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Let's Dance

Scenes in Brixton last night:


This is what life is meant to be about,what people are meant to be about; laughing, singing, dancing. Who on earth made the ghastly decision that work was the point? Never the people working I suspect.

Day after, out come the wormhole spotters. I don't know enough about Bowie and assault charges to give much comment; as he wasn't convicted (to my imperfect knowledge) it doesn't seem an issue. And perhaps there needs to be some care taken with judging every historical sexual interaction with near-16s. Many do indeed appear to be straightforward sexual assaults, but the mores and attitudes of the time count for something,or we would be despising Romeo and Juliet for the abuse of a 14 year old, and Austen's 'Emma' would be off the curriculum for Knightley's potential grooming of Emma when she was 13. I think that if there is hypersensivity on this subject, it's in an understandable response to historic acceptance of abuse. Context is no excuse, but it may help explain, for all the good that does. In 100 years time, many may consider our appetite for meat a cruel and barbaric practice; they may find it hard to see us as anything more than monsters when they realise that we get what happens in abbattoirs and we accept it. Delineations of evil change.

Speaking of evil, looks as though Mein Kampf is selling well. I would be tempted to buy it if it gave any real indication of how his mind turned so ill, but the excerpts I read here and there show little except a demonstrable lack of writing talent, and a determined pointless hatred. One wonders if his paintings were as dull.

We could spend our lives ruminating on all the possible permutations and manifestations of evil; a view so bleak no-one could live with the reality of it - and you can't affect anything if you are too crushed by truth to live. Sometimes you have to accept today, it's music and its blindness, its stories and the tales forgotten. We have to live, all of us. So come on. Let's dance.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 12th, 2016 08:56 pm (UTC)
His paintings were indeed also dull. Mein Kampf is unreadable. It's one of the reasons so many people were surprised by what he did, because even though if you actually read the book you would have known, nobody could get through the damn thing.

I'm still singing the Safety Dance, and it's all your fault!
Jan. 13th, 2016 04:51 pm (UTC)
We can dance if we want to
...We've got all your life and mine :-)
Jan. 12th, 2016 09:46 pm (UTC)
I don't know why anyone would buy Mein Kampf when they could download the free e-book. I don't know why anyone would do either except for university. His watercolours were of their era. One sees thousands of them on Europeana by artists one's never heard of - bucolic scenes, architectural studies, interiors. Not unattractive but bland.
Jan. 13th, 2016 04:47 pm (UTC)
Why? To understand the nature of the beast. Especially as its offspring seem to be popping up all over. These are distressing times.

To me there is something strange about the way he was nothing much, the mediocrity of one of the most evil men ever to have existed. Some (notably royalist apologists) say, 'no-one knew what he was back then.' I don't see how that can be true. He doesn't gloss his intent. You're right though, couldn't actually buy the book, or even download it. It would feel like being followed around by a particularly malevolent ghost.
Jan. 13th, 2016 08:43 pm (UTC)
There are many very readable books on the market if one wants to 'understand' Hitler. Mein Kampf isn't one of them, and it's certainly not worth spending money on. There's nothing one can't download, legally or otherwise. I know that Germany practices internet censorship but it would have been like slaying the Hydra.

The question of what people know and don't know and what the knowing leads them to believe or do is a difficult one. I find it quite remarkable that people can be given evidence of a thing and yet still not 'see' it. It happened then and it happens now.
Jan. 14th, 2016 08:07 am (UTC)
Yes, I find the issue of the known and unknown to be a puzzler. On the whole, I say demystification, boredom even, is how one deals with certain kinds of information. Mein Kampf is as dull as ditchwater, and within itself is a cure for any idiot who thinks it contains some kind of Blakeian vision, or tale of glorious struggle. Only the interest in forbidden knowledge could varnish it. Though I do recognise there might - might! - be information that just needs to be lost forever. I just don't think that this is such information, especially now when it is being aped by the unaware as simple patriotism or practical economy.

Doubtless you are aware of the Daily Mail and its history. On one of its comment forums, someone started putting up quotes from Hitler. They were popular, plenty of likes. People didn't necessarily know who they were agreeing with, but they know what they like and don't like; they liked the cut of the speakers jib,they didn't like immigrants.

They would never read Mein Kampf, because they prefer not to read any books really... and their understanding would never go past the bogeyman on the front cover to understand that in the context of history, they may be emulating him.
Jan. 14th, 2016 08:23 am (UTC)
Comment forums in any of the papers - or anywhere at all, really - are best avoided. I read the Daily Mail on occasion for the photo spreads which are better than anyone else's but I don't read the comments.

Thinking about it, it occurred to me that no bookshop here (except for secondhand ones perhaps) would sell Mein Kampf. Sometimes these things take care of themselves without the censor's intervention.
Jan. 14th, 2016 08:27 am (UTC)
I like that idea. That the info is out there but so boring and irrelevant that no-one can be bothered.That's the sign of a healthy political landscape.
Jan. 12th, 2016 11:32 pm (UTC)
My favourite Brixton Bowie link (well done, Brixton):

Jan. 13th, 2016 07:58 pm (UTC)
I... think I don't agree about work. I love my job of course, which helps, I believe passionately in its purpose and effectiveness and value. But even when I'm not working, I take a great deal of pleasure from doing stuff purposefully, from labour which achieves something I believe to be worthwhile. Even dusting. Even running!

I see it in the kids too - the worst cruelties and miseries seem to happen when they have been given nothing fit to do, or have been made to feel that they are not fit to do it.

Maybe I mean something different by work?

Jan. 14th, 2016 08:23 am (UTC)
I think perhaps you do... If all work was a way to pass time that was pleasant, productive and paid for, well and good, but most isn't.

Re dusting etc, I see why we don't want things to be dirty, but feel no sense of reward when things are clean - only that it makes other people happy, which is something. And it is utterly soul destroying when hours of boring irritating housework is ruined in 20 minutes by people using the house, as they must! For this reason I would rather clean the bathroom than the kitchen. It may be dirtier in the first place, but the job stays done longer. Getting a cleaner is one of the best things that ever happened to me!

Being occupied in a constructive and interesting way is bound to be good for people and some jobs do bring happiness, or are necessary. But for the main, I would rather be down dancing on the streets in Brixton!

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )



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