A fox was run over and killed near the Squash Courts.
Its body was strewn across the bitumen with its head at an obtuse angle. Death-filled eyes looked down the street at me as I drive toward it. It’s not that I have a great love for foxes but the image lingers.
Maybe it is symbolic of where I think we are at the moment.
I find it disturbing that an Australia Day billboard can cause such controversy because it depicts two girls in hijabs. It seems indicative of where our thinking is in 2017, as a nation. It is as though insensitivity has become our default position. We are a nation of many different ethnic and religious groups and we have been since first settlement if we are truly honest with ourselves.
We are happy enough to eat Italian, Greek, Chinese and Middle Eastern food but we still want to claim Anglo Saxon dominance. We are willing to claim ownership of a Russian immigrant pole-vaulter when she looks like winning for Australia, or a Sudanese refugee playing for Sydney Swans, or champion ‘our’ cricketers: Usman Khawaja and Fawad Ahmed Khan. But two scarf wearing school girls is way beyond tolerability as a symbol of how diverse we are.
The image of the dead fox carries my concern about our national politics too. I feel that we have disengaged from democracy because we have lost faith in our representatives. It is hard to have respect for people who are happy to stretch the definition of entitlements whilst at the same time urging us to tighten our belts. Out detachment from the political process allows our very representatives to indulge themselves to increasing degrees because we aren’t alert to calling them out.
It is challenging, too, to have faith in leadership which does not stand up to that which is clearly wrong.
The death stare lingers.