We party, while they Burn

posted 6 Nov 2015, 17:08 by sean grgeg   [ updated 6 Nov 2015, 22:38 ]
The day after Melbourne cup, I took my daughter out for breakfast. Somewhere over my English breakfast pot of tea I lamented … "as I get older.. some of the icons of our Australian culture seem less and less relevant to me".

Background information - During the weekend I had been doing a ton of research about the number of fires burning through some of the tropical forests in countries north to us. Australia has this thirst for Palm Oil apparently. It gets used across the board in loads of product. Palm oil has replaced other oil products as it can be cheaply produced. But the cheap price means a different sort of cost has to be paid. So, these countries get pressured to produce palm oil by first clearing natural forest habitat. Peat factor:  also, once these fires are lit they get out of control and keep burning because the land is oil based Peat. Habitat is destroyed.

When I went to San Diego I visited their world famous zoo. The Ape enclosure is all that I remember. It was grotesque in a way seeing something that shares with us 98% of our DNA being trapped in concrete , dirt and glass. I was blown away by this one male silverback and its behaviour (how similar they are to humans). So, it is little wonder I felt some emotion when I read about the plight of another great ape (the Orangutan).  These wonderful creatures are literally trapped in a hellish fire inferno.

So then Tuesday comes... and I am supposed to engage in a giant party? Over what? The old argument that "the horses love racing" does not seem to hold water for me (especially when there is a very high possibility that the horse has to be euthanized due to race injury). Also, I don’t think its un-Australian to see the reality of excessive gambling , drug usage etc. I know from my experience as a crisis counsellor that telling a Punter to "gamble responsibly" is like telling "a Heroin addict to shoot up with care". Plus we face an uncertain…

Too preachy: I stopped mid-sentence. I realized my daughter may have heard some of this stuff before and instead of launching into a tirade about carbon emissions i decided to mix up my conversation. So I took a very deep breath and wiped the spittle from the corner of my mouth and stated another personal truth (albeit polar opposite) “But I will concede that seeing the female jockey and her strapper brother on the podium was pretty cool”. She smile broadly and said “Yeah”.