WORDS BEYOND REPAIR: WAR
Where the loon sits
There sit I
Under the moon
And a blighted sky
The words I hear
Are a twisted notion
Writhing in air
With due commotion
Dear old Auntie Joy was my favourite relative. She was extremely patriotic. Her husband, my Uncle Joe, was killed in the First World War. This is probably why his wife was loyal to her native oil field. Throughout the Second World War she dutifully knitted socks, gloves and jumpers for the drillers. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
“A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind general,” said Uncle Joe before he went over the top for the last time. “Ours not to reason why; ours but to drill or die.”
Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native oil field!
I have been declared incompetent by an incompetent judge. Does that make me competent? Speaking of incompetence, don’t mention Gallipoli. Sir Winston Churchill, who designed the deadly Dardanelles plan, was declared a partial dyslexic after this Gallipoli speech: “I honour my Dog, I verse my King, I lasso the Flag.”
Gallipoli did nothing for morale. Yet while there’s strife there’s hope. And adversity makes strange deathbeds. The river of death has brimmed its banks but the voice of a tycoon rallies the ranks: “War’s suffering is infinite but there’s money in’t.”
And thus it’s hello to arms. So be it! First you need an enemy. If you can’t find one, invent one. When this fails, spin folks a yarn about WMD. War is peace. Peace is slavery. Ignorance is strength. You give me the pictures I’ll give you the war.
The Adventures of Annabel
Annabel was poor and her life was sad;
Her future looked bleak and her prospects bad;
Her woes were ended by a bombshell factor;
She went off and married a defence contractor.
Now she wears challis in her palace and rings on her fingers. Has a perfume so costly the memory lingers. And now you can see her flash across the sky as a socialite.
Any man’s death diminishes me for I am involved in mankind. And therefore never seek to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for the arms corporations.
Choose your weapons. Hail Agent Orange, thou Heaven born knave, divine defoliant. Absolute power pollutes absolutely. In the end, your success will be determined by your platitude. I came. I saw. I contaminated.
Sydney streets along which the United States President will travel on Saturday will be named for the day “President Johnson Way.” Sydney Morning Herald: October 18, 1966. All the way with what can you say?
Conscription is, and always has been, a sinister word for Australian ears because Australians have always associated conscription with overseas war. Those who have imposed conscription on a section of our twenty-year-old voteless youths not to defend Australia, but to fight and die in a cruel, filthy, brutal, unwinnable war in Vietnam mangrove swamps, know this very well. Arthur Calwell: Sydney Morning Herald, April 14, 1966.
Vale Errol Wayne Noack (1945-1966)
Australians in Vietnam are the new Anzacs. They are fighting in order that we in Australia will be spared the march of tyranny down through South-East Asia. Thus spake William McMahon: Sydney Morning Herald: April 23, 1966.
They’re selling placebos down my way. Going cheap. I’ve tried them. They really do work. More often than not. You’ve got to believe in things of course. It’s all in the mind. O the mind has mountains! Placebos worked brilliantly at recent press conferences about keeping our borders safe. All with free tea and biscuits.
But some things we need to remember.
“Forward, the 6 RAR!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Long Tan: 18 dead …
Into the Valley of Death
Rode the silent majority.
Peace be with you now.