Saturday Sanity Break 8 July 2017 - the Age of Egoism
We apologise for late posting of this contribution. Technical factors baffled Henry's editor for three days. And please forgive the sillyness of a frustrated writer.
Big meeting of G20 in Germany. Our current PM, Mr Trumbull, shook hands with US President, the Donald Trumple, who looked pretty baffled about who it was who'd bailed him up. Mr Trumbull also reportedly spent an hour or so with Joko Widodo, with lots of joking and grinning. Seriously, folks, this is important.
The genius running North Korea keeps firing ever larger missiles toward Japan and now threatens Alaska and Australia's Northern Territory. The main hope is that China will threaten something serious enough to get them to abandon the next step, which involves fitting a small nuclear bomb onto their ICBM. Failing this, next step for the USA may be to shoot down the next North Korean ICBM just as it reaches international waters.
The local news is excruciating for a Conservative, like Henry, forced to watch the Liberal Party self-destruct. Tony Abbott, our former and deeply Conservative PM, seems determined to bring down Mr Trumbull. Opinion polls seem locked at Labor 6 or 7 points ahead on a two party preferred basis, and Mr Trumbell's Labor-lite approach seems like a clear loser. Only plausible replacement is the ever-cheerful Julie Bishop, no doubt a safe pair of hands who might just limit the damage. Even rusted on liberals are now saying 'It's over' and 'a term or two of Bill Shorten will provide the opportunity for a former minister for Dr Finkel's Energy Plan to lead a resurgent Liberal Party to victory in 2028 or so'.
Apologies to any readers who prefer their commentary to be ponderously serious. But right now global politics is so grum that no sane person can take it seriously. What must Presidents Xi and Putin must think as they watch the US president tweeting, Mrs May blundering about Brexit, Germany's massive economic disequilibrium, Southern Eurozone nations broke with enormously high rates of unemployment, Australia's political gridlock, etc, etc.
Apologies also for failing to provide a report last weekend. Henry was taken by Mrs T to look at whales supposedly cavorting on Victoria's South-Western coast. At Warnambool we spotted a tail and separately a dorsal fin and then a long dark shape that might have been a whale breathing on the surface. At Portland, one of the first places settled by white men, initially sealers and whalers and then sheep-herders, we had no similar luck. John Batman apparently signed a treaty with the local indigenous population and paid them with tomahawks, blankets, salt and sugar but later immigrants reneged on the treaty and instead dealt savagely with the 'original owners'.
Paul Kelly, Editor-at-Large and allround Aussie guru discusses the new age of egoism.
His conclusion is bleak: 'The final logic is that everything depends upon politics. As the society of family and marriage becomes mired in confusion, as the society of church and religion is the target of assault, so the society of politics is being asked to assume a role and burden utterly beyond its capacity and guaranteed to leave community-wide unhappiness.
'The tripartite design that made the West such a workable and successful proposition is being torn part. Once dismantled, it cannot be put back together. This is being done in the name of justice, rights and progress. There was an inevitability about the decline of Christian faith, but there was nothing inevitable about the dismal pretender that presents as its replacement'.
Fiona Prior will, the editor hopes, provide a cheering account of some seriously cheering event.
The Sporting Life
The Battle for Brisbane ended with a bloodied Aussie Battler, mild-mannered school teacher, Jeff Horn victorious over Manny Pacquiao in a brutal display of the event pioneered by the Marquis of Queensbury. Naturally boxing persons from North America, descendents of the horse persons who poisoned Phar Lap, have protested that the unanimous decision in favour of the Aussie battler was wrong, and an 'independent' panel is being formed to watch the replay and show the fight was fixed. The presiding agency has, thankfully, said it will tolerate the replay review but the decision in favour of Mr Horn will not be overthrown.
Rugby saw a wonderful struggle in the third game between the All Blacks and the British Lions. Games 1 and 2 left the series even at one win each. The thrilling game 3 left the game and the series level. Only 12 years until the chance for another series, unless the two Rugby establishments decide on a new timetable.
Friday night footy saw Adelaide flog reigning premiers Footscray. Since Caaarlton! lost to Adelaide by only two goals last Sunday, next week's contest with the Bullies should see another win for the young men from Caaarlton! If footy results are transitive, which they probably aren't.
Other games this weekend included the usual upsets. Most dramatic was St Kilda's stunning thrashing of Richmond. How come? Who can tell?
Caaarllton! headed Melbourne during the final quarter despite two of its players being off the ground from half time. A titanic struggle, with both teams making errors due the experts said to great exhaustion, gave Melbourne a narrow win. The Blues may lose their ferocity a bit as a long season continues but provided a couple of new big men get hired over summer, they will be far better in 2018.
Image of the week
One shaft of light was provided by a guided tour of the van Gogh exhibition at Melbourne's curiously named National Gallery of Victoria'. Image of the week is the self portrait.