Monday, 27 February 2017

EU Rule 165 exposed. Viva La Vanguardia!

EU Assembly and Rule 165
All of one mind? 

The Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia has published a news item about Rule 165, one of the EU's little known secrets. 

Revealed is an example of Orwellian control and deception that Josef Stalin* would have been proud of.   

I quote here from Free West Media. Please visit the link in the sidebar to read their report. The underlinings are mine. 

Under Rule 165, not made public by the Assembly but first reported by Spain's La Vanguardia unwanted material could be deleted from the audio-visual recording of the proceedings.  

Brussels lawmakers have now been granted special powers to limit live broadcasts of parliamentary debates and to remove video or audio material.

"This undermines the reliability of the Parliament's archives," said Tom Weingaertner, president of the Brussels branch of the International Press Association. 

In other words, if someone makes a controversial speech or an unsuitable comment or raises an objection or waves his country's flag or holds up a protest banner in the EU Parliament (e.g. perhaps to bring attention to an issue such as TTIP or CETA secrecy) the relevant audio-video material can now be legally expunged* from the official record by the the EU's legal department and no EU citizen will ever know what was discussed or said unless there happens to be a reporter present who is prepared to reveal the true facts; in other words an honest journalist prepared to put his career on the line.  

It's not for nothing that there's a George Orwell Square in the centre of Barcelona! 
Viva La Vanguardia! 

The EU Maze 
- easier to get in than out?

Historical reminder: The communists expunged all references to the Hitler-Stalin pact.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

A Baby Colobus and Vladimir the Orangutan

Yesterday I went to the Vienna zoo.  They say it's the oldest zoo in the world.

There was a cold and penetrating breeze and many animals wisely chose to stay indoors.

My favourite animals are the primates. Maybe we are more similar than we care to think.

Four Colobus Monkeys share an enclosure with about twenty Meerkats. Everyone appears to get on well together.

The Meerkats were outside in the morning but when I returned at midday they had gone underground. I waited a while but they didn't return. Perhaps they were sleeping.

The baby Colobus often peers over the edge of the platform or tries to climb higher.

Now and then one of the parents stretches out a protective arm and gently guides the inexperienced youngster away from potential danger.

A lady told me the Orangutang I photographed is called Vladimir.

There are four Orangutans living together. Vladimir has just filled his cup with fresh water from a tap on the wall behind him.

He sips his water slowly, taking care not to spill it.  Then he goes for a walk and a 'think'.

Lastly a look at those cold weather specialists the Humboldt Penguins who are clearly enjoying themselves.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Bookshops are closing - (A short story)

In town just now, I noticed another bookshop has closed.

It was one the English bookshops.

As it happens it's the shop where I found a copy of Submission after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Submission is a prophetic work, as was 1984,  and it's essential reading in today's Europe.

This raises the question: Who reads serious books today?

The sight of a young person reading a novel, even a Dan Brown thriller, on a bus or a tram journey is a rarity.

If a youngster reads anything, and I use the word reads in its loosest context, it will be the garish free sheet from the newspaper bin at the bus station.

From the age of 10 onwards children will hypnotically thumb through the apps and the pictures and the emails on their mobile phones.

If they put the phone away you can almost guarantee it'll be out again in two minutes and the process will continue, perhaps hoping for another 25 facebook friends.

There 's a word for this.


It means frightened of missing out.

A recent survey claims that 50% of secondary school students in the city cannot or will not speak the official language - German - outside of the classroom.

For them it's Turkish, Albanian, Arabic, French, Rumanian, Serbian . . .  and English.

One day all the book shops will be gone.

And one day in the future it's possible that one of today's youngsters will search his computer for Submission or 1984 to download or to read on line or to order a paper copy and get the onscreen reply:

Search negative. Please try another title.

It could happen.


As easy as switching off their plastic money in their cashless society.

Control will be complete.

Bookmark Art no. 3

woven carpet bookmark

  publicity handout

Bookmark Art no. 2

card insert from art materials pack

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

White House Video

President Trump speaks at National Museum of African American History and Culture 

10 minutes of education.  Click here to watch >>> IT'S NOT THE FAKE NEWS

Don't believe everything you think.

