Poetry Sunday 31 January 2016

Today’s poem comes from celebrated Nunga Poet Ali Cobby Eckermann


The big black bird struts proud
along my front fence garden.
‘Fark’ it screeches loud.

The whole street can hear
yet no movement
no-one walking around
no friendship
no sense of community.

A knock at the window
I look out quickly.
The branch bangs on the glass again,
the breeze blows by.
An empty beer can rattles,
rolls along the empty street.

The big black bird struts proud
along my front fence garden.
‘Fark” it screeches loud.

I sit inside
thinking exactly the same thing.

From little bit long time 2009.


MDFF 30 January 2016

Originally dispatched 25 November 2013

Selamat pagi teman-teman saya,

Since 1788 there has been a huge Communication Gap between the First Australians and the new arrivals. The Gap that the assimilationists have defined and are determined to close pales into insignificance when compared to the massive Communication Breakdown….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5PvAi8PTsI between ‘white’ and ‘black’ Australia.
In July 2012, Chris Graham wrote an article in Tracker Magazine. The article contrasted Liam Jurrah the AFL footballer and Liam Jurrah Jungarrayi the Warlpiri man.
A quote from the article:
“When you strip it all back – when you take out all the politics and the history – one of the main problems between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians is a massive Gap in Understanding”
….people talking without speaking, people hearing without listening….and no one dared disturb the sound of silence…

Brett told whoever cared to listen that he felt greatly honoured for having been ‘given’ an Aboriginal name: ‘Mangarri’.
‘Mangarri’ is what Warlpiri people call Bread.
Wendy Baarda was sometime jokingly referred to as Mrs. Jara by her pupils.
‘Jara’ is what Warlpiri people call Butter.

A white lady was part of an ‘initiative’ to convert Aboriginal language school books into ‘talking books’ as an aid to teaching literacy to those children whose mother tongue is an Aboriginal language.
Like European languages, Aboriginal languages encompass regional dialects that can vary significantly in pronunciation and vocabulary. This lady took a bundle of books written in a southern dialect to a place where a northern dialect was spoken. She got some local ladies to read the books into a recording device. An observer noticed that the words being recorded weren’t the same as those in the written text. When the observer pointed this disparity out to the lady making the recordings, the rebuttal was “No, this is how the ladies want it” “This is how they pronounce it”
Very clever that, a talking book, ‘talking’ in another dialect! That surely will help Aboriginal children learn to read!
In fact the Aboriginal ladies got it right. Making writing meaningful is the first step in attaining literacy, word recognition and matching sounds to the writing comes next. If the sounds, words (such as from another dialect or language) and/or text are meaningless to a child, the chances of that child learning to read are slim indeed. Something the NT Dept. of Education, with its English literacy first policy, hasn’t picked up yet.

And how fortunate _you’re_ not Professor de Breeze
who has spent the past thirty-two years, if you please,
trying to teach Irish ducks how to read Jivvanese.

A quote from the 1998 Wentworth Lecture by Dr. Raymattja Marika :
“We believe that our children have a right to know and understand their own cultural beliefs within the model bilingual program. Learning literacy in the children’s first language takes precedence in the first primary schooling years from Transition to Level 3. The focus of the English learning during this period is very much an oral one, helping the children to become a confident speaker of English before they have to grapple with English literacy and concepts. Once children have mastered literacy skills in their first language they can then transfer them to English literacy.”
……teach your children well…. And feed them on your dreams…..

Note: nothing about “learning their own language” they already know it when they enter school. A common misunderstanding regarding “bilingual education” in the case of those places fortunate enough to retain their Aboriginal languages is that it is about teaching two languages, rather than about teaching children to be literate and numerate and to think and to be inspired to learn.

A white schoolteacher had lost her little boy. She searched everywhere in the school yard. “Yes” she was told outside a class room “your boy was here, probably looking for you”. “How do you know? “Look, here are his footprints” “Oh, is that what my boy’s footprints look like!” “Fancy not knowing your own son’s footprints!” the incredulous Warlpiri teachers remarked.

At a meeting held in English, Nungarrayi got up and made an impassioned speech from the heart. What she wanted was for her children and grandchildren to grow up as confident literate Warlpiri people who retained their language whilst having competence in English, who retained their Warlpiri identity and values in relation to family and land and so on…
As told to me, when Nungarrayi sat down, the meeting went on where it had left off in English ‘management speak’. It was as if Nungarrayi didn’t exist.
….such are promises. All lies and jests. Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest….

