29 August 2007

Fainter and languishing

John Donne on climate change:
As the world is the whole frame of the world, God hath put into it a reproof, a rebuke, lest it should seem eternal, which is, a sensible decay and age in the whole frame of the world, and every piece thereof. The seasons of the year irregular and distempered; the sun fainter, and languishing; men less in stature, and shorter-lived. No addition, but only every year, new sorts, new species of worms, and flies, and sicknesses, which argue more and more putrefaction of which they are engendered. And the angels of heaven, which did so familiarly converse with men in the beginning of the world, though they may not be doubted to perform to us still their ministerial assistances, yet they seem so far to have deserted this world, as that they do not appear to us, as they did to those our fathers.

Julian the Apostate on racial differences and their consequences:
Come, tell me why it is that the Celts and the Germans are fierce, while the Hellenes and Romans are, generally speaking, inclined to political life and humane, though at the same time unyielding and warlike? Why the Egyptians are more intelligent and more given to crafts, and the Syrians unwarlike and effeminate, but at the same time intelligent, hot-tempered, vain and quick to learn?

As for men's laws, it is evident that men have established them to correspond with their own natural dispositions; that is to say, constitutional and humane laws were established by those in whom a humane disposition had been fostered above all else, savage and inhuman laws by those in whom there lurked and was inherent the contrary disposition. For lawgivers have succeeded in adding but little by their discipline to the natural characters and aptitudes of men. Accordingly the Scythians would not receive Anacharsis among them when he was inspired by a religious frenzy, and with very few exceptions you will not find that any men of the Western nations have any great inclination for philosophy or geometry or studies of that sort, although the Roman Empire has now so long been paramount. But those who are unusually talented delight only in debate and the art of rhetoric, and do not adopt any other study; so strong, it seems, is the force of nature. Whence then come these differences of character and laws among the nations?

And yet among mankind the difference between the customs and the political constitutions of the nations is in every way greater than the difference in their language. What Hellene, for instance, ever tells us that a man ought to marry his sister or his daughter or his mother? Yet in Persia this is accounted virtuous. But why need I go over their several characteristics, or describe the love of liberty and lack of discipline of the Germans, the docility and tameness of the Syrians, the Persians, the Parthians, and in short of all the barbarians in the East and the South, and of all nations who possess and are contented with a somewhat despotic form of government?

For different natures must first have existed in all those things that among the nations were to be differentiated. This at any rate is seen if one observes how very different in their bodies are the Germans and Scythians from the Libyans and Ethiopians. Can this also be due to a bare decree, and does not the climate or the country have a joint influence with the gods in determining what sort of complexion they have?

19 August 2007

Camels are for smoking

From the Australian outback comes the gruesome story of a woman killed by her own pet camel:

“The 10-month-old animal knocked the woman, 60, to the ground, stomped on her head and then lay on top of her.”

A policeman on the scene, Sen-Constable Gregory, reports the camel had a history of odd behavior:

“It had a bit of a habit with a goat, knocking it over and sort of straddling it and laying on top of it.”

There’s little to be said after such a tragedy, which didn’t stop local “camel expert” Paddy McHugh from weighing in:
Townsville-based camel expert Paddy McHugh said the behaviour was “extremely unusual” for a camel so young.

“That’s a characteristic of a camel out of control,” he said.
Mr. McHugh said camels still made great pets, “often better than dogs”.
Yes, except for being six feet tall and weighing over a thousand pounds and occasionally stomping your head in because they are acting out some psycho-sexual urge, camels are much better pets than dogs.

Why must animal experts always make excuses whenever their favorite beasts do something terrible? It’s as if they’ve spent so much time studying and working with the animals they’ve contracted a zoological variant of Stockholm syndrome. If a shark eats a man, shark biologists rush to say it’s only because the shark thought the man was seal. If a tiger mauls a homosexualist it’s claimed the tiger was, in reality, only trying to help the victim of a stroke. If a mamba snake inflicts multiple bite wounds on a family inevitably some ophiologist jumps up shouting the mamba snake only did it because he had a difficult childhood and suffered from low self esteem.

RELATED: Bovine strangler.

It’s dead ingredients mingle deathiness

“The Hand of Glory is the hand of a man who has been hung, and is prepared in the following manner. Wrap the hand in a piece of winding sheet, drawing it tight so as to squeeze out the little blood which, may remain; then place it in an earthenware vessel with saltpetre, salt, and long pepper, all carefully and thoroughly powdered. Let it remain a fortnight in this pickle till it is well dried, then expose it to the sun in the dog-days till it is completely parched, or, if the sun be not powerful enough, dry it in an oven heated with vervain and fern. Next make a candle with the fat of a hung man, virgin wax, and Lapland sesame. The Hand of Glory is used to hold this candle when it is lighted. Wherever one goes with this contrivance, those it approaches are rendered incapable of motion as though they were dead.”
Notes on the Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties of England and the Borders, by William Henderson.

It’s also believed those knowledgeable in the arcane arts can use a Hand of Glory to open locks and locate concealed treasure. The Whitby Museum possesses a Hand of Glory, it’s the most popular object in the museum’s collection.

