Bisogna sempre aver progetti. Essi non sono mai governati o limitati dall'età. Al contrario, col tempo occorre andare oltre sempre più. Finché si è in buona salute (e la buona salute è anche determinata dai progetti e dalla voglia di realizzarli) bisogna vivere, fino alla fine.

Spesso ci si frena, poiché si crede che sia troppo tardi per tali progetti. Forse si tratta di una mancanza di fiducia, non solo in sé stessi ma nella vita stessa. A volte certi, arrivati ai cinquanta, credono di essere già troppo vecchi perfino per pensarci, e non prendono minimamente in considerazione l'ipotesi di realizzarli.

Alcuni in Francia, ad esempio quelli che reclamano che la loro pensione debba cominciare all'età di sessant'anni, non pensano oltre. In somma per loro la vita si ferma lì. Non pensano mai a ciò che faranno a partire dall'inizio della pensione. Non importa. Ciò che per loro è essenziale è il diritto di non lavorare più non appena si sia raggiunta l'età di sessant'anni.

Quando finalmente sono in pensione, non sanno cosa fare. Non hanno mai capito che anche il lavoro è la vita. Siccome lavoriamo per la maggioranza della vita, è meglio che il nostro lavoro ci piaccia, o meglio ancora che siamo appassionati a ciò che facciamo. Ma purtroppo non è mai questo il punto per questo genere di persone. Se non si è innamorati di ciò che si fa, della vita stessa, si è già vecchi. La vecchiaia non ha nulla a che fare con l'età.

Bisogna quindi avere progetti. Ma occorre anche realizzarli, come si prova a realizzare i sogni.
Viewfinder è stato un progetto modesto. Un modo di pubblicare certi cose nelle quale io credo. Un veicolo o quasi un diario per esprimere i miei pensieri ed opinioni, ed anche un luogo dove posso divertire me stesso, e possibilmente anche i lettori, scrivendo poesie e parodie di scarso valore per cui posso anche fare alcune illustrazioni o fotografie. Sono anche felice di notare che ci sono sempre più lettori di Viewfinder, del mondo intero.

Ma è molto importante per me che i risultati visuali mi piacciano. Se sono soddisfatto dei miei sforzi, devo anche esserlo dei risultati visuali pubblicati. Non ne sono sempre soddisfatto ma è fuori dal mio controllo. Se certi problemi tecnici non sono risolti è plausibile che farò meno sforzi per produrre articoli e opere a mio avviso pubblicabili in avvenire.

Se sarà così, è certo che troverò altri progetti da fare. È certo che viaggerò di più e allora posso scrivere descrivendo ciò che vedrò e ci penserò. Forse partiremo per vivere altrove. Non è mai troppo tardi per tali progetti. Non è mai troppo tardi per quelli che sono innamorati della vita. Per loro il tempo non esiste, o forse diventano perfino più giovani col tempo. Perché no? Poi, come diceva Picasso, 'il faut du temps pour être jeune'.

Text and image © Mirino. With thanks as always to Rob. April, 2014

The Irish gander


                   There was an Irish gander,        
                                 A gardener by trade                                                        
                            Who tried to sell potatoes
                             But seldom was he paid

                                  A Jacobite potato                                            
                            Might have a goodly taste
                          But most of O'Grady's grew
                            To sprout an' rotten waste
                        He used to call them 'apples'
                         From aardappels in Dutch°,                                                       
                      He'd honk outside St. Patrick's                                                 
                         But ne'er earnt very much 
                     Yet Gods o' geese grant rewards                    
                           As Irish luck then proved
                   When O'Grady grew King Edwards,                
                              Life regally improved.

                             The moral of the poem, 
                               Or secret of the trade
                        Is you beat them or join them,                            
                          For sure fortune to be made.  

