A Grain of Salt 2021

A Grain of Salt.πŸ’‹

Monday 12th April, 2021. Brrr. Far from sure I'm up to facing another Winter. Mid Autumn and bang goes the good weather. Prince Phillip's passing and bang goes the weekend television, radio, newspapers. Amazing how so many experts appear from the woodwork to tell us of their loving memories. Any bad memories? Tried Collingwood until half way through the second quarter; same overrated players, same (lack of) system, same blame game coach, underlining the disaster/loss of Adam Treloar, Jaidyn Stephenson and Tom Phillips. Season over, attempting to ignore the 4 zip painful Melbourne supporters, looking ahead, 2022? The passing of the Prince, yet another opportunity for our PM to show his empathy side, carefully scripted; dare he not? Call me suspicious, but this never ending conversation on supply (the vaccine rollout?) moves Scotty further and further away from his women problems, conveniently under the extra large umbrella of Marise Payne, assisted by darling Michaelia and company. Deflection, the master, feeding the masses, as in 'Gladiator' the movie while the toothless dragons (Led by Seldom Seen Albo Albanese, from Game of Thrones, Drones?) fly overhead, a bit like spotting the moon on a cloudy night. Then the recalibration, the Pfizer, the mathematics of one (blood clot) in 200,000 and they change the vaccine rollout for under 50's, including (surely?) most of the cleaners, carers, security guards and medical workers? Assuming a worry as to this statistic they might give some attention to the reality of the horrifying statistic on aboriginal deaths in custody, albeit according to The Australian newspaper this is also a statistic for all deaths in custody, disregarding the point yet again? [Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders comprise just 3 per cent of the Australian population, according to the latest census figures, but make up 28 per cent of the prisoner population. Indigenous incarceration rates, a terrible stain on our nation.] Late announcements on sex discrimination (as they did with aged care) recommendations, some adopted wholly, some in part, others/many, noted, whatever noted means? The consistency of overselling and under delivering. Some 3 million short of the target a blot on our sniper PM'S hopes to run to the election on a reputation of the vaccine rollout. Still, if nothing else, it throws a shining light on the huge number of stressed sheep we live amongst. A long wait until the next election; last day 21st May 2022. "We will continue to lead the world in our responses to this pandemic" says our leader, providing us with his own grains of salt, in line with his words this time last year - "We are at the front of the queue." The far-queue? Political strategy – the states on delivery and the Europeans on supply.  Even so...


I rarely watch commercials on television. I tape everything and automatically fast forward the commercials. Recently, in one of those regular situations where the effort to get up from the couch is in the "too hard" basket I took time out to watch two 4 minute blocks on the telly, all these deals, advice, saving dollars, good health items. It occurred to me, the money out of our pockets sliding into there's. Assuming these commercials cost a fortune to make it stands to reason thousands must take their advice, or why bother? No surprise Gogglebox is so popular? Buggered if I know, maybe people derive a sort of pleasure in buying useless rubbish? Maybe, more likely, I'm simply a cranky old bastard?    


COMEDY, The Chaser's: Letter from Schomo: "During this pandemic, there have always been different roles and responsibilities between state and federal governments. The states have been in charge of all the unpopular things that actually stop the spread of the virus, such as making people wear masks, locking them down, and closing borders. The Federal Government has had the equally onerous task of running the press conferences, conducting photo ops, and making announcements that undermine the work of the states. However, there is one thing that the National Cabinet agreed early on would be the responsibility of the Federal Government: the vaccine roll-out. Now I won’t go into detail about why we were so keen to be in charge of rolling out the magical cure that will make everyone happy shortly before our next election is due. But we took on this burdensome responsibility, and we did so knowing that it would involve some work. And let me tell you it was hard. Do you know how difficult it is handing out billion-dollar contracts to some of our largest donors? The hang-overs from being wined and dined were almost worse than having Covid. And look, I’ll be honest, mistakes were made. Once we’d signed a contract with Pfizer and AstraZeneca, we were too drunk to bother signing up any of the other vaccines. Besides, the Sharkies were playing that weekend, and it just didn’t seem like it was worth ruining a weekend to deal with. We honestly thought that two varieties would be good enough. Pfizer for blue-ribbon Liberal Party electorates, AstraZeneca for everyone else. It didn’t even occur to us that there might be supply problems for the most wanted substance on earth. Anyway, that’s why it was great news to hear that the AstraZeneca vaccine has blood-clotting issues at a rate 1/160th of that posed by the female contraceptive pill. It’s a vanishingly small risk, but remember this vaccine isn’t just being given to women, so we have to do something about it. Which is why we’ve made the difficult decision that from today, people under 50 will no longer be able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. Of course, they weren’t able to get it before now, but at least we can now blame this all on AstraZeneca." [Clever truth? OR, depending on who you're rusted on to? ].


I’ve never been big on autobiographies. I read my share in the 1970’s in a half hearted search for insights as a working actor. I recall reading Confessions of an Actor: Laurence Olivier an Autobiography, and was overtaken by boredom. Other's the odd hint here and there but generally unimpressed, particularly my bias against self aggrandisement. Some obviously plain interesting, Mandela, Chaplin. Some say Anne Frank. Mark Twain is a 3 volume job, likely not enough time left to take on volumes 2-3, but a particular piece in volume 1 caught my attention early on “What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words. His real life is led in his head, and is known no more than to himself. All day long, and every day, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts (which are but the mute articulation of his feelings) not those other things, are his history. His acts and his words are merely the visible thin crust of his world, with its scattered snow summits and its vacant wastes of water - and they are so trifling a part of his bulk! a mere skin enveloping it. The mass of him is hidden - it and its volcanic fires that toss and boil, and never rest, night nor day. These are his life, and they are not written, and cannot be written. Every day would make a whole book of eighty thousand words - three hundred and sixty-five books a  year. Biographies are but the clothes and buttons of the man - the biography of the man himself cannot be written.” Keep on reading if that’s your preference. In fact further on in Twain’s book there’s another argument on the basis no matter the words, the real person (truth?) cannot be hidden. I’m for Twain’s These are his life words. Some say, ever onwards - “If you’ve got nothing to hide you’ve got nothing to worry about.” Give me strength?


Where would we be without strenuous denials, Christian Porter?..."You can always remember what you were doing at certain key moments in your life." So they tell me. I remember the moon landing, little else...Prince Philip, according to reports, sacrificed his promising career’’ to support his wife. A good man. I know how he feels/felt? I’ve done likewise by keeping my tongue firmly in cheek in support of various feminists since 1970....The Pfizer vaccine, secured, or ordered?...The Victorian regulator approval of an additional gaming machines should all carry the sign "gamble responsibly" which should cure any problem punters?...Former PM Malco Turnbull's call for a moratorium on new coalmine approvals; bad move mate, similar to another of his disasters, the NBN, gone for all monies. An unemployed PM's Club, new mates, Kevvy Rudd and Jules Gillard? Fortunately the COVIDSafe app was down to our local mate on the Mornington Peninsula, Greggy Hunt, maybe (hopefully?) to be an associate member?...A big orchid to the Australian Medical Assistance Scheme, to Papua New Guinea and COVID-19 assistance...ABC radio morning shift, Paul Kennedy, a breath of fresh air...9News? "The world is in mourning over the loss of Prince Phillip."...Absence of occupation is not rest, a mind  quite vacant is a mind distressed. [Cowper]...Hooroo...www.ello8.com





A Grain of Salt.😎

Wednesday 7th April, 2021. Let's face it, when Danny Andrews comes good he's not going to look kindly on our Mornington Peninsula, particularly Blairgowrie and surrounds. Not that it matters. The serenity of peace has been shattered and the kangaroos are becoming edgy on account of the obvious space invaders. The little fellow in the current commercial on television "Are we there yet" refreshing/haunting our memories of the long interstate family drives to Sydney and beyond, now replaced by the pleasure of "Have they gone yet?" Easter amidst the thousands, realestate.com.au front and centre. A four day break from a quiet beer at the RSL taken over by the (seemingly) entitled mob from up north. A new dawn? The good news is we are still here, bruised but recovering, months of calm ahead as a bonus, at best, hopefully? Cranky, no. Happy, temporarily, you betcha. A day at a time.       


Flight of the bloody bumble bee? If I didn’t know better I’d think our PM is following his normal formula, the art of deflecting. Particularly the ‘women’ problem and using the vaccine rollout (a supply problem, almost a year to organise, the European Union denying Morrison claims Covid vaccine doses have been blocked from being shipped to Australia?) as a blocker. The added problem is I really do not know better. Expect nothing from Sky news, 9 news and to a lesser extent 7 and 10 news. The same (factually worse?) from The Herald-Sun and the Australian. Add in The Age in a form of disguise as fair minded. Again our cash starved ABC, specifically Sydney ABC, almost the last truth outpost, with The Saturday Paper and the Australian Guardian adding what they perceive as the real truth. One has to be a political nut case to form an opinion close to the reality, and from my experience the majority decide regardless, on whichever political ideology they received from day 1 of their birth. Adding (again?) on the current youth crop, heavily into computers, iPhones, music, sport, self empathy and hubris, before the idea of how we are governed is the last thing on their youthful minds. I cannot recall any former PM having so many black marks against him, yet at the same time successfully applying his deflect policy, albeit his direct line to Murdoch’s professionals to calm the sheep. Maybe finish on Ravel’s Bolero, hopefully the final clash of symbols signalling Schomo’s demise?


Vaping: Quit Victoria director Sarah White “Adolescent brains are exquisitely sensitive to that, and they [manufacturers and sellers] get a lifelong or close to lifelong customer if they can get someone dependent when they they are in their teens." [And gambling, porn, alcohol, following a football team other than Collingwood, private schoolboys et al?]


Where do feminists stand in the power structure? Indeed, I pondered this question way back in the 1970's when, according to my erratic memory this all began, courtesy of Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch; 1970. I blame those dinner dances. Particularly the Tower Hotel in Hawthorn. Good news for our third child I suppose. I'd shut the gate after two. Dropped my guard didn't I, the catholic method? Settled for three, vasectomy. God knows, but does our Prime Minister? Let's hear it for our Scotty, now re-titled as our Minister for Empathy. Marise Payne, Amanda Stoker, Jane Hume, Anne Ruston and Michaelia Cash, our cabinet taskforce for women. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Finance Minister Simon Birmingham – are part of the group; why? Leaving aside the various sex issues, perhaps a real need to sort out the Liberal preselection intimidation, surely the root cause? Australian of the Year Grace Tame described the changes as “calculated distractions posing as solutions”. Go back the past 5 years and point out to an ageing duffer: name some (any?) of minister Payne's achievements? “Prime Minister for women”? Particularly ignoring Brittany Higgins’ allegation that she was raped in the office of another female minister. Not forgetting darling 'old cow' Linda Reynolds? Basically it's about our Scotty creating the appearance of females as part of the decision making process, no mention of culture changes, policies. EASTER MESSAGE: Prime Minister said ‘‘It’s our capacity to love our neighbour as ourselves that I think has really demonstrated the great Aussie spirit of mateship over this past year.’’ Yeah, the ABC in floods, bushfires, that's mateship, and what does Scotty do? Starves them. At the last election the Building Better Regions Fund; millions to coalition seats, not forgetting Sports Rorts and Dutton's Community Safety Grants, all heavily spitting in our faces; mateship via your voting intentions. Again, add in the banking royal commission, many of its recommendations not implemented; numerous inquiries into aged care, no action; indigenous justice, what wage growth? [Almost laughable? PM 'appalled' with the Christine Holgate watches episode]. Talking of bullshit, a funny thing, watching a movie The Bourne Legacy, CIA agents or the like, trialling a new empathy drug, as in the good guy, a killer without empathy. Why create a drug? We have non empathy on tap? 


Jon Faine “The City of Yarra, with a Greens majority, tried to impose a massive fee hike on grassroots sport clubs – triggering howls of outrage – and also rejected a state government proposal for a social housing development in the precinct around the Collingwood Town Hall. Years of work on a plan to provide 200 units – 100 of them for social housing – has been abandoned as the council refused to endorse the state government plan. The Greens majority on the council is uncomfortable about the involvement of any commercial property developer. The state government wants to draw on the successful Carlton template of mixed-use medium-rise apartments, a model that avoids public housing ghettos and relies on commercial sales for a cross-subsidy. Planning Minister Richard Wynne, who has been pushing this concept since he was a ministerial adviser in the Cain government, is furious. His exasperation is shared across the housing sector. Yet again, the Greens fail to understand compromise. It can be so hard to achieve any results at all in politics. It is well understood that 75 per cent of something is better than 100 per cent of nothing. [Parnell Palme McGuinness. “Zealots, ideologues and activists are exciting to have on side because they fizz with energy. They’re great to make a noise and get things started. But if you’re in the business of shifting community attitudes, beware entanglement. Their absolutism will inevitably become a liability and their agendas will override the project. The women’s movement inspired by the stories of Brittany Higgins and Grace Tame is at risk of succumbing to the control of such an agenda.” The entitled at play, North Fitzroy and Collingwood but a memory. St Kilda? Foreshore areas at Rye, Safety Beach and Mount Eliza will be subject to smoking bans from this month. Where to next? Me? To the RSL, a quiet beer, alone, smoking area.]


Is it me? AFL football. David King, Matthew Lloyd, Kane Cornes, pointing out a certain play on screen, where they went wrong etc. Why? I can never follow it?...As a boy, recalling dodging the odd chap talking to himself, not now. Over Easter commonplace to see someone passing speaking loudly to what I assume was an earpiece?...Never too late? Chap on TV advising his daughter, downhill skiing, always look up, never look down. Hand tremor, countless accidents, not anymore...Should we be a republic; absolutely. Should Morrison have anything to do with it; no way known...Apart from the odd vague references I managed to ignore Donald Trump's shenanigans for the whole of his presidency. I adopt the same attitude with the vaccine rollouts and previously designer Carla Zampati (state funeral, fashion, transcends all generations?) and yes, even Mushroom records. Perhaps the 1970s wore me out?...Where is our biggest danger? The USA's CIA, or China's Guoanbu or Russia's FSB or Nigerian hackers or...Hillsong?...Federal election: Between August 7 this year and May 21 next year, can't wait...Fascinating how people smile/laugh no matter what you say, at 85. Sort of - humour the old bastard?...Negative gearing, the destruction of the belief for thousands, of home ownership?...A pearler from Matthew Richardson as Sydney approached the 100 marks for the game (against Richmond) “I’m guessing when a team gets to 100 marks they wouldn’t get beaten too often.”...Strange how the Western Bulldogs always get more free kicks than the opposition? Add in another team, Sydney?...Steve Smith, a class act as a batsman, ready to take on the Australian cricket captaincy; surely he's dreaming...Thank God for the $44 million given to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation?...Scott Morrison, Greg Hunt, the federal Chief Health Officer, as well as many Premiers, have jumped the queue to get their vaccinations; why not?..."We're all frauds deep down, hopefully. Without it, where's our sense of balance? [Cliff Ellen]...Keep yourselves nice...www.ello8.com





A Grain of Salt.πŸ€”

Friday 2nd April, 2021. Easter. The Good Samaritan in hiding? The critics of contact tracing would do well to see it as the law of averages? Or if you support the Liberal Party, easy peasy, follow your leader Scotty and blame the Premiers; Labor premiers obviously. I’m having a bad trot. Have you ever had a bad trot? Who hasn’t. Mind you with the tumbling of Seeker Keeper the severe trot could well reach plague proportions. Thousands of Keepers will lose their jobs, but not (apparently) Andrew Laming. Some (perish the thought) may have to find a real job. I’m a pensioner so my bad trot equates with the computer paying ducks and drakes; no help whatsoever by Telstra. ‘‘PM has finally taken steps to show that he is listening’’ (The Age, 30/3). That solves that conundrum. Anaesthetist’s overpaid; a given, the Ned Kelly’s of medicine, years of study notwithstanding. Beware: Dr Katie Allen MP and Senator Sarah Henderson, raising the possibility of alcohol being restricted or banned at/in Parliament House; a nonsense. No problem for the next 5 weeks, no parliament until the May budget. I had most of this column completed this morning, the downfall of the day of Jesus. Alas, my computer took a dive and I cannot locate it, short term memory almost abandoned, all now emanating from the top of my bald skull. Short and sweet until a visit from Telstra for a piddling $240. Balance my books by a cut on my smokes - 5 a day for 30 days?


Good Friday brings back the memories. Queuing up at the fish and chip shop 6 deep. In fact no queue just a packed shop all yelling. Our one day without meat. Of course we cheated when no-one was looking; unlike the honest catholic family next door, strange, tomato sauce with fish and chips? Another as the RAAF reaches its century. As an auditor looking at the stores accounting system at Laverton and Point Cook; a 3 week job twice yearly. A stores accounting system full of holes but featured by daily lunches in the officers mess Point Cook attended by ‘other ranks’ stewards, 3 course meals, to coffee and cigarettes in the officers lounge. Importance feelings? A nominal fee of 2/6 pence, 1960’s. Six weeks a year, no F-35A fleet (now 33 strong and ready to deploy on operations), heaven on a stick. I recall the Point Cook beach, Port Phillip Bay, a sorry sight, one day in the future as a good investment? Sadly, did nothing, opportunity flyaway? Marlon Brando “I coulda been a champion.”  


Inspiration in hiding? We need a leader, in fact likely three or four, but sadly now as we stand, none, male or female. The fabulous three - crooks, dickheads and romantics, anytime, any country. Obviously the crooks are presently firmly in control (the males of course, albeit temporarily challenged) and equally the vast majority of dickheads follow, with a side audience of romantics. Socialist principles are scattered in there somewhere but again, perhaps thankfully, no leader, remember Bill Hartley? Thus, we continue on in our chosen path, exploited by the capitalists, male and female. [The romantics are scattered within, The Greens overrun. A new minister for Home Affairs, female. Still little hope for the Biloela family? And the band played on...] 


Like HIV and pandemic influenza we will never really know the root cause of COVID according to the experts, probably bats or the like, animals not humans. So much for Morrison’s grandstanding (and the cost to Australian businesses) in calling for an investigation far too early as a China blame game.


Our Michaelia and her threat/promise to ‘‘name every young woman in Mr Shorten’s office over which rumours in this place abound.’’ Did this include aboriginal women? I'm told Morrison knows about the misuse of social media but is he aware of his very own misuse by having a direct line to his News Limited mates when cornered? Perhaps another enquiry to be reported on (and rarely acted upon) in 6 months time, like the tragic aged care recommendations?  


