Wednesday 19th of June 2024

it's time for the king to shut up...


Santerre [later to become General] was appointed by the National Convention to serve as the jailer of the former king.


He notified Louis that the motion had passed for his execution, and the next day, at eight o'clock on a 21 January morning, Santerre arrived at the convicted man's room and said, "Monsieur, it's time to go". He escorted Louis XVI through the some eighty thousand armed men and countless citizens down the streets of Paris to the guillotine. There are differing accounts of his conduct at the execution itself. According to some, he ordered a drum roll halfway through the king's speech in order to drown out his voice. Others say that it was actually General J.F. Berruyer – the man in command of the execution – who ordered the drum roll, and that Santerre only relayed the order. Santerre's family maintained, however, that he actually silenced the drums so that Louis could speak to the people.

But some people have recorded that Santerre said something like: "So, for more than 107 years we have been forced to drumroll… it’s time to be replaced [and continue the drumroll]… or that the Other [the king] shuts up.

My friend Jules Letambour thus translated, out of the blue, the views of a reactionary French satirist of the 1950s and former prisoner of war (WW2), Jacques Perret, on “democracy”. Many words are made-up to illustrate the special vernacular used by this author who was well-known for rarely using paragraphs apparently. Some of his rants went on and on for pages and pages without a break… Something like this short extract:

The voice of the people, the voice of God, a pearl of wrongnessence, a divine ventriloquast and metaphisicalisticalflopish porkie, ink-pot and flower of highway robbery. Or shall we say: at the beginning there was the babble, followed by the precursorial grunts of the great gibberishmish. This is a point of view. Of all means, when this voice is gabbledjabbled by the gross machination of the vote, it’s only to hail Caesar at lunchtime, to hang him by supper, to lament his death till breakfast and have banquets in between.  This is not serious at all and would indicate that God has no plan or that he is an amusing trickster to make us swallow bulldust. As far as our century goes, we already have some totalitarian democracies and those democracies dedicated to God are very dubious. Should God be in favour of a Republic, he is regularly defeated by the voice we think he has, and smart-arse spirits start to suspect that the true democracy, that which no-one understands but everyone talks about, should desist from the Universal suffrage that tends to regularly play nasty tricks upon us. We need to relate to some Amerikan scientists' ideas who wish to stop research on the atomic bombs that they think has a funeralist career. If, like we keep repeating ceaselessly, science and democracy walk together triumphantly towards progress like two enchained prisoners, one will have to expect the birth, in the conscience of great democracies, of the same doubt gnawing at the soul of these anti-bomb scientists. Technology and sociology having made a pact, the nuclear Armageddon illuminates the perspective of a lost social future. This flickering equation has thus been inspired by the latest revelation about the esoterismic druidistic beliefs.

Translation (and adaptation) by Jules Letambour.

pauline was right: it's time for her and scummo to shut up...

Federal election live: Scott Morrison announces May 18 as date voters will go to the polls

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced May 18 as the date of the federal election, sending voters to the polls within weeks.

Follow our live coverage as the campaign begins or read the story.


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pauline knows the date of the elections: may 18... now you know...

a study of the dinosaurs in our dangerous government...

Adapted from a translation by Jules Letambour of a 1950s satirical reactionary piece by Jacques Perret (see at top) — a French writer.

