Monday 27 August 2012

House of Love.

Remember this room,
when kindling snapped
and hissed in the grate?

Remember the girl
that was you,
so eager to please?

Remember the man
who stacked the wood,
then sat by you?

Remember the child
mewing, crawling,
trusting, so loved?

It all looked smaller then,
filled with love and warmth,
and my Harley Davidson.


Prompted by Tess Kincaid's pet Magpie.
PS. Thought it was about time to update the Photo.
This one in the Mooloola River SE Qld 2011.

Monday 20 August 2012

Power Play.

Last night Sis 3 and I caught the train to the Old Fitzroy in Kings X to see a play. I was particularly interested because the writer is Mark Rogers. Who is Mark Rogers, you may well ask? Mark Rogers (note I have written the name three times so you will remember him), is an up and coming talent in several of the dramatic arts, and he is my granddaughter Ahleigh’s bloke. That's him in the pic below. He usually looks less battered.

So I had to go. Right? No, but I am very glad I did. Mark's play, directed by Sanja Simic explored the phenomenon of ‘investment’ in another person’s life, and the right of the ‘investor’ to interfere in that life.

Parents make a huge investment in their children and do assert control, that wisely directed and with a bit of luck, turns our children into adults we are proud to know. But outside that relationship, how much right to control can we ‘buy’.

 Dale Carnegie offered the proposition that: “If you want someone to like you, don’t do something for them, let them do something for you.” Seems counter intuitive until we realise we are allowing them to invest in our success. The moment someone invests money, time or love they are hooked into a supporting role to protect their investment. This play, Blood Pressure, as the name implies, explores pressure of ‘ownership’ that starts when one brother donates an organ to the other.

The donor cannot stop himself taking responsibility for his brother’s health. The organ is being rejected but the sick brother will not seek, or even agree to treatment. He is tired of the business of being sick and just wants it to stop. His brother reacts with increasing frustration until the tussle over control of his life escalates to the point where the donor brother becomes so frustrated with his sick brother's refusal to allow him to take control, that the donor suicides.

Such pure tragedy is rarely done so well. But it is the question it explores that makes this play so special. No dramatic work I know of has ever explored this particular human interaction from that point of view. In fact I doubt Mark is quite aware of how important this play is!

 After the’ curtain’ I sat for a while. It brought back vividly the plight of my mother who, following a crippling stroke, tried so hard to recover enough to be independent again, but after a year and a half, she knew she had done all she could and was never going to make it all the way back.

Once she realised she would never regain her dignity, she just wanted it to all end. But streams of visitors continued their relentless encouragement.

Most who visit the terminally ill try to be cheery, when in fact all they need is a loving hand to hold while they get on with dying. Eventually she took control and emigrated!

Many in the family are still wondering why she moved out of range of their visits. This play put flesh and blood onto the bones of my not-totally-formed understanding of what she did back then. Of course she died, but only after she insisted on her right to stop fighting and just let it happen.

She removed the ‘Blood Pressure’ by removing herself, all the way to New Zealand, so she could die peacefully, in the end, satisfying nobody’s expectations but her own. I love you Mum.

Dirty Windshield.

You missed the turn, you silly arse,
We’re off the road and on the grass.
So stop the car
Right where you are,
Get out the sponge and clean the glass!

Boy oh boy, Tess is making it hard!

Friday 17 August 2012

Just another patient.

Yesterday, I took Sis 3 to see a doctor. She arrived on Sunday last from Sunny Queensland to cheer me up. As some know, I have suffered a few losses lately but none know quite how many. All up, it has been a crowd of grief over a short period. So, considering the state I was in, I handled what happened with outstanding aplomb!

 Sis left me in the waiting room with a pen and a crossword, so I was happy, but as I came to the last clue, a man leaned over the gap between seats and, in a very educated English accent, remarked; “You must be very clever to do those!”

I looked at him, smiling, leaning so close that I was glad he paid attention to mouth hygiene and took in his appearance. He was well dressed, nice clothes, well groomed, even features, intelligent eyes and good looking for a middle aged man, but before I got around to an answer, he challenged me with two statement that caused me to wonder. “I know everything there is to be known. Ask me a question!” I thought I would go on with the game;

“You don’t know my name, but you could easily find out.”
“I can levitate and I can be invisible!”
Now I was intrigued.
He sounded and looked too normal to be a nutter, so I waited.
“Many people don’t believe me,” he confided. “But if you go to Sydney, there must be a few that can do what I do, don’t you think?”
I opened my mouth to agree when his name was called and he disappeared through a door marked ‘Psychiatric Services’.
Damn! I wanted to see him do his stuff!

