David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

10 October 2012

Regarding Words, Dying and Shame

A month ago, Prime Minister Julia Gillard's father died.  

Gillard to leave APEC because of father's death
Stephanie Peatling

Three weeks later a reporter's video revealed that 'Sydney Shock Jock Alan Jones' had told a dinner gathering of the Sydney University Liberal Club that Prime Minister Julia Gillard's father had died of shame.

The talkback host told a packed room of Liberal Party members: "Every person in the caucus of the Labor Party knows that Julia Gillard is a liar, everybody. I will come to that in a moment. The old man recently died a few weeks ago of shame. To think that he has a daughter who told lies every time she stood for Parliament." 

In a tape recording of the dinner, laughter can be heard in the background as Jones makes his remarks.

Jones went on to claim the media had somehow brainwashed the federal Liberal Party to go easy on the Prime Minister because "she's a woman".

"No, no look, hang on, this is where we are weak. This is where we are weak," Jones said. "Can you believe that they have gone, the federal party because they've been brainwashed by the media to 'oh back off, she's a woman, go easy'."  
His remarks were met with outrage tonight, with thousands of people taking to social media to condemn his stance. 

September 29, 2012

The following day (Sunday 30 September) an estimated 30,000 people came together via social media to march along Sydney Road Brunswick, in Melbourne.

This was the street where, on Friday night a week earlier, 29 year old Jill Meagher was last seen alive (via a shop CCTV) prior to her rape and murder. 

Thousands march in honour of Meagher
ABC News, 1 October 2012

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This morning, further news of dying and shame.
Last evening on the current affairs program 7.30 (ABC TV) there were two main matters.

The first was the breaking news that the controversial Speaker of the Australian Federal Parliament had resigned.

Extracts of the day's Question Time in the House of Representatives were shown, in which The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott employed the Alan Jones terminology to goad The Prime Minister, who then responded. The following is from the 7.30 program transcription :

TONY ABBOTT: Well, I say to this Prime Minister: just as the Speaker has failed the character test, you, Prime Minister, are about to fail the judgment test. And every day that you, Prime Minister, run a protection racket for the current Speaker - just as you ran for months and years a protection racket for the Member for Dobell - you indicate your unfitness for high office as well.

CHRIS UHLMANN: The Prime Minister stepped up to the fight and her attack was direct and personal.

JULIA GILLARD, PRIME MINISTER: I will not be lectured by sexism and misogyny by this man, I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever. The Leader of the Opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation. Because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn't need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror. That's what he needs.

CHRIS UHLMANN: And if you've ever wondered if things like this make the Prime Minister's blood boil, then wonder no more.

JULIA GILLARD: I was offended when the Leader of the Opposition went outside in the front of Parliament and stood next to a sign that said, "Ditch the witch". I was offended when the Leader of the Opposition stood next to a sign that described me as a "man's bitch". I was offended by those things. Misogyny, sexism, every day from this Leader of the Opposition.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Perhaps, on reflection, the Opposition Leader might regret some of his choice of words today, given part of what he said so closely resembled the attack on Julia Gillard launched by broadcaster Alan Jones.

TONY ABBOTT: And every day the Prime Minister stands in this Parliament to defend this Speaker will be another day of shame for this Parliament; another day of shame for a Government which should already have died of shame.

JULIA GILLARD: The Government is not dying of shame, my father did not die of shame. What the Leader of the Opposition should be ashamed of is his performance in this Parliament and the sexism he brings with it.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Late this afternoon the Speaker released a statement saying that the text messages were intended to be private, but nothing excused their content. He said he understood why women would be offended by them and apologised unreservedly.

The 7.30 program's other matter, advertised the previous evening, was a report by ABC journalist Stephen McDonell on the continuing repression of Tibet by the Chinese Government.

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: In the remotest regions of China, inhabited by the country's Tibetan minority, an appalling uprising is under way. In the past year more than 50 monks have died after setting themselves on fire to protest against government repression. Their uprising is mostly hidden from public view because journalists and TV cameras are usually barred from visiting either the Tibetan Autonomous Region or the neighbouring provinces. But China correspondent Stephen McDonell travelled undercover to western China to prepare this report. And a warning: this story contains images of self-immolation.

STEPHEN MCDONELL, REPORTER: In the remote Tibetan regions of western China, there is much that haven't changed for centuries. But behind these tranquil scene there's are simmering tensions. Some Tibetans are so disenchanted with Chinese rule that their protests are taking a shocking and extreme form.

After dousing themselves in flammable liquids, more than 50 people - mostly young monks - have set themselves on fire. In the last 12 months at least 42 have died. The Chinese government has been in damage control. 

See and read this 7.30 report here

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This morning, further news of dying and shame.

An attempt by the Taliban to kill a 14-year old girl, famous for speaking out against the Islamic militants and their attacks on girls' education, has triggered a wave of national revulsion in Pakistan. 

Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck while she sat with classmates on a school bus as it prepared to drive students home after morning classes in Mingora, a city in the Swat Valley where major operations were conducted in 2009 to crush a Taliban insurgency. She was taken to hospital before being whisked by military helicopter to an intensive care ward in the city of Peshawar. 

Read THE AGE article here

composite image from infowars.com
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