At half past four in the morning
comes to pass
not arrest by the police
but the obligation to piss.
Dingo the Dissident
Sunday, 25 October 2020
At half past four in the morning
The power of music, the power of radio.
Last Sunday (the 18th of October) an item on a BBC programme featured an eighty-year-old man - Paul Harvey, a former music-teacher - with dementia, whose 'party trick' had always been improvisation on the piano of any four notes he was given.
He was given four notes during the broadcast on which he proceeded to improvise.
This struck a chord with so many listeners that the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra was engaged to make a recording which incorporated Paul Harvey's improvisation with excellent orchestration.
The result is an 'uplifting' Brief Encounter mixture of 80% Sergey Rachmaninov with 10% Richard Strauss, which is a powerful reminder than music is more expressive and positive than language, and is a means of bringing consolation and joy to those whose brains are affected by dementia or other disorder.
Music cancels out the miscarriage and measurement of time which we call 'civilisation'...and allows us to live, like cats, for the sensation of life, not for achievement.
The recording (made by members of the orchestra playing separately in Covid-isolation) will be available commercially from the first of November, 2020, and can now be heard on my website.
Saturday, 24 October 2020
and quickly recovered
(living contentedly alone and apart).
I don't think I'd let anyone know,
but just avoid people
and keep my distance,
for otherwise I would become
another very tired victim of state apparatus
and its mindless commotion.
I guess that a lot of folk
feel the same way.
And if I got it bad
I'd just stay in bed
(having taken my
convenient suicide potion)
until (of course) I was dead.
Cocks went black last night
and, in Europe, there was
for millions of party-animals
an extra sixty minutes of curfew.
For francophone readers, the Word of the Day
(referring to the Mayor of Bordeaux) is :
Friday, 23 October 2020
The word and concept arrived in English
with the Industrial Revolution.
The word solitude remained, with its original,~
But the Greeks knew all about loneliness.
For them, it was a state of isolation,
outside the polis or commune,
in the bleak érema (back of beyond, the boondocks,
the sticks, the wolf-haunted wildness or wilderness
beyond the pale of masters and slaves).
An éremos was a solitary, maybe abandoned,
maybe lonely person, absent from civilisation,
lacking in amenities, possibly one of thousands
of children abandoned 'abroad' and brought up by wolves.
On the other hand, an éremitos was solitary by choice
in a 'lonely, deserted' place teeming with flora and fauna -
hence our word hermit. The Irish word for a hermitage
was díseart (anglicised dysart) from Latin diserta, a place without people.
Some Irish hermits lived on islands and islets
from birds' eggs, seaweed, sea-scurvy-grass, mussels and limpets
- and may not have wanted for company.
Listen on my website to a brief discussion on the BBC
of contemporary loneliness.
Loneliness goes - and is often confused with - Boredom.
But you're never alone while you still have thoughts.
Even hatred can be pleasant company.
Thursday, 22 October 2020
something we make up
out of arrogance.
Wednesday, 21 October 2020
Tuesday, 20 October 2020
Monday, 19 October 2020
originally posted in the North-Jute newspaper Jyllands-Posten
are still causing havoc. - most recently the beheading of a secular schoolteacher
|(this is not one of the Danish cartoons)|
Until yesterday I had not seen any of the offending six cartoons.
Here they are.
I don't think any of them is particularly blasphemous
nor particularly funny.
It seems that the cartoon which caused the most offence
was the one about the failure or rupture of the supply-chain of virgins in Paradise.
The deeply offensive myth of the 72 Virgins offered to the pious male
after death derives from a Hadith composed either by
Al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī (Arabic: الحكيم الترمذي; (The Sage of Termez) or
Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn ʿĪsā as-Sulamī aḍ-Ḍarīr al-Būghī at-Tirmidhī
(Arabic: أبو عيسى محمد بن عيسى السلمي الضرير البوغي الترمذي; Persian: ترمذی, Termezī; 824 – 9 October 892 CE / 209 - 279 AH),
often referred to as Imām al-Termezī/Tirmidhī. He was a Persian of Arab descent belonging to the Banu Sulaym tribe, an Islamic scholar, and collector of Hadith who hailed from Termez (in present-day Uzbekistan).