Monday 13 August 2012

Revealing Attitudes.

Women are catty and spiteful;
Of others’ bare forms, are judgemental.
But men will attest;
When seeing a breast,
They just feel eternally grateful!


Based on a quote from Robert De Niro.
Thanks to Tess,who shared her nude image.
I am grateful.

Thursday 9 August 2012

Gay sex.

The Australian Government has been plagued by difficulties since the last election and needed to make deals with two Independents and one Green to form a government . How that mix effected Labor’s reform agenda will most likely be seen by history as constructive but in the meantime, has made the job of governing extremely difficult.

 The opposition successfully destroyed the Government’s standing in the polls by simply pouring scorn on every proposal, need and science notwithstanding. Nevertheless, the Labor minority government has made inroads into some big problems, with a Carbon Price, National Disability Insurance Scheme, a Resource Rent Tax, a National Broadband Scheme and is hammering out a well overdue plan to keep our largest river system flowing.

All these reforms would be difficult enough with a majority government and it is a measure of Julia Gillard’s guts and determination that she is well on the way to achieving all those goals and a measure of support she maintains within her own party that she is still there! However, that is merely background info to set the stage. The subject I want to raise is gay sex.

Peter Slipper (picture) was the Speaker in the current parliament and has had to stand aside while a charge of sexual harassment is tested in court. It is claimed he made improper sexual suggestions to a staffer. It turns out the staffer is also gay and is being investigated for having sex with a minor or two, but that is a different matter. We do know, he and another staffer had been undermining the Speaker by feeding private information, including pages from his personal diary, to the Opposition, which offered the staffer ‘advice’ on how he should proceed in bringing charges.

 I am now old enough that I am expected, by most of my offspring and their offspring, to have finished with sex. Most find it bizarre that older people might still find comfort and joy in sex with a person they love. But if I formed a relationship with a woman I found attractive and who reciprocated, it would be accepted even by them, my greatest supporters and critics.

 But think how much more difficult it is if one is older and gay. Heterosexual relationships that start in the workplace are common and accepted, so long as there is no duress. The old Casting Couch has gone, but a gay man who approaches another gay man to suggest a more intimate relationship, particularly if he is older, is risking a lot. If his overture is accepted there is no problem, but if not and the other decides to spread the word, the older man is regarded as immoral and can also be charged, as has Peter Slipper, with sexual harassment.

I am confident the legal system will apply balance to the case, but enough of the public will make judgement guided by what the Opposition has said for it to matter politically. Some in the Opposition are urging people to make the Slipper case another test of the legitimacy of "this rotten" Gillard Government. Of course, it would be irrelevant if the Government enjoyed a comfortable majority but the loss of Slipper as Speaker means the Opposition is within one death or disability of forcing an election, which they would win comfortably and claim a mandate to do whatever their constituency wants.

It is argued that an election is what voters want now and fair enough, except that most big items of reform are in that state of limbo where a negative opposition can heap scorn and while the benefits are yet to be appreciated. Unfortunately the stakes are high.

 It will take a miracle for Gillard to survive the next election and that could be a tragedy for this country. Abbott has promised he will repeal the Carbon Tax and the Resources Rent Tax and give us an el-cheapo Broadband Network, but being the populist he is, he will go on with the popular Disability Scheme in a watered down version.

 Opposing policies, if we ever get to see more than a vow to “turn back the boats”, should be argued on their merits and it is almost unthinkable that such hard won progressive policies will most likely be dumped, not on their merits, but because enough key seats were lost, when voters were invited to be appalled that an older gay man should be seeking expression of his sexuality.

Monday 6 August 2012

Internet Dating.

Tess said:
'I thought I should go there to see
If it was the answer for me.
The food was OK,
But the fellow was gay.
It happens with RSVP!'


My gay friend Fred replied:
'Internet dating just sucks
It's aimed at the straight does and bucks.
But most of my friends
Are girls. It depends
On what you are looking for, Ducks!'


PS. Retraction.
RSVP does cater for all permutations of sexual combinations.


More successful romantic adventures can be found at Magpie Tales.