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‘Will Fuck For Weed’">Will Fuck For Weed’

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(Animals, Correctitude, Places, Self Writ, The Building Blocks of Democracy)

Once when young I saw an old album cover which rather stuck in my memory, --- despite then and now being mostly uninterested in prog rock, as I here discover it was --- it's not everyday one sees a budgie waving a gun, let alone wearing a bandolier ( down-under, budgerigars roam in huge flocks, although I doubt they cover the sun with their wings nor the sound drowns out the wind and thunder: over here they are stuck singly or in pairs in small cages and called Petie ). Although it stayed, I never expected to find out where it was from. However, an hour back, from mere chance I typed the first word I thought of into Demonoid search under Music, not expecting any results at all --- it was 'napoleon' --- and it came up with 'Budgie's Bandolier'. With the instinct that only pure genius can achieve in mental comparison and patterning, like a flash I realised that it might quite possibly be connected to that ancient image. Which it was.

 

Mounted budgie wearing bandolier and rifle

 

Budgie was a Welsh band of the 1970s ( Amazon ) and here there are pictures of them then and now. The music's fine enough...

 

*******************************

 

More recently, here I made a post a few years back reffing Robert Browning with a postcard --- complete with camel in those innocent days --- of pre-Great War Venice Beach. The almost imperceptible joke being that Venice Beach is rather different now and whilst still worldly enough to satisfy Browning's magnificent judgemental gloom, has not the qualities to satisfy the exacting standards of the Haute Ton. Still, I daresay one can find cameltoes there if one looks sufficiently hard...

Although none of the comments can quite match mj88's perfect critique of California in a City Data Forums' thread

'I've never been to CA but they both sound like great and lovely areas (NOCAL or SOCAL). I always seem to hear positive things about CA such as the weather, friendly people, and beaches. The one and only drawback I have heard is that it occasionally gets congested on that one freeway in LA - can't remember its name at the moment.'

which carries subtlety to a new level, Yelp has a list of comments on Venice Beach which engagingly shows why it has an especial place in the hearts of it's countrymen:

The best way to describe Venice Beach is as a psychiatric hospital on a beach. Depending on how you feel about that, you can easily be entertained...or lose faith in humanity. Classic examples include guy collecting funds to rebuild Death Star and recruiting to kill off Jedi, guy in alien mask reading book in corner, and kids telling me how marijuana is the cure all drug (i.e. stub your toe...smoke a joint). In a one mile stretch, there were no less than 25 of these kids passing out cards. The numerous stands and booths all get horribly repetitive. Essentially, the boardwalk plays like one of those old time cartoons where the artists just recycled the background over and over. Food options are limited to mainly pizza places with a few burger places sprinkled in...and the occasional fruit cart.

Incense wafted everywhere like a light, perfumed fog it coiled about and hung over the Strand to mask or enhance the transitory and brief wisps of burning sage, scented candles, marijuana and body odor. Furry freaks danced with bespeckled nerds while tattooed rastafarian wanna-bes pulled stunned, pale and overweight tourists into impromptu reels as drums pounded incessantly to the accompaniment of piano, flute and electric guitar. Bleached blond surfers, salt-licked from a morning go-out passed by ancient hippies still peddling peace signs while cops turned their heads like they never saw the kid with the fat joint.

I especially thought the bums with a "Parents killed by ninja monkey. Help me pay for karate lessons" sign and a "I'm not going to lie, I want weed" sign were special.

If you don't like Venice Beach, you don't belong in California...
No, seriously get the hell out! This place is awesome! I love the atmosphere! Everyone's so chill. My only advice is be picky about the crazy people who perform their stunts, some of them aren't worth it, lol and I think they just spend the money on crack

2. I always see that guy who sells tongue whistles. I think the price is 5 different whistles for a dollar. I can't think of anything in this world that I would want less to spend a dollar on.

The creativity of the beggars is also notable. Just today I saw signs stating "Need fuel for my learjet", "Will fuck for weed" and "the happy wino".

I guess you have to love it or hate it. More on yelp love this place, but I have to disagree yet again with the yelpers. This place is nasty. Nasty in a dirty, homeless, shady, don;t bring your kids, way. My baby dropped her hat, (just purchased) and in 2 minutes it was gone. Someone stole a hat for a BABY that said Princess on it!!!! What real and I do mean real losers would do that? Even the homeless cannot possibly wear it.

What you get when you arrive, regardless of your reason for being there, is a dismal, despressing wasteland, and if you're from Nebraska or somewhere else decidedly non-Californian, much of what you'll see here you've already seen on your State Fair's sad midway. Decrepit and depressing tattoo parlor after tattoo parlor, sad and dejected t-shirt shops, and grimly appointed pizza stands make up the bulk of the boardwalk. The same astonishingly depressing people from your State Fair midway are here, too.

 

Sadly, Mr. Mozena has not yet become mayor of LA, and worse will not become write-in governor of CA, although there is no possibility that he could do worse than the laughable Arnold or either unholy front-runner in the present race between rich retards. However, on the credit side, Venice Beach has inspired many, many artists.

 

Madonna of Venice

Sir Peter Blake RA --- Madonna of Venice

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A Tabernacle To Æsop

About this time, as a relief from the graver matters which claimed his attention, Luther engaged in the occupation of turning. In a letter to Wenceslas Link, he begs his friend to purchase for him the necessary tools at Nuremburg... Luther returns his acknowledgements in a letter in which his characteristic gaiety of expression is apparent.

"We have received the turning tools, the quadrant, the cylinder, and the wooden clock. We greatly thank you for the trouble you have taken. One thing, however, you forgot: you did not mention how much more you expended, for the money I sent [ One guilder ] could not have been enough. For the present, we have got all we need, except you could send us some new machinery, which will turn by itself when Wolfgang is lazy or sleepy. The clock suits me perfectly, especially for showing the time to my drunken Saxons, who look more to the bottle than the hour, caring but little whether the sun, or the clock, or its hands show wrong."

