“Speaking Ill of the Dead” … ?



I have noticed this cloying sentiment expressed elsewhere recently,
and wish to address it here.

There has been, during the past 30 years,
a very observable pattern of mass engineering
which has been designed to make adults look stupid,
be stupid, and act stupidly.

Children (in Hollywood excerpts of films and television
that I have taken literal pains to view),
since the mid-1990’s, have been presented
as being more intelligent than their parents.

That this IS increasingly true,
is the fault of parents who refuse to
act like mature adults,
dress like mature adults,
talk like mature adults,
discipline their children (like mature adults once did),
or even attempt to set an example
of what a mature adult used to be.

As near as I can gather, this presentation of adults as
stupid, slovenly, sluggish blobs of dim-witted sloth,
being “guided” by back-talking, belligerent children,
became prevalent with a “prime time”
(I believe is the American term) programme
( and “programme” they certainly do)
on television called “The Simpsons”.

[ That this atrocity would lead to other cartoons for adults
– (am I truly the only person on this earth
who finds utter incredulity in that statement alone ?) –

which feature vulgar, crude, slovenly examples of
The Modern-Day Adult,
merely illustrates the utter degradation
of humanity over the past few decades. ]

Well, lo and behold, it must have worked,
because discernment, moral discrimination, and
‘owning up’ to personal responsibility and accountability,
are things that are No Where in evidence
anywhere in ‘western’ society.

Stupid, ignorant, slovenly, loud and vulgar
is now commonplace – “normal” – in the western world.

Open your eyes, and look.

About a decade into this deterioration of humanity,
there was a plethora of ‘media’ stories from America
about … “forgiveness”.

Some vicious sadist kidnaps, rapes,
tortures, and kills a teenage girl …

and the parents are on the TV
expressing their … “forgiveness”
of an unrepentant monster who is just serving time
before he will be released to do the same again
to some other family’s child.

And amidst this travesty of moral outrage,
mockery of justice, and removal of evil from society,
is dredged up the tired old ‘sentiment’ –

“I was taught not to speak ill of the dead.”

You see, NOTHING MATTERS any more —

NOTHING must interfere with the

Party Mentality

of 21st century humanity.

It is not that people will not get rid of the TV,
but that they Can Not get rid of the television.

Something is needed to fill the brain.
And heaven knows, conversation, and family activities,
and the reading of quality books, is “too much effort”.

Using the brain … is “too much effort”.

Supermarkets know this.
Doctor’s offices and Dentist’s offices know this.
Hotel lobbies know this.
Even banks (from what I can see) now have ‘big screen TV’s’.

Human beings have been prevented from thinking –
allowed no silence in which to think –
for about 30 years now.

The sound of NOISE is EVERYWHERE.

The MODERN human brain No Longer Functions
On Its Own.

Thinking is a thing of the past.
People do not stop, think, and discern.
They ‘think’ whatever is programmed into them.

This nauseating, fuzzy-wuzzy, infantile mentality
that has been pushed particularly during the past 30 years
as a way of eradicating objective morality from the human race
… deserves consideration:

I would ask anyone possessing a moral conscience,
to pause long enough to actually think …

“Speaking ill of the dead” ?

If a human being willingly CHOOSES to live their life
in order to gratify their own vanity … manipulate people …
and show not the slightest bit of compassion
for those people whom their selfish conduct leaves in misery,

WHAT expectation
can such an individual possibly have – (other than arrogance),
to expect that death excuses them
from all moral accountability?


The family members of vicious creatures
may spew forth the usual retinue of excuses –

“Oh, he was on medication”;
“he was raised in a poor neighbourhood”;
“his mummy did not hug him enough”,

and every other disgusting, insulting, degrading vindication
that conscienceless creatures can conjure
in order to justify the desolation
inflicted upon the timid, weak, or unsuspecting victims
of a relative or friend;

but those who possess a functioning moral conscience
will have an eye to the legacy of pain, and misery, and grief
– that lives on in those who suffered.

Life is an opportunity
to stand boldly against evil and error;
to exercise mercy to those who are truly repentant; and
to show compassion to those who truly deserve it …

… to live as though you are NOT the centre of the world.

