Deep connectedness and affection between men during times of war

A story about the gentler side of males

As the 21st century begins to unfold, so are cultural attitudes towards sexuality. I have made this the subject of other blogs. However, I have decided this blog should be a separate item because I feel the material I am introducing provides a strong pointer to what I feel is the hidden side of men, which I feel contemporary culture, for whatever reason, seems to be determined to smother. I have no doubt the same repression applies to women as well. It is against this background that I feel this little story needs to be shared. It is about men at war during WW2 and how they form powerful bonds between each other, including deeply affectionate ones that at times included sexual expression. Having read about the wartime stories of men during other wars I feel my words today do not relate solely to WW2.

During WW2, the Americans took many thousands of pictures of relaxed men as they prepared for new battles and waited to travel to the front lines. Furthermore, journalists from the time recorded many volumes of ancillary stories from individual men. These included the more intimate moments of those military men who were prepared to speak about them.. I feel no more words from me are needed. I rely upon both the distributors’ reviews as well as independent reviews of two particular books on the topic entitled “At Ease: Navy Men of World War II” and “Men of WW2. Fighting men at ease” to relay their personal observations of these books as well as commentary from readers as well. The independent reviewers and commentaries are included in the pdf file attached. I feel it is important to note the thousands of intimate photos of American men and women at war I talk about have only began to be released over the last few years. They were largely denied public access immediately following WWII. Perhaps there is a message for all of us here. The author of both books is Evan Bachner.

Distributor’s commentaries:

Item one: Navy “At Ease…”

“In the years following World War II, images of comradeship, particularly of men being physically close, largely disappeared from the public record. But, as these stunning photographs attest, ordinary American men in the extraordinary circumstances of World War II were affectionate, winsome, and playful – disarmingly innocent in a time of cataclysmic peril. Led by photography giant Captain Edward J. Steichen, the U.S. Naval Aviation Photographic Unit was organized during the war to record the daily experiences of Navy men all over the world and to provide newspapers and magazines with images to promote the American cause. The unit’s photographers, which included Wayne Miller, Horace Bristol, Victor Jorgensen, and Barrett Gallagher, took thousands of pictures of soldiers as they relaxed, trained, prepared for the next battle, and waited. This book brings together more than 150 of those photographs culled from the National Archives, including many that have never before been published. Whereas World War II imagery tends to be dominated by combat photography and monumental depictions of weaponry, these photographs offer a rare, intimate look at the Navy men themselves.”

Evan Bachner (Author), Wayne Miller (Photographer), Horace Bristol (Photographer), Victor Jorgensen (Photographer), Barrett Gallagher (Photographer).

Item two: Military generally “Men of WWII…”

The long awaited follow-up to the original At Ease presents 160 new, never before published photographs of WWII Navy men. These photos are not the combat photography we’re so accustomed to seeing; here are disarmingly winsome and playful pictures of sailors and soldiers at leisure, displaying an innocent affection for each other that is practically unthinkable today. This was a time when men had no reservations about showing their devotion to their comrades through physical contact, and the included photographs are truly snapshots of a lost era. This volume includes photos from the National Archives by Edward J. Steichen, Wayne Miller, Horace Bristol, Victor Jorgensen, Barrett Gallagher, and many others.

Pictures taken by the Naval Aviation Photographic Unit capture the fighting men during their time of just being men who are away from home and loved ones, who form bonds of friendship while putting their lives on the line for their country. The majority of the shots taken were of the men during their free time. It is a great montage of men relaxing together, playing, exercising, taking their meals, and a wonderful collection of photos showing the individuals dealing with their circumstances in the best way they could.

This book as well as its predecessor AT EASE are wonderful books.

For further reviews of these books:

Editorial Reviews for at ease navy ww2


Guess what? We are mere garbage!

At least a few highly important people we meet in life seem to think we are no more than mere garbage.

