This is too good not to post: “… The Ancient Greek philosopher Taki calls people that Tweet and spend their time on Facebook the closest thing to subhumans. Cicero, John Gray, Taki—three great thinkers known for their silences and (I can only speak for the latter) not owning a mobile phone.”
[To comport with Taki's claim to greatness, and with respect, I would have edited that last sentence to read: "... known for their silences and (I can only speak for the latter) FOR not owning a mobile phone."]
Hey, Taki, this writer beat you to it, writing in “The Dumb Generation’s Hand-Held Devotional” that “Myself, I have no interest in hand-held devices. I use my well-appointed PC for work. Away from the PC—during a jog, for instance—I think. Ideas flood my mind during physical exertion and solitude. On the rare occasions that we both go away on vacation, we do not take our work along.”
Yes, I confessed to not owning a mobile phone. I do not plan on acquiring one. My blog posts propagate to Twitter automatically. Facebook is used for the same purpose: post the work, interject on the Timeline when it’s educational, and leave.
“I live with an individual who is intimately involved in the design of some wonderful gadgets. Yet he himself hardly uses them in the little spare time he steals for himself. They frustrate him; they don’t seem to satisfy his creativity or sate his intellect. His greatest pleasure is found in composing and playing complex thematic pieces of music in his home studio. To do so he follows eternal, timeless rules of composition. Low-tech, if you like.”
*Twats: I don’t expect the twittering twits to know the word. Suffice it to say that it is a good, honest crudity, perfect for the occasion.
Manners are much more than a veneer. The ability to act courteously, professionally, and be mindful of etiquette in dealing with others is a reflection of something far more meaningful: one’s mettle. Columnist George Will once wrote that “manners are the practice of a virtue. The virtue is called civility, a word related—as a foundation is related to a house—to the word civilization.”
I began writing commentary in 1998, for an outstanding, hardcore, Canadian community newspaper (which was bought out and brought to its knees by the pinko-neocon media chain that monopolizes opinion in that country). Ever since, I’ve replied to almost every letter received from readers, unless abusive, or unless exchanges became—or become; as this obtains today—self-defeating, unproductive or sapping in any way.
In any event, letters from South Africans are especially precious. Although I’ve done my share (at a cost, professional and personal) for the people I’ve left behind in the Old Country, one is forever plagued by (irrational) survivor’s guilt. Letters help assuage this nagging (irrational) feeling.
This one comes from a man whose identity (shared in the missive) I’ve removed for his own safety:
Sent: Friday, August 30, 2013 2:23 AM
Subject: APPRECIATION INTO THE CANNIBALS POT
I cannot tell you how I got hold of the title of your book “Into the Cannibal’s Pot”. After having read an abstract I immediately decided to order the book. It wasn’t available in the —– Branch (—-, Pretoria) of Exclusive books and I had to wait a week for it. Since then I cannot wait for evening time so that I can lay my eyes on the book.
We are bombarded every day with apartheid and the despicable aspects thereof. And I am the first to admit that it was wrong and that it led to so much sufferings among the black people in South Africa. And government ministers and other officials cannot wait to attribute every inefficiency/misconduct and whatever, to the “evil” of Apartheid. The whole (dark and hopeless) Africa uses colonialism as an alibi for their inefficiency.
What is never said or mentioned is the benefits that colonialism brought for the SA or the continent.
In your book you made mention of the fact that Dr Verwoerd in 1956 said that SA blacks have the best life compared to any African country. I whole-heartedly agree and I once wrote an article which was placed in Rapport about this matter. In fact, with the abrupt power transfer, so many things just “…FELL FROM HEAVEN” for them: High salaries, fringe benefits and whatever. Apart from that they got a country with good infrastructure and numerous other things (which is degenerating day by day). I don’t have to tell you!
But I just want to thank you for this book. For so long I have been waiting for somebody with the guts to have a balanced view. I still refer people to view what is happening in the only (two) African countries which never experience colonialism, namely Liberia and Ethiopia. Liberia is the third poorest country on earth. And Ethiopia is not far from there. Just imagine what SA would have been without colonialism.
It is time my black brothers start acknowledging what benefits it brought to SA. But I know it will never happen because their alibi (and that of the whole Africa) will fall flat. Who will they have to blame then?
I am 60 years old now, ILana. I grew up extremely poor and I had to pay for my own studies. Today I have a BA, BA(Hons) and MBA. I was an officer in the SA Army until 1996 when I took a severance package as a Colonel. I know how much integrity we had in the system. And I am glad that I was part of the “old” system.
Again thanks for your book. You must be an amazing human being.
Note: My apology for my poor command of English. I am a boertjie! [Afrikaner]
A dapper Erik Rush, my pal and colleague at WND, was on “Hannity” to unpack the crazed reaction to the rodeo clown’s “spoofing” of Obama at the Missouri State Fair. Missouri State Fair fired the poor guy. Pathetic!
Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, a Republican, tweeted out his disgust and disapproval (or rather, was eager for his followers to witness his moral outrage). Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, a moron in her own right, puled that, “The young Missourians who witnessed this stunt learned exactly the wrong lesson about political discourse—that somehow it’s ever acceptable to, in a public event, disrespect, taunt, and joke about harming the president of our great nation.”
… as the noted political philosopher Orson Welles once put it: “It’s the business of the American people to take the mickey out of the president.” It’s not only what we do, it’s what we should do. Welles was speaking on a talk show; it was the 1970s; he was talking about people making fun of some Republican president, Nixon or Ford. So what? They can take it. And they’re not kings.
A “frenzied machete attack.” “The most appalling crime.” “Sickening.” “Barbaric.” “A deluded, deranged act of violence.” “Gruesome and shocking.” These were press-cited descriptions of the butchering of a British soldier by a black man with a meat-cleaver, on a south-east London street.
By the sound of the killer’s common vernacular and accent, he, too, was British. The slaying occurred in Woolwich, just yards from the Royal Artillery Barracks.
Not content with carving up his countryman on the pavement, the savage also managed to carve out for himself a Speakers’ Corner, away from the famous, and once so civilized, corner in Hyde Park. …
… As my lead-in would suggest, the British surpass Americans in adjectival creativity. This time, however, the Queen’s English fell flat. Or, rather, the English language was perfectly up-to-the-task. It is the English-speaking people who are incapable of distilling in words the significance of the scene.
Jihadi chasers complicate the task; they are part of the problem, because they mask the salient issue here. Shouting about abstractions from the rooftops—”Jihad, Jihad”—serves only to conceal a concrete reality, and that is that Islam is but a catalyst.
Islam is muscular and murderous all right. It feeds those with compatible cravings. That these murderers mouth Muhammadan mantras is, however, incidental to the fact that they know they can act on their fantasies with impunity… they live among an emasculated, enfeebled people, lacking in core beliefs. (Invading Muslim countries does not constitute a respectable creed.) …
… The affinity for Islam these made-in-the-West murderers exhibit is secondary to their contempt for our helplessness. They are killers first, who prey on the kind of people who look to Big Brother to rescue them, dupe them; and tell them what’s what, i.e., manage the message …”
UPDATED (5/23): British Press Serves It Straight Up. These headlines would not appear in the American mainstream. (On WND, yes.) The headlines are from the Daily Mail:
* Betrayal of a hero father: How MI5 spent EIGHT YEARS watching violent ex-prisoner who preached outside Poundland just yards from murder scene only days before soldier was hacked to death
*MI5 had been monitoring two fanatics responsible for SE London killing
*One fanatic was photographed behind hate preacher Anjem Choudary
*Michael Adebolajo, 28, was also a member of a banned terrorist group
*He was said to have preached jihad in Woolwich just earlier this week
*Close to where married father Lee Rigby was beheaded on Wednesday
*Second suspect named last night in reports as Michael Adebowale, 22
Betrayal. Fanatics. Beheading.
The image of a couple of women milling about with the murderer is disturbing. It is a snapshot of the Zeitgeist.
“Jim Carrey is a talking ass,” sings a bloke on Reason TV, below. Very funny. True too. But let’s get serious. Carrey is a bad actor in more than one way. His venomous contempt for my right to defend myself aside; Carry is without talent. His slapstick schtick is pathetic, repulsive. So tell me this: Who made him the celebrity he is, and who’ll continue to patronize his rotten films? YOU! And you won’t change a bit, despite the man’s manifest contempt for your right to life*, will you?
*Inherent in the right to life is the right of self defense, as a right that cannot be defended is a right in name only.
It takes a talking ass
to oppose a vaccination
when your Ph.D. is in
making funny faces
It takes a talking ass
to tell people they can’t arm when
you don’t walk around
without an armed bodyguard
It takes a talking ass
to call fans dumb and demented
when you are the one
who wants something uninvented
It takes a talking ass
to be out there passing blame
when you’ve shot someone
on every TV ever made
Sometimes dudes’ minds are skewed
and they choose to go a-killin’
’cause they saw a Batman villain
killing, well … ring a bell?
Sometimes stars get armed guards
when they make a million buck-ers
then call you heartless motherfuckers
to want the same … is it the fame?
Polio and smallpox they no longer kill en masse
because of vaccinations they are a thing of the past
but you tell parents to skip them and the science you contrast
because just like in your movies … you’re talking our your ass
UPDATED I: “Idiocracy” pegged the Jim-Carrey humor brilliantly in the segment, “Ow my B-lls!”
UPDATE II (3/29): Chime in on Facebook. From the thread:
I’m proud to say I have never watched anything by Carrey the cretin. I know his “worth” from flicking through channels. I might have paused b/c of a Kim Basinger scene (she is utterly gorgeous). Did she do one with him? Maybe not.
