Thursday, September 24, 2015
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Continuous horror? Not true of course, it's not continuous, just more and more frequent and lasting longer each time so that even with the Alz' discount the memories begin to overlap - but it still passes, eventually, and a grin reappears in the soul's mirror (as well as the one on the door of the bathroom cabinet).
The nature of these brags reveals the quality of the despair (as any fool can plainly see). Awful. Belittled abandoned and alone; old and gasping-weak too as it happens. Oh my. Very few of you will understand that this is not a complaint. :-)
It's more important then (if one is going to comprehend this verbal montage) to take in and understand the full meaning of feral: of an animal - wild, untamed; of a plant (and rarely of ground) - uncultivated; often applied to animals or plants that have lapsed into a wild from a domesticated condition. There is a sliver of opportunity here to expand the term (in addition to already ubiquitous figurative uses) to include rewilded humans not already covered by berserkers or psychosis, and even (getting far-fetched now) those who might have been civilized but weren't. The præterite. So.
"As Sicknes is the greatest misery, so the greatest misery of sicknes, is solitude; when the infectiousnes of the disease deterrs them who should assist, from comming; even the Phisician dares scarse come. Solitude is a torment which is not threatned in hell it selfe."
(John Donne, 1624.)
Oh sure, I'm negative, bitter, a convoluted bastard, an asshole, what not; all true. No wonder sensible people stay the fuck away. But, in my defence, "There's more to the story." Am I permitted to say that Yer Honour? Can I ever even begin to balance the account? Will this help?
Try reading George Marshall 'Don't Even Think About It: Why our brains are wired to ignore climate change' (2014) available at the Toronto library and with a variety of on-line YouTube presentations both long and short. There are so many diverse chapters and so much hopeful action-oriented material (despite indications in the title) that this is a book one should perhaps purchase so as to be able to keep marginal notes. (But please, not from Amazon.com.) More information is available on the Climate Outreach website. There's a copy up on Book ZZ (for now at least).
Positive Thinking - Polishing Turds:
There's so much to be said on this important subject - Wiley Miller's excellent cartoon is presented as representative not comprehensive. The mindless enforcers of politically correct falsehood & stupidity have brought the movement down, crippled it; and the sickening miasma of blooms of correctitude rotting on the beach is worse almost than the sulphur stink of crude oil and sour gas.
You can read Kipling's story The Cat that Walked by Himself on-line. But not at Gutenberg.org - they are (apparently) replacing HTML & PDF versions with proprietary formats which require a proprietary reader. There are ways around it for now - on-line conversion websites such as http://www.convertfiles.com/ - but it is easy enough to shut these down later like they did with DVD-Decrypter.exe. Like the man said, "Cooperation is good but control is better."
Background music from The Rolling Stones: thinking of 'High & Dry' ... but found a YouTube with the complete album 'Aftermath' which is even better.
The woman in these portraits appears so different one wonders if there's been a mistake: Is one of them Venus or some stranger? Has there been plastic surgery? Who knows? And then too, it's the Internet eh?
The image on the left is the It's-All-About-Me! bikini; and on the right comes from a recent bit of fluffy pop/racial punditry in the NYT, done by a photographer who may not be above digital manipulation - slowly scanning down gives me vertigo and finally, noticing her slightly parted lips, an odd surprise - but not a thrill.
The writer mentions that some are put off by Serena's strength and physique - not me, I admire it; though I'm sure she dances as close to the edge of steroid abuse as she dares.
Serena shills for J.P. Morgan and Nike; Bob shills for Victoria's Secret and Cadillac; how much inertia each lends to the killing machine is unclear. Does anyone really care? Anymore? Did anyone ever?
Government revealed as approximately feminine:
Amazon revealed as approximately masculine:
The Pope visits Amerika: (in the season of accelerating darkness as we approach the equinox)
• Tuesday September 22 - arrives in Washington D.C. from Cuba;
• Wednesday 23rd - meets with Barack Obama, prays with U.S. bishops, says mass at the Junipero Serra canonization (God damn Junipero Serra!);
• Thursday 24th - gives a speech to a Joint Session of Congress, visits St. Patrick’s Church and Catholic Charities for lunch with the poor, travels to New York, prays at St. Patrick’s Cathedral;
• Friday 25th - visits the United Nations General-Assembly, the World Trade Center, and East Harlem, says mass in Madison Square Garden;
• Saturday 26th - travels to Philadelphia, says mass at Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, visits a shopping mall, visits and prays with the World Meeting of Families;
• Sunday 27th - meets with Bishops at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, visits Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (prison), visits and says mass with the World Meeting of Families, departs for Rome.
