Saturday, August 17, 2013

On Morphic Resonance

If you’re a Man Of Science, or an acolyte of our Men Of Science, you’ll believe that your memories are stored inside your brain. So if someone tells you your memories are stored outside your brain, you’ll laugh. However, no Man Of Science so far has figured out exactly where in the brain, memories are stored. But this doesn’t stop these Men Of Science insisting that memories are stored in the brain.

Desperate to prove this, our Men Of Science have given animals in laboratories puzzles to solve, and the animals learned to solve them. Then, most areas of the animals’ brains were removed. You'd think the animals would no longer have remembered how to solve these puzzles. But they did still remember. Where, then, were stored the animals’ memories of how to solve the puzzles? Outside somewhere?

Tests have shown that when animals, like mice and guinea pigs, solve puzzles they are given, other mice and guinea pigs thousands of miles away, and that are also given these puzzles, solve them significantly faster than expected. It’s as if the knowledge of the first-mentioned mice and guinea pigs on how to solve the puzzles, is also available for the latter mice and guinea pigs to tap into, enabling them quickly to solve the puzzles.

If memories are stored inside the brain, the transmission of knowledge as described above would be impossible. But, if memories are stored outside the brain, like somewhere in the ether, then the transmission of knowledge as described above makes sense.

If animals can tap into the collective memories of other animals, even though far away, it’s logical to think that humans can tap into the collective memories of other humans. The fact that average scores on IQ tests have risen 30% over the last 70 years, and continue to rise, suggests that when you do an IQ test today, your mind, in its search for answers to the puzzles in the IQ tests, taps into the collective outside-stored memories of those who did IQ tests before. Hence you only appear 30% cleverer than was your grandfather.

Rupert Shelldrake, in his recent book, “Science Set Free”, uses the term “morphic resonance” to describe the process of tapping into collective outside-stored memories. Since we, and all matter, are pulsating globs of energy, and since our minds seem to be morphic fields of energy that stretch beyond our physical selves, “morphic resonance” is a better fit to illustrate the mechanics of how our minds tap into other minds.

You will, I feel sure, have heard of people suddenly being able to speak Greek or Chinese, despite their never having learned Greek or Chinese, let alone their having never having been to Greece or China. And there are people who remember events they think happened in a previous life. These sorts of stories suggest reincarnation. But they also suggest these people tapped into other peoples’ memories through morphic resonance. Given that the notion of reincarnation has a plethora of logical inconsistencies that reincarnationists willfully ignore, morphic resonance better explains these reincarnation-like experiences.

Assuming all our memories are stored out there in the ether somewhere - sort of like in “cloud computing” - what does this say about how things will be after we go to our Eternal Reward? It surely suggests that we, in the form of our memories of all our earthly experiences, will continue in some way.

The late Krishnamurti used to say that consciousness is its content. As to what he meant by “content” one must assume he meant “memories”. So that when you were born, you didn’t have any consciousness because you hadn’t yet done anything, and so didn’t have any memories to be conscious of. But as you went through life and did stuff, and your memories of the stuff you did multiplied, your consciousness consequently grew, and it continues to grow the longer you are alive and the more stuff you do. It's this consciousness, then, consisting of all its memories, that may constitute the "you" when you go to your Eternal Reward.  

Because the memories that constitute your consciousness, include your memories of your departed Loved Ones, and because the memories of your departed Loved Ones - that constitute their consciousnesses - would have included their memories of you, it’s likely that when you go to your Eternal Reward, your stored memories of your departed Loved Ones will morphically resonate with their stored memories of you.

By this means you’ll experience meeting them again on the Other Side. They'll look to you the way you remembered them best; and you'll look to them the way they remembered you best.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Graham and Rupert and TED and Science

Had I not visited the Graham Hancock *website* I would not have known about the videos of the TED talks by Graham Hancock and Rupert Shelldrake that were banned from the TED website.

After receiving a deluge of furious e-mails from Graham Hancock and Rupert Shelldrake supporters, the TED people reinstated the videos, but in a a little-visited area on the website, and preceded by health warnings.

Happily though, you can now watch the Hancock TED talk *here*, and the Shelldrake TED talk *here*.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that both talks were entertaining and thought-provoking, and will make you aware that there’s actually, in our enlightened 21st century society, a war on the exploration of consciousness (Hancock), and will make you aware that the core beliefs of Official Science are wrong (Shelldrake).

These talks had run afoul of the TED organisation’s science advisory board, that consists of, one assumes, scientists who toe the Party Line. Their advice to TED to delete the videos, suggests that Official Science has an ideology as rigid as the ideology of any religion, and an attitude towards apostasy as intolerant as any church's.

While I’ve read some of Hancock’s books, I hadn’t read any of Shelldrake’s. Because of his TED talk I’ve now bought his latest book, “Science Set Free”. For introducing me to Shelldrake, I have the TED people to thank.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nachts Auf Den Strassen

I watched, the other night on YouTube, a German film made in 1951, called “Nachts Auf Den Strassen” (Nights On The Streets). I hadn’t intended to watch it for I came across it only by chance. But, after tasting the film’s first few minutes I couldn’t tear myself away........

***

Heinrich Schlüter (Hans Albers) is an independent long distance middle-aged truck driver. One night, while driving the highway, he happens upon an overturned car in the middle of the road, and also a man sprawled unmoving nearby, and there’s nobody else about. Obviously it’s an accident that’s just occurred. It seems Heinrich is the first on the scene.

Heinrich stops to see what he can do. He can’t do much because the sprawled man is obviously dead. Heinrich notices a wallet on the ground. He examines it, and sees it contains lots and lots of banknotes. What to do?

After some hesitation, Heinrich puts the wallet inside his jacket. Then the police arrive. Heinrich learns from them that the dead man is suspected of having ill-gotten money on his person. Not finding the money, the police suspect an accomplice of having made off with it. Hearing this, Heinrich says nothing about the banknotes inside his jacket. He returns to his truck and drives off into the night.

The next morning when Heinrich is still driving on the road, he comes across a detour and has to slow down. At the entry to the detour an attractive young woman, Inge (Hildegarde Knef), stylishly dressed and carrying a suitcase, raises her thumb because she’s hitchhiking. He stops and says, “Hop in” (“steigt ein”), and she does.

On the journey Inge behaves coquettishly towards Heinrich, but he doesn’t allow himself to succumb. Well, at first he doesn’t, for he has a wife at home, and a daughter no younger than Inge probably is.

After dropping Inge off at a stop where she said she wanted to be dropped off, Heinrich didn’t expect they would ever again meet. They do, actually, because Inge contrives that they do. Unable to resist Inge, Heinrich eventually succumbs to her, thus falling into the trap she’s set.

The thing is, Inge hasn’t told Heinrich that she’s in league with a petty criminal, Kurt (Marius Goring) who wants to smuggle animal furs across the border and needs a big truck with which to do this. So Kurt has told Inge to find a willing trucker.......

Lots more happens, with lots of twists, that I'll not waste more time telling of, because what you’ve read so far may well encourage you to watch “Nachts Auf Den Strassen”, which you can if you *click here*.

***

Heinrich is a good and honourable man. After all, he has both a wife and daughter, with whom he lives in a modest but clean house. That’s about as good and honourable as a man can get. But, like all good and honourable men, Heinrich was human with human weaknesses, and so couldn’t help sometimes doing things not good and honourable. Temptation was occasionally too much.

Like, the wallet with all those banknotes in it. No doubt had it had no banknotes, or just a few banknotes, Heinrich would, like most good and honourable men, not have kept the wallet. But it turned out this wallet had 20,000 Deutschmarks. Circa 1950 this was an awful lot of money, the equivalent today of more than 100,000 dollars.

Heinrich still owed money on his truck, and 20,000 Deutschmarks would assumedly have been more than enough to pay it off. As it was, he also, out of this money, bought some nice things not only for Inge (Hildegarde Knef), but for his wife and daughter too.

In the matter of the married Heinrich falling for Inge, if you, who are reading this, are a man, and an uxorious one like Heinrich, can you say in all honesty that were a young woman as alluring as was the young Hildegarde Knef, to set her cap at you, you would be able to resist?

An interesting feature of “Nachts Auf Den Strassen” is its showing of the German urban landscape as it was in 1950, just five years after the end of Der Zweiter Weltkrieg. So, as Heinrich drives his truck through towns you sometimes see the rubble of buildings in the background. The Wirtschaftswunder had yet to flower. 

Despite “Nachts Auf Den Strassen” being in German with no English subtitles, you should, even if you know no German, still be able to follow it, especially after what you’ve learned so far, however little that is.

“Nachts Auf Den Strassen” is a gem. You owe it to yourself to *watch it*.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What Happened in the Atacama Desert?

If you look at this *short video* you’ll see it shows extracts from a presentation about a six inch long humanoid skeleton found in the Atacama Desert ten years ago. So different is it from the normal human skeleton, it has knocked the socks off the sorts of people who it would otherwise be most difficult to knock the socks off of.

It seems this little man was six or so when he died, so he would have been, come to think of it, not a man but a child. Some men think he was so small because he was a dwarf. But there’s no scientific evidence to support this.

Everyone who is respected thinks this child was a human. How, though, can they know this? First of all, he shared only 91% of his genes with the human. This leaves 9% of his genes that no-one is sure about. Perhaps, after more testing, it will be found that this remaining 9% of his genes were in fact human genes. Until then, you can’t with a straight face say absolutely definitely he was human.

Then there’s the fact that he had only ten pairs of ribs, not the twelve pairs the human has. If you doubt you have twelve pairs of ribs, run your fingers over your rib cage next time you’re in the bathroom and do a count. If the number turns out other than twelve it means one of two things: either you’re not human; or you’re so fat, your fingers simply can’t feel all your ribs.

