2020 vision by Trevor Plumbly
My advice: maybe take an umbrella.
Broken windows and empty hallways
A pale dead moon in the sky streaked with gray
Human kindness is overflowing
And I think it’s going to rain today
Scarecrows dressed in latest styles,
With frozen smiles to keep love away,
Human kindness overflowing,
And I think it’s going to rain today.
It’s that time again. Christmas is over and those charged with our well-being can all dispense with the plastic warmth and get back to the serious business of distrusting one another’s motives. It’s weird how we all get sucked in by the snake oil crap politicians serve up. More concerning still is the arrogance; most seem to have expunged the word ‘serve’ from their vocabulary. Admittedly the talent pool isn’t overcrowded, but surely we can find a few to set a better example than the current crop. America led by an unbalanced buffoon with Hitleresque tendencies while North Korea’s got a megalomaniac with an itchy trigger finger. Russia and China’s leaders seem a bit more cunning by letting a few of their team take the limelight and, when necessary, the bullet. Poor old Britain’s ended up with a guy very few like or even trust. World politics is a dodgy game, fraught with ills, sadly very few of which are fatal.
Tin can at my feet,
Think I’ll kick it down the street.
That’s the way to treat… a friend.
We all like a bit of blame, it takes the weight off our own shoulders, but some folk have trouble finding a logical place to lay it. In NZ a self-ordained bishop reasoned that natural disasters were God’s way of expressing his disapproval of gay relationships. Over the Tasman, a leading sports star decided that blame wasn’t enough and that gays should all languish in hell. The God-botherers haven’t got round to sentencing the odd Catholic Priest or Muslim yet, but I’m sure they’ll get on to it this year. Self-anointed messengers like to open with the finger pointing stuff because it makes them look more Christian when they get to the forgiveness bit.
Bright before me the signs implore me,
Help the needy and show them the way,
Human kindness overflowing,
I think it’s going to rain today.
It’s astonishing really how little we’ve achieved after centuries of fighting each other; we’re still clinging to tribalism like a security blanket, wrapping ourselves in the concept of ‘our’ country. In Europe, the term refugee implies a problem rather than a human need. Elsewhere Americans, Canadians, South Africans, Australians and New Zealanders are still picking the scabs off past injustices in an effort to assuage inherited guilt, under the guise of ‘moving forward’. Of course there were wrongs committed, some great ones, but surely it’s better to educate for the future rather than use the past as a template for today’s ills, racial or religious.
Millions are in desperate need of a sustainable diet whilst the rest of us are turning the planet into a rubbish tip through unnecessary consumerism. Blatant acts of oppression are punished by ‘sanctions’, amounting to little more than ‘trade-off deals’. Looking round, I’m bloody glad I’m old. The new year’s going to need more energy than I’ve got; it’s going to need mass outrage and protest from young people to make any meaningful changes. Failing that, as Mr Newman said, “I think it’s going to rain today”.