Wolfgang had been for some years in Luther's service, and remained with him throughout his life. He was a worthy, honest fellow, devotedly attached to his master, and possessed but one failing, a frequent propensity to go to sleep over his work. This unconquerable drowsiness was often the subject of Luther's mock complaint. The master, with his own immense capacity for work without much interval for rest, was amused by the dull, heavy somnolence of his honest famulus. On one occasion, Wolfgang built a floor, and upon it fixed a contrivance for catching birds. Luther, whose nature was loving and feeling as that of a child, did not approve of this plan to entrap the feathered songsters, and drew out a Bird's Indictment against their foe. The birds besought Luther's protection against Wolfgang, whose sleepiness, they said, maliciously, everybody knew, as he never left his bed until eight o'clock in the morning; they required that every evening he should spread grain for their morning meal, as they rose up hours before him; and that his attention throughout the day should be devoted to catching frogs, snails, daws, mice and other pests, whereby he would be enabled to gratify his destructive instincts, without endeavouring to ensnare the poor birds, whose songs fully paid for the little grain they consumed. The Bird's Petition, brimful of soft pleadings on behalf of one of the Creator's sweetest gifts to charm the ears of that lordly creature, Man, concluded with a threat that if Wolfgang, their enemy, did not mend his ways, they ( the birds ) would pray to God to cause fleas and other insects to crawl about him at night, and torment him beyond endurance.

Luther took great delight in the simple happiness to be gained in his garden, cultivating the flowers, listening to the plashing of the waters of the fountain he had himself erected, to the singing of the birds, and to the gambols of the fish in a small pond. These small matters often took from his mind much of the trouble and anxiety inseparable from his position, and broke the hard intensity of intellectual and spiritual care.

 

Coburg Castle

 

...on the 3rd of April [ 1530 ], the Elector, unarmed and accompanied by one hundred and sixty horsemen, set out from Torgau on his way to meet the Emperor at Augsburg. Luther, Melanchthon, Jonas, Agricola, and Spalatin were with him. When they reached Coburg, the Elector directed Luther to remain there. The ban of the Empire prevented his appearance at the Diet. Without hesitation Luther obeyed the command of his prince. He proceeded to the fortress of Coburg, where he remained during the time of the proceedings at Augsburg. The elector with his followers reached Augsburg on the 2nd of May, and there awaited the arrival of the Emperor, which did not take place until the 15th of June. Luther, from the castle, wrote constantly to the Elector, to Spalatin, and to Melanchthon. The solitude and inaction to which he was constrained to submit were irksome and distressing. Writing to Melanchthon on the 22nd April he says: "I have arrived at my Sinai; but of this Sinai I will make a Sion: I will raise thereon three Tabernacles, one to the Psalmist, another to the Prophets, and lastly, one to Æsop..." He was at this time engaged in the translation of these fables.

 
Elsheimer - Ruin

Caspar Friedrich --- The Tree of Crows

* Colour alternates
 
"There is nothing here to prevent my solitude from being complete. I live in a vast abode which overlooks the castle; I have the keys of all its apartments. There are scarcely thirty persons within the fortress, of whom twelve are watchers by night, and two other sentinels, constantly posted on the castle heights."

On the 9th of May he wrote to Spalatin an amusing account of the rooks and jackdaws, the denizens of the wood beneath the elevated part of the castle in which he lived.

"I am here in the midst of another diet, in the presence of the magnanimous sovereigns, dukes, grandees, and nobles of a kind different to those at Augsburg. Mine confer together upon State affairs with all the gravity of demeanour; they fill the air with unceasing voice, promulgating their decrees and their preachings. They do not seat themselves shut up in those royal caverns, you call palaces, but they hold their councils in the light of the sun, having the heavens for a canopy, and, for a carpet, the rich and varied verdure of the trees, on which they are congregated in liberty; the only limits to their domains being the boundaries of the earth. The stupid display of silk and gold inspires them with horror. They are all alike, in colour as in countenance --- black. Nor is their note different one from the other; the only dissonance being the agreeable contrast between the voices of the young and the deeper tones of their parents. In no instance have I ever heard them speak of an Emperor; they disdain with sovereign contempt the horse which is so indispensible to our cavaliers; they have a far better means of mocking the fury of cannon. In so far as I have been able to comprehend their decrees, they have determined to wage an incessant war during the present year against barley, corn, and grain of all sorts; in short, against all that is most enticing and agreeable amongst the fruits and products of the earth. It is much to be feared that they may become conquerors wherever they direct their efforts; for they are a race of combatants, wily and adroit; equally successful in their attempts to plunder, by force or by surprise. As for me, I am an idle spectator, assisting willingly, and with much satisfaction at their consultations. But enough of jesting ! Jesting which is, however, sometimes necessary to dispel the gloomy thoughts which overwhelm me."

The clamour of the rooks and crows, by which, as in another letter he wrote, "they charitably intend to bring sleep gently to my eyelids," was not altogether successful in diverting his attention from the grave business of the diet.

John Rae : Martin Luther --- Student, Monk, Reformer

 

 
Elsheimer - Ruin

 
*
Note that the More tag no longer works on this particular blog - it destroys the lay-out: for which lack we apologise...
 

 
Caspar Tree of Crows darker

 
Caspar Tree of Crows lighter

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Why I Don’t Eat Eggs

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One gets soon bored with people arguing that milk and poultry farming pose no harm to animals; as a vegan I've neither objection to straight vegetarianism nor any wish to convert people to the straiter gate: but, whilst I once made the finest omelettes imaginable, I do so no more.

From Mercy for Animals comes this video, Tiniest Victims, which was further reproduced on Google-Youtube.

