Les copains



Max est entré dans sa dix-septième année. C'est un bichon maltais. Cayden lui, doit peser environ 30 kilos. Il n'a que trois ans. C'est un croisé entre un border-colley et un berger-allemand. Gatsby, le chat, est leur copain. Lorsqu'on doit partir pour quelques jours on laisse toujours Gatsby car il déteste la voiture et préfère rester à la maison aux soins d'un gentil voisin. Il sait toujours qu'on va revenir.

Quand Max, déjà vieux, a perdu sa copine Lune, une petite cotton, (qui ne vivait que pour manger) il ne voulait plus vivre lui non plus. C'est pour cela que l'on a pris Cayden. D'abord tout petit il prenait Max pour son papa. Ils dormaient dans le même panier. Cayden a donné à Max le goût de vivre à nouveau. D'ailleurs même après quelques jours, son état général s'était extraordinairement amélioré.
Bien que Cayden grandissait, il prenait toujours Max pour son papa, et Max se vantait d'être le chef. Plus tard il y a eu des moments où ils se disputaient, mais Cayden, qui aurait pu facilement tuer Max s'il le voulait, ne lui faisait jamais mal. C'était du cinéma, comme les premières disputes entre un jeune homme et son père, qui au fond s'aiment profondément. Donc c'est certain que Max, a été ressuscité par Cayden.


Dernièrement cependant Max a pris un coup de vieux. Il avait déjà de graves problèmes concernant sa colonne vertébrale. En plus il est aussi devenu très sourd et presque aveugle. Mais malgré tout cela, il a un courage extraordinaire, et il ne se plaint jamais.
Un jour, Max est libre. C'est donc un bon jour pour lui de point de vue vision et santé générale. Mais il a du manger quelque chose qui lui a flanqué une indigestion assez sérieuse. On pensait qu'il allait mourir. Le lendemain soir, Cayden l'a grommelé d'une manière impressionnante, mais sans lui faire mal, comme toujours. C'est après que l'on a réalisé que Cayden voulait le secouer, car par la suite Max s'est débarrassé de ce qui le gêner.

Aujourd'hui Max ne peut plus facilement descendre les escaliers, sauf s'il tombe, ce qu'il fait si on ne bloque pas l'accès pour l'empêcher. Monter maintenant c'est hors de question. On doit le porter, doucement, pour qu'il fasse ses besoins dehors. Mais Cayden refuse de descendre les escaliers sans que Max soit là aussi. On descend donc tous ensemble.
Puis Max doit manger d'abord. Cayden attend avant de manger. C'est une attente assez longue car Max n'a plus assez de dents pour manger comme avant.


C'est une émouvante histoire de vie, de fidélité, et d'amour. Et c'est aussi une leçon pour nous.
Les chiens vivent trop longtemps et pas assez longtemps. Trop longtemps car ils deviennent partie intégrante de nos vies de famille. Pas assez longtemps car ils nous manquent durement après la fin de leur modeste trajet.

Le début de son trajet Max l'a passé avec sa maîtresse. Elle l'amenait avec lui à son travail car elle ne pouvait pas le laisser tout seul à la maison aussi longtemps. Il avait donc l'habitude d'être patient et discret. Lors de ses déplacements Il l'attendait souvent dans la voiture, dans les parkings, sachant qu'elle va revenir. La voiture d'ailleurs était pour lui alors comme un deuxième chez lui.


Dans la fleur de l'âge Max pouvait faire tant de choses. 'Bi-langue' il pouvait faire des 'roll-overs' et des 'turn arounds' sur ses pattes arrières. Je lui ai même appris à fermer la porte lorsqu'il revenait de ses promenades matinales libre, là où il avait plein de copains et de copines canin(e)s.
Lorsqu'il sautait si facilement sur le lit, on aurait dit qu'il volait, il planait. Il avait un équilibre étonnant, comme un chamois. Il n'avait peur de rien, aucunement pour les hauteurs. Il se mettait sur des precipices pointus donnant sur 800 mètres de vide, sans problèmes. Max était toujours le chef. Toujours.


C'est aussi pour cela qu'on ne peut que l'admirer encore pour son courage exemplaire. Nous ne sommes pas les seuls car c'est évident que Cayden et Gatsby l'admirent eux aussi. Ils l'aident chacun à leur manière.

