Friday, 11 June 2021

The Strid

                                                                   Bolton Abbey

I would like to ask my readers a question? Where and what would you consider the most dangerous stretch of water in the world? It could be the sea off seal island in South Africa; perhaps Niagara Falls; mayhap the waters off Cape Horn. I'm sure the good folk who read this blog can think of other areas of water that would qualify. And yes, the examples I have cited can be exceedingly perilous. Many, foolhardy and unlucky souls have gone to a watery grave at these sites. In the case of seal Island, the unwary have become an integral part of the food chain. However, dangerous as these places can be I would like to suggest a stretch of water called 'The Strid' as the main contender. The Strid is a small section of the river Wharfe situated in Yorkshire in North England. It flows past a ruined 12th century Abbey, called 'Bolton Abbey'. I have visited the region and walked through the Abbey. It must have been majestic in its time and still invites awe even in such a jaded old scrote as myself. I have also visited the infamous 'Strid', a stones throw away (arse). When I was there the water was not in full spate and looked curiously inviting. At this point the river narrows to just under six feet, and herein lies the problem.

Just upstream from the Strid the Wharfe is a sedate gentle river about 30 feet wide. A little downstream the river and the water contained within is forced into the narrow channel of the Strid. Although the surface of this stretch looks calm, just under the meandering stream lies a deep abyss. The water under the tranquil surface is violent and fathomless. Strong currents and eddies belie the river's calm exterior. At this point the waters flow deep and the roiling, tumultuous waters have cut deep chasms/caverns into the limestone, undermining both banks. This has resulted in the formation of numerous caves and tunnels. Due to the violence of the underlying waters these formations can not be explored by man or instrumentation. 

It is said that the son of a prominent Lady of the area died in the Strid in the 12th century and so in order that the soul of the young departed son could be prayed for, the distraught Lady donated the lands to the church. Wordsworth was so moved by the area that he penned a poem: 'The Force of Prayer'. Wordsworth included in his prose the mishap of the young fella from yore, surnamed Romilly.  I haven't included the whole poem. Here is a representative stanza. In my opinion, the poem is not Wordsworth's best work.

“And what may now forbid
That he, perhaps .for the hundredth time,
Shall bound across THE STRID?
He sprang in glee, – for what cared he
That the river was strong, and the rocks were steep?…
The Boy is in the arms of Wharf,
And strangled by a merciless force;
For never more was young Romilly seen
Till he rose a lifeless corpse.”   
The problem: when the river is calm it seems deceptively 'safe'. At its narrowest point it possible to leap from one side to the other. The rocky banks are slippery and slick with algae and a wrong move results in certain death. To date, no one has survived a dip in this stretch of the river. In 1998 a honeymoon couple died whilst walking along the bank. Rain upstream caused the Strid to rise over five feet in just a minute and both were swept into the yarning maul of the Strid. In 2010 a boy was lost when he slipped on the river bank. 

Although their are warning notices along the river bank, folk seem lured to the spot. Unsuspecting tourists find it difficult to comprehend that this 'babbling brook' is dangerous. It looks so benign, serene and hypnotic..... Do not tarry too long and stare deep into its limpid depths.

Bodies don't always reappear. A few may surface downstream, hours, days, months or even years later. But it seems the Strid is reluctant to release all its prizes. Many are never seen again and lurk deep within its cavernous, tortuous depths. They hang like ragged trophies with their bony hands outstretched toward a domain they will never reach.

It looks so peaceful and benign

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Nobody Knows you are a Mustelid

He's a nutter
What's going on? Three posts in three days. Surely, the esteemed Flaxen is complying with his full medication programme.

I recently received an email criticising my prose style. The thrust of the missive suggested that my writing is too florid, too ostentatious and peppered with unnecessary embellishment. I'm guilty as charged, me Lord. Some folk take 'The Blogging World' far too seriously.  

Yes, my style is all the above. The affectation is in keeping with my blogging persona. In the real world, my prose is tight, unencumbered and sparsely fashioned. This reflects my professional writing style. In other areas of endeavour my writing is also clipped and my sentences crisp, short and devoid of ornamentation. I'd rather use the simple Anglo-Saxon word than the Latin; my blog is the exception, not the rule. 

