Editorial—The Explosion that Caused a Spark

You’ve got just a few more hours to throw your hat into the ring for the AUSU Council by-election.  If you’ve been thinking about it, now’s the time.  If you’re reading this after Friday, the time has passed.

This week, for our feature article we’re interviewing another couple of recent graduands from AU.  It can be difficult sometimes, especially with everything going on in the world, to be able to see how you’ll ever complete the degree you may have chosen to pursue so long ago.  These interviews are our way of showing you it can be done.  Take inspiration from them.

Along the same lines, we’re also featuring the Fly on the Wall this week, as Jason Sullivan looks back on the anniversary of the only atomic bombs dropped in war.  You might be wondering exactly how an article about bombs dropped in Nagasaki and Hiroshima over 75 years ago is “along the same lines” as finishing your courses, and it comes down to perspective.

The timing of this article was somewhat prescient, given the recent explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.  While that explosion was not a bomb, the entire region remains involved in, not a cold war, per se, but maybe a tepid one.  Yet this tragedy seems to have been seized on by many both within the nation of Lebanon and without as a catalyst to a change of government in the region.  It is being used to exemplify why it is no longer good enough to have a government that sees its primary purpose as preparing to fight an age-old enemy.

In that respect, natural or accidental tragedies, such as a pandemic or a city-levelling dock explosion, seem to cause people to take stock of what’s truly important to them.  Being able to spend your energy hating someone or some people who aren’t actively attacking you seems like a luxury when placed in the context of actual dangers that are being ignored to do so.  Whether that hatred is for a group on the other side of the political spectrum, or the people on the other side of a border or from a different religion is irrelevant.  And so, in the larger scheme of things, is that hatred—as is becoming apparent.  In that respect, this explosion could be the spark that starts a movement, not of unification (I’m idealistic, not naïve) but at least of indifference to those who are portrayed as enemies.

Being willing to simply stop caring what “the other” is doing will rob a great amount of power from those who thrive on the people being fearful of that other.  And that indifference to the supposed enemy means that attention will be brought back to bear on those who’ve had the power.  As the old song goes, “What have you done for me, lately?”  Governments and groups that are too concerned with hate will find their answers wanting.  And so may find themselves no longer holding power.

All of which is to say that perhaps there’s a silver lining to every cloud, even that of your studies.  And, hopefully, The Voice Magazine this week will help you find it.  Enjoy the read!