The equation has changed.
Capitalism = Feudalism + Usury + Slavery
Capitalism = Feudalism + Turbo-usury + Globalism.
(Globalism involves adapted, less visible forms of slavery.)
expensive prescription drugs are pushed
through aggressive advertising
by their manufacturers - sometimes with help
from Federal authorities.
Hence the Opiate Addiction Epidemic,
which, thanks to racism, has not so badly
affected Ethnic Minorities.
(I am thinking of the teachers at my semi-public school
where I was forced to play nasty, 'manly' games
and go for runs in foul weather)
- many people
prefer the ecstasy of sarcasm
to the ecstasy of orgasm.
I wonder if anyone enjoys both ecstasies together ?
"I Care A Lot is a damning indictment of the corruption that pollutes the courts, healthcare, for-profit elderly care and, most of all, state-sanctioned guardianship, which strips the elderly and disabled folks of their agency." - (review on Rotten Tomatoes)
Audience score a mere 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, but 6.3 on Imdb.
This wonderfully dystopian (American, therefore violent), semi-satirical thriller about the criminalisation of the American healthcare system (by doctors and lawyers) has no pleasant characters. It features a lesbian relationship between two nasty-greedies, and a sexy evil Russian hairy dwarf (Peter Dinklage) who reflect the medieval prejudices of our culture.
see also: Ripping off the bereaved.
Not only am I a precursor
of the baby-boom Me-Generation,
but also, since around 1960
I have been 'assailed' continually
by reports of famines, genocides,
civil wars...not to mention
the films and books,
now e-mails and websites
devoted to 'man's inhumanity',
and so I now most conveniently in my fugitivity
have Compassion Fatigue
from mumbling ever-uselessly
at the edge of ever more catastrophes.
is that of bringing suffering
directly or indirectly into the world;
the lesser is to separate children definitively,
ineluctably according to their sex.
When I told my farmer friend
during a February heat-wave
here in southern France,
that I was pretty sure we'd have
frost in May, he laughed.
But I'm not bad at long-range
weather forecasting. This morning
the fields were sparkling white.
I was fired abruptly from my budding (and only) career
as a magazine columnist by writing, sometime around 1980
(when monster-finders switched their crusading attention
from 'homosexuals' to 'paedophiles')
that sex between men and boys was not necessarily abusive,
could be a Hellenic act of kindness and tenderness by both parties
- and that I as a fatherless and sexually-curious boy
emotionally-abused and physically beaten at school by men,
would have welcomed an occasional kindly, gentle, hairy,
therapeutic hand on my genitals from around the age of ten.
for somebody you have never met
and do not know is utterly ridiculous.
"African Wild (or 'Painted') dogs
vote by sneezing,
deciding whether to hunt
based on a quorum of achoos.
When their leader – always female – dies,
they vote for her successor with eerie whoops and hoots.
They rarely fight and are particularly successful predators,
gleefully ripping apart live smaller prey
by each holding a limb and pulling in four directions."
I used to have a parrot that screamed
"HELP! THEY TURNED ME INTO A PARROT"
I am really a dog,
but nobody cares that I was turned into a human,
probably by anti-abortionists.
are not really theories
People who are attracted to them
are not wanting information,
simply confirmation of their prejudices.
they don't understand the randomness
of sickness or the lightning-strike.
I notice that I tend not to believe
people whose faces I do not like.
chastity is the strangest,"
wrote priapic Anatole France.
Had he not heard of serial rapists,
necrophilia, pædophilia, bestiality,
binding tight another's balls
with a leather bootlace,
and other forms of sexual cruelty ?
Chastity is no perversion -
but perhaps a kind of grace.
(Though a lot depends on what you mean
by perversion, and by chastity.)
Every day, as I get out of bed
to open the shutters
I think of my dead,
my beautiful dead.
They come back in my dreams.
Why should I push them out of my head,
my beautiful dead ?
The first was my fierce grandmother's
beautiful corpse on her bed
whom I lay on and kissed in the hope
that she'd wake up before her soul fled.
(I was ten at the time.)
I stroked all their corpses,
my beautiful dead -
my aunt and my mother, my dogs -
all except one who was murdered.
The last one I killed because he had killed
too many chickens and cats.
I buried him with his ball
in a tumbledown shed
in the wood by my house,
the last (so I hope) of my beautiful dead.
...until all the infants are dead.