It could be said that my 'Blogging Peculiarity' is designed to be admired rather than understood. On the internet no one knows that you are a sad old man with a tenuous grasp on sanity teetering on the brink of bleak despair and endowed with a ferret fixation. Truth can be stranger than fiction.     

The blogging world is a strange odd place, indeed. Tis an eclective market place of diverse interests and motivations. All is paraded in serried array. All can accessed at the click of a ferret, err, I mean mouse.

Nothing on my blog can be understood in the context of serious intent, although many of the topics addressed contain serious content. My frivolity of expression is meant to be entertaining while delivering an important message (perhaps, sometimes). I'm sure many of my readers can see through the façade. However, the real Flaxen Saxon will not stand up. I value, and acknowledge my creativity and eccentricity as a gift from my schizophrenic mother. And who said nothing good comes from madness? To be honest I'm quite nonconformist, odd and eccentric in real life- just ask Shagger. Although, when required I can be serious, but not for long.

The downside of my genetics is that, sometimes, I'm stalked by the melancholic 'Black Dog' of despond. It snaps at my heel, and on rare occasions, draws blood. As for the cacophony chasing through my mind, I will say this: it can be a solace and a curse. It is unceasing and cannot be tuned out or turned off. Tis something I've learned to live with. I've been informed, by professionals who should know better, that the incessant 'thought jumble' can be stopped with drugs. I've eschewed treatment as I realise that my whole being is predicated on my deviation from the norm (two standard deviations). 

Even in this piece, which is supposed to be a serious explanation of my online persona, I can't escape that persona.   

So there you have it. Perhaps not a full, annotation of my off-beat personality but tis all I'm willing to give. Otherwise, you would gain entry to my mind. This, I can't allow, for undoubtedly, frank unmitigated madness would ensue.    

Say hello to Shagger

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Jordan Peterson

   Behold the Man

Unless you have been living, sequestered in the bubble, aptly named, 'The  Bubble of Tipton', you must of heard of the phenomenon, pertinently termed, Prof. Jordan Peterson. Said Prof. became foisted upon a none sequestered/cloistered populous several years ago due to contention. Read on and weep, or applaud, depending upon your psychological and/or political status.  

Professor Jordan Peterson burst upon popular consciousness after upsetting, 'the usual suspects' during a lively debate concerning, 'Gender Issues'. Jordan is an academic at the University of Toronto. He teaches and researches in the arena of human psychology and in this regard he describes himself as a 'scientist'. In addition, he maintains a clinical psychology practice and has been active on various social media platforms, including YouTube since 2016. In particular, Peterson gained notoriety due to his stance against a particularly pernicious piece of potential Canadian legislation, that if passed, could result in prosecution for those unwilling to express an individual's preferred gender pronoun. He rightly objected due to the proposal's anti-free speech connotations. He does not support judicial interference in matters of conscience especially when it criminalises freedom of thought and speech. This is an anathema to any right thinking individual. 

Needless to say, the good Prof. expresses views counter to the madness that infects the extreme left. Since the encounter, the 'The Vocal Left' have  raged at Peterson to the point of hysteria. As always, they endeavour to deny free expression to those who do not embrace their overarching leftist narrative. This strident minority have declared Peterson to be a 'fascist' and therefore a man that should be denied a public platform. They will not countenance any viewpoint counter to their dogged dogma. They are not interested in a free exchange of ideas or healthy debate. They seek to withhold debate and a free exchange of ideas to those who do not suckle at the teat of 'leftist insanity/inanity' (steady Flaxen: take heed and ingest another blue-green pill).

