The other day, I was wearing my Monkey t-shirt. It's a bit faded now, but he has survived well over the years.
I know it's weird, but never has a t-shirt I owned attracted so much comment, ever. People have stopped me in the street to remark on it, invariably with affection for the character.
I loved Monkey!
Where did you get it?
I never missed an episode.
That sure brings back memories....
You have absolutely no interest in the reason, but I'm telling you anyway, because... it's my blog. This is what happened.
|Hemisphere Annual edition
Hemisphere was edited by Keith Henderson, who roundly dressed me down on the phone for misspelling "odyssey" in the final draft of this article that I'd sent for publication. (I still can't spell it. It's one of those words that I get wrong no matter what I do to remember it correctly, and even now, the spell-checker picked up my hundredth time for getting it wrong.)
The thing about Hemisphere was that the articles in it were often written in entertaining style on entertaining pet subjects by high quality academics freed of the restrictions of scholarly journal writing, which has to be as boring as possible to be taken seriously. This means that what they wrote in Hemisphere was read by thousands more people than ever read one of their convoluted articles in peer-reviewed academic tomes.
So why didn't my article on Monkey that Keith was going to publish in Hemisphere ever see the light of day? I had checked the galley-proofs of the pages with their pretty pictures of Monkey and his pals.
The presses in Canberra were ready to roll, when the Government of the day announced a swag of sudden austerity measures. Hemisphere was amongst them and Mr Henderson was ordered to cease publication forthwith.
This was a bit stupid (but when did Government decisions always make sense?) because the authors had been paid, the production work finished, the colour separations for illustrations all completed and the Government Printer had no more to do than press the button.
But it didn't happen and that's why I'm publishing it here – sadly, without the fine illustrations I'd seen in the galley proofs.
And all that is to explain why I couldn't find a copy in digital form – one produced long after the original typewritten version had disappeared. You see, to give it a more high-falutin' title, I'd named it Buddhism through Chinese Eyes, and changed the focus a bit away from Monkey and his pals to how it fitted into the Chinese tradition.
That's why looking for ages through my disk catalogue for anything mentioning Monkey turned up a blank. But Low-And-Be-Old, once I looked for the lofty title, there it was.
This iteration is dated 16 April 1998. There's more to the story of its evolution to my blog than I've told you here but I'll stop while not too far behind. I've broken it into five short segments for easy reading.
It's coming. Like the version for Hemisphere that never graced the mag tables of embassies worldwide, it's ready to roll, and come hell or high water, that's what you're getting over the next wee while.