Counting Cats in Zanzibar Rotating Header Image

British Culture at it’s finest

It makes ya proud to be a Geordie…

A mother in Newcastle has had 17 children taken into care over a twenty-year period, which is thought to be the highest in the country.

The mother is believed to have been pregnant most of her adult life since the mid-80s, but was not allowed to keep any of her children, who are likely to have been taken from her hours after birth.

This follows research at the University of Lancaster into the feckless ways of Our Friends in The North. Gateshead (my old neck of the woods) came second (think about it) with a mere ten from one woman whereas Cumbria, Sunderland and Durham only got to only a measly nine tops each! For shame!

She must have some mental issues and a pelvis that could pass a bowling ball without discomfort.

I am proud to have been born in Newcastle and brought-up well in Gateshead. I grew-up with heroes like George and Robert Stephenson, Parsons (inventor of the steam turbine), Lord Armstrong (industrialist), Darling (heroine) and Swan (co-inventor of the lightbulb). Not the culture of Geordie Shore.

We are rich in culture. The RSC has a permanent season at the Theatre Royal on Grey Street (named for the Prime Minister)

Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, KG, PC (13 March 1764 – 17 July 1845), known as Viscount Howick between 1806 and 1807, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 22 November 1830 to 16 July 1834. A member of the Whig Party, he backed significant reform of the British government and was among the primary architects of the Reform Act 1832. His government also saw the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. In addition to his political achievements, he has come to be associated with Earl Grey tea.

He has an enormous monument in the centre of the city though the scum that make-up “Geordie Shore”… Well, I will bet you none of them don’t have the slightest idea who he was. They just see Grey Street as a gateway to the Quayside bars where they can buy three shots for a fiver. Or whatever.

Or they could but I would lay my life they never darkened the towels there there is the Lit and Phil which boasts amongst other things the largest private library in this country outside of London.

But a private libray is Elitist Nick? Au contraire!. Look at those annual membership costs. That is less than the fucking TV license (and if you are a kid or student it is a snippance). Nothing is elitist if you can get it for GBP120 pa. Access to a very nice building and borrowing rights to up to twelve books at a time with a very fluid returns policy. Sounds OK to me.

Having 17 kids you cannot provide for you are are nothing but elitist because if that isn’t a sense of entitlement I dunno what is.

The lament of the home-sick Jihadi.

A British jihadist has told how he misses Greggs as well as his friends and family after fleeing for war-torn Syria.

The Islamic State fighter, who gives his name as Abu Abdullah Britani and speaks with a London accent, made the comments in a video interview posted on YouTube by an online news organisation.

My heart bleeds… Last time I had something from Greggs I felt an act of terrorism was occurring in my oesophagus. That’s why I now go to Subway or Pret where they sell food rather than the contents of kitty-pouches bowked into a pasty.

He goes on…

Britani also uses the interview, conducted in a trench in Syria, to say he felt compelled to travel to the country to avenge the “rape of sisters and the killing of children” – although he admits it is bloodthirsty.

So ISIS doesn’t rape, pillage and kill everything that walks or crawls? He’s either an idiot or deluded or believes it’s OK to do that for Allah (these are not mutually exclusive). I tend to go with idiot mainly. Going off to jihad seems increasingly to me like a sort of rebellion like punks in the ’70s with the major caveat that dying your hair pink and getting a nasal septum ring is not the same thing in terms of externalities. I am fairly sure Johnnie Rotten never raided a Yazidi school, massacred the teachers and then raped the girls. Both tracks are “acts of rebellion”. One annoys your Gran and the other is plain evil.

But there is something else going on with this guy which is deeply conservative (note the small “c”). When I go abroad I want to eat different food and experience a different culture. But I have seen enough Brits abroad who consider places like Costa Brava or Malta as Blackpool with better weather. Drinking bitter in the “Red Lion” and tucking into fish and chips whilst reading The Mail. They are arseholes in my book but mostly harmless like the punks.

This fellow isn’t and if he ever returns to the UK he ought to dragged on a sled down Newcastle’s Grey Street on a Saturday night and have all the lads and lasses pelt him to death with Gregg’s Steak Bakes.

That’ll learn him. And it is all they are good for anyway.

The First Casualty of War is the Jeremy Kyle show.

The first thing I saw on the TV this morning was the appalling carnage from Brussels.

