Sunday, September 29, 2019

On our selection: Chirac is dead; pioneering with William Buckley and Michelle Payne; a cruise with Lech Walesa

3 May 2017 - horse training on a beach - the horses are in the distance.

Washed-up seaweed - 3 May 2017

The horse comes across the bend and the straight.

Mid-distance shot of the horse 
Close up shot of the horse and its rider.

"Back here, horse!"

3 May 2017 - the end of the session as far as I know it
When Mardra [Sikora] and Kristi [Campbell] made their Finish the sentence Friday prompt about Pioneers; it was a really amazing thing.

This Friday [26 September 2019] I learnt that Jacques Chirac - the Mayor of Paris from 1977-95 and President of the Fifth Republic of France 1995-2007 - had died.

Chirac of course was a pioneer in so many things from local to national to global affairs. He loved his local fair with all the animals and produce. So many reactions - so many comments from everyone from Melenchon [the far-left gentleman who was in the 2017 election] to Le Pen [Marechal - she of the Front National/National Front which is very far-right and sadly popular in Bouches-du-Rhone and other southern French departements].

Macron said that Chirac represented a certain ideal of France.

I remember in particular the cohabitations of 1986 and of 1997 - the first one between Chirac and Mitterrand and the other between Jospin and Chirac. A cohabitation is when you bring different parties together in the French government.

And those moments in 2011 when it became very clear Chirac's memory was fading and failing. His years as the Mayor of Paris - and the corruption in which he may or may not have participated - were catching up with him.

How he adopted a Vietnamese woman and fostered her along with his two daughters - one of whom was not in the public eye because of body image and self-harm reasons.

On Friday too, I was writing to Science-based medicine and showing off the YouTube playlist I made about grossophobie/fat-shaming/fatphobia/fatmisia. I had made it in late July to begin with and slowly added to it since.

Our body acceptance pioneers are such important and under-rated people.

Eighteen years ago there was a big discussion of a socioeducational nature about The rising tide of mediocrity in education. This mentioned the pioneer mentality which is characteristic of so many settler societies - the USA; Canada; Australia; France; Spain; Portugal; the Netherlands; Great Britain  and much of South and Central America. China and Central/West Asia also and East Asia.

How do you think and feel like a pioneer? How do you react against it and learn to live with circumstances and with others who are completely different from you?

In the early 1800s a convict called William Buckley did just this.

He lived in Western Victoria just before the gold rush and for thirty-two years he lived among Indigenous Australians from 1803-35.

Of course according to the penal colony's laws he was on the lam and law enforcement were searching for him.

Most of the time he outsmarted; outlasted; outplayed them as far as he could - and these Indigenous Australians protected him and taught him many of their ways - language; culture; country and the wisdom which comes with country.

As Rebecca has said in her pioneer quote [The limitless journey of hope and change] - how very Barack Obama by the way! [2008-2016] - pioneering is about being in a new environment and changing it and its people for the better.

In modern times - November 2015 to be exact - Ballarat jockey and trainer Michelle Payne did just that.

Many people will remember her ride in the longest race on Flemington Racecourse - and the Prince of Penzance.

She says in Ride like a girl [2019]: "I found my Prince".

Her Dad Paddy says: "Hold on to him. How many legs has he got"?

And they hug together while he is in hospital for his heart condition.

All the Paynes are around.

Some fourteen years before MJ Payne has her right frontal lobe effectively smashed as well as some head bones and she works through her rehabilitation.

The three fingers the nurse is holding up look like pink shapes - like when I am trying to read a sign from a certain distance and with certain movements or trying to read scoreboards - and she is asked questions like how to spell her name.

[Different kinds of memory: declarative; procedural; experiential/episodic; factual].

She and Paddy go through the different Melbourne Cup winners over time; especially Let's Elope from 1991 who was a very formative experience for the six-year-old [she was born in 1985; her closest brother Stephen was born a year before - we will soon learn more of him and see how he got into his dream job of strapping].

There is a scene in her school where her eldest brother races.

"Paddy came last", says Stephen.

And he does this for quite a few members of the family.

There is a great scene near the beginning where it's like we're invited to the Christmas party of the ten Paynes plus Paddy the father and the two youngest ones hide under the table and eat the pudding. We see Stevie and Shelly with the spoon. Very quiet and unnoticed they are.

One of the elder sisters lets her tongue slip. There is a very good book about the Payne family which was written by a horseracing journalist.

Many years later - we are in the 2000s here - D. Weir is in Warnamabool which is on the west coast of Victoria - and at the wedding of Cathy and McEvoy [who may have won two of the last Melbourne Cups] Michelle is trying to lose three kilograms to get ready for Sandown [south-east Melbourne].

MJ Payne does a lot of work as an apprentice.

We learn some of her and her father and brother's pioneering ways - for example; look and feel the hardest ground and use it; read the weather and see if the ground is wet or dry; walk around the track before you actually ride on it.

We also see lots of church scenes [the Paynes are Irish Catholic - and that Diocese of Ballarat has been under catastrophic strains and conditions; especially since the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Sexual Abuse] - some moving ones include the nuns at the totaliser/betting space and they put $148.50 on Prince of Penzance.

There is a wonderful book by one Steele Rudd [who was actually a Hoey] called On our selection which is about Dad and Dave and the farm and the other characters. It reminded me a lot of a Rodney Hall trilogy - Wandina trilogy - especially the third book which is told from the perspective of a wife who is breaking out. The first book is about a family who has been experimented on.

Also I have been reading The fortunes of Richard Mahony which I had not read since 2005 - Ultima Thule was really great and I am starting to speculate about Cuffy who is the son/grandson of Richard Mahony - and his twin siblings the Dumplings. One Dumpling dies. And Richard Mahony himself dies - but not before several chapters of agony for the family.

