and possibly the best
that we can do
is to live as elegantly
Saturday, 30 April 2022
Friday, 29 April 2022
Thursday, 28 April 2022
in his unreadably snooty and detailed
novel about appalling people
(working title :The Stalactites of the Past)
is that in the loathsome Baron de Charlus
(modelled partly on the Comte de Montesquiou)
he created for generations of French people
the stereotype of 'the homosexual'.
|'Monstresquiou' : |
Cartoon of Robert de Montesquiou, after Boldini.
Wednesday, 27 April 2022
Recently, at the swap-library on the street, I picked up Nietzsche's Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality. It was sitting beside a volume by Jodi Picoult - which I'm glad I also took home.
Christianity worries me as it worried Nietzsche. How a perfectly bland, simplistic and harmless (if mealy-mouthed) doctrine, turned on its head, imbued with magic and endowed with miracles, came, through a whole series of historical accidents, to be a religion of millions and the arbiter of morality in the world, has quite simply gobsmacked me as it outraged Nietzsche. And it is not the belief in Jesus as Saviour (from Original Sin) which has vexed me, but the ordained (Hegelian) necessity of the scapegoating of Judas - which makes Christianity more primitive than the other two Abrahamic religions.
Moreover, tenderness and loving-kindness should not be preached as a Moral Duty but celebrated as spontaneous feeling, 'essential humanity'.
Nietzsche's book on the mutability of morality is simply a kind of daybook of numbered jottings. Like everything he wrote, it is pretty tedious and wordy. I think it is best dipped into once or twice a year. But I have noted down a few :
47. Words lie in our way! Wherever primitive mankind set up a word, they believed they had made a discovery. How different the truth is! they had touched on a problem, and by supposing they had solved it they had created an obstacle to its solution. [cf Wittgenstein: The world we live in is composed of the words we use.]
87. The moral miracle. In the sphere of morality, Christianity knows only the miracle... In the New Testament, the canon of virtue, of the fulfilled law, is set up: but only in such a way that it is the doctrine of impossible virtue...
222. When fanaticism is desirable. Phlegmatic natures can be inspired to enthusiasm only by being made into fanatics.
297. Ruinous. The surest way of ruining young people is to teach them to respect those who think as they do rather than those who think differently.
405. Luxury. An inclination for luxury lies in the depths of our being, and demonstrates that superfluity and excess are the waters in which our souls most like to swim.
564. Just beyond experience! Even great spirits have only a hand's breadth of experience. Beyond it their thinking stops and their endless, stupid vacuity begins.
574. Do not forget! The higher we soar, the smaller we seem to those who cannot fly.
is now ready after its three-year upgrade
to investigate new particles, black holes
and dark matter.
Of course, the real and dangerous dark matter
is human stupidity, ambition, arrogance,
stubbornness, inflexibility, purposiveness;
and human beings ourselves account for
the largest collision of black holes
in the universe.
Tuesday, 26 April 2022
Monday, 25 April 2022
Sunday, 24 April 2022
Yes, indeed - and mostly I do*.
But the population of Peru
can no longer eat their (rather tasteless)
because the trendy/veggie cuisinarians
of the rich countries to the North and East
and South-East have raised its price
well beyond that of less-nutritious rice.
*But it works both ways.
Criminally, I have bought Chilean Malbec
for $1.50 (€1,80) a bottle
at a Lidl supermarket here in France,
or at least as prestigious as Brunello di Montalcino*)
and found it better than six-times-more-expensive
Malbec of local (Cahors) provenance.
*Which I have drunk twice - in Montalcino.
in poor countries takes poor kids
away from toil and tradition.
They love it, and often see it
as a first step to emigration.
Saturday, 23 April 2022
Friday, 22 April 2022
is a detail of the lower part
of my steep acre of French woodland
on the opposite side of the little glen
to my edge-of-the-village house.
Mixed includes: oak, beech, elm, lime, holly,
spindle-tree, chestnut, elder, hazel, maple,
butcher's broom, hawthorn, blackthorn (or sloe)
- all self-sown, plus this flowering crab-apple
which I introduced 5 years ago...
of nimble roe-deer and their stodgy hunters.
Thursday, 21 April 2022
Autocrats go mad.
Oligarchs feather each other's nests
when not having each other murdered.
Military governments wreck economies.
Liberation leaders become autocrats
and rely on the military
who take power abruptly
...and after some years
establish semi-civilian oligarchies
who (of course) rule corruptly.
