Recommendations Roundup #2: Down Under Edition, Parts 1–4 (COMBO)
Video, Article, Book, Movie, TV Show, Music, & Poem Recs Grieving/Celebrating Australia & New Zealand + Queensland Petitions on PCR Tests, Masks, & Lockdowns (NEW)
This article combines Part 1 (Videos), Part 2 (Articles, Book, Poem), Part 3 (Movies), and Part 4 (TV Shows & Music) of the Down Under Edition of Recommendations Roundup along with a new section with links to Queensland petitions on masks, lockdowns, and PCR tests prepared by two of my Australian subscribers. I am also including PDFs of the supplemental reports that accompanied the petitions because they are extraordinarily well-researched and informative. I encourage you to download these documents for perusal, sharing, and possible inclusion in your own efforts to combat tyranny in your respective locations. More details in the Petitions section below.
Given that Australia and New Zealand are serving as the trial run for one-world totalitarianism and that I have several loyal subscribers from Down Under, I decided to dedicate this issue to all you Aussies and Kiwis out there.
The petitions, videos, and articles focus on the present tyranny, while the cultural portion (book, movie, show, and music recommendations as well as the poem) reminds us of the beauty, humor, and resilience of Australians and New Zealanders. I hope the latter will assuage the souls of the despondent while inspiring the downtrodden to draw strength from their rugged heritage as they shatter their chains, depose the despots, and restore their liberties.
I want to call special attention to the following petitions submitted to the Queensland Government by two of my Australian subscribers, Alan Ballard and Wendy Corfield (both graciously introduced to me by Allan Cox):
Alan is an engineer by trade with experience in various mine management roles. While his name is on the petitions and he played a supportive role in their preparation, it is Wendy who authored the documents. She formerly held numerous positions at Queensland Health, including principal research officer, manager, and project manager. Wendy’s area of public health expertise is around the ethics, laws, and care for those at the end of life. Wendy was also a policy and evaluation advisor at Blue Care, senior policy analyst at Public Service Commission of Queensland, and principal policy advisor at the Department of Transport & Main Roads. She holds a PhD that focused on ethics and philosophy from the Creative Industries Faculty and a graduate diploma of education, both from Queensland University of Technology. Prior to gaining her PhD, Wendy spent fifteen years studying/tutoring in business administration and communication studies while studying part-time. Wendy’s first qualification was a BA in literature and history from the University of Queensland.
Wendy’s extensive knowledge of and experience in public health are evident in the exhaustively documented supplemental materials she prepared for these petitions:
This quote from the supplemental information on lockdowns immediately jumped out at me as it echoes what I wrote in my first article, A Primer for the Propagandized: Fear Is the Mind-Killer:
“Joseph Goebbels and his mentor Edward Bernays would be turning in their graves with jealousy. Never before in history have such effective means existed to seemingly manipulate the entire world into the psychosis of totalitarianism.”
If you would like to use any of these materials as a template for or inclusion in petitions to your own governments, agencies, organizations, and employers, please feel free to do so with credit to Alan Ballard and Wendy Corfield.
I would like to close by sharing (with her permission) the following excerpt from an email Wendy wrote me as I feel it eloquently captures the situation we are in now and conveys why it is so crucial that people of integrity, ethics, and wisdom raise their voices to decry the onslaught of tyranny:
“I truly believe that unless something monumental happens to turn things around, we have front row seats to the end of the world as we knew it. We have crossed the bridge exploding behind us and are now officially in the tyranny of the New World Order. This was the reason we put the petitions together. We both felt that we needed to do SOMETHING, anything but sit and whinge every night about the tyrannical government overreach unfolding daily in this country, and indeed all around the world. So we are trying to do our little bit and keep telling ourselves that a snowflake can cause an avalanche! We’ve joined like minded people from our area and are becoming more active in community groups here. We try to keep positive and have a lovely acreage with vegetable gardens and chickens. So while all this sounds negative, Alan and I keep our heads up knowing that we are on the side of right … we try to influence others as much as we can within our powers.”
