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.
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.
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.
Isabella Augusta Persse, who became a famous literary figure as Lady Gregory after marrying Sir William Henry Gregory, was born on this date, 15 May, 171 years ago, in 1852 in County Galway, Ireland.
Wikipedia reports that study of her grandfather-in-law’s letters lead to a shift in her politics “from the “soft” Unionism of her earlier writing on Home Rule to a definite support of Irish nationalism and Republicanism, and to what she was later to describe as “a dislike and distrust of England”.” (The anglosphere is a very big place.)
Lady Gregory took her motto from Aristotle: “To think like a wise man, but to express oneself like the common people.”
I call her an Indigenous Woman Of The Anglosphere (IWOTA) because of her wonderful skill in the English language.
Here are some examples:
“I’ll take no charity! What I get I’ll earn by taking it. I would feel no pleasure it being given to me, any more than a huntsman would take pleasure being made a present of a dead fox, in place of getting a run across country after it.”
“It takes madness to find out madness.”
“It’s best make changes little by little, the same as you’d put clothes upon a growing child.”
“If I had not married I should not have learned the quick enrichment of sentences that one gets in conversation; had I not been widowed I should not have found the detachment of mind, the leisure for observation necessary to give insight into character, to express and interpret it. Loneliness made me rich—’full’, as Bacon says.”
“There’s more learning than is taught in books.”
“It was among farmers and potato diggers and old men in workhouses and beggars at my own door that I found ………. the expression of love, and grief, and the pain of parting, that are the disclosure of the individual soul.”
“It is not always them that has the most that makes the most show.”
“I don’t know in the world why anyone would consent to be a king, and never to be left to himself, but to be worried and wearied and interfered with from dark to daybreak and from morning to the fall of night.”
“The way most people fail is in not keeping up the heart.”
“There is lasting kindness in Heaven when no kindness is found upon earth.”
George Bernard Shaw once called Gregory “the greatest living Irishwoman”.
God Bless Freedom (because that’s how we really learn who we are)
Geoff Fox, 15th May, 2023, Down Under
Previous Indigenous Women Of The Anglosphere include Rosa Parks, Shirley Temple, Mrs Patrick Campbell, Mary Astor and Audrey Hepburn.
She was born in Tucson, Arizona. (“Get back to where you once belonged?” sang Linda’s husband Beatle Paul McCartney (to JoJo from Tucson), when he wanted the Beatles to go back to being a band who played live to people.)
Linda lead Paul McCartney from the world’s 1960’s obsession with Beatlemania into a rural life raising a family. As his wife and as the mother to their children, she gave him the healthy base where he created what many people now see as the first two great Indie albums, “Ram”, a homage to domestic bliss, and “Wild Life” where McCartney attempted and mostly pulled off a Dylanesque commitment to spontaneity in the studio.
In Australia, if someone like me thinks he might be Aboriginal, some people can make it very hard to talk about it. This problem is not nearly as bad as it used to be, but it hasn’t gone away. Possession of Australia was claimed by the Britsh because it was “desert and uninhabited”. It was called Terra Nullius- nobody’s land. I still call it that because the mentality of denying people their rights by ignoring them hasn’t gone away.
When I first suspected that my beautiful, kind, friendly grandmother, Clarissa Fox, might have been the granddaughter of someone from the first Australian cricket team to tour England, a team which was Aboriginal, I thought that the possibility was wonderful.
I was already as proud as anything to be the grandson of both Professor A.C. Fox and The Right Reverend J.R. Blanchard and to be the grandnephew of Clarissa’s brother, Sir Henry Rudolph Howard, who was Lord Mayor of Perth from 1955 to 1964. But the possibility that I might be one sixteenth descended from Johnny Mullagh or one of the other scintillating athletes from that pioneering touring team was in some ways at least and maybe more exciting than any of my more clearly proven ancestral realities.
When I told my beloved aunt the late Judy Fox that her mother might be one quarter Aboriginal, Old School Judy insisted that I never talk about that possibility with her.
Today a kind and friendly young Aboriginal woman, whom I will identify as M, and whose open nature reminds me of my nonna, Clarissa, described me in conversation as “mob” a colloquial way of saying I am aboriginal. My 65 years of experience of how quickly others can pounce on that sort of youthful open hearted enthusiasm for an idea, lead me to advise M that as much as I want to be Aboriginal, the truth of the matter is much harder to determine. I am no Pocahontas.
My dear new friend, M, I will take as much kinship with you and the deep humanitarian and spiritual glories of Aboriginal culture as I can get.
At the moment, corrupt, stupid people from neocolonial police state apparatus known as Victoria Police are putting me on trial as if I were a criminal as a result of stupid repressive laws and my angry condemnation of them, when they interrupted me standing up for an Aboriginal man on the grounds of St Pauls Cathedral.
You are smart enough and open enough in understanding difficult ideas to get your head around all of this, M.
I hope your bosses and the powers that be let you do that.
Giving people like me full understanding is your job.
Like his Republican predecessors Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Bush 1 and Reagan, he can be tough when needed but prioritises peace when others seek war.
Last week, on March 17, he clearly stated that we need to be “fundamentally reevaluating NATO’s purpose and NATO’s vision. Our foreign policy establishment keeps trying to pull the world into conflict with a nuclear armed Russia based on the lie that Russia represents our greatest threat.
But the greatest threat to Western Civilization today is not Russia. It’s probably, more than anything else, ourselves ……..”
This is greatness. This is leadership. This is a peace maker.
Lincoln saved the American Union in The Civil War and freed slaves.
Teddy Roosevelt talked of the need in foreign policy to “speak softly and carry a big stick”.
Eisenhower warned America of the dangers the Military-Industrial Complex could bring.
Nixon’s détente softened The Cold War.
Reagan’s Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty gave America a better, safer relationship with Gorbachev’s Russia.
Bush 1 showed necessary toughness in liberating Kuwait but left it at that when others pushed for a much bigger war.
In 2023, war with Russia over Ukraine is not the business of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Ukraine is not in the North Atlantic.
Donald Trump is unequivocally and courageously standing up against both the war-mongering of neocons in his own party and the currently even more dangerous war-mongering which seems unopposed in the Biden administration.
you are Australia’s head of state and you are the Supreme Governor of The Church of England.
I tried theologically to make friends with Anglicans in Melbourne this year. I failed.
An Anglican indigenous leader from New South Wales was falsely described as part of Victorian Wurundjeri language group on his own website. It took me months to get the man to correct the mistake. Ironically this man prides himself on the importance of getting local knowledge right. Sometimes this makes him very wise. But why was it that he could not and cannot respect my attempts to correct his own mistake about his own origins?
He told me that for him aboriginal people should get sovereignty over all of Australia. 3% of the people to rule over the other 97% ?
When I told him I might be 1/16th aboriginal he told me that I had to be all or nothing. I tried to be his friend and engage with his culture
When I was angry because police attacked me in front of the church where this man has been canonised, he and that church’s dean laughed at me. Maybe it was embarassed, nervous laughter in a difficult situation. Maybe not.
The Anglican Church has spat out my attempts at friendship.
Am I better off?
Perhaps I need to move away from them/you towards our God.