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Blogging with a “common” voice

We, of the fifth estate, seem to be caught in some sort of endless loop of outrage …. and every now and then we throw a legitimate “bomb” or two off the “train” that hits the political target … but mostly, it’s a long ride stroking our elocution egos and practising our pouting sneers! … One gets the feeling that the opposition has tuned out and dropped out … our cries of outrage have become more and more shrill.

This may be because the MSM has command of the morning clock-radio-alarm audience and the hard-copy press has control of the visual-posters outside the milk-bar / deli’/ train station that grab first impressions for the commuter’s day … we are down the information ‘food-chain’ a bit and perhaps opinions are already subconsciously formed before we have a chance to put our case across … we therefore have the added difficulty that, unlike the fourth estate who has already claimed the morning “high ground” of news and views, the fifth estate has to put across a damn good, convincing argument … in the space of a few hundred imagination capturing words … keeping in mind, the reading punter’s finger is forever hovering over the “click” button as they sip their café lattes!

I have one opinion on how we may be able to embrace a wider audience … we may have to close the distance between the everyday reader and the teller … by “the distance”, I mean the academic discourse distance. There are many good blog sites delivering solid, witty and in-depth articles over the web … but I have noticed they nearly all (the serious ones at least) “speak” with an “educated mind” … they all talk “academic savvy” … even sites like Loon Pond, though thoroughly enjoyable, still echo the cultivated grammar and the trained eloquence of a good education. There’s nothing wrong with a good education, I knew a bloke had one once, cost him a fortune … he brought it from Tassie … it’s just that many people can be either over-awed by such or fall into a habit, of which I was a long-time culprit, of deferring to those who are perceived to have one and therefore perceived to be “better informed” … (cough, cough!) … and as a consequence, with-holding much conversation that could be added to the general pool that would aid communication to a wider audience … after all, I would think we here at The AIMN are all interested in encouraging friendship (warm fuzzies to you all!).

There are many on The AIMN that could deliver their nous and stories to a wide audience, judging by the number of hits the site gets. Some may think they have nothing of great store to tell and are hesitant that they have the skills to tell it, but that is of no account … I say: “Have a go” … it doesn’t have to be an epic, just a few dozen words of general observation gleaned from one’s travels through life … as Charles Darwin observed: “It’s not so much the little things in life, but the life in little things” … it would surprise many just how much “savvy” information can be filtered from the shortest of interesting sentences, after all … look at Haiku poetry … and with the internet, it is a bottomless pit we can pour our dissertations into and it will never be full.

But it helps if those cameos of “certain moments”, even political moments, can be delivered with a “common” voice, a familiar vernacular with or without grammatical correctness. After all, some of the best storytellers I have listened to have had that foamy fleck of beer on their lips, a lack of knowledge of the double-negative rule and a resounding belch to finish up!

That last article I put up: “History from the back of a beer coaster” is a case in point … While I had done the research to back-up my broad assertions, I did not need to drag all those links and references onto the page … and that was the objective … I could just paint the picture with a broad brush and keep the “conversation” moving along at a brisk pace … the post then doesn’t become a chore to wade through … sorry, but it has come to this state that anything over 1000 words hardly gets a thorough read anymore … skimming is all the go it would seem … especially on a blog site.

The other thing that drags a blog into the mud is the old insecurity that many adopt of clinging to allegiances … the “seeking out of the oracle and the worship of the idol” … I don’t think I am giving any secret away when I say: Forget it! … no-one’s that bleedin’ smart … not now nor ever … as nature has shown … everyone and everything is expendable … so make your point and then get the hell off the stage and let some one else have a go!

There … the “Fat Lady” has sung.


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  1. corvus boreus

    Broad-brush Picture Painted For Me

    Legs spread, grunts, gibbers,
    shakes invisible weapons,
    penis thrusts at air

  2. Joseph Carli

    Crow..your imagination…keep it to yourself..there’s ladies in the house!

  3. corvus boreus

    Not my imagination, but your own submitted scriptngs condensed into a haiku.

    And, whilst your sudden display of superficial concern for the gentle sensitivities of the tender gender is touching, the fact is, when you doodled that grotesque verbal sketch portrait of yourself unintelligibly grunting, fist-shaking and making piss-directing pelvic-thrusts, it was not only enacted for my benefit, but also aimed directly at 2 females who frequent this forum.

    Ps, Cheers… for telling us all… how to.write… right!

  4. New England Cocky

    Umm cv …. I think Haiku requires 14 words … this latest offering is better suited to the Liarbral branch meeting.

