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Sample Jury Questions:
14. Where were you born ?
Near the Atlantic Ocean.
39. While in school, what was your favorite subject ?
40. What was your least favorite subject ?
49. Spouse-partner’s place of birth ?
N/A — also the compound ‘spouse-partner’ makes me think of mice.
142. Have you ever had any personal interaction with a celebrity ( such as writing a celebrity a letter, receiving a letter or photograph from a celebrity, or getting an autograph from a celebrity ) ? Yes? No ? If yes, please explain:
As a child I once wrote to an author. Got a form reply too.
145. Please name the person for whom you are a great fan and describe why you are a fan of that person ?
Are you hitting on me, or something ?
161. Do you have any affiliation with professional sports ?
Define affiliation; define professional; define sports; define never in a million years.
162. Have you ever experienced domestic violence in your home, either growing up or as an adult ? Please describe the circumstances and the impact it has had upon you.
Hit as a kid. No impact by now. The ashes cool.
172. Do you think using physical force on a fellow family member is sometimes justified ?
Certainly; s’pose they come at you with a knife ?
184. How do you feel about interracial marriage ?
186. Have you ever dated a person of a different race ? Yes ? No ? If yes, how did you feel about it ?
191. When you were growing up, what was the racial and ethnic make-up of your neighborhood ?
The Celto-Saxon branch of the Nordic Race; white English. Prot in a catholic school.
193. Before the Simpson case, did you read any book, articles or magazines concerning DNA analysis ?
201. Do you have a religious affiliation or preference ? Yes ? No ? If yes, please describe. How important would you say religion is in your life ? Would anything about your religious beliefs make it difficult for you to sit in judgement of another person ? Yes ? No ? Possibly ? How often do you attend religious services ?
b/ Faith informs but does not dictate.
c/ Not in the least.
202. What is your political affiliation ? ( Please circle ) 1. Democrat 2. Republican 3. Independent 4. Other ( please specify )
 Absolute monarchist by hereditary primogeniture [ Legitimist ].
203. Are you currently registered to vote ? Yes ? No ?
204. Did you vote in the June, 1994 primary elections ? Yes ? No ?
I have never voted. Voting is bad.
205. Do you consider yourself politically: Active ? Moderately active ? Inactive ?
211. Have you ever provided a urine sample to be analyzed for any purpose ? Yes ? No ? If yes, did you feel comfortable with the accuracy of the results ? Yes ? No ?
212. Do you believe it is immoral or wrong to do an amniocentesis to determine whether a fetus had a genetic defect ? Yes ? No ? Don’t have an opinion ?
Never thought about it. Seems a good idea.
213. Have you or anyone close to you undergone amniocentesis ?
215. Did you take science or math courses in college ?
See 40. above.
222. Do you have ( please check ) Security bars ? Alarms ? Guard dog ? Weapons for self-protection ?
d/ Various items coyly scattered here and there, [ However if threatened by an intruder I would instantly use what is to hand until they stopped twitching and life itself had fled. Prolly not my computer monitor, though, as it weighs 60lb. ]
230. Have you ever seen a crime being committed ( other than where you were the victim ) ? If yes, how many times and what kind of crime(s) ?
244. What type of books do you prefer ? ( Example: Non-fiction ? Historical ? Romance ? Espionage ? Mystery ? )
248. Have you ever written a letter to the editor of a newspaper or magazine ? Yes ? No ? If yes, what was the subject matter of your comment:
b/ Pointing out that the use of the stunningly correct phrase ‘Let Justice be done though the heavens fall‘ was being verminously interpreted into an utterly opposite meaning to it’s true reality. Which is that you should go to the max, never blink, and damn the torpedoes.
249. Do you watch any of the early evening “tabloid news” programs ? Such as “Hard Copy,” “Current Affair,” “American Journal,” etc.
*blinks* I think we have very different interests.
251. Which television news shows do you enjoy watching on a regular basis ?
Old Clinton era American sitcoms on my computer. Nothing else.
252. What are your leisure time interests, hobbies and activities ?
This and that. Might I ask why you want to know ?
254. What accomplishments in your life are you most proud of ?
Nothing. Pride is a vanity utterly beneath me. Every day in every way I grow more and more supercilious, though.
