Monday 28 February 2022

It's my Birthday


                                                               Still a twat

Today, marks my 66th year upon this earth, with all the bounty and evil which is associated with a relatively long life. Wisdom, they say, comes with age. Although I've known a few old buggers where wisdom has passed them by leaving them bereft and hanging about in intellectual limbo- mercifully they don't realise their painful and depressing predicament. Yes, I know, I'm starting to sound elitist, once again. Tis a flaw that I bear with a modicum of aplomb.

With the passing of the years, I'm starting to contemplate my own mortality. Death, as a concept does not trouble me too much. All living things, die; tis inevitable. Some folk think they can delay, the inevitable. Healthy living with a balanced diet is a plan for many, although luck is something that no prudent planning can overcome. And indeed, genes for ill or good is oft underestimated when it comes to our overall health. Also as we age our health declines. Within the past 5 years, there has been a significant decline in my health. Five years ago I was out running the streets and my medication intake was zero. Today, I'm taking two separate meds for hypertension and I'm reliant and addicted to strong pain killers.

I'll enjoy a quiet day ensconced in my shed. The bow I've been working on for the past six months is coming to completion. Tis a longbow constructed out of compressed Moso bamboo- I have high hopes for this bow and hopefully, it will draw about 45lbs at 28 inches. It is of simple and primitive construction without frills and frippery. Tonight, my wife, daughter, her partner and two fruits will join me for dinner at the local pub. A simple repast with a couple of decent pints of English Ale. Number one son will join us at the weekend and no doubt he'll treat his aged father to a couple of pints. Simple pleasures for a simple man.

COVID has finally caught up with our 'isolated' island home. Although New Zealand managed to stay disease-free for a relatively long time, it was only a matter of time before we succumbed. According to today's news just over 15,000 new cases have been reported over the past 24 hours. As expected we are experiencing a rapid rise in new infections, from the 1,500 recorded at the start of the month. It appears the government have learned a few lessons from others and we will not be entering any form of severe lockdown. Ongoing measures will be sensible and non-restrictive. As for the rest of the news, I will comment, no more........... 

                                                         ARSE AKIMBO



Thursday 24 February 2022

Rantus Minimus

                                                White Privilege: Sounds Fair

This is a short and simple rant directed at those who deem that I should be ashamed of my accident of birth.

It appears that being a white man living comfortably in this world is somehow a crime or at least something we should apologise for. Now it is true that most folks in this world live in dire poverty and there are huge manifest injustices endured by vast swathes of people. Is the world a fair place? Manifestly, the world is not a fair place. Your standing, wealth prospects and quality of living is mostly determined by where, when and to whom you are born. Isaac Newton could only have found the comfortable leisure time to be educated and to research the way he did because of his privilege enjoyed by his position in 17th century England. Did he deserve this position? This question makes little sense. Tis better to applaud his good fortune. Not only did he have a prodigious intellect but was also endowed with the leisure time to indulge his good fortune. If he had been born 150 years prior to his birth date, the intellectual milieu of the time would have precluded scientific enquiry. Newton, although a pious man, embraced the new scientific method with gusto. The confluence of these three strands of good fortune enabled greatness and intellectual immortality. Newton, by chance, could have been born a dullard or into a family of stout, but poor yeomen. In such circumstances, scientific advancement, at least to the degree, as shown, would have had to await the occasion of solicitous good fortune in a suitably primed individual, or individuals. I've digressed a tad, but I think I've made my point. It makes no logical or moral sense to castigate an individual thusly blessed.

Continuing with the theme: Another tactic employed by the left is to place the 'guilt of the fathers' upon the heads of the extant. If my ancestor(s) had been involved in the black slave trade, what is that to me? Am I supposed to express extreme contrition at this historical turn of events? Again, the answer is a resounding no. The is no justice in the passing of the supposed sins of the 'grandfathers' to generations now present or still to come. There can be no inherited shame. Although, divine retribution effortlessly transcends the generations, the law of man, is rightly restricted to the miscreant in hand. The justice system of God, of the Old Testament, has never been adopted/adapted by nations, except in the realm of the totalitarian state. God's sense of justice (humour?) is too rich for mortal blood and is to be eschewed.

