AMERICAN ENERGY

I offer an arrangement of the thoughts of Walt Whitman for reflection at a very strange time for the people of this world.

“O public road …….. you express me better than I can express myself.” ……. “My words itch at your ears till you understand them ……”

Whitman did not reject the place of science but he also saw: “……. the fossil theology of the mythic – materialistic, superstitious, untaught and credulous, fable-loving, primitive ages of humanity.”

“And as to me, I know nothing else but miracles …….”

……. “From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines.”

……. “In the faces of men and women, I see God.”

…… “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large — I contain multitudes.”

……. “I exist as I am, that is enough,”

When Walt wrote, “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.” did he foreshadow POTUS 45’s reinvention of presidential communication to the people via Twitter? And then some of the world’s reactions to Trump …… “I find no sweeter fat than sticks to my own bones.”

In this time of a terrified rush to isolation, is it more important than ever for America to remember these words: …….. “TO the States or any one of them, or any city of the States, Resist much, obey little, Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth, ever after-ward resumes its liberty.”

“Unscrew the locks from the doors ! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs !”

“……. we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion.”

Stay safe, everyone.

And please stay free.

Geoff Fox, 27th March in Terra Nullius, 26th of March in America, 2020

For “BANJO”

“Banjo” Paterson, who wrote the words for Waltzing Matilda in 1895, died on this day in 1941 as a result of a heart attack.

Waltzing Matilda tells the story of a swagman – a poor homeless man travelling on foot carrying his possessions in a “swag” slung over his back. This itinerant bloke commits suicide to escape arrest after he was caught by the authorities with a stolen sheep on a rich man’s property.

This song is famous for being Australia’s “unofficial national anthem.”

When it was one of four songs in a plebiscite to choose the official national song, I was one of the 28% who voted for it.

“Waltzing Matilda” is probably based on an incident at Combo Waterhole.

I visited the place when I was much younger and met one of the locals who confirmed for me that I was in fact at the place where “the swaggy took his jump.”

At that time the National Safety Council had placed a sign there with detailed instructions on how to perform mouth to mouth resuscitation.

How does it come to pass that the story of a homeless man who kills himself still represents the soul of Australia for very many Australians?

Lest we forget the lives of men.

Geoff Fox, January 6th, 2020, Terra Nullius.

Abe Lincoln: A Civil War Xmas

On the first of December 1862, with his country torn apart in Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln told America, “In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.”

On Christmas Day that year Lincoln visited soldiers in hospitals. Then the president commissioned artist Thomas Nash to create the first modern image of Santa Claus, in the cause of freedom.

What a wonderful Christmas spirit that was: visiting those wounded in a righteous cause and creating art celebrating generosity.

In the modern world, freedom is under constant threat.

Why cant we give freedom to each other anymore?

Why cant we even communicate?

Geoff Fox, Terra Nullius, December 1st, 2019

“The Covered Wagon” – a long lost freedom.

“The Covered Wagon”, released on March 16, 1923, was the first feature length western movie. It is a meticulously authentic portait of the life of American pioneers, who traveled huge distances through hardship and adventure to look for a better life. The following video clip shows some highlights:

 

In his memoir “Reminiscences”, World War Two hero General Douglas MacArthur, who was born in 1880, wrote that his childhood was spent in “ …… the Old West of frontier days ……. nowhere else has there been the savage turbulence, the striking vitality and the raucous glamour of the struggle for law and order in the American West.”

Do we want to restore some of that freedom now?

Geoff Fox, Solo, Indonesia, March 16, 2019

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis: A Metrosexuality that Nobody Needs?

 

 

Is Fritz Lang’s Metropolis a film about a metrosexuality that nobody needs?

Does the film suggest urbanisation makes healthy life impossible?

In Fritz Lang’s cinematic story of one man’s giant industrial mega-city, the beautiful religious figure Maria, played by 18 year old BrigItte Helm, is pure and caring and gives hope to many people by her faith in fraternity and communication. But then Maria’s physical likeness is stolen to empower a robot who is first presented as an erotic dancer for the rich and who then, under orders, uses manic sexuality to lead people to conflict and destruction.

While still a movie star, BrigItte Helm told one critic that she didn’t care about making movies and she would rather be a housewife, cooking, bringing up her children and looking after her husband. She went to court at great cost to fight for the right not to be forced to play vamps and retired from cinema and moved to Switzerland in disgust at the Nazi takeover of the German film industry.

So in real life Helm wanted to be the motherly Maria not the destructive seductively malevolent dancing Machine imitating Maria.

In modern western nations the sexual liberation of the 1960’s and following decades has given way to the moralistic crusades of the #metoo movement which attacks and destroys men but not women for their sexuality.

Do we want a return to a much more conservative sexual morality imposed on men or do we want gender equal sexual freedom for everyone?

Right now I don’t think many people in The West know what we want with respect to that question.

BrigItte Helm had no doubts about how good it was for her to be a mum.

Geoff Fox, Malang, East Java, 10th January 2019, the 92nd anniversary of the release of Metropolis.