16 August 2007

Speckled inexorable

Mass immigration makes the United States increasingly “diverse”. Now Daniel Henninger, a member of the open borderist Wall Street Journal editorial collective and a supporter of mass immigration, has discovered:
“People in ethnically diverse settings don't want to have much of anything to do with each other. “Social capital” erodes. Diversity has a downside.”
What’s to be done? Henninger suggests:
“What's needed now is for a younger black, brown or polka-dot writer to recast the idea in a way that restores the worth and utility of assimilation. Somebody had better do it soon; the first chart offered in the Putnam study depicts inexorably rising rates of immigration in many nations.”
He recognizes we are already at the point where certain arguments won’t be fairly heard unless advanced by non-whites (notice the absurd inclusion of a “polka-dot writer”, done to maintain the pretense race never matters, even when it’s being argued race matters). He recognizes the situation is only going to get worse. But instead of making the sane conclusion, that immigration restrictions should be enacted, he believes:
“The idea that the U.S. can wave into effect a 10-year "time out" on immigration flows is as likely as King Canute commanding the tides to recede.”
Because unlike the modest projects the WSJ supports, like creating democracy in Iraq (where democracy never existed), more immigration is “inexorable” and limiting immigration is impossible (even though it’s been done before), so give up (when it comes to immigration, the WSJ thinks conservatives should stand athwart history saying “What’s the use?”).

Henninger doesn’t limit himself to diagnosing the problem, he offers a simple remedy:
“My own model for the way forward in a 21st century American society of unavoidable ethnic multitudes is an old one, a phrase found nowhere in the Putnam study or any commentary on it: the middle class. Its assimilating virtues may be boring, but it works, if you work at getting into it.”
In other words, all that needs to be done to assimilate the “ethnic multitudes” into the middle class is for the “ethnic multitudes” to assimilate themselves into the middle class.

Henninger closes with a figure of speech I like to call the sad touché followed by cliché:
“Of course Hillary Clinton believes this can't happen here because the middle class has been "invisible" to George Bush. As with diversity, progress is always just beyond the horizon.”
QED, and so too is the land of the polka-dot people.

This is not a Whitby post

Gildercliffe hoodlums are stealing vans then using them to launch attacks on Whitby:
Reckless Ben Stanley, 18, of Gildercliffe, Scarborough, became intoxicated at a friend’s birthday bash before setting off to steal a Vauxhall van.

Despite being more than twice over the limit, Stanley – who does not have a full driving licence - then embarked on a terrifying drive all the way to Whitby, regardless of the dangers to other drivers and residents.

He smashed into two parked cars and a wall in the Bog Hall area of the town.
Not to condone Reckless Ben Stanley’s senseless mayhem, to a certain degree Whitby has it coming.

In other crime news, a three-ton meteorite has been stolen from UFO researcher Yury Lavbin’s compound in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia.

Perhaps the meteorite is a large enough object that remote viewers could locate it? They’ve certainly had no luck identifying the small curio which sits on the left corner of the shelf above my desk, despite the offer of a $1 million prize for doing so.

12 August 2007

Dispatches from the Motherland

In Cameroon urine drinking is suddenly so popular Cameroonian health minister Urbain Olanguena Awono was forced to issue a statement urging quaffers to stop, warning those promoting the practice may be prosecuted. Said a piss drinker named Emile: "I used it to treat my haemorrhoids. Everyone uses it in secret. But you need to be brave."

Though rarely mentioned in the history books, Gandhi was an aficionado of the ‘yellow wine’, and in his younger days became known for badgering unwitting guests at parties with his odd notions, diaper clad, glass of pee-pee in hand. Soon Gandhi stopped getting invited to parties. Instead of changing his ways, he became angry, and channeled his resentment into politics. I think you know how that turned out.

If you thought Nigeria had more than enough unpleasant worms already you obviously don’t think like God, because a new ‘mystery worm’ is invading Nigeria’s Sokoto State.

The worms, named Ba Susa, which means ‘no scratching’, infest the leaves of trees and bushes, causing itching and irritation when they come in contact with the skin and it's scratched. As one student, a Miss Chioma Nweze said: "The moment the worms touch any part of your body, the place instantly gets swollen as you scratch it.”

At the moment there’s no treatment, other than not scratching, which for some reason is too much to ask, so many of the afflicted have resorted to drinking urine.

In Kenya a farmer named Boniface Ndura is raising the livestock of the future:
[T]he most baffling deformed animal is a soot black bull that has four horns, three eyes that blink simultaneously and a mouth that is so deformed that when looked at from certain angles it resembled three mouths in one.

However, the animal seems to have developed a way of grazing using one corner of the mouth. Moses Longitio, who takes care of the deformed animals, has christened the endowed bull ‘Less,’ although ‘More’ would have best suited it. But whether you want to see more or less at the conservancy, there is a range of deformity pick from.

For example you will find a tri-horned goat, a five-legged sheep, a three-legged goat and a sheep that walks like a hyena because its hind legs are shorter than the front ones.

03 August 2007

You may say I'm a dreamer

A pair of homosexualists is sending John Lennon’s piano on a tour of America’s “most horrific sites of violence, death and destruction.” Places the piano has already appeared include Virginia Tech, Ford’s Theater, Columbine High School, and the site of the Oklahoma City bombing.

It’s hoped the sight of the piano can displace painful thoughts of these location's terrible events by triggering in observers memories of the ‘Imagine’ song. Personally, I’d rather contemplate an assassination or a mass murder than recollect the plodding chords and insipid lyrics of that tune. For one thing it’s more relaxing. I don’t think I’m alone in this.

This project has inspired me to send the instrument once owned by pioneering free-jazz alpehornist Fritz Entegeliebter to various places which have banned indoor smoking. Entegeliebter will accompany the instrument, and play it in the hope his frenetic sqonkings will cause any anti-smoking zealots in the vicinity to reflect upon what complete and utter shits they are.