‘We have seen, at last, in Campbell Newman, the cane toad face behind the koala mask that is the Liberal Party.’
I’m not sure that that quote will do it or persuade people to vote for Labor. Too many animal metaphors.
How about, “If you end up in a QLD hospital, you’ll need to wipe your own arse!”
I was visiting a patient at the very same Sunshine Coast Hospital bed (next to the man in the story) last week and had a nurse tell me that because of the 14,000 job cuts, her job was axed that day. She was young and single had just bought a new home and now had no job. They are building a new hospital she said but they will have no nurses to put in it. This is the way things are done up here.
I tell myself this is just a structural problem that Campbell will eventually fix when patients start dying in droves in Queensland hospitals.
You have changed your tune!
Newman : “He’s not the messiah, just a very naughty boy”??
I was a bit shaken when mugged by reality. But I still have some faith…
Compulsory and preferential voting suck. Compulsory is undemocratic just by it’s meaning let alone implementation and preferential gives you two bites of the cherry and is open to corrupting the process altogether. One can register as many parties as they like and collaborate a preferred outcome.
sorry wrong thread
Cane toads don’t do very much.They move into ,then infest areas over a number of years.The Funnel Web might be more appropriate as they move with ferocity and speed.
Our next leader is more like a white pointer
At last I get it!
The conservatives are a Koalition, led by a Citizen Kane Toad!
The Koalition! Brilliant! Blinky Bill is the would-be Treasurer, perhaps . . .
Very good indeed.
Although Campbell Newman might indeed now be the ‘cane-toad face’, I prefer his old moniker of Noddy, as he was known in his days at Duntroon, not just for his perceived resemblance to the Enid Blyton character, but also for his misadventures, such as an expedition he led across the Tanami Desert, in northern Australia, in which his party had no fewer than 199 flat tyres.
And now, Noddy is taking Big Ears and the Koalition on another expedition into another desert, headed for another pneumatic debacle.
It gets better! Big Ears and the Koalition, featuring Noddy and Blinky Bill.
Although I do like Swan’s Larry Curly and Moe, the Three Stooges (Hockey Robb and Abbott, respectively)
All most amusing.
You should have quit while you were ahead
And you should quit while you can.
Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk!!
The Moe Diaries (cont.)
What is it with these women anyway? There’s no pleasing them. All I said was that “as they do their ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price, and their own power bills when they switch the iron on, are going to go up”
Perfectly reasonable, and just the way things ought to be. Can’t understand it at all.
Now that Julia who really ought to stand aside and let a man take the reins of government, as I’ve often told Bob Ellis – and he agrees – seems to be making a comeback. And they think I’m the “rope a dope!”
Balls! I coulda been a contender!
Maaarrggiiee . . .
Can someone please explain the koala mask reference, cause I must have missed something.
We’ve seen a pattern in recent years of new governments at both state and federal levels reducing the number of public servants when they follow on from a long term government. They seem to think that it in some way demonstrates that their predecessors have their priorities wrong. But you watch the way government jobs creep back up over time. Remember when Howard came to office? But then the supposed party of small government grew the ranks of the public service again.
The culling of service delivery jobs is ridiculous and has a direct impact on our communities. I strongly recommend people read Ernest Hunter’s piece in The Weekend Australian last weekend on the impact these cuts will have on community health service in Aboriginal communities. In all the political hubub and noise on this stuff, it’s so important to hear from people on the ground who know what they’re talking about.
But we pay far less attention to the non-service delivery jobs and I think that there is fat within the policy and procurement ranks of state and federal governments that could be cut. Not to mention the huge amounts of money that get spent on consultancy firms for policy and evaluation.
The way I interpreted Bob’s initial post was that the Libs might like to parade around in their cute ‘n’ cuddly koala mask, but Campbell Newman is showing their true face – after you get into office, you can drop the pretence and assume the authentic ‘cane-toad’ position.
Thanks curly. Very informative
I’m not sure it’s defensible to posture against a small group of protesters and possibly incite racial violence, and police brutality is never defensible yet it somehow still goes unpunished regardless of how many iphones capture what. When a tribal elder dies in the back of a privatised prisoner transport van from dehydration this isn’t news. Cory Bernardi has been preaching hate for too long, yet today he resigns. This is news, Syria isn’t. So the house passes gay marriage, what is this compared with dual carriageways nation wide, how many jobs would this create? How many lives would it save? The surplus is under threat and this is news but the fact that ever major economist advises the government to operate under a deficit isn’t. How much growth was lost to eleven years of Howard? When Islamic leaders came out united on Monday morning, this gave me hope but who I am I to say they did not do this out of fear? What I can be sure of, is the pass the buck blame game will continue, what republic, what constitutional reform? Here is Abbott, out from under his rock, hah, this circus will continue. The most visionary level we can achieve are three word slogans. Dead in the water. Bugger what then. Ask what if?
