31 Aug 2013: God is an English Man
30 minute workout at 4:45 AM: 150 supine movements as warmup, 200 lowrise steps with one hand free to prepare for weights, walk, 100 dance movements with walking stick (the old soft shoe), 150 supine weight movements. Needed a painkillah afterward.
Re-reading Plato’s Republic for the first time since uni for the Open Courseware Notre Dame class in Ancient and Mediaeval philosophy in support of my reading of Johansen’s book “A History of Ancient Philosophy”. In Johansen, still in pre-Socratic fifth century (400 BCs). Will also be reading Aristotle’s Metaphysics for the first time (read Rhetoric for a high school paper).
God is an Englishman. While I have been lolling in Grantham Hospital eating chocs, two Brits, Nick Bookman and B. have in jungle conditions (35 degree celsius) moved my art to Open Space, my quality books to B.’s library, the remaining things of higher value to storage, and the remaining crap to the nearby dumpster where hopefully it will be picked over for things of value.
Note to self. Stop accumulating crap until you own property on which to store it which may be never. No more books: use the library and get a debit card and a Kindle to read books. I buy physical books to comfort myself because my grandmother on my father’s side thought all her grandchildren were geniuses and consequently sent us books. I read them, and now my library has flowed into the Lamma island eco-system which contains many bottom-feeders who love books, rather like Myanmar.
And so into the river of books in Southeast Asia flows Orwell, Huxley, Gissing. Not everybody has a Kindle yet.
But I feel bad about the labour I’ve caused people. I wanted to go to Lamma and went on a trial basis to Causeway Bay this week with my friend and former helper to get some essentials (Tabasco sauce, instant black coffee, etc.) and couldn’t even make it to the Mom and Pop office store with the good prices near where I used to work and St Paul’s. Had I gone into Lamma to “supervise” the lads would’ve wasted time fanning bloody Nilges and chafing his bloody wrists as he does a panto of the death of Lully (Ramon Lull) in Sicilia in the 16th century…o never mind.
The Tabasco sauce makes my hospital food, previously the haute (“oat”) cuisine of Stanley Prison, palatable. Just sprinkle one or two drops and swirl it into Chicken and Rice Blow You Head Off and you have something ten times as good. Likewise for the two thin soups which must be sipped HOT: Cucumber Taste Like My Shorts and Tomato Drop off Truck.
Oh yes and a Lindt 90% bar. This is very close to unsweetened Xocolatl, the mystery essence of the plant sacred to the Maya and Aztec. The dark Lindt squares will blow your head off. You think it’s just unsweetened then BAM.
When you’ve been mew’d in hospital, a minimum security prison, a visit to Wellcome (supermarket) is great fun. Besides the chocolate, Tabasco and coffee I snagged two “white chocolate donuts” and snarfed them after lunch. These and the extra painkiller I needed after trucking around Causeway, gave me a huge buzz after lunch.
I got to smell the Durian fruit: a huge, in your face tropical fruit (which looks to me rather like the chocolate pod), the Durian smelled no worse, I told my helper, than my running shoes. She said but those running shoes smelled BAAAADDD. For the first time, I have no running shoes. My New Balances have been consigned to the dumpster and hopefully will be salvaged by someone on the mainland before they join the Pacific Garbage Gyre. If I return to running, it shall be barefoot or with minimal shoes such as the Asian “lion” cotton shoe.
I shall have to endure a quantum of pain in order to stay fit and not go into a nineteenth-century Decline, expiring romantically like Schubert after taking the advice of incompetent doctors to stay immobile. When Orwell wrote 1984 in the mid-1940s he was hoping despite his TB to stay alive until 1955 so as to help his son. But, he died of that disease in 1950, never finishing the novel, a successor to 1984, that he hoped would seal his reputation…and provide his son with royalty income. He need not have worried for 1984 and Animal Farm, so frequently assigned in school has provided his descendants with that income.
“Enforcement of copyright” is the reason why you can get any text you want BEFORE 1920 as an Internet file, and nothing thereafter. Children and grand-children of successful authors need, I suppose, their rights protected if royalties pay for educations. The owner of copyright to F. Scott Fitzgerald is particularly vigorous in enforcing his rights. And, of course, all science and math textbooks for uni are copyrighted and as such fearsomely expensive as dead-tree books.
However, some uni faculty and students, it appears have created PDF copies of many expensive texts. For example, you can get the Princeton Companion to Mathematics, a fearsomely large and expensive dead-tree book, as a PDF at http://jmvidal.cse.sc.edu/library/gowers08a.pdf. I was ready to hand-transcribe the Dieter Henrich article on Kant until I figured jStor out.
TB still a scourge in the 1940s, my nurse Mom still scared of it, a product of drafty cheap flats in the lower West side. Richard Nixon’s brother died of TB at the same time as Orwell. Along came vaccinations and prophylaxis such as penicillin. (But now TB is making a comeback thanks to bacterial adaptation and anti-vaccination panic).
Immobility and swoon is a sphere as Parmenides thought of Being, as is activity and higher consciousness. Any unnecessary laxity in not working out or taking-responsibility deflates the sphere at all points whereas action enlarges it despite friend Cancer, who needs me to feed off…I want to talk to my cancer, saying, we need each other, so back off and munch away inside your zone. If you put your head over the parapet BAM but meantime you get your share of what I eat, so down the hatch.