Children’s Literature

I was one of those painful children who was a VERY early reader. And I devoured books from at least the age of 3. Even books that my parents’ friends considered unsuitable … so, what was a problem about reading ‘Lolita’ when I was 10?

One of the delights of my childhood was our regular schedule: payday, we’d do dinner at Happy’s Restaurant in Garema Place. I’d then be allowed to choose a Puffin Book all by myself at Verity Hewitt’s Bookshop. Non-Friday night payday, we’d visit the local library, and I would have finished reading my two books by Saturday night. Throughout my late childhood and adult life, however, I have ALWAYS revisited my favourite children’s fiction, and each time re-reading has revealed different, sometimes surprising, nuances.

Which is why I was so delighted to read this from another WordPress blogger – Calmgrove:

For the readership the books were originally aimed at doubtless they were entertaining, but for all their superficial fantasy they also portrayed a reality — the threat of nuclear holocaust, the nature of authoritarian parenting, the evils of totalitarianism — that could upset any rose-tinted view that assumed that all was right with the world.

And that’s why it’s so important that children read, have access to books, to libraries, to classrooms where such fiction is held in esteem. For here, without the bitter pill Victorian novelists forced children to read, are deeply moral narratives. Here there may be crises to face and wicked antagonists popping out of the woodwork; but there won’t be the piety that accompanied too many tales from the 19th century, stories in which the protagonist suffered calamities and atrocities with a reverential quietude and passivity, accepting the fate that a noble sacrifice might offer.

No, as the 20th century proceeded the protagonist (other than the gung-ho British bulldog type who might show natives and the lower classes his superiority with feats of derring-do) would increasingly exhibit humanitarian values and a sense of compassion, combined with a bravery that wouldn’t require outstanding physical prowess or a privileged education. Nesbit’s children’s books are regarded as marking a sea-change from the piety of Victorian and Edwardian literature written to improve children to a more realist yet sympathetic fiction written with their innate sense of fairness in mind.

I generalise of course. But think of the classics that stand the test of time: in the main they are the ones that are based on moral outrage against injustice, war, deprivation, waste, greed, and so on. Whether the scenario is small-scale — family-based, perhaps, maybe in a school — or of epic proportions, stretching across continents, such narratives share the values of many traditional fairytales: standing up for what’s right, and recognising responsibilities.

In an era when most of our daily news stories concern the apparent success that arises from cheating, bullying, lying, exploitation and abuse, and when much contemporary adult fiction seems to end in tragedy or at the very least ambiguity, is it not important for all our sakes to counter that with alternatives? I don’t mean the saccharine endings of romcoms or the impossible triumph, against all the odds, of plucky outsiders over supervillains in the apocalyptic final reel; I’m thinking instead of the child hero who learns to do what is right because…

Well, just because.

My response – from my heart:

For me, children’s lit, fables, legends, etc., has always been about subtly teaching children how to deal with dangerous emotions, with adversity, and with despair. (One of the worst things I think my late unlamented mother-in-law did to my spouse was to refuse to read him – and refuse to let him read – ‘fairy tales’, because they weren’t “true”.)

The starkest example I’ve experienced about the value of children’s lit in this domain was the publication of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”.

That was back in 2003, at the height of the propaganda, gaslighting, and downright dishonesty about the “Coalition’s” purported and actual reasons for the invasion and – almost – destruction of Iraq.

– The intolerance of anyone who disagreed.
– The ill-treatment of anyone who disagreed.
– The calmunies directed towards anyone who disagreed.

And, as I read that book, I thought, “Yes, sounds SO like Bush (US), Blair (UK), and Howard (my Oz PM).” Lie after lie after lie, vilification of anyone disagreeing, and the intense desire to destroy anyone disagreeing with their vile stance.

It didn’t – quite – work then.

Now, however?

1,383 thoughts on “Children’s Literature

    • Very true. And how useful the nurses and the doctors are now… Even the Chinese constantly critised offer their help… Goes to show you, never underestimate people. You’ll need their help one day.

  1. Would someone in government, maybe you, Dan Tehan, like to explain to me how you “socially distance” a class of primary school kids?

    The average class size in NSW is 27 – 28 kids. There just isn’t room in the average classroom to keep all those kids 1.5 metres apart. It’s impossible to police in the playground.

    Better to close schools for a month or so.

