Looking ahead, not getting ahead


Sunday 14th June, 2020


It’s raining again. 100% humidity in winter. Mobile phones warn of moisture detected. It’s hard to recall the feeling of that last hot dry summer. The royal commission into the bushfires publishes testimonies of unimaginable horror and analyses of inadequate preparations and responses, yet,  I can’t fully remember or reimagine what it was like, back then. There is the present to deal with; a new set of dramas unfolding. Disease and the economy. Systemic racism being exposed in our institutions. Not even our beloved artists are exempt from this new revision of history and culture. People are massing. Lip service from politicians representing governments that fail to enact the recommendations of repeated inquiries will no longer suffice. Do something, we scream. People now demanding change. COVID -19 a trigger point, the historians of the future will write. The real issues have nothing to do with a biological virus and everything to do with social justice. If the world is not ending just yet, it feels that the era of unfettered individualism has run its course. The “human race”, that ridiculous scramble to “get ahead”, is over. Who do we want to get ahead of? Our brothers and sisters? The other team? Some other state or nation? There is no fundamental right to “get ahead”. We survive and thrive as a society, not as billions of individuals racing against each other. The fires and the droughts and the relentless ocean and the mutating viruses remind us that money and fame, titles and degrees, and beauty and personal health, mean nothing when mother settles the score.