Bernardi said that gay marriage could lead to accepting bestiality.
Whats wrong with saying that?
Can you prove that Labor and Greens supporters won’t be trotting out their pets to the altar?
Some people are very fond of their poodles. Are you discriminating against beastiality? What kind of a pervert are you?
Frank, you ask ‘what’s wrong with Bernardi conflating homosexuality with bestiality?’
Are you serious?
Apart from the illogicality of such a statement, it’s dog-whistling of the highest order, and that’s not a whistle that says ‘here boy, come and play lick my nuts’, like some unfortunate footballer once tried.
There is no statistical relationship between being gay and having sex with animals. It’s more likely that humping the family pet is going to be actioned by perverted ‘straights’ than those who seek same-sex relationships.
Good try at trolling, but sorry, no cigar.
And good riddance to Bernardi, he’s a disgrace, particularly given his privileged background.
No I think the unnatural are unnatural regardless. Stop defending yourself
What are you talking about?
Frank, I read today that there has been uncovered some partial fragment of a Coptic scripture dating from around the 4th century, that may indicate that Jesus was married.
Marriage being something wholly between a man and a woman, would you and Bernardi consider it kosher for a woman to be married to a supernatural being, son of the creator and one who later was known to have risen from the dead? Or would you perhaps contemplate that may open the way to Zombie marriages and the like in the future, and therefore should be nipped in the bud?
Shouldn’t be a worry allthumbs – the cattlelick nuns are supposed to be the Brides of Christ, after all.
You do know know that you and Doug will go to Hell when you die for saying that. I of course along with Cory and Tony will look down from heaven at all the Labor sinners and shudder with revulsion.
If Cory and Tony are there, you should have the place pretty much to yourselves.
You’ll have your pick of seats at the Perry Como show in the Tiki Lounge and there’ll be no long queues for the buffet.
Sounds divine. I’m a big Perry Como fan. Something about crooners…
How come I knew that, Frank. Anyone for pumpkin scones…
At least you will be looking at the living
Did you see the PM in Question Time today Bob? Those girly tears she feld from Russia with certainly touched the hearts of everyone in the House.
Have a bit of respect.
I thought eulogies in question time were reserved for fallen soldiers and public figures, not family members of politicians. I was surprised she even mentioned her recent loss, although a brief thank-you to well-wishers would have been ok? Would a tribute like this in question time, to a family member (not known to the Australian public) be a first?
Lozza,she should have taken the opportunity to not take the opportunity.
All those drowned, who like her Father were trying to make a better life for their daughters, who had their own Thomas’ equivalents, not a word could she find. She could have drawn an ever so slightly comparison and decided not to. Probably didn’t want to play politics with the death of her father in the House of Representatives, Parliament House, Canberra.
On the other hand I asked my local MP if he would say a cheerio to my youngest niece on getting her license, next time he got up in question time. Democracy is a beautiful thing.
…and good on Julia for deciding not to play politics with her father’s death.
For once, if only for a fleeting moment, Abbott behaved civilly.
Was in the library, took a wrong turn and ended up here.
I found something,
and surprised myself:
“In a solitude of the sea
Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.
Steel chambers, late the pyres
Of her salamandrine fires,
Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.
Over the mirrors meant
To glass the opulent
The sea-worm crawls — grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent…..”
That’s an amazing poem.
“And as the smart ship grew
In stature, grace, and hue,
In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.”
Yes, it is a wonderful poem.
It is good to see you have not departed.
Unlike our host who has disappeared again.
I fear for the future of this blog if this continues.
Anyway, let’s have an open forum. Shall we?
The topic is:
Tell of a time when you where very proud of yourself; where you stood humbled by your actions.
Or, describe a family holiday when you where a teenager or younger.
Or, tell us about your mother and father.
“Ah – nobody’s nigh! And my life is drearisome,
And this is the old home we loved in many a day
Before he went away;
And the salt fog mops me. And nobody’s come!”
…so sad, Will, ‘salt fog’? Are they tears…
Not my words helvi, reminded me of Broomy.
I liked this http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/2824/
‘No twain who in heart-heaves proved
Themselves at all adept,
Who more than many laughed and loved,
Who more than many wept,
Or were as sprites or elves
Into blind matter hurled,
Or ever could have been to themselves
The centre of the world.’
Not my words Helvi, reminded me of Broomy.
I liked this http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/2824/
‘No twain who in heart-heaves proved
Themselves at all adept,
Who more than many laughed and loved,
Who more than many wept,
Or were as sprites or elves
Into blind matter hurled,
Or ever could have been to themselves
The centre of the world.’
