I was going to write a diatribe on social injustice and how unforgivably horrible we are to each other or about how selfish and seclusionist we've become and how we've forgotten the basic moral values of looking after those less fortunate than ourselves even though some would take advantage of small kindnesses.
How we should hand the reins of power over to the young and let them determine their own future since we're making such a hash of it. Someone like Severn Suzuki who's 1992 plea to the UN Earth Summit seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Boy would she make an international benevolent dictator! How there's still oil in Alaska from the Exon Valdez, 20 years after the fact and Exon Mobile is taking fishermen to the US Supreme Court because paying them out might set a dangerous legal precident. How Afghanistan after 20 years of conflict is suddenly seeing the advent of suicide bombers, never before heard of there. How blowing up poppy fields is seen as a way to curtail heroin supply rather than offering Afghans a more lucrative way to make a living. How Zimbabwe is ruled by the machete and the tyre necklace and nobody wants to stop it. How Ethiopia is once again sinking into famine or Sudan has hardly any support - even Medicins Sans Frontiers deems it too dangerous to work there apart from a team of 11 who chose to stay in Turalei and Agok.
How three US warships carrying aid were sent back home by Burma's cruel junta due to a real fear that they might invade - such is their reputation. How countries are slipping into recession due to bad management and corporate greed. How pharmaceutical companies are fighting the distribution of cheap and generic medicines for AIDS and worse still, curable diseases. How children in Cambodia with missing limbs are still playing in mined paddy fields while a meeting in Dublin deliberates over whether cluster bombs are appropriate yet China, the US and Israel don't even send a delegate. Or how Australia still sells yellow cake to countries who will not sign an anti neuclear (George, it's NOT Nucular any more than film is filum) proliferation treaty.
How the technology for improved fuels and energy (such as replacing diesel with chip oil!) is available but nobody seems to want to put it into commercial production. How the homeless are getting cold this time of year and how another friend is battling his demons with depression and drugs and I am powerless to help.
I was going to write about how disgusted I am that the news can juxtapose a story about abject poverty in Brasil then seguay with a commercial for MacDonalds or interest free electrical goods. Or about the poor quality of the press who seem to focus on politician's petty squabbles and reams of football coverage or celebrate Tiger Woods win at the US open, hack actors and super models and the real stories are relegated to page 9. How the Hell can we pay sports people millions of dollars for kicking a ball, sinking a put, weilding a raquet . . .spend millions on fantasy films and watch a sizeable part of the world suffer in abject poverty.
Then I was going to whinge about my pool cleaner being broken and that seemed so middle class and superficial or how one of my kitchen doors has broken, and the nasty brown stain on my ceiling is being exacerbated by winter rain. Or how sudden expenses seem to appear just as I seem to be getting on my feet with finances, or that my dog eats better than most third world children. Or how I have resolved not to visit my daughter in London this July because the money would be better saved and spent on a proper holiday rather than 3 weeks in a Greenwich bedsit while she works. The guilt tonight is all consuming as I sit preparing a dinner of Atlantic salmon and baby peas with a glass of cheap chardonnay and wait to be lifted by the comedy shows screening on ABC.
Maybe it's the winter blues. It's grey and leafless, damp and uninspiring. Empathy is a bitch and being powerless to do much more than support a couple of well-meaning charities is so very frustrating. Maybe this day, my cup is half empty and tomorrow everything will be half full. I have no reason to complain. I am healthy, happy, warm, fed, clothed, housed and loved. There is no wolf at my door so why do I feel like this?
Then . . .I got in my car, cranked up the radio on TripleJ expecting alternative or indie rock and they reprised something I had heard earlier in the year. In fact I thought at the time I had tuned into the wrong station and I never caught his name. Not only are George Harrison's strains beautiful and sad and soulful . . but this guy gives them a new interpretation on a wonderful and unusual instrument. Take the time to hear it through. It might not cure the blues but it will lift your spirits, just a bit. Grandad, Ian, AV, Gleds and Paddy . . .and of course, ClareBear . . . this is for you.