Look at the child’s head. How many children have you seen with heads that shape? And not to speak of this six year old child being only six inches tall.

If you look at the pictures of the skeleton with an uncluttered mind, you’ll see the skeleton is obviously that of an Extraterrestrial child. Because it’s not known how long ETs normally live, they could for all you know live much longer than you, maybe a thousand years. So their children will have childhoods much longer than those of your own children. Therefore six inches could be an average height for an ET child of six, who, when grown-up, will still only be three feet, if the reports of Alien abductees are to be believed. 

This ET child must have had a Mum and Dad around to look after him, else how would he have lived even to six, when someone then bashed a hole in his head, and he died as a result. Who bashed the hole?

What became of his Mum and Dad? Did they remain on earth, so their skeletons still lie somewhere in the Atacama Desert, waiting for someone to happen upon them? Or did they - prostrated with grief on the death of their son, and thinking earth not a nice place - catch the next saucer back to their native planet?

In all of the cosmos there are billions upon billions of stories. This was just one of them.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Japurá River

Récemment je suis tombé par hasard sur un morceau de musique envoûtant et hypnotique, appelé “Japurá River”. Il a été composé par Philip Glass, et est joué par Uakti, un ensemble de Belo Horizonte, au Brésil.

“Japurá River” est une piste du CD d'Uakti, "Aguas da Amazonia".

Le "Uakti" originel était un énorme créature d'une légende amazonienne. Il avait des trous à travers son corps. Chaque fois qu'il a couru dans une forêt, des sons fascinants et exotiques sortaient de son corps comme le vent soufflait à travers les trous.

On peut facilement ça croire quand on écoute Uakti jouer “Japurá River”, et on ferme les yeux.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hotel - 1937

Pour des raisons multiples, j'ai trouvé ce petit film promotionnel pour une chaîne d'hôtels etre rien de moins que fascinant.

Je ne parlerai pas plus loin...........

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Profumo Redux

It’s fifty years this year since l’affaire Profumo. The daily revelations about who had slept with whom, and who had said what to whom, seem as portentous today as they were then. The dramatis personae.......Christine Keeler, Mandy Rice-Davies, Stephen Ward, Peter Rachman, Yevgeny Ivanov, Bill Astor, Johnny Edgecombe, Aloysius ‘Lucky’ Gordon, Harold Macmillan, John Profumo.............seem as alive today as they were then.

And the way Richard Davenport-Hines’s book - that I’ve just finished reading - “An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo”, portrays the England of circa 1963 - so awash in avarice, corruption, materialism, mendacity, cutthroat journalism - that it seems the England of today, not of then. Yet,
 .........England was a country where the gravy served at main meals made everything taste alike. Dominated by the memory of two world wars, it was more drilled and regimented than at any time in its history, and more strictly regulated. Restaurants and pubs were controlled under onerous rules derived from the Defence of the Realm Act of 1914; audiences stood in respectful silence when the National Anthem was played at the end of any cinema performance; pedestrians still doffed their hats as they passed the Cenotaph memorial to the war dead in Whitehall; family-planning clinics did not dare to give contraceptive advice to the unmarried; every foreigner had to register with their local police station, and report there regularly; businesses needed clearance from the Bank of England for the smallest overseas expenditure......
And, England was still an important manufacturing power. Growing up in one of its tropical colonies, I can remember that the cars on our roads were nothing but Morrises, Austins, Wolseleys, Vauxhalls, Fords (the ones from Dagenham), and Rovers, that had come off England’s assembly lines.

I still recall my first car, a 1960 Ford Prefect, light blue, and with an external sunvisor. No car I’ve had since, has meant quite as much to me as that little Ford Prefect. Whatever became of it? I sometimes ask myself these fifty years on.........

My first bicycle was an English bicycle, a Raleigh. It had a chainguard and a three-speed. It was, at the beginning, too big for me to use completely safely, since my Mother and Father wished not to waste money buying me a bicycle I would soon grow too big for. They could, though, have bought me the English-made Rudge bicycle instead, for the Rudge and Raleigh were the only two brands of bicycle available.

All the knives and forks I ate with were made in Sheffield, as were all the china plates I shovelled my food off of, as were all the china cups I drank my tea out of........

There seemed nothing there that wasn’t made in England. On my asking why, I was told things like “Imperial Preference” and “Sterling Area”.

Such was the world-wide reach of England’s influence that nearly all of us in this tropical English colony who were lucky enough to live not only in a house, but a house with a wireless, listened to the BBC News on the wireless every evening. The broadcasts were preceded by pip pip pip sounds - the sign that the BBC news was about to follow. On some evenings the voice of the man from the BBC was intermittently drowned by hissing noises, because the news broadcasts came in on shortwave, and shortwave is affected by weather disturbances and suchlike, the more so the longer the distance.

So it was mainly because of the BBC News that l’affaire Profumo was as immediate to me as it was to the people of England six thousand miles away. I could hardly wait for the next installment the next evening.

What, then, was l’affaire Profumo all about? Sex, it seems. The people of England were as obsessed about sex-in-high-places then, as they are now, because they were as Puritanical about sex then, as they are now. You may think this surprising. You should remember, though, that the infusion today of sex into just about every conversation, film, television programme, book, newspaper article, and whatnot, is a reaction to yesterday’s Puritanism. It’s the same dynamic, you might say.

The Sexual Offences Act that was enacted in 1956, had a section that said if a man introduced another man to a woman between 16 and 21, and they subsequently had sex, the man who introduced them was a criminal (as a procurer) and could go to jail.

A ridiculous law I’m sure you’ll agree. Worthy of a Third World theocracy. On the other hand it was 1956, not 2013. Here, though, is the pièce de résistance: this section wasn’t abolished until 1995. That’s right, 1995, just eighteen years ago.

As long as this section was law, it made criminals of hundred of thousands, if not millions of Englishmen, and could be used by the police to prosecute anyone the government didn’t like.

In l’affaire Profumo, a man the government definitely didn’t like, was a Harley Street osteopath called Stephen Ward, who had been going around boasting about his friendships with men in high up government places, and also with the Russian naval attache, Yevgeny Ivanov.

Stephen Ward didn’t help himself by having both Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies stay with him at various times. So he became easy meat for the police to hang several sex-related charges on, including the infamous procuring charge.

To ensure nothing got in the way of Stephen Ward being convicted, the police pressured prosecution witnesses to give false testimony, and threatened to plant incriminating evidence in the home of at least one man, a quite important man, who wanted to give Ward a good character reference in court. This man got the message and changed his mind.

So the English police were not quite like Dixon of Dock Green. And, if you are an Englishman of today, how can you be sure the police don’t get up to the sorts of things today that they did in 1963. A dank jail cell may await you even though you’ve done nothing. You could be taken there in handcuffs at any time, maybe even this evening.

L’affaire Profumo, despite being for all intents and purposes a storm in a teacup, did contain a tragedy - Stephen Ward’s suicide. His persecution by the English police became too much for him and he cracked. In the opinion of experts, the trumped-up charges on which he was convicted would have been overturned by an appeals court.

There was such a mountain of happenings surrounding l’affaire Profumo, you can only begin to get a complete picture of it by reading Richard Davenport Hines’s account. It’s page-turning reading.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

On Seeing "The Great Gatsby"

I had delayed seeing the latest film version of “The Great Gatsby” because I’d seen the film’s trailer, that had put me off, and had read some reviews which weren’t flattering. One review went so far as to call it a dreadful film, that was all glitter and no heart. And I had been enchanted by the 1974 film of Gatsby, and felt any future film treatments of Gatsby couldn’t therefore fail to disappoint.

I had also delayed seeing this latest version of Gatsby because I had got out of the habit of going out to see films. The last one I saw was over a year ago. And I hadn’t been watching films at home, apart from some favourites from decades ago on YouTube. So I’d become as far removed from the current filmic Zeitgeist as it’s possible to be.

The film-theatre where this latest Gatsby was showing is part of a multiplex that has automatic machines through which you can get a ticket, and a long counter at which you can buy fizzy-drinks and popcorn and potato chips and chewing gum. There are also video-game machines for you to play games on if you arrive too early and don’t know what to do before your film starts.

Always at sea with gadgets, I didn’t buy my ticket from one of the automatic ticket machines, but from a real live ticket seller behind a counter. Most film theatres, it seems, still employ live ticket sellers to cater to people like me for whom gadgets are uneasy bedfellows. One day, though, the last live ticket-seller will have been got rid of. What’ll I do then?

Having bought my ticket, I was handed a pair of odd-looking glasses because this latest version of Gatsby is in 3D. I thought about the fact that I last saw a film in 3D close to sixty years ago. I had thought then that you couldn’t get more modern than watch a film in 3D. One of these films was set in Africa somewhere where the natives threw spears in the direction of the viewer. I ducked behind the seat in front as the arrows flew at me. I don’t remember anything else about this film, except that it may have had Errol Flynn or Stewart Granger in it, and also one of the beautiful ladies who were big stars in films then, like Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth.

Having put the glasses on as Gatsby began, I hoped the 3D effect wouldn’t distract from the film. It did at first because I kept taking the glasses off to see how the images on the screen really looked. And when I put the glasses back on I closed one eye every now and again in order to experience the 3D effect vanishing.

As the film began, and I saw the computer-generated effects, and heard the beat of the modern music, I had to struggle not to compare all this unfavourably with the 1974 Gatsby that had enchanted me so. Instead, I abandoned my sixty-something persona and imagined I was again twenty, but instead of being born in the mid-1940s, I had been born in the early 1990s, and so had been shaped by the music and other cultural influences dating only from then.