Both you and Hypo elsewhere are prone to putting in two or more links – and that automatically puts you into spam, and moderation. Hence the delay. Try using only one link per comment.
I know, who would have thought Hardy, Hardy!, to have struck such a chord?
Certainly not I!
But there you have it.
It was, of course, the image of “to glass the opulent” that aroused my sense of the decay, or better yet the superficiality, of his time that the poem speaks to.
Who would have thought?
I have become unaccustomed to taking wrong turns in libraries. Perhaps I should change that. There must be a thousand worlds out there, a million worlds, an infinite number of worlds, to fall into.
And yet, it is profoundly difficult to break free of the orbit I’m in; gravity exerts its hold not only on moons and masses but also on interests and passions.
I’ve been staring at my problem for almost a year now and suspect I shall be wrestling with it for some time yet.
And you William; will you join Polybius and my good self and tell us your thoughts on whatever you care.
Tell us about your first love.
Describe her; her smell and her dress, her colouring and her toes, her laughter and her sadness, her pain and her music, her reading and her jewellery. Tell us about the books she read and whether she walked places.
Tell us the circumstances of the finishing between you.
Nick Cave in Ghosts of the Civil Dead is one of the best acting performances I’ve ever seen. I would like to hear about what people think about writer’s block, as I cannot write. Vidal reckoned he loved making sentences so much and writer’s block was a myth.
I can tell you about the time I stood in front of 200 or so people at the end of a shift, a meeting, where in an attempt to address rumours, management thought it a good idea to try and quell the murmurings about another imminent roster reshuffle. The men were angry, the delegates, semi-interested. I fielded response after response, I asked the right people, I must have said the right things and soon people began driving their high-reaches to me, to ask me what I thought.
I asked the warehouse manager, another head kicking Pom, if he thought if these roster changes were about productivity, doesn’t he think there were other things to tweak and improve before messing up people’s rosters again? (This was the third time in three months.) I then laid out in simple detail three fixes to the warehouse system that would boost productivity. Lined up to his left and right, in shock and awe, were the management team. An angry old head yelled out something about the end of the new culture, another hot head to my immediate right yelled something similar, his face going red. The ‘meeting’ went over time. Union meetings on company time were banned, thus didn’t happen. People were anxious to leave, the next shift began filing in behind us. Walking to the cars, through the prison turnstiles, one or two gave me a pat on the back, most stared and kept distance. I got a call later that afternoon, I’d been suspended, no need to come in tomorrow. Two others were suspended, one of them fired. I sat with two executives and a blinged-up rep, standing trial. They laughed, like I was talking to the Vice Principal at school. Within a week, without going into the boring detail of logistic mechanics, all of the recommendations I threw at the warehouse manager were enacted, saving them millions. I was gone a little over two months after that.
I was proud of myself then, it felt good though, achieved naught except showing up a bloke on quadruple my earnings as semi-literate bum, who could not speak, not on the spot anyway. The writing above is indicative of my general state of creativity. Short, concise, bland, dry. It is as if each word is a step on very thin ice. A floor of mirrors. Perhaps, I should stop looking down.
Certainly, Fedallah. I don’t know which topic I’ll pick, and my reply may not come today.
Things are rather busy at work at the moment…the pot of glue bubbles at my elbow and there are many quaintly gesturing people and bureaucratic phrases that need to be stuck together in long strips and hung up to dry.
By the way – I recommend a visit to Soilisms. You will see some unaccountable things there that are not to be encountered anywhere else.
Just put it in google.
I would be well chuffed to consider myself part of any collective that emerges from this space, it is a fine idea Polybius and a fine sentiment. Please forgive my very short and inadequate response.
This is not a story about my mother, nor one about my father. It’s about my great grandfather.
In the 1880′s, he and his wife ran boarding houses for the timber workers who were logging the bush that at one time covered almost all the North Island of New Zealand.
It was a hard-scrabble life. And the hills rising up to shut out the sky. And the fog coming down over everything. Right next door to the King Country where Pakeha law couldn’t go and the Maori King sat at Turangawaewae, thinking thoughts no-one could guess at.
The country bred stubborn people. My great grandfather was a stubborn man. His greatest desire in life was to have his son to carry his name forward.
Forward to where? Who knows.
Him and his wife had eight daughters.
Each of the girls was christened with a male name. Not an androgynous name, but a definitely male name. There was a William and a George, and Andrew and a Harold. I forget the rest. Except that my grandmother was christened Peter.
I told you he was a stubborn man.
But then, when they’d pretty much given up hope, and my great-grandfather had almost reconciled himself to carrying on with his eight counterfeits, a son was born at last. They christened him Victor. And about 18 months after that, another boy was born. They called this one George.
