Since 2019, I have had a fraying relationship with Australian Rules football which has devolved into a contentious one.
To understand why I bought and am reviewing this book, it's important to know my deep respect, gratitude and appreciation for the intellect of and ethos espoused by Michael Jamal Brooks.
The road signs on my journey to becoming a climate activist are marked by the following: two countries, two disasters, two fossils. And, above all else, my internationalist appreciation for the value of life; be it in our own neighborhoods, halfway around the world or in the future, has been my guiding light in encouraging others to join this fight.
I write this article as someone who has never experienced first-hand the types of bastardry, misanthropy or tyranny that I am about to describe and refer to. On the contrary, I write it as someone who has been blessed by the type of living, schooling and housing that my great grandparents' generation could not fathom. I write it as a son, brother, husband, runner, podcaster, environmentalist, bilingual, bibliophile and human rights activist.
This was originally posted on Facebook and Instagram on 19th of July 2020 to commemorate the seventh anniversary of then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s declaration that any asylum seeker attempting to arrive by boat to Australia would never be resettled there.
The time of my secondary school graduation, 1998, still resonates like an earworm song. Early December was crackling with unspoken pressure as this was when final grades were given. They would determine both my tertiary education and employment prospects, and felt like the final arbiter of my existential value. I was reduced to anxious tears as so much hinged on them.
While Melbourne is a beautiful city in parts with a vibrant cultural life, you are always aware that there is a schism that exists. When locals think of Melbourne, there is a tendency to think of the leafy mansions of Kew (which Jack burgled), the trendy cafes of Brunswick, the restaurant strip in Carlton, the bayside suburbs of Elwood and Brighton, and the chic shopping boutiques of Prarhan. However, even when passing through most of these suburbs, you will run into people who have been left behind and discarded.
A variation of this sign has been seen at pro wrestling events over the years, stating that 'if (X Wrestler) wins, we riot'. This version of the sign prophesizes strife that could occur should the climate crisis not be tackled. The result should the world not move be grave for human rights.
There is an irony in me publishing this in the forum that I am. I am aware of that. However, the amount of discussion about lack of privacy online published online makes this disclaimer cliched.
Looking back on my own personal history, this book's topic was something I could definitely relate to.