PNG Attitude Feed

Message to readers contacting Attitude....

Yokomo Aviator
Ed Brumby and collaborators are working on a project to bring Yokomo back to the masses after 60 years (Illustration by John Lucas)


The emails with your poems, articles, commentaries and questions are arriving but I'm overseas and experiencing difficulties in responding. So to Stephanie (with a new poem), Ed (with an exciting Yokomo project), Jerry (preparing a major book for PNG's 50th anniversary next year), John, Kagua and others who have communicated with PNG Attitude there will be delays before I can respond to you.

UPDATE. All messages seem to be getting through and I'm able to respond via WhatsApp to readers using this channel. Email and some other channels still unavailable - KJ


Keith out of hospital today

BRISBANE - On this day of tragedy for PNG, Keith was discharged from Wesley Hospital this afternoon.  Keith asked readers to be told that his eighth spinal surgery has been a complete success but that he is distressed by the extent of the killings in Enga.  “This one can be laid at the feet of the politicians, “ he said. 


Liklik tok save

I'm in hospital in Brisbane for further surgery on my spine - operation number eight, which I am told is a lucky number.  PNG Attitude has been ailing for some time now but manages a presence. I'm aware of the blog's continuing importance both for the great reservoir of information it has stored over 18 years and also for its useful function as a place where people can regain contacts long lost.  You needn't expect more much from me in this space until near the end of the month. Bai mi lukim yu - KJ


Good morning, I'm back in the driver's seat....

_KJ
Keith Jackson - bemused, bewildered but never beaten

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - After a week when I seemed to be the only person in the world who could not access PNG Attitude, between Typepad (the US company that's supplies this platform) and I a solution has been found. Our hope now is that it sticks.

When I first informed Typepad of the problem last week, this is how the technical team described what had happened:

Continue reading "Good morning, I'm back in the driver's seat...." »


Typepad snafu locks me out

 

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA -The Typepad platform has carried the burden of PNG Attitude for over 17 years.

A day ago, apparently seeking to strengthen its security in this era of internet slur, scam and theft, Typepad managed to place a block on my access to the site.

This means I cannot compose or edit PNG Attitude. But somehow I somehow engineered a cumbersome workaround, enabling me to write this explanation.

Don’t ask me how I did it.

I hope to be back with more Recent Notes before too long.

Meanwhile, you can still make comments (but I can’t edit them, so keep ‘em clean) and rummage around the thousands of pieces of writing on the site.

 


Recent Notes 11: Just a little lunch money

PNGns NOW THINK CORRUPTION IS A NORM

Teddy Winn is researching for his doctorate at James Cook University in Townsville and has been seeking to better comprehend how Papua New Guineans understand and respond to corruption. He’s already reached a clear understanding, as have other researchers, that “widespread corruption may be causing some Papua New Guineans to believe that corruption is a way of life”. He quotes a female public servant who said that “every ordinary public servant nowadays asks for ‘lunch money’ or ‘side coins’ to perform their otherwise mandated responsibility”.

Continue reading "Recent Notes 11: Just a little lunch money" »


Coda: On finally realising the game is up

KEITH JACKSON

KJ

 

MOST RECENT UPDATE: FRIDAY 28 JULY

Seventeen and a half years is quite a haul. By the time I reached that age, I was six months into my training as a student teacher (official designation 'Cadet Education Officer') at the Australian School of Administration, ASOPA, established in cold, weatherbeaten World War II Army barracks on Middle Head in Sydney. 

Successful completion of the course meant a posting to what was then the Territory of Papua and New Guinea: the former an Australian colony; the latter governed on a mandate from the United Nations.

Continue reading "Coda: On finally realising the game is up" »


 Despite a downturn in Keith's health, further limiting his capacity to work, and technical problems earlier this year that resulted in the loss of pictorial content and external links, PNG Attitude will continue to remain online, but is likely to publish new material less frequently. 


