Workout Log 13 Sep 2012: Rounding Up
15 minute swim at Hung Shing Yeh beach with a friend, first thing as always; that gives me two mile equivalents by way of mathematical rounding. Beautiful day. We’re subtropical so September brings a bit of freshness to the air as the monsoon or consistent wind begins to shift around to the north. Salt in the small wounds of my left leg which is a bit swollen from circulatory differences caused by various pressures on the spine and its nerves. This seems responsive to putting the leg up and relaxing whilst watching Ken Branagh’s Henry V bootleg on You Tube, and soaking in Epsom salts and very, very hot water, at Pain’s threshold.
For when first in DeliFrance at Queen Mary Hospital contemplating my Monster Khaos of last May, I saw a photo of the Dictionnaire Universel de La Pain. Bread and pain, in other words, just as in 1982 I used to stare at my Swedish crisp bread, pain “croustilliant”, lovely word.
One leg swollen up even to a limited extent wounds my vanity for I not only strive for a classic look in my figure drawing, I enjoyed for far too long the body of a Greek god and must now perforce endure The Decline and Fall, fighting it even as Constantine XI Palaiologos fought Johnny Turk in Constantinople, NOT because he thought he could win, but because he was so constituted, Constantine, that this is what he did, like a modern French Legionnaire, without passion and without hatred.
Oh and by the way, given the disastrous news of September 11 2012, the killing of Americans in Libya by a mob, crazed by an evil You Tube video:
Palaiologos had no hatred of the Turk: only COWARDS post YouTube videos anonymously and get American diplomats, ten, one hundred times the man they are, fucking killed: WARRIORS fight because they must, respecting their enemy.
I have to respect my cancer for much the same reason. It is massed outside me, more precisely inside. A host indeed: black flags fluttering…putting me in a GK Chesterton mood-metre:
WHITE founts falling in the Courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run…
However, this poetry was not written so much by a hater of Islam as a lover of Christianity and the West. Yeats noted, in his 1916 poem “The Stare’s Nest By My Window“, that, because “we had fed the heart on fantasies”, “the heart’s grown brutal from the fare”, and there’s “more substance in our enmities” than in our love.
Yeats as an Anglo and Protestant Irishman who was nonetheless as Irish as hell, saw straight into the heart of a peculiarly Irish darkness not as benign as your Celtic twilight. This is the Irish darkness where you get slapped around and sodomized in school by clergy and it’s your fault, and later on you feed the heart on fantasies, as I have, assisted by booze, and at the finish you rage at empty chairs, defined, in Yeats’ poem, by hatred and fear and not love…even as the factions of the not-so-great Irish struggle for freedom allowed themselves to be manipulated, after Wolfe Tone’s death, by the clergy.
And you can take the above as read.
Today, Celts and others are being mobilized and told how to think about Islam because some idiot uploaded a truly evil video to YouTube and some other idiots, who may for all we know be on Israel’s payroll, killed a great and good man, J Christopher Stephens. Turning, in other words and from a more famous poem by Yeats, and turning in a widening gyre.
Consider: Islam, in the form of an enormous empire, was massed outside Europe during Europe’s cultural zenith: the later 17th and 18th century. Yet you search the record in vain for much else beyond a sort of amusement at the antics of “Johnny Turk”: his turban, his music as parodied by Lully and Rameau, as appropriated by Mozart and Beethoven, as part of a long tradition of white, western reusage and outright theft of that which is a basically African music, for the Turks used Ethiope musicians.
And you also search European culture in vain for cruel mockery of Johnny Turk’s religion: rather, men like Voltaire went after the faults of their OWN religion insofar as it caused religious wars and superstition. An intellectual critiques that which he knows just like a writer writes about what she knows and a good man attends to the beam in his own eye and not the mote in his mate’s eye. Whereas a stupid idiot rages about Islam especially when a stupid idiot has not even read a good general history of Islam and does not know that Israel was founded by terrorists and funded by American and European gangsters…to become a home for good people (the ordinary Jews) who are in terrible terrible danger as I write, and who have been placed in that danger by mobsters.
The West and Islam in fact coexisted for hundreds of years in part because Westerners, especially men up until recently knew who they were and what they stood for, like men. But now the dialectic of absolute weakness and power madness causes pukes like Romney to use racial hatred and bring back the dark ages to other men who have lost all control of their lives. When I was a kid, there was some real hope that with free education and free water my grandchildren might actually live a decent life, like the Jetsons. Today, they are looking at The Flintstones at best and possibly The Hunger Games thanks to neoconservatism, although I venture them both with God and to the looking-after of my son, who is a good guy you ask me. Let’s round up the number as an optimist: perhaps these dark times will change as we learn new languages, new forms of life.