°An illusion to Dutch influence from the participation of Dutch forces (Blue Guards) under Protestant William of Orange who fought alongside English, Danish and even French 'Williamites' against the inferior Irish (and French) Jacobite army of Catholics (the infantry, mostly raw recruits poorly armed with scythes or obsolete muskets) in the notorious Battle of the Boyne (July, 1690).
Poem and vignette © Mirino from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The Irish Goose (Pat) 'Digging for Apples, yer honour!'                    April, 2014


It's not easy to imagine living in an epoch before electricity was invented. We are conditioned to take it completely for granted.
When there is a power failure, we are lost, but quite confident that it will only be for a few minutes, an hour at the most. But if ever during the winter months there's a serious power failure which lasts several days, we have no choice but to try to readapt to a way of life considered perfectly normal 250 years ago. We huddle in front of a wood fire (if we are lucky enough to have a fireplace and wood to burn) in a candlelit room (if we are lucky enough to have candles) feeling numbly disorientated, as if life is in bleak pause mode, and our salvation totally depends on the electricians' ability to get things back to normal again.

Trying to live without electricity would be intolerable. Our way of life totally depends on it. Computers, television, washing machines, electric cookers, refrigerators, freezers, central heating, air conditioners and obviously electric light are all essential to what we now consider as normal, everyday life.

Perhaps being obliged to get by without electricity would be a less negative experience than one might imagine. Instead of typing and sending digital messages, or picking up the phone, we would communicate directly with our neighbours far more. Perhaps we would feel more duty bound to help one another cope. But although the subject is interesting, I'm digressing, wandering off in the dark.

To return to light. We have as much light as we need for as long as is desired, at least unless there's a power cut. Because of the constant source of electric light, interior and exterior (in lamp-lit towns, or luminous cities that never sleep) colour might appear to us to be almost tangible, corporeal. We therefore take colour also for 'granted', as if it were immutable. But of course colour can only exist if there's light, and the hew of a colour changes according to the quantity (Kelvin degree) and quality of light, the colour of neighbouring objects and reflected light. Because of our access to light at the flick of a switch, we might tend to imagine that colour exists even in darkness, but the human eye is unable to discern it. It's true that colour always exists when there's enough light to determine it, and that this has nothing to do with vision, as Leonardo da Vinci pointed out with his allusion to a glass of water on a window ledge refracting sunlight and sending the primary colour components of white light as a small, colourful beam on a dark tavern floor.
He meant that if no one were present in the room at the time in order to see, the spectrum beam would still be there for as long as the sun ray lasted. But then we could make a parallel by suggesting that a noise in the desert still exists even if there were no ear to hear it, or if all those within hearing distance of the noise were stone deaf.

Colour is a fascinating subject, and the human perception of it is only one particular but glorious facet. How other creatures including insects discern or interpret it, would be even more fascinating and no doubt difficult to appreciate. Biologists inform us that there are various designs that could be compared with runway landing indications on certain petals of flowers that without optic means the human eye cannot see. Naturally after being attracted by the flower's perfume these designs are perceived by certain insects that the flower relies on for pollination.

Naturally molecular fluorescent colour, (that of particular aquatic plants, and certain tropical fish and birds) needs light in order to radiate its amazing display. And in the total darkness of deep sea there are fish that have photophores that generate light. Apparently they use this bioluminescence to communicate for mating purposes, to camouflage themselves and to capture their prey. There is still much to learn from such mysterious phenomena.

Unconsciously we constantly think in terms of colour. Politically, for example. Blue appears to many to be more conservative, reasonable or rational than red, and pink (rose) could be regarded as a dishonest, muted (tacit) form of red. As green is the opposite colour of red, and for the so-called ecologists who secretly embrace Marxist doctrine, green would be a more useful camouflage than a 'biological' colour that they can sincerely identify themselves with.

Naturally there is human skin pigmentation, the variety of which is constantly increasing. This is another reason why "colour prejudice" is absurd. Racism in most democratic countries no longer exists. If ever it crops up at all, such discrimination would only be practised by minorities of morons.

The term "coloured gentleman" is therefore supercilious, trite and disdainful. One is either a gentleman or not, colour has nothing to do with it. Today skin colour difference is of no importance.
Unfortunately certain people who at some point during their lives may have been victims of racism, tend to see it where it doesn't really exist. The same way as homosexuals who might have been victimised during their youth, or not fully accepted even by their own parents when their condition manifested itself, tend to see homophobia where it doesn't exist.

