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 possibly for 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 tv’s, 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 ignored 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.” https://www.gradesaver.com/the-love-song-of-j-alfred-prufrock/study-guide/summary-lines-1-36

 

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:  http://www.usask.ca/english/prufrock/prustart.htm  )

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 author, husband ( I unashamedly confess to loathing the expression : “Partner”!..it reminds me TOO MUCH of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin..) 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 Beckam 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 marketeers 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 fulltime 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. “

 

( http://www.usask.ca/english/prufrock/prustart.htm)

 

 

 

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Precious.

Precious was a “travelling stores requisitioner and supplier” for a large mineral drilling company .  He was called “Precious” because of his penchant for slapping on the after-shave and a Dandy for the attire…In town it would be “Fletcher Jones” and Julius Marlow..out back it was strictly R.M.Williams, right down to the Cuban heels..and always particular about things right down to the hair-oil.

Back in my youth, when a bad case of industrial diarrhea forced me from the building industry for a short break, I took a job with that drilling supply company, building specialized shipping crates for machinery and drilling equipment…it was a dumb job, just what I wanted…didn’t have to think much, and we could play “shoot-‘em-up” target practice with the air-compressed nail gun (they didn’t have safety locks those days)…one of the shipping clerks would make a dash past the timber racks and I’d try and get him with the “rat,tat,tat” nail gun…great fun!

Come smoko, a group would gather and yarn about life and things..you know..the usual crap . One of the sales reps used to work on the rigs and one day he told about this chap nick-named “Precious”…I’ll relate it to you as best I remember he told us .

Doug Orchard’s (Orchies) crew had set up camp on a grid-line somewhere way out west of Longreach in Qld’ in January..Lethargy usually sets in by that month in Summer, due to the heat and isolation from all forms of civilized discipline.

When the camp was first set up, Doug discovered an old, dry bore hole about fifty yards from the camp.

“This” he thought “will do for a dunny-hole and will save me from setting up and drilling one”.

He asked the “cocky” about using the old bore hole and the farmer shrugged and said; “Sure, why not?” So the rickety site dunny was erected over the old bore hole. This toilet hadn’t a roof because of the horrors of being trapped in such a sweat box under an unforgiving sun with a bad …..bad conscience (shall we say?).

It was January and a Sunday and it was hot so that most of the team were sitting outside under the mess-van annex in canvas deck chairs having a cold beer. There were a couple of dogs lolling about there too.

Who should turn up but “Precious”…Actually , they could see someone approaching by the thin streak of dust rising over the dirt road on the distant plain rising to the low plateau on which they were camped.

“A fiver it’s Precious” one of the men spoke languidly to no-one in particular.

“You’re on”..replied Bob.

When Precious stepped out of the truck, a fiver changed hands with a fatalistic sigh from Bob.

“Hello chaps” greeted Precious, without a hair out of place and a smile on his face.

“ ‘day Precious”..they replied and greetings were exchanged in monosyllabic words as only can be understood by those who have spent time in the outback and mixed with the many and complex eccentrics that inhabit those remote parts…and it is said that an open mouth only attracts flies.

Precious settled down in an empty chair and partook of a nice cool beer…only he drank from a glass..his own..After a short interval of idle chatting, he indicated he wanted to use “the conveniences” (his words).

“Down by the big tree” Bob pointed with his chin.

“Flamin’ long hike” exclaimed Precious.

Bob shrugged and flicked the ash from his cigarette.

After returning from the dunny. Precious complained ,with a screwed-up nose ;

“ I can see why you’re so far from that dunny!.. Geez, fellahs, it’s a bit on the nose!”

“It don’t bother us, Precious” said Bob.

“No..I s’pose it wouldn’t” said Precious with a sigh “anyway , I’ll do you a favour and burn it out….er..where’s some petrol?”

One of the men motioned to some five gallon drums in the shade of a lean-to. Precious doffed his Akubra, took one of the drums and headed down to the toilet.

As Precious told his story later…”A man’s a fool. I’ll tell you what happened..I emptied the whole drum down that hole..say; How deep is it?…you don’t say…well, no wonder I didn’t hear it splash on the bottom. Well, after I’d emptied the drum, I lit a match and threw it down..nothing happened (it musta blew out before it got deep enough) I tried again and still nothing, so I got a few bits of toilet paper, lit them and dropped them down and stepped back…still nothing!!??..Well, I don’t know what made me do it, I shoulda’ known better..but I gingerly leant out over that hole and looked down…and suddenly..god! it was frightening .”

Doug, was up at the rig and arrived at the mess van as Precious was walking down to the dunny with the drum of petrol. The boys told him what precious was up to. He just grunted..”Good luck to him” he thought and sat down to a beer with the other blokes.

“A fiver says he’ll blow himself up”

“You’re on” said Bob.

