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at 10:00 pm
, The King of Terrors
) Charles Gounod -- Judex
“UNDER the roots of the roses,
Down in the dark, rich mould,
The dust of my dear one reposes
Like a spark which night incloses
When the ashes of day are cold.”
“Under the awful wings
Which brood over land and sea,
And whose shadows nor lift nor flee, ---
This is the order of things,
And hath been from of old:
And last destruction;
So the pendulum swings,
While cradles are rocked and bells are tolled.”
“Not under the roots of the roses,
But under the luminous wings
Of the King of kings
The soul of my love reposes,
With the light of morn in her eyes,
Where the Vision of Life discloses
Life that sleeps not nor dies.”
“Under or over the skies
What is it that never dies ?
Spirit --- if such there be ---
Whom no one hath seen nor heard,
We do not acknowledge thee;
For, spoken or written word,
Thou art but a dream, a breath;
Certain is nothing but Death !”
Richard Henry Stoddard : Mors et Vita
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Sprawled on the carpet, Jamie was nibbling his lower lip in a thoughtful rapture.
“Wot’cha doing ?” enquired Paul. Whilst glad he was actually doing something, and not staring inwardly; the ever-active Paul mistrusted the contemplative impulse: noting that Jamie, unusually for him had been reading the Sunday literary supplements and scribbling away for the last hour. His pretty little brother had given up on others’ critical theory when he was ten, not just on literature.
“Making a game..” Jamie murmured in soft distraction; then shaking his platinum head explained: “One creates ten titles with synopsis-blurbs for well typical modern books — fiction’s gonna be the easiest ‘The crap we read now’ to be Trollopian…” not that Jamie had hardly read Trollope in his young life… “then lists ten adjectives commonly used in such heated minds as write blurbs to describe the protagonist; and ten adjectives used to encapsulate such rot. The others than have to match up the correct two adjectives to each book to win. Remember: All fiction is wish-fulfilment. The skill of the author lies mostly in how they can disguise this truth. Modern authors can barely even try; which is why their heroes and heroines are all brilliant, multi-skilled, sexy geniuses.”
After a while he handed Paul his first list, “Knock yourself out.” he said cheerfully.
I. Miss Jazzy Queening it Down The Gap. — The adventures of a mixed race Black/Puerto Rican drag-artiste hustling in Times Square to fund his sex-change operation.
II. The Potting-Shed in Autumn. — In the garden of a country-house in 1935 an ageing gardener, once an Oxford graduate, recalls how he came to the ruin of his dreams and his present status, and considers the tapestry of life represented by the denizens of Maddingleigh Hall from the servants’ quarter to the Osterley-Browns, the wealthy but corrupt family who now own the land.
III. The Gash of Time. — A Scotswoman’s vigorous fight for self-improvement against the opposition of family, friends, children and all the menfolk she ever meets. Until at last she gains a doctorate in Council Studies, makes the largest fortune in Scottish history as a successful businesswoman, and finally becomes the first woman first minister of Scotland’s Parliament.
IV. The Seabirds of Yalta. — Charlie Werner, troubled maverick of the SIS, has five days to stop Walter Schellenburg’s most daring plot of all: to assassinate the Big Three at their meeting in 1945. Facing the sinister ex-lawyer Ulrich von Kartoffeltopf, now SS Brigadeführer and confidante of Himmler, he has only the beautiful Larissa, once secretary to Yagoda, only allowed to buy her life by fulfilling the most dangerous of all missions, and Una, ‘The Lovely Valkyrie’, a Prussian aristocrat playing a double game, and ‘Dutch’ O’Murphy, a tough wise-cracking US Master-Sergeant, eager and willing to pay off old scores. These four are pitted against Otto Skorzeny and an élite band of assassins formed from a company of the surviving parachutists of Crete sworn to dark and mystical oaths which have to do with revenge on traitors responsible for the near débâcle and the random recovery of ancient objects of great occult power. Can they protect the leaders of the Free World, or is there a traitor in their own ranks ? How will they pair off into bed ? And in what order ?
V. The Bread-and-Butter Pudding Club. — Polly, Gail, Rosie and Miriam all want their men to settle down and take things seriously: they form a pact with the rest of the girls in the firm and it’s a side-splitting race to see who becomes pregnant first.