A white teacher was given the task to give ‘Luritja lessons’ to school children. She was of the opinion that learning the language should not be too difficult. After all, she thought, these are 40,000 year old simple languages.
…. And here a song in Luritja… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1baOxLwccB8 (if this song had been recently recorded, there is a good chance the musicians would have gone straight back to gaol, for traffic offences!)
So there she was in a class “teaching” their own language to some pupils. As she told it, for no apparent reason the children kept slapping her. “I think they have some behaviour problems” she said.
I wonder why they were slapping her? Maybe they got the idea from this:

Team teaching: A boy who owned a shiny new bicycle (a long time ago when there were very few bicycles in Yuendumu) was allowed to keep his bike in the class room. Another non school attending boy, a close relative of the bike owner, came into the class to ask to borrow the bike, seeing as it wasn’t being used. A conversation took place in Warlpiri amongst the children and the Aboriginal teacher. The Warlpiri teacher then gave permission to the boy to lend his bike. The white teacher that hadn’t understood a word that transpired then put a stop to all of this, and was much enraged by the impertinence of the school wagging child to come in and ask for the bike. The bike stayed put.

Have a think about this vignette….. It illustrates so much that is different about ‘western culture’ to the culture of often confused Warlpiri people. Chris Graham’s Gap in Understanding. Attitudes to possessions, family obligations, school attendance (for its own sake), discipline, reward and punishment. But foremost, who is in charge.

More team teaching: A Warlpiri teacher told the class in Warlpiri to go and sit on the floor mats. The white teacher then told the kids in English to go and sit at their desks. Both teachers then chastised those children sitting on the mats.

Terima kasih untuk memperhatikan
Hamba Frank

dan sekarang lagu yang bagus untuk kepentingan diri sendiri

V-line Debacle Special Report

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Mussolini expressing his disgust at the odd late train. (Said with convincing Chico Marx type voice) ” The train she’s a gonna be late again’!

Special Exclusive. Another week of free country trains for Victoria.

Dear train traveller, please accept this correction. Mussolini didn’t make the trains run on time. It’s a Furphy. But he did pave the way in expanding prisons, and making sentencing efficient. So he can’t have been half bad in establishing “ greater efficiencies”.

flying scott

The Glory Days, and quite economical.

Incidentally if you’re playing with your Hornby HO Scale Flying Scotsman, the next news item may come as a bit of a shock! We suggest you turn off the transformer and make a cup of tea.

ThIngs in Victoria have gone from bad to worse. The government has just sacked the CEO of V-Line. That’s the State Railway. Allegedly the most patronised rail system in Australia. Because the situation is so dire, they’re allowing another whole week of free regional rail travel. This is marvellous news.

Right across this state families are being re-united, and the roads are emptying as tens of thousands of people take advantage of this fare amnesty. From my own personal observation, the railways system, so often characterised as the option of last resort for the poor, the disposessed and recently arrived is literally chocka-block with that unwilling constituency. And though the queue’s are long, and the frustration deep, the general mood is one of jubilation. I heard an older member of the train travelling public remark; “Ooer, its just like during the blitz, aint it, all this queueing, and waiting, but it’ll come good in the end and wont do any of the young-uns any harm to put up with wot we went through to save civlisation from the yoke of totalitarianism, authoritarian power crazed individuals and crazy nation states’. Indeed a spokesman for both the Chinese Government and Rupert Murdoch was on hand but declined to be interviewed, suggesting with a most acute display of projected body language that the most powerful man in the world would rather read the Herald Sun rather than be seen dead on anything remotely associated with public transport.


The nice new ‘Bombadier’ Trains. Perhaps in hindsight an unfortunate namesake.

When will it end? How can it be fixed? No one really knows?, That’s the fun of it. It’s all allegedly because of a faulty signalling system and faulty rail, faulty wheels and faulty whistles, (whoops I made that up). Indeed the only thing not faulty with the train is the familiar ‘clickety clack’ sound they make when they go through points and crossings, cept that some are worried that they’ll make a ‘clickety clickety clack smack BOOM crunch’ sound, as they seem to be sailing though level crossings without the boom gates coming down. For a train, that’s dangerous behaviour!!

