Travelling in the outback , sleeping under the entrancing canopy of stars, gives you a new perspective on life and an aversion to so-called civilisation. Such was the case when artist Russell Drysdale and naturalist Jock Marshall meandered about the bush in a l950s expedition which provided material for their book, Journey Among Men , Hodder and Stoughton , London, l962. For his part, Drysdale drove up from Sydney through the Territory to join Marshall in the Kimberley. At Tennant Creek , Drysdale stopped for the national dish-steak and eggs . He also heard the yarn about the “no hoper” in Alice Springs who convinced a storekeeper to sell him a bottle of methylated spirits, then complained that it was not cold .
Early in the text it announced the co-authors were glad be back in Australia among the cold beer and red dust on the fringe of a desert after years of exile in Europe. However , at the end of their productive and inspiring trip, the outskirts of the big smoke were encountered and they began to feel shut in ; people’s attitudes were not as friendly and open as those of the outback.
Arriving in Adelaide , it was described as the gateway of the wowser belt . A wowser, the book provocatively explained, was a gentleman who uses a contraceptive as a book-mark for his Bible. It went on to chide the wowsers of Adelaide and Melbourne who exerted an influence disproportionate to their numbers. In the two cities laymen as well as professional “ sin-shifters” still wrote rhetorical letters to the papers condemning “devotees of the fallacious doctrine of evolution.” It carried the interesting comment on the part played by the Press.
Quicker than you can say Darwin! these earnest ( anti evolution ) men cite in their support the opinions of l9th century “authorities” such as Herbert Spencer, not to mention those of the late Mr George Bernard Shaw . In these cities, newspaper editors who have worked previously in a wider world will, in compliance with local custom, cynically grant up to half a column of space to a single such Edwardian incongruity.
A surprise in the book is that Charles Darwin nearly did not make it aboard the voyage of the Beagle as the naturalist because the skipper, Commander John Lort Stokes , did not like the shape of his nose. It is therefore obvious that natural selection gave Darwin a superior hooter which enabled him to sniff out the secrets of evolution .