Another Letter to the Editors

This may be my next-to-last letter to the editors as I have become

increasingly frustrated as of late over the fact that the format of my

website is constantly altered by the powers that be, which can only

be either WebHostingHub or WordPress. I strongly suspect WordPress,

as from the Git-go they have constantly offered me so-called upgrades

and when I have ignored these offers they are foisted upon me anyway.

Originally, when I first fired up, things were rather simple. One would

dial up “thewalrussaid.net” and you would have instant access to the

search box and it’s icon which immediately led to my most recent post,

however now one must scroll from here to hell and back to get the

same result and I for one find it seriously confusing.

I’ve said this before, that I think it must be some artificial intelligence

gizmo that WordPress is employing, and much to my detriment.

However, for all I know,  WordPress itself may be artificial intelligence,

ha,ha!, so I plan to consult with WebHostingHub as they seem to be

some sort of go-between. Much as I like WHH., the young people there

are so very bright, I doubt I will get anywhere. I find that people, for the

most part cannot reverse course, for they are not at the helm of their

technology; indeed their technology steers them.

If I have to move on, I will, but I shall post a note before I leave.

Islander.

 

Poe

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore–

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

“Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door–

Only this and nothing more.”

 

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow;–vainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrow–sorrow for the lost Lenore–

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore–

Nameless here  for evermore.

 

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me–filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

“Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door–

This it is and nothing more.”

 

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I,” or madam truly your forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you”–here I opened wide the door;–

Darkness there and nothing more.

 

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word Lenore?”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”–

Merely this and nothing more.

 

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.

“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;

Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore–

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;–

“Tis the wind and nothing more!”

 

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

But with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door–

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door–

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

 

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore–

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”

Quoth the raven “Never more.”

 

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning–little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door–

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door.

With such name as “Nevermore.”

 

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing farther then he uttered–not a feather then he fluttered–

Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before–

On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”

Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

 

Startled by the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store

Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore–

Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

Of ‘Never–nevermore’.”

 

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door,

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore–

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

 

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,

But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!

 

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee–by these angels he hath sent thee

Respite–respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

 

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil–prophet still, if bird or devil!–

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted–

On this home by Horror haunted–tell me truly, I implore–

Is there balm in Gilead?–tell me–tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

 

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!–prophet still if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us–by that God we both adore–

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore–

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore,”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

 

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting–

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul has spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken!–quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

 

And the Raven never flitting, still is sitting, still  is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor,

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor,

Shall be lifted–nevermore!                              Edgar Allan Poe.

The above is for those who are perhaps unacquainted with Poe,

and for those of us who “once upon a midnight dreary , while we

pondered weak and weary” over the Internet, ha,ha!

Islander.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back Then

Once upon a time American food producers, farmers, etc,
enlisted college students and nomadic Americans to get
the harvest in; but that was then. Nowadays, college students
say “fuck that noise, I’m off to Cannes”, and nomadic
Americans have all but disappeared, however nomadic people
still exist.
Today and for quite some time the bulk of nomadic people
have been of Mexican heritage and many have settled here and
have become American citizens and what’s wrong with that?
This has benefited America greatly. Take for instance a basic
necessity such as food. Before it reaches your table it must
be harvested, butchered, processed, and these people I speak
of are heavily involved in that endeavor and yes, I speak
to you in Arkansas.
And yet we put them down, we villify them, and in doing so we villify ourselves.
Islander.

“Waltzing Matilda”

“Once a jolly swagman sat beside the billabong,
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he sat and waited by the billabong
You’ll come a waltzing maltilda with me

Waltzing matilda, waltzing matilda
You’ll come a waltzing matilda with me
and he sang as he sat and waited by the billabong
You’ll come a waltzing matilda with me.

Down came a jumbuck to drink beside the billabong
Up jumped the swagman and seized him with glee
And he sang as he tucked jumbuck in his tuckerbag
You’ll come a waltzing matilda with me

Waltzing matilda, waltzing matilda
You’ll come a waltzing matilda with me
And he sang as he sat and waited by the billabong
You’ll come a waltzing matilda with me.

Down came the stockman, riding on his thoroughbred,
Down came the troopers, one, two, three.
“Where’s the jolly jumbuck you’ve got in your tuckerbag?
You’ll come a waltzing matilda with me”

Waltzing matilda, waltzing matilda
You’ll come a waltzing matilda with me
And he sang as he sat and waited by the billabong
You’ll come a waltzing matilda with me.

Up jumped the swagman and plunged into the billabong,
“You’ll never catch me alive,” cried he
And his ghost may be heard as you ride beside the billabong,
You’ll come a waltzing matilda with me.” Banjo Paterson.
Islander.

The Siege of Leningrad

“Nobody had the energy to bury the dead. Gravediggers were to weak

to hack holes in the frozen ground. When someone died, the corpse

was wrapped in a sheet and taken on a child’s sled to the gates

of the cemetery. Army engineers, summoned from the front,

dynamited pits for mass burials. And sometimes the authorities

discovered that the bodies had pieces of flesh carved from them.