But we’re all sure it’ll sort itself out and there’s a lesson in this. If the government had done as every other preceding government had done, NOTHING, the problem wouldn’t exist. But this government has made a real effort to get things right and it’s all falling apart because people are actually using the trains willingly!! Sort of ‘hoist on their own signal box’ as the Fat Controller would say, and as you know dear reader all the skills that made the rail system run efficiently, the empire building stuff that made the Bendigo line the eighth wonder of the world (and envy of all those who would like their bridges and viaducts crafted from REAL stone and WROUGHT Iron) were built by engineers who knew their business. Now it’s bureacrats who build railways, and that’s why they’re broken. We’ve lost the knowledge.

spirit of progress

Regional Rail. ‘Back to the Future’!

On my line, they removed the twin gauge put in 1862 for a single track. That’s why the trains stop, because they have to wait till the other passes. This NEVER EVER happened on the old line. Try telling a road user that ‘their freeway will be improved from dual lanes to a single lane as part of an upgrade’. You can only do that with rail because until recently no one gave a ‘Mitchell Pearce” about rail. But then the old line had the older diesels and they weren’t streamlined and gaily painted and pretended to go ‘Whoooosh’….which gets back to the absolute core of the problem. We should’ve stuck with steam. Coal is getting cheaper by the minute, and steam trains are much more attractive. Only one problem though, are there any boiler makers left?.. I’m stumped. I’l go and ask the Fat Controller.

Private Enterprise knows best…. (and isn’t that all the time)


A real photograph of a Masters Store. On an exceptional day there were observed cars “other” than staff members in the carpark.

Dear reader, if any of you own shares, or are even remotely interested in the stock-market, you may have taken a breather over the very busy christmas holiday period to watch the unfolding of the Master’s Big Box store saga. Ill be straight up with you, I know nothing about shares, and have next to no experience in matters of fiducial jurisprudence, and hazard to wager that if ever given custody of the chook raffle funds, there’d be a minor case of fraud or misappropriation. The fact is that ‘big business like to tell us they are in charge and they know what’s good for us. Because of this they like to think that unlike public enterprises like government, ‘theirs’ is reliable, and works efficiently. To paraphrase Mussolini, ‘the trains always run on time’.

The story goes that Woolworth’s, which is quite a big company thought they’d take on Bunnings, a very successful hardware chain run by Westfarmers. I don’t know much about hardware, but if you go to your corner hardware, sure enough you’ll find it closed, and a recent inductee to the dole office directing you to visit Bunnings. Bunnings is full of stuff that people want, and then curiously throw away. It’s a hyper, super cargo cult, we import rubbish from China, and then reconfigure it as rubbish after a year or two. Well the upshot is that this very successful business model has really worked, and Woolworth’s exec’s filled with the prospect of bigger bonuses eyed off this tasty morsel and decided they’d do one better, establish super-dooper stores all over the place, and quash the Bunnings giant.

It all went wrong. The executives at Woollies probably still got HUGE payouts and bonuses and all the poor people who worked there are all unemployed, discarded, effluvium, junk, rubbish. They have become the material personification of what they sold. There’s poetry and irony in that. But that’s not the end of the story, cos a lot of people have been saying, “See, this is where capitalism eats itself”, but I think it’s less capital eating, but bludgeoning bullet headed stupidity, AND I would hasten to add, has it been all that bad?


Woolies recently trialled the ” Wooly-Train” concept in order to attract punters to their Masters Stores. The idea has been scrapped but taken up by the Minister for Innovation The Rt. Hon. Christopher Pyne as a possible rapid transit link between Adelaide and ‘anywhere else’.

The answer is most assuredly ‘NOT’. As Woolworth’s expanded on their quixotic quest the cunning Goths at Aldi saw their opportunity and expanded right into the market Woolies thought it had stitched up, and in the meantime, Coles was fined for treating their suppliers like serfs and it all gets very confusing. That’s why there weren’t any Coles or Woollies exec’s getting Australia Day honours gongs. But you know that once the dust dies down it’ll be chock a block full of the deserving MBA’s and senior exec’s. It restores the natural order of things. So you may think i’m trying to suggest that unbridled laissez fair capitalism is a bad thing. You couldn’t be wronger. In the 90’s when we were told that Victoria was an economic basket case, Jeff sold off everything.