Une petite histoire, une petite leçon d'amour et de loyauté. La vie en somme, mais un peu trop accélérée. Très belle, plus profonde que l'on imagine, et émouvante.
Plus tard il y aura sans doute une belle histoire à raconter à propos de Cayden.


Text and images © Mirino, October, 2017

Sensum communem



The Fountain Head, written by Ayn Rand in 1943, is an excellent novel underlining the total counter-productivity of socialism and overinflated State control, as opposed to allowing individual enterprise, encouraging exceptional talent consolidated with integrity, and devoted artistic expression.
The fact that the film version produced by Warner Brothers in 1949, starring Garry Cooper (as the architect Howard Roark) was demeaned by negative criticism from the establishment media even
then, underlines the quasi constant, latent power of socialism. Nevertheless the book has sold more than 6.5 millions of copies and has been translated in twenty languages.

What Adam Smith, Scottish Economist and philosopher of the 18th century, advocates in his 'Wealth of Nations' is still considered a chef d'œuvre of economic common-sense. This common-sense has always been dismissed by socialism.
His work is based on the logic that everyone benefits from individual ambition and success. That people buy good bread from their favourite baker, not because their wish is to please the baker, but because their wish is to please themselves.

Had Steve Jobs not had the freedom and opportunity to produce and perfect his Macintosh computer, the whole world would have been deprived of the best personal computer and communications systems.
One could argue that multinationals are killing off small businesses, but there are international laws regarding competition and monopolies. The fact that other communications systems have more or less ripped off the Apple system in a round about way, shows what Apple also has to contend with.

Competition obviously has a positive effect. Without it humanity will never be able to reach the stars, which eventually will become an absolute necessity.
Personally, I could spend weeks trying to protect my own copyright, which through Internet is being pirated constantly. So it works both ways.
If I took the time and was accorded the freedom to produced something considered worthwhile, then obviously I am not the only one who benefits.

The nations who promote and officialise same sex marriages, and impose incoherent, gender theories on children in schools, constitute neo-Marxist or socialist attempts to condition children and depreciate family values. In this respect Russia is well qualified to give the West valuable advice based on its own experience of failed Marxist ideology.

Throughout their schooling all children without exception should be given the same chance of obtaining the best possible education. But socialism decrees that this equality should reflect in the results. In order to determine this fabricated equality, one would have to discourage those who wish to advance in order that the mediocre pupils have some sort of chance in catching up. Naturally this would lead to a general mediocre level of education. In fact socialism systematically engenders mediocrity.

This mediocrity could also be applied to the present moronic merkelian madness of pretending that mixing up incompatible cultures will eventually produce a positive, multicultural society. At best it would subsequently produce culturally destructive mediocrity, but it would be not unreasonable to suggest that one could eventually end up with Dystopia. 
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Text © Mirino. Image- book cover of the first edition of Ayn Rand's The Fountain Head. 
September, 2017


                   

Liberty

















History is always written by the conquerors, sometimes accurately, sometimes falsely.
For latter examples one only has to look towards Turkey who confuses war with genocide. Equally one could look towards France and their inglorious, (tending towards genocidal) revolution. For the latter example the justification would be the cause of the Republic. The apparently less durable cause of Soviet communism killed many more millions. Yet if one looks closely enough into the history of nations, there are often such discords, less clamourous perhaps, but still questionable. The Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and the subsequent annual Orange Day march in Ireland (to keep the wound open and festering) is good example.

For the US Confederates, their engagement would probably be less in support of slavery, than in support of a way of life. However just and reasonable the decree of abolishing slavery might have generally been appreciated, in the minds of those prepared to sacrifice themselves to conserve a way of life, were they not fighting for what they also consider to be their freedom?
Ironically many Afro-Americans fought with them. They too, often accepted as part of southern families, having seen the children grow and having cared for them, might have been fighting for what they believed was their choice, their particular freedom, and Afro-American identity.
Many of them subsequently 'freed', had no place to go and no offer of employment. For them would this be 'freedom'? Often they were also treated as scapegoats, the 'unworthy cause' of the tragic conflict between American brothers.

