Monday, July 26, 2010

Memoir Monday: The Fighting Spirit.

The events over the last few days have had me looking deeply into myself and my principles. When the facebook group I was a member of accepted a mere token gesture, which did not address the true issue at hand, and in my eyes, the whole point of why the group was formed in the first place, I was disappointed. When I was accused of having agendas, and being a trouble-maker because I voiced said disappointment and disillusionment, I was seriously unimpressed and began to question the reasons behind the group, and what hidden machinations may have been causing such a strong knee-jerk reaction to myself several others, disagreeing with the admin. Once censorship entered the picture I deleted myself from the group.

Yes, I am referring to the link I posted in my last thread. The group once called PRUE MACSWEEN AND CHANNEL 7 SHOULD APOLOGISE which is now called PRUE MACSWEEN and CHANNEL 7 HAVE APOLOGISED....FINALLY!!! Which is sad considering all Prue Macsween apologised for was her use of the word retard in relation to boys. Not for her comments on segregation, not for her antiquated views on locking away the little disabled kiddies as not fit for human eyes, not for recommending we train them before allowing them out like a bunch of circus animals for the latest exhibit, oh no, NOT A WORD ON ANY OF THAT! But to each their own. If they choose to believe this is a win and not patronising at all, so be it. I just want no part of it, them, or their own agendas for fifteen minutes in the spotlight. Just my take on things after messages sent with accusations, deleted comments, censorship, and little tanty's erupted yesterday.

It did make me sit and look at my own ideals, actions and motivation however. I am further along in this journey than some of the organisers, and would have thought my fighting spirit would be jaded, less driven, and more tired than theirs. A little more rational and accepting, less raw.  I guess I assumed they would have more fight in them than I do nowadays. I was wrong.

Now, you're probably wondering what this has to do with a Memoir Monday? Well this sense of right and wrong, this belief in fighting until you win (or receive an apology), I think it came from here. Just maybe.

Memoir Monday: Don't Mess with Grandma.

Yes, yee-ha Grandma once more. As you probably have gathered over the other two posts about her, this woman had a very large role in shaping who I am today. I have been incredibly lucky to have had such a wonderful person to inspire me, and teach me by example. And now I'm going to tell you a little story. Yes, another one.

Yee-ha Grandma, as some of you know, was a Real Estate Agent but she also owned a number of investment properties of her own. One of these properties is the centre of today's story.

We lived in a largish rural town, and one day a beeg company decided this town needed a shopping centre. The shopping centre was to take up all bar a small section of a large country town block. Yee-ha Grandma's property was dead centre of the main arm of the retail centre. 

Now being a private development resumption laws did not apply. Which meant the beeg company had been quietly buying up a lot of properties prior to the announcement being made, and then grabbing the rest as quickly and cheaply as they could. Until they hit Grandma's place.

Ever notice how people underestimate the older generation? Well, the local agent representing this company was known to Yee-ha Grandma. As a small boy he was found to be deceptive and sly, not trustworthy at all. As he grew his reputation remained unchanged. Having dealt with him on a business level for many years, Yee-ha Grandma had NO respect for him whatsoever. And when he knocked on her door, flashy tie and smarmy smile in place she opened it, and promptly shut it again in his face. He rang, he cajoled, and finally, desperate and with masses of pressure bearing down on him, he came around to canvas her dear family to make her see sense. The offer had been increased again and again by this stage.

I can clearly remember the conversation on our front verandah (I was around sixteen at the time). Freddie, yes that was his name, stupid name for a forty-something year old, initially tried to flatter Wise Woman. He had somehow learnt of the loss of the flame-haired hellraiser, and offered to put a monument in her honour at the front of the shopping centre. The look of disdain which showed on all our faces at his tacky suggestion and inappropriateness quickly had him switching tactics to hint that Yee-ha Grandma was hitting senility and should have control of her financial matters taken from her. I think it was at this ridiculous point my gentile, refined mother told him to go peddle his wares off our property or else she would set the dogs on him. (Mind you, we were lucky he didn't call our bluff or else the geriatric miniature silky terrior would have had his work cut out for him.)

Wise Woman went inside and rang Yee-ha Grandma to dob him in inform her of the latest development, after which Grandma rang the property development company directors and told them if they wished to ever come to an arrangement with her the board needed to fly to country town to meet with her directly. Oh, and if Freddie ever contacted her or any family member again, said property would be put into a perpetual trust NEVER to be sold.

