Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ned Kelly, Anarchists, Oppression, and Lamington

1. Learned that Ned Kelly's body was found and identified.  It was in a mass grave.

His skull is missing though.  People are on the lookout for that.

It's believed that the skull used to be on some detective's desk. Then it wasn't there anymore.

Gary Deans, a historian believes the detective or someone else may have taken it home. That would be back around 1929.

If anyone in Australia has some mysterious skull in their house, it might be nice to turn it over to the experts.  It could belong to Ned Kelly.

2. Read comments on the article.  They're pretty interesting.  Some people think the body deserves a proper burial.  Other people think Ned Kelly was a horrid criminal who doesn't deserve any respect.  

Isabella says,  Just bury them! Who gives a toss. I've never understood why Ned Kelly is such an Australian legend. He was a violent, murderous criminal and criminals shouldn't be glorified.

Well, she does think he should be buried.  But maybe he doesn't need anything super fancy.

Wildcat sees Ned Kelly differently than Isabella. He says, The remains should be given a decent and proper burial in a cemetery designated by his descendants.

What the police did to that family both before and after events was a crime in itself. It's time to at least bring some sense of civility to the entire matter.

Tom Riddle says, He was nothing but a violent, murdering criminal. Throw his remains back in the hole, don't glorify this type of low life.

If he was alive today people would be calling for his head just like they were back then. He was nothing but a killer who was feared by people, not a man to be admired.

Wake up to yourselves. 

Tom Riddle!  Ha!  You're one to talk.  

2. Saw Australia mentioned on The Princess Bride.

It's been a long time since I've seen that movie!

3. Watched two more episodes of True Blood.

There was a scene where Jason Stackhouse was watching television. I'm pretty sure the people on the program were Australian.  I thought that was kind of funny, because Jason is played by Ryan Kwanten, an Australian who replaces his Aussie accent with Jason's southern one.  

It could have been a random thing; but maybe it wasn't. Maybe it was a sort of homage to Kwanten's real accent. Maybe like an inside joke?

4. Dreamed a dream about Australian dreams.

I think about how lately I'm dreaming more and more about Australia. I decide this makes sense since I so often think about Australia when I'm awake.

There were other Australia-related dreams as well.

One took place in the Sydney Harbour; I think around Circular Quay/Royal Botanical Garden area.  We seem to be living near there.  My bedroom has windows that looks out into the ocean.   It's like I can see waves crashing into my window. I joke about how it's scary and sharks could come by and break through my window.  

Later I see my window no longer faces the ocean.  It turns out we were on a boat, and the boat has been moved onto the land.

I'm hoping what I said didn't cause the changes. I wasn't truly scared. I think about how if I was really worried, I would have screamed about it and insisted we move. 

In another dream...We move into a house in an Australia neighborhood (I get the sense it was the Eastern Suburbs).   There's a playhouse in our yard that the neighborhood children use. I'm fine with them continuing to use it because I like children and I love Australian children's accents.  I'll be happy to have them around.

I figure out, though, that at least one child is American.  I don't notice her accent at first, but I notice her having an American product which leads me to noticing she's American.   

5. Dreamed about True Blood.

I'm in some building and there's some man that scares me a bit.  I'm thinking of calling the police.   I'm not thrilled about that until I remember that Jason Stackhouse is on the police force.  

6. Loved what Fruitcake said about the new movie The Help.

Tim told me the other day he heard the movie has gotten some bad reviews because it has that white-people-save-the-day mentality.  I scoffed at that syndrome, something I had learned about when reading essays about Avatar. Why are white people so arrogant, believing they're the ones who always save the day?

Fruitcake gave me another perspective.  She calls this white-people-hero issue the White Lady Syndrome.   Although she understands the complaints, she doesn't think it has 100% merit.   She says, On the surface, the white ladies in these three stories might seem to be given credit for change which is really due to the other characters, but the reality is that in each case it was precisely because the White Lady did have advantages and privilege that she had the power to help the other characters achieve change for themselves.

The racism is probably in the fact that white people are more likely to live a privileged life than nonwhite people; it's not in the fact that some white people try to make good changes in the world.  

