Of Hurricanes and Energy Policy

The Prime Minister has given another serious talking to the power companies. It’s all the power companies fault. Their fault that electricity prices have gone sky high. And now they thoroughly deserve a dressing down. In powerful ‘man of action’ mode, the Prime Minister, a champion of privatisation and asset stripping told the companies they had to do more about reducing the size of power bills. And we at pcbycp are right behind him.

The Prime Minister talks tough on Energy

For those who have a postal service that works and still receive a paper bill, we propose doing as we do, and that is cut your bill in half. This is easily achieved, and we urge power strapped households to re-register for a paper power bill. This is almost the same process that will be required for those amongst us who choose to celebrate the opportunity to have a non binding say on the marriage equality non binding, non referendum.

The PM demonstrates ‘Strong Leadership”.

Place the bill on a flat surface. Then, ensuring that the bill is dead flat, horizontal, and matches to the utmost perecision, the level of that flat surface, (we reccommend a table, or a very large bible) place a ruler over the bill. Selecting, a portion to, (we at Pcbycp provide a very useful template,) determine whether you’d like to slash your bill by a quarter, a third , or completely in half.

The P.M suggests that ringing the energy company is the best way to go about it. He also urged the energy companies to contact all electricity users, (those stupid enough or too poor to not get off the grid) and tell them that if they’d like to, they could change their power supplier. Into the mix, he’s told the power companies to suggest to their clients that they should look elsewhere for cheaper power. We at pcbycp applaud this initiative. It makes good sense. It is a ‘free market’, and the Liberal, National coalition wants you, the consumer to excercise that pillar of economic doctrine “freedom of choice: The P.M suggests, most ardently, “shop around”, get the “best price”, and if you have to change energy companies every year, quarterly, monthly, fortnightly, (we suggest weekly), you’ll get the best price, and rather like choosing supermarkets other than the duopoly of Coles and Woolies you might get a better deal.

Power Company executives pretending to listen to the PM

This is all sound advice, and very do-able. We also would like to suggest, that every household purchase an ‘electricity price watchdog’, (they are freely available from any Lort Smith or RSPCA pound) to bark, when bill stress is at dangerous levels.

‘Primrose’, the electricity price watchdog.

But, just for the moment, back to slashing your power bill. With the ruler as a template and guide, hold a Stanley knife, blade, or cutting device other than a chainsaw, to the edge of the ruler, and score a line across the energy bill. Then, delicately tear the portion from the rest of the bill. Voila!! Your energy bill is cut.

WE applaud the Federal Government for this far reaching initiative and like the non-binding, non compulsory, non-referendum same sex marriage bill it proves once again that the P.M and his party are dertermined to win the next election with decisive legislative action.

How poor people can reduce ‘Bill Shock’

And prove that, they’ll do anything other than have a coherent energy policy.

Wholesome Christian Values

Learning to say “NO”

We at pcbycp are delighted with the latest advert for the “No” vote screening on commercial telly. WE are delighted that the Australian Christian Lobby feel so strongly about same sex marriage, and delighted further still that their wonderful values based ads are not being shown on the ABC. What would be the point of that we ask? And concur, the ‘Gay BC’ would just distort the message, and leave us all confused with the taint of tolerance and inclusiveness. Say ‘No’ to the ABC, and ‘NO’ to their insidious brain washing. That is the message we want to hear. As all good living Australians, we abhor the same sex marriage lobby, it’s insidious message of inclusiveness, open-ness, and equanimity. WE as Christians, would like their ilk, (all of them) to be shunned, and return to the good ol days of purity, backyard abortions, stoning and virulent xenephobia. All under the loving embrace of an all knowing, all caring God. It made us number one on the world stage. And world leader where it counts, winning olympic medals, and being pure.

The message is pure.

The advert, from the Coalition for Marriage group, led by the Australian Christian Lobby, features four women opposed to same-sex marriage and focusses on concerns around the impact of same-sex marriage on children. And their message is one of unswerving unanimity, FEAR.

“School taught my son he could wear a dress next year if he felt like it,”

ACL’s Lyle Shelton.

“Kids in year 7 are being asked to role play being in a same-sex relationship,” another said.

WE at pcbycp are deeply worried about he impact same sex marriage is having on kiddies. For example, one lady is quite right to worry, worry sick about having their child wear a dress. Who wouldn’t be? But we don’t know yet if the child is straight, gay, lesbian, lgbti, or just LGBTITT BSRX or non normative. That’s the problem that all ‘us’ parents face.

