VICTORY FOR ALL #2 FLAGPIES

As I write this all three Australian Rules football teams representing the Collingwood Football Club, the Magpies, have a real chance to win a premiership this year. The two men’s teams are in the finals and the Women’s team has started a new season with a good victory last night and a number of talented players expected to return from injury.

The AFL mens team has played perhaps the most exciting brand of footy in the history of the sport this season to finish among the top four teams which is where the premier normally comes from.

In 2010, when Collingwood last won an AFL premiership, I invented the word “Flagpies” and proudly said over and over at one literary pub in Carlton that this word was the greatest poem ever written in Australian.

Today, Ash, the MC at a Magpie Nest function in Melbourne, enthusiastically joined me in shouting out this word.

Ash is a follower of all things good in Aussie footy, not a life-long one-eyed Collingwood supporter like me, but she recognizes that the Collingwood AFL team’s achievement in winning eleven games by less than two goals (easily eclipsing the previous best number of close finish victories of 8 by Melbourne in 1989) has made this year’s Collingwood team one of the most exciting teams to watch in the history of the game.

I am an old man on the skids trying to make a go of it with a midrange camera that doesnt always produce great results in some light conditions.

But I am very grateful to Ash and the Magpie Nest for giving me the chance today to celebrate in two of my chosen art forms my life-long loves of Collingwood, footy and freedom.

Thank you, my friends.

Geoff Fox, 26th August, 2022, Melbourne , Australia

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

Sustainable Development #16 Personal Survival in The Culture War

Cultural Warrior Philipp Zey travelled around the world on a bicycle with a trombone, a golf club and a German pasta shaper.

He shared music, his golf swing and pasta meals using locally available ingredients with hosts and new friends in the cause of peace, understanding and freedom across and up and down Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and Africa.

It is unlikely that anyone in the world has ever played didgeridoo on a trombone down a drain in Australia better than Philipp Zey did for my camera just because I asked him to.

Aboriginal elder the late Aunty Dot Peeters said his playing was “excellent”.

Geoff Fox, February 1 , 2021, Terra Nullius

The Fundamentals #9 Managing Our Times

Amanda Woods of San Diego is young and smart.

I am older. But I learn from and with her.

Martin Luther King Jr, born on this date in 1929 taught that “…… the wealth of cultural and technological progress in America is a result of the commonwealth of inpouring contributions.”

This human commonwealth exists across races, times and places.

When it is shared in freedom and justice, it can grow.

When it become tyrannous, it dies.

Geoff Fox, 16th January, 2021, Terra Nullius

The Fundamentals #2 Penjajahan

The profound historical insights embedded in the wonderful art of Melburnian John Lawry has lead me to the following thoughts.

The heavy weight of Penjajahan or Colonialism destroys the so called powers.

The post colonial world has not recovered yet from all of the evils which were done in the name of imperial power both to those colonised and to the colonising nations themselves.

Freedom works for people.

Tyranny works for tyrants.

Geoff Fox, 17th August, 2020, Terra Nullius