There was a moment
when cinema moved from imitating life
and life started imitating cinema.
Now we are all yawning or sleeping
or slinking our way through
the long, slow-motion disaster movie
into which we have turned the world.
And I feel guilty about drinking coffee.
Wednesday, 20 October 2021
There was a moment
Tuesday, 19 October 2021
There are serial rapists,
and there are monogamous rapists.
to civilisation mean its demise
could eliminate meaning in galaxy for ever,’
says idiot scientist in today's newspaper.
Never mind the amazing biodiversity
which tragically allowed human civilisation
to arise, prosper and destroy
the amazing biodiversity!
(It hardly needs pointing out that meaning is a silly abstract construct
of the overheating human brain.)
Monday, 18 October 2021
can be aggressive
or all three at once.
"He doesn't speak English, Miss.
He comes from the Congo, Miss.
I translate for you, Miss.
He says that the bad men kill his grandfather, Miss.
He says that the bad men kill his grandmother, Miss.
He says that the bad men kill his dad, Miss.
He says that the bad men kill his mum, Miss.
He doesn't know how he got here, Miss.
He can't say how he got here, Miss..."
Sunday, 17 October 2021
not so long ago
wore shackles, anklets
or collars to signify their lack of status
if the colour of their skins was not enough.
Now, quasi-voluntary drones,
their multi-ethnic successors, much less tough,
must carry mobile phones.
If a plastic Bag for Life
lasts less than a month
in the countries of the rich
before being discarded
(because it doesn't look new
or has a stain or two)
we can deduce that - by the rich -
climate change is disregarded.
Saturday, 16 October 2021
Gardeners love exotic plants
and collect them from all over the world.
They are forever trying to suppress their native species -
dandelions, daisies, ground elder, brambles...
On the other hand, white gardeners tend not
to like exotic people from anywhere
(especially not richly-coloured ones).
In distant, former-colony Singapore, I read,
dandelions are not a 'weed',
but a glorious exotic species, tended carefully
and grown from carefully-imported and selected seed.
Liberty! Equality! Fraternity!
Liberty without equality
Fraternity without equality
Hierarchy is essential
Thus Spake Swami Vṛka.
Friday, 15 October 2021
At the beginning of the 19th century
more soldiers were ordered to advance
against hand-weavers in England
than against Napoleon's armies in France.
Thursday, 14 October 2021
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
Tuesday, 12 October 2021
& meretricious line from a popular song :
'Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.'
Does it mean that you're only free
when you are without food or home or shoes,
and so must beg on the street or be
or be locked up or raped as a refugee -
which is no freedom at all ?
Or is it another way of saying
that freedom comes with your last breath
when you rise or fall
into heaven or nothingness -
that liberty is death ?
(Or am I just obtuse ?)
Monday, 11 October 2021
that many men make
to think of literary fiction
as frivolous or escapist.
On the contrary, it is often
a many-layered means of insight
into the racked complexities
of human minds and cultures.
Good fiction is meta-truth
more penetrating than mere fact.
"Sometimes when he was dealing with people, he felt like he was operating one of those claw machines on a boardwalk, those shovel things with which you tried to scoop up a prize but the controls were too unwieldy and you worked at too great a remove."
- Anne Tyler, Redhead by the Side of the Road, 2020.
Sunday, 10 October 2021
Saturday, 9 October 2021
simply known as Rumi,
Never appear to be what you are not.
Unfortunately, this is difficult for sheople
because it runs counter to the ethos of almost
every civilised society, where compulsory pretence
and hypocrisy soon turn childish authenticity
to adult slime and slick and rot.
Rūmī also said:
Religions are like candles,
useful for finding your way in the dark.
But now we have LED torches and electric light
- until we burn the world up in our childish spite.
in the Christian Gospels
is that Jesus had no interest at all
in Family Values.
Friday, 8 October 2021
At the age of eighty
I have almost gotten used to
being in my late fifties.
Thursday, 7 October 2021
is an ingredient
Regarding your latest, desperately upbeat book,
we are, unfortunately for the biosphere,
not 'rational beings'. We are cunning,
calculating, crisis-creating creatures,
who have not, by any stretch of the imagination
'made the world a better place'.
We use reason mostly for self-glorification,
destruction, denialism - and saving face.
Wednesday, 6 October 2021
Tuesday, 5 October 2021
Indeed, I didn't realise it myself
until I was over seventy-five,
in fact nearly eighty.
Maybe they mistook my confident naivety
for a new kind of maturity.
Some may have simply decided
that my earnest innocence
should not be challenged or derided...
Monday, 4 October 2021
I am a not-very-happy
changeling/prisoner on your planet.
Because of Covid and lack of transport
I have not been able to get back
to Cynotopia Minor.
