Carr On Sunday

The national acclaim for Autopsy and my mutinous rumbled gravitas narrating it continues, but I missed it, having been commanded by Senator Carr to Circular Quay to see Hostages, which was of course not on, after which I strong-armed him against his bellowed protests into Gravity, which he enjoyed. It was the first film he had seen in eighteen months, (he has been mostly ere this on bumpy flights to Outer Mongolia) and he proposed to recover his wits after our perilous modular descent by eating kangaroo. It was however no longer on the menu, or so we were told by abashed young woman who mistook us for persons of influence, and, having roundly cursed in a whisper the management and the sushi train it rode in in, he was firmly told by Helena, his patient wife, he was in the wrong restaurant, and by her guided to the right one, where I cravenly and supportively beside him ate grilled marsupial, medium rare, baying like him for English mustard and green vegetables, but sipped Peroni alone.

We avoided politics in our subsequent argumentative talk, favouring, as one does these days, plastic surgery (I ‘snouted’ Sandra Bullock, and the telltale widening of her nostrils in middle age), and as well the future willingness of strapped New Zealanders to accept five million economic refugees from the parching deserts of the Sydney Basin, the Hunter Valley and the Ilawarra; and Brett Johnson, who was with us, recounted with genial malice the famous, terminal hissy-fit of Kim Williams (‘I’m just so OVER you!’ he raged at Louise Herron) before he stormed out of the Opera House Trust and a subsimian drongo much like Davis Hughes replaced him.

It is good to exchange such frank opinions with old friends over slaughtered kangaroo (Brett hates The Best Offer, I love it, and Carr is wrestling with pitiful indecision and may not see it) and to plan, as we do each year, a night at the Wharf Revue. Carr and I are both in it, and he, though dismayed to be shown as a Straw Man in The Wizard Of Oz mini-musical at the end of the show, will suffer it with me sometime in November. I gave him one of our scripts for Anthology Theatre, and he may or may not appear in it. It is called What I Heard About Iraq, and echoes his rancorous views on Bush and Rumsfeld, the yellowcake, the burning libaries and the levelling of Babylon.

He gave no sense of when he would go, or who he would strive to put in his place. I suggested Beazley; he laughed mysteriously. And so it goes.

Leave a comment ?


  1. He knew not what was happening.
    He knew not where he was.
    He was a politician.
    He is a Carr.
    Actor of long standing.

    • And so the final act is played out.
      The star, the great pretender, has left the building. The sponsor & mentor of a supporting cast of luminaries; Obeid, Troppodi, McDonald, Kelly, Hay, Arbib, Bitar & many more.
      Also remembered for his blockbuster, The Peacock, starring himself as the man responsible for destroying the infrastructure of his state to fund the grandest party for The Lords of the Rings.
      His final tole has been an adaption of Brutus.
      Where is the leadership of the Labor Party now Bob. Currently playing, “Where’s Bill”.
      They say one can be judged by the friends he keeps Bob. For mine, You are so judged. You are a chameleon.

  2. Bob, take Bob Carr and go and see Richard Curtis’ new movie “About Time.”

    I saw it last night. Terrific movie. If you liked Love Actually and Four Weddings, Notting Hill etc - then this fits in nicely.

    I read two reviews. Both pommie reviews who gave it one star and hated this film with a vengeance. They disliked his characterization of the English and his rude snotty playwright characters, his stock characters and plotting devices etc. But I loved it.

    A great father and son film. I would trade Baz Luhrmann and all our other quality film directors for just one Richard Curtis.

    He was born in New Zealand of Australian parents so he kind of makes it in my eyes - a token Australian with a charming sense of humour and very skillful writing.

    For all the nerds out there who could never pull a bird - this movie is for you. That includes you too Phill!

    • Looks like a feel-good movie, I can’t remember how many stars Margaret and David gave it last week…
      I love will Bill Nighy, so I’ll have to see it… :wink:

      • Looks like the usual dork meets gorgeous girl tripe. Whatever David and Margaret have given it, if it has any Aussie involvement, knock a star off for their blind nationalism. I think I’ll stick to the feel-bad movies.