Clean-living aussie kids from same sex marriage understand the clean-living values of vegemite , anzac and HATE.

Because the adverts aren’t subjected to the same restrictions on a normal vote by the electoral act they can go right into the nub of the issue and have a good old crack at all those who eschew the righteous’ god-given virtues of marriage between man and woman, stoning, and genital mutilation in general. WE hope the christian lobby takes our advice and spruiks the benefit of black muslin, (that’s a cloth not a religion) for widows, the right of men to beat their wives, and the right for all men to muck around outside marriage.

The right of men to inject their wives with battery acid, douse them in petrol, stab, and burn them before running over them repeatedly with the car. The right to mutilate children and punch, shake, and break their little bodies so that they may be freed from the taint of original sin. The right to stab them so many times, they, (their wives) resemble an overused pin cushion, and the right to bury them in unmarked graves in the bush. All in God’s name, whether they be Christian, Hindu, Muslim, or just plain ol Mormon.

The God-Given virtue of stoning women.

Every week reveals numerous examples of respect for the tradition of same sex marriage, and the inrtricate and quite creative way women can be punished. We’d also like, (there are so many numerous examples) to grant men the right to imprison, coerce, bully, bludgeon, and banish as was decreed in the bible when they’ve grown tired of being nagged and we’d also like them to be publicly whipped, shackled, and degraded by good God-fearing men. Cos it’s fear at the heart of the message that’s written into the bible.

God created the work-house to keep women PURE.

Keep that message pure and propitiate hate, and fear in the name of God’s righteous certainty. What works for Rupert, will work for the rest of us. And keep us pure. And it all begins by saying “NO”.


Poetry Sunday 27 August 2017

This is the second of four parts revisiting Oliver Goldsmith’s  The Deserted Village which, with commentary from our Poetry Editor Ira Maine give insight on our social condition.

Both the parson and the school teacher in Oliver Goldsmith’s poem ‘The Deserted Village’ are described as ‘sentimental’ characters by modern scholars, as if this were a fault.  It very well might be, had not Goldsmith deliberately intended to  create easily recognizable, sympathetic stereotypes to set against the monstrous reality of the day.  Goldsmith, in the manner of Shakespeare, uses a wholly recognizable conceit to win his audience over.  Do these same critics regard it as ‘sentimental’ when Prince Hal, in Shakespeare’s ‘Henry 1V’ (Part Two) rejects Falstaff and Ancient Pistol (who symbolize Hal’s youthful dissipation) in favour of the crown which will make him Henry V?

Elizabeth the First didn’t think so.  The Virgin Queen and her court loved the down to earth reality of Falstaff so much that, when Shakespeare wrote off Falstaff and his cronies as unsuitable companions for a King (they are almost wholly absent from Henry V) Elizabeth demanded of Shakespeare that he write entirely new plays which had to include all of the discarded old favourites, like Moll Tearsheet, Mistress Quickly, (both ladies of somewhat forward reputation) Justice Shallow, Ancient Pistol and Falstaff himself.  The Merry Wives of Windsor was the first of these.

You might have gathered by now that I am averse to critics.  I am not.  I am however, averse to bad ones.

But back to the plot.

Here is the parson from Goldsmith’s village, his sins set out  like diamonds.

Near yonder copse, where once the garden smil’d,
And still where many a garden flower grows wild;
There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,
The village preacher’s modest mansion rose.
A man he was, to all the country dear,
And passing rich with forty pounds a year;
Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
Nor ere had changed, nor wished to change his place;
Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power,
By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour;
Far other aims his heart had learned to prize,
More bent to raise the wretched than to rise.
His house was known to all the vagrant train,
He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain;
The long remembered beggar was his guest,
Whose beard descending swept his aged breast;
The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud,
Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allowed;
The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
Sate by his fire, and talked the night away;
Wept o’er his wounds, or tales of sorrow done,
Shouldered his crutch, and showed how fields were won.
Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to glow,
And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
Careless their merits, or their faults to scan,
His pity gave ere charity began.

[here we skip a few lines, stay with the parson and find him about his sacred duties;]

Beside the bed, where parting life was layed,
And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismayed,
The reverend champion stood.At his control,
Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;
Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise,
And his last faltering accents whispered praise.
At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorned the venerable place;
Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway,
And fools who came to scoff, remained to pray.
The service past, around the pious man,
With ready zeal each honest rustic ran;
Even children followed with endearing wile,
And plucked his gown, to share the good man’s smile.
His ready smile a parent’s warmth exprest,
Their welfare pleased him and their woes distrest;
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in Heaven.