This is the one aspect of the siege not described in Soviet histories

or memoirs. But there were numerous reports from Russian sources

indicating that hunger finally drove some Leningraders to cannibalism.

According to the reports, it was practiced on the dead at first.

Then there were cases of murder for food by starvation-crazed people.

Finally, there were reports of human flesh being sold. Soldiers, the

best fed people in the city, reportedly were killed on their way home

from the front. They started going about armed and in groups.

One rumor had it that children were beginning to disappear, and

parents kept their youngsters off the streets. Other stories spread

that gangs of well-fed cannibals roamed the city; the stories added

terror to all the other anxieties. Anyone who looked healthy was

under suspicion–as were the little meat cakes that could still

be bought for enormous prices in the black market.”

 

“Nobody knows how many people perished that winter in Leningrad.

The official total is 264,ooo. But this figure was laid down during the

Stalinist years, when Leningrad’s sufferings were minimized.

Most Western scholars believe that the number of deaths from

starvation during the entire siege exceeded one million, and that

several hundred thousand more were killed by bombs, shells or gunfire.

By contrast, the United States and Britain together suffered fewer

than 800,00 deaths during all of World War II.”

Excerpts from “Russia Besieged   WWII.” Author Nicholas Bethell,

Publishers, Time-Life Books Inc.

The population of Leningrad at that time was around 3 million.

Islander.

Deja fucking Vu

“Our people were ignorant of the most essential economic questions,

an ignorance which was the product of interests  which always wanted

to keep the people uneducated. Why was it so? Because only in the absence

of political and economic consciousness could the government do  the

things it did here, maintain the demagogy which always existed here

and invent all the lies it used here to explain something so essential

to the life of the people as economy is.”

Fidel Castro.

Spoken on September 17th. 1959, it is as relevant a thought today

in this country as it was then on that day in Cuba.

Islander.

 

Johnny

Has anyone noticed that everyone is out of step, but Johnny?

Let’s take the seven continents.

There’s at least one country out- of- step with Johnny on the

North American Continent, and as you head South there are

countries  on the Isthmus which join with many countries

on the South American Continent in being out- of- step with Johnny.

If you go East you find many countries on the African and European

Continents out- of- step with Johnny. If you go West, Australia,

a country and a Continent, is sometimes  in- step, sometimes out

and farther West before you reach the Asian Continent there is a

country called The Philippines, clearly out- of- step and rightfully so

in my opinion, that joins more than one country on the Asian Continent

in being out- of- step with Johnny.

As for Antarctica, the facts are inconclusive but it has been observed

that the Penguins kinda walk like  Johnny, ha,ha!

Islander.

Analogies

I like analogies, who doesn’t, I like to make analogies,
who does not? Here’s one comes to mind.
“Sisyphus, son of Aeolus and king of Corinth who,
for his avarice and treachery, was condemned in the
underworld to roll a huge rock uphill which, upon
reaching the top, always rolled to the bottom.” Websters.
Then you have the military-industrial complex, who have
been rolling stones up and down Afghanistan’s mountains
for what is it, how many years?.
However, unlike Sisyphus, these war-meisters do not feel
condemned for their avarice and trickery, rather they
laugh all the way to their respective banks or generalships.
We are the condemned, I who write this, and you who read it.
Islander.

A rats ass

Did Americans give a rats ass when their government sent over fifty

thousand young Americans to their death in Vietnam, and for what

I might ask?, are you kidding.

Do Americans give a rats ass that their government has sent over five

thousand young Americans and still counting to their death in Iraq

and Afghanistan?, give me a break.

Will Americans  give a rats ass when their government declares war

on Iran or Russia?, of course not.

Did Americans in the Keystone pipeline area give a rats ass over the

oil spill  in the Gulf of Mexico that devastated the Gulf  states?,

get out of here.

Will Americans in the Gulf region give a rats ass when the Keystone

pipeline deal goes through?, and it will, nah.

Did Americans give a rats ass when Walmart put thousands of small

retailers out of business, thereby destroying much of the middle class

and affecting millions  of workers making a decent living, not to

mention their families while one family makes billions?, that’s a joke.

Do Americans give a rats ass that both federal and state governments

continue to destroy unions, thereby sending more and more

to the poorhouse?, it is to laugh.

Do Americans give a rats ass that federal and state governments

are abrogating their civil liberties as I write, duh, what did you say?

Do Americans give a rats ass  that thousands of young Americans are

incarcerated for many years for petty crimes? ho- hum.

Do Americans give a rats ass that their government has gone amok

and is running roughshod over the rest of the world? I think not.

Strikes me that Americans don’t give a shit about anything, but let

me tell you something, I think one day they will wake up from this

clueless stupor to find that there are people in the world that

do give a shit.

Islander

P.S. Wrote the above about two-three years ago, just getting around

to publishing it.