“But”, I hear you say, “isn’t there already a George?”
As soon as Victor arrived, all eight girls were sent straight back to the church to be christened with proper female names. By this time, the oldest girl was 18. She’d been William all her life, and found it hard at first to get used to being called Annie.
My mother became Claire. Although her sisters and the old friends who’d known her as a child called her ‘Peek’.
A faint echo of someone she used to be for a while.
‘My mother became Claire.’
That’s grandmother, of course.
Polybius, what a wonderful story! I read it last night and laughed my bum clean off my body!
It really was a different age, wasn’t it? When one can be totally indifferent to the world; its customs, manners and proprieties.
Your great grand father sounds like a man who knew his own mind and was determined to force it onto the world.
Where are those men now Polybius?
What gene have we cauterised, what fires have we quenched in our collective hearts, to deliver us to this lamentable state??
What was his name?
Thanks again for this delight.
I will have to dig back into the family archives to find his name Fedallah – and it’s not often that I light the kerosene lamp and descend into that dank and dripping basement.
Perhaps I’ll tell you the story of Uncle Arthur and his original and rigorous child-rearing techniques.
I’d like to hear more about you. Write more about wrong turnings and the poems you’ve wandered among.
Hmmm….you’ll have to ask a question otherwise I’ll just ramble.
He will be back quick as a flash if you increase your investment I’m sure
Tell me about the last time you were knocked down by a poem that failed to stop.
Everyone here knows how you ambushed the unfortunate allthumbs as he descended the marble staircase in the State Library, pinning him to the “Silence Please” sign with a harpoon flung with deadly accuracy.
Have you taken part in any other interesting assassinations lately?
Or any other adventures in Libraries
Or tell us about the the last time you got lost on a familiar street. Then turned a corner and discovered something wonderful.
Rambling is not necessarily a bad thing. Being a walk in the general direction of who-knows-where-exactly. In the course of which many interesting and unusual things may be discovered.
I shall think on my response; its content and manner, and return to you as soon as possible.
I leave you with this though – I’ve been up since about 4, quiet and wrapped in a blanket on the comfy lounge, and this album has been playing in the background.
And this, my favourite.
I hope you enjoy it.
Thank you. I’m listening to it now, and enjoying it very much.
But then I liked the film very much and the way the music wove in among the images and was of exactly the same quality as them so that the two were one.
But wonderful to here the music on it’s own, too.
I’m glad the song sparked a memory.
That’s a good thing.
I haven’t read poetry in years Polybius.
I am literature; I find my poetics in narrative, I think, narrative (and language).
I’ve read descriptions Polybius that one may call pure poetry – where metaphor and simile have washed over my body and left a fecund detritus of new meaning, a moraine of new imaginings, of new ways of seeing.
One generally finds them where one expects, but sometimes, just sometimes, one turns up a phrase, a metaphor, a feeling, where one doesn’t.
And that can be a joy.
Your question about a “familiar street” brings Untitled66’s story to my mind.
I was walking, in the company of my partner and a close friend, along a main road in our city. We were to meet friends at our favourite pub for an evening of wild, drunken buffoonery and hi-jinx.
And I had taken an ecstasy tablet.
And as I walked I could feel the waves roll through me. The high rushing on, an urgent, febrile high that widened my eyes and softened my leg muscles. It was sucked me forward,
I was birthed, sweatier than ever before in my life,
into a world crisp brittle immediate. And I can find no language with which to describe that contrast.
A small boy appeared before me, his glasses lenses thick.
He yelled something at me, I strained for clarity, he then pointed a long finger, too long for a child, off up the street.
My muscles were no longer my own.
Prostrate, with my cheek to the cool pavers, I looked at the world askew, and could recognize neither partner, nor friend, nor street,
From my pulsing fontanels to my sauna toes, the sweat continued to pop and pour.
I was estranged from this world; my umbilicus untethered.
Less than an hour later I had lost both my partner and my friend.
I was on my way to a bathroom.
But I turned left instead of right.
Another turning Polybius,
and so I arrive at where I began:
“I took a wrong turn and ended up here.
I found something,
and surprised myself”.
The year was 1988, we were all young, and the drugs were new.
My other friend who took the same tablet as I did never left his partners couch. He was waiting for her to dress, and as he sat there, drinking his favourite long neck, the waves too began to wash over him.
And so with his partner’s soft and reassuring hand and Hendrix’s Band Of Gypsy’s “Machine Gun” for company, he sat out those 6 hours, his eyes blackening with the passing of each hour.
It was a wrong turn Polybius.