NOTE FOR OUR READERS

The editor is finding his recovery from back surgery more difficult than expected, with the result that articles are not appearing with the customary regularity. This may continue for some time. Please bear with me - KJ


Private notes for understanding friends

Keith portrait
Keith, September 2020

KEITH JACKSON

“The game's afoot: / Follow your spirit, and upon this charge / Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!” (Henry V by Wm Shakespeare, c 1599)

“Old age sure ain’t no place for sissies” - Bette Davis, movie star (1908-1989)

“I'll be glad to leave here. I feel like eating palm trees. I don't like this place. It's for people with arthritis. They come here to play golf and to die” - Ernie Holmes, American football hero (1948-2008)

“We are here to help each other through this thing, whatever it is” – Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

 

NOOSA – Well, here we go again: 120 kilometres to Brisbane and the Wesley hospital for more surgery on my spine.

It feels like it may be the denouement of an unfinished 40-year long drama about the steady creep of arthritis.

Continue reading "Private notes for understanding friends" »


A brief message about the editor's infirmity

Covid confirmedCovid trend
NOOSA - As Covid spreads its tentacles to embrace half the Australian population and 50 people die each day, Keith joins the plague-riddled crowd with a series of amazing tweets including this one that has accumulated 13,000 impressions so far: "I dedicate my maiden bout of Covid to the diabolical duo of Queensland premier Palaszczuk & Chief Health Officer Gerrard. Now I get to find out how it blends with my ME/CFS. Ah, what a time to be alive, however temporarily."

This blog will have an even more intermittent quality over coming days. But Keith will fire the odd shot on Twitter (which we also run in the right hand column). Like these three, written  before Keith knew he was ill: "This truculent silence by the authorities is like something we have never seen. It's a form of denial; a group neurosis. The stunned silence rendered by a Covid crisis which should turn into shocked action but in this case has spawned a protracted cowardly muteness."

Or this: "The PNG government has given up on Covid. This is not understood by Australians yet, but so has their government given up. Many more people will die or succumb to chronic illness unless this insane denialism changes. Vaccinations were never enough."

And a demand for scalps: "Queensland Chief Health Officer should be fired & Premier Palaszczuk should step down. They have not only failed in their duty to keep the community safe, their policies have enabled the continuing unchecked spread of  Covid leading to 1,200 deaths and uncountable lifelong chronic illnesses so far in Queensland alone."


NOTE TO READERS & CONTRIBUTORS
You may or may not have noticed a tendency to slackness in providing the usual fare
over recent times. Entirely due to the publisher experiencing a rough patch which,
he hopes with a certain desperation, will pass as quickly as the autumn storm it feels like - KJ


Friends
Keith has lost some wind from his sails, which will slow down PNG Attitude for a few days.
That said, your comments and other contributions are welcome and will be published.


The tweets that drew the crowds in June

TwitterKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – I have previously mentioned that the Typepad platform I’ve used to disseminate PNG Attitude these last 15 years is unable to provide readership data for particular articles or other creations.

However it is possible to gain an understanding of what subjects draw the interest of readers from how they respond to specific items in my Twitter account @PNGAttitude.

Continue reading "The tweets that drew the crowds in June" »


DISAPPEARING IMAGES ON SOME PNG ATTITUDE POSTS

Typepad, which provides the platform for PNG Attitude, has for some time been having problems with its internal caching system which causes some images to disappear, leaving just the text. Typepad assures me that it is working to address this problem. When I come across these mysterious disappearances, I generally repost the image. But, as a stopgap, readers who want to see the image can click on the text that accompanies it - KJ


Stories from our new year: 2019

2019 Jack Emanuel GC
Jack Emanuel GC

COMPILED BY KEITH JACKSON

2 January 2019 - The killing of district commissioner Jack Emanuel (Andrew Phillips)

Errol John (Jack) Emanuel was a district commissioner in East New Britain when he was murdered on 19 August 1971. He was posthumously awarded the George Cross for gallantry displayed between 1969 and 1971. At the time of Emanuel’s death, Andrew Phillips, now of New York, was news director at Radio Rabaul.