The Volume of Silence; She Won’t Be Alright, Mate; Scenes from the Formerly & Now New Normally Prison State; The Faces of Tyranny—and Resistance
Communicating on behalf of her gag-ordered Australian nurse mother, this girl reveals some heavy truths, which carry all the more weight given the method of delivery:
This is a compelling synopsis of the end game, beginning with what’s occurring in Australia:
ReallyGraceful reveals “What the Media Won’t Tell You About Australia”:
One of my favorite YouTubers, Norwegian author Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen, weighs in on Dr. Kerry Chant’s recent slip of the tongue (covered below):
You may have already seen this viral video, but it is heartrending to hear this woman’s disappointment in the Australian people’s failure to stand up to tyranny:
And here are a few of the tyrants:
New South Wales Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant Accidentally Says the Quiet Part (New World Order) out Loud (a bookend to the companion video I referenced in Letter to a Covidian)
And a rare dissenter:
Scenes from the Police State of Australia:
New Zealand isn’t far behind, sadly:
Australian internment camps, lockdowns, the impact on mental health, brainwashing children, and vaccine mandates:
Qantas Pilot on No Jab No Job (courtesy of one of my Australian subscribers, Allan Cox)
Meet a few of the vaccine-injured Australians:
These Downunderers (or Antipodeans, if you prefer) will make you think, even if you don’t agree with everything they say:
While a bit out there, Wil Paranormal does a good job of digging up on-the-ground footage for his compilation videos. Below are a few with highlights from Australia:
Swiss Policy Research Group, OffGuardian, The Burning Platform, & Australian Subscriber Article Recs + Vaccination Deaths Nearly TRIPLE the Number of COVID Deaths in Australia
In my first Recommendations Roundup, I cited OffGuardian and The Burning Platform as two of my favorite sources for their fact-based, high-caliber writing. This time, I would like to shout out the Swiss Policy Research Group as an exceptional source for scientific, well-researched articles on COVID-19, including several pertinent to Down Under.
1) From the Swiss Policy Research Group:
2) From OffGuardian:
3) From The Burning Platform:
4) The following articles are courtesy of Allan Cox, one of my steadfast Australian subscribers, who was also kind enough to excerpt and link to my second article in his recent missive to Alan Jones and a murder (that is what you call a flock of politicians, right? no offense to crows ;-) of Australian MPs:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Case Numbers & Statistics (spoiler: even with the “loose” approach being used in COVID reporting, Australia has recorded 193 deaths and New Zealand has recorded a whopping 2 in 2021)
As a sidenote, if you’re interested in viewing a report of Australia’s adverse reactions, you can enter “COVID” to select the vaccines (3 total) and set the timeframe for 2021 at the Database of Adverse Event Notifications. Funnily enough, they have disabled the ability to generate PDFs of these reports “to improve performance” (uh-huh).
When I ran the report the other evening (included reports from 1/1/21–9/4/21), I got the following tallies:
Number of reports (cases): 54,737 (incidentally, 136 were added in a single day as I had just run the test through 9/3 a few hours earlier)
Number of cases with a single suspected medicine: 53,931 (this one, oddly decreased by 134)
Number of cases where death was a reported outcome: 509
Here’s the kicker: The number of deaths reported following injection (509) is NEARLY TRIPLE the reported deaths from COVID (193) during the same time period—and that is with COVID death rates being vastly inflated due to comorbidities, administration of lethal medications like Remdesivir, the use of fatal practices such as intubation and ventilators, and the denial of lifesaving medications like ivermectin (which, incidentally, the TGA—Australia’s equivalent of the FDA—recently banned for use in COVID patients, having already done so for hydroxychloroquine, in a stratagem to force people to submit to injection).
A Contemplative Reflection from New Zealand National Treasure Janet Frame
When it came to recommending a book for my Down Under edition, the first author who came to mind was New Zealand treasure Janet Frame. I originally learned about her from another New Zealand treasure, Jane Campion, in her 1990 tribute to Janet Frame, An Angel at My Table.
The problem is, I hadn’t read any of Janet Frame’s work! So I started listening to the audiobook of Towards Another Summer (paperback, hardcover, Kindle, audiobook), a novel that, although purportedly fiction, she considered too personal to be published until after her death.
