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in the middle of the birth of sydney which is introduced and edited by time flannery. it's a fascinating book, actually. the first forty pages is a brief history by flannery, which includes information about rocks to tell what direction your facing. and then he had edited together letters and notes from the first fleet all the way to the 1900's about the birth of sydney.

ten days after phillip landed in port jackson, and the convicts were unloaded, 'sydney' started, in flannery's words, 'with authority blinded or cowering under cover,' as a storm raged around. it was during this that 'the lower orders seized the moment. the sailors of the lady penrhyn obtained a double ration of rum to celebrate the offloading of the women convicts, and fortified with the ardent spirit they soon found amusement singing, fighting and fucking.'

that's right: ten days into colonisation, sydney erupted with a drunken party. how unlike this country to get liquored up and fight, fuck and sing?

the image that flannery has painted, so far in the book, is a colony that is trying to work with the aborigines. despite the fact that the colonists obviously think that they are better than the aborigines, there hasn't been any outright violence to them or anything of the kind. in fact, most of the animosity seems to be directed towards the convicts that they bought, though a few have mentioned that the aborigines are nothing but thieves.

the debauchery and drinking and such are perhaps the strongest images so far, and don't they just link into the images of sydney right now?