Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bob's Fish Pictures

Images copyright Stormboy 2014.

 x sarah toa

Robert Neil's Snakes, 1840

Torn-ock, Tukyte, N. Name. Venemous. Length of specimen 4 foot 9 inches

Williamlungar N. Name not venemous

Norn, N. Name. Psuedohaje nigra. Male (?) Venemous - deadly
Specimen 3 3/4 feet long

Kirry-gura, Williamlungar, N. Name.
But doubtful if poisonous.

Bardick, N. Name.

coronatus, latin. Venemous but not dreaded by the Aborigines.

Diamond Backed Snake.

Aren't they beautiful? I've only labelled them with what I could decipher. N. Name means Nyungar Name. In my next post I'll tell the tale of Robert Neil, Bob and the Fish Pics.

Pictures courtesy of the British Museum of Natural History.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pumpkin Scones, Joh Dear?

“A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in."
H L Mencken

In a campaign spearheaded by politicians and lovingly supported by such journalistic luminaries as The West Australian and The Sunday Times, the West Australian police have announced a 'Dob in a Bikie' Day.

That's correct. We're not talking about Nazi Germany or The Axis of Evil, it's just bikies and everyone hates them anyway, according to the West. So it's okay. Let's all pick up the phone and dob the bastards in.

“We don’t want to know who you are, we just want to know what you know about bikies, their activities, their friends and associates,” Assistant Police Commissioner Wayne Gregson said.

“Even something as innocuous as car or motorcycle registration numbers, bikies’ colours (patches) and their places of employment could all make a difference.”

So we can now dob in anyone wearing a dishrag on their jacket for driving a car, riding a motorcycle or having a job.
Does anyone else find this frightening?
Does anyone else find even scarier the fact that police already have the names, addresses and bike rego numbers of most bikies in the state - but now they want us to join in?

A print and radio advertising campaign, encouraging the public to "phone in a bikie'', will be used, rather than the words "dob-in''. So if we pick up the phone as part of our West Australian civic duty, we won't actually be 'dobbing', because market research has discovered that this is seen as being 'Un-Australian' and we are not un-Australian, just West Australian.
I like the word 'dob'. Lets call it what it is.

WA's Police Minister Rob ("Does my face look thin in this?") Johnson says bikies have been fooling the public into believing they are members of a social club, when in fact they belong to highly organised and sophisticated criminal organisations. (ABC local)

Much attention has been paid to the outlaw clubs' appetite for organised crime but an Australian outlaw motorcycle club has never actually been successfully prosecuted under organised crime laws. Most bikies will state that individuals may commit crimes but not under the banner of the club they belong to.

If this is not the case and the police argue otherwise, then Detective Sergeant David Caphorn, Don Hancock, Roger Rogerson, those two West Australian policemen charged with a sex attack during the Victorian bushfires and Detective Sergeant Shervill are all participants in a criminal organisation, having used their position within an organised structure to (allegedly) commit rape, murder, withholding evidence or just plainclothes covering it up.

Stylistically, the police and outlaw motorcycle clubs have a few things in common. They are groups with a rigid structure of rank and a militant ethos, albeit an opposing ideology and a mutual dislike. "They have become natural enemies, to the point clubs regard the police as a gang, driven by the same motives as any other gang - power and domination," writes Arthur Veno in The Brotherhood.

This is a digression really, an interesting one but I'm not going there today.
Check out the Criminal Investigation (Exceptional Powers) and Fortification Removal Act, 2002. There was little outcry from West Australians when that doozie went through, thanks to a rabid scary-bikies campaign by the only newspaper in town.
Some of these laws revoke the right to silence, the right to privilige against self-incrimination and provides police with powers to enter a premises without a warrant and to photograph, search and detain for questioning anyone found there.
There's still a Sedition legislation festering in the law archives, thanks to scary-terrorists. As far as I know, that one hasn't been repealed with the changing of the guard.
It took a media and public groundswell to help politicians pass these acts, acts that affect every single one of us. They are not passed in secret.

It makes me terribly sad to think that we are so bovine as to let an insidious little monstrocity such as 'Dob in a Bikie Day' slide by, without throwing ourselves on the floor and screaming until we turn blue. Are we so well trained by the media's cattle prod to accept these undignified transgressions of our own society?

Monday, June 8, 2009


It was a dark, dark moon when the Germinators, a most handsome, attractive, intelligent, sexy and charismatic selection of our local community, performed their first clandestine operation two weeks ago.
This anonymous group of Bombardiers bombed the Esplanade Hotel site, a derelict, cyclone fenced monstrosity, with balls of nefarious substances - namely clay, fertiliser and SEEDS. Lots of SEEDS - sunflowers, poppies, pumpkins, alyssum, chicory, parsley, rocket - so many different kinds of seeds that the lists goes on way too long for this post. (And I don't want yawns.)
It was highly secretive operation and so the combatants, many of them local celebrities, had to mask up.

The after-party was even better (I am told). Lots of ideas about what name such a group subversive, attractive activists were tossed around.
"Guerrillas in the Mids!"
"The Inseminaters!"

It was also decided, over some light substance abuse and post-mortem excitement, that these activists would buy some cheap Russian or Burmese discarded tanks, with the aim of better distributing beautiful flowers to the fertile earth of ugly places.
Model aeroplanes and remote control four wheel drives, for reconnaissance and distribution purposes would also be employed.
Mrs Yin is currently in talks with the Burmese military. Every other (beautiful and highly intelligent) Germinator is now gainfully employed making mud pies in preparation for their next attack.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Crab Bait Hurts Me

I am
part human
part trumpeter.
There are so many
trumpeter spines in my
calloused hands and those pricks
grow part of me.
Part trumpeter
part human
am I.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Venus of Breaksea Island

Evening. The smell of rain on limestone, a clear, clean smell. Above their camp the trees turned to bone and their white roots forked through the carved away spaces where earth used to be. The ground below was like a bone midden with their broken pieces.