BITS, PIECES: Record housing prices and record low wages. Nice for some, sad for the renters, extending the rich/poor differential, the possibility of the new rich joining the latter if (or when?) interest rates rise. Maybe list all politicians who negatively gear and hold shares in Real Estate.com?…Age editorial ‘Stop the vaccine rollout squabbling’. Hear here, all about supply dickeads, patience?…Sadly the ABC Melbourne 7pm news service is but a memory…The Park hotel Carlton and the detention of these refugees and asylum seekers…Scotty’s popularity with male Liberal voters is unchanged. Is the Pope a catholic?…Tim Tszyu won; zzzz…Collingwood, the pain of being in front for 117 minutes, and losing…Michael O’Brien, a bigger pain, featured nightly, the Nine News?…The home phones are running hot of late. Offers (free) of new lighting, solar panels deals, best to let it ring?…Canberra? “Wherever there is love and loyalty, great purposes and lofty souls, even though in a hovel or a mine, there is Fairy-land.” [Kingsley]…Happy Easter Telstra...Back Sunday 11/4, and a working computer...www.ello8.com


As a space filler, continuing on (whether you like it or not) “Over There.”…


MOLLY. (A FLIRTATIOUS MOLLY. PIERRE HANDS HER THE CAMERA. WHISPERS TO HER, “Si pourquoi est-ce que nous parlons l’espagnol?” THEY LAUGH. PUNCH LINE/JOKE-”Then why are we talking Spanish?”) Thank you Pierre. That was delightful. 

PIERRE. My pleasure Mollee. Always a joy to have conversation with a beautiful, intelligent, Mademoiselle. 

MOLLY. Not a Madam? 

PIERRE. Ne-ver a Madam, Mademoiselle Mollee. 

MOLLY. You’re a charmer Pierre. 

PIERRE. Paris is the city of Amour Mollee . What good fortune for me, your husband is, how you say, crook? 

MOLLY. There’s a tiger snake in his pocket. 

PIERRE. Lucky man. Oui?

MOLLY. (LAUGHS) He doesn’t like spending. 

PIERRE. (KISSES MOLLY ON THE HAND) Aha. Money is for spending Mademoiselle Mollee. Enjoy. Perhaps we can meet again. 

MOLLY. Sounds good.

PIERRE. Tomorrow. Le Louvre. Oui?

MOLLY. (LAUGHS) Oui. Merci...perhaps.

PIERRE. Oui. Oui. Adieu. 


FRANK. Who was that?

MOLLY. A Parisian fellow traveller. Pierre. He took some photos of me up the top.

FRANK. Kissing your hand?

MOLLY. A woman likes to be appreciated.

FRANK. I appreciate you dear.

MOLLY. Yes darling.

FRANK. Did you tell him you’re a grandmother?

MOLLY. He would never have believed it. (LAUGHS) Mademoiselle.

FRANK. Was he flirting?

MOLLY. The Eiffel Tower. Pronounced Effelle. We’ll be needing a new roll of film shortly.

FRANK. I bought three rolls duty free.

MOLLY. Three is not enough Frank.

FRANK. Bloody Notre Dame followed by 1792 steps.

MOLLY. You wouldn’t pay.

FRANK. I walked half way. Better view in the Dandenongs. 

MOLLY. (READING) It was completed in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel, originally a 300 metre design by Maurice Koechlin & Emile Nouguier, Eiffel’s engineers, then redesigned to 312 metres by architect Stephen Sauvestre, by adding an arch at the bottom. Made an historic monument in 1964. 

FRANK. Will Crown Casino ever be an historic monument? 

MOLLY. Are you listening? 

FRANK. Yes darling. Gustave. My feet are falling off.

MOLLY. We’ll find the Louvre first, then we’ll sit down and have a nice cup of cafe oh latte. Isn’t Paris magical? 

FRANK. City of illusions. Our money. Now you see it, now you don’t. 

MOLLY. Made me feel 10 years younger. 

FRANK. Should have brought the thermos. Have they got any poker machines here? 

MOLLY. We’ll look at the Louvre first. We must see the Louvre. The Mona Lisa, the Cone, then Pere Lachaise cemetery. 

FRANK. Why a cemetery?

MOLLY. I have to see Oscar Wilde’s grave. Maria Callas. Collette. 

FRANK. We’ll finish up joining Oscar.

MOLLY. You can’t visit Paris without seeing them.

FRANK. I haven’t seen the Melbourne cemetery.

MOLLY. For godsake Frank. Keep yourself nice.

FRANK. I could have stayed back at the hotel watching CNN. 

MOLLY. (ANNOYED) Don’t be so bloody ignorant.

FRANK. I always thought Notre Dame was an American football team. 

MOLLY. I mean it Frank. You’re a Philistine.

FRANK. So you said.

MOLLY. (MOVING OFF) I think it’s this way.

FRANK. (CALLS) It’s that way.

MOLLY. How would you know? 

FRANK. I checked the map this morning. It’s a circle, see? (POINTS) River Seine, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Louvre. Save standing here like a gork staring at a map. (FRANK INQUIRES OF AN OFFSTAGE PASSER-BY) Excuse me mate. (NO RESPONSE-THEN ANOTHER) Excuse me mate-Parlez Vous Louvre? Louve-rey? Bloody useless. The men ignore you and the women all have dogs pissing on the footpaths. Bloody little ankle biters. 

MOLLY. (STOPS) You’re a pain in the arse Frank. You can’t expect them to understand you when you insist on calling everyone mate. Learn the language. Bonjour. Merci. Parley vous Englais? Voulez-vous couchez avec moi? It’s simple enough. (WALKS ON) 

FRANK. That is the wrong way. Now who never listens.

MOLLY. Will you stop it. We’re on holidays for chrissake.

FRANK. All I’m saying is it’s over that way. The North Bank. See that building? 

MOLLY. Rubbish Frank. (ENGROSSED IN MAP) You got lost in Diamaru.

FRANK. So did everybody else! They found dead bodies in there when they closed. 

MOLLY. Are you coming or just being stupid. 

FRANK. It’s over that way. By that toilet. (MOLLY LOST IN THOUGHT BY WAY OF HER MAP & CITY LANDMARKS) We got off the train, walked up the stairs, came out at the top of the steps near that toilet. (INDICATES) 

MOLLY.I’m not listening.

FRANK. We came out near that pissoire. 

MOLLY. Those “pissoires” are all over the city you fool.

FRANK. Stay calm love. Don’t say I didn’t tell you. Bloody common sense. You never listen. God it’s hot. How do they stand it? 

MOLLY. They become acclimatised obviously. 

FRANK. You mean they sit here. The whole of Paris sits on the footpaths drinking very expensive ordinary coffee served by reactionary shopkeepers. Must all be rich. Bloody snobs. What’s wrong with “mate”? 

MOLLY. If you don’t want to come, go back to the hotel. Go on. 

FRANK. I didn’t say that. 

MOLLY. Don’t spoil my day. I can find my way around without you. I can find my way around in spite of you. Pierre offered to show me. 

FRANK. Yes. And we both know why. 

MOLLY. Because he’s a gentleman. 

FRANK. Bullshit.

MOLLY. Are you coming? 

FRANK. We’re going around in circles, that’s all I’m saying darling. 

MOLLY. Don’t “darling” me.

FRANK. Why wont you be reasonable? We need to find a 7-eleven. 

MOLLY. Will you stop acting your age for one minute. 

FRANK. We’re going in circles.

MOLLY. Enough! I’ve had enough. I can’t take it anymore. 

FRANK. Take what? 

MOLLY. I’m going on my own. I don’t know why I wanted you to come in the first place. I should have gone with Pierre. You go back to the hotel. If you can find it. Give me some money. Arsehole! 

FRANK. Arsehole? I’ll come. 

MOLLY. Money! You will not come. I want to go alone. I’d rather go alone. Money! (FRANK GIVES MOLLY MONEY) Now piss off. (MOLLY STORMS OFF.) 

FRANK. Shit. She’s going round the block. I’ll just wait here. Bloody holidays. Bloody frogs. Why can’t they speak English? Why should you have to pay for a piss? Why do they want the exact money? And the Attendant’s are all females. Madam bloody pee pee’s. Peeing is an event. You have to be psychologically attuned. (LOOKS) God, I’ve lost her. She’s got the map. Shit. Over five weeks to go. Bring on Tullamarine. Self pity and sorrow - the Gods of misfortune. Flowers! She loves flowers. Parley vous flo-werz? And chocolates! Catch a taxi back to that crummy hotel. (CALLS) Taxi! Shiiit! What was the name of that bloody hotel????



A Grain of Salt. πŸ˜Ž

Sunday 28th March, 2021: A week in politics, reminding me (for no specific reason) of Not the Nine O'Clock News way back when, as in comedy. COVID free, but not sex free in Canberra? What culture? A plethora, a banquet of misguided conduct. A PM displaying his weaknesses, fine words "a zero tolerance of abusive behaviour" believed by at best the ultra believers. The difference between control and no control; groping unlimited? Takes me back to the late 1950's, my months in Canberra as a public servant. Unacceptable behaviour by today's standards, then a day to day basis. Havelock House mixed accommodation for we public servants assisting in the changeover, Navy Department to Lah Lah Land, government housing (now worth a fortune) at cheap rates, some of my co-workers elevated to big time jobs despite average intelligence, Canberra's way of building castles. Scotty relying on other people for the facts, but only if he wants good news, the latter a tin ear. I'm recalling the movie "Running Scared" aligned with our Scotty ordering parliament to get this house in order? We're no longer in ancient Greece and females in the naked form. There's always been an underbelly of middle class prudes, the ever present threat of an angelical revival, a new age of prohibition zooming in? Like the bushfires and Hawaii, you need to hold the hose Scotty, but can you locate it? And behold, better late than never our Scotty takes a firm hold on the mythical hose, not unlike the staffer who filmed himself and his peeing machine. Scott and Nathan Buckley, playing out their final seasons? Who replaces Scott in a leadership spill? Greg Hunt, staying sweet, eyes on the main prize; recalling Scotty's words to a now slightly resentful Malcolm Turnbull - ‘‘This is my leader and I’m ambitious for him’’? Josh Frydenburg, who ratted on his own Victorians during Daniel Andrews COVID Premiership? Peter Dutton? Worse than Donald Trump and more crosses against his name than "Chopper" Read. Ever the fascination. The ABC's 7.30 Wednesday with Laura Tingle in the chair was a classic. Great to see our ABC fighting back with the bottom line; truth. Even The Age pain in the neck political editor Peter Hartcher gives our Scotty a serve in yesterday's newspaper. Balanced out as always by the editorial "It is not too late, Mr Morrison. Choose your words carefully, lead the debate, offer your voice and power of office as a force for change. Seize the moment. It would be a legacy worth the effort." John Howard's bullet proof vest facing an angry mob of gun owners pales into insignificance. Even so...


Snookered? The alleged rape of Brittany Higgins. Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to answer questions about the Gaetjens inquiry, saying the Secretary would answer in Senate estimates on Monday. However, Morrison was already fully aware that the inquiry had been halted on March 9, and that Gaetjens would refuse to answer in estimates. Morrison did not inform Parliament of the inquiry’s suspension. The Prime Minister conducted his business in the House as if the inquiry was proceeding. This led opposition leader Anthony Albanese to accuse Morrison of misleading Parliament — an accusation Morrison vigorously denied. [Filed for reference?] 


Catharine Murphy: "Tuesday’s effort was a Howard-era pivot, all the bells and whistles, which is notable as a piece of political craft, because that is not normally Morrison’s style. John Howard made an art of noisy repositioning when he’d messed things up just to make sure the recalibration hadn’t been missed in the nosebleed seats." [Scotty's realisation of the mess, (‘‘I believe in all the women of Australia.’’) also of his currently in question 'good bloke' image, a failure in these sex/woman matters, particularly his pathetic attempts at spreading the blame to Labor and the press. Result? His best effort at saying sorry? Morrison sees himself as this fictitious good bloke, with tears? I see enough of these types at my local RSL. Living in the past. It's hotting up in the kitchen, the ice is cracking?]  


One may well be amused in marrying up Joe Biden’s inauguration speech; what a privilege it was to work for government, including ‘‘people don’t work for us, we work for the people’’ with the reported Morrison government considering radical changes to the $22 billion National Disability Insurance Scheme, including denying funding to Australians with acquired brain injuries and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder as well as reducing the avenue of appeal for participants under secret plans to save costs. Tearing down a Labor initiative. Sad, not unexpected, stuff.


Kids, adults? As a middle teenager a couple of ratbags on the outskirts of our friends general group, took it upon themselves to rob a local jewellers shop. Watches for sale at 10% of selling price all round. I passed, more likely the prospect of being caught. One to two friendly (?) conversations in the backroom of the Northcote police station solved the mystery resulting in charges and the return of the contraband. In reading the story of a Liberal adviser filming himself masturbating on the desk of a female MP (egotistical weirdo maybe, but what an imagination?) and passing the film around to unknown friends, perhaps a similar result in naming the camera operator and naming the receivers of copies? A cat amongst the pigeons? Stupidity comes in all areas of humanity.   


Breaking news on Nine - Shooting at Virginia Beach, USA?... I'd be ropable if I barracked for Brisbane. Talk of one vital free kick missed, resulting in a Geelong goal and a 1 point victory. I saw three, glaring, all Geelong goals?...Tasmanian premier has announced the state election will be held a year early on 1 May – a month before the opposition leader is due to give birth. Van Diemen's Land hasn't changed since the 1850's?...Quotas needed across the board. Democracy? Not in my lifetime....Famous last words, ex PM John Gorton ‘‘Meanness and poverty, tyranny and hate, have no place.’’...After the floods. What of climate change now?....The NSW and beyond disastrous floods yet again an example of the value of our ABC, ditto the Bureau of Meteorology. 


Not a lot to write about this week, politics in a state of waiting; on our PM'S response? A change of pace: My wife Mary and I journeyed overseas 1996, Mary into history, architecture, paintings, ruins and theatre. I preferred the footpaths, coffee, passers-by, sometimes theatre. We compromised. It occurred to me after the overuse of contemplation I should make notes, a story of our trip and an original title - “Our Trip”. So I wrote while Mary beheld, and introduced fiction which many would almost certainly disregard and replace with fact. Returning home I put the notes (now called the dramatisation of reality, or a play) through three drafts, helped by Malcolm Robertson, Anne Phelan, Mark Cutler, Nicholas Bufalo and Jennifer Ellen. In all, 14 scenes, Melbourne, London, Paris, Athens etc. The (almost) finished product stayed in the drawer, as they do, as it shall remain. Here is the Athens scene, posterity, a favourite of mine. 


SHOPK. Kalimera.

FRANK. Kalimera. 

SHOPK.You come inside sir. I have just the shirt for you. Beautiful silk. I sell for a very special price.

FRANK. Is that right? Silk, eh?

SHOPK. Is right. Come, come. You come too lovely lady. Lovely silk. Extra special price for lovely lady. (THEY GO IN.)

MOLLY. It’s all mens gear, isn’t it?

SHOPK. No, no. Mens. Womens. Unisex. No problem. You from England, yes.

FRANK Australia mate. Fair go. Frank’s the name.

SHOPK. Ahh. Australia. Beautiful. I am Dhanos.

FRANK Nearly lost us there.

SHOPK. Many Greeks live in Australia, yes?

FRANK That’s right mate. Great country. We love the Greek people. Greek food too, don’t we love? Greek salads, Greek coffee, Greek hats, Greek ash trays.

SHOPK. I have little cousin who lives in Australia. Yhanos. You know Yhanos? (THE SHOPKEEPER MEASURES FRANK’S HEIGHT.)

FRANK He lives next door to me.

SHOPK. Ha ha. You make the joke, no? You like Athens?

MOLLY We love Athens.

SHOPK. World’s most liveable city. I give you extra special price. See madam this shirt? Beautiful texture. Feel this. Is good yes? You try on. Here sir, Mr Australian mate. This is beautiful. I do special deal on this one. Which part of Australia you from? Sydney, Melvourne? (PRONOUNCED MEL-VOURNE-EH)

FRANK Melbourne mate. Worlds most liv-

MOLLY Frank!

SHOPK. I hear good things about Melvourne. I have second cousin went to Melvourne, 10, 15 years ago. Thanos. He still there. Must be good eh? Very good shirt madam. Definitely for you.

MOLLY It’s not really me.

SHOPK. You try this one. This one is for you.

MOLLY No, I don’t think so. Thanks anyway.

FRANK (EXAMINING THE SHIRT) What do you think Moll?

MOLLY Yes. Looks nice if you like it. It’s silk Frank.

FRANK Feels good love.  

MOLLY Where would you wear it?

FRANK Dinner, the footy, anywhere. How much?

SHOPK. Normal price 80 Euros. For Australian mate, just 40. 

FRANK $70 bucks! Not that cheap is it?

SHOPK. Cheap? What is cheap? You want cheap? It falls to pieces in no time. A man like you deserves the best. Not Asian silk, they no feed the silkworms, they generic engineer! This good silk. We feed souvlaki. Last forever. You twist my arm. 35 Euros for my Australian mate. Very best  low price.

FRANK I’ll pay 30. That’s my bottom line.

SHOPK. Ha, ha. You drive the hard bargain. I tell you. You buy two, I sell for 55 Euros. I can’t do any better than that.

FRANK Yeah? 45 bucks each. What do you think darling?

MOLLY Do you like them?

FRANK Yeah, I do. Feel the silk. 

MOLLY I already have.

FRANK Never worn silk. Too pricey. You think I need them?

MOLLY If you like them love. Shirts don’t go to waste.

FRANK That’s right. Can’t waste good silk. This silk lasts forever.

MOLLY Depends.

FRANK Bugger it. Live it up. We’re on holiday. Look good in Bangkok. Hang the bloody expense eh? What do you think?

MOLLY Why not!

SHOPK. 50. Final offer. I sell at a loss.

FRANK Now that is good. $85 bucks for two. You’ve got me mate. 50. Too good to refuse. I’ll take two. You take Visa?

SHOPK. Visa is good. How long you stay here?

FRANK Tomorrow we go to Mike-onos- 


FRANK 12 days. Catch the big ferry. Back here overnight, then off home via stopover Bangkok.

SHOPK. You will love Mykonos. Lovely scarf for lovely madam. 10 Euros. Very cheap.

MOLLY No thank you. It is lovely though.

SHOPK. No problem. Have lovely holiday. You come back I have many more beautiful clothes. Very special Australian price.

FRANK(OUTSIDE THE SHOP) What do you think?