"And it's up against the wall you redneck mother."
Canadian Election coming on Monday October 19: (Thanks to Gord for some of these.)
A-and, the distaff side puttin' on rhetorical airs: Heather Mallick Stephen Harper's electoral trap, Margaret Wente Stephen Harper is toast, Tabatha Southey Stephen Harper isn’t perfect, and Antonia Maioni Siren song of strategic voting.
One small ray of hope for Canada; a long-shot but not impossible:
If the numbers give us a minority government
in which Elizabeth May holds the balance of power.
UNFCCT - A murder of crows convenes in Paris:
Joep Bertrams often puts enlightening bits of text around his creations, in this case it is: Kerkhof van de goede voornemens / Graveyard of good intentions. (Prophetic.)
Some may have noticed the presence of the Catalonian flag at a demonstration in Athens this year:
The photograph graced an article in the New York Times: Loads of Debt: A Global Ailment With Few Cures with no clue given except in the caption: "Protesters wave a Greek flag and an 'Estelada' (Catalonian separatist flag) in front of the parliament building in Athens on Monday." Not surprising that the masters of the mainstream media do not want people musing too deeply on what happens when citizens start to vote seriously with their feet.
Not quite monthly reminders in The Guardian: June 29 - UN climate talks moving at snail's pace, says Ban Ki-moon; July 28 - French climate ambassador, Laurence Tubiana, concerned over slow progress of draft Paris deal; and, September 4 - Climate stalemate in Bonn prompts call for world leaders to intervene.
November 30: UNFCCT COP 21 conference in Paris begins.
December 11: UNFCCT COP 21 conference in Paris ends. Ho hum.
Dénouement: They won't finish on time. The metaphor and measure of their oh-so-sincere commitment to the 'process' will be dramatically demonstrated in how long they run over. Maybe they'll make it a full week this time to show us all how really really really REALLY REALLY hard they tried - before they folded without result. Imagine if they prolonged it to the solstice on the 21st! Symmetry and symbolism! But still, no useful outcome except their salaries and perquisites.
Kipling was not uncomplicated. Find some strange and oblique approach - feminism say, or Adam giving names to the animals in Genesis - and then read the story again from that perspective; maybe some light'll get in.
There are copies of Kipling's illustrations all over the place on the Internet. The one in my hardcopy (a cheap paperback) resembles the image above left, with a little white dot as the feline fundament. No idea what he may have intended if anything, just wondering is all ... a variety of disconnects in it - indicating some kind of ambiguity - which you can find for yourself if you are interested and ponder as you wish (starting with 'that' and 'himself' in the title).
The story is penultimate. This seems to be the original order but it gives no clue about what he himself thought of 'The Cat that Walked by Himself' since the next (and last) story is 'The Butterfly that Stamped' which is for me the very best (just ahead of 'The Elephant's Child').
Mardi Gras, and then, six weeks later, Coup de Grâce ... given the state of petit bourgeois religion it might as well be Coup de Gras and Mardi Grâce the following year.
Another curious inversion is taking place here as well: as communard moults & metamorphoses into isolato like a Monarch butterfly on a long journey; and discovers unexpected qualities in these conditions (being about side by each and so, suitable for comparison).
"Stars, hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires."
"Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow."
These are neither original nor unique statesand conditions and situations. And Shakespeare's hero is not exactly complaining nor exactly making moral distinctions or judegments; he's saying Here it is. This is what it is.
The thing about hysteria is that it vanishes away, like manna, before the noonday sun. An election in k-k-Canada on the 19th of September might remove Stephen Harper; a month later it's a toss up. But who cares? Justin Sinclair and Archibald Arseholedent are no better.
There's talk of 'strategic voting'. A strategic vote might be best spent on Harper's Conservatives in the hope that their re-election would provoke revolt - at .001% probability or less, a long shot.
I would say it's TOUTE FUCKÉE! except that it's not, quite; soon, close, a few months, but not today - not on the lucky 13th.
One silly Canadian pundit calls the other a 'flatulent crank' and I just have to laugh.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
So. ... What shall we pray for then?
|Précis: (for busy executives with no time to spare)|
Our friend Jorge/Francis calls for a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and it's today, September 1st. Of course there's no guidance or amplification of any kind from 'the Church', no event to attend, no organization provided by the high-priced organizational help. Fuck 'em! What else can one say? And, since the call was heard (after all) carry on in the dark.