  3. Were or are Davis Hughes and Scott Morrison the last of the philistines or are there still more in the pipe-line?
    Are there any complaints of cost blow outs for that mega casino planned just on the other side of the harbour bridge at Pyrmont or the eighth casino for Brisbane?

    • Normally, I’m pretty critical of Labor people but you would have to credit NSW Labor premier Joe Cahill with the vision to fund the Opera House project way back in 1954.

      There’s a terrific story of Joe Cahill a real Labor bloke who probably never, they say, witnessed an opera or even a symphony orchestra supporting the idea of the people having “a great cultural centre”.

      He was attacked by critics saying ” opera houses were only for “hoity-toity people”, and I’d say there are some on this blog who would support that view.

      But even Cahill never expected to see his people’s cultural centre look anything like the final design.

      When they unveiled the model and pulled back the covers, he turned and said, “Is this some kind of joke?”

      • I wouldn’t leave John Halfpenny and his mob out of the mix. If my memory serves me correctly it was the Trade Union Movement, spurred on by JH that saved The Rocks from annihilation.

        It’s curious how the blue collar men and women of Australia are, when push comes to shove, the cultural elite.

        • That’s because the blue collar men and women work hard. They are not sold out on money being the god, nor the power pollies.

          Giving back to the people is very cultural, I would have thought.

          Loved Autopsy.
          What an amazing find after all those years!

        • Yeah…we have the works of Shakespeare in large part because labourers and journeymen were prepared to walk through the brothel district of London to pay up to half a days wages to stand in a jostling crowd for three hours all for the sake of catching the latest Shakespeare play….despite the fact that Shakespeare liked to sneer at the lower orders.

          Shakespeares snobbery reconciles me to the “he couldn’t have written those plays because he was such an oik” brigade; a kind of poetic justice.

  4. Just got to see Autopsy on iview. Could such a grown up, thoughtful film have really been made in 1968? That’s not the Australia I remember. But here is the evidence; it WAS there all along.

    The argument for creative integrity over pragmatism was put with such sophistication (and in an ordinary Australian voice), that its juxtaposition with the images of the Australia I remember so well as a child, jarred like the flashback from some distorted yet familiar acid trip.

    My father was a fine amateur woodchopper. He was chipping away with is axe at local town shows at the very time this sound and reasonable doco was made. He would not have approved. No actually, he would not have needed to approve or disapprove; so secure was he in his unquestioned position. He would have just turned the dial on the maple encased Pye to Homicide, and thought no more of it.

    Anyway, as if I need to tell you, this is a really important historical document.

    • Why would you watch the ABC when Homicide was on the telly?

      Listen to the theme.

      The sound of the 60′s.

      God help you if you sat in the old man’s jason recliner. He ruled the dial too! He never chopped wood though. My mum did! :cool:

      • “What kind of a man would let his wife…..?” Insert any activity that was considered man’s work- including wood chopping, My father would NOT have approved of your old boy.
        Of course, if a woman actually wanted to do those things he would have called her a “big, bloody mare”, with horror, and I suspect, a smidgen of terrified admiration in his eyes.

        Yeah, you diced with grievous bodily harm if you went near the telly when my Dad was watching something, too. Especially, Wild Kingdom.

      • That your good mother was the wood chopper explains much that I have loathed in your writings here Frank.

        • Oh Josephine, don’t you know how to wield an axe?

          Lots of fresh air and wholesome exercise. My mum loved it and took pride in it too.

          Josephine, less talk from you and more wood chopping is needed. Roll up your sleeves girl.

      • No traffic noise, no engine noise but the doors on that Ford slamming shut can be heard over the symphonic theme tune.

        “…and the Logie for best sound effects goes to….”

