Opinion

Here & Now with S Sorrensen

Lismore. Tuesday, 12.10pm:

The university plaza is empty of uni students, but full of school kids. A uniformed horde is sprawling over most of the tables and chairs. They're a noisy bunch.

One young bloke nearly knocks me down as I'm walking into the plaza. This laughing adolescent runs, not looking, right at me, chased by his mate. He sees and dodges me at the last moment. His shirt is untucked and flicks me on the arm as he flies by, but his hair is perfect and motionless, combed to one side in a sort of carefree, natural sweep as fixed as plastic.

He throws a 'sorry!' over his shoulder at me, applying the brakes to skid within the radar of a discipline of teachers standing at the centre of this lunch break, drinking coffee and chatting, their eyes constantly scanning.

Education is a wonderful thing.

Pity about the debt it comes with.

Education was free, once. It is the hallmark of a civilised society when it invests in its young. It shows foresight. Many of the older men who have put education up for sale were themselves educated for free at the public's expense, but times have changed. Foresight is gone; the future is a cyber fantasy.

Society is replaced by the marketplace; citizens by clients. Education is job training, not knowledge (because knowledge sees the real future). And if you start your adult life with a debt it keeps you on the straight and narrow.

I meander through the young crowd towards the Thai place. I like the Thai woman there. We speak French to each other. That's a bit strange I know, because the French never really got a foot in the Thai door, and France's historical influence on the North Coast is minimal, but we both enjoy the language practice. And her fish curry with brown rice is excellent.

Children are our future, but as a society we treat them badly.

The Royal Commission into child abuse is welcome. The idea of subjugating our children to the whims of sexually repressed men with a penchant for dress-up and wine is appalling, but we did it, nonetheless. Right now, politicians are huffing and puffing with that sort of pseudo indignation and inflated righteousness they love, but despite the sometimes genuine concern about the heinousness of what went (and goes) on under the sad gaze of a broken man nailed to a plank, there's an underlying hypocrisy.

Because child abuse is the norm in our society.

We send our young to wars in foreign lands which have never been a threat to us.

We mistreat the foreign young who flee the consequences of our war effort and land on our shores desperately seeking refuge.

We force our young onto crowded roads in metal bombs because public transport is a public service and taxes are better used as subsidies for our big business buddies.

We poison the water the young will need when they realise they're thirsty for more than the American sitcoms and Facebook we drip feed them.

They suicide while we congratulate ourselves on our economic boom, as if this boom wasn't a future-destroying deception.

But most of all, we're condemning the young to a dark future as we overheat the planet to supply us with the stuff of distraction.

We know what we're doing is wrong, but we'd rather not face it. We have built a church of denial. We prefer to believe in virgin births, life in heaven, royal commissions, efficient light bulbs and eternal economic growth, rather than the awful reality of what we are doing behind the closed doors of our denial.

We are child abusers.

Topics:  opinion


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

How to manage sustainability

Deborah Benhayon - Open For Business.

What business has to do to maintain sustainable development.

From purr to a roar, Meow Meow is not kitten

ANYTHING IS PAWSIBLE: Acclaimed cabaret star Meow Meow returns to Lismore.

Anything can happen during her local shows this week

Not just any party, it's the Arty Party!

FOR ALL: The event will feature performers, local artists, storytellers, musicians and dancers.

A family-friendly, child-focused arts festival

Local Partners

Why we're the top spot for mobile tourists

Mobile tourists spent nearly six million nights in Northern NSW last financial year.

Programmers' joke is on us

Dr Airdre Grant

Computers - it's a love/hate relationship.

How to manage sustainability

Deborah Benhayon - Open For Business.

What business has to do to maintain sustainable development.

From purr to a roar, Meow Meow is not kitten

ANYTHING IS PAWSIBLE: Acclaimed cabaret star Meow Meow returns to Lismore.

Anything can happen during her local shows this week

Not just any party, it's the Arty Party!

FOR ALL: The event will feature performers, local artists, storytellers, musicians and dancers.

A family-friendly, child-focused arts festival

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

All she wants is to be chosen

TAKE ME HOME: Daisy from pet shop to pound to your place.

Daisy has gone from puppy farm pet shop dog to the pound.

It's time to get your shorts on the big screen

ANIMATED: Citizen To Activist, an animation by David Lowe and Eve Jeffrey, won the Jury Award for best Short Film at Flickerfest 2015 - Byron AllShorts.

Entries for Flickerfest 2017 and Byron All Shorts are now open

Carlos Santana added to Bluesfest 2017 line up

Carlos Santana at Bluesfest 2013.

Calling all local black magic women

The Dixie Chicks to headline 2017 CMC Rocks festival

US country music group The Dixie Chicks.

ORGANISERS move festival dates to lock in US country music stars.

What's on the big screen this week

Denzel Washington in a scene from the movie The Magnificent Seven.

DENZEL Washington returns in a shoot-em-up Western.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E3 - Which picnic date is better?

The Bachelorette Georgia Love, centre, with her top 11 bachelors.

Lee and Matt get some one-on-one time with Georgia.

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction

Peppers Airlie Beach put on the market

ON THE MARKET: Peppers Airlie Beach is being for recievership sale by CBRE Hotels and PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach.

Peppers Airlie Beach is being offered for sale.

3500 jobs on the way with new $950 million resort

Residential, tourist, community, and open space on Hummock Hill Island.

PROPERTY developers plan to begin construction next year.