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Retired carpenter..history buff, local and ancient..love stories of Italianate style, especially those village superstition stories..Very far left-wing.

The flaw in the glass

There is a weakness in the Armour, a flaw in the glass of the politically educated upper middle-class in these times … I have witnessed it when I prod and tease some posters who come to the site “trying it on” with their presumption of “authority of opinion” which they mistakenly presume is backed by an accepted “nod of approval” toward their academic qualifications as being enough to “get them over the line”, to give them a pedestal position equal to their own self-esteem rating … and are quite surprised and even offended when they get mocked or confronted and challenged on their posts … where approbation was expected, they get confrontation .

Even in the new recognised blogs of social media, where so many who hold the presumption of THEY having the “correct” opinion, of THEY holding the shining light to guide the new direction for the working producers of society, they become crushed when they learn it is not all about THEM and their bourgeois values at all! … and their high opinions of themselves as a front and a font of social correctness turns out to be nought but a reflection of the shallow pool of self adoration!

I would call this “confrontational anxiety”: The shock of the new … the surprise of the sudden mocking or outrage against what we held to be a long thought-out, carefully constructed argument for or against a subject dear to our hearts, by sometimes gross innuendo and vulgar comparison and/or language that has sent shockwaves through more than just a few bloggers on social media sites, we can see it creeping into and from the audiences of Q&A shows, where the orderly manner of the format degenerates into a slanging-match almost replete with the cry of; ”Fight! Fight! Fight!” coming from the audience … This is the new media arising …

It is a new age of, possibly, true democracy … peoples’ democracy, proletarian democracy, where the unlearned and politically naïve along with the rat-cunning compete with decibel space for the ears of the politicians … drowning out the Machiavellian whispers from the main-stream media and lobby groups, exposing to the glaring spot-light of the mobile camera the secret meetings and assignations of those incumbents to a twitter-feed ravenous for victims and outrage! … No more brown-paper bags of dosh passed under tables at the local café, no more oversees trips without cost or confession … no more helicopter flights for the pancake face-pack privileged … and no more secret “kissy-kissy” assignations!

We, The people, have arrived!

Our clothes are crumpled, our complextions varied, our hair awry, our pockets empty, our manners uncultured and our disposition very, very angry … and we are coming for YOU, Mr/Ms Political Dismissive. And we are coming to get what is rightfully ours and if that means walking over a few egos and trampling on many eggshell vanities, so be it … this is a class-war and we are fighting fit for it!

There is a cry in the streets for majority representation and it is with social media that it will be delivered … the voice of the internet has grown exponentially in these last several years despite this gormless LNP govt’ doing its best to blunt the edge or slow it down … There is now a gathering speed of technology outside the controlling arm of censorship that, like the age of steam against the age of petroleum, the ingenuity of humanity, unrestricted now and certainly into the future of non-gender delineation, will see an explosion of delivery systems of internet width, distance and speed beyond the limited imagination of capitalist financiers and corporate controllers.

The future government will have to step into a new set of boots to both finance and deliver those up-dated delivery systems to have any sort of say as to how they are regulated and censored. If at all. The major religions will have to step aside for a new, growing belief in a more Earthly power of instant awareness and concern for cruelty or misdemeanour anywhere in the world and any given time … after all with the growing capacity of “smart-phones”, every public act of delinquency will be recorded on at least a dozen phones and instantly transmitted to the eyes of the world.

Get ready, my little chickadees, there is a tsunami of social-media technology coming where information both good and bad, accurate or shit, will be at our fingertips and any debatable point that you have developed, harboured and stewed over on long sleepless nights, to be delivered with accurate, concise language to blog and Facebook page could be instantly pulled apart, confronted and debased in the most vulgar fashion for sometimes just the fun of it from some arrogant bastard who has no effing idea from deep in the jungle of inner Congo or outer suburbia … and their opening line just might be: WTF!

This poem by Henry Lawson could reflect the confrontational aggressiveness rising from the working poor and the under-educated in regions and suburbia … A poem that speaks for one and many, that now, with the rise of social media platforms, have a voice and heart and policy ideals to be heard and be heard they shall! And neither media mogul nor lack of manners will hold that tsunami back … Prepare yourselves!

The Uncultured Rhymer To His Cultured Critics

Fight through ignorance, want, and care —
Through the griefs that crush the spirit;
Push your way to a fortune fair,
And the smiles of the world you’ll merit.
Long, as a boy, for the chance to learn —
For the chance that Fate denies you;
Win degrees where the Life-lights burn,
And scores will teach and advise you.

My cultured friends! you have come too late
With your bypath nicely graded;
I’ve fought thus far on my track of Fate,
And I’ll follow the rest unaided.
Must I be stopped by a college gate
On the track of Life encroaching?
Be dumb to Love, and be dumb to Hate,
For the lack of a college coaching?

You grope for Truth in a language dead —
In the dust ’neath tower and steeple!
What know you of the tracks we tread?
And what know you of our people?
‘I must read this, and that, and the rest,’
And write as the cult expects me? —
I’ll read the book that may please me best,
And write as my heart directs me!

You were quick to pick on a faulty line
That I strove to put my soul in:
Your eyes were keen for a ‘dash’ of mine
In the place of a semi-colon —
And blind to the rest. And is it for such
As you I must brook restriction?
‘I was taught too little?’ I learnt too much
To care for a pedant’s diction!

Must I turn aside from my destined way
For a task your Joss would find me?
I come with strength of the living day,
And with half the world behind me;
I leave you alone in your cultured halls
To drivel and croak and cavil:
Till your voice goes further than college walls,
Keep out of the tracks we travel!

(Henry Lawson).

Yes! … We come with the strength of the living day …
And on your doorsteps will you soon find me!

The last lingering kiss

I was told this little episode of life in the hushed tones of scandal by a nun I once knew many years ago … I thought it was one of the most tragic things in the everyday work-world that I had ever heard …

It went like this:

The Last Lingering Kiss

“I can’t stop now!” She gasped a passionate moan as her arms reached for him … “I’ve desired you for too many nights.”

He responded huskily, his taut, muscular arms embracing her and driving out all resistance. It was as if some strange, torrid tempest had suddenly descended down on to their bodies as they struggled to out-do one another in the removal of their clothing. He grasped her in his arms and lifted her clear of the carpet, his lips parted and he moaned as he buried his face in her soft, ample, velvet-like breasts.

“Ohh, Brendon !”, she cried, surrendering her body to his firm, impatient, maleness.”Hold me,” she quivered.

“You’re trembling,” he whispered.

Sergeant Tom Flannigan closed the book with a wince and a sad hiss of breath. Distracted by a sudden rising of the wind in the Mallee trees outside, he gazed in silent contemplation at raindrops streaking against the window.

“Right on time,” he mumbled to himself. He was referring to those first good rains of the season.” Tim’ll be glad he finished seedin’ this mornin’ “.

His gaze moved from the window back to the book on the desk in front of him. He picked it up wearily and slipped it into an opaque, plastic bag that contained five similar paperbacks. He then folded the top over and sealed it with three staples and labelled it:

Evidence … stolen property, Crown vs accused: Sr. Mary Margaret: Principal / Teacher; St Joseph’s School, West Waylong … Victoria … Age: 43 yrs.

Tom Flannigan read back over the label, he snorted when he came to Sr. Mary Margaret’s status in this small country town and spoke out loud:

“Principal, teacher. Also; lay missionary, August leader of the Sunday prayers, choir organizer / lead singer, dishwasher, cook, cleaner ,bottle washer, big mother to all the god fearing god hating lonely poor beaten, broken down and out bastards between Bourke and bloody Booleroo Centre … the “ear” to the community … God have pity on her.”

He rose and with an angry tug on a hanging string, extinguished the light. The police station at West Waylong was a residential, so the distance between work and home was the thickness of a door jamb.

Tom Flannigan was one of those few who would like to leave their work worries behind them at closing time, besides, Tom had his own worries, for several days now, he had put off writing a reply to his fiancé, not for nothing to write about, but rather, (as she had complained of a “cold, distant feel” in his correspondence),because of a forlorn search for a more passionate wording of his feelings toward her in his letters.

Although this was the second time around in the marriage game for Tom, it was no easier for him to overcome that word-block of emotional and verbal commitment demanded by women from their suitors! Tom scratched behind his ear as he jiggled the eggs and bacon in the pan; what to say, what to say:

“I do love you, Beth’ with all my heart!” He mumbled such clumsy sentences to himself as he completed cooking his evening meal and crossed to the table. He placed the plate on the table, and after a moments hesitation, decided that the eggs and bacon needed a bit of a “lift” … he took a small tin of baked beans from a cupboard and added it’s contents to the bacon and eggs, speaking theatrically as he did so …

“Your eyes are like the moon (a gesture with the hand), your lips are as cherries nah! … your lips are as … as that girl on the toothpaste ad’ nah!”

So you can see, Tom. Flannigan had his mind full of that awful doubt that trips and tangles the lovelorn. Added to this was the fact that his future bride had no intention of ever … ever living in such a distant, lonely town like West Waylong!

So he had no thought to ponder on why a respectable, well-educated person like Sr. Mary Margaret would steal tacky romances of pulp-fiction. There were laws in place to govern the prosecution of criminal actions and his was the task to follow those laws through.

Rule# 1: Never confuse the laws of state with the laws of sentiment. In the morning, Tom Flannigan would transpose the interview he had with Sr. Margaret from tape to document and pass it on to headquarters for its consideration. As far as he was concerned … the end of the story …

”Interview with Sr. Mary Margaret … 12th August 19 …

Accused of stealing six paperback novels from the “Criterion Book Shop” Main Street, West Waylong.

Present: Sgt Thomas Flannigan … Fr. Dennis McCarthy … Sr. Mary Margaret

Questioning: Sgt Tom Flannigan.”

I ask: “Were you in the Criterion Book Shop last Friday afternoon?”

Fr. McCarthy. “You answer the questions as best you feel, Sister.”

Sr. Margaret. “Thank you for that valuable advice Dennis … to your question, Sgt: Yes, I was there.”

I ask: “While you were there, did you pick up this book? (shown paperback) title: “The Last Lingering Kiss.”

Sr. M. “Yes, I did.”

I ask: “You were then seen to place this book in your bag and walk out of the shop … Did you deliberately intend to steal it?”

Fr. McC. “Now, Sister, keep in mind you have not yet been charged with any misdemeanor. so you don’t … Sgt, (he confided) I’ve had a call from Monsignor, He has suggested, not without a considerable amount of thought on the subject … keeping in mind the age of Sister and that troubling time of life for women of that age, maybe (he glances to Sr. M.) a touch of kleptomania brought on by the stress of menopause?”

I ask: “Do you wish to comment on that, Sr.?”

Sr. M. “I’d rather retain what little dignity I have left than to respond to … to Monsignor’s … er, suggestion” (she crosses hands on top of desk).

I ask: “Then I’ll ask again … did you intend to steal the book?”

Sr. M. (silence … turns eyes askance, blushes … then looks directly at me). ”Yes.”

Fr. McC. (groans).

I ask: “These other books were voluntarily given in by you … did you intend to steal these also?”

Sr. M. (breathes deeply) ”Yes, sergeant, I did.”

Fr. McC. “Why, Sister. Why?”

Sr. M. “Because, Dennis, of a reason I very much doubt you would understand! Neither you nor the Monsignor!”

Fr. McC. “It goes beyond all rational thought, Sister, that you, in particular, could have the slightest interest in these … these trashy productions!”

I ask: “Fr. McCarthy, I am at this time trying to establish the plea of the accused, I am not looking for whys and wherefores … Do you Sr. Margaret, admit to the theft of the aforementioned books?”

Sr. M. (takes a deep breath)”Yes, Sergeant, I do.”

Fr. McC. “You do realise, Sister, where this places us, the church, in the eyes of the community?”

Sr. M. (heatedly)  “Oh damn the community! … (Fr. McCarthy leaps to his feet) and damn you, Dennis and damn the Monsignor and double damn the damn Church!”

Fr. McC. “Are you gone mad ,Sister, are you mad?” (I grasp Fr. Mccarthy by the arm and sit him back down).