MOLLY They’re nice.

FRANK You sure?

MOLLY I don’t know that you need two shirts love. You’re not exactly a social butterfly. Especially silk.

FRANK You’re taking the piss!

MOLLY They’re gorgeous.

FRANK I got them both for nearly the same price he offered for one. Until I beat him down. What’s wrong with silk?

MOLLY Just doesn’t seem you, that’s all.

FRANK Why didn’t you say something?

MOLLY They’re fine darling. I like them.


MOLLY Love. I adore them.

FRANK What’s me anyway? I’m a Philistine according to you.

MOLLY Where’s your sense of humour?

FRANK Just never worn silk. Bloody cheap for silk.

MOLLY Probably.

FRANK You’re doing it again. They’re bloody silk love.

MOLLY I know they’re bloody silk darling. There’s all kinds of silk. All at different prices. I bought a dress years ago. Had ART silk on the label. I thought it was very posh until someone pointed out art stood for artificial.

FRANK These haven’t got a label.

MOLLY Exactly.

FRANK I thought I got a bargain?

MOLLY I’m sure you did. It’s just that you always say a bargain’s not a bargain unless you need it. 

FRANK I’ll take them back.

MOLLY They’re fine. Very sexy. The blue will look great. I don’t know where you expect to wear the pink though.

FRANK It’s red...isn’t it?

MOLLY Well, Rose’.

FRANK Shit. Let’s try one of those souvlaki things, I’m starving.

MOLLY Let’s go back to that shoe shop first darling. I need new shoes-the red ones.

FRANK They were 75 Euros love.

MOLLY They’re double that back home darling.

FRANK You’ve got a dozen pairs already. You may well desire new shoes but you definitely don’t need them.

MOLLY If it’s allright for you to buy two puncy looking silk shirts-

FRANK Puncy?

MOLLY Wear one when we get back to our hotel. Sexy Rose’.

FRANK 75 Euros. That’s over $130.  Maybe more the way the dollar’s falling. Bloody crooks.  I’ll take them back.

MOLLY You will do nothing of the sort. He wouldn’t take them anyway. He saw you coming,  the old fox.

FRANK I thought I was the old fox?

MOLLY Forget it. We’re on holiday. 

FRANK Let’s go get a souvlaki and a beer. 

MOLLY Then to the shoe shop, and back to our 3 star for a matinee.

FRANK How much would these shirts cost back home?

MOLLY At South Melbourne market, about $20.

FRANK Tell me you jest?

MOLLY Wear the pink shirt.

FRANK Rose’.

MOLLY I’ll wear my sexy red high heels?


MOLLY You heard.

FRANK I might have a headache.

MOLLY Come on, you old fox. 

FRANK No wonder husbands die before their wives. Have you noticed how everyone smokes here?


FRANK One cigarette?

MOLLY Maybe after. 

FRANK Bob might like a silk shirt as his present, do you think?

MOLLY Bob’s a motor mechanic love.

FRANK It’s the thought that counts?


Nothing in life is finally tragic. Well, almost nothing..."When men take sinful means to avoid a calamity, that way very often brings it." [Wall]. www.ello8.com.





A Grain of Salt.😎

Sunday 21st March, 2021: POLITICS: Oh what a week. Bloody women. On the warpath. Lock away your credit cards men. OK, I feel for them. Sexual harassment and worse without justice, is a dreadful state of affairs and in desperate need of attention/action. I'm carefully sifting through past memories to ensure I'm not personally affected. Pretty sure I'm safe but not definitely, the sixties, seventies? "Own your own guilt" and "Enough is enough" say our Australian women, or seemingly a fair  proportion of them, hard to tell. Fair enough, assuming the same applies to our indigenous Australians. On the matter of our PM offering them a private meeting he had little choice. Highly emotional crowd and the customary blame game would have produced too strong a reaction for no good reason. The comparison of Tony Abbott as Opposition leader joining the anti Julia Gillard protesters; ditch the bitch? John Howard’s refusal to apologise to the tens of thousands of Indigenous children forcibly removed from their parents over several generations. John Howard again, bullet proof vest, facing an angry mob of gun owners. At the very least a sticky tricky situation for Scott Morrison. We can forget about a federal election for many many months. The question of carrying Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Attorney-General Christian Porter to the next election, and dumping them? No argument on the 50/50 male female concept but a slightly disturbing trend along the lines of encouraging any female with a chip on her shoulder a justification to speak out and be believed under the guise of men being (generally) bastards; what 50/50 concept? If a woman touches (physically or verbally) no problem but danger the other way round, etc. It sort of takes all the fun out of the equation, but hey, that's only me, and my flirting days are close to forgotten. Add in our charmer, law of the land Attorney-General Christian Porter, his only course of action (surely a smokescreen?) to offset the call for an enquiry, not to mention a defamation battle against the ABC, at taxpayer expense via the ABC's defence of this bullshit, not forgetting Porter's prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery intended to publicly punish the two 'veteran patriots' who revealed the Howard government’s criminal conduct against Timor-Leste. Let us hope nothing important in the law area arises with Michaelia Cash in his chair? Scotty may well think Labor's massive victory in WA was essentially a result of it's COVID closed borders policy, but can he be sure? Then the Dynamic Duo? Marise Payne Minister for Women and Paul Fletcher, Minister for Arts. If you prefer a Tri-namic Trio we should perhaps include Michael McCormack? Sports rorts. Refugees. Industrial relations. Julian Assange. A long list. And there was Scotty,  Round 1 of the AFL season, and Josh, MCG Upper Crust.  Me, Me, Me ad infinitum. Even so... 


From Leigh Sales, Sydney Media Lunch, Edited, captive audience? “I feel like I’m constantly asking myself this question ‘did something change in this country that the standard for behaviour now is not ‘I have to do the right thing’ or ‘I have to do what I promised I said I would do’, but instead ‘how much can I get away with?’ “I think that, from what I hear people say on 7.30 Australians are sick of this kind of situation. They’re sick of banks gouging their accounts with fees and charges while somehow missing large scale money laundering, that’s funnelling millions of dollars overseas to terrorism or child exploitation. They’re sick of highly profitable nursing homes taking money from families, and then neglecting or abusing mum or dad. They’re sick of financial advisors who promise to take people’s life savings and help them pay for their retirement, knowing the entire time that they’re fleecing them. I think the unemployed, students, pensioners were pretty sick of being harassed by a powerful government department to repay debt that they never actually even owed in the first place. People are tired of private health insurance constantly upping fees, then you go to a specialist and they go ‘oh sorry it’s not covered by private health’. They’re sick of politicians acting like public money is their own private fund and giving development deals to their mates or grants to their political allies and in the worst cases are taking kickbacks to line their own pockets. And I think from what the public says to me on the street, that they are sick of people coming on my show, when they get found out and saying, ‘oh, I’m so sorry, I had no idea this was happening – can’t take any more questions about it, because we’ve commissioned a report into it’. And then that report, when it comes through, sits in a bottom drawer, gathering dust and the same thing happens again and then they commission another report. Who holds the levers of power, mostly, in this country? In boardrooms? In CEO suites? In the media? In governments? In cabinet? It’s men. [Not quite Kerry O'Brien, but good stuff, though unsure of Leigh's level of frustration, solutions? We need strong women like Leigh at our ABC (Laura Tingle, Trioli, Ferguson, Alberici, Karvelas) at the very least to measure the hidden resentment of our entitled males pretending they believe in equality. Our Prime Minister ("Our genuine and real frustrations"?) shows his contempt for a question not to his liking from a male, but up a triple notch if from a woman? Albanese: "A wall of concrete"? And so on...]


Shades of our Prime Minister Scott and wife Jen conferences, but with a different outcome? Richmond's AFL success allowing for variations. Coach Damien Hardwick referred lovingly to his wife Danielle in many a press interview, now seemingly playing up with a younger female member of Richmond's staff, blossoming into an open relationship. One wonders why our self-righteous press (aside from Fox Sport pretenders) was so soft on Damien? 


The guest speaker at the national Press Club usually begins with acknowledging the original owners of our land. Fair enough, not sure it's a proven fact but if it pleases everybody it pleases me. I can't help wondering however, if this type of program is on in England, who do they acknowledge?  


Sour grapes? Western Bulldogs defeated Collingwood by 16 points, Adam Treloer playing out of position and under considerable performance strain got 18 touches, double the combined touches of Collingwood's Ruscoe and Henry. Had Treleor been in the magpies team allowing De Goey to roam, suggest a Collingwood victory, despite Grundy, and idiots like the three Fox stooges (Lyons, Brown and Riewoldt) being unaware of Collingwood's ability, or is it my one eye? Collingwood players embracing Treloer after the siren; good sports? Forgiven, if they beat Carlton?   


A form of half truths, indoctrinations. A health expert on the radio, doctor or professor, whatever. Good news in the drop in cigarette smokers among the young, due to packaging and getting the message through? No mention of the exorbitant cost, currently close to $1.50 per one cigarette. Hundreds buying the black market uglies (chop chop) at $36 for 100 cigarettes. Oh for the days when a packet of 10 State Express 3 3's cost a shilling and would be a week's smokes, behind the shelter shed at school, or under the peppercorn trees above the Merri Creek just past Rushall train station.      


Anti vaccine protesters; who can fathom?... Malcolm Turnbull described Mathias Cormann as “weak and treacherous”. Spot on. My thanks to the Morrison government in spending $1 million of our money for his air fares...We Victorian fans, and in particular Dan Andrews, can be thankful the confusion over the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is a federal responsibility...The question of Eddie McGuire bowing out, is back. Who knew he had gone?...I received my water bill, along with "shave a minute off your shower - this can save up to 7 buckets of water a week!" Easy. Showers every 2nd day, save 40 buckets, but will it shave the administration costs?...The light at the end of Josh's tunnel is a mirage....A leadership spill against Michael O'Brien was a nonsense, remembered for leaving Victorians with a $1 billion debt after he did a watertight deal with the east/west tunnel developers. Deliberate for mine, or as Jeff Kennett said - foreplay...Defence Minister Linda Reynolds, in regard to her ‘‘lying cow’’ comment. Who isn't?... Scott Morrison is guilty of over-promising and under-delivering, vaccinations. Petty nonsense. Why have an opinion either way?...A rise in children attacking parents during lockdown. Recommend; parent's strike first?......"The general population doesn't know what's happening, and it doesn't even know that it doesn't know" [Chomsky]...."Unforgotten" series 4 is back on the box, classy, starring Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar...85 tomorrow, that was quick? Look after yourselves, more importantly, create your own happiness?...All things are queer and opposite...www.ello8.com





A Grain of Salt.πŸ€”

Sunday 14th March, 2021: The cut off point zooms large. Eighty five years since birth, eight more days. Catchphrase "a good innings?" Who cares, at this age of little consequence. This time last year a doubt of reaching this time this year but a promise to myself if still breathing a change (after 13 years) retire the many Grains of Salt, submit to psychosomatic (energy levels?) comings and goings, ever hopeful of a Collingwood victory and more pointedly seeing the backside of our current dreadful Australian Prime Minister, any choice an improvement aside from Peter Dutton and Josh Frydenburg. On the plus side reaching 85 as a jehovah's witness would be tantamount to seeing the golden winning post; sadly not my scene, a red rose bush above the ashes? A long hard look at my innings, conveniently omitting the "I can't remembers" enshrining non racist thoughts and respect for all females? Placing the clever cocks and intellectuals at the top, dickheads at the bottom, I assess as sitting comfortably within the middle group (on a Navy scale) at either a sergeant or on a rare good year a sub lieutenant. A self ranking, why not at 85? [Note: No disrespect to dickheads, some of whom remain good friends. Shades of all types so to speak.] My life moves in a form of slow motion, a visit to Woolworths, even a shower and shave, become significant events, the shower often considered most of the particular second day but not actioned until around 9pm? Two pots at the local RSL takes care of another hour plus the walk (to and from) across the road, a stretch. Driving the car is easy, getting out being the bother. Complaints, no. Regrets likewise, the idea of a trip to a Greek Island 2022 still there, albeit highly unlikely. Women no, sadly up to a point, though being one who believed (practised?) a form of 'love at first sight' in a myriad of happenings, mostly remembered; love that is, not "In Love". Why all this 'hot cock'? It's my form of medication, contemplation, meditation. Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse (John Thaw) said "When I drink I think." Same here, including cigarettes when I (try to?) write. After all, this is my penultimate. [In my search for a replacement activity I'm developing a taste for westerns. Rio Bravo was reasonable despite John Wayne. A few days later El Dorado, same story different actors, apart from John Bloody Wayne. Saw the movie "Who You Think I Am" (Beware of how you handle Facebook?) with the wonderful, outstanding, beautiful, talented Juliette Binoche, ("If a star is someone who gives light, then I can be a star. But if a star is someone who goes after money and magazine covers then it's sick and I don't want it!") SBS world movies. Catch it if you can. SO, after a lifetime of following politics I'm retiring to the couch. I never got around to watching Bonanza, enough episodes there to see me out?] Even so...  


From The  Chaser, edited: Under Morrison, we’ve never had it better. Last year alone, the Prime Minister launched over 1.3 trillion Federal Government Inquiries: from Australia Post bonuses to Robodebt to wage theft to aged care to sport grants to whether Peter Dutton is actually a potato or not. It’s an easy process: you stuff up something, the media goes crazy, you launch an inquiry and then spend the next few months saying you can’t comment because you’re waiting for the inquiry. By the time the inquiry reports, everyone’s forgotten about and it feels like old news anyway. And the great thing for us is that every inquiry launched requires its own staff, its own office space, its own pompous over-paid white male barristers. Chaser Inquiries Corporation has made hay providing those services in this boom period. That is, until two weeks ago, when all of sudden, without any warning, for some reason that we can’t work out, Mr Morrison decided he didn’t like inquiries anymore. The weird thing is, the allegations against Christian Porter pose the biggest crisis of his entire time in office, and yet he steadfastly refuses to hold any sort of inquiry into them? [Social media is full of opinions. Hotel quarantine and now the vaccine rollout; Why the fuss? True, we've always had them but never so front and centre exhibiting the various shades of grey. Take the printed details of the alleged rape, the bipolar mention and eventual suicide; the Christian Porter question. It doesn't grab me. Yes, it's a long way from over so until Scotty relents, if at all, we painfully look to another War and Peace. I think of the Barnaby Joyce story, left his wife and family for his love of a younger woman and (as a result) a new family, as more serious, selfish, alongside his reasoning, realistically crappy justification? They're both entitled, but in a roundabout sort of way I'd place Barnaby ahead of Christian in the blame game. The 75% who maintain "They're all crooks" have a point.]     


Ever thus. From The Age "The duke reserved some of his toughest criticism for Prince Charles, revealing the heir to the throne stopped taking his son’s calls before the public announcement of Harry and Meghan’s resignation as working members of the royal family. ‘‘There’s a lot to work through there,’’ Harry said of the relationship with his father. ‘‘I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson. I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.’’ [Prince Charles was Sir John Kerr's man wasn't he? The firm. True to form. Hard going against the massive bias factor in England and many thousands here in Australia, including my late wife and Murdoch's News Limited television and radio outlets. Rather stupid to take the Oprah option, but then royalty doesn't necessarily carry brains. Meghan in for a lifetime of rubbishing by the Royal lovers, even Harry to some extent. After all, Meghan is an actress, or was, and has slightly darker skin, enough whatever the logic, for the white racist multitudes. And let us not forget their attack on Princess Diana? Alternatively, darling Meghan could be a nutter. Who's to know? Good luck kids.]


POLITICS: The National Audit Office is 'considering' looking into Peter Dutton's Community Funding grants? We admire their concern and expect nothing..."Relocate to regional areas" says our quick grabs PM. Which particular areas Scotty, and what jobs are available, not to mention accommodation rental increases?...LGBTIQ+ rights activist Rodney Croome on Labor slimming down its national platform ‘‘disproportionately on the LGBTIQ". Albanese referring to the need to end discrimination on the basis of sexuality or gender. Reasonable?...ABC's 7.30. Pluses for Leigh Sales interview with Julie Bishop, the common sense approach, conveniently forgetting Julie's attacks on Julia Gillard?...Morrison's brain washing exercise, the wage subsidy scheme for apprentices, get them while they're young, a vote catcher for our (mostly) Liberal voting tradies?... 50% off all Coalition and marginal seats for air travel; a Qantas/Virgin heart of gold, or a nonsense. Half price to Broome, sleep on the beach? Penny-anting replacements for Jobkeeper....The Labor Party heavily into raising funds for the next election. A shade early? Like all politicians one assumes Albo wants his place in the sun, and let's be honest he's been stewing (spew-ing?) over Billy Shorten for years, yet a victory means taking a massive debt on board; aged care, health, education, bushfires unpaid victims, a host of others... 'The rule of law' as interpreted by the entitled duo, our Prime Minister on behalf of our Attorney-General, fails to account for the rights of the alleged victim?...Jobkeeper and our Arts industry. Zilch, indeed, who is our bloody Arts Minister? Paul who?...Lastly, Scotty's boys on the job, courtesy of Costello's Nine. "China and the Virus. Under investigation" with Liz Hayes. Give it a miss. Will the massive WA Labor win transfer federally? Hopefully up to a point, but never count chickens?


Collingwood? The dumping of Adam Treloar, Jaidyn Stephenson and Tom Phillips remains a mystery, though dumping is not unusual with Nathan Buckley in the chair, former scalps in Heath Shaw, Alan Didak, Darren Jolly, even Benny Johnson, and Harry O'Brien to some extent. The mighty magpies? Not this year. Can the pies beat the Western Bulldogs in round 1 March 19, even allowing for the transfer of Treloar's 30 touches per game to their opponents? Interesting. Best hope? Our two most overrated players, Brodie Grundy and Darcy Moore step up and contribute. Scott Morrison and Collingwood. Glory be, the pain of it. Masochism, devoid of sexual gratification.


Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the OECD, a diplomatic coup? hopefully out of sight out of mind...Comedy from Kevvy Rudd "The age of male sexual entitlement is over."... More comedy re parents to share the load in teaching their ankle biters?...After years of consultation we here on the Mornington Peninsula have an aquatic centre, Yawa. At a naming cost of $200,000?...Defence Minister Linda Reynolds retracts 'lying cow' comment towards Brittany Higgins. Can Eddie do likewise?...You can't please everyone? One fellow RSL member with an intelligence level a cut above the general rough and tumble said to me  "I've  been reading your Salts and I've come to a conclusion." And?" I answered. He replied "A Grain."...Fuel prices up, says the clever chap on the News "The key is to know when and where to buy your cheap fuel"?...Get well soon Danny Boy, the pipes are calling...International Women's Day came and went. We, well for most of us, apart from noting not to watch the ABC's "The Drum" on that particular evening, shrugged our shoulders and moved to the following day..."Occupation was one of the pleasures of Paradise, and we cannot be happy without it. [Mrs Jameson]. Keep yourselves nice...www.ello8.com 





Sunday 7th March, 2021. Prior to Christian Porter showing his colours: “Should we know the name of the alleged cabinet-level rapist in Canberra? Of course, we should and we must,” writes Richard Ackland. “Even in our own shaky version of democracy, parliamentary representatives on the public purse are accountable to the people – so it’s ludicrous that a cone of silence should descend on these wretched details.” He says no amount of “duck, weave, deny, gasp for breath, hang on for grim death and hope the caravan moves on” will put these allegations to bed until an inquiry is held. Katharine Murphy says Scott Morrison’s refrain that “he’s not a police force” sounds a lot like “not holding a hose“, which was the lesson he was supposed to learn during the bushfires – the last crisis Morrison fumbled in full public view.” Murphy concludes: “The current situation is untenable for everybody and Morrison can’t manage his way out of it by attrition, omission and evasion. He needs to lead.” [All this sex goings on in Canberra, a few bad apples, power and lust. I'll leave them to sort it out, chucking hopefully the bad apples, oversexed males. Just the one thing; if the power was with the females, maybe not as constant, but still the same? Ever and ever a day. Rape however is a whole new ball game, a short half step back from murder. What can I say? Christian was, is, (but not for long, albeit police proven innocent) one very ordinary and harsh A-G. "You voters were the ones who were conned?" Live and learn? Oops, sorry, I was dreaming.]   


Brittany Higgins. Jenny Morrison. Christian Porter? The cat is out of the proverbial; half out for now? John Howard and Josh Fydenburg believes our Attorney-General. You remember Josh, last Winter, rubbishing Danny Andrews from the floor of the Australian parliament. It's one thing to deny it but when I heard he "vigorously denied" (indeed Josh also used "emphatically" denied) he convinced me. Porter himself was 'vehemently' firm. The real danger of anyone judged guilty without proof is dangerous, so, inevitably, I'm prepared to believe our Attorney-General, or not to believe, or disbelieve and leave it at that. In any case the police have cleared him of rape, insufficient evidence. The rule of law and the presumption of innocence applies, mindful of Robodebt and the secret prosecution of the man/men who blew the whistle on Australia spying on East Timor?  I'm not big on people coming forward years later. A day, four days OK, but years? Still, who can tell the mind of a (supposedly) raped 16 year old female, or male. Frydenburg of course, alongside Hunt (who also rubbished his own State) and Peter Dutton, has his eyes on the main prize. Mind you, no qualms from this government getting stuck into Bill Shorten and Julia Gillard on slightly similar serious matters? Gillard was all political, including the appointed judge. An interesting sidelight was the manner in which Channel 9 News (and The Age front page and more, pictures) honed in on a tearful Christian, as against the same interview on the ABC News, tears yes, seemingly less, more stress, though Porter's face always appears to be at least strained, no offence. An independent enquiry? Shuts people up in the short term. If it was up to me I'd give the cost of any independent enquiry to the ABC. Good news for Frydenburg and Hunt in the ambition stakes; one less to worry about. [In line with the new norm of open disclosure it's near enough to a certainty on (at a guess) half a dozen times during the 1970's I awoke the next morning with a memory loss of the past 12 hours. Did I do anything wrong? God knows. I do recall keeping my head down for a day or so. Maybe Christian forgot, it's possible, and the Gold Coast Suns could win the 2021 premiership?] Jacqui Lambie “It’s pretty much on its last legs. Morrison has an opportunity to lead but while he sits there in denial with ‘sorry, hardly anything to see here, move along’, I’m sorry but this isn’t something that’s going to move along”. [Far more on the ball here than when Jacqui folded under Medevac and her still secret deal?] Such a mess. McMahon was a bum fluff PM, Abbott off his rocker, but this bloke beats them all, as said, the Seinfeld show about nothing. Time for the Liberal Party to call for a leadership spill? 


Anthony Albanese began the week under the microphone of David Speers, ABC's Insiders, and came out a treat. OK, he's no smoothie, but really, would you choose Morrison instead? A number of people are down on an Albanese leadership, many of them from labor, both sides with no shortage of instinctive opinionated sheep. Albo's deal during the COVID crisis was almost a blanket shutout, traction not allowed. I was a Shorten man at the last election, still am philosophically, but as of now our current choice has to be Albo. Some will say neither, the Reason Party, The Greens but not the Libs, not impressed by Labor under Albo - so neither? That's stupid, no offence intended. On the other hand stupid is stupid so offence intended. At best half an argument if your vote is in a blue ribbon Liberal hangout, but never in a marginal set up. Nepean lost to Labor in the last state election after years of blue ribbon double talk. Blue ribbon can change! The choice is one or the other by and large, and on the clear evidence the Liberals have shafted us for (as always) their own good. Aged care, rape enquiries, robodebt, the foxtell deal, superannuation rape, climate non change, jobseeker, many examples, and at press conferences (?) -  smirking non-answers. Will Labor have its share of shonkies? No doubt. But far less, and if you care to listen, to compare and consider policies rather than a now proven list of evaporated former promises from this current government, will your vote be for the betterment of the everyday person. Indubitably? Unless of course your kick comes first. 


Our Scotty: “Australians must be able to trust that their loved ones will be cared for appropriately and the community should have confidence in the system.” The Royal Commission into Aged Care brings to light (for the umpteenth time) a privatised aged care disaster, a case of owners plundering the system, (privatisation and staffing levels) and a federal government yet again looking after their mates. Private for-profit aged care owners exonerated in favour of a medicare tax (surcharge?) on all of us? Should the government give more money to aged care providers without financial transparency? We, the public, has no way of knowing. $21 billion of government subsidies? A capital gains tax and/or negative gearing in place of an additional tax? Don't hold your breath. As for the 148 recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Aged Care; Nathan Buckley springs to mind.


From The Chaser, edited: The government has today announced that Attorney General Christian Porter will be temporarily taking leave from his job for the next 50 years, with Michaelia Cash stepping in to fill the role as over-acting Attorney-General. “It’s good to finally see some dignity and decorum brought to this hallowed government role,” announced the PM today while Cash performed interpretive mime behind him. “Not to mention how much safer women will feel knowing that another woman is now in the role, as long as we overlook the accusations about Cash bullying a female staffer from last November. And the time she was forced to apologise for sexist comments about Bill Shorten’s staff. And the AWU raids thing. Other than that she’s got a spotless record.” Asked how she felt being tapped to act as Attorney-General, cash burst into tears, before saying she wanted to thank God, her family, and the academy for this opportunity while doing cartwheels around the parliamentary lawns. [No comment from the Minister for Women's Affairs, Marise Payne, likely too busy standing behind Josh/Scotty in a nodding role on the  Christian Porter business? Our Marise did a one liner on the Nightly News "We should do more" (on women) proving the lady is up there, somewhere, in Canberra?] 


Speaking of Nathan Buckley: ‘‘What I now understand is that is a form of systemic racism. The dismissing and denial of experience is not a direct act, but in many ways it reinforces the pain and trauma that Heritier felt and that [other former players] Andrew [Krakouer] and Leon [Davis] have spoken about. It’s feeling like they don’t have a voice and they don’t have somewhere to go and that’s the systemic aspect of it.’’ [No choice? As a Collingwood one-eyed supporter I (we?) enjoyed watching the super skills of Leon and Harry in their black and white jumpers. Surely some pride, happiness, fame, money with their years as our heroes? Such a sadness in their (perhaps?) later in life bitter memories. We wish them well.]


DREAMS? In my teens a mate and I spent countless hours at Gibbys Coffee Lounge next to the Regent Theatre in Collins Street, also Rumpelmayers in Collins Street. Apart from long discussions on sport, and (later) females, our main topic was our dream (ambition?) later in life to be able to do nothing, but have the money to go to sporting events, the pictures, and (particularly) meet at Gibbys or Rumpelmayers for coffee and toasted cheese sandwiches. I do believe we achieved our ambition. [Here's another dream, for our present government, be it impossible: Integrity?]


Prince Harry and Meghan against the powerful right wing royal family, the Firm, a 'tell all' to Oprah tomorrow. We also wish them well; zzzz...Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and her ‘‘lying cow’’ comment, an Eddie McGuire moment, speaking before thinking?...Nice  to see the Nine News already weeding out people who are desperate for workers with the inference of comparing what's available as against our 1 million (lazy sods?) unemployed...Our Prime Minister stands shaky, but tall, with News Limited and The Age as backstops. The question of maintaining their allegiance?...Myer made a rare profit, slightly less than the millions it received from our government for Jobkeeper...QR codes and online forms equals, for many, stuff ups... Advice for quiz contestants - Do not tell me it's not your strong point. Tell me what is your strong point, if any?..."CCTV is crucial to this investigation" say our police, time and again. What happened before CCTV?...Yes, enthusiasm and full of beans, but no. Sammy J ABC morning 774 is too much...Frasier, (in real life Kelsey Grammar) has an allegiance (The Guardian) as firmly Republican, and on the right wing; he has made pro-Trump, pro-Brexit and pro-Putin comments....It's now 3 years (and 2 days) since Peter Dutton's mob whisked the Tamil family from their Queensland home and plonked them on Christmas Island; SHAME..."Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot, that it do singe yourself." [Shakespeare]...Smile, big brothers and sisters, you're all on candid camera, almost everywhere...www.ello8.com 




Sunday 28th February, 2021. There's nothing wrong with not liking Facebook though why some wear it as a badge of honour I do not know. Equally, there's apparently nothing wrong with some men having a strong attraction for womens feet. Schizophrenia reigns, a form thereof, as I farewell my 84th Summer, none the better for this particular experience. In line with current reasoning (referring to the ever fashionable blame game) I put this Coalition government at the number 1 spot, the gold medal for my raison d'etre. Was it Socrates who said you make a contribution or you lead a worthless life? A nothing much week, likewise our ducking and weaving government. The overpaid cricketers lost again. The tennis? What could have been, should have been, a celebration, marred to some extent by the audience showing their true colours, booing Daniel Andrews, entitled by way of paying a fortune for being there, the presentation ceremony, the mens Australian Open Final, tennis laala land - Daniil Medvedev spoke well thankfully, cancelling out his blame game (to his coaches box) every time he miscued. Moving on, according to the ABC vaccination information there are 678,000 ahead in the mythical mirage queue and 1.045 million in my same priority sub-group, likely offered early to mid March? Double dose vaccines, whatever? The past week the female mafia to the fore, the "alleged" rape followed by other females, followed by political correctness, but no word on the sexual deviant male. Another case of rape and another mystery man, a senior minister. One (apparently perverted?) male touched a female thigh sitting alongside him at somewhere or other. Heavens to betsy! The Canberra hothouse, always thus. Our PM unaware my left foot; he says different, who cares one way or the other? What would have been appropriate was to focus on Brittany Higgins plight, rather than Scott's professional dodging. Peter Dutton knew but no way did he tell? Our Peter doesn't tell his left hand what his right hand is up to. No need anyway, easy enough to guess his right hand activities? Respect our females, our woman, true, but forget the kids on Christmas Island? The Age front page yesterday, Premier Danny Andrews friendship with Lindsay Fox, "The Premier and the Billionaire" inferring what, socialists not allowed? The jobkeeper allowance (decrease?) courtesy of Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg, the sheriffs of Nottingham, but which one is the deputy? Over 30% of the workers in Cairns alone are on Jobkeeper. Marry this up with Dutton's $36,000 chartered flight or the $356,000 paid with our money to News Corp. Frydenberg has The Age political editor Peter Hartcher in his corner. Expect more from Peter Hartcher; yawn? As for our other Peter, Home Affairs, I leave the last words to The Guardian's Katharine Murphy "Dutton’s unabashed “up yours” to accountability." Autumn looms, everlasting hope and an 85th birthday anniversary. [Pandora's Box: Never accept gifts from Zeus? Out from the jar flew every trouble known to humanity. Strife, sickness, toil and myriad other ills escaped from the jar to afflict men and women forever more. Pandora managed to keep one spirit in the jar as she shut the lid, a timid sprite named Elpis, usually translated as "hope.] 


Source -The AIM Network and Kaye Lee. Prime Minister: It began with his preselection and the man who beat him 82 to 8 votes, Michael Towke. Two senior Liberals who wanted Morrison instead, abetted by Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph, then embarked on a crusade of defamatory character assassination which saw Mr Towke’s political career destroyed and his mother end up in hospital from the stress caused by baseless headlines suggesting Towke was a liar who was facing jail time. None of it was true. The Telegraph settled out of court and apologised but the damage was done. Scotty was on the way. In December 2010, as opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate. That same month, forty-eight asylum seekers died in the Christmas Island boat disaster. Morrison criticised the Gillard government for “wasting taxpayers’ money” on paying for relatives to attend the funerals of their family members. Immediately after winning the 2013 election, Morrison stepped up the dehumanisation strategy, instructing departmental and detention centre staff to publicly refer to asylum seekers as ‘‘illegal’’ arrivals and as ‘‘detainees’’, rather than as clients. This language suggests criminality. People held on Manus and Nauru were to be called “transferees”, like they were some sort of package in transit. When Morrison moved on to Minister for Social Services, he remodelled himself with a fluffier image. Whatever the image he was trying to portray, it was during Morrison’s tenure that Robodebt was conceived. In his 2019 campaign launch, Morrison derided Labor for their “incompetent administration” of programs like “School halls. Pink batts. Cash-for clunkers.” The scale of devastation from robodebt dwarfs any and all such failures. On the eve of the May 2015 budget, Morrison embarked on a media blitz, doing six interviews in the morning to sell his $3.5 billion radical overhaul of the childcare subsidies system – a move that was seen as calculated to steal Treasurer Joe Hockey’s thunder. Morrison, when asked the obvious question, insisted he did not want Mr Hockey’s job, and he wasn’t angling to be prime minister. “I’ll be the prop forward taking it up and he can be the one who will score the try and that’s what he’ll be doing on Budget day.’’ Kind of like when he put his arm around Malcolm Turnbull and smirked, “I am ambitious for this guy.” Treasurer was the next stepping stone, doling out the public coffers to garner support for his ultimate goal – Smirker-in-chief. Then hugely underspending on the NDIS so he could brag about a surplus. [There's more, but enough for now. The economy, black money donations and a 'do nothing', no responsibility PM. Failure to deliver a treaty with Indigenous Australia, refusal to commit to honest climate change mitigation targets, hidden political funding, tolerating lies by politicians about COVID-19, cutting funding to our public broadcaster, the ABC, ministerial subversion of public funding programs to gain party political advantage. Sounds about right.]


The Auditor-General's Office over the past two years, which looks at whether money is being spent efficiently and departments are achieving objectives, has lost 20 staff, equivalent to the capacity for eight audits. Since 2013, Auditor-General Grant Hehir’s office’s budget has been cut by nearly $6.3 million, a trend that should be deeply troubling, an office instrumental in uncovering a range of scandals dogging the government, including the ‘‘sports rorts’’ grants that went predominantly to Coalition electorates before the 2019 federal election, the $33 million paid for land near the Western Sydney Airport later valued at $3 million, and the $118,000 in relocation expenses that have led the head of corporate watchdog, ASIC, to step aside. The airport deal is under police investigation after it was referred by Mr Hehir. This government appears anxious to threaten any agency perceived to be critical of it, whether the ABC, our universities, the Auditor-General or an anti-corruption office.


Fascinating? New York-based Professor of Psychology Arthur Aron: love is addictive. ‘‘It activates the same brain areas as cocaine. It’s hardwired in us, being intensely in romantic love takes so much attention, it can be hard to keep your life going, let alone have other relationships.’’ Is there a limit to how many times we can cope with falling in love or the heartbreak when it ends? Or can we – authentically – fall in love ad infinitum? Relationship experts (?) say it depends on how love was shown to you as a child. Condensed to three styles : anxious, avoidant and secure. [Sounds familiar, to me anyway.]


Jacqui Lambie on the Facebook Frydenburg tax: The government’s plan a shakedown. “This is a bipartisan shakedown delivered by a consensus of absolute stupidity here this evening. Journalism is important enough to deserve better than the poorly researched, poorly understood justifications being thrown around" She argued that simply transferring money from the pockets of the rich owners of digital platforms to the pockets of the rich owners of Australian media companies would not do much to arrest the decline of journalism in this country. “If we want more money for journalism, let’s tax companies making heaps of money and put that money … directly into journalism,” she said. [Alas, who was listening?]


I read somewhere you can hide your true personality forever, but write a play and it’s there for all to see. I wrote one about gambling, another on unemployment, and one on overseas travel. My soul is apparently, though not definitely, bared. I estimate I’ve seen 500 plays, which included some twenty excellent productions and five David Williamson plays where I thoroughly enjoyed my evening but forgot what it was all about the next morning. Thus twenty five out of five hundred, or one good play every 20 times. Ahh but the social aspect, and always the opportunity of witnessing some good work amongst the debris. I should talk! When it comes to playwrighting I’m far removed from those twenty five. On the other hand I find it an enjoyable pastime; the expectation of yet another thank you but no thank you? Civilised, in comparison with the backstabbing world actors experience throughout their stop/start careers. Victor Hugo wrote...”People do not lack strength; they lack the will.” Not all of us. Keep on punching?


Low life? A new hotline to dob in the jobseekers who refuse a job? Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said her department would follow up on people dobbed in to the hotline to see if they had a valid reason for turning down work. ‘‘In the event that they do not have a valid reason, they will be breached for that.’’ Isn't our Michaelia a peach?


