Let me share with you three personal anecdotes which have a wider, symbolic significance:
#1: A Card -
Yesterday I received a late Christmas card from a friend. I don’t know why it arrived so late, it was mailed well before Christmas. It is a beautiful card made entirely by hand by my friend, with gold embossing, quilling, glitter and pearls. The photograph above does not do it justice, it does not show the sparkle of the glitter or the richness of the gold embossing.
I showed it to two of my colleagues in the office, Mark and Lorraine.
Mark said that it was beautiful but he could not understand why anyone would want to spend so much time on something and go to so much trouble.
Lorraine said that if someone had the time to do it, she could understand that creating such an item could be a joyous experience in itself.
My comment was that Mark’s outlook was reflective of Western society today. Everything is designed to be faster, cheaper, more advanced, disposable.
It's sad that someone taking the time to create something beautiful is looked upon as odd.
#2: A Dog -
A day or so after Christmas Day I received a call from a client who was at a police station. He had been arrested for allegedly breaching an AVO and breaching existing bail conditions by attending at the premises of his former partner, an allegation which he denied.
The police refused bail and I attended at the bail court the next day as his lawyer to seek his release, which I was successful in doing. The court, the building, the street, even the town was deathly quiet, as would be expected at that time of the year.
When I exited the building, the opening of the automatic doors revealed a group of reporters and photographers who had not been present when I had entered. Being a bit of a smart arse, I said to one cameraman “Are you blokes all here for my breach AVO?” He replied “No, mate, some woman threw a dog out of a window.”
Local readers will have seen the story in that it has been a continuing item in newspapers and on television news programs. The police allege that a woman living in an apartment had an argument with her boyfriend about a dog and that she then threw the dog out of the first floor apartment window onto the concrete below. The dog, named Kyza, sustained various injuries, including a broken leg. The news stories followed Kyza’s recovery and his eventual adoption by Rugby League football legend Graeme Langlands (above), who had lost his Doberman, Fritz, a few weeks ago.
Kyza’s story has pushed aside stories of murders and disasters.
At the time of my bail application with my client attending through audio visual link, other lawyers were also present to apply for bail for their clients who were charged with various offences, including assaults and drugs. The purpose of the fixing of bail is not punishment, it is to ensure the defendant's attendance at the next court listing whilst at the same time not unreasonably restricting the defendant's liberty. There is a presumption in favour of bail for non-drug offences. During my period at court IU saw every applicant granted bail. The woman charged with the dog offence was refused bail.
#3: An Omission –
Yesterday I posted Part 2 of a list of origins of rock band names, Part 2 being names beginning with C and D.
Later in the day I met with Byter Kieran, who said to me that he had read my Bytes that morning. Kieran is a subscriber who receives his Bytes by email each day.
Expecting to be told that he had enjoyed it, or that it was interesting, I asked how if he had liked it.
His only comment was “You missed Cold Chisel!”
I very rarely receive feedback. A couple of Byters – Steve, Arthur, Shirley, Tobye – provide comments but no one says that the list of names was informative, or illuminating, or well researched. Nor do I expect it.
But omit something that someone has a feeling for or an opinion about and you get “You missed Cold Chisel!”
It brings to mind George’s dissertation in Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf:
You take the trouble to construct a civilization, to build a society based on the principles of... of principle. You make government and art and realise that they are, must be, both the same. You bring things to the saddest of all points, to the point where there is something to lose. Then, all at once, through all the music, through all the sensible sounds of men building, attempting, comes the Dies Irae. And what is it? What does the trumpet sound? Up yours.
So here you are, Kieran, this one’s for you. . .
The group was originally named “Orange”. They changed their name several times before settling on Cold Chisel in 1974 after writing a song with that title.