Saturday, 19 May 2012

Michael Wharton laments an odious, degraded and conformist England

Michael Wharton, thou shouldst be living at this hour, England hath need of thee! 

Michael Wharton was Peter Simple in the Daily Telegraph, in the days when Peter Simple was almost the only comment column there was in a paper which was almost purely news. The wonderful Mark Steyn wrote this obituary of Wharton when he died in 2006.

Everyone used to say in the early 1980s (by everyone I mean one or two journalists) that he was hilarious but it was a shame about his reactionary views. I liked most of his philosophical world view, which I tried to combine with believing in Keynes and the welfare state and disliking racism, but I didn't find him funny. And still don't.

But we certainly need him badly now. His dark fantasy is our reality....

Even Dr Spacely-Trellis, the go-ahead Bishop of Bevingdon, did not approve of people of the same sex getting married, though I am certain he and Jeremy Cardhouse the progressive Conservative M.P. are vocally in favour of it now, in that alternative universe from which Wharton's death has shut us out.

I suspect that unlike those two, Wharton would have had at least a sneaking admiration for Al Qaeda and the Iranian regime. 


Wharton was Jewish by birth, by the way, and had the outsider's passion for England (I, half-Irish, understand this).

An article Wharton wrote for The Spectator in 2000, headlined 'Alien Nation', is worth reading today. I quote:
`DAMN you, England!' cried John Osborne in one of his well-publicised theatrical outbursts in the Fifties. What he was complaining about, I forget: the shortcomings of dramatic critics, perhaps, or snobbery, or the royal family or some such innocent matter. If it was really about the terrible state of England, his aim was off the mark. In those days, England still existed. Seen from the year 2000, that time when wartime austerity was fading away at last seems one of blameless pleasure and virtuous simplicity.....

We have lost our countryside, disfigured or buried under mean housing estates and factories and enormous road systems, transformed by factory farming. By the end of the Fifties, hedges and wild flowers had already gone from most of lowland England; wild birds were dying out, equally the victims of poison and machines. With them went old quietness and seemliness. And, as people began to notice that loss, the `environment' was invented and, as though by an inexorable 20th-century law, itself became an industry and an instrument of state control.
In the last 50 years we have not only lost our country, we have lost our people, at least in large centres of population; and most of all in London, transformed by mass immigration and the alien manners and customs it has brought, most significantly in the ever-growing barbarism of popular music and entertainment. In 50 years what was a largely homogeneous European Anglo-Celtic nation has been turned into what is officially called a `multiracial society', a thing neither wanted nor asked for.
It is worth bearing in mind if you find this article too depressing that Michael Wharton had adopted his profound reactionary world-view before he went up to Oxford, long before the changes he complains of in this article had come to pass. He was a born reactionary (I am one too) who in the Second World War read the Encyclopaedia Britannica from beginning to end in the 1911 edition. 

Wharton admired Enoch Powell whose views on race and other subjects he shared. It is also worth remembering that Enoch Powell said he would not repeat in his mature years the mistake he made in his youth of thinking his country was finished.

I believe that England has so strong a culture that she will somehow always survive though hideously mutated because of various follies but primarily because of mass immigration, which has been permitted in the same way that the British Empire was acquired, in a fit of absence of mind. 

Wharton is completely wrong to blame immigrants for the horrible music or pop culture we have endured since the 1960s or for the 1960s social revolution. Nevertheless, he is right to mourn the passing of homogeneity and of England herself. Homogeneity can be dull but it has innumerable virtues. This is true of England too. Still, we must look to the future, not backwards. Let us preserve what we have, which is a very great deal, pace Wharton, conserve what can be conserved and build on it. 

To be born English, said Cecil Rhodes, is to have drawn the winning ticket in the lottery of life. I doubt if Rhodes would have liked modern England but England is still the best country, I believe, in the world, which is to say the English are the best people in the world.

Friday, 18 May 2012

"Denisa, Lady Newborough, who has died aged 79, was many things: wire-walker, nightclub girl, nude dancer, air pilot."

I have lived in Romania since 1998 and an Englishman told me several years ago 'there are no characters any more in England. In the old days every pub had its character, but that's all gone.' Is this because of PC and New Labour or Thatcherism and careerism? 