As soon as I did this, I began to feel better, and got into the spirit of the film I was actually seeing. And I reminded myself that novels and the films of them must necessarily be different because..... well.....films and novels are very different artistic means of arriving at very similar truths. So when I saw the film has Nick Carraway as a recovering alcoholic in a psychiatric home as he narrates and types his memories of Gatsby, I didn’t mind. In fact I thought: what a good idea, given Scott Fitzgerald had himself been an alcoholic, and that Tobey Maguire, who plays Nick Carraway, is made up to look like Fitzgerald.

Because of the music and computer-generated effects, this Gatsby, despite being set in the ‘twenties, doesn’t really convey a feeling of that time, and could just as well have been set today. And if it had been, so what? Think of the various adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, some of which are set in modern times, and people like it. If a story is compelling, it shouldn’t matter when it’s set.

While this Gatsby, aside from its superb camera-work, is over-the-top lavish, I think it comparatively no more over-the-top lavish than Orson Welles’s “Citizen Kane” was considered to be in 1941. Had Orson Welles lived today, and had filmed Gatsby, his Gatsby may well have been similar to Baz Luhrman’s.

Watching Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, and hearing him speak sometimes slurringly, I wondered if he was channeling Marlon Brando. Whether he was or wasn’t, I thought DiCaprio excellent as Gatsby. The more the film went on the more it pulled me in, so that I forgot where I was. When it ended I thought I might like to see it again, and soon.

For me, these are always the signs of a good, if not great, film. So I give this Gatsby a thumbs-up - maybe even a big thumbs-up. I hadn’t at all expected to feel this way when I’d set out from home earlier. Is there a lesson here?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Jung and Cook

You are aware, are you not, of a book the great CG Jung wrote, called "Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth"? He said in it that flying saucers are nothing but psychic projections, born of the conflict in the psyche of Modern Man between his personal consciousness and the underlying collective unconscious.

What do you say to this?

I don’t doubt some men see flying saucers that are actually only the products of their minds. Jung was obviously writing about these sorts of men. He wasn’t writing about flying saucers that are as real as the car you drive.

You see, unbeknownst to nearly everyone, Jung appeared to have accepted *the physical reality of at least some flying saucers*, and that they may be from extra-terrestrial civilisations. He didn’t talk about this in his book, though, because he said in so many words that real flying saucers weren’t his area of expertise; only the imaginary ones were.

Have you ever seen a TV documentary called *UFOs: The Hidden Evidence*?

Funny you should ask, but, yes I have, and it was only last week.

It pulls, does it not, the rug from under you and others of your ilk, who think flying saucers don’t come from earth? I mean, this documentary leaves a powerful impression on the viewer that flying saucers are man-made, and so are from earth. Has it convinced you of this?

No.

Whyever not?

While the man who made this documentary appeared to have wanted his viewers to think that man-made flying saucers explain all flying saucers, he didn’t actually say all flying saucers are man-made.

Keep in mind, this film’s maker is a mainstream journalist, and his film was made for a mainstream broadcaster. Given that Alien flying saucers are today’s Great Taboo, the film’s ideological slant would be expected.

I agree, however, with the film’s maker that the object that appeared to crash at Roswell could have been an experimental man-made saucer. Given Roswell’s nearness to a top secret military base that housed hundreds of German scientists, and that Germany had been experimenting with saucer-shaped craft, and that the Roswell crash was so soon after the War, these German scientists just may, in their new home, have continued their flying saucer experiments, at least for a while.

However, it’s obvious these putative flying saucer experiments came to nothing, otherwise the flying saucer would certainly have become as much a part of America’s military arsenal as did the atomic and hydrogen bombs, the anti-missile missile, the stealth aircraft, and all the other state-of-the-art military paraphernalia.

So, to imply that flying saucers seen today doing all those amazing things in the sky, seventy years after the War, are man-made, is just silly. 

The film’s implication that the “Foo Fighters”, which so many fighter pilots from all sides saw, were a German secret weapon, is also just silly, for no evidence has ever been unearthed that the “Foo Fighter” was in the arsenals of any of the warring nations.

Even supposing the Foo Fighters were a German secret weapon, what use were they? I mean, they didn’t even try to ram, or didn’t even try to shoot down, a single Allied plane.

So then, you think the Foo Fighters were of extra-terrestrial provenance?

Given they seemed intelligently controlled - thereby ruling out swamp gas and ball lightning as causes of the phenomena - I think they were Not From Here, and that whoever sent them was concerned about the destructiveness of the war-weapons wielded.

Consider the testimony of a number of American military men who have manned nuclear-missile silos, and who have seen *large balls of light* hovering over the silos, and that seem to have caused the missiles' operating systems not to work.

The Aliens - if Aliens they are - appear worried about what we could get up to with our terrible weapons, for we could use them in space, and thereby threaten the well-being of those who live Out There.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bring Up The Bodies

I’ve just finished reading Hilary Mantel’s “Bring Up the Bodies”. I didn't find it easy reading, but then I hadn't found “Wolf Hall” easy reading either. Is this because I’m not clever enough to have found them easy reading, or is it because Hilary Mantel deliberately made “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies” not easy reading, so that their readers thoughtfully savour them in small bites over many weeks instead of wolfing (sic) them down in a single day?

I’ve come across people so clever, they routinely read a book a day, so that over a year they read more than 300 books. I wish I could do this, for there are so many books I’d like to read, but never will because I won’t live long enough.

I wonder, though, whether those clever people who regularly read a book a day, could read all of “Wolf Hall” in a day, and the very next day read all of “Bring Up The Bodies”. If they could, how much would they comprehend? Perhaps, then, they might need as much as two days for each. As it was, I spent a whole month on “Bring Up The Bodies”.

Because it won last year’s Booker Prize, and so was written about and spoken about everywhere, I probably don’t need to tell you what "Bring Up The Bodies" is about, but I will. It’s about King Henry the Eighth, and all the trouble he had to go through to rid himself of his second wife, Anne Boleyn, because he wanted to marry Jane Seymour. 

If Anne had been a Miss Goody Two Shoes, it might have been even more trouble for Henry to get rid of her than it actually was, for, despite being a King, he needed good reason to get rid of her. Fortunately for Henry, Anne liked to flirt with the young men in the Royal court to such an extent that it gave observers reason to think she was sleeping with some, among them her brother.

In those days, if a Queen slept with a man not the King, it was borderline treason, and even more so if the man not the King was her brother. Also, it was said that Anne had told at least one of the men she allegedly slept with that she wished Henry was dead. For anyone, let alone a Queen, to say this was definitely treason, and punishable by death.

It was one thing to suspect Anne of sleeping with these young men, and another thing to prove it. However, standards of proof in Henry’s time weren’t quite what they are today. And, anyone could be made to confess anything if they were put on the rack, which they were in Henry’s time if they didn’t say what law enforcers wanted them to say. Indeed, the law enforcers of Henry’s time had a freedom of action that would make today’s law enforcers green with envy.

Hence Anne, and the young men she allegedly slept with, were always going to have their work cut out for them if they were to avoid an unpleasant fate.

One of the things reading “Bring Up The Bodies” may do for you is make you glad you didn’t live in the England of Henry the Eighth, even if you were Henry himself.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What Did the President Know?

“Roswell” is the name that’ll be forever associated with the UFO phenomenon, for it was near Roswell (New Mexico) in July 1947 when an Alien-operated flying saucer allegedly crashed, then was retrieved and taken away by the American military authorities. There was even talk of dead Aliens - assumedly the crew - being found near the crash site. Do you believe any of this?

Before I answer your question, may I say how glad I am you said “flying saucer”, rather than “UFO”? I need hardly remind you that “flying saucer” and “UFO” don’t always mean the same. While a “flying saucer” is a “UFO” until identified as a flying saucer, only some “UFOs” are “flying saucers”. Hence I can’t help but become irritated when people say “UFO” when really they mean “flying saucer”.

But, hasn’t “flying saucer” become a joke in the minds the masses? I mean, “flying saucer” doesn’t have the gravitas of “UFO”, does it?

If “UFO” does have more gravitas than “flying saucer”, it’s no longer much more. Hence “Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon” (UAP) is now the preferred term. Soon, though, “Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon” will become as much a joke as “UFO” is becoming, and yet another term will have to be coined.

You see, the “UFO”, “flying saucer”, “UAF” phenomenon, is today’s Great Taboo. As with all taboos, the UFO taboo must therefore always be treated as a giggle. Hence the tiresome references to “little green men” whenever UFOs are written of in the Popular Press. I could go on about this if you want.

Later perhaps. Meanwhile could you answer what I originally asked? Did an Alien flying saucer crash at Roswell?

I believe at least one did. There may have been a second too. You doubtless know of the famous headline in the “Roswell Daily Record” of July 8th 1947, that said *“RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region”*. The article said the saucer had been found by a rancher, who told the police, who told the military authorities. However, the next day, July 9th, the paper reported that what the rancher had found was not a crashed flying saucer, but merely the remains of a downed weather balloon.

While the RAAF (Roswell Army Air Field) probably did retrieve a crashed flying saucer at around this time, it wasn’t from from the ranch of the rancher in question, but from somewhere else nearby. The debris the rancher found had extremely odd characteristics and had likely been jettisoned from a damaged flying saucer flying overhead, that finally crashed thirty or so miles further on. This was the saucer the army retrieved. The story about the weather balloon was a ruse by the army, put out to deceive the public, for the usual obvious reasons.

You talk only about a retrieved flying saucer. But, according to the *Eisenhower Briefing Document*, the bodies of four Aliens were found two miles from the crash site.

