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« 'Tiny the Turbine' | Main | Bremorse - Josh 377 »

Playing the Lead - Josh 378

Please note, no actual Labour Leaders were harmed during the making of this cartoon.

Cartoons by Josh

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Beth, my granddaughter's budgie acted as a muse


Named from a single plucked feather
You wrought consternation in the Victorian mind and soul
as your bones first saw the light.
Rescuer of Darwin's heresy
Twinkler of Huxley's bulldog eye
but pourer of bitter bile on Owen's beliefs.

Did you watch the last faltering steps of xiphosurids
long before steeds needed shoes
or saw shells of Ammon rolling to their death in a fetid sea?
Were you a black-caped assassin swooping at night
teeth full of less flighty prey?
Or did you, like a demented basilisk, wings giving lift to your aspirations,
stride across the Tethyan Ocean in search of that elusive butterfly?

You died in agony, back arched, wings deployed,
teeth showing your theropod roots, revealing most
But the secret you keep is your voice.
Were your calls across the Jurassic lagoon raucous as a jackdaw, or linnet sweet?
Your repertoire is safely buried with your bones, squashed by time.

Younger Chinese upstarts now think they rule the roost,
creating temporal paradoxes.
Nor were you the first of your avian brood,
yet your name, Archaeopteryx, is on every twitchers' lips,
and toddlers everywhere know of you.

Yours was a worthy death.

Aug 14, 2016 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

How lovely indeed.

Aug 14, 2016 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Yes lovely, 'Your repertoire is safely buried with your bones squashed by time.'

I have written an Edition of Serf Under_ground called 'A Book of Feathers,' AK. )

Aug 14, 2016 at 2:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

Siccar Point, beset by modern waves,
in their ceaseless quest to obliterate clues to the past.

Clays and greywacke formed long ago in ocean deeps, infested by trilobites,
Hardened, contorted and buried beneath ancient Everests.
Then the lofty peaks eroded piecemeal beneath a desert landscape, also long departed.
lost beneath arid wadi gravels when the earliest fish exercised their jaws.
Since then, times of warm seas, volcanoes and ice, but not recorded here.

Most visitors clamber by seeing little but broken rocks and spume,
perhaps with a shearwater or sea duck.
But physician Hutton saw the mountains in those rocks and ancient arid vistas.
His seeing was not matched by his pen.
The skills of Playfair and Leyll told his message of deep time.

Siccar Point is a site of scientific reverance, but the waves care not.

Aug 14, 2016 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

What a loose canon the late bish has begot!

Aug 14, 2016 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Ravishing Ratty.
Could your speculations be correct?
Has Russell experienced a Damascene conversion or a Lord Marchmain tergiversation?
Or can he not spell cannon?

Aug 14, 2016 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Minty: methinks that he is having an attempt at punning, as in:

Q: "What's the difference between a princess giving birth and a nun giving birth?"

A: "For the princess, they fire a twenty-one gun salute; for the nun, they fire a dirty old canon."

It's not a bad play on words, really. Keep it up, Russell!

Aug 14, 2016 at 10:25 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Rapturous Ratty. I was, of course, interested more in Russell's recent employment of religious verbal imagery, which you have noted previously, rather than his homophonous tendencies.

Aug 15, 2016 at 8:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

The rustle of cardinal silk in the corridors of power.

Aug 15, 2016 at 9:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

Perhaps he is being ecumenical with the truth.

Aug 15, 2016 at 9:48 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Daughter of the Shun

Do you perceive, from your distant shore, through mantle (twice) and core, the reappearance of our prelate?
Or, in my confusion, do I miss your guarded meaning?

Singer beneath bridges

Aug 15, 2016 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

ecumenism develops "closer relationships and better understanding"
Nuf said!

Aug 15, 2016 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterAK

Singer beneath bridges, (a name so delightful to a serf,) prob'ly we talk past each other
... 'specially me being a serf, tho' descended from TheShunn, hisself a serf ... kim has
my decoder ring.


Aug 15, 2016 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

Daughter of the Shun

Clearly I am no Elrond and the moon is in the wrong phase for decryption of messages meant for others. Neither bombs do I possess.

