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Community spirit

I've been thinking about how to start a binge drinking thread for yonks.   A morning-after catalyst has been the suprise at going to a pub in town last night and finding that it was no longer possible to buy shots of spirits over the bar.  Irresponsible drinking, apparently, but the death of an extremely long tradition across many cultures of imbibing an unadulterated shot of  "water of life"  to mark an occasion.  Mind you, it was still okay to purchase the stuff "on the rocks" so we clenched our teeth and got on with it.

Four drinks and you're a binge drinker?  How many times have you got together with a few mates and had "a couple of drinks" before heading out for the night?  You've binged before you started!  I must confess though, I've been attempting recollection of what we used for "heart starters" in my younger days, but I can't remember.

Here's where I must disclose. I'm one of the fourth generation in my family to run a liquor licence.  My great grandfather cut tracks to run grog up to the miners near Mansfield.  My granparents ran a pub near the Russell St police station in Melbourne, where cops and crims drank together, and had been known to ride a horse into his front bar.  My parents have never built a bar that wasn't wide enough to dance on.  Now there's me and my sisters..

Instead of giving my own opinions, though, I'd rather share a story sent to me tonight.  The author, an eclectic (to be mild) musical mate named Lord Stompy (by deed poll( was doing a gig with Jigme, (or is that the other way around?) a talented young Tibetan musician who my family helped start life in Australia....

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I played the Dali Lama's birthday on Sunday. The old codger's 73 and looking great! The $45 a head "High tea" turned out to be sausage rolls and party pies... I asked "what's vegetarian here?" and got met with blank looks from the Tibetans... at that price they could have expanded the menu a bit... a yak on a spit wouldn't have gone astray. Just before performing I asked for beer. Apparently there was none but I made a big  fuss and finally someone bought out a cask of fruity lexia! "AAARRRGGGGHHH! YUK!" I screamed, waving it away

I begin hassling my Tibetan friend Jigme to go and get a few beers. He said:

"Go ask that monk to send someone for beer" and pointed at this really important old monk dude. I thought "that's odd, I reckon he's some guest of honour by the look of things, why ask him?"

"You mean that dude there?" I questioned pointing at him...

"Yeah!" said Jigme, so I figured he was like the chief Kahuna monk and would get the ball rolling for me!

"Hey mate, how ya goin?" I said. I was going to slap him on the back in a friendly way but he seemed very old and frail, so I put my hand on his shoulder in a matey way.

"Tell ya what mate, could you round up someone to go and do a pub run for us buddy, there's no beer."

The old monk looked at me mystified so I said louder "Mate, this party's got no beer. We need someone to get a carton of Coopers."

Suddenly he began to babble in Tibetan...."gees, he can hardly speak English" I thought.

"Mate, it's Dali Lama's birthday. No beer here! We want to celebrate... to celebrate we Aussies need beer!"

Suddenly several Tibetans grabbed me in concern.

"What are you doing Stompy?"

"Oh asking him to grab us some beer"

They stared in horror...

"That's His Holiness...."

"He's friends with the Dali Lama"

"You can't ask him for beer"

Jigme came up and started laughing "That's not the monk, the other one!"

"Well he's a monk isn't he?"

"Sort of. He's the Rimpoche" Jigme then explained that asking a Rimpoche for beer was like asking a Catholic Archbishop for a condom.

Meanwhile all these Tibetans were explaining to the old monk that basically I was an idiot so he should excuse my bad behaviour. I was so embarrassed! 

Anyway, someone went and got beer and I played a Tibetanised version of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" with Jigme to celebrate Australian/ Tibetan togetherness. Good stuff indeed...

You know I like those Tibetans. Usually when I make a complete twat of myself people generally get grumpy with me... The Tibetans spent the rest of the night laughing at me! That's good community spirit for you, aint it!

I'll drink to that.

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And so will I.

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The tyranny of distance

Richard, the Webdiary get together sounds great. The tyranny of distance will make it hard. You paint an excellent word picture of the evening. Not sure whether Ern and I would play crib. Do you think we would need a bouncer?

Cheers John 

Insecurity, I call myself

I've just had word of a plan to get 10,000 people into Adelaide for a defence expo protest in December (they've asked me to media liaise, going to check out a meeting today) so surely a bunch of Webdiarists in one place somewhere is possible.

I'm staunchly anti-security, John, tend to do it from the corner.  Reckon I can handle you lot.  There was a bloke who wanted to do damage to me on Friday night who was very confused when he left.

Imshee and other words

Now that abuse in foreign languages is apparently allowed on WD, could I recommend, for those so wishing who are not fortunate enough own  the handy "Latin For All Occasions",   this useful  site, which includes useful phrases ranging from "vescere bracis meis" - (eat my shorts), to "re vera, cara mea, mea nil refert" - (frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn).

At the party

No one gets their hands near enough to my bottle to spike it, Richard Tonkin.

Hehehehehe...he..hic

"My doctor tells me to cut down or buy a plot ....."

Scott, is it best to go to a doctor who drinks more than you do.