But thanks for your financial support
during my compulsory sojourn.
They are saying that the countryside
has been destroyed by lava-flow -
but the countryside was ravaged
by humans long ago.
Sunday, 3 October 2021
of the dastardly crime of
from the late Paul Cézanne
and Juán Gris...»
deep-sea mining :
the war against the world
is not declining.
In a zero-sum struggle that nobody wins
we dump bits of the planet
in colour-coded bins.
Saturday, 2 October 2021
I recently volunteered to fill in a sociological questionnaire
with the typical 'tick the applicable box' questions.
Half-way through I was confronted with the question
Are you right-handed / left-handed / ambidextrous ?
I am none of these. I am one of - possibly millions -
of people who were punished for being left-handed,
and, being right-handed in some tasks, left-handed in others,
can be defined as confused.
The stupid (and eminent and probably right-handed)
compiler of the questionnaire was evidently unaware
of this small - but important - demographic.
I did not complete the questionnaire. I wrote to its compiler
and received no reply. I conclude that the statistics
derived from box-ticking questionnaires are unreliable.
Friday, 1 October 2021
in a book I was reading on a train to Spain
(though I alighted at Toulouse)
it occurred to me that it may have come
from ¿ Habla [español] ?
Indeed a similar word with the same meaning
entered Middle Dutch at the time of the Spanish
occupation of the southern low countries...
Babble comes from Babel and its many-tongued tower,
and Greeks called non-Greek speakers [ba-ba-] Barbaroi.
A World War One song
(probably originating in Armentières in 1915)
Mademoiselle from Armentieres, parley-voo...
A World War 2 version of this began:
Two German officers crossed the Rhine, parley-voo
Two German officers crossed the Rhine
to fuck the women and drink the wine,
'Inky Pinky' was a Scottish children's name for parsnip and potato cakes, but it has been suggested that an onomatopoeic reference to the sound of bed-springs is a more likely soldier's ribald derivation.'
Another version has Inky-Dinky, which might be a jocular corruption of the German Ich denke.
Ich denke, also bin ich.
Thursday, 30 September 2021
and comfortably-off sheeple
like to be 'moved', 'uplifted'.
would like a lift-up.
Fifty-six years after the break-up
with my only female lover in Copenhagen
(who, astonishingly to me, took up with my 'best friend'),
I am still puzzling over what it was
that she found inadequate in me.
It was probably my blithe and aimless
after reading two books set in 1930s USA -
I drank a Dry Martini for the first time in my life.
From the various recipes on the internet
I made it from 6 parts
of cold junipery gin, one part of
cold Noilly Prat vermouth,
and an olive (since I didn't have a lemon)
plus a couple of ice cubes.
It was quite pleasant, but I'd prefer
a glass of cold, light, dry white wine,
such as the local Gaillac Perlé.
I don't think I'll bother trying a Manhattan,
a Gimlet, Twister or Thunderbird.
of the greatest good for the greatest number
(which is the basis of majoritarian and coalition democracy)
was never applied to our fellow-creatures -
some of which we rear in misery for food
- and so they suffer for what we pettily presume
to be "the greater good".
And not just animals, either:
Wednesday, 29 September 2021
Tuesday, 28 September 2021
Freedom of Ludicrous Expression,
Milan Fashion Week.
|Pietro D’Aprano/Getty Images|
what the Taliban would think
Monday, 27 September 2021
is much more stressful,
much less satisfying
and barely more nutritious
than gathering food
in a tropical rain forest.
supermarkets are expanding
while rain forests shrink.
Sunday, 26 September 2021
Saturday, 25 September 2021
Friday, 24 September 2021
Thursday, 23 September 2021
there were Sumptuary Laws
which forbade the wearing of fine clothes
above your class. In other words,
a mere merchant, no matter how rich,
could not wear an earl's apparel.
Nobody seems to have noticed that
the democratisation of rich, industrial countries
and the westernisation of economically-poorer ones
has led to the world-wide wearing
of (mostly) charmless Euro-American clothes,
especially hideous tee-shirts and loutish jeans,
which suit few of the world's sheeple,
least of all those who used to wear
gorgeous robes or simple gowns,
lovely headgear - or very little.
|Wofl picnicking at Ait Mansour, Morocco, 1993.|
Wednesday, 22 September 2021
of any book that I have read:
'In the wastes of civilization, Luristan is still an enchanted name.'
Freya Stark - The Valleys of the Assassins and Other Persian Travels, 1936.
The Lur men were ordered by the Shah to shave off their beards and wear Pahlevi headgear - a hat horribly similar to a baseball cap.. I guess they now have their beards, but I have no idea whether or not they wear their traditional dress.
