Wednesday, January 30, 2013

From here to Timbuktu

When I was a kid in Waterview (South Grafton), my parents had the habit of using the hackneyed expression "from here to Timbuktu" to designate a distant place. So, I grew up imagining that Timbuktu was a mythical place on the edge of the planet Earth, where the waters of the oceans descended into a terrifying infinite abyss.

From a technocratic viewpoint, it goes without saying that vessels of this kind would be a fabulous place to house religious fanatics.

Today, I'm thrilled to learn that our French forces have chased away Islamic invaders and liberated the town in Mali whose name in French is Tombouctou.

Up until recently, few observers—even among his supporters (such as me)—would have imagined our French president François Hollande as a military chief. Fortunately, in the case of the following encounter, he had noticed that the French soldiers in front of him were wearing unusual uniforms.

As for the rest of military operations in Mali, most observers in France and throughout the world are steadfastly behind the French president.

SAD FOOTNOTE TO HISTORY: In the abominable style of mindless morons with their backs to the wall, the Islamic barbarians flamed priceless ancient documents at the Ahmed Baba Institute on the eve of their withdrawal, leaving only ashes.

— photo 29 January 2013. AFP/Eric Feferberg.

There can be no discussion with such individuals, who deserve to be captured and housed in vessels of the kind seen in my top illustration.


  1. In my childhood, Timbuktu was the overseas equivalent of beyond the black stump and a totally incomprehensible place.

    The loss of those historic documents is extremely sad.

  2. During my childhood, the famous black stump was a mysterious reference. I learnt recently that this place really existed and that it was located in Queensland, west of Emerald. It so happened that my grandfather had set up a general store at this spot, near Blackall, on the edge of civilization. See chapter 1 of They Sought the Last of Lands, entitled A Young Man from England [access].