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Hello, I am your mate, mymatejoechip

Mymatejoechip blogs in several places.  They are all linked through this portal, which is a porthole looking into the polluted ocean that is my mate Joe Chip.  (That means you are this very moment sitting in the suite of an ocean liner.  Congratulations, your wealth and social status must be far greater than mine.  Doesn’t that make you feel better?)  [Read on MacDuff, here.]

Forty three degrees Celsius = 110 degrees Farenheit

That is the prediction for Sydney tomorrow, with humidity in single digits.  Total fire ban for NSW starts at midnight.  Swathes of the State have been declared a “Catastrophic” fire risk (or as the public service announcements state, unusually for such a laid back country, “YOU WILL DIE”).  I think we are only at “Extreme” fire risk where we live (“YOU WILL PROBABLY DIE”).  At the local shopping centre, there is a hall bearing a sign saying “This is an official place of last resort”, which I think is a truly wonderful sign to have!  I hate that I can hear the neighbours doing things like chopping down bushes and watering stuff, it makes me feel like I should be doing something, but if I start I won’t stop.

Shark attacks, bush fires, summer has finally arrived.

Red-rumped parrot on a gate, and other Christmas visitors

Some mowing required,pastoral scenes are no excuse for not keeping up the yard work

Some mowing required,pastoral scenes are no excuse for not keeping up the yard work – Christmas 2010, rural NSW

I had to have my dog put down before Christmas.  There is no art in that, nothing but bathos.  Orwell may have made something out of shooting an imaginary elephant, but there is no poetry or great message in the death of my cute little dog.  I stayed with him as the vet went about her work, because loyalty, a dog of a virtue which excuses cover ups and mass murders, is amongst the virtues I admire most, and having made the decision that he was to die, it is not in me to simply walk away and leave the dog alone to the process.  (In the waiting room, while I held him up so he wouldn’t enage in battle with animals ten times his size, he pissed blood down my shirt, his incontinence and internal bleeding a reassurance that i was doing the right thing.)  He  wagged his tail, happy at the attention, trusting me, and blubbering though I was, I hope I did not betray that trust.  Afterwards, I reflected on my sentimentality regarding animals, and how useless I would be on a farm, unless I had some reconditioning, and my brain went into over analytical overdrive: did I do the right thing? how dare you feel like that about an animal? how dare you do what you did? do I feel enough?  do I feel too little?  And I was left with the knowledge, I don’t want to go through that again any time soon.

Then I awoke to the news of the murder of 20 little children and others.  I cannot even begin to try to get into the imaginative head space of being able to watch those children die, let alone carry out that deed.  Empathy completely fails me, though  I am a broken person, filled with my own darkness.  I can think about the pain a person may have, the anger, and draw a path that may lead to such a deed, but I cannot colour that picture in, cannot give it substance.  I do not dare to put myself in the position of any of the parents who lost a child.  For most adults who have had their fair battering from life, that is too easy an imaginative leap to make.

There is no causality between these events, they are just the order in which I experienced them.  There is no other real connection either, they are an infinite degree of both kind and magnitude apart.  We lurch from day to day, getting by as best we can, hoping for small joys, experiencing our small sorrows, and hear news from a distance of great horror.  We hope that if nothing else, some small meaning can be taken from disaster if it leads to us changing our ways.  This happened in Australia after the Port Arthur massacre, but gun ownership is less entrenched in our culture.  It seems that this most recent tragedy will lead to no great change.

I am reading and very much enjoying “Unapologetic” by Francis Spufford.  He is brutal on the failure of most of theodicy to reconcile a belief in/the existence of a good and powerful God with suffering.  It is not my purpose to go into that here, but it contains one of my favourite recent quotes.  He talks of the horrors of the world, referring to Darwin’s description of a caterpillar being devoured by larvae, and more about disease and death in general, before touching on pantheism:  “To anyone inclined to think  in a happy wafty muddly way, that nature is God, nature replies: have a cup of pus, Mystic Boy.”

Here are some pictures of some recent visitors, just the usual suspects, nobody special:

Pied Currawong

always on the make…

Pied currawongs have been hanging around. I tried to feed one by hand, but we were both a bit jumpy and I threw the bread and he took it and fled.

King Parrots

always wanting a feed

A juvenile King Parrot has been making a nuisance of itself, wearing its parents out as it constantly demands a feed.  They are a beautiful bird.

Crimson Rosella

Crimson Rosella

Crimson Rosellas are not uncommon but they are a bit flighty.  This one was comfortable in my backyard, as he was a bit hidden amongst the branches.

011

Morning kookaburra

Morning kookaburra

Caught this kookaburra in the morning light…

one of nature's gentlemen, when it is not breeding season

one of nature’s gentlemen, when it is not breeding season

My old friend the butcher bird, still taking thrown food on the wing …

Achtung!

Achtung!

