Eva Bradley: I take being frivolous extremely seriously

By Eva Bradley

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This week I was accused of a heinous crime. I hadn't broken any laws, hurt any feelings, picked a side in any battle or cussed in public. But according to the critic, what I had done was worse. I'd been frivolous.

Now let's be serious (because apparently I'm not). I write a column that I freely admit is in the style of Sex and the City except without the sex, and not much of the city.

I am not political, I don't advocate for world peace and I've been known to dedicate every one of the 600 words I am generously allocated each week to talk about feijoas.

I delight in the frivolous, some would say I excel in it. And for that I take a bow.

Newspapers are a serious business. If it bleeds, it leads and the job of a newspaper is to document the devastation and deviousness of the communities we inhabit.

There is a certain truth in the cliché that no news is good news, and I know many people who live by the theory that if you can't or won't do anything about it, why be informed of it?

And so, on a Thursday morning, along comes Eva. You've spent your week slowly spiralling towards the drain after reading about exploited workers dead and dying in Bangladesh.

You're up to date on the fallout that continues in Boston after two young men

decided to annihilate total strangers. You've seen the story of your long-time hero of the small screen being charged with raping children and you've digested all the other "smaller" news stories cataloguing various states of social collapse.

If you didn't get a little bit of frivolity after all of that, you'd probably opt to lie down in the middle of the main road and give up.

Life is a serious business and maybe it's just me but it seems that the more of it I clock up, the more serious it becomes. Responsibilities increase, burdens accumulate and the sense of joie de vivre that we take for granted as children and young adults slowly seeps between the cracks of real life and disappears.

Clearly, my frivolity has its limitations like everyone else. While in your Thursday morning paper I might explore the more self-indulgently carefree aspects of the world around me, come the next day, just like you, I have to drag my reluctant frame into work to pay my taxes and on my lunch break I catch up on the latest developments of death and depravity.

So what I say is this; embrace your sense of silly. Own your flimsy. Play up to your puerile side and acknowledge that all of us have a need to balance the hard knocks with a little light relief.

At first I thought to be mildly offended by the criticism of my writing.

But then I realised after doing my time as a hard news journalist and writing the stories that broke hearts, it was a rare privilege to be tasked with the "job" of writing something not at all worthy of serious notice. My words could quite easily be wiped from the pages of the paper with little effect.

Except that might well wipe off the odd smile brought to the faces of my regular readers, and in a world where the newspapers might convince you there was little to smile about, that would be no frivolous feat.

- Northern Advocate

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