I share an interesting true story. A number of years ago, I met an ex-R.A.F. bomber crew member. He had many tales to tell about not only his wartime career in England, but his Australian experiences as well. He was married and had one daughter. He had not seen either wife or daughter for many years and had lived somewhat of a hermit’s life in a small country town in South Australia, writing his memoirs. Towards the end of his life, he requested me to be the trustee of his modest estate when he died. Because I did not really know the man very well I declined; however, I kept in touch with him from time to time. This included phoning him when he was in hospital during the last days of his life. It was during this period that he requested me to take care of his funeral arrangements, despite the fact I was not his trustee. He stated that he had a prepaid funeral plan.

This man, Tom, duly died. The hospital phoned me to say that the funeral business of XXX had agreed to take custody of Tom’s remains and arrange for him to be cremated in Gawler, South Australia. I confirmed this arrangement with the undertaker, and arranged to meet him, with Tom’s remains; at the Gawler crematorium at such and such a time on such and such a date. As far as I knew, Tom had only three close friends and he saw me as being one of them. The three of us agreed to meet at my home in the Adelaide Hills and then travel to Gawler together, to attend a simple pre-cremation service at the time I had arranged with the undertaker.

The day before the scheduled cremation I had cause to phone the undertaker. He was not available. He was attending another funeral and his son informed me that his father had bought forward Tom’s cremation by one day. This effectively meant that Tom’s three friends in life were to be cut off from the cremation process completely. I was extremely angry and verbally protested. The son suggested I phone his dad on his mobile at the cemetery where he was attending another person’s funeral. I did this. He confirmed that what his son had told me was correct. I became even further outraged because he had broken his agreement with me, and furthermore Tom’s three friends were being denied the opportunity to grieve appropriately. I stated that I was a professional counsellor and for this reason as well I felt my request to delay the cremation until we could all attend was fair and proper. The undertaker became similarly angry with me. He said: “Mr. Freeman, if you are a professional counsellor, you should know that I am in the garbage disposal business and as Mr. [Tom] did not appoint you as his trustee I can handle the deceased’s remains in any manner I see fit.” This made me even more furious and I told him so.

I rang around the Funeral Directors’ Association, the State Department of Consumer Affairs as well as the media, to tell them what was happening. Some one hour or so later I had a telephone call from another funeral parlour, this time in Gawler. The undertaker there said Tom’s remains would not go to the crematorium that day, but would be transferred to his parlour and be kept overnight, so we could pay our respects to Tom in the undertaker’s private chapel the next day. In other words the cremation was delayed by twenty-four hours. I expressed appreciation to the Gawler undertaker. I never heard from the original country undertaker again. We three friends of Tom attended the chapel the next day, paid our respects to the coffin allegedly containing Tom’s remains and left. I was tempted to lift a corner of the coffin to check if it was empty or not. I felt it was better not to know and leave it at that. I wanted no more trouble.

Tom’s wife and his daughter were not interested in Tom’s affairs and declined to attend the funeral service. It was not lost on me at the time just what a human tragedy was unfolding. On one hand here was a man who had lived such a rich and colourful life and on the other hand, after his death, was treated as if he had a contagious disease and was a criminal as well. It hit me that once Tom had been cremated there would be little more than Government records to show that he had ever existed in the first place. Furthermore he was not being given the common courtesy of the traditional committal words of “dust to dust”. Rather more it was “dust to garbage” I think no more needs to be said. Readers can make up their own minds as to whether we have a cultural right to openly grieve beside the remains of a deceased person.


Is the Australian Taxation Office God?

The Australian Government has given its tax collector a powerful clout

The Law that gives it this clout is:

“The Commissioner may: • Treat a particular event that actually happened as not having happened; • Treat a particular event that did not actually happen as having happened and, if appropriate, treat the event as having happened at a particular time and having involved particular action by a particular entity; (or) • Treat a particular event that actually happened as having happened at a time different from the time it actually happened, or having involved particular action by a particular entity (whether or not the event actually involved any action by that entity).”

From section 165.55 of the Australian Commonwealth Statute Titled: ‘A New Tax System (Goods And Services Tax) Act 1999.’


Albert Einstein fully trusted his intuition

Some people live almost entirely by intuition

These are the sorts of reasons Einstein was a scientific genius


“I believe in intuition and inspiration. … At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason. When the eclipse of 1919 confirmed my intuition, I was not in the least surprised. In fact I would have been astonished had it turned out otherwise.”