Jesus had nothing to say
on environmental issues;
though he wore sandals
he was not an 'eco-freak'.
But for millennia before and after him
Nature has been turning the other cheek.
let us not do so 'positively'
according to wealth or fame,
by (estimated) carbon footprint,
the smallest of which is committed
by beggars and the poor, who receive
only the shit of the suffering we consume,
and will soon have no earth to inherit.
I might well and wholeheartedly have embraced Communism,
unaware that Lenin and Stalin (white males, like Marx)
had already destroyed it,
thus ensuring the terrible, temporary
triumph of Consumer Capitalism.
"...the colonial experience of my generation was almost wholly without violence.
It was a terror of the mind; a daily exercise in self-mutilation.
Black versus black in a battle for self-improvement."
- George Lamming, on life in the British colony of Barbados.
is the affectation of the rich
the plaything of the powerful
- Diogenes of Dunromin
*or aphorism or apothegm, if indeed there is any difference between them.
I love it when the clocks go forward
because I'm an hour closer to oblivion.
I love it also when the clocks go back
because I get an extra hour of sleep,
which is a fake oblivion,
not so mercifully final, not so terminally deep.
Michel de Montaigne, wrote:
"Instead of always looking out from me, I like sometimes
to look into me, appraise myself...taste myself...
roll about in myself."
This is the feeling of being tinglingly alive
above and below the neck, and gently
commingling with an inevitable cosmic flow,
which in the Japanese tradition is achieved
by the contemplation of suicide,
and in some other cultures is sometimes reached
by absorbing things that grow.
It is, perhaps, the opposite of 'amour-propre' and 'self-respect'
and one day may even become 'politically-correct'.
for more of Montaigne see here.
it's bizarre that a small tribe on the lower Rhine
gave their name to honesty, directness and freedom,
as well as to children all over Western Europe:
Franck, Franz, François, Françoise, Francis,
Francesco, Francesca, Francesca, Prionsias, Ffrancis,
František, Frans, Ferenc, Francine, Frances, Marie-France...
and, in the Southern Asian term Farangi,
to any European or white-skinned American.
But it took a long time for people between the Loire,
the Pyrenees and the Alps to think of themselves as French.
inside your momentous body
is magic, if your body and moment are good -
which, of course, they are not for most members
of our mad species at any given moment.
it is worth remarking that the WHO*
(and, with it, homosensuality)
as a 'psychiatric disorder' until 1990.
The world is not a stage, dear William,
but a Punch-and-Judy Show.
*World Heterosexual Oligarchy
in its ruthless drive
to separate humans from each other
(except when they have to breed)
so that each one can become
individually and remotely dependent
on supplies they do not need.
Marcel Proust lived a short time
before the fragile spider-web internet,
a time that is lost for at least
the time being - except in books
which will not last
beyond our overdue extinction,
when we will be slime
amongst our detritus and ruins
at the end of mercifully
unrecoverable tick-tock time.
by trade and walls.
Nobody civilised is free.
(taken on a visit to Los Angeles)
to the FlickR Worst Photographs of 2020 group
- which was more interesting than their
(three times larger)
Best Photographs 2020 collection.
- SO, MODERATE YOUR FUCKS !
was work: the unfortunate discovery
that some could bully others into labour
in fenced fields by the simple inculcation
of the joined-at-the-head-twin concepts
of property and inequality
through religion and morality
to keep us in our place
in time and in conformity.
"...aid to distressed countries
which would enable them to buy more goods
and by buying more goods strengthen the spiritual links..."
- Graham Greene : Our Man in Havana (1958).
some famous convents and monasteries
(Fontevrault, Clairvaux) were converted into prisons.
Perhaps in the next revolution the prisons will be
converted into monasteries and convents.
(At present, to call a French policeman an asshole (un con) in public is considered to be as great a crime as robbery with violence
and will attract a mandatory 3-month jail-sentence suspended for 5 years.)
of the declaration of Sars-Covid-2 as a pandemic,
I thought you'd like to view a landscape near you
as it may be some time after the next
modest pandemic reaches your shores
(hæmorrhagic fever, bleeding from eyes
and all other orifices, suppurating sores)
via some stressed animal or other - maybe another kind of bat
from a horribly and humanly-degraded habitat.
|photo by Rover|
Part of the 'Moral Failure of The West'
lies in its aesthetic failure to appreciate flaws,
and in its inability to value something *for* its imperfection
(Persian rugs, Japanese ceramics, broken objects, beautiful decay...)