And I needed to wait a little over a year, in another city, to find myself at those crossroads again,
where Tom Waits’ “Train Song” stood in for the little boy with the thick glasses,
And the waves, different waves this time, rolled over…
But that’s for another time.
Fedallah, you’ve raised yourself a notch in my estimation by virtue of two simple references to Nick Cave and Tom Waits. Kudos, for your musical tastes.
And yeh, drugs like ecstasy can do that. I’ve been there too. Set and setting, as it’s been said.
I first saw him at the Tivoli in Sydney in 1986. There were no more than 100 people there.
I stood under his hobnail boot as it perched itself on a fold-back speaker and his crooked arm swung forward and over my head.
“Ah wanna tell ya ’bout a girl
You know, she lives in room 29″.
I chased them through Berlin at HansaStudio in “89, saw Crime and The City Solution, and Galaxie 500 covering Joy Division/New Order;s “Ceremony” at the MilkWeg in Amsterdam.
I nearly fell into the canal just outside its front door.
What a crazy place to put a canal!!!
And I’ve seen the Bad Seeds at every Australian visit, bar one, since.
I raised my glass to him at Max’s Petersham Inn, and said “Hey Nick”.
He recognised me and called me over.
I have never seen Waits.
His album “Big Time” however soundtracked an overseas jaunt.
I know every word of most of the songs,
even after all these years.
You wanna hear a version of “Gun Street Girl”???
Pour me a whiskey and hold on!
Double kudos, Fedallah, you’re the real deal!
Never seen Cave, but I did see Waits in concert in Sydney, maybe 1981.
I think it was the best of all the ‘pop’ concerts I ever saw – it was ‘different’, spontaneously creative however rehearsed, and one knew that one was in the presence of a uniquely gifted musician.
But, both of them rank equally highly in my bank of fine artists.
Berlin ’89. Thats what I’d like to hear more about.
I thought I’d already mentioned it Polybius.
Perhaps I hadn’t.
What would you like to know?
You are a history man so your questions may not receive the answers you wish.
But I’ll give it my best shot!!!
On another matter: I find it quite peculiar to read the arguments that many here are having with Peter.
He has as much right to post and express as anyone here.
You should understand, as should he, that the things you each speak of have no point of connect; that they are incommensurable positions.
They are ways of life; of belief and value, of faith and outlook, as distinct as that of rock and bird.
What purpose is there for a bird to chatter, chirp or warble to a stone?
And what mechanics, aerodynamics, or ballistics can a stone impart to a hawk?
Now you’re talking Fedallah, of course Peter has just as much right to here as anyone who disagrees with him.
I lose interest when everybody all of the sudden jumps against shad, M Ryutin, Peter or bananaman.
Is this site meant to be some kind of love-in for few like-minded souls.
Helvi, I”m not saying that they shouldn’t “jump on” people. I’m saying that there should not be calls for expulsion; for anyone’s expulsion.
I’ve never found this place a “love in”. Who are the “like-minded souls” you speak of?
Of course, you had already mentioned it Fedallah. Or rather, Cole spoke about it. Which I assumed was not (quite) the same thing as Fedallah speaking about it.
You may well feel that that particular subject has been sufficiently squeezed already.
Now, on to the more substantial part of your post. Of course, you are correct that “Peter” has as much right to post as anyone here. After all, I have never been an advocate of banning. And you are right again that our positions are incommensurate.
Added to which, it is never nice to see someone being baited. There’s an element of bullying to it.
So why have I taken the time to stub out a cigarette on peter’s sleeve?
I suppose because his religion has an element of unctuousness about it. His sanctimonious finger-wagging also provokes me.
(By the way, I haven’t ruled out the possibility that peter and shad are both yours, that another wager is in progress)
But there is more, and that has to do, I’m sorry to say, with the pleasures of cruelty.
There is a part of peter where the floorboards are weak. They’ll give way if you jump up and down on them a bit.
And that leads us on to a consideration of this place in which we all find ourselves. What is this place?
This is not a definitive answer – I don’t really do that. But it seems to me that this place has many of the attributes of a circus.
It is not a place for serious political discussion. If we wanted that we’d go to Crooked Timber or Club Troppo – we’d be more likely to be found at No Place for Sheep or the News with Nipples.
But no, we are here. And a circus is something else. Your own performances on the high wire, for example, can be particularly striking.
Perhaps there’s always an element of cruelty in a circus: the tiger’s cage is never big enough, and no-one really loves the elephant as much as they say they do.
But you have given me much to think about. Once again.
I see, This is your blog is it. No wonder Bob has gone missing,*not a political blog?” Poly. You in charge with your dereistic mates. Why don’t you start your own blog and give the normal a break?
Don’t be more foolish than you need to be, Shad.
I was describing my perception, not the proprietors purpose.
