Cheers! Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Thursday, 18 September 2008 01:58
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It’s our birthday, so I’m going to sing you a song. No, the song is not ‘happy birthday’ but it’s almost as well known. And it might even be more appropriate when saying cheers to a community publication.

“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came . . .” Of course you remember the theme song to the television series‘Cheers’. And of course you remember the characters that peopled the pub; the casual way in which they cared about one another.

Now let me tell you something: if you’re new to the Bronberg area you need to spend time in one of our many watering holes if you want to get an idea of where it is you’re staying and what it is that these people mean to each other. Not into watering? That is beside the point. If you want to meet a cross-section of this community of Bronbergers, you do it by swallowing– your pride if you’re ‘very important’, your bile if you’re a sour criticizer or your drink if you’re a local.

The cross-section you’ll meet includes people that will never otherwise end up on a chair next to you. After your initial shock, you might just start answering their questions, because talk to you they certainly will.

This is a country pub, after all. A place where the ill-groomed artist sits talking to the meticulous exmilitary man who is sitting next to the mechanic who is talking to the professor who is sitting next to the girl who hits the till at the general dealer who is sitting next to the businessman who cannot hear what she’s saying because the truck driver next to him is singing along with a journalist from the local community publication.

Okay, I see that this is starting to sound as coherent, witty and perceptive as a late-night conversation in a country pub. What I wanted to say is that a country pub is life’s way of bringing us into contact with people who challenge us with their differences. If you stay safely behind your security walls, chances are that you’re going to stick to your own income and interest groups and deny yourself a couple of interesting eye-openers.

My definition of a community is that of which the members suspend their basic animal fight or flight response when presented with beings who are not like them. Ja, sure - even if these beings are a bit off.

If you can do that, you’re well on your way to celebrating this diversity and realising the strength it offers. I mean, just take a look at the community patrols that came to life in various parts of the Bronberg. If you ever want to see strength in unity, you need look no further.

But, please don’t forget about the diversity of the individuals who make up this unity – especially the ones who’ve chosen not to be swallowed lock-stock-and-barrel by the communal identity.

Like any other, our community has certain expectations of the roles each of us should play. I guess that it’s precisely these expectations that are smashed to smithereens in country pubs where unlikely locals are thrown together and, contrary to all expectations, accept each other for who they are.

And it’s this intangible atmosphere that we, as our community’s mouthpiece, try to capture on film and put down on paper. On our sixth birthday we celebrate the diversity of our people, while trying to show you what we all have in common. It goes something like this:

“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. You want to be where you can see, our troubles are all the same. You want to be where everybody knows your name.” Cheers!


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