The Cape Parrot Project is one of my favored charities. Owned as I am by an Un-Cape Parrot (a genetic relative to the wild Cape Parrot), I’ve had the privilege of experiencing first-hand the intense brilliance of these precious Pois (mine is Poicephalus fuscicollis; the Cape Parrot is Poicephalus robustus). We rescued Oscar-Wood from a cage in a store, where he had languished for 4 years, plucking his feathers down to the pink skin beneath. This, after having been sold into the trade by a well-known breeder in Hawaii.
LOOK at him then (2009):
Another heartbreaking image (2009):
Here Oscar-Wood is today (2012), fully flighted, nesting in a bag of tortillas. This state of relative well-being has come about only because I work from home and am able to give him the attention and freedom he requires to thrive. And still he plucks; once acquired, this neurotic habit is hard to eliminate.
Oscar-Wood has a facility with … wood (all parrots require wood, preferably from a tree, in the wild):
WARNING. Do not try the above at home. By all means, rescue an abandoned and abused parrot, but do not fuel the wicked pet parrot trade, which everywhere and always involves breeding mills, inhumane by definition. As to wild-life traffickingg … words fail.
Those who’ve bothered to get to know a parrot in flight, if hobbled horribly by the walls of a house (the Cape, for example, can fly hundreds of kilometers in a day), know this: Out of a cage, free to be adorable and impossible as only hookbills are—parrots are so much smarter than any of the domesticated animals (and than some of your neighbors).
Even showmen such as parrot whisperer Clint Carvalho attests that the larger parrots are “twenty times smarter than dogs.” I’m not sure how Carvalho quantifies his findings, but these sound about right.
Know a politician with this magic macaw’s problem-solving skills? Tan’s Japanese admirers are enthralled. As well they should be. Watch Tan solve an impossible magic-cube like puzzle:
What’s positive about Carvalho is that, unlike your average avian dabbler, he has realized that parrots acquire rudimentary language (often greater than those acquired by the bumper crops of illiterates US public schools produce) through conditioning and cognition, just as kids do.
The cognitive capacities of the parrot, however, match his emotional needs.
Unlike dogs and cats, birds are wild animals, ill-suited to captivity. Moreover, they’re flock animals who wither without the physical proximity of a feathered family with which they fly, forage, communicate and mate, often for life.
The trade is fueled by consumer demand.
Being slaves to authority and convention, the mass of humanity doesn’t much like or appreciate the independent-minded individuals among them. Imagine the fate of a creature as smart, as independent-minded and as individualistic as the parrot?
Consider the cruelty of excluding parrots from assorted public-awareness campaigns. Funds are invariably solicited for and awareness raised over the airwaves about abused and needy dogs and cats. Not so for parrots. Despite their popularity as pets and their prevalence in American homes, natural disasters come and go without any mention of the plight of the Psittacine victims.
Most people know about the popular African Grey parrots of central and western Africa, but very few people know about Africa’s most endangered parrot, South Africa’s Cape parrot. Today, there could be as few as 800 Cape parrots remaining in the wild and they are considered Critically Endangered due to continued habitat loss, poor nesting success due to lack of nest cavities, a severe Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease epidemic, historical persecution as a crop pest, and illegal capture for the wild-caught bird trade. If Africa was to lose this “green and gold” ambassador of some of our last-remaining Afromontane forest patches, it would be a sign of very bad times to come… We would have lost one of the last Afromontane endemics clinging onto these forests through their own ingenuity and collective intelligence. Intensive logging in their forest habitat, persecution (e.g. being shot or caught in nets and clubbed to death), nest poaching and mist-netting adults for the wild-caught bird trade, and very little or no conservation intervention, has left the Cape Parrot in ruins with an aging populations in declining physical condition. We need to intervene now and stimulate positive change for Cape parrots in the wild
JP: Point taken, but parrot are picky about friends and partners. The chances of a friendship being struck up are greater when the other parrot is of the same species. Personally, I recommend against taking on two parrots. That’s much like planning for one toddler and learning that you’ll be giving birth to twins. It’s never easier. Better that you be a good parront to one parrot than shortchange both and yourself. Of course, if you do not work, or your work is not too demanding (because parrots are), have a large enough house and homestead (maybe even place for an outdoor aviary)—by all means. Caring for parrots under the right conditions is rewarding. There is nothing like the love of a parrot, once earned.
Baby is currently doing lapse from his cage to kitchen cupboard (or what’s left of it; our kitchen has not been renovated and we’re delaying that job until we can think of how to parrot proof Sean’s planned maple-wood cabinetry).
Oscar-Wood is also talking up a storm. Singing his musical repertoire; knocking, and then demanding, “Hello, hello”; asking if I’m going, “Bye-bye-bye?” and if he’s been a “bad bird?” He’s also doing his raspy chest cough, because he knows the sound worries me. Should I dare to attempt to bathe him (parrots bath themselves pretty thoroughly), it’s an indignant, “Hey, hey!” Tell me that’s not a very decent attempt to communicate.