Tuesday 29 December 2015


Hannibal Barca: Chenu Bechala- 'Grace of Baal'

There have been battles that have changed the course of history. The battle of Cannae, in 216BC, although undoubtedly the greatest battle in antiquity, failed to alter histories' course and ultimately reinforced it. 

The Protagonists
Roman expansion and growing power in the 3rd century BC placed it on a collision course with the established powers in the Mediterranean, the Greeks and the Carthaginians. The Greeks and Carthaginians had clashed many times over the preceding centuries, mainly for hegemony over the island of Sicily. The island sat squat in the Mediterranean inviting invasion. Consequently, both powers had established colonies on the island and at the time of Roman interference an uneasy truce existed between these two great powers.  

Rome, by 275BC, had taken control over most of the Italian peninsular. Sicily lying a mere 2 miles off the southern coast off Italy beckoned to a new ambitious and covetous power. The scene was set for the First Punic War with Carthage.

A pretext for invasion came in 265BC when the Romans were invited to help the freebooter rulers of the city of Messana, in Sicily, who were being besieged by the Greek Syracusians. Unwisely, the pirates also asked for help from the Carthaginians. This immediately pitted Rome against both great powers. However, after a sharp battle with the Greek army of Syracuse, the Syracusians sensibly sided with the Romans. This left the Carthaginians. The war would continue for a further 23 years with many twists of fortune but eventually, the Carthaginians were utterly defeated and left Sicily for good. In addition, they were made to pay a punitive indemnity which was designed to eviscerate Carthaginian power.

Hamilcar Barca, a Carthaginian noble who had fought as a general with distinction and skill during the Punic War smouldered for a return fight. As a preparation he invaded Spain with an army of mercenaries. The Carthaginians already had a presence in southern Spain, but Hamilcar wanted to take control of the whole peninsular and unlock its vast reservoir of men and silver as a means to continue the war with Rome. But before he could initiate the quest he drowned during a river crossing in 228BC. He was succeeded by his son in law, Hasdrubal 'The Handsome'. However, in 221BC, Hasdrubal was murdered. The next in line was Hamilcar's son, Hannibal. At just 26 he inherited a polyglot army of 80,000 and a Spanish empire. Hannibal crossed the Alps in  218 BC with his army and exploded on the North Italian plain; the Second Punic War had begun. Within 18 months, Hannibal had inflicted three severe defeats on the Romans and yet he could not break the confederation of Rome or bring them to a negotiated peace. In the summer of 216BC, the scene was set for Hannibal's greatest victory: Cannae.

A Digression
The Roman constitution, of the period, had certain strengths and weaknesses. Two Consuls were elected from the ruling aristocracy (usually) to run the government for a year. After this period, they stood down and the next two 'elected' Consuls took over. The system was designed to forestall the usurpation of power by any individual. In times of prolonged conflict, it had several distinct disadvantages. Firstly, if a war extended more than a year, it was difficult to sustain a consistent policy for the continuance of that war. With every new set of Consuls came new minds and depending on inclination and ability, war policy could take sharp changes in direction; a unified and constant approach suffered accordingly. Secondly, there was always the danger that a Consul would act rashly to force a military decision within the time-frame of his office. It is to be remembered that the office of Consul was also a military one and the Consuls were expected to lead Roman armies in the field. Consequently, there was a temptation for ambitious Consuls to give battle even on unfavourable terms. The Consul who won a major war would sustain great military prestige and ultimately riches. Thirdly, when two Consular armies joined, one of the Consuls had control of the army for a day, and then the power passed to the second Consul, the next day. This was not an efficient means to conduct war. This introduces the last major disadvantage. Consuls were chosen for a number of reasons mostly involving partisan politics and not usually for any innate military skill. Although as the war progressed, this policy changed by necessity. In previous wars, the presence of a poor general leading his men into battle was not generally a problem. Roman tactics were simple and unerring. The well armed and skilled legions were simply unleashed upon the enemy. This was usually enough to secure victory. However, when facing a general of genius, like Hannibal, the Romans were going to suffer, badly.

The two Consuls of 216BC were at loggerheads when it came to strategy. Lucius Aemilius Paulus, a distinguished military man, called for caution, whilst his colleague, Caius Terentius Varro who knew nought of military matters, wanted to give battle. Varro boasted that he would end the war in a morning; Paulus predicted a calamity.

The Battle
In regarding the great captains of war, it is easy to get lost in admiration. In antiquity, generals were expected to plan war, execute war and fight with their men. Hannibal was the consummate professional and appreciated that in war everything had to be considered and planned for. When planning for battle, he made best use of the land and employed stratagems and ruses. Through spies, he even had an appreciation of the psychological make-up of the opposing generals and used this information to maximum effect.