      • Frank, you don’t need to chop firewood in Queensland. Now in Finland it can get pretty frosty in Winter, so we all have to learn how to knit and how to chop wood, boys and girls…
        When I came to Australia, I learnt that wood-chopping was not ‘ladylike’, I actually did not know what that word meant…

        I have also learnt that if you are female PM in Oz, you must not knit in public…

        • Wood chopping is a bushman’s skill, Helvi.
          Not so much to keep warm, but build, clear and fence.

          • In Qld, Frank’s mum may have been chipping and splitting for the oven or copper.

            • Bath time was on Saturday nights in those days.

              I was the littlest so I got first dibs in the bath. My sisters were bigger so had to use the same bath water after me.

              Sometimes I’d do a poo in the bath. It would float around like a battleship. It was tough gig following me into the bath. Lots of complaints.

              No different than writing on blogs really…

          • yes, but I was talking about what wood chopping meant in Finland, my father did chop wood for fires :smile:

            I also learnt that there were no real Ladies in Oz, ladylike meant that you ought to leave the hard jobs for men…

            I kept my bad habits and paved the pool area and moved heavy furniture… :oops:

            • Ah, yes multiculturalism is so rewarding!

              • I wonder if the smoke from the bushfires is making people grumpy, better dug before some of the poo thrown about here lands on me….

            • Helvi- :?: “…leave the hard jobs for men”!!!!
              Where have you been living!
              I’m talking about the fixed gender roles in trad Oz culture.
              They worked well if you had a good compatible team. Unfortunately, more often
              than not this didn’t happen.
              My parents were lucky in that they both worked really diligently in their respective roles to support a family of eight.

              • Where have I been living; in Finland, Sweden, Germany and Holland…
                In Oz: Potts Point, Balmain, Brayton (country) and in Bowral.

                Among my friends and relatives, here and overseas, the jobs were not gender related; women were renovating houses, men were cooks and family dishwashers and baby bottle warmers…

                But when I first came to Australia, I was stunned by the fixed gender roles when it came running a family, doing things around the house.

                We belonged to a babysitting club and when hubby wanted to do the sitting ,there had to be special meeting…we changed all that…

                • Yes Helvi, an important social change/evolution well documented by GO.

                • Thanks, Helvi.

                  Your poor husband! I can only imagine the looks when he said he would child mind!

                  My dad thought any man that wanted to play or spend time with children was at best suspect, at worst a confirmed pervert.

                  If he labelled some event, “mummy and daddy” it was mean’t with absolute derision.

                  As in, “I’m not going to that mummy and daddy thing!” School or cultural events- all “mummy and daddy”.
                  The irony that he WAS a “daddy” many times over, was completely lost on him.
                  Ah, the traditional Aussie male of yesteryear!
                  Re my initial question. Do you really think the hard jobs are left for men here in Oz?

                  • No, I don’t really think that, I think Aussie women work hard and are very resilient, they are also good with forming supporting friendships.
                    The term ladylike, was used more by the privileged women, the ordinary Aussie women had to do more than their fair share, the men being out with the boys.
                    The younger generation of Oz males are as good as anywhere.

                • “Where have you been Helvi?”

                  When you and GO swaggered over the border in good Argentinian leather you transcended all descriptors, smugglers, patsies, innocent travellers, none of them quite fit, willing revolutionaries, going along for the ride, comic actors reenacting Che, sartorial at a high altitude, lovers, you set my mind free…

  5. Riveted by the Opera House piece last night, and will gladly watch it again.

    And I will henceforth call the spiv Turnbull ‘Malcolm (DavisHughes) Turnbull’ in honour if his destruction of the NBN for his political masters. I suppose Hughes had the excuse of being a dim philistine - what’s Malcolm’s?

    • Surely there is no connection between Mrs Turnbull (Tom Hughes) and the Davis Hughes family?

      • None whatever, Gerard, as far as I’m aware.

        But Turnbull’s re-shaping of the NBN is short-sighted vandalism on par with the vandalism of the Opera House by Davis Hughes.

