A Life of Solitude.

“No man is an island”, so the poet led,

Tho’ I ponder on that presumed refrain,

As I quietly lay awake in bed,

The small hours of the night ticking away overhead.

And I shall presume he included women,

Tho’ such things usually go unsaid.

But for a while back there, when gravely ill,

(And I will speak for others more stricken still).

An island I certainly felt..in a sea of pain,

Tho’ thoughts and comforting words,

Of close friends were given time and again,

But the pain…’twas MY pain..would always remain.

And for some; the pain of loneliness?

Or the loveless, wed in vain..?

The empty house, the unfeeling spouse?

Can comforting wisdom fill the void?

Or see televised braces of laughing faces,

Without a seeming care in the world?

When all sometimes needed is one reassuring word,

That is given so many times of late,

In banal, flippant gestures heard;

“LOVE the cut of that coat”, or “LOVE that orange cake!”

So perhaps we always an island remain,

Surrounded by ocean of the equally vain,

Crowding in suburban estates about,

To assuage a niggling, subconscious doubt;

That in the safety of a multitude,

Under one roof shelter from the rain,

We live out a life of dumb solitude..

Secure amid plenty of one mistaken refrain.

Harriet Morcombe’s Weekly budget diary.

2015 Household Budget Book - YouTube

Monday 8th.

8.am. Holiday, Queen’s birthday.

Up at 8. Fed cats and Fowls..Coffee and back to bed, up at 11.30.

Down to letter box to check mail..spotted by Mona from across the road….unfortunately…

“Harri!” she called to me…HATE that shortening of my name…hate it!

“Yes, Mona” I replied..and that’s when the complaining started..her old man of course..He’s taken up learning to play the violin in his retirement…”caterwauling” Mona calls it..and in the times when I am in the garden looking for some peace and quiet, I have to agree..wish he’d taken a shine to a church organ..oh well..perhaps it will lessen his penchant for the flagons of sweet sherry.

Never hear; “God Save the Queen” over the radio any more on her birthday?

Back in time for lunch.

Nathan up, on computer.

Made hot sandwiches for both of us.

Back to bed to 3.30.

Fed cats and put out enough for 2 days. Fowls enough for 3 days as tomorrow Joe is taking me to Pt Julia to do some work on the cottage.

Tv. At 5. to 5.30.

Cooked dinner. Tv. To 8.30.

Washed dishes. Bed.

Budget: In.                                            $   –   c.                                           Out. $   –  c.

From; Cw Bank, Colonades. –        450   –  00               Grocer – Pine Pt…   23 – 00                               

Food, etc..                                         138   –  95                Paper – cake etc..   13 – 00   ( Pt Vincent ).                             

                                        Bal’              311  –  05                Pasties – Drinks..    12 – 75  ( Pt Wakefield).

Accounts                                               59 –  60                Fish and Chips….      13 – 00  (Pt Vincent).        

                                                             251 –  45                Coles ; shopping..     77 – 20  ( Colonades ).

Others                                                 201 – 75                                   Total     $138- 95.

                                        Bal’               $49 –  10.

Tues. 9th.

Joe and I to Pt Julia.

I have to take the 7.43 train from Marino Rocks to Adelaide. Then the 8.40 Gawler train to Gawler Centre. Met Joe there..The day is cold.

We drive to Pt Wakefield & had pasty each & I had a small bottle of drink. Then on to Ardrossan.

At the hardware store we bought tin of paint for bathroom & R-p7 for taps, they were tight last trip over. Then to Pine Point for groceries & to Pt Julia. Unloaded & cup of coffee..cottage feels welcoming.

Joe to work on roof to put collar around chimley & to cut back branches of gum tree the neighbour did not like..he now wants another tree cut down??…..Joe and he “have words”…

I rub down bathroom walls, move everything out and began painting as high as I could. Joe came in and used some very bad language about the neighbour..I told him to shoosh that kind of talk…but like he’d listen to me at his age…But he is a good lad..at least HE takes me here for a bit of a break..not like my older sons..never see them save they want something..A son’s a son etc, as the saying goes..though my daughter looks after me at home..can’t complain.

At 3. We changed and drove down to Pt Vincent. Joe wants a part for a tap, but could not get it.

We had fish & chips which we took back to cottage..Man at fish shop laments lack of customers..says, ”You got to have houses BOTH sides of the street to make money in this game”.. his shop is on the foreshore.

Joe lit the fire. He had brought wood from his home in Sedan.

We stayed by fire and watched tv. till bedtime..must say the reception here is better than at home..programs just as bad though.

Wed. 10th.

Up just on 8. Very nice day.

We have cooked breakfast..bacon & eggs..coffee. Then started on painting. Joe up high and ceiling.

Took time out for walk to the jetty. Sea is calm and the cliffs are wonderful…mallee is beautiful here by the sea..Life seems so calm and peaceful.

We then tidied up at 12.30. I washed dishes, Joe swept floor. Packed up and left at 1.15. a lovely stay. Cannot help but think back on when we, as a family had so very, very little..Mum and dad brought us up in bag-tents along The River in the depression..I remember coating the children’s school sandshoes with whiting so as to hand them down to the younger ones..and the patched pants..now we have a cottage over on the coast…V. lucky….( thank you, God ).

Did not stop on way back as we had to make it to Gawler for the 3.17 afternoon train to Adelaide..or wait two hours for the next.

Just made it to the station in time. Joe had to run to flag the train down for me..touch and go for a moment..good job Joe is fast on his feet.

After an hour I arrived in Adelaide Station. Took the 4.24 Brighton train. At Brighton I had to wait 7 minutes for Noarlunga train. Home at 5.15.. very tired.

Had a slice of toast, then to bed.

Up at 9pm. For aspirin then back to bed.

Accounts.                                 $  –  c.

Brighton – Sunday Mail…     24 – 60

Cranio-Facial Aust’ ……         29  – 50

Stamps….                                   5 –  50 

                                Total…    $59 – 60

Thurs’ 11th.

Up at 6. But Nathan not working today.

Back to bed with coffee. Up at 7.30. Fed cats, made porridge, fed fowls. N. to airport to pick up Ben.

I took the 9.53 train to Noarlunga Centre. Sat next to Mrs. Clarke. Her husband is obsessed with his sailing-boat he has in the garage downstairs..Muriel complained that he spends more time with IT than her..”Get yourself a hobby” he said, so Muriel said she DID..”His name is Brian”.

To C-W bank. To P.O. to send $25-00 to Cranio-Facial Aust’, wouldn’t begrudge THAT charity..give more if I could afford it..so sorry for the poor children. Buy a book of stamps.

To chemist to buy train tickets. Shopping at Coles. Bought whole chicken on way out.

Train home..N&B on computer. They stopped for lunch. The chicken and bread.

I went for a rest. Up at 3.30 fed cats.

Tv. Till 5.30. N & B & I finished the chicken. Computer  for ‘them’. Ben off to bed soon. Tv. For me until 8.

Washed dishes. Bed.

Ben back from eastern states, stayed the night..Said he enjoyed himself, though didn’t talk about it. Ben’s a quiet one. Nathan to drive him back to Ben’s mothers at Crafers tomorrow.

Friday 12th.

Nathan to work.

Up at 5.30am. Made small lunch for N. as he is only working half-day on Fridays.

Cooked him breakfast & he left. Coffee for me & back to bed.

Up at 8. Ben up, he said he had slept for 15 hours, made coffee for himself then to computer.

I dusted and polished my bedroom furniture..gave special clean to my old writing bureau..haven’t written now for years…don’t know why I keep it..sentimental..strange how much I wanted to become a writer, now can’t even think of a story..the end of stories for me I guess.

Checked letters etc. and threw out those not wanted..Mother was a prolific writer of letters..could be cruel though, wrote on Rosemary’s letter when she gave it me ; “read then burn!”..What was it Father said..oh yes..” Irish women make good mothers but terrible wives”. Will keep hers, children may find them of interest in their later years.. those early days in the mallee..the depression.

Ben cooked himself some lunch. I had lunch. Rest.

Up at 3. Fed cats.

Down garden, weeding. Grass to fowls.

Tv. at 4.25 to 5.30. Nathan home.

Cooked dinner.

Tv. to 8.30.

Washed dishes. Bed.

Nathan drove Ben up to Crafers.

He stayed at Crafers till Sunday evening. Enjoyed the break from them..Not too long though I hope. Old age is a lonely age.

Saturday 13th.