Besht not say tooo much cause I'm tooo pissed, hehhehehe..he..hic

Time for my daily exercise

As you know, Jenny Hume, there are few things that I enjoy more than a spot of microscopic nitpickery. So, would you please be so good as to clarify for me (and possibly others) whether you mean Abolition or Prohibition?

Manna from heaven

Got so excited over enlightened conversation between Richard Tonkin and Jenny Hume, particularly Jenny's top post, that I just "blew" a response of my own, telling how it jogged my memory about so much I got to find out about doing uni subjects.

Involved stuff like Louisa and Henry Lawson, of Prof Marilyn Lake's thesis concerning the subaltern female "voice" of this era of miners, wharfies, huge families, aboriginal displacement, epidemics, communities, education, second wave social movement feminism, workers movement, Kanakas, Gladstonian reform liberalism, Free Trade v Protectionism and so much else, but if I don't get up to the shop will be out of milk.

Keep it up guys!

Humping his swag

A couple of thoughts further. My great uncle was a life member of a mob called the Rechabites, one of these Masonic sort of mobs that flourished during this era. But the Rechabites dealt specifically with alcohol, with inductees swearing off the stuff and attending Rechabite meetings instead.

My great uncle "took" the pledge out of alarm and dismay at what had happened to his own father, whilst a great grandad solved his apparently manifest problems with the problem by joining a Pentecostal church and surrendering his wages to his family. Dark times indeed.

PS, Was just checking up the spelling for the brilliant and very dark Louisa (Henry's mum) Lawson poem, The Squatter's Wife and stumbled across an essay that I feel could be relevant to the conversation, in spades.

No good at linking, but if you google up The Australian Public Intellectual Network site, you run smack into a piece by Prof Marilyn Lake, who is pretty much an expert on Federation issues raised by Jenny in her last couple of posts; entitled Frontier Feminism and the Marauding White Male.

Fiona: I hope I've found the correct link, Paul.

Thank you Paul

Paul Walter: Had trouble getting to the link but found it . A very interesting piece. So much of what she writes about the role of women in the early 20th Century as moral guardians rings true -  have masses of letters from my grandmother to her daughters and sons during the periond 1908-1925, full of advice about how to lead a pure and moral life.

The letters they wrote, including the boys, back to her over the years show she was a good teacher.  And it all passed down to me via my mother. Am not sure I have lived up to expectations but have tried. When I use bad language I never feel right about it.

By the way, my Scot here has the distinction of having a father who was as a pre natal child incarcerated in Holloway Gaol, his pregnant grandmother being arrested around 1907 for marching with the Sufragettes in London.

Fiona:  Feel free to nit pick anytime. You are quite right. I meant Prohibition of course though I guess the outcome would be the same.   

Big sook

Oh alright Richard, no one likes feeling rejected so come here for a cuddle.

Mulled over it a bit but never got around to responding.

There's always been a strong wowser element in this country and it seems to be getting stronger and as for your rimpoches, every second couple that comes to restaurant is one.

As to recommended amounts to drink I prefer the Science Academy of France's advice, advertised in the Metro back in the Fifties that it shouldn't exceed 2 litres of wine per day.

My doctor tells me to cut down or buy a plot but then I'm reminded of what the Cooma town drunk told me back in sixties.

Every time they dried him out he was told that the next time he fell off the wagon would be his last; as he said "Scotty, there's a lot more old drunks than old doctors." (True, that profession is most at risk of substance abuse; and what a ridiculous expression that is. I don't abuse alcohol, it abuses me!)

Blood test results Tuesday morning.

I'm thinking of having alternative labels printed for my wine, I'm calling it "Binge" so everyone can be a Binge drinker.

Was Hael.

Big Soak more like

So, Scott Dunmore, another Cooma lad eh?  You didn't know Ron and Kim Cook by any chance or their father one of the town's solicitors.

Someone recently alerted me to a herbal tablet which is supposed to enhance liver function - Milk Thistle.  Doesn't seem to hurt.  The Herron brand is cheaper than the Blackmore's.  Most supermarkets carry it.

Where is the restaurant?  If anyone pays me I might drop in.

Not another Cooma lad

You don't find too many Millwall supporters in the high plains Malcolm but I did spend a little time there back in the days of the Snowy scheme.

Sorry, but at your rates (and probably your appetites) I couldn't afford you.

Spirit sales up

No sense of neglect, Scott, though I’ll admit that the "0 comments" was beginning to frustrate as much as perplex, as has the whole wowseristic shift in approved cultural thinking of late.

You'll remember that the alcopop tax was the first thing that caught my eye (well, it was the first story out) in the budget reporting. Would I be terrible if I said that those bottled drinks taste much better if you add in a nip of the stuff that they're labelled as containing? Otherwise they're pretty much a con-job anyway.

From the reports overnight, it would seem that I'm not alone. The price rise has increased sales of proper hard liquor by 10%. Given that the cans and bottles contain 1.5 standard drinks, the profit margins over the bar are much better.

If the puritans had listened in the first place, we could have told them this would happen.

Scott, when you bottle binge, I'll take a dozen. It should be a perfect accompaniment to the booklet of drinking songs I'm concocting.

