So Many Years Have Passed

I accidentally rediscovered this a few months back. It seems an age ago since I last posted anything here.In the intervening time we have had global warming, Brexit and now a massive farrago around gender identity politics, all of which seem to have confined me to the scrapheap of history in terms of my attitudes towards them.

From my own perspective I can rationalize the positions I have taken on each which seems to be more than the groundswell of opinion I find myself alienated from has been able to.

I do not subscribe to the man made global warming theory as I do not subscribe to a causative notion of reality. The emphasis it places on the individual and their carbon footprints seems too close to a totalitarian attempt at mass control and limitation rather than anything seriously concerned with environmental issues. Talks about Carbon Rationing and everybody getting a specific amount (see George Monbiot) to buy and sell seems to be ushering a new age where the quality of your life resides in your ability to afford carbon top ups. Monbiot’s recent statements concerning how the Coronavirus situation has left us with an opportunity to wipe out the fossil fuels industry altogether is merely a re-run of Thatcher vs. the Miners all over again as far as I am concerned.

Capitalism is capitalism and I see no actual real alternatives available that don’t draw heavily on carving great chunks out of the landscape for profit. There is no actual difference between deforesting carried out for coal mine expansionist purposes and Palm Oil plantation establishment. A choice between an oil refinery  and a nuclear waste dump is not an actual choice, merely an apparent one.

I would rather subscribe to the cyclical theory, as that reminds us of how feeble humanity is and that there are things in life over which it is not intended we have any control. I would not listen to anybody who stated that if the entire world was to sit in an extended field slowly rotating custard filled socks clockwise around their heads, it would stop tectonic plates causing earthquakes, so I remain cynical as to other like sounding claims.

That is not to say, of course, that I do not favour the lessening of pollutants and toxic waste dumping and doing something about all the mountains of plastic that wash up on beaches et al, I would just rather solutions were found that did not involve putting millions of people out of work or keeping the peasants chained to their bedroom walls hooked up to carbon usage meters checking their every exhalation.

From all the responses to the Coronavirus crisis I have seen pointing how much the CO2 emissions have decreased and how wildlife is reclaiming various places, I detect there is a certain attitude of “wouldn’t it be wonderful if  we could round up and exterminate 95% of humanity” about the whole ethos. Those attitudes and the sudden resurgence of interest in Thomas Malthus and his theories among the likes of David Attenborough et al merely make me even more suspicious regarding the actual (as opposed to the stated) aims of the “opening a packet of crisps sinks polar bears” school.

We are also told that the whole MMGW argument is backed by science as if that meant anything. Science also backed the persecution of Galileo (it didn’t recognize his theories as being facts until the mid 19th century when the equiptment was there to be able to follow up Aristotle’s calculations re. Parallax  shifts et al), the mass marketing of Thalidomide, the idea that pharmaceutical corporations putting opiates into everyday medicines and children’s tonics was harmless (even though Marx in part one of “Capital” talks about whole villages being rendered slaves to the corporations because of it), eugenics (once very popular among the upper echelons right across the political spectrum and even Richard Dawkins that it remains scientifically valid though it would be immoral to actually put it into practice) and a whole host of other crimes against humanity. It used to be fashionable to view science as being on a higher plane of ethics than religion but it is much easier to deal with the sundry evils provoked by superstitious beliefs wrapped in clerical vestments than to deal with the same sundry evils being presented as a blackboard full of obscure mathematical formulae by people in white coats. Both are based on appeals to authority and I am no great fan of such things anyway.

Yowzas, I only intended this to be a brief post as well. Of course it now means I shall have to explicate my positions on Brexit and gender identity as well I guess. But not just now. This was just an update post that got lost in the woods.

Posted in General "Rants" | Leave a comment

Election Reporting At Its Best

The following actually happened on Channel four news:

Ann: In order to find out how people on the ground felt about Ed Miliband’s defeat, we went down to the Hendon Bagel Emporium where a number of his fellow Jews were happy to give us their views as to what went wrong.

Interviewee: You see the way he treated his brother? If he can treat his brother like that, then how will he treat the country?

I must admit this made me laugh a lot. I mean the sheer crassness of judging a putative Prime Minister by his ethnic background, rather than his policies and the similar concerns about his filial arrangements.

If this is really how our supposed leaders are to be elected, then we might as well pull the plug now.

Posted in General "Rants" | Leave a comment

Thought For The Day

“As the lights in a penitentiary grow dim when the current is switched on for the electric chair, so we quiver in our hearts at a suicide, for there is no human life self-taken for which all society is not to blame.”
Cyril Connolly “The Unquiet Grave.”

