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No Child Left Behind

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at 10:00 am (Generalia, High Germany, Manners not Morals, Melancholy, Self Writ, The Enemy, The King of Terrors, War)

The ongo­ing sep­ar­ate war the United States is waging to erad­ic­ate the Gad­dafi clan by tar­get­ing it’s smal­lest mem­bers pro­ceeds apace with the suc­cess­ful tar­geted killing of some more of his young­est des­cend­ants, “I Do it for the Gip­per.” Wig­gum mur­mured as he gave the order, con­tinu­ing his sed­u­lous quest to ful­fil the man­dates of his Repub­lic­an ment­ors. Yet, equally impress­ive the Chica­go Hit he ordered on the demon­ic bin Laden, another death fore­told, actu­ally as well as achiev­ing the primary pur­pose  —  gain­ing votes from those scream­ing hordes who would pub­licly cel­eb­rate a death  —  was the final act in Interpol’s War­rant to cap­ture the demon­ic bin Laden, which was first issued in ’98 at the request of… Libya.

 

One might think that how­ever tra­gic the deaths on 9/11  —  the destruc­tion of the Towers sans deaths would merely be a bless­ing, as would be vir­tu­ally every build­ing since 1920 ( but includ­ing the deaths of all foul present mod­ern­ist archi­tects and scum bas­tard build­ing work­ers every­where who des­troyed the old and erec­ted the point­less vile con­crete new )  —  the swap of 30,000 Afgh­ani civil­ians since would pla­cate the manes of the 3000 murdered then

Any­way, for the demon­ic bin Laden, the present choices are: that he was either dead long ago in the Caves of Tora Bora; dead from his numer­ous ail­ments ( which included Marfan’s, kid­ney dis­ease, liv­er dis­ease etc. etc.); killed in Abot­tabad; or snatched for a life of impris­on­ment and tor­ture under the aus­pices of the venge­ful state  —  which has not treated those on Guantá­namo, ever unclosed yet, whose guilt in much less culp­able crimes than those of bin Laden was unproven, at all well. Or he may have escaped and a double killed, yet his cha­ris­ma and mys­tique van­ished.

The ‘DNA evid­ence’ is as value­less as any­thing else the pro­pa­ganda machine issues, since we have to rely on, the retrieved bits actu­ally com­ing from the corpse in Abot­tabad, the match­ing being done by the state who killed him, and the con­trol sample actu­ally hav­ing been taken from his sister’s corpse  —  bear­ing in mind that it was recently dis­covered that the piece of skull held by the Rus­si­ans which they alleged was that of Hitler really belonged to some poor woman  —  and that in all reports the admin­is­tra­tion con­trols what inform­a­tion is released, and how­ever gen­er­ous they are in releas­ing in suc­ces­sion utterly dif­fer­ent stor­ies, this means believ­ing in the good faith of Obama, a man rarely cap­able of under­stand­ing, let alone telling, truth; the Pentagon; and the vari­ous state secur­ity forces. One thing that is cer­tain is that the corpse, real or not, was actu­ally about his height: since the killers had omit­ted, under­stand­ably enough, to bring along a tape meas­ure, one of them of a sim­il­ar length lay down besides the body to provide a datum.

And even if the event is broadly true, whil­st the raid was a cred­it to the hit squad, killing a bewildered old man was evid­ently pre­ferred to cap­ture, as exe­cu­tion of the unright­eous; espe­cially since they said that any­thing less than utter sub­mis­sion  —  dif­fi­cult to man­age for the least alarmed when being shot at  — didn’t qual­i­fy as sur­render, and that attempt­ing to retreat, as was the demon­ic bin Laden before he was rubbed out proved res­ist­ance. Since when they killed this sick old fel­low crawl­ing on the floor, in front of his 12 yr-old daugh­ter, he seemed incap­able of a fight to the death with tooth and nail, being unguarded and unarmed, which seems extraordin­ary care­less­ness on the part of a supervil­lain.

 

While this affair reminds one of the hor­ri­fy­ing 2004 murder of Shiekh Yassin, which tem­por­ar­ily changed my inter­net sig­na­tures to:

If you could have heard the old man scream as he fell, and the noise of his bones upon the pave­ment !’

[ from The Story Of The Young Man With The Cream Tarts by RLS ]

&

I have to kill a 67-yr-old man
Con­sid­er­ing he’s para­ple­gic, should I choose a knife fight ? Or as he’s blind, it might be pis­tols at dawn: in order to demon­strate my sheer fight­ing cour­age per­haps I should use a heli­copter gun­ship when his wheel­chair is exit­ing morn­ing pray­ers.

the men­tion of dreary old Adolf may as well include here my very favour­ite joke, as told in Ger­many in late ’45, and per­haps almost rel­ev­ant in this mat­ter:

 

When they found the Führer’s body, there was a little note attached: ‘I was nev­er a Nazi.’

 

 
Down in the Val­ley

And with all this cav­il­ling, the fact remains the aging pris­on­er in Abot­tabad was wist­fully plan­ning yet more wacky may­hem: his com­puter files, as released by the admin­is­tra­tion showed his metic­u­lous plan­ning for a new atro­city. “…was look­ing into try­ing to tip a train by tam­per­ing with the rails so that the train would fall off the track at either a val­ley or a bridge.”; yet worse, this was to be spe­cific­ally aimed at Amtrak’s 805 km per hour trains  —  which I’ll assume can cross the con­tin­ent in three and a half hours  —  no doubt as the dole­ful plumes of smoke rose from the val­ley below the opera-glass gaz­ing con­spir­at­ors would toss their tophats into the air and fondle their waxed mous­taches whil­st cack­ling fiendishly.

 

For someone who hated Amer­ica so, I’m guess­ing he had very little idea of daily life in Amer­ica; let alone Amtrak.

 

And at the last the final ques­tion remains: What sort of per­son is ter­ri­fied by a weird old loony such as bin Laden ?

 

 

Pretty Locomotive

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The Rats’ Requiem

More Jam­ie

Neigh­bour intro­du­cing new movee Mr. Hand­slip into neigh­bour­hood:

On your oth­er side is Mrs. Egre­mont, a wid­ow. A very nice lady, Phil­ip­pa is mar­vel­lous, the chil­dren are OK, most of them.” with a quick­en­ing.
“How many got ?” startled.
“Four. Paul’s the old­est, he’s going in the Army when older. Not the sort of life I’d choose, but it’s a good thing we’re not all alike, isn’t it ? two girls, Yso­belle and Nancy, and… the young­est, James.” A stil­ted note mod­u­lated his enthu­si­asm, unnoted by the ques­tion­er.
“Any of them noisy ?”
“They won’t be any trouble at all.” Eagerly, “The girls are very pretty, and although they could be bois­ter­ous and cause dif­fi­culties, they don’t. The old­est lad is square strong affable, very decent young man.”
“And the young­er ?”

As I said Paul’s going into the Army, which I think such a waste.” Mr. Pigg was by way of being a paci­fist, which the two boys had always respec­ted with the great tol­er­ance of which they were both very proud. “He really could do any­thing, very bril­liant mind indeed.” respect­fully, “And unas­sum­ing with it. You always feel he’s work­ing out for­mulæ with a part of his mind while talk­ing eas­ily to one…”
“And the oth­er ?” Hand­slip enquired bluntly. Mr. Pigg nearly cringed.
“Um, Jam­ie. Well, he’s dif­fer­ent.”
“You mean, er, men­tally dis­turbed ?” with a faint shy­ness intrud­ing into the brusque­ness of the bald enquiry.
“Good God no ! And you’d bet­ter not ever hint of such a thing. I doubt if he’d care a rush,” bit­terly, “but any of the oth­ers, let alone his dear mama, would be very offen­ded if any­one con­sidered such a thing. No, he’s nor­mal enough, and bright enough, even if he doesn’t shine at school from all I hear.”
He sighed, Phil­ip­pa had con­fided at length enough times to weary him with the sub­ject; but hav­ing done badly him­self when young he was suf­fi­cently scep­tic­al to won­der if school­ing was as import­ant as it was cracked up to be. Con­versely he respec­ted bril­liance, and was anxious to get back to Paul’s men­tal prowess. In fact he had long decided nev­er to ini­ti­ate com­ment upon, or pro­long dis­cus­sion upon, James Egre­mont.