I can switch off my brain and accept my daily ration of fake news from the mainstream propaganda media who will dutifully tell me what to think. In fact they will, if I allow them, do all my thinking for me. How convenient.

But I don't.

I'm interested in people, the ordinary and the unordinary people, and I often read their stories, their personal stories; the ones that are not mainstream media stories.

breaking bread

breaking bread 
we listen to their stories 
hear their music

Monday, 20 February 2017

Breathing Bad Air

At a venue in Vienna yesterday evening I couldn't help noticing that a significant percentage of the audience were constantly coughing. So much so, that after the intermission I moved to another part of the auditorium, thinking I'd be safe from any winter germs that were floating around.

And then it occurred to me that the coughing epidemic I was witnessing might not be due to winter colds and chills. I myself have a slight sore throat, I thought. And then I thought this might be due to something some more serious. The air I'm breathing might not be too healthy, I thought.

And so first this morning I logged on to an international air quality monitoring website which covers 300 cities around the world, and I checked the Vienna air quality for myself. What I discovered was alarming and surprising, since I had not seen any warnings in the daily newspaper or heard anything much about air quality on the radio; which tends to give us temperatures, snow conditions, and hours of sunshine etc., and only rarely, very rarely, reports on Vienna's air.

I discovered that in the last 31 days in Vienna we have had:

0 days of FRESH AIR

I then looked at the chart for the last 6 months, that is to say since 19th August 2016. What I found was almost beyond belief!



It goes without saying that I have now downloaded the Air Quality App and that I will be closely monitoring the pollution levels when I venture out for my daily exercise. This morning the pollution at the time of looking, an hour ago, was classed as moderate and runners are today advised to "take it easy".

Since I value my health I shall do so.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

My Alien Promise

I promised to show a special (to me) painting I have made of an alien and here s/he is.

Or maybe it's an it.

I cannot imagine for one second that entities visiting us from other space-time dimensions or other solar systems or galaxies have male and female carbon-based bodies full of bones, muscles and blood.

So I'll call it an it.

That they, the advanced ones, have to reproduce copies of themselves by means of sexual procreation is an absurd idea.

They can live forever. And in several locations simultaenuously. Perhaps.

It's also absurd to think that these advanced entities would be interested in following any muddled and irrational customs they might have noticed set down upon parchment or paper or stones on a smallish planet circling a yellow star on the outer edge of a moderately sized spiral galaxy. A planet rather like ours. Perhaps.

apology for angled photograph
- - this way removes reflections

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Man with the Blue Guitar - Two Paintings

A singular poem I read fairly often is Wallace Stevens' The Man with the Blue Guitar.  

Stevens was inspired by Pablo Picasso's famous painting The Old Guitarist (click to see).

On rereading Stevens' poem recently I was inspired to reach for my paints:

The Man with the Blue Guitar (detail) - gw2017

And now some lines from the beginning and end of the poem:

The Man with the Blue Guitar


The man bent over his guitar,
A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.

They said, "You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are."

The man replied, "Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar."

. . .


I cannot bring a world quite round,
Although I patch it as I can.

I sing a hero's head, large eye
And bearded bronze, but not a man,

Although I patch him as I can
And reach through him almost to man.

. . .


. . .

                    / The bread
Will be our bread, the stone will be

Our bed and we shall sleep by night.
We shall forget by day, except

The moments when we choose to play
The imagine pine, the imagined jay.

Crépin's Miraculous Images

Miraculous Image no. 151 (detail)
oil on canvas - 1941

Miraculous Image no. 32 (detail)
oil on canvas - 1939 

Fleury-Joseph Crépin (1875-1948) was initiated into the world of spiritualism in 1930. He painted scenes from temples. He was convinced the war would end when he finished painting no. 300.

Crépin completed and signed his 300th miraculous painting on VE Day.  His final painting was to be no. 345.

Several of his paintings are currently to be seen at Museum Gugging,  20kms from Vienna. There's a link in the post below.