The life you live now … is the biography that YOU
write about yourself
for anyone who knows, or will ever hear of, your name.

If you choose to be selfish … merciless …
and leave a legacy of pain and grief in this life –

do not then, have the obscene arrogance
to expect people of integrity
to forget about you later.

The pain and grief that you have willingly inflicted upon others
– in your life …

does not vanish simply because you die.

You reap what you sow.

This world does not exist for you to abuse animals,
children, or peaceful adults:

you may ‘get away with it’ in this life,
but do not expect to escape in the next.

[ P Livingstone ]


Morning Sun

His was the lone voice crying out in the wilderness.

And no one was listening.

Listening ?
It was not simply that people were NOT listening,

they were becoming increasingly irritated
at his rambling pronouncements
and ‘doomsday’ speculation.

But to this one man, his concern was of
incredible significance.
Despite the fact that no one wanted to know.


The year was 1847 and, in the teaching hospital
of Aligemeine Krankenhaus, Vienna,
women who delivered babies were dying.

Or rather, women whose babies were delivered
by physicians and their assisting medical students,
were dying of what was termed “Childbed Fever”.

Women, in the other ward – by contrast,
who were delivered by the hospital’s midwives,
went home following successful births.

Hungarian obstetrician Ignaz Semmelweis
was not only bothered by the phenomenon,
he was determined to stop it,
and took it upon himself to discover and make known
the reason for the appalling rate of mortality.

Semmelweis was agonising over possible causes
when his colleague, professor Jacob Kolletschka,
cut his finger on a scalpel blade
whilst conducting the post mortem of a woman
who had died in labour.

Kolletschka died.

His body revealed the same symptoms
as the woman who had died in labour.

How, Semmelweis wondered,
is it possible for a MAN to die
from a disease restricted to … WOMEN in labour?

Upon considering the matter,
Semmelweis was absolutely certain
that he knew the answer:

transfer of disease from a physician’s hands
following autopsy,
to the bodies of women in labour.

Women delivered by midwives, survived.
Women delivered by doctors bore a good chance of dying.

Physicians conducted post mortems.
Midwives did not.

Physicians and their medical students
moved freely from scrutinising a corpse,
to examining a labouring woman.

They had to be – he reasoned – carrying infection
on their hands.

Semmelweis began to insist that his colleagues
wash their hands with chloride of lime
before tending women in labour.

Whilst the idea of sepsis was, of course,
unknown to Semmelweis,

he was certain that NOT washing hands,
led to the deaths of women in labour.

Using the mandatory washing of hands and instruments
in Chloride of Lime, the mortality rate
in the physician’s ward dropped from 18%, to 1%.

But to physicians who worked with Semmelweis,
the very idea that … THEY … could cause death was,
outrageous and insulting.

THEY … Were Doctors !

His 2 year appointment to the hospital was not renewed
and Semmelweis was obliged to leave the hospital in Vienna,
and return to Hungary where, in 1851,
he took up a new position
heading obstetrics at St Rochus hospital.

The death rates of women plummeted.
But still, his new colleagues were becoming more and more irritated
at Semmelweis’ insistence that they
were causing death by not washing their hands.

Never one to display great patience for apathetic,
vanity-saturated, wilful imbeciles,
Semmelweis began to write –

(much to the heightened irritation of those
for whose self-importance, arrogance, and laziness,
he was a threat.)

In 1861, Semmelweis completed a text
on the Etiology of Childbed Fever,
which conveyed his insistence
(and very evident frustration against care-free doctors)
that death was caused by lack of proper washing.

Physicians were unrelenting in their contempt of
Semmelweis’ warning of danger,
and continued in their filthy habits, infecting women
with whom they came into contact.

On a holiday arranged by his wife,
Semmelweis was grabbed by several men
and dragged inside a hospital
that his wife had told him she wanted to see.

The hospital was a lunatic asylum
and Semmelweis realised – far too late,
that his wife had betrayed him,
and conspired with Semmelweis’ own doctor
to have her husband ‘committed’.

Imprisoned in a lunatic asylum,
the only sane physician
amongst a medical community full of them,
would die in the same madhouse,

from an infected cut.