Naturally this is not an apology for slavery.
Oscar Wilde was quite right when he pointed out that the slave owners who did most harm, were those who were kind to their slaves, in as much as they contributed in perpetuating the abomination of slavery. Yet whilst imbeciles pull down statues of men who fought for what they believed in, the former brainless beings allowing themselves to be so used, are oblivious to the fact that slavery continues even today.
The African migrants (many thousands of whom have drowned in the Mediterranean) being enticed to risk their lives and those of their families, to come to Europe to work, are hardly likely to get executive jobs. They won't even be accorded a minimum wage.
Merkel pointed out the need for cheap labour in Germany. Isn't that slavery? Or are we to believe that being paid something, negates the argument?

What cannot be negated is history. Only fools or regressive ideologues try to negate history. When people who, rightly or wrongly, fought fairly and nobly for what they believed in, and were respected for this, they deserve being remembered and commemorated. Desecrating such memorials is an act of hateful ignorance. Beings who demean themselves in this way trample on history and the essence of freedom. They trample on the notion of: "I don't agree with your opinion, but I would fight for your right to express it". They trample on the USA.
In pulling down a statue of even a modest Confederate soldier, they are virtually pulling down the Statue of Liberty.

*

The sculpture of Robert E Lee was first carried out by Henry Shrady (1871-1922).
Due to chronic illness which led to Shrady's death, the work was completed by Leo Lentelli in 1924. It was dedicated in May of that same year. Apparently Lentelli's version is less animated than that originally planned by Shrady.


Composite © Mirino (using a cropped image of the equestrian statue of Robert E. Lee, and an image of woods in Virginia, USA, with thanks for their use). August, 2017.

Improvisation



Anecdote accompanied by a cool beer and guitar improvisation. A pause in a favourite Italian bar. A precious moment. The sublime illusion of escaping from a mad world.

Yet for at least five years the guitar stayed in its case. It's owner could no longer hear well enough to tune it. Even with a digital tuner there were tones he could no longer hear. To him even the best music sounded depressing, cacaphonic.

But miracles sometimes happen, his hearing in the only 'valid' ear still in 50% function mode improved enough for him to hear quite clearly with a good aid. (Beforehand a hearing-aid only amplified the distorted sound conveyed by the faulty inner ear, making it even worse).

So he tuned his guitar and started playing again. It sounded alright, so much so that he bought another guitar, two in fact. In spite of old playing habits that die hard, he started to learn finger picking, to improvise blues with thumb base rhythm, and it sounds like he's doing alright.
He let his right hand finger nails grow, and shortened his left hand finger nails. The corns came back on his left hand finger tips. He practices every day. It's a real victory.

There is no time limit for victories. They are not subject to age, as long as one is in reasonably good health. It's also true that each time one shares life with a woman one loves, it's another life, another wonderful gift.
Perhaps I mentioned this before. Going back fifteen years now. A magic evening in a restaurant above Menton. He played the guitar then too. for some reason he was full of confidence. It was then when he met her. They danced together. It all clicked.

Maybe he wasn't immediately aware, but after having had to rely on a hearing-aid most of his life, he no longer needed it with her. This miracle lasted two years before the inevitable audio chute. Nevertheless there is no doubt that it was a miracle, like playing the guitar again. It makes one smile, and feel good.

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Text Mirino. Image Curto. August, 2017

Federalism



After having posted on FB what follows, I've been thinking more about the subject, hence this long preamble, which is also a reason why I'm adding it to Viewfinder. Another reason is that as I am spending perhaps more time than I should, making a nuisance of myself on FB, certainly with regards to this particular subject, Viewfinder is being even more neglected.

I've been thinking about how historic events effect the relationships between European nations as well as communities within European nations. It brings to mind the time when I was in a Dutch hospital after a road accident. An old man walked up to my bed and called me a 'rot moffer'. I probably smiled stupidly not then knowing what 'rot moffer' meant, but it's probable that he thought I was German, and was then already old enough to have suffered from the war, so no doubt it was his way of wishing me not to get well very soon.

The French Revolution left similar open wounds. The Vendéens, being particularly faithful to their Catholic religion, suffered terribly for it. Events in Scotland such as the despicable massacre of Glen Coe will never be forgotten, nor forgiven. In any case the cultural gap between the Scottish and the English is legendary. Needless to say the Battle of the Boyne left its sanguineous mark in Ireland, but heedlessly the Protestants continue their Orange day March to keep the embers glowing. (It would be as though the allies marched through Berlin every year to celebrate victory against Nazi Germany. But the Battle of the Boyne took place in 1690!).

