And yet, still looming on the horizon is climate change. Try as we have, can we continue to ignore it? Maybe it is time we realised that shit can actually hit the fan.
Like so many I have been frustrated as to why people just cannot see the seriousness of climate change and the issues we face. Then it dawned on me. Maybe, just maybe, we cannot visualise the sheer magnitude of what might actually happen if humanity does not get its act together. Planet Earth sadly, seems to be an after thought. And maybe that’s the problem. To date we have had no real reference or experience to what a global “melt down” looks like.
I mean, what’s the worst that could happen right? But what if what we are experiencing right now is just a wee taster for things to come. Maybe now we know, with experience, that it is possible, and the world we live on and share could well be thrown into a state of unnatural insecurity. Well, unnatural to us at least. And look how quickly everything can change. Think about it. This time we had the means to continue production. Supply chains remained open. So did shops and there is food on the shelves. Strangely enough, we have plenty of toilet paper. But what if?
You may have gathered by now that this blog is a little more hard hitting than other blogs I have penned. If you are not feeling like a trip down to the reality store, I’d suggest you grab some ice cream, turn on your TV… and jump off now.
Truth is… I’m an optimistic person. But I realise that sometimes that will only get me so far. And I know, beneath the calm clammer and polite quiet we are scared. Change has come fast and from one day to the next we are all doing different things. “Social differencing” as I like to call it, is the new norm. But here’s the rub, change is a good thing and change… is as good as arrest. Because it feels like that’s where we are heading folks. A global cardiac arrest.
Interesting fact: Heart attack cases are down in Austria since lockdown started.
So where was I. Yes, change! Right now alone is where we are. Small, solitary and self isolating. Well some of us anyway. Yes we are individuals. But look at what we can achieve when we put our minds together. We are keeping our own boats a float; albeit moored in local harbours. Some of us have a small crew and that’s cool. So surely, if anything, this virus and pandemic has shown us that we can act as one; a giant global unit. Just look at the humanity and humility that is out there in the world right now, helping each other. Healthcare workers, bus drivers, tram drivers, doctors, nurses; people manning checkouts in local shops, cooking food, cleaning the streets. Musicians and artists. It’s mind blowing. And that’s the real story. Songs from a balcony.
For the most part governments have been great. But there are still states and leaders that are doing their own thing. Serving their own best interests. People are dying in many countries unnecessarily because these so called “leaders” fail to lead. Let’s be honest; they have failed to act. We can be as diplomatic as we like. People are dead now because the right decisions were not made at the right time. And why? Because of profit, or lack there of sadly. Our biggest failing has always been greed.
“Let’s hold back on any decision until we see how best we can work this to our advantage”.
Now… while a micro biological organism slips swiftly through airports and across borders, the worlds death toll rises. Incredible as it sounds, when responsibility is called for, we see certain world leaders pointing fingers of blame and accusing others. It’s a fact. Holding back on making the right decisions, so they can secure a stake in a vaccine, machine, or clean up operation has cost countless lives. Too harsh? Look, when a system is built on greed and foundations of sand, it will inevitably falter. And now, amidst the mounting corpses someone has to be blamed. But not them. Oh no. They could never be responsible. Ratings are up and television airtime is primetime. So fingers are pointed at other countries and organisations to deflect focus and save face. Why? It’s simple. Their gamble has not “paid off”. Dare we ask. When is fallibility culpability?
Sadly there will always be money moguls. There will always be power hungry people who will seek to control. The puppets inevitably are the populace used for profit and gain. But by will and determination, working together and with support, we might change that. We can! It’s how we decide that determines our decisions. Practical decisions that just need some thought. Where to shop. How to shop. Where we eat. How we eat. Or let’s go one step further… what we eat. It’s common sense. I know for some of us cost is a factor. I get it. But again, with some thought we might make small changes. We cannot simply mass manufacture life on earth for human consumption. Have we become the parasites feeding off nature? If so, it’s not logical. It’s unethical. It’s selfish and down right wrong. I’m not one to usually bang this drum but being a musician maybe it’s the right time. The truth hurts. This could well be the reason why, we are where we are now; living in this Corona Culture.
