Established 2003. Now incorporating The Sudbury Hill Harrow and Wherever End Times

Monday, August 29, 2005

The writer's writer

Interview with John McGahern

"But judgment has no place in the writer's trade. I think an ounce of sympathy is worth a ton of judgments."

One of several excellent quotes in the interview, including this:

'No matter what happens to you, no matter how depressing the material, if it becomes depressing to write, or indeed, to read, it's no good. I firmly believe that unless the thing is understood it's useless, and that the understanding of it is a kind of joy. It's liberating.'

There is also a generous excerpt from McGahern's new book, Memoir.


Friday, August 26, 2005

"Publishing too open to unknown writers"

Everyone does not have a novel inside them* (Tim Clare)

"There is an auld axiom beloved of burnt-out English teachers, glamour-impoverished fantasists and a million other drudges seeking to transcend their lives of quiet desperation: everyone has a novel inside them."

Is that "beloved" with two syllables or three, sire? Tim Clare sounds like he has a novel inside inside him, right enough. How it got there is another kind of mystery.

*Note the Grauniad's classic caption "Think the wrold [sic] should hear your story?"


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Bar terrorist fellow-traveller from re-entering country


Cavorting in Barbados, the cheer-leader and accessory to the atrocious US invasion of Iraq, apologist for the massacre of Fallujah, instigator of the deaths of UK troops and civilians. He does suffer, y'know. He really does. Pangs. But y'know - Splash! Race you to the beach! Mr Tony "Y'know" Blair. While we scrimp and save and can't afford holidays, up to our eyes in debt just to pay the Inland Revenue, to fund illegal wars, and pay for Caribbean holidays for those quislings and traitors, and y'know it's a laugh, isn't it. They're having a laugh, those horses' arses.

A Taxpayer

On this day in...*

2003, Sunday August 24th.

"It was a very good summer."

Mrs Haverty's uncharacteristic outburst is perhaps best forgotten, but it was a busy news day with all of the following stories breaking: Image of Yogi Bear discovered on Mars; The problem of speeding on Chamberlayne Road; and the rather sinister Dog man walking. There are some comments in the old format "Comments (2003-2004)".

*Brilliant new feature. We need never be short of copy again. Excellent wheeze. Ed

Principles of a Story by Raymond Carver

There's a link to an Acrobat (pdf) file containing Carver's essay reprinted in the forthcoming issue of Prospect magazine. It's all light and reason. Someone here may be horrified to read his statement, "But extremely clever chichi writing, [my emphasis there] or just plain tomfoolery writing, puts me to sleep." (At least he didn't say Chi Chi writing.)


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Lullaby of Gaza (1)

On seeing a picture, not necessarily from Gaza, of an armed soldier hiding in a doorway, with two children in the street nearby, "unicef193-0634 / betty press"

Crazy paving, crazy wall,
Concrete floors, when curfews fall
F-sixteens will come to call
Rocket bye baby, the cradle will fall
Down will come gunmen, mothers and all

Iron shutters, iron gates
Out of sight, a soldier waits
On girl and toddler, under eights,
The elder with her friend debates
Oblivious to their future fates

Not the chosen, not the just
They are children of the dust
When hovels with no papers must
Be razed in order to adjust
Collateral in a stateside trust


I forgot about this one when I named the one below, so now I can call them Lullabies of Gaza and start a collection, I suppose.

Writing Home

Stephen Moran

World's richest short story prize announced

Guardian feature

"Alex Linklater, deputy editor of Prospect magazine, spoke out today in support of the short story. 'The novel is a capacious old whore: everyone has a go at her, but she rarely emits so much as a groan for their efforts,' he said. 'The short story, on the other hand, is a nimble goddess: she selects her suitors fastidiously and sings like a dove when they succeed. The British literary bordello is heaving with flabby novels; it's time to give back some love to the story.'"