 
 

Thrown, dropped, mutilated, and ground-up alive. This is the shocking reality faced by hundreds of thousands of chicks each day at the world's largest egg-laying breed hatchery – Hy-Line International in Spencer, Iowa.

New hidden camera footage obtained at this facility during a Mercy For Animals undercover investigation gives a disturbing glimpse into the cruel and industrialized reality of modern hatcheries.

The warm, comforting, and protective wings of these newly hatched chicks' mothers have been replaced with massive machines, quickly moving conveyor belts, harsh handling, and distressing noise. These young animals are sorted, discarded, and handled like mere cogs in a machine.

For the nearly 150,000 male chicks who hatch every 24 hours at this Hy-Line facility, their lives begin and end the same day. Grabbed by their fragile wings by workers known as "sexers," who separate males from females, these young animals are callously thrown into chutes and hauled away to their deaths. They are destined to die on day one because they cannot produce eggs and do not grow large or fast enough to be raised profitably for meat. Their lives are cut short when they are dropped into a grinding machine – tossed around by a spinning auger before being torn to pieces by a high-pressure macerator.

Over 30 million male chicks meet their fate this way each year at this facility.

For the surviving females, this is the beginning of a life of cruelty and confinement at the hands of the egg industry. Before even leaving the hatchery they will be snapped by their heads into a spinning debeaker – a portion of their sensitive beaks removed by a laser. Workers toss and rummage through them before they are placed 100 per crowded box and shipped across the country.

 
 
 

Chick in Bed

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Like A Small Grey Coffee-Pot

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(Animals, Correctitude, Self Writ)

Further to the last, let us consider the squirrels...

In the dying days of the Bushie Reich, the old buster omitted either to spend half of the income on covering the USA with concrete, presumably feeling this was redundant, or more pertinently, to shoot his fool head off --- then again he never had a traditionalist bone in his body --- but did find time to take West Virginian Flying Squirrels off the Endangered Species List.

We can only hope that Obama, despite coming not to destroy the Bush Law or the Neocon Prophets, but to fulfil, will rectify both the plight of the squirrels and the leaving of the White House in the approved manner. If only he could be persuaded to regard them as furry little bankers, wisely hoarding their nuts for the benefit of all... bankers.

However, disreputable little shysters are not really this post's remit; but rather to mention that I have lived my entire life without knowing that Sugar Gliders existed --- then again, on mentioning this to some New Zealanders, neither had they; despite the Gliders' habitat being down under.

These noble little creatures are very similar to their cousins, Flying Squirrels, other than being marsupial. I came across them by accident whilst looking up Geothermal and finding this charming page of pets. Neither look very like regular squirrels, who both Red and Grey are adorable enough.

This slightly compensated for finding out in the search for Geothermal Installations that American business, true to that old Yankee shrewdness of yore, when they spent great time and effort in creating wooden nutmegs for sale to others, when it would have probably have been just easier to grow the damn nutmegs, have once again managed their time-honoured tradition of bait n' switch by producing a different --- not necessarily inferior, but usually so --- technology and calling it by the same name the rest of the world applies to the original. When we think of geothermal installs the futuristic example of Iceland is to the fore ( admittedly this is helped by certain geological features, but it's not as if the Western USA is stranger to earthquake, ex-volcanoes or geysers [ an Icelandic word ] ), yet according to a post on TerraPass...

True geothermal energy which is used as a prime energy source uses an underground heat source, such as hot water/geysers often heat by volcanic activity. This is what is common in Iceland. The heat may be used to heat a building or converted into electricity for other uses.

Ground-source heat pumps uses the earth as a semi-infinite heat exchanger/heat sink in order the greatly increase the efficiency of a refrigeration system, but still required outside energy input. This should not be considered 'renewable energy' - this would be akin to calling the atmosphere an energy source for a traditional refrigeration system. Unfortunately, in North America this system is also frequently referred to as 'geothermal'.

This type of confusion has helped bring Google searches to the value they now possess...

 
 
 

Flying Squirrels
Flying Squirrel

 
 

Sugar Gliders
Sugar Glider

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Refined Nordic Gloom

Hello Saferide --- Annika Norlin

Lyrics

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Leaving You Behind

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Last Bitter Song

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Middleclass

 
 

Also, My latest OpenSUSE wallpaper...

 
Wallpaper Dove

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A Non-Flock Of Non-Scarlet Pigeons

Parody being one of the major arts, here is a satire of French art-school filmmaking. Unknown auteur.

 

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Ingrata Patria, Né Ossa Quidem Habebis

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(Animals, Correctitude, Melancholy, Other Writ, The King of Terrors)

In the daies of Tiberius the Emperor, there was a yong Raven hatched in a neast upon the church of Castor and Pollux, which, to make a triall how he could flie, took his first flight into a shoomakers shop just overagainst the said church. The maister of the shop was well ynough content to receive this bird, as commended to him from so sacred a place, and in that regard set great store by it. This Raven in short time being acquainted to mans speech, began to speak, & every morning would fly up to the top of the Rostra or publicke pulpit for Orations, where, turning to the open Forum and market place, he would salute and bid Good morrow to Tiberius Cæsar, and after him, to Germanicus and Drusus the yong princes, both Cæsars, every one by their names: and anon the people of Rome also that passed by. And when hee had so done, afterwards would flie againe to the shoomakers shop aforesaid. This duty practised he and continued for many years together, to the great wonder and admiration of all men. Now it fell out so, that another shoomaker, who had taken the next corviners shop unto him, either upon a malicious envie that hee occupied so neere him, or some suddaine splene and passion of choller (as he would seeme to plead for his excuse) for that the Raven chaunced to meute a little, and set some spot upon a paire of his shoes, killed the said Raven. Whereat the people tooke such indignation, that they rising in an uprore, first drove him out of that street, and made that quarter of the city too hote for him: and not long after murdered him for it. But contrariwise, the carkasse of the dead Raven was solemnely enterred, and the funerals performed with all ceremoniall obsequies that could bee devised. For the corps of this bird was bestowed in a coffin, couch, or bed, and the same bedecked with chaplets and guirlands of fresh floures of all sorts, carried upon the shoulders of two blacke Mores, with minstrels before, sounding the haut-boies, and playing on the fife, as farre as to the funerall fire; which was piled and made in the right hand of the causey Appia, two miles without the cittie, in a certain plaine or open field called Rediculi. So highly reputed the people of Rome that readie wit and apt disposition in a bird, as they thought it a sufficient cause to ordaine a sumptuous buriall therefore: yea, and to revenge the death thereof, by murdering a cittizen of Rome in that citie, wherein many a brave man and noble person died, and no man ever solemnized their funerals: in that citie I say which affoorded not one man to revenge the unworthie death of that renowned Scipio Æmylianus, after he had woon both Carthage and Numantia. This happened the fifth day before the Calends of Aprill, in the yeare when M. Servilius and C. Cestius were Consuls of Rome.

