Friday, June 24, 2016

Rudyard Kipling and the EU Exit Referendum

This poem was inspired by the First World War, but it seems very relevant now that a majority of people in England (and Wales), unlike Scotland and Northern Ireland, have voted in favour of leaving the EU. This despite the best efforts of the Remain brigade, who were confident of victory.

I think that Rudyard Kipling would have approved of the unexpected result. I think that he would have been a Brexit supporter.

The Beginnings

It was not part of their blood,
 It came to them very late
With long arrears to make good,
  When the English began to hate.

They were not easily moved,
 They were icy-willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
 Ere the English began to hate.

Their voices were even and low,
 Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show,
 When the English began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd,
 It was not taught by the State.
No man spoke it aloud,
 When the English began to hate.

It was not suddenly bred,
  It will not swiftly abate,
Through the chill years ahead,
 When Time shall count from the date
 That the English began to hate.

From A Diversity of Creatures by Rudyard Kipling

Yesterday, the hatred was directed towards injustice, bureaucracy, diversity and political correctness that have gone too far, globalisation, the erosion of nationalism, “leftie luvvies”, the ignoring of the interests of native English people…

Friday, June 17, 2016

The childhood of Ayn Rand: some very familiar features

We may not be as unique, unusual or individual as we believe we are.

I have seen many examples online of people saying such things as, “I could have written that myself” and, “Are you me?” and, “That is a perfect description of MY mother.” They seem surprised to find that there are others out there who are just like them or who have had exactly the same experiences.

I have been reading about the early life of Ayn Rand. Her generation, nationality and family situation are very different from mine, yet much of her early life seems like a description of my early life. Many of her characteristics, views and experiences are very familiar; some of it reminds me of what I have read about the early lives of some writers of interest.

Some basic elements of her personality
In her biography The Passion of Ayn Rand, Barbara Branden tells us that Ayn Rand was not very interested in other children and didn’t fit in with or get on well with them; I was much the same: on the whole, they seemed alien, boring, incomprehensible and sometimes dangerous.

She was very serious and intense, too much so for the liking of her fellow schoolgirls. I was too. She felt that she failed them by not reacting, responding or behaving according to their expectations. Some of us are wired very differently on the inside from the majority of our contemporaries and just cannot fit in with them.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Two bus breakdowns: accidental or not?

I was feeling very worried and under the weather a few weeks ago. I went for a series of long bus rides just to get away from things and see some new areas, buildings, houses and parks. Perhaps I should have stayed in until the bad feelings passed.

I was on a single-decker bus that stopped at the foot of a steep hill to pick up some people. When the driver tried to move on, it just made strange noises and juddered a bit. He was unable to get it going again, despite making every effort. He radioed for help, and was instructed to get us all off so that we could catch the next bus.

As the driver stepped off the bus, he turned to me and said:

“This is all your fault!”