National Short Story prize website


Sunday, August 21, 2005

Telegraph quote of the week*

"The woman who keeps doves needs a heart of stone."

The vet's time was wasted and a dove put through hell, all because I lacked the resolution to kill a thing I loved.

Ms Greer** is wonderful on domestic animals. [Is that politically correct? Ed] If only she'd been a man, there would've been no problem because "All men kill the thing they love" (Oscar Wilde, "Quote of the Week", every week from 1864 to 1900).

*Yes, might as well rename this feature "Telegraph quote of the week" because they keep winning. Funniest stand-up routines in town.

**Planning to have GiGi as the centrefold for the first WH Sunday Supplement magazine. We'll get that picture somewhere; ah yes, it's on Google Images. Get your own link, you filthy perverts. Ed

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Titanic 2 - Poorboy to rebuild legendary ship

Dynamic entrepeneur Muzzy Poorboy Pirbhai is said to be in negotiations to rebuild the legendary Titanic as the most modern, powerful and safe ocean liner ever. He denies saying, "Even Allah could not sink it." A film of the project is already in the works, to be directed by Michael Winner, famous director of the Death Wish series of films. Winner is quoted as joking, "Don't worry dear, it's only an iceberg." It's thought that a large amount of government money is being sought. Unfortunately John De Lorean is not available for comment, as he died earlier this year. [Late edition. Ed]

Friday, August 19, 2005

Clare Short better get a food-taster

Mo Mowlam dies (Guardian)

Sky News has quite a touching photo gallery in their tribute. She had a homely, friendly presence like an aunt to everyone. So soon after Robin Cook, another prominent speaker against the war.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Golden Willy Awards 2004-5


The Willesden Rotary Mower Club announces that there will be no statuettes this year, due to a world shortage of gold paint. All of the nominees are therefore declared joint winners of the Golden Willies for:

Overall Winner
Diamond Geezer, whiskey river, Lenin's Tomb, Moorish Girl

Best Journal
Implosion of Mediocre Brilliance, Sashinka, The Eejit

Best Online Magazine, deaddrunkdublin, Big Bridge

Best Newcomer
The Smell of Cypress, sean?

Best Commentary
Lenin's Tomb, Karmalised, Emerald Bile

Best Photo Blog
Frizzy Logic, London and the North

So Bad it's not Good
The obLiterati, The Framley Examiner

The rules state that the winners are entitled to display the Golden Willy 2005 logo. Unfortunately, due to a world shortage of graphic designers, it has not been possible to produce the logo this year, again.

The Committee is pleased that the Willies continue to go from strength. There follows a short statement by our patron Lord Donor, Boy Pirbhai.

Carmencita Haverty (Hon. Sec.)
Willesden Rotary Mower Club

Statement by Patron

Congratulations are in order to all the nominees. The number of blogs was exactly the same as last year, a few new ones born, a few old ones died. And the quality was exactly the same as last year too. A fantastic improvement, a slowing of the decline in real terms. I have been able to help WRMC with complicated finances so that they have for the first time ever been able to balance their books, which considering the number of statuettes they supplied in previous years is an amazing feat. Without their recognition most bloggers would just remain sad geeks, unread, unloved and wrongheaded. But thanks to the prestidigious Golden Willies their efforts are given meaning and respect among fellow toilers in the field. In fact, it's not too much to say that these people are the modern equivalent to horny-handed sons of the soil. All power to them, they should be plugged into the National Grid as far as I'm concerned. To those who weren't nominated, you may remain unknown for another year, but on the downside you won't have your name associated with the prestidigious Golden Willy. Better luck next year!

Muzzy "Boy" Pirbhai (Lord Donor)

The bark*

Woof. Woof woof Kenneth Clarke woof. Woof and David Cameron woof. Woof woof. Woof Gordon Brown grrr. Grrr woof moneybags miso woof grrr. Woof Iraq grrrr woof woof woof. Woof Clarke woof Iraq woof woof. Grrr Davis blech grrr blech Brown grrr blech. Kennedy miaow.