VI. The End of the Pier. — July 1914: The Twelve Joeys, a struggling party of Pierrots and Pierrets work the South Coast during the splendid Summer. What will Autumn bring ?
VII. Riding A Rainbow. — Dainty vowed never to be dependent on anyone after her parents split up; now a brilliant success as the best marketing executive in the tough world of publishing ever, she wants a child. But at 26 she has to act fast. Who shall she choose as the father ? Josh, her live-in lover of three years, genius research scientist, but irresponsible and feckless; Rudy, the sweet gentle impoverished motorcycle courier, only 19 but living in a communal squat in Brixton; or Simon, suave multi-millionaire business entrepreneur who will give her a life of perfection, but demand marriage as the price ? Dainty has to make the most difficult decision of her life.
VIII. Dead of Day. — A serial killer is murdering women, all of whom are young, clever and excessively attractive: can the J9 team, a crack police squad formed to foil these crimes — oldish gaffer, young female second-in-command, black male, computer genius, black female, several gays of either sex, ordinary plods with combat skills — work out why he uses these criteria in time before he slays another six victims ?
IX. The Holy Ball. — Latvia in the early fourteenth century is a grim and dangerous place, ruled by the cruel Sword-Brethren. Some men fight in rebellion, others knuckle under: but all, ultimately are depressed. A group of their wives however refuse to yield, and defy the imperialistic oppressors and their hypocritical Church by inventing football. The infuriated rulers must strike back and destroy the game and all memory of it, or it will spell the end of all their anti-democratic power. Inspiringly, after the massacre one girl escapes and, abjuring all else, spends every moment of an immensely long and minutely detailed mediæval life travelling to every country in Europe, Africa, and Asia to secretly spread the knowledge of this inspiring game, with it’s promise of ultimate liberation, amongst all disaffected peasants.
X. Fresh Meat — Horror: an especial group of Sûreté investigators put together an alarming collection of facts. All over the globe, butchers return home to find their families gone: there are no clues, except the abductors left several hundred kilos of sausages sitting in each living room. Marvel as the authorities take several weeks before something clicks and they call in what sausages remain for forensic examination.
Paul read this in silence. “Some of your sodding preoccupations are present;”
“I wouldn’t talk about ‘Lovely Valkyries’ much if I were you.” he continued sourly.
Jamie bit him. At least he tried to. Certain subjects were taboo.
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Gorky was devoted to reason, knowledge and science. He wrote bitterly of the impotence of reason in the old church-dominated Russia, of the “dark abyss” and the “elegiac submissiveness to fate”. What initially alienated him from Lenin’s régime was the conviction that it was suppressing the light of reason and perpetuating in a new form the dark abyss. For Rolland, the authentic esprit was above all a rational one. Shaw, like the Webbs and like the Welsh Utopian socialist Robert Owen, whom the Fabians had latterly discovered as an intellectual ancestor, was a fierce rationalist. Like Owen, the Fabians condemned ignorance, waste, dislocation, booms, slumps and unemployment as essentially irrational. Was racism, Needham asked, anything but irrational ? Was not the Soviet Union the most determined opponent of racism ? “The subjective and irrational are anti-democratic, they are the instruments of tyranny.” Georges Friedmann described the Soviet Union as “the most magnificent effort towards the rational transformation of institutions .. . that humanity has ever attempted”. So here “reason” becomes simultaneously a system of logic or cerebration immaculately synthesized with a set of moral values. No one voiced the liberating claims of reason more fervently or consistently than Heinrich Mann with his perennial argument that the greatest weapon of the Geist in its struggle with arbitrary power was reason ( Vernunft ): indeed he published in 1923 a collection of essays collectively titled Diktatur der Vernunft. In 1937 he wrote of the USSR: “At last a state undertakes to make out of men what we have always wanted: a rational existence, the collective working for the benefit of each individual, and out of that individual shall something higher and better develop within a totality that further predicts itself.” But here rationality is interpreted as a common heritage not a class monopoly, as a matter of Geist not of Macht: he spoke of the “deep, fundamental intellectuality of the Revolution” and he pleaded that it was “in the last resort no rebellion of some against others. Basically it asks for and receives the agreement of all.” This was indeed the dream of the Enlightenment. Mann’s friend Feuchtwanger continued to regard reason as the preserve of an enlightened minority, a treasure destined to be distributed to the populace at large but so far withheld from them in all countries except the Soviet Union. “I sympathized inevitably with the experiment of basing the construction of a gigantic State on reason alone… .” He stressed the ethical “Vernunftmassigkeit” of the Plans, and later he wrote of his belief in “a slow, slow yet sure growth of human reason between the last ice-age and the next”. Similarly, “reason-through-knowledge” was the formula recommended by the Webbs and finally identified by them as operational in Russia. They were convinced that under socialism the problem of who gives orders to whom would progressively diminish since the combination of what they called “measurement with publicity” and the “searchlight of public knowledge” would burn out unreason, ignorance and apathy among the public, freeing it from its false dependence on traditional or arbitrary power. This had also been Saint-Simon’s belief.
