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.

16 August 2014

The Week In Review

Hell writ large and small. Suffering and stupidity. More warnings. Acts of compassion and of great kindness too. Business as usual (see: plutocracy, plutonomy).

As we write this, on the radio Robyn Williams, not Robin Williams the comedic mind-mouth genius who took his life this week, but Robyn Williams the longtime presenter of the Science Show is inter-viewing Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science at Harvard, about her novel co-written with Erik M Conway.
The Collapse of Western Civilization : 
A View from the Future
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something ... 


Yet another wake-up call! 

Their previous book was Merchants of Doubt : 
How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

Hence, the front page of this morning's 'Saturday Paper' (here) has the striking headline : 

Abbott's piss and wind power on renewable energy

Image of the Week :  "That's my boy!"
A photo posted on social media by the convicted Sydney terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, now abroad with his family and fighting as part of ISIS, shows his seven year old son holding up the severed head of a Syrian soldier. (SMH article here)

Lost for words : Responding to this, President Obama adds the word barbarian to terrorist : "these barbarian terrorists".

What's in a word? Bomber, for instance. One thing (a great reminder of 'The Two Truths') about being a supporter of the Bombers, about publicly wearing a scarf emblazoned BOMBERS, especially on the streets of Melbourne, is that most people hereabouts see such a BOMBERS scarf and think only of sport, of Australian Rules Football, of the Essendon Football Club, The Bombers. Usually, when your correspondent points out this semantic curiosity to others, that The Bombers have nothing (sic) to do with the War On Terror, they say: "Oh yeah. I never thought of that". 

Team Australia : After our Bombers Seek Justice post of 11 August, the stats showed a series of visits to this post from Canberra :
If we have nothing to fear but fear itself we have nothing to hide, right? Who is metadata, what is she, that all her swains defend her? 

Another warning : At the start, we mentioned plutocracy (think Clive Palmer, Rupert Murdoch...)
From Ancient Greek πλουτοκρατία (ploutokratía, “rule of the wealthy”),
from πλουτοκρατέω (ploutokratéō, “I rule through wealth”),
from πλοῦτος (ploûtos, “wealth”) + κρατέω (kratéō, “I rule”)
(from κράτος (krátos, “power”, “might”)
...and plutonomy :
Blend of plutocracy and economy,
from Ancient Greek roots πλοῦτος (ploûtos, “wealth”)
+ νόμος (nómos, “law”) (English -nomy). 

During this week, in which the Australian banks announced their latest billion dollar record profits,  SBS.TV re-screened Michael Moore's 'Capitalism, a love story' and ABC Lateline showed an interview with 'venture capitalist' Nick Hanauer in which he, too, warns (video and transcript here) of a revolution against the US plutonomy.

Still on this, the nation was shown a further glimpse of the mind-set of the Australian Federal Treasurer, cigar smokin' millionaire Joe Hockey. Even Abbott & Co backed away from this one, such was the odour. Hockey's view of the poor delivered him his own professional-political death sentence:

Quote of the Week : already paraphrased as 'Poor people don't drive cars'.

"I don’t think that a cursory look at the Budget is enough for people to understand what we’re really getting at. You have to look at the detail of what people actually receive now, and people are receiving tens of thousands of dollars in payments from other Australians. What we’re asking is for everyone to contribute, including higher income people. Now, I’ll give you one example: the change to fuel excise, the people that actually pay the most are higher income people, with an increase in fuel excise and yet, the Labor Party and the Greens are opposing it. They say you’ve got to have wealthier people or middle-income people pay more. Well, change to the fuel excise does exactly that; the poorest people either don’t have cars or actually don’t drive very far in many cases. But, they are opposing what is meant to be, according to the Treasury, a progressive tax."

- Full transcript here

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something ... 

Out of the blue, early-1980s memories of the founder-editor of Art & Text, Paul Taylor delivering copies of that journal to Melbourne bookshops in his red MG.
Below, as observed by TAR
             leaving Melb Art Fair
                           a Hockey-ite with fat cigar
                                          en route to Oz Saloon car   
  click image to enlarge   
 courtesy : The Debt Collection   
 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
 someone looks at something ...