Well, what’s wrong with him ?” bluntly
Pigg looked around.
“Jam­ie,” pick­ing his words, “is not someone to annoy; or com­plain about; or piss off. Do not cri­ti­cise any of the fam­ily where he can hear you. He has a strong fam­ily feel­ing. I said the oth­ers are no trouble: one reas­on is that they… con­tin­ue, upon the lines he lays down. If any per­son con­fronts his feel­ings, or does some­thing he con­strues as unpleas­ant, things some­times hap­pen.” Del­ic­ately.
“You mean he’s one of these viol­ent youths ? Some kind of yob ?” won­der­ing what sort of brute was going to appear.
Pigg was shocked and amused. “He’s only 11 or 12 ! I for­get which; and weak with it. He’s as pretty as the girls in fact. I guess he’s bul­lied at school: but that’s there: in his patch, it’s dif­fer­ent. As say, an old-fashioned squire vis­it­ing Lon­don might be vul­ner­able in the great world, but mas­ter of his own domain; which was one reas­on they usu­ally pre­ferred to cul­tiv­ate their own gar­dens. With exper­i­ence he may be able to grow and handle parts of the great world. I hope not. Very cour­teous. They all are: but him the most. He’s the hid­den pat­ri­arch of a pat­ri­arch­al clan. They do what he dir­ects with only half know­ing the fact.”

You know we have an excel­lent Guy Fawkes Night and they all used to come. At least when it was the par­ents and the two older kids. Then the year before Mr. Egre­mont died that kid, he was very small, took again­st it  —  wasn’t scared by the bangs; some bloody non­sense about not lik­ing the Guy being burnt: he knew it was just a, a lay-figure, not real: but he still hated the idea. Now you or I would have left him at home with a baby-sitter, but they’ve nev­er come since. 

I can’t ima­gine how any­one would listen to a bloody tod­dler, Phil­ip­pa, well some­times I reckoned she was weak-minded or some­thing: I mean, yes well now, if he was my child, I’d prob­ably do pre­cisely what he said; life would be sim­pler that way, and he’s the sort of kid who would be right most of the time: but back then… he was so small. We thought well, she’s just lost a hus­band, that’s why not: but the next year they wouldn’t come. Asked her why not: ‘Jam­ie says it’s wrong to pre­tend to burn people, and you know, I think he’s right.’ Look, he… he wasn’t dom­in­ant back then, even in that weird fam­ily; he is now: back then he’d just argued at them. I’d have told him to take a run­ning jump; some fuck­ing small kid talk­ing back at me. Pity that because Chris­ti­an and Phil­ip­pa were always gen­er­ous about join­ing in vil­lage stuff.”

So does one have to show him one’s friendly ?” uneas­ily.
“What’s to prove ? Just be nice to him and don’t say any­thing to make his mother unhappy.”
“About him ?”
“No.” He laughed at the mis­take. “Not about him: about any­thing. What I meant was try nev­er to do aught that doesn’t con­duce to Philippa’s hap­pi­ness in life. Mrs. Hutchin­son, who is sep­ar­ated from her own hus­band, had a nervous break­down and moved away a year ago. She’d been snip­ing at Phil­ip­pa in the Mother’s Uni­on. Appar­ently someone pos­ted her phone num­ber as emer­gency coun­sel­lor for mar­it­al break­downs; a 24 Hour Plumb­ing con­sult­ant; and Police Liais­on Officer for the loc­al Police Author­ity, spe­cial­ising in all reports from con­cerned vic­tims for Follow-Up Action. I remem­ber that,” he con­tin­ued reflect­ively, “since it nev­er stopped after she denied the post in the loc­al rag, and the police, con­fused them­selves since half the time they’ve no idea what fur­ther idiocy the Home Office has shoved at them, not only didn’t deny any­thing, they even referred a few people to her. That was actu­ally the least annoy­ing thing that happened to her. Both boys have an unpleas­ant sense of humour. Unlike Paul he acts on it.”

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Marisa's Destruction Chart

 

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He Who Told Every Man That He Was Equal To His King Could Hardly Want An Audience

But the truth is that the knowledge of external nature, and the sciences which that knowledge requires or includes, are not the great or the frequent business of the human mind. Whether we provide for action or conversation, whether we wish to be useful or pleasing, the first requisite is the religious and moral knowledge of right and wrong; the next is an acquaintance with the history of mankind, and with those examples which may be said to embody truth and prove by events the reasonableness of opinions. Prudence and Justice are virtues and excellences of all times and of all places; we are perpetually moralists, but we are geometricians only by chance. Our intercourse with intellectual nature is necessary; our speculations upon matter are voluntary and at leisure. Physiological learning is of such rare emergence that one man may know another half his life without being able to estimate his skill in hydrostaticks or astronomy, but his moral and prudential character immediately appears.

Milton when he undertook this answer was weak of body and dim of sight; but his will was forward, and what was wanting of health was supplied by zeal. He was rewarded with a thousand pounds, and his book was much read; for paradox, recommended by spirit and elegance, easily gains attention: and he who told every man that he was equal to his King could hardly want an audience.

His political notions were those of an acrimonious and surly republican, for which it is not known that he gave any better reason than that "a popular government was the most frugal; for the trappings of a monarchy would set up an ordinary commonwealth." It is surely very shallow policy, that supposes money to be the chief good; and even this without considering that the support and expence of a Court is for the most part only a particular kind of traffick, by which money is circulated without any national impoverishment.

It has been observed that they who most loudly clamour for liberty do not most liberally grant it. What we know of Milton's character in domestick relations is, that he was severe and arbitrary. His family consisted of women; and there appears in his books something like a Turkish contempt of females, as subordinate and inferior beings. That his own daughters might not break the ranks, he suffered them to be depressed by a mean and penurious education. He thought woman made only for obedience, and man only for rebellion.

 

Ground Zero

Footnote:>

The wisdom of the nation is very reasonably supposed to reside in the parliament. What can be concluded of the lower classes of the people, when in one of the parliaments, summoned by Cromwell, it was seriously proposed, that all the records in the Tower should be burnt, that all memory of things past should be effaced, and that the whole system of life should commence anew ?

Samuel Johnson : The Lives of the Poets --- Milton

 

 

Sigh No More My Lady
"Sigh No More"

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The Glassy Deep At Midnight When The Cold Moon Shines

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at 2:00 am (Art, Literature, Manners not Morals, Melancholy, Other Writ, Places)

After dawdling around Monaco itself, we went round to the 'Jeux' --- a large gambling-house established on the shore near Monaco, upon the road to Mentone. There is a splendid hotel there, and the large house of sin, blazing with gas lamps by night. So we saw it from the road beneath Turbia our first night, flaming and shining by the shore like Pandemonium, or the habitation of some romantic witch. This place, in truth, resembles the gardens of Alcina, or any other magician's trap for catching souls which poets have devised. It lies close by the sea in a hollow of the sheltering hills. there winter cannot come --- the flowers bloom, the waves dance, and sunlight laughs all through the year. The air swoons with scent of lemon groves; tall palm trees wave their branches in the garden; music of the softest, loudest, most inebriating passion swells from the palace; rich meats and wines are served in a gorgeously painted hall; cool corridors and sunny seats stand ready for the noontide heat or evening calm; without are olive gardens, green and fresh and full of flowers. But the witch herself holds her high court and never-ending festival of sin in the hall of the green tables. There is a passion which subdues all others, making music, sweet scents and delicious food, the plash of melodious waves, the evening air and freedom of the everlasting hills subserve her own supremacy.

