Category Archives: reflective writings

The Future of Humanity

We need more like this.

After COVID-19

I have been noting the excellent coverage by the ABC of the current COVID-19 pandemic. It has been comprehensive and, with the help of Dr Norman Swan, understandable.

There is one area in which it can be improved.

Yes, we need to know ‘new cases’.  Sadly, their continued use of the term ‘total infected’ is a misnomer because some have recovered and are now, theoretically ‘immune’.

The ABC could improve and add a column to their COVID-19 statistics.  We need to know how many have recovered! They are the herd who will protect us with Herd Immunity.

They are also the cohort which would make a very good source for nurses, carers, hospital cleaners, meals-on-wheels people and other front-line workers.

No longer able to be infected, sensible use of sanitising would allow them to do many of the tasks for which non-immune people require so much protection.

Obviously not all recovered COVID-19 patients would be interested in doing caring work but a reasonable percentage will be and they should be fast-tracked into those very necessary roles.

In this time of crisis, we need to use every resource at our disposal to lift our nation back to some form of normality.

Final Solutions

I have got through nearly 75 years of human society with a determined sense of (twisted) humour. This Government is now destroying that sense of humour.

Threats of the Indue Card on all welfare recipients, unashamed corruption in our governance, continual cuts to services yet our taxes keep going higher. The do-nothings who are allowing climate change to destroy, not the world, but our place and our future in it. They are turning me into a humourless and bitter old man.

It is not the young people these fat cat conservatives need to fear. It is the old people who have maybe a year or two at the most to lose. They will be the ultimate activists. The ones in pain, the ones with no dignity of life left. They are the ones who look so helpless and vulnerable and exploitable to our rulers and can get close to them for self-serving photo-shoots. And they are the ones who will remove those rulers from the scene!

Not permitted to end their own suffering due to the religious dogma of a few of our masters, the old aged political activists will be the ones to start the revolution. With nothing to lose but a few months of pain and suffering some will choose to make their passing count and help make a better world for their Grandchildren.

Old activists who refuse to go quietly. The ones in pain, the ones with no dignity of life left. They are the ones who will look so nice to our rulers and they are the ones who will remove those rulers from the scene!

But I jest. It will never happen, No politician has anything to fear from those who refuse to go gentle into that good night. Those who are tired of whimpering and want to go out with a meaningful BANG!


I Am Earth

Gleaned from Twitter in Sept, 2017.


I can’t remember the day when I was born
I can’t recall the creation of that very first morn
I have been through a lot of changes since that day
And I have decided that I am here to stay

Life has abounded on me for millions of years
But now I am changing, it brings me to tears
My temperature is rising and so are the seas
My air is polluted and I struggle to breathe

Ice shelfs are melting, glaciers as well
Eventually it’s going to be hotter than hell
My symptoms are there for all to see
And my condition is caused by humanity

I would be fine if it wasn’t for man
And that’s what is so hard to understand
I can exist without you, but not you without me
So shouldn’t you be taking better care of me?

I am the planet, third out from the Sun
There is no other like me, not a single one
Live on me and look after me, show your worth
For I am your life stream, I Am Earth.

Komrade (@recneps51) on twitter

Thoughts on Wot We Speek

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple. ~ Jack Kerouac

Who wouldn’t be confused by a language where a pastry is a sweetmeat and a pancreas is a sweetbread? ~ Anon (my favourite writer)

“It is often forgotten that dictionaries are artificial repositories, put together well after the languages they define. The roots of language are irrational and of a magical nature.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

“Correct” spelling, indeed, is one of the arts that are far more esteemed by schoolma’ams than by practical men, neck-deep in the heat and agony of the world. ~ HL Mencken

“The older I grow, the less important the comma becomes. Let the reader catch his own breath.” ~ Elizabeth Clarkson Zwart

The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. ~ James D. Nicoll

“The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read.” ~  Oscar Wilde

Those who only use language to throw crude rocks are vulnerable to its sharp and deadly rapier thrusts. ~ Anon



Stopping To Think About It.

I think most people honest-to-Gawd believe the Papist date “is” the “real” date because they never stop to think about it.

