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May 2024


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Category "Australia"

The Opposite of Love …

I have not been online here for a long time — and there are many reasons of which I may tell you one day.

Tonight I watched the last few minutes of an interesting documentary on Australias NITV (the National Indigenous Television), “Standing on Sacred Ground“.  In this four-part documentary series, native people share ecological wisdom and spiritual reverence while battling a utilitarian view of land in the form of government megaprojects, consumer culture, and resource extraction as well as competing religions and climate change.1 ] In the last couple of minutes, the author Barry Lopez is being interviewed:

Most of the time when you ask people, “What is the opposite of love?”, they will say hate. But the opposite of love is indifference. People are indifferent to the Earth. What we have in front of us in an enterprise to repair indifference on a vast scale and turn it into a loving relationship.2 ]

This is a remarkable statement.Indeed, you can’t really “hate” nature, rather than another person or a natural feature.  But by being indifferent to either of them, human beings or nature, I don’t care — in essence, I don’t love.

As a migrant I have left my turf in Germany to live in Australia, but here having worked with Aboriginal people I have had the chance to see them “come back” – to their country.

I have to get the chance to watch the full documentary!


  1. Synopses [top]
  2. Transcript, p30 (pdf). [top]

Happy New Year 2015

Dear family and friends,

many greetings from Christmas season-hot Adelaide, with another heatwave record brewing outside (43C today, the third day and not the last until a moderate change tomorrow night).

Also, many greetings from our new (now one-year old) home in Adelaide. Thanks to Lizzie’s efforts, parts of our backyard garden are changing from lawns between long grey metal fences to a garden with vegetable patch, shrubs, vine and some flowers along the fence line. Beneath a large fig tree in the back garden is a little tool shed, so we are all set for our olden days … Our front yard, on the other hand, is very Mediterranean with several citrus and pomegranate trees and an olive tree … we are inly lacking a nice cool cellar to keep all the fruit jars we don’t have …

We also now have a small guest room and a decent folding bed — so feel free to visit us.

Following is my personal part of our news letter.

[

Ken McKenzie — musician and wise man

While organizing my digital images of the past 10 years or so for putting them up into my new Christmas gift photo gallery (, I (re-)discovered a series of scan images from a visit in Australia in late 2003.  We had travelled through the Flinders Ranges, all the way north to Leigh Creek and to the last outpost of the main road and railway station, Copley SA. [Read more »]

Welcome to “Twenty Thirteen”

… and the hottest day since 2009:  45°C.  According to “adelaide now“, the local (Murdoch) online news service, this record was hit at 3:40pm this afternoon, coupled with a “catastrophic” bush fire danger and a fire already out of control on the south side of .

[

A tree re-grows

Across my bus stop, on the busy Lower North East Road, Campbelltown, just outside the Italian Aged Care Centre, a tree seems to be re-growing.  Two years ago, or so, the Council planted trees along the curbs all over the suburb, and so they did here.  I pass this place quite often to catch the bus into the city centre, and one day I saw that the young tree had been broken, the trunk still sticking at the roots in the ground.  Some weeks later, it was only the trunk that remained on the side walk, and a small stump in the ground.

The other day, in the middle of the Australian summer, I saw that small branches were trying to spring to life and I was wondering whether they would survive.  But even during the heat wave of the past few weeks over the summer holidays, they continue growing.

So I ponder if, and how, this little tree will survive — and what it is telling me!?

The Stolen Generation

Sharron Williams, presenting her life story as an Aboriginal Woman to the Workshop Group “Cultural Awareness (Indigenous) / Breakout Session 3 of the Emergeny Relief South Australian Conference “Making Connections – More than just a Handout”, Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs SA (FACSIA), 18 to 19 October 2007. [Read more »]

“The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat”

As one of the performances during the Adelaide Fringe 2007 festival the TAFE Adelaide Centre for ARTS presented this theatre play by Peter Weiss, from 1964 and originally in German.  Directed by the Adelaidian Paul Peers, the 3rd year graduating students staged a play within a play, which for me in times was hard to understand. [Read more »]

Fences in Australia

Since my first visit to Australia, way back in 1992, I am struck by a question, which I find really puzzling:  How can people in a country as “free” (and as large) as Australia create that large a variety of fences?  Wherever ever you travel through this vast continent, whomever you visit  – there’ll be fences all over … [Read more »]

Cultural Cringe

In social science studies the term “cultural cringe” is applied, when people in formerly mostly colonized countries see their cultural achievements as minor in value compared to other countries.  Invented after WWII by the Melbourne intellectual A.A. Phillips, this concept received some attention amongst the Australian intellectual community.  [Read more »]

“drfslcns” and “diddle”

Sitting at a bus stop today in mid-day heat, I was wondering whether I should be cross with myself for waiting at the wrong bus station:  The sun was shining full force right into the little bus shelter with three or four people there expecting the bus to show up any minute.  Of course, being in Adelaide, this was pretty much a hopeless dream – the next bus was only due in at least 15 min. [Read more »]