- possibly because we're terrified that our so-vaunted culture
will pass or be swept away.
We don't regale each other any more
with stories about men (always men)
selling their souls or shadows
to Satan, Beelzebub, the greedy Source of Evil.
But every day we buy goods
online, or in a boutique, emporium or store,
which are grown, made, processed, packed
or transported by Gross Profit's ill-paid victims.
We are The Devil.
Increasingly, I feel
that I am living in a dream-world
- except that as narrator-cum-observer
in my private dreams
I never feel appalled.
I am a maladjusted changeling
on your tragic planet. Because of Covid
and a lack of transport
I cannot get back to Beta Cynotopia.
But thanks for your financial support.
to be a terrorist
than to eat meat -
unless you are
a meat-eating terrorist.
According to French custom
I rented this grave for thirty years
in a leafy corner of a graveyard fifteen years ago,
thinking that I'd be in it by now.
I may never be in it, for I have also willed my body
to the Toulouse medical faculty, who of course
will be at liberty to refuse it
if it has putrefied too much for them to use.
|Helleborus niger 'Midnight'|
The fewer the humans
the less the misery.
No future was ever better.
I can roll my Rs, and pronounce
the name of the former dukedom where I live
just as the locals do : Rouergue.
Perhaps, before I die, I'll be able to whistle
through my teeth. My conversation
with a blackbird yesterday
was pathetically one-sided.
It is well-known (amongst certain cultural historians and phoneticists at least)
that the modern pronunciations of French, Danish and English (at least)
were the result of speech impediments or mannerisms at royal courts, and, in the case of English, also of the importation of Dutch- and then German-speaking rulers and their courtiers and soldiers.
In modern times the speech of female, white Americans has altered very noticeably. As women more and more assert their rights and grievances, their speech has become more nasal, more penetrating, faster, and (inevitably) less clear. It sounds like souped-up Barbie-speak, and may yet evolve into Chipmunk.
Hillary Clinton is a comparatively mild example, but I find that more than half a minute of her shrieky delivery makes me turn off the radio to avoid a headache.
were replaced by anthropic gods,
who were by accident of history
squashed by the jealous Jewish God,
who slowly and unwillingly morphed
into Truth and Wisdom,
which were torn by barbed-wire,
corrupted by unfairness, greed,
ideals, hate and prejudice -
which were consumed by fire.
that more than 10% of the 320 land mammals known to have lived in Australia in 1788 are now extinct. Read more >
Ireland, of course, lost furry fauna (and most of its forests) before 1788 : wolves, bears, elks, wild pigs, beavers...so let us not scapegoat white Australians.
a little before the Spaniards,Portuguese,
and other European 'gangster scum' went to Africa,
they didn't go as greedy, bloodthirsty pirates seeking slaves
but with dignity of state in large (unwieldy and expensive)
ships loaded with porcelain and tea and silks
to offer as gift-sweeteners for trade-deals or tributes
from the darker people that they found
(whom Europeans were wont to label 'beasts'
and lesser breeds without The Law)
- and never dreamed of sending priests.
Things are a little different this time round.
This world is governed by a vast obese baby
who ages surprisingly, intolerably slowly
whose oozing rash we must lick happily
whose farts we must inhale
whose shit we must devour al dente
whose piss we swim through doggedly
whose sweat lubricates our brains
whose blood oils our machinery
whose feet crush us like acorns
whose hands manipulate us like puppets
whose eyes watch every one of us
whose ears record our ear-worms
whose genitals arouse us irresistibly
whose screaming mouth gives us
day-in, day-out and all night long
whose horns impale us
whose beard entangles us
whose perpetual infection
we happily endure
but decline to cure.
It doesn't seem so long ago
that I received at least three
personal letters a week from the postman
who drove down my muddy, rutty lane.
I had boxes of them, with carbon copies
of my replies. I typed all my letters because
handwriting has been a problem for me
ever since I was forced to use my right hand,
and consequently (in those days of metal nibs
dipped into ink) dropped blots amongst
my spidery, uneven script.
Then came ball-point pens, which teachers
and other cultural snobs resisted.
