Serial Novel “The Sorrows” - January 4

It’s the new year.

Did you celebrate? Did you have your own private fireworks show? Still have all your fingers?

I went to sleep early on new year’s eve thinking I’d avoid the revelry and drinking. And of course, was awoken by a multi-million dollar fireworks spectacular as hundreds of thousands of people invaded the city to cheer in the new year. There were so many explosions I thought I was in a war zone. Endless streams of phosphorous lights and fireballs outside my windows. A cacophony of shockwaves and sonic booms.

Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine plays on. Missile strikes across cities and towns, scores dead on either side. Putin with his army and Zelenskyy with his production company. Propaganda flying every which way.

Did you see in America that six news websites across Alabama and Florida were caught secretly taking payments from power companies to run stories attacking clean energy? Millions upon millions of dollars. Now all the power companies are blaming each other.

Whatever happened to setting up a foundation to distance yourself? Like the State Financial Officers Foundation, a conservative group representing a bunch of Republican state treasurers and putting donors’ money into promoting their YouTube videos criticising ESG investing as a backdoor that progressives are using to invade the economy.

One video with back-to-back stock footage of American farms and farmers and hardworking folk praying around dining tables has a crumbled baritone voiceover warning that environmental, social and governance policies are going to disrupt life as we know it. Of course, it ends with a giant American flag billowing against a sunset. A cheap, tawdry version of Reagan’s “Morning in America” television campaign by Hal Riney. Hal not only wrote that, he voiced it too. All that bourbon and all those cigarettes soothing out the cognitive dissonance.

Did you know the “Morning In America” television commercial was filmed in Petaluma, California? With an overwhelmingly Democrat voting base? Ahhh, advertising.

Apparently Reagan cried when he first saw the spot, saying he could never live up to it. He didn’t have to. He just had to nod and smile and the media buy did the rest. Mythmaking at its finest.

Americans love their myths. Although the shine is starting to rub off Elon Musk. He lost $200 billion in 200 days. The only person in history to erase so much wealth from their net worth. Tesla shares are tanking while the brand is haemorrhaging.

I’ve completely soured on the idea of buying a Tesla. Which is a shame because they still look good and apparently drive well. But now the market for electric vehicles is becoming flooded with choice. Although none look quite as smooth as a Tesla. They’re all very angular, sharp-sided. All trying too hard to look like the future.

And before you say anything, no, I’m not going to buy an electric Volvo. Not even a hybrid Volvo. What sort of a man drives a Volvo in country Australia? It’s just not done. Toyota Hilux is the way everyone rolls in the country. Off-road, camping, towing, hay-bailing, whatever else one does in a motor vehicle in the country.

To be honest I’m starting to see the appeal of a Range Rover. The new Range Rover Sport. Flush glazing, clean lines, and aerodynamic performance. Active noise cancellation is a world first. It monitors sources of noise from the tyres and road surface before they reach the cabin and generates a bespoke noise cancellation signal through the headrest speakers.

Touchscreen controllers and touchscreens for entertainment everywhere. The interior air quality is next level with PM2.5 filtration to reduce odours, bacteria and allergens, while CO2 management enhances the wellbeing and alertness of all occupants. You can set the air quality remotely to prime the cabin before a journey. The front seats are heated and ventilated with massage functionality.

Quite the motor vehicle. And of course, I’m a sucker for the flush door handles that gently pop out on approach.

Black, probably. Santorini Black. With black badge and wheels. And, hell, black privacy glass while we’re at it.

If I’m going to live like the equivalent of the landed gentry, I might as well drive like one.

I’ll pop down to the Range Rover showroom tomorrow and see what stock they have.

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