This is just one of an increasing number of narrowly circumscribed areas in which impediments to freedom of expression are doing untold practical damage. I could foresee this all as early as 1985, when I had my first whiff of the speech codes associated with political correctness. I don’t wish to judge the intentions of the misguided advocates of this “premature synthesis”, which has evolved into a toxic ideology, but for humanity the cost has been very high indeed. It is no exaggeration to state that lives are at stake as a result of the austere neo-puritanical monitoring of human speech. Children and adults need to be informed if they are gluttonous; the idea that we should refrain from doing so lest we be guilty of “fat shaming” is preposterous, therefore it is refreshing to read an article in which plain truth is acknowledged to be an important part of the way forward. LJ




The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was established in 1961. Today, the OECD is a forum of 34 industrialised countries that develops and promotes economic and social policies. Its mission is to ‘build strong economies in its member countries, improve efficiency, home market systems, expand free trade, and contribute to development in industrialised as well as developing countries’. Simply stated, the OECD acts on behalf of and in collaboration with its member governments to promote free market policies and trade.
— Read on www.oecdwatch.org/oecd-guidelines/oecd

It is later than you think

It Is Later Than You Think

Lone amid the café’s cheer,
Sad of heart am I to-night;
Dolefully I drink my beer,
But no single line I write.
There’s the wretched rent to pay,
Yet I glower at pen and ink:
Oh, inspire me, Muse, I pray,
It is later than you think!

Hello! there’s a pregnant phrase.
Bravo! let me write it down;
Hold it with a hopeful gaze,
Gauge it with a fretful frown;
Tune it to my lyric lyre …
Ah! upon starvation’s brink,
How the words are dark and dire:
It is later than you think.

Weigh them well …. Behold yon band,
Students drinking by the door,
Madly merry, bock in hand,
Saucers stacked to mark their score.
Get you gone, you jolly scamps;
Let your parting glasses clink;
Seek your long neglected lamps:
It is later than you think.

Look again: yon dainty blonde,
All allure and golden grace,
Oh so willing to respond
Should you turn a smiling face.
Play your part, poor pretty doll;
Feast and frolic, pose and prink;
There’s the Morgue to end it all,
And it’s later than you think.

Yon’s a playwright — mark his face,
Puffed and purple, tense and tired;
Pasha-like he holds his place,
Hated, envied and admired.
How you gobble life, my friend;
Wine, and woman soft and pink!
Well, each tether has its end:
Sir, it’s later than you think.

See yon living scarecrow pass
With a wild and wolfish stare
At each empty absinthe glass,
As if he saw Heaven there.
Poor damned wretch, to end your pain
There is still the Greater Drink.
Yonder waits the sanguine Seine …
It is later than you think.

Lastly, you who read; aye, you
Who this very line may scan:
Think of all you planned to do …
Have you done the best you can?
See! the tavern lights are low;
Black’s the night, and how you shrink!
God! and is it time to go?
Ah! the clock is always slow;
It is later than you think;
Sadly later than you think;
Far, far later than you think.

Fact Affliction: John Train’s True Remarkable Obsession – The Washington Post

I purchased a copy of “Remarkable Names of Real People” from Blackwell’s, whilst in my first year at Christ Church, a little over forty years ago now. I was therefore delighted to chance upon this article in the Washington Post, which explains its genesis. Who could not take pleasure in the giddying abundance of improbable names? Life is a constant source of paronomasia and nomenclatural delight. 

Melissy Dalciny Caldony Yankee Pankee Devil-Take-The-Irishman Garrison. QED. Amen LJ

Fact Affliction: John Train’s True Remarkable Obsession – The Washington Post


Lo scherzo di Ronaldo: spunta alle spalle del giornalista e gli fa il verso Lo scherzo di Ronaldo: spunta alle spalle del giornalista e gli fa il verso – La Stampa

Ma chi se ne frega? LJ

Enrico Zambruno è “vittima” di Cristiano Ronaldo, che spunta alle sue spalle e gli fa il verso. «Non mi ero accorto di nulla !» ha scritto il giornalista su Instagram, dove ha pubblicato il video dello scherzo dell’attaccante juventino, che nel giro di pochi minuti è diventato virale. (Instagram @enricozambruno )
— Read on www.lastampa.it/2018/09/14/sport/lo-scherzo-di-ronaldo-spunta-alle-spalle-del-giornalista-e-gli-fa-il-verso-oY5nkOudwyipQN6AukVbSK/pagina.html

