so let’s ham it up a bit:
QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS
—questions to which we shall never get a satisfying answer. Why is that? (I ask rhetorically—the truth is too obvious.)
So I’ve just finished blitzing a post I’ve earmarked for later study. I hope not to offend by posting some screenshots from it—make of them what you will.
What I make will be found further down this page—but first I remember a comment made by one Townsend (a UK fighter pilot in WW2) (later famous for serving as an accompaniment for Princess Margaret) to the effect that he fired and fired and fired and hit and hit and hit the German bomber, but to no noticeable effect. After the war it was discovered that they’d found more than two hundred hits on that bomber. Probably ruined the paintwork a bit, but there ya go … that’s war for you.
the Brits don’t believe in putting weapons into planes or onto ships.
Take for example the fairly recent unpleasantness around the Falklands … had the Argentine bombs gone off instead of bouncing off—ouch. But how did a bunch of gauchos manage to get through, to bounce those old-fashioned free-fall iron bombs off of (or lodge them into) the wonderful all-singing all-dancing modern RN warships? Don’t ever ask—you’ll embarrass some bugger; who might then drag up the Prince Of Wales and the Repulse by misguided way of rebuttal …
SO LET’S ASK
anyway, and hope to embarrass some bugger. I believe that Townsend (and several other indignant cranks) suggested that if their eight (eight! Wow! Gotta be some firepower there! No?) .303 machine-guns were to be replaced with just half that number of .50 they’d lose fewer of themselves (a good thing) and the blasted Huns (pun intentional) would lose a lot more of theirs (a better thing) (at the time. Not now, though; we’re all good pals now).
Not a good idea, the Powers That Be decided; (why?) and so the idea was shoved as far under the carpet as it would reach. Wtih a very long stick …
- why? and more tellingly
- by whom? And even more better—
- on what grounds?
But I shan’t ask them lest the same answers apply today (lest ‘they’ send the heavies around to my home to explain).
And now, with grateful thanks—
I don’t understand it either. Perhaps the budget wouldn’t run to it, despite War Bonds and loans and stuff. Perhaps men can be replaced (easy enough: you just a grow a new one, effectively free) but guns cost money. More money on guns means less for brandy and cigars, not good.
Or maybe they had a few over-purchases (warehouses stuffed full) from wars past? Perhaps some enthusiast in WW1 had bought zillions more .303s than they needed and the end of the war caught ’em by surprise?
IF I WERE A FLIER
then I like to think I’d have done something more productive than go up against the formidable Hun armed only with bubble-blowers. Then again, being a well trained lad and a product of my time, and actually believing in my cause I’d most likely have done the best I could with what I had. A lot did that. (The alternative may well have been being stood against a wall and (oh, the irony of it~!) shot—with blasted .303 rifles …).
Sufficient unto the day, as they say—but again it forces one to ask:
- who made the decisions
- based on what information
- and why were those decision-makers never taken up for a wee joy-ride, against the Hun, under real conditions … to see first-hand for themselves?
- and why do we still do it?
Never ask, you only embarrass your betters. Anyway, lives are cheap—so long as we have more of them to spare than ‘they’ do, of course …
—with many thanks.
the voice from the lunatic fringe makes better sense to the uninvolved (I wish~!) outsider than all the
statements and other propaganda* in the world.
Try this, if you will, in fresh tonight—
An April estimate of an expected 300,000 refugees into Germany grew to 800,000 by mid-August and that figure too will need revision by year’s end. The situation is the same across Europe. Hungary is building a fence along its border with Serbia and installing 1,000s of police officers to patrol it in defiance of EU demands for each member of the union to accept quotas of refugees. Macedonia has declared a state of emergency over the influx, her border police forces having been overwhelmed. The entrance to the Eurotunnel at the port of Calais on France’s northern coast is the site of daily battles between police and migrants seeking entry into Great Britain. Reports of loud demonstrations of citizens demanding protection have become common while violent incidents between locals and migrants are on the rise.
Most telling of all is the Latvian Ambassador’s recent declaration to Nato that the biggest threat his country is facing is not from Russia but from the inflow of Ukrainian refugees and the outflow of its own native population.
Sourced (above and below) from—
Those same U.S. policymakers are actively working to inundate the U.S. with millions of migrants from Mexico and Central America, another imperial playground, on the flimsy basis of a Barack Obama Executive Order. Eager for a youthful, docile, dependent and cheap population of worker bees, the U.S. federal government is now engaged in draining the last wealth of the American middle class for use in settling and supporting many millions of immigrants, whose children will become the future taxpayers and voters the grotesquely obese federal government requires for its own future survival.
