ve no plans to split up with the amazing missus. Saying that, it’s my one-sided view, you’ll have to ask her her future long term plans.
No, my drifting apart is in only one aspect of our life and that is FOOD. This thought came to me last night when I was standing on the sidelines of yet another muddy pitch, watching one of the boys in his sporting endeavours. I was chatting to a friend and we were talking about the daily dreaded question which is uttered every early morning as we all run around stressed. As we try to get our shit together for the forthcoming day, the question is asked ‘What do you want for dinner?’ or the more inclusive ‘What shall we have for dinner?’
My immediate thoughts normally run like this: ‘I can’t think straight, you make the decision’, ‘something with bread and or spuds please’, ‘I can’t be arsed to eat tonight’. Whereas I know my wife is thinking ‘Veg, pulses, fish, more veg, heaps of herbs, small portions, no carbs’. Eventually, we come to a compromise, the deal is struck and I’ll pop to Coles post kid drop off to get the required ingredients.
Please don’t think I/we don’t like our food. We do. My wife has endless bookshelves full of cookery books and foodporn mags. She loves a good cook up. We enjoy a lot of global cuisines together (in and out) and when we travel (another shared passion) we love nothing more than immersing ourselves in the local fare. But someone has come between us and we find ourselves drifting apart. That someone is Yotam Ottolenghi. In fact, I have coined a phrase for it (just now), I call it the Ottolenghi effect (sounds like a prog-rock band). Mr Ottolenghi is a famous London chef with roots in Israel. His modern take on vegetarian food has had a huge impact on current tastes and trends (note here: I’m not a veg hater). What I don’t enjoy, and my wife clearly does, are some of the combinations and ingredients. Pulling his veggie tour de force Plenty off the shelf, I open the book randomly to be greeted by vine leaf, herb and yoghurt pie. No thanks. Try again. Quinoa salad with dried Iranian lime. Not for me. I could go on (the wife will confirm this).
It would be churlish just to blame good ol’Yotam. Foodporn mags and Sunday supplements are littered with kale that, pomegranate this, no food fun here, thank you. So often at the weekends, if we are home, the dinners will run like this: Friday – my choice (I’ve got something nice and simple planned tonight with baked beans), Saturday – the better-half’s choice, which will very likely involve a trip to the fish markets and a specialist grocer with 5 hours prep after, Sunday – family dinner night, so we usually play safe with a trad roast for the kids. Every now and then I will be surprised by the Saturday night choice and we will have something, rich, luscious and fattening (I love those Saturdays). The weekday meals are a simplified rendition of the weekend’s food battles.
I know I’m not alone on this and I also know that my wife is also not alone. We simple minded blokes (my elder brother besides) like bolder, hearty flavours which can be enjoyed with one utensil, whereas my wife, and her chums, enjoy freshness, texture and healthy bits (& the occasional hot chip binge). I guess with more thought, this is some complicated and ill thought out metaphor for the difference between he and she. And that, actually, in hindsight, I’m not sure what I’m whinging about. Ok, so some meals/ingredients I don’t like and this is a two way street but we all grin and chew and say ‘that was delish, thanks very much’ because food, like relationships, is all about compromise and balance. I am the salt to her pepper.
Food note: No tolerance can be shown for fucking kale. That stuff is just plain wrong.