A Human Menagerie

Professors And People You Shouldn’t

Be Nasty To.

The purpose of this blog is to get people thinking for themselves. It is the most important thing a person can do as an individual. Without being able to think for oneself, it means that the greater part of your life is going to be spent doing things that others tell you to. Which isn’t being the uniquely placed human being, is it?

We all need to work, do a job, and for most of us that means doing as we’re told. That’s fair enough, and we all need to pay our way. I worked for my clients, painted their walls in colours that I truly hated, but it was their house and they wanted to live there and I only had to paint it. They were happy with the result and the result was that I could come home to my flat that is done out with Laura Ashley wallpaper. That I bought twenty five rolls for twenty euros need not detain us here. It’s the boring kind of wallpaper I like. Continue reading “Professors And People You Shouldn’t”

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Modern Times

Chaos In Italy!

You’ll have seen it in the headlines – today’s Guardian newspaper speaks of “As one EU headache subsides in Germany, another starts in Italy.

So far so good.

If you’re a Brit, that is. Because in Britain, elections are – or at least should be – clear cut affairs with a clear cut result. The reasoning is simple: you get the most votes, you get the seat. You get the most seats you get the power. But then, this has serious disadvantages if you happen to be on the loony left or the nutty right. Or the centre party, the Liberal Democrats joined at the hip after a split in the 1980s that decimated both parties’ representation in the House of Commons. Even in the last election in 2017, they received 7.4% of the vote and got 1.8% of the seats. The system only makes any sense if you’re powerful. Continue reading “Chaos In Italy!”

A Sideways View · Japan · The Comfort Zone

A Sideways Look At Information Control.

Those of you who have understood the things I spoke about in my series on the subconscious will at least be aware of the secrets that lie behind control.

Whomsoever wishes to control will do so because they know that they are correct. I will explain: someone wishing to control does so because they know no better. Sounds like a paradox, doesn’t it? But I assure you, it is not. If a person knows no better, how can they truly know their limitations? Those you can only learn if you are ready and willing to listen to what the world around you is trying to say.

Continue reading “A Sideways Look At Information Control.”

A Human Menagerie · Mind The Gap!

AfD: What Kind Of Alternative Are They For Germany?

Die Zeit says that extremist parties are on the up and the socialists are losing out. Yes, Germany should watch out… this post explores what the AfD are bringing to German politics.

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.

Continue reading “AfD: What Kind Of Alternative Are They For Germany?”

Economics · Mind The Gap!

Cutting Off The Continent.

A Very British Brexit.

Britain is, and always will be a very odd place to live for anyone who is used to the way Europeans live. Storms in the English channel that stop the ferries running between Dover and Calais are always headlined as “Continent Cut Off”. The British point of view is nothing if not eccentric. Britain, that small island just off the northern coast of Europe, is something of an afterthought in the mind of the average European.

Now I have lived in Europe for the better part of my life, and if there is one thing that has been consistent to any of the countries I lived in – Denmark, Germany and latterly, the Netherlands – it is the lack of understanding about Britain’s place in Europe. Here in Europe, it is necessary to register one’s place of abode, and on no few occasions, that is to say, in each case of registering, I had been asked to show that I, as a Briton, had the correct papers to allow me to live and work in their country.

I pleaded that Britain was a member of the European Union.

The response was as consistent as it was confused: “Britain is not a member of the European Union” later this changed to “Britain isn’t in the Eurozone.” After all, any European country of any sensible size was a member of the Eurozone, the gathering of countries who use the Euro as their currency. Ergo: if you weren’t in the Eurozone, you weren’t in the European Union.

Continue reading “Cutting Off The Continent.”

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.

Continue reading “The Ascent Of The Literary Murder.”