Pentecost

Pentecost is significant because our current PM identifies as ‘pentecostal’.

The festival (as Shavuot) seems to start as a midsummer harvest festival, celebrating the  wheat harvest in Israel (Exodus 34:22). But after 70 AD/CE it becomes the celebration of the giving of the Torah (to Moses, as the ‘Ten Commandments’, on Mount Sinai – long story – the Charlton Heston version has nice animation of God’s handwriting).

It metamorphosises again, when the Christians take it over, in Luke, in Acts ch. 2, when it becomes the celebration of the reception of the Holy Spirit (whatever that is) by the followers of Jesus with ‘a sound like the rush of a violent wind’ and the appearance  of ‘tongues, as of fire’, when the members of the cult ‘began to speak in other languages’.
The Biblical text is quite explicit that what the devotees were saying was understandable in a number of languages – and there is a specific list of them.

That’s the few thousand years background to what Scomo does on Sundays, which is that, in the slightly adapted wording of Wikipedia, he accepts Jesus Christ as his  personal Lord and Saviour, and believes in the baptism in the Holy Spirit that enables a Christian to live a Spirit-filled and empowered life. This empowerment includes the use of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues and divine healing.

By definition it’s not insane, as there are millions of others who believe the same infantile nonsense, but it’s still pretty dotty.

Matthias

Matthias was appointed as the new twelfth disciple to replace Judas Iscariot (the man who betrayed Jesus) after he hanged himself. I suppose the Corman parents knew that.

Machines answering

No person answers. The machine answers.

Well, that’s my experience. I guess people just don’t want to talk to me.

But that’s not my point. Which is: it’s about the power balance in the timing of communication.

If I call you, it’s because I choose this moment to do so.  I’m prepared for the exchange, probably keen for its occurrence.

If you don’t answer, the control changes with the timing.  It’s now you who will call when it suits you, and when I may not be prepared for the exchange, and perhaps not keen to talk to anyone – even you.

Classical Collection

Jenny bought the Classical Collection as CDs that came with a magazine (I think). For whatever reason, she didn’t want them any longer and passed them on to our daughter – who passed them on to me.
So I’m copying them all into my iTunes collection – all 100-odd CDs – as you do.
I’m not listening to every track. One very good reason for not doing so is that many (most?) of the performances are third-rate. They were sold – and therefore also bought by the label – cheaply, because they are not by the most sought-after artists.
So that’s one thing I’ve learnt: that better artists actually cost more.
The other things I’ve learnt is that third-rate artists actually are (unsurprisingly) not very good, even tho their performances get released for whatever reasons. They may play all the notes, but there’s more to a great – or even good – performance than just doing that.
The reason I’m writing this is that I was had the Boccherini cello concerto passing through the process, and my attention kept getting drawn to what I was half listening to. Not only was Boccherini sounding like an interesting writer, but the cellist was sounding particularly bonzer. So I had a look, and it was … Pablo Casals.  I suppose the recording was so old that it was no longer worth much in monetary terms – although it sounded like quite an acceptable ‘modern’ record (Casals died in 1973).
My point is that Casals was a particularly fine artist, and it’s quite noticeable, even if you’re only paying scant attention.
My other point is that I’m now listening to performances, as well as works. (OK, I always did, but the difference between good and ordinary is suddenly much more obvious.)

Solomon Islands

I am impressed that Scomo got the name of the country ‘Solomon Islands’ right.  No ‘the’.
Not so the journalist on ‘the’ ABC News.

Local Invasion Day

Only 2100 – and on a Sunday night – the cop chopper is noise-polluting the night. It used to be after 2200 on a Saturday. Nyoongar kids would steal a car – usually a Commodore – and play a game of chasy with the cops. I used to listen to the commentary when the cops were still using analog on their two-ways. The cops usually caught them, and I suppose they went inside to spend some time with lots of family.
Tonight is a  ‘long weekend’ (for ‘Foundation Day’, when James Stirling nearly arrived here) so I suppose Sunday = Saturday, and the cops get to play with their favourite toy, PolAir1.

Bob Hawke and me

Bob Hawke and I went to the same high school. One difference was that he tried very hard to get into it (it’s detailed in his biography) whereas I had no idea what a ‘scholarship’ was or where the school was or what it meant.

I hope he had better teachers than I did. Mine were pretty ordinary – like the high school teacher I myself went on to be – lacking any advice whatsoever or imagination about whatever else I could have done – a schoolteacher was about the last thing I should have aspired to be.

Bob was in favour of unions. I never liked having to be a member of a union, and especially not being told that I was required to go on strike. Despite such orders, I think I somehow never missed a day of being there for my students. For me, that was the point – doing that job – not how much we got paid.

Bob’s father was employed by a religious organisation. Religions – organised or not – were not of any importance in my family, thank God! Bob never gave it up – like alcohol, which he got right back into as soon as he could.

We didn’t have much in common.

You Must Unload

Blind Alfred Reed sang this hymn by John B. Vaughan that Ry Cooder recorded on Prodigal Son, 2018.

I am taking it to heart, getting rid of a couple of thousand books – not to get into heaven, but just to tidy up before I die.
This is the short version, what Ry sings. The original song is longer.

Now you fashion-loving christians sure give me the blues
You must unload, you must unload
You’ll never get to heaven in your jewel-encrusted high-heel shoes
You must, you must unload

For the way is straight and narrow and few are in the road
Brothers and sisters, there is no other hope
If you’d like to get to heaven and watch eternity unfold
You must, you must unload

And you money-loving christians, you refuse to pay your share
You must unload, you must unload
Trying to get to heaven on the cheapest kind of fare
You must, you must unload

And you power-loving christians in your fancy dining cars
You must unload, you must unload
We see you drinking whiskey and smoking big cigars
You must, you must unload

And you power-loving christians in your fancy dining cars
You must unload, you must unload
We see you drinking whiskey and smoking big cigars
You must, you must unload

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

If it’s possible to do the best job, that’s a good thing, but it’s also true, as G.K Chesterton wrote (in What’s Wrong With the World, 1910 ) that ‘If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.’  Which I take to mean that even if you have to do something relatively badly, it may well still be worth doing anyway.

There’s a ramble about this on this Chestertonian  blog.

man alone

A man … A man ain’t got no hasn’t got any can’t really isn’t any way out. … A man … A man … A man … Now the way things are the way they go no matter what no. … Don’t fool yourself. Like trying to pass cars on the top of hills. On that road in Cuba. On any road. Anywhere. Just like that. I mean how things are. The way that they been going. For a while yes sure all right. Maybe with luck. A man. … A man. One man alone ain’t got. No man alone now. No matter how a man alone ain’t got no bloody chance.

It had taken him  a long time to get it out and it had taken him all of his life to learn it.