I was posted to Rabaul following Keith Jackson’s transfer to Bougainville. The unrest Keith experienced continued, and it culminated in the stabbing murder of Jack Emanuel who had been sent on special assignment to negotiate with the Mataungun Association.

Continue reading "Stories from our new year: 2019" »


Stories from our new year: 2018

Paul Flanagan
Paul Flanagan - "The O’Neill-Abel economic policies are the greatest barriers to private sector growth"

COMPILED BY KEITH JACKSON

2 January 2018 - O’Neill policies risk economic crisis (Paul Flanagan)

If you’re looking for a happy start to 2018, don’t read the depressing review of the Papua New Guinean economy just released by the International Monetary Fund. It shows that PNG is facing a great risk of a fiscal crisis.

The IMF projects that the 2018 economy will be K7 billion less than promised by the O’Neill-Abel government.

Continue reading "Stories from our new year: 2018" »


Stories from our new year: 2017

Chris Overland
Chris Overland - "I entered world that was utterly different"

COMPILED BY KEITH JACKSON

2 January 2017 - The shock of the new (Chris Overland)

On New Year's Day, I sit before my computer contemplating the fact that it is now some 48 years since I first set foot in Papua New Guinea. It seems a very long time ago that I first walked down the stairs from an Ansett Airlines Boeing 727 and made my way across the shimmering tarmac towards a somewhat dilapidated terminal building at Jackson's Field.

Continue reading "Stories from our new year: 2017" »


Stories from our new year: 2016

Francis Nii & the green hills of Simbu
Francis Nii and the green hills of Simbu

COMPILED BY KEITH JACKSON

1 January 2016 - Let us explain to the people that their vote is precious (Francis Nii)

Eighteen months from now Papua New Guineans will vote in the eleventh national parliamentary elections.

People from all walks and of all creeds will vie for a seat in the national parliament, re-elected every five years.

Continue reading "Stories from our new year: 2016" »


Stories from our new year: 2015

Hayden
Bill Hayden - in 1988 told Australian cabinet there was "a likelihood of bloodshed" in PNG

COMPILED BY KEITH JACKSON

1 January 2015 - Australia feared PNG military coup in 1988 (Damien Murphy)

| Sydney Morning Herald | Cabinet documents from the Australian National Archives

Cabinet was warned that the triggers for a military coup in Papua New Guinea had been identified as Australia's position as a close friend and adviser was under challenge 13 years after the Melanesia nation gained independence.

Continue reading "Stories from our new year: 2015" »


Stories from our new year: 2013-14

Kundiawa Town  October 2020 (Paul Waugla Wii)
Kundiawa Town,  October 2020 (Paul Waugla Wii)

COMPILED BY KEITH JACKSON

1 January 2013 - Sex enhancement products on Kundiawa streets (Bernard Yegiora)

A street seller in Kundiawa came up to me and offered me a packet of Viagra cream for K40. He touted the cream for K40, then K20 and finally K10. I politely told him that I didn't have any money.

I was told he also sells Viagra pills. Scary stuff if you do not know the side effects. So Kundiawa town is changing.

How did this street seller end up selling Viagra on the streets of Kundiawa? Is Viagra legal or illegal in PNG? I was told that his biggest customers are public servants. I presume this product has sparked a sexual revolution.

Word on the street is that the Viagra came via the Indonesia-PNG boarder, similar to the fireworks on the streets. Not only male sex products but also female sex products are sold on the streets of Kundiawa. Very interesting changes.

