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The Emperor’s Invention

A couple of years before the débâcle --- as implicit within --- Louis-Napoléon meditated, which is what he was best at, some wish-fulfilment . An accomplished author, his only known fiction had been, in hereditary fashion, official pronouncements.

 

 

'Plot of a Novel by the Emperor'

 

  "M. Benoît, an honest grocer, residing tn the Rue de la Lune, left, in 1847, for America. After having travelled in the countries extending from Hudson's Bay to the Mississippi, he returned to France in April, 1868, having been nearly nineteen years out of the country. He had been only vaguely informed as to the events which had taken place in France since 1848. Some French refugees had told him that, if he visited France, he would find it crushed under a system of despotism, with poverty abounding everywhere; a France, in fact, very different from that he left flourishing under the reign of Louis Phillippe. Our friend Benoît arrives at Brest in a trans-Atlantic steamer, full of uncertainties, regrets, and apprehensions. 'What are those black-looking vessels, so ugly when compared with the beautiful sailing vessels that I have left behind me ?' he asks of the first sailor he meets. 'Why,' replies the sailor, 'they are iron-clad men-of-war, the Emperor's invention; covered in iron, they are impregnable; and this transformation has destroyed, to a certain extent, the supremacy of the English fleet on the seas.'   'That may be possible; but I am sorry for our old ships, with their poetical masts and sails.' [ On the margin, opposite the latter phrase, are written these words : "Passports suppressed." ] He sees the crowd rushing to the Court-house to record their votes. Astonishment at witnessing the existence of universal suffrage; astonishment at the railways which run throughout the whole of the country, and at the telegraph. Arrived in Paris; embellishments. The Octroi ( city dues ) carried to the fortifications. He wishes to make some purchases, which are cheaper, in consequence of the Treaty of Commerce; some half-price, &c. He fancies that there are a number of writers in prison. Error. No disturbances; no political prisoners; no exiles. No more preventative detentions; acceleration of trial; branding suppressed; civil death suppressed; Society for Assistance to the Aged; asylums at Vincennes; coalitions; Police de Roulage suppressed; military service shortened, pay increased, medal instituted, pension augmented, reserve increasing the regular force; funds for infirm priests; arrest for debt; brokers; a tradesman who sent his assistant to buy and sell goods was arrested; Councils-General."

 

The Secret Documents of the Second Empire. Pub. by the Commission of the Govt. of National Defence. L. 1871 Translated from the French by T. Curry.

 

 

Bivouac devant le Bourget, après le combat du 21 Décembre 1870 - 1872

Alphonse-Marie-Adolphe de Neuville --- Bivouac devant le Bourget

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No Child Left Behind

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(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 Little Cult

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(Art, High Germany, Literature, Melancholy, Other Writ, Royalism, The Enemy, War)

As President Wiggum details yet another bombing of a muslim country for their own good --- I swear, part of America's current mission policy statement is to rain death from the clouds upon each and every country in the world, in turn and prolly ending up with themselves --- it can't hurt to visit one of my favourite passages, from Herbert Gorman's magnificent 1947 fictionalization of L'Affaire Boulanger, Brave General, painting the general's unfortunate -- in consequence --- visit to Prince Napoleon's Chateau at Prangins, in the canton of Vaud [ Obit ]. When did a Plon-Plon benefit anyone ? Suitable no doubt since Obama shares with Georges his amiable nullity, combined even yet with the fading aura of one also once claimed as messiah who brought death and dictatorial misery as travelling companions.

Yanks of a liberal disposition now try to disassociate themselves and Bush-Lite from any suspicion of Obamamania, claiming that it was their opponents who fastened the unreal expectations of a new dispensation upon the reputation of a remarkably shifty candidate and soon to be dilettante president, yet none who actually lived through November of '08 will forget the revolting genuflections and hosannas which accompanied that victory; like Boulanger, who twisted in turn to solicit support from correct legitimists and the slippery factions who composed the body politic of the corrupt Third Republic, orleanists, bonapartists, socialists, clericals etc. etc., all realising in turn that he lacked spirit to do good for any, and not even for himself, the president courted foolishly his alleged enemies for bi-partisan support without having much of a plan for even the semblance of victory. As to whether being a hollow man is better than being a criminal worshipped war-lord, I can't say; but trying to be both is a respectable recipe for disaster.

 

 

As Gorman includes: In Politics one insisted to the last that one's party was winning, and when one's party did not win one spent the the next week inventing extraneous excuses for the defeat. The simple fact that one's party had lost because it had not received as many votes as the other fellow's party was never a conclusive explanation in itself. Politics, it appeared, was a constant self-justification. If I had done that, if I had done this, if the question had been properly presented, if my agent in that particular place... if the funds had been distributed as... if... if... if... Ah, that was politics. It was an absurd game of chess with crazy moves and cheating antagonists who stole your pawns when you were not looking. There was more politics, she thought, in republics than there were in kingdoms or empires for the simple reason that in republics there was no definitive iron hoof to stamp it out. That was good. So everybody said. The People spoke. Sometimes they spoke in a dozen clashing voices and nothing was resolved, or, if was resolved, it took a long time and the resolution lost a part of its strength. Like the American Congress. A wilful minority in that Paradise of democracy could indefinitely obstruct the will of the majority. That was called rule by the people. It sounded more like rule by the sediment that was too clotted to go down the drain. It held back everything.

 

 

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

 

Twilight was falling

 

Twilight was falling when the Prince, looking very much like a blown-up caricature of his august uncle, waddled into the large library with the General at his heels.
      "If you enter politics," he was saying, "you will soon discover it to be a nasty and merciless business. Have you a fortune ?"
      "Not a sou, "replied the General.
      "Well," said the Prince, as he thrust his hand into the front of his waistcoat, "if you run aground you will never be a stranger here."
Thiébaud, who was standing by one of the glass cases of relics with Berthet-Leleux, turned smilingly towards the two men.
      "I have been thrilled by some of the objects in this case, Your Imperial Highness," he declared. "Look here, my General. Here are some things that will stir your soldier's heart."
Boulanger advanced towards the relics eagerly, and the Prince followed, his broad face wreathed with smiles.
      "Yes," he said, "I intended to show you some of these sacred souvenirs. Berthet-Leleux, hand me the keys."
The four men gathered before the case, while the Prince awkwardly unlocked the glass-panelled door.
      "There are the spurs that He wore on the return from Italy," he explained. "And there is the cockade that was in His hat the day He made them eat grapeshot at the Church of Saint-Roch. There are two of His pistols and the sash He wrapped around His middle when He drove the recalcitrant Council of the Five Hundred out of the Orangerie. And here... here..."
He reached into the case and withdrew an Egyptian sabre in a gold-plated and bejewelled sheath. He extended it towards the General.
      "This is the sword the First Consul carried at Marengo," he said solemnly.
For an instant the magic of the Cult impregnated the still air in the library. Afterwards Thiébaud swore that he heard the distant grumble of grenadier drums as the General stretched forward a respectful hand and lightly touched the hilt of the glittering weapon.
      "Are you sure that this is the sabre of the First Consul ?" he demanded in a hushed voice.
The Prince smiled.
      "Do you think that this is bric-à-brac I have collected in flea-markets ?" he asked proudly.
      "It is a beautiful souvenir," declared the General in a reverent tone.
His hand again caressed the hilt of the sword as lightly, as tenderly as though it were the upturned face of a beloved woman. Thiébaud saw the grave melancholy visage of a professional soldier to whom warfare was a religion and in whose eyes the saints wore burnished epaulets. Like the Moor in the English play his profession was his life and without it he would have no life at all... nothing, indeed, but existence. What, then ? What, then ? The journalist closed his mind to the answer. The Prince, too, observed the General's emotion and instinctively understood it. After all, he was a Bonaparte. Turning, he carefully placed the sabre back on the velvet in the open case.
      "General," he said, "when you have returned Alsace and Lorraine back to France I will offer you this sword."
Justin entered the shadowy library with a lighted candelabra.

 

 

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

 

 

As elsewhere, earlier in the book, eternal truth remains for some of us outside all such montebanks of apparent power...

