Our Tremendous Eastern Representative.

Dave Sharma is our tremendous eastern representative, but how well do we really know him?

We recently discovered that he achieved truly enviable results in his HSC, but that was more than 25 years ago, and Dave’s kids are now closer to their HSC exams than he is. Boasting about a score of 100% is fine for about 6 months after year 12, but doing so in 2022 seems like a tawdry egotistical reminder.

To all of you kiddies out there who have no idea what this article is about, TER stands for Tertiary Entrance Rank, and this term was used in NSW instead of ‘ATAR’ in the olden days.

Dave’s exultation arrived in our letterboxes inside his teal emulating resume, which was strangely devoid of the Liberal party logo. Why did he choose to omit the logo?

Is it because of his party’s targeted electoral rorting?

Perhaps Dave is distancing himself from the Coalition’s total environmental ruin. He wants you to forget his fearless leader’s love affair with coal and the party’s determination to run coal-fired power stations for as long as possible. He wants you to forget the treeless earth rampage that earned Gladys the nickname Koala Killer, and to ignore his government’s ruling to remove project-specific approval under national environmental laws, which helps explain why Australia has the most inadequate climate policy among developed countries.

Official records indicate that our Dave and his colleagues also voted against efforts to reverse the terrible extinction rates of Australia’s native plants and animals.

Perhaps Turramurra’s excellent ring-in also wants you to forget his party’s plan for a toxic economic recovery from COVID-19, and the fact that he toed the party line on transferring entrapped refugees to the mainland for medical treatment.

The Liberal National Party has also been criticised for its treatment of Australian women. It has been suggested that some elements in the party have been tirelessly erasing rape incidents in parliament house from the minds of everyday Aussies, and that his own fearless leader reminded protesting women that they should be grateful they weren’t shot.

But let’s not be too harsh on our Dave. His tender, enduring respect for women was on full display at Bondi Junction station on International Women’s Day, but, alas, the tragically erroneous romantic was unfairly attacked for handing out tokenism epitomising roses. Poor Dave.

Dave was also there, alongside his LNP colleagues, when they formulated policies on funding cuts that made an Aussie tertiary education redundant, and he comprised the team which allocated peanuts to thespians, entertainers and roadies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

There’s no better time than now to pay tribute to our tremendous eastern representative.

Image: Citizen’s Climate Lobby Australia

First published, in part, in The Beast magazine, April 2022.

This Land…

Darkness enveloped the land.

A depressing grey pall hung heavily over the land and fomented despicable violence which entrenched anger, frustration, despair and fear in those victimised by birth. Toxic masculinity leeched from the pores of rabid salivating animals and sullied the pristine waterways, the same waterways which had offered solace and retreat in an imagined past; the white-capped waves and golden sands since converted into a haven for leering eyes and lecherous ghouls.

Fear racked the fairer sex. Survival strategies were devised and disseminated, carried in nervous whispers through the darkened streets and the darker web. Clothes, make-up and sobriety were scrutinised before safety was promised in the world outside – the land outside which they called home. Home, where violence had been domesticated, by those who had not.

Keys to unlock inherited power were now held between forefingers. Capsicum spray sat beside scented spray and self-care acquiesced to self-defence. Avoid the darkness, they were told, but darkness was everywhere. Darkness had swallowed the land and voraciously consumed all that was good.

Emboldened by self-appointed truth tellers and by the weakness of their rulers, they threatened and struck, abused and demeaned, dismissed and suppressed. Emboldened by the apathy, silence and spin of the law makers. Law makers or law breakers? The lines had blurred, the distinction lost.

Depravity extended its greedy tentacles from the distant corridors of power to the hallowed grounds of prestige, where the elite schooled their offspring in the perpetuation of power.

How good! they cheer,

How good! to leer.

Retain your grace, remain the same,

Make-up your face, your words be tame.

Enough is enough, the victims declared, but it was never enough. Never enough for the rapacious scourge which infested their world and controlled their bodies, and the bodies within bodies.

The fair were few and far between, ignored in print, ignored on screen. They and their allies drowned under a deluge of ignorance and noise as the heavens unleashed a torrent of hate and lies, and cowardly cries.  It comes from the sky, it comes from up high, the news we use to justify.

Dystopia was not an imagined future, dystopia was a lived present, dictated for eternity by one bite of a forbidden fruit.

Then he emerged.

Short in stature, but bold of heart.

Follow me, he declared, in messianic tones, and I will deliver you from darkness and into light. I will protect you, he promised. So, follow him they did and the light returned. Joy, gaiety and unimagined bliss filled their souls.

Pink roses blossomed. Pink roses bloomed with hope and the promise of a new future.

All was well in the land of pink roses.

Image: Carlos Quintero

First published in The Beast magazine, May 2021