On the ascension of Scott Morrison to the Prime Ministership of Australia
We’ve just swapped one psychopath for another,
If we’re honest. It’s just that one wore the mask better.
In truth, the challenge will always be that
Father knows best, or thinks he does and that
Mother eternally needs to do better with more evidence
And for half the pay to even be in the running.
So long as they’re running the country like we’re all
Naughty little children who can’t save the ice-cream
Until after dinner, or worse, little sinners going to hell
Because you’ll go blind, don’t you know —
We’re in serious trouble.
There’s a moment, on the cusp of adulthood,
Where you learn that everything you learned at school —
That taste-buds are different on different parts of the tongue,
That Pluto is a planet or isn’t or is, sort of,
That Burke and Wills were brave explorers —
That all of that was just a best-fit theory or a story
Someone told, woven together with what they had
At the time, threads and assumptions and reflections.
And in that moment, you have a few choices:
To weep at the deep uncertainty of the universe,
Cultural relativism, not knowing, the asymptote of surety,
And, pulling up your big girl pants, take a deep breath
And continue to work together with others anyway,
In eternal dedication to evidence and the pursuit of knowledge,
Discovery, growth, truth, reconciliation, to making
Amends and correcting the record, revisiting and revising —
Or, and here’s the crux of it, you double-down,
Wager everything on the fragile edifice of the Enlightenment
And Rationalism, famous old men and their Empires,
And then, of course, you have to discredit the rest.
Gaslight the lot of them, move the goalposts,
Whistle for the dogs and watch them come running,
And lock up anyone who questions the great Gods
Of Industry and Morality and Family,
Yea, unto the last 12-year-old who might not burn in hell,
But will definitely burn in Nauru if you lot have anything
To say about it.
But you’re clever. And half the country’s fallen
for the bait and switch; they just want someone
To crib off, and if you tell them you’ve got the cheat sheet,
And the answers are dead certain, they won’t even have to
Think for themselves.