La Giocohollande

On prétend que l'affiche officielle du candidat socialiste n'est pas retouchée, mais ça fait bien trop longtemps que certains media prennent les français non seulement pour des écervelés, mais aussi pour des borgnes.
Mais 'les borgnes sont aussi rois : et les médiocres brillent lorsqu'ils
se trouvent parmi des sots'..

Inutile à ajouter que l'image Giocohollande ne serait pas retouchée
non plus, et si le sujet- déjà bel et bien élu- n'arrive pas à atteindre le sommet de l'immortalité glorieuse grâce à son bilan, et ceci malgré le soutien fidèle de certains média intéressés, au moins il aurait déjà atteint l'immortalité dans le domaine encore plus noble de l'esthétique..
Text and composite, (voir aussi Segioconda) with apologies to Leonardo da Vinci as well as the socialiste candidat) by Mirino. March, 2012

The Prodigal Son

When I was young and brainless, I went to what one used to call 'Sunday School'. A sort of casual, Sunday afternoon hour of religious instruction for young would-be-future-Christians. Later on I attended 'Confirmation Classes' for a short while. It may have been there that I tried to follow an interpretation of the parable, The Prodigal Son. As it was badly told, I suspect that it was the curate's personal interpretation of the story, because at one time I was rude enough to yawn, and this so annoyed the curate, who may have thought he had special ties with God, that he insisted that I leave his class immediately. It's probable that this event planted the first seeds of doubt in my mind about the merits of religious instruction, and encouraged me to find my own spiritual chemin.
At school it was thought that I was what one then called 'a late developer', but it was more probable that, although unaware of it at the time, I was growing deaf, and was consequently less able to follow the lessons as thoroughly as was required. Because of this I naturally withdrew more and more into my own dream world of relative silence, at least until my state became obvious enough for something to be done about it, to try to stop the process from getting worse.

But to return to the Prodigal (spendthrift) Son. It was retold in such a way that the veritable essence of the story was lost. The class was thus led to believe that the eldest son who had stayed at home serving his father dutifully, was perfectly justified in thinking that his father was wrong to welcome home and generously celebrate the return of his younger brother. After all, he had asked for his inheritance then had wandered off to squander it on wine and women, (which might be considered reasonable to start with) and now he comes back and its big celebration time, with a fattened calf no less, whilst for the same period his elder brother has been obediently carrying out all the boring, paternal duties and domestic chores, and for all his pains he was never once even offered a scraggy old goat to ever celebrate with his own friends.

But the whole point of the story is that the celebration of the return of The Prodigal Son is perfectly justified. Would it be wrong to believe that the parable is not only a reflection of all pardoning, divine love, and the boundless mercy of God? It's true that with his carefree, youthful vanity and confidence intact, the younger son leaves home and recklessly spends all his money, but the story relates that there was a famine in the region he had reached. Also because of this he eventually suffers terribly from poverty and is forced to work as a swineherd. Even then he considers that the pigs he has to tend are better off than he is.

He realises that he is slowly dying of hunger whilst his father has many servants and still food to spare. At the same time he is resolved- '(...) I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am not worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.'(...)' (Luke 15 : 17-20).

What is often unappreciated is the fact that the youngest son was venturesome enough to leave home and try, even though unsuccessfully, to live his own life independantly. He recognises his own dismal failure and already has enough humility to admit it. He never expects to be royally received by his father. On the contrary, yet such is the welcome that he doesn't even have the opportunity to say the words that he has constantly been churning over in his mind during his return peregrination.

The celebration is precisely for this. His father (who loves his sons equally) is wise enough to know the value of humility. The feast of the fattened calf is to celebrate not only the return of the younger son, it is to acclaim his reaching the threshhold of maturity, his being able to reconcile with himself having become aware of his own fragility and limitations. It's to celebrate his humility in recognising this and being able to admit his failure. His father would have lived long enough to know that what is generally considered as success, can often be illusory and transient. He would know the principle that in order to attain virtue and real happiness, it's often necessary to first negotiate the path of temptation that leads to sin, misery and failure.

The eldest son preferred homely security rather than to take his own chance in life. He never had such an initiation experience. He has yet to learn, and the jealousy that he has for his younger brother is proof of this.
His father explains to him- 'But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.' (Luke 15 : 32).
Isn't this simple explanation a precis of the Prodigal Son's positive evolution and reconciliation with himself?