255. What groups or organizations do you belong to now or have you belonged to for a significant period of time in the past ? ( For example, bowling leagues, church groups, AA, Sierra Club, MECLA, National Rifle Association, ACLU, YWCA, PTA, NAACP, etc. )
Some Stuartist interest societies, and some wargames organisations. I was never a member of the Party.
257. Are there any charities or organizations to which you make donations ? Yes ? No ? If yes, please list the organizations or charities to which you contribute:
b/ Certainly not.
265. Are you a fan of the USC Trojans football team ?
You made that name up, right ?
270. How many hours per week do you watch sporting activities ?
271. Name the last three sporting events you attended.
Does school count ?
273. What are your favorite sports ? Why ?
Anything which involves sportsmen and spectators being quietly and painlessly killed en masse. Or at least quietly.
274. Name the most significant sport figure, sport program, or sporting event scandals you recall.
Back in the twenties I believe there was a baseball team in Brooklyn who threw matches or something. There was a film about it. A very dull film.
275. Does playing sports build an individual’s character ? Yes ? No ? Please explain your answer whether you answer yes or no:
About as much as does habitual masturbation.
276. Do you seek out positions of leadership ? ( Please check answer ) Always ? Often ? Seldom ? Never ?
Always if offered.
277. Please name the three public figures you admire most.
You’re joking, aren’t you ?
281. Do you own any special knives ( other than for cooking ), such as hunting or pen knives ?
Yes. But not for stabbing ex-wives with.
285. Would you like to be a juror in this case ?
Boredom is the most integral part of life; so why not ?
Back many, many years ago, there was a celebrated case of a sportsman accused of murdering his wife and her friend; I would refrain from uttering any opinion as to his guilt or innocence, because, frankly, how the hell would I know ? If the affable Mr. Simpson visited, I guess I might hide the knife-drawer though, as we say in my country. Anyway, he was tried and acquitted; various white racialists vocally forming the idea that this was due to the vast majority of the jury being black — which is dubious at best: the main reason undoubtedly being that an equal majority were women; with a strident female prosecutor of doubtful ability. It was after all, a case difficult for a prosecutor to lose.
Among other loopy American law procedures — such as judges being elected from the community of those who are liable to be judged; or insane sentences that exceed life-length by a factor of 10 or more [ outdone by the similar Spanish who hopefully sentence terrorists to 40,000 years ] — is the odd idea of Voir dire whereby both prosecution and defence have the extraordinary power of selecting/rejecting putative jurors; packing juries has an old and honourable history in most jurisdictions, but only in political cases: in ordinary trials you take what you are given. In this case the procedure took 250 potentials and two months. To aid the winnowing, the prospectives were issued with a book of questions. It is a sobering thought that had I been there and answered these thus I might have been chosen. Were I black, female and mentally retarded of course.
There were 294 of these ridiculous questions.
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The Barefaced Cheek — Morals [ Who Needs 'Em ? ]
‘Like angels appearing in the sky, whales are proof of God.’The Whales by Cynthia Rylant Print This Post
Whales are supposed to live from 50 to 90 odd years, bearing in mind that they have no other predators than man — and since that is a recent phenomenon, it rather proves that for millions of years being at the top of the feeding chain with no enemies doesn’t necessitate population over-explosion as with humans — although men’s methods of slaughter cause so unbelievably violent a death it’s difficult to imagine a worse predator even in nature [ "If we can imagine a horse having two or three explosive spears stuck in its stomach and being made to pull a butcher's truck through the streets of London while it pours blood into the gutter, we shall have an idea of the method of killing." Dr. Harry Lillie ]; however, the discovery of a time-delay bomb last utilised in the 1880s in a whale murdered last year has led to suggestion that these profound creatures may live up to two centuries.