  2. “Sam Maiden Reports that Peter Dutton is suspected of passing on the coronavirus to a Sydney businessman at a Liberal fundraiser dinner attended by the Prime Minister and multiple cabinet ministers.”

    Why won’t the obviously ill Crime Minister get himself tested?

    The “expert medical advice” he claims to have been given would most likely have come from one of his tame medical muppets, Murphy or Kelly, who would tell him only what he wanted to hear. Their advice to the rest of us is useless and at times downright dangerous so why wouldn’t their advice the the CrimeMinister be just the same?

    The CrimeMinister croaks and coughs his way through pressers, wipes his nose on his hand and touches his face and yet keeps insisting his hoarse voice is just due to too many meetings.

    Exactly what is this idiot afraid of? Justin Trudeau wasn’t afraid to be tested or to put himself in isolation. Real men do not wimp out when their health is at stake.

  3. Well, I braved the shopping for the elderly this morning and came home with flour, toilet paper and leaf tea. There would have been between 80-100 people lined up. Everyone was quite orderly and most headed for the toilet paper isle, including me. A delivery truck arrived while we were waiting. Most people looked like they were getting usual ordinary stuff that was still on the shelves. All alternate/hippie type stuff (no reflection on anyone here who use that type of stuff) and junk food shelves look like that hadn’t been touched.

    It was strange driving into town in the dark, seeing the sky getting lighter in the rear vision mirror. Couldn’t believe the amount of cars going the other way, but the usual amount of trucks. Coming home, in daylight, with the sun shining directly into my eyes for a few minutes, the as I had to alter direction it was mostly obscured by a cloud that I was begging to stay there until I got home. Thankfully it did. Razz woke up just as I got home which I was pleased about, I get very nervous if I’m away because that is when she usually has some sort of mishap. All is good, but I won’t be doing that early trip anymore, it has got hairs on it.

    • I’m glad it went well.

      I’m not into this 7 o’clock shopping thing. I did my shopping at 9.30, at the same supermarket (IGA) I visited on Monday. They don’t have an oldies hour.

      All the shelves that were empty on Monday were still bare and there were even more empty ones. I went only because cat food – my cats’ favourite brand – was on special and incredibly cheap, so I stocked up. What I bought will only last them two weeks. I knew if I waited a few days it would all be gone, not because of panic-buyers but because the price was so low.

      The shop was full of people wandering around looking for things that weren’t there.

      I managed to get everything I wanted, grabbed the last jar of passata (forgot that on Monday) had a nice chat to the woman on the checkout about stupid panic-buyers, got drowned going back to the car and went home.

      Next trip is to Coles, at the weekend, more for reconnaissance than shopping. I want to see just how bad it is there.

  4. Today’s episode of “Australians Being Australians” –

    Bus loads of city dwellers stripping regional shelves bare

    Regional towns are being swamped by bus loads of panicked “Coles tourists” who are driving from the city to strip supermarket shelves of basic supplies.

    The Age has heard reports of city-dwellers rushing supermarkets in Gisborne, Kyneton, Romsey, Seymour, Woodend, Daylesford and even in towns as far away as Kerang and Deniliquin.

    Woodend, about 70 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, is now pleading for outsiders to give them a few days’ break so its own elderly residents and families can buy necessities.

    “We have one supermarket in town, a Coles, and we love our tourists, but we’ve got bus loads of people coming through and doing multiple runs through the store,” Reverend Mel Clarke said.

    “Coles have put limits on, but they’re still able to clear us out.”

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/bus-loads-of-city-dwellers-stripping-regional-shelves-bare-20200317-p54ax1.html

    • Absolutely agree!

      Why are we bailing out private companies like Qantas who avoid their tax obligations?
      The Qantas caterers, cleaners and baggage handlers are employed by seperate companies so they won’t see any of this $715 billion

      Raise Newstart and suspend “Mutual Obligation” and Robodebt forever.

  5. What the frack is wrong with these people?

    • One part of me admires the entrepreneurial spirit of the people who organised the bus trips. Would make Scotty proud

      Another part is disgusted that it’s every man for himself, although I have a full freezer at the moment having done 3 rounds of batch cooking which is my normal winter behaviour. Cook up then microwave for 3 weeks til freezer empty, repeat. This year I probably won’t let freezer empty.

