- Blue Mountaiins, Australia
Here's one I read this morning in Jeffrey Deaver's The Twelfth Card. A young lad had sold information to a murderer and followed it up with, "I don't know what you plan to do but when the police come calling I might remember this conversation, unless you want to pay me some more money." And the murderer said, "Just when you think somebody couldn't get any more stupid, they go and prove you wrong."
I've read the same excerpts we've all seen but don't feel like spending time on the book. We don't really need Wolff to tell us something we've already gleaned from the constant stream of news stories surrounding this presidency, not to mention the damning tweets that flow every day from Trumps own account.
Of far greater concern is his claim to be a "rational genius". Normal people don't talk like that. Intelligent people don't have to. I don't like Donald Trump--what rational person could?--but I wouldn't wish senile dementia on anybody. Yet what other explanation can there be for somebody who behaves as inappropriately, and as dangerously, as he does?
One man's riffraff is another man's hoi-polloi. I suppose the view changes, depending on one's elevation in society, but as a lifelong riffraffer I'll try to explain. Well, as far as I understand it, anyway.
The transportation system says more about the British ruling classes than it does about the convicts who were transported to the Great South Land. Most convicts were guilty of no more than stealing food, or a piece of clothing. The powers-that-were seized the opportunity to send them all to the colony of Botany Bay where they could be used to develop the land. Botany Bay soon expanded to encompass New South Wales (Australia didn't exist till 1901) and the other states.
My own maternal great grandparents were transported from Ireland. I believe they met on the boat and managed to stay together after their arrival. I'm not even sure that they were *gasp* joined in holy wedlock.
With so much convict labour available, wealthy settlers followed. A kind of southern gentry was formed under the not very flattering title of the squattocracy. These were the opportunists who squatted on whatever land they could hold, often slaughtering the blacks or forcing them to leave.
It was like that from the first settlement in 1788 (with an increasing number of free settlers) until 1849. That was when gold was discovered at places like Bathurst, Ballarat ,and Bendigo. From that time forward it was very difficult to spot the difference between the wealthy and the poor.
I read one story about an English toff disembarking at Sydney's Circular Quay. There was a shabbily dressed man sitting by the jetty watching the arrivals and the toff threw him a coin. "Here's a penny, my good man. Carry my bags." And the local threw back a coin of his own and said, "Here's a sovereign. Kiss my arse."
It was from that period that the Australian culture of mateship developed and continues, with some modification, to this day.
By 1901 it was time for the colonies to unite into a single nation and our first federal parliament was formed.
Your question is more than interesting because Australia has been a country in which oppression and discrimination gave way to settlement, unity, and the rule of law.
Our laws have borrowed heavily from the British system and we are no longer a colony--although, as late as the 1940s, even 1950s, we often acted as though we were. But the British Empire gave way to the British Commonwealth of Nations, and we are a part of that. We are not quite an independent nation but a "self governing dominion" like Canada. The English queen is our head of state and the Governor General, is her representative.
It could be argued that she is only a figurehead but she holds substantial constitutional power. For instance, in 1973 (or '74) the Governor General Sir John Kerr dismissed a properly elected government at the instigation of Malcolm Fraser, leader of the right-wing, but misnamed, "Liberal" Party. That should have signalled a push toward declaring a republic but the furor died down. We'll still become a republic, of course but probably not in my lifetime.
I wish that my arms were about nine inches longer. That way I could change light bulbs without having to worry about falling off a ladder.
Of course, that would probably make me look like General Sheridan. Abraham Lincoln gave this unforgettable description of him: A brown, chunky little chap, with a long body, short legs, not enough neck to hang him, and such long arms that if his ankles itch he can scratch them without stooping.
And while I agree that Worcester is pronounced as you explained, one wag managed to rhyme it with "rooster".
There was a young fellow of Worcester
Who was woken each day by a rorcester.
He remarked 'It is vain
If I try to complain
But it does crow much more than it orcester.'