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And This She Did By Her Singing Fair

A notable instance of the futility of human judgement would be to blame Lorelei of the golden hair: she is how she is made, and her pitiless effects --- if unfortunate --- indicate no absence of a soul, nor malice; but rather the workings of mechanical fate and her inability to feel deeply. Of course, the forlorn sailors are equally blame-free --- except perhaps for not suppressing feeling enough.

 
The first two are of the Heine text; the third is not.

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Dorothea Fayne --- music by Friedrich Silcher

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Marcella Calabi --- music by Franz Lizst

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Dschinghis Khan


When first playing this last be careful not to view the video. In order to appreciate the complex splendour of the song it is imperative that it be not overly associated with the singers; whom excellent as they were in song, had, uh, vibrant and life-affirming tastes in costume and dance. After the song is absorbed and appreciated, then it may be safe to proceed to viewing.

 

What Has Been Seen

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And God Said, “Let There Be Blood”

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(Animals, High Germany, Literature, Places, Self Writ, Spengler)

Lingering self-respect has oftimes preserved me --- 'gainst all temptations --- from the more egregious effects of the zeitgeist of sentimentality: a modest pride holds in that I have never ever seen either It's A Wonderful Life or The Wizard Of Oz, f'rinstance. Now, Upton Sinclair was a notable story-teller, but a Hemingwayesquely poor writer --- 'What other culture could have produced someone like Hemingway and not seen the joke ?' as Gore Vidal wrote of his native land --- and his themes here are rather trite; bad capitalists... bad religion... exploiters... the family saga genre... so it's rather unlikely I shall bother to watch There Will Be Blood. Having a nearly all-male crew probably clinches it --- single sex movies suck as much as single sex communities... However the title is awfully good --- especially considering the vast importance of titling and it's common neglect --- so I tried to find from whence it came.

The Boston Globe attributed it to Byron:

Tears Like Mist

It makes good on the film's title, which may be taken from Lord Byron. "The king-times are fast finishing," he said. "There will be blood shed like water, and tears like mist. But the peoples will conquer in the end. I shall not live to see it, but I foresee it."

This is pretty painful stuff even for Byron, who ever veered precariously betwixt plodding doggerel and occasionally splendid fustian, and rarely hit the rocks of glorious lyricism. And as with Marx --- But Hubbard’s superb record for inaccuracy of statement clouded any of his positive remarks with a fog of doubt. to quote Stewart H. Holbrook on a notable capitalist of the latter's era --- it's not easy to ascertain the finished construct of the promised Paradise: presumably it will include peace, love, harmony, compulsory gender and racial equality, an incredible amount of daily uplift though one way communication, and a total absence of thought. Or, let us say, no class whatsoever.

 
Fortunately though, the probably ever-reliable China Daily gave the definitive origin:

Smite The Waters

The film's resonantly Old Testament title comes from the seventh chapter of Exodus where God, via Moses, orders Aaron to smite the waters so that "they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt". In the context of the film this biblical blood is oil, the contaminating element dealt in by its forceful central character.

The Bible is so beautiful...

 
[sarc] And God said, "Let there be Blood." [/sarc].

***

More importantly, a link from the China Daily went on to better news; in Düsseldorf the police are equipping their dogs with shoes.

Small, Medium And Large

"All 20 of our police dogs -- German and Belgian shepherds -- are currently being trained to walk in these shoes," Andre Hartwich said. "I'm not sure they like it, but they'll have to get used to it."

The unusual footwear is not a fashion statement, Hartwich said, but rather a necessity due to the high rate of paw injuries on duty. Especially in the city's historical old town -- famous for both its pubs and drunken revelers -- the dogs often step into broken beer bottles.

"Even the street-cleaning doesn't manage to remove all the glass pieces from between the streets' cobble stones," Hartwich said, adding that the dogs frequently get injured by little pieces sticking deep in their paws.

The dogs will start wearing the shoes this spring but only during operations that demand special foot protection. The shoes comes in sizes small, medium and large and were ordered in blue to match the officers uniforms, Hartwich said.

It's rarely one sees police-dogs in Great Britain --- nearly as rarely as police-horses --- but I hope they institute it here: broken glass on the streets, however, is not rare at all. [ If randomly picking up shards, I've found that one hand can hold a dozen of any size, but not more; and of course, one can only fill one hand... ]

 

Police Dog Booties

 
I was born in Düsseldorf, and that is why they call me Rolf...