Continue reading "Stories from our new year: 2013-14" »


Stories from our new year: 2012

Martyn & beers
Martyn Namorong and rewards for excellence in writing

COMPILED BY KEITH JACKSON

1 January 2012 - Mipela ino inap? What the f***? (Martyn Namorong)

Why do organisations run by expats generally do better than those run by Papua New Guineans? And why did Papua New Guinean civil servants and disciplinary forces perform better under the colonial administration than they do now?

Continue reading "Stories from our new year: 2012" »


Stories from our new year: 2007-09

StreetsignCOMPILED BY KEITH JACKSON

1 January 2007 - Courses of study (Keith Jackson)

Happy new year to all my readers. And here's a question to test the ageing memory of former teaching students at the Australian School of Pacific Administration. Exactly how many of those ASOPA courses that you diligently studied (or wilfully disregarded) can you recall? And how many subjects were you examined in during the two year program?

Continue reading "Stories from our new year: 2007-09" »


The mysteriously blank face of DFAT

SubmissionPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - It has always been a commonly held belief that politicians don’t run the country. That prerogative is exclusively the domain of the public service.

Anyone who has ever studied human relations theory will also know that managers always appoint people in their own image. This is particularly so among senior bureaucrats.

Continue reading "The mysteriously blank face of DFAT" »


Your further assistance is requested

IMG_0155KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - This week I received three consignments of Phil Fitzpatrick and my book, Man Bilong Buk, a 320 page tome about the late Francis Nii, containing many of his essays and poems and much more.

The consignments came to me instead of going to Papua New Guinea because Amazon has stopped distributing to PNG. Now my problem is to get them to a long list of readers I’ve developed.

Continue reading "Your further assistance is requested" »


TWO BOOKS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE

MBB cover‘Man Bilong Buk’ (‘The Bookman’) by Keith Jackson & Phil Fitzpatrick is about to come on sale in Australia. It’s a wonderful 320 page illustrated volume about the life and writing of the late Papua New Guinean author, Francis Nii. Unfortunately the book is not available in PNG.
But we have a plan.

If you buy a copy for yourself for just $60 (post & packing within Australia included), PNG Attitude will send one free to a Papua New Guinean wantok to read and share.

Step 1 – Transfer $60 to our bank account (Keith Jackson BSB 082-302 Account 50650-1355)
Step 2 – Send an email to Keith here letting him know your postal address


The birth of the Simbu Writers Association

Arnold Mundua
Arnold Mundua
Francis
Francis Nii

ARNOLD MUNDUA

KUNDIAWA – Sometimes great people’s legacy – their influence on and contributions to society - only becomes fully recognised after their passing.

The late author Francis Nii was such a person. His passing on Sunday 2 August at the Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital in Kundiawa left a huge vacuum in the lives of the many people who knew him personally.

Continue reading "The birth of the Simbu Writers Association" »


Man Bilong Buk - what you can expect

MBB writers pic
Francis Nii with Daniel Kumbon, Phil Fitzpatrick, Martin Namorong and Keith Jackson, Noosa, 2016

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The manuscript of the Francis Nii Collection, so generously funded by a number of PNG Attitude readers, is nearing completion and shall soon be despatched to Jordan Dean – who runs Papua New Guinea’s only affordable publishing company - for design, layout and publication.

Entitled Man Bilong Buk, the tribute volume includes the best of the late author’s provocative and entertaining essays, revelations from his astonishing life story and insights into how an author imprisoned by his own body in the corner of a hospital ward managed to become such an exceptional figure in fostering a home-grown literature in PNG.

Continue reading "Man Bilong Buk - what you can expect" »


This is as far as we can go

FN Grave construction
Men of Yobai gather around as Francis Nii's grave begins to be constructed

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The email arrived yesterday precisely three weeks after the untimely death of our friend, the eminent Papua New Guinean author, Francis Nii.

Untimely because, as his daughter Charlene wrote in the communication, “he was a strong man even to his last minutes with us”.

But the email revealed that Charlene now had another problem on her hands.

