Sunday, 29 March 2020

The Sunday Ishmael 29/03/2020

A compilation from mr ishmael's drafts

But first, some of mr ishmael's daffodils:

 ishmael smith,  food writer:

Although she lived, betimes,  in Celebrity's harsh limelight I only knew Tara Parker Tomlinson's name, I knew nothing about her, absolutely nothing.  It is a knack, I guess, avoiding stuff which is grist to many's a mill.  I have never seen a talent show; never seen a bun-baking contest; never seen that obnoxious moron, Alan Sugar, fucking people about.  Never has so much nothing been known about so many nobodies.   I never saw The Office.  I don't think I have ever read a Booker Prize-winner, not even Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit; never knowingly eaten a sun-dried tomato, never drunk a latte or eaten a panini;  I don't know what lemongrass is;  I think pasta indicates the failure of lazy and stupid people to grow potatoes;  I mean, boiled wheat, what's that all about, you wouldn't want that with your roast leg of lamb and mint sauce, would you? And pizza, I just grow more and more bemused at the thought of people hurtling around the metropolis on clapped-out mopeds, delivering these abominations to gullible diners, it's like circular cheese on soggy fucking toast, isn't it, pizza, maybe with some mangy olives chopped over the top, or the sweepings-up from the veg market floor, bits of mushroom and peppers which couldn't be passed-off on real customers, and encrusted with some horrid, bitter, glutinous tomato paste, boiled-up for months with garlic and oregano.  Why would anybody eat that shit when there are perfectly respectable emporia offering batter-fried haddock and chips and peas and even a pickled egg or a pickled onion and a can of Diet Fanta? And it's not even proper cheese, is it, like Cheddar or Red Leicester or Double Gloucester; it's that fucking Mozarella or Parmesan.

But there it is, food, lol

A little bit of history:

The person to whom I was firstly married was of Saxon, yeoman village stock  and her aunt - who was actually her maternal grandmother - had been active, as were many, in the Women's Institute, in all that Digging for Victory.  
Aunt Dorothy lived with her husband, Uncle Will - who was neither grandfather nor uncle to my wife-to-be - in a tiny, early cottage with a long strip of a garden, backing onto the graveyard of the Norman village church, 

you know the thing, they're all over the place, old churches and, barring a miracle, will before too long become alternative temples or arts'n'crafts venues, maybe Encounter and Support Centres, places for the LGBTQers to feign spirituality, women-turned-men fucking men-turned-women on oaken pews, celebrating themselves, as they so like to do, where they put their cocks.

Where once, in psalm and sermon and salutation, the Saviour and his Father were feared and celebrated who knows what frolicking will now occur - men dressing as nuns is the common celebration of gay dignity, let's hear a Hallelujah  for Sister Dave and Sister Graham.
 There was - and remains -  in these old churches, a piss-taking nod to the Green Man, carved surreptitiously  into the rafters by some ancient, still-pagan carpenter, hedging his bets,
 just to be on the safe side, what harm in a bit of buggery on the altar, eh, blessed, after all are the ? 

Saint Cuthbert and King Arthur the Great had pretty much stomped all over what we call Paganism - the old religion -  and all over Celtic Christianity so that by the time of the Norman Conquest, we were churched and educated by Rome - it is a bit of an irony, 1066;  in the 800s Alfred had defeated or subsumed the Norsemen, beating them on the battlefield and in their warlike spiritual hearts, converting them to the one true faith and here, a couple of hundred years later, French Viking  descendants, the Nor(se)mans came a-conquering, this time completely and irrevocably, my ancestors with their poncey names, de-this and de-that, courtiers and soldiers, shitting all over Alfred's decent Coopers and Fletchers and Smiths and Thatchers. As well as erecting castles and mottes a  massive 11th and 12th century  English-Romanesque building programme mortared  into place vast abbeys, monasteries and smaller churches;  simultaneously, Anglo-Saxon bishops were removed and replaced and in two monarchical generations all the major cathedrals were ripped down and rebuilt.