        • I was priveleged to work on the LED refurbishment of the Opera House and have the actual drawings to work on, even though the job was just plonking symbols all over the place. Recall working on refurbishment of one of the little theatres too, plus plans for spot lights on a special bar to be hoisted up.

          Utzen was definitely in to design and construct and it was wonderful to see his process.

  6. foreplay
    Dear Judd - more Dali doggerel to add to your collection
    Midnight moonlight rhyming lines now open for inspection
    But heed The Brothel User’s Guide (page one beginner’s section)
    “Enter not unless you’ve got appropriate protection”


    Room thirteen. Floor thirteen. The Hotel Coalition.
    They say that room is haunted by a woeful apparition.
    It might be superstition or some Liberal tradition
    About the one and only honest coalition politician.

    He’s doomed for all eternity to pace the thirteenth floor
    He knows his knobbled knuckles will never knock on heaven’s door
    He knows he pays the penalty for that worst of all offences
    He never claimed a single thing on parliament’s expenses.

    Last night to test this rumour I checked in to room thirteen
    But this vaunted apparition was nowhere to be seen
    And yet all night I felt the touch of bodies wet and warm
    And the king sized bed bounced back and forth like a ship caught in a storm.

    Now ghosts don’t bother me that much, but rather than take chances
    I took along my new friend Bridget and her older sister Frances.
    Now if you ask, I will not tell, it’s not for me to say
    Virginity might not be black or white but thirteen shades of grey.

    • “[the above and other doggerel soon to be available as audio downloads, narration by Bob "Bukowski" Ellis - all proceed to go towards his next stage production] :smile:”

    • Ahhh Dali, you are a formidable wordsmith and your talents are wasted in the casa di tolleranza.

      Or perhaps not.

      We shall see.


  7. Autopsy was brilliant. Superb depiction of Utzon’s genius, the foresight of Cahill; the engineering and architectural marvel and the tawdry politics that followed.
    Greatest Australian documentary and narration - B Ellis.

  8. So, Scott Morrison has instructed departmental and detention centre staff to change their terminology for asylum-seekers, referring to them as “illegal” arrivals and “detainees” rather than clients.

    This is the beginning of a new wave of newspeak, a tell-tale sign of authoritarian rule.

    Then Scott the Jesus freak justifies this manipulation by sliding hippo-like into the slime of cliché. “I am going to call a spade a spade.”

    Bull-shit Scott. You are never going to call your rorting colleagues what they are, are you? Choose your spades like you choose your holy writ, you shallow grub.

    • For a guy who belongs to a church that believes in speaking in tongues calling a spade a spade might be a lot more complicated than Morrison thinks.

  9. “The man who could call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. It is the only thing he is fit for.” Oscar Wilde

    • Let hij that calleth de spade a spade diggeth the first grave and lie in it for trying the comfort of his own departed black (zwart) soul into the hemel of angels with trumpets and harpen.

      Erasmus of Rotterdam

      • Further from Erasmus :
        “Philippus aunswered, that the Macedonians wer feloes of no fyne witte in their termes but altogether grosse, clubbyshe, and rusticall, as they whiche had not the witte to calle a spade by any other name then a spade.”

        (Udall’s translation)

    • Was it Lenny Bruce?

      “if you can take the hot lead enema, then you cast the first stone”.


  10. Meanwhile. . .

    “We found that fire danger in Victoria increased by over a third after 1996, compared to 1972-1996. The current level of fire danger is equivalent to the worst case projected for 2050, from an earlier analysis for the Climate Institute.”

  11. Some years ago Crikey ran a competition for an Australian equivalent (to be written) of Abe Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address - it had to replicate the number of words used in the original. Over the weeks of the competition Crikey printed several versions, mostly by known writers, like Mem Fox for one.

    The ultimate prize was to have your piece selected and then read over airwaves by Bob Carr, who when you think of it, does bear some resemblance to the man in question. His fine orator’s voice was also something well mentioned at the time.

