Rage for the Light!

RAGE FOR THE LIGHT

Dreams of Orstraya Outback

And towns like Kalgoorlie, Western Australia,

where once gold fever ran molten along the streets and

where now the gold Super Pit operates 24 hours a day

coughing up the ore of dreams, lost hopes and nightmares.

Where men are men,

and women are skimpy barmaids, topless or in transparent lingerie,

or whores tucked away in Hay Street where you can go

And watch the women sitting in brothel windows.

Kalgoorlie – where the wide streets and heritage hotels

Hide the underbelly of this outback gold-mining town:

where a white man can run over and kill an Aboriginal boy

  – Joshua Doughty, 14 –

in a Nissan Navara SUV, because he believed the motorbike

Doughty was riding had been stolen from his home.

A white man gets sentenced to a pathetic three years in jail

by an all-white jury

and may be released just 18 months – 18 measly, pathetic months –

after taking the life of a son, grandson, friend to many,

because he’s got black skin.

That’s what is okay in Kalgoorlie – kill a child because a possession is worth

More than Elijah’s life.

The killer’s not alone in a town notorious for its racism:

A leaflet out the Kalgoorlie train station reads in large, red writing:

“If a thief was to steal my motorbike, I would run him down with my Nissan Navara”.

It then added “cull a thief day, justice is served”.

In this town swirling with the wealth of gold dust, a possession is worth more

Than a child’s life.

A black child’s life, that is.

Goddamn it, that child had the right to a life – to live, to laugh, to play,

To sing, to dance, to have a future, to be loved by his family.

Not to be crushed under an SUV for the sake of a thing, a possession.

Because when possessions outweigh human life

– a black kid’s life –

A society is sick, rancid and heartless.

Remember Joshua  Doughty!

A pox on racism. A pox on racists.

Rage against the darkness of hate.

Rage for the light of tolerance and love of humanity,

For a better, kinder, loving world.

Together!

Last week I saw a message posted on Facebook claiming that Muslim parents at a Maryborough School in Australia (unclear whether in Queensland or Victoria) had demanded that pork be removed from the schools’ menu along with a strident response from a council official.  It was a hoax, originally perpetuated in Belgium, then re-phrased in various countries to reflect the local circumstances.

I saw people up in arms and indignant about this so-called demand, with no effort made to check whether it was true or not. I saw something similar a while back which claimed to have been written by the Prime Minister of Canada/Australian Prime Minster Rudd and Prime Minister Gillard. So easy to believe the worst of those of Islamic faith without bothering to check the truth.

These circulars are written by hateful people trying to stir discord and prejudice, which is disgraceful in itself. But just as sad is the fact that people rise to the bait and circulate these hoaxes without even bothering to check facts, because it appeals to their prejudices. Even worse, when it’s pointed out that these messages are hoaxes, too many people say it accords with their beliefs and won’t delete what are basically lies – just like the lies peddled every day by Trump in the United States.

At a time when all too many are trying to foment divisions between various sections of society, the reality is that together – Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, people with different sexual choices, the poor, the marginalised, the disadvantaged, the middle classes – we are far more powerful than the forces which try to divide and rule.

This sort of hatred and division led to the horrors of the Third Reich, World War 2 and concentration camps. I believe that those of us with good faith, embracing  love, compassion, tolerance and truth can do far better than the hate-mongers. We can speak truth and love, we can hear truth and love, we can live truth and love.

 

“I Have a Dream”

In the Wake of Martin Luther King Day

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“The tensions are not between the races, but between the forces of justice and injustice; between the forces of light and darkness.”

                                                                        – Martin Luther King

 

Psalms 15

Lord, who can be trusted with power,
and who may act in your place?
Those with a passion for justice,
who speak the truth from their hearts;
who have let go of selfish interests
and grown beyond their own lives;
who see the wretched as their family
and the poor as their flesh and blood.
They alone are impartial
and worthy of the people’s trust.
Their compassion lights up the whole earth,
and their kindness endures forever.

(A Book of Psalms, translations by Stephen Mitchell)

 

Solidarity!

