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Tuesday 30/11/04. Melbourne (10.

15) → Charlton (hambrgr x Maria hoo sez they had 1drd whr Id g-
ot 2) → Ouyen (stubby) → Underbool (2 stubbies) → Danyo Reserve (6.45 & Iv pord a koffee). Its hot
& humid wth a change due ovrnght. Th books Iv brght r ‘The Rhinoceros Horn & Other Early Buddhist
Poems’ trnsl8d x K. R. Norman, pub x The Pali Text Society, London (1985), ISBN 0-86013-154-8 (le-
nt x jZoIsZeYpSh hoo lso got me 2 read th Dhammapada gain rcently & last week read books lent x
DIaCnAdSrTeRaO hoo I rckn iz a klozt buddhst) & ‘Pensées’ x Blaise Pascal whch kan b read gain &
gain hoo sez in ¶ 563 : “It is not possible to have reasonable grounds for not believing in mirac-
les.” I mght rturn 2 th klaim. Mor ndrst&bly in ¶ 606 he sez : “A true friend is something so valuab-
le, even for the greatest noblemen, that they ought to do all they can to have one speak well of
them and stand up for them in their absence. But they must choose carefully, for if all their
efforts are spent on fools (kkrdn 2 Guru Bob nevr rgue wth 1 az 1st they pull u down 2 their levl then
they beat u wth xprience) it will do them no good, however well they speak of them. And they
will not even speak well of them if they find themselves on the weaker side, because they ha-
ve no authority (this is the key – mine), and so they will run them down in order to be with the
majority.” Met GEORGE-KcOoTnZABASIS (mounts a kase 4 a just war (sspndn rules of cvlized bhv-
iour (an mnnt US lawyr, Dershowitz, wth a postn @ Harvard or Princeton rguez tortur of suspkts sho-
uld b made legl. He haz bn ntrviewd on oz tv & treatd wth rspkt (21/12/04. in a major rtkl in th ‘Age’
last weeknd rGaAyImToAnd, while xprssn hiz long windd →← 2 tortur, in th last ¶, shamefully mtig8d
DERSaHlOaWnITZZ point of view. Fakt iz →← 2 tortur iz no mor a m@r 4 learnd rgument than whthr
w should or not help a persn njured x th roadside. X th time it needs 2 b justfied x reaznn (how words
fit 2gthr) it iz 2 l8. X ngagin in th dskussion he lready kntributes → tortur. Th str@egy of dvok8s of tor-
tur iz prcisely 2 4ce u 2 make this knsssion az if th ssue kould b in doubt.) evn x our very own HojWo-
AhRnD (7/1. “lying rodent”. U kan giv az much muny 2 tsunami vktms az u like – it will b gr8fully kcep-
td but w will not b freed of guilt nor will w or should w b 4givn x arabs, muslms, & th 3rd O 4 our fals
motivs in iraq))) (c ‘Vilnius → Melbourne’ p2)) hoo gave me 2 ssays x him : ‘Moore’s Film Cruise
Moors Into The Bay of Big Lies’ & ‘Terrorist Barbarians Not At The Gates Of Civilization
But Inside Its Gates.’ I told Con w r lookn thrgh wndows in ppozin walls @ dffrnt views but w r sittn
back 2 back in th same kafé & our koffee iz servd x th same waitrss. Iv lent hiz book 2 HOaLnLdIyS.
On a kmpletly dffrnt note H pointd out 2 me th@

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Faulkner had sed “The past (21/12/04. sum1 els sed : “Time is simply the yardstick of our
separation. If we are parti-cles in a sea of distance, exploded from an original whole,
then there is a science to our solitude. We are lonely in proportion to our yea-rs.”) is not
dead. It is not even past.” (21/12/04. & here iz my journl ntry 4 16/12/04 2 pruve it : “ Thurs-day
16/12/04. “ Dr. Michael Janson : Have you ever thought what makes a cham-pion
sports person? As the Olympic slogan states : they are stronger, they can run faster, and
jump higher. But most of all they amaze us by achieving the seem-ingly impossible. The
true champions live on in our memories as legends. The achie-vements of true legends
are so consistently amazing that these are recorded in video and replayed time and time
again to the consistent amazement of viewers fro-m all ages and generations. Some
have their images cast in bronze whilst others are inducted into Halls of Fame. But most
of all, a true champion inspires us to achieve our best. How many times do we also
dream for ourselves what it must fe-el like to stand upon the podium as an Olympic gold
medallist or to hold high the Wimbledon Winner’s Trophy or your team’s Winner’s Cup.
(¶) Sporting greats also bring personality to their sports. Many we love but some
champions we dislike. Th-ose who see their achievements in isolation from their
admirers or fail to acknow-ledge the psychological support of the cheering crowd, and
those who arrogan-tly believe themselves to be gods, never achieve sporting
immortality as true spo-rting legends. A true sporting champion amazes us by their
achievements; inspires us to achieve in our way, but most importantly, despite all their
god-like achieve-ments, never loses the common touch. (¶) Have you ever thought what
makes a cha-mpion teacher? The champion teacher has great knowledge, can explain
the most difficult of concepts in an easily understood way, and has the best prepared no-
tes and activities of all. The true champion teacher has that magic ability to insp-ire, to
motivate, and to captivate our interest. For many students their champion teacher has
the special ability to have a significant life changing influence upon them. (¶)
Unfortunately society does not award champion teachers with gold med-als or induct
them into Halls of fame. However many of us have our own champion teacher who lives
on in our memories as a true legend. We remember that teacher forever, not only for
their fine qualities as a champion teacher, but also for the significant influence that the
teacher had upon our lives. (¶) In thinking about this article for ESSENCE I looked through
my old school magazines. I was struck by the young looking image of my champion
teacher, Mr Zizys, standing in the back ro-w of the staff photograph at Thornbury high
school in 1968. He taught me engl-ish in years 11 and 12. In 1967, I was in a group of 30
students who were taken to central australia by mr zizys when there were no made
roads and the outback had still not been invaded by tourists. Mr zizys has been my
champion teacher who is in my hall of fame as a true legend. He will forever be my
champion because he inspir-ed me to love the australian landscape and to express these
feelings through us-ing the power of the english language. (¶) I am sad however, because
now I would love to say thank you to mr zizys. When I was at school I thought he was a
great teacher, but I certainly didn’t recognize what an inspirational influence he was
having upon my life. I don’t know if he is still alive. Perhaps he would be at least 70
years of age by now if he is still alive. There is no way of finding him either. Its all a bit
frustrating now some 37 years later. (¶) to those of you who have manag-ed to read this
article to here, may I encourage you to think if you have just one teacher who is your
true champion. Perhaps you might think about saying a special thank you to them before
it is too late. If you don’t get around to this, then don’t worry, champions don’t expect
big prizes, they are always extremely happy with so-mething as simple as a medal or a
cup. True champions are the ones who live on in our memories and become true legends
because they powerfully inspire us and change our lives for the better.” Th rtkl woz brght 2

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my @10tion x SjTuAlNiIeOtN (1/1. 2 ho-om I gave SwTaRlUtVeErS rtkl O th rgins of th KO kllektion
(5/1. named ftr Kurt Offenburg. Walter (hoo tells me in a lettr I rcievd 2day I should konsidr writin
“short stories”) hoo iz rsearchn th kllektion asks I ask my readrs th@ if ny1 haz nfo or komnts 2 make
on KO wood they kum 4th.) in th ST8 LIB-ERRY OF VICTORIA so it O8s) 2 doors down Locksley rd
hooz dghtr Rachel iz a studnt @ Uni High. It iz from her nd of year magzine. Dr mJiAcNhSaOeNl
(4mly JANmKiOlVeIC) iz a vice prncipl @ th skool. Ystrdy I vztd him & s@ in hiz ffice 4 sevrl hours. It
woz hghly motionl. Th nly prson Im in kntkt wth from Thornbury High iz HAdRaRvIeS (4/1. Dave & me
kountd 8 dths of studnts w knew of from their year (ie 1968) : 5 road dths (4 kar, 1 mtrbike) ; 2 kncer ;