Clearly on the autistic spectrum, Frame inhabits a spectacularly rich inner world, which spills onto the page in such beauteous prose dripping with sensory details, I was frequently tempted to rewind and savor the lines.
She also captures the agony of social anxiety with excruciating verisimilitude, making you squirm as you suffer the discomfort of her awkwardness while simultaneously laughing, along with her, in retrospect at the embarrassing moments she so desperately wished she could erase and rewrite.
Although the novel is set in England, New Zealand is more present for its absence as the protagonist, Grace (self-identified as a migratory bird), revisits memories of her homeland through the bittersweet nostalgia of exile.
Here are some of the lovely quotes I gleaned along the way:
“Now journeys were not simple matters for Grace; nothing is simple if your mind is a fetch-and-carry wanderer from sliced perilous outer world to secret safe inner world; if when night comes your thought creeps out like a furred animal concealed in the dark, to find, seize, and kill its food and drag it back to the secret house in the secret world, only to discover that the secret world has disappeared or has so enlarged that it’s a public nightmare; if then strange beasts walk upside down like flies on the ceiling; crimson wings flap, the curtains fly; a sad man wearing a blue waistcoat with green buttons sits in the centre of the room, crying because he has swallowed the mirror and it hurts and he burps in flashes of glass and light; if crakes move and cry; the world is flipped, unrolled down the vast marble stair; a stained threadbare carpet; the hollow silver dancing shoes, hunting-horns …”
“She said goodbye, shut the door, locked the Chubb lock, murmured Oh God, Oh God, returned to the sitting room, rearranged the cushions, took the sherry glasses into the kitchen.
“Another encounter with people successfully concluded without screams or tears or too much confusion.
“I’m doing fine, she said to herself, as if she were one or two days old and had finally mastered the art of breathing.”
“Grace said to herself, I found my first place when I was three. It is a memory that is so deep in my mind that it is always and never changing. I went by myself into the dusty road. It was late summer, the gorse flowers in the hedge were turning brown at the tips of their petals, crumpling and dropping. The sky was grey with a few white clouds hurried along by the wind. There were no people anywhere, not up or down the dusty road. I looked up and down and along and over and there was no one. This is my place, I thought, standing still, listening. The wind moaned in the telegraph wires and the white dust whirled along the road and I stood in my place feeling more and more lonely because the gorse hedge and its flowers were mine, the dusty road was mine, and the wind and the moaning it made through the telegraph wires. I cannot describe the sense of loneliness I felt when I knew that I was in my place; it was early to learn the burden of possession, to own something that couldn’t be given away or disowned, that had to be kept for ever. I remember that I didn’t stay long in my place: I cried and I ran home, but my place followed me like a shadow and it is always near me, even here in Winchley, and I do not even need to close my eyes or call for silence before I am there, and once there wanting to escape from the message of the wind for there is no one up or down along and over and it is dust, not people, that whirls its busy life along the road.”
“I told no one of my new possession. I did not visit the place ever again, for the new chosen possession brought its own burden — had I chosen something which would stay, or would it disappear; could I take it with me and shed it when I wished; what was it that I had chosen? I still remember the pleasure of finding it and owning it; it seemed then like a little birch-tree house; it seems now like layers of years that sink deep, like leaves, into rich fertile decay.
“And now what confusion I feel when I sit here and read these poems. All the poets are writing about my place. Even if they were not writing of New Zealand they would be writing of my place. How can I ever contain within me so much of one land? Was it given to me or have I looked for it, found it, and have I been afraid to return to it?”
“Grace tried not to think of her failure to communicate by speech; she traced her part in the evening’s conversation. If only she had said this, if only she had said that! Why did she always seem to stop in midsentence and not know how to continue because her words and ideas had vanished? She began to cry, quietly, and cried herself to sleep.”
“I like reading. Once the words are on the page they never change; when you open the book the print never falls out.”
