Friday, November 27, 2009
The first photo was taken, just up the road from our place and when first taken I thought that it illustrated Air Pollution quite well, these sort of towers are springing up everywhere, we even have schools banding together to Stop them being erected near the scholls. Then on the Bus trip to Kakadu I snapped this array which somewhat Dwarfs its city cousin, but then the land it has to cover is so much MORE. So my thoughts morphed into communications and how important it has become. When cellphones first became popular, I was ANTI to the Nth degree, too bloody intrusive, then had to have one for work and one night had to dial 000 (Not 911) to report a fire, now just on the emergency point of view I wouldn't be without one - Total Backflip, a Man's prerogative they tell me!
This took me in another direction, all these backflips must be classed as exercise right? We have all heard of Shamen using fire to communicate over vast distances, The Maya, Inuit, Egyptians even old Merlin was reputed as an Exponent of the art. Well the Stuart Highway, Northern Territory's One Line of Communications was named after John McDouall Stuart who was the first white to travel successfully from the South of this vast land to the North and return. The Highway stays pretty close to the route he took too. I have read but can't confirm that when in the rough locality of the Centre of Australia, he met an Aborigine Elder who greeted him with a Masonic Handshake, and in the course of many days conversation regaled him with a knowledge of the outside world that Stuart found astounding, but nothing as startling as a throw away query by the old gentleman as they were departing, which asked what had happened to their Red Brothers to the North. Further questioning ellicited that the two groups used to communicate regularly in the fires, the old guy even knew about Bison and Elk although it is impossible for him to have seen them, he just queried why they had stopped communicating, Stuart couldn't tell him and just left on his travels. My thought is that as this happened around the late 1840s it most likely coincides with the American West being overrun with settlers and they most likely told the Native Americans that it was impossible to talk long distance in the fire, so they couldn't any longer! Simple as that, Bloody Telcos even back then they were ripping people off. Wouldn't it be good if we could get that skill back - Put em out of business over night1
So next time I have a fire going I will have a go at contacting Tammy and Karen and Julie and the like, shouldn't be hard I will just peek around the Cauldron and all that Hubble Bubble toil and Trouble stuff!