The left's obsession with 'white guilt' has been ravenously gobbled up by that wretched group, The 'woke'. If this is the cost of being awake, then I'm glad to be the recipient of moral torpor; perchance to dream, the somnolence of the just.      

Wednesday 16 February 2022

A Thesis by any other Name.

                                                    Handsome beast isn't he?   

O Lordy, Lordy, Lardy! Where do I begin? I suspect that most have heard about the delightful, Kent Hovind. He is an American fundamentalist preacher and convicted felon. He is decidedly old school and believes that the Earth is 6,000 years old; Adam and Eve once lived upon the earth, in paradise; dinosaurs cohabitated with humans and Noah built an Ark. As to be expected he is rabidly ant-evolution. Need I say any more? I'm sure my readership has a clear idea of the man and his beliefs.

In 1990 he submitted a Doctoral dissertation and was awarded a PhD from 'Patriot Bible University', an unaccredited Bible college. The college is considered a 'Diploma Mill' and the only qualification required is a hefty 'enrolment fee'. Academic credentials and acadaemic rigour do not appear to be part of the curriculum. Generally, doctoral dissertations are available to all, but in this instance, Mr Hovind's copy (note I refrain from calling doctor) got eaten by a pack of rabid evangelical hounds (Canus nonexistancus). Furthermore, the college does not make submitted dissertations available to the academic community. Luckily, for the furtherance of mankind's intellectual development, in 2009, WikiLeaks obtained a copy for distribution to an eagerly awaiting community of savants. Kent's PhD is but one of four obtained by this man-genius. Undoubtedly, we live in wondrous times.

I have managed to secure a copy for my own edification and here is what I found........... Firstly, I am required to provide a little context. A doctoral thesis, in order to satisfy the examiners, is required to represent new areas of scholarship that add to the existing corpus of knowledge. Usually, the quality and relevance of the work are judged by three to five acaedemic experts in the field. In Mr Hovind's case, his work was reviewed by one individual, Dr Wayne Knight.

 He starts the work off by saying: Hello, my name is Kent Hovind. The thesis comprises 13 chapters with grandiose titles, such as, 'The Religion of  Evolution'. Strangely, there is no title to his work or even page numbers. It appears that the 'thesis' was printed off a dot matrix printer, the epitome of technology of the time.  

In the introduction we read: I am, without apology, a Bible-believing Christian. I have been saved for twenty-two years by the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son. I believe that God’s Word is infallible and flawless in every detail. If the Bible says that something was created a certain way, then that is just the way It happened. We further note: His historical synopsis of evolution begins with Satan, the great evolutionary theorist. In this passage, we learn that it was the wicked snake of Satan who introduced Adam and Eve to evolutionary theory. I never knew that and I must thank Kent for repairing an abundant and manifest gap in my knowledge. I must have missed that chapter when perusing a book on the 'Theory of Evolution'.  What a silly sod, am I.    

This sets the tone for the so-called thesis. This is not a critical, well-researched, and analysed document. From the start, we see that Hovind has no intention of following the evidence, where ever it may take him. Everything will be subject and subsumed to scripture. There is no reasoning process here just blind obedience to biblical teaching. This is not a promising start. He further notes that he is not producing any original work. This is an odd admission for someone who is supposedly presenting a doctoral thesis. The very essence of a thesis, at this level, should be the introduction of original knowledge.

This is not a well-written piece of 'scholarship'. Tis peppered throughout with grammatical and spelling errors. There are also many errors of fact. He is prone to tangents and throughout the work, there are unsubstantiated claims against evolution. He rants and rails and has a tendency toward incoherence. We are reminded that we are not dealing with a piece of serious scholarship, more a farcical parody. Clearly, we are not dealing with an intelligent man. 

