Global Warming; Its Increasing Lava Flows


 The President of the Disgruntled States of America.

And the citizens have little to be gruntled about.

Bottom ruling the Kingdom and leading it into a Shakespearian tragedy.

I don’t know who the kid is, but he has already booked his ticket to Gaunatamo Bay!

Your Thought and Mine


One of my favourite poets is Kahlil Gibran. Known best for his distillation of wisdom, “The Prophet”, he wrote a lot more which is not as widely read.

Like all good poets, there is a touch of prophecy in his writings.

Writing in the time of Mussolini and Franco and Hitler, in this piece I find prescient echoes of Bush and Bin Laden, Mugabe and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Howard and Putin.

And I know it doesn’t rhyme.

YOUR THOUGHT AND MINE

Your thought is a tree rooted deep in the soil of tradition and whose branches grow in the power of continuity. My thought is a cloud moving in the space. It turns into drops which, as they fall, form a brook that sings its way into the sea. Then it rises as vapour into the sky.

Your thought is a fortress that neither gale nor the lightning can shake. My thought is a tender leaf that sways in every direction and finds pleasure in its swaying.

Your thought is an ancient dogma that cannot change you nor can you change it. My thought is new, and it tests me and I test it morn and eve.

You have your thought and I have mine.

Your thought allows you to believe in the unequal contest of the strong against the weak, and in the tricking of the simple by the subtle ones. My thought creates in me the desire to till the earth with my hoe, and harvest the crops with my sickle, and build my home with stones and mortar, and weave my raiment with woollen and linen threads.

Your thought urges you to marry wealth and notability. Mine commends self-reliance.

Your thought advocates fame and show. Mine counsels me and implores me to cast aside notoriety and treat it like a grain of sand cast upon the shore of eternity.

Your thought instils in your heart arrogance and superiority. Mine plants within me love for peace and the desire for independence.

Your thought begets dreams of palaces with furniture of sandalwood studded with jewels, and beds made of twisted silk threads. My thought speaks softly in my ears, “Be clean in body and spirit even if you have nowhere to lay your head.”

Your thought makes you aspire to titles and offices. Mine exhorts me to humble service.

You have your thought and I have mine.

Your thought is social science, a religious and political dictionary. Mine is simple axiom.

Your thought speaks of the beautiful woman, the ugly, the virtuous, the prostitute, the intelligent, and the stupid. Mine sees in every woman a mother, a sister, or a daughter of every man.

The subjects of your thought are thieves, criminals, and assassins. Mine declares that thieves are the creatures of monopoly, criminals are the offspring of tyrants, and assassins are akin to the slain.

Your thought describes laws, courts, judges, punishments. Mine explains that when man makes a law, he either violates it or obeys it. If there is a basic law, we are all one before it. He who disdains the mean is himself mean. He who vaunts his scorn of the sinful vaunts his disdain of all humanity.

Your thought concerns the skilled, the artist, the intellectual, the philosopher, the priest. Mine speaks of the loving and the affectionate, the sincere, the honest, the forthright, the kindly, and the martyr.

Your thought advocates Judaism, Brahmanism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. In my thought there is only one universal religion, whose varied paths are but the fingers of the loving hand of the Supreme Being.

In your thought there are the rich, the poor, and the beggared. My thought holds that there are no riches but life; that we are all beggars, and no benefactor exists save life herself.

You have your thought and I have mine.

According to your thought, the greatness of nations lies in their politics, their parties, their conferences, their alliances and treaties. But mine proclaims that the importance of nations lies in work – work in the field, work in the vineyards, work with the loom, work in the tannery, work in the quarry, work in the timberyard, work in the office and in the press.

Your thought holds that the glory of the nations is in their heroes. It sings the praises of Rameses, Alexander, Caesar, Hannibal, and Napoleon. But mine claims that the real heroes are Confucius, Lao-Tse, Socrates, Plato, Abi Taleb, El Gazali, Jalal Ed-din-el Roumy, Copernicus, and Pasteur.

Your thought sees power in armies, cannons, battleships, submarines, aeroplanes, and poison gas. But mine asserts that power lies in reason, resolution, and truth. No matter how long the tyrant endures, he will be the loser at the end.

