"It can fit 200 easy"

Book launch went off a treat last night. We each said a few words (which we’ll try to post up here later) and then Paul Kelly coordinated a Q & A session, before we sat down to sign some books. Was a bit of a mad house – Harts Pub swears their function area holds 200, but those who couldn’t even make it up the stairs might have a different view! Place was so packed that poor Sir Anthony Mason almost took a dive, and Justice Kirby was stuck on the stairs. Apologies also to those who went home without a book (Gleebooks claimed they had brought more than enough). Nevertheless, it was a great night and lots of fun was had by all. Thanks to A&U for putting it on and everyone who came — we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the book.

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1 Response to "It can fit 200 easy"

  1. maikel annaley says:

    Hi David,
    Thanks for the update – I left early by the upstairs passage. I was sorry to miss Justice Michael on the stairs; we could have compared notes.
    I came prepared last night to tape record
    a definitive moment in global history; but it was not to be.
    Australia’s 21st century recommitment to its 19th century contribution to global Sophiology
    :the source of its ‘Alcheringa’.
    Admittedly I came late and may then have missed the p.c. tribute to the so-called, aboriginal inhabitants of this country.
    But, unless you personally felt so; it would not seem to me, to have been appropriate.
    Yet I was uncomfortably aware that the ancestral spirit of the Anzacs was denigrated.
    In reply to a question, one of your quartet referred to them as: “not fighting under the Australian flag but under the Union Jack or an Ensign of it.”
    He also made some mention of: “1954, being the first time Australia had an offical flag to fight under.”
    Vexillologically, he was probably correct. but Australians have never been keen on keeping the paperwork up to date.
    They believe in having a ‘you beaut’ vision and then giving it their ‘best shot’.
    And the Anzacs, like the predeceased Diggers at Eureka, had a vision of the flag of the Southern Cross.
    A vision which had been retold in legend for millenia, before being symbolically reborn in their flags.
    Do not try, economically or otherwise, to rationalize it away.
    Remember how, ‘blackfellas’ have been telling us since we came here: “white-man’s got no dreaming.”
    Well this is not so much a racist statement, as an observation born of their millenia of experience in this land.
    And then, their rudely experiencing its transformation, into what became for them; not the ‘exiled white-man’, Robert Hughes ‘Fatal Shores’.
    Since according to most experience, you reap what you sow, we are struggling to survive in this land in moral distress, unethically infected with unburied corpses of the past.
    I imagined that your time abroad would give a fresh perspective on this land you call home.
    But despite your best intentions, or even those of your mentors or gurus, you have returned unchanged: two Liberal and two Labour party voters etc.
    Yet, also still ignorant of the discipline you claim as yours: Sophiology: the science of ideas.
    True you have made all the right moves academically and socially; but calling, “Manning Clark, our greatest national historian”, does both him and Geoffrey Blainey a clear disservice.
    Unfortunately, also likewise for Australia, as Manning Clark has already admitted in his writings, lectures and interviews.
    You claim that: “Fortunately, this is not a book about Australian politics. It is a book about the future of our country and how we can realise it.”(p.7)
    But only of politically correct ideas, as would be expected from your admission last night that: “we are all-four united in being economic rationalists.”
    Add this to your claim that: “If Imagining Australia contains a central conviction
    it is this: the path towards the future is not through the past.”(p.6)
    And you enter ground zero,in countdown mode. You do however realize this.
    You seem to have read the prophets, both old and new; certainly listened to both apocalyptic doomsayers and salvationists; perhaps even the heart murmurings of some ‘blackfellas’.
    But, your perceptions are blinkered, by your intellectual achievements; your intuition atrophied, by your problem-solving mentality; your rationality distorted by the reality of economic irrationalism.
    So that your trinity of disasters comes up one short. “Nothing, it would appear, can stop us: not a war on terrorism, not a global economic downturn, not even a devastating drought.”
    The one you fail to mention? The perennial one, the one that collapses all these in upon itself, like some black hole.
    The one that underpins not only an economic depression; but mental depression(“the” disease of 2020 and even 2040). It is apparently unstoppable.
    Like AIDS, the SARS virus, Cancer or even Death; we can only postpone its effect.
    This disaster worse than death itself is the seeming irrationality of the rational mind.
    A mind which can create out of nothing, or recognize even in its visible absence, an omnipotent force or Being, called God.
    And then, in the name of this God, we, personally or collectively, exploit what we did not create, even to its ultimate extermination.
    So, like many ‘whitefellas’ and most
    ‘blackfellas’ I join with you in affirming: “We believe the Austalian experiment is not over.
    Those who came before us started a project so remarkable that it retains the potential to stand as an example to the rest of the world.”(p.2)
    Or again as you say, like Steve Vizard in 1999, and many others before and since: “This sort of thinking imposes on all Australians a responsibility, as custodians.
    To make sure that we, just like our forebears….do not stand idly by, that we do all that we can to help our country fulfil its potential.”(p.3)
    And its potential, its destiny, is still basically the same; not limited to the lost visionary dream of Wordsworth.
    But rooted in the prophetic future and everpresent vision of the past, in ‘Alcheringa’ dreamtime.
    It is your misunderstanding of this, this country’s “potential”, its destiny; that threatens to destroy the matrix from which the mind of humankindness was formed.
    It was by the ‘ancestral-human’ journey out of Africa to Australia and back; that the brain was reoriented in its function and became an instrumental tool for mankind’s mind.
    So while it is understandable for you to claim: “Australia lacks a clear vision for its future.”
    It would be truer to claim: every nation lacks a clear vision for its future; but in this country, in this land, is the clear vision of the first mind.
    Repect this vision and this land. Both in the spirit of the mind, from which the idea of God comes to man; and the body of the brain,which records and emulates the patterns of this mind and enables humankindness to evolve.
    In your Conclusion, you use the Polish author’s description to claim: “This picture of Australia as a new Garden of Eden is, of course, exaggerated, yet it contains a certain truth.” (p.265)
    Do not sell Australia short; otherwise you’ll let our side down and prove that the
    ‘blackfellas’ are right: “white-man got no dreaming.”
    Let the light of the ‘Alcheringa’ shine-in, to our hearts and minds, as Plato’s analogy of the cave, allegorically suggested.
    Your emphasis on ideas is fine as far as it goes. But for the first time in recorded memory; the window of opportunity is cosmically-wired to wide-open.
    Don’t allow your contribution to be wasted on mundane “economic liberalisation”(p.7): help ensure the potential not only of a country;
    but of all humankind.
    You don’t have believe my words. Check them off as being a product of the Australian Imagination(mine and many others) and just make them real.
    Follow your own words: “Australia’s future exists first in the imaginations of its people, then in will, then in reality.”(p.268)
    This I offer for your consideration and action, in the spirit of your prophecy:
    “Australia needs the full symphony playing, not just the occasional string quartet.”(p.4)

    With respect and appreciation for your initiative,

    dctr. maikel annaley, cognitive cosmologist.

    ps. would you please email this back to me.thku

    pps. my quartet: Plato – a being true to life
    Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly – a man empowered in death
    Douglas Noel Adams – symbolic of the meaning of..
    maikel john annaley – the grace to be-come here…

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