I Try To Understand

Right now people all around me seem to be on drugs – word drugs. As I watch their narcotised, stupefied, insensible, befuddled, delirious, hallucinating behaviour I feel as though I have just fallen into Alice’s Wonderland. Why is this so?

I try to understand.

Rudyard Kipling once said that words are the most powerful drugs used by mankind. I fervently agree with him. I do know however that some words are as valuable as penicillin. They are not the ones I am thinking of.

The words currently in my mind can lead to the darkest of consequences. Many of the users of these words aim to suppress logic. They seek to give you a good feeling about unverified things and thus take away a great freedom – your ability to make decisions based on truth and reliable evidence.

What is the motive for this? It’s quite simple: to get your money. A second aim is to gain power over you. When your existence depends not on reason and proof but on the schemes and devices of fable pedlars, you are no longer free.

The selling artifice has become a Janus deal for the power seekers of the modern world. And the bend sanctifies the means.

In the table below then are some of my narcotic words. Their possible ramifications are also shown. All of this is a struggle that continues for me.


Attribution: Creative Commons – http://www.theloquitur.com/leonards-turntable-trending-mixtapes/







Slanted perfection.

 Absolutely correct = 100%. Correct also = 100%. The big word merely looks better.

Absolute implies an extreme. So we are inspired absolutely to buy. 😯

get one free

You can first decide on the profit margin.

Then divide the needed selling price by three. The three you buy thus pay for the ‘free’ fourth.

Things are not free if you have to buy something else to get them. 😢

35% Off

It is possible to add 35% to the original price before the sale.

You can then with a flourish take off 35% in big letters.

Often the befuddled  buy the “bargain” and lift sales and profit. A big trick. Consider this! 😨

just 950 dollars 

“Just” can be a false diminutive.

It shrewdly implies you are getting a bargain. It can deceive you.

So go ahead and buy that match-box for just $19.50. Trust the fake mood? 😻

it’s new.

So what? Newness is vague value. Not necessarily good.

A new virus can make all the current medicines useless.

It’s time you knew ‘new’ can be a fake virtue. 😼

50% less fat

Meaningless batter.

Less than what? A pig’s foot? A ton of dripping?

“More” and “less” mean nothing unless all things compared are shown. 🤔

some people say…

Who the ‘some people’ are is never revealed in case you check up.

Are the SP mad? Are they criminals? Are they paid? No information given.

You are mad to see unchallenged truth in such shadowy statements. 😈

recent research shows

Once, recent research showed that man could never fly. Details are direly needed..

Researcher named? Size of sample given? Methods shown? We need to check it all!

Non-reliable non- valid research will eventually crumble like fake prophecies. 😵

ad hominem

Your position weak? Put a bomb in ‘em.

If your opponent is smart, attack his intelligence.

If your opponent is clever scientifically, attack science. 👹

being political

This “crime” has recently been the accusation used by one politician against another.

“In using that argument, the honourable member is simply being political,” said the Minister.

Pray what else should a politician be if not political? Are we not in fact suggesting here that  all politicians are bad people? ☠️

strong, firm leadership

Status quo rules. Police state in disguise?

Harsh penalties for dissidents. Laud our way of life; ignore its sins.

Enemies are said to be everywhere. Border protection is stressed. Weapons needed. Jobs and shares rise. Yea!    👿

taxpayer’s dollars

Unlimited funds to support banks, weapons and war.

Not so relevant re. education, hospitals and the aged. Save money for the truly important things and  privatise!

Open University Pty Ltd. 😎

big government

Corporate no no.

Viva Efficient Market hypothesis! Market triumphalism: core creed as we cash in on the Commons.

Auction off all that the people own. Make CEOs symbols of righteousness. Fund banks👺

expert advice

Henry Ford’s lawyer said, in 1903, that the car was only a fad.

Lord Kelvin of the Royal Society said in 1883 that X-rays were a hoax.

So the unsinkable Titanic sank. 🙃

the 99 cent gimmick

It seems a dollar cheaper. $4.99 is really $5.00 but the brain sees $4.00.

A deliberate trick to mislead. Yes deliberate. Count the examples.

‘Tis a subconscious swivel to twist reality in favour of the seller. 🙄

buy for $225 and save

You can reduce the cost but do you really save when you spend?

Etymology: Latin salvare ‘to make safe.’ Safe by spending? Maybe.

My daughter said long ago: “I was good today Daddy. Did you see all the things I didn’t do?” 😇

got highest awards

What were they? Were they valid? Is the brand story a convenient fantasy?

Self praise is an overt, lucrative form of fake flattery.

The going price for a knighthood from James I in the 1600s: £38. ♛

nothing but the best

The word best is often a fictitious superlative – a risky thing.

Accurate proof is rare. Glib tongues reap undeserved best rewards often.