Singer beneath bridges

Aug 15, 2016 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterAK

From my incoming Serf post, oh Singer beneath bridges, how hard it is ter communicate
face ter face, real time, let alone re history's checkered history, teachin' lessons 'n such.
heh, context's the thing ... Alors, concernin' literature via the perceptive author ... them
mastersof the canon, ( Hi Russell,) Shakespearean or Chaucerean insights can tutor us
heaps. Gee, even science Popperean objective methodology regardin' falsifiability (but that
can fall flat on its face,) tribes in science too, tooth 'n nail territory fights, Huxley versus
Owen 'n such...and I don't know where i'm headin' here ... oh Singer beneath bridges.

Aug 15, 2016 at 12:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

Ak /kim non pareil et al, THIS communicates.

Aug 15, 2016 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

No, this! I hope.

Aug 15, 2016 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

This is the one I was after...taking artistic liberties here but then the Bish is about liberty.
Pity the links don't come up but worth posting. So exquisitely joi de vivre.My tres belle
mother used to play it and jest as good. As a young serf was wont ter dance ter it. )
Vivra la liberte and human creativite... Hi Russell.

Aug 15, 2016 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

Confusion reigns chez bridge:
Rustling silk, The Goodies, Liszt - these seem like clues in a round of "Only Connect" (in which I'm complete rubbish).
Nul point pour moi!!

Confused singer in a ditch

Aug 15, 2016 at 4:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

AK, the Goodies were a carry over link from anuther post. Serfs ain't that crash hot with
technologies, tho' have mastered fire stick, hoe and sickle. :)

Aug 15, 2016 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

Daughter of Shun

This "firestick", this is for the iconic "barbi"?

Strike Goodies OK but still no wiser, but now attention span terminal. Links not suited for the dyslexic or wrinklies with deficient short-term memories.

Singer under pressure

Aug 15, 2016 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Do not expect a serf ter explain herself, Singer under pressure. ) Some things,
like climate sci and serf logick, are more clouds than clocks. Hope that makes
things clearer. Serf on the littoral.

Aug 15, 2016 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

Serf on the littoral

All is now contentment. Some things are beyond understanding. I do believe my better half must be part serf, I commonly fail at reading the metrics. This new enlightenment must, however, remain hidden. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Singer beneath bridges (again)

Aug 15, 2016 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK


Not the purling of
the stream carried along
the valley but the singer
beneath bridges' murmuring song.

Aug 16, 2016 at 5:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

Spinning knitdrift on the littoral
a serf watches a homophone,
puzzling trusting poms
with the rustle of her purple silks.

Aug 16, 2016 at 8:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Do like that first line, AK. nice assonance and visual connotashuns,
like the floating debris on the incoming tide. Makes me think of a serf
pome I wrote one that began,

At the ocean's edge
glittering crustaceans mesh,
like a Chanel garment that's beaded at the hem.

I like to walk near dusk on the seashore, (Victoria, in Oz, ) a peninsular that is almost
the mainland's most southern point, the littoral's all silvery and wet black pebbles and stuff.
Only Tasmania betwixt us and the Antarctic...

Aug 16, 2016 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper


Thank you for your kind words and for the poem - the first I ever have recieved. Too long ago, when I was a different person entirely, I wrote for courting purposes but never for the pure joy of stringing words, for creating dissonance from the familiar. I call mine psuedopoems because unlike you I cannot get within the words for their own sake and cannot always find new meanings, hard though I try. I am also too willing to accept a first draft for a finished product, regretting soon my too hasty constructs. As an example, the second line in my last effort now I think would have been better as
"A punning serf watched herself". This avoids the nasty, cumbersome and ill fitting word "homophone"

Clearly BH is not the place to converse like this. I am surprised there have not been complaints. You could contact me directly through my UEA email.

You have my envy, I have always desired to live next the sea. My scottie echos my envy.

Thinking about writing about my visit to Shark Bay, but am taking more time over it.