7. Thought about the Holocaust and two Australian books about it; Schindler's Ark and The Book Thief.   Both of those books are about Gentile heroes rescuing Jews.  Does that mean Jews are incapable of being the heroes?  No. Generally speaking, Jews are usually quite capable of taking care of themselves.  But when you're dealing with a powerful group that has stripped away your rights and wants to kill all of you; it's hard to fight back without the assistance of those who still have rights and power in society.

8. Decided the only time the white lady syndrome/gentile hero syndrome is a problem is when there's an attitude of superiority.  It's always nice when people help each other. It's not so nice when the helper is arrogant enough to believe he or she deserves full credit, and ignores other people's contributions and accomplishments. 

9. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm going to read a story thread called Flash From The Past.  It takes place in the Victorian Ministry of Magic, in the Magical Commerce and Business section.  

It's the afternoon of August 29th.

The two characters in the story are Eudoxia Karras and Nicole Barkwith. They're both Ministry workers. Eudoxia is an accountant and Nicole works in the magical creatures department.

10. Started reading the story.

Nicole is new to the Ministry. She recognizes the name Eudoxia and thinks of a friend she had way back when. She's doubting this is the same Eudoxia.  Then she sees Eudoxia, and it is the same person.

I like coincidences like that.

11. Learned that Eudoxia has recently returned from her trip to New York. The last I read of her she was planning on going to New York. It's like I've time traveled a bit.  

12. Glad to see that Eudoxia and Nicole like each other and are happy to have this reunion.

13. Learned that Nicole is a bit depressed. She's mourning the loss of Wesley. I'm not sure who he was, but he was important to her.

Eudoxia has also lost her man...Malcolm.

Both women are holding these sorrowful stories and feeling unsure of whether or not they should bring it up in this reunion.

Eudoxia takes the plunge first. She tells Nicole what happened to Malcolm.

14. Started to read the biography of Nicole Barkwith.

Her face claim is an American actress and musician named Zooey Deschanel. She's been in a bunch of stuff, most that I haven't seen.

I did see The Happening. She's in that.

15. Learned that Nicole is 24; she's a half-blood, and she was born in Scotland.

Her Patronus is a wolf.

She has a naturally active lifestyle and doesn't have to exercise.  I think that's pretty cool.

I'd be more impressed with someone who's very fit because they love hiking and surfing; than someone who drags themselves to the gym to lift weights and run on the treadmill. I guess the former is more sexy? Appealing?

That being said. I think both type of exercise are better than NO exercise. And I'm one of those who has to force myself to exercise.  It doesn't fit naturally into my lifestyle.

16. Learned that Nicole went to Hogwarts and was a Hufflepuff. That's where I'm hoping to be if I ever get into Pottermore.

17. Started to read Nicole's history.

She grew up on a farm in Scotland.  Her dad worked with magical creatures. Then one day he got attacked by a werewolf and became one himself.  Nicole became the daughter of a werewolf.  This made her somewhat unpopular among other kids.

18. Saw that, in Nicole's seventh year at Hogwarts, she started a relationship with a Slytherin boy.   That's kind of like my Magic is Might story.   Julia, the Hufflepuff wizard falls in love with a Slytherin boy.  But it was her sixth year, not her seventh one. In her seventh year, her family ran off to Australia.

19. Learned that Wesley was part of a group called Cult of the Dragon's Shadow. They were like Death Easters. But because he was in love with Nicole(a half-blood witch) he tried to leave.

Some groups are not easy to leave.

The two lovebirds had to go into hiding and dealt with the pursuit of bad guys. Then Nicole lost Wesley. Although from what I read here...he might not actually be dead.

Maybe she'll find him again.

20. Saw that I'm done with Anderson people!  For today's Australian of the day, I have two people.   They're brothers.  David Alfred Andrade and William Charles Andrade.   They were anarchist booksellers.   That sounds exciting.  

David and William were both born in Melbourne. David was the older one; he was born in 1859.   William was born four years later in 1863.

William and David both joined the Australasian Secular Association.  I wonder if that was very controversial back then.   Even these days, it's hard to be secular rather than religious, but probably more so in America than Australia.  I picture it being even more difficult in the late 1800's.   Although maybe it had some popularity?  It might not have been terribly rare.  