Thus it may follow that the best possible outcome may be but the least worst option!  😼  



Post Script


Things are not as bad as they used to be, as this Public Domain archival image shows.


Tea Break From The Cricket

Poems Through A Glass Starkly


  A Word On The Yellow Press

That picture above of the Yellow Kid is linked to the reason we have the current term “Yellow Press.” The cartoon character was the creation of Richard Fenton Outcault who was working in the 1890s in the United States for the extremely racist media mogul Joseph Pulitzer and his New York World. Outcault with his narrative cartoon style is generally regarded as the beginner of newspaper comics.

The Kid was an overtly shallow and uneducated character and spoke in a kind of  uneducated and “immigrant” language. One key aim: denigration. Pulitzer would have been pleased with the colour yellow as he had an intense hatred of Chinese, especially the mid-nineteenth century gold seekers. The head of the Kid was shaved, a common sight in that age of head lice, and he wore a nightshirt that was an inheritance from a sister and on which were written strange, attention getting statements that many thousands of readers took delight in.

Now the story of the Yellow Kid or, to give him his appointed name Mickey Dugan, has a quite startling relevance to our contemporary lives. His adventures were set in a New York Slum – Hogan’s Alley – in a time of widespread poverty and vast social and racial tension. These exploits captured the interest of a multitude. Newspapers largely without real news suddenly were beginning to make a profit – a big profit. Two pennies bought Mickey; to Hell with thinking about worldly matters!

The Yellow Kid was very significantly a distraction from vital news. He sold newspapers and helped change Pulitzer’s insignificant rag into a goldmine of 300,000 circulation. Arm in arm with rape and murder and scandal and war the Kid helped set a news-media pattern that still exists all around us today. The task for Pulitzer and Hearst was not to educate with true, important information but rather to present news selectively and fill the gaps with non sequiturs. That meant attract attention in your market in any way you can.

So today, when chosen samples of worthless and sensational trivialities seize our time and create a vast ignorance of reality, the  name”Yellow Press” is relevant. Mickey Dugan and his world live on.

Randolf Hearst saw the yellow light and stole Outcault from Pulitzer with a higher salary. The Yellow Kid remained the property of Pulitzer (verified by court decision) but another colour achieved similar objectives. But the diversion from reality continued. Other distractions like Buster Brown flourished.

Here is Buster.Buster_Brown_alone_mod_color-1

Attribution: Publisher: New York Herald. Date: May 4, 1902. Artist: Richard F. Outcault.

In contrast to the Yellow Kid, Buster Brown was good looking. Buster Keaton at the time was a child actor so the name was popular. The character was drawn first for Pulitzer but when Outcault transferred to Hearst the character went too as another circulation booster for Pulitzer’s former protege and then his rival. Buster appeared for both magnates but a court decision forbade the use of the name by Hearst. Hearst created many more circulation boosting comic figures. Let us not be too hard on the comics as a distraction. They often entertain after all. It’s non stop murder, rape, scandal and violence including war subject matter that need a line to be drawn. The saddest line of all is always a Siegfried line. What have the media done recently to stop wars?


An Examination of Testing 

It’s testing time in the madhouse

As the beasties seek to see

If the alphas, gammas or deltas

Deserve a right to be

But the testers have delusions

That illusions must be inclusions

So that all they ever find at best

Is who can do their test

No data on morality in this ordeal hiatus

Just an empty number that proclaims your evil status

Sweet alpha we cannot kiss today for I’m an epsilon

I failed their test and can you guess I am now fit to be spat upon?

So all we humble guinea pigs must make a contribution

While flaws and lies imposed on us have a normal distribution

Someone should write a poem now to expose this dark stupidity

Reliable yes to sort the sheep but what about the validity?

Attribution. Cartoon Source: http://www.thelandscapeoflearning.com/2012/09/please-climb-that-tree.html Date of Visit: 16 October, 2017



 Ad Ventures In The Gloom

Whoops we diddle and take ‘em down

Fiddle the riddle and kindle the middle

Bash the rash and fake the cash

All for the sake of a sale O

Beguile the smile and sell off the Nile

Export the nought to feed the rort

Flog the log till we’re all agog

All for the sake of a sale O

Enchant the egg to fall off the wall

Invent a rent for the incident

Conjure the wise to standardise

All for the sake of a sale O

Walk like a noodle to feed the fake

Peddle a medal to market the rash

Rat the fink so the price will sink

All for the sake of a sale O

Hoodwink the horde but smile the while

Hoax the folks and delude the fool

Inveigle the bagel to feed the greed

All for the sake of a sale O

Outwit the weather and say it’s fine

Pull a fast one on the last one

Cock-a-doodle let us canoodle

All for the sake of a sale O

17 October 2017


Attribution: Source Creative Commons; precise origin unknown.