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“War Is A Matter Of Expedients” Said Von Moltke">War Is A Matter Of Expedients” Said Von Moltke

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(Correctitude, High Germany, Places, The King of Terrors, War)

Manstein ordered a signal to be sent back: "Withdrawal must be stopped at once."
But the signal no longer got through. Corps headquarters did not reply any more. Count Sponeck had already had his wireless station dismantled. It was the first instance of a commanding general's dis­obedience since the beginning of the campaign in the East. It was a symptomatic case, involving fundamental principles. Lieutenant-General Hans Count von Sponeck, the scion of a Düsseldorf family of regular officers, born in 1888, formerly an officer in the Imperial Guards, was a man of great personal courage and an excellent com­mander in the field. While commanding the famous 22nd Airborne Division, which in 1940 captured the "fortress of Holland" with a bold stroke, he had earned for himself the Knights Cross in the Western campaign. Subsequently, as the commander of 22nd Infantry Division, into which the Airborne Division had been converted, he also distin­guished himself by outstanding gallantry during the crossing of the Dnieper.
The significance of the affair lay in the fact that Count Sponeck was the first commanding general on the Eastern Front who, when the attack of two Soviet Armies against a single German division faced him with the alternatives of hanging on and being wiped out or with­drawing, refused to choose the former alternative. He reacted to the Soviet threat not in accordance with Hitlerite principles of leadership, but according to the principles of his Prussian General Staff upbring­ing. This demanded of a commanding officer that he should judge each situation accurately and dispassionately, react to it flexibly, and not allow his troops to be slaughtered unless there was some compel­ling and inescapable reason for it. Sponeck saw no such reason.

 

Prussian Bridge

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Plus Royaliste Que Le Roi [ Remerciez Un Dieu ]

The cent­ral­isa­tion of the dir­ect­ing organs of roy­al gov­ern­ment and their per­man­ent estab­lish­ment in what was swiftly becom­ing the greatest city in France strengthened the admin­is­tra­tion and gave it cohe­sion, so that its dif­fer­ent sec­tions were able to agree on joint poli­cy and then move to com­mon action, pool their resources, and under­take mutu­al aid, and draw all the import­ant busi­ness of state into their hands. In these cir­cum­stances the ordin­ary routine of admin­is­tra­tion, centred on Par­is, was bound to work towards the uni­fic­a­tion of France under the mon­archy. But the king’s idea of polit­ic­al unity was not that of his offi­cials. He wished to bind his realm togeth­er with feud­al ties alone, and saw only good in the exist­ence of the great fiefs, provided that their lords scru­pu­lously per­formed their feud­al ser­vices and hon­oured their feud­al oblig­a­tions. His offi­cials wanted a single author­ity to rule in the land unchal­lenged, the author­ity which the king had del­eg­ated to them. Their devo­tion to the roy­al power was almost mys­tic­al in its intens­ity, and they regarded any lim­it­a­tion placed on it as an anom­aly which it was their duty to extirp­ate. This atti­tude became much more pro­nounced when their ranks were swollen by new col­leagues recruited from the dynasty’s newly acquired south­ern ter­rit­or­ies, where the Roman Law idea of the prince whose will alone is law reigned supreme.

They believed that the king should be abso­lute mas­ter in his king­dom, the sole foun­tain­head of legis­la­tion and justice, un­trammelled in his con­trol of the crown’s fin­an­cial and mil­it­ary resources. The means they used to these ends were far from char­ac­ter­ist­ic of their roy­al mas­ters. Although they were cap­able of dying hero­ic­ally on the field of battle, like Pier­re Flote at Courtrai, they were fun­da­ment­ally bur­eau­crat­ic, and seized on law as their indis­pens­able weapon. They developed an insa­ti­able curi­os­ity to dis­cov­er the ori­gins of any rights which con­flic­ted with those of the king and placed checks on his power. This curi­os­ity had import­ant con­sequences in a soci­ety the basis of which was the usurp­a­tion of regalian rights. The roy­al offi­cials were hos­tile to every meth­od of invok­ing for­ce to settle a dis­pute in law, and sought to abol­ish private war and the judi­cial duel. Nor would they admit any right to be estab­lished until its ori­gin had been explained and its his­tory recon­struc­ted for them. In the course of this kind of his­tor­ic­al research, they plunged into end­less dis­cus­sions of the titles sub­mit­ted to them, and fre­quently revealed that their good faith was only rel­at­ive, sub­ject­ing doc­u­ments put in evid­ence again­st them to piti­less scru­tiny, but rest­ing con­tent with dubi­ous proofs of the valid­ity of the rights they claimed for the crown.

It is not sur­pris­ing that the roy­al offi­cials incurred unpop­ular­ity in their own day and have not escaped the cen­sure of mod­ern his­tor­i­ans. Their chal­lenge to the status quo led them to be taken for revolu­tion­ar­ies, though they ima­gined their goal to be the res­tor­a­tion of the con­di­tions of a remote past. Their aver­sion to the use of for­ce and pref­er­ence for the pro­cesses of law won them the repu­ta­tion of being unscru­pu­lous and tor­tu­ous. But it is point­less for the his­tor­i­an to sub­ject them to mor­al judg­ments. What mat­ters is their achieve­ment, and that was con­sid­er­able.

Robert Fawti­er : The Capetian Kings of France

 
Kits in Charge

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Like A Bird

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(Other Writ, Poetry)

All that I know

Of a certain star
Is, it can throw

( Like the angled spar )
Now a dart of red,

Now a dart of blue;
Till my friends have said

They would fain see, too,
My star that dartles the red and the blue !
Then it stops like a bird; like a flower hangs furled:

They must solace themselves with the Saturn above it.
What matter to me if their star is a world ?

Mine has opened its soul to me, therefore I love it.