He’d only a couple of draws on his beer when suddenly.. and it’s strange how, at a distance, the action happens before the sound reaches you..like a person chopping wood with an axe, and you can see the axe fall before the “chop” sound reaches you.

They saw Precious’ Akubra hat flip, spinning away out the top of the dunny like a frisbee with bits of snowy stuff floating with it, then the ‘WHOOMPH” of the explosion and Precious crashed out of that dunny, ‘swimming’ sort of out of the smoke and coughing heavily. Bob reached into his pocket and gave over the fiver…Doug, not to miss a chance at dry humour asked ; “Baked beans for tea again tonight , Bob?”

The sales rep said they all just sat there like they were the audience in a theatre watching a show. Precious came stumbling back shaking his head and cursing..when he got closer, they could see bits of toilet paper and..stuff..stuck all over his face…”an’ his eyebrows were all burnt off”

“You’re gonna have to change your after-shave, precious.” Bob said, shaking his head.

Anyway, that’s why you’d know Precious if’n you met him…He’d probably tell you his tale if you showed curiosity in his complexion.

He’s a bit nervous around petrol these days, and even traded in his old petrol driven truck he swore by and bought a diesel..

“Better mileage” is what he says.

The Hungry Womb.

With the title of this piece, you would be forgiven for thinking it is just another article about women and women’s business from just another man.

But it is not just about women…or men….it is about us…our relationship to each other…our individual gendered relationship to each other and the social and personal begetting of children.

Of course, the mention of ‘womb’ in the title gives clue to where this panegyric to male / female relationships must start..after all, All human life is first nurtured in a womb and it is that womb that gives shelter, food and bodily contact between new life and the ancient procedure of motherhood and fatherhood.

Times change, and with that change comes a differing interpretation and attitude to the idea of relationships and the begetting of children..The expectations of differing shifts in economic circumstances of women, of social status and generational ideals all impinge on this or that generation of child-bearing age women to want to be encumbered with the responsibility of child-rearing..and then too, and just as important, is the male father’s responsibility to provide for the family when the mother is in these most vulnerable times.

Now, THAT..places the basic social structures on the table ..: Woman, man, relationship, child, responsibility , family…But it no longer has to work like this..social structures in these times allow separation of those essential ingredients of what was once considered the necessities of “societus familius” into units of consideration..ie: A woman no longer needs a secure relationship with a man to have a child without social condemnation. There need be no continuity of relationship to raise the child as a single mother/father. The child need feel no material disadvantage in being raised by the one parent and the ideal of “Family” has long since been retired to an almost anachronistic irrelevance. Of course, there are variables and exceptions taken to such situations depending upon culture and ethnic group..But all in all, in this country it is feasible to do those things just mentioned…and a very many do.

But what of this idea of “The hungry womb”….That maternal instinct for a child that can over-ride every social and physical hurdle in its pursuit for impregnation and childbirth?

And this is not just a female thing, many men are driven by either instinctive lascivious desire, personal want, familial demands and/ or genetic lineage considerations to reproduce “one of their own”. We have seen forced rapes, artificial insemination, surrogacy and trickery used to achieve such ends depending on the brutality or wealth of the male involved. On the other hand, we have seen allurement, sexual seduction, trickery, all the above save brutal rape and even that old standby..: cuckoldry used if or when a woman feels the need to fill a hungry womb.

But in this day and society, is there even such a thing as the mythical ; “hungry womb” anymore?

This article poses that question :  https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/05/how-people-decide-whether-to-have-children/527520/  ..here..:

“ Isabel Caliva and her husband, Frank, had already “kicked the can down the road.” The can, in their case, was the kid conversation; the road was Caliva’s fertile years. Frank had always said he wanted lots of kids. Caliva, who was in her early 30s, thought maybe one or two would be nice, but she was mostly undecided. They had a nice life, with plenty of free time that allowed for trips to Portugal, Paris, and Hawaii.

“I wasn’t feeling the pull the same way my friends were describing,” she told me recently. “I thought, maybe this isn’t gonna be the thing for me. Maybe it’s just going to be the two of us.”

At times, she wondered if her lack of baby fever should be cause for concern. She took her worries to the Internet, where she came across a post on the Rumpus’ “Dear Sugar” advice column titled, “The Ghost Ship that Didn’t Carry Us.” The letter was from a 41-year-old man who was also on the fence about kids: “Things like quiet, free time, spontaneous travel, pockets of non-obligation,” he wrote. “I really value them.”

Cheryl Strayed, the author of the column, wrote back that each person has a life and a “sister life” they’ll never know—the “ghost ship” of the title. “The clear desire for a baby isn’t an accurate gauge for you,” she wrote. Instead, she recommended “thinking deeply about your choices and actions from the stance of your future self.” In other words, think about what you’ll regret later.