Así se regula en el mundo el uso de móviles en el aula

Intervention in this area seems wise, for the deleterious impact of social media on the development of young people is troubling, not least because of the speed at which opinion becomes mob opinion. Adults behave no better than teenagers in respect of this. Smartphones have already been banned from schools in France; I’d like to see the same thing happen in the UK. LJ

Source: 20 Minutos Así se regula en el mundo el uso de móviles en el aula


Paul McCartney zag God toen hij high was | Show | AD.nl

Paul McCartney believes in a higher being. Fine.
Paul McCartney believes he has met this higher being. Not fine.

Paul McCartney, who now claims to have met God whilst under the influence of a narcotic drug, is an ocean-going turnip.

One of my tutors, Christopher Robinson, in his work on French Literature of the 19th Century, refers in his consideration of Flaubert’s Félicité, protagonist of “Un coeur simple”, the first of the “Trois Contes”, to her state of “transcendent self-deception” at the moment of incommunicable “revelation” when the Logos becomes fused and confused, deep within the self, with her recollected image of her beloved parrot. Look no further. Paul McCartney has demonstrated the enduring veracity of the notion. If this isn’t “transcendent self-deception”, then I don’t know what is. To communicate this during a period of our history when narcotics constitute such a grave problem, for more than one generation, is an act of egregious irresponsibility. Perhaps he isn’t feeling the eyes of the world upon him. Perhaps he is looking for love, which is apparently “all you need”. Perhaps it is indeed time, after all, for him to sink into oblivion. LJ

Voormalige Beatle Paul McCartney gelooft in een hoger wezen. Hij heeft naar eigen zeggen God ontmoet na drugsgebruik. Dat zei de 76-jarige componist en zanger tegen de Engelse krant The Times.

Source: Paul McCartney zag God toen hij high was | Show | AD.nl


Children will be banned from buying energy drinks under plans announced by Theresa May to tackle disruptive behaviour in classrooms.

This gesture of commitment to the welfare of young people might look a little more convincing if it were set within the context of a broader coherent policy of protective intervention, extending to such areas as the restriction of sales of smartphones for use by minors. The implementation of a policy excluding them from schools (the smartphones, not the minors, at least not yet…), such as that already courageously set in place in France, might entail tangible benefits. Certain schools (I am sure this is not true for all) also appear to have thrown in the towel with regard to responsible regulation of the sale of junk food and drinks, the battle against the dominion of social media and instruction in what constitutes basic good sense. Young people deserve more confident guidance than this and adults should have the courage to provide it. LJ

The Daily Telegraph: Energy drinks ban for children to tackle disruptive behaviour in class


Egon Friedell on Stefan George

The Viennese polymath Egon Friedell once said of the poet Stefan George, “Schaut aus wie eine alte Frau, die wie ein alter Mann ausschaut.” (“He looks like an old woman who looks like an old man.”)

Superlatively witty, moreover I’m inclined to agree. LJ

Stefan George [1868 - 1933], Deutscher Lyriker


UN says Facebook helped fuel Rohingya ethnic cleansing

Damning, if true. Social media will have a lot to answer for in due course, I fear. They clearly assist populism, by their very nature, whether this be that of the right or of the left, the latter being of greater immediate concern in the UK. People should stay at home and read Dickens, in particular Barnaby Rudge, in which the development of the Gordon Riots from a mere innocuous folly to acts of widespread arson in contempt of the rule of law are eloquently demonstrated to be imputable to the necessarily headless nature of the mob. Therefore, beware all mobs. Social media, notwithstanding benevolent intentions and doomed regulatory initiatives, engender mob behaviour. This may start in mere intellectual vacuity, through the false association of democratic freedom with the claim that self-expression, be it ever so ugly, ignoble or base, is legitimised, but what is held in store has the character of an enduring menace. LJ

The United Nations has accused Facebook of playing a “determining role” in stirring up hatred against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma.
— Read on www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/13/un-says-facebook-fuelled-rohingya-ethnic-cleansing/