Poetry Sunday 31 March 13


Jesus I learned you lived and lived
Jesus we heard you died and die
Jesus I see them painting of you so white
Jesus I hear them sing, you lackey of God they sang
Jesus I know people today use you wrong
they came with guns in hand
shot our minds with
untrue words
Black ——- the meaning of sin
Black ——- the heathen savages
Black ——- the false, the lies,
Black ——- the inhuman without a home and culture
These pink skinned people say “You light of God”
and make us wash black sins to be close to white.
O, Jesus if so you were true
You were black
fighting against a white regime
O, Jesus, they tear away our hearts
that yell for nature
They still do things of tension, fear, control,
death, brutality and murder to our Aboriginal peoples
Why they must do this O, Jesus, this once Jesus
All in the name of you
Jesus Christ

“Offering, offering hear the pennies fall
Everyone for Jesus, the Church shall have them all.”

Lionel Fogarty, from his anthology Kargun, published in 1979.
The “blurb” for this out of print book says
“Lionel Fogarty is 22 years of age and began writing poetry in 1976.  ….. Some of you who may read this book will experience all of the emotions of guilt, despair, hopelessness and sadness – but more than that you will feel the same spirit as the author, to organise and fight for a society based on equality and respect”

better revised easter easter boss ressurection 3 sm revised easter

Musical Dispatch from the Front 30 March 2013

better revised easterThis Dispatch from 31 January has been edited. It was written in response to our Prime Ministers unilateral decision to “parachute” a prominent (for representing Australia in two different sports at different olympic games) indigenous person into a “safe” Senate seat.

revised easterA big step towards co-existence and reconciliation or whatever you want to call it will be made, when the idea that any (token) Aborigine …Token Angels… http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3mjmzCEcI … will be better than none is abandoned and instead the many very talented Aborigines with varied backgrounds are respected and appreciated on their merits and given free rein to express themselves instead of being stereotyped, stigmatized, used, controlled and suppressed (as under the NT Intervention).

A respect for different languages and different world views instead of the ethnocentric assimilationist imperative currently operating in Australia might be a good starting point. This could eventually evolve into a Parliament of varied and free thinking individuals, and no one giving a toss as to the Parliament’s ethnic make-up.”

Enormous fiscal, legal and social pressures are being brought to bear that deny dignity respect and the right to be their distinct selves. Enormous fiscal, legal and social pressures are being brought to bear that push people away from the bush (where they lead happier and healthier lives) and draw them to urban centers. They are being denied the right to self-determination. A right they have, by virtue of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Australia has endorsed but fails comprehensibly to comply with. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUU17FUj9Gc

From that inexhaustible source of inspiration, an Eduardo Galeano book…. On a wall in Quito (Ecuadór): “ Cuando teniamos todas las respuestas, nos cambiaron las preguntas” (When we had all the answers, they changed the questions)

In remote Aboriginal Australia, so often have they changed the questions, no one (including those that ask them) seems to know anymore what the questions are, nor what they were, nor what they should be. Not that it matters much, no longer are we asked and they come armed with their own answers anyway.

easter boss ressurection 3 smNo one listens, so people here have given up answering, or out of expediency tell them what they think they want to hear. Most Warlpiri people now steer clear of bureaucrats and others, and hardly any attend the unending meetings.Myself I don’t know what the question is either, but I think I know the answer: Respect!

Gimme gimme respect Show me show me respect…..

Respect me, for who I am And not what I am
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEcomflSWV4 For who I am and not what I am….Vale Lucky Dube….

Weekly Wrap 26 March 13

produced, plagiarized and sometimes written by
Quentin Cockburn, QC and Cecil Poole CP & Bar

Passive Complicity allows us to rant, rave and laugh at life’s PC’s and then to do nothing.
This week in Passive Complicity takes a special look at Justice.

Firstly through the eyes of  Mine Tinket, and then Criminologists Harry Blagg and and Thalia Anthony report their 5 year study of law enforcement in remote Central Australian communities, with unexpected(?) findings.