From Gadfly, The Saturday Paper. "Married at first sight was watched by only 964,000 people this week. One assumes these are the same people who also represent the 64 per cent of Australians who are satisfied with Scott Morrison’s performance as prime minister as per the latest Newspoll....Comedy of the week: Marise Payne, Minister for Women?...I suffered bullying in high school but hesitant to report it due to the near certainty of getting the daylights belted out of me behind the shelter sheds at Recess...Olympic Games, Brisbane 2032; there in spirit?...Leigh Sales has become a bully...I was more fascinated by the pink high heels shoes...As expected; proposed reforms (?) to the NDIS, a Labor initiative...Scotty should allow his daughters to spend their holidays on Christmas Island?...Moral wisdom is surely interpretive. I've searched for a lifetime, yet to locate anyone to agree with me in a totality sense?...The former Liberal staffer (described as a 'lads lad'?) accused of rape or sexual harassment by four women has checked himself into a private rehabilitation clinic. Let's hope it's an all male clinic...The Royal Commission into Crown Casino (Victoria) @ 90% whitewash?..."The unexamined life is not worth living"?...I dream of our lovely Amanda Vanstone one day saying "My lips are sealed"?...www.ello8.com






Sunday 21st February, 2021. Loads of anti Facebook from all sources. Surely not getting your news from Facebook? Getting your news from your own sources, The Age, Saturday Paper, ABC App, Guardian, television, RADIO? One needs only half a brain to know this. News Ltd posts on FB to convince me to subscribe? A government conned, by design? Facebook is for fun. If FB pays, where does the money go? Journalism? Vague. News providers (apart from our ABC) Facebook, banks, energy providers, private health insurers or any privatised essential service exist just to do the best for the community, or individual customers? Give me a break. On the other hand, go row a boat, or get your news here? Joke Joyce?


The  Chaser, edited: The new media code. Essentially the idea is that journalism in this country is currently underfunded because Facebook and Google dominate online advertising, starving news organisations of ad revenue. The solution seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? Surely we should just tax all those large international companies that take their profits offshore? That sounds good, except that every time you design a tax like that, it ends up with News Corp also paying tax. So that approach had to be immediately scrapped. Instead, the government designed the “media code”, a complicated system of transfers that made the bad capitalists (Facebook and Google) have to pay money to the good capitalists (News Corp and the TV companies). It was sort of like tax, except instead of the public getting the money, only big Australian media companies would get it. And the great thing is for some reason, all the big Australian media companies loved the idea and threw their support behind the government. Anyway, so that’s where we are. The Australian public is currently swept up in a battle on behalf of big media companies against big tech companies. What a time to be alive! Viva la Neoliberalism!


An interesting debate? Prime Minister Scotty Morrison and Victorian Premier Danny Andrews both nominated, shortlisted for the annual McKinnon Prize for political leadership. Also Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Health Minister Greg Hunt and Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt. Claims to be a non-partisan independent award celebrating political leaders each year? Funny haha? Last year the award went to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian? Danny is a star. Imagine the past year with Michael O'Brien (lately adding in loveable Matty Guy) running the show? Danny stands tall almost daily facing attacks from tough female cookies (usually) representing Rupert's lot, many suffering from verbal diarrhoea despite Danny's answers. Even the gifted Leigh Sales during lockdown and her mix of facts and doubtful assumptions only serving to give the other vultures (journalist jackals?) a point, if any, particularly their inability to ask a succinct question. Leigh Sales on the ABC's 7.30 that evening, editing out the bad bits, as perceived by Leigh? A long way short of Kerry O'Brien. As for our seldom seen PM, here's Jon... 


Jon Faine, The Age, edited: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has a majority of one in the House, no majority in the Senate and a fresh scandal tainting his government almost every day, argumentatively dismissive of media attempts to hold his government to the standards they claim to govern by. He is personally hostile to and even occasionally contemptuous of any individual journalist who attempts to pierce the protective skin. Sound familiar? Greg Hunt should be embarrassed and apologise for his clumsy attempt to decorate government COVID ads with partisan Liberal branding but instead tried to label his inquisitor the ABC’s Michael Rowland – as some sort of leftist stooge for asking legitimate and compelling questions. Approving community grants to gain electoral advantage? Peter Dutton has been busted, and even though pork barrelling is as old as politics that is no excuse. How can he maintain the cruel detention of the Biloela family on Christmas Island at vast cost to the taxpayer? Bridget McKenzie, indignant at having to try to explain the inexplicable at a Senate inquiry, doubles down on her denial that the scandalous ‘‘sport rorts’’ were a rort. Fail to publicly address a complaint of alleged rape in a ministerial office by a senior adviser of a junior staffer, during an election campaign, to avoid scandal, outcry and political fallout? Deny it was covered up even though the PM’s chief of staff was informed? Claim to care but only because your wife told you to? A government wallowing in its sense of entitlement and impunity, the PM relying on his uncritical media partners, most of whom ignore the danger signs The media narrative that prevails is Morrison is well on the way to cruising to an easy election victory this year or next. No one dares describe Morrison as leading a barely patched together assortment of entitled dinosaurs who have run out of ideas, have no reform or policy agenda and lurch from crisis to crisis. Billions have been overspent on a widely misused job support scheme that has seen billionaires trousering millions of taxpayer dollars as bonuses. How can any government watch vital assistance plundered by some of the nation’s wealthiest when ordinary Australian families are struggling? Our climate change stance is now dangerously out of alignment with the rest of the world. Contrast and compare with the way the Victorian Premier is portrayed. Daniel Andrews – who has a commanding majority and ascendancy in the Parliament and no hint of a challenger – is often characterised as standing on shaky ground. His press conferences are portrayed in some media as attempts to cover his tracks and suppress information, even though he exhaustively answers even the most idiotic questions with the patience and calmness of a monk. Labor state premiers are relentlessly pilloried in a rabid newspaper campaign across the Murdoch media. Yet opinion poll after opinion poll shows the voters see things differently and it is those media pundits who have got it wrong. [I've said all this before, but nice to see it summarised in our daily newspaper by a sensible journalist. According to a newspaper I read, Peter Dutton's wife Kirilly Dutton is a director of the Mental Health Foundation of Australia].


Years ago as a Commonwealth audit inspector I worked with Tommy Dunne, who told me dreadful stories of himself as a pow working on the Burma Thailand railway line during world war 2. Tommy was almost an alcoholic, living in a boarding house in Mary Street St Kilda, often arriving for work under a dark cloud. An amazing man, how he got through each day managing to carry out his duties so well I don't know, but I loved him. He arrived in one morning telling how his lady friend stabbed him in his bum, and he duly displayed, despite my request to pass on it. The superior Japanese race mixing with lower than life (mongrel dogs) Australian prisoners. At that same job I was auditing the Army Navy and Air Force trust funds at Victoria Barracks administrated by a high ranking army officer, also a Changi survivor, no name, unlike Tommy, might still be with us. A gentle man, lots of photos of our men, near skeletons, again horror stories confirming Tommy's stories, and more. A documentary recently on the History channel, an episode of Combat Trains, brought it all back to life, forgotten up to a point, over 50 years ago. Sad but wonderful people, memories. [In isolation the Japanese appeared to believe themselves to be a super race above the rest. Then we remember Hitler, then the history of those poor souls in Port Arthur (corporal punishment upgraded to psychological torture) or the  might of the British navy and those cat o' nine tails punishment. It's not justice, a form of power, some might say enjoyment? I liken these types, and no doubt many would disagree, with the likes of the "for our own good" bandits, for our health, but more for federal government taxes, stretching the difference between the haves and my lot. A long bow obviously. Nevertheless human nature has been with us more than 25 centuries ago when the Persion Empire challenged the new found democracy of Athens; the more they get the more they want; forever on guard?


Matt Damon, working with sexual predator Harvey Weinstein said, “As the father of four daughters, this is the kind of sexual predation that keeps me up at night.” USA Senator Mitch McConnell defended his annoyance at Donald Trump’s tendency to grope women by saying, “As the father of three daughters…” Scott (transactional) Morrison. Wife Jenny told him, “You have to think about this as a father first. What would you want to happen if it were our girls? Tegan George from Channel Ten asked, “Shouldn’t you have thought about it as a human being? And what happens if men don’t have a wife and children? Do they reach the same compassionate conclusion?” Prime minister replied “being a husband and a father is central to me, so I just can’t follow the question you are putting”. [How fortunate for Scott Morrison that he was able to finally announce on Tuesday that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine had been approved for rollout in Australia.]


Without former Collingwood great Murray Weiderman (assisted by Barry Harrison) Melbourne would have won 4 premierships in a row. More importantly (circa 1950's) Independant Order of Rechabites swimming carnival. The feature event, the relay race, won by Murray Weiderman, former Fitzroy champion Graham Campbell and unknown Cliff Ellen. Vale Murray. Well played, and swum, mate. 


Theodore Dalrymple on tattoos. “The iconography is limited and depressingly reminiscent of the ‘art’ produced by prisoners, which is violent, crude, garish and pagan, however well executed. It is a visual exhibition of modern superstition, the superstition of people who have strong emotions but weak minds and a very limited cultural and historical frame of reference.” Anson Cameron: "Getting a tattoo is like signing a contract to wear a Hawaiian shirt every day for the rest of your life. It’s like saying, “Right now, I love silly shirts, and I always will.” It’s like telling the same joke every day for the rest of your life." [Personally no problem, on males.]


Brittany Higgins told Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s office she wanted a say in a sweeping review of Parliament House so others would not have to go through her experience on  March 23, 2019? Ms Higgins spoke to police in Parliament House four days after the alleged rape and chose not to make a complaint and said this week she did not proceed to a formal statement because she felt she had to choose between the police investigation and her career.  "I worked my entire life to get to that job." An independent complaints body, so long as Fitzroy North residents are barred from applying? I spent a few months in Canberra early 1960's when my department was transferred. Fascinating, sexual, atmospheric. On balance, decided to refuse the transfer. [The common usage of the word incredible has been "off the planet" of late, occasionally, the perfect 'spot on' - Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says "It is 'incredible' that senior advisors in Scott Morrison's office did not know about the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins"?] Like the racism business at Magpieland, we watch, and wait. Even so...[Although unconnected a memory of a Christmas party, drunk, in the boss's office one floor above the party, a female worker's friend suggesting physical connections, me worried about the security risk factor, when suddenly the boss appeared. To this day not knowing if I was lucky or unlucky. And yes, the boss was far from pleased, obviously discarding my 'not at fault' honest defence.] My personal thinking is a case of the male stalking Brittany, from his position of power, realised or not. Time may tell.    


So I woke up yesterday, 3pm, after my nap, certain it was Monday, put the rubbish into the bin, went to RSL 4PM. Got chatting, told her I now realise I was a day in advance. "Two" she said. "Why two?" "It's Saturday" she said. "No. Is it?" OMG. It was. Should I worry, or blame the heat?


Comedy line of the week/year? from Peter Dutton - "I pride myself on my integrity."...Antivaccination protesters have their reasons; beyond me?...So many sanitise their  hands when they enter the RSL, rarely when they leave. I do the opposite...More comedy? Bridget McKenzie says the Nationals are “very, very keen to make a positive, progressive contribution to the energy and emissions debate”...Loved the bit about two men fined for breaking the lockdown, caught at a brothel...Ash Barty is a star, Naomi Osaka number 1 for mine. Sadly, Serena not the best of losers...Award to Barnaby, weirdest comment 2021‘‘I might offer one word of caution for those who are jumping on board saying they want it. You know, you can’t say I’m going to marry a person and then say you actually want to marry someone else. Once you say you’re in, you’re in’’...Paul Rogerson has (apparently) a narcissistic personality disorder, meaning he's into self love; not alone?...[A point here, after receiving a couple of nasty letters. By all means send them if it makes you feel better. As I've said before I write for myself, as a motivation technique, likely (but not necessarily) connected to maintaining a form of sanity. I have no interest in replying to other points of view. Unless a rare error is pointed out, I delete. I recommend examine your desires, release the past, and embrace transformation?]...www.ello8.com






Sunday 14th February, 2021. Last week's effort/blog was, to put it kindly, pretty bloody ordinary. Although of no particular consequence, one doesn't like the idea of drifting into the 'bad actor' phase, knowing the moves, the lines, but thoroughly boring, including the odd one or two well known celebrities. One needs a strongish touch of adrenalin to up the ante. Unsure if I should consider 'getting out' at the right time, or presently influenced by the political state of nothingness we appear to be experiencing under this crooked (corruption and cronyism) coalition government. By getting out, meaning maybe try to stop this writing caper, for the umpteenth time? On the other hand life would not be the same without strife, despite the odd heartburn attack. Once upon a time trouble and strife was of course your wife, no more. Keep on punching, nothing much else to entertain? "Writing is an act of love. If it is not it is only handwriting." Fair enough; settling for handwriting. We wonder at Dolly Parton, who wrote 'Jolene' and 'I Will Always Love You' on the same day. Amazing. Keep writing! We thank our blessings, for pantoprazole (somac) in particular, bi-carb soda if severe. Anxiety and/or stress? A five day stage 4 lockdown. The positives of five uninterrupted afternoon naps when living alongside a carpark? The loneliness of a long distance stalker? The better news, (perhaps?) Eddie Everywhere, presently on the bi-carb, is yesterday's news. Well, almost. We would appreciate someone out there providing a list of the 100 people who signed that thing calling for his removal. Revenge? Nope, just wondering. McGuire and Nathan Buckley were a couple, so to speak. Never a particular fan of Nathan, more into Bobby Rose, Dane Swan. Right now I feel for Eddie, despite his millions. I went to Woolworths for my necessities shopping. Halfway through my mask broke causing a mild panic for a replacement, causing a memory block to buy toilet paper. Jughead, a once favourite comic strip, lives again. Moving on...   


David Crowe The Age: "The budget before that election included $5 billion in grants for everything from commuter car parks to swimming pools, with secrecy over exactly who would benefit. Only after the election did the scandals emerge. Thanks to the Australian National Audit Office, the government had to reveal the frantic work inside the office of sports minister Bridget McKenzie on the ‘‘sports rorts’’ program. She resigned for failing to declare a conflict of interest with one of the grants." A week ago I wondered where Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton was hiding. Not so; up pops the darling man shifting funding for grants away from (some) recommended groups - to his own hand-picked list. [The opposition has asked the auditor-general to examine the Safer Communities Fund after departmental documents revealed Mr Dutton diverted almost half the total pool of funding away from recommended projects to his handpicked ones in January 2019. The largest cohort of grants went to marginal Coalition-held seats, 21 of the 52 projects. Two of these were in Mr Dutton’s own seat of Dickson, which is allowed within the government’s own rules for grants. He also approved grants in Greg Hunt’s ‘‘fairly safe’’ seat of Flinders and Tony Abbott’s electorate of Warringah, which was held by a margin considered ‘‘safe’’ by the Australian Electoral Commission. Add in the National Retail Association @ $880,000 to compliment Sports Rorts, Robobdebt and anti-corruption grants. The Age reported this to their credit on page 3, saving the page 1 headline for ALP scrutiny of donations at Crown Casino? Similar (in a way) to the Nine News highly charged emotional beginnings nightly, almost everything involving Danny Andrews, and other news, Dutton et al reported later in a calmer fashion/atmosphere at the 34 minute mark of the hour long news? Add in the piece on Greg Hunt’s adding the Liberal Party logo to a government vaccine ad, paid for with our money. Clear enough? The obvious need for a national integrity commission in the battle against corruption and cronyism, for consideration come the next election?


Alternatively, assuming a rusted in coalition supporter, our Prime Minister - “We set the rules, you don’t know what they are but trust me I know these rules and no rules have been breached because we set the rules and they are being observed. The rules have been set so that we can do what we need to do to stay within the rules”. I feel better now?


In addition to the Safer Communities (pork-barrelling) fiasco, courtesy of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, via OUR money, The federal government has quietly extended its refugee contract for Nauru, handing Queensland firm Construct $221 million for the six months to June 30 or $10,000 a day for each detainee on the island. This and a number of other like items to return prior to the next election to bite them on their bums, hopefully.


History 2: Early. The new shaft was a success for ventilation, so the “whip” was set up over it and paydirt was stockpiled in this new location. However it was the beginning of the end, as the “lead” ran out, and the mine closed down. The last gold was sold on the 16th October, 1937. Grandfather Bo went home to Melbourne and retired. The mine has been filled in, and grass has covered the horse track. There is nothing to show that men worked 90 feet underneath with picks and shovels, with the only light being a candle in a spike on the wall of the drove. But who knows? Maybe on a moonlit night you might hear the old whip horse plodding out, and if you listen carefully, you might just hear grandfather Bo call out “TURN!”. Later, as kids, under the son of grandad Bo's guidance, we would all sit at the solid rectangular wooden kitchen table for our meals, and (after Dad came home from New Guinea) when finished, have to say, to Dad in particular...“May I leave the table please.” Dad would tell us to chew our food at least 28 times before swallowing. We tried it a few times, but the fact was it slowed up the eating process, so we dutifully told him we were indeed following his instructions; we lied. He also encouraged us, with very little success, to talk properly. “The brown hound bounded round the brown house.” He was insistent we pronounce certain words in a certain way. Clurk [clerk] was never pronounced clark, likewise derby; all castle type words were castle, never carstle. A resentment towards changing pronunciations? To this day I follow him on the castle type words, apart from Newcastle, but followed the crowd with the clerks. Later, after tea, many nights, when the table was cleared, and cleaned (by Mum), it was big enough to play a few games of table tennis. I mention this because I invariably won.


They sprout the history of racist and misogynist comments that have always been excused as gaffes and that you (we) got it wrong, all about accountability and repercussions, which should have occurred after the Adam Goodes comments. Accountability, repercussions, examples please, decided by whom? Nothing about getting this 5000 year problem right? And yet, Lumumba goes on and on with the same formulaic hatred, answering nothing, adding (inferred?) personal accusations, and unquestioned? Even at Daniel Andrews? One gets the impression it's a case of feeding the vultures, the righteously indignant. Sadly the only result of all this is to make matters worse. It's more likely to create racism. Apparently it's OK to stick it to Eddie McGuire (particularly if you barrack for another team) but it's poison if you say a word, any word, against Heritior Lumumba? I can't help comparing the racism accusation heaped against McGuire and looking at the actions of Peter Dutton, with not a whisper? Gadfly The Saturday Paper: "Now that racism has been solved in Australia, the whole country can move forward to a new utopian existence with no more internal reviews needed in any other AFL clubs, which apparently can be accomplished only by the subjects of racism first being gaslit for years by The Project's Peter Helliar." He jokes obviously. Again, and this final time on this subject, move on...  


Also from Gadfly "In a boon to hack journalists everywhere, Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week inducted Australia’s F-35A fighter jets at the BAE Systems Australia maintenance depot as Kenny Loggins’ 1980s smash hit “Danger Zone” blared in the background. “Everyone who’s involved in this project is a top gun in my view,” the prime minister said. After that, he took the rest of the year off because his work here is done. No one is topping that. Anthony Albanese tendered his resignation. Tom Cruise announced he was leaving the film industry to commit more time to Xenu. Kelly McGillis punched Val Kilmer. We all wished we were governed by adults. The central part of Morrison’s announcement wasn’t the F-35A, which two air force chiefs decried in a statement in 2019 – describing it as inadequate for future strike operations and plagued with technical problems. Instead, the focus was on the maintenance depot, which the prime minister hopes will employ lots of people in the Hunter Valley to fix those technical problems that are bound to occur in poorly designed, redundant aircraft." Again, tongue firmly in cheek?


