Daily Archives: December 18, 2007

The Madness of Modern Families

The ABC must be trying to prepare us for the Republic by reminding us how bloody dreadful Poms can be. They are inflicting on us at this moment a group of people who really should be rounded up and put out of their misery, aside from having a range of accents that just make me want to gag. Even worse is their shallowness and hideous values. The program I refer to is written up in the Daily Mail as Why posh parents are the pushiest. Indeed. Stay away from Australia, please! It’s bad enough here as it is.
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Posted by on December 18, 2007 in education, TV


Small milestone

New Lines has just passed the WP 1,000 views mark in its 18th day. It seems likely — counting back on Sitemeter — it was Arthur at around 3pm our time.

Blogged with Flock

Next day
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Posted by on December 18, 2007 in blogging, site news


Three generations wiped out in a flash

Reading the circumstances in this sad story I couldn’t help but reflect that back in 1975 this was almost me.

At 4.15pm they had just passed Narrabri and were heading south along the Kamilaroi Highway.

About five kilometres after Baan Baa, the driver, Mr Jacobs, pulled out to overtake, only to realise a truck was coming from the opposite direction.

As he swerved back into the left lane, the car and trailer jackknifed, sending the vehicle veering across the road and into the prime mover’s fuel tank. There was an explosion and both vehicles burst into flames. Police believe the occupants of the Commodore died on impact.

I told my story on Diary-X years ago, but that is long gone. It happened like this. I had been visiting my brother who then lived on the Gold Coast and was returning via Nimbin and Coffs Harbour. In Coffs Harbour I called on an English teacher colleague then headed off in the afternoon for Port Macquarie, where I planned to stay overnight.

As I drove down the Pacific Highway somewhere around Taree it was beginning to rain lightly, and I was stuck on a windy stretch — single lane on my side — through state forests, very similar to the picture on the left. I was stuck behind a semitrailer which accelerated whenever an overtaking opportunity presented itself and slowed otherwise. Behind me was a tourist bus. I was looking out for chances to pass the semi. I should mention I was driving a fairly gutless but front wheel drive Subaru 1400. That is significant.


The Subaru did not have great powers of acceleration, though good enough for most purposes.

At last I spotted a chance, so I pulled out into the north-bound lane and started to pass the semi, which chose of course to accelerate. Meanwhile the bus was closing in too.

Travelling at 70 mph (old measures) beside the truck I saw four cars heading straight for me on the northbound lane. What to do? The semi was next to me, the bus was closing the gap, the cars were travelling towards me at a similar speed so our closing rate was over 100 mph… There was nowhere to go as any sudden swerve off  the road would have wrapped me around a tree — the forest had at this point closed in. So, thinking this was the end, I hit the brakes.

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Posted by on December 18, 2007 in Australia, events, memory, personal, travel


I find myself caring less about what people believe…

…and rather more about who they are and what they do.

To that extent I simply do not get excited about the current round of debates about atheism. I can happily read Richard Dawkins and agree with much that he says; I am an atheist too when it comes to old men with beards sitting on thrones somewhere above the sky. I am an atheist when it comes to those same old men dictating or writing instruction books valid for all humanity for all time. Hasn’t happened. People have written books or dictated them, out of their own historical moments, in their own cultural contexts, with much in them that should carry use-by dates. Those vainly seeking certainty in such books or in the institutions those books may have spawned are often taking humanity to perdition by the shortest possible route. On the other hand I can conceive that God, a concept beyond language — hence my Christmas poem #3, does speak if we will listen, and that voice is in the Bible, the Qu’ran, the Tao Te Ching, and in many other times, texts, and circumstances, as well as in actions such as these:

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