Thursday. Follow-up news about Cuba's weird sonic weapon affair.
Wednesday. Survey of socialist Reddit people reveals some predictable stuff.
Tuesday. Hitherto neglected (by me) bit of 1960s garage music, set to a clip from some daringly louche film of the time: The Name of the Game. Proper period piece, complete with slurred lyrics and nasal guitars.
Monday. Apparently, Britain's Prince Harry is going to marry an American actress. She's his 15th cousin, explains a newspaper.
Sunday. Among the fitness-club machines, the slim lithe girl with the pink sticking plaster on her upper arm (covering a catheter into her skin that moniters her type 1 diabetes blood sugar, she told me a few weeks ago) is studiously carrying out the exercises written into her notebook. I ask how often the needle gets changed. Once a fortnight, she says.
Saturday. A return to form from the St Petersburg radio DJ with the static camera. Show #456.
Friday. Civil servant confirms that Labour's 1997-to-2010 governments pumped up immigration to push down wages. Oh, and another document emerges confirming that pro-EEC/EC/EU operators deliberately lied to Britain's public.
Thursday. Over at the gym, the "hardener" with the kung-fu physique looks pretty cross as she unsmilingly logs in to coach a woman client through a basic fitness routine. I decide not to flirtatiously ask her for tips about overhead kettle-bell technique.
Wednesday. Man who created anti-virus software now carries weapons at all times. Very politely, the writer plays down the thought that Mr McAfee marrying a prostitute, and getting back together with her after she was paid to poison him, might show lack of judgment.
Tuesday. The case against Palestine as a nation clearly set out.
Monday. Interesting piece to coincide with his death in prison in recent days about 1960s leftwingers praising Charles Manson.
Sunday. Mysteriously, it seems that straight women like men who are good-looking, muscular, rich. Cue anguish from gender morons.
Saturday. Interesting rumour says that the October 1st Las Vegas mass shooting was distraction cover for an attempted assassination of the Saudi king who was in Vegas that night. Suggestive, given that several floors of the hotel the shooting came from (several windows of) were owned by Al Waleed bin Talal, now under arrest in the quiet coup sprung inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since the Vegas mass killing. Curious how quiet that story has gone, and how quickly.
Friday. A rather defeatist elegy by Our Man in Bucharest.
Thursday. Slightly precious article about some flower from some person vaguely connected to Patrick Leigh Fermor.
Wednesday. Julie Burchill on wannabee-Arab Prince Charles. "Away with the djinns" is nice.
Tuesday. 'Male feminist', like some I knew at college, boasts of how proudly he'd humble himself, how mightily he'd grovel.
Monday. What did 17th-century food taste like?
Sunday. A law lecturer tries to free his students' minds.
Saturday. By night find myself at a lovely dinner party. In the middle of the curds-&-semolina dumplings-with-cream stage, a phone pings and the company demands to know of that male guest who has messaged him. An "older woman" he casually replies in Hungarian, later adding with a smile of mystery that she is "an Italian". Our gazelle-like feminine hostess, though not his girlfriend, switches into English and gently but firmly remarks "I'm not gonna cook for you any more. You go to your Mediterranean woman, perhaps she has a more liquidable pussy." General laughter breaks out at the novel English grammar, and an animated discussion starts about the right word (liquify? liquidate? liquidise?), digressing onto the topic of sex robots. Whereupon, just back from his surfing holiday, my table neighbour, not quite catching the thread of the conversation but looking very wise & jaded, says to me "Ah, most ertem. Egy nedvesitheto mupina," with the worldly nod of understanding Hungarians give to such statements.
Friday. For a week now, instead of my Serb/Hungarian neighbour, the adjacent flat has been occupied by a French couple, both perhaps about 30 or late 20s. They are there temporarily. They nodded last week when I asked if they were "Air BnB people". Late in the evening, I re-enter the building, come up in the lift, and notice their oblong bathroom window is lit up and open. Too high up to give a view in of course, I can hear echoey speaking. The male seems to be narrating something in a quiet & calm voice, with an occasional watery splosh or agreeing noise from the female. I get the impression she is in the bath, languidly listening to him either reading aloud from a book or recounting some anecdote to her. I cannot quite make out the words, but am reminded of the French Country House history noting that - unlike England - once bathrooms appeared in chateaux, the French immediately saw them as a cosy space to meet friends, socialise, chat about things. Rather than as the chilly, tiled, utilitarian hygiene zone of Dutch and English country homes.
Thursday. A comic strip imagines news reporting done by cats.
Wednesday. Still thinking about Wim Hof, the Dutch man who, in grief after his wife's death, began to explore the healing possibilities of intense cold. I've been quoting his line "for me, colt ish a noble forsh." from this film to friends for weeks now. Perhaps I overdid his Dutch accent.