It is of course easy to criticize the philosophical naivety of the fellow-travellers. Too blandly did they incorporate subjective, ethical premises into the general concept of reason, and in this respect they were little in advance of Thomas Paine, who described history as a periodically interrupted progress from the government of priests and conquerors to the government of pure reason — this reason being defined simply as the antithesis of ignorance. When Owen declared: “Train any population rationally, and they will be rational”, he virtually spoke for a later generation separated from him by a hundred years. Yet what sounded enlightened in 1830 could only be judged as naïve in 1930. When Condorcet and Owen argued that idleness, poverty, crime and punishment were merely, in Owen’s words, “the necessary consequences of ignorance”, they could not reasonably be criticized for lacking a concept of alienation or anomie, whereas the fellow-travellers turned their backs not only on such concepts but blandly ignored a century of psychological inquiry. It was time to recognize that formulas such as Bentham’s “the greatest happiness of the greatest number” had an ethical rather than a rational basis, yet the fellow-travellers continued to elect Unitary Reason to the throne once occupied by God, complete with all the court ritual of the fall, redemption and salvation. One can at least partially sympathize with Marx’s scorn for the endeavours of Saint-Simon and Owen to convert humanity, including the rich and powerful, to socialism by means of rational persuasion; it was this aspect of their thought rather than the building of model settlements like New Harmony which provoked him to brand them as “Utopians”. Admittedly the later fellow-travellers occasionally acknowledged that the knout had become a frequent messenger of reason in Soviet Russia, but they refused to draw conclusions about the motivation of the knout-wielders, preferring to judge them as benevolent schoolmasters occasionally resorting to sterner discipline out of love for their pupils. Though they were anti-capitalist, and though some of them, like Shaw, recognized the necessity of force, the fellow-travellers still inhabited the mental universe of Auguste Comte, with his vision of history as being synonymous with the progress of the human mind towards the final, rational stage of universal positivism. No doubt the immense upheaval which took place in Russia during forced collectivization was in a sense positivistically inspired; but what appears ruthlessly rational is not necessarily reasonable, and the fellow-travellers lacked not only Kant’s insight into the necessity of an inner, moral revolution within men but also the vital gleam of cautionary wisdom offered by Voltaire when he remarked: “Le monde avec lenteur marche vers la sagesse.”
David Caute : The Fellow-Travellers
One of the finest books ever written; and by a leftist, too…
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at 12:01 am
) Death Cab For Cutie -- Your Heart Is An Empty Room
Johann Georg Meyer -- Young Woman Looking Through A Window
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A great number of books made me — especially Jurgen, and A Voyage to Arcturus — however this reunited volume ( green, damaged, about 8.“ x 5.5” x 2.5″ ) Volume I of Dicks’ English Library, John Dicks, 313 Strand, 1856, is part of my childhood. I can only find one reference to the set on the web [ see below ], and that is of a volume half a century later. Set in a type size of perhaps something like 4.5, Diamond, which accounts for a lot of short-sightedness over generations, it was profusely illustrated..
The main reason I bring it here is because of one particular plate of Chicot the Jester being exquisitely funny which haunted my young imagination, and became part of my mental furniture. Even today, it’s an excellent joke; and forms the first plate below.
