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I follow a great blog here in Australia, started by a colourful larrikin who was, in my opinion, the Crocodile Dundee of the Aussie cartoon world and the “ cut the bullshit and speak your mind brigade “ .

He passed away over a year ago, much to the regret of so many of us who have followed his incredible site over the years. Before his passing, he asked a mate to carry on and, on a handshake, his mate accepted the lofty and considerable honour and responsibility to forge on and do what he felt was right.

This, he has done, with great respect and a hell of a lot of hard work. He has maintained all of our old mate’s work and links to his old articles. He created an online archive of some of the most memorable words and images ever to come from one man’s lifetime of imagination, passion and wicked sense of humour.

But suddenly, the handshake isn't worth the paper it isn't written upon. 

When someone passes from this world to the next, they do not and should not disappear – Gone with the Wind – to be nothing more than a breeze that blew for a period of time and vanished to be felt no more. Every one of us deserves a marker and a legacy of what we contributed, felt, imagined and experienced.

I can think of no greater loss than a life lived and marked only by a cold piece of stone that says “ here lies … with a sombre and shallow engraving stating the year of birth and the year of death. 

gs2020

What a shabby end to decades of laughs given, thoughts provoked, insights offered and offences committed in the name of free speech, free thought and free pondering of Life, The Universe and Everything.

It seems that, like so many situations in today’s topsy turvy world, a handshake is not worth a jot.

A family member has decided to stuff everything up and has over ridden the handshake and said “ No “.

no

How one word can possess two letters yet have so profound an impact is astonishing.

The old saying of “ get it in writing “ seems apt… and “ trust no one “ also springs to mind.

The tragedy in this case is that the loser in this peculiar situation is the larrikin himself.

What will happen to his legacy of work? His thoughts? His imaginings? His word? His insight? His essence, if you will..?

Will they be Gone with the Wind or will they be recorded somewhere online for future generations to enjoy or criticise as the case may be?

Who knows?  It will be up to the larrikin’s nearest and dearest to determine.

sold

I cannot help but reflect on my own meagre efforts over the past 15 months or so and think how I would feel if my words were suddenly “ owned “ by a family member, should I pop off my clogs and become a dead parrot, a deceased Norwegian Blue pining for its homeland… 

I would hate to see the hundreds and thousands of hours I have poured out of my heart in to this site become prey to a relative who decided that MY words were their property, to do with what they will.

The great wonder ( and danger ) of the internet is that everything is there forever – or as long as the internet exists… which I suspect is a very long time indeed.

But with one flick of a switch, a relative who has not invested one minute of time, emotion or energy in to the creation of my “ baby “ could come along and turn off the life support of my archive, quite frankly, disturbs me.

Is this not the case with all of us?

We all have family photographs, diaries, jottings, fond collections of things that mean something to us?

In my case, I have a blue suitcase, jam packed with things that are important to me. A snip of my daughter’s hair, cards given by grateful students from my teaching years, business cards I have had and clothes that my kids wore when tiny. I have newspaper clippings, pieces of paper and snippets of memories that no doubt mean little to anyone but me. But they are precious. TO ME.

If I entrusted my blue suitcase to a friend upon my demise and my family decided to throw it in to land fill or profit from its contents, I would not only roll in my grave, but – if I could - come back and haunt the bastards responsible.

suitcase

Well, the larrikin’s work online is his blue suitcase. It is full of his heart and soul. To sell it or consign it to the bin is not Right.

And this larrikin was always standing up for what is right.

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