A Solitary Journey: Walking On …

p2016dec20

It is, I believe, part of maturity to admit
when one’s best efforts are ineffective
and unwelcome.

This Internet site was intended
to make people stop and consider;
… and serve as a place where people doing that,
could exchange thoughts, and memories,
and empathy.

The premise of this site has been
that human beings have become excessively self-centred
to the extent that vanity and entertainment
have replaced courtesy and moderation.

Of course, what I had realised
by the end of 2013 was that,
to present such a notion is “offensive”
to 21st century conceit:

As Lorraine pointed out in a comment a few months ago:
… people do not want to be ‘told’ how to live.

“No one is going to tell me how to spell correctly!”

p1966

In the 1960’s we, as schoolchildren,
were encouraged to ask questions.

For a Child in the 1960’s to ask questions …
was … Admirable.

For an ‘Adult’ in the 21st century to ask questions …
is to be ridiculed, degraded, dismissed as a …  “Theorist”.

General observation will readily reveal that
an adult today … does not possess
the basic mental capacity ( to inquire, to think, to discern )

of a child from 50 years ago.

“Grammar Police”.  Some obnoxious, derogatory phrase
or deluge of filthy profanity is now attached
to anyone having the self discipline
and presence of mind
to stop, discern, and consider …

… by those whose conceit and arrogance
permits them to insist that No One
is going to correct them,
or make them better human beings.

Intelligence, discernment, courtesy,
humility, patience, professionalism;
to speak and act with self-controlled maturity;
to rise above the vulgar obscenities
of gutter-level creatures – No!
No … they are far too ‘smart’ to allow
any such ‘old fashioned’ notions to affect them.

It is impossible to reason with anyone
who wants to be – insists upon being – ignorant.

i60

The human mind has been conditioned to believe
that evil does not exist in the world;
that the abuse of power or authority
for personal gain … never occurs.

The ability to think has been sacrificed
on the altar of TV and the popular press,
if most would but pause long enough
to discern their own mind …

Mention one particular word in the English language …
and most can not see it, or hear it – (or even call it to mind)
without INSTANTLY adding a second word to it.

Their brains have been so programmed – altered –
as to make it an involuntary action.

Why, right now … Test Yourself …

Conspiracy

You have already added that second word.
Is that fair of me to say ?

I know you have.
And that is no Theory.

book-leaves

It is not that people can not think:
It is that To Think
is too much of an inconvenience …

Actually being civil
is too much of an inconvenience.

The whole of the Internet – YouTube, ‘blogs’,
daily newspaper articles, ‘celebrities’, media sensationalism,
Hollywood sewage, or men chasing a ball around a field …
Everything! – receives comments from those who visit.

But not here.
Not from people who return here, time and time again.
The capacity to leave a word of thanks, or encouragement,
or even greeting … does not exist in any but a very few.

Seeing that, tells me that this site
will never serve any meaningful purpose
in the world and mentality of today.

p2016nov

Those pieces written about the things
most dear to my heart and mind –

things that (I would have imagined) … SHOULD …
wrench at the heart-strings of human conscience
[ “A Dog, and Blind Man, and Modern Humanity”, for instance ]
and stir such righteous indignation as to Demand a response

– have received Not One single comment
in four-and-a-half years.

The Internet is saturated with comments
on any aspect of contrived fear-mongering,
iToys, “movie reviews”, ‘celebrity’ gossip,
and absolutely anything on the television …

but present the lack of Observable basic compassion,
common courtesy, and mature conversation in modern humanity,
and there is … silence.

I was raised with the conviction that, if I enjoyed,
or benefitted … was taught, or was challenged
to my own edification … I said ‘Thank You’, or
‘I enjoyed that’; or, ‘That made me think’.

grandpa-hall-sepia

I remember my grandpa telling me that:

You cannot hurt a kind person more
than by taking their kindness or their hard work
… and then ignoring them.

And it is true.

In September, I experienced the outrageous Irony
of having a self-confessed ‘gun-toting, people-despising American
tell me that my efforts to reason with modern humanity,
and provide thoughtful observations
that might encourage folk to pause, and think,
and exercise discernment and humility:

showed that I was “angry” and “bitter”,
and “screaming at the computer screen”.

Roger, from South Africa ‘spoke up’ in my defence.
Not a word came from anyone else.

Silence – as my grandpa said, is hurtful enough.
But apathy from people, when one’s character is being
maligned and slandered — for people to stand there
and say nothing, that
is beyond my capacity to take in.

p2016c

I had determined to close this site down
and remove myself from the Internet
in November of 2014.
Three people asked me to stay.
Which I did.

I never heard from a single one of them, again.

I determined to close this site down
and remove myself from the Internet
in October of 2015.
Three people asked me to stay.
Again, I renewed

Last October, 2016, I had had enough.
But stayed because four folk asked me to remain.

I am gullible.
And am tired of being so.

It is the 31st of December as I compose this missive:
if nothing changes in the next two weeks,
I will, all things permitting, ‘post’ it at that time.

I have specifically asked people – during the last four years,
to Help Me to understand, if there is something
about modern humanity that I cannot see;
or do not comprehend.
Again, silence.

Robin in America, Roger in South Africa, and Lorraine –
Thank You so very much for making me believe that this
has not been a complete waste of time.

Kate, Hermann, and Hajo – I miss your company
from years past: Thank You for your friendship back then.

Laurence, you left a cryptic message that something was very wrong,
and you were going to ‘get back to [me] on the weekend’:
that was three years ago. My email attempts remained unaswered.
I hope that you are safe and well.

Travis, I lost all email addresses when closing my email
account in November. Yours vanished, and I am sorry that my
few guesses have meant that I have been unable to contact you.

Those who said they wanted to ‘write’ or ‘keep in touch’ –
I was here; Where were you?
I suppose, what I was trying to do here
was important enough to you for a moment; but not after.

The rest: I have no idea why you return here:
for a laugh, I suppose.

I was going to make the comments “open” – but if I remove the
Enter E-Mail Address requirement, this site
will receive around 120 pieces of advertising “spam” a day.

So, other than occasionally returning here,
I shall not know if comments have been left.
But of course, why would there be? Why would anything change?
I always have a spark of hope … Which is why this has to stop.