Singer beneath bridges

Aug 16, 2016 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterACK

AK, I came late to "poetry" a tentatiff serf in a family of daring achievers,
engineering innovayshun 'n the arts. I danced and taught humanitees ) Serf
poems were ovah-edited and then, one day, my belle niece said ter me, be
less inhibited, this ain't you. And now I 'm a serf :) sort of on the littoral and,
like John Donne said ... the trick,regarding innocence and experience be, yer
need ter revert ter youthful git out there or calcify. If yr fail, so what?. ... What do
yer hafta lose at this stage of the game, such a compluh - compluh -cay-ay-ted
ga -ay-ame.

AK thinking about the Bish open thread, I think it's like the Athenian city square
where human thoughts can be put out there and the marketplace can dish it out.
So different from controlled 'n safe places. Maybe the Bish could temporarily turn into
something like Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales' human plenitude, so different from nanny
state thought control. It's what the Bishop's blog stands for, Open Society.

Aug 16, 2016 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

Beth. I presume you meant the Pnyx (which is a small hill) where democracy (of a sort) was constituted and resounded to the voices of Demosthenes, Pericles and Aristides, rather than the more modern Athenian city square (Plateia Syntagmatos) the site of recent mass protests over the greek debt crisis? Sort of because, as a serf and female, you would have been twice banned from the ekklesta. A few years ago I pilgrimaged to the Pynx and quoted Byron.

As to BH being a modern reincarnation of Athenian discursiveness, I am unsure. Twice I have been shown the black pebble, and my newest alta ego was assumed here. My politics deserve, in the view of some regular BH-ers, an application of hemlock, or worse. BH however is stimulating and mild compared with other sites I have briefly visited and recoiled from. I wish Bish and Josh would return, if just to operate the tiller.

Singer beneath bridges

Aug 16, 2016 at 2:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Shoreline Serf. I have just read some of your "Book of Feather" I offer this in small tribute

(Erithacus rubecula)

A carmine flash alights on my just used garden fork,
Imperious, even within my grasp
He surveys my trench warfare of a flower bed
Searching delicacies to his bright eye
A wireworm or a beetle grub
My ally, my pest contoller in a feathered suit.

Aug 16, 2016 at 4:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Thank you Singer beneath bridges, ... ' feathered suit, :)

Re above, I did mean Prynx. Modern Athens is another thing.
And thank you for yr invitayshun to email. If I think I have something
to say that's not too skitterie I'll take it up. Glad you visited Serf Under
-ground, you're welcome any time.

Aug 17, 2016 at 2:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterBeth Cooper

I see nobody took the time to read the IEAs country specific document for the Ukraine.
It's the most viciously aggressive rationing policy ( it's not a energy paper) document that I have seen (albeit with the usual green and energy efficiency mantras used to apparently express concern)

Given the reality of the Ukrainian war zone today we can now say for certain that the guys who produced that document had no concern for the Ukrainian production / consumption system, that is.... it's society and economy.
The policy goals are pretty simple.
To drive prices to a point where you get total society breakdown.
Chapter 4 is particularly interesting, that is district heating.

So they cause inflation of basic life support services and subsequently core capitalist countries get on the receiving end of ever more inflation caused by vast migratory flows as result of these dastardly policies.

The money monopolists are only interested in maintaining this curious circular flow of inflation.
Not in the physical economy of its jurisdictions.

Aug 17, 2016 at 12:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Another great war to maintain high prices?

Aug 17, 2016 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Baldricks cunning plan...

Aug 17, 2016 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Why might a Corkish Dork be concerned about Ukrainian economics as seen through a distorted mirror, or think that the BH readership would give a f***?

Now when we discussed important things like Irish oleanders, where were you?

Aug 17, 2016 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

You are witnessing a elaborate dance between the centralised capitalism of Russia ( Peter the Great style) and the various capitalistic ballot box democracies.
Behind the mask the function of these various manoeuvres is to keep the price of everything up so as to repay the debt back to the owners.

Do you not think we are close to another Great war travesty?
Does it not concern English readers?

You are a bit dim - me thinks.......