I'm probably being somewhat ethnocentric here. I've been living in the Bible Belt for the last eleven years.  On top of that,  I went to high school in the Bible Belt, and I did college in the Bible Belt.    Here it's pretty much assumed you are Christian; or at least believe in God.  Other religions and atheism MAY be tolerated...with effort.

There are some cities in the world where it takes courage to say, I love Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.  People will probably look at you a bit weird; or struggle not to look at you weird. I don't live in one of those cities.  I live in the type of place where it takes courage to say, Uh...well, I actually don't believe in God.

I'm starting to sort of believe in vampires though.  


Back to the Andrade brothers....

David became a bookseller. 

David also wrote books, including a novel.  It was called The Melbourne Riots and How Harry Holdfast and his Friends Emancipated the Workers.  Yikes!  That's a pretty pathetic book title. Or maybe not. Now that I think of it, it sounds kind of cute.

David didn't do so well with his business ventures. He became quite poor, and then he died.

It seems William did better.  He ended up opening a book shop on Bourke Street. Then later it moved to Swanson Street.

Eventually he opened up a branch in Sydney.

21. Saw that William died in a surfing accident.  It's scary.  If I'm understanding it right, he got flung back into the shallow water.  I guess he smashed into the bottom?

22. Wondered if right-wing people could be considered anarchists. My ring-wing friend seems very anti-government.  Or at least she believes the government should leave us alone.

Lord Wiki though says anarchy is usually considered a radical-left wing philosophy.

Well....wait.  He says it can be a philosophy also favored by individualists.  I guess these would be people who believe in looking out for oneself. That would be like my friend.

23. Tried to wrap my head around anarchy. I think it's like all political philosophies. There's some merit to it; but if taken too far, things will probably be a mess.

24. Went back to Peter Lindenburg's Flickr account.

I'm going to look at his set called Birds at Mount Glorious.  

I wondered where Mount Glorious was.  Peter gives the answer on the set.   It's near Brisbane.

25. Failed to find the bird in this picture.

Well, there's some kind of animal thing...maybe. It looks reptilian to me.    

The name of the animal in the picture is a Tawny Frogmouth.

Lord Wiki says it's often mistaken for an owl.  I think I almost made the same mistake. It looks like an owl in some of Lord Wiki's photos.  

26. Learned that the Tawny Frogmouth usually eats insects.

They're good at camouflaging themselves. That's probably why it's hard to see it in the photo. I do see it.   It just doesn't look like a bird to me.

It looks like a lizard stretching out his neck.  

Oh....and here's the bird close up. He still looks like a lizard to me, but also a little more bird-like.   It's kind of like he's a lizard-bird.

27. Liked this Eastern Yellow Robin.   I like the grey and yellow together.

And the yellow looks really nice in this photo of the robin. 

28. Consulted Lord Wiki about anarchism in Australia. I fear he may bore me; but I'll try to be interested.

He mentions David Andrade, and says David founded the Melbourne Anarchist Club in 1886. He would have been around 27 then; the same age Scarlett Johansson is now.  I'm just trying to give some age perspective here. 

29. Learned that an Australian anarchist bombed a ship.  This was done by a guy named Larrie Petrie in 1893.  He was a unionist and the ship was non-union.

30. Found a blog post about Larrie Petrie. This blogger says he was an American anarchist in Australia. 

I'm confused by the story.  Petrie told someone he was going to bomb a boat.  Then he went on a ship.  Yet he later said, The funny thing was that the moment the bomb went off my first and only thought was to save people’s lives. 

So did he plant the bomb and then regret it? Or was he joking about the bomb; and by coincidence the ship, he was on, had an explosion?

31. Read more about Australian anarchy from Lord Wiki.  He mentions Henry Lawson. I don't think Lawson was an anarchist, but he socialized with them.  Maybe? 

There was a guy named Monty Miller.  When he was fifteen, he took part in the Eureka Rebellion.    Later he joined the Melbourne Anarchist Club.  In 1916, he was imprisoned.

What else......

Lord Wiki says that after World War I, anarchy in Australia declined.   I'm guessing some of the decline came from patriotic cohesiveness—kind of like Americans were in the months after 9/11.

32. Saw that although anarchy declined in Australia, it certainly didn't die.

It was kept alive by various anarchists, including William Andrade. He allowed other anarchists to use his bookstores for their events and other needs.