1 suicide (?)) . It turns out Mile & Dave had livd in th same street az kids & wer friendz from age 5 &
had kmpltly lost kntkt. So I droppd an ssue of th skool mag → hiz lettr box on me way back 2 Ivanhoe
(← Miller st). Dave rang me in th ev-nn & I prmisd Id giv him Miles kard wth fone & home & work
prtklrs 2mrrow. Showd th rtkl 2 DiaCnAd-SrTeRaO (25/12. (1/1. all 5 of our kids : Michael, K8, Joe,
Ben & Dan wer 2gthr ndr 1 roof 4 th 1st time in 17 yrs) & th day b4 ystrdy 2 LfOrVaEnCkE (1/1. hoo
rpeatd hiz klaim th@ w all know verythn but hide it from ourslvz & lso made th bzrv8ion (wth whch I
gree) th@ it iz mor dffkult 2 xplain how 2 kko-unt 4 our feelns of sepr8nss from each uthr than 4 th
bvious fakt th@ w r joind in2 a singl ntity) whn th 3 of us drank l8 in2 a sultry nght ndr th elm tree on
th krnr of Miller & Curzon sts (1/1. in wst melb)) wth hoom I had lunch 2day. Bought mngoes 2 leav in
Miller st 4 th weeknd. Took the van (7/1. klutch (hope itz not th gearbox!) iz goin ftr nly 47,000 ks so Iv
got it bookd → Melbourne City Toyota 4 19/1 az itz still ndr warrnty (3 year) whr they tell me if itz from
rdnary wear & tear th warrnty duznt pply. But I m a kareful (no rkord of wrekn klutchs & gearboxz)
drivr & th van duznt karry a big load & duz mainly long kuntry miles.)(washd) → Miller st wth the bike
nside but had 2 ride back (& earlier → town 4 th lunch) wthout a helmet az Id 4gottn it in Ivanhoe. @
th meetn wth Mile ystrday w greed 2 rzume kont-akt (4/1. th surest way of dmythologizin) in fbuary nxt
year. Bought a supply of grogs 4 x-mas (25/12. th rtkl x Mile woz my nxpktd x-mas prznt. It haz gon 2
me head & Im showin it 2 very1. My thanx 2 Dr mJiAcNhSaOeNl.) @ Dan Murphys & dskuvrd th@
Cascade haz put out a new beer – a white (5/1. called ‘Summer Blonde’) wheat beer (1/1. on 23/12
Andrea bght us a bottl of CHIMAI beer 4 O $18. Its sed 2 b made x th Trappsts & last nght I slept like
a baby ftr gettn drunk on mor of it bought x me mum az a new yr gift. Mayb they bless it). Tstd it & its
good.”) It would hav bn a good 1 2 nklude mung th bzrv8ions on past, prznt & future on p1 of
‘Melbourne → Kaunas’ or 2 put in @ th nd of ‘Vilnius → Melbourne’ 2 sumrize wht iz probly th main
theme (5/1. SwTaRlUtVeEr sez aFnRaAtNo-ClEe sed “When a fact is known through the
evidence of a single person, it is admitted without much hesitation. Our perplexities
begin when events are related by two or by several witnesses, for their evidence is
always contradi-ctory and always irreconcilable.”) of th piece. Evn less rlvntly here iz a story
told a century ftr Dante x Far-id al-Din Attar titld the ‘Simurgh (Thirty Birds)’. I tell it az rtold x Jorge
Luis Borges but trnsl8d ← th sp-ansh (trnsl8d ← rabk or farsi?) : “The faraway king of all the
birds, the Simurgh, lets fall a magnificent feather in the centre of China : tired of their
age-old anarchy, the birds res-olve to go in search of him. They know that their king’s
name means thirty birds; they know his palace is located on the Kaf, the circular
mountain that surrounds the earth. (¶) They embark upon the nearly infinite adventure.
They pass through seven valleys or seas; the name of the penultimate is Vertigo; the
last, Annihilation. Many pilgrims give up; others perish. Thirty, purified by their
efforts,set foot on the mountain of the Simu-rgh. At last they gaze upon it: they
perceive that they are the Simurgh and that the Si-murgh is each one of them and all of
them. In the Simurgh are the thirty birds and in each bird is the Simurgh.” Wednesday
1/12/04. Port Germein, SA (5.35 pm Melbourn time). Just kum bak from th nd of the pier – it lwayz
duz me good. Drove 200 metrs → pub 2 x a stubby of Coop-ers Sparkling & m bak @ th 4shor rzrv 2
drink it & write th ntry. Danyo rzrv (8.30am) → (ded Blue Bo-nnet prrot (Northiella haematogaster)
on road) → Pinnaroo (ptrl) → (pair of ded Red-rumped prrots (Psephotus haematonotus) ; got out 2
xamn a kestrl karkss (Falco cenchroides) whch ddnt hav a feathr out of place) → Loxton (strong
(dubl shot) latté @ $3 & read th ppr; mssge from K8 2 say sh found sum1 hoo kan send piks of ozzie
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trees → COaZdZrOiLaInNaI in Menton in la belle france az rquestd but haznt found ny1 wth a thentk
BOOMRANG (25/12 since then H haz passd Adrianas rq-uest → gallry spcializn in koori (still pltkly
krrkt?) rt) 4 her) → Waikerie (bght 2 mngoz, 4 tm@oes, vka-do, red unyn, 3 kookd chikn wngs; ferry †
th Murray) → Wirrabara (steak & pppr pie wth koffee) → Port Germein …. Lay in th van & read Cons
ssay O Michael Moores film ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’. No1 haz takn th film mor sriously or watchd it mor
@10tvly. Con h8s Moore (“yellow by nature person”; “Moore is the ‘maggot that eats off the
dead’”), luvs Andrew Bolts “bold and probing pen”, h8s “ugly-faced Feminism” &
“necrophilous Pacifism”, & blievs Bush iz a truth-sayr. I sppose if Michael wer 2 meet Con
(“Former Director of SBS TV”) he mghtnt like him eithr. & yet they share th same ‫ ٱ‬- they hav George
in kommn. W knstrukt dwellngs out of words then w uze thm az 4trsss from whch 2 @ak each
uthr. Xcpt th@ since th words r learnt x praktis & nkoded in our neurlgy & hence in our ntire
body & thrgh our senses in our sOns w r thoz dwellngs & w r all joind so whn 1 iz set alight w
burn 2gthr. I like th most basik words like ‘YES’ & ‘NO’ (poltitians rarely uze em) O hooz meann w
kanot dsgree (25/12. though Bill Clinton 1ce klaimd : “It depends on what you mean by ‘yes’”
(28/12. or woz it ‘sex’?)) & hooz shared wnrshp nsures th@ az w DSTROY each uthr w DSTROY
ourslvz …. Rang H on th mobile. Sh sez th twittrn whstln soundz wv bn hearn thrgh th bdrm wndow
(Ivanhoe) r flyin foxs (25/12. Grey-he-aded (Pteropus poliocephalus)). Danz cn thm. They must b
feedn on th blossms of th lemn scntd gum (Eucalyptus citriodora). Dans O 2 start plastrn hiz bdrm
b4 paintn it. Very1 iz fine. Im goin 2 get nuthr 2 stubbies & on 2 me spot 4 th nght. Glanced @ Cons
uthr ssay whr he sez th nmy r lready mung us & note he haz takn 2 boldn certain phrazes & sntnces.
Rekon hez got th@ from me az he gets me writin…. Nglktd 2 mntion thr r 3 solr powrd lektrk lghts
@ ntrvls → th pier. It means th pleas-ure of walkn → ovr th ocean → a dark mystrious nght haz bn
takn way. 8.55pm. Thursday 2/12/04. Port Germein → Port Augusta (shopd; ptrl) → Cowell (bite 2
eat; stubby; →d th main st.) → Lipson Cove. Th kove iz ½ way btween Port Neill & Tumby Bay (5/1. c
kuvr map @ C x 11/12) ie O ½ hour drive 2 eithr town. Thr iz no1 elz here. Whn I kame thr woz a
famly fishn. I m in th spot they left nxt 2 th brilliant white s& whch 4ced me 2 wear sunglasss whn I
went 4 a stroll sth. Iv drivn in past a sgn sayin no kampn & not 2 blok th boat launchn ramp or boats
bein launchd here. Th wtr iz breakn in small waves (1/1. ystrdy H don8d $50 (7/1. cf George Bush
hoo prsnlly gave $US10,000) → TSUN-AMI vktmz (7/1. u kan 4get Dafur now - thrz no poltkl mileage
in it & itz not a 2rst dstn8ion) 20 yrds way & thr iz a small isl& kuvrd in birdz just ffshor. Its a beautful
mild day wth a frsh breez off th wtr. Earlier a guy my age drove in & sortd thrgh th rubbsh bins 4 kans
& bottls. I workd out how 2 xplain why it kant b sed th@ th O haz a meann but I kant b bothrd writin it
down. M O 2 read Cons uthr ssay whch iz titld ‘Terrorist Barbarians Not At The Gates Of
Civilization But Inside Its Gates.’ …. Here iz Cons (“Former Direc-tor of SBS TV 1986 – 1996”)
openin ¶ : “A deadly Trojan Horse has been placed in the midst of the metropolises of
West-ern civilization and like Troy is threatening its destruction. Throughout Europe,
North America, Australia and Asia, the belly of this dea-dly Horse is already bursting
open delivering and unleashing a horde of fanatic barbarians on the cities of the civilized
world, whose holy agenda decrees the wiping out of Western institutions and their open,
tolerant and free societies, and the genocide of their peop-les by the fire of Allah’s hell.”