I ask: “I must ask you, Fr. to restrain yourself, you are here only as a supporting representative of the diocese so please restrict your comments to that role … and I remind you, Sister, that all you say can and will be considered as evidence … ”

Sr. M. ”Oh shut up, Tom! … (She stands with fists pressed on table )and you Dennis! … both of you … shut up! … Are you blind? Can’t you see we are all of us here in the same situation? (Fr. McC and I remain silent) … All obliged to serve an institution … an unforgiving, blind institution! … and … and a so called infernal “COMMUNITY!” that denies us any right to a life of our own … no!, don’t you interrupt me Tom Flannigan, I know all about your last marriage, you lost that because of the hours you spent on the job rather than with your family. The police force demanded it. The community demanded it and you ,Dennis, how many more years before the bottle claims your soul? … Ah! Don’t deny it, I know you only too well … it’s written all through your eyes … and those “Holidays” to dry out down by the coast … We’re all three of us damned to play a set-piece for the Community, the Law and the Church. (she sits wearily down) … Oh how I longed desperately to be able to go home at night sometimes to children of my own … a man! … of my own, be him hopeless, be him ugly , but be him human … just human … rather than the dried out wafflings of the writings of a “holy book”! … (she pauses, stares blankly ahead, speaks quietly, slowly) do you have any idea how empty a sound, is the parched, crisp, turning of the pages of a prayer book in the quiet of an evening always alone?

The three of us have committed social crimes here, only my crime is more visible … I haven’t neglected a family, nor tippled with the altar-wine … I am guilty of a crime of passion … I have tried to steal a modicum of illusion of fantasy … of lust with a man.”

(There is a moments silence as we gathered our thoughts).

Fr. McCarthy. “But why steal the books? Why didn’t you just buy them?”

I ask: ” Yes Sister, why did you steal them?”.

Sr. M. (sighs, leans back in the chair ) ”Looking back on it, I could say I don’t know … the first one was an accident … I slipped it into my bag absent mindedly as I picked up another thing I wanted to buy … but when I discovered the error later, I stayed silent .. why? … a kleptomaniac impulse … a thrill? No, not a thrill I think rather, it was a part of the desire, to steal a moment of lust, an integral component of the hunger … a hunger for the love I did not have … I believe as we grow from the child to the adult, each of us seeks that love … that particular love, most denied … perhaps we are all assigned a set amount of little crimes in this life … alongside our everyday duties, little grubby crimes, along with the humdrum of responsibility and rules … and when we step outside of that regular pattern into the more shady area of our deeds, we must accept a completely different set of rules … “Oh what wicked webs we weave … ” (a bitter laugh) … I fought with myself for years against the desires … like you, Dennis with the bottle … and you, Tom with the duties of the police officer in a little country town, but when can one stop Can one stave off forever the natural impulse to drop the facade of religion. of law and order? … some can … I couldn’t … anymore … I desired a passionate embrace from a man (she leans forward over the table and speaks slowly)Gentlemen … I too, wanted a moment of being desired! How I envied Magdalene her Christ! And these trashy books were as close as I was going to come to it in this God-forsaken place! … in this God-forsaken church in my own human forsaken life!”

(The three of us sit silently staring).

Interview terminated.

Nine days later …

Tom Flannigan glanced up from his desk in the office to meet the eyes of Sister Mary Margaret. He stood to receive her proffered hand. She was leaving the district.

“Just to say cheerio, Tom … and wish you luck.”

“Thanks, Sister … thank you and yourself.” He fumbled with the biro in his hand, then dropped it casually on the table. “What … what will happen to you?” he asked

The nun laughed softly,

“Oh … it’s a big institution; the church … I’ll be swallowed up in it somewhere after a little penance … I’ll become anonymous once again … slowly, I trust, the desire for the human touch will be “cleansed” from my soul … like Dennis’s liver … ( another chuckle) … and you ,Tom.?”

“Me? Oh, I’ll just … just carry on as usual I ‘spose … hmm … look, Sister, I know they are going to prosecute this case in the city, so I won’t be seeing you again … I want you to know that I erased that last part of the interview the three of us had, I didn’t see it as relevant to the case and I don’t suppose it would have interested the people at headquarters.”

“Yes, I expect you are right, Tom, there are some aspects of the lives of our community leaders that are best left in illusion (she chuckled again) … a bit like a trashy romance.”

“Well, Tom, goodbye.”

“Cheerio, Sister, cheerio.”

The party is over!

As a baby-boomer heading at breakneck speed toward my seventieth birthday (though still 3yrs away) I have just recently come to the heartbreaking conclusion that it is all over for me. No … not life, but “the party”! The metaphorical party that sustained me for these last forty years on a roller-coaster of self-sustaining optimism so familiar to our generation.

After the breakaway from the confining social and domestic clutches of our parent’s generation with the revolution of the sixties and seventies, freedom … true freedom from suffocating social mores and mind-numbing employment was at last within our reach … we were the pioneers of a punk-generation! Now, all those who are setting the pace with this new style social direction and political aspiration I cannot seem to “connect” with or admire that greatly … and all those I did have great respect for are either now dead, dying or out of the game … I feel like the passenger left on the station and the train has departed. And I just don’t know if I give a f#ck!

The sad realisation of my plight first came home to roost a while back, when I gifted to my son – who was trying his hand at amateur DJ-ing – my complete vinyl collection of LPs. This collection was a honed-down ambrosia of the gods of music of my generation … yes … from The Who “Live at Leeds” to “Zappa/Zoot Allures” … the whole box and dice of every memory of drunken orgy and piss-up to dope-smoked amnesia of the seventies and beyond … encased in that collection was the ghost of many wild parties, boozey card nights and general Sunday laid-back idylls … of beer from the keg sprayed walls to nefarious smoke-infused curtains and collars … and after receiving this holy grail of my wasted (in every sense of the word) youth, he later informed me in disappointed tone that his girlfriend’s dad had almost exactly the same records … except HIS were in mint condition, having taped the record after purchase and used the tape for listening and put the LPs Into cold-storage … WTF!!?

I reflected on this piece of proffered good sense information while the opening bars of Mott The Hoople’s “The Moon Upstairs” from their “Brain Capers” album suddenly sprung to mind and that night with “the mob” of us lined up in front of the decibel warping speakers and “air guitaring” the complete riot in a Southern Comfort drunken bliss; ” … we ain’t bleeding you, we’re feeding you … but you’re too fuckin’ slow … ” And then we’d get serious and put on Floyd’s ”Ummagumma” for a bit of intellectual discourse on Marx and communism! But the thing that really hurt, was not so much that the girl’s father was of that middle-class anal-retentive professional type who knew the price of everything etc etc, but that it was obvious that my son seemed to agree with his action. I could see the gilded threat of “common sense” creeping into his psyche … always a very dangerous thing in the developing mind of the young.

Yes … the party was over. Gen Y is not inclined to follow their baby-boomer parents stumbling gait, neither down the hard-left political road, nor in personal revolution against the corporate work ethic. Theirs is more career orientated, more “market driven”, more style and consumerism, so there was little room for prolonged partying to oblivion. Not that we couldn’t do our job then at the same time … but there was more room for “forgiveness” after a particularly hard weekend … workmates more willing to “cover” for the necessary human foible of having a good time … and there was always the “sickie” when a particularly extreme case of “industrial diarrhoea” overcame one.

And let’s face it … at least to me … work always did give me the shits. I hated it … and all that social responsibility crap that surrounded it … every effing day off to work, come home fall asleep then back to the job next morning … bloody mind-numbing slavery … moored, like so many similar craft, in a marina of lost souls. I would see the tradesmen come to work on the train dressed in clothes suitable for public display, only to don work overalls from their locker in the factory change-room to attend their work-benches and to do the reverse each night to make their way home on the public transport, day in day out. I couldn’t stand such pointless discipline … especially after it became obvious to our generation that the whole capital-based economy was nothing but a big fat con-job … bullshit from start to finish, and we were expected to go along with the con … but be on the receiving end … pisss orrff!

So I left it behind, hopefully for it to rot in its own stench and decay … but I see now it has been resurrected and is enjoying another moment in the sun … AND, apparently being feasted as the “saviour” of a new economy … a technology driven gig’ economy of automation and sterile efficiency; ”meet the new boss … ” So I have been railing against what I saw then and what I still see as the dehumanising of personal ambition and type-casting of personality … bunging square pegs into round holes. God … I hate the f#ckin’lot of it! And then to see those gormless dupes in this gormless govt’ talking their set pieces like a theatrical dummy on one of those kiddies shows from the sixties, do you remember that act; “Chris and Terry (Terry was the dummy)” on the Channel Niners? Ah! .. that Chris chappy was the one ought to have hooked up with Glenys O’Brien … NOT f#ckin’Ernie Sigley … Shit! … I feel like starting a one person revolution.

And now we have this sickly Christmassy shit with f#ckin’ goodwill to all and sundry … the season of saccharine and syrup …

There’s something sickly about all this bon hominy and good-will to all men … or persons … nah! … it doesn’t sound right; “persons” … there’s something un-fraternal about the word … when we really know that “men” means humanity collectively. But even there it’s a bit twee, isn’t it? … I mean it’s ok with the family an’ all that … but to ALL men … nah! … f#ck ‘em … they don’t deserve it!

Half the bastards have been sinking the boot in, in the last twelve months … and now it’s all “season’s greetings and a happy new year” … pissss orf! … even with the family, it’s a barely concealed pay-back situation that comes to haunt you over Christmas pressies: You give THEM the cheese-knife and They give you the bread-knife … and later you both reach for the steak-knife!

But that’s it … we’ve almost become irrelevant, save for our voting block … the party’s over, Vishnu’s juggernaut has moved on, crushing a new generation of suckers only too willing to throw themselves under the wheels of corporate capitalism.  We started work at fourteen and finished at sixty five and damn if the bastards want us to carry on till seventy, while THEY now party! Well, they can get stuffed! And even if us boomers have cried ourselves hoarse from screaming against the machine, one can hopefully see the rising generations picking up the baton and just now starting to take their situation seriously.

Now … at least I can get back to Zappa’s “Willy the Pimp” … Go, Captain Beefheart! … GO!

O’ that we crossed that bridge of dreams

“Man is forbidden to concern himself with anything but the struggle for bread. If his capacity for dreaming, imagining, inventing and experimenting is killed in the process, man will become a well-fed robot and die of spiritual malnutrition. The dream has its function and man cannot live without it.” (The Diary of Anais Nin; Journals, Vol 3).

Once upon a time humanity in the West moved about from mountain forest to open plain, from village to city armed with a plethora of myths and superstitions that were the backbone of the individual cultures and even individual tribes within those cultures and even right down to local villages with their “haunted” locations or sacred places with local copse or deep pools of water. We carried our favoured talismans to ward off evil or to invite kind spirits whilst on our travels.

The world of the Pagan (Paganus; Latin: of the village/countryside) was a world of complex mix of spiritual beliefs and mythology … the heroes of such myths moving among the Gods as representatives of the human desires … and the blending of both God and humanity became a favourable norm’ of excuse for some difficult to explain situations. Many an Emperor of the west proclaimed his father was one of the greater Gods who blessed his mother with divine pregnancy and birth to explain away a more base truth that it was perhaps a wild night in the cot with a favourite slave that did the “hard, dirty work”.

The mythological worlds of those Pagans, from the Northern Lights to the Mediterranean Sea was “peopled” with all the colour and actions of a dreamtime equal to any ever described in the history of any tribal nation on the planet … Crazy heroes of both sexes, wild and strange animals, and beasts, wicked and malicious Gods, vengeful and jealous, that created stories and tales of wild abandon and filled the night air like the sparks rising from roaring camp-fire with any amount of delight and fear as story after story unfolded around rustic camp or ampitheatre stage … and the world as we know it was created and filled by the actions of those wonderous ephemeral beings.

And a “teller of tales” was a qualification as equal to if not surpassing the high priest of the temple. It was a time for dreaming … It was a time of wonder …

And then came the nightmare; Orthodox religion.

“By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19).

The pragmatic brutality of the demands of adherence to the orthodox religious dogma of the three Abrahamic religions, set about with measured and structured determination to destroy the Pagan world of humanity and replace it with the more manageable rules of a singular God … a monotheist religiosity that fell in line, length and step to what was required by the nation state for unity under rule of law for all its citizens.

The Emperor Constantine designated that one God, one faith, one religion will only be tolerated under the Roman state. So that from that date forward, with the exceptions of a couple of apostate Emperors, that monotheism became the norm and mankind stopped the en-masse worshipping of their favourite Pagan deities and household Gods and fell in line to the golden doors of the church …

Humanity stopped dreaming.

“Things now became rather hectic for me. I forgot all about my Tales and became much more conscientious. How could I have let all those years slip by, instead of practicing my devotions and going on pilgrimages? I began to doubt whether any of my romantic fancies, even those that had seemed most plausible, had the slightest basis in fact. How could anyone as wonderful as Shining Genji or as beautiful as the girl whom Captain Kaoru kept hidden in Uji really exist in this world of ours? Oh, what a fool I had been to believe such nonsense!”

“The wistful tone is present from the beginning, but as the writer nears the end of her life, it becomes unmistakable. By the time we approach the final pages, there’s a palpable sense of ‘if only’ … ” (Sarashina Nikki; As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams).

