This week I found myself thinking about the ABC.
Now let’s be clear. This is not something I am in the habit of doing. I don’t spend my days gazing off into the distance contemplating the existence of our national broadcaster.
But this week, err, I did.
Because this week I watched Australians get emotional for maybe the first time as the ABC – OUR ABC dammit – announced exactly how it was going to deal with a $254m funding cut.
Suddenly things got personal. Suddenly millions of Australians worried that THEIR favourite ABC show was on the chopping block.
And so I found myself inadvertently reading op-eds and blogs and comments about the ABC shows and presenters and hosts and, you know, British cartoon pigs people didn’t want axed. Hosts who meant something to people. Programs – be they on TV or radio – which play an important role in people’s lives. Muddy puddle loving pigs that kept small children entertained while dinner is being made.
And in the swirl of opinion I was forced to think about what exactly the ABC means to me.
Turns out it means a hell of a lot.
Because the truth of the matter is, dear old Aunty has chaperoned me through most of my life.
As a child of the 70s, Maria and Luis and Mr Hooper and Big Bird on Sesame Street on Channel 2 taught me how to count and sing my ABCs and that ‘one of these things is not like the other’ long before I went to school.
John and Bettina and Jemima and Hamble taught me to tell the time on the Flower Pot clock on Play School. And Mr Squiggle and Miss Jane showed me from an early age that things are not always what they seem. And they’re often upside down.