There’s nothing much that can be done to ensure whales survive — barring ceasing virtually all forms of human interaction, not limited to hunting, which could, after all, be said of most species. Up in the sky however, the silvern whales created by Graf v. Zeppelin are due a comeback. Safer than one can imagine — until the Hindenburg affair ( which might have been sabotage ), up to half a million passenger flights passed without incident with no commercial airship ever lost; something scarcely said of planes, trains and automobiles: and even of the 104 German war-ships, despite being, uh, rather unmissable targets, only four were shot down ( 12 others were lost/damaged, mostly on the ground ) — there was last year plans to invade the North Pole on behalf of the current International Polar Year, which comes around once every 50 years much like a Papal Jubilee Year, but googling doesn’t determine whether it’s actually taking place right now; whilst the New York Times details the airy conceits of M. Jean-Marie Massaud to create a 690 ft hotel in the sky. The Germans, naturally, have been quietly continuing with sight-seeing Zeppelin rides for years. They started before WWI, and after the interlude of WWII hindered such adventurism, picked it up again a decade back.
There’s a Zeppelin Museum in Zeppelinheim; yet for more immediate, if trifling, experience, I was drawn to this pretty little indoor balloon:
And more rigorously to the delightful firm of Minizepp
, which will do one a much more robust affair up to 43 ft. Quite apart from the fact that this type of thing is what makes life more interesting, I can’t help germanically immediately considering a martial use. Should say, a medium-sized mini-ship, be painted dark grey and flown on a still night packed with explosive, controlled to drop and sacrifice it’s mechanical self when above the headquarters of the more despicable people; possibly terrorist thugs; or gangland thieves; or vivisectionists; or… Whaling Groups even. Expensive; cheaper than a jet-liner though.
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Where, where will be the birds that sing
A hundred years to come ?
The flowers that now in beauty spring,
A hundred years to come ?
The rosy lips, the lofty brow,
The heart that beats so gayly now.
Oh, where will be love’s beaming eye,
Joy’s pleasant smile, and sorrow’s sigh,
A hundred years to come ?
Who’ll press for gold this crowded street,
A hundred years to come ?
Who’ll tread yon church with willing feet
A hundred years to come ?
Pale, trembling age. and fiery youth,
And childhood with its brow of truth;
The rich and poor, on land and sea.
Where will the mighty millions be
A hundred years to come ?
We all within our graves shall sleep
A hundred years to come;
No living soul for us will weep,
A hundred years to come,
But other men our lands shall till,
And others then these streets will fill,
And other birds will sing as gay,
And bright the sun shine as to-day,
A hundred years to come.
William Goldsmith Brown : A Hundred Years To Come
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, The Building Blocks of Democracy
, The King of Terrors
In the year 1598 AD, Portuguese sailors landing on the shores of the island of Mauritius discovered a previously unknown species of bird, the Dodo. Having been isolated by its island location from contact with humanity, the dodo greeted the new visitors with a child-like innocence. The sailors mistook the gentle spirit of the dodo, and its lack of fear of the new predators, as stupidity.
Sculpture by Gustav Gonne
About 1638, as I walked London streets, I saw the picture of a strange fowle hung out upon a clothe and myselfe with one or two more then in company went in to see it. It was kept in a chamber, and was a great fowle somewhat bigger than the largest Turky Cock, and so legged and footed, but stouter and thicker and of a more erect shape, coloured before like the breast of a young cock fesan, and on the back of dunn or dearc colour. The keeper called it a Dodo, and in the ende of a chymney in the chamber there lay a heape of large pebble stones, whereof hee gave it many in our sight, some as big as nutmegs and the keeper told us that she eats them ( conducing to digestion ), and though I remember not how far the keeper was questioned therein, yet I am confident that afterwards shee cast them all again.
Sir Hamon L’Estrange
[ A normal royalist who wrote a life of the Great King, and father of Roger, an extreme royalist journalist who battled against usurping filth in youth and age; and even gave the Dr. Goebbels of the Commonwealth, the depraved Johnny Milton a metaphorical drubbing. Goebbels without the charm, of course; for he was as inferior to the good doctor as his unspeakable master was to his tedious disciple Adolf. ]
It is near dusk in The Hague and the light is that of Frans Hals, of Rembrandt. The Dutch royal family and their guests eat and talk quietly in the great dining hall. Guards with halberds and pikes stand in the corners of the room. The family is arranged around the table; the King, Queen, some princesses, a prince, a couple of other children, and invited noble or two. Servants come out with plates and cups but they do not intrude.
On a raised platform at one end of the room an orchestra plays dinner music—a harpsichord, viola, cello, three violins, and woodwinds. One of the royal dwarfs sits on the edge of the platform, his foot slowly rubbing the back of one of the dogs sleeping near him.
