2019 October 17: The Duke of Cambridge says more education and political action is needed to tackle climate change, as he visited a melting glacier in Pakistan.
2017 August 25: Introducing the International Sausage Festival.
The Gates of Heaven
Forthcoming book by JCV:
The Bears of Clowning Street
Once upon a time there were two bears, one male the other female—and before then doesn’t bear thinking about.
Bears are large, bulky fluffy creatures found in various locations across the once unpolluted Earth. There are polar bears (Ursus maritimus), so named because they inhabit the colder regions of the Earth’s geographic north pole (there are no polar bears in Antarctica so far as we know). These bears are clad in white fur that matches their snowy surroundings, or did until mankind kindly got to work and defrosted the polar regions for profit. Then there are the brown bears (Ursus arctos) which, as their name implies, wear brown suits: these animals may be found in parts of Eurasia and North America. The Black Bear
American black bear (Ursus americanus) is, as its name implies, both black in appearance and an inhabitant of North America; in build it is somewhat smaller than the above mentioned bears.
Our story is about another kind of bear whose genesis will be made clear (we trust and hope) as the story progresses.
The Bear family go back a long way in time. (We all do, but less fuss is made of that.) The present generation of the Bears who came to prominence when they took up residence in Clowning Street in London Town (some prefer to refer to the conglomeration of buildings as a city), have researched their forebears in some detail, so perhaps it would be appropriate if we were to eavesdrop on their findings and to present some of it here as the history of the Great Bear (Ursa Major). (The Great Bear is, of course, the ultimate achievement of the line that made it possible for the family to move into Clowning Street.)
Glossary of terms and conditions.
Wealth: A vague sort of condition focussed on the material world. The more you have of it (wealth) the more people suck up to you and the more power of persuasion you will have across the globe. The Great Bear himself is believed to be of infinite wealth; for example he owns nine residences one for each of the octet (modelled on the stability principle from nuclear structure), and one for luck.
Status: A positional thing in which the juxtaposition always finds the person with status on top. Of course this necessarily implies a scaling in which low status refers to those at the bottom of the pile. The term “individual of status” implies a condition in which the individual is held in high esteem by those who set their sites on status for its own sake.
Socialite: A getter-on in life. The Great Bear is a true go-getter.
Social Mobility: A process in communities large and small whereby the best able stamp on the least able to gain social advantage, i.e. greater wealth, social prestige and all that claptrap.
The Making of Mankind - or Something of the Sort
John Vetterlein, trading under the name of Polonius Wilberfalse.
For Full Text go to EDEN.
History would appear to inform us that mankind has always scrapped and pillaged, bullied, coerced, lied and cheated.
A little over sixty years ago, shortly after the Second World War had officially dried up, my father, who had served over five years in the Royal Air Force, said to me: "Son, there will be no more wars now that we have produced the atom bomb. There will be no winners in a nuclear conflict."
Only the second part of this statement is true, as to the rest . . . ?
Look at it like this. If in a military conflict one side finds itself at the point of defeat—and has access to nuclear arsenals—it will resort to their use. If the other side has similar instruments of mighty destruction it too will use them and we'll all be incinerated.
This nation, to which I am bound through accident of birth, uses so-called war tactics as part of foreign policy—witness Iraq.
That an intelligent species should contemplate any kind of state military action in a nuclear environment beggars belief. Yet that is precisely what we perceive for the indefinite future. Absurd!
It all began in the Garden of Eden. Somebody by the name of Eden (first name Anthony, it is believed) came across God one day. God had been looking for somewhere to park a couple of cronies for some time. “Look here,” said God to Tony, “I’ve been trying to find somewhere suitable for an experiment I have in mind. How be it if you negotiate the sale of your garden to me?”
“What are you offering?” asked Tony.
“A whole new ball game. Something cooked up in my own image, the pride and joy of my heart. To make no more ado, I’m looking for a home for these two creatures, one called Adam, the other called Eve.”
“Evesy does it,” said Tony in an undertone and with a wink. And so Tony (he admired the way Eve held up her little toe to the wind) struck a deal with God. In return for the use of his garden - he didn’t want to sell it outright, you see—God gave Tony the freedom of the Universe.
“Go away for a few millennia and when you return you will find your garden richer for what I have placed therein,” said God, coyly.
Tony was in such a hurry to get off on his journey round the Universe he didn’t pay much heed to what God had said about His experiment. After all, if you can’t trust God to mean what He says and to keep to His word, who can you trust? As Tony was about to set off God said, almost as an afterthought, “And besides, I shall be giving these two a pet snake called Lennox.”
“A snake? Why a snake?” said in a tone of indifference, no doubt trying to make conversation (after all, it’s not often one gets a chance to talk with God, let alone do a bargain with Him).
“Why not a snake? Better than a Stegosaurus (1), I would have thought,” God replied haughtily. “Have you any objections to a snake?”
Tony thought carefully before answering. He didn’t want to appear unintelligent in the eyes of God - would you?
“No. No objections. Only that . . .” Tony hesitated, “A snake has no legs.”
“Are legs important, then?” asked God, knowing full well the answer. And of course put like that Tony glimpsed the peril of his situation (arguing with God, indeed); and so there was nothing more to be said on either side, and Tony left.
cintinued . . .
But there was a certain line that came from Eve which so imitated her and Adam that all were fooled into thinking it had come from the time when Adam and Eve had slept in harmony together in the cradle of the fruit tree. And it was the same with others from Adam’s seed. And thus there came into being (long before the search party sent to look for Tony returned) that the saying was born: “No good to man nor beast”, or words to that effect.
Finis in tempus
1. Stegosaurus. Originally God had thought of Brontosaurus but then recalled this specimen had been given a name to a beast already identified and named as the Apatosaurus. God therefore went for Stegosaurus. (Incidentally, the Second Edition of the English Oxford Dictionary still lists the Brontosaurus without reference to its duplicating the name Apatosaurus.)
Cautionary Note: Do not confuse the Tony in this tale with that miracle of creation to come, several decades later, in the form of Tony B of the Mighty Sirens for Good.