Nothing escapes me

Nothing escapes me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the sulphur crested, or white, cockatoo, noisy and destructive but a true favourite of mine…

look to the left

look to the left

look to the right

look to the right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Joe Chip Empire is in decline, there are too many other calls on my time.  Over at the Joe Chip Laboratories, we have been spitting out Tall Poppy seeds as part of our investigation of the alleged Australian disease known as the Tall Poppy Syndrome.  It is an interesting condition, a disease diagnosed by those who have been subject to scrutiny, not by those doing the analysis … at the 6th Proletarian Anarcho Lottery Syndicate, the writer proves the revolution is nigh.  Finally advice for the lovelorn, and a bunch of other stupid stuff, over at What Would Joe Chip Do?

As the fireworks begin to see off 2012, I hope there is something on these pages to justify the moments you spent looking at them.  if not, I sincerely apologise.

Until next year, I remain your faithful servant, your mate, my mate Joe Chip

Not Happy

Former Australian Rupert Murdoch’s Australian cable network, Foxtel, declares “Elves Not Happy” (at .10)

EVERYONE KNOWS THAT RUPERT YOU IDIOT!  HAPPY IS A DWARF.  Fool.

And I have no idea what the hell is going on with this German Grammar from the BBC.  Timelords are apparently sending messages through the Book Depository website (I wonder if a Timelord sent a special message from the Texas Book Depository?  ‘cos in his latest opus, Stephen King proves that if JFK had lived, killer earthquakes would have ripped North America apart.  Lee Harvey Oswald is from Gallifrey.  Does that make Jack Ruby the Master?  Or a Dalek?  James Ellroy is going to have to rewrite American Tabloid.  O, if only he had stopped there!  O, why did he have to write those sequels?)

Sorry.  Do you want to hear me sing?

 

It is indeed so very wrong to eat a dolphin, or to covet its skin – LEAVE THEM ALONE HIPPY

You Are What You Eat

skin, skin, skin

its a very useful thing

if we didn’t have skin

what would we use

to hold our guts in?

It is so very wrong to eat a dolphin.  They are a delightful animal and are quite rightly a favourite subject for airbrushers of panel vans and creators of new age art.  They bring a sense of wonder, especially if seen in the wild, at speed or at play.  They are very beautiful, particularly because of the sleekness of their skin.  It is this feature which makes it completely understandable that one would cull a few from time to time, to take advantage of that skin, either ornamentally for clothing such as modish disco pants, recreationally to make your own dolphin suit,or utilitarianally, for example to create a swish carry bag.

Having justifiably culled your dolphin, would it not be a great shame to waste the meat?  Yes…

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Here is part of a poem about cancer

Surprise

Cancer too is a prize

You don’t have to queue at the newsagent’s

to buy a ticket

They slip it in with the teddy bear,

the beatrix potter china setting,

the first photograph album,

unnoticed.

The final draw may be foreshadowed

in the missed stitch in the booties

grandma made

put aside, only used at your Baptism.

(“It was her last pair.  Do you think she knew?”)

Unlike the contents of your bowels

or your most recent projectile vomit,

it is not discussed in polite company.

You can read the rest of my cancer poem here.  It is a change from poems about tv shows, I suppose.

I will not be posting as much as I once did.  I am attempting to spend more time on writing fiction.  As they say in the classics, life is short, time to get my finger out and have a red hot go.  Two funerals this week, though caring for a sick person I could only get to one.  It tends to focus the mind.

Modern day Ahabs, hunting the Great White … balloon …

JOE CHIP dreamed a dream , a dream that can unite us all, omnivores, carnivores, vegetarians, vegans, fruitarians, lacto-vegetarians, lacto-ovo-vegetarians, pescetarians, pollotarians, and pollo-pescetarians, the dream of the hunt of the giant pseudo-beasts in the sky that can sustain us all without troubling our consciences.

You Are What You Eat

Those of you who have been subscribing to the analytical reports of the Chip Laboratories since ancient times know of our well founded efforts to ethicise (ha! take that, dictionary) omnivorism.  We are trying folks, we really are.  We have put all of this week’s grant money into considering balloon animals.

Some of you maybe scoffing, as you associate these creatures with parlour games and carnivals.  However, I am not talking about simple domesticated balloon animals.   I am talking about great sweeping herds of massive fortean creatures, blocking the sun on their nomadic trek as passenger pigeons once did sweeping across America.  And no, there would be no reliance on foul, poisonous oxygen.  These are great helium or methane filled beasts, nodding and swaying as they are blown by the currents of wind, just as giant jelly fish are swept across oceans.  Picture them now in your…

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this will help me into understanding more about this subject.

Indeed.  Thank you Spanish Spamster.

check out my sexual dimporphism

when a daddy koel ….

sitting around

… and a mummy koel…

coupling koels

… love each other very much, they make an egg and leave it in another bird’s nest to hatch and kill their babies, while they fly around keeping the humans awake at night …

Cuckoos getting cosy.

Your mate is concerned about world hunger.  Over at You Are What You Eat, he has provided two suggestions on how Hollywood could help wipe it out.  Angelina, its all over to you.  You have the ink, you can do it.

Your mate is concerned about the youth of today.  That is why over at WWJCD, he has provided twenty tips for healthy living, to help young people make wise choices and get out of difficult situations (“if somebody is about to stab you, try to make your body go all hard”).

Oh, and there is also this.  Something very, very important.  Please check it out.  Thanks to Bucket Man, affectionately referred to as Bucket Head.

JOE CHIP SINGS!!