July 22nd; Thursday.
Warm weather continues. People continue to walk around in public wearing clothes with ridiculous slogans written on
them in large letters, usually in English. For example "Die" or "Rebirth Through Pain".
Another 19th-century account of a hollow world, Etidorhpa, this one framed as fiction. This evening at Middle Temple in London, a memorial
service for Michael is being held but I can't get there to attend.
July 21st; Wednesday.
Robin's exhibition at the
Magyar Muhely Galeria opens. Afterwards Jessica & I repair to the comedy show at Sean's bar presented by Dave, where
the funniest and most professional of the stand-up comics, Gruber, berates me from the stage for not getting vaccinated.
July 20th; Tuesday. Signs of hope: younger
increasingly switching off the creepy & unhelpful NHS covid-19 tracing app.
July 19th; Monday.
Two bits of quite aggressive club music from 'Labrinth':
Mount Everest /
Still Don't Know My Name.
July 18th; Sunday. Mycologist Terence McKenna, in his
unmistakable whiny wordy Irish-American lilt, waxes lyrical over his favourite drug, the "business trip"
N,N-Dimethyltryptamine or "DMT" and
its cosmic implications. It sounds fascinating (or McKenna makes it sound fascinating),
but I honestly don't think I have the courage to try it.
DMT is Everything.
July 17th; Saturday. Two quaint bits of amateur
research: one about the life of a 19th-century Nordic fisherman who claimed he had travelled into
a hollow earth, and got committed to
an insane asylum as a result / the other about how Biblical descriptions of
angels are not at all as we imagine.
July 16th; Friday. More Bragg radio discussions.
The Arian Heresy, something I kept
stumbling over but never quite got my head round before / Portuguese writer
Pessoa / an intriguing 8th-century scholar & pedagogue called
July 15th; Thursday. A co-founder of the
Wikipedia website says the mass-edited encyclopaedia is
no longer trustworthy.
July 14th; Wednesday.
Bastille Day. I find out the
of Wands' theme tune was, of all people, written
by Andy Bown, someone who later played keyboards for Status Quo. And how odd - a children's show about the occult.
Or is it? I recall watching some episodes of this as a small boy, realising it was a competitor to
Dr Who, suddenly seeing that
"science fiction" is really just a relabelling of "magic".
July 13th; Tuesday.
A charming version of 'Season
of the Witch'. Julie Driscoll's eye makeup very much of its time.
The haunting melody still suffers from that jarring contrast with
weak lyrics like "pick up every stitch". Such a lame rhyme for "witch".
July 12th; Monday.
"Labour deeply ashamed by
'dildo butt pedo monkey'". Another fine headline.
July 11th; Sunday.
ANC infighting in South Africa seems to be
July 10th; Saturday. Some hefty
claims about covid-19-vaccination risks:
a US perspective /
some effects of multiple inoculations.
July 9th; Friday. A
radio show about the
extraordinary affair in the late 60s & early 70s of Colin Turnbull and the Mbuti versus the Ik. The
African tribe the Ik were, in his bigoted judgement (during a devastating famine, of all things),
"the most selfish people on earth", as described in his book
Mountain People'. Very interesting programme, clarifying just
what's so strange about anthropology and the people who do it. It was clear that Turnbull had
a childish personal fantasy about an innocent Garden of Eden of early human societies in Africa
(cf 'The Forest
People', the Mbuti), partly based on hatred of his native England. The Ik ruined the
Mbuti-fuelled delusion for him, and he reacted with the
rage of a jilted lover. Mind you, the BBC narrator Syed is himself
a bit suspect. In this short spot he misleadingly describes the 1973 hostage standoff that led to the phrase
'Stockholm Syndrome'. He explains how the phrase misrepresents what happened, while himself misrepresenting what
happened. Another item about Brexit reveals him as part of the BBC news-distortion consensus.
July 8th; Thursday.
Finish a mid-1980s book called '1984 Revisited', edited
by Irving Howe. An intriguing set of essays, some
very good, others not so much, some tightly connected to Orwell's book, others less so. Robert Tucker's essay
suggests Big Brother is not just a cartoonish personification of a brutal system but an actual person: eg Mao
or Stalin, with less personal police states less recognisably versions of Orwell's dictatorship. Richard Lowenthal
goes into interesting detail about struggles over policy and ideology inside the 1950s & 1960s USSR & China.
Bernard Avishai focuses on Orwell's fears about NewSpeak and language manipulation, while Robert Nisbet discusses
how much Rousseau and Burke prefigured Orwell's themes before and during the French Revolution. Slightly eerie to read
these thoughtful reflections written 2 or 3 years before (we now know) the USSR, East Bloc, and Berlin Wall collapsed.
Seemingly every author was unaware the great change was at hand. No contributor mentioned Amalrik's prescient 1970s
book 'Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?'
A friend falls dangerously sick with heat stroke & low blood salt (having earlier in the day vomited on the side of the
building housing Hungary's Ministry of Local Government). I take charcoal pills & salty drinks.
July 7th; Wednesday.
Finish a curious book from 2012 lent to me by a friend. It's called
Heaven', wherein an
American neurosurgeon relates how he fell into a dangerous coma for seven days, his brain not only
shut down but measurably & observedly shut down, yet meanwhile subjectively experiencing visions of heaven,
higher realms etc. The surgeon who fell ill changed from being a materialistic science believer to someone
convinced love is the basic force of the physical universe.
July 6th; Tuesday.
Lockdowns and masks bring an
July 5th; Monday.
Slightly shouty but interesting article about the 2020
July 4th; Sunday.
Meet Jessica, Eugene, and others for
US Independence drinks at the Marriott. A wiggly
pet snake appears at a nearby table, looking harmless enough (Don't Step
on Me?), but some of the womenfolk in our group nonetheless flee at
Sammy the Serpent's arrival. After dark, Jessica shows me a rather fine burger restaurant, where a waitress
has a large-ish bird of prey on one wrist, like a big falcon (she says it's a Mexican species not strictly
the same as a falcon or a kestrel). He's called Marci. All very mythological.
July 3rd; Saturday. Astonishing.
People allowed in shops and on public transport without the stupid paper hospital masks. A rule
which should never have been imposed in the first place and did only harm finally vanishes after
over a year. Incredible they got away with this, not to mention the censorship and the lies.
Not really relevant, but an interesting nugget from Forbes, claiming Anthony Fauci was
2019's best-paid US federal employee.
July 2nd; Friday.
Recently, my Peter Pan article went online at The Salisbury Review.
July 1st; Thursday.
To buy a 2nd tube of relaxant gel for the still pulled muscles in my back, I go to three pharmacists
in a row, all of which are closed. A woman passerby outside the third explains to me that Hungary has a
holiday today in honour of
Ignaz Semmelweis, the man who drew a map of beds in a Vienna hospital ward to chart
which end of the room most women were dying of childbed fever (thus showing that doctors were carrying
infections in by not washing their hands). Meaning that most pharmacies have today off. Useful.
Mark Griffith, site administrator /
markgriffith at yahoo.com