Checking in with the wildlife around Mounts Ainslie and Majura.
They would be cowboys again,
Roaming wild on plains so free.
The mob’s fiendish head led a chant
“Burn the red tape, release the economy!”
Since the GFC and subsequent stagnation obliterated the established orthodoxies, we’ve seen a re-emergence of radicals on both the left and right worldwide. From Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump, Syriza to Golden Dawn and Jean-Luc Melechon to Marine Le Pen, the Overton Window has been blown out by charismatic firebrands on both sides of centre. If we are to build a better society, we need these folks for their ability to think outside the square and imagine alternatives to the status quo. Australia has the re-invigorated Pauline Hanson, onion-infused Tony Abbott and pure reactionary Cory Bernardi providing right wing alternatives, but where is our left?
What do you do?
To this common icebreaker, one is expected to respond with their job title. But I write, I think, I analyse, I research, I design, I create, I photograph and I develop, there is much more to my abilities than just ‘Mechanical Services Engineer’ or ‘Software Developer’. The intellectual poverty of late stage Taylorism has driven us into tiny little silos with exceedingly specific skills, debasing our general abilites and as a result we are losing the ability to consider things holistically or systemically.
Our society isn’t working out well for ordinary people right now. Every politician wants to appear a saviour, a fount of fresh ideas which will solve those problems. Yet this rebellion against the establishment seems to be repeatedly turning towards figures from the top of that existing order. The Czech Republic turned to the ANO party in the weekend’s elections, yet this supposedly anti-establishment force is led by the country’s 2nd richest man, Andrej Babis. The United States famously elected billionaire and TV rich man Donald Trump as President last year, whose campaign was predicated on ‘draining the swamp’, and similar anti-establishment positions. France turned its back on their established parties by electing Emmanuel Macron as President and giving his new party a majority in the National Assembly, yet he had come from a background as a Rothschild investment banker and finance minister in government.
Photos from Mugga Mugga and Farrer.
Let me tell you the tale of Tara
Bubbly, energetic, with a spirit ever so free,
Laugh like a babbling brook
And a smile as wide as you’d ever see.
On the 1st of October, a gunman opened sustained machine gun fire on a music festival in Las Vegas, killing 59 and injuring hundreds more. Police and investigators still have no idea why. The gunman was a success by the standards of our society, a multimillionaire real estate developer who lived a privileged life as a high roller. He had no criminal history, no mental health problems, no discernable ideology. Yet he assembled an arsenal of 42 guns and planned his pre-meditated attack on a crowd of concert-goers. For all his material success, he must have been entirely unfulfilled by his life to even contemplate such an action.
Some shots from the Jerrabomberra Wetlands and Floriade.
Superheroes are enjoying an extended renaissance in popular culture. Five of the top 20 grossing films of all time have been superhero movies released within the past five years. At the same time, populist politicians have garnered their own fandoms with promises of strong action and simple solutions. Donald Trump is the God Emperor. Jeremy Corbyn is The Absolute Boy. I posit that these two trends are linked as a societal cry for someone who can fix the world by their power alone.