The Eisenhower Briefing Document also says the rancher reported a crashed saucer, which he didn’t. He reported strange debris. And the Document says the saucer was recovered on July 7th, whereas it was likely recovered on July 4th.

While these two misstatements are not that important, it’s likely a document prepared for the President of America wouldn’t be as sloppy. These two misstatements, as minor as they are, only add fuel to the already existing suspicion that this Document is a hoax.

However, because the Eisenhower Briefing Document may be a hoax, doesn’t mean Alien bodies weren’t found. If the crashed saucer had had a sentient crew, it’s likely they were killed in the crash, and their bodies found amid the wreckage.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

ETs, Germs, and Oxygen

What do you think about the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure, that took place last week in Washington?

It revealed a lot of information that showed beyond all reasonable doubt that flying craft Not From Here have visited Earth, and continue to. Sensational news, you’d think. However, the Popular Press (otherwise known as the Mainstream Media) treated the hearings as a joke. But then, should you be surprised?

You talk of flying craft Not From Here. But, someone must fly them. Is it not likely, then, that the pilots would also be Not From Here?

You shouldn’t assume pilots fly these craft. They could be unmanned and remotely controlled from other planets. Think of the unmanned Mars Rover that is remotely controlled from Earth. If, though, pilots do fly these craft, why should they be biological entities? Why shouldn’t they be robots?

Think of our own robotic technology. Quite human-looking robots are already being produced, that can speak and act intelligently. Before too long, we’ll be producing robots that look so human, and will speak, think and act so much like a human, that if you meet one, you won’t know it’s a robot.

If you saw the film, “Blade Runner”, you’ll remember the Androids - completely human in appearance, speech and demeanor, only they are even more intelligent, better-looking and athletic than the average human. Because of these qualities, female Androids were much sought-after by human males.

At the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure, evidence came forth that suggested Extraterrestrial beings were retrieved from crashed flying craft, like at Roswell. *This video* is fascinating. It shows an elderly former CIA man in obviously very bad health, talking about when, as part of his official CIA duties, he had seen ETs held captive at the famous and mysterious Area 51.

It’s indeed a fascinating interview. Assuming this man is telling the truth (and why shouldn’t he be?) it’s possible that what he saw were ET-built humanoid-looking robots that had piloted the crashed flying saucers from which they’d been retrieved.

Had they been sentient, they would have needed to breathe, and it seems unlikely they could breathe the earth’s atmosphere. The Human, after all, can’t breathe the moon’s or Mars’ atmosphere. So he must, when visiting the moon or Mars, bring oxygen.

Then there’s germs. How likely is it that sentient ETs would be immune to the Earth’s germs? Only if they had developed the appropriate vaccines, which, come to think of it, isn’t impossible if their medical science is far in advance of ours.

(To be continued.........)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Beatrice & Virgil

In Yan Martel's most recent novel, “Beatrice & Virgil”, Beatrice is a donkey, and Virgil a monkey. They are exhibits in a taxidermist's shop. Despite being dead, they talk, and indeed talk with each other about matters of great profundity.

The taxidermist himself, is a man of equally great profundity. When, for instance, he speaks of taxidermy, he makes you see it in a new way:
Is there a level of barbarism involved in taxidermy? I see none. Or only if one lives a life entirely sheltered from death in which one never looks into the back room of a butcher shop, or the operating room of a hospital, or the working room of a funeral parlour. Life and death live and die in exactly the same spot, the body. It is from there that both babies and cancers are born. To ignore death, then, is to ignore life. I no more mind the smell of an animal's carcass than I do the smell of a field; both are natural and each has its attaching particularity.
.........taxidermists do not create a demand. We merely preserve a result. I have never hunted in my life and have no interest in the pursuit. I would never harm an animal. They are my friends. When I work on an animal, I work in the knowledge that nothing I do can alter its life, which is past. What I am actually doing is extracting and refining memory from death. In that, I am no different from a historian, who parses through the material evidence of the past in an attempt to reconstruct it and then understand it. Every animal I have mounted has been an interpretation of the past. I am a historian, dealing with an animal's past; the zookeeper is a politician, dealing with an animal's present; and everyone else is a citizen who must decide on that animal's future. So you see, we are dealing here with matters so much weightier than what to do with a dusty stuffed duck inherited from an uncle......
While reading “Beatrice & Virgil”, I wondered why taxidermists stuff only animals. Why not humans too? Like, when your Loved Ones of the human species die – your old Mum or old Dad, or dear Wife - you could have a taxidermist stuff them. You would put them in a special room in your house, and you could talk to them whenever you feel like it. It would be like they'd never died.

Why has this never caught on?

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

What's Going On In The Namib Desert?

Stretching along the entire coastline of Namibia is a desert called the Namib Desert. As deserts go, the Namib is somewhat interesting, for not many deserts stretch along entire coastlines, and the terrain of the Namib is dotted with many thousands of patches of bare earth, shaped in circles, some over twenty meters in diameter.

If you *click here*, you can see examples of these “Fairy Circles”. Amazing, dontcha think?

No-one knows exactly how these circles are made, although some Men of Science think they know. One such Man of Science recently discovered that the soil underneath the circles is somewhat damp, and that lots of termites live in it. When it rains (which isn't often) the rain that falls on the circles seeps through the bare soil, for there's no vegetation to absorb the water.

It's this somewhat damp soil that attracts the termites, thinks the above-mentioned Man of Science. He, this Man of Science, says the termites created the bare soil by eating the roots of the vegetation, thereby destroying it. Hence the termites created the conditions for the soil underneath to retain the moisture, making it nice for the termites.

No sooner did this Man of Science proclaim it as the solution of the Fairy Circle mystery, other Men of Science attacked this explanation, saying just because lots of termites live beneath the Fairy Circles, doesn't necessarily mean they caused them.

Other Men of Science have yet other explanations for the Fairy Circles, all equally tortuous. However, none tackle the question: Why are the soil patches round, or at least almost round?

How about that extra-terrestrial flying craft caused the circles? Consider that the soil within the Crop Circles which manifest in England every year, and the soil on which many UFOs have landed, often shows traces of having been subjected to intense laser-like heat.

If, then, extra-terrestrial craft - which have, most of them, been observed to be round - land in the Namib Desert, and emanate laser-like heat on to the soil on which they land, this would kill off the vegetation. Given the desert's aridity, making it so difficult for vegetation to grow, it would be a long, long time before new vegetation replaced the old. Hence the patches of bare earth are round.

Because Namibia, and particularly the Namib Desert, has so few people, it would be perfect for thousands of visiting Extra-Terrestrials to use as a vast landing area with no-one noticing.

They're crafty, those ETs.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Libre Enfin

Combien de fois tous les jours rient les Français? C'était le sujet *de cet article* dans "Le Point".

Selon des recherches réalisée par Aquafresh (les gars dentifrice), la fréquence de rire c'est diminue avec l'âge. Je vais supposer que cette dynamique s'applique également aux Américains.

Qu'est-ce que ça signifie? Que les jeunes sont plus heureux que les personnes âgées? Ou que les personnes âgées se sentent plus libres d'être eux-mêmes? Pour répondre à cette question, pense à l'époque où vous étiez jeune.

Votre mère et votre père auraient voulu que vous avez beaucoup d'amis et d'être populaire. Donc vous avez dû sourire (qui fait partie du rire) tout le temps, même si vous sentiez triste. Vous ne devriez pas blâmer votre mère et votre père. Ils étaient conscients que la culture contemporaine c'est la culture de la personnalité, plutôt que de caractère. C'est la culture du bonimenteur et du vendeur. C'est la culture de l'extraverti, plutôt que de l'introverti.

Plus on sourit, plus on vend. Que on vend dentifrice, ou soi-même, cela n'a pas d'importance.

Quand on est vieux, on n'a pas à s'inquiéter de tout cela. On est libre enfin.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Who, Whom?

You'll remember, I'm sure, that my last few postings have dwelt on the origins of the Human. Absent evidence he's lived for several million years in a technologically advanced society, you can safely say he couldn't have evolved from the Ape. There's, in fact, no evidence he did. The assertion he did is mere speculation masquerading as fact.

However, should the alleged missing link between the Human and the Ape ever be found, you, who say the Human didn't evolve from the Ape, will have to eat porridge for your supper. 

As of now, the notion that today's Human is a genetic mixture of Extra-Terrestrial and Ape, best explains him. Even a Martian visiting Earth, and seeing the Human, then seeing the Ape and the other animals, would suspect right away that the Human isn't quite native to Earth.

Because our Men of Science, and the ancient Babylonian creation myths both say the Human first appeared 200,000 years ago, it's likely he did. However, while our Men of Science say he descended from the Ape, the Babylonian myths have been interpreted as saying he's the result of the Annunaki - a people from the planet Nibiru – genetically mixing their own genes with those of the Ape.

The important thing here is that, Annunaki or no Annunaki, the Extra-Terrestrial/Ape genetic mixing thesis best explains the Human.

***

What did the Annunaki do after they created the Human? The Babylonian myths are silent on this.  Did the Annunaki stay awhile? Or did they immediately go back to Nibiru and just forget their Human creation?

Whatever they did, it appears Beings from Out There are currently visiting Earth often. Aside from mysterious disk-shaped flying craft seen by so many, there are Alien Abductions involving Missing Time, and funny-looking little men extracting sperm samples from their Human captives.

A Human captive, waking up in his bed after being returned, and remembering only vaguely what happened, must feel like a wild animal waking up in its lair after being shot by a tranquiliser dart, and seeing a metal tag on its leg, and wondering how it got there.

