I rarely sit down to write this note, it tends to just come to me over the course of the month, or as the result of some sort of delayed processing and reflection on conversations or observations of those around me. Yes, I can be a bit slow sometimes.
Looking back at the last few editions has prompted me to come up with something a bit more positive – after all I am generally a positive kinda guy – it’s just that for some reason the injustices of this world seem to be in sharper focus these days, and I see it as necessary to highlight them and wrap them up for easy consumption. Yes this works against the “big media” propaganda machine, but regular readers would understand that as a community initiative we’re able to tell it as we see it – my investment portfolio is non-existent.
So the one heartening outcome of the current situation has been that at a community level at least, the message that is resonating with us is that “we’re all in this together”. I realise it’s been repeated often enough to become boring and we’re desensitised to its true meaning. And yes, I also get that myself and a person maybe doing it tough are not really in this together at all. My privilege is probably as clear to someone sleeping rough as a celebrity on a yacht in the Bahamas is to me. Completely different worlds. But at least there are far more cross-over moments, perhaps even more than there were before. Being stuck inside I think has helped many of us recognise our privilege, pay more attention to kindness, and do what we are able to, by looking beyond our lives in which we always felt like we didn’t have time.
Which isn’t our fault. Spoiler alert: these days the imagery and messages we receive from mega-media and corporate marketing machines don’t give us space to think. We’re constantly being told that we’re leading these super busy lives, and so for whichever camp we’re in the news is being framed accordingly and delivered along with our opinion and conclusions in one neat, ready to consume package. A bit like a meal ready to go in the microwave because we’re too busy to cook…
Now I see people slowing down and looking out for each other. We’re shopping for neighbors, promoting small business and sharing what we can spare. These are good habits, and it’s important to try to remember them when the world opens up.
So that’s what this month’s note is about – living a bit closer to home and community, shopping at your favourite local in Footscray, Yarraville, Williamstown, or at the Slow Food Market, and reducing your reliance on multi-nationals and corporations operating out of tax havens for your news, food, goods and services.
Maybe this can be the new normal.
Managing Editor, The Westsider