“The beach is shut!”
“Yes, we know. We’re here to protest this outrageous attack on our human rights…”
“Look it’s just a temporary thing. There was a shark attack this morning and…”
“I don’t believe shark attacks are dangerous. I saw a meme on Facebook which pointed out exactly how unlikely you are to die from a shark attack.”
“Well, tell that to the guy who died this morning…”
“He probably had other health issues. I very much doubt that a shark would kill a normal healthy person.
“He died from a loss of blood.”
“See, probably haemophilia.”
“Whatever. The beach is closed for the time being and…”
“But why. I mean, less than one percent of the swimmers died. We’ve got learn to live with sharks and not shut down beaches every time somebody dies.”
“How can the people who die live with sharks?”
“You know what I mean. The rest of us just have to get on with life and not let the odd shark attack stop us from swimming. If we just protect those who are most likely to die from a shark attack, the rest of us should be able to swim and not worry too much about a shark.”
“Everyone is vulnerable to a shark attack.”
“No, I’ve heard that it’s just certain people. Mick Fanning was attacked by a shark and he survived just fine.”
“Look, I’m not going to argue! The beach is closed until we make sure that it’s safe!”
“Fascist. This is a violation of my rights under the Constitution which gives me the right to swim where I choose.”
“No it doesn’t!”
“There’s an implied right to freedom of movement and this is a direct infringement of my rights as a sovereign citizen!”
“Oh, you’re a sovereign citizen? Ok, go straight it the water. If the shark attacks be sure to tell him that you have immunity from being attacked owing to your status as a sovereign citizen.”
“Ok people follow me. I told you that they wouldn’t be able to resist if all seven of us stuck together and refused to allow their draconian rules prevent us from taking back the beach. Onward. Once more onto the beach, dear friends, once more…”
*. *. *.
Yes, I’m sure that someone will suggest that I’m oversimplifying things and that Covid-19 isn’t the same as a shark attack, but whether Alan Jones and company are talking about Covid-19 or climate change, we hear a lot about one percent being insignificant and I just can’t help but wonder how people would react if the one percent was translated into an equation that they can more readily understand.
“Only one of these cars has faulty brakes, the other ninety nine are safe so we’re just going to get people to drive them until someone has an accident and we can then take it off the road. We’d get them all checked but that would take time and money.”
“This drink is less than one percent cyanide, so how much harm can it do? Drink up…”
No sane person would accept either of those two scenarios, but numbers can be dangerous in the wrong hands. The media seems to be glossing over the fact that the Coalition government spent nearly $30 million over the valuation as though it’s just a bit of an oversight and not all that important in the scheme of things rather than stacking it up against the job losses that were the result of the cuts to the ABC. Or should I say non-cuts? According to the ABC, it was about $84 million, while according to Scott Morrison when you don’t give the promised increase it’s not a cut. Using his logic, however, we could not cut the PM’s salary by not giving him the promised increase and it wouldn’t be a cut at all, so how could he possibly complain? Anyway, $30 million is not $84 million but it certainly would have kept a few people in jobs.
Although I’m coming round to thinking that keeping journalists in jobs is not as important at it once was. After all, some of them just re-write the government’s press releases while others just print them verbatim.
And I couldn’t help wonder about the first fifteen minutes of 7.30 last night where it was going over Victoria’s “hotel quarantine fiasco”. Apparently you need to add the word “fiasco” to any description of what happened, but apart from that, I couldn’t see the point. The story gave no new information and, given there’s already an inquiry, it wasn’t like it was putting pressure on the Andrews’ government to call an inquiry. Compare that to the “Oh well, it looks like we’ll just never find out who was responsible for Angus Taylor’s inaccurate documents/Ruby Princess/the inflated land sale/tipping of the media for the police raid/leaking something the government wanted leaked/Peter Dutton/almost any decision that works out badly!” when it comes to the federal government.
All right, of course we need to support good quality journalism, but I’m beginning to think that it’s a bit like the Koala population in NSW: they don’t seem to be able to protect themselves and some politicians wouldn’t care if they became extinct because it would just be easier to get things done!
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