At last then, the long-sought weapons of mass destruction have been located. We can see them clearly now: They are Africa’s and the Middle East’s desperate and dispossessed migrants, and Central America’s young and unwitting illegals, of “the free world’s” creation, and they are on the move.
As a card-carrying cynic of the First Order I absolutely adore this sort of babble; it’s reporting that really clangs my bell.
All waffle, of course—the nice US and the nice EU and the nice UN would never do anything against the American or European interests, and is all for endless humanitarian stuff. No?
THERE IS AN ANSWER
but it’s a wee bit extreme, and far too unpalatable for almost any nation on Earth. More’s the pity, but there you go … human life is cheap and disposable. So long as they get their votes, that is. Ya gotta have yer votes—votes convey a veneer of legitimacy, no? Oh, yes, you still want that wonderful Answer I mentioned? Okay then, here it is — but be warned, you ain’t gonna like it (and it’s only one word too):
—there, I said you wouldn’t like it. And if you’re puzzled, that serves only to underline the kind of fool you are: “Fool me once,” the Cynic said, “it’s shame on you. Fool me twice—it’s shame on me~!” (Or is it the other way round? Bummer …) The fact remains though, that if you live anywhere (r) anywhere other than Switzerland and actually believe that you are in a Democracy … shame on on you.
LIKE I SAID
the answer lies in Democracy. Ain’t gonna happen,though, so get used to an ever increasing ‘immigrant’ problem. And while you’re there getting used to it, ponder the true meaning of to “bite the hand that feeds them”.
* Not a problem. If it comes from The Establishment — it is propaganda (trust me, I’m a cynic**)
** ‘Cynic‘: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they really are.
for those who may be interested, hear Roger Penrose talking about
TIME AND SPACE
and why he is a heretic. I say heretic choosedly, because that’s exactly what he is. But first, here’s a wee Big Bang for you—
AND SOME OF WHAT HE SAYS
is so bloody obvious that even uneducated oafs (oaves? Nevermind …) like moi independently say and have said much the same. But first, here’s the man himself chatting to a damned annoying interviewer—
—after which we (thee and me) might chat. Natter. You know, pull its arms and legs off and re-convince ourselves how brilliant modern science is. Especially that Big Bang bit, where ‘they’ scientifically prove that all the matters and energies that ever there are, were, or will be, were at one time all squelched down into a space so tiny it didn’t exist—
—and then of course, God said “Let there be a huge silent explosion” and that was that; Pandora opened her box and it was on for young and old forever and ever ame—
“Mr Argus, Sir?”
“Little Virginia. How nice.”
“You said a massive silent explosion, as in not very noisy; in fact soundless.”
“Think about it, Kiddo—”
“Nothing exists nowhere, Sweet Child. Sound needs a medium—”
“Oh … Sir?”
“You’re wasted being a cynic, Sir—”
“I know, Sweetie. It was that, read sciences, or enter the church. Cynic may not pay well but at least I get to sleep nights …”
AND ON THE SCALE OF BIG
bangs I guess this one (below) doesn’t rate much either, no matter how many squillions of manmade hydrogen bombs you might fit into it and still not test the limits—
—but then again, as Einstein said (or didn’t—who really cares, in the Great Scheme Of Things?) everything is relative and that impressive stella blast may actually be a macro of a firecracker on a dark night. Or even more better: Photoshop~! Boom boom!
was ol’ Penrose talking heresy above? Your call—there are of course no right or wrong answers but be advised that if you get it wrong you may well be Guest Of Honour at the next public barbecue …
and if you click the link above you’ll be taken there.
OVER A LIFETIME
of readings and discussions often involving red wine and rosy dawns I’ve come to a conclusion. Two such, in fact—
- no-one knows
- no-one believes me anyway
—and if you follow that above link you’ll find a very relevant (and surprisingly gentlemanly) discussion. In the end, as ol’ Khayyam puts it: we mostly go out the same door we came in.
I OFTEN STATE THAT
- if you know it and can prove it
- then you know it.
