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Thursday, February 26, 2009

NEDLANDS: On why he threw a cherry tomato at Dr Clive Hamilton at his UWA lecture, Payton L. Inkletter: “I thought the scandal might help his career.”

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:

In other news…

26th to 28th February 2009:

Thursday: Another pleasantly cool day, a mere 23 Celsius, and I set myself one must-do task among the other great if-I-can-do tasks, and that was to finish Clive Hamilton’s wonderful book. So between a big kitchen clean up and some computer jobs, I did read, and most of the afternoon was spent in peace and quiet, as Missus InkleI’lldoanythingformydad had picked Pa pree up and taken him to the local major shopping centre and surrounding mercantile establishments, particularly those of a material bent, fabric that is. So I had the blissful experience of solitude.

And it was needed, for I finally got ‘The Freedom Paradox’ finished, sitting on a milk crate (stolen, or rather, light fingered, or is that ‘actual property owner challenged’?) under my giant bamboo near the kitchen window, at half five, two hours before I would be attending his UWA lecture. I am enriched for reading the work, it is the effort of a true scholar, littered also with beautiful sentences – the skill of a talented wordsmith shining through – with the added bonus of his being a very decent and sincere human being, although I admit to garnering these latter impressions from the book only, for I knew almost nothing about the fellow before this tome. Now, some of my billions of daily readers will recall my flagging problems I was having with Dr Hamilton’s metaphysics over the last couple of months that it has taken me to read his book; my disagreements with him on these still remain, my early inklings of a parting of the ways only being the more strongly confirmed as I progressed through its pages. So how can I praise the book so highly?

Simply because the highly laudable and inspirational behaviour recommendations he champions are so clearly espoused, and the metaphysical foundations he attempts to establish to support them are concerned with arcane nuances deep in the bowels of ontology, and, in my opinion, although he fails in his attempt to lay the foundation without creating more contradictions than he removes, they are of such a nature that they don’t materially alter the recommendations for behaviour, the essence of which is to treat one another as ends in ourselves, never as means to ends. This logically extends to caring for the environment we all depend upon for our wellbeing. My differences with his metaphysics will not be shared by most, I strongly suspect; I will try to make my stance clear in my in progress critique of Richard Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’.

Next I shaved, showered, but had already shyted, and then shot off to the University of Western Australia in the uncannily bright light of a daylight saving evening. Traffic was good, and I just missed by two cars being breath tested and whatever else the boys and girls in blue had in mind on Winthrop Avenue near Charlie’s. I was in such a hurry to get ready I came out without my wallet, hence had no driver’s licence on me (not to mention money), nor had I put on any of my bootification scents, or aftershave spirits and lotions, but fortunately I had put on the old under arm concoction. Not that I was drunk, nor had I even had anything of an alcoholic nature to drink, providing you don’t count that tankard of Missus Inklemoonshine’s 100 proof hooch I knocked back prior to leaving to loosen me up enough to make my planned overripe cherry tomato attack upon Dr Hamilton.

I got to UWA at ten to seven, and then set off, totally los,t looking for Babies Ink&Peggletter, and finally gave up and mobbled them; Baby Inkletter said ‘Stop walking!’, so I stopped, and she said ‘I can see you’, and shonuff, across a sports oval as big as Tasmania there she and Baby Peggletter were, embracing like a lower case ‘b’, with no prizes for guessing who formed the circle on the ground of said ‘b’. I walked to them, and soon we were in a Social Sciences lecture theatre, and chose the third row back and a tad to the podium’s left; even a blind tetraplegic with Parkinson’s could lob a moto on the fine Doctor from here. It was near empty, but within twenty minutes was near full; I estimate maybe two hundred people. I asked the Babies if in their times at UWA if they had been to lectures in this very theatre: affirmative; “The seats are better now,” Baby Inkletter shared. I’d’ve hate to sat in them then! (Baby Peggletter, by the way, shared at my solicitude, that he had 25% to go to recover from hitting his head on concrete last week when he fainted at the pathology collection centre. I feel ill contemplating how bad it could have been, and am concerned at how bad it might really still be. Attention all blood collection centres: provide soft flooring in the vicinity of the vampire work, if you care about your clientele, and if you don’t, if you care about the possible law suits for lack of care.)