The question must therefore be asked: Is the Human nothing more than the unknowing inmate of a huge worldwide laboratory for men from Out There to do research on? The taking of sperm samples from Human captives bespeaks that inter-species genetic manipulation out of which the Human was created, continues. But, to what end?

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Laughing

I've been reading up on Crop Circles. 

I've learned they've been around (sic) a long time - since 1674. But it was only forty years ago that they began appearing Big Time. And, during this last forty years their designs have become more and more sophisticated.

Ninety percent of Crop Circles manifest in England. Most are within forty miles of Stonehenge. Some are made by the Human; others aren't. When the Human makes a Crop Circle he does it with rollers and planks of wood that crush flat the hay, barley or whatever. When a non-Human makes a Crop Circle he does it by applying short bursts of intense heat to the hay, barley or whatever, causing them to bend at right angles an inch above the ground.

The heat that the non-Human applies to the hay, barley or whatever is so intense, it causes molecular changes in the plants. The earth within the Crop Circle is molecularly changed too, no doubt because when you apply a short burst of intense heat to a plant, you can't help but do the same to the soil around it.

Another difference between the Human-made Crop Circle and the non-Human-made one is that the Human-made one is less sophisticated and less geometrically precise than the non-Human-made one, and is otherwise sloppier. 

The non-Human-made Crop Circle, no matter how intricate its design or geometry, is made extremely quickly. Humans who have seen them made, say they form in under twenty seconds. Sometimes as they form, brightly coloured balls of light flit around the field. In other cases a shaft of light comes down and swirls the plants into the Crop Circle's geometric shape.

The Human-made Crop Circle is made much more slowly than the twenty seconds needed for the non-Human-made one, because it takes time to lug around the planks and rollers.

Is not the non-Human-made Crop Circle intriguing? Could the non-Human who makes it, make it from a planet far, far away? Think of the Rover currently on Mars, that is sending back through fifty million miles of space, those amazingly clear pictures of the Martian terrain. All the while the Mars Rover is trundling around, gathering up soil samples for Men of Science here on Earth to analyse. The thing here, is that by means of electronic pulses from Earth, our Men of Science are controlling the Mars Rover, telling it in effect what to do.

What if a Martian, out walking his dog of an evening after supper, should happen across the Mars Rover trundling about with no driver. Would it even occur to him that men fifty million miles away on another planet were controlling it. Even should this notion occur to him, would he not be loathe to share it with his family and friends for fear of them laughing at him?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Apes By Any Other Name

There's this Man of Science who's saying it'll soon be possible to bring back the Neanderthal by cloning him. The Neanderthal genome has now been sequenced. It just remains to chop it into 10,000 chunks, synthesise the pieces, then plant them in a human woman, who, a few months later, will bear a little Neanderthal. All quite simple really. Since the woman will likely be well-paid, there'll be no lack of volunteers for the job of surrogate mother.

There is in Russia an Ape-like being, called an “Alma”, that is quite Neanderthal-like to look at. It is thought by many that the Alma is in fact a Neanderthal, the descendant of Neanderthals that, in order to get away from the Human who was trying to kill them all, left the plains and lightly wooded areas of the world, and found refuge in the vast forests of Russia.

In mid-nineteenth century Russia an Alma female, named “Zana”, was captured, and remained a captive until her death a few decades later. During this time she gave birth to eight children by human fathers. Four children lived to be adults and had children of their own.

If Zana was indeed a Neanderthal, her story supports the notion of some of our Men of Science, that the early human Human and Neanderthal were able to interbreed, and did.

If the supposedly extinct Neanderthal did escape into the forests to get away from the Human,  the other supposedly extinct Apes – the alleged forefathers of the Human – may have done the same. But instead of escaping into the forests of Russia, they escaped into forests of the Himalayas - where they are called Yeti - and into the forests of North America, where they are called Sasquatch.

If the Yeti and Sasquatch do exist (evidence to support the fact of Sasquatch is impressive), this suggests the Human didn't descend from the Ape. Is it, then, any wonder that our Men of Science are so hostile to the Yeti and Sasquatch?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Inter-Galactic Federation of Sovereign Planets

I spoke *last time* of the first Human. Making him wasn't plain sailing, for gene manipulation was as time-consuming and as filled with trials and errors then, 250,000 years ago, as it is today. Because the Annunaki wanted gold, it's likely the first Human was made in southern Africa where the gold was, and is still.

That the first Human came out of southern Africa 250,000 years ago is, ironically, consistent with the Official Story about the appearance of the first Human.

Today's Human uses only ten 10 per-cent of his brain. This bespeaks the Annunaki deliberately restricted the Human's ability to use all his brain, because digging gold doesn't need brains so much as brawn. However, the Ape failed as a digger despite it having more brawn than the Human. The Ape just didn't have enough brain for digging. The Human obviously did.

The early Human, able to use only 10 per-cent of his brain, may well have been a obedient digger, as the Annunaki designed him to be. But the Human isn't this way now. He's become too big for his boots and can now destroy Earth with his atomic bombs. Although a technological genius, he remains an emotional primitive. He's now out of balance. This is most dangerous.

Some years ago a retired copy editor at a major newspaper wrote a book about his being abducted by Aliens and taken off in their spaceship for three days. The Aliens told him their civilisation belonged to the Inter-Galactic Federation of Sovereign Planets (IGFSP) – an umbrella organisation representing the many thousands of planetary civilisations, sort of like our United Nations.

Ever since the Human landed on the moon the IGFSP had been closely monitoring Earth. It was concerned that the Human, with his atomic bombs and volatile emotions, boded ill for the other planetary civilisations should he continue planetary exploration. The IGFSP finally concluded the Human was too dangerous to be allowed onto any other planet, including the moon, which he was forbidden to make further landings on. The IGFSP communicated this to the relevant Earthly governments.

Whatever you think of all this, do you not find it singular that the Human hasn't returned to the moon in forty years?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

In The Beginning

The brain of the Human bespeaks he must have lived in a technologically advanced society for several million years, for reasons *explained here*. However, according to the Official Truth, the Human, after abandoning his peripatetic hunting ways 10,000 years ago, began to settle down and farm. You see the problem, no?

It's possible there used to be evidence the Human lived for several million years in a technologically advanced society. But this evidence was largely washed away by an apocalyptic world-wide flood that happened 12,000 or so years ago, leaving only the ruins of ancient structures, like the Great Pyramid of Giza, that are so remarkable the Human of today couldn't build them.

Several million years of living in a technologically advanced society is but one explanation for why the Human brain is so advanced from the Ape brain. There's another intriguing explanation: today's Human is the product of genetic manipulation by extra-terrestrials.

Interpretations of Babylonian creation myths suggest exactly this. The Annunaki, a people from a planet called Nibiru, landed in Mesopotamia about 300,000 years ago. They needed gold, and were looking for a planet that had it. When the Annunaki learned Earth had gold they were for the most part happy. They were less happy, though, that the gold was deep underground and would have to be dug out.

The thing was, the Annunaki didn't like the prospect of the hard work that digging out gold would entail. However when they saw the Ape they thought it would be perfect as a digger. Unfortunately  the Ape didn't prove suitable in practice. What to do? Why, create, through manipulating the genes of themselves and the Ape, a hybrid Annunaki/Ape species suitable for digging.

Because gene manipulating inherently involves much trial and error, it took a long time for the Annunaki to perfect a suitable digger, who, if you didn't already guess, became the first Human.

More next time........

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Everywhere You Look

I ended *my last posting* by asking if the disappearance of the Human would necessarily be a Bad Thing. Therefore I implied it just could be a Good Thing. Perhaps, though, it depends on who you are. 

If you're a wild animal – a lion or wildebeest or jaguar or somesuch - and the Human were to disappear, it would be Good Thing. If you're a domestic dog or domestic cat, it would definitely be a Bad Thing. If you're a cow or bull or horse or pig or whatever, who knows? And if you're a Human, well, it depends.

If the Human doesn't disappear soon by means of an apocalyptic flood or of an apocalyptic nuclear war, what sort of life does he face? You see, if English-speaking North America is anything to go by, the Human is steadily becoming redundant, for the Robot is now doing more and more of the work the Human was paid to do.

As each year passes the numbers of Humans gainfully working as a percentage of the numbers of all Humans, drop. This shouldn't surprise you, since all employers now boast that, thanks to automation, they are now “doing more with less”. Nonetheless, the workless rate the Rulers give out is usually a steady eight percent or so.

At first sight this doesn't look too bad. But the real rate is around fifteen percent – not that much below the Great Depression rate of twenty-five percent. Even so, this won't bother you if you belong to the Contented Class, for, thanks to food stamps and their like, the workless Human is now Invisible. Unlike his forefather in the Great Depression he no longer needs to stand in a soup line for those of the Contented Class to see as they drive past.

So big are the strides of technology, automation, in the form of the Robot, will soon be everywhere you look. In next to no time there'll hardly be a job the Robot won't be doing better and cheaper than the Human who now does it. Instead of just fifteen percent of Humans being workless, eighty percent will be. What then?

If you are one of this eighty percent, being drowned in an apocalyptic flood, or being nuked by an atomic bomb, may not sound so bad.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Closer to Madness

I spoke in the *posting before last*, about how likely it is that an apocalyptic world-wide flood will wipe out the civilisations of the Human. Although it's 12,000 years since this last happened, the next apocalyptic world-wide flood could happen any time. So you shouldn't get too complacent.

Something else you shouldn't get too complacent about is the prospect of the Human destroying himself and everything around him through dropping on other Humans all the nuclear bombs stored  in bunkers throughout the world. No doubt you think these bombs are so terrible, only madmen would drop them. But, have you stopped to consider there are lots of madmen about. You may even know some. You yourself could be a madman, only you don't know it.