I was moved enough to write about it. It’s just below this piece.

This though arguably appalled me more.

Apparently there was a Twitter storm because ITV bumped the Jeremy Kyle show to give rolling coverage to the attacks.

For those not up with Jezza it is a sort of low-rent Jerry Springer show where the utter scum of the Earth parade their sexual deviancy (I slept with both my sister-in-laws and your mum and your brother filmed it all) to whoops and howls from the sort of people who enjoyed the hangings.

When others responded to her callous tweets she replied: ‘How does it affect England? If a terror attack happened in England I doubt Brussels would care.

‘But at the same time it doesn’t affect me, it’s a shame yeah but still. Sorry for not giving a s*** about something that doesn’t affect me.’

As more and more people asked her if she was being serious, she wrote: ‘Dead bodies was the last thing I wanted to see at 8 in the morning. Also why am I going to care about people I don’t even know?’

A woman named Olivia Lavelle wrote: ‘I’m extremely sad about Brussels but why have ITV not played Jeremy Kyle my one highlight of the day.’

A man going by the name of David Edwards added: ‘Seriously? There’s no Jeremy Kyle due to this Belgian nonsense. FFS.’

And there is more but I don’t want to puke on the keyboard. Bloody Hell! I don’t know if these are worse than the terrorists. At least they believe in something however evil. Having said that if Jeremy Kyle is your “one highlight of the day” then you need help. Or you could just fuck off to Syria where they have the stonings.

PS. Do you remember the ’90s show “Drop the Dead Donkey”? It was originally going to be called, “Dead Belgians don’t Count”. Got it right first time.

Embarrassing Bodies

A short few years back I flicked onto a show called, “Embarrassing Bodies” on C4.

I watched dumb-founded not just because I saw it as a C21st freak-show (which it is of course) but because I couldn’t work it out. The central idea was that people with complaints too embarrassing to see a GP (or whatever) were OK to be seen by the travelling circus of Dr Christian and Dr Pixie* instead.

I hated the communal showers after PE as a kid (I am not the only one for whom this is the case – far from) and the only person in this World of 7.x billion people I feel OK being naked in front of is my wife. Obviously. I don’t buy the whole Germanic Nazi gym mistress “Health and Efficiency” schtick. One of the most bizarre sights I ever saw was in Yugoslavia (as was) on a beach. A late middle-aged geezer was offering boat trips and, as it was “clothing optional” and he was nearly starkers. I mean nearly because whilst he was fully cock’n'balls to the breeze because he would be the Captain of your lugger the only garment he was wearing was a captain’s hat. My mother laughed so hard she almost died. No wonder a couple of years later they had a brutal civil war. For to quote John Rotten, “There was fuck all else to do”.

Nudity is obviously our natural state but we haven’t been natural since Ugg- the Person of Cave – thought of bringing fire inside the cave. It’s called culture and nakedness is special only because it is not broadcast. This is not argument against nude art or even porn (quite the reverse) but if nudity is “normalized” then what’s left? An MRI scan – have you seen Miley Cyrus’s pancreas yet? It is also natural to die from simple infections but we have antibiotics and stuff now. It’s called “Civilization”. So is taking 300 people in a 200 tonne metal bird from Manchester to Philadelphia but somehow Boeing manage it. Actually my last trans-Atlantic was on an A330 but they are much of a muchness. Perhaps that is the point. True genius is to make something amazing mundane. Doesn’t apply to incongruous nudity mind. That is making the amazing mundane.

So, if I may get back to my point. I think there is something very odd about a society were people are afraid to show their “bits” to a doctor in a private space but OK if it is on broadcast media. I mentioned the C4 show started a bit back but just recently ITV have chimed in with Jeremy Kyle’s Emergency Room.

And I thought Jeremy Kyle in and of himself was more than enough grotesquely enlarged bollocks. Truly he is the only pigeon-chested abattoir-creeper who keeps Piers Morgan from the very nadir of the cunt-list.

*No, I am not making the names up. One sounds like something from “Pilgrim’s Progress” and the other like… “Dr Pixie will see you now…”. Arrgh!!! I mean Dr Smith or Dr Jones or Dr Patel… But Dr Pixie? I’d rather see the “Wise Woman” and pay extra for the cackling. Having said that a couple of hours on the flet with Galadriel would about see me right. Insert your own Nenya joke here.