Up at 7.30 fed cats. Fed fowls.

Checked garden. Ducked behind oyster plant when I saw Mona looking over to my place. Escape?..could hear “violin”. Porridge.

Washed clothes, then bathroom and toilet floors. Made lunch. Rest.

Up at 3.30 fed cat.

Tv. at 4.45 to 5.30.

Cooked dinner.

Tv. to 8.30.

Washed dishes. Bed.

Others-                                $  –  c.

Next weeks money…        50 – 00.

Bus trip…                            60 – 00

Bus club membership..   10 – 00

Tickets…                             21 – 30

Ardrossan Hdw/paint..    57 – 45

Petrol etc ..                        50 – 00

Church plate..                     3 – 00

                         Total…     201 – 75

Sunday 14th

Up at 7.30. Fed cats and fowls. Coffee.

Pulled up some grass for fowls. Porridge. 

Took the 9.30 train to Brighton for church..Met Mrs Aloia, she complained about her feet, shoes too tight but she wears one size too small..e’ fashionista she says..”poor me, poor me” she says. Train 10.56 home Had lunch, usual chicken noodles.

I had a rest.

Up at 3.30. Fed cats. Cooked dinner.

Phone call from eldest..asked if he could borrow money for tyres…(again)..of course I could..though it is a pity his non-working wife couldn’t hold up on her smoking at $75.00 a week (he says) so they could afford some things themselves…didn’t say though..have him in tears again.

Checked budget books etc.

Tv. at 5.30 to 9…..So tired.

Washed dishes. Bed.

Mattheus’ Speech.

History of the Draft Horse: The Muscle-Men of the Horse World | Horse  Journals

The end of harvest in the days of horse agriculture marked a moment for both rejoicing and contemplation…in his speech, Matheus the farmer gives thanks and gives notice of the end of an era.

Mattheus rapped the wooden serving-spoon from the plate of vegetables onto his plate…

Mattheus’s speech..:

“My usual position when at this point of the evening, at this “end of harvest night”, is to be standing here at the head of the table, cup of good cheer in hand, giving a thank-you speech and congratulating us all on a job well done…but tonight, I will remain seated..not out of a sense of indolence nor disrespect…for I doubt there is a person in this room does not know of my nature by now..But tonight I remain seated so as to talk to you on the same level…no longer as “Th’ Boss”…nor now as head of the work-team, for tonight I hand the reins…if only figuratively..over to my sons ; Peter and Christian..for it is they who will now take the family farm onto the next chapter of its evolution with the full blessing of myself and Magdalena..and it is that evolution that will change the entire work practices..as we have talked of these last several years..from the old one of horse and harness to the new of tractor and steel couplings…Myself, having reached both God’s and Nature’s allotted time of years allowed a man..; “Three-score and Ten”..I am like the proverbial old dog and new tricks…I cannot change and I have no right to stand in stand in its way.

But tonight, I want to talk about another thing and I hope give both my sons, their wives and children..our grandchildren..both warning of consequence and also to top up the cup of cheer with the measure of hope.…

Nature has lent its hand to us…she has given us soil…water…and sustenance…From time immemorial we have harnessed her beasts for the field..with the strength of these fellow toilers, these mute companions of our labours, we have turned the soil, harrowed the Earth and seeded our crops…from the time when my father and mother first set foot on this strange country and drew our section of land and marked the dimensions of their home on the soil, to now when their children sup at the table of their dreams and promise, it has all been done with eyes firm set on that measure of a man’s worth..the measure of a woman’s worth..on the measure of home and family..on a measure of hope..My parents, our forebears built an empire out here upon a new country..not an empire of imperial conquest, nor an empire of expansive proportions, but rather an empire of hope and dreams for their family..their backs bent to the chores of that ambition, without doubt, without fail and with high faith in their mission to succeed…indeed, succeed they must or perish in the trying.

The greatest treasures of a parent is their children..it is the children who will carry the future to further horizons that can be dreamed of by a parent and it is the safety of those children that exercises the most concern for the parent..What measure of gold is the equal to the harvest of seed that gives new life in every season to a garden? What reward of contentment can equal that of a full stomach, a clear mind and the love in one’s heart for what greets them on the start of a full day of productive and rewarding toil?…Why would a man get out of bed if not to fulfill the promise and reap the bounty of a life of hope…that measure of hope that is the right of every person born under Nature’s sky and God’s heaven?

When I gazed tonight upon the healthy meal that my loving wife, Magdalena, set before me, I saw the fair measure of meat…of potatoes..of pumpkin grown so prolifically over the old composting stable heaps..it’s tendrils seeking distant promise like an arm reaching for distant fruits..a wonderful meal..and all in good measure..and it is that measure that I now talk to each and every one of my children and their families to heed and be watchful that envy and greed do not cast a shadow over future ambitions.

A long life..a hard life taught our parents the creed of what is fair measure for one to aspire to..what is just reward for one’s labour..and there is no sense of satisfaction in the shirking of one’s fair share of labour..for there is a measure in nature in this world where each person is allotted a share of labour and where one person shirks their share, it falls to the shoulders of another to carry that extra load..and THAT..in anyone’s sense of justice is a failure of duty toward our brothers and sisters.

I hear talk of the new mechanics of farming having the means of “making life easier”..and I have to admit that after a bad day with horses, harness and machinery, such a phrase would even make my eyebrows lift in inquisitiveness and bring a smile of delightful possibility to my lips…”To make life easier”…now isn’t that a hope and dream to aspire to?…to make life easier…but then I have to ask..; “easier from what?”..certainly, if one was held in slavery..or imprisoned unfairly..or driven to extreme by brutal Master and Lord, one would wish for life to be easier..for those conditions are  un-natural to both nature and humanity..and I would trust to all of us here in this room..let no man proclaim ownership over another’s life, lest he too be one day given like punishment.

But no..here and now, on these paddocks..on this farm..in this part of the world, what measure of life can be claimed to be better for the making of it easier? Will the vegetables grow faster, the sheep more wool?…Will the ache of work be less assuaged with a full stein of beer at day’s end?..and what of THIS day..this end of harvest celebration..will such a thing exist once the mechanics of it takes away the camaraderie of shared, shoulder to shoulder labour?…and what of the table of food like we see here in front of us..where waste from the stables goes to the heaps of compost and thence to the garden from whence comes the vegetables to our table…where will the waste from the tractor go? Will it give nourishment to the soil or will it make waste of the soil and thence make life less easier for those who must clean up such waste?..Will there be need for such a gathering of family to give thanks for the blood, sweat and tears of a year of toil when less folk are needed for the harvest?…Will the making of life easier also mean the lessening of the rewarded pleasures for the job’s end , for is there anyone among us who does not breathe a sigh of relief at hard work’s end..but then also be content and the soul fulfilled with satisfaction of a job well done?..Does not that also feel so good?..And I wonder on the lessening of the need for hired labour to attend the many chores for maintaining the draught horses…the harness repairer, the farrier, the smithy..and if they go, what of the town band..and the church choir..and then the bakery and grocer?…and our neighbours who cannot afford to tool-up to this new mechanics..are they to become a sacrifice to a new world order of an “easier life”..

No..I cannot stand in the way of progress, but I do give notice to you, my children, that you use caution with this new method of farming..not to let it take control of you..I know you will have to go to the bank to up-grade to the tractors and new machinery it uses..be warned about the banks..they have no friend but compound interest, no mercy save the court of bankruptcy and no soul save that traded with the devil.

No..I cannot stand in the way of progress, so I will leave the farm in the steady hands of our children and wish them well while myself and Magdalena seek retirement in Tanunda and I will perfect my arm at bowls and my ear at listening to the idle chatter of the town.

So let us raise our cups to give thanks for the measure of hope that has been promised and now fulfilled…”

 The following morning, while the sun was yet low and the breezes mild in the Mallee trees, the trappings of the hut and camp were packed up, the women and children were driven back to the farmhouse in the car and Mattheus and his sons led the horses down the track in the direction toward home.

(From “Twelve Caesars” by Joe Carli.)

The Education of Young Christopher.

Writing Fiction & Nonfiction Set in the Past: What was the Life of a  Medieval Nun?

You’d be on solid ground to ask, as I have many times since myself ; what sort of adults would turn their children over to the care of a bunch of lunatics? For that is what those “inmates of Christ” were..contemplate the situation for a moment..: You have a cloister of healthy women, all who have sworn to maintain a chaste, childless life in the service of an “unknown”..You have a likewise mob of males, all once and perhaps still testosterone driven to submit their desires to the will of their God..yet..yet we know..we know only too well that under those cowls, under those habits there beat the heart and temperament of a human being, with all the wanton vices and desires of the human body.