[ I may mention an oddity: usually one scans B/W drawings as greyscale; due to some peculiarity of this aged paper these were best done as full colour scans… ]
Harrison Ainsworth is well known here, so needs no detail; M. A. Titmarsh is even more still read, but under his real name of Thackeray, of course. I rather bar Thackeray, but few authors have the least bit of nobility about them, so one must not be too harsh…
gc = George Cruickshank; rc= Robert Cruickshank
Angus B. Reach — Clement Lorimer; or, The Book with the Iron Clasps gc
[ Story of a dying old Corsican beginning la Vendetta in 1610 in Antwerp — without telling anyone, let alone the offensive family, why : “…the black wings of Azrael are above his house, and they may not close while there is life beneath the roof-tree, or fire upon the hearth.” — briskly leaping over two chapters into 1830s London with it’s resolution : the final murderer having married the last of the unwitting enemies is frustrated in his object of killing her; but still seeks to discover the unknown secret of why the feud was begun. Helas, the book was infused with a subtle poison that destroys the wretch, and knocking over the lamp in his fall, the Book with the Iron Clasps was consumed by fire. Along with the house.
They liked broad brush strokes in the early nineteenth century. ]
Élie Berthet — The Gold Mine
[ Set in the Pyrenees in the 1720s ]
Samuel Lover — Short Irish Tales
Gerald Griffin — Card-Drawing
M. G. Lewis (Monk Lewis) — My Uncle’s Garret Window — A Pantomimic Tale
Hoffmann — The Wonderful Adventures of the Student Anselmus
[ This one is good. As usual with Hoffmann. ]
Douglas Jerrold — The Ring and the Mendicant — A Tale of Frankfort Fair
Tom Hood — Tales and Papers
Alexandre Dumas — The Forty-Five Guardsmen
William Harrison Ainsworth — Sir Lionel Flamstead and his Friends
Tom Hood — Short Tales
William Harrison Ainsworth — The Tower of London — A Historical Romance gc
L. A. Chamerovzow — Chronicles of the Bastile, The Tower of La Bertaudière rc
[ Tale set in the Regency with a villainous chief of police, D’Argenson and one of those tiresome French fraternities of noble robbers French authors adore so much. It’s tres difficile not to root for the wicked cops in these circumstances. ]
Albert Smith — The Natural History of the Gent
Tom Hood — An Extraordinary Operation
William Harrison Ainsworth — Cardinal Pole; or, The Days of Philip and Mary
[Anon] — Sprigs of Holly for Christmas
M. A. Titmarsh — Mrs. Perkins’s Ball
M. A. Titmarsh — Our Street
Alfred Crowquill — Old Heads & Heads of the People
[ a couple of advertised features missing from V. ]
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This suggests the fascinating possibility that the key for a group intending to turn Europeans against themselves is to trigger their strong tendency toward altruistic punishment by convincing them of the moral blameworthiness of their own people. Because Europeans are individualists at heart, they readily rise up in moral anger against their own people once they are seen as free riders and therefore morally blameworthy — a manifestation of their stronger tendency toward altruistic punishment deriving from their evolutionary past as hunter gatherers. In making judgments of altruistic punishment, relative genetic distance is irrelevant. Free-riders are seen as strangers in a market situation; i.e., they have no familial or tribal connection with the altruistic punisher.
As a very interesting and influential European group, the Puritans exemplified this tendency toward altruistic punishment. A defining feature of Puritanism was the tendency to pursue utopian causes framed as moral issues — their susceptibility to utopian appeals to a ‘higher law’ and the belief that government’s principal purpose is moral. New England was the most fertile ground for “the perfectibility of man creed,” and the “father of a dozen ‘isms’.” There was a tendency to paint political alternatives as starkly contrasting moral imperatives, with one side portrayed as evil incarnate — inspired by the devil. Puritan moral intensity can also be seen in their “profound personal piety” — their intensity of commitment to live not only a holy life, but also a sober and industrious life.
Puritans waged holy war on behalf of moral righteousness even against their own genetic cousins. The suggestion is that this is a form of altruistic punishment found more often among coöperative hunter-gatherer groups than among groups based on extended kinship. For example, whatever the political and economic complexities that led to the Civil War, it was the Yankee moral condemnation of slavery that inspired the rhetoric and rendered the massive carnage of closely related Anglo-Americans on behalf of slaves from Africa justifiable in the minds of Puritans. Militarily, the war with the Confederacy rendered the heaviest sacrifice in lives and property ever made by Americans. Puritan moral fervor and its tendency to justify draconian punishment of evil doers can also be seen in the comments of “the Congregationalist minister at Henry Ward Beecher’s Old Plymouth Church in New York [who] went so far as to call for ‘exterminating the German people … the sterilization of 10,000,000 German soldiers and the segregation of the woman,.”