As the music of Pachelbel’s Canon in D swells and rolls through the hall, one of the dodos walks in clumsily, stops, tilts its head, its eyes bright as a pool of tar. It sways a little, lifts its foot tentatively, one then another, rocks back and forth in time to the cello.
The violins swirl. The dodo begins to dance, its great ungainly body now graceful. It is joined by the other two dodos who come into the hall, all three in sort of a circle.
The harpsichord begins its counterpoint. The fourth dodo, the white one from Réunion, comes from its place under the table and joins the circle with the others.
It is most graceful of all, making complete turns where the others only sway and dip on the edge of the circle they have formed.
The music rises in volume; the first violinist sees the dodos and nods to the King. But he and the others at the table have already seen. They are silent, transfixed—even the servants stand still, bowls, pots and, kettles in their hands forgotten.
Around the dodos dance with bobs and weaves of their ugly heads. The white dodo dips, takes half a step, pirouettes on one foot, circles again.
Without a word the King of Holland takes the hand of the Queen, and they come around the table, children before the spectacle. They join in the dance, waltzing ( anachronism ) among the dodos while the family, the guests, the soldiers watch and nod in time with the music.
Howard Waldrop’s most famous story: The Ugly Chickens; which can be found here. In a most irritating layout.
“Let us mention the Dodo whose body is big and round. His corpulence gives it a slow and lazy walk. There are some nearing 50 pounds in weight. Its sight is of more interest than its taste and he looks melancholic as if he was sorry that Nature had given him such small wings for so big a body. Some have their head capped with a dark down, some had the top of their head bald and whitish as if it had been washed.They have a long and curved bill with the nostrils openings half way to the tip. It is greenish yellow. Their eyes are round and shiny and they have a fluffy plumage. Their tail looks like the sparsely beard of a Chinese made up of three or four short feathers. Their feet are thick and black and their toes powerful. They have a fiery stomach allowing them to digest stones like ostriches do”
Teylandt’s Mauritius — mentioned on a page: Le musée du Dodo
Pieter Withoos — Reunion Dodo with friends
A Dodo Blog; the Dodohaus; some 1850 notes here; a newspaper article here, and a creationist view there. Which last ends rather correctly:
Now that the bird has been extensively studied, we realize that the facts do not support the evolutionary myth, but do support the moral bankruptcy of humankind.
Roelandt Savery – Dodo
The sentimental view of animals, that they are created for our purpose, and the mechanistic view that we are all animals and thus anything we do to them is merely one species outsmarting another come together in self-loving smug congratulation to justify any atrocity. As is only commonplace. It’s fairly difficult for most people to realise that, as with humans, animals are by no means equal, yet are each an individual: and as individual souls they get from God an individual respect which we need to emulate to act correctly. As difficult as it is for the birds of the air and beasts of the land to remember the most important thing when they see a human: Run like Hell.
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Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong
Farewell, farewell to thee.
Macpherson’s rant will ne’er be lang
On yonder gallows tree.
Sae rantingly, sae wantonly
Sae dauntingly gaed he
He played a tune an’ he danced aroon
Beneath the gallows tree.
It was by a woman’s treacherous hand
That I was condemned to dee
Beneath a ledge at a window she stood
And a blanket she threw o’er me.
Well the laird o’ Grant, that highlan’ sa’nt
That first laid hands on me
He played the cause on Peter Broon
To let Macpherson dee.
Untie these bands from off my hands
And gie to me my sword
There’s nae a man in a’ Scotland
But I’ll brave him at a word.
There’s some come here to see me hanged
And some to buy my fiddle
But before that I do part wi’ her
I’ll brak her thro’ the middle.
He took the fiddle into both his hands
And he broke it o’er a stone
Says there’s nae other hand shall play on thee
When I am dead and gone.
O, little did my mother think
When she first cradled me
That I would turn a rovin’ boy
And die on the gallows tree.
The reprive was comin’ o’er the brig o’ Banff
To let Macpherson free
But they pit the clock a quarter afore
And hanged him to a tree.
