Thursday, February 04, 2010

The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.


Sir John Franklin looks up towards a nest of bureaucrats no doubt readying the flak brigades as a State election looms. Franklin was Governor of Van Diemen's Land from 1836 to 1843. It is rather ironic that he spends his days staring at a building filled with civil servants, as they were the ones who eventually got him sacked for the ludicrous ideas of around incorporating more humane elements through reform in the penal colony.

There's been a lot of talk about Franklin recently, which leads me effortlessly into Theme Thursday, and my advice of treating everything you READ with a critical eye.

For instance, if you READ the inscription beneath Franklin (through the seagull poo), you'll find the fact recorded that he "discovered" the Northwest Passage. This, of course, is nonsense. He did disappear (and die eventually, of course), while attempting to chart and navigate a section of the Northwest Passage. Indeed, the entire crew of the expedition succumbed to starvation, hypothermia, tuberculosis, lead poisoning, scurvy and exposure, which pretty much made the whole trip a bummer for everybody involved.

More recently, one of Tasmania's more annoying renowned know-it-alls "intellectuals" [can does one manage a highfalutin inflection in text?], has written a book that I happen to believe is rather dishonest by judging (and condemning) Franklin against mores and ethical standards utterly removed from the proper context of his intentions and actions. I'm all for talking history and attempting to understand decisions and their contexts, but in this regard, take what your READ with a grain of salt.

20 comments:

Tom said...

having a reptile in the mind like a frog in the throat?

i thought of this, 'read' but glad you tackled it...thanks for the history lesson.

Brian Miller said...

i really like the title...

nice twist on the theme as well. will watch what i red.

Ms Hen said...

me too. I'll watch what I red too.

anthonynorth said...

Some great thoughts here.
You'll find mine here.

Roddy said...

I thought that I had missred it. What with all the typos.
What do you think Sir John might think of his Hobart Town today? Do you think that he may be impressed, or a little disappointed?

subby said...

As history is constantly being re-written, it would do to take well more than a grain...more like a bloomin' stone's worth, heh...interesting theme take, Kris...

willow said...

Interesting post. Nice read. :^)

Christine H. said...

Good advice. As a matter of fact...always carry that salt with you.

Jaime said...

red...read...good twist on the theme

Kris said...

Tom, I will admit that I am guilty of misreading the topic.

Kris said...

Brian, bugger!

Kris said...

Ms Hen, indeed.

Kris said...

Anthony, good stuff.

Kris said...

Roddy, you're a troll now?

Kris said...

Subby, tsikomo!

Kris said...

Willow, mnogo blagodarya!

Kris said...

Christine H., not the same Christine H. I hope?

Kris said...

Jaime, dew re-dallo dheugh-why!

Dreamhaven said...

How about mosquitos of the mind?
Unique twist on this weeks theme.

Kris said...

Dreamhaven, I will admit that I READ it, without noticing that it was the colour not the verb.