really staggering development

some tory blogger has decided to post an e-petition to bring back capital punishment, a few of the usual twat tory mps are supporting it and … ya know?…

ah no feckit…


just can’t waste the seconds of my life it takes to say why the death penalty is like a kinda bad thing. nope; can’t be bothered. just doing other stuff like breathing in and out and not making arguments that should be blindingly obvious to all semi-intelligent-and-up human beings. (yes, since you ask, priti patel is one of the tories who has come out (or remained out, i guess) as being in favour of the death penalty.)

for fuller details visit tory home, or the isle of wight’s mp’s website (hell yeah – if we care, he ‘ lists his interests as reading, walking [that’s an ‘l’ just for clarity], old movies and avoiding gardening!’ oh the dangerous old radical. and note the jauntily placed exclamation mark. he seems unaccountably to have missed ‘killing the mentally ill’ off that riveting list. it is perhaps the one thing that makes you imagine for a moment he is actually still breathing.) or even read the daily male if you want to see why europe, feminists or the blacks (if not black european feminists) are to blame for … oh, you know … stuff.

i wonder what me ole chum dom raab thinks about all of this… no actually i don’t. i couldn’t give a buggering stuff. valuable seconds of my life have already been expended hearing what these vacuous tossers think about this and that when i know it will only inflame me further.

i shall resort to beating myself repeatedly over the head with an old kipper until the blood and the will to live are leaving my body/spirit at about the same rate.

don’t suppose there’s a portobello riot i can join. better stick the clash on loud and watch the images of burning buildings from croydon to haringey. that can’t be anything to do with the government can it?


5 responses to “really staggering development

  1. Dear Professor Wondered,

    You’re not alone. And really I know I’m saying “I’m not alone.”

    There is the story of a little girl who was late arriving home from school whose mother began to scold her.

    “Why are you so late?”

    “I had to help another girl. She was in trouble.”

    “What did you do to help her?”

    “Oh, I sat down and helped her cry.”

    I don’t offer this anecdote in a sentimental way and I am all but certain you read it as shared recognition of the strange tragedy of man.

    I live in a tender, shaky place now, a stranger in a strange land more even than as a nerdy boy. Maybe some of us really are anthropologists from another world, trying to study from the inside the madness of the human race.

    Akira Kurosawa’s movie “Ran” has a main character Kyomai saying, “Man is born crying. When he has cried enough, he dies.”

    At this point I feel sorry for those who aren’t crying because they missed being human and have wasted the experience of being conscious apes.

    In a few more years I will have done what I can and cried enough. But I share the faith of Chekhov, “We shall find peace. We shall hear angels, we shall see the sky sparkling with diamonds.”


    Probably does not require explanation, but I call all my friends Professor as a term of endearment. Just as we do not pay for those tasks that are most valuable (mothering, caretaking, etc.), we do not credential those who know what is most important.

  2. my friend, e, how i have missed you! i hardly need say how much i agree with your words.

    i am warmed by your referring to me as friend. and when i read what you write, i always feel there is at least one other person whose words i understand, who is as lost, as baffled, as overjoyed and constantly surprised at just how … big …. life is. and how wonderful.

    i don’t know ran well – thanks for quoting that piece of text. when i read it, the lines from lear that sang out to me were:
    ‘Thou must be patient; we came crying hither:
    Thou knowest the first time that we smell the air
    We wawl and cry’
    i love the way kurosawa has moved the image on.

    i checked the lines (i wouldn’t want to misquote shakespeare – you note he gets some upper case!) in my Complete Works, a volume I grew up with. it was given to my father when he graduated in 1952, and inscribed to that effect by 2 people I don’t know and was never told who they were. now it has come to me. i saw my father play lear and he was very good. i cried (and think i will every time i see it) when lear says ‘i know thee well enough; thy name is gloucester’. two old men on a beach – one was a king, the other was one of his dukes – you imagine they have been through all sorts of stuff together though you never hear about it – now mad and blind respectively, both soon to die. best scene in shakespeare.

    there! you see what happens when you come along and write stuff…. come back again soon, if you can. you are never a stranger here.

    (thank you for the chekhov quote too – new to me and mind-blowing)

  3. just can’t waste the seconds of my life it takes to say why……..

    *So* know what you mean m’boy – been struggling with idiots all afternoon!

    How are you anyway?

    Mum x

  4. *does a delighted ‘the witch is back’ dance*
    *looks around*

    sorry it’s a bit of a mess. if i’d known you were coming, i’d have tidied up a bit. you know you went off for fags and a bottle of light ale a couple of years back. i sort of figured you might be back a bit sooner.

    fed the cat, tho.

    just not sure it liked jaffa cakes.

    pull up a chair, put up yer feet. i”l pop the kettle on.
    i think we had a kettle. *fossicks about randomly*
    …and a cat.

  5. Dear Mate,

    I go off on a planned walkabout with a border collie in the mountains for a few weeks and when I come back there have been earthquakes and hurricanes, several lovely trees are down, my 2000 meter road is washed out in places, a local library has closed, and the gossip is the post office will be shuttered soon, too. (But no real worries, the buildings here are over-structured and if I’ve succeeded as intended, should outlast me to serve another generation or two without much maintenance. I like stone and steel.)

    Yet when I find a moment to slip down to your old wooden boathouse I find a hand-written note left on an ancient desk askew beneath the book I was last reading. And it is this most elegant invitation to drop by any time.

    Leonard Cohen, a poet musician Zen philosopher here (“across the pond” as some might say) once asked, “What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What’s the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood?”

    I am honored by your allusion to mature Kings walking beside the sea. That is where they belong if they have truly served the people — comfortably ensconced at the edge of the infinite, peering into eternity, walking side by side with peer Kings.

    Wise Kings slip away in every Mythology. The Son becomes the Father and vanishes into the Beyond.

    I wish I knew my Shakespeare far better. I focused on math and engineering when young (they seemed concrete and accessible), and later the projects I had and the people they served.

    Given time I shall finish Shakespeare’s oeuvre. But I’d really like to take classes at an arts college and have a master who loved his work guide me through the thickets and open the vistas likely closed to me. Words are keys, and unless you have time to test every one in every lock you have no notion of what they may open. Master William seems to have known them all, as words and as keys, and knew where each one would lead if you would follow it back to its connections and origins.

    Following some of these word-key-threads feels like following electricity along wires back to its origin in the spinning blades of turbines in the wind.

    I love the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and remember the actor in the magical space of the Kennedy Center pronouncing in a mist of lavender fog, “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

    I’ve been haunted since high school by the words, “Hell is empty, all the demons are here.” I more and more feel the despair in that as I watch my country immolate itself.

    After seeing nothing but woods for awhile I’m not quite back and remain somewhat fragile. It’s amazing what a simple concerto can do to me right now. The fragrance of my dog’s feet in the morning knocks me down.

    I just wanted to acknowledge these magical sentences on heavy folded paper under this volume in your boathouse and thank you for your incomparable hospitality, what the Greeks called Xenia and something I think about more and more as I realize I’m surrounded by angels.

    My country has a place called Kentucky which specializes in horses that go fast and a nectar called bourbon. I shall slip away now and leave a flask of “Eagle Rare,” a 10-year-old single barrel mystery, a bottle of “Pappy Van Winkle,” a 15-year-old with hints of molasses and charred oak and orange, a decanter of “Four Roses,” single barrel, and a beautifully crafted beaker of the highly regarded “Blanton’s” single barrel. They each have their charms and even if you never open them look quite enticing on a dark oak shelf.

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