 

It was after four o'clock in the morning when the Polish waiter, leaning like an old collapsed scarecrow against the corridor wall, saw the door open and the octet emerge in a compact group. They were no longer laughing.
      "Remember," said Laguerre. "My dinner is tonight. You are all invited. In the meantime..."
      "In the meantime we have accomplished nothing," snapped Clemenceau.
      "We are moving to an understanding," said the General mildly.
Ignace observed how Clemenceau turned a brief sour glance at the handsome gentleman with the blond beard.
      "Whose understanding ?" demanded the Breton abruptly.
Nobody answered.
As they were going down the stairs Ignace turned to Monsieur Frédéric.
      "They all detest one another," he remarked in a surprised tone.
Monsieur Frédéric, who had been a
maître d'hôtel for thirty years, shrugged his shoulders.
      "After all," he replied, "we live under a Republic. They have the liberty to detest one another. As for me... I am a Royalist."

 

 

 

Black Pussies on Roofs

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The Raft Of Hell

Seventeen years ago the federal government launched a siege and final assault against a group of private citizens who had not offended outside the beliefs they held or outside the group. To validate this process a propaganda campaign of falsehoods was instituted and was continued after.
 

This was not a punishment: it was a warning.
 
 

Punishments there were, in plenty, for the survivors.

Now, governments will do these things, whether in Indonesia, China or the USA --- and in the absence of government private parties will do such things, as in the Bastard Feudalistic phase of Late Mediaeval period during the Wars of the Roses or in the Gilded Age of America ( when Robber Barons like the unspeakable little republicans such as Carnegie or Frick randomly slaughtered their workers, Europeans were outraged not wholly at the murderous defence of Capital --- European polities were scarcely housing or in other ways treating their lower classes well, and were not averse though profoundly reluctant to sending the troops in if the police could not contain a strike --- but at the sheer insufferability of private citizens, including corporations as private citizens in the curious Anglo-American tradition, possessing and using armed private police forces to ensure their will ). This is not so much a question of the awfulness of government power, but the inane and disgusting purpose of an individual government.

The sect remembered was a breakaway group of a breakaway ad infinitum group in the true tradition of faiths. Seventh-Day Adventists are fearfully respectable and cook delicious food in their restaurants: those who seceded, as is the common way with splinter-groups, grew loopier the further they strayed. By the time David Koresh was through his sect was the Davidian Branch Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists, the apple having rolled fairly far from the tree. Which is not to say the tenets of the Adventists are sane compared to Catholic doctrine --- and for Royalists, the Roman Catholics have always been the weak sisters to Monarchy and Western Civilisation: petty, corrupt and wilfully treacherous. For those loyal to higher powers than despicably elected mere Popes, Canossa is the Great Unforgotten as much as Kronstadt is to any decent communist. However, although their theology may not be persuasive it is at least coherent --- From the Wiki entry, all the Adventist groups share such flawed beliefs such as:

 

# Jesus Christ is to soon personally return to earth to gather together his elect and take them to heaven for 1000 years, after which he will return with them to this earth to dwell with them for eternity in his kingdom.

# The non-immortality of the soul. That is, the dead have no consciousness, nor being.

# There shall be a resurrection of both the just and of the unjust. The resurrection of the just will take place at the second coming of Christ; the resurrection of the unjust will take place 1000 years later, at the close of the millennium.

# There is a sanctuary in heaven in which Christ is ministering on behalf of mankind.

# There is an investigative judgment going on in the heavenly sanctuary that began on October 22, 1844 to determine who will come forth in each of the resurrections, and who will be translated without seeing death at the second coming of Christ. That said judgment began with the records of those who had died, and would eventually pass to the living.

 
Etc., etc.. This stuff shares the usual delusion of religion that God is subject to human desires and whims. One may be sure that the number '1000' is relied upon as being a definite span, not too large as to be incomprehensible, not too small as to be verifiable: but to imagine God is subject to human time-tabling is not merely impious, but as vain as a mayfly suggesting the God envisaged by mayflies will judge the risen mayflies within a month.

And in the Wiki entry for the Siege itself there is piece we recognise as classic Curious Religious Americana --- we are often belaboured with the fact that America has a deeply religious base as compared with decadent Europe, just as has Dar al-Islam. And what use is that if the religion itself is utterly insane ? This has more to do with Spengler's forecast of the Second Religosity amongst the peasantry during the Imperialistic period than a deep love of the Almighty --- which involves exhumation and guns.

 

Following the failure of this prophecy, control of Mt. Carmel fell to Benjamin Roden, and on his death to his wife, Lois. Lois Roden considered their son, George, unfit to assume the position of prophet. Instead, she groomed Vernon Howell, later known as David Koresh, as her chosen successor. In 1984, a meeting led to a division of the group with Howell leading one faction, calling themselves the Davidian Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists, and George Roden leading the competing faction. After this split, George Roden ran Howell and his followers off Mt. Carmel. Howell and his group relocated to Palestine, Texas.

After the death of Lois and the probate case, Howell attempted to gain control of the Mt Carmel center by force. George Roden had dug up the casket of Anna Hughes from the Davidian cemetery and had challenged Howell to a resurrection contest to prove who was the rightful heir. Howell instead went to the police and claimed Roden was guilty of corpse abuse. By October 31, 1987 the county prosecutors had refused to file charges without proof and so on November 3, 1987 Howell and seven armed companions attempted to access the Mt. Carmel chapel with the goal of photographing the body in the casket. George Roden was advised of the interlopers and grabbed an Uzi in response. The sheriff's department responded about 20 minutes into the gunfight. Sheriff Harwell got Howell on the phone and told him to stop shooting and surrender. Howell and his companions, dubbed the "Rodenville Eight" by the media, were tried on April 12, 1988; seven were acquitted and the jury was hung on Howell's verdict. The county prosecutors did not press the case further.

While waiting for the trial, George Roden was put in jail under contempt of court charges on March 21, 1988 because of his use of foul language in some court pleadings threatening the Texas court with AIDS and herpes if it ruled in favor of Howell. The very next day, Perry Jones and a number of Howell's other followers moved from their headquarters in Palestine, Texas to Mt. Carmel Center.

 

The bellowed threats of God's biological warfare smiting the court seem counterproductive to getting that court to look favorably upon one's cause...

 

The Most Intelligent Way Possible

 
However the prior antics of squabbling religious fanatics was unassociated with the later event, which was orchestrated under the leadership of Miss Janet Reno. Here, I shall defer to a recent report [ Dec 2009 ] from IFS Writers: God Bless You Janet Reno --- Child Killer.

 

For 51 days, the ATF and the FBI held these people hostage, and then lied to Congress. I just want to let everyone know that I too, remember these Americans, these little children and old people that Janet Reno had gunned down, mutilated and burnt in the name of justice. I remember that one male report, who would come to the microphone and TV camera, and report that - there was no food for the children, or the next time, the kids were being molested, or the very next time, the kids were being held as hostages, etc. I wonder how his career is during these days. America will never forget Janet Reno and her friends that kill children, mothers and old people. I know she will live a long fruitful life. After all one day she will meet each and everyone of those victims again. And at that time, there are no laws, police and anything thing else that will save her from the raft of hell.

Janet Reno, the former attorney general in the Clinton administration, received a lifetime achievement award Friday, April 18, 2009, from the American Judicature Society, a non-partisan justice advocacy network.

Speaking slowly because of the effects of Parkinson Disease, Reno praised violence prevention programs and the current direction of the Justice Department. “Now I can look at America and think this is a nation that is responding in the most intelligent way possible to deal with violence, especially domestic violence,” Reno said.

 

Poor old incompetent fool, it might be more charitable to assume she, as we assume of Reagan during his presidency, so crippled pre factum that the mental damage was already there rather than it being a punishment..
 

Oh, Say, Can You See....
 

On February 28, 1993, the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) launched the largest assault in its history against a small religious community in America. Approximately eighty armed agents invaded the compound, purportedly to execute a single search and arrest warrant. The raid went badly; six Branch Davidians and four agents were killed.

Attorney General Janet Reno asked for and received military support. The U.S. Army showed up with tanks.

After a fifty-one-day standoff, the United States Justice Department approved Reno’s plan to use CS gas and break down the walls with tanks to “save the children” of those barricaded inside.

On the 51st day tanks carrying the CS gas broke through the concrete walls and entered the compound. A fire broke out, and all seventy-four men, women and children inside perished. One third of them from gunshot wounds, the rest crushed by debris or burned to death.

After the compound had burned down the ATF flag was hoisted aloft to signify ‘victory’. At Janet Reno’s award ceremony today it was only mentioned that 74 “cult members” were killed.

 

Still Meant Over 10 Years In Quod For Resisting Arrest
 

In The Davidian trial judge sentenced five Davidians to the maximum sentence of 30 years each; one to 20 years; one to 15; one to 5 years and one to 3 years. On June 4, 2000 the Supreme Court cut 25 years from 4 Davidians' sentences and 5 years from one. On September 9, 2000 Judge Walter Smith followed the Court's instructions and cut those sentences, as well as the 25 year sentence of Livingstone Fagan who had not appealed.

