Perjalanan Hidup #3 Side By Side We Stick Together

Gday Nathan Buckley, Mason Cox, Brayden Maynard, Scott Pendlebury, Jeff Browne, Major Brendan Nottle and Craig McRae,

with this open letter, I extend an invitation to each of you to help me in my military heritage based efforts to form a small, initially primarily artistic team to support Jordan De Goey to deal with the bullying he has recently faced and which, if it escalates, could become worse than what was done to Adam Goodes and drove that champion out of the game.

In my opinion, Jordy has been bullied because what I presume is his heterosexuality was exposed in public.

That bullying is wrong.

Brayden, you publicly described Jordy like this:

Brayden, I believe you. Thank you for standing up for your mate and letting the world know what he is really like.

We must not let virtue-signaling people, whether lone trolls online or lazy, self righteous, insensitive individuals, trash human rights from within the safety of paid positions in large organisations. This can really hurt kind, good-natured souls like Jordan De Goey.

We must not let the bullies create a situation where “Side By Side We Stick Together” becomes “Side By Side We’re Sick Together”

Jordy himself has publicly warned how much damage what I am calling mob bullying of athletes could do.

Is a safe place for bullies what we want Collingwood and Australia to be?

Or do we want to channel the spirit of WW2 and seek victory for human rights just like the diggers and their allies achieved in WW2.

If a bookish bloke like my dad could help do that in Balikpapan in WW2’s last major battle, we can all do it now.

 Albert Collier and Harold Rumney leading out Collingwood before their triumph in the 1929 VFL Grand Final

Geoff Fox, 29th June, 2022, Greater Collingwood (a.k.a. Melbourne)

Great Indonesians #1 Wiji Thukul – Indonesia’s Whitman Of The Kampung

Wiji Thukul was a Javanese freedom fighter poet, who reminds me of Walt Whitman because he sought to liberate people through poetry. Wiji’s left wing politics learnt from foreign cultural influences did not resonate broadly with his people but he was enormously influential in certain circles.

He wrote words like “Hanya Ada Satu Kata – Lawan” (There is only one word – Fight!) which are almost Shakespearean in the way they have traveled beyond their original use to enter into many people’s consciousness in Indonesia.

Like Whitman, Wiji wrote with and for freedom.

As I recall, esteemed writer Goenawan Mohamad praised Thukul in conversation with me for liberating the simple straight forward use of the Indonesian language like no other writer. Wiji achieved this because he insisted on using language which the people in his neighbourhood or kampung could understand.

Api Hak Pemberontakan” (the fire of the right of rebellion) are words that Wiji and I crafted as an Indonesian transcreation of Walt Whitman’s words: “O latent right of insurrection! O quenchless, indispensable fire!”

Today I turn it into Word Art:

Thukul was a leftist but enthralled by Mel Gibson’s heroic shout of “Freedom” in Brave Heart.

God Bless Wiji Thukul wherever he may be.

God Bless Freedom.

Geoff Fox, 17th June, 2022, dreaming of being back home in Indonesia

Perjalanan Hidup #2 Collingwood, Jack Frost and 1945

Dear Colonel Winsome Merrett and Collingwood President Jeff Browne,

When I was a child my dad took me to the footy at Victoria Park and other suburban Melbourne Grounds almost every week.

My favourite player then was Barry Price who wore number 5.

He was a magnificent exponent of the stab pass and drop kick and had reaction times in packs and when in danger of being tackled that were the equal of modern players. And he could find space like Scott Pendlebury.

On Xmas Day last year at the Magpie Nest, I got to talk with Nathan Buckley, another great number 5 for Collingwood , and with Mason Cox (number 46) about Barry Price and Jack Frost (number 45), who was a guy who seemed to me to win nearly every contest when he first started playing.

I have used a photo I took of Jack Frost to celebrate the triumph over fascism when the allies defeated the axis powers in in 1945. On the day that I took this photo I told Jack that his number was very historically significant and suggested that he keep the number if he could. When his career took him to Brisbane he continued wearing number 45.

I told Mason and Bucks about this photo, which was accepted into an art display of mine in the heart of President Jokowi’s world in Indonesia.

Mason said that he had been buddied with Jack Frost when he came to Collingwood because they had adjacent numbers, 45 and 46.

And, as I recall, when I asked Bucks who would be a good person to be a focus for WW2 commemoration at Collingwood Brisbane games or elsewhere, Nathan said “Frosty’s the one.”

Since that time requests by me for discussion of how to follow up on this through a couple of people at The Magpie Nest have been ignored. Perhaps it was above their paygrade.

In addition, I am extremely disappointed that it seems to me to have become impossible now to watch Bucks on Fox Footy at The Magpie Nest.

People cannot solve problems if they do not discuss them.

I call that communication Living In The Word.

Colonel Merrett and President Browne, can either or both of you busy people make time to talk with me?

Sincerely,

Geoff Fox, 30th May, 2022, Melbourne, Australia