The women, who used to have no face-covering, will of course now have to wear the hijab.
Tuesday, 21 September 2021
In many countries, those who pay tax
(especially the very rich)
receive a tax-rebate when they give
money to a 'recognised' charity,
but not directly (e.g. on the street)
to the starving or impoverished.
Those donors who are too poor to pay tax
I liked only the egg-and-spoon race.
It was fun.
But just imagine
the rules and regulations,
the strict specifications for the egg,
the spoon (which should not be too short),
the clothing and the footwear,
had it had the misfortune
to become an Olympic Sport!
Monday, 20 September 2021
from reading my gloomy-doomy blogs
that in the village I'm a little ray of light,
greeting everybody cheerfully,
exchanging little jokes,
and smiling at the dogs.
How we are and what we write
are very different.
Sunday, 19 September 2021
Unlike many people,
I seem to have been born fit,
because I have remained lithe
and the same weight
(60 kg) for 60 years since I was 20,
without the slightest effort
(i.e. 'exercise') on my part.
My blood pressure is a little high
but I seem (so far) to have a good heart.
‘It is no measure of health to be well adjusted
to a profoundly sick society.’ - Sinéad O’Connor
Saturday, 18 September 2021
Friday, 17 September 2021
was not so much the plucking
nor even the eating of the pomegranate,
nor Eve's desire to share it,
but Adam's failure before Massa God
to control a disobedient woman.
is lethal for birds.
when they collide with building glass, according to research by NYC Audubon.
Nationwide, a study from 2019 found that the number of bird deaths caused by building collisions could be as high as one billion', according to NPR.
Thursday, 16 September 2021
Wednesday, 15 September 2021
Tuesday, 14 September 2021
Monday, 13 September 2021
Sunday, 12 September 2021
a pauper poet
prostrate in bed
planning petty acts
of shoplifting and parsimony.
|I have got out of bed.|
Maybe, like Christian missionaries,
the Taliban are kind to kittens.
What is the decadent, perverted Western Press not telling us ?
Saturday, 11 September 2021
has a bloody lining.
In 30 years of civil unrest
just over 3,000 people died in Northern Ireland,
where there is a road called Kennedy Way
named after the American president
who started the Viêt-Nam war and invaded Cuba.
Over 30,000 civilians were killed in Viêt-Nam
plus an uncountable number of Viêt-Cong fighters.
Another 30,000 were killed in Cambodia.
Just over 3,000 people died in the amazing, unprecedented suicide/aeroplane assault upon the symbols of economic power
in Manhattan, and the 'military-industrial' complex
condemned by Kennedy's soldier-predecessor*.
47,000 civilians were killed in Afghanistan,
and 66,000 Afghan military and police
and 51,000 Taliban.
This rather exceeds an eye for an eye.
And I do not mention the thousands killed
in "proxy wars" waged by thge USA
in Chile, Argentina, Nicaragua,
nor the forced removal by the British at the USA's request
of the entire population of Diego Garcia and other
island of the Chagos Archipelago
reminiscent of Stalin's deportation of the Tatars from Crimea.
Friday, 10 September 2021
Thursday, 9 September 2021
"Ursine invaders trash popular tourist destination on the California-Nevada border after evacuations."
Rather than making trash harder to get at
and root through (thus leading the bears
to break into abandoned houses instead)
would it not be sensible to bring some of the kilotons
of 'spoiled' Californian fruit to help the bears
store up nourishment for winter ?
Wednesday, 8 September 2021
I liked going with my grandmother
to visit her old friends, also widows
in houses with massive sideboards,
upholstered chairs, fringed velvet tablecloths,
antimacassars and ticking clocks,
stuffed parrots, china ornaments -
and in one a Victorian jack-in-a-box.
I have always liked wrinkles
on the faces of women and men.
I am almost 80 and almost without wrinkles,
not even on my belly: I remain immature to the end.
Tuesday, 7 September 2021
the commonest words in
'popular' commercial songs
aren't you, or love, or cherish,
but I, me, and my.
Monday, 6 September 2021
It's obvious to me that the apostrophe
in English is a tiny but effective weapon
in the class-war, the Hundreds-Years'
War of Snobbery.
('Full marks' for spelling in primary school
was the height of my life's achievement.)
Sunday, 5 September 2021
Saturday, 4 September 2021
the cleverest are the racketeers.
the stupidest are the military,
the responsible are irresponsible
and the happy are invisible.
Catholic women in Catholic Ireland
were more oppressed than Soviet women
in the USSR, the only difference being
that Irish women could escape
to low-paid jobs in England.