“The Rumpus post helped me understand that no matter what I chose, there was going to be a loss,” Caliva said. Her ghost ship would either be a carefree life or the experience of parenthood. “That was freeing. It changed my perspective from having to make the right choice to just deciding.”

This “choice” is the reward of the success of a “world of individualist consideration”..a world where perhaps only the essential ; “ I “ matters. A world where one does not need to consider social force, familial obligations, economic deprivation or anything other than “self”…Can this be the Utopia that we, as a people hungered for? ..the ; “I feel, therefore I will!” proof of existence?

On top of this securing of individualism in choice of lifestyle, we now have the added luxury of choice of gender association..and with a kind of dualism chasm opening up between the sexes, along with the violence and aggression, there would seem to be a determination to reduce contact to a minimal, safety guaranteed all-inclusive package of ; style, physical looks, career status and STD-free nights at some security enclosed club via a swipe left or right on a social connection app’.

Why worry about sex-bots becoming the norm…they already are!

Far cry are we from the days of male/female lust-thrust-trust relationships based on social demands and life or death situations…the whole damn thing was such a risk factor that one has to wonder how the Earth got so many people on it at all!…which brings us back to “The Hungry Womb”..

I recently posted a short story on this site..: “Write again, Blue eyes”  (https://freefall852.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/write-again-blue-eyes/)  , where a woman desiring children who suspects her husband as being infertile, uses the miscellaneous columns of a newspaper to “procure” a unwitting “sperm donor” to have her children..she first asks for a picture to ascertain whether there is close approximation in physical comparison to her own husband before following through with the desired procedure. This is no novel idea..in fact it could be called a legitimate imperative if a woman so desires a thing fulfilled..it has been going on since the beginnings of time itself..as statistics and DNA test proved what was already unspoken but known..(and I might suggest ;known by many “fathers”) that between 5 – 30% (in extreme cases in a village in England) of babies cannot claim the paternal link shown on the birth certificate..  https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/07/who-s-your-daddy/305969/

And so it should and must be…women’s right to children have to be held as a-priori consideration..Sadly, humanity fails again and again to place the ideal of relationship at the centre of stable society and the antagonistic division between the sexes seems to be getting wider and wider so that the TOTALLY BIZARRE consideration of sexual robots are even being considered as “normal” !! I can recall a time when myself and my friends of either gender went out of our way both in sartorial splendour and economic devastation to seek out relationships no matter the time or distance travelled to achieve such and considered ourselves lacking in the essential emotional ingredients of life if we didn’t find it!..Now , it seems the opposite, where MORE CONSIDERATION is given to securing a good financial opportunity for a mortgage on a splendid house in a respected suburb!

Perhaps it is a generational thing.

 

 

 

 

 

Joyce delivers the flowers.

“Joyce Hartingdale .. Secretary” the writing on the triangular wedge of wood prominent at the front of her desk was written in bright, gold paint. It was there the first day she came to the job at the office situated at the front of the “Shoebridge Furniture Factory”. A job she had come all the way from Manchester, England for…well…it was not just the job, but she had applied for the secretarial job while home in England, fresh graduated from the secretarial college where she had seen the advertisement seeking young ladies to come to the Australian colonies for a bright, fresh life…or at least that is how Joyce saw it… and she took it.

The telegram from her mother back in Manchester sat on the passenger’s seat of the Morris Minor 1000 sedan she was at that very moment driving out to the country town of Kanmantoo so as to attend the funeral of an obscure uncle who had just passed away.

“ Uncle Stan has died”. The telegram started “ Funeral at Kanmantoo C of E 1pm. Fri. Chance meet family..go!” ..and it was signed : “Mother”.

Joyce, having no friends before she came to this new country, was keen to make contact with those distant relatives her mother had told her lived in the country there..and what better way to introduce oneself than at a funeral..She had her Mothers telegram handy as a note of introduction when she arrived at the church.

It was nice of Mr. Shoebridge to allow her the day off to attend the funeral, and considering that she had only been employed for one month, it gave credibility to how high her secretarial skills were held in the office. In fact, the whole experience of her new life in the antipodes was working out just fine..the weather was much to her liking, the job was a breeze considering her long years spent in training in the cold corridors of the Manchester college and her flat in the western suburbs by the sea was so comfortable with its own little patch of garden that she had every intention of planting out with her favourite flowers just as soon as time allowed.

It was the thought of that flower garden that brought her thoughts right down to earth with a crash!

‘Flowers!” she exclaimed out loud.. “I haven’t brought any flowers!”

The suddenness of the arrangement for attending the funeral, the buying of clothes and instructions of how to get to Kanmantoo from the kindly young man next door threw Joyce’s thoughts for flowers right out the window. Now here she was, out in the countryside, barely a few miles from her destination and only now has she thought of flowers..What could she do?