Mussolini who made the ‘trains run on time’, being congratulated by another Private Public Partnership expert.

Our rail system is quaintly Victorian. Recently the train system has just about collapsed. The regional trains are defunct and everywhere you look it’s a domino effect of spiralling incompetence. The trains, they just wont go. Exasperated the regional carrier, VLINE have granted us an ENTIRE WEEK of FREE TRAIN TRAVEL. This is how private enterprise should be. I’ve been to town three times in as many days. Hadn’t had to worry about the ticket Gestapo (Myki Inspectors) and the Gauleiters, (PSO’s), and today, whilst we all laugh that this week is a one off for bad service, it took me only three and a half hours to get to Castlemaine, some 120 k’s away. And as a consequence I had an opportunity of seeing familiar scenery up close, and marvelled. Not a Woolworth’s scale disaster, but we, the citizenry are now re- engaged with the world around us thanks to the beneficence of PRIVATE ENTERPRISE and their promise, that in the end, they’ll get it right. And occasionally the old adage runs true, ‘the trains WILL run on time’. More or less.

Australia Day 2016. Jack Charles receives nomination and finally may get a ride in a Melbourne Taxi.

jack charles - Google Search

Jack Charles, ” A taxi service fit for a KING’!

Dear reader, once again, Australia is a world leader. The statistics speak for themselves. Aboriginal Australians make up less than three per cent of the population, yet account for up to 80 percent of incarcerations in the N.T and W.A. An aboriginal child is thirty times more likely to end up in the slammer, and as current indices suggest they are less likely by ten to fifteen years to achieve the national ‘batting average’. Proof perfect that ever since the bounty of Australia Day was inaugurated ‘we’, the other 97 percent demonstrate a profound and tangible understanding of Aboriginal Australia. We should be proud, ‘numero uno’, and our most recently deposed P.M, as ‘Prime Minister for Aborigines’ was destined to make real change. Sadly, (and we are in profuse agreement with Noel Pearson), his reign was cut short.

But there’s good news, the new police complexes, will prove a boon to privatised prisons, and an absolute sure-fire thing to shareholders. Where once all was hopeless,  a veritable “terror -nullius’, we now have growth. Similarly there’s a silver lining in the knowledge that the celebrated actor Jack Charles will soon be able to get a ride in a taxi. A taxi service dedicated to Aboriginal Australians. A private public partnership pointing to a new way forward.

‘Aboriginal Australia and Australia Day is a vexed issue. But what do Indigenous Australians really lack? A treaty? A rapprochement? No!! They lack certainty!! Real and tangible certainty when they require a taxi. Certainty to know their place, make a contribution to this country, and in recognition of the hard yards we’ve undertaken to improve their lot, a spirit of gratefulness. Being grateful is so important to their sense of self’ the CEO of ‘Black on White Taxi’s’ Ms. Blanche White proclaimed. ‘It challenges cultural stereotypes, and balances the general populations feeling that they should be more grateful. That’s in keeping with the spirit of Australia Day’.


‘Black on White Taxi’. Soon to be a familiar sight in the southern states. This vehicle depicts the ” Conniston” accessory pack, of rifles and ‘solitary’, passenger accomodation module.

‘The Black on White Taxi is a purpose built taxi. Drivers are rigorously selected and as a pre-requisite, “colour blind”, and the taxi fare is cashless. Fares are deducted automatically from the basics card. The taxis themselves are modified paddy wagon’s and each have a distinctive black on white. (colour bars) to indicate their ‘Special use”. The taxi routes are all defined by a specific set of ‘knowledge’ skills, with major exits and routes leading to railway stations, airports, and any public institution, (Gaol or correctional facility) that will expedite the transfer of aborigines from urban to remote areas’. The CEO of ‘Black on White Taxi’s’ Ms. White, was beaming at the unveiling; ‘Like Prisons, this is a growth industry for Aboriginal Australians. It also demonstrates the utility of modifying existing infrastructure to achieve practical outcomes. A win win for the post manufacturing sector, to demonstrate Innovative thinking’.


Attractive interior finish of the ‘Black on White’ taxis includes historical documents and tasteful posters celebrating Australia’s glorious settlement and a wattle pinpointing the unrealised potential of REAL ESTATE.