All were released as of July 2007.

 

 

However... Quite ordinary American prisons appear training grounds for Guantánamo: from the Wiki article...

One, Derek Lovelock, was held in McLennan County Jail for seven months, often in solitary confinement. Livingston Fagan, another British citizen, who was among those convicted and imprisoned, recounts multiple beatings at the hands of prison guards, particularly at Leavenworth. He claims to have been doused with cold water from a high-pressure hose, which soaked both him and the contents and bedding of his cell, after which an industrial fan was placed outside the cell, blasting him with cold air. He was repeatedly moved between at least nine different facilities. He was strip-searched every time he took exercise, so refused exercise.

 

It's very difficult to imagine what pleasure a prison guard gets from beating up inmates...

 

And with all sieges where the external forces have world enough and time, All You Ever Have To Do Is Wait.
 

 

Texas Devastation

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Filicides

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(Music, Royalism, Self Writ, Stuarts, The Enemy, Videos)

One of the many rare distinctions appertaining to being a jacobite is the fact that --- without overtly disliking, yet not over-valuing, people except insofar as they adhere to creeds of filthy republicanism --- one is able to loathe all parties concerned in Northern Ireland without distinction.

Famously, after the last battle, at Stow-on-the-Wold, Jacob Astley, Major-General of the King's Infantry, contemptuously predicted to his conquerors: "Now Boys, ye may now sit down and play, for you have done all your Worke, if you fall not out among yourselves."

 
Quite apart from egregious terrorism and racketeering, which form a link with the established political movements which support and sponsor them and their ideals, the multi-splintered groups forming the twin ideals of Irish Republicanism and Unionist Loyalism are further joined by their infamous beliefs in democracy and religion: each partaking of the ancient liberal evil which rejected the Stuarts and Divine Right Royalism. As are also heirs --- of course --- the government forces of the pseudo-monarchical Great Britain --- serving the ultimate beneficiaries of the murder of Charles the First and the expulsion of his progeny: foul old parliament and it's hireling Windsor puppets squatting on a usurped throne --- and dreary little Eire, which puts all these gangs of parricidal and fratricidal sentimental bastards beyond the pale.

 
Ulster's 'Troubles' is merely one part of the aftermath of the defeat of Royalism whereby the republican scum fell out amongst themselves.
 

 
However, like most movements each can play a jolly tune --- outside the province and some parts of Scotland religio-political parades are sufficiently rare --- and here is one group of protties, the Ravenshill Flute Band, on Black Saturday 2006, playing Hello ! Hello ! Who's Your Lady Friend ? --- one of the Edwardian era's most spectacular songs.

 

 

It was written by the half-French Fragson, murdered by his own father.

 

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

 

 

Sir Jacob Astley

General Jacob Astley, First Baron Astley of Reading

 

 

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Harry Fragson -- 'Hello ! Hello !' = 1913

 

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Harry Fragson -- 'Anna, Qu'est-Ce Que T'attends !' = 1906

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Death Of A Civilisation

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(Melancholy, Self Writ, Spengler, The Enemy)

Back to the nearest memories of humankind, 1980, when the fatuous figures of Reagan and Madame Thatcher were stalking the globe as twin pestilences, Hordes of the Things made it's first appearance on Radio Four ( BBC ). The links should be read after listening, since they naturally are spoilers. Radio, apart from it's life-preserving, as in rescue, or life-destroying, as in war, --- though British military radio from the late Balkan Wars to Iraq in the form of the aging Clansman system was wretched enough for the soldiery to opt for using their mobiles instead if possible --- services has little to commend it's survival now; yet for the prior half of the 20th century it was more important for popular cultural enrichment than TV as a later phenomenon: fortunately, both are being obviated by the internet. Still, radio humour --- as variable in quality as any other medium ( viz: mostly crap ) --- supplied a need in those less advanced years; and Hordes of the Things was fairly good. However rarely repeated, the combination of actors well-known in their day, and seasoned comedic writers produced from four short episodes phrases that live in the mind. The occasional mock-shakespearian rhapsody and the underlying menace of beauty from Wagner's finest didn't hurt a Tolkienesque burlesque with Dragons, Eagles and Spiders. Still, 'We are trained to be patient in the Brotherhood of Night.' kind of haunts the mind even of those of us who are severely lacking in patience of any kind.

Quite other than it's being comedy, there is a satire implicit upon the very worst and most despicable Liberal. The utterly sincere, and really morally pure, harmonising, well-meaning, honest idiot who horridly sees good in all and tries so hard to reconcile, that his weakness destroys himself and all that he is obligated to protect. Who genuinely thinks that competing cultures must be greeted with complacent self-destruction. Combining self-satisfied fellow-travelling, dumb moral relativism and a disgustingly feeble-minded belief in the value of all, and their good intentions, together with total disdain for those who prefer reality, makes them so worthless as to be more dangerous than a frank villain such as Bush or Clinton.

Still, as I was saying, though the contemporary in-jokes have reached the inevitable fate of all such trifles, many of the finely delivered lines resonate so as to be almost unforgettable [ Bearing in mind that everything is ultimately forgot here below... ]. Thanks to a friendly torrent this aged comedy is available here.; but also proffered as a downloadable zip which is recommended for home use.

 
FOOOOOOLLLL ! Now I can seeee yoou !

Name not that name within these walls, Master..

Loathsome Brothers !

Just a, a minute. There's something strange here.
Majesteh ?
Why are there so many more wenches than hags in the village ?
The men had marched a long way, Majesteh.
Oh. Ah... yes... I see...

Beware, Agar, son of Yulfric; for no power on earth is granted without a price.

You take the counsel of that cannibal and sentence your own son to grisly death ?

Right, what is this ?
Just a mirror.
It looks like the All-Seeing Mirror of Ganst, whose power lies by reflecting deep into the souls of the fallen...
Reproduction.
And all these axes here, magic helms and articles of torture ?
Collector's Items.
I don't doubt it Yulfric, but what
sort of collector ?

 


The First Chronicle


The Second Chronicle


The Third Chronicle


The Fourth Chronicle

 

Zip file - 111 MB

 
 
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Friedrich Gauermann -- Jager Vor Einer

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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

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(Manners not Morals, Melancholy, Other Writ, Spengler, The Enemy)

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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(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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Iron In The Soul Goes A Trifle Rusty

"There followed a series of uncovered plots, some true, others fantastic, some Cheka provocations. Dzerzhinsky was constantly sharpening the weapon of Soviet dictatorship. To Dzerzhinsky was brought the mass of undigested rumours from all parts of Petrograd. With the aid of picked squads of Chekists, Dzerzhinsky undertook to purge the city. Little time was wasted sifting evidence and classifying people rounded up in these night raids. Woe to him who did not disarm all suspicion at once. The prisoners were generally hustled to the old police station not far from the Winter Palace. Here, with or without perfunctory interrogation, they were stood up against the courtyard wall and shot. The staccato sounds of death were muffled by the roar of truck motors kept going for the purpose."

"Dzerzhinsky furnished the instrument for tearing a new society out of the womb of the old -- the instrument of organised, systematic, mass terror. For Dzerzhinsky the class struggle meant exterminating 'the enemies of the working class.' The 'enemies of the working class' were all who opposed the Bolshevik dictatorship."

"At meetings of the Sovnarcom, Lenin often exchanged notes with his colleagues. On one occasion, he sent a note to Dzerzhinsky. 'How many vicious counter-revolutionaries are there in our prisons ?' Dzerzhinsky's reply was: 'About fifteen hundred.' Lenin read it, snorted something to himself, made a cross beside the figure, and returned the note to Dzerzhinsky."

"Dzerzhinsky rose and left the room without a word. No-one paid any attention either to Lenin's note or to Dzerzhinsky's departure. The meeting continued. But the next day there was excited whispering. Dzerzhinsky had ordered the execution of all the fifteen hundred 'vicious counter-revolutionaries' the previous night. He had taken Lenin's cross as a collective death sentence."

"There would have been little comment had Lenin's gesture been meant as an order for wholesale liquidation. But, as Fotieva, Lenin's secretary, explained: 'There was a misunderstanding. Vladimir Ilyich never wanted the executions. Dzerzhinsky did not understand him. Vladimir Ilyich usually puts a cross on memoranda to indicate that he has read them and noted their contents.'"

