Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kev's Australia: Still Relaxed. Still Way Too Comfortable.

Australia is a weird country. I mean, like, totally weird. To think that just two hundred and ... um... something years ago, we were just a scruffy bunch of bearded blokes with a flag, landing on a beach in Botany Bay. And now - WHOA!!! Millions of us, all over the place. AWESOME!!! Roads and schools and farms and factories and stuff, it's like, totally radical. I mean, it's like that scene in the Matrix where the hybrid spawn takes over the valley and then moves from city to city, destroying everything, until that guy with the haircut has to take them all out with nukes. Right?

What, that wasn't the Matrix? OK, never mind.

But still, you get my drift, right? I mean, what a pace of change this country has seen, especially considering as how the Aboriginal people who lived here for 40,000 years never really got the whole agricultural revolution memo, or even the Iron Age one. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I mean, my mate Kazzo has dreadlocks and he plays the Didge and sometimes we go camping in the National Park. So don't get me wrong.

But it's like a dream, isn't it? When you step right back and think about it. Million years and then suddenly - BANG! - Kylie Minogue is shaking that thang on 16 massive plasma screens in Martin Place. and the Aboriginals are barely clinging to life on the fringes of society, and you can't even go fishing without a f***ing permit. How weird it that?

But it's not just us, right? I mean, sure we are a special case, but the whole world is just changing at this incredible pace nowadays. We've got oil wars and globalised labour and that whole Greenhouse thing threatening the Ozone layer, and people who were living on farms for thousands of years are suddenly looking for work in shoe factories in Bangladesh and Bangalore.

It's all very weird.

I showed my Nan my homework the other day and she didn't understand a word of it. You were supposed to be a council planner submitting a development application to the State government, and you had to justify the cost expenditure on a needs basis per capita or something. Nan said it wasn't like that in World War Two, when she was born. You just went out and did things. My grandpa had a cordial factory at Mudgee and later he owned a pub in Bangalow and then he worked the railways a bit. He had eight kids and they are all still alive except my Dad, who died of lung cancer from the cigarettes, and his sister Margaret, who fell down one day and was gone just
like that.

The other day I was out in the boat with Kazzo and we played some drums then smoked a bit and then I just lay down and looked at the stars. There were millions of them twinkling up in the sky like that. And then I realized that some of them were moving. In fact, they were all moving. It was a bit freaky, but I went with it, you know. Everything moving. Even the boat was moving. And then my heart was beating, and the water was lifting and dropping us, and all that. And you know, nothing stays still, everything changes, right? Even mountains slowly collapse under the weight of the rain.

Sometimes I look around me and see all these people rushing around in their cars and stuff, wearing suits and stuff, and I feel like I have just stepped out of a movie and it's not real, any of it. Like, all these people think I am in some kind of dream but actually THEY ARE THE ONES IN THE DREAM. Coz it's all gonna change so fast, really soon, they don't even know it. Even the politicians and the business leaders and the rock stars and the mega-mega wealthy, they don't even seem to have any idea.

After Dad died the social worker said that forgetting was an important part of healing, nothing to be ashamed or worried about. But you know what? Um... Wait, I forgot what I was gonna say.

Sometimes that happens. Nan says it's the weed. But I think maybe it's just like survival mode or something.