Friday, 20 February 2015

Odd Thoughts

I'm writing this late Thursday to appear early Friday in order to say that I'm not here. I have the same errand as yesterday to run (bike ride, train journey, hike to the hospital) but then I'm heading into Manchester to escape my troubles, perhaps by hiding in Waterstone's on Deansgate where I'll buy nothing and my favourite cafe up on the third floor where I might have a coffee. I might also go and stand in PC World and spend ten minutes sighing amid all the techno glossiness beyond my means to buy but not beyond my dreams to look on with great longing. [Incidentally, why does useful technology never get cheaper but useless technology is always affordable?]

I've been working on another Jacob Rees Mogg cartoon, proving that I am indeed engaged in an academic exercise. What do painters call those? A study, perhaps. A study to see how twisted I can take the theme. If I've had chance to finish it, it might appear today. If I get it looking anything like it appears in my depraved mind, it's quite disgusting. I hope nobody approves.

Still on the subject of J.R. Mogg, I've been reading some of his articles thinking it might give me a clue about the man and I was struck and, indeed, surprised by his leaden prose. It has the same clipped cadence as his spoken language; his clauses so measured and clean that they might be presented as a model of good English. That does not mean it's great writing or even on the path to great writing. Rather, it's the English of somebody who had the finest education that money could buy but no natural ear for phrase building. The effect is arid and nullifies the generation of thought. It's articulate but humourless and utterly without joy. No wonder he loves to quote poetry. Long experience has taught me that people who quote poetry the most are usually those with the least poetry in their souls.

Good to see Ballotelli score again. I like Ballotelli, even though I've lost interest in football. Ballotelli has poetry in his soul, though I doubt if he could quote a line from Shelley. I'd be sad if he left in the summer. He's never been given a proper chance but sacrificed, like a few others, before the alter of Brendan so the media might not blame the new God of Anfield.

Why are some people so rude? I offered to help somebody yesterday and I didn't even get a thank you. Saying 'thank you' is apparently falling out of fashion.

I suspect that Putin isn't mad as much as European leaders were naive to assume they could extend NATO to the Russian border without the Bear eventually showing its teeth. I'm no apologist for Putin but it's interesting to note that the Cuban Missile Crisis has always been blamed on Soviet aggression when they moved missiles into America's 'back yard'. Now we've done the same to Russia, the result is hardly surprising. Sad, despicable, but certainly not a surprise.

After an initial blip of success, attempts to monetise this blog have come to naught. I'm not going to rattle the tin but, please, if you're going to buy anything from Amazon UK, could you do so by using the box in the top right corner of the blog. It costs you nothing but I do get a little commission which will help a lot when the Russians turn off the gas.

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