Robert Burns : MacPherson’s Farewell
Hamish Imlach — McPherson’s Farewell
The following non-vocal arrangement has blank screen, so I’ve kindly provided some Scots dancing in the final video; although not of that misfortunate outlaw’s farewell, rant or lament. Most dance rarely has any point, no doubt why it is meant to be the outpouring of pure joy vide Isadora Duncan’s legacy of awful modern dance [ cursorily watching, say, Fred Astaire or any tap-dancer, there suddenly comes the realisation that if the next step was opposingly different to their intent, it wouldn't make the slightest difference: which makes the whole skilful, yet utterly and inanely silly ]; however the Scots manage to invest a temporary significance into their more stately measures. No doubt as a metaphor for life.
St. Louis All Suburban Honors Orchestra — MacPherson’s Lament
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The Wind in the Willows was not my initiation into reading — the first book I was observed reading happened to be Of Mice and Men : and on review it is to be sincerely doubted that any seven-year-old would understand more than half of that — yet this was the most important book of my childhood; and nothing, absolutely nothing, can overstate the incredible importance of this work to all true English men and women. Roughly the same significance as held the Bible in the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries.
Winslow Homer — Sloop at Nassau
The wayfarer was lean and keen-featured, and somewhat bowed at the shoulders; his paws were thin and long, his eyes much wrinkled at the corners, and he wore small gold ear rings in his neatly-set well-shaped ears. His knitted jersey was of a faded blue, his breeches, patched and stained, were based on a blue foundation, and his small belongings that he carried were tied up in a blue cotton handkerchief.
When he had rested awhile the stranger sighed, snuffed the air, and looked about him.
‘That was clover, that warm whiff on the breeze,’ he remarked; ‘and those are cows we hear cropping the grass behind us and blowing softly between mouthfuls. There is a sound of distant reapers, and yonder rises a blue line of cottage smoke against the woodland. The river runs somewhere close by, for I hear the call of a moorhen, and I see by your build that you’re a freshwater mariner. Everything seems asleep, and yet going on all the time. It is a goodly life that you lead, friend; no doubt the best in the world, if only you are strong enough to lead it !’
‘Yes, it’s THE life, the only life, to live,’ responded the Water Rat dreamily, and without his usual whole-hearted conviction.
‘I did not say exactly that,’ replied the stranger cautiously; ‘but no doubt it’s the best. I’ve tried it, and I know. And because I’ve just tried it — six months of it — and know it’s the best, here am I, footsore and hungry, tramping away from it, tramping southward, following the old call, back to the old life, THE life which is mine and which will not let me go.’
‘Is this, then, yet another of them ?’ mused the Rat. ‘And where have you just come from ?’ he asked. He hardly dared to ask where he was bound for; he seemed to know the answer only too well.
‘Nice little farm,’ replied the wayfarer, briefly. ‘Upalong in that direction’ — he nodded northwards. ‘Never mind about it. I had everything I could want — everything I had any right to expect of life, and more; and here I am! Glad to be here all the same, though, glad to be here ! So many miles further on the road, so many hours nearer to my heart’s desire !’
His shining eyes held fast to the horizon, and he seemed to be listening for some sound that was wanting from that inland acreage, vocal as it was with the cheerful music of pasturage and farmyard.
‘You are not one of US,’ said the Water Rat, ‘nor yet a farmer; nor even, I should judge, of this country.’
‘Right,’ replied the stranger. ‘I’m a seafaring rat, I am, and the port I originally hail from is Constantinople, though I’m a sort of a foreigner there too, in a manner of speaking. You will have heard of Constantinople, friend ? A fair city, and an ancient and glorious one. And you may have heard, too, of Sigurd, King of Norway, and how he sailed thither with sixty ships, and how he and his men rode up through streets all canopied in their honour with purple and gold; and how the Emperor and Empress came down and banqueted with him on board his ship. When Sigurd returned home, many of his Northmen remained behind and entered the Emperor’s body-guard, and my ancestor, a Norwegian born, stayed behind too, with the ships that Sigurd gave the Emperor. Seafarers we have ever been, and no wonder; as for me, the city of my birth is no more my home than any pleasant port between there and the London River. I know them all, and they know me. Set me down on any of their quays or foreshores, and I am home again.’
‘I suppose you go great voyages,’ said the Water Rat with growing interest. ‘Months and months out of sight of land, and provisions running short, and allowanced as to water, and your mind communing with the mighty ocean, and all that sort of thing?’