Friday, 3 September 2021
every warship launched, every rocket fired,
signifies … a theft
from those who hunger and are not fed,
cold and not clothed”.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953
Thursday, 2 September 2021
is more environmental
than political or military
as species are wiped out
by the mindless demand for magical
mumbo-jumbo traditional medicines
(not to mention shark-fin soup).
The hump-head (or maori) wrasse,
also on the point of extermination by the Chinese
has facial markings
|(A Thoughtful Wrasse)|
which are unique to each individual.
Wednesday, 1 September 2021
have demonstrated to me
and perhaps millions of others
that old dogs can learn
at least one new trick.
Tuesday, 31 August 2021
turn out to be
but shallow graves.
are reported to have been killed by sharks
last year. The number of sharks killed by sheeple
was nearly one hundred million.
Only a small part (the dorsal fin)
of a single species is eaten
by a very small number of humans.
The rest were killed for the pleasure of killing.
Monday, 30 August 2021
Sunday, 29 August 2021
|Whittlesford church, Cambridgeshire, England.|
should be 'happy ripples on the pond of life'
and not the monstrous demon in the groin.
Today for the first time in years I saw a public pipe-smoker,
and he was steering a bicycle with one hand
along a country road while holding his pipe in the other.
Saturday, 28 August 2021
For thousands of years
(maybe tens of thousands of years)
millions of men have conformed
to whatever labour, rules and rituals
are ordained by more powerful men
and retained by force,
in order to have permissible
and easily-available sex -
as well as shelter
and bad food, of course.
As for women...
Spain and the south-west of France used to export
large quantities of almonds - until Californians
with their low-paid Mexican labour started planting
almond trees, for which they had to create
irrigation channels. Every year bees were trucked
from North Dakota to pollinate the almond flowers,
and were trucked back again several hundred miles.
Now the water channels have dried up in California;
due to drought and starvation
fewer and fewer bees are flying
and almond trees are dying.
Friday, 27 August 2021
Thursday, 26 August 2021
is unhappiness having
a good day.
I have started a list
of mammals which are uglier than humans.
So far I have :
Naked Mole Rat or Sand-puppy
Proboscis monkey (?)
Elephant Seal (?)
and that's about all.
None of them invented the wheel.
Wednesday, 25 August 2021
Tuesday, 24 August 2021
Monday, 23 August 2021
A country in which men may cheerfully
and publicly wear skirts
with nothing underneath qualifies absolutely
for nationhood - if not membership of
the United Nations' Security Council.
Sunday, 22 August 2021
Saturday, 21 August 2021
Friday, 20 August 2021
even in its reduced state -
will always be imcomparably bigger
than our understanding of it.
But we plow on regardless.
doesn't work - especially when you try to build them
out of easy money, corruption, enticement
and hypocrisy. The Taliban
have murderous patristic principles
we no longer adhere to and now loathe,
but they stick to them pretty well -
The truth is that we are just as intolerant as they -
with 'human rights' which we invented yesterday.
Thursday, 19 August 2021
and we do 'bad things'
and we can usually tell the difference.
But between 'bad things' and stupid things
it is much more difficult.
while occasionally willing to be serfs,
have always been obstinate about being peasantry."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925.
Tuesday, 17 August 2021
and remarks by
Freddy Nietzsche is this:
I'm not upset that you lied to me,
I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.
I'm glad that my mother didn't feel like that
when for years I lied to her
about what went on at school.
Since then, I have been almost-obsessively frank
and am upset that there's almost no-one I believe.
Monday, 16 August 2021
awaiting a last straw.
but in China...
along the Wakhan Corridor ?)
I receive an e-mail from Expressio.fr
with the French phrase or expression of the day.
Today's, most appropriately,
but (of course) by chance,
was Ses carottes étaient cuites :
Their goose was cooked
on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception
(a public holiday in allegedly-secular France.)
Sunday, 15 August 2021
Saturday, 14 August 2021
"I call Christianity the one great curse,
the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct for revenge
for which no expedient is sufficiently poisonous, secret, subterranean, petty - I call it the one mortal blemish of mankind."
- The Antichrist, 1888.
But he approved of marriage - not as love-match, but as institutionalised friendship and joint enterprise.
Friday, 13 August 2021
Thursday, 12 August 2021
Wednesday, 11 August 2021
Tuesday, 10 August 2021
Monday, 9 August 2021
Sunday, 8 August 2021
The Selk'nam people of the Northern Tierra del Fuego
archipelago no longer exist. They were nomadic hunters.
The white Christians got rid of them, of course,
for killing and eating sheep - after clothing them by force.
According to The Guardian newspaper,
'Dr Amia Srinivasan believes that there isn’t a person alive
who doesn’t have a sense of discomfort in their body,
and with how that body, especially the “sexed” body, is read.'