Along with the ‘call to serve the Lord’, was a certain resentment in how they were expected to serve..how it could sometimes seem as all give and no receive on the earthly side of things..and here they were left in charge of herding and corralling all these offspring of lascivious copulation..all these screaming, demanding sprays of semen and ovulation flowing over the school-yard and into the classrooms…and here they were having to wipe the bottoms and the noses of the little grommets..all day , every day till the parents…those incorrigible sinners and fuckers, those “Sunday Saints” came to collect their moments of flailing desire and nocturnal fornications…these running, jumping, yelling , one singular spermatozoon success story amongst volumes of body-fluids and menstrual waste…But not for the holy “Sister” or “Brother” or “Father”..not for those incestuously suggestive relations of God the rhythmic caress of deep sexual contact..to see but never to touch, to feel the desire but never to consummate..nothing save furtive self-fondling in the dark silence of their cell, all resulting evidence flushed down to the septic tank or burned in the lighting-up of the morning cooking fire in the communal kitchen, a sigh of both release and simultaneous regret at both “getting away with something shameful” and in quick succession the knowledge of getting away with nothing at all., for here they still were and here they will stay..and the hunger never go away.

“Please, Jesus, please Jesus, please Jesus!..drive out this sin of lust from my body…mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…”.

The body of Christ amen.

But He doesn’t , He never can…for how can one but believe, if one does believe, in one’s heart of hearts, that it was He; that creator , that omnipotent God , who put it there! And could the question just as easy be put; If the sin of lust could result in the creation of bastard life in the human body…what was the Sin of God that caused Him to create such bastard life in the celestial body : Earth?

Such theological questions were beyond the imagination of the small cluster of children herded to pray and genuflect before the Stations of the Cross during their weekly prayer lessons in the big church out the back of the school. Indeed, such questions were not even considered by the parents of Christopher as they signed their children over to the care and education of such a bunch of crazed lunatics that inhabited that five acres of  ecclesiastical asylum near the railway station.

The one question, the imperative  answer to which sealed the decision of a young Rosaline to marry a man twenty years older than herself, was one she put to the old German herder whilst waiting to board the station ferry to cross the Murray River. She had been “engaged” to Enrico Corridini for nearly a year , while she still worked at the big station on the Murray River..Enrico and Rosaline met every few days when he would come to the river to collect a truck-load of water for the wood-cutting camp where he worked and lived during the war years. Enrico had “popped the question” a while back and while she had cautiously consented, she had yet to make her final decision.

Rosaline Thomas grew up by the river. She worked as a house-maid at both Punyelroo and Portee stations near Swan Reach and Blanchetown. Many times she was called to accompany the lady of the house to cross the river on a flat-topped ferry, used for ferrying supplies across the river there at the station. She told of an old German hand there at Portee who, whenever he had to cross the river, would pick up a small stone, a pebble, carry it across the river and place it on the other side..Rosaline asked him why he did it…he was at first reluctant to tell her..but she persisted..

“Well, girlie..it is my own little thing…I think of the small stone as my soul,…you see, I cannot swim..and so I take the stone, carry it, and if or when I reach safely the solid ground on the other side, I leave it dzair….when I come back, I do the same”

“What would happen if the ferry starts to sink?” Rosaline asked.

“Dzen I will try to throw it with all my might, to the other side….and I think if it reaches there , then  I feel I too will reach there…”

“And if it doesn’t?”

“Dzen, I think I vill be lost in the waters of the river…”

It was the thought, the visual imagination of that thrown pebble, desperate, hopeless and valueless, falling into the waters of the river and a life lost as a consequence of that one little pebble…

What was her life to be ? Would it be lost in a desperate gamble with a married life on the edge of the river…a dirt farmer’s wife in the ‘heartbreak country’ of the mallee? Uneducated, in poverty, her family property-less and impoverished…

She was decided.

Christopher Corridini stood as instructed before the first small icon of the Stations of the Cross The pictures were at some height above his tiny frame, he craned his neck to see it. Sister Mary Joseph placed one arm around his slender child body and in a secretive whisper described the goings on in the painting..she did this to each child in turn , from one station stop to the next, with each station becoming more and more intense with the humiliation and torment of  The Christ, her voice too grew in intensity and anger..

‘Look!” she’d say, “look how they laugh and mock our Lord Jesus……..” and the children’s eyes all wide and staring at the horror of the gore and blood on the crown of thorns and the leering faces of the torturers.  The children’s hands clasping and wringing in fear and horror…several of the little girls clung to the habit of the squatting sister as she related the means of cruelty inflicted on the body of the Son of God as “He suffered for our sins here on Earth…He suffered for us..” her eyes alight also with the self-inflicted emotional pain of the scenes she described. 

The young nun then proceeded to instruct the small group of children in the ritual of the journey through The Stations of the Cross..she would say the Leaders chant :

“We adore thee O Christ, and bless thee.”

Then she would ask the children to repeat after her..:

“By your holy cross Thou has redeemed the world”.

Then she would gather the little cluster of children around her and softly tell them a little maxim of life ; “As a child, we sometimes feel alone..sometimes others do not stand up for me when I am picked on and afraid..so help me Jesus to be strong and protect me in thy light”.

The chant was repeated at every Station, along with the repeated response and then another little homily on the lessons of life through the eyes of reverence for Jesus. “ As a child, I sometimes repeat stories that are unclean and disrespectful..Help me to keep myself pure and clean…” All while standing before another frame of the torment or torture of Our Lord Jesus Christ. These lurid paintings left nothing to the imagination, from the first of the condemning to death before Pontius Pilate to the meeting of his mother and the women of Jerusalem on the road to crucifixion and the stripping away of his garments to the hammering in of the nails to his hands and feet and the sinking in of the spear into the side of his body…

These chants, prayers and visuals were displayed in graphic intensity to the ears and gaze of those five year old children, fresh from the comforts and protection of Mother , Father and the safety of home..To Christopher, they were a shocking assault on his quiet nature..He had never seen someone so deliberately hurt..He had never seen someone held down and tortured, He had never seen a person stripped, beaten, speared , gored and nailed to a wooden cross…Yet here was Sister Mary Joseph explaining it all with the soft, gentle, assured voice of a confident adult…it must be so.

But strangely, the terror didn’t bite into young Christopher. Those carefully designed pictures, those beguiling, persuasive homilies and all the Sister’s gently pitched whispers into his child ears were to be of no avail…for even as a child, Christopher was more of a “touching” child..he was more interested in the tactile nature of things..on the habit of Sister Joseph, he would touch to feel the heavy-starched white cloth parts of her cowl as she cooed , as with a lover’s breath, the corrupting words of indoctrination into his ear, wondering why it was so sharp…he would stand by her side and feel the heavy wooden beads of the Rosary belt that wrapped around her waist then dangled down the side of her habit-skirt..He would be mesmerized at the large, pendulating black cross that swung against her breast as she leant down to him. His was the world of touch, sights and sounds, the child’s world of wonder , when the wind told stories to his ears..alike to the animal kingdom.. windy days telling hurried stories of trees and hills, grasses and ferns, of white-capped ocean waves and gliding seagulls under drifts of wind-blown clouds scattered over azure skies. A child’s ears and innocence tuned to that elusive pitch and timbre that becomes dulled and destroyed by adulthood and those wailing whispers on the wind are seldom heard again.

What is lost in the eyes of the child, when such macabre icons are drawn to their gaze..The innocence that must be destroyed so guilt can be created, hatred infused before a depraved love constructed, fear before security, doubt in place of certainty, death before life. What is religion that would need to do such to a child..for it is surely children to which all it’s cunning indoctrination are delivered…as the adult convert must be a relatively low number in proportion, so it is the child that must be coaxed out of it’s dreamy cocoon into the adult world of  conditioned certainty..where “trigger words” or scenarios are imbedded into the vernacular to be drawn upon when needed by civic state or religion..for they do work fist in glove in collusion with each other..how else could it be explained or excused, for what were these series of cameos of horror and degradation but in reality a kind of ecclesiastical pornography pushed into the subliminal thoughts of the children’s minds, a “sleeper” awaiting the right moment to respond.

