28/02/2019

A gumnut branch still full of life rests on a broken tree
A plastic bottle shines.
Bones of ancients rest like the shoulders of our giants.
A red roo the size of you stares me down the path.
He watches for a moment, jumps away, 
Thankful he let me pass.
Shadows of skeletons rest on the sundried stump showing the suns strength.
The blackened patterns on for the show,
Stretch and shrink in length. 
A pink seatless bicycle with shiny white tyres.
No grips on the handlebars except two zip-ties. 
A dragonfly swiftly passes by.
A barrier splitting the difference of here and there.
If that roo could speak English 
He would probably still stare.

Black strips of plastic lace this tyred road.
Red dirt turned to grey dust with the use of apathy weight and speed.

Sharing my log with bits of broken glass.
It’s spread all over like leaves.

Barbwire, 6 inches from my shin, I didn’t notice.
Camouflaged in the midst of white/grey sticks and brown and yellow refuse.

A sound shatters over the bush for a minute.
Pervading me with a small sense of terror.
The plane doesn’t realise how incredible it sounds out here.

I sit by the fig tree which shares its spot with two lime trees,
a log,
a cushion,
a rubber blackened cement slab about the width and length of a decent shed that really looks like another trademark of failed plans),
the rusted out & graffitied on ute tray full of bushes
and a beautiful pair of rocks with someone’s name all over them…
They still shine with natures radiance.
I don’t know what you would call them,
a hybrid.

It wouldn’t be a stretch to call this someones home.

Lush and vibrant, amazing colours invade my eyes.
Even with new items showing up every day.

The trees stand with their family, survivors, lucky that they weren’t in the way.

Inanimate objects of the bushes colour seem to fit in just as much.
An empty beer bottle’s red brown holing onto it’s spot.
it’s a survivor because it’s not smashed.
A rusted barrel on it’s side, holding onto a little bit of white paint as if it still had a purpose… as if it wasn’t dented irreparably.
The broken down fencing surrounding it, reminding nature that human’s make borders and none of it is safe.
A gas bottle standing ominously in a patch with it’s red warning signal and knowing full well it doesn’t fit in but wishing the contents were free or back where they came from.

Rope & wire & plastic & birds squawking, whistling, flying away from this new ecosystem created by speed weight and apathy.
The wire ends so abruptly as if it never has a purpose.
The rope is dropped carelessly in a pile.
The plastic is strewn all over the brown and grey bush shocking me like a hammer beaten thumb.
BRIGHT PINK, red, orange, green, black & soon an ode to us when we’re all gone.

But this wire was cut so abruptly.
As if it never had a purpose.

The walk continues as nature always has more to give.
Someone is shattering rocks with their massive machine

CRACRCKCRACRCKCRACRCKCRACRCKCRACKCRACKCRACKCRACRKAK
It goes on all day because nature had more to give and nature couldn’t say no.

Do not trespass signs encroach this land.

Piles of rubbish are a disgrace.
Empty CD cases, lawnmowers, broken down pajero with its parts all over the place, car seats, head rest.
I mean, It’s all here baby!
Let’s start a new society with the rubbish in the woods!
It’s gotta have more substance than the lot we got now.
We  can live off the figs in that decrepit clearing
Sleep on that slab of concrete as long as we fight off those pesky spinning tyres.
There’s a creek that’s not definitely dried up, or at least a dam somewhere and I’m sure they can give us a damn for once in their lives.
It’ll be the last damn they can give us.
Because we’re never gonna give a damn again.
And then we can all have our own damn and none of us have to give it out to anyone else… Unless they want a damn.
A damn for everyone, because everyone needs water.
What a plan! Whata plan water plan! dam man! it’s a water damn.

 

Yeah, right….

I try to clear my mind before I leave for my walk. The walk doesn’t clear it either.

I’m wearing a black shirt and the heat beats down on me insufferably, this must be what it’s like?

So I take it off. My white skin will pay it’s retribution to the sun later.

My black shirt was protecting my body from flies that begin to become a problem in the spring.

So I put it back on, thank god I’m allowed to choose whether to wear it or not.

That’s one of our greatest shames.

My black shirt doesn’t protect me from cynicism.

My black shirt doesn’t protect me from tribalistic generalisations.

My black shirt doesn’t stop harmful messages from creating harmful messages that beat down on my skin.

I’m racist because I’m white and I suppose it’s right for me to burn for it later.

Lucky I’m a thinker & not a stinker & literalism isn’t in my blood.

We all know where the problem stems from, how do we stop society from using that path?

It doesn’t stop the kookaburra taking the piss.

Is a concern, that generalisations are harmful really that awful?

Is the white man who was raped as a child, or a teen, or beaten or abused mentally and physically really not a victim?

Where is his space to be able to feel and talk?

Why do you say white men can’t be victims?

What about him?

It just makes it harder for white boys to speak out against misogyny.

Do we really want to fight this battle alone?