Continue reading "This is as far as we can go" »


Francis Nii tribute book is well underway

Francis Nii
Francis Nii - Not only a literary craftsman but a writer who understood the business of writing

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – It’s always great to be able to thank PNG Attitude readers for offering a helping hand when you respond generously to a significant project we’re getting our teeth into.

Right now, the project is the publication of The Francis Nii Collection, a tribute volume to the late paraplegic author and literary leader who died in Kundiawa a little over two weeks ago.

Continue reading "Francis Nii tribute book is well underway" »


Against the fading of the light

Francis Nii 2013
Francis Nii understood clearly that the grand enterprise of creating a national literature required more than writers

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – I spent the weekend reading through the archives of PNG Attitude between 2010 and now, extracting the writing by and about the late Francis Nii and, occasionally distracted by some other old article or incident it evoked, wandering along the trail of my own memories about this remarkable website.

Yes, in its 15th year, I think PNG Attitude is entitled to the honorific ‘remarkable’. I began publishing the blog when I was 59. I’m now 75. It has occupied a considerable chunk of my life and has been published almost each day – whether I was in Papua New Guinea’s remote highlands, in the middle of some ocean, even in hospital, where I have been too often these years.

Continue reading "Against the fading of the light" »


A Festschrift for Francis Nii

Writers
A rare group photo of Francis Nii with fellow writers Daniel Kumbon, Philip Fitzpatrick, Martyn Namorong and Keith Jackson (Brisbane Writers Festival, 2016)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – In Germany a Festschrift is a book honouring a respected person. It is generally presented during their lifetime, although it can also be a memorial.

PNG Attitude’s Festschrift for the late author Francis Nii will take the form of an edited volume of Francis’s most significant essays, articles, poetry and commentary, his ideas and achievements and it will include fellow writers’ observations of his work, his methods and his life.

Continue reading "A Festschrift for Francis Nii" »


Help us assemble the Francis Nii Collection

Francis NiiKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – On this day Francis Nii, one of Papua New Guinea’s most eminent literary figures, is being buried in the soil of his Simbu homeland at Kundiawa.

And also today, PNG Attitude establishes a fund to ensure that the many words and deeds of Francis Nii will endure and not be lost to the future.

Early commitments to the fund already total $1,400 on the way to a target of $10,000.

Continue reading "Help us assemble the Francis Nii Collection" »


On the mend at last

ImageKEITH JACKSON

BRISBANE - After three weeks in hospital, a stay much longer than expected, it looks like I’ll be let loose from hausik tomorrow.

Truth be told, I’m a bit of a wreck right now - a mountain of drugs having deprived me of clarity of thought and the ability to easily read and write.

Nevertheless, I have begun to Walk Upright again (assisted by four wheels) with little pain and I feel we’re just a few days away from PNG Attitude returning to normal.

Thanks for the hundreds of messages of goodwill you have sent me. Believe me, they have guided me forward through some tough times.

I’ve received much great writing from you these past few weeks and Look forward to publishing it soon.


In case of emergency, break keyboard

My screwed right foot
I had two screws surgically inserted in my foot during a previous hospitalisation. Fortunately they did not much hamper my typing

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – I have left  Noosa’s verdant fields and sparkling shores and driven south along the desolation of the Bruce Highway for a spell in Brisbane, a city I enjoy but rarely get to visit these days.

Brucebane (why not?) is just two hours down the bitumen from Noosa but the reason I’ve become an infrequent visitor is that my back’s not been backward in holding me back.

Which is why Brucebane and Wesley Hospital loom.

Continue reading "In case of emergency, break keyboard" »


Can you win this big poetry contest?

PrizeKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The Montreal International Poetry Prize has just one winner – but the award is a big one, about K50,000 to the writer of that single poem.

The Montreal Prize is organised by the department of English at Canada’s McGill University and this year’s judge is Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Yusef Komunyakaa.

