Thursday, 16 July 2015

Ending in the West

Hi everyone,
This is a quick 'odds and ends' post before I head off to SES training.
It's been a busy two days here in Water-Law-World, or at any rate in the bit of it that I occupy.  Busy, but not exciting.  The most thrilling thing I did yesterday was to head out and stretch my legs at lunch-hour and buy a copy of the Weekly Times and some broccoli (which I'm eating raw a lot for lunch at the moment).  Oh, and I poked my head into the opp shop and picked up another mug - this time one advertising Luxton Earthmoving Equipment.
I wound up deploying that mug (and two others) today when I was getting stuck into a rather fiddly affidavit of documents.  Careful listeners would have heard me fail to make up my mind about whether I wanted coffee, black tea or berry tea, so I got all of them.
I'm pretty sure my co-workers think I'm weird.
I got a good photo driving back to the farm last night.  Just the other side of Toolamba I cross a bridge over the Goulburn River that has wooden pilings and looks like something out of the Wild West.  It's only a single vehicle wide and you wouldn't want to take anything heavier than a sedan across it  Anyway, in the darkness, lit up only by the headlights, it made not a bad photo, and probably a good pictorial definition of what it's like trying to plan life: intelligence will show you so much of the road ahead, but only faith will let you forge on into darkness.
I headed out for another walk at lunch, this time to the park at Lake Bartlett.  It's prettier down there than I'd expected, and the tracks will actually be good for after-work running when the weather warms up a bit.
I was thinking recently of the present agonizing over the Confederate flag, I saw a couple of stories that made me think that the past is more 'present' in America now than ever.  What went through my tiny mind was this: Despite some of the more bonkers argument of the neo-confederate movement, the South clearly lost the Civil War.  It's hard to wonder whether stories like this - of severe rates of obesity in Mississippi - don't reflect a kind of self-vandalism of a culture which still hates itself for losing.  This becomes a more plausible argument when one looks at the West.  The kerfuffle over Operation Jade Helm as a threat to the independence of Texas is, of course, comical, but it seems to reflect a deep rooted culture of victorious independence that underpins the reverence for (say) the cattle drives of the 1800s.  The same refusal of domination by another could have its roots in how the people who took the Oregon trail considered themselves as emigrants: they were leaving the United States behind*.  What do you think?

* Boyd Gibbons, "The Itch to Move West" (1986) 170 National Geographic 147.

No comments:

Post a Comment