A Bizarro Nightmare

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‘It’s going to be 31 tomorrow, with cloud cover… Shit, this weather has been horrible.’
‘That’s if the world isn’t over…’
‘Why would the world be over?’ a man in his sixties with an enormous gut hanging down below him; beneath the restaurant chair he is seated in, looks up from his huddled position, nose-deep in a Gold Coast bulletin, and replies to me.
‘Trump is about to seal it’ I say glumly looking back down to my live update of the US election, as Donald Trump pulls over with 264.
‘Is he! That’s great, don’t you think that’s a good thing?’ He says suddenly in elated joy, turning to his withered sixty-year-old housewife, dawned in classic gold jewellery, with dark purple lipstick, and your typical Gold Coast baby boomer attire. She shoots in, turning in my direction to face me.
‘Yeah, she is the real loose cannon. Don’t you think?’ Her tattooed eyebrows raised high. At this point, I am so disillusioned, yet remarkably unsurprised, that I would hear a baby boomer couple, spewing such notions at dusk, in a Japanese restaurant on the North Gold Coast.
‘Well, it will certainly be interesting’ I return with almost no enthusiasm.
‘Hey mate, cheer up, it will be okay. Listen, he is going to at least clean-up that bloody media, and their tarnishing ways. Look at this Dream World disaster, people die every day, and they have dragged that on, and on, and get in the way of the business returning to operation. It’s bullshit. He will clean those guys up… And…Well, the rest of it… He will get into line. He has a congress, and they won’t allow him to peruse the wall business, and what not…’
‘Well, you’re not wrong.’ At this point I am eagerly aiming to exit the conversation, wishing to wallow in misery in silence, while I wait for my dinner.
‘You know, I had some of those journo’s come after me, and I tried to sue them. They really get out to destroy you.’ Pause.
‘What do you mate?’ At this point his wife’s attention has been distracted by the blank wall behind her husband’s head.
‘I’m a writer… Somewhat journalistic…’ The man’s face is held tight with strainous effort, a restraint on laughter, or aggression, I could not tell.
‘Hey, maybe he is one of the good ones?!’ His wife chimes in, breaking the tension lingering in the air.
‘Katsu Curry. Here you are’ The restaurant staff member hands me my meal, as I stand up to retrieve it.
‘Hey mate, do you wanna have a talk some time, I can explain him to you’ The man shouts, as I turn to politely acknowledge them, and wish them a pleasant evening.
‘Well, I think right now, I am going to go drink, and eat my dinner. But, you two have a lovely evening, it was nice chatting with you’. I turn hastily, and exit the restaurant with a wave in their direction, and the staffs.

I bound home, and make myself an Old Fashioned, and flip open my laptop, to watch the confirmation. He creeps over the 270 mark, sealing his fate, as the next President, of The United Sates. I recall many discussions throughout the year, where I had admitted to having a slight urge to want to see, just how ludicrous his presidency could be. A half-witted attempt to make light of the idea, that anyone could consider him to be, a contender for the leader of the free world. But, it isn’t a joke anymore, this is not some bizarro nightmare that the whole world is collectively having; this is reality, and I am scared half to death.

2016, the year I went from mildly insane, to losing my marbles completely – along with the rest of the world.

I laid about most of the year in shambles, downing multiple bottles of Makers Mark a week – at times – letting the liquor, the weed, and my lack of self-control, push me through vicious cycles, depriving me of rational thought, and a balanced lifestyle. My work ethic went into overdrive, and I suffered complete fits of lunacy, trawling out a continuous stream of unfiltered, and unmonitored content, often leaving myself in pools of self-loathing and anguish. Yet, always armed with an unwavering determination to continue my work, no matter the outcome of my last product.