With the ending of the mind’s dreaming of mythology and the age of heroes, became the beginning of the enslavement of the body to time and motion of the capital-based society. I lay at the feet of those orthodox religions the blame for so much of the brutal waste of humanity’s potential for cross-cultural respect. I lay at the feet of those “governors” of the West the reason for so much warfare and destruction as they utilised their creation of the “one faith … one God … one belief” to further enrich a so small minority of inner-circle acolytes and pseudo-devotees of their own false God.

Blasphemers of the true spirit of humanity.

Heretics of the desired destiny of humankind.

Sacrilegious destroyers of the dream-time of the human race. Indeed, if there is a place in the hell of our recorded histories, those “high priest” traitors will deserve to occupy the most disgusting and effluvious depths of that hell. What has been created to replace those eons of “slow-life” can be described as a rapine of the most wanton destruction upon both nature and humanity … a curse of the worse description more wicked and wasteful than the most cruel witch or warlock, the most vengeful God or Goddess and more lasting than ever the Fates would condemn.

“As I have said before, my mind was absorbed in romances, and I had no well-placed relatives from whom I could learn distinguished manners or court customs. Apart from the romances I could not know them. I had always been in the shadow of my antiquated parents, and had been accustomed not to go out except to see the moon and flowers. So when I left home I felt as if I were not I nor was it the real world to which I was going.I started in the early morning. I had often fancied in my countrified mind that I should hear more interesting things for my heart’s consolation than were to be found living fixed in my parents house” (Sarashina Nikki; As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams).

And in the end, all she “found” was routine and authoritarian expectation of loyalty.

I have a relative who is keenly looking forward this year to a hip replacement … he needs it because he has carried so much weight over so many years that his natural one has worn down with the effort … of course, he will say otherwise … but that is the awful truth .. and likewise are many of us “blessed” with such medical interventions that prolong an aged existence. We really have little choice … there is the suffering … here is the solution … what madness to refuse?

But I don’t think I need to extrapolate on the “long, winding road” that led us to this place. If we can’t identify it distinctly, we have good intuition of the what’s, why’s and wherefore’s that brought us here. The over indulgence of that relative of mine to the gluttony of a whole epoch of humanity has brought us here, where there is no longer a time for dreaming … of imagining … of procrastination while we relax on the laurels of our hard work. For it has already been costed and if there is not an algorithm already that calculates down to the last cent every individual citizen’s capacity of a lifetime’s contribution to the treasury coffers of the state and gives a rating on that citizen’s worth to the state … then there soon will be!

We have traded a dream-time that promised no more than a frugal if colourful existence for a civilisation that promises us no less than a frugal if “colourful” existence. In the horse-racing game of betting, that is nothing better than a low-priced “odds-on” to win … but it will take an expensive gamble to profit from those odds.

As a person who deplores medical intervention at the worst of times, I have to wonder what we have gained with all this “civilising” … certainly no improvement on those seven deadly sins … perhaps a bit on convenience and technology, but nothing on happiness levels and contentment … let alone on wealth and well-being … a longer life perhaps … if you can dodge the traffic as you cross the road to do that bit of shopping.

Can’t blame the Indigenous peoples of this or any nation for not really wanting a bar of it!

Carmello comes home

The plight of the “escaping from warfare refugee” has figured large over the last few years with much sympathy, while the “economic refugee” has been somewhat scorned as an “opportunist” … I can assure many that it is far from true … the desperation and need can be felt equally by the “starving stayers” as by the fleeing desperates … and it didn’t always go that well with such “legitimate” immigrants.

This might ring a bell with some of our older citizens here … Do any of you Adelaidiens remember that strip of garden between Nth Terrace and the wall of the Governor’s residence? It ran from the Light Horse statue to the Arch of Remembrance, between the Governor’s residence and Nth Terrace … and it was a real garden, not like now where it is just a lawn. It was once full of exotic flowers and shrubs and they would give blazing colour to that walkway that used to carry so much foot-traffic from the railway station to the university or Rundle St (as it was then). I’m talking back in the 60s/70s. Well, the entire kit and caboodle was planted and maintained by this little Italian gardener … I remember seeing him there a couple of times, in those green bib-n-brace overalls. He used to work out of a corrugated-iron shed hidden snugly behind a hedge of some low shrub-like trees near the war memorial end … he could be seen there with his wheelbarrow and some tools in it … he would plant out and till-up where replacement was required or needed, according to the season.

He migrated to this country around 1960 and intended to settle here with his new family. This is a little piece of his story.

It went like this:

Carmello Comes Home

( I )

“All journeys start in hope,

So many end in despair.

The migrant sets his mind to the first,

Tho’ his heart overflow with fear.”

Carmello Notori stepped off the boat at Outer Harbour on a very hot February day. The year was 1960. The sharp sunlight cut daggers sparkling off every bright object into his eyes so that he squinted continually and some obscure god had scattered wanton stars onto the sea that glittered and danced.

“This is a pale country,” was Carmello’s first thought. “I hope it treats us well”. By “us” he was referring to himself and his wife and two year old child who were to join him later, about six months later, after he had got a job and set up a house for the family.

Carmello obtained employment with the city council and rented a small flat in a near suburb and wrote short informative letters to his wife back in the village in Italy about his progress in the new country. After six months, he wrote for her to come and join him, but she put it off as “the child was ill with influenza and she needed to rest him.”

Three months after that it was something else that would delay her. His letters became a little more terse and then cajoling in the hope of persuading her to come out, but she stay put in the village. After a season of excuses which Carmello “saw through”, she finally confessed she was too scared to go away from her family, her friends in the village. Where would she get help with the child? Who could she talk to in the lonely hours that plague the mothers at home. No, she was too scared to be alone in a strange house in a strange land. He clutched that letter in his hand and rested his cheek on his arm on the kitchen table. He could see her point in his heart and he did not try to argue her out of it, for he too had felt the loneliness of a faster lifestyle, a more grasping lifestyle that left little time for friends to gather impromptu to savour the joy of a sweet moment. He changed the tone of his letters gradually to one of fatalistic acceptance and sent money back home on a regular basis.

He would have liked to have gone back to his family but he remembered the acute poverty that drove him, and many others alike, away. He remembered too the bragging he had done in the local cafe of the good life he would have in the “new country”, so he stayed, though it was mostly the memory of the poverty that kept him at his work and he sent money back home to his family.

Carmello worked for the council looking after a long stretch of garden next to a busy city street. It was a narrow piece of land that ran from the main city intersection by the Parliament House, a half a kilometer to end at the War Memorial. He would till the soil and plant shrubs in the autumn. He would rake the speckled yellow and red leaves from the deciduous trees that lined the street and shed their foliage in the cool autumn days. In the winter he would sweep the path that ran through the garden or sit quietly in his hut amongst the creeper vines when it rained. After some years he was left to be his own boss so that his schedule was a very obliging one that saw him through the years. When the spring buds came out he weeded and tilled between the flowers as they grew. A small fire always burnt in one corner near his hut, where he would incinerate twigs and leaves and bits of scrap paper people discarded on their daily commute through his garden.

The softness of the small fire cheered him in some lonely times and sent a slim, scented plume of blue smoke twirling up, up over the trees into the city skyline. No-one noticed him so no-one bothered him. He was an anonymous immigrant in a big country, and so the years passed by and he sent money back home to his family.

One day a woman stopped and admired a flowering plant just near where he was standing.

“They’re nice aren’t they?” he spoke.

The woman gave a little start. She hadn’t noticed him standing there. She gazed at him and blinked. He blended in so well with the leafy backgound that he almost seemed a part of it. His brown cardigan hung loose on his short nobbly frame … a pair of bib and brace green overalls untidily covered his body, the knees of these overalls had been crudely patched as if he had done the job himself (which he had). His face was “chunky” with a big nose and his curly hair, though not dirty, was neglected so his general appearance looked as one who needn’t impress anyone.

“You have a garden?” he asked.

“Why, yes I do,” the woman answered cautiously.

“Here, I give you one of these,” he spoke softly, confidentially.

There was a small heap of cuttings of a green shrub with spiky blue flowers which he had been pruning. Kneeling down with a small trowel, he grubbed up a bulb of one of the plants, then rising and looking over his shoulder in a secretive way, put the bulb into a plastic bag supplied by the woman. They exchanged pleasantries about the flowers and gardens then bid each other cheerio. Once a month the woman would come down the path on her way to the library and they would chat and exchange details about their gardens and the weather and this and that …

“Fifteen years I have worked this garden now,” he told her one day. She seemed surprised she had never noticed him up to when they first met, such was his anonymity.

“Soon I have my long service,” he smiled.

One rainy winter’s day there was a ceremony going on at the War Memorial so that he wasn’t working just then. There were a lot of people standing around listening to the Governor giving a speech. The Governor and other dignitaries peeked out from under the broad black brims of umbrellas. Here and there you could see some old soldiers, medals and service ribbons on their coats and them just standing out in the pouring rain, the water streaming in little waterfalls over the brim of their hats and their gaunt faces streaked with the drenching rain so you’d think they were crying rivers of tears.

Carmello stood under the lee of his hut. The woman stopped next to the gardener.

“Oh hello, missu,” he greeted her quietly and they stood there listening to the address. After a little while Carmello leant over to the woman and softly whispered: “I’m going back to Italy soon.”

“For good?” the woman asked.

“No, no,” he shook his head emphatically, “only for a short while; a holiday … I have my long-service leave.” He smiled at the thought.

When he returned from his holiday he seemed unsettled, a bit more determined as though he were fighting an uneasy desire.

“If I could go tomorrow, missus …,” he would say, shaking his hand in a gesturing way and he’d sigh. “But I must save, missus, I must save now,” he turned as he spoke, the rake in his hand with the head resting on the ground. “I must save now,” he spoke earnestly.

He was sad at leaving his family back home, and to make matters worse, he had learnt that his wife was now expecting another child and he could not be there to assist as a husband ought.

Another wet day she came along the path and saw the gardener sitting huddled just inside the door of his hut with a little fire of sticks burning by the door. He looked miserable sitting there.

“Are you well?” she asked.

“Ah! No, missus, I have this cold … una raffreddore! I should be home … but what is the use of staying alone in an empty house?” He stared at the fire as he spoke, and it was around that time he decided he would have to go back home … the final decision was made as he read the latest letter from his wife in the village. She told of the everyday events of the season in the village … and he was not there …

“It was a good year for the grapes,” she wrote “ but the olives were not so good, with many rotting on the trees … Alfonso ( the grandfather) got a good deal from the miller for his wheat and we now have plenty of flour for the pasta this year … ” Carmello read on,  ” … the saint’s day parade went well as it was a lovely day with the sun shining bright and all the children dressed up and the flowers so pretty placed at the feet of San Giovanni … ” the memories flooded in … all this was happening as he had himself seen so many years ago … and he was not there.

Carmello looked up at that moment from his reading as he heard a strange noise across the road: There, dressed in their light, flowing bright orange robes, were a troupe of half a dozen Hari Krishna shaved-head devotees chanting and ringing their small cymbals and tambourines as they skipped and swirled down the footpath opposite in single file … It was the strange sight of this totally, to Carmello, alien image that steered his course of action, a craving for the familiarity of homeland swept over him so he almost swooned from a sense of isolation and loneliness … but he would stay and save and save … then after three more years, he calculated, he would return to his home.

The woman’s husband had a stroke at around that time, that knocked him flat and kept her home for several years so she never saw the gardener again. A long time after she was walking through Carmello’s stretch of garden and she noticed the gardener’s hut was being pulled down by some workmen.

A little way along the path another man was digging up the green shrubs with the spiky blue flowers. The woman stopped .

“Where’s the little Italian gardener?” She asked one of the workmen there.

“Oh him? He’s gone home, lady, back to Italy.”

“Oh?” she queried.

“Yep” the man continued. “Twenty years here was enough for him.” He laughed. The woman turned to go away, then stopped.

“Tell me; what was his name?” She asked for he had never told her.

“To tell you the truth madam,” the man scratched the back of his head “I wouldn’t know. We called him ‘Gino’ but we call all the eyeties ‘Gino’.” And he laughed again.

( II )

Pellegrino Rossi sat outside on the footpath under the blue and yellow lighted sign that said “Tony – BAR”. The word “Tony” was smaller than the word “BAR” and was in the top left hand corner. Pellegrino Rossi sat out in the morning sunshine at a small round table drinking a cup of espresso coffee and observing the movements of the people of the village. The daily bus from the big provincial city pulled up over the other side of the road with a squeal of brakes and a hiss of air. Pellegrino could not see who had alighted as the bus was between himself and the far footpath. But he knew someone had got off as the driver too had alighted and there was a clatter of baggage doors opening on the far side of the bus. After a short time and a degree of muffled conversation, the driver sprung back into his seat and with a hiss of shutting doors, the bus accelerated away in a cloud of fumes, smoke and dust.