In a local supermarket a young Ivorian works part time selling fresh fish perhaps to help pay for his studies. He smiles and jokes with everyone, helping to make shopping pleasant. He guessed where I was from and started talking English, perfectly. In fact he spoke fluent English, French, Italian and Portuguese. How can one not be impressed with that? How can one possibly regard oneself as being superior to such good-natured and modest brilliance?
If skin pigmentation still has some geographical significance, it has no real social significance. Skin pigmentation varies enormously, but the colour of our blood and everything else that we have inside us are the same. And in the dark we all have the same colour, or rather we are all colourless, in any case.

Heaven is often characterised as infinite azure, a lofty sky blue, the blissful depth of which would be emphasised by beautiful cumulus clouds. We usually identify hell with the colour red, the infernal flames of volcanic abysses that meander down to reach the centre of an Earth in constant turmoil.
But then if Heaven incarnates goodness and goodness is truth, then it can't be a colour. Truth can only be white. Naturally the components of white light are all the colours. In this case hell, it's opposite, can only be black. Red is too vital a colour for hell. It is the living colour of flesh and blood. Black is death, without a glimmer of hope. Yet like white light, it too must be composed of all colours, but in opaque form, so that the composed result of black cannot reflect any light whatsoever.

The colourful world of life makes us prone to dismiss the idea of death being a black eternity. No one would want to shun the hope of that glimmer of light, of truth, at that fatal, final moment, like a vague gleam to which we allow ourselves to be smoothly transported, at the end of a long, dark, cool tunnel.

Could it be that in the dark depths of death, submerged in a spiritual world, our souls emit an energy similar to the photophores of those strange, deep sea fish? Visually this might evoke the phenomenon of projected transparent negative colour film. Today perhaps the idea is even more obsolete than the film. Should one need to believe that there is after-life spiritual energy? If such were the case the world would be over stuffed with spirits, yet who knows?

When we close our eyes to sleep in the darkness of the night, we don't 'see' black. Before we fall asleep we might see a kaleidoscope of vague, unrecognisable images of dark muted colours that interpose and interchange. Merging images that might accompany a troubled state of mind before one is released by sleep. And then again one might be inadvertently transported into fabulously coloured dreams or horrifying fuliginous nightmares.

Text and top and second image © Mirino. Third image © Mathias, with thanks. April, 2014

Rock-a-bye baby


Rock-a-bye baby
On the tree-top,
When the sun shines
                          The baby gets hot.                          
When the rain falls
The baby gets wet,
But no one can hear
When baby doth fret.

Rock-a-bye baby
On the tree top
In a snow storm
That seems ne'er to stop.
Icy winds blow
So baby will freeze,
But no one can hear
                                  When baby doth sneeze.                                   

Rock-a-bye baby
On the tree top,
Woodman has come
                     The tree down to chop.                     
When the tree falls
The baby's found dead,
So there's little else
That's left to be said.

Whoe'er put the baby 
                                          Up in the tree                                            
                                             Must have a brain                                              
The size of a pea.
                                          Yet it is true                                            
                                     Had this ne'er been done,                                    
This sweet lullaby
Would ne'er have been sung.


The original nursery rhyme (c. 1765) is most known in the following form, although there are other variations and divers theories regarding its origin.

 'Rock-a-bye baby
On the tree-top
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks
The cradle will fall,
And down will come baby,
Cradle and all.'
Parody and drawing © Mirino. April, 2014      

April fools

Les April fools (poissons d'avril) qui se qualifient pleinement en France sont évidemment F. Hollande et ses acolytes. Le gouvernement français donc, commençant loin devant avec le Rain-man lui-même, le scooter man, l'écouteur man, l'expulseur de Première Dame man, le justicier d'Assad man, l'envoyeur de trois ou quatre avion chasseurs un peu vieillots vers l'Ukraine pour mettre la Russie aux genoux man, la SNCF man qui finalement ne pouvait pas s'empêcher de se déplacer en Falcon pour mettre son vote municipal, vol privé aller-retour, comme si cet unique vote- aussi royal qu'il soit- vaut tant de dépenses des contribuables déjà taxés outre mesure.