C. Plinius Secundus --- The Historie of the World trans: Philemon Holland

 
[ Scipio Aemilianus being the despicable liberal Optimate, of course, and not the brilliant Africanus: so why should any honest man care about the death of the enemy of Africanus's grandsons, the admirable Gracchi ? ]

 

Crow with Stars

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Each Man Is An Island

Brown Ducklings

 

Dear God,

give us a flood of water.

Let it rain tomorrow and always.

Give us plenty of little slugs

and other luscious things to eat.

Protect all folk who quack

and everyone who knows how to swim.

Amen.

 

Carmen Bernos de Gasztold : The Prayer of the Little Ducks

 

Rain Girl

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As Cold As Ice

Depression came early this autumn. Sufficiently accounting for going AWOL; yet viewers would be correct to strongly demand a notification such as this, yet ennui waits for no man

 

2 Girls

 
 
Glancing through one of those not unamusing collections of fake-medieval detective stories, and was so struck by this beginning sentence by a Mr. Paul Harding, I fast checked the reference online, yet could not find any such thing in the work quoted.

'I was reading Bartholomew the Englishman's The Nature of Things in which he describes the planet Saturn as cold as ice, dark as night and malignant as Satan.'

A quick check astrological showed the ruling house of the hour i was born to be Saturn : not believing in this discipline in the least, this was previously unknown to me, it just seemed kinda inevitable...

[ Why I disbelieve may be shown, not only by the unlikelihood of vast symbols influencing our self-wrought nature, but by the interpretation given:

This astrological combination indicates a headstrong individual with a fiercely passionate nature. Your likes and dislikes are intense, and you tend to impose your will and taste upon others. You will rise to positions of leadership, for you display unusual courage and independence. Your nature is practical, and your goals are very much tied to matters of this world. You are stubborn in your views and you are ardently jealous of your possessions and values. Although you conduct your own affairs in semi-secrecy, you have to probe into the life of your love partner. Much about you is deep. You store away your emotions, hide your resentments, bury away knowledge. The key to a more harmonious self lies in cultivating humility and greater self-control of your one-directional, assertive personality.

Apart from the fact I can't recognise any of this; I love the sheer unsubtility of the gross flattery astrologers offer: no wonder they were so popular in braver times. And I've already got enough humility. ]

 

Ice Towers

[ Possibly the first image I ever had on my first computer aons back ]

 

***

Neanderthal Days and Neanderthal Ways

And of Ice, I read up on Afrocentric 'history' just for a laugh, and came across some work by a Michael Bradley referenced, popular in the Farrakhan School, The Iceman Inheritance : Prehistoric Sources of Western Man's Racism, Sexism and Aggression, which promulgated that white people descended partly from those crazy red-haired neanderthals, and that modern pathologies particular to western civilisations are caused by sexual dysfunction of cold neanderthal hearts --- my lack of faith in psychosexual therapy, really all therapies, indicates that I am quite sure that it is as fully successful in analysis conducted at a range of 40,000 years as in the immediate present --- still, I was slightly pleased, since if we are all different species rather than merely different races, then all our white 'sins' are both natural and indeed, ineluctable.

Apparently the book proffered the additional delight that the jews are the purest form of neanderthals; amusingly referenced here in a resigned list of things certain peoples believe about the jews. Just remember that every believer is entitled to their vote under any democracy, and marvel that anyone is truly stupid enough to believe in democracy.

I took a few online sociopathy tests for fun, which results varied as wildly as astrology, although all gratifyingly scored around the higher marks. Although I can scarcely doubt being an amoral sociopath, honour and the vagaries of luck forbid the more volatile expressing of such tendencies; the trouble is that I really couldn't care enough about people to want to kill them; even minute non-violent injury such as blowing up their empty car seems to mark being over-passionately engaged in the mundane world [ as does noticing they live, of course ], unless they offer really serious provocation, natüralich. As with all other animals, each gets individual respect, and should not be killed or injured in the slightest unless they threaten --- if a bear is likely to harm one, then murdering it is justified: old lunatics like this fellow who shot a nursing bear eating birdseed really ought at least to receive enough punishment to send them to Hell. P'raps being fastened to a steering wheel and blown up with plastique as happened to the fellow in Ambler's Send No More Roses, or something of that order ? [ Actually, I knew until fairly recently a chap who claimed to have invented plastique, or some form of it at least. Very useful stuff. ] Hopefully he would not protest unbecomingly. Being cold I always abhore unnecessary suffering: but even more the suffering inflicted by victims' lack of pride. One of the most horrific and repulsive acts of modern cinema was the notorious, 'Look into your heart' scene from Miller's Crossing: Just kill the disgusting little fucker already...

 

Red Ridinghood on skulls

 

***

And They Fight Like Girls...