Since 'the controversy' he has become an academic celebrity thrust upon the collective public consciousness and consequently basks in the intellectual limelight so afforded. He is either adored or abhorred depending upon political agenda and ideology. The 'good Prof.' is a skilled and thoughtful debater. I exhort my readership to listen to his pontifications, both in the academic classroom and in public forums. He is an engaging speaker and especially erudite in the area of human psychology. Prof. Peterson has a self proclaimed IQ of 150. If this is the case he belongs to an extremely rare intellectual elite as only 0.2% of the population are so endowed. He is not a modest man. Modesty is only a virtue in those with modest gifts. Generally I am not impressed with self professed IQ bandying. In this respect I'm not a fan of the high IQ club, MENSA. It serves little purpose and is clearly a vehicle for self aggrandisement; a mutual backslapping exercise of no import. The association does no more than bring together folks with a high IQ, other than that they have nothing in common, except an over inflated ego. As far as I'm aware, Peterson is not a member of MENSA, to his credit. His self proclaimed 'genius level IQ' is a demerit to his character, but in Peterson's case, not a serious one.  

Peterson has garnered significant media attention and coverage. As to be expected he has become the darling of the right. Indeed, he has achieved something of a 'cult' status in some quarters. At the end of the other political spectrum, predictably, Peterson has attracted extreme criticism. He has been described as 'right wing' and dangerous. A bemused Peterson denies any 'right wing' credentials and describes himself as a 'Classic British Liberal'. Personally, I think Peterson can be described as a conservative, but there is nothing in his speech or writings to support that he has 'right wing' leanings.  

His religious stance is rather confusing and paradoxical, to some. When asked if he believes in god his answer is ingenious. I don't have the space to discuss his response here, because of its complexity- mayhap in a follow up post? He professes to live his life as if god does exist, but  Peterson is not a Christian. If true, this is highly commendable.

On matters pertinent to his profession he has much to say that makes good sense and his commentary is backed up with solid scholarship. Peterson also makes forays outside his 'areas of expertise'. He is a widely read man and his views on topics sundry are always thought provoking. On matters pertaining to religion and social matters, I confess that I'm in general accord. He has much to say with regard to the ongoing 'IQ debate'. This is a highly controversial topic and some folk reckon it should be left alone without further discussion. I am not of this ilk, Peterson's views are well known and I find myself in total agreement. There are aspects of his 'philosophy' that I do not agree with. He admits he has been heavily influenced by the works of Jung. Jung was a one time student of Sigmund Freud but fell from the fold and developed a philosophy/psychology of his own. Peterson clearly admires Jung almost to point of 'Hero Worship'. In my opinion most of what Jung wrote is mystical nonsense and like much of Freud's work disregarded today. Peterson accepts a lot of Jung's principles and work without critical comment. Although I'm not a fan of Jung, I have a healthy regard for his intellect which was substantial. This is where Jordan leaves the 'World of Science' and enters into a morass of confusion and contradiction. Jung's work was not scientific in any modern accepted sense. His psychology owes much to pure philosophy than it does to psychology. Jung was fascinated with esoteric mystical writings from the East and incorporated a wad of inscrutable 'Eastern Wisdom' in his work as well as spiritualism. Although, I find myself in disagreement with Peterson's, Jungian leanings, I find his commentary on the matter, very fascinating and worthy of serious contemplation; Peterson is no fool. I know that my comment on Jung is simplicity itself, and Jung was not a simple man. His works are well worth a read although they are a difficult read. He writes like me (at least in this blog) and therefore can seem obscure if you don't read him right.

In conclusion, Peterson is a highly polarising academic and intellectual. He has been described as the leading 'Western intellectual of his generation'. A sentiment I'm in agreement with. It is easy to express numerous superlatives when considering the man and his work. Is he a modern Western hero? I will leave my readers to decide. I will say this: I greatly admire Peterson. His moral and ethical stance is difficult to fault. His scholarship is voluminous and exceeding interesting and important. Much of what he says is worthy of consideration. Even if you disagree with many of his pronouncements and written work, as I do, he is always thought provoking leaving the audience with their minds enlivened, refreshed and full of exciting novel ideas. Peterson is a debater without peer. Woe to the contender who does not prepare for the intellectual bombard of Peterson's exquisite wit and beam of intellect. I always enjoy what Peterson has to say and I admit I'm a commited fan but not an uncritical acolyte.           




Monday, 7 June 2021

I'm back.......

Tis been a while since my last post. In fact my output for May was just a single composition. The muse that once sat upon my broad shoulders has left and I’m bereft. My writing prowess has diminished accordingly. In truth, I have been writing, but for all my endeavours I’m left with a clutch of half finished essays.