Lady Newborough was a character of the old school and probably also a femme fatale. Romania does not have nearly as many characters as England used to have but it has a very strong line in femmes fatales. Her obituary in the Daily Telegraph began:
"Denisa, Lady Newborough, who has died aged 79, was many things: wire-walker, nightclub girl, nude dancer, air pilot. She said that she only refused to be two things - a whore and a spy - 'and there were attempts to make me both'.

 She spoke 14 languages and designed a hat covered in half-smoking cigarettes.
 Her admirers included the Kings of Spain and Bulgaria, Adolf Hitler…Benito Mussolini…and Sheikh ben Ghana, who gave her 500 sheep. By conventional standards, her morality matched her flaming red hair but she remained as proud of one as the other."


That's all I can find on the net. My yellow cutting of the original is in some box in England and even when included in a book of Telegraph obituaries it was condensed. It gets better after that though....



Lord 'Tommy' Newborough began proceedings to dissolve the marriage less than twenty-four hours after it took place, which it did the morning after a night spent playing cards at Monte Carlo.



I remember word for word:
".....she published her memoirs, the character of which can be gleaned from such chapter headings as 'Down and Out in Sofia' and 'Elegant Sin in Bucharest' "
I did not know when I pinned this obituary to my otherwise empty noticeboard in my civil service office in Queen Anne's Gate and watched it slowly turn yellow that my destiny would lie in Bucharest, which in those days sounded the most obscure and exotic possible location.

The obituary ended, sublimely: 

Lady Newborough is survived by a daughter, June, who is married to a dentist and lives in Brentwood.

By an accident that was I realise now predestined I got interviewed by the Daily Telegraph in 1989 and I met the legendary Hugh Montgomery-Massingbird, the Daily Telegraph obituaries editor who revolutionised and subverted the genre.  I complimented him on the obituary but he disclaimed the credit and introduced me to the author whom he called 'the man Jones. and I solemnly shook hands with the genius. 

I met several people who worked on my childhood favourite the Peterborough column who are now famous including Damien Thompson whom these days I always read and agree with and Quentin Letts. Thompson asked me what religion I was. 'Papist', I said, though alas in those days I did not practise, and he replied. 'Good. We are all Papist here and we want to keep it that way.' I ought certainly to have made my career there but I resisted my destiny as I have done before and since and am doing now.


Wonderful evening - shown round the library of the Antim monastery by Father Polycarp - thanks to Ion Florescu - then intelligent conversation at dinner!

 Lovely to revisit the Antim monastery where I had not been for 10 years - until, strangely enough, last weekend. I was surprised to learn it was moved in the 1980s.




(Picture: Mihaela Mihăilă.) 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Orang-utan trying to play the violin

The majority of husbands remind me of an orang-utan trying to play the violin. 


Balzac






Robert Graves wrote a wonderful poem on this theme. 





A Slice of Wedding Cake    


Why have such scores of lovely, gifted girls
   Married impossible men?
Simple self-sacrifice may be ruled out,
   And missionary endeavour, nine times out of ten.

Repeat 'impossible men': not merely rustic,
   Foul-tempered or depraved
(Dramatic foils chosen to show the world
   How well women behave, and always have behaved).

Impossible men: idle, illiterate,
   Self-pitying, dirty, sly,
For whose appearance even in City parks
   Excuses must be made to casual passers-by.

Has God's supply of tolerable husbands
   Fallen, in fact, so low?
Or do I always over-value woman
   At the expense of man?
                                    Do I?
                                          It might be so.






'I have eaten many curious things in my life but never before a king's heart.'




radiografia mâinii drepte a Reginei Elisabeta Queen Marys hand X Ray and trilobite fossil on sale at oddities auction in Bucharest this week

An x-ray of Queen Marie of Romania's right hand  right hand will be auctioned this week by the Romanian auction house Artmark .

Which king's heart was preserved as a valuable conversation piece until some doctor in the 18th century, who was shown it, proceeded to swallow it, saying ? (If I had read systematically instead of at random how much I should now know.)

I read it in a 19th century collection of anecdotes, hidden among very many dull stories, but I cannot remember who the king was or the doctor  or find it on the net.


