Come Saturday Morning.

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Come Saturday Morning..; A Reminisce.
Saturday mornings were a special moment for us youth in our little group. This was in the days of our mid-teens, too young to go to the pubs but old enough to have a motorcycle licence. All of us, to a lad, were apprentices…most of us were in the building industry a couple in the Auto industry. Our take-home pay was such that we had to make our own fun..fortunately, petrol was at such a low price (relative) we could go tear-arseing through the hills playing at boy-racers..like our heros on the Isle of Man TT. Circut.
We would meet at a certain cross-road and take off into our favourite “runs”. If it was a short run, we would go through Coromandel Valley / Clarendon…if it was an all-day affair, it would be the Murray Bridge run..on what is now the “old road”..through Mt Barker, Nairne, Kanmantoo / Callington. With long strait stretches where you could unwind the bikes to see how fast they would go. On the winding roads, we’d make a single file, snaking through the corners on what was understood as ; “The Right Line”..after a short film of the era that featured a racing bike on Brands Hatch, with the camera fixed to the front axle and it took you through the “line” most suited to the fastest speed in the corners…I believe the bike was a Manx Norton…I remember the throaty big-piston sound that they had….a thrilling ride ..then!
Sometimes , on those long straight lengths of road we would ride side by side and exchange chatter, my Japanese two-stroke a higher pitch than Ron Parker’s BSA..or Russel Hanby’s Triumph…those British bikes had a certain smell of hot oil and a distinctive hum of chain driven gears…those Brits loved chains!…But I loved that smell of burning oil…it also was prevalent on the old steam trains..a smell of steam and oil would sometimes shisssh out from the front drive of the train as you walked past…shishhhwhoosh!..and there was that smell.
This idyll went on for several years in my youth..work was there, a sense of permanence was there..routine was in place and the reward of the weekend to relax permeated through the whole of society..Mums and dads were at home, doing things in the garden or the house..dinner, boring as it sometimes was, was always there..kids were climbing trees or running over paddocks and we teens were going to the beach or the pictures watching banal American “teen-flicks” with Annette Funnicello, Gidget, Eric Von Zipper and a host of rhinestone cowboys and other ghastly indoctrination pieces..we were being shown “the good life”..like when television came along and we got “My Three Sons” or “Leave It To Beaver”..”Father Knows Best” ..then those series of “Crime doesn’t pay” gumshoe-detective genre.I believe was in the mix also. One is inclined now, with the wisdom of age, to ask ; “What were the adults thinking!!?”
But now, we do know just what “they” were thinking.
They were showing us “The Contract”..An unwritten agreement that “all this” could be yours if you stick to the line and the terms of the contract and just do as you are directed. It was the age of wall to wall Conservative Liberal Governments…Federal, State, Local..one great big broad church of conservatism with a capital “C”. The endless long-weekend with work aplenty, radio, tv, the flicks, sun, surf and an endless horizon that seemed as if it could have gone on forever….an endless ;”Come Saturday Morning”..and it wasn’t us workers who broke the contract.
I wrote on this moment of awakening…two pieces..here on the blog.; “Epiphany” and “The Day Bomfino Went Crazy”.
I was apprenticed to a builder who held a major contract with the then Housing Trust, and he ran one of those old family business’s..a Latvian whom I now suspect of being a collaborator in the 2nd. WW. I worked in the joinery / machine shop..I was in my third year of the apprenticeship and I was keen to extend my carpentry knowledge with a stint on the job with roofing and wall structures. I asked if I could leave the joinery shop and go on the job.
I was told ; no, as there was only sub-contractors on the job, not company employees.
I then asked if I could be assigned with one of these subbies so I could learn more about carpentry..I was told no..and that was the end of it. ..I was to stay in the shop.
I then started to wonder how this system worked..Why were there so many apprentices in proportion to tradie joiners?…Were these “joiners” really tradesmen or just bench-hands? I soon worked out that not only were the workers there not tradesmen, but that there were more apprentices as that was the cheapest labour…and when I queried both the “apprenticeship commission” and my union on the situation, I was told to shut-up and not to make trouble.
So there it was..; the perfect fool’s paradise..; The factory filled with cheap labour churning out a product for a conservative govt’ being run by a conservative opportunist with the permission of conservative govt’ authority overseen by a conservative / Rw.union..as long as the status quo was maintained..all would be sweet..; Work would come in, wages would go out, “The Real McCoys” (with Walter Brennan) or “Rawhide” (with Clint Eastwood) would keep repeating and every weekend would be another ; “Come Saturday Morning”.
But the bastards got greedy..they got away with the shit wages and conditions for so long, they saw it as their priveledge..so that when the workers did finally get some unions with balls and did kick up about it, they got heavy..and then the shit really hit the fan!..It was called Vietnam and protest songs and freedom!
The rest, as they say is history….I say it is time to make a little more “history”.

