........................................................................................ - a weBlog by Snowy and me.

Monday, 19 April 2021

Natural And Unnatural Rates Of Decay

Nobody knows when the first measurements
of time were introduced, who introduced them,
and to whom they were introduced. What was clear
is that soon after time was measured the idea of eternity
for the virtuous few was made to seem normal.

But the idea of eternity is as new in human history
as human history is within the history of the world.

Eternity is an idea that all too easily
detaches from what it is part of,
and where it came from,
as any great disbeliever
of what other people believe
will give you chapter and verse on.

I have yet to hear
from the moral materialist,
or the clear eyed atheist
who believes that the world
is only the sum of the material
it is made from, and even more
about the differing rates
of natural, and unnatural, return
of materials to their original state of matter.

A human body takes 80-100 years
to be reduced to dry bleached bones,
maximum. It will take less time
if life on earth hastens the process.

Only since the industrial revolution,
a nanosecond ago in historical terms,
have humanly developed materials
been made that take longer to decay
than humans will reduce to, also.

Rubber can take 50 years to decay
Plastic food containers can take 80 years,
plastic shopping bags 200-1000 years,
plastic water bottles 450 years,
aluminium cans 200-500 years
commercial strength fishing nets 600 years
and dirty 'disposable' nappies 550 years
and I have not even thought about the bombs
and iron ships from our many wars
that drift on the sea bed of the oceans.

Perhaps the truest measure of eternity
is the measure of the incontinence
of human want and then wastage
that changes the landscapes it litters
which is beyond all human measure.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Argumentative Pastries

When I was too young to cook or bake
Mother did it all. Her kitchen was small,
so I was kept out. But I was pleased enough
back then to play and simply enjoy her baking.
I was 'just' a growing boy; no reason to worry.

But when her birth family came for tea 
out came the mince pies from their tins
and the jam tarts made with home made jam,
which often displeased her family

Not long after them there would follow
the repeated preemtive complaint
'Fresh baking disagrees with me',
as if her pastries had the power of speech.

Mother would then have to disclose
when the batch of  baking was done,
which made her feel smaller than she was
-between being pastries being 'too fresh'
and potentially stale there was no sweet spot
where the visiting relative felt that Mother's pastries
were not being argumentative.

The curious point was how often
these relatives had to eat the pastries
to prove how they disagreed with their maker,
as if disagreement was all they had in common, 

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Great Turn Offs Of Our Time (27)

 One phrase that disinclines me
to believe a given writer or speaker
is 'I have always....  '.

I disbelieve that anyone could be so consistent,
in their habits from the distant past to the present day
and in the process they still be accepted by others as alive,
particularly when changes so much around them.

Friday, 16 April 2021

The Never Ending War The World Has With Itself

Recently War on Want asked to send a letter
to my MP in the House of Commons
to tell them to tell the government to stop
selling arms to repressive regimes,
as if instead the government might try harder
to sell more arms to enlightened liberal regimes,
who having bought the arms would then
have them dismantled and the steel recycled
to make sharp knives for chopping food with.

I signed it anyway, though my MP
is of the only UK party that will never enter
the House of Commons; they will never swear
the required oath of loyalty to The British Crown.   

There seemed to be something faintly rhetorical
about the phrase 'repressive regime'.
If the many 21st century political regimes
are not about root to branch political repression,
then what why did they form and grab power?
They were never going to become democracies.

Finally, I wondered why these regimes
don't make more of the arms that they use,
abroad and against their own populations?
It would do their balance of trade good
and repression seem the more efficient
mode of government, better than democracy.

Thursday, 15 April 2021


Other people's character is only briefly proven to us
by how we know them when we can do nothing more for them
which is usually when we get dismissed from their company.


Wednesday, 14 April 2021

The Hole That Consumed Itself

The Culture that cancelled itself
didn't realise that before it left
it would cancel so much besides
that nobody and nothing remained
who knew what it once was,
and the greater whole that it was once part of.

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Natural and Artificial Labour?

After some recent disruptive times
with the machine
on which these blogs get written.
I was forced to muse
whilst the laptop was 'processing'
and I could not write. What came to me
how far the words 'computer'
and 'robot' have travelled over this last century.

In reports from elections in the local press
from the early 1900's the paper would say
'The count for the vote is being completed
by computers', and these were live humans
whose job it was to count things, like ballots
but other things too. One of the most boring
but lucrative short term jobs I did was one
counting Boots vouchers that had been spent
in their shops across the country.

I spent all my breaks on my own,
reading the diaries of Soren Kierkegaard,
I hated the job and the company that much
that Kierkegaard seemed like good company.

'Robot' was the Hungarian word for 'slave'
though long before the times it was coined
there were many legal forms of bonded
or indentured labour around the world.
There the labour of slaves was a currency
owned and depreciated by their masters
such that they had to top up the supply often.

In the nineteenth century the English ruling classes
used to call the English and Irish working classes
'niggers' even though they were white.
The name got used so that the Upper Classes
could set themselves apart from all they disliked
whilst being of the same skin tone.

If the upper classes had believed in evolution
they would have called the white working classes
monkeys and worse, to make out
that those who they exploited and disliked
was justified by them being a different species.