*The new name for the Heraldtorial, designed by Fitzgerald Fitzsimon. Our thanks to Gerald Fitzsimon and Simon Fitzgerald for their input. It was a shame there had to be a loser in the rebranding competition as Doon McCracken's entry was also excellent. Our commiserations go out to Ben and Phil. Ed

The Willesden Herald - "still barking after all these years"

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Dig it

The horror of scratching a blackboard with fingernails, and aversion to the horrible sound of grinding a pebble must come from the fact that fingernails and teeth have no feeling. Digging in the ground for roots, aversion to the sensation of scratching stone would protect one's fingers. When biting a peach the squeak of the tooth on stone is a warning to prevent damage. If the sound meant nothing we might damage our teeth. Were it not for the aversion to scratching a stone we might damage our fingers. Even thinking about these things "sets one's teeth on edge".

<< Previous | Next >>

Laboratoire Kronk Nailcare

Hear that Nature? New Scientist? Syndication enquiries: contact P. O'Toole. Ed

Monday, August 15, 2005




£20 conscience money to St John Baptist De La Salle for stealing from school. St Jude pray for us.

Mature Irish lady, well-set, late of HMP Holloway, seeks male companion 40-60, gsoh, possibly another ex-offender, for outings and possible romance. Box 101

"The Secret of My Success" booklet, £1.50. Also packet of straws, good as new, 50p. Sunday newspapers, 1970 - present (various), 10p each £15 the lot. Box 102


Jet away to sunny Tel Al Djoupe, the new Balearics. Tel Al Djoupe Tourist Board.

There must be 50 ways to love your loser

The Willesden Herald - still barking, after all these years


Things happening in that other dimension or those other dimensions probably impinge on our universe. All sorts of wild imaginings come to mind, but any other world would make no more sense than our own, and no less. Our universe as the snow globe in Citizen Kane. What the hell is this? Never mind why, when, where, just what? What? What is this? Big bang! Gets us nowhere. What what what. Rocks. What are rocks? Iron. What is iron? Atoms. What are atoms? Bits of atoms. What are bits of atoms? Energy. What is energy? Something. What is that something? Something else. What is that something else? Nobody knows. We don't know what we are, or what our world is.

Nothing one can propose can be built on anything but sand. At the end of every proposed explanation is another question: what is it made of? As T. S. Eliot said (in The Rock?) all of our knowledge only brings us closer to our ignorance. How can I think and write and listen to sweet Paul Simon melodies and wear out my creaking knuckles and program computers and live and die in ignorance and everyone we know all disappear and stupid mad animals massacre people and disease boil us alive, dismantle and eat us, and still Paul Simon is singing so sweetly, and all the gods fight it out in a temple amongst themselves, and...


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Poems by Mairéad Byrne

Because of the typography, the following poems have to be seen to be appreciated.
Trapped begins "house is trashed. near the ruined market". Baghdad has an epigraph from the Iraqi information minister (Comical Ali, I believe they used to call him.) It begins "if I leave Baghdad early towards Baghdad will never reach Baghdad".


State of the universe

Following from previous speculations (below). Observation leads to description which is the attribution of properties to entities. Entities have properties whose state only they themselves "know" authoritatively, e.g. alive. Albeit consisting of mutually ignorant entities, the universe nevertheless is the set of all properties of all entities according to their owners.

Nothing and nobody inside the universe can have an overview, which might require an additional dimension or additional dimensions. Seen from a world with an additional dimension, our universe becomes an observable object, like the snow globe in Citizen Kane maybe. To us the extra dimension is a physical barrier, absolute and unvarying to all within our universe because not observed by any, like the barrier of the third dimension to a 2-D line drawing.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

Google plans to ignore copyright

New York Times

'That is really turning it on its head,' Ms. Schroeder said. 'How is an author even supposed to know that his or her work is being copied?'