As with the school teacher, Goldsmith’s parson, a selfless man, is an essential member of village society.  This village society, down to it’s last man, woman and child, believes absolutely in God.  God’s representative in the village is the parson.  It is important to be aware how strongly people believed both in God and the afterlife in the 18th century, especially when it came to dying.  You were born into the village, christened, baptised and taken to regular church services as a child, long before you were aware of what was happening.  You believed in God before you even knew what God might be.  You grew up in the village, raised a good, christian family in the village, and died in the village with the parson in attendance because,

………………………At his control,
Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;
Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise…

People were terrified of death, the unknown, of being whisked away by the Devil, and derived great comfort from their absolute belief that the parson had God’s power vested in him when he administered the Last Rites.

The parson baptised and buried babies, comforted the sick and dying, gave succour to vagrants, tramps, and crippled soldiers, and every Sunday welcomed his flock into his church, where they might all rejoice together.

There were, of course, the usual suspects who inevitably arrive at any gathering to mock the proceedings.  At least, (according to Goldsmith) they arrived with this attitude.  But they soon discovered that they’d reckoned without the parson and his persuasive oratorical command;

Truth from his lips prevailed, with double sway
And fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray…

How glorious to come across an oft quoted familiar line like this, but have it take you by surprise!  The pleasure is in the unexpected… there is another stoutly quotable line in the poem describing the Parson’s character which again must not pass by unremarked;

‘…More bent to raise the wretched than to rise…’

The parson saw it as his duty to help the wretched, the halt, the sick and the lame, rather than pursue advancement for himself.  He neither wanted to ‘..change his place…’ [move to another, more influential town] or indeed ‘…to seek for power…by doctrines fashioned to the varying hour…’  To take to philosophical doctrines, ‘fashionable’ doctrines, which, though he might not believe in any of them, might get him noticed.

Oh dear.  My enthusiasm may very well have outstripped your patience.  It would appear I have expended much too much time on the parson.

Next week another entertaining episode!

Ira Maine, Poetry Editor.

MDFF 26 August 2017

Imbroglio.  (Dispatched 24 August 2017)

G’day mates (just reinforcing my Australian nationality),

My family arrived in Australia on the Dutch ship ‘Johan van Oldenbarneveld’ (yes we were ‘boat people’) nearly half a century ago in January 1958.

Not long before, Sukarno had deported a large number of “Dutch East Indians”. He denied them dual citizenship.

On our ship I remember a young man who played a ukulele and regaled us with Indonesian songs on the deck. The young man told us that his brother was denied entry into Australia because he was too dark. Later during my studies I was to become familiar with Soil Colour charts. I now think the use of these charts wasn’t confined to soil science. I suspect the “populate or perish” apparatchiks ( “a blindly devoted official, follower” by one dictionary definition) stationed in foreign shores, made use of the CSIRO soil colour chart when enforcing the White Australia policy.

The exquisite irony was that as we approached the equator the East Indian moved down the colour chart and disembarked almost as dark as the uniforms worn by NT Police.

It is around this time I read ‘Het Dodenschip” by B.Traven. I suspect that if our leaders had read such books, such travesties as warehousing people on Nauru and Manus Island wouldn’t have happened. Neither would over-policing and high levels of incarceration and removal of children be seen as the best way to deal with Indigenous Australians.

The Plot-from Wikipedia: Set just after World War I, The Death Ship describes the predicament of merchant seamen who lack documentation of citizenship and cannot find legal residence or employment in any nation. The narrator is Gerard Gales, a US sailor who claims to be from New Orleans and who is stranded in Antwerp without passport or working papers. Unable to prove his identity or his eligibility for employment, Gales is repeatedly arrested and deported from one country to the next, by government officials who do not want to be bothered with either assisting or prosecuting him (my emphasis). When he finally manages to find work, it is on the Yorikke the dangerous and decrepit ship of the title, where undocumented workers from around the world are treated as expendable slaves.

Over the years there have been cases in Australia (how many isn’t easy to tell because “transparency’ is not a feature of our Immigration services -now relabelled ‘Border Force’) whereby people arrived as children with their immigrant families only to fall off the rails in later life. Sometimes they are ‘conveniently’ found not to have become Australian citizens and are thus deported (convict transportation in reverse) to find themselves on the streets in a foreign land whose language they don’t understand singing “I still call Australia home” to no avail.