I can’t be responsible for the entirety of my gender or the entirety of my ethnicity and I don’t want to be and neither should you.

I can’t be responsible for the upbringings of monsters and I don’t want to be and I don’t want women to be either and it is awful that women are still bearing this heavy seemingly unyielding weight of this ongoing tragedy that is inherent in our culture.

I’m racist because I’m white and I suppose it’s right for me to burn for it later.

The American Dreams of Australian Citizens

Our tainted love for America and its values eclipses what Australia promises; if anything was promised at all.

As Australians, we should be ashamed of the continued inaction on our many haunting human rights issues and by all means, we should be (and some are) rioting in the streets against our governments total inability to recognize the rights of our offshore prisoners.

But Australians have no right to be mad… right? We have nothing like the Americans do in terms of promises and rights. We have nothing like the Statue of Liberty gracing our nation, I mean, besides the occasional colonialist in bronze soaking up the sunlight like the earth soaked the blood of the countless lives he was responsible for taking.

We have no monument declaring our dedication to freedom, opportunity and equality and why should we? Our constitution doesn’t support the values of a forward-thinking society.

Americans should be mad, they have a Bill of Rights that promise personal freedoms. A constitution laid down as the bedrock of American society and your eyes can easily glaze over the hypocrisy of freedom and liberty laced throughout the constitution as the amendments were written on paper in a nation that was built by slaves and signed by slave owners.

Now the Australian constitution on the other hand, though an achievement in itself, was implemented in the same period, and if not by the same people who championed the first infamous White Australia policies like the Immigration Restriction Act and the Pacific Island Labourers Act.

In all, it has five passages that allude to human rights and are as always, subject to loopholes. The constitution allows the right to vote, protection against acquisition of property on unjust terms, the right to a trial by jury, freedom of religion and the outdated ‘prohibition of discrimination on the basis of State of residency.

So, besides these five, we rely on common law, statutory law and the UN (whom we habitually ignore) to afford us human rights.

Australia is missing too much in our constitution and our legal framework for us to champion human rights and if anything, the very little rights that we hold dear in our country are being methodically stripped and ignored by our government.

But in essence, we weren’t promised very much anyway, just the five laws in the constitution and some relics of the British common law system. We did sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that we habitually ignore. We do have some wonderful acts that have been passed by parliament over the last fifty years, though, these can easily be undone. I am not just saying they can be overturned, we have literally seen it happen over the last few years.

Australians might very well be institutionalized because for some reason we all seem to believe we would never have our rights taken away from us, or at least not without reason. Tony Abbot proved that we are asleep to the issues of our rights with the introduction of his draconian counter-terrorism laws and Malcolm Turnbull cemented the fact we are in our very own Australian Dream when his government pushed through laws in 2016 that authorizes unlawful detention of people who have already served for terrorism-related crimes.

No, I’m not talking about the Australian Dream of a suburban house on a quarter acre block and a Holden (or god forbid, Ford) rumbling in the driveway. Although, that is definitely a conversation for another time, as many Australians young and old struggle with the reality that they may never own property and will for eternity be stuck in the mud with all the other serfs paying a huge chunk of their income for the privilege of living underneath a roof. This generations nickname has been coined, it’s Generation Rent.

I’m talking about a fugue-like state that Australians have been living under since before the enactment of the constitution.

I only point this complacency out to add with even more gravity that at this pivotal point in our society we are cornered by corrupt banks that charge our dead transaction fees, Super funds that rip hard earned cash out of our workers hands and a government that doesn’t seem to represent our values in almost any capacity, be it the insane corporate tax cuts which borrow from our healthcare, welfare and education, dissolution of workers’ rights that will leave many Australians out of pocket by the end of the weekend, the myriad of Indigenous issues like over incarceration, a despicable failure to close the gap, a failure to produce or even acknowledge the possibility of a treaty, the abysmal lack of environmental policy and finally, the horrid and continuing mistreatment of asylum seekers in our offshore prisons.

Our now PM Scott Morrison (one of the key architects of the offshore detention centres) said in a video recording played to every asylum seeker residing on Manus Island that “You will NEVER be settled in Australia. The Australian government will NEVER change its mind. You will NEVER call Australia home”

And why would the government care about asylum seekers? They’re not even bothered about the rights of First Nation’s, the consumer rights of their citizens and environmental rights that need to be implemented now more than ever. The world is hotter than ever and the 29th Prime Minister of Australia has just been ousted over an energy policy.

The amount of fuss the Murdoch press made over Turnbulls prime-ministerial duties were irresponsible, Alan Jones a Sky News commentator and radio host told ABC’s 7:30 called several MP’s and urged the change of leadership in the coalition. Malcolm even cited media powers as a reason for his eventual political demise. In some conspiratorial eyes, Murdoch was the instigator of the entire debacle with the Liberal spill happening only ten days after his arrival in Australia.

Perhaps in this age of information, the media needs more regulation, not to curtail their responsibilities as a fourth estate; to protect democracy by being the revelator of crucial ongoings in parliament house and the misdeeds committed by our representatives. But to ensure responsible reporting and to make sure the media takes the time to look through thinly veiled prepackaged politics.