But do not despair gentle reader, the blog will continue. I will gather my formidable mental capacity and by ‘force of Will’ command my pain wracked/wrecked body to compose with fanatical fury. Oxycontin is my friend/fiend.

It is my intention to publish six posts during the merry month of June.

O great joy I hear you yammer: “the flaxen haired one has returned with gusto. We will continue to bask in his wisdom and sage commentary. Surely we must rejoice, and shout from every hillock and high place. All in accord will exclaim with head upturned- flaxen has come back to the fold. No more despond and despair. The dark cloud/shroud that once covered his fair countenance is no more”.

Watch this space and wait with bated anticipation for my next composition. Arse bucket.

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Flaxen, Waxing Lyrical about Evolution, Again

The bête noir of fundamentalist Christians is the 'The Theory of Evolution'. They loath the concept with a passion verging/bordering on madness. There is nothing more hilarious than watching a Christian commentator explain why evolution is not a valid mechanism for species' change. Their ignorance concerning the action and the fundamental principles of evolution is breathtaking.

I can understand the venom directed toward evolutionary theory by the 'fundies' for it undermines a key tenet of their Christian theology. If evolution is true, then god's intervention in biology is irrelevant and  redundant.  Most Christians have assimilated the theory into their religious landscape and dogma. They argue that evolution is a 'god given' mechanism for the underpinning of nature. This a sensible move as the evidence supporting evolution is varied and voluminous. For the fundamentalist the 'gathering of evolution unto the religious fold' will not do. They imagine that evolution diminishes god's majesty and miraculous workings. I think they are right to be frightened by evolution. What the religious 'assimilators' often forget is that evolution works without the intervention of an omnipotent and omniscient deity. The presence of god is not a necessary prerequisite for evolution to work. In fact it adds an extra layer of complexity that goes against the parsimony of 'Occam's Razor'. Indeed, the addition of an irrational, supernatural, so called 'spiritual', dimension has no role to play in the scientific process; it obscures and adds no new intellectual substance or light concerning the topic in hand.         

The denial of evolutionary theory by select religious groups borders on hysterical fanaticism. It is in their interest to trivialise and misrepresent the mechanisms involved. The classic example, cited ad nauseum, concerns the imagery of a tornado in a workshop containing the composite parts of a jumbo jet. In this scenario the tornado is likened to the action of natural selection. The reader is led to believe that the action of natural selection is akin to the random action of the tornado. The point: it is impossible for a tornado to result in the complete construction of a working jet plane from individual parts and therefore, natural selection, a random process, could never result in a new species. The analogy is laughable and is only plausible to an unsophisticated simpleton. Tis a gross misrepresentation of how evolution works. However, fundamental Christians rarely refer to primary biology texts in reference to evolutionary theory, but instead rely on theologically motivated explanations written by their fellow believers.

I've stated this before on this blog, but its importance is worth repeating: The evidence for evolution is virtually overwhelming and is not restricted to the discipline of biology. Evidence from geology, paleontology and even physics provide independent witnesses willing to attest and testify to evolution being the best explanation for life's diversity and mutability. Until a better, scientific theory arises, evolutionary theory, will remain ascendant. And to be fair, the 'Theory of Evolution' has stood for 170 years and is unlikely to be supplanted by a completely new model 'of life'. During those 170 years evolution has undergone various tweaks and modifications as new evidence and discoveries have come forth. That said, the fundamental tenets of evolution, of genetic variation and the modifying force of biological and environmental selection has remained, unmolested/unsullied. And therefore, baring a total revision of of the 'Science of Biology', I boldly predict that 'Evolutionary Theory' will remain solid, transcendent and perched upon a pedestal of unassailable majesty. Only time will tell.



Sunday, 25 April 2021

Sunday Rant


I'm a vigorous supporter of freedom of speech and freedom of action and I abhor government involvement in our activities. As grown ups we should be able to please ourselves in our daily life and we should be free of government interference even if advice is sound, medically or otherwise. Please don't preach or exhort. We are mature, adults and we will not tolerate patronising advice from 'men in suits'. In other words, fuck off and leave us bereft of your poisonous dogma.