      I feel I have to shop like a Russian, visit the supermarket daily and get what’s available that’s on my list rather than the big weekly or fortnightly shop

      In Victoria regional supermarkets say
      Seniors 9 to 10:30
      Loyalty cards 10:30 to 1
      After 1 everyone else

      They are checking Id

  6. Shopping report

    I do my weekly grocery shopping on Wednesday.

    I go the Belconnen Mall (it has Coles, Woolworth and Aldi) to have coffee with a friend at about 8:30. If I want to get something from Coles (not much usually but they do have things I can’t find elsewhere) I get there about 8:10. After coffee I go to the fruit and vegie market about a 3-minute drive away. Then to a seafood shop about 5 minutes away. Finally, to Aldi at Kippax, about an 8-minute drive.

    This morning I decided to check out Coles before 8. Usually, the car park I use has about 20 cars in it when I get there. AT 7:25 this morning there must have been 150.

    Coles was bedlam. Most of the pasta had gone (I found one packet of fettuccine I wanted). They must have had lots of toilet paper because it was still going out the door. The cheap meats had all gone. Tins of baked beans and the like had mostly gone. A nice touch: a bloke on the door had a bowl of small chocolate eggs he was offering on the way out.

    I then checked Woollies. Much quieter. They had a fair bit of meat left and I found some chuck beef I wanted for a curry.

    The markets were very busy but plenty of fruit and veg.

    Nothing was different at the seafood place.

    I got to Kippax at 9:35. Parking was impossible to find but, eventually, I found a spot in a side street. Aldi was packed. They were opening the fifth of their six checkouts as I walked in. Each checkout had at least four baskets waiting. Good thing their checkouts are fast (one reason I prefer Aldi to the other supermarkets. Places like IGA are long gone so they are not an option). I bought milk, chicken meat and fruit – all in plentiful supply. The trolleys still had toilet paper so that must not have been an issue. I wanted to buy eggs: there weren’t any but I can make do till later.

    Lots of smiles at all the checkouts in all shops. And from the security guards. Didn’t see any agro. In fact, people seemed more willing than usual to help others.

  7. We are lucky enough to be able to do most of our shopping at local independents. While I did the fruit & vegies, passata, tinned toms, ham, eggs, and nuts at our local brilliant greengrocer’s, OH headed off to the local indie supermarket and bought dried milk and breakfast cereal. Then to a nearby shopping centre with two excellent butchers (my preferred butchery, which is superb, has been overwhelmed over the last few days), and were able to buy enough to keep us in protein for the next 3 weeks.

    I am so sorry that not everyone is as fortunate as us. I am also disgusted by the greedy profiteers, both human and corporate (e.g., Priceline’s unconscionable cost of handwash).

  8. This, from 2006

    As you doubtlessly remember, somewhere in the Hitchhiker’s Guide series Mr. Adams told the story of the The Golgafrinchans, a race of people who sent their Telephone Sanitizer population away. The Sanitizers were sent along with another third of the planet’s population who were also deemed useless to form a colony on a remote planet (Earth as it happens). Of course, the remaining Golgafrinchan population was then wiped out by a virulent disease contracted via unsanitary telephones.

    Researchers have now confirmed Mr. A’s prophecy, finding that the phone is indeed a key spreader of germs. According to Charles Gerba, a microbiologist and clean water expert at the University of Arizona, it’s telephones and computer keyboards that are among the most germ laden spots in any home, not the usual suspects.

    “Doorknobs are usually on the low side,” said Gerba, who has conducted dozens of surveys of bacteria and viruses in workplaces and homes. “I guess they are not moist. Never fear a doorknob.”

    https://collateraldamage.wordpress.com/2006/05/02/douglas-adams-right-again-lack-of-phone-sanitizers-will-doom-planet/

  9. I noticed today my favourite cinema (forty minute’s drive down the coast) has closed until further notice. It’s not part of a chain, it’s a small independent.

    I suppose seeing as a lot of the regulars are retirees the owner thought it safest to close. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to go to the movies right now anyway.

    The big multi-screen place in town is still open, at least it was today. I don’t know how much longer that will last.

  10. This self-isolation thing.

    I try to go for a walk every day. I can do that without going within 100 metres of another human. And I would continue to do that.

    “Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men.” Not that I have achieved wisdom.