‘By no means,’ said the Sea Rat frankly. ‘Such a life as you describe would not suit me at all. I’m in the coasting trade, and rarely out of sight of land. It’s the jolly times on shore that appeal to me, as much as any seafaring. O, those southern seaports ! The smell of them, the riding-lights at night, the glamour !’
‘Well, perhaps you have chosen the better way,’ said the Water Rat, but rather doubtfully. ‘Tell me something of your coasting, then, if you have a mind to, and what sort of harvest an animal of spirit might hope to bring home from it to warm his latter days with gallant memories by the fireside; for my life, I confess to you, feels to me to-day somewhat narrow and circumscribed.’
‘My last voyage,’ began the Sea Rat, ‘that landed me eventually in this country, bound with high hopes for my inland farm, will serve as a good example of any of them, and, indeed, as an epitome of my highly-coloured life. Family troubles, as usual, began it. The domestic storm-cone was hoisted, and I shipped myself on board a small trading vessel bound from Constantinople, by classic seas whose every wave throbs with a deathless memory, to the Grecian Islands and the Levant. Those were golden days and balmy nights ! In and out of harbour all the time — old friends everywhere — sleeping in some cool temple or ruined cistern during the heat of the day — feasting and song after sundown, under great stars set in a velvet sky ! Thence we turned and coasted up the Adriatic, its shores swimming in an atmosphere of amber, rose, and aquamarine; we lay in wide land-locked harbours, we roamed through ancient and noble cities, until at last one morning, as the sun rose royally behind us, we rode into Venice down a path of gold. O, Venice is a fine city, wherein a rat can wander at his ease and take his pleasure ! Or, when weary of wandering, can sit at the edge of the Grand Canal at night, feasting with his friends, when the air is full of music and the sky full of stars, and the lights flash and shimmer on the polished steel prows of the swaying gondolas, packed so that you could walk across the canal on them from side to side! And then the food — do you like shellfish ? Well, well, we won’t linger over that now.’
He was silent for a time; and the Water Rat, silent too and enthralled, floated on dream-canals and heard a phantom song pealing high between vaporous grey wave-lapped walls.
‘Southwards we sailed again at last,’ continued the Sea Rat, ‘coasting down the Italian shore, till finally we made Palermo, and there I quitted for a long, happy spell on shore. I never stick too long to one ship; one gets narrow-minded and prejudiced. Besides, Sicily is one of my happy hunting-grounds. I know everybody there, and their ways just suit me. I spent many jolly weeks in the island, staying with friends up country. When I grew restless again I took advantage of a ship that was trading to Sardinia and Corsica; and very glad I was to feel the fresh breeze and the sea-spray in my face once more.’
‘But isn’t it very hot and stuffy, down in the — hold, I think you call it ?’ asked the Water Rat.
The seafarer looked at him with the suspicion go a wink. ‘I’m an old hand,’ he remarked with much simplicity. ‘The captain’s cabin’s good enough for me.’
‘It’s a hard life, by all accounts,’ murmured the Rat, sunk in deep thought.
‘For the crew it is,’ replied the seafarer gravely, again with the ghost of a wink.
‘From Corsica,’ he went on, ‘I made use of a ship that was taking wine to the mainland. We made Alassio in the evening, lay to, hauled up our wine-casks, and hove them overboard, tied one to the other by a long line. Then the crew took to the boats and rowed shorewards, singing as they went, and drawing after them the long bobbing procession of casks, like a mile of porpoises. On the sands they had horses waiting, which dragged the casks up the steep street of the little town with a fine rush and clatter and scramble. When the last cask was in, we went and refreshed and rested, and sat late into the night, drinking with our friends, and next morning I took to the great olive-woods for a spell and a rest. For now I had done with islands for the time, and ports and shipping were plentiful; so I led a lazy life among the peasants, lying and watching them work, or stretched high on the hillside with the blue Mediterranean far below me. And so at length, by easy stages, and partly on foot, partly by sea, to Marseilles, and the meeting of old shipmates, and the visiting of great ocean-bound vessels, and feasting once more. Talk of shell-fish ! Why, sometimes I dream of the shell-fish of Marseilles, and wake up crying !’