There’s no arguing with that. Even if it did come from somebody who owned a Lemur called “Polyp”.

Posted in General "Rants", Uncategorized | Leave a comment

From John Evelyn’s Diary

” August 1st 1672: I was at the marriage of Lord Arlington’s onely daughter (a swete child if ever there was any) to the Duke of Grafton, the King’s natural son by the Dutchesse of Cleaveland. The Archbishop of Canterbury officiating, the king and all the grandees being present. I had a favour given me by my Lady, but tooke no great joy at the thing for many reasons.”

A seemingly harmless entry. That is until you google up on it and discover that the bride here was only 4 or 5 and the groom 9 years old. Of course dynastic marriages like this were fairly common, but it bodes ill for the concept of there being some kind of eternal law that God has decreed for all time.

It also makes the current archbish’s opposition to same sex marriage even less tenable. A church that used to marry children incapable of understanding their situation is in no fit state to object to the marriage of rational adults only too aware of what it demands of them.

It would be interesting to know just how many other such weddings the man in the sky gave his blessing to.

Posted in General "Rants", Spirituality and Religion | Leave a comment

Intimations Of Mortality

Thursday marks the 3rd anniversary of the suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer. I shall be observing my usual 24 hour online silence vigil in remembrance.

Three weeks ago we lost my grandmother to cancer. It was quite a shock. She had had a few tumours before, but the doctors took a scan and gave her the all clear after some operations. Less than a couple of weeks later she had another scan which showed it had returned in virulence and was pretty much inoperable. She died four days after being discharged from the hospital.

When I heard she had gone I immediately went around to her house to say my farewells. She was the last of her generation on that side of my family and, of particular meaning for me, the last link with Cornwall from where she came and where so many family holidays were spent doing the rounds of the Aunts and Uncles there.

She had lived (with my grandfather who died ten or so years ago) at her address for nigh on 40 years. A house packed full of memories for me. The house was council owned so now has to be stripped bare and the keys handed back in so as to allow for new tenants.

The morning she died I had to go into town to sort out some banking issues. I was struck by the (simple and obvious) fact that despite this personal tragedy, people still shopped for fish, the busses still ran to schedule etc. etc.

A point that also being made by the fact that the council want the keys back on Monday. All the years they lived there, the garden we played in, the back bedroom where my much loved and missed late Uncle used to fill the floor with his Hornby Train set and Scalextric racing cars ( with landscapes and tunnels he made himself out of papier mache).

All of this struck off by a mere piece of paper.

As with Jamey’s cry in the night three years ago, the sun continues to shine, the world continues to spin. What, on a local level, is of a profoundly jarring nature loses itself in the grand scheme of things. My memories of everything stopping at 4pm on a Saturday because Nan loved her wrestling, or my Grandfather and I sitting in the dining room every Friday evening listening to his records (that I now own myself, complete with the sherry and tobacco induced fingerprints all over them) mean nothing to either the council or the new people being moved in there.

Such is the nature of the world. No amount of appealing to any kind of divine authority, quoting from holy books, praying and singing is ever going to change that situation.

I guess this is where surrendering the ego plays its role.

Rest in Peace, Nan. You were a truly beautiful human being.

Posted in General "Rants", Spirituality and Religion | Tagged | Leave a comment

“World Cup Frenzy” (2002)

(Excerpted from a longer script)

C.H: That’s really funky, but now for some really exciting football news it’s off live to Japan to see how England are faring up in the run up to their world cup victory over some bunch of rancid foreigners or other. And I understand there’s some doubt as to whether David Beckham will be playing owing to an outstanding injury problem.

A.P: Is that owing to the awful foul he sustained last week playing against the Shipton Under 13’s?

C.H: Yes, a pretty vicious tackle which led to his sustaining a nasty haircut injury.

A.P: I understand a whole section of his center parting was flattened out altogether. Pretty serious by anybodies standards.

C.H: Well we both know the damage such a hairline fracture can cause, though the £10,000,000 awarded him in damages against the club should do much to comfort him. As well as bankrupting the team and most of the village of Shipton as well.

A.P: Yes, Chris, but surely that’s a small price to pay for such a towering genius as Beckham’s agent says he is. Any other news?

C.H: Yes, well Michael Owen broke a nail during training so we don’t yet know whether he will be recovered enough to play either as yet. Apparently he’s been taking numerous baths in the very finest asses milk money can buy and having his every whim catered for by numerous vestal virgins, so it must be pretty serious. I don’t think we need worry too much however.

A.P: Why not, Chris?