How can Google say that publishers have to opt out? It's preposterous, Google must be made to ask for permission before copying and effectively re-publishing.


"If I want your opinion I'll give it to you," said the dying man to the doctor

How can we know the dancer from the dance? (W. B. Yeats)

Thinking about those imaginary people who go off on rockets at nearly the speed of light, and come back after only a year in their own lives to find that thousands of years have elapsed here on Earth...

It is people's own version of events that is authoritative for matters concerning themselves, most dramatically whether they are alive or dead. How somebody else perceives the timing of one's being alive or dead may be interesting and strange, but it is irrelevant to oneself as the owner of the attribute "alive".

From various vantage points, other people may think that one dies at different times, some seeing one drop down dead later than others see the same thing. Nobody may see it sooner than it actually happens, I hope it's safe to assume. If the soonest to know is oneself (not that one can really know, being dead), can we say that the time when it occurs is the only possible time for the owner of the attribute, and always earlier than all other observations?

So even though different observers can't agree on the timing, there is a time in all of their pasts after they have seen it, which corresponds to the time in the dying person's present. The event in the owner's realm, in this case the owner's death, is a fixed mark around which the observers are arranged and correlated. There is one absolute version that is authoritative, the owner's version, and it determines the observers' experiences absolutely.

All versions are not equal, since the secondary ones held by the observers are variously inaccurate, but the owner's version is absolute and it precedes and controls the others. The mistake is to say that all versions are equally valid. You could say that you don't really care about the attributes of an event according to the owner of the attributes until they impinge on you, however it is the case that you are at the mercy of those incoming attributes as they were established before they reached you. Your fate was sealed in the realm of the owner, in that sense.

Therefore it is necessary to get rid of the idea that one can see anything happening, all that can be seen is a trace after something has happened. In effect we don't see anything, we only see images and traces of things. That is what seeing is, it's an immanent property of the observer, arising in response to events that have already occurred earlier. As to what things are, we can't say, all we know are the effects they produce.

Even though we have the fascinating mystery of living in a haze of relativism, where none can see any other accurately, and "outside" things are not the same for any two people or for any two entities, we still have absolutes within us about which we know with authority. We know we're alive as long as we're alive, and we know what we think and feel, absolutely unmoderated by anybody else's version. Our subjective experience is ours alone. Outside people and entities also know about the attributes they own. Communication bridges the uncertainty, it is transmission and reception, across the quagmire of timespace, with noise and delays on the line. Over.


Friday, August 12, 2005

Whose trumpet is it anyway?

Announcing the Anti Bridget Jones in a new serial:
Carmencita Haverty Part I: "Time Out"

Me probation officer talked me into it, putting an advert in Time Out. I was lonely, and I thought what harm is there in it, and I thought I might as well be above board about things, for once in me life, you get nowhere by sitting in your homeless B&B room watching I'm a Gobshite, Let me Out of Here, and eating batch loaf by the handful.

Quote of the week - 2 not out for Boris

"You're a snob," he insisted, "and you want to hit me."

On the contrary, I said, I had no desire whatever to hit him. "Yes, you do," he said, coming closer. "I can tell by the way you flexed your shoulder muscles. You're getting all psyched up."

I said that any shoulder-flexing had been entirely involuntary, and that, even if I had flexed my shoulders, it did not mean that I wanted to hit him. He thought about this a bit, and then said that perhaps it would be easier all round if he hit me'
(Boris Johnson)

He goes on to describe street scenes worthy of Hieronymus Bosch with pasty-faced, bottom-dwelling creatures looming out of the gloom, shouting incomprehensible oaths and invitations. BJ's Wodehousian verbal googlies diverted stupid cupid's dart mid-flight from this:

"It is, quite frankly, a scandal that we have failed to come up with a solution to the problem of the sliding slice of tomato."