Most people don’t look, they scan, they therefore don’t see. They go to exhibitions to have been there, not to look - to think they’re being nourished. How long do they look? Not long. Why? Because there’s nothing to look at. It’s a superficial impression of an image. There may well be an interest in the price - Islamic, Chinese or Aboriginal art, particularly the latter? Good painting as an art form is tied in with impulses, private satisfaction and ideas. The practice of painting for a wall and what would work in this space is ridiculous. 


Currently a situation of no returning travellers (unless special compassionate circumstances) from overseas during the 5 day lockdown; I'd be extending this, overseas travellers, for at least a month, or until we return to zero cases for a week, never mind the pressure via our Prime Minister and Greg Hunt. Just saying...Stay calm, breath deeply, consistently sprouting to an evolving imaginary state of perfection. If it works say goodbye to heartburn?...Valentine's Day came & departed. Fancied KFC but outside the 5 kms limit, ho hum...John "Don't think, Do!" Kennedy, good advice for Schomo?...Christian Porter has not one sympathetic bone in his body, for poorer people. Watch this millionaire minister closely, particularly his philosophy on industrial relations. Lots to come on this one...Fascinating; found my old briefcase from 1972, when I last worked for a living..."False happiness renders men stern and proud, and that happiness is never communicated. True happiness renders them kind and sensible, and that happiness is always shared." [Montesquieu]...Look after yourselves...www.ello8.com






Wednesday 10th February, 2021. Parliament returns, temporarily? "Our goal is to reach net zero emissions as soon as possible, and preferably by 2050." Again our PM shifting sands, awaiting Joe Biden's take on climate change? Scott Morrison cancelled parliament for the odd week or two 'before' COVID, Then along came COVID, providing good reason for not sitting, replaced by the National Cabinet of Premiers, no Albanese, and Scotty's (famous?) one liners in place of political leadership. A Howard Springs at Point Nepean? Labor's deputy leader Richard Marles valiantly tried Albo's newest policies, but savaged by the seemingly pleasant David Speers on Insiders. our ABC. And the vaccine rollout? So, so busy, telling us nothing, choices, March, April, October? Talk of an election this year (The Age reveals Mr Albanese is preparing Labor for a possible early election). Nah, as late as possible, Albo's hot air. Is Peter Dutton still on the job? Yes indeed, under wraps. Whatever, politics by proxy, and ALL the nightly news on television desperate for something else to make news before we all go bananas, McGuire, Crown Casino... 


Quarantine: Isn't Quarantine a government responsibility? "The last thing we need is federal responsibility for COVID-19 quarantine facilities. Left to our bumbling, undermining feds, we’d be in the same mess as Europe and the US. The states haven’t been perfect but thank goodness we’re a federation with states putting local wellbeing first. The feds should, however, pay for COVID-19 protections and do so gladly as it’s our money and it keeps them at arm’s length from responsibility – which is just how they like it." [Mark Freeman] "The premiers, by now, are hyper-aware of the Morrison government’s ability to take credit for everything good while dodging everything bad. By trying to force the Prime Minister to share more of the responsibility for quarantine." [Sean Kelly]. And this double talk from Victoria's own, Greg Hunt "NSW has been ahead of the curve and provided a model for the rest of the country." Didn't even blink? Scientists call for our PM to take over quarantine. Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said Mr Morrison was evading his government’s responsibility by not creating a national program and quarantine should be happening ‘‘away from large populations’’ and not in city hotels with poor air circulation. [Albo got the first bit right, reneged, generalised, on the answer? Credit where it's due - he looked good in his cowboy hat.]


It appears Heritior Lumumba has won his battle (against Eddie McGuire, Collingwood in particular or racism as he sees it?). Somehow I suspect his battle is ongoing. [Harry O'Brien (Heritier Lumumba) now into the the AFL to undergo a warts and all review into the history of racism. And then to the rugby league clubs?] The politically correct and righteously indignant lot, the Witchhunters, vultures, have taken their latest person down, including politicians, Victorian Greens senator Lidia Thorpe, Labor MP Anne Aly. Also Indigenous leaders, Gary Foley and others. Interesting the two most overrated players at Collingwood (Brodie Grundy and Darcy Moore) led the players response. Appropriate: Gareth Evans, when suggesting to Bob Hawke that he should give up the keys to the Lodge. ‘‘Pull out digger. The dogs are pissing on your swag.” Peter Gordon (Western Bulldogs) lauded McGuire’s efforts to keep the 2020 AFL season on track despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, adding that he had done extensive work in the area of social inclusion. ‘‘I’m proud to name him as a friend. I’m horrified by the way he’s been treated in the last two weeks. And it’s my hope that in time, history will describe him in the terms he deserves.’’ Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett described McGuire’s resignation as a ‘‘travesty of justice’’ and hoped that an ongoing role could be found for him in the game. ‘‘He has been forced to resign because of a moment of time when two decades of community work support for the underprivileged and work within the Collingwood Football Club has been overlooked. There will be a lot of people tonight who will be asking themselves what is the cost of this attack on an individual who has for two decades served the community in a way the vast majority could not even compare.’’ Magpies legend Tony Shaw described McGuire’s achievements as ‘‘amazing’’ after taking on the role in 1998 as a 34-year-old when the club was at one of its lowest ebbs. ‘‘We were nearly three million in debt, we’re now one of the most financially successful clubs in the league. It’s a sad day for the game, a sad day for Collingwood.’’ McGuire’s resignation came after a group of Indigenous community leaders, politicians and a former AFL player sent an open letter to Collingwood over its ‘‘insulting and unacceptable’’ response to the Do Better report. Eddie, other than a case of Buckley-itis, was a great man for the mighty magpies. Thanks mate. Virginia Trioli suggested Eddie was playing the victim. He was the victim! I ask myself why, particularly the motivation behind this personal attack, under the racism guise? Shouldn't these indignant sports people and indigenous leaders call on ALL clubs for similar action? Didn't the AFL (and Eddie) bend over backwards to recognise the wonderful accomplishments of our indigenous AFL footballers? Enough said. Move on... 


By and large there's a number of furphies set conveniently in the minds of voters, one in particular affecting my lot, bank depositors, pensioners, disabled, namely the outrageous bullshit of the "trickle down effect" primarily for the benefit of the elites and the wealthy. A form of Palliative care? Low interest rates, often called monetary policy? is further explained as helping economic recovery and creating more  jobs. How many more years, at 0.01 %? Will this help stop the ever expanding inequality difference between them and us? Indubitably. And Collingwood will be premiers for the next 4 years.


History, 1930's: Uncle Bo (grandfather) was the man up top and as the bucket came high enough he would call out “turn.” The horse would be backed up to allow the bucket to be pulled over on to a trolley on rails. The horse would be turned around and another bucket would be let down. The trolley would be pushed out to the edge of the mullock heap and tipped. The paydirt was stockpiled until sufficient rain came for it to be washed. The creek was not a big stream so a dam would be built across it with a trap in it. When the dam filled the trap was opened and the stream directed through a “race (channel) to a sluice box near the stockpile. This was an open topped box into which the mullock was shovelled. The gold being heavier sank to the bottom, where it was caught on ripples. Uncle Bo would walk into Beechworth on a Saturday morning, 8 miles, to sell the gold at the bank of Victoria.


Tim Wilson is against any superannuation increases. Fair enough? Tim receives 15.4% in taxpayer-funded super contributions, also owns four properties...Sydney's Crown Resorts isn't fit to hold a casino licence, so says the report. Will it be acted on? Meantime, don't hold your breath?...$10,000 a ticket to watch the superbowl live...Joint strike fighter program, $65 billion, protection money?...Sick comedy: Matthew Canavan is deputy chair of the Select Committee on Job Security?....17,000 job losses in universities, a sector not eligible for jobkeeper? Not forgetting job losses in the Arts. The latest Guardian Essential Poll; Labor leads 47-44, the rest undecided...Virginia Trioli's interview with Taylor Adams; cunning, cat and mouse, not nice...."It is a charitable service in one who cannot remove a device within himself to try to remove it nevertheless from within another, where it may have a less malignant and stubborn root" - alternatively, If life is empty of meaning, the solution (and likely the fault) lies with you?... Look after yourselves...www.ello8.com

The fame that charms proud mortals with sweet sound,

And seems so fair, is but an echo, a dream,

The shadow of a dream, beyond repair

Dispersed and scattered by a puff of air. [TASSO] 





Thursday 4th February, 2021. Another year begins. Mythological optimism remains, up to a point, promises of progress towards a better world? My last year, though I'm frequently told I say this every year. Certainly the last following politics, ditto last chance for Nathan Buckley as Collingwood coach? his 12th, my 85th. Been listening to my body for years now telling me it's time, for what? to watch television? Hoping (expecting?) a Labor victory, the backside of Prime Minister Morrison. Forget Peter Hartcher's political nonsense, the Costello/Morrison man, presently supporting a coalition majority of ONE. With the USA back in (a form of) control, the Democrats, and with it the serious upgrade in the urgency of climate change, putting Morrison in a bind with his right wing clique, leading me (and my body) to a Labor victory sometime during the next 12 months. Jobkeeper supposedly ends in March? and all those borrowed billions. Albo's big chance. "The higher the monkey climbs the more he shows his backside?" Sure, he's no Whitlam, Hawke or Keating, but neither is our Prime Minister as strong as the experts tell us via News Limited, once you list all his mistakes the past two years, including his consistent 'do nothing' approach. Albo needs not only his jobs focus but coming in heavily (clearly) on climate change, negative gearing, capital gains and (wages justice) aka industrial relations. On the basis of governments being shown the door rather than elected, Albo's more than half a chance. The bright side of life? And why not? A last year worth the wait! [Every year begins in February in downtown Rye, the isolation during January a necessity until the departure of our multicultural hordes, bless them]. Yes, I hear you - China and Russia? Too hard basket.  


SEPTEMBER 2017: Heritier Lumumba on SBS, presented his point of view with honesty and courage. It's tricky, particularly where the Australian persona generally comes from, as against Heritor's Brazilian background and his concern for his skin colour. I loved his time at Collingwood and saddened by his obvious emotional ties at the finish. We are told of prejudice and how being the victim of racial bias can impact your mental and physical health. We ponder Nathan Buckley's (perhaps?) lack of sensitivity or Heritor's over sensitivity? Later comments from Andrew Krakauer and Leon Davis indicate the racist element remains strong, embedded. Heritier's coming out after the Goodes incident or more specifically Eddie McGuire’s apology for the King Kong slip of the tongue. Football is about revenge and so called loyalty. The Collingwood supporter reaction is to assume Heritier had a screw loose, but Heritier was right. The moral sickness (so to speak) lies with us. We can say nice things but indirectly are we looking on them as a special breed? Former Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell was apparently unaware of Heritier’s feeling in being called Chimp because he did not mention it? Sounds logical from a supporters point of view but in fact it’s again us at fault. Maybe we shouldn't question Heritior’s motives; question ours? In supporting Heritier as a champion Collingwood player, and then doing an about turn because he stood up to Eddie is writing off his validity in favour of our own assumption of superiority. Said Heritier: "I think the sense of freedom has come since leaving the AFL. It's given me more time to explore other facets of life and to discover different parts of myself that I guess I didn't know existed."  I can't say I understand him, but I remain a fan of his work and his courage and wish him well. FEBRUARY 2021: Systemic racism at Collingwood? True enough up to a point, safely assuming the same applies to every AFL Club at the nitty gritty. Racism the world over, whites, blacks, browns and pinks, a matter of degree. Eddie should have come in with a full blown holier than though apology as a form of appeasement. In the scheme of things (Collingwood's enemies) it wouldn't have had any effect of merit, but far better than the 'proud and historical' angle he came out with, providing, as expected, further ammunition for the "do gooders" (the politically correct and righteously indignant, no disrespect intended) within our society. Eddie retracted of course, a shade late but better than never? Heritior Lumumba (personal namecalling Eddie, of cowardice, bizarre etc?) now appears to want Eddie's blood. Nothing less will satisfy him, indeed, I suspect, not even that? Somewhere in this War and Peace drama there could well be, but not necessarily - money? And Neil Mitchell? If Neil says Eddie McGuire should go, typical, he should stay, until, as he himself said, the end of 2021. [Conclusion: You've said your piece Ed mate ‘‘We are apologetic, we are humbled, and we are also galvanised to dismantle any structures of systematic racism.’’ Good stuff, albeit the good bloke syndrome does not work for non Collingwood supporters. Eddie's been good for Collingwood. He tries too hard at times, to be loved, and occasionally subject to talking before thinking, but always with sincerity. And Heritior? Do not think about any one thing for too long. Read some poetry. Move on?]   


I Say Again: My religion is best described as neutral rather than agnostic. As I move dangerously close to a possible answer I’m having my doubts. It’s nice that God is a refuge and strength to some. It’s the representatives of God, those Christian leaders who confuse me, contributing to religious madness by way of superstition and particularly guilt, amazingly ignoring their own wrongs in favour of their often confusing ideas of righteousness. Why the different costumes, the red cardinals, mass ceremonies, kissing crucifixes, fasting, bells, praying to statues, beads, holy water, exorcisms, confessions and all those candles? The Hail Mary seemingly as an antidote for past indiscretions, to be good again to practice, what? Envy, lust, hatred and greed? One wonders if they do the Hail Mary stuff to themselves? Never forgetting the other religions, (including the weird ones, Jehovah's?) all claiming theirs are the real ones. Winning in the name of God; killing in the name of God and historically (so it's reported) protected from their very own dreadful habits, in the name of God. How long has it all be going on? Forever. They wrote the books. Give us your money and we’ll save you, but do as I say, not as I do, or it’s a ticket to hell. I have a bible, the catholic one. Well, my wife had it. I've kept it in fear of a ghostly reaction to discarding it. With apologies to the honest followers. [Hard to believe all this gay conversion hoo haa, and yet, a sharp reminder of those ignorant living among us. The first church is in the skull, and there the God's, all of them, face in two directions?]


Kevin Andrews toppled in preselection battle for Menzies by former special forces captain and Cambridge-educated barrister Keith Wolahan. Andrews had endorsements from federal ministers including Health Minister Greg Hunt, Trade Minister Dan Tehan, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, former prime minister John Howard and News Corp commentators Andrew Bolt and Peta Credlin, who spoke at events in support of Mr Andrews. [A time will tell situation, particularly the unknown Wolahan. Andrews previously a member of the clique, but effectively (seemingly) the past few years, insignificant. Claim to fame; cancelling the visa of the innocent Queensland Gold Coast Dr Mohamed Haneef ?] 


Masochism gone wild. I'm excused. No Big Bash League cricket so forced to watch "Who wants to be a Millionaire, celebrity special" - Rachel Griffiths paired with Rhys Muldoon (pass), Red Symons with Wilbur Wilde (zzz), Stephen Curry with Bernard Curry (ditto), radio hosts Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw (who?) and Samuel Johnson with Hilde Hinton (painful) - add in our Eddie (McGuire) attempting personality, more likely forced adrenelin and supposedly his version of comedy. How embarrassing. False heroes are endemic to public life. "You can never get enough of what you don't really want." [Eric Hoffer].


Our Prime Minister's National Press Club's appearance: Opening with "Thank you for your service". An American thing? Our own way, our Australian way. Apart from the Arts? Economic recovery, jobs and more jobs. Big wraps for Greg Hunt, Josh Frydenburg. "How good are we?" We did this, we did that, all vaccinations by October, free to all. [What was not mentioned, forever a part of any economic planning - the money markets, armaments and property development?]...The NSW RFS would like to thank Scott Morrison for giving Hillsong $43 million after refusing to give the RFS $20 million for 4 jet tankers?...."He is strongest who is most alone." [Ibsen]...Have a nice day?...www.ello8.com





Friday 29th January, 2021....Flippant, a disrespectful attitude? Or a need to flee to a holiday shack, escape the madding crowd. I'm alright Jack loud and clear. Australia Day, in my youth known as Empire Day. There doesn't appear to be any England Day, maybe Guy Fawkes Day? Certainly not a British Isles Day. With good reason. Scotland obviously, add in the Great Famine in Ireland 1847-51, one and a half million Irish people starved to death while millions of pounds worth of food was exported, under the protection of English troops, because the landowners would not sell the food below the market price. Then there's India, Australia obviously, America, the Boer War, half the bloody world in fact, and nobody wants to change God Save The Queen, right up there with Advance Australia Fair in the non-inspirational songs category. I'm not into the majority chest out flag waving nationalism, with it the danger in unenlightened patriotism. A flag incidentally with another country's flag in the mix. As for a particular day take your pick, January 26 is obviously a day to celebrate the arrival of white British colonists, including some who apparently stole a loaf of bread to feed their starving family, a long way short, in fact decades after the original settlers. Maybe call it Reconciliation Day, encompassing lasting injustices, here in particular, honing in, albeit noting it's been happening the past 5000 years the world over?  On the other hand if it makes them feel better (our majority that is, the online poll, conducted for The Age and Nine News, found 40 per cent were opposed to a republic, which would have the British monarchy replaced with our own head of state. Of the meagre 1222 asked, from 26 million, 40% said no, 34% yes and a whopping 26% said they didn’t know?) good luck to them. Should Australia Day be changed? Probably. I'd go for the first Monday after New Year's Day, maybe convince our multicultural invaders (Rye in January) to arrivederci to Melbourne earlier? [Note to the Council for the Order of Australia. The awarding of Australia Day honours will never be resolved until they nominate Cliff Ellen? Alternatively, by releasing Priya, Nades, Kopika and Tharunicaa back to their home and adoptive community in Biloela, I'm prepared to join the invisible majority?] There you have it, clear as mud. So it goes.... 


Chaser/edited: Immigration Minister and part time monster mash Peter Dutton has today joined the chorus of voices calling for Australia day to be scrapped, after learning the day celebrates the time a group of criminals travelled by boat from overseas to invade a sovereign nation’s borders. Asked what he thought about other similar holiday, such as ANZAC day, where Australians join together to celebrate invading Turkey by boat, Dutton said he felt faint, and needed to sit down. Dutton was then rushed to hospital, after being informed Boxing Day involves a giant boat race, Christmas celebrates a man who travels the world without a passport, and the Queens Birthday celebrates a foreigner who lives off government benefits. [JOKE?]