When the fiend of play has entered into a man, what does he care for the beauties of nature or even for the pleasure of the sense ? Yet in the moments of his trial he must drain the cup of passion, therefore let him have companions --- splendid women, with bold eyes and golden hair and marble columns of imperial throats, to laugh with him, to sing shrill songs, to drink, to tempt the glassy deep at midnight when the cold moon shines or all the headlands glitter with grey phosphorescence and the palace sends its flaring lights and sound of cymbals to the hills. And many, too, there are over whom love and wine hold empire hardly less than play. This is no vision; it is sober, sad reality. I have seen it to-day with my own eyes. I have been inside the palace and breathed its air. In no other place could this riotous daughter of hell have set her throne so seducingly. Here are the Sirens and Calypso and Dame Venus of Tannhäuser's dream. Almost every other scene of dissipation has disappointed me by its monotony and sordidness. But this inebriates; here nature is so lavish, so beautiful, so softly luxurious, that the harlot's cup is thrice more sweet to the taste, more stealing of the senses than elsewhere. I felt, while we listened to the music, strolled about the gardens and lounged in the play-rooms, as I have sometimes felt at the opera. All other pleasures, thoughts and interests of life seemed to be far off and trivial for the time. I was beclouded, carried off my balance, lapped in strange forebodings of things infinite outside me in the human heart. Yet all was unreal; for the touch of reason, like the hand of Galahad, caused the boiling of this impure fountain to cease --- the wizard's castle disappeared and, as I drove home to Mentone, the solemn hills and skies and seas remained and that house was, as it were, a mirage.

John Addington Symonds : Diary

 

 

Tokiko Reading

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To Attach The Electrodes Of Knowledge To The Nipples Of Ignorance

Frederick Schlegel ( and after him Coleridge ) aptly indicated a distinction, when he said that every man was born either a Platonist or an Aristotelian. This distinction is often expressed in the terms subjective and objective intellects. Perhaps we shall best define these by calling the objective intellect one that is eminently impersonal, and the subjective intellect one that is eminently personal; the former disengaging itself as much as possible from its own prepossessions, striving to see and represent objects as they exist; the other viewing all objects in the light of its own feelings and preconceptions. It is needless to add that no mind is exclusively objective or exclusively subjective, but every mind has a more or less dominant tendency in one or the other of these directions. We see the contrast in Philosophy, as in Art. The realist argues from Nature upwards, argues inductively, starting from reality, and never long losing sight of it; even in the adventurous flights of hypothesis and speculation, being desirous that his hypothesis shall correspond with realities. The idealist argues from an Idea downwards, starting from some conception, and seeking in realities only visible illustrations of a deeper existence. The achievements of modern Science, and the masterpieces of Art, prove that the grandest generalisations and the most elevated types can only be reached by the former method; and that what is called the "ideal school," so far from having the superiority which it claims, is only more lofty in its pretensions; the realist, with more modest pretensions, achieves loftier results. The Objective and Subjective, or as they are also called, the Real and the Ideal, are thus contrasted as the termini of two opposite lines of thought. In Philosophy, in Morals and in Art, we see a constant antagonism between these two principles. Thus in Morals the Platonists are those who seek the highest morality out of human nature, instead of in the healthy development of all human tendencies, and their due co-ordination; they hope, in the suppression of integral faculties, to attain some superhuman standard. They call that Ideal which no Reality can reach, but for which we should strive. They superpose ab extra, instead of trying to develop ab intra. They draw from their own minds, or from the dogmas handed to them by tradition, an arbitrary mould, into which they attempt to fuse the organic activity of Nature.

If this school had not in its favor the imperious instinct of Progress, and aspiration after a better, it would not hold its ground. But it satisfies that craving, and thus deludes many minds into acquiescence. The poetical and enthusiastic disposition most readily acquiesces : preferring to overlook what man is, in its delight of contemplating what the poet makes him. To such a mind all conceptions of Man must have a halo round them, --- half mist, half sunshine; the hero must be a Demigod, in whom no valet de chambre can find a failing ; the villain must be a Demon, for whom no charity can find an excuse.

Not to extend this to a dissertation, let me at once say that Goethe belonged to the objective class."'Everywhere in Goethe,"said Franz Horn, "you are on firm land or island ; nowhere the infinite sea.' A better characterization was never written in one sentence. In every page of his works may be read a strong feeling for the real, the concrete, the living; and a repugnance as strong for the vague, the abstract, or the supersensuous. His constant striving was to study Nature, so as to see her directly, and not through the mists of fancy, or through the distortions of prejudice, --- to look at men, and into them, --- to apprehend things as they were. In his conception of the universe he could not separate God from it, placing Him above it, beyond it, as the philosophers did who represented God whirling the universe round His finger, "seeing it go." Such a conception revolted him. He animated the universe with God ; he animated fact with divine life ; he saw in Reality the incarnation of the Ideal; he saw in Morality the high and harmonious action of all human tendencies ; he saw in Art the highest representation of Life.

George Henry Lewes : The Life & Works of Goethe

 

 
Marisa Kirisame Sleeping in the Air

AoBlue --- Marisa Kirisame sleeping on the Air

 

Title from Third Rock From The Sun.

 

 

 

With His Peculiar Look And Emphasis

As an extra... Lewes in a footnote adds a personal note of the old loon Carlyle:

'I remember once, as we were walking along Piccadilly, talking about the infamous Büchlein von Goethe, Carlyle stopped suddenly, and with his peculiar look and emphasis, said, "Yes, it is the wild cry of amazement on the part of all spooneys that the Titan was not a spooney too ! Here is a god-like intellect, and yet you see he is not an idiot ! Not in the least a spooney !"

 
Readers not current in early 19th century England may note that 'Spooney' means soppy, soft, wet: sissies, but not necessarily including the present-day connotation of sexual maladaption.

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The Pleasure Was Enhanced

Great was the excite­ment in Par­is when it was announced the King of Prus­sia and the Tsar would arrive in close suc­ces­sion at the begin­ning of June [1867]. Although the lat­ter was the real guest of hon­our ( high polit­ics decreed it so ), it was King Wil­helm of Prus­sia and his massive Chan­cel­lor, Count von Bis­mar­ck, who attrac­ted all eyes. On the train they passed pos­i­tions the old King had occu­pied in 1814, when he had con­trib­uted to the down­fall of his present host’s uncle. Though some Parisi­ans detec­ted a note of typ­ic­al Teuton­ic tact­less­ness as the King com­pli­men­ted, ecstat­ic­ally, on ‘what mar­vel­lous things you have done since I was last here !’, on the whole they thought his beha­vi­our quite unex­cep­tion­able. In fact he stole many hearts by his kindly dis­play of affec­tion for the fra­gile Prince Impéri­al, then recov­er­ing from an ill­ness. A com­fort­able fig­ure pro­ject­ing an image of some bene­vol­ent coun­try squire, he set the nervous French at ease, and indeed seemed utterly at ease him­self; as someone remarked unchar­it­ably after the event, he explored Par­is as if intend­ing to come back there one day.

Even the ter­rible Bis­mar­ck, whose great stature made Wick­ham Hoff­man of the U.S. Leg­a­tion think of Agamem­non, pos­it­ively glowed with good­will. Beau­ties of Par­is soci­ety sur­roun­ded him. admired his dazzling White Cuir­assier unform and the enorm­ous spread eagle upon his shin­ing hel­met, and attemp­ted to pro­voke him; but in vain. In con­ver­sa­tion with Louis-Napoleon, he dis­missed last year’s Austro-Prussian war as belong­ing to another epoch, and added ami­ably ‘Thanks to you no per­man­ent cause of rivalry exists between us and the Court at Vien­na’. The fest­ive atmo­sphere tem­por­ar­ily obscured the full men­ace of this remark.

