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

Scott Morrison forces single Aussie men into mass weddings.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ordered every single Australian adult male to marry in mass wedding ceremonies in order to improve attitudes towards women in Australia.

The shock decision follows Morrison’s confession that he gained greater empathy for an alleged rape victim within his own party after speaking with his wife Jenny.

“Only a man with a wife can understand women,” the Prime Minister stated.

“Only a man with daughters can understand women. For that reason, every single Australian man aged 18 and over will be forced to marry a woman and produce at least one daughter.”

The mass weddings will take place at Hillsong mega churches throughout the country and will resemble the famous Holy Marriage Blessing Ceremonies of the Unification Church in South Korea, in which hundreds of couples marry under the direction of the Reverend Moon and his wife.

“Mass weddings will remove Australian men from the lineage of misogynistic patriarchy and into empathetic and open-minded lineage. As a result, the husband, and even any sons produced by that marriage, will exist free from the consequences of misogyny,” Morrison explained.

“This is what happened to me. I had no idea how to react to news that a young female staff member within my party had allegedly been raped, which is why I did nothing about it for such a long time. Then I spoke to Jenny and she reminded me that I had daughters, and that I should think about them when I discussed the incident with my staff.”

“Before Jenny spoke to me, I thought daughters were just for photo opportunities.”

The first mass ceremony will be held at Morrison’s own church, Horizon Church in the Sutherland Shire of Sydney, and will involve straight men, gay men and trans men. The Christian ceremony will also be compulsory for men of other faiths and those who identify as atheist or agnostic. Only men serving prison sentences will be exempt from the mass weddings. Like Reverend Moon, Morrison will personally match all of the couples.

Morrison was asked if single women have a choice in whether to marry.

“No”

After the mass weddings, couples will be forced to try for children, and to use any conceivable method to produce daughters. Staff from the Prime Minster’s Office will conduct random and regular checks on all couples.

“The second son of any family which does not have daughters will be forced to undergo gender conversion therapy,” stated Morrison.

Morrison was optimistic that the program would create a nation of men with more empathy for women.

“It’s funny you know, I paid an empathy coach $190,000 but I still didn’t develop any empathy for women in this country.”

Image: Drew Coffman