This year I have done something I haven’t done for a very long time. That is, since becoming a parent. I have attended the Melbourne Comedy Festival! Yes, having one’s family overseas can accommodate for interesting opportunities.
I’ve seen Wil Anderson’s new show, Political Wil (lots of Tony Abbott jokes); I’ve watched Arj Barker (“put a filing cabinet in your toilet and sort your shit out!”); and I’ve attended a Chaser’s refugees show. That last show had the interviewee report that in order to avoid a Fatwa on his head, he chose to hide in Toorak – where no Muslim is to be found [it's Melbourne's most expensive suburb]. Apparently, Toorak is a place where what women do all day is get facials; it was claimed Toorak women get more facials per day than porn stars.
So yeah, it was fun.
So yeah, it was fun.
It was also an interesting experience from the anthropological point of view. Walking across the city for the shows, I could not avoid feeling I’m standing out. I was swimming in torrents of kids, with the odd exception of some old people; clearly missing from the crowds were people of your typical family rearing age. Which, to my mind, raises an important question: shouldn’t society do more in order to allow parents to, like, have a life?
This is a serious question, the answer to which is more than “get yourself a babysitter”. Babysitters are cool and all, but they turn a comedy watching night into a three digit affair, which defies the whole point of having a life in the first place. Spontaneity, and thus ease of jumping into things, is of essence here.
This is also a financial matter, if the neoliberal in you prefers to look at things through the eyes of the market. Think of all the potential income that’s lost through parents not being able to spend as much money as they would like to on going out!
Then again, I might be barking up the wrong tree here. Stepping out of one of the shows, I felt tired and wanted nothing but go home and have a rest. I checked my watch: it was 9 o’clock*.
*Yes, the cynic in me would like to add that when all was said and done, I think I would have enjoyed the comedy much better if I was watching it on my TV in the comfort of my living room, legs up on the sofa instead of imprisoned by a tight seat designed for maximum patronage (thus acting as some leftover medieval torture device). I do think the comedy is better appreciated at home; the going out factor is more to do with socialisation rather than pure entertainment.