This fascinating museum is generally open to the public one day a week - Wednesday from 10:00am to 5:00pm. During the course of the year there are special events, talks, and workshops on many weekends.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Art Brut in Gugging - Part 2

This post may be read as a sequel to my introduction to the Gugging Artists (click to visit Gugging website) which is to be found on two posts in Poet-in-Residence pages:

'Art Brut in Gugging' (Nov 2009)
'Autochthonous Art'.  (Nov 2009)

Inputting the words "Art Brut" in the P-i-R search box brings them up. Or simply click on the desired title.

Car Park Mural (detail)

The following images show detail from three works by Robert Gie (1869 - 1???).

 Gie was not a Gugging artist; but some of his work, normally at home in Switzerland, is currently to be seen at the Gugging Museum near Vienna, Austria.

Three drawings which I viewed yesterday, are placed here for reasons which have to do with the Vincent Van Gogh poem you may now have read, or may be persuaded to read, on the page titled Autochthonous Art at my Poet-in-Residence blog

The poem arrived ready cooked and suffused with emissions. I published it to the memory of Vincent Van Gogh, but today under the influence of Gie's Cosmic Circulation System I am adding here a new name to click: Robert Gie.

Surely Vincent won't mind? 

Three People Suffused with Emissions
pencil and ink on tracing paper ca. 1916

Cosmic Circulation System of Emissions
pencil on cardboard ca. 1916

Distribution of Emissions by Means of a
Central Machine and Measurement Chart

pencil on tracing paper ca. 1916

Distribution of Emissions by Means of a
Central Machine and Measurement Chart

pencil on tracing paper ca. 1916 

May 'The Force' be with You! 

Monday, 13 February 2017

Wot, no Campari?

The following photos were taken in and around the town of San Candido in the Italian Tirol. I was over there for a few days in January. And it was, as always in Italy, simply lovely. Bellissimo!

The snow-sculptured cyclist reminds us that primavera is just around the corner!  

Tap Water


Lake's Dark Depths

Avanti Giro d'Italia!


Tre Cime


Friday, 3 February 2017

A few lines from Thomas Bernard

Some years ago I translated Thomas Bernhard's poem Unter dem Eisen des Mondes on Poet-in-Residence.

Here are some of the lines:

  we mow and bleat and know nothing of winter,
  we drink our cider and know nothing,
  and soon we'll be forgotten
  and the verses decayed like snow before the house

  . . . 

  we sleep while our dirty shoes 
  moulder before the door of the house. 

  . . . 

  The year is like the year a thousand years ago, 
  we know nothing,
  we know nothing of the end,
  of the sunken towns, of the flood in which the horses
  and people were drowned. 

Owed to joy?

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

icy petals

In Austria we've just had the coldest January for 30 years. Today is 1st February and there's a thaw.

This morning I jogged and walked doggedly through a fresh fall of snow in a park in the Vienna Woods. I say doggedly because I was approached three times by strange dogs which were barking, growling and one, a little ratter, bowled into me full tilt. Fortunately I was wearing my heavy duty Berghaus leggings and nothing was damaged.

There is an area the size of 6 football pitches where dogs are allowed to run free, but for some reason best known to themselves many dog owners prefer that their dogs gallop about on paths and trails used by walkers, runners and cyclists; paths and trails where dogs are supposed to be on a lead, or at least muzzled, according to the rules.

Whenever I see a dog running towards me I immediately stop running and stand my ground. I have refined this tactic since the day I was body-checked in the same park by a flying Rottweiler in charge of a drunk. I am now able to rattle oncoming canine teeth with a swift movement of my shod foot if I think the animal is planning to bite.

The 5 most heard names of park dogs are: Here! Stop! Halt! No! and Sigmund. 

In the park I saw a reward poster stuck on a tree. It offered €10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a dog-poisoner.

Maybe the dogs think it's me?

Or maybe, as one dog owner more intelligent than the rest quietly explained to me: The thing is they don't like the colour of your jacket. 

It's orange.

I always thought dogs were colour blind. But clearly I must be wrong.

So it goes.