Non-Uncle Will had been in the Trenches during the Kaiser war and often thought he was back there;  are you from the Royal Warwicks, he'd routinely enquire of me, how is it, up the line, they been gassing us again, the Hun, have they, do you know? I tried to be as gracious as possible; never having had even a fake uncle to speak of - just a bunch of distant Belfast Orangemen whom even my father, their brother, couldn't tolerate, I was quite enchanted by this old, country gentlemen with his moustache, his waistcoat, his fobwatch and Edwardian demeanour.  He wasn't a gentleman in the snobbish sense of the word, he was just polite, like most of his generation, and made thoughtful and withdrawn by the war a gentle man;  briefly, he was the closest thing I ever had to a grandfather and I was instinctively protective of him.  He'd be in a care home, these days, starved and dehydrated, his thighs pinched by some Polish slattern, Come Here to Make Better Life; back then he lived peacefully in his country cottage, with his wife of ages, sometimes stealing away in his sit-up-and-beg Ford Pop, to Kenilworth or Warwick.
The vicar, a drunken sot, probably pissed all the time because his wife fucked anything in trousers, had it in for Will, BigTime.
 Will was as mad as a fucking hatter but  gentle and absolutely harmless and I was unsurprised to learn, much later, that he had taken to wed Dorothy after she had been deserted by the true father of the waspish, irascible woman who was now my mother-in-law-to-be, and that they had raised her as Aunt and Uncle, rather than as mother and step-father.  Now, all the proper villagers must have  known  of this but no-one ever mentioned it,  not even to Dorothy's grand-daughter, my wife-to-be; a circle of apparently benevolent secrecy absolutely unimaginable in our Right2Know today.

Can you help, the Reverend Nettleship  asked me one day, you seem to get on with the silly old bugger, and the thing is, he used to be the head bellringer here and he simply denies having retained the set of handbells, which are church property and I would like them back, can you have a word?
I mean, it's simply not on, treating
church property as if it was his own.
I knew exactly where the handbells were,  they were under the cold shelf, in the meatsafe part of the pantry but I wasn't going to tell the vicar;  no doubt, when Will passed away, Aunty Dorothy'd hand the bells in and they could sit in a church cupboard for the rest of time, unrung.

ishmael smith on competition:

I played Eton Fives at school and that was the last competitive thing I ever did;  

 I loved its furious, stretching, sliding, knee-scraping ballet and the geometry and ballistics involved in  sending a tiny ball careering off buttress edges at unplayable angles; Fives is fast, creative and fun and if you don't play it to win then it is none of those things. I cannot, however, recall it in shades of victory or defeat, I just remember the buzz of playing; I guess I really did enjoy it. 

Apart from Fives my only other competition was against millions, maybe billions of other little bastards, 

 Oi, fuck you, mate.
This is life'n'death stuff, here.

thrashing my tail through clouds of foaming spermicide, bashing my way upwards, to an ova that had my name on it.  
Even my own parents didn’t want me to make it, hence the spermicide, obviously; they  already had two children and – seven years down the road - didn’t want any more, but they and the spermkilling manufacturers had encountered a more  doughty ejaculate than they’d reckoned on. That should be enough competition for one lifetime, I always thought,  one tiny little bastard against the whole of ContraceptoCorp, I mean, just look at the odds, even without the foaming, choking spermicide, of surviving against all one's incomplete fellows.

Being  born and playing Fives in a snooty grammar school - one had to be in the top five per cent of those who passed the 11-plus, had to be the best of the best - apart from public schools, obviously, where you just had to be the richest of the rich, a different level of competition - that’s more than enough, I always thought,  that’s competition at SuperOlympian level, swimming  against the tide in a toxic ocean, that makes Prince Harry Hooligan’s comrades-in-no-arms look feeble, hop-limp-and-dragging themselves  to the North Pole.  Let the fuckers try fighting their way through a poisoned vagina, see how they get on with that,  gobby bastards.

 This getting-into-grammar school business, though, that wasn't competitive, not on my part;  I just enjoyed learning in primary school. There weren't any nerds then but even if there had been I wouldn't have been one.  I liked girls, I liked most of the boys;
 I liked the teachers and I just liked learning, 
still do.

Anything else in which I may have shown some facility was never initiated by a desire to compete against other people who were doing it, whatever it was. That stuff is just so fucking anti-social, isn’t it? Look at me, I’m better than you, at doing this little thing, whatever it is, gimme a medal. 

