shoe box full of grasshoppers

Easy enough to rewrite 'darg' as 'drag' I found myself thinking yesterday evening after coming back from a Writer's Guild function. I never usually go to these things and now remember why : they advertise that they are showing clips from a recently completed feature film but no-one knows how to work the equipment and when they do finally get it going, the quality is truly appalling, light falling on faces is garish pink, shadows are lime green, there are lines through every image; the writer/director barely apologises for this insult, instead, he radiates a kind of svelte boredom, I've made it all on my own and you could too if you were as handsome and talented as I am but, who cares, I'm going off to live in Europe for a while; while his script editor has up a full head of outraged steam, she can't wait to tell the assembled ignoramus writers how disastrous our ordinary day to day assumptions about our craft must be. When questions begin to be asked she has visibly to suppress her exasperation and speak with the kind of controlled simplicity you use for primary school kids; meanwhile the most alarming thing of all is the docility with which the ignoramus writers take it, you begin to suspect that if and when they get their turn on the podium, they too will behave in this manner. We were, I realised part way in, associate members of the guild, so not real writers yet, hence perhaps the obvious contempt we were held in. But why that contempt to begin with? Is it owed by those who have risen precisely because they suffered it before? Or is it a defensive reaction, a holding of the line against those who might also rise? Not clear. I was reminded of something a poet said of his home town, that living in Adelaide was like living in a shoebox full of grasshoppers. I'd rather be a bird, maybe a magpie or a crow.

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