Robert Browning : My Star

 

Flying Fairy

John Simmons --- Flying Fairy
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‘Pain Is Inevitable. Suffering Is Optional’">Pain Is Inevitable. Suffering Is Optional’

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(Generalia, Other Writ, The King of Terrors)

Since he lived closest to his master, the valet was the first to feel his master's wrath; and in the service of a bad-tempered employer his life could be dog-like to a humiliating degree. Occasionally the servant rebelled. In 1840 François Courvoisier, a Swiss valet in the service of the elderly Lord William Russell, in Norfolk Street, London, found that his master was incessantly finding fault with him. One night, about twelve o'clock, Lord William rang the bedroom bell, so Courvoisier went up with a warming-pan. His master denounced him for bringing it and said he should have come up first to ask what was required. Some twenty minutes later Lord William rang again, demanded the warming-pan and told the valet to pay more attention to his duties in future. Later Lord William went downstairs, found Courvoisier in the dining-room, expressed the view he was there for no good purpose and said he would be dismissed. In the small hours the valet took a knife from the sideboard, half-decapitated his sleeping master and then went back to bed.

E. S. Turner : What The Butler Saw --- Two Hundred and Fifty Years of the Servant Problem

 
I dunno, I may despise Whigs, but geez they manage to amuse...

 
Courbet - The Meeting

"Allons, Messieur: we shall attend the Beard-Measuring Yard instanter..."
[ Gustave Courbet - The Meeting ]

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Are But Dust Beneath The Sun

Through the valleys, softly creeping
‘Mid the tree-tops, tempest-tossed,
see the cloud-forms seeking, peeping
For the loved ones that are lost.
Not for storm or sunshine resting,
Will they slacken or desist,
Or grow weary in their questing
For the children of the mist.

Where are those children hiding ?
Surely they will soon return,
In the gorge again abiding
‘Mid the myrtle and the fern.
Ah ! the dusky forms departed
Nevermore will keep their tryst,
And the clouds, alone, sad-hearted,
mourn the Children of the Mist.

E’en the wild bush-creatures, scattered,
Ere they die renew their race,
And the pine, by levin shattered,
Leaves an heir to take his place.
Though each forest thing, forth stealing,
Year by year the clouds have kissed,
Vainly are those white arms feeling
For the children of the mist.

Dead the race, beyond awaking,
Ere its task was well begun;
Human hearts that throbbed to breaking
Are but dust beneath the sun.
Past all dreams of vengeance-wreaking,
Blown where’er the tempests list.

. . .

But the cloud-forms still are seeking
For the children of the mist.

John Sandes : The Children of the Mist ( Tasmania )

 

Charles Stuart Heather
Charles Stuart --- Land of Rocks [ Etching]

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Love Was Too Plebeian

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(Melancholy, Music, Videos)

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Joe Cocker - Cry Me A River

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PC">Old Skool PC

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(Generalia, Other Writ, Self Writ, The Building Blocks of Democracy, The Enemy)

A sort of doubt has always hung around the char­ac­ter of Tol­stoy, as round the char­ac­ter of Gandhi. He was not a vul­gar hypo­crite, as some people declared him to be, and he would prob­ably have imposed even great­er sac­ri­fices on him­self than he did, if he had not been interfered with at every step by the people sur­round­ing him, espe­cially his wife. But on the oth­er hand it is dan­ger­ous to take such men as Tol­stoy at their dis­ciples’ valu­ation. There is always the pos­sib­il­ity  —  the prob­ab­il­ity, indeed  —  that they have done no more than exchange one form of ego­ism for another. Tol­stoy renounced wealth, fame and priv­ilege; he abjured viol­ence in all its forms and was ready to suf­fer for doing so; but it is not easy to believe that he abjured the prin­ciple of coer­cion, or at least the desire to coer­ce oth­ers. There are fam­il­ies in which the father will say to his child, ‘You’ll get a thick ear if you do that again’, while the mother, her eyes brim­ming over with tears, will take the child in her arms and mur­mur lov­ingly, ‘Now, darling, is it kind to Mummy to do that ?’ And who would main­tain that the second meth­od is less tyr­an­nous than the first ? The dis­tinc­tion that really mat­ters is not between viol­ence and non-violence, but between hav­ing and not hav­ing the appet­ite for power. There are people who are con­vinced of the wicked­ness both of armies and of police forces, but who are nev­er­the­less much more intol­er­ant and inquis­it­ori­al in out­look than the nor­mal per­son who believes that it is neces­sary to use viol­ence in cer­tain cir­cum­stances. They will not say to some­body else, ‘Do this, that and the oth­er or you will go to pris­on’, but they will, if they can, get inside his brain and dic­tate his thoughts for him in the minutest par­tic­u­lars. Creeds like paci­fism and anarch­ism, which seem on the sur­face to imply a com­plete renun­ci­ation of power, rather encour­age this habit of mind. For if you have embraced a creed which appears to be free from the ordin­ary dirti­ness of polit­ics  —  a creed from which you your­self can­not expect to draw any mater­i­al advant­age  —  surely that proves that you are in the right ? And the more you are in the right, the more nat­ur­al that every­one else should be bul­lied into think­ing like­wise.