Quo Vadis ?

“Wither goest thou, Lord?” (quo vadis?)..This question was supposedly put to Jesus by St Peter when he met his master on the Appian Way whilst making his escape from Rome.
“I am going to Rome to be crucified again”..was Jesus’s answer. Whereupon, St Peter , in a guilt of conscience at abandoning his faith, turned around and the rest…
I as this same question to us all on The Left..:
Quo Vadis ?..Wither goest thou?
Where are we going?..Is it so hard to answer..Let us look from whence we came..in just one or two generations, the citizen body ( the people) along with the Unions , other non govt’ organisations and concerned bodies..along with the Progressive side of politics ..The Aust’ Labor Party, we have lifted the living standard of most of the citizens of this nation to a level of decency so far above that of the early years of last century as to be unrecognisable..until..the rise of this current crop of filthy fascists hiding behind a construct of “decency” as thin as and as fragile as stage scenery.
Like the props of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, replete with bumptious mock generals and a buffoonery of side-kicks, the Right-wing stumble about the political stage like drunken thespians, forgetting their lines and ad-libbing where serious concentration is needed. This parade of fools under the “command” of a Faustian Admiral adorned in cock-feathers be-lying his emasculated personage , is now undoing all the rights and standards needed by the people and required by decency to maintain a civil society.
Aided and abetted by over-paid, over-subscribed scribblers who have sold their national allegiance and their country of birth to a renegade ex-pat’ now foreign national for their “Judas Purse” of small-change..This country is in the grip of the usual fascist delusion that with a firm grip on the throat of the citizens, it can squeeze the life-blood from the nation and it’s workers….The stupid fools have yet to learn that , like fine dust ; the harder you grip, the more you lose!
So where are we going…we are going back to basics..the best place to start..we are going to wipe the black-board clean and re-write the rules of good governance..we are going to re-walk the path to good and fair nationhood..it doesn’t need physical confrontation in these days of social media..it just needs a concentrated , concerted voice..like the song above..all singing the one song in the one direction..But we do need to radicalise our minds and get our passions riled and maintain the rage on these pages..
So to those who ask ; “Where is the Left and where is it going?” ..Quo Vadis?..We are going back on the road to once again strike the blow for equality , decency and fair governance.
Now..Let’s hear that song again..

No Pasaran!

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NO Pasaran!

“NO PASARAN!..The cry went out, “The Fascists are about!,”No Pasaran!…and so the war began.”

That is the start of an early draft of what I hoped would be a rousting piece of rhyming poetry I wanted to write just these last couple of days..You can see by the syllabic construction of that phrase : “No pasaran” that it has a natural “beat” a rhythmic sequence like a marching foot-fall or the beat of a drum..Perhaps , if it were loud enough..the beat of a human heart. It is a natural for building on..almost like a Sousa march.

No Pasaran.
“Credit for that (no pasaran) goes to the fiery Spanish Communist party leader Dolores Ibárruri (1895-1989), whose popular nickname was “La Pasionaria” (“The Passion Flower”).
On July 18, 1936, mutinous Spanish Army troops led by Generalissimo Francisco Franco invaded the Spanish mainland from Morocco, with the goal of overthrowing Spain’s elected Republican government. This was the beginning of the bloody Spanish Civil War.
The next day, July 19, 1936, Ibárruri made a brief but eloquent speech on Radio-Madrid.
She urged her fellow citizens to put aside their other political differences and join together to fight against Franco’s Fascist forces.
“Young men, prepare for combat!,” she said. “Women…fight alongside your men in order to defend the lives and freedom of your sons…All workers, all anti-fascists must now look upon each other as brothers in arms.”

It was to be built on the words spoken by that Spanish lady ; “La Passionaria” .. “No Pasaran!” (They shall not pass!) in the time of the Spanish civil war. But while I had the words almost down pat in my head, the rhythm kinda sorted and the rolling theme just about right…I could not put it down on paper..I started, but I bulked at the actual printing out what I had now questioned in my mind the veracity of the honesty of the poem.

