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Thus spake

Saturday, 23 October 2021 at 20:59

Blake's Urizen on Dr John Dunn. Pictured: Urizen by William Blake

Thus spake

Eros went down the mountain alone.

An awakened one is Eros: what will you do in the land of the sleepers?

Could it be possible! They have not yet heard of it, that God is dead!

Teach them Eros! Tell them where you’ve been.
I climbed the heights to look down upon the Synagogue of Satan.
You think you see the Creator, but He is not an entity apart.
What you see instead is Urizen, the demiurge, a self-deluded and anxious shaper of pre-existent matter.
When you worship Urizen you worship Satan, the puppeteer pulling the strings of mankind, the over-bearing father, the failed architect, the ‘Accuser of the World'.
You have been infected by the children of Urizen into Devil Worship.

Man must and will have some religion; if he has not the religion of Jesus, he will have the religion of Satan, and will erect the Synagogue of Satan. (William Blake)


© John Dunn.

Charge of the ‘Jackie Veal-Calves’

Friday, 22 October 2021 at 22:25

Cover of great poem on Dr John Dunn. Charge of the ‘Jackie Veal-Calves’

An analysis of the next part (extract below*) of Roy Campbell’s great epic poem about the Spanish Civil War. The poem read so far can be seen here.

The ‘they’ doing the serving ‘like waiters’ were the stay-at-home supporters of the Spanish leftists.

Despite the warning to beef up what until now Campbell has deemed the weak, pseudo-intellectual fops exemplified by the Bloomsbury Set, the ‘They’ served up as volunteers the veal-calves, complete with mustard.

The‘mustard-coloured’ hair suggests these were babes, innocent, naive, and completely without any understanding of what they were getting into.

Campbell is making the point that the Francoists could not have wished for anything better. The International Brigaders were pathetic as a so-called fighting force.

I am not sure to what the ‘boycotts refer; it might be fashionable Bloomsbury-type boycotts of Spanish goods in one way or another. Campbell might even be referring to boycotts of his own work by left-wing publishers etc. One way or another, ‘they’ tried to marginalise Campbell, having been shocked by his failure to tow the Bloomsbury line.

Campbell prophesied the slaughter of the, ‘Jackie Veal-Calves’, but was wrong about this. Most Brigaders surrendered to the ‘Wops’ (Italian anti-communist volunteers), causing those in charge of Francoist supplies a problem of how to keep the captives fed. In vain did the quarter-masters try to find enough grapenuts for these left-wing food faddists.

Better it was to be nice to them and send them all home, even though they had committed crimes against the most defenceless of targets, churches and farms, which only served to bring the cattlemen (the antitheses of veal-calves) out to fight.

These naive Brigaders had disgraced England by blundering into Spain with such ‘unholy ridicule’.


© John Dunn.

*
I warned John Bull to fatten up his son
And Jackie Veal-Calf to be underdone
When with their stainless cutlery and steel
Like waiters they would serve their own cold veal,
Yes, even blobbed with mustard-coloured hair,
Which I’d forgot to order—all was there
A prophet’s feast of laughter to prepare!
And vain were all their boycotts to deflect
My prophesies that hiss their hair erect,
Who guaranteed their Popular Behinds
To show a pair of cheeks to all the winds,
And could as easily, in my Delphic rapture,
Have prophesied their slaughter as their capture,
But here the very Quater-masters vex
For Turkey-food to redden up their necks
Till, all unhurt, we ship them to their shops
With grapenuts still distended in their crops
If we can find any—treating them kindly
To send them home from where they rushed so blindly
To fling their scraping curtseys to the Wops,
After they’d sacked the Churches, looted farms,
And raised us angry cattlemen in arms—
Leftness of Hand (the shame of work and war)
Disgracing England on a foreign shore,
Whose honour here I battle to restore
From such unholy ridicule to save her.

Turnpikes around Welford

Thursday, 21 October 2021 at 22:09

Hands on the bars on Dr John Dunn. New YouTube video, Turnpikes around Welford.

The roads under our wheels offer the real motoring history, and it is free to explore. Here I do some exploring in Northamptonshire and Leicestershire on my Royal Enfield Classic 500.

“…It’s a joy to be out motorcycling.”

“…and there’s South Kilworth up ahead, where the town grew up around the crossroads of this road and the North Kilworth to Rugby Turnpike…”

“…and there, up ahead, that white building, is the White Hart, an old coaching inn for travellers along the turnpike”

Click to view the video here.


© John Dunn.

