While travelling the highways and byways of Queensland taking statements in support of my application to the United Nations alleging ongoing and systematic human rights violations against Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (“ATSI”) people by the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Government and the Australian Capital Territory Government, I had pause to read and reflect on Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal. Within Baudelaire’s verses one comes across his concept of Satan as the marionette. In Baudelaire’s concept of Satan, he by some mysterious process weakens man’s will; then he holds and manipulates man by the strings of irresistible, but trivial and even disgusting desire: aux objets répugnants nous trouvons des appas. The quality of objects which provoke desire is so questionable as to create a paradox:
Ainsi qu’un débauché pauvre qui baise et mange
Le sein martyrisé d’une antique catin,
Nous volons au passage un plaisir clandestin
Que nous pressons bien fort comme une vieille orange.
Like some lewd rake with his old worn-out whore,
Nibbling her suffering teats, we seize our sly
delight, that, like an orange—withered, dry—
We squeeze and press for juice that is no more.
Si le viol, le poison, le poignard, l’incendie,
N’ont pas encor brondé de leurs plaisants dessins
Le canevas banal de nos piteux destins,
C’est que notre âme, hélas! n’est pas assez hardie.
If poison, fire, blade, rape do not succeed
In sewing on that dull embroidery
Of our pathetic lives their artistry,
It’s that our soul, alas, shrinks from the deed.
Au Lecteur – Charles Baudelaire
Consequently, man becomes no more than a marionette dancing to the least pressure of those strings which represent the desire for an ironically paltry pleasure. Baudelaire emphasises the paralysis of the will essentially to explain the wretchedness of the desire.
As a blak man forced to live within a racist and corrupt white Australian society, where to the powers that be, the quality of objects which provoke desire is so questionable as to create a paradox, the aforementioned verses from Baudelaire’s Au Lecteur carry a deep resonance. What drives ‘whitie’ in Australia are the paltry pleasures derived from living off the plundered resources of Aboriginal Australia, while at the same time making every effort to wipe the stain of poison, fire, blade and rape from the Australian landscape and psyche by pretending to this day that the refuse of Imperial Britain. Far from invading, poisoning, raping and butchering the Australian Aborigines, ‘whitie’ merely happened upon an empty Eden, waiting for the good Christian folk from Europe to make for their refuse a Southern Utopia. The work of subtle genocide once the exclusive domain of the squatter has become the exclusive domain of the miner, to the detriment of white and black Australians alike. It is not you and I who benefit when the “lewd rake with his old worn-out whore… squeeze and press for juice that is no more”; all benefit passes to the lewd rake, who without even a thought to you and I, let alone the real owners of Australia’s resources sells with glee all he can extract from his worn-out whore to the benefit of himself and the Chinese economy.
In order to assist in plundering his worn out whore, also known as Australia, Mr Clive Palmer, Australia’s fifth richest person, is proposing to build the world’s largest coal export facility. The facility will be positioned right in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, endangering a natural wonder that belongs to not only every Australian, but to everyone on this planet; yet we allow one man to “squeeze and press for juice that is no more” to his benefit and the benefit of the Chinese economy and to everyone else’s detriment.
If Clive Palmer and others get their way, they will build the world’s largest coal port within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area; large areas of the Reef would become an industrial zone. Shipping channels would be carved out of the marine park by dredging up tens of thousands of tonnes of the sea floor, devastating the habitat of marine wildlife such as turtles, dugongs and dolphins. Once up and running, thousands of coal ships would make their way through the Great Barrier Reef every year – increasing the very real risk of an oil spill.
Ironically, on 4 March, Palmer became an Australian “National Living Treasure” According to Wiki:
Australian National Living Treasures are people who have made outstanding contributions to Australian society in any field of human endeavour.
The concept of National Living Treasures has its origins in 1950, when the Government of Japan began to designate certain individuals or groups who embodied intangible national cultural values as living human treasures, just as places or things of great cultural value are designated as national treasures, thus becoming eligible for special protection and support. Some of the ancient protected crafts are pottery, music, handmade paper, dolls, and sword making.
What I find ironic, indeed paradoxical, is that an Australian “National Living Treasure”, a person who has “made outstanding contributions to Australian society in any field of human endeavour”, is behind a project that has the potential to destroy a UNESCO listed World Heritage Area. In Japan, living human treasures embody intangible national cultural values such as arts; in Australia living human treasures, embody intangible national cultural values such as the destruction of UNESCO listed World Heritage Areas.
So what is it in Australia that ‘whitie’ actually values? It’s not art or culture, it’s not natural beauty – so what is it? The almighty dollar, for which ‘whitie’ is prepared to sacrifice even the world’s largest living organism at the Altar of Mammon!
Not content with having destroyed by poison, fire, blade and rape the original inhabitants of Australia along with the land itself, ‘whitie’ in pursuit of the blessings of Mammon is intent upon destroying all within his reach, regardless of entitlement, including the world’s largest living organism. By what mysterious process Satan has so weakened the will of ‘whitie’ I’ll never know. What I do know is that what we are witnessing every day in Australia where the mining fat cats are given cart blanche to destroy all in their wake by a gutless and leaderless ‘whitie’ regime is nothing less than aux objets répugnants nous trouvons des appas.
Mining and the Australian Economy
Natasha Stott Despoja, former Australian Senator and past leader of the Australian Democrats, had the following observations to make about mining and job creation versus mining and wealth creation for the few:
I think it’s really interesting some of the distorted images we have as a community when it comes to the mining sector. There was an Australia Institute survey done not long ago where people were asked to what extent the mining industry creates jobs, to what extent are people employed by the mining industry. People said around 16%. It’s 2%
So there’s quite a disparity between the wealth issue, and that issue in relation to job creation or our World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Six Billion annual contribution to our Nation.
In fact, the Barrier Reef is one of Australia’s most significant environmental, economic and social assets, as well as being one of our most sought after tourist destinations – one that consistently averages 1.6 million visitors per year and generates about 63,000 jobs, jobs that won’t be replaced by the mining sector should the greed of those involved in mining cause the destruction of the Barrier Reef and the environmental, economic and social costs that would flow from such a tragedy.
O universal mother, who dost keep
From everlasting they foundations deep,
Eldest of things, Great Earth, I sing of thee;
All shapes that have their dwelling in the sea.
All things that fly, or on the ground divine
Live, more, and there are nourished – these are thine;
These from thy wealth thou does sustain; from thee
Fair babes are born, and fruits on every tree
Hang ripe and large, revered Divinity!
Hymn to the earth: Mother of All Homer (trans P.B Shelly)
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