They arrived the following week. And paid her triple the market value of the property. I still remember the awe and admiration this earnt her within the community. Also the respect shown to her by this bunch of powerful businessmen who were in charge of a mult-million dollar company. Never condescending nor patronising, they knew she had them by the short and curly's, and were impressed by her negotiation skills in that face to face meeting. I don't think they nor Freddie ever again disparaged the wisdom and experience age brings.

I guess the lesson here is she always stuck to her guns, and fought for what she believed in. I was brought up with the conviction if you feel strongly about something then you fight for it. You do not capitulate, you do not censor those who disagree, and you do not become some egotistical buffoon who bullies those they are meant to be working with for change.

Sometimes in battle the truly brave and honourable are those you never imagined, and the black knight turns out to be someone you never expected. Sad, really, when adversity reveals true colours.


Travis said...

I LOVED this story! The whole time I kept imagining the SNL skit with Sally O'Mally. "I'm 50! 50 years old! I like to kick! punch! annnnnd KICK! 50 years old!"

Thanks for playing today and thanks for being so faithful!

singedwingangel said...

Woohhoo for Granny. ya know it is sad how underhanded these corporations are in the desire to own every piee of property to put out the mom and pop stores.. I wish mom and pop would come back..

Kakka said...

Boy your granny looks a lot like the Queen - LOL. Great story, my grandma tried the same thing, but was up against the Road Board and so her property was taken from her at a piddly price - but boy she fought hard to stay in the home she and her hubby had built.

With regard to the FB Group - sounds like very few in the Admin have the balls to take it to Channel 7 which is a shame as ultimately Prue McSween will think she had the victory - shame, shame, shame.

Epskee said...

You know im not an idiot, and that I don't mince words, so please trust that when I say that I agree with you that the "apology" from Pru was bullshit, and exactly what I expect from the woman. I admire her ability to "call it like it is" however I can't sing her praises because she is a total moron on at least 30% of the topics that cross her path, this being one of them.

Now for the bit you may not like....

I'm a FB page admin. The laws that surround this sort of thing are blurred at best. As it stands, people who comment on our page can say whatever they want, and I am ultimately responsible for the comment being public (as I have access to the "delete" key) I dont know, maybe they had someone contact them and are backpedalling? I know we have had to before. We also keep a wide range of things between the admins only, and away from our members. This si really REALLY difficult at times, not least because our page is providing a real service and informing sick people of their options that so many "big boys" are trying to keep quiet.

Maybe though they are just in it for the cheap thrill of seeing the member counter climb, and dont give a toss about the issue. *shrug*

I know the feelings of anger (and the myriad of other emotions) you're going through, the simple inequity of it all, its exactly what I'm fighting against on our page. Its just plain wrong. Take comfort in the fact that many more people this year than last know those kind of "ideas" are crap, and do something, even one small thing (like posting about it) to educate one MORE person to know its crap.

These fights aren't single round blinders, they are marathons. You just have to keep chipping away. We have to believe that eventually people will open their freaking eyes, and do what is right instead of convenient and/or self serving.

Madmother said...

I would believe it epskee, if not for the nasty little messages he has sent to some of my friends.

And agree totally about the long haul - my theory after years of these kind of battles, is water on stone... Drip, drip, drip (and *BOOM* every now and again as I drop a boulder in).

Ro said...

I hear ya, the only apology that's going to be accepted by ME is a full, proper and sincere apology from that woman.
Sad, to think she's going to miss out on being able to count us as her friend ;)

Melissa Mandy said...

Loved the story about your Grandma. She's my kind of woman.

While I didn't see the Prue thing (don't watch the news or free to air TV for that matter) I was outraged and disappointed that she has such a "caveman" mentality when it comes to people/children with special needs.

My belief is that people with special needs are brought into the world to help people be more tolerant and accepting of what is different to them and to show people that the world looks different to everyone (probably doesn't make sense).

I worked at summer camp with kids with special needs and it taught me that its the small things in life that are the most important and what you determine "quality of life" is different for everyone. Prue and her ideals should be put with Pauline Hanson and her ideals. Buried in a box far, far away.

Stick to your ideals and guns, remember the turtle always wins the race!