Saturday, June 12, 2021


At this, the commencement point of the narrative, the gentle reader is courteously invited to spare a thought for the tender feelings of Australian chanteuse Delta Goodrem, whose first name has unceremoniously and most likely, without prior written permission, appended by our Cosmic Health Arbiters to that villainous variant of the virus that keeps us indoors variously quivering with fear or scratching ourselves in boredom and which is referred to by Chief Victorian Sawbownes, as a “beast.” 


Whatever one thinks of Delta, the paragon of Australian womanhood back in the days before genders were uninvented, certainly she is not bestial. Nor should she be maligned by an unsolicited association with the dreaded Covid Delta strain, especially when within her the verses of her lyric poems, which I am given to understand, are set to a form of music, are embedded subliminal exhortations to comply with the directions of the Victorian government, which, according to said lyrics in “Born to Try”, surrounds us with care and repays our compliance with protection: 


“Doing everything that I believe in
Going by the rules that I've been taught
More understanding of what's around me
And protected from the walls of love.” 


Not for Delta, the doubting Thomases of our State who cast aspersions as to our overlords’ abilities to manage the crisis. Instead, like the Desert Fathers before her, she prescribes obedience and renunciation as virtues key to our salvation: 


“Sometimes you've got to sacrifice the things you like.”  


That is not to say that Delta was a believer from the beginning. Though not of our locality, and indeed like all goddesses she transcends the constraints of place and time, like most Victorians, she underwent a profound and moving conversion process. In her semi-autobiographical epic poem “Lost Without You,” she freely admits: 


“I know I can be a little stubborn sometimes
You might say, a little righteous and too proud… 

…I thought I had all the answers, never giving in.” 


According to one interpretation of the text it was the prospect of losing our fearless leader after his unfortunate accident that proved to be Delta’s Damascus moment – when the scales fell from her eyes and she was able, like all of us to behold the true light of Spring Street with all of its bedazzling intensity: 


“But, baby, since you've gone, I admit that I was wrong
All I know is I'm lost without you
I'm not gonna lie 

How am I gonna be strong without you?
I need you by my side..” 


During the lockdown, which according to reports, in the fervour of her conversion, Delta also underwent in sympathy and solidarity, it appears that inspired by Mary Kondo, she engaged in a bout of de-cluttering, having had the epiphany that possessions mean nothing while encased within the sepulchral chambers of locked down households. At least that is why the verses from her lyric masterpiece “Possessionless,” suggest: 


“If I strip away the non-necessities
All the damage all the mess surrounding me
I don't crave what I have not
I don't need more than I've got
It's just me that I offer up.” 


Rival theological schools contend as to the significance of the last line but the inference is clear: Having wholeheartedly placed herself at the forefront of our crusade to rid our locale of the dreaded coronavirus with all its variants, it is bestial of the World Health Authority to misappropriate the blessed Delta’s sacred name and apply to an appellation of the Enemy. May the be Anathema Maranatha for evermore. 


Similarly, rather than being flattered, as some of us paradoxically are, all of us should be incensed that the same World Health Organisation or lack thereof, have taking it upon themselves to append letters of the Greek alphabet to the various emerging variants of Coronavirus. The rationale offered for such an abominable crime is flimsy indeed: The WHO (which applying the same reasoning translated as «ούτε η μάνα τους δεν τους ξέρει,» when transcribed into the Greek alphabet) seeks to minimise undue insult caused to countries by classifying the variants according to their purported place of evolution or origin. Instead, in the infinite wisdom of the WHO, the Greek language is considered a suitable repository for the fear, bile, hysteria, anger and frustration of billions of world citizens. Nice one Doctor Who. 


Personally, I blame the Greek government. The Greek alphabet is one of our most precious national assets. It has also been around for an incredibly long period of time. So long in fact, that one would have thought that it would have been trademarked long ago. Yet instead of so protecting our means of written communication, successive Greek governments have instead short-sightedly directed the energies of their patent and trademark attorneys to the protection of such vital products as cheeses, spirits and oils instead, allowing our precious glyphs to be abused and misused by the agents of global misrule and overall Kaos. Not only do we not have a say as to which of our letters will be appropriated, we also stand not to profit at all from the enterprise. Maybe it is the knowledge that this ineptitude cuts no ice with the Greeks of the Diaspora, that is fuelling Greek parliamentarians aversion to giving us all the vote, yet another Greek invention that is yet to be trademarked…. 


The Greek government could console itself with the knowledge that the WHO are just as, if not more inept. After all, by adopting the Greek alphabet COVID variant naming protocol, they myopically assume that there will only be as many variants of the virus as there are letters in the alphabet, namely, twenty four. A rookie mistake for sure when one considers that there shall be as many variants of COVID as are deemed necessary to quash the defiance of the people and to cow them into submission in time for the harbingers of Armageddon to emerge. Why not try Ubykh, a Caucasian language has 20 uvular and 29 pure fricative phonemes, more than any other known language, thus giving one slightly more room to grow? Do we read the adoption of Greek, rather than say, an eastern language as yet another example of Orientalism, whereby the West seeks once more to assert its dominance by colonising the virus which is proving to be the bane of its existence? 


Surely, if the main contention is not to vilify existing nations, one cannot go wrong by employing the alphabets or syllabaries of dead or defunct civilisations. Why not use Egyptian hieroglyphics? There are no ancient Egyptians left to protest, and their modern descendants, the Copts ironically use a variant of the Greek alphabet and would be glad of the attention. Furthermore, there are over on thousand hieroglyphs to choose from, enough to exhaust the imagination of even the most feverish Health Officer. There are similar numbers of Sumerian cuneiform glyphs also to explore, without even touching upon the mysterious rongorongo glyphs of Easter Island, whose undecipherable qualities would lend a striking parallel to the equally incoherent attempts of world politicians and bureaucrats alike to develop efficacious management policies. 


If we are, in keeping with Greg Sutton’s description of the virus as a “beast,” to come up with interesting ways of distinguishing between its multifarious manifestations, why not have recourse to the monsters of Greek mythology? The Encheladus COVID variant is a real earth-shaker, while the Medusa leaves us stone cold. Anti Vaxxers believe that the Minotaur variant is a total load of bull, while one-eyed supporters of the government applaud its efforts to stamp out the deadly Cyclops variant, recently arrived from Collingwood. The provenance of the Sphinx variant is proving to be a bit of a riddle, while the Scylla variant is dogging various parts of Footscray incessantly. The only danger with this approach, is that very soon, other peoples will be wanting to name their own variants after their own monsters, which is why a Memorandum of Understanding for Exclusivity must be executed with the WHO, expeditiously. 


Having restored our beloved Delta’s alphabetic equilibrium and asserted our own alphabetic proprietary rights, we can then enjoy the rest of the outbreak in complete global solidarity, triumphantly proclaiming as Delta does in “Together we are one:” 


 “Here we are 

Sharing our lives 

We made it through 

The good and bad times 

And still we stand 

With hope in our hearts 

No matter what 

We will play our part 

And now we've come so far 

One chance to touch a star 

Go higher and higher.” 


Is it me or are we all feeling a little peaky? Nothing that Lee Marvin and Chuck Norris from Delta Force can’t fix. 



First published in NKEE on Saturday 12 June 2021