Perhaps one could conclude that those who misinterpret the story of The Prodigal Son, (including the vain curate who couldn't abide yawners) are acting in the same way as the eldest son. As they more readily identify and commiserate with him, they would therefore be more likely to react as he did. Perhaps they have never experienced the humiliation and sufferance one feels from failure. After having ventured out at an early age eager to make one's fortune and confident of success, finally to be confronted with having to acknowledge one's own illusions. To come to terms with oneself, and then to have to find the courage to return, after having failed. For ironically, this experience is an essential part of the process of reaching maturity, and finally 'succeeding' in life, if success is essentially self-realisation. 

Text © Mirino. Source- Gospel of St. Luke. Top image- The Return of the Prodigal Son (Rembrandt van Rijn, sepia drawing with pen and brush, 1642. Teylers Museum, Haarlem). Lower image- The Prodigal Son  (Pompeo Batoni, 1773 Kunshistorisches Museum, Vienna). With thanks to Wikimedia Commons. March, 2012

Vérités belges..

Très intéressantes les observations de Charline Vanhoenacker, journaliste belge qui est venue brièvement pour suivre la campagne hollandaise avant de partir écœurée par ce que trop de français ont gobé passivement depuis le début de la campagne du candidat socialiste.
On a déjà affirmé que cette fabrication des media, et du parti socialiste, n'est pas moins que cela, mais il a fallu les observations de cette journaliste belge et ce qu'elle avait entendu de vive voix de ses confrères journalistes parisiens, pour souligner davantage cette mise
en scène hallucinante.

C'est autant plus étonnant que des gens apparemment dotés d'intelligence suivent le cortège du ce tartuffe les yeux pleins d'étoiles comme si le candidat socialiste était le nouveau Messie. Pourrait on conclure qu'il s'agit aussi des conséquences d'un dénigrement systématique de Sarkozy orchestré par certains media depuis des années? C'est probable d'ailleurs que la plupart de ces fans sont ceux nés dans les années 80. Ceux qui sont moins au courant du mal des années du mitterandisme, du ni-ni-isme et d'immobilisme qui a duré jusqu'à la fin du règne du Chirac.

L'article de Charline Vanhoenacker vaut la peine d'être lu. Il est illustré par une des affiches de Hollande où on peut voir à quel point la photo a été retouchée de manière ridicule. Mais depuis le début de sa campagne, (assumant que l'on n'est pas déjà trop inconsciemment conditionné par l'antisarkozisme matraqué inlassablement depuis belle lurette, et sans aucune justification) cette fabrication made in France est tellement transparente que l'on voit à tel point le contenu est vide.

Text and image © Mirino. (Changement à l'image. En effet depuis la première il y en a eu). 
March, 2012

22 Mars

Deux pensées/observations viennent à l'esprit à propos du drame qui s'est terminé enfin aujourd'hui en France.

La première c'est comment une personne dotée (en principe) d'un cerveau peut arriver à se persuader que tuer des enfants à bout portant s'agirait d'un acte de valeur?
Comment on peut arriver à être aussi malfaisant, égaré et sans âme? Evil, comme sont la plupart des fanatiques, et hypocrites.
Car prétendre venger la mort de civils quand on passe son temps à tuer aveuglément autant de civils que possible, est le comble de l'hypocrisie, et du mal.

Mais laissons ces pauvres esprits malades qui n'ont rien à part leur haine, et point d'avenir. Ne nous leur accordons même pas un nom, et encore moins une raison d'exister.

L'autre pensée regarde encore les présidentielles françaises, car un tel drame peut aussi dévoiler certaines vérités. Le comportement des uns et des autres est souvent alors assez révélateur. Par exemple le candidat socialiste qui ne pouvait pas attendre. C'était plus fort que lui.

Dans son esprit il est déjà bel et bien élu Président de la République, donc il prend la parole tel quel au nom des français pour féliciter la force de l'ordre pour son courage. Il exprime aussi ses sentiments envers ceux blessés, etc. Même avant que le Président ait fait sa propre déclaration officielle après ce drame.

Evidemment c'est indigne d'un candidat des présidentielles, non seulement d'utiliser une telle occasion pour se mettre en avant, mais de n'avoir pas pratiqué la moindre diplomatie, de respect et de décence. De n'avoir pas exercé de retenue, comme il aurait fallu à un moment pareil.