33. Learned from Lord Wiki that the Angry Penguin journal had some anarchist influence.

I've heard of that.

34. Reminded by Lord Wiki that Germaine Greer was an anarchist. She belonged to a group called the Sydney Libertarians that are somehow associated with the Sydney Push.

I'm confused. Are they two names for the same thing?  Or maybe the Sydney Push grew out of the Sydney Libertarians?

35. Skimmed through this website.   It says the Push and the Libertarians were not the same thing.    But they were connected.  Some of the Libertarians were in the Push; but not everyone in the Push was part of the Sydney Libertarians.  And I guess not every Sydney Libertarian was in the Push. 

The website says,

When it did so, "The Push" or "The Libertarian Push" were used in the early years to refer to the group that consisted mainly of Libertarians (so that at that time the terms "Push" and "Libertarian" were commonly used synonymously), but then as time went on and more and more people became involved, notably in the heyday of the Royal George, the term "The Push" came more and more to be used to refer to a proliferation of people, sometimes sub-grouped as "The Prestige Push", "The Fringe Push", "The Scunge Push", and "The Baby Push", as well as "activitist" and "oblomovists". Amongst these the Libertarians were very prominent, but it may have been that quite a few other Push people felt antipathetic towards Libertarian views to some extent - if only as an endorsement of their life-styles.

I'm getting the idea that it started as a political movement and then became a sort of social fad.  Then people probably joined without caring about the politics.
34.  Learned from Lord Wiki that there's an anarchist bookstore in Sydney called Jura Books.   They're 100% solar-powered. That's pretty cool.

35. Downloaded Jura's PDF about anarchism. I'm trying to enlighten myself.

 I guess I'm weary of anarchism because I associate it with angry, zealous, pushy people—maybe violent too. 

There's aspects of it that I might like. Work wouldn’t be boring and repetitive, but instead would be a means of voluntary self-expression and fulfilment; unpopular or difficult jobs would be shared.

Well, I like that, but it does sound idealistic. How do you run that program without government?   How do you ensure that everyone takes part in the difficult jobs?  What if someone refuses to do the dirty work? What if many people refuse?

Then this part seems idealistic too.  The world’s resources would be held in common and shared with all the diverse life on Earth.

That sounds fantastic.  But how would it work?  Does every group get the exact same amount of a resource?  What if a group wants a little extra? Is that okay?   What if group A hates group B and thinks Group B deserves none of the resource?  What do you do then?

36. Had deep thoughts about these lines.

Fundamentally, anarchism is the struggle for freedom. Freedom from the rulers and corporations who dominate our lives and are destroying our earth. Freedom for workers, women, and all oppressed people in all parts of the world. We believe that this sort of freedom can only be achieved together with equality and a fair distribution of resources.

The thing is you can't really kill oppression.  It's like trying to get rid of drugs, rape, and terrorism.   They're going to be there no matter what.

I think about unschooling. In some ways, that's anarchy—at least in terms of education.   Instead of being taught by the government or private institution, children teach themselves. I feel a HUGE sense of freedom because of this.   I love that we're not tied down to school schedules and school demands.  I love that we can all learn what we want to learn when we want to learn it. But that doesn't mean we don't feel oppressed at times.

I'm not just talking about government and corporate oppression.  How about oppression from other unschoolers?  What happens when other unschoolers have different values than us and they put pressure on us to conform?

We went out with unschoolers once and I felt almost shamed for saying no to Jack in front of them.  They believed children should have complete freedom. If your kids want to walk around destroying other people's artistic structures...fine. If they want to make a mess that someone else will later have to clean...fine.  If they want to disobey safety rules...fine.  If they want to splash other children....fine.

None of that is okay with me.   I have standards.   I'm sure there are unschooling families like us.  And I'm sure there's other unschooling families who believe the word "no" shouldn't be heard by children.  If the government, schools, and corporations all disappear, are all unschoolers going to be able to coexist peacefully?  Can we really live and let live?   Or would certain factions begin to grow more powerful?   I imagine they would. And I imagine they'd rule. It might not be in an official form. It could just be subtle bullying.