George Orwell : Lear, Tol­stoy and the Fool

 
I can­not esteem the tra­gic Wal­ter Ralegh par­tic­u­larly highly, if the jury may still be out on wheth­er he was a trait­or or not he had an unfail­ing abil­ity to give bad advice, and his pom­pous Polo­ni­an — wholly unasked for by King James —  pre­cepts sug­gest­ing that the Dyn­asty recon­cile itself to par­lia­ment­ary gov­ernance would have res­ul­ted in Kings becom­ing mere feeble pup­pets of whatever fac­tion is tem­por­ar­ily in power, as it has with the present use­less grin­ning eunuchs of Wind­sor, down, down into the the noi­some abyss of true demo­cracy. Still, like many men of action includ­ing the bru­tal dic­tat­ors of the past cen­tury he had a pithy turn of phrase on occa­sion express­ing obvi­ous sense; in one debate on the Pur­it­an Men­ace he rightly poin­ted out:

That law is hard that taketh life, or sen­de­th into ban­ish­ment where men’s inten­tions shall be judged by a jury and they shall be judges of what another man meant.”

To which, more poin­tedly still, one bio­grapher adds: ‘Instead of pro­ceed­ing again­st inten­tions, Ralegh said, the law should pro­ceed again­st deed and fact; where they could be estab­lished, let the law be as harsh as neces­sary and justice would still be done.’ Bet­ter words were nev­er said, and the fact that Ralegh him­self was con­victed on deed rather than opin­ion is just another pleas­ant irony.

It can nev­er be too strongly felt that all opin­ion should be free, and that law should only con­cern itself with deeds. [ Plus the need for heavy pen­alty again­st vile deed, of course  —  *med­it­at­ively*  —  Ter­rible Swift Sword should nev­er be a mere phrase… ]

Fast-forward to our own day with ludicrous ‘Hate’ legis­la­tion to pro­tect the injured feel­ings of fools. If a def­in­ite crime has been com­mit­ted then it should receive due pun­ish­ment: it is not aggrav­ated because the act­or did it from hate; justice should ignore good or bad inten­tions and con­cen­trate solely on the action, and it’s due. For express­ing opin­ion, no mat­ter how vile, or just incit­ing oth­ers, there should be no pen­alty what­so­ever. I am not harmed if some wretched iman urges his dumb flock to mas­sacre non-muslims. I am if they act on it, and only if they act on it. If they do so, then they are the guilty, and he was merely the agit­at­or. They should have had more sense than to carry out his sug­ges­tions, and there­fore need to carry the pen­al­ties also. No-one should be blamed for thought or speech, how­ever dis­taste­ful, that does not cause palp­able injury, since to select what thoughts people should have leads to robot­ic tyranny and the para­dise of 1984.

Some years back, where I was work­ing one man was for­bid­den to talk to the cli­ents as an inter­view­er since he belonged to a pro­scribed polit­ic­al group, not that he would be offens­ive, merely that he belonged to this group. A num­ber of fellow-workers were of the opin­ion that he should not be given employ­ment at all. A pen­alty that has obvi­ously been applied to mem­bers of a num­ber of groups ranged from social­ists, nazis, com­mun­ists, jews, Irish etc. etc., and con­tin­ues as people are sacked for hold­ing views, racial­ist, com­mun­ist, insuf­fi­ciently islam­ist or pro-islamist ( depend­ing on loc­a­tion ) all around the world. The point being, that if you debar people from all employ­ment for, say, being racially big­oted; the next step is to sug­gest they should not have gov­ern­ment or state resources  —  their views being so abhor­rant  —  and may­be that they should be run out of town… The Left has a strong tra­di­tion of sug­gest­ing mor­ally objec­tion­able per­sons should be killed, or at the least dealt with by fascist-type viol­ence. In effect by deny­ing the rights of cit­izens to hold views that do not con­form to cur­rent mor­al­ity  —  usu­ally purely sub­ject­ive and emo­tion­ally held  —  one is deny­ing their rights to exist at all; and logic­ally they are then expend­able after a while.

Sir Wal­ter was leg­ally dead from his sen­tence, and reprieve, until his later exe­cu­tion; but his life in the Tower was not too bad for a pris­on­er in any age. The leg­ally dead of the future state won’t be so lucky.