Text by Mirino. (Photo- thousands of children of Gaza flying kites in July 2010, breaking their own world record). With thanks to the BBC. March, 2012

Old friends

Sometimes words come like friends
Sharing old cherished memories.
The blossom on the lawn,
The fragrance of cut grass,
The long summers in the fields,
And all the trees we grew up with
That never seemed to change.
Still there in our hearts.
Such dear old friends.


Text and photograph (Lake District, GB) © Mirino, March, 2012

Sauce hollandaise

On revient donc encore à la 'source', la fameuse, fumeuse fabrication des media français, programmée, en principe, pour gagner les élections présidentielles. Un whisked-up (fouéttée) concoction approximative, présentée au dernier moment.
Comment est-il possible que les media français veulent tant investir dans un tel tartuffe?

La seule explication qui vient à l'esprit pour tenter de répondre à cette question est que la plupart des media français importants sont établis à Paris. Paris a toujours été un 'pays' en soi ainsi qu'une manière de vivre, volontairement quasi isolée.

Sarkozy, qui suit de près ce qui se passe dans le monde, et anticipe en fonction, n'est pas apprécié par les media français dont beaucoup ont une tendance gauchiste. Le Président ne se permet pas d'être influencé ou manipulé par les media, tandis que Hollande, qui cherche toujours à plaire, semble bien plus vulnérable à cet égard.

Tous moyens sont donc bons pour que le candidat socialiste emporte les élections présidentielles. Son programme est alors essentiellement populiste, mais au fur et à mesure qu'il invente des nouvelles propositions, il écoute les réactions des uns et des autres pour ensuite, ou les supprimer, (comme il a fait pour le 75% impôts applicables aux joueurs de foot millionnaires) ou les atténuer.

Une de ses dernières idées démagogiques regarde la parité hommes/femmes- comme si quantité (encore) est une priorité, et non qualité. Mais de manière absurde il rend sa parité nulle et non avenue en ajoutant que 'ça ne veut pas dire que les responsabilités seraient les mêmes'...

Ceux sensés savent très bien que la parité ne sert à rien, à part de faire plaisir aux théoriciens socialistes qui raisonnent en termes de chiffres. Les 60,000 enseignants est un autre exemple, comme si un tel investissement va améliorer l'éducation, sans considérer relancer l'économie.

Il va sans dire que le critère d'un chef d'Etat digne de sa fonction ne devrait jamais être fondé sur de telles considérations de parité. Evidemment ce qui compte est si cet homme ou cette femme a les qualités, les capacités et la volonté nécessaires de bien assumer la tâche du poste ministériel disponible. Quelle que soit la majorité d'un tel gouvernement, qu'il s'agisse de femmes ou d'hommes, le résultat devrait déterminer une équipe efficace. Une parité en chiffres hommes/femmes est bien entendu insignifiante par rapport avec ce critère évident primordial.
Mais prétendre prôner la parité sans accorder aux femmes les postes ministériels aussi importants que ceux des hommes, est en tous cas l'annulation totale du principe de la parité. C'est aussi revenir en arrière encore.

Dans son élan (parfois donc incohérent) d'impressionner et bien entendu de faire plaisir, Hollande est allé trop loin en promettant (aux français) de revoir les accords européens. Naturellement un tel projet est vu d'un très mauvais œil par les chefs d'Etats européens, surtout ceux qui se sont engagés personnellement pour que de tels accords soient acceptés et établis.

Si Hollande prétend en tant que candidat aux présidentielles, qu'il a déjà bel et bien le droit de mettre en cause ces accords, sans d'abord faire savoir ses opinions auprès des premiers concernés, et sans d'abord être élu Président, il ne devrait pas s'étonner que son manque de diplomatie, de savoir faire et d'expérience n'inspirent aucune confiance chez les chefs d'Etats concernés.

La dernière proposition populiste de Hollande est de retirer le mot race de la constitution française.. Comme pour lui ce mot n'est pas 'politiquement correct', pourquoi ne pas exiger de le faire retirer du vocabulaire français, voire mondial?
Voilà donc une autre initiative hollandaise censé relancer l'économie? On songe alors au calendrier révolutionnaire. Avec un genre de raisonnement similaire, Hollande pourrait être même capable de vouloir réintroduire aussi cette idée. Comme il est persuadé, grâce au soutien des media, et la chute vertigineuse de DSK (dont de façon soupçonneuse Hollande n'a rien fait pour le freiner quand il en avait l'occasion et le devoir) que son destin glorieux est imminent, son égo pourrait lui dicter que le changement est maintenant veut dire qu'avec lui l'histoire de la France recommence à nouveau au jour zero.