From computer jottings. Original link 404ed.

 
Mitchell -- Hypatia

Charles William Mitchell -- Hypatia

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The End Of Faustian Man

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(High Germany, Melancholy, Music, Self Writ, Spengler, The Enemy, The King of Terrors, Videos, War)

The doom of our culture was already well upon it's way by the time of the Second World War --- or War of the Republics as I would prefer it to be known, since this was conducted entirely betwixt differing republican systems, all equally loathsome. Possibly not Japan, I guess, since it was at least nominally a monarchy, although cursory search indicates it was more of a constitutional monarchy. WWII may be summarized as that the nazis were detestable; the western allies despicable; and the communists disgusting.

The Russians had reverted to becoming savages by 1945: the Americans maintained their customary anthropological status as barbarians. Their especially barbaric political system of representative democracy had grave consequence as victors... The very first moralistic theatre was the judicial murder of General Anton Dostler, of which may be read here, written by the son of his American defense counsel. Essentially, 15 American soldiers were captured disguised as Italian civilians, and the --- non-nazi --- General referred the case to Kesselring, who ordered them to be executed. Admittedly Smiling Albert had enough to occupy his mind right then without giving this a great deal of thought, but under the laws of war this was a done deal anyway. It is pointless to object or blame soldiers for disguising; it is equally pointless to object to the consequence --- which procedure is actually there to protect civilians. Thus although guiltless --- neither prosecutor nor defence expected anything except acquittal --- General Dostler was then sentenced to death after new instructions were handed down from Washington in response to the revelation that the prosecution would fail, that is that henceforth in these trials hearsay evidence would be admissible. This was to satisfy the voting constituents. Democracy is awesomely repellent not merely in practice, but still more so in idealist theory...

'Hope to God we never lose a war.' said the prosecutor.

 

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Execution of German General Anton Dostler

 
Another version, shorter, but with a few more frames

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Incidentally, this trial caused the innocent prosecutor to lose his faith in the Rule of Law forever...

 

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Charles Gounod -- Finale of Faust

 

Constantine at the Battlements
Unknown -- Constantinos Paleologos at the battlements, Dawn of the 29th May of 1453

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II : ‘We Shall Have To Teach You’">Jerome II : ‘We Shall Have To Teach You’

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(Other Writ, The Building Blocks of Democracy, The Enemy, The King of Terrors)

As a child I studied one of the part-works --- a form once popular from the 1920s to 1980s, but which has rather naturally fallen out of vogue: magazines issued weekly --- on WWI; obviously such publications included photographs which should be seen once, in order to understand consequence, but not dwelt upon unless one is in training to become a serial killer. Actually, mere death cannot appall: there is nothing in the least romantic in death --- as opposed to dying well --- and it's displays are solely squalid; however ongoing injury or the truthful immediacy of creatures suffering causes as much instantaneous flinching within as if in their presence. The issue dealing with the murder of Tsar Nicky and his family had on the back page another murder, that of a black man burning with grinning morons surveying this act.

To maintain that these lynchings --- within living memory --- were all of the innocent seems both unlikely and inapposite; since that matters not: such behaviour is utterly unacceptable were you dealing with devils from Hell. Still, it can be pointed out that this is one form of action that can be justified under any variant of democracy, from pure populism to libertarian individualism. And again, those who condemn such atrocities of the past, just under current fashion rather than for the pure lack of decency in such degrading manifestations, are often glad and usually silent when the victims are those of whom they disapprove --- such as say, nazis or Saddam's people..

 
Once only --- at Chattanooga --- did I meet with dis­agreement : and then I was asking for it. Two negroes had been lynched a few days before my arrival on the usual charge of having assaulted a white woman: proved afterwards ( as is generally the case ) to have been a trumped-up lie. All through the South, this lynching horror had been following me; and after my reading I asked for permission to speak on a matter about which my conscience was troubling me. I didn't wait to get it, but went straight on. At home, on political platforms, I have often experienced the sensation of stirring up opposi­tion. But this was something different. I do not suggest it was anything more than fancy, but it seemed to me that I could actually visualize the anger of my audience. It looked like a dull, copper-coloured cloud, hovering just above their heads, and growing in size. I sat down amid silence. It was quite a time before anybody moved. And then they all got up at the same moment, and turned towards the door. On my way out, in the lobby, a few people came up to me and thanked me, in a hurried furtive manner.
My wife was deadly pale. I had not told her of my intention. But nothing happened, and I cannot help thinking that, if the tens of thousands of decent American men and women to whom this thing must be their country's shame would take their courage in both hands and speak their mind, America might be cleansed from this foul sin.

***

My curiosity has always prompted me to find out all I could about my fellow human beings wherever I have happened to be. I maintain that the American man, taking him class for class and individual for individual, is no worse than any of the rest of us. I will ask his permission to leave it at that.
The last time I visited America was during the first year of the war. America then was all for keeping out of it. I had friends in big business, and was introduced to others. Their opinion was that America could best serve Humanity in the bulk by reserving herself to act as peace-maker. In the end, she would be the only nation capable of considering the future without passion and without fear. The general feeling was, if anything, pro-German, tem­pered in the East by traditional sentiment for France. I failed to unearth any enthusiasm for England, in spite of my having been commissioned to discover it. I have sometimes wondered if England and America really do love one another as much as our journalists and politicians say they do. I had an interesting talk with President Wilson, chiefly about literature and the drama. But I did get him, before I left, to say a little about the war; and then he dropped the schoolmaster and became animated.
"We have in America," he said, "twenty million people of German descent. Almost as many Irish. In New York State alone there are more Italians than in Rome. We have more Scandinavians than there are in Sweden. Here, side by side, dwell Czechs, Roumanians, Slavs, Poles and Dutchmen. We also have some Jews. We have solved the problem of living together without wanting to cut one another's throats. You will have to learn to do the same in Europe. We shall have to teach you."
Undoubtedly at that time Wilson was intending to remain neutral. Whether his later change of mind brought about good or evil is an arguable point. But for America the war would have ended in stalemate. All Europe would have been convinced of the futility of war. "Peace without Victory " --- the only peace containing any possibility of permanence --- would have resulted.

To the democrat, America is the Great Disappoint­ment. Material progress I rule out. Beyond a certain point, it tends to enslave mankind. For spiritual progress, America seems to have no use. Mr. Ford has pointed out that every purchaser of a Ford car can have it delivered to him, painted any colour he likes, so long as it's black. Mr. Ford expresses in a nutshell the mental attitude of modern America. Every man in America is free to do as he darn well pleases so long as, for twenty-four hours a day, he does what everybody else is doing. Every man in America is free to speak his mind so long as he shouts with the crowd. He has not even Mr. Pickwick's choice of choosing his crowd. In America there is but one crowd. Every man in America has the right to think for himself so long as he thinks what he is told. If not --- like the heretics of the Middle Ages --- let him see to it that his chamber door is locked, that his tongue does not betray him. The Klu Klux Klan, with its travelling torture chamber, is but the outward and visible sign of the spirit of modern America. Thought in America is standardized. America is not taking new wine, lest the old bottles be broken.

I ask my American friends --- and I have many, I know --- to forgive me. My plea is that I am growing old. And it comes to me that before long I may be called upon to stand before the Judge of all the earth, and to make answer concerning the things that I have done and --- perhaps of even more import­ance --- the things that I have left undone. The thought I am about to set down keeps ringing in my brain. It will not go away. I am afraid any longer to keep silence. There are many of power and authority who could have spoken it better. I would it had not been left to me. If it make men angry, I am sorry.
The treatment of the negro in America calls to Heaven for redress. I have sat with men who, amid vile jokes and laughter, told of "Buck Niggers" being slowly roasted alive; told how they screamed and writhed and prayed; how their eyes rolled inward as the flames crept up till nothing could be seen but two white balls. They burn mere boys alive and sometimes women. These things are organized by the town's "leading citizens" Well-dressed women crowd to the show, children are lifted up upon their fathers' shoulders. The Law, represented by grin­ning policemen, stands idly by. Preachers from their pulpits glorify these things, and tell their congrega­tions that God approves. The Southern Press roars its encouragement. Hangings, shootings would be terrible enough. These burnings; these slow grillings of living men, chained down to iron bedsteads; these tearings of live, quivering flesh with red-hot pinchers can be done only to glut some hideous lust of cruelty. The excuse generally given is an insult to human intelligence. Even if true, it would be no excuse. In the majority of cases, it is not even pre­tended. The history of the Spanish Inquisition unrolls no greater shame upon the human race. The auto da fe, at least, was not planned for the purpose of amusing a mob. In the face of this gigantic horror, the lesser sufferings of the negro race in America may look insignificant. But there must be tens of thousands of educated, cultured men and women cursed with the touch of the tar-brush to whom life must be one long tragedy. Shunned, hated, despised, they have not the rights of a dog. From no white man dare they even defend the honour of their women. I have seen them waiting at the ticket offices, the gibe and butt of the crowd, not venturing to approach till the last white man was served. I have known a woman in the pains of childbirth made to travel in the cattle wagon. For no injury at the hands of any white man is there any redress. American justice is not colour blind. Will the wrong never end ?

