this is a fleshier version of a comment I posted to an article at Dock Of The Bay (http://mblog.com/dock_of_the_bay/093574.html)
The other day I managed to create a great new word while being “drived” around in the back of Kent’s car. Alas, Kent reports only half the story. It is true, that I made the comment about the driver but he replied, saying that it was evident i’d been hanging around too many bogans. I embraced terrible grammar while he embraced terrible manners.
Shortly after this on our drive home from Semaphore he commented to my flatmate about how good it was to be back on the eastern side of town. He may have simply meant it was good to be home but considering his recent comment about bogans I hold the impression that his thinking was shallower than that.
Buying into the idea of judging people on their land value or average income or crime rate or life expectancy or education level (or however you classify a bogan) is buying into the glass floor mentality of a society stuck in the 18th century.
Last year when I began working in Elizabeth I was told that I was getting paid a starting wage that was the average for the state. It surprised me that the people I worked with that lived in Elizabeth or Craig More would claim that they were ‘doing well’ and imagined their financial life as being much better than most. They were as optimistic as Kent that they were well off.
For your information, generally speaking, these were one of the friendliest groups of people I’ve met. We’d go down to the Elizabeth Tavern after work to have a quite OJ. When I told friends from my private eastern suburb high school about the pub they’d snigger and ask questions or make assumptions about the place being seedy. Sure the carpet may have been cheaper and the aircon was being serviced (for several months) but the place was pretty nice and the pool table was in mint condition. Oh, and the blokes drank the same poision as the easterners drink in their smokier, more crowded, sluttier eastern pubs.
I digress though. The glass floor mentality continues. There are also other people who live in nicer houses than Kent, who probably think Kents place is below average and they would probably be at pains to associate with anyone who lives like him, in that level of ‘poverty’.
I find it blindingly clear that this mentality is plain stupid. It is also rude and wrong and so 18th century to judge someone on something so insignificant as their social status.
I was just watching Billy Joel on Andrew Denton. He was introduced as one of Australia’s most successful musicians. Growing up in Elizabeth he may not have had the fancy education that some people were given. This is evident in the way that he talks.
Would I judge the man on his habitual oral inefficiencies in English? Absolutely not! He has so much more to offer the world. I would easily trade in my education and social status for what he has.
You must take into consideration that not everyone wants to speak like an high society pommy snob. Some people find identity in using the language of their culture. Billy Joel may speak in the fashion that he does because that’s the way he wants to, not because he knows no ‘better’.
More so, with his heavy Australian accent and casual dialogue he has been able to communicate with people on a level that formally spoken Australian wouldn’t have a hope in competing with.
Maybe i’m wrong, hopefully kent wasn’t thinking like this.
The guts of the matter is that like all discrimination, this is mentality is plain stupid.