I also took the Inner Dragon Psych test...

 
First, tell me which breath-weapon you'd most like to control:
Lightning / Storms ~ ZOT! he he he he...

Okay, what size do you feel like inside ?
Size? Who cares? I'm the baddest dragon on this planet

Next, where would you prefer to live ?

Secluded mountain valleys, away from everything.

Which statement best describes how you feel about humans ?

They look funny. They talk funny. They act funny. They taste funny. And they fight like girls.

Select the sentence that best describes how you feel about other dragons:

Nah, that whole community thing isn't for me.

And how do you view yourself as a dragon ?
I am the shadow, the mist, and the wind. My intentions are hidden and my reasons are my own.

What's your most likely course of action if threatened ?
Just pass on by and hope they're not dumb enough to try anything - for their sake.

Given the chance, would you use magic or spells ?
Yes (including "yeah, sure, whatever", "because they might make pretty colors", etc.)

How much treasure would you hoard if you could have all you wanted ?

You cross me and I'll take what you've got. Otherwise, not much.

Lastly, which genre of music do you prefer ?
Classical, Marches, Instrumentals.

I turned out to be a White Dragon.

 

Elf with Dragon

 

The Blackbird Whistling

Other news being that I converted to Blackbird as primary music player, if solely because I love the fat little fellow. It works perfectly, even on Windows 2000 for which it is not designed; I had hoped to add one of these permanent links here, yet apart from being paralysed by choice of these charming images, they are transparent pngs, and may not come out well on this darker theme...

 

Blackbird in Space

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Like Angels Appearing In The Sky

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(Animals, Generalia, Melancholy, Self Writ, The King of Terrors)

'Like angels appearing in the sky, whales are proof of God.'
The Whales by Cynthia Rylant

 

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:

Silver Zeppelin

 

MiniZepp

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.

 
 
Sky Captain Film

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“Oh, Good” Quoth The Dodo, “New Friends.”">Oh, Good” Quoth The Dodo, “New Friends.”

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.

 

Dodo
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. ]

 

Dodo 1602

 
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.

 

waterhouse Dodo

 
"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

 
Reunion Dodos

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.

Yes.

 

Savery --- Dodo
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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Is Thy Servant A Dog That He Should Do This Thing ?

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.

 

Rebel Puppy

 

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...

 

Blasphemer - Black Doggie

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The Breath Of A Buffalo In The Wintertime

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"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 !

Muybridge sequence

en sequentia...

Muybridge Buffalo Gallop

 

hungarian bison
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.

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For Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves

A month ago one of my three cats, Shelly, aged around six, was poisoned either purposefully --- although that is dubious --- or accidentally. After a stay at the vets she recovered; then went out on a spree and I saw her only at odd meals. Last week she came in limping and this developed into a full neurological disorder: perhaps a virus released by the earlier sickness, or toxoplasmosis --- it remains unresolved; but the vets felt she could be released home on Monday. By then, though, she was immobile on a glucose drip and unable to eat, despite having lost weight. The next morning she had a seizure and, despite the light in her eyes, there was no prospect of recovery. I held her paw as the vet released an overdose that ceased her heart. Fortunately this lasted only a minute or so without distress: and... hopefully without foreknowledge of this betrayal.

 
 
Shelly Cat

 
Nek

 
Shelly

 
Jap girls

The one in Japanese clothing...

 
Shelly

With Elsie...

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Not To Tell A Lie : Western Tourists In Burma See Local Customs

The account given by Pinto of the final surrender of Martaban to the Burmese, and of the events which followed, is graphic and interesting, and in many particulars bears the impress of accuracy and truth, though to the Europeans of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, who had a very vague and inadequate idea of the greatness and splendour of the cities and countries of Eastern Asia, it appeared absurdly exaggerated. Here, as elsewhere, it must be remembered that Pinto had no means of accurately estimating numbers, and that he frequently was obliged to take his details from the reports of men who no doubt employed Eastern hyperbole with great freedom.

It appears that the unfortunate King of Martaban had reckoned greatly upon the assistance of the Portuguese, and had held out in the full hope that they would give him efficient succour. When he found them, to his intense chagrin, ranged on the side of his enemies, he gave up his cause for lost, and entered into negotiations with his assailant, offering to surrender his capital on condition that he should be allowed to retire in safety with his family. The faithless Burmese tyrant, after pledging his word that this condition should be granted, shamefully broke the promise he had given, and the un­happy prince was led forth in triumph with his wives and children, and exposed to great humiliation and ignominy. Pinto gives a very circum­stantial account of the procession of guards and captives who marched forth from Martaban, giving the names of many of the princes, the chief priest, &c. He then says --- "Immediately after these there came in a litter Nhay Canatoo, daughter of the King of Pegu, whose kingdom the Burmese monarch had taken away, and wife of the Chambainhaa. She had with her four little children, two boys and two girls, the greatest of whom was not more than seven years old, and around her were thirty or forty young women of noble family, and grandly beau­tiful. They all had their faces bowed down towards the ground, and tears in their eyes, and leaned upon other women. After these marched in order certain Falagrepos, who are among themselves like the Capu­chins among us, and who all, barefooted and bareheaded, marched onward praying, and carrying in their hands a kind of chaplets. Moreover, they encouraged these ladies as well as they could, throwing water in their faces to revive them when their hearts failed them, which happened often enough --- a lamentable spectacle, which it was impossible to look upon without shedding tears. This unhappy company was followed by a number of foot-guards, and after these came some five hundred Burmese on horseback. Near them was the Chambainhaa, mounted on a small elephant, in token of poverty and of the disregard of the world, conformably to the religion to which he had devoted him­self anew. There was no greater pomp about him than this, and he was dressed simply in a long garment of black velvet, in token of mourning, having his beard, his hair, and his eyebrows shaved off; and, moreover, he had caused an old cord to be placed about his neck before he gave himself up to the king. This spectacle, too, was so mournful that none could look upon it and refrain, from weeping. With regard to his age, he was about sixty-two years old, of very lofty stature, with a grave and severe countenance, and the look of a very generous prince. When he had come to a place where a confused company of women, children, and old men awaited him, when they saw him in such a lamentable condition, before he had emerged from the city, they all raised, six or seven times, such a loud and terrible cry, that one would have said the earth was crumbling under his feet; and these lamentations and cries were incontinently followed by a multitude of blows that they inflicted on their own faces, striking themselves heavily with stones, with so little pity for themselves that the majority of them were in a short time covered with blood. Moreover, these things so horrible, to see and so terrible to hear, in such measure afflicted all the bystanders, that even the Burmese guards, though they were men of war, and con­sequently little inclined to compassion, and enemies of the Chambainhaa, could not refrain from weeping like children. It was at this place, also, that the heart of Nhay Canatoo, the wife of the Chambainhaa, twice failed her, and: all the other ladies gave way also, insomuch ilhat it was necessary to let him dismount from the elephant on which he was riding, that he might be able to encourage his wife and to console her. Then, seekig her lying on the ground like one dead, and embracing her four littte children, he knelt down on the ground and looked up with tears in his eyes."

