As a child of the '80s, it's compulsory to adore the band A Flock of Seagulls. That new wave synth pop sound was awesome even if their knowledge of collective nouns was not. The correct collective noun for seagulls is a squabble. As life would have it, I was reminded of that twice today. This morning Margaret and I were at Sandgate. She noted that unlike our last visit two weeks ago, there were not many seagulls. Just one in fact. And then she threw it a prawn shell. Like something out of an Alfred Hitchock movie, the sky darkened under a cloud of feathers. The seagulls descended. She threw chips. The gulls began what looked like it would be a fight to the death. I went off to talk to the crabs.
Tonight the image was clearly back in my head. Drama Being and I were at Gardens Theatre for a performance of A Prudent Man. It was a stunning single hander that really shone a light on politics, image, political expediency and how you get to a point where anything can be excused if the means always justifies the ends. Of course, none of that has anything to do with seagulls. Well, not really. Playwright Katy Warner writing in this piece is beautifully chaotic. There's this politician spitting out sound bites and 30 second grabs like an endless episode of Q and A where a question may be put but an answer is rarely given. But then there's this childhood memory about seagulls. It's longer. More detailed. More honest. More graphic. A chip is thrown and a storm of gulls descend. In the squabble the chip stops being the victim and the gulls turn on one of their own and peck it mercilessly to death. I think the same thing might happen at pre-selection contests or party room debates.
Either way it made me think. there were plenty of chips to go round this morning but when a winner-takes-it-all attitude is allowed to fester compassion is lost and we are all worse off for it.