Hello Cruel World
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Failure and Persistence of Memory
[NB: If I could make Blogger's "expandable posts" work like LJ-cuts, I'd tuck this & other long posts away. Any advice?]
Looking for something about the Gray Order of anti-Nazi liberal Catholics ..., mentioned in the Making Light thread 'Winning Hearts and Minds' (September 27, 2005, 12:19 AM:) by bellatrys
A few weeks? months? back [see below] I posted the link on my blog to an "On This Day" from the BBC (a feature where they post what was on their broadcasts 10, 20, 50 years ago) - a lengthy diatribe against the genocidal actions of the Nazis against the Jews, by a British cabinet official, from 1942 or 43. So those who say that the Allies didn't know, or couldn't have known, are just wrong. The truth *was* out there. And around the same time I posted a lot of the leaflets of the White Rose, with background information on the membership, and how they found out about the atrocities in Poland and Russia - some of these kids were in the German Army, remember, and working as medics because that was the closest they could get to CO status - some of the guys saw things themselves, and came home on leave, or heard about them from buddies who *committed* them. They were *adamant* in their reproaches, directed towards their fellow German citizens, that only those who chose not to know as hard as they could, who made the mental choice to disregard the testimony of atrocity as "unreliable" compared to the assurances of their government that they were behaving honorably towards the Poles and Russians, who were themselves barbarians - only willful ignorance among adults was possible. (Remember that many of them were teens, had been resisting since they were *young* teens some of them, and none of them very old at all, except for the professor they recruited eventually.)
... The only hard stuff was tracking down about the Gray Order, the extinct liberal Catholic youth group, which has been almost totally memoryholed and required a lot of translating of German source matter.
In short, "none so deaf as will not hear, none so blind as will not see." As ever. Why? Because knowledge requires change of belief; change of belief requires action, or change of action, or cessation of action.
who refers to an earlier entry, which I'm excerpting here.
5th subhead of You just can't get away from it, it's like the humidity (July 26th, 2005)You just can't get away from it, it's like the humidity - Collective Failures of Memory, Part I
Collective Failures of Memory, Part I
The "mythtery" that is commonly taught and accepted, which is not even part of the "history is written by the victors" problem but the unacknowledged "apparently, history is written by the same people who come up with urban legends" problem, is all around us. How often have you "learned" that "they" thought the earth was flat in the middle ages, and Columbus challenged Church and State to prove his radical new idea that the world is round, after all? 100% false, apparently first concoted by Washington Irving of Headless Horseman fame, to spice up a children's textbook that he was writing over a hundred years ago. Easily debunkable, too. But who cares about textual provenance and first hand sources?
Now, here's another one you've probably all heard: nobody knew about the genocides during WWII, until after the death camps were taken by Allied troops. Recited as dogma, over and over again. Who of those who recite it has ever gone and looked at old newspapers or other contemporary records? Obviously, none. That people in Germany didn't know, couldn't have known (unless of course they were a) being rounded up, b) doing the rounding) is also frequently recited, and yet as I showed by finding the text of the White Rose's press releases not long ago, this was false.
Equally, so was the rest of it. People may have chosen not to believe it back then, the way people in America are choosing to believe that no real torture has been committed by us upon our prisoners - but the truth was out there.
BBC "On this day" - December 17, 1942
The British Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, has told the House of Commons about mass executions of Jews by Germans in occupied Europe…
08:54 pm July 26th, 2005
BBC "On this day" - December 17, 1942
http://news.bbc.co.uk/ onthisday/ hi/ dates/ stories/ december/ 17/ newsid_3547000/ 3547151.stm
1942: Britain condemns massacre of Jews
The British Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, has told the House of Commons about mass executions of Jews by Germans in occupied Europe... Four days ago, synagogues all over Britain held a day of mourning as a mark of concern for the massacre of the Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe...
Saturday, March 15, 2008
The Brain Rummager
The Brain Rummager – Brian Barratt's page(s)
Herein find: "... word puzzles; quizzes; creative thinking; creative writing; anagrams; homophones & homonyms; crossword puzzles; weird pictures; Aesop's Fables; fractal thinking; an ET hamburger; weird creatures; the amazing Mandelbrot fractal; proverbs and sayings; dragons; the Unpeople behind the dark; curious words and spellings; 17th century books; The First Folio of Shakespeare; letters of the alphabet; potions and spells; written expression; the Seven Wonders of the World; thinking skills; nonsense verse; and much more."From Brian Barratt, who also advises: "Persons not wishing to see worlds outside or inside themselves are gently advised to close their minds whilst in this place"
Monday, March 10, 2008
Rootedness & connection: where to live
Rootedness & connection:
At the end of the block behind my house is a site that used to be, in the late 1920s, an orange juice bottling factory. My mother was born on the kitchen table, either of the house I'm in or one in the block behind which was demolished for a warehouse, since demolished while I lived here for a block of flats.
She had to leave school at the age of 13 because she was the eldest girl and her mother had just had twins (One is the only survivor of that generation now). She was needed to help look after the other 3 children and the house. Underage, she had to go to night school, until aged 15 when she could legally leave, or a bit after, as The Great Depression hit in 1929. That juice factory so close to home was her first job. (Later, older, she would walk to another workplace in Glebe around where the Max Factor building is or was. (She walked to save tram fare. I caught the 459 bus when I worked in the area, but now you have to walk again because of the success of the Public Transport Prevention Group.)