A short nobbly man of about fifty remained on the far footpath where the bus had left him. He was escorted on both sides by two enormous tatty brown suitcases with large belts and buckles around their girth. His suit of clothes matched the colour of the cases. They were crushed and misshapen from being worn on a long journey. His belt, like the ones on the suitcases, was pulled tight around his girth so that his trousers were “lifted” high on his waist and left too much ankle showing down around his shoes. Pellegrino squinted at the man who remained standing there as though trying to comprehend his situation. A smile of recognition gradually crept over Pellegrino’s face. It had been a long, long time. He called out:

“Well, well now, “Panerello” (for that was Carmello’s nickname), we were wondering when you would come home.” His hand was shaking at the new arrival in that flat openhanded on edge way that Italians do. Carmello smiled and nodded as he recognised his old friend.

“Hey! “Dry as sticks”,” Pellegrino called into the doorway of the Bar. “Pour a glass-full of the fatted calf to welcome the prodigal home!” He laughed as he stood.

At the mention of “the prodigal”, Carmello’s hand went automatically to the inside pocket of his suit coat. There it felt a fatted packet. Fatted with banknotes of a foreign currency. Payment for all those years of tending the gardens. Payment for all those years of loneliness in a strange country. Payment for all those years of patience and endurance. He gave the packet a squeeze and it seemed a weight fell from his shoulders.

“Payment for the children,” he sighed.

Carmello smiled happily as he surveyed the scene, the Bar, his friend, the round tables on the footpath, the yellowing paint on the house walls, the orangey-pink of the old church in the square, the cobblestone road, the sound of his friends’ greeting, the feel of the mountain air on his cheeks.

“Carmello, Carmello!” a woman’s voice cried from down the narrow street, the sound rebounding off the walls of the canyon of houses. He recognised her sweetly … the photos … the memory of her longingly treasured in his heart … his wife called again in a gentle dropping inflection of voice.

“Carmello … Caro, Carmello” she came quickly down the street in little skips and runs as older woman do when they want to go fast on foot. He could see the tears in her eyes, a couple of people stopped and some popped their heads out of nearby houses. His friend, Pellegrino called again from across the road.

“Ah Panerello, Panerello, it’s been too long.” He was smiling as he came onto the street. Carmello looked to him, at his approaching wife, a tall young man at her side … his son … the young girl at her skirts … his daughter … had it been five years already? A sob of joy welled up inside him, he lifted his hands as though wishing to explain something with them but no words would come to his lips … his wife coming closer, his friend reaching out for his hands with both of his, his village shone bright in the morning sunlight, a shaft of sunshine snipped a star off the glass ashtray on one of the tables at the “Tony-BAR”. Carmello felt the tears run freely.  He was home … at last … he was home!

Une Generation Perdue …

The lost generation.

In many years hence, when the cold, unconcerned hand of historical research vivisects this period of Australian politics, not only will it detail, with wincing eye, to those researchers, the incomprehensible ineptness of this LNP government, but it will surely blink in disbelieving wonder at the complacency of a goodly proportion of the populace to tolerate such obvious interference and corruption from capital-based corporations and lobby groups.

Not since the time of Julius Caesar have such cashed-up cabals, with their “affiliates” equal in disaster, violence and intent to the rampaging days of the political gangs of Clodius and Milo had such bribery and coercive influence been used. There will surely be more than a little mirth when the portraits both pictorial and matched to the verbal utterances of persons like George Brandis or Christopher Pyne are held to the historical lens and their activities dissected and displayed. Comparisons could easily be drawn between the most comical characters of a legion of dramatists of the theatre.

But there will be another analysis, I believe, that will have heads shaking in disbelief … And that is how a society moved from a deeply caring, multicultural success story to a divisive, racist, scornful mob. Irony and satire aside, there will be confusion at the cognitive dissonance of that section of society who, refugees themselves to a colonized land, could then set upon — both those refugees that followed them to freedom and those who occupied the land before them — with all the tools of crazy outrage that such folk could have intention as to ”steal” THEIR NATION from under their very feet. There will have to be question raised about the collective sanity of the era.

But I am thinking I could save some time if I can explain here, the strange motivations of the “abandoned generation” that is currently in power in Australia. This generation of conservatives sprung, doomed, like late season fruit from the baby-boomers “Tree of Liberation” …

There are three phases to the “baby-boomer” generation: The first, from the immediate latter war years to the fifties, then the second wave from the early fifties to the middle years of the decade, and then the doomed “left-behinds” of the late fifties/early sixties. The first were subject to the hard militaristic discipline of their parents … the second were spared such severe social punishment through the “boom years” of the mid-fifties, the third were the lost-cause of child-rearing once the great social revolution of the sixties got into full swing.

The first wave of baby-boomers set a hesitant stumbling pace of radical change … a change more marked by a shift in style of fashion and music, than in social behaviour … in THAT they grudgingly stuck to the old principles … mostly … there were social radicals sure, but they quickly fled to the greener pastures of Europe.

It was left to the second wave of “boomers” to shrug off the local yoke of “work-ethic” demands and obedience to create a many-headed hydra of wild abandon to seek alternative knowledge no matter how discursive or obscure, from Kahil Gibran to Kant, from Nostradamus to Nietzsche, from The Beatles to Joni Mitchell to Leonard Cohen … we spread our “search” to the widest of wide open spaces, into the depths of confining crypts … Abandoning job security, our homes and family ties, casting aside the very cloth of our society, we threw ourselves into the teeth of a world-wide social storm and stood as children naked! To quote Milton in Aldous Huxley: “Eyeless in Gaza at the mill with slaves” and it was this searching, the gathering together of the many threads of life’s loose tapestry that ended up giving us the nous to see back to the past behaviour of our parents and grandparents and to project forward to envision a near future that allowed us to cultivate what was beneficial to our body and soul and to cast aside that which was detrimental to the well-being of a society … but in a lot of cases, it must be admitted; it was chance washed us up Robinson Crusoe like on this Island of good fortune.

THIS, though, was our mistake; to selfishly leave the following “children of the night”, the last born of the generation in the wake of our parting ship … to wallow in little spiritual reward and gross waste of a ruined society of post-mortem Menzies, post boom years sixties, post Vietnam War and an emerging brutality of Hollywood fantasy and worse … disco music!

Can one imagine a life destitute of Frank Zappa? They were left in the rubble and we were gone.

Armed with all the historical example that our self-awakening study revealed, coupled with a self-confidence in our gained professions, did we not carve out of the remains of decrepit conservatism our own private Australias and set about securing our financial borders for the very thing we never really believed would come … old age.

And now … here we are, somewhat bent with age but still rebellious, at the mercy of a medical intervention system that we instigated for our old age protection, but sadly now beholden to a political class that both despises our past capabilities and resents our past abandonment of their persons in the post revolution hangover.

It has to be noted, that while we of the second wave boomers may not have bred these frustrated conservatives, we were remiss in not seeing that where our parents failed by clinging too tight to their last children, we did not take these waifs, these orphans of a lost conservatism regime along with us for the ride of their lives! We should have … We should have!

For now they are lost to wander in a wilderness of false materialism … They are truly; “Une Generation Perdue” … A Lost Generation.

Slow cooking in a “Black Kitchen”

You got to get up … pri-tty erley in da mornin’ … to stoke up the German vault oven in the old “black kitchen” if you want to get a good day’s preparation and cooking in before the roast lamb (w/rosemary) is just at an itch and a scratch to be taken out from the back of the oven and generously sliced and served with the pratties and peas for dinner …

This old settler’s cottage we bought from a German Aunty (through marriage) out here in the Mallee, was a fine example of the “settler’s layout” for farmhouse and black kitchen …

“A distinguishing feature of the German house is its high roof, below which the ‘protective’ attic was often used as a sleeping, working and storage place. Cultural ties associated with the roof were still evident in these early Australian German communities. Thus it was considered a bad omen for women in the later stages of their pregnancies to leave the protection of their roofs (once someone was unter Daeh und Faeh, that is sheltered by a roof, he or she could not be harmed by demons!). One of the ancient roof ceremonies, the Rieht/est, or the topping of the building with the roof, is still celebrated in South Australia (usually by fixing a small pine tree to the ridge).”

Although our house did not have a sleeping attic, all the other necessities were still extant … even if in a state of long disuse and in need of a amount of repair. For instance, when I went to restore the vault oven, I opened a makeshift flat of thin iron door to find several bricks had fallen from the roof and among the ashes left was a copy of “TV Week” announcing Johnny Farnham and Alison Durbin as King and Queen of pop for the year of 1971. So the oven had not been used since … and I suspect long before … that date … and I see Bob and Dolly Dyer also won a Logie for that year … they were still alive then … amazing!

Now these vault ovens are bloody great for doing a big cook-up in … of course, as stated, you got to get an early start to get the oven up to temperature. The first item that goes in the oven when it is raging hot is the capsicums and eggplants or any veggies that need to be grilled so the skin can be removed when thoroughly cooked … this is done by placing the hot, seared capsicums in a plastic bag straight from the oven … it is then sealed and left to cool before attending … then, when the oven is at a holding temperature of around 200 deg c’, in go the assorted breads and pizza bases and buns and such things …

“Closed-passage plans or black kitchens (Schwarze-Kiiche) are more generally found in the Barossa Valley, for example the Keil house at Bethany, and the Schmidt house at Lights Pass.” (Gordon Young; Early German Settlements in South Australia).

The design of this type of cooking hall stems from the late Middle Ages, when regulations began to be introduced in Germany to control the incidence of conflagrations caused by the use of open-hearth fires. Thatched timber canopies pargetted with clay were built over the hearths to conduct smoke and sparks away into similarly constructed chimneys.

Of course, my wife, Irene, is the brains behind the preparation and cooking … I am the muscle and the swisher around of the long-handled pizza shovel … and a dexterous user of such a device – if I say so myself – and it was not my fault that I came close to taking out one of Irene’s eyes as I pulled the naan bread flans out of the heat … I claim rights of “tradesman’s territory” of 180 deg’s from the front of the oven to safely wield that weapon!

Around lunchtime, in goes the pizza topped with all those delicious mouth-watering ingredients that can be loaded onto a base just big enough to fit through the oven door. This is a most delicate time, as the smells of those toppings cooking and sizzling can make a sane man desire strange things … food, indeed is the way to a man’s heart … and when served to him with the alluring smile and generous eyes of a loving woman, there is no mountain too high, no land to far or too difficult to conquer … and no love too deep to extend for the honour of giving. Good food is a wealth of knowledge combined with an artist’s hand. There cannot be a greater pleasure than the eating of such .. blessed be the house that enjoys that pleasure.

“During the first decades of settlement the German settlers clung to their mixed farming techniques and continued to supply Adelaide with fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy and pork products. Thus on the night before market day it was a common sight to see the German women from Hahndorf and Lobethal wending their way through the Adelaide Hills, carrying wicker baskets filled with farm products to catch the early market.” (Gordon Young; Early German Settlements in South Australia).

And I’ll tell you one thing I found in my study of that period of South Australian history … regardless of some Anglo “born to rule” citizen’s claims of being “nation builders”, if it wasn’t for those early German settlers, with their dogged persistence and solid-down-to-earth ethics and hard work, the state would have folded and collapsed in around 1842, when the English speculators and con men sent the settlement into receivership … It was those hardy German farmers kept the state alive!

It is getting close to Christmas, and this year we are having my (adult) children up for dinner, along with a grandchild. Now, Irene has to shine with the home-cooked meal in that the son was head chef of an award winning bistro kitchen and so he knows the meaning of good food and good preparation … and he will always assert; “Home cooking is a world away from commercial kitchen prepared food” … and one has to discern and respect the difference. But in the end, good food is universal.

So this year, we have stoked up the vault oven and prepared in advance some of those delightful dishes … and as ‘official taster’, I have already sampled the crème brûlée , and made myself a glutton with the frittata and the custards etc … and that is the joy of slow cooking in a black kitchen … one is asked to sample for quality the delicacy as it is cooled and of course, a degree of doubt creeps into the equation and … “Perhaps another taste would give chance for a more accurate critique .. if you don’t mind.” Now there is nothing left except to cool the prosecco, prompt t.he stomach and welcome the guests.

“The Keil home with its central, brick-vaulted black kitchen is a classic example of this type of house. Its gable end faces onto the main street of the village (Bethany Road, Barossa Valley) and access to the house is roughly centred on the longer elevation which lies parallel to the Hule. This arrangement allowed for easier access to a small farmyard (Haj) at the back of the house, which was surrounded by slab barns, pig-sties, a slaughterhouse, and a smokehouse.” (Gordon Young; Early German Settlements in South Australia).

