Water Garden

In just a few days I will be home in France. Oh please my dear sweet Aeolus – please let me see the sun just once more. I hope I have lit (lighted) my incense stick to the right deity. According to my book on Greek Myths (otherwise known as a creative accountant’s guide to Euro membership), dear old Aeolus controlled the winds. It’s not that I’m educated, I looked him up in a book. Yes! a book. I did not even give Google a chance.

And so it rains and rains. Serena Williams dodged the deluge to win at Wimbledon, the F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone is a quagmire of mud. I took a photo of a bead of water on the leaf of a plant. Look how it has form and shape. I know two things of this world. It is beautiful and it is not what we think it is at first second or third sight.

All this semi religious pondering has an origin of course. Today I have finished reading Stephen Woodfin’s novel, “The Next Best Hope“. I have posted a thoroughly merited 5 star review. It’s a good pacey read looking at the course of a fundamentalist rebellion in the USA. You kinda feel it could happen anywhere, with any kind of belief or religion. If you like action laced with insight into politics, greed and the human quest for what is right you will love this book. Here is the review:
As an Anglo-Franco the first thing that engaged me in this book was just how American it is. The characters’ names, the distances they drive, the names of places and the cultural references all work together to hold the reader authentically in the action. It’s one of those books where you know the make of the gun and the type of car that a character is using. Perhaps these are technical points but to me it makes it real. More important really is the broad philosophical theme that directs the course of the story. The enemy is not religion per se, but fundamentalism. When tracts or texts allow for violence to enforce any concept, civilisation has to take note and stand up. The scenario is disturbingly plausible. Fundamentalists seek to seize power by armed rebellion against the state. I will not say any more than that because you will want to read it for yourself. The writer adopts an all seeing viewpoint, allowing many characters and threads to intersect, tangle, unravel and conflict. The result is a powerful story which you always feel could be happening outside your window. Characters are drawn from the well of life, politics and ambition. Everyone knows characters like these or has seen them in history. This is the second book in the author’s “Revelation Trilogy”. I’m waiting for the third – and keeping my eye on CNN – just in case.

Oh – by the way – it’s still raining.

Emma Thinx: Cometh the hour – Cometh the book.

Pick Of The Crop

Every billboard on every street and on the side of every bus is announcing the Coming. Tomorrow it will be here. Have you got yours yet? I guess you folks all know that MW 3 “Call Of Duty” is launched on Tuesday 8th November. Of course I was aware of all this. Well, I could see that these ads were plastered everywhere and that they looked like they had been stuck up using a bucket of mud. To the horror of the anger management lads on the bus I did not know that this was a deliberate effect and that the product was a computer game for the sex box 360. It’s all about grunge, squalor and violence. I must admit that in a world where films are seen as sensational if you get a full nipple exposure, it astonishes me that “gaming” revels in psychopathic violence seemingly as a celebration and a joy. If you wanna see a clip this is the trailer.

I have no right to pontificate on such matters. The closest I have come to warfare is when my mother took me to the January Sales in Croydon, South London. In those days “The Sales” actually offered bargains. We queued from about 6 am. The plan was to attack the doors as soon as they were unbolted. My mother was going to run flat out for a winter coat. My job was to drop back and obstruct pursuers by running far slower in a zig zag. It worked and ever since I have had a kind of interest in military tactics. However, this was not the master blaster machine gunning engagement of “Call of Duty”. I guess that it was not real war either. But what I want to know is whether proper brave soldiers, serving or vets, want to play these games? Is there a problem when violence is fun and painless? I bet there are all manner of studies and I really would like to know, but there again I’d like to know so many things about human behaviour.

 I mean does anyone have a child and say to themselves “I want to bring this kid up to be kind, modest and honest as a priority”? Should one not say “I want my kid to big themselves up, muscle to the front and get rich/ important /successful/ admired/be a bishop with a palace/martyr/ etc.” I am not a Christian but I have no argument with their outline propositions. In a world where there is no sign of the meek inheriting, to what extent should you influence your kids to be meek? I’ve been a parent and I am a grandparent and I just dunno. Do I say “Go snatch it kids” or do I say “Maybe someone needs it more – hang back and help them.” ? I am a hard line Atheist, Buddhist, lighter of cathedral candles, pinko commie, semi revolutionary property owning hedonist. I have no special insights.

As I passed a run down take-away pizza store tonight in my bus, light spilled out onto the footway. I glanced into the empty shop  to see a large moustachioed man at the counter poised to serve his next hungry customer. Obviously a slice of pepperoni had become lodged up his nostril and he was attempting to gouge it out with what looked like his thumb and several fingers. The meat feast could be a no-no. 

Emma thinx: Don’t solve the problem until the solution gets you noticed.