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.

28 August 2015

Border Incident : Operation Farce

At 10 am today, the Australian Border Force announced Operation Fortitude.  
Operation Fortitude seems to have been named using the wrong f-word. Many would work, but let’s go with Operation Farce.
Not since Tony Abbott gave Prince Philip a knighthood has the nation appeared so immediately united in calling out a truly stupid and offensive notion.
It began with a morning press release, announcing proudly that our new “border force” – a revamped and armed version of the frontline activities of immigration and the customs service that began operations in July – would be part of a big “crime crackdown” in Melbourne on the weekend.
“ABF officers will be positioned at various locations around the CBD speaking with any individual we cross paths with,” said the border’s force regional commander in Victoria and Tasmania, Don Smith.
F is for farce: how Australian Border Force united the nation against it
Lenore Taylor : The Guardian
Those with a bit of historical background, especially those interested in simulacra and the art of deceptive appearance, will recall that Operation Fortitude was a famous WW2 dummy (literally so : see the image below) operation intended to mislead German Intelligence prior to the D-Day invasion.

That was funny and clever and effective. But wtf was today's Operation Fortitude in the Melbourne CBD really about? Another show of dummy tuffness by pugilist Abbott and his hardline cronies? Intended to distract from the recent political stumblings of the Government? What does the responsible Minister Dutton say about today : "it is an operational matter".

Within a few hours of this morning's press release there were protests at Flinders St Station in central Melbourne and a few hours later Operation Fortitude was cancelled, already publicly rehashed as #Operation Farce.

Theatre of the Actors of Regard : Canberra in July, at the grand ceremonial launch of Australian Border Force : Dutton, Abbott and Highly Decorated

 click image to enlarge                       photo courtesy LM of TAR
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