Fate, at this desperate time had smiled upon Joyce, she decided, for there, not one yard from the verge of the road, was a veritable paddock full to the wire fence of the most brilliant, beautiful purple flowers, resplendent in their fulsome healthy bloom..

“They must be a native species” Joyce concluded as she pulled to the side of the road, for she had never seen such resplendent flowers before. She gathered a bouquet of these blossoms before she threw caution to the winds and gathered a large number more..

“Why not?” she reasoned “be generous”…and she rummaged for a slip of ribbon in the glove-box and tied the volume of flowers into the most bright, fulsome bouquet. “This’ll make a splash!” she pouted in satisfaction…and though she could not add a card of identification of the gift of the flowers, she consoled herself that it would take little effort to enlighten anyone who asked.

Upon arrival at the Church of England chapel, Joyce was obliged to find a park away from the gathering at the front and park the car around the side of the little church. It was apparent from the glimpse she saw of the minister at the door, there was intent to soon start the entrance to the ceremony. Hurrying out of the car with her huge bouquet, Joyce saw the side door to the church ajar and peeking in, saw the coffin on the bier with many bouquets of flowers on top…she quickly slipped into the empty church and placed her bright purple fronds amongst the dahlias and gladiolas and other blooms there, snuggling her generous purple bunch right on top in the middle..Satisfying herself the bunch was secure, she hurriedly slipped out and made her way around to the front of the church to try and meet some of the other mourners there.

As Joyce made her way around to the front of the church, she couldn’t help but notice here and there along the fence-line of the church yard, those very same flowers that she had gathered into her bouquet and placed on top of the coffin and she was wondering if she had been a tad overzealous in her gathering so many into a bunch..

“Coals to Newcastle.” She pondered…

Joyce moved close to a couple and smiled..they smiled back..and she just coyly introduced herself as ‘Joyce’ ..a distant relative…a niece..The couple smiled back. Then Joyce tried to break the ice a bit with some light conversation about the purple flowers along the fence-line.

“Those purple flowers are quite pretty now, aren’t they?”

“The Salvation Jane?”…the lady replied.

“Oh..is that their name? ..I..I didn’t know…from the city, you see…” and she smiled her secretarial smile..” A lovely name…most suitable to the occasion, one might say.”

“Hrumph!” the lady snorted ‘Good job old Stan is no longer around to hear you say that!..’Patterson’s curse’ he called ‘em..a blight on the district!”

“Oh..they troubled him?..Was it hayfever?” Joyce inquired.

“Hayfever!?”..the lady pulled her shoulders back ”Hardly…You mustn’t know what old Stanley Knowles did for a living all these last twenty five years..he were the council weeds and pests control officer..it were his life’s ambition to rid the district of them purple curse!”

“But they are everywhere..” Joyce quietly exclaimed..”He hardly was a success story then.”

“You can blame that on those lot over there” the lady motioned to a group apart.

“And they are?” Joyce now wide-eyed asked.

“The local Bee-Keepers and Honey Distillers Cooperative…Every time Stan pushed for greater effort and funding to really get stuck into the Patterson’s Curse problem, they’d come out swingin’..’cause they depended on the flowers in any off season and drought..But they weren’t deep enemies for all that and now they come to pay their respect..as neighbours do.”

An awful realisation of doom was starting to descend upon Joyce and she was almost at the point of making a dash around to the side door of the church to remove her bouquet from the coffin when the minister made a call for the friends of Stanley Knowles to come gather inside the church for the service.

It only took a little while as the congregation settled into the rows of pews in the chapel that someone noticed Joyce’s bunch of Salvation Jane (Patterson’s Curse) sitting proud as punch on the very top of the collection of funeral wreaths and bouquets on the coffin of the local council’s recently deceased weeds and pest control officer. Things moved pretty fast from that moment on.

A cry of exclamation heralded up to the rafters and it took only a little guess before the obvious conclusion for this gross insult upon a dead man’s reputation was laid upon the shoulders of the ‘Bee-Keepers and Honey Distillers Cooperative’ and the rest, as is so often recorded in moments of public disorder where accusation and abuse colours what should be a sombre celebration…is history.

Joyce did not wait to see the outcome of the fracas, but at the first cry of outrage, she deftly slipped out of the chapel doors and hastily making her way to the trusty Morris Minor 1000, she was already in third gear as she shot out of the gate onto the main road back to the city. The introduction to the country cousins would have to wait till another day.

 

 

 

 

The Corrupt Cat of Capitalism.

 

It’s out of the bag …. the corrupt cat of capitalism .. this corporate Tom has caught its last mouse. With the banking royal commission drawing to a close, there is speculation whether there will be charges laid against certain heads of banking for fraudulent activities …. Now THERE is a speculation!