If any of the topics here are of interest enough to any new visitor
who might arrive, do leave some word – it will not appear publicly,
and I shall see it eventually.

tea-service

The observable daily life’ of people, generally – is

* Self Centred – “Me”, My Family, and My Agenda;

* Loud – from the evangelical to the atheist – ‘flashy’,
festive; concerned with entertainment
and being entertained. Everything has to be “fun”.

Rather than, with respectful sadness,
mourn the death of a righteous man or woman,
people now ‘celebrate life’ … Everything is a Party.

* Brutal – anyone who is thoughtful, moral, or quiet –
is suspected, ridiculed, condemned.

Vanity and Arrogance are now more important
than Wisdom and Truth.

To be asked to have the humility to learn … is ‘offensive’.

p2016b-sq

This Internet site began out of my broken heart

at hearing the consistent stream of filth
and vulgarity that came from the mouths of parents (?)
holding little children by the hand;

at seeing the slovenly dress and deportment
of men and women in society –
the lack of effort at professionalism or even
‘acting like a grown up’; and,

upon experiencing the sights and sounds of the Internet;
and reading the comments of those who use it.

The site has been a failure.

But not from any lack of effort
and attention to detail on my part.
I have respected my conscience
and used any skill I possess with words
to present the best possible appeal
to sober-minded reason
that I am capable of offering.

If my grave has a headstone,
at least it can read: “He Tried”.

One can make the effort to converse with people;
but if those who stop to listen
refuse the courtesy of speaking –
what more can one do ?

I cannot understand people today;
and it is certain that they cannot understand me.

And there, I believe,
I shall have to let it rest.

P Livingstone
31st December 2016

Moon 2b

 

Tolkien, Technology, and this Internet Site

p2009

The Internet … it is OBSERVABLY – the greatest device
ever invented by human beings for

the promotion of Ignorance,
the proliferation of Indecency, and
the perpetuation of Immaturity

in the history of the human race.

Embraced by multitudes as a ready platform
for every ‘quick-buck artist’ and self-venerating fantasist

to promote his or her own brand of Vanity,
… Viciousness … or Vacuity,

the Internet has not only exceeded the television
as THE single greatest method
of degrading the human race –

BUT actually has people demanding greater “freedom”
to wallow in increasingly tasteless depravity
and infantile behaviour.

A technologically … Advanced … world ?

or,

A world … Degraded … BY … technology ?

Other than that which advanced
the medical care of people in genuine need;
I have always felt a persistent cynicism
– throughout the whole of my life,
for any aspect of technology …

… and have encountered only one other man
who has shared my deep distrust
of that which multitudes so readily embrace
with reckless abandon.

jrrt-2

Speaking in a BBC Interview, Christopher Tolkien
set forth the philosophy of his father
towards technology and its proliferation …

“For him, the ‘man made’ was the great problem.
“It’s very well known – it is often said, he disliked
the modern world: and this is absolutely true.

In the modern world, the word “modern”
is the word that has to be emphasized.”
He loved the world, and he was
in no conceivable sense, a misanthrope;

the modern world meant for him –
essentially, the machine …
and he more than once expressly said
that it was one of the underlying themes
for him – in the Lord of the Rings was,
the Machine.”

 

ctint

 

“… the machine meant for him …
the attempt to actualise our desires:
like our desire to fly.

It meant coercion.
Domination.
For him, the great enemy.”

That is really why he hated machines.
Of course, it is perfectly true
he hated the internal combustion engine …”

“… the tragedy and despair of all machinery laid bare …
it attempts to actualise desire and so,
to create power in this world …
the supreme machine … is the One Ring.”

The Ring is the ultimate machine
because it was made for coercion –
made by Sauron to coerce.
And that is why the only solution
to the problem of The Ring … was its destruction.

He wasn’t an unreasonable man;
he wasn’t an eccentric, he wasn’t absurd.
And, of course, he recognised that one
must live in the world, to an extent, as it is,

so, he had a telephone; he had a tape recorder
when they were quite new-fangled:

But as a vision of how the world could be …
the machinery of telecommunications
… No, they were not
what he wanted in the world.

I remember sitting with him …
on the White Horse Hill in Berkshire,
looking down over the Vale of the White Horse
through which, the Great Western Railway Line
goes towards Bath and Bristol;

and, even then, I appreciated
his intense awareness of that hill
– the archaic carving in the chalk of the White Horse …

But, I also loved the sound and sight in the valley,
of the train; of the line of smoke from it:
But he didn’t. He didn’t.
He saw it as the intrusion of coercion into the Vale,

carrying people at high speed to destinations
that they would have been very much better off going
by other means.”

[ Christopher Tolkien, JRR Tolkien, BBC, 1996 ]

A Hopeless Dawn 1888 by Frank Bramley 1857-1915

In an age, and an Internet, where
the vicious, and the vulgar, and the ignorant
all unite together to degrade those who are peaceful,
thoughtful, and considerate,

it has been (for me) not merely
that people refuse to extend words of congeniality,
or contemplation, or inspiration, on this site –
but that they have not the slightest tinge of conscience
about their apathy, as they pass by.

Compassion – for honourable ends – seems largely
to have vanished from the face of the earth.

Austrian social engineer Edward Bernays
(a contemporary of Tolkien) advocated
the control of the masses by a ruling elite,

through public propaganda that appealed to
vanity, fear … greed, and entertainment –
in other words, an appeal to pure selfishness.

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation
of the organised habits and opinions of the masses
is an important element in democratic society.

Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society
constitute an invisible government,
which is the true ruling power of our country.”

[ Bernays, Propaganda, 1928, 37 ]

Advertising is a stratagem that works
because people are too lazy to think,
too lazy to discern, too lazy to care,
And too self-obsessed
to see their own deplorable state.

“ The voice of the people
expresses the mind of the people,

and that mind is made up for it
by the group leaders in whom it believes
and by those persons who understand
the manipulation of public opinion.”

[ Bernays, ibid. 109 ]

Technology – machines – offer instant “success”.
No effort, ease of living, instant indulgence,
and superficial ‘rewards’ …

“But – they can fit entire sets of encyclopaedias
on the head of a pin!” read the challenging comment
left on this site some three years ago.

And what, precisely – ( I asked in my reply ) –
has that to do with improving my moral conscience,
protecting my integrity,
or exercising – through reading and writing,
the faculties of my mind ?

