“We’re going to move to a situation where, to protect the health system, we are going to lock out people who are not vaccinated and can be.”
Eight o’clock the walls whirr and hum into full swing. The speaker in the ceiling says, ‘Medications,’ using the Big Nurse’s voice. – ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’
While George Orwell’s dystopian novel ‘1984’ remains the go-to work of literature for helping wrap one’s brain around these increasingly mental times, Kesey’s masterpiece ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ has been relegated to the back of society’s bookshelf. That’s unfortunate, especially in the case of Australia, which appears to be hard at work penning the sequel.
The role of ‘Big Nurse,’ Kesey’s tyrannical antagonist, who has an arsenal of medication at her disposal, would go to Australian health chief Dr. Kerry Chant. This medical authoritarian recently informed the 8.1 million locked-down subjects of New South Wales that Covid will be with us “forever” and people will have to just “get used to” rolling up their sleeves for endless booster shots.
Chant’s grim assessment of Australia’s future faced no challenges from other professionals, which should come as no surprise, since the act of expressing medical second opinions – a ‘luxury’ that doctors have enjoyed since at least the Middle Ages – has been outlawed.
While few would find fault with Chant’s wry observation that “we want diseases to be totally eliminated,” it is the total absence of democratic procedure in this wild goose chase that is alarming. After all, it was Dr. Chant who advised citizens in the heat of summer not to “start up a conversation” with others in public spaces – a wonderful excuse to keep the populace squirming under the heel of bureaucracy.
In the next chapter of this Keseyian tragedy, Australian leaders are passionately signaling – virtuously, of course – that the only way to escape from creeping medical apartheid is for everyone to submit to the jab.
“There is going to be a vaccinated economy, and you get to participate in that if you are vaccinated,” Victoria Premier Dan ‘Big Brother’ Andrews informed a roomful of puzzled and muzzled reporters. “We’re going to move to a situation where, to protect the health system, we are going to lock out people who are not vaccinated and can be.”
Aside from ‘ape-shit crazy,’ there is really only one way to interpret that incredibly disturbing remark: either you agree to submit to a vaccination, or the “vaccinated economy” will be closed to you. Now, whether that lockout will only apply to the bread and circuses that make up Victoria’s vibrant cultural scene – nightclubs, concerts and sporting events, for example – or to the more indispensable venues, such as grocery stores and medical clinics, the Dear Leader would not say.
Listening to Andrews’ ominous words, which come across as nothing short of outright blackmail, brought to mind a passage in Kesey’s novel where an orderly is trying to get one of the patients to take a bright red pill against his will. When the man continues to refuse, Big Nurse enters the scene to assert her authority over the situation.
“But the Big Nurse has come up quietly, locked her hand on his arm, paralyzes him all the way to the shoulder.
“That’s alright, Miss Flynn,” she says. “If Mr. Taber chooses to act like a child, he may have to be treated as such. We’ve tried to be kind and considerate with him. Obviously, that’s not the answer. Hostility, hostility, that’s all the thanks we get. You can go, Mr. Taber, if you don’t wish to take your medication orally.”
Without giving away the plot, Mr. Taber eventually does get his medication, totally against his will, and in the most invasive way imaginable. And contrary to what Big Nurse had said, it was not the wary patient who had demonstrated “hostility,” but rather the medical staff themselves. It is interesting to note how a patient merely asking questions with regard to his medical treatment is ridiculed as behaving “like a child.”
It would be nice to end this piece with a Looney Tunes “That’s all folks!” but the story gets darker. So dark, in fact, that it overshadows some of the worst scenes in the entire oeuvre of dystopian literature.
In an apparent effort to prove that fact is far more sinister than fiction, Australian lawmakers rushed through an Identify and Disrupt Bill, which seems destined to curtail the already diluted rights of Australians still further.
Not content with monitoring people’s online activity, the Australian Federal Police have now been blessed with the power to – are you sitting down? – access the personal online accounts of private citizens and impersonate the targeted user, potentially sending out messages in their name.
Although designed to go after ‘criminals’, the question comes down to exactly who, these days, would be identified as such. It’s just a wild hunch, but it seems like those tiresome individuals who protest against lockdowns, vaccine passports, and mandatory mask-wearing, for example, might have some reason for concern.
As if that weren’t enough, Australia is busy as a beaver, building ‘quarantine camps’ across the country (here and here, for example). And, like all of the above-mentioned measures being taken to ‘protect against Covid,’ these facilities are being constructed without any semblance of democratic procedure.
At Melbourne’s Centre for National Resilience, the unwieldy name for one such camp, locals are upset that the state government gave them no prior notice that the facility was being constructed smack-bang in their backyard.
When Premier Andrews was asked why the community had not been given an opportunity to ask questions about the new facility, he responded in true authoritarian style: “That’s the site that’s been chosen and everyone, including locals, will be better off because of that.”
Historically, Australia was a penal colony before evolving, over time, into the democratic state it has become today. However, given the spate of draconian measures being forced on the people without debate or due process, Down Under is increasingly returning to its roots. In fact, Ken Kesey, were he still alive, would certainly be surprised to see a living embodiment of his character ‘Big Nurse’ Ratched on duty in Australia today, forcing her will on adults and children alike – despite his prescient warning of impending institutional madness.
Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. He is the author of ‘Midnight in the American Empire,’ How Corporations and Their Political Servants are Destroying the American Dream. @Robert_Bridge