Archive for June, 2013
The mentality of the English left-wing intelligentsia can be studied in half a dozen weekly and monthly papers. The immediately striking thing about all these papers is their generally negative, querulous attitude, their complete lack at all times of any constructive suggestion. There is little in them except the irresponsible carping of people who have never been and never expect to be in a position of power. Another marked characteristic is the emotional shallowness of people who live in a world of ideas and have little contact with physical reality.
—George Orwell, “The Lion And The Unicorn,” February 1941
He is seen here having just crossed “the plate,” having scored a “run.”
This “run,” it meant his team had just “gone ahead,” and might be “the winner.”
His face is contorted in an expression meant to convey pride and accomplishment and triumph. He is reveling in having bested others.
He looks like a monkey. Because that’s what he is.
There seems to be a lot of hair-on-fire these days about “jobs.” The burning often concerns the notion that there aren’t enough of them.
Small wonder. Jobs are silly. In the history of humans, they’ve only recently been around. And now—as is true of similar nonsense like cities and money—they’re going the way of the dodo. Good riddance.
However, for people who have only ever lived in job-world, and who cannot think outside the box of job-world, here’s a little tip. If you want real job security, go into the judiciary.
Yesterday I was reading the appellate reports, and came upon a case where the defendant contends, among other things, that the judge who presided over his case had lost all his marbles. Due to bad age and bad chemicals, he had transformed into a dingbat. Judge, thy name was dementia.
However, this judge had served many years, jibbered and jabbered in the remote far-eastern rural hellhole section of that deafening banjo-picking abomination known as Riverside County, and was protected for far too long by his fellow system-dwellers, who did want to embarrass the fossil by publicly decrying him as a being no more qualified to hear cases than a gila monster.
And so he babbled on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
In the course of this defendant’s appeal, many affidavits were filed by attorneys who had appeared before the wingding. An excerpt from one:
Judge Metheny came off the bench, following an evidentiary objection by me, assumed a three-point stance on the floor in the open courtroom, ordered me to get down on the floor opposite him, and threatened to knock me all the way out into the parking lot. When I declined to “assume the position,” the judge then got up and insisted I accompany him to the parking lot so he could knock me around. He had, I believe, imagined he was back at Nebraska State where he was a star football player in the ’40s or thereabouts. That was one of his common regressions . . . .
A three-judge panel of the Ninth US Circuit Court Of Appeals ruled 2-1 last week that such behavior seemed perfectly normal to them.
The dissenting judge began his opinion with these words: “The majority holds that a judge suffering from dementia may sentence a man to death. I disagree.”
But what this dissenter says doesn’t matter. He is the Loser.
The winners are all those who secure employment as a judge. ‘Cause, once up there on the bench, you can serenely spin the propellor on your beanie, and for eons. Secure in the knowledge that you’ll continue to draw the paycheck, week after week, month after month, year after year. Till you go a-molderin’ into the grave. And you can send people to the death house, too, in the meantime.
I must apologize for not writing earlier to thank you for your letter & Caledonia. I liked the latter very much. It is so rare nowadays to find anyone hitting back at the Scotch cult. I am glad to see you make a point of calling them “Scotchmen,” not “Scotsmen” as they like to be called. I find this a good easy way of annoying them.
—George Orwell, letter to Anthony Powell, June 1936
Over the past week the temperatures here have averaged eleventy-billion degrees. It is like living inside a solar flare. Many old people, if they happen to open the door to let the cat out, and inhale just once of the outside air, collapse in a heat coma. They are then rushed to hospitals overflowing with people seeking treatment for third-degree burns incurred when they laid hands on the molten metal handles of the doors to their cars. If you have not seen any of this on the news, it is because there is a Coverup.
During this period, I have not been around this here red, because I have been intensively involved in a Science Man study. You see, it is my hypothesis that, through some Unholy process, the interior and the surface of the earth, they have somehow been Exchanged. So that here, on what once was the surface, we are now living in magma.
However, as ever, all is relative. For yesterday, in the late afternoon, in utter grumperment about the warp-ten heat, and as I was trying not to pass out in the kitchen, I switched on the local community radio station . . . mostly to learn if there might be anyone else left alive.
I heard chirping a young pre-teen, hosting one of the station’s “kids’ shows.”
The heat certainly hadn’t beat this human. In fact, she was content, even joyful, in it. For this plucky little person played the song offered below, “Walking On Sunshine”; the sunshine, or something, making her feel all bouncy, and happy, and hopeful.
And, through her, at least as long as the song lasted, I felt that way, too.
This is Faith, church cat at Church of England (Episcopalian) Church of St Augustine’s and St Faith’s, Watling Street, London.
She was awarded the Dicken Medal in Silver, and a silver medal from the Greenwich Village Humane Society of New York, for her courage in sheltering her kitten (Panda—he was black and white) in a hidey-hole in the rectory basement, to which she had retreated from her more comfortable position upstairs, in the course of a severe bombing raid on the night of 9 September, 1940.
The church and rectory were, basically, battered and burned to destruction by the Luftwaffe, but Faith continued to shield her kitten, under a heap of smouldering rubble, until rescued by her human friends the following day. Shortly afterwards, the remainder of the church fell down, destroying her position of refuge.
Faith resumed her life as church cat, dying peacefully some years later on her mat in front of an ecclesiastical fireplace. The kitten, Panda, went on to a successful career as resident cat in a care home.
Yes, I know—this will seem silly to many In Here. But consider. Apart from the fact that it is true, Faith’s story became widely known in London at the time, and must have contributed to the morale of many hard-pressed Londoners. Her courage and endurance reflected something that Londoners hoped to find in themselves—and generally did.