Saturday, 26th January, 2019 (4.43am)

It’s Australia Day, Woopty Doo!

I don’t think I have one iota of patriotism or national pride. On a collective level, I am pretty much disgusted with the ignorance, fear and conservatism displayed by the members of this down under society. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of fantastic people in this country, enough to keep me from getting too angry or depressed. But what the fuck!

Primarily, look at who we voted into federal parliament recently, not once but twice – the Liberal National Party for fuck’s sake. The second time we voted them in, after Tony Abbott was deposed, was the most disappointing. One common observation at the time was how Australia has a tradition of not voting the incumbent government out after only one term. Oh dear!

There are calls to change the date of Australia Day. The first peoples of this country call Australia Day, Invasion Day. And so it bloody well is. Today should be a day of mourning. England invaded and illegally and immorally took possession. We can’t change that, but what a poor date to celebrate our so called great nation.

But what is worse than the 26th of January being the date for the celebration, is the total lack of will by the government, and a significant number of the electorate, to do anything at all for the first peoples of this country. After over 200 years of persecution and neglect we still do not have a treaty, and it doesn’t appear to be anywhere in sight. I don’t have pride in this nation, I have shame.

The recent attempt by the first peoples to connect and reconcile with the nation the invaders named Australia, as outlined in the Uluru Statement of the Heart, was summarily dismissed by the then PM, Malcolm Turnbull. His reason: it has no chance of gaining a yes vote in a referendum. That is so gutless and pathetic, but sadly possibly correct, that I want to cry.

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A monk in saffron robes wanders the Sunday market. He has a shaven head and carries a small dilly bag. He is looking over some trinkets on a trestle table.

People look at him and wonder what on earth a monk is doing in a place like this.

The monk finds what he is looking for.

Nothing.

Sunday 6th January 2019 [5.38am]

 

My computer gets slower and slower as times goes on. A bit like me actually.

I thought about closing down and rebooting, sometimes that works I think, but I fart arsed around a bit and closed some stuff and now it seems OK. I’m never sure what is going on and to find out can take an hour or so on Google and in discussion forums.

It’s a bit like motor cars, they get more and more complicated and nowadays you haven’t got a chance in hell of being able to fix them with a set of basic tools. One day some smart business person is going to make a bomb by selling no-frills cars and computers. You know real basic models with all the essentials and none of the fancy-schmancy bells and whistles.

While I was fart arsing around this morning, I thought about my blog and wondered could it do with a new look? My current wordpress theme is 2011. So I applied 2019, 2014, 2016 and 2018. Nup, sorry, I’ll stick with 2011. “Out-of-date” one might comment. I don’t care, it works for me.

At the moment I am trying to get back into a regular writing habit. It is a new year and, though I am not a big fan of reflections of the year that was, I must admit that 2018 was a year where my output of stories waned somewhat. Of course, I have a decent list of excuses/reasons for this, but I am not going to defend myself. It’s OK, in fact it is a characteristic of nature that stuff comes and goes, waxes and wanes, peaks and troughs. It don’t matter to me. The only thing that matters is that I get joy from writing and that it doesn’t become a burden, ie, an arduous, joyless discipline.

I’ve never been one to set goals and strive with all my might to ‘get ahead’. The term ‘get ahead’ irks me terribly. It epitomises so much of what is wrong in this current climate where laissez-faire capitalism appears to permeate every fibre of our society. Competition has infiltrated every aspect of our daily lives. And if I think about some of the things that our children experience in school and on the sporting fields and dance studios after school, I get sad and angry.

I have said this once and I will say it again and again: Darwin’s concept of survival of the fittest applies in many situations, but it does not apply between individuals within a social species such as Homo sapiens. Social species survive as a result of co-operation not competition.

long jetty_fotosketcher

It’s not a race.

Getting back to blogs, in the main I find them a good way for us to share and co-operate. Let me give you an example. Somehow a while back, I stumbled upon the blog of author Libby Sommer. In one post, Libby mentioned that her collection of short stories will be published by Ginninderra Press, a small Australian independent publishing house. Most publishers do not accept short story collections, apparently they don’t sell well – and of course it is all about sales if you want to get ahead. Libby spoke highly of this publisher, so I had a shot. I collated 49 of my stories into a collection that I titled Dead People Don’t Make Jam. I printed it off at Officeworks. I sent it by Australia Post. I got an email back. My book will be published. How good is that!

It takes a while for this all to happen, it might be out by Christmas 2019. It don’t matter to me, it is the validation that counts. So thanks Libby for the inspiration and thanks Ginninderra Press for publishing my book.

And thank you my blog for helping me back into a regular writing habit.