I recently got an email from someone who seemed to have taken a gap in their calendar and filled it up by reading my blog. Which is quite flattering except that they appear not to like me very much - they said that I was a bit like the devil, first loving 'them gays' and now it's clear I'm a 'black refugee lover' as well.
So basically I am Jesus. Not the devil. And as an aside, I bet he didn't know he was coming back as a pudgy, potty mouthed bleeding heart female.
The intended insult has misfired. See, I do love them gays and them refugees. Even the non-black ones. I am completely okay with them having the same legal status as me and being treated with kindness and compassion when seeking asylum. Even if I met them and didn't lurrrrrrrveeeee them I'd still have this opinion. And just to show how well rounded I am - I also believe that climate change is a thing and that we totally suck in our approach to supporting the differently abled. I know. What kind of arse am I?
On the subject of being a 'refugee lover' I recently became Deputy Director for the Sydney Branch of Welcome to Australia, which is an organisation that seeks to establish a culture of welcome more akin to the national anthem rather than that portrayed in political soundbites or via our mainstream media. It's a voluntary position which is really going to piss my troll off - that's right dear troll - I'm not even being PAID to give a shit. Though I was promised a badge.*
So last night, this new position got me walking the red carpet at The Golden Age Cinema in Surry Hills. An absolute darling of a cinema dating back to the olden days. Like the 1940s or something. I was there for the launch of The Hot Potato which is a little gem (see what I did there?) of a documentary put together by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) to 'take the heat' out of the asylum seeker debate. They got themselves a caravan and toodled around ten towns in ten days serving hot potatoes and inviting people to share their views about the issue.
|Even Wally 'Gotye' an opinion|
Enter 10,000 potatoes, a bunch of LISTENERS and BOOM... 10 myths about asylum seekers blown out of the water just by allowing people access to the facts along with insanely delicious potato toppings.
|That beard is called Tom|
|Reg and Carmelo (awwww)|
Therein lies the heart of tiny little film that roars. It really offers up an opportunity to have a dialogue and to return to the Australia we most want, that of the fair go. Not one full of angry people on either side of a line screaming RIGHT! WRONG! RIGHT! WRONG! and not listening and not understanding.
Which isn't somehow as REVOLUTIONARY but undoubtedly a lot more successful.
Sigh. Rational, reasonable people are no fun. But they make great films.
Check it out at www.thehotpotato.com.au and take the conversation to your next pub night, or BBQ. And tell them Reg sent you.
*I didn't want to appear cheap. And I still haven't got it. BRAD! Just saying.
Please note: This isn't a sponsored post. Yes, I have a vested interested in sharing something that supports my point of view but I really think this is a game changer and a great film. The soundtrack isn't as catchy as that of Grease, but I think the appeal will last just as long. Please share with people and even if you don't agree - remember to be lovely because being born in Australia is for the vast majority of us nothing but luck, and if we are truly lucky - we don't need to be arseholes. Thanks xoxo