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November 30, 2022

Editorial – Everything seemed to be going just dandy before the asteroid hit

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We survived the awful fires, then a terrible global pandemic, then some dreadful floods. 

We even survived the reign of God botherer idiot PM, Scott Morrison, who believes all those things were signs of the Second Coming. 

And the planet has survived the 45th US president – so far.

But what’s next? 

Our individual demise is sure enough at some point, even though we tend to ignore it. 

Moreover, the planet will face another total extinction event, like it has many times before. 

It’s just a question of whether the grubby, oily hands of humanity are involved.   

If an asteroid were about to hit in our lifetime, it may well look like the movie Don’t Look Up, where self-obsessed, egoic, empty vessel, wealthy types deny it could happen to them.

Yet, if a deadly comet approached Earth in the time of the Stoics (from 301 BCE), who influenced Greek and Roman philosophy and life, then perhaps the contemplation of our ultimate demise would have involved more peace, thoughtfulness, and a better appreciation of what the value of life is.

It’s not such a popular topic these days, but at one point, not that long ago, ethics and logic underpinned Western civilisation. 

The success of Western civilisation was based in part on rediscovering the philosophy and culture of the Greeks and Romans.

Despite all the slavery, murdering and destruction, they appeared to have a very clear philosophy on how to live a good life.  

Some of what Western civilisation took and developed from the Greco-Roman epoch was a Liberal Arts education, which included the Trivium and Quadrivium. 

Grammar, logic, and rhetoric was part of the Trivium, which was then followed by the Quadrivium – the study of arts, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy.  

Perhaps a lot of humanity’s woes around greed, inequality, selfishness, cruelty – all aspects of sociopathic behaviour – could be addressed by a resurgence in these disciplines? 

The pursuit of ethics and living in accordance with nature seems like a logical way forward in these times.

And the Meditations by Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius (121–180AD), are also a great place to start.

Hans Lovejoy, editor

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    • Official figures put worldwide COVID deaths at 6.56 million people so far, from about 630 million cases. I think that’s why Hans might have called that a ‘pandemic’, and particularly for the dead, those who got seriously ill, those who have long-term health consequences, and the friends and family of those affected, ‘terrible’.

    • Rudra, “…there was a terrible pandemic..”, Covid pandemic hasn’t gone away, despite the pollies pretending it to be so.
      Its why masking up is mandatory in health, aged care and disability settings and yet the pollies don’t mandate masking up elsewhere.

      Dozens still dying and thousands new infected, each week across Australia.
      The terrible pandemic is still with us.

  1. Yes Hans. The pursuit of ethics would hopefully change things somewhat but how to get the message through? I’d suggest Bill Miller’s song
    from ‘Raven in the Snow’ – “Listen to Me.” Give it a trial run. That’s what I do.

  2. Well Hans,
    We didn’t all survive the Fires,Floods Nor indeed the Plague, and the effects of that idiot Morrison will continue for decades, as does the criminal actions of Howard’s invasion of two countries that Australia has decimated, eliminating any legitimate criticism of Putin’s Madness.
    Western ‘democracy’ is indeed the legacy of the Greco/Roman empire, which in essence was based on war, invasion, slavery, offset by ‘bread and circuses to distract the Plebs. That is exactly what we have inherited , so who do you fancy at the footy ?
    Cheers, G”)

    • Some further south down the east coast aren’t surviving the floods that well right now either. The disasters don’t stop they just get shared around a bit.


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