Melbourne 6

There’s a recent episode of The Simpsons in which Homer becomes “Pie Man” and goes around fighting injustice by throwing pies in people’s faces. Burns finds out his secret identity and blackmails him into doing his bidding by basically becoming his hit-man. There’s a shot where there’s a girl-scout like little girl at Burn’s door and he sticks his head out to say something like “Just a minute.” We then hear Homer complaining that he doesn’t want to hurt the little girl. And Burns says: “Pie that Brownie, Fruitcake!”
I love that! Can’t get it out of my head.

It’s hot in Melbourne again. That means flies.
I bought two hats. One is a felt Akubra that has, as the guy at City Hats said, “20 rabbits in it”. It’s now the biggest hat I own and its VERY comfortable. The other is a kangaroo leather bush hat by Akubra’s biggest rival Barmah. It can fold up and fit into a canvas bag that came with it. The guy at City Hats said that Kangaroo is the second most durable leather in the world. Like an idiot, I didn’t ask him what the first most durable was.
City Hats is at Flinders St. Station and is a definite stop for anyone interested in getting a good hat while in Melbourne. Small cramped shop with just stacks and stacks of hats. And the guy (I didn’t get his name) was a TRIP. He was complaining about the number of people at the track this year who weren’t wearing hats: “As if skin cancer is more fashionable.”
He was preaching to the choir with me. I love hats. I love wearing them. It saddens me that they are no longer assumed in our society. I’ve been in some old theaters that have a wire hat holder under the seat. It’s so completely civilized. You put your hat in the holder and then fold the seat down and sit. Unlike in restaurants and bars these days where you can’t find anywhere to put a hat. Not even a rack or hook. And then the staff treat you like you’re some kind of trouble-maker because you expect there to be some provision for the hat-inclined.

Watching Australia oust Howard and get their long-term dream of a new government has been interesting. I have not yet met a single Howard supporter. I know they exist, but they don’t hang around arts type people in Melbourne it seems. The point is, that it makes me think about the next US election. What alarms me most is that in a context featuring a profoundly messed up portfolio of foreign policy disasters, and an accelerating environmental disaster of global proportions, I don’t hear anyone really saying anything that isn’t political maneuvering. Maybe that’s par for the course. That you’ve got to get into the office and then you can do things. But it seems like what we could use is somebody who can craft an ability to grock all of this stuff into an ability to communicate it. I feel like we live in a world where there are so many alarms going on, that we don’t hear any of them.
I mean, have you heard what some of these climate scientists have been saying? When was the last time you heard anyone with credibility say anything along the lines of “Oh, it turns out things aren’t as bad. Our estimates were pessimistic. Global warming is accelerating more slowly than we thought.”? Quite on the contrary, you hear expert after expert saying things along the lines of “It’s worse than we thought. It’s all fundamentally falling apart RIGHT NOW. Our previous estimates were pure Pollyanna fantasy.” When people talk about good news in climate science these days its about the fact that Al Gore has made a difference and a few more people take the subject a bit more seriously. This is like saying that you’ve managed to convince the occupants of a burning building that fire actually exists.

I look at how we live our lives now and I think about a little kid coming up to me when I’m old and asking “What the hell were you people DOING? What was wrong with you?”

And then there’s the war…

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