The storm is coming, and may even be here
I heard the storm coming, even from inside my house, a few blocks back from the ocean. From inside, it seemed a like a windy day, but nothing too unusual. It was a different story when we got to the path alongside the beach. I commented on the strength of the wind to the dog, who seemed untroubled.
At the mid-point of my walk, my favourite cap blew right off my head, over the fence, and got caught on the branches of a shrub hugging the cliff above the beach. Using my own judgement and risk assessment, without even referring to a government website, I climbed over and retrieved it. A stranger, unbidden, came over to watch my dog.
My favourite cap was bought at the Montreux Jazz Festival, where I watched my daughters perform in a Motown/Soul band when they were in high school. It’s a long way from Victoria to Switzerland, a long way from tenor saxophone and bass guitar lessons to a stage on the green, overlooking Lake Geneva, back-announcing the set list in a foreign language to a large, enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd. Pride and Admiration doesn’t go nearly far enough in describing the feeling of watching them perform, to my ear flawlessly. My favourite cap is an ordinary cap, with an extraordinary back story.
That Montreux concert happened maybe 15 years ago, in a world seemingly from a different space-time continuum, a world not (yet) forgotten. Overnight in March 2020, such a highlight in a young life became impossible, for no good reason, as it turns out, at all. Disgust and Loathing don’t go far enough, either, in describing the actions of governments around the world, which no doubt caused a bewildering sense of loss for the teenage sax and bass players of 2020 – 2022 whose dreams were crushed.
We watched as people were sent home, from work, or school, or wherever, to eke out their lives as best they could at the whim of Chief Health Officers. Some, possibly most, of these folk, even today, lack the awareness of the atrocity that played out under their noses – they’ll still laugh off the lockdowns as a great period when the troublesome traffic / commute to work was eliminated and when working from home meant you could get so much more done and learn to play the guitar and cook Thai food. If you were content with that, and content with exchanging human interactions in real life for substituted reality on Facebook, then you might have found that you could continue your shallow little life quite well. But if you were outraged with that, and if you had a small circle of friends to begin with, the circle of sanity vanished to a mathematical point in a matter of days.
I put myself in the latter category. I’ve been outraged, and essentially friendless, apart from one LEGEND who knows who she is, for nearly 4 years. A friend doesn’t dismiss out of hand whatever it is you’re trying to express. A friend picks up your unease when they express a different opinion than your own. A friend doesn’t take your silence as agreement. A friend doesn’t try to guilt-trip you. A friend will listen to a warning without launching an attack.
At first my outrage found expression in the orthodox ‘democratic’ process: write to your MP and write a letter to the editor of the newspaper. We know how that worked out. Without any real hope, in 2022 I started writing on substack. Because I had to say what I had to say. Even if no one would read it. Just for the record. Amazingly, and seemingly out of nowhere, I got something published. At Brownstone Institute, and then at Spectator Australia.
Now, a year later, I feel like a kid again. Like I’m waiting for Christmas. A few weeks more, and I expect to find some new friends. Friends who’ll listen to me, and to whom I’ll listen. Friends who’ll acknowledge what it was we went through. Friends who’ll be there in person. At least, I hope that’s what I’ll find at the inaugural conference of Australians for Science and Freedom, to be held in Sydney on 17-19 November. The speaker list is impressive and I happen to know one of the presenters, which makes it even more exciting.
The aims of the conference are:
To bring together thinkers and community leaders to share learnings, formulate plans and help establish new and emerging networks and organisations to restore a thriving Australian society founded on science and freedom.
The TGA is 96% funded by the pharma industry. AHPRA deregisters doctors for political opinions, not clinical error. The Human Rights Commission said bugger all when Housing Commission residents were locked in their flats without notice. The Victoria Police asked for a curfew to make it easier to enforce 5km travel zones. The Parliament refused to sit for months on end. This is only a fraction of our troubles. Where does one start to reform all this? Perhaps a better question is “How can I help?”
There’s a storm coming, and may be here. A storm of open minded, outraged people, from all walks of life. Some of us are gathering in Sydney in a few weeks, and other groups around the country are forming, and storming. They are blowing through and around the institutions that failed us over the last 4 years, clearing out the deadwood and the rot, undermining the foundations.
There’s a storm coming, and may be here. And I’ve still got my favourite cap.
This article first appeared on Richard’s Substack here.