By Gott im Himmel! … Those old Krauts knew a thing or two about cooking with fire.

No longer “suitable to terrain”

Poor Geoffery Rush … Poor Andrew Broad … and all those other damned and condemned poor bastard hetero’ males who were mesmerised beyond capacity for self-control by that demon of delight, that goddess of goodness; the female of the species … poor me … We are just no longer “suitable to terrain” vehicles driven wildly and recklessly until we breakdown on the vast desert of deluded day-dreams and await the shifted sands of bias social interpretation to bury us completely. And it’s no use us turning to our lifetime backers of our own generation; our partners and wives … or female friends … they have heard all of our best lines and now snort and sneer and mock our suave/comedic impotence … and like the disgraced Professor Rath in The Blue Angel, our adored “Lola Lola’s” drive us to becoming clowns and madmen … We are doomed.

Of course, the “new men” that will inevitably arise to suit this feminine dominated terrain will have none of the clownish speak and rolling eyes and drooling tongues of us older blokes when confronted with the chaste beauty of the “New Woman” … and I do not mock with that title … for surely it is so: a new woman drawn from all the mistakes and servitude of those older generation of ladies … we have seen it implied and written … ”time to correct the mistakes of those days, of past generations” … we read … and it will be done … so help me God!

But back to these “new men” who are expected to service the needs of these new women … Will their temperament be softened and tamed by this new understanding of “the female within”? Will they stand gracefully to one side whilst the women in their lives organise their habits and desires? Will they be idle whilst the women in their lives choose time and location for any sexual activity the couple may enjoy?

Knowing males like I do, I doubt any of the above will work … And if we were to extrapolate on the subject of male/female relationships, that situation is the “elephant in the room” of this modern-day dilemma of why men are behaving so badly … ie; because they can … Because there is no longer a cultural or physical requirement for single males or even males in relationships to adhere to a loyalty that has no longer a need to exist. Sure, there are laws … but what obstacle is that when passions or anger run high? Just look to the violence statistics to assure yourself. The success of a capital-based society in giving freedom of action/career/self-support to both genders, has on one hand released the male from expectations of paternal roles, but on the other hand has more encumbered women with the extra duties of career construction AND the natural inclination to have children … neither of which, if a woman in this materialist world, can in reality be avoided.

While the male can relinquish and is in some cases forced to relinquish by law his duties as a live-in father, it also has allowed him the freedom of movement to seek, court and seduce other women … many of them already single mothers … with a career … without the encumbrances of paternal responsibility. Males of many species gather together in packs to hunt, the females in herds to protect …

It is a piece of cake that they can have and eat as well, made all the more digestible when angry women curse and abuse men with acerbic vitriol demanding that they behave with more dignity and respect … But when the fox is let loose in the hen house? … fat chance! For it is written; “When the dick rises, the brains go to the arse of the pants.”

You hear of men casually setting up two or more appointments to meet at a certain club on Tinder, and when they arrive, they covertly sus out the best looker of the appointments and drop the others … It’s cruel, it’s vicious, it’s opportune … but since when has the hunter/capture world of sexual promiscuity ever been otherwise?

I have written about it in a scenario I was witness to a long time ago, before mobile phones, when actual face to face meet was they way it went … When divorced/single mothers would drive to another nearby satellite city, to certain cafes, where it was “understood” that men and women in similar situations could meet for casual relationships on their days off from the shared responsibilities of the children …

But what of the women in this scenario? … I have been warned off interpreting the feelings and actions of that gender by some who see themselves as both spokespersons and gatekeepers of some apparently sacred institution that needs to be shepherded away from gross male observation. I will dismiss their pultroonish possessiveness with the scorn such stupidity deserves! But yes … what of the women?

In my long years of attachment to ladies, I notice a different expectation of companionship with their men … and I say; “their men”, because that is what a man becomes in a close, long-term and loving relationship with a woman … he becomes an extension (if you like) of the woman’s personality … he becomes the “arm of masculine power” to her feminine “gathering of family lives and needs” … held in place by a strange kind of metaphorical umbilical cord that has come from the mesmerising hum of his own mother’s consoling voice from when a mere babe-in-arms … there is the strength of womanly power and virtue; “The hand that rocks the cradle” … almost tribal like … and yes … perhaps exactly tribal like … the perfect “rounding off” of required man-power needed for a sustainable lifestyle within even the modern suburban home.

I give you the perpetual requirements for security of existence: Parents/mother – father … shelter/home … genetic offspring / children … food/clothing all collected, food prepared and consumed by the tribal family … all gathered within the protective compound of village/suburb under the umbrella of a larger social organisation/government.

And that is it … You break apart that cohesive “basic tribal” structure, you suffer the consequences … and I believe we are now seeing the evidence of such a breakdown, all in the interests of promoting a materialist, capital-based society that can only benefit a small percentage of people of either gender. But don’t take my word for it … look around you when next you get out and about … look at your acquaintances and friends … What was gained and what was lost … listen to the tales and gossip you hear as you go about your own life … for these little clues are the whispers telling of the health and well-being of the world around you. Don’t listen to the bombastic bravado … that is mostly bluff and bluster …

Humanity may not live on bread alone. But I’ve yet to read of a full-blown revolution started on a full stomach or from the lounge-room of a contented home!

And I do believe it is loneliness for a loving relationship that drives most of the animosity in today’s world … as simple as that … the void that no amount of bling or money can fill: Loneliness.

The Conversion of Father Carravalo

Continuing my Italian Story theme … I heard this tale from my sister when I once visited her in Italy back in the seventies. She told me she had not long been in the village when one day whilst sweeping by her back door, an older woman hurried past. My sister said “hello” in politeness, but the lady did not stop, she just quickly said that she was in a hurry to get to her mother’s as she was looking after her children … ”I have their clothes,” she motioned to a bundle under her arm and on she went. A few moments later an older man came and asked if my sister had seen his wife come past with a bundle of clothes under her arm. My sister related the quick meeting with the lady and told him that she had gone to her mothers’ to pick up the children.

“Ah,” he said sadly.“Her mother has been dead these many years and so have all the children … I will go and find her.” And on he went.

I tell the story of the events as my sister told them to me all those years ago. The priest in the story is, of course, a metaphor.

It went like this:

The Conversion of Father Carravalo

My name is Pietro Carravalo, of the diocese of San Angelo di Povero. It is the ninth day of February nineteen hundred and fifty one.

Yet, just three days ago I was known throughout the district as Father Carravalo. I was the parish priest of the aforementioned diocese. Three days ago I was proud to be known as such! Three days, three days I have groveled in this dirty cave out of sight for that period, out of sight for fear of meeting another human whilst I pondered on the sad misfortune of Signora Marzetti.

You notice I use the past tense when referring to my status as parish priest. This is no accident, nor the result of official dismissal from my post. It is self absolution I henceforth rescind that title, as do I likewise any association with the institution known as ”The Church”. I pace the dirt floor of this cave as I reflect on my decision, as I have done so for the last three days! But there is no other way, I cannot in all honesty claim the privilege of spiritual healer or guider or whatever when I no longer have faith in the basic tenets of The Church.

Three days ago Stefania Marzetti lost her last child. He fell down the stairs at his home and broke his neck. It was the fifth child she had lost in three years … I’ll repeat that; five children … all her children … dead within three years! Madonna Mio I tremble to think of it … one after the other; polio … typhus … scarlet fever … then little Paulo from something as clumsy as a fall … well … she is mad now, I saw it in her eyes before I fled to this refuge, maybe I too am mad! But no! … I can talk as such to you because I am sane, shocked but sane. Maybe it was this shock that jolted me out of my fantasy of high priest of absurdity!

Complacent … self satisfied I was in my privileged position as priest to those simple people. Their lives were ordered, quaint, predictable, as were my duties concerning their spiritual guidance. How many years have I poured Latin and lassitude into their souls? Too many to contemplate. How I reveled in my obligations, how I enjoyed those sanctified moments, those pauses of silence when intoning the mass;  “Nome il Padre e Figlio e Spirito Santo.” Ahh …flows like a piece of poetry, eh?

Then came the polio. How many children did we lose? How many of those little ones that I myself baptised, did I place in the ground? How many shoulders did I embrace as they heaved and wept, while whispering “couragio, couragio” into their ears? How much sadness can you record onto a death certificate? How many broken families onto a tombstone.

When Stephania Marzetti lost her first child from the polio, she was not alone. At least a dozen children in the diocese went down with him, so it seemed her suffering was not a lonely vigil. I took her aside after mass one day and helped her light a little candle for the child and to place it at the feet of the Virgin in memorium, then joined her at the altar rail for prayers of help and forgiveness. I did the same for all the distressed parents. Then in that same year came the typhus and she lost the youngest … a girl. Again, there were others too that lost a loved one, though not all the same families, so that we thought it rather unfortunate Stephania should again be afflicted with such sadness for the second time. Again I consoled her with the blessing of God and a candle at the feet of the blessed virgin. Another name was chiselled onto the tomb! Masses were dedicated to the protection of the innocents and the plea that the typhus would pass without more sadness. Then she lost another child to the disease, the eldest. In the name of God, what more could I say to comfort her? What platitudes this time?

“God is merciful” ( what mercy?)

“We will rely upon Him to guide us through this valley of darkness?”

“They have gone to eternal life?” (while she suffers a living death?)

Words, words, diversions from emotions, yet still I found glib passages to placate her despair. Quotations from this or that book in the bible, words of “wisdom” to salve her wounds and all the time feeling like a salesman endorsing his product!: “Here, take a little of this, it’ll do you wonders!” or; “Much more than Islam or Buddhism our product is guaranteed to ease the pain in your heart!” Mind you I wasn’t so cynical in my heart, I wept for Stephania, but all those..those weak sounding platitudes! I mean …  the woman had lost a whole substance of her life and I was trying to fill it back up with Quasi intellectual gobbledygook, such are the incantations of religious doctrine … I no longer am spellbound by its “mystery”.

But there came a relief of two years in which she was spared further trauma. Sometimes we look back on such peaceful times wishing we could imprison these moments for eternity in a frame to hang on the wall, and gazing on that tranquillity say; “Ahh! Such peace, I remember it well!”

Ah! Such a day it was when I was returning from Fragneto. The priest there had fallen ill with a flu so I stood in for him those two weeks. I would shift their Sunday service back a half hour and ours forward the same so as to accommodate both congregations with minimal disruption. It was a clear, cold spring day, early in the season with still quite large patches of snow capping the hill tops. The village was not far away so I walked the distance.

Yes! A clear spring day, the wind crisp and fresh over the thawing earth. My breath frosted in the air as I exhaled and my eyes stung a little as I gazed from the crest of the hill down the crevassed valley to the rising blue hills of Campangolo in the south. I could see for miles and miles! And wasn’t it a lovely sight … bello!

Just as I reached the high point at the top of the village, the bells of my church started ringing. ”Ah! good”, I thought,”Young Tomaso can be relied upon at least.” And I was in very good spirits as I descended the slope to the presbytery. I had not been back but five minutes when Stefania’s husband; Bertolo, rushes in all flustered and dropped his bombshell!

“Oh Padre, you must come quickly, our daughter, Elvira, she is dying with the scarlet fever, you must come quickly.” He stood there like most of these poor peasants, with his floppy cap crushed in his club-like hands.

“But wait there, Bertolo, two days ago you said all she had was a cold, a small cough.” I was indeed doubtful.

“Ahh, we thought too padre we thought too! Oh sacred heart of Jesus! If only that was so but then the vomiting, the fever so we call in the dottore this morning and he confirms it … Oh blessed saints what wrath have we awoke in our poor family! Please, padre, come quickly.”

I don’t think I need go into the details of the child’s death. I do not like to dwell on it myself, another round of futile incantations, incense, holy water and prayers to a deity as distant as Zeus! Oh we laugh at the pagan worshippers of old and their ridiculous offerings to those impotent gods of theirs! We laugh! But, here in the twentieth century, I have to ask: Are our gods greater? or are we moderns merely slaves to the same illusive desires and frustrations? I, at least, have leaned the answer!

Back then, however, I was still in awe of the “power” of the church. As though the theatre of my “sacred performances” would make all diseases and tragedy vaporise with the swirling incense! I supplicated their tears, but could not stay my own. I re-birthed their belief in the faith, but my own doubts grew! Indeed, Stephania’s wide-eyed helplessness made my speech falter till at the sight of her my set pieces of religious diatribe came jumbled or completely stuck in my throat and I had to go away from her lest I fall completely there and then! You see, though I was seriously beginning to doubt, I still retained the security of those years of indoctrination that bolstered my flagging faith! Her courage stood where mine (in the face of tragic reality) failed.