( No response was received. )

The modern mind seems to imagine that
in having a set of encyclopaedias on a computer,
they, as a person, are superior as a result.

It is not the “having” a library of quality books,
I would suggest –
but the reading of them, that brings the benefit.

And few read for personal edification any more:
Too much effort.

“If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind,
is it not possible to control and regiment the masses
according to our will –
without their knowing it?”
[ Bernays, ibid.]

I certainly hope so:
because modern humanity has discarded
every last pretence of maturity,
much less professionalism;
along with every last ability to lead themselves,
never mind anyone else.

Having always been wary of “machines”,
I have always held the notion that TECHNOLOGY
facilitates Laziness, Greed, and Vanity;

and that, WHEN peoples’ personal Lives become EASY
they become Proud, Callous … and Tyrannical.

Never having been any ‘fan’ of The Lord of the Rings,
THIS was the appeal, for me, of J.R.R. Tolkien –
he was a man who voiced my own sentiment;
and did NOT join the multitudes
in their gleeful rush to embrace machines.

JRR Tolkien 1955

Tolkien was, for me, a kindred spirit:
a man who recognised that UNPRINCIPLED men
– having the power of technology … WILL
invariably use it … To Destroy.

Technology makes ‘power’ possible.

Those who LEAST deserve to have power,
will use their acquired ability to dominate,
degrade, and ruin people – and nature,
whenever they possibly can.

And anything, or anyone, that ‘gets in the way’
becomes an “enemy” to be despised.

People will gladly throw an honourable man
out of their lives –
but never, the television set
out of their homes.

Television – that tool of mass mind manipulation;
invented to make housewives buy soap –
has conditioned the simple-minded to believe
that the ownership of … things
will bring admiration from others.

Apart from cultivating greed,
it has served no purpose to humanity whatsoever,
beyond anaesthetising the conscience,
and making depravity ‘normal’.

The success of Hollywood in eradicating God, morals,
the family unit, respect for elders, grammar, humility,
and human gender from society,
is all-too readily apparent to anyone
possessed of age AND a contemplative mind.

Whatever the religion of “Science” and technology teaches,
the modern multitudes believe with devout faith.

What was so Self Evident
to Tolkien and others … 85 years ago,

is utterly LOST to the technologically “advanced”
automatons of today.

“Learning breeds discontent.”

So thought the aristocracy in Britain
at the time of the French Revolution.

Leave the masses uneducated and ignorant
and they will be content with the vulgar gratification
(liquor, food, copulation) that comes with a mindless,
sensory-driven, feel-good existence.

Those who have willingly given up the ability
for considered human thought – surely,
have no right to complain
when men of privilege and prominence insist upon
taking control of them.

I would certainly not want any of the ignorant,
alliterate, beer-swilling louts of the modern world,
having control over national or international affairs
in the 21st century.

Stupefaction: The OBSERVABLE EFFECT
of Modern Technology

Technology …

the fear of Tolkien;
the methodology of Bernays;
the lament of this Internet Site.

Without a machine – car radio, TV, stereo, texting toy –
actively occupying their brain, men and women
GENUINELY do not know WHAT to think.

Technology grants ‘ability’ without effort …
which nurtures self-importance, greed, hedonism;
and – as labour is made easy or non-existent –
laziness, apathy, and stupidity.

Technology IS the stupefaction and infantilising
of modern men and women:
enthusiastic slaves of technology
who not only love it,
but wait in breathless anticipation
for the next … “upgrade”.

jrrt-ct

This is an age when Ignorance is Glorified –

the opinion of a child
is regarded as just as ‘legitimate’
as the experienced consideration
of a mature man or woman.

The impudent, the ignorant,
and the immature – whether 13 or 35 –
are exceedingly quick to blurt out:
“Well, that’s your opinion!”

In a July, 2012, French interview with LeMonde,
Christopher Tolkien observed:

“Tolkien est devenu un monstre, dévoré par sa popularité
et absorbé par l’absurdité de l’époque … Un tel degré
de commercialisation réduit à rien la portée esthétique
et philosophique de cette création.
Il ne me reste qu’une seule solution : tourner la tête.”

[ Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity
and absorbed into the absurdity of our time. The chasm
between the beauty and seriousness of the work,
and what it has become, has overwhelmed me.
The commercialization has reduced … the creation to nothing.
There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away. ]

An “old man” who was more of an expert
Than Anyone on this earth;
who had more of a right
Than Anyone on this earth,
to care about his father’s legacy …

… received the contempt of the sneering masses
who – I recall reading repeatedly
in comment after comment – dismissed him
with the (evidently sufficient) phrase … “old man” –

[ “He is an old man with litle joy left in his life.”
was one obnoxious remark that echoed that theme. ]

The considered wisdom of mature Life Experience
is now the only reason required for dismissive contempt
by the arrogant hordes of the modern world.

Moon 2c 25th

One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them;
One Ring to bring them all
and in the darkness … bind them.

Human beings have been so captivated BY technology;
that they are now the willing captives OF technology.

So utterly dependent upon technology,
that they cannot exist without the iPod, ‘cell phone’,
TV, and computer: at least one of which must be ‘on’
for them to be comfortable
in any part of their waking life.

“And in the darkness, bind them.”

Would Tolkien find any satisfaction
in seeing that his fear of the “One Ring”
would be a reality 60 years after his death?

Speaking as a man of like mind,
I suggest that – to the contrary –
he would be utterly disturbed at the zeal
with which human beings have thrown away

their minds,
their consciences,
their courtesy,
and their integrity,

to not only serve as the willing slaves
of modern technology;

but to act – with unfeeling indifference,

just like machines themselves.

P Livingstone
Modern Humanity
31st December, 2016

Beauty in the World

An honourable man or woman
will be ashamed to speak once,

what the depraved boldly proclaim
every hour.

Cloud 2-2

A Beautiful World ?

I suspect that I am the only person on earth
who is repulsed by the phenomenon that, in North America,
the first question a person will (invariably) ask
when meeting someone for the first time is …

“What do you do ?”

“I am a cardiologist”.
“I am a multi-national banker.”
“I own a successful [such-and-such] company.”

As though being unemployed, or a janitor,
or the lowest attendant in a company,

has any bearing upon the moral state of an individual;
or offers any criteria at all
whereby his or her character
may be rightly discerned.