But now, thanks to social media exposing in dribs and drabs, with personal story and video evidence shot on phones and mini-cams, all those corporate crimes that could once be hidden under cloak of “old-boy” conspiracy or cassock of the confessional .. or simply from a lack of reporting in the once monopoly of MSMedia … the full-light of day has hit their upturned, open-mouthed and shamed faces!

Caught “polishing the silver”.

Knowing as we do now, that one doesn’t even get a foot-in-the-door for these high-echelon jobs without a certificate from a recognised “top end of town” private school education … The same goes for appointments to the high court judiciary and most of the Govt’ authorities … old school chums .. as they say. I cannot recall many white-collar crims’ from so high position getting a stretch in chokey from one of their old class-mates .. Sure..Alan Bond got a stretch..but then he never was “one of theirs”, always was a “pretender” … common chappy .. doncha know? … in contrast, there was Chris Skase .. an old Caufield Grammar Boy … He didn’t go down because he was crook with a bad case of “running asthma” .. I believe .. and he got a ticket to run to Spain to live out his days in delightful shame .. the upper middle-classes DO have a conscience after all .. and then there was “The Goanna” and all those drugs and that gold that was pinched from a safe somewhere … but then the Law never could work out quite who he was .. we could at a pinch .. but hey! .. who are we?

Of course Rupert confessed to having the “most humble day of his life” and he got away with the lot on the strength of that head bowing moment and was saved from the total ignominy of a “pie-in-face” moment by the quick actions of his (now ex) wife who, if there was justice in the alimony courts, must have increased HER payment by as much as 25% for that one little action …. there are some sins that can never be forgiven!

But let’s not dwell on past crimes and criminals .. Let us get back to this banking royal commission that almost never happened because those “in-house” financial representatives of the upper-middle criminal class, the LNP, did their damnest to stop it! So now we have the exposed crimes, the exposed criminals and the final act of law is about to be delivered..

Will the law be seen to be done? ….. THAT is the question.

Most of us have dealings with these large corporations and utilities and institutions. Corporations like Banking, Energy supply, Telecommunications, Petroleum suppliers, Public transport, Health, Education, Food and household supermarkets .. all the usual accoutrements that allow a society to function smoothly … in short our very existence rely upon the honesty of these suppliers to deliver products to our household … But I reckon you could almost GUARANTEE to a private corporation that they are ALL involved like the banking/financial sector in some sort of covert corrupt practices.

They learned it on the playing fields of their private schools, you could say.

The bills that come into my household from many of those corporations are so convoluted, with clauses and plans and contracts so loquaciously legalese verbose that it would take Mr Squiggle to draw a positive and knowing conclusion from the tangle!

I have sat at the end of the phone trying to get a clear and concise plan for my internet/phone use from one of the major Telcos’ for HOURS at a time and to no avail .. every other Pilipino “Hamish” or “Louise” or “Kevin” call-centre person telling me a different thing and every bill that comes in more confusing than the last .. and the same with many utilities and corporate accounts … and if there is one thing common to every small-time crook and swindler, from a front-bar Rolex seller to a front of the house shonky used car salesman, it is their capacity to confuse their intended target … hence the convoluted accounts and plans and contracts of all those above corporations … They are ALL crooked! And there is not one, I’d warrant,  if brought before a Royal Commission that would not be found to be operating some sort of subversive swindle involving robbing blind either their customers or the government.

Which brings us to that other arm of corporate criminality .. The LNP.

Now this here’s a little bewdy, folks … only a dozen or two owners … never used on Sundays and always ready to start-up and drive away! …. drive away investigations, commissions, ICACs and /or any look into corporate crime that could involve themselves or their members in name dropping in low places or a connection with stuffed, brown-paper bags full of “folding greens” .. you could call the LNP the “Vegans of Venality” …  they live off the “green stuff” .. and the only reason they seek office, every person Jack/Jill of them is to line the pockets of their own family or their old chums in the corporate sector .. no other reason .. no ideal of “for the benefit of the State” … no hand on heart for “the greater good” of the citizens of the state … just one downright, honest to their God objective ..: “ROB THE FUCKERS BLIND” …. before they are temporarily voted from office and can re-organise their sucker troops to give them the keys to the treasury once more.

The Liberal Party started here in SA. You know .. you can go to their State branch website and see there that they trace their roots back to the “National Defence League.” .. a nice little coterie of “chums” like the original Downer and co. George Fife and his “confidential clerk” Charles Flaxman … they were all privy to the shenanigans of the South Australia Company that led the charge to form the party that professed the same rapacious and deceitful policies that the LNP professes today! .. nothing has changed .. neither the criminal intent, the fraud, the vicious treatment of the poor, weak and vulnerable .. it is all there in the denied (by them) history .. the foundations laid down at the same time they laid the foundations of the large, private schools so prevalent to their twisted educations .. they can’t hide from history any longer, the text books are being re-written.