Speaking of innovation Ms White proudly unveiled the new vehicle “Yes indeed we’ve take the principle of the modified utility vehicle as used by the N.T, and W.A police for prisoner transfer, and have adapted the bench seat and windows, with a polyvinyl, (washable) bench seat in a range of aboriginal related themes, in the tradition of the Papunya and desert artists and matching curtains to ensure privacy and creature comfort. Our drivers are versed in basic aboriginal language being able to say “get out” in most surviving tribal languages. A deluxe version is also planned which includes handcuffs, bars and abusive language, designed to acclimatise the passengers in transfer to the familiar sounds of prison life. Indigenous Australian of the year Mr Charles was unavailable for comment, but the secretary to the Minster for Aboriginal Affairs made a brief statement. ‘We now have a clear direction in giving something back to aboriginal australians, who must be grateful for our assistance, once again, in reminding them not of all they have lost, but how much they’ve gained since settlement’.

‘Don’t forget, These are an ancient and special people, and once again we have re-defined our special relationship. And this is neither tokenistic nor superficial, because we’ve crafted for them, from their dreaming and their noble ancestry an appreciation of what contribution they have made to the rest of Australia’. ‘And what is that contribution beyond and the near certainty of incarceration’? the Secretary was asked. ‘Oh that’s simple, the gift of real certainty and incidentally what constitutes the real drivers, (no pun intended) of this economy, REAL ESTATE!!’.

The “Other” Australian of the Year Award.

In another breathtaking departure from tradition. The “Other Australian of the Year” individual has been nominated.

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Previous ” Other Australian of the Year”, Mr. Mathew Guy for ” Services to Real Estate”

In a recent statement the P.M for innovation the Rt. Hon. Mr Malcolm Turnbull announced his plan to recognise the ‘ordinary Australian’. A spokesperson for the P.M, defined this innovative turnaround in a brief sentence, when questioned by reporters outside the lodge; ‘The P.M gets the fundamentals” Asked where the P.M for Innovation was, he replied; ‘in keeping with the spirit of Australia, he’s moving house”.


” Other Australian of the Year ” Award winner 2011, Jacquie Lambie, representing the eternal flame of Anzac, Women and Dressing up for Australia, and being paid to be exceedingly heroic and noble in the event of war with another impoverished Middle Eastern failed state.

Asked for clarification he paraphrased the P.M’s important position. ‘Most average Australians don’t get the significance of the honours list, for them they’re never going to be in the first eleven, will never have the annointment of a ‘captains pick’, and will not grace the front pages of those popular magazines still in print. Some believe that the honours system is all about the status quo rewarding the status quo. This indicates a deep cynicism within the Australian Body politic. And for the vast majority, those with foreign-sounding names and aboriginal australians, the Australian of the year award is more or less meaningless. Almost, and I hazard to use this term; ‘Tokenistic”. We need to breathe new life into this award and recognise they whom we do not see also serve. And this, (with emphasis) includes those amongst us who are WOMEN!* Indeed the P.M wants to put a new light in Australia Day Awards, and desperately seeks to invigorate the principle of Australian of the Year with nominations sought from those who don’t receive the due recognition, for the things they do on a daily basis to reinforce and nurture the Australian way of life.

Stating that recognition was double edged, the P.M sought to clarify his position; ‘None of us get true recognition were it’s due, and most of us just accept the burden of being a citizen without any consideration of how they, (the unrepresented the unwashed) contribute to the main driver of this economy, Real Estate’.

Standing at the podium of the REIV, the P.M, beamed; ‘For years we’ve talked about tax reform, the clever country and innovation, when we have it here right amongst us. I’m proud to say that we now rank with Hong Kong as the least affordable place in the WORLD. Also, and this should not be forgotten, we have closed our borders to POOR PEOPLE, and will soon take the mantle as the least educated, innovative and forward thinking country in the OECD. Our private debt is astronomical, and as a consequence, we truly understand ourselves as remote, insular, dis-connected, and yet maintain a Simulated, Mental Unitary Grouping, (SMUG) happiness co- efficient that is on top of the list.

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Winner of the ” Other Australian of the Year Award”, Mr and Mrs Wes Dullard. Mrs, Shirley Dullard, holding her award for the cameras.


‘The Dullard House. Purchased in 1952 for two hundred guineas, three pence halfpenny and a farthing as a war service loan, and now worth over three million dollars’, Other Australian of the Year Award Citation.