Aug 17, 2016 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

In my opinion what caused the tension on the European periphery today was the IEAs and other usury based organisations plans to drive prices higher ( the Iea document I refer to does not hold back in its proposals to increase prices beyond basic life support)
Local resistance to the flow of funds westward in the eastern coal producing region created the conditions for the present conflict.
Now possibly spiraling into general conflict this coming Winter.

Make no mistake this is a contrived conflict generated in the lab by our owners.
Many millions will die to maintain high prices.
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.....

Aug 17, 2016 at 2:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

No, I do not think we are close to a Great War, skirmishes perhaps.
Maybe I am dim on some things, but I can still spot a flaming looney at 30 paces. Your economic fetish grows tedious. Do you have no other tunes?
Do you have opinions on cAGW or renewable energies, topics that would have more traction here?

Aug 17, 2016 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

It's am afraid it's not a kinky thing.

I am describing the official policy of the IEA!!!!
It has always been their policy to drive prices higher then income ( that is of course the very basis of usury)
The IEA Ukraine policy is simply the most extreme at this moment and therefore should be apparent to everyone with a thinking brain.
Read the document.

You seem to think what has happened in the Ukraine as something small, something not important.
That is incredible and forgive me, very stupid.

The Ukraine was a major energy producer (coal) and consumer ( Nat gas) until the war.
It's a prime transit area for energy.

My opinion on energy production is sadly not a common one.
Production should involve a minimum amount of effort.
My opinion on AGW is that it is simply another ploy to drive prices higher.
To force countries into a war economy mode.
Indeed to make war on climate change is the stated policy goal, not so much to reduce the temperature.
It really cannot anyhow ( using official science) as local production / consumption inputs get displaced and typically flow into transport.

If that bullshit fails they will take us into a hot war to maintain prices.
This happened during the last major globalisation / deglobalisation event of 1914.

Just to repeat a usurer does not care about production / consumption in his jurisdictions.
He cares about the price remaining above income, end of.
In that sense energy does not matter today.
These are conduit countries, conduit people.

Given the free movement of economic refugees into core banking jurisdictions it will most likely affect you very very. directly.

Aug 17, 2016 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Flanders fields, a major production and Industrial zone was taken out of commission during the great war.
So goes the Ukraine today.

As for demographics, eastern Europe has experienced a much bigger and longer decline then any previous society coming out of general war.
The retreat of these economic and social refugees into core banking jurisdictions maintains the birth numbers above what would be considereg possible in price inflated western Europe.
Indeed adding to price levels by maintaining for example low occupancy rates given the artifical grouping of 20 to 30 somethings and continued extremely low family sizes amongst residents.

This phenomenon is nothing new
( think of the creation if the Irish ranch system of production and subsequent displacement of the population into England)
What we are witnessing is 19th century style displacement / usury but with no new world to absorb them.
Capitalism after 500 years of attempting to destroy Europe with mixed success has finally succeeded.

The destruction will be total.
A greater dystopia awaits us.

Aug 17, 2016 at 3:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork


You really do see the world differently from others, everything is a global or institutional conspiracy (or plexus of conspiracies). I might question more but do not wish to be drawn into your paranoia. Nor do I wish to take the time or make the effort to research around your glib statements in order to refute them. But common knowledge informs me that the eastern Ukrainian coalfields were in economic meltdown (easiest coal worked out, unprofitable reserves, union problems, and much reduced demand (remind you of anywhere else?)) and alternative gas pipelines are already in place or under construction - hardly an energy powerhouse that you suggest.

Aug 17, 2016 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

I am not a big believer in most coal depletion stories.
If we witnessed slow pit entropy then we would have not witnessed sudden big production / consumption implosions during the end of communism and again recently.
You are not dealing with the reality and time distribution sequence of the situation.
The reality is / was a policy change followed by closure.
You cannot rationally deny this.
Unlike the Uk the Ukraine is not a core banking jurisdiction and is therefore unable to steal capital so as to engage in masse diffuse energy experiments.
It has not replaced it's coal with renewables or wood from the Us of A.
Again this is not a conspiracy theory.
We can read the policy recommendations of the IEA and subsequently follow the its trajectory in the real world.
It's not a great mystery, it's there in black and white.
The policy recommendations have lead to further mass displacement
I logically argue this was the true objective.