When corporations rob, they do it with sweets, when they steal, they do it with charm and when they kill, they do it with hired help .. and when they want the whole grubby mess covered up, they do it under the cover of their old school tie.

Corporations, politicians, high judiciary, heads of authorities … all stacked to the gilded rafters with a “consciousness of kind” camaraderie.

But now … the cat is out of the bag .. where will it run to? …. watch this social media space!

 

The gross incompetence of a mediocre middle-class.

 

Gather around fellow workers and producers … gather around citizens and retirees, gather around young and old … and all you who are now concerned at the gross mismanagement of the nation’s commodities, utilities, resources and people power … it is time to talk of removing those middle-class incompetents from office and replacing them with a skilled worker/producer political force.

There is no longer reason that only the certificated, private-schooled white-collar professionals are the most sought-after people to run for political office. There is no longer reason that the semi-professional trades and producers of any colour or ethnic stripe ought to be passed over for high office or IF selected, only as a token fixture. Indeed, I say it is high-time those who have accumulated those very skills and capabilities that give credence to the name of a ministry take command of those portfolios of governance … perhaps even RESTRICTING certain ministries to ONLY those people who can claim “on-site” working experience in that area of governance.

For instance .. : Development and Infrastructure – Engineers Architects … Housing and construction – Building Trades … Health – Practising Nurses or Doctors … Agriculture – Practicing  Farmers … and so on into social and administrative needs .. and Defence …. No more dropping mates names into a caucus hat where you have some gormless wanker whose only experience at life / work is to be able to talk with a plummy voice, look stupid or wear high fashion well.

I mean .. have a look at this latest mob now in power .. can ANYONE for the life of you recall .. even in your own workplace or pub .. in rumour or frustrated experience, a WORSE, more hopeless collection of crooks, criminals and fraudsters hell-bent on screwing over what should be a healthy (for everybody), wealthy (for the economy), and well educated with excellent communications systems society .. and we end up with nothing but the threat of bankruptcy in every afore-mentioned topic!

This middle-class system of management was given “carte blanche” back in the days of the waning aristocracy of the Queen Victoria era when those “captains of industry” of the industrial revolution sought validation from their aristocratic debtors to plunder the colonies under the guise of Imperial Permission … Hence such rapacious institutions as the “East- India company” and the “South Australia Company” or any number of colonial plunderers who invaded, robbed and killed their way to personal wealth for the few with impunity, seeking and getting military backing from their Imperial partners when they had need to concoct “native wars” so as to rid themselves of a bothersome indigenous presence that denied those robber barons land and minerals to fatten an already overflowing purse.

So we have these laws and legislation passed that have favouritism and benefits MOST SUITED to that class of people already sited within those closed perimeters of a social privilege and comfort zone that needed to be protected from worker / producer / indigenous outrage at being both denied the same rights restricted them from birth or by the connivances and schemes to rob the workers of their hard-earned savings and / or their rights and wages at work. Time and again we see Union people, common workers in some cases getting hauled before the beak and sentenced for false or wrongly claimed accusations, yet when REAL criminal activity is exposed in high business institutions or within a corrupt govt’ department, we see a lack of even rudimentary investigation and NONE CHARGED!! … this is because the bastards doing MOST of the white-collar criminal activity are of the class that wrote the bloody laws!!

What we have been witnessing over the last years, is a motley collection of private-schooled, bumbling incompetents, a mediocracy squabbling amongst themselves like junior fags in some private school trying to curry favour with their upper-school prefects when they do the bidding of such business or political lobby groups to cull government services so as to outsource plum contracts to their private school business chums, destroy working contracts and agreements to allow cheap / coerced or bonded labour to be used to destroy union strength … when we see false intelligence used against some groups or nations that then allow policing or military operations to be used against those vulnerable people for no other reason than to divide and rule … then we are seeing a corrupt regime that has been infiltrated to the very top of power by influential lobby-groups.

It is time to rewrite the rules for many work / agricultural / social platforms and to re-write the rules, we MUST replace the ruling classes … For much too long has this “Consciousness of Kind” cosy confederacy given succour to a lazy, indolent, self-deluded class of fools as bent as a drawer full of used Uri Geller soup spoons.

It is time to draw a line under the old Imperial / Industrial legislation that is supportive of that corrupt class and their institutions .. for there has to be agreed that if a Royal Commission was opened onto ANY of the most valued commercial providers like communications, utiltiies, social/education providers, mineral councils etc .. we would find as we have found in banking / Superannuation, that there would be VERY serious questions to answer .. These institutions run on and thrive upon that old Dickensian confederacy of ; “nudge-nudge, wink-wink” .. with so many operating a Fagan-like management and administration of “rob-blind while you can get away with it” policy.