After the last Station was reflected upon, the last homily spoke, the last humiliation imbedded into their child minds..the children were lined up and marched back single-file to the classroom near the row of huge old pine trees..Christopher looked at the radiating branches ascending high up into the depth of the foliage..

“ Wow! what a great place for a tree-house “ he was thinking.

“Death to the Bourgeoise!”

Communist ideals.

Having all but given up on writing political commentary these last couple of years due to the real fact that no-one is listening to ACTUAL constructive criticism and most social/political blogs have gone over to a continuous rinse and repeat of puerile whinging of the “Morrison is a poo-bum” type of structural commentary, I have decided to once again enter the fray with a rant on MY favourite complaint and one that ought to get at least a degree of rational critique..and why not?

The problem we meet right from the start with most social media blogs, is that they are run or moderated by middle-class people…those very persons that Thorsten Veblen quite astutely identified with having a vested interest in the debate and would manage the direction the conversation was going through the comments sections with their and others in the cabal of a “Consciousness of kind” affiliation…so we end up where we now are with this puerile “poo-bum” intellectual discourse where agility of skewered, witty abuse is the most revered of critique.

Petty, middle-class political/social philosophy in our sphere of influence..particularly the ones affecting the working classes, reached its zenith under the leadership of Thatcher, Reagan and Howard, whose destruction of worker’s wages, rights, tertiary education for the greater population and unionism also reached the giddy heights of wrack, racism and ruin and our humanity simultaneously dived to its nadir…which examples the best description of the Excelsior position the middle-classes have been striving toward for so many decades.

For what IS the point of a middle-class?

Truly..what do they contribute toward the betterment of humanity?

Some would splutter and say ; They run mines, factories, corporations, social programs for the poor and destitute…they make the laws and jurisprudence work…they write the curricula for education across the three tiers…They frame the behaviour of social decency and parliamentary procedures and on and on and on and you tell me ONE…ONE!!..not two..just ONE of those above subjects that they haven’t constructed to most suit and benefit their own class most of all and tell us which one they also have not used and abused to profit their own class the most and again which one has NOT fell at some point in the last few years to be utterly and completely corrupted, used and abused by that same class to further their own interests?

We have seen the petty middle-class leadership, graduated in most part from those fagg-assisted private schools and colleges whose main objective seems to be inculcating an education of pederasty and bastardry in equal measure into the mindset of the most mean-spirited and obnoxious arseholes that their (personally constructed for their own use) God could ever breathe breath into!..till our business, education, Government authorities and judiciary is bulging at the seams with the graduates of those pusillanimous institutions sharing the spoils of biased and prejudiced wealth-management networks.

It is an utter, utter disgrace!

Poor Russia…Poor China…Poor Cuba..They worked so hard to rid themselves of the parasitic aristocracy with worker’s uprising and revolution..(oh yes..I know you’re going to say “organised by the middle-classes”..well fuck the middle-classes!!…they would just be shouting/pissing into the wind without the mob holding the guns…so fuck off with your middle-class..they were just the semicolon preceding the sentence!) only to be confronted on all sides with Western middle-class anxiety that this form of communist governance just may be a good thing…just may be working!…so the West drew lines under the worker’s frontiers and slammed into their own prisons any who sought to promote the slightest demand for equality, rights and fair wages…anathema to the philosophy of the middle-class whose raison d’être is for a “healthy bottom line” for their own and screw the rest!

And that fuckin’ Howard..the epitome of the most mean-spirited, penny-pinching little store-keeper class that bred the likes of those American corporate billionaire wankers like Hughes and  Hilton..both of whom ran scurrilous dens of iniquity..the types that Howard licked the boots of…at least Menzies pined for a bit of royal arse!…but this latest little mongrel turns the working tradies of the nation into wanking, aspirant investors by forcing them to register as a “small business”..and our military..once the pride of ANZAC tradition, into little more than hired mercenaries for the upper middle-class corporate war-mongers and profiteers, while he also ran a side industry with them killing off those refugees who fled those very wars and managed to survive the terrors of a perilous sea crossing in leaky boats..the most notorious killing of over 300 women and children in the abandoned, sinking “Sieve X”..

Seriously..it’s gone far enough..TOO FAR EVEN..and it has got to stop..There are enough well-educated working-class people now in the field to take control and reorganise the entire system of governance and jurisprudence so as to be better placed to serve the vast majority of citizens of the nation…No more of this bullshit policing that polices only the lower echelons of society..the basic crim’s…that’s easy to do…it’s the vast acres of political and corporate corruption that needs serious investigation, but that’s never going to happen under a set of principles put in place by the middle-class…as if they are going to investigate themselves..they’ll never “see the forest of corruption for the trees of private profit” until they cut the bloody lot down!

No..it’s time consideration was given to the complete removal of those who aspire to a greater wealth than can be called fair amount. Time to call a halt on the number of properties owned and rented above one. Time to cull the middle-class from both our Parliament and judiciary, their twisted methodology and corrupt mindsets need to be sent away for “re-education”..yes..perhaps it IS time we “do a China” and re-write the constitution and re-set the ambition of this country to more suit the majority…FOR A CHANGE!..FOR A FAIR DEAL !

The fortunate discoveries of James Soreno.

Tumbling dice.

As a person of bronchial difficulties when a young man, James discovered that if he placed his thumbs gently into the nasal cavities and flared his nostrils with this manipulation, his inhale of breathe through the nose would be enhanced..and as a bonus, the extra air rushing through would dry the nasal discharge and alleviated the continued blowing of his nose that often resulted in a soreness and reddening of his skin there…so to allow the continued…enjoyment…of this new found discovery, he would softly scrunch pieces of facial tissue paper into a blunt, conical shape and insert these into the nostrils to hold them open…the resulting appearance gave James the look..in abstract..of a dragon with flames shooting from his nose..

“I trust you are not going to go out in public looking like THAT!” his mother admonished…

Of course he never even considered such..but this was an example of the small but important discoveries that made James’s life more comfortable…for THAT was his primary objective in life..: Comfort…or rather..: The avoidance of discomfort.

“Nov course nort” James replied with a nasal blockage tang “Nyou think I worn’t to look nstupid”.

The other discovery he stumbled upon in his younger years and continued right into old age, was the practice of when removing his clothes at night, he would NOT take the garments off in a singular manner..that is; one at a time, but rather keep them coupled by removing undershirt, shirt and jumper (in winter) in one complete batch..so to speak..and shuck them over his shoulder to sit open-throated, so to speak, ready to slip on again in the same order come morning on the floor near his bed…the same for his trousers and shoes and socks…small things, yes..but things nether the less that made for more comf….no…made for less discomfort…less discomfort…there IS a difference….and again, his mother had to be made aware of his preference for this form of dressing lest she uncaringly kick the clothing into the corner of his room with a disgusted..:

“You’ve had these same clothes on for the last week…for God’s sake, they are starting to smell!”

“Only to YOU”…James would sulkingly reply “I find them just worn in to my body shape..it takes about a week to get them just right.”

Of course, these little quirks of behaviour were the ones familiar to his young years..and even if they did roll over into his older age, there were others gathered up upon the way through life that James would apply and maintain to keep the ferocious wolves of discomfort from his door.

These “discomforts” were not only restricted to physical things, like clothing or mechanical devices like the car or power tools…particularly tape-measures which would after prolonged use break down and the inner spring that retracted the tape suddenly slip within the device and not allow the tape to go back and one would be left with the full eight metres of rattling/crackling, crinkling useless measure all a-jumble in one’s arms…a most distressing situation…solved by having at least three or four tape measures available so that the one measure was not relied upon at any one time and reduce the possibility of being left with a jumbled mess and no tape-measure…or even into things concerning food, like taste or too hot, either spicily or temperature wise…he even developed a dislike in his later years for getting wet..not to the detriment of washing oneself, but in going for a swim or when the relatives came to visit from interstate and everyone wanted to go to the beach and wade in the waters of the low tide…a youth of growing up by the sea left James with an aversion for both the smell and the salty residue on skin of sea-water…but these discomforts also extended into his emotional life, those feelings of emotional discomfort when confronted with, say, sickness or the death of a friend or family member…having to attend funeral and wake and all those moments of (sometimes) false sympathy and the lauding to the heavens of someone even disliked when living…for in James’s mind, grief was like poetry…it was best internalised and experienced within one’s own body and mind…and of course, there was James’s first marriage with a wife who embraced enthusiastically..religiously..the principles of “New Age” philosophy..to the extent she became an apostle of one American guru ridiculously re-named Joice Bleeeby…the “Joice” there to rhyme both in spelling and sound with “Voice”..as in her blurb pamphlet; “The Voice of Joice!”…and the extra “e” in her surname so as to emphasise by phonetic extension the self-importance of her presence.

