Eye of the Spud: Hitching and freedom etc in Australia

Goodreads Review.

A delightful find, picked up in barn close to the Eumundi Markets. Read the last page 1st, or whenever your bookish enthusiasm wanes. Hitching is the core of the book, it persuaded me to adopt much of the authors attitude and so without further ado;

Laconically, assume a mob of 2 000 Hitch for a week. This will immediately improve a lot of problems, just a little bit. If the 2 000 mob consists over time, a catalytic chain-reaction would begin.
Example: less cars on the road as Ride-sharing is more acceptable (think: free Uber) therefor less traffic and less pollution and less traffic jam and less road-rage because there is less time spent on the roads.
People get locked into a headspace when driving. Their personal space expands, which helps to drive well, but leads to road rage and a sense of entitlement to a personal set of driving conditions which never quite match those taught or graded by the government (who are to be relied upon for this function of communicating & maintaining etiquette). This larger headspace would become pliant if a mostly-stranger was in the car. This hitcher could indulge the drivers motormouth, or begin their own monologue on any topic. There is more to write, but it has already been written so well by the author I fear to disrupt a better way of doing it.

This book is a dynamic book, in which a passion survives longer than the leaded petrol & DDT antagonisms.

The author is a little anarchist, (but mostly Kent State type of hippy, in my opinion) and believes that people are good not because they have been taught all the laws which they obey. Indeed, Mr. Mahoney asserts that most laws are obeyed out of apathy rather than righteous passion. Nevertheless, he accepts a core tenet of Capitalism, blood & sweat & tears (A.K.A. work) should be rewarded and never locked into relationships like a feudal serf or political dogma or religious obeisance.

I award this book 5-stars and may the Powers that Be have no mercy for you if you do not read it.

Advertisements

Political Ideologies.

Goodreads Review.

Loaned to me by my atheist god-mother.

Passion of Mr. Mussolini, the nameless hope of the New Left, a proud inheritance of the Conservative tradition, Mr. Kropotkin’s respect for the dignity of man, holism of an American Indian and so on so forth.

Expect an eclectic collection of essays on the subject of politics. Edited well, without any over-bearing interference from those who assembled this collection of essays. The original authors speak for themselves, unadulterated proof being when CAPITALISATION OF LETTERS IS ABUSED. Censorship would have been as simple as providing an initial definition of politics, and pruning as apt.

Food for thought, the Nazi Party wanted all War Debt to be forgiven, would this clash with the Black Panther demand of slavery reparations? (Trivial Tidbit on German Nazi’s; Africans-Germans were never targeted for systemic extermination, Slavs [root word of slave], Jews, and Romani people were. [of course, an interracial marriage would have been an obscene affront in that time & place.]) Perhaps the leader of the American Nazi party, who has an essay in this book, discussed that very possibility with the militant blacks whom he met.
Really though, is it enough to know that that genocide of peoples was more complex than “Kill the Jew, Kill the Jew, all we want to do is Kill the Jew”?

Mr. Gandhi’s literal foray into international war has only whet my appetite, which now hungers for development of Satyagraha in relation to the passionate intensity of a sublimed blood-thirst or vengeful hatred.

After reading the finale essay, which asserts that ubiquity & lack of friction indicate an ideology has lost traction in the world, one’s mind may layer it back onto the Technocracy essay. Without a debate, an ideology lacks expression, and so Technocracy is a modern Sisyphus, but forever rolling downhill… Or is it just me?

Newes from Scotland – declaring the damnable life and death of Doctor Fian, a notable sorcerer.

Freely available online, which is to be respected. It is what you would expect after reading the Wikipedia page & no better or worse, and hence, 3-stars.

A gruesome & grotty dose of horrible history. I have no doubt that a great many of the contemporaries of this debacle were naive. Naive enough to believe the women and sorcerer would only confess if it was true and had no other reason for the confession except it was The Truth.