Mais en fait,  on est passé par là déjà, et on ne veut point refaire la même mauvaise expérience. Le bilan de Hollande est fade, et plus négatif que positif. Il plane dans les nuages d'une grande illusion fabuleuse créée par les media. Il est même programmé pour gagner selon ses derniers, et les manipulations des sondages. Mais la vérité c'est qu'il risque de tomber bien lourd des nues, et avec tous ceux qui avaient tant investi pour le lancer au ciel, dès le moment où la raison et la vérité prévalent.

Sauce : en anglais, a, bien entendu, un double sens : culot ou impertinence. Il faut bien en avoir pour vouloir devenir Président de la République sans être à la hauteur de la responsabilité, et même sans d'abord avoir eu la moindre d'expérience ministérielle auparavant.

(Finalement on note que Monsieur Bayrou a fait une déclaration aujourd'hui à propos du rassemblement à Villepinte de Sarkozy cet après-midi. Il l'a qualifié d''indécent'. Mais la vérité ne pourrait jamais être une fabrication programmée, et n'en déplaise à Monsieur Bayrou, la vérité ne peut jamais être 'indécente' non plus).
Text and image © Mirino, March, 2012

Scottish myths 13

The fairy lad of Leith

This legend was published in Pandaemonium, or The Devil's Cloyster, by a Richard Bovet, in 1684. The story was entitled, "A remarkable passage of one named the Fairy Boy of Leith, in Scotland, given me by my worthy friend, Captain George Burton, and attested under his hand."

The allusion to the boy was made by a woman of honest reputation who was the owner of a public house in Leith. The person to whom she spoke, a man of some standing familiar with Leith and on business there at that time, paid particular attention, as he was well aware of the innkeeper's honesty and good standing.
She informed him that there was a Fairy Boy, (as he was locally called) who lived in the town. She added such details that the person was intrigued enough to want to meet the lad. She promised him that she would see what she could do to bring this about. And this is how it happened, as narrated by the man himself.

'One day not long afterwards, as I entered the inn for a glass of wine, the innkeeper recognised me and immediately came in order to show me from the open doorway that the Fairy Boy was there quite near, playing in the street with several other boys. "Look you there sir, the one with the grey-green smock is the Fairy Boy".

Whereupon I carefully approached the boy, talked to him calmly and gave him a silver coin. I asked him several questions, some on astronomy, to which the boy answered in an astonishingly subtle and intelligent way, far beyond his apparent age of ten or eleven years.
We continued to talk whilst seated at a wooden table just outside the inn. During our conversation the boy began to drum on the table-top with his fingers in such a way that it was clear that he had the talent of a drummer. When I asked him about this the boy replied "I can drum as well as any in Scotland; for every Thursday night I beat all points to those that are wont to meet under yonder hill."
He then pointed to the huge hill between Edinburgh and Leith.
I then asked him about those who meet there. "There is a great company, both of men and women, entertained with all kinds of music as well as my drum. They are served with a great variety of game and wine, and often in a night we are conveyed to France and to Holland and back, and whilst we are there we enjoy all the pleasures each country doth afford."
I then asked him how the company got beneath the hill, to which the boy replied, "There are a great pair of gates that open, though they are invisible to others. Within there are brave, large rooms, as well accommodated as any in Scotland."

Although the innkeeper had informed me that no one could prevent the Fairy Boy from attending his Thursday night ventures, I managed to persuade him to meet me again the following Thursday evening at seven o'clock.
The boy returned as promised to the appointed place of meeting. I had brought some acquaintances with me in order to try to prevent the lad from ever leaving us.
He answered our questions patiently until almost 11 o'clock, and then, without any announcement he suddenly wandered away. I excused himself to my friends, then hurried after the boy following him very closely. Suddenly he made a noise as though he had been set upon, and then he simply disappeared.

Scottish myths 14
Scottish myths 12

Tale retold © Mirino. Source- A Book of Scotland, Collins. 
Photo of Leith (modified by M) by kind permission © Alf Thomas, with thanks. March, 2012

Bartholomew Mole

The Reverend Bartholomew Mole
Is a short-sighted, kind hearted soul.
His dwellings are found, under the ground,
And are entered by means of a hole.