Should progress be measured by the number of fraternities and social clubs, we are not too far from the golden age of it, whatever it is... Already, the good citizen has a special wallet to hold the different aspects of his identity, with various membership cards, of contributionaristat, of numberised human, with the collectivist ideal of belonging at the centre of gravity. It is by flicking through the pages of this card collection — that is carried on the right-hand bum-pocket or inside the vest pocket — that he feels the frisson of being on some social echelon of the highest ladder in evolution. One should smile wryly when one mentions that the French person is a rabid individualist. It’s a dronish perfidy, invented by the liberal banking system of the 19th century to distract the lonely. Now humans are caught in the jaws in the legal and scientific solidarity that is going to touch his destiny at the toll-booth of the socialist providence, where one can measure the full depth of one’s own solitude. This, may be, is the gravitational weight of socialisationing that encourages a distinctive synergy, a multiplicity of pacts with the collective and to spread one’s contributions between the Beaut Country Foundation and the World Federation of Citizens, while going through the gamut of usual Friendshipish Mutuals, subgroups and assembly points of membershiporations. To be part of these groupings is the mantra of the progressive man, eager to plunge into progressivitology, and if by chance, this man is a musician, time has come to become a member of the new Association of Progressive Musicians, the best association for the civilised man. Encompassing the Democratic Accordionist Club and at the best of possible world, merge the subgroup of the Resisting Second-Recorder Wind Understudies, this combination will become harmoniously part of the beautiful addition to the series of The Abstract Painters for the Republic, The Leftist Colourful Crayonarists Assembly, the Anti-Fascist Medicalo Centrists and the Society of the Ceramic/Earthenware tiling society. But let’s not give in to the euphoria of soft words and if some of us cannot join the Progressive Musician Group, we need to define this group in relation to other social creatures. Are these ambitious musicians eager to remove the restrictive old hierarchy of the traditional keys or remove the need for the solfeggi rectitude? Does a progressive musician practice progressive modern music in between his more classical auditions? Is he trying to sustain the progressivity of the masses (if you can find it) with his progressive music? Isn’t this a way to pull teeth out of your jaw while playing a fanfaronous tune? Is this adventurous modern music a goal in itself or is it a transient evolution at high speed towards a cliff-jump in an allegro crescendo culbutando? Would it be a way, on the technical level, to reconstruct democracy musically through the popular sounds with the goal to silencing old reactionary melodies through umbilical jazz ? Is it a convenient association for publicity purpose about the launch of a musical saw? May be, we'll see clearer once we define the opposite, that is to say the anti-progressive musician. Is he a syrinx (panpipes) player, a player of the ancient tubalong or of the harpsichord, a ringer of trumpet, or a re-employed bugle player after the war? One can object objectionably that the instrument does nothing to this affair and there are effective non-progressive who have been playing the mouth-twang, the drums and/or the harmonium to express their faith in reactionary music. So? Is the musical anti-progressive a repeater of disused refrains, a flatterer of the Marquise or flirting with the Castle-maid behind the dungeon walls, a flautist who charms rats and children at the same time? Or a recipient of preferential support from the establishment (grants), in order to soften the conservative ears of the old-fashioned populace and to encourage submission from the heart of slaves on no-escape contracts? What could be upsetting this process of definitions is that Moscow has decreed that Mozart had been the inspiration of the pre-marxist and of the previous underlying materialist Russian period with the full requiem mass. Thus this is time to define if the progressive deserve their definition. The law is that one cannot escape any definition, cannot refuse the definitive as the principal enemy, by definition? The said musicians have thus expressed through a communiqué, that the association was only meeting in a provisory committee, and if they did not decree that progressiveness was only a celebration of the temporary, it's only because this is self-evident. Progressiveness evolves in the temporary and this is the principal attribute of progressiveness. The dinosaurs, progressivistic animals were in one line of species defined as such, all materialistic and attached to the ideal of well-being, became magnificantical but temporary monsters. Thus, as they progressed, they became stupid for the pleasure of progressing into the imposing extravagance of their digestive system, they ended up with the Diplodocus that died in a single stroke, without future, with its tiny head and huge grande-bouffe-guts of totalitarian beast. Evolution was thus erroneous, more than once, and by this relative end of its