  11. Rampant capitalism.

    Medical company threatens to sue volunteers that 3D-printed valves for life-saving coronavirus treatments
    31
    The valve typically costs about $11,000 — the volunteers made them for about $1

    A medical device manufacturer has threatened to sue a group of volunteers in Italy that 3D printed a valve used for life-saving coronavirus treatments. The valve typically costs about $11,000 from the medical device manufacturer, but the volunteers were able to print replicas for about $1 (via Techdirt).

    A hospital in Italy was in need of the valves after running out while treating patients for COVID-19. The hospital’s usual supplier said they could not make the valves in time to treat the patients, according to Metro. That launched a search for a way to 3D print a replica part, and Cristian Fracassi and Alessandro Ramaioli, who work at Italian startup Isinnova, offered their company’s printer for the job, reports Business Insider.

    However, when the pair asked the manufacturer of the valves for blueprints they could use to print replicas, the company declined and threatened to sue for patent infringement, according to Business Insider Italia. Fracassi and Ramaioli moved ahead anyway by measuring the valves and 3D printing three different versions of them

    https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/17/21184308/coronavirus-italy-medical-company-threatens-sue-3d-print-valves-treatments

  12. Morrison government faces legal challenge over Adani pipeline plan

    The Morrison government’s failure to activate the so-called “water trigger” when assessing the proposed Adani coal mine in Queensland will be challenged in the Federal Court.

    Lawyers acting for the Australian Conservation Foundation will test the government’s decision not to refer Adani’s North Galilee Water Scheme, a pipeline supplying the mine, for a thorough assessment as intended by the law

    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/sustainability/morrison-government-faces-legal-challenge-over-adani-pipeline-plan-20200316-p54an6.html

  13. I try to go for a walk every day. I can do that without going within 100 metres of another human. And I would continue to do that.

    Sounds like a plan. 👍

    I hope more people go outside and look at things / “smell the roses”.

    SEQ is a-flutter with butterflies.

    Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are prominent in the pre-dawn morning sky, photobombed by a waning moon. (Plus Mercury, if you’re lucky.)

    Someone over the road linked to this:
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/mar/18/coronaviral-the-best-memes-tweets-and-cartoons-to-get-you-through-open-thread

    Their pick of “oh nowwww everyone wanna know what introverts do for fun” made me laugh.
    (A: whatever we like…)

    Also, apparently I invented “Hoarder Force”… You know it makes sense. 😀

    • I haven’t found a good “portal” for citizen science.

      Try Googling your interest e.g. “butterflies” and “citizen science”, and see what you get.