 
Dingo Cat

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Blood Relative

Jam­ie stifled his yawns politely at pre­cisely three minute inter­vals dur­ing the com­puls­ory talk on blood dona­tion, his form-teacher did know that none of his fam­ily were favour­ers of this quaint prac­tice, since they had odd old-fashioned views not unlike Jehovah’s Wit­nesses on hygiene; to her relief Jam­ie did not raise these views in oppos­i­tion to the speaker’s ser­mon­ising, but actu­ally it might have been nicer if he had. Instead he obli­gingly recalled that: “one of my first cous­ins twice removed had his blood-group tat­tooed under his armpit. It must have hurt like b… awfully.” The speak­er beamed uncer­tainly, and, before vaguely drag­ging from some recess of memory in her dim little mind what this sig­ni­fied, remarked that this seemed rather excess­ively pruden­tial, but no doubt could have saved his life. His teach­er goggled palely as he replied sadly that no, he had stepped on a ‘S’ land-mine which had blown both legs off. The speak­er then remembered.
He, in his play­ing, gen­er­ally rather expec­ted his class­mates not to pick up all his ref­er­ences, which made some of it more of a game between he and whichever teach­er, the main enemy, usu­ally to his private appre­ci­ation mostly. But they did this, and added it as ammuni­tion for mak­ing his life hell, although as he expec­ted, none knew the dif­fer­ence between a first cous­in twice removed and a third cous­in: whil­st he could have claimed a diminu­tion on the grounds that as far as he knew  —  and his rel­at­ives in Ger­many may have been only as truth­ful as most there feel neces­sary in dis­cre­tion  —  it was Waf­fen rather than Toten­kopf, but to him that actu­ally wasn’t an excuse, they were all as poten­tially unpleas­ant bas­tards as any group of mur­der­ers. He couldn’t see why it was worse than being related to the oth­er untold mil­lions of trait­ors though: few people in these islands would not have had a dis­tant con­nec­tion to some scum who fought for or sup­por­ted par­lia­ment or Crom­well among the 6 mil­lion liv­ing then: and noth­ing could be as bad as that.

This large­m­inded­ness was occa­sion­ally irk­some for his fam­ily since this cheer­ful lack of reti­cence could fail to emphas­ize their abso­lute nor­mal­ity; as when dur­ing a garden party Jam­ie chat­ted ami­ably on not only two great-uncles who had fond memor­ies of Poland, one of their cous­ins who died in Crete, and someone who deser­ted in Greece to start a large fam­ily, but star­ted recall­ing that a more dis­tant rel­at­ive drowned as a frog­man in Ita­ly.

Shut up’ screamed his mother, who didn’t want people to think her entire blood rel­at­ives formed the bulk of the Ger­man Armed Forces dur­ing the last unpleas­ant­ness.

To be fair though, those who had, were gen­er­ous in their remin­is­cence to their klein­er eng­lischer Teufel whenev­er he was vis­it­ing in the Fath­er­land. He nev­er judged; and was politer than their own young­er gen­er­a­tion. Who judged a great deal.

 
Mrs. Bee­ston listened dis­fa­vour­ingly to the teacher’s embittered com­ment­ary in the common-room: “Per­son­ally, I always thought that little… that his blood would pois­on a rattle-snake.” was her com­ment. Lit­er­ally true, but this was the nearest she ever came to mak­ing a joke, one not so ano­dyne as to be accept­able at a party con­fer­ence, and they gazed approv­ing of her lev­ity.

***

fighting J

***

Any­way… I can’t con­ceive of allow­ing even a blood trans­fu­sion, let alone hav­ing the more repuls­ive intern­al parts of some ran­dom stranger inser­ted. Chacun a son goût, of course, but it seems to be more fit­ted for those without a high sense of per­son­al dainti­ness and those who prefer dis­hon­our over death. A recent post in the splen­didly named blog mediocracy  —  “‘mediocracy’ is a con­di­tion in which cul­ture is sub­or­din­ated to pseudo-egalitarian ideo­logy”  —  points out one aspect of this vam­pir­acy too little spoken about:

Do think about the fine print when you con­sider wheth­er to sign up/out/whatever to organ dona­tion.

How dead are organ donors?

Organs for trans­plant have to be taken from still-living bod­ies, bod­ies still per­fused by their nat­ur­ally beat­ing hearts, warm and so react­ive that muscle-paralysing drugs may have to be given to facil­it­ate the sur­gery.

Their own­ers will have been cer­ti­fied “dead” on the con­tro­ver­sial basis of bed­side brain-stem test­ing, a pro­ced­ure not suf­fi­ciently strin­gent to exclude some per­sist­ing brain-stem func­tion and which includes no test for what may be abund­ant life else­where in the brain.

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Twilight’s First Gleaming

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(Correctitude, Melancholy, Other Writ, Poetry)

I love thee dagger mine, thou sure defence ---
I love the beauty of thy glitter cold,
A brooding Georgian whetted thee for war,
Forged for revenge thou wert by Khirgez bold.

A lily hand, in parting's silent woe,
Gave thee to me in morning's twilight shade;
Instead of blood, I saw thee first be-dewed
With sorrow's tear-pearls flowing o'er thy blade.

Two dusky eyes so true and pure of soul,
Mute in the throe of love's mysterious pain--
Like thine own steel within the fire's glow,
Flashed forth to me --- then faded dull again.

For a soul-pledge thou wert by love appointed,
In my life's night to guide me to my end;
Stedfast and true my heart shall be forever,
Like thee, like thee, my steely hearted friend !

Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov : The Dagger [ Trans by Martha Gilbert Dickinson Bianchi ]

 

Violence

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Tuckin’ Down The Track

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It is merely a truism, commonly repeated --- as frequently as the claim that we need more Gothic Lolitas on the streets --- that One Way Ticket* has never been rendered with the relentless vigour and powerful delivery it demands, least of all by Eruption; however, this Hungarian version by Kati Kovács, with some terrifying dancing by --- I think, the ever redoubtable Neoton Family --- has some punch. It ends a trifle abruptly though...

Not to mention, how often do you see someone dancing with two astounded baby white rabbits ?