As a consequence it is my great privelege to announce this years winner. From the vast pile of quiet achievers, non-achievers, and non-persons it is my great pleasure to nominate Mr and Mrs Wes Dullard from Glenroy. Since buying their war service weatherboard in 1952, they have seen the price of their land increase by several thousand percent. I put it to you, without doing a thing to upgrade, renovate, or augment their small holding, not even, installing a granny flat, they have accumulated vast wealth. This is the spirit of Australia at work. It demonstrates once and for all, by not taking foolish risks and developing new ideas, you can be an absolute front- runner. Also their children, have made significant contributions by buying real estate in the new suburbs beyond the urban fringe.

They encapsulate the spirit of the Pioneer, in converting under-utilised, unproductive land into real estate. It’s the cautious “can-do” spirit of doing nothing that has catapulted Australia into the lead. It’s recognition due of our strengths. We have space, and ready access to real estate. We’ve seen what our athletes can do, and what the manufacturing industry failed to do. It’s also a reminder to our health and education sectors what can be done if they consistently fail to perform, as real estate they are bankable, dependable and represent the true future of this mighty nation. It’s in recognition of the fundamentals; “Real Estate”.

  • We wish to remind the reader of the great steps being taken in acheiving gender equality in Australia. An entire one third of Order of Australia recipients are female, and the Order of Australia Council comprises fourteen men and  three real women.

Tomorrow, another exclusive; Indigenous Australia and Australia Day.

Australia Day Honours Scoop

An Australia Day Exclusive

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The P.M. Breaking with Australia Day Honours Tradition. Announces the; ‘Golden Starfish Award”

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Cecil accepting the “Golden Starfish Award’, whilst maintaining his complete and absolute anonymity.

Dear reader, It is with breathless excitement , and some heartfelt anticipation that we break with  the extraordinary news that we believe, from ‘authority unquestioned and certainty unblemished’ that one amongst us has been annointed with the highest honour bequeathed in the land. I know , as you do after reading about the exploits of our aviation pioneers that it may be Quentin Cockburn for ‘Services to Aviation’, or you may think it is Ira Maine for sterling service in the ‘Pursuit of Poetry and the enlightenment of ‘Man as Machine’. But, we have it in a form more tangible than a rumour that it is none other than Cecil Poole himself who this year will take on the mantle, the responsibilty, the gravitas of Australia’s highest honour, the Order of Australia, “Golden Starfish’ award.

Speaking briefly at a hastily convened press conference, Cecil breathlessly remarked, ‘this has come as quite a surprise, I had no idea this was coming, and I’m exceedingly humbled’. The ‘Golden Starfish’ is an entirely new award, above all the lowly OA’s OAMs and AM’s that have flourished since the Whitlam government dispensed with the puerile, forelock-tugging, royalist. self-seeking gongs that were so characteristic of the sub colonial mindset of Knighthoods and Dames.

Indeed since the Tony Abbott ‘Phil the Greek knighthood fiasco’ last year, the current ‘Prime Minister for Innovation’, The Rt. Hon. Malcolm Turnbull has been hard pressed to breathe new life into the Australia Day Awards scheme. Indeed he’s been hard at work breathing any life at all into the corpus, the moulding residue of “honours” and it was only on the suggestion of the Minister for Innovation himself, The Rt. Hon, Christopher Pyne, that the honours should be given new life by establishing a new, higher strata of award. ‘Something beyond the back slapping, toadying, sycophantic immaturity associated with people being gonged for stuff they do for a living’.


‘Our Man In London’. Lynton.


Proposed new ceremonial uniform to be worn by order of Australia ‘Golden’ and ‘Chocolate’ Starfish Award recipients. Uniforms tastefully designed by the Minister for Innovation, The Rt. Hon. Christopher Pyne. (from his personal collection)

With considerable self effacing elan, the P. M has departed from tradition, and decided to develop a new awards scheme that truly demonstrates Australia at the ‘innovation azimuth’ of contemporary thought. Ignoring suggestions from the former P.M, and the recent Minister for Defence, Kevin Andrews that the new award be the absolute highest, as a ‘Super V.C’, the P.M. deferred and brilliantly came up with a fauna based award scheme to outclass and re-define Australia as truly innovative. ‘The Golden Starfish, (Crown of Thorns first class) the Golden Cane Toad and the Golden Feral Goat, recognise ‘exceptional endeavour’ from these not usually acquainted with patronage and special status’. As the P.M stated in his live address from Canberra; ‘few can have changed the shape of this country more profoundly than the ‘Crown of Thorns Starfish’ and the Cane Toad, how fitting then, that we establish this award to celebrate the unexpected, the quiet achiever, and the challenge of dealing with change and innovation into the Twenty First century’.

