Gertrude’s Diary #12

Gertrude's Diary

I”ve been waiting for the muse to turn merry before I wrote this, but the prevailing mood was critical. Something wasn”t right. And then last week a friend who”d borrowed my Frank Zappa collection for 3 months visited with my CD”s. I”ve missed them; that irreverence, that perspicacity, that abundant talent. Now there was an artist who didn”t mind prodding his audience out of their comfort zones. In fact here”s a couple of lines from “The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing” which sum up my dissatisfaction with the world.

“Cause what they do, in Washington,
They just take care of number one.
And number one ain”t you.
You ain”t even number two.”

If one bears this in mind then all the dainty obfuscation of the mainstream media just peels back to reveal the dark heart of deception that underlies USA policy. But you didn”t hear it from me. And if you did, it doesn”t mean I”ve got bags of fertiliser in the shed, all right? I do own a backpack, yes, but the only bomb I have is in the driveway. A car, okay? Normally I”d just leave that joke there, without explanation, but what with people being alert but not alarmed and putting the pieces together to form a paranoid mosaic of xenophobic hysteria, I thought I should be clear about it.

I overheard a woman in her 20″s talking to her mother. She said that she”d seen an “Asian” man taking pictures of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and should she call the Terrorist Hotline? Her mother thought that she should. I looked around to see if there were any signs that the whole conversation was an elaborate joke, but alas, it seems that they were sincere. Why jump to the conclusion that there was something suspicious about what the man with the camera was doing? Why would a terrorist take pictures of the DFAT building? And it”s in the state circle anyway, with security and surveillance more intense than just about anywhere else in Australia. ASIO no doubt already know what the guy had for breakfast and where his mum lives. He could just as easily be a student of architecture with an interest in Canberra”s many examples of neo-brutalist design.

Speaking of neo-brutalist design; the government”s workplace reforms are sounding better and better. What”s that? No penalty rates for weekends, public holidays and overtime? Damn fine, there”ll be lots more people employed now. And hey, some of the people already employed can get another job, too. It”s a win-win situation. While we”re at it, let”s cash in that Long Service and Annual Leave, and shift penalties, and the right to collective bargaining, and the right to organised labour, and the right of access to Australian Industrial Relations Commission to adjudicate on matters in dispute.

Let”s piss-off all those things, they”re unnecessary, they”re not world”s best practice, they don”t help small business, they”re outmoded. They stink. And so do you, if you think they”re desirable conditions of employment, if you think that the men and women who fought to obtain those rights were anything but misguided fools. See what I mean about being in a critical state-of-mind? I”ll also let readers in on a little secret. Last night, you see, my dear editor and the master of this site was interviewed on Canberra radio about what happens at loadedog. And he talked about the articles that he writes, and the podcast he hosts with Johnboy of, and did he mention the woman who has written stories for him ever since this little site got started? The woman who gladly gives up her precious spare time for writing scripts and making movies and participating in podcasts and applying herself to making semi-regular contributions to the written content of this site? No. He did not. I got a passing reference as one of a “couple of crazy people” who help him out. Makes me wonder why I bother. Actually, I know why I bother; I have an egotistical need to put my thoughts into words and share them with others. But I”m working on that. Any day now, I”m going to have a therapy breakthrough and dispense with all that approval-seeking behaviour.

Now, where did I put those tranquilisers?


By David Heidelberg

I know the life of the contributor, lover, support mechanism, emotional crutch can be a hard one, but despite Loadedog’s clear preoccupation with himself, I encourage you to continue your articles because I like them. And that’s really the only motivation you need!

On the subject of the ‘be alert, not alarmed’ mother and daughter you encountered, I’d say only this. A Current Affair recently conducted a phone pole in which 85% of respondents claimed that Asian immigration was ‘damaging’ Australia. I’ll quote Herder, as Mr Daily Flute does. “Touch not the flute when the drums are sounding around; when the fools have the word, the wise will be silent” In other words, there is no point in arguing with idiots.

Love David

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