Archive for January, 2013

On The Acquisition of Knowledge (And, If You’re Lucky, a Smidgeon of Wisdom)

January 31, 2013

shelfshelves

In response to this:

http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2012/11/hipsters_on_food_stamps.html

A poster called Joe Young asks: ‘Can you really take every class at MIT and Yale online? How much does that cost?’

He gets a rather good response:’It’s free. Check out MIT’s OpenCourseWare, and Open Yale Courses’

An anonymous poster whines:’Nobody knows who that is.’
At this point I raise my eyes heavenward and type the following: ‘Try looking at your iTunes.  (Winston Churchill’s speeches are on there too).’

When Margaret Thatcher entered Downing Street in 1979 a journalist asked a rather obvious question: ‘How does it feel to be the first female prime minister in Downing Street?’

After pointing out that she had no other basis for comparison, Margaret Thatcher alerted the journalist to the fact that she was also the first science graduate in Downing Street. Her predecessors had mostly been humanities graduates.

The only cure for ignorance is knowledge and generally it doesn’t come to find you. You have to seek it out.

Is it worth commenting on the fact that there are many great historical figures who never graduated from university? Orwell was one of them. They didn’t think he was bright enough to attend. Imagine that? Methinks that maybe they weren’t bright enough for him.

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The Toe of Italy, September 1943

January 30, 2013

butterflyinthenewyorksky21a

https://rielouise.wordpress.com/2005/10/12/nobby-at-war/

The camp they were staying in was called ‘Hell 1’.

Nobby was laid out with the dead.  He was suffering from infectious hepatitus.  He lay, for three days, unconscious on a miliatry aircraft.  A passing American soldier saw a limb twitch and alerted the medical authorities.  Nobby had been saved from being buried alive. He was transferred to a miitary hospital.  Nobby was in a coma for two more days.  When he came round the other patients on the ward were gathered around his bed.  ‘We’ve been taking bets on your chances of recovery,’ one of them said.  ‘Every man who has occupied that bed has ended up dead.’

They chatted and played cards but the food was bland and in short supply.

The days passed by.

To be continued…

Nobby in Siciliy

Nobby in Siciliy

Farmer's Daughter

Farmer’s Daughter

Sicilian Family

Sicilian Family

Comrades

Comrades

End of Days

January 30, 2013

redredrose12b

The Magic Mountain

January 17, 2013

unity2m

When I was in hospital I was befriended by Michael, an ex squaddie who had left the army after a nervous breakdown. He had been homeless ever since. drifting from bedsit to shelter and back again. His chaotic lifestyle was punctuated by visits to the psychiatric hospital.

The army was his reason for living and, in his view, someone had stolen that away from him. Now he had nothing. Just a lifetime of desolate acute wards and endless corridors. This was when I realized that the longer I remained on this hospital ward the harder it would be to leave. And that terrified me. Becoming like Michael terrified me. ‘This is like being a prisoner of war,’ he told me. ‘Worse probably. At least they have the Geneva Convention.’

Michael was a mountain of a man. He did not join the other patients waiting calmly, obediently in line for their medication. He rejected the powerful neuroleptic they offered him. I once overheard a nurse saying to him: ‘You really have no idea how ill you are, do you?’ He had a reputation for being ‘non-compliant’.

Nursespeak, my mother had once told me, for ‘awkward old git.’ He viewed the staff with open hostility and they viewed him as a problem to be solved. But he also had a generosity of spirit that was rare in these parts.

This was a side of him that the staff chose not to see. All they saw was an obstreperous, middle-aged, red-faced man standing before them. The one that, no matter what they tried, refused to take the medication prescribed to him by his all-knowing consultant. So every night he was forcibly medicated. It was quite a spectacle.

Michael would wedge himself into the easy chair nearest the television. ‘Are you ready for your meds, Michael’. This question would be repeated three times and would elicit no response. The staff nurse would then call in the charge nurse who, in turn, called in his minions – male auxiliary nurses from the intensive care unit. The biggest, beefiest men they could find. Men who were only here, according to Aaron (the pretentious overgrown public school boy) because they enjoyed roughing people up.

The patients in the dayroom looked up from their books and boardgames. They turned their heads away from the television. They snapped out of their collective stupor. Then they arrived – six burly men with heavy, clumping boots. They did not try to argue with Michael, they did not ask him to come quietly. Moving in tandem they seized him and pulled him out of his chair. But he did not give in without a struggle. He kicked out with his feet and struck out with his fists as they dragged him out of the room and walked him down the corridor. It was not a fair fight.

‘See what they’re doing, ‘ he shouted. ‘They’re oppressors. Government oppressors. They are an army of pawns.’ They were followed by an elfin female nurse with a needle in her hand. The doctor who had authorised this procedure watched from a distance.

‘I’d love to shove a needle up his arse,’ said Aurora (the ward’s beautiful but rather vulgar narcissist) who was no stranger to forcible medication.

Monochrome Angel

January 15, 2013

(Against the Backdrop of a City At Sunset)…

wingedone2s

Stepping Out of the Inferno Alive

January 15, 2013

8382938096_4601ff0789_b

Pointless Polarisation of the Universe

January 13, 2013

Is one’s morality predicated solely on one’s wealth?  If it is then maybe, as a nation, the U.S. should get rid of the plaque on Liberty Island and its poem, written by Emma Lazarus which includes the lines ‘With silent lips. Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,/Send those, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,/I lift my lamp beside the golden door.’

And it’s almost certain that many of the commenters in the linked thread would strongly disagree with this: (written by Ronald Reagan in the aftermath of the assassination attempt made by John Hinckley, jr.):

Screen shot 2013-01-14 at 02.18.17

 

This, My Friends, Is…

January 11, 2013

…Simon the Cat.

The only cat to have won the PDSA’s Dickin Medal.  I believe that many other recipients of that medal were carrier pigeons.  Cool, huh?
220px-Able_Seacat_Simon_(fair_use)
Here:

dickenmedal

From My Parents’ Attic

January 9, 2013

mandy

MIsery Me Memoir/Horror/One Cool Way of Getting Out of Paying a Monster Mortgage Recommendation:

January 8, 2013

Amityvillecover


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