Yesterday I thought I would acquire some Institut Géographique Nationale
1:25,000 (or, if not, then 1:100,000 maps of France, as I thought I had done some years ago. So I took a free-for-old-people bus to Belfast to go to The Stationery Office, formerly Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
What I found was a poky modern office in a depressing, would-be-user-friendly 'Business Park' and a helpful woman who told me that The Stationery Office, privatised in 1996, moved from its attractive premises
in Arthur Street at least 10 years ago -
and of course, it was not French maps that I shoplifted there, but the wonderful new 1:50,000 Irish ones which mark almost all of the thousands of megaliths in the Republic, the most attractive of which are also in my Gazetteer and Field Guide to prehistoric Ireland,
which has a side-site of French megaliths.
I groped the great Colin Turnbull
in an anthropologist-friend's
London flat. He kindly brushed
my timid hand away. I should have known,
after going with him to nearby
Roman-style marbled, Victorian Turkish Baths,
that I would not be able to stand the African heat,
not even in the rain forest, where I met 'Pygmies'
but, sadly, only, briefly.
It is because the 'nuclear family' is so unnatural that men form clubs and teams and gangs. It is because the 'nuclear family' is so unnatural and stressful that men form battalions
ensuring that humans are perpetually at war.
the filmed beheading
of an American (white) journalist who chose (and was paid) to venture intrepidly into dangerous territory to get good photographs (of Jihadists ? of misery ? of corpses ? of destruction ?) is much more terrible and reprehensible than the unfilmed deaths of many thousands of brown people (not mentioning the dogs) killed in white men's murderous misdirection.
Every civil war from Ireland and Spain to Bosnia, from the United States to Syria and Iraq, demonstrates that friendship and neighbourliness
are nothing more
than mere conveniences, sloughed off almost at a moment's notice of severe anxiety, hurled to the ground and stamped upon, or else ignored. And it is also true that the nothing about which there is so much ado is, truly, nothing more
than the overpopulation of the world.
The horrible thing about this story
is not just that in the USA
(and probably most countries in the world beyond Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland)
the police can threaten anyone - anytime for any reason or no reason - with a firearm,
but that this marvellous man was simply thrown into prison
in a "one size fits all" system of injustice.
On the upper slopes of this westernmost peninsula -
the ruins of prehistoric tombs.
Lower down - the mouldering ruins
of cottages abandoned in the 20th century,
and, lower down again - the brash bungalows
empty since the Celtic Tiger turned out
to have been made of cheapest paper.
A farmer in Surrey (England) has dug a ditch around his property to prevent vehicles driving over fields to steal vehicles and equipment. In Lincolnshire, 150 sheep were rustled in a single nocturnal raid. The most important Irish epic of the late Iron Age is the Táin Bó Cuailgne, which is poorly translated as The Cattle Raid of Cooley.
Here is a picture of what remains of a farmstead of that time. The cattle were brought into the circular stockade at night. There are tens of thousands of these 'ringforts' all over Ireland, almost all visible from an aeroplane.
many people had only beer or ale to drink (or, of course, wine in southern Europe), which meant that until then, many people (especially in cities) were drunk much of the time.
This accounts for the subsequent:
and the surge of Western Europe into clear-eyed domination, empire, inventiveness, technology and capitalism.
It also led to social reform, including compulsory education in Germany, England and France,
which was not just to teach the illiterate to read (notices and forms) but, mainly, to inculcate aggressive nationalism.
So you think you can sell
a sob to a yell ? So you think you can distinguish 'generate' from 'extinguish' ?
So you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell ? Welcome, welcome to the machine!
It's all right, we and it
know where you've been... So you think you can sell Heaven to Hell ?
of modern pseudo-democracies, dictatorships and semi-dictatorships, and the ominous, continuing ground-swell of collaboration in the various 'Wars on Terror', it is never Kafka who is mentioned, but Orwell. This is an error.
I hate vacuuming, especially
in corners and behind
furniture and under beds
- which is why I rarely do it.
But, could one ever be designed,
I would like a silent vacuum-cleaner
for my moth-filled, thought-choked mind.
'Give me simplicitie, that I may live.' - George Herbert.
detritus, all our waste
is indicator and result
of failure by and of
our reason and imagination,
both trapped, both locked, ensnared
within their yearning,
neither capable of conceiving of
(much less permitting)
the soft liberty of baring
the beautiful and fitting
lightness of unlearning.