& thr iz much much mor of th same but if u want 2 read it youl hav 2 get it from Con (e-mail :
kotzabasis@bigpond.com) yourslf …. So I went 4 nuthr stroll. Friday 3/12/04. I m in a klassik SA Eyre
pninsula, limestoney in th skrub bhind th beach spot. Th place iz kalld Moonlight Bay & its O th same
dstnce sth of Tumby Bay az Lipson Cove woz north. Its sol8d, Im x meslf xpt 4 sum bunnies (thr wer
sum @ Lipson Cove 2 (21/12. I heard on the radio recently that the calicivirus has failed
and that the bunnies are now virtually immune to it. The agriculture departments in
various states are advising landowners to start shooting, ferreting and digging up
burrows before numbers once again reach plague proportions. Helh&z). Last nght I shftd th
van 2 a hghr spot bkoz th wind bkame vry strong & I woz wurried th@ if a s& drift ovr th trak got addd
2 I mghtnt b abl 2 get out in th mornn. Th-@ woz @ 11.30 @ nght. Tday th wndow sills of th van r
kuvrd in fine salt. In Tumby Bay I read th ppr ovr koffee az I 8 a piece of whitin & then a piece of
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garfsh. They ssured me th fsh woz frsh but they woz lyin. Then I dskvrd u kan x smokd (kold) snook in
nuthr shop so I bght it 2 wash down wth a kupl of stubbies in the style of eatn I had bkum kkustmd 2
on th Couronian spit (Neringa) in Nida & Preila in lithol& (c ‘→ (no 1)’ p10). I s@ @ a woodn tabl @ th
start of th pier in a stiff breez & thr woz no ne-ed 4 a rbbsh bin az th cgulls (nkludin 2 pcifk gulls
(Larus pacificus) 8 very bit of skin & sklton I dsg-ardd. Ncdntlly th 4shor kafé I read th ppr in woz th
same 1 I did sum writin in I woz very s@sfied wth last year (c ‘March 11’ p7-9). Oyez! Th reazon why
w kanot say life or th O haz a meanin iz bkoz meanin iznt sumthn out ther but iz ssigned x us 2
things whch r sbsdiary 2 us whn w gree on th kontxt 4 thm. W kanot put sumthn 2 whch w r
sbsdiary → a kontxt. (c ‘12/4/03 – 24/4/03’ p10-,16,18). 2 say th@ w kanot ssign a meanin 2 life or
th O iz not a dnial of th likelhood th@ w r (or r bk-umn) part of sumthn els nalogous 2 th way a seed
→ tree. My thghts kept rturnn tday 2 Con & how simlr w r nspite of me bein a pcifst & him tryin 2 drum
up all out war. Bsidez drinkn in th same kafé w r both th kcentrik oddballs (21/12. thr r ppl ready 2
prvide a lnguage 4 ny pstion a guvt mght dopt. Whn it dopts it (sually wth th spport of a silent
knsttuency whch kcpts no rspnsblty (1/1. 4 th kmplcity)) they bkum th bnfciaries of havn got in rly) hoo
h& out our stuff x-passn th stablshd struktures. W r autody-dakts! But buv all w prceiv th pssblty of
mpndn KATASTROF. Thgh I c Cons slutions 2 b part of th dzeaz I ffer no slutions @ all. Oyez, I did a
kupl of pleaznt →s tday & had a dip in wtr whch woz srpri-znly mild. 2mrrow Ill put th goggls in th
pack. Mght spnd a few dayz here. 4got 2 mntion I sent a kard 2 Ben hooz gon 2 liv in Burnie (5/1 kant
get nmploymnt bnefts koz hez →← place of ↓ nmploymnt → place of ↑ nmploymnt so hez ← (7/1. ←
this mornn) in Tassie. Saturday 4/12/04. Got up gain in th middl of th nght whn th wind blew up &
changed 140º from th east → sth wstrly. I woz wurried th pop top mghtnt h&l th bufftn. This mornn ftr I
put th pop top up gain ½ duz swallows (Hirundo neoxena) dskuvrd they kood perch ndr its eavs x
holdn on2 th nettn of th zipup wndows. Left → @ O 10.00 & ← @ 2.00. →d east O Peak Point & up 2
whr th long s&y beach of Peak Bay (7/1. c kuvr map @ E/F x 9/10) starts whr I kame † O 60 Cape
Barren geese (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) (c ‘March 11’ p11) mung th roks on th shor. The most
kommn birds → shor wer Black-faced shag (Leucocarbo fusces-cens) wth sum Littl Black
Cormorants (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos), & Crested Terns (Sterna be-rgii) mixd in wth thm. I
woz srprized 2 c quite a few grass prrots on th shor roks & whn I got back I dntfied thm 2 b Rock
Parrots (Neopherna petrophila). Th most kommn bird in th shorline skrub iz th bquitous Singing
Honeyeater (Lichenostomus virescens) & I kan hear 1 now. Ftr th → I drove ← Tumby Bay 4 nuthr
dose of smokd snook (marn8d in brine & kold smokd hence not quite az juicee az th hot smokd fsh I
woz eatn in Nida & Preila in lithol&) washd down wth 2 stubbies of Coopers Spark-ling (1/1. my new
yearz rzlution (3/1. last few yearz itz been th@ my writin iz th priorty) iz 2 kut down on th grog but Iv
just pord mslf a glass of ‘AVENTINUS (Germany’s Original Wheat-Doppelbock, Ale’ @ 8.0%
alc./vol.(7/1. just opnd a ‘James Squire PILSENER’ @ 5%))). Back here I chekd th mobile & woz
srprizd 2 find Iv got rception. Thr woz a mssage ← K8 2 say all th Kabailai r kumn 4 a BBQ (1/1. sh
dun a mgnfcnt job of prprn th food but made x 4 2 much of it & w paid (7/1. w r lwayz payin)) on th
27th dcembr. It kkurs 2 me th@ I spnt 1 hr drivin → & ← Tumby Bay 2 spnd an hour thr ndulgin in th
beer/fsh meal. Its 6.50, rathr kool & Im goin 4 a poke O th roks. L8r Ill hav my last mngo wth a mug of
koffee 4 a nghtkap. Sunday 5/12/04. A bit 2 th sth → th road 2 Port Lincoln thr iz a turnoff → Louth
Bay (5/1. c F x 8/9 on kuvr map). Got torkn 2 a 70 yr old guy hoo uzed 2 own Popiltah Lake st8n in th
ana-branch of the Darling ‫ → ٱ‬east of th Mildura → Broken Hill (4/1. I nklude nuthr (c ‘29/4/04 – 1/5/-
04’ p3-10) xrpt from my faction ‘IN TRANSIT’ bkoz it iz set in this kind of kuntry : “He stood up. He
had almost dozed off but the chill in the air would not let him go to sleep. Through the branches of the
black box trees (eucalyptus largiflorens) he could see slabs of black sky with thousands of brilliant
stars embedded in it. The moon sat low in the west, dawn was only a couple of hours away. In the
distance the coals from what had been a bonfire earlier that night now glowed a deep orange. In front
and almost on top of them, it seemed to him from where he stood, lay a body. It was Shaky, fast as-
leep : he could tell by the snoring. Beyond the coals loomed the dark expanse of lignum, intersected
with innumerable pig trails, which held the channels, swamps and billabongs of the Paroo. In one of
these channels lay two drum nets that had been placed strategically next to submerged logs. Ropes
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from the drums trailed to the shore. They had been set there earlier that night and by morning each
would contain four or five hefty yellowbellies. Beer cans and stubbies gleamed in the moonlight. ¶ Th-
ey had come here earlier after a full day’s preparation in the pub, in two cars and a utility piled high
with decrepit spring mattresses scrounged from abandoned dugouts. Bringing the mattresses was
one of those useless traditions whose origins were lost in antiquity. They were hardly ever used. If for
any reason a mattress was unloaded it was never taken back but left lying on the ground to be swept
away and sometimes deposited high in the fork of a tree by the next flood. It meant that the number
of mattresses in White Cliffs had to be decreasing, but each fishing expedition they were able to find
more. Their other provisions consisted of innumerable rifles which like the mattresses were also larg-
ely decorative, about seven dozen cans and stubbies of beer, the two drum nets and most important
of all, a four gallon drum with a wire handle and a roll of chicken wire several yards long with a strip of
netting along each edge. The chicken wire, an invention of Old Jock, was for catching the yabbies.
Two men could lower it into a couple of feet of water. The yabbies would come to feed on the pieces
of meat tied to it with string. Ten minutes later the netting along the sides would be raised by strings
and the whole contraption gently lifted out of the water with a pile of yabbies stranded on the wire.