vagaries, it had to go back to the drawing board and choose another species. This is what happens to the progressive world, and should I be a progressive musician, I would start to compose a big lyrical thingster about the extinction of the Diplodocus — a requiem for a monster. Progressive musicians would profit from this, as long as censorship has not placed restriction on their tunedeaf clarinet yet. It's lovely to belong and be part of the progressive musicians association, but between us and a lamppost, in a bourgeois country, this is not leading to something of substance. I am worried that these impenetrable musical men, become complacent about their association. It is my firm view that they don't know what it means to belong without interruption in time and space, without a sigh, without a cape, as one is required by the proud progressive state. One does not compose without aim some zing-boom noise to the glory of the proletariat, as once was done for that of the kings, to then go and pluck a guitar or play on the piano some lightish tunes between friends, some with revolutionary bends based on some socialist inspiration. This would be too easy. No. One needs to be a progressive modern musician while rehearsing in pyjamas. Any wrong notes will develop hair in the armpits. One would say that the hermetic poetry has been the last resort of French resistance. Cryptic quatrains and secret Limerick were working overtime during the Nazi occupation. The Obercoppers of the Gestapicrap nearly underestimated the power of such dangerous poetry. To his credit, the Oberfurerologist — Apollo supremo of the Central Kommittee — was aware of the devious subversive poets, and his Kulture police could sniff out the dangers in the most obscure corners of writings. Despite all the hidden malice of naked muses, the smallest departure from purity or pureness was found out and, as a matter of priority, administratively punished without mercy in the name of decontamination. This left only the music. The maquis of resistant harmonies and counterpoints offered the enemies of the people a hidden way to plot something. The issue was a trap, the brigades of song-police would follow the source of these pamphlets disguised in notes and allegros, and a suspect minor key would send you to Siberia, unless the Ubermaster reinstated the pure tonality with vicious glee, to your dismay. Meanwhile, behind all the progressivistic pianos of the city, a piano tuner would spend weeks spying on you. Obviously, in this below-the-belt no-quarter-given battle, we have to bet for the musicians, because the musical divinity still has more tricks in its bag. We could make a decree to use only the natural notes, while with authorization during fiestas, the minor-keys could be accidentally accepted. The main theme is not to break the piano with extra vigour, and not to use the keyboard as a devilish machine where all tunable possibilities are keeping us in a transe, when the pianist be Mr Molotov [of the famous petrol bombs] or the latest paid whore, bash the music with trembling fingers. Not so long ago, the prince of popularist democracies, acclaimed holder of the supreme tuning fork, would reduce to silence those dissonant musos and would kill in the bud the conspiracies of some Muscovite Maestros. Shcherbachov and Aram Khachaturian, himself the president of the progressivist musicians, were convicted of musical impurity and Dmitri Shostakovich himself, the director of the Moscow Conservatorium, was removed from his pulpit for having sabotaged the greater democratistic artistic mission. Did this conductor/composer go a bit too far with some leftist musical modulations? Unless he was false-noting purposely on behalf of the Atlantic bloc? Did he encourage the reactionary undercurrents of the brass section or was he pushing the Trotsky ideals with the violins? Was his treachery enough to be applauded by the Occident? The Moscow ministry of information said nothing, except that, with a freezing smirk we have come to know too well, Dmitri Shostakovich was the recipient of the Lenin Grand Prize. We have no idea if Shostakovich was taken by this deception as his name would lend futility to enter the facetious fortune that we give to tyrants, elected by popular plebiscites or coming from capricious dynasties. In past times, when men were humans, one would have simply said that the prince’s favour has passed. Shostakovich thus had ceased to be pleasing. The expression would have been clear and direct. Today we say that the artist has gone off his rockers, that his music is twisted in regard to the controlled trajectory of the socialist masses, and that he had introduced some modern bourgeois themes, that his melodies got polluted by liberalism and that he lost his duty to the social fabric by rejecting his unwritten communistic contract. This is the way of mystical justifications. Here in France, apart from a few of us, we have not reached the maturity to understand the democratic power of a concerto. We can recognise the difference between an adagio and a scherzo, but we have not mastered the Socialetto [think of the yellow vests]. We’re still traipsing along the rudimentary path of literature, which is full of traps and potholes on back roads so badly looked after that all types of sideswipes in the bushes are