<< OCT

DEC >>


The GREAT Remembrance Charade







.- . 2014


R-4 in 1963


Poppy Cock ........................Deep Space

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Here in the Old Town at Hastings are several junk shops.... a while back I used to visit one particular shop quite frequently. And often there, poking around in the junk, would be good old Ted. I was always glad to see him; he was great for a chat. He never bought anything, so far as I know, and he possessed virtually nothing other than the clothes he wore and the usual essentials. He lived in a small flat in the Old Town, and although he had no ambition - he was well over 60, I guess - he took a keen interest in antiques, and was especially intrigued by how they were valued. He even used to take the train to London, now and then, and attend some of the big auction houses like Christie's or Sotheby's or Bonhams. One day, I mentioned to Ted that just along the street in a rival junk shop I'd seen an amazing old vase that for its size seemed remarkably cheap at only 30 quid. I'd guess it was about a metre high and looked a bit like the one in the picture - the same shape but smaller.

Ted suddenly became animated. Only a few minutes earlier, he said, he'd examined this very vase with meticulous care. It was identical, apparently, to one he'd seen sold the day before at Christies for 40-grand, he said. He'd checked closely several minor blemishes which could never have been duplicated by chance, yet there they were, identical in every detail, he said: A small barely visible scratch on the side, the two hairline cracks at the rim and a small scuff mark near the base.... how was it possible, except by deliberate copying? With such large sums involved, any amount of trouble to replicate a master pot would be extremely worthwhile, he declared with an amused frown.

I suggested one of us should maybe buy the one over the way. He replied that the antiques trade was a dirty market and safest to stay out of it. All kinds of dangers lurked for the unassuming amateur - especially if they were hoping to work some kind of favorable deal. The whole business, he reckoned, was rotten with swindles and fix-ups and forgeries and frauds, and together with every other possible deception and twist you could think of, it probably surpassed even banking. Every scheme that could be devised, has been, he said.

I nodded, then we had a good laugh. But when I went back out and walked along past the other shop, the vase was gone. Doubtless to London for some big auction, I said, returning briefly and putting my head back in. Ted just nodded and said, I'm not in the least surprised. Then, cheerfully, I wandered home along the promenade, taking in the sea air and completely forgetting about that hideous vase and the antics of the antiques trade.

(OED: antic - Italian antico ANTIQUE, used to mean ‘grotesque’)

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(See also: 'The Great Remembrance Charade')

People other than me must have noticed the obvious flaw in the 'remembrance' propaganda that's dished out to us 'gormless' unthinking plebs every November... surely they must, like me, have noticed the Emperor has no clothes? Even a 5-year old would see it. Yet I've never heard nor seen it mentioned or even hinted at anywhere... not even on the internet. But then I haven't searched very hard, nor have I read the works of Wilfred Owen and Co, where doubtless it is voiced with resounding clarity, but has been censored or at least kept off the media in all its forms for more than a century now.

All we ALWAYS get told is that men sacrificed their lives for their country, and those lives are represented by poppies - which this year some jerk of an artist has made porcelain versions of and created a massive and hugely popular display. Well, fine, I guess it looks all very impressive.

But those poor sods the poppies are supposed to represent didn't sacrifice their lives at all. They were murdered - and not by the enemy, but by their government - swindled by subversive propaganda into entering a futile bloodbath, and commanded to do so at the point of a gun, virtually, by a mob of political criminals who knew precisely the risks but whose arrogance and conceit were more important to them, never mind the legacy.

Think about it: if that swindle had not happened, what would have changed? Would Hitler still have risen to power?

I'm no historian - no-one knows less about history than me - but dipping recently into various historical docs, like Fallada's 'Alone in Berlin' and Isherwood's 'Goodbye to Berlin' I get the strong impression that the rise of Nazism was partly in response to a universal and growing hatred of Jews. And the reason for that hatred is age-old: the Jews are the money-lenders, they run most businesses, and do so with boundless energy and diligence. With regard to making profit, they are relentless, ruthless even, and are usually provocatively ostentatious with their wealth.

According to those authors in their portrayals of the time, nearly everyone lived on or below the breadline and had become victims of this Jewish avarice - which they relied on and resented in equal measure. If the angst generated from this had not existed in Germany at that delicate period after WW1 then maybe there would have been no support for the Nazis at their inception. So maniacs like Göring and Hitler, etc., would never have got a look in... who knows? But if UK politicians had acted responsibly and avoided WW1, then a more stable German economy may have prevented the conditions that led to the Nazi uprising and WW2?

As for the poppy issue... instead of remembering those pointlessly slaughtered conscripts, victims of lies, sent to their inevitable death by order of a mob of mindless MPs... instead of remembering them, surely it is those corrupt and insane politicians, who didn't give a fuck for the fate of those men, who should be remembered for their crimes - as Germans remember of their 'leaders' of the time.

