Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Saturday Snapshot on a Weekday: Purgatory nº 5

Now, strictly speaking there is nothing 'purgatorial' about this here spot. But it does resemble the earlier snapshots of roadside chapels and Grandma Moses renderings of the Afterlife so much that I decided to post the stuff anyway.

Today's pictures come from the crossroads in a small, forgotten, run down little hamlet, previously on the grand road from Santiago de Compostela to the coastal metropolis of Noia, today lost in the wilderness left by new highways right left and above, called Alqueidon (ayuntamiento de Brion, Coruña). There, where the Rua de Santiago meets the Rua da Fonte (how DO they come up with such original names...?) stands this little chapel above the Fuente de San Antonio (of Padua, in case you were wondering).

There is no date. There is no year. I have no idea when the little chapel was first built. But I am positive that this one has been around for a long long long long time. Quite possibly we're talking of neolithic times, seeing that there are many dolmen in the neighborhood, and that from times immemorial wells were thought to be holy places (which is why so many churches are built near a well, and why we toss coins into the waters, a sacrifice to the spirit that inhabits them, hoping our wishes will come true...)

San Antonio himself is a paragon of simple, popular art. The grid in front won't let you see him very well, but do take note of the Infant Jesus (in Franciscan habit as well!) on his left arm (right side for you, dear reader), the palm branch - actually meant to be a lilly of virginity - in his right, and the weirdo decoration behind his head, which is not, actually, a halo, but is supposed to make you think of a Santiago shell...

And here is San Antonio's little collection box, on the right lower side, with another 15 cm statue of the saint. 

Now, I believe there is money in there. But it just so happens that many many years ago they lost the key to that rotten old rusty lock; so the grid cannot be opened and the money not collected. Local lore has it that ample prayers have been offered to the appropriate saint for help in recovering the key... But so far without result. Nobody knows why...  

Monday, 29 July 2013

Balonews nº 1: Bondage!

No, dear reader, I cannot refrain. Yes, I already knew that people are silly. Indeed: I was aware that they are not half as smart and sophisticated as they always pretend to be. But my oh my: I did not know they were THIS simple, THIS superficial and – let it be said outright – THIS incredibly idiotic!

Kindly take a deep breath, then take cognizance of the following most ludicrous news item.

Due to the success of the erotic trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey – which apparently describes ad nauseam the adventures of some bored and boring SM-couple from suburbia – the inhabitants of London are now experimenting with their sexuality. It seems that their ordinary libido was never strong enough to inspire them to move into the direction of more kinky activities. But turned on by this second-hand, third-class, much diluted Marquis de Sade fantasy scribbling they really got going in the bunga bunga mode (and we still wonder why the English do not enjoy a reputation for being irresistible studs…)

And what is the result? The London Fire Department has just released a detailed list of what sort of emergencies they’ve been called upon to solve over the last few months. It turns out that since 2010, ever more people have to be liberated from the handcuffs with which they are locked to pieces of common furniture. Last year no fewer than 79 found themselves shackled - I must suppose in a state of extreme undress – to microwave ovens, bedside tables, flat screen television sets and overhead fans running at full speed… Without a clue where the keys might be…

That aside, the fire brigade was called upon 500 times (!!!!!!) to free people from tight rings around their fingers (marriage rings, we suppose?), 9 people with such a ring around their virile members (a very large ring around a very small organ, we hope?) and one fellow who got stuck with his dick in a toaster oven!!!

For the benefit of certain Liverputians
who do not know what a toaster oven is...

Oh dear oh dear oh dear… Où sont les good old bouteilles de lait d'antan, I wonder…? Not to mention the vacuum cleaners…

The fire department says it published this list ‘to warn people to be more cautious’. Unfortunately they did not (yet) decide to add audio-visual aids to their warnings, by publishing their pictural findings on YouTube and other social sites. Is it not high time, I ask, that we caution the public for the Considerable Dangers of Reading and the Risks involved in ‘Literature’ by showing them all the ridiculous, ludicrous, laughable, hilarious and ‘stimulating’ footage that Mr Cameron’s Porno-filter will soon not allow us to see no more??

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Edward Snowden’s Joke of the Day

The power of modern mass media is truly astonishing. They can swing worldwide public opinion at their will, like a pendulum that does their bidding, often against all reason and against all logic. The other day I showed you (here in this article) how they made us all applaud first the defeat of the Egyptian Army, and then the triumph of the Egyptian Army, in almost seamless succession. Which makes a fine example of their sway over our defenceless minds.

