Birthday Blues & Birthday Fluff. So, we got to be seventy. Unbelievable! According to the Indian palmist who read my palm in a deserted train station in a godforsaken town somewhere in South India, I should have been dead good ten years ago (and he considered 60/65 to be a good, long life, too, bless his saintly chappals). So, here we are. Old, fat, shapeless, unseemly, disabled, female, foreign, grumpy, cynical, pessimistic and more fond of puncturing balloons than ever. Hardly anybody likes me and most folk hate my politics. But a couple of amiable souls love me and the Shoggies & Co. love me and, were I to believe in him, Jesus would love me, be it only because he’s supposed to love everybody, even Henry Kissinger. And so, rather than go eat worms, I make friends with them and invite them to tea. And they repay me with their secret jokes and infinite kindness. And although I have more than one regret (sod off, Edith Piaff!) and I know we are born to die anyway, I scorn pomp and defy circumstances and take great comfort in the poetry of a 15th C.Spaniard who really knew his poetry from a hole in the ground. Here’s to you, don Jorge! And here’s to you, young Gorgon. May your next birthday find you as unrepentant. Or find you at all, really, the way things are going…
Girl & Bird in Yellow. On the wasteland just beyond old Carcosa the Yellow Bird and her pal the Girl in Yellow have met to watch the moon rise over Lake Hali and to have a good bitch about transient glories, sundry heartaches, futile gestures and so on. As soon as the moon is up they’ll have Bucks Fizz and vol-au-vents, but on no account cucumber sandwiches, and they’ll sing selected fragments from the sanctioned dirges. Like the following, one of the best and better loved segments of Cassilda’s Lament, as we call it at home.
Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Song of my soul, my voice is dead,
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Cassilda’s Song in the King in Yellow Act 1, Scene 2
I though you might want to read all about good old Carcosa (Bumba knows why, though) so here’s a helpful link to the inevitable Wikipedia.
Plus the equally inevitable B&W version. What can I say m’lud, I’m a cagadubtes, as the Catalans call people like me who can seldom decide what they like best, except sitting on fences.
Pre-Election Persiflage. See, I was right. Some people would sooner vote for a fish finger than for any of the candidates on offer in this stupid snap* election. I should have listened to my unerring political instincts and started a crowdfunding to run a Tadpole or a Cagnolito of Tindalos as independent contenders. They would have been infinitely more glamorous and far more exciting than an icon of this ghastliest of all ghastly English fares. Still, I might vote for Mr FF myself, dontyouknow, for I notice than even good old Jezza is beginning to sound (finally, alas), like a true politician, what with the nuclear ambiguity and his fatuous pledges of extra bank holidays an’ all. Ah, me! Thus the mighty fall, my masters…
The snake is called Odile, in homage to Odilon Redon, and she’s French, brought up on a diet of Claude Chabrol and Asterix & Obelix, naturally. The Itinerant Eyeball is called Pips.
*Didactic note: Snap means, amongst many other things, “worthless; of little or no value”. Indeed
In Babylon. I love synchronicity; is the only spooky thing that ever visits me. But its frequent occurrence more than makes up for the lack of other “psychic” experiences in my drab, wretched life. As I was finishing this here doodle, my thoughts firmly planted in the toxic mire engendered by the latest politico-mediatic jiggery-pokery of the Evil Empire and its minions, I came across an uncannily synchronic article in the evergreen Information Clearing House. Which in turn reminded me of another, older article, which lead me to look for a recent one that contains the quotation the first article brought to mind. Leaner, meaner and more truly useful than the famed 39, I nail these three articles to the door of my miscreant’s shrine. Here be the link to the last one because it’s as close to perfection, both in style and in substance, as I’ve seen lately.
Update 17/04-17 More Clipart! Here be some GGM (Graphically and Genetically Modified) lobsters I found out there, somewhere, some time ago, dispensing their p’litical wisdom to anyone who cares to listen. It’s a sad time when even humble sea creatures know what’s what better than so very many of us, dontyouthinkso? Plus a little something just for the hell of it. Check the link, do. If you only read one article, this year, read this one. It’s pure gold.
Square Pegs. A modest knees-up in anticipation of Chelsea Manning’s release –unless the ghastly Orange Duck reverses the decree, Bumba forfend. I dedicate this to each and every whistle-blower, stalwart dissident and defector of the Man’s Machine that ever drew breath, past, present and future. May your kind multiply and prosper. Never mind that you often feel like the last of the great oddballs. You’re NOT alone.
The Mind Parasites. (Another memorial, this one a little belated, but better late than never. I offer it to the lovely folks at Tom Dispatch for reminding my fuzzy mind of the exact dates. Cheers mates!)
To the faceless masters of the universe and their meat puppets and the puppets’ minions and their minions’ minions. And to the heirs of Edward Bernays and their indentured mouthpieces and their slave trained monkeys in the media and in the classrooms. And to the chattering classes in all the gastro pubs and trendy bookshops and chic vernissages of this wretched world who, like my erstwhile neighbour, think that we should do the same to Iran because its government “oppresses its people”. May they all rot in some hell of their own making and burn in savage bonfires fed by gigatones of compacted back issues of the Guardian, the New York Times and the Daily Mail.