Nous apprenons que Mme Taubira, malgré l'idée préconçue qu'elle quitterait sa fonction de Garde des Sceaux pour assumer la responsabilité d'un autre poste ministériel, gardera son poste de ministre de la Justice. Continuera-t-elle donc à imaginer que cette fonction lui donne le pouvoir de faire comme bon lui semble selon son idéologie personelle? Comme elle s'est aussi accordée la liberté d'appliquer un système partisan qui se moquait du principe essentiel de l'impartialité de la justice ainsi que celui de la présomption d'innocence, compte-t-elle continuer ainsi avec la bénédiction du nouveau premier ministre?

Naturellement sa manière de gérer le système a eu aussi l'aval tacite de Monsieur Valls, ex-ministre de l'Intérieur ainsi que, bien entendu, de l'ex-premier ministre, Monsieur Ayrault, et évidemment du chef de l'Etat, prime instigateur. Evidemment l'abus et l'instrumentalisation de la "justice" ont été incarnés surtout par l'histoire des écoutes, mais d'autres exemples n'ont en pas manqué.

Hier donc F. Hollande a viré son fidèle premier ministre devenu plutôt premier bouc-émissaire, pour le remplacer par l'ambitieux mais inexpérimenté Monsieur Valls. La manière dont Monsieur Ayrault a été congédié rappelle la façon dont Monsieur Hollande s'est débarrassé de sa première Dame. Donc celui qui a suivi loyalement les consignes du Président, est jugé coupable pour toutes les erreurs de ce dernier, et manifestement ne mérite pas la moindre éloge, au contraire. Quant au nouveau choix du premier ministre, Monsieur Valls a assez de caractère pour mettre Monsieur Hollande dans l'ombre, ce qui ne devrait pas être trop difficile pour la plupart des gens intelligents. Mais il se peut que le jeune Monsieur Valls risque d'être un peu trop zélé et emporté par ses ambitions personnelles mal dissimulées. S'il est assez courageux cependant, il fera ce qu'il faut faire, même en contrecarrant l'idéologie socialiste et en assumant la responsabilité ainsi que les coups rouges, tout en protégeant le Roi Normal le Propre.

Une phrase exprimée hier par F. Hollande qui semble particulièrement hypocrite, était que 'la France souffre des divisions...'  Mais tout le monde sait pertinemment bien que c'est Monsieur Hollande lui-même qui a provoqué ses divisions. Si on avait sciemment l'intention de diviser les Français, jamais on ne pourrait le faire mieux que lui.

Mais pour retourner à notre liste de April Fools. Ne peut-on ajouter à cette liste particulière la majorité des parisiens influencée si naïvement par les préférences médiatiques qui veulent que Paris reste bien ancré à gauche malgré les deux ans catastrophiques du socialisme?

Les die-hards qui se bornent à imaginer que sous les socialistes les choses iront éventuellement pour le mieux, suivant les formules hallucinantes (des courbes de pactes d'inversion de responsabilité pour réussir le changement en bâtissant le commun qui relancera la competitude, etc.,) que NKM est trop bourgeoise. Naturellement ils se sont trompés. Le terme bourgeois est devenu assez péjoratif. Aujourd'hui il signifie plutôt mondain, inculte, prétentieux et donc assez limité d'intelligence. NKM comme personnalité est l'inverse dans tous ces aspects. Le terme d'ailleurs est plus applicable à Madame Hidalgo. Donc si pour certains éviter de voter pour celle qui incarne la bourgeoisie était bien le critère pour avoir choisi Mme Hidalgo au lieu de NKM, ils se sont trompés de choix. Nous pouvons donc aussi ajouter ces Fools à notre petite liste printanière.

