The best medicine by Trevor Plumbly

It might be an age thing, but I reckon it’s getting a bit harder to laugh things off these days.

King Arthur, the just ruler of legend

Politicians used to be OK for a bit of a giggle, but now, despite their comic instability, there’s something scary about them. There’s little point adding to, or rehashing, any of the ridicule that’s been heaped on Trump and Johnson; it might provide us with a bit of spiteful comfort, but that’s about it. Once elected, they become satire-proof. Until quite recently, political leaders led by example; these days, it seems, integrity of office and moral judgements belong more to Arthurian legend. With a US president more concerned about idiots dying puffing dodgy gear, than hundreds being shot in the streets and a British prime minister more suited to a TV farce than the world stage, small wonder the kids are getting bolshie.

Goodbye cruel world

There may be water on Mars

They’re off to Mars! At least that’s the plan. It’s millions of light years away and apparently bugger all use to anyone. I could suggest a passenger list, but I am trying to be serious this week. Except for overfueled geeks and power-driven world ‘leaders’, no-one really gives a toss about the place. “There’s water up there!” one closeted brainiac announced. For Christ’s sake! Thanks to economic ‘progress’, most of NZ’s surface water is polluted and half the world’s population can’t even drink theirs without some sort of health risk. Why the hell can’t we put a bit more work into keeping this place habitable before poking around elsewhere? There’s plenty of stuff around for leaders to play with: the odd war, chunks of the Artic regions in meltdown, huge tracts of land in Africa reduced to desert, rampant deforestation, millions forced to flee their own countries while yet more face starvation. But the UN, G12 et al hold summit and emergency meetings to address the problem, then impose ‘sanctions’ to solve it. At street level, UNICEF, Amnesty and Co rattle the guilt buckets raising millions largely destined for ‘administration’ costs.

Greta Thunberg, climate activist

A child shall lead them

When our children march against us and a 16 year old makes more sense than a room full of the world’s guardians, it’s time to recognise we’ve got a problem with our current set of values. When millions are forced to flee their countries through political oppression, starvation or religious persecution, we should perhaps start to place humanity above technology and economic gain.

One step forward?

In NZ we’re just tinkering, and feeling pretty good about it. We’re getting rid of plastic bags and trying to toilet train dairy cows, but they’re still making diesel motors and burning rain forests elsewhere. The 19th century rushed towards industrialisation, followed by the 20th century see-saw for power and profit. Planned obsolescence and the single-use culture have left our kids and their kids with an environment they’ll have to fight for rather than enjoy. Not much of a legacy is it? Of course there may be life on Mars, but if there is, and they’ve got any brains, they won’t want us up there.

Good luck kids.

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