TIMES LIKE THESE
There are storm clouds on the horizon. The so-called Leader of the Free World is busy dismantling the progressive work of decades. The conduct of Australia’s own national affairs is marked by blinkered vision and political self-interest. No one believes in anything anymore.
Shane Howard (ex Goanna) and John Schumann (ex Redgum), two of the most influential Australian singer-songwriters of our age, simply can’t stand it anymore. They’ve written and recorded a song together, fittingly titled TIMES LIKE THESE.
Times like these: the distance between rich and poor grows ever wider. The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia is still unconscionably wide, yet we continue to ignore our historical responsibilities to our Indigenous brothers and sisters. Our veterans return from wars physically and psychologically damaged, only to find they have to keep fighting on, for themselves and their families.
Times like these: offshore, behind razor-wire, our government detains men, women and children who have committed no greater crime than to seek a better life for themselves. Our response to the global shock-wave of terror is simplistic at best - and at worst, simply racist.
Times like these: 50% of the Barrier Reef is dead, extinctions run at 10,000 times the natural order, our generation has just about dug everything out of the ground and we’d rather consign our grandchildren to extinction than change our behaviour.
Times like these: vast numbers of Australians sit stupefied in front of the television, watching inane talent quests and cooking shows while serious artists and journalists are shuffled off the intellectual stage.
Times like these: Australia’s commercial media is dominated by tub-thumping climate change deniers and scribblers on the political continuum to the right of Pinochet. Fossil fuel magnates, with politicians in their thrall, try desperately to wind back the clock.
Times like these: who will raise a voice?
For a start, these two raggedy poets will - John Schumann and Shane Howard. Hopefully, they won’t be the only ones.
TIMES LIKE THESE available now via ABC Music / Universal Music Australia