Monday, 20 September 2021

Deaf to moral discords

For Christianity, in its essence and origin, was an urgent summons to repent and come out of just such a worldly life as modern liberty and progress hold up as an ideal to the nations. In the Roman empire, as in the promised land of liberalism, each man sought to get and to enjoy as much as he could, and supported a ponderous government neutral as to religion and moral traditions, but favourable to the accumulation of riches; so that a certain enlightenment and cosmopolitanism were made possible, and private passions and tastes could be gratified without encountering persecution or public obloquy, though not without a general relaxation of society and a vulgarising of arts and manners.

That something so self-indulgent and worldly as this ideal of liberalism could have been thought compatible with Christianity, the first initiation into which, in baptism, involves renouncing the world, might well astonish us, had we not been rendered deaf to moral discords by the very din which from our birth they have been making in our ears.

George Santayana - Winds Of Doctrine Studies in Contemporary Opinion (1913)

We certainly have a ponderous government neutral as to religion and moral traditions - and the din is a good deal louder now. The tone is changing too. There are shrill sounds of outrage that things are not going well for the world of indoor fantasy.

Presumably they all cycled to New York

Rich countries must do more to help developing nations cut carbon emissions, Boris Johnson will tell other world leaders at a high-level gathering in New York.

The prime minister will be hosting the meeting on climate change with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres.

It is understood Mr Johnson is likely to focus on coal, cash support, cars and trees, which soak up carbon dioxide.

The prime minister is also expected to discuss global warming with US President Joe Biden in a meeting at the White House in Washington.

Presumably they all cycled to New York...
But of course they didn't, they were wafted there in luxury and security via the essential agency of fossil fuels. Oh well - it would be interesting to listen to Boris having a discussion on global warming with Joe Biden. Interesting in a ghoulish sense.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Two Deliveries

1. Placed an Amazon order yesterday for delivery today. This morning our account showed us the times for our delivery slot. The package has just arrived within the delivery slot. The delivery van drove off and seconds later an Amazon email arrived telling us the parcel has been delivered.

2. Placed a medical supplies order yesterday for delivery who knows when because the GP surgery is involved. Off the shelf items but delivery likely to be about three weeks as usual. That's my estimate - they don't have one. There will be no time slot and no email telling me the package has been delivered.

Saturday, 18 September 2021

The real problem - why is she there?

Living, and having ever lived, amid idealisms, she was too subjective in her interpretation of phenomena so new to her. 

George Gissing - A Life's Morning (1888)

In Angela Rayner's case that would be phenomena provided by reality such as human reproductive biology. That's certainly one she should have grasped, but apparently not -

Angela Rayner has “doubled down on her support for trans people”, according to the perennial drongos over at journalism parody PinkNews. This afternoon, Ms Rayner — presumably taking a break from her day job as an MP to work within Labour’s burgeoning side-hustle as “Demolition Experts (Red Walls Only)” — retweeted the article with the inane addendum:

Solidarity with my trans brothers and sisters today and always. The Labour Party is absolutely committed to advancing trans rights and updating the GRA to introduce self-declaration for trans people and upholding the Equality Act. Your fight is our fight.


To criticise people such as Angela Rayner may be necessary, but the real problem is why she is in a position to warrant it. Should she really have the opportunity to be preposterous in a position where it matters?

Card Tables

Yesterday evening and this morning we’ve been amusing Granddaughter by playing a game called Ding. It’s a card game where you aim to make tricks and move pieces around a simple circular board depending on how many tricks you made. A good game to play with youngsters because they pick it up easily and each game doesn’t last too long.

Because of increasingly creaky knees we decided we'd had enough of playing the game on the rug. Instead we rigged up a low card table from a stool and a couple of chairs. It worked well enough, saved the knees and reminded me of my parents’ card table from the days when families still amused themselves without the aid of electronics. Their card table was a simple folding affair with wooden legs and a green baize top. At one time such tables must have been made in vast quantities.

In those days, Mum and Dad would sometimes have a contract bridge evening with a couple of friends or relatives. Those evenings I still recall quite vividly because of the tobacco smoke and hot dogs served afterwards. We were used to the tobacco smoke and hot dogs were a real treat.

There are still plenty of old card tables to be found on the antiques market, some Victorian examples being both impressive to look at and perfectly usable today. Not that we’d ever buy one. The stool will have to do.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Stuck in a time loop

A PARANORMAL investigator believes a photo taken at a former Working Men's club in York is "100 per cent" evidence of spirits.

The picture was published on Rightmove by Ashtons Estate Agents as part of the listing for the former New York Club & Institute on Blossom Street.

It appears to show two figures - wearing a black jacket, jeans which are slightly frayed at the leg and black shoes - looking out of a now boarded up window.

We asked Alex Brown - the man behind The British Paranormal Society, followed over 40,000 people on Facebook - what he thought about the strange image...

The York-based expert believes the photo has captured people who are stuck in a time loop or people whose energy is trapped in the building.

Could be worse I suppose - stuck in a time loop. Stay with a known shambles rather than having to adapt to an endless series of new ones. Yes - apart from being dead there are advantages.

Thursday, 16 September 2021



What the surrounding lackeys thought of this singular episode I will not guess. Indeed, the longer I live, the less I care to meditate upon what lackeys do think. But that the adventures of their employers provide them with ample food for thought there can be no doubt.

Arnold Bennett - The Ghost (1907)

Seems too dismissive, but the coronavirus debacle has hammered home the message that these people are establishment lackeys. There is little indication that they aspire to be anything else. It is not even clear that there is what we might call the political space to be anything else.