From my July 4, 2016 post to my conspicuously silent, Facebook Australian friend list….
To all who aren’t reading this because you un-followed my political posts in favour of cat videos or yoga slogans, or who failed to agitate, ‘share’ or even ‘like’, sitting while others took the risks with their friends – see all these marginal seats separated by a handful of votes. Consider that with the multiplying effect of social media you could have easily made the difference, where misinformation & apathy still dominate, if only there had been awareness or conviction, the vision or responsibility.
Less so those who thought it was smart or progressive not to vote or to go alternative at this time, or just not be bothered, pretending it doesn’t really make much difference, but ditto. Reality is moving fast underneath, but on the surface it still must be incremental.
If the Liberals get back in, as looks likely now, and dismantle what is left of the anything good or saleable in the country the lesson is it’s clear you could have made the difference- even if as is becoming the norm, there may be fraudulent irregularities in vote-counting. It’s not even as if it was a difficult sell. That they still got 30% of the vote and half the seats when they are effectively just the latest self-serving puppets for the greatest criminals of all time, the 1% who ever-increasingly own all the money & power, beggars belief.
Also if it’s that you didn’t find out or didn’t think so much, you missed the tenor of the times, and beyond, at one of the most critical points in history. Selfishness and gross inequality will always be the opposite of truth & evolution. That people fall for the encouragement to believe otherwise will only guarantee our continued downward spiral.
And so, we may have to endure 3 more years of transparent lies, greed and lack of integrity rotting what little is left of the culture.
If some find my tone off-puttingly abrasive, tell me, what else has worked? Despite the sobering realization of how paltry voice my unmarketed voice is in the land of the blind, when many of you could have had much greater reach, at least I can say to myself I risked very real alienation to do my best for the good of all.’
A friend replied.… ‘As I understand it, unless you have lots of friends residing in a marginal electorate – not sure any of mine do – nothing you tweet, Instagram or Facebook is going to have much effect on the outcome. Changing attitudes and intention from a behavioral perspective is also very difficult. The people who actually decide the result are indecisive fence sitters in a small number of electorates. Local issues and candidates can have just as much impact as scare campaigns on them. Not well reasoned arguments. I take consolation in knowing that other people like you following what is going on are just as alarmed by it as I am.’
To which I replied.…Just sharing my disillusionment, hoping it helps people see themselves. Because I must disagree on this – if the whole world has only six degrees of separation then different regions of the same country would be well reached by friends of friends of friends. That is the whole point and potential power of Facebook.
Another friend replied.… let me give you my perspective. I work really hard and so does my husband – and we give other people jobs. And you know what, that’s a big responsibility – worrying about other people’s children, their rent and food bills. Personally, I don’t have much time to agitate with social media, but that doesn’t mean I am not engaged, or don’t care about anything. I guess I could go to Ubud and hang around and just write blogs about how apathetic other people are. Love you Nick, but I don’t accept your rant.
To which I replied….Well I don’t deny the value of those things, but in my case too, someone’s gotta do it. Because pretty much everyone is doing that. And getting their rewards I might add. You guys most definitely – you are hardly of the oppressed. And yet as I point out, the results are clear and staring us in the face – an election easily won but lost to the past by a wafer. Because a power is available and being underused for good. Pressing like or even share occasionally to spread information or even show support to your friends is hardly a full time job. It is a meager effort that could yield great results, and why I can manage to be in Ubud – even if I am foolish to risk not be to building my own castle in a world that may well not be worth anyone’s children living in if no more heed is taken. That is my focus at least at these obviously critical times. I come here to live on a shoestring because at least there is some culture and goodness left.
And because the narrowing of cultures and tightening of belts courtesy of this grand theft of half the world’s wealth, and in that effectively all of its power, has made choosing to live freely and still have opportunities harder than I ever expected it would be – partly by telling those who accepted the offer as is that they alone are the ones entitled to the heroically ‘productive’ self-image. Jobs, nuclear families and anything else Johnny Howard sold as culture – tip-top. Arts, philosophy, spirituality – unpaid and third-rate. Can’t give your unique offering without risking being sued for malpractice because you can’t even rent a commercial room unless you fit a prescribed mold, having done the prescribed long & expensive course, and offer only & exactly what is deemed safe for the public, who no longer have the capability of deciding anything for themselves, being their own judge of character and what something is worth – the nanny state.
But even the ‘winners’ in this Matrix aren’t always winning the way they used to, like America in the 50’s, when anyone with a job could own a house and bring up 3 kids no problem. Were it not for gross inequality, the whole world might have that now. Even some real sanity and a guaranteed basic income! Instead hardly anyone does, only this mysterious 1% that we are well-trained to dismiss as a hysterical paranoia – everyone else is having to fight each other harder, and become harder. It’s not at all paranoid to face up to where such a trajectory is heading. And look at Bernie – the opportunity for that to hit home, rather than be fizzled out like all the other big ideas that then become unattainable, is now.
And I’m not saying that anyone in particular should agree with me – I don’t know, but maybe you’re saying you agree with the Right that it’s only the businessmen who create anything, so they deserve everything? But to me that position is all ego, people taking full credit without humility or compassion for their ‘God-given’ opportunities, talents and situations, that just happen to align with the materialistic priorities of the times, which is why the neo-cons enforcing it on us all as our ugly new religion sickens me so. And it wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t also politically & philosophically justify the detriment of others less fortunate or inclined. Let them drown – they will eventually die or aspire to become as wonderful and important as us. Their avowed political philosophy – if only the duped public clearly knew!
It’s just that I know many who are amenable, yet still for whatever reason don’t seem to recognize the power in those tiny efforts if and when they go online. Which is exactly my point. And I have to tell you that having group lists of friends in several countries, the fact is that my Australian list is by far the most silent, even at the most important moments. It’s true I may be more forceful with them because I am trying to bring my outsider’s perspective, and I genuinely care more because it is my country that I have returned to and it is so clearly to me going so horribly wrong. And maybe I could soften my tone even more. But still it’s hard not to conclude that anything but the narrow perspectives of the paid media is wanted. And also there seems to be a resistance to being stimulated by the actual concerns of people you know rather than the distance inherent in passing on things from strangers – which I suspect is a some form of pride and self-protection that I find quite foreign.
So yes, apathy is one word I used, but my real hope is to bring a truer focus. This is not some luxury I perform on the beach – I’m doing this because at this time I can’t think of anything better or more important to do, and that is what drives me. Regardless of where I am it is no little effort to try to write and edit something challenging and informative, and the averages mean that when barely one of your friends cares to show they’ve even bothered to engage with it on any level, then it’s a bit demoralizing, and quite surprising too. Not that I tolerate when sometimes all you get is trolls or insincere argumentation just for Aussie sport. So anyway thanks, at least, for engaging and telling your perspective. Perhaps in time I’ll join the world of marketeers at last and find out if there is a supposedly more appropriate audience. They know all the fake ways to drive traffic that, like our upstanding real estate investors, leave anyone who is just being real in the shadows and the underclass. Strange world.