My Top 10 Down Under Films
My husband and I have long been fans of Australian and New Zealand independent film. Below are ten of our favorites, some featuring budding stars such as Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Russell Crowe, Hugo Weaving, Nicole Kidman, and Noah Taylor.
1) Proof (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 1991)
This delightful, little-known gem features a young Russell Crowe and Hugo Weaving along with a wickedly delicious performance by Geneviève Picot. Weaving plays a blind photographer (Martin) with trust issues who is befriended by Andy (Crowe). We witness the blossoming of their friendship, with several unforgettable scenes producing strenuous belly-laughs. This new relationship sparks the jealousy of Martin’s housekeeper, Celia (Picot), who is in love with Martin, despite his dreadful treatment of her. The growing tension in this triangle is underscored by a suspenseful soundtrack by Not Drowning, Waving (streaming, CD). The film won six Australian Film Institute (AFI) awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay, with Weaving securing Best Actor in a Lead Role and Crowe Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
2) Muriel’s Wedding (P.J. Hogan, 1994) (Prime Video, blu-ray, DVD)
Three years after directing Proof, Jocelyn Moorhouse produced this euphoric romp, which was directed by her husband, P.J. Hogan. Packing on 40 pounds in under two months to win the role, the ebullient Toni Collette earned a thoroughly deserved award for Australian Best Actress in a Lead Role. Like Proof, this film is another hilarious and moving exploration of the nature of friendship as Muriel pairs up with a rambunctious Rachel Griffiths (Rhonda) in her feature film debut. The ABBA music on this ultimate feel-good soundtrack is interwoven with the storyline, arguably serving as a third major character. Even with all the humor and buoyant fun, the film sensitively addresses serious issues such as bullying, self-esteem, identity, and suicide, attaining some genuinely poignant moments. Such emotional dimensionality makes this a surprisingly deep, indelible treasure.
3) Angel Baby (Michael Rymer, 1995) (streaming, DVD)
You would never guess that a tale about two self-destructive schizophrenics falling in love could make for so many funny scenes, but John Lynch and Jacqueline McKenzie catapult the audience from the heights to the depths and back up again with acrobatic prowess. The otherworldly soundtrack (streaming, CD) includes a spine-tingling performance by Norwegian vocalist Anneli Drecker accompanied by The Big No No in “Blue & Green (Can Never Be Seen)” and “Until I’m in You.” Leavened by black comedy, this slow-moving train wreck raked in seven well-deserved AFI awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Actor.
4) An Angel at My Table (Jane Campion, 1990)
As mentioned in my book recommendation in Part 2, An Angel at My Table lovingly documents the life of Janet Frame. Now that I’ve read some of Frame’s work, I am amazed at the authenticity with which Jane Campion captures her luxurious inner and disquieting outer worlds. In her debut film, Kerry Fox expertly conveys the unbearable discomfort of self-consciousness and social ineptitude that made inhabiting the world of people so painful for Frame while simultaneously introducing us to the magical beauty of her interior, creative life. The ethereal soundtrack includes mood-setting fairy tale pieces like 12 Dancing Princesses. Campion’s second feature film netted eighteen awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Performance from the New Zealand Film & TV Awards.
This cinematic tour de force is probably the best-known film on this list, and for good reason. Holly Hunter’s ardent, Oscar-winning performance is matched only by the other protagonist in this riveting study in passion—Michael Nyman’s magnificent score (streaming, CD). Harvey Keitel and Sam Neill also turn in absorbing performances. Scarcely any words are uttered in The Piano, yet it speaks volumes about obsession, creativity, independence, love, and betrayal. In addition to its three Oscars, the film swept the AFI awards, earning eleven in total.
6) The Plumber (Peter Weir, 1979) (also available on The Criterion Channel)
This succulent psychological thriller will toy with your mind in a most gratifying way. As humorous as it is suspenseful, The Plumber will dangle you on tenterhooks as you experience Jill Cowper’s (Judy Morris) gaslighting by the mysterious, manipulative, and mental plumber, Max (Ivar Kants). It is hard to believe this is a TV movie given the caliber of the performances and the wholly original storyline. Peter Weir’s talent is evident in this early work, which would be followed two years later by his masterful tragedy, Gallipoli.
