TUMBY BAY - Hang on, what’s up? The world wasn’t supposed to turn into custard until my generation was safely six foot under.
As Stan Grant eloquently put it, “We are miserable, getting poorer, afflicted with disease, on the verge of blowing ourselves to smithereens and facing a climate catastrophe”.
The planet cooking, natural resources plundered, a profusion of plagues, democracy failing, creeping totalitarianism, mass hunger and homelessness, millions of refugees, a new war everywhere you look….
The one bit of promising news is that population growth is slowing each year. Now 1%, trending down and not expected to rise any time soon. Bit late by the look of it.
It’s a bleak scene and somehow it has happened on our watch. We boomers thought we’d solved the world’s problems in the 1960s. We knew what to do back than but I don’t think anyone listened.
It’s not our fault it didn’t work out. Anyway, we’re leaving something for our grandchildren – a few problems to fix.
I don’t know where the plan went wrong. Everything seemed to be hunky dory then it went pear-shaped.
Can’t really blame people for being fearful and angry. Can’t blame them for the pervasive sense of doom. Everywhere you look, governments seem to have lost the plot. Aren’t they seeing what we see?
There are indecent levels of arrogance and incompetence. Craziness, denial and desperation are rampant.
In Western countries, including Australia, many governments have decided people are expendable so long as the economy survives.
They don’t have the sense to figure out that economies don’t work without the people that do things and buy things. The people the fools are abandoning. It’s just stupid.
The late US comedian George Carlin understood it. “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realise half of them are stupider than that,” he would say.
It’s a circus which the clowns got to run and they’re telling the patrons to walk a tightrope stretched over a crocodile pool.
The usual restraints of logic, knowledge, capability, clear thinking and compassion bolted out of the Big Top long ago.
There was a popular 1961 stage show, ‘Stop the World I Want to Get Off’. I’m trying to remember where they put the handbrake and the escape hatch. Someone email me urgently for heaven’s sake.
It’s not so we can all jump off. I’m not selfish, I just want to know where to chuck all the idiots.
Unfortunately this carnival of madness is set to get worse in the next few months.
In Australia and Papua New Guinea there are national elections to endure. That’s when we can replace one set of clowns with another set of clowns.
Elections in both places will be marked by the usual fairy tale promises, lies and spin, all delivered with creepy smiles.
Then the Americans have their midterm elections. That’s where a geriatric president loses his already blunt edge and the Republicans get another chance to impose Trumpian fascism on their own country and the rest of us.
And watching on from the shadows will be the sinister figures of the dictator Xi and the gangster Putin.
Some people are making comparisons between now and the late 1930s, when the rise of European fascism and Japanese imperialism created a strong and accurate feeling that war was inevitable.
In those years immediately before the outbreak of World War II, there was an ‘end of days’ mood in Western countries that prompted people to throw caution to the wind and engage in spontaneous partying, merriment and bad behaviour.
The theme was, ‘If we’re all going to die anyway, let’s go out happy’. Nobody ever told them it doesn’t work that way. And it didn’t.
Now, there’s a sense of being unmoored and disassociated with no inkling of what the immediate future will bring. That’s at least realistic.
But being so rudderless while waiting to see what will happen is profoundly alarming to humans. The anxiety and depression it triggers is spreading faster than Omicron.
The pedlars of doom are having a field day. In the mass media phony happy day messages from politicians sit alongside dire predictions and conspiracy theories from the great unwashed.
Also having a field day are the commercial carpetbaggers who are working out more and better schemes to make a buck out of you – and out of the government - while they can.
A pandemic, a crippled planet and a cacophony of con artists, who would have thought it would come to this, and so quickly?