Rants and Observations

Jun. 13, 2019

The recent D Day celebrations in Europe exposed some who fraudulently claimed participation. Others claimed deeds beyond the reality. Psychologists explained that exaggerating one’s deeds of daring do is common. Those who do so may even come to believe them, or they create an exaggerated or false reality to hide their traumas. Shakespeare recognised that old soldiers relate their deeds ‘with advantages’ in Henry V.

We can see this in many exaggerated memoirs of the Special Air Service and those of US Navy Seals. The writers were likely brave men, with an opportunity to sell books. Hilary Clinton falsely remembered being under fire in the Balkans. Lyndon Johnson claimed he was a hero on a bomber raid against Zeros. He was decorated, but his aircrew saw him as just a passenger. John Kerry remembered events that those who were there did not.

This may all be part of the fog of war or PTSD. Some see an opportunity to cash in reputationally or financially. Largely this is driven by the propaganda needs of the various combatants.

All media stories need careful evaluation. ‘Who benefits’ is always the critical question.

Some of us write about our exaggerations or fantasies of our time in the military.

 

Jun. 9, 2019

 

This BBC Documentary is a must see for anyone who includes murderous characters in their books or who has those enticing inclinations. 

In a nutshell, many/most murderers have a mixture of 'the warrior' gene, (30% of the population); were abused and unloved as children or suffered damage to their brains, through head trauma.
This fits the idea that we succeed or fail, murder or not as a result of scientific determinism or luck. Free will either does not exist at all or allows only minimal manoevre within our predetermined destiny.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0555v7v

Jun. 8, 2019

The only great thing about Great Britain today is that it continues to nurture eccentrics. Whilst the world and Britain are swirling down the toilet, mad dogs and Englishmen focus on esoteric niceties. 
Professor William Fitzgerald expounded to the Horatian Society, a group that venerates the Latin poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus. He is better known as Horace.

The much quoted translation of his 'Carpe Diem' is incorrect. Indeed, it has been quoted by aggressive business thrusters as 'Sieze the day'.This is the opposite of Horace's intention.

A more accurate translation is 'Savour the day.' This has the opposite meaning. It is more in line with hippy, Buddhist or meditative behaviour. In modern parlance, Chill!

Jun. 7, 2019
More from today's UK times.There was a report that psychologists have found thinking of murdering people is normal. 70% of men do it and quite a lot of women. Work collegues and bosses are highest on the list.
It may even be healthy and part of a normal revue of planning options. Most will think of the consequences and not do it. (Boring I know).
Those who think me crazy for thinking murderous thoughts are therefore wrong. The reasons I am crazy lie elsewhere entirely.
My writings include many innovative forms of murder.
Jun. 7, 2019

 

News about plastic and more
Real Journalism is not replaced by social media after all. From today's UK Times.
1. The much heralded compostable plastic cutlery and fast food containers and cups, need industrial composting systems and would take many years if you put it in your garden compost. Worse, most local authorities do not have suitable equipment, so it will go to landfill.re is also a concern that it will encourage the ignorant to toss it onto the streets.
 
2. A new tire, being developed and coming in the next five years, is filled with a type of fibre glass. It is tougher, cannot puncture, has better grip, lasts longer and is cheaper to make. There go more jobs, reduced need for rubber plantations and an end to dangerous blowouts. I read this whilst waiting an hour and a half for a puncture repair. Maybe sales of the Times will decline a little too?
3. A columnist was describing a snobby relative. The man looked at the crowd at the horse races and said, "I bet a third of the people here don't know the date of the treaty of Westphalia.' (I do- 1648. I must be a snob too).