I still call Australia homehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYg97BGmmLE

For those who don’t live in this Sunburnt Country, also sometimes referred to as the ‘Lucky Country’ or even the ‘Clever Country’ (the latter not always without a tongue firmly lodged in the cheek), we are currently witness to high farce in our Parliament. (A Dictionary definition of ‘Farce’: “an event or situation that is absurd or disorganized”)

This link is to a timely article by Chips Mackinolty: https://dailyreview.com.au/i-am-you-are-we-are-australian/64212/

I am, we are, you are Australian:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjkrjYitgeA

What Chips describes with such panache is far from being an isolated case. Here in Yuendumu we have known some people (not necessarily old) who didn’t officially exist. Through some circumstance their birth did not involve the “authorities” and their birth was not officially recorded. To get a birth certificate (to be able to get a driver’s licence) often involves a trip or two to Alice Springs, a distance equivalent to the distance between the southern and northern extremities of my country of birth each way. Trips often by unlicensed drivers in unregistered cars running the increasingly tight gauntlet.

What is happening in our Parliament is that a number of parliamentarians turn out to maybe be dual citizens which according to the Australian Constitution precludes them from being allowed to sit (in the Parliament). The single word that best describes what is happening is ‘Imbroglio’ which the Oxford Dictionary defines as:

“an extremely confused, complicated, or embarrassing situation”.

The single word which best describes how I feel about all this is ‘Schadenfreude’

Auf wieder sehen


I repeat one of my favourite songs: Across the Wire by Calexico


those with so much and no show of heart…..


The Importance of being stupid.

Larry Marshall. World beating stupidity at the helm of CSIRO.

Dear reader, one of the most telling things about Australia these days is how we’re slipping down the intellignece charts. Whilst we proudly stand as ‘numero uno’ on the world stage for Real Estate, (something for which we should all be proud), our standing on literacy, numeracy and just being clever, slips and slides.

Why is this so you may ask?

Ahmed Fahour. Rooted Australia Post and Board gave him 10 million payout.

Has it got any thing to do with the Federal Government’s axing of the CSIRO, science jobs, manufacturing, innovation? Innovation in anything other than Real Estate and funding for already wealthy private religious schools? Or is it just that the population have had enough of learning in general. They’re tired of just being average, and desire, as all good anglosphere nations do, of being dumber.

We at pcbycp attribute the decline to a more central cause, the fact that imagination and thinking of anything other than money and Real Estate is discouraged right across the field.

And that’s what makes us the stupid country. Profoundly stupid. World-beaters.

How else could you explain a resource rich country in which the very earth is worth trillions and not make a profit that trickles down to the people when that provenance is sold? It beggars belief, but this is how things are done in the stupid country.

How can it be that a rotten filthy stinking industry like coal, can contemplate the Carmichael mine which will employ some 1500 persons for a year or so, when the worlds greatest living organism is snuffed out, by filthy coal. The Adani is endorsed by both state and federal governments, once again we rest our case for stupidity. A ten million dollar payout to an individual who rooted Australia Post and the absurdity of having a non binding plebiscite on same sex marriage. The list is endless. We excell in stupidity. We lead the world. And now, just to top it off, we don’t have a government at all.

Tony Abbott

We’ve converted our edication institutions into visa factories and vocational colleges. We’ve wasted our natural resources, our rivers are depleted, and what can’t be sold is regarded as useless, and our stance on human rights is repugnant.

But is this all? Is it really this grim?

Rupert. Relies on stupidity to keep his empire going.

The only bright spot, is that ther cost of electricity and basic services which used to be publicly run and cheaper are guaranteed to go through the roof. Once again we’re a world leader. And some amongst us talk of a space programme. Our “Space Programme” is filling space with Real Estate.

That’s what we’ve got , and it’s not a lot. But there’s hope. Barnaby Joyce has been recognised as the worlds most outstanding New Zealader. Which just goes to show, when the chips are down we can rely on New Zealand to laugh with us in identifying us as being the most stupid. Stupidly so.

Yet the nagging question remains.

Is he one of us?

Could he be that stupid?


Barnaby. Is he really one of us?


In these uncertain times

“Dem statues come topplin down”

Dear reader, in case you hadn’t noticed we’re living in uncertain times.

This is what a non heroic crumpled piece of bronze looks like.

