I am not across that just yet

Heights, snakes, clowns, letters that arrive with a plastic window on the front of them… these are all things that scare the bejesus out of me. That, and people with really small, creepy hands… (looking at you Trump)

But I think one of my greatest fears is being asked a question that I just do not know the answer to. And because of the type of work that I have fallen into – blogging, writing and occasional social commentary, you can bet your bootstraps that this happens.

The worst is when it happens while I am doing something live. That is when I pull the tried and true… “Sorry Michael, can you repeat that for me?” and then pretend to have a Grand Mal seizure complete with shakes, and finishing with me rolling my eyes into the back of my head with my tongue hanging out.

After all, I would do most anything to avoid looking stupid.

The truth is, my knowledge about current affairs runs parallel to my ability to do things. That is, I know I can do a little of everything, but none of it well. I also am known to suffer severe foot-in-mouth disease when the conversation turns highbrow and knowledgeable.

With the advanced use of technology and the way that news is now instant, how the devil are we supposed to keep up?

The answer? You can’t.

Or, like me, you can pretend and watch Q & A, nodding along all the time like you know what they are talking about.

Recently, Senator David Feeney from Victoria, was asked what would the public interest be on the new media laws, he fumbled and said something along the lines of “It would be about things in the public interest.”

A perfectly reasonable answer if you ask me, and not unlike all of my final exam answers at high school.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not as bad as the alleged 35% of Americans who cannot find the USA on a world map. I have my passions that I follow, but when it all gets scrambled I tend to put my head down to cut out the intellectual white noise.

Intellectual white noise is rampant on social media, which, seeing you are here reading, I assume you have some understanding of. I enjoy a lively debate and I love to learn through opinion sharing, but at some point, you can see these exchanges “jump the shark”, and my advice is that it is best to power down and go and read a catalogue from the mailbox.

Common topics that get folks hot under the collar are politics, anything to do with parenting, feminism and religion. All topics that most would have an opinion on.

So am I naive? Am I ignorant?

I say… neither.

I am just a girl, standing in front of a judgmental, intellectually superior community, asking them to love her.

…..or not.

I suspect I am one of many who rolls their eyes at politicians squabbling on the ABC every Monday night before flicking it over to RocKwiz, or even turning the box off and grabbing a trashy novel. I have been known to roll my eyes at Twitter, watching intellectuals battle out the question of The Baby Bonus, of circumcision and of feminism, in 140 characters.

And I have vowed from now on, to admit defeat when asked a question or am called to task over something stupid and flippant I have said.

Grand Mal seizure no more! From this moment, is just a shrug of the shoulders and the implementation of the latest “get out of jail free” phrase:

“I am not across that just yet…”

If Tony Jones called you up and asked you to come on Q and A, would you be confident enough to do it?

  • Melissa Savage

    If I can recommend something that has helped me feel less ignorant about news issues, it is The Squiz. It’s an email that drops in your inbox about 6am each day and has a fairly witty and colloquial summary of the main news of the day that takes max 5 minutes to read.

    It’s written by a former Abbott staffer, but as one from the absolute opposite side of politics, I have found that politics aren’t really reflected in the writing, so don’t let that put you off.

  • Heidi D

    Somehow I just don’t think I have what it takes to take on Q & A. I can manage a decent conversation on things that I have a real interest in but I seem to always be the last to know about current events. When it comes to politics I can’t get interested enough in it to try & work out what is going on a lot of the time.

  • Oh dear lord, I would have palpitations if I was asked to speak on complex topics in public! I would be a terrible ‘high profile’ person! I find I can be relatively ‘expert’ on topics I care about, but I admit that there are important world topics that I just give up on. Can’t win ’em all!

  • Tracey

    I would have the confidence but not the knowledge as I refuse flat out to watch any news or current affairs ever. I cannot stand the world we have become and this is my small rebellion. It makes me feel a lot better!