Well.. I, for one, haven't had a sense of discomfort in my body
since I left school (where I was a sports-hating 'weed'
who cowered in the showers),
nor in how my probably-"undersexed" body was read
by either man or woman.
There may be millions - many of them women - who are similarly content with their bodies.
Perhaps The Guardian misquoted from Amia Srinavasan's book, The Right to Sex.
Saturday, 7 August 2021
Friday, 6 August 2021
declared that art-galleries should be destroyed.
Certainly, art-galleries are often cemeteries*
of the very spirit which inspires art,
not least because of the obsession with category
and chronology and market value. I agree
with Buñuel. But we would have to start
by abolishing money and the
iniquitous right to 'real' (land) property.
* One of the worst being the brutalist van Gogh
museum-mausoleum in Amsterdam.
Thursday, 5 August 2021
Wednesday, 4 August 2021
Tuesday, 3 August 2021
Monday, 2 August 2021
Sunday, 1 August 2021
is a Great American Author now totally out of fashion.
Possibly because back in the 1930s he wrote stuff like this:
"Our world is a world of things. It is made up of comforts and luxuries, or else the desire for them. What we dread most in facing the oncoming débâcle, is that we will be obliged to give up our gew-gaws, our gadgets, all the little comforts that have made us so uncomfortable...we are smug, timid, queasy and quaky."
- The Air-conditioned Nightmare.
In the same book he wrote: We defend with our lives the petty principles which divide us.
But he could also have written: We defend our lives with the petty principles which divide us.
Saturday, 31 July 2021
it is surely time for an art-gallery
or museum (in a rich country)
to mount a prestigious show -
with trumpeting websites and banners unfurled
- of Four Hundred Years of
Ashtray Art in the Western World.
Friday, 30 July 2021
from the French for Christian -
is a word of abuse from Ireland to Bulgaria,
Nevada to New Zealand, Estonia* to Greece.
There's something very Jungian about this.
* but not Finland, where ääliö is used instead.
Thursday, 29 July 2021
O Fellow-Sheeple -
let us do a lot with little,
so long as what we do
does little harm to other creatures
and the world's magnanimous features.
Billionaires have been reported to be
buying land for bunkers in New Zealand
in preparation for an apocalypse.
Wednesday, 28 July 2021
Films from the 1920s to the 1960s
were mostly violent and/or sentimental,
full of cigarettes and booze
(with women always decorative
adjuncts) - and guns, of course.
Then graphic sex entered the mix.
Now, cigarettes are just slightly
less in evidence - perforce.
PS Why are political thrillers so rare - everywhere ?
The daughter of my friend Phyllis
refuses anti-Covid vaccination
because it might impair her fertility.
It is human overpopulation
which has caused Covid and will cause worse,
and is already reducing the world to hot, dry
She talks of Liberté, but, like most French people
has no time for Fraternité. Needless to say
no-one contemplates Égalité, equality.
Tuesday, 27 July 2021
Monday, 26 July 2021
for the superannuated hard of hearing
will helpfully describe the background music
and the ambient sounds (passing or approaching trains,
doorbells, explosions, dogs barking)
although it's mumbled dialogue that is the problem,
not the background rap or blues.
Unfortunately, they do not elucidate the plot
- for which deaf critters like me
must google cinema-reviews.
Sunday, 25 July 2021
I looked up PEAVEY in images
and got only electronics and guitars.
After checking it out in a dictionary
I found that it's a lumberjack's pole
with a spike and a hook at the end.
In order to see what one looks like
I had to enter 'peavey pole logging'.
Saturday, 24 July 2021
Friday, 23 July 2021
than my usual half-bottle of wine,
I'll repeat my obvious Diogenesism :
There is nothing more depressing
than clever sheeple’s optimism.
It is probably too much to hope
that 'Covid' will smother this year's
Olympic "Games", which will have to abort
and prove to be the last time that nationalism,
and transnational turbo-capitalism
will celebrate each other
in the name of ''sport".
Wednesday, 21 July 2021
with Moderate Bipolar Disorder
is that when you're Up there is
quite a large corner in your head
which harbours the dread
of the Up ending.
Perhaps never mending.
And when you're Down there is
a bigger corner of your mind
in which you despise yourself
for being merely Down
while others of your kind
are starving, tortured, unable to cope,
racked with physical pain,
and/or driven utterly insane -
and you merely mope.
but become demented by terrible experience.
Tuesday, 20 July 2021
Monday, 19 July 2021
Take one verb - let's say to oblige
remove the last letter and add -ate
- and you have to obligate.
Now take to remedy
and apply the same method
- and you get to remediate.
And so on. You can also do
something similar by simply adding -ize.
To fragment will thus become to fragmentize.
