Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sunday Scribbles XVI

I think I've actually started to crystallise what I was trying to say ther other day. It's really not the beoming As One with Australia that worries me. It's the way of doing it. The entire structure is founded on growth. My problem is this: hasn't the world foundered on growth? This insane desire for more tat, more bling, more plasma... it ain't healthy. I'm not an advocate of getting rid of technology. But I am concerned that corporations - international businesses that are predicated on growth - have more influence on what happens to the planet than do individual nations. And when their need for growth overcooks them, they come to the state witgh their hands out, crying out to be fed. And we've done so... because to not feed the maw of growth and consumerism is to see us fall back to the levels of the (say) 1970s. Or the Third World. Actually, the way we lived in the 1970s is how the Third World lives now, in many, many ways. Oddly, I didn't mind it then, and I wouldn't mind it now.

And don't think that this means I'm feeling my age and am indulging in dribbling nostalgia. I'm not. The '70s introduced disco to the world, for goodness' sake. But the Western world enjoyed good health care, good education, good transport.... and contained within it the seeeds of our current plight. The world's going to hell in a handbasket, and we're sending our politicians to Copenhagen to find a solution. Pewrhaps we need to look at the philosophy of growth. If we spent our defence money on educating, feeding, and caring for the world... we'd be a lot better off.

I've never said I wasn't naive.

Or stoopid.

Beautiful day here in Auckland today: I'm looking forward to breakfasting, and going for a long walk. And while I'm walking, I shall make sure that I won't be going into any shop that's larger than adairy. I so object to Sunday shopping. It contributes nothing to society, and takes parents away from their children.

READING: Still with John Birmingham. He's just killed offf another half-billion people. he sure doesn't think small. I've just picked up a copy of "Stalingrad" - am eagerly anticipating getting into that.

LISTENING TO: "Back Against The Wall", various artists. It's Pink Floyd's "The Wall" as done by others. Entertaining.

LAST MOVIE SEEN: On DVD, last night - "I'm Not There", the Bob Dylan Biopic, with a half dozen people - including Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, and Christian Bale - all playing Mr Zimmerman. It is tremendously good. I will have to watch it again: it's complex, introguing, poetical, allegorical, epic, and brutally honest.

WORD OF THE DAY: Allegorical.

More Rats.

Weatherby hated Arthur Tomlinson. An unreasoning cold rage gripped him whenever he thought of the stocky blacksmith. Tomlinson’s effortless popularity stood in stark contrast to Weatherby’s own hard won – and hard bought - support, and Weatherby suspected that Arthur had the prize he had sought for himself.
Weatherby had been two years ahead of Arthur at the local school, and had been humiliated by the younger boy at almost every turn. Tomlinson’s natural skill and proficiency with a rifle had earned him the shooting medals three years in a row, and he had a natural athleticism denied the older boy. Arthur had made the first XV the same year as Weatherby, and had been a fearsome first-five eighth. In summer, he had played cricket on the village green, dressed in patched flannels, and out-bowled, out-fielded, and out-batted the impeccably turned out Weatherby. At every turn of the young Weatherby’s life, he’d been bested by this upstart. But this time he knew he had him exactly where he wanted him. Arthur, in his turn, had felt the edge of Weatherby’s tongue needling and taunting his all through his school years. He had fallen to his knees in thanks for the respite handed him when Weatherby left for Britain, and had hoped that the man’s return would bring with it an easing of the one-sided feud. It was not to be. Weatherby returned with, it seemed, an even greater dislike for the one man he saw as a rival, and he took every opportunity to belittle and provoke Arthur into an indiscretion. Weatherby hatred for Arthur Tomlinson was boundless, reasonless, and on this occasion he made it work for him.
“You dog, Weatherby!” Arthur stormed. “How can you talk of the glory of war, when it is nothing but a callous slaughter of innocents? If you are so brave, so courageous, why is it we don’t see you dressed in the King’s uniform, eh?”
Old Man Smith was a popular figure in Northridge. There wasn’t a man or woman who didn’t know him, and who hadn’t looked with approval on the job he’d done with the orphaned Arthur. Arthur was as well-liked: he had a kind word for pretty well everyone, and was patient with children – and very good with the horses. If Arthur had but known it, he had been setting the hearts of young women a-flutter for a good ten years now. Arthur’s inborn modesty, however, was a hindrance to him. He honestly believed that he would make no woman a good husband. Besides which, he was in love, and it was a love that was hopeless – so, he daily repaid Grampa Smith for all the kindness the old man had given him over the years, and every day Arthur saw the object of his heart’s yearning, he would gaze, and simply sigh.

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