Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Sunday, January 29, 2006

1994 xmas poem

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and Annie's graduation and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and Xmas ho ho ho deck the halls bah humbug and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day. How was your year?



1994
On the whole, it wasn't a year about which one could get very excited;
Unlike Mr. Skase, we didn't get a verdict from a Spanish court saying we couldn't be extradited,
And we didn't win thirty-six million dollars in an English lottery jackpot.
A number of psychologists did call Rose a crackpot
And in fact if you want to be alarmist
You could say that overall, the wicked continued to flourish like the green bay tree (not, to be sure, that the bay trees of my acquaintance have ever looked particularly exceptional in their efflorescence; perhaps the genetic makeup of the species has altered somewhat since the days of the psalmist).
Rose and Chris both published books but plainly hadn't quite mastered the trick,
Given that both volumes sold not only like cold cakes but like cakes of cold sick.
Anne, having put in ten years of hard graft on her Deakin degree, was getting distinctly disillusioned with the whole academic mystique
And had to be dissuaded at weekly intervals from withdrawing from motives of principle or pique,
But it has to be said that insofar as academe has a reward it's
Graduating to thunderous plaudits,
And in May 1994 Anne attained what under the circumstances I suppose is
What the Greeks called apotheosis;
By which they meant entering like Hercules or Caligula heaven's portals
To be given a roll of parchment testifying that they'd joined the ranks of the immortals.
At the end of the day, anyway (that day being of course the thirty-first of December)
What you have to remember
Is that however much we were over the previous year cribb'd cabined, confined, frustrated and/or vexed
We nonetheless survive to face the next.

Untitled poem - c. 1992

The moving finger writes a long report and having writ
Goes home to court insomnia by fretting on revisions –
Business is business, and all the rest is shit.

Tautology, scatology, unlikeable divisions
To map a life if joy and hope remain on the agenda;
But scars remain to warn us that new love means fresh incisions.

If Dido fucks Aeneas then Carthago est delenda;
Relationships are troublesome, and will at most admit
A temporary meeting of illusions and pudenda.

Nine to five is more straightforward still than cock to clit;
A more productive way to seek fulfilment from collisions —
Business is business, and all the rest is shit.

`

1992 Xmas letter

1992

A year who there were few to love we gladly terminate;
Half was spent in argument and half in New York State.
At home our many enemies were yapping at our heels,
Abroad we were applauded and hosannahs came in peals.
Rose struggled with the scheming of psychologists, the arses,
Then flew off to America to give a course of classes.
She met with S.J. Gould, the Berrigans and Eldridge Cleaver
And turned the ISAAC conference from skeptic to believer.
Chris worked hard on health prevention (but only in his writing;
He carried on his drinking) and found Disneyland exciting.
Cartoon channels, root beer brandy, Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip,
And Syracuse’s graveyards were the highlights of the trip.
In Syracuse Anne missed her friends and told us so in mime,
In San Francisco spelt a talk a letter at a time,
Gave interviews and met with fans, had resolutions passed,
Ate icecream and threw snowballs and and flew smoothly home at last.
We ogled at the Guggenheim and marvelled at the Met,
Saw the Isabella Gardner and are talking of it yet,
To Chicago for the Monets and to Watts just for the towers,
And saw Matisse at MOMA and were there for hours and hours.
For the first time since St. Nicholas our pressing problem varies;
Not so much our old opponents as our friends off with the fairies.
Though keen and sympathetic, we have certain reservations
When boys spell telepathically about past incarnations.
The year ahead looks difficult, but ‘94 will find us
Serene and well-accepted with our troubles all behind us.
Rose will write her book and Anne will finish her degree,
And Chris will write another poem to tell of ‘93.

`

Christening poem

CHRISTENING CHASTENING

Humanity! How oft you slight
Accustomed comforts, birds in fist,
The chance to sleep all through the night
(Or longer, if completely pissed).

You ask yourself just what it means;
Your satisfaction quickly palls;
Vicious enforcers in your genes
Distrain upon your womb or balls.

You put together in a pile
All that you have, all you will get,
And sign it over with a smile
To someone you have never met.

Three people in a household cost
Much more than two; this simple math
Is quite repetitively lost
On couples such as Toz and Kath.

The thought of Weeboks on the parquet
Outweighs the books, the wine and cheese;
Two (count them) incomes, Paddy’s market,
And vibrant local brasseries.

The battering of little arms...
Romantic visions, careless talk,
Then off to pillage cabbage farms
And hold up any passing stork.

Still, though the reasoning may be crackpot,
Toz and Kath have hit the jackpot;
The wonders of the double helix
At last produced a little Felix.