Only a few scoops were needed to get as many yabbies as could be boiled at one time in a four gall-
on tin. The empty tin now stood at Shaky’s feet. All around among the cans and stubbies the ground
was littered with the remains of yabbies. ¶ They didn’t bring any beverage other than beer, nor did
they bring food, not even a loaf of bread. They did not bring pots, pans, dishes or cups. The cooked
yabbies would be strained through the chicken wire and eaten off a piece of tin that they had found
on the spot. They did not have an axe or a saw. Consequently, they had to spend a long time
scrounging about in the dark for odd pieces of wood. They had brought no blankets though on the
floor of the ute, under the mattresses, there were several old coats covered in dirt and sump oil. They
didn’t bring so-ap, towels and none of them even owned a toothbrush. ¶ Jim felt cold. A sense of
privacy prevented him from laying down near the coals as Shaky was already there. Perhaps the
others felt the same. Freddy was sleeping rolled up on the ground like a dog. His favourite dog,
Missy, was facing the other way with her back touching his. Nearby propped up against a tree trunk
Old Jock slept sitting upright, his head tilted back in a convenient hollow, illuminated by the stars and
the setting moon. The others were nowhere to be seen. Old Jock and Freddy were wearing only a
shirt. Shaky was sleeping in his singlet and still would have even if he hadn’t been by the fire. Jim
could not sleep when he was cold and he could not sleep on the ground except in daytime. Jail had
spoilt him. ¶ He strolled up the bank to where the cars were parked on the edge of a saltbush plain.
He pulled out a woollen coat from un-der the mattresses, untangled it, hit it against the back of the
ute a few times, and put it on. He lifted a mattress off the ute and proceeded to carry it balanced on
his head to where he could see several bimble box shining among the saltbush. He preferred to sleep
away from water anyway. He loved the way the leaves of the bimble box (eucalytptus populnea)
glowed in the starlight. It made him feel that he was protected in his sleep by guardian angels. ¶
Several hours later still in his sleep he heard a flock of galahs fly past. Galahs sometimes start
moving before sunrise. Later on Missy came nosey-ing around his mattress and he could hear talking
by the river. But he felt like a king on a sumptuous couch and would not get up till forced to by the first
flies crawling on his face. When he did get up he saw Steve rummaging in one of the cars. Down the
bank Shaky had already cleaned the fish which were lying in a row on the sheet of tin they had used
overnight for the yabbies. Only Old Jock still slept propped up against a trunk. ¶ Old Jock was a
mystery to Jim. He had never heard him say any-thing except ‘yes’ or ‘yep, yep, yep’, ‘g’day’ and
‘very good day’. At the pub he would stand slightly to the edge of a group drinking very little and say
nothing at all, occasionally nodding his head as if in agreement. He had thought that Jock might be
slow witted yet Freddy claimed that he could speak as well as any man. Later Jim discovered that
Jock had one of the tidiest dugouts around with floors that he kept swept and some real kitchen
furniture. He was also a manufacturer of drum nets and inventor of yabbying equipment. He was
reputed to be almost eighty years old. ¶ Steve came down the bank with a dozen cans which he must
have had hidden in the car and handed them out. Shaky reminded him to put a couple aside for Old
6
Jock. The sun was getting a bit of warmth in it and the flies were be-coming more active. Freddy, can
in hand, strolled over to where Old Jock still slept against his tree. He came back immediately with a
bemused expression on his face and said in a low voice : “He’s dead, you know.” ¶ Freddy had to be
right. He’d seen dead men before, in the war, when he was figh-ting for the Third Reich. They all
walked over to where Jock sat in death under a box tree. The sun was shining full on his face. His
mouth was open and flies were exploring the inside of his lip. His teeth were his own. ¶ writing an
obituary / requires some talent / not everyone / has suffiecient rapport with the dead / to be a
professional / obituary writer / requires talent indeed / to be rea-lly good / one must be
practically dead oneself // the only one / who can write an adequate ob-ituary / for a dead
obituary writer / is the owner of the funeral parlour / who having previously employed / the
writer in a professional capacity / also sold him a life insurance policy / which though it kept
him poor / just covered the cost of his burial ” ) rd. W torkd 4 well ovr an hour. Th foto of me &
Joe & K8 ndr a wilga tree on the wall in th ktchn @ Ivanhoe woz taken on hiz prprty nxt 2 th boundry
fence wth Popio st8n whch bordrz it 2 th north. Its near a spot whch uzed 2 b a favrit kam-pn ‫ ٱ‬of
mine & sumtimez I uzed 2 leav a koin in a promnnt place on a log & if it woz thr whn Id rturn a year or
so l8r Id know no1 had bn in th meantime. Therz lso a foto of K8 holdn a kupl of rabbts Id shot thr.
Th@ woz on a trip with HOaLnLdIyS. He must hav takn th foto of us ndr th tree. Iv bn thr wth u 2 &
wev →d long th edge of th dry lake (7/1. H sez sh kant rmmbr). He may hav bn th ownr whn w did it.
Hez left bkoz hez had a fall out wth th rest of th famly & now livz in Louth on th nkum from hiz nvst-
mnts. Rginly hez ← th Eyre Pnnsula but he woz so badly ffektd by th pestcides uzed here in grkulture
(th gO iz workd nly th 1ce 4 th sowin, th nsekt & plant pests bein killd x sprayn chemkls from th air.
Whn I woz in lithol& & sor th@ th growth on th nghbrn prpty 2 th Birds had bn poisnd I had told very1 I
had nevr heard of it bein dun in oz but itz st&rd praktis here) he startd bleedn from th mouth & ars &
hiz doktr sed he woodnt last nuthr 10 yrs if he stayd. He bght Popiltah Lakes & ndd up growin grain
krops in th lake beds – but rgnikly. He haz a dog th@ haz bn wth him very single day since th day it
woz born ovr 12 yrs go. He haz dun ovr 2 million miles all O oz dlivern th grainz they grew & th dog
woz wth him on very trip. Now he travls in 1 of thoz huge smptiously ppointd kravans whch I sor parkd
in frunt of hiz place. He woz telln me O hiz dvnturez on a trip he did in th US & alska. W knew vrious
ppl in kommn nkludin old Crozier on Cuthero st8n O (6/1. I m nkludin nuthr psode from IN TRANSIT
(writ long ago O evnts whch took place @ th dawn of hstry) of 1 of Jim Browns (I, Jim & Mallacoota
Man (aka MM) r @ th very least triplets) msdvnturez bkoz I think it took place not far from here :
“Dear readers, moral bigots of Melbourne, media freaks, products of a culture where representation
has re-placed reality, where druggies lick cane toads, where beef cattle are fed on chicken shit –
don’t worry, be happy! And forgive Jim : he was only obeying an age old biological imperative
encoded in his gen-es. Life must be lived extravagantly; we mightn’t get another go at it.¶ My candle
burns at both ends / it will not last the night / but oh, my enemies and ah, my friends / it makes
a lovely light // (Edna St Vincent Millay) ¶ For my part I am not prepared to point the finger at him.
Though a snag myself (sensitive new age gent) and an expert in prenuptial divorce I freely admit to a
variety of short-comings. I am afraid of the real world out there : that’s why I spend so much time
trying to return to the womb. My defacto reckons I’ve been raping her for ten years. When I was a kid
I stole panties off clothes lines. The other day when doubts were raised in the press about the
authenticity of Phar La-p’s heart, I got drunk. In all humility I cannot point the finger of moral censure
at Jim Brown. The world needs all kinds. There is an equilibrium between Jim and me. I intend to
donate my brain to science, Jim may well donate his dick and balls. Who can judge which will be of
greater benefit to research? Ignoring the sheep Jim gets into the wog tank and heads up the road. ¶
Half an hour later at the Ana-branch of the Darling river he stops again. No, you’re wrong : he doesn’t
stop for another leak. He stops because the sun is about to sink beyond the horizon; he is
overwhelmed by the beauty of the moment. There is a sensitive side to him which I haven’t
highlighted because he himself rarely puts it on display. In the flat country every sunset is a definite
event. On this evening it indicates that the kin-gdom of clarity and light is about to be overcome by
the velvet mystery of shadows. And now that the sun has sunk below the earth the western sky glows
7
a fiery red while the eastern rim prepares for night with a deep mauve. Meanwhile throughout the
outback thousands of tourists with the spiritual development of vegies roar along the asphalt with
thoughts only of the motels, or campsites, or pubs that they are booked into for the night. ¶ You’re
half right : though its not why he stopped Jim does have a leak. Then instead of dropping the empty
stubby at his feet where it would trash up the road-side he throws it out of sight behind a bluebush.
He decides to spend the night here on the Ana-bra-nch. From the bridge he can see in the twilight a
track heading off across the saltbush running roug-hly parallel to the river which is outlined by the
huge River Redgums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis, sub-species obtusa) that line its course across the
plain. Every now and then he can see larger areas of forest spreading out into the plain away from
the main channel. These are areas of Black Box (Euca-lyptus largiflorens) which dominate the flood
prone depressions between the Redgums along the riv-er’s edge and the saltbush on the dry plain. ¶
There are innumerable side-tracks as Jim soon disco-vers leading from the main track to the river’s
edge. Generations of swagmen and drifters have cam-ped in every bend of the Darling all the way
from here to Bourke. Jim finds a spot underneath a huge corkscrewed Redgum limb that runs parallel
to the ground just above head high for fifteen yards. He parks his car directly underneath as was his
habit in this kind of country. There is a perverse side to Jim too. He is lucky to have found this spot
before total darkness as his headlights aren’t working. That was the more practical reason why he
decided to spend the night here instead of going on to the Hill. Later he sits on the branch drinking.
