Our Subconscious · Reality

The Ascent Of The Literary Murder.

This was supposed to be a sort of review and reprise of George Orwell’s “The Decline Of The English Murder,” only my point of view is very different to his. Which makes his essays the more appealing to me. Add Orwell’s beautiful and evocative writing and you have a blissful read.

Not that murders are blissful, but that’s the point of murders – and the point of Orwell looking at their decline. Orwell’s books were written to be read by those who enjoy reading, those who read the story as much for the writing as the story itself. But that is what makes literature; if it’s only a story thinly interwoven by lumpy descriptions, it’s pulp fiction.

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Creativity · Mind The Gap!

The Telephone Call.

It is 1916 and an English gentleman is sitting in the shade of a trottoir café in Limassol on the island of Cyprus. Next to him is a Greek Cypriot tailor. They are both drinking coffee and discussing the events of the day. As they are about to part, the English gentleman says, “as soon as you have definite information, ring up 8456 and ask when it will be convenient for Mr Crowder to try on his new suit.” And adds that if he’s not there, he’ll phone back later in order to confirm the meeting.

So you’ve already spotted that something fishy is going on here, haven’t you?

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Art · The Comfort Zone

Piet Mondriaan: Mill In The Sunlight 1908.

Molen Bij Zonlicht, 1908.

It's as if the painter can't trust his viewer to see what has been painted. But then, with the Dutch, who are a bone headed lot at the best of times, these painters might have had a point.
Piet Mondriaan: Molen Bij Zonlicht.
Collectie Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

I didn’t go to the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague on Saturday to see the Mondriaan exhibition; I went to see the paintings by Isaac Israel and his friend George Breitner. But to get to this exhibition I had to go through the Mondriaan exhibition and it stopped me in my tracks. The exhibition is entitled, “De Ontdekking Van Mondriaan” or ‘Discover Mondrian‘.

Continue reading “Piet Mondriaan: Mill In The Sunlight 1908.”

A Human Menagerie · The Secret Of Systems

Ships That Go Bump In The Night.

http://navylive.dodlive.mil/tag/uss-fitzgerald/
The small hours are boring when you’ve done it for ten years. Source: Navy Live

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.

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Economics · Modern Times

Grenfell Tower.

Well, it’s been all over the news. The inferno that engulfed a tower block was on the front pages from Bild Zeitung to The Times Of India. I’ve read several interesting posts regarding this incident and one brought me a snippet of news that really made me realize what a parlous state the British economy is in today.

Bill40 spoke of how the costs saved on the renovation job was £5,000. And he put this in bold numbers because the sum was so tiny. I know five grand is a lot to many people, but in terms of building, it’s the equivalent of one euro cent. That is to say, you can’t buy anything with that kind of money.

Not in building renovation, at least. The scaffolding for that job would have cost in excess of £30,000. Five grand is peanuts.

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A Human Menagerie · The Comfort Zone

The Unthinking Biochemist.

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.

That doesn’t stop him from believing in things – and the nature of belief is that it is unexplored and thus the belief is unfounded. In common parlance this is called an illusion. Continue reading “The Unthinking Biochemist.”

Modern Times

Slowly, Slowly, Catchee Monkey.

In the last few days, the Russians have set up so-called ‘safe zones’ in Syria. These are areas where military activity has been quelled and is unlikely to be able to form a resurgence. A question from a friend of min on Facebook asked if the Americans are likely to respect these zones, given the fact that the Americans will be denied any right to fly over them.

If the Americans intrude in one of these safe zones – and please remember they’re supporting the terrorists – then they really have no business there. The Americans aren’t bringing peace, are they? They’re nuisances and aiding other nuisances, and since there are clearly no nuisances in these safe zones, they have no need to be there.

Continue reading “Slowly, Slowly, Catchee Monkey.”