Never in the life of me .. NEVER .. and I am talking 67 years now .. in a lifetime spent in trade / labour, have I met more than I could count on one hand those who have been highly educated AND individually competent at multi-skilled workplace management … and I have worked for many well-placed business people and some political people in high office .. but for the most you wouldn’t trust them to shuffle a pack of playing cards without them attempting to “stack the deck” .. No bullshit .. they are in the majority just absolutely mediocre and incompetent.

Get rid of the lot of them!

Replace them with the working / producing class and THEN we will see some real advances put in place for the country that will return both prosperity and respect for the WHOLE citizen body!

“Write again, Blue eyes.”

“Tickets please….Tickets please”…

The porter made his way from seat to seat checking and clicking the tickets of the passengers of the 12.30 pm. train to the southern suburbs..It passed through the flats onto the hills stations to finish at Marino Rocks.

Annette clicked open her purse to extract the return ticket to Brighton from the side pocket there…upon extracting the pink slip of paper, she noticed a similar one still in the pocket..She took this one out as well, examined the date of “ 3 May 1951” and satisfied herself that she handed the current dated one to the porter..

“The sea is nice there at Brighton this time of year.” He spoke as he clicked her ticket.

Annette said nothing in reply, but just nodded her head in agreement…The porter moved on down the aisle between the seats…

“Tickets please. . . “ he repeated.

Annette placed the current validated ticket back into the purse pocket, she gazed at the older ticket and noted the date as of one month previous to today’s date…she silently admonished herself for being so neglectful as to leave the ticket in her purse…She screwed the ticket up and dropped it to the floor of the carriage. Upon closing her purse, she caught a glimpse of the newspaper clipping she had cut from the day’s paper miscellaneous column..Annette knew the wording by heart, but she kept the cutting as a sense of reassurance of the appointment she had arranged.

Annette ran through the message again in her mind..:

“Letter OK, sweet..meet at B..first date mentioned in letter..If anything happens ask for letter at B….Blue eyes.”

She secured the catch on her purse and placed it in her lap and turning her face to the filmy window of the carriage, she saw the reflection of a young, but not so young now woman, with wavy brown hair above a pale, powered face with, she hoped, a not too dark a shade of lipstick on a pair of pert lips..There was a furrow of concern on the brow and the eyes looked wary.

She turned her head away quickly as if she had seen something she would rather not think about and proceeded to turn the plain, gold wedding ring on her finger.

“ It’s not unusual” Doctor Short had said..”Young married couples do sometimes take a while to conceive..I’d give it some more time and just let nature take its course…perhaps a quiet evening or two at home with a favourite record on and a glass of sherry…..or two..” and Dr. Short smiled his warming, ‘confidence giving’ smile…Annette just nodded in agreement and said that her husband preferred beer.

But it had now been three years and still no change.

The short , terse discussions Annette had with her husband on the possibility of one of them being infertile always ended in her being reassured that HIS side of the family never had any such problems and ..no…he did not want to go to the doctor and get “interfered with” when he was certain the problem did not rest with him..and that was the end to it.

The Italian lady next door, Elvira, laughed when told of Annette’s dilemma..

“Back home we had a saying that there were no infertile men in the village…and certo..if a woman could bear children, then there were children…because after a certain time passed, the parish priest was called in to “do his duty to God’s handmaidens” and he would hang his walking cane over the entrance doorknob while he “administered the faith” to the lady of the house and if the husband came home and saw the cane there, he would keep walking up to the bar and play a hand or two of briscola, take a whisky or two, before making his way back home respectfully.”

Annette dismissed those notions as typical of peasant village women thinking…an outcome much too public and open to ridicule for a lady of Anglo descent…There were ways other than gross serviceability…discretion was the hallmark of civilised society…of a refined woman in today’s world.

Annette stepped onto the platform at Brighton and made her way to the exit ramp. She paused at the top of the ramp and gazed over the road in front to a little corner store-cum-post office there on the “Old Beach Road” that led to the seashore. As she gazed at the empty scene, a man of around thirty-five years stepped out of the corner store..he stopped to take out and light up a cigarette with a personal lighter that he replaced to an inside pocket of his suit..Annette recognised him and gave a small noting wave which he cautiously returned….she crossed the street and without touching, they proceeded to walk to the beach.

At the beach, the man spread a checked wool blanket that he took from a parked sedan in the road above the sands. Annette removed her gloves and shoes and made herself discretely comfortable on the blanket.

“Nice to see you again.” The man spoke “This being the third time in as many months, will this be a regular thing?” he teased and touched her forehead as he brushed away a tuft of fringe of her hair.

“I’m not sure.” Annette replied..” Circumstances may prevent us meeting again.”

“What do you mean?” the man sat back from his position close to her..He cocked one eyebrow questioningly.

“I may be pregnant.” Annette spoke plainly. The man raised his eyebrows and with wide-eyed anxiety asked..

“Heavens…what are we to do..I mean…I can’t…”

“No..it’s quite alright,’ Annette touched his arm reassuringly..” I wanted it to happen..I wanted the child.”