I found it! Though my dates were wrong. It was the Very Rev. Dr. William Buckland (12 March 1784 – 14 August 1856) who was Dean of Westminster and of whom Wikipedia tells that:


His passion for scientific observation and experiment extended to his home life. Not only was his house filled with specimens – animal as well as mineral, live as well as dead – but he claimed to have eaten his way through the animal kingdom: zoophagy. The most distasteful items were mole and bluebottle; panther, crocodile and mouse were among the other dishes noted by guests. Augustus Hare, a famous English raconteur and contemporary, recalled, “Talk of strange relics led to mention of the heart of a French King preserved at Nuneham in a silver casket. Dr. Buckland, whilst looking at it, exclaimed, ‘I have eaten many strange things, but have never eaten the heart of a king before,’ and, before anyone could hinder him, he had gobbled it up, and the precious relic was lost for ever.” The heart in question is said to have been that of Louis XIV. Buckland was followed in this bizarre hobby by his son Frank.

"I am the Emperor and I will have dumplings!"


"I am the Emperor and I will have dumplings!" (in German: Ich bin der Kaiser und ich will Knödel). Emperor Francis I of Austria.

 One of the Emperor's very few firm decisions.

I am reminded of this when I go through my accounts with my accountant, who prefaces all her advice with 'Well, it is your company and you do what you like, but..'

According to A.J.P. Taylor, (The Habsburg Monarchy 1809–1918), he was in fact asking for noodles - "But it is an unacceptable pun in English for a noodle to ask for noodles"

Being savaged by a dead sheep

No words are adequate to describe my feelings about this speech which is simultaneously angry-making and yet very soporific. 


Miles, pints and ounces should be abandoned in favour of a fully metric system because visitors to the Olympics will think Britain is living in its “imperial past”, a former Tory chancellor has said.




What a ghastly sign of the times and from someone who should understand what conservatism means.


People think the Thatcherites, of whom Lord Howe was one, were social conservatives (a term which had not then been coined because it had not become needed). Nothing could be less true (even the law stopping local authorities proselytising for homosexuality was intended to stop wasteful spending).


I suppose he is a late 20th century Plantagenet Palliser, though not of high birth.


I am proud to belong to the bewildered rudderless majority. I agree with Charles Moore writing thirty years ago that the decimal system is atheistical. Twelve is the number of the apostles after all. There are other arguments but that will suffice.


I was taught both systems exhaustively at my primary school (including chanting '20 chains make a furlong' ).  I understood the metric system but had forgotten it  until I lived in Europe and was forced to try to use it. 

I remind myself in my head that metres are like yards and that 1 kg = 2.2 lbs. as it said in big letters on packets of sugar in the 1970s. I was surprised when an uncle told me many English people talk about metres and kilograms.  

When do people use decimetres? In the juniors' school, decimetres were my favourite metric measurements. I like the sound of the word.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Society for the Suppression of Beetroot


I want to found a Society for the Suppression of Beetroot and a Society to Promote the Correct Pronunciation of the Word 'Conduit'. (It rhymes with pundit, of course.)

And a foundation to encourage the keeping of pigs on balconies in the historic centre of Bucharest, amidst the washing hung out to dry. This is a very old wish of mine and may be connected to the funniest short story ever written which, luckily for you if you have not read it, is available here.

An act of God


Classic insidious BBC bias from today's report on Mr. Hollande's inauguration.

And then in the afternoon the new president paid visits to memorials in Paris dedicated to two of his personal heroes: the late 19th-Century reformer Jules Ferry and the scientist Marie Curie.
Ferry is honoured for founding the Republican school system - though unkind souls have also pointed out that he was also a pillar of French colonialism.

Why is it unkind to mention the African colonies which are Ferry's great achievement and what, for that matter, is good about anticlerical education?

Then Hollande flew to Berlin to meet Mrs. Merkel and his plane was struck by lightning! Because of his plan to introduce homosexual marriage? Or because he is living in sin? Or some other reason or blind chance? 



It is not for us to seek to fathom the workings of an inscrutable providence, as F.E.Smith said when the judge asked him: 'Do you know why I am on this bench?'  But worth bearing in mind, I think.


I already miss Mr. Sarkozy. 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The only Labour Government which did no harm



The sole achievements of the first Labour Government were the Lido in the Serpentine and the statue of Edith Cavell, near Trafalgar Square, with its inscription 'Patriotism is Not Enough'. It was the only Labour Government to do no harm.


Very few governments do no harm and very few Labour governments did much good. Did Labour have any major achievement which significantly improved England in the years they governed? Very little to set against the  long list of mistakes but the NHS is an important achievement.  Even though I now wonder if the NHS is not an anachronism when most working people pay income tax - the working classes did not pay income tax when the NHS was founded - and when most people no longer identify themselves as working class but middle class. Compulsory insurance seems to work well in Europe though not in the USA where the pharmaceutical companies make their huge profits from patients in very expensive insurance schemes.  The NHS has kept doctors' salaries down which is a great thing for they would otherwise be very high indeed and the public would be the loser.