Clive spoke to us for almost an hour with his lecture proper, which was about economic growth as a fetish and its relation to climate change. He was excellent, relaxed, clear, and altogether a remarkably good communicator. His subject matter was rather dry and technical, yet you could have heard a pin drop, apart from one mobble phone interrupting the lecture, with the poor old dear walking out unable to turn it off, complaining that it was new and she didn’t know how to stop it. And would you believe it, that Godfather of Australian journalism, Kerry Guiseppe O’Brien, ‘Kezza’ to his mates, even got a mention, concerning an interview this well ‘connected’ journalist conducted with Prime Minister Rudd. Clive took a number of questions, which elicited some pragmatic answers, and then did a book signing.

The Babies and I shot down to him early, and Baby Inkletter had him sign her two books of his, and then he signed my copy of The Freedom Paradox. To try to avoid burdening him with too much detail, I said I’d bought it in December, but Baby Inkletter protesteth much, and so I corrected myself and said my daughter, beckoning to her beside me, gave it to me as a gift. He took that in his stride, and I shared with him that I found his writing wonderful, with many magnificently crafted sentences, and the whole thing inspirational, which moved him. I think there would be little nicer than the experience of having a reader genuinely complement your writing craft, independent of the merits of the content. Validation is the name of the game. My admission to him that I took two months to read it elicited approval, as it should, for there is much in this treatise to positively tax the neurons. Of course this was neither the time nor the place to burden him with my differences with his metaphysics; however, an email or letter might be brewing; even, heaven forbid, a critique of the metaphysical portion… And in case you’re wondering, I ate the cherry tomatoes.

I got home rather earlier than I expected, about 9.45 p.m., and poor Missus InkleByettamakesmesick had just vomited from it. She definitely is paying for its grand benefits. I watched the last half of Qanda (Q&A) on Aunty, and must watch the beginning when I can from my recording. Tony Jones had, among other guests, Labor’s Bill Shorten and The Liberal’s Christopher Pyne, of whom I think it is a bit strong of those who say his mother missed a very great opportunity to drown at birth. It was quite a trial to watch Pyne trying to be one of the boys.

Lateline saw Leigh Sales interview Niall Ferguson, a Harvard University professor, and before I comment on this, my how much better Leigh’s hair style suits her face tonight! She looks more rounded and overall nicer. In case I’m accused of sexism, the astute among my billions of daily readers will recall that I comment on Kerry O’Brien’s face, namely how preternaturally young he looks after his return from every holiday. What has stuck with me from Ferguson’s opinions was one: the problems of the looming oversupply of Government bonds around the world as nations try to raise money to pump prime their economies, with the supply-demand law causing an inevitable drop in their prices, with consequent upward pressure on long term interest rates, which would be a spanner in the works for global economic recovery; and two: his feeling that a Chinese 2009 national growth rate of 7 per cent is probably double what they’ll achieve. If he’s right, China won’t be near the global saviour it’s being touted to be.

I was way too weary to walk, which is a shame, so I did some writing instead, and curled up under the sheets before three. A special day just closed, having been able to hear and meet Clive Hamilton, and with my daughter and her partner, to boot.


27th February 2009:

Friday: Oh so tired, oh so hard to get up, and despite the alarm, I surfaced an hour after it, thinking but ten minutes had passed. The weather is warming, closer to 30 Celsius today, but the cool change with precipitation was a welcome relief. I cleaned up the kitchen, while poor Missus Inklewhackedoutandmustsleeplonger snoozed on, till after one o’clock. I did a cowboy watering outside, having not done any for at least two days, maybe three. Then I readied myself for taking Bob swimming.

