DAY 39 – I’m not a witch at all, I’m Dorothy

April 19th, 2013 § 3 comments

The Hodgkin clan, normally a mild lot due to their Quaker background, is understandably up in arms. The reader may not be aware that the late Margaret T. was a student of Dorothy Hodgkin (famous for doing hard stuff about penicillin involving the penicillin2

beta-lactam ring, and other similar things); but she (Margaret) was, until she threw up chemistry for making history, and war, and so on. On which basis, she came to Dorothy’s memorial. None of our family, however, heard anything from the Thatchers this time around. On which basis I did what any strong-minded liberal would do, and penned a stiff letter to the Guardian, as follows:

dorothy

Margaret Thatcher came to the memorial service for my mother, Dorothy Hodgkin, in March 1995 (although none of the family remembers inviting her); my sister Elizabeth read a stirring speech by Dorothy which ended “Power to the people”, and Mrs Thatcher sat through it without protesting. Yet we haven’t heard a word from the organisers of the current funeral suggesting that any of us will get an invitation, although well-known warmongers such as Bibi Netanyahu will be going. We feel that someone has their priorities wrong. Not that we want to disturb the occasion – where there is discord, as they say, may we bring harmony.
Luke Hodgkin

The original text had ‘war criminal’ instead of ‘warmonger’. I suppose the Guardian thought that if they called the Israeli Prime Minister a war criminal they might have a lawsuit on their hands. It’s a pity – I spent hours in Ramallah snoozing through talks on how the Israeli Government had committed ‘grave breaches’ of the 4th Geneva Convention, and a ‘grave breach’ was the same as a war crime. I could defend the phrase, especially if I had Daniel Machover to back me up.

So watch out, Thatchers! We Hodgkins may not have battleships – short in that department – but we have a disease (Thomas), an equation relating to transport in neurons (Alan), and several key structures of complex molecules. Beat that! And don’t forget what happens when you don’t invite fairies to christenings. The same may hold good for funerals if, as seems likely with M. T., you may be heading for an after-life as a zombie. (This is meant by the point, frequently made, that Thatcherism lives on in the policies of her successors, notably Blair…)

Boston Bombings

Worried on account of those of our family whose home it is – but who are thankfully all safe. The following sensible comment comes, as usual, from Mazin Qumsiyeh:

At first I thought I should not comment on the Boston bombings as it is obvious that we in Palestine, under siege and regular bombardment would clearly sympathize with the victims. But then I saw the usual pundits on mainstream media trying to spin the tragedy to serve racism.  The Israeli Consul-General in Boston told the Jerusalem Post that “Boston is a very quiet and calm place, especially when we come from Israel…..Still, the Jewish community and the consulate are on alert and security has been increased”.  He speaks as if he represents Jews of Boston (and only them) and insinuates as usual that problems in Palestine (‘Israel’) are because of the native “Arabs” not because of the Zionist colonization.  CNN gave extensive time to the Zionist ex-congresswoman Jane Harman who claimed this terrorist attack is likely linked to AlQaeda Islamists while trying to connect herself to victims when she supports terrorism herself. Besides her appalling record in voting for more weapons and money to Israel to kill Palestinians, she was unashamedly more pro-Israel to the point of challenging US interests on several occasions.  In October 2006, Time magazine stated that Harman had agreed to lobby the US Department of Justice to reduce espionage charges against Steve J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, two officials at the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In exchange, Time said there was a quid pro quo in which AIPAC would lobby then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to appoint Harman as chair of the House Intelligence Committee! Then came Wolf Blitzer, another Zionist who now poses as the serious looking global “reporter” for CNN.   Here is Norman Finkelstein speaking the truth while Blitzer in defends racism/Zionism and shows where his loyalties stand in a public debate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-8aTGnjHnI But if you thought his CNN appointment made him moderate his stance, you would be mistaken.  He continues to use all opportunities (including this tragedy) to use smoke and mirrors to hide facts.  Many Zionist pundits appeared in mainstream media spinning the same web.

