Michael Dunn, Australia and the Empire: From 1788 to the Present. Sydney, Fontana Collins, 1984.
Stuart Kells, Shakespeare’s Library: Unlocking the Great Mystery in Literature. Melbourne, Text Publishing, 2018.
Jerry White, London in the Eighteenth Century: A Great and Monstrous Thing. London, The Bodley Head, 2012.
Belloc’s definition of a philosopher as someone who gives advice to people who are happier than he is. (From Guy Rundle on crikey.com on 25-2-2019)
There was a historical report on the 1793 failure of the bank, Lane, Son and Fraser, published in The Leeds Mercury, on 7 April 1894, Saturday, page 20. (This is available per Newspapers.com.) The failure in London of Lane, Son and Fraser had ripple effects causing the failure of some provincial banks which had been corresponding with Lane, Son and Fraser. The bank had earlier been influential in Anglo-American trading affairs but had suffered badly due to the American Revolution. Australians if no others will be interested in Lane, Son and Fraser as the post-1786 Lanes were personal friends of the first governor of New South Wales, Arthur Phillip. For this reason, this blog will soon post more material on the pre-1793 activities of Lane, Son and Fraser. (Information per Peter Dickson, UK)
The flat lands of Central Queensland? Have I been reading too much archaeology lately, or not?
Archaeology tends to teach its readers that humans tend to build differently in different areas for different reasons. Or sometimes, as in Central Asia, they don’t build much at all, because a lot of them are nomads often on the move.
Australians – and the place has only been settled by Europeans for 230 years – tend not to build mounds. But perhaps they should?
I was watching TV and there appeared piteous pictures of cattle drowned by floods in Queensland, up to 500,000 of them it is estimated. This is out of about 10.5 million cattle in Queensland, so near to 1/20th of them have drowned. The economic costs will be enormous. And well, 500,000 dead cattle is piteous.
But nor in the photographs were there any mounds for the cattle (or any other animals) to use to keep out of water which might drown them? Why not? But you will ask, will it be expensive to build such mounds? I’d have to say, probably, expensive.
But maybe cattle men in Queensland need to consider such measures, instead of relying on carving cattle stations out of flat land that will flood if enough rain arrives. World anthropogenic climate change probably means that climate in Australia will change. Maybe we need more mounds to be built on cattle stations not just in Queensland?
Much as the grown men who are coal miners in Queensland tend to cry when they get too much rain and water floods their coal mines, boo hoo. But what did they expect to happen? They spend part of their adult life digging really big holes and then they cry like children when nature and rain come along and fill their hole with water! Boo hoo!
Is it time for grown men in Queensland to grow up properly? Too much learned helplessness is bad for the sanity.
C Northcote Parkinson, inventor of Parkinson’s Law, noted a corollary: an issue will be discussed in inverse proportion to its importance. (as noticed by Guy Rundle for crikey.com of 14-2-2019))
Steal a man’s wallet and he will poor for a week.
Teach him music and how to buy instruments and he will be poor for his lifetime.
As Upton Sinclair famously said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
Today (4-2-2019) I read a brilliant line in an article on Brexit … “It was like trying to unlock a door with a slice of bread.”
But what I now want to know, is, did someone slave over this line for hours or did it come quickly? See a Washington Post article by Ian Dunt in the Outlook section, “The collective madness behind Britain’s latest Brexit plan.”
“You have the right to remain stupid.”
This is truly a stunningly good line. In Australia, I first saw it on a tall, affluent looking and probably well-educated 22-year-old lad, and have never seen it since in Australia? Why not? I once checked on the origin of this remark, it comes from a US male songwriter who lives somewhere in New England, whose name I don’t recall. His name is currently unavailable on the Net due to Trumpishness remaining stupid. (See, the line is true enough.)
The year is 2019, January. The remark about Democracy is…
“Democracy has lost the ability to make decisions.”
Greg Sheridan, Foreign editor, The Weekend Australian, . p.15, in an article on Brexit. Usually this blog holds Sheridan at arms length due to his right-wingerisms, but this time around I fear he is correct. World-wide, Democracy certainly seems to be in trouble.