Wednesday, June 15, 2005


"My name is Sophie Panopoulos and Elanor hates me."

I have hated her for six years. I still hate her. I hear her name and I become possessed by rage and bewilderment. I mean, in all the time that I have hated her [and I can date that hate from about 30 seconds after I first became aware of her existence], I have never heard her say ONE thing that was sensible or defensible. NOT ONE. She is consistently awful.

My hate was formed, of course, during the lead-up to the referendum on an Australian Republic. I don’t know where she came from or how she got to be there, but when I saw her on my TV and heard what she was saying, I just went, “Who the hell is this random toxic freak?” My sister and I found her powerfully repellent, and we would stare at each other in wonderment [and rage] each time she opened her mouth and said something inflammatory, contradictory, misleading, ridiculous. She HAS to see how that isn’t actually the case, DOESN’T SHE? [That is what we would say to each other – with our eyes. And then we would go about telling her, to her face (on the TV), how what she was saying just didn’t stand up to even the scrutiny we could muster. WE, two stupid republican girls!] Yep, we were really effective, yelling at the TV like that. We totally invalidated her arguments, like, a zillion times during that campaign. We used facts and all. And she was JUST SO WRONG. We were astounded that she was a lawyer. We were astounded that we were being exposed to her at all. In short, we were astounded to discover that people like her existed, and we highly doubted that she had any friends. But, we were wrong, I guess. That Republic debate was a terrible lesson in the lousiness of people. And our blood boiled when her side won, especially as it prompted people to make sounds about how her argument and strategy had been better than ours. And we were considered freaks who couldn't let go as we continued to scream “NO IT WASN’T! HAS EVERYONE LOST THEIR FREAKING MINDS?”

Two years later, I was at work on election night 2001. I had left home with two thoughts in my mind.

Thought # 1: “There is NO WAY that people will stand for this Tampa crap. It is like, the wrongest thing ever!”

Thought # 2: “Jesus, Sophie. AS IF anyone in their right mind, who has paid even the scantiest attention to anything you have said, ever, is going to vote YOU into Federal parliament. AS IF SOPHIE! GET A CLUE!”

Anyway, it came time for my break at work. And I asked my boss if I could use the phone to call home and check in with my sister about how the election was going. And I was standing there at the counter with the receiver at my ear, all jovial-slash-anxious and shit, and a few moments later everyone in the place had broken away from their pancakes to stare at me. Because I had actually yelled “NO!”

I felt so alone. Nobody understood. They didn’t even know who I was babbling about when I tried to explain that AN AFFRONT TO GOD had taken place. They probably thought I was a bit of a mental case who seriously needed to chill. Fucking Sophie Panopoulos. I hate her. So please, why don’t you join me, for today at least, in hating her too?

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