It’s all about meeee!
A scooter-riding gang who suit themselves... Where do I join? asks Fiona Barber.
Afew years ago, my friend Carol was hellbent on forming a sect. The Hedonistas, as she dubbed them, would ride around on their scooters and do whatever they damn well pleased. The pursuit of pleasure was the only performance objective and my friend, who professes to be “shallow as a bird bath” (but is, in fact, anything but), would be the head Hedonista.
The idea was warmly embraced, especially after the second wine on girls’ weekends. But it was also planted firmly in Bonkers Territory just a few blocks away from Trump Towers.
Trouble is, somewhere along the line fantasy morphed into reality. Over the past decade or two there has been a marked shift towards self-gratification and to hell with anyone or anything else. It’s often couched as “freedom” or “tailored”, but it really means you can suit your fat-arsed self.
Noticed the ads on TV lately? You can have what you want, when you want it. No need to wait and to hell with the planet/fellow human beings/animals. The “we” has seeped out of the rhetoric and the slogans, replaced by “you”. It is, after all, all about you.
There are notable exceptions – volunteer groups, charity organisations, unions, some religions included – but by and large, it seems too many of us have acquiesced, come to accept the creep of couldn’t-care-less.
Former PM John Key soothed us into feeling “comfortable” about so much during his slippery reign ( North & South writer Graham Adams cleverly dubbed him the Lullaby PM), we became desensitised to things that used to make our heads explode. You know, small things like broken cities, hungry kids and the yawning chasm between our rich and poor.
Is it just me, or are we waking up? Is there a change in the wind, a swing of the pendulum, a collective sense that though the world will never be truly fair, let’s try and even it out just a bit?
Some of the young have mobilised. They may not be able to buy houses, but by crikey they know how to buy into a just cause – the ones who’ve got more than their next familyfunded holiday to Hawaii in mind, that is.
I have great hope in them – but if it all turns to custard, look out for me among a fleet of scooter-riding middle-aged women zipping by.
Carol will be the stylish one in the Che Guevara T-shirt and I’ll be the deranged-looking one with the “Sod off!” tattoo. On my forehead.