Whatever the truth, you likely think you know who the madmen are - the unwashed shabby men on buses who rock back and forth in their seats and talk to themselves; the bearded fever-eyed men on downtown street corners who wave bibles and shout that the End is Nigh. So you don't stop to think that the tweed-jacketed avuncular professor at your daughter's university might be a madman, or that the always-smiling ruler of your land might be a madman.

In the newspapers you read on the bus on the way to work, have you never seen articles by learned academics on the merits of the pre-emptive nuclear surgical strike, or read speeches by revered national leaders who advocate the same? Do you never stop to remember that seventy years ago, two nuclear bombs actually were dropped on Humans, and that, since then, world-wide nuclear wars have been only narrowly averted?

Deep down you know the question isn't if an apocalyptic Human-ending nuclear war will ever happen, but when - that is, if an apocalyptic Human-ending world-wide flood doesn't happen first. Whatever the means, the Human is soon to be History.

When this happens, will it necessarily be a Bad Thing? Ca depend.......

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Man of Parts

Last night I finished “A Man of Parts”. Now, this morning, I'm feeling quite bereft, for, having had HG Wells as a vicarious companion over the last three weeks, how could I not be?

Over his long life HG Wells wrote over 100 books and had over 100 lovers. A considerable achievement, for, if you are of the sort who can write 100 books over your lifetime, you won't normally be of the sort who can also have 100 lovers over your lifetime. And vice versa.

HG Wells's 100 or so books were of all genres – science fiction, romances, history, politics, religion, speculation, you name it. He predicted the atomic bomb decades before it happened, and predicted an encyclopedia much like Wikipedia decades before Wikipedia happened. There was nothing HG Wells wasn't interested in, and nothing he couldn't write and talk interestingly about. The only later equivalent I can think of is Isaac Asimov.

HG Wells having had 100 - and probably more, many more – lovers, is all the more remarkable when you consider he was only five foot five, was fattish, and had a high chirping voice. But then, Wells - born more than 140 years ago - may simply have lived in a time when young women went for men who looked and sounded like Wells, and were otherwise of his ilk.

Wells can count himself lucky he lived when he did. Today he would likely have lived womanless, since your young woman of today goes only for a man who has a washboard stomach, who is much, much taller than five foot five, has a thrilling gravelly voice, and spends as much time working out as Wells did reading and writing.

Amazingly, it was young women who pursued Wells, rather than he pursuing them. Two of the most notable were Amber Reeves and Rebecca West, each of whom bore a child by Wells. Equally amazingly, Wells's second wife, Jane - to whom he was married for nearly three decades until her death – knew about his many lovers, even entertaining them as guests in her home.

Were wives today as wise to the ways of men, and as tolerant of them as was Jane, many lawyers would have to find other work. 

I found “A Man of Parts” a wonderful read. Now, as I said earlier, I'm feeling quite bereft. I shall have to begin on the next novel in my list. Here it is, Hilary Mantel's “An Experiment in Love”. Ta ta now.........

Monday, January 07, 2013

Dire Straits

Well, December 21st 2012 has just passed, and nothing untoward happened. You're feeling happy about this, I'll bet. You're thinking the ubiquitous forecasts of a worldwide apocalypse on that day, were always bilge, and you're ashamed you ever gave them even a soupçon of credence.

Actually, a worldwide apocalypse could happen at any time. I'll remind you the earth does a full turn on its axis each 24 hours, while also doing a complete circle around the sun every 12 months. And, because the earth wobbles like a top while spinning on its axis, the north and south poles rotate (precession), and do a complete rotation each 25,920 years.

While all this is going on, the earth is being subjected to the varying gravitational pulls from the moon, and the other planets in its neighbourhood. Because the weight of the ice-shields and oceans and whatnot on the earth's outer crust is maldistributed, it wouldn't take too much to cause the earth's orbit to change, or the earth to tip, resulting in changes of position of the north and south poles. And not to speak of massive shifts in position of the earth's outer crusts. So, if a Greenlander, you could find yourself at the equator. If an African, you could find yourself at one of the poles.

You'll readily see that any of this would cause world-wide climate-changes to happen Big Time. If a Greenlander, and Greenland becomes scorching hot, you'll have to get used to slapping on lots of sun-tan oil all the time, and to just wearing a flowered shirt and shorts and sandals. If an African, and Africa is inundated with ice and snow, you'll have to get used to wearing winter woollies, and even snow boots and a fur cap.

Because places presently covered with ice and snow and whatnot might now have scorching hot weather, the ice and snow and whatnot will melt into the seas, causing their levels to rise Big Time. This'll bring about world-wide flooding on a scale you won't even have dreamed of.

You'll have to abandon your home lickety-split if flood-waters approach, and you'll need to find another permanent home far, far away. Should the flood-waters catch up with you while you're fleeing, you'll be in even more dire straits if your father didn't  give you swimming lessons when you were small.

Even should you flee successfully, and find a new refuge far, far away with a vastly different climate, you'll have to find new work, which, if you were an oil-man with your own air-conditioned corner office in a skyscraper, will be less pleasant.

Although I've digressed a bit from the premises of Isaac Asimov's and Robert Silverberg's *“Nightfall”*, the next posting may show I didn't digress too much.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Way Down Below the Ocean, Where I Wanna Be She May Be

It was Plato, the Great Plato, who first spoke about about Atlantis - a land, the size of today's eastern Turkey and Libya combined, that housed a mighty civilisation, but which sank and disappeared from the consequences of an earthquake 11,500 years ago. Plato didn't say exactly where Atlantis was, other than that it lay in front of the Pillars of Hercules, which, in case you don't know, flanked the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar from the Atlantic Ocean.

But, how far in front of the Pillars of Hercules? Because Plato didn't say, no-one knows. So, throughout the 2,500 years since Plato breathed his last, eager men have speculated about where below the vast Atlantic Ocean the submerged Atlantis now lies. They have also searched for it, and still do, but so far to no avail.

Who were the Atlantans? Were they the ones who built the Great Pyramid and the other huge ancient structures throughout the world, about which men have always scratched their heads in wonderment? Was Atlantis the home of a worldwide maritime civilisation, so enlightened and so technologically wondrous, it was an Eden from whose demise mankind has never recovered?

Could Antarctica – about which I spoke *last time* – be the lost Atlantis? It's big enough, since it's almost twice the size of Australia, and it wasn't always at the South Pole with a one-mile-deep ice-sheet sitting atop it. No, it was once further north and had, as a result, a temperate climate, and forests and animals.

It is, then, beneath the one-mile-deep sheet of ice which covers Antarctica, that the answer to the riddle of Atlantis may lie.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Water, Always Water

There are stories of catastrophic floods in myths everywhere. So, did they (the floods) really happen? Very likely, given the several Ice Ages that feature in the earth's history. What I mean to say is that when there's lots of ice, as there is in any old Ice Age, and it all melts when the Ice Age ends, there's always lots of water left that has no-where to go but into the seas, whose levels consequently rise, and you get floods that, if they're big enough, wash away whole civilisations.

You can, then, safely assume the great floods, that myths all over the world tell of, really happened. And, because the ice sheets of just the last Ice Age covered all of North America, northern Europe and northern Asia, they would, when they melted, have caused catastrophic floods, that likely washed away whole civilisations.

As I said *last time*, there's still an Ice Age, but it's at the North Pole and South Pole (Antarctica). Given the one-mile-deep sheet of ice that covers Antarctica, which is almost twice the size of Australia, you don't have to think too hard to understand how big the floods would be if all this ice melted. And it would all melt, and quickly, were Antarctica to woosh a few thousand miles north.

The prospect of Antarctica wooshing north isn't far-fetched, since it may well have wooshed into where it now is, from north within the last few thousand years. Think of the ancient world-maps I told you of last time, that show Antarctica. Since our modern civilisation didn't know Antarctica existed until 200 years ago, these maps must have been made when Antarctica was last ice-free.

According to the experts, Antarctica was last ice-free several million years ago. Are you, then, to believe that these old maps, thought to be only a few thousand years sold, are actually a few million years old? Perhaps, though, the civilisation that made these old maps, already had the technology to map Antarctica despite the ice, just as our modern civilisation has done.

The answer, whatever it is, doesn't take away the likelihood that several thousand years ago - when the Human was supposed only to have begun farming - there was already a civilisation with the technology and know-how to map the entire earth and build the Great Pyramid of Giza.

I'm still not finished..........

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wooshing

If you've read all of what *I've said so far* about Isaac Asimov's and Robert Silverberg's “Nightfall”, and what it may indicate about the history of the Human, you'll now know that the Great Pyramid of Giza, and also ancient maps showing Antarctica, bespeak a technologically advanced civilisation that vanished from earth more than 12,000 years ago.

I'll today talk a little of the last Ice Age, when ice sheets covered North America, northern Europe and Asia. This Ice Age began 60,000 years ago, and was for all intents and purposes over about 11,500 years ago. There is, by the way, an Ice Age still, but it's at the North Pole and South Pole (Antarctica).

No-one knows exactly why the Ice Ages (there have been several) happened. Experts think changes in the earth's orbit or tilt, the most likely cause. But, how about massive and sudden shifts in the earth's crust? so that if you had lived thousands of years ago in a place with weather as nice as yours now is, you one day experienced yourself, and everything around you, wooshing to a different place. Soon you were amid mounds of ice and snow, that covered your house and garden too, as well as everywhere else as far as you could see.

