10 January 2011

Melbourne White People Like David Williamson

I might have to hand in my membership card of the leftie middle age, middle class, over educated, inner city club.

Whilst checking how many new cliches on Stuff White People Like I ticked off (106/134 on the full list), I had to be smug about #43: white people like plays. We really do. I'm so white I sat in front of John Safran* at the MTC last week. And I'm so white that I thought the political satire on display wasn't ironic (#50) enough. My friends agreed, as we wished the free beer was an organic microbrew (#23).

Like the rest of pale play-loving Melbourne, I'm gearing up for the premiere of David Williamson's Don Parties On this week, so went to my bookcase to retrieve my copy of Don's Party.

I can't find it.

This is like not finding a little plastic sushi (#42) soy sauce fish in a Melbourne white person's recycle bin (#64).

I must have a Don's Party. In my collected-in-the-80s bookcase there are other Williamsons, some Buzos and the Lawler trilogy.  Of course there's also a slab of Albees, books by Martin Esslin and David Hare's autobiography (a later addition). Moving away from the drama shelf there's Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance alongside Tom Robbins, Hunter S Thomson, Thomas Pynchon and Jeanette Winterson. (The Pynchons remain unread.) And books about Marxism, Bhuddism and Post Modernism.

It's just not possible that this did-a-BA-in-the-80s bookshelf does not have a red and white Currency Press copy of the seminal play written about Australian middle-class politics.

If I don't read it before the opening night of Don Parties On, how can I empathise with the dismay of the ageing jaded lefties or laugh at Williamson referencing Williamson or be at all disappointed and offended (#101) by his new work by comparing it to his early brilliance?

Perhaps I accidentally put it in the bookshelf devoted to writing (#21) and grammar (#99) books...

#101 Being Offended

*If you missed Christian Lander, the creator of SWPL, talking to John Safran at the Wheeler Centre, click here.

PS. Problem solved by the St Kilda library. I also borrowed a Michel Gondry (#68) film that I hadn't seen and bought some organic, fair-trade coffee (#1).

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