The Other is in The Albert Hall…

Hitler ‘had tiny deformed penis’ as well as just one testicle, historians claim.

Hitler suffered from a condition called hypospadias which left him with an abnormally small manhood, according to historians Jonathan Mayo and Emma Craigie.

From Telegraph.

Well, that is no excuse for invading Poland, or Holland, Belgium, France (or the rest) or having a bloody good go at England or Russia. So, the defining thingie of the C20th was an insane Austrian’s thingie.

I mean the pivotal moment of C20th revolved around Hitler’s cock.

That about sums up the whole shooting-match of a century of woe.

I have been to Poland several times. Generally not with the Panzers in hand and genocide in mind. Last time I took a bottle of damn fine Welsh Whiskey in my clip. It went down much better than an armoured division. Odd that.

Oh, and I have a respectable penis and the full number of testicles. For the record.

But then I am not Fuhrer of Germany with “issues”. And a very small cock. I mean if it wasn’t for the tens of millions dead I’d be laughing.

A Libertarian doesn’t desire control over others. We are all individuals. Well, Some of us aren’t.

Interview: Ronald Coase

Herewith economist Dr. Ronald Coase, interviewed in 2002 by Richard Epstein for the Liberty Fund’s “Intellectual Portrait” series. Dr. Coase sketches his background, and then discusses such topics as public utilities, in particular the water supply and the Post Office, how these came to be state-owned in Britain, and the reasoning that led to the state-owned BBC. Notes that the Educated Classes approved: for it was necessary to raise the tone of the culture of the lower classes. He explains that having started as a socialist, sheer observation persuaded him that free enterprise works better. He discusses the famous Lighthouse Example, and states that in the end, governments are necessary to determine (i.e. define) what will be the property rights, and to enforce them.

About an hour.

The Bard is still well ‘Ard!

We went to the cinema tonight. Not to watch a movie as such, but a simulcast from the Garrick Theatre in London, of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. Not seen this one before, and the cast was outstanding! Kenneth Branagh, Dame Judi Dench, and a wonderful supporting cast of energetic actors who really did the business. But the man who really did the business was Willy the Shake hisself. So before our culture becomes obsolete, consider how much we owe to just one genius of a man…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gKSDSI0zNc

This Charming Man…

‘Well hopefully it doesn’t get any worse than this, because my stomach just couldn’t take it…’ and their fiendishly loving wrestle began once again, rolling across the floor as hot-tempered enthusiasts of lustful joy as both adorers’ bodies did their sexual staccato heaving and barging into place, nothing forbidden, heartbeats uneven, the mind as naked as the body, weakened by exertion, only to shockingly lock with a halt at the astride legs of Sammy, young brother to Ezra, as he quietly stood with satisfied slyness watching the debauched display of sensuous pleasure at the sweetness of living seized by the initiative.’

***

‘At this, Eliza and Ezra rolled together into the one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and puled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it whacked and smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone.’

Excerpts from “List of the Lost” by Morrissey. It is up for an award – The Literary Review’s Bad Sex Award. And if Morrissey can’t win with that then there is no hope for the English language.

Truly Mozzer is an ornament to the nation – one you got from your granny and keep in the attic. I have no words but, dear reader, I offer you my bulbous salutations!

Come to Britain! It’s Great…

There’s a whole collection of such delights here.

Knock-up a few poster size and put ‘em up in the Pas-de-Calais region and the job’s a good un! We’ll have a “swarm” of migrants upping sticks and moving South within hours! No need for the Gurkhas. Yes, a Tory MP seriously suggested deploying them.

Dark green jackets and black buttons – liberty and voluntary service can defeat Collectivist tyranny.

This day of evil is finally drawing to a close. The leftists in Paris may well have (as they do every year) slaughtered a pig – as part of their celebration of the treacherous betrayal (“come out – we promise you and your men safe conduct”) and savage murder of the Governor of an old fortress in Paris – a fortress in which there were seven (7) prisoners, none of whom were there for their political opinions.

Thus the left celebrate the principles of the left. Treachery, robbery (for the real goal of the operation was to steal weapons and other goods) and murder.