This is not wayward, but a typical
example of one accumulative way
that languages develop.
(Another way is by word-truncation.*)
Maybe to envelopate will developize
from to envelop.
At any rate, it's futile to resist
* e.g. by reducing alternative to alternate.
even though alternate already exists
with a quite different meaning.
is a subtitle for the deaf on Netflix,
but is unhelpful for those
who cannot work out
what hopeful music might be.
Sunday, 18 July 2021
has always been that
the more it advances
the more terrible are
the unintended consequences.
(One very recent and relatively minor example is the continuing effect
of the highly-profitable insecticide, DDT.)
Saturday, 17 July 2021
that Victorian & Edwardian women dealt with sexual abuse,
a disturbing awareness of the recent slave-trade
and continuing slavery all-in-one, was to subscribe
to the powerful myth of the White
(essentially blue-eyed, fair-haired, nubile English)
Female Slave Trade based in Barbary, Benin or the Bosphorus.
"Ireland and the UK were the only European countries where alcohol consumption did not fall during the first Covid wave, according to a study in the journal Addiction, suggesting a big shift to drinking at home." - from today's Guardian online.
This also suggests the obvious :
on Continental Europe (even Finland and Scandinavia ?)
alcohol consumption is more an aspect of sociability,
less a compulsive seeking of escape towards oblivion.
Friday, 16 July 2021
sought refuge in the hurricane.
The tree sought refuge in the fire,
the house in the lightning-strike,
the street in the mud-slide,
the city in the flood,
the marshland in torrential rain.
We spilled no blood.
Thursday, 15 July 2021
If you spoke your parents' language
and dared to wet your bed
it was very likely that you'd soon be dead.
Wednesday, 14 July 2021
"...the effort to be ourselves is the surest path to being just like everyone else, especially in the context of a highly commodified and surveilled culture where we always seem to be on stage. "
- Alexander Stern, in https://aeon.co/essays/a-history-of-authenticity-from-jesus-to-self-help-and-beyond
He continues, quoting Oscar Wilde:
‘Most people are other people.
Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions,
their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.’
Tuesday, 13 July 2021
Monday, 12 July 2021
Sunday, 11 July 2021
Saturday, 10 July 2021
romantic Mr Whitman wrote:
Nothing is ever really lost, [n]or can be lost...
But of course, as hard-core Buddhists know
(and cannot be refuted),
all is loss, and all things are transmuted.
Friday, 9 July 2021
that the sainted Dr Martin Luther King Jr. could have made
such a crass, sexist, totalitarian and 'jihadist' pronouncement :
"If a man has not discovered something that he will die for,
he isn't fit to live."
But he did make it - thus condemning a large proportion
of the world's population as Untermenschen.
Thursday, 8 July 2021
“A society should be judged not by how it treats its outstanding citizens but by how it treats its criminals.”
"The degree of civilisation in a society can be judged by entering its prisons." (from The House of the Dead)
NO - a society should also and equally be judged by the proportion of its population committed to prison.
It is only civilised societies which have prisons.
Vindictiveness is the father of cruelty.
Wednesday, 7 July 2021
Just because something doesn't matter
is no reason not to notice it.
It is still said
that homosexual affections are
But then, agriculture
is, by definition, against nature;
and a species whose females
devote their lives to pleasing capricious males
- rather than the other way round -
is distinctly odd.
And most of them believe in
or tolerate the nonsense of
a supreme, capricious and male god.
Monday, 5 July 2021
Sunday, 4 July 2021
Saturday, 3 July 2021
Friday, 2 July 2021
the twin-star Alpha-beta Centauri seems single.
But to the Australian Boorong people
Alpha and Beta Centauri
are two fearsome and rampaging brothers.
"There is an indigenous tribe in Africa
that tells of life coming from the second star
in Alpha Centauri, the one no-one can see
without a high-powered observatory telescope.
Come to think of it, the Greeks, the original Australians,
and the Plains Indians [of North America]
all lived continents apart
and all, independently, looked at the same septuple knot
of the Pleiades and believed them to be
seven young girls running away from something
[or someone] that threatened to hurt them."
- Jodi Picoult: My Sister's Keeper.
Thursday, 1 July 2021
Some men have more feminine minds
and some women have more masculine ones:
the usual spectrum of diversity.
It will be no surprise that 'successful' women
are those - aspirational achievers - who most conform
to masculine (and European, world-shrinking)
ways of thinking.
Wednesday, 30 June 2021
when wisdom profits not,"
says Tiresias to Œdipus.
But another wisdom lies
in ignoring profit and
encouraging yourself to rise
above all sorrow, like a lark
above its devastated habitat.
for a new Bestseller novel:
The Omega Variant.
It may be "hitting bookshops" in a few months' time.