Sometimes he stands up stubby in hand and walks to the end of the branch as if it were natural for
men to stroll in trees. A flock of corellas have gathered for their nightly roost in a dead tree on the
opposite bank. Their bickering and screeching will keep Jim company till well into the night. ¶ God
puts right at night the mess that people make during the day. I would like to describe that night to you
– but how can I? Is there the faintest possibility that the good matrons of Melbourne, fans of radio
talkback and daytime television, could be made to understand how the cackling of the corellas
resonated in Jim’s soul? Would their daughters, aspiring bimbos, stop their twittering long enough for
me to explain how brilliantly the stars sparkled in a desert sky as black as charcoal? Would their sons
stop ogling girlie magazines and porno videos long enough to allow me to describe how the glowing
branches of the Redgums reached towards the sky as if in prayer? Would their husbands, spectator
sportsmen and windbags, have the slightest inclination to hear how silent the night was after the
corellas settled their arguments? I think you will agree that the task is im-possible. ¶ why was Christ
/ tempted in the desert / amongst the tiny gibber stones / smooth edged / but many many right
/ to the horizon / where the night is black / pierced with white angels / to look after you / to
look after you ¶ Jim climbed down from the tree for the final time and settled his back snuggly into a
hollow in the trunk. His meditative mood was interrupted by a black dog that materialized out of the
night. It was a friendly dog and Jim thought he could detect a smile on its dusky face. He wondered
where the dog had come from. Could there be a station nearby? The dog nudged Jim’s hand with its
nose to force him to pat it. It had been a long day for Jim. As he doz-ed off the dog snuggled beside
him like an old friend. ¶ Later he was woken up by the dog screwing his leg. It was sometime before
Jim was able to fully comprehend what was happening. For awhile he sat in the dark staring at it like
a stunned mullet. It was screwing his leg alright. He tried to shake it off but this merely had the effect
of making it redouble its efforts. He whacked it across the nose with his hand to no effect. Only a full
blooded kick in the gut with the other foot made the black mongrel jump up yelping and then settle
down next to him as before. However no sooner did he start dozing off than the dog was at it again.
And then still again later on. It was getting on Jim’s nerves. I am not for a mo-ment suggesting that he
was a prude. Like Wagner’s Siegfried Jim had learnt about sex by observing nature and in fact had a
preference for doing it dog fashion. Friends had pointd out to him that the mi-ssionary position was
more civilized, more appropriate for humans. The problem was that whenever Jim did It that way the
dog would always try to lick his face. So he had reverted to his preferred pos-ition. I repeat Jim was
no prude. But to be raped by an unknown black dog in the middle of the night was a different matter.
¶ An old confucian proverb says ‘he who lie with dog get up with flea’. I am inclined to agree. Not that
it deterred the pioneers, nor for that matter the drovers, ringers, rousabouts and station-hands of our
8
own time. Ask Freddy Tree if you don’t believe me. I tell this for the benefit of the Japanese tourist
should he ever venture into the more inbred areas of our remote outback. Take care! Should you buy
a drink in a pub in Pooncarie or in Boooligal, of Banjo Patterson fame, and find that a bandy legged
bush type, wearing an akubra, is having a drink next to you – take care. Look down, and if you find
that his dog is quietly screwing his R.M. Williams you know what it means. If that bandy legged bushy
then saunters out the bar door up to the nearest car parked out the front and pisses on the hub cap
you know that he is beyond help. Every culture has its secrets : there are a lot of ankle screwing dogs
in outback Australia. I’ll tell you something else. There are experiences, cert-ain practices, which can
age a man overnight. Look carefully at that sunburnt rigner nonchalantly leaning on the bar, glass in
hand, next to you. Look at his creased weather-beaten face. Try to guess his age. How old do you
reckon? 50? 65? I tell you, innocent nip, it may be that he is only twenty five years old; it may be that
he has licked a dog’s arse. ¶ Not that you can blame the poor blighters. There’s a chronic shortage
of fluff in the outback. A man’s instincts have to be satisfied. A mate of mine tells me that a fifty year
old woman’s arse is tighter than a sixteen year old virgin’s fanny. I woul-dn’t know, I’m in no position
to challenge expert opinion. But if he’s right then why not dog? The disc-overy of arse, or ass if you’re
American, is the hidden sexual revolution of the 80s. Have a look at the pics in the magazines next
time you’re in a newsagent. Full frontals are out. The rear perspective is the only angle that titillates
the modern perve. Don’t rush off to get the pope : its not the fault of the queers. It’s got more to do
with man’s search for new challenges, new turf to plough, new erogenous zones. We wouldn’t have
got to where we are if it wasn’t for our restless creative imagination. The humble bushman and his
dog are only a microcosm of the broader thrust of history. Though a reneg-ade Greek of Armenian
descent, as a patriotic Australian, I believe that we have a leading role to play in the sexual
revolution. It cannot be only coincidence that this brown land is the sole natural habitat of the unique
class of animals known as the monotremes whose name, as latinists among you will know, refers to
its members having only one aperture for both the sexual and anal functions. ¶ Cher-ished reader, I
hope a serious discussion of the mores of society doesn’t offend you no matter how boring your own
sexual practices. It may comfort you to know that huge slabs of this section fell victim to the merciless
strokes of my defacto’s double strength black texta marker. When I rewrote it there were other parts
that the typist wouldn’t touch (bless her!). The result is that a major thesis on bush practices has
shrunk to a few pages. That’s the kind of treatment us unrecognized authors learn to live with. ¶ The
truth is our society suffers from an illness in the way it treats those whose sexual lives are deprived.
Whereas it constantly stimulates the male sexual fancy it does nothing to help the guys whose sex
lives are lousy. And there’s plenty of them. There are old guys whose wives have died or left them
and who are out of practice at scoring. There are shy blokes who’ve never been able to get a bit of
brush. There are paraplegics, sick people, retarded people and guys who are mentally ill. The-re are
young kids who are stuck at home with Greek parents. There are guys with pimples and ugly guys.
There are guys whose girlfriends are fat and husbands whose wives are ugly. There are perfec-tly
ordinary people whose sex lives are lousy for no good reason at all. When you put them all togeth-er
you’re talking about half the people in the country. Our society is very unfair to the have-nots. They
would be better off in a muslim society or in China where sex is kept in private. When those deprived
guys start doing weird things in sex don’t point the finger at them. The fault is in the whole society.
Point the finger at yourself – your’re to blame. ¶ What about Jim Brown when he was in prison?
What sort of sex life was he supposed to have? ¶ Which reminds me, Jim Brown is being screwed
under the Redgum by the black dog. In spite of wasted years in jail he was not inexperienced. He’d
done it like a goanna up a tree, he had done it like a bandicoot, as you know he had done it dog
fashion. But he was not prepared to do it with a dog especially not with a strange dog. ¶ Mallacoota
Man, by the way, had done it like a fish and with a fish, and he’d done it like a coral polyp too. But
let’s concent-rate on Jim. ¶ Tired as he was he could see that the dog wasn’t going to give up. He
couldn’t keep it away by throwing empty stubbies at it. There was nothing for it except to go for a
walk. Each time he stopped the dog would clasp its front legs aroung his calf and immediately get
back to work. It made him wonder about its owner. Finally he couldn’t take it anymore. When it came
9
for him one more time he let go with a mighty kick that caught it fair and square in the testicles. As it
raced off into the salt-bush he could hear its yelping receding into the night for quite awhile. ¶ Jim
looked up. Oh Lord, how huge that dome was! He had been so preoccupied with the dog he had
barely registered it. Back by the car he had been cloistered from it by the limbs of the gums and the
alcoholic numbness that had descended over his mind. Even so patches of sky had intruded through
the branches like another re-ality. He turned round and round in amazement. Though there was no
moon the stars threw enough light to make the saltbush glow blue. The milky way stretched from
horizon to horizon like a halo. He could see the pan handle, the andromeda galaxy, the southern
cross. He could see infinity. He shive-red because he was tiny. The sky was beyond comprehension.
It made him wonder about god. Not that he was in the least religious, not our Jim. Yet now he
succumbed to the deepest thoughts. Could it be that we were only figments of god’s imagination?
