Sunday, 30 September 2012

Thomas de Quincey (15/8/1785 -8/12-1859) - On William Wordsworth (7/4/1770-23/4/1850)

I've written about Mr De Quincey before which you can find below at following link.
teifidancer: THOMAS DE QUINCEY and his phantasmagoric dreams. In 1807 he went to visit the lake District, where he became friends with the poet William Wordsworth. In 1809 he settled in Grasmere, at Dove House which had previously been Mr Wordsworth's home. He was to stay there for ten years. Thomas had long been an admirer of Williams work, and for a while their was a lot of mutual respect,  becoming friends with Wordsworth's sister Dorothy and a number of his acquaintances who became known as the lake poets, including Coleridge and Robert Southey. However over the years there was to be a gradual falling out, over some real or imagined state.   It has been mentioned that  de Quincey thought that Wordsworth had been ungenerous towards him, though he had a tendency to think that, of a lot of people. De Quincey's head at the time had more than just a claustophobic edge to it , by this time he was using opium daily to relieve the products of social restraints that he felt, and was often  to be found wandering in much a delirious state, delivering a number of public spats, that were to become the stuff of legend.
Later he wrote this essay,in  which he achieved some sort of public revenge by drawing this pen picture of his ex-friend on a Nature Ramble. It has more than a bite to it.

William Wordsworth
'Wordsworth was, upon the whole, not a well-made man. His legs were pointedly condemned by all the female connoisseurs in legs that ever I heard upon that topic; not that they were bad in any way which would force itself upon your notice - there was no absolute deformity about them; and undoubtedly they had been serviceable legs beyond the average standard of human requistion, for I calculate, upon good data, that with these identical legs Wordsworth must have traversed a distance of 175 to 180,000 English miles - a mode of exertion which to him, stood in the stead of wine, spirits, and all other stimulates whatsoever to the animal spiris; to which he has been indebted for a life of unclouded happiness, and we for much of what is most excellent in his writings. But, useful as they they have proved themselves, the Wordsworthian legs were certainly not ornamental, and it was really a pity, as I agreed with a lady in thinking, that he had not another pair for evening dress parties - when no boots lend their friendly aid to masque our imperfectations from the eyes of female rigorists - the elegantes formarum spectrices. A sculptor would certainly have dissaproved of their contour . . .
 But the worst part of Wordsworth's person was the bust: there was a narrowness and a droop about the shoulders which became striking, and had an effect of meanness which brought into close juxtasposition with a figure of a most statuesque order. Once on a summer morning, waliking in the vale of Langdale with Wordsworth, his sister,and Mr J - a native Westmoreland clergyman, I remember that Miss Wordsworth was positively mortified the peculiar illustration which settled upon this defective conformation. Mr J -, a fine towering figure, six feet high, massy and columner in his proportions, happened to be walking, a little in advance, with Wordsworth and myself being in the rear; and from the nature of the conversation which then prevailed in our front rank, something or other about money, deviceses, buying and selling, we of the rear-guard thought it requisite to preserve this arrangement for a space of three miles or more; during which time, at intervals, MissW - ould exclaim, in a tone of vexation, 'Is it possible? can that be William? How mean he looks!'' and could not conceal a mortification that seemed really painful, until I, for my part, could not forbear laughing outright at the serious interest which she carried into this trifle. She was however, right as regarded the mere visual judgement.
 Wordsworth's figure, with all its defects, was brought into powerful relief by one which had been cast in a more square and massy mould; and  in such a case it impressed a spectator with a sense of absolute meaness, more especially when viewed from behind, and not counteracted by his counterance; and yet Wordsworth was of a good height, just  five feet ten, and not a slender man; on the contrary, by the side of Southey his limbs looked thick, almost in a disproportionate degree.
 But the total effect of Wordsworth's person was always the worst in a state of motion; for, according to the remark I have heard from country people, 'he walked like a cade' - a cade being some sort of insect which advances by an oblique motion ( 'a cade'was, in fact, the country word for a tottering, new-born lamb: perhaps slightly preferable from Wordswort's point of view to an ant). This was not always perceptible, and in part depended (I believe) upon the position of the arms; when either of these happened (as was very customary) to be inserted into the unbuttoned waistcoat, his walk had a wry or twisted appearance only - for I have known it, by slow degrees, gradually to edge off his companion from the middle of the side of the highroad.