  14. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Bevan Shields writes that Boris Johnson has ordered the closure of all schools in Britain in a fresh response to the coronavirus pandemic that could put Australia under more pressure to follow.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/britain-shuts-down-all-schools-amid-coronavirus-pandemic-20200319-p54bju.html
    The country’s most senior archbishop has blocked a plan by the state’s Catholic diocese to defy government policy and close their schools. The three school sectors’ hard-won consensus to keep NSW schools open was on the verge of collapse before Morrison and Tehan rang Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher on Wednesday to ask him to intervene.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/archbishop-steps-in-to-stop-catholic-school-closures-across-nsw-20200318-p54bht.html
    Closing schools will be a tipping point to a recession, one we may choose to have, writes Jess Irvine.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/closing-schools-will-be-a-tipping-point-to-a-recession-one-we-may-choose-to-have-20200318-p54bdo.html
    Extending the April school holiday break could give us our best chance to see if school shutdowns arrest the spread of COVID-19 writes Professor Michel Feneley.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/a-window-of-opportunity-to-test-school-closures-is-approaching-we-must-take-it-20200318-p54bcv.html
    And Sam Maiden writes that Scott Morrison has warned parents that prematurely shutting down the nation’s schools could see them closed for six months or longer and students missing “effectively a whole year of education”.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2020/03/18/pm-warns-schools-shut-down/
    Australia’s coronavirus self-isolation rules: who has to do it and how it works.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/18/australias-coronavirus-self-isolation-rules-who-has-to-do-it-and-how-it-works
    “Forget stimulus, it’s solvency and survival now”, declares the AFR.
    https://www.afr.com/chanticleer/forget-stimulus-it-s-solvency-and-survival-now-20200318-p54ber
    Our political institutions and lifestyles are about to be put to the test by coronavirus writes John Warhurst.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6683799/our-political-institutions-and-lifestyles-are-about-to-be-put-to-the-test/?cs=14258
    Michael Pascoe tells us how the RBA and Morrison government are doing things they don’t normally do.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2020/03/18/coronavirus-rba-economy/
    The Reserve Bank is poised to cut interest rates and unleash a package aimed at driving down borrowing costs as its response to the coronavirus pandemic reports Shane Wright.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/rba-prepares-to-boost-economy-amid-warnings-of-jobless-spike-20200318-p54bda.html
    And Simon Benson writes that the big banks are negotiating a multi-billion-dollar business rescue package with the Morrison government that could see taxpayers underwrite loans to small and medium-sized firms facing collapse, in a bid to avoid mass job losses and a deep recession.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/coronavirus-big-banks-join-business-bailout/news-story/73a16743b90e0e928905e843d526b4dc
    Australia’s economic victims of coronavirus, just like the health victims, need help now says Richard Denniss.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/18/australias-economic-victims-of-coronavirus-just-like-the-health-victims-need-help-now
    Katharine Murphy and Sarah Martin look at what the government is planning to do next.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/19/australian-government-plans-coronavirus-safety-net-package-as-fresh-rate-cut-tipped
    The only thing we can say with certainty is that the fallout from coronavirus is going to be brutal warns Greg Jericho.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2020/mar/19/the-only-thing-we-can-say-with-certainty-is-that-the-fallout-from-coronavirus-is-going-to-be-brutal
    Lines of trucks 60 kilometres long formed on highways after countries implemented strict border controls.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/traffic-jams-60km-long-as-desperate-travellers-choke-europe-s-borders-20200319-p54bjz.html
    Matt O’Sullivan reports that the government is being urged to consider extending anti-ticket-scalping laws to cover essential products. There goes the toilet paper futures market!
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/clamour-for-essential-items-sparks-call-for-way-to-limit-price-gouging-20200317-p54axg.html
    Tony Featherstone is concerned that small business owners need to protect their mental health as workplace stress rises.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/small-business-owners-need-to-protect-their-mental-health-as-workplace-stress-rises-20200317-p54b4q.html
    Anthony Galloway tells us that Australia’s military is on standby to dispatch more engineers and health professionals to deal with the outbreak of coronavirus as the nation’s response to the global pandemic ramps up. The Australian Defence Force has already deployed specialist staff to work with the federal Department of Health as part of its response to the spread of COVID-19.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/defence-sends-medics-and-engineers-to-combat-coronavirus-outbreak-20200318-p54bet.html
    Coronavirus is the hunter-killer enemy of globalisation. The first reaction to this virus must be compassion and human solidarity. It is above all a health crisis. But it will have profound and lasting social, economic, political, cultural and geo-strategic consequences writes Greg Jericho.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/personality-of-nationality-counts/news-story/784d8e0c22f7f9a82be69404edb6beee
    Niki Savva says Morrison has snapped out of his slumber to avoid another Hawaii moment.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/morrison-snaps-out-of-his-slumber-to-avoid-another-hawaii-moment/news-story/5ce7a59f62da8262cae2eb06476de8db
    Scott Morrison had a tough message to deliver – our lives have changed. This time he got it right writes Katharine Murphy.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/18/morrison
    Karen Maley says that lenders will be forced into a kind of financial triage: deciding which small businesses live and which are left to die.
    https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/bankers-brace-for-a-spike-in-problem-loans-20200318-p54bc2
    According to Dana McCauley, GPs are calling for telehealth Medicare rebates to be extended to all coronavirus-related phone consultations, saying more patients must be treated remotely to prevent doctors from running out of protective face masks and minimise their risk of spreading COVID-19. (Yesterday I paid $10 for my GP to issues my usual 6 month prescriptions for pick up from the surgery).
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/gps-inundated-with-anxious-calls-as-coronavirus-impacts-mental-health-20200318-p54bhh.html
    Community legal centres that provide vital free legal help to some of the most vulnerable people have begun shutting face-to-face advice services despite escalating legal need.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/legal-affairs/legal-help-centres-stop-facetoface-services-despite-rising-need/news-story/c1df9a3e6734496c5909305d7ad6f778
    Customers could be limited to buying just one Ventolin inhaler at a time in a federal government bid to avoid a mass shortage, as panicked shoppers stock-up on the asthma medication. Pharmacists have reported customers buying up to 15 inhalers at once. To keep up with demand some stores have been ordering three to six months’ worth of stock, when they would normally buy just a couple of weeks’ worth.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/restrictions-considered-for-ventolin-sales-amid-mass-shortage-fears-20200318-p54bib.html
    Packaging giant Pact Group is converting production lines at three of its Sydney plants to tap into the surging demand for hand sanitiser. It’s “liquid gold”!
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/liquid-gold-pact-starts-to-make-hand-sanitiser-as-shortages-bite-20200318-p54bee.html
    Desperately seeking toilet paper, pasta or hand sanitiser? Some relief is just weeks away advises supply chain academic Flavio Romero Macau.
    https://theconversation.com/desperately-seeking-toilet-paper-pasta-or-hand-sanitiser-some-relief-is-just-weeks-away-133916
    No amount of toilet paper can wipe up the mess caused by coronavirus self-interest says Garry Linnell.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2020/03/18/garry-linnell-coronavirus-china/
    The bulk of Morrison’s cash splash so far goes to business and is unlikely to trickle down into the pockets of consumers in the foreseeable future, writes Mungo MacCallum.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/mungo-maccallum-scott-morrison-appeals-to-team-australia,13700
    Jacinda Ardern has shone in the coronavirus crisis but a recession could still doom her re-election chances.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/19/ardern-has-shone-in-the-coronavirus-crisis-but-a-recession-could-still-doom-her-re-election-chances
    Millions of Australians are suddenly realising their jobs and their incomes are no longer secure. But the bigger drama is still the escalating rate of infections writes Jennifer Hewett.
    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/australia-enters-the-great-unknown-20200318-p54bg2
    Matthew Knott writes that rather than doubling down on a dud idea, Trump swallowed his pride and let the payroll tax idea go. Learning on the job is better than not learning at all, he says.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/in-fresh-turnaround-donald-trump-swallows-his-pride-for-the-good-of-the-country-20200318-p54bac.html
    New Zealand has passed (68 to 51) a landmark law to decriminalise abortion.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/new-zealand-passes-landmark-law-to-decriminalise-abortion-20200318-p54bjb.html
    Professor David Forbes gives some advice on how to maintain our mental health in the time of COVID-19.
    https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/how-to-maintain-your-mental-health-in-the-time-of-covid-19-20200316-p54ahu.html
    The staggering 33 per cent fall in Afterpay’s share price on speaks to four shadows hanging over the buy now, pay later sector.
    https://www.afr.com/chanticleer/four-worries-smash-afterpay-20200318-p54bgh
    There is no reason for Sanders to stay in this race, no matter how fervent his fans. It’s Biden who will unify us writes Richard Wolffe.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/17/democratic-race-joe-biden-2020-bernie-sanders
    John Lord writes, “And now the joke’s on Trump … and it’s a bad one!”
    https://theaimn.com/and-now-the-jokes-on-trump-and-its-a-bad-one/