Hannibal and the Romans faced off on the river Aufidus, southern Italy, on a Summer's day in 216BC. The Carthaginians suffered the disadvantage of only having 40,000 men in the field. The Romans concentrated a huge army of over 80,000 men; how could they lose?

Then came the fateful day when Varro had control of the Roman army; battle was therefore inevitable. The Romans deviated from their usual military practise and reduced the interval between their soldiers. Thus, they lost the room for manoeuvre. The Roman tactic was simple and brutal and was designed to use their superior numbers for maximum impact. In effect, the Roman infantry was concentrated into a huge battering ram. They hoped, by the dint of superior numbers, to smash through the Carthaginian lines. This troop disposition robbed the legions of their tactical flexibility but against a pedestrian general this tactic would likely work; Hannibal was not of this ilk.

In response, Hannibal placed his troops accordingly: his Gaulish troops, his most impetuous of allies, he placed at the front in a convex arc. He bolstered the line with reliable Spanish troops. On the flanks, he employed blocks of his North African veterans wielding pikes

As usual, both armies deployed their cavalry on their flanks. As an aside, the Romans and their allies sported indifferent cavalry. The Carthaginians did better and arrayed the best heavy and light cavalry, of the time.     

And so the battle commenced. The cavalry clashed on both flanks. The Roman infantry advanced and engaged the Carthaginian line. Due to the sheer weight of the Roman infantry, the Carthaginian line started to give ground but did not break. Hannibal personally supervised this critical stage of the battle, encouraging his men and shouting exhortations. The Carthaginian line became straight and then concave as the Romans pressed on. In the meantime, the Carthaginian cavalry defeated their Roman and allied counterparts. Once the Roman army had advanced deep into the Carthaginian line, the African infantry on the flanks turned inward. Therefore, the Romans were pressed on three sides. The arrival of the Carthaginian cavalry closed the gap. Roman soldiers, squashed together, could not swing their swords and so they were cut down where they stood. By end of battle, 70,000 Romans had been killed.

The Aftermath
Rome was in a dire state, but it is a testament to Rome's resolve, steadfastness and political stability that it didn't collapse. Instead, Rome raised more armies and employed a strategy of attrition avoiding major battles with Hannibal. It seems the Romans had learned a hard lesson from the master. Hannibal would remain in Italy for a further 12 years but never relived his earlier success. His army was a wasting asset and the Romans concentrated large numbers of troops to restrict his movement without offering a major battle.

The Romans went on to defeat the Carthaginians and the great Hannibal himself. The rest is ancient history. The Carthaginians could never beat a folk like the Romans. And this is not based on any notion of racial superiority. The Carthaginians due to their prolonged exposure to Greek culture were superior to the Romans in abstract thought; at least amongst the ruling classes. However, the Romans were tough, single-minded and incredibly brutal. Of course, the Carthaginians were brutal, but not to the same degree. Indeed, the West has inherited this innate 'frightfulness'. It only takes the right conditions to bring this out to full and deadly effect; we haven't changed.

"For a barbarian to defeat Rome, he must first become Roman".

Friday 25 December 2015

Tipton's Miss Multiverse Contest 2015

Charles or Ollie- I confess, I can't tell

Dramatic events have transpired at the annual Tipton beauty pageant held in the capacious Town hall and slaughter house.

This year the prestigious event was hosted by Charlie 'call me chuckles' Blenkonsop. Charlie 'call me chuckles' graciously stepped in at the last moment following the fall from grace of the incumbent Master of Ceremonies, Ollie 'ooh missus' MacNuddle. As you will recall, pictures of Ollie went viral after being posted on 'Arsebook'. Though grainy, indistinct and viewed through a glass rendered darkly, it purportedly shows an inebriated 'Ooh Missus' in a gimp suit drinking brown ale off the naked back of a Siamese prostitute. Charlie's protestations that the pictures were but cleverly crafted forgeries cunningly convened did not convince the officiating committee. They immediately published an edict forcing 'Ooh Missus' into an early suicide.

Charlie was the perfect replacement. After hosting the game show: 'Guess that Sausage' for the past six years he was deemed to have honed his greasy condescending smile to utmost perfection. The thrust of the 'show', as you will know doubt be aware, involves befuddled members of the general public balancing sausages, from around the world, on their scrotums or pudenda, depending on gender declaration. Who can forget his majestic catch phrase: ''You don't get many chipolatas to the pound at this corner shop'' and the evergreen, ''That's not a bad sausage, that's offal''. Anyway, I've digressed.