On April 12th, the Emper­or atten­ded the première of one of the great enter­tain­ments to be pro­duced in hon­our of his Roy­al guests: Offenbach’s La Grande Duch­esse de Gérol­stein

…Now here was this new tri­umph about the amor­ous Grand Duch­ess of a joke Ger­man prin­cip­al­ity, embark­ing on a point­less war because its Chan­cel­lor, Bar­on Puck, needed a diver­sion. Its forces were led by a joke Ger­man gen­er­al called Boum, as incap­able as he was fear­less, who invig­or­ated him­self with the smell of gun­powder by peri­od­ic­ally fir­ing off his pis­tol into the air. The far­ce, tal­ly­ing so closely with Europe’s private view of the ridicu­lous Teutons, was too obvi­ous to be missed. When the Tsar came to see it, his box was said to have rung with unroy­al laughter. Between gusts of mirth, mem­bers of the French court peeped over at Bismarck’s expres­sion, half in malice, half in appre­hen­sion, won­der­ing if per­haps King Wilhelm’s lack of tact about his pre­vi­ous vis­it to Par­is had not been revenged to excess. But nobody appeared to be show­ing more obvi­ous and unres­trained pleas­ure than the Iron Chan­cel­lor him­self; one might almost have sus­pec­ted that the pleas­ure was enhanced by the enjoy­ment of some secret joke of his own.

Alistair Horne : The Fall of Par­is

 

 

Girl with Prussian Colours

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& Saxt">Jamie First & Saxt

terms
at 11:30 pm (Correctitude, High Germany, Manners not Morals, Other Writ, Royalism, Stuarts)

Fre­d­er­ick now asked his father-in-law, as a part­ing gift to him, to grant liber­ty to one of the unhappy band of polit­ic­al pris­on­ers whose lifelong deten­tion in the Tower was a pub­lic scan­dal. His can­did­ate was the least obnox­ious pos­sible. Lord Grey de Wilton, the young Pur­it­an noble who had been con­demned to death for par­ti­cip­a­tion in the Bye Plot, had been now immured for ten years, and his spir­it was repor­ted much broken. Fre­d­er­ick made his request, and caught a ter­ri­fy­ing glimpse of a James Stu­art hither­to unknown to him, not the Prin­cess Elizabeth’s “dear dad”, learned, lax and lov­ing, but the James Stu­art of the Gowrie Con­spir­acy and Gun­powder Plot.

Car­o­la Oman : Eliza­beth of Bohemia.
 

 

Kitten Staring

 

 

And just to drive home a point with icy charm…
 

James’s even­tu­al dis­missal of Frederick’s suit was well cal­cu­lated to crush a nervous youth. “Son, when I come into Ger­many I will prom­ise you not to impor­tune you for any of your pris­on­ers”.

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The Sacredness Of Human Life

Her father swallowed something.

"You shock me sometimes, Jean," he said, a statement which amused her.

"You're such a half‑and half man," she said with a note of contempt in her voice. "You were quite willing to benefit by Jim Meredith's death; you killed him as cold‑bloodedly as you killed poor little Bulford, and yet you must whine and snivel whenever your deeds are put into plain language. What does it matter if Lydia dies now or in fifty years, time ?" she asked. "It would be different if she were immortal. You people attach so much importance to human life --- the ancients, and the Japanese amongst the modern, are the only people who have the matter in true perspective. It is no more cruel to kill a human being than it is to cut the throat of a pig to provide you with bacon. There's hardly a dish at your table which doesn't represent wilful murder, and yet you never think of it, but because the man animal can talk and dresses himself or herself in queer animal and vegetable fabrics, and decorates the body with bits of metal and pieces of glittering quartz, you give its life a value which you deny to the cattle within your gates ! Killing is a matter of expediency. Permissable if you call it war, terrible if you call it murder. To me it is just killing. If you are caught in the act of killing they kill you, and people say it is right to do so. The sacredness of human life is a slogan invented by cowards who fear death --- as you do."

Edgar Wallace : The Angel of Terror [1922]

 

 

The Scarlet Sisters

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The Expression Of Correct Concepts

        I have never attached another value to words than that of the expression of correct concepts, to theories never the value of deeds, and I have always regarded preconceived systems as the product of leisured heads or the outburst of emotional minds.
        Not in the struggle of society towards progress, but rather in progression towards the true goods: towards freedom as the inevitable yield of order; towards equality in its only applicable degree of that before the law; towards prosperity, inconceivable without the foundation of moral and material peace; towards credit, which can rest only on the basis of trust — in all that I have recognised the duty of government and the true salvation for the governed.
        I have looked upon despotism of every kind as a symptom of weakness. Where it appears, it is a self-punitive evil, most intolerable when it poses behind the mask of promoting the cause of freedom.

        The concept of the balancing of powers ( proposed by Montesquieu ) has always appeared to me only as a conceptual error of the English constitution, impractical in its application, because the concept of such a balancing is rooted in the assumption of an eternal struggle, instead of in that of peace, the first necessity for the life and prosperity of states.
        The care for the inner life of states has always had for me the worth of the most important task for governments.
        As the foundations for politics I recognise the concepts of right and equity and not the sole calculations of use, whilst I look upon capricious politics as an ever self-punitive confusion of the spirit.

        My conduct is a prosaic and not a poetical one. I am a man of right, and reject in all things appearance where it divides as such from truth, thereupon deprived as the foundation of right, where it must inevitably dissolve into error.

        For me the word “freedom” has not the value of a starting-point, but rather that of an actual point of arrival. The word “order” denotes the starting-point. Only on the concept of order can that of freedom rest. Without the foundation of order, the call for freedom is nothing more than the striving of some party after an envisaged end. In its actual use, the call inevitably expresses itself as tyranny. Whilst I have at all times and in all situations ever been a man of order, my striving was addressed to true and not deceptive freedom. In my eyes, tyranny of any kind has only the value of absolute nonsense. As a means to an end, I mark it as the most vapid that time and circumstance is able to place at the disposal of rulers.
        The concept of order in view of legislation --- the foundation of order --- is, in consequence of the conditions under which states live, capable of the most varied application. Considered as constitution, it will prove itself best for any state that answers to the demands of both the material conditions and those moral conditions peculiar to the national character. There is no universal recipe for constitutions, just as little as there is some universal means for the boosting of health.

        I did not govern the empire. Therein the powers at every level were not just strictly administered and directed to their competences, but rather in this regard were even relinquished to trepidation, which brought hesitancy to the course of affairs. The principle of government of the Emperor Francis was set forth in the motto “Justitia regnorum fundamentum”, not only as it lay in his spirit and character, but also as it served him as strict guide in all governmental affairs. He agreed with my observation that the axiom, correct in its point of origin, could be abrogated in the excessive practice of particular cases, but he usually added: “I was born and through my status appointed for the execution of justice; the inevitable hardness in particular cases is better than the slackening of rule through too many exceptions.” My motto is “Strength in Right”. Both sayings run together in meaning, except that the imperial motto has an abstractly judicial significance, whereas mine has a significance more grounded in state law. In this regard, the motto “Recta tueri”, suggested by me to Emperor Ferdinand upon his most supreme accession, bids a further nuance.

Excerpts from The Political Testament of Klemens Wenzel Nepomuk Lothar, Fürst von Metternich-Winneburg zu Beilstein, as translated by Deoholwulf, Keeper of The Joy of Curmudgeonry

Full text here.

 

 

Cock Robin

The Spirit of Eternal Justice Succouring the Stricken State

 
Actually, Kathleen Wallis Coales --- Cock Robin and the Flower Fairy

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As Cold As Ice

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at 6:00 am (Animals, Correctitude, Manners not Morals, Melancholy, Music, Self Writ)

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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Fiat Justitia Ruat Cælum

Sample Jury Questions:

 
14. Where were you born ?

Near the Atlantic Ocean.

 
39. While in school, what was your favorite subject ?

Eng Lit.

 
40. What was your least favorite subject ?

Maths.

 
49. Spouse-partner’s place of birth ?

N/A --- also the compound 'spouse-partner' makes me think of mice.

 
142. Have you ever had any personal interaction with a celebrity ( such as writing a celebrity a letter, receiving a letter or photograph from a celebrity, or getting an autograph from a celebrity ) ? Yes? No ? If yes, please explain:

As a child I once wrote to an author. Got a form reply too.

 
145. Please name the person for whom you are a great fan and describe why you are a fan of that person ?

Are you hitting on me, or something ?