Uncle Chris
January 14, 1994

`

Rosieisms

There’s more ways of making an omelette than by breaking eggs

You always get the thin end of the sandwich

falling like nineflies

I can name names and give packdrill!

It all depends what side of the coin you’re on.

`

Brecht poem

Everything changes. We plant
trees for those born later
but what’s happened has happened,
and poisons poured into the seas
cannot be drained out again.

What’s happened has happened.
Poisons poured into the sea
cannot be drained out again, but
everything changes. We plant
trees for those born later.





Cicely Herbert, after Brecht ‘Alles wandelt sich’

`

Amis poem, again

To find his sexual drives had ceased
For Sophocles was no disaster;
He said he felt like one released
From service with a cruel master.

I envy him – I miss the lash
At which I used to snort and snivel;
Oh that its unremitted slash
Were still what makes me drone and drivel!

`

For the Record

Today
We celebrate the birthday of A,
Who, I’m reliably told,
Is bold
-ly going forward into her next decade
Enthusiastic and unafraid,
Confident in the slightly negotiable love of her nearest and dearest (obviously that’s
Her cats)
And supported also by a wide circle of friends both affectionate and boisterous,
At least when stuffed full of oysterous;
And so I ask you all to be upstanding and charge your glasses with wine or beer
Not only because that’s almost always a good idea
But also because we want to ring out 3 hearty cheers
To the possibility that we might be invited back to have more delicious quail* in another 10 years,
And if it’s not too much to ask may all the years and months and days in between
Be crammed full of multiple sources of happiness for darling Aileen.


Chris Borthwick
Saturday, September 3, 2005

*Not forgetting the exquisite crème brûlée.

`

From the archives

Life at V*cH*alth towards the end of the Rh*nda G*lb*lly era

JINGLE BALLSUP

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the setting
Not a population was stirring or stressfully fretting.
The agendas were laid in the boardroom with care,
In the hope that the managers soon would be there.

The secretaries struggled to make out her writing
And looked at their screensavers - very exciting,
When up from the printer there came such a clatter
They looked up from their desks to see what was the matter.

From office to office the scuttlebutt ran:
The CEO’s done a new strategy plan!
We’re called to the Boardroom to give, I would guess,
A consultative spontaneous Labontean Yes.

“Rethink our core business, in real time,
And workshop a cross-functional new paradigm;
They may not observe our achievements are padded
If we keep saying ‘excellence’ and ‘value added’.”

Empowerment for all local communities,
But don’t let the word out and spook the Chinese:
Equity issues are vital and weighty;
They’re timetabled in for 2080.

Smoking rates plummet and keep falling faster -
Claim all the credit, but play it down for Jakarta;
The fight with tobacco can hardly be won
Where the industry’s owned by the President’s son.”

And then there emerged from the midst of these voodoos
A weighty report signed by seven tiny gurus -
“Now LEONARD! Now LAWRENCE! Now NANCY and RON!
Up HAROLD! Up STEPHEN! ILONA, come on!

Benchmarked with worldclass good practice in process
We network proactively to a multimedia focus.
No longer we lurk where we cannot be seen - no,
We’ll relocate into the HEALTHY CASINO.”

`

Monday, January 23, 2006

Fearful symmetry

Hot days caused by global warming lead to a rush on airconditioners and a power surge that contributes to global warming. There's an eerie symmetry to it.

`

Friday, January 06, 2006

Sea Level

I hope I’m not diminishing the obvious humanitarianism of the ALP proposal to accept refugees from pacific islands affected by sea level rise by pointing out that it’s also smart business. If we take in those 175,000 people we’d get with them about six million k2 of exclusive economic zone. That’s 36 k2 per refugee, giving every Australian another quarter-k2 of room – enough to give Peter Ker his own exclusive lap pool and stop him wingeing about us other users.

`

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Mistress

The problem with the movie LWW is exactly the problem with the theology it's founded on; the children - mankind - are basically irrelevant. Aslan could have overthrown the white witch without breaking a sweat, children or no children. The only actual role they have is to fulfil the prophecy. We're never told who was actually prophesying, but obviously Aslan had a hand in it; if he'd specified something about comets, say, the children would have been able to sit out the war in the professor's house.

Any hack scriptwriter would have insisted that they do something vital, but Lewis couldn't, because God cannot be represented as having to _need_ the Creation; the one unanswerable question is "Why did God create the world?"

And as a matter of family logistics, the two impossibilities in LWW are
(a) that Aslan tells his brothers and sisters never to refer to Edmund's treachery again, and they don't start rubbing it in within fifty seconds, which will astound anybody who's ever had a sibling, and
(b) four siblings can jointly rule a kingdom for several decades without a single major war, which will astound anybody who remembers (say) the Angevins.

And I'm sure that in the original "hot chocolate" must have been "cocoa".

`

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