Friday, July 1, 2016

Bye, bye, Boris & others

From recent correspondence

Edited by Morris Dean

Funny article on Boris Johnson as Blackadder’s dashing Lord Flashheart. Lots of good links that explain the social interactions of the British conservative grandees. It reads like the introduction to an Ian McEwan novel that, like Amsterdam or Saturday, makes fun of the English upper class. “Bye bye, Boris, the man who wouldn’t clear up his own mess” [Marina Hyde, Guardian, June 30] Excerpt:
Here comes Boris Johnson, half an hour before deadline closes. He’s going to chuck his hat in the ring like Blackadder’s Lord Flashheart, isn’t he?“I’ve got a plan, and it’s as hot as my pants!”
    Except he isn’t. Standing at a podium bearing not a soaring campaign slogan, but the rather more prosaic “ST ERMIN’S HOTEL,” the leading political bounder of the age announced that he had thought about the individual needed to take the country out of the mess he’s dumped it in (I paraphrase), and “concluded that person cannot be me.”
    Where did it all go right? Normally Johnson is so smart he doesn’t even fly by the seat of his own pants. Unfortunately for him, his wingman recently decided he isn’t willing to offer up his undergarments any longer. Michael Gove, fresh from destroying his friend David Cameron, is going for the accumulator by announcing his surprise Tory leadership bid. As Gove put it this morning: “I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.” It sounds like a tragic conflict of disloyalties, with which Gove has wrestled for perhaps 24 hours. [read more]
Brexit might aptly be described by a passage from “The Second Coming,” a famous poem of W.B. Yeats:

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosened upon the world,
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Frank Bruni
A funny metaphor for Brexit: “A Bachelor Named Britain, Looking for Love” [Frank Bruni, NY Times, June 29] Excerpt:
It has been forever since Britain was single, and there will be many lonesome and disorienting nights ahead.
    Maybe we should fix it up with Switzerland.
    Not immediately, of course. The divorce from the European Union was just announced. The paperwork hasn’t been filed. There could be a loss of nerve, a relaxing of conjugal rules, tulips from Holland, chocolates from Belgium. Greece and Portugal could promise to stop leaving dirty dishes in the sink, Germany to quit hogging the remote….
    America is Britain’s most prominent ex of all: the Elizabeth Taylor to its Richard Burton. Should our onetime colonial master become our 51st state? If we acted quickly enough, Boris Johnson could be tapped as Donald Trump’s running mate, creating a tandem of tresses so perversely dazzling that it alone makes the case. This may have been Johnson’s plan all along. [read more]
Department of Nature imitating Art:

Weather or not. Despite what Mark Twain is supposed to have said, there are many things you can do about the weather (besides complain). In fact, according to some respected scientists, we have all been doing something about it for some time. Poisoning the air in urban areas was just the beginning. Now we are assured that human activity is actually changing the climate of the entire planet. Who ever thought that feeble critters like us could really have such a serious effect on Mother Nature!
    But while these changes are happening over years and decades, we ourselves have to go on living with the day-to-day weather-people on our local TV channels. (Some of them are called Meteorologists – although the demand for urgent knowledge of meteors is fortunately quite limited.) They are apparently chosen more for their looks than for any weather-related erudition – especially the females of the species. They perform a sort of chanting dance in front of their swiftly shifting displays, which reminds me of the safety-instruction pantomime usually performed by airline attendants when you are about to take off. [I’m trying to find where on the web the entire piece might exist, so that I can provide a link for reading more.]

Sarah Ramirez, a health advocate in Tulare County, Calif., started a program to pick up unused fresh produce from yards and donate it to the food bank, rescuing fruits and veggies for locals who need them. “This year we were able to bring in about 80,000 pounds of produce into the food bank” for distribution to people, Ramirez said. “Increasing access [to healthy food] is a good first start [to reduce obesity].”

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Thought for food. Who invented food? And what exactly was the big idea? We eat our brother beings, and in the end we in turn are eaten. What’s the point of that? (On the other hand, what could be more fair?)
    Don’t get me wrong. I’m as eager an omnivore as the next eater down the line. I can’t help that – it was programmed into me. But I also can’t help feeling sorry for those who want a kinder gentler world, and restrict their eating accordingly. They may or may not be benefiting their own health. But otherwise, their efforts make hardly a blip in the grand scheme of things. Insects and microbes will continue to prey upon each other, with no regard for kindness, gentleness, and decency. [I’m trying to find where on the web the entire piece might exist, so that I can provide a link for reading more.]

If my body were a car, this is the time I would be thinking about trading it in for a newer model. I’ve got bumps and dents and scratches in my finish and my paint job is getting a little dull...but that’s not the worst of it.
    My headlights are out of focus and it’s especially hard to see things up close.
    My traction is not as graceful as it once was. I slip and slide and skid and bump into things even in the best of weather.
    My whitewalls are stained with varicose veins.
    It takes me hours to reach my maximum speed. My fuel rate burns inefficiently.
    But here’s the worst of it: Almost every time I sneeze, cough, or sputter, either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires!

Grateful for correspondence, Morris Dean

1 comment:

  1. Just when you think the world cannot get any crazier---something comes along to prove you have not seem anything yet.