Comedy, a necessity for combatting the ever present danger of oncoming stress. An old one, bullseye! Husband’s call: "Honey it's me. I don't want to alarm you but I was hit by a car as I was leaving the office. Paula brought me to the hospital. They have checked me over and done some tests and some x-rays. The blow to my head was severe. Fortunately it did not cause any serious internal injury. However I have three broken ribs, I have a compound fracture in the left leg, and they think they may have to amputate my right foot." Wife’s Response: "Who is Paula?" [Women eh, who needs them? Who doesn't need them? Always assuming you're not married to a Margaret Court type.] 


The Saturday Paper, Gadfly: PM Scott Morrison bravely called up Vice-President Mike Pence and had a conversation in which Trump was basically ignored, much the same way a fart is ignored in a conference room. Morrison’s refusal to condemn outright Trump’s insurrection stands in stark contrast with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who issued an explicit condemnation, putting Scott Morrison in the unfortunate position of having even less character than Boris Johnson. The most we got from Morrison was something of a condemnation of the violence of the Capitol assault with the caveat, “But it has been a year full of violence, you know, in many ways last year in the United States” – drawing a comparison between men with Viking helmets and zip ties planning on kidnapping members of the senate to Black Lives Matter protesters who were calling for an end to police brutality. In fairness, Morrison showed a heroic level of restraint, stopping himself from adding there were “very fine people on both sides”, which in Australian politics is known as “pulling a McCormack”. [Obviously Michael, who made the odd mess or two while Scotty had yet another unenforced break.] 


Should Google pay? Josh Frydenberg says yes. When we say Josh we automatically include the triptych of Morrison, Hunt and the devious Dutton, so how does this affect moi? The government gets more money but I will not see an extra cent. Google may well charge, in addition to my paying for subscribing to The Age, The Saturday Paper and The Guardian, offset by ignoring the likes of Stan and Netflix. I see it as a murder mystery detective, as in who benefits? The newspapers of course, and the government needs the newspapers, particularly Rupert's clan and Costello's Nine. As mentioned previously I've lost my once lightning thoughts to particular words, thus a need for Mister Google. Looks like an extended visit to the three op-shops within walking distance, Josh and his followers, the super rich, likely to have a January cleanup (where I also search for brand name shirts) of books. Books in particular, for inspiration. They feed me with ideas. I'm told Bing, an alternate search function might help, apparently unrelated to Crosby? [Google holds 94 per cent search engine market share in Australia. Its closest rival is Bing with 3.7 per cent, followed by DuckDuckGo with 0.79 per cent, Yahoo! with 0.73 per cent and Ecosia on 0.2 per cent, according to independent web analytics company Statcounter. A push by our Treasurer as a representative for  Murdoch's clan and Nine news? Time will tell.]


Our mate Albo (Albanese) has declared he will lead Labor to its first federal election win in more than a decade following a major shake-up of his front bench designed to calm internal tensions over policy direction. "Right now, insecure work and underemployment are at record highs. We have more than two million Australians who are either out of a job or can’t get the amount of work they need,’’ He got that right. The bigger problem is, of course, climate change, and leaving aside his need to inspire us, and somehow come to terms with handling our Prime Minister's do 'bugger  all' approach, his climate change policies are (at best) still clouded, similar to his pretend support for Bill Shorten during the last election. ‘‘Climate change action is good for jobs, it is good for reducing emissions, as well as good for reducing power prices.’’ Vague. And why Tanya Plibersek minister for women? Making his own bed, without a pillow? [Albo's no fool, so we can assume he's stashing up a 'treasury' of Morrison blues to be brought forward at the appropriate time? Surely???]     


Kerry O'Brien could not accept his honour from the same body that would make "such a deeply insensitive and divisive decision". "Margaret Court was a great tennis player who thrilled most Australians in her tennis years including me, but her hurtful and divisive criticisms relating to the fundamental rights of the LGBTQ+ community are clearly repugnant to many Australians," O'Brien wrote. "I believe the decision to present her with this award was deeply insensitive and must undermine community respect for awards that were created to celebrate a true spirit of community, not divide it." [Kerry's a star. Match this with Malcolm Turnbull's award for his contributions to marriage equality. Hypocritical nude-nuts? Ditto Morrison in the dock, Princess Court; a deliberate political decision from a religious fruitcake.]


Talk of introducing compulsory swimming lessons. Perhaps compulsory common sense?...Comedy? Tony Abbott appointed as a distinguished fellow to the IPA (Institute of Public Affairs)... Message to Peter (African gangs?) Dutton - "What's your take on the far right extremists Pete mate?"...Hail the new warrior, Australian of the Year Ms Grace Tame; stand aside Rosie Batty. Beware inciting Julia Baird (The Drum) recalling her previous fanatical heights with the #MeToo campaign?...I see no good reason why any person of my age should be higher on the list for the vaccine. Having said this I'll hold out for the Pfizer vaccine with 95 per cent coverage, as against the AstraZeneca with about 60 per cent coverage?...Our cricket team tours to South Africa in March. COVID-19 in South Africa has recorded more than one million cases and 40,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic?..."The rest of the world understands Australian theft and murder, mainly because of their participation in similar acts, but in Australia we pretend bemusement or outright hostility to the mere suggestion. And we are such fair-go, goodbloke larrikins that we become furious when a sportsman accuses others of racism. [Bruce Pascoe]...Perspective? In a population of almost 26 million, in the past year some 150,000 Australians died, including 909 due to COVID...."Australia is now known around the world as the most inhumane, the most uncaring and the most selfish of all the wealthy countries." [M.Fraser. 2014]....My take on politics: "The secret of contentment is never to allow yourself to want anything which reason tells you haven’t a chance of getting" [M.T.]...Play it on YouTube - "Those were the Days" Mary Hopkin, 1969...Keep yourselves nice...www.ello8.com






Unenforced isolation. Saturday 23rd January, 2021. It's an age thing, as in going crackers? On a personal basis I've lost my instant memory for words. Yes, google helps, but not if you're lying down, worse, in bed after lights out and you search for it, and it evades. If you're not careful it can keep you there for an hour and it's already 2am? Eventually, occasionally, it arrives; I record on my mobile phone alongside the bed, but not necessarily if I've forgotten I have it on said mobile phone? Similar to a song, but worse. You can defeat the song by a forced change of song, or concentrate, think about - nothing, hoping you'll drop off, lalaland. But the words, "those Frenchies seek him here, everywhere. Is he in heaven or is he in hell? That demned elusive Pimpernel” -  adds in the concern/risk of "losing it"? The threat of no Google? Back to the concise oxford, if I can locate it? 


Social media pre-requisites: All decisions are instant, no need for evidence, no deep thought required and certainly no defence if challenged; similar to peeing on a brick wall for all the  good it does to challenge, or as the Navy used to call it "Urinating in a public place", in my day a £5 fine and loss of good conduct badges. No, never charged, or perhaps never caught? Truth is generally based on feelings, beliefs, perceptions, occasionally adding in education and upbringing. Some may say if you're relying on people you're relying on mud? Not to worry. At my age no necessity to maintain the false belief of my usefulness? Thirty years ago no choices, East Enders Midsomer Murders, read a book. Now we have Facebook, a host of choices, YouTube, On Demand, and still East Enders, Midsomer Murders and books. So it goes...  


The News: Neil Mitchell (3AW) is bad enough, now subject to Russel Howcroft (right wing; yawn) at breakfast. Sammy J (ABC) talks non political childish nonsense. Some say he's funny, yet to crack a smile. Left to 3RRR, kids, but good. I try midday ABC television during lunch, background. For horror I go to Nine News, a magazine style load of tosh designed via Peter Costello and promoted as 'A World of Free Entertainment' (for the sheep) alongside the Herald Sun to put more and more pressure on Dan Andrews. Australia Day approaches, as I've said, Scott Morrison Day, heavy footed on nationalism, tongue in cheek for "all Australians"? I'll choof across to the beach at Rye, experience the flag waving first hand, a concert, bands into the night, provided by our Mornington Peninsula Council. If I'm lucky I'll spot an aboriginal flag? 


Promises promises: Our man, Greg Hunt: Round 6 of the Morrison Government's Stronger Communities Programme is now open! $150,000 in grants are available to support community projects on the Peninsula that strengthen social connections, build community participation and create vibrant and viable communities into the future. Grants can range from $2,500 to $20,000. In recognition of the difficult year many community organisations have experienced in 2020, for this round grant funding for each project can be up to 100% of eligible project costs. [Is an election coming? He tried this caper last time?]


Lambs to the slaughter? Treasurer Josh Frydenberg wants the law changed to help the Covid recovery despite the banking royal commission saying it should not be touched. Abolishing responsible lending laws would help the economy recover from a coronavirus-induced recession by increasing the flow of credit says our Josh. In a report delivered to Frydenberg almost two years ago, the banking royal commissioner, Kenneth Hayne, recommended the law remain unchanged? Yet another lengthening between the rich and the poorer? It's not so much the rich getting rich that concerns me (Billionaire Solomon Lew will pocket $24.25m in dividends after his retail empire, Premier Investments received almost $70m in wage subsidies during the coronavirus crisis?) more a case of the latter, particularly the deeper the divisions leading to the failure of democracy. Sprouts Josh "Our economies continue to move forward". Meaning?


More than half of the recommendations made by Kenneth Hayne have either been abandoned or are yet to be fully implemented, after the treasurer received the inquiry’s final report and vowed to take action on ALL recommendations. Regulators put implementation of some recommendations on hold during the peak of the coronavirus crisis, but consumer groups fear Josh Freydenburg has taken advantage of the delay to undermine the pro-regulation consensus established by the royal commission, which followed more than five years of scandal in the financial services industry. Frydenberg said despite the coronavirus crisis more than 70% of the royal commission’s recommendations requiring action by the executive government had been implemented since he received the report in February 2019. An analysis by Guardian Australia of all 76 of Hayne’s recommendations shows that 44 have yet to be implemented and five have been abandoned. Three, which involve reviews of progress in making changes, are not yet due. Recommendations ditched include Hayne’s very first: "That laws requiring banks to lend responsibly NOT be changed"?


Tennis tournament: Aficionados (and particularly) the hoity-toity are in favour whereas we (down-to-earth, modest, submissive, subservient, deferential, overmodest, docile almost gentle) must abide for the benefit of those entitled? Apparently it brings bucketloads of moola (cash) into our state coffers. Equally apparent, I'm advised, this is of benefit to me, assuming (obviously) I don't catch the COVID bug. [Novak Djokovic.‘‘Decent food suitable for elite players’’ and ‘‘relocation - to private houses with a tennis court’’ No prizes for deciding how far Novak is up himself? On the other hand, truth, or selling newspapers?] Health before the economy is my mantra. Either way enough material there to bite Danny Andrews on his bum? Should I expect a quid from this increase in the state coffers? Is the Pope a catholic. Solution? Forget it.


Courage/toughness. Watching the history channel, Arthur Charles Jeston Richardson, an Australian cyclist and mining engineer, became the first person to circumnavigate the continent of Australia on a bicycle, no roads mostly, 1890's, a reminder to compare with my great riding, my pushbike, 1947 Northcote to Frankston, including a puncture. The effort draining, a call home to the milk bar where Mum worked, JW3822, SOS, arranged for Uncle Tom to kindly drive his ute to Frankston, collect me, and the bike, puncture mended, drove us home. Uncles and Aunties, great value 1940's, 50's. 


The Australian government has said it has made “significant achievements in the realisation of human rights” since the previous United Nations human rights council review in 2015. “These include significant investments addressing family and domestic violence, human trafficking and modern slavery and the legalisation of same-sex marriage.” [They look you in the eye and with the utmost sincerity, tell beautiful lies. Aboriginals in custody, Uluru Statement from the Heart? Same sex marriage used as a plus despite kicking and screaming against it?] 


Kerry O'Brien: "America's attempt to extradite Assange is all about politics, not about justice, not about national security. All Australians should be embarrassed if Assange is extradited for war crimes and other dirty secrets we all had a right and a need to know. If the Australian government does not intercede on his behalf it will be complicit in a grave injustice and a serious strike against a free press. We are all invested in this and we should all make our voices heard." [Here here, but why only the Americans? Surely there's a reason why the English judge decided (no bail) to let Julian rot in hell?]


"Democracy prevails" says Joe Biden. Depends what he means by democracy. Time will tell, noting Germany had democracy before Adolf, Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and with it the creation of laws which did not go through parliament approval? The circus is over, hopefully. Why no condemnation by the Morrison government to Trump's incitement of a fascist coup and the terrorist acts he inspired? Transparency, vigilance and integrity are keys to preserving democracy, here and in the USA? Joe Hockey was closer to the truth, his truth. Four years a mad Trump supporter, now, the following day, all for President Joe?   


The Chaser Weakly: The whole Trump era was terrific entertainment. It had a bit of everything: violence, death, racism, sexism, comedy, terror, absurdism, political intrigue, courtroom drama, press conferences at landscaping firms, Nazis and golf. But now that's it's over, let's just stop talking about it for a while. Americans can talk about themselves (they're very good at that), and we can talk about stuff closer to home. [Suits me].


Daniel Andrews criticism of former tennis great Margaret Court (sucked in to Scott's nationalism crusade?) set to be promoted to a Companion of the Order of Australia?..."A ragging Nathan Lyon delivery beat Rishabh Pant by so far it went to slip. Fazed? The next ball he clouted for six against the spin." Well done India. An end to Auzzie arrogance? Not likely....Occupational hygienist? A what? Adding to a long list of COVID experts?... Freedom of speech, up to a point. An opinion yes, but in Australia not those dealing with consumer protection, workplace bullying, electoral regulation, copyright, confidential information, privacy, obscenity, racial discrimination, nuisance, treason and contempt of court...Mining companies have gifted $136 million in political donations; why?...No point winning powerball if overseas travel is not allowed during 2021; no Paris?...Cute: "My body's absorbed so much sanitiser that when I pee it cleans the toilet."...."Life is an endless vacuum" [Bill Garner]...Keep yourselves nice...www.ello8.com






Unenforced isolation. Sunday 17th January, 2021. A Seinfeld week, a show about nothing, this week's key word, normality. Almost that is, after wading through the COVID news, the disgruntled overseas and interstate travellers and some tennis tournament. And the flim flam men, Trump and Morrison. A need for something interesting to allow my mind to tick back into neutral/active, normality. I was so desperate I read a piece on John Waters in The Age, a pre-publicity job on an upcoming Foxtel show. It never ceases to amaze me how it is assumed people into a form of celebrity status are into an equal status of intelligence? For mine - not necessarily! I recall his line back in 1983 (at age 34 All the rivers Run) telling me "Anyone who can't ride a horse shouldn't be an actor". "I've given up bread, sugars and alcohol" said John. As Steve Bisley said a number of times in that great early series Frontline currently replaying on the ABC - Hot cock! Goodness gracious me. A measure surely of our desperation for content. The Channel 9 news is all about real estate, electricity prices and the usual January drownings. I know, it's January. Be patient. Dream of normality, what ever that means. As for the biggest joke of the month, no secret, acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack. A day at a time, but oh so slow days. zzz.


Donald Trump from Tim Soutphommasane, edited: "If the problem is decadence, it may not be an exclusively American malaise. A moral complacency, a tendency for instant gratification, an inability to achieve systemic progress, a loss of common purpose: these are arguably all present in Australian public life. Granted, there are differences between Australia and the US. Our largely commendable national response to COVID-19 points to some structural resilience. But we, too, show signs of social decay amid abundance and strength. We see it in our stalled response to climate change. We see it in the lack of political accountability for lies, misconduct and maladministration. We see it in the constant calls for a return to Hawke-Keating style reforms, a sign of imaginative exhaustion. And we see it in the repetitive rituals of performative outrage that punctuate our culture wars." [Well said young Tim, on the other hand, from the high office of our acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack "It is unfortunate that we have seen the events at Capitol Hill, that we’ve seen in recent days – similar to those race riots that we saw around the country last year,” McCormack told ABC Radio National on Monday. “These are unfortunate events and of course many people don’t remember how you rode the horse; they remember how you dismount the horse. And it is unfortunate that this has occurred." That's telling them Mikey, man of steel? In drawing a comparison as in ability on the job, Michael is on a par with the Victorian opposition leader Michael O'brien? Add in a reasonable question (ABC journalist) to a representative of the Indian cricket side, "Is Australia racist?" Premier Gladys Berejiklian chipping in (dreaming?) "It's so un-Australian". Assuming we ignore Aboriginal people, Chinese, Muslims, Africans, Bosnians  and arabs generally, no, we're not racist.] 


The Chaser, edited "after a long and tense editorial board meeting last night, we have decided to cast aside our policy of impartiality and call upon parliament to retain acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack in his current position indefinitely. Michael McCormack has only been in the top job for less than a week, but in that time he has embodied Donald Horne's thesis that Australia is lucky because we muddle along despite having absolutely shithouse leaders. Michael McCormack has over the course of the past week managed to discredit almost every cause he's sought to support. By weighing into debates about Trump, Black Lives Matters, racial slurs at the cricket, Cheese Brands and fruit picking, he has done more for progressive causes in this country than any other leader ever, including Gough Whitlam. Every opinion he expresses is immediately discredited simply by sheer weight of his moronicness. Such skills are rare. We must seize this opportunity as a nation and make him Prime Minister for life. Because if Australia can continue to exist as a country with Michael McCormack as its leader then it truly is one hell of a lucky country. [Sadly, our PM and Treasurer are creating new avenues leading to the widening between them and us, superannuation, work choices, etc etc.] 


Like the Australian cricket captain, kindly excuse me, January in Rye (Victoria) can be hell on earth. Our Mornington Peninsula man, Health Minister Greg Hunt (sniper?) "Australia is the third most generous country in the world in regard to "humanitarian intake." highly doubtful according to my sources. Add in the contentious "providing medical care for refugees." Add in his comment last week, "Victoria has a duty to find a way to get its residents home"? Our Greg, the epitome of normality? 


Picking and choosing? Freedom of speech my backside. Yassmin Abdel-Magied spoke up and was duly crucified? Twitter is not removing Trump’s right to free speech, it is simply choosing not to publish it. This same power resides in The Age and The Herald-Sun, certainly in the 'feelgood' Nine News, indeed, in our government's deliberate handling (mishandling?) of our FOI laws? You may choose (like me) the silly idea of asking why, but if you expect an honest answer, yet again, you're dreaming. Or maybe ask another sniper;  expert on freedom - Josh Frydenberg? 


