2007 — 2 October: the early bird and all that

Time now (10:10) and all morning meds are onboard, so while She who must be adored potters gently and happily in the garden I really should now be turning what passes these days for my attention to another session with the driving theory material before tomorrow morning's first official lesson. But before I do, let me just report that I'm already back from a successful foray into the Sainsbury's in Eastleigh bearing1 two examples of that elusive "well-fired" bread. The trick is, indeed, to get there early, just like my ornithological counterpart after his Diet of Worms. Blame Sellar and Yeatman — that phrase has been firmly stuck in my memory since first buying and reading 1066 and all that in 1961, though thirty years later I replaced my original Penguin paperback with a nice Folio Society edition.

Interestingly — given the way my mind lurches — I also remember that the Penguin front cover illustration [by John Reynolds] of the young lady showing her "Magna Garter" [sic] had had some décolletage added to it by someone in the Penguin publicity department. This was absent, as here, from the original frontispiece:

Magna Garter

Sex sells, you know. Sex sells.

Redirected aggression

I already host (with his permission) an excellent quote here by Professor David P Barash. He's now turned his attention to "redirected aggression" and I offer you his final two paragraphs from a current article:

In a masterpiece of painfully accurate revelation, G.K. Chesterton once wrote that Christianity hasn't been tried and found wanting; rather, it has been found difficult and left untried. Never has that been more true than in cases of personal pain and our reaction to it. Thus, Jesus urged us to love our enemies, and, if slapped, to turn the other cheek. But for millennia — before Jesus and after — human beings and their animal brethren have been far more likely to respond to pain and injury with a retaliating barrage of the same sort, generating yet more injury, more pain.

Perhaps Jesus did not entirely appreciate the magnitude of the demand he was making upon Homo sapiens, because in asking his followers to refrain from retaliation — to absorb pain without passing it on to someone else — he was asking people to inhibit one of their most widely shared, deep-seated inclinations. Nonetheless, potential solutions are all based on an equally deep, equally shared truth: that human beings, perhaps unique among animals, are capable, at least on occasion, and once the issues are made clear, of acting against the promptings of their often troublesome bio-logic.

David P Barash in his article "The Targets of Aggression" (October 2007)

ERNIE's smiling at us

Speaking of bread, ERNIE's web site this morning tells us we have all three been awarded minor-league tax-free cheques this month. Howzat?



1  I was also bearing a DVD called Becoming Jane2 (an imaginative reconstruction of a brief romantic interlude in Jane Austen's life) which we shall be slotting in around tonight's Stephen Fry documentary on HIV. Both will make a great change from the DSA "Hazard Perception" DVD that I slogged through this afternoon while She had a little zizz.
2  A nested footnote to say that the film is excellent.