Thus the current altruistic punishment so characteristic of contemporary Western civilization: Once Europeans were convinced that their own people were morally bankrupt, any and all means of punishment should be used against their own people. Rather than see other Europeans as part of an encompassing ethnic and tribal community, fellow Europeans were seen as morally blameworthy and the appropriate target of altruistic punishment. For Westerners, morality is individualistic — violations of communal norms by free riders are punished by altruistic aggression.
Kevin Macdonald : What Makes Western Culture Unique ?
Guilt is rather necessary, for we ought to know what we are; but it is also necessary to discard it as mere vainglorious self-obsession once past fault is recognised and subsumed. Natürlich, some of us find it easier than others; but that’s just through rigorous self-training ( or something ) — which is far less complacent than the opposite urge to purge another’s guilt. And certainly beats killing or self-killing to satisfy a ridiculous moral ego…
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at 10:00 pm
, Self Writ
, The Building Blocks of Democracy
Of course, the Greek works that survive are those that the Christian Byzantines choose to preserve for us. Hence they give a very skewed view of what Greek thought was actually like. For instance, we have seen that the medical works of Galen make up a full fifth of the entire surviving classical Greek corpus. Add Plato, Aristotle, Ptolemy and the mathematical works and we find that Christians were by far the most keen on copying scientific and medical writings. The papyri from Egypt and epigraphical evidence show that this was not the concern of most Greeks. In other words, we think Greeks were a rational lot because Christians were interested in their rational thought. Hence, the preponderance of Greek science in the surviving corpus tells us that the Christians who preserved it were very interested in science --- not that the classical Greeks were. Oddly, Stoicism, the Greek philosophy that comes closed to Christianity is severely under represented as is Epicurianism and Cynicism. And yet these three schools rejected much of reason and science, concentrating instead on ethical issues. We are left with the strong impression that it was Christians who appreciated Greek science a whole lot more than the Greeks did.
James Hannam Loss and Preservation of Ancient Literature','The Skewed Perspective'
Nice. Though a caveat might be that the Greeks gave us so much more than scientific rationalism that the debt civilisation owes them is beyond measure: cool helmets; the theatre of the angst; and, of course, Democracy buttressed by slaves... * The Greek loving Oscar Wilde confesses in his socialist musings that slavery is inescapable in an ideal democracy --- someone has to actually do the unpleasant bits --- although the obvious conclusion that democracy is fraudulent as a concept from this and a dozen other reasons was naturally eluded. Democracy is the ultimate feel-good ideal; and it's devotees know that however many millions are slaughtered, tortured, enslaved, robbed, lied to, and disappointed, that mankind may enter the miragic City upon a Hill, they are absolved by the moral purity of the mission.
It would be salutory if they would simply look at a single group selected at random in order to examine whether they truly want these exact people to have any say in their own lives. Not necessarily the demonized, such as communists, nazis or scientologists, but a community of ordinary people come together to celebrate anything one likes. At random, I proffer the unspeakable Gor. Google = 94 million results.
Professors of philosophy rarely are going to be productive of anything helpful; yet American ones seem rather less so, and their results positively harmful on occasion --- well, certainly on this occasion... Gorean studies are prominent on the Web, the enthusiasts being mostly women [ It is ironic, therefore, that the largest single group among the creators of webpages, and in the Gor chatrooms are female. ]; the rest being wimps. It can best be summed up by a famous parody, Houseplants of Gor ( The cactus plant next to the spider plant shuddered. It attempted to cover its small form with its small arms and small needles. "I am plant," it said wonderingly. ), and what one really, really, needs to establish is whom exactly, apart from themselves maybe, would select these people as having a valid input into any choice that effects others. And, this is merely one subset of humanity: there is no logical reason why any other selected group would fare any better. To take one party mentioned above: much of the internet gets over-excited about scientologists; accusing them of numberless offences: personally, I think their religion and practices sub-optimal, but nothing to concern my life, yet regarding their entirely legitimate beliefs, which they have every right to hold, I find it offensive that believers in L. Ron's idiocy should have a vote to determine government. However, no more offensive than that anyone should have a vote; including myself.