When I look back upon this year, I am unsure what will stand out the most: Brexit, Trump, Bowie, Prince, the beginning of my career… The year the remaining Rock, and Rollers, and freedom fighters from the American Century, succumbed to true evil, and played a capitalist’s wet dream. An audience of old rich white men, making a pilgrimage out to the American desert, to witness in lavish circumstances, The Stones, and Co, smash out their war tunes from the golden age. This once unlikely event, occurring just weeks before Trumpo accepted the presidency, leaving the podium to their ole’ tune: You Can’t Always Get What You Want. The year that both Iggy Pop, and Beyoncé put out records, that are equally top contenders for the best Rock’n’Roll record of this decade. Or, the year Yeezy, got too Yeezy, for Yeezy. Collapsing after the commencement of his Ultralight Beam… What a fucking year it has been…

My first reaction to all this, is to give in. Grab the bottle, grab the bong – and if only I had the access – grab the gun. Fortunately, I live in Australia currently, and access to firearms does not come easy; so, blowing my head off is a lot easier said than done. I would have to resort to a more traditional method of suicide: rope, bridge, cliff, or drugs. Yet, they all come with a level of unsettling uncertainty, which puts me off the whole endeavour. Yet, I fret for the safety of anyone with suicidal tendencies living in the states right now. It’s all too easy, to grab your father’s glock, and pull that trigger for that quick, and easy end. Trump’s well known alliance with the NRA, has left a huge question mark over where the States will go with Gun Control, over the course of Trump’s presidency – however long he may last.

Although, if we go off the rhetoric, and alliances he made throughout the election campaign, there is little doubt in my mind that it will only become easier to get access to firearms in the US. And, any all progress on Gun Control laws, that the Obama administration made, over the last few years – might I add, hard fought progress, that only eventuated after countless unnecessary mass shootings – will be reversed, and loosened.

Though, that seems to be the least of our worries. With his nationalist/protectionist approach to federal government, the biggest question is what will happen with the world? What will happen with climate change? What will happen in the Asian Pacific? What will happen on the Mexican Border? What will happen with North Korea? What will happen with Russia? What exactly are the we on the precipice of? Is this the beginning of a global conflict that has been drumming up since the end of the Cold War? Is this the end of our so called “Peace Time”, since WWII?

When the planes crashed into the Two Towers, Hunter S. Thompson wrote a few short words, sufficiently summarising the last decade of war in the middle east – before it occurred… Now, I would love to pretend that I could summarise the next decade, and what lies ahead for us all, but I really have no fucking clue. I could take a guess, and predict destruction, war, and tumultuous relationships between global powers; but, such an outlandish comment would have no basis in fact.

No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won’t hurt.
–  Hunter S. Thompson, Football Season Is Over

If Hunter were still around, I am unsure of what he would say. I am sure it would however be an astute observation; although, he isn’t here, he blew off his head in 2005, after admittedly being incapable of keeping up the good fight. So, we are left without his observation, and perhaps for the better… Knowing his work, it would be shrouded in bleakness, and misfortune for our species… Yet, perhaps he would only speak the truth; but he isn’t here, and I am not Hunter. Nor am I some Hunter-esque protégé; so I will only offer the words that flow out of my fingers, nothing more, and nothing less.

In the wake of this year, I have decided that staying in Australia is no longer in my best interest. This is for several reasons: After our last election, and the return of the populist, demagogue swine leader of One Nation, Pauline Hanson – not to mention, her sovereign citizen, Trump worshipping, climate change denying, colleague Malcolm Roberts – I knew only bad things were to come, for our fine land. Not only has the last six months of parliament, been a bonified international embarrassment, but, Trump, Brexit, and the reprisal of the far-right throughout the globe, have only legitimised stupidity within our country. Having a xenophobic approach to your politics, has never been more fashionable in the 21st century – at least so the swine believe. And, I am sure, it will only continue to get worse, before it gets better.

In April, self-proclaimed conservative, and veteran swine conductor, Andrew Bolt, was interviewed by Charlie Pickering, for the ABC program, The Weekly. When asked at the beginning of the interview: Why is being a conservative, the only way to be? In reference, to one of Bolt’s own quotes, shown in a clip before the interview, Bolt offered this explanation:

“It’s a disposition isn’t it… It’s not so much a philosophy…
Value what is good, and realise, when people are proposing change, it’s almost never as perfect, as they promise it will be.”

“Don’t trust the revolution, above evolution…”

I must admit, I found this interview, and almost all that Bolt spilt throughout it, to be interesting. He was also, quite open for an honest discussion, and possessed far less of his usual unbridled hard right conservative, swine spirit. Although, I cannot help but remind myself – and you dear reader – what year it is. This is not 1972. This is not 1968. This is 2016. We do not have the luxury of our liberalist, conservative “evolution”. We cannot pretend that politics is business as usual any longer. A liberalist approach, be it neo-liberalism, central-left liberalism – or, any other one you can drum up from the depths of a failed political idealism from the end of the last century – will not render a future viable for the next generations. The jury is out folks, we’re fucked.