The man looked bewielded and a bit dazed..

“Well..that may be good for you…but I am already married with children…I thought this was a fling for both of us…I can’t manage another family.”

Again, Annette touched his arm reassuringly…

“No..I will not trouble you about the child..as you know I too am married..but we…my husband as it now turns out…couldn’t have children..couldn’t give me a child..so I took the opportunity of our relationship to have one with you.” Annette gently smiled..” I needed another child….”

“Another child!?” the man stared and thought..” Then …then that time several years ago when we first met….?” He didn’t finish what he was thinking..

“Yes” Annette smiled again..”He’s two now and beautiful…thank you.”

The man was thinking now…:

“So that’s why you wanted a recent picture of me when we first wrote?…so you could see if I was a close match to your husband?”

“Of course!…It would not work otherwise..I mean how would it look if you were a flaming red-head, or a swarthy Mediterranean type?…How stupid would that be?”

“And your husband doesn’t know?”

“Of course not..he thinks he’s shooting bullets not blanks…and I had to make a decision soon or it would start to come back on one or the other of us…after all, there are expectations in society …you know”

“Yes…the stigma of a barren woman or a man who only fires blanks…terrible”…

The man leaned back against a rock of the breakwater and took out and lit another cigarette..

“It’s why I got back in touch with you in the paper.” Annette softly spoke.

“Yes..right..I was rather surprised..I presumed you’d forgot all about me…was delighted to read your request to meet again, though.. but you would risk your marriage for the sake of having children?”..and he blew a stream of smoke into the soft air of the Autumn day.

“He broke the contract!” Annette blurted out..and then in a more condescending tone..” and he didn’t want to have tests done..he didn’t want to know if it was himself..no man does..so this way we both achieve our goals…even you” and she smiled coquettishly …The man drew on his cigarette and returned her smile.

“In that case..I suppose so”..and he drew on the cigarette again..” And so we continue to meet..Blue eyes?”

“Blue eyes?” Annette queried.

“You remember when we first communicated through the paper and I asked what you looked like for when we first meet?”

“Oh yes”..Annette clasped her arms around her legs as she sat thinking of the time. “ I didn’t know how to go about these things…it was only chance that I spotted that column…miscellaneous..in the paper and I read several of those people..mostly men..lonely men looking for ‘lady companions’.” Annette giggled.

“yes…” the man reflected..”It was a new thing for me too..I was lonely, coming down every month from the north on business…A man can end up a drunk or worse when he has too much time on his hands….a mate in the same game as me put me onto it…took some Dutch courage to kick it off though” and he gave a laugh.

“ You didn’t give much away…but you did say you have blue eyes…..and wavy hair.” He touched her soft locks. “ but you never did tell me your whole name”.

“And neither did you..and it best remain that way…for truly, if I am pregnant, and I do believe I am..we probably will not be meeting again…I don’t want any more children..two is enough.”

The man stubbed out his cigarette..

“Yes..well…that may be for the best all around..It could get sticky if it gets out..for both of us….I wouldn’t want my wife to know..and our four kids is plenty for me..”

“Oh…” Annette replied lazily..” She probably already does..or suspects at least”..

“Nah..she doesn’t have  a clue…she’s miles away..up north”..and he stared out over the sea.

“Oh..she’d know ” ..

“How?” the man asked…”Would you tell her?”

“How could I ..I don’t even know your real name…No..it’s you men…when you are satisfied in that way….you walk about like a prancing Tom-cat”…and she smiled..

“Are we that easy to pick?” he grinned…

“Of course…how would we women not know…after all, it was US who invented sex…do you think Adam would have eaten the apple without Eve?”…Annette threw her head back and laughed. The man grinned and looked at her affectionately..

“I’m beginning to worry about you..You’re dangerous..But what of today?…here we are..?” and he looked at Annette with a cheeky grin.

Annette lowered her eyes in a vampish manner and replied..

“I suppose it doesn’t hurt to make certain of a good job done..” and she touched the side of his face affectionately.

“Come”..he said..” I have a car waiting for my lady”…and they gathered themselves up and made for the parked sedan at the top of the stairs.

Annette paused at the foot of the steps and he offered his arm to steady her as she put on her shoes..she turned to the man and asked..

“ Can you give me your name?…Not your first, your second name..and when the child is born, I can let you know…in the miscellaneous column..”

The man turned and smiled at Annette ..

“Paul”. He said..and he held out his hand….They walked to the car..just like any young couple.

Ten months later a short sentence appeared in the miscellaneous column of the daily newspaper..:

“ Package arrived safely..much joy..”Pauline”…”

The following week on the usual day they would communicate Annette read the confirming note in the miscellaneous column..:

“ Sweet…letter OK…if ever needed..write again, Blue eyes…”