‘That reminds me,’ said the polite Water Rat; ‘you happened to mention that you were hungry, and I ought to have spoken earlier. Of course, you will stop and take your midday meal with me ? My hole is close by; it is some time past noon, and you are very welcome to whatever there is.’
‘Now I call that kind and brotherly of you,’ said the Sea Rat. ‘I was indeed hungry when I sat down, and ever since I inadvertently happened to mention shell-fish, my pangs have been extreme. But couldn’t you fetch it along out here ? I am none too fond of going under hatches, unless I’m obliged to; and then, while we eat, I could tell you more concerning my voyages and the pleasant life I lead — at least, it is very pleasant to me, and by your attention I judge it commends itself to you; whereas if we go indoors it is a hundred to one that I shall presently fall asleep.’
‘That is indeed an excellent suggestion,’ said the Water Rat, and hurried off home. There he got out the luncheon-basket and packed a simple meal, in which, remembering the stranger’s origin and preferences, he took care to include a yard of long French bread, a sausage out of which the garlic sang, some cheese which lay down and cried, and a long-necked straw-covered flask wherein lay bottled sunshine shed and garnered on far Southern slopes. Thus laden, he returned with all speed, and blushed for pleasure at the old seaman’s commendations of his taste and judgment, as together they unpacked the basket and laid out the contents on the grass by the roadside.
The Sea Rat, as soon as his hunger was somewhat assuaged, continued the history of his latest voyage, conducting his simple hearer from port to port of Spain, landing him at Lisbon, Oporto, and Bordeaux, introducing him to the pleasant harbours of Cornwall and Devon, and so up the Channel to that final quayside, where, landing after winds long contrary, storm-driven and weather-beaten, he had caught the first magical hints and heraldings of another Spring, and, fired by these, had sped on a long tramp inland, hungry for the experiment of life on some quiet farmstead, very far from the weary beating of any sea.
Spell-bound and quivering with excitement, the Water Rat followed the Adventurer league by league, over stormy bays, through crowded roadsteads, across harbour bars on a racing tide, up winding rivers that hid their busy little towns round a sudden turn; and left him with a regretful sigh planted at his dull inland farm, about which he desired to hear nothing.
By this time their meal was over, and the Seafarer, refreshed and strengthened, his voice more vibrant, his eye lit with a brightness that seemed caught from some far-away sea-beacon, filled his glass with the red and glowing vintage of the South, and, leaning towards the Water Rat, compelled his gaze and held him, body and soul, while he talked. Those eyes were of the changing foam-streaked grey-green of leaping Northern seas; in the glass shone a hot ruby that seemed the very heart of the South, beating for him who had courage to respond to its pulsation. The twin lights, the shifting grey and the steadfast red, mastered the Water Rat and held him bound, fascinated, powerless. The quiet world outside their rays receded far away and ceased to be. And the talk, the wonderful talk flowed on. — or was it speech entirely, or did it pass at times into song — chanty of the sailors weighing the dripping anchor, sonorous hum of the shrouds in a tearing North-Easter, ballad of the fisherman hauling his nets at sundown against an apricot sky, chords of guitar and mandoline from gondola or caique ? Did it change into the cry of the wind, plaintive at first, angrily shrill as it freshened, rising to a tearing whistle, sinking to a musical trickle of air from the leech of the bellying sail ? All these sounds the spell-bound listener seemed to hear, and with them the hungry complaint of the gulls and the sea-mews, the soft thunder of the breaking wave, the cry of the protesting shingle. Back into speech again it passed, and with beating heart he was following the adventures of a dozen seaports, the fights, the escapes, the rallies, the comradeships, the gallant undertakings; or he searched islands for treasure, fished in still lagoons and dozed day-long on warm white sand. Of deep-sea fishings he heard tell, and mighty silver gatherings of the mile-long net; of sudden perils, noise of breakers on a moonless night, or the tall bows of the great liner taking shape overhead through the fog; of the merry home-coming, the headland rounded, the harbour lights opened out; the groups seen dimly on the quay, the cheery hail, the splash of the hawser; the trudge up the steep little street towards the comforting glow of red-curtained windows.