Soon all of France was to be convulsed in mass robbery (of the Church – and of many ordinary people who were far from “aristocratic”) and the murder of hundreds of thousands of people (see the works of William Doyle and others). And Europe was to be convulsed by the designs of the French Revolutionaries to bring the collectivist doctrines of Rousseau to power everywhere. His idea that the Law Giver knows the “General Will”, better than the individual persons themselves, so (in Marxist fashion) people have to be “forced to be free” against their false consciousness. If need be robbed and slaughtered – for their own good. And with their own consent – as their cries of protest (and screams of pain) are but mental confusion, not what they “really” believe.

The French Revolution does not show the danger of taking liberty too far – because it was not about liberty, it was about power. The Revolutionaries talked of liberty – but they lied, as followers of Rousseau tend to do (using their words as a mist to blind the unwary).

Paper money (forced on people on the pain of death), theft of property, the murder of the innocent (of all levels of society) – these were and are the principles of the French Revolution. Its criminal lust for unlimited power (not just in France – but over the world) under the mask of “liberty”, which destroyed the rule-of-law and the security of persons and possessions.

People who cried for religious tolerance (in fact granted by Louis XVI years before), and practiced religious persecution – of the most savage kind.

People who cried for the end of serfdom (largely unknown in France for centuries), and an end to torture (“putting the question” had actually already been abolished in French Roman Law), but actually introduced serfdom to the state, and reintroduced torture (in all its forms).

These were the French Revolutionaries – if one judges them by their deeds, or even looks carefully at the meaning of their words (rather than the nice sound the words make).

But let us leave the Rousseau evil of the Revolutionaries aside – and turn to more hopeful things, dark green jackets and black buttons…….

Sir William Stewart (Colonel Stewart) in 1799 (some ten years after the Revolution started – and after its forces had overwhelmed most of Europe with vast slaughter) published his thoughts on “light infantry”.

People who fought as individuals and in small groups – but could (if worked with correctly) help defeat vast enemy forces.

Colonel Stewart studied the Croats who had resisted (for the Hapsburgs) the invasions of the Ottomans – for centuries. Helping hold back the forces of despotism (that recognised no rule-of-law, no protection of property rights from the state) that might otherwise have destroyed Europe.

He also studied the mountain people of the Tyrol – famous for both their individualism and their loyal service (there is no contradiction – the people of Eastern Tennessee are much the same in these aspects, Southerners who supported human freedom over tribalism in the 1860s and have supported the elephant over the donkey ever since ).

The great revolt of Andreas Hofer – the innkeeper turned leader of the “Reactionary” forces of the Tyrol was yet to come (but the spirit had been known for centuries).

Hofer opposed the takeover of the Tyrol by Bavaria – not the relatively conservative place we know today, but then an ally of Revolutionary France and ruled by the bureaucrat (and rumoured ally of the illuminated ones) M. Von Montegelas – a man who made a great show of “abolishing serfdom” (actually just a few old rituals by this time in Bavaria) whilst actually introducing serfdom – both for children (via his system of compulsory state brainwashing of the young) and adults (via mass conscription). Nothing (not Church property, or even other countries, if they were small and weak – he was not a man of great courage ) was safe from Montegelas, a sort of “mini me” Napoleon. And Bavaria was backed by the vast forces of France.

Andreas Hofer eventually lost and was killed – famously giving the order to fire at his own execution. But the idea of light infantry is sound – it just can not win major wars on its own.

Nor should the experience of the North American wars, against the French and some Indian tribes, and against the American colonists, be forgotten. The “King’s Rifles” had already been born – although still in red jackets….

Sir William Stewart was supported by Colonel Manningham (Equerry to the King) and in 1800 the Rifle Corps (the 95 regiment of foot) was born.

It was the first British infantry regiment since the Civil War to have green uniforms – I recently went to a Civil War re enactment, and whilst everybody raves over the red uniforms of the New Model Army (red because the dye was cheap), but there is something about dark green uniforms against the green fields and woods (and not just of England). Yes it is camouflage – but it is more than that, but I lack the gift of words to explain what I mean.

People will be familiar with the exploits of “the Rifles” from such things as the “Sharpe” novels – but the basic message is historically accurate and simple to state.

By out fighting French skirmishers (not so well trained, or so well TRUSTED, and armed with muskets not Baker rifles) British skirmishers – fighting as individuals and in small groups, were able to help change battles (and thereby help change wars). Negate some of the advantage of the enemy in numbers – and cause confusion and chaos among French (and other) armies that were organised as vast masses of conscripts.