During the Franco-Spanish War (1635-1659) there was the Catalonian Revolution (1640-1659) against the cumbersome presence of the Royal Spanish army, consequently Catalonia then became a republic under the French protectorate, at least for a while. The Basques in France as well as the Basques in Spain have always aspired to conserve their identity and have fought for their independence. The Corsicans have too, of course. The Bavarians of southern Germany would never associate themselves with the Prussians of northern Germany. And regarding Belgium, there is an enormous cultural difference between the Flemish and the Walloons, even though the nation is a relatively small. The Flemish of northern Belgium speak Dutch and are more rural than the French speaking Walloons of Wallonia who identify themselves more with the French.

Naturally every nation of Europe has its own internal history which is also a precious reference. Had one referred the history of Ukraine, instead of clumsily imposing one's will with little or no regard to democracy and diplomacy, the outcome could have been more positive for all concerned.

All this to say that in view of the scars of history, and the continued conflicts of interest within nations, the idea of federalising Europe and pretending that we are one big happy family, is a utopian pipe dream.
However, it is understandable and even commendable that the younger generation likes this idea, but it has to evolve naturally, gradually and democratically. Obviously it can never be imposed. If it were, the consequences would be disastrous.

In any case the present situation created by the EU executive and the German Chancellor, is such that there is already a serious confidence crisis. Brexit should have been enough to sound the alarm bell, but the establishment continues obliviously. Understandably, more and more Europeans are losing all faith.

*

It seems that the problem with Europe now, is that a minority have too much power. In the case of Merkel, still Chancellor of Germany, she appears to believe she is also the Chancellor of Europe. This to such an extent that she doesn't hesitate in dictating what she believes should be implemented. If, for example, she believes that Russia is a dangerous enemy, she seems to assume that all Europeans should consider Russia as a dangerous enemy. If she says that terrorism has got nothing to do with Islam, then she considers that Europeans should also accept this absurdity.
Similarly, Juncker is for open borders. He therefore takes it for granted that all Europeans are, or should be, for open borders.

Most nations have a constitution that morally obliges them to accept refugees for as long as they need asylum. No nation has a constitution that obliges them to accept unassimilable Muslim migrants on an permanent basis, yet Merkel and Juncker insist that each European nation accept a given quota of such migrants in spite of all the negative consequences.

This already being the case when European nations still have a fair amount of national sovereignty, what would be the situation in a federalised Europe? Logically it would be even worse, far worse.

Compared to Europe, the history of the USA only begins with the founding fathers, the pilgrim colonists of the 17th century (1607). For good reason many Americans therefore still identify with their national, European roots.
Naturally the USA was born from the War of Independence, under Washington, but it also took the civil war, and Lincoln, and the consequent constitution to establish the necessary foundations.
In Europe there is no Washington or Lincoln. There are no inspired ideals or pledges of allegiance. Root religion that Europe developed from, is largely despised and dismissed by the Eurocrats. The latter are engrossed in pricing Brussel sprouts, etc., but above them, the ideologues, who are intolerant to nationality, root religion and root identity, are ironically welcoming many thousands, if not millions of migrants who wish to impose their own 7th century ideology and laws, and who reject democracy and refuse to integrate, being more prone to adhere to the decrees of their Quran.

Yet in spite of this sad lack of European soul and solidarity, in spite of this immigration inanity, the greatest idiocy of our epoch, one still stoically believes that we can federalise Europe.
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Text and image © Mirino. July, 2017

Wee rhyme




I shall love thee long my lass
Beyond the end of time,
Though burns run dry
Or break their banks
Forever you'll be mine

For e'er you'll me mine my love
Come fire, deluge or gale,
Though Heavens plunge
And Earth implodes
My love will never fail

For e'er you'll me mine my sweet
E'en though the world be mad,
For ever you'll be fair and gay
And never worn and sad

I shall love thee long my lass
                   Beyond the end of time,                
Through war, through strife,
Yon after life,
As pledged by this wee rhyme

 


for C

Rhyme and image © Mirino. June, 2017