Batman in Australia
I took this photo for you in australia. You owe me a beer.Like all of our correspondents here at BGMML, Paul asks to be paid only in alcohol, which in turn allows us to keep our operating costs low. Don't worry, you will get your beer my inebriated friend.
As for the photo, a little bit of internet research reveals that this "Batman Park" is not, as you might expect, a life size recreation of the Batcave complete with dinosaur, giant coin, and sarcastic manservant, rather, it is an actual park. It's named for the explorer John Batman (how's that for a handle), who, among other things, was one of the founders of the settlement that became Melbourne. The city of Melbourne was almost named Batmania, and the fact that it wasn't is one of the grave historical injustices that I will correct if I ever get a genie.
Looking up information on John Batman is entertaining because, like any sort of biography, he gets referred to by just his last name a lot, so you get passages like these ones from his Wikipedia entry:
In December 1825 or early 1826 Batman captured the notorious bushranger Matthew Brady.and
Batman negotiated a treaty, now known as Batman's Treaty, with some local Aborigines to rent their land on an annual basis for a quantity of items such as knives and flour.Historical Batman! He catches the bad guys and negotiates the treaties.
These quotes from this other site are even better:
With the 'Aboriginal Wars' of Tasmania, Batman became involved in the 'final solution' of forming a line across the island to drive certain of the the Aboriginals into a 'manageable' area. Although some of Batman's motivations may have been humane, the results were far from humane, and Batman's involvement with this dark episode in Australian history must influence our attitude towards him today. However, rather than than taking a simplistic approach to a complex situation, it is worth learning more about the issues involved from a book such as Batman and the Aborigines.Ooh, Batman and the Aborigines, I heard that one's good. I think they used this Norm Breyfogle cover for the paperback.
His son drowned in the Yarra whilst fishing on the falls, so there was no male heir to carry on the Batman name.No heir! Holy missing sidekick!
Batman had been diagnosed with syphilis in 1833 (was it contracted from his wife or elsewhere?) which progressively disfigured his face and left him unable to walk.Holy rotting nose, Batman!
Fawkner was to remain Batman's nemesis and in the end Fawkner had much more influence on the development of Melbourne than did Batman.Holy arch enemy!
The authorities declared that Batman's treaties were invalid, and that Batman was not legally renting the land.Holy rent problems!
I'm an idiot, I'll stop.
(cover courtesy GCD)
Speaking of Pauls, and of beers, I went for a drink with Paul B in Toronto a couple of weeks back. We hadn't hung out in a while, so we shot the shit, and talked the shit about everyone we know (except you). For me, the defining moment of the night came when the woman with the injured leg who'd been siting at the table to Paul's back got up and had her friend help her to another table, this one behind me. As she hopped and hobbled by, supported by her friend, Paul glances over and mutters, "Yeah, have another one, rummy," (or words to that effect).
This is why I love hanging out with Paul, because beneath that choirboy exterior he is the coldest, dirtiest, Magic playing bastard I know. Moreover, even though I know this about him, he still manages to shock me into laughter. And that is a great thing.
I was going to try and post tomorrow, but laughing at an injured person might be just the right note to end the year on.