In the course of my Dad’s deteriorating medical condition
since 2007, I have observed
– well enough to ‘write it in stone’ as it were –
that the most obnoxious, condescending, self important
and impatient ‘learned men’ on earth,
have been medical doctors who are ‘Specialists’ –

a phenomenon throughout “academia”,
which is far from unique to the medical profession.

WG54 Resident Eagle

Show me a man who is rich and powerful …
and I shall keep careful watch upon my meagre purse;
and be sure to sign nothing.

“Hello.
WHAT do you do … ?”

It is interesting to reflect that … in the 1960’s and ‘70’s,
we used to meet someone and were satisfied to ask –

“Hello.
HOW do you do ?”

WG64b Bird HB2

 

Let a man or woman speak for five minutes,
and I will have their character –

which is of far more importance (to me)
than their daily occupation.

“I am an unemployed failure who tries to
dispense kindness, compassion,
and moral good, whenever I possibly can.”

“Very nice to meet you”.

WG16 Morning Cloud

WG56 Prunus Mt Fuji

 

“This world is filled with beauty!”

Surely, that person must know nothing of
the content of this Internet site,
who would see a need to inform me
that this world is filled with beauty:

I … KNOW … that this world is filled with beauty.

I am also aware that it is filled – saturated …
with progressively degenerate,
malignant, cruel, and selfish
human beings who are UTTERLY without
any observable trace of self restraint
or courtesy towards others.

WG20 Eagle Currents 1

 

Girls who, in the 1990’s,
thought it no insult
to be called “bitches” and “whores” …
are now the mothers of children and teenagers;

boys who sauntered around
with smirking faces
and referred to the girls with whom they copulated
as “bitches” and “whores” …
are now the ‘fathers’ of children and teenagers.

And it shows.

Visit YouTube. Visit tumblr. Visit Facebook.
Humanity is now explicit, vulgar, and vicious
– observably sadistic;
spewing malice and profanity
at those who are quiet, peaceful, or polite.

It is not that brutality is anything new;
it has just become Vastly more prevalent.

climb-1

 

This world is filled with beauty … ???

Perhaps, you have taken a drive into the countryside;
and pass through a quaint little village … ?

Visit the same place on a Friday or Saturday night,
and rejoice if you do not find
some car-load of belligerent humanity
blasting the stillness with the repulsive noise
from their ‘boom car’.

climb-24

Do you se a mountain meadow?

There will be some malignant human being
waiting to turn it into a quagmire: destroy it
with their ‘dirt bike’, snowmobile, or ‘ATV’.

9

Do you see deer contentedly grazing
in a woodland clearing?

There will be some malevolent human being
who wants to pretend he is “A Man”
by putting a bullet in it;

or worse, the repugnant fantasist
who will subject the animal
to the drawn-out torture of an arrow … or two …
or three – as terror, shock, and suffering
suck the life from the tormented animal.

21

Do you see a river, alive with leaping salmon?

There will be some human being – or two, or twenty –
who want to seduce those fish into biting on a hook,
tearing at it in their struggle to escape,
before slowly drowning in air;
or feeling the ‘mercy’ from repeated battering
with a wooden truncheon —

… because their family is hungry, waiting
in their wilderness cabin for their father
to bring home the food
which will keep them alive that day ?

No.

… because some sadistic Human Being
finds his ‘sport’ – pleasure … his (or her) “manliness” –
in tormenting and killing
some peacefully-existing animal.

bear-torture

Where Ever you see Peace, Quiet,
Tranquillity … Beauty:
there will be SOME self-worshipping, Malignant
Human Being
doing his best to destroy it.

p2016nov

 

I would love to be wrong.

I began this Internet site as a way to meet kind, thoughtful,
sober-minded, moral human beings;

WG23 House b

I wanted this to be a place where folk could
support, and console, and commiserate with,
each other.

I wanted this to be a place filled with
comments, and thoughts, and observations
from kind, and gentle, and considerate humanity.

house-1

What I found … was a place that is used regularly
by people who cannot find the decency to say “hello”,
“thank you for the work in putting together that article”,
“I was challenged to read that” … or,
“I, too, remember when — “

People not only Refuse to be civil,
but have not the slightest twinge of conscience
about arriving here, making use of the time, effort,
and attention to detail that is presented …
and leaving without so much as a ‘How do you do?’
– never mind note of appreciation or encouragement.

People go out of their way to be ‘ugly’
through apathy, laziness, outright selfishness –
and then prate on about the ‘beauty’ in the world.

harbour

“Beauty” has not got the first chance in this world.

If I am leaving the supermarket,
and happen to notice or look with admiration
at a woman who is dressed like a lady,

– and reflect with profound sadness
that there was a time during my youth,
when women routinely looked like that
in the days before femininity was obliterated,

there will be some bystander with a “knowing” smirk,
noticing me … “eying up” that “chick” –
because after all,
any mature man who looks at a woman is (obviously!)
doing so with a lascivious eye.

If I stop, when passing a school playground,
to look and smile at the antics of little tykes
swinging, and running, and sliding down the slide:

there will be a half dozen samples of modern humanity
feeling for their “cell phones” – and mentally rehearsing
whatever three-digit number will serve to alert
police about the “paedophile” “eyeing the children”.

This world is filled with beauty ???

Not where modern-minded human beings
are to be found.

“Beauty” … is being systematically eradicated
from this world.

The human race of today … is NOT the human race
into which I was born and raised.

p1966

With rare, rare exception, the modern individual
has not the humility to be humble … or teachable
… or genteel.

He and she is far too busy dominating and demonstrating
what an important and successful person they (think) are.

“Beauty” has been trampled underfoot by … “Me”.

For me, few things are more profoundly sad to see
than an elderly American man
wearing one of those ‘trucker’ caps, or ‘baseball’ caps,
bearing some logo such as “USS Conflagration” or,
“Proud Veteran – 42nd Jackboot Division”.

Or seeing clothing or stickers on automobiles:

“Alumni of Pedantic University”

“Automobile Association Member”

“Proud Parent of a Barely Literate Secondary School Honour Role Student”.

or even, “I shop at the Co-Op”

It is a practice that leaves me frequently
overwhelmed with the notion
that I must be the only person living on this earth
who has NOT felt the need to broadcast
– when introducing myself – some

Tribal Affiliation,

Vicarious Association,

… or, worse – announce to the world
that I drive some Expensive Brand
of over-sized or ostentatious automobile;
live in the Stuffed-shirt Estates section of the city;
or subject people around me
to the crass noise of an American motorcycle
that sounds like a flatulent refrigerator.