The other acceptable faces of socialism are  cheap public transport in London thanks to Red Ken and the town and country planning laws. Most important of all the great lift to the self-confidence of working class people when Labour won its first majority in 1945. 

The Liberal Party was much more radical than Labour in 1914 (they wanted to fight the 1915 election, had war not broken out, on land nationalisation) and in the 1930s when Lloyd George wanted Keynesian pump priming. They would have served the progressive cause much better and been more intelligent. But the Liberals were  - and the Liberal Democrats are - a middle class party and election wins by them would not have raised the standing of the workers.

What is for sure is that the Labour Party turned out to be the worst enemy the working class ever had, especially working class men. They took away the grammar schools that offered a way for clever working class children like me to get a decent education and in the end they even stopped the working man and woman enjoying a cigarette in the pub. Now we no longer have a working class, as far at least as the press is concerned, but a 'white working class' of whom the Left is secretly frightened in case they display racist, sexist, homophobic or other unacceptable tendencies. Though I suspect most of the white working class has been re-educated or neutered like people of all classes. 


The Left need not worry. They have won.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

G.K. Chesterton on marriage, homosexuality and free love


“Marriage is a fact, an actual human relation like that of motherhood, which has certain habits and loyalties, except for a few monstrous cases where it is turned to torture by insanity or sin.”

G.K. Chesterton would certainly have argued forcefully and brilliantly against homosexual marriage, unlike the Catholic hierarchy or Catholic intellectuals today in England. Dale Ahlquist has collected some thoughts of Chesterton's touching on a subject that in his day was not mentionable. I must say Chesterton's words about Oscar Wilde seem shockingly harsh to me, though Wilde himself converted to Catholicism in extremis and so perhaps thereby accepted Catholic teaching.

“His was a complete life, in that awful sense in which your life and mine are incomplete; since we have not yet paid for our sins. In that sense one might call it a perfect life, as one speaks of a perfect equation; it cancels out. On the one hand we have the healthy horror of the evil; on the other the healthy horror of the punishment.”
Wilde's treatment (hard labour was common punishment for many crimes such as petty larceny) was tragic, though he was on bail and Arthur Balfour and others gave him the opportunity to flee the country. 

That was the spirit of Wilde's age  and a generation later in Chesterton's day not very much had changed. It is very unjust that people should be prosecuted for what they do in bed with consenting adults, though one of the rent-boys was only 16 and there were references in court to a boy who looked 14. Yet, even though Wilde would probably have been sentenced in our day for child abuse and given a very hard time in gaol, the words of Pope come to mind:
'Who breaks a butterfly upon the wheel?'
Though I suppose, as this was the law, that there was no reason that a man who was well connected in society should get off while lower class men were punished.

Things are much better now, even though if people of the same sex will be able to marry this will be 
'another example of the modern and morbid weakness to sacrifice the normal to the abnormal.'
I liked this remark that I came across via the American Chesterton Society:
'Making homosexual “marriage” legal will not make it normal, but it will add to the confusion of the times. And it will add to the downward spiral of our civilization. But Chesterton’s prophecy remains: We will not be able to destroy the family. We will merely destroy ourselves by disregarding the family.'

 This is Chesterton on free love:

'The revolt against vows has been carried in our day even to the extent of a revolt against the typical vow of marriage. It is most amusing to listen to the opponents of marriage on this subject. They appear to imagine that the ideal of constancy was a yoke mysteriously imposed on mankind by the devil, instead of being, as it is, a yoke consistently imposed by all lovers on themselves. They have invented a phrase, a phrase that is a black and white contradiction in two words—'free-love'—as if a lover ever had been, or ever could be, free. It is the nature of love to bind itself, and the institution of marriage merely paid the average man the compliment of taking him at his word. Modern sages offer to the lover, with an ill-flavoured grin, the largest liberties and the fullest irresponsibility; but they do not respect him as the old Church respected him; they do not write his oath upon the heavens, as the record of his highest moment. They give him every liberty except the liberty to sell his liberty, which is the only one that he wants.'

