Im Nobody

I’m Nobody, who are you? #

Dickinson celebrated ordinary People: A recurring motif throughout literature celebrates the ordinary citizen over all others.Solon described by Juvenal as “Eloquent Solon, the Just” prioritised his laws to provide for the ordinary person over the aristocrats.

Euripides in Media has the nurse comment on the High born vs commoner:

“It is a bad thing to be born of a high race in a great house unruled but ruling. It is unendurable. Poor people are happier, humble and poor in spirit, commoners who can lie low under the wind. Great people like the tall oak and cloud raking pines writhe, groan and crash under the high winds. This is the wild and terrible justice of the Gods”.

" they are normal people who have done extraordinary things, thought extraordinary thoughts “ Cosi

In Plato’s Republic, Odysseus, gets reincarnated as a common man.

Achilles, when questioned by Odysseus in Hades, claims:

“I would prefer to be a workman, hired by a poor man on a peasant farm, than rule as king of all the the dead”.

John Donne in his mischievous manner claimed that the life of ordinary people was vastly superior to our ruling classes with:

Princes do but play us; /compared to this,/All honor’s mimic, all wealth alchemy./ In that the world’s contracted thus.

A democratic element that says: ‘Little people are really important,and just as important as other people.’

Our social contract pretends that the little people are as important as all the elite. Is that the reality?

Thomas Jefferson maintained that the most reliable custodian of good governance was the ordinary citizen.

Milton: They also serve who only stand and wait.

Auden seeks for values and meaning in ordinary temporal world.

“All truths are derived from the ordinary, daily common lives of contemporary people.”

Orwell put his faith in the proles.

Einstein: “A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it.”

Dickinson’s poem: #

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – Too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! They’d banish us – you know!
How dreary to be Somebody!
How public – like a frog –
To tell your name – the livelong June-
To an admiring Bog!


Poem by Leunig

The Most Unimportant Australian of the Year award is due to be announced in Canberra next week.

Indeed, nothing is known, remembered or recorded about these finalists, who are all insignificant “nobodies” by choice.

The panel of judges however is in a quandary because no information can be found about any of the Finalists.

Judges and media commentators are at their wit’s end.

For a nation obsessed with celebrities, heroes, influencers, legends and award winners, this could be A TOTAL HORRIFIC DISASTER.

Another Poem #

Fame is a bee.
It has a song –
It has a sting –
Ah, too, it has a wing.


Epitaph – Diana Petroff #

We are just one of billions of people who have been born, lived and died throughout the history of the world:

My heart was just one beat in the hearts of millions.
My watching was just one eye of the unknown
My tear was just one pool in the pools of the ocean
My breath was just one air in the airs of the universe
My voice was one note in the notes of many musics
My footprint was just one mark in the marks of the earth
My age was just on year in the years of infinity
My self was just one cell in the cells of a body
My striving was just one pain in the pains of living
My life was just one expanse in the expanses of time.

True heroes are remembered for a surreal mix of the everyday and the remarkable.

We need to listen to the disadvantaged; those at the coalface. Trust is about reciprocity – mutual respect.

Plebeian common, commonplace, or vulgar: a plebeian joke. a member of the common people.

We have many words for the Ordinary

-the common man, natives, indigenous people, bucolic, rustic, pastoral, vernacular, “nobodies”, little people, the great unwashed, average, vanilla, banal, trite, facile, commonplace, pedestrian, prosaic, hum drum, mundane,
quotidian, exoteric, laity, bland, for the most part unexceptionable and even anodyne, everyday mankind, laity, trivia, vanilla brand, non-descript, detritus inconsequential, Seinfeldian minutiae

Many artists prefer to depict and celebrate the ordinary lives of ordinary people, including Hesiod, a Greek contemporary of Homer, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Brueghel, Mark Twain, Thomas Hardy, Auden….

According to Joseph Leo Koerner*, There has never been a better painter than Bruegel. Always flawless in his design and execution yet different in each of his works, he makes his only rivals (Jan van Eyck, Titian, and Velázquez) seem limited, repetitive, or artificial by comparison.

Bruegel is famous for painting ordinary people in ordinary surroundings from a direct perspective, so we don’t look up or down on them.

Bryant, the Police Chief in Blade Runner; * abrasive, bullying, threatens Deckard by reminding him he’ll become one of the “little people” unless he accepts the assignment and does his dirty work.

On the contrary, Patrick White identified what he called ‘the exaltation of the average’ as the single most frightening thing about 1950s Australian society; it had its resurgence, if indeed it had ever really gone away, in Hanson’s popularity.”

It is true that ill-informed and deliberately dis-informed mobs are fickle and prove easy fodder for propagandists - especially religious and political zealots.

Psychiatrist to patient:

“Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are millions of insignificant, boring and ineffectual people just like you.”

You need to look into the face of people whose lives are second class and say:

‘I regard me getting into power as more important than your life’.” Social Services Minister Christian Porter

We almost all think we are a lot better than average, rationalising that our successes are the result of our personal qualities, and that our failures are the result of external circumstances:

Writers who shamelessly celebrate middle class ordinariness preferring their unadorned decency to the affectations and posturing of the pretentious classes.

Martin Amis points out that:

“over two millennia humans first told stories of Gods, then Kings, then Epic Heroes, then ordinary people, then anti-heroes, then villains, then demons and finally themselves”.

Jane Gardam writes: “In life, there are no minor characters”.

She writes about unremarkable people confined to a straitjacket existence of correct behaviour. When life delivers a seismic shock, Gardam shows how little these people have known themselves or been known.

Many journalists have responded to the online furore by implying that it’s the social media that are out-of-touch with ‘ordinary Australians’; Jonathan Holmes, for example, argues that because politicians speak to ‘ordinary people’, and press gallery journalists speak to politicians, therefore journalists represent ‘ordinary people’.

True heroes are remembered for a surreal mix of the everyday and the remarkable.”

Alice Munro claims:

Everybody is extraordinary to themselves.

We need to listen to the disadvantaged; those at the coalface. Trust is about reciprocity – mutual respect.