Happy New Year.

Perhaps a day early but tomorrow night I shall be in no fit state to type. I am, possibly, too old now for the one-third marathon jogs I used to do, but even a nifty five mile (8 km) is still doable. Mum has gone mad putting multi-culti headers on, but we all wish her, and most readers, a very happy 2021.

Another Sociopath

What is a ‘step-grandfather’? A ‘step-grandfather’ is another way of saying ‘somebody else’s grandfather.’

It turns out that, in reality, Hancock’s ‘step-grandfather’ was really his step-father’s ex-wife’s second husband. One could conclude ‘nothing to see here’ because ‘all politicians lie’. They do – but hang on.

A politician who lies when the truth would have done just fine is likely to be a pathological liar.

Hilary Clinton lied about being named for Edmund Hillary: his conquest of Everest being news around the world inspired her mother to name her after him. When Hilary was caught she did the decent thing blamed her mother for lying to her.

Bill and Hilary Clinton are the only politicians who make me think David Icke might be onto something.

Common sense suggests a politician shouldn’t lie about something which is so easily checkable. That’s why the lying is pathological – they don’t think, they just lie automatically.

Zelo Street: Matt Hancock - You're A Liar

The fire next time.

Blind casting – which is giving us a black Anne Boleyn (she was white) and multi coloured Oliver Twists. The sole black part in Shakespeare is Othello. As with Jane Austen and other authors the “woke” crowd wish to ensure we check our white privilege. Perhaps a remake of “In the heat of the night” with a white detective, Virgil Tibbs?

The Weasel Under the Cocktail Cabinet

Retrpspective Review:

‘Pomegranate Seed’ (1931) – by Edith Wharton

Dark house, by which once more I stand

Here in the long unlovely street,

Doors, where my heart was used to beat

So quickly, waiting for a hand,

A hand that can be clasped no more –

Behold me, for I cannot sleep,

And like a guilty thing I creep

At earliest morning to the door…

 –  Alfred Lord Tennyson

A short ghost-story might not be the medium through which a serious writer chooses to work. This might be due to the ghost-story being somewhat too popular for the ‘critic’ and ‘serious’ reader, but it remains a way in which serious themes can be discussed, and with a writer of skill – be it Wharton’s great friend, Henry James, M.R. James, or Wharton herself – the medium can be used to great and interesting effect, or even a downright scary one.

Wharton published fifteen ghost-stories and therefore the ghost-story represents a medium she only touched on as a writer. What I will explain is that Wharton can sometimes trick the reader into thinking a story is one thing, when it is quite another; and she might have used the ghost story to act as cover for a tale of infidelity which could well be the creepiest thing she wrote. Continue reading

The Lonely Londoner

Retrospective review:

‘Natives: race and class in the ruins of empire’ (2019) – by Akala

Virtue! a fig! ‘tis in ourselves that we are thus, or thus..

– Othello

You labelled me – I’ll label you!

So I dub thee “unforgiven”

– Metallica

1

There is a particular scene in Mario Puzo’s The Godfather where the Don instructs his son, Michael, telling him:

“There are men in this world,” he said, “who go about demanding to be killed. You must have noticed them. They quarrel in gambling games, they jump out of their automobiles in a rage if someone so much as scratches their fender, they humiliate and bully people whose capabilities they do not know…”

The Don continues, explaining to Michael how he made a loyal weapon out of the brutal baby-burner Luca Brasi. An interesting thing about that passage, aside from its obvious truth about the stupidity of many, is that Puzo cannot use the expression ‘road rage’ because – in the early 1970s when the novel came on the scene – the expression hadn’t been invented. However the behaviour which later became known as ‘road rage’ was and is a real phenomenon of human behaviour.

Not all expressions minted to describe human behaviour describe something new. Sometimes the expression is new while the behaviour it describes is old. ‘Binge-drinking’ is an example. ‘Binge-drinking’ means ‘getting drunk’ – a behaviour almost as old as the human race, and is a sub-set of ‘anti-social behaviour’. But if one gives an old problem a new name, then – as if by magic – there is a new ‘problem’ for mouthpieces of ‘authority’ to complain about, while demanding new legal powers from the government of the day. Continue reading