C.H: Well rumor has it that Beckham was so impressed by the forthcoming opposing world cup team, that he’s bought the country.So whichever side wins we will still all have cause to go out, get pissed and behave like hooligans.

A.P: Which is pretty much what its all about? So what do you make of this new turn of events then? Sportsmen buying countries?

C.H: Well, they earn it, Al? Why not flaunt It?

A.P: I do recall there being a great deal of controversy some years back when Mike Tyson bought India forcing Lewis to buy Pakistan in the closing rounds of their last bout.

C.H: Hold on Al, we have a newsflash coming in from St Andrews. Tiger Woods has ( at the very last hole), for some reason, abandoned his plans to buy Israel and has opted for Palestine instead.

A.P. Pretty controversial move there. What does he propose to do with it?

C.H. I understand the plan is to level it to the ground and turn it into a luxury country for himself and his family.

A.P: And who can blame him?

C.H: Well, we’ll back with you if there is anymore news on this or the World Cup. But, for now, back to the studio.

………………………………………………………………………………………….

Grams: Chopin Funeral March

A.P: Well, Chris, it seems a day of national mourning is in order. England’s World Cup dream is all over bar the rioting and the drunken brawling. A major tragedy.

C.H: Indeed so Al.

A.P: One to be ranked up there with 9/11, the Ethiopian famine and the nuclear threat hanging over Kashmir.

C.H: Except this will probably get more coverage.

A.P: So what do you think the long term effects of this defeat will be?

C.H: Well, in the short term, I understand it means that David Seaman may have to shelve his plans to buy Mauritius and settle for a small Pacific Island instead. An outcome which, I’m sure, he’ll be very disappointed by.

A.P: Hang on a minute. A bit of news just coming in. India has launched a nuclear attack on Pakistan. No reports of casualties just yet, though, by any means, quite a serious situation developing there. We’ll be keeping you posted on further developments. Anyway, Chris, you were saying?

C.H: Well, as you know, Seaman has had his eye on Mauritius for some time and the thought it might now be gobbled up by some greasy….

A.P: Sorry Chris, have to interrupt you there. Pakistan have now replied to India’s opening and have taken seven towns for four missiles. They still do have quite a bit of headway to make but with their strong generals they should easily make another 100 vanish before lunch.

C.H: Pakistan isn’t best known for making precision deliveries, so it will be interesting to see how many other countries find themselves involved before long.

A.P: And it seems one offside delivery has hit Israel, right in the center crease, and I don’t somehow think they were expecting that at this stage of the game. But they have made an excellent recovery and have bowled a dozen googlies at Palestine pretty much putting it out of the game before they even started. What an exciting turn of events.

Grams: “World of Sport” theme.

C.H: Well you seemed to have joined us at a rather interesting stage of this World War Cup Final.

A.P: Indeed you have, and with both Palestine and Pakistan eliminated at this early stage, who knows which way things will turn?

C.H: Indeed. Interesting game play from the Saudis now. Some super fast bowls at Israel in Pakistan. And the U.S. has let everything they have go and have wiped out half of Europe.

A.P: Possibly the most astonishing case of friendly fire I’ve certainly ever seen. Though I do remember a match in 1921 where……..

F.X: White noise

………………………………………………………………………………………….A.P: In other news. A sharp dip on the stock exchange caused by the recent nuclear war has seen the price of certain countries drop. With the fallout factor now entering the equation, the value of national investments looks to remain low for the foreseeable future. Our economics expert has more details.

C.H: Thanks Al. You are right to draw attention to the role the fallout factor has played. The fact that these countries now display a certain degree of inhabitability is having a very serious knock o effect indeed.

A.P: What other factors do you think could play a role? What about the rotting corpse rate?

C.H. Well that does have an effect but only a minor as many of the bodies were vaporized at the very start. Radiation sickness and survival rates are having a far more negative effect. Potential buyers seeking to invest are being discouraged by the number of people, covered in horrific burns, begging them for help. It puts them off their Martinis.

A.P: Like you mean the “black famine effect” that used to make people think twice before buying up parts of Africa?

C.H: Exactly. If you are having an especially fine G & T, you don’t want to have to look out of the window of your mansion to see such things.

A.P: What would you say the future holds for countries that have not been so badly affected?

C.H: Well, it could go one of two ways. Either demand is inversely proportional to the rateable value of the country in question, in which case the prices will be driven up.Or the sheer climatic extremes of places like Greenland will be a mitigating factor in keeping other countries’ prices in check or even lowering them.

A.P: So what do you recommend to those standing at the bottom of this particular property ladder?