The severest part of the unfortunate prince's trial was the mortifica­tion of meeting the Portuguese, who had behaved very treacherously towards him, and who were now standing to see him pass "all clothed in holiday dresses, with cuirasses of buffalo leather, their hats on their heads ornamented with a great number of plumes, and their arquebuses on their shoulders." Juan Cayeyro, one of the number, especially attracted the notice of the Chambainhaa by flaunting in crimson satin. On seeing him, the fallen monarch bent forward on his elephant's neck, and declared that he would go no farther unless these wicked and trea­cherous men were removed. The Birmans themselves were irritated at the double-dealing of the Spaniards, and the captain of the guard sar­castically bade them go shave their beards, and no longer deceive people into the belief that they were soldiers; and the Burmese would hire a number of women in their stead, who would serve for money. The Burmese guards, following their commander's lead, thereupon pushed away the Spaniards with great contempt, and Pinto adds pathetically, "Not to tell a lie, nothing ever so sensibly affected me as this, for the honour of my compatriots."

 
Elephant East

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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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During A Night Black As Raven Bounces

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Standrecht --- Zwart als Ravenveren

Dutch metal neo-nazi band. Considering the general views of Germans, let alone nazis, in the Netherlands, it's a great tribute to the unquenchable human spirit that they can produce their own...

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A Wombat’s Paw May Touch The Face Of God

From a review: The first structure visible from space was made by wombats

 

Wombat Print

"The Wombat is a Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness !" --- Dante Gabriel Rossetti

 
and a short piece on world sleeping patterns, with the usual implications that the West has it all wrong compared with other cultures mentions something from Indonesia:

“These are the Balinese, and this is an example of something called ‘fear sleep’ or ‘todoet poeles.’ See these two guys?” She pointed to the first picture, where two men cowered on the sand in the center of the group. “They just got caught stealing from the village kitty, and they’ve been hauled out for trial.” The villagers all had angry faces and open mouths. The two men looked terrified.

“You can see the progression. He’s starting to sag”—in the next photo one of the thieves had his eyes closed and had begun to lean over—“and here in the last photo you can see he’s totally asleep.” The same thief was now slumped and insentient, snoozing happily amid the furious village thrum. “Isn’t that amazing?” Worthman shook her head. “In stressful situations they can fall instantly into a deep sleep. It’s a cultural acquisition.”

The ability to fall into a profound slumber upon the approach of severe danger has to be the most breathtakingly moronic superpower ever unneeded.

 
***

 
Anyway, these from Discover were linked to the interesting article I was reading on the genetic basis of the aesthetics of personal beauty. Dr. Langlois began her investigations in Louisiana State University --- now from the University of Texas --- and studies how and when concepts of beauty as a value, and thus attraction, start; coming to the conclusions that it is genetically hard-wired into our being. Which is much like Race: everyone can just see it exists by looking at different people, but progressives having determined to convince themselves it is a social construct for their own social reasons, the demonstration of the bloody obvious has to be established scientifically. Not that Herr Dr. James D. Watson will be forgiven very soon...

Certainly I had not heard of psychobiology before, but then most scientific disciplines remain welcomely terra incognita... however this gave me pause, 'To help solve the mystery, Langlois's doctoral student Lisa Kalakanis has presented babies who are just 15 minutes old with paired images of attractive and homely faces.'; for some reason, prolly genetically hard-wired into scientists' psyches, the determination to cross the line into sheer pointless intrusion remains paramount. New-born infants have enough on their plates without needing to identify photos shoved dementedly before them even if, as I doubt, their eyes are entirely focussed, and that they --- any more than the average person --- can deliver informed judgements. Still, could have been worse: had they been rat babies, the scientists, in mafia-mode, would have been under the obligation to kill them after experimentation.

 
As psychologist Nancy Etcoff, author of the 1999 book Survival of the Prettiest, puts it: "The idea that beauty is unimportant or a cultural construct is the real beauty myth. We have to understand beauty, or we will always be enslaved by it."

Uh, most of us are in no way obsessed with personal beauty, and can take it as it is merely as one attribute. But then it wouldn't matter in the least if we were enslaved by it. Damned egalitarians... Life is unfair by it's very nature.