"Research has shown that an important part of sandwich satisfaction lies in opening it up and peering at the filling before eating it. This is why I am urging RHM, the creators of the crustless loaf, to take up my idea of the edible hinge." (Oliver Pritchett)

OP's learned article is in the tradition of the redoubtable Myles naGopaleen, who invented trains with tracks on top to allow overtaking, and pop-up theatre seats to deliver latecomers direct to their places.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Great new US diary - "It's another world"

No. 1: Pet concerns

with Tamara Imes*

Went to the vet twice today for my cat who got his ass kicked by another cat. He had a gaping wound the size of a silver dollar plus a quarter from where his tail hits his ass to just above the middle of his back left leg.

The vet had to shave him and suture it. When I picked him up they had to give him a shot to bring him out of anesthesia. Then they gave him a shot for pain (fucked him up - got him even more high). Then they gave him his immunizations - three shots. Then they put a halo thingy-ma-jig around his head to keep him from chewing on it. Then they hand him to me (I didn't have a carrier for him because the lady who pawned him off on me didn't give me one). That is another story in itself.

So I take him, as he is moaning and howling, out to my Jeep and have (my son) open my door for me because I have my purse, the cat which's bleeding all over me still because they left the very back part open a bit to drain - OY VEY, and my keys. I put the cat in the car and the first thing he tries to do is stand up to the window. He goes to do that and is so fucked up from all the anesthesia and pain medicine that he falls over like a board sideways - halo and all. He didn't just land on the seat - no. He fell, flipping over onto his head since he went straight over, onto the floor of my Jeep. The halo acted as a stand for him for a second because he got stuck face down for about a half second until his hind end flipped over and hit the floor then he had to move his head from side to side to unstick it.

It is comical to think back on, but it was so sad and upsetting at the time. I was so stressed out when it was happening because he was moaning and crying and bleeding all over my leather seats and the poor thing was a fucked up wreck. I was petting him trying to comfort him and he wouldn't calm down because of the trauma he'd just gone through. Meanwhile it's rush hour traffic and I have to pull out onto one of the busiest streets in the valley - Redwood Road.

Anyway... Took an Ativan when I got home. I was a nervous wreck. My son screaming in the back seat because he was afraid the cat was going to get blood on him. Little putz boy. I love him to death - but he's a putz sometimes. Hahaha. Hey, I can say that. He's mine. Don't anyone else call him that though... Ay Dios. What's the world coming to when a little boy is afraid of getting some blood on him? It's only a little cat blood - c'mon! What's he going to do when he goes fishing and has to break a worm in half and put it on the hook? Oh my hell. Whatever. My baby boy. At least I don't have to worry about an animal killer on my watch. Ha! I will toot my horn to that. Thank you Jesus for not giving me a freakin' animal killer.

*Tamara Imes is the author of The Storm Before the Calm, and the Willesden Herald's answer to Erma Bombeck. Ed

Free competition - win Omar Bakri's Ford Galaxy

Deportation not fair - Oh pity me!

"[Omar Bakri] has said homosexuals should be 'thrown from Big Ben'."

The Willy in conjunction with the Daily Male is offering this great prize, of a hardly-used Ford Galaxy (owner emigrating) to the reader who throws the most homosexuals off Big Ben. 2nd Prize - an exotic two-week holiday in Beirut with the gay, chubby-cheeked sheikh. 3rd prize - an exotic one month holiday in Beirut with the gay, chubby-cheeked sheikh*.

Big Ben

*I can predict Taxpayer's letter now. "How come this guy can afford a Ford Galaxy, and a one-month holiday on benefit, when I have to hock my soul to pay tax, and haven't had a holiday since 1987? And he thinks it's an excellent idea to bomb me on my way to work." Taxpayer might even say, "Let the old ratbag see how he fares on the baksheesh of his countrymen." Ed

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Your top 10 names for the tenth planet

New Scientist Breaking News


Ironwork restoration

Thank you for your email regarding ironwork restoration which has been passed to me for reply.