Enough said? The lost art/Leunig, Saturday Age/Spectrum: Finger strokes on a screen of glass, on your device, a thousand strokes a day...flick flick flick tap tap flick tap tap flick...swipe tap tap tap swipe swipe tap swipe...you could have done a wonderful painting with that agile finger, those sure and simple movements. You could have made a lovely wild and coloured thing...a happy mystery to hang on your wall, something to smile at... 


Old age, thankfully, luckily, good memories: Melbourne cup day 1949, a 13 year old in a gambling frenzy. Foxami had recorded a great time trial, faster than the favourite (Shannon from memory but don't bet on my memory) so logic reared it's head. I declared (to Auntie Millie) Foxami was past the post. Auntie advanced me 2 shillings (a shilling each way, my first bet ever) at 16/1. Duly greeted the judge and 22 shilling collected from the hairdresser/barber. Never a thought of returning Auntie's 2 shillings? Free to roam, the one rule, home for tea. To Luna Park with Graham Campbell (later a Fitzroy and Victorian VFL champion) and the big dipper, 4 rides until the front seats were vacant, the other 12 in the front seats. Across the road to Candy Corner. Chocolate malted milk shakes. Sometimes watching the prostitutes. I liked the skinny one with purple hair. The shady customers appeared to prefer the fat one? Enough left to catch the two trains home. [Money not a problem 1949. A morning station spot (Westgarth station) a built in type of cubby house, selling The Sun newspaper and various lollies, an afternoon Herald paper round and a lolly boy at night, the Merri theatre, North Fitzroy. Note: On Saturdays after a Collingwood victory a fortune to be made at the Northcote bowling club. The Herald and the Sporting Globe (pink) at tuppence a piece. Given sixpence and told to "keep the change." Nothing forthcoming with a Collingwood loss. Not to worry. Saturday's we're pay nights at the Merri theatre. 10pm. Hamburger shop. A slap up feast, baked beans on toast at 2 shillings and sixpence.]   


Jon Faine, local and overseas; edited: The Premier enormously enjoys his arm wrestle with the baying Murdoch hunting pack and it will continue. Strategic briefings against Andrews to pet journalists have left unreliable sources with red faces and zero credibility. Trump, the casualty list from his theatrically inspired single failed term in the White House is staggering. Now those voters who stormed the seat of constitutional power at his urging are left abandoned. Their anger over a ‘‘stolen’’ election is compounded by now being betrayed by their figurehead. It turns out it was all for nothing. They too were taken in by the greatest conman of our generation. The damage to their self-regard, to say nothing of the international reputation of the US, will take years to repair. [I'll go along with Jon.]


Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his entire cabinet have resigned over a scandal involving the payment of childcare allowances and the government’s attempt to recoup the costs from the recipients. Scott Morrison and his government refused to do anything until robodebt was shown to be the travesty that it was?...The past 10 months I've washed my hands (thoroughly) some 2000 times. Can't help wondering how many COVID monsters went down my bathroom sink?..."Who by kindness and smooth attention can insinuate a hearty welcome to an unwelcome guest, is a hypocrite superior to a thousand plain-dealers" [Lavater - or, Morrison to Joe Biden?]...Keep yourselves nice...www.ello8.com







Unenforced isolation. Sunday, 10th January, 2021. Have they gone yet?  Who, you may well ask, unless like me you're a resident of Rye Victoria and presently tripping over multicultural adult hordes, darling little ankle biters almost all eating ice cream, many with a puppy on a leash, sometimes? The hot weather improves the need/opportunity to shop, to some degree; they all retire to the beach and the love of the humming jet skis, with the ambulance sirens occasionally for balance. Am I cranky, bitter? No. There's a type of masochistic pleasure in knowing come the day after Australia Day (we call it Scott Morrison Day) they disappear. They're not all bad. I saw one group putting their pizza rubbish in the bin, albeit an overflowing bin. I should have taped it but the females were already giving me dirty looks for (seemingly?) looking at them. The colder days earlier helped, in that my Woolworths visits at 7am were free of bikini wearing shoppers. I'm thinking of getting a badge - "I survived the invasion" centre, below it, Gloria Gaynor. 


History? Various new words have been thrust at us on a daily basis the past 10 months. I keep looking (without clarification) for a Scotty Morrison word, other than slogans, so I've decided to submit my contribution - anomaly. Something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected. “I don’t hold a hose, mate.” was a classic phrase following his Hawaii visit going pear-shaped. The national cabinet has turned out to be a front for abolishing parliament. Credit where it's due, he (and firefighter Geoff Hunt) created the $5 million dollar app, responsible for the successful tracing of some dozen or more COVID cases. Already, at this early stage, Mister Anomoly (aka Schomo) was attracting a massive approval rate, for reasons best left to Mary's little lambs. Not satisfied, he wanted more, hubris (excessive pride or self-confidence). JobKeeper was announced, a union idea watered down so artists, migrant workers, universities and recently employed casuals couldn’t apply, but the Catholic Church could? Better still, the sheep and the crooks dived in, still swimming. Jobkeeper was doubled, until now, and aged care with 685 out of our 907 COVID deaths ignored, kindly balanced out by renovation grants. Danny Andrews was our captain, day after day, despite balanced attacks from firefighter number 2 Josh Frydenberg. So no parliament, firefighters at the ready, and Mister Anomaly taking on the China syndrome and the original cause of COVID. Silly me; I asked why and was told it would allow us to prepare for future COVID type attacks? And then, another brilliant idea, for good measure - an empathy coach @ $190k. Keeping his head clear of these fascinations is Sir Peter Dutton, patiently waiting, hoping, for opportunity number 2.    


NOBEL peace laureate Mairead Corrigan: "Chelsea Manning, as an American soldier based in Iraq, could not go along with the murder of Iraqi civilians. Julian Assange, as a publisher, had to do his duty and disclose facts of the Iraqi and Afghan wars to the public. Edward Snowden, working in US intelligence, could not remain silent knowing that his government was carrying out illegal surveillance of US citizens and world governments." [No bail for Julian, no surprise. English justice? No such thing. A death sentence.]


The FOI system, a crucial limb of government accountability, relies heavily on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, an independent umpire that reviews government decisions and hears complaints. From The Guardian, independent senator Rex Patrick: The senator said the overloading of the regulator was part of a broader trend toward secrecy in Australia. “We’ve got a government that has expanded cabinet to broaden secrecy claims over all significant decisions, ignored the funding needs of the auditor general, reducing his performance audit capacity from 48 per annum to under 40, feigned interest in a real Icac (Independent Commission Against Corruption) and used the AFP to intimidate the media in its oversight role.” [We all know who runs the AFP. Peter Dutton, Medevac: From the Mantra Hotel in Preston to the Park Hotel in Carlton. They cannot leave the hotel for exercise, and the windows have been tinted so we cannot see them. Again silly me, asking why the secrets, particularly hiding/secrecy - from whom?]


The storming of congress; serious, highlighting double standards, American interference in other countries politics, likely Australia included? Donald Trump. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and the hoax of COVID-19, without a word against his almost maniacal rule? Scotty (Legion of Merit) Morrison, the non carrying fire hose man: ‘‘He’s a strong leader, who says what he’s going to do and then goes and does it". Later "It is not for me to offer commentary on world leaders’’ - apart from Vladimir Putin and/or Xi Jinping? Can we be thankful Donald didn't start a war with China or whoever? The possibility our PM would have been there boots and all, our troops that is. [From 18 months ago: ."Scott Morrison has backed Donald Trump’s harder line against Iran in an escalating dispute over its nuclear program, and he did not rule out military assistance from Australia"].Perhaps not, perhaps too busy with climate change, respect for Indigenous people, improving social inequality and (again) those refugees? [I may not consider myself a sheep, but truthfully, I can't rule out - goat?]


If they say it enough times it becomes truth in the eyes of many, obviously. The smokers alongside in cafes, pushed outside to street level, still the danger, pushed out again in favour of pure air, ignoring the roar of passing traffic and the dangers of (their words) passive smoking. Unborn babies and so on. Here's another: Reserve bank governor Phillip Lowe. Interest rates cut to 0.1% for 3 years "to restore the Australian economy and create jobs". No mention of bank depositors? Another form of the ridiculous trickle down effect. Never forgetting Josh Frydenburg telling us to work later in life. Work where? And from Bob Carr - the powerful truths of fascist thinking: the power of the big lie energetically repeated – in this case, that the election was stolen. [Don't blame me, it's the hot weather].  


Some oldies the luxury of sleeping nightly as babies, others the odd bad night. A thought sets in and refuses to depart, maybe 2, 3 hours. Awake, dark, sneak a look at the time hoping (say) 6am? Blast, 2.30am. During my 40 years in theatre I had twin jobs, equally as enjoyable, working for totalisator companies (later known as the TAB of Victoria) at country, provincial and metropolitan racetracks, the staff similarly divergent, all types, the same problem, too many for not enough jobs. Here's last night's musings, often forgotten after nodding off around 5am, occasionally indelible. I'm not big on auditions, an exercise in 'nonsense' from my perspective, be that as it may. La Mama half a century ago. I was there observing, to watch a friend strut his stuff along with half a dozen others. They all did well, but what would I know? The director asked if I could read the part. I was amused, read the lines, offered the part, a lottery. Another time I told the director I'd do it provided he did not direct me and if I was concerned in any way I'd talk to him privately, offered the role. Recommended by Ross Williams to audition, an unknown director of Sydney fame who, apparently, was looking for my reaction to a particular scene, which I completely stuffed up. I'd done a play in St Kilda the night before, plus a few frothies afterwards, so a 10am audition was a pain in the bum, do the right thing by Ross? I got it, likely Ross put in a good word. I did two half hearted others for Theatreworks, both clearly against my casting, causing (yet again) to read in 'high bland' (say the lines, adrenaline excluded), got them anyway? Others cast me without the necessity for the audition, which was nice because I'd have also stuffed them up. My attitude to film, commercials and television auditions was even worse. Matching heads was not something I took kindly to, turning up at best, bored, slightly aggressive, knowing these often incompetent know-alls were fantasising as to their importance and anyway, one had to do the right thing by the good intentions of one's agent. I had a rule, attending every second time. The agent wouldn't check up, no problem. Thinking back, perhaps I was the know-all? [And, to quote Vonnegut, 'so it goes'. I'll have a nap later, catch up on shuteye].


Duplicity and self-interest, America, Australia, the world...Memories; Donald (trousers) Trump: He reduced taxes for the wealthy, he appointed conservatives to the Supreme Court, he boosted military spending, he pulled out of the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear treaty, and he moved the United States embassy to Jerusalem. Remember when Trump campaigned on law and order?...I seem to recall Health Minister, Martin Foley asking we Victorians not to travel to New South Wales, 3 weeks ago?..."We're Victorians. We know fire" - a VicGov commercial, good, but please, cut the first two words...Greg Hunt the handballer? "Victoria has a duty to find a way to get its residents home"?...Big Bash commentator Lisa Sthalekar, top shelf, at long last...Robert Burton, 17th century: "Self-love and vain-glory in an era of shameless self-promotion with an obsession with sex and its artificial allurement."...The lack of an audience should never be a deterrent to the artist, ditto the bullshit-artist?...Be kind to waitresses...www.ello8.com





Monday 4th January, 2021. Yet another New Years Day passes. Our newly discovered songwriter (nationalistic populist?) Prime Minister's meet the press was at his adman best. Cleverly letting the ball go through to the keeper, aka the state Premiers. Liked the way he compared our COVID results with other countries, the inference 'How good is Australia' (despite his constant references to snapback). Public universities were excluded from JobKeeper. Many artists were excluded. Many migrants, those on temporary visas, stuck in Australia because of logistics and money, were not eligible for help at all. Casuals who had not been with their employer for 12 months were not eligible: Academics, artists, recent migrants, young people, women.  [Frydenberg, asked why artists and actors had been left out, said, “We had to draw the line somewhere.” Asked about the exclusion of skilled foreign workers, he said, “We had to draw the line somewhere.” Asked why, if he was willing to spend $130 billion on JobKeeper, he couldn’t have spent more to cover casuals and foreign workers, again he said, “We had to draw the line somewhere.”] Fascinating difference between how the press handle Lady Gladys announcements as against our Danny Boy. 


And so begins my 14th year of Salt, hard to believe. Still searching for a change of direction. From my past 'big' decisions any change is highly unlikely. Dad marched me into town 1953, a 20 year public service stint. Accountancy was never on. A mate pleaded with me to come, so after working out a system (couple of beers, buy a meal, attend classes 7pm twice a week) it all began, primarily as a joke. Chris, another workmate, wanted me to come along to acting classes. What? Only ever seen the one stage show, a musical with Toni Lamond, The Pajama Game 1957. I had seen the Northcote High School play, recalling falling in love with the beautiful lead actress, who turned out to be a male? In for a penny, toddled along to William Bates Acting Academy? Nonsense. Chris got a part in their current play. Amateur crap. Melodrama, personified by dainty super chummy males? Abandoned Chris to his doubtful newfound fame. Months later, despite Chris's (now) modified fame in amateur ranks he asked I again accompany him to another crowd in South Yarra, professional, Claremont Theatre; Chris obviously smitten by ambition? I watched some improvisations, bit of fun; it all began, again, again a joke. Currently bereft of living advisers, keep writing? Not to worry. Happy New Year. Happy? 


Cassandra Goldie, The Guardian, edited: "From 1 January 2021 the maximum rate of jobseeker with the coronavirus supplement will be cut from $58 a day to just $51 a day. Originally increased earlier this year to $80 a day at the beginning of Covid, jobseeker will plunge back down to $40 a day at the end of March 2021 unless the federal government acts. The gap between the base rate of jobseeker and the minimum wage or the aged pension will be eye-watering. The age pension, not generous by any means, is $67. The minimum wage is $107 a day. Also, more than 1 million people are on temporary visas and are denied income support altogether. We need this federal government – this prime minister and minister for social services – to act, and fast. We need a permanent, adequate increase to jobseeker urgently, to be extended to everyone hit by unemployment now." [You can be certain the jobseeker welfare cuts will not dribble down to shops, growers, farmers, industry or charities.]


I recall a 3 week holiday on the Gold Coast, early 1980's. Strangely I've always thought I haven't got an artistic bone in my body. Still do. While there I read the Courier Mail daily and on weekends The Australian. The Age came in later in the day so I skipped it. I swam daily, walked along the beach and spotted all those rich houses. I'd had enough by the end of the second week but stuck it out for the family. There was the obligatory dream of living up there. Not from me. I had this feeling of loss. Glad  to come home. Whether or not I have an artistic bone is open for discussion, but therein lies one conclusion; most Queenslanders living on the Gold Coast do not.  


Anthony Albanese: ‘‘When it comes to Scott Morrison, I think Australians have started to work him out anyway. They see him as fake. As someone who is always political and always looking to shift blame to others’’. "Labor must do more than highlight deficiencies if it wants to win government" says Anthony. ‘‘In 2021 we face a critical battle. The battle ahead will be one of values – whether people are held back and left behind.’’ [A bit like the sailor pissing into the wind, the port side or the starboard side? Perhaps check out the wind, hoping (desperately) he has the wherewithal? There's an implied criticism of difference, as in no dividend imputations. Other than that Shorten's focus was for a fairer distribution of the wealth. Yes, dividend imputations too much too soon, but what of capital gains and negative gearing? Details Anthony? On the credit side, good to know he's kicking.]


When the relaxation of lending rules was announced last September, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg – and the Reserve Bank of Australia – pitched it as a measure to “cut red tape”. “As Australia continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that there are no unnecessary barriers to the flow of credit to households and small businesses,” Frydenberg said. “Maintaining the free flow of credit through the economy is critical to Australia’s economic recovery plan.” Under the government’s proposal, the National Consumer Credit Protection Act would be changed to allow lenders to give out money without thoroughly checking whether the borrower could afford to repay the loan. The proposal directl 


I ventured across the road (some 500 steps) to the Rye RSL last Saturday. Not an ideal time to visit, albeit the taste of Carlton Draught from the tap. Awash with visitors from afar (Melbourne), many with a misinterpreted sense of entitlement, on holiday, nationalism intact, beware. Trapped, inevitable, discussion (?) point the wearing of masks, as you enter, not when drinking. Amidst his bullshit he uttered the magic words - "I'm Australian. I'm not racist." I anticipated a "but" to follow so I chipped in to stem the flow. If nothing else I'm practiced at maintaining an agreeable attitude while withholding my private truth, which saw myself as staring, face to face, with our beloved Prime Minister. I escaped, well and good, but not without a nasty taste for the following hour or two. [Adding in the unsolvable problem of "What motivates them to think I might want a discussion?"]   


And so it goes: Digital producer Michelle Feuerlicht, a pioneer of online journalism at the ABC and at 23 won a Walkley Award for her work with Four Corners, believes innovation isn’t supported enough. “I fought so hard to push digital boundaries, and even after the recognition it continued to be a battle,” she says. Frustrated, she moved to the UK and now works on an Innovate UK-funded project that explores how live performances can use immersive technologies. “What I am working on now really exposes the gap between the UK and Australia. This sort of future thinking within the arts doesn’t seem to be happening in Australia. It feels like people are more satisfied with the status quo. I’m not sure there’s any need for my skills, because they haven’t got the sort of industry I work in now.” [Sad but true].    


The patience of the ‘not happy Jan’s’ waiting in line; 2, 4, 6 hours. How dare they have to wait? What caused them to go in the first place? The safety of no third wave or their rights? Victoria should have been better prepared, surge capacity! Yeah? So should they, as in you lot in those queues. No border restrictions would almost certainly have led to increased numbers of outbreaks and the possibility (certainty?) of disastrous  consequences. This is not going away. Or am I being too simplistic? Take your heads out of the sand. It's a globalisation problem. Unless we all pull together, expect the same or worse come 2022.


Priya and Nades, presently enjoying 1000 days holidaying on Christmas Island, were born in Australia. One and free?...Nomophobia, nah?...Watched Channel 9's pathetic political bias, Sunday News. Thank goodness for the weather lady, albeit I wasn't listening to her forecast...Let's ban jet skis in Port Phillip Bay?..."I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's." [Mark Twain]...Patiently waiting for the multicultural/crowds to disperse (evacuations beginning Sunday 10th January to the big one, Tuesday 26th January)...Deep breathing, from the  diaphragm...www.ello8.com