All of which – given a moment’s sober-minded consideration,
serves NO higher purpose … than to say to the world:
‘I am a pretentious attention-seeker’.

This vaunting of vanity clearly affects
even those who do NOT have a surplus of money

… yet trumpet the trivial toys with which they
squander their time, amass their credit card debt;
and gleefully imagine that possessing makes them ‘special’.

What emptiness of existence that person must inhabit
to boast about owning some ‘brand name’ … object.

03b-p2016oct31

 

People BUY fleeting, commercial toys,
and identify with them –

… rather than TRY to improve their own
courtesy, consideration;
conduct, and conversation
— and be identified by THAT.

Kindness, Compassion, Discernment, Empathy;
the willingness to pat a dog on the head,
feed the birds,
saying “Good Morning” to every bleary-faced,
texting automaton that passes you in the street …

Become known for THESE things

… rather than the self-serving tribe
or agenda with which you affiliate;

or what brand of toys you own.

p2016b-sq

This world is ‘filled with beauty’ ?

The only thing threatening
the natural beauty of this world

is the evil of self-serving human beings
who see it – and everything in it –
as existing
for their Profit or Amusement.

People, generally, strive for,
and seek to be identified with,
things that I do not want to be near;

and impress each other with things
of which I would be most ashamed.

WG85 Venus Jupiter

When I expressed the sentiment, a few years ago,
that people should place their head
on their pillow at night, and –
as they drift off to sleep – ask themselves:
‘What have I done today
that has lasting, moral consequence?’

And when they wake the following morning,
vow to live as though they knew
they were to die that night,

WG84 Sunrise

 

I had not realised that that notion to
“live each day as though it was your last”
had a far different connotation to multitudes

who regard it as an excuse to “party”,
travel to exotic places,
experience new things, and generally –
use that time to gratify every lust, curiosity, or vanity.

Live each day as though it will be your last:
and endeavour to have people associate your name
with something higher than vanity,
ambition, or entertainment.

WG68 Bird Goldfinch Rain

 

Let me meet the man … introduce me to the woman
who realises that they have to go
right back out to the shops
because they forgot to buy a new bag of bird seed,

and cannot bear the thought of birds arriving
at the little feeding table in the garden –
only to find it empty.

THAT is the type of Person
whom I ( in starting this Internet site )
had so desperately hoped to meet.

WG55 Prunus Kwanzan

 

The type of a tree is known
by the fruit that it bears.

The same is true
for a man or woman.

P Livingstone
31st December 2016

WG42 A Graceful Turn

Last Christmas …

coffee-house-snow-3

I had never imagined, when agreeing to don the
Big Red Suit, that endeavouring to bring a little joy
into people’s hearts … would end up breaking mine.

Ah well … for those who have been kind enough
to be friends to this site via a comment,
a photo from last week …

Nearing the end of the day’s “Santa Vist” at the Veterinary Surgery,
this dear couple (suitably blurred here for privacy)
asked if ‘we’ could take a picture outside
in the deluge of snow that is unusual for this area.

Having gotten down on one knee, I turned at the sound
of the man’s approach …
Wrapped in a bundled blanket was this little chap:

christmas2016-copy

15 years old and dying, teeth protruding,
not quite able to properly stand without help,
he was, just then,
the most beautiful dog I had ever seen.

This would be his last Christmas –

and I confess, I would have buried my face in the snow
if they had asked me to.

With photos taken, he was wrapped in his blanket
and set in the car for the drive home.

When they left, I heard that Santa cried.

It was a pleasure to have met these folks.

25th-d

Mr Brett, and Mr Holmes …

jb-ehs

A Craftsman …

I had been contentedly enjoying a frothy Mocha coffee,
when the man and wife walking past my table
outside the coffee shop – paused,
and came back to ‘have a word’.

The man said that they had seen me a few times,
and – having noticed the pipe, waistcoat, and watch-chain,
had several times wanted to come and say ‘hello’.

Sitting down, they chatted about life, and the world,
and the change in people; lamenting, as they did,
over the utter loss of anything of refinement.

The man mentioned – amongst his examples –
the noticeable “garbage” that constituted television,
he said, for the past twenty years.

Learning that I had no television, he asked
if there was anything I remember ever enjoying
on the TV.

As anything manufactured by Hollywood
was immediately excluded,
I was able to name only the 1995 BBC production
of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ … which led me
to mention the death of Jeremy Brett.

jb0

In the later 1980’s, I felt a strange kinship with Mr Brett
based upon his confessed meticulous attention to detail
on (what was for me) the last continuously running,
quality production to be broadcast on a television set.

Twenty years Before the insulting displays
that have flowed from Hollywood of late;
and, After an array of characterisations
which bore little or no resemblance to the literary figure,

Jeremy Brett was the only actor
to ever make a visible effort
to bring the character descriptions of Conan Doyle,
or the illustrations of Sidney Paget
to life in the character of … Mr Sherlock Holmes.

To have seen, in a 30-second ‘trailer’,
this much-beloved character … degraded
by the cheap and tawdry antics of an American actor who,
with money from his producer wife,
portrayed ‘Holmes’ as a martial arts thug

accompanied by a ‘Watson’ who
(in a sickening ‘trailer’ preview) leaned forward
as the pair sat in a hansom cab,
and punched Holmes across the face
was absolutely appalling.

Now, while it is evidently essential to have
ill-disciplined thugs as ‘heroes’ in America,

one would have hoped that Hollywood MIGHT
have the decency

to Leave Victorian Britain

(and the historical characters whose literary identities
are a part of that time and that place)

Alone.

But then of course, Decency no longer exists
in a world that glories in displays
of crude behaviour, vulgarity, and violence.

eh2

Britain itself has discarded its once-renowned ‘reserve’
in order to pander to the boorish obscenity
of the 21st century television watcher.

Even the BBC have degraded Conan Doyle’s meticulous,
violin-playing, theatre attending,
pipe smoking gentleman

to a vulgar, smart-mouthed yuppie
contending with ludicrous comic-book-esque ‘villains’.