7) Gallipoli (Peter Weir, 1981) (Prime Video, DVD)
In one of his earliest roles, Mel Gibson delivers an affecting performance set in the context of the World War I Gallipoli campaign in Turkey. From the beginning to its inevitable, calamitous end, this film keeps your heart pounding as you hope against history for a different, triumphant outcome. Perhaps the most heartrending adagio ever composed (Barber’s notwithstanding) and my favorite classical work since high school, Tomaso Albinoni’s Adagio in G Minor (Cinema Classics 2) is the perfect score for this human tragedy. The film’s eight AFI awards include Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor in a Lead Role, Best Screenplay, and Best Achievement in Cinematography.
8) Dead Poet’s Society (Peter Weir, 1989) (Prime Video, blu-ray, DVD)
The third Peter Weir film on this list, Dead Poet’s Society is a bit of a fudge because it is an American rather than an Australian production. Still, the director is Australian, and it holds a special place in my heart. My favorite movie in high school, it deepened my love affair with poetry and introduced me to epic poets such as Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg. This bittersweet film is so emotionally intense, I don’t know if I could bear to watch it now—especially given Robin Williams’s heartbreaking end. Williams, who demonstrated extraordinary range over the course of his career, plays the inspirational teacher, John Keating, who roused his students to heed Thoreau’s cry to suck the marrow out of life, including the shy fledgling poet Todd (Ethan Hawke) and the browbeaten Neil (Robert Sean Leonard). The film’s twenty awards include an Oscar for Best Writing in addition to its Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor in a Leading Role.
9) The Castle (Rob Sitch, 1997)
Unlike most of the films on this list, The Castle is all lightness and levity. This silly cabochon will keep you grinning from start to finish as you follow the ordinary adventures of an eccentric, down-to-earth Aussie family led by plucky father figure Darryl Kerrigan (Michael Caton), whose comical catch phrase, “He’s dreamin’,” you’ll find yourself repeating for days afterward. These Deplorables of Australia will charm their way into your heart as they take their You Can’t Take It With You–flavored battle against government/corporate infringement to the courtroom. AFI awarded this droll comedy Best Original Screenplay.
10) Flirting (John Duigan, 1991)
Nicole Kidman and Noah Taylor make early appearances in this sweet, coming-of-age film that defies clichés. Kidman pulls off a high school student surprisingly well, two years after her tense performance in Dead Calm (which, while it didn’t make my list, is well worth a watch if you enjoy taut, nail-biting psychological thrillers). Noah Taylor gives a touching performance fraught with all the clumsiness and angst of adolescence while Thandiwe Newton shines in her first role. This soft-spoken film won three AFI awards, including Best Film.
TV Show Recs
Favorite Aussie & Kiwi Comedies
1) Mr. & Mrs. Murder (Season 1: Prime Video, DVD)
This murder-mystery-comedy featuring a husband-and-wife murder cleanup team could not be more adorable. Witty, whimsical, and wise, Mr. & Mrs. Murder showcases the talents of dapper Shaun Micallef and comely Kat Stewart. It is sorely disappointing that this enchanting show was cut short after a single season, but, fortunately, the episodes are self-encapsulated, so you don’t have to worry about the disappointment of a cliffhanger left unfulfilled (à la Soap, one of my childhood favorites).
2) Kath & Kim (Season 1: DVD)
The iconic Kath (Jane Turner) and Kim (Gina Riley) are the pride of Australia when it comes to comedic genius, but Kel Knight (Glenn Robbins) speed-walking with his man purse, the always-injured Sharon (Magda Szubanski) opening the dolphin-squeaking sliding glass door, and Brett (Peter Rowsthorn) pampering his rottweiler, Cujo, round out this brilliant ensemble cast with aplomb.
3) Flight of the Conchords (Prime Video, DVD)
This offbeat musical New Zealand show features the comedic duo Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie as the classic funny man–straight man combo. The folk band’s incompetent manager, Murray Hewitt (Rhys Darby), often prompts the most laughs (not unlike Andy’s (Ricky Gervais) side-splittingly inept manager (Stephen Merchant) in Extras). Kristen Schaal also turns in an amusing performance as the band’s number-one (and only) fan.
