I’ve been in San Francisco for over a week now and have been living near Haight Ashbury which I’ve only driven through previously. In any event I looked it up in Wikipedia and 1967′s Summer of Love was quite a production with 100,000 odd people turning up and living from hand to mouth and from joint to joint until things fell apart all within a few blocks of the intersection of Haight and Ashbury. As you can imagine, it didn’t take long for things to fall apart.
In any event I came to the US for most of 1967 but lived in North Carolina where they were having something rather different – a summer of lynching. Well, I exaggerate. But they weren’t having a Summer of Love.
In any event during that year I went to what I’ve always remembered as Central Park where there was a ‘be-in’. I was ten and recognised that the people there were strange – long knotted, knitted, nitted hair – that kind of thing – but what struck me was how nice everyone was. (I suspect if I’d seen the same crowd today I would have thought they smiled too much.) But everyone was very very lovey dovey.
And since we’d left Sydney on the Oriana in late December 1966 and headed to Vancouver, then San Francisco and finally LA – or that’s what I think we did – I reckon that was the ‘be-in’ that I’ve always assumed was in Central Park. Golden Gate Park is a marvellous mega park, very much in the tradition of Central Park.
And so there you have it folks. Like Forest Gump at an early age appearing in the wings of history, in the prelude to the Summer of Love. And so of course your Troppo correspondent was there, not yet reporting for Troppo, but nevertheless making it possible for all Troppodillians to enjoy a first hand view of history.
Imagine yourself to be in the mythical Land of Beyond where you need minions to do a dirty job that men with honour would refuse to do. A classic trick in this situation is to pick people despised by the rest of society who are thus dependent on protection and will simply do what is asked for.
The Chinese emperors hit upon this truth when they started to surround themselves with eunuchs, despised by the rest of Chinese society and thus fiercely loyal to their protector, the Emperor. The roman emperors, similarly, made a habit of surrounding themselves with freed slaved who were despised by other Romans, as well as by a dedicated palace guard (the Praetorians) who were the only militia allowed in the vicinity of Rome.
The European colonialists too used this basic ‘dirty dozen’ technique when it came to keeping a large population in check with minimal own presence, particularly in Africa, by elevating some small despised group (ethnic or religious minorities) as the preferred club from whom the senior administrators came. This small favoured group would get personal benefits (riches and influence) but in return they would do whatever the colonizers wanted.
To see the relevance of this for university cuts in the Land of Beyond, you first need to step back a level and imagine yourself to be the Vice Chancellor of a second-rate university that brings in, say, a billion ‘Beyond’ dollars a year out of which some 300 million is money you dont really need to generate that 1 billion. It is ‘potential profit’ if you like. Continue reading →
It takes a lot for a seasoned partisan pro like Dennis to react like this. It means he’s not ‘in the tent’ and that’s not much fun, especially if you still work for these guys on a freelance basis – though Dennis has plenty of other clients for his writing business. In any event, I published his last Cri de Coeur here recently, and here’s the next one: NG
How do we explain the catastrophe now overtaking the Labor Party? Has there ever been an organisation so conscious of the foolishness of its behaviour but so unable to prevent itself from plunging to destruction?
We all watch on, horrified but transfixed, waiting for the next blood-soaked scene to be played out on News24 or Sky News. Like a great stage play, it’s utterly mesmerising – even more so, knowing that the government of the country and possibly the fate of a great political party is at stake. I can’t help but be reminded of the essence of tragedy: a royal house being laid low by a previously concealed but inevitably fatal flaw. So the question is: What is that flaw? Continue reading →
Unknown figure. I’m guessing the date as sometime in the 1960s (NG)
Part two of Felicity Renowden’s piece on Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack. (Part One is here).
Dr (later Sir) James Darling said of Hirschfeld-Mack: ‘He inspired dozens of boys with his integrity, and enthusiasm. He was an almost perfect man . . . a beautiful character and an original teacher’.
A great many of his students took with them into life a love of the Fine Arts. Many were inspired by his lessons on design and art and became designers themselves, architects, art historians and artists.
He was fascinated by the regeneration of the bush after fires. 1944, 5 years after huge 1939 fires east of Melbourne.
Völkerbund (League of Nations) 1920: Bauhaus woodcut. His yearning for peace. Unborn child probably his second daughter.
The following post is by Felicity Renowden who is working on a biography of Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack (1893-1965) a German who came to Australia in the same refugee/prison boat as my father HMT Dunera. He was a remarkable man. To enable me to show you some lovely illustrations, I’m breaking it into two parts. Comments in the captions to the pictures are Felicity’s unless otherwise indicated.
Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack was born to be an artist.
His was a life of extraordinary talent, creativity, innovation, experimentation and progressive thinking- in Germany until 1936 when he was forced out by the Nazis, in UK until 1940 and in Australia until his death in Sydney in 1965.
He trained and taught at the famous Weimar Bauhaus 1919-1925 in association with big names like Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Walter Gropius, Lyonel Feininger, Oskar Schlemmer and Josef Albers.
Frauen im Gasofen 1933. A resistance painting when the Nazis were already detaining and torturing any opponents to their regime. Just as well this painting remained hidden until after WW2.