Longer, in fact, but this morning thanks to the Internet Archive I found quite a few survivors from Diary-X. “In early 2006, the server’s hard drive failed. Since there was no backup, the entire website and all of the users’ diaries were lost irretrievably.” Well, not quite.
Here are some samples.
Sunday, October 05, 2003
I had dinner with Sirdan last night — fish, asparagus and rice, and very good too. We got to talking about those ancient times we have both lived through, pre-leporine you know. (I just had to use that word, having found it recently.) Anyway, it turns out that among his past accomplishments are pottery and photography, and that last one I happen to have shared. In fact I began to get serious about it when I bought an ancient Praktica in Cronulla some time around 1968: single-lens reflex, a shutter that sounded like a gun going off, and no electronics whatsoever…
Later on I learned developing and printing (as Sirdan also did, but before me and in another country) and began to achieve some pretty fair results. I even taught photography for a couple of years…
Well, all my gear was stolen around 1987-8: the house in Glebe where I was living was burgled three times in one year. The last break-in happened while my flatmate Andy and I were both asleep upstairs; we heard nothing despite the burglars having neatly removed the back window in order to get in. The burglars, too, were disappointed and took nothing. In fact, one of them left behind a pair of sunglasses…
Nine Dragons again today. We agree that it is probably the best over-all of the venues we go to. The spicy calamari, roast pork, duck are almost orgasmic. (I obviously should not have read Wendy Perriam!) Oh, and we, for the record, were Sirdan, the Empress, bus-driver Paul, James, Malcolm and myself.
20 September 2004:
Michael in Tasmania wrote a delightful entry yesterday, the last item being his reflections on 1964: “I remember 1964. At that time I had never seen a cassette tape, an FM radio, a calculator, a computer, a color television set or a video recorder. Heart transplants were still the stuff of horror movies and there were plenty of people who doubted that astronauts could ever land safely on the Moon.” It is indeed hard to believe this is forty years ago…
I had been talking to Mister Rabbit about this very year only last Friday, since this was the year I did my English Honours under Professor Sam Goldberg, got hepatitis, and completed my degree… I wrote about all this on my old diary, and looking back at those entries I am rather proud of them actually. So have a look, eh. (“Vermont 4 is wonderful. Well done.” — ICQ Message 🙂 18 January 2003.) This one and the one following it deal specifically with Sydney University.
Mind you, a few links there won’t go anywhere: Mister Rabbit’s old website is long gone and the new one is still in gestation, so to speak, and I doubt that literary quiz of mine still works….
12 February 2005:
One of the most marvellous writers of the 20th century, one whose enormous talents as a writer for the stage enthralled me totally, one whose wisdom I could only aspire to, has passed away. I refer, of course, to Arthur Miller, a voice for all that has been best in America. Interviewed in 2002 for the Christian Science Monitor, Miller ruefully acknowledged the applicability of his 1953 Tony Award winner The Crucible to the America of George Walker Bush.
In researching the play, Miller read through transcribed testimony from Salem court records. He compared the religious devotion of the 17th century with the trust Americans had in their judiciary and Congress following World War II.
In both cases, people in positions of power were “manipulating the faith” that Americans had in religion or in government, Miller says. “It’s a little bit like how you have millions of people in Muslim countries all worked up now, and I’m sure the mullahs who lead them are manipulating those people.”
The play’s prosecutor warns that “a person is either with this court or against it. There be no road between.”
Miller points out that “in one way or another, that speech is repeated anywhere this kind of a movement begins. It’s always ‘it’s a new time.’ We don’t consider the shades of evil. You’re either for us or against us.”
I am one of the many who found their own fathers in Death of a Salesman. Truly a wonderful writer….
Wow! Hard to take in the time that has passed since I wrote those. Naturally the internal links may or may not work, but being themselves web archived they just might!
Meanwhile here is an interesting 2004 item about the reality TV performer who later became The Donald, aka President Thug. Extract:
… Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed to have been against the Iraq War from the beginning, and he has cited this story as proof. The Iraq War began in March 2003, more than a year before this story ran, thus nullifying Trump’s timeline….
One thing about television, it brings out personality. People are able to watch me in action. They hear my voice and see my eyes. There’s nothing I can hide. That’s me. Television brings out your flaws, your weaknesses, your strengths, and you truths. The audience either likes you or it doesn’t. Obviously, the audience likes me.
In the history of the business, there’s never been anything like this—a businessman has the highest-rated show on television. Businessmen don’t even get on TV, let alone have the number-one show. What can I—[phone interrupts]. Hold on, I want to take this….Reeeeeg! How are you? … I’m sitting here with Esquire magazine. They’re putting me on the cover. It’s a story about…wait, I’ll let him tell you. [Turns on speakerphone.]
Esquire: What it feels like to be an American icon…
Everything I do in life is framed through the view of a businessman. That’s my instinct. If I go into a pharmacy to buy shaving cream, then I’m going to look for the best deal on shaving cream. I watch Carmelo Anthony play and think, How stupid was it for Melo to be drafted third? Can you explain that one to me? Look, I watched Detroit. Carmelo still would have been one of the best players on the team. He’s as smooth as silk. And Detroit uses its second pick to take this kid from Serbia. A project. First year, the guy doesn’t even play. A friend of mine says, “It’s gonna work out for them. It’s gonna be good.” What’s gonna be good? No matter how good Detroit is, is this Darko gonna be better than Carmelo? And even if he does become good in four or five years, he’ll look somewhere else for more money, right? I just can’t believe it. How stupid a move was that?….
I’m competitive, and I love to create challenges for myself. Maybe that’s not always a good thing. It can make life complicated. I’ve gone through so many phases—although to me it’s been one steady life. I used to be thought of as an eighties phenomenon. When the real estate market crashed in the early nineties, I was billions in the hole. Yet right now my company is bigger, stronger, and more powerful than ever. The show is the biggest thing on TV. And I’m saying to myself, Where do you go from here? And my answer is: I have no idea….
Of course now we know.