Vortex. aka The Frog Spinner. Meet the Delvaux twins, Maryse and Jean-Loup. Jean-Loup doesn’t do anything much; he’s a bit of a nogoodnik flâneur, really, but he’s very pretty, very clever and he throws the best tea parties in & around that neck of the woods. His sister Maryse is a professional frog spinner. She spins frogs, that’s what she does. She throws a handful of young frogs (sometimes infant wyrms) into the Vortex and makes them whirl and turn and twirl all the way to the bottom of the funnel until they vanish and reappear in the adjacent dimension, where they are picked up by the Shoggoths and their trusty inter-dimensional minibus, the Colometa, and returned safe and sound to their homes, their mothers and their choir practice. All the girl frogs and girl wyrms love Jean-Loup because of his good looks and his tea parties and his delightful crappy jokes. The boy frogs are not exactly enamoured of Maryse but they submit with good grace to this bizarre practice of being spun because it gives them kudos with the girl frogs and earns them extra cuddles from their mothers and the odd exemption from choir practice. The frog mothers thoroughly approve of this rotating caper, for it’s demonstrated that it fortifies the hide and tones down the superfluous testosterone; also, it gets the kids off their hands for a while without the venomous side-effects of day-time telly.
This wee Loony Tune is for my friend Maryse, who loved Mercè Rodoreda and with whom I lost touch some time ago, unfortunately. Here’s looking at you, kid! NB. No frogs were harmed in the making of this illustration.
It is a little known (and even less publicized) fact that the Minoans inherited the essentials of taurokathapsia (or tauromaquia to you and me) from the earlier Cycladic civilization with this fundamental difference: that in the Cycladic cultures the bulls were the ones doing all the jumping and leaping and soaring and all the attendant acrobatics and pretty capers. Cycladic bulls were a truly fierce lot and no sane human would have dared touch them with a ten foot barge pole except, in very rare occasions, to stroke them affectionately, Haghesa permitting. For these beasties were under the protection of that most fearsome of all fearsome Great Mothers. A person would have to be thoroughly off his or her bonce to cross Haghesa even ever so slightly, for Milady was notorious for her short temper and erratic disposition. She’d as soon bestow her graces and favours upon a mortal as she’d disembowel him just for the pure joy of it.
Another creature under her aegis (or, some say, in cahoots with her) was Erythros, the wild boar, or porc senglar*, as they are called in my erstwhile neck of the woods. He was allowed to take liberties that no other animal was permitted, not even her beloved bulls. In some respects, this ancestor of the famed Erymanthian Boar, fulfilled the triple task of confidante, touchstone and court jester to Madamina -hence the enhanced quota of freedoms.
*Here be a wee link for nostalgic Catalan ex-pats:
Children of Chaos. Our friend Jimmy-Two-Tails vanished into unnamed territories in 2015 following the disappointment of his less than brilliant political career. He’s now resurfaced with a young son in tow. When asked who the mother is, or where, for that matter, Jimmy looks vacant, or distracted, or like he’s gone suddenly deaf.
Last night he took himself and his love-child to visit Old Mother Chaos, to introduce the kid to her and her latest brood, and to discuss with the old girl the ins and outs of parenthood, single or otherwise. Bubbles went along for the ride and also to see if she could grasp the underlying principles of a practice that, frankly, is all Greek to her and her kin since Shoggoths don’t reproduce; if they feel they are short of a few bulks they simply divide like amoebas and Bob is your uncle! When they no longer need the extra discrete protoplasm they reabsorb it collectively.
The visitation went splendidly. Jimmy and the First Mother had a jolly good bitch about irresponsible significant others (that is, Jimmy had; the grand old lady never had a mate -nor did she ever need one, for as well as self-begotten she is self-sufficient in the begetting department- but she is terribly empathic and polite to a fault, so she listened and nodded and tut-tutted in all the right places), the baby was duly impressed by his father’s oratory skills, the young Chaossettes were vastly amused by Jimmy’s vibrant and lavish terms of abuse and Bubbles had a ball, flirting something chronic with all and sundry, an activity she has discovered recently to have a natural talent for.
Rum thing about the Peripheral Grids: they seem to contain more single fathers than you can shake a stick at. Or it might be that the ratio of hard-nosed females to weak-willed males is disproportionately high, who knows. By the way, Jimmy’s baby is called Maloof. Jimmy wanted to call him something Russian, to offset this unending Russo-phobic hysteria, but in the end he went in for an Arabic flavour in the off-chance that it might vex Donald the Orange Canard.
This is for me lovely mate Rhishiart, who brings reds and sends hot-beverage kits. May your cellar never run dry, toots! Look-see! The return of the Stolen Goodies. Some more of that nonsense forged from borrowed & reprocessed clipart I’m becoming so fond of. Here we can see Mistah MuchaVista, the ocular sharpshooter, preaching to the wildlife that populates the delta of the mighty Urook. He’s cast his sharp eye around the p’litical scene and now dispenses an equally sharp brand of rough-rough-and-ready wisdom to whosoever wants to listen. Or to the fresh air, if nobody wants to listen, it’s all the same to him. His real name is Chindasvinto Malatesta Jones. Of decidedly mixed ancestry, he hails from Reus, of all places. The wonders of uncontrolled migration, I dare say. Long may it live! -be it only to aggravate the likes of Nigel Farrago and the Trumper* -or Agent Orange, as my other good pal David calls him. The verses quoted by Chindy are from Martin Fierro. And because I can’t be arsed to give a good translation, you’ll have to make do with this:
Don’t tell me your woes because I live in grief myself. And don’t get cocky even if your foot is on the stirrup. The best of riders often finds himself with his ass flat on the ground.
*To trump. v.intr. Games: To get the better of (an adversary or competitor, for example) by using a crucial, often hidden resource. In this Trumper’s case Homer Simpson and his tribe; a crucial, often hidden, vastly ignored, regularly abused by the soi-disant liberal elites, and definitely neglected resource. Think twice before you engage in ritual humiliation, folks. It tends to backfire spectacularly. Think Germany and Versailles and what came 20 years later. Hell, think Israel, if you feel like living dangerously.
You know what it’s like. You’re sitting at home, quietly minding your business, when a Random Morphogenetic Event drops in out of the blue and next thing you know you have become an effing monster. Oh, well…