Monday, October 14, 2019

Readers Write


I received an email from Steve M in response to the post on The Bulletin Debate, the battle in poetry 1892-1893 within the pages of The Bulletin. The debate was between Henry Lawson, who saw the bush as harsh and demanding, and Banjo Paterson, who viewed it as having charm and attractions. From that post: “Each typified a different view of the bush: Paterson wrote its wildness, beauty, its characters and its instilling of strength and mateship; Lawson of its struggle and cruelty.” 

From Steve, himself a published author: 
Another tremendous Bytes today Otto.  
Bush poets... who would have thought they could write so eloquently about a woman’s anatomy?  
Diane and I think we are losing our Australianism, and becoming just another destination country, Europeanised if you like. The Government’s failure to keep the Bush alive through the worst drought in living memory is beyond appalling. During our book tour this year we have been to several towns that you can see are folding down, shutting up, closing. Narromine is a fine example. The library was so obliging during our visit, half the town turned out to meet us including the Mayor, whose optimism was clouded with reality – the farmers thereabouts had no money and it seemed that one in three shops (mom and pop shops as the Americans would say) were gone. And that was just the start. No water soon, no hope, long faces and tears when they talked about being forgotten by Canberra.  
During my days working in a UK Merchant Bank (I had hair then) our MD told us that 99.9% of business fail because of poor management – not adapting to change, not foreseeing what was going to happen in their industry, undercapitalising their businesses, making poor decisions and judgement calls - so on and so forth. I can’t help thinking that Australia is in the same boat. Our management (all sides of the Chamber) are so far removed from reality it is ridiculous. We will prevail, because that is what we do, but the amount of damage done by incompetent management is unnecessary and callous. They should be prosecuted for incompetence.
 Steve m
Thanks, Steve.

This is what Steve is talking about . . . 

An echidna searches for water.  The owner now leaves out saucers of water.

Maybe Lawson got it right . . . 

Now up and down the siding brown 
The great black crows are flyin', 
And down below the spur, I know, 
Another `milker's' dyin'; 
The crops have withered from the ground, 
The tank's clay bed is glarin', 
But from my heart no tear nor sound, 
For I have gone past carin' — 
      Past worryin' or carin', 
      Past feelin' aught or carin';
      But from my heart no tear nor sound, 
      For I have gone past carin'. 

- Henry Lawson, from Past Carin’ 


I also received a further email (it’s always nice to get feedback) from Steve in response to the Michael Curtiz quote “Don’t talk to me while I’m interrupting.” 

Steve’s email: 
Thanks so much Otto, a terrific Bytes for this nibbler today.

A challenge for you!

In a recent film about Winston Churchill, he is seen yelling: “Don’t talk to me while I am interrupting!” I thought at the time it was a brilliant piece of writing, but it appears to be a Curtizism, the result of a great mind searching for the right words.

Do you know the Churchill film, Otto?

Steve m 
Thanks Steve. 

The quote “Would you stop interrupting me when I am interrupting you” is from that superb 2017 film Darkest Hour

I have attempted to locate an authority for this quotation and have only found a reference to a comment by Winston to his son. It appears in the very detailed work “Churchill by Himself – The Definitive Collection of Quotations”, edited by Richard Langworth, which quotes from Martin Gilbert’s book “Winston Churchill, the Wilderness Years”: 

Randolph, do not interrupt me while I’m interrupting! 

WSC to his son. Sir Martin Gilbert writes: 
Churchill`s own impish sense of humour 
cajoled and won over the disputants. Once, 
amid a ferocious quarrel over some topic 
long since forgotten, Churchill reduced the 
whole family to mirthful convulsions with 
[this remark]. 

at page 519. 


By the way . . . 

Back in 2015 expectant mother Dee Parsons had an ultrasound of her 20 week old baby. It was a time when she and husband Edward were feeling down by events around them, both globally and by the death of someone close to them. “We were thinking, we’re bringing this child into the world at such a horrible time,’ according to Dee. 

Then they saw the ultrasound . . . 

The baby was making a V-sign, the victory gesture associated with Winston Churchill and, latterly, with world peace. 

According to Dee “It’s nice to have such an iconic image of peace when there’s so much unrest all around us. It was very reassuring.” 

She said she and her husband were feeling weighed down by negative global events and the death of someone close to them. "We were thinking, we’re bringing this child into the world at such a horrible time, but then this happened, we couldn’t quite believe what we were seeing."



A contribution by Vince C on the topic of Brexit . . .
Thanks, Vince.

Caution, some risque items ahead.

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