The great thing about e-mail is that I can choose
the font and size (Bookman Old Style 16 point),
add pictures as attachments
or within the text. But my desk is still covered
with scrappy little notes I sometimes cannot read
because my writing never improved after the age of eight
when I was quite inappropriately
sent to a snobby school where I too often had to do
text-copying (with fountain-pen) as punishment.
with a lot of time on their own;
perhaps they're 'hard-wired'
And maybe men are 'hard-wired'
for gang-rape, which is why they don't know
what to do when alone for long periods -
except drink and/or wank...
or kill themselves.
from Sociology wihout Evidence, the Qweir Handbook.
mentioned by Jesus
are really the easy-going, happily laid-back
who don't write Last Wills and Testaments
and have no more wish to inherit the dearth
than to become as rich as Croesus.
I don't like doors or locks.
I am a dog.
Dogs don't mind seat-belts.
I am not a dog.
me, out of the blue, if I play chess.
I can think logistically
but I can’t think strategically,
so I’m hopeless at chess
(though I like the horse and the turret).
I'm no good at draughts, but not so bad
at an African game
involving cups and pebbles or seeds.
I didn't mind coming last in
the once-a-year egg-and-spoon race,
which probably nobody plays any more,
not even sport-retards like me.
Scrabble is fun (I still have my old board
with wooden tiles) so long as I play
with someone like me who
wants to make words and is not fixated
on winning - and, of course, not on-line.
If, in another fun game, my opponent, poor soul,
would prefer me to slide down a snake
and not climb up any ladders - well,
it's up to the die or the dice, but I'd happily cheat
to help him/her to win. I'm a Born Loser
an unintentional survivor)
and lack that horrible hominid attribute
competitiveness for competitiveness' sake.
(one that is not taught in
school or Sunday-school)
Verily, it is better to be oppressed
than to rule.
and not necessarily
'written by the victors',
but, rather, by those who can write
and can write the best narrative.
good mental health
in a society based upon crude wealth
which seems to function
but is not only obviously sick
but also defines good mental health ?
it is by what befalls us,
rather than what we do
or we intend.
On Monday the government
is vaccinating people,
on Tuesday it is shooting them,
on Wednesday there's no more water,
On Thursday bombs fall -
that's how our little
devastated world will end.
has not been weird
perhaps you haven't
had a day,
says the sage who mumbles
into his beard
that there is either nothing
or too much to say.
For a long time, the title United States of America
has greatly annoyed me. It would annoy me even
if it were called The United States of North America -
for, the North American nation which we call Mexico
is in fact the United States of Mexico. So the USA
should call itself the United Anglophone States
of North America, including both Texas and Florida.
The United Kingdom sounds as if it belongs to no continent,
and indeed many people within it think so, but it is
the United Kingdom of Great Britain (England +Wales and Scotland),
with or without 'autonomous' Northern Ireland. It does not include
the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands (which the French
quite exactly call les Iles anglo-normandes).
Its name may soon have to change.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has disappeared,
leaving its core: the Russian Federation of 'autonomous' statelets and regions
and cities all known as Subjects - such as Tatarstan,
Tuva, Karelia, Komi, Chukotka, Udmurt, Magadan..., ).
Malaysia (you may be surprised to learn)
is a Federal Constitutional Monarchy
comprising thirteen states (including the Sultanate
of Brunei) and three federal territories.
Greenland (which has a rather fine flag - see below) is not a country
but an 'Autonomous Territory' (Kalaalit Nunaat)
within the Kingdom of Denmark*
(which once also embraced Norway, South Sweden and Iceland).
Venezuela is The Bolivarian Republic -
but I won't go on...
(*note that the first nation-state flag, white on red, was Danish.)
doesn't have hotels or railway-stations
but shopping-malls and private airports.
The streets are different, too:
Dirty Tricks Drive
of the ugly and vainglorious
cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris
(partially destroyed by fire in 2019)
around 1,000 oak trees between 150 and 200 years old
will be required.
Thus was Europe deforested.
(as obsolete as yesterday)
and generosity (especially of spirit)
are rare enough in times of plenty.
But when plenty depletes,
loving-kindness and generosity
shrink to some rare
- sometimes heroic - instances
(an attic here, a cellar there)
from which optimists extrapolate
(quite hypocritically) a false generality
of what we smugly call basic humanity.
But 'basic humanity' is 'get the bastards',
'an eye for an eye', and 'sauve qui peut'.