It would have been inconceivable only a decade ago that our society would be rent by factions, friction, and the shock of capitalism off the rails. In spite of all the assurances, our lives have become de-enriched. University students must pay billions in order to get their visas approved. Electricity and gas bills are sky high, and that edifice of civic virtue, the United States is totterring. It’s rent, it’s ruptured and going broke. There’s even talk of a schism not seen since the Civil War. That’s the problem with America… unresolved divisive issues. And, proudly we might say; “we have none of that here in Australia”. In America they’re pulling statues down, in order to re-align a collective sense of justice. To “right the wrong”, and in doing so, by removing staues of G.T.Beauregaurd, (not our correspondent from New Orleans) and General Robert E Lee, some southereners are getting mighty angry. Can you blame them? The very foundation of their ideals being toppled.

And in spite of everything Lord Rupert of Murdoch says, wages have flat-lined, housing is unnafordable and the only certainty seems that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. And for the poor, though there aren’t any jobs left for them to do, the Federal Government is keen on testing welfare recipients for drugs, and making damn sure that the dehumanising process of proverty is more dehumanising still. That’s a symbol of the innovation the P.M wanted to see in our society. And it’s proof he’s a strong leader and keen getting things done.

Glory Glory Glory

Is there a silver lining we hear you say?

Is there a better way?

Are we better than this?

Of course we are

Two Councils have rejected the principle of Australia Day. At last there’s something that all Australians can unite in. And in a demonstration of real leadership, the Prime Minister has weighed in, telling those Councils that it’s an affront to all decent Australians to even question the nobility of settlement.

How dare those Councils! We shall name and shame them; Yarra and Darebin.

A true Patriot.

How dare they suggest that Australia Day is not the crowning glory of European civilisation, to annoint heathern peoples with Government and the principle of law. And how ungrateful those first Australians, (who though living an almost idyllic life until we arrived), still do not accept our chalice of enslavement, despoilation, death, mass-murder, spiritual iconoclasm, and the mind numbing stupidity of all governemt policy to accept that our version of Australia is, and always will be white. To be cleansed of nativism, cleansed of spiritualism , conservation, and culture, so that we, could properly steal this land, and destroy it in less than two hundred years.

Aboriginal Australians celebrate the first Australia Day. UNGRATEFUL!

We at pcbycp are 100 perent behind clean-living Australians, as espoused by Eric Abetz, in insisting that Councils concentrate on roads, rates, and rubbish, and keep the majesty, (god bless her) of Australia Day intact.



On Tourism,

Carefree days in ancient Rome. When holidays were uncongested.

Once again, the world erupts. Not the usual suspects; (corruption, vested interests, lobby groups divesting the people of good governance, hard cash, Trumpism and the simmering hatred that boils beneath).

No dear reader the vexed question of tourism. And the people of Europe who’ve had enough. Fortunately we may add, the Australian Federal government has made great strides in ensuring the same doesnt happen here, by killing off the Breat Barrier Reef. Something for which Queenslanders are eternally greatful. This fragment starts with an observation by our acclaimed man in the field Ira Maine;

mass tourism overload.

“A vast and ever increasing anti-tourism movement is gathering momentum in Europe, despite the fact that tourism is now the biggest employers on the planet,(or because of it)
Venice (pop. about 55 thousand) will have 28 million visitors this year. 
Bless my soul…28 million is just a few million more than the entire population of Australia…
All over the place, horrifying regiments of hotel chains are erupting up out of the sand with precious little regard or respect for local conditions, customs or community. Our own Gold Coast is typical, tasteless, money-grubbing example. of this trend. Repeat it a few hundred times all over the world and you begin to get the picture.

According to Martin Kettle of the Guardian, ‘Tourists Go Home’ is nowadays commonly to be seem scrawled on walls in the more tourist oppressed towns and villages throughout Europe.
28 million visitors to Venice…
Sure ’tis little wonder the bloody place is sinking…
And I’m to blame for all this?
Well, yes..
It doesn’t matter whether I am a budget-conscious package tourist or an independent traveller, doing the upmarket Grand Tour, I am still, as Desmond Morris famously said, part of the tourist ‘infestation’.

‘See Venice and Die’ was the old advice to the traveller. Let’s hope this does not become literally true lest it kill off the  tourist trade entirely’.

And then from Sir Atney of Emo, this thoughtful reply;

So crowded it would make any Venetian BLIND

‘And to think that most of those 28 million are funnelled into Venice within the summertime peak season.

At least the Gold Coast was just a sandy waste before it was incarnated as ‘Australia’s Holiday Wonderland’, so little of value was lost there. On the positive side, its glittering lights, beer-barns, fast food, gambling and whoring lure in 13 million rowdy bogans annually, thus temporarily taking some pressure off other parts of our great nation.