Recollections of the Lakes and the Lake Poets
- Thomas de Quincey 1840.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Punishment in 18th Century Wales - John Torbuck

'Some of the most obstinate criminals are punished by Suspension, but not by the Neck, as here in England, but by the Wrists. Thumb-rop'd together with String of Hay, and so fasten'd to a Peg; well! this is but the Beginning... the Sting will follow: The offending Taphy thus dangling in the Air, the Beadle approaches with a stick im'd with a feather at one End, and tickles his Testiclesp, these softer Titillation engender some vibrations of the Body, and nimble Friskings, which are shrewdly chasti'd by a Cat-of-nine-tails.
For several crimes they have various Punishments. That grand Enormity of Breaking-wind is chastised there as it is in England, that is, the Hand of Magistracy doth usually inflict a pretty lusty Cobbling, that is, for every Report of Loss of an Hair, though some that have been much addicted to the Infirmity, and therefore have been very guilty of a Stink, have endured the Cruelty of tormenting Fairies, that is, have been pinch'd into Manners, and a better Smell.

From A collection of Welsh Travels and Memoirs of Wales

Ah, the whif of what passed as justice rattling down the years......

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


The Department for Communities and Local Government were yesterday given 28 days notice to vacate their central London premises and mounting criticism of their recent behaviour. Travellors, Gypsies, Roma and Supporters behind the move stated " persistant racially aggravated persecution... harrassment, alarm and distress amounting to anti-social behaviour and gross misconduct."

More details here

Fight for Sites: Evict the Department for Communities and Local Government

Monday, 24 September 2012

Palestinian child prisoners 'abused'.

Rights groups say youths arrested by Israeli forces face prospect of beatings and rights violations.

Hundreds of Palestinian children are arrested by the Israeli military every tear for throwing stones at occupying forces.
They are tried in Israeli military courts and human rights organisations say the trial lacks due progress and are against international law.
When asked about the allegations, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson told Al Jazeera that the rights organisation that documented the abuses was "not a credible organisation", and said that no such evidence had been shared with the Israeli authorities.

Al Jazeera's Charles Stafford reports from Abu Dis, in the occupied West Bank.

Source: Al Jazeera

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Adrian Mitchell (24/10/32 -20/12/08) - Guns

a sense of proportion.....

                                                       They seem to have all the guns,
                                                       Most of the guns in Britain are
                                                       British/American government property
                                                       Police property
                                                       Or the property of gentry-gangsters
                                                       Who are British/American government property.

                                                       Nobody I love has a gun. Not in Britain.

                                                       The rich are rich because they fuck people about.
                                                       They call it the Quality of Leadership
                                                       And they have special school-machines producing
                                                       Leaders to fuck people about.

                                                       People with guns
                                                       Tend to fuck other people about.
                                                       The people they tend to fuck about
                                                       Are people who don't have guns.

                                                       None of my friends has a machine-gun ready,
                                                       Let alone a tank.

                                                       A few yards ahead of us, a row of truncheons.
                                                       Behind the truncheons, rifles,
                                                       Behind the rifles, grenades,
                                                       Behind the grenades, machine-guns,
                                                       Behind the machine-guns, tanks,
                                                       Behind the tanks, bombs,
                                                       And behind the bombs - the rich.

                                                       The rich are as stupid as guns,
                                                       They will be killed with their own guns.
                                                       In every capital
                                                       The fucked about of the world are taking arms.
                                                       The people of the world
                                                       We are going to take it.



Saturday, 22 September 2012

Artscape: Poets of Protest - Manal Al Sheikh: Fire Won't Eat Me Up

Poet, editor and activist Manal Al Sheik, says it is now lethal for her to be a writer in her home town of Ninewh, Iraq. We follow her as she prepares a new poem for a public reading in Norwegian.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Happy Autumn Equinox

Every day, the season air humming, for some can be numbing, walking on the edge..... beyond the weight, voices talk, voices share, navigate between imperfect intervals and mornings rush..... towards a mutlitude of possibility. Shadows become a thousand words, and the roaring continues , the wind is never silent.

Happy Autumn Equinox


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Nick Clegg Says Sorry - The Remix

I like it when people say  sorry, it can't be easy.But sometimes it just happens to come a little too bloody late. Is this for the country or is it for his party's conference this weekend. His original apology did not sound very heartfelt either, I prefer this version
Not sure if it will change anybodies opinions about him though. Don't think he's goin to win any popularity contests any time soon, either. ****R

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Kelvin MacKenzie doorstepped over Hillsborough

Former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie declines to answer question from Channel 4 news  reporter Alex Thomson on  his record over the papers coverage of Hillsborough football tragedy.
This video has now been watched on youtube over 64,000 times.
Here's a response to it.

