Sitting outside Rangiwahia hut in the late afternoon after returning over the windy and clagged in Whanahuia's, I was enjoying a cup of tea and when I looked to the north east saw this cloud formation above me. The lenticular layer is called a hog's back formation, a harbinger of bad weather usually in the form of northwest high winds and a storm to come. Indeed it began to rain and gust heavily later that evening, and as I walked down in the misty grey dawn it was both windy and pouring rain.
It seems as if in a way here in Aotearoa we have our own hogs back cloud hovering over the islands. Our election here outed the Labour government to install a National one, or basically exchanging a left for right on the political spectrum. Made more threatening by the fact that under our MMP system that National in order to form a government has to go into coalition with a party called ACT. So for the next three years we have a conservative right majority being supported by a radically far right minority. This bodes well for the rich white fat cat developers, for the concepts of big business and progress, power companies, and generally the well to do. It does not bode well for the poor, or even middle class, for the Resource Management Act, for any state owned enterprise, and certainly not for any of our wild areas. There is a feeling of people rubbing their hands together in glee. The wrong people.
As a country the mood was to vote for "change". I was somewhat flabbergasted to talk to so many people who believed that Barack Obama was the catalyst for change here, almost a mandate to vote for a different government. Yet the change in the states was a vast swing to the left, to potential equality, possibility, and hope. To change to the right here simply for the sake of change rather astounds me, and people seemed unable to make that connection to what Obama is, and what John Key will never be. There will be little change to the make up of a National led cabinet to what it would have been 3 years, even 6 years ago. The same faces, the same agendas, made worse by the inclusion of ACT, whose simplistic "policies" I consider just left of Fascism.
Yet democracy has spoken, and we deserve the government we ask for. We seem unable to accept that in some ways, many ways, we have to change the way we live, our very systems of progress, to leave a better world for future generations. I suspect the fight for our wild places has only just begun.
On the other hand, to witness, and participate, in the election of Barack Obama was perhaps my proudest moment as an American. I hold no illusions that racism and poverty have ended, and that Obama and America do not face monumental challenges. The issue, for instance, of Indigenous Americans, seems to have greatly been overlooked and there is much healing and acknowledgement to be done there as well before we have real conversations about equality and opportunity for all races. And of course the economic issues facing not only the states but the world. I am inspired by the Possibility that we have a man inside the system who can bring the first steps of real change to that system be a reality. At some stage we have to stop stealing from our children. I can only write that it was a day we will all remember, a day of history and hope, a day America took a step towards being for all what it was supposed to be at it's inception.
I urge all who read at my place here to check out http://www.cassandrapages.com/ and read a post called The Rewrite, by Teju Cole. Actually all of Beth's writings are of interest, but this one for me really captured this moment of change in America.
Another place I would like to recommend is at http://russelltom.blogspot.com and a post named One More American Moment by Tom Russell. Not only is Tom one of America's most talented and under rated song writers, but also someone who is on par with Abbey, Bukowski, and Hunter S. Thompson as an observer of the real under belly of America.
"Man is not built to vegetate or stagnate - we like to progress - zero growth environmental policies fly in the face of human nature".
Gerald Ford, former Republican president, 1974.
Tell that to these guys Gerald.
Charlie holding my new niece, Hazel Rose.
11 hours ago