Another Dark Little Corner

moon phases

Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.

Your ABC

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There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought.
Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]

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Federal Election 2007  
It was a wonderful, wonderful night. Started out watching SkyNews at gym, listened to radio coverage on the way home, almost crying with hope on the bus, surfed around the TV coverage while cooking 'n' stuff at home, then watched the concession & victory speeches "jointly" by phone with some nearly-hysterical friends. Greatly enjoyed the different stations' approaches. Did anyone else boggle at Jeff Kennett's mo, or find the Potplant of Destiny fascinating, or watching Kerry O'Brien's body language, &c, &c?

By midnight when they closed down, I was too excited to sleep, so walked up & down Oxford Street (near where I live at the moment) under the glorious full moon watching the celebrating crowds greeting whoever was in a Kevin07 t-shirt before joining my friends in their local club where we spent a couple of very mellow hours smiling, talking, laughing, and raising glasses in many toasts like "to Barnaby Joyce, the new Nowhere Man", "to John Howard's retirement" and so forth.

I'm not happy with the Blair-like far too 'conservative' Rudd style of Labor, but at least there's some hope of steering away from the fear, hate, regression to pre-democratic ways and appeal to all the worst tendencies in people and communities that have depressed me so much for so many years.

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William Strutt, artist. Black Thursday, February 6th 1851. Oil on canvas, 106 x 343 cm. H280049. La Trobe Picture Collection - No 75 Autumn 2005 - La Trobe Journal: "William Strutt, artist. Black Thursday, February 6th 1851. Oil on canvas, 106 x 343 cm. H280049. La Trobe Picture Collection"

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Room 101 ‘The Worst Thing‘  
I've recently read a couple of mentions of one's own personal ‘Room 101' — the worst torture of yourself you can imagine — and how you shouldn't ever reveal it. I've been building up courage to ask or discuss a point about that, which also ties in with earlier points about how torture affects the victim.

What if some of the worst things you were afraid of did happen, but not as torture? Several bouts of different diseases: surgery, drugs, painful & difficult treatments & rehabilitation over a few short years, leaving permanent deformities & ongoing disabilities. Some of the treatment is close to torture, tho' done with all care & good intent.
Overlapping with those, deaths & other very painful family difficulties.
Resulting from these & medical stuff, some large & complex financial problems.

On hearing the diagnosis of my most recent serious disease, I was almost disappointed that it wasn't a probably-terminal recurrence of a previous one. I could have ‘settled my affairs‘ & enjoyed what time I had left. But it was new, and I had to face many months of new pain & struggle.

So far, I've physically survived — less a few important bodily bits — but rather than feeling ‘refined by fire‘ or strengthened, or learning deep spiritual lessons, etc, etc, etc, I feel broken: weak, distractable, fearful, often depressed, less able to do now what I could do before in almost every way. One friend likened it to post-traumatic stress disorder.

Some places I've been on the Internet are more comforting than the ‘inspirational‘ stories I see around in the media, where various people overcome their suffering to run a marathon, or something of that sort, and say that the disease or accident was ‘the best thing that's happened‘ to them because of the good things they've learnt. There I read of people dealing with their problems, or suffering through them, but not usually praising them.

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Boyer Lectures online  
I'm alerting y'all to the start of the 2007 Boyer Lectures. This series (the 48th) is called Restoring The Senses. It's available streaming, or as a podcast or transcript from (don't be put off by the short excursion into philosophy/theology near the beginning). Their summary:
"Professor Graeme Clark, creator of the bionic ear, is ABC Radio National's Boyer lecturer for 2007. In this series of six lectures … Professor Clark draws on decades of experience as a clinician, surgeon and researcher to celebrate our senses. He also tells the compelling story of how the bionic ear was created, and provides an insight into the extraordinary future of bionics."
Archives, either as transcripts or audio recordings, back as far as 1997 are also available on the ABC site.

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Back to the 'Fifties, again  

The path down which so many of us worry 'WorkChoices' leads — part of a story about working in the USA ('Tales From Kafka Station', below, from the Undulant Fever blog).

This is one of the reasons I get so croggled that there's an idea that one would vote for the Liberal Party (of Australia)'s policies "because I'm worried about my (grand)children". I actually saw someone write this in a printed newspaper during the previous election. His (yes, it was a male) whole argument in his letter led, as I read it, to one point; except the final sentence was the exact opposite of what I thought. The mental sensation was very like being abruptly spun around physically.

Apart from the harmful things that those policies (or sometimes the lack of any policy) do to the environment, which will detrimentally effect those following generations, they affect society in a way that is of detriment to the majority of people in it, in things like working conditions for instance. Again, I'll repeat that it's not the 1950s that John Howard is reviving, it's the 1850s. 2007/ 10/ tales-from-kafka-station.html
Tales From Kafka Station
But I think the major part of it may be that this is part of a tendency among Big Business (not just the Postal Service) that's been growing for years, to deliver -- subtly or blatantly -- a message to employees that "Your Life Belongs To US!"

Forced overtime. Cancelled days off. Restrictions on use of leave time. And all growing more and more frequent, more and more the "standard" model of a working environment, more and more what American workers expect to find in the workplace, more and more what's considered normal.

What I was told in that office was just a step away from actually being forbidden to see a doctor on my day off, because in the eyes of management, every day of an employee's life belongs to them.

That's not an employee/management situation.

The name for that is slavery.
In Australia, following the British law, most official employment in the nineteenth century, gradually changing through the twentieth, was under the Master & Servant Act. Many of the concepts were very similar to so-called 'modern' work ideas; stripping away the 'playing-field-levelling' and protections built up with so much time & struggle.

"Much of the labour law which has evolved in the 20th century … stems from an experience-based perception that the market constraint is not a sufficient protection." – Keith Hancock, senior deputy president (1992-1997), Australian Industrial Relations Commission

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It's 9/11 (9th November) again – Kristallnacht  

An eyewitness account by Erich Kästner, is included with other memories — look under the heading 'Crystal Night, 1938'
Earlier remembrances on this blog — 2002; 2003; 2004; 2006;

Two of many Historical links fact.fin.kristal.html jsource/ Holocaust/ kristallnacht.html

Some of the Consequences of Kristallnacht
A Promise to My Grandfather: A Follow Up story/ 2005/ 3/ 4/ 151715/5913
by amprather
Fri Mar 04, 2005 at 04:07:33 PM PST

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Edge of Asperger's?  
I'm not sure how soundly-based the quiz is. But heres the link — eng/ Aspie-quiz.php — so you can check it yourself if you want to.
My 'Aspie' score: 151 of 200
My neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 60 of 200
This makes me very likely an 'Aspie'
[PDF] File

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