A physician who insisted upon hygiene
was declared ‘crazy’ for being clean;
and died at the age of 47, in an asylum,
from a wound infected due to lack of hygiene.

Betrayed by his wife;
despised by conceited medical doctors,

Semmelweis would not live to see his name
utterly exonerated by the work of Joseph Lister.

As a boy, I would always try to find a moral
from which I could learn something of substance,
from the life of someone else.

Even though I persistently maintain
in this Internet site,

that to follow whatever is popular and pleasing
to the majority of modern humanity,
is to guarantee certain degradation of mind and morals,

surely, anyone (who has not abandoned their minds to TV, liquor,
and iToys) will be capable of seeing
the moral in the appalling tragedy of Semmelweis ?

That moral is …

There are Times when ‘The Majority’ are Wrong.

There are times when individuals
who are declared by the masses
to be ‘crazy’ … ‘narrow-minded’ … or ‘alarmist’,

are the only sensible and intelligent voices
amidst multitudes who are either

anaesthetised with vanity,

or just too lazy to care.

55 Years …


God is dead.
The Family is dead.
Morality is dead.

Common Courtesy is dead.
Respect for Elders is dead.
Respect for Experience is dead.
Humility is dead.

Profanity has replaced Self Control.
Vulgarity and Violence now pass for ‘entertainment’.
“Me first” has replaced “You first”.

People can neither read at length, write cursively,
speak properly, or carry on a conversation.

Few, evidently, can even move
without first connecting themselves to a machine,
or looking forward to the first opportunity
to connect themselves to a machine.

Romance has been replaced by Copulation.
Marriage is largely irrelevant.
Even Gender is gone.

People are no longer ‘valued employees’
they are “human resources”.

Men dress like slobs
and cannot even tuck their shirts into their trousers
– for which we were scolded
by every woman on the way to school,
when we were little boys.

It is a lot for an out-of-place recluse
who writes with a pen and paper,
exercises formal etiquette,
and lives without television, stereo, or technological toys
– to take in.

I wonder …

Precisely what … IS … left

of the objective standards
which separated humanity
from animals
in the world in which I was raised … ?




All Things Considered …

WG09 House 02

It has been my genuine endeavour and desire,
since beginning this Internet site in March of 2012,

to provide a welcome place in which folk may visit
and, hopefully, find edifying diversion
from the depraved principles and practices
of the modern world.

I have, upon occasion, taken (believe me)
great pains to sit for a self-portrait

so that a visitor might feel something
of personal congeniality:

a sense that we were
sitting across from each other
having a conversation.

I have made every effort to provide,
in a spirit of brotherly or fatherly concern,
thoughts, observations,
wisdom (if I may so flatter myself),
and advice when asked,

because it has been my hope that I may have
some small part in someone
recognising in their conscience,
malice, or laziness, or envy, or hatred
which has allowed them to inflict misery
upon someone else.

2016 Cluster

A week ago, someone once very dear to me
from whom I had not heard in 35 years,
came back into my life to say ‘hello’,
and in doing so, challenged me
to keep this site open and not close it down.

I promised that I would consider carefully,
her thoughtful argument.

I live in the exercise of
a traditional Japanese mind-set:

formal etiquette which places others
BEFORE oneself.
Which is utterly inconsistent
with the modern mentality of “Me” –

glorify me,
gratify my lusts,
give me only whatever is ‘fun’.

School, work, ‘church’, learning –
everything has to be … ‘fun’ … and easy:

No Effort Involved.

This grotesque contradiction between
modern behaviour and humble behaviour
(self-ish versus self-less)
is one that I have endeavoured
to set before all who visit here.

But the mind-set is too different.

The modern mind will ALWAYS focus
upon … the COST of a gift.

I focus on the PERSON who is the reason
for the gift.

On the few occasions in adult life
when I have been given a gift,
the value of that gift, for me,
is found in the person who gave me the present.

I do not care whether the shirt is too large,
or the book not quite to my interests:

I care that that person thought enough of me
to make the effort at kindness.

I keep the gift.
I do not return it.
I do not exchange it.
The gift, for me, is that that person
made an effort to be kind.

2016 Cimicifuga1

I have maintained that television
is the great ‘thermometer’ – for
measuring the health of a society.

