Friday, August 21, 2009

Ledge and Nobby and the Birdwatching Couch of the Gods GCMG (Hons.)

"Nobby, that's not a straw-necked ibis is it?"
"Nah, it's a run of the mill white ibis. The straw-necked would have black under the wings. You know that that regular white ibis there is related to - pretty much the same bird really - as the Egyptian sacred ibis? The Egyptians thought he was a big deal and made a god of him and everything... But here they're famous garbage fiends."
"Yeah, I fucking hate 'em."
"Yeah, yeah, but that's only because they're in your garbage. They should be in the wetlands but there aren't any because we drained 'em dry - took all the water for cotton, drove all these Egyptian god birds out, and now they're here rooting through the garbage. If we hadn't fucked the wetlands, they'd still be there and we'd all think they were tops. Dig it - our very own god birds!"
"Yeah, I guess."
"And think of the tourism!"
"What tourism?"
"The bloody... I don't know, the religious birdwatching tourism mate. Jumbo-loads of Egyptians all arriving to check out the god birds! It'd be huge. Peace and fraternity between Egypt and Australia - ripples spreading through the Muslim world - Muslims and Christians realising that there's barely a hair's breadth difference between their religions. Lots of talk about mutual respect based on each other's fine appreciation of these, you know... psittacine symbols of peace-love-and-understanding etc. etc. There'd be pollies giving speeches, ribbon cutting, handshakes, all that. And that'd be just the first domino to fall in a shattering cascade that becomes a new global fraternity united in its celebration of selflessness, compassion, and, I don't know... 'striving to know the mind of Buddha' ...kinda thing. And birdwatching! Anyway, it'd be huge and the whole world will give thanks to the two brilliant geniuses who first came up with the whole idea way back in, um, what year is it? We should write it down. Posterity and all that."
"2009. And psittacine? Isn't that parrots?"
"Whatever, we'd all be familiar with whatever they're bloody called. They media would go nuts with the thesaurus and find out all the appropriate words. You know, sub-editors making themselves look clever etc. But yeah, psittacine is parrots."
"Never mind psittacine - Thoth, mate."
"That's the ibis god in Egypt. The hawk's head guy was Ra, the dog was Anubis, and the ibis was Thoth."
"And what was his gig? God of, um... I don't know, poultry products?"
"No idea. I know their names but that's about it."
"See, there's your problem right there Ledge. You've got all this useless knowledge and you don't even do the crossword. Being able to do the crossword is the whole point of useless knowledge. Anyway bugger that. Back to us as bloody geniuses, with this ibis caper the whole world will go nuts with peace, love, and understanding, and we'll be as famous as, I don't know... Henry Kissinger, ha!"
"Henry Kissinger!? Fuck him! I want to be as famous as Mick Jagger and run mad with Bianca Jagger and a whole conga-line of glamorous sixties star-fuckers."
"Sure ...Bianca Jagger ...well actually, you could do precisely that mate. Because she's like sixty now and she'd be keen-as-mustard to leap right on top of you. Hell, anyone. And all those Russian grandmas... you know like that woman (was she Russian?) who was sixty something and was mad to have kids, and got a sperm donation, had a kid, and then died three years later - like that. There'd be all these Russian grannies all looking to jump on top of what's left of your superior world peace sperm. And then, um... die and leave you with the kids."
"Bloody women!"
"They'd be like ninja mate, flying out of the corners of ceilings, flinging ropes with hooks, and you'd be all trussed up, and they'd leap on you and perform all kinds of half-Russian, half-Japanese chop socky on your bits. It'd be hellacious. I wonder what the Russian for 'Hi-Yah!' is?"
"Russians? Forget the Russians. Bianca Jagger! She could truss me up. I'd put up a bit of a fight but then Bianca would get the better of me and I'd just have to let her go nuts."
"What? Just her on her own? Surely she'd have a bunch of famous ninja granny mates to pile in. Who'd be in there? Catherine Deneuve I reckon."
"Phwooar, not bad. Charlotte Rampling."
"Good one. How about Julie Christie?"
"God, yes."
"The main thing is you wouldn't succumb too cheaply. Look - here's your fearful, yet resigned Toshiro Mifune face. What do you think?"

