Well fancy seeing you here...

Hello and welcome to the rambling rollercoaster of useless ponderings, strung together in what the internet calls a "blog," and the voices call a waste of everyone elses time.

Please check your sanity at the door (along with your dignity, logic, principles, good taste and prejudices against daftness.)

"I am here to seduce you into a love of life; to help you to become a little more poetic; to help you die to the mundane and to the ordinary so that the extraordinary explodes in your life." -Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Jesus-Duo and the Woodwind Giraffes

Despite planning a full week of nothing but sunshine and shopping, I am actually working tonight. I have had a design epiphany, and I must make the most of it. (Though trying to find antique lace patterns is proving tedious, I am undecided whether I want buffed marbled leather or something a little more distressed, and I still have not heard back from the company whose services I require for gold electro-plating.) Still, have pencils: will scribble!

I saw adverts this week for a programme called 'Jesus Camp' which follows Evangelists in America as they aim to indoctrinate children into becoming Fundamentalist Christians. It prompted discussion on cults, and how - if one is religious - you might distinguish between someone who is mad, and someone who really is being directed by God.

This reminded me of a story about my great-uncle. He worked as a psychiatric nurse for a few years in the 1950's, and during his service there, they had two patients in the asylum who believed that they were Jesus, son of God.

These fellows of the 'Second Coming' were both unwaveringly certain that they were reincarnations of Jesus Christ, so you'd think that they might make an antagonistic pairing, right? Two people both claiming to be Jesus? Well, they never did. Instead - because each was convinced that he was the genuine Christ (and the other man was a poor lunatic) - they forgave each other. Man A took pity on Man B, and vice versa. They would spend all day with each praying for the other man's soul - both believing that they could heal the other.

Popbitch told me today that:

"Giraffes were thought to be mute, but this is not true. They can hiss, snort, and make strange flute-like noises. They also only sleep for a few minutes per day."

Flute-like noises?! I have been to Longleat (and have a certificate to say that I got lost in the huge maze) and I did not once hear a giraffe mimicking a reed instrument. No one I have asked today has ever heard a giraffe making woodwind noises, and this worries me. If they are indeed communicating like this, then when are they doing it, and why? As they only sleep for a few minutes per day, I can only assume their tuneful communications are taking place at night. I don't like the idea that giraffes have a hidden-agenda. It's the same reason I am uncomfortable with Elephants painting.

Animals are getting too creative; Giraffes monopolising the woodwind section of the Royal Orchestra, Elephants filling every wall at the Tate - what next? Will Lions start reciting poetry? "Even if a lion could talk, we would not understand him." - Ludwig Wittgenstein. (I learned that quote from Ricky Gervais, but it always sounds clever, and I shall one day improve myself with a little philosophy. As soon as I am done wrangling with the general living of life, I will take pause to really think about it. I am interested in his philosophies of the mind - and despite accusations of obscurantism I would like to read more of his philosophies of language - but the pages of Wittgenstein's main work: the philosophy of logic and mathematics 'Tractatus,' are far too high-brow to ever caress my bookmark.)

Anyway, back to the important thing: even if lions did write unfathomable verse, it would probably still sell. Thirty-five works by William McGonagall have been offered for sale this week under a guide price of £4,500-£6,500 - which is more than first editions of Harry Potter or James Bond. This is astonishing because McGonagall is renowned as being the 'Worlds Worst Poet." I always thought that the worlds worst poet worked for Hallmark. It's rather heartening to know that even terrible poems will sell for such a large sum, as it gives me hope that I'll eventually get enough work together for an anthology of my own. I will just have to learn how to write truly dreadful rhyme, and I can step into McGonagalls shoes and utilise the readily-available audience (and hopefully relieve them the burden of their thousands of pounds.) I first paid any attention to William McGonagall because his middle name is 'Topaz.' That is probably the most interesting thing about him.

A notoriously awful poem by William Topaz McGonagall denoting the Tay Bridge Disaster.

The Tay Bridge Disaster
William Topaz McGonagall (1879)

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

'Twas about seven o'clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clods seem'd to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem'd to say --
"I'll blow down the Bridge of Tay."

When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers' hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say --
"I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay."

But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,
And the passengers' hearts felt light,
Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov'd most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.

So the train mov'd slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o'er the town,
Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill'd all the people's hearts with sorrow,
And made them for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav'd to tell the tale
How the disaster happen'd on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.

Up to six-and-a-half thousand pounds. Some people have too much money. Here we are trying to get aid into Myanmar, to aid victims of the cyclone, and instead people are buying admittedly appalling verse.

Perhaps animals deserve to take over. Humanity is doing a risible job of being the 'superior' species.

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