Still she would come to the church and place a candle at the foot of the Virgin Mother. Still she would ask me for forgiveness from some sin of the past. A sin … a sin! My heart wept at her wretched pleas to god for forgiveness from what? For what? How, how, how? I began to realise there was nothing I could say nor do that would have the slightest effect on her or anyone else’s fates in that village … still she would come pattering down the aisle of an evening and catch me unawares as I was about my duties and make me jump! Then I would guiltily light a candle for her and bustle about her, helping with a cushion to kneel on, holding her elbow to assist etc. in short just fumbling about when all the while I wished to throw my arms up in surrender to futility.

So it came to be that I could pick her footsteps out subconsciously and not be caught unawares, this way at least I had a moment to prepare myself to face her again. You see now? … She was the nemesis of my faith! Then came the accident with little Paulo. It finished her! It finished me! It has finished two thousand years of demagoguery!

I was standing at the church doors when I heard the news of Paulo’s death. I nearly fainted on the spot! I started trembling all over as if in a fever. I put my hands over my entire face and turned and ran inside the church as a desperate man would to his executioner to throw himself on his knees to beg mercy! I ran, yes, ran down that isle toward the altar, toward the holy tabernacle and at the altar rail fell to my knees in despair! …

“Dio … Dio”, I cried. Then a soft whisper; “Dio .. ” The only words I could get out. What could I say? What could I ask? … “I’m only a parish priest, I’m only human. I can’t give anymore strength to that woman, I have none to give! Oh, God, why oh why, what is the need of such torture? Madonna … blessed Madonna Mother of Christ!” I beseeched, yet speechless for more words … what could I ask …. only a parish priest .. only human! I wept … I wept … that poor woman … that poor woman! My head bowed touching the altar rail as I pleaded to … to … to whom?

Then in the hollow emptiness of the church I became aware of her soft footsteps approaching down the aisle. I knew it was her, I dreaded that sound, so now it magnified in my mind a thousand fold! Echoing about the walls up to the vaulted ceiling. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up so. The footfalls stopped but I could not turn … in horror of the pity I felt, I could not face that woman, that mother, so I just knelt there trembling.

“Father?” … she croaked breathlessly. “A candle for the Madonna … please, Father one small candle for my Paulo? A candle, Father?” her voice faltering, yet firm.

I turned slowly … holy Mother of Christ … holy mother of all children! … have mercy, have pity on me as much as her have pity … what comfort for such a wretched soul could I give? Only a priest, only a man … five children, Mother of Christ five children! I grasped the altar rail lest I fell and she held out her hand with a few pitiful coppers in it … appealing;

“A candle, Father, I must put a candle at the feet of the blessed virgin for my Paulo”, and she moved mesmerised over to the statue of the Madonna.

I stood speechless. She placed a bundle of rags she was carrying on the floor and took a small candle from the box, this she lit and placed in the rack provided. She then knelt and kissed the feet of the Madonna, genuflected as she rose then turned to go. I picked up the bundle of rags she had left at the feet of the statue and touched her arm gently.

“Signora Marzetti,” I crooned “These are yours”. She turned, looked at the bundle, then gently took it from my arms and once more turned to go.

“Where are you going, Stephania?” I asked gently.

She looked deep into my eyes, yet hers were vague, unseeing, blank!

“I am going to my mother’s,” she softly spoke.

“But … but, Signora … your mother is dead … these ten years.” She looked a little fazed, hesitated, then smiled beautifully at me.

“Oh no, Father, I am going to my mother’s. She is looking after the children, I will go and bring them home.” She turned, paused, then stroked the bundle of rags, “I have their clothes.“ She spoke softly, I held out my arms to her as if to help. How?… How? … She had lost her mind now.

Her husband, Bertolo, was suddenly there supporting her, with his hands all dirty and hard from the fields and his cap crushed into his top pocket his craggy cheeks furrowed with tears.

“It’s alright, Father … I’ll take her home, it’s alright.” And he half bowed half nodded as he steered her down the aisle to the group of friends clustered at the nave door. They parted as he approached then swallowed them into their midst. I was left alone in the church still with arms outstretched, gaping in mute despair, the echo of the closing door boomed drum like in accompaniment to my heart. I came around and turned to the statue of the Madonna, the one little candle burning at her feet. I felt hopeless, useless!

I giggled, “A candle, Madonna.” I smiled weakly, “A candle for a child, a trade off from a poor mother to the mother of a poorer Christ but, there were five children, my Lady … here, take five candles! Forgive us humans our feeble gestures of worship …” I laughed at the silliness … “No … wait! Here, take a dozen more, a dozen candles for a dozen children … ha! Wait a minute, why skimp … take a hundred … all our life blood for you; Mother of Christ a sacrifice to God from us pitiful people! A hundred children … a hundred candles!” And as I tippled the candles over the sand tray, I laughed at the absurdity of it all. Then I grew angry, I looked down at my garments, the surplice with that smell of incense permeated through it, once so comforting to me with its spice-like aroma, I now found disgusting, so I flung it off to the floor, likewise my cassock, then darting to the presbytery, I changed into street clothes and ran desperately away, away from the hopeless shame, the tawdry sham of my life I ran, I ran, I ran …

Till here I am in this cave, and now all the hate and disgust has abated, I shall abandon all the pretexts of my holy office and accept my place as a man amongst my people …

Listen! The bells of San Georgio ringing out across the valley, crisp and clear in the rising air. I wish for a modicum of their confidence. Indeed their peals shout of glory, of happiness in the new day! Just as a bird sings after the storm ,even from the remnants of it’s destroyed nest … I have little of such religious feelings left, I was a hypocrite, a liar to have ever stood before my people and purported to “guide” them. Yet … though I would disown my religion, I would never abandon my humanity … on the contrary, I embrace it! Ah! and it is as such that I will serve, no more casting out demons and other hocus pocus, I will redress my wrongs before my fellow men, I will go back now, I will go home.

Starved into surplus

I don’t know about you lot, but this year is the first time I’ve had to offer ‘rain cheques’ for Chrissy presents … being on just the aged pension has restricted us to just the essentials this year … like food, clothing (even as I write this, I can feel the soles of my feet touch the floor through my slippers), and shelter … We had to go easy on the wine for Xmas dinner, calling a limit on cost to just over $5 per bottle (Bertoli “Sacred Hill” Sauv’/blanc/plonk) … It’s quite good actually … and you can suck on the cork for some extra depth! And I think my cousin Lucy is going to lose one of her geese to “a fox” sometime in the next week.

But it’s getting pretty crook … I notice there aren’t too many smiles on the young mum’s faces down at the mega shopping mall as they queue with their kiddies for a sit on Chris Cringles lap … the kiddies … not the mums … and I distinctly heard one tattooed, gum-chewing scrubber tell her kid to; “Forget the bling … just ask for a voucher”. All this when we hear the LNP government is going to cheer us up with its MYEFO telling us cheerily of a projected budget surplus … Oh, Happy days! … And over all the bon hominy Christmas muzak pumping out of the speakers in the mall, I could distinctly hear that old lag; Fagin singing his theme song; You gotta pick a pocket or two”:

“In this life
One thing counts
In the bank
Large amounts
I’m afraid these don’t grow on trees
You’ve got to pick a pocket or two
You’ve got to pick a pocket or two
Boys!
You’ve got to pick a pocket or two.”

So the upshot is that we, the low-life citizen body is going to be starved so they; the sweet-life, can show a number in the black side of the ledger … How sweet it is! Almost as poetic as a thirsting man getting drowned in a flash flood while he digs in the creek-bed for some sustaining water … at least someone gets a smile from it!

Getting a surplus on the books while your nation starves is no big deal … For some of those tyrants in ancient times, that was the usual modus operandi … that and thieving funds from one side of the ledger to make the other side look better … Google: Gaius Verres / Sicily and you can get the gist of how it is done … then as now, except that these moderns have learned from Gaius how to cover your tracks … not less vicious, not less avaricious … just less obvious … subtle is the name of the game in these times … just ask any LNP member of the house who has a property portfolio fatter than George Christiansen’s waistline … and all gotten on “hard-earned” wages. But I hear they are “reviewing” the situation.

Again from Fagin:

“I’m reviewing the situation.
If you want to eat — you’ve got to earn a bob!
Is it such a humiliation
For a robber to perform an honest job?
So a job I’m getting, possibly,
I wonder who my boss’ll be?
I wonder if he’ll take to me …?
What bonuses he’ll make to me …?
I’ll start at eight and finish late,
At normal rate, and all… but wait!
… I think I’d better think it out again.”

And now, if things go right we may get a Labor government in next year, and that means if the MSM doesn’t go all out on a new “Kill Bill” campaign … and going by the ABC breakfast interview … did I say “interview”? … sorry, I meant “inquisition” … this morning (17/12/’18) with Wayne Swan, that is going to be the common theme. I still say that it was a damn shame when a good Hue and Cry roundup followed by a solid horse-whipping of certain culprits went out of fashion … a crying shame.

As a fellow citizen of this wide, brown land … made even browner now through a lack of action on climate change aversion, I don’t need to make a list of the services and shortfalls of unfunded and stretched authorities and schemes this “fiscally responsible government” has scrooged money – from everything from A to Zee – and this is how a LNP government gets its budget balanced … a bit like the tyrant using hanging men as a counterweight balance to weigh his gold. And what’s a life or two lost from lack of essential services when compared to that end of the financial year splurge on more medals and ribbons for the Border Force heroes? Everyone loves a parade.

But I am beginning to feel a growing chasm between the “haves” and the “f#ck-offs” in this world … even with the better-served “lefties”, I can just get the glimmer … if you cock your head just that little to the right and peer, squint-eyed through that social services crack you just fell through up to the tenured positioned “fortunate sons” of that class that never seem to feel the squeeze of “fiscal constraint” … or at least have a line of credit available to them that need not involve a threat of “sixpence to the knee” if payments drop behind!

It almost makes one feel like breaking into another verse of song:

“What happens when I’m seventy?
Must come a time … seventy.
When you’re old, and it’s cold
And who cares if you live or you die,
Your one consolation’s the money
You may have put by …
I’m reviewing the situation.
I’m a bad ‘un and a bad ‘un I shall stay!
You’ll be seeing no transformation,
But it’s wrong to be a rogue in ev’ry way.
I don’t want nobody hurt for me,
Or made to do the dirt for me.
This rotten life is not for me.
It’s getting far too hot for me.
There is no in between for me
But who will change the scene for me?
Don’t want no one to rob for me.
But who will find a job for me … I think I’d better think it out again!”

(All words in songs from the musical Oliver).

Yes … I too will have to “review” the situation.

The Tradesman’s Return

“Trades-unions, composed of the workmen in the different trades, were recognized in the time of the (first Roman) monarchy, and no effort was ever made to dissolve them, until they began to exert a political influence.” (R. W. Husband; Legislation against Political Clubs during the Republic).

By the time of the return to Roman Imperial governance with Julius Caesar, these Unions or Guilds were banned by decree … seen as “dangerous to public order.” It is now time for them to return WITH political power to RESTORE public order.

First, let me assure the reader that by “Tradesman”, I am referring to a gender-neutral title … there are many of both genders now working hand-in-hand toward the one end: “The workers united, will NEVER be defeated!”

Over the last millennia, while the Aristocracy, then the Military, then the Oligarchical upper-middle classes have fooled about with their power base, debauching, slaughtering and fiddling with both populations and economies, till we see evidence of their gormless incompetence literally screwing up the entire environment of our planet, driving a huge percentage of its denizens into refugee status and yet STILL proclaiming brazenly from all its various media platforms that THEY … and THEY ALONE are the best managers of political and economic outcomes.

WHAT AN ABSOLUTE EFFING LOAD OF BULLSHIT!

Look at just the century past … At the start of the century, we had the last remnants of the inbred aristocracy drag us into their world war of pride and pomp and ceremony that claimed the lives of millions of young people … and then with the next world war, we get the rising middle-classes dragging us into their war of economic opportunity that claimed the lives of millions more. And since then, we have had an unending parade of greater or lesser conflicts and skirmishes for in most cases nothing more than political / economic or religious (the high priests of capitalism) ideology.

All these “players” that want to drive their peoples or other nation’s citizens into a game of monopoly control of either cheap labour or cheap raw commodities, come from the one central class … the non-producing, non-productive middle / upper-middle classes … NOT the trades, NOT the farmers or producers, NOT the service / health carers classes … ALL … if not in actual position, then in aspiration toward the upper-middle classes.

It is time to put an end to this madness.

The representative bodies and unions of the producing classes have both the right and the capability to govern and manage production and economies. The rise in numbers of the educated working classes to sustain and improve the functioning capabilities of a society BEYOND personal individual grandiose statements, would result in an improved social status for ALL citizens of the State.

