“A man who is used to acting in one way never changes; he must come to ruin when the times, in changing, no longer are in harmony with his ways.”
― Machiavelli Niccolo, The Prince
1. Today was Remembrance Dayand Steve Maxwell understandably talked about World War I and how it began. His Great Uncle was in the 48th Battalion in Bullecourt, at the Western Front. That made it even more special for Steve and his listeners.
2. Uncle Pete had a serious question.He asked Mr B for his thoughts on having ‘Waltzing Matilda’ replace ‘Advance Australia Fair’ as Australia’s national anthem. Mr B was not in favour of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ but his preferred choice, “We are one; we are many . . .” prompted a few people to gag on pretend vomit. Then Helmut insisted Mr B’s real choice was ‘God Save The Queen‘ before Tony reminded us all, for no apparent reason, that the Spanish anthem has no words.
Mr B then remembered his favourite anthem, and promised to share it with this scribe. (Should we adopt it for our own?) Here it is:
3. Speaking of Mr B, he has asked meto pass on an apology to one poor woman. He called her a ‘blabbermouth’ because she packed a whole heap of information into a handful of long sentences. He wanted to examine each claim but there were too many of them, one after the other, he explained. He should have handled the situation better, he says.
“How?” I asked him.
“I could have focused on one claim and examined that,” he said.
I told him “it’s a bit late now” and asked him, “Why, after so many years speaking at the Domain, are you still making basic mistakes like that?”
That’s when he slunk off.
4. Relief at last! Peter the Younger often prefaces his questions or comments with an unnecessary aside, and Mr B has tediously (and some would say unfairly) criticised him for it. Today, as though in commemoration of the conclusion of the Great War 100 years ago, the two men came to an agreement. After a generous concession by Peter the Younger, Mr B will never again ‘roar him up’ for unnecessarily prefacing a comment. Hallelujah.
5. There are righteous nationsand wicked nations, explained Mr B (stealing from Walter Murdoch). The righteous nations never start wars; wars are forced upon them. The righteous nations want justice; the wicked nations want injustice. The righteous nations keep their promises; the wicked nations break agreements. Some nations are willing to fight on your side, and these also are righteous nations.
The trouble is, as Walter and Mr B pointed out: every nation believes it’s a righteous nation.
“If the world were really like a chessboard, if human beings could be as sharply divided into good and bad as chessmen are divided into black and white, history would be easily understood, and the international situation could at any given moment be explained to a kindergarten.”
6. There are countless examplesof our ‘disposable’ mentality. We buy an item and discard the packaging, and then soon discard the item itself. Cars are owned for three years instead of thirty. And so on. We are now tending to think of the Earth in the same way, warns Mr B. Christians have said to Mr B that it doesn’t matter that we’re destroying the Earth because when God returns we will have a paradise again. Other people have said that one day we will terraform Mars and live there. Mr B railed against that foolish disposable mentality from Christians and wanna-be Martians, saying we desperately need to look after the Earth we have now.
7. Mr B made amomentous change to the Australian way of life. He banned history.
Yes, that’s right, folks, he didn’t just express his displeasure of history, he outright banned it. The possible ramifications for our society make this hardy scribe shudder. In a few months let’s examine the influence this ban will have had upon us.
8. Mr B pretended to beginto give us a history of flight (even though he had banned history). The talk turned out to be a criticism of current day capitalism. (Alex Nobel calls it ‘Crony Capitalism’ and you can read Mr Noble’s brief but absorbing article here.
9. When fighting in the Crusades, gallant knight Sir Thrust-a-lot used his sword to solve many of his problems. So, when he returned from the Crusades he kept using his sword to solve problems, even though using a sword wasn’t appropriate. In the same way, some people have become reliant on one particular emotion to solve all their problems.
To read the story of Sir Thrust-a-lot, click here.
10. Other subjects discussed:
– Does a woman have a right to NOT be traumatised?
– A Scottish woman took umbrage with Mr B’s claim that there is no such thing as a Scot. Well, to be more accurate: a woman who thought she was a Scottook umbrage with his claim.
11. Mr B butchered this joke:
A little girl tells her father she’s marrying little Billy next door. The father finds this amusing and asks her “What are you going to do for money?” The little girl says: “Well, Billy has saved up $4 and I’ve saved up $5.20.”
The father loves this answer and is prompted to ask her “Where are you going to live?” The little girl says “Billy can live here sometimes, and sometimes I’ll live at Billy’s place.” The father thinks that’s a fine answer. So he asks her “And what happens if little ones come along?” She says, “Well, we’ve been lucky so far.”
12. In our Unusual Creature Serieswe have a Durrell’s Vontsira, a Madagascan mammal. You will find the same photo on our Facebook page.