Thank you so much for that.
I would like to hear about other times.
Whatever you want to write.
Indeed JG, Cave is very talented. I am a little older than you; my musical influences were from the early to late 70s, from Hendrix and Jethro Tull, to Peter Hammill and Roxy Music/Brian Eno, and King Crimson. Until I largely turned my back on the scene and went to the Baroque and classical music scene : Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Which is where I am now.
You haven’t lived until you hear Edvard Greig
…or Jean Sibelius.
Do you like rollmops as well Helvi
Yes, love them,but only occasionally.
Char grilled Portugese Sardines are also very nice.
Took some dear friends for a pub lunch; we were all happy with our nicely Beer battered fish and yammy chips and a big salad.
To Polybius (continued from above):
I flew into Tegel 4 times in 2 months.
3 of those times I found myself in their stainless steel room; in my underwear, as they littered that immaculate space with the contents of my backpack and my person – my toothbrush, my socks, my polo’s in one corner, and my boots, my books, diaries and notes, my shirts, pants and jackets in another.
After it was all done, and their frustrations palpable, they snarled a gutteral order for me to clean the room and re-pack my bag.
Which I did.
Careful hiding the smile that curled at the corner of my mouth.
I had sewn my personal supply of Moroccan Coma and Afghani Black into the hoop lining of my beautiful overcoat; an overcoat I’d swapped an old Amsterdam drunk for.
I bent over him as he lay in Vondel park and submitted my first and final offer – my 2 packets of Marlboro’s. I hoped that the vomit stains would dry clean out without too much fuss.
It was an offer he couldn’t refuse.
What a way to transact commerce!!
And this place Polybius?
I was the first here.
I came because of Bob.
That reason is no longer prime.
I stay now because of the posters.
I think your simile sound.
Let me remove the comedy first: No, I am neither shad nor Peter.
That you thought they could have issued from me is a great surprise , that’s one wager that I certainly would have lost!!
Now to Peter.
It was only after reading Helvi’s response, and the manner of her generalisation, that I realized my post was an ambiguous one.
I intended no such ambiguity.
I am of the firm opinion that argument; debate and joust, logic and imagination, is our purpose here.
And for that one needs contrary voices.
(Otherwise we descend into what I believe to be the hellish, rancid cesspit of a deeply unsettling yesfest that characterises such places as NoPlaceForSheep. I am aware the DQ and Helvi frequent there often and this opinion of mine is not intended as a red flag.)
Peter offers that voice.
And he is entitled to express it as he pleases.
I guess my point was this: after the first round had finished, and the manner in which the protagonists arguments collapsed at the feet of their opponents, what was it that prompted the second round, the third??
I still can’t believe you thought me shad and Peter!
Thank you for your story, Fedallah. I think of your walk back to the hotel from Vondel park, the overcoat held gingerly in one hand – or perhaps you found a convienient plastic bag to stuff it in.
And as I think about that I it’s hard not to think of another winter city and another overcoat that was stolen rather than swapped for cigarettes. And how the loss of that garment could not be made good, and eventually carried the unfortunate Akaky Akakievich away to madness and the cemetery.
And so one story opens a door to another and that’s how things grow.
It’s not so much that I thought you really were Shad or Peter. Just that you are entirely capable of assembling them from spare parts and inserting the delicate clock-work mechanism in their chest cavities to make them run.
Your capacity for mischief means that nothing can be ruled out entirely. In case you’re wondering, thats not a dig.
“What was it that prompted prompted the second round, the third??”
Bile, sheer bile.
And a mental of image of Peter in his neat little house painted Marian blue. And the nativity set on the front lawn, saved up for two years and obtained through a mail-order house in Nova Huta. And I see him again now, peeping out through the net curtains to check who may be passing, anxiously fingering the place where his virginity used to be.
It’d probably be quite fun to be Peter for a little while. Only you would have to avoid going to sleep while you were still inside him. You might open your eyes to find yourself in the dusty room with the stain spreading across the ceiling. And you know even before you start looking for the door that there’s no door there.
Sill, live and let live has been my motto since the days of the North Atlantic convoys.
let us have more stories and let us hear the stories that others have.
I’m sorry Muso felt he had to make a break for the life raft. There are some interesting things to see hear, as long as you’re not to perturbed by the screams of the pig being butchered in the shower stall.
Oh, and then there’s this:
Your turn Polybius – a story.
I won’t tell if you won’t.
As for Noplaceforsheep, I think that it is easier to explore the nuances of a position when most of the contributors share a basic world view and are willing to discuss issues peacefully and with polite good humour.
Certainly it is less distracting to not have to deal with trolls of all descriptions, and those who are so different in their worldview that there really is no point even debating with them.