Westminster City Council is already running a project with English Heritage linked to their "Campaign for London Squares" and using money from the Social and Community Fund from the Paddington Regeneration (ie. money from the developers). £250,000 has been allocated towards improving railings and boundary treatment to squares in the Paddington area. The first project approved is for Cleveland Square with one third funding from each of English Heritage, the City Council and the residents. Work is also ongoing looking at Talbot Square and Sussex Gardens.

The Heritage Lottery Fund's Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) would not be applicable to garden squares which would fall under their Public Parks Initiative. However, you are quite right to say that railings and boundary treatment improvements in the Queens Park Area would fall within the remit of the THI. However, a successful application would require at least 25% of
the funding to come from other sources and there would be a considerable staff input from the City Council to run such a project. At present, there is no likelihood of the staff or finance being available from the City Council to pursue such an initiative. That is not to say, however, that residents could not submit such a proposal for Heritage Lottery Funding, but they would need to address the same issues of resources and funding.

I hope this reply is not too disappointing, but you can see that the City Council is already pursuing a project in the Paddington area which is achieving real improvement to ironwork and boundary treatment. The important difference though is that this work is being funded by developer's money rather than by the City Council who have limited finances and many competing demands.

David Clegg
Head of Design and Conservation (North)

Immuring the native

The Segregation Wall: Rantis village, a case study

Establishment hacks, put your fingers in your ears, shake your head and go "Na na na na we're not listening.' That's what you usually do.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Hill of Springs Herald here

Our Lady of Willesden

"According, to legend. Our Lady has for centuries graced this ancient 'hill of springs' (Willesden from the Anglo-Saxon Wiell-dun) with not only her presence but a holy well, which has been deemed to possess miraculous properties. The origins of a holy well date back before the 939 A.D. Charter of King Athelstan granting the ten manors of Neasden cum Willesden to the Apostle St. Paul's own monastery in the City of London. The first mention of the now famous statues of Our Lady in Willesden was the Visitation in 1249."

Mrs Haverty is already planning package tours, and all thanks to the intercession of St Google.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Hiroshima, the 60th anniversary

Geoffrey Wheatcroft | Guardian opinion

"This atrocious action places 'us', the defenders of civilisation, on a moral level with 'them', the beasts of Maidanek. And 'we', the American people, are just as much and as little responsible for this horror as 'they', the German people." (Dwight Macdonald)

I think the very people who tell us not to talk about the reasons for the recent London bombings, saying with emphasis that "nothing, nothing can ever justify attacks on innocent civilians" are probably the same people who support the US nuclear atrocities. For the past world, they despoiled it in common with their vicious enemies, for the future world the precedent they set is the seed of our destruction.

There was a beautiful story on the radio today, on Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show, about an old survivor from Hiroshima, who told an author recently a story he had never told anyone before. The night before the bomb he was courting his beautiful girlfriend, and both their families opposed their relationship, but for the first time they stole away and lay down on the grass beneath the stars. They never kissed, all they did was to hold hands for several hours, and that was the happiest time of his life. He searched the ruins for her for days, never found her.

Francis MacManus short story competition

RTÉ radio

"Over the past twenty years The Francis Mac Manus Awards have resulted in the broadcast of over 500 original stories from new and emerging writers and encouraged many now celebrated Irish writers who went on to win success and acclaim in Ireland and abroad."

The closing date for entries is Friday 7th October 2005. Click here for rules. Click here for entry form. Click here to listen to the latest series.

Only Irish people or residents of Ireland can enter.


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Quote of the week - Boris Johnson

The British dream: we must all speak the same language

"We've all got to be as British as Carry On films and scotch eggs and falling over on the beach while trying to change into your swimming trunks with a towel on."