On fine mornings he comes to his door
Often tempted to stroll on the moor.
Let us then pray that he won't go astray,
For his eye-sight is terribly poor.
Le bon révérend Bartholomew
Est sacrément court de vue.
Sa demeure se trouve
Où la taupinière s'ouvre, 
Et on y entre simplement
Par un trou.

Par beau matin il vient se montrer
Souvent tenté de se balader.
Gardons donc notre foi
Qu'il suive la bonne voie
Pour que jamais
 Il n'aille s'égarer.
Doggerel and image © Mirino (PW) March, 2012

Noble causes

The cat, Gatsby, brought us a gift a few days ago. He sometimes does this when he feels he has been a bit neglected.
No point in scolding a cat, or trying to discourage it from doing this. It only makes things worse. It would be like punishing a little boy who has brought you a flower he plucked from the garden.

On accepts the gift, (Blackcap) and to honour both it and the donator one could make a little water-colour sketch of it, for example, which is what I, not too brilliantly, tried to do.

While doing so it brought once more to mind how fragile life generally is, and how immune one seems to become to regular reports of human slaughter. But there's always a point when the world must intervene and say, 'that's enough'. This point was reached in Syria months ago.

The Syrian people will never be able to forgive the regime for what it has done and is still doing, systematically. The fact that more and more enlisted soldiers are deserting the Syrian army to join forces with the opposition, spells things out clearly. They have made the ultimate commitment, attaining the point of no return. Obviously for them there's no peaceful solution.
Kofi Annan seems a poor choice as mediator under such extreme circumstances. He has never shown any particular skill in mediating,
or for anything else for that matter.

In view of ample visual proof, to continue to pretend that the regime is exclusively dealing with 'terrorism', adds insult to injury, and murder.
Assad's repeated dishonesty, unfulfilled promises and shows of pseudo democracy, seem to indicate that he's mentally unstable. Yet he must have been strongly influenced by his father Hafez al-Assad, who never hesitated in ordering the Hama massacre of 1982. It's estimated that between six and ten thousand people were killed during that repression, officially to crush militants of the Muslim brotherhood. His father would have thus established a 'norm' for his son. Perhaps had he been assassinated, it would also have been a norm. There must now be thousands of Syrians eager to put an end to Bashir al-Assad.

The mind drifts further east where yet another ignoble act recently took place. The American 'officer' who authorised the burning of the Koran should be court-martialled and sentence for involuntary homicide. Although assuming his rank indicates that he is doted with a brain that sometimes functions, premeditated homicide might be an even more realistic sentence. 
If choice and grade promotion reflect the priorities of the US army, then the problem would seem to be more deeply rooted, therefore even more serious.
Whatever, the long and delicate process of trying to establish a relationship of trust in Afghanistan has been disdainfully thrown to the flames in one thoughtless, cretinous act. Any advance made by those far more aware of the primordial importance of observing sincere cultural and religious respect, has been reduced to cinders by the latest stupidity of the US army. But the list is long since the end of the Afghan-Russian war, and the US authorities seem incredibly slow in learning anything from their numerous mistakes.

Personal commitment. Which also brings to mind the present situation in France. One might perhaps resume it as a tug of war between the die-hard ideology of French Socialism, and European/world realities. The former seems to be vainly trying to salvage itself, redeem its reason of being, instead of realising that it has to evolve and adapt to the rapidly changing world and the challenge that each European nation, especially those of the euro-zone, must now contend with. There's no longer any left wing or right wing way of solving problems, there's only the best way possible that the evolving circumstances, and the internal and external social and economic constraints permit.
(I know, I've written it before, but in French, so maybe its translation is acceptable).

The results are destined to make Europe the leading commercial world power, because the obvious obligatory competition is bound to gradually determine a standard of excellence, provided the challenge and necessary commitments are accepted and met, at least by the main contenders. It's possible that the best innovators determining the most successful companies, will gradually merger and become European. In the mean-time competition between European countries will be more direct than it has ever been.

Years ago I cut down a dead plane tree. In spite of the noise of the chain-saw, the vibrations, the movement of the thick trunk, when it eventually fell I was moved to discover that a Blue-tit had preferred to remain stoically sitting in its nest bravely intent on keeping its eggs safe and warm, in the top hollow of the old, dead tree, rather than abandon it in order to save itself.
A tragic end, and a noble sacrifice for a noble cause. Let this little soliloquy be a homage to noble sacrifices for noble causes.

Text and image © Mirino. March 2012