Things were running fine until the knockout round when the contestants had to battle it out in a wrestling ring thoroughly rendered in pork dripping. Miss Tipton, south, south, east was applying the dreaded death grip to Miss Tipton borders using foundry tongs when she slipped clean orf. This mishap was later ascribed to an over zealous application of pig's lard by the overwrought ringmaster's assistant. This calamity, at the time, quickly evolved into an error of salvation. For at just that moment, a Japanese sniper ensconced in a dirigible, let fly a deadly bullet of doom. Said dirigible was floating above the scene like a behemoth or a leviathan, if are you fussy. Our intrepid Nip had been masquerading for 70 years as a short order cook at 'Mr  Kim's Gae Restaurant'. He had been waiting for this moment for 70 years. Private (2nd Class) Kendo Nagasaki was a rabid feminist in imperial Japan of the 1930s, although due to the dominant dogma and fascist environment of the time he had to keep his ethos under wraps. Also, he was a fanatical supporter and an avid believer in the God/War Criminal/Emperor Hirohito. A conflict which could only be resolved by doing as he was told. Thus, he was foisted via a series of tortuous devices, into the West Midlands circa 1944.

As luck would have it the bullet missed all the major organs of Mzz Candice Marie (aspiring, actor, model, nail stylist) and lodged within her brain where it enhanced her IQ by 20 points. For this we are indebted. 

After the event, Inspector Mugumbo, of the yaaarrd, had this to relate: ''Sadly, rogue Japanese snipers are a perennial problem in this great borough of ours. But rest assured good burghers, my men will root out these anachronistic enigmas and place them in custard (sic). In retrospect, we as a community could have done better. During Nagasaki's ensconcement (is this a real word?) at the 'Bawdy Boarding House' Tipton, alarm bells should have chimed amongst the regulars. Sad to say most of the inmates were struggling with the problems of existing in a world beyond their intellect and the staff were only one pay cheque away from joining them. Therefore 'Ron' was able to blend imperceptibly with the lost; the estranged; the deranged and the frankly brain fucked. Although it was noted by the resident medical officer, that 'Ron' was a short-sighted stunted runt with a fanatical devotion to the divine Emperor, Hirohito.

A quick witted member of the public released the drones and Private (2nd Class) Nagasaki's dirigible suffered catastrophic gas loss resulting in a conflagration- ''O, the inhumanity''. Kendo's badly burnt corpse will be tossed, without ceremony, on Tipton's midden pit later today. Arse.      

Miss Multiverse 2015

Wednesday 23 December 2015

King Flaxen's Annual Yuletide Address

Anus Horribilis (again)

Tis Yuletide once again and I find it incumbent upon my regal personage to pontificate anew on the year’s past events and to ruminate upon the true meaning and spirit of the season.

Once again large numbers of Jutes have travelled from their home in ramshackle longboats facing the frigid peril of the North Sea. As usual, my loyal band of House Carls did receive them with open arms, and indeed used those arms to slay them even unto their little ones. Mounds of the dead were piled on the beach as a supplication to Woden.

This year I was approached by a tonsured monk and asked about my preparations to celebrate the birth of the Christ child. I stated that I was enchanted with the events at the end of the good Lord’s corporeal existence and subsequently elaborated by nailing the impudent priest to a large piece of wood. As a nod to the festive season we placed a garland of mistletoe upon his head and painted a comic smiley face on his bald pate. Me and the war band did chortle so. The monk failed to see the joke and wailed and moaned abysmally. What happened to Christian fortitude in adversity?

The fiscal purse has been depleted by wanton and extravagant disbursement. My minister of finance, Igbert ‘The Innumerate’ has unfortunately met with a freak and forewarned accident when his neck brushed against the blade of my double headed war axe, ‘Twat Cruncher’. I should have listened to prudent counsel and appointed Athelstan ‘The Accountant’; thus are the vicissitudes of life. But fear not my good Thegns, I mean to recoup my losses by stealing from our neighbours, 'The Hippies'. The newly arrived Hippies are a peaceable folk who eschew violence in all its manifest guises. They are much beguiled by trees and eat only beans and root vegetables. Thusly, they are easy to kill and any comely women amongst them will be taken for ourselves. It is my supposition that any folk not prepared to defend their land; their women; their chattels are deserved of all the ills of a cruel world which undoubtedly will accrue and befall them......   