"Well, that was a bit mad. I don't know that chicks would dig it. Perhaps number three."
"Ah, you know your Toshiro Mifune obviously. And that'd be you mate - selflessly doing your bit for ageing thinking-man's-crumpet the world over."
"Fantastic. How did this come about again?"
"Um... we restored white ibises to their wetland and with the resultant good will between Egypt and Australia brought about world peace, with everyone so rapt with us that we (rightly I think) copped a relentless Mick Jaggering for our troubles."
"Ah, I love it when we solve the world's problems."
"As opposed to when we don't. How's that latest government ad campaign going?"
"Groan. It's fucked, completely fucked. I can barely stand it. You should see the shit that I have to make look pretty. You know what I'm doing? It's that fucking bullshit Aboriginal intervention thing."
"You're not are you? Jesus, what a nightmare. Still, how would we know the rightness of white people stealing back Aboriginal land if you didn't make it look pretty? Not forgetting it could be worse - you could have been on that 'Dob in your Wog Neighbour' thing of Howard's."
"Yeah well, funny you should mention it, Gerry wants me to pile in on some 'Keeping Australia safe' thing. I told him I couldn't do it. Two months is a plenty long enough gig, and then that's it's, I'm out of there. Otherwise I'd be there for bloody ever. Really I only did it to help him out."
"And for the money Ledge."
"Yeah, Yeah, but the shed hasn't got a roof. Jesus."
"Yeah, well, a roof on the shed would be good. It's useless at the moment. Anyway, whatever, from the big wheels of world peace, to small cogs in the advertising machine leading us to hell, it seems we've fallen again Ledge."
"Well, as fallen men there's nothing for it but to fall further Nobby. What say I roll another joint?"
"Mate, that's the best idea since that chap..."
"Nobby! Don't move! Stop waving your hands about. There's our new resident lyre bird right there next to that white gum. You see it? You're in for a treat - it's going to do the full song and dance right there in front of us. It's just burbling now but he'll go through the whole routine in a minute. It usually does kookaburras followed by magpies and currawongs, and then those stupid peewits, and then it does Faandi."
"Yeah, after school Faandi always stands on the verandah and always yells the same thing at it and now it mimics him too."
"What does he say?"
"Shhh, here it goes..."
"Ook ook arp, arp, arp, arp! Aarp! Curra WONG! Curra WONG! Pee Wit! twitter, twitter... Silly Sausage! Silly sausage! That's right!"
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha..."
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha... oh man..."
"Ha ha ha... perfect... I just about died... and Faandi stands there yelling 'silly sausage' at the lyre birds?"
"Yeah, and they say it back at him. It's hysterical."
"Ha ha ha ha, it even said, 'That's right!' the same as him. God, that's bloody marvellous."
"It's great isn't it?"
"Yeah, fuck the world, that was just perfect."


kikz said...

HAHAHAHA! coffcoff:D

bloody mad genius ....

Anonymous said...

From Belgium

I have never heard of the ones you speak about but it seems like they share the same cultured background as Las Patterson.

slozo said...

This is very different . . . different, and good. You had me laughing out loud in places. Inspired by a real conversation, no doubt.

Btw, I believe that all birds should be revered equally. I do admire some more than others though . . . it's a Canadian thing perhaps, but I've always loved the loon.

Take it as you will.

nobody said...

I don't think that there's a single Canadian who doesn't like the loon is there? Well I never met one.

Otherwise, Ledge and I have had many, many conversations almost (but not quite) exactly like this one. Having a conversation is one thing, and writing it down and publishing it is another. There is a reason I did the latter, but I'm not sure what it is yet.

Well, I made Kikz laugh, so that was a good start...

And Les Patterson - interesting. There's more to him that meets the eye. Same same, Dame Edna and everything Barry Humphreys does. Mind you, I recall Dame Edna in the States having a gay following, all of whom thought he was a drag act. His Australian and English fans all roll their eyes.

nobody said...

BTW. Are there any people here who don't know about the lexicon? I made it for all those people who are unfamiliar with Australian English. The link is on the front page under 'nobodies'. Yoroshiku.

su said...

Just when I thought the urinary incontinence was under control.
Very funny.

john said...

The White Ibis looks like such a beautiful bird, its a pity we always have to muck about with their habitats. We have a bumper crop of seagulls here due to increasing food waste being dropped resulting in 24 hour a day squawking, still better than the rat alternative.

And nice photies of Toshiru Mafune. I must get some of Akira Kurosawa's films to watch again, its been too long.

Thanks for the laughs as well Nobody.

slozo said...

The Common Loon

In no particular order . . .
1. Haunting and beautiful call which evokes a feeling of serenity and closeness with nature
2. Beautifully patterned bird that always manages to keep its distance, lending an air of mystery to it
3. One of the few animals that mate for life
4. Excellent fishers, if you have a loon on your lake, the lake has fish!
5. And, as a working allegory to life's present mess, it's name is colloquial for "crazy" yet it seems to lead the most majestic and peaceful life.

What's not to love about this bird? I rest my case! lol

nobody said...