I understand that an exceedingly popular programme,
set in a medieval-like ‘fantasy world’,
is a smorgasbord of violence, nudity, torture,
rape and the degradation of women.
Appallingly, for me, filmed
in my home of Northern Ireland.

Since 2012, I have used the Internet
to watch several episodes
of Japanese television; most especially,
the NHK (Japanese national broadcaster)
programme, “72 Hours”.

Here, I am briefly introduced to

a 53 year old man, diagnosed with cancer,
who visits an isolated, dilapidated Vending Machine
to select and eat a bowl of Soba Noodles alone,
because it was what he once did together
with a girlfriend;

the woman who journeys to Mt Osore
to remember the infant that died in her womb
after just two months;


the young man who brings a duffle-bag
full of cleaning equipment, sponges, and soap,
so that he can clean the grave of his … girlfriend,
who died of cancer the previous year.


And if these are the types of people
with whom I relate,

what possible connection could I … EVER … have
with human beings that revel in
Beverly Hills Housewives,
or American comic-book ‘superheroes’ ,

or find their … entertainment …
in depictions of killing, rape, and torture ?


Suggest that people search their consciences,
and they are offended at the suggestion
that people are anything other than
… “perfect, just the way you are.”

I am constantly moved to despair
and overwhelming sadness
whenever I see a little child being held by the hand
of some profanity-spewing adult.

Human beings, generally, now conduct themselves
with less dignity, discretion, and decorum
than is found in an animal.

I would like every honourable person
who has ever had any contact with me
– in whatever form – to, when the day comes,
depart this life with a conscience
as freed of guilt and remorse as is possible
by personal endeavour.

That people can come here,
and read,
and leave without a word,
tells me that I have failed;

that what is said here, is so much ‘rambling’
to the multitude that visit this site.

In withstanding malice, error, and evil men,
I have never offered anyone harm;
but everyone, help …

It has been my hope
to restrain some from foolishness,
selfishness, or malice:
so that they might, perhaps, be
a more beneficial influence to others;

and – to a few possessing mature character,
thoughtful mind, and working conscience –
encouragement … and camaraderie.

I am always kept at a distance:
never a “friend” … only an occasional acquaintance:

fine as a distant Voice in the Wilderness
provided I stay “out there”
where I am in no way associated with them.

“That which I see not, teach thou me” –

I simply cannot see that this site
is serving any purpose at all.

If you can, then perhaps, you would let me know.

Rose c

I would like to express my deep and sincere gratitude
for a very small number of people
who have left comments and brightened frustrated efforts on this site.

I appreciate your company very much indeed.

It is the sad and miserable condition
of most men and women in the world
(if observation is anything by which to discern)
to be so apathetic, lazy, and selfish,
as to find it a burden to say ‘Thank You’ or ‘Hello’.

I wonder that such souls can be moved to tears
by anything but their own misery,
who will readily spend countless hours
in gratifying themselves …

… but will not take a minute
to encourage someone else.

Thank you to those very few
who thought it not beneath themselves
to encourage me.

I hope that some good may yet come
from the thoughts that appear on this site
and remain,
Yours very sincerely,

vita e lavoro in venezia …

for Lorraine …

It had been my absolute privilege
to teach school in the Veneto, north Italy.

A few photographs of the daily routine
to and from work …

A good wee while ago …

7:00am, My First Day of Work …




Through the morning Haar, Venezia lies on the horizon …



To avoid the inevitable crush of tourists after about 10:00am,
one became familiar with ways to by-pass the crowds …



Commuter Complications:
At times, the streets would flood –
I remember my heart going out to one young woman who,
skirt hiked up as far as modesty would permit, and shoes dangling from fingers,
waded in nylons through knee-deep water.
Raised planks were set up for the tourists;
but, in the early morning, you are on your own …


My favourite statue in Venezia –
I would stand here regularly, and just stare at the image
of the animal breaking free from its man-made shackles.