“It is in the shelter of each other that people live.” (Anonymous)

“It matters not that someone is born, but what they grow to be.” (Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter. Author: J.K. Rowling)

I’ve been absent for a while as I’ve been on what I described to a friend as an existential walkabout on the road less travelled. I felt dog-tired and unmotivated, asking myself every day “What’s it all about?”.  For some reason I felt quite short-circuited, then I had a dream which was just a message – to create art which was healing for the Earth and for its inhabitants.

So here I am back again, feeling far more motivated (thank goodness, I hate it when my MoJo up sticks and vamooses), with the above image which I’ve called “Solidarity”.

In my time away in the wilderness, I’ve wrestled with this whole question of love, violence in society and so much intolerance and hatred. I finally came to the conclusion that I am simply not interested in pathetic excuses for supporting hate and violence. Life’s too short for then negative. That’s the choice and responsibility of those who live in fear, on their knees, happy to see people who are in any way different subjected to violence, abuse and belittlement.

And I call it out as cowardly and craven because those who are happy to embrace intolerance, racial division and hatred never have to face the consequences themselves. They aren’t the 8-year-old kid who was subjected to an attempted lynching by teenagers at his school. They don’t have to worry about being shot out of hand by the police, acting with impunity, for the “crime” of being black or in the wrong place. They don’t get beaten up for being gay or trans-gender. They aren’t black kids in Australia subjected to abuse on the streets and repression by the police, governments and social services.

I am far more interested in those who show love, kindness and respect for people because they have open hearts and are willing to embrace fellow human beings of whatever colour, religious belief, sexual choice or disability because it is this which is our future. I support all those in environmental organisations fighting for the future of Mother Earth.

Living on your feet rather than cowering on your knees takes courage and hope and moral choice for good not evil. Thank god there are so many good people out their in the community of so many countries who inspire hope, optimism and respect!

Detour
 
I took a long time getting here,
much of it wasted on wrong turns,
back roads riddled by ruts.
I had adventures
I never would have known
if I proceeded as the crow flies.
Super highways are so sure
of where they are going:
they arrive too soon.
 
A straight line isn’t always
the shortest distance
between two people.
Sometimes I act as though
I’m heading somewhere else
while, imperceptibly,
I narrow the gap between you and me.
I’m not sure I’ll ever
know the right way, but I don’t mind
getting lost now and then.
Maps don’t know everything.

~ Ruth Feldman ~

 

 

The Resistance: Justice Rising

I’m an optimist, always have been, always will be. So I see the large numbers in the States marching and organising against fascism as a brilliant development, confirming my faith in the goodness of the majority of people in the United States.

Similarly I see the rise of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK as a sign that people are organising for social justice, peace and decent wages and working conditions, and an end to the class warfare of the Tories under the euphemism of “austerity”.

And just this past week I’ve seen reports of how the progressive government in Portugal in 2016, according to figures released on March 24th, cut the budget deficit by more than half to just under 2.1% of GDP (see chart), the lowest since Portugal’s transition to democracy in 1974. The administration restored state pensions, wages and working hours to pre-bail-out levels, and also brought the deficit well under the 2.5% target set for it by the European Union.

So there are lights on the horizon even though negative news about Trump fills a lot of newspaper, TV and radio space. The trick is not to focus on the negative but instead on the positive.  It’s how we’ll survive these challenging times!

 

 

 

The Rise of Goodness

I created this image to celebrate all those who are standing up for decency and condemning the fascists in the US and their endorsement by the despicable, utterly corrupt Donald Trump.

The events since last weekend have indeed been awful but from bad has come good – so many people have been galvanised to stand up, organise and resist the neo-fascists, while Trump has cooked his goose well and truly with his disgusting endorsement of white supremacy.

So the image above has certain symbology: below are the waters of emotional turmoil but also emotional support for each other. Above are the stars which shower us with grace, love, compassion and optimism. Running through the centre is a river of light, illuminating hope and right action against the forces of evil.

And central is an image of Ganesh, the Indian god. I had intended to use a photo I’d taken in Australia of a spider and its web, to represent Spider Woman spinning a new society. But then I came across the image of Ganesh and it was so apt I decided on that instead.

Ganesh is the destroyer of vanity, selfishness and pride. He is the remover of obstacles and also the symbol of abundance but right abundance – sourced from love and compassion and not profane worship of money. Interestingly, he also places obstacles in the path of those who need to be checked. I thought this was most appropriate in current circumstances.