This is not just a pipe dream, an attempt at persuasion toward socialism or communism. We can now look to see which Nation States that exist as an example of civil governance that best caters for its particular peoples and which operate in a state of absolute mayhem. We do not need to copy in exact detail those governments … indeed, such would be foolhardy, some having enormous population control challenges, some having long histories of conflict with bordering neighbour nations … etc. What we here in Australia need to look to is that ideal which gives the average citizen access to infrastructure, education, health and secure employment that offers dignity of life and security of lifestyle. We are definitely NOT getting either from the continued rapine of our resources and working young and those whose health situation is vulnerable.

The trade / working class representative unions, coupled with the true “On the Land” farmers and producers … along with engineering and scientific research bodies can lift the nation out of the greedy clutches of an anachronistic strangulation of the conservative upper-middle class oligarchs, who have secured for their own riches, their own wants and scheming, the machinery of State. Their rusted and seized intellects no longer have the spark of imagination to set in motion a new world opportunity of “Equality, Fraternity, and Liberty” … Theirs is no more than a dark dungeon of despair, deprivation and desperation.

“Away with all pests!”

There is a measure of undeniable certainty by which to gauge the honest intent of a person’s capability to envisage, oversee and manage a situation, particularly if that situation requires knowledge of planning, supply, needs-base and results. That person may not need to oversee the entire go-to-whoa job, but they do need to have practical insight to envision or to pass over to others WITH PROVEN ABILITY to manage the project. This is where “factory-floor” experience is vital. It is in the space between proposal and approval that the “job-skills” of government members come into their own.

The upper-middle and even some of the old middle-class management styles are both inadequate and incapable of seeing long-term requirements of infrastructure needs above their “consciousness of kind” colleagues who lobby them incessantly for financial or political favour that benefits only their own class but is paid for and in the long run suffered by the producing classes.

Corruption, deceit, fraud and dishonesty are the hallmarks of this decayed and debauched class that has over time worked its favoured sons and daughters into positions of power and influence in both governance and authority. People who, in many cases have little knowledge or capacity to do a half-decent job. The one thing you cannot fake, unlike the “fake it till you make it” middle-class brigade that in the end never really “makes it” at all, or else makes a complete botch up of the whole job! … witness the NBN, the NDIS, the ABCC, ASIC, ACCC, the Productivity Commission, the Fairwork Commission and Government itself!! … we could go on … the only thing you cannot fake is hard work … honest application to create out of raw materials, be they animal, vegetable, mineral or human … is that end result that is visible, tangible and applicable in a practical sense … NOT some will-o-the-wisp rubbish that is only “funded-for-fun” for speculators and investors seeking profit above utility … profit above people. The producing classes can and do deliver the staple infrastructure that is the foundation, the building blocks, structural design and finishing touch to the WHOLE of society! It is the working trades that are the backbone of production and living standards of ALL societies in any time in history … All religious / ethical beliefs follow from them … and ought to give credence to them and in the end offer thanks to them.

We have seen the damage that the unskilled and unqualified can do … It is time to go one better … it is time for The Tradesman’s Return.

Is it time to reconsider a Communist political agenda for Australia?

Communism in Australia has for a long time had to share the punishment stocks with that old mock of shame of “The love that dare not speak its name” … being held up as almost heinous a crime as sexual predatory behaviour. But why? … After all, it is no more than another political possibility in management of a country.

Consider these latest scandals concerning the banking/financial sector … the crimes were of the grubbiest, the most mean in both penny-pinching and spirit of the most elderly and the most vulnerable … and then there are those other associated arms of conglomeracy: The energy sector, communications and allied device manufacturers, there is the minerals industry with the coal lobby going flat out trying to both delay the closing down of a dirty industry until the biggest players can offload their stranded assets or to corrupt an already corrupt political group to “keep the home fires burning” and delay much needed climate change legislation. There is the corp-agriculture sector with its mega hedge-fund management takeovers of water licences and working with those same banks toward pricing the smaller family farms out of business. There is the mega online retail and marketing business going flat-strap with minimal employment or wages/conditions killing the small and big high-street retailers and putting all those employees out of work.

Then there is real-estate, pay-rates, conditions of employment if and when one gets a half decent or serious job that calls for your presence on the job for more than one hour a week … no hour-guaranteed employment contracts that keep a person hanging on the thread of a “promise” without commitment for that day’s work and then on a pay-rate that would drive Scrooge McDuck to shame! And don’t even mention super, sick or holiday pay … and for the love of God don’t get pregnant!

Let’s be honest and realistic about this whole capitalist corporation political system … You could put any of those aforementioned corporations and cabals up before a Royal Commission and they would be as guilty as the banks with corruption, bribery, swindling, gouging and any other adjective descriptive criminality that it is possible to think of or mention … and then we get people saying that Capitalism is the best you can expect as a social system.

And so we have the cheer squad for capitalist enterprise saying that this is the perfect platform for anyone to get a life and become one of the top earners … the top 1%; you … there in the crowd! … perhaps it is your turn for the spot on the dais of success! Get real … get a life … there’s only one way to the top of the wealth pile if you don’t start with old family money or networks and that is by subterfuge of operating in a speculative, quasi criminal operation … like the above mentioned … or you could be a creative, tech’ genius? But that’s not really you, is it?

So, having got the “against” out of the way … let’s see what’s the positives for the possibility of a re-run of the communist manifesto.

Here are some examples of the Australian Communist Party Policies for 1960:

Monopolies Dominate

Only 104 men from 60 millionaire families in Australia direct 249 companies whose capital is valued on the stock exchange at £2075 million, These monopolies — Coles, Myers, Wool-worths, C.S.R., the banks and insurance companies, the breweries and others — dominate ail spheres of Australian life. Starting on a loan from the Commonwealth Bank, in 10 years General Motors-Hoidens has returned to its American owners ; $87 million in profits white increasing its assets by £70 million, Yet this company stands down 8,400 employees, causing them and their families dire distress in order to save a miserable £300,000.

Broken Hill Proprietary, Australia’s most powerful total monopoly, last year made a net profit of £15 million. In the same year it handed out to share-holders free share holdings worth about 150 miIIion.

Higher Living Standards and Security for the Working People to combat the growing economic crisis, to increase purchasing power find jobs for the unemployed, the Communist Party calls for:

Higher wages, a 35-hour working week, equal pay for women and higher rates for young workers.

• Federal and State Government co-operation in stabilisation schemes for each farm industry, to provide a guaranteed price to all working producers covering the cost of production for an amount of produce up to that necessary to provide a living income.

• Reduced taxation on low incomes and higher taxation on the wealthy. Abolition of all forms of indirect taxation or articles of mass consumption.

• Curbs on profiteering monopolies such as legislation to prevent takeovers, strict price controls, capital gains and excess profits tax; reduction of interest rates on hire purchase, housing and farm loans, and nationalisation of the biggest monopolies such as B.H.P., G.M.H. and others.

(Here … it’s somewhere in this extraordinary index of papers, books and writings … I can’t find the exact docco again).

Hey! … I would say the above is just the solution we need today! … and this was way back in 1960! … WTF! But there’s more!

In foreign affairs, Australia has no independent voice. The Menzies government slavishly follows the plans of the American billionaire war planners, and offends and threatens our Asian neighbours.

The 200 million (pounds) spent each year on so-called “defence” enriches the monopolies but contributes very little, if anything, to the security of our nation (ibid).

Need I go on?

As many of us have lamented so many times on this site and elsewhere that we are sick in body and soul of repeating ourselves and nothing happens. Well, folks … there you have it … it’s been said since 1960 and before and still the monopolies rule, the corporations get richer and more powerful, and the politicians keep marching out from under those same sandstone Latin-logo’d porticoes and very little changes. Now why do you reckon that is? Perhaps those capitalist promoters are right: This is the best we are going to get, so wrap up the banners, take down the barricades and shut-the-f#ck-up!

Communism? Hah! … who needs it?

The Hollowed Stone

(Love: The lost child of sophistication.)

Love … Do we even know what it means anymore? And if we did, how many of us would be willing to “throw it all over” … our whole lives … on a whim of passionate emotion … I mean, now that we are all aware and sophisticated and have example and warning of just where such reckless action could lead one? Seriously, ask yourself if you would throw yourself into the arms of another with reckless abandon these days of economic, material and social individualism?

I found this little bit of doggerel in a letter written by a young woman back in the war (2nd) years giving flight to her desire to secretly see her boyfriend, and as it turned out – future husband – who was a woodcutter near the Murray River.

Now I am free …
Off through the scrub I run,
Where sheep tracks only are seen,
Nothing but bush and sun.
Till all of a sudden I come
Out where an axe swings free
Cutting for love and money,
The axe bites deep in a tree.
Then the owner looks up of a sudden,
And gives me a happy smile
And says I hoped you would come,
And I stay there … quite a while.“

The words themselves give clue to both the hunger for company and the possibility for a future that only young love could be so certain was a possibility …  “Cutting for love and money” ,.. What would a timber cutter’s wages be and what future for one of such qualification? Where would such an adult find reassurance in such a relationship … a relationship with the financial support of a labourer’s qualifications? We’ve all seen the end results of low income, low housing and child support capabilities … and it’s not nice … who would want it?

And then there’s the other end of the spectrum where a person has purchased property and is getting on with a good career and then they have to consider whether it is wise to bring another person into their life and home, and risk having to pay over half the property if something goes wrong further down the line a little. It’s all a bit too much, really.

So where does love come into this picture of modern social sophistication?

Where now for the naïve young girl running through the scrub to meet her lover?

What has love to barter with against the considerations of a ultra-modern, materialist lifestyle?

Who needs or wants it?

Where to for the Catherines and Heathcliffs of our post-modern world? The Romeos and Juliets? That younger you or I? In a world of “Celebrity Meet-n-Marry” Bachelor/ette on the wide-screen plasma TVs, or type-face to type-face on some Tinder app on the mobile phone? There would appear to be little taste for chance and that “love at first sight” infatuation, let alone to go rushing off to another’s arms “bare-footed and open-hearted”.

So what has become of us that we have grown so cynical and hard of heart? I have heard some state quite categorically that having found “contentment with their choice” (of “partner”), they would rather all people now ignore the fact even of their obvious gender … a seeking of the invisible … beyond either desire from others or (perhaps?) the temptation of themselves for another. Our sophistication has made us feel secure in our pride of conquest over even our sensual emotions to a point where some seek psychological emasculation of any sexual hunger … a ultra modern world of J. Alfred Prufrock:

“The unpleasant modern world is where “Prufrock” begins. Prufrock, much like da Montefeltro in The Inferno, is confined to Hell; Prufrock’s, however, is on earth, in a lonely, alienating city. The images of the city are sterile and deathly; the night sky looks “Like a patient etherized upon a table” , while down below barren “half-deserted streets” reveal “one-night cheap hotels / And sawdust restaurants” . The use of enjambment, the running over of lines, further conveys the labyrinthine spatiality of the city. Although Eliot does not explore the sterility of the modern world as deeply here as he does in “The Wasteland” (1922), the images are undeniably bleak and empty.”

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (T. S. Eliot):

“Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky,
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question . . .
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

(More here.)

Do we seek love or social redress for perceived distress .. is there justice for the bereaved or the deceived? Perhaps today’s love can be measured in the many brilliant facets of an engagement ring diamond, or the number of ensuites in a split-level estate house within a gated community … but does it “sing” … does it sing like the lover’s hearts when again they meet?

I think we make a grave mistake going down the path of blaming and accusing either gender of exacerbating aggression and violence in male / female relationships.
Certainly men are the more violent and certainly men have fallen further into the abyss of loss of self-esteem in both work identity and family support capability … with both parties in the relationship now needing to hold down two and sometimes more jobs to pay the bills … and there may be the answer to this hardening of the hearts. There may be the enemy who is obvious but cannot be seen, is both instigator and saviour, provocateur and provider: The Capital Economy.

Speaking as the author, husband (I unashamedly confess to loathing the expression “Partner”! … it reminds me too much of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin.) and father and as a man, I have to ask; “What the hell is expected of us? Are we to remake ourselves in an image manufactured on a screen-printer’s design sheet … according to a psychologist’s “balanced structure”? … some sort of “metro-man”, David Beckham look-alike that acts like a sculptured Svengali off the back-page of a woman’s magazine … the photo-shopped perfect image of “everyman gigolo” with just the right balance of money, muscle, a simpering gaze with tender intent … a designers delight … with that one failing … that many male models that cultivate such a persona have a preference for their own perfected gender?