Jokes amongst Muslims about this ridiculous Hadith must date from at least the eleventh century.
Cartoons about the beheading of journalists, cartoonists or teachers may now seem to be in poor taste
but will probably not incite further beheadings.
But this one might:
SHOULDN'T WE, HOWEVER, JUST ONCE IN A WHILE,
'SEND UP' SOME OUTRAGEOUS CHRISTIAN MYTHS ?
The caption below this superb painting by Bellini
could get me death threats from the crazy 'Christian Right',
only ten people read my blog, none of them (so far as I know)
from the Raving Right (or the Loony Left).
I don't think that Jyllands-Posten , The Onion,
or even Private Eye would print it,
nor any schoolteacher parade it, as an amusing example of
our cherished and much-vaunted Freedom of Expression.
(as unpleasant as the meat
in school dinners I was forced to eat)
might not be more abusive to the child
than swallowing catechismic junk,
and considerably less than being forced
to be right-handed - with the ensuing
physical and emotional confusion,
the utter unacceptability of eating
with the same hand that wipes your arse.
Attending to a teacher's dripping dick
would have been for me much less unpleasant,
outrageous, and problematic
than years of forced cross-country runs
and rugby in the rain and mud,
mind-twisting nationalistic 'history' lessons
and the sheer misery of mathematics.
Sunday, 18 October 2020
so when I was given a budgerigar (rather than the dog I wanted)
I used to take him out in warm weather
to perch and preen and fly among the apple trees.
He would come back into his cage and await another outing.
But eventually, inevitably one afternoon he flew away,
never to return.
That was seventy years ago today.
Saturday, 17 October 2020
the primary thing Europeans did with them was grind them up...
mummies were considered a [beneficial] drug."
read on >
'Mummy-juice' as a 'cure' for Covid-19 ?
Maybe better and much rarer, nobler than beef extract...
Cannibalism will always attract.
Sugg, Richard, 2011, Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires: The history of corpse medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians, (Routledge).
Friday, 16 October 2020
found Covid in tap-water.
She's now dead
and so is her daughter.
who is 'three years my junior'
and has various ailments
says that what keeps her going
is curiosity about how things will turn out.
Of course 'things' are not cakes or crème brulée,
but keep on developing, fracturing, metamorphosing.
As for me, too, death is not dreadful at all.
My dread has always been our dreadfulness
and our malignant machinations;
that dread will die with me.
What worries me unduly is the prelude to the Great Release
from life's prison, the gradual incapacity, maybe pain - or worse.
Like Josette (and many) I'd like to exit suddenly:
a massive stroke or heart-attack (preferably in bed),
or even blown by bomb-blast into smithereens.
Meantime, in the freezer, I store The Other Means.
In many human cultures, for example Austria-Hungary
before the First World War, suicide was a respected act.
'The grieving relatives' were expected to get over it.
(I often wonder if the Wrong Side won that war.)
if I were incapacitated (for example) by a partial stroke,
being a superannuated loner, with no relatives,
I'd be quite happy for the underpaid to give me morphine,
empty my bed-pan re-fit the catheter
(my morphine experience - while I listened to a surgeon saw off
the head of my femur - was wonderful)...
...except that I am too aware of the huge financial
and environmental cost
of keeping millions of people alive just for the doctrinal sake of it -
while slaughtering other people and animals
with horrible abandon -
except that food in French hospitals is vile and meaty,
no salads, no satisfaction let alone joie de vivre in eating it.
And if I were to be sent home
with underpaid carers to pop in and out, to do this and that
with catheters and needles,
I'd get similarly vile reheated meals delivered by a van.
In that case, I'd still have The Other Means
and probably manage to employ it.
But I must remind myself
that very few of us suddenly become completely incapacitated
or fall into a coma. (NE PAS RÉANIMER* will shortly
be tattooed on my belly by the sexy inker just 3 minutes from my door.)
For millennia (despite the Christian and Muslim claim that Death
held no horrors for their kind of Believer)
it was the prospect of a gruesome Afterlife
which was so dreadful. People did not live so long
nor die protractedly. Now, more and more of us
have no fear of a mediæval Hell.