Jerome K. Jerome : My Life and Times

 

Bat Bombs

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PC">Old Skool PC

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

George Orwell : Lear, Tol­stoy and the Fool

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
Dingo Cat

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Fill My Life With Song

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(Generalia, Self Writ, The Enemy)

Feeling blue, I decided to go from pyrates to their successors, and watched the comedy Goodfellas. Obviously the usual satire is that it mirrors the establishment since mobsters are merely a bunch of psychotic little men in suits whose exaggerated concept of respect only emanates from the money nexus; yet it is more lightly done than in 70's and 80's films, and if much of the humour comes from an agonising tradition mind-blenchingly done to death in British comic films --- bungling gangsters: at least here it derives from their competence being short on detail, rather than pure slapstick stupidity as in the latter. And as with the prominente in the real Mob, from the instituting of the Five Families on to Gotti, it rarely seems to have dawned that mindless killing, and really most of their murdering, was counter-productive to their ends; to kill unnecessarily is as sentimental a fault as not to kill from exaggerated respect for human life --- and grosser. The film is true to life, too, in the fact that mafioso launch into pointless and demented self-justification at the drop of a hat: I've a copy of Joe Bonanno's autobiography somewhere. Maybe their catholic heritage; maybe the fierce anti-intellectualism of the lower classes...

The lifestyle displayed in those dear dead, thank God, days beyond recall, such pure awe-inspiring tastelessness it resembles, as in a mirror darkly, islamic visions of Paradise.

 
I have the severest dislike for Cool, but this rendition is extremely powerful.

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Evangelion --- Fly Me To The Moon

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Lion Of The North

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(Correctitude, Generalia, Melancholy, Royalism, Self Writ, The Enemy)

"Now then, me Bullies: would you rather do the Gallows' Dance --- and hang in chains 'till the crows pick your eyes from your rotting skulls --- or would you feel the roll of a stout ship beneath yer feet again ?"
Captain Kidd film

The last ship of Captain Kidd has been found and coincidentally I watched the above film with Charles Laughton: the acting, with of course the exceptions of both him and Mr. Carradine, was rather stilted, but the actress was very pretty.

As for Kidd, it scarcely matters whether he swung unjustly or not. He should have been deaded for serving William of Orange anyway; as should anyone who served that usurper and all his successors; and indeed, so should William himself, 'The Unhung Thief', as Cabell dubbed him.

Life as a legitimist monarchist has the added bonus of making a very large percentage of human existence very cheap indeed; so saving one from getting worked up over mass inevitable mortality --- no matter how randomly purposed.

 

Kidd poster

 

***

 
Sweden, despite still having a remarkably tough military, has never been the same since the affair of the Masked Ball... that hideous snivelling progressiveness so redolent of all the Scandinavian countries has never been so well epitomised as in the castrating of the Royal Lion. Apparently 'female soldiers' from a rapid reaction force made a sudden swift surgical whine regarding the fact that an animal has genitalia and the Army, instead of telling them to take a long walk off a short pier, caved in with an abasing alacrity that would have delighted the soviets had they invaded. The original designer from the Nation Archives is naturally deeply pissed.

'Female Soldiers' are in any case a modern joke of course, and were not present in the Armies of Gustavus Adolphus, Queen Christina or Charles XII when those not wholly admirable monarchs' armies were the Swedish Terror of --- Northern --- Europe: so, really, if any military has declined in spirit enough to have such beings, then one must just expect attendant lunacies to come along with them.

 

Swedish Lions

 
 
It's a relief to turn to a purer aspect of Scandinavia. I've never owned, nor wanted, a bicycle, but this blog on Copenhagen bicycling is rather fascinating.

 

Danish Girl on Bike

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How The Day Goes

It is taken as a rule that whenev­er, and no mat­ter in which con­text, a per­son­al pro­noun is used, the speak­er is  —  hope­fully uncon­sciously  —  boast­ing. Still, I have iden­ti­fied my major flaw and can’t really feel it increases self-esteem. I am incap­able of rev­er­ence. This might be a coded way of say­ing rebel­li­ous, were it not for the fact that as a reac­tion­ary tra­di­tion­al­ist I’ve nev­er seen the point in rebel­lion for it’s own sake save as a nar­ciss­ist­ic atti­tude ( see: Shel­ley, and indeed, Byron ); rejec­tion of belief seems as point­less as it’s easy accept­ance, and con­sid­er­ably more self-dramatizing. Nat­ur­a­lich, I feel hon­our to my hered­it­ary lord: he is God’s Vice-Gerant; then again, I am scarcely likely to meet him, even less to serve him; and no chance at all to die for him > which last should be man’s nat­ur­al doom. I think it was Lord Bern­ard Stu­art who died with his back to a tree fight­ing eight Round­heads; and later, as my name­sake lay dying… 

The Vis­count then ask­ing the said John­ston: “How the day went ?

The day went well for the King, but I am sorry for your Lord­ship.”

Claver­house : “It is the less mat­ter for me, see­ing the day went well for my Mas­ter.”

Dying was worth­while in those days. Now it has the same unim­port­ance as life.

To con­tin­ue, no sing­er or band has ever held my heart. No people or group, large or tiny, seem the least bit worthy. I can’t respect breed­ing, wealth or achieve­ment, no mat­ter what it cost the achiev­er; work, any work, is as only good as the res­ult; and most present day work pro­duces ugli­ness adding to the mater­i­al world. As a legit­im­ist, con­cur­rent polit­ics merely seem the futile ges­tur­ings of freed slaves aping the pro­cess of gov­ernance. Reli­gion is not to be crudely dis­dained, even  —  espe­cially —- if one is fun­da­ment­ally irre­li­gious, so short cere­mon­ies are easy enough to be for mannered respect, but in church I’ve nev­er felt any­thing except annoy­ance and a dis­like of kneel­ing  —  and this lack of interest applies to all mani­fest­a­tions of the reli­gious impulse, wheth­er church-based, athe­ist­ic, faith in sci­ence, faith in mater­i­al­ism, faith in people ( all, or a selec­ted group ), nation­al­ism, racial­ism, anti-racialism, and all the creeds that mix any of these to form a cock­tail of belief. And too philo­soph­ers have very little to do with a func­tion­ing spir­itu­al life any more than eco­nom­ists have to do with the ran­dom work­ings of whatever the eco­nomy may be: both are merely theo­lo­gians, only to be read for the funny bits. 

Thus both reli­gion and eth­ic­al the­ory fail, if just because both make enorm­ous logic­al leaps by con­struct­ing the desired end  —  good and evil  — first, then cre­at­ing the the­ory that accounts for why they think one of these is right or wrong. There are only two pole-stars for cor­rect­ness: per­son­al hon­our and loy­alty. So in fine, there is noth­ing in life that can com­mand respect or even much admir­a­tion.

I feel hor­ror and dis­gust at hav­ing lived in the dec­ades I did, both from their and my own inad­equacy: all plat­it­ud­in­ous self-serving of both rulers and ruled naus­eates; we are lucky enough to have excel­lent gear now, but a hideous envir­on­ment to house it. Tech­no­logy is excel­lent, yet can hardly sub­sti­tute for the lack in mod­ern life. If I go any­where in Great Bri­tain, I know exactly what I’ll find, no mat­ter if I’ve nev­er seen the area once. All towns. cars, super­mar­kets, gar­ages, motor­way sta­tions, same shops every­where  —  may­be a museum or gal­lery might be inter­est­ing for an hour, or it might be as trite as the media soci­ety that invests us all. Cer­tainly the coun­tryside in Europe is still pretty good in places: but you have to get fur­ther in than you see from the road­side. Cul­tur­ally, the bit­ter­sweet Still Game regard­ing two pen­sion­ers in Glas­gow pretty well sums up the dead end-game of life in Bri­tain. I can now go any­where, but can’t con­ceive of any place I want to live in.

