Depressing World Affairs
I had to take a break writing about local and world affairs because they are so depressing.
Just the day of writing our own Mini-Trump aka John Key declared before his trip to Fiji that “their democracy was not perfect but it was time for top level contact“. Just to remind you, the last election the first after the military coup legitimising it’s leader were declared fair and democratic by the international observers despite the voting papers looking more like a Sudoko puzzle.
On the same day when no voting took place the US media had already declared Hillary Clinton the winner of the hotly contested Democratic Party nomination race just the day before the crucial final primaries and thus undermining and manipulating the result. Just to remind you of the facts of the American democracy Uncle Sam tries to export to the Fiji-like countries of the world :
The loss of faith in the political system and neoliberal ideology is widespread (in the US). The corporate elites are pouring $5 billion into the carnival of presidential electoral politics in a desperate bid to keep us mesmerized and controlled. Democracy is endlessly invoked on the airwaves to legitimize the corporate and political forces that have destroyed it. Congress has an approval rating of 11 percent. Half of qualified voters are not registered to vote, and half of registered voters do not go to the polls. A little more than half of 25 percent—no more than 15 percent—of the electorate determines who becomes president. And this is the way the elites want it. (Chris Hedges)
Try to imagine our Prime Minister on his next visit to Washington after the inauguration of the new US President saying that their democracy was not perfect but it was time for top level contact.
The double standard and hypocritical arrogance of the white man judging the brown man’s Fiji political system is mind blowing.
And how depressing is the upcoming Trump vs Clinton US presidential race. The two most hated candidates ever by a country mile, Trump #1 closely followed by Clinton #2. Poor Americans having to chose between the pest and cholera.
Then Europe with the ongoing refugee crisis driving the people to fear and ever more irrational decisions. Austria just seems to have dodged the bullet of an extreme right wing president. Britain seems to be heading for the (Br)exit and the small England option with the likelihood of the Scots heading for the exit from Great Britain.
If that is not enough to get you down just look at the ongoing violence in the Middle East either by civil war, ruthless dictatorial regimes or occupation and repression of a whole people in Gaza and the West Bank all supported by the old colonial powers of the West.
Is the Earth trying to tell us something ?
If you are not depressed enough by examples of human follies fueled by Neoliberalism listen to what nature is telling us in a year of month by month broken heat records.
In Alberta / Canada we witnessed devastating wildfires going on for weeks, which lead to the evacuation of whole towns. Ironically or rather appropriately the most destructive and green house gas polluting tar sand mining industry and its support structure were hit. The arsonists of Fort McMurray have a name :
These arsonists have a name and they’re hiding in plain view—because their actions, at the moment, are still considered legal. They’re the companies that helped turn the boreal forest into a flammable tinder-box. The same companies that have undermined attempts to rein in carbon emissions. The same companies that, by their very design, chase profits with no mind for the ecological and human consequences.
Then last weekend we saw some of Sydney’s highly priced beach front properties washed away by a big storm. According to climate scientist a totally predictable outcome of global warming. This is happening to Australia, which just censored an UN climate report warning of the imminent death of the Great Barrier Reef as a result of global warming. It is now the only continent not mentioned at all in the world climate report while nature just send them a little reminder.
However I found some good news story for all of us and especially for old Sid at my gym.
Leicester City Fairytale
Leicester City’s win of the English Premier League championship 2016 is the greatest Cinderella fairytale story in the history of English football (soccer). At the beginning of the season the bookmakers put the odds of Leicester winning the championship at 5000:1 and making a few punters very happy. This are the same odds paid for Elvis being spotted living happily ever after in a Swiss sanatorium. Andy Murray naming his first born “Novak” after his tennis arch-rival nemesis is ten times more likely.
Not being from British descend and therefor not ferociously tribal of “my” football club I followed the story only out of the corner of my eye. The excitement grew and even our New Zealand media were ever increasing the coverage of the final matches of the season. Then in the week before the championship decider the story became human and personal for me.
At my gym there is a “Never too old” group exercising around the same time as me. It was the end of the week before the championship decider and it had become increasingly clear that Leicester would win it. One of the oldest members of the group was walking around lost or so it seemed. I asked him if I could help him as he was wearing a batch alerting you that he was visually and hearing impaired. And he told me.
He had lost and was looking for his Leicester City hat just when they were about to win the championship. “I would never get over it. I have waited for this for 87 years. Last time they were close (second) I was 4 months old. I would never get over losing that hat.” With that he shuffled off after I had promised to look out for his hat.
This brief encounter was the first time I had spoken to him and it left me sad for Sid but with a smile on my face.
I met him again a week later congratulated him on the championship and he was beaming as he had also found his hat. This time we talked a little more about his life story. He was not actually born in Leicester just 50 miles away but had gone to school there becoming a fan. Sid had come to New Zealand in 1956 and in the sixty years had only been back twice finding it worse every time.
His life seem to be fulfilled with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He lost his wife seven years ago and had given up on finding someone else even if one of his activities is dancing. He told me that at the last dance he didn’t leave the dance floor for the entire one and a half hours. What a lovely man.
When the championship was sealed actually by a match between two other teams his sister rang him from the UK very early in the morning to give him the news and make him a happy man.
Leicester City with fans like this what took you so long ?