Venisian Effect

I love it~!

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 7.57.00Better brains, better minds, better educated than mine—and entirely happy.

I envy ‘happy’. My ambition is that one day I too may be happy, comfortable in my knowledge and in full acceptance of current facts; no grounds for dissent nor discomfort. Gods are in His/Her/Their heaven(s) and all is well with the universe. Multiverse. Multiverses (bugger, too much reading—now I really am confused).

I love New Scientist magazine, and am signed up for the freebies. I also love freebies, sometimes they’re well worth what you have to pay for them. NS is kind to an old dog and I’m grateful. They always Venisian EffectContinue reading

Oh Dear …

… just when you thought it was safe

TO RELAX

the nice folks at New Scientist magazine come out with yet more interesting stuff. To set the scene here: if you’ve read me at all you’ll know already some of my thoughts on Time and Space.

IN BRIEF

I don’t believe in them. (Time & space, that is, not thoughts.)

Not in the widely accepted way, of course, but I can (and do) Oh Dear …Continue reading

SPOOKY

and

SHOCKING

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 17.52.16that I have so few photos of myself—I hate having my photo taken and have rarely kept any. So?

So recently I posted a few snaps and thoughts with respect to the First World War (WW1). Today I went back to the memorial I mentioned therein and those wee signposts were still there, so I scored a snap of a snap of a WW1 guy who left these shores a hundred years ago to fight.

His name is now somewhere on the memorial to the SPOOKYContinue reading

T.W.C.R.

.

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 20.53.06In town today I passed as always by the War Memorial, and was reminded of a film I once saw. It starred Dirk Bogarde and was based on a Mason book by the same name: ‘The Wind Cannot Read’.

IN FRONT OF

the memorial pillar were a few tatty poppy-wreaths and in front of them some white blobs on little sticks. About the place were occasional stray poppies, blown by the wind. I was thrown back a few years and could once again hear in my mind the theme song from that movie; and moved to take some snaps—

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 21.16.03

—how often have we run our eyes over meaningless history inscribed on granite? Just letters, just more empty names … the ‘seas’ above is part of the legend ‘died overseas’ (or similar). Part of this—

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 17.37.13

— and it suddenly occurred to me that those wee signs, being photos, may (did too) tie in with the memorial lists. I picked one at random—

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 17.31.42

—and at last, a chance to put a real face to a stark name chiselled on stone (ref. the above list photo).

I found a few others and matched them too, one of which was a VC. I took several more shots in an effort to catch—if I could—some of the character of some of the men involved; and gave it away when I came across one that was an almost identical match for me as a young man. Brrrr …

IT WAS LOOKING AT THE

wreaths—

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 17.34.58

—and seeing those strays—

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 17.35.34

that brought the association to mind, the words from that movie.

Like I said, a haunting song. But to appreciate it you have to read the whole book or sit through the whole film, and I think the commitment might be beyond many these days. A pity …

.

KISMET 

.

DEATH or GLORY?

NONE BUT THE BRAVE

.

deserve the fair.

But who determines ‘brave’?

THE ACTIONS OF A TRUE HERO

are undeniable and hopefully made public. Recognition where it is due, no?

SO WHO DECIDES

whom we are to recognise? It’s quite obvious to all and sundry that ‘our’ guy is the hero whereas the ‘enemy’ guy is always a crazed fanatic. It goes without saying. (Sheesh~!)

BUT WHAT IF ‘OUR’ GUY

is a girl? Ouch … or worse, a bloody Jew-boy? Or a Spic, or a nigger, hmmm? Wop, Dago, WOG — regardless of what they do: can they possibly be as brave (honest, loyal, trustworthy, and for all I know true) as one of US?

Don’t ask me, I’m just the soured old cynic here. Ask these guys—

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 11.16.50

—who are just a small sampling from a substantial list:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Medal_of_Honor_recipients_for_World_War_II#F

Not that most of them would (if still alive) make more comment than the obligatory “Aw, shucks” expected of a hero.

SO TO BE A HERO YOU

have to—

  • do something brave
  • often spontaneously (saves thinking too much), AND
  • be politically acceptable

—item three on the list is the most important. Sure, sometimes an attack of conscience (or too public a needling) can stir recalcitrant deciders into a wee rethink but don’t bank on it.

I SAW A PHOTOGRAPH

somewhere of a WW2 Japanese cruiser with an American aircraft parked atop (and partly within) a gun turret. It’s possible that the pilot either lost control after his plane was rearranged by AA fire, or he’d already lost interest; and also probable that he chose to smack into that ship and so fulfill his mission as best he could with dwindling resources.

If so—

  • was he a hero?
  • Or just a crazed yank fanatic ahead of the game?

Was the genuine (they came later) kamikaze a hero, or a bloody fanatic? Were any of them awarded the Golden Order Of The Pickled Dragon or whatever, after the war, or were the defeated not allowed their heroes?

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 12.31.33What about the heroes who never reach public consumption? For a wee thought on this theme I recommend a book I read a long time ago called  “Brown On Resolution“. I think it was a CS Forester and am about to look it up—

—it was a CS Forester and still available on Amazon but not cheap. Don’t go to the Wiki link below unless you don’t mind a spoiler. Anyway, if going, here’s your Wiki link—

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_on_Resolution

—and I seem to remember that although Brown did what some might call a heroic thing, he never made it to hero status. Why, do we think, was that?

SO WE CAN CONCLUDE

that to be a ‘hero’ you have to—

  • do a heroic thing
  • be seen to have done it
  • be politically acceptable to the judge and jury, then
  • be recognised as having done it …

—and you may just get your gong. All good clean fun, I’m sure. And of course your commanding officers will get medals too—you’d never have got yours without them, no?

So if you have a son or (increasingly these days) a daughter going into the armed forces (automatically a feted and recognised hero immediately on entry, in some parts of the world) be sure that if you want to be a proud parent they understand the rules—otherwise they may end up as so many did (especially in WW1) being murdered either ‘pour encourager les autres‘ or simply to satisfy the momentary whim of some dodo military genius—

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 12.51.44a.

KISMET