This worshipping of New Age practices involved the acute discomfort to James of attending workshops where it seemed the main emphasis besides the passing from person to person of a “talking-stick” of a locally gathered tree-twig with a chook-feather attached, secured with plaited wool thread to the stick..was on turning adjectives into nouns..as in adding a “ness” to the adjective..so that “Well”, became “wellness”..and “Whole”, became “wholeness”..as with the “wholeness” of the thing….It was in the rolling off the tongue action at one workshop by this Joice Bleeeby of such “ness” words that James couldn’t help but slip in his own ness-word..

“Lochness” he blurted out before he could stop himself..the fraternity of new-age disciples all turned frowning to him..”..The monster…y’know?..I..I..just thought of it..”James mumbled…but it was clear the guru thought otherwise and after the session was seen to have a quiet chat with James’s wife.

“I am not prepared to stay in a relationship with you unless you pay more attention to what Joice is telling us”..she sternly announced after the workshop……..James had to agree with her and that was the beginning of the end of THAT marriage….actually, the relationship began to slip away with the recent moving of house and family to a suburb with a lower status postcode…it being a very difficult situation to rise in social status from a lowly postcode…from, 5153 to 5251 to 5152…you can see the difference, surely?…the lower the number, the higher the status..James’s wife harboured secret aspirations for the last of those numbered postcodes, and was prepared to sacrifice almost anything regarding their relationship to gain it!

And in truth, it was that driving ambition of James’s first wife that opened up the most sublime and ingenious insight to a philosophy that would seal the direction of his destination toward an elimination of social discomfort and solve that most complex of conundrums plaguing modern life..; decisions, decisions, decisions?…which, where or what to choose?

How many times have we asked ourselves why we did a certain action, the result of which ended up detrimental to our wellbeing…no, not wellness…wellbeing..? After the building of several family homes and the trials and tribulations from a failed marriage which resulted in the loss of accrued collateral from the division of material possessions, this question vexed the mind of James for many nights. Why, he asked himself, after fulfilling the social obligations of work, marriage, children, a home built, could things from so far outside his sphere of influence and decision making bring the whole construct crashing down without so much as a squeak of support from that very society whose “rules of engagement” he obeyed to the letter?

Chance, James decided, played a more important role in the affairs of humanity then has been given credit for..as a matter of fact, he reflected, chance is a integral part of this modern social engineered society..’yers pays yer’s money and yers takes yer chances’ the modern-day catch-cry of civilised society. This momentary diversion in his thoughts brought back an incident in his younger bachelor days when he would happily place a bet on the horses. These wagers were a “penny-punter” affair as his gambling money was a quite small amount. He would ‘study the form’ on race day, a Saturday, pick his horses and go to the Totalizer Agency and place his bets then retire to the hotel to have some beers with his mates and listen to the races. These wagers were usually unsatisfactory in a winning sense and he began to wonder on the worth of studying the form of the horses…it seemed that chance, or the machinations of “fixed races” played a bigger part then the mere record of past races of any one horse..so James decided to try a different approach, partly bought on by his laziness in continuing to try to pick a specific winner and also by a simple mathematical sum…that being that in the usual fifteen horse race, there were four chances of a payout on the ticket..: First plus place, second and third…so that made the chances of getting at least ONE payout of whatever amount a roughly one in four chance if just picking a random number. But how does one pick a random number without being influenced by the opinion of the forms or the tipsters?…simple..: one takes one suite of a deck of cards..Ace to King..that makes thirteen, throw in two jokers and you got your fifteen runners..shuffle and then turn over a card and bet on the random number that turns up..three cards for winner, second and third…of course you mark the jokers for differentiation..

While this method seem absurd and quite simplistic, it worked!…James started getting extraordinary results using the method…not only winners, but daily doubles and quinellas!…even to the point where one delightful Saturday won him enough money to purchase a cheap, second-hand car that only needed a few patches of sheet-metal pop-riveted on and “bogged” to cover the rust in the door panels..and bango! Bob’s your uncle!

This good fortune continued on for a few months, albeit in a still penny-punter way till, in an attempt to try and increase his chance of winning, James started to consult once again the form of the horses whose numbers he had randomly picked with the cards and started to change bets from those he considered hopeless to others with better form…and it was this betrayal of the God of fortune that broke his run of luck and he eventually gave gambling on the horses away completely.. acknowledging with a mea-culpa admission that his greed had let him down. .but the lesson with chance was learned..: There is considerable opinion behind the thesis that there is no pattern to chance..but in James’s conclusions, he decided that the pattern of chance is identifiable in that it HAS NO PATTERN….and THAT is the secret to managing chance…ie; you take a chance on chance.

And it was this lesson with chance that James now ruminated upon in regards that bigger gamble of fortune..: Life.

“What was the point” he mused “of planning, plotting a course, making choices regarding one’s budget and work balances to only have all those best laid plans come to nought?”…and he calculated there and then that with so many millions of other people likewise scheming, planning and choosing, and in the end being manipulated by forces so far outside their sphere of control or influence, the multitude of variables that overlap, collide and determine one’s life are so legion, so multitudinous, one might as well NOT make life-changing decisions based on a false premise that we are all on a “level playing field” and in point of fact, make it a clear objective to do the opposite of – like the horse racing form – trying to pick a winner..

The conclusion James came to and which influenced ALL future decisions in his life was to not try to pre-empt an outcome, but to actually …do nothing!……just sit tight in patience, riding out the storm of chance, waiting for the dust to settle on the fracas of life around him and then to just select the best of what remained..which, as experience of the many years that had passed since he made his fortunate discovery, was the best and most beneficial decision he could have made.

So I pass this on to you with a ; Bon voyage mes amis!

The Insanity Syndrome.

End of Era: Trading Pits Close - YouTube

There’s an insanity sweeping unrestrained throughout the Western World, that when held against the calm discipline of certain Asiatic nations, has all the hallmarks of a system in the last days of anarchy and chaos..the only restraining factor from a complete fall into social mayhem being the inability..possibly brought on by the chaos…for the forces of sane and disciplined governance to become organised.

The Western powers display all the arrogance of a declining tyranny…the arrogance of Rome in its last days…all glitter and bling with no substance..and there is a reason for this decline, this failure to correct the slide into an abyss of self-destructive consumption..The West has all the hallmarks of the parasite in the last epoch of feeding upon its starving host.

What is it that has brought us to this terrible place?

I know what it is and how to correct the symptoms.

I have written so many times on the sickness consuming our societies, only to be mocked and rebuffed time and again..or even worse, the use of that last “big-gun” standby of those who will not listen…I…like so many history-reading augers who have placed this information before the feet of our “learned sages” in the social media fields..we are ignored…ignored to the point of being deliberately snubbed by these fools and falsely-informed stooges of their class…but I am stubborn so I will persist yet again to say to you that it is the totally corrupted middle-classes who have brought us to the very edge of the precipice and without radical alteration, will take us over and to our certain destruction…and I say the; now..at this time in history..we are but a step away from that disaster.

Since the time of the decline and fall of the Western Aristocratic powers at the end of the First WW..the middle-classes have taken control of high governance…they already had for a long time controlled the finances of the Western World and did manipulate the banking and economic destinies of their many “holdings”…these possessions were the colonies so many European Aristocratic powers had carved out of Asia, Africa, the South Pacific, South Americas and elsewhere…IF there was anywhere else TO carve!…Once the Aristocracy had mortgaged their foreign holdings to the hilt, then their domestic estates likewise to maintain a bankrupting world of magnificent estates, fanciful luxury and indolent lifestyles, the mortgagees then foreclosed on this lifestyle, bringing to an end the Aristocratic delusion of supreme confidence of their supreme power..the fine historical dust of destiny had settled upon their marble busts and portraits and the mantle of power shifted from the Aristocratic shoulder to the hip-pocket of their bankers..likewise, did the limitless plunder from those colonial “outposts of progress” so brutally set up in far away places.