He was patiently waiting on the outdoor lounge, and yet again he had a brand new pair of bathing togs today, which must be the third new pair in the month. Swan Aquatic was moderately busy, and I worked on editing (yet again) ‘Venty Still’, the progressive sci-fi story suggested and started by Baby Inkletter, aka Say H. Inkletter, which I printed out in draft before I left for Bob’s. Now that I’ve finished reading ‘The Freedom Paradox’, attended Clive’s Hamilton’s lecture, got my ‘Health Matters’ web site up, I want to ‘relax’ with getting ‘Venty StillPart One out onto the nebulous threads of cyberspace, and invite Saul and Undies to contribute to its progressive writing.

While Bob splashed about like a delirious duck, I took an apple break outside, and who should spot me?: none other than Peter W. of Balga TAFE, where I used to take Peter of Kenwick on Thursdays for his woodwork day. We had a good natter about Saul and Undies, including the classmates in Peter of Kenwick’s time. Peter W. was helping to care for two of his three grandsons while the older one was having a swimming lesson, with his mother in attendance. I was struck by how much strength had returned to Peter’s right hand, which was horribly injured with a nerve slicing 45 cm cut maybe two or so years ago. Not bad for a man nudging 70.

Bob and I enjoyed our cup of tea and walk at Fishmarket Reserve, even if Bob’s constant and virtually only topic of conversation was some several of his infinite variations on smoking, interspersed with “knock my good eye out!” suggestions. I finally got back to an empty home a whisker after half seven, for Missus InkleIvisitthepoorsickanddestitute had not long since been picked up by Murrah Deeler and taken to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital to visit Meg, recovering from ongoing chemo treatment for lymphoma. The meal Janny cooked for the boys at home was greatly appreciated, as was her visit with Murrah. We are hopeful that the prayer round resource of friends we alerted to her health crisis helps her, in addition to the medical care.

Most of Janny’s afternoon was taken up on the phone as it turned out, to my cousin Vee’s mother, my mother, Pa pree Inkletter, Murrah, and others whose names escape me for now. My first job once home was to deliver vittles to Pa pree plus chat about the Clive Hamilton lecture and the day’s politics, then I caught the last half of The Collectors, that priceless Aunty show whose 2009 return is most welcome. Wasn’t that rhinocerous collector’s, Rita Shaw’s, ingathering a hoot, the horny old biddy! And how rich a collection of Australian timber furniture did Tim Harris discover waiting to be catalogued at New Norcia.

I did some writing until SBS late news, having missed My Beloved at seven, then back to more writing before Lateline which coincided with Missus Inkleneartranslation’s return from the hostabul. Of course, arriving at that moment meant she had my complete and undivided ignorance. Leigh Sales put two pollies together as usual, none other than Tony Abbott, the Opposition's Families Spokesman, and Agriculture Minister Tony Burke. Poor Tony Burke, having to endure several laser cutting soul searching unblinking stares from Tony Abbott, but two and a half feet away eyeball to eyeball, there in the studio. Apparently this Abbottine idiosyncrasy was honed during the three weeks he spent in space just prior to the Federal election in November 2007; you can read about that here: WARRINGAH: Health Minister Abbott blasted into space for 3 weeks by Howard; no bullshit

A couple of entries ago I spoke of Pacific Brand’s CEO Sue Morphett’s mature and professional air and carriage in contrast to Julie Bishop, but what I didn’t know then was that it is oiled by a doubling or tripling or by whatever significant factor of her salary to a tidy 1.8 million smackeroos not too long before the announcement of the shedding of 1850 jobs, and certain relocationing in China. ACTU President Sharon Burrow couldn’t have put it any better when she said that ‘corporate Australia has lost its moral compass’. Companies worldwide have the hypocrisy to rail against their workers taking home a piece of wood or a pair of gloves (which if it’s theft is wrong), while clinically organising the theft of billions of the shareholders’ companies profits by voting themselves astronomically disconnected pay packets. Utter bastards, and every case should be ‘named and shamed’ continuously, until some reasonable formula, such as variations upon and up to a fair multiple (I suggest 7) of the average wage paid by their company (excluding their own pay figures) is adopted, and preferably with the payback of the corporate clinical and sterile theft of many years. A ‘name and fame’ approach would help for those who do the right thing. Such a model would encourage executive level staff to lift the average wage of their corporations, and that would be a fine outcome, if based on genuine wealth generation. If they want to buy their companies’ shares with some of their honestly earnt pay packets, then well and good, which would be another incentive to do the right thing by their companies. They should not be given huge swathes of shares as part of performance bonuses, because many of the bastards will do anything to lift the price of the company shares temporarily, coinciding with their share bonanza. I am very happy to see the organising outrage here and abroad at these disgusting corporate practices, this modern means of stealing from the poor to give to the rich. And so, Ms Sue Morphett has sunk greatly in my estimation for being party to this latest example of executive greed. And she may yet rise, should she set the better example and become worthy of being in a name and praise-fame list as I’ve just suggested.