I suspect, also, that most people do and say most of the things they do and say for exactly the same reason: they never stop to think about it.

I know this sounds brutally cynical, but at least it explains the religious and political behaviors of our species, which otherwise seem totally beyond rational comprehension.


Social Security or Welfare?

Here in Australia we had a taxpayer-funded Social Security System.  Government created and sold as a Labor and Union based idea, there were, perhaps other forces at work.

Having seen what happened to their ruling forebears in other nations when several very nasty events occurred, warning bells began ringing. It became obvious that there are limits on how far it is possible to drive a group of people into poverty, hunger and hopelessness before that group band together and fight back. Those nasty events included Robin Hood and the French, Russian and Chinese Revolutions.

Western Society and its Bosses, for the leaders never go away, developed a safety net against these Revolutions which were aimed at those rulers who became to rapacious and too greedy. Designed to remove the risk of a populace which was three missed meals away from a revolution. Perhaps, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett were being unduly pessimistic when they wrote in Good Omens that ‘It has been said that civilization is twenty-four hours and two meals away from barbarism.” Maybe it is after a week of absolute hunger, maybe after three years of being demonised and starved. Eventually the peasants revolt!

It was called Social Security. Originally designed to ensure that every one of the poor, oppressed peasants could eat, could clothe themselves and have a roof over their heads, it served the very rich well for a number of decades. It worked. The Revolutions stopped happening.

Then, in the inevitable effluxion of time, a glitch appeared in the system. Just as those who had never seen the effects of a forgotten disease began to rail against the vaccinations which removed those diseases, so the descendants of those rulers who set the Social Security net in place forgot about its hidden purpose.

Suddenly, ‘Social Security’ became ‘Welfare’. Suddenly ‘Welfare’ became a burden on Society. Suddenly our rulers, exploiters, self-appointed leaders forgot that they are human as well. And subject to mortal limitations just as are all their subjects, serfs and slaves.

Welfare was able to be cut, removed and denied. The exact opposite to what Social Security was supposed to be. Just as that extra couple of brandies has no apparent long-term effect, so cuts to ‘Welfare’ have no apparent long-term effect. It is only after the alcoholism becomes unmanageable, only after the revolutions begin again, that long-term effects become noticeable.

And incurable.

Because there is a hidden meaning behind ‘Social Security’. The hidden need for the rulers, the ultra rich, to protect themselves from the ruled, the ultra-poor. It is the rich families who need the security of knowing the servants won’t kill them in their beds. Of knowing that their factory workers will not put them up against a wall and shoot them.

It is THEY are whose Social Security is at stake and they are the ones who will suffer when Welfare is cut too many times and to too many people.

No Longer a Laughing Matter

My reaction to senseless and incompetent power is to laugh at it. To disbelieve in its permanence. To trust my fellow Australians to make fun of these ultimate tall poppies and to cut them down to size. To use satire as a weapon.

Yet the results of the recent Australian elections have shown me, and many others, that political life is no longer normal. Obvious lies, corruption and incompetence are now not only recognised but accepted and voted for. An attempt to offer inclusion, truth and repair was rejected out of hand.

I seem to have lost my sense of humour, my view that if we laugh at these Banana Republicans, we will defeat them. Satire has been outdone by reality, in so much of the western world.

Frustrated reader, it is not only you who is starved of inspiration. On Twitter and Facebook, where, in the past I found so many posts with a satiric twist, the inspiration has dried up. This is going to be a hard three years. I am also starved of the required ideas and am reduced to homicidal rants.

I have always said (well since 1975) that democracy is a dictatorship of a very small majority. That is now being shown in spades all over the Western World.

Many are asking questions about what we can actually do to fix the sorry state of Australia’s governance. I can see nothing which can legally be done.

Writing letters or sending emails is satisfying in a small way but effectively useless. Taking to the streets is a limited action. A spot of genuine, murderous anarchy is something we can privately hope for yet not publicly condone.

We are being reduced to the level of serfs and slaves; a situation which never ends well for the civilisation which goes down this path.