 
161. Do you have any affiliation with professional sports ?

Define affiliation; define professional; define sports; define never in a million years.

 
162. Have you ever experienced domestic violence in your home, either growing up or as an adult ? Please describe the circumstances and the impact it has had upon you.

Hit as a kid. No impact by now. The ashes cool.

 
172. Do you think using physical force on a fellow family member is sometimes justified ?

Certainly; s'pose they come at you with a knife ?

 
184. How do you feel about interracial marriage ?

Wholly uninterested.

 
186. Have you ever dated a person of a different race ? Yes ? No ? If yes, how did you feel about it ?

No.

 
191. When you were growing up, what was the racial and ethnic make-up of your neighborhood ?

The Celto-Saxon branch of the Nordic Race; white English. Prot in a catholic school.

 
193. Before the Simpson case, did you read any book, articles or magazines concerning DNA analysis ?

Of course.

 
201. Do you have a religious affiliation or preference ? Yes ? No ? If yes, please describe. How important would you say religion is in your life ? Would anything about your religious beliefs make it difficult for you to sit in judgement of another person ? Yes ? No ? Possibly ? How often do you attend religious services ?

a/ No.

b/ Faith informs but does not dictate.

c/ Not in the least.

c/ Annually.

 
202. What is your political affiliation ? ( Please circle ) 1. Democrat 2. Republican 3. Independent 4. Other ( please specify )

[4] Absolute monarchist by hereditary primogeniture [ Legitimist ].

 
203. Are you currently registered to vote ? Yes ? No ?

Dunno.

 
204. Did you vote in the June, 1994 primary elections ? Yes ? No ?

I have never voted. Voting is bad.

 
205. Do you consider yourself politically: Active ? Moderately active ? Inactive ?

Inactive.

 
211. Have you ever provided a urine sample to be analyzed for any purpose ? Yes ? No ? If yes, did you feel comfortable with the accuracy of the results ? Yes ? No ?

No. *coldly*.

 
212. Do you believe it is immoral or wrong to do an amniocentesis to determine whether a fetus had a genetic defect ? Yes ? No ? Don’t have an opinion ?

Never thought about it. Seems a good idea.

 
213. Have you or anyone close to you undergone amniocentesis ?

No.

 
215. Did you take science or math courses in college ?

See 40. above.

 
222. Do you have ( please check ) Security bars ? Alarms ? Guard dog ? Weapons for self-protection ?

a/ No.

b/ No.

c/ No.

d/ Various items coyly scattered here and there, [ However if threatened by an intruder I would instantly use what is to hand until they stopped twitching and life itself had fled. Prolly not my computer monitor, though, as it weighs 60lb. ]

 
230. Have you ever seen a crime being committed ( other than where you were the victim ) ? If yes, how many times and what kind of crime(s) ?

Never.

 
244. What type of books do you prefer ? ( Example: Non-fiction ? Historical ? Romance ? Espionage ? Mystery ? )

Yes.

 
248. Have you ever written a letter to the editor of a newspaper or magazine ? Yes ? No ? If yes, what was the subject matter of your comment:

a/ Yes.

b/ Pointing out that the use of the stunningly correct phrase 'Let Justice be done though the heavens fall' was being verminously interpreted into an utterly opposite meaning to it's true reality. Which is that you should go to the max, never blink, and damn the torpedoes.

 
249. Do you watch any of the early evening "tabloid news" programs ? Such as "Hard Copy," "Current Affair," "American Journal," etc.

*blinks* I think we have very different interests.

 
251. Which television news shows do you enjoy watching on a regular basis ?

Old Clinton era American sitcoms on my computer. Nothing else.

 
252. What are your leisure time interests, hobbies and activities ?

This and that. Might I ask why you want to know ?

 
254. What accomplishments in your life are you most proud of ?

Nothing. Pride is a vanity utterly beneath me. Every day in every way I grow more and more supercilious, though.

 
255. What groups or organizations do you belong to now or have you belonged to for a significant period of time in the past ? ( For example, bowling leagues, church groups, AA, Sierra Club, MECLA, National Rifle Association, ACLU, YWCA, PTA, NAACP, etc. )

Some Stuartist interest societies, and some wargames organisations. I was never a member of the Party.

 
257. Are there any charities or organizations to which you make donations ? Yes ? No ? If yes, please list the organizations or charities to which you contribute:

a/ Sometimes.

b/ Certainly not.

 
265. Are you a fan of the USC Trojans football team ?

You made that name up, right ?

 
270. How many hours per week do you watch sporting activities ?

-1.

 
271. Name the last three sporting events you attended.

Does school count ?

 
273. What are your favorite sports ? Why ?

Anything which involves sportsmen and spectators being quietly and painlessly killed en masse. Or at least quietly.

 
274. Name the most significant sport figure, sport program, or sporting event scandals you recall.

Back in the twenties I believe there was a baseball team in Brooklyn who threw matches or something. There was a film about it. A very dull film.

 
275. Does playing sports build an individual’s character ? Yes ? No ? Please explain your answer whether you answer yes or no:

About as much as does habitual masturbation.

 
276. Do you seek out positions of leadership ? ( Please check answer ) Always ? Often ? Seldom ? Never ?

Always if offered.

 
277. Please name the three public figures you admire most.

You're joking, aren't you ?

 
281. Do you own any special knives ( other than for cooking ), such as hunting or pen knives ?

Yes. But not for stabbing ex-wives with.

 
285. Would you like to be a juror in this case ?

Boredom is the most integral part of life; so why not ?

 
 
Back many, many years ago, there was a celebrated case of a sportsman accused of murdering his wife and her friend; I would refrain from uttering any opinion as to his guilt or innocence, because, frankly, how the hell would I know ? If the affable Mr. Simpson visited, I guess I might hide the knife-drawer though, as we say in my country. Anyway, he was tried and acquitted; various white racialists vocally forming the idea that this was due to the vast majority of the jury being black --- which is dubious at best: the main reason undoubtedly being that an equal majority were women; with a strident female prosecutor of doubtful ability. It was after all, a case difficult for a prosecutor to lose.

Among other loopy American law procedures --- such as judges being elected from the community of those who are liable to be judged; or insane sentences that exceed life-length by a factor of 10 or more [ outdone by the similar Spanish who hopefully sentence terrorists to 40,000 years ] --- is the odd idea of Voir dire whereby both prosecution and defence have the extraordinary power of selecting/rejecting putative jurors; packing juries has an old and honourable history in most jurisdictions, but only in political cases: in ordinary trials you take what you are given. In this case the procedure took 250 potentials and two months. To aid the winnowing, the prospectives were issued with a book of questions. It is a sobering thought that had I been there and answered these thus I might have been chosen. Were I black, female and mentally retarded of course.

 
There were 294 of these ridiculous questions.

 
 

Othello Poster

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How Small, Of All That Human Hearts Endure, That Part Which Laws Or Kings Can Cause Or Cure !

Recently, a terrifying and heart-rending plea manifested from some poor girl in the toils of the pop-up curse:

 

Firefox Girl

 
Please help me im crying my eys out plz i beg u ???

i went on to msn website and al these pop ups came up and started downloading stuff rght now and it donloaded smething called **** and *** his porn thing and my back ground ent red with this bull on it and i dont no wat to doit wont let me anything andit comes up windows virus thing is not up 2 date help me i am only 12 and my dad will kill me if he found out help me !! pz =::::::::(

 
Firefox Girl

 
This is actually quite sad, and it would be entirely inappropriate to feel a lack of appropriate emotion; particularly the presumed reaction of the noncomprehending pater familias --- which really... I mean, you'd think by now... I mean, she's just a girl; and also thus can scarcely be suspected of seeking sex sites. Which is actually serendipity on the modern day web, In Soviet Russia, Sex Sites Seek You ! Also, it's difficult to recall, how to a child things which are both minor, and always voided by time, assume gut-wrenching importance. However, hearts may cease their frantic struggle like little birds caught in the hideous traps of our forefathers, for this Yahoo Question [cache] is actually marked as resolved. And yet, and yet.... Surely there must be some solution to the repulsion of these --- strictly reeking of yesteryear, and in the time of the Clinton Administration --- weakling pop-ups and associated virii...