On a personal note, I have been much troubled by my 'man gland' which reposes in my pert posterior like a plum, with aplomb. It has waxed mightily into a vast tumescence. On a bad day, whilst seated, I am able to rock from side to side. As predicted, my physic prescribed leeches and blood letting and much colon irrigation. This has helped my choleric temperament, not at all and I have become prone to fits of unprovoked violence- no change there then.

And finally and as always:

Merry Yuletide to all my Thegns, Carls and Bondsmen. May 994AD be a year of fruitful bounty. May your loins swell with righteous turgidity and all offspring resemble their sire, especially as paternity assignment, through DNA testing, must await a 1,000 years. Be good to your kin and women who share your bed. As for the rest, deal as you see fit and exercise your will and whim to pillage, burn and slay according to your want.

Monday 21 December 2015

12 Days of Christmas- the reprise

Gypo yard work

12. Twelve mangy mongrels,

11. Eleven gaudy caravans,

10. Ten tyres burning,

 9.  Nine gypos reeking,

 8.  Eight car tax discs a missing,

 7.  Seven big fat arses,

 6.  Six greasy ringlets,

 5.  Five gold teeth,

 4.  Four cunts a stealing,

 3.  Three drunks a fighting,

 2.  Two piles of faeces,

 And a pikey in police custody..........

"Have a Merry Gypo Christmas!"

soapy tit wank 

Saturday 19 December 2015

Bad Grampa...

Charles, you could have done a better job

I was rummaging through a drawer the other day in my expansive 'Master Study' when I noted a faint cloying odour. I couldn't place it for a second although it tugged vaguely at some deep seated memory. I removed the drawer containing the evocative olfactory stimulus (steady Flaxen, ya starting to wax again) and tipped the contents onto the shag pile. I peered intently into the mound of detritus and shiny things...... And there it was coiled provocatively around an empty container of 'Tic Tacs'. A dishevelled/shrivelled collection on brown string- it was granddad's old ear collection which he bequeathed to me in his will. As I recall it was: item number 6. Not so much grisly as gristly. I hadn't seen them for a few years, but they hadn't changed. Twenty-seven ears, all pierced dead centre and threaded onto old fashioned brown waxed string. Time had not been kind to this assorted allotment of grizzled pinna. Over the years they had folded upon themselves and taken on a distinct, dark amber hue; very reminiscent of a 'pork scratching'.   

When I was young my father, bless him, when in his cups, would regale me with lurid tales about his father's wartime exploits during the Great war and would hint darkly about a mysterious relic which never left granddad's waist coat pocket. So I was aware of the 'Ear Story' but put it down to old soldier's tales. And so the years passed and old gramps finally passed away. His small collection of goods were distributed amongst the relatives. My cousin was left grandfather's gold fob watch on a silver chain and I got item number six secreted inside an old cocoa tin. And who said the old cunt didn't have a sense of humour.

I never really knew my wicked old gramps. I can't recall him ever speaking to me directly or taking the slightest interest in me. Which is just as well as he spoke an archaic form of the 'Black country' dialect which seemed to use few actual English words. My most vivid memory of him was his eyes, which were piercing and bright china blue.

Of course, it is nothing new for soldiers to take souvenirs from the battlefield. My dad had a couple of cap badges and a bugle with a bullet hole taken during the Korean conflict. But old gramps had an ear collection and had passed them on to me as a dark joke. I have considered burying them, but I confess, the ears hold me in their macabre and ghastly thrall. A legacy is supposed to be something to cherish and it is the only physical item I have to remind me of the nasty miserable old bastard. I did notice that some of the ears were collecting a black speckled mould, which I cleaned off with 70% ethanol. So, after a quick spray with air freshener (mountain dew) and a quick rub down with a chamois cloth, back in the drawer they went.

Uncannily enough, my own son resembles my grandfather quite closely, even down to the same shade of blue eyes. Therefore, I thought it only fitting that once my span has run its course, I should pass on the family 'Heirloom' to Flaxen junior. I will have to put an explanatory note in the old cocoa tin otherwise, he might just throw the ears, away. Tis a Flaxen tradition, after all.    

Friday 18 December 2015

Flaxen the Ex-Estate Agent

Colin 'The Closer' Collins before the accident

After a series of unfortunate incidences, not all associated with Flaxen's unrestrained and violent disposition, Flaxen had to flee Tipton when perused by an angry delegation of local Real Estate Agents. After collecting his faithful wolf cum Maltese Terrier, Loki/Bubbles, he managed to cross the metropolitan border heading south. His only visible/risible possession was a blood rimed burlap sack containing the heads of two incalcitrant/intransigent potential home owners; the head of Colin, 'The Closer' Collins (Area Head Office Manager) and a double cheese bugger McPuffin.