And then I can pursue my ultimate goal, 
a career as a banking adviser. 
Better still, gimme a job advertising Santanderre Usury Services.  

Oh, do fuck off, love.

Yes, I'm good at sport, 
that's why I can advise you about your banking.

Or Quorn  make-believe sausages.

Ah, bless 'im, Mo, the nation's favourite vegetable protein salesman.

 See, that’s the thing, about sport; doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, as long as you get the sponsorship deals.   I dunno what that dopey bint, Jessica Ennis  thinks she knows about banking but  I should think it’s fuck all or sweet fuck all, bless her dumbfuck ass.  I betcha, though, that she gives lots of her advertising fees back to the National Lottery Fund, which paid for her  training - bound to, isn’t she?

If there was - or is - any competition in my life it is only contested between my own selves, and all of us can always do better. Very rarely I think, Hmm, I’ve got that as right as it’s gonna be; some of the time I think, Well, it’ll do, I can live with it but  most of the time I think Oh, for fuck’s sake, can’t you do anything right?

I think most of us are like that, loathing ourselves for our shortcomings, anxious to get through the day without being exposed as good-for-fuck-alls.  Some, though, however, barge and elbow their way into the Charmed Circle of Celebrity, where, as in the case of the late Alan Rickman, even their  farts and burps are  hailed stupendous oratory; to be in the same room as Al, by all accounts, was to love and be enchanted by him. How the rest of manage, without being at least acquainted with the very best among us, well, it is one of the enduring mysteries of our age.
I know no-one even remotely famous, much less celebrated for dressing-up and play-acting; poor, poor, pitiful me.

I watched a science show during which I was reminded that it was the Nazis at NASA who introduced to us the spectacle of achievers applauding themselves, as one of the things  they were paid to do happened as it should.  It hadn't happened before that, self-applause, or applauding the moment; now, everybody claps at the drop of a hat, Christ, they even clap corpses, in boxes, deaf, blind and dead.  This show was about a deep-sea research vehicle, one commissioned, apparently, to enhance the careers of a bunch of academics, all bent on understanding the deep ocean floor, no-one said how this research would help the black children get a drink of water, but fuck 'em, eh, the thirsty ye have always with ye, and they're mostly niggers, who gives a fuck about them;  and anyway, if you can go to the fucking moon without any discernible good reason,  why then, who's to argue about spending tens of millions of clean-water dollars on fucking about eleven kilometres down where the Sun don't shine? Not me, academic careers are vitally important down here in my end of the lifeboat - funding, research, papers and prizes, those're the real issue here; fuck that clean-water dollar shit, just let them drink mud, what doesn't kill 'em'll only make 'em stronger.  Science, though, we can't do without  all this shit that we don't even know we don't know about.  Until some scientist discovers it and fits it into the Great Reverse JigSaw Puzzle of Everything.

Anyway, after some hours of clapping themselves as the  robot submersible passed another kilometre below the depth reached by the  previous deepest submersible ever, this thing reached the bottom, eleven kilometres down in the Pacific.  And there, right before its searchlight, eleven thousand metres below sea level, was  a little white creature, about an inch long, with three pairs of legs. Whatever it was, it didn't have inches and inches of armour on its back, to protect  from the 1tonne to the square centimetre pressure above it; didn't have banks of powerful batteries to power its movement;  it was just living there, getting on with its life.

The people who cannot even pronounce research claim to be doing it. 

Most of the little sperm chappies had an easier race than I, but they still constitute failure and, who can say, knowing the overwhelming urgent  rush to life,  also knew death's disappointment, if disappointment it is. The gazillions of might-have-beens, should-have-beens, could-have-beens, beaten to the post by the stronger and faster or flushed away in a tsunami of poison, surely, for anyone with any decency the race to be born was competition enough; having won it, shouldn't we winners co-operate.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mrs Ishmael; well worth the trouble you've taken to bring this into play. And imagining his own conception like that - Tristram Shandy for the Fuck This Generation?


mrs ishmael said...

A pleasure and a privilege, mr verge.

Bungalow Bill said...

That last piece reads as complete to me, and as one of his best. The part about us all self-loathing and fucking things up, crawling through the days, is something to take to heart, because it’s true and it’s liberating. I hope this makes it into the anthology, Mr Verge.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mr BB - more than likely.


mrs ishmael said...