Tuesday. As the wave of sex-assault allegations (some recent, some old) continues, claims surface that a teacher of Islamic Studies at Oxford has been Weinsteining women for several years, mostly in France. His closeness to the Muslim Brotherhood seemingly helps to silence his female critics. Unlike the case of the Hollywood producer, Ramadan's accusers cannot be said to be getting well-paid roles in films from him. Showing perhaps more boldness than Professor Ramadan, a Syrian man is caught "mounting" a pony in a German children's zoo in front of surprised visitors. No word on whether he is one of Merkel's guests. An American comedian issues an apology confessing that he asked a number of women if they would like to see his todger. A Russian man called 'Mick' apparently has a hobby business making tiny sex-dungeon toys and outfits for Barbie dolls. It seems there's a major wave of rape and violence against women in Sweden.
Monday. Saudi Arabia, to go with the recent 'reshuffle' of some rich princes into house arrest (or luxury hotel arrest) and the also very recent move to allow women to drive cars (sometimes), announces more excitingly funky news. A "female" robot has been granted Saudi citizenship. This might be a bold bit of PR about the desert kingdom vigorously modernising under the crown prince, or it might suggest that the view of women as chattels is so ingrained that giving a passport to a robot labelled as a woman seems perfectly natural for them. The artwork for this bit of music suggests a similar idea, with two hands fusing into one under a hive-like Artificial Person graphic.
Sunday. Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, gunpowder, treason, & plot. Yesterday while crossing Pest, I happen to be sharing an empty bench along the inside of an underground railway carriage with a spry old lady of uncertain age whose head was enclosed by a kind of hood or cowl of white material. Peeping out of it, she looked like a minor character featured early in a horror movie to establish an uneasy mood. She was about three feet away along the bench but she had that eerie smile and the bright light in the eyes that speaks of genuine madness. She was gazing out of the window at the dark tunnel walls, occasionally darting small blissed-out glances of glee at me before looking back out into the darkness. I felt a countdown to an event about to happen. Like starting a conversation, using a pretext (We're both looking at the same thing which isn't there!) that insane people and lonely normal people sometimes use. Or something like a sudden lunge for my crotch. I moved down the carriage. I'm at my destination station 5 minutes later, standing still on the crowded escalator taking people up to street level. On the moving staircase, I'm squashed right behind a white-skinned ginger-haired male with a thick mass of dreadlocks spilling down over a dull green jacket or raincoat. Down below his shoulder blades almost to his mid-back, these resemble a large dense mop made from carpet-underlay offcuts. To complete the effect of heroic ugliness, one shaggy ginger worm of matted felt had been threaded through a hole drilled in a white gambling die, then extending another 18 inches below. It was perhaps at the centre of the back of his neck. The cheapest kind, white plastic with black painted spots, it showed a four-dot face and next to that a five-dot face with the paint of the centre dot scratched away down to the white, so that at first glance there were two adjacent faces both showing fours. He was probably Hungarian, but in a town of sulky sneering beauties, a moment of touchingly English naffness.
Saturday. Rather sudden wave of allegations of sexual impropriety involving some Labour MPs expands. Now includes a 'dossier' of misbehaving Tory MPs ("I responded excessively to a hug") in what looks like a co-ordinated psyop by some agency to bring down May's government. Perhaps intended to derail Brexit. An ex-Tory aide close to Tony Blair seems to have helped the material 'surface', though he has now faded from news reports. Normal non-spook investigative journalism or dirt released by individuals doesn't usually come packaged in spreadsheets or folders of material on 36 (or was it 44?) people at once. This might be the reason Mrs May is reported to have given in to EU demands that Britain pay over 50 billion euros for permission to leave the association. This is the night people in Britain, when November 5th falls on a weekend, usually celebrate foiling Continental powers' 1605 attempt to sabotage British policy not to their liking.
One of our book contributors reports Saudi kingdom arrests 11 senior princes, including the once-handsome billionaire Al Waleed bin Talal. It was he who memorably said "If I see something priced at 1 billion I think is worth 5 billion, I buy it." Now his steely greying hair & tinted glasses make him look proper dodgy.
Friday. Lawyer on Egyptian television calls it a "national duty" to rape girls wearing ripped jeans. Apparently he's a regular on the TV discussion show, sometimes starting fisticuffs in the studio with other Egyptian luminaries.
Thursday. Confirmation appears that Clinton took control of the DNC apparatus a year before she was nominated as 2016 presidential candidate.
Wednesday. Day of the Dead. This evening didn't visit the nearby cemetery as in some previous years.
Mark Griffith, site administrator /
markgriffith at yahoo.com