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Alan Moir

    David Pope

    Andrew Dyson

    Dionne Gain

    Matt Golding






    John Shakespeare

    Mark David


    Leak goes apocalyptic.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/c9438d6fc9da46645d9ad46e908cc445?width=1024

    From the US













  15. Waiting until Easter then extending the April school holidays is going to be too late.

    What is the CrimeMinister’s reasoning for keeping schools open? Doesn’t Jenny want the girls at home because they will interfere with her cosy little harbourside tea parties with her bestie?

    Or are his medical muppet advisers worm-tonguing in his ear about the need to keep schools open?

    If I had school-age kids I’d have pulled them out of school a week ago.

    • So would I. They seem to be panicking about kids not learning. I think the stress of everyone harping about the virus would be holding a lot of them from concentrating properly.

    • They will be worried about the Turnbull-Abbott Economic Crime aka NBN melting down with several million school kids playing online games during working hours 🙂

  16. Nicked his from the 3CAV forum

    I love our panicked country
    A land of empty shelves
    Where everyone is hunting
    For toilet paper elves

    The Pasta aisle is empty
    The Oats and wheat Bix gone
    What has happened to this country?
    When knives come out… forlorn…

    We are the lucky country
    Or so they used to say,
    But when Aussie takes on Aussie
    Over dunny paper, who will pay?

    The Virus has us running
    For Hand sanitiser and masks
    But what about the Aussie way
    Looking out for each other I ask?

    Bring back my Aussie Homeland
    Where when in fire or in flood
    We stand by one another
    We fight hand and hand in mud

    Stop heading to the shops
    And buying everything in sight
    Remember you’re an Aussie
    And keep your community tight

    Check on all your neighbours
    Hand out the toilet rolls
    Put some snags out on the barby
    And block out the panic trolls.