Lastly, in his waking dream it seemed to him that the Adventurer had risen to his feet, but was still speaking, still holding him fast with his sea-grey eyes.
‘And now,’ he was softly saying, ‘I take to the road again, holding on southwestwards for many a long and dusty day; till at last I reach the little grey sea town I know so well, that clings along one steep side of the harbour. There through dark doorways you look down flights of stone steps, overhung by great pink tufts of valerian and ending in a patch of sparkling blue water. The little boats that lie tethered to the rings and stanchions of the old sea-wall are gaily painted as those I clambered in and out of in my own childhood; the salmon leap on the flood tide, schools of mackerel flash and play past quay-sides and foreshores, and by the windows the great vessels glide, night and day, up to their moorings or forth to the open sea. There, sooner or later, the ships of all seafaring nations arrive; and there, at its destined hour, the ship of my choice will let go its anchor. I shall take my time, I shall tarry and bide, till at last the right one lies waiting for me, warped out into midstream, loaded low, her bowsprit pointing down harbour. I shall slip on board, by boat or along hawser; and then one morning I shall wake to the song and tramp of the sailors, the clink of the capstan, and the rattle of the anchor-chain coming merrily in. We shall break out the jib and the foresail, the white houses on the harbour side will glide slowly past us as she gathers steering-way, and the voyage will have begun ! As she forges towards the headland she will clothe herself with canvas; and then, once outside, the sounding slap of great green seas as she heels to the wind, pointing South !
‘And you, you will come too, young brother; for the days pass, and never return, and the South still waits for you. Take the Adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes !’ ‘Tis but a banging of the door behind you, a blithesome step forward, and you are out of the old life and into the new ! Then some day, some day long hence, jog home here if you will, when the cup has been drained and the play has been played, and sit down by your quiet river with a store of goodly memories for company. You can easily overtake me on the road, for you are young, and I am ageing and go softly. I will linger, and look back; and at last I will surely see you coming, eager and light-hearted, with all the South in your face !’
Kenneth Graham : The Wind in the Willows
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at 4:30 am
Puppetry over here was mainly confined to the rather dismal exploits of Punch and Judy. Over in Sicily though it was, and is, rather more swagger. A richer cultural life despite the poverty, and a stern tradition of memorising friends and neighbours for deathworthy offence, together with evergreen recollections of one of the major cultural enemies of Christendom — the Barbary states kept this alive until fairly recently by frequently removing Sicilians, and others as far as Ireland and points north, to become slaves in what was, mainly, all things considered, mainly a vast slave plantation just called Islam — made their pupi quite resplendent.
Opera dei pupi Siracusa
Pupi Siciliani dei Fratelli Napoli di Catania
Opera dei pupi Puticchio
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Recently, a terrifying and heart-rending plea manifested from some poor girl in the toils of the pop-up curse:
Please help me im crying my eys out plz i beg u ???
i went on to msn website and al these pop ups came up and started downloading stuff rght now and it donloaded smething called **** and *** his porn thing and my back ground ent red with this bull on it and i dont no wat to doit wont let me anything andit comes up windows virus thing is not up 2 date help me i am only 12 and my dad will kill me if he found out help me !! pz =::::::::(
This is actually quite sad, and it would be entirely inappropriate to feel a lack of appropriate emotion; particularly the presumed reaction of the noncomprehending pater familias — which really… I mean, you’d think by now… I mean, she’s just a girl; and also thus can scarcely be suspected of seeking sex sites. Which is actually serendipity on the modern day web, In Soviet Russia, Sex Sites Seek You ! Also, it’s difficult to recall, how to a child things which are both minor, and always voided by time, assume gut-wrenching importance. However, hearts may cease their frantic struggle like little birds caught in the hideous traps of our forefathers, for this Yahoo Question [cache] is actually marked as resolved. And yet, and yet…. Surely there must be some solution to the repulsion of these — strictly reeking of yesteryear, and in the time of the Clinton Administration — weakling pop-ups and associated virii…
If only there were some clue.
If only we could guess what it might be.
Some powerful sword ‘gainst which Pop-Up Hell itself shall not prevail.
No matter how faint and delicately hued.
[ I do wish people would adhere as near as damnit to spelling conventions... ]
R.I.P. Aleksandr Isayevich
God, the Omnipotent !