C.H: Try somewhere small that is not immediately appealing. Say Iceland. Quite a small, but useful, population and acres for expansion. Then when one has turned it around sufficiently, one can put it back on the market and buy something perhaps a little higher grade.

A.P: Such as?

C.H: Well pretty much anywhere else on the planet. Have you been to Iceland?

A.P: A fair point, Chris, and thank you very much for it.

Posted in Silly Stuff, Old Sketches Et Al | Leave a comment

Zachary Macaulay – A Case For Biography?

I have long been a “fan” (if that’s the proper word) of the ideas of Lord Macaulay. His speeches to Parliament on the Indian question, and other topics generally, I consider to be fine specimens of political thinking.

I was a little surprised, therefore, when a Facebook friend of mine posted a quotation from him to the effect that the best way to keep the Indians under the jackboot of British Empire rule was to deprive them of their native culture by teaching them English. That seemed so totally out of tune with Macaulay’s own position that I ran some checks and started reading Trevelyan’s “Life and Letters” to see if I had somehow misinterpreted the, what seemed, profoundly radical position Macaulay had actually taken on it. It did seem I was right and that the quotation was a complete fabrication being spread around by Hindu Nationalists.

My response has been to record a series of videos quoting Macaulay directly during his time in India and uploading them to You Tube (“Lord Macaulay In India- In His Own Words”). I hope that this will set the record straight as regards that.

However another thing I discovered in my reading was what an extraordinary father he had had. Young Zachary Macaulay, following family tradition, was sent to a plantation of some sort to look after the slaves. There, revolted by what was going on, he eventually threw in the job (much to his father’s chagrin) and became an ardent abolitionist and one of the main members of the so called “Clapham Sect”. In this position he traveled (as a slave) in a ship and recorded his experiences.

Later on he was to supervise a new colony of freed slaves in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He helped construct the town and, despite raids from French former slave owners demanding their slaves back, made quite a good job of it. He kept a detailed journal of the colonies ups and downs. Sadly his papers all seem to be in American hands at the moment which is a shame.

Though in later life he displayed the negative side of his evangelical faith ( at one point he berated Thomas for reportedly speaking out against the Peterloo Massacre, and was also very keen to stop his son from indulging in the sin of novel reading), he seems to have a been a great inspiration to his son and very pleased with what he was doing generally.

It would be fascinating to hear his story told, or even his journals published (or put in the public domain at least). Sadly, I guess he’s just too obscure now.

It certainly throws a fascinating light on T.B. Macaulay’s own radical outlook.

Posted in General "Rants", Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Where The Western Faiths Have Got It Wrong…

It is not “sin” that prevents direct communion with the divine, merely ego. That is the only real barrier. What is more, it does not require a talking snake in a magical garden to demonstrate this simple fact.

It is ego that feeds sectarianism, it is ego that declares such and such a thing to be God’s will, it is ego that seeks incorruptible perfect authority in unlikely objects (Scriptures, Popes etc).

The desire for an afterlife is rooted in the ego, the part which deals with self-preservation. The idea that there is some being in the sky that considers some people more important and blessed than others is also ego. To posit such a being in a universe we can only observe through a telescope is the height of egocentrical arrogance. We cannot and do not know the number of planets there are out there and yet we pride ourselves on having some form of communion with the being that supposedly created it. We know exactly how this being operates, what its opinions are etc etc. This is all nothing but ego projection. Casting ones own psychological needs out among the stars.

It is this ego that leads to Catholic Bishops in Uganda into praising God for the efforts of those who are keeping Uganda gay free. It is the same ego that leads the same bishop to call upon the families of gay kids to hand them into the authorities as part of his Easter message. One ego calling to the others in fact, as he uses the promise of a blessed after life to goad them into this atrocity. The divine, who remains silent on genocides, famines, wars, church investments in usury and arms manufacturers, remains silent on the issue of gay and straight people. He causes the sun to shine on both equally, it is only human ego that argues differently.

I feel for every gay kid who has the dreadful misfortune to be born among such egotists. I await the day of when these vile, evil ego filled bullies are given a taste of their own medicine. It won’t be long now, I’m sure. They are already starting to squeal “persecution” in some quarters. Despite the fact that no laws have actually been passed against these people, no attempts are made to cure these shallow egotists of their intellectual arrogance.

“Do as you would be done by” is the golden rule. It is only ego that prevents it from being observed.

Posted in Spirituality and Religion | Leave a comment

Sodomy In The UK

Well, the gay marriage issue has been and gone here. The world has continued to spin. There have been no earthquakes to speak of, no classic signs of the wrath of the almighty that made itself so clearly palpable to the architects of Buchenwald et al. You missed that? Funnily enough, so did I.

