Posts Tagged ‘MacDonald’s’

Give us back our Country

March 14, 2017

 

IMG_0829The Salvia

It is so heartening hearing that South Australia is now trying to nationalize the Electricity industry. Remember Australia had a Commonwealth Bank, the GIO, the PMG and above all we owned our resources. It was all owned by Australia and its people, us. We were rich. Australia was a country who had it all. The envy of the world.

And then, the ugliness of capitalism reared its head. It started with lowering taxation. Government after government  got in by waxing and manuring greed by promising to lower taxation. The inevitable shortfall of revenue was fixed by  selling everything under the sun. Leases on vast areas of our resources were sold to individuals who started  companies specialising in selling our previously owned coal, iron ore, uranium, silver, gold, oil and much  more to the highest bidders. Enormous profits were distributed to shareholders but not to the people who previously owned it all.

And then after selling off the resources that Australia has almost unlimited ownership off to private individuals, our Government owned bank,  The Commonwealth Bank, was sold off, followed by our own insurance company , The GIO, followed hot on the heels by Post Master General, morphing into the present Telstra. The Government had once again some more  revenue, enough to prop up creaking infrastructures, health, schools, roads, public transport.

But when all that money  went, poverty crept in once again. It became harder and harder to find the money. Increasing revenue through taxation  was electoral suicide. It was easier to allow poverty to creep into the masses. Pensions were cut, social services were cut, queues at hospitals became longer. The divide between the haves and have nots became wider. Educational levels lowered, students are now struggling to get basic language and numeracy skills. Skilled jobs were filled by importing overseas workers and so the list goes on.

The States too, got onto selling stuff. Water was privatised, and electricity. Poles and Wires with both water and electricity prices going through the roof. Shareholders are rubbing their hands in glee. Riches are made but only to the few. The money made out of selling public utilities are only short term solutions. It should never have happened. Australia should have kept control of its country. Why are French companies now running and determining the electricity prices in South Australia? It is crazy.

Is it time to take it back? Nationalise what previously was owned by us, the people. South Australia is on the way of doing that. We should applaud that. Did anyone watch the ABC’s Four Corners program on the state of the US. People earning such low wages, whole families living in tents or single rooms. Kids being fed packets of chips or stale pizzas. All those glittering advertisement, miles of MacDonald’s signs and the insane grinning Colonel Kentucky chickens running amok.  They are now the largest employers of people who get payed so little they are reduced to dismal poverty. They try and smile so heroically; what would you like with your chicken/ hamburger sir, they say while wearing a cap?

Surely proof of terminal capitalism in its death throes.

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Another week-end in the past.

October 24, 2016
During the late sixties.

During the late sixties.

Week-ends were always looked forward to. The main part was the sleeping in, especially on Saturday. How I loved it. The Sunday church used to be a problem. But growing up realizing that no water ever changed into wine, nor did water allow to be walked upon, I took charge of that issue around the year sixteen and stopped going. It also coincided by taking up smoking. Graven A, ten cigarettes to a packet, and eating potato scallops from the local Fish & Chips shop, wrapped in The Daily telegraph! Till this day, whenever I smell Rupert’s Telegraph I smell more fish than chips.

Of course, Saturday night was movie night. I am not sure if cinemas were actually open on Sundays in Australia during the fifties. I do know that Sundays were pretty dead. It used to be the major complaint by European migrants. The first movie that I can remember apart from a few Don Camillo movies watched when still in Holland, were the climbing of MT Everest and King Salomon’s Mines. In Holland my mother was forever urging us to see movies featuring the priest, Don Camillo. A character who was forever falling out with local communist mayors in Italian or French villages. She must have been hoping I could be saved from decadence and resulting hell-fire and brimstones. They were very funny movies and I remember them fondly. But alas, I was not to be saved.

The Drive-in also needs to be dug up. They were popular between the fifties  and seventies, well before KFC and MacDonald’s started to tentatively test the waters. The Drive-in had speaker boxes on posts which by a lead you attached inside the car. It wasn’t unusual to drive off after the movie with the speaker box still inside the car. Some Drive-ins had buttons on the post to order Mars bars, snacks or Cokes which would be delivered by furiously pedalling boys on bicycles. Whole families used to go in pyjamas and I remember seeing women with hair curlers queuing at the milk bar waiting for their malted milkshakes at the Drive- in during a break.

Boys and (hopefully) some girls would of course take the opportunity to slip a hand here and there and many a muffled shout or sharp slap used to do the rounds. I don’t know if the hair curlers would inspire any romance. But who knows? Cupid’s arrow has mysterious targets. There was an enormous uptick in pregnancies when John Travolta and Grease were released in the late seventies. It was also the beginning of the end of Drive-Ins. Helvi and I went just once and there were no slaps or muffled sounds. It was a boring movie. Helvi did not think that sitting in car watching a movie was a good night out at all.

Now, in my galloping years, the week-end has lost some of its lustre. In fact, all of its lustre. I am always happiest when the Monday gets around. There is still some of that earlier Sunday deadness about. Have you noticed that in the centre of towns or cities, the Sunday goes in rapid retreat or decline between 2.45- 3.15 pm. All of a sudden the streets empty themselves of people, dogs start scratching and shops looking so forlorn. A paleness is creeping in. Perhaps the towns and cities still lack people living in them. People live mainly around but not within cities. Sunday afternoons are probably used to top up the Opal Card or with summer knocking, a late afternoon lawn mower. I believe many now also go to Sunday Gym and do push-ups. I must say that men and women over sixty, and especially when pear-shaped, should resist wearing those black tights on their way to the gym. It is really an unsettling sight, even on a Sunday afternoon.

A normal day.