Virginia Frances Sterrett -- Medea and the Snakes
Here's a blog with a lot of jolly nice dragons. I never cared for the duplicitous Jason, nor St. George either.
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Kanon Wakeshima Still Doll Print This Post
Hi Miss Alice.
With glass eyes
What kind of a dream
Are you able to have ?
Are you entranced by ?
Again for me
My heart tears apart
And flows out
The mended crevice
Hi Miss Alice.
With a fruitful mouth
To whom are you
Throwing love at ?
Grieving love at ?
The warmth of my tongue
And I can’t sing
The song that I adore
Still, you do not answer.
Lancelot Speed --- Lady of the Lake
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i rock, i cage, i tomb, i Hell mouth.
i tomb of Guido, i tomb of Dido, i bedstead.
viii lances, i pair of stairs for Phæton.
ii steeples, & i chrime of bells, & i beacon.
i heifer for the play of Phæton, the limbs dead.
i globe, & i golden sceptre; iii clubs.
ii marchpanes, & the City of Rome.
i golden fleece; ii rackets; i bay tree.
i wooden hatchet; i leather hatchet.
i wooden canopy; old Mahomet's head.
i lion skin; i bear's skin; & Phæton's limbs & Phæton's chariot; & Argus' head.
Neptune's fork and garland.
i 'crosers' staff; Kent's wooden leg.
Iris head, & rainbow; i little altar.
viii vizards; Tamberlain's bridle; i wooden mattock.
Cupid's bow, & quiver; the cloth of the sun & moon.
i boar's head & Cerberus' iii heads.
i Caduceus; ii moss banks, & i snake.
ii fanes of feathers; Bellendon stable; i tree of golden apples; Tantalus' tree, ix iron targets.
i copper target, & xvii foils.
iiii wooden targets; i greeve armour.
i sign for Mother Redcap; i buckler.
Mercury's wings; Tasso's picture; i helmet with a dragon; i shield, with iii lions; i elm bowl.
i chain of dragons; i gilt spear.
ii coffins; i bull's head; and i 'vylter.'
iii timbrels; i dragon in Faustus.
i lion; ii lion heads; i great horse with his legs; i sackbut.
i wheel and frame in the Siege of London.
i pair of wrought gloves.
i Pope's mitre.
iii Imperial crowns; i plain crown.
i ghost's crown; i crown with a sun.
i frame for the heading in Black Joan.
i black dog.
i cauldron for the Jew.
Complete Inventory of the Properties of The Admiral's Men, 1598.
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at 12:00 pm
, Manners not Morals
, Other Writ
, Self Writ
, The Enemy
You are quite right –-- I am not moved by any ‘love’ of this sort, and for two reasons: I have never in my life ‘loved’ any people or collective --– neither the German people, nor the French, nor the American, nor the working class or anything of that sort. I indeed love ‘only’ my friends and the only kind of love I know of and believe in is the love of persons. Secondly, this ‘love of the Jews’ would appear to me, since I am myself Jewish, as something rather suspect. I cannot love myself or anything which I know is part and parcel of my own person. To clarify this, let me tell you of a conversation I had in Israel with a prominent political personality who was defending the – in my opinion disastrous –-- non-separation of religion and state in Israel. What [ she ] said --– I am not sure of the exact words any more – ran something like this: ‘You will understand that, as a socialist, I, of course, do not believe in God; I believe in the Jewish people.’ I found this a shocking statement and, being too shocked, I did not reply at the time. But I could have answered: the greatness of this people was once that it believed in God, and believed in Him in such a way that its trust and love towards Him was greater than its fear. And now this people believes only in itself ? What good can come out of that ? Well, in this sense I do not ‘love’ the Jews, nor do I ‘believe’ in them; I merely belong to them as a matter of course, beyond dispute or argument.
Also... from the same publication, an amusing glance at feel-good morality when it contemplates atrocity by persons it disapproves of, Effing the Ineffable.
Of course, the proponents of the antithetical beerier type of incontinent love of folk are the most apt to promote sacrifice for the religious object of love; group, gods, or even person --- carefully ignoring the fact that no sacrifice except one's individual own can have the faintest value howsoever that value is defined... Only an Imbecile God --- perhaps Azathoth --- can prize the stench of some burnt offering.
'We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war'.