Flaxen's double headed Danish war axe (Twat Cruncher) swung lasciviously on his left hip and a blood besmirched long sword (Arse, Big Fat Arse Biter) was clenched in Flaxen's calloused, begrimed, right paw. The left hand carried a rolled up copy of the local newspaper, 'The Tipton Bugle incorporating the Dudley Wester Marches and Smethwick Hinterland'. Upon his head sat a spangenhelm resplendent in brass and gold. A byrnie of bronze encased his sinew, muscle bedecked, and lightly oiled, torso. Thus, Flaxen blended inauspiciously, inexplicably and inconspicuously with the evening commuter traffic heading south-eastward, ho.

As night fell, Flaxen halted his progress and reached in the burlap bag for the double cheese bugger McPuffin and shared said comestible with his trusty lupine/canine. As they dined heartily, Flaxen's brow furrowed deep as he pontificated on nature’s imponderable enigmas and wondered why Puffins looked nothing like their representation in the glossy ads. Bugger.......

"Loki, get here!"

Next Day
Flaxen awoke as if from a dream and after, a light moisturising, continued his trek anew, heading southeast, always southeast. Arse.

Dat one tasty bugger, sans fries

As fate decreed, Flaxen and Loki/Bubbles found themselves unaccountably in the city of Cambridge; the beautiful city coddled by the meandering river, Cam. Before long they were bestriding the hallowed grounds and courtyards of the famed ancient university like colossi. Eventually, Flaxen espied a brass plaque upon an old oaken door: ‘Professor Stephen Hawking Lucasian Professor of Mathematics’. With a single mighty blow of 'Twat Cruncher' the door was twained/twatted and split asunder to reveal a curiously twisted human form framed in a metallic contraption of doom. The Skraeling intoned in a dull, metallic, robotic, monotone: "Are you here for the 3.00pm tutorial”. Flaxen appeared aghast and turned to his defecating and shuddering companion: "What sorcerer be this, Loki- he talks funny and yet his lips move, not at all".

Loki/Bubbles contemplating the vicissitudes of existence

To be continued.......

Next week Professor Hawking is introduced to West Saxon cosmology and the etiquette of the blood feud.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Why don’t we ride Zebras?

I suppose the simple answer to the question posed above is: Zebras are not domesticated. So why haven’t we domesticated Zebras or all other animals for that matter? The list of domesticated species is actually very short. This is not to say we haven’t tried. It just seems that most species are intractable to domestication. Bugger, there are limitations to our powers, after all.

First it is necessary to distinguish between domestication and taming. A wild animal can be tamed if exposed to extensive human contact when young or hand reared. This is an acquired trait although some individuals of a species may be genetically disposed toward taming more than other members of the same species. Fundamentally, however, they remain a wild animal. Domestication involves selective breeding, generally over many thousands of  generations, to select desired genetic traits. Once this is achieved the domestic animal becomes dependent upon their human masters to the extent that most individuals would not survive if returned to the wild- although there are exceptions.      

This has got me thinking. If we can’t domesticate most animals then there must be underlying limitations. Humans have proved very resourceful when it comes to manipulating the environment and all therein. So what are the limitations to domestication? Here is Flaxen Saxon’s take on the problem, in no particular order.

1.   Not picky eaters. You have to select a species that you can feed easily. Pandas are a no show because they only eat bamboo shoots. Can’t find bamboo shoots in Tipton, unless you go to the Asian store.
2.    They must be able to breed in captivity. No good having precious species that can’t mate once caught. I suppose you could give the said species a ‘helping hand’. Not necessarily sustainable unless it is a particularly rare species that needs a coddling, like a Panda.
3.   Species adopted by man are generally social animals with a hierarchy. Thus, they fit well into our society and recognise us as pack leader.
4.   A pleasant disposition: Not all animals are so disposed- some are just ornery. Zebras are particularly nasty and have been known to kick lions to death. They have to be this way to survive on the Savannah- the world is a tough place.
5.   They have to grow quickly. Most domestic species are bred because they are good to eat; sad but true. Have you eaten dog? Nice if you get it young enough. If not part of the menu, the animal fulfils a useful work role. Dogs were not always cute lap dogs suckling at our expansive and opulent teats; they helped with the hunt. Some dogs remain working hounds to this day. I have three lap dogs, but I also have three nipples, so it works.                      
6.    The animal must be of a calm disposition. Nervous and skittish creatures are difficult to tame. Apparently, this is why the fox has never been tamed as it is endowed with a brittle temperament.

