Mary Pickford #2 – A Silent Era Movie Star And Lifelong Philanthroprist

America’s Sweetheart from the silent movie era, Mary Pickford died, aged 87, on this day, 44 years ago, in 1979.

“If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, there is always
another chance for you.”
she is renowned to have said, “And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”

On set, Pickford’s habit was to hang a bucket and ask everyone working to put some money for other film workers who were not getting work. She also organized the Motion Picture Relief Fund.

In these facts, I see a beautiful commitment to charity and good old-fashioned self-reliance. Coming from a beautiful woman, that is a powerful combination.

God Bless America.

Geoff Fox, 29th May, 2023, Down Under

Women For Freedom #37 Kylie Minogue

I love Walt Whitman’s phrase “democracy ma femme”.

On the basis of her statement “With one man, there was a freedom and liberation. That was with Michael Hutchence, my partner in life.” I feel I can call Australia’s somewhat democratic Pop Princess Kylie Minogue a Woman for Freedom.

Her freedom presents to us in these words of hers as a freedom balanced by commitment to true love.

Who agrees?

This piece of Word Art is an original photo authored by Sport the library with words added by Geoff Fox and published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence by Geoff Fox.

Geoff Fox, May 28, 2023, Down Under

The crescent moon Word Art at the top is a photo by sosodave from Australia with words added by Geoff Fox and is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licence.

Australian Police Taser 95 Year Old Woman Using A Walking Frame. She Dies. UPDATE: Her Assailant Not Yet Charged With MURDER Or MANSLAUGHTER.

I live in Australia. To get precise information about the death of a 95 year old woman who appears to be the victim of either murder or manslaughter by police here, I have to go to CNN.

Here is the key info I have gained from a recent CNN report, WHICH I CONSIDER GIVES THE BEST SUMMARY WHICH I HAVE SEEN SO FAR OF PERTINENT FACTS :

“Last week, NSW Police Force Assistant Commissioner Peter Cotter told reporters that police were called to Nowland’s care home in the town of Cooma, New South Wales, around 4:15 a.m. to reports of a resident with a knife.

“At the time she was tasered, she was approaching police. It is fair to say at a slow pace. She had a walking frame. But she had a knife,” Cotter told reporters on Friday.

Video of the incident was captured by two police body cameras but the footage hasn’t been publicly released.

NSW police guidelines say that tasers should only used on elderly or disabled people in “exceptional circumstances.”

Family friend Andrew Thaler said before the incident Nowland was frail and unable to stand unaided. She weighed just 43 kilograms (95 pounds) and was 5-foot-2 (1.58 meters) tall and was suffering dementia.”

Disclosure about myself:

I turned 66 years old last Tuesday.

Last year I was physically assaulted three times by police on the streets of Melbourne. On the third occasion I was both physically and sexually assaulted. (groped – see image above.)

Police who attacked me are putting me on trial.

This is a horrible country to be old in, if police decide they have the right to ignore your rights and attack you.

Just getting a fair hearing is almost impossible.

And why does CNN say what needs to be said better than the Australian media?

Geoff Fox, 26th May, 2023, Australia

Great Americans # 9 Singer Songwriter Steve Young

Steve Young is one of my alltime favorite singer songwriters.

I predict that, long term, this glorious artist will be more famous than his namesake, the great ’49ers quarterback, whom ranks as the 15th greatest quarterback of all time. Others put the football playing Steve Young in the top ten of quarterbacks.

At the moment the footballer is much more famous than the singer, whose birthday is coming up on the 12th of July.

Who wants to help me bridge the current gap in fame between these two men?

For those who know little about the singer, please listen to “My Oklahoma” written by Young’s wife, Terrye Newkirk, aka Cheryl Young.