However, Venice is a unique showcase of culture, history and civilisation – and it’s being transformed into a gum-spattered Disney-esque theme park!

Hell is other people, said Jan Paul Sartre… and, in these numbers, how right he was!  My agoraphobia kicks in the moment I enter the air terminal at Sydney… and worsens from there on.

Birdsville could do with a few tourists. The sand is cleaner than Venice, and not so liable to flooding either.

Stay home and watch the DVD of “Death in Venice” instead!  Or wait for the place to be emptied out by a return of the plague that did in Gustav von Aschenbach (Dirk Bogarde): besides the heavily discounted accommodation, you’ll have the place to yourself!

But you may need to row for yourself along those canals’

And indeed we may ask is Sir Artney tasling about those canals that are close at hand, those in the middle distance, or is he referring to those very distant water systems the fabled and apocryphal “far canals” . Please we urge you, (dear reader) to stay with us for tomorrows thrilling rejoinder in our next installment. Now we urge you to at back to the main game, laughing with us, (and the Communist Party of China) about the state of Australian governance.

Australia has a highly developed tourism overload defence deflector. Kevin Andrews

Poetry Sunday 20 August 2017

Over the next four weeks we will revisit Oliver Goldsmith’s  The Deserted Village which, with commentary from our Poetry Editor Ira Maine give insight on our social condition.

When I was at school, and under constant threat from Christian Brothers, one of the blessed reliefs from the horrors of algebra and the like was an hour of English. During one of these sessions we were asked to learn (by heart) a short, rather sentimental poem about a now deserted school which went thus:

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
With blossomed furze unprofitably gay,
There in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule,
The village master taught his little school;
A man severe he was, and stern to view,
I knew him well and every truant knew;
Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace
The day’s disasters in his morning face;
Full well they laughed with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper circled round,
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned;
Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault;
The village all declared how much he knew;
Twas certain he could write and cypher too;
Lands he could measure, time and tides presage,
And even the story ran that he could gauge.
In arguing too, the parson owned his skill,
For e’en tho’ vanquished, he could argue still;
While words of learned length,and thundering sound,
Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around,
And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew,
That one small head could carry all he knew.
But past is all his fame. The very spot
Where many a time he triumphed, is forgot.

 Perhaps I had been told at the time and had forgotten, but the lines quoted here are from a much longer poem written by Oliver Goldsmith called ‘The Deserted Village’.  Goldsmith was born in either Roscommon or Longford in Ireland in 1730, the son of a Church of Ireland (Anglican) minister, and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin.  Goldsmith was expected to enter the Church, but failure to apply himself to his studies saw him instead move to London where he was quickly accepted into the intellectual establishment of the day.  He remained a lifelong friend of both Dr Samuel Johnson and Sir Joshua Reynolds, with whom he formed ‘The Club’, a famous and regular dining engagement.

It is my intention, over one or two Sundays to attempt to explore this poem and relate it to the social history of the period.

Suffice it to say that I feel Goldsmith has easily in the above lines, seduced us into his 18thcentury country village life.  I myself was once a “boding trembler” and I feel, even now, there is no better way to describe the apprehension felt by a child who in the morning, scans the teacher’s face for even a hint of warmth.  I laughed enthusiastically too, (and hypocritically) at many an oft repeated joke; is there a student on earth who hasn’t?

And then too, how cleverly Goldsmith demonstrates in a few lines how important an educated man can become in a small, relatively illiterate community;

‘The village all declared how much he knew;
Twas certain he could write, and cypher too;
Lands he could measure,terms and tides presage,
And even the story ran that he could gauge. [displacement of water,etc etc.]

His task then was not simply teaching; in an illiterate community there was the writing of letters, dealing with bureaucracies, reading letters from soldiers, or about the deaths of soldiers, settling disputes, checking boundaries and the million and one other difficulties an uneducated village had with a growing bureaucracy. The man was indispensable.

Having pointed this out, Goldsmith then sets about making us care about this schoolmaster;

Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault;

How can we not care about such a man?  Especially when we discover that he had faults, not the least of which was his attempt, when all else fails, when his various arguments, conducted in the most high faluting manner turn out to be nonsense, he would then proceed, (according to the parson) with ‘words of learned length and thundering sound’ to amaze the rustics with endless high flown bullshit! (just like the rest of us!)

In arguing too, the parson owned his skill,
And e’en tho’ vanquished, he could argue still;
While words of learned length and thundering sound,
Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around.

