There’s the big puffed up Silverbacks who stand in front of admiring crowds that cheer the meaningless words of Management Speak the beast utters.
There’s the timid rabbit who when blinded by headlights does not sit in terror – but expresses that terror in becoming terrible itself. A veritable tale of ‘Jeckyll and Hyde’.
There is the barking dog who in barking can only bark. There is no more expression to its life than this.
For these are all human beings, who by indulging in the luxuries afforded them by modern life need not think any longer. Videos have replaced their imagination, other people have provided them with the facts that they can make their decisions with. In whatever way, these people have taken a step back from humanity and have become the human equivalent of an animal.
This is the Human Menagerie.
With thanks to my friend Gordon Hayward who has created a weird collection of sculptures for which he needed a name. Whilst I was still a marketer, I came up with this idea for him: “A Human Menagerie”.
I’m using my old Mac at the moment, which I think dates back to 2004. Or something like that. Whatever, it’s old and it crashes with a regularity that is my new normal. I did buy a Minimac, but what with Apple’s ideas about older equipment and newer operating systems, it gummed up and remains gummed up to this day. No doubt there’s some malware masquerading as a solution – in the way you can stop the silly bubbles on Windows – but this is not something I want to enter into. I did try Linux, but that’s been trodden on with a vigour that has to be seen to be believed. Linux is for the people who want a cheap playstation and not a small office at home.
So, here I am, leaving Germany the day before the fun of the elections. But then, this is Germany, where elections are staid affairs, so missing one isn’t going to be the end of the world. What will be interesting will be to see if the AfD – the “Alternative für Deutschland” (Germany’s alternative) – increase their share of the vote. No, this isn’t how America does things: it’s not “if” but by how much they improve their share of the vote.
What was it someone said to Dorothy Parker? “Oh, darling, I’m writing a book.” To which Dot responded, “I’m not writing one either.” It’s great to speak of writing a book, to actually write one implies a rather different situation altogether. Dorothy Parker was an experienced storyteller and journalist, and knew the pitfalls. Just wanting to write is not enough. But then, it never was.
It is the middle of the night and all is quiet. Routine on a naval ship is the normality; the routine in the small hours of the night is even more crucial, because that’s the time when people are at their least aware. It’s nature: humans are better asleep in the depths of the night. Standing around in the dark is simply not as interesting as standing around during the daytime. Even at sea, there are things to see in the daylight, like a seagull. At least there is something; when it’s dark, it’s just one fug of nothingness. The blackness becomes boring for the rating standing lookout on the bridge of the USS Porter.
Occasionally I share something from a blogger who is truly remarkable. The way she looks at things is something that each and every one of us can learn from. This time, it’s the way she describes her friend’s eyes.
I was in conversation with a wannabe biochemist a few days ago. I say ‘wannabe’ because the gentleman in question is a retired electrical engineer. Well, you can imagine he knows a lot about electrons and a lot less about biochemistry.
My friend Hendrik and I were chatting, and he mentioned that his university had cut the time he would have to mark his exams. He said that they were only allowing him two weeks instead of three to hand in the results.
Naturally, being me, I asked him if three years ago, they’d told him that he’d only have three weeks to mark the exams instead of four?
All Hendrik could say was “how can you know that?”