37. Understood that social pressure is a very mild form of oppression.  I can say my child is a slave to video game and computer corporations.  He sees new things and he wants them.  But that's nothing compared to REAL slavery.

Feeling pressured by others to conform to their way of doing things is not the same as being literally forced to do something.

But if anarchy became the universal system around the world, would they actually stop at gentle pressure to conform?  Or would it eventually become forceful.

Let's take Jura Books and the environment.  They seem like very green people. They have solar power.   If anarchy took over the world, what would they suggest be done to people who abuse the environment?  Would they shrug their shoulders and simply ignore it?

38. Got idea that Jura Books people would have supported the riots in London. They say,  However, anarchists do believe in direct action – action taken by everyday people to cause immediate problems for the rulers of our lives. This might include striking, sabotaging forestry equipment, or damaging property. Anarchists support the right of people to fight back against the system.

Yeah.  Well, if you come along and damage my property, how the hell does that give me freedom?   I would feel oppressed if I was in London during the riots.   If you make people live in fear to get your way, that is so NOT freedom.

The system is definitely broken. It's full of shit.  But I definitely don't see anarchy as the solution.

39. Tired of reading about anarchy.  

I'll conclude by saying I support people going off in their little communes to have anarchy clubs.  That's fine.   If you give people a choice to join, then it IS about freedom. I don't agree with going on a rampage in order to bring absolute equality to the world. It's too idealistic; and I think when attempts are made in that direction, more freedom is lost than gained.  

40. Thought of an analogy I like.

I love unschooling.  It's great for us. I'm glad we have the freedom to do this in Texas. I do think it's a great way of living, and I wish more people did it.

But I think it would be horrible if all families around the world were required to unschool.   I would not support radical groups burning down schools.  I would not support radical groups blocking school entrances and burning textbooks.  I would not want schools to completely disappear. Because some families LIKE school.  They should have right to make the school choice, just like we have the right to make the unschooling choice. If there were no more schools available, unschooling would no longer be about freedom.  It would be about oppression.  

It's the same with corporations. It's not required that people shop at them. It's not required that people support them.  If someone hates corporations, they should avoid them as much as possible.  Don't buy into consumerism.   Stay away from it.  Do your best to support small businesses and bartering programs.   We have that freedom.  But if all corporations are made to disappear, anti-corporation people are infringing on the rights of those who DO like corporations. 

41. Figured Australia is going to have a new Prime Minister soon.  I got that from the headlines for this article.  Frontbenchers are dismissing the idea that there's going to be a coup.

My feeling is when people deny a coup is about to happen, it's probably going to happen.

42. Started to look at Peter's Animals of Lamington NP set.  He says it's somewhere in Queensland.    I'll need to look on Google Maps.

Well, Lord Wiki got to me first. He says it's a national park near the Gold Coast.

Here it is on Google Maps.  

43. Wondered what came first; the dessert or the park?

Lord Wiki says the park was named after a Governor of Queensland. Mr. Lamington was governor from 1896-1902.

When did the dessert get named?

Well, Lord Wiki says that was probably named after Governor Lamington as well.

That would be cool to have a popular dessert named after you.  

44. Thought this Gray Fantail bird looked angry.  

I think he still looks angry here, but it looks like he's trying to get himself under control. He might be taking anger management classes.  I imagine he's counting backwards from ten, or something.  

45. Decided maybe the bird looks more conteplative than angry; at least in the second photo.

He could be plotting revenge.

46. Thought this bird looks angry too.  

47. Thought this was a unique looking bird. It's a Brown Cuckoo-Dove.  

Lord Wiki says they eat berries.

I'm trying to educate myself a little bit.

48. Wondered what this person is trying to feed the Regent Bowerbird. The black thing looks almost like an insect. Is it? 

Maybe it's a cricket.

49. Loved the male version of the Regent Bowerbird.  His black and yellow colors are awesome.  

50. Thought this Bassian Trush looked quite regal.  

51. Thought this Welcome Swallow looked a bit snobby; kind of ironic with her name and all.  

52. Thought this little guy was very cute. He's a Golden Whistler. 

53. Found this Australian bird website.  They say the Golden Whistler is great at singing.

Here's a video of one singing.

His voice is adequate.  I wouldn't go so far to say he could win Australian Idol, or anything like that.