Unfortunately, these “new kids on the block” lacked the cunning savvy and experience that a thousand plus years of feudal rule had taught the Aristocrats..; that skill of how to secure the holding of a colony in “savage country”…: The paying off of one toady group from that nation to viciously suppress their own people and so absenting the need (except in the occasional unfortunate uprising by the natives) for a large stationary army at great cost..a lesson learned in their home academy’s from the study of Roman History and THEIR learned lesson on how to manage a civilian population. This sudden very fruitful windfall gave licence for the now centre of power middle-classes to take matters into their own hands and the plunder and exploitation grew to immense proportions as individual moguls bid for the franchises of raw commodities and slave labour…and leaving out the predictable lineal descriptions of “what happened next”, we come to these times of endless possession wars and skirmishes to the sad and lonely place we find ourselves in now.

So..where are we now?

We in the western sphere of capitalism are standing at a point where we either stage some sort of revolution against the middle-classes who now lack moral, ethical and capable knowledge to manage governing to step back from the fall…or we fall…there is no “third way”, for those who manage the money, now “manage” the elections. The middle-class has gorged itself for so many years on the flesh of the poor, the vulnerable and the susceptible, that it knows not how to stop..it is the addict that has passed the point of cure..the hunger for affluence reaching from the upper echelons of that class down to the lowliest citizen of the richest nations of The West so that even the most wretched of these will defend a creed that they are certain..given time..is their own tragic and pathetic vision of a life of gauche, squalid luxury on the back of borrowed capital and mortgaged youth to a old age of being literally consumed, body and soul by the last line of capitalism gone mad..; the aged-care homes of even more desperate middle-class speculators and parasites…A no more wretched picture of a society gone wrong could be drawn from the pages of a Victor Hugo novel to be placed at our feet for us to peruse at our own indolent leisure.

So, what do we do?

If we consult any number of historical tomes, from the primary sources of ancient literature, to the scholarly studies of such ancient mores and civilisations, we will read of a natural adaption of habitual behaviour that leads to the fall of such civilisations…they also have been recorded popularly as “The Seven Deadly Sins”…Greed/avarice being up there at the top…the lessons from those eras tell us that confident, central governance with a big “at arms length” bureaucracy that has firm control of both regulation of economic affairs and trade, along with solid command of the military, is the best method for strong, secure governance.

If we consult the wily Machiavelli of renaissance fame, we read his sage observations on governing a state, refer to the difficulty of restoring a republic to order and rule of law if both the ruling elite and the people become corrupt and stay so after two periods of change of leader…himself doubting if such a society COULD be brought back to good order without some degree of mayhem and bloodshed…a place we certainly do not wish to go…WE, here in Australia have had several changes of leadership under the LNP to only see the Party degenerate from silly to weak to catastrophic corruption…a slide toward that inevitable precipice…We now have a degenerate government of criminals and perverts…the women no better than the men, the poorest of them scrambling for possessions of property to equal the richest..The most intellectually inept holding centre stage with the most incompetent and all the while being stage-managed by facilitators and a media that itself is more concerned with property than propriety…with image rather than imagination…it is a catastrophic disaster that alongside the portending danger of climate change, is NOT waiting to happen, it is already upon us.

A political party that brings into its ranks more of the working trade skilled and working trade-professions who know and experience the needs and demands at the “coal-face” of our society, will be the party that can give good guidance and leadership into the future…The middle-classes must be removed from the higher positions of governance and power…the middle-class businesspeople must be held away from influencing governance and the bureaucracy  allowed to manage the strings of governance without fear of interference or favour of bribery or reward..the old civil service pride must be restored and its methodology, however stodgy and meticulous, maintained.

The problem is a Entrepreneurial / Speculative middle-class that now has control of the entire mechanism of governance..a majority of whom have been coached and indoctrinated by the corrupting influence of the private school/college system so the even without direct orders from the higher echelon of power, there is an automatic “knowledge” via the “nod & wink” consciousness of kind to do as has been designated through their coddled education.. We must be rid of these parasites.

When we look to the Chinese success story, we see a nation governed safely, securely and soundly with all the appearance of steady leadership and a solid direction of ambition and goals for the people. It has to be admitted, that of all the major players upon the world stage of economics, politics, military and domestic law and order, China leads the way and while it must be also admitted that such a system may be a tad too authoritarian for a nation of our number population to follow, given WE are only 24 millions against China’s 1400 millions…there is a lesson there of curtailing those whose hubris far exceeds decency and considerate behaviour…of those who would seek reward through betrayal of one’s nation and culture and a policing force unafraid to enforce those laws that provide the most vulnerable citizens a sense of national pride WITH safety and security.   

The Last Empire.

Hundred of Anna in the Murray Mallee.

‘Twas the hour before the gloaming, when the hardest of the day’s work was done…the bulk of the fortnight’s work actually, for this day marked the winding-up of the harvest..the end of a year’s work of harrowing, ploughing, seeding and watching the crops grow..to now, the winding down of the end of the year’s worry and work…The crop was in, harvested, winnowed and bagged, the carrier contractor with his sons, was loading the last truck of sewn bags of wheat to cart to the rail-head to be shipped to the port. It had been a “paying year” for the cropping…not a bumper year like the one two years ago, but still a good year..and as far as the head of the family went, a good harvest to finish up on.

Mattheus Kreuger tipped the last bucket of hard-feed into the horse’s trough, his eye cast over the mix and texture of the feed with the experienced eye of an old horseman-farmer…Mattheus was never one to either under or over-feed his team of draught horses, knowing from bitter experience from the days of want and scarcity just how much maintained a balance of good condition in a working horse.

“Matt!” the carrier called over the yard “Matt!…we’re on our way…catch you with the receipt up at home?”

“Right you are John…be there tomorrow afternoon…catch you then”..and he gave a dismissing wave as he walked to the feed shed..the truck chassis heaved a creaking groan with the revving of the engine as it set off in a cloud of raised dust out of the farm-gate.

Home for the Kreuger family was not where they farmed these paddocks..like several Mallee Flats farmers, the main house and spread was in the hills above these drylands…in that part of the state where the grazing of fat-lambs was more reliable with the higher rainfall and better feed. But here on the flats, there was sufficient rain for good cropping which needed less than those of open pasture, so that many blocks on the flats were sown by absentee farmers who came to the paddocks with their whole family and workers with horses and equipment to stay several weeks while they worked the soil and seeded, and then when they cut and harvested the crops..There was a spacious hut built of stone on one of the paddocks that housed the women and children and where the meals were cooked and served to all the people working there…at night the women and children would sleep in the stone hut while the workmen would bunk-down in the out-buildings where the harnesses and feed-stores were kept..these outbuildings were built of rugged post and beam construction with pug and native pine infills for walls…it was rustic but warm, with the thatched roofing giving any heavy rain that soft almost silent drumming sound as it fell.

Such had been the routine for farming for so many years, that Mattheus was having troubled thoughts of handing over the reins of the farm to his sons, who were keen to adopt change to both the layout and management of the system of farming practice…for there had risen over the last few years a new technology that would render the old horse-drawn methods redundant…the age of the tractor had arrived and this new machine-driven methodology would allow twice the acreage to be worked in as much time as the old horse-drawn method..and without the tiresome attention given to the animals themselves..Mattheus was well informed of these positives by his two sons on any given moment if  a favourable ear was turned their way…Mattheus was suspicious of any talk of “making life easier”, as time had worked its abrasive grit onto both patience of mind and callous of hand..but then, he recalled, so had he persuaded his father of the benefits of the mechanical stripper over the old stooking and threshing method of harvesting..so he was willing to give his sons the blessing of his elder respect.

But today was the end of harvest and the entire family would sit to dinner this evening with the conscious relief that this marked the end of the repetitious rounds of up at dawn and crack-on till sunset work-cycle of harvest time. Magdalena, Mattheus’s wife of forty years, would serve the last full family meal for the harvest and along with the food would be the end of harvest prayer of thanksgiving and health which Magdalena would lead from the foot of the long trestle table..which would be followed by a loud and solemn ; “Amen” from Mattheus at the head of the table.

This was the ritual that finished the end of harvest every year since the family had bought and come to the Mallee Flats to crop the land. This was the ritual that bound every member to the home and hearth of family consciousness. This was the ritual that was repeated in many of those sturdy pioneer gatherings across the length and breadth of what was known as “Breakheart Country”. This was the “glue” that formed the tie to community and church and from there to each other, this familiarity and consciousness of like-habits and required procedure…this..was the culture of a community.