We, in our moral decadence, just want to leave this life
unsufferingly, neatly, unbothered and untubed,
and, like ancient Greeks and Romans, well.
*DO NOT RESUSCITATE
Thursday, 15 October 2020
Wednesday, 14 October 2020
Tuesday, 13 October 2020
of history: hundreds and hundreds
of historical accidents
and unintended consequences
which have made not only our terrible, collapsing
human world and shrivelling Earth,
but you and me, accidents
(and maybe unintended consequences)
of sperm and egg and birth.
Monday, 12 October 2020
[*Denim itself is an Anglo-French word describing the coarse Calico** fabric made in Nimes (de Nîmes) and used in North America to make Jeans, a word which comes from the French for Genoa: Gènes.
**Calico is a corruption of Calcutta (Kolkata), which produced a fabric which Wikipedia says is less coarse than denim...]
- from Hindi and Urdu, पैजामा (paijaamaa), meaning "leg garment", coined from Persian پاى "foot, leg" and جامه "garment" .
- Derived from Hindustani chāmpo (चाँपो [tʃãːpoː]) (verb imperative, meaning "rub!"), dating to 1762.
- from Thagi ठग,ٹھگ Thag in Hindi-Urdu,meaning "thief or con man".
- possibly from Hindi ठीक है, बाबू (ṭhīk hai, bābū), meaning "it's all right, sir".
- Toddy (also Hot toddy)
- from Tārī ताड़ी, juice of the palmyra palm.
- from Urdu طوفان toofaan.[A cyclonic storm.
- from Hindi baramdaa बरामदा, but ultimately from Portuguese.
Sunday, 11 October 2020
as if the buttons on it were spare buttons to replace those attached to braces (which Americans call suspenders*).
*What the British call suspenders are, I think, a garter-belt in the USA. What, then, do Americans call the leg-bands to hold up socks or stockings which the British call garters ?
As I got older, the opening was called a 'fly' or 'flies' (as in a theatre ?),
and was no longer closed by fumbly buttons but by nifty zip.
When I was a little boy and was driven in a car
the windscreen was soon speckled by dead flies.
Some cars even had fly-deflectors at the front.
Now, almost no flies are smashed on windscreens.
Flies (like most insects) are becoming rare, and definitely not spare.
Saturday, 10 October 2020
Friday, 9 October 2020
Republican senator, Mike Lee of Utah, tweeted:
‘Democracy isn’t the objective [of America’s political system]; liberty, peace, and prosperity are.
We want the human condition to flourish.
Rank democracy can thwart that.’
He is, of course, correct.
The USA was founded as an oligarchic Republic on the Roman model, not a Greek-style Democracy.
The Romantic principle of democracy was introduced much later.
The same is true of France, where women were not allowed to vote until 1946,
and which only recently started to take democracy seriously.
Thursday, 8 October 2020
and so are the rest of us."
Falling Towards England, 1985.
and however irrelevant,
many women with children
would rather be beaten up than abandoned.
Wednesday, 7 October 2020
to prevent us understanding each other
better than dogs or chimpanzees can do
by filling our consciousness
with chains of words
in labyrinths of narrative
hatred, prejudice, religion.
Language is our ever-tightening,
bloody crown of thorns.
Would you get out of his way on a busy street in broad daylight ?
You'd better! He's a typical Texan Police Officer
- currently in Hunt County jail for murder -
but (I suggest) only because of the Black Lives Matter movement.
|Shaun Lucas : read more|
Faces like his remind me of policemen I used to see in Northern Ireland
before the reform of the police service there.
He is of Irish extraction, like so many police officers in the USA
since the Great Emigration.
I don't judge books by their covers,
but this man's face fills me with terror -
and I am not at all surprised that he would beat up and kill an African-American
out of 'solidarity' with his 'racial identity' - or just for pleasure.
On the other hand, he might well attract favourable attention in a gay bar...
in a fun-fair slot-machine
which never quite gets a hold
of the almost-worthless object
in the pile beneath.
Monday, 5 October 2020
Sunday, 4 October 2020
Black sheeple are, of course, pretty similar to white sheeple.
Impossible to tell them apart - apart from the colour, or the dye.
When 'empowered' they commit the same crimes as white sheeple.