On the mainland: Mestre – schoolbooks and supplies came from here …


The atmospheric morning Haar did lift …



The safest way to travel in Mestre …


It was a privilege to work here …


My view from the classroom …


If the obscene corporate greed and control
known as “copyright infringement” was not enough,
I am assured that one cannot safely
even show the faces of children on the Internet –
the only photo, then, that I can display
of the classroom …


End of the Day …


On the way home, one shop to which I could relate …


Orso Grande … He came to live with me …


Feltrinelli’s Bookshop, on the top floor of LeBarChe Centre:
On Saturday, school went until mid-day … this was my favourite
place to spend the afternoon …


Back home in Mirano, a five minute walk
to my apartamento from here …



… my street …


A typical day, for me, of life and work in north Italy.
I hope that you may have found the photographs at least,
a tiny bit interesting.


Some Things Never Change … They Just Become “Normal”

Thank you, Kate.


When a Spanish philosopher declared, in 1905, that –
“Those who cannot remember the past
are condemned to repeat it”,

one cannot but marvel that, what might once
have been a timely warning about learning
from the ignorance and error of those who came before,
has now become utterly redundant.

It is not that people
do not remember the past,
but that they are not the slightest bit interested
in knowing it.

And as for learning ?

That requires Humility.

And that has been eradicated from the human race
for thirty years now …

… as that Theatre of Arrogance, Cruelty,
and Degradation – the Internet,
displays all too clearly.

Shimazu Hisamitsu was the father of an aristocrat
in the Satsuma region of Japan.

On a journey home from Edo [ now, Tokyo ] to Satsuma,
in September of 1862,
he was being accompanied by a procession of Samurai
whilst travelling with servants and household goods.

Coming towards them on the tree-lined Tokaido Road,
was a group of four foreigners headed by British businessman
Charles Richardson, who was accompanied
by two men – Clarke and Marshall,
and a woman, Margaret Borodaille.

The Tokaido being, perhaps, some 30 feet or so wide,
one did not simply ignore a procession
approaching from the opposite direction.

The famous, now public (c.1867) photograph
by Italian Felix Beato
has as its subject, Satsuma Samurai …

Felix Beato 1867 Satsuma

As anyone who had spent time in Japan would be well aware,
travellers on the road would be required to bow politely
to the passing aristocrat and his entourage:

it was a mark of simple, Japanese courtesy –
in much the same way as mature British men
doffed their hats to a lady – and even each other,
when I was growing up in the 1960’s.

( Of course, now, in the 21st century,
crude, vulgar, self-obsessed,
profanity-spewing human beings are …

“advanced” … “liberated” … “civilized” ! )

Courtesy … ?

Richardson was having none of it.
Turning to his three companions, he scoffed:

“I know how to handle these people.”

and proceeded to guide his horse
right into the midst of the procession.

While much resulting speculation and fiction abound,
the factual record of that encounter is quite sparse.

But what is certain is that that arrogant declaration –
may well have been the last intelligible words
ever to emanate from that presumptuous mouth.

Although being ‘tall in the saddle’
when Richardson smugly barged into the procession

… his horse left it a fair bit more quickly.

Leaving Richardson lying on the road-side.

( One cannot but recollect
the Sunday School account of Balaam’s ass,
and wonder if this may be yet
another occasion when the animal
had more sense than the man. )

Clarke and Marshall were severely wounded;

And all that is recorded of lady Borodaille
is that she … ‘lost her hair’.

(I always wondered if, whilst the Samurai stopped at
letting the woman feel the full effect
of a shoto or katana blade,
had they nevertheless run a few strokes
through the length of her hair …? )

As for Charles Richardson …

well, he died from numerous torso cuts
the following day.

How much easier would it have been – surely! –
to simply exercise maturity, and humility,
and extend courtesy to someone else ?

It is not that arrogance and self-veneration
are new to the human race,
but that arrogance and self-veneration – Pride,
now DEFINES the modern age.

And all that multitudes care about …
is being entertained,
playing with iToys,
and dominating those around them.

Modern Humanity ?
Give me the company of quiet, humble folk
whose conduct and conversation
conveys everything that the majority is not,
and I feel truly privileged indeed.

I am content to be “old fashioned”
– and alone because of it,
cherishing the formal etiquette
and objective morality with which I was raised;

to live as quietly as I can,
and leave the world to consume itself.

Every unskilled Phaeton takes it upon himself
to drive the chariot of the sun …

Little wonder that the world is in flames.