The digital age has pushed already questionable journalistic integrity to a tipping point by forcing journalists to churn out dribble consistently. No wonder we don’t question the publics continued trends of disinterest in political ongoings and elections.

Winston Churchill said “Never let a good crisis go to waste” and our media has gone ahead and used the refugee crises to gain a political foothold, to feed into the fears and minds of our country and pit us against each other. We are being divided day by day, it is seen with the right and the left feeding on each other to gain views on YouTube and likes on Facebook.

The Australian government is culpable of tearing our fragile multicultural eco-system apart with their outrageous campaign that leverages the fears of the white and elderly with the appalling ‘Sudanese gangs’ ‘issue’. Racist and preventable, these tactics show a government out of touch. Mungo called it in April saying the coalition would resort to tactics worse than Abbots ‘ditch the witch’ campaign and that the budget will be a mixture of bribery and spin.

The bribery spoken of seems to be the governments unfathomable miscalculation of their constituent’s intelligence by dropping 444 million dollars into a private foundation (that has links to major energy corporations) knowing full well that the corporation who staffed only six workers at the time of the grant wouldn’t be able to spend that money by 2020 which is, as we now know, the deadline for a 714 million dollar commitment to UNESCO to preserve the Great Barrier Reef.

So why does the Australian government consistently ignore our rights? Is it because they don’t respect the culturally diverse landscape they helped build? Is it because they are putting profits over people? Is it because they are (said satirically) being realistic?

Our environmental rights, our humanity and our freedoms are put on the firing line every day by the people we vote for in our very lucky country.

Australians just like Americans, are tearing each other apart, the picture of those two elderly republicans wearing T-shirts saying “I’d rather be a Russian than a Democrat” comes to mind. The observation of parallels and contrasts between the American and Australian political climate is necessary to realize that we, as people, are more than our political party or our viewpoint because above all else we are all human.

We need to recognize the lessons of America and come together and look past our differences to realize our rights, the rights of our environment, the rights of the disenfranchised and the basic rights of all humankind.

I’d rather be an Australian than an asylum seeker.

I’d rather be aware than an Australian.

I’d rather be human.

What do the Greens mean to you?

The Australian Greens are going through a tad bit of disunity, but does this really change who their constituents are voting for? Does it mean they will forget their roots and forget regular Australians?

The answer is no, the issues within the Greens will not affect their policies drastically. Voters need to be assured that the Greens will always stand up for what is right.

For example, I just received an email from Richard Di Natale this morning about their “dope plan” and the JUST LEGALISE IT campaign; they want to make marijuana legal for adult use.

In the early days Bob Brown campaigned for the natural beauty of Tasmania, this captured people’s hearts, this is what gained momentum for the Greens.

With Di Natale shredding his own party members and blaming sniping and bullying as the reasons for the loss of the Batman Electorate. This is self-sabotage; the Greens are only powerful when unified.

Richard as a leader should know this and I hope he is working on these issues within his party. The Greens have a tagline of “doing politics differently” but it seems like they have started doing politics the same.

Speaking of the same, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) under the Whitlam government was seen as the stomping ground for the beginning of left-wing politics in Australia because Whitlam realised then, they needed more than workers’ rights to win elections.

The Greens will always be competing with the ALP and the fringe parliamentary groups for votes because people who vote for the coalition are much too ‘sensible’.

The Greens lost to Labor in Batman because Labor campaigned brilliantly in Batman, and despite the backlash from the media, public and the right wing; Bill Shorten and his rhetoric on Adani came out on top.

Is a slight loss to Labor in a marginal seat like Batman something for the Greens to fret over? Probably not, there is always next time and be assured there are many more inner-city seats to contest for.

This is not said lightly; the greens are a Grassroot party and they need to focus on these small marginal seats and put their limited resources to good use.

Throughout the Batman campaign, the Greens focused entirely on the environment and asylum seekers.

Then, surprisingly, Di Natale tried to appeal to conservative voters on the eve of the batman election. This is enough to baffle many Green voters and it possibly lost them the electorate.

They need to be worried about principle because a two-trick pony with no principle isn’t very fun to vote for.

The Greens are one of the only credible representatives of the left in Australia, that is their voting base and that is where they should have been targeting in their campaign.

The leader of the Greens changed his tone to serve a more capitalist agenda; so, by in large, moving away from the left only served to disillusion his loyal supporters.
You can almost imagine a huge mural of Di Natale, one side he is holding a bunch of share slips and the other a couple of anti-mining pamphlets.

With the amount of support the Greens currently hold, I would be surprised if they continue to try and play both sides. Labor can barely pull it off and we all know how popular they are.

Perhaps this was just a strategical move from Di Natale to see if he could gain votes from the right by subtly changing his rhetoric.

It didn’t work. Their voting base is the same as always with the added bonus of youth voters.