When I water workers' beer I puts in kerosene,
some methylated spirits, and a drop of paraffin,
for a strong and healthy working class is a thing that I do fear
so I reaches my hand for the watering can, and I waters the workers' beer

It's an old song, (oddly I'm having trouble finding online lyrics) which needs an alcopop verse added.

Aside. I've just seen a kid's toy (a Disney pillow of all things) which when connected to a Nintendo plays pop songs and scrolls lyrics. Now if that could be done to a bottle of Bundy, the world would change forever! Passing thought for Scott - if you could make your bottle of Binge play "all for me grog" Japanese tourists would buy truckloads! I can see it in Tokyo vending machines (only country where I've bought a bottle of whisky, if you can call Suntory such, from a coin-op street-box). Ian and I could record it for you. Trad Arr, we keep the copyright, though I'm not sure what Jenny would make of such income ;)

At least the kids drinking in the gutters and parks because they've been "responsibly" locked out of bars at 2 am will have some entertainment, as their bottles croon to them through the night.

All for me grog, me jolly jolly grog...

All for me grog.  No need to record that one for me Richard. My favourite request when I feel like dancing. Ask Mr (and Mrs) Fedyk. And MacDougall is the best on that particular tune. By the way, our Roger Fedyk is some musician I can tell you.

Now here is a poem for you from the family papers of say around 1915:

Ten Little Temperance Boys
One litte temperance boy to his work so true
Pledged another little boy, then there were two
Two little temperance boys, from bad habits free,
Got a chum to join them, then there were three;
Three little temperance boys, never drank or swore,
Taught a boy he must not smoke, then there were four;
Four little temperance boys, to their work alive,
Helped another boy be good, then there were five;
Five little temperance boys, eyes so very bright,
Soon started number six on the road to right;
Six little temperance boys, looking up to Heaven,
Cheered a playmate on the way, then there were seven.
Seven little temperance boys, taught strong drink to hate,
Told a fellow of the wrong, then there were eight;
Eight little temperance boys, touch not, taste not wine,
Asked a schoomate not to drink, then there were nine;
Nine little temperance boys, learned the truth and then,
Told it to another boy and then there were ten;
Ten little temperance boys, working hand in hand,
To drive strong drink from out their native land,
Ask you all to help them, work with all your might,
Never fear or falter - God is with the right.

Now that's one for the wall of your pub Richard.  Got another one if that doesn't work.   

Now I also have a fourteen page essay written in 1912 by my then fourteen year old aunt - sister of Cyrie of my Flanders posts - entitled The Case for No Licence.  Watch out I don't put it up as a Post sometime.

This all goes to show how in those times alcohol played much the same role as methamphetamine, marijuana etc play today. The Temperance mob were generally from families which had been rendered dysfunctional by the alcohol consumption of one or more members. Hence their fervour.

Temperance? Wuzzat?

I played a 21st for a devout family once, where all gathered solemnly marked the occasion with a single glass of champagne and went home at nine. That's the closest I've ever come to Temperance before now.

Now the temp'rance army's marching,
With the christian's armor on;
Love our motto, Christian Captain,
Prohibition is our song!

Written in the US ten years before your crusading auntie was born. Was there an international relationship between temperance organisations, Jenny? I've always had an anathemic fascination with the concept of Temperance mobs, but have never delved. Was your family part of a larger movement, or instigators?

Only yesterday I was told a Barossa joke, about a fella going to the doc with aches and pains, the doc telling him "I can't find anything wrong with you. I blame the grog," to which the patient responds, "No worries, I'll come back when you're sober!"

It was the march of the Womens' Temperance Union through Adelaide that was the catalyst for six-o'clock closing. People at nightclubs started drinking gin in teacups, overturning them when the cops turned up.

Lining up publicans on a hill and shooting 'em? Hmm. Your family and mine could've been the Australian equivalent of the Hatfields and McCoys. Think I might organise a Temperance gig ... a production of Guys and Dolls perhaps?

'What's the other song?

Must share you another favourite verse of mine:

The old fellow held out hands that shook like the leaves of a willow tree,
and asked the doctor for relief from this ghastly malady
The doctor checked him over with a sure and competent touch
"There's nothing wrong with you," he said, "except that you drink too much"
"That's all very well," the old fellow said, "you can blame the grog if you will.
It's not what I drink that bothers me, it's the bloody amount that I spill!"

Rightyo Jenny, I am now officially intrigued.

From early 1800s, and about old Frank Clune

Richard, looking at the Wik we find the temperance movements go right back to around 1800, mostly started in the US. Of course it all led to the greater evils brought on by Abolition.

Interesting read in the Wik on the history of the movement generally, and the role of the church which is what led to the involvement of mother's family.

One interesting point, it sent the wine makers broke in NZ after WW1.

Old Frank Clune, a Gallipoli veteran, in his book about his mispent youth entitled Try Anything Once tells of his part in running whisky into Canada. I remember him in he sixties as an old flirt who rather shocked my old mum when visiting the folks to research his Across the Snowy Mountains. Interestingly, Ian tells me his mother was for many years his personal secretary. Small world.