 

Pirate Girl

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Deny’d In Heaven The Soul He Held On Earth

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(Animals, High Germany, Other Writ, Royalism, Self Writ, Stuarts, The Building Blocks of Democracy)

C. Van Carter has two good blogs, Across Difficult Country, and Craptocracy.

From the first is an old post Arrival: Vaduz, where he rightly says:

What truly sets Liechtenstein apart as a country is that it has not succumbed to the foolish democracy fad which has ruined all other modern nations. Liechtenstein is still ruled by a monarch, as it has been since the the Middle Ages (not coincidentally the last decent period in human history). The current head of state is Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, a rather dashing fellow, and over dinner at Vaduz Castle he describes to me the wealth and happiness that flows to Liechtenstein's people as a result of its monarchical system

I may add that Princess Sophie of Bavaria, Hereditary Princess of Liechtenstein --- daughter-in-law to Hans-Adam II and wife of Prince Alois, the Regent of Liechtenstein --- is, after her father Prince Max, heir to the Stuart regalities when the Stuart-Wittelsbach conjunction ceases.

*****

And from the second, a more recent post discusses some absurd fellow who seeks the equally absurd position of president to the USA: never heard of him, but a Mr. Hucklebee. This unsavoury little chap wishes to ban smoking throughout the American dominions --- admittedly one may say 'fat chance' sceptically, but Yanks do adore ploughing their economy into pointless wars, and an extension of the War on Terror into a Second Front against domestic smoking will certainly appeal to the moral retard majority... --- and there's a nasty story regarding his son --- who recently was fined for having a loaded gun whilst travelling through an airport [ don't try this whilst devoutly reading the Qur'an and mumbling ] --- hanging a dog at Scout Camp. Something he later claimed was done since the animal was sick and suffering: must account for the rows of gallows adjacent to every retirement home... His benighted father is alleged to have attempted to interfere with the administration of justice. His Chief of Staff admitted asking the Director of State Police who was afterwards fired by Governor Hucklebee: "Is it normal for the state police to … investigate something that happened at a Boy Scout camp ?"

Kinda... police in most jurisdictions, even perhaps Pakistan, are going to get active over any allegations of torture unconnected to their own activities. It's what makes us civilised.

 

Tomb of Boatswain

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I Think I Could Turn And Live With Animals, They Are So Placid And Self-Contain’d

'So that I, finding my service by this means lightly regarded, my affection despised, and myself unknown, remained no fuller of desire than void of counsel how to come to my desire; which, alas, if these trees could speak, they might well witness. For many times have I stood here, bewailing myself unto them. Many times have I, leaning to yonder palm, admired the blessedness of it that it could bear love without sense of pain. Many times, when my master's cattle came hither to chew their cud in this fresh place, I might see the young bull testify his love, but how ? With proud looks and joyfulness.

'"O wretched mankind,' said I then to myself, "in whom wit, which should be the governor of his welfare, becomes the traitor to his blessedness ! These beasts, like children to nature, inherit her blessings quietly: we, like bastards, are laid abroad, even as found­lings to be trained up by grief and sorrow. Their minds grudge not at their bodies' comfort, nor their senses are letted from enjoying their objects: we have the impediments of honour and the tor­ments of conscience.'

'Truly in such cogitations have I sometimes so long stood that methought my feet began to grow into the ground, with such a darkness and heaviness of mind that I might easily have been persuaded to have resigned over my very essence. But love ( which one time layeth burdens, another time giveth wings ) when I was at the lowest of my downward thoughts, pulled up my heart to remember that nothing is achieved before it be throughly at­tempted, and that lying still doth never go forward; and that therefore it was time, now or never, to sharpen my invention to pierce through the hardness of this enterprise, never ceasing to assemble all my conceits one after the other how to manifest both my mind and estate.'

Sir Philip Sidney : The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia

 

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As High As Haman — Srsly

Fol­low­ing all the ver­sions of the Bib­le, ran­ging from King James to the New Eng­lish, the Rheims-Douai to the Revised Stand­ard, etc., and their trans­la­tions into dif­fer­ent ver­nacu­lars, an import­ant gap is being filled by an ongo­ing inter­net pro­ject into Lolcat, Teh Holiez Bib­ul, from The Lolcat Church.

This retains all the gen­er­ous human­ity and love­li­ness of the ori­gin­al jew­ish screeds.

1 so king n ham­an n esther b hav­in tasty foodz.2 tasty foodz wuz gud so king ask esther “wot u want dis time?”

3 esther sez “i can haz life n mi ppl can haz life?4 cuz mi ppl haz been sol­ded into non­livng n dat not gud. not mind beeng sol­ded 4 work, but not liv­ing v bad.”

5 so king askz “hoo wud mayke u ded?6 n esther sez “lol ham­an” n ham­an wuz scarded7 king went 4 walk­ies so ham­an ask­ded esther for mer­ci

8 but king not hap­pi 2 cum bak n find ham­an on esth­ers bed. king ask “u try­ing to SURPRIZE BUTTSECKS mi wife?” so ser­vents cum 2 tell ham­an to stfu noob and tuk him awai.9 n one gai sez 2 king “luk at v big rope swing ham­an buil­ded 4 mor­de­cai” n king sez “lol neck swing 4 ham­an insted“10 n wen ham­an wuz swinging from big rpe swing, king b happy agin.
Esther 7

***

1 iff i talkd wif teh tun­gz of manz n angylz, n duzzn haz luff, i are becom liek teh human, knock­in down all teh potz n panz frm teh shelf, srsly.2 iff i haz powarz of liek tellin the futurez an, an i gotz all teh mis­s­ter­iez an all teh know­ingz an all teh faithz, enuff 2 taek all teh mowntanz awayz, an i duzzn haz luff, i gotz nuffink.3 an evn iff i givez all mai stuffz awai, n iff i delivur mai bod­iz to b burnded up, and i duzzn haz luff, i gotz nuffink.

4 luv is pashi­ent n kind, luv haz no jelusn­iss or show­in offz, luv no is stuck-up5 or r00dz. Luv no insistzes on doin it rite, itz not pisst off alla tiem or rezentfluffle.6 luv izzn all hap­piez about doin it wrong, but is hap­piez about teh truthz.7 luv putz up wiht all teh stuffz, bee­livez all teh stuffz, hoepz for all teh stuffz. Luv putz up wiht all teh stuffz. i sed that areddy.