I think we need it more than ever
in the current climate of hypocrisy
over Russia's vicious attempt
at annexation of Ukraine.
— What about the interference of the USA
in almost every country in the world
(except Andorra, San Marino, Monte Carlo...) ?
What about its invasions of Grenada, Vietnam and Iraq ?
Its genocide of indigenous people ?
Its annexation of Texas, California, etc. ?
What about its removal of democratically-elected leaders
in Honduras and Chile ?
What about its political assassinations around the world,
its direction of the drug cartels in Mexico
to fund the overthrow of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua ?
What about its establishment of puppet regimes
in South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Guatemala ?
What about its support for horrible autocracies
on the Arabian Peninsula ?
— What about the British and French genocides
all over Africa ?
The wiping-out of Hottentots, Tasmanians ?
What about the annexation of Algeria by France
and the British carpet-bombing of the Kurds ?
—What about the Danish slave trade...
the horrors committed by the Dutch in Indonesia ?
India's economy destroyed, its people starved
its princes brought to their bejewelled knees ?
(No need to mention Germans, Spaniards, Portuguese.)
What about ?
That's what its all about.
Wednesday, 20 April 2022
Milan Kundera’s claim that “kitsch is the absolute denial of shit”
is not really true,
it is, rather, the painting of the walls of our imprisoned minds
with comforting fæces.
Nor is it just "a parody of catharsis", as declared by Adorno.
It is the double wallow of weeping over the suffering of others
and then again over our self-indulgent self-identification with the sufferers,
the cluttering of consciousness with sickly sentimentality
to ward off awareness.
Like many kids I was reduced to tears
by the kitschy Disney film,
and have hated Disney and his grotesque
all-American kitsch-factory ever since.
Understandably, I am now a coprophobe
from being thrown into that shit of kitsch.
— What ? No - I'm sorry,
I think you're looking for the other Caucasian.
The person down the corridor who looks nothing like me,
has a different last and first name, and is Moldovan.
Or, if you like, South Ruthenian.
I'm Irish (Northern), and male. She's female,
but has the same mousey-coloured hair
and big European nose and wears glasses
a different shape from mine,
so I understand your confusion.
Have a nice day!
Tuesday, 19 April 2022
in which everyone is lost for words."
- Jonathan Raban, Passage to Juneau, chapter 5.
Life, too - from a different angle.
got it right :
people are not unique and fascinating
individuals, but masses
of wobbly blancmange
which very occasionally jumps out of the mould.
Monday, 18 April 2022
Sunday, 17 April 2022
to global perdition.
The invasion of Ukraine has revealed
that Globalism is a kind of Ponzi scam
in which the least-wealthy countries
(especially in Africa) lose out.
It is a house of cards. Remove one
(Ukraine, the poorest country in Europe
but an important supplier of cheap wheat)
and the whole chain collapses,
with mass starvation in Africa.
Saturday, 16 April 2022
the best citizens are dead,
and the next-best
are safely locked up,
or occupying an expensive
Intensive Care Unit bed.
During the disastrous Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1
Gustave Flaubert (a real Mensch)
was so ashamed of being French
that he asked his friend Turgenev
about the possibility
of acquiring Russian nationality.
Friday, 15 April 2022
Thursday, 14 April 2022
Long before the film was made
we were sliding - only slightly coerced -
into the ever-restricting, grasping thought-world
of the urban, capitalist metaverse...
"The odd thing about 'strongman' leaders
is that they are often quite weak in terms of
their personal attributes and political ideas.
Vladimir Putin, in power longer than most,
comes across as an insecure, embittered little man..."
Bullies love bullies
and despise all who are not.
Wednesday, 13 April 2022
declared that to find happiness too early in life
is like contracting syphilis at puberty :
it ruins the constitution.
I think of Schubert.
children in some places
in old times wearing clogs,
were met after school
not by their parents, but their dogs.
the oldest surviving film, just 20 frames
made in Leeds (Yorkshire) in 1888 by Louis le Prince,
and featuring his family whom he simply told to 'move for the camera',
can be seen on YouTube.
Failure to realise just how *astonishing* this is
would demonstrate a very damaging
and debilitating lack of imagination.
Tuesday, 12 April 2022
People who put on performances of grief at a death
remind me of supermarket customers who watch their stash
of items pass through the check-out,
and only when handed the till-bill (or closure)
start rummaging in their bags and their wallets
for their card or their cash.
Monday, 11 April 2022
"I love you", I said...and said
on long, long brims of orgasm.