I'm definitely not the praying kinda guy anymore so I hope y'unnerstan' this'll be nowt but fat fond rhetoric, subjunctive, uma ficção - pretend but true in its way, the best I can provide. Carrying on from the Pleiades last time, and the much too complicated virtues of Aristotle's 'Nichomachean Ethics', and so instead taking a cue symmetry-wise from the simple seven deadlies, and the 3+4=7 virtues, I'll put seven of 'em - seven bites of (partly) bitter blather:
1. May what remains be strengthened:
What follows is more of the hysteria mentioned in the last post.
So, for balance, here's Naomi Oreskes; because she's a cool head and from her expression I'd say she's hummin' that old Nancy Sinatra fave-O-rite - with a strong message for the Koch brothers:
"One'a these days these boots are gonna, walk all over you!
'Crime climatique stop !' (not 'Stop Climate Crimes' as indicated in the article) will start shipping tomorrow - orders can be made here.
On August 26th The Guardian produces this article. It is not at all clear what it might be about. McKibben's website at 350.org sheds no light.
They are all such wonderful communicators.
The prayer here (if it were a prayer) would be for competent heads to prevail (or for The Guardian to do something rudimentary in the way of proof readers). There is little enough time left without stupidly wasting it on confused misinformation.
I am no fan of Kalle Lasn either but his recent presentation concludes with "Only an angry tide of out-of-control youth can bring the world to its senses."
I agree. And more, I think the activist heavy-hitters are wasting their time in Paris when they could be at home raising an army.
2. May the global economy falter & collapse:
For a few days it was billed as a 'crash', which moderated (unfortunately) into a 'crisis' and thence to a slump and a blip. Oh well.
A 'sober look' by the New York Times Editorial Board (no less) concludes that it was a market swoon, a 'mild correction' of 6.6% lost. As is most obvious in another recent editorial, these people are vitally hooked on the crack cocaine of growth (that is, fatally addicted in their inmost vitals, willing to give blow-job nonsense lip service for it) and terrified at any prospect of life without it. (They're doomed.)
Gwynne Dyer (a somewhat less venal fellow) gives us hope that the main event won't be too long coming; especially if there's any truth in the NYT stories of Chinese Zombie Factories.
3. May Ottawa and all who live (and 'work' ) there . . .
No, I'm not perverse enough to pray for sedition. BUT. If Ottawa were burning I would stop pissing on it.
Hull too for that matter.
This poor fellow, Tony Turner, the Environment Canada migratory bird scientist, who got the shaft when he sang his little ditty 'Harperman' on the Internet (you can watch & listen to it here) may very well be better off out of it and away.
This headline says it all: Canadian families spend more on taxes than food & shelter, reporting on a study by the Fraser Institute. (And here we thought everything coming out of the Fraser Institute was Conservative spin.)
Stephen Harper is the leader of the band and every party (including the Green) is playing his tune and dancing to it, and all of the party-leaders as well EXCEPT ELIZABETH MAY (!).
I tell you what: When she walks into a room I stand up and applaud (and without looking around first to see what everyone else is doing). If we could make her Prime Minister we might just get out of this with a civilization more-or-less intact.
Now there's a prayer for you.
4. May all the dilettantes & dissemblers
You may wonder that I number Alan Rusbridger among the dilettantes. Perhaps he's really dying of some horrible disease and wants to spend his last months on a Brasilian beach with his family, and if so I apologize (he could even have said so). But I don't think that's it. I think he stepped into his final Guardian 'project' and then stepped out of it again like Leonard Cohen's "five year old scientist" who simply "leaves the room where he has dissected an alarm clock".
There are so many. Madame Defarge might quickly change their hearts with the threat of a guillotine ... but there is none such here at the moment (though there will be - or the equivalent - in decades to come); all we have is a reminder of Jorge/Francis' call for conversion in Laudato Si' which itself might easily be mistaken as code for some arcane religious ritual - baptism, or, confirmation, or something like that, circumcision, infibulation.
The necessary conversion is nothing so mundane.
|Watch and listen to this short video by Ann Pickard and Shell's high-priced PR help at McKinsey & Company. A large, clever, admirable woman making a complete slag of herself.|
Even with such competition (and it is fierce what with climate hypocrite of the decade - Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama up in Alaska, and those bum-buddies Tony Abbott & Bjørn Lomborg) the lowest-hanging fruit of all is still ... our very own k-k-k Stephen Harper:
This may seem crude, scatological, sophomoric even, and ... possibly so, but it is also par for every hole on this particular course. (Thanks to Gord.)
The maggots! God damn them all!
We were told we'd cruise the seas for American gold,
We'd fire no guns, shed no tears!
Now I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier, the last of Barrett's privateers.
God save us all!
5. Up the Laudato Si' ! Praise Be:
(At least) two spiritual events following on in August; widening ripples:
The International Islamic Climate Change Symposium, August 17-18 in Istanbul, Turkey; which issued an Islamic Declaration on Climate Change.