In recognition of his tireless commitment to boards, (his house is made of timber), his compassion for poetry, (he has had one live in his house), and literature and the arts, (he’s both literate and artistic), both the Australia Day Council and the Australia Council who include amongst them, some members from outside Sydney have nominated Cecil Poole as their Inaugural Golden Starfish Award winner. And in recognition of his service to this country, will be receiving both a Chocolate Starfish, Order of Australia award, and a REAL Golden Starfish medal from her Majesty the Queen and Lynton Crosby in Buckingham Palace, next week. We are told that the dress code will be smart formal. Who wouldn’t be?

Poetry Sunday

Our poetry Editor Ira Maine has lost his wife.  These are his thoughts.

All the World.
Your glorious fried-egg bosom
And the way you danced,
Out of your head, oblivious,
As if you had become the music
And all melody depended
On your giving it life.

How you held me and tried
To make me move as you moved,
Patiently coaxing, drawing me out.
But I was awkward and clumsy,
Hopelessly lacking your grace.
How could I not love you then?

How fiercely you held me, made me listen,
Made me aware that even I,
Miraculously, had my own music,
Even if it wasn’t in my feet.
How could I not love you?
I remember  so many things…
But this above all-
Since that first day in Islington,
When you walked down those stairs,
I have been enthralled, captivated,
Enchanted by you.
You have been my life, my love,
My compassed world,
Where I am rich beyond imagining.
Richer, little flower, by far,
Than all the world.

Ira Maine, January 2016


MDFF 23 January 2016

Hola, que tal amigos, bienvenidos a 2016, ojalá será mejór que el quince,

 This Dispatch is being written on the 6th of January. On this day Spanish speaking children are visited by the three Kings and showered with gifts (if they’ve been good and their parents can afford it).

In 1971 on our return to Australia from Canada, we drove through El Salvador. I was told by a local that 97% of land in El Salvador was owned by 3% of the population.

Whilst some “take me to Cuba” airplane hijackings had taken place, two years were to pass before Chile experienced its “9-11” and three more decades before it was North America’s turn. Access to San Salvador’s airport was unhindered. No metal or explosives detectors and no sniffer dogs. No heavily armed guards in black Ninja uniforms nor service personnel in bright yellow fluorescent jackets, lest they be run over.

A small group of Salvadoran airport workers in white overalls gathered in a café on the periphery of the airport during their lunchbreak. Just as the best value roadside food can be found where truckies take their meal breaks, so it was at this café. Simple fare, at the lowest price imaginable: brown beans with tortillas and generous dollops of sour cream, prepared con cariño, just right.

Our budget did not stretch to staying in motels, so we were grateful to be able to make use of the free airport bathrooms.

A brass plaque at the entrance to the building informed us that North American foreign aid had provided the airport for the people of El Salvador.

Apart from the white-overall brigade polishing the floors or lugging luggage, and a sprinkling of Latin looking men in business suits, the majority inside the building, also in business suits, spoke loud English with North American accents. Presumably these businessmen had come to San Salvador to make deals with the 3%. The Latin looking gentlemen presumably were the brokers and real-estate agents and interpreters doing their bit for their country to move forward.

Too much monkey business (Chuck Berry)… .  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8Y3ONAbaC0

In all fairness to those who convinced the U.S. Congress to approve the gift of an airport to the lucky denizens of El Salvador, some consideration had been given to the trickledown effect. Couples whose loud North American accents were matched by their loud clothes were sparsely distributed among their business suited compatriots, elderly men in Hawaiian shirts, palm tree motif, and Bermuda shorts, generally accompanied by younger women.

The trickledown effect was also very evident at the café of the brown beans, tortillas and sour cream. Where the runway crossed over the main road, the traffic dipped down to a short tunnel to get to the other side. The whole complex was located on a level playing field (such a one as the Trans Pacific Partnership rests upon).