Continue reading "Can you win this big poetry contest?" »


First Words: Those maiden comments

CommentCOMPILED BY KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - After receiving about 150 comments a year in its first three years, PNG Attitude now receives something like 4,000 a year. Maybe more. Too many to count.

It’s hard to recall, as Phil Fitzpatrick writes in his wonderful history of the blog and the Crocodile Prize,  ‘Fighting for a Voice’ (Pukpuk Publications, 2016), that time when “the Comments facility on the blog was rarely used”.

Continue reading "First Words: Those maiden comments" »


A dangerous year for poetry

Phil
Phil Fitzpatrick - ready to publish a collection of PNG poetry in the year of the plague

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Author, kiap, anthropologist and PNG Attitude bulwark, Phil Fitzpatrick, has emerged with a wonderful proposal for Papua New Guinea’s poets to motivate them to inspiration in this, the year of the plague

“I thought I might experiment this year and collect poems that appear on PNG Attitude that appeal to me or attract positive comments from readers,” Phil writes.

Continue reading "A dangerous year for poetry" »


A matter of Attitude

AttitudePHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Further to my article the other day about PNG Attitude’s old duffers chewing over world affairs (with apologies to Charles Duffer) it occurred to me that they represent a rare collection of thinkers.

I’ve been casting around for a term that describes them but haven’t come up with anything appropriate so far. PNG Attitudism doesn’t really cut it.

I guess they are progressive-leaning with an odd ginger of conservative input. Important too is that they are a mix of Australians and Papua New Guineans - rare in itself.

Continue reading "A matter of Attitude" »


Writing for PNG Attitude

AttPHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Keith Jackson has got a fairly comprehensive guide to the sort of material he will accept for publication on PNG Attitude but let’s try reading between the lines a bit.

These are, of course, my personal observations.

Writing for PNG Attitude isn’t a great deal different to writing for any other platform, be it digital or hardcopy.

Continue reading "Writing for PNG Attitude" »


Heroes of modern PNG literature

CrocPHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - I’ve been ruminating about the successes and failures of Papua New Guinean literature since Keith Jackson and I kicked off the Crocodile Prize in 2010.

In the scheme of things, the prize and what spun out of it was really the only game in town for quite a while. Things were happening elsewhere but not on the same scale.

Continue reading "Heroes of modern PNG literature" »


And a tribute to our web creators & publishers….

Exkiap
The long-running Ex Kiap website is published by Peter Salmon

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Many Australians who spent time in Papua New Guinea, and who want to keep in touch with others who were there too or simply want to find out what’s going on, follow three main websites.

These are the Ex-Kiap website, the Papua New Guinea Australia Association (PNGAA) website and, of course, Keith Jackson and Friends PNG Attitude.

Continue reading "And a tribute to our web creators & publishers…." »


New blog design has benefits for mobile readers

Mobile
PNG Attitude as it now appears on mobile devices

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – I’m guessing that PNG Attitude’s first design change in six years will bring with it a ‘shock of the new’ feeling for many readers, but it also has some really tangible advantages.

Perhaps the most important of these is that the design change manifests itself as a particular improvement for the hugely increased number of readers (and especially the 6,200 followers on Twitter) who since 2013 have begun to access the blog on their mobile phones.

Previously, the mobile blog screen appearance was a miniature version of the larger scale PC presentation, and pretty difficult to read and to add comments to. Now it’s in a much more friendly format.

Continue reading "New blog design has benefits for mobile readers" »


Marape’s great opportunity to boost home-grown literature

Francis Nii
Francis Nii - "We struggle to produce our own literature hoping that one day a good leader will rise up and see its importance"

FRANCIS NII

KUNDIAWA - Writing and publishing our own Papua New Guinean stories in the absence of government or donor agency support is a daunting and painful experience.

But we write because stories are part of our culture and books are repositories of our culture. What is it the authorities don’t understand?