Tuesday, 29 June 2021
In bed this morning I suddenly remembered
returning to Europe from equatorial Africa
and my shock at seeing the grim, glum faces
of people who did not have to sleep in doorways,
under bridges and other insalubrious places.
Monday, 28 June 2021
You can find awareness only within yourself
but it is very possible that you will be
(or already are - since we are all
so shallow and so careless)
unaware of your awareness
just as you are now are ignorant
of your crippling unawareness.
Sunday, 27 June 2021
Good morning, sir, good morning, ma’am.
Yes, I’m wearing a different uniform,
different gloves, different hat.
I’ve cleaned the glass of the door—
I discovered a new solvent.
Isn’t it glorious, how the glass
is so thoroughly transparent,
transmitting sparkle from the Sun?
Yes, you’re right, it’s a different door,
different frame, different hinges, too.
Notice, in fact, that the building
into which I’m ushering you
is a different building
than the one you routinely enter.
Please, take a good look
at your reflection in the glass—
that’s the last you’ll see of it.
It won’t survive the walk across the lobby.
Someone else will step out of the elevator
on a different floor, different company,
different industry, different agenda,
different obstacles, different opportunities,
different priorities, different purpose...
Saturday, 26 June 2021
they charged across Africa and Asia,
massacring 'the natives', burning villages,
looting temples, seizing land :-
the British in Nigeria, the French in Niger;
the British in Rhodesia, the French in Algeria,
the Belgians in the Congo, the Germans then the French
in Kamerun and Togo, with missionaries at hand.
The British bombed the Kurds, transported Indians
as 'indentured labour' to the Caribbean (already full of slaves),
the French abducted half a million 'savages'
from the banks of the Ubangi to build their Congo railway.
The British blazed away in India, the French in Indo-China,
the Dutch in Indonesia, the Belgians in the Congo,
the Belgians in the Congo,
the Germans in Deutsch Ostafrika
(now Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi ),
and the British (followed by the Japanese) in China.
Genocide on genocide carried out the length
and breadth of the Americas by the English, Scots
and Irish, Spanish, Portuguese and French...
Those greedy civilising hypocrites
and murderous moral cretins
now indulge in outrage at China's
'pacification' of Uighurs and Tibetans.
Friday, 25 June 2021
Thursday, 24 June 2021
"Let me tell you this:
if you meet a loner,
no matter what they tell you,
it's not because they enjoy solitude.
It's because they have tried before to blend into the world,
and people continue to disappoint them."
Jodi Picoult - My Sister's Keeper.
But aloners enjoy solitude.
It mitigates the disappointment.
Wednesday, 23 June 2021
Having had measles and chicken-pox
(but not scarlet fever) and had the opportunity
to escape from school for a week or so
to read Conan Doyle and E.A. Poe
and The Wind in the Willows while I was recuperating,
I'm glad there was no vaccine when I was young.
What we (and the planet) really need
and will never get, is MMM inoculation.
There are even worse outrages than Vaginal Infibulation -
such as repeated gang-rape, massacres, genocide,
compulsory religion, slavery, misogyny, racism
- and war. To these I would add Mass Mental Mutilation.
Tuesday, 22 June 2021
On this freaky and paltry planet
wandering round a trifling star
in a middling sort of galaxy
a freaky species - the first with intentionality -
is well on its way to achieving
a minor episode of extinction.
The last (major) extinction
millions and millions of years ago
took millions of years of tectonic upheavals
and slidings, vast volcanic eruptions, meteor-impact,
dramatic (but slow) global warming and cooling,
but the current little extinction didn't get going
until about 200 years ago and might take
less than 100 years more of wanton pollution,
pandemics, bio-breakdown and war.
Is this a record ? I ask
my young friend, the plesiosaur.
Monday, 21 June 2021
Sunday, 20 June 2021
Bread, with its intensive, uncertain,
back-breaking cultivation, came a very long time ago,
when and where there were no bananas, broccoli,
asparagus, artichokes, cabbages, leeks, brussels sprouts,
courgettes, squashes, tomatoes, avocados, goji, oranges,
nectarines, apricots, plums, apples, cherries, pears...
rice or maize or quinoa, seaweed, seakale, spinach...
And yet people insist on eating bread, which now depends
on vast industries of seed-hybridisation (and patenting),
of machinery devoted to ploughing, planting, harrowing,
spraying, cutting, separating, winnowing, milling,
marketing, baking, marketing, transporting,
when they and the planet would be better off -
if we would only tell each other and our children to eat
all those fruits and vegetables which have been
developed since the start of the malign
and divisive dictatorship of wheat.
Bread is a complicated cultural artefact like language or religion
- and is just as toxic to the biosphere as the industry of meat.