    Joseph, apologies for the simple minded response above, but how do you get an article onto AIMN???

    Here in New England we have had the disgrace of the Barnyard Joke affair where persons living in other regions may have benefited from local knowledge.

    But seriously, do you think that academic paper has little worth because it cannot be used in the dunny?

  5. corvus boreus

    Haiku is structured,
    brevity in syllables,
    five, seven, then five.

    Ps, at the top of the AIMN title page is a ‘contact us’ link.
    I feel confident that the Taylors would be happy to receive a literary contribution from you.

  6. Joseph Carli

    Oh, Crow!…how I miss-judged you…such verbose eloquence and psychological presumptions worthy of the great Jung at his peak!…Oh Oh..the ladies, I am certain will be eternally grateful of your whispers into their ears…pray continue with this running dialogue worthy more than the harking, crarking cries of ANY of the southern crows in this my vicinity!…but be cautious as to how detailed the salaciousness you are want to whisper into the ladies ears…In my experience..humble as it is..they do not like to be “mansplained”..
    And as for “teaching us how to write”…I would have thought that with your scribing skills, I would be more inclined to “teach” you how NOT to write!

  7. Joseph Carli

    Ah..sad is the day…sad..ah..I can see after reading many, many posts on the site over a variety of posts that some of the males here (I will not name names) seem to have missed out on an essential bit of their youthful instruction from a reputable and reliable mentor..I too, when quite young was innocent of the “ways of the world”..and it was quite by accident (serendipitous?) that a older Slavic man on one of the many muti-storey construction sites I worked on could give me a lesson on so simple a thing as fully enjoying the fruit of the Loquat tree….Here, I have written that lesson down as I recall it and I pass it on to you fellows as would appreciate the candid lesson…:

    ” That song by Blondie : “In The Flesh” ( …threw me back many years…way before that song was written..back to my apprenticeship years as a young blade on the building site. In the smoko room of a multi-story building site…

    Back in those days..mid-sixties or so, we had a loquat tree in our yard at home and this year it was most proficient with fruit, so I used to take a small bag of them with me to work to eat at smoko and lunch…but in those days, I, and anyone I knew , used to not peel the fruit, but just eat them skin and all..till one day on the site, at smoko..this Slavic chap at the table watched me eat the whole fruit and then addressed me so;
    (I won’t try to do his accent)

    “Why, my young friend, do you eat the loquat, skin and all?”

    “I don’t know”..I shrugged ” I just else would you eat it?”…He put his apple down into his lunch-box and said..

    “Here..give me one..I see you have many..that big plump one there..they are the best to show you…” I gave it to him “ Yes,,very juicy”..

    He wiped the surface with his rough hand and then held it up in front of us both as in display.

    ‘This fruit is not just a lump of food..(pause)..this is a sensuous delight..not just to chomp down like the glutton you are , my young friend!”..and he lay it clutched in one palm and proceeded to peel it with his other hand…a strip at a time ..all the while giving me..and those other bemused older men at the table, a running commentary…I have to admit I felt a tad blushing in those innocent days..

    His eyes concentrated and his voice softened..

    “This fruit is like a have to be very gentle..for she will bruise so if you handle her like this fruit? must never be rough with that you must gently peel away the outer layers of “garment” (he paused in his action to give me a querying stare) you understand?” (several other men stifled a guffaw) and when you have it down to the flesh…you gently , with both the flesh wide so you can see the seeds..which you ease out with the index-finger..The young not only to be used for rough I see you throw around those ‘Acrow props’…you must be more gentle in your work”..and he looked at me sternly.

    He performed the whole procedure with all the care and sensuality of a lover..”And there”..he displayed the bare fruit in his open hand..and after a suitable pause for me to absorb the result, he raised the dripping delight to his lips and voluptuously pressed them down on the flesh so the juice oozed over his lips, which he dabbled with his napkin…His eyes rolled back in his head….he then spoke in a almost voiceless whisper..

    “And then…my so young and innocent friend..when you bring your lips to touch on that forbidden flesh , you can feel both the fruit and your mouth yield to a higher pleasure than you will ever experience in your otherwise worthless existence …” There was a long pause while he held his pointed to the ceiling hand for a moment of appreciation..
    “Pitchken dim..” he sighed.

    There was a sudden outburst of laughter in the smoko room from the other men and I felt more than a little uncomfortable.

