Delhi Delirium 355


I am well aware that Osborne has been redistributing money to the rich in his budget. I am also stunned by the idea that the state should see its role not as reducing regional inequality of wealth, but as reinforcing it through regional public sector pay rates.

But my days at the moment are like this. I get up at 7.30 am and after a very frugal breakfast I take a local taxi to the disastrously neglected and underfunded National Archive of India. I spend eleven hours there hastily transcribing from an enormous wealth of documents on Alexander Burnes – really beyond my wildest hopes – and then at 8.00pm the security guards kick me out, the curators having left some time ago. I get back to my budget hotel, take a light supper of imodium and activated charcoal, chat with Nadira, and then fall asleep exhausted.


355 thoughts on “Delhi Delirium

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  • boniface goncourt

    @ Clark

    Yeah, that and a nickel will get you a ride on the subway. In 40 years since the Thoughts of Austin Powers, science has dissipated a lot of woo. In 1963, they diagnosed poor old Pirsig as a paranoid schizophrenic. As Überjock David Hume noted, ‘A toothache cures all philosophy’. Craig has undoubtedly abandoned blogstering in terror at the cloacal deluge from the spartist debating society at the University of Billy No Mates. Shagtastic, baby!

  • Mary

    Cruddas: Tories will pretend to fight for the Union to gain better negotiating position for England.
    .
    Peter Cruddas secretly taped making Tory Union claims

    .
    Footage has emerged of Peter Cruddas saying the Tories need to be seen as fighting to keep the Union even if they do not agree with it.
    .
    The former Conservative Party chairman is seen making the claim in tapes secretly recorded by the Sunday Times.
    .
    Mr Cruddas resigned last Monday after footage appeared to show him offering access to the prime minister in exchange for a donation of £250,000.
    .
    The SNP described the story as “a bombshell” for the Scottish Tories.
    .
    Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it showed the Tories were “cynically faking” their opposition to independence.
    .
    /…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-17574289

  • Mary

    ‘As hundreds of Welsh soldiers prepare to leave for Afghanistan’…
    .
    I have just heard these opening words on a piece of propaganda on the state broadcaster’s news channel to the effect that they are going away to the accompaniment of the Welsh Guards band with an appeal song called Tell My Father.
    .
    http://www.welshguardsappeal.com/shop
    .
    Tell my father that his son
    Didn’t run, or surrender
    That I bore his name with pride
    As I tried to remember
    You are judged by what you do
    While passing through
    As I rest ‘neath fields of green
    Let him lean on your shoulder
    Tell him how I spent my youth
    So the truth could grow older
    Tell my father when you can
    I was a man
    Tell him we will meet again
    Where the angels learn to fly
    Tell him we will meet as men
    For with honor did I die
    Tell him how I wore the Blue
    Proud and true through the fire
    Tell my father so he’ll know
    I love him so
    Tell him how we wore the blue
    Proud and true like he taught us
    Tell my father not to cry
    Then say goodbye
    .
    No words of comment apart from saying this MoD stuff is even more sick making and sickly than the Military Wives’ sugary sentiments of Wherever You Are. All in the name of killing another nation’s people.

  • Clark

    Boniface Goncourt, it is true that I’ve become very isolated from people in the last few years. I thus find your “University of Billy No Mates” comment very hurtful.
    .
    You are, of course, entirely justified in trying to depreciate people who are inferior to yourself. I wish I was as good a person as you.

  • Clark

    Goncourt, as a moderator, I only tolerated your above comment because it was directed at me, and in the context of this blog, my power is superior to yours. I shall delete any similar attacks upon other contributors. If you wish to avoid deletion, you must engage with the ideas rather than attempting to trash the contributor. And don’t think that gives you freedom to insult me in particular; I’m only human, and it’s so easy to click the “delete” button.

  • Clark

    Mary and Mark, thanks for your support. Goncourt, it seems, would have done well as an official in Communist Russia, sending people to “mental institution” prisons for holding unapproved beliefs. He should cogitate on the fact that mental illness diagnoses are mainly subjective (more so in 1963), as amply demonstrated by the Rosenhan experiment:
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thud_experiment

  • boniface goncourt

    Clark old chum – NOT being hostile – I thought that due to sensitivity you were taking time off from the hurly-burly of blogland? If the religious-minded are prone to hurt feelings,
    they are best advised to avoid dispute. You’ll be glad to hear I probably won’t bother with this place anymore. Not enough meat and potatoes for the mind. Craig’s chatty blog has been hijacked by a handful of spartistas, to a background of groans from their neglected GCSEs….