I think Clune wrote about sixty books. Not bad for a kid who ran away from home at age 12. His Try Anything Once is really funny - he had about 21 jobs by the time he was 21, including the whisky run. When things went wrong on the job, as they invariably did around him, he said he always did what came natural to him: quit before he got booted.  

Bugger

Can't find it, Jenny Hume, but somewhere I have a volume of Hogarth prints.  Gin Lane was the classic I was looking for and the slogan in the 18th Century was "drunk for a penny, dead drunk for tuppence."  You will find diatribes against excess drinking as far back as Chaucer and the Rechabites go back way before 1800 at least to Puritan times.  The Mayflower mob, I seem to remember, were into the evils of drink.

It is an interesting phenomenon.  While alcohol certainly has abilities to affect cognition and personality, it takes an awful lot of it.  Many people fear loss of control and that is why they are opposed to mind altering substances.  I'm not particularly interested in altering my mind but, as well, you know, I like a dram and can hold it somewhat better than some Scots we could mention.

Of course, in mediaeval times alcohol, particularly small beer, was a staple for the ordinary folk as was wine for those who could afford it.  Why?  Because the water supply was so bad that drinking water was often fatal.  There are some historians who think that most of mediaeval Europe was permanently pissed, a refrain carried on by Monty Python in the Philosophers' Song which, in my day, was the official song of the Department of Traditional and Modern Philosophy.

Also in my day as an undergraduate, we were taught in psychology about the evil effects of alcohol leading to Korsakov's syndrome – brain shrinkage and damage.  Turns out, latterly, that the brain damage is the result of malnutrition and the only role alcohol has to play is that a lot of drunks get so pissed they don't feed themselves properly.  Keep the nutrition up and no problem.

Perhaps if Belinda Neal ate better she might be readier to apologise.

Notices on pub walls

Malcolm, from this biographical note on the Rev Stephen Hales:

The parish of St Mary, Teddington was the beneficiary of these qualities. He [Hales] introduced a fresh water supply to the village, channelling springs and streams to flow through the village. He oversaw and even contributed to the restoration and extension of the church and churchyard on various occasions. Drunkenness and immorality also engaged his attention, the former causing unfavourable comparison with Faringdon; the latter leading to acts of Public Penance in the church by transgressors. As a total abstainer he supported the unpopular Gin Act of 1736, attempting to restrict the sale of gin through penal excise duty. Notices had appeared all over London, saying: "Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for tuppence, clean straw for nothing".

The last phrase became the title of a novel by George Johnston. Though for my part, I prefer the sign that adorned the public bar in Jim Buckley's Newcastle Hotel at the lower end of George Street, Sydney: Work is the curse of the drinking class.

Proclaimed originally by one O. Wilde.

Repeated endlessly.

Full marks

to Bill for sheer persistence (and doing a far better job of annoying the living tripe out of MBD than I ever could) and Richard for doing a JC and bringing back the dead.

"Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world."
-Kaiser Wilhelm

Now I know why he lost WW1. Any man fool enough to take up with a beer drinking woman should get the fate he deserves. The more they drink the less I do and who's going to drive you home, see you fed and clean up the mess? So help me.

"Cigarettes and whisky and wild, wild women
They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane
Cigarettes and whisky and wild, wild women
They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane

Once I was happy and I had a good wife
I had enough money to last me for life
I met Jenny and Ian and we went on the spree
And they taught me to smoke and drink whisky

Cigarettes are a curse on the whole human race
A man is a monkey with one in his face
Take warning dear sister, take warning dear brother
There's a fire on one end and a fool on the other

Now I am broken, weary with age
The lines on my face make a well-written page
Write this on my headstone, write this on my grave
To whisky and women this man was a slave

Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
If the liquor doan get ya
The wimin must"

is my favourite.

On the subject of fags, now this is where I really get the shits.

Don't get me wrong, I'd throw my whole hearted support behind any government that told the tobacco companies they had five years to diversify before the commercial sale of the product was outlawed. The hypocritical stance of governments of all persuasions, happy to collect the taxes resulting from addictions (including gambling), choose to make life even more miserable for those they tax so unfairly.

Whatever happened to "freedom of choice"?

Note I'm not saying tobacco itself should be outlawed any more than I think any drug should be.

Drugs of any description are far less a problem than the symptom of one, and criminalisation leads to crime and subsequent corruption. (Not here but I could give you chapter and verse.) Better legalised and brought under government control a la the Swiss model.

With any luck, Richard, I might have hijacked your thread but ditties and skivvies have a limited scope.

Annoying the living tripe

Scott, annoying the Living Tripe is all too easy. Anyone could do that in his sleep. Just don't go disagreeing with the other half of the mutual admiration society, though, or you'll find yourself deleted. The old John Laws tactic is alive and well.

New Webdiary Guideline: take any abuse offered by the moderators' pals, but never respond in kind, however gently. Don't poke fun at the delicate ego. The guilty unable to defend the hole they have dug themselves into must be vicariously protected.

No wonder so many of the more interesting contributors to these pages have departed, leaving behind them a thing increasingly becoming not much better than yet another pointless little chat-room.

Letter to Australian Institute of Criminology is in the mail, Dr Reynolds.