Lisbon April 2010




We arrive in Lisbon from from Bucharest after six hours travelling. We go and have a meal in our street below our flat in the old town – cheaper than Bucharest. Excellent cheap dry white wine as we had hoped. We pick up the waiter who was called Jorje. He is 48 like me and I thought he might be 32. He took us to a place where we bought a decilitre each of port standing up in a shop and then somewhere else busy and outside where at Alexandra’s urging I shared two bottles of white wine before insisting at 2 = 4 Romanian time on coming home.


Thursday

Woke at 7.15 after five hours’ sleep and walked around. Memories of Madrid in 1985 came back to me before life had begun and the unlived life oppressed me. For the first time in my life I discover my bourgeois self. I am afraid I envy Mark his beautiful flat in the centre well furnished and full of books.

The river vast taking up one quarter of a vast Palladian square. A certain sadness in Lisbon? Or is it me? It is Thursday bit the city feels quiet subdued the shops empty, the pulse weak. I look for signs of peeling paint but instead at first find elderly American tourists with inevitably childlike faces.

The late eighteenth century grid of streets the cafes used by tourists and by office workers in suits. Elderly American tourists with childish faces and children’s clothes. Many of the waiters are from the Sub-Continent and on enquiry are not from Goa. Will Portugal will be swept away by Asian waiters and African building workers if she does not look out or will they all become Portuguese?

They married and gave in marriage
And went to the County Ball,
 And some of them kept a carriage,
And the Flood Destroyed Them All.

 Alexandra surfaces from her dreams at midday and we climb at her insistence to the castle and the journey is more important than the destination. Alfama the old quarter that survived the earthquake. The tiles so Muslim and so beautiful. I didn’t know about them. A rustiness to the green and blues the incongruous feeling of a 19th century public baths. I realise that the moment of Portugal’s greatness was really very short – a century at most and then conquest by Philip II and an escape from Spain only as Spain entered her precipitate decline.

No edge. Unlike post-Communist places. But so nice to be away from the crookedness and dirt of Bucharest. As I decide to write about my love for Bucharest do I love it anymore?

The castle and the same old tourist industry. The world becomes more and more the same and the differences become heritage industry and the ideas of the past – Catholicism, imperialism, monarchy, patriotism, the ideals of Dr Salazar and the Marxists are replaced by shopping and cafes and laws protecting diversity and ending traditions.

Long, long sleep and then Alexandra deeply frightened and rattled by an Indian waiter whom she had stood drinks who had led her into an empty and dark street instead of towards me. Her faith in human nature shaken. That faith is sweet and un-Romanian. I want to buy her a drink but the city is closed at 3 except for some night clubs in the docks where I buy her some whisky. Then home with a taxi-driver who was either drunk or so tired as to be close to unconsciousness and then a walk around the streets near the river, arches and decrepit buildings and the feeling of the sea close at hand and melancholy and reserve and quietness. Then a little poor and unloved cafe which was in darkness but tables and chairs were being set out in the still dark street and customers standing in the dark ate pies with heavy pastry. Alexandra said the people look so poor and unhappy and I wonder why I had not noticed the importance of having a little money in order not to be unhappy.


Friday, 23 April 2010 Alexandra’s birthday, Shakespeare’s, St George’s Day

Sky promises rain. I screwed my eyes to read the Telegraph. All the three candidates in last night’s TV debate volunteered that they disagreed with the Pope on homosexuality. Messrs. Blair and Brown have created a new consensus of an active state and non-discrimination and high taxes and the present is a foreign country.

Alex finally wakes like the kraken from his ancient dreamless uninvaded sleep and we lunch downstairs in the white cold daylight. I drink wine with my cod fishcakes and risotto and am sleepy again and the bill comes to €42. Then Alex spends an hour or two in the internet cafe and then decides to see the ocean in Cascai. So we go to see the Atlantic and it is quiet, empty, without breakers. Despite the palm trees it has a slight flavour of how I imagine Scotland might be.

We have a very good early supper overlooking the placid waves of the ocean (how middle-class mere seas are), catch the suburban train back and ask the taxi driver for fado in Alfama. Fortunately the very grand place he takes us to is fully booked as is another well-known place nearby and instead we hear enchanting fado sung soulfully by a woman from an unlit house just up from the cathedral. And then discover a place which is having a fado evening admission free and we stay and Alex understands the words. As she translates them to me I feel these middle aged people older than me singing and listening have lived more than I. The melodies are haunting. 