8 luv no haz end­ingz. Tellin the futurez, tun­gz, an alla stuffz u know wil die.9 we haz know­ingz a bit, an we haz pro­facy a bit. We no haz 2 much tho.10 o, wait. wen teh per­fict coemz, teh not per­fict will dyez, lolol.11 wen i wuz a kit­ten, i meweded leik a kit­ten, think­ded liek a kit­tenz, an I chazed strings liek a kit­tenz. wen i wuz becomez a cat, i NOT WANT kit­ten waiz né moar.12 for nao we see in teh foggy mirorr like when teh human gets out of teh shower, but tehn we see faec tow faec. Nao i haz know­ingz just a bit, tehn i will haz all teh know­ingz, as i haz been knownz.

13 nao faithz an hoepz an luvs r hear, theses threes, but teh best­est iz teh luvs, srsly.
1 Cor­inthi­ans 13

 
Burning Bush

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Ain’t Nothing But Mammals ( Or, When The Kissing Had To Stop )

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Careful nurturing saved me till now from much hearing of Der Voglertanz, a Swiss tune better known, and popular, in the U. S. as The Chicken Dance. I'm as fond of Om Pah as the next man ( although German, and particularly Bavarian, dancing leaves me as cold as native dances traditional in the British Isles, or indeed from anywhere ), but it's fairly annoying.

* Begin in a large circle with everybody facing in toward the center of the ring.
* At the start of the music, shape a chicken beak with your hands. Open and close it four times, during the first four beats of the music.
* Make chicken wings with your arms. Flap your wings four times, during the next four beats of the music.
* Make a chicken's tail feathers with your arms and hands. Wiggle downwards during the next four beats of the music.
* Clap four times during the next four beats of the music.
* Repeat this process four times.
* After the fourth time spin to the right for eight counts with your partner
* Switch directions and spin to the left with your partner for eight counts
* The dance repeats, progressively getting faster and faster, until the music stops.

As stately, if more intricate, than a pavanne, this description from Wiki adequately serves as an extended metaphor for the Cold War.

 
Those interested shall have to search elsewhere; instead here's a superior sound...

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Bloodhound Gang - Discovery Channel [ with Prairie Hens ]

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Distrust Didactics; Distrust Morals; Trust Donkeys

I possess the same dislike for common fables as did Professor Tolkien for allegory; undoubtedly for the same reason, the total mistrust of didacticism added to the puritan complacence of the instructor. Still, whatever my reservations on La Fontaine, this is a very pretty little book from 1835, illustrated by Hadamar and Desandre, whomever they were, and I think this the prettiest of all. Pity about the unavoidable moral lesson...

 

La Fontaine image

L'Ane Portant Des Reliques

Un baudet, chargè de reliques
S'imagina qu'on l'adorait
Dans ce penser il se carrait,
Recevant comme siens l'encens et les cantiques,
Quelqu'un vit l'erreur, et lui dit:
Maitre baudet, ôtez-vous de l'esprit
Une vanitê si folle.
Ce n'est pas pour vous, c'est l'idole
A qui cet honneur se rend,
Et que la gloire en est due.
D'un magistral ignorant
C'est la robe qu'on salue.

 
Which may be unfavorably compared with Chesterton's famous The Donkey for a less pompous and self-righteous viewpoint...

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools ! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

 

La Fontaine image

 

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Playing With Muspel Fire

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Fire-organ played in Reykjavik at the Winter Lights Festival

Both the Bundeswehr and the late Nationale Volksarmee have/had no more legitimacy than Hitler's mob, but although republican do/did obviously still carry out a little of the great tradition... Torchlight Parades are always so pretty.

Both uniforms are getting on the silly side, with ties and all ( and ugly impracticable Allied-Type helmets; which is kind of ironical now the Yanks are sensibly starting to model their helmets on the stahlhelm... ) and look really remarkably similar despite any supposed ideological differences betwixt state capitalism and the free-market kind.

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Bundeswehr --- Großer Zapfenstreich Aufmarsch 26/10/2006

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NVA --- Großer Wachaufzug 1989

Note the holy atmosphere of the NVA bash --- no doubt anything would be a break from the necessity of writing up a daily report on one's neighbours; and the poor production values of something shot in 1989 which films like 1962 outside the Iron Curtain. Note also the use of Jingling Johnnies aka La Pavillon Chinois which seem to really take one back...

 

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Stomping Kittie with Preußens Gloria

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Another Small Black Pig

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"A shell grazed the third funnel and exploded on the upper deck above….' said Gneisenau’s Commander Pochhammer. ‘Large pieces of shrapnel ripped down and reached the coal bunkers, killing a stoker. A deck officer had both his forearms torn off. A second shell exploded on the main deck, destroying the ship’s boats. Fragments smashed into the officers’ mess and wounded the officers’ little pet black pig. Another hit aft entered the ship on the waterline, pierced the armored deck and lodged in an ammunition chamber…[which] was flooded to prevent further damage….These three hits killed or wounded fifty men." ( Castles of Steel, 2003, by Robert K. Massie, at page 267 ) here

 
One of the --- many --- reasons the Germans have most favoured nation status with me is that they never let rationality interfere with life overmuch; or didn't before modernity was bombed into them, leaving the woeful bland of conformist and pc drear that is the present-day. I can't find it now, but in one town, they built a statue in gratitude to yet another pig for some valiant deed.

Could one expect less from a people capable of taking time off during the most vicious war theatre imaginable, WWII OstFront, to build a statue in the snows of some captured town, not of any contemporary or hero, but of an imaginary girl, Lili Marleen ?

 

Black Piglet
[ Fr: Valentines Performing Pigs ]

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