 

Firefox parrots

 
If only there were some clue.

 

Firefox Girl

 
If only we could guess what it might be.

 
Firefox Girl

 
Some powerful sword 'gainst which Pop-Up Hell itself shall not prevail.

 

Firefox Girl

 
Just one...

 

Firefox Girl

 
No matter how faint and delicately hued.

 
Mozilla Girls

 
 

[ I do wish people would adhere as near as damnit to spelling conventions... ]

 

Firefox Day Badge

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All Fiction Is Wish-Fulfilment

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at 6:30 pm (Literature, Manners not Morals, Self Writ, To Know Know Know Him)

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.

 
 
1. Feisty
2. Strong
3. Fiercely-independent
4. Fiercely-intelligent
5. Love­able
6. Tra­gic
7. Ador­able
8. Endur­ing
9. Bright
10. Tough-minded

a) life-enhancing
b) wise
c) gentle-fable
d) bril­liant
e) hil­ari­ous
f) astound­ing
g) amaz­ing
h) witty
i) assured
j) myth­ic

 
Paul read this in silence. “Some of your sod­ding pre­oc­cu­pa­tions are present;”
Jam­ie smirked.
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.

 
Child Witch

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Messengers Of Reason

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…

 
High School Of The Dead

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Make Ready To Slaughter His Sons For The Guilt Of Their Fathers

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…

 
Whelan Statues

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Against The Evil Of The Banal

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at 12:00 pm (Correctitude, 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.

Hannah Arendt

 
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'.

 
Jephtha's Daughter

Hughes Merle -- Jephtha's Daughter *

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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

"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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Why The Children Of Wiking Division Go Goth

terms
at 5:30 pm (Manners not Morals, Places, Self Writ)

It is well that anti-racialists are so ter­rible, oth­er­wise we might grow too fond of anti-racialism… How­ever, the con­verse also applies, and the ran­cid ran­cour of those who incon­tin­ently attempt uni­ver­sal love mixed with private self-loathing is well-matched with the dubi­ous pre­ten­sions of those who pro­claim the excel­lence of their own race. Whenev­er a super­lat­ive stand­ard such as ‘best’, or ‘bet­ter’ is involved the ques­tion, ‘bet­ter for what ?’ has to come into play… If not espe­cially fond of races not my own this has to be bal­anced by the fact that I’m not massively in love with my own people, nor even with oth­er related peoples whom I slightly prefer  —  the major faults of any race are so amaz­ingly obvi­ous.

In gen­er­al, people prefer for all sorts of reas­ons, but mostly those of safety, to live in at least vaguely homo­gen­eous neigh­bour­hoods; the down­side to that is a cer­tain con­tinu­ous increase in dull­ness. Be it under­stood that in this instance I am cer­tainly not cri­ti­ciz­ing the area involved, and I’m sure that it has many splen­did qual­it­ies which shall attract oth­ers, and their lives are as happy as can be expec­ted in a vail of tears  —  although the pre­dom­in­ant mix of Nor­we­gi­an, Swede and Ger­man may induce that over­power­ing fore­bod­ing gloom char­ac­ter­ist­ic of refined Nor­dics  —  just that it seems so depress­ingly whole­some, allied to the essen­tial exist­en­tial­ism of Amer­ic­an life, that some ( point­less ) rebel­lion might seem the only prop­er respon­se…

Any­way, I found this in a eBay advert­ise­ment for one of those oddly flim­sy look­ing Amer­ic­an dwell­ings. It would be unfair to link to it, not merely because such things are even more tran­si­ent than the lives of men, but because the seller had no wish nor notion of giv­ing offence. It included details from the town’s web­site…

The res­id­ents and city offi­cials of Mad­dock would like to extend an open invit­a­tion to come vis­it the peace­ful, rur­al com­munity of Mad­dock and exper­i­ence small town hos­pit­al­ity at its finest. Mad­dock is rur­al North Dakota

* Rur­al North Dakota, where you still find chil­dren play­ing care­free out­side and people that greet each oth­er as they walk down the street
* Rur­al North Dakota, where there is plenty of fresh clean air and little or no crime.
* Rur­al North Dakota, where the pace of life is slower and the con­cept of help­ing one another still exists.
* Rur­al North Dakota, where a short drive in the county finds more wild­life, than oncom­ing traf­fic.
* Rur­al North Dakota, where your child doesn’t know every­one in their class…they know every­one in the school.
* Rur­al North Dakota, Where the loudest noise heard at night is the 10 o’clock whistle.
* Rur­al North Dakota, where the Amer­ic­an dream of own­ing a home is still afford­able.

What sets Mad­dock apart from rur­al North Dakota? Plenty!! In Mad­dock you will find all the bene­fits of rur­al North Dakota plus: beau­ti­ful parks, bas­ket­ball courts, base­ball dia­monds, vol­ley­ball courts, a swim­ming pool, a nine-hole golf course, bowl­ing lanes, and an inter­net café. Mad­dock is home to a 29,000 square foot event center, a 12,000 square foot state of the art busi­ness and tech­no­logy center, and a multi-function com­munity center.

Mad­dock has an act­ive busi­ness dis­trict, boost­ing more busi­nesses than many com­munit­ies two or three times our size. We are proud to have Sum­mers Man­u­fac­tur­ing, an inter­na­tion­ally know farm imple­ment man­u­fac­turer, call Mad­dock home.

Is your pas­sion out­door recre­ation? The Mad­dock area is in the middle of the Cent­ral North Amer­ic­an Fly­way offer­ing some of the best goose and duck hunt­ing found. Each year mil­lions of ducks and geese migrate through our area cre­at­ing fant­ast­ic out­ings for the avid hunter. Mad­dock is in the heart of Ben­son County which offers some of North Dakota’s finest fish­ing for anglers. Like the ducks and geese, sports­man from around the nation migrate to our area each fall to exper­i­ence not only our abund­ant hunt­ing and fish­ing, but our out­stand­ing hos­pit­al­ity and our fant­ast­ic way of life. Young or old, novice or pro, our area will prove to be more than just another trip, it will be an exper­i­ence long remembered! 

then, after the words Rur­al North Dakota have been so seared into the mind forever more, gave rather more gra­tu­it­ous inform­a­tion that I found amus­ing:

Races in Mad­dock:

* White Non-Hispanic (99.4%)

Mad­dock, North Dakota is vir­tu­ally made up of 100% Caucasi­an Race.

Stat­ist­ic­ally only 1 per­son in the entire city is not Amer­ic­an or of European Des­cent.

Mad­dock, ND

First ances­tries repor­ted:

* Nor­we­gi­an: 277
* Ger­man: 111
* Swedish: 12
* Oth­er groups: 12
* Dutch: 11
* French (except Basque): 11
* Scot­tish: 11
* Scand­inavi­an: 5
* Eng­lish: 4
* Irish: 4
* United States or Amer­ic­an: 4
* Dan­ish: 3
* Slov­e­ne: 2
* Pol­ish: 1 

It is both poignant and puzz­ling to pon­der on the stat­ist­ic­al single per­son not of Amer­ic­an nor European des­cent; but it’s weird to con­sider that Amer­ic­ans still base their advert­ise­ments on the prom­ise of racial exclu­sion much as in Sin­clair Lewis’s day. I can’t really give even the tini­est of fly­ing fucks  —  less than the most fleet­ing fucks upon the wing of the two tini­est fly­ing ducks winging away from Mad­dock in the autumn twi­light if they have the faintest sense  —  about laugh­able issues as sup­posed equal­ity or racial sens­it­iv­ity which obsess petty minds; but it seems so obnox­iously damn ill-bred…

 
I had a choice here for the illus­tra­tion: one for the holo­caust of shot birds; and one for the eth­nic make-up ( which is, I repeat, in no way a bad thing per se: but, uh, dull ), so here are both:

 
Bird Girl

 
Nazi Girl

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Darkness Hold Me Like A Friend

It is an axiom that every American born has a chance of becoming president, yet few avail themselves of that option. Such a fairytale there to sooth the slumbering never to be acknowledged fact that 99.9% of them are subjugated by a --- semi --- elected ruling class and have no chance whatsoever of effecting change within the system --- which is no doubt all for the best --- takes no account of the fact that the odds are of course far lesser than any state lottery, which are usually stupendously unlikely. There are over 300 million Americans at present, barring any major event taking place overnight; there will be around 400 - 440 million in 2050 --- although this is probably an underestimate if the present rate of legal immigration of 1 million a year was raised to to 3 or 5 million, as this 2006 legislation indicated, and illegal immigration rose dramatically for some reason [ such as some countries becoming less endurable through nature or war ]. There is the natural probability that these masses will reduce the numbers through attrition: over-crowding will increase the national propensity of Americans to kill each other at random. Anyhow, whilst strictly disinclined to search for the answer, even if it is known, I'll assume that the total number of citizens who lived during the 20th century was, say, 400 million [ 76 million in 1900 to 281 million in 2000 --- during which time millions died and were replaced ]. During that century, 1901 to 2001, there were 18 presidents.