There are always exceptions. The so-called 'domestic' cat takes little heed of the above list. Aloof and barely sociable, the feline conspicuously ignores any notion of hierarchy concerning its 'owner'. The cat is happy eating the finest viands his master or mistress can provide before slinking off to devour a sewer rat, whole. Neither do they taste good or can be trained to undertake the slightest useful task. Cats are capricious, unpredictable and subject to whim. Nevertheless, they compel us to feed, comfort and shelter them. In fact, they remain the ultimate predator and parasite. Cats are essentially feral with a faint varnish of domestication, lightly burnished. And unlike 'Mitzy' the miniature Dachshund, they can fend for themselves in the wild and thrive. 

It has just occurred to me- Zebras have weak backs.   

That's my thesis down the crapper...

Saturday 12 December 2015

Flaxen talking bollocks, once again......

Nihilism: a belief in the pointless of existence; the absence of truth; the absence of reason.

Mayhap, tis the handmaiden of decadence and the Herald of societal catastrophe. Nihilism lends a helping hand or at least, places the hammer in our hands; I do not subscribe to this view.

Nihilism is often envisaged as a modern preoccupation, but this is not the case. As a notion, nihilism has an ancient pedigree although the word only became 'current' during the 19th century. The concept of nihilism was known to the ancient Greeks and peculiarly to the 'Sceptics', an influential school in ancient Greek philosophy. At its extreme, scepticism denies the possibility of the acquisition of knowledge or truth and thus hints at the modern concept of epistemological nihilism. At its worst, it invites solipsism.

Shakespeare had an opinion on everything. The Bard had a knack of posing society's conundrums in a pleasing manner. His approach is often askew but his insight is penetrating, nonetheless. Here is his take on nihilism, although he would not have considered it as such, in wondrous and lyrical form.

Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.


Of the modern philosophers, nihilism is more often associated with Friederich Nietzsche. He departs from a cold rational appreciation of the concept and characteristically injects an emotionally charged corrosive. Indeed, if men stop believing in god, in society, in morality and finally themselves, the cohesive forces binding society become fractured as men longer care. Not only is the world a cruel illusion and intrinsically meaningless, but it is a 'world' that demands to be set afire. Once man has killed ‘God’ he goes on to kill himself, with baleful satisfaction. For Nietzsche, nihilism is the introduction of a societal abrasive and is viewed, ultimately, as a cleansing force in Western society. Various sages of the early 20th century conjured and concurred with this appreciation and added their own twist, at will.  

Perhaps we should not worry, too much. I am of the belief that nihilism is the preoccupation of the comfortable, Western intellectual. If we believe that civilisations evolve, then nihilism is a natural consequence amongst the 'thinking classes'. To my mind, nihilism is always going to raise its nobbly head in any society which rises above the savage. This is why the Mohammedan has no concept of nihilism except in deed. When a certain class of society acquires wealth and education they ponder upon the known and more importantly, the unknown, more than is good for them. The man tilling the field or sweating on the production line contemplates nihilism, not at all; well not in any coherent way, at least. Nihilism is a concept of the intelligentsia and mostly of the literary intelligentsia, at that. The liberal intellectual minority rarely influences society. When do clever men make effective politicians except when they are autocratic tyrants- Caesar, anyone? The clear answer is that, generally, they don't. Stupid men, with an ideology and a gun, do better. Have you ever read Plato's, 'Republic' and understood it? Plato would make fascists of us all.

Reflection on society is a diversion for the intellectual elite as they sip latte's in trendy neighbourhoods. Nihilism, as a concept and a diversion, is a beautiful fiction, a mere symptom of intellectual malaise. Long may it reign and not impose on us simple folk. Let us not be led astray by the abstract. If we want to consider the factors leading to the ultimate collapse of Western Civilisation, and by this I mean European Civilisation, we should be looking toward practical economics and politics. All else is mere commentary and sophistry.

Having said that, quixotically, I confess as a natural inclination, I'm drawn to nihilism. This goes against the intellectual grain according to my very extensive and rational scientific education. I suspect I'm not a typical scientist and I'm happy to embrace irrational concepts as long as I recognise them as such. This is not the thought of a clear head but of a racing heart. In my quieter moments, I have known darkness and despair. Tis my own, 'Black Dog'....... 