But there is of course much more of this sort of soft, velvet demagogy going on. So much more, in fact, that I often wonder if Alfred B Mittington is the only person left on earth who still thinks clearly, independently and courageously. Wanna take the test? Come, take the test with me! Read the following burning questions, give us an honest answer, and you’ll be surprised to what extent you yourself have been brainwashed. Here goes:

I dislike people who work for the CIA                                               Agree / Disagree

Nobody should take an oath of loyalty to a spy agency                     Agree / Disagree

Any man who breaks his word of honour is loathsome                      Agree / Disagree

Edward Snowden is a hero                                                                  Agree / Disagree

See what I mean? I have no doubt that each one of you enlightened folks and friends-of-mine who answered the first three questions honestly gave me in answer a threesome of resounding ‘Agree’s’. And yet each one of us – pushed by the modern mass media, who adore and revere and applaud the fellow – also feels the urge to agree with the last statement, which (must I point it out?) is at complete and utter loggerheads with the previous ones.

For young mister Snowden DID hire himself out to the CIA, dear reader. He DID sign a contract with them of his own free will; he accepted their money; he took a formal oath of loyalty; and he broke that oath when he thought that treason was the more admirable course of action... As if he did not know beforehand whom he was going to work for and was awfully shocked to learn what we all already knew for the last twenty years: that the intelligence agencies of all modern states are spying on us wherever and whenever they get the chance, making fine use of all those digital gadgets we love to use without thinking!

Deeply disappointed at the doings of his own government, Mr Snowden is now saying that he was only an honest and innocent patriot who did not know what he was getting into. I don’t believe a word of it. Was he really that dumb? Does the CIA really hire people who are so incredibly stupid? Ay, if only! For in that case we’d have nothing to fear from the American spy agencies! They must be packed with dunces!

Unfortunately that is not the case, and we do have a massive problem. But it is not a problem that will be solved by second-rate whistle-blowers and their obsolete, passé revelations…

Benedict Arnold's Oath of Loyalty...

Is Mr Snowden a hero? Does he deserve the Noble Peace Prize (no less!) and a statue next to that of Mandela, Ghandi, King and Christ? Well, I do not think so. Rather than a hero, I think young Mr Snowdon is a loser; a poor fellow who saw his chance at some fame of the Wikileaks variety; who does not understand how ephemeral such stardom is; who does not see that the only support he receives comes from notorious anti-American adversaries, who will love him only as long as they can use him against his motherland; and who does not seem to grasp either that after the first media sensation of his revelations has faded (today’s Man Bites Dog and Tree in Cat), he is looking at 30 years in jail, or 50 years of running and hiding, without anybody caring one iota for his fate or his destiny no more (not even you, dear reader, who now feels his blood boil at Alfred B Mittington’s scandalous innuendo…)

How do I know he is so very silly? Why: because of the most recent joke he’s pulled on us! He, the grand champion of Constitutional Freedoms, the Robin Hood of Civic Rights and Legality, the Thermopylae of People Power against the Oppressive State… he goes and asks political asylum in Russia, of all unlikely places on the globe!!!!

Oh, of course I fully agree with Mr Snowden’s choice! Yes I do! For Mr Putin’s Russia is an example to us all! It is a fully functioning democracy that would never spy on own citizens, or the nationals of foreign countries. It is a state of law that would never trample human rights and constitutional privileges under the boots of its secret services and spy agencies. It has always observed the strictest legality in its dealings with the individual, and of course it never ever cracked down on, or misbehaved towards, its own native whistle-blowers… (just scan this here article quickly).

That then is the regime Mr Snowden runs to, for friendship and protection in his fight against State Oppression…!

Mr Snowden is a laugh and a parody of himself, who makes Benedict Arnold stand out as a sensible man. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Golden Quotebook: Weber prophetic on the EU

In an essay entitled 'Politics as a Vocation', the German sociologist Max Weber points out that a strong federal government cannot be established until it alone, and not the individual states which comprise it, has in its hands all mayor administrative functions and the sole power to wage war. When an individual state in a federation no longer can raise enough revenue to maintain its own armies, says Weber, and has to depend on the federal government for money, then that state has lost in actuality the sovereignty it may still maintain as a fiction. 

[Max Dimont, Jews, God and History, Book 1, chapter 3]

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Tutanchamon for President!

The Ancient Egyptians believed that time was somehow circular. It started and ended anew with every reign. Whenever the old king died, primeval chaos would break out throughout the land: war, famine, rebellion, epidemics and a very obnoxious plague of head lice. Then the new Pharaoh would rise to the throne, and – as a sign of his divine appointment – he would set the land mystically straight and return the realm to Order. Upper and Lower Egypt would be happy. Inundation and harvest would be optimal. Every man and woman knew their station. Until that king died and the land would be plunged into chaos once again…

As we have seen over the last few days, Modern Egypt has retained that notion… With this minor difference that, instead of solving the chaos, every new ruler seems to cause a fresh bout of mayhem.