It was quieter up there, on the spine of the mountain. Hook waited for the muttonbirds to return to their sandy nests. He picked the oily, fishy meat from the bones of one of their chicks. Several sails pegged into the ground behind him rose over his head, propped up with gnarled peppermint logs. They camped facing north.

After eating, he wove sleeping mats from the strap leaves of rushes; a womanish pursuit but no one else would do it. The Van Diemonian women too handy with a fowling piece and club to worry about weaving mats, the Menang woman too broken to do anything but stare at her bloodied knees. The girl, Weed, helped him.
She sang funny little songs and looked over to Hook’s hands occasionally, to see how she was going.

The muttonbird mothers began to wheel in, black and angular against the pinkening sky. Suddenly, within maybe twenty laces of the rush, thousands of birds thickened the air and the noise grew; chip wheep, chip wheep, chip weep, looking for their babies, until the sky above the limestone ridge wass hectic with their dark, arcing forms.
Later, the penguins began. Then, the song of a singular whistling man in four or five notes. Venus rose.

“Simmons told me that the Captain of that ship,” the black jack Robert Williams nodded his head towards the Astrolabe, still visible moored in the bay to the west, “was famous in their home land for finding Venus in a field in Greece.” When he did speak, Williams was frugal with words, measuring them out like precious shot. They listened.

“She was six feet tall, marble, and as beautiful as the inside of a shell. Her ears were pierced and she held an apple in her hand. He pulled her from the earth, from a tomb.”
“And here, the Captain finds no monuments to antiquity, but mullet, muttonbirds and blackfellas smeared in fish oil and red clay with feathers in their hair,” said Jimmy the Needle.

“Venus,” said Randall. “The oldest whore in the world.”
“First whore out at night and the last to leave!” Samuel Bailey finished for him, with a laugh.
“Meremere!” Said Hook.
“Manilyan!” said Moennan out of the half-light. They all stared at her as she sat dark and huddled.
She was so cold. She yearned for their fire. She missed the warm bodies of her sisters.
The Van Diemonian women eyed her, doubtfully. They remembered that first night, before they were granted the precarious safety of ownership.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

William Hook and the Sophia Affair

21 May 1833

Otago, New Zealand.

To Mr James Kelly.


This is to certify that the Natives of Otago have threatened to take your ship from Capt. Lovett, stating you had formerly killed or wounded several years ago some of their people and that they would have revenge. Most of the crew also deserted the vessel at the above port.

I have the honour to be,

Your obedient Servt.

J.B. Weller.

Murdering Beach, 1817.

The becalmed cutter, Sophia, crawled with men fortifying her against the boarding of two hundred warriors. who did not want to sell them potatoes. They wanted to avenge the killings of one year before.

Wiremu Tucker, the Australian who’d escaped being eaten a year ago, had managed to ingratiate himself to Chief Korako and taken a local wife. It was Tucker who’d been negotiating between the ruddy captain of the Sophia, James Kelly and the Chief, when things went awry in the meeting house.

The boy Hook remembered Wiremu Tucker and the day he was no longer considered an honorary Otakau. He heard him, on the beach, screaming, “Captain Kelly, for God’s sake don’t leave me!” as the crew fled to the ship, fighting off the toa who chased them in war canoes. He saw Tucker hatchetted, piece by piece and carried away to the cooking fires.

Hook’s own father’s submission still pained him. So much mana obliterated the next morning James Kelly and the Australians stormed back into the village, armed with rifles and cross saws. Chief Korako, dead to a bullet through the neck, was not present to see forty two of Hook’s father’s canoes sawn in half. Even as the Australians laboured over the cross saws, covered by rifle guard, their country man was lowered into the earth oven a hundred metres away.

The Australians took flaming torches to the end of the village where the warm nor-easter began and razed the village of three hundred houses. Within four hours scarcely a single dwelling was left standing.

Hook’s father was suddenly smaller, older, his power as master artisan leaching from him, as he shivered and bled on the beach.

That battle was won, as so many others, by gun powder.

Eight days later, one hundred warriors washed onto the beaches from the battle aboard the Sophia. The bodies caught in brothy corners of the harbour, snagged on trees, bloated in that strange manner of drowned men. Knees bent, legs and arms spread, their bodies plump with water and gases, bullet wounds and cutlass splits marring the faultless etchings on their warrior skins.

No one fished the harbour for a long time. His mother repeated the mantra of tapu waters to him, weeks later when he realised they’d not harvested the eels yet.

“He kete kai nga moana katoa.”

All the oceans are a food basket.

“Na reira I te wa ke mate tatou, e tika ana kia hoki atu o tatou Tinana ki a Papatuanuku.”

We are all born of Rangi and Papa, the Sky Father and the Earth Mother. So when we die it is right that our bodies return to Papa.

It was a thin year.

James Kelly was a marked man, and any ship that sailed under his name, entering the quiet stretches beyond Aramoana, past the sand spit where the octopus traps lay, did so knowing this. Kelly grew fat in Sydney on the proceeds of flax, potatoes and whales but never felt the need to return to their source again.

For Hook the boy, Kelly’s Irish blood spilled would have rehabilitated his broken, useless father but James Kelly never returned. Hook’s sisters cooked for – and married – the relentless tide of whalers that moved into the town. And Hook, son of the master boat builder, went to sea as soon as he was old enough. He wanted to walk the streets of Sydney.