Goldsmith here conjures up an image of all the ‘wits’ of the village, gathered of an evening in the local hostelry to listen to the parson, the teacher and perhaps a local magistrate or lawyer, get drunk and enter into somewhat heated (and invariably entertaining) discussion.

Perhaps next time we’ll have a look at some of the other characters in this work

MDFF 19 August 2017

Today’s dispatch is  Sheep.  Originally dispatched on 24 October  2015

He pai ra oku hoa,

Today’s theme is ‘sheep’, but don’t worry, am not about to bore you with a salvo of recycled Aotearoa sheep jokes.

I will however mention that when Warren Mundine was asked what he thought of Gary Foley having called him “the white sheep of the family”, Warren laughed and thought it was funny.

Rainbow… Black sheep of the family…
…”you got to play by the rules or pay the penalty…”

What family? ‘Family Australia’?
Whose rules?

Once again I recycle one of my all time favourite quotations:

“Cultural survival is not about preservation, sequestering indigenous peoples in enclaves like some sort of zoological specimens. Change itself does not destroy a culture. All societies are constantly evolving. Indeed a culture survives when it has enough confidence in its past and enough say in its future to maintain its spirit and essence through all the changes it will inevitably undergo. ”

This by Wade Davis, author of that seminal tome: The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World

The Yuendumu Magpies made it to the grand final in Alice Springs.

Months earlier invitations went out for the re-opening of Yuendumu’s Men’s Museum.

Some years ago Yuendumu’s Warlpiri Media Association (now trading as PAW-Media) http://www.pawmedia.com.au/ produced the widely acclaimed video series ‘Bush Mechanics’

When it was shown on national television many comments were made about the cleverness of the protagonists. Some commentators took it all too serious and failed to fully appreciate the exhilarating sense of humour and delicious sense of irony that is a hallmark of Warlpiri society. I hate to disappoint those that saw Bush Mechanics and swallowed that there ever was such as a functional clutch plate carved out of mulga wood. Call me cynical, but the “aren’t they clever” (surprise surprise!) comments bring to mind the kind of comments one hears at the zoo when seals perform clever tricks.

Not all that long ago the disempowerment, stigmatisation, stereotyping and marginalisation that tear at Warlpiri social fabric was temporarily eclipsed by the brief but spectacular AFL career of Yuendumu’s native son Liam Jurrah https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF-_HszEC9s

Yuendumu received a much needed boost to its self esteem and the esteem it is held in by others.

Aussie Rules Football has been an integral part of Yuendumu’s cultural landscape for over half a century. It is social glue.

Thus when Yuendumu made it to the grand final, there was a mass exodus from Yuendumu. A month later under the headline ‘Community deserted as illegal camping spikes in Alice Springs’, the Centralian Advocate quoted Alice Springs Council’s Corporate Community Services director: “The biggest thing we believe was driving that spike, what we heard from police and rangers, is that virtually the whole of Yuendumu had decamped and were in Alice Springs due to payment of royalties”

Later in the article NT Police Commander Danny Bacon, mentions the finals match as being a significant factor. As for the ‘royalties’ furphy, these are usually not paid in cash and were not the main driving force behind the exodus nor in the implication (in the article) that some people chose to camp illegally as they couldn’t consume alcohol in regular accommodation.

The result of the grand final coinciding with the Men’s Museum opening was that the latter was attended by more non-Warlpiri spectators than Warlpiri people. The visitors (and locals) were regaled with traditional women’s dancing at the Warlukurlangu art centre http://warlu.com/ and after lunch proceeded to the museum (and in so doing walked past the $7.6M Yuendumu Police Complex which was officially opened yesterday).

Jakamarra had been much involved in the preparations for the Museum re-opening, and as the President of the Yuendumu Football Club, was torn as to where he wanted to be on that day. He opted for the museum and gave one of the opening speeches.

Two Jangalas had brought their karli (boomerangs) which they started to click on conclusion of the speeches in preparation to singing traditional Warlpiri songs. They were joined by Jakamarra and Japanangka. Just as a group of kardiya (whitefellows) might sit around a campfire with a guitar: “What shall we sing?” “Kumbaya?” “The lion sleeps tonight?” , so the foursome discussed “What shall we sing?” “What about Bah Bah Black sheep?” was Jakamarra’s suggestion… most people laughed but not all. A visitor was overheard whispering to her friend “Did you hear that? How disrespectful to those traditional song men!” Yes indeed, and if you burn out your clutch in the bush, you carve one out of mulga wood.

I’m very pleased to inform you all: The Yuendumu Magpies won!