Open topped

Wednesday, 20 October 2021 at 13:44

Fast and furious on Dr John Dunn. Open topped

The key sensory experiences of driving an open topped car are wind-noise and an exaggerated sensation of speed. Having owned a Mazda MX5 (the best ever “British” sports car) for four years, I was intrigued by the following passage from Osbert Sitwell’s autobiography, Great Morning:

They would sit together, the two of them, the man at the wheel, the girl beside him, their hair blown back from their temples, their features sculptured by the wind, their bodies and limbs shaped and carved by it continually under their clothes, so that they enjoyed a new physical sensation, comparable to swimming; except that here the element was speed, not water.

Speed becomes the element through which one moves; and it is not an easy movement. Driving that little sports car through the medium of speed can be exhausting.


© John Dunn.

Holyhead roads, Hockliffe

Monday, 18 October 2021 at 22:14

Postcard history on Dr John Dunn. Holyhead roads, Hockliffe

The early Holyhead road broke from Watling Street (later the A5) at Hockliffe, just north of Dunstable. From here it ran through Woburn, Newport Pagnell, Northampton, Welford, Lutterworth, Hinckley, Tamworth, Lichfield, Chester and Bangor Ferry. In the 1920s designation of road numbers, this route was largely covered by the A50.

Even after Thomas Telford’s road improvements, resulting in a newer, quicker London-Holyhead mail coach route, via Stoney Stratford, Coventry and Birmingham, the old route continued to be used by the mails between London and Chester, and the Woodside Ferry, Birkenhead, until the coming of the steam trains.

However, important though they were in the coaching era, these roads fell into decline with the rise of the steam railway network; they entered what I have termed the transition period, leading to their revival again with the arrival of personal means of transport, firstly the bicycle, followed by motorised vehicles.

This postcard represents the early stages of the revival, i.e. a coaching inn turned ‘CYCLISTS HOUSE’ in Hockliffe, the great junction of the old and new Holyhead roads.


© John Dunn.

'Unholy ridicule'

Sunday, 17 October 2021 at 22:48

Poet by John on Dr John Dunn. Roy Campbell by Augustus John

'Unholy ridicule'

I include below the next part of Roy Campbell’s Flowering Rifle, following on from the parts already presented and discussed in Thought Pieces.











I warned John Bull to fatten up his son
And Jackie Veal-Calf to be underdone
When with their stainless cutlery and steel
Like waiters they would serve their own cold veal,
Yes, even blobbed with mustard-coloured hair,
Which I’d forgot to order—all was there
A prophet’s feast of laughter to prepare!
And vain were all their boycotts to deflect
My prophesies that hiss their hair erect,
Who guaranteed their Popular Behinds
To show a pair of cheeks to all the winds,
And could as easily, in my Delphic rapture,
Have prophesied their slaughter as their capture,
But here the very Quater-masters vex
For Turkey-food to redden up their necks
Till, all unhurt, we ship them to their shops
With grapenuts still distended in their crops
If we can find any—treating them kindly
To send them home from where they rushed so blindly
To fling their scraping curtseys to the Wops,
After they’d sacked the Churches, looted farms,
And raised us angry cattlemen in arms—
Leftness of Hand (the shame of work and war)
Disgracing England on a foreign shore,
Whose honour here I battle to restore
From such unholy ridicule to save her.


Consideration and discussion of this next section will follow shortly.


© John Dunn.

Charles Dickens on Turnpikes

Saturday, 16 October 2021 at 22:14

Novel writer of note on Dr John Dunn. Charles Dickens on Turnpikes

Again I deal with the time of transition on the British road system; this was the period between the dying of the turnpikes because of the transfer of business to the rapidly expanding steam railways, and the revitalisation of the roads, first by the cyclists on their high wheelers and early safety bicycles, followed by the motorists on two, three or four wheels.

Dickens caught the mood of the times in the early days of the transition, the time of decline. In the Uncommercial Traveller, published in 1860-1, at the height of railway mania, he has a character speak of the declining turnpikes thus:


I came to the Turnpike, and I found it, in its silent way, eloquent respecting the change that had fallen on the road. The Turnpike-house was all overgrown with ivy; and the Turnpike- keeper, unable to get a living out of the tolls, plied the trade of a cobbler. Not only that, but his wife sold ginger-beer, and, in the very window of espial through which the Toll-takers of old times used with awe to behold the grand London coaches coming on at a gallop, exhibited for sale little barber's-poles of sweetstuff in a sticky lantern.

The tide would turn of course. In the 1860s the roads were already succumbing to the wheels of the first viable pedal bicycles, motorised vehicles would not be far behind.


© John Dunn.

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