The forces “equality and fraternity” could be defeated by the forces of liberty. Skill, creative thought, and voluntary service.

Those men in dark green jackets with black buttons have (under various names of regiment) fought in many wars since then – surprising people who assume that the British army is a force of robots who do not fight as individuals and in small groups, and who can not think without detailed orders.

Their story is little known – and the reader should look it up for themselves.

Ignorant Idiocy of the Day — July 15, 2004

No Jewish person is going to look–especially if their family is originally from Czarist Russia. They’re never going to look on anything of Russian Communism with the same pure horror and fear and revulsion that they are going to bring to a reaction to Nazism.

–Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens, “Uncommon Knowledge,” July 15, 2004

Au contraire. I give you Ayn Rand.

Entomophagy.

I saw something on the TV about eating insects with Giles Coren.

Gods help me! I shall be cold under the ground before I eat buggetarian. I shall be eaten by bugs before I eat them. Apparently they do it in lots of countries apart from the developed world. The clue there is in the use of the word “developed”. I don’t eat any invertebrate because I am English and Civilised. I can tie a tie for example. Rarely need to but I still can. Eating creepy crawlies is for the birds – literally.

Apparently this shall come to us all as population pressure rears it’s ugly head because people is evil, right? Take of that what you wish. The best estimates tend towards a global population peaking mid-century at around 10 billion. Utterly sustainable by any means without eating babies or bugs. I live in England and approximately 12% of these “Green and Pleasant Lands” is built upon and when I say “built upon” I mean everything: roads, rail, houses, factories, shops – the whole nine yards. We are a dense nation (especially dense if we believe in the people-apocalypse) but there is much more space elsewise including, well, space. But 10 billion down here is OK and anybody who says other is a twat.

This is related to immigration. Would I care if the UK went to 70m inside ten years? Why not! It is the fixed wealth fallacy. Only so many jobs and all that. Every Polish builder who builds a shop doesn’t take net jobs from the Brits. Who will staff the shop? And let’s say it’s a good shop so who is going to work in it? I hate this drivel. How the fuck do we call immigration a strain when lots of these folks are doctors and nurses yet people still think this is a strain on the NHS?

There are two reasons for this (neither I believe in). The first is folk who are so Tory they don’t vote Tory anymore and just hate the nig-nogs (of whatever colour). The second are arguably worse (the first are largely coffin-dodgers – so are on the delete list already) who believe in a variant of the fixed wealth fallacy. That would be the fixed jobs fallacy. “British jobs for British workers” and all that. Utter shite. What world do these idiots live in? My first port of call for computer stuff is Aria Tech in South Manchester. I almost got a job there. I don’t want to say how much I have spent there over the years. It was set-up by an Iranian immigrant. Most of the employees are British. As are most of the customers and I have dropped over a grand there on occasions (don’t tell the missus). All good kit.

We get wealthier with more people. This is true for the UK and true for the Planet. It is simples as the meerkat said. There is no fixed wealth. There just ain’t. I like people. I am a horrible person for this. Obviously.

Written whilst listening to Bon Jovi. God, I miss the ’80s which was (as I recall) a time of things getting better.

PS. Can we stop pissing around with HS2 already and fund Skylon and build a fucking Space El! For the bastarding cunting sake of fuck! We could do both for less than the cost of a a Stephenson Gauge railway from London to Brum. HS2 is a railway. It is also a profound lack of the imag. We could have had Skylon in service 10 years ago from Bristol International Spaceport. How Thunderbirds is that? Just look at it. “If it looks right it will fly right” – Kelly Johnson. His boss said of him, “That damned Swede can actually see air.” We need folks like that and not the mere twats we put-up with.

Beauty tips of the rich and twattish…

Harry Styles swears by a sheep placenta face pack. Harry Styles is the “big-un” of the particularly execrable boy band called No Direction or summat. They are fucking awesomely bad but he has 14 year old girls across the globe melting their knickers like some sort of worldwide gusset Chernobyl. This is Harry Styles…

Harry Styles does this at GBP350 a go “treatment” every 6 weeks in order to retain his “youthful good looks”. Harry Styles is 21.

God help us all. Or send a flood from the firmament or do something.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, if Styles wants to make a complete Bellendius Maximus on his own dime then so what? And if loads of teenage girls want to scream at him and hurl their radioactive knickers at him then that is the libertarian way. Live and let live but it is a sad indictment of the mentality of modern popular culture that he can be one of the biggest stars on this planet.