    But the other end of my life, I can reflect back on the incident with a somewhat sentimental smile at the Slav’s performance….and I recollect a poem (I have it somewhere around here) of Penelope (of Ulysses myth) saying goodbye to her secret lover as it was rumoured Ulysses was returning to the island. Her lover, a rugged but handsome young fisherman who travelled with the seasonal schools of fish for his livelihood , and was then moored at the wharf in Ithaca, asked Penelope for a token to take with him when he sailed that day as a keep sake, a talisman.. and (if I clumsily recall.from memory ) she spoke from her balcony to him below..:

    “There sir, by your hand..a white Athens rose,
    Throw it to me that I may grant your desire.”
    Tomas plucked the flower and did as she sought.
    Penelope pressed the stem to her bared breast,

    So a thorn pricked her milk-white flesh.
    A noiseless cry shaped her red lips and,
    A drop of her blood rose upon the place,
    As she pressed the white blossom upon it,
    So a single petal held her token there.

    She cast her loving eyes to Tomas,
    And returned the flower which he cupped
    In his hand ..then raising it to his lips,
    He plucked out that single petal upon his tongue,

    And took it into his body as a sign
    Of his endearing affection for Penelope..
    “Addio..( he softly whispered)…addio my sweet lady..”

    I have that whole poem around here somewhere..I’ll have to search it out one of these days..

  8. John Lord

    “Good grammar is vitality important but is secondary to the expression of a valid well-constructed point of view”.

    “I have been writing a while now and have learned a lot. Not only from my own work, but from a creative writing class I joined. In this class, there are all kinds of people. Prosperous and poor farmers, housewives, salesmen. Some cultivated and others who have never been to high school. Some are quick of wit others slow even timid. However everybody is talented, original in their own way and all have something important to say.”

  9. wam

    twits are oft ‘rite’ here
    their opinions for to ram
    some make sense some wam

    Who else with me miss
    the lordish repetition
    and the clever caws

    te amo joseph
    to read your thoughtful posts
    sets neurons sparking


    the rabbott is back
    ever his mind slip that white is
    better than shiny black

  10. Joseph Carli

    Wam…you’re a regular “Jabberwocky” sort of fellow…sometimes lucid to a fault..sometimes as slippery as a tove…but ti amo tu!

  11. helvityni

    To have your ‘own’ voice, an honest voice for starters is important…don’t be a copy- cat and try to emulate someone else…

    I love Albert Camus’ pared down style…

    If you are writing a book, the proof-readers and editors will take care of the grammar and punctuation.

    Of course you also have to have something to say…

    Patrick White has plenty to say and there’s another little gem from Australia: The Road from Coorain ( a memoir by Jill Ker Conway).

  12. Joseph Carli

    John Lord..: ” However everybody is talented, original in their own way and all have something important to say.”….That is true, but there are certain universal methodologies that are a definite requirement in the telling of stories..even a good joke can be ruined by a bad teller..Those oral story-tellers used different language and had the extra benefit of facial expression and gesticulation…or vocal inflection to enhance the moment..The written word must use those hidden twists and word-language triggers that are familiar to the vernacular of the reader..slang and colloquialism play an important can be taught the basic rudiments of written expression, but then sooner or later one has to strike out on one’s own..taking nothing but their lived experience as example to tell the tale..and then risk putting your very soul on display for public scrutiny and criticism…a sometimes brutal experience.

    I wrote an exampler piece that I put up a while back, using my apprentice experience in carpentry as an analogy to the lessons one has to learn to mature to adulthood..
    Here..if you are interested.