WhitesideWhiteside sees and hears indigenous singer Kutcha Edwards, (but maybe not in the way Kutcha anticipates), after which Cecil Poole gives a brief first hand account of his experience with Justice in a small remote community, and  an extract from Arena Magazine shows a similar picture.
TarquinAfter another Mine Tinket, looking at Justice, our new correspondent Tarquin O’Flaherty explores the role of schoolyard bullying in Passive Complicity and in the general societal acceptance of current injustice here.

This weeks’ Musical Dispatch from the Front takes a different tack on Justice, discussing language, disempowerment, documentary – “Coniston”, and resilience.

Poetry Sunday brought Lionel Fogarty back again with “Injustices Improved”.

Happy driversIra Maine discusses the social import of country roads

DD ThumbnailWe finish the week today with Design Doctor grappling with acronyms.

Design Doctor 26 March 2013

hello, Quentin here.

Let’s talk about acronyms…….

acronyms are really useful, they save is time and money, and what’s better still they shorten the conversation into convenient digestible fragments…. For example we shall be learning about the Sustainable Practice Environment Week in this weeks Design Doctor… this details the very worthwhile augmentation of the existing world environment day into an entire week dedicated to protecting the environment… In this instance Design Doctor is enthused by the potential to save the environment via CCM’s, (Cost Cutting Measures), WBEP, (Worlds Best Environmental Practise), and applied use of SPIN, (Sustainablity Principle Impact Networks)…. During the course of the next few weeks we shall enjoy the progress of Design Doctor as he negotiates and prevails within an increasingly isolating world of technical innovation, inbuilt redundancy and fiscal creep to emerge a true winner… believe me winners are grinners…. … So sit back, enjoy the ride, and laugh out loud to the byzantine burrowings within p.Vic as Design Doctor comes to terms with the new communication norm.

Of course Cecil and I are keen to hear of new and improved acronyms so please send them in to us here at PCC (Passive Complicity Central) using the comments box below.

dd spew





Ira Maine, New Road

IRA MAINE, From his private journal: The New Road.

…all’s changed, changed utterly…’

Of course Mr.Yeats was concerned with deeper more profound stuff than we are concerned with here in the Hills.  This is not to say that profundity escapes us, far from it, but our changes, our decline, both physical and mental, came about, absurdly, through nothing but good intentions.

New Road BeforeThere’s a long dirt road between here and the bitumen.  The Shire does its best but revenues are stretched so nobody hereabouts can remember the last time the road had any official attention.  Unofficially, an empty trailer in town will drag a load of gravel back up the hill and we road residents will set to with our shovels.  We tried sending a bill to the Shire for the gravel but their bureaucracy was so traumatised by this failure of orthodoxy that counsellors had to be found for the Councillors.

When the Council members eventually did recover they established their lines, buttressed their bulwarks and woke us at six in the morning.  Roaring and belching behemoths bestrode our road ripping it up with a ferocity that demonstrated the Shire’s absolute dominance over recalcitrant roads ,tracks and boreens.  “Take that!” they seemed to say whilst the road cringed, cursed and crumpled under a seemingly unstoppable onslaught.  Huge trucks arrived with huge trailers and humped out huge heaps of gravel.  More huge machines set about the gravel heaps, heaving and hauling, pushing and shoving ‘til the road was a new and stranger thing, reborn, rebuilt and unrecognisable.

Cyclist New Road smIt took us a while to get over the shock.  It was like the aftermath of an earthquake.  This new road didn’t have sharp bends, deep holes or swampy bits.  There was, as a consequence, nothing familiar about it, nothing to grasp onto, nothing to trust.  For a New Road Aftercouple of days people didn’t go out, simply stood at their front fences and looked.  Others, perhaps a bit more nervous, threw exploratory rocks at it.  It took a while for people to get used to the idea that this road wasn’t going away.