All Salvadorans we spoke to, unprompted expressed their gratitude to the U.S.A. Government for having gifted them such a magnificent airport complex.    

Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane

Ain’t gottime to take a fast train

Lonely days are gone I’m a goin’ home

My baby, she just wrote me a letter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95v7R67to-I (Joe Cocker-The Letter)

It is simply uncanny. Back to the future. In Yuendumu we are reliving this experience. Often Warlpiri residents stop us, unprompted to express their gratitude to the Government for having gifted us such a magnificent $7.6M police complex.

When discussing gifts, a friend rued the fact there hadn’t been three wise Queens instead of the three Kings. He speculated that three wise Queens wouldn’t have got lost, would have assisted with the child and no cabe duda (undoubtedly) borne more sensible gifts.

We three Kings of orient are,

bearing gifts we traverse afar…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrsWF3JlScw (We three Kings-Dolly Parton)

Que los tres reyes les hallan traido suerte, amór y felícidad… y risa, mucha risa (Mirth not Myrrh)




David Bowie. In defence of the ABC, public art and poor acting.

Dear reader, theres been quite an upset at PCbyCp.


Bowie and Jagger. Pure Gold. And not bad acting either.

The David Bowie ‘Bad Art, Murals and ABC’ letter went just a little bit too far. We apologise for the vein of the missive and have decided to print just one of the vast pile of angry, aggrieved and inconsolable letters sent in rebuttal. In the interests of bipartisanship and fair-mindedness we have printed this letter in full and have sent a copy to the Bowie Estate as a sign of true contrition.

’Dear Sirs, I would like the opportunity to vociferously complain about the improper and coarse tone of the diatribe directed against Rock-God Bowie. Clearly the author is utterly ignorant of the vast body of Bowie’s work and thus is blinded, ‘Abbott-like’ by the scientific facts I shall bring to bear. Bowie sold quite a few records since 1983. And his latest, published when he was still quite warm is set to be record-breaking, (excuse the pun) in Sales. “Vomitron” if that’s his real name insists that his character and artistic output suffered desertification in he early 80’s. Just for the record, he couldn’t be more utterly and completely wrong.

The ABC is quite right in playing hours and hours of Bowie nostalgia, honorifics, and quite correct in trawling the nonentities within, outside, and on the absolute fringe of the ossified and destitute Sydney music scene, (for that is where the ABC is stuck) in gaining an insight into BOWIE’S GENIUS!!.


Bowie rediscovered MAKE-UP

Bowie’s best work was as an ACTOR. Though in Nicholas Roeg’s “Man who fell to Earth’ which was really very very good, In ‘Labyrinth’, he was both a goblin, a singer and a star. And he, “chameleon-like’ revisited on the big screen an innovative use of make-up.

A true pioneer.

Not since Lloyd Webber composed ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’, ‘Cats’ and ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ have we seen such consumate talent on display.

A momumental talent.

dancing 2

Bowie performing ” Let’s Dance”, allegedly a tilt against racism, but actually filmed in AUSTRALIA!!

And sadly, unrecognised at his untimely death by a knighthood, O.B.E or, as has been allegedly proposed by our Federal Arts Minister a posthumous Order of Australia. For such is the depth manifest in the “Let’s Dance” film clip that was a actually filmed in Australia. Fitting then, and sad, though Bowie is dead, he was quite strident in letting some of us know how much he liked Australia. He was here for that brief time in the 80’s and left, but we know that he would’ve lived here for ever because this country knows how to nurture a successful and famous overseas artist. How wrong then for the Ill-informed to accuse the ABC of wallowing. What errant self indulgence. Bowie’s output from 1981 onwards took us on an entirely new trajectory.

What began with ‘Space Oddity’ went in another dimension when he teamed up with Mick jagger in ‘Dancing in the Street’, and then who could forget, his duet with Freddie Mercury, in ‘Under Pressure’, pure gold. Unrivalled since Macartney teamed up with Stevie Wonder in ‘Ebony and Ivory”. In music terms that’s recognised as; ‘breaking the sound-barrier’. And then, on top of all that, MTV came along, and Bowie was everywhere doing voice overs for commercials, infotainment spots, and when he wasn’t hanging around Sydney and Los Angeles and London, and New York, Paris and Berlin he was just…. Hanging around.