allowed. On the subject of “peinture” we’re a bit in the dark in regard to Mr Picasso's intent and to know that he paints for the people is a problem without solution that proves that on the rest of our journey, we need to discover or manufacture some temporary expeditative ways, to renormalise our confused thoughts and make some value judgments like those that sprouted during the days of Stalinistic purity. Thus as we see the depraved intellectualism and demoralisation of music, when we consider the ravages through the Occident, derived from the be-bop of Mr Dizzy Gillepsie or the impure stupid acting of Mr Bourvil [say Benny Hill], one understands the restrictions and vigilance imposed by Moscow, that, from early in the morning, sets the correct tonality, the same rhythm and the motions of the music throughout the USSR, from the Stakanovistic orchestra to the mouth-organs in the Kholkozes of the Urals. Here, we must not forget the National Theater of Prague which, after some bloody sacrificial ceremony, has become designated to foster the education of the masses to the birth of a popular socialist democracy. Mr Vlasta Burian, Král komiků (King of Comedians) without hesitation, purging the country, was the author of this utilitarian lyrical masterpiece that should be a lesson to our sophisticated socialist patriots in search of free stuff while being coaxed into composing a sought-after Opera for the old subscribers, on lowering the price of butter while singing the stability of the cost of meat. Don’t laugh. We have been told that any subject is good. With or without guitar, the Camembert will become an eternal still-life and the genius of the true painter will shine as much as through The Bowel Movement of the Upwardly Mobile, or The Middle Lower Social Class Led by the Union of Working Dads Towards the Gardens of Democracy or Sunset on the Social Security Buildings. Pure art can survive the ephemeral. No reason why we should not compose a symphony on the low level of medicare contribution for fixing our crooked teeth and an Oratorio dedicated to the Last Tax Quarter. One needs to input the social sense in us and in others, via all means. In fact, a true artist cannot afford to refuse a commission. He paints to paint, eats to paint, paints to eat, paints the devil and paints angels, like great poets tell of nothingness, of nowhere, to nobody, plucking a lute in all seasons, making fire for all sauces of thyme and rosemary while weaving the ivy leaves of the immortal crown on big heads and small craniums depending on the occasion. Examples through the millenniums are so-witnessed, and the modern geniuses have not finished to contribute here, and this is good. If for a honorable reason or for a low prejudice you refuse to participate in the seriously socialistic games, or be a disciple of ancient court music or popular concerts, you still can go on a promenade while whistling a light contented tune. Unfortunately, the whistler has become an endangered species that used to brighten the grey of the streets, the roads and the plowed fields. The progressive cities have made it difficult for the whistlers to survive as many shit-thinking folks try hard to kill them off by whatever means. But hopefully the most repressive regimes won’t be able to silence the last whistler in the open air, as he will whistle his whistle caught in between his heart and his stomach, and whistling against the wind. The Whistler should have the last word. And we hope that Mr Dmitri Shostakovich, barely sacked from his pulpit and leaving the Conservatorium, this excellent symphony maker would have discovered the secretive therapy and the unique mission of the solitary whistler. While mentioning meat and butter earlier, I was remembering the problems of supply when our amazingly pissy economy was directed by nincompoops. Now that things are a bit more abundant, I am not interested in agricultural problems. I am less interested say in pigs since pigs have been disconnected from their natural contract and renounced their immemorial destiny as sus vulgaris. It’s the same for cattle:  they are still free from the exemplary bullying, the milk corporations are contained, the mystery of lactation has been explained and the cows in the fields are not afraid of ignorant Parisians passing by. All seemed to be in order for these beasts when grave news came along, worse than the clandestine abattoirs or the mandatory freezing of meat. Here come three pieces of information that, aggregated together, expose the unfortunate mechanization developed to prevent the freedom of cows that will simply turn this honourable domestication to integral slavery. The first news come in regard to a Czech cow, that — in conjunction with the opening of the Prague Opera where everything should be the best of the best in the best world of socialism — will be exposed as lazy should it not provide the amount of milk designated by the government. Should the cow repeat this refusal of providing the required milk quota, the cows will be sent to a gulag, then condemned to a public execution as an example to other female bovines that have developed other worries than to provide milk. Thus, willing or not, the Czech cow becomes the victim of a totalitarian regime...
More to come...

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