Next year the carousel (I grew up calling such things “merry go rounds”) in the heart of Canberra is 100 years old. It is a classic of its kind, lots of old-fashioned horses, with names, and two elephants, in which children, brave enough to go round and round, but unsure about the whole up and down thing, can sit, with or without parents.
But for the children on the horses, giddeyup, it also has the advantage that parents and grandparents, left bravely behind on the ground outside, can be comfortingly seen and waved to, still in exactly the same place (“don’t move”), on every circuit. “Hullo”….. “Hullo” ….. “Hullo” ….. However brave you are, or are not, it’s comforting to know cuddles are not far away if needed. And if you know that, then the ride can, should, must go on forever. “Not yet, don’t stop yet” you might hear as the operator shows sign of heading for the Off Switch, and he might, fearing unpopularity, let it go round just once more.
Reminds me of the inexplicable failure of governments to do anything significant to deal with the now obviously runaway climate change. There we all are, going round and round, being reassured by politicians that nothing need ever change, that we will go round and round, exactly the same way, forever.
And we keep calling, “Not yet, don’t stop yet!” if a politician even looks as if they might be heading for the Off Switch, even the Slow Down Switch, we scream in protest.
And so the Merry Go Round keeps going round, in spite of ominous rumblings from underneath, puffs of black smoke, the smell of hot oil, the happy music sounding increasingly like a dirge. No maintenance you see, and it can’t run forever. The Operator looks more and more anxious, but there is no denying the cries “Not yet, don’t stop yet!” And the politicians, unmoving, waving and smiling happily to the riders, ready to cuddle away any doubts. Don’t you worry about a thing little girl.
So round and round we go, merrily riding on the horses yeah yeah.