Mahony himself is quite the traveller and pioneer - he goes through lots of Europe like Italy and Germany and England and Ireland.

Parliament in the United Kingdom has had to be called again as of a few days ago. There have been so many insults; especially to Jo Cox and her memory. And Jeremy Corbyn - no, not one of the Jeremiad mentioned in the response - has really stuck his needles in the knitting.

In the Travelling section this Sunday there were some great articles about Invercargill [why not Bert Monroe and the World's Fastest Indian?]; Carbondale - where Gary; Tom; Alex; Courtney Bender of "The ordinary life of an extraordinary girl" lived from 1993-2013 when Alex went to study in Cinnicinati and work in Marin County - doing some Winter Olympiad in South Korea on the way - in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado and 10 great film places including Grantchester and the first one mentioned was in the "real" Downtown Abbey.

And, yes, there was an opportunity for a cruise! With Lech Walesa as one of the speakers!

How important it is to get in touch with leaders and leadership past; present and emerging.

And be the leaders - or as Jewel Kilcher said in her album Spirit some 20 years ago - You are the difference. Be the difference.


Mardra said...

WOW! So glad you linked up with us. What a wide variety of pioneers and also the effects (good and bad) on those around them and even humanity in general. I always feel there is more I should know/read and this post really shows that! SO much knowledge already in the universe and being shared and much of what you touched on here is entirely new to me. Yet fascinating, also invigorating and infuriating in equal turns.
Tied up in a pretty bow of Jewel and her great lyrics and music. That's just my style!
- Mardra

Kristi Campbell said...

Thanks so much for linking up with us! So many pioneers in your post - wondering if you studied history or similar as I wasn't familiar with most of the people you mentioned at all. I've heard of Chirac but not the others and was interested to learn about him keeping one of his daughters home due to self-harm. I'm also curious to see your YouTube video about fat shaming.
Cheers to being the leaders and being the difference!

Adelaide Dupont said...


Thank you.

WOW! So glad you linked up with us.

I'm so glad I linked up with #finishthesentencefriday too.

What a wide variety of pioneers and also the effects (good and bad) on those around them and even humanity in general.

Mardra: variety wasn't always my stronger point when I was writing. Effect is a big thing that I try to count on, along with consequence. I try not to depend on memory or on intent; even though I tend to start strong.

"Those around them" and "humanity in general" - a big approach and a big subject, true! It is easier when you deal with groups [Buckley] and with families [the Paynes]. And Walesa's big family - I could do more of him and WAY OF HOPE especially with the LGBTQIA-free zone in Lublin.

This is the sentence in your reply which really struck me:

"I always feel there is more I should know/read and this post really shows that!"

Yes - keep reading; keep learning.

"SO much knowledge already in the universe and being shared and much of what you touched on here is entirely new to me."

I am thinking - probably 0.5% of the knowledge in the universe is shared and passed on. Bruce Pascoe from SALT reminded me of this especially when he had his Imperial essay in the Griffith Review [that is from the Griffith University in Queensland - the essay was in 2016 and republished in SALT which is a grabbag of essays and fiction"].

"Yet fascinating, also invigorating and infuriating in equal turns."

Oh, yes. That is effectively how I felt when I was writing it. As I will explain to Kristi - I let the facts drive my feelings when possible.

"Tied up in a pretty bow of Jewel and her great lyrics and music. That's just my style!"

Yep - the prettiness. I appreciate Jewel for her grittiness and spent quite a bit of money on her poetry book when Borders was first starting to get really big overseas.

Glad you appreciate Ms Kilcher too - her electronica album from 2012? 2013? was fabulous.

Often on Motivation Monday I bring something musical for my plate.

Recaptcha was just not being captured this hour ... fortunately I was sensible and able to refresh. To let you know in case there were any troubles up your end.

Adelaide Dupont said...


"Thanks so much for linking up with us!"

Thank you for making FINISH THE SENTENCE FRIDAY and keeping up with it whether it is popular or not. I think there is still time for people to write in for this week or to prepare for next - if they get their skates on!

"So many pioneers in your post - wondering if you studied history or similar as I wasn't familiar with most of the people you mentioned at all."

I studied English Literature which has strong social; historical; political; physical and environmental context. Also Geography and studio art and theatre/scriptwriting/stagecraft/dramaturgy - my specialisms were in stage management and set design. And briefly, information technology - again with a strong social and ethical element.

Commonwealth of Nations and European Studies were my academic interests and personal/professional work.

With Australian history in particular - Trove! And newspaper reading! Especially when it comes to current or recent books.

"I've heard of Chirac but not the others and was interested to learn about him keeping one of his daughters home due to self-harm."

That is indeed a big story. With Chirac in particular I decided to let the facts speak for themselves. The 1986 reference comes from the Funk and Wagnalls Yearbook and its author wrote about the Third Republic [approximately 2 republics ago when we speak of France]. Also a book about the French Revolution. Sanford Elwitt is his name and the article/sidebar is "Embattled Marriage Partner" [Funk & Wagnalls 1987].

I am trying to think about Laurence's story and it is most possibly in France24 or the Independent or even in Wikipedia.

As for the others you may have not heard of ...

I am sure lots of people know more about Australian horse racing.

When I was small it was "the king of sports and the sports of kings". The World Book, too, has some very good horseracing articles. There is also such a thing as greyhound racing. And I like dressage and other skilled equestrian sports. And joining-up with Monty Roberts - sometimes.

"I'm also curious to see your YouTube video about fat shaming."

Here is the playlist - grossophobie/fat shaming/fatphobia

"Cheers to being the leaders and being the difference!"

And cheers to you Kristi and Mardra and the readers and responders! Yes. It is something being different - or feeling different - and then leading in and with that difference and everything else.