there are not many stressful occasions
when this is possible.
And pissing on policemen (especially if you are not white
and at least middle-aged) might well create more stress,
or lead to death.
that I am a multi- even mega-privileged parasite
upon what Americans fear most:
a 'socialist' Welfare State.
This I pondered on today
as I talked to my GP
(doctor) whom I can usually see
with only 24 hours' notice,
because he is one of the last remaining
doctors with his own practice -
just like The Good Old Days
of Respect and Contumely.
Even in France this is a rarity,
and Saint-Antonin, the too-trendy village
which I have just abandoned, has no regular GP at all
for a population of two thousand.
But O, the shabby, cheap, veneered, worn
desk with damaged corners
that he has his computer on, poor man!
My vast desk is inlaid walnut,
and came, like the fine sideboard (on the right),
together with the house:
Still, better that than be a doctor like the one I had in childhood
at his vast mahogany table, who, like my GP uncle
advised my (single) mother
to send me to a private school where I would
"have the corners rubbed off" me".
Many twelfth-century churches in Northern Spain
still have windows 'glazed' with sheets of alabaster
which make the interiors seem very dark to us.
But when those churches were built, common people's houses
had neither windows nor chimneys,
and the brightness of the churches attracted them.
It was too dark then.
It is too bright now.
It is the best of times.
It is the worst of times.
Even those below the 'poverty-line' in rich countries
can gad about the world (or much of it) at will
on ridiculously-cheap flights.
But even the self-sufficient in poor countries
are ever more restricted in their movements
as Europe, North America and Australia
turn into vast 'Gated Communities'.
"Bůh lidem dal úsměv, aby mohli skrývat své pravé pocity."
which, in the language of Bohemian and Moravian shepherds means
(more or less) God gave human beings the ability to smile so they can hide what they really feel.
But dogs also smile, and in smiling show that they are happy.
Maybe God made people smile in order to confuse everyone,
including dogs and other gods.
I know it's Synæsthesia Gone Mad
but I really felt for that poor leek
cowering in a corner, yesterday,
yellow and withered.
Vegetables like to be eaten as soon as possible
after they are wrenched from the earth,
not left decaying fast or slow
like African-Americans on Death Row.
People in rich countries
can fly a thousand miles
for fifty euros. But it costs
€2,800 for a refugee
to take an unseaworthy boat
five miles from Turkey to Greece
and then be drowned with fifty others.
People in rich countries
complain about the indignity
of low-cost flights.
Should Ryanair, EasyJet or Spirit
be induced to enter the lucrative
people-trafficking business ?
"Personally, in my sensible moments, I would not be any more pleased
at compliments from a friend than at being censured, even by an enemy,
so long as it was obviously not a matter of the cobbler not sticking to his last;
for compliments are nearly always harmful,
while adverse criticism is always beneficial.
If it is justified I learn from it, while if it should be wrong still I am sharpened, aroused, awakened, rendered more alert and cautious,
and emboldened to defend the truth.
Men are indeed spurred on less keenly by the longing for fame
than by the fear of disgrace."
- Letter 182 (to Christopher Fisher; March 1505; tr. R.A.B. Mynors and D.F.S. Thomson)
"I am concerned about the issue of internal freedom in modern society: is it actually achievable when you’re surrounded by social framework ? School, work, family – once in this cycle, you are a prisoner of your own situation.”
My new house has a long thin bathroom
with a bathtub, in which there is a shower.
Instead of a horrible, restricting curtain
I found this large canvas, which neatly rests
at an angle against the toilet-roll holder
so that all water flows into the bath.
About the painting:
the multi-referential title is Dragonautism
and the visual reference is Bosch's
Temptations of St Anthony.
The human species on this planet
is like yeast in wine - which consumes all
its sugary resources and excretes
the toxic waste of alcohol. The result
then, through incompetence
turns to vinegar - and gall.
- is imagination :
people believe that imaginary minds without bodies
are more powerful - and know more - than minds with bodies;
and the bodies of gods physically conceived
(Quetzalcoatl, Ganesha, Anubis)
are imaginary, often monstrous.
The powerful are very fearful.,
and, as for the rest of us,
there is nothing so comforting
as the abandonment of reason
for mindless idolatry.