Sic transit stultitia humana.
Leavened bread and alcohol both depend on yeast.
Bread and alcohol together constitute a feast.
Saturday, 19 June 2021
because democracy created capitalism,
then consumerism, and nobody wants
to reduce their standard of living
(which they think is quality of life)
and dependence on things,
even on swindles like bottled water.
Only enlightened dictators can possibly
avert the holocaust to come. Unfortunately
there have never been any Philosopher Kings.
And so Planet Earth limps on
like a lamb to the slaughter.
Friday, 18 June 2021
I am always saving paper, writing on the backs of scraps and cut-up cardboard packaging. Thanks to Google and Duck-Duck-Go I found this statistic :
Click to enlarge. If it doesn't show properly, click here
and scroll down.
the average office worker in the UK uses up to
45 pieces of paper per day, and a staggering two-thirds of that is considered to be waste.
Thursday, 17 June 2021
by life - even though I regret my birth.
I never had much motivation
to search for love in bars or plazas
social gatherings or nooks
upon this sorry earth.
What I sought was inspiration,
which I found in books
was wicked only to me
(his sister's awkward bastard)
because he did not like shy,
wussy, left-handed little boys.
He was a medical practitioner,
a family doctor who used to make tea
for his elderly patients,
light their fires in winter
and take an interest in them.
He or his practice-partner often knew
other family members
and the family history.
But he frightened me.
It was he who prevailed
upon my mother to send me to a school
which would 'toughen me up'.
In this (I'm glad to say) he failed.
declared that there were
just two classes in the civilised world :
the naïve (or natural, spontaneous, uncorrupted)
and the sentimental (or filled with false sentiment,
hypocritical, corrupt). He was discussing poets
(presumably male), but the idea is worth expanding.
I know from experience that sentimental hearts
are mean, rococo, and that naivety in men
deprives them happily of all standing.
Wednesday, 16 June 2021
"Scientists have developed a technique to turn waste plastic bottles into the synthetic vanilla flavouring vanillin."
What then happens to the millions of litres
of unused (unusable ?) vanillin ?
And what about the millions of plastic bottles
in the middle of the Pacific.
Who will fish them out ?
Tuesday, 15 June 2021
could have done with some help from me
to 'loosen up'.
The word quack is one of many Dutch words
(as well as pronunciation-changes)
that crossed over to Britain
with William III of Orange:
Kwacksalver = a healer-spieler.
Nothing to do with Quicksilver.
Monday, 14 June 2021
A couple of months ago I discovered
that flapdoodle meant not only 'nonsense'
but (originally) was a wonderful
word for the male member or pizzle.
Codswallop is another graphic term
for the same appendage..
Today I learned that baloney is a synonym
of Bologna, a kind of spam sausage, as well
as for hogwash, bullshit, and so on...
...and on to jiggery-pokery, presumably by weenies
- from Wiener[wurst], another kind of sausage.
My new web-page of poems by
can be read here.
I discovered her only yesterday.
She is as good as Sylvia Plath.
She had a Kurdish lover.
She reminds me of Jean Rhys.
She had a break-down,
subsequently became a Baptist
and was immersed in the river Jordan.
She disowned her poems
presumably because she thought them louche
But where did Jesus shit ?
There are no relics.
Sunday, 13 June 2021
as I like the word WHOLESOME,
but there is a noxious miasma of a word
which I greatly dislike.
If only we could replace LOVE
(unstable, hormonal, irrational,
with GENTLE FONDNESS
we might release each other
from the inane evils
of the soggily amorous.
[see also a previous blog]
"Thank you for the love !" said ex-king Trump to his fans.
which occurs nine calendar months
after my birth day : the feast day
of St Anthony of Padua
who had a pet pig.
Name-days used to be celebrated,
especially in Russia, when everyone
was named after an archangel or a saint.
Now we are much more egotistical,
and allegedly more 'individual'.
This is not true.
Sheeple breed in their billions,
individuals are very few.
[Sant’Antonio da Padova, original name Fernando Martins de Bulhões, (born 1195, Lisbon, Portugal—died June 13, 1231, Arcella, Verona; canonized 1232; Franciscan friar, doctor of the church, and patron of the poor. Padua and Portugal claim him as their patron saint, and he is (bizarrely) invoked for the recovery or return of lost property.]
Saturday, 12 June 2021
is neither artificial nor intelligent,'
writes Kate Crawford of Microsoft Research.
It is made from rare natural resources (e.g. lithium mines),
uses vast amounts of electricity
and large numbers of people
(mostly badly paid and non-unionised)
who perform the (mostly menial)
tasks that make the systems seem
automatic and autonomous.
It is just a new kind of resource-devouring slavery.