Down at the Haystack it was grudgingly admitted by Father Corrigan, the first local to venture his truck onto the new road, that the risk of winding up in the ditch had definitely been lessened.  People nodded in agreement but you could see little enthusiasm in it.  They were remembering… thinking of how things had been…especially after rain…

In the rain, in the wet you could bounce along this swamp-pocked road, your heart in your mouth, the suspension groaning, sometimes airborne, sometimes sideways, a plume of mud, water and bits of local agriculture marking your passing.  It required grit, true grit, and the surface didn’t have a scrap of it.  Wasn’t that how Jack had met his better half, by crashing into her?  And not the first romance either, brought about by this rough old bit of road…

What about the time when Mick got a puncture and skidded off into Murphy’s paddock and Father Corrigan was discovered in a compromising position.  God bless us and save us, and Mick helpless with laughter having nearly run over them!  Remember that?

Thumnails Ira MaineI think that’s what we all miss. We miss not knowing if you’d be alive or dead before you got to the bitumen.  We miss the gut-wrenching odds against having the wheel torn out of your grasp and the car hurtling headlong into the bushes.  But most of all we miss the
excitement.  For one brief shining moment we were there, at the wheel, us against the elements,Titans, thunderbolts, geriatric Gods, and alive, damn it, alive!

Just Ice 3

MT Guilty

A message from the Publishers

In our unstinting efforts to lift the quality of writing in this site we were given the name Tarquin O’Flaherty.  Subsequent to undertaking our demanding due diligence, we uncovered the following:

Tarquin O’Flaherty, ( Dip.Ed. Lumberton, NC,1969, failed )
Having gone to the sub continent to make his fortune, his career was sadly blighted by a combination of factors which included carious teeth, an aversion to daylight and a less than respectable interest in Eurasian women. He is presently retired and living in a garret in Saint Kilda from whence he ekes out a living repairing dentures.

With qualifications and experience like this we were suitably impressed.
So we asked Tarquin for his thoughts on Passive Complicity.


If we take the schoolyard as a microcosm of society, then, for our purposes the bully is the active part.  Whilst this lout goes about his business, the rest of us, the passive lot, divide off into two categories; those who admire the bully, and those who want to escape being next on the idiot’s assault list.

Despite the fact that we outnumber our oppressor by a huge margin, at no stage is the bully discouraged or his victims defended.  The bully, despite being vastly outnumbered, is seldom if ever challenged.  If it were otherwise, the bully would cease to exist.  In the schoolyard, a general acceptance of this situation seems to prevail.  So,what’s going on?  Why don’t we rise up and defend ourselves against this oppressor?

Let’s look again at the schoolyard.  To begin with the kids are never a cohesive group.  All around the yard there are clumps, little groups, islands of kids big enough to discourage the bully.  Then there are the smaller groups, the pairs, even single individuals who can’t, through choice or perhaps unpopularity, be part of a larger group.  From the smallest to the largest the focus is inward and parochial, usually centred on a popular individual, activity or interest.  This leaves the smaller groups, the singles or pairs, easy targets for the school bully.  When assaults occur, no help or protection is offered.  Not one group or individual rushes to the rescue. Instead the attitude is:

‘It’s about time somebody thumped him’.
Or;‘The bastard deserved it’.
Or; ‘Why should we interfere? Everybody hates him’.

The above are typical ‘passive’ responses.  They are our ‘reasons’ for not interfering, how we justify our failure to deal with the real culprit.  Importantly, not one of the above ‘justifications’ blames the bully; to a man they all blame the victim.  To make the situation acceptable, we still need to blame someone.  If we blame the bully then we cannot maintain our passive position.  We have to (actively) deal with the bully.  This requires us to do something entirely unselfish; interfere on someone else’s behalf.  This course of action is the least attractive, principally because it requires independence of thought.  It is also likely to be complex, messy and dangerous, with no obvious benefit to us.  In general, it goes against everything the selfish, passive world holds dear.  A much easier option is to blame the victim.  The function of society is to create a safe environment where mutual self interest can be served.  People live safely in this environment, and take little or no interest in the world around them.  In other words, we continue to behave precisely as we did in the schoolyard.  Having found our adult niche, guess what our response is when an adult bully appears and people die of their injuries in our police cells?  Predictably, very little.  People are not up in arms about it, not white people.  There aren’t thousands of us blocking the streets, protesting these casual murders. Do you know why?.

Because the bastards deserved it.