Thursday, November 23, 2023


We hold our heads high, despite the price we have paid, because freedom is priceless.

~ Brown soulless Characters never get quotes like this one …

And this on Henry Green’s much-admired (by Welty, by Updike) and much-demeaned prose:


“He went for the rare image, the visual mannered style which caught the sensation of being intensely alive from minute to minute. But at heart he was a listener: he doted -- it is his word -- on ordinary, helpless, moody human talk, the vernacular of factory workers whose talk he especially loved—the blokey talk of offices and parties, the rattling brittle chatter of the sophisticated. But he was not a tape-recorder. He saw that the human rigmarole is a mosaic of repetitions and that it is a sort of unconscious poetry or a touching attempt to grope our way towards intimacy and yet also to self-protection.

‘You made me do it’ London Review of Books. Works well in conjunction with

Some of us feel a peculiar kinship with trees; in my case, oaks, with their strength and vulnerability. A character in Walter de la Mare’s novel The Return (1910; rev. 1945) says:


“After all, what is every man? A horde of ghosts – like a Chinese nest of boxes – oaks that were acorns that were oaks. Death lies behind us, not in front – in our ancestors, back and back until . . .

Nature never stops creating eclectic images …

25 Winning Photos from The 2023 Nature Conservancy Photo Contest

Last night I created a GPT that can bank itself using blockchains.

Mass Resignations Of Documenta Selection Committee: “No Room For Ideas”

“In the current circumstances we do not believe that there is a space in Germany for an open exchange of ideas and the development of complex and nuanced artistic approaches that documenta artists and curators deserve,” the curators wrote in their letter. - ARTnews

HMMMM: The Catholic Origins of Thanksgiving.

What most people believe is a variation on what I was taught in public school in the 1960s. The Pilgrims came to Plymouth on a ship called the Mayflower. They were the first English settlers in America. They came for religious freedom. And they had a big feast with Indians, and that was the first Thanksgiving. That about sums it up. And that is what Chesterton calls “The Myth of the Mayflower.”

First of all, they were not known as “pilgrims” till about 200 years afterwards. They were Puritans, a radical Anglican “low church” sect that loathed the “high church” Anglicans that happened to include the King of England. In fact, about 30 years after the Puritans arrived in America, some of their fellow Puritans back in England arranged for King Charles I to have his head chopped off.

Secondly, there were at least nine other British settlements before the Plymouth colony. In fact, one of them was at Plymouth. All but one of them failed, including the first settlement at Plymouth. The Puritans who came to Plymouth in 1620 almost didn’t survive. Half the settlers died the first winter. They were saved by a Native American named Squanto, who taught them how to hunt and fish and grow corn.

But here’s what is really interesting:  Squanto was a Roman Catholic.

In 1614, he had been captured by an English party led by Captain John Smith (of Pocahontas fame) and taken on a ship to Spain where he was to be sold as a slave. He was rescued by some Dominican friars who instructed him in the Catholic faith. He told them he wanted to return to his people in America. They helped him get to England, where he met John Slaney, who taught him English and arranged for him to get to Newfoundland. Squanto served as an interpreter between the English and the Indians and crossed the Atlantic six times.  He was never able to return to his own tribe, because they had been wiped out in a plague.

How Much Your Social Media Profile Data Is Worth on the Dark Web

MakeUseOf: “Key Takeaways

  • Hackers often sell stolen data from social media accounts on the dark web, making it a valuable marketplace for criminals.
  • LinkedIn accounts have the highest value on the dark web due to the professional information they contain, while Reddit accounts are the least valuable.
  • To protect your social media profile data from ending up on the dark web, limit the personal information you post, use strong passwords, and have a response plan in case of a hack. Stay vigilant to keep your data secure.”

Western Australian author Tim Winton, famed for his environmental activism and award-winning books, has accused the oil and gas industry of a “crime against humanity” and a force that must be defeated.
During a keynote speech in Melbourne for the 2023 Nature Writing Prize, the four-time Miles Franklin award-winner said he was heartbroken over the “biggest moral and material issue of our time”.
Tim Winton has taken aim at the oil and gas industry for deliberately hiding its impact on the climate.
Tim Winton has taken aim at the oil and gas industry for deliberately hiding its impact on the climate. CREDIT: VIOLETA J BROSIG, BLUE MEDIA EXMOUTH
“The deliberate and successful campaign by the oil and gas industry to hide climate science from the public, and sow doubt and confusion to this day, is a crime against humanity on a scale I can barely process, let alone forgive,” he said.
“Our current predicament infects my every waking thought ... It’s led to the awful realisation that I have enemies.
“By which I mean powers and principalities that pose a threat to my grandchildren and their children. And yours, my friends. Forces that must be defeated.”
Winton went on to say that writing would play an important part in stopping the “business as usual” approach and spurring a cultural sea change.
He said there was a “nature-sized hole at the heart of our economics”.
He said that as a writer, he understood “stories are what drive everything”, and the story being told by oil and gas giants wrote nature out of the picture.
“This hasn’t been challenged in the arts and culture as much as it should be,” Winton said.
“I am alarmed by the lack of anger and urgency. This needs to be charged up, and we need to learn to not feel so powerless.
“It probably means breaking some shit. Even if that’s just breaking conceptions that we have – of ourselves, of our culture and of those above us who are making all the decisions.”
He said that while it could be challenging to avoid feeling nihilistic, he believed companies were “greenwashing” their practices now because they were anxious about their future.
“In the old days they didn’t even bother to greenwash their practices because they knew they controlled the narrative,” he said.
It was not the first time Winton made an impassioned speech on the issue of climate change and the oil and gas industry’s culpability.
He also criticised the festival’s organisers for continuing to take sponsorship money from multinational Chevron and Woodside’s sponsorship of a WA Youth Orchestra and WA Symphony Orchestra ocean-inspired show.
Perth Festival later announced it would part ways with Chevron after its 2023 event, stating the US-owned oil and gas giant had decided to focus on other opportunities.
Winton also recently launched a documentary titled Ningaloo Nyinggulu, which aired on the ABC.
It explored the Ningaloo, Exmouth Gulf and Cape Range region Winton has championed – and campaigned to protect – for decades.
The winner of the 2023 Nature Writing Prize will be awarded $7500, and an additional author will receive $1000 for their ‘highly commended’ piece.