Australia’s Ground Zero

To The Left And Center,

It’s all well and good to soothe yourself about the election results I guess, so long as you are not on the one on ground zero; meaning in this context, so long as you are not a Centrelink recipient, a refugee or an Aboriginal person – or some other cohort nondescript who also can’t last another 3 years, or barely survived the last three. It’s all well and good if you are not the one facing the full blunt force trauma of the outcomes of this election result immediately and face first, with no hope, or other protection.

Being a member of one or two of those cohorts, and something of a philosopher (which funnily enough auto-corrected to ‘spillover’ when I first typed), I can see your point of view, that this outcome will spare ALP a trial by fire and compel LNP to face the full reckoning of their economic mismanagement alone.

I do respect the pragmatism and insight shown in this viewpoint, I even share it from an intellectual perspective and have even written venting words along the same vein myself in my own desperation and personal post-shock need to find something ‘good’.

I find I just can’t stomach it or agree with it beyond that shock point though. It ticks me off as I see this same view being adopted by too many as a final salve, by people that after all we have just gone through, still seem to lack insight into the true condition of this nation. And that has left me feeling angry.

I am angry mostly because of the ease this view’s soothing balm instantly sugarcoats the reality of what is, and how it distorts the clarity of insight into what remains a terrible set of truths, truths we must face genuinely and together in order to survive at all, not just overcome them. If we allow this comforting salve to go challenged or fail to chastise it, then I fear we will lose the momentum of organic change as *it* is.

There have been 9 attempted suicides, some in Manus and some on Nauru since election night, and 4 completed suicides here at home of CL recipients too. These are lives and deaths that didn’t make it even to the leftest of left-wing media, yet still, they are election result consequences and repercussions that have gone unseen, again, by most. To me, the loss of beautiful, decent, good people who did no wrong but survive beyond all odds in desperate hope, in futility, to see a meaningful national change and transformation occur.

THIS is the reality of Australia’s voting choices at ground zero. While most of you wake up to lament your absence of a triumphant victory and move on with your lives, others, are now simply, gone. Denied life altogether.

Over the next 3 years many more will die, as the thousands who have already died before them and likely, just as unnoticed by all sides and simply a result of already released policy intentions designed purposefully to punish, segregate, cull and so, to kill, still masking themselves as social welfare policy. Yet even acutely aware of this fact as many of you are, and except for a rare exception or two, it seems the overall grassroots care factor is, still…..nil. Self-pity and self-interest, appears as a plague upon all the houses.

In my own pragmatism and reflection, I must consider though, that perhaps ” a meaningful national change and transformation” has occurred these past few days after all. That it has just occurred in an unexpected form.

I can feel that shift tangibly, as I also know already, that along with the increases to pain, suffering and the death toll this result will bring, one of the biggest outcomes of this election result will be that life under the new world Stasi will finally begin consciously and in earnest for mainstream Australia now too. I feel I have suddenly been joined in my quiet basement by a multitude.

So it is with that in mind, and ignoring the Right that chose its own bed, I say a salty if not a tad preemptive ‘welcome to 1933’ to all the new centrist and once comfortable left-wing voters coping with this loss, who today find themselves adjunct members of our pre-humbled cohorts today – people who for possibly the first real-time, have made the leap into the reality of undiluted fact, skinless and shivering.

Welcome to you! We of the snarky steerage compartments who are still clinging as best we can to the talons of whatever bird this is, us ‘not entitled’ as it were to sit on either wing, have already been “here” for a while now. Please do take a seat and have a cuppa. Know you’re among, if not friends, then experienced allies.

Now you are here, let me get this next bit out of the way and offer you the starter pack of “we told you so’s” that will inevitably come to haunt and hound you now from without and from within, as I say it first…that we did try to warn you folks, but y’all laughed in our faces and ignored us for the past three years or worse you chose actively to walk past us in silent indifference. Sucks to be “here” doesn’t it?

Now, as it will, the results of all that social ignorance and naivety, the cost of all the indifference, the silences and their companion’s arrogance and presumption are right here in front of you, undeniable and unavoidable.

The only consolation I really have to offer any of you along with half of my week old nice biscuit, is the notion that at least now and finally, everyone gets to face this new day together. An eruption of equality has indeed occurred, in the strangest kind of way.

