Life imitates art…

Imitation, they say, is the highest form of flattery. I’d like to direct you all to Ben’s blog because it is truly flattering that he’d start a blog just to compete with me.

Once again I have nothing essentially “newsworthy” to report. I got free lunch on Friday – I guess that’s newsworthyish. I also had an altercation with my alarm clock – I really didn’t want to get up when it told me to. But that’s hardly news – news is meant to be new, and interesting to people – and that is neither.

I realise I’ve covered politics, tax and theology (religion) in my blog in recent times – I’m not expecting any dinner party invitations any time soon. I’d be terrible company. All I need to talk about now is death and I’ll be on the social blacklist forever. Conversation at dining tables is an interesting phenomena – conversation in general is an interesting phenomena. At the function I was at yesterday (a business leaders forum with guest speaker Minister for Tourism, Industry and resources, Ian Macfarlane) I sat with some local “business people” and a “business journalist” – part of my job requires “networking” with these local “business people” and I’m realising that there’s very little I actually have to say to a bunch of middle aged, successful people. It would seem that sport is the one great equaliser across social groups and demographics. Luckily I spent all those years memorising useless facts and figures about a variety of sports (and dad thought that was a waste of time).

Why do we (or I – I can’t speak for everyone else) naturally steer away from conversation topics that are likely to cause division. Surely different opinions are essential elements of conversation – if everybody agreed with everyone else we’d get tired of talking to each other (I vaguely paraphrased that from a song). My mother will tell you all that I like a good argument – or a bad argument, and I’m certainly not afraid to share my opinion on any topic (being a journalist means I’m vaguely qualified to talk about everything – at least that’s how I think it should work. It’s a sort of jack of all trades master of none type deal.) regardless of how much I know about it. But still I get trapped in a meaningless cycle of small talk and irrelevancies – to the point that some people doubt my ability to have serious conversation. I blame postmodernism for all this. It’s no longer politically correct to engage in meaningful, robust debate. People are too sensitive about feelings and protecting each other from having to think. Well that’s my rant for today. If anyone feels like disagreeing please do so…


Maddie says:

If a tree falls in a forest & nobody is there to hear it, did it really fall?

bob says:

it seems to me that you have neglected one important topic of conversation. the weather. now the weather can be an extremely interesting topic of conversation (perhaps you should take a few moments to familiarise yourself with the BOM website.

perhaps another cause of your conversational “dilemma” is that you aren’t that interesting to talk to youself (sarcasm – i though i better point out that the preceding line is sarcastic).

on the other side, serious conversation only comes after certain time is spent together and someone takes the initiative to open up a little to another person. perhaps beginning a sentence with “i like”, “i think” or the forbidden “i feel” may open a few doors.

also pigeonholing people may also serve to dehumanise them a little and thus cause blockages to meaningfull talk. perhaps considering them as “people” first instead of defining them by their job could be a good start.

Nathan says:

I want to know who bob really is…

bob says:

Who am I? (in my best sale of the century voice). Born and raised in the state of states (qld), i simply adore the colour maroon. Educated at various institions, at a tertiary level UQ and Griffith and occassionalt frequented QUT in later years as a visitor. Developed a passion for media and integrated the social leveler sport into the programming until technical difficulties arose. Since then have moved around the country doing bits and pieces and now (due to work) have developed an obsession with the weather.

Nathan says:

he’s clearly an engineer.

Nathan says:

ahh Mr Tacon I presume… Almost an engineer afterall.

Nathan says:

The engineer thing was a joke the first time – based on not characterising people by their jobs – given that you work for the weather channel you probably encounted that problem quite a bit hey.

andrew says:

yes well, a bit. it also means that people shopuld never ever ask me about the weather unless they want to here about the high pressure system that is currently siting over the country and the extended monosson seaon in nthrn qld and … … …

although i have found a church that makes my job seem quite normal and not the focus of conversation.

Anonymous says:

Hey nath. I know a topic that is bound to generate some discussion: I AM SMARTER THAN YOU.

If you are smarter than me you will be able to figure out who wrote this comment. However, in doing that you will effectively identify me as being someone who is smarter than you.

What a conundrum.

Nathan says:

sure anonymous – you’re smarter than me, and I’m a liar – now you can’t take me at my word can you. I counter your conundrum with a conundrum. Thus demonstrating that I am in fact smarter. QED.

Anonymous says:

Assuming you are telling the truth when you say that you are a liar means that you tell the truth sometimes and lie sometimes. if we assume that 50% of the time you tell the truth and 50% of the time you lie, we can deduce that:

in your counter comment when you said “you’re smarter than me” you were telling the truth.

When you said “I’m a liar” you were telling the truth.

The statement about the conundrum was a lie because it wasn’t really a conundrum.

And hence your statement “Thus demonstrating that I am in fact smarter.” must be a LIE!

Ha ha so I am smarter still!!

Nathan says:

The smart thing for me to do at this point is concede. There you go anonymous – you’re smarter than me… Sadly because you’re anonymous no one will ever know who it is who’s actually smarter than me.

If you reveal your identity at this point I’ll have figured out who you are thus achieving the challenge you set me in the first post.

Another conundrum. Looks like I’m going home the winner after all.

MADDIE C. says:

I DID NOT ASK THAT!?! “If a tree falls in the wood…” I would not ask that! That is SO LAME. Who is pretending to be me? I mean…i guess i can’t blame you, who doesnt want to be me? But still, at least make me as funny and knowledgeable as i really am…none of this falling in the wood business. I already know the answer to that…of course it makes a noise. WHat a stupid thing to make me say. I am NOT HAPPY JAN!

Anonymous says:

I knew it. As soon as he said the weather was an interesting topic of conversation. That’s like a dead giveaway right there.
I blame postmodernism for everything. Postmodernism is the greatest scapegoat ever invented.
If you wish to have interesting conversations with people, then, by all means, talk about controversial things, like 3rd-well debt, unfair trade, and human rights, and what the world would be like if elephants could pee through their noses.
If, on the other hand, you wish to build bridges and make contacts, then perhaps you should stick with your useless sports facts…

miriam says:

I think you should charge for advertising – first your dad, now ben…