It is not enough that liquor-swilling,
‘partying’, irresponsible, obnoxious,
smirking, mental adolescents
can don a stretchy suit and become a comic book ‘super hero’ –

but now beloved literary characters are similarly degraded
in order to suit modern immaturity, selfishness, and depravity.

Neither before nor after Mr Brett’s faithfully scrutinised portrayal,
have either Holmes or Watson been portrayed in a manner
that is faithful to their creator’s original.

Growing up, we never had a television in our home
and the only sights I ever caught of one were
when calling at the home of a schoolmate.

I remember once, the high excitement
of being asked by one chap
if I would like to come to his house that Saturday morning,
to see a Sherlock Holmes film on their TV.

I cannot adequately relate the thrill of anticipation
in the prospect of actually seeing
my favourite literary figure ‘brought to life’, as it were –
moving … speaking … “living” ( !!! )

rather than just being described
on the printed page of a book.

The day arrived – Finally !!! – and I scarcely knew whether to
join my friend in lying on the floor in front of the TV,
or sitting on the settee and leaning against the armrest.
The excitement was incredible !

As the credits began, I could hardly believe
that I was about to see Holmes and Watson in action.

I could NOT believe it.

And then …

… What?

WHAT … ?!!!

I kept looking at my friend … then, at the screen …
then, out the window.

What … Was … This ???

THIS was not Holmes and Watson.

Some obnoxious, big-headed narcissist,
pontificating to some bumbling, dim-witted fool
who all but walked into walls ???

WATSON !!! — I finally yelled at the screen,
was a Physician —
a British Army Surgeon !!!

whose clear-headed skill and expertise
saw him piecing together
men torn apart by cannon fire
in Afghanistan.

WHAT this Bumbling, Stupid … OAF !!!
had to do with John Watson, M.D.
was beyond me.

This wasn’t just … wrong:
it was Offensive.

I remembered thanking my friend for his kindness
and thoughtfulness in inviting me to his home – but,
I did ask him (as politely and delicately as I could),
if he particularly want to see this.

We ended up getting on our bicycles
and riding down to The Melrose
where we picked up a bag of sweets each,
and headed off to Orangefield Park
to watch the swans,
while working our way through the little paper bags
of lemon bon-bons.

That night in bed, I looked through my illustrated
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes …
and did my best to forget about the disgrace that I saw
on that television set.

Fleeing the pain of being thrown away by a girl I loved,
I literally had ‘run away’ and joined the military.
And it was there – 14 years after that ‘TV experience’,
that – in 1984, I saw Sherlock Holmes ‘brought to life’
in personality and mannerisms
by Jeremy Brett.

Here too, John Watson, ‘late of the British Army’
was presented as the thoughtful and sober-minded physician
by fellow actors David Burke, and then, Edward Hardwicke.

THIS – for the first time Ever, WAS
Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

jb2

Jeremy Brett had not only meticulously scrutinised
every detail written by Conan Doyle about Holmes,
but studied – in detail – the illustrations of Sidney Paget –

at one time, going ( to the horror of the series’ producers )
to the extent of cutting his own hair to replicate
the unusual haircut of Holmes in one particular drawing
where Paget had Holmes sitting in thought, legs drawn up
against his body, whilst staring into the fire.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s own daughter
wrote to commend Brett
for his portrayal of her father’s fictional creation
telling him that HE was the ‘Holmes of my childhood’.

Even on the death of his wife in 1985,
Brett never wavered from his meticulous portrayal
of Sherlock Holmes. Although deeply despondent,
he consistently presented the Holmes of literature
to multitudes who probably did not even appreciate
what they were seeing.

( It is certain that, if they did – if there was
even the SLIGHTEST appreciation for Brett’s faithfulness,
public outcry would have prevented
the abominations in the years that followed.

But, of course, half-way through the 1990’s … humanity
was well on its way ‘out’. )

I am still amazed, regularly, at the compliments
received – almost daily ( just this morning, as I write these words )
simply because I dress the way that I do.
But, it explains a great deal to me about the ease with which
Brett’s Holmes can be ‘replaced’ by such low-quality vulgarity.

Gentlemanly decorum … and lady-like femininity
are clearly a ‘threat’ – offensive –
to the vicious self centred, domineering mentality
of modern masses.

Those few who do appreciate these things, are overwhelmed
enough to pass an appreciative comment
– which is what happens to me.

A very sad statement when wearing a shirt with a collar,
and shoes that require polish,
or a waistcoat (commonly seen in the 1970’s),
is remarked upon with sincere appreciation
by a few discerning souls who remain in the world.

Human beings now, are brutal;
and they want to see brutality …

And so, the modern “Holmes” becomes a snide creature
perfectly suited to the ‘standards’ of the 21st century.

The gentlemanly dignity
having gone out of modern men
who now dress like slobs,

it can be no surprise to realise
that a self controlled, dignified Holmes
would be ‘boring’ to profanity-spewing yobs,
who do not possess the class to even tuck in their shirts.

eh3

I cannot imagine that anyone under say, 50,
can possibly imagine the extent of decline
in precision workmanship …

or the cheapening – ( if not outright dismissal ) –
of absolutely everything that requires Skill,
mature Experience,
and meticulous Attention to Detail.

Jeremy Brett was a man who delivered that
precise attention to detail:
he was a skilled craftsman – a master
in his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.

Comments on the Internet openly attest to the concept that,
to present Brett’s Victorian Gentleman Holmes
to modern-minded masses, is – truly,
to throw pearls before swine.

Sherlock Holmes was a Victorian Gentleman:
he was neither a wise-cracking, martial arts thug;
nor an obnoxious vulgar yuppie.

It is a disgrace that every last thing – in the 21st century,
must be brought down
to the gutter level of the crude masses;

a statement upon the modern world
that some things cannot be left alone
simply … out of respect.

jb1

Jeremy Brett was a flamboyant, extroverted theatre actor
who was known to address those with whom he worked
as ‘darling’.

Yet he made it a studied habit to become ‘Holmes’ –
an intense, irritable, introverted character
who was utterly disconnected from humanity,
and would spend an entire night
smoking one bowl of tobacco after another
in the course of fixating upon a problem.

It is (for me) disturbing to note that the producers
of the Sherlock Holmes series
seemed so unmoved at Mr Brett’s declining health
that they even allowed him to film
during that final two years of the series –

when Brett’s features had so swollen
from treatment for depression
that he barely resembled the Brett / Holmes
of the first four seasons.