 

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Kati Kovács - Menetjegy

 
 
 
* Not to be confused with the two similarly titled, but appalling, songs by The Darkness and LeAnn Rimes.

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Like The Roman

From Aldous Huxley's Chrome Yellow, the Tale of Sir Hercules.

To which one might add, apart from being tedious and silly, democracy carries one internal flaw so massive, it's professed devotees sedulously avoid ever actually implementing it --- People Kinda Suck...

 

Benjamin West - Omnia Vincit Amor

Benjamin West - Omnia Vincit Amor

 

"The infant who was destined to become the fourth baronet of the
name of Lapith was born in the year 1740. He was a very small
baby, weighing not more than three pounds at birth, but from the
first he was sturdy and healthy. In honour of his maternal
grandfather, Sir Hercules Occam of Bishop's Occam, he was
christened Hercules. His mother, like many other mothers, kept a
notebook, in which his progress from month to month was recorded.
He walked at ten months, and before his second year was out he
had learnt to speak a number of words. At three years he weighed
but twenty-four pounds, and at six, though he could read and
write perfectly and showed a remarkable aptitude for music, he
was no larger and heavier than a well-grown child of two.
Meanwhile, his mother had borne two other children, a boy and a
girl, one of whom died of croup during infancy, while the other
was carried off by smallpox before it reached the age of five.
Hercules remained the only surviving child.

"On his twelfth birthday Hercules was still only three feet and
two inches in height. His head, which was very handsome and
nobly shaped, was too big for his body, but otherwise he was
exquisitely proportioned, and, for his size, of great strength
and agility. His parents, in the hope of making him grow,
consulted all the most eminent physicians of the time. Their
various prescriptions were followed to the letter, but in vain.
One ordered a very plentiful meat diet; another exercise; a third
constructed a little rack, modelled on those employed by the Holy
Inquisition, on which young Hercules was stretched, with
excruciating torments, for half an hour every morning and
evening. In the course of the next three years Hercules gained
perhaps two inches. After that his growth stopped completely,
and he remained for the rest of his life a pigmy of three feet
and four inches. His father, who had built the most extravagant
hopes upon his son, planning for him in his imagination a
military career equal to that of Marlborough, found himself a
disappointed man. 'I have brought an abortion into the world,'
he would say, and he took so violent a dislike to his son that
the boy dared scarcely come into his presence. His temper, which
had been serene, was turned by disappointment to moroseness and
savagery. He avoided all company ( being, as he said, ashamed to
show himself, the father of a lusus naturae, among normal,
healthy human beings ), and took to solitary drinking, which
carried him very rapidly to his grave; for the year before
Hercules came of age his father was taken off by an apoplexy.
His mother, whose love for him had increased with the growth of
his father's unkindness, did not long survive, but little more
than a year after her husband's death succumbed, after eating two
dozen of oysters, to an attack of typhoid fever.

 

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It Seemed ‘Twas Diamonds In The Air

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(Other Writ, Poetry)

As Lucy went a-walking one morning cold and fine,
There sate three crows upon a bough, and three times three is nine:
Then "O !" said Lucy, in the snow, "it's very plain to see
A witch has been a-walking in the fields in front of me."

Then slept she light and heedfully across the frozen snow,
And plucked a bunch of elder-twigs that near a pool did grow:
And, by and by, she comes to seven shadows in one place
Stretched black by seven poplar-trees against the sun's bright face.

She looks to left, she looks to right, and in the midst she sees
A little pool of water clear and frozen 'neath the trees;
Then down beside its margent in the crusty snow she kneels,
And hears a magic belfry a-ringing with sweet bells.

Clear sang the faint far merry peal, then silence on the air,
And icy-still the frozen pool and poplars standing there:
Then lo ! as Lucy turned her head and looked along the snow
She sees a witch--a witch she sees, come frisking to and fro.

Her scarlet, buckled shoes they clicked, her heels a-twinkling high;
With mistletoe her steeple-hat bobbed as she capered by;
But never a dint, or mark, or print, in the whiteness for to see,
Though danced she high, though danced she fast, though danced she lissomely.

It seemed 'twas diamonds in the air, or little flakes of frost;
It seemed 'twas golden smoke around, or sunbeams lightly tossed;
It seemed an elfin music like to reeds and warblers rose:
"Nay !" Lucy said, "it is the wind that through the branches flows."

And as she peeps, and as she peeps, 'tis no more one, but three,
And eye of bat, and downy wing of owl within the tree,
And the bells of that sweet belfry a-pealing as before,
And now it is not three she sees, and now it is not four--

"O ! who are ye," sweet Lucy cries, "that in a dreadful ring,
All muffled up in brindled shawls, do caper, frisk, and spring ?"
"A witch, and witches, one and nine," they straight to her reply,
And looked upon her narrowly, with green and needle eye.

Then Lucy sees in clouds of gold green cherry trees upgrow,
And bushes of red roses that bloomed above the snow;
She smells, all faint, the almond-boughs blowing so wild and fair,
And doves with milky eyes ascend fluttering in the air.

Clear flowers she sees, like tulip buds, go floating by like birds,
With wavering tips that warbled sweetly strange enchanted words;
And, as with ropes of amethyst, the boughs with lamps were hung,
And clusters of green emeralds like fruit upon them clung.