If I want a good argument with the village idiots, I can always come here.
I think it is better to explore nuances with contrary voices.
NPFS, as you would no doubt be aware, stifles those voices and leaves unchecked the bullying, the poor argumentation, and the more complicated positions, in favour of remaining in the warm fold of self-approbation.
It is a place where people go to have their assumptions confirmed.
And such a place cannot be, by definition, where “nuances are explored”.
The problem here is that some posters take it onto themselves to chase others away.
Like Muso,Pearl and others, I find the swearing and rudeness too much…it’s really nothing but bullying.
Personally I have never advocated for anyone to be banned…
Oh well, I’d be happy for Hilde to hop on her broom, if not watch her trashy language.
Have you expressed these concerns about “bullying” at NPFS?
If not, why would you express them here?
Fedallah, I advocate good behaviour everywhere I go. We should be able to disagree with anyone without name calling.
I just read some posts by Dorian Grey on the Drum, posters like him can say anything because they are witty, like Paul Keating was/is..
That’s not what I asked you though Helvi.
I know that you generally advocate positive behaviour/attitudes – what I don’t know is whether you have expressed concerns about “bullying” at NPFS as you have done here.
Fedallah, I do not go all that much to Sheep, and I honestly can’t remember what I have said , or what not…
I also believe that Dr Wilson removes the offending posts, after first giving a couple of warnings. So maybe there has not been any reason to talk about bullying.
Why are you asking, were you bullied there?
I thought you knew who posters were, Helvi?
If so, you should know all about it.
What’s going on,DQ, what should I have known.
I know about someone called Steve.
I ain’t going anywhere sweet pea, except MAYBE to sit down on the couch with a BUCKET of KFC and watch Dougie and Readers SEX TAPE.
So BAD LUCK whiny arse GIVE ME A KISS x0x0x0x0x
That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in weeks, Broomhilde. Thank you.
I love you Dougie my darlin.
You make me want to stick to my diet MWAH xoxoxoxo
With respect JG, it is Jennifer’s blog and she is entitled not to be traduced and have her regulars traduced by, shall we say, argumentative posters.
There are plenty of places where you can have a good stand-up argument with like minded polemicists.
Come here? You must mistakenly think you are on one of your other sights. Shame DQ . Do up your fly
The word is “sites”, Mr Village Idiot second class.
I was not talking to you but to JG, a much more intelligent fellow altogether. Don’t butt in to your betters’ conversations, there’s a good lad.
We all have our niche, Doug. You are a Shakespeare expert but you are no intellectual.
That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me, Reader1! How about an orgy?
Zip it DQ
Who’s asking you, Village Idiot 2nd class? Fuck off.
It’s sexual harrassment, Doug. You’re no Ted Lapkin. If it were Ted Lapkin extending the invitation, I’d be on the phone to Rhys, on the phone to Janet and we’d all be on the first flight to Adelaide.
Lapkin? If you get the chance ask him about Rick Perry and how he fared in the Presidential race.
Intellectual? My arse is more intellectual than Lapkin. Broomy’s probably is too, and certainly JG/Fedallah’s.
She’s mine. I love her mind. You can have Helvi. No disrespect but I think you are both on a par and good luck to you both. Bye blue eyes
last post addressed to you, thats right you DQ Enjoy
She’d stub you out with the heel of her Doc Martins and sell the residue for fertiliser.
How romantic. The black Kimoras will do just fine
I can’t imagine Helvi in Doc Martens. I had to look up Kimoras thinking them some kind of exotic iguana or the Tokyo branch of the Mafia. How the hell do you get around Bowral in those Helvi?
A Ghost Story
This all happened years ago.
I was working at M—– Theatre in Auckland, directing plays. I was 23 years old. Snotty, full of myself and invincibly stupid – but my intentions were good, for the most part. Oh, my mind was sharp enough; it’s just that it was of no practical use to me whatsoever. I was forever looking, without ever really seeing. And whenever people tried to tell me something, my attention was always elsewhere.
How can you make things for people to look at and listen to when your eyes and ears are closed?
But I didn’t think about that then. I put one foot in front of the other and tried not to think about how I had no very clear idea of where I was going.
The M—– was housed in an old picture theatre just off K Rd in Auckland. It had two auditoria. A 700-seat theatre (M—– 1) downstairs and a 350 seater (M—– 2) upstairs. There was no sound proofing between the two, so you couldn’t run both houses simultaneously. M—— 2 shows tended to run first, so there was generally no-one in there after the M—— 1 shows started at 8-8.30pm. The control room for M—– 1 was right underneath M—– 2, and the technicians often told us how they heard footsteps and the sound of furniture being shifted about when they knew nobody was in there. I can’t recall exactly whether we just thought they were trying to freak us out or what, but we never paid all that much attention to these stories.