Thursday 10 December 2015

The Ugly Duchess

Mrs Mugumbo contemplating celibacy and Paget's disease

A recent article in a West Midland paper, 'The Tipton Bugle', reported that a woman,

Mrs Mugumbo, had sued a Tipton Hospital because her husband had lost all interest in sex after his surgery.

The hospital spokesman replied: "Mr. Mugumbo was admitted for cataract surgery.
All we did was correct his eyesight."

Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.......  

Tuesday 8 December 2015

The quintessence and spirit of the 'Romany way'

Gypo encampment akimbo
A travelling band of wandering 'gypsies' have set up camp on the outskirts of Tipton in a rural area of outstanding natural beauty. A local social worker, Miz Leftwing Mugumbo has welcomed the influx of itinerant folk and revels in the quaint diversity brought forth by 'a people' dripping in cultural vibrancy.

Beloved, nomadic, romantic, law abiding and revenue eschewing peregrinators of quaint deportment and mien.

During their sojourn in Tipton, 'The Travellers' are expected to add a touch of colour and human waste to the picturesque countryside. The loss of personal items from clothes lines, from gardens, from garden sheds should in no way be attributed to the law-abiding folk of no fixed abode. Similarly the expected spike in violent incidences in the local hostelry, ‘The Felching Ferret’ will not be ascribed to this most pacific and sober of people.    

Once their feet become itchy (tinea pedum) they will vanish into the night leaving behind an indelible imprint of their passing, on the land, and on the hearts and minds of the locals.

They will be sadly missed by the good burghers of Tipton as they cuntemplate the extensive/expensive clean-up operation. 

No, I don't want to buy a fucking peg/pig

Sunday 6 December 2015

Flaxen is bored, again

Another lazy Sunday afternoon. I know I should be tending the garden or putting up shelves, but instead I'm sequestered in my study keeping my head below the parapet trying to avoid my wife who thinks I should be tending the garden and putting up shelves.......

Frankly, I can't be arsed. I work hard all week and don't need to be rushing about like a 'rushy about thing' on my two days orf. Arse.

So for your entertainment, and mine, I have been trawling the net and have caught a crop of 'bottom feeders' for your delectation and amusement. I thank you. I know you shouldn't mock the afflicted, but I'm not a nice man and I'm possessed of a cruel sense of humour (bugger nuts) .......

Yep, this man surely loves his doll. Mustn't judge too harshly. Everyone is deserved of love, affection and a sexual outlet and not everyone can be as attractive as your gracious host. Shouldn't have scrimped, though. These days you can buy dolls with realistic features and vibratory bits. All parts are interchangeable and cum in washable warm latex, apparently.  

Ouch. This man suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, an autosomal dominant  genetic condition. Clinically and genetically this is a heterogeneous group of disorders linked by a defect in collagen production. Nuff said.   

No artificial rocket propulsion necessary. All this achieved with a healthy nutritious diet of sprouts and pulse. Bugger the ozone layer! Arse, big flatus arse.

 This obviously works for him. The goldfish are an ostentatious extra. Personally I'd like to add a few piranhas and watch him dance. "Dance for me, you fucking weirdo".

 Is it a quiff? Is it a mullet? Is it an aeroplane? I have no fucking idea and neither does he.

The Mugumbo family foraging in their natural habitat. Notice as the matriarch of the family checks that there are no following hyenas/security staff. The male members of the Mugumbo clan sit idly contemplating the arrival of their next welfare cheque.   

"Elvis has left the court room". Fuck me Elvis, working all those years in the local fish 'n' chip shop have not been kind to your demeanour and general habitus. Get ye to 'Poundland'. I thank you very much.  

That's all folks, I've ferrets to attend to........ 

Friday 4 December 2015

The Problem of Evil

It is interesting to note that in a recent interview, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, stated that following the aftermath of the Paris bombings he doubted the existence of god. What intrigued me was why this particular act should jolt the good Bish to question god's existence? History is resplendent with horror and atrocities, some of which were perpetrated by the Christian church. Now the Archbishop is an educated and supposedly intelligent man. If he is saying this sort of thing in public then his private thoughts must be a lot more settled. He seems to forget that he is the spiritual leader of the Anglican church and circumspection in speech and deed is probably prudent; he would not make a good politician. However, in secular Britain the Archbishop's comments will probably fluff few feathers outside the rarefied world of ecclesiastica although it might unsettle the 'Blue Rinse' brigade.