And North Amer­ica and Europe  —  which com­prise the con­tin­ents I should feel com­fort­able with­in —- are pretty much the same way. All is dull­ness. And the people are devoted to weak­ness and ineptitude. We live, as pre­dicted, in Res­sen­ti­ment World. Slaves Rule.

 
CologneCologne on the Rhine

And what is Köln now… 

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La Belle Sauvage

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(Generalia, Literature, Other Writ, The Enemy)

A month or so back I atten­ded some book­fair and among­st oth­ers, pur­chased this small item for 50p, which I only just decided to look at: 18th cen­tury writ­ing being some­what pre­cious.

narrative plate

This hor­ri­fic little tale is slightly pat­ron­ising to uneuropean cul­tures in the world-set of the time, nev­er­the­less dis­plays a health­i­er and more cyn­ic­al view that the hideous ideal­ism and dis­gust­ing relativ­ism insem­in­ated by Rousseau and brought to birth by Boas  —  both of whom have good claim to be in the top ten of most repel­lent per­sons evah  —  which holds sway for now. In the end, one cul­ture, how­ever massively imper­fect, can still be decided to be gen­er­ally bet­ter than another; and the near­er to naked nature a cul­ture, the less sat­is­fact­ory it remains. Any­way the author was evid­ently hav­ing enorm­ous fun in writ­ing it…

More thought­fully, it does increase the con­clu­sion that, whatever the dif­fi­culties, it is worth being a vegan if only for hygien­ic reas­ons.

 

VII. STORY OF TQUASSOUW AND KNONMQUAIHA, TWO HOTTENTOT LOVERS. CONNOISSEUR, numb. 21.

TQUASSOUW, the fon of Kqvuffo­mo, was Kon­quer or Chief Cap­tain over the Six­teen Na­tions of Caf­fraria. He was def­cen­ded from N’oh and Hingn’oh, who dropt from the moon; and his power exten­ded over all the Kraals of the Hot­tentots.

This prince was remark­able for his prowefs and activ­ity : his fpeed was like the tor­rent, that ruf­hes down the pre­cip­ice ; and he would over­take the wild afs in her flight : his arrows brought down the eagle from the clouds; the lion fell before him, and his launce drank the blood of the rhino­cer­os. He fathomed the waters of the deep, and buf­feted the bil­lows in the tem­peft : he drew the rock-fifh from their lurking-holes, and rifled the beds of cor­al. Trained from his infan­cy in the exer­ci­fe of war, to wield the Haff­agaye with dex­ter­ity, and break the wild bulls to battle, he was a ftranger to the foft dal­li­ance of love ; and be­held with indif­fer­ence the thick-lipped dam­fels of Gonge­man, and the flat-nofed beau­ties of Haut­e­ni­qua.

 

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The Categorical Imperative Has A Good Time In Siberia

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

The cold of those white Siberian nights with a pale, sickly gleam by which you could read, pierced us through and through. The prisoners, inadequately nourished by hot water, went below decks to sleep off the hunger which was becoming ever more acute.

A draft of women convicts was separated from us only by a thin wooden wall made of planks. Behind it were a few score of thieves, prostitutes and other assorted criminals: Russian, Ukrainian, Cossack, Tartar and Azerbaijan. Locked up in such close proximity to the men prisoners, they were yet more restless than the latter. Their long sojourn in captivity had affected them quite differently: more than food and sleep, they desired men.

One of the planks dividing us was soon prised free and a woman crawled through the opening, to find herself amid rows of men, lying one beside the other, like brown loaves on a baker's shelf. We heard no affectionate exchanges, but a few heavy sighs, quickened breathing and a hasty struggle followed by a moment of silence while one lover changed places with the next. This scene caused no undue commotion. The barge was wrapped in darkness, many of the men were sound asleep, totally unaware of the amorous delights available, and the woman, moreover, was dressed no differently from the men. This daring escapade might well have passed unnoticed by the authorities had it not been for the malice of man. Someone whose moral susceptibilities were above average or who, perhaps, was himself incapable of such amorous pursuits, ran off to report. We heard the rapid tread of army boots and in rushed the soldiers who, obviously well directed, made straight for the scene of the crime. They caught hold of a man by the neck and flung him on the floor thus revealing the girl. She betrayed no fear. She was a street-walker. That was what had brought her to prison, to trial and now to Siberia. Nothing worse could befall her.

A soldier grabbed hold of her legs and started to pull her, but she was perfectly willing to go of her own accord, which she did with an impudent smile of triumph. What could they do to her ? But the authorities were well able to deal with the case.

With the soldier as escort the girl set off in the direction of the ladder, parading between the rows of men who surveyed her with regretful longing --- sorry to see her leave so soon. She was taken up on deck and there ordered by the soldier to remove her padded jacket, her blouse, a sweater in shreds and her vest. Thus stripped, she was placed in the bow and made to face up-river. She was going to freeze, so that she might cool down a little.

In the grey, misty silence of the Arctic, the half-naked woman with her shameless smile and hair streaming in the wind, the full, white flagons of her breasts thrust proudly forward, seemed to challenge the forest deities lurking in the tundra, slowly gliding towards her.

Behind the girl stood a soldier, silent, sullen and indifferent. He was not a man, not even a male with whom she could go. With bayonet levelled at the girl's bare back he stood there motionless, as though carved out of wood. The punishment lasted one hour, and the frozen girl had hardly gathered up her clothing to go below when another woman was sent up to take her place on that unusual pillory.

Tadeusz Wittlin : A Reluctant Traveller In Russia

 
The Death of Love

Dorothy Tennant -The Death of Love

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Not Quite So Handsome

For sentimental reasons, the Lancastrian usurper PKing Henry V is somehow excused for ordering prisoners killed at Agincourt --- even in the following civil wars affecting parts of England during the rest of the century, caused by his verminous House's illegal seizure, this would only happen to prisoners of high enough status to merit expungement --- however, although England has actually had more monarchs who were usurping thieves than legitimate rulers, this little fellow may well be in the top three for unpleasantness: a snivelling pious puritan who majored in self-righteousness and slaughtered as freely as any serial killer for pointless aggrandizement.

Usually however it's considered a bêtise to slay the surrendered --- the Aussie furore on behalf of Breaker Morant and his mates being shot for so doing may be charitably ascribed to pitiful anti-Pom nationalism rather than condoning his shooting of captives.

After the invasion of Russia in 1941 the Germans, partially through luck and partially through skill were rewarded with hundreds of thousands of prisoners: partially through immediate inability and partially through ideological imperative a large proportion of the 5-6 million soviet POWs were starved to death in a crime worse than the labour-camps. This had a precedent ( apart from the fact that 85% of German POWs died in the camps that Stalin kept for his own people, and anyone else he could collect... ):

 
In the evening of the long day, as the imperial column was approaching Gzhatsk, we were surprised to find a number of dead Russians, still warm, on the road in front of us. We noticed that their heads had all been shattered in the same manner, and that their brains were scattered about. We knew that two thousand Russian prisoners had gone before us under the escort of Spanish, Portuguese, and Polish troops. Some of our generals greeted this with indifference, others with indignation, still others with approval.

...

...but the next day those murders had stopped. After that we simply let our un­fortunate prisoners die of hunger in the enclosures where we penned them up for the night, like cattle. This was doubtless an atrocity; but what were we to do ? Exchange them ? The enemy refused to consider it. Set them free ? They would have spread the news of our destitute condition far and wide, and soon would have joined up with others and returned to dog our steps. In this war to the death we should have sacrificed our­selves in letting them live. We were cruel by necessity. The evil lay in the fact that we had got ourselves in a position where we were faced with such a terrible alternative.