Wolves and dogs are obviously kinder
and more loving than us - without
even a shred of sentimentality.
air-freighted from the Dominican Republic cost $7 each.
Those sent by boat from the Ivory Coast cost under $3.
Mangoes by air from Peru are $4...
Who cares a damn about climate-change ?
Aggression and violence need to be justified,
as well as supported and financed,
and so 'maidens in distress'
were invented - or distressed - to justify
the the seeking out and killing
of a purely fictional dragon.
that has happened for an ideological reason –
they have all happened for practical reasons, without exception,
including the [French] revolution of 1789, and the Russian Revolution.”
- Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of France's socialist party La France Insoumise.
all species alter landscape
-some more than others.
Us more than others
for tens of thousands of years.
We didn't advance into agriculture.
We had wiped out our prey,
laid waste the generous landscape,
and so were forced to adapt
to the meanness and labour
of animal husbandry and horticulture.
to be an intellectual
you have to have a memory.
Few things stick in my vague mind -
a few facts or factoids,
a lot of ideas,
some high- and low-lights,
I comfort myself with the thought
that many intellectuals are silly,
if not actually stupid, such as
those geniuses who investigate
the beginning, and the end!
of the universe[s].
that all education -
however useful to the educated
- is indoctrination.
The greater its usefulness
the greater the indoctrination.
Plato's Academy and
provide excellent examples,
yet were probably less indoctrinating
than most educators since.
humans will not change their behaviour
to mitigate climate-change.
They won't even boycott Amazon.
But time began only this morning.There was nothing before -
(One should not judge a book by its Penguin Modern Classics cover.)
I decided - for the third time - to tackle James Joyce's Ulysses,
in the hope that my near-senility would reveal its genius.
But - again - I found it juvenile, painfully smart-ass,
pretentious, and overlaid (if not overladen) with
a not-very-pleasant kind of matey heterosexuality.
In that kind of writing, Henry Miller is better
funnier, more in-your-face - but not so allusive.
(Come to think of it, I'm not so keen on the Odyssey, either -
another Adventure Book for Boys!)
Fantastically literate, but with nothing underneath
that I could discern : literary forms without content
As for originality, Flann O'Brien's hilarious,
existentialist, surreal Third Policeman is far more readable,
far less contrived.
It might be comparing chalk with cheese, but Joyce's
Czech/German/Jewish contemporary Kafka
was 'all content', profound, and anything but a show-off.
So why is this book so revered by the Literati, the Irish
and, above all, by Americans ? Is it, like Proust
(whom I also three times found claustrophobic, unreadable even in French)
on a (deep and high) level that I'll never reach ?
Or was Joyce just lucky to have been pitied
by the unfortunate Sylvia Beach ?
The French, who love acronyms
and are a little less hypocritical,
call them EHPAD
- which almost means
Establishment for the Hiding of People in Appalling Distress:
Etablissement d'hébergement pour personnes âgées dépendantes.
is the furniture of my mind.
Some is too heavy,
some is uncomfortable,
some will collapse if sat on,
some is cluttered with other thoughts,
and none seems to go
with the social-ideological wallpaper.
There is a war of difference
between Truth and The Truth.
But not everybody knows
that they can be foes.
but I venture to suggest that
'The Secret of Happiness'
is Playfulness -
which of course involves
a continuous sense of humour,
and is brainwashed out of us
by the time we are ten,
or is regimented into Sport,
which involves no sense of humour.
Dogs, when permitted, are playful and happy
and have a sense of humour,
unless, of course, it is beaten, bored
or starved out of them.
(A Sense of Humour, of course,
is not the telling of jokes :
I have always thought that people who tell jokes
tend to lack a sense of humour,)
The Irish Republican Army, admired by Lenin,
lent money to the USSR...
Russian crown jewels were given to the Irish Republic
n exchange for $20,000, the equivalent of over $250,000 today.
The jewels were not returned for another three decades.
The Irish Free State, alas! was largely taken over
by the Catholic Church, and Socialism (let alone Marxism)
was largely excluded until Ireland had to (and was glad to) join
the European Economic Community (now European Union) in 1972.
'Banana Split' : a bus in Euston Station, London.
|photo by Mark Wilkins on FlickR|
The advertisement 'celebrates' Chiquitas, a near-monopoly
and inglorious successor to the notorious United Fruit Company
of Florida, whose record of cruel exploitation in South and Central America
can be read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiquita_Brands_International
sermonise and lecture
(usually more lengthily than I in this blog).
