During the worst of the lockdowns last year we learnt to live without many of the activities that we have always taken for granted, like hanging out at the local pub, taking in a new movie at the cinema or spending a whole afternoon at the beach. These were generally viewed as minor sacrifices when it came to the overall ravages of COVID, both health wise and the damage done to a multitude of small businesses. Nevertheless we have seen numerous aspects of our everyday life, like international travel, that may not return until well into next year.
Perhaps in this state of flux and day to day uncertainty it’s an appropriate time to draw up a list of activities, cultural offerings and previously well accepted conventions that we never want to see again. Yes folks, it’s time for the Great COVID Clean Up, when we wave goodbye to everything that no longer resonates in both our hearts and brains in 2021. Here’s just a shortlist of suggestions:
THE OLYMPIC GAMES: 80% of the Japanese people don’t want the Games to go ahead, for obvious reasons, but is it time to finally call out the Olympics for they really are? The world’s wealthiest countries flexing their economic muscle in an insatiable grab for gold and political prestige. Somehow we are supposed to disregard the massive human rights abuses of many of these major players, all in the name of sport. If we can’t get rid of the Games altogether, at least ditch synchronised swimming and skateboarding.
THE EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: How Australia ever wormed their way into this annual orgy of horrible songs, mediocre singers and blinding pyrotechnic lighting still beggars belief. This year we joined Ireland, Croatia, North Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia to be knocked out in the first semi final and how embarrassing is that! Surely it’s time to remind the Eurovison bosses that we are not part of Europe and request that we be gracefully booted out.
COUNCIL COMPLIANCE: Heavy handed council compliance has long been the bane of local music venues and anybody wanting to paint their house in anything other than heritage colours. Ironically during the worst of COVID last year many councils chose to relax their draconian rule book by encouraging restaurants to include outdoor dining on the footpath and live entertainment where it was previously disallowed. Let’s say goodbye to the worst of compliance and introduce a new paradigm of laissez faire where noise complaints fall on deaf ears and inner city terraces are painted with purple polka dots.
THE TRASH TV USED BY DATE: The Australian Communications and Media Authority should be empowered to issue ‘used by’ dates for most of the current crop of TV reality cooking and quiz shows. In the interests of good quality television, an independent panel should be appointed, to annually purge the medium of garbage like Big Brother, Farmer Wants A Wife, The Weakest Link, Celebrity Apprentice Australia, Masterchef and Married At First Sight. Then again I would have no problem if one of the networks chose to run old episodes of the Jerry Springer Show. Who doesn’t love a good old school food fight?
AND FINALLY – YOUR OWN CURBSIDE CLEAN UP: There’s nothing more spiritually cleansing than to go through your material possessions and then dump what you really don’t need on the curbside for your next council clean up. Think of anything you accumulated during the worst of the COVID period, or anything that no longer holds relevance and consign it to your nature strip. Top of your list might be any of the Pete Evans cookbooks, his or hers snuggies, a one thousand piece jigsaw, a potty putter, a suitcase record player, a Donald Trump toilet brush or any home gymnasium rubbish. The possibilities are endless!