Count Philippe-Paul de Ségur : Napoleon's Russian Campaign

 

Maclise Elfin Knight
Daniel Maclise --- The Elfin Knight

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Upward And Onward

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

These important changes in the social role of women ought to be considered alongside the 1978 amendments to the Code of Personal Status introduced by the Ba˘th. The preamble states that the new code is based on “the principles of the Islamic shari˘a [ Islamic law ], but only those that are suited to the spirit of today.” The break with tradition as it affected women occurred in two important areas: first, authority was given to a state-appointed judge to overrule the wishes of the father in the case of early marriages; second, the new legislation nullified forced marriages and severely curtailed the traditional panoply of rights held over women by the men of the larger kinship group ( uncles, cousins, and so on ). The intent of the legislation as a whole was to diminish the power of the patriarchal family, and separate out the nuclear family from the larger kinship group whose hold over the lives of women was considerably weakened.
...
In general, wherever women were clearly being involved in new areas of decision making, these were explicitly formulated as pertaining somehow to their sex ( not their individual personhood ) and simultaneously “politicized” to a remarkably unnecessary extent. The only way in which the “popular committees” could function is as pressuring agencies, forcing couples to conform to whatever outcome the party line deemed suitable. The facts of the case, the letter of the law, and the “rights” of everyone concerned are shunted aside in such arrangements. In addition whenever traditional male rights over women were weakened or abolished, the state adopted this role, acting “on behalf of” the female sex, not upgrading the status of women as individuals who were being discriminated against because of their sex.
...
The Ba˘thi measures must not be exaggerated. No social group, least of all Iraqi women, was exerting pressure on them. But by choosing a particular “style” of legislating on this issue, they reveal how they think when not being boxed into a corner by the “contradictory demands of modernization and development and those of ‘cultural authenticity.’”
...
Ba˘thist ideals, tied up as they are with the Ba˘thist view of the Islamic experience, provide the ultimate source of authority and the final test for what is justified. Even the power of the Leader is derivative from these ideals, and all sources of authority outside them threaten the Ba˘th. It rankles to have fathers, brothers, uncles, and cousins, all lined up to exert varying degrees of real power and control over half of the Iraqi population. Thus, if a new loyalty to the Leader, the party, and the state is to form, women must be “freed” from the loyalties that traditionally bound them to their husbands and male kin. This was the essential purpose of the 1978 legislation on Personal Status, which diminished the power of the patriarchal family. Therefore, women, ( like children, as we have seen ) gain somewhat in status in relation to these particular groups of men, only what they must lose in freedom to the Ba˘th. Politically, the appropriate imagery is once again that provided by Saddam Husain of the child informer.

Samir Al-Khalil : Republic of Fear — Saddam’s Iraq

 
Actually, the Invasion, and imperialist imposition of a new regime over there has rather nullified most of the Ba'athist sexual equality measures, leading to the restoration of the traditional opportunities for muslim women. The joy of the above passages relate to the fact that feminism, like other ploys, was merely a means for the revolutionary state to shatter opposition and tighten control. As has happened here also.

Whether either Saddam's pro-feminism or the new lot's older ways were better should be regarded as a deep question, involving the various alleged rights of plenty of differing and utterly disparate groups; the rights of imperialist conquest; the rights of indigenous peoples; questions of religion and questions of culture, that can best be answered by 'Meh, who cares ?'

Nonetheless, the sort of people who go around looking wise, and pontificating: 'Only Time will provide an answer.' are in rare luck.

 

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American Idiot: The Funeral Version

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(Correctitude, Royalism, Self Writ, Spengler, The Enemy)

Amer­ica is a mis­take, a giant mis­take. Sig­mund Freud

But… there’s no point to Amer­ica any­way. It has no hered­it­ary King or Emper­or to provide a mean­ing or centre or source of law, merely a flag and whatever sig­ni­fic­ance the indi­vidu­al places upon that object, wheth­er entire people; par­tic­u­lar sec­tion of the people with whom the indi­vidu­al iden­ti­fies; con­tin­ent; laws; con­gress; tem­por­ary chief officer, or any num­ber of inter­pret­a­tions that do not coales­ce into any­thing real. Not­ably because they are mere abstrac­tions: notions with which each indi­vidu­al invests with his own misty pre­con­cep­tions and unformed wishes. There­fore, Amer­ica is not so much a mis­take, as a con­glom­er­a­tion of mil­lions of indi­vidu­al mis­takes. So it has to be with all repub­lics, includ­ing Rome and all the pseudo- [ non abso­lut­ist hered­it­ary ] mon­arch­ies of today… Homer Simpson’s agon­ized ques­tion in the film from which the above title is pur­loined, though uniquely Amer­ic­an in it’s self-misunderstanding, “Why does everything I whip leave me ?” is why Amer­ic­ans can­not com­bine mor­al cour­age and real­ism, even if  —  excep­tion­ally rarely, as in the case of the cur­rent pres­id­ent  —  they pos­sess the former qual­ity. It is not enough to main­tain a whip, wheth­er right or wrong to wield it, there has to be a pur­pose in doing so: com­fort, rightly derided by the Prus­si­an expo­nents of Kul­tur again­st the con­cept of mere civil­isa­tion, is  —  like pat­ri­ot­ism  —  not enough. The dearth of cour­age is not merely a con­sequence of the decline of the cul­ture  —  this is shared in Europe and all west­ern­ised nations  —  nor solely from the idi­ots’ polit­ic­al sys­tem, but also stems from the very bases of the Amer­ic­an Idea.

 
A decline in cour­age may be the most strik­ing fea­ture which and out­side observer notices in the West today. The West­ern world has lost it’s civic cour­age, both as a whole and sep­ar­ately, in each coun­try, in each gov­ern­ment, in each polit­ic­al party and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in cour­age is par­tic­u­larly notice­able among the rul­ing and intel­lec­tu­al elites, caus­ing an impres­sion of a loss of cour­age by the entire soci­ety. There remain many cour­ageous indi­vidu­als, but they have no determ­in­ing influ­ence on pub­lic life. Polit­ic­al and intel­lec­tu­al func­tion­ar­ies exhib­it this depres­sion, passiv­ity and per­plex­ity in their actions and in their state­ments, and even more so in their self-serving rationales a to how real­ist­ic, reas­on­able and intel­lec­tu­ally and even mor­ally jus­ti­fied it is to base state policies on wear­i­ness and cow­ardice… Must one point out that from ancient times a decline in cour­age has been con­sidered the begin­ning of the end ?…

Alex­an­dr Solzhen­it­syn
Cam­bridge, Mas­sachu­setts, June 8, 1978

He added:
The human soul longs for things higher, warm­er, and purer than those offered by today’s mass liv­ing habits, exem­pli­fied by the revolt­ing inva­sion of pub­li­city, by TV stupor, and by intol­er­able music.”

They still don’t like Alexandr…Rigour and unsen­ti­ment­al­ity repel the sat­is­fied, com­pla­cent and weak; yet as Her­mann Hesse pro­nounced: “People with cour­age and char­ac­ter always seem sin­ister to the rest.”, so it will nev­er bother the great wit­ness of our times.

 
Moron diagram

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Unfortunate Incident

Firstly, whilst caution is a virtue in reporting, the very title of this 'incident' seems misplaced. I am fully seized of the fact that most jurisdictions no longer rely just on confessions, beside corroboration etc. ( actually it was the sole evidence required in some places, like Soviet Russia, even when simply induced... ), but when a couple are in jail on million-dollar bonds and have offered apologies for the 'unfortunate incident', alleged seems out of place...

Anyway, the story is, that chap A is charged with downloading underage porn, released on bail; a couple of virtuously outraged yokels then set fire to his house, killing his wife in the blaze. So far, so disgusting; yet things like this have happened in every age --- though not so much in the last 200 years --- and every clime --- mainly in countries where rugged individualism is revered as much as in the USA, and with a like criminality, such as contemporary South Africa and neighbour nations; where killing witches is almost the norm right now.

[ From that last link: 'I have also omitted the victims of occult belief who fearlessly throw themselves in harm's way believing they are immune to gunfire.' *chokes* Sometimes, the darwinian imperative is so killingly funny... ]

Neighbors Allegedly Torch Man's Home

It's too much to hope for that the two will get a quick trial and then be quietly shot. Still, as ever, there is a morbid pleasure in glancing at the comments --- perfunctorily, there being four-fucking-thousand, eight hundred and eighty-two of them --- and regarding the fact that since they generally range from the inane to the psychotic, they form a perfect sample of American opinion-makers; as in We, The People.

 

Girl as Justice

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Hei – llll !

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(Correctitude, High Germany, Self Writ, The Enemy, The King of Terrors, Videos)

In the same deep-mining veins dug by those linking Nietzsche to nazi praxis, is this old review of a book on Heidegger's relationship with naziism... *sighs* There are very few philosophers whose private political beliefs I would be in sympathy with: it's like art, the output doesn't depend on the moral stature of the artist. This argues the opposite.

Something to read though...

What is surprising is that Heidegger should be either surprised or dismayed to learn that the Nazis were less than fully absorbed, were in fact uninterested in his own approach to Being, in the same way that they were also uninterested in the effort of Rosenberg, the well-known Nazi "philosopher," to bring about a profound spiritual renewal. Heidegger's objection reveals, then, an astonishing lack of awareness of the nature of Nazism.

