Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

Holy Mess

When I was quite young I got some guacamole all over my ukulele. It was horrible, horrible…

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Pain On The Plains

Of course the tail never wags the dog and Socialists are  there to correct, to protect, but ideologically and by definition, at least by themselves, incapable of solving a serious economic and financial, national or international crisis. To wit Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece and their Left all caught with their pink pants down.

But the Spanish PM took the cake. Always ‘gone’, but now really gone, the guy who could only speak in aphorisms and abstract generalisations, his vacant eyes, his inappropriate, some say goofy smile, his resounding voice of nothing, never understanding what was really going on, delivering platitude upon platitude, that party hack unable to run a fruit store if he got paid for it, but endlessly admired by his groupies.

The previous Socialist leader Felipe Gonzales, when asked, unkindly assessing him with this one word: Lucky.

Lucky how Zapatero won the leadership of his Socialist party, lucky how, totally unprepared, he won the leadership of his country, a provincial lawyer from a small-time town, unable to speak a word of English. But what Don Felipe omitted to say was that the country wasn’t this lucky. Not that Zapatero created all of the mess, but because of his total denial and ineptness in dealing with it. Like the captain blaming the storm for the shipwreck, but having made not a single believable attempt to circumnavigate it.

Spanish Socialists then, suffering from that deadly disease of misplaced loyalty, which got them into their current electoral debacle, when they should have taken a page out of the British parliamentary playbook. A tradition whereby a political party swiftly removes its own leader before his or her mandate is over, in order to limit damage and assure its own survival and in the way that Heath, Thatcher, Major, Hague, Duncan Smith and Howard got yanked off the stage, or Callaghan, Foot, Kinnock and all those others, on the Left side of life.

It behoves the PSOE to introduce the mechanism of such corrective action, modern politics are swift and ever more unforgiving with the advent of individual yet mass social communication networks beginning to play such a major role in weak societies blighted with incompetent governance.

Insisting on serving out a term or needing months instead of weeks to organise a leadership conference more political suicide, Muchachos!

O Lusitania

Tabucchi loves Lisbon, the film director Wenders loves Lisbon, and I much like Lisbon: the sweet urban decadence of it, the formidable Atlantic ocean of it making it Europe’s last vestige on the southern flank, but also an easy, open way to the new world, as far as the immensely flowing Amazon. 

A city in a nation well positioned for potential greatness, but Portugal still needing to be represented in the international literary canon with as only available candidate at one point, the poet Fernando Pessoa. A chap through his compositions and spiritual meanderings contributing to its name, ironically named pessoa, meaning person in Portuguese, yet a man cleverly made up of many personae, writing as three completely different bards, in thought, in style as well as in background, not dealing much with human essence in historical context, as he was more apt to make this up.

A man as fragmented as his personifications causing that in the end it is not the work that is the man, but the man who is the work.  And I have some difficulty with this, because as lovely as he could write, is this really genius? Yes, I do confess having ambivalent feelings about Pessoa’s craft, finding the stream of consciousness in his Book of Disquiet and other works beguiling, but in the end also very disconcerting and somewhat out of control. While others rave about it, I find it a four dimensional rave, at times becoming tiresome. But then am I perhaps too sober for high-minded, literary schizophrenia of the sort?

Unlike contemporaries like his fellow cosmopolite Kazantzakis of Greece or Joyce of Ireland, Pessoa lacks the cohesive, comprehensive body of their work. As a linguistic polyglot due to a partial South African upbringing able to and becoming an almost Atlantic critic and poet, he desperately identified and followed every foreign literary trend, while claiming ‘solitude devastated him, company oppressed him, the presence of another person derailing his thoughts, dreaming of the other’s presence with a strange absent-mindedness that no amount of analytical scrutiny could define etc etc’, and yet, go figure, still be that very public Lisbon Café Society plum.

And isn’t all scrutiny analytical, or it wouldn’t be scrutiny?

A literary omnivore and chameleon, exotic to some, admired by many, but with a complex I say, adding to Portuguese letters less with words than with presence, a dandy seeking to fascinate, always looking abroad, and gaining attention and approval incidentally while hopelessly over-compensating towards his aim.

Still Pessoa, while sometimes a pesa’o, seems to have had a developed sense of humour and when he writes ‘A firefly flashes forward at regular intervals. Around me the dark countryside is a huge lack of sound that almost smells pleasant.’ why don’t we help him crack a smile and ask ‘the countryside almost smells ‘peasant’?

A new, major Portuguese literary talent is long overdue.

Saramago was not enough!

Split of Champagne

If, and as her name implies, Demi is only half a Moore, I’ll have the unused side!

French Commodore

The new leader of the French opposition, the Socialist François Hollande was recently described by his opponents as The Captain of a Pedalo!

Interesting metaphor!

Sucking Thumb!

Simpático, but Cain ain’t Abel, isn’t that clear?

And avuncular Newt a gnat when it comes to judgment, yet a comfortable bear.

It looks like even the tough GOP pines for a candidate, it can hug.

As for changing one’s assessment while circumstances and facts change forever, why is this called flip-flopping?

A warm blanket and political entrenchment are a sure sign of lack of vision, don’t you see that?

Now grow up!

The Multiple Asshole

Socrates, Gone! Zapatero, Gone! Berlusconi, Gone! Papandreou, Gone! Mubarak, Gone! Khadaffi, Gone! Ben Ali, Gone!

Still missing Bouteflikka, Assad, Netanyahu, those Gaza backwards with as only hesitant proponents of some sort of reason, Sarkozy, Erdogan and HRH MVI, in other words nearly full circle!

The entire mediterranean sphincter having its contractions, but like a purifying financial and dictatorial gastroenteritis, now in need of vasoline, soft wine and gentle understanding.

Poet In Motion

Such is inspiration and very few scholars know this, but the Bard was quite fond of his Scottish housekeeper and her enormous tits, one day finally nicking her flower, before nicknaming her… MacBoth!

All In A Name

So I unexpectedly ran into Ralph, a sometime drinking buddy of mine. It was lunch time, the street crowded when he stopped me dead in my track. Ralph, I said, what a surprise, what’s up man, going for a drink tonight? At which point a third person interrupted us, saying to Ralph: Frank, how the hell are yah? How are tricks, new girlfriend all right? Sorry, gotta run, catch you at the game tomorrow!

Frank, I asked Ralph? Isn’t your name….

Goddammit, I hate this! This guy always calls me Frank, and he’s not the only one!!!!

Well, I said, now you know how Ralph Sinatra must have felt all his life!

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