Monday, 30 November 2020
Sunday, 29 November 2020
Saturday, 28 November 2020
(even though I would probably not have survived there.)
1. The Chinese did not ship millions of slaves for two hundred years across the Atlantic (or the South China Sea) unlike Portugal, England, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands and France.
2. The Chinese (unlike the English) did not force any country to import opium.
3. The Chinese did not invade Japan, though the Japanese invaded China. The Chinese did not seize any foreign ports, whereas Europeans seized Shanghai.
4. The Chinese did not send demented missionaries to Europe or even to India to spread 'Confucianism' or 'Daoism'.
5. The Chinese did not dictate such arrogant hypocrisies as Universal Human Rights.
6. The Chinese treatment of animals and nature has, on the whole, been more respectful than that by Europeans, North Americans or Japanese.
7. China has never been militaristic in the same degree as the European Powers, the USA or Japan.
8. Chinese rule and behaviour in Tibet is no worse than those of the English in Ireland for hundreds of years.
9. The Chinese are not colonising Africa. They seem set on re-taking Taiwan (Formosa), but it's unlikely that they will risk an all-out war.
10. So far as I'm aware, the Chinese have never attempted genocide, unlike the European powers.
Chinese imported to work on railway construction were horribly persecuted in the USA at the end of the 19th century, and even today are suffering discrimination.
Compared with the centuries-long atrocities committed by Europeans in every part of the globe, the Chinese annexation of Tibet and its atrocious treatment of the Uighurs is very small beer.
Friday, 27 November 2020
In colonial history
it was almost always the self-appointed 'do-gooders'
who did the most damage to occupied,
colonised, oppressed peoples.
Now it's not the missionaries, but the zealous eco-freaks
backed by the corrupt WWF, the EU and logging companies (!)
who are 'continuing the good work'.
And so it goes...
Thursday, 26 November 2020
We are the religious species
that worships itself as a species,
and makes war against itself and the world.
The 'mourning' by millions of Maradona
(a football hero of whom I had heard thirty years ago
but, being averse to competitive 'sports', knew nothing about)
makes me think that, since the death of Nelson Mandela,
there is no-one more worth mourning than a football star,
a man responsible for no mass-murders, terrible betrayals,
nasty compromises and despicable corruptions
as committed by almost all 'important' politicians
to a greater or lesser degree.
Even by Amnesty International's former Burmese heroine,
Aung San Suu Kyi.
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
Tuesday, 24 November 2020
Monday, 23 November 2020
go to the persistent, the driven.
This year's Booker Prize winner submitted his manuscript
to no fewer than thirty publishers
before it was accepted.
Bloody hell! Satan's Anus! Devil's Balls!
He must be mad.
In the 1970s I submitted my short short-story collection
to just three, then gave up - and burned it.
There is no shortage of literature,
especially not in English. The world
would probably never be ready for
my strange little effort, which was,
at best, 'for a minority readership'.
I love dogs
but lack doggedness.
Sunday, 22 November 2020
have been spent
to a greater or lesser extent
in a haze
in a maze
in a daze.
father fucked any other women
before returning to The Theatre of War,
or was it his First Sexual Experience ?
Was he subsequently killed or wounded ?
Was he just weak, or a cad ?
This was the only encounter with a penis
that my mother ever had.
Saturday, 21 November 2020
Friday, 20 November 2020
of the big pandemic gun:
measles, typhoid, cholera, malaria,
TB and non-infectious diseases, too,
will eagerly erupt, because its
novel rampage will undo
what health services have done.
some creatures will soon re-appear
as artificial intelligences.
Thursday, 19 November 2020
"I'm beginning to notice the first signs of dementia."
- No, you're not.
"So you think I'm just imagining them ?"
Life is scary:
your body's awake but your mind is asleep
or three-quarters asleep
and you flounder in the sliding, slippery, flickering
blurry, inconsistent, incoherent dreamworld
where time is elastic and the connection
between cause and effect is lost, or at least vague.