Moderation in all things

Bill, you should know me by now and recognise that , for the most part, I enjoy your posts and we find agreement on many things.

I found the recent exchange amusing, recognising an exercise in having the last word. Ultimately it gets tedious, of course, to bystanders and will degenerate into personal abuse. I don't know if you've ever gone to an unmoderated site, I did once and never again. Mostly devoid of content but if someone gets their kicks witnessing people slagging off at each other, fine.

Some people like watching Big Brother.

From my view point it was pedantic semantics and both parties gave each other oxygen.

Here I've learn't not to; some people I simply will not respond to, knowing it would be a fruitless exercise, others because I consider them trolls and in one case because of, what I perceive, as racist disposition.

Imshee all you want

It's probably not a word in any language anyway. After all, it comes to us from someone who reckons there's no such thing as a criminal court in Australia.

What I object to is being called a pompous prat by someone incapable of understanding perfectly lucid prose, or too lazy to read it properly, without being allowed to straighten him out on what has actually said. Presumably for referring to him as a truculent prig. Cop as much crap as those full of it want to dish out, but dare not respond in kind, seem to be the policy here.

Jenny Hume, your "not necessarily directly" must mean too good humoured and not sufficiently clumsy or high-school-boy-standard enough for your taste. I don't doubt quite a few things go over the top of your head. Frankly, dear abider by the laws of God who grew up fantasising about mowing people down with machine guns, I just don't give an imshee whether my mode of expression meets with your approval or not.

Scott, yes, I've seen some unmoderated sites where people slag off at each other. Invariably from behind the cover of anonymity. Makes me wonder what the contributors are like in real life. Wouldn't dare say boo to a goose, is my bet. I've also heard John Laws cut people off when they look like making him look as silly as he is. And I've also seen the same mentality at work here on Webdiary.

So OK, two cheers for moderators. If they do it properly. And no cheers for those little hitlers who use moderation as a spanner in the works to protect their poorly trained pets.

I only came back here because the pet protector looked like leaving and taking her spanner with her. What the hell happened to that?

Richard:  Which they do.  And just did.   Webdiary moderators do their best to follow a set of guidelines, as impartially as possibe and despite the conundrums created occasionally, and there's often a fair bit of discussion before decisions are made.  As David R has often said, if everybody played by the rules, we wouldn't  need the blue pen.

Imshee, please? Please Imshee.

Impervious as always to logic, professional opinion (from two qualified lawyers), reason or reality, Bill Avent persists in misleading Webdiarists with his truly bizarre ideas about “criminal Courts”.

OK, if he won’t believe me or Dr Reynolds and then takes the opportunity to sideswipe anyone who can, perhaps he could try this:

SUPREME COURT ACT 1970 - SECT 23

Jurisdiction generally

23 Jurisdiction generally

The Court shall have all jurisdiction which may be necessary for the administration of justice in New South Wales.

or this:

 

SUPREME COURT ACT 1970 - SECT 40

Single Judge to constitute the Court

40 Single Judge to constitute the Court

(1) All proceedings in any Division and all business arising out of proceedings in a Division shall be heard and disposed of before a Judge, who shall constitute the Court.

or this:

SUPREME COURT ACT 1970 - SECT 55

Validity of proceedings in any Division

55 Validity of proceedings in any Division

Any step taken, order made, judgment given or other thing done in any proceedings in any Division shall be as valid in every way as if taken, made, given or done in the Division to which the proceedings are assigned by this Act or by the rules.

or Federally, this:

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT - SECT 71

Judicial power and Courts

The judicial power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Federal Supreme Court, to be called the High Court of Australia, and in such other federal courts as the Parliament creates, and in such other courts as it invests with federal jurisdiction. The High Court shall consist of a Chief Justice, and so many other Justices, not less than two, as the Parliament prescribes.

I’m not going to bother to extract the original jurisdiction provisions for the rest of the States.

All inferior Courts are statutory unless they are exercising jurisdiction validly conferred on them by the Original Jurisdiction Courts (either High or Supreme). All judicial officers in this country sit both in civil and criminal jurisdictions and there are no separate “criminal Courts."

Now, could we have an end to it please because this obstinate denial of reality is just wasting my time?

And you, Imshoo

As has been demonstrated, the Australian Institute of Criminology is quite comfortable using the term criminal courts. But some (two people in the entire world, I should think) insist they are wrong to do so. So let's go further afield. Let's see who else is wrong, besides me and the Australian Institute of Criminology.

Criminals have been being prosecuted at The Old Bailey since the 17th Century. Here is The Old Bailey's address and phone number — feel free to call the people there and tell them to change its title:

Central Criminal Court
Old Bailey
London
EC4M 7EH
Tel 020 7248 3277

And, from Wikipedia: The International Criminal Court has been in existence since 2002. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was adopted on 17 July 1998.

Closer to home, the Australian Bureau of Statistics seems to have no trouble acknowledging the existence of criminal courts. In its own words: The statistics are sourced from the national Criminal Courts collection…

But wait. Perhaps it is only in that centre of the universe NSW where there are no such things as criminal courts. But, but …oops:

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research seems to have no trouble with the term: see BOCSAR NSW Criminal Court Statistics.

