Modern Woman

I KNOW it's bad karma but I have been indulging in a fat bucket of schadenfreude* recently. I usually care so little about what the rich, famous or fatuous are doing that I would be more likely to be found doing housework than reading a gossip mag or watching a reality TV show. And if cleanliness really is next to godliness, then I am most definitely an atheist.

But there's something so compelling about the Rinehart family saga that it could be a 21st century Citizen Kane.

I have been devouring every little sue and counter sue and relishing in a way that I haven't enjoyed since my ever-diminishing attention span became distracted from the Murdoch family/company's woes.

The Rinehart soap opera reinforces my prejudices because it embodies my favourite moral: money doesn't buy you happiness.

Gina Rinehart represents everything I believe is wrong in Australia: a person who has become surreally wealthy quarrying natural resources and giving little to nothing back; who advocates for cheap imported labour and increased government spending to help out poor struggling minerals exporters in a state that grew rich off the back of exploiting Aboriginal workers.

She's a rich, imperialist bully who has been told 'no' many fewer times than she's been told 'that's a lovely hat'.

And yet, I feel sorry for her too.

What sort of deep unhappiness and ingrained psychological problems cause someone to want control over their adult children's lives to such an extent that their refusal to sign deeds would mean the entire family ends up in court?

I've fought with family members before and it's awful, but transitory. You apologise, take a deep breath, recognise that there are different ways of looking at things and you can't control anyone else's behaviour. You say 'sorry', behave better and move on.

And I think that's why I find the Pilbara Princess who would be Empress so compelling.

I, unlike Gina Rinehart, don't have billions of bucks, but I do have something immeasurably more valuable: family and friends with whom I'm privileged to share unconditional love.

My friends and family, like everyone, go through good and hard times.

But we support each other through all of it; we speak up when we see our loved ones about to do something stupid or damaging. We share in the joy of each other's successes.

We tell each other when we've done the wrong thing.

We listen and we talk.

We're mostly truthful and ethical - with the occasional bit of imperfect karma to work off tossed in.

And I wouldn't trade any one of my imperfect family or friends for a fortune the size of the Hope Downs Mine.

* Taking pleasure in others' misfortune.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Red Dog just like his movie star namesake

STAR IN MAKING: Red Dog is in the doghouse this week.

Red Dog is just like his movie star namesake.

Join in Jodie's Pink Halloween

A photo from the 2015 Pink Halloween event, hosted by Lismore charity Jodie's Inspiration.

Jodie's Pink Halloween Fundraiser.

Greens fight and fuss but shark nets are coming

The NSW Government has vowed to reintroduce old-style mesh shark nets to North Coast beaches.

Mesh shark nets almost certain to arrive at North Coast beaches

Local Partners

All the fun of The National

The National gets off to a start with all the elements and characters coming together.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Declan Kelly and the Rising Sun to shine bright at festival

Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun is one of the headlining acts at this year's festival.

Main stage set to pump with radiant reggae and dub vibes

Paul Capsis brings the nightlife to Tropical Fruits

LUMINOUS: Paul Capsis created a bespoke performance for NORPA's Generator fundraiser back in 2007.

As part of the Tropical Fruits Festival 2016.

MOVIE REVIEW: Jack Reacher sequel falls flat

Tom Cruise in a scene from the movie Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.

THE film's title Never Go Back should serve as a warning to fans.

The Bachelor contestants find love with each other

Former Bachelor contestants Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon have confirmed their relationship on social media.

MEGAN Marx and Tiffany Scanlon confirm relationship on Instagram.

Liam Payne wants to wed Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne

Liam Payne reportedly wants to marry Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Bindi Irwin 'honoured' to make MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Len Wiseman files for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale

Len Wiseman has filed for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June