And could it be that our ancestors are figments of our imagination? Is the past an illusion,is history an
invention? ¶ You have to admit that history is more an expression of contemporary fashion than it is
a description of a former reality. Take the story of hydatids, the malignant microbe that ravaged the
brains of shepherds in western Victoria before finally killing them. While the inventors of the stump-
jump plough, the cardboard wine-cask and the orbital engine have become household names, who
knows the name of the discoverer of hydatids? For it was an Australian doctor who discovered this
fatal disease. I put it to you that the simple coun-try G.P. with a practice centering on Minyip in the
mallee is more deserving of star billing in the hall of fame. What a tremendous leap of imagination it
must have taken to make the connection of sheep to dog to man. The only evidence he had to go on
was that several of his elderly alcoholic patients, for-mer drovers and shearers, had complained of
unusual headaches and blurred vision shortly before dying. More than a year later after a slack day in
the surgery as he leans against the main bar of the Criterion, the only hotel in Minyip, and is about to
raise a pot of beer to his lips he overhears a chance ribald remark made by one bushman to another
about the way his dog walks. Most doctors, if they were drinkers, would have their glass of wine or
spirits back at the surgery after the last patient had gone home. But out doctor happened to be a man
of the people and I might add, a labor voter all his life. He made a point of drinking with the locals
every Friday night. He would only have a couple of glasses as he was on call overnight, and Friday
and Saturday were the two nights he was most likely to be got up. One of the bushmen slaps his
thigh with his hand as a signal to the dog who has been sitting obediently against the wall behind the
legs of other drinkers. The dog walks up to its owner and sits down next to his foot. The doctor
notices that the dog does indeed have a somewhat uncomfort-able waddling gait. He puts the glass
back on the bar and knits his brows in thought. He recalls that two of the patients that had
complained of blurred vision had come to the surgery accompanied by their dogs. He tries to
remember if they had a strange waddling walk. Over the next months as he does his rounds of
mallee properties he keeps a careful eye on the dogs. He notices that some of them walk in an
unusual manner as if constipated. One day a station owner calls the good doctor to attend an old
charcoal burner who had been found dead in his camp on a remote corner of the pro-perty. For the
doctor this was a routine assignment merely requiring him to put a signature on a death certificate. As
the owner brings his T-model Ford to a stop in front of the dead man’s humpy, they are surrounded by
dogs. The doctor notices that they all look constipated. ¶ This is a somewhat embroid-ered account of
the truth. The rest of the story is only of interest to medical students. The doctor signs the death
certificate attributing the death to natural causes. However as the charcoal burner is not known to
have any relatives he has the body sent to the morgue in Jeparit (birthplace of Sir Robert Menzies)
where a thorough autopsy is carried out. A large cyst is found in the brain. It is identical to cysts
found in the brains of sheep and rabbits. It is the hydatid cyst. The part played by dogs in the chain
took some years to establish beyond doubt. The hydatid larva goes through several benign nymphal
stages. Once a dog has ingested one of these stages by eating sheep offal or infected rab-bits it can
then pass the disease on to men. Enough said. In the same way that AIDS can be used to esitmate
the number of woofters and druggies in the big city the incidence of hydatids in outback co-mmunities
can be used as a measure of the prevalence of certain bush practices to which I shall make no
10
further reference in case I incriminate myself. Lately I hear that drovers from Hay to Booligal have
started coming down with AIDS too. I wonder what it means? ¶ The point is that a brilliant med-ical
breakthrough with a genuine humanitarian benefit has remained unsung simply because aspects of
the story ran counter to the prevailing moral sensitivities of that generation of historians. ¶ History is
the handmaiden of fashion Jim thought nodding his head and was about to head back to his car
when he realized he didn’t know which way he was facing. While engrossed in philosophical consid-
erations he had turned around at least several times. The plain stretched away evenly under the star-
light as far as he could see. The road went straight in both directions without a distinguishing feature.
He looked hard into the distance to see if he could discern any hint of the trees that would indicate
the river. But he couldn’t. He had been so distracted by the dog that he had no idea of how long he
had been walking either. Above him hung the immense bowl of the night sky. The stars glittered. ¶
The bedouin and the nomadic tribes of our own desert knew the sky so intimately that provided it was
clear they could fix their direction without conscious effort. I myself in Jim’s predicament would have
had to prolong the axis of the southern cross with a hand motion and with another hand motion draw
a straight linge in the sky which bisected at right angles the line that joins the two pointers, which are
just near the southern cross. From the point where the two lines drawn in the sky meet I would drop
another line down to the horizon. As you know that would tell me where true south was. Once I had
that definite reference point I could have worked out which direction led back to the river. Unfortun-
ately Jim was not familiar either with the sky or the bushcraft manual. ¶ I’m telling this as I heard it
word of mouth from Jim himself though whether it was at a pub in Booligal or Patchiwollock or Tilpa
or Balmain (birthplace of Neville Wran) I can’t truly say as I was pissed at the lot of them. For my part
I told him several versions of the Mallacoota Man story which he then proceeded to spread all around
the country with many additions claiming to have personal knowledge of the man. These accounts all
of which are bullshit have been collected by an astute oral historian working out of Sydney and are
available on cassette at the Macquarie Library under the title : Apocryphal Mallacoota Man. ¶ They
tend to deny what we have come to accept as essential features of the hermit’s story. For instance
some of them deny the existence of the whale or that M.M. made eye contact with it or that he admin-
istered the last rites. None of them mention the dolphin and there is a tendency to downplay or to fail
to mention the gloomy conversation with the crows. Others deny the existence of the hoons, the
sack, or even the sock which still hangs on display at the Mallacoota Tourist Museum. One of them
even denies that it was M.M. who invented the multiple male orgasm. Another claims he was born in
the normal human manner. There is a version according to which no charred body was found in the
forest disregarding the evidence of newspaper accounts and police files. Some dispute that the
hermit ever made the trip up the beach and one goes so far as to deny he existed. The story of him
pulverizing the hoon to death with an unopened stubby is airily dismissed as implausible as is the
account of him starting a bushfire by rubbing together two possums. You will notice that if we are to
construct a new version of the story from the apocrypha what we end up with is a negative of the
original. So it is that history distorts and then destroys truth. The curious thing is that if the negative
accounts are treated as exact opposites we can use them to reconstruct the original. Even more
strange I find is that the original arrived at by such means is closer to the truth than any of the
accounts I gave you, which so-me historians have always claimed may themselves be the
expressions or even reversals of more ancient archtypal myths. An eminent Japanese philosopher
contends that the most ancient of these predate the human species as a kind of code or direction
embedded in the fabric of matter for the future evolution of the human race. I see no evidence of it. ¶
Meanwhile Jim was fast sobering up. He studied the sky intently and took off towards a distinctive
constellation that hung twenty degrees above the track. He had no way of judging time and it could
have been half an hour or a full hour be-fore he decided to turn around. Sometime later he was
stopped short by the curious idea that he coul-dn’t remember whether he had really turned around or
only thought that he should turn around. His first instinct was to look for footprints but then he
remembered the constellation above the track. At this point he realized that he could have turned
himself around a second time while looking for the footprints so that now there was no way of telling
11
whether he had turned about before. He headed off again with the constellation behind him. He felt
uneasy and quickened his stride. Presently it occurred to him that if he was really heading towards
the river he should sooner or later find his own and the dog’s prints going in the opposite direction.
He studied the ground carefully and a couple of times got down on his hands and knees for a closer
inspection but the ground was too hard to leave prints. He was annoyed with himself for not having
left a marker in the middle of the track where he had parted company with the dog. He should have
spread bluebush branches across the road. As he was cast-igating himself for his failure he noticed
that the distinctive constellation he had been using as a guide appeared to have shifted sideways in
relation to the track; or had the track veered without him noti-cing? For that matter wasn’t the
constellation supposed to be behind him? Then it occurred to him that what might have happened
was that the first time he really did turn around and the second time he had only thought to walk in
the opposite direction but had actually continued on in the same and only now noticed the mistake.
He had to concentrate. He was properly rattled and as sober as a jud-ge. He shivered : not because
he was small and the sky was huge but because it was getting cold. ¶ It was obvious that not only
did he not know which direction he was walking in but his time sense had deserted him. Had he
kicked the dog an hour ago or three hours ago? When he came to a fork in the track there was
nothing for it but to keep on walking. He took the right fork though he could equally have taken the left
one. It goes without saying that he had not noticed any other tracks earlier in the night. The river had
to be in the other direction after all. He might have to go back. So it was a relief to see a line of large
trees loom up ahead. But something was wrong : he ran his hand along a trunk, the bark was rough.
They were the wrong kind of trees. They were black box not river redgums as he would later learn.
Nevertheless he would go on. He felt more secure underneath their branches than on the open plain.