Attribution: Source Creative Commons. Link: https://unclestinky.wordpress.com/category/pop-culture-stench/page/2/ Date: 17/8/2017

After the break, more cricket.


Please Spend Time With The Remarkable Ernest McQuillan OAM NOW

A day in Ern’s life so many decades ago

What does a day in your life mean to you?

Much routine, no doubt. Work somewhere, unless you are like me and dispensed with. Then home.

But What of Ern’s Day?

Rather different from yours or mine it’s quite an adventure to tell you. I’ll do my best with that adventure.

The first thing to note is that in those early days, beginning in the 1940s, Ern’s camera was a vital instrument of a major newspaper. It was its eyes. There was no television in Australia until the late Fifties, and even then TV took a long while to find its way into every home.

James Dibble reading the first ABC television news in 1956. Attribution: Wiki Commons
James Dibble reading the first ABC television news in 1956. Attribution: Wiki Commons

Radios had to be licensed. Portable radios were not so common. You had “live” or immediate awareness of world events only if you were involved in the actual disaster or were in fact present when, say, Bradman scored his hundredth hundred.  The other immediate source was the radio if you had one and paid the licence.

A Philco "Cathederal" radio from the 1930s. Attribution Wiki Commons.
A Philco “Cathederal” radio from the 1930s. Attribution: Wiki Commons.

The standard way of getting the latest news was to read about the event in your paper perhaps around twenty-four hours later and see Ern’s pictures.

Moving pictures with voice over would take longer –  a week or more later. “Live” images in your living room were nothing but a distant future dream.

Ern and his colleagues were therefore key sources of news in that world. They were a kind of small model of what America’s Paramount News  used to call itself:

The Eyes and Ears of the World.”

So the teenager, fresh from school, was thrust into the front line of news reporting. He had to learn his craft quickly. He was well taught, for example by people like Charlie Cameron, an old time master photographer in charge of the distribution of photographic materials to the staff of Truth and Sportsman Ltd. Charlie and others mentored the lad, yet he was never spoon fed. Photographic resources were costly and money was scarce in those early years.

If you were sent out on a job, no matter how sensational or significant it was, you were never given more than six film frames for your camera. You would get them in a blackened box, 35mm raw materials. You really had to know your craft to avoid waste. You would fix one into a 4″x 5″ frame, load it into the magazine at the back of the camera and eventually take the shot. That was it: “One strike and you’re out!” Bad shot! Missed the target! Cut off a head! Too bad. No second chance.

Ern knew nothing of the present day digital simplicity: click click click click and then pick the best shot. Not satisfied? Click click click again and then take your pick.

The important point to note here is that the progress we accept as normal today was still to come. Newspapers, in Ern’s golden days, were overtly and so obviously the focal points of information for the mass of ordinary people. In the train on the way to work of a Monday morning, all you would notice was not people’s heads, but their newspapers. You would see row after row of them in every carriage.

This was the most common way we found out things. Attribution: Wiki Commons
This was the most common way we found out things. Attribution: Wiki Commons

Headlines! Headlines! Headlines! Constant repetition if you happened to walk down the carriage aisles.

Such a contrast to today: everybody cocooned in iPhones or the equivalents.

Newspaper advertising then was very profitable too. Ern had to get things right to preserve the paper’s good name linked to advertising.  To survive for fifty years in the profession, you had to conquer the challenges –  the shortages of time (deadlines were deadly) and equipment and funds. Your survival depended on your own determination and inbuilt personal resources.

The Forties and Fifties were a special time for the movies though, and news began creeping in there too.  “Picture Shows,” as we teenagers called them, began to have additions called Newsreels to bring the news to you in a retarded kind of way,  maybe a week or so after things happened.

These news elements were gradually creeping into cinemas from the Forties. In these cinemas for each program of feature films there was a usual place for newsreels, possibly Cinesound, Movietone or Gaumont British or Universal or Paramount news, before the main feature(s).

If you were a news addict, you might visit one of the newsreel theatres – small venues that showed a continuous array of around eight to ten collections of assorted, brief news documentaries. Those shows kept on repeating until closing time and, if you were part of the audience, you got up in the dark and walked out when the item you first saw came round again.

It is quite clear from this isn’t it, that newspapers and the photographs they contained, in the earlier times of Ern’s professional life had far less competition than they have today? Their status was naturally higher.

Let us look now at more details of Ern’s working day.

Ern travelled to work in a train. Sometimes by tram or in a bus. To jobs far and wide public transport was his only recourse. He had to be ready for anything on these sorties of his. He had to be prepared with equipment for any kind of news events the gods or Fates decided on. So ALL his equipment had to go with him on every job. This was far from easy.

His Speed Graphic camera for example, had monstrous weight that seemed to double after even the shortest walk.

Here is Ern showing his heavy equipment to Richard Nixon,
Here Ern shows his heavy equipment to Richard Nixon.