4) FUNTVNetwork (2012)
This is the most unknown, most hysterical, most priceless work of comedic art ever made. The following trailer and short are all we have of this nascent creation, which—in perhaps the greatest tragedy in comedy history—never became the full-fledged series intended.
The first precious gem is the trailer, but it is the second, “Apartment Scene,” that is hands-down THE funniest six minutes and three seconds I have ever watched in my life. It packs more laughs per square second than any comedy—ever. If you have asthma, grab your inhaler and get ready to lose your breath.
Aussie Sampling Maestros & Shin-Kicking Bluegrass
The Avalanches are auditory collage artists who weave irresistible, seamlessly mixed musical journeys best relished from start to finish. Their epic 2000 debut album, Since I Left You, marked a watershed moment in modern music history with its introduction of the mesmerizing “Frontier Psychiatrist.”
“Frankie Sinatra” (explicit)
2) The Pigs
My husband says it is clinically impossible to be depressed while listening to bluegrass music. After working my way through The Pigs’s exuberant repertoire of Aussie-flavored bluegrass, I must agree. This band is criminally under-known, and their music is certain to leave an indelible grin on your face for days as the hilarious lyrics and addictive melodies replay in your head. While difficult to find even at Amazon, all of these albums are available on Spotify and at the band’s website.
I’ll start with their dazzling cover of “Frontier Psychiatrist” as that is how I first discovered them and it segues nicely from the above.
“Frontier Psychiatrist” cover:
b) Horses (2009)
“Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
c) Hillbilly Synthesizer (2019)
d) The Great Bluegrass Swindle (2012)
e) The Pigs (2007)
f) Crazy (2007)
A Poem for Our Time
I’ll close with this poem by New Zealand poet Jenny Bornholdt about facing the possibility of an impending plane crash, which feels like an apt metaphor for our time.
by Jenny Bornholdt
It came to pass
that I boarded a plane
and as I edged past the man
in the aisle seat he said
My name is Dov. I knew
you would come.
So Dov came to pass
and then the next thing
came to pass which was
the plane, which fell through the air
so that all felt and understood
the word “slew.”
We held the hands of those
next to us. Dov’s hand. Dov
who knew I would come.
The hand of my son, who said
Hang on, I’ll just finish listening
to this song.
And it came to pass
that in those seconds of fall
we entered the deluge zone
which was dark and dangerous
and it came to pass
that we thought things
we hadn’t thought before
and understood things
that couldn’t be said out
loud or even in our quiet
that children sucked life
from their mothers
then led it back in
in mysterious ways.
that men damaged children
in shocking unspeakable
ways and in quiet
secretive ways and in silence
thistle and thrush
came to pass.
And a bank teller
And then it came to pass
that we turned away
from where we were headed
because the wind there
was too strong
to land safely on one engine.
We turned away
from the wind bothering the trees,
flaying pansies, knocking lemons
one against another;
away from hymns ancient and
modern, from the holes
dug in the garden for kitchen scraps
that resemble graves
prepared for a succession
of small animals.
Away we turned, back
to a runway on which waited
and so it came to pass
that we touched ground
whole, feeling lucky
Being out of danger
it came to pass
that we broke the chain of hands
that held us, though not the chain
of thoughts — that held.
And held. And led us
to the tightly fenced park
where bodies lie, decomposing,
terrifying yet natural,
faces slurred into earth,
and to the deer who come
and delicately nuzzle bone.
This concludes my epic Down Under Edition of Recommendations Roundup. Thank you for taking the time to review these materials—not only because I spent a massive amount of time assembling them but also because this consolidates a wide range of resources demonstrating the totalitarianism currently on grotesque display in Australia and New Zealand. All eyes are on Australia right now, and the people’s success or failure in overthrowing their tyrants may determine the course of authoritarian rollouts in other parts of the world. We can learn much from what is occurring there, and those lessons may help us salvage what’s left of freedom on this planet.
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