I’m taking a very big risk in revealing that my favourite television show – for the moment, is Channel Nine’s, “The Farmer Wants A Wife.”
Like many people with a favourite show, I’ve found myself scheduling out Wednesday nights 8:30-9:30pm. I’ve even started asking around for someone record the program on Wednesday 8th September because I have a college
function to attend and I just can’t get out of it - the function, not
my obsession with the TV. Just who would you ask, or better, who could you trust to understand, this task.
I hated those Big Brother shows with a passion. I’ve never been within a button of the remote control to watch other similar programs, but after stumbling upon The Farmer Wants A Wife, I must say it was probably a bit of a reaction against the election and what all the campaigning didn’t address, that I went looking for something escapist a few weeks ago when it commenced.
I’m a priest, celibate and comfortable with that and approaching sixty. I’m not wanting to be part of the program, I can assure you. But I’m intrigued at how I’ve been attracted to this program.
It’s the simplicity of the plot of course, isn’t it? A simple feel-good story, so common in our lives - boy meets girl or girl meets boy, a desire to explore commitment and possibly a future marriage. As a priest, I’ve been part of such things in all the couples I’ve assisted in preparing for their wedding days.
That this program features farmers seeking a spouse is a little different. How many Australians are prepared to be accepted or rejected on the basis of where they live and what is not going to be part of daily life because of the factor of distance from a capital city or other major regional population hub?
Even the adverts in the show seem so inconsequential, set against the backdrop of the ordinariness and toughness of farm life, where choice is limited in so many daily pursuits to – how far is it, how long will it take to get there, can I afford it along with the travel costs, will it really be worth it to go so far for it?
Any thoughts I had in the first episode of being a busy body, or of loitering, invading a couple’s privacy, left me very quickly because of that ordinariness, so repetitive as to be very profound. What I’m watching in this program is a plea from the rural part of our nation, for a partnership with those in the urban areas.
And the partnership so badly needed is exactly symbolised as in the covenant of marriage.
Getting back to what most thinking people in Australia are concerned with at the moment, there might just be a chance at finding a spouse for the bush, given that of the six ‘out of the square’ parliamentarians elected, four of them are from non-urban areas.
The bush capital may yet be the place of an unforgettable wedding and the beginning to a wonderful marriage, fruitful for all Australians, no matter where they live.
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