Hello Cruel World
Tuesday, March 25, 2003
The Ken Burns' biography of Samuel Langhorne Clemens started last Sunday here in Sydney, Australia. This site (& this article) shows some of why I admire & enjoy his work.


The New York Times, April 24, 1910


The Serious Side of the Famous Humorist Whose Dominant Note Was Love of Liberty and Hate of Shams.

"I am through with work for this life and this world." - Mark Twain to the reporters on his return from Bermuda, Dec. 1909.

Call a philosopher a humorist, and for the rest of his life, though he live to be more than 70, people will grin expectantly whenever he heaves a sigh...

Down at Circular Quay there is a "Writers' Walk" with inlaid plaques commemorating both Australian writers' work about Sydney & foreign writers' visits or their writing about us. Think he's there commenting on his travels in Australia.

I am re-posting URLs for a short Mark Twain story (THE WAR PRAYER) I mentioned back on the 10th of October (just before the Bali Bombing). It might be useful to bring its message back into mind in the times we are going through.


Checking out some things about TV series Babylon 5 (parts of which reflect current subjects of interest). One of my reasons for reading science fiction (as opposed to sword & sorcery style fantasy or space-located varieties of westerns, &c) is that it can deal with all sorts of ideas & speculations about humanity, society, reality, &c.

[In-depth analysis of Babylon 5:

I was intrigued to find episode title "The War Prayer" (Synopsis at www.midwinter.com/lurk/guide/007.html Background at www.midwinter.com/lurk/guide/007.html came from a short Mark Twain (Samuel Longhorn Clemens) story. Pertinent whenever & wherever someone is whipping up bellicose feeling, e.g. India v Pakistan, etc, etc, etc. He also is an interesting writer in several ways. Here we are rather fond of his comments about Australia when he visited. Will have to look them up for you.

This is a short biography, with links to several stories:


and a more 'literary' discussion of him, especially his skepticism:

The War Prayer links (It's been used recently too, about current subjects:):



Check the October archives for an extract if you have problems linking to these.

Monday, March 24, 2003
Sick as a DOG last few days
(not from Iraq/USA violence, but that hasn't helped).
WARNING Messy stuff (skip to OK)
Fascinating effect of high gas (HSO4) build-up in quite-liquid material held under some pressure in the colostomy bag. (Don't tell the Jackass boys, anyone.) Having experienced this some months back in earlier adjustment of body to major assault upon it, I have developed a few coping mechanisms.
Hoping to be able to go to work tomorrow, headaches still bad, but cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea have somewhat subsided -- it was probably just some bad food -- will wear special style of bag that copes better. It has an opening you can use to either let out excess gas or drain contents without having to rip it off your increasingly tender skin.
OK, that's safe again, sort of

The following URL describes itself (it may not help your feelings of wellness):
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
Running taped TV shows while working on computer. Finished one lot & stopped to rewind so could overtape. Sydney Channel 7 is playing (at ~2am Wed 19-Mar-2003 our time) the USA NBC Today show. They are showing a Live Colonoscopy. Am just about on first anniversary of my own. Talk about acid flashbacks.
Tuesday, March 18, 2003
from ABC Space News

"You are a mixture of a whole bunch of stars, and wouldn't it be nice to be able to say most of me came from that star there, and you could point to it out there in the sky," he mused. "We still can't do that, but with all this nice new evidence, we're starting to be able to do that. That's important because it's kind of like knowing who your grandparents are, except you're talking about stars rather than human beings." (Dr Charlie Lineweaver, astrophysicist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia)
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Something so many of us have felt witnessing destruction around us
... even now, years afterward, I feel pain inside as I pass such sites in my daily life. No brain, no pain, they say. Is this the penalty for memory?

Killing an Oak Tree

A Gratuitous Death


January 25, 2003

My neighbor is killing his oak tree. It's taking a long time.

He's not doing it himself. It's too big a job for him to do by himself, even if he knew how to do it, which he doesn't ...
It's all those trees, one by one, and all those lakes and rivers, one by one. One by one by one by one. Greed and bad taste and stupidity. One by one by one by one...

www.counterpunch.org/ jackson01252003.html
Bruce Jackson's email address is bjackson@buffalo.edu

This article is also found on the Buffalo Reporter (buffaloreport.com/ 030122tree.html), which also published some reactions to it.


Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Am having some dark thoughts about changes to archive file names. It's possible the 'missing links' are stored in a file directory that is no longer recognised or used. May have to get in & do some FTP in the gutz.

Alternative is to just copy them from the editor & re-post. Think/hope would be able to keep original dates of posting in the body, tho' they may sit under the later date when they were re-posted.
Not that anyone seems to find there way here much to enjoy these ruminations...
Curiouser & curiouser.
What has happened to the archives for November & December 2002 & January 2003?
Hey, there was some good stuff in there!

Oddly, I can find it when I search in editing mode, but it doesn't seem to be viewable from 'outside'.

Oh well, will have to work on that.

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

   (Ren & Stimpy)

What I Believe - from Two Cheers for Democracy (E.M. Forster)

[originally printed in 1938 in the New York Nation]

I do not believe in Belief. But this is an Age of Faith, and there
are so many militant creeds that, in self-defence, one has to
formulate a creed of one's own. Tolerance, good temper and
sympathy are no longer enough in a world which is rent by
religious and racial persecution, in a world where ignorance rules,
and Science, who ought to have ruled, plays the subservient pimp ...
[and lots more good stuff.]
Monday, March 10, 2003
Hey. Looks like computer is back working again. I tried quite hard to break it, & succeeded for a while, but goldurnit, mah very good friend A slapped it around a bit, then threatened to slap me around a bit if I fiddled with it again (in lieu of superglueing the case shut).
Let's see how it goes.

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 / . Lives in Australia/New South Wales/Sydney, speaks English. Eye color is hazel. I am what my mother calls unique. My interests are photography, reading, natural history/land use, town planning, sustainability.

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Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.