Apparently he cites Freddie Mercury, Elvis Presley and The Beatles as influences…

Apparently he is a Labour supporter… Well, he would be. One is a Millibland and the other is in a Milliband.

Well, fuckadoodledoo!

It is all enough to make St Francis of Assisi himself vomit himself empty with inchoate rage. Into a font

I mean we used to have pop stars that were “unconventional” but they were cool (and had good songs, well sung). Styles is about as rebellious or interesting as a sheep’s afterbirth (obviously unless Heston had done something to it with liquid NO2 with it). Pathetic little scrote what he is.

It’s a bit like Apple or Google etc trying to claim to be “edgy” and “cool” and “anti-establishment” when they are the establishment. They don’t see it anymore. Neither do so many of us.

We are truly on a Journey to the Placenta of the Earth. I call it “The Enblandingment”.

And no, that is not because I am nearly twice the Stylster’s age.

PS. The above link also has the beauty “secrets” of Thomasina Cruise and Gynnie Paltry and others. I can’t be bothered to fisk. Oh and some tart who gets facials with her own centrifuged blood. Do I need to add this all tends to happen in the Bear Republic? I thought not. They’ll be selling fragments of the one true Jobs liver next.

Othello Syndrome.

No, I hadn’t heard of it either. I had all the right A-levels at the right grades to do medicine but I thought physics because I thought I’d rather have a star named for me than a disease. Ho hum! Anyhows do you want a glance at love’s young dream. They are purely belter. They make Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie look a bit shop-worn. Get your Nikes on for you shall need them…

Behold…

… but not yet…

A little background first from the Mail

Britain’s most jealous woman to have gastric band surgery on the NHS so husband won’t stray (but he’s still not allowed to watch women on TV) Debbi Wood, 43, is paranoid her husband Steve, 32, will be unfaithful to her
She makes him take lie detector tests and checks his phone and e-mails
She even banned him from watching TV shows featuring women he fancies
Mother-of-two is 21st and wants to lose 10st but cannot afford the surgery
She says she eats a balanced diet and has not had a Big Mac for five years
Size 24 [UK size - different in the US] Mrs Wood has Othello Syndrome which causes delusional jealousy

She even put kiddy filters on his laptop. She lost it because he saw an advert for women’s razors because she thought he was ogling the model’s legs. Can’t blame him. I don’t have a lens suitable to photograph hers – and photography is a particular hobby of mine. Nobody filters my ‘net. I have moves on that score. Theresa May but I don’t. There are ways and means. Anyway if the bird in question (not our own dear Home Sec) is a sea-monster (and she is – call me Ishmael and all that) he is a wet haddock flopping around the dock at Grimsby. Dear Gods she seems obsessed with the possibility he fancies Anne Robinson! I’d consider homosexuality before drawing that card from the bottom of the deck. I quite fancy Cate Blanchett but my wife understands I have a crush on the Lady of Lothlorien. It isn’t an issue (she fancies her too). But Anne Robinson. Dear Sweet Jesus of Nazareth! No, I don’t fancy him either. He spends very little time in North East Cheshire – it would never work out.

Well, she may not have had a Big Mac for five years but she still looks like things I last saw in the Tennessee State Aquarium (well worth a trip BTW – if you like fish but I do – so elegant, so tasty). She looks like she was conceived a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away and sired by Jabba the Pizza Hutt. To her sea-monster we have his wet fish. I’d best show you the next A-list couple…

…Be afraid… very afraid.

null

I assume that is them on their wedding day. Now, don’t get me wrong. Ugly people can bump their uglies (and he might be hung like a Grand National Winner) but he’s a got less substance than a string of cat-piss and she looks like Grendel’s Ma.

Now I have gone with the comedy here. I couldn’t help myself (clearly I am not alone on that score) but there are serious points here. What is love? Is a gastric band really the answer? I suspect her head is a bigger issue than her belly. As I said at the kick-off I’d never heard of Othello Syndrome. So is she paranoid (and he ain’t exactly the catch of the day) because she’s obese or she’s obese because she’s bonkers in the nut? Who knows? Now… I have had a number of relationships myself and have of course known many other people who had them but I can’t see how any sexual relationship can survive at all with that total lack of trust.