Kelvin Mackenzie Dorstopped Remixed

Sarah Ahmed (b.1969) ) On Solidarity

" Solidarity does not assume that our struggles are the same struggles, or that our pain is the same pain, or that our hope is for the same future. Solidarity involves committment, and work, as well as the recognition that even if we do not have the same feelings, or the same lives, or the same bodies we do live on common ground."

Mgicineni Noki  at Markan Mine, addresssing his comrades in an act of solidarity  before he and 34 of his fellow miners were shot dead.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Jack Clemo (11/3/1916- 25/7/94) - Outsider

                                          image, Tricia Porter, National Portrait Galllery


You are so civilised, so alert
In your tunnel, arching the drilled brain;
So  desterous in control
Of the tricky signals, the obvious gain.
I am outside, a truant soul,
Deep in the Word, stung by the dirt
Of primal clues which you disdain.

I cannot be a comrade
To you who claim your victory
In affliction's craft and trade.
I am angry with your tunnel life,
For a free wind, out here, storms the base
Of resignation, topples the perch of suffering.
Slits like a knife
The bladdered boast, the wan, competent face;
And it seeks you also, but you hide from its sting.

I pioneer for you,
But the gulf is too wide
And you cannot see my clue.
I do not have to overcome,
I do not face the worst, I do not accept:
I just speed home
With no flakes of darkness admitted or defied.

Your skilled courage is not for me:
I have overstepped.
By God's grace, some mark or boundary
Where faith branches higher
And its vagabond thrills never cool.
I am wild with expectation, full of strange fire
That would scorch a mundane tool.

You miss that fire through your efficiency:
Your triumphs only prove
You are too sleek for miracle. It takes
An unkempt faith to make a mountain move:
Unsheltered savage trust, bare to the mud,
Till your ego's clay-seam quakes
And the kingdom seethes in your blood.
This fierce old pilgrim's way I have known,
But you despise it, so I sing alone.

Reprinted from Penguin Modern Poets 6
Jack Clemo, Edward Lucie-Smith, George MacBeth

On a personal note I lost my faith many moons ago
but still believe in tomorrow, but hey that's another story.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Remembering 30th anniversary of Sabra & Shatila massacre

Video including testimony of journalist covering the massacre

This week the world has remembered the victims of 9/11. But this weekend also marks the 30th anniversary of the massacre of Sabra and Shatila, so a moments silence please.
This massacre took place between 16 to 18 September 1982. It is now considered  to be the bloodiest single atrocity committed against the Palestinian people in living history. Similar in magnitude to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US,which left close to 3000 innocent people dead according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, more than 2,750 Palestinian/Lebanese,  men, women and children were massacred in the Sabra and Shatila camps in Beirut, by Christian Lebanese Phalangists while  the city was occupied by the Israeli army .
Israel for a while denied it had conspired in the massacre, yet as a result of international condemnation it launched an inquiry in 1983, known as the Kahan Commission this found  that the Israeli military were completely aware of the massacre taking place, but had done nothing to stop it. The Commission subsequently regarded Israel of being part of the 'indirect responsibility' for the massacre. and Ariel Sharon, then Israel's highest military leader, later the country's Primeminister of bearing personal responsibility for the massacre because he did not prevent the Lebanese Phalangist militia from entering the camps.
One of the reasons why people still talk about Sabra & Shatila, is that no one has actually ever apologised for this crime against humanity, which this incident surely was. Also no one has ever stood trial or been  held account fot this crime.
 We should not forget any crime against humanity, either, all are of equal importance. It is unfortunately part of us all a  history and legacy that is  both shameful and bitter.
On all accounts this was not an isolated incident, and to this day Israels oppressive policies towards the Palestinians continue. We still see the ongoing blockade of Gaza, which has made the Gaza strip one of the biggest prisons in the world.
Every September since then hundreds of Palestinians and friends from around the world gather now in Shatila at the Martyr's Square  to remember  and mourn, and mark the events that had previously occurred.
Even contemplating this dark anniversary, I never give up feeling that their is still much hope in the future for the lot of the Palestinian and their ongoing plight is not simply forgotten.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Justice for Hillsborough?

Yesterday after 23  years the full scale of the establishments cover up over the 1989 Hillsborough disaster was revealed.Finally the truth seems to be coming out, as it always does. The Police, the Conservative Government of the time, the Stadium management and the press,  all have colluded to keep us from what actually happened at the tragedy that was Hillsborough.
But, even yesterday our Prime minister, David Cameron claimed that there was ' no cover up at governmental level' but we have finally have now found out that Tory M.Ps helped the police cover things up becauset Margeret Thatcher was so  concerned that her beloved loyal anti-miner police would be presented in a bad light. Well what  Mr Cameron said,  has proven to be a lie, the same regime today   trying to soften up the damage  implications to their friends.
The truth is , that the names of the dead at Hillsborough have been lied and slandered to, time and again.

