The Trash Talk FAQ

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Q: Who is Téa?

I am 26, female, and live in Perth, Western Australia. I am happily married to Jason, and mother to Mina, who at the time of writing is 3 1/2.

I would like to say that I have direction in life, but I’d probably be lying. I studied Politics and Legal Studies for my Undergrad degree, and am now doing a Masters in Public Policy. So, basically, a woman with a mind and an Arts degree does not automatically correlate with employability — which means that I have tried a few different things over the years. Politics is my real love and I have recently had the privilege of working for a Greens MLC. I have found it tremendously rewarding. I would also like the opportunity to work in the public service, but in a position that actually lets me use my brain, not some soul-killing, immoral, systematic-abuse-of-children type of role. Guess you can’t tell I worked in child protection huh…

Unfortunately I am a bit of a square peg in a round hole sometimes. I like lots of different things. I am politically inclined and love policy work, but I am also good at other things, including writing, music, some graphic design, as well as IT and other things. Sometimes people don’t quite know how to take me — because I tend to have a number of interests and abilities that don’t necessarily mesh into an all-encompassing role. That can be frustrating.

I generally love my life, but I am disturbed by the direction our world is travelling in. I am also particularly concerned about the “loud” voices in Australian politics at the moment — particularly Christian fundamentalist groups who preach family values, and yet exercise such hatred and intolerance that is, basically, unChristian.

Q: OK, you’ve told me the basics, but really, where are you coming from?

First and foremost I consider myself a pragmatist. It just happens that, on balance, I fall to the centre-left of politics. I believe in equality of opportunity, social justice and civil rights.

I am *not* a socialist. I believe in the market, but also recognise that the market, left unaccountable, results in less competition, lower wages, eroded social welfare services, and inequality of wealth. I believe in a regulated market — one that allows for free enterprise so long as behaviour is ethical and in the best interests of the community. I believe in government ownership of some services, particularly in utilities and welfare services. In terms of economic policy, I tend to be more conservative than some of my “left” friends.

Socially, I am more progressive. I believe in protecting the rights of disadvantaged groups, including women, gays and lesbians, Aboriginal people and people from non-English speaking backgrounds. I am a feminist and am pro-choice. I am against mandatory detention. I do not believe that society has changed much in the last 50 years — in fact I think we have improved.

I both loathe popular culture and consume it. I LOVE Desperate Housewives. I hate Ashlee Simpson, Hillary Duff and all the other talentless wenches that seem to get record deals. I hate ABC elitists. I watch the ABC, but I don’t put a plum in my mouth and tell people that I only watch SBS and ABC… I watch that and I watch trash. It does not make me any less intelligent.

Q: Why are you so offensive?

Probably because you’re American and reading me too literally. I tend to be a bit sarcastic. I also swear. But I don’t think they are offensive. I think Janet Jackson’s boob was a non-event, and I think that people are too distracted with manners to see the really offensive stuff, such as racism, gay-bashing and sexism.

You know, sometimes there is just a different sense of humour. You know, like the US Coupling disaster (and future “The Office” disaster). They took a perfectly hilarious English show and turned it into American sitcom trash. It is hard to walk that fine line and you guys just haven’t quite mastered the art of nuance yet ;). You can make awesome bombs and food, but you just can’t make me laugh. Sorry.

I have also found that some of the people that complain about swearing will also, in the same breath, be degrading to women or blacks or gays, so I’m sorry if I have my priorities in order and prefer to say “fuck” now and then.

OK, so what sort of things do you like?

My problem is that I like too much. I enjoy movies, TV, music and books. I enjoy spending time with my daughter. I like good food and good wine. Maybe I should provide a list of my favourites, huh?

Food & Wine

My favourite foods are things like blue cheese and smoked salmon. I also like a really good scotch fillet cooked medium-rare — and like my steak with red wine sauce. I eat predominantly low carb to keep my blood sugar under control, so enjoy good cheese, fruit, salads and the occasional flourless chocolate cake. I adore the food network, and have been known to sit for hours with a notebook writing down food ideas 🙂

My favourite wines tend to come from South Australia. Yes, I know, bad West Aussie (boo hiss!), but I really like Wolf Blass and Taylor’s Shiraz. However, I have recently had to rethink my Taylor’s choice… because they have started using screw tops instead of corks. I am a bt of a purist, in that wine is only good if it doesn’t resemble a bottle of Stones. Maybe its just me.

Music

I am a music junkie. My Mp3 collection continues to grow, and I wish I had the money for an iPod. I also play guitar and studied music (with a focus on voice, but did bits of everything — trombone, saxophone, piano, percussion) throughout my school years. In fact, I met my husband through music at school. He was the guitarist and I was the singer. And, how hilarious it was when I somehow got away with singing Alanis Morisette’s “Forgiven” at a reunion with everyone 70+, including Maj. General Michael Jeffrey (who went to my high school). Yes, even at 16, I was a troublemaker — but only the good kind 🙂

Movies

I have eclectic tastes in movies, but I seem to be drawn towards stories that explore just how far people can go when they are pushed. Think Novocaine, Very Bad Things, The Last Supper. But, I also really enjoy dumb comedies (Napoleon Dynamite and Anchorman sucked arse though)… and I love Office Space.

TV

I tend to download more TV than anything else. The Simpsons is easily number 1 on my list. South Park a close second. I also watch Neighbours quite religiously (!), and am LOVING Desperate Housewives. I also enjoy TechTV shows like Call for Help and the Screen Savers (which are now playing on the HowTo channel…) and Conan O’Brien.

Oh, and I like serious stuff too. And The Chaser crew — whatever they come out with 🙂

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Email: tea@teasmith.com.au
Tel: +61 407 877 431
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