I would add that if you are still worried about how bad you have it after this election, that there is still room to be grateful for the fact that you are not on Centrelink, not a refugee, not an aboriginal person; because as you might know by now or soon will, we’ve been dying out here, literally, dying in our thousands these past few years, right in front of you, while those meant to defend and see us, have done little to nothing about informing you of the truth about that reality.

I have to say to those of you this post refers to, that I am sorry-not-sorry that you have lost your illusions and the cushions that have protected you until now from the truth of despair self-evident to people like me daily.

I won’t mourn your loss of the denial that has excluded you from that knowing and experiencing of deep loss as we know it, that lack of experience has kept us separated until now, and so, I am glad in a way that it has gone.

I do and will understand the mourning you will go through now and the emptiness that the departure of the ‘big lie’ that has misled you and kept from you from seeing the reality of what’s been going on in your name and under your noses.

I am also not sorry you will now share, wide awake, raw and consciously present, all the terrible potentials and experiences of what is to come – a reality that we talon riders have been facing pretty much alone while you watched GOT or had something more important to do, for nearly ten years.

Maybe just maybe, a good humbling dose of stark reality will clear the rosy fog from a few more eyes and teach a wider audience just how fucked up things really are “here” already.

Perhaps if that experience is combined with a good and thorough awareness-shock of just how bad it can still get and will get for you too if you slip back into complacency and continue to sit on your ‘buts’ for another 3 yrs, will stop you from pressing the snooze button and ignoring reality-as-it-is all over again.

If nothing else I suppose, now that you are “here” too, we can at least begin to discuss, as equals, how to use what has happened this week to help motivate more people to think outside of their petty, personal or partisan interests into what is really at stake – for all of us, and so, illuminate the bigger picture further.

And lastly, I admit I do hope the view and potential of that picture you now see, scares the living shit out of you and drags you body mind and soul into a new and better incarnation, providing you with the intimate knowledge necessary of your own vulnerability – just as it did us almost a decade ago.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand the pain of the loss of hope and illusion and the discomfort these bring. I understand loss, I just know that to get through this day and into the next, you will as I do, have to cling to the belief even this pain has purpose.

So I will not gloat or interfere in its coming or it’s going beyond this post. I remember my first time “here” well enough to be compassionate about that. I am angry but I am still human, and sorry to be so cynical at this delicate time.

While I mean what I write here and know it to be my today-truth, I’ve also sat awake for close to four nights and days now with several people who decided to end their lives despite best efforts since election night, people unable to go on at all for another day much less another 3 years under the torture of conditions that most people, left and right wing in Australia don’t even see and tbh, don’t want or care to. So I know I am jaded, emotional and being long-winded.

I just do see the promise of this short time we have together as equals, and I remain willing to replace lost hope in political outcomes, with a new hope that as newly awakened beings, you will be willing to finally get some productive work done to authentically undermine or overcome what we equally now face.

That won’t happen and the opportunity will slip through our fingers though, if we, meaning you, soothe ourselves back to sleep or if we continue to smile saccharin smiles to one another and deny what little hope and time remains, to do just that.

In the new light, the one that came along with the deeper darkness this weekend, please forgive that I and people like me, will find it hard to console the left and center right now. I for one will try, but I can’t promise to be kind and civil as I prioritize support, focus and my energy to those who have no place left at all before they too disappear one by one on your next watch.

I know I have no right to, given my position to ask anything of you, though I will ask anyway. I ask that those who find themselves with new eyes to see after this weekend keeps in mind as the pain beings to numb, that we who remain in steerage will ‘reap what you sow’ long before you see the first grains appear in your organic gluten-free half loaf. We always have.

As grateful as we are for any crumb or bread at all, please, I ask respectful, simply remember us. Please pause once in a while to keep this weeks experiences fresh in your mind, a reminder that at the end of the day, in a heartbeat, you are us, and we used to be you.

As you lick your wounds and heal your pride over these next few days, on your way to the next comfortable illusion that lets you cope with whatever it is you need to avoid, please, for yourself if not us and expectant of your next visit “here”, please learn to ‘sow better’.

Remember there are those around you that don’t have the luxury of that crafted illusion at all; all those who have lost capacity to craft them and those never had it to begin with.

By Barefoot Wind Walker

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