I would like to relay the many struggles and hardships I went through to get my first book published only to find there is a trifling level of readership in Papua New Guinea. My story, unfortunately, is similar to many PNG authors.

I started writing, mainly poetry, in the 1980s while doing my economics degree at the University of Papua New Guinea and published in Ondobondo and the PNG Writers’ Union magazine.

Some of the poems were later republished in a collection by lecturer Ganga Powell with Macmillan Press Australia in a book titled, ‘Through Melanesian Eyes’, now available on Amazon.

My first serious writing, a novel, came in in 2003-04 while I was recuperating at Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital in Kundiawa from a near fatal motor vehicle accident.

Continue reading "Marape’s great opportunity to boost home-grown literature" »


Huge response to petition to strengthen PNG literature

FlagAt last count, 315 people from around the world have signed a petition asking the Marape government to make home-grown literature in Papua New Guinea a powerful cultural & social force. 

Many of PNG's best known writers have shown their support and have been joined by supporters of a strong PNG literature from within PNG, across Australia and around the world.

These people understand the struggle of PNG's authors, short story writers, poets and commentators to have their books and magazines available especially in schools, universities and libraries.

Prime minister James Marape will be asked to help bring PNG's talented writers to the world and, more importantly, to the people of Papua New Guinea.  

Download Petition & Names here

Continue reading "Huge response to petition to strengthen PNG literature" »


Back at my desk again, about to rejoin the fray.....

KJ March 2019
Keith - today

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - It's been quite a week. But I'm at home in one piece, though it doesn't feel like that right now.

Seven days ago I lay on a hospital gurney, flat on a decrepit back, trying to take in anaesthetist Jack Huang's mandatory briefing about the risks I faced at his hands. 

I was at ease with those risks. I'd built them into my decision to have this surgery, the fifth on my spine and third in three years.

Told by the previous surgeon he wouldn't undertake a further operation because "it could well leave you much worse off," this day was something of a last chance saloon.

For me, not being 'much worse off' meant declining mobility and increasing pain. This  day's procedure was a bet against invalidity.

I'd done my research, took some months to consider a decision and found my man - Brisbane maestro Dr Gert Tollesson - to slice open the lower back like a fillet and find every bit of intrusive bone, displaced disc, problematic nerve ending and strand of scar tissue so as to forge a clear pathway for constrained and impeded nerves, giving them a clear run and doing the same for me.

Nearly four hours later, I emerged into morphine-addled stupor in intensive care, many tubes poking out of many orifices. The grand theatre of surgery was over and the ugly process of recovery had begun.

And so it continues but in a place we all yearn for at times of great stress - at home amongst family and friends.

And PNG Attitude, my companion over so many years, resumes. Thanks for sticking with me.

Now to get this old cart back on the road. 

 

 

 

 


Best of our new years: When comments triumphed over posts

Bodman
Henry Bodman (1938-2016) - wrote the first comment published in PNG Attitude

KEITH JACKSON (2011)

SYDNEY - This is a tribute to all those commenters who make PNG Attitude such a lively internet space. When this blog kicked off nearly four years ago, on 26 February 2006, the first comment, from Henry Bodman in Brisbane, appeared the same afternoon. But there wasn’t a helluva lot of commentary back then. I wrote the posts and people read them largely in silence.

It wasn’t really until regular commenters like Paul Oates (first post, 4 November 2007) got into their stride that the interactivity really blossomed. Back then, the site was entitled ASOPA People and it had a much narrower view of its purpose. Its evolution into PNG Attitude came over time and was largely driven by a growing and diversifying readership.

It was never in doubt that the internet could be a strong influence in bringing together Papua New Guineans and Australians who cared about the relationship between our two countries, and who wanted to strengthen it. But for that to happen, the blog had to be a real forum – it had to be interactive, it had to have a wide input from a range of contributors, and it had to be controversial and even irritating.

Continue reading "Best of our new years: When comments triumphed over posts" »