Once you got over the immediate shock, you would have had an inkling that everything had inexplicably shifted to a polar region. You would have been somewhat comforted when you saw that your wife and children and your little friends had all shifted with you. But still.

A huge and quite sudden shifting of a continental land mass most likely explains Antarctica appearing in maps many thousands of years old, despite that our modern civilisation didn't even know about Antarctica until 200 years ago, because it was hidden by the one-mile-deep ice sheet on top of it.

These old maps can only have been made when Antarctica was still ice-free – hundreds of thousands, nay millions, of years ago. But, what if Antarctica was once where it was nice and warm and had no ice? Then it shifted thousands of miles south. Because it would have taken hundreds of years for the ice to pile up to its current the one-mile thickness, it was before this when the ancient mappers mapped Antarctica.

Since your teachers in school would have told you nothing of this, you are likely now in a state of disorientation, and in need of time to recover. Hence it'll have to be next time when I talk more.  

Ice and Maps

As I said *last time*, the Great Pyramid of Giza, that may have been built as long as 12,500 years ago, is an edifice bespeaking builders of such engineering genius, they could only have been from a technologically advanced civilisation, whose technology was at least the equal of ours today, because it's doubtful the Great Pyramid could be built today.

Why, then, is this civilisation not known about? Is it because it was destroyed as apocalyptically as was the planet-wide civilisation in Isaac Asimov's and Robert Silverberg's “Nightfall”?

There are world maps thousands of years old that show Antarctica, despite Antarctica not being known about until 200 years ago. Your teachers in school no doubt told you Antarctica is covered by ice two miles thick, so this was why it wasn't known about until 200 years ago. And your teachers were right. They wouldn't, though, have told you about the ancient maps showing Antarctica.

These ancient maps showing Antarctica must have been made before it was covered with all that ice, else how could the mappers have known Antarctica was there? Since it's thought by many that Antarctica didn't become covered with ice until about 12,000 years ago, these ancient maps must have been made more than 12,000 years ago. And because these maps show the contours of the world's continents amazingly accurately, the mappers must have been of a technologically advanced civilisation. Was it the same one that built the Great Pyramid of Giza?

More to come...........

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Crawling From the Ruins

Apropos Isaac Asimov's and Robert Silverberg's “Nightfall”, I *spoke last time* about how odd it is that the Human has vastly more brainpower than the Ape – a surprise, given the Human and the Ape became separate species 200,000 years ago or less. And, while you may think 200,000 years an awfully long time, evolutionists think it piffling. 

Since no other animal species has more brainpower than the Ape, the brain-power of the Human is an anomaly. Because evolutionary change is so slow, the Human, in order to evolve his  anomalously powerful brain, would have to have lived in a technologically advanced civilisation for many millions of years.

That the Human only 10,000 years ago began living in a civilisation with a technology sufficient only to carry out farming, and has only been around as a Human for 200,000 years or less, simply isn't believable because it was too fast. More believable is the Vatican's assertion that when the Human first evolved 200,000 years ago, God stepped in and gave him a soul and the all-powerful brain so he could think, feel and and act as a Human. But your Men of Science will have none of this.

Your Men of Science will also have none of the assertion that we of today are the descendants of those who crawled from the ruins of a world-wide technologically advanced civilisation that, many thousands of years ago, collapsed as apocalyptically as did the planet-wide civilisation in “Nightfall”.

Is there proof this happened? Well, not conclusive proof necessarily, but clues are everywhere. One such is the Great Pyramid of Giza. Your teachers in school doubtless told you that 4,500 years ago the Egyptians built it so the Pharaoh, Khufu, might rest in it for eternity.  However, the Great Pyramid is so huge and embodies such engineering genius, it's doubtful anyone could build it today. It seems, then, doubtful the Egyptians of 4,500 years ago could build it either.

Actually, there's good reason to think the Great Pyramid was built, not 4,500 years ago, but 12,500 years ago. And it's clear the builders had an advanced knowledge of the movements of the planets, and also knew things like the exact size of the earth's circumference and the length of its radius. So it's clear the builders were of a technologically advanced society. 

Who were they? And what became of their society? Stay tuned.........

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Of Apes and Men

You'll know *from last time* that, in discussing Isaac Asimov's and Robert Silverberg's “Nightfall”, I began speaking of how your teachers at school likely told you how the Human on this planet (earth) came to be.

Only in the last 10,000 years did the Human, by taking up farming, begin to separate himself definitively from the Ape because the Ape didn't have the brainpower to farm. And it's only in the last 100 years that the Human was able to come up with electricity, the Ford motor car, the 747 jet aeroplane, the laptop computer, the atomic bomb, the cell-phone, and the digital TV. But this required brainpower far greater than the Human needed to survive only 10,000 years ago.

So the question is: when did the Human develop this extraordinary brainpower? Did he already have it 200,000 years ago when he first appeared, and was living as primitively as the Ape? If the Human did already have this extraordinary brainpower, how did it evolve? You see, when your teachers in school told you about evolution, they would have told you that evolution in any species is only in response to external changes that threaten the survival of that species.

Hence the brainpower of your average Ape of today is no greater than the brainpower of your average Ape of 200,000 years ago because evolving more brainpower wasn't necessary for the Ape to survive as an Ape. For all you know, there's the occasional very clever Ape that could, under the right conditions, compose music on the order of Ludwig van's Glorious Ninth, or easily learn trigonometry (a random mutation). But that very clever Ape is no more likely spread his genes than any one of the overwhelming majority of ordinary run-of-the-mill Apes, that can do no more than swing from trees and eat bananas.

If the female Ape is anything like the female Human, she's infinitely more attracted to the male Ape that only swings from trees and eats bananas, than to the male Ape that can compose music like Ludwig van's Glorious Ninth, or who likes trigonometry. Hence the very clever male Ape won't likely spread his genes. The future Ape, then, will continue to be as....well..... Ape-like, as he has always been.

I'll continue this next time.......

Monday, December 24, 2012

From Hunter To Farmer

I spoke *last time* about Isaac Asimov's and Robert Silverberg's “Nightfall”. It's about a planet whose civilisation is catastrophically destroyed every few thousand years. Each time this happens, the surviving denizens must crawl out from the rubble and start again.

Where did Asimov get this idea from - the idea that a planet-wide civilisation every now and again catastrophically destroys itself, or becomes catastrophically destroyed through influences beyond its control. Was he (Asimov) thinking of our earthly human civilisation?

***

Your teachers, when you were in school, no doubt told you about how humans came to be, about how today's humans (of which you are one) descended from apes. Your teachers would also have told you that today's human hasn't been around that long – 200,000 years at most, but possibly as little as 100,000 years. Before that, there was just the ancestor of the human, the ape.

Your teachers would also have told you that the early humans lived in Africa, in a manner not much different from actual apes ie. apes not lucky enough to have evolved into humans. The early humans, who spent most of each day just hunting down other animals to eat, began getting bored, and developed itchy feet. So they trekked off to all corners of the earth.

They may, though, in their new domains of Europe and Asia and whatnot, have continued just to hunt and to be as bored as they were in Africa, for it wasn't until 10,000 years ago that they began farming, which, when you think about it, is even more boring than hunting. Anyway, one thing led to another, and today, a mere 10,000 years after the first human farmers, you have cell-phones, digital TVs and whatnot. Suspiciously quick, don't you think?

I, as did the early humans, am, too, becoming bored. I'll have to continue this next time.........

Thursday, December 20, 2012

When Night Falls

With the nights becoming longer as the winter solstice nears, I've been thinking of a science fiction novel I read some twenty years ago, “Nightfall”, by Robert Silverberg, who had based it on a short story of the same name by Isaac Asimov.

The story is set on a planet that is bathed always in sunlight because it has two or three (I don't remember how many exactly) suns, positioned in such a way that there's no corner of this planet that's ever dark, despite that it revolves on its axis, like earth.

Therefore the peoples of this planet (the name of which I also don't remember) know not what night is. The very idea of night, with its black sky and twinkling stars, is something this planet's denizens can't even imagine, except the most clever ones, like some of its scientists.

The denizens (except the clever ones, like some of the scientists) are unaware that every few thousand years the positions of the suns become aligned in such a way that half the planet as it revolves becomes dark (Nightfall) for a few hours.

The scientists have calculated that the end of the last several thousand years of uninterrupted sunlight is nigh. Nightfall is suddenly to descend on the planet's peoples. How will they react? A pertinent question, because there are stories, credible stories, that when the previous Nightfall descended those many thousand years ago, the people panicked. They went on a rampage - burning libraries, demolishing buildings, that sort of thing. All the recorded knowledge and structure of their society was destroyed. The civilisation collapsed.

Is this about again to happen? I won't say more, in case you decide to read “Nightfall”.

My summary is no doubt extremely imperfect because, as I said earlier, it's twenty or so years since I read “Nightfall”, and my power of recall isn't what it once upon a time was. However, what I sketched out above will do for what I'll talk of in my next posting.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What Comes Around.......

“A Man of Parts”, David Lodge's novel about the life of HG Wells, that I 've begun reading, begins in 1944, when HG Wells was terminally ill and living alone in wartime London, intrepidly ignoring the bombs and V1 rockets.

He does, though, get visits from the likes of Anthony, his son with Rebecca West, and from Rebecca herself, who, despite her long ago divorce from HG, still loves him in a way. In the extract below, Rebecca is travelling home from visiting HG. Among what they had talked about was Anthony's wish to divorce his wife, Kitty, because he'd met Someone Else who he liked better:
Travelling from Marylebone to High Wycombe in a stuffy first-class railway compartment, in the company of three elderly businessmen with bowler hats, peeping at her from time to time over their evening newspapers, Rebecca is overwhelmed by dread. The sense of a curse working itself out in delinquent fathers over several generations.