Is it perhaps just me but is this bizarre relationship almost a reality TV stunt. I don’t mean “put-up” by the TV but that two deeply unattractive characters (and I’m not just talking the physicalities here) see it as the only game in town? I mean if you have no skills, talent, physical attractiveness, anything really you just debase yourself. Andy Warhol got it wrong. Oh, he was (as ever) sort of on the money but 15 minutes was way too generous.

I have to add that The Mail article despite it’s stuff about Othello syndrome (neatly illustrated by a picture of Lenny Henry) leaves out Iago. Is there an Iago in Leicester. We need to know!

A couple of the questions for the post Christmas period: Ancient Greek learning and English freedom – religious and political.

The Republic of Venice, like some other Italian States, was in contact with the Greek (Byzantine) Empire to the east, where Ancient Greek learning was preserved, from the most early days – contact was never lost in the Dark Ages. And the other states of Europe were in close contact with the Republic of Venice and the other Italian states. Yet the education system teaches that Greek learning came only from Islamic Spain. Is this theory really true?

Did, for example, thinkers in the British Isles such as the Irish thinkers from the 5th (indeed reaching back to Patrick and Pelagius [yes Pelagius, that free will scholar of Greek and possibly Hebrew, - of course I would drag him into it] of Roman Britain) century to the 9th century (before old Ireland was destroyed by the Vikings), or the English thinkers of the 12th century and so on (not just Roger Bacon there were other great Greek scholars and scientific thinkers also), really get their knowledge of Greek from Islamic Spain? Of course both the Greek Orthodox Church and the old Irish Celtic Church are not known for the delight in the predestination of Augustine – even if philosopher theologians do strange twisted gymnastics to try and reconcile predestination and moral responsibility (the reality of choice – of the existence of the human agent). Just as Judaism has always rejected predestination (unlike mainstream Islam) and stood for individual moral responsibility – the reality of choice, of the human person.

Also…..

In almost every case the Reformation of the 16th century led to a Church that was committed to Predestination and was a department of State – after all Predestination was the central doctrine of Martin Luther and John Calvin (they both HATED freedom and reason), and Luther taught that the State should control the State and Calvin taught that the Church should control the State – the autonomy of Church and State was utterly alien to both these thinkers. In England it led, by the 18th century, to a Church that was far MORE in favour of moral responsibility, free will, (hostile to Predestination and so on) than the Roman Catholic Church was, and to a Church that was largely part of the landed interest (backed by local patrons and so on as well as being a, largely, independent landowner itself) rather than being a department of state – an “Established Church” rather than a “State Church”. A Church that was theologically and socially radically different from the rest of Protestant Europe. Why?

Even in the 16th century someone like Richard Hooker (the three legged stool – scripture, tradition, and REASON) seems distinctly English – distinctly “Anglican” (a possible misuse of language – but I hope you get my point), by the 17th century philosopher theologians such as Henry Moore and Ralph Cudworth, perhaps the greatest Greek and Hebrew scholar of his age, are quite acceptable in England, but would have seemed radially alien in the Protestant nations of Europe (and in the centralised Counter Reformation Catholic world) – with the possible exception of the minority tradition in Holland, the Arminian tradition (and remember it was the MINORITY tradition in Holland).

Why was England so weird in its Church development? Unlike both Catholic Europe and Protestant Europe.

I have asked these questions before – but just received utterly irrelevant answers such as “Ralph Cudworth believed in witchcraft”, yes he did (so did the great Common Law thinkers Hales and Selden), but why did the Church in England (both Anglican such as Granville Sharpe and William Wilberforce and Dissenting such as Richard Price [but also his Anglican political opponent Edmund Burke] – or a bit of both such as John Wesley) contain so many people, such as Cudworth and Moore and….., who believed in religious toleration and moral responsibility, free will – hostile to predestination. Why did the English Church turn out, in the main, so differently from the rest of Europe?

So was there no movement of Greek learning from the Byzantine Empire directly to the states of Italy? Was it all via Islamic Spain? Even though Venice was technically part of the Eastern Empire itself? The “Islamic Spain is what matters” idea seems like a unlikely theory. But I am willing to be corrected.

And why did the Church in England, certainly by the 18th century, turn out so different from both Protestant and Catholic Europe? I suspect that the answer to this question is the key to the different POLITICAL development of this land in the late 17th century and the 18th century, compared to the rest of Europe.