"O witches nine, ye dreadful nine, O witches seven and three !
Whence come these wondrous things that I this Christmas morning see ?"
But straight, as in a clap, when she of Christmas says the word,
Here is the snow, and there the sun, but never bloom nor bird;

Nor warbling flame, nor gloaming-rope of amethyst there shows,
Nor bunches of green emeralds, nor belfry, well, and rose,
Nor cloud of gold, nor cherry-tree, nor witch in brindled shawl,
But like a dream that vanishes, so vanished were they all.

When Lucy sees, and only sees three crows upon a bough,
And earthly twigs, and bushes hidden white in driven snow,
Then "O !" said Lucy, "three times three is nine -- I plainly see
Some witch has been a-walking in the fields in front of me."

Walter de la Mare : As Lucy Went A-Walking

 

Carl Brandt - Forest Snow

Carl Brandt --- A Snow Covered Forest

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Juli Sorts Out A Few Odd Matters

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(Correctitude, Literature, Self Writ, To Know Know Know Him)

A small crisis in the Housing Association deftly handled to several people's satisfaction...

 

Gothic Lolita

 

But it was around 11:20 when Russell drifted substantially over to Juli’s desk and coughed lightly to attract her attention as she slowly keyed in data to an Excel worksheet, and tried to remember which action to perform each time she wanted a result. He stood there plump and uneasy in a tannish brown tweed-effect suit, and canary-yellow waistcoat. Then once her attention was eased away from the spreadsheet, he chatted about this and that, polishing his round glasses. Lucy looked up alertly, ever willing to be of assistance.
Russell seemed upset about something, Lucy made him a mug of coffee, as he chatted with Juli about this. She refrained from offering Juli one, having received some haughty regardings of incredulity that made her blood run cold until she realised that Juli held the quite reasonable view that instant drinks were designed for pesticide; she had since given them up herself. Juli brought her own nicer stuff along and made it separately from other people. Just another small thing which endeared her to all.
“Yolanda ?” Juli enquired without much real interest, since other people’s love-lives held no fascination.
“Oh no, Juli: Yolanda’s been fine recently. It’s Happy Valley. One of the houses caught fire last night.”
Juli shuddered. “Wow. Was anybody... ?”
“Ooh no ! But the Tolands were cleared out of everything. And,” his voice broke with a greater self-pity, “they got the police to wake me up at 3:45. I dunno what they thought I could do. Anyway they put them in an hotel for the night, and now I’ve got to find an empty property.”
“Plenty of them about.” Juli answered, purposely obtuse, “Sometimes I reckon what with renovations and court orders, we sometimes have more vacant than occupied.”
“Thank you.” acidly, “No, well, I know what you mean; but that’s not the problem: I mean it’s the Tolandses.”
I don’t want them as neighbours, so you can understand people’s feelings.” Juli said reasonably.
“I know, if they moved in next to me, I’d move to Turkestan; but that doesn’t help here. I’ve got to shove them as far away from their previous place as possible, and next to people who’ve not heard of them, or are too weak to protest much.”
“Who...” started Lucy.
“A/ They are not going to leave that estate, they’ve got about 80 relations there; and anyway they would rather be there than in a Cathedral Close. B/ Everyone on the estate does know them. C/ They’re not going to lose face from the Collingwoods and Hartleys.”
He groaned. Juli was correct.
“Who... ?” Lucy began again, and was unheard in their ruminations. She had heard of none of these, and only knew a tiny bit of the background: she had early asked — the day she started work — where Happy Valley was.
Juli sniggered: “My name for the Robert Owen Housing Estate. It’s ex-Council, and has got a lot worse since it was privatised. Bloody wasteland of falling panels, pram-pushers in clam-diggers, a cheap supermarket whose manager wants armed mercenaries, and gangs of youths at night.”
“H’how nasty.”
“Oh the drugs help.” she contended optimistically. “Some­­thing’s gotta.”
“Anyway, don’t go there, not unless you’re with a camera-crew in a jeep.”
Instruction seemed a trifle authoritative, especially at so early in a relationship, but Lucy minded no more than she who directed, who basically ever unconsciously chose to command without the slimmest doubt as to her own authority.
She realised the name Juli had coined seemed to have gained universal currency, at least in the office. Especially if Russell, who doubled as Housing Manager for Robert Owen, used it.
Now Juli was proceeding. “Three in the morning. Then it wasn’t a chip-pan. The Hartleys ?”
“Andra, I think: they owe him for the coke franchise, according to the cops. And Evan, young Evan, got in a fist-fight with his nephew Damien, and said he could whistle for his money until they made two grand.”
“Smart lad.”
“Oh I think it was the drink talking,” Russell said tole­rantly, “His dad hit him with a spanner, and broke his little finger; spent ages on his mobile trying to apologise to Andra, the neighbours said, but he wouldn’t take his calls.”
“Andra’s a weird little cunt; but then it’s face again.” grossly misleading Lucy as to the fabulous Mr. Neill’s height. Unlike the popular conception of crime bosses, he was not 5 foot nothing in a hideous and hideously expensive suit, but 6’ 2”, and had allegedly been a paratrooper, and wore sports wear.
Russell looked slightly shocked, possibly at Juli’s lang­uage, but more likely at her plain speaking, because Andra was not a nice person, and for that reason people did not remind others, and least of all himself, of this fact.
“Still, I reckon he won’t want them out of the estate. This was a warning then.”
He looked sceptical: “Well, it was a very small blaze, considering; the Firemen arrived within a few minutes, but that might just have been providence. It won’t be structurally safe though for a bit, so we can’t put them back there. You don’t think he’ll do them over again ?”
“Nope, there’s still the franchise to work: and he won’t give it back to the Hartleys. Too much trouble.”
“Um, you’ve got a point.” reflectively, “Old Hartley’s clinically insane.”
“So was Margaret Thatcher, didn’t stop her. No, I was thinking of the fact none of them can get in a car without gunning it to 60, and that’s in built-up areas. Makes the police work easier. Tell you what: I’ll make a couple of calls to the estate, I may find out where they can go.”
He brightened. “Oh please, Juli. That’d be great.. Uum, to... ?”
“No doubt. On the other hand, I’d better be clear about this. It’ll be our lot picking up the insurance, right ?”

