Updated daily until normal posting resumed, which it has. 😉 There are five updates there over the fold.
This is very Christmassy somehow, in a year when Christmas is a touch clouded here… (Yes, Lord Malcolm is still hanging in there.)
Back in October I wrote:
I have no delusions of grandeur when it comes to this blog. I really don’t think my rants, which are far from infallible anyway, will change the world, though I do believe that the blogosphere as a whole can have a great effect through the channels of communications it may open up. One instance of that is recounted on Jim Belshaw’s blog, and strangely it concerns me and a friend of mine. Through our blogs, Jim and I managed to bring together my friend the Aboriginal actor Kristina Nehm here in Surry Hills and the artist Stozo Da Klown in the USA.
I want to thank you for putting me in contact with Kristina, she wrote me and I am completely blown away how the internet works and world community is and just the mysteries of life timing etc. I have been surfing the net for years 20 to be exact well that was even before this internet thing etc. She was a dear lost friend and our connection was priceless for me…
I would love to refer you to Jim’s account of this…
I can now — at the time Blogspot was being difficult.
Today there is a follow-up email:
May you have a great Christmas and happy new year. My friend Ron hasn’t stopped emailling! Thank you again.
peace and love
I have no delusions of grandeur when it comes to this blog. I really don’t think my rants, which are far from infallible anyway, will change the world… Still true. There are many more influential and better bloggers out there, but it is nice to know one has made some difference at least in some lives.
I guess the truth is we never really know the effect of the seeds we sow. That ought to make us a touch more humble and careful, I think, but also grateful for the technology that has given us all our various voices. Long live the diversity!
That’s it until after Christmas, unless something really significant happens… I will still check and respond to comments.
Have a good holiday season. The picture comes from Wilson’s Almanac.
1. This really ought to be in “Best Reads of 2006”! The Monthly continues to be the magazine of choice, utterly wiping the floor with Quadrant. The December-January issue refers thus to its rival:
“Quadrant turned 50 this month. That is a notable achievement, and it did not go unnoticed. Its golden-anniversary dinner, held in October, was apparently quite an occasion. It was not cheap to get in, but the house was full. The prime minister attended and spoke with warmth and admiration of his favourite magazine … He praised everyone involved with the current Quadrant … he reminded them that they were, as they had always been, a small, beleaguered but powerful force of civilisation, non-conformity and rightness.”
In “The Usual Suspects”, Martin Krygier reflects on half a century of Quadrant, celebrating the magazine’s history of anti-totalitarian thought, its breadth of vision, its high standard of writing – and lamenting its lapse into increasingly bilious rants against the clumsy catch-all of “political correctness”, against baby boomers, against the ABC and the Canberra press gallery and academics, humanists, lawyers.
“Quadrant started in opposition to what Owen Harries and Tom Switzer call the “shallow, reflexive, progressive orthodoxy” of Australian intellectual life. Over time, having become used to being labelled, derided and dismissed for no good reason, indeed often for the worst of reasons, some Quadrant people came to adapt to the role of pariah. They came to like it, even to cultivate it. To be despised by those you despised – to be contrarian, that ugly boast-word – became a confirmation of one’s rightness and courage.”
Martin Krygier’s father founded Quadrant. In “The Margins of Our Attention”, Dennis Altman looks back over 25 years of HIV and AIDS, and David Marr offers his definitive word on the Jonestown saga and the “outing” of shock jock Alan Jones. There’s also Charles Firth on Hooters, Kate Holden on the Coptic Church, and much more.
2. The Bulletin again offers a bumper Christmas-New Year issue: Kate Grenville, Tim Flannery and other great Australian writers. Some of that you may read online. I note The Bulletin is Timless now too; apparently he has taken his talent to The Daily Telegraph where he has oversight of opinion. That should boost their even-handedness, eh! 😉
Go over the fold for updates to this post. Can’t totally stop posting! 😉
I have been re-editing and augmenting the colonial history in About the Whitfields. There are some new items there.
And I have just noted Seeking Utopia’s Back on Track, which is kind of good news in its way. Glad I could help, even if the reception is a bit grudging. What Daniel saw as malice I see as legitimate concern.
Lord Malcolm has resurrected quite amazingly, though, as he says, he isn’t going anywhere for a while…
Someone in Texas (a Linux user) has been reading me very thoroughly for a couple of days now! Otherwise, I have been further tweaking the Indigenous Australians page.
I draw your attention to this comment that appeared yesterday on Alex Buzo, Australian playwright, dies.
Who can help me on data, facts and/or history about John Traas, mentioned in the article. I am working on a genealogy for the family Traas, from origins from the Netherlands. Every thing will be welcome.
Maybe someone can help.
Yum Cha yesterday with Ursula Ng and the other people from the place I do my coaching, then to St Vincents to see Lord Malcolm. His degree of recovery, given that he looked remarkably dead week ago, is quite amazing. He was operated on last Tuesday, and aside from that involving loss of a lot of blood, none of us have actually asked just what was done. Whatever it was, it seems to have worked. Mind you, he still isn’t going anywhere for a while. He is even thinking ahead to the Australian International Air Show 2007. He has been involved in the running of that show for over twenty years.
If you want a potted and extremely tendentious history of western civilisation for the past 2000 years, read the editorial in today’s Australian. Towards the end it becomes almost a parody of conservatism, quite unintentionally I am sure.
Update Christmas Eve
It was Vladimir Korotkov’s last service at South Sydney Uniting Church this morning, aside from tomorrow’s Christmas service which is just a carols and readings affair. He’s off to London on New Year’s Eve to spend twelve months with his daughter and grandchild. The comparatively good news about Lord Malcolm — not a believer by the way — was well received. People there have certainly been thinking about him.
On the way back from shopping after church who should I encounter on Cleveland Street but Oscar McLaren, one of the memorable Class of 2000 (along with Delenio and The Rabbit). Oscar is still working for the ABC, JJJ at the moment. I still expect him to take over from Kerry O’Brien some time in the future. 😉
Posting has continued over at the English and ESL blog. Getting a bit of traffic there now.