Reminiscent of Cuba. Tom Gallagher, who tells me I am a reactionary, is wrong and Lisbon is not ruined. ‘Football, fado and Fatima’ with which Salazar kept the lower classes quiet. A flavour of the Lindisfarne Catholic Club in Valkyrie Rd, Westcliff-on-Sea in the early 70s full of Irish, where I went with my parents when Harold Wilson was Prime Minister the second time.

Saturday, April 24

Excellent goat with wonderful roast potatoes and rice downstairs and half a bottle. €17.
Art Gallery and Alex’s feet are tired.  Streets named after obscure heroes of obscure revolutions just like in Romania. A dim obscure country despite its years of fame and power long ago. Alex thinks I like poor countries because they make me feel important.
Drinks in a shabby bar overlooking the city from the top of a long flight of stone steps.  Six or eight  boys run off from the next table without paying and Alex wants to pay for them which is sweet. Then hours pass as they do waiting for her. Then a Cape Verdean restaurant– we could not book a table before 10 but at 10 only two other tables were occupied – with nice food: chicken in peanut sauce which I liked very much though I do not like peanuts. I had this in an African restaurant before – in Naples I think. And the most wonderful singing. Two black men both of whom had Portuguese blood – the man playing the instrument had a narrow very Portuguese face. The other fat, soft-faced, gentle, sang heavenly songs which sounded to me like a kind of fado. €40.

Then we had to wait outside and find a place in Baixa where people in their early 20s congregating the girls dressed more revealing than is usual in Romania but clearly nice girls pretty but sexless.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Too hot underneath my duvet – hot weather at last.

The Sunday Times and Telegraph and cappuccinos outside a cafe and a general election. And the present is a very foreign country where everyone approves of regulations and the EU and high taxes and homosexuality and immigration.  

These milestones, 1906.....1945.....1979, 1983.....2010.

Mass at 11.30 in the church round the corner. Two babies are baptised. I suddenly see the terrible significance of the scandals with priests. A bishop just resigned protected by the statute of limitation from prosecution for interfering with a boy. The Pope will come here next month and who will listen to him talk about sexual morality? Well, no-one did before, but now he seems an absurd figure standing up against the spirit of the age which mocks rather than detests him.

Museum of modern art houses only Portuguese artists. The terrace where we drink and exchange confidences about our pasts as gifted children and traumas.  A beautiful place – after the Cap Verdean restaurant the second best moment of the holiday.

Portugal. I liked it today when I got away from the well-trodden centre. And possessed it, as dogs possess territory by peeing on it, sans British trippers. Very conservative and formal place unlike England. Quiet, low-key, more so than what I remember of Spain. Latins with Celtic souls? By which I mean depressive. Alex thinks unhappy because of their lost empire and present poverty. How unattractive and crooked and kitsch and gimcrack Romania looks from here. Here are nice, pretty, but not sexy, girls with their nice handsome shyish boyfriends. Unlike their Romanian equivalents they do not drive sports cars or look as if they do crooked deals.

23.50
Me pouring port: have a little more of this. You’ll feel better.
A: I feel fine.
Me: But you can always feel better.
A: Yes! Write that down.

The devouring unconscious




Marie-Louise von Frank, discussing 
Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince:
It must not be forgotten that the atmosphere of a milieu such as Saint-Exupéry grew up in was very disillusioned and cynical and that he usually moved in circles which looked at life as being important when one talked of bridge and money and such things. Therefore, he, in a way rightly, protests against it and clings to his inner artistic and total view of life, and is resentful and revolutionary against such adult life. One sees quite well how, in a subtle way, he mocks at the adult world and how to the point that is. But at the same time he does not know how to pull out of his childhood world without falling into the disillusionment of what he sees as the only value in adult life. If you combine this with the symbolism of the picture, it becomes even worse because the boa constrictor obviously is an image of the devouring mother and, in a deeper sense, of the devouring aspect of the unconscious, which suffocates life and prevents the human being from developing. It is the swallowing or the regressive aspect of the unconscious, the looking-backward tendency, which grips one when one is overcome by the unconscious. You could even say that the boa constrictor represents a pull toward death.


Friday, 11 May 2012

Unimportant work expands to fill the time in which frightening things should be done

Urgent but unimportant work expands to fill the time in which frightening things should be done and unpleasant decisions taken.

Facebook expands to fill the time in which unimportant work should be done.