It is not possible to explain all that is wrong with Mr Hovind's work. I entreat my readers to read this masterpiece themselves. Anyone willing to read this drivel should contact me and I will forward the 'thesis' in PDF form.

I'll finish with the following quote. This is typical and summarises the timbre of the narrative. Everything is encapsulated in this short extract of drivel. This is all you really need to know about this deluded and very silly man: Hitler was an evolutionist and it was the crazy doctrine of evolution that was responsible for World War.  His historical synopsis of evolution begins with Satan, who else, the great evolutionary theorist and he alleges that the snake, masquerading as Satan, introduced Adam and Eve to evolutionary theory. Thus, evolution, ultimately lead to the 'Downfall of all humankind'.

If nothing else Mr Hovind's effort is for a good old belly laugh. I suggest my readers obtain a beer, sit in a comfy chair then wade through this work of fiction. Good luck.             

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Watch and Weep

                                             Mad as a bucket of frogs in vinegar                                                    

It is probably a good idea to go to YouTube and search for: 'Kat Kerr describing heaven'. This will provide the necessary context to my erudite commentary. There are many videos for perusal. In fact, she never shuts up about the heavenly abode. There are videos out there that are 8 hours long. It all becomes repetitive and boring after a while but the devoted faithful lap this insanity up as if it was manna from heaven. 

Here is a link to a snippet of her bollocks.

Kat Kerr Sees Talking Dogs and People Fishing in Heaven - YouTube

What can I say? After viewing a few of these videos I am uncharacteristically speechless. I have come across Kat Kerr, the self-proclaimed prophetess of God before, however, on each occasion I'm left totally bemused.  

The videos are highly illuminating with regard to Kerr's worldview and psyche. I sincerely suspect that she is bamboozling 'simple believers' with this madness for nefarious reasons- monetary gain, anyone?  Could she be hallucinating or just using her vivid imagination to construct a heaven of biblical proportions?

For those fortunate souls who are not acquainted with this charming individual here is a little background information: Kat Kerr is an American prophetess who claims she has unprecedented access to heaven, Angels, Jesus, and God. She communes with God on a regular basis where he imparts various snippets of prophecy for distribution amongst the populous. Predictably she is very pro-Trump and with other religious pundits of the ilk, she predicted a second (second coming?) win for Trump in the last election. This did not happen. In the aftermath, she trotted out a series of lame and unbelievable excuses. It appears that she engages in frequent excursions to heaven and has a look around taking in the sights and experiences. All of which she is willing to share with the gullible masses. She has her own website, a simple Goggle search will whisk you (teleport) to this wondrous site.

Here is what heaven is like according to Kat Kerr: Heaven is a real place with geographical limits. It is very much like earth, only perfect. And of course, all people in heaven are perfect physically and mentally. There are no bald people in heaven- god does not like 'follicular challenged' folk. The bald are miraculously, cranialy hirsuite - what happened to free will? Everyone seems to live in mansions. There is no sex in heaven (I thought this was paradise). There will be food for us to enjoy even though we don't need to eat to maintain our ethereal 'bodies'. Fast food restaurants exist. However, the restaurants are very 'Eurocentric'. So you can get pizza but no mention of Chinese food and curries. Of course, you couldn't live the 'American Dream' without amusement parks and sports arenas. People can fly, but have to be taught, by who else but Christopher Reeves. The weather is perfect with no wind or rain. There is a place called 'Christmas Town' where it continually snows (not in New Zealand Town, though). Angels have wings and like to ride the roller coaster. Angels are described/depicted as you would find in renaissance art, cherubic and beautiful. This is interesting as the Old Testament describes Angels differently. They are frightening and monstrous to look at. Kerr, whilst in heaven, espied Jesus playing a round of golf. This is enough about heaven. She witters on about other details, but I'm sure you get the picture. Thus heaven is very much like an 8-year-old girl's conception of heaven. And that girl would be white and from middle America and called Stacey-Lynn.     