You are on a kind of moving walkway
between past and present; images slide by,
you can't stop and look at them, you try
walking back, but you can't. You can't
run forward - you're too old.
You're trapped in your own little dreamworld,
and most of the time you are cold.
You can't recall where you put things,
and, while searching, drop other things
and forget what it was you were looking for...
and your eyesight is bleary,
your hearing's mashed up;
there's the continuous sound-track
of ear-worms and tinnitus (which
in French is called acouphènes).
But sometimes you feel more drunk than doolally.
As in dreams, bits of old memories bubble up,
pushing out or lying on top of
recent events which all slither and melt
to confusion. You cannot climb out,
and have no fixed motive to do so. You can go
to the toilet, put on your clothes, go to bed, but all the while
you're trying to make sense of what is happening
around you, even of where you are, because
you live only in an untidy, unbound scrapbook
of disconnected dreams of your past
punctuated by recent fuzzy and incoherent events.
As in dreams, nothing is what it seems
and your head is seething with stuff that you can't,
and no-one can, get out or banish.
You can't get out.
[On reading Elizabeth is Missing, by Emma Healey,
which is not a good thing to read in your eightieth year.]
See also the notes written by my mother when she was suffering from dementia, here >
for the Visually Handicapped to touch.
It hasn't changed in a thousand years
and is now squirted with disinfectant
after every feeling visitor.
It is called The Buddha's Crutch.
Wednesday, 18 November 2020
overwhelmed by all the others
for thousands of years
in our world-sized, word-defined
prisons of compulsive, cosy verbiage,
deceit and narrative.
How much of our lives is language ?
How much of our lives is lies ?
How much of our lives is not enough ?
Tuesday, 17 November 2020
Monday, 16 November 2020
seems to be to be something of a fantasy, because
it has to be delivered (very expensively) to sceptical populations, and,
having been delivered, will, for the purpose of free movement,
have to be attested (like a cholera or yellow-fever inoculation)
by a document which will be relatively easy to forge...
unless each vaccination is accompanied by a tattooed number
(harder to phony-up) which will remind a few of us of
concentration-camps and totalitarian régimes,
or by some sort of electronic tag
(maybe like a credit- or health-insurance card with PIN)...
Ah dear Covid! amuse-bouche or hors d'œuvre
of our future - you have come not a moment too soon.
or a deity who spake -
it was only Adam's sick fantasy that Eve
was having sexual relations with a snake.
And so they went.
Sunday, 15 November 2020
Saturday, 14 November 2020
you will, unfortunately,
have to take yourself seriously,
a form of self-abuse
which is the other - very common -
kind of suicide.
Friday, 13 November 2020
Thursday, 12 November 2020
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
Tuesday, 10 November 2020
Monday, 9 November 2020
its more sensitive and cultured citizens
would make special and reverent expeditions to a lake
to listen to the subtle music
of water-lily buds popping into flower.
Sunday, 8 November 2020
and must be delayed at all costs
by a philosophically-confused,
world-dominating and psychosclerotic
medical establishment, which cannot imagine
that the end of every individual life
will be a successful transition,
not just for the old or terminally-ill,
but for the stillborn as for the midwife.
Saturday, 7 November 2020
People with hearing loss have found it to be increasingly challenging to communicate with others who are wearing masks, as they muffle voices and prevent lip-reading.
|Glasses must go on last.|
Moreover,t he around-the-ear face mask, the most common type, makes hearing-aid-wearers -
especially those who also wear glasses (which inevitably steam up, and should be on a cord) -
liable to lose their hearing-aid, especially on removing or adjusting the mask.
Today, my hearing-aid fell out amongst the Brussels Sprouts at the Saturday market.
The free masks provided by local authorities and governments (I have received 20 already)
are all of the elastic-around-the-ears variety.