Rather that he knew pretty much what they were --- and to be fair average contemporaries in any country then would have had the same response to most philosophers --- but had hoped they could become something better.

The problem with the Nazis, according to Heidegger, was not that they terrorized and murdered people, and started World War II, but that they had the wrong attitude towards metaphysics. Whether they would have still been murderers if they had the right metaphysics is a good question. One of the most disturbing things about Heidegger's thought is that the murders -- or even the public thuggery that he could have seen in the earliest days of the Third Reich -- don't really seem to have disturbed him all that much. It was not the murders or the public mayhem that discredited "existing" Naziism but simply the wrong attitude towards philosophy, i.e. Heidegger himself. The most damning accusation, however, is just that Naziism was a form of liberalism !

Which last, uh, is factually correct. Plus one of the true reasons naziism is utterly abhorrant. National Socialism was the outcome of republican German nationalism of 1848 ( As is much of American political praxis ). And indeed a youtube of the esteemed neo-nazi band Stahlgewitter explicitly makes this connection, the black-red-gold republikaner flag makes it's appearances along with other nazi crap.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.
Stahlgewitter - Auftrag Deutsches Reich

Apart from which, 'public mayhem' in the sense meant here ran through both the soviet and the American system --- even in the Thirties.

Heidegger is not a moralist and does not have anything like a theory or system of moral principles. It is not clear how a prohibition of murder would even be grounded in his system. A "resolute" and "authentic" murderer actually sounds pretty good.

There is nothing wrong with killing someone if one has authentic reasons to so do. ( The nazis didn't very often, being mostly dim thugs --- plus they did it messily whenever possible. )

Heidegger's conservatism is also reflected in his hostility to modernity, not just in the form of liberal democracy, but in the form of science and technology and commercial culture. This is another area where he appeals to modern leftists, who not only want a socialist mandarinism, run by themselves, rather than liberal democracy, but who are also constitutionally hostile to science, which depends on criteria far harder than their own self-persuasive rhetorical sophistries, and to technology and commerce, which are not only similarly hard edged but have done far more to improve the life of most people than the chatter of Marxist dialectics ever has.

Ah, the magical sweet matrix of science, parliamentary democracy and the free market... What soul-satisfying happiness it has brought; and much more importantly, will always promise to bring. 'Only a few generations, comrades-citizens-voters, and our children will live as gods !'

( Much the same mix as nazism and communism would have evolved into, in fact. )

So in the end, quite apart from the frequent hyperbole, the diatribe relies on supposed ethics and appeals to materialism: which being both that which Heidegger rejected, means that it is like similiarly accusing an eagle of not valuing either. The eagle knows that already.

In a Salon article Being Martin Heidegger Ralph Brave gives some answers as to why Heidegger's semi-sympathy with National Socialism is ultimately irrelevant to his philosophy. [ Note: click the page numbers to avoid getting lost. ]

Of course, I barely understand Heidegger, and sometimes reading both him and other fine thinkers can induce the loss of the will to live, but one should ever recognise greatness in thought, in those we admire, and in those with whom we may disagree for extraneous reasons.

 
At his execution, it was enquired if Alfred Rosenberg had any last words before being topped.

"No."

Pretty authentic, that.

 

Death Tarot

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Propaganda 101 — A Small Black Pig

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(Animals, Other Writ, Royalism, The Enemy)

The Ter­rible Ver­dict

Roger of Wen­dover was a monk of St Albans who wro­te a great chron­icle that began with the cre­ation of the world. Some ten years after John’s death he set down an account of the reign. What is imme­di­ately strik­ing about this is that he seems to know more about John’s reign than men who were writ­ing shortly after the events they described. He knows what John said to his neph­ew Arthur before he made away with him. He can give illus­tra­tions of the way the king ter­ror­ized the clergy: crush­ing an arch­deac­on under a cope of lead, threat­en­ing to slit the noses of pap­al ser­vants and to pluck out their eyes. There is a story of a Jew of Bris­tol who had a tooth knocked out daily until he revealed where he had hid­den his treas­ure. He gives John’s blas­phem­ous oath ( ‘By God’s teeth’ ), and tells how he made free with the wives and daugh­ters of his bar­ons. He explains that John lost Nor­mandy to the king of France because at the crit­ic­al stage of the cam­paign he was uxori­ous and idle: ‘Let be, let be, whatever he now takes I shall one day recov­er.’ His­tor­i­ans have often used these stor­ies freely: here at last is the meat after a diet of thin gruel. Now we can know what John was really like, for here are anec­dotes that clearly char­ac­ter­ise him.

What the his­tor­i­ans who use these anec­dotes about John sel­dom make clear, how­ever, is that Wendover’s chron­icle is full of anec­dotes of a highly dubi­ous nature. There is one about a wash­er­wo­man who tried to earn an extra penny by ply­ing her trade on the Sab­bath, and was sucked dry by a small black pig as pun­ish­ment. There is one ( it is eight­een pages long ) about a peas­ant named Thurkhill from the vil­lage of Twin­stead in Essex who, in 1206, was led through the realms of Pur­gat­ory by St Juli­an. As Wen­dover tells it the story has many real­ist­ic touches, from the man’s name and the place where he lived to pre­cise details about the tor­ture cham­bers of the under­world: in one, for example, stand cauldrons of inky water so bit­ter that if a piece of wood is thrown in the bark instantly peels off it. It is a grim and lively story; but is it true ? Wen­dover cer­tainly seems to think it as authen­tic as his stor­ies about John; and it is dif­fi­cult to see on what grounds his­tor­i­ans should reject the former while accept­ing the lat­ter.

W. L.. War­ren : King John

 
King John's Effigy

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Wide-Eyed And Full Of Sexual Excitement

Existing without television until just before the end of the last century and which discarded recently completely after little use for years, the only thing to regret in that is that one's education in early cinema is incomplete. Admittedly cultural zeitgeist of the past informs one though a type of osmosis --- I have never seen a Keystone Cops movie, but feel fairly confident it can be imaged enough --- but I guess one should at least attempt to become acquainted with known masterpieces/milestones. Suffering is supposed to be good for the soul, although personally I should prefer to stuff it when given a choice.

In this spirit I today watched D. W. Griffith's great anti-war epic 'The Birth of a Nation', Here.
Although only in brief chunks, as it's kind of long at three hours, and suffers from the pace of a snail got at by horse-dopers. The, uh, low expectations of audience comprehension at that period also adds to the tame pace. Heavy symbolism lingered upon too long --- although to be absolutely fair, most people might not find the delineation between the younger characters at the beginning sufficiently drawn, since they appear to be clones; and in any case there's a whole lot of hand-shaking going on for about ten minutes so one's attention is bound to wander rather. I frequently glanced at a crib-sheet* to see whom was who.

*( Following the South's defeat, Stoneman calls for his protege and aide Silas Lynch (George Siegmann), mulatto (half African-American) leader of the blacks. When greeting him, Stoneman orders: "Don't scrape to me. You are the equal of any man here." Senator Charles Sumner is summoned, and forced to acknowledge mulatto Lynch's position. Sumner proposes a less dangerous policy in the extension of power to the freed race. In the next room, Lydia listens to the conversation, wide-eyed and full of sexual excitement. ) I can think of more erotic subjects...

The main lessons this film teaches us are that war is hell --- although war is undoubtedly better than a 12-hour ( or two hour for those of us more easily bored ) shift in the cotton fields every day ---- mid-victorian clothes were insane; Reconstruction was hell ( although indignation over giving the freed slaves the vote, and disenfranchising whites ignores the fact that giving anyone the vote is lethal ); and that 'Africans' are natural brutes. It would be silly to get over-excited at things which were the common currency of mental discourse in another period; besides which blacks in early twentieth century America had far worse things to worry about than filmic propaganda for a racialist view of their recent past.

Generally the men are dorks, but the girls are pretty, although acting at that point often appears to involve imitating lunacy. Worse, the yuckyish sentiment is frequently overwhelming. Perhaps because the war was still in living memory at that time, the battle scenes are surprisingly --- for art --- realistic, insofar as one can see what's happening; but then that is a quality of war itself. Still in the end, for the materials of the time, 1915, one can appreciate the skill of the director. The score is more insistent than it would have been when played by a weary piano-player in the cinemas of the time.

Obviously, online one can't appreciate Griffith's cinematic values as one ought: this is not a sharp rendering: no worse maybe than for a semi-blind person watching half a mile away at a drive-in on a foggy day.

cat cartoon American civil war

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