Category Archives: Australian culture

QAnon Right-Wing Extremists and Scott Morrison: Ominous Togetherness

 and in an essay in 2019 which gains relevance in the light of the recent events in Capital Hill in Washington …. This essay was entitled Revealed: the QAnon conspiracy theorist who is friends with Australian PM Scott Morrison”

A significant Australian proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory is a family friend of Scott Morrison, and his wife is on the prime minister’s staff. The sprawling, disjointed and incoherent QAnon conspiracy variously claims that Donald Trump is leading a behind-the-scenes fight against a shadowy deep state, that powerful forces are hiding and protecting satanic paedophile rings, and that a secretive individual named Q leaves clues for his followers to decipher on internet forums.

 

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Red Letter Day for Women: Penetration of Cricket Umpiring Heights

ESPNcricinfo staff ………. https://www.espn.com.au/cricket/story/_/id/26615484/claire-polosak-make-history-first-female-umpire-men-odi

Australia’s Claire Polosak will make history on Saturday as she becomes the first female umpire to stand in a men’s ODI when she officiates in the final of the World Cricket League Division 2 between Namibia and Oman.

PLUS: For the first time in 144 years of Test-match cricket, a womanAustralia’s Claire Polosak  has officiated in the longest format of the game, as the fourth or reserve umpire, in the third Test between Australia and India, which started at the SCG on Thursday.

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Don Bradmen and His Men in Ceylon, 1948

 Neville Jayaweera**

 The image of Don Bradman exercised almost a mesmeric hold over the imagination of my generation, i.e. of those born in the 1930s, in (then) Ceylon. The dominion he exercised was so absolute that even now, sixty something years on, most of that generation would claim that there never was and never will be anyone like the Don taking guard at a batting crease. Speaking for myself, having watched cricket in England during the past thirty summers that I have been living here, I can vouch that no batsman I have seen ever came nigh Bradman.  Neither in run getting nor in amassing statistics, neither in the capacity to concentrate nor in the fleetness of foot, neither in the murderous power of driving and pulling nor in the single minded devotion to the pursuit of perfection, and least of all, as a captain, did any batsman challenge Bradman.  In all these and in much else besides, he remains unique and without a peer. During those thirty years, I have watched every great batsman who played Test cricket in any part of the world, put his batting prowess on display on England’s green fields, and none amongst them can even remotely claim to have played the same game as Don Bradman. The only batsman who even hovered over the horizon was perhaps Viv Richards, and that too in his heyday in the late 1970s tours, but even him, on a scale of 100, where Bradman would be graded at 95, I would rate only in the 60s.

Ceylonese from all walks of life watching the Aussies play in Colombo, 1937 — see https://thuppahis.com/2016/07/18/social-history-within-cricket/

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In Awe of Cricket. Seeing Bradman at the Colombo Oval in 1948

Letter from Errol Fernando to Michael Wille, 28 November 2020

Dear Michael, ….. Your letter reminds me of one of my most life-changing experiences–the day my father took me to the P Saravanamuttu Oval to see Bradman !  Dad had been talking for months about the  traditional one-day match against Bradman’s 1948 Invincibles and my 8-year-old heart was pounding as we entered the stadium and found our seats. There was a roar when we heard that Australia would be batting and we settled in our seats when Barnes and Brown walked out to bat.All this,of course, was simply  going through the motions and all we wanted was for one of them to get out. Eventually the umpire co-operated by giving Brown out LBW– a shocking decision because the  sharp in-swinger from Sathi Coomaraswamy was missing the leg stump by miles! Nobody cared because this was the instant we were all waiting for.

Coomaraswamy beats Bradman

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The Horrors at Gallipoli: Killing One’s “Whaler”

The “Whaler” is the shorten-form Aussie term for a breed of horses in New South Wales that  served as the stead for the famed Lighthorsemen Brigades in Egypt, the Middle East and Gallipoli during World War One. I thank Brigadier Sri Mudannayake** for bringing this somebe dimension of the disastrous Gallipoli and other Middle Eastern campaign to our attention.

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Kamikaze, Mujahid, Tamil Tiger: Sacrificial Devotion in Comparative Lens

Michael Roberts, reprinting an essay drafted in 2007 and since presented in Fire & Storm in 2010 (chapter 19: 131-38)

  • Gandhi tried for years to reduce himself to zero” (Dennis Hudson 2002: 132).
  • Hitler: “You are nothing, your nation is everything” (quoted in Koenigsberg 2009: 13).
  • LTTE: “the martyr sacrifices himself for the whole by destroying the I…” (Dagmar Hellmann-Rajanayagam’s interpretation of a Tamil Tiger supporter’s poem; 2005: 134).
  • Spokesman for Al Qaida after the Madrid bombing: “You love life and we love death”
  • Col. Karuna, ex-LTTE: “Death means nothing to me….”
  • The Hagakure is “a living philosophy that holds that life and death [are] the two sides of the same shield” (Yoshio Mishima in his The Way of the Samurai, quoted in Moeren 1986: 109-10).
  • Bushido means to die” (Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney 2002: 117).
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVpbl0azdFM …. Kamikaze strike

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The Ideology of Sacrificial Death and Australian Nationalism during World War One

ALSThis short essay appeared  in the year K????K within the Website run the Library of Social Science headed by Richard Koenigsberg and he has sent it to me this month (November 2020) — presumably inspired by the recent jihadist attacks in Europe and by Thuppahi’s determined pursuit of the comparative literature on martyrdom pursued in a variety of contexts by diverse forces (not merely Islamic).

Michael Roberts

Addressing the practices of remembrance in Australia, Richard Koenigsberg has noted the irony that a battlefield defeat at Gallipoli in World War One, 1915, served a people as an emblem of nationhood: the “Australian nation, came into being on the foundations provided by the slaughter of its young men.”

Burying the dead at Gallipoli in 1915 ,,,and The Last Post

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Steve Waugh as a Mother Theresa and Cameraman

Greg Bearup, in The Weekend Australian Magazine, October 9, 2020, where the title is “Different Strokes. Life after Cricket”

The office of the Steve Waugh Foundation is up the stairs and down the back of a block of shops on the outskirts of Cronulla’s CBD in Sydney’s south. The office, like the bloke, is devoid of frou-frou. It exists to get the job done and each year it distributes more than a million dollars to help kids with rare diseases. And then in walks Steve Waugh with his famous pout and his thousand-yard stare – the man who led one of the most dominant teams in the long history of Test cricket. Remember those gratifying years when humiliation of the Poms was an annual ritual, like raking up and burning leaves each autumn? “We’re not here to win friends, mate,” he once said, summing up the attitude of the team under his reign.

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In Appreciation of Neville Turner, A Renaissance Allrounder

Vale J. Neville Turner, one of life’s great characters” — Almanac Admin April 23, 2018

Neville Turner (often referred to as J. Neville Turner) was an extraordinary person who had an extraordinary impact on the Australian Cricket Society during his term as President (1998~99 until 2000~01.  Neville was a regular in the outer at first-class games at the MCG (and most other grounds in Australia and around the world).  He sat with a regular group of cricket lovers who were all among the most knowledgeable around.

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Hurdling Back Home to Adelaide

Michael Roberts

SYDNEY to ADELAIDE:  Having been informed on Thursday night that I had no Covid and would receive CLEARANCE  I proceeded to pack and on FRIDAY the 1st October confirmed my ticket booking to Adelaide that afternoon on JETSTAR [an airline which permitted extra luggage].

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