  17. Weird shortage. Went to the local supermarket and among the items cleared out was unsalted tomato paste. The odd bit was the brand’s normal version ,which is next to it on the shelf , is fully stocked ??????

  18. Update on last night’s post about 3D printed valves-

    It seems something was lost or confused in translation, the original manufacturers are not planning to sue and say they never were, so the story has been changed to one celebrating the ingenuity of the people who made the copies.

    The company’s refusal to provide blueprints for the valves remains in the story.

    Volunteers produce 3D-printed valves for life-saving coronavirus treatments
    Volunteers made the valves for about $1
    https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/17/21184308/coronavirus-italy-medical-3d-print-valves-treatments

    • About the Olympics – I saw part of an interview with Australian Olympic heads on SBS this morning. The gist was “we are still going and will put measures in place to keep our athletes safe”.

      The reason given was the competitors will be terribly disappointed if they don’t get to compete, for many it will be their only chance to be in the Olympics.

      Oh boo hoo!

      Here’s an SBS article summing up this morning’s interview –
      Australian athletes still planning to compete in Tokyo 2020 Olympics against travel advice
      https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australian-athletes-still-planning-to-compete-in-tokyo-2020-olympics-against-travel-advice

      I couldn’t care less about whether or not a bunch of pampered athletes get to compete in an over-hyped, sports carnival. I think it’s time the world abandoned the Olympics for good. It’s nothing more than a money-maker for the organising committee now, any resemblance to the ideals dreamt up by Baron de Coubertin for his modern Olympics vanished long ago. Now we have professional competitors who hope they will gain multi-million dollar careers because of their Olympic fame.

  19. At last – the government and their medical advisers get something right, but only after chemists have been strripped of asthma puffers and other medication.

    The media is responsible for this, they ran articles telling us to stock up on medication just in case and advised getting a couple of month’s supply of prescription medication. It’s not just supermarkets that are experiencing panic buying.

  20. What a hypocrite!

    Alan Jones is broadcasting his radio program from his country estate where 2GB have sent him to keep him safe from coronavirus, yet he is telling his braindead listeners the whole thing is just a load of over-hyped hysteria.

    Radio station orders star announcers Alan Jones and Ray Hadley into self-isolation to stop them from contracting deadly coronavirus
    https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/radio-station-orders-star-announcers-alan-jones-and-ray-hadley-into-self-isolation-to-stop-them-from-contracting-deadly-coronavirus/ar-BB11aMbi

    • If it is all a hoax, then he can go back to Sydney and broadcast from the studio like a “real star” (I was going to say journalist, then remembered it was Alan Jones …)

      Mind you, I was most amused at Steven Colbert’s “Quarantine Day 2: Flame Show” last night. I’m so tired with sleeping poorly, jumping at loud noises from outside in the middle of the night and then not falling back into the ‘arms of Morpheus’. At least Colbert makes me chuckle somewhat.

    • I’m with you Leonie 100%. And that was before Aus somehow became part of europe. Eurovision was one of the first words added to my twitter ‘muted words’ list, closely followed by AFL, NRL, soccer, football, NBL, NFL etc.

    • Kirsdarke

      The Russians would not bother because,,as with the US, they cannot compete with the Rupert’s or Facebook’s Face News megafactories.

  21. A good summary

  22. This is excellent – a new version of Bohemian Rhapsody called ………….. Coronavirus Rhapsody.

    Read the whole thread, sing along.

  23. Port Macquarie has its first COVID-19 diagnosis.

    It’s someone at the local Anglican school, they are being very cagey and not saying whether it’s a student, staff member or parent, all they will say is “a member of the school community”.

    This school is posh, the fees are not cheap, to put it mildly. I would not send a dog there, let alone a child, I’ve heard too many stories from parents who sent their kids there for the alleged expertise in performing arts the school promotes, and then left, totally disillusioned.

    And now the school has the dubious distinction of having the first case of COVID-19 on the Mid-North Coast.

    I’d say it’s a parent, recently returned from overseas and too up themselves to think self-isolation rules applied to them.

    https://www.portnews.com.au/story/6688296/school-shuts-down-with-port-macquaries-first-confirmed-covid-19-case/?src=rss

    If you were thinking of coming up this way to escape the virus then think again.

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