Nous avons aussi été informés que pour améliorer la performance du gouvernement, il ne leur reste qu'une option. La logique n'entre jamais dans le raisonnement socialiste, idéologie oblige. A moins qu'on essaie de qualifier la manière de raisonner socialiste français comme une forme de réflexion déséquilibrée. On a du mal à la considérer autrement.

Donc tout en sachant que les effets de la politique socialiste sont catastrophiques, le Président semble être néanmoins déterminé à rendre la situation encore pire en allant plus fort à gauche et en poussant pour davantage de "justice sociale". Voilà le programme prétendu annoncé. Monsieur Hollande a renforcé sa dernière formule pour l'occasion de la renaissance glorieuse d'un nouveau gouvernement socialiste, même si un gouvernement socialiste ne peut jamais être nouveau, idéologie oblige.
La nouvelle formule de vide renforcé est 'Le pacte de solidarité pour compléter le pacte de responsabilité'. Effectivement elle est éblouissante, mais il y a d'autres possibilités, par exemple : 'Le pacte d'égalité fraternelle pour justifier le pacte de solidarité pour compléter le pacte de responsabilité'. Pourvu qu'il y ait au moins un pacte.

N'empêche qu'il se peut que Valls soit capable de surprendre. Méme si en tant que ministre de l'Intérieur il ne brillait guère, et le bilan le souligne, il sait que sa nouvelle responsabilité est une opportunité unique. Il n'aura pas une deuxième chance. S'il a bien compris l'enjeu, que le mal économique ne peut pas être guéri par le socialisme, il doit suivre ses propres convictions, même si une telle direction divisera la gauche et le rendra sujet à toutes les attaques des soi-disant alliés.

Sinon, après la bonne claque bien méritée infligée par les résultats des municipales, les socialistes projettent de redémarrer en utilisant une version renforcée de la même politique irresponsable et destructive que F. Hollande a initialisé dès son élection, la France continuera à s'enfoncer inéluctablement.

Car aller plus fort à gauche en finançant davantage leur justice sociale aveugle, n'est que compatir avec le communiste minoritaire, ce qui veut dire qu'il n'y aura finalement aucun allégement des charges immédiates sur les entreprises mais davantage de dépenses publiques pour continuer l'assistanat, (l'altruisme qui devient partie essentielle de la maladie). Une façon de perpétuer la pauvreté. On se précipite pour rendre la vie des pauvres légèrement plus tolérable, mais on est incapable et surtout réticent à essayer véritablement de développer une société où la pauvreté ne peut plus exister. Car sans les pauvres, il y aurait moins de raison d'être pour tous ces nobles cœurs multimillionnaires de gauche. Et ainsi il y aurait moins de prétextes pour pouvoir continuer à racler l'argent de la classe moyenne.

Ou bien, existe-il une petite lueur d'espoir dans ce sombre, brumeux paysage dépressif du socialisme français? Monsieur Valls démontera-t-il qu'il est résolu de changer la politique en défiant même le socialisme et donc le chef de l'Etat, et qu'il a la capacité, les convictions et le courage pour pouvoir finalement tirer la France du bourbier économique et social? Ou est ce qu'il est tombé dans un piège fatal d'avril? En appliquant la même politique, mais encore plus fort, logiquement on obtiendra les mêmes résultats, mais en pire.
Même s'il voulait changer le cap politique, M. Valls ne semble pas assez libre pour pouvoir le faire. Il n'avait même pas la liberté nécessaire pour choisir ses propres ministres. Sans pouvoir excercer un vrai changement de politique, et avec un cocktail de ministres assez explosif, il va avoir du mal à réussir.
Mais selon le raisonnement machiavélique de F. Hollande, toujours protégé derrière son nouveau bouclier éclatant, un bouc-émissaire de plus, qui veut dire un prétendant de moins, ne serait pas si mauvais que ça. Si tel sera le triste sort, Monsieur Valls va tomber lui aussi dans les oubliettes où se trouvent les autres pauvres fous d'avril.
Text and modified logo © Mirino. April, 2014