Her father had deserted his family when she was eight, going off to South Africa on some vague business venture and disappearing without trace, leaving his wife to bring up Rebecca and her two sisters on barely adequate means. Then she herself had to bring up Anthony on her own – admittedly with more generous financial support from his father, but HG kept his distance and his freedom – and now Anthony is planning to leave Kitty to bring up his children on her own. And what was the reward for the mothers whose lives were pinched and frustrated by the responsibility thrust upon them? They became the object of their children's displaced resentment, that was their reward.

She never gave up hope that her beloved Daddy would somehow return to the family with an honourable explanation for his absence, like the father in The Railway Children (how she had wept over the ending of that book!), until she was thirteen, when they heard that he had died. Later she learned from her mother that he had been an incorrigible philanderer, seducing their own housemaids and resorting to prostitutes.

She recognises in retrospect that she was a difficult disruptive child and adolescent, always quarrelling with her sisters and criticising her mother; Anthony was the same when he was growing up – hero-worshipping his absent father and blaming her for all the miserable experiences of his schooldays. She can so easily imagine little Caroline and Edmund [Anthony's and Kitty's children] in years to come repeating the same mistake, adoring Anthony and inflicting the same undeserved punishment on Kitty, as she struggles to bring them up, run the farm and, if she is lucky, find a little time for her art.

The feminism Rebecca campaigned for all her adult life has liberated women sexually – the bolder spirits among them anyway – but it has not redressed this fundamental imbalance in the relations between men and women: the female instinct to nurture their offspring and the male instinct to spend their seed promiscuously.

HG is simply a more intelligent and more successful version of her father. Even Henry [Rebecca's current husband] has disappointed her in this respect. Unfailingly kind and protective, admiring and supportive of her work (gamely escorting her around Yugoslavia in dirty trains and flea-infested hotels when she was researching Black Lamb and Grey Falcon), possessing impeccable manners, and enough money to allow her to live in some style, he is in every respect the perfect spouse, except that he is prone to infatuations with pretty young women, and he hasn't made love to her since 1937.

Lying beside him in bed one night she cried out in the dark: 'Why don't you make love to me any more?' But he was asleep, or pretended to be, and said nothing. She has had other lovers herself, of course, since then, though none at present. She reflects despondently that her sexual life may have come to an end.
Living as we do in today's enlightened times, we can read Rebecca's musings only in aghast, as we reflect on the fact that the lot of Rebecca was once upon a time the lot of so many other women too.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Being Boring

This morning, while continuing to read Ian McEwan's “Sweet Tooth, I came across a passage that......like........spoke to me.

Serena is visiting her mother and father over Christmas, as also is her sister, Lucy, with her (Lucy's) boyfriend, Luke. One evening after supper Serena joins Lucy and Luke for a stroll outside.
.....I wanted to tell Lucy about him [Tom]. I would have loved a sisterly session. We occasionally managed one, but set between us now was Luke's giant form and he was doing that inexcusable thing that men who liked cannabis tended to do, which was to go on about it – some famous stuff from a village in Thailand, the terrifying near-bust one night, the view across a certain holy lake at sunset under the influence, a hilarious misunderstanding in a bus station and other stultifying anecdotes. What was wrong with our generation? Our parents had the war to be boring about. We had this.

After a while we girls fell completely silent while Luke, in elated urgent terms, plunged deeper into the misapprehension that he was interesting, that we were enthralled. And almost immediately I had a contrary insight. I saw it clearly. Of course. Lucy and Luke were waiting for me to leave so they could be alone. That's what I would have wanted, if it had been Tom and me. Luke was deliberately and systematically boring me to drive me away. It was insensitive of me not to have noticed. Poor fellow, he was having to overreach himself and it was not a good performance, hopelessly overdone. No one in real life could be as boring as this. But in his round-about way he was only trying to be kind......
Was, though, Luke being deliberately boring, or was he just naturally boring? I, for what it's worth, have always found the Anecdote, regardless of what it's about, to be stultifyingly boring. And it's almost always a man who is the teller of the Anecdote. Why is this, I always stop to wonder. 

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Songs of San Francisco

The other day I received an e-mail from a friend in which was a hyperlink to an on-line video he'd just made about his recent visit to San Francisco. It turned out to be a nice enough video that showed a montage of what one should see when in San Francisco.

The video had as musical background the *immortal 1960's song* about San Francisco by Scott McKenzie. How perfect, I thought. However, the video being more than 12 minutes, and Scott McKenzie's song being only 3 minutes, the song was of necessity repeated four and more times on the video. 

As much as I love this Scott McKenzie song, I found hearing it over and over a little trying at the end. Since there are many other songs about San Francisco, why couldn't my friend have added some of these others to the video. It would have been the better for this.

Hence I e-mailed my friend and suggested the following songs for his consideration should he ever wish to amend his video:

*I Left My Heart in San Francisco* – Tony Bennett

*San Franciscan Nights* – Eric Burdon and the Animals

*Let's Go to San Francisco* - The Flower Pot Men

*Streets of San Francisco* – Sanford Clark

*'Frisco Blues* – John Lee Hooker

*San Francisco* – Jeanette MacDonald

While you listen, do you not feel it would be Heaven not only to visit San Francisco, but to live there too? Hence native San Franciscans might feel they do in fact live in Heaven, and so skip out to work each morning with smiles on their faces and music in their hearts. When next I'm there I'll check this out.

I got an e-mail back from my friend who thanked me for the songs. I sensed, though, that he felt I was casting aspersions on his video, on which he'd obviously spent much time. So, while it doesn't seem likely he'll be heeding my advice any time soon, I do live in hope that someday he will.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Maths or Literature?

I've begun reading Ian McEwan's “Sweet Tooth”. I'm finding it a veritable page-turner, no doubt because the prose is so elegant, and the tone so ironic and witty, reflecting a luminous intelligence that Ian McEwan obviously possesses.

Set in the Britain of circa 1972, “Sweet Tooth” is written from the first-person viewpoint of Serena Frome, a twenty-something woman, who, after graduating from the University with a Maths degree, has joined MI5 as a very junior functionary.

Despite that Serena's degree was in Maths, her big love has always been reading novels, that she gobbles up at a rate of four or five a week. It might be thought, then, that Serena would have studied English literature at the University. However, her Mother had insisted she study Maths because it would be more useful afterwards.

While Serena would have loved to major in English literature, she didn't subsequently regret not doing so because she saw that having to study novels to pass exams might have destroyed her love of literature. For what it's worth, I understand absolutely why she thought this. Novels shouldn't be cerebrally analysed, but savoured and experienced and enjoyed. Well, it's what I think.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Seeds and Hogs and Tractors and Water-Tanks and Chemicals

I finished reading Jane Smiley's "A Thousand Acres" last night. It had just too much farming in it for my taste. It seemed to go on and on and on and on about farming, so that I eventually found myself wincing each time the words "farm" and "farming" came up.

"A Thousand Acres" does have its juicy bits, though, but they are overshadowed by all the interminable passages about seeds and hogs and tractors and water-tanks and chemicals.

But, while I was reading, I reflected often that we who are city-slickers take so much for granted. Like, the water that gushes out our kitchen and bathroom taps. Where does it really come from? And, where would any of us be without the Farmer?

If, then, you're a Farmer, or a lover of Shakespeare, particularly his "King Lear" (on which this novel is loosely based), you'll likely love "A Thousand Acres". Since I'm neither, I shouldn't be surprised that I found "A Thousand Acres" not quite my cup of tea.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thoughts On "On Chesil Beach"

I recently read Ian McEwan's “On Chesil Beach” and enjoyed it hugely. Since I can't imagine anyone reading it not enjoying it hugely, I do hugely recommend it.

Set in 1962, “On Chesil Beach” tells of two young people, Edward and Florence, on their honeymoon night. If this isn't enough make you rush off to your nearest bookshop to buy it, the following thoughts I penned about it, should:
Although it's 1962, Edward tells Florence she carries on as if it's 1862. The irony is that if Edward and Florence had been born 100 years earlier, and had married in 1862, their marriage would almost certainly have survived.

While Florence, with her visceral abhorrence of sex, would have been considered in 1962 (not to speak of today) to have something wrong with her, she would have been thought normal in 1862. Then, a woman liking sex was thought a strumpet, a nymphomaniac, and worse.

The normal respectable woman of 1862 - inculcated from girlhood with the belief that marriage and everything that went with it was a patriotic duty - heroically lay back, closed her eyes and thought of England in order to make bearable those brief moments during which her husband exercised his conjugal rights.

Despite being repelled by sex, Florence was progressive enough in her views to suggest to Edward that they have an open marriage. Edward, by rejecting this idea out-of-hand, showed how old-fashioned he was.

However, people being what they are, open marriages seldom work. So, Florence's and Edward's marriage was doomed from the start. Better, then, to end it on the wedding night, rather than much later.

What was the genesis of Florence's dread of sex? Was it to do with her father? Think of the out-of-town journeys he used to take her on when she was a child - just the two of them – when they stayed at the grandest hotels.

When Florence, lying on the honeymoon bed, hears the sound of of Edward undressing, she suddenly remembers when she was twelve years old, and lying on a bunk, listening to her father undressing, and trying to blot the image out by closing her eyes and thinking of tunes she liked. Did anything else happen?

For me, the sadness of “On Chesil Beach” is not so much the collapse of the marriage after only a few hours, but that Edward and Florence couldn't have remained dear and lifelong friends. Had they been born twenty or thirty years later, they may have. 1962 was, however, a foreign country; they did things differently there.