Lockdown

In lockdown again. So what to do? I’ve heard of the ASMR scene. Autonomous sensory meridian response activity. Damn, I’ll do it. It has to do with providing auditory, olfactory or visual stimulation (along with hair brushing and whispering). Apparently it can be weirdly mesmeric with the feel of cutting the waxy substance not to mention scented aromas etc.
I feel motivated to learn the digraphs and diphthongs of Lithuanian and then nail the phonology. It may take a while but hey, why not? It’s language of the European Union and similar to Latvian. Once I’ve mastered abėcėlė alphabet, then basically the Proto-Baltic-Slavic languages have similarities with Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Baltic which in turn connect with Proto-West Baltic and Proto-East Baltic. A Proto-Baltic-Slavic non-exclusive lexical, morphological, phonological and accentual isoglosses structure has commonalities with Slavic languages. I groove these nuances. Who wouldn’t? Besides I’ll be able to decipher ancient scripts when visiting the Vilnius Museum and impress the ambassador if the topic drifts to such matters.
Obscure counting systems are fascinating especially those employing the toes. The Babylonians used a base-60 system inherited from the Sumerians. A base-60 system is divisible by 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 but a base-12 gets you through 4 and 6 smoothly. You can use toes and fingers for a 20-base system It shows up in French as 80 in ‘quatre-vingts’. ‘Halvtreds’ in Danish employs 50 or 2 & 1/2 times 20. The Oksapinus of Papua New Guinea possess a base-27 body system. Counting up the arm after using the fingers and wrist as 6, mid-forearm as 7, through to the neck as 11, ear as 12, eye 13, nose as 14 through to the other side of the head, neck, other arm and fingers up to 23 and 27. Wow. I really dig this scene. It is said the base-20 system underlies the Gettysburg Address. Every reason to study obscure counting systems. Or maybe not. Perhaps I’ll take a walk instead 😛 😀

Behind the lines

I stumble upon an unusual show in the State Library on my way to the bus and what a surprise. It’s strangely relevant without any reference to the dreaded COVID. But Behind the Lines is a political cartoon show based around the year 2019 so there is no pandemic, no stock market crash or storming of the Capitol.. It’s like stepping back in time without the final act. How refreshing to see everything lampooned so. Nothing is off the table. You are taken on a journey that is hilarious and informative and you are reminded of the loony politicians and their destiny of obscurity. Curator and writer, Jennifer Forest had to choose eighty odd pictures from over one thousand exhibits for the show and managed a fabulous selection. The Museum of Australian Democracy of Old Parliament House has a repository of images that defies its somewhat archaic title. Where cartoonists reign, political correctness is certainly absent. Nothing escapes the cutting satire of such traditional means as pen and paper regardless of updated communications such as messaging or YouTube. I guess everything is brought down to size. As I wander around perusing the pictures I can’t help feeling strangely uplifted. Is it because of the lifting of contagion restrictions or because of the lampooning? Who cares this is a gas.

Behind the Lines 2019 is a travelling exhibition developed by Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

Cathy Wilcox
Mark Knight
Jon Kudelka
Alan Moir

Just a few of the cartoons on display for Behind the Lines 2019

Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit is set some seventy five years ago but is strangely relevant today given the current politically and culturally climate. Alt-right racism and unabashed narcissism may seem a long way from 1940’s Germany but perhaps it’s a reminder of what can happen when we fail to rein it in. Maybe it takes a film like Jojo Rabbit. We are witness to a kid who sees it for what it is but also manages to deliver the humour.

Liberal use of the Panzerfaust anti-tank theatre prop places the drama nearer the end of the war. It adds a certain supra boy scout kudos. You get the feeling this kind of thing intrigues audiences – the cultural and technical peculiarities of the Weinmach. Continue reading Jojo Rabbit