Friday 12th of August 2022

one never knows the end of stories...


One never knows the end of stories. Journalists make us live in a spoiling world by starting daily hundreds of stories at the same time without ever finishing them. There, perhaps, is the main disease of our times; we are carrying on our shoulders the millions of unfinished stories, the continuum of which is inhibiting, while some stories start to smell bad. And every morning, one hundred thousand new stories begin in earnest to carry on the mess of our imaginings, one hundred thousand fresh new stories that bloom into the daylight, full of promises, and that go away to rot discretely in the putrid waters of blood sausages with aborted conclusions and fishy tales. You might say that this sort of story is reserved for the end of this lowly world ; all the conclusions will probably be collected on the fourth day of the apocalypse ; that for example stories started under Ramses II are still evolving, that the story of the Vase of Soissons is not sorted out and that no one can tell us what happened to the charming nose of Cleopatra. Thus, for too long, we’ve had too many first chapters that we are invited deceitfully to follow into a cryptical black hole. One could call upon the scandal of the gas ration-tickets or about the Commission of General Waste. One never knows what happens to the cake and the candles once they’ve been blown out in front of us… On this subject, did you see the two thousand candles for the birthday of Paris? We were awaiting the Moka-gâteau to be taken out of the moulding tin on the Place de la Concorde, candles being blown out one by one, by workers guilds with public broadcasting of the solemn voice from the high council in full regalia, then mad generous slices of cake given to the populace while the fountains spewed red wine from the tritons and white wine from the tortoises. No, we had nothing, or nothing much as so public. All we had were galas, exclusively reserved for a fake fleeting aristocracy that takes its pleasures here and there in the city while the populace has no idea. Never had we seen during the flow of history such a partitioning of our society. This was not worth awaiting for two thousand years to arrive at these belittling shabby celebrations but we know that the republic is awkward when to invest in the populace, impotent when trying to suggest a proper spirit of festivity, with no joy and no unanimous jubilations. While I mention that the populace knew nothing of these celebrations, I was exaggerating a bit. There are some nightly illumination of Paris monuments. You might find this quite spectacular, I would agree, but really this fake representative "maquillage", with theatre stage lighting that makes the Arc de Triomphe look like a Las Vegas casino and gives the Sacré-Coeur an arriviste atmosphere of a naked pin-up. It’s a refined pastiche of aesthetes used by advertising to attract customers. The Fiesta is not true when it is too baseless, eager to count the cash-flow, like folkloric divertissements are used by the tourist office to reduce the debts of the council.

From Jacques Perret — Sticks in the Mud (Bâtons dans les Roues) published 1953.

Translation by Jules Letambour.

Picture at top by Gus Leonisky: Archibald Fountain, Sydney.

At the Sorbonne, he [Perret] read philosophy, with a preference for Nietzsche, and his studies already singled him out as that peculiar anomaly, the right-wing anarchist who was to become one of the high-spirited outsiders of the French Republic, for he was for most of his life a militant, almost mystical monarchist...

At this level, Gus is more of a nihilistic left-wing existentialist rabid atheist. Perret's ramblings nearly always move on from one idea to the next without paragraph breaks. His take on journalists and history is still relevant today. The truth in stories are buried in cemeteries to be revived "at the end of times". My guess is that Perret was a fake "royalist" just to annoy the pompous republicans, who actually behaved like little kings... Jules Letambour could be a Freemason...

the health of a nation relies on its cartoonists...



British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in intensive care, though in an improved condition, as the UK experienced its deadliest day from the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 938 in 24 hours to reach 7,097 on Wednesday (local time).

But the British Government's Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser, Angela McLean, said despite the grim death figures — similar to the peaks experienced in Italy and Spain, the countries with the deadliest outbreaks — the number of new cases was "not accelerating out of control".

Mr Johnson, 55, is among 60,000 people in Britain who have been confirmed to have COVID-19.

A senior minister said he remained in intensive care but was improving.


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Conditions in Belmarsh prison, where Julian Assange is held, might be worse than London is willing to admit, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson told RT, adding that Covid-19 could swiftly tear through the facility.

A prison environment is “like a Petri dish” for a virus, Hrafnsson explained, particularly such a highly infectious one as the novel coronavirus, which has already struck more than 1 million people around the world. The max security Belmarsh prison, where the WikiLeaks founder is being kept pending extradition to the US, has just reported its first death from the disease. According to Hrafnsson, there are other worrying signs too.


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the special powers will only last for two years!...

Those of us who expressed concern at the scope, content and implications of the Coronavirus Act 2020 were often treated to this simple reply:

“It’s not a police state, the special powers only last for two years!”

This was widely reported in the media and became a go-to talking point for everyone interested in defending the Act.

But is it actually true? 

Simply put: No. No it’s not. 

Section 89 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 details just how many sections and sub-sections are not subject to the expiry clause. As well as all the “conditions” which, if met, would enable Ministers to waive the expiry clause on certain other sections and regulations.

The list is hugely long.

Sections 1, 2, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 17, 19(11), 21(7), 59-70, 72-74, 75(1) and 76. As well as parts of Schedules 1, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 10 through 13. 

Fully one quarter (and possibly more) of the entire bill will never expire.

What do these excepted clauses cover?

For starters, sections 1112 & 13 grant permanent legal indemnity to the government, and any employees thereof, for any harm done when a patient is being treated for Covid19 or “suspected Covid19”. 

With a possible vaccine speeding through the testing phase (or skipping it altogether) this could be important down the line.

Sections 59-70 cover the government’s power to postpone elections and are not subject to the expiry clause.

Section 75 totally removes the cap on government assistance to industry when that assistance is “coronavirus related”.

