Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 43

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Sunday - Tuesday September 21 - 23, 2008 (diary, cultures)

On Sunday I manage to get to the end of "The Costello Memoirs". I find it very informative. Peter gives a well balanced account of events and his thoughts on them and, unlike many other autobiographers, to his great credit does not have a swipe at anyone. Although not the slightest reference is made to it in the book (or between the lines), I personally have the odd feeling that Peter just needs a bit of a break and a rethink, after all twelve years as Federal Treasurer has been a huge effort. But I would not be surprised to see him have another shot at leading this country within the next 5 yeas or so. Politics is without a doubt his great passion and at 51 he is still a relatively young guy.

On Monday I am very pleased with myself. I finally update my finances and business account from early April to the end of the financial year (June 30) going through a pile of bank statements, bills, etc. I also prepare my Annual GST Return (Goods and Services Tax statement, similar to VAT, BTW, etc.). As most of my online sales are overseas and therefore tax free I usually get a refund on the GST paid on my expenses.
In the evening I play bridge with Mairead. We have a good time and play considerably better than last week. Not that that matters at all. We get into our bottle of red and have a lot of laughs always, no matter what. The atmosphere in the Club is good tonight and we have 7 tables, which is nice too.

Early Tuesday morning Iris leaves the Mango farm and is flying back to Ballarat. Her husband Gordon will follow by car and caravan with one of his friends Saturday week. Gordon is our main mango harvester and he is anxiously looking at the ripening fruit. He is worried he may have to pick most of them green and take them with him like that. Tonight we have our last Photoshop session at the Casuarina Senior College.

I have lived now in Australia for almost 43 years (since New Years Eve 1965). I love the country and feel very comfortable within its culture. But I only belong to its culture to the extent that I am part of the multi cultural aspect of it. I am and always will be a North European rather than a Caucasian Australian.
This is something which is established at birth and during the early formative years within the environment of one's family, friends, schools, country, etc. I realised this again very strongly during my trip to Europe this year.
The North European and Caucasian Australian cultures have much in common of course, after all, historically we come from the same stock. But there is also a marked difference and I believe this lies especially in the deeper emotional field.

Wivica with Poppel I have been thinking how to express this difference in words and my sister Wivica provided me with a good way to do this.
After my earlier comments on the complementing duality of male and female, she remarked that in each individual too there are both a male and a complementing female element.
One of the aim's of one's life is to bring these two aspects into balance and harmony.

However I believe that this balance can vary depending on the environment one grows up in. The robust Australian culture is adapted to its wild open country and harsh climate. The culture thrives on sport, boating, fishing, hunting, roaming through the outback. A very male oriented culture, expressed by both the males and females. As a consequence the male element within the individual male-female character duality is much stronger than the female element.
If, for argument's sake, the balance point of female-male duality for a North European is in the middle, the one for the average Australian Caucasian is skewed away from the middle and closer to the male side.
In practice this feels a as if we are connected to different radio stations. At the surface communication is fine, but at the deeper emotional level we can't get through to each other.
This was my immediate experience when returning to Europe. Suddenly I found that everyone was switched on to the same emotional wavelength as I was, quite amazing.

I observed this difference when sitting at my friend Shirley's bedside in hospital for two weeks. Her visiting friends all displayed feelings of love and care towards her, but the expressions of the Australians were much more up front, whereas those of Europeans were on the whole more subtle and of a softer nature. When I brought this point up in private with one of the (European) ladies, she confirmed my observation.

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Wednesday September 24, 2008 (diary, spin, art)

It is fully overcast and lovely fresh and cool as I get up this morning. Last night, after I got back home from my Night Class, we had a solid downpour of rain, short, only 15 minutes or so, but very nice. The rain drummed on the roof of my cabin and I had to put up the volume of the TV to catch Peter Costello's words, who was being interviewed on the ABC. Although he kept denying it, I feel stronger than ever that he may consider coming back as Liberal Party leader at one stage in the future.

An old fairy tale keeps coming to my mind these days : 'The Emperor's Clothes'.