Scott, who was it you reckoned was on a hiding to nothing, to dare disagree with the self-appointed experts on non-existence of criminal courts? Me, plus all of the above?

Reminder: all of this tangential nonsense started in response to my simple challenge to name a transport company which had been prosecuted in a criminal court for vicarious guilt in a crime committed by one of its employees. The only answer to that was to deny the existence of criminal courts. One man's way of attempting to weasel his way off the hook, and in the process hoist himself by his own petard. Puts me in mind of Homer Simpson's solution to the problem faced by Springfieldians who found themselves trapped deep in a hole of their own making: "We'll dig our way out!"

Totally off every topic: does anyone remember the Simpsons episode poking fun at Starbucks proliferation?

A Club Chaos verily

I just had this bizarre mental picture of the lot of us in a bar on a full-moon Saturday night... Fiona as the bartender, yours truly playing an accordion in the corner, Malcolm and Bill yelling at each other and being told to "take it outside" before being interrupted by Ian's Highland Fling, Kathy flirting with Justin and Scott at the billiards table, Peter winning bets on card tricks, David Roffey repairing the fuse on the air conditioner, Ern and John playing cribbage at the fireside, F Kendall and Jenny looking for their car keys, hands firmly over their glasses to avoid Eliot spiking the drinks, and Geoff standing in a corner with a lampshade on his head, Cloud quietly wandering around the tables, hiding the knives, Claude utilising his diabetic superpowers to mark everyone's shoes, David Davis playing with the TV remote, looking for the rugby channel, the two Pauls quietly sipping tea while watching in bemusement... and as for Marilyn....

We truly must try it sometime. I'd give the pub over to it, on a quiet Sunday when nobody's looking...

Alphonse says

My astrologer tells me that travel in the near future may be contra-indicated, whatever that may mean.  Humanes - really - give me a break - talk like Clover Moore.

Fat and Rude says you're on, name the date. 

SWMBD wants free accommodation and an indemnity.

Will there be Kitty litter and fish? 

Roll me over.

This kitty is rather partial to fish.

 As for Clover!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jctV8TfFTt0

Rowling

Smooge Kathy Farrelly. Purrrrrr. Smooge. Could we share the fish?

At least you could roll me over - something like that.

Purrrrrrrrrr. Smooge. Who cares about Fiona anyway?

You got a litter tray at your house?

Purrrrrrrrrrr. [Rubs legs.]

Purrrrrrrrrr. Smooge. [Daintily licks nether regions.]

Sit on your lap and tell you that you love me?

Then could we have the fish?

Purrrrrrrrrrr.

Fish?

I wish I'd stayed up later last night

Claude, you devil you! I just about spat coffee all over the keyboard after I read your comment this morning. In fact I am still chuckling.

Thanks, guys for putting a smile on my dial. There is nothing better than starting the day off with a laugh.

Well, maybe just one thing better (winks).

Btw Claude, you are welcome at my place any time, and yes I do have a litter tray.

With whom am I playing?

"move away from the pool table"  What just because I'm here? I'm harmless.

Funny that, I've always descibed that part of a cat's anatomy as its "sexy spot".

Must jump in before...

...Kathy responds with another Mrs Slocombe quote.  I'm choking on Milo!

(Aside to international readers: that's a hot chocolate drink.)

Claude, I guess a cat's gotta do what a cat's gotta do, especially when it's all he has left.  No doubt it gets rid of the taste of Whiskas.

The nuts are complimentary

Shit, I was wondering why the cashews were so small, and the litter tray so lumpy.

The fish is off, Claude, and your master might enjoy the absinthe/kahlua shooter that's popular at the moment.  The youngsters light it and sprinkle cinnamon in the air above it, to give the Tinkerbell effect that is a part of its name of Fairy Dust.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

You know, Richard Tonkin - the operation.   And you talk to me about complimentary nuts?    Well.   Stuff that.   Even if you did it wouldn't make a mound of catshit.  

Well, that's what Alphonse and his vet tell me.    Never have worked out why Alphonse has a vet.   The only animal he's ever had was that bikie in 2004.

Purrrrrrrrr.   Bring Fiona back. 

Sorry Claude

I was playing cat and mouse with the nuts.  And I'm sure Fiona will be scratching your back soon.  You know, that spot just above the base of the tail that reminds you of that which you're incapable?  You're lucky, it saves spending money on Absynthe.

Then again...

....I'm the one talking to a cat...

And again?

You're not letting that bitch Absinthe in here.  Last time she got the litter tray and the food bowl.

Humanes.  I ask you.  All they respond to is pussy.

Cat got my tongue

... which I'd been biting for an hour to avoid that line. Slainte to you and your master.  Appropriate catnip for both on order.

Nice to unwind for an evening.  By the way, do I now hold the record for the greatest number of Webdiarists mentioned in a sentence?

The Cat has now been disciplined

First, it cannot spell properly.

Secondly, I have had a delightful day attending the celebration of my last surviving Great-aunt's 100th birthday. One of my distant cousins gave her a facsimile copy of the Herald from the day she was born. We gave her a 1908 Penny (interestingly, it was an English penny - apparently we did not mint any coins other than sovereigns and half sovereigns before 1910 and it brushed up quite well using Brasso although the milling on the rim had worn away from use).