Because of course, Franco did break through their barricades..he did “pass” their fighters and their walls…with the help of the other fascista in Germany and Italy…Franco’s only hope , the fascist cowards only hope of success is to gang-up on their opposition…they did break through the barricades and take control of the country..and they mocked and sneered at the cry of resistance of “NO PASARAN!”..The right wing still mock and sneer at what they disparagingly call “leftie rantings”…but they do not , cannot know the real meaning behind those words; “No Pasaran”…they do not have the depth of understanding the cultural collective of the working people of not just one country, but the entire world..not one election, but a whole democracy…not just one moment in time, but through all time…the entire span of human recorded history..”No pasaran” strikes a deeper cord in the worker’s heart than just a cry of resistance with arms..it is a barricade against the attempted conquest of ALL vulnerable peoples , a cry of resistance to reject the tyrannical fascist / corporate mindset from the very heart of a people…it is a rejection of the selfish, oafish, cruel nature of exploitation that would set citizen against citizen, brother against sister, one ethnic group against another and use religion, that over-arching drug-of-least-resistance to enact violence and hatred against all.

NO PASARAN!

NO PASARAN!…They WILL NOT pass! They will NEVER be part of our lives! They will NEVER be accepted into our hearts!…and they can never become a part of our country.

But there now is a weakness in the wall..a blind-spot that the right-wing has found and is exploiting to entrap the more gullible and naive of the working class to trust them to lead the nation..The entrepreneurial middle class has taken a leaf out of Greek mythology and used a “Trojan Horse” to break through the innermost defence to plant their disease of divide and rule within the heart of the nation. It has used the stupid to attract the stupid, much like one uses a cut piece of bait from the one fish to attract and catch another of the same species. The Right-wing has used those now familiar fools so clumsy in their knowledge of politics and social needs, but so rat-cunning in their use of phrasing of tongue so that it appeals to the most gullible..the almost incoherent imbecility as appealing to the most uneducated knowledgeable group as also to the most educated knowledgeable “don’t-want-to-see” group..one may be more savvy than the other , but in the end both as dangerous and as gullible as each other.

I penned an article calling for ; “A Revolution against the Middle-Classes”..in which I claimed that history has shown that once the Entrepreneurial / Speculative ( MARK THAT ; The Entrepreneurial / Speculative ) middle-classes gained control of political governance, it spelt the beginning of the end for not only the economy of a nation, but OF THE NATION ITSELF !.. I do not demur from that claim..unfortunately, a few folk seem to take such an accusation on a whole class as a personal attack upon themselves..why?..I can only presume some sort of personal interest in the claim..perhaps as a kind of “gate-keeper” of that philosophy. But whatever it was, it has cost me in blogging cred with some people..I expect no better with this article..and it tells me just how far the middle-class virus has penetrated into our everyday lives when a large section of the voting public will trust, without question, a lying, tax avoiding wealthy dilettante to rule the nation.

There was an interview with Richard Flannigan on ABC. tele a while back..It traced his career as a struggling and now successful writer..I admire Richard Flannigan immensely . I like his honest approach to his art and also his social conscience that he infuses into his writing. He spoke in answer to a query on a career in writing ; “if the writing out of his stories diminishes the writer inside?” He answered in the affirmative, quoting F.Scott Fitzgerald in his piece called “The Crack-up” , who reiterated his thoughts..but there is another angle to that “emptying of the spirit”..there is another “breaking of the heart” of anyone who creates art from their heart.

There is a moment in the creation of art, where the artist, of whatever skill or ethnic group, of whatever genre, must ask themselves ; “For whom am I creating this?” they must ask themselves that or they might as well keep the image or process to themselves and go their way (for the “true artist”, the “honest artist” creates their art for their fellow peoples; “everything comes from without, not within”), leaving the vacuum to be filled by some other nature . Of course, the problem for the creative artist is that driving urge to create that forces one to go to the workshop and produce that piece just to stop it rolling around inside the head like a ball-bearing in a tin-can…to, as Henry Lawson once said ; “I had to write it down or burst!”.

For myself. an amateur at best, a scribbler at worst..many times I have asked that question of myself..which brings me back to the start of this piece where I stated (and I have to say that there have been many times lately) where I have not wanted to put down created characters and incidents..not wanted to share those experiences with my fellow citizens..so disappointed have I been in their pathetic aspiration toward material comforts that they have abandoned their sense of honesty and good-will toward others…  and when I have pushed myself to do that, I have felt a great disappointment in “exposing” the characters that I do love (even when at times fictional) and the situations that I do treasure. I have felt I have let them down or used them in a most venal way..I feel “dirtied” by the experience..quite disappointing.

But, of course, there are many others who must feel the same way..I would call them friends and I would willingly, gladly share experiences with them..for they too , would, I suspect like myself, hold true to their hearts that universal cry of revolution that has rung down the ages, despite many attempts to be smothered by a suffocating “mummyism” of middle-class servility.

“So raise the Scarlet Standard high
within its shade we live and die
though cowards flinch and traitors sneer
we’ll keep the red flag flying here ”

NO PASARAN!