The kind with elastic that goes around the back of the head is not easy to find.
Because of masks, beards will probably go out of fashion again.
They may not be a majority
but they are good at creating and
manipulating or dominating cliques.
Non-'autists' are freaks.
Friday, 6 November 2020
who preceded Njál and other Norse
in Iceland, became a demon of the sub-arctic deserts
and a coffee-drinker, thanks to the glottal-stopping,
Imagine! Coffee from Arabia to starving, colonial Iceland :
such is Trade - amber from Bornholm to Istanbul...
diamonds and uranium from Ubangi-Shari to the Seine...
coltan from the Congo to Korea...
slaves from the Slave Coast to America (north and south),
'a land farther than death', according to Halldór Laxness,
whose middle name was that of another Irish saint
and who would have been amused to hear
that, in this photo on the jacket of Independent People*,
he seems to me to somewhat resemble Hitler.
*A very funny and sardonic book about Sheeple,
specially appealing to Icelanders and Irish
(Iceland was almost Denmark's Ireland)
but whose English edition was clunkily
translated by a man with a Tin Ear.
The Danish translation is (of course) much better,
but the book could fit very well into Irish,
the tongue of Columkilly,
predecessor, conqueror of the Æsir.
'A man who is not his own master is as unfortunate as anyone without a dog.'
Thursday, 5 November 2020
occur daily in the mind
fed by our own
we are the dream-world
nightmare of the trees
Wednesday, 4 November 2020
However, her argument that totalitarianism and loneliness
exist in a vicious cycle, the one leading to the other,
applies even more to Consumer Capitalism, because
the USSR's type of totalitarianism (at least)
created a variety of secret communities
which were lumped together in the category dissident.
In viciously-capitalist societies, dissidence tends to be solitary.
Big Capitalism, whose transnational companies
more or less control our lives, dislikes democracy.
Big Capitalists like dictators - they can be bought more easily
than elected leaders who keep changing.
Capitalism, having encouraged democratic ideals at the beginning,
is now destroying them, not through power-grab
but through induced anomie and loneliness, the breakdown
of traditional systems of co-operation,
and the monetisation, commodification of everything.
and time flies past
Tuesday, 3 November 2020
Some people seem to be wearing their masks all the time.
A lot of older women, however - not even wearing glasses
- don't cover their noses.
The other day I saw one of the local, 'weird' wandering men
wearing his mask while having a crap
at the viewpoint beneath a large wooden cross
|Every time I pass I remove a bulb.|
(But I don't pass very often.
Soon, I'll need to bring a ladder with me.)
which, in this allegedly-secular republic of France
dominates the historically-Catholic village of Caylus,
especially at night.
|Evening view from my balcony.|
Caylus always supported the Throne
and opposed the Cathar, later Protestant, more-or-less dissident
village of Saint-Antonin 10 miles down the road.
As you know, I don't have a 'smart phone',
and alas! had not brought my camera
to capture the moment of Marc's Mystical-Blasphemous-Innocent Unload.
saves other lives.
Sunday, 1 November 2020
of consumer-capitalism can only collapse
if the USA collapses. So let us hope
that Donald Trump will either win or lose
the 2020 Presidential election.
Since 1905 the French Republic has proclaimed and insisted
on its solid 'secularity'. But 'wayside' crosses* are everywhere;
minarets are very rare, and it's hard to find a calendar
without all the Christian saints' feast days listed.
*Thousands of wayside crosses, mostly grotesque, many made of iron,
were erected during the Catholic Church backlash against the Third Republic
before the secularisation law of 1905. Few have been erected since that date.
Below is one of the more elegant examples,
close to where I live, and built, in the Christian tradition, on top of a 'pagan'
(and ruined) megalithic tomb.
But it was removed (by a fellow-megalithophile ?
- if so, why leave the concrete pillar, incongruously,
on top of the sad little tomb ? To stop people
tripping over it ?)