And what food there was!..so much gathered from the farm vegetable garden, home produce that bore the skilled hands of the growers, makers and preparers, recipes for cured meats and cheeses handed down generations…sauces and spices made from the smallest measures of condiments that extracted the richest of flavours, cuts of meat from farm-grown stock, placed in large cooking dishes and pushed to that certain place in the large wood-fired vault oven at the rear of the hut…a “hut” whose proportions were of such space in height, length and breadth to take the whole family with children and workers at one long trestle table set groaning every night with frugal but sumptuous fare..for this was not the banquet of a gluttonous merchant, but the necessary food for hard working people..and as such would give each and every person fair share of the products of their own labour from both field and garden, with loaves of fresh-baked breads to the steaming potatoes from the garden…all was good, all was well and at the completion of the meal, when an air of sighing satisfaction was perceived, it was time for the head of the family to make a speech.

Mattheus rapped the wooden serving-spoon from the plate of vegetables onto his plate…

Mattheus’s speech…

“My usual position when at this point of the evening, is to be standing here at the head of the table, cup of good cheer in hand, giving a thank-you speech and congratulating us all on a job well done…but tonight, I will remain seated..not out of a sense of indolence nor disrespect…for I doubt there is a person in this room does not know of my nature by now..But tonight I remain seated so as to talk to you on the same level…no longer as “Th’ Boss”…nor now as head of the work-team, for tonight I hand the reins…if only figuratively..over to my sons ; Peter and Christian..for it is they who will now take the family farm onto the next chapter of its evolution with the full blessing of myself and Magdalena..and it is that evolution that will change the entire work practices..as we have talked of these last several years..from the old one of horse and harness to the new of tractor and steel couplings…Myself, having reached both God’s and Nature’s allotted time of years allowed a man..; “Three-score and Ten”..I am like the proverbial old dog and new tricks…I cannot change and I have no right to stand in its way.

But tonight, I want to talk about another thing and I hope give both my sons, their wives and children..our grandchildren..both warning of consequence and also to top up the cup of cheer with the measure of hope..

Nature has lent its hand to us…she has given us soil..water..and sustenance..From time immemorial we have harnessed her beasts for the field..with the strength of these fellow toilers, these mute companions of our labours, we have turned the soil, harrowed the earth and seeded our crops..from the time when my father and mother first set foot on this strange country and drew our section of land and marked the dimensions of their home on the soil, to now when their children sup at the table of their dreams and promise, it has all been done with eyes firm set on that measure of a man’s worth..the measure of a woman’s worth..on the measure of home and family..on a measure of hope..My parents, our forebears built an empire out here upon a new country..not an empire of imperial conquest, nor an empire of expansive proportions, but rather an empire of hope and dreams..their backs bent to the chores of that ambition, without doubt, without fail and with high faith in their mission to succeed…indeed, succeed they must or perish in the trying.

The greatest treasures of a parent is their children..it is the children who will carry the future to further horizons that can be dreamed of by a parent and it is the safety of those children that exercises the most concern for the parent..What measure of gold is the equal to the harvest of seed that gives new life in every season to a garden? What reward of contentment can equal that of a full stomach, a clear mind and the love in one’s heart for what greets them on the start of a full day of productive and rewarding toil?…Why would a man get out of bed if not to fulfill the promise and reap the bounty of a life of hope…that measure of hope that is the right of every person born under Nature’s sky and God’s heaven?

When I gazed tonight upon the healthy meal that my loving wife, Magdalena, set before me, I saw the fair measure of meat…of potatoes..of pumpkin grown so prolifically over the old composting stable heaps..it’s tendrils seeking distant promise like an arm reaching for distant fruits..a wonderful meal..and all in good measure..and it is that measure that I now talk of to each and every one of my children and their families to heed and be watchful that envy and greed do not cast a shadow over future ambitions.

A long life..a hard life taught our parents the creed of what is fair measure for one to aspire to..what is just reward for one’s labour..and there is no sense of satisfaction in the shirking of one’s fair share of labour..for there is a measure in nature in this world where each person is allotted a share of labour and where one person shirks their share, it falls to the shoulders of another to carry that extra load..and THAT..in anyone’s sense of justice is a failure of duty toward our brothers and sisters.

I hear talk of the new mechanics of farming having the means of “making life easier”..and I have to admit that after a bad day with horses, harness and machinery, such a phrase would even make my eyebrows lift in inquisitiveness and bring a smile of delightful possibility to my lips…”To make life easier”…now isn’t that a hope and dream to aspire to?…to make life easier…but then I have to ask..; “easier from what?”..certainly, if one was held in slavery..or imprisoned unfairly..or driven to extreme by brutal Master and Lord, one would wish for life to be easier..for those conditions are  un-natural to both nature and humanity..and I would trust to all of us here in this room..let no man proclaim ownership over another’s life, lest he too be one day given like punishment.

But no..here and now, on these paddocks..on this farm..in this part of the world, what measure of life can be claimed to be better for the making of it easier? Will the vegetables grow faster, the sheep more wool?…Will the ache of work be less assuaged with a full stein of beer at day’s end?..and what of THIS day..this end of harvest celebration..will such a thing exist once the mechanics of it takes away the comeraderie of shared, shoulder to shoulder labour?…and what of the table of food like we see here in front of us..where waste from the stables goes to the heaps of compost and thence to the garden from whence comes the vegetables to our table…where will the waste from the tractor go? Will it give nourishment to the soil or will it make waste of the soil and thence make life less easier for those who must clean up such waste?..Will there be need for such a gathering of family to give thanks for the blood, sweat and tears of a year of toil when less folk are needed for the harvest?…Will the making of life easier also mean the lessening of the rewarded pleasures for the job’s end , for is there anyone among us who does not breathe a sigh of relief at hard work’s end..but then also be content and the soul fulfilled with satisfaction of a job well done?..Does not that also feel so good?..And I wonder on the lessening of the need for hired labour to attend the many chores for maintaining the draught horses…the harness repairer, the farrier, the smithy..and if they go, what of the town band..and the church choir..and then the bakery and grocer?…and our neighbours who cannot afford to tool-up to this new mechanics..are they to become a sacrifice to a new world order of an “easier life”..

No..I cannot stand in the way of progress, but I do give notice to you, my children, that you use caution with this new method of farming..do not let it steal your skills..do not to let it take control of YOU..I know you will have to go to the bank to up-grade to the tractors and new machinery it uses..be warned about the banks..they have no friend but compound interest, no mercy save the court of bankruptcy and no soul save that traded with the devil.

No..I cannot stand in the way of progress, so I will leave the farm in the steady hands of our children and wish them well while myself and Magdalena seek retirement in Tanunda and I will perfect my arm at bowls and my ear at listening to the idle chatter of the town.

So let us raise our cups to give thanks for the measure of hope that has been promised and now fulfilled…”

 The following morning, while the sun was yet low and the breezes mild in the Mallee trees, the trappings of the hut and camp were packed up, the women and children were driven back to the farmhouse in the car and Mattheus and his sons led the horses down the track in the direction toward home.

Received Pronunciation – Received Propaganda.

Sir Robert Menzies (@MenziesPM) | Twitter
Sir Robert Menzies..Prime Minister of Australia 1949 – 1966.

You’d be right to ask what radio broadcasters, Cambridge Analytica, Lord Haw Haw and “received pronunciation” all had in common and perhaps be not a little surprised if I tell you it was to win political approval and/or elections.

“Received Pronunciation”…now, I have been around for a good many years, but I had never heard that expression before…perhaps, although it is no secret code or anything, it is an expression more familiar within the circles of radio broadcasting and English language pronunciation..being once the “preferred accent” for radio broadcasting on both the BBC and our own ABC. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Received_Pronunciation . One such popular program presenter..: Arch McKirdy went on to become a voice trainer and mentor to many well-known presenters on the ABC..:

“ McKirdy became a voice teacher and mentor to many ABC presenters, including Norman Swan, Margaret Throsby, Geraldine Doogue and Fran Kelly, teaching them not only how to speak with the received pronunciation of standard English but how to speak naturally “in groups of words, breathing and pausing naturally” and speak to their audience as if they were talking to a personal friend.” (Wikipedia).

Which brings us to Lord Haw Haw and his Nazi propaganda broadcasts in WW2..: “ Joseph Goebbels, German propaganda minister, called the radio the “eighth great power”, noting the influence of radio in promoting the Third Reich. Goebbels approved a mandate in which millions of cheap radio sets were subsidized by the government and distributed to citizens (Oh dear!…shades of school computers? ). Germans also delivered their messages to occupied territories and enemy states. One of their main targets was the United Kingdom where William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) regularly broadcasted. In the United States, there were Robert Henry Best and Mildred Gillars (Axis Sally).” (Wikipedia). Of course, the tone and accent of the voice the Irishman William Joyce (aka; Lord Haw Haw) used was pure “received pronunciation… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI3IjZ5Ut9g .