Your thought differentiates between pragmatist and idealist, between the part and the whole, between the mystic and materialist. Mine realizes that life is one and its weights, measures and tables do not coincide with your weights, measures and tables. He whom you suppose an idealist may be a practical man.

You have your thought and I have mine.

Your thought is interested in ruins and museums, mummies and petrified objects. But mine hovers in the ever-renewed haze and clouds.

Your thought is enthroned on skulls. Since you take pride in it, you glorify it too. My thought wanders in the obscure and distant valleys.

Your thought trumpets while you dance. Mine prefers the anguish of death to your music and dancing.

Your thought is the thought of gossip and false pleasure. Mine is the thought of him who is lost in his own country, of the alien in his own nation, of the solitary among his kinfolk and friends.

You have your thought and I have mine.

Missing Person


After four unsuccessful years of war, thousands of casualties (well, alright, tens of thousands of casualties) and sending the USA almost bankrupt, the Bush Administration has finally decided to get serious about finding that Bin Laden Guy!

osama_missing.jpg

101 Uses For A John Howard #80


While I try to use older cartoons from Australia’s great cartoonist, Kudelka, sometimes I cannot resist the brand new and apposite comments he makes.

Such as this one, brand new and hot off the drawing board.

Although he has not yet suggested what shirt our leaders should wear for the infamous “Group Photo” which is the finale for all APEC wind-bag-fests.

Sydney’s hosting APEC, and in honour of some of the more repressive regimes in attendance, we’ve given our police the chance to show them how it’s done with new and exciting powers to keep unruly citizens in line.

However, the centrepiece of our APEC celebrations is a gigantic concrete and steel fence around the centre of Sydney, symbolising Australia’s open and welcoming attitude to those attempting to escape countries with more permanent and enthusiastic systems of keeping their people safe from such dangers as being able to move freely through their own cities or express political views.

But while the fence is ostensibly in place to keep the riffraff at a safe distance from their mostly democratically elected overlords, it’s also the jewel in the crown of John Howard’s climate change policy. While the latte-sipping tree-huggers who signed up to the Kyoto protocol vainly try to hold back the tide, John’s embraced global warming and is looking to the future.

Climate scientists have calculated that during APEC, the volume of hot air emitted on the topic of climate change will be sufficient to entirely melt the polar icecaps, causing the sea levels to rise dramatically. Fortunately, John will be busily gathering two of every different type of bureaucrat into the Opera House early in the week.

At around 2.8 metres high, the fence will keep out the flood and with the air conditioning cranked up to maximum and snacks available in the foyer, they will ride out the apocalypse in the manner of Noah and emerge triumphantly to create a perfect society based on the Australian Workplace Agreement.

The only hole in the plan is that the fence is made of steel lattice which may not prove to be as waterproof as hoped. Nonetheless, you can worry too much about the details when it comes to the environment and as long as it looks like you’re doing something, that’s generally considered good enough.

101 Uses For A John Howard #63


After a week where reports have surfaced of our soldiers’ dissatisfaction with their weapons it is worth while reflecting on where many of them have been sourced.

Kudelka once again hit the nail on the head. Well, he would have if the army issue hammer had not lost its head!

I love the smell of citrus in the morning, and one thing you can say about Australia is that it’s got some of the the freshest citrus-scented military hardware on the planet. Much has been made of the importance of our alliance with the United States and this is mainly due to the fact that with the lemons the US has sold us to defend ourselves with, the only invasion we’d have a chance against would be a small battalion of gin and tonics.

With Abrams tanks that get approximately 30cm to the gallon, Collins-class subs that you can’t run after 10pm due to council noise restrictions, naval Seasprite helicopters that don’t actually fly over water and Joint Strike Fighters apparently named after the substance the designers were abusing when they drew up the plans, the US have ruled out selling us the apparently airworthy F-22 Raptor on the grounds that we might accidentally cut ourselves.

…mind you, all of the above pale in comparison to the biggest lemon sold to Australia by an American president, but apparently there are no refunds on the Iraq invasion because little Johnny lost the receipt.

The Iapple Irack


This has been around for a while but it is worth watching again!

BBC Quiz of the Week


It is back – Calloo Callay!

No, not the Jabberwocky but the BBC Quiz of the Week.

After a couple of weeks where I haven’t been able to find it, it suddenly re-appeared.

But it was so easy!

“You got 7 right!  A veritable astronaut”

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