The Psychology of Internment – Part 1

In the past nineteen months, I have become deeply afraid. Because I think this nation is heading down the path of fascist totalitarianism so fast it’s almost unbelievably irretrievable.

abbott, that vainglorious little man, is only the front puppet.

Behind him are the forces of BIG energy (aka coal and oil), BIG Pharma (what is the TPP all about?), BIG guns (aka the Military-Industrial Complex, about which President Icingsugar warned us – well, that’s what I thought his name was 55 years ago), BIG whatever else you can think of . . .

Puffy’s piece is a timely reminder of the hell we are perpetrating, not only for others – for which we should be hauled before the International Court of Justice – but also the hell we are fomenting for ourselves.

You can’t do this stuff without enormous psychic damage to everyone.

Thank you, Puffy.

(Image Credit: How Stuff Works)

 

A discussion in two parts

Part One – The reader completes a task (please).

Australia has entered an Age of Internment, the like of which not seen on our soil since World War Two.

Both major political parties have gone down this miserable road, in thrall to a section of the populace fearing outsiders and the perceived threat that they may steal this land in the way we stole it from the Aboriginal peoples in 1776.

There was a road to a humane solution that could have saved lives, built a new regional plan to help asylum seekers while taking Australua off the people-smugglers’ menu. It was, in my opinion worth a try. The Gillard ALP government’s Malaysia plan might have worked. We will never know now, as partisan politics and the chance of picking up some votes in electorates where racial fear was opportunistically stoked by the Liberal and National parties scuttled that idea.

So here we are,going backwards into the internment era, and worse, with reported conditions akin to the worst hell-hole in a mad third-world dictator’s prison. The reports on the treatment of children are shocking.

This is the perfect time to revisit an old social science experiment, one shocking and controversial. This experiment triggered the creation of University Ethics Committees, which these days examine every researchpropsal for potential harm to the participants.

This research would never be allowed today and cannot be repeated. Indeed the experiment was cut short when the lead researcher was pulled up by a colleague who saw he had gone off the rails too.

I am of course discussing the Stanford Prison Experiments at Stanford University, California, in 1971.

Many are aware of it but I urge you, even if you have not the slightest interest in social science, to set aside a little time, grab a glass or cup of whatever and read through the complete description of the planning, carrying-out and fall out of this seemingly innocent almost naive research.

Because nobody predicted the shocking results.

Then think of Nauru and Manus Island. Think of the Department of Immigration, the Minister, and our Prime Minister.

I will not pre-empt the story just now, but will follow up with another post when people have had the time to read, listen and absorb. Please don’t just read the first page of the website and think, yeah, that one. Take the slide tour. It has the detail which contains the devil.

http://www.prisonexp.org/

Thank you.

ANZAC Day Centenary Reflection

Not a celebration.

Maybe a commemoration.

From my perspective, honouring all those on all sides who fought and died in such a futile conflict; equally those who died or who were unalterably damaged by that stupid stupid war.

The war to end all wars.

If only.

To my shame, I admit I knew nothing about the Australian poet-soldier, who was one of the Gallipoli contingent, Leon Gellert, until this evening.

(Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Gellert is generally regarded as Australia’s finest war poet – ‘the Rupert Brooke of the Australian Imperial Force’. according to his biographer (and a former Herald colleague), Gavin Souter. Leon Maxwell Gellert, born in Adelaide in May 1892, was the grandson of a schoolmaster who had emigrated from Hungary.

He enlisted in the AIF on August 22, 1914, eighteen days after Britain had declared war on Germany. For seven weeks his battalion was kept in reserve on its troop ship before being ordered to land at Ari Burnu beach at dawn on April 25.

Gellert survived nine weeks on Gallipoli before coming down with dysentery. Evacuated to Malta, he contracted typhoid and was sent to England to convalesce. His reputation was made when his collection of fifty-five poems – Songs of a Campaign including Before Action, The Return, War!, The Death and The Attack at Dawn – was published.

After editing the prestigious Art in Australia magazine, Gellert moved to Sydney and joined The Sydney Morning Herald in 1942, initially as magazine editor, then as literary editor.

Here are two of his poems. By way of introduction, however:

These poems . . . were written by 23-year-old Australian soldier-poet Leon Gellert, from Adelaide, a combatant at Gallipoli, to mark the evacuation of the peninsula in 1915.

Nine decades after Gellert penned those lines, his poem The Last to Leave was chosen as the emotional centrepiece of the unveiling ceremony of the Australian War Memorial on 11 November 2003 in front the Queen.

First,

The Jester in the Trench

‘That just reminds me of a yarn,’ he said;
And everybody turned to hear his tale.
He had a thousand yarns inside his head.
They waited for him, ready with their mirth
And creeping smiles, — then suddenly turned pale,
Grew still, and gazed upon the earth.
They heard no tale. No further word was said.
And with his untold fun,
Half leaning on his gun,
They left him — dead.

And last,

The Last to Leave

The guns were silent, and the silent hills
had bowed their grasses to a gentle breeze
I gazed upon the vales and on the rills,
And whispered, “What of these?’ and “What of these?
These long forgotten dead with sunken graves,
Some crossless, with unwritten memories
Their only mourners are the moaning waves,
Their only minstrels are the singing trees
And thus I mused and sorrowed wistfully

I watched the place where they had scaled the height,
The height whereon they bled so bitterly
Throughout each day and through each blistered night
I sat there long, and listened – all things listened too
I heard the epics of a thousand trees,
A thousand waves I heard; and then I knew
The waves were very old, the trees were wise:
The dead would be remembered evermore-
The valiant dead that gazed upon the skies,
And slept in great battalions by the shore.

Relaxed Raffles

Need a break from all the non-stop over commercialised  Anzac Day Coverage?

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The Pub Is the place to be

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TO help you relax this is apparently the most relaxing music in the world

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXgqDlrqmzo

And here are some relaxing photos

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Feeling better yet? Ready for some relaxing Raffles?

Rafflemaster CK will be happy to oblige.No need to rush chill out take it easy ,your numbers will be supplied.

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. Repose upon a comfy chair,2c90a307c9b3a6286abbfd5e84d6a0c3

Or flop around on a fantastic bed

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Whatever you wish, but be happy to be alive and stay safe.

Have a great time.