There is no mention by those with “Israel first” mentality of the billions of taxpayer dollars given to Israel annually because of the Zionist lobby and how many innocent people are killed or displaced by it.  There is no mention of past false flag operations by the Israeli Mossad (for example in Egypt against US and British interests and in Iraq against Jewish institutions to drive Jews to migrate to colonize Palestine).  There is no mention of billions made by investors with inside knowledge; no mainstream media tried to investigate the short selling and the US stock market collapse that happened hours BEFORE the bombings (who profited?).  And while most western media had hours of continuous coverage of this bombing that killed three individuals, they rarely mention the daily bombings and killings of hundreds and thousands of innocent civilians especially by US drones in places like Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan (where there are no first class medical facilities as exists in Boston).  Nor do they care to mention killing by proxy of hundreds of civilians monthly by US puppet dictators from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia or by the US supported racist apartheid regime of Israel or of western funded Islamist groups in Syria.  Alas, Blitzer and Harman and hundreds like them assume their audience is stupid to buy their Zionist spin.  Let us hope that US citizens will finally challenge the staggering cost of Israeli apartheid and Israel-firsters in their midst. Let us hope that someone in the FBI is smart enough to look more carefully at the clues in Boston and find the real culprits behind these bombings instead of buying the Zionist spin.
The Real Presence

I’ve been watching for the first time (you may not believe this) the South Park episode where Sister Ann explains to the children what happens during communion – Jesus becomes crackers;

Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 23.48.08and they raise the problem of how to save the disabled and the Jews. Surfing as one does for critical material on this whole episode, which I strongly recommend particularly for the portrayal of Satan, I found it had been well discussed – inevitably – in the enticingly titled ’Deconstructing South Park: Critical Examinations of Animated Transgression’ by Brian Cogan. My local library doesn’t stock it, and it looks a bit pricey; so I’ll have to wait around for one of my wealthier friends to give me a copy next birthday.

I was looking for an anti-Thatcher poem, rather obviously, and thought hey, there must be one by Adrian Mitchell. There probably is; I couldn’t find it, but happily I came across the one below, which (apart from the daft preference for Liverpool over Arsenal) seems to reflect many aspects of my life by a poet of about my age:

Sheepishly

To my friends Tilly Laycock, John La Rose and Ivor Cutler, who all died in the week before I wrote these lines.

between the fields of waking
and the fields of dreaming

so many of those old
limestone wall
have crumbled down

gaps in the wall

waking walking
in the wake of the waves of my dreams
waking walking
in the dawn as it dawns upon me

I am no Tyger
I am no Lamb
At seventy-three
I am a senior sheep

high up on the dales by day
down flat in the swamps at night
daydreaming moondreaming
shadowdancing
in a Samuel Palmer countryside

but don’t imagine
I’m not working bloody hard
for the New Jerusalem

I’m growing visionary sweater-wool
to keep the children warm
as I stand here
gaping at the gaps

visionary wool
which will be woven
into tapestries and coverlets
and scarves and mittens
of that great country-city of peace

my wool is often wild
multi-coloured and exciting
but sometimes softer
creamy and comforting

much of my work is done
by mountain waterfalls
head low munching heather
ears brushing the bracken
and a sniff of ice in the highland air

and some of my work is done
on the rich green banks
of casual muddy southern rivers

it’s not all the same to me
but I’m all the same to them

these meadows I survive in
frosty or fiery
celandine or olive tree

I’m happy to meander
from one to the other
tasting so many different weathers
growing so many different dreams of wool

gaping at the gaps

This evening I’m watching that famous field
Anfield on the television
hoping that Liverpool will score
and Arsenal despair

from the Kop I trundle out
with my good dog to our dark garden
where I help her with my chanting
to squat and piddle

out of the garden
up the rocky stairs
towards the stone stars
and into bed
where a few wings of a book
fly me on to

a meadow of dreams
where any animal may enter
now the old limestone walls
have crumbled away

nowadays nowadays I meander
from dreamfield to wakefield
from amazement to grumpiness
from vision to radio
from stupidity to genius

but I keep on keeping on
I keep on keeping on
growing my wool
growing my wool of many colours

thank you

Musically, it seemed obvious to play Dylan’s ‘Masters of War’, with the wonderful closing stanza about how I’ll follow your casket on a pale afternoon; but the general opinion across youtube is that you can’t get a Dylan copy which is not shit for some reason – either the masters of war, or the record companies, or some evil people have sabotaged it. Here is a full version, I think well performed by Tatiana Moroz, who is better preserved than Dylan and does sing the whole song.

 



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