Today, Egypt is back where it started two years ago, and once again we in the West are applauding the change. And that, to tell the truth, astonishes me a little. For what is the fact? The fact is that we are applauding those very same folks we found so appalling a mere two years ago! Back in 2011, the Twitter Youth of Tahrir Square rose against the Military Regime, and we scolded the Egyptian Army for being despotic. All of the Western press and – slavishly in its wake – public opinion in Europa and America burst out in euphoria, for here was a modern, secular movement of dynamic clean-cut kids in a Muslim land, that stood up to military oppression so as to get our kind of Western democracy, a state of law, unlimited internet access, damsels in undress and affordable fast food restaurants. It was, our correspondents never tired of telling us, a glorious Arab Spring, a sexy rebellion, run by the young, beautiful, digitally savvy YouTube generation.

Well, Mubarak fell, the military bowed its head to reality, and the Tahrir Twitterers got their democracy. But it did not turn out as we had all hoped so ardently. There was very little Peace on Earth for Everybody anywhere in sight. In big cities and rural villages, Copts got lynched and their churches were burned down. In provincial capitals soccer hooligans belonging to different shifts of society took one another on in immense battles which left dozens of death on the football field. And surely worst of all: when elections were held, not our beloved Youtube Youth or their liberal city bourgeoisie parents won the contest, but the Muslim Brotherhood and its even more radical Salafist cousins. The former reaped 40 % of the vote; the latter 25 %; so that a plain two thirds of the electorate voted the dreaded Islamic Conservatives. Those liberal secular urban intellectual parties we love and admire so much, had trouble to rake in 15 %...

Ooops… that was not what the West had counted on. 

You see: what our expert correspondents, commentators, pundits and would-be prophets had overlooked in their hurry to sing the praises of Arab Springtime, was that beyond Cairo and Alexandria there is this little thing called the Egyptian Countryside, which is inhabited by certain people called ‘peasantry’ (look up what that means onWikipedia) who do not have Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and 4th generation smartphones, who often do not even have electricity or running water, who speak no foreign languages and do not go to school in Paris and London, and who firmly believe that the Holy Koran ought to have more say in the daily running of things than the Constitution or the Declaration of Human Rights (both of whose existence they probably ignore). And – minor detail – these funny people make up roughly 80 % of the Egyptian population…

Fortunately for us honest democrats, Mr Morsi, when coming to power, made a mess of things. Fortunately as well, the military knew how to bide its time and await its chances to return to the fray. The high courts, still packed with soldiers’ friends, made sure to disband parliament in time and to declare the new Constitution invalid. Wrong legislation at the wrong time kept the mood in the land boiling and broiling. Corruption never stopped, tourists stayed away, prices rose as foreign currency melted away… The Twitter Generation – or whatever it had turned into by now – returned to Tahrir Square. Morsi sent the Police to get rid of them. And then the Army came out in defence of the new rebellion, tilting the scales, and put Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood leadership under house arrest. This is called the Second Revolution, but if we are honest we admit that it is of course a simple military coup and a return to the Status Quo Ante, with the Muslim Brotherhood now humiliated as the Military was humiliated back in 2011.

Once again the West applauds.

We have not learned from history or our previous mistakes…

Once again we deceive ourselves that this sexy young liberal urban rich cosmopolitan educated Western style shift of the big cities represents the broad masses of the Egyptians. They do not. At best they represent 10 % of the population.

Our other mistake is to think that this group is now coming out on top and will rule the land. They will not. They are too few for that. If ever they get to rule, it will merely be as stool pigeons for one or the other of the two main groups that do possess the muscle to run things: the soldiers who have the guns and the Islamists who have the numbers.

What is next? Why, your guess is as good as mine. But seeing the above, allow me a small prophecy: if there are indeed new elections, the soldiers will have to ban the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists parties. For if they allow them to participate, we will have the same outcome all over again! Get it through your heads: the Egyptian countryside votes Islamic. And much as certain shifts of the countryside electorate may have grown disappointed with President Mursi and his government, I cannot believe that its entire 65 % share of the 2012 elections has somehow melted away completely.

Egypt has come full circle, and we are waiting for a new Pharaoh to restore peace and order.

But don’t hold your breath until he does… It may be a while before he rises from the dead…

Ancient Egyptians Twittering...