There's still a great deal of material, mr BB - I'm currently transcribing the Buddha Bulletins, which may make it onto the blog, although they are early stuff. Thank you.

Oldrightie said...

Marvellous and inspirational as ever, Mrs I!

mongoose said...

I imagine that we are all stuck at home, getting through all those things that never got done. One of mine is the rotting bits of the platform over the stream that supports my workshop. (A workshop in this case meaning a rather large wooden shed.) I don't have enough timber of the right dimensions to fix it properly and I am not allowed out to buy timber.

So I am on the verge, Mr BB, of fucking it up. Bodging it. Making it do. Nobody will ever know. Except me, that is. I cannot quite bring myself to do it yet. So it is sitting out there half-done. A silent rebuke. A couple of railway sleepers and three or four shorter scaffolding poles and we'd be perfectly sound for another twenty years. Or recycle a few half-rotten bits and deck it over. Turn my back and flee.

Mike said...

Pleasure to read, Mrs I, in these dark times. Thank you.

daley doobie said...

yes indeed, the amateur days of ten-pints-in-the-tank, dave bedford, are gone, along with his eponymous van, and replaced with the prissy professional personalities of politically correct perfection - dave's rough-cut rebel-image, once an object of frenzied media-condemnation, now cynically subverted as an unashamed source of pirated profit for the amoral ad-men.

to be honest, when you see nubile new-comer dina dasher-mascara naïvely roped into doing a cheap 'n cheezy gym-promotion, you really wonder whether the sugar-dusted promise of rat-racing celebrity-world will all end up being rather a desperately disillusionary disappointment - and worth dedicating herself to the de rigueur dictionary-devouring diet.

yeah, of course, i would...

let her boost publicity for my own carbon-free fitness-and-funeral-parlour...

coz let's face reality man, when we put "stiff" steve ovett in a pink skin-tight crop-top 'n leggings it scared all my fucking punters off.

what projects 'ave i got lined up for the future?

well, you know, now we're all in permanent political lock-down, i'm just busy beavering away at my unauthorized collective-biography of boris johnson's cabinet...

and although i've not made too much progress on the actual writing-part yet, i've at least managed to come up with an acceptable working-title:

yep, it's gonna be called cunts are not the only cunts.

Mike said...

A good read along the lines we have been discussing in recent days.

mrs ishmael said...

mr mongoose, I have all that stuff in my byre, but the costs of sending it would outweigh the utility of the stuff, I should think. Does your local Jewsons not deliver? Are they not allowed to deliver? A shame not to do a proper job, especially if a stream is involved. But nothing wrong with bodging. mr ishmael told me that bodging, or chair-bodgering is a traditional woodturning craft, using green (unseasoned) wood to make chair legs and other cylindrical parts of chairs. The work was done close to where a tree was felled. The itinerant craftsman who made the chair legs was known as a bodger or chair-bodger. mr ishmael used to know that sort of stuff, on account of his furniture restoration and life-long learning.

mrs ishmael said...

thank you, mr mike, for the link - it is to an article by Dr. John Lee, a recently retired professor of pathology and a former NHS consultant pathologist, writing in The Spectator. It doesn't say anything that we have not already discussed here in the blog, but it sums it up very neatly. I particularly like his distinction between dying with the virus as opposed to dying of the virus - the point being that eventually everyone who dies will die testing positive for Coronavirus - but that is not a death rate of 100%, it is a consequence of the entire population having been exposed to the virus, so that they carry the antibodies that their immune systems have developed to deal with the invader - but they are actually dying of one of the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. He concludes that the death rate is comfortably below 1%, as we have been saying throughout.

mongoose said...

There is a phenomenon in life, mrs i, sin't there that "saying" a problem makes one think it out a little bit further. (This is especially true of crossword clues btw.) Anyway, I have now solved the workshop gig and we will be as good as new tomorrow sometime.

That's a good article, Mr Mike, thank-you. Dr Lee is a sound lad.

siegfried scheißspinner said...

by subjecting us to a totally redundant social crackdown - and thus slashing carbon-dioxide and highly toxic nitrogen-dioxide levels with his revolutionary marxist-leninist sickle - has stir-crazy stalinist boris inadvertently saved the world from an impending climate-change-catastrophe and rescued our poisoned urban populations from the capitalist-pig-pumped pollution of lethal diesel-engine-emissions?

daley doobie said...