Even odder than that fact, from a european view, is the fact that out of all those millions, most admittedly disbarred by reasons of eligibility, disinclination, sex, mental impairment etc., even the early preliminary hat-throwing stages of a presidential race only appear to encompass around twenty to fifty persons seriously considered; and after the winnowing out by press and parties, the fix is in place and the permissible candidates are ready to run. Which means only around four Americans are ever papabile out of 300 million people. It might be slightly preferable if the final ballot was to be of a choice of twenty persons with some kind of transferable vote system to knock them down till there's just one man standing. This wouldn't make the system legitimate of course, but then no system which includes people voting can confer legitimacy on any result.

 

Freedom Girls

 
 
As a graceful tribute to that dead-eyed political process here are some songs for each participant. Unattributed generic Corries-type band for the first, but I couldn't find the inimitable original from Francie & Josie; Alice Blue Gown no doubt since the song was inspired by the daughter of another great family of presidential nepotists --- although scarcely so semi-insanely so as poor old Hil with her almost unique sense of unaccountable entitlement; Red Yo-Yo as pace McCain, Iran will resemble how we kept the Gorbals over here [ a ben trovato tale goes of after perhaps the Somme or Ypres an over-excitable senior staff officer burst into tears when taken to view the mud, deeper mud than anyone can really imagine, and exclaimed "My God, did we send men to die in that ?!" --- Yes we did sir, and nor all your tears shall wash out a word of it... Still, another point is that even in piping days of peace we really didn't provide very well for our poor... 'Did we keep people in places like these ?' Matt McGinn was a commie, and looking at Glasgow then, one can understand why. Naturally, having faith in the working-class is as vulgar and debased as faith in an aristocracy, or faith in wealthy businessmen, yet people had to believe in something I guess. ]

 

Barack
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Unknown -- O' Ye Cannie Shove Yer Grannie Aff The Bus

 

Hillary
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Jessie Broughton -- Alice Blue Gown

 

John
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Matt McGinn -- Red Yo-Yo

 

Americans...
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Alison Krauss & Robert Plant -- Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us

 
 

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Honour Is A Matter Of The Blood

As two world-outlooks, two modes of blood-flow in the veins and of thought in the daily being and doing, are interwoven, there arise in the end ( in every Culture ) two sorts of moral, of which each looks down upon the other --- namely, noble custom, and priestly askesis, reciprocally censured as worldly and as servile. It has been shown already how the one proceeds from the castle and the other from the cloister and the minster, the one from full being in the flood of History and the other, aloof therefrom, out of pure waking-consciousness in the ambiance of a God-pervaded nature. The force with which these primary impressions act upon men is something that later periods will be unable even to imagine. The secular and the spiritual class-feeling are starting on their upward career, and cutting out for themselves an ethical class-ideal which is accessible only to the right people, and even to them only by way of long and strict schooling. The great being-stream feels itself as a unit as against the residue of dull, pulseless, and aimless blood. The great mind-community knows itself as a unit as against the residue of uninitiated. These units are the band of heroes and the community of saints.

It will always remain the great merit of Nietzsche that he was the first to recognize the dual nature of all moral. His designations of "master-" and "slave-" moral were inexact, and his presentation of "Christianity" placed it much too definitely on the one side of the dividing line, but at the basis of all his opinions this lies strong and clear, that good and bad are aristocratic, and good and evil priestly, distinctions. Good and bad, which are Totemistic distinctions among primitive groups of men and tribes, describe, not dispositions, but men, and describe them comprehensively in respect of their living-being. The good are the powerful, the rich, the fortunate. Good means strong, brave, thoroughbred, in the idiom of every Springtime. Bad, cheap, wretched, common, in the original sense, are the powerless, propertyless, unfortunate, cowardly, negligible --- the "sons of nobody" as ancient Egypt said. Good and evil, Taboo concepts, assign value to a man according to his perceptions and reason --- that is, his waking disposition and his conscious actions. To offend against love-ethic in the race sense is ungentle, to sin against the Church's love-command is wicked. The noble habit is the perfectly unconscious result of a long and continuous training. It is learned in intercourse and not from books. It is a felt rhythm, and not a notion. But the other moral is enunciated, ordered on the basis of cause and consequence, and therefore learnable and expressive of a conviction.

The one is historical through and through, and recognizes rank-distinctions and privileges as actual and axiomatic. Honour is always class-honour --- there is no such thing as an "honour of humanity." The duel is not an obligation of unfree persons. Every man, be he Bedouin or Samurai or Corsican, peasant or workman, judge or bandit, has his own binding notions of honour, loyalty, courage, revenge, that do not apply to other kinds of life. Every life has custom-ethic --- it is unthinkable without it. Children have it already in their play; they know at once, of themselves, what is fitting. No one has laid down these rules, but they exist. They arise, quite unconsciously, out of the "we" that has formed itself out of the uniform pulse of the group. Here, too, each being is "in form." Every crowd that, under one or another stimulus, has collected in the street has for the moment its own ethic, and anyone who does not absorb it and stand for it as self-evident --- to say "follow it" would presume more rationality in the action than there is --- is a poor, mean creature, an outsider. Uneducated people and children possess an astonishingly fine reactivity to this. Children, however, are also required to learn the Catechism, and in it they hear about the good and evil that are laid down and are any thing rather than self-evident. Custom-ethic is not that which is true, but that which is there; it is a thing of birth and growth, feeling and organic logic. Moral, in contrast to this, is never actuality ( for, if it were, all the world would be saintly ), but an eternal demand hanging over the consciousness and, ex hypothesi, over that of all men alike, irrespective of all differences of actual life and history. And, therefore, all moral is negative and all custom-ethic affirmative. In the latter "devoid of honour" is the worst, in the former "devoid of sin" is the highest, that can be said of anyone.

The basic concept of all living custom-ethic is honour. Everything else --- loyalty, modesty, bravery, chivalry, self-control, resolution is comprised in it. And honour is a matter of the blood and not of the reason. One does not reflect on a point of honour --- that is already dishonour. To lose honour means to be annulled so far as Life and Time and History are concerned. The honour of one's class, one's family, of man and woman, of one's people and one's country, the honour of peasant and soldier and even bandit honour means that the life in a person is something that has worth, historical dignity, delicacy, nobility. It belongs to directional Time, as sin belongs to timeless Space. To have honour in one's body means about the same as to have race. The opposite sort are the Thersites-natures, the mud-souled, the riff-raff, the "kick-me-but-let-me-live's." To submit to insult, to forget a humiliation, to quail before an enemy --- all these are signs of a life become worthless and superfluous. But this is not at all the same thing as priestly moral, for that moral does not cleave to life at any cost of degradation, but rather rejects and abstains from life as such, and therefore incidentally from honour. As has been said already, every moral action is, at the very bottom, a piece of askesis and a killing of being. And eo ipso it stands outside the field of life and the world of history.

