39. Orange Prize - Ukrainian tractors
When I received an invitation to a Seminar dealing with the abortion issue, I knew I’d be attending. The date 24/5/05 didn’t mean much, but the location, Jetty Road Brighton. I never forget the Sunday morning where I went to check out the length of the jetty and ended up at walking into a church service. (Mind Chapter 20).
The ratio of unborn, healthy babies killed in Australia each year is amongst the world’s highest and a national shame. Our law allows mothers to abort babies virtually on demand. I once phoned Mareeba Abortion Hospital in Woodville, enquiring what the procedure is. If there is a vacancy, I was told, a girl could have an information session in the morning and the operation could be carried out the same day.
The blood of 100 000 innocent lives does not go unnoticed by all.
Not long after being re-elected our Prime Minister said that he would welcome debate on this sensitive topic. This was seen as a glimmer of hope for Pro-life campaigners, who felt that the cries of the innocent were finally being heard. To be best of my knowledge, however, apart from throwing around opinions, politicians have gone mute again. The promising take-off on the debate must have been aborted, if you pardon my cynicism.
What's this, I hear you ask? On the right is my logo; on the left is a piece of jewellery I discovered in the catalogue of an Auction House.
Another biblical principle - sexual union only between a man and a woman - has been under constant attack by modern liberalists. Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God willfully mankind has fallen for the lie – did God really mean it, when he said…? What’s wrong about a man lying with another man?
Some claim that same sex love can be stronger than that of normal couples. This does not make it right in the eyes of God. One can love another man deeply, yes, as passionate as loving a woman, but to express this love sexually is not the way God intended his creation to live. God is not pleased with it. I too love other men, but I don’t lust after them.
On May 26th as I was praying over these two issues I saw Australia, and our own State South Australia, in the grip of a bad drought. This was not a prophetic vision, but an existing fact. There was virtually no rain in the autumn of 2005 in large parts of Australia. The weather became headline news. Our Prime Minister visited drought affected areas, promising relief for struggling farmers.
On the local level a parliamentary committee was debating a law, as I understand it, to replace the word ‘spouse’ with ‘domestic partner’, affecting 82 existing laws. If passed, the law would reduce marriage to the same status as that of two people sharing a kitchen. The law had already been rejected late in 2004 and was sent the Social Development Committee.
From information received recently this body of politicians manipulated figures in the Committees findings, which were downright misleading. Their report pointed out that 57 % of the public supported the bill, when in fact, as per my source, 98 % are against it. From what I gather a simple trick was applied – one letter of support with over 1000 signatures was treated as 1000 individual letters. This figure was then compared to the number of letters received against the bill.
On the 5-month anniversary of the Tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean I sent an email to the politician, who chaired the enquiry, plus copies to four local politicians, plus one federal one in Canberra and also to ABC Newsradio. I wanted all to know that God is the Lord of everything, even the weather as I have pointed out numerous times.
(In case anybody wonders – yes, the drought is breaking, it was raining heavily in Adelaide on 10/6/05, the time of writing this first draft. Plus there was a shower when I rose at 4.30 am on the day of uploading 13/6. I came to the conclusion it must be my ‘frog instinct’, which brings about activity, when there is rain about).
At the end of the following email you will read a little magic, a little twist. Decide for yourself, if it’s magic or madness.
Email to G.G. Dated 26/05/05
Subject: Drought and Gay rights
Who else could establish a link between the present drought gripping Australia and Gay Rights? Sorry folks, but ask any farmer, they know the principle of reaping and sowing. Before South Australia's Parliament is a law that quasi legitimizes gay marriages as far as property is concerned.
Those who first told us that their lifestyle is just an alternative to the 'normal' way of man and women are wearing us down until they gain full legal status. South Australia, it is reported, is the only state, which is not yet in line with the other states.
Friends, those who don't believe in a loving God, who told us how to live, probably don't believe that HE is also in control of the weather. Does HE have to prove time and again that HE really does control us all? Exactly five months ago today HE did.
While I am at it - I attended a seminar on Tuesday 24/5/05. By co-incidence I found out that day was the 21st anniversary of the Brighton Jetty being demolished by a storm. The Seminar focused on the healing process of mothers, who aborted and lived with the grief for years and years.