  • Clark

    Boniface Goncourt; the spam needs clearing daily, but I haven’t felt like submitting a comment since Nextus turned his psychological guns upon me.
    .
    It is you who has sought dispute with the religious contributors here, not vice-versa.

  • Rose

    Mary at 8.59 – I cant describe how awful that is – and I speak as someone who was in church then taking part in a reading of the Passion. What a despicable distortion of everything people like me believe in.

  • guano

    Clark
    If it’s any consolation, I find myself far too busy dealing with the post-dictator-shock-syndrome acidity of Muslims to worry about the post-gravy-train-of-Thatcherism-flatulence of atheists who have lost the plot or meaning of human existence in the flow of materialism.
    I’ve not read much of this exchange but I did notice that you came as usual at one stage to my defence as a Godbotherer. Thank you and may Allah reward you for your pain/s. I had contemplated modifying BG’s name to a version you would definitely moderated, but I tried that before and it only made him angrier and more ignorant.
    The currency of belief in God is more precious because it is less obvious. Why would anyone believe that the only friend they have in reality is an unseen God? Who has the power to change our circumstances when they appear not to change by blogging, jogging, cognitive or logical struggle. BG is looking for meat on a blog that specialises in spiritual understanding, such as the fact that torture is at all times morally wrong.
    This is demonstratable in meaty form with statistics for those who need spoon-feeding. look at the numbers of Kurdish boys who were sent out by their parents on a 3,000 mile journey to the UK to avoid the torture under Saddam Hussain of thousands and thousands of young men. Then the blame is laid at Saddam’s door.
    In reality the blame lies at the UKUSIS axis of evil that put Saddam in power. The more meaty the talk, the less it explains the reality of the situation.
    Sometimes you ( Clark ) come across as a Gulliver figure (gullible traveller). But the persona of Gulliver is used by Swift for merciless satire against the follies of his time.
    There is nothing more hollow than a politician’s deepest sincerity. and sometimes there is nothing more sharp than a peck of simple faith in an otherwise overspun world.

  • Clark

    Guano, thanks for your kind wishes. It was basically coincidence that brought me to your defence, because Boniface Goncourt started blasting scatter-shot in all directions apart from his own. I live on a country shooting estate. For three months of the year us locals are plagued by partially inebriated pheasant shooters with more money than sense. The gamekeeper’s main job seems to be to ensure that they stand at least thirty paces from each other before the firing starts, thirty paces being the distance within which a shotgun can do serious damage; one mustn’t let them shoot each other or they won’t be paying for another season next year. I thought the blunderbusses were meant to be locked in the gun cabinets by February. Ho hum.
    .
    My faith may be dissimilar to yours, but faith is what it is. Science tells me that the universe has been improving and diversifying, literally since the beginning of time. It doesn’t tell me why it keeps improving, but I have no doubt it will continue to improve, whether the majority of humanity follow along for the ride or consign themselves to oblivion.

  • boniface goncourt

    Clark dear chap, you seem to think you are the author of this blog, whereas it is Craig Murray. If you are going to unilaterally censor comments that wound your personal amour-propre, you might have the courage to admit it. Or not.

  • Mary

    boniface goncourt -1 Apr, 2012 – 6:45 pm
    You’ll be glad to hear I probably won’t bother with this place anymore.
    .
    ??

  • Clark

    Boniface Goncourt, guess what? Another of your comments has lodged in the spam filter. You keep insulting me and others, making accusations of vanity, laziness, social unacceptability and mental incapacity, while I clear spam, monitor the blog, and try to decode Craig’s recovered file. Now you have a question for Craig about my “censorship” of you, but you haven’t presented any argument that can be engaged with, nor offered an opening for constructive conversation.
    .
    I think Craig is busy at present. So let’s see, which button do you think I feel like clicking on? I’ve got “Approve”, “Edit”, “Spam”, “Trash”, and “Ban”. Or should I hassle Craig to stop working on his book, and turn his attention to the terrible unfairness of your situation?
    .
    Sorry, who needs to “silence the siren song of ‘me, me, me'”? You like to accuse people of mental illness. In that psychological vein I ask a more gentle question: mightn’t you be projecting a bit?
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projection_%28psychology%29

  • boniface goncourt

    So that’s it Clark, you’re a pheasant plucker! I’ve seen ‘Straw Dogs’ and know about rustics. Anyway, lots of luck with all these trainspotters.

