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lundi 19 mai 2003

I'm a factory run amok.
Or so it emerges today.
Thus I drop those archetypes, stereotypes and even dreams for a spell as I digest the latest findings. I'll know more tomorrow and still more in the wake of a newly focussed blood test.
It's leukocytes and other delights such as polynuclear neutrophils my insides have churned out like nobody's business (so why put it here?) since 1997, especially the latter.
Why a further surge has struck now we have yet to find out (at least it wasn't the alcohol after all), but 'How [this] stuff works' is a good start, except that I won't pursue it until tomorrow afternoon.
Karin's latest helpful thought was Crohn's disease (I honestly can't recommend reading that unless you're a masochist; in any event, while bits fit, others don't).
Still, there's some sort of domestic war going on.


But that's boring, is it not? I'm tracking down something else. How was it that some tidbit I wrote here brought about something else, probably miniscule, in the ... 'New York Times'? I've not found it yet, but it apparently coincides with my messing with Shakespeare. Revelation if I recatch the right link...


Anyway, I'm out of any wars for another week. The last time I was in a bang-bang situation, apart from a couple of nasty incidents here in Paris, was back in the early '80s. But the most wondrous - straight out of a Western - was a bandit attack on a slow train in a very hot Indian valley in the 1970s. They rode down from the hills either side, firing over our jam-packed coaches until the engine driver thought it wiser to call a halt in a magnificent blast of steam.
After the bandits boarded, I did something so stupid out of anger that I nearly got plugged. Never again.
To this day, I wonder if they didn't shoot me because they were so startled that anybody could be such an idiot as to challenge them. The uncle of the girl I struck up with on that Madras-Delhi haul had just been killed in a similar attack. So she told me at length, afterwards!
Now I am but a desk editor, living such experiences vicariously, which suits me fine, because I was always better at that than reporting.


But I've enjoyed the occasional gadabout, nothing spectacular. And the reporters I admire, without envy, do sometimes find themselves in gloriously unlikely situations.
I don't know if Emsie "storified" her anecdote last weekend in Slovakia for that EU referendum. I can't see all that's on the AFP wires. But when the Beeb informed us (and even bothered domestic listeners with the news) that a 'Yes' was "voted overwhelmingly", they buried (seven paras down) the detail that the turnout barely scraped through any decision at all!
Emsie's highlight came on Saturday night, I learn: the case of the prime minister, a huddle of hacks, the most tedious political analyst in the world and a very loud rock band in the middle of heaven knows precisely where. She managed to escape the analyst's clutches and got a decent quote or two out of Mikulas Dzurinda, the PM, before he took the stage and raised a storm.
But I fear our intrepid correspondent found the rock band's performance more stirring than that of the place's centre-right bossman. As well she might, since she may have Afrikaans blood in her veins, but has a taste for things Mediterranean and we "Latin" peoples. (We? My fondness for southern France is "adoption", little else. I know there's some Viking blood in all those white globules, a drop of Irish, but the rest is a mystery. How Latin are we Brits?) South African, Emsie knows places like Spain and Italy much better than me. A band called the Gladiators, perhaps, could scarcely fail to impress.
I'd love to know more.
My horizons have been broadened. One likely site loads so slowly that it took too long to reach the, er, "death borg".
But this one's OK. So which was it, Emsie? Speedcore?, Technocore??, Gabber??! ... or Hardcore???!
The mind boggles. Which does Mr Dzurinda speak?

9:02:31 PM  link   your views? []

Yes. And stereotypes ... and singularities.
I find I still have four readers! After forever alienating another last week. So I hope it's clear to all four that my Grip on Reality remains steadfast, despite some straying down strange roads of late.
The night, nonetheless, was so odd that I don't wish to listen to 'Today' today and be drawn back into bomb attacks and the routine madness of some politicians. Just for a day.

Thing is, I simply couldn't sleep, finally managed to drop a book at 3:30, yet was up even earlier than yesterday, and while for some 7:15 am is admirably routine, it usually wrecks me. I had three such strange and lucid dreams.
Some might argue I had a couple of current worries, one for a good but heartsick acquaintance, the other about my lab results. But though my "unconscious" just may be more concerned than I think it is, I don't buy that.
It's true that the laboratoire d'analyses médicales did something perhaps silly. When I did the fresh blood tests on Saturday, they promised speedy results by tomorrow afternoon, despite the current wave of strikes (a good cause: our pensions).
I said I knew things were difficult, but would be awfully, ever so, etc, if the assured and efficient woman who was the only one left doing much despite the queues, could see her way to letting me have them by 2:30 pm today instead. I'd rather avoid postponing the next two medical appointments (one brought weeks forward by dint of persuasion and the kindness of the specialist).
Instead, we got back from 'The Matrix' to find a message on my ansaphone. "Monsieur," she announced, "we found this (problem I don't fully grasp) with your white blood cells and we thought better to fax them to your cabinet médical de toute urgence, in the hope your doctor sees them rapidly. You may fetch the lot as of first thing Monday."
I haven't. There's no point in rushing to collect something I won't understand until hours hence.
My stalwart and upright friend David ( a good friend to all in "the factory" likely to benefit from the considerable work he and Dmitri have done of late on the union front, though he shrugs it off), commented that what the lab lady did was a little "unethical", in risking scaring the shit out of me for two days before anything could be done, until I assured him that she had evidently realised that I'm not of the panicking kind.
A "worrywart", yes (thanks to Her Imperial Majesty Jen at TS for adding that to my vocabulary all the way from Florida), but too fatalistic or stupid for panic - even during one of the world's worst-ever plane flights in a killer. I'll never forget an Air France pilot for publicly reprimanding a stewardess over the intercom and summoning her "up front" after she informed her human cargo: "Mesdames, Messieurs, I'm so happy to tell you that by the Grace of the Good Lord we shall be landing at Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle in two minutes." Poor lass!
No. It's none of that.