Change has to start somewhere. Maybe with you. Maybe with me. Or how about with us! It is small decisions made on a global scale that matter. Small decisions like not shaking hands or staying at home. We could do it. We have done it. We’re still doing it! And, we know it’s not always going to be like this. We’ll be back to kissing and hugging in no time. Hopefully soon. But we have to change the channel. Worry about the world. Left to her own devices, the world can take care of herself and we know that. She always has. Long before we start fucking things up.
Brave New World – Neville / Ó Fearghail / Peters
Here’s an idea. What if we were to think small and act local. We could do that too. It’s a simple idea. An idea that could spread. Just look at what happens when something goes viral. Small things can have a big impact globally. Quickly. Little decisions with the right intentions become massive deciding factors. Think about it. Less travel leaves us with clearer skies and better air quality. It’s happening all around us and animals are making the most of it. Apparently panda’s are shagging once again. WTF, WWF, WHO! And we love pandas. When did they ever stop? So why not holiday at home. Buy local food. Support your local stores (and I ‘aint talking about your local monster supermarkets or malls). By staying local it helps everyone. Maybe holiday in your own country once in a while moving forward. Support your own community. It’s not rocket science. It’s common unity. Go for a walk.
Corona Culture is where we are right now. Covid-19 has us holed up on lockdown. In doing so, we have become a local community again. But here’s the question: when the gates swing open and we are set free to do what we want once more, will we rush back and pick up where we left off; screaming and kicking our way into our old comfort zones and centres? If so, an opportunity might well have been missed. Lost even. Or do we try something different. Take a chance. Make a change. People have died. So let us hope it’s not been for nothing!
On a personal note, here in our home, my partner and I have over time made similar small decisions. We have adopted new habits as well as making some changes. In doing so we play a small role. But as a result we have had some influence on our own circle of friends and family – without finger pointing or frowns, rhetoric or ridicule. We have a cool network around us who do something similar and also offer us insights into other ways to live. And it turns out, it’s actually a healthy option (if that’s your bag). Who knew! Yes we are vegetarians and yes we divide our waste. Yes we turn off lights… but we turn them on too when we need to. I also love a bit of fat and chocolate and I am partial to a few pints on a good night out… or more relevantly; beer and wine on a good night in!
Actually I’ve recently discovered that our local shop has taken to stocking Guinness draft and extra stout. It’s old school I know and I love it! So I am as you’d say back in Ireland, on the pigs back. Or in the Irish “Ar muin na muice”. Please don’t try this at home!
But I digress. Change has to be personal. It sounds hippy dippy and it probably is. But there is nothing wrong with that in my book. We all have the power to make small changes. Small pebbles might be a drop in the ocean alright but there is a ripple effect. It’s the laws of physics. Where intention goes, energy flows. Change permeates all things and starts with a simple thought. A small step, a wee splash or a nice smile. Ripples spread far and wide and smiles my friends, as they say in West Cork… “smiles go on for miles”. I could keep going…
But I will leave it here with this thought. I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. Small steps do moonlandings make. But before we talk about blasting out into space (uses way too much fuel), let’s not run away from the real issues. We have to be brave for our planet. It is our problem. We’ve done this. Home however, is here. And here and now, the climate feels right for a change.
PS. New album anecdote:
With no shows to dream of, Covid-19 has given musicians more time than they ever thought they would have. Taking full advantage of the lockdown, I have used it to explore the new songs and mixes off my new album. That’s the more “Irishy” one. I like where it’s going but I will wrap it up soon. Info on the album will be forthcoming.
In the meantime, thank you all for your support financially and such; more deserved it better than I. That said I am grateful. It has put a fire under me arse. Some of you have also been asking about advanced orders for the new afore mentioned “Irishy” album. Fear not…that info too will also come soon.
Take care out there. Mind yourselves… mind each other.
Míle bhuíochas faoin gach rud.
Tóg go bog é…
Header Photo – ©Sabine Mann Photography 2020