For me I welcomed it with open arms, though I, myself, am far too old for such things now. The only thing I tend to attract these days is flies . Flies and Vultures.

I realize it won’t change anything much. Kids will still be beaten up, same sex couples will still be attacked verbally in the streets , churches will still wave boxes of condoms around whilst ranting about unnatural sex etc etc.

I just hope that the legal under girding will offer any gay kid born from this moment onwards a better light to navigate by. Something to aim for , the same rite of passage as their heterosexual peers.

But I also shed some tears, not least for Jamey Rodemeyer the brave little soldier who never lived to see this day. It is amazing how far the world has come in the nearly three years he’s been gone now. The number of US states who now recognized it has doubled since he posted his videos and stated his case so movingly. Part of me wishes he was here to see it all. But another part of me wonders how much his death has impacted on the decisions in favor. Would the same thing have happened were he not to have died the way he did? I’m not sure it would have done.

But I am glad to report that, despite the threats of hellfire and damnation descending upon the country as a result of our decision, a beautiful full moon hangs silent and still on the far distant horizon, just above the trees. Which is how it should be.

Posted in General "Rants", Spirituality and Religion | Leave a comment

A Hearty Toast To Scott Lively For Showing Us Who The Nazis Really Are.

I very much doubt many of you outside the gay world would know the name Scott Lively. He’s a born again smack head evangelist (or Jesus on a stick waving multi-millionaire businessman) who would have us all believe that gay people were responsible for the Nazi Holocaust.

As a leap of logic, that takes some doing, especially when you read up on what German Evangelicals were saying about Kristallnacht. As a matter of fact, these ideas might just as well have told him by some purple swan on one of his drug laden trips, in terms of pure reality.

However Lively has been keeping the crowds in South African countries like Uganda entertained by spreading as holy truth that all gay people are rampantly promiscuous disease carrying child rapists who god wants exterminated. This has proven such a hit there that they have allowed him to come up with christian laws to regulate it. Laws such as the threat of life time prison sentences for known gays and people who know gay people yet do not report them to the authorities. This was originally going to be a death penalty until somebody read up on the Warsaw Ghetto and realized the same laws applied there. (Death penalty for any Jews trying to escape the ghetto, death penalty for any Pole who “helped Jews in any way: by taking them in for the night, or giving them lifts in any vehicles” passed in 1941 by Governor Hans Frank). Such a close resemblance to a regime the world now condemns would after all be bad publicity were it to become generally known.

Needless to say, the Christian populations of Uganda and Nigeria took this holy sublime holy teaching to heart and both Protestant and Catholic hierarchies signed the bill into law. And great was the rejoicing thereof.

Even the Muslims have taken a stand, setting up sharia courts to try and execute any sodomite caught practicing. Not quite so bothered with their own home issues of child marriage, celebrations of Muslim Ashura festivals involving the slicing of children’s heads with cut throat razors, nor even with the vile practice of Bacha Bazi ( wealthy Muslim men getting underage boys dressed as girls to dance for them before taking them off for sex), these holy ones would rather be stringing up two people of the same age involved in a loving partnership and inflicting harm on nobody. That’s what their god tells them and that’s how its gonna be.

There is a certain delicious irony involved here, major religions coming together to round up and slaughter minorities instead of each other. Particularly when it comes to committing a major act of cultural suicide on such a level. I mean who, after this, is going to take the claims of some grinning parson or beardy Imam seriously when they talk of divine love and how they mean no harm by their actions.

So thank you Scott “Smackhead” Lively. You have single handedly shot your own particular brand of religion through the heart and are helping your Muslim brethren give humanity further cause for dismissing them as lunatic savages. Why preach that gay people are out to destroy religion when you are doing a perfectly good job of it yourself?

Just one thing bothers me though, smackhead. You seem to be very quiet over the fact that the bible spends more time condoning slavery than it does condemning homosexuality. Surely a man of your sublime holiness is aware that the abolition of slavery has no place in the Bible. Surely the holy spirit must have informed you that the biblical position is that it’s ok if regulated properly (i.e. by Exodus 21). Your fellow Evangelical, George Whitefield, campaigned successfully in post abolition Georgia for its restitution waving Jesus on a stick around after all.

Surely you are not afraid to preach the WHOLE Gospel now are you? I’m sure the people of Uganda and Nigeria will welcome you with open arms when you tell them the full TRUTH of scripture.

Posted in Spirituality and Religion | Leave a comment