What are we to make of this insanity? First off, she seems so earnest in her description and portrayal.  She seems quite sane, therefore, I suspect she is 'making it up' for either personal gain or to enhance her popularity and 'celeb' status; or perhaps both. She has written several books about her description of heaven and these books have sold very well. She appears to be an astute, successful, and accomplished businesswoman. She is no fool and knows exactly what she is doing. Like all the 'evangelical charismatic' crowd she is well orf with a net worth of 8 million dollars. She is very popular with the American fundamental Christian believers of middle America and is a frequent guest on evangelical shows such as the 'Elija List' with Steve Shultz. Poor Steve is a simple soul and believes every word she utters. Mrs. Kerr is also a regular stage performer and espouses her views to a large audience. And the evangelicals lap this stuff up and soak up this pap uncritically.

It is hard for me to contemplate how sane, modern Western folk can believe in Kerr's mixture. Heaven is represented as a schmaltzy 'Dinsey Land' production. Tis a farcical rendition and yet a relatively large swathe of Americans take her description as true. The fact that she supposedly visits heaven and communes with God, on a regular basis, bothers them, not a jot.  

As for spiritual content...... God and Jesus are capitalist materialists. Everything is magnificent and panders to our dreams of acquiring amazing things and wealth. The deep spiritual stuff is not mentioned at all. Middle America's wet dream.

Tis interesting to note that she could only get away with this sort of thing in the US. I couldn't see the denizens of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Europe falling for this brand of madness. Anyway, let me know in the comments what you think.   


Sunday 6 February 2022

Flagella Dei Part I

                         Who's a pretty boy den? A product of Hun head binding.

The story of the 'Scourge of God', Attila the Hun is an interesting one to contemplate. Sadly, all that we know of this doughty ruler/warrior is from his staunch enemies, the Romans. And the Roman were none too flattering to Attila and his Hunnic hordes.

This tale will have to be dealt with in parts. It is really too intricate to consider in one meagre post. Thus, this first post will have to present a little introductory material.

When we think of the cliché barbarian 'Attila the Hun' readily comes to mind. He typifies all that is bad that assailed/assaulted the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. However, Attila is not just another mindless barbarian responsible for the dismantling of the Roman Empire. He is decidedly a complex character, an accomplished general, diplomat, and the ultimate power broker.

At its greatest, he carved out an empire stretching from the Black sea to the Rhine and from the Baltic to the Balkans. However, his Empire was ephemeral. All horse folk suffered from the same challenges throughout history, preventing the formation of a long-lasting empire. That said their way of making war was something the Western powers (ancient and medieval) found challenging to counter, however, nomadic horse folk were always on the cusp of a dilemma. The reaver's lifestyle was always a short-term strategy. The atavistic urge to pillage and plunder, dormant even in the most civilised, is never a long-term plan and is ultimately doomed to fail. 

Although the urge to wreak havoc and take short-term rich pickings is alluring, long-term tis not conducive for founding an enduring Empire. The lure is the desire for a settled lifestyle. Imagine soft women and exotic viands (cf the Vikings of the 9th-10th century). But this was an alien concept to nomadic peoples, but they could be seduced. Even if the Huns couldn't exploit the land directly, they could obtain largesse by an indirect and very lucrative route. Simply by threatening an invasion into Roman lands they could extort gold and silver from an increasingly fragile Empire. This policy fostered lassitude. The advantages of the sedentary lifestyle were extremely attractive to nomads used to a harsh unyielding lifestyle. The nature of man once faced with the effete sedentary living of a decadent Roman patrician was too much to resist- the fate of the patrician Hun. When given the choice of living on milk curd and horse blood the allure of lark tongues was just too much to refuse. Decadence is the ultimate demise of the barbarian and civilised alike.

