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Cultural Earthquakes

15th March 2016

Yeah, so Donald Trump may be the next American President!

I mean.

Come on.

Is anybody else trying to get a handle on this crazy cultural moment?

The Trump campaign is being frequently compared to the rise of Hitler in the 1930’s.  Hitler, like Trump, was excellent at packaging ‘hate as hope.’ And as humans, we seem able to ignore any number of madly chiming warning bells as long as some Big Daddy says that he’ll take care of everything.

As in, Catholicism. As in, George Pell.

Deep breath. Deep breath!

Beautiful tropical island, gentle waves lapping over toes, SERENITY NOW.

America currently seems to me a bitter and demoralised country, hobbled with economic inequality, divided on issues of race and religion, and grappling with a shifting paradigm that Hanna Rosin calls ‘the end of men’. The ‘black swan’ theory describes ‘unexpected, unprecedented, cataclysmic events that overturn established ways of thinking. ‘ (Great article about that  here).

It’s madness, an entirely new type of politics, and all we can do is watch it unfold.

Other things are unfolding right now - the endless summer we’re having here in Australia, for instance. The endless summer of a warming planet. The new wave of feminism that is shining a light on the everyday sexism that infuses Australian culture. That sexism that begins with lighthearted humour and ends with domestic violence (11 women dead so far in 2016, and a breakdown of the current state of play by my brilliant friend Jane Alver) The next revolution is coming. That is, unless Trump wins the Presidency and we are all catapulted into some kind of Hunger Games post-apocalyptic universe.

Here at home, in my own little nest on the warm planet, the earth has been shifting too. There is heartbreaking sickness in the family, and there have been worrying and complicated school dramas for one of my kids.  It’s taken a lot of thought and careful navigating, and a lot of poking around in the dark.

In the meantime, I’m crafting with the 4 year old, playing Monopoly with the 7 year old and laughing with the nine year old. Chop wood, carry water, cuddle children, eat chocolate.

In big things as in small, it’s like Kierkegaard says: Life must be lived forwards, but can only be understood backwards. Also:  Better out than in. And finally: When your mans outa town, the shit will go down.

Come home quick and safe K Dog. We miss you.

That’s my rant over for the morning. Deep breath out.  Thanks for listening, and if all those earthquakes get a little too much for you, come with me now:  tropical island, mojito, young Jack Kerouc, SERENITY NOW.

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