Friday, May 30, 2014

The Crisis

Maybe you haven’t noticed, because you were too distracted by unimportant articles by other opinion writers, but things are pretty bad right now. In fact, many people believe that things are worse than ever.

What has caused this crisis in things? Is there any way that we can work to improve things, or should we give up on things altogether? And who should we hold responsible? Is it fair to lay the blame for things on any one individual, or are we all responsible for the deterioration in the situation, by our very complacency?

Of course there are those who will scoff at the idea that things are worse, saying it’s simply a crisis confected by those in the crisis business. No doubt, despite the compelling evidence that things are terrible and matters will have to hit rock bottom before they get worse, many people will dismiss it as so much uninformed hysteria. And yet it’s not them who’s writing an op-ed about it, is it? When it comes to talking about things, I think I prefer to be guided by the advice of people with opinions rather than people who are obviously wrong. And unlike other crises, this crisis is very much at crisis point. All indicators are suggesting that things are the worst they’ve been since records have been kept. Many modern studies show that not only are things bad, but are expected to be more bad before a certain amount of time has elapsed. Just look at the figures. Don’t try to understand them, just look at them. Scary, aren’t they? And if you aren’t frightened by the tone of my rhetorical question, can there be any doubt that you’re just stupid? Facts don’t lie, and you can be sure that of all the facts that don’t lie, the ones that don’t lie the loudest are the ones that agree with me.

How did we let things get so out of control? How did we allow stuff to reach this point? What is it about matters and issues that have triggered this sharp decline in the state of subjects? Can it be fixed? And if not, can it be complained about?

Experts suggest that not only is their expertise definitely real, but the current turmoil besetting the thing sector could have serious ramifications, not just for people, but for children, women, parents, seniors, the unemployed, the underemployed, the childless, feminists, homosexuals, heterosexuals, transgenders and public servants of colour. The important thing to understand is that this problem doesn’t just affect everyone, it affects you.

It’s easy to be cynical in these days of being cynical about things, but there is one thing for sure: being cynical will not get us into any mess it didn’t get us out of. This doesn’t mean there should be any kneejerk reactions. In fact Anne Staples of the Kneejerk Reaction Studies Group says that kneejerk reactions are one of the last things we should be engaging in. Other things we should avoid are hyperbole, understatement, overt racism, sarcastic remarks and sugarless cordial.

Sure, it’s true that we’ve had bad things in the past, but the difference is that these days we have the internet, allowing things to be bad faster and more conveniently than ever before. And if you’re not angry about that, you’re not only wrong, you’re a bigot.

And indeed bigots are all around us, telling us things aren’t as bad as we know they are because we saw it on Facebook. But what can we do with bigots? Attack them physically? Yes.

How much responsibility does the government bear for the issues which are tearing apart our families and self-esteem even as we type these articles? A quick look at the current landscape in Canberra reveals hills. But what does that tell us? If the government won’t take action when we sincerely believe something is wrong, then who will? The answer is that it is up to all of us to sign petitions until somebody makes us feel nice, and there’s no point pretending otherwise. Knowledge is power, and only when we are empowered will we feel truly in control of our feelings.

If you don’t believe me, listen to this story about something that happened to me just yesterday at a restaurant. An isolated incident? Perhaps, but what about what happened to my friend at the gym? Coincidence? Surely it is impossible to ignore these and the countless other anecdotes which for all we know exist and are true. If you disagree, maybe you should check your privilege. And if you disagree again, maybe you should shut up.

In short, if we want to reverse this irreversible trend towards things being horrible and everyone panicking, the time has come to put aside our differences and write as many words as possible about whatever pops into our heads before it’s too late. Time to make a difference. Don’t let the death of someone who probably died once be in vain. Stand up for something against something else. The people have spoken. In particular, this one.

1 comment:

FiveFrogsBlog said...

This neatly explains why you and Bec have been scarce on Twitter. It's all getting a bit tiresome, isn't it?