Two weavers convince the Emperor that they can make him the most beautiful clothes in the whole world. The thread they spin for the cloth they weave is very special they explain. It can only be seen by those who are intelligent and wise.
The weavers go to work in a special room, off limit to everyone but themselves and the Emperor, who comes in as work progresses for several fittings.
Finally the day arrives that the clothes are ready and the Emperor proudly walks at the head of a grand procession through the streets of the town to show off his new clothes. All bystanders lining the street applaud the Emperor and comment on the great beauty of his clothes, until a young boy suddenly cries out "Look, the Emperor has no clothes on !"

The young boy in the story is not smarter than all the others. He just has not been told what the others "know", and he therefore can see unbiased with his own eyes.
As I get older I find that I feel more and more like that young boy myself. The world is full of (what we now also call) spin these days, and the vast majority appears to blindly accept it. I see it in religion, in politics, pseudo-science, art, it is everywhere. And I ask myself, when will the greater public finally wake up to themselves and start to recognise and understand unbiased reality, truth.
I do not believe in any form of reincarnation, but if it were to exist I would love to come back to the world, not immediately, but in 500 or even 1,000 years time. Just to find out and see where we have got to.

Early Mondriaan Over the years my taste and preference has changed markedly of what I read for example. As I visited a couple of museums in Europe this year I realise my preference in the visual art too has changed emphasis.   I used to love abstract art when I was younger, but now I find I am much more drawn to impressionist images.
An impressionist painting shows something you are already familiar with or know, but from the unique perspective of the artist. It is an understandable comment of the artist on something which exists in the real world.

In the Kröller Müller Sculpture Park Abstract art on the other hand shows you something totally new, a new creation, it did not exist in the world before. This has the great benefit of opening or expanding your mind, but once this has happened, when one revisits the image some of its luster is lost, because it has fulfilled its purpose (for you) already. That is what I felt this time around.

Abstract art has had the great historic function of opening up our mind in the early 20th Century. And it will continue to fulfill this role to the perceptive individual. But I have increasingly the feeling that unless an abstract work in some way is connected (or can be traced back) to something in the real natural world it will in time loose its relevance.   In this respect I believe that the genuine abstract artist does base and project his creative idea from something that exists in reality. The tree transformation series of Piet Mondriaan is a good illustration of this.

It must also be said of course that the (especially abstract) artist can be way ahead of his audience, and the threat that exists between his work and reality is (as yet) too advanced to be perceived by them. In such case the young boy from the fairy tale is not crying foul of spin, but simple has not yet grown the eyes to properly see.

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Thursday September 25, 2008 (diary, mp3, politics)

Teriyaki chicken and Sushi Bento box Yesterday (Wednesday) after my usual Teriyaki chicken and Sushi Bento box lunch at Bar Zushi, I brows in the Dymocks Bookshop and buy Roald Dahl's Going Solo, an autobiographical account of his days leading up to and during WW2, when he was a RAF pilot. Interesting and entertaining.
I then drive on to Rocktown Music, a leading music store and Darwin's dealer for Roland equipment. They can not repair my earphones I gave them last week, so I buy a new pair, Roland RH-50, the same I had before. Great quality and they have come down in price too.

For some time now I have been looking for a simple digital MP3 recording device which I can plug into my Korg PA1x electronic keyboard. And would you believe it Rocktown Music has got it. It is the EDIROL Roland R-09HR, about the size of a packet of cigarets, it does exactly what I want and records directly in .wav or .mp3 format. I simply have to connect my stereo lines out from the keyboard via a cable into the device and start playing. I need a bit of time to get the thing up and running, but once I am OK with that I will record a number my improvisations and put them online.

Watching the news I am getting really annoyed with the present Federal Labour Government. So far (and probably to hide their lack of competence) I have see them do nothing but mud slinging in Parliament (the standard of debate has dropped to a most embarrassing all time low) and raising of some trivial taxes.
After just 9 months in office it is also taking undeserved credit for "the sound economic state Australia is in" (compared to the rest of the world), as it has all been the sound and responsible management by the former Liberal Government over the past 11 years which has got us in this enviable situation.

Today (Thursday) I am busy reorganising and updating the Index for my Blog. It will take quite a few days to complete it. Tonight bridge again in Palmerston. I look forward to it.

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Copyright © 2008 Michael Furstner