Almighty laughs

The whole world” Captain Boyle declared  in Juno and the Paycock  “is in a state of chassis.”

He’d be in his element if he were surveying the current world scene. Australia has been on fire big-time, the rest of the world has been under several feet of water with more on its way, we’ve scarcely had time to draw breath between storms, in Africa there’s a plague of locusts chewing its way through acres of vegetation and crops, there are repeated reports of fanatics shooting people dead before being shot dead themselves by the police, or sometimes saving the police time and effort by doing it themselves, there are other fanatics driving vehicles big and small into innocent civilians. In Europe there’s Brexit, in Britain there’s Boris Johnson, in the US there’s Donald Trump…You’d be pardoned for thinking – or saying, as some excitable people are already doing online – that this was the End of Days, and that any night now we’d look up at the moon and see it had turned to blood.

But as they say, it’s not what happens to you so much as how you react to it that matters.  Australia burning could be the catalyst for countries taking global warming seriously, in deed as in word; the floods could force us (and our governments, if we’re lucky/unlucky enough to have one) to face the question – How come Holland can keep water at bay  but we can’t? The plague of locusts might jolt us into checking out the insect world, on which we depend for just about everything, and  maybe even into taking the necessary steps to restore their dwindling numbers.  The killer drivers might get us to wonder if we’re not killer drivers ourselves – last weekend seven people were slaughtered on the south’s roads alone. And hey, Donald Trump could be consigned to the scrap-heap of history this time next year, if the American electorate can use its head and vote the brute out. And instead of aaahing and oohing about Boris is and his bride-to-be and his baby, we’d demand instead that our journalists interrogate him as to how he is capable of holding two contradictory views at once about the border in the Irish Sea which he has signed up to. In short, behind every disaster, there’s a lesson waiting to be learned.

And  the corona virus? Well it’s an object lesson in humility for we puny humans. Donald Trump has been, um, trumpeting about taking on China in a trade war, then suddenly God or Mother Nature or Fate or all three bring the Chinese economy to a grinding halt.

And even as Donald Trump is beating his chest about  the US stock market humming along, the same stock market takes a nosedive, thanks again to the corona virus. And did you know that a lot of the American public have stopped drinking Corona beer because – yep, you figured it. They might catch the corona virus from it.

The fact is, we kid ourselves when we say we’re in control of events. Human beings are really just tiny dots on a rock that’s one of billions such rocks, spinning and swooping through  space. Even without a plague of locusts, the impotence of political leaders like Johnson and Trump is totally exposed. They may promise the public that good times are coming, but the chewing and swallowing sound coming from the locusts shows how empty and futile such promises can be. 

You want to make God laugh?  Tell him your  plans.

Comments are closed.