What follows is not a threat or a call to arms. It is a simple prediction based on history. Because we have seen what happens when the oppressed reach a state of complete desperation. In Russia, in France, in China and much more recently, in the Arab Spring.

The current leadership of our nation will probably escape the capital punishment they deserve by growing old faster than the revolution grows. But their replacements are going to feel the wrath of all who have been starved and humiliated.

The lucky ones will suffer through show trials. Those who are less lucky will find a gory doom in their offices and in the streets. And many who are functionally innocent will also suffer because they have chosen to profit from the evil and not spoken out against it.

Just as they always do in a revolution.



First written in 2010, and repeated several times since,

Perhaps it is just age, perhaps it is a souciant cynicism or perhaps I am reading the signs aright.

For much of Homo Sapiens’ existence, the species has not had liberty. Economically the early families and tribes could not afford it. Then the tribes and the nations had to band under a leader for protection against other tribes and nations. The leaders varied in their character but the most successful were always ruthless.

Then, about 300 years ago, an idea appeared. Based upon a failed experiment in ancient Greece a new system of governance was attempted. Democracy.

And it seemed to work. At least the leaders were accountable at regular intervals. Accountable to the general populace.

Or were they? Or has the real leadership gone into hiding and is now playing with the elected leadership as puppeteers play with their toys? Feeding them three word slogans instead of policies for the good of the people.

Liberty has been a short-lived heroine. She is dying today, as she did in ancient Greece. To find the killers, follow the money and the influence.

Yes, Rupert Murdoch. I am looking at you!

You and your masters!


Meanwhile, At the Bookshop –

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Gaia’s Dawn


How Long To President Pence?

OK! I Accept that Trump has been elected President of the USA.

I look back into history when another uncomfortable President was elected. Back to the 1960’s.

I cannot see the American establishment, the multinational, military and the intelligence forces allowing him to continue on the path he has plotted in his campaign.

Either he turns into a conventional President or he will not be around to contest the next election.

Whether by a bullet or by an apparently ‘natural’ heart attack, I cannot see him surviving in this environment.

And that will be yet another nail in the coffin for what was once ‘The Greatest Country in the World’.


(No, ASIO, AFP, FBI, NSA, CIA etc , I am not advocating that this should happen. I am suggesting that it is inevitable.)

Where Am I From?

Some may have wondered just where Ærchie Archive is from. Facebook certainly demanded to know. So here I am.

Where I am from.

I am from ancient European lines, I am from those close to the soil, I am from Cornish farms and deltas in Norfolk, I am from Danish islands and Irish famines, I am from Dickensian crime and Kentish fields, I am from long sea voyages and followed dreams. I am from a land where the seasons are reversed.

I am from teachers and gold-hunting dreamers and brickmakers and convicts, I am from teetotalers and alcoholics, I am from Catholic and Protestant, I am from a dutiful daughter widowed too early and an adventurous runaway son who died too young, I am from being “man of the house” at twelve, I am from being eldest of three boys. I am from shyness.

I am from remote farming homes, I am from reading cereal packs aged three, I am from one-teacher schools, I am from wide and brown fields, I am from understanding science and mathematics, I am from Goon Shows, puns and dictionaries. I am from my insecurities.

I am from working at instead of studying at University. I am from Ice Skating and Cricket and the beds of the nubile, I am from marching for peace, I am from solving the world’s problems at 1am with red and white wines. I am from reading poetry and plays and science fiction. I am from an awe of the universe.

I am from a wife and three children and ten grandchildren, I am from changing skills and lifestyles, I am from mistakes and wrong choices, I am from too much city, I am from my frailties and fears, I am from learning of my place and my family and my history.

I am from learning nothing is settled and no-one is full-grown. I am from finally learning to trust me.

I am from being human.

I Am A Racist

Are you a good parent? Do you love your child? Would you would do anything to save it from harm?

“Yes,” you say.

And I reply, “That is what makes you and me racists!”

Harsh words in these days of political correctness yet perhaps they reveal a truth about humanity which is being hidden from us by those who believe the word is the thing. The “word-nazis” who believe that if we all say we are not racist, then we are not racist.