 
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Ieyasu

They asked... 'What would you do if the bird does not sing ?'

 
Oda Nobunaga said: "Kill it if it does not sing."

Toyotomi Hideyoshi said: "Make it want to sing."

Tokugawa Ieyasu said: "Wait until it sings."

 
Falcon

Itaya Keishic

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Faith’s Sure Defender

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(Correctitude, Other Writ, Royalism, Self Writ)

He was hand­some, but his good looks made you want to shiver… The swiftly reced­ing fore­head, togeth­er with a lower jaw over­de­veloped at the expense of the cra­ni­um, expressed inflex­ible will-power and feeble­ness of thought, and more cruelty than sens­it­iv­ity. But the eyes were the main thing. They were wintry eyes without warmth or pity.

Alex­an­der Herzen : Beloye I dumy [ On Nich­olas I ]

Herzen was an inef­fable, if affable, idi­ot, and more a father of mod­ern liber­tari­an­ism than a revolu­tion­ary torch-bearer for social­ist causes; but he was cap­able of a grace­ful trib­ute to his enemy… Who was in turn the enemy of redund­ant emo­tion­al excess.

 
Rambo Birdie

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& Elsa">Bouguereau, Wagner & Elsa

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(High Germany, Music, Self Writ, Videos)

Following on from the Bouguereau in our last, the author of this video has merged Richard's music with William-Adolphe's paintings...

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
Richard Wagner - Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral

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After The Stars Are Gone

A little maiden climbed an old man's knee
Begged for a story - "Do, uncle, please !"
"Why are you single, why live alone ?
Have you no babies, have you no home ?"
"I had a sweetheart, years, years ago
Where she is now, pet, you will soon know
List to the story, I'll tell it all
I believed her faithless, after the ball"

After the ball is over
After the break of morn
After the dancers' leaving
After the stars are gone
Many a heart is aching
If you could read them all
Many the hopes that have vanished
After the ball

"Bright lights were flashing in the grand ballroom
Softly the music, playing sweet tunes
There came my sweetheart, my love, my own
'I wish some water, leave me alone'
When I returned, dear, there stood a man
Kissing my sweetheart, as lovers can
Down fell the glass, pet, broken, that's all
Just as my heart was, after the ball"

After the ball is over
After the break of morn
After the dancers' leaving
After the stars are gone
Many a heart is aching
If you could read them all
Many the hopes that have vanished
After the ball

"Long years have passed child, I've never wed
True to my lost love, though she is dead
She tried to tell me, tried to explain
I would not listen, pleadings were vain
One day a letter came from that man
He was her brother - the letter ran
That's why I'm lonely, no home at all
I broke her heart, pet, after the ball"

After the ball is over
After the break of morn
After the dancers' leaving
After the stars are gone
Many a heart is aching
If you could read them all
Many the hopes that have vanished
After the ball

Charles K. Harris : After The Ball Is Over

 

Bougereau - Elegy

William-Adolphe Bouguereau --- Elegy

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Made Me Laugh, Anyway.

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(Generalia, Other Writ, Self Writ)

AN APOLOGY FROM FOX BROADCASTING AND 2OTH CENTURY FOX TELEVISION

"The Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox Television wish to offer a deep and sincere apology for the insensitive line of dialogue during the November 14 episode of the comedy series 'Back to You.'

In no way was this dialogue meant to insinuate any connection between the Polish people and the Nazi movement. The line was delivered by a character known for being ignorant, clueless, and for saying outlandish things. Allowing the line to remain in the show, however, demonstrated poor judgment and we apologize to anyone who was offended. We have removed the line from the episode for all distribution platforms and all future airings."

 

In the abstract interests of retrospective justice, here's the offending line:

 
"Come on here, Crezyzewski, you're the best bowler at the station: it's in your Polish blood, like Kielbasa, and collaborating with the Nazis."

 

 
Wolf Painting

Viktor Vasnetsov --- Grey Wolf

 

 

Wusses.

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