Presently the sky began to turn grey and he discerned a hint of a glow between the trunks. It was
almost dawn when he walked on to the asphalt of what had to be the highway to Brok-en Hill. He
stamped his feet on the hard surface in relief. He was hungry but felt better. He trotted up the road to
warm up then stopped to think. The horizon to the right was glowing a bright orange : the sun was
about to rise. He headed north. Soon he was standing on the bridge that crosses the Ana-branch in
the exact spot from which he had contemplated the sunset the previous evening. ¶ Jim’s most
pressing concern was to find his car because he was getting extremely hungry and would make it to
the Hill quicker by driving than by walking. But first he had to have a leak. The relief of discover-ing
his whereabouts is about to release a stream too long pent up. Once again dear readers, tweedle
dums and tweedle dees of Melbourne, I present to you Jim Brown taking out a prick capable of mak-
ing a football player squirm with penis envy and releasing a stream worthy of a draught horse onto
the parched gravels by the highway to Broken Hill. Words are unroadworthy vehicles in the search for
truth but I ask you, condom testers of Victoria, to bear with me for indulging now and then in a little
purple prose. ¶ Jim wasted no time in retracing the track he had taken the previous evening to the
grove of giant redgums by the bank of the lagoon. The new sun was quickly making its way into the
boughs and flocks of corellas were heading off towards their feeding grounds in the plains. The huge
tree with the horizontal branch was there as before. Stubbies and cans new and old were scattered
about underneath as indeed they were all the way to Bourke and further. But there was no car; there
were no tyre marks. Jim raced frantically along the bank to other groups of river gums with huge hor-
izontal branches. He climbed up some and walked along them to test if they felt the same as the one
he had promenaded on the previous night. He found more stubbies and more cans but nary a trace
of the wog tank. He followed the bank back to the bridge with the same result. He repeated the entire
process twice again before finally accepting defeat. The wog tank was gone. As he trudged back to
the highway he was overcome by a sense of the supernatural. He crossed the bridge and continued
on. Broken Hill lay two hundred kilometres up the road. Perhaps he had walked this far. Perhaps the
wog tank was only a figment of his imagination. Perhaps he had always been walking. Perhaps ever-
ything was a figment of his imagination. He turned around when he heard a sound approaching. It
was a car heading his way. ¶ standing by the road / waiting for a lift / square shoulders / yellow
shirt / covered in red outback dust / tough / I wanted to be a lair / so I picked / a blue flower /
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lair-flower / for my button-hole / but it broke apart / and fell to the ground ¶ What are the really
significant moments in a nation’s history, assuming that there is such a thing as history and it’s not
just made up by newspapers and historians? Surely the most important events are the ones that gen-
erate the myths which inspire us and by which we live. By such a measure the day, or the time, or
more precisely the point in time, or more generally but eruditely the time frame, or for the crass uned-
ucated simply the ‘then’; the moment when the car pulled up that gave Jim a lift was such an event in
the history of the Australian people for it gave rise to one of the most enduring myths in bush lore.”)
hoom I wrote in 1 of my pieces last yr (c ‘October 27’ p20). Hiz main fear iz he mght die b4 hiz dog az
he thinks th dog woodnt know how 2 liv wth sum1 els. They evn eat th same food 2gthr. I sed hed
outliv th dog but he sed he woodnt want th@ eithr & wood rathr go @ th same time thgh he knew it
woz llegl (ktually it iznt (5/1. heLaOtWhEer told me 2day sh iz a mmbr of th thnazia sciety. Sh lso sed
sum of my stuff gets red in White Cliffs koz sh sends it)). He sez he wants thm 2 b buried 2gthr. A bit 2
th sth @ th nxt koast kcess out of Poonindie I got torkn 2 a kupl hoo wer leadn horsez wth very nus-
ual saddlz. It turns out they wer ‘western’ saddlz they had bght in merika 4 $4000 (then they paid GS-
T in oz) each. Th saddlz hav a lifetime grantee & @ th price so they shld. In Port Lincoln I read th ppr
ovr a bad koffee, bght 2 mngos & 2 vkados, got a piece of fsh & 2 skolps, 2 stubbies & → Lincoln Na-
tional Park whch iz th most sthrly part of th Eyre pnnnsla. I broke a longst&n rule of mine & put a $6.-
50 fee ↓ slot @ th park ntry – th@s 4 1 day but Ill b here longr. Th spot Im @ iz kalld Spalding kove &
itz 18ks ← th g8. Only 1 of th uthr sites iz kkupied & thr r mor sites on th uthr side of a small headl&
whr I kan hav kmplet privcy if I want. Im in mobile fone range so 2nght I kan O H. 6 hrs or so of →n
ystrdy gave m th 1st good nghts sleep Iv had. Im O 2 eat 1 of th mngos & go 4 a stroll. Monday 6/12/-
04. Took th mobile on th → ystrdy evnn & rang H. It woz a $12 kall. Sh spnt a good deal of s@dy →n
O th city. Dan iz paintn th ceiln of hiz bdrm & x th time Im back K8 will hav shiftd out, a hard rubbsh
kllktion will hav bn dun & th back bdrms of th Ivanhoe haus b back in ordr. I told her how very day Im
gnizin ovr th ssue of whthr Im 2 kntinue writin now I no longr feel th kmpulsion 2. I dont know if Ill b
puttn nymor pieces out & my journl ntries r prfunktry (7/1. I feel mpty, out of a job. Whatl I do?). Ftr I
← th walk th uthr party in th kamp wer playn muzak so I shftd east → Myoporum Flat whr I woz x me-
slf. I went 2 bed kkmpnied x th very prsistnt oom oom oom of th Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalc-
optera) & got up this mornn 2 th same kall. Drove ← 2 Surfleet kove 4 brkfst koz I wantd 2 hav th vie-
w ovr th c az I woz eatn. Watchd 2 pair of Port Lincoln prrots (Barnardius zonarius) squabbln ovr a
nstn hllow. They nip each uthr so hard th@ a kloud of feathrz fliez each time. →d eastwdz takin in th
Matthew Flinders monmnt on top of Stamford Hill whch woz an mprtnt survey point 4 him. He lost 8 of
hiz krew in th ‫ @ & ٱ‬th sthrn nd of th park thr iz a CAPE CATASTROPHE (5/1. c kuvr map @ J/K x 9).
Kame ← shor bside wtr of xptionl klarty On granit & limestone headl&s. Left @ 9.40 & woz ← @ th
van @ 3.15. Ftr t →d th uthr way → Spalding kove & hav now shiftd th van here 2 b x mslf gain. Th
muzkal group had bn rplaced x a queensl& kupl wth a huge br& new kravan wth TV aerial & wth biOs
ttachd 2 thr 4x4. I kan do wthout thr kumpny. Th sgn on th 1k trak → here from th main rd sez “reco-
mmended 4 wheel drive” but its OK thgh I dont know what happns 2 it whn its wet. Sually traks in li-
mestone kuntry rnt a prblm ftr rain. This iz xlntly protktd from th sthrly wind whch iz very strong 2day.
Last nght thr wer a kupl of heavy showrs & a huge lghtnn storm. Im sittn writin on th bak bumpr ndr th
tail g8 backd rght on2 th edge of th s& lookn out @ a duz or so black swans (Cygnus atratus) in wtr
whch gains dpth nly very grdually. I kan c a motr launch in th dstance. They r probly kollktn skallops &
razr fsh both of whch like protktd inlts whr th wtr iz sually still. Lokls kolkt huge quanties of thez shllfsh
bkoz they r so eezee 2 find & probly drive thr kolstrol level sky↑. Itz srprizinly kool & goin 2 stay like
th@ till th nd of th week kkordn 2 th radio whch sez an nseaznl low prssure systm iz ntnsfyin ovr wes-
trn NSW. I had 2 pack th rain shell on → this mornn whch meant I ddnt hav room 2 nklude th snorkl &
goggls whch I mght hav uzed in a few spots if Id had em. 8.00pm & time 4 a koffee. Tuesday 7/12/-
04. I woz @kd x a pair of pcifk gulls this mornn. Thr nst must hav bn klose x but I koodnt find it. They
swoop down from bhind very klose 2 yor head & skwark threatnnly. I held a branch buv me head in
kase 1 tried 2 pek me. L8r I drove O th nrthrly tip of the park chekn out points kcessbl x kar but very
time I got out Id b hit x a rainy skwall. Its blowin a gale rght now @ Fishermans Point whr Im parkd 4
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th nght x mslf. Thr iz a toilt here. Got soakd →n 2 Carcase Rock on th eastrn side of Cape Donington
but then th sun kame out & dried me out az I ←. L8r gain ftr a feed I did a set 11k → from here kalld
Fishermans Loop. I think youd like thez →s honey az theyr fl@ & u kan lwayz kum out @ good spots
on th koast 4 a dip shld it b hot az I magine it sually iz in summr. Hard 2 magine summr th way it iz @
th momnt. I m in mung low twistd gums whch woodnt giv much shade but r givn me sum prtktion from
th gale. Its nly 7.10pm & thr iz still 2+ hrs of daylght but I dont know if Ill do nuthr → az I wood normlly
though th shorline iz very beautful. I dont want 2 get my gear wet wthout a chance of dryn it b4 bedt-
ime. Im bein kept ndr surveillnce x a blue wren (Malurus cyaneus) sittn top a low bush nxt 2 me. Its
quite nice sittn on th bumpr in th lea of th van ndr th tailg8 watchn th branchs bein tossd O x th wind &
th klouds skudn x. Kant b bothrd readn – specially not O buddhizm so Ill opn a tin of ‘Seafood Snacks
(28/12. buddhst r not llowed 2 b butchrs or fshmngrs) (in tomato & basil sauce)’ nstead. Ncidntlly Port
Lincoln iz @ th same l@tude az Adelaide. Its prbbly windier & drier here but. Wednesday 8/12/04.