Good on 'em!
A-and after such a long wait, after the good example of the World Council of Churches more than a year ago and many good examples among their congregations, particularly Trinity Saint Paul's here in Toronto (also more than a year ago): United Church to divest from fossil fuels (better late than never).
Of course, any UCC resolution must be carefully qualified. First consider the foil resolution (the culmination of a series actually, all so extremely well considered and thought out with the assistance of that eminent moral philosopher Sid Ryan, spreading over the annual meetings in the last decade or so) to 'resolve the mideast problem'. And then ... well, you know, for Christmas one year the UCC got one of those junior-coin-collector books, the blue ones with a place for every penny, a slot (pardon the pun, entirely unintentional) as it were. Oh sure, I'm a bigot for mentioning it, but, well, you know, there does seem to be a pattern.
You can always tell a politician, he or she is the one riding on someone else's coat-tails.
We might pray then (if we were inclined to pray) for any scrap of momentum to help Laudato Si' avoid the black hole of Vatican/Roman Catholic inertia. The point is not that Roman Catholicism, or Islam, or some k-k-Canadian Protestant cult, is worthy of anything beyond contempt (they are emphatically not); it is that the common project of stopping carbon emissions IS worthy of any and every support.
6. May Davi Kopenawa live forever:
Davi Kopenawa (a Yanomami shaman): Quando a Amazônia sucumbir à devastação desenfreada e o último xamã morrer, o céu cairá sobre todos e será o fim do mundo. / When Amazonia succumbs to out-of-control devastation and the last shaman dies, the sky will fall around us and it will be the end of the world. Shades of Ragnarok.
(Because as long as he's alive there's at least one xamã still on the go and his prophecy won't kick in.)
7. May Dora Salvador be remembered and honoured:
Ai! Ai! Ai!
It's worth a few minutes' meditation (perhaps), idle contemplation, cursory reflection, on the seven serious sins:
Wrath (not anger per se), Sloth, Pride,
Envy, Greed, Gluttony, and Lust;
and the seven (non-corresponding) virtues:
Faith, Hope, and Love;
and four cardinal:
Temperance, and Courage/Strength.
As another brief exercise try looking up 'cardinal' in the OED and see if you can marry the etymology - 'hinge' - with the four main points of a compass. (I can't.)
The cardinal virtues first came to me many years ago through E.F. Schumacher's 'Small is Beautiful' where they figure in the concluding chapter. He was a coal miner's economist remember; and Stephen Harper is an oil driller's economist.
Who can say what changes await our Stevie?
Caveat Lector: The first line of this post, "Our friend Jorge/Francis calls for ..." started out to be "Our friend Jorge/Patrick ..." and it stayed that way until just a few moments before I hit the 'Publish' button. I read it many times during the preparation and thought, "Ah, how nice to have an Irish connection besides wazizname? ... the CUPE guy? ... Sid Ryan!"
I was also convinced that September 1st was Labour Day; didn't know it's a moveable feast and would not have twigged except the library posted a notice on the door that it'll be closed on the 7th for Labour Day and eventually I looked it up in Wikipedia.
And I've not read 'The Nichomachean Ethics' although I knew a guy at McGill who did and he told me about it.
I know you're not listening. It's OK.
My father was a bourgeois man, but not quite entirely all the way through. He rarely swore or raised his voice but once or twice I heard him chuckle, "They wouldn't say 'shit' if their mouth was full of it." I think what saved him included a rural upbringing that extended into his late 20s.
Even among my (very very few) old and intimate bourgeois friends, and my entire family of course, I have seen this propensity towards any euphemism, even outright falsehood or ... silence before mooting truth (and I mean lowercase 't' truth here) ... I have seen this propensity in practice as the almost seamless general rule. For the record I am just about exactly the same, certainly no better; except I've also lived for longish periods in places far from any city - cities being where the moribund bourgeois sensibility flourishes - and known some pipefitters, fishermen, unrepentant alcoholics, hermits, and beijos da rua who have not let me get away with it.
(Part and parcel of preferring Christ to Socrates. It's so complicated sorting out types and antitypes eh?)
I am waiting for a book to arrive for me at the library - 'Don't even think about it: why our brains are wired to ignore climate change' by George Marshall, 2014 - hoping it'll shed some light on this issue. Probably not. Maybe ...
The Cicadas are still singin'. It seems wrong somehow - too late in the year - but I don't know enough about 'em to be sure; and there's something plaintive in their song, wistful. In Icaraí it was a loud imperative chorous impossible to ignore; here it's one and a pause of minutes and then, maybe again or, another or, not.