Women, however, (usually) don't like to nag.
a 'condition' that I 'suffer from'
and which is not yet fashionable
but soon will be.
A prison is not a Correctional Facility,
but a dysfunctional dump for the poor and disadvantaged.
*footnote: Loyal readers will remember that I spent three months in an old, overcrowded gaol in 1973.
Since I was not disadvantaged, it was an eye-opening and useful experience.
I will arise and go now into the scullery,
and a small omelette cook there of magic mushrooms made.
Nine wines have I to choose from, and fresh stream-water free,
and a simple board with plate and damask laid...
means No (I discovered today) in current American.
But "I'm bad" or "I'm not good" seem not to mean Yes.
In French Oui means Heard.. and in Irish
there's no special word (adverb, particle, suffix, prefix or interjection) at all.
The word often pronounced (and in place-names transliterated)
big (beag) in Irish...means small.
|Irish pub: The Wee (small) House,|
Being a half-pint pansy
I have rarely "been good" for a pint in a pub - or a hole in the wall.
which has one large eye for looking up
and one small eye for looking down.
and the Odd Bobtail Squid, which shoots out
luminescent snot to confuse its predators.
Quite a clown!
I abandoned obedience
and got out of their cage
and rejoiced at the shrieks of the sheeple.
I'll keep going, keep going, going on, going on -
but yesterday was better than today.
Tomorrow they will catch me
tomorrow they will kill me.
They'll look for my body and see nothing.
They'll look at my body and see nothing...
The Hurdy-gurdy Man from Schubert's bleak song-cycle Winterreise.
1. with hurdy-gurdy accompaniment.
2. the original piano version with Thomas Quasthoff accompanied by Daniel Barenboim.
There are also beautiful interpretations by Fischer-Dieskau, and with Hans Hotter and Gerald Moore,
together with the German text by Wilhelm Müller.
|Barefoot on the ice he|
stumbles here and there;
and his little coin-cup
stays forlornly bare.
Nothing on his feet, he
staggers through the cold.
No one puts a farthing
in his battered bowl.
It took me most of a morning to translate these simple lines!
is Raoui, راوي by the Algerian singer Souad Massi.
This my gloss on the lyrics:
O STORYTELLER راوي
Speak, storyteller, tell us a story.
Make it as long as War and Peace.
Tell us about people gone before,
men of infamy, women of glory.
Tell us about the Thousand Nights and a Night,
A thousand and one ever-falling leaves -
Sinbad and Odysseus on their stormy Sea of Stories,
Sheherazade, Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves,
Start your story, start your story,
Take us away from our misery,
Let it briefly stop being the main part
Of our story. Tell your story, tell your story,
There's a story in everyone's heart.
Tell your story, tell your story,
There's a terrible story in everyone's heart.
Tell your story, tell your story,
There's a wonderful story in everyone's heart.
Start telling while forgetting that we have grown up,
Imagine us as children trusting,
Not knowing what is and what is not crime.
Tell us everything, everything, but keep us
'Once upon a time'.
Nation States are like Backward Children
mainly because politicians
are backward and backward-looking -
which is one reason why they keep talking
about going forward.
Come to think of it : human beings
(compared with dogs and bonobos)
are a 'backward' species.
Can 'evolution' be retrograde ?
that the Empress Maria Theresa
of 18th-century Austria-Hungary was
pyrophobic after a bad experience
when she was a kid.
She imposed strict laws on the building and upkeep of hay-barns,
and decreed that all tobacco-pipes
be furnished with a lid:
is that it has a murky past.
Porcelain 'shepherdesses' from Dresden
do not, of course, represent keepers of sheep,
but well-dressed courtesans (high-class sex-workers)
who, like the figurines, did not come cheap.
despite my anthropophobia
and our world-stifling sleaze
(often referred to as Our Common Humanity)
are Breakfast, Dinner, Sleep,
My Cherished Plants, my admiration
of Rats - and (of course) Trees.
[No, not masturbation !
Though it's sweet for a bit
when enhanced by cannabisation*.]
*a neat new word for the wictionary
of children's TV series featuring a man with an uncontrollable penis."
Men's 'dangly-bits' are funny not only to children
but still to me.