When filming the exceedingly poorly ‘interpreted’ screenplays
for the last two years, Jeremy Brett was a
very sick and weak man.

Edward Hardwicke, born on the 7th of August 1932 …
died from cancer, age 78, on the 16th of May, 2011.

Jeremy Brett, born on the 3rd of November, 1933 …
died from heart complications on the 12th of September, 1995.

He was 61.

p2016dec20

I remember, in the late ‘80’s, reading of Mr Brett’s
life-long struggle with melancholy;
his meticulous drive for PRECISE attention to detail;

and his constant effort to rise above
the mundane, ‘lowest common denominator’ laziness
of the changing world around him.

We had ( it seemed to me )
a great deal in common.

I thought, in 1989, about writing a letter to him –
to thank him, and (perhaps) encourage the man.

But I remember thinking: “How many ‘fan’ letters
must that man receive in a week? He would never even
notice one from the likes of me.”

And I never did send one.

But the point is, of course – upon sober reflection:

He may never know who I was …
… But I knew who he was.

And – given the disgusting spectacle
that has had the impertinence to pass
as “Sherlock Holmes” in the years since,

I truly wish that I had, at least, made the effort
to write … and say “Thank You.”

I suppose that is what these words
are about, really …

My way of doing now, what I never did then —

leaving a few words to say,

Thank You, Mr Brett,
for the joy that your skill, dedication, and efforts
have given me.

You brought a childhood literary hero to ‘life’.

And for that, I am exceedingly grateful.

P Livingstone
Integrity
2016

The Spider’s Web …

WG85 Venus Jupiter

Venus and Jupiter display above the mountain behind our house.

For the second time in a few months,
a visitor has presented the concept of “bio diversity”
to me; and

whilst this second has been merely as an aside
to a larger, general question,
the first had been phrased as a definite challenge – an admonition –
that I should be doing more to “care” for this world.

As I did not address that first presumptive remark at all,
I thought it might be prudent
to present a few thoughts
with regard to this notion that I, and folk like me
… should “care”.

I would have thought that it SHOULD BE crystal clear –
from the content of this Internet site,
where I stand with regard to ANY aspect
of kindness, care, courtesy or consideration –

most especially where peaceful and gentle creatures
– ( whether man, animal, or nature in general ) –
are concerned.

WG40 Best of Friends

Dispensing kindness SHOULD be the practice
of EVERY human being that possesses
a working conscience.

There has been, over the past (I suppose) 15 years,
a renewed religion of EARTH WORSHIP –
that I remember being last foisted on us
in the early 1970’s
… under the phrase “Ecology”.

They even had their own flag: green, with a big “e’ in the corner.

What appealed to the hippies of the latter ‘60’s,
now appeals to the glass-and-chrome living urbanites
of today.

It is a ‘bandwagon’ that is ridden
by the hand-wringing masses of society …

… which is driven OVER the top
of people who are conscientious;

and driven AROUND those
who are the cause of damage in the natural world today.

predawn

I have neither part nor interest in this decade-long
proliferation of Fear … from

supposed “over”-population,
(The whole middle latitudes of Canada
are areas of vast open, unpopulated wilderness –
as, I suspect, are the same latitudes of Russia and Scandinavia (?) )

disease, the sun, the seas, the temperature,
“Second Hand Smoke”
and every-and-any-other particle of Sand
that has been presented as an Avalanche
in order to breed fear.

The destruction of plants, animals, and wilderness
is a topic that SHOULD BE taken up with
the TWO forms of human life who do Just That –

1.)

those “film stars”, “celebrities”, and CEO’s
who go from A to B in Leer Jets and Limousines,
and have walls and ceilings
decorated with 24 carat gold leaf –

yet whine
and call for the little old widow lady
in her cottage in Killarney
to practice “austerity measures” …

and 2.)

those wanton beer-swilling, groin-scratching savages
who destroy nature
with the noise and carnage from ‘dirt bikes’,
ATV’s, and Snowmobiles.

BUT — to raise any such matter

with a man who feeds birds all year,
and is moved to tears (as I was last night)
when he has to lay a mouse trap
because the little creatures
have ventured into the kitchen — NO.

lurgan

No.

I will NOT abide being equated
with the arrogant, self-serving narcissists
who regard this world and everything in it
as being here for their amusement
… or source of profit.

WG23 House b

As of this coming year, we will be forced to do
what folks in Japan have been subjected to
for awhile now:

pausing to poke through all household rubbish …
banana peels go here; cardboard goes there;
batteries go here; and if-you-are-not-sure-where-that goes,
consult a list – compliance and automation.

Rotting food will be picked up once a week;
all other household rubbish, every two weeks.

Which is fine, of course, because corporations
and politicians, and royalty … will all be doing
exactly the same thing.

Won’t they?

Ban the little old man
from smoking his briar pipe
in a city park –
that wisp of smoke will kill your children !!!

but think nothing of the 600 cars, trucks, and buses
that spew benzene, sulphur dioxide, and carbon monoxide
all over you – and your children
every single hour
in Vancouver, New York, Moscow, Berlin, or Tokyo.

I believe it was 17th century Irish writer Jonathan Swift
(he of the satirical illustration about self-important warmongerers;
“intellectual” pedantics; and the brutal creatures
which character ‘Gulliver’ eventually realises are human beings)
who observed that

The Law is like a spider’s web:

it catches flies …
but allows wasps, and hornets,
and other large and dangerous predators

to fly free.

The same is true of the fantasy plethora / deluge of
fear-mongering that has been proliferated of late.

Yes, I will do what I am told to,
because I want to live peaceably.

But – to those who are ever seeking
to ride the rails of nit-picking fear-mongering;

or jump on the bandwagon of every newly invented
criticism based upon hypochondriac absurdities

PLEASE –

If you have concerns about the abuse of this world,
or abuse in this world …

… DIRECT your call for accountability
TO those creatures
who are responsible for the abuse.

And leave those of us
who exercise
due conscience and consideration

to live our lives in peace.

P Livingstone
Modern Humanity
2016

p2009

Sincerity, Integrity, Character … is Consistent

christmas-hypocrisy

It is not falling into a mire
that is the disgrace –

but lying there,
and wallowing in it.

An honourable man or woman WILL … ‘fall’
from time to time.