- and so I did, in a heavenly amygdalic way.
He is long dead.
armies have waged war against civilians,
sometimes, as in the case of the Russian Empire during the Great Retreat of 1915, their own civilians.
Red Army atrocities against Germans in1945 - especially in Berlin -
are well-attested. Although there were brave Soviet soldiers who refused to join in the general looting and murder,
almost every woman in East Berlin was raped.
The British are still reviled for their gratuitous violence in Ireland -
though this pales in comparison with French and Algerian atrocities
during Algeria's long and bitter bid for independence.
Then there are the Turks in Armenia, the British in Kurdistan,
the Americans in Viêt-Nam, the Pakistanis in Bangladesh,
the Dutch in Indonesia, the Japanese in Manchuria and Korea...
So why is everyone surprised
at the behaviour of the Russians in Ukraine ?
Only the most disciplined army will not perform atrocities on civilians.
Few armies are that well-disciplined.
Sunday, 10 April 2022
So we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
- Kurt Vonnegut - Mother Night.
Why do so many women want to look the same,
within a very small range of beauty-styles,
all of them bland ? Men's faces
are also stuck in old
and automatic grimaces
some of them called smiles,
adopted on demand.
'This post was unpublished because
it violates Blogger's community guidelines.'
Unfortunately, I don't know which post it refers to.
Did it contain a Naughty Word ?
Or was I advocating genocide ?
Or did I just infringe the Rules of Hypocrisy ?
But you'll all be glad that Blogger/Google protects you
from people like me.
: : : (later)
It turns out that the post was entitled
A New Definition of Capitalism,
and contained the words
But if you are reading this post
there must have been some other word or words
considered offensive to or by Right-minded
Sheople or an unconscious algorithm.
Saturday, 9 April 2022
Friday, 8 April 2022
Roman Catholicism is nearly as kind
as forms of Buddhism and Hinduism
to despised asexuals by offering
them rule-based sanctuary
(and respite from suffering)
by turning them into
nuns and monks and priests.
Thursday, 7 April 2022
almost continually, men
were fighting, or drinking, or both;
women and children were abducted
and raped, or sick and starved
and homeless, left to die or simply killed.
The only difference today
is in the numbers and sophistication
of the weapons, due to men's unstilled
in massacre and overpopulation.
(and, indeed, of the class of 'normal' sheople
who benefit from it by salary-slavery) :
Wednesday, 6 April 2022
Tuesday, 5 April 2022
the stupidest thing
you can do with wisdom,
as with a rare disease,
is to pass it on.
In 8th century Abbasid Iraq
Jews were required to wear a yellow robe.
In 20th century Nazi Germany
they were obliged to wear a yellow star.
This is, presumably, coincidence.
being made to feel stupid.
Especially not by dogs
or any of the canine kind.
Monday, 4 April 2022
while listening to the radio.
1. People, especially women.
do not pass other people
going in the same direction
and cut in front of them on foot
the way they do in cars.
2. American music is brash because
in the 19th century the music that Americans imported
and enjoyed on Sunday afternoons
was mainly the (German or English)
marching music of local brass bands -
hence John Philip Sousa (of Portuguese extraction).
who influenced the compositions
of Charles Ives and early Jazz
(which in turn led to those of Steve Reich),
and (via Franz Lehar and Gilbert & Sullivan)
Ziegfeld Follies, Showboat, the torch songs,
Oklahoma! and strident bellowings of
Annie Get Your Gun and similar razmatazz.
There is no god but
and Penis is its Prophet.
Sunday, 3 April 2022
Already, the supermarket shelves
in France are cleared of sunflower oil,
which, presumably, came from Ukraine
(no source is printed on the label).
But sunflower seeds are still available.
Saturday, 2 April 2022
have never discovered, do not understand
how the pleasure of the penis can be less than that
afforded by gentle massage of the prostate gland.
a virtual art, has trashed the planet.
Its least-harmful application has probably
been the music of Bach.
Friday, 1 April 2022
Are 'normal people'
lost on their own perimeters
afraid of looking in
lest they die of doubt -
tightly wrapped inside themselves
anxiously looking out,
hoping to see the sky ?
Or are they both ?
And if not, which am I ?
only because we fear that if we aren't
they will think we are being unfriendly.
to chokingly superficial, linear time -
which is not a string-like one-way-street
which has to be policed
by powerful, priestly chrono-louts,
but a two- or three-way thoroughfare