Arrggh, Slozo. I was fine until I realised I might die without ever laying eyes on a loon. Damn. You've ruined my day. Smily winky thing.

Hullo John. Well it's hard to go wrong with Yojimbo and Sanjuro. If you were looking for something less obvious, the Samurai trilogy is good, and Samurai Rebellion is brilliant. Seven Samurai wins of course, but you knew that I'm sure. Oh and Hidden Fortress is way less famous but a treasure regardless.

And Su, sorry to make you pee yourself, but now that I think about it - Ha! Gotcha!

Penny said...

slozo: a nation of bird watchers?
or is it just the loon?

I have had birds mourning doves in my porch all summer, they are making a mess, and still, no heart to kick them out.

will have to eventually...sigh.

how nobody takes us from birds to kung-fu movies is beyond me??

nobody said...

In answer to your question Pen, by the clever use of Segways™, ha ha.

john said...

Thanks Nobody, I'd not heard of Hidden Fortress and it does look good too. Come to think of it I haven't heard of Samurai Rebellion either. I don't know how I missed these films, cheers.

I used to have Seven Samurai and Cobweb Castle on videotape so I know those a bit and Rashomon I saw on tv. It's a bit slack but I still haven't actually seen Ran yet.

Anonymous said...

From Belgium

Mr N

Off subject and apropos the theme of selflessness, the biggest Chinese supermarket in Antwerp gives out a freebie newspaper once a month. The front half is in English, turn it upside down and back to front and it is in Chinese (which is a way of impressing people on the bus, not that I would do such a thing, you understand). I think most of the stories are syndicated. Anyway they have a mini series going explaining the meaning of certain Chinese Characters. This months target is Yi. Now I understand there are many different symbols that are called Yi and since I don’t know how to get Chinese symbols into Blogspot comments I will do my best to describe it. It has a main vertical stroke which from a third way down drifts off to the bottom right with a hook on the end. The vertical part has two strokes from the top to form a ‘Y’ and three horizontal crossing strokes. There is a separate vertical line to the left from where the main stroke forks and there is a horizontal stroke bridging these two lines. Both of these strokes have additional crossings near the bottom. That is what I am calling Yi. This is what the article says.

“The symbol Yi has broad inner content and includes values such as justice, honesty, loyalty and reliability. It is composed of (symbol = sheep) on top and (symbol = I myself) on the bottom. The sheep is obedient and kind and mutton is good and nutritious to eat. Given those characteristics the sheep was considered to be a symbol for good luck and prosperity. The (second symbol = I myself) was originally developed from the oracle bone script where it denoted a fighting implement with a sharp tooth. Both symbols going together to make Yi and can be interoperated literally to mean “I am a sheep”. It is means that it is possible to make sacrifices to justice in a similar way to sacrificing a sheep to honour the gods. The Chinese character Yi reminds Chinese people how they should conduct their lives, that is selflessly. Yi belongs to a special category of ideograms called huiyi characters (multiple meanings brought together). They are composed of ideograms with different meanings and their inner content is a fusion of the several meanings. Yi is the symbol, the motif that describes the Chinese historical novel with rhyming chapter headings called The Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong in the Ming Dynasty. Various stories from The Three Kingdoms period (220 – 280 AD) and are used to illustrate various aspects of the character Yi. For example the first story of the novel illustrates those aspects of Yi that relate to loyalty amongst friends and the keeping of promises between the three main characters. The deep roots of justice in Chinese culture were manifested during the Ming Dynasty and were passed along for many years.”

So there you have it selflessness, justice, honesty, promise keeping although I am not quite sure about the obedience part.

nobody said...

Hey FB, that would be this yi [義].

And not this one [一], ha ha. That yi there is the numeral one. You knew that didn't you?

I love characters, they all have a story. As for mysterious, any number of things that seem obvious, simple, and that we all take for granted, get 'mysterious' when you go into another language. Aargh, makes me want to get back into the Japanese study.

Thanks John, Mifune isn't in Ran, you know. It's still good but it's a big departure from his smaller pieces. You watch Ran for the hugeness of it all.

kikz said...


so sorry to've referred to you as the earlier post...

please forgive my brainfartz..

i'm gettin old ... and it was round 3A, ya know?

so sorry :)

Penny said...

what nobody, a segue??

Anonymous said...

From Belgium

You got it Mr N. The Yi I have is two inches high and has a bit more detail but it is the same thing. Btw, I don’t mind to put the paper in the post for you if you want. Let me know here and I will send you my e mail address and you can send me a forwarding address, it doesn’t have to be your own.