Hughes Merle -- Jephtha's Daughter *
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Two weeks ago I hired a van/driver and emptied the garage mentioned earlier to a temporary ( alas ) near location: most of the boxes can be, with some trouble, disposed of without much consideration; but this event does mean that I need never see the far-off town evermore. British cities being what they are, this is excellent. I may detail some of the recovered books later; however this, and some continual intimations of chest trouble --- which susurration ironically has led to an annoying semi-cessation of smoking at the precise time when I have obtained a supply of Marlboros from the Philippines --- has extended a neglect of this minor blog. Even once one has taken Marcus Aurelius on board and recognised the unimportance of nearly everything transient, one still waits upon events, seeking a succession of resolutions... In the longer term, I still have no idea where to move finally even when most of these minor annoyances of storage for that move are fixed...
So, in lieu of an entry, I'll post a few links that have been hanging around in Firefox for weeks waiting for a mention.
I too have never heard of Anders Zorn ( splendid name, though ), and his figures of Scandanavian young womanhood seem slightly robust compared to the more familiar coming-of-age visualisations of the art-photographer David Hamilton later in the century --- I should confess a distaste for styled studio photography --- but I liked this more fugitive piece
The first Pre-Raphaelites no matter what the skill can also often be too strenuous, however here is the site of the Delaware Art Museum; and here is a site with some of Kate Greenaway's still more delicate works that betray at least a faint influence of Morris.
Here's a stray Lady Gouldian Finch in a blog; and here's a history of Lost Wax Casting by an expert.
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Fair is my love, but not so fair as fickle;
Mild as a dove, but neither true nor trusty;
Brighter than glass, and yet, as glass is, brittle;
Softer than wax, and yet, as iron, rusty:
A lily pale, with damask die to grace her,
None fairer, nor none falser to deface her.
Her lips to mine how often hath she join'd,
Between each kiss her oaths of true love swearing!
How many tales to please me hath she coin'd,
Dreading my love, the loss thereof still fearing !
Yet in the midst of all her pure protestings,
Her faith, her oaths, her tears, and all were jestings.
She burn'd with love, as straw with fire flameth;
She burn'd out love, as soon as straw outburneth;
She fram'd the love, and yet she foil'd the framing;
She bade love last, and yet she fell a turning.
Was this a lover, or a lecher whether ?
Bad in the best, though excellent in neither.
William Shakespeare : The Passionate Pilgrim VII
Ayami Kojima - fr Castlevania research
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at 12:45 am
, Manners not Morals
, Self Writ
, The Building Blocks of Democracy
The Rightosphere, painstaking as ever to find more stuff to feel delicious frissons of outrage about, and more reasons to be unnecessarily mean to muslims, has got excited over The Case of The Muslim Who Barked In The Night. Basically, a poor feeble-minded member of that faith, member of Dundee City Council and member of the Tayside Police Board, complained that this advert, featuring Rebel, was offensive to some of his sad community.
Now, the Tayside Police had a number of options here, all of which could be combined with just telling him that his advice had been noted and would treated with the importance it deserved:
1/ Contact any christian european/american member of Tehran's City Council, and ask him/her to protest about the depraved muslim drive to destroy pet dogs in Iran, especially in that city.
2/ Set up an urgent Education Policy to explain to the muslim community the especial place dogs have in British and european culture, especially black dogs ( whom Mohammed considered devils --- he doesn't seem to have been entirely sane all the time; still, he liked cats ) who haunt various parts of England, the continent, and even some parts of America, bringing rather more happiness and delight than any elected member of local government ever has, even if they bring instant doom and destruction. Being torn by the hounds of Arawn, The Lord of Winter, is slightly less painful than being torn apart by the self-righteous maenads of political correctness if only because the hounds are less stupid and would not accompany the savagery with boring one with the moral reasoning for the action at the same time.
3/ Engage in a wild hunt of local muslims with vicious packs of rabidly foaming dogs of all shapes and sizes.
4/ Preferably: tell him to go chase his tail around and around until he collapses in a heap.
Naturally, police being wimps, they apologised. Still, who cares ? Such minor things can be ignored until the future culture-clash goes into armed mode...
Slightly more annoying, one can notice that the 0845 prefix to the number means that it is charged at a higher rate which goes back to the called organisation. It now costs money to call the cops ? Not only are they useless, but they charge you for it...