Rang H. Therz 32mls in th rain gage. Dans lmost fnishd paintn th room. He took a break 2day az he
woz doin a karstn. Pparntly hez goin 2 Milan in janry (28/12. put off till aprl) 4 a fashn show & hez
wantd 4 a TV kmrcial @ th same time here. K8 sez shz shiftn out on th weeknd. I sed Id b home on
fridy 4 our sual nght out. I m in Port Germein havn dcided → home ftr hearn on th radio this rvo th@
th low whch haz bn th korz of th lmost gale-4ce winds iz prdktd 2 b ovr th Eyre pnnsla x th weeknd &
then nuthr low iz kummn in ← th west. 4 me th pnnsla iz O beachz & theez rnt th wthr kndtions 4 thm.
I heard th 4kast @ O 1.00 whn I woz lyin down 4 a siesta ftr a snak. In th mornn I →d sth from Fishe-
rmans Point. In Port Lincoln I bght a piece of frsh fl@head from th shop on th main wtrfrunt strip & it
woz dlcious. Then I read th ppr in a kafé whr a dubl shot mug of latté kost $3.20. Then I drove → Tu-
mby Bay whr I bght a smokd snook & 2 stubbies of Coopers 4 wht I now think of az th klassk meal
litho style. I 8 it sittn in th van wth th slidin door opn facin out of th wind on th splanade ndr a norfolk
pine. O 20 cgulls & 1 pcifk (2/1. whn I woz jung they uzed 2 b komn on Melbourne beechz) gull klea-
nd up wht woz left ovr. Ktually th pcifk gull took mor than th kmbined cgulls az it woz much mor grssv,
iz O x3 bigr, & haz a wikd hook on th nd of its beak whch th uthr gulls make sure not 2 get 2 near 2.
Its a beautful bird but. I had ntndd 2 spend th nght in th Tumby Bay ‫ ٱ‬but since Im neithr readn nor
writin sriously thr wuz 0 els 4 me 2 do thr in th wthr kndtions so I dcided → here. Thgh I rekn my writin
daze r ovr I want 2 komnt on th buddhist klaim th@ th tangibl O iz an llusion. Th word llusion prspp-
ozes a tangibl O az th reazn w 4ge th word iz 2 make a dstnktion btween solid bjekts & mit8ns
whch mght b knfuzed wth em eg. mrages, rflktions etc etc. 2 say th@ th tangibl O iz an llusion
iz 2 deny th O of bjekts wth a word hooz 4m8ion prsppozez their xistance. Its a nonsens 2 do it
yet th klaim iz 1 of th main found8ions of all buddhst metafyzkl systms. Its this kind of msuse of lngu-
age whch makes rlgion (29/12. esp th@ of th thlogians), krstian or uthrwize, nkomprhnsbl 2 me. Witt-
genstein sez rlgious lnguage iz uzed dffrntly & its poplar 4 thlogians 2 make a mythos/logos dstnktion.
But th ppl hoo bliev rlgious lnguage kcept it prcisely koz they think it iz of this tangibl O. But 4
many of us (2/1. az 4 me I do not kcept kontrdktionl nonsens evn from mrakl workrs (3/1. 4 what wo-
od then b th value of lnguage?) & nlike abraham or Kierkegaard wood rfuze an rdr 2 murdr thgh givn
x god hmslf (& wood rjekt hiz thority)) its hard 2 kcept nonsens nless thoz hoo say it kan lso do
MIRAKLS like nstntly healn th sik or levit8ion or raizn th ded. Such events kood b part of our
tangibl daily life & if u kan bliev in thm u kan bliev in nythn. Th gr8 rlgious teachrs needd lso 2
b MIRAKL workrs if what they sed woz 2 b mor blievbl (authort@v) than what u or I say. Good-
nght. Thursday 9/12/04. Danyo Reserve. 6.00pm. Nusually th van iz facin east koz its whr th wind is
←. Thr r sum vry srious thndrstorms 1drn O & I mght yet shift → spot kloser 2 th hghway or Murray-
ville tslf. Woodnt want 2 get boggd in here whn Im due home 2morrow. This mornn in Port Germein I
woke 2 kmpletly changed weathr kndtions. It woz mild & th sun woz shinin thrgh a break in th klouds.
Th Flinders Range lookd beautful wth th foldz hghlghtd x th slantd sunbeamz. Th sual Singing Honey-
eater (Lichenostomus virescens) went thrgh a few barz nxt 2 th van. Sor a White-winged Fairy Wr-
en (Malurus leucopterus. Race : leuconotus) 4 th 1st time in th spot az I woz eatn brekky. Therz
nuthr new thing – th big haus x th 4shor in th main st whch w 1ce 1drd O x-n but whch woz l8r bght x
a skoolteachr haz bn turnd → kafé. →d on th pier az I nearly lwayz do b4 leavn th town. @ Wirrabara
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had a koffee & a steak & pppr pie gain. @ Loxton read th ppr ovr a strong (x2 shot) mug of latté 4 $3.
8 t @ Murrayville (th pub iz flyin a flag & thr iz 1 † th rd near th park) & drove O th town & sOs a bit b4
x-n 2 stubbies & kumn here. Rturnn 2 ystrdys topik. It mght make mor sens if th bhuddsts sed w & th
tangbl O woz rl8d 2 sumptn els az mrages, rflktions etc r rl8d 2 th tangbl O. Xpt kum 2 think of it i
t wo-od b nonsnskl 4 th same reazns (28/12. what kood w b meann x “sumptn els”?) I outlined ystrdy.
Dia-CnAdSrTeRaO sggstd th bhuddst notion iz simlr 2 Platos klaim th@ w c th O mprfktly az shadowz
on th wall of a kave. But it iz p8nt th@ such a msuse of lnguage iz dzignd 2 prvide a justfk8ion 4 th
xistns of ntlktual middlmen, sprtual brokers, priests etc, flosfrs, & uthr kinds of dsguized sky-pilots.
Howvr p-pl need 2 BABBL, BURBL, BLEAT, TWITTR, R@NLIZE, & SING 2gthr & it iz not their
task, nor do they hav th time, 2 dknstrukt lnguage → its basik konsttuents 2 th point whr it
loozez meann (whr thr iz nly gsture) az I do. Az a persn hooz job it iz 2 teez & terrrize lnguage I
plead this much @ least : I HAV NOT PRVIDED JUSTFK8NS 4 JDICIAL KILLN, 4 JUST WARS, 4
D10TION OF RFU-GEEZ & THEIR CHILDRN (1dr if th guys on th roof of th gym @ th Baxter d10tion
□ srvived th stor-ms whch wer rportd in Port Augusta 2day; I notice theyr pleadn ddnt make it in2 th
‘Australian’ news-ppr), NOR 4 KILLN NDR TH GUIZE OF KOLLATRL, PRMPTV STRIKE, OR SLF-
DFNS, NOR 4 TR-TUR WTHN TH BOUNDS OF NTRN@IONL RULES OR IN NYWAY. I rmain a
pcifist (long rumbl of thundr whch haz set off th Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris)) ndr all
Ostances hooz nkln-8n iz 2 browz on grass like a hoovd niml (29/12. I m ware of & kcept th
knsquences) way from th lio-ns. Of much els Im ndoubtdly guilty. I lso wsh 2 point out Im no longr
writn wth th feeln of my h& bein held (2/1. or az if a dskors, or dialktk woz findn xprssion thrgh it ;
or az if it woz dvlopn a singl met4 or shadin in th dtails of a large pkture prznt from th bgnnng (so u
hav th ppearance th@ whatvr new iz writn (or dun) it haz lready bn prdiktd x th 1st pieces put out). In
sayn I no longr hav such a feel-n (knowledge?) I m not mputin any sgnfkance 2 it in th 1st place – just
rkordn th fakt). I hav bn 4tun8 2 hav had th lnguage & pprtunity 2 say what I wantd. I thght I had
finshd a year or 2 ago but I now rlize th 7 pieces from lithol& wer a ncessry part of it. If thr iz nythn
els 4 me 2 say shld I kontnue writin it kan nly b, az DERRIDA klaims, th@ WRITERS PASS
KOMMNT IN WAYZ THEY R NOT WARE OF. I hope th@ in dknstruktn lnguage I do no hurt. If I hav it
haz not bn n10tionl. 2mrrow Ill b back in Melbourn in Hs rms whr I blong. Its rainn. Thundr.

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