Yes I did know about the number one Yi. In the 80’s I had a high temperature insulation biz. Another English company got an order from PROC and subbied the complicated bits they couldn’t do on us. Because some bits were mirror images, part of the spec was that the bits had to be numbered so that when they got them back in China they didn’t build the whole assembly in reverse. I went to the local Chinese take away and asked the girl there to teach me the symbols and how to count in Chinese. She told me to come back just before closing time which I did and she taught me 1 – 10 and then 20; 30; 40 up to a 100. I got a piece of flat plastic, drew the symbols on, routed them out then sprayed through onto the pieces. Ha, customer service. I could have done it in normal numbers but I wouldn’t have impressed myself :-)

This same girl used to do a trick I have never seen anyone else do. On a Friday and Saturday night after the pubs were throwing out, the Chinese takeaway used to fill up. With 30 or 40 customers inside she would go right around the room and take everyone’s order in one hit, even with the side orders. She never wrote anything down and she never made a mistake. Shades of Brice Taylor?

nobody said...

Ha ha, yes segue. As for those Segways, am I the only person who hates those fucking things?

Hey FB, it is a bit Brice Taylor isn't it? Mind you, back when I was in 3D, I knew a guy who had a photographic memory. He seemed capable of remembering every thing he ever did in the insanely complicated software we used. From memory he'd take you through an absurd number of drop-down menus and dialogue boxes and then say, 'Put a value of about 0.25 in the amult offset.' It was nuts. These people do exist naturally you know.

Otherwise apologies for being slack and idle. I've no excuses really but should have something next week. Ciao Ciao.

kikz said...

oh, wanted to ask...

has anyone seen the 'channel 4', philosophy series by Alain de Botton, he wrote his own version of 'Consolation(s) of Philosophy'.

he covers seneca, socrates, shopenhauer, neitzche, epicurius, and montaigne...

nice presentation, 30min chunks.
we just acquired another pbs channel dayb4 ystrdy.. OMG wonderful programming.. a grown up version of the other pbs channel.. :)

noby i was wondering if this was the author you mentioned or the original...boethius?

and... did anyone take the 3mins to hear the violin rockgoddess
'the loosh' do kashmir?

if you didn't bother.. you really missed out!

lucia micarelli

nobody said...

Hey Kikz, he's very good isn't he? You know De Botton is almost but not quite a Rothschild? I actually bought that book you mention (before I left it on a plane). Mind you, if I'd known how absurdly wealthy he was, I'd have stolen it, ha ha.

As for Lucia Micarelli - Ayah! Yet another goddess. The problem with goddesses are that there are too many, or not enough, but I'm not sure which. Otherwise thanks for that, Kashmir was always my favourite Led Zep track.

kikz said...

well.. i guess i'm overtly enamored of brit tv just because 99.9% of what we get of it in the us... serves to reinforce just how crap our tv really is... i know there is britcrap... but our last offering of any such superior caliber was Sagan *sigh*...
even the new Nova series dude is just i don' know... ick.
it's just that most of what we get from across the pond is NOT 'are you smarter than a 5th grader'...and seems to exist in some otherworldly place where things like philosophy and david attenborough are quite the norm, and not considered 'geek patrol from outerspace'.

sad eh?

shallow as it sounds, it's a shame w/all his money, botton hasn't conquered his thinning locks. he's quite attractive in some ways...guess when you are gilded in gold, such silliness is pish.
but he did mention his hair loss.. when we were treated to his graduation pic from univ.

now that you mention it, he did seem overtly taken w/montaigne's appreciation of the coarseness of the common man's bodily flatulations :P) as in.. a down the nose and over the readers... glance.. and acknowledgment that even those who munch pigs feet and fart at the table can and should be considered 'fully human' too. :)

in the same vein of mild amusement - that eddie izzard in one of his 'dress to kill' rips - has prince charles meeting a commoner, and .. in his best 'james masonish lockjaw' voice asks -

.....ah, a plumber?.... what on e-uuuuth iz that? >:)

i did appreciate botton's recognition of 'school of the world' sense being as valid/useful or even more so, than any higher education a brit could be born into or buy.

glad you enjoyed 'the loosh'..
that rendition of kashmir just........sends me someplace else:) kashmir, i guess ;)

Anonymous said...

From Belgium

I have always been able to recognise people with talent but I haven’t always liked what they did with it :-) Michael Jackson is a case in point. That guy had talent coming out of his ears but I never liked any of his songs. And then there was his Peter Pan image :-/ But just before the end he changed all that and discovered his roots. If you don’t know about the last project he was working on then this is a must see. Does this look like a guy that is crawling across the floor to get his last fix?

Why does the name John Lenon come into my head?