Which is why I could never "take sex seriously"
and used it mainly as an opportunity for fun and games
with the very few like-minded men that I was able,
with much effort, to find - in Paris, or London,
or Northern Ireland.
I guess I never left the infantile stage of sexuality,
which, along with an infantile perception
of human social reality as a miasma,
doubtless has contributed to
my social and emotional inadequacy.
Generally, I consider all of us 'a waste of space'
simply by existing, and everything we do is harmful
in some way or other. But last year the younger brother
of my only friend in the later days of my
rough schooling died - of Alzheimer's disease,
and I discovered how, although he bred three children,
he (a modern opposite of old Diogenes)
was as near as any human can get to being benign.
Others who come to mind are Diane Fossey, Jane Goodall...
but Peter Pritchard (whose fascination with snakes
I remember from 65 years ago) devoted his life to turtles,
finding them, saving them, protecting them, discovering
new species which were named after him, initiating
projects for their protection from Guyana to Vietnam.
“His life was gentle; and the elements
so mixed in him, that Nature might stand up
and say to all the world, THIS WAS A MAN !”
Dr Pritchard in his early twenties (above)
and in his sixties (below)
of how best to live,
have nearly all come across the Essays
of Michel de Montaigne, and admired
his judicious and rational integrity
both in what he wrote and in how he acted
in different official and clandestine capacities
in a time of plagues and civil war.
But his travel diary is less well-known
and equally delightful. In his year-long journey
(mostly on horseback) through Eastern France,
Southern Germany and Switzerland
to Rome, and via Lucca up through Southern France
back home (near Bergerac), he eagerly noted
local customs, local food (regretting that he hadn't
brought his cook with him) and the peaceful
variations of religion in the places that he passed.
Towns that were part of the Holy Roman Empire
allowed freedom of faith, whereas those ruled
by the Austrian Habsburgs were Catholic.
Some towns in Switzerland were Lutheran,
others followed Zwingli and were more puritan,
but almost nowhere were statues decapitated
or removed, nor organs smashed,
unlike Atlantic Europe north of the Pyrenees.
Some towns could not be entered, due to fear of plague.
And all the time M. de Montaigne, never writing
in the first person, commented on architecture,
vineyards, dress, behaviour, wildlife, beds and linen,
cutlery and comfort, and especially on all the spas
he visited to ease the bladder- and urethral pain
caused by the chronic kidney-stones which killed him
(like his father) but never complaining.
He was a one-man 16th century TripAdvisor,
but very much more entertaining.
see Fausta Garavina (Paris 1983): Montaigne, Journal de Voyage (with notes and translation into Italian)
and Waters, W.G. (William George): The journal of Montaigne's travels in Italy by way of Switzerland and Germany in 1580 and 1581 [Reprint 2020] Volume: 1 (1903)
and Marvin Lowenthal (New York 1935). The Autobiography of Michel de Montaigne: Comprising the Life of the Wisest Man of his Times: his Childhood, Youth, and Prime; his Adventures in Love and Marriage, at Court, and in Office, War, Revolution, and Plague; his Travels at Home and Abroad; his Habits, Tastes, Whims, and Opinions. Composed, Prefaced, and Translated from the Essays, Letters, Travel Diary, Family Journal, etc., withholding no signal or curious detail.
Montaigne's own vineyards (which are still producing wine) yielded up to ten thousand bottles a year.
Outrageously, there is no other English translation of his travel-diary.
In the first week of 2021
the European Union
(population 445 million)
unregretfully said goodbye to Brexit Britain,
and signed a trade deal with harshly-totalitarian China
(population almost one and a half billion),
and the newly-independent Brexitstan
(population 60 million)
signed a trade deal with totalitarian Turkey
(population 83 million).
Nobody signs trade-deals with Iran.
|Actually, Yahwé, |
I much prefer old bearded men to young beardless women.
Eve is off playing with her snake -
so I wonder if you'd care to abuse me a little ?
It will, I assure you, get bigger and harder.
when - too late - the grasping fools
realise that a wolf
is worth twenty thousand sheep,
twenty thousand sheeple.
I have never been much interested in joining groups,
and those I have joined I tend to abandon quickly,
but if I lived in faction-torn Lebanon,
I think I might start smoking a pipe again,
and join The Pipe Club of Lebanon,
seen here on one of their outings.
omáda ομάδα : bloc, team, squad, gang, troop