Oswald Spengler : The Decline of the West [ Vol II, Chap. 10 ]

 

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Possible Only To God

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at 6:46 pm (Correctitude, Manners not Morals, Melancholy, Other Writ)

As a pre­lim­in­ary to the dis­cus­sion of the prob­lem that con­cerns the his­tor­i­an, it will pos­sibly serve a pur­pose to put for­ward cer­tain gen­er­al theses relat­ing to the adminis­tration of mor­al judg­ments in the world at large. Such theses will help to define a mode of approach to this sub­ject and will provide a frame­work for the argu­ment that is to fol­low. If they give offence, how­ever, they can be rendered oth­er­wise harm­less by the addi­tion of the pro­viso that even if they fail to secure accept­ance  —  even if a great wind comes to blow them all off the face of the earth  —  still, so far as I can see, this fact ought not to weak­en the main argu­ment which fol­lows them, and to which they serve as a back­ground.
The first point, then, is the belief that to some degree men are respons­ible for them­selves and for their actions ; but that all men are imper­fect and that human suf­fer­ing is greatly increased and mul­ti­plied by this gen­er­al fact. 

The second is the thes­is that the dif­fer­ence between the wicked­ness and respons­ib­il­ity of one man and those of another, in the gen­er­al world of nature ( where it must be recog­nised that good for­tune or adverse con­di­tions play a great but still unmeas­ured part in the devel­op­ment of human beings ), is so idle a ques­tion and so nice a point that it is not worth the wear of our fine intel­lects to dis­cuss it in any ima­gin­able con­junc­ture of life or his­tory. Indeed, since human respons­ib­il­ity is so subtle a sub­stance, present­ing itself with vivid­ness inside me, but not open to my vis­ion at all inside another man  —  in oth­er words, since I know that I could have done bet­ter than I did do while I can nev­er tell what allow­ances I ought to make for oth­er people  —  it is impossible to think one man essen­tially more wicked than another save as one might say: “All men are sin­ners and I the chief of them”. It fol­lows from this that mor­al judg­ments of actu­al people can­not defens­ibly or use­fully exist in con­crete cases save in the form of self-judgments.

Thirdly, though I, look­ing to the imme­di­ate future, must regard myself as a respons­ible per­son who may do things that are mor­al and immor­al, and may fol­low or betray a law which is writ­ten on my con­science or a law that I have imposed upon myself; yet in regard to oth­er people ( who may think earn­estly and dif­fer from me about the law itself ) and in regard to oth­er people’s actions once they are done ( so that I can­not now pre­vent them ), the passing of what pur­ports to be a mor­al judg­ment  —  par­tic­u­larly a judg­ment which amounts to the asser­tion that they are worse men than I am  —  is not merely irrel­ev­ant, but actu­ally immor­al and harm­ful, not merely dan­ger­ous to my soul but unfit­ted for pro­du­cing improve­ment in human nature any­where.

Fourthly, gran­ted that the State is under the neces­sity of pun­ish­ing crimes, and gran­ted that in the case of crime the offence is not merely tech­nic­al but has mor­al implic­a­tions (though some­times the implic­a­tions are not so assured or so dir­ect as the world would like to believe), still we are not jus­ti­fied in expand­ing a leg­al ver­dict into a final judg­ment on a per­son­al­ity, or in assum­ing that because our own sins do not hap­pen to have been also tech­nic­al offences they are less mor­ally blame­worthy. If a man is sent to gaol, in fact, both the judge and the gaol­er are to be inter­preted as say­ing to him : “Look here, old sport, we know that you may be a bet­ter man than we are, but since we can’t tell what to do in order to save soci­ety, we have to resort to for­ce”. If it is neces­sary to hang mur­der­ers, we must be sure that we are doing it because of a neces­sity and not out of mor­al indig­na­tion. And when we have done it we shall do well to reflect sadly on the bit­ter­ness of the neces­sity, and say : “There, but for the grace of God, go I”.

Fifthly, since mor­al indig­na­tion cor­rupts the agent who pos­sesses it and is not cal­cu­lated to reform the man who is the object of it, the demand for it  —  in the poli­tician and in the his­tor­i­an for example  —  is really a .demand for an ille­git­im­ate form of power. The attach­ment to it is based on its effic­acy as a tac­tic­al weapon, its abil­ity to rouse irra­tion­al fer­vour and extraordin­ary malevol­ence again­st some enemy. As in such cases its effic­acy is not lessened even when it is used unfairly and unscru­pu­lously again­st those who have done no great harm, the argu­ment for the use of this weapon is val­id also for the unscru­pu­lous use of it. The pas­sage from the one to the oth­er is indeed one of the most reg­u­lar conjuring-tricks in the world.

Finally  —  so far as these state­ments of prin­ciple are con­cerned  —  I should say that, though I assume there are lim­its, I do not know where to place the lim­its to the oper­a­tion of the truth that we con­demn where we do not under­stand. This is tan­tamount to the asser­tion that the kind of eth­ic­al judg­ments which his­tor­i­ans like Lord Acton have been so anxious to achieve are pos­sible only to God.

Mor­al Judge­ments in His­tory

 
FitzwilliamLions

 

If our West­ern civil­isa­tion were to col­lapse even more com­pletely than it has done, and I were asked to say upon which of the sins of the world the judg­ment of God had come in so sig­nal a man­ner, I should spe­cify, as the most gen­er­al of exist­ing evils and the most ter­ri­fy­ing in its res­ults, human pre­sump­tion and par­ticularly intel­lec­tu­al arrog­ance. There is good reas­on for believ­ing that none of the fields of spe­cial­ised know­ledge is exempt from this fault; and I know of no mir­acle in the struc­ture of the uni­verse that should make me think even arch­bish­ops free of it. But it is the beset­ting dis­ease of his­tor­i­ans, and the effect of an his­tor­ic­al edu­ca­tion seems very often actu­ally to en­courage the evil. The mind sweeps like the mind of God over cen­tur­ies and con­tin­ents, churches and cit­ies, Shakespeares and Aris­totles, curtly put­ting everything in its place. Any school­boy thinks that he can show that Napo­leon was fool­ish as a states­man, and I have seen Bis­mar­ck con­demned as a mere sim­pleton in dip­lomacy by under­gradu­ates who would not have had suf­fi­cient dip­lomacy to wheedle six­pence out of a col­lege port­er. I do not know if there is any oth­er field of know­ledge which suf­fers so badly as his­tory from the sheer blind repe­ti­tions that occur year after year, and from book to book  —  theses and state­ments repeated some­times out of their prop­er con­text, and even some­times when they have not been cor­rectly under­stood; and very sup­ple and del­ic­ate ones turned by sheer repe­ti­tion and rigid­ity of mind into hard dog­mat­ic for­mu­las. I have seen his­tor­i­ans con­demn the Middle Ages for their blind­ness in quot­ing and requot­ing earli­er author­it­ies and so per­petu­at­ing an ori­gin­al error; when it was in fact these self-same his­tor­i­ans who were doing just that very thing  —  repeat­ing judg­ments at second hand  —  in the very act of stat­ing that par­tic­u­lar case. I do not per­son­ally feel that in mod­ern times tech­nic­al his­tory, in spite of all the skill that has gone to mak­ing of it, has ever been taken up by a mind that I should call Shakespearean in its depth and scope, save pos­sibly in the remark­able case of Ranke. I think com­pared with the nov­el­ists, the his­tor­i­ans have been coarse-fingered and too lack­ing in sub­tlety in hand­ling of human nature; so that, if he had only nov­el­ists and the his­tor­i­ans to judge from, a vis­it­or from another plan­et would think that they were talk­ing at two dif­fer­ent kinds of sub­stance.

The Dangers of His­tory

Her­bert But­ter­field : His­tory & Human Rela­tions

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Plus Royaliste Que Le Roi [ Remerciez Un Dieu ]

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

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

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

Robert Fawti­er : The Capetian Kings of France

 
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Blood Relative

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

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

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

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

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

***

fighting J

***

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

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

How dead are organ donors?

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

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

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