Joules and the Knowledge Economy
Click on any cartoon
Chapter one -Formative Experiences - Land of my birth
All images on this site are copyright. 2001
BLOG -2 Jan 2005
2000. Day one. I was there the morning the 21st Century dawned. Alive but pretty numb with heartache. And it seems natural that this blog starts with that moment five years ago. I don’t know why but I am sure there is a reason. In that moment hope still flickered in me. In that hope is the genesis of my journey to discover the nature of energy.
The first daylight of the New Century is shades of grey tinged with blue. Heavy clouds veil the great South Pacific where I reside. The hills, oceans and skies emerge from the mists, revealing a shifting, shining, ethereal, beautiful and rather sombre world. Only the ground feels solid under my feet and I know that is an even greater illusion. The atoms of View Road Hill are 99.999% space as are those that are the rest of our universe. The nearest star is 93 million miles away and remains invisible this morning.
Normally the trace nature of our existence fills me with awe. I am more aware of an ache than awe in the dawn of this New Century. I know the millennium date is a miniscule human construct in the great scape of existence but I sense my personal landscape is undergoing seismic shifts in this time. I know my partner of 28 years does not know that I am aware to the September second when she decided to leave me. Already I lead the life of an outcast and in a month she will be gone. People who know well will tell me I will never see her or our daughter again. The family home, built with our own hands and using a decade of weekends, holidays and evenings, will be sold up. Our books, possessions and family dreams dispersed.
The ache is not new. For the last few years of the 20th Century I had lived with repeated threats that my family would be raped and our home trashed if I spoke of what I knew. The Reforms of New Zealand society in that last decade had unleashed the drug-grazed, greed-driven horrors that reside under the veneer of civilisation that is Wellington, our capital city. Honesty has become a liability in the new order. Others absolve their failures by spreading rumours questioning my sanity. I never fear for myself but ache to think my very existence threatens those most dear to me.
It so happens these Reforms coincided with the period when the American empire assumed more total control of New Zealand. Now the oil dynasties have just appointed a new ruler, George W Bush, to further their short-term interests and have set the peoples of the world on an even more unsustainable course. I ache for the slaughters to come. I do not see where I can fit into this Reformed society. For decades I had lived with the error of believing my years of “exemplary service” to the electricity industry would see me right. Now my life’s work records are shredded to the winds, “binned” by the new corporate managers as they attempted to discredit me and cover their butts as the Enron cloned systems they created melt down, dissolving in the stink of corruption.
I watch the shifting mists in the dawn and wonder what my future will be. My teeth ache and soon my dentist will tell me only an injection of several thousand dollars will calm them. My ribs ache with each breath as my body wakes up to the day. They are still knitting back together after being smashed by a falling plank on a building site. I press my thumb, the thumb I dreamed of drawing cartoons with one day. It does not ache. It does not feel anything after being crushed. The specialists say the tissue is pulped beyond repair. Another construction-site casualty. My other wounds do not heal fast now and the last of my home handyman tools has died of overwork. My future is not as a construction labourer. Chest pains afflict me and remind me I am lucky to be alive at all. Soon doctors will confirm I was right and my heart has a damaged valve.
I sense my work is not done and have no idea what I can offer. In 1999 I discovered my passion for education is matched only be my ability to stupefy and drive students of all ages comatose with boredom. My future is not as a formal teacher.
The passion to learn and teach remains. There is no sign in the silence of the shifting mists of the new century to guide me. As I turn to face the changes, I ask that I know dignity through what I must face.
Click to enlarge