We were rehearsing a show called ‘The Ballad of Jonas Bones’, a grim little tale of murder, madness and holiday accommodation set in colonial New Zealand. It had been written by Murray E, who was also in it. The other actors were Stephanie A, Peter B, and Mark P, who I was sharing a house with at the time. It was January, and since the theatre was dark for that month, we were able to rehearse in the space we were going to perform in. For some reason I can’t recall now, we were rehearsing at night.
So on this particular night, we’d run the show and I was giving some notes to the actors before we packed up and went home. The actors were sitting in the front row, while I was sitting on the stage, feeling roughly about as self-important as usual. It was a hot night – actually kind of stifling. What made the place even stuffier was that we had all the lights in the rig on full. We’d opened the shutters and windows at the back of the space to let in a little air. But as I recall, it was a very still night.
So I’d got through about 4 pages of notes and had about one and a half to go, when we heard the main door to the theatre open, and then footsteps running up the stairs and stopping on the landing. I remember we all turned and looked, expecting to see someone. But the lights were shining in our eyes, making everything uncertain. So Mark and I ran up the steps from the stage to the landing. Nothing there. We were just in time to see the door at the bottom of the stairwell swing shut. And that’s all I saw. But Mark said ‘Jesus, my beads’, (he was a lapsed Catholic), because he saw someone walking out through that door.
And thats when we remembered the stories – the footsteps and the other sounds that didn’t belong in an empty theatre.
I said to the actors: “Let’s pack up now, and I’ll give you the rest of the notes tomorrow”. Now, anybody who knows anything at all about theatre will know that this was an exceptionally silly suggestion. If you’re going to give actors notes you do it right away. There’s no point leaving it until the next day. You might as well not give notes at all. But all the actors thought that was a really good idea, and we started to pack up. A little hurriedly.
I began to close the windows at the back of the theatre. I closed one, then another. Then a window down the other end of the row closed by itself. Mark reached out to close a window then jerked his hand back with a yell. Something outside the building had grabbed his hand. We were two stories up. There wasn’t any kind of ledge. Nothing for anybody to stand on out there.
So now we were really freaked out. I said, “Fuck the windows, nobody can get in, lets get the fuck out of here”. We were on the point of doing exactly that when whatever it was came back into the space. Only this time it didn’t come from one particular place. It seemed to soak into the room from every direction at once. And then it was in there, and still I wasn’t seeing anything but I had an incredibly sharply incised mental impression of something whirling in the air right in the centre of the space, whirling in rage and it’s rage increasing the faster it spun. We were huddled in a tight little group on the landing, actually trying almost to climb into each others bodies in our terror and all of us shouting incoherent and idiotic and that thing in the centre of the room whirling faster every second and screams peeling off it slicing right to the centre of our skulls and then somehow we were down the stairs and out the door and then fleeing down two further flights of stairs to the theatre foyer and out through the main doors and then we were outside the building altogether. And then everything stopped.
We looked at each other and we knew it was over and we could breathe again.
Of course, Mark and I analysed the experience in the car on the way home. ‘Did what I think happened in there, happen?’, I asked. ‘Yep’, he said.
That was the end of the conversation.
We carried on rehearsing the play the next day. But the rest of the rehearsals happened in the rehearsal rooms down the street. During the day. In due course, the show went on. The production was of no particular distinction and attracted no particular acclaim.
We never discussed the experience. I don’t think we felt any particular inhibition about doing so. Rather, talking about it seemed redundant, somehow.
Looking back, there were two rather odd aspects to the whole experience. The first was the way that as soon as we got outside the building, the terror simply fell away instantly. I mean, it was there in full force one moment and the next it was gone. Entirely. Like shrugging off a cloak.
The second was to do with the lights. We had a full rig of theatre lights burning, everything up full. When we were all jammed together on the landing, I remember realising in the midst of my terror that it was my job to turn the lights off. But I didn’t want to do that, because the lighting board that controlled the rig was in a glassed-in booth at the back of the auditorium. And I didn’t want to go in there because I was worried that that thing would come in after me and close the door.
Well, the next day, nobody said anything to me about the lights. And if the techos had come in and found a full rig had been burning all night I would definitely have gotten my arse comprehensively kicked. Apart from anything else, it’s a fire hazard. But I never heard anything about it.
I have absolutely no memory of going into that room to turn the lights off. And I remember everything else. Sometimes I toy with the idea that I did go in there. And that thing did follow me in. And it did close the door. And we’re still in there now.
I know that didn’t happen.
But if it did happen, would I know?
The answer is clear enough : the Thing hated your silly play, and after chasing you out, it turned off the lights. Simple.
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