Again I am not interested in production for its own sake.
Neither am I am in favour of rationing to apparently preserve the freedom of the few (within the usury class) over the many.

We have clearly witnessed a epic industrial sabotage event
One of many.

Aug 17, 2016 at 5:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Again to corner you down on this...
Do you argue much reduced domestic energy and specifically domestic coal demand happened before or after official policy change?

Do you argue the stated and in my opinion false objective of energy independence was further compromised by Iea policy choices.
The numbers do not lie.
Coal production / consumption has collapsed.
Renewables are far too expensive for a country that is being looted so as to build windmills elsewhere.

Do you not agree the total aggregate energy and scarcity policies failures" of the usury elite are manifesting to a greater degree on such peripheral zones.
That is the net energy produced from specifically European diffuse energy schemes is resulting in extreme / rationing in the unfortunate chosen sandboxes / playzones of the elite.

Me thinks we are better burning coal directly in our homes so as to immediately reduce transformation losses.

Aug 17, 2016 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Dork, what utter piffle. Not only was the eastern Ukraine coal industry in rapid decline but, unlike the UK industry, it had not modernized. Its extremely low productivity was compounded by strike activities that had even began before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Removal of Russian subsidies and markets heralded its doom. There is no need for conspiracy theories to explain its demise.

Aug 17, 2016 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

Methinks you have no understanding of economic externalities. Burn coal in our homes, are you mad? I am old enough to remember the London Smogs of the early 1950s and the forced introduction of so-called smokeless fuels.

Aug 17, 2016 at 5:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

Heh, there it sits, awaiting modern production efficiencies. I've seen video of vodka fueled artisanal coal miners hauling their gunnysack or two of coal per day out of foot thick seams somewhere in the Eastern bloc.

Aug 17, 2016 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

The demise of coal ( especially direct burn)is purely a financial policy outcome.
Rationing / taxes is imposed resulting in the closure of local production / consumption.

I am afraid core capitalist countries are attempting to circumvent more local or national production / consumption systems.
Eventually selling any poor bastards remaining in these experiments very high cost solar electricity or something.
Sadly the UKs revenue stream is entirely usury based now, hence it's devastating domestic and foregin policy goals.

Transformation losses babies.
No way of getting around the physics.
Direct burn of simply extracted fuels only viable outcome when the chickens come home.

Yee guys observe the ecosystem created by the financial glasshouse and somehow think it reflects the outside reality.
It does not.

Aug 17, 2016 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Suggest you go elsewhere, your inanities have been sussed. You know little or nothing about Ukrainian coal or the environmental consequences of burning coal in homes. Chinese cities are afflicted by these same consequences which spread across the whole land. Coal should only be used in power stations equiped with the most effective clean coal technologies.

Aug 17, 2016 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Subsidies for consumption ( although not primary industry or any industry or war economy) is the very basis of social credit.

Otherwise the depreciation component of Gdp overwhelms Gdp making the act of production / consumption pointless.

Again the purpose of production is consumption.
Not financial concentration.
Yee guys hold absurd scarcity beliefs.

Seriously flawed communist systems were subsequently stripped of their demand component.

There cannot be no industry without demand.
Your philosophy is back to front.
You imagine industry that cannot recover it's costs.
No such industry can exist.

Aug 17, 2016 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Almost all of current Chinese coal burn today a result of Maoist or Mercantile industrial policies.

Did not the agrarian thingy go the way of the dodo?
As in burning biomass or coal locally and directly.

Cities cannot and willnot be large in a social credit system.
Large movements of people's to cities a direct result of usury.

Your arguments are all over the place and historically inaccurate.
Your timeline is again back to front.

As for the Ukraine I would not like to start from the communist centralization era but that is the road forced on us by previous globalisation experiments.

What's wrong with a proposal to equalise costs with income anyhow?

Aug 17, 2016 at 7:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

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