Just one of 20,000 plus

After two months in Australia touring the south-western part of the continent and enjoying some quality time with family in Melbourne and Sydney, and a quick jaunt to visit writing mates in Auckland (you can see pix on my Insta embedded below), I´m now back in Vienna where yesterday more than 20,000 people came out in the cold to protest the new coalition government´s shift to the right.

The colours of the new government are turquoise and blue, where the former, really just another shade of blue albeit a bit Smurflike, would suggest a rejuvenation of the conservative party that used to be black (ÖVP), and the latter the traditional blue of the right-wing party (FPÖ) that purports to have calmed down from the days when it was common to say “scratch the blue and you get brown”, brown being the colour of a time with which Austria has never really come to terms.

When I said to an Austrian friend, I guess that now we’ll know how we would have behaved in the 30s, I was told that we were not in the 30s. Yes, we´ve never had it so good, and the 30s have been relegated to the stuff of video games. Maybe that´s why we can no longer learn from history, because its lessons are now streaming and who can tell House of Cards from the real thing anyway?

My friend said we must give the new government a chance. Where have I heard that before? But the Smurfs in this scenario have already made their Faustian deals and we hear Vice-Chancellor Strache (FPÖ) intimate the desire of doing a Hungarian Orban move, which of course he cannot do, at least not yet. Right-wing “experts”, some even say, “philosophers”, with a penchant for funny caps if not slashed cheeks now run inter alia the ministries of the interior, exterior, armed forces, with women visible in their ranks, so please don´t give me the man-bun thing.

Thanks to a world-wide conservative thinking veering more and more rightwards with populo-nationalism rearing its ugly head as weasel words and vulgarity set the tone for bigotry and dehumanization in the name of progress, the land of Dystopia is starting to look very real as men and women alike seem ready to not only let the planet be destroyed, but along with it that which used to be our sense of humanity.

To see 20,000 and more come onto the streets to protest what is happening under our noses gives me hope. I will continue to discuss with my friend and in my own way be one of the 20,000, and so I leave you, as always with onwards!

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