“For he (Lord Haw Haw) was something new in the history of the world. Never before had people known the voice of one they had never seen as well as if he had been a husband or brother or close friend….and there was a rasping yet rich quality about his voice which made it difficult to not go on listening, and he was nearly convincing in his assurance. . . “ (Rebecca West : “The Meaning of Treason”

For this is the “secret” of propaganda…that it is done with a tonal quality of voice so reassuringly familiar to the listener so that the natural suspicions that come with botched pronunciation that tells us the approximate birth-nation of the speaker and creates instant caution to any truth in their words…after all, haven’t we all been warned to be wary of “the stranger”?…so along with the attachment to the comforting accent of spoken word, comes the added security (at least for the broadcaster) of anonymity..for how could one be expected to have confidence in a person that was not of at least one’s own “skin”…be it colour, definition of form and /or familiar characteristic gesticulations.

Which continues our journey into the known with that nefarious group named “Cambridge Analytica” and this delving into the propaganda importance of anonymity.

In an age of social media, where one’s name and face can be projected as one desires over many platforms of social connection, so it would seem that anonymity is the last thing on most people’s mind..yet here was this group gathering personal information from people’s social media pages and anonymously collating profiles on millions to use as a propaganda disinformation tool in elections…AND itself choosing to be ABSOLUTELY anonymous in its activities. So we have to ask the question as to whom benefited from their activities?..and the names of several right-wing govt’s leap off the page.

So why all this use of such tools of propaganda by what seems exclusively – in the West – right-wing political parties?..after all, was not the original plummy accent of “received propaganda” derived from the talk of a very low percentage of English speakers of the Aristocracy…a now defunct demographic of social privilege?…and why did it make it’s way to Australia to be used as preferred-speak on our radio broadcasts and if memory serves me well, it just happens that Sir Robert Menzies used that same tonal quality, if with the homely touch of Aust’ vernacular in his radio broadcasts..: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9NHrVlLzxE ..I suspect the use of “received pronunciation” as the base familiarity for the broadcast of false, misleading and demoralising news and information, along with the anonymity ( no facial identification alongside the voice) when broadcasting allows the use of such propaganda tools to have maximum effect when wanting to persuade or at least confuse the listeners to bring them around to one’s particular point of view without the intruding identification of facial expression, colour or any other distraction..and I would claim that broadcasters like John Laws and Alan Jones would have had  much shorter careers had they been on public television rather than behind the security of the radio microphone..after all, does not “familiarity breed contempt”?

After all, how many times have YOU been frustrated and flummoxed when trying to convince  close friend or relative of a fact in conversation and they refuse to believe you and you hear yourself shouting or at least pleading in a plaintive voice all to no avail?…something you rarely if ever hear from a trained speaker of “received pronunciation” and THOSE speakers seem all the more convincing for it!

So when we hear of such and such a politician or their party maintaining their popularity with the voting public of certain demographics, think NOT on so much as what is detrimental about their policies or person, but rather on the dulcet tones the few favourable things that they deliver to the populace is served across airwave and social media platform in the shape of that familiar voice that. . .:

“. . . Never before had people known the voice of one they had never seen as well as if he had been a husband or brother or close friend….and there was a rasping yet rich quality about his voice which made it difficult to not go on listening, and he was nearly convincing in his assurance. . . “

Or :

“. . . teaching them not only how to speak with the received pronunciation of standard English but how to speak naturally “in groups of words, breathing and pausing naturally” and speak to their audience as if they were talking to a personal friend.”

Is there a “market” for working-class art?

Unitarian leftist: Socialism is not ethically superior to capitalism –  Acton Institute PowerBlog
Social realism.

There are any number of artistic tomes of literature, any number of operatic, musical or plays of, about but rarely FOR the benefit of working-class cultural advancement..for it is sadly mostly the middle-class that takes opportunity to utilise the situations dramatic, comical or banal inherent in the lives of the working-class to draw audiences and profit from such situations…and again, sadly, it has to be admitted that rarely do working-class people indulge their artistic senses within the pages of writers from their own demographic..Is it the fact that the openings of opportunity for publishing / display of creative works are more reserved for and in the realm of middle-class networks and cognoscenti?

Why is this so?

In my own humble experience as a purveyor of representations of a working-class life, I have searched for but found few..no…have found NONE from the working-classes that have pursued deep and thoughtful representations over a long period of authorship to transfer to written stories or tales their life lived in the strata of physical “working for a living”. Certainly there are those who have used their experiences to write of them so as to hopefully gain the glittering prizes judiciously and jealously dished out by the middle-class and have strived to “rise above their humble origins” to embrace the aspired middle-class lifestyle…but once “discovered”, few remain faithful to their background over a long period of time..this is in spite of the obvious evolution of so many examples of working-class art in both personal pursuits all levels of artistic pursuit and even in housing design evolution..

In past “Golden Age” periods of story writing, there were any number of working-class writers who engaged us with delightful or dramatic stories..but that was in the age of hard-copy printing and many magazines were hungry for tales that drew readership to their pages…indeed, most weekly magazines competed in their front pages with the latest works from many amateur writers…but that was before “Glam-Mags” and fashionista preferences removed light entertainment from the pages to be replaced with gossip pics and paparazzi scandals centered around the “beautiful people” of upper or middle-class society.

Now, one is reduced to placing one’s writing up on social media blog-sites, many of which are just another platform for middle-class sensibilities, identity politics and echo-chamber opinions of an outraged middle-class uninterested in sensitive tale or cameo of emotional content..there is only ONE opinion that matters on social media and THAT is ONE’S OWN OPINION!….Though I do contend that the current one here where my pieces are thankfully accepted is a working-class blog, high cut above the general dross of middle-class blog-mullock that passes for current political opinion and commentary.

So what can be done to elevate working-class art to its rightful position at the head of representation of life lived by the vast majority of people?

The problem that I see is the one of so many blue-collar workers having a disdain for their working-class origins or position in society and are in constant struggle to aspire to a more affluent (read “effluent”) lifestyle through the false Gods of materialism and Neo-Liberal economics…the empty-headed spiel of a swindling middle-class. It is this mistaken belief that always portends the defeat of working-class politics..this belief that one must “aspire” to a “higher social status”…I ask..: What higher status?….The role of a speculating, entrepreneurial class that seeks any and every opportunity to take down family, friend and neighbour at any given chance?…that class of lying, conniving cruds that will snatch and grab at any chance of public moneys given in mistaken grants to “improve employment opportunities” …to ; “enhance business opportunities”…so as to – again – improve employment opportunities ? Yet in the same shameful breath will demean and deny a decent living standard for so many of the working poor and vulnerable…will even cheat the aged of a respected retirement in any number of thieving “aged-care” homes…Why have these lying crooks been “elevated” to represent a type of citizen the working people must aspire to?…I’ll tell you why..because they have been “manufacturing” their lies and false image for over a hundred years through both the govt’ public schools via stooges employed there..and those Machiavellian private schools whose sole objective is to inculcate bastardry and tyranny into the heads and hearts of their youthful charges, whilst grooming them to take what they consider their “rightful by inherited” place in leadership of all and every position of influence in The State.

F#CK ‘EM !…I say…

Time for the working people of this country to grow up, accept and be proud…yes f#cking PROUD of one’s working-class roots and situation…be proud of the fact that you..and YOU ALONE are willing and capable of supporting through your own labour, yourself and / or your loved ones and family. That you and YOU ALONE have accrued skills, be they in craft or trade or semi / professional work that can bring you within the circumferences of a local – regional – statewide – nationwide – global international network of similar placed, similar minded and similar sympathetic working communities…the widest, biggest representative community in the world!

And it is through our art via stories or audio/visual communication that our common goals of fair and equitable societies can be achieved..The working-class has the highest creative imagination, the ultimate power, the maximum voice and the majority of people to either vote out or throw out those tyrannical morons of the middle-classes who are little more than a non-producing weight on our shoulders that we are expected to carry as a burden through life and whose degenerate lifestyles are a blight on any fair-minded member of the wider community.

Yes….: “AWAY WITH ALL PESTS!”