For many years the 1920s-style building was almost unchanged, I knew it as a tubing wholesaler (tho' you could also go in & get the odd length of conduit or whatever if you needed it). As the City West development went ahead, & fancied up the place a bit (& put in rental incentives) they moved or closed and DCC (ECC?) Electrical(?) opened up, full of unaffordable & sometimes beautiful light fittings and related objects. Some years later they moved to the Eastern Suburbs, like DeCeCe and that Gallery whose name I've forgotten, which was in the top floor of the City West Building behind the park on Gipps/Harris/Pyrmont Bridge. In the moving sale I could afford the light fitting that will go into the upstairs back room if/when all the work is done.
Empty for a while, it became the Liberal Party HQ for the election that Kerry Chikarovski was leader. Lord, I was tempted to write out a screed of criticism and suggestions for them, make a hundred copies, post a few to them, scatter them around inside, tape them on the windows and power poles, etc.
Now it's been demolished and a bigger block of flats built there. It would have made a nice small block just rejigged, but that wasn't enough profit.
This is the sort of thing that makes me feel connected and rooted in a place, even though I grew up in a different suburb, and reluctant to move away. I could move back to where I grew up, which has fairly good transport. facilities and 'amenity', but is considerably further from the hospital and its services. It may have good local government social services, but I believe the local health area is having problems. Property is very expensive there, I'd go back to my parents' flat unless I could afford my grandmother's semi-detached cottage — single story with a garden (house style I'd prefer).
Another possibility is a nice place I stayed on Wigram Rd in Glebe, single story with a garden and backyard but close to transport and shops. Now the 459 bus is gone, getting to the city and on to hospital is worse, even with Light Rail added, but it's on the same side of the Harbour.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Possibly Good News
I looked at a one-room flat in a nearby building before it was open for general public inspection — had to go to agent with money & ID, leave that and take keys to do my own inspection, then go back to agent with keys and reclaim money & ID. Very tired and slow-moving, and by the end of this I was pretty exhausted.
Good: Flat was bigger than many I've seen, with a reasonable rent, and the building was in the right area. The windows look out into the courtyard of the U-shaped block, which means although it's on a fairly busy road, the flat is quieter — this might mean it's a bit darker. It has a bath, the kitchen is bigger than my current one — room to put the bar fridge & a microwave, and it has a built-in wardrobe. I'm hoping the existing bookshelf will stay. The building has internal laundries, and rooftop decks with clotheslines as well as tables & chairs.
Bad: Like my current flat, this is upstairs on the 2nd floor (3rd level) without a lift. There may even be more actual steps. It's smaller, and in only one room. There's a two-burner electric 'cooktop', no oven or griller. It is rather closer to the local building where people with drug & mental problems have lodging. I'd need to go past it, where they hang out on or by the footpath. I'm also slightly worried that some of the residents might be of a similar kind. This might be why the rent was affordable.
Anyway, I've filled out the application form and left a week's rent as a deposit on Friday. The agent said that they'd make out a lease and told me how much I'd need to bring for the bond + assorted fees. They seem to be assuming that I am The One. Again, this makes me slightly worried. If everywhere else has potential renters climbing over each other, why are they so eager to grab me? OTOH, it's so close to what I want & need, and almost dropping into my hands, so should I be so doubtful?
So, if the lease starts next week I will have some time to pack and move from where I am before they are breathing down my neck to get out. Fingers crossed that nasty things don't happen, after all the distresss.
Yet more trouble
Went into yet another tailspin on Wednesday when, after sending back some work by email, my boss sent me her calculations on how much leave I had. It worked out that there were about 3 weeks left before I went onto leave without pay, unless I worked some extra days, either at home or going in.
I thought this meant that I couldn't afford to rent, and would have to move back to my own place, still in need of repairs and with much other difficulties, including having a 'transfer of care', with all my non-direct medical and social care (everything but chemotherapy) coming through a different health area — probably Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. After a while, and some talking with a number of people, I think with some juggling I can manage to still rent during my (indefinitely-timed) treatment, keeping me close to St Vincent's Hospital, and get repairs done to my house during that time, so I can move back there afterwards. We will see. It may be too close to the wind for me.
Medical: Blood tests from last week weren't good enough to have second dose of chemotherapy, so it was postponed to this Friday (7th March). When I went in for blood tests and to talk to the social worker, etc, I found that the appointment hadn't been moved, so the drugs weren't ordered, etc, and they had to move my next chemotherapy date to Monday 10th March. Lord knows what will happen to my chemotherapy dates around Easter, steaming up behind us quite quickly.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Sydney Mardi Gras
Thirtieth Anniversay. Paranoid about immune suppression, as well as very tired and weak, so just had a quiet time. Very early on took some photos of crowd, caught a distant glimpse of the march, went & sat in pizza parlour to rest, home, then watched the aftermath from the roof; crowds moving up & down my street, and sitting in the local cafes. Not a night anyone living here can sleep early, far too much noise: whistles, cheers, fireworks – 'Nessun Dorma'.
cleek: Tricksey – jewel
cleek: Tricksey Monday Cat Blogging (February 26, 2007)
This is my blogchalk:
Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.