One lady, dressed in yellow, was a nurse. She burst into tears, telling how her job was the removal of the aborted fetuses, before they were incinerated (I think this is what she described amongst her sobbing).
If every Parliamentarian in Canberra on either side of politics would have been present that morning, the abortion debate would not just be rekindled, but steps taken to stop the killing! South Australia today is passing a budget with an increase in Mental Health Spending. It's nothing by blatant political point scoring.
Stop mothers from allowing their babies to be killed and you will save millions in mental expenditure - women to find peace for their troubled souls. (But that would put the holes in the pockets of shrinks, who need those poor women to fill their appointment books).
What we sow, friends, is what we shall reap. And please, don't blame God.
Dieter R. Fischer
PS By co-incident at that seminar on the 21st anniversary of the big storm in Brighton, I walked in, recognized nobody, so I selected a seat in the 2nd row and sat down. A little later I saw the nametag of a lady sitting on her own in the 1st row right infront of me. Her name was Gale. God loves fun and numbers.
Until that day I didn’t know the exact date of the storm, which destroyed the Brighton jetty in 1994. I found it somewhat remarkable that the seminar took place on the 21st anniversary of the storm. I had paid a brief visit to the Historical Museum, which was located just east of the railway line. Later as I wrote up my diary the name of the lady sitting nearby made me chuckle. Gale (or it could have been Gail) seemed an appropriate name to sit with on that day.
My email capers slowed as I became more aware that people were taking my thinking seriously. Occasionally I still commented on articles or radio programs etc. One such occasion came on June 2nd 05, after I caught the tail end of an interview on ABC Radio National. The program was called ‘Perspective’. It was about a subject I had often thought about – the controversial ‘white Australia’ policy.
Email to ABC Radio National - Dated 2/6/05.
Subject: White Australia Policy
I woke up early this morning and just caught the dying seconds of your broadcast about Gwenda Tavan's book on the White Australia policy. I had thought about this seriously, because those preaching tolerance often succeed in making those with common sense feel guilty.
Please tell me, if I am a racist: "My blond-haired daughter is being picked up by her boyfriend and his mate. I don't know either of them, as two young men walk up the drive. One is also blond and good-looking. The other is black, short curly hair, but equally handsome.
My first thought is - "I hope her boyfriend is not the dark one". Does that make me a racist?
I say, no! Simply, because as a father I can foresee that the path of my daughter with a boy of her race has fewer hurdles, prejudices and difficulties to overcome. With either choice, the love that will grow between them is what counts in the end. If indeed my daughter had fallen in love with a coloured person, I would give them my blessing. His character may be far superior to that of the blond boy.
Years later I may be watching my 7-year old grandson play soccer and think: "If my daughter had married the blond surfer, would my grandson look like me, when I was 7 playing soccer?
Dieter R. Fischer
PS The answer to racism isn't simply black or white.
On 25/5 I laboured my bicycle up the steep hill of Wynn Vale Drive to Golden Grove. It was very exhausting. On turning into the Golden Way, I saw the letters DUN on a cardboard box. It was not far from where I had picked up a Dunlop shoebox a few months earlier. For this reason I turned back and had a look. I laughed, when I read – DUNHILL, because I had just done a big hill.
A short distance away a white piece of plastic took my fancy. As usual, I first ignored my urge to collect it, but cycled back after a short while to investigate. It was a broken, plastic ruler. I recognized the logo immediately. On Australia Day Morning I had parked in this firm’s carpark, under the exact same logo, to inspect a car crash scene. (I have since visited the factory – 1/350… and received new ruler).
We have much in common. We both specialize in Power Transmission.
Two minutes later I saw on the ground a brochure, which advertised a nearby Fast Food Outlet. There was a clear direction in my mind, please don’t ask how, to visit the Restaurant. As I enjoyed an icecream I saw it – my reward. Right near the entrance was a sign: Slippery whe wet. Where was the n? (It had been shipped to Ukrainian, to be installed in tractors, read on it will make sense).
Five days later on 7/6/05 I had some fun with a female writer of the Australian Newspaper. From late May onwards my son Ben lived with us again, after an extensive overseas holiday. He liked reading the Australian (as I am typing, he is in the lounge room devouring the abundance of printed matter). Amongst the bundles of newspapers strewn all over our living areas I happened to notice a ‘n’ too many; a misprint in a subheading in the Review of the Australian on the Weekend 4/5 June 05, page 13.