Through fear, or panic, or lust,
Integrity may be discarded in a fit of passion,
loneliness, or melancholy –

BUT those of moral principle
– though defeated for a while,
will see their own disgrace
and remove themself from it.

The character of a man or woman is revealed
by the consistency of conduct and conversation
that is manifest in their every-day life.

A righteous man; an honourable woman,
need no special occasion
to activate courtesy, consideration, or conscience.

That the filthy obscenities of 50 years ago
are now considered ‘normal’
in the speech of modern society,

reveals the scarcity of considerate,
self-controlled, and morally decent human beings
in the world today.

Men and Women of (real) Integrity
have a Conscience.

And that Conscience … works.

Every year, about this time, I have attempted
to leave some thought or observation
that might (???)
cause one person to pause long enough
to take a moment to … consider.

In a recent journey to the city, I noticed the
tinsel-sparkling sentiment “Good Will Toward Men”
in relation to the liquor-swilling festive hypocrisy
known as “Christmas” – a time
(it is glibly touted) for … “peace”.

While having no intention of repeating the observations
made in the 2012 article
“The Hypocrisy (and Blasphemy) of Christmas”,
conscience bids me ask people today
to earnestly consider whether “special”
seasons, days, or events
are beneficial …

Or is it possible that they could be … detrimental?

The lifelong observation of people has satisfied my conscience
that the setting aside of certain dates in the year
does nothing more than foster a spirit of legalism
– insincerity; hypocrisy; even apathy –
in the bulk of their participants.

In the 1960’s, we, as schoolchildren, started each day
in the gymnasium, by reciting the Lord’s Prayer,
singing a hymn (usually “All Things Bright and Beautiful”),

and generally being instilled with the sentiment that WE …
were not the centre of the universe.

That was then.

Of course, in this enlightened age,
such activity has long since
been eradicated from the public school system
in which teachers must NEVER interfere
with a child’s self esteem.

After all, it is highly imperative that Dick and Jane
have very high opinions of themselves,

so that they can become teenagers
and tell their elders to ‘f**K off”.

Now then, let me ask you:
In such a world as that –
of what use is a “Day of Prayer” or a “Moment of Prayer”
… to a nation that has completely obliterated God?

It is nothing but an empty gesture;
a farce;
a display of utter hypocrisy
by people who ordinarily would not give “God”
a second thought in their daily lives.

It is Hypocrisy.

And yet, it is a farcical display that is
melodramatically performed by politicians and ‘leaders’
whose laws and proclamations have remove from their society,
the very “God” unto whom they pretend to pray.

It is a joke to the atheist – And rightly so.
It IS a joke.

 

By a single action, or a single occasion,
people fool themselves
into thinking great things of themselves,

while the regular conduct of their lives
consists of gratifying NOTHING but vanity, ambition,
laziness, and the constant pursuit of entertainment.

Special Days, Dates, and Ceremonies
do nothing
but harden the hard-hearted
in their own conceit,

and foster a spirit of hypocritical legalism
by making people think that, because they

put a coin in a tin,
send a box of food to a ‘food bank’,
or give a second thought to an abused animal
on some isolated, single occasion,

they are therefore, “doing all that is required” of them.

At “Christmas” people send cards

(though, I understand that email is now serving
insincerity and laziness with the utmost in non-effort)

to family members with whom they have
Not One Moment’s Contact
for the entire rest of the year.

But, they have “done their bit” –
they have observed that “one special day a year”
and so, nothing more should be expected of them.

The hypocrite can once again return to 364 days
of revelling in what matters most –

ME … and My Entertainment.

I am against the “observance” of “special” days
for the simple reason that
the only thing “special” about them

is that they give the vast majority of apathetic humanity
the chance to tell their barely lukewarm consciences
that they … ‘care’.

People push a banknote into a tin
(80%+ of which, pays the salaries of CEO’s, staff,
and brochures of some ‘charitable’ organisation)
and see themselves as the saviour of abused animals.

[ During the 12 weeks I could endure at the SPCA,
concrete-enclosed dogs spent 23 hours-plus
with NO metal stimulation,
NO TOY with which to play;
and most had NOT EVEN a Bed on which to lie.

Walk in and ask for an impromptu tour of the kennels
before writing a cheque to support
isolation and mental-and-emotional torture. ]

People “give” … secure in the conceit that they have
“done their bit” … No further thought required.

To a genuine heart … “Special” days are NOT required.

Those who ARE “the real thing”
will show it –
Every Single Day of their life.

Their conduct and conversation will reveal
– to every person who spends more than
three minutes in their company –
precisely what type of person they are.

The man or woman who is concerned for the welfare of animals,
will be concerned for the welfare of animals
in EVERY aspect of his or her daily life.

They will not buy anything other than Free Range eggs;
will not give their money to “corporate”
meat suppliers that slaughter animals en masse;

they will NOT buy cosmetics or cleaning products
UNLESS assured that that product does Not engage
in ‘animal testing’;

they will scrutinise local animal products and ask questions
before spending money to support businesses.

Unlike the most – who will buy whatever is ‘on sale’.

Those who ARE who they say they are,
WILL keep their word.

They will show – all the time – that
they mean what they say;
and say what they mean.

Suffering and brutality exist in this world
because of the “Me First” attitude of conscienceless creatures:
people who become malignant – by action or apathy –
any time their own laziness, conceit, or ambition
is seen to be ‘threatened’.

Kindness, Courtesy, and Compassion will be evident
in the conduct and conversation of those
who are TRULY “kind” people.

Show me what you do on a Day-to-Day basis;
NOT what you do every now and then,
never mind just one day a year.

Those who require “a day” to spur them to
thought, consideration, or action … are neither
thoughtful, considerate, or conscientious.

Their kindness is ’empty’ – hypocritical.

I was asked whether I believe that a ‘special day’
for kindness, sincerity, compassion, empathy,
– is a good thing.

I have answered – “No.”

Being on the “outside” of humanity,
and having observed human beings for 55 years now,

one day a year will do nothing
to change the selfish spirit
that actuates an individual for 364 days a year.

It strengthens the hypocrite in their hypocrisy,
but has no effect on those who are genuine.

Kindness will be habitual
in those who are TRULY kind.

To such a person, a special ‘occasion’ or ‘day’

will be no different

than any other.

P Livingstone
Integrity
2016

p2016dec20