I dreamed of ... Schrödinger's cat. To be clearer, I had a conversation with Erwin Schrödinger (fun poem link) about singularity. Details elude me now, I just know the cat was black, the man made me laugh, told me something which had me reply, "Ah, now I see!" (What was it I saw? Possibly it was meaningful. I don't recall.)
... I dreamed of my bien-aimée, heart-thief. "In all things," she said, "we are complementary." We were in ... the Sahara, nothing special since both of us travel, we weren't thirsting, and that desert I have penetrated (not far, but deep enough) from both ends, the eastern, in Tunisia, the western in Mauritania. Its immensity gives me great hope for the future of the planet despite humanity.
"What I have," she added, "you lack, and what you've got, I haven't." And then a small group of Blue Men arrived, with camels, guns and hidden faces. In real life, I've never seen these Tuaregs, just photos. They were both distant and friendly, neither of us could understand a word of what they were saying until one told us, in French, "We have found the track you lost. We've come to take you there." Fade out, unfortunately...
After that exercise in some kind of wish-fulfilment (I half jest) came the strangest. OK, I know I ranted on about Wagner last week, et alors?.

sideshowI was among the men sitting in the shadows round the fire as Siegfried tells the dark, wicked Hagen his story. Weird thing was that though I've not listened to it all for many a year (after once doing so many, many times), all the German came flooding back, the bit about the flawed hero's blood initiation into birdsong:

"In Lied zu dem Wipfel lauscht' ich hinauf;
da sass es noch und sang:
'Hei, Siegfried erschlug nun den schlimmen Zwerg!
Jetzt wusst ich ihm noch das herrlischte Weib.
Auf hohen Felsen sie schläft,
Feuer umbrennt ihren Saal;
durchschritt' er die Brunst,
weckt' er die Braut,
Brünnhilde ware dann sein!'
. Und so weiter ("and so on"), a great bleeding chunk of it all! (Of that particular passage, a confounded Mac Sherlock "translator" makes:
"In song to the treetop listens I up; there it sat still and sang:
'Hei, Siegfried killed now the bad dwarf! Now wusst I it still the
herrlischte woman. On high rock it sleeps, fires umbrennt their hall;
if it crossed the Brunst, it wakes the bride, Bruennhilde
commodity then its [it is]!'

I've seen worse (and three available Watson translators did no better). It was my happy use of words like "herrlischte" which drove even my elderly ex-Camel Corps two-year German teacher crazy, but scraped me an amazing grade 2 in the O-level exam...*
But "commodity", huh? Rejoice, all ye feminist anti-Wagnerians! His last wife, Cosima, certainly didn't see herself that way. Nor Brünnhilde.
Point is: as other Ring-maniacs know, soon after all that, as a sadly cuckolded Gunther's jaw drops ever further (since he didn't know of a nasty potion), Siegfried reaches his climax, a couple of ravens wing it away like bats out of hell, and Hagen seizes his spear to plunges it straight into the poor lad's back, killing him on the spot. (The picture, not quite how I dreamed it, is from Fritz Lang's 1924 'Siegfried' (thanks to Silent Thrills.)
I woke almost at once to the racket of an early tourist coach, some thunderous chords still splitting my skull, and my first waking thought Gunther's almost whispered echo of Hagen's astounded warriors: "Hagen - was tatest du?" ("What have you done?"
There you go.
A drizzly dreary morning has begun, it's 9:45. I'll get back to this later.


I see this won't be finished yet. I'm eager for the symbol book to arrive (not on dreams, thank you).
But I'll post the first part, in the wake of a healthy dose of reality.
Perhaps a wildcat, wherever she is right now, should be told that I love her and I sorely miss her.
On archetypes, stereotypes too, I'll be baksun. Wasn't that how Winnie the Pooh put it?


*Loosely, I'd venture: "In sorrow, I gazed up into the treetops: still it perched there and sang: 'Hey! Now Siegfried has slain the wicked dwarf! Now I'm aware of a worthy wife for him. On the high rock she sleeps, fire an inferno around the place; he who can break through the blaze to awaken the bride there, Brünnhilde shall be his.'"

Such German as I have is very rusty, one word loses me altogether. Any corrections would be welcome.

1:30:23 PM  link   your views? []

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