This is the time for revolution, there is no other option any longer. We know now, that we cannot rely on the neo-liberalists to act rapidly enough. In only the few short months since the Turnbull Government’s re-election in July, they have already proven how heavily divided they are, yet again. Just earlier this month, we suffered the embarrassment the Frydenberg Fuckery.

Josh Frydenberg, the minister for Energy and the Environment, was forced to quickly backtrack announced plans for a possible emissions trading scheme, following the announcement of a hasty review of the Coalitions, Direct Action to climate change policy. The backtrack occurred, after Malcolm Turnbull, made a separate statement vehemently denying that the coalition was even considering an emissions trading scheme. The whole backtrack, and policy fuckery was without a doubt, a response to the hard-right of the Coalition, Senator Bernardi and his boys, getting their panties in a twist. Bernardi, went so far as to suggest that Turnbull, should follow in Bernardi’s own political idol’s proposed footsteps – ole’ Trumpo – and withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

Now just a few weeks later, Bernardi has once again suggested that he may be breaking off from the Liberals, to form his own hard-right: Make Australia Fucked Again Party. This announcement occurring coincidentally, as a quiet report has been released, revealing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have once again risen. All this blatant lunacy, undoubtedly cementing my decision to leave our divided, culturally baron, backward land.

George Christensen, Australia’s bloated bigot, who rears his head whenever he feels the need to vocalise the position of conservative voters, around our fine land; has also suggested, that if the Turnbull Government, does not begin to act like the Conservative Government that it is, then perhaps he too, may look at alternative options. If these right-hand loonies, did in fact split off from the Coalition, it could potentially be quite positive for our nation, and this heavily divided government.

While Turnbull, at face, is your standard millionaire liberal, he is also, possibly the closest to the left the Liberal Party has to offer. And, no doubt he bears some higher level of cognitive function, more so than old mate Abbott, and he is certainly far less conservative. If Bernardi, and Christensen were to bail-out from the Coalition, to form their own hard-right conservative party, that would dance with the devil, and be marred with love and affection from the Australian Christian Lobby. Perhaps, this would allow Turnbull, to finally make some progress with his Government; instead of being constantly at the whims of the conservatives within the Coalition. He may be able to cut more deals with Labor, and implement more policy that is in line with his own political standings.

This might also fair better for all of us at the polls. With more hard-right conservative minor parties, disenfranchised conservative voters, may have too many comforting ole’ world options to choose from, with little clarity as to which party is more in-line with their atavistic views. While One Nation, seems to be rising in popularity, and announcing 36 candidates for the next Queensland Election, their internal instability is also more visible.

“We are being very very careful with our selection now”
– Jim Savage, One Nations Queensland Campaign Manager.

Just two days after the announcement of their 36 Queensland candidates, their “carefully selected” candidate for the seat of Currumbin, Andy Semple, quit over internal concerns regarding some of his tweets. The financial advisor from the Gold Coast, was disappointed by the political correctness that the party was displaying, regarding his “humorous” tweet on LBGTQI issues. This internal instability, comes just after the embarrassing Rodney Culleton fiasco, which saw Pauline Hanson leaving “video messages”, for the Senator on the ABC News, to arrange a meeting in her office..

“Rod, excuse me, I’m party leader. I expect you to come to my office. Right. And it’s about being a team player, and that’s all I expect. I have the respect from my other senators, and I expect the same from Rod Culleton, under the banner of One Nation – Pauline Hanson’s One Nation”

The Western Australian Senator, has since resigned from One Nation, citing “Un-Australian behaviour”, from the party and its leader. The public knife-fight, that we all endured through the media, was a result of his disqualification for the senate, under the constitution, by the commonwealth, due to his larceny conviction. All of this, stooping Australian politics to a new level of low.

From One Nations presence, to our off shore detention centres, to the revolting refugee banishment laws, to Don Dale, to the failed hopes of marriage equality, to the Adani Coalmine, to the fate of the Great Barrier Reef, to the necessary multibillion dollar upgrade of our national power grid, to our governments unwillingness to move hastily into renewables, to their politicising of the SA blackout, to the totalitarian corrupt police state NSW has turned into, to Casino Mike, to the lockout laws, to the Federal Governments power play on the Fremantle Councils progressive Australia Day plans, to Turnbull’s One Million Dollar Prime Ministership, to every fucking white bigoted bogan I have had to live beside throughout my life; all of this – and so, so much more – has culminated upon me, and resulted in my decision to leave our nation, to explore other parts of this world.

