2010 — 5 April: Monday

This is just wonderful:

"[Plaintiffs] cannot, by simply filing suit and crying 'character assassination!', silence those who hold divergent views, no matter how adverse those views may be to plaintiffs' interests. Scientific controversies must be settled by the methods of science rather than by the methods of litigation. ... More papers, more discussion, better data, and more satisfactory models — not larger awards of damages — mark the path towards superior understanding of the world around us."

Jack of Kent in his blog

Not that I have anything at all against the British Chiropractic (or should that be "fairy tale cures"?) Association and its promotion of bogus treatments. Or that I love to see greedy idiots taking ludicrous claims to the courts and arrogantly assuming that a deep purse will buy them "justice". Perish the thought!

G'night, at 02:13 or so. Yawn.

I didn't actually...

... switch off my reading light until seven hours ago, being thoroughly engaged in the clone's adventures on Jackson's Whole, and I've already been reasonably up and atom for a while on this not-actually-quite-raining morning. So, cuppa in hand, I've been able to reassure one of my two remaining aunts I'm ticking along OK, and suggest a new location for my sister-in-law that may have the heavier rainfall (and, maybe, even the broadband) they need down on their farm. (Ever met a happy farmer?)

It was interesting to see Big Bro let slip the fact that his status is now "semi retired" as, in the past, he's expressed horror at the thought (he being the one with the workaholic gene, thank goodness, not me). It's 10:11 and, if I don't get dressed soon, I may yet freeze to death despite the cuppa. And so the daily round commences, usual fee plus expenses...

We're all mad, I tell you...

Pondering Easter thoughts not wholly unrelated to what looks like the impending implosion of the Catholic church (about time too, in my opinion), I suspect I shouldn't, but I find the idea that our state of mental health can be authoritively (and, if I believe the article, globally) "defined" by yet another revision to the weighty Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders strangely amusing. (Perhaps I'm mad?) As has been pointed out...

Are the definitions of disorders now daily invoked around the world sometimes faulty, even wrong?
[the American Psychiatric Association] is moving to propose that "temper dysregulation" in children be considered a mental disorder. The organization also is listing [the recently proposed] "Hypersexual Disorder." Hopefully by 2013, when DSM-5 is slated to appear, the APA will have figured out what it means by "a great deal of time," especially because it's given a statement about desire in which most men, straight and gay, would recognize themselves. A sizeable number of women would, too. And isn't spending "a great deal of time... consumed by sexual fantasies and urges" a fairly good working definition of adolescence?

Christopher Lane in Psychology Today

So much for the Occident. Are our wily Oriental chums any more sensible / rational? Well, erm, no. According to Simon Andreae in his 1998 "Anatomy of Desire": The Chinese had been using the idea of semen wastage1 leading to all sorts of bodily and mental disorder to regulate the sexuality of their citizens for over two thousand years, but it had not been much in demand in the West, whose luminaries had preferred to threaten the everlasting souls of their people than the temporary bodies in which they dwelt.

What a zany world. I must say, this chap's — shall we say? — keen and literately-expressed interest in Beethoven seems much more sane. (Source.)

If it's 13:12 can hunger be far behind? Better go and explore the fridge I suppose. I have my eye on a sausage or two. Or is that a sign of mental disorder? (Recall that lovely line I first heard on a John Peel2 radio show literally decades ago. It's from Viv Stanshall's "Sir Henry at Rawlinson End" — Like the shock of fondling a raw sausage blindfold at a gay party...) (Source!)

Memories are us... dept.

Until I looked on the back of the print, I would have dated this picture...

Christa, Peter, and Bob, Aug 1992

... to August 1993, my reasoning being that:

  1. it was taken by Christa's schoolfriend Ute
  2. it shows Ute's partner (an Englishman called Bob)
  3. not to mention our second (and amazingly under-powered) Honda Civic
  4. yet another variant hairstyle
  5. and I clearly recall walking briskly with Bob and my son up to Jonathan's "Arcade Books"3

But since Ute has written "Eastleigh Aug '92" on the back of the print, I'm forced to concede that I could very well be one year adrift (which has all too often been the story of my life).

Very Satie's "fied"

It's 21:15 and, having spoken to Peter an hour ago (exchanging familial Easter greetings), I'm now (finally) listening to delicious piano music from an Erik Satie boxed set that I bought, but promptly overlooked, in mid-2007, just before Christa was diagnosed. I'd assumed it was a 3-CD set but (to my surprised delight) disc #4 has in fact turned out to be a DVD of the Grammy-nominated "Satie and Suzanne" written and directed by Tim Southam. Since this is still awaiting five votes on IMDB I think it's fair to say it's a bit of a rarity. And I've just learned that Stephenie Meyer has written a 200-page "Twilight" novella that will be out (free) on this website and also available as a printed book. Details here. Mind you, Bree is not exactly a major character!



1  "Every sperm is sacred" if you study your Monty Python songbook.
2  "I could never really think of anything to say when I'd played one of his pieces on the radio, and would end up, rather feebly, with something along the lines of "I fear that a single one of Viv's thoughts would blow my damn brains out"." (Source.)
3  To pick up what was, at the time, the most expensive book I'd ever bought: the two-volume collected research papers of Lewis Fry Richardson (uncle of the actor, Ralph). And (unless my obsessively-maintained database is telling porkies) I bought that on 11 August 1993.