Our freedoms have not come easy as the powers that rule mankind are reluctant to encourage independent thought and action. They would like the populous to be obedient drones, without an idea that does not fit within the ruler's remit or restrictive paradigm. Sometimes the 'social programing' is overt, such as that experienced in Nazi Germany and the USSR. Sometimes it is covert and introduced in a subtle manner. The expected end result is the same, as promulgated by Western, so called, enlightened powers. That is control. 

Currently, the narrative is being controlled by extreme 'left wingers' who seem determined to force their woke agenda on all and sundry. We see this insanity and that agenda is anti-men. Boys are indoctrinated from a young age to regard the pernicious 'patriarchy' as evil. In particular, the venom and demonising is directed at the 'root of all evil', white men. Feminists, of the purple hair and robust, corpulent habitus are quick to list our extensive short comings, which are legion. The syllabus is being driven by a strident vocal minority that will not tolerate an opinion that does not intercalate into their well defined script. Their is no reasoned/seasoned debate. Dissenters are shouted down and drowned by a mantra of intolerance and hate.  

Young boys are indoctrinated from an early, impressionable age. All the ills in this world are due to  toxic masculinity. The domination of white men in society is an evil and men should be cowed into submission. Tis little wonder that boys are not progressing into fully matured, masculine men. They remain confused as to their ultimate role in adulthood. Society is turning out milk fed, milk sop 'men', who are unsure what their gender role is in this topsy turvy world. No backbone, no intestinal fortitude. Immature individuals forever looking for a safe space to hide from life's vicissitudes; willing to shed tears on the slightest provocation- only children and women should cry. Things will not end well.

Women are starting to lament that they are unable to find a 'real man'. Increasingly, the men of the latest generation have been emasculated and consequently not particularly attractive to women. Women, apart from the wretched usual suspects, want a man who acts like a man not a man child. I know I'm making  a rather sweeping generalisation. A 'one size, fits all' scenario is way too simplistic. Indeed, not all young men have been coerced, to wear the halter of shame. There are definitely young fellas out there who have fearlessly rejected the nonsense that is the PC and woke culture. Good for them say I. When it comes to finding a mate, undoubtedly they will have the 'pick of the litter' (lucky bastards).

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Grapes of Wrath

Don't Put Frozen Tatties up yer Bottom! 

The advice as stated above is undoubtedly sound. Tis not the ravings of Flaxen's unsound mental activity but advice given by the British Medical Association. You might wonder why the medical establishment is so moved to issue this rather strange proclamation? This is not some weird fetish, although folk of a certain proclivity are apt to shove various items/utensils up their arse for erotic pleasure. The emergency department is replete/recondite with tales of folk slipping in the shower onto a light bulb/coffee jar/alabaster bust of Napoleon. Folk keep the strangest stuff in their shower. 

But why is the medical profession concerned with frozen potatoes? It doth appear that folk sundry are stuffing the aforementioned frigid vegetable up da arse to relieve the malady known as haemorrhoids. The flaxen haired one has never suffered from this indisposition, however I have friends so afflicted. I've been told that the combination of the itch and the pain is enough to propel a man into god hood. 

Haemorrhoids, from a medical perspective are no more than varicose veins that descend outside the anal cavity. There are numerous home remedies that include shoving the offending veins back in with a stick and afterward applying a cold honey compress. One hopes that the stick is checked first for irregularities; the recipient has to be hyper-vigilant for offending splinters. Actually this makes good sense as honey is an excellent antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. The 'cold chip' scenario seems less sensible. Mayhap the cold comestible offers some relief and the bulk of the item retains its negative calorific value for awhile. I will refrain from making inappropriate, 'wedgie jokes'. 

I suppose the problem is that sufferers are too embarrassed to approach the doctor with said ailment, which is sad, as there are a plethora of medically effective treatments, such as, the administering of a  soothing balm to the nether regions, to salves, and finally, depending on the severity of the condition, cauterisation. Thus, the 'hot poker' up da arse is sometime warranted. 

I will finish on a sage note, as befits my nature:

Arse, big, sore/itchy, arse

no shit