Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

Great Scott

Most off-putting opening page of any heralded novel anywhere: Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The rest beautiful, smooth sailing, a high American Soap: tux, chaise-longue and mantle piece de rigueur when (re)reading the work, others please abstain.


True, some want power badly, but ‘the’ people couldn’t care less. They often don’t even care under what system they live, but there’s one thing they demand: and that’s justice. Not just criminal justice, but social justice, economic justice, justice in schooling and in health. If a regime is not seen as seriously attempting to deliver this, it is doomed. It could take 50 years, but it will go. Witness Stalinism, Maoism, Apartheid, Baatism and many other political ‘constructs’.


Never stiffen the back of a Celt. Never pressure him, not even innocently, he’ll react rudely, obstinately and sometimes unconscionably, defending what he considers to be his birth-right to stealthy sloth and all its accompanying deviousness & insincerity. But of course peace between us is always in the offing, one whereby I buy the drinks and they promise to buy my books!


I’ve said it many times: it takes two to be decent. The slaughter, the torture, the disfigurements in the hundreds of thousands the opponent is capable of are nothing, I repeat nothing next to the bit of belittleing and waterboarding in order to prevent another 3000 Americans from getting murdered. Principle is fine, but appeasement is deadly as we all know. Retroactive morality for political purposes should tie Congress down for more than the duration of its sessions, if applied over the last two hundred years, especially when taking into account Hiroshima and Dresden, later deemed ‘overkill’ by many fine, trusting, gardening citizens. A ruling party has no longterm future if it can’t differentiate between solidarity and complicity. It is a scandalous conceit to judge those at the helm on 9/11 with Sunday school morality not devoid of malice all its own.

Nuclear Zoo

Perhaps the international community should reserve an enclosed, outdoor sanctuary letting loose the insane-by-conviction, those creating one hell in order to live in a subsequent one, all reason lost, providing them with bombs, mortars, hand grenades and machine guns, and see what happens. Like some nature park since they’re part of it, experts observing them from a safe distance as they annihilate each other, causes, violent beliefs and all. Big problems on occasion, only able to eliminate themsèlves. The final show. But also the ultimate spectator sport.


They walked slowly, like two snails on their way to a funeral, only missing a mourning black shell.


Peeling back the onion, getting to the core, I’m a sober, no-nonsense bottom-liner, attempting to take notions to their ultimate historical dimension, agreeable the outcome or not. Too many academics, politicians, business and religious leaders and media analysts conclude prematurely, not leaving or altering the periphery of their comfort zone. Even otherwise very well reasoned positions abruptly stopped, a sudden defensive intellectual abnegation setting in. Here and no further, an invisible chalk circle, but unfinished, inconsistent and self-serving thought the real cause of much human suffering. That vision thing, perception but also altruistic instinct falling short, plus the feeling that enormity justifies negligence, provides useful anonymity, passivity. Boire la mer, as the French say, quite impossible, but over-indulging apparently not. For instance to some the night is prison, to others bringing liberation, but both notions not extended to their ultimate dimension, that place where both joy and suffering rightfully, unselfishly diminish by becoming one.

Civil Tumors

Savage capitalism should be held in check to the same degree as savage socialism. Savage statism with a cancerous, preposterously unionized civil service that only cares about itself and gobbles up the bulk of GDP, needs the urgent extirpation of its tumor as a start. Then give excellent surviving cells a raise.


This from the Madrid Coroner Garcia Andrade in an amazing Semanal Magazine interview: If a family is penniless, I perform my work for free. Take the Fonseca matter, his sister so terribly distraught and desperate to find the real cause of his death. The police denies knowing anything, yet he died in their custody. These people are black, need I say more! I detest racism, I despise prejudice, let all the Spanish in Guinea get killed just so people here in Spain know what it is like to be hated. Believe me, there is no real difference between any of us. And yes, we’re all assassins if circumstances line up.

The most illustrious corpses have passed through my hands. From Tyrone Power to Bing Crosby. I mostly see extreme stress, the agony of death on their faces, except, and I’ll never forget it, Crosby’s expression: it was a smile of total bliss.

I listen far more to what a cadaver tells me, than to what people have to say. I love life, it’s only when constantly confronted with the downside, that one truly appreciates the utter magnificence of the rest. An additional second, a tantalizing inch the wrong way, I can see it alter one’s universe completely, I can see it permanently change one’s fate. Observing such things is the beauty of my job…

Oh, Iran!

I too think in recent strife all fingers point at Iran. And Al Queda will remain a deadly, ‘romantic’ gang, disturbing but never disrupting and always just that: a gang. But Iranian religious neo-cons think they’ve found themselves a niche from which to aggrandize themselves and at the same time shame their sizeable, young domestic opposition into complacency. They know they can’t take on the world, a backward nation with barely 70 million souls on board cannot have such wet dreams. But the hawks smell they can eventually rightly or wrongly be seen as having the West retreat significantly from all Islamic territories and severely limit Israeli ambitions, which would guarantee their pre-eminence in the muslim world and have the long oppressed Chiites end up ruling the more numerous and traditionally more powerful Suunis. That final victory won’t hold for two good reasons. Iranians are not Arabs and sooner than later deferring to them will cause unbearable chafing. The other reason is the final realization by the great developed nations that they can no longer build their societies around the availability of fossil fuels, if anything for compelling ecological reasons. Petroleum therefore becoming a commodity only as important as barley and soya. Plus Israel will come to realize it must be brotherly and buy itself into Palestinian graces, removing that thorn in the arse as a dynamo of all that misspent Islamic energy. But all of this will go on another decade or two.(summer 06)

(I wrote this three years ago, so only seventeen years left, towards peace)

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