Me, myself, and I

September 15, 2019

A helpless sigh evades
Wet lips.
For clammy fingertips
Fondle at my chest,
And my toes curl
As they brush past my stomach.
My lips part. I gasp.

I tremble at the sounds
Of my own dirty voices
And the three naked women
Hidden behind my eyelids
Whose touch I echo.

Ellen Dawson

Rant

September 9, 2019

When Noam Chomsky said, ‘The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum,’ he could easily have been predicting the Brexit debacle in the UK. For three years the country has gone to hell in a handcart and the only thing up for discussion is Brexit!

Pre the UK referendum on its membership of the EU, polls showed that internally the top six issues important to the UK electorate were:
1. NHS
2. Economy
3. Low Pay
4. Immigration
5. Housing
6. Education

Not a mention of our membership of the EU. It wasn’t very high on anyone’s agenda. Although the fourth important issue to voters, Immigration, was closely tied to EU immigration rules and ‘freedom of movement’.

With the launch of the ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ campaigns, Ipsos MORI survey data showed that voters considered sovereignty and migration the most important issues by far, the economic impact of leaving the EU was only important to 27% of those polled.

My own view is that the decision to withdraw from the EU is a nonsense. It’s absurd. However, Parliament okayed a ‘people’s vote’ and the majority of the people voted to leave. It was the largest turnout of voters in the history of the UK.

Since then very little has happened. Cracks in the parliamentary party system have become chasms. Politicians on all sides who once claimed they would ‘Honour the result of the Referendum’ now don’t, and justify their actions with a variety of excuses, usually based around the economy, which is being seriously damaged by continuous uncertainty.

And the people on both sides of the great divide, Leave / Remain are increasingly angry. Everywhere there are angry people and confrontations. The government lacking a majority in Parliament is helpless to legislate to solve the nation’s problems; the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition, a man with all the communication skills of a stale piece of bread, has spent the past three years demanding an election, but now doesn’t want one – because he might lose!

Boys & girls, this is the biggest feckin’ cock-up I’ve ever seen. It’s a mess. But worse, much of what’s happened is totally anti-democratic. Britain has stripped itself naked, leaving our economy, our society and our democracy exposed. And whatever happens next, there will be dire consequences in future for the politics of the UK. Just you wait and see.

Rant over.

Normal service will resume as soon as possible.

Lemons

September 8, 2019

I don’t have a cleavage.

If I stuff my boobs
in a push-up bra
all I achieve
is a rising dough effect.

My breasts have veined with time.

Shy tendrils have
eased across my flesh
and gravity has created
a bean bag consequence.

I remember reading
of a young girl’s breasts,
the writer (a male)
likened them to lemons,
the kind (I guess)
with teated ends.

No doubt he saw them
thrusting, impatient
with poking nipples permanently erect.

All I saw was thick rinded yellow
while my wry mouth filled
with a bitter after taste.

Joy Reid

Wars

September 3, 2019

The worst thing about wars is that they reduce the enemy to a single characteristic. The country ceases to be history, language, architecture, theatre, gardens, and legends;  a heritage of love stories, philosophy and science; shared ancestral dreams and uncountable varieties of human striving along the roads of the universe. Instead, everything becomes a mere label, blot, field of battle. This is what war has done to the names Palestine, Vietnam, Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. These are no longer multifaceted countries and their names are mentioned in news bulletins not as such but as ‘fields’ – fields from which the numbers of the dead and wounded are garnered daily like the output of a canned goods factory.  The whole of history is now  ‘today’  and today has become a reduction of every ‘yesterday’ that has passed over the face of this earth, a reduction of all history. As though al-Mutanabbi had never walked the markets of al-Kufa hugging himself with joy at a nation that would be singing his verses for a thousand years.  As though the Abbasids had never built their libraries on the banks of the Tigris and Abu Nuwas never maintained his pinnacle of shamelessness and flagrant sexual indulgence through to the pinnacle of day,  after first exhausting the night with poetry and lovely depravities that spared neither male nor female. As though al-Hallaj had never been crucified defending what he had seen with the eye of the imagination and the eye of the mind. As though Hammurabi had never written his code on tablets of burnt clay before Coca-Cola and McDonald’s had been transformed into a religion for all mankind, while Gilgamesh,  who achieved immortality but not finding the plant of immortality on the steppes of his everlasting legend, is treated as though he were not of the land of Iraq. Bush and Rumsfeld reduced all of this to the word ‘enemy.’

Mourid Barghouti
I Was Born There, I Was Born Here

the condition of women

July 25, 2019

In Europe, the women’s movement has done a lot to change their (women’s) position. Starting with civil rights and laws. Today, on paper, men and women are equal. Of course, in the shift from paper to everyday life, things aren’t so simple. It’s easier to change a law than an age-old mentality. Deep down, many prejudices, many hostilities, many fears persist. But if we take a look at all the peoples in the world, we have to realize that the condition of women is very backward and sometimes very sad, from both the social and psychological points of view. There are still countries where women don’t enjoy basic rights like the vote or the freedom to study or the freedom of choice in marriage. Every year there are twenty million little girls in Africa who are deprived of their sexuality through brutal genital operations. Basically, there’s still much to be done.

Dacia Maraini
The Silence of the Outcasts: an interview with Dacia Maraini
Words without borders March 2008

Big Change…

July 25, 2019

We have a new Prime Minister!

Ce mec c’est un mytho –

our heritage

July 4, 2019

Cripes! Life seems so hectic, don’t it? So much to do; so little time to do it. Rushing round trying to save the environment while vacuuming, flossing, cooking meals, writing, and feeling particularly pissed off that a nodding bell-end like Jeremy Hunt (Jessa the Hunt), in his attempt to become prime minister, thinks the answer is to bring back fox hunting!

Using a pack of dogs to rip a fox apart is, according to the Hunt, “part of our heritage.”

It’d appear that molecular biologist Christopher Johnson and his colleagues in the States have created a biological enzyme that can chew efficiently through throwaway plastics like those that make water bottles and soap containers. The team is optimistic they can engineer a world where humans keep using this overabundant material – without winding up literally or figuratively overwhelmed by it. In that world microorganisms will digest polymers into their chemical components so they can turn a profit as new and better products.

Ummm!!?

Anyone remember the TV series Doomwatch? The first episode, The Plastic Eaters was written by Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis. It told of an enzyme that went out of control and gobbled up plastic, including all the plastic parts of an aircraft in flight – oh, dear! what a tragedy –

Pedler and Davis used the same idea in a novel, Mutant 59: The Plastic Eater. Perhaps a copy should be sent to Mr Johnson and colleagues as a warning?

I note the current Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, condemns all the fiscal proposals/suggestions/promises made by the two candidates hoping to become our future prime Minister. He condemns, too, the economic proposals of the Labour party. Mr Hammond, affectionately nicknamed ‘Spreadsheet Phil’, gives the impression of a monomaniacal sociopath wandering through a wild orgy of the flesh, thinking only about marginal rates of return, regardless of cost to our society as a whole –

voting for the right

April 6, 2019

All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or back gammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. Its obli­gation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency. Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. 

Henry David Thoreau

Civil Disobedience, or Resistance to Civil Government

No new ideas

January 13, 2019

Half Roundel

November 1, 2018

Now is November;
In night uneasy
Nothing I say.
I make no prayer.
Save us from water
That washes us away.

W. S. Merwin