The lost sheep (Adrian Munsey)…

When Mary had a little lamb
The Doctors were surprised
When old MacDonald had a farm
They couldn’t believe their eyes

Kite ano koutou wawe tumanako ahau


PS- I haven’t had a chance to comment much on Australia’s leadership change. Suffice it to say that Nigel Scullion remains the Minister for Aboriginal affairs and Mal Brough has been elevated to the front benches. Aborigines remain the black sheep of the family.

I did however remember a quote that encapsulates my opinion:

“A new society cannot be created by reproducing the repugnant past, however refined or enticingly repackaged. NELSON MANDELA, Nobel lecture, 1993

We’re with the churches on this.

We’re at pcbycp are 100 percent with the Australian Christian lobby on gay marriage. We endorse the churches’ principled stand on gay marriage and wholesome, (clean-living) values in general. We wont have a bar of it. And for Barnaby Joyce if he’s listening, we wont have A “Baaaa of it”.

Lyle Shelton. No stand on kiddy fiddling.

We at pcbycp are in lock step with the Australian Christrian Lobby’s Lyle Shelton on making a stand. It’s time, high time the voice of the righteous, moral, pure real Christian is heard. And by Jove, we’ll do it.

We at pcbyp abhor gay marriage. It was not condoned in the Bible. It was not written by Leviticus, Corinthians, Mathew, Luke, Peter, Thomas, (did they live together?) and any of those other noble, righteous moral texts, and Moses hadn’t heard of it either. And why? You may ask. Gay marriage is evil.

Cardinal Pell, kept a blind eye on kiddy fiddling. Got to the top of the tree.

No bones about it, (as the bishop said to the choirboy), we wont stand for it. ‘Not on you Nellie’, as the Mother Superior said to the novitiate. ‘Not by any stretch’, as the Sons of the rightous path youth leader said to his charges, and ‘not an inch more’ as the anglicacare holiday camp superintendent was heard to mutter.

However, one thing sticks in our craw. We haven’t heard their positon on paedophile priests, double standards, and kiddy fiddling generally, and that’s not even going near mysoginy. And we’re right with them on this issue. We’d love to hear the Australian Christian lobby’s views on kiddy fiddling. And we know that if their views are known. Why not be upfront about it? It confuses us. Why not be upfront about it? To to thus confused is?…. Well it’s Confucian.

Father Risssole and Cardinal Pell. Keeping it in the confessional.

You see, we feel so strongly about kiddy fiddling we’d really like to hear the Australian Christian lobbys views on this vexed issue. We know, (cos Cardinal Pell told us inadvertently by never mentioning it) that kiddy fiddling is a core principle of the Catholic Church. And we know that archbishop Hart, (god bless him) is worried about any move by the government of the people, to persuade priests to divulge the kiddy fiddling secrets of their parishoners. We at pcbycp respect the rule of God above law. And we respect the rights of schurch leaders to pay no tax, receive charitable donations, fund right wing looney special initatives, (like clean coal) and maintain their right to mysoginy, patrichy, kiddy fiddling and turning a blind eye to abuse. It’s a core principle attached to Judeo Christian religions. Who’s stated aim since eternity is to preserve the right of very old men to degrade women, kiddy fiddle and keep secrets where they belong. In the confessional.

We just can’t wait to hear their strong stand. Do they or do they not abhor kiddy fiddling?

It’s a simple question, not worth having a vote about, but nonetheless integral.

Dean Smith and Corey. All for keeping a lid on same sex marriage. And the sanctity of the confessional.

And we’re worried about free speech. Though religious schools are exempt from restictions that apply to the rest of us on preaching hate, religious dogma and sexism we defend the right of the ACL in figthing deviants in parliament. And we uphold the right by Corey Bernardii to ensure that religious schools are free from the taint of fairness, reason, and inclusiveness.


‘With the same-sex marriage lobby threatening to challenge in the High Court any moves by the government to pursue a postal plebiscite, the AMA has received legal advice claiming provisions to protect religious freedoms in the gay marriage bill being proposed by Liberal senator Dean Smith were flawed and could put Australia in breach of international obligations. It would also expose faith-based schools that could be stripped of their rights to teach their views of marriage.

Mr Sneddon, (no relation to Sir Billy) said this was a much broader problem than the narrow religious protections ­offered in Senator Smith’s private members bill, which allows civil celebrants to decline to marry same-sex couples and religious ­organisations the right to refuse their facilities for use in same-sex weddings’. (ABC)

And we agree, refuse same sex marriage. He nailed it.