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”

“When I examine myself and my methods of thought I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.”

“Invention is not the product of logical thought, even though the final product is tied to a logical structure.”

“I believe in intuitions and inspirations. I sometimes feel that I am right. I do not know that I am”

“Perhaps we live best and do things best when we are not too conscious of how and why we do them.”

“Indeed, it is not intellect, but intuition which advances humanity. Intuition tells man his purpose in this life.”

“An intuitive child couldn’t accomplish anything without some knowledge. There will come a point in everyone’s life, however, where only intuition can make the leap ahead, without ever knowing precisely how. One can never know why, but one must accept intuition as a fact.”

“Fairy tales and more fairy tales. [in response to a mother who wanted her son to become a scientist and asked Einstein what reading material to give him]. The mother protested that she was really serious about this and she wanted a serious answer; but Dr. Einstein persisted, adding that creative imagination is the essential element in the intellectual equipment of the true scientist, and that fairy tales are the childhood stimulus to this quality.”

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Albert Einstein explains the universe via means of a metaphor

Einstein [imaginarily in the eyes of the author] explains the universe to a friend as though they are in a journeying in a spacecraft. I see this science blog as being one of the most informative and easy to understand physics blogs posted onto my website.

Some five years ago when I was attempting to get my head around elementary physics and cosmology it was my good fortune to find a very easy to follow blog titled Journey by Starlight. The creator of the blog is the  highly respected ophthalmologist and scientist Ian Flitcroft. The blog is both easy to follow and read. The language he employs is very much down to earth as well.

I feel if anyone is seeking to understand the essential nature of the universe this Flitcroft blog is a must to peruse. In 2013 Ian Flitcroft and his partner Britt Spencer published a book based upon the material contained in the blog. The book is titled: ‘A Time Traveler’s Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything.’ I have not read this publication.

I quote the publisher’s review:

“Albert Einstein said his first ideas about relativity came from looking in the mirror as a teenager and wondering what it would be like to travel on a beam of light. This is the story of that journey… Journey by Starlight follows Albert Einstein and his travelling companion through space and time as they travel on a beam of light from a star over 3,000 light years away to Earth. Along the way, Einstein explains the science behind everything from the origins of the universe to the meaning of life, relativity, black holes, quantum mechanics (for beginners), climate change, evolution vs. intelligent design, and how the brain works, all delivered in fun, easy-to-understand, bite-sized chunks. Based on the popular blog of the same name, Journey By Starlight has been given the graphic novel treatment, pairing the narrative with fantastic, whimsical artwork to assist in simplifying what can be difficult-to-understand ideas.”

The url below is the web address of the Starlight blog:


Metaphysical support for mental health improvement

The metaphysical science connection in addressing mental health problems

Mental health is a complex realm of medicine. I have learned it is generally thought by mental health practitioners that it is difficult to raise with their clients whether or not they have religious or spiritual beliefs. It is supposed this area of medicine is outside their training and wider cultural experience. It is more likely than not when persons make contact with professionals for assistance with their emotional problems they are nearly all treated by practitioners as being merely depressed. This label then becomes a permanent part of a patients clinical records. However, I have formed an opinion it is not unreasonable for mental health practitioners to subtly ask patients if they have any formal beliefs in metaphysical phenomena such as a deity, ghosts, heaven and the like. I feel if such questions were asked of patients it would help mental health therapists to more rapidly determine the more pertinent nature of their patients health problem. I am suggesting here simple meditation may be the first appropriate level of corrective therapy in lieu of an anti-depressant. If readers have an interest in the possible connection between mental health and metaphysical type phenomena two articles written by Dr. Andrew Powel may assist in their investigative efforts.

When an eggshell is not an eggshell

A simple story about why we all should be very careful to whomever we touch or somehow unduly influence and hurt in some way.