    One night I had a rush of blood and wrote my version, and in the morning, given a final revision and word count I emailed it in to Crikey.

    Maybe I missed something, but I don’t think Bob Carr ever did read that speech? I think it died a natural death, Crikey just went to ground with it. It was certainly a tall order, if not an overly aspirational notion. I entitled mine: A Downunder Gettysburg. Reading it yesterday, when it cropped up in papers, I could see clearly where it also missed the mark. It was before the Apology. The difficult thing was to find a place for the two main societies to reconcile - aboriginal and non-aboriginal. The other difficulty was to get past the Pommy Brigands and their ubiquitous prisoners - the future drunken Irish horsemen and through all this find a responsible narrator, without whom the Aboriginal Nation would still be in chains. Anyway, the fourth stanza:

    Our heart is estranged from itself. As the rivers run dry we toast to our prosperity. Forests that have lived since dreaming began are transformed into mindless rolls of paper. The salt is rising and our water becoming undrinkable. We are selling this land from under our grandchildren - in what forests will they walk, in which rivers will they swim? We behave as if there is no future, so deep is our illusion.

    • “mindless rolls of paper” !

      I think I see a problem.


      • you do, I don’t… it’s what’s to be written on the paper - the supposition that old growth forest can be sacrificed for say, Murdoch speak - mindless. Free up DQ, you’ve been noted having a very anal time of it with Phill and turning this problem of yours onto me is not the answer, for either you or Phill… Pick an original program/idea and get motivated… contribute!

        • A roll of paper never has a mind, chris. So mindless rolls of paper is meaningless.

          You were supposed to be making a great speech in which every word counts.

          As for Phill, he is henceforth a non-person so far as I am concerned. You’ve lost your village idiot status to him.


          • Laughing at your own jokes is one of the signs of madness. You’re not mad are you DQ?

          • Of course I’m fucking mad you microencephalous dropping from the arse of a rabid skunk!

            The village idiot may be an intellectual giant alongside your pathetic earthworm cognition!

            Now fuck off!

            • Indeed, as I suspected mad as a fucking hatter.

              Tell me, do you tax your grey matter whilst you’re doing conveyance work, or a bit of ambulance chasing? I bet your a real wiz at sorting out parking tickets.

              What did your last workers compensation client do with the five bucks, you got them in the courts?

              Yes the village idiot may indeed be an intellectual giant along side my good self.

              But the real comparison is you and I.

              I have plants growing in my garden infinitely more intelligent than you, shit for brains.

              Now you fuck off!! And the fucking donkey you rode in on.

          • I’ve always thought of a canvas as “mindless” before I paint on it. In fact I’m about to start on a portrait of my wife who bears a remarkable likeness to the Mona Lisa. It’s a matter of perception really and your analogy suits your mentality and mine mine. Maybe after breakfast I might put up another stanza of my ‘speech’ for you to ‘savage’. BTW, Did you ever read the Zen Doctrine of No MInd? Even a mind can be mindless and inanimate objects, well they can be profound - bit confusing for you DQ old boy, pip, pip…

            • Not ‘savaged’, I would have thought; a mild criticism of a sloppy piece of grammar. If you want ‘savaging’, I can oblige . . .

              and no, you can’t have your Village Idiot title back, Phill’s run off with it.


              • Yes, I understand your need to savage. In the end, in my little speech, I allowed, after deliberation, William Buckley a stanza - he lived with the ‘savages’. I tok his authority over the drunken Irish horsemen. I will do it the honour below…

              • Karno’s circus

                Dear DQ (Dairy Queen)

                Please be advised, your application for the position of assistant clown, has been successful.

                The results of your i.q. is was what separated you from other applicants. In fact you were 5 points lower than average, and we could have offered you the position of the Bearded Lady, or possibly a position on our legal advisory board. Unfortunately both those positions were filled by one of our toilet cleaners.