The lyrics are gloriously free American words about being as one with the place you live in:

“Stars out in the morning
And the still rustle of corn
What a good place to be born

Clouds over the prairie
Till the wind blows them away
At the still start of the day

Hey, my Oklahoma
Are you still awaiting for me
With your gold plain waving free”

In “The Ballad Of William Sycamore” Young makes a song out of a Steven Vincent Benét poem in which the spirit of a man, hit hard by the loss of his sons in American wars at the Alamo and under Custer, finds redemption in reuniting with the land:

"Now I lie in the heart of the fat, black soil, Like the seed of the prairie-thistle; It has washed my bones with honey and oil And picked them clean as a whistle.

And my youth returns, like the rains of Spring, And my sons, like the wild-geese flying; And I lie and hear the meadow-lark sing And have much content in my dying.

Go play with the towns you have built of blocks, The towns where you would have bound me! I sleep in my earth like a tired fox, And my buffalo have found me."

In “Vison of A Child” , a song written for his son, Jubal, Young again finds union between the imagination and the natural world in lyrics like:

“Little Jubal boy
The woods and fields are dark
Except for the light of the moon and stars
So go on ahead
Through the portals of your dreams
Go on escape these earthly bars
And you can sail the silver streams
As you travel through your dreams
As you travel through the night”

A glorious voice.

For me, a great American.

Steve Young.

The singer.

Geoff Fox, 25th May, 2023, Down Under

Australian Federal Police Officer Charged With Trafficking Metamphetamines, High Level Corruption, Theft And Money Laundering And Then RELEASED ON BAIL

An Australian Federal Police (AFP) Officer, who lives in a suburb about 5 kilometers or so from my place, has been charged with trafficking methamphetamines, high level corruption, theft and money laundering.

The magistrate who has released him on bail did so in part because he has “no criminal history.” (the link to this Melbourne Herald-Sun article is behind a paywall)

The officer deserves the presumption of innocence but the range of criminal charges in a country where wrong doing police officers are rarely held to account seems to make a compelling case for protecting the public from what he might do when set free.

This is happening on my side of town. Approximately half a dozen kilometres from my place

It makes this over-policed neighbourhood feel even less safe to me knowing that he is free.

Who agrees?

Geoff Fox,

Australian Police Taser 95 Year Old Woman Using A Walking Frame. She Dies.

Attacking the vulnerable and elderly and trashing human rights is what police in Australia do best. I have personally witnessed or been the victim of half a dozen police assaults on the innocent in Melbourne.

A 95 year old woman tasered by police in aged care in New South Wales has died from the injuries which included a fractured skull.

The New South Wales police officer faces three charges of assault. Recklessly causing grievous bodily harm. Assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Common assault. Will these charges be upgraded to murder?

In Victoria, police put their victims on trial.

It happened to Cardinal George Pell. He conducted a mass. That was proven beyond reasonable doubt. “Operation Tethering” lead to his conviction and wrongful imprisonment for 404 days.

A police officers fingers go inside my underpants after they pulled me out of prayer at a church.

They are putting me on trial.

This nation is no longer a civilised country.

Geoff Fox, 26th May, 2023, Down Under

The Fabric Of Society #1 Freedom

I am a libertarian.

To me, freedom looks like the essential glue or fabric for society.

(An alternative view would be to say that the dichotomy of Freedom well balanced with Discipline (FbD) is what holds us together.)

But today, on my birthday, I speculate that my poet’s etymological analysis of the word “freedom” can give us both freedom and discipline in one. To do this I first suggest that the roots of the word “freedom” can lead us to call it the home or homes where we can feel free.

This might not actually be what happened in the evolution of language.

But I think it is is worth embracing because I believe it represents what we need.

It’s my birthday.

I am a poet.

So I am taking liberties with in offering this explanation of “freedom”, which literalists might dislike but others might enjoy.

For me, the word “freedom” combines the adjective “free” with the Latin word “domus” or home to mean a home where someone can feel free.

This works for me as the FbD I mentioned above.

Freedom balanced with discipline.

Homes are, or were, most commonly (like the homes I grew up in, first in Canberra, then in Melbourne) heterosexual places where parents raised kids. So there had to be rules.

