Tuesday 16th of August 2022

More for less

More for less

Heard much about flogging the workers lately?

Not much... But the minister for holes in the head has decreed the Northern Territory will get "the" nuclear waste site... ... And Australia's largest genetically modified food producer is playing down the significance of crops found to be contaminated. Bayer Crop Science says canola seeds to be exported to Japan have been contaminated. Opponents of GM crops say it will mean reduced sales for farmers who are GM free. Bayer says it is not responsible for the contamination of pure grains and that the level of contamination is insignificant. "It's about 10 times the level that is normally reportable for grains, and about 100 times below the level that is required for food labelling generally for GMO products here in Australia," Bayer spokeswoman Susie O'Neill said. "So it is a minuscule amount that has been detected." Sure. We are living in the times of the small relative minusculistic bugger all homeopathic dosage ppm contamination...

A rock and a hard place

Tonight SBS news reported on the loss of some animal species in the US to a “grand


John Spooner's cartoon in The Age July 19th, is a spoof on Constable's 'The Hay Wain'.

Spooner's cartoon for Dec 31st, 1999, seemed to be a take on Diego Velázquez  'Las Meninas'. (I can't locate an image of the cartoon.)

For the dawn of the new millenium, he drew a contemporary family in their living room. A mature man and woman irritated by, but indulgent of a young woman who is flouncing off to the left foreground, up the stairs. An infant is sitting on the floor in front of the TV, a plastic dinosaur in her hands, but is engrossed by the image on the screen - Hitler. The sense here is of a single mother, who is living with her parents. At the far end of the room is another stairway, and at the top of the stairs indistinct shadows of - something, someone - descending into the comfortable setting. The child seems to be possessed by the promise of manifest destiny, according to current western dogma. The future is terrifying.

In The wreck of Western culture : humanism revisited, John Carroll described Las Meninas as a painting of pivotal importance to western culture. Not only "regarded as the most important work in Spain", but "the most subversive work of art in Europe".

Artists immortalise the sense of change, by framing a metaphor with the work of their hands. It's as though a page has been turned in the history of mankind.

William Turner's The Fighting Temeraire Tugged to Her Last Berth to Be Broken up is a fine example. The key signature is the smoke trail from the steam-tug's stack. This Temeraire was a warship at the battle of Trafalgar. Yet here it is being towed to its death. The breeze is up (smoke), the tide is on the full (so they can get the hulk right up to the riverbank). Fair breeze and full tide - that's when the sailing ships headed out to the other side of the world.

Here it is - the beginning of the end of the modern era. The new tools, the engines, allow men to go anywhere, even against the forces of nature that were their guide and power for millenia.

Carroll wrote about Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, and analyses the roles of Brutus and Mark Antony.
In other words, he [Brutus] has acted not only to save Rome from tyranny, but also for Caesar, to save him from himself, to save his honour. Brutus has acted out of friendship, tragic friendship. Here is the burden carried by the man of honour. As Brutus puts it to the people in his oration over the corpse of Caesar:
As Caesar loved me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he was valiant, I honour him; But, as he was ambitious, I slew him. There is tears, for his love; joy, for his fortune; honour, for his valor; and death for his ambition.

Goya, the genius behind The Third of May, 1808:The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid, depicted the machine'-like nature of modern warfare. He also showed its depravity and utter brutality, in the Desastre de la Guerra series. We are familiar with The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, Two men with clubsSaturn, and Colossus. All speak to the lunacy of institutionalised violence. But it's Goya's Perro semihundido (the semi-sunk dog; see a better image)where transcendant genius pierces the heart. That poor dog is looking into the future, just made out in a vague spook-like presence in the upper right. It can see what's coming - Picasso's Guernica.

When we value one life as less than another, we condemn ourselves to echo Brutus. Does anyone mourn the death of an African orphan?

Correction #1

... The Age July 19th ...

should have been 16th 

The ploy is to re-employ the already employed?

From the ABC

Sacked Optus staff offered lower-pay jobs
A group of workers at Optus say they have been sacked and invited to re-apply for their jobs on lower pay.

Sixty field technicians say they have received termination notices.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) says the workers have been told they can re-apply for positions as independent contractors.

A spokeswoman for Optus says the redundancies are part of a restructure of the customer field services area.

She says the company denies the job losses are related to the new industrial relations laws.

read more at the ABC