of suffering, revenge,
of cruelty, of spirit,
defying our banality.
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.