The article, which caught my attention, was titled ‘A short History of tractors in Ukrainian’. The misprint puzzled me as much as the subject. A female author writes about the history of tractors and becomes a possible contender for the ‘Orange’ Prize in Fiction. Since when did history qualify as fiction?
The Orange Prize (either named after the Ukrainian Revolution or it features an orange as prize, I am not sure on that detail) was to be drawn on the Tuesday, the date of my email. Predictably, you will find a little co-incidence toward the end, almost as if I had made it up. But take my word; it was God’s timing and humour.
Only 9 days earlier (26/5) I had been to a talk given by author and feminist, Susan Maushardt at Adelaide University. It was one of those events I saw advertised and something inside clicked – OK, I’ll be there. It was most likely the fact that it was a free event, where other appearances by this author cost $ 15. Maushardt gave me the impression to be a leader of the new ‘liberated’ Liberated Woman’s movement. From the little I heard her say she is bringing some balance to the ‘I-hate-everything-male’ attitude, stemming from the late 1970’s.
Susan Maushardt had mentioned that she is a regular contributor to the ‘Weekend Australian Magazine’. Sure enough, in the weekend edition of 4/5/ June I noticed an article of hers on page 14. It was about female sexual fulfillment. I think I know the reason why so many writers harp on this subject. Don’t they say - the more one talks about it, the less one gets? That explains a lot.
The review of the book on Ukrainian tractors didn’t make sense, so I made it into fun and emailed the book-reviewer Bronwyn Rivers, assuming she existed somewhere.
Email to the Australian Newspaper 7/6/05:
Subject: Ukrainia Tractors
Page 13 of The Weekend Review tells me that today is the big day - Can't wait to hear who wins the Orange Prize for Fiction Writing. Andrea Levy should not have won it last year. Can you believe she used the four letter f... word in public during Writer's Week last year in Adelaide*. (And I don't mean faith, because that has five letters).
I would rather recommend someone like Susan Maushardt. On page 14 of the Weekend Australian Magazine she wrote about woman and sexual fulfillment. What better subject for a fiction Novel can you find? I really enjoyed one comment she made: "One day we realize, it was 'mass delusion' thinking childcare for a 6 week old baby does no harm".
Actually, there is another great subject for a fiction novel: "Housework in Spain". During a recent talk at the Adelaide University, Susan told her Audience that in Spain a law has been passed concerning shared housework between married partners.
What a brilliant idea! It's about time that someone stands up and realizes that the father's could do with some help ironing or do the dishes every morning***, because nobody bothered the night before. (You know how hard leftover food can get when it dries all night).
Dieter R. Fischer
***PS 1 ***Believe this or not, as I was editing the second last line of this email, my wife Isobel, great girl, stuck her head inside my office and said: "You're going to do these dishes?" Brilliant timing.
PS 2 - Say Hi to Susan for me. (Must jo and do the dishes).
(*The story is covered in Mind, Chapter 29).
In German we have an expression – ‘Das kommt mir Spanish vor’, meaning ‘this to me sounds Spanish’.
When Susan Maushardt mentioned in her University talk that in Spain by law housework must be shared, she sounded real serious. None of the academics present laughed or asked questions on that subject at the end. Later I started thinking how complex this law must be! Just imagine trying to categorize, quantify and allocate housework and formulate a law.
(Then again, Spain’s politician may be brilliant, liberated to the point of doing the dishes and other housework. But I bet there is the odd one with a hole in his socks!).
There were other questions on my mind. Had there ever been any persecution of an offender? How was the law to be enforced? Is there a new occupation emerging from Spain – Housework Law Enforcement Officer? Do they carry guns or just wield a stick, perhaps using it to settle domestic disputes?
I must sent Susan an email, telling her that in Spain another law exists. Men must spend at least an hour a week in bed with their wives. This must be in addition to just lying there, snoring, reading comics or listening to the news on radio. She will get a shock when I give the details, what men have to perform as a minimum standard during that hour. She probably would want to write a book about it.
Then again, perhaps I shouldn’t tell her. I am not one of those, who always talks about it.