A man in powdery foundation is nodding vacuously as I gesture with my purple mittens. My face is greasy with tester ‘Vanessa Megan’ Nature’s Elixir face oil. The microphone remains thrust in my direction as I repeat ‘I just don’t understand why these people are protesting’. Whose interests do they think theyre fighting for, their own and their children’s? Do they even know?
I rewind and replay the scene in my mind as I check my hair in a public toilet. It could’ve been worse. I asked him not to include me mentioning I don’t watch TV, but let’s be honest, he’s gonna show what he wants. And it’s true, I don’t watch TV. They show what they want. I kick myself for not mentioning the crucial words ‘the privileged 1%’. One man who managed to form a semblance of a response to my repeated ‘Why?’ hinted at the fear amongst people that the economy, and thus the country, will collapse if we discourage mining. I wince at my own usage of the words ‘raping and pillaging’ the earth, though they ring of truth.
I eat my wholefoods served in a plastic container as I write this. I know they could have made it from recycled paper, fallen leaves, plant materials. This plastic was obscenely cheap, as though they needed people to take it and use it. Why? Unnecessary landfill, ruined ecosystems. Someone pays the cost for things that come cheaply.
I remember saying I was pleased with the electricity rebate, and… something about small business. Sweet Jesus. I am not qualified to make comments on small business. As an arts/psychology graduate, I am qualified to ask questions (such as ‘where did this stainless steel drink bottle came from, really?’, ‘why are you actually doing what you are doing, and what are the consequences on the individual and society at large?’). Such questions occupy and (dare I say it) amuse me, though the answers often come with disturbing ramifications.
‘People protest whatever the government does, whether its labour or liberal, they don’t like rules’. They also don’t like change, or the suggested solutions to the problems we are facing. Seems to me, we’re in over our heads. Their simplistic placards make a mockery of the prime minister’s face. People are great at resistance. We cling tenaciously to what we know, beyond its purported functionality; the definition of dysfunction. It’s clear there is an absence of holistic solutions to the problems created by narrow-minded, exploitative, arrogant human action.