Let us now dive into some gruesome & grotty details. Who knows what pelliwinkes are? Would you be surprised to learn about moonlit orgies? What if I told you that devotion to the Devil requires you to physically kiss his butt-cheeks? Or that the King, in a fit of ignorance, demanded to hear the music of the Devil played on a Jew Harp? & for the pedants, when did the letter ‘v’ replace the letter ‘u’? ‘s’ & ‘f’ stopped being interchangeable?

Read on…

Land and Sea Tales: For Scouts and Scout Masters.

Goodreads Review.

A collection of tales, with a little bit of language difficulty due to the time gap. Freely available at Telelib. I recommend it to anyone who has significant involvement with scouting, Rudyard Kipling via The Jungle Books is already well known to the Scouting Movement.

A poem is the last chapter and it is very well done. Putting something new into ‘Eenie, meenie, mainee mo’ is quite hard to do. It is of course my most recent impression of the book. I enjoyed it all, some much more than others. Jim, from ‘An Unqualified Pilot’, would be outraged at the actions of J. Conrad’s Lord Jim, and they may even have heard of each other.

On Dreams.

Goodreads Review.

 

What happens when a menstruating woman looks at a mirror? Exactly why is it that toddlers never ever dream? If questions like these distract you, read this.

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/On_Dre…

Honestly, it is not very good at all. To put the clean stuff clearly, Aristotle believes that dreams are impressions left over from the day-time, akin to the sun temporarily burning a spot onto the retina. One can relate this to the dimension of Platonic objects but you probably wont. Quick & easy to read, maybe it will give you more authority or just more chutzpah when Dreams are the topic of talk.

Reminiscences of Captain Gronow, formerly of the Grenadier Guards, and M.P. for Stafford: being Anecdotes of the Camp, the Court and the Clubs at the close of the War with France.

Goodreads Review.

Available freely online at Wikisource.

 

The title is accurate. Reading through this book gives the sense of aristocratic people standing around conversing, akin to cocktail parties. This is the strongest impression it left on me, an impression of oral story telling transcribed. Alternatively, it is a dose of the reality before the ‘meritocracy of modernity’ held social apogee, because although a bad businessman is described, it is an uncritical description. Perhaps the 1st 3rd of the book was rather good, after that it declined into small witticisms about forgotten celebrities. Some readers are surely curious about certain poets; Lord Byron, Shelley and others are discussed by their contemporary Cpt. Gronow. Old-fangled language can be collected, quidnunc has entered my own vocabulary. Brevity of chapters enhances a light reading, which is the approach I recommend.

William Wilson.

Freely available online. (link goes to PDF)
Goodreads Review.

A walk on the beach spurred this laconic summation. Can a man who would rather harikari than copy, tolerate his inner reflection?

A short story told from the first person, it follows a fortunate but foul man. At first sharing his time with a virtuous doppelganger, the eponymous character becomes pursued by this fleshy voodoo doll into a literary crescendo.

If one reads this as a mental metaphor instead of a narrative, Mr. Wilson’s moral corruption becomes an effect not affect, and it warns us of extreme dedication to becoming an original thinker. Human prescience at first aids Mr. Wilson’s self-fulfilment, but even as a boy he seeks an escape from imitating a fantasy self. So he chooses an imperfection & wickedness not present in the unreal other. Vain people may exchange forgiveness for witness. This turn fits the metaphorical narrative as he percolates through international high society. Or maybe a Dukedom isn’t what it used to be…

Middle Temple Murder.

Goodreads Review.
Free Wikisource Version.

 

From the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, this novel reared itself from a literary grave into my mind via a specific reference on Wikipedia. It is not quite so much fun as Dr. Watson & Mr. Holmes, despite being from the same era and a more prolific writer. Nevertheless it is gripping, strictly profane & the ultimate reveal of the villain is deftly done, and perhaps even realistic.

 

War & Peace.

Goodreads Review.