Once their charismatic leader, Attila, bled to death on his wedding night (476 AD), his fragile Hunnish Empire began to disintegrate. An illiterate horde bombarded with extreme wealth, in a very short time, is doomed unless there is an extreme adaption. But, therein lies the problem. Once the barbarian gains a light garnishing of civilisation they become vulnerable to those they consider, vanquished. Thus civilised, static stability is the ultimate antidote to the horse barbarian. As we know to our cost, the civilised livery of the West is too hard to resist by 'lesser breeds'. Anyway, moving on.

The Roman Empire of the 5th century AD was vastly different from the 'heyday of the Empire' of the first and second centuries. The Empire was effectively split into Western and Eastern regions each controlled by its own Emperor. The Eastern Emperor ruled from the city of Constantinople (now Istanbul) while the Western Emperor ruled from the eternal city, Rome. The empire was not only divided by geography but culturally and linguistically; the West was Latin and the East, was Greek.

The legions that once bestrode the known world like a colossus were no more. Citizen soldiers, highly trained and motivated had been replaced by something else. The armies of Rome were still formidable at 500 thousand strong but they lacked cultural and racial cohesion. The army had been split into two: a mobile army ready to shift to where the problems were and a static army permanently based on the extensive Roman frontier. The frontiers, from all sides, were being assailed by barbarians chipping away at the edge of the Empire. The mobile army was forever on the move to quell one incursion to the next. The concept of the Roman citizen army had been replaced with the barbarian mercenary. Demanding land and gold, the barbarian soldiers of Germanica were fickle allies at best.

The Huns came to the attention of the unprepared Romans in 370 AD when they burst from the Hungarian plain. Their ultimate origin is controversial and I'll deal with their proposed homeland in my next thrilling installment. From the Roman perspective, the Huns were nothing like the people who they had previously met and mainly conquered. Their lives were conducted from the back of their sturdy, resilient steppe steeds. They ate, conducted parleys, and even slept from the saddle of their mounts. Life was initially frugal and austere but they soon acquired a taste for Roman gold. The Hun was unequaled in horse archery and used the powerful, multilaminate composite bow. Its construction maximised the qualities of the materials from which it was made. Its only drawback was that it quickly came undone in wet conditions as the fish glue used to maintain the bow disintegrated. This was not really a problem on the arid grassland of the steppe. Unlike the simple English, longbow, the Hun bow was an expensive and cherished weapon. It took a year to manufacture and complete this highly sophisticated weapon of war. 

The Roman concept of war turned on the principle of 'The Set Piece Battle'. Opposing armies would line up facing each other and battle would be joined in a linear formation. The Romans were masters of this type of warfare. In contrast, the Huns fought exclusively as cavalry. At first sight, it seemed the 'army' was a rabble without formal discipline. But this is deceptive. In fact, the Hun archers responded to the blast of a horn. War for the Hun differed greatly from the practice of civilised Westerners. It has been recorded by the Romans that the Hun horde consisted of 500,000 mounted horsemen. This is ridiculous. Modern assessments suggest that the pasture available to the Huns could not support this multitude. In reality, the Hun 'army' was relatively small and had no more than 30,000 men. It was their method of waging war that made them an irresistible force. 

The Huns would rush an enemy firing arrows from their stout short bows. If engaged by enemy cavalry they would feign retreat but all the time learning over the horse's back and shooting their arrows at a deadly rate. Western cavalry weighted down with armour could not match the agility and endurance of the Hun. When the enemy cavalry was spent the Hun would return and dispatch their foe with a cloud of well-placed arrows. Similarly, the Roman infantryman would suffer the same fate. The horde would descend like a thunderstorm picking off infantrymen at will. Eventually, the soldiers could stand no more and became disordered in retreat. Then the real slaughter would begin. It seems that the western warrior could find no antidote to this mode of fighting. It would take the arrival of gun powder to finally destroy the power of the mounted Asian archer.

So far I have set the scene for the next thrilling installment but there has been scant mention of the prime antagonist, himself, the 'Great Attila the Hun'. This oversight that will be remedied in a thrice........