  • John Goss

    Clark, I’m a bit of an authority on Robert Bage, eighteenth century English novelist and papermaker. He was a very deep thinker, friend of members of the Lunar Society, and his novels are replete with philosophical and witty comments aimed at changing a society that had little concern for human rights, poverty, women’s rights, the transatlantic slave-trade or peace. He was a beacon in a world of dimwits. In later life he shunned society because he could not find people to converse with who could match his intellect. Being isolated is not a bad thing. Entertaining people whose sole purpose is to taunt and denigrate is a bad thing.
    .
    While I did not particularly enjoy Persig’s ‘Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance’ I realise that many people did. To my mind Robert Persig is not Robert Bage. But both made a big impression with their writings. Any illness, physical or mental, should be treated with sympathy. Boniface Goncourt seems to be lacking in this human quality.

  • Clark

    John Goss, I didn’t know what diagnosis had been applied to Persig until Boniface Gongourt mentioned it. It’s ironic that Goncourt uses the diagnosis as a criticism, as Persig’s description of his own psychological crisis is one of the three interwoven themes that make Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance such an unusual book.
    .
    It’s not the depth of thought that makes ZaMM special. It is the way the book itself applies and demonstrates the ideas it presents. Persig argues that we of the “Western” culture take “objectivity” too far, that we present and apply our models of the world as if they were independent of ourselves and our circumstances, and that we then compound this error by mistaking our models for the world itself. But he doesn’t present this argument in an “objective”, abstract fashion. Instead, he describes his own circumstances and thought processes as they developed, including his bout of “mental illness”.
    .
    Introspection is the key. Persig realised that our own attitudes shape our view of the world, that the accuracy of our world-view is therefore limited and distorted by errors and omissions in our self-knowledge. To understand the world better, we each have to learn about ourself.

  • Clark

    Boniface Goncourt, I’m sorry to have withheld some of your comments. It’s a difficult decision to make, especially as I’m personally involved in this argument. It was basically a coincidence that led to me being asked to moderate, and I nearly refused. As you know, it recently got too much for me and I locked myself out of my moderator’s account.
    .
    One of the reasons moderation was required was that political arguments were degenerating into personal insults with little or no evidence being presented; all heat and no light. I needed a method that could prevent that without being partisan to one viewpoint or another, i.e. without me becoming a censor of ideas. The method I settled on was to permit any engagement with the ideas, but to prohibit abuse of the contributors.
    .
    Therefore, in the spirit of my comments about what makes ZaMM one of my favourite books, I ask you what happened to you, personally, that has shaped your hostility to all things with a religious connection. Maybe “religious” is the not quite the right word; it’s your perspective I’m fishing for here. Just a guess; does Dawkins’ The God Delusion come into it anywhere? It did, for me.

  • John Goss

    Clark, I think I mentioned in a previous comment that Persig was a technical author, and as a former technical author myself I procured a copy of his bestseller. Perhaps at the time I read it I was not ready for its message. I was pleased for him that he had found a way out of documentating computer manuals, a career which Adam Osborne described as the ‘armpit of the industry’. I have to confess ZaMM left me as puzzled as John in the extract you quote above. Nevertheless, I consider Persig to be a thinker, and his thoughts worthy of consideration. They are just not concrete enough for me as I remember them.
    .
    On a slightly different subject, but one concerned with the human mind, I read a great first novel, while I was in hospital: ‘Before I go to sleep’ by S J Watson. A friend, who knows the author, brought it in for me. Excellent taste!

  • boniface goncourt

    Clark, my heart goes out to you up there amid the pheasant pluckers. Check Pyrrho of Elis. Aim of philosophy is Ataraxia [Stop Worrying] achieved via Aphasia [Stop Talking]. “We may say about each single thing, that it no more is than is not, or both is and is not, or neither is nor is not”. That’s enough philosophy.

    ‘God Delusion’ = elegant elaboration of my thoughts age 10.

    Stoner Buddhism is cool only in very small doses, and Bro Pirsig ODs. See comment by J Goss – ‘Not concrete enough’. I like to stir people to think for themselves. Be your own book.

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