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Today's quote:

Monday, November 30, 2015

On this day in 1977

Some cruiser wrote this in Tom Neale's guest book: "This above is Tom Neale, the man who enacted all our dreams and will live in all our hearts for his individuality. Suvarov, This is one man's island ... We hope that whilst he is away, we yachtsmen can help preserve all that he has done for the island and his home. Out of little, he has created a good deal. We feel, that if every visiting yacht completed some small beneficial project, then, not only would we all appreciate this haven all the more, but also, upon his return, he would discover that not all his toil was in vain."


On this day in 1977 Tom Neale, the "Hermit of Suwarrow", passed away in Rarotonga. As the guestbook entry puts it, he enacted all our dreams for us, and his dream lives on in his book An Island to Oneself.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Keep the horseshit flying


Someone once said that reading my blog was just like having a conversation with me except that they don't get a chance to talk back. To which my wife replied, "And how is that different from any conversation with him?"

Today's "conversation is about George Orwell's book "Keep the Aspidistra Flying" which was made into the movie "A Merry War", which, as is the case with any movie adaptation, left a lot out but also added a few bits.

The one bit added which I liked was when the poet-in-the-garret Gordon Comstock tells his girlfriend Rosemary about a man who lives along the street. He's called Sam the Shoveller. He follows the horses and collects their shit. He sells it to people to make their garden grow. He's happy to sell it and they're happy to buy it. Nobody is under an illusion. They're buying and selling shit.

Why do I tell you all this? Well, because it's so refreshing in today's world where we are surrounded by all those Sams in politics and in the media who are trying to sell us shit while pretending to do otherwise. Which leads me directly to George Orwell's best-known book "Nineteen Eighty-Four" which was written in 1948 but, except for the chocolate rations, could just as easily describe the system we live under today.

If all this is a little too depressing for you, keep watching the full-length movie "A Merry War" while it's still on YouTube.