Henry V, etc

“Ours is a world clutching at tinsel as it falls over the abyss.”

“In Henry V…  (Shakespeare) presents us with an analysis of why we should worry about the ethical sanctions of power; why majoritarian tyranny, absolute monarchy or the comforting rhetoric of national paranoia will fail to silence the questions of a soldier on the eve of battle, a civilian facing slaughter in a captured city or a prisoner of war whose rights are overridden.”

– published in The New Statesman: How human beings learn to hate: Howard Jacobson on The Merchant of Venice

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.


Perhaps by dreaming you

“Perhaps by dreaming you I create you, real in some other reality; perhaps it is there that you are mine, In a different, pure world without tangible bodies, with Another kind of embrace and other, ideal forms of possessing. Perhaps my dreaming of you was simply my finding you, and my loving you merely my thinking of you…  It could be that I already loved you in some vague wherever, and that my nostalgia for that love makes everything in my present life a tedium… you’re always the landscape that I was just about to lay eyes on, the hem of the robe I just missed seeing, lost in an eternal Now beyond the bend in the road… When I go to touch your robe my expressions grow weary from the effort to stretch out their hands and a stiff, painful fatigue freezes in my words. And so the flight of a bird circles around what I wished to say about you, seeming to come nearer but never arriving, for the substance of my phrases cannot imitate the substance of your footsteps soft thudding, or your glance’s slow sweeping, or of the sad empty colour traced by the gestures you never made. And should I speak with someone far away, and should you who today are a cloud of the possible fall tomorrow as rain of reality over the earth, don’t ever forget your divine origin as my dream. Let whatever you are in real life serve as the dream of a loner, never as a lover’s refuge….

“Love is a mysticism that wants to be materialized, an impossibility that our dreams always insist must be possible.”

Fernando Pessoa


“And this I must fight against: any idea, religion or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for this is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system.”  – John Steinbeck – (1902-1968) – Source: East of Eden, 1952

Kentucky Fried Cruelty

KFC suppliers cram birds into huge waste-filled factories, breed and drug them to grow so large that they can’t even walk, and often break their wings and legs. At slaughter, the birds’ throats are slit and they are dropped into tanks of scalding-hot water—often while they are still conscious. It would be illegal for KFC to abuse dogs, cats, pigs, or cows in these ways.

KFC’s own animal welfare advisors have asked the company to take steps to eliminate these abuses, but KFC refuses to do so. Many advisors have now resigned in frustration.



An unconvinced atheist.


A N Wilson writes on how his conversion to atheism may have been similar to a road to Damascus experience but his return to faith has been slow and doubting.

“This creed that religion can be despatched in a few brisk arguments (outlined in David Hume’s masterly Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion) and then laughed off kept me going for some years. When I found myself wavering, I would return to Hume in order to pull myself together, rather as a Catholic having doubts might return to the shrine of a particular saint to sustain them while the springs of faith ran dry.”

“By nature a doubting Thomas, I should have distrusted the symptoms when I underwent a “conversion experience” 20 years ago. Something was happening which was out of character – the inner glow of complete certainty, the heady sense of being at one with the great tide of fellow non-believers. For my conversion experience was to atheism. There were several moments of epiphany, actually, but one of the most dramatic occurred in the pulpit of a church.

Continue reading “An unconvinced atheist.”

To life!


– a traditional Jewish toast.

Jews appreciate every moment of life. It doesn’t matter if things are going the way you want them, stop and pause, and raise your glass to the delicious opportunity life is giving you right now. You’ll never get that moment back again.

– Rabbi Jack Kalla