Section 76 simply says:

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs are to have such functions as the Treasury may direct in relation to coronavirus or coronavirus disease.

Which is peculiarly vague. Whatever it means, it will never expire.

And hanging over all of that is section 89(3):

A Minister of the Crown may by regulations make transitional, transitory or saving provision in connection with the expiry of any provision of this Act.

…which seems to grant the government power to over-ride the expiry of any section of the act, should they deem it necessary.

So, to sum up, no these emergency measures won’t “expire in two years”.

Some of them might expire in 2 years (unless a minister decides they shouldn’t) and others will last forever.


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"in the national interest" quote unquote...

In literature like in politics, under the threat of being seen as a retard or a fanatic, it is preferable to hold to the truth as infallible and to show with elegance that one isn’t a dummy. Only consider big ideas and with some ruse of disbelief, you express their grandeur:

— You think I was taken on a ride by this? Wait a minute. You thought I really believed this? You’re mistaken…
As if one could not be fooled by anything. These somersault could be attractive sometimes, when they do not exude the fear of choice, in the same way as the non conformist can be virtuous when he does not betray the cautious distrust of the bourgeois and decides on an uncertain future. In politics, when one spurts about France, one needs to appear to believe moderately in it and to have a fallback position under the cover of the democratic universal conscience. When one is in charge, one needs to show one is not fooled by certain issues, that one is a long-trained pilot in things such as knowing where North, South, East and West are, observant of where the compass is pointing to, aware of the political slithering manoeuvres and about the necessity of casting off. In regard to these signs of great maturity, you might remember the dixmude affair* when it was sabotaged just when it was about to leave for Indochina. The court-case that followed showed us that justice was not duped of its own mission, and we quickly understood the moral superiority of the saboteurs above the self-righteousness of those dedicated to maintain the French order. Realising the carnival of purification, justice forthwith understood, in all circumstances from now on, that the said-guilty man may be right and the court let us know that the sabotage had to be seen with an admirable understanding spirit and that all the traditional issues had to take into account more of the diverse aspect of our conscience. This is where our tired elites tend to lean towards : only believe with moderation in the mission. The saboteur, himself, is full of his own truth that he has no room in his conscience for hesitation ; thus the Dixmude [going to Indochina] was a bad idea. Our fate is between people who are afraid to believe in it or are ashamed of believing in it or do not have the energy to believe in it : not be taken by the truth that one’s trade is to defend. The magistrates only follow the wishy-washy fashion and one could not chastise them for not being so heroic as to give a lesson to the government that waddles in its own confusion. Place yourself in the shoes of the magistrates : first, it is the legislator that expressly counsel the accused of pleading the rightfulness of his conscience, then, no-one can ignore that a bit of sand in the grease-box of the propeller-shaft is part of the French conversation about which the superior minds have explained the beautiful mechanism : and last, all the people know that the Viet Minh owes to the French Socialist party, itself highly represented in the bowels of the republic, and so generous in handing out sand buckets to place in the cogs of French conformism. By glory, soldiers wherever they are, Rosbach, Solferino, Sedan or That-Khi, they do not have the fear to be deceived, and the more astute amongst them will honourably glorify the deceit by dying from a conformist death, on a glorious battlefield without quote/unquote.
    One must say that the soldier, of traditional makeup, is equipped with a rudimentary conscience and that he survives in complete ignorance of the marvellous recourse to the modern conscience, the smallest part of which is to justify our distrust in ourself and in others. This conscience has no competition in justifying treason and deflation of spirit. It is accepted that one can make mistakes and act a thousand times under the cover of good intentions and one cannot blame a man to say yes or no, if his conscience, fairly consulted, would have told him yes or no. More or less, we could eventually remonstrate him for refusing honour with his convoluted premise.The problem is that there is too much conscience. Using it has proven to be beneficial, practical and obliging that we’ve spread it everywhere. it’s now one of the great recourse of politics and there is no official speech, no parliamentary harangue or doctrinal editorial that do  not all upon at all kinds of consciences : civic conscience republican conscience, socialist conscience, atlantic conscience, conscience of class, all of this caught in magnificent machinations in the breast of the foggy and vacillating universal conscience. In short, this coincidence system hold the better end against the archaic disciplines of honour. This is another broken chain. 

*Note: There not a peep about the Dixmude affair on the net. There would be old court case records in France. By some strange appellation in that country, the name Dixmude seems to have been popularised for various French military items, including a recent Mistral Class Amphibious Assault Ship.

From Time Magazine (1924): While the polar trip of the American Shenandoah is being decided upon, the loss of the French Dixmude serves to emphasize the dangers of the project. 

The Dixmude, originally known as the L-72, was completed at the great airship works at Friedrichshafen, Germany, at the signing of the armistice. It had a cruising radius of 9,500 miles, a tank capacity of 11,000 gallons. Turned over to the French by the terms of the armistice, it was the pride of the French Air Service...

The Dixmude ship that was sabotaged in the 1950s could have been a small corvette, but its infamy shall remain obscure, or suppressed, except in this extract from this quite amusing Jacques Perret’s rant. Is he serious, sarcastic or satirical? One never knows… One must also mention that during the concurrent Algerian war, the French SDECE (secret service) used to destroy ships and cargo of weapons destined for rebels.

The name Dixmude comes from the Battle of the Yser… We are also aware on how the Vietnam War finished for the French around 1954, by passing it on to the Americans who finally left the place in the early 1970s with their tail between their legs.

Jules Letambour

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(Now you know why the High Court let Cardinal Pell go free, not because he is innocent, but because there was not enough "evidence" beyond a reasonable doubt, by legal definition...)