I mean, if anything should be remembered, then let's remember above all the TREACHERY of UK GOVERNMENT MINISTERS who were behind those deaths the poppies represent. Remember the murderers, not the murdered, so no-one falls victim to such treachery again.

... except there's always enough pricks who volunteer for corrupt Establishment ventures, otherwise they'd never have been able to invade Afghanistan or Iraq etc., massacre millions and make an ex prime-minister (and a few others too, no doubt) a multimillionaire...

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See: Ten LIES used to justify WW1

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In a poignant article by historian and commentator William Blum, his reply to the question: Do you think the United States has ever done anything good in the world? How about World War Two? Would you have fought in that war? was:

'If I had been old enough, and knowing what I know now, I would have been glad to fight against fascism, but I would not have been enthused about fighting for the United States, or for the United States government to be more exact. Our leaders bore a great responsibility for the outbreak of the world war by abandoning the Spanish republic in the civil war. Hitler, Mussolini and the Spanish fascists under Franco all combined to overthrow the republican government, while the United States, Great Britain, France and the rest of the world (except, arguably, the Soviet Union) stood by; worse than standing by, American corporations were aiding the fascist side. At the same time, the US and Britain refused the entreaties of the Soviet Union to enter into some sort of mutual defense pact. The Russians knew that Hitler would eventually invade them, but that was fine with the Western powers. Hitler derived an important lesson from all this. He saw that for the West, the real enemy was not fascism, it was communism and socialism, so he proceeded accordingly. Hitler was in power for nine years before the United States went to war with him -- hardly a principled stand against fascism -- and then it was because Germany declared war on the United States, not the other way around.'

So it looks like the UK and US are doubly culpable with regard to WW2 - as at least one of them have been since for many wars and invasions. The age old grip of a ruthless and incompetent ruling elite remains as secure today as when the British Empire was at its height, scarcely to consider since before time immemorial. But as I say, I'm no historian.

Finally, a couple of weeks after writing the above I find at the end of yet another outstanding article by John Pilger 'War by Media and the Triumph of Propaganda' (5th December 2014):

It's 100 years since the First World War. Reporters then were rewarded and knighted for their silence and collusion. At the height of the slaughter, British prime minister David Lloyd George confided in C.P. Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian: "If people really knew [the truth] the war would be stopped tomorrow, but of course they don't know and can't know."

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Radio - 4- in 1963


When I was 14 an aunt who lived just a few doors away wrote a little treatise called 'Manufacturers Are Marvellous'. Wouldn't any Establishment relish such a title - it could hardly fail. She was so pleased with how it turned out that she decided to send it to 'Woman's Hour' at the BBC. Soon afterwards - surprise, surprise - she received an enthusiastic letter inviting her to the studios at Portland Place with the prospect of reading this treatise of hers on the programme.

My aunt's name was Pearl; she was my dad's brother's wife. Always sociable with a wide circle of friends, for years she'd been writing articles and stories, mainly I think for parochial magazines. Maybe she wrote for national magazines too, I wouldn't know - in those days, with the lousy education-system then, nothing interested me less than writing.

Her work may not have been prolific, but there was no doubt about aunt Pearl's commitment, and she'd gained a modest reputation. Even so, she was a bit daunted by the idea of reading 'Manufacturers Are Marvellous' on the radio to an audience of millions.

At the time, I'd also gained a reputation, though a less enviable one. Mine was for dismantling old radios and TVs, and for using the components to make devices that gave people electric shocks. So when my aunt was looking for someone to accompany her to London, and no-one else was available or interested, it was this dubious connection with radios that inspired her to ask me.

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I still well remember that day at Broadcasting House. I remember the megalithic tape machines, and the disc players with their strobe gratings, and loud-speakers bigger than me. And the cosy little ante-room where prospective readers - all old women - sat and waited to be silently ushered into the studio. One woman who sat beside me, and who a few minutes ago I learned from wikipedia was ~68 at the time, struggled to get up when called. Being the 'polite' little kid I sometimes was in those days (I knew even then how strategically applied politeness could result in handsome dividends)... being the polite kid I was, especially when I could see no advantage in acting the menace, I began to get up so as to assist this ailing woman. Then I hesitated. I thought: would it perhaps be presumptuous to help her? People who are compromised often prefer to be left to themselves.... on the other hand, regardless of injured pride, someone had to help her. So after a delay I stood, said I was sorry I hadn't helped straight away, and grabbing her arm, hauled her to her feet. She looked me in the eye and smiling, said firmly, "Not at all, you were polite not to." then hobbled into the studio to read her script.