Kevin McKenzie pictured above, sanctimonious git supremeo, sanctioned the making up of 'quotes'  we all make mistakes, but most of us stand corrected, this individual has repeatedly repeated the same lies time and time and again, a pathetic , wretched individual who only seems to make half apologies in order to further his own self interests.The sun newspaper repeated the police's lies and attempted to blame the victims. Shame , shame, shame.......
Remember too, that 164 police officers lied, 14 of whom were awarded millions of pounds of compensation between them, the Hillsborough familres have not recieved a penny.Also since this terrible occasion some Police Officers have even been promoted to senior positions.
Pressure now is mounting for criminal charges to be brought against  Police Officers involved  in this sordid affair. The pessimist  in me, fears that they will never hear the word guilty laid against them in this rotten land.
Thatcher's Conservative Government too created a culture of impunity, who needed a partisan police force, because they wanted to protect their own self interests, the people now demand justice.
This state of affairs only serves to highlight the complete disregard for the plight and disregard the system and it's friends has for the plight and dignity of working class people. Their has been no apology to this day by the police for their actions, compounding the suffering of the families involved.
The Police, the Sun Newspaper, Thatcher, McKenzie all equal of blame in the trauma and distress that has been caused to the victims and their familes. Time and time again, truth has been concealed. Their should be no let up now in the pursuit of justice.

 Solidarity & Justice for the 96, lest we forget

Hillsborough Justice Campaign


Wednesday, 12 September 2012


Still, here.
different name than on facebook
still a faint echoe
in this spinning world.

Still feeling numb
still got my eye on a page or two
in the library
watching humanity fly.

Still got time
to wonder about
stuff and things
finding ways to connect and survive.

Still here in the wild sky
armourless among the branches
a fair weathered friend
still pointing the way towards another reality.

Still here, distant and far
revealing a message or two
still fizzing, smouldering
still have not found a way, to stop the clocks.

Still getting older, getting fatter
a desperate drum beat
wine stained, leaving a mark
still slightly dangerous, still under the cloudy sky.

Still believe it's possible for the world to change
still following loves order, still free enough to apportion blame
still looking for some change, still moving forwards
still waiting, still  here tomorrow, hopefully!

Still safe here, beyond the rivulets where I have strayed
still groaning under the stars , still foaming at the mouth
still the music calls , and the echoe returns
still politicians stall, still deceit brings its tears.

Still the questions feed, looking for answers
still discovering ideas at the edge
still little by little, replacing old heirarchies
still got time to breathe, still the essence is what is imagined.

Still a flame , flickering in existence,
still considering, still following resistance,
still finding  momentary vision
still  have not surrendered, still running free.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Charles Bukowski( 16/8/29 -9/3/94) - The Genius of the Crowd

Charles Bukowski reading his poem The Genius of the Crowd 1969
capitals Bukowski's

There Is Enough Treachery, Hatred Violence Absurdity In The Average
Human Being To Supply Any Given Army On Any Given Day

And The Best At Murder Are Those Who Preach Against It
And The Best At  Hate Are Those Who Preach Love
And The Best At War Finally Are Those Who Preach Peace

Those Who Preach God, Need God
Those Who Preach Do Not Have Peace
Those Who Preach Peace Do Not Have Love

Beware The Preachers
Beware The Knowers
Beware Those Who Are Always Reading Books
Beware Those Who Either Detest Poverty
Or Are Proud Of It
Beware Those Quick To Praise

For They Need Praise In Return
Beware Those Who Are Quick To Censor
They Are Afraid Of What They Do Not Know
Beware Those Who Seek Constant Crowds For
They Are Nothing Alone
Beware The Average Man The Average Woman
Beware Their Love, Their Love Is Average
Seeks Average

But Their Is Genius In Their Hatred
Their Is Enough Genius In Their Hatred To Kill You
To Kill Anybody
Not Wanting Solitude
Not Understanding Solitude
They Will Attempt To Destroy Anything
That Differs
From Their Own
                  Not Being Able
                  To Create Art
                  They Will Not
                  Understand Art
They Will Consider Their Failure As Creators
Only As A Failure
Of The World

Not Being Able To Love Fully
They Will BELIEVE Your Love Incomplete

And Their Hatred Will Be Perfect
Like A Shining Diamond
Like A Knife
Like A Mountain
LIKE Hemlock
          Their Finest

From Genius of the Crowd

More Bukowski from this blog
 here and here