We all fail the perfection test … that marketeer’s yardstick that seems to have grabbed the imagination of a whole generation and demands adherence from both genders to a physique, financial position and psychology absolute that is impossible to satisfy … resulting in the social chaos we hear about everyday in the news columns and airwaves. And I have to confess that it is the men who are most losing the plot on this platform of perfection … our masculinity being converted to a kind of perfumery of scents and washes that have debased our manhood and turned us into satyrs and sadists … our capacity of once serious working men of skill and calibre turned with this so-called “gig-economy” into part-time pantomime producers of silly bibs and bobs in jobs not worth a sphincter full of snow!

And they wonder why we go spare! This is no argument between the rights of the genders, that is a secondary problem … the male argument is between ourselves and the managers of capital. Thankfully, I am of an age where I no longer have to fight mammon for my measly mouthful … but I still recall those days when a full-time job was shared with working till dark – and beyond – hand-building the family home … homes … then making my way back to a rented house to attend to the fatherly/husbandly duties … but feeling that nice, tired feeling of self-respect for doing what needed to be done even with a worker’s wage. But now I see this younger generation being manipulated in and out of crappy jobs with piss-weak pay and conditions and no hope of creating that “family environment” around either themselves, their loved ones or the community … A lost generation.

And it is not just us men who will lose it. Women, ask yourself this: Do you think, after the men have been milked to the last drop of their blood and those commodifiers have finished with us … you will be spared? Not a bloody hope!

Our hearts hollowed out like a gouged stone.

And they wonder why they go spare?

“I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown,
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.“

(The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock)

Cheeriozy!

Got talking to Pete last Friday down the local … the subject got onto the passing of one’s parents … I s’pose because we are both old now ourselves and it comes as no longer an immediate sorrow, but rather one lived through so many years ago … And we got onto the reactions one experiences at the funeral, what with all the rellies gathered there and the friends and some strangers one doesn’t know but is informed in hushed whispers or so later on. There is that bottled-up grief, that reserve in the English tradition, especially amongst the men to not be seen to blubber or weep uncontrollably at such sad gatherings … and the language used is interesting in its sparsity of emotion …

Then Pete took a sup on his beer, reflected a tad, wiped the beads of condensation from one streak on the glass, looked into the distance and made a motion with his pointed finger …

“But I do remember one chap I worked for, a builder in the financing / speculative line … stiff-upperlip sort of bloke … John M’ … old Adelaide family, that sort of thing. You couldn’t get an emotive comment from him if’n you smacked his thumb with a hammer … which I did once – accidently – as he was holding a length of bracing for me … hopeless at physical work … all thumbs … an’ I hit his thumb and you know what he said? Where you or I would’ve swore blue murder, he just spun away (dropped the prop!), cried; “bother!” … and stuck the thumb in his mouth for a second to comfort the pain … that’s the sort of chap he was … ”old school Oxford” …

The job was winding down, the contract reaching near completion so there were only a couple of trades finishing some final touches to the ground-works and I was there as supervisor of the job from go to whoa. That was when John turned up. He was walking the site by himself, looking like he was inspecting the finished job … not his usual occupation … he usually waited for the handing-over ceremony for that sort of thing … but there he was. Now .. I knew he had been to his Mother’s funeral the day before, and I put his meandering down to a listlessness that one gets when first “orphaned” … that ”you’re on your own now” feeling … so to say. But I was surprised when he pulled up a drum to sit on and joined me and Keith the plumber for smoko …

John was the project builder … a developer rather than an actual builder … not your sort of tradie-evolved into builder, but a bloke from an old family with old money involved in multi-faceted projects, of which building was but one. I was his go-to man for building … I was the “knowledge-base” for that side of his investments. He would leave on-site management to me … and that included timetables, subbie hire and materials delivery scheduling. We had worked together for years, but not in a close familiar way … I was still just the “hired help” … just a business sort of thing … so it was quite surprising when he opened the conversation with the announcement that he had just buried his mother. Of course Keith (another long-server) and I both knew this, but we gave our condolences kindly and fairly … we had no gripe with the man or his family. He thanked us and then after the usual quiet on these occasions, he cleared his throat and spoke in a confiding manner … to neither of us in particular, but rather while looking at the ground somewhere between us.

“You know, it’s a funny thing, language … the expression of certain words. I have been to the best schools and university where language is treated as a sacred thing … the pronunciation, the grammar, even the timing of delivery of thought or repost … how to speak and speech, you could say … ”

John went quiet while he reached to pick up a twig which he used to scribble on the ground by his feet ..

“I gave the eulogy at my mother’s funeral yesterday.” He continued, ”All the usual blather and history … all about the family, her work in the district and committees she was on and such like … all written there on my notes, some highlighted in yellow marker … it went over well … as I was trained to do … a solemn finish before we all made our way to the cemetery for the placing of the casket.”

John drew some hieroglyphics in the dust as he thought it out a bit. I could see all this idle chatter was taking its toll on the man … but he was on a mission to explain something to himself, I felt. We remained silent … to give him space.

He continued with a sudden exclamation …

”Dammit!  You have to hold yourself together at these … these events. It doesn’t do to make a fool of oneself weeping and carrying on … one must maintain structure … dignity. After all, it wasn’t as if my mother’s passing was a sudden tragedy … it was a long tiring business for all the family … a kindly relief for all when she passed away, to be candidly honest … for her most particularly, I’d say … so it was .. should have been a solemn, dignified affair … the placing of the casket in the grave. Except for Loretta.” John stabbed the stick into the earth .

“Loretta?” Keith encouraged …

” Loretta,” John breathed. “Yes, Loretta … an Italian woman, the wife of one of the nephews … lovely woman, in the Italian dark-lady of the sonnets mould … if you know what I mean. It was quite a surprise for the family when the nephew returns from a working stint on the continent with an Italian wife … shocked! … you could say … a real eyebrow raiser, the whole affair. But they settled down and had a couple of kiddies and got on with the married life routine … but dammit … she’s got that dago emotion thing in spades … weeping all over the place, at weddings and Christenings and such like … so she had to almost be dragged from the grave before she threw herself in it on top of the coffin … damn display to say the least!”

And here was the long silence .. .here was the nub of the new “congenial John” .. here he became uncomfortable …

”You know, one has to hold oneself together as an example for the younger ones … it doesn’t do to put on too much display … and … and I was there beside Father O’Loughlin as he read the rites and the coffin was lowered down. Certainly, I had some tears to shed, but held in check for the dignity of the moment … but I could hear Loretta wailing somewhere behind me … and I thought I would give her husband a bit of a talking to after the funeral … at the wake. But as we stepped back from the grave to let the mourners file past to throw the bit of dirt onto the laid coffin, that damn Italian woman suddenly called out a word in perfect imitation of our mother’s voice … here was this woman … who could only speak a kind of garbled mish-mash of Italo-English saying in perfect enunciation that one word so familiar to all of mother’s children and grandchildren … and by time-lapsed, especially to me.”

“You see,” John continued in a kind of self-reflection tone, ”Mum was a country girl and she had an infuriating habit of “cutesying” words by adding an “ee” sounding to the end … like “bunnee” instead of rabbit. She’d say; “Oh we’re having a couple of bunnys for dinner … ” and one really infuriating one she’d say when I was a young tear-away, home from the college with a friend or two and we’d been ripping it up a tad at a local dance and in the morning she’d wake us with a much too cheerful; “Come on, boys up we get … I’ll make you some bacon and eggys for breaky.” It used to so infuriate me … and here we were at the final lap so to speak of the funeral, and I had held myself together so well and then that weeping Italian woman has to drop that bombshell that took me by complete surprise and … and … well … ” John threw the twig over his shoulder … “I lost it … I just lost it. Loretta just halted right next to me, looked directly at me in a flood of tears, then to the coffin in the grave and wept out a string of damn indecipherable dago words to finish with that one perfectly enunciated damn softly spoken parting word Mother always called to us as we left her home; ”Cheeriozy!” That one silly, muck-up of a perfectly good, common English word …

“Cheeriozy! … cheeriozy! … ”

Loretta called out and I just lost it and I wept and wept … and I still can’t get over it … And I don’t know why!”

Then John abruptly stood up, turned around and left … without a word, but we could see the tears …

Of course, neither Keith nor I ever mentioned it again.

The Language of the Left

It has moved, this language of the left-wing. It no longer holds court as the gobbledygook plaything of the cognoscenti or aficionados of that ‘higher plane” of intellectual lament of the “Intellectual Left”. No longer seen as exclusive to those of “good education” and “polite society” … It too is in rebellion and it is striking out to street-level conversation, street-level politics and discourse … It is getting dirty and mean and full of fight. The language of the Left is once again the language of rebellion!

No longer the staid, predictable “classicism” of well-chosen elocution and “grammar-corrected” syntax. The language of the Left is going “vulgar” … as are the “children of the left-wing” … no longer relying on text-book example, these new revolutionaries are “living the experience” of student poverty, casual-no-conditions-open-employment, out-of-reach housing and rent, no credit available or no reliable employment history or future, health, education, childcare and violence! And now into the dangers of inaction on climate change … These are the basic building blocks of the language of the Left … these are the basic necessities of a decent society.

This has happened before in history … a swing away from what was seen as the exclusive property of the upper middle-classes … those who claimed by right of exclusive education the podium of restraining rhetoric. Always ready with the glib word or sentence to take command of the radical mood … to “throw oil on troubled waters” … always the plea for calm tempers … always “tomorrow”, they say, “Domani! Domani!” .. tomorrow, tomorrow! Always there to hold at bay the common people’s clenched fist o.f anger … svelte, persuasive and calming … the drug of “Soma” to a people outraged … ”The sensible centre” they call! … in effect working for that same end as those of the extreme right-wing who would extract the very life-blood from the vulnerable … the pause in reaction time enough for a quick shift in policy by the conservatives that halts the “crossing of the line” by a vengeful citizen body … allowing both parties, the centre-left and the centre-right to go together to their exclusive clubs and drink their expensive wine, slap each other on the back and give a low whistle of thanks for a politically dangerous moment diffused.

But no more!

No more hiding behind or giving preference to the “consciousness of kind” confederation of the middle-class rulers … When the producers of all they claim right to possess, be it wealth, prestige, power, security … is no more than what we … the producers of society; the working people / farmers / engineers / health professionals and tradespeople … make for and supply to them … they are nothing without us … nothing! But we would not even miss their persons or their hustling and swindling for more than a day … just one day … to realign our lives … to adjust to a new system.

Time to skim the scum off the top of society.

The language of the Left is being spoken by the Unions … by the casual conversations among those most affected by the cuts and cruelty of conservative politics. It is being interpreted into the many tongues of this multi-cultural country … No longer just English as a mother tongue, it is the common language of those who know when they are being done over, bullied, sold-out, demonised and abused. This language of the Left needs no grammatical purity, it is cleansed by the wash of brevity of message, the shout of demand for fair treatment, it is purified by the air of honesty and honourable intent. The language of the Left is a rich vein of revolutionary elocution and vernacular under stood by every worker in every native tongue at any time in history on this Earth. The language of the Left is the language of rebellion against poverty and corruption, against unfair work practices and conditions … against that corrupt lobby that will not act to protect our children’s future against an extreme climate change … The language of the Left is the crying torrent of a wild-river from the people!

“Change the rules!” is the cry in the streets from the union members and marchers … and I say over and over; “Change the rules / Change the ruling class!” … because it is no use just replacing one set of private-schooled right-wing elites with another set of the private-schooled intellectual-left … They are too closely affiliated, too closely nurtured under the same Latin-logo’d portico … too chummy by half and we have seen too many times those highly educated “left-politicians” retire to a well-paid sinecure with some multi-national corporation that works against the interests of the producing classes!

Change is a natural evolution against stagnation … does not a flood cleanse the stagnant ponds from a dead river? It is a demand for the status quo to remain in situ that causes corruption …

So to change the rules, we must change the ruling class … It must be done … We can no longer afford – literally – to defer management and control to that class just because they have a broader or more expansive vocabulary and network of intrigue. There are enough of the producing class now with tertiary qualifications who can both understand and speak for their own people and rule the nation.

Of course there will be those who will wave away such concerns as I raise here … after all, it is they who will lose … they, who for many years have been claiming as our representative, the rewards in both kudos and political position that our power of the vote has given them … and yet, here we are in the twenty-first century … still in poverty, still fighting for even a modicum of rights and services that is due to the most destitute of our class. Here we are still marching in the streets trying to get a fair deal for the young, vulnerable and the unemployed against a mob of thieving, ruthless bastards that want the right to wallow in unlimited wealth and luxury while there are so many without either home or secure job and on a miser’s wage and we see the natural world collapsing around our ears.

No … no more … The language of the Left is changing and it is being “owned” by a new generation that is unafraid to lift the banner and hold the lines for fair wages and conditions … respect in both home and workplace … and security of employment and a chance to own their own home if they so desire.

Really … It’s not that much to ask … and seriously, do we have any choice?

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