November 19, 2015

After all the sardine excitement of a few days ago topped by the glorious rack of lamb yesterday, it was time to calm down, take a breather and try have a normal day. One ought to be on the guard of excessiveness, even if it involves sardines.  As I got up this morning I was so resolute. Before even the first coffee, I went to the front of our compound and picked up both garbage cans. Earlier on I had heard them getting emptied. I have seen those modern garbage trucks in action.

They are fitted with extendable hydraulic forks that clamp the garbage can, hoist them up while also tipping them upside- down. They disgorge their contents inside a covered truck.  All this is done flawlessly in one swoop by just a single person who also drives the truck. The empty can gets gently put back on the nature strip.

With a bit of squinting and fogging ones glasses one could just imagine it being a kind of ballet where the prima donna gets picked up, turned over and then gently put back on the stage. A kind of  modern Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s ballet of The Sleeping Beauty. Other aficionados of watching garbage trucks in action might well prefer and dwell over his version of the Nut-Cracker suite.

In the old days, the garbage cans were made of zinc and it took a whole army of men to deal with them. I remember a kind of large heavy gate at the end of the truck compressing the garbage. It was the norm to leave a crate of brown ‘long necks’ for the garbos at Christmas time. This was a particular difficult period for garbage- men. Especially afterwards when all the remnants of the festivities would rank darkly inside those cans. The hot sun relentlessly cooking the prawn-shells and heaven knows what else that had putrefied. A  tough period. A cold beer was very welcome. That has now all gone. No more gifts for the garbo.

After I picked up the plastic lidded garbage cans, I dressed and made coffee. The plan was to tackle the snails in the garden for which we had to shop. We also had run out of garlic. Lately we have made the decision not to economise on garlic and get the Spanish variety. The Chinese garlic, with all respect for Mao, doesn’t cut the mustard. We make up to the Chinese by getting their Bok-Choy. There is just nothing like blanched fresh Bok-Choy glazed with some sesame oil. It really is the most delicious vegetable and at 99cents a bunch at Harris Farm Market, is a top buy. Go and get it.

I do hope farmers make good money. They deserve it. I can’t believe when dieticians complain that the poor get fat because they can’t afford good food. How cheap are vegetables, including carrots, potatoes,  beans. A packet of rice or pasta? Tinned sardines or tuna. Even fresh Australian salmon,  four fillets for $12.90? It is far more the intrusion of the Macdonald’s and their rotten food quarter pounder outlets, KFC is another one. Why are they still given development application approvals when Australia has one of the world’s highest numbers of those Fast food and take-outs Per Capita? It is Capitalism murder on a grand scale now. It is! How long before action is taken? It kills more than Isis. Far more.

Take it easy now, Gerard. remember a ‘normal’ day.

 

A short return to Cosmopolitan Life.

September 20, 2013

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With the new foot-rest car we felt reinvigorated and wanted to take the Peugeot for a spin to the big smoke. Our home stomping ground was the inner city of Sydney when we were still young, foolish, reckless and desperate to be seen as part of something we thought would swing on forever. After many decades this ‘’swing’’ has now morphed into an afternoon ‘’snore’’. But as Peugeot lovers would say, c’ est la vie.

With my foot firmly on its designated rest and La Marseillaise in the CD player; (Arise children of the fatherland. The day of glory has arrived. Against us tyranny’s. Bloody standard is raised. Listen to the sound). We left just before lunch.

No yet familiar with all the knobs and levers of the car I thought it best to put everything possible on automatic. Did you know that cars have climate control? I put it on automatic, not wishing to get a tornado developing above the back seat. The same with speed control which I put on a comfortable 97 km per h. You’ve just got to give it to the French, so much sophistication and joie de vivre inside a metal box that rolls around on wheels. When I get back home again, I’ll look up Paris appartements en la arrondissement de 3 ou 4.

Our car had a log book in which I found that the seats were made of ‘’genuine’’ leather. Is leather more leather if it is genuine? Are there leathers around that are dishonest and not genuine? Lately there are some puzzling descriptions around. There is a company selling ‘’organic’’ water. Don’t tell me water is now also made of PVC. I hope we are not being swindled out of one of the last natural resource, just water. It is bad enough seeing ads by MacDonald’s making one believe that by eating their salty fatty food it transforms us into such robust health we end up leaping over farm fences and riding Canadian white water rapids in rubber boats.

You wonder when it will be that the world will recognize it is not Syria that is the enemy but the large Multi-National purveyors of death and destruction, the pushers of fast food and sugar laden drinks. Look at the world’s Shopping Malls where millions of masticating jaws are grazing out of polystyrene containers, racing to an early diabetic death.

But…back to Mrs Euphoria and the glorious Peugeot trip to our wild unfettered, still saucepan free and tempestuous past.

As we got closer to the stomping ground of our reckless youth, a feeling of exultation of spirit, already soaring as a result from the patriotic CD and the sultry climate inside our Peugeot, reached a new peak. We parked and noticed a lovely old pub, The Newtown Hotel, just across the road. We noticed many students and their professors sunning themselves on the upstairs very ornate cast iron railed balcony sipping schooners of healthy Cooper’s brooding ales. It all looked just as we remembered. We were swinging once more.

What the heck, (we thought) we are just like them, no difference and clambered up the stairs, one step at the time, and ordered two schooners of heavy Ale with garlic prawns and a pumpkin pizza and feta cheese. Straight away another schooner and for H un peu de Chenin Blanc. We whooped it up. The music was cathartic too, student hips were swaying and the bearded professors started leering. More Ale and Chenin.

On the way home, the climate control had a job keeping my claps of thunder away, let alone flashing bolts of intestinal attacks of indigestion and not an anti-acid automatic button in sight. This music really helped.