Permit me to share a personal confession:
I feel like the world is going crazy.
Perhaps it has always been, and I’ve only just realised.
I started to notice a new kind of craziness in early 2014 when Russia invaded Ukraine. Something seemed different. Then a couple of months later, the Islamic State asserted itself, taking swathes of Syria and Iraq, publicising the beheading, slaughter and ensalavement of Christians and Yazidis. I regret watching a video uploaded to YouTube, which showed the beheading of a young Christian man at the hands of the Islamists. The Islamists had the Christian on his knees, and demanded that he renounce his faith in Christ and embrace Allah, or die. He complied, and one of the men grabbed him by the hair and sawed off his head anyway.
When IS marked Christian houses in the city of Mosul with the letter ‘n’ for “Nazarene”, meaning “Christian”, and ordered them to leave or be killed, I changed my Facebook profile to the symbol of ‘nun’ to show my solidarity with them. But by the middle of 2014, I was certain that something had changed. There’d always been war and conflict, yet something seemed different. I felt that the world was going crazy; that this craziness was spreading and infecting people, and that it threatened to infect me.
In late 2014 tensions between China and and its neighbours in the disputed South China sea reached new heights. The world seemed to be a tinder box – ready to explode simultaneously on three fronts.
Japan’s president said that steps would be taken to remove the military non-aggression stipulation in the nation’s constitution. The United States with its significantly weakened diplomatic and military influence could no longer be relied upon in the same way.
A passenger airliner vanished, and another was shot down; blown out of the sky.
Life in Australia in 2015 is not the same as it was even in 2013. The madness of Islamic terrorism has touched our nation, and would be terrorists are being apprehended on practically a weekly basis. There is a sense of uneasiness, fear and suspicion that did not exist a few years ago. In 2013, I never imagined life in 2015 was going to be like this; with its creeping madness.
Leftists and nationalists now clash in our streets. Ordinary Australians are concerned about the creeping influence of Islam and Sharia law, and in reaction to the diminution of Western and Australian culture in our nation and institutions, fascism is disturbingly beginning to be seen as an attractive option for disaffected Australians.
And even the saga over Adam Goodes has escalated into its own level of madness, perhaps infected by all the madness in which surrounds us and is starting to infect us. Eddie McGuire reckons we could have riots at AFL matches, and Sydney Swans fans have sworn to throw eggs at booers in the crowds.
The world is going crazy.
Perhaps it has always been. But something seems different. An infectious craziness that threaten to overwhelm the world, us, me.