The problem of evil is a longstanding one and ably expressed by the Ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus:

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God

Therefore, we have to contemplate a deity who is unable to intervene to prevent evil or a deity who, although able to intervene, chooses not to and therefore, remains indifferent to our fate or takes delight in our suffering. Adherents of the Christian religion find this viewpoint highly unsatisfactory and over the centuries very clever minds have exercised their intellectual muscle to find a solution to this very real dilemma. In fact, this train of thought has spawned a whole branch of theology, called Theodicy. This is an essential extension of Christian thought especially as god is endowed with the quality of 'being all good', or omnibenevolence. The concept of god's 'all goodness' has been a notoriously difficult concept for Christians to defend especially in light of the portrayal of god in the 'Old Testament'. This ancient book makes no excuse for a rapacious, vicious and cruel deity: "I am the Lord and there is no other.....I make weal and create woe, I am the Lord, who do all these things". Not much theological wiggle room or ambiguity in this passage. I will not list the atrocities sanctioned in the Bible by the good Lord, for they are legion. It is fascinating to note that these passages are never read out in the pulpit by the Vicar on a quiet Sunday morn- might upset the old dears. And if you think that the god of the 'New Testament' is more enlightened then you have not read the words of the living god, Jesus. There are frequent instances where Jesus threatens the unbeliever with the eternal torment of hell.

Having established that theologians have a case to argue on behalf of their beloved deity, what approaches have they taken to circumvent god's responsibility for evil? One approach is to state that evil is illusory and therefore, evil simply does not exist. This viewpoint is not popular with theologians for the rather obvious reason: “If evil is really nothing then what is all the fuss about sin?” A popular argument is to state that evil is a consequence of man’s ‘free will’. Tis god's gift in order that we can exercise choice in our actions and thus act as free agents and not mindless automatons. If man chooses to exercise this right for evil then the responsibility for evil lies with man, not god. There is a problem with this approach: 'free will' is incompatible with another of god's characteristics, omniscience. God knows all and as a consequence every event, past and present, is known by god and therefore, there can be no such thing as 'free will' as everything is predetermined. This absolves mankind from moral responsibility as we cannot act otherwise- we are robots, after all. As god created man in full knowledge of what would unfold and as evil is part of the performance, god must take full responsibility for his creation. He could have made a 'benign' world where evil was non-existent, but he chose not to.

We all know that killing, robbing and stealing is wrong from a moral perspective. In a civilised society, there is a legal provision to protect the 'weak and innocent' from the evil that men do. However, god appears not to be willing to interact with the world, although capable of doing so, to protect the weak and innocent from the wicked. Some would say that god rectifies all in the 'afterlife'. The 'good' receive their reward and the 'bad' their just deserts. The appeal to justice in an 'afterlife' does not absolve god, morally. An evil act perpetrated in this life, or any other, still remains evil. And if god allows an evil act to occur, given his divine attributes, it follows that god is necessarily evil.    

This is but a simple exposition of some of Theodicy's arguments. The arguments can become philosophically sophisticated and technically convoluted. I will not continue in this vein as refutations should only be as complicated as is absolutely necessary to refute the opponent's stance.

 For all the sophistry and intellectual contortions, we have to ask how effective are the explanations absolving god from responsibility? All the special pleading, is just that, a desperate attempt to explain the unexplainable. If prodded sufficiently hard, most religious apologists will fall back to the default position: 'How can the feeble mind of man understand the majesty and workings of a supernatural god'? This is no explanation at all and relies on the concept of an inexplicable deity. Few outside the fusty cloister will find this a satisfactory riposte.

Of course, there is another solution never considered by theologians, except the Archbishop: There are no gods and we are alone and adrift in an indifferent universe. In that case, we would be better applying ourselves to the question- why are we as a species, so cruel? Humankind is responsible for evil in the world, notwithstanding evil due to natural disasters.  If we are to seek answers to human injustice we are well advised to seek them in our psychology and perhaps ultimately in our fundamental biology. It looks like god is off the hook, after all. 

Twat in a hat

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Bugger Christmas!

Arse, shit, bugger

Christmas comes but once a year. Sadly it lasts 6 months

I hate bloody Christmas. Goodwill to all men? They can bugger orf. Most folk are irksome and  don’t magically become less so because of some pagan Yuletide festival. Let me be to contemplate the injustice of an insensate uncaring universe in the comfort of my book bestrewn study. In quiet moments of despair, I can sit in a darkened corner, coiled in the foetal position, gently rocking.

Bah humbug
There is a special place in hell reserved for those who erect the Christmas tree and bedeck their hovels with decorations in November. My place of work placed a large tree in the foyer two weeks ago. Last year it got nicked. I'm hoping for a repeat performance.  

Yo, blood ho............

Did I ever tell you I'm a miserable old curmudgeon bastard?