29.9 C
Byron Shire
February 5, 2023

Here & Now #119 Hip hip hooray!

Latest News

Natural history

While I have not the informed authority to confirm John Bradley’s musings on the birds that seem to be...

Other News

We’ve had the rain bomb, is a fire bomb next?

We had the Black Summer fires and then the floods and NSW Farmers says time is running out to prevent more mass bushfires at the end of this year.

Byron Bay SLSC takes fourth place at NSW country championships

South coast club Warillanhas overturned five years of Cudgen Headland dominace to win this year’s NSW Country Surf Lifesaving...

Ocean Shores swimmers power to strong results at regional swimming competition

A group of seven athletes from the Ocean Shores Aquatics swim team took part in the annual Country Regional...

Dr Philip Nitschke to visit Lismore

Controversial founder and director of the pro-euthanasia group Exit International, Dr Philip Nitschke will hold a free public meeting on NSW’s new Voluntary Assisted Dying Act at the Lismore Workers Club on Saturday.

A play that puzzles and delights

The multi-award-winning play is a puzzle of scenes that are slowly put together by the audience to tell the...

Only nine weeks to Bluesfest and 18 new artists announced

Easter is on its way and that means Bluesfest is only nine weeks away. 

Here & Now 119 picS Sorrensen

My place. Monday, 1.20am

So, I arrive back in Australia (a landscape I love) after a brief sojourn to a Pacific island (a landscape I love) and what happens?

No, I don’t lose my citizenship because of my lack of patriotism for Team Australia – I have a birthday.

I’m not saying what age I am, because I don’t want people judging me by the number of revolutions I’ve made around our sun. That is so shallow (and could affect my popularity).

Also, I’m still not that comfortable with my new age.

All I’ll say is that this birthday was more significant to me than most of my previous 59 birthdays.

I reckon it’s partly the power of numbers. (Remember 666?)

Western culture, despite its jealousy of Arabic culture and comfortable clothing, borrowed its number system (based on 10) from the Arabs. My age, based on this system, is huge.

We could have stayed with the Roman system, but the Romans, with whom we identified on many levels (especially their propensity for invasion), had a very complicated number system. (And my age would look like a shirt size.) These blokes could fight and drink (and we love that), but manipulating job figures or fudging entitlements? Useless.

So, apart from the odd grandfather clock, Rolex watch or chapter headings, Roman integers went the way of lead plumbing and metal skirts. And we went Arabic.

We could have gone Mayan (based on 20) and I would only be in my third vigesade. But the Christian conquistadors slaughtered that number system because it had a zero. The pope didn’t like zero because how could there be nothing if there was always a God?

According to the Bible, I’m allocated only three score and 10 years. Which means I’ve barely enough time left to do anything. Long-term relationship? Forget golden anniversary, I’ll be lucky to make tin… Generous retirement finances? Only if I get into politics…

Under the traditional Aboriginal system I would have been an old bloke ages ago. I’d now be eating prime goanna cuts and telling stories between naps.

The culture in which I live – in which I was raised – is obsessed with youth. I was a believer. As a young fella I protested against the old people who were sending young people to war. I rejected their closet sex, stale music and grey suits.

I laughed at the idea of a 9-5 job and went deep bush with other middle-class white youth to build a young utopia upon the smelly ruins of the old. The universe will provide, I reckoned. And it did. With a little help from the dole. And my mum.

But, my youth is all done now.

The other night it rode into a flaming North Coast sunset with both barrels blazing, all corks popping. With a crystal glass of French bubbly in my hand and a tear in my eye, I waved goodbye to the boy. And said hello to the old bloke. (Was there ever a man?)

But, you know what? I’m glad to be older.

Because I realise that all that focus on youth is smoke and mirrors. This culture doesn’t care for young people. They’re not society’s future; they’re marketplace fodder. Their futures have been mined for profit.

In a perverse distraction this society elevates Miley Cyrus above real heroes like the people who stopped the Adani-Carmichael mine. It gives banks more guarantees than rivers. It treats preening pollies to freebies but treats the oldest living culture to a night in jail.

It doesn’t care about me, the youth, or anybody who is not part of Team Greed.

But now I’m of a certain age, my culture rejects me.

And I’m free, gloriously free.

Cheers.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Cheers SS and thanks for Here & Now from here in Mparntwe. I’d stopped reading the Echonetdaily until your column appeared and now I open each edition with delicious anticipation…

  2. HB S from the other S. Brilliantly written !!! Now on the door of my fridge. I am heading to the following decade and can hardly believe it … and definitely don’t show or feel it. Good on you !! keep us all laughing!

  3. S, you have been a great source of Entertainment and Service to the Community you live in.
    may the Force be Ever with You.

  4. Happy birthday S! I’m turning the same age as you which number we will not name next week so thank you for this timely and uplifting gift of positive words x

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Community advocacy

I am a small business owner of Byron Central Apartments. Tamara Smith MP has recently supported us on two separate occasions advocating effectively with...

Swivel by name, drivel by nature

The lack of authenticity of Byron Councillor, Mark Swivel, does not come as a surprise from this side of the fence. A well-to-do lawyer...

Land values rise

Your cover story on 25 January claims that land valuation rises could herald increases in Council rates. This is potentially misleading. A council’s total...

Go Thistles!

Lismore Thistles Soccer Club has launched the Thistles Acceleration Program, in the process becoming the city’s only player development academy.