Friday, July 4, 2008

Reminiscences from Australia - 1

As you know, I recently returned from Australia. It's a nice place, no doubt about that, but it's also rather peculiar. First, the folks really do walk around upside down, as we were told when we were wee kids. Moreover, if you notice at the bottom (top?) of the picture, you'll see that in many places they've got a roof over the sidewalk, so that whenever someone falls off the world they get caught on the awning and don't float away.

To further complicate matters, they drive on the wrong side of the street:
Even when they build escalators, they put the up side on the left, not on the right, which means you've got to keep on your toes all the time.
Finally - have I mentioned this? - They've got their seasons all wrong. Here it was, the second half of June, the sun was rising only at 6:45am and was hurriedly setting before 6pm,and it was cold out. Not snowy cold, no, but you couldn't walk around in sandals, as is the custom in June.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your enlightening comments on Down Under. I never realized Hegel was from Australia, but now I understand what Marx meant, when he said it is necessary to turn Hegel on his feet. Teaching philosophy in Berlin upside down would have been quite a pain in the neck.
The Armchair Critic

Anonymous said...


It's still the same world. And, we're really a very far cry from what the British originally used Australia for; which was to rid themselves of their thieving scoundrels. Making a return voyage, impossible.

Most Americans don't know this, but the Louisiana Purchase (Done by Jefferson in 1801), with Napoleon ... shows ya that there were plans afoot, early on, to deny Americans their DESTINY.

Can't step on destiny, though.

Napoleon realized (after sending 60,000 troops to Santa Domingo, in the Carribean. And, their getting slaughtered by the free Blacks, down to "the last man." That france didn't have a toe hold, where it could then attack New Orleans.)

So history only knows results.

Good to remember.

Even when you go far back, to when the Romans destroyed their Second Temple in Jerusalem, there wasn't any Jewish religious person making enough notes, that history would become aware. Instead? Josephus. Who wrote in Greek. And, who wrote a modern equivalent to events going on at that time. While we're not blessed with the writings of rabbis. That would come later.

Do people who see the Haredi in Jerusalem, for instance, become aware of a thousand years worth of history? From the time in the late 1400, when Ferdinand and Isabella forced all the Jews to leave Spain ... what would happen?

Because you could notice this.

How the plans of "mice and men often go awry." Though it seems to take forever. Or tens of generations. You choose.

So much of Jewish history's survival belongs to be told in the shetls' of Poland. And, then. Beyond the Pale.

As the Mother Church, leaning heavily on homosexuals to tell married people what to do; also spread Blood Libel.

Yiddish grew! Jews became accustomed to travel. In when boats were made of wood. And, travel was indeed dangerous.

When you see survivial, what you see is not like Noah's Ark, "two by two," but whole communities; that can share.

As you just discovered, Yaacov. When you found places to study far from home. And, where people managed to be on the same page. Even if they "were walking upside down."

Given that we're on a spinning globe, there's something that should be said for science. That grew, too. In spite of the Mother Church.

Oh, yeah. Like Josephus, then; we have Matt Drudge, now. He doesn't identify with Jews, but his dad was one. And, Matt carries a grudge because his dad wasn't kind to his mother.

Such is life.