 

If you read this great work of literature, you will learn about Mr. Napoleon. Not too much, this is a Russian book. You will be following the lives of various aristocrats and some military persons. Most of the characters were real people, so to were the events. The people who actually tend the farms (muzhik’s), are not characters so much as tiny non-essential cogs in the narrative & nation. Some landlord characters care for them, other landlords dismiss them and everybody else ignores them. Merchants are more completely ignored, as is to be expected of a feudal society.

There is no key character. Count Bezukhov is the closest, and is absent in person and in the discourse of hundreds of pages. Nor does it expound Christian theology, only a little ideological facade is proffered by Count Tolstoy. Nor does this epic tale focus on the year 1812, which was the peak aggression of the French Empire. Nor does it focus on a single conundrum. A fantasy contrast of rich & poor, which is present in a shallow form in Alladin does not fill these pages. A major exploration of the upper crust during a time of turmoil, it is an epic tale in diversity of characters and in the length of time covered from 1st page to last.

Larrikins looking for hi-jinks are better off reading Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy. For such a reader, the high point occurs in the first hundred pages or so, with the tale of the policeman & the bear. Meathead bookworms looking for violence are better off reading something by Marshall Macao. Pitched battles occur several times, not more often. Armchair philosophers (& generals) seeking a schema for regular application on the evening news will find a little. Skip to the epilogue and appendix to read Mr. Tolstoy expound on the chaos inherent to all major human organisation.

It has earnt 4 stars. Reasons are numerous. To gloat about this experience requires an aware audience. My philosophy is sharpened from having read it. I am less ignorant of the events preceding WWI & pursuant social upheavals. Madness of crowds and the cult of celebrity prior to fast communications and fast transport is a fascinating subject. Unveiling of the hidden ugliness of times past is lacking. Rag on a stick method of hygiene for example. All the varieties of clothing would be less attractive when one can & does not dress oneself and everywhere itches. War would have been less deadly with the un-rifled barrels of the time, so there would have been more safety for heroism when opposing battalions can stand in eyesight of each other, fire all day and less than a 1/4 of the soldiers are dead at the end. I digress.

If you do read this book, pay attention to the French language. The preface forewarned me as I do you now. The appendix post-warned me, in a rather oblique manner. With careful application of French, Count Tolstoy develops a theme. Whether this theme is historically realistic, which it might be from the authors extensive research, or if it is a personal whimsy, I do not know. Alternatively, I recommend reflecting on the concept of nation and of the power of a single person during the days or nights you read. Many reviews on Goodreads are pleasant, only afterwards.

I read this book. Every. Single. Page. It is a, big, big book with, small, small letters. Pleasure shall be brought to me, when guests of my house see it in an alcove, mounted on a pedestal, near to the front door. Lit from below, with candles to flicker shadows across the pages as my fingers once flitted across them. The pedestal shall stand in the nook made from the slow curl of a grand staircase. The wicks of the candles shall be made from the hair of the illiterate and the floor tiled with the bank cards of the innumerate. I digress & apologise for wasteful words.

The Rum Diary.

Goodreads Review.

 

A book which shows some roots of Mr. Thompson’s fear & loathing. The narration begins with Mr. Kemp, a U.S. soul lost from the clutches of religion, free of grasping politics, flying to Puerto Rico after high times on foreign shores. A journalist by profession, arriving to serve a new employer, unable to reach contentment, Mr. Kemp aims for a wade through a quagmire of rum & little else besides. At times nigh-identical with the travel brochure Mr. Kemp is hired to write late in the novel, and at others, (I believe) surprisingly consistent with the articles he writes earlier in the pages (which remain imaginary). Vivid descriptions of a dissipating Caribbean lifestyle are dispersed throughout the short novel, so to are shocking descriptions of local culture. Garish contrasts between the tourists and locals are described more often perhaps than the tropical idyll, and the resulting blend is a satisfactory cosmetic for the journey of a disenfranchised young man.