It has put me in an uncharacteristically pleasant mood.

I do not know whether any of you have participated in such an event but the promo from HM Elizabeth II is quite spectacular. Ain't just the telegram (like so many families have received over the years of war advising bad news) any more, it comes with a promo photo and a lot of PR blurb which is well received by the recipient. It was. My Great-Aunt is also my cousin but that is a story for another day.

We had a great time at a great venue on a beautiful day overlooking Sydney Harbor, with many relatives I have never met before (and the usuals one doesn't want to meet again) and we had a lot of fun, good conversation and companionship. They are values much cherished 100 years ago and much abused throughout time. I hope all Webdiarists can experience them sooner or later.

The cat was not there and is still pissed off. Fortunately, I left the balcony door open so it could get to the kitty litter.

Family

I had a similar experience on Sunday with my daughter's 10th birthday, everyone from great-grandmother to distant cousins, brats running rampant, catch-up conversations over a glass of shampoo.

Family's the first and foremost community, IMHO.

Mrs Slocombe's Pussy quote

Especially for you Claude.

"Now look -- It's a wonder I'm here at all, you know.  My pussy got soakin' wet.  I had to dry it out in front of the fire before I left."

Insatiable

Kathy, move away from the pool table.

Oh, the tyranny of distance.

Sounds like a ripper night Richard!

And I'd really love to see ya play the fiddle too...

We can but dream ... eh?

Charmed I am sure Bill Avent

Charmed I am sure Bill Avent? I suggest a stiff drink and a cold shower. 

As for children's fantasies, JKR did quite well. Missed my calling it seems.

I won't suggest you think about what might lead children to disturbing thoughts and fantasies as to how to they might restore some order to their chaotic and unhappy world. A psychologist like Fiona would understand but I doubt you would. But I will suggest that fantasing for children, in case you didn't know, is a good coping stategy and tool for many troubled children.  

Children caught in a confict of love and despair in the home quite understandably look for those they might hold vicariously liable for such a situation in their lives, albeit inappropriately. But ten and thirteen year old children are just that, children - though you would dispute that I recall. They only learn more appropriate coping strategies as they mature. Some don't reach that stage and finish up taking their own lives, or they run away and end up in worse places than in their own bed dreaming.    

But probably best to re-instate the no comment resolution. Our wave links are too far apart and basically it seems to me that unless people agree with you, or the subject matter meets your approval, then you are not interested anyway. 

But if you really want to see abuse, then go and have a read on a few other sites. If you can be bothered.  I warn you though the vocab is rather limited on those sites. 

BTW: If you have a mind to run a pub you are probably safe. I am a lousy shot - would go over your head for sure.

Personal abuse, moi?

Well, Scott Dunmore and Jenny Hume, I apologise for being tedious, I never apologise for being rude unless it was inadvertent.  However, there are some things that are necessary.  Many of you may find lawyers tedious, pompous and think we take ourselves far too seriously but the law is a serious business.  I try to make it as much fun as I can and I try to explain it as simply as I can but it is still serious and one has a public duty to correct erroneous beliefs about it.

As far as the "mates" allegation goes, Dr Reynolds had DNP'd me more than once.  She and I have quite different ideas about what constitutes abuse.  We have quite different ideas about lots of things.  That is one of the things that makes us friends.  Jenny Hume, Ian MacDougall and I differ about lots of things too but we share a sense of humour that binds us.  I was not sure what would happen when I met Margo.  I thought we would either agree to differ or we would be at it hammer and tongs.  Turns out we're friends.

I don't think any of them, knowing me, would take offence at being told to Imshee.

Bad language disdain

'I don't think any of them, knowing me, would take offence at being told to Imshee".

Well Malcolm, probably not . But I won't throw out the soap and water bowl just yet. As a girl guide I was taught: Be prepared.

Bad language disdain - that my mother taught me. Not always abided by. Comes from the old hymn, the one all about temptation.  She had us sing it at her funeral. Secret arrangement with the clergyman, I was told. 

I abide by the laws of God. Those one can at least understand. The laws of man are another matter.  I once read a whole page of legalese and not one comma or fullstop in the whole bloody page. I felt like putting a question mark at the end, followed by half a dozen of your favourite, the exclamation.

We're heading off thread again

Yet, that might just be as well if journalism students are going to be directed towards this site to see how it dysfunctions.  Jenny Hume, the art of interpreting legal documents was a finely honed skill once.  Commas and full stops only led to endless arguments about whether phrases were conjunctive or disjunctive so they started leaving them out.

Then came Professor Eagleson (dickhead lectured me) with his "plain English" documents.  Suddenly, hundreds of years of erudition out the window.  The distinction between "may" and "shall", hallowed in the law for over a hundred years and clearly understood by all lawyers, was replaced by "might" and "must".  What could it possibly mean?

Why change it?