Missus Inkles and I nattered after Lateline, and the vibes fluctuated up and down, as is not unusual among normal married human beings, but we got through in better shape than often in the past. I returned to my writing, and as the wee small hours progressed realised that, given some health issues I was battling with, a walk was not wise, so again I missed my much loved perambulatin’ after midnight ritual, just like Patsy Cline used to promote.

Close to five I slithered in beside the alabaster dragon, who held me in her arms, and I cannot blame her.


28th February 2009:

Saturday: Never! Well, often actually, weekly as a rule, yes, it’s Sarrerdi! And what a close hot humid mother it became! Typically Febwee weather. When I emerged from the boudoir of a thousand delights the alabaster dragon had gone somewhere, probably with someone, but no prizes for guessing: she took Pa pree Inkletter shopping and here and there, which was madness again in these heat conditions – it got to almost 37 Celsius. Her sense of parental care (not least in the upward direction) duty is etched so deep it hurts.

I began the laborious process of trying to come back to some semblance of life, like those stegosaurus and ouranosaurus critters that we were taught as kids faced side on to the morning sun to collect heat with their broad plates and sails to kick start their sluggish systems. I took a couple of photos of Payton the Koala Bear outside with my magnificent emerging giant Bambusa balcoa shoot, to compare with those I took a few days back, and before I knew where I was the little people had arrived, shattering my precious solitude.

After some time with them in the lounge where Janny’s lover Hiroshi Fujitsu cooled them down, I slunk away to do some writing at the keyboard. During this sabbatical, I not only got up to date with this diary, but the forecast possible thunderstorm for Perth in the late afternoon became an actuality, and we enjoyed a moderate amount of said furniture shifting in the sky, with a couple of millimeters of rain, which prompted me to go outside and potter around among the bamboo doing maintenance jobs while getting wet; it was most refreshing, if humid.

I joined the delinquents for din dins and we watched My Beloved at the same time, then remained on to watch much of an SBS program about a group of blokes with nothing better to do than muck about making a vehicle that can beat traffic jams in San Francisco, with, thanks to the miracle that is the remote control, bits of Kath & Kim and The Vicar of Dibley on free to air Seven during SBS’ blasted adverts; yes, if everyone did what I do, there would be no commercial TV, at least as we now have it. After this I drove Pa pree home, and came back and made my first dual posting of a day from this diary to both ‘IN OTHER NEWS…’ and the MAIN SITE, with the main sited posting having just a teaser with a link to the ‘IN OTHER NEWS…’ site; this is my idea from now on, to increase the activity over at the main site, which can otherwise go months without a posting.

I returned then to editing Venty Still, my Part, specifically altering the Word document from my hand written editing on the printed pages I took to Swan Aquatic yesterday. I went for a late walk after doing stage one of a kitchen clean up, and the suburb was a bit noisier and grittier than the average Saturday night. I needed a shower on my return, for I was drenched in perspiration.

Back to the editing, sitting at the kitchen table with the print out of Venty Still, and when that was finished I came and added the edits to the Word document. At long last it was at the stage where I am prepared to leave it, although every writer, I assume, knows there is rarely ever a point where they could say they are perfectly happy with what they’ve written, especially with longer stories.

I did stage two of the kitchen clean up, and it looked spiffy, ready for Janny to throw a bomb into tomorrow, bless her fishnets, for she’s the hardest working gal in the kitchen I know. After this I took my life in my hands and slipped in beside the sleeping alabaster dragon


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