Shall we set up a small “mind game”. Imagine that your four year old daughter has a friend over for the night. They’re both sleeping in the same room which catches fire. In breaking down the door to their bedroom, you have dislocated a shoulder.  You now have only one arm to carry a child out of the burning room. Both children are equally within reach. Which child do you grab?

An impossible situation in which to make an instantaneous life and death decision. A decision we all hope we would no have to make. I will try to be as honest as possible here. I would grab MY daughter. I think most parents would do the same. Because my daughter is more important to me than my neighbour’s child.

Let’s leave that mind game. It just stopped being fun. The conclusion you came to, though, is important.

It follows from that conclusion that my family is more important to me than your family. This is so obvious that it hardly needs repeating. By extension, the people in my extended family or my neighborhood are more important to me than those people on the other side of the city. When my children’s school plays sport against the school from the other side of town, I support MY school.

Even more important is the City Team, basketball, baseball, football or tiddlywinks. It doesn’t matter. I support my City team against your City team.

Our civic officials know how important it is for them to win that big new factory for our city than it is for the next city down the highway. It means jobs for OUR city. The fact that there will be no jobs for that city down the highway is just their bad luck. We are looking after our own citizens.

I think you can see where this is leading. Me and mine are always more important to me than you or yours.

This is true at family level, city level, state level and at country level. It is also true at a language level and at a racial level.

We are all racist.

It is how we react to that truth which determines whether we are good human beings or not.

It is impossible to like everyone in the world. Heck, there are people in my family I don’t particularly like. But those people, I mean, those supporters of the opposition tiddlywinks team MUST know they are supporting cheats. Those men in that army we are fighting really are bad people who will destroy our civilisation, given the chance. Of course, we are fighting this war to change THEIR civilisation, but that is an unimportant distinction and should never appear in the media or in the public conscience.

There is every reason to dislike people who are different. Yet we see examples of different groups combining for a common cause. It may be opposing Soccer teams combining into a national team to compete at the Olympics or in the World Cup. It may be groups of people from different states forming into a unified national defence force.

Who are they going to defend against? Why, those people who are defending their own city, state, nation. Of course there are reasons for war between countries and races. Often not the reasons which we are told. If we depend on oil for our economy then we must make certain of its availability. If we have too many people for our water supply, then we must ensure a greater water supply and if it means taking it from those people over there, then so be it. If our population is too large for our available land supply, then we must increase our land area. Sorry, in this time of rising sea levels, neighbours, we have to move you out.

There will now be a couple of new words invented. I cannot find recognised English words to use for the exact thoughts I need to express. “Them-ist” refers to that quality other groups of people possess which causes me to mis-trust or dislike. “Us-ist” refers to that quality members of my group possesses which cause me to like and trust them.

All this seems to be a long way from saving your daughter from a fire. Going backwards through all the steps, it is simply a difference in degree. There is no way that we can overcome this, maybe not “racist” but perhaps “them-ist” problem, even with religion. Religions are inherently exclusive. Yet there is still one final hope.

Many of us know the story of the groups of German and English soldiers in the First World War at Christmas, 1915. They both fell into the Christmas spirit, sang carols together and walked into “No-Man’s Land” where they talked together and exchanged gifts. Their generals recognised the danger of this sort of behaviour and moved both regiments to different areas of the front line.

CS Lewis once wrote;
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:
‘What!  You, too?  I thought I was the only one.’ ”

With Twitter and Facebook and all the other platforms we have the chance to make friends. In making friends from all over the world we have a chance of overcoming the “Them-ist” prejudices which are built into the human psyche. Suddenly we realise that the friend we are communicating with on the internet is supposed to be one of “Them”. But that friend is just like me. The same likes and dislikes, hopes and fears, failures and successes. If we become enemies, we are tearing an “Us-ist” group apart.

I have made friends all over the world through social media in all its forms. The people I have met and made friends with have met and be-friended others. In the continuation of that series of small steps, there is hope for mankind.

In spite of our inbuilt racism.

(I first wrote this essay decades ago. Every now and then I return to it and make changes which I hope improve it. In its last incarnation it was a blog post in 2006. I know it exceeds my self-imposed 1000 word limit)