@siegfried scheißspinner

to verify whether the prime minister is indeed a natural dialectical materialist, i propose that we first examine the state of his tache.

dave badfood said...

@daley doobie

if johnson's grown a tache whilst in hiding from the plain bloody scientific truth, i'll sue the cheeky bugger for trademark-infringement - and that goes for you too doobie, you dozy prat.

daley doobie said...

@dave badfood

hey, badfood...

i hear johnson's gone so far fuckin' left 'e's started to wear red socks...

inmate said...

Mrs I and fellow Ishmaelites
I would suggest the current lockdown is to slowly get the public used to the coming enforcement of UN Agenda 21, something that most nations are signed up to.
The Corona virus pandemic has come at a most opportune time for tptb, the chance to restrict movement, to cut back on non essential shopping, to gradually remove the useless eaters- old folk- to save on future state pension payments, get us used to not using private transport, even those electric vehicle nonsense. Even the St Greta green agenda was promised by the barren hag May, no petrol or diesel cars by 2030, no carbon production/emissions by 2050...please do fuck off. The building of high rise apartments crammed into city centres close to tram stops, rail and buses; for travel to and from the workplace only. The now constant tut-tut by our betters of dog walkers in the countryside, soon to be banned to allow it to return to wilderness. There will be vast areas of the world were no one will be allowed to live; as mr Ishmael often observed, fuck the black kids an their need for clean drinking water.
This is no conspiracy theory, it was thought up by perhaps well meaning scientists, statisticians and yes, probably a few wealthy globalists to save the planet for future generations of our betters.

Thank Mrs I for publishing mr I’s drafts, keeping his beautiful writing out there ont ‘tinternet.

Mike said...

For all you people incarcerated at home, here's an interesting article.

Bungalow Bill said...

There is something very strange at work, Mr Mike. I have found it always wise to follow the money when I do not know where else to look.

Mike said...

Indeed Mr BB. I oscillate daily on this. But there is absolutely no question that Western economies, particularly the US, are bust, and the trillions being sloshed around now seem like the last hurrah, a lot of it only tangential to the virus. A yuge amount of money is on the move as we type.

mongoose said...

That's another interesting article. It is almost certinly true that a very great many people have the virus in them or have had it and not noticed.

I see that Eddie Large has croaked, poor lad, "of coronavirus" or "having contracted coronavirus" depending on which story you read. Eddie had a heart transplant almost 20 years ago FFS and was in hospital when he apparently became infected.

Mongosling2 is planning her life and wants to buy a house or a flat. Confused why her savings account pays no interest, I got up the BoE graph on MLR since I was a nipper. "Money's not worth anything!?", she squeaked. A flat and a nice car just turned intoa wee house near a railway in S Lincs and a runabout.

mrs ishmael said...

These are dark imaginings, mr inmate and mr siegfried, and as we have noted, further down the road, the remedy may be worse than that from which it purports to defend. Thanks for the article, mr mike, it sets out the facts, arguments and opinions that we ishmaelites have already considered, but with a marvellous insight into Italy and its particular problems of corruption, propagandising and stupidity - a toxic cocktail, and not one unique to Italy by any means.
mr mongoose's little 'un is smacking straight into the problem - money is just a belief system and when we cease to believe, it all comes tumbling down. I had intended to sell mr ishmael's manse, urged on by a well-meaning friend, a widow-woman herself, who told me that the manse is far too large for me to manage. Now there is no buying and selling of houses, and we have to make the best of what we already have. Or haven't, in mongosling2's case. I'm thinking of getting some tatties and carrots in, maybe a few neeps - may come in useful when we all emerge into the post-covid19-containment world, blinking in the sunshine at the brave new world that has such people (although not all of them) in it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mr Mike, the translated Italian scientist makes for interesting and helpful reading, though I'm not sure what to make of the main/other author's remark in his list of criteria for a scientist's credibility: "Whether his physiognomy is in reasonable harmony with perceivable symptoms of credibility. An idea elaborated in extreme detail and with a massive related study, by the Swiss author Johann Lavater, at the end of the 1700." Cranky, much?