- But if you can’t prove it
- then you don’t have knowledge
- you have belief
Wow! Thank heavens that’s over, on with the show:
that our physical body is simply a four dimensional cross-section of something (for want of a better term) larger. Much larger. (Wait—hear me out:)
I DO NOT BELIEVE
in any form of god, gods, goddesses (in this PC age are we still allowed to use the feminine?), godlets, holy spirits, saints, resurrections, religions-as-we-know-them* and/or ad infinitem.
BUT TO REDUCE my core conclusions to the nitty, our physical selves are the visible bit. The brain/nervous systems act as on-board computers and signal networks; the brain serving in the manner of an antenna to link internal and external.
HAH! RIGHTLY SO
prove it, you say. Good call. I can’t. I can only offer it as a somewhat unlikely hypothesis, so make of it what you will.
I hear some say—is there a purpose to it? So of course I’m defining God, no?
For all the obvious reasons. There may just as well have been a purpose to the Big Bang, no?
SUFFICIENT UNTO THE DAY
and now to invite response.
Funny … everyone I lay this one on goes glassy-eyed and walks away (backwards at first) shaking their heads with lop-sided smiles. Must be my dog-breath …
* But am always willing to start one: let it begin here, just slip a few hundred (founder’s fee, Peter’s Pence, call it what you will—it’s tax exempt anyway) Currency Units into an envelope and post it to me. First ones to do so get the high titles but be warned, Archbishop/Grand Poobah has already been taken. (Still plenty of bishoprics to go round—hell, even a foot-soldier priest gets a good living under the Argie Creed.)
and the power of real
If it reaches past the brain and grips the soul, it’s art.
Some art is best kept within the context of time and place whilst other art is universal. Much art is targeted, culture-specific … but real art can reach across cultures, across miles, and even across the centuries.
SUCH AN ART
form is the Japanese haiku. I understand that only someone traditionally versed in the culture can truly appreciate the haiku—so haiku then should be of Japan and in the Japanese language? Or perhaps not. I am not Japanese. A cherry blossom or chrysanthemum to the average westerner is often just a flower. The finer nuances of meanings will be lost and with them much imagery.
And yet …
I HAVE READ
quite widely in a thankfully uneventful life. An atheist, the sonorous resonance of the King James Bible can still move me deeply. Shakespeare took me a lifetime to appreciate and I doubt that any translation into any foreign tongue can do it justice—the meanings of the words and relevance of sentences to characters and settings may be moved across, but not the magic.
my soul was stirred to its depths when I read some of the final verses and poetically expressed thoughts of doomed Japanese warriors—specifically (this time) the final testaments of some of the Kamikaze. Simple poetry, scarce more that the ‘five-seven-five‘ of haiku; but powerful stuff.
In this context the mind gets drawn to the thoughts of another aviator half a world away, a contemporary who likewise didn’t survive the stupidity that was World War two—no cherry blossoms here, no esoteric references, just the sheer vibrant joy of living in a life cut brutally short.
The word I’m groping for here is resonance. For me, if it resonates within it is art. Such a resonance—of peace—comes whenever I visit the Zen Garden in Queens Park in town.
I find a peace there, an almost meditative stillness (this sounds like the words of a fanciful poseur when I try to describe it). Perhaps I was Japanese in a previous existence, or am simply a good hypnotic subject?
time, place, beliefs. I am not enamoured of Islam—yet I hold some aspects of its arts in very high regard. I love the resonance of the quatrains of Khayyam, as translated by Fitzgerald (possibly every bit as much Fitzgerald as Khayyam, truth be known—and Fitzgerald was a Christian).
Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly–and lo! the Bird is on the Wing.
Much Islamic architecture, too, is effectively without peer. Perhaps it’s not the love of God being expressed in art but the love of life itself?
IS THIS WHAT
the Kamikaze and others are trying to express on the eve of destruction, using such tools as they have readily to hand? I’m mostly tied to the English language, and culture, and the filters of my own experiences; yet when I read words such as Tennyson’s—
—I’m moved. Deeply. I’ve been there, I’ve trodden the frozen hills in the depths of winter, by night, and seen the long glories of the winter moon.
CAN A HAIKU
carry such power, and depths of meaning? If the soul is awake: yes.
Try this link on for size, and if of a mind tell me which of those translations most appeals to you …
… and which you think most appeals to me?
I shan’t ask you for reasons or gloat if you get it wrong—there are no wrong answers; each artist does the best he can with what he’s got and that applies to translators too. (And no—I haven’t read the accompanying Commentary.)(I won’t, either.)
And my apologies for that typo in ‘High Flight’ …