So, the world's a bit on the fucked side. You shouldn't need telling at this stage of the game - take your pick: climate out of control, Trump in the White House, Putin playing Risk on a real world map, oceans being destroyed by plastic..
Yet, there is hope.
Here are some of the good things, and hopefully each of these tiny glimmers of light will come together and brighten the entire planet and our species: Orwell said: "If there is hope, it lies in the proles". Unusually, he was wrong; if there's hope, it lies in the kids.
South Auckland Bro! Our kids are amazing.
American kids are amazing too! If ever there is to be a change in guns in America, the kids are the only group capable of showing the way.
Maybe the best news of all - kids are turning their backs on church. Sick of the homophobia, anti-science and stupidity of churches, kids are thinking for themselves.
Polio has almost been eradicated, with lots of the credit due to Bill Gates.
Billions of people throw plastic into the ocean. One kid's going to clean it all up.
The legendary, awesome, amazing, unbelievable, courageous Malala. Even being shot in the face couldn't stop her.
The equally-brave Shinny de Guzman. Not even scared of the insane Rodrigo Duterte.
The two young blokes arrested for being black in a Starbucks show what it means to believe in mankind with the classiest move ever.
Aitzaz Hasan - a kid whose bravery was so immense I'm not qualified to describe it. My boy has his picture on his wall.
More to come...
(read below if you have plenty of Valium on hand.)
Previously on Charman.co.nz...
24 February 2018
There's a great deal of joy in not writing constantly - it enables you to look back and see how many times you were right, and I'd even forgotten the wee piece from August 2017 just below this post - that truly doubled the joy, especially at a time when National is writhing in pain at having to try to find an electable leader out of the mass of inhuman shitheads in their party.
I laugh every time I pass a billboard featuring Judith Collins' face on Mill Road in south Auckland, beseeching the crawling motorist to sign her petition to make Mill Road four lanes.
I chuckle because these self-serving National scum had nine fucking years to fix problems, and here they are immediately wanting their changes to be made. The bad news is, Judith, you're pissing into a hurricane - people have finally woken up to the empty vessel that is National and your numbers have finally started crumbling. Welcome to nine more years of it, Nats!
Aside from the fact that the very last thing Auckland or the planet needs is bigger roads, how typical is it of National to focus on such an idiotic issue?
In fact, it's entirely predictable, because the real issues facing NZ are 100% of John Key & Bill English's National government and its insane policies. Not only that, these issues were so blatantly obvious that even people as far removed from politics as me have been screaming it for years. This is what I'm talking about:
Hospitals in crisis - and yes it is a crisis when your summer occupancy rate is 120%. Don't begin to think what it's going to be like this coming winter, because I'm picking the rate will be more like 150% and that people will die as a result. Make damned sure you don't need emergency hospital care during that period. The blame lays entirely at the feet of National's policy of economic growth by allowing unlimited migrants into the country. Those same migrants will be in the queues at a public hospital near you!
I had the joy to take an hour to drive 20 km a couple of days ago, on the motorway servicing the world's third-best city.
This is fucking madness - quite what drives people to sit for two hours a day at an average speed of 8 km/h, I have no idea. It also makes a mockery of the idiotic claims that robots are taking your job. We have had the means to work remotely for two decades, yet virtually nobody does, far preferring to sit in traffic so they can stand around the coffee maker and discuss the Kardashians or some other Reality TV - for instance, the President of United States Show.
7 August 2017
This may be the most important election in New Zealand history, and only the young and people with a conscience can make it happen.
Let's do this!
Six weeks to save the planet.
It's that simple, and it's over to you. My generation is going to vote National, or even worse, NZ First, so it's over to you guys.
In the 1960s and '70s, it was the youth of New Zealand that caused change, and stopped our involvement in Vietnam.
Now, it's your turn.
This is your future we're destroying, and it's clear that most young voters do give a fuck. You nearly brought it off in the UK, and gave it a decent shot with Bernie in USA, and helped elect Macron in France.
But New Zealand is the world's social incubator.
We were first with universal suffrage.
We were first with a full welfare state.
We can be the first to show that democratic socialism isn't just a vote, but a way of life.
A way of life that ensures young women aren't forced to live with abusive partners because they have nowhere else to go.
A way of life that ensures those in most need get the most help.
A way of life that says 12 people living in a 2-bedroom flat, or a double garage, is unacceptable in the 21st century.
A way of life that knows that uncontrolled carbon emissions will poison the world.
There's only way this can happen, and that is to elect Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister, which can only happen if you get out and agitate for the next six weeks.
Take a look at history; every giant of New Zealand politics has been a Labour Prime Minister. From the architect of social welfare, Michael Joseph Savage, to the gigantic power for equality and fairness that was the still-lamented Norman Kirk, to David Lange and Helen Clark, it is Labour who have improved the lot for all New Zealanders.
Vote Labour. Show the world it can, and must, be done.