Although this woman struck me as unusually amiable, I hadn't thought of her since.... until about 5-years ago. I'm mystified why I remembered her name - Antonia Ridge - but when I saw a book of hers in a library chuck-out sale the whole episode at radio-4 came back to me. In three years from now I'll be the age she was when we met briefly in that little ante-room. She was to live another 18-years, I notice. She was Dutch, obviously from a privileged background, spending considerable time in both France and the UK- as is evident from the 24-stories in that library chuck-out 'By Special Request', of which I've read several, and (also evident from those stories) was a firm supporter of the religious establishment. Even so, she was cheerful and pleasant enough, worldly wise, pious yet perhaps not overly judgmental. But not of my ilk, obviously; and although she writes reasonably well, her topics are mostly banal - at least, to me. Her work reminds me a bit of those dreaded 'pseudo-autobiographical' Reader's Digest stories that surreptitiously (or blatantly, to a sceptic like me) champion the status quo - or anything to the 'right' of it - while dancing precariously on the cusp of saccharine mawkishness.

Later that day, I accompanied my aunt to the head office of The Mother's Union (or was it The Women's Institute?). Either way, she'd been invited (or 'summoned'?) that afternoon to a meeting with the BIG chief 'Mother' (or 'Woman') herself - presumably for a chat, though about what (I remember reflecting at the time) who could say? I realise now the subject could hardly have been other than her unwitting(?) adulation of manufacturers (ie, Big Corp), which would have gone down exceptionally well with any organisation representing some aspect of the establishment.

With no conception at the time of entities like Big Corp, I think my highly subjective and biased conclusion was that their discussion focussed on what to me would have amounted to monumental bilge, agonisingly trite female stuff that would bore the pants off a corpse. Which I judged was why I'd been relegated to wander the streets for a couple of hours while they sipped their cups of tea, nibbled little dainty biscuits with cream in... or jam...parlayed and gossiped, drank more tea, and solved the worlds ills...

Or most likely (I assume now: w.r.t. Big Corp) schemed how they might further exacerbate those 'ills' to the benefit of the middle classes - as has plainly come to pass since the 'Iron Lady' held office, though it took a couple of decades to get there...

And then, as one thing leads to another, for the launch of the 21st C along comes the Iron Lady's key political progeny: the GREAT 'Iron Prick' himself, aka arch-poodle Blair - who together with his mob of puppet brigands really fucked things up... at home, though especially abroad: see how their legacy continues and develops in the middle east alone; some say it's sown the seeds for WW3?

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Someone on TV pointed out a few days ago how things in nature are often replicated over a whole range of scales and substances. For instance, a galaxy in some ways resembles an atom, and waves on the sea resemble radio waves...

These kinds of parallels have been recognised for decades or longer. But it occurred to me then that what might be escaping some of the world's greatest thinkers is that when you observe some phenomenon and what you see fails to fit with the rest of the picture, or somehow doesn't make sense, then one way of approaching the anomaly might be to consider how that observation compares with what might be seen in other phenomena and over a whole range of scales, even extrapolating beyond anything previously considered. (ie, wikipedia: 'alternative theories')

For example... and this is the one that instantly occurred to me... the weird observation that the universe appears to be expanding and, most significantly, at an increasing rate (which seems logically impossible) could be explained simply by regarding what we perceive as 'The Universe' as though it was in fact a mere microscopic fraction of a far greater entity.

Well, you never know? I mean, see how swirls of water and filaments of foam move after a wave breaks on the beach. Every event is unique, yet the patterns follow certain rules that vary according to how close-up you are - ie, at what scale you choose to focus on.

Does anyone really know the true size of the universe? How can it ever be finite? Like focussing on one little swirl after a wave breaks on the beach, there are other swirls nearby that in due course will join with or disturb one another.... and in ways that would appear impossible if viewed over a limited area.

Who knows? It's a thought.



It's the perspective, Stupid!

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The day I brought Mario home, I unlocked the door and ushered him in ahead of me. When he suddenly stopped, I looked around him. Sitting prominently in the middle of the hall carpet was a fair sized house spider. Mario hadn’t been to my house before.

I have several bookcases in the hall - loads of hiding places for spiders. So this wasn’t the first time. It's the kind of situation most people must be familiar with. And probably most people just give the spider a gentle nudge with their foot so it scarpers. Not me. I do my best to catch them.




(to be continued... as anyone reading this may have noticed, I frequently make stories up as I go along, then when they veer away from what makes sense or if they start getting really boring, I go back and adjust various things. So far this story is still not properly worked out. I try one change and it seems to fail, so I try another.... well, I have a feeling it'll work out OK in the end so I'll stay with it, for a while at least. So as I say... to be continued...)