Update (12/8/05)

Okay, the rest of the article is not so jolly. Lenin's Tomb finds it full of sugar-coated menace.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

London - the E.N.V. of the world

National Geographic

"A sleek, almost silent, nonpolluting fuel cell-powered motorcycle is set to begin gliding down U.S. streets by the end of 2006."

They even give you a way to make your own hydrogen for it, with almost no pollution.

Niger crisis appeal

Disasters Emergency Committee

Over-nourished? Don't know how to spend all your money? We can help.

Imagine my horror

Science Made Stupid

My life's work has been in vain. Why, those diagrams are qvite laughable.


Monsanto pigs

MoorishGirl: Are Animals Patentable?

From the company that brought you Agent Orange and Terminator Seeds.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Stop cruelty and executions*


Bears in small cages for extraction of bile. Who are you fooling with your gifts of pandas, and your superstitious medicines? Only yourselves.

Executions of pathetic men and women, like helpless dogs. Sheer inhumanity and unconcern.

Your people bound in slavery and ignorance by complacent, golfing old tyrants, traitors to Socialism.

Little or no social welfare benefits, lazy and feeble compared to efforts by Social Democratic countries such as England and Sweden and many others.

Beijing Olympics? What a load of arrant hypocrisy!

Get up off your knees, Chinese people, don't let the benighted tyrants make you live and die in ignorance and servitude.

Bai Juyi, London

*An open letter to the editor of China Internet Information Centre

What is seen and what is

Can an entity have properties of its own, known only to itself, were it capable of knowing, and so absolute not relative? Isn't the falling item, whether observed from a train or from an embankment, only what it is itself, and not the varying impressions that observers receive?

We only know what we can observe ("seeing is believing") but that is a problem not an advantage. Otherwise why say "only"? Our impressions are always to some extent out-of-step with underlying reality.

The inner properties of something may be held in a fixed frame of reference which is the containing item itself. Equally the frame of reference that is authoritative for effects on an entity, is its own frame of reference, what it encounters from its vantage point. That we cannot see things that way is merely our problem.

Two entities may collide and the fact that various others cannot see the collision at the same times is their problem. It's no consolation to the items which collide and are destroyed. When did it happen? When the entities collided. Never mind where we were. We had a distorted view of each entity, and we will receive a distorted view of when they collided, but the entities are not in any doubt themselves. When did it happen? Ask the collision. When did we see it? At different times.

Things have conditions and properties which we try and ultimately are not able precisely to discover. Does the theory of relativity confuse what is observed with what is at the point that owns the attribute, where the attribute is a condition of the entity and not a condition of its image? Images are distorted, but attributes that underly them are authoritative. Relying on images, we cannot see in a precise or timely way, that which the items in question "experience" or bear as attributes of themselves.

So turning to that intangible and much denied concept, the soul, and thereby losing the goodwill of any readers who've got this far, maybe it is the sum of one's absolute attributes, known not to oneself even but to itself, invisible and inexpressible except imperfectly, about which one can only wonder.


Monday, August 01, 2005

BBC - Radio 4 - Afternoon Reading

Curly Tales

A new short story every day this week, read by the author, including writers who are new to radio. You can listen to any of the week's five stories online, where they are listed for a week. The Afternoon Reading is on daily every week, sometimes featuring abridged longer pieces. If you're quick you can still catch last week's pieces (except last Monday's) which were called "Americana", readings by contemporary U.S. authors.


I'll quit Commons, Blair tells family and friends

Guardian Online

Here's your hat, what's your hurry?

Square one*

There are now so many books it's as if there were no books. And so much of every medium it's as if there were no media. If everything is told then we're back to square one, with as much to make sense of as we started with and no distillation, no reduction, no summary, the "raised voice" of the poet inaudible in the racket, the vision of the painter indecipherable in the welter, and as for music, forget it.

But it's a fallacy, because there's a new world for every individual, every day, untold, undepicted, unlived, unknown, and other things starting with "un". Yes, you got it, the old world is gone with the wind.

*On browsing