    “Nailing down a pine floor.
    Let me tell you how we used to nail down the floorboards of a house back when I was an apprentice. It was always the apprentice’s job to nail down the floor as it was THE WORST job in the list of second fix carpentry. The youngest apprentice got the job and when he was older and a new apprentice came on site, it was passed on to that younger one…it was the way it went.
    Most houses in those days were smaller with smaller rooms, so the usual “run” of continuous nailing was about 3-4metres (in this new money)..or around 10 -15 feet..with around 7 or 8 runs per room..each board with two x 2inch nails per board. You would clasp as many two inch nails as you could hold in your fist and you would start and keep up a rhythm with the nailing…First strike, light , to start the nail off, second to drive it in and third to finish it off flush with the surface of the floorboard so the punch can sink it below the surface in just one blow..and the foreman or carpenter boss got shitty if you over struck the last blow and left a “two-bob” dent in the floor.
    Three strikes from a 24ounce claw lighter hammer, because it may take an extra blow to do every nail and they add up, believe me! heavier (I can recall 28ounce hammers some brawny chippies had for framing or shutter work on the multi-storeys) or your arm would fall off by the end. Three blows in a continuous rhythm with out break and speed…if you missed feeding the nail from the clutched handful that fed to your thumb and fore-finger, you’d keep the rhythm going by striking the floorboard next to the nail spot just to keep the rhythm going…
    “Tap-bang-bang…tap-bang-bang…tap-bang-bang…tap-bang-bang… on and on and on…
    Sometimes you’d not have that 2inch nail the right way up or not in quite the right position and you’d come down with that “tap”..which wasn’t a soft touch, by the way, but rather a solid starting hit to set the nail solid ready for the next heavy blow..and you’d spin the nail away and take the force of the hammer blow onto your thumb-nail edge and BY F#CKIN’ JAYSUS…did it hurt..and you would end up with a black nail that would, if you are lucky just drop off in a couple of weeks time..unlucky and it would fester under the nail and you’d be weeping in agony at night until you got your mother (you were only fifteen or so, remember) to heat up the blunt end of a paper-clip and burn it through the nail so that the pus would squirt out and you’d almost swoon with relief..
    But you would keep going..”tap-bang-bang…tap-bang-bang…because it was no use stopping and weeping, no-one else was going to do the job…no-one else was going to rub your hand and say coo-cooing things to you to comfort you because they had suffered the same back when it was their turn…they may come in to check why you’ve stopped the rhythm and say : “Poor bastard”, but you’d keep on going because that was your work that was what is required to get the job done and someone had to do it…and sometimes because of the bruising of that first miss-hit, you’d do it again on the same nail and you’d literally WEEP with the pain..but it was no use walking away, quitting or whatever, because the next place you went to also would have a floor needing to be nailed down and there you were ; the apprentice..

    So you just got better at your concentrated on that rhythmic feeding of the nails to your thumb and fore-finger…you kept the blows coming and eventually you could hand the chore over to another apprentice and listen from another room for that rhythmic hammering and wince when you heard the cry of pain…

    You got better..but by Jeesus you got a few bruised thumbs and black nails until you did!..and when you got older and went to the pub with your mates and you raised that schooner or pint of beer, you’d see the ingrained dirt and cuts and callouses on your hand and you’d know which class you and your mates belonged to and you’d know about pain and you’d know about bludgers and con-men and shirking the job and who was really a responsible grown man or woman and any decent worker would respect any other worker for that reason…and be f*cking proud to be able to do so! “

  13. helvityni


    …as for blogs and blogging, there’s enough bickering and bullying on most sites, no need for me to add anything there.

  14. Joseph Carli

    helvi’…one can detect in your brief commentary the measured tone of “understanding” strangely so familiar in people of those northern latitudes..Perhaps it is that warm but rugged “Viking” quality that has taken and given such stern lesson down through the ages..I always look and value first to your comments on the “recent comments” side panel..and as you have seen..I’m no flatterer.

  15. corvus boreus

    This one has picked up enough history to realize that Suomi peoples do not, by and large, identify with Scandinavian ‘vikingrs’ (which actually refers to an activity rather than a people).
    The Nordic peoples who ‘vikinged’ (ie went on journeys seeking fame and fortune, usually by engaging in hyper-aggressive trade bargaining and over-enthusiastic souvenir tourism) stem from significantly different, if superficially similar, socio-linguistic cultures.

    Ps, I also know that there is a tendency for Finns, as with people from the Baltic states and other various targets of the military takeovers undertaken by the USSR in the 30’s, to have a rather non-cuddly view of Josef Stalin.

  16. helvityni

    corvus boreus,

    ‘Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden from 13th century until 1809, it then became an autonomous duchy of the Russian Empire until 1917, when it declared independence.’

    Because of once belonging to Sweden, we all had to learn Swedish at high school, it was a good start. I think it was President Kekkonen who started good diplomatic relationships with Russia, and they have continued ever since, my engineer brother used to work there as well for some time…

    So relationships between those neighbouring countries have been good for a very long time now…

    Finnish is very different from the Scandinavian languages…but learning Swedish first, the other languages like German, Dutch, English, and even Spanish and Italian are easier to tackle after that…..

  17. corvus boreus

    Thanks for the more intimate historical perspective and the reassurance of normalised relations with post-Stalin Russia.
    Sounds like the potential springboard for a more involved discussion, but I won’t clog up Joe’s thread.

  18. Anthony Andrews

    Great article, Joseph. The world’s training itself to only absorb sound bites…

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