Then there were the telephoto lenses; the filters; the wide-angle lens. On a country job you had a bigger load to carry. You needed the chemicals for developing and printing the pictures, photographic paper, clips and string to hang the prints and let them dry. All this on top of your toothpaste and clothing and normal travellers equipment. As a former boxer and Rugby League winger Ern was fortunate to be fit enough for the task.

Apparently  a request was made to the boss of one paper, Sir Frank Packer, for something to carry small items in. Some of his photographers were soon jokingly referred to as “the plumbers” because Sir Frank had bought each of them a plumber’s bag for this purpose.

Improvisation was the key for out of town work. Dark rooms are not automatic inclusions in country hotels. Running water was also a necessity as well as the darkness, so a toilet or a laundry might have to suffice.

Let us say, to create an example, there was a break-in at the Lithgow Small Arms Factory, across the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia.

Lithgow Small Arms Factory, Our Sample Job. Attribution: Wiki Commons.
Lithgow Small Arms Factory, Our Sample Job. Attribution: Wiki Commons.

Ern’s transport on this job would be a steam train from Sydney’s Central Rail Station to Lithgow, a distance of some 89 miles or 143 kilometres.



Ern's early transport to "the Bush." Attribution: Wiki Commons.
Ern’s early transport to “the Bush.” Attribution: Wiki Commons.

Should it be winter when you arrived in Lithgow, you would be weighed down further by an overcoat or else freeze towards death.

Now the Press Photographer’s Role

This is how you would complete your mission. First, your visit to the news scene. Then the shots, determined by your artistry and sense of newsworthiness.

Then it would be full speed to a dark room, wherever it may be. Develop your prints in your  container with the room essentially at the right, and only the right, temperature. The developer liquid of ready mixed chemicals then had to be quickly rinsed off. Then the fixing in another solution. Then the hanging out to dry in the darkness. Then came the printing , the 8″x 6″ or 10″x 8″ photographs for the editors to construct a story around. This stage too was work for the true artist. Perfection was never automatic.

The next stage of the process seems to us with-it folk of the twenty-first century rather quirky. It was off to the Post Office and the 6″x 5″ picturegram sent to the journalists and editors back in town. Things were out of Ern’s hands then. The experts at head office had their materials to prepare for the next deadline.


So there you have it. That will have to do for now: just a taste of a past era told to me by a master, always with a twinkle in those eyes and a smile on that face. It has been my great good fortune to know Ern and listen to his stories.

If you would like to share more of Ern’s adventures, you might enjoy a visit to this site.

If you have a special interest in Horse Racing, you might find interest at this site.

Simply for a little more pleasure in Ern’s company, you might find that pleasure here.

 Thanks for sharing this time with Ern and me. I know Ern would want to join in with those thanks.

I hope you too feel that publishers and film makers should link up with Ern while the chance exists.





Adding to what I said in my previous posts:

 I am learning to share life also with all the wonderful image makers of Creative Commons and Wiki Commons. 

It’s such a joy. It works for me. I want to recommend it to anyone who reads these thoughts.  I wish – especially wish for this post, to acknowledge the mastery of the Russian artist whose work is my featured image (and whose name I have not yet been able to share because of language difficulties).  More details can be found at the link below. As with all material used independently by me, my best course seems to provide the link to my source.


Please Note: The works of original artists used by me on this post are unchanged and used totally independently by me. As you can see, in my effort to show respect for the artists, I have linked to where I found each image. If I have erred in any way, please advise and I shall remove the problem. In response to each picture I have used my imagination to try with my words to leap into different parts of your thinking space. I feel so fortunate to find such shoulders to try to stand on.


I would like to end with these two quotations by Elizabeth Barrett Browning on photographs. I have treasured them for a long time.

Elizabeth_Barrett_Browning_by_Michele_Gordigiani_1858. Attribution: Wiki Commons.
Elizabeth_Barrett_Browning_by_Michele_Gordigiani_1858. Attribution: Wiki Commons.

I long to have such a memorial of every being dear to me in the world. It is not merely the likeness which is precious in such cases – but the association and the sense of nearness involved in the thing … the fact of the very shadow of the person lying there fixed forever! It is the very sanctification of portraits I think – and it is not at all monstrous in me to say, what my brothers cry out against so vehemently, that I would rather have such a memorial of one I dearly loved, than the noblest artist’s work ever produced.Elizabeth Barrett Browning(1843, letter to Mary Russell Mitford)

The charm, one might say the genius, of memory is that it is choosy, chancy and temperamental; it rejects the edifying cathedral and indelibly photographs the small boy outside, chewing a hunk of melon in the dust.Elizabeth Barrett Browning

My Source Is: http://www.photoquotes.com/showquotes.aspx?id=36&name=Browning,Elizabeth#ixzz3PFJxgqbY