Sunday, July 16, 2017

If you are feeling a bit down in the dumps, may I recommend Leonard Cohen? He should finish you off. If by any chance you are still on your feet, try any one of the many requiems written for that very purpose.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

The Upshot: Applying Data Analysis to Jane Austen

For extra emphasis, Miss Austen may on occasion repeat a word, as in "very, very tremendous" and in "my very, very good friend Colonel Brandon". Miss Austen does not shy away from graphic description of violence if she thinks they will help her make a point: At another moment, Colonel Trump tells Miss Woodbine "I shill be going going to London to discuss American Carnage with Lloyd Blankfein , Steven Mnuchin and other members of the Washington Swamp.

On another tack completely: if American evangelists, born-again Christians etc. believed in the after-life as much as they profess to do, surely they would be at pains to adhere to something more closely resembling a Christian life, or at the very least try their hand at a bit of death-bed repentance?

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Fulham Road

"You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way."
This intriguing admonition is written on a blackboard outside a florist's at the nether end of Fulham Rd, a long way from its splendour at South Kensington and just before it's about to give up the ghost and fork right into Fulham Palace Rd or left into Fulham High St and Putney Rd.
The quotation is from Walter Hagen and I am prepared to bet that I am one of the few passers-by in this cosmopolitan part of London who actually know who Hagen is or was. And a fat lot of good it's done me. He was a professional American golfer, "active" as they say at about the same time as Bobby Jones.

Also to be seen in Fulham Rd is a man wending his way in the direction of Bishop's Palace or Fulham Broadway. As Gerry Rafferty once sang "He's got that look on his face". He's also got a parrot perched on each shoulder, or should that be "both shoulders"? Anyway, they are perched all right.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

A year almost to this day, I read a book called Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Of all the books I have read in recent times, and indeed over a longer stretch of time, I think this is the one that has impressed me the most, so much so that I thought it would be worth re-reading. Well, one year down the line and at the second time of asking, it's almost as though I have never read it. Along with a host of other books, it has been completely erased from what is still referred to in polite circles. How can a work of such brilliance leave so little trace? More to the point, what does medical science intend to do about it?

I have also read, or am in the process of reading, illuminating, harrowing or haunting books like Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow; Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning; Under A Cruel Star: Life in Prague 1941-1968; Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin; The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939; Ardennes 1944: Hitler's Last Gamble; Paris After The Liberation: 1944-1949, together with a host of other books, including National Geographic Guidebooks to Turkey and India. Again, I really need not have bothered for all that I can remember of them.

I don't know what it is, but whereas in the past I could read countless accounts of atrocities  and horrors without completely losing my sense of perspective, I find that nowadays I am completely thrown off my stride. I never thought i would write these words but I think that, next time round, I would be a pacifist.

Friday, June 30, 2017

OK Computer by Radiohead

Generally considered one of the best albums of, that's right, all time

Track List
1. Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain
2. Sealed with a Kiss
3. In the Window (How Much is it?)
4. You what?
5. Tales from the Vienna Woods
6. Carry On Number One
7. Time for Old Time
8. Birth of the Cool
9. Get With it, Daddio
10. Glastonbury or Bust

Radiohead is a Not-for-Profit organization. All proceeds go to worthy causes such as Radiohead.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dunn's Law

The sportier the car, the older the occupant.

One liners are about all I can run to at the moment.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Dis or Dat Utopian

If I come across the word "dystopian" one more time I shall be left with no choice but to look it up and find out what it means.

If you are feeling a bit down in the dumps, may I recommend Leonard Cohen? He should finish you off. If by any chance you are still on your...