I recently came across this bit of prose.
“The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.”
It is from a very short story called “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. The full text, which seems to be in the public domain, can be found here.
A little more research took me to this film, here: https://youtu.be/XBcpuBRUdNs I think it is worth watching.
Having followed some of what has been going on in Australia and, to be fair, France as well as one or two other countries, I cannot help feeling that our antipodean friends are well down the road to a Vonnegutian dystopia. By contrast, Zimbabwe, for now at least, seems the be the epitome of sanity and adherence to human rights.
What say others?
My maternal grandfather fought and was wounded at Gallipoli. It was not his first armed conflict. 15 years earlier, he had joined a Highland unit that had been raised by his brother to fight in the South African War.
Grandfather had several sons, two of whom fought in WW2 and were awarded the MC. He also had some nephews who distinguished themselves. One became a notable commando who was involved in numerous military excursions, including the disastrous Dieppe Raid, the D-Day landings, at which he was piped ashore, and the capture of Pegasus Bridge. Churchill said of him, ‘the handsomest man who ever cut a throat’. Another nephew, also my mother’s cousin, founded the SAS. My own father was in the SOE and was parachuted into Albania, so that side of the family did not do too badly and that is without mentioning the fact that his grandfather fought in the Peninsular War and was wounded at Quatre Bras, shortly before Waterloo. There were other brave men from countless other families, from around the world, especially so from Australia, New Zealand and other colonies. There was a better generation of women in those days as well; one whose members sacrificed their own wellbeing for the good of the nation.
All this is not to say that I am an advocate of war. I am not. What I am saying is that the men of past generations appear to have considerably more courage and moral rectitude than the current lot who seem to be terrified of a disease that poses minimal threat. Those men took huge risks and were prepared to sacrifice their lives to protect their freedoms and the freedoms of their kinfolk. This generation is prepared to sacrifice its freedoms to protect their lives from a disease that has almost no chance of killing them.
I think the real ANZACs along with my ancestors, would be truly horrified by the craven behaviour of their descendants and those who now lead them. For this generation to celebrate their heroics, is an insult to their memory.
As for that wretched New Zealand woman….
It would appear that my scepticism concerning the charges laid against Cardinal Pell was justified. https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-sinister-vatican-plot-against-cardinal-pell
‘Mea culpa’, anyone?
After many decades of ceaseless rivalry, Australia recently inflicted a stunning victory over its arch enemy, England. With the same never-say-die spirit that the nation’s soldiers exhibited at Gallipoli, an episode in history that came to define the stubborn nature of that young country, Australia brought England to its quivering knees.
The link to this documentary appeared in a comment I was reading in the Telegraph. I found it fascinating, though perhaps I am being naive. Regardless of what you think about Tommy Robinson and his political views, there appears to be little question that the BBC is extremely biased in its reporting, that its presenters are hypocrites and that it uses very underhand methods to extract information. If nothing else, this shows how the BBC licence fees are spent!
Once again my apologies for the blatant cut and paste in the original version of this post. I should have known better and I trust that this version falls within the rules.
All I wanted to say was that there is an article in the Spectator magazine that struck a cord with me. Rod Liddle presents a rather jaded view of the BBC’s fetish for Political Correctness. He takes particular aim at the Beeb’s recent production of Watership Down which he describes as being “woke”. (“The ABC Murders” also warrants a barb .)
He talks of of Bigwig being a “bruv from the ’hood” and alerts us to the fact that one of the warren is a campaigner for social justice while another is a transgendering rabbit called Strawberry. Not having seen the program, I cannot say whether this is an accurate representation or rather a bit of mischief by Mr Liddle, but I think I get the gist. It rather surprises me that Richard Adams’s estate allowed such nonsense.
Anyway, Mr Liddle concludes that his New Year resolution may be to join Charles Moore in refusing to pay the BBC licence fee. I almost wish I was living in the UK so that I could join the boycott.
The link to the article is here https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/01/the-bbcs-quest-to-make-watership-down-woke/. There is a pay wall, but generally infrequent visitors are allowed a 3 free articles a month.
We said our farewells at Brisbane airport and then it was a long flight back to the Dark Continent. One of the two good things that have emerged as a result of last year’s coup, is that customs and immigration officials are far friendlier than they were previously. The other, even greater benefit has been the removal of the ubiquitous highway bandits, purporting to be police officers who in the name of road safety made it their business to extract every cent they possibly could from the largely innocent driving public. The guilty ones got fleeced as well, but were allowed to continue their journeys in their totally un-roadworthy vehicles. Continue reading “Horrible Harare”
We arrived in Brisbane early on a Saturday and were met by the aunt and uncle of the young appendage. They had moved with their 2 sons to QLD at about the time I had last been there. I had not known them at the time, but have since become very good friends despite the distances that separate. It was an emotional moment, especially for the girl child and her aunt. Continue reading “Beautiful Brisbane”
Having taken repossession of the girl child, we left Melbourne and flew to Sydney. We had booked our accommodation, a small cottage in Bondi Junction, via Air B&B, the first time we had used the service. It seemed to work reasonably well, though once again we were slightly stunned by the prices being charged for fairly modest lodgings. However, having realised what property costs in that city, we realised that though expensive, it was unlikely that we were being ripped off. Continue reading “Down Under Part 2: Splendid Sydney”