                The fitting for your suite we had scheduled for Friday has been cancelled, as it was pointed out you were dressed appropriately at the interview.

                You can start immediately.

                Frank Canguro.

            • paper rolls - mindless
              early hours galloping in
              bird song darknesses

              perching mindlessly
              an elegant butcher bird
              sings in the darkness

              then a hundred birds
              are all singing out as one
              as the sky brightens

              with the pale slow dawn
              a sprinkler starts up next door
              and silence returns

              • :lol:


                Back in the 70′s, during my ‘minimal’ days I made artworks out of butcher’s paper.

                I was very poor and would buy half a dozen sausages to get at the tan coloured, lined paper, the butcher wrapped them in.

                The sausages were great too, like your ‘dancing’.

                • CH you are a fantasist, and an increasingly boring one

                  • Jsa,

                    Denying a rung in the ladder?

                    The ‘idle chatter’ on this site enabled Dali’s great post and Byron’s superb creation. In what way am a ‘fantasist’, where and when is my conversation divorced from that around it?

                  • flea-bitten canine
                    your wikpedia dreams are
                    just dull illusions

                    • I like that a lot; more so than what you penned above. And if chris wanted art, he should have left the sausages in the wrapper.

                    • Steve, my name is not Chaim Soutine. But I began to introduce mould (aesthetically) into painting surfaces during that (Kapunda) period (1979).

                      BTW it was me who told you that you were a modernist, on a earlier post, about when the Wright Brothers took to the air, roughly…

                      Finally, to continue the Kapunda story, with the help of a local lad we rebuilt an FX Holden ute, rusting, pushed from a farmer’s paddock, bought for $50. He couldn’t believe I was serious.

                      Art is not divorced from reality, entirely, years later I saw it out on the highway, still going strong. Moved it on for a song…. long may you run.

          • Erm…I think it rather means that “mindful rolls of paper” is meaning less, DQ. Cf the “more wine” exchange from Alice in Wonderland.

  12. “Zen Doctrine of No MInd “

    for ‘Ti Jean
    (Jean-Louis Kérouac)
    written on 21 October 2013
    the 44th anniversary of his death aged 47

    somewhere now
    somehow there
    here and now
    in the great everywhere of nowhere

    blushing while eternity floats its kiss
    sober now at everlast in grace
    with gerard and mémere
    in the great everywhere of nowhere

    all your visions now exhumed and inhaled
    unseen by those who now dig and breathe
    the bliss of forlorn beatitudes
    in the great everywhere of nowhere

    roadside blues played on buddha’s bamboo flute
    the buskers at the crossroad crucifixions
    the rosary beads float
    in the great everywhere of nowhere

    • and trees that would think , think not
      to the mindless chainsaw’s howl…

    • I know that place Dali, “everywhere of nowhere”– it’s on a deceptively wicked stretch of straight road coming in to Stockton, Farmington Rd.
      The car drifted right and caught the loose gravel on the shoulder.
      And flipped.
      We then flipped it back over.
      Roadside blues came in the form of a busted axle and a broken forearm.
      and I had to be in Hemway Terrace by 6pm!

      So yeah Dali, I know the place.
      We all do.

      Great post by the way.

      We are you now?

  13. We arrived late at night, shackled man to man, heads down, shuffling in unison. Imprisoned so far from home we valued our friendships - a mate was a saviour. Together, under the lash, we suffered ‘their’ hard labour - our spines flayed bare if we dare to buckle. This baptism gave rise to our humour - ironic in the face of adversity - reckless, relying on luck - God had all but abandoned us.

    When freed from our chains we explored the new country, inventing novel ways to survive. We bore no malice towards our black brothers - whose land we witnessed being parcelled for profit - then renamed in the old country’s honour. It was sad, as they’d offered us food and in some cases shelter, but we were not responsible for their genocide.

    Over the years many have come here, some risking their lives in unseaworthy vessels, then detained awaiting our verdict….

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