Now, I must stress that I am not fleeing our nation, and leaving it to its peril. I aim to return one day, and use my voice to hold the government, and the swine accountable for their crimes against our futures. Although, at this current point in my career, perhaps the best move would be for me to explore politics outside of our stagnant land. Given that the world seems to be on the precipice of something enormously disastrous for humanity, what better way to understand the plight of everyone involved, than to put myself right in the middle of the shit, and move to Europe.

This is no doubt the scariest decision of my life, and the biggest decision I have ever made. Yet, having lived quite a sheltered, and privileged life, I feel it is important for me to explore the dangers of the world, and see first-hand the greatest refugee crisis of our times. Growing up in Australia, and living out my whole life in Brisbane, and the Gold Coast, the idea of true multiculturalism is foreign. While, my early childhood in a lower socio economic area, gave me a mild taste of multiculturalism; much of the people that surrounded my life, were White Australian’s. And, having spent my adolescent years, amongst the mildly wealthy elite of the Gold Coast, the presence of white Australian’s grew ever stronger, and multiculturalism tapered off.

So, the prospect of living in a foreign land, with a true multiculturalist society, excites me. Also, given recent events – just days ago: the assassination of the Russian Ambassador for Turkey, and the Tragic Berlin Christmas Markets attack – I am sure, the already contentious political climate of Europe, will worsen. Now, I don’t want to portray myself as some action, or violence junkie, in search of danger, and misfortune of others; nor someone looking to be the victim of a terror plot, or to watch an attack occur before my eyes. I hope that I never witness any such violence, nor be the victim of any. However, I do feel it is a little bit rich for someone like myself to sit on this privileged island out in the middle of the pacific, and write about the plight of refugees, and world events, when I am so far astray, and out of touch with the true realities of the world today.

Australian’s are so fortunate to live here. To have grown up in a country of so many riches, is ineffable. Yet, knowing this, and grasping this reality of my life up until this point, only draws me to want to share my spoils, with all of those whom have not had the luxury of being born in our fine land. Unfortunately, many of my countrymen do not feel so obliged. Which, has been evident in our own political climate. So, to put myself more in touch with what it is like to live with open borders, and refugees flooding in, fleeing from their war-torn homeland, in search of security and safety; only to be met with hostility, and poverty, might just allow me to understand, what is really occurring overseas with more clarity. It will hopefully, allow me to truly understand the reality of our times, and what we are on the precipice of. Perhaps, it may alter my own political views, perhaps, it may frighten me into some reversal of my political progress…

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”
– Elie Wiesel, 1928-2016

I am completely unaware, and uncertain of what lies ahead for me. I go only in search of education, nothing more, and nothing less. Sure, I hope to continue with my work, and forge something of a career in all this nonsense, but, I have no concept of how it will unfold, and if it even will unfold. All I know, is that sitting here, on this laptop, in my big empty house, in this privileged sanctuary that I have been so fortunate to call home, is not the right move. The world will continue to keep spinning, and people will continue to die, but I do not wish to continue playing an ignorant part to it all. While I wouldn’t describe myself as “indifferent” to the reality of our times, I don’t think that it would be unfair to describe myself as: inactive. And, this observation of my-self, is mostly based off my location, and the realities of living here.

For much of my life I have been in search of higher education, and perspective. This has resulted with consistent experimentation, with drugs, lifestyles, careers, creeds, sources of information, role models, and tutors. This next move might seem so much more frightening, and enormous than any other leap of faith I have taken in my past, but each one that has come before it, has only ever garnered me with more perspective, and insight into the world I live in. So, whilst I am sure I will sit on that plane at the beginning of February with a gut filled to the brim with anxiety, and fear, I will remind myself that nothing in my life up until this point has been easy, and without great hindrance to overcome. And, I intend to face this next challenge with the same unwavering determination that has led me to where I stand today.

So, Dear Reader, bear with me for this wild ride of ours. I promise nothing, but an enduring, and exciting read. So, stick around, and stay for the fireworks.

Written by,

LIV

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