Trying Some Stuff

Filed under: — Bravus @ 12:06 pm

I’d had the same theme for this blog for years, so I thought I’d mix it up.

Still working on this theme, which looks a little untidy in the header and for which I think the post titles are much too big relative to the body text, but I’ve used similar colours to the old theme to make it feel a little familiar.

The archives are missing as a menu but the categories are there, and the search is available.

While we’re talking meta stuff about the blog on the blog, I have a broken link checker running, and it tells me about new broken links just about every day. In most cases there’s not much I can do about it – it’s a link to an old page or news story and the page has just gone away. Short of deleting those old posts, which seems like deleting my own history, I think I just have to leave them there with the broken links.

Still writing here now and then, when I want to write something that fits this medium better than Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Any feedback on the theme very welcome, but I’m still tweaking it at the moment.


For Whom The Bell Tolls, or, Death and the Dutton

Filed under: — Bravus @ 11:52 am

Pretty sure I’ve quoted this here before, because I think it’s so powerful, but it’s relatively short and it bears repeating:

No Man is an Island

No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were;
any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

MEDITATION XVII Devotions upon Emergent Occasions John Donne

It first came back to me when I heard that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton had contracted COVID-19. Dutton is a vicious and awful man, who has brutalised refugees for many years and continually seeks opportunities to brutalise them more and harder.

Unlike quite a few others, though, I didn’t wish that he’d die from the infection. There was an online debate about ‘civility’, but to me that isn’t the point: the point is Donne’s poem. Anyone’s – any human being’s, and arguably any animal’s, but that’s a more complex conversation for another day – death diminishes me.

If I’m to genuinely be a humanist, then Dutton being voted out of office and losing his power to harm is something devoutly to be wished, but his death is not something I can wish for.

The other context that made me think of Donne was the sentiment – probably only pronounced in black humor, though in many cases I don’t think so – that “don’t worry, this virus only kills the old and sick”.

That, too, devalues the lives of others and, I would argue, devalues our own lives by extension.

There are good and important arguments to be had around euthanasia but that’s also something for another day. When it’s a death from disease, what we ought to be doing is whatever we can to ensure that others live.

None of us is an island.