"What is life ? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."Crowfoot
By now Americans via Roosevelt II are blamed for both Pearl Habor and Jap internment camps as if horrors right up at the top of the genocide contest; Pilgrim Fathers and white invaders of America are blamed for being immigrants [ in order to defend further unfettered life-changing immigration into the USA now, in a retarded mislogic ] and their successors blamed for having an empire now --- economic and military ruling through satrapies rather than direct rule.
Now, these are some people I severely despise: liberal, and puritan, and homo americanus alike, but... they were doing what they would do; they were acting fairly correctly: you have to do various unpleasant things in war; all land grabbing is founded on Wordsworth's Good Old Rule * -- we are all the sons of slaughter --- and at certain stages in a country's life it will become an empire --- if it is lucky...
FDR's possible sin over allegedly permitting Pearl Harbor was venial compared to the Japanese assaults on humanity during WWII ( I am not blaming the Japanese for making war here ), although incorrect as regards care for his own people: yet even there, after all, a president does not have the mutual obligation of a King to his subjects and should not be held to any high account; as for the nisei camps, they were paralleled by the nazi internment of jewish people as potential traitors ( and in that case worse as an economic slave-force ), but not comparable, although again the same republican defence can be made of the fuhrer: basically, there is no way Americans then could have been expected not to consider that Japanese-Americans would not all automatically refrain from acts meant to aid Japan; if the Americans committed their fair share of war-crimes as usual, they weren't as unpleasant occupiers as were the Japanese Imperial Army, and an easily panicked populace naturally did not want to experience the latter --- a repeat of Nanking in San Francisco or Los Angeles seemed a possibility at the time. Maybe the taking of the continent, and relentless expansion of population by the invaders, was rough on American Indians, but face it: they would not be any better off if the Japanese had invaded in the 16th century instead. And had during the first two centuries of post-columbian America the natives driven the invaders back into the sea they certainly would not be now bemoaning their ancestors' past brutalities and indulging in despicable self-guilt.
One of the troubles with the previous native occupation of the land is that the Native American Indian was an appallingly bad custodian of Mother Earth and had no respect for Nature. He destroyed animal life wantonly and without care for any future: wiping out entire species as efficiently as modern man manages with the far superior tools we have presently **, and set forests ablaze, incinerating the inhabitants, merely to attract meat-bearing animals to the ashy remainder. From the destruction of birds and animals in pre-California researched by Jack M. Broughton, "Depending on when and where you look back in time, native peoples were either living in harmony with nature or eating their way through a vast array of large-sized, attractive prey species." Early California: A Killing Field, to modern-day reservations with uncontrolled hunting rights, "Over the past 25 years Shoshones and Arapahoes, equipped with snowmobiles, ATV's and high-powered rifles, have virtually wiped out elk, deer, moose and bighorns on the 2.2 million-acre Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Repeated motions for modest self-regulation emanating from within the reservation have been defeated by vote of the tribal leaders.... [I]n one confined area 31 dead elk were found. In another, a retired Indian game warden mowed down an entire herd of 14. Meat piled up at local dumps. Antlers were exported to the Orient where antlers and horns are ground to a power and hawked as an aphrodisiac." Dances with Myths, the record of wasteful slaughter is as grim as Chinese bodycounts.
The whites finished the job of destroying the buffalo of course --- ironically in order as primary purpose to destroy the life and freedoms of the Indians who had massacred the buffalo so much --- yet if the mass executions by rifle were hideous, the previous methods were still more vile; particularly the Bison Jumps scattered throughout the continent. A favorite buffalo hunting technique was to stampede huge herds of them over cliffs. Many such Buffalo jump sites have been found in the West, some with remains of as many as 300,000 buffalo. The technique is detailed here.
From wiki, here is one little fellow galloping through the rare art of Eadweard Muybridge: watch him go !
Hungarian Bison mixing it [ or perhaps Aurochs ? ]
* "The creatures see of flood and field,
And those that travel on the wind !
With them no strife can last; they live
In peace, and peace of mind."
"For why ? --- because the good old rule
Sufficeth them, the simple plan,
That they should take, who have the power,
And they should keep who can."
William Wordsworth : Rob Roy's Grave
** Investigations into the fossil record and carbon dating techniques have shown that 80% of the North American animal population disappeared within 1000 years of the arrival of man.