One online etymological source says that the word “freedom” comes from the Old English “free” and “doom” meaning “regulation” or “statute”. Meaning, I presume, “no regulations”, “no statutes” or what some might call “anarchy”.

I prefer my flight of fancy in going back to the Latin which I studied in my youth for ten years. Maybe “domus” is where “doom” came from.

So, now, on my birthday, I feel I can say:

“Freedom is the home(s) where we feel free.”

A personal definition.



Who agrees?

Geoff Fox, 23rd May, 2023, Down Under

PS I thank the United States Of America for how much help I can get online in artistically pursuing this idea and other libertarian ideas from so many of America’s wonderful freedom lovers like Tulsi Gabbard.

The above piece of word art is a photograph of Tulsi authored by Tulsi with words added by me. This resulting piece of word art is published by me under a GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.2.

I WILL TELL MY STORY #9 My Heritage Betrayed

The picture above shows Victoria Police in 2021 in Melbourne, Australia, pepper spraying a grandmother protesting for freedom after knocking her to the ground.

These cowards, assaulting an old woman, make me ashamed of Australia.

My grandfather JR Blanchard stood up for human rights after World War Two and represented the Presbyterian Church of Australia at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. He taught me The Lord’s Prayer. I am proud of him.

My grandmother, Clarissa Fox, made me deeply happy because she recognised when I was young that I like to help people. I believe she was a granddaughter of someone in The Australian Aboriginal cricket team which toured England in 1868. She had a cooking show on the radio. I am proud of her.

At Queen Elizabeth’s memorial service in Melbourne this shows the moment when police fingers went inside my underpants after they took me out of prayer with an aboriginal man at the Cathedral and physically assaulted me.


In police uniform.

Assaulting elderly people.

Such is life in Australia.

Geoff Fox, 66 years old today, 23rd May, 2023, Down Under

Great Americans #8 AMELIA EARHART

On the 20th of May, 1932, 34 year old Amelia Earhart left Newfoundland to successfully attempt the world’s first female pilot solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. She landed in Ireland the next day, after surviving strong northerly winds, icy conditions and mechanical problems.

When President Hoover presented the Gold Medal of the National Geographic Society to Earhart, her modesty looked to me like An Epitome Of Cool.

Hoover: “The whole of America is proud of you and your performance.”

Earhart: “I do thank you sincerely. I fear my exploit was not worth so great an honour.”

When Canadian Joni Mitchell wrote the song, “Amelia”, which might be considered a homage to Earhart, Mitchell wrote during years when what was called liberation had in some ways dampened women’s self-confidence.

Compare the song’s wonderfully sad poetic flights of words with the real flying heroine’s more grounded thoughts:

Earhart’s: “Mostly, my flying has been solo, but the preparation for it wasn’t. Without my husband’s help and encouragement, I could not have attempted what I have. Ours has been a contented and reasonable partnership, he with his solo jobs and I with mine. But always with work and play together, conducted under a satisfactory system of dual control.”

Mitchell: “A ghost of aviation
She was swallowed by the sky
Or by the sea like me she had a dream to fly
Like Icarus ascending
On beautiful foolish arms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm”

Earhart: “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”

Mitchell: “I’ve spent my whole life in clouds at icy altitudes
And looking down on everything
I crashed into his arms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm.”

Earhart: “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. ……… You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward ……… The most effective way to do it, is to do it.

Mitchell: “The drone of flying engines
Is a song so wild and blue
It scrambles time and seasons if it gets through to you
Then your life becomes a travelogue
Full of picture post card charms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm.”

Earhart: “Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.”

Mitchell: “So this is how I hide the hurt
As the road leads cursed and charmed
I tell Amelia it was just a false alarm.”

Mitchell’s flights in the sixties and seventies were defined by grappling with loneliness. Earhart’s solo efforts were built on collaboration and modest acceptance of even presidential recognition.

Times change.

Geoff Fox, 20th May, 2023, Down Under