Then came WORDPROCESSING.  One of the most tedious and sometimes rewarding things about doing banking or contract cases these days is actually to spend the time reading the fine print in the documents – particularly if they have been prepared by one of the large city firms.  What often happens is that no-one proof-reads them.  Sometimes words get left out or there are references in one clause to a referent that does not exist.  Had one of those a while back that left out the repayment clause – ouch.  Judge loved it.  Had another one ages ago (settled favourably) where I was opposed by an old friend from University much senior to me and by then silk.  He was opening his case for Macquarie Bank against my lunatic developers when the judge said Mr [Name and address supplied] can you just explain what clause 4 means?  Five minutes of fumbling attempts to explain the inexplicable.  And does your client say the wives (who were guarantors under the three feet of documents they had been placed in a room to sign) could possibly have understood it?

Gee, I thought, this case is going well.  Loved that judge.  He was so pleased when we settled.

Off thread?

Off thread? Oh I don't think so Malcolm. I blame one lawyer for nearly driving me to drink. Quite a feat that was. But I resisted the temptation and calmed my nerves by throwing the files on his desk and bursting into tears. I wanted to storm out, trouble is he was executor for one estate and I for another, both of which were linked in deadly embrace. So we had to kiss and make up, so to speak. 

Yes, love the small print. Brought one of those AGC type financial bodies into line once by pointing out a couple of rather minor clauses in the relevant legislation designed to limit their antics, and which they clearly had not bothered to acquaint themselves with. The lawyer was all for settling by the way, and I told him: No. Instead I suggested he refer them to clause so and so of the HPA and invite them to explain why they had not complied with same, and point out that in failing to do so they had forfeited any right of recovery, from us at least.  Never heard from them after that. Wasn't really our debt anyway. Co-hirers are not the same as guarantors as you would know. The former had a few more protections under the Hire Purchase Act, at least back in the 70s they did. Being a guarantor, however, is a very risky business. 

Oh yes, there are some bits of man's law I can savvy if I have to, but only some. Those Old System land title documents would drive anyone to drink, but at last they are converting them all to Torrens - thank God. 

See we are back on thread - all for me grog.

No need to apolgise

 Malcolm, the last thing you ever are is tedious any more so than Bill. I was only refering to the "debate".

Internet pals

Bill Avent: Breaking my own rule - the one where I said I would not address or respond to comments from you - why, because I have found you to be one who seems to me at least to lash out at the person when you are disagreed with - and not necessarily directly. So don't be too offended if others deal out a bit of the same to you. At least MBD, as rude as I am prepared to say he can be, is consistent, and straight to the face.

As for the moderators' pals comments you make.  What you are misreading actually is that when people communicate and exchange views on line over an extended period of time, they start to come to know each other better, and then they often meet and friendships start to form. As a result they gain a better understanding of each other's viewpoints, foibles, hang ups and touchy spots, and are better able to communicate in more effective and less confronting ways on line. More tolerant if you like of differences. 

Some of the people here I would now consider my on line pals, fast becoming friends, are in fact people I crossed horns with rather badly to begin with, and I know there are issues on which we still hold quite opposite viewpoints. and can still come to rather strong verbal blows over. The good Dr Reynolds, MargoMalcolm, Richard, David Curry and certainly Scotty, whom I have probably done more, (forgive the lowest form of humour there)  to get offside from time to time would be in that category.  When Scotty says he is disappointed in you, he is actually spitting chips at you - time to retreat till he cools down. We found we live only 70kms from each other with a mountain in between, probably fortunately at times.

We are all a mixed bag of people and I think at times we all take ourselves a bit too seriously. None of us are dumb, and many have had life experiences, some very tragic, and family backgrounds that would be considered well outside the norm, experiences that inevitably will lead us to rather strong views on many subjects, views we will defend vigorously, even irrationally, and yes rudely at times.  

As for WD descending into a chat room at times - what blog doesn't and how boring life would be if it did not, and how unnatural.

I think I have learnt a lot about a lot of issues that have been raised on WD in these past two years, more than I had done in the previous ten years. My horizons are now much broader, something that is hard to achieve when one lives mostly in an isolated place as we do. In the bush face to face communication is in fact receding as populations contract and distances to neighbours become even greater. We hardly see a soul out our way now.  The net is becoming for people like us a line to the outside world and a means to keep in touch with issues   --- and with fellow human beings all over the world, and yes to chat.  Blogsites like WD play an important role in that regard and it is far superior to most others, where the throw away one line, frequently highly abusive exchanges are what dominate - including those sites the mainstream media now hosts. 

For what it is worth, that is my view. My one complaint is that the thing is a bit addictive. It tends to take a lot of time - but in earlier days we farmers were said to spend one third of our time sleeping, one third working, and one third yarning over the fence to the neighbour. The latter is now not possible. So now we yarn on line instead but with people far beyond the farm gate and about more than just the price of wheat, the drought, the rip off by the stock agent  and so on.

LIfe would be very lonely where we farm if it were not for the net, and WD.

BTW: I do not feel the my moderator pals protect me for one minute. I have been DNP'd at times and I have seen your main antagonist get his wings clipped from time to time, and rightly so.

Scotty

Jenny, I only allow barmaids to address me thus. You wouldn't put yourself in that category would you?

When are you coming back to Cold Comfort Farm?

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