 I provide a simple metaphor for this legal phenomenon. I lightly punched you in the nose and you immediately commenced bleeding I was not too concerned about it. We both went home to clean ourselves up. Two days later two police officers arrive at my doorstep to take me into custody for an alleged act of murder. I arrived at the police station. I am informed you had died the night before and that I was responsible for your death. Following a police interview the police made a decision I was likely to be guilty of murder and I was locked up in the police cells pending a court hearing. It transpired when I hot headedly hit you I did not know you had an existing medical condition. This was a well advanced tumor in your upper nasal passages. I belatedly learned the day after I struck you that you went into convulsions and consequently died.

It is against this type of medical situation the ‘law of eggshell’ came into being. Although I do not know the exact basis of the case that prompted the establishment of the eggshell law rule, it appears it followed when a person hit another person over the head and died. The person who conducted the assault did not know the victim had an unusually thin skull [like an eggshell] through a pre-exiting medical condition. What this law seems to be implying is if one seeks to injure another person in some way they should seriously consider such a possibility before they strike out in the first place. This is another law that is likely most people would never have heard of. Three short case histories are as follows.


“(UK) In the case of Smith v. Leech Brain & Co., an employee in a factory was splashed with molten metal. The metal burned him on his lip, which happened to be premalignant tissue. He died three years later from cancer triggered by the injury. The judge held that as long as the initial injury was foreseeable, the defendant was liable for all the harm.

(US) In 1891, the Wisconsin Supreme Court came to a similar result in Vosburg v. Putney. In that case, a boy threw a small kick at another from across the aisle in the classroom. It turned out that the victim had an unknown microbial condition that was irritated, and resulted in him entirely losing the use of his leg. No one could have predicted the level of injury. Nevertheless, the court found that the kicking was unlawful because it violated the “order and decorum of the classroom”, and the perpetrator was therefore fully liable for the injury.

(US) In Benn v. Thomas, the appellate court determined that the eggshell rule should have been applied to a case in which a man had a heart attack and died after being bruised in the chest during a rear-end car accident.”


The Link Between Bipolar Disorder and Stress

Over many years researchers have identified the link between bipolar disorder and stress. This link has also been confirmed by tests done on the connection between child abuse and bipolar [cited in a separate article in this blog]. One researcher has identified the significant role of extreme anxiety in the initiation of manic episodes. This researcher also found there is a link between stress abuse and the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. In other words severe stress can detrimentally impact upon endocrine systems and associated hormonal activity. I have observed the life experiences of one person who’s life time medical condition seems to have been impacted upon this way, including with tumors. I feel some readers may not appreciate this connection.


The Connection Between Child Abuse and Bipolar Disorder

There has been discussion in the media about child sex abuse. Once upon a time child abuse both at home and at schools was common. To a lesser degree this type of abuse is still occurring but is probably happening more so in private settings.

Recent research is beginning to demonstrate there is a close link between child abuse and bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is serious. Bipolar derivative from child abuse is shown to be associated with lifetime substance abuse, the onset of early illness in life and long term notions of individuals thinking about committing suicide. Some do. In one study about half of bipolar sufferers diagnosed suffered severe stress and anxiety when they were children. From my research into my mild bipolar disorder I have learned many general practitioners are not aware of this connection. I have raised this issue in my blog because I feel it is in the public interest to do so. There is a wealth of material online should readers elect to investigate this matter further. Also research hypomania.


Is it Possible to Have a Good Death?

A forum for people to relate to about dying and death

Over the centuries different religions have evolved ars moriendi, ‘art of dying’ process for assisting the dying prepare for the final moments of their lives. Although I have written articles about the final act of dying, including one titled ‘What is death’ in a blog written in my webpage. I have never ventured to discover what sort of secular services may be available in the community to assist people to begin to prepare for their demise. There are two references I draw reader attention to that they may find are assets in their preparation for the final act of dying. In my opinion a good starting point would be to learn about a new ‘death café’ movement that is encouraging people to commence talking about dying. It is becoming an international movement. It claims its aim is to assist people to have a better experience of death.

A second reference point I found was a presentation mounted by the ABC online. It is part of a wider ABC health story feature. The article talks about what is a good death and is there such a thing? The article also talks about both good deaths and hard deaths and what either may mean to both the dying person and also their loved ones. It is rather a lengthy piece. However, I feel it is probably good reference material for those that may feel it could be useful one day. The respective url’s are: