‘Lying In Me…’ by Anna Akhmatova

Lying in me, as though it were a white

Stone in the depths of a well, is one

Memory that I cannot, will not, fight:

It is happiness and it is pain.

 

Anyone looking straight into my eyes

Could not help seeing it, and could not fail

To become thoughtful, more sad and quiet

Than if he were listening to some tragic tale.

 

I know the gods changed people into things,

Leaving their consciousness alive and free.

To keep alive the wonder of suffering,

You have been metamorphed into me.

 

– by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (Summer 1916, Slepnyovo)

– from Белая стая (White Flock, 1917) translation by D. M. Thomas

Advertisements

‘There Is A Frontier-Line…’ by Anna Akhmatova

There is a frontier-line in human closeness

That love and passion cannot violate –

Though in silence mouth to mouth be soldered

And passionate devotion cleave the heart.

 

Here friendship, too, is powerless, and years

Of that sublime and fiery happiness

When the free soul has broken clear

From the slow languor of voluptuousness.

 

Those striving towards it are demented, and

If the line seem close enough to broach –

Stricken with sadness… Now you understand

Why my heart does not beat beneath your touch.

 

– by Анна Ахматова (Anna Akhmatova) (May 1915, St Petersburg)

– from Белая стая (White Flock, 1917) translation by D. M. Thomas

International Childrens Day 1st June and 1979 the International Year of the Child

Happy International Children’s Day everyone!

Children’s Day is recognized on various days in many places around the world, to honour children globally. It was first proclaimed by the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in 1925 and then established universally in 1954 to protect an “appropriate” day.

The International Day for Protection of Children, is observed in many countries as Children’s Day on June 1 since 1950, was established by the Women’s International Democratic Federation on its congress in Moscow (22 November 1949). Major global variants include a Universal Children’s Day on November 20, by the United Nations‘ recommendation.

JUNE 1 USE THIS international childrens day soviet 1979

Here is a Russian pin badge celebrating UNESCO’s declaration that 1979 would be the International Year of the Child.

The Cyrillic translates as follows:

международный = International
год ребенка = Year of the Child (lit. Year Child)

UNESCO proclaimed 1979 as the International Year of the Child. The proclamation was signed on January 1, 1979 by United Nations Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. A follow-up to the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the proclamation was intended to draw attention to problems that affected children throughout the world, including malnutrition and lack of access to education. Many of these efforts resulted in the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

Numerous events took place within the UN and in member countries to mark the event, including the Music for the UNICEF Concert, held at the UN General Assembly on January 9. WBZ-TV 4 in Boston, Massachusetts, along with the four other Group W stations, hosted and broadcast a celebratory festival, ‘Kidsfair’, usually held around Labour Day ever since, from Boston Common. Canadian animator/director Eugene Fedorenko created a film for the National Film Board of Canada, called “Every Child“, which centred on a nameless baby who nobody wants because they’re too busy with their own concerns. This was used to explain the importance of how every child is entitled to a home. Sound effects were created with the voices of Les Mimes Electriques.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%27s_Day
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Year_of_the_Child

…The pin badge, to a modern eye, does look more than a little bit racist doesn’t it?


Like, Comment or Follow all are welcome 🙂

Cherophobia: An Aversion To Happiness

Cherophobia: An aversion to, or fear of, happiness and the act of taking steps to deliberately avoid experiences that may invoke overtly positive emotions or happiness in one’s self. An aversion to the emotional state of happiness. An exaggerated or irrational fear of gaiety or happiness

People suffering this believe that should they experience happiness then something negative will occur in order to punish them for their sense of satisfaction. It is believed to be more prevalent in non-Western societies where personal happiness is less valued in comparison with the West. Western cultures are more driven by an urge to maximize happiness and minimize sadness. Failing to appear happy is often a cause for concern. Its value is echoed through Western positive psychology and research on subjective well-being.

In non-Western cultures it may be considered that being happy provokes bad things to happen or that being overly happy makes you less considerate of others and thus a worse person overall. Expressing or pursuing happiness is bad for yourself and others around you.

It is perhaps more about how in certain societies ‘worldly’ happiness is seen as sin be it the Buddhist view that those obsessed with acquiring financial wealthy over spiritual enrichment or the Roman Catholic view of the seven cardinal sins the concept of ‘that which brings immediate happiness in the physical world distracts you from a higher spiritual goal with sin, shallow understanding of life and the decline of society through selfish agendas’ is echoed across many cultures. Thus using the personal happiness of an individual, at any given time, cannot be considered an over simplifying yardstick for long term satisfaction, and attitudes such as aversion to happiness have important implications for measuring happiness across cultures and ranking nations on happiness scores.

My view on this? It is instilled in a person through negative reinforcement, most likely in early childhood, which colours their perception of what is ‘correct’ when considering positive experiences and having an ever present need for self control to ensure the negative consequences of previous experiences do not reoccur.

A simple comparison might be to give the following example: Two people go to a music concert. When asked if they enjoyed the first says enthusiastically yes speaking in hyperbole but very little factual detail. The second agrees but is more reserved in their comments. They discuss the technical side of the event and weight the experience against previous similar events. The first is visibly happy while the second sounds as if they are being polite but didn’t actually enjoy he event. However they may not wish to sound as enthused as in some previous experience when asked the same question they experienced a negative reaction to a voiced opinion.

I think cherophobia is more about the perception of those who freely display their emotions casting judgement on those who are more reserved in their emotional displays. They try to judge the person’s experience through their own and thus seem to be unable to conceive that people have different behavioural patterns to their own and thus try to label it. In this case with a Greek word compounding which sounds more authoritive than it is as there are few, if any academic papers, which use the term cherophobia when discussing the psychology of emotionally introverted people. In my personal experience growing up I was always weary of being ‘too happy’ as it led to a loss of self-control and there were times where this had negative consequences.

Society demands people not be happy and thus we find ourselves not being through a constant influx of negative reinforcement regarding what an acceptable appearance, mind set or lifestyle is. It is a vicious circle. As Mary Shelley discussed in her novel Frankenstein monsters are not born but moulded by society’s creeds, prejudices and pride.

Ultimately you are responsible for your own happiness. It shouldn’t be at the cost of others but, at the same time, you should not let others dictate to you who you are and how you should enjoy experiencing your own, unique, life.


This was a short piece. A throw away piece. Let’s see if it floats.

Real Life Lessons: Is It Better To Be An Introvert Than An Extrovert?

A child should be seen and not heard. Introverts are rarely the first to get culled in times of group conflict.

Today’s real life lessons for little children: You know when the teacher asks the class a question and you don’t put your hand up to volunteer an answer? That’s instinct and it is what ensured the survival of many a species over the course of history. ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ eliminates the most visible first not those who keep their heads down and who keep their personal agendas to themselves. You can still excel past your peers but you will not be as recognised as others in your lifetime. It has happened many a time in the sciences most notably between Thomas Edison, the extrovert showman of science, and Nikola Tesla who has now become semi-mythologised.

But where in real life history did this apply? Stalin’s purges of course! When he got rid of the best and brightest in Russian society because he considered them a threat to him! Some intelligentsia survived through the sheer instinctive ability to lay low and not promote themselves in such a way that attracted his attention such as the curators at the Hermitage. They protected it’s abstract art collection, which was of course in storage, by citing that none other than Lenin himself had commended the pieces as examples of exemplary art (and thus it was beyond question to consider destroying them in line with the social realism expected of Soviet artwork as Lenin’s opinions were a quasi-deified ‘law’ in the early Soviet society). An extrovert would be unable to do this and ultimately would have ‘disappeared’ under their own power to foreign lands in exile or through government agencies’ enforcement for a sojourn in a Siberian gulag they would never return from.

“But I didn’t come here for lazy generalisation about the Soviet Union” I hear you cry!

Of course not, but it demonstrates a situation where behaviour associated with introversion aided survival albeit via ‘blat’ i.e. blackmarket dealing and knowing the right people in positions of authority (which you could argue required charisma usually associated with the extrovert of society). Ultimately knowing who to trust and not betraying others intentionally, or by having a big mouth, was key to many affiliations. Also it should be said Russians, and perhaps Slavs in general, are not all stony faced xenophobes but, due to their histories, need their trust gained first but then will stick with you through thick and thin. Tough exteriors with a soft centre. Like a particularly luxuriant caramel chocolate bar. Or an egg… yes, they’re good eggs.

Time to do the bullet points as you probably skipped reading the paragraphs…

Introverts will put up with you shit and laugh at your crap jokes – just what everyone wants in a partner though they only ask for world travelling adventurers on dating sites.
• An introvert is not distracted by petty things and can focus on a task. Like a trained army sniper. Like a hypnotised chicken.
They will value interaction. ’SOMEONE’S ACTUALLY SPEAKING TO ME! I DO ACTUALLY EXIST’ they will think.
• Incredibly naïve due to not learning the unwritten, unspoken, ‘rules of society’ at the school of hard knocks/life. Want to borrow something? Sure, of course, no questions asked! Then you need never return the item. Start little by borrowing pens and eventually you will be borrowing cars and squatting in their house, rent free, eating them out of house and home like a loveable little farting gremlin.
People love an underdog. Introverts are underdogs by nature. Eyore is the icon of such in children’s literature. People like Tigger in short bursts but often consider him to be an annoyance. Everything ‘a tigger does best’ turns out to be done badly. People adore Eyore and the house at Pooh Corner was built for him by the others as he was so loved by them despite being a sarcastic and bitter old soul.
If raising an introvert child they will likely not run off and become the subject of news regarding their disappearance. In fact they probably won’t leave your side once their spirit is properly broken and of course due to this they will always fail to have successful relationships as people aspire to partners who improve their station in life which first and foremost requires confidence i.e. extrovert tendencies. Therefore with an introvert child you will have an on hand servant for all occasions for the rest of your life.
They don’t need to be supervised constantly. Stick them in a cupboard for nine months to work and you won’t hear a word of complaint and all the work will be completed anyway without you contacting them once during that entire period. Matilda, Harry Potter, there are many examples of such noble figures in children’s literature they should aspire to be like.
• An introvert, not actively seeking to have their existence validated by others every single moment of the day, will be able to learn new skills quicker if taught properly in a formal situation. If you say jump they don’t ask how high because they already overheard you say what height you desired in a conversation you had earlier in their presence.
• ‘Good Communication Skills’ means that people don’t ignore what you say because you say so little there must some value to it. Except if you say the building is capable of turning into a giant kaiju fighting robot. Then they will either be unsure if you are telling the truth, as you are not one to make general joking banter, or if you are quietly insane and hence there is a reason why people do not speak to you. No the building does transform. It’s the only explaination for it’s design…
An introvert thinks first then speaks. They usually make more constructive points compared to extroverts who adopt a ‘throw everything and see what sticks’ mentality because they ‘work the numbers’. However they will also probably say the boring common sense answers too which an extrovert will have not said as it is obvious and thus admonish them for even wasting their time stating.
An introvert will listen to your problems but there is no onus on you to reciprocate this. Their lives are mostly fantasy in their head, not doing anything actually interesting in the real world as they are so used to sitting in a room alone, so it would be hard to communicate anyway as its all theory. They’re a sounding board for all life’s griefs.
Ultimate team players. Will listen and co-operate with others. Unquestioning cannon-fodder. Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir! Like dunking a hobnob biscuit they just keep going absorbing more and more and want more still without breaking! Challenges are welcomed not moaned about. More, more, more! Masochists to the end!
• Spend so much time imagining all the variables they are over prepared for many things. Introverts are the real world equivalent of Batman!
Easily fade into the crowd. Super spies are not like James Bond but that person who face and name you can’t remember but you know was there for a long time in the place you used to work at but made absolutely no impression on you. Like Harry Palmer played by Michael Caine in the Ipcress File.
As leaders they are the type to bring out the best in individuals as they consider others views, even if they do not agree, as they want the best outcome… but then they are so poor at self-promotion they will not be a leader without a senior staff member noticing, while the extrovert is vocally announcing each minute task they have completed in order to be praised, or by being the founder of the organisation.
To introverts the happiness of others takes precedent over their own desires. They will not be able to communicate this. It is traditionally the Celtic/Gaulish notion of love i.e. if you truly love something let it go / their happiness makes you happy, even if it is with another/ love is free not something to be locked away / etc. Hence the annoyance from locals when all those padlocks were placed on the Pont de Arts Bridge in Paris by foreign visitors. To the locals it was as if the people who did this completely misunderstood the notion of love. Obviously this means introverts are very lonely people who will wind up caring for their parents in their old age as carers while their peers have gone off having families. End of a blood line but then the world is over populated as it is.
• Introverts will suffer multiple small failures rather than single big failures like extroverts leaping in before they look. Easier to cover up and more forewarning before everything goes to hell.
You can push and push an introvert but be aware: they may be a ticking time bomb and you don’t want to be there when they explode! But most introverts internalise their anger and so will suffer depression long before expressing their anger outwardly. So you probably shouldn’t worry at all. In fact if you hate them just start the snowball rolling and the rest of it will take care of itself. Win/win situation.
Very often the heroes in popular stories are introverts with poor communication skills e.g. Mr Darcy of Pride and Prejudice, many of Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti western roles, protagonists in computer games (although in this case they are supposed to be a ‘blank slate’ the player imprints themselves on) and most other action hero roles. Men of action not empty words.
• Ironically though in real life there is a contrast due to the cliché of ‘he was a quiet man, kept to himself…’ regarding murderers in media reports usually the truth is that the person involved was very socially skilled and highly active in their community thereby gaining peoples’ unquestioning trust which they go on to later betray. The most famous and, in a dark way, ‘successful’ serial killers like Ed Gein or Ted Bundy were highly socially skilled sociopaths not introverts at all but dangerous outsiders in society will always be portrayed as introverts as it goes against the basic nature of Homo Sapiens as a social animal living in co-operative communities.
• They will be prone to sarcasm or constant attempts at humour to express disagreement before stating it bluntly and offending others like an extrovert would.
• More often than not they are likely to have taken the moral lessons learned in childhood and maintained them into adulthood. Stupid things others grow out of like telling the truth, being honest, putting others before yourself or superstitions like not screwing others over otherwise it will come back to you three fold.
Will work to the best of their ability and take personal responsibility for their actions. In fact to such an extent they will be hyper sensitive to any minor criticism and likely offer to commit seppuku (also known as hara-kiri) at a moment’s notice to retain the team’s honour. Paranoia and an ever present dread of criticism will likely only aid in motivating they to provide only the highest level of service.
Will work with anyone. Even the most antisocial and aggressive people without uttering a word of complaint. Again may lead them to internalising and self-destructive behaviour but then there are plenty of other people you can employ to replace them aren’t there?
‘Hell is other people’ – Introverts can and probably will prefer working alone for the most part but having people to speak to will remind them they are disposable and ensure their compliance. You may be lucky and they actually get on with the people they work with. Anyway you play it it’s a win/win situation with introverts.

If your child is extrovert and you would prefer an introvert child then you need to do a few things. First break their will. Sit them in silence at meals. Isolate them from other children to ensure their social skills are those of an adult and so they have a hard time acclimatising with people of their own age and generation for the rest of their lives. If they rebel use excess force. You only have to do it once as it will be like a nuclear deterrent. Everyone saw what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and so the atom bomb only ever had to be used once to make sure everyone knew their place despite and the gesturing nuclear powered nations make towards one another. Occupy the child’s time. Get them after school lessons that ensure not only are they indoctrinated into measuring their live via achievement but also during this time you have a bit of peace and quiet for yourself as they are being baby sat. Don’t do anything deemed ‘child friendly’. They are there to serve you. Go to places that don’t cater to children. Insist on sitting around for long periods of time with no activities for them to do. The boredom will make them use their imagination more and more until it overtakes their social skills and they are like a little pack mule you have trundle along after you though of course, like many mules, if you chose to use your introvert child this way they will likely be for all intent and purposes infertile as they will be unable to form successful relationships so do not expect any grandchildren.


This is a satirical companion piece to my previous ‘be extrovert rather than introvert’ entry. https://ramblingatthebridgehead.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/real-life-lessons-be-extrovert-not-introvert/

Both have their benefits and their problems. Most people exist somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between the two extremes. Isuppose the stereotype is that extrovert are living life to the full while introverts leads a somewhat tragic existance not achieving their potential.

Regarding the ongoing ear ache saga: Keeping a hot water bottle on my ear for hour upon hour until my ear was bright red has done wonders. Not fully overcome the ailment but leaps and bounds beyond where I was yesterday. At least I can sit vertically and use a laptop this evening.

Real Life Lessons: Is It Better To Be An Extrovert Than An Introvert?

A noisy child will always receive more in life than a quiet child. An extrovert is alive while introverts just exist.

Today’s real life lessons for little children: Don’t work hard but make a lot of noise to be noticed even if what you have to say is of no value, even blatantly offensive or anti-social as no one will enforce any complaints procedure beyond mentioning it to you. In fact this is good as you will be able to identify enemies and work towards making their life hell. You are not there to work as a part of a team with others; they are there to have the pleasure of your company as you bring light to their dull lives.

When you finally do a little work, instead of causing trouble, or sitting around as others work as usual or distracting others who need to focus, everyone will praise you and laud your efforts while those who did their work without needing to be bombarded with platitudes will be taken for granted.

• Be dismissive of anyone you know won’t fight back as it’s a win/win situation for you. Introverts are the enemy who can’t fight back.
• Someone noticed for doing a little will always be more valued than someone who works diligently in silence.
• ‘Good communication skills’ are not about giving information in a concise, clear, manner as customer service to internal and external customers but more so that you can win people over to your side or act in such a manner they feel uncomfortable with confronting you or expressing their own views. If they do just ignore them because the only thing that matters is your world view.
• People love sociopathic extroverts and it’s something society believes you should aspire to be in business.
• Don’t be a team player, except as a step towards self-promotion, be a leader instead. If there is someone you don’t like for no good reason just ignore them and make sure to be over the top in your faux friendly behaviour to others going even as far as invading someone’s personal space inappropriately.
• Other people are to be used as tools not to be considered human beings worthy of respect. Be overtly friendly to current co-workers of course but only have pleasantries with former co-workers. If you completely change you job cut all ties with any who do not seem like they will be beneficial down the road.
• It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail. It has been worded differently overtime but it stands the test of time.
An important distinction to make for male and female extroverts: It is fine for a female extrovert to be overly aggressive in tone and manner, even as far as making overt threats, but a male extrovert will be unable to do such things without it being commented on. A male must be passive aggressive using sarcasm and demeaning banter to achieve their goals. If challenged on your conduct ignore the challenge except if it is senior staff. In this situation make exaggerated gestures of weakness and repentance as a wounded gazelle gambit and witness how effective it is. Be as minimally courteous as you can be to the complainant, for a short time, but then return to the old behaviour once the dust has settled. If you are lucky they might even move the complainer somewhere else to give you an easy life. It’s win/win.
• Remember that banter is a great excuse to be abusive towards people you don’t respect. If the other person takes offense it’s because they don’t have a sense of humour not because you crossed a line.
• Pretend to work on the behalf of others but always keep in mind you are the only one that is important. Helping others is something they teach children to make them comply but capitalism is what they endorse once you are of working age. You are important and in constant competition with everyone else.
• If you don’t succeed it is always someone else’s fault remember. You must accept no personal responsibility for failure, only praise for achievement, especially if it was by someone else’s effort.
• Make sure to mark someone out as ‘other’ to people you wish to influence. Nothing unifies people quicker than a common enemy to criticise. Nothing unites people better than a mutually opposed concept personified.
• Happiness can only be achieved if others suffer. Be loud. Be obnoxious. You do not matter unless you make everyone pay for the slightest effort from you. Work smart not hard.
• If your child is introvert then you need to break them of that habit. In the old days they made left handed people write with their right hand because right is literally right. It caused stuttering and other issues in them but at least they could actually contribute to society afterwards. Famously Winston Churchill had a stutter but you would never know it considering he was one of the greatest prime ministers of Great Britain. You ever see ‘The King’s Speech’ ? Same thing: Introverts are less than human and just taking up space good extrovert ‘characters’ deserve. Better to get rid of the lot of them than let them waste precious air. Or ignore them. It makes no difference they are like extras in a movie scene that serve no other purpose.


This is a satirical piece regarding the constant bombardment of over the top characters television keeps presenting us with on reality shows and its influence on society. The people on the programmes are seeking to entertain and so adopt an extravagant persona but are far more calm in real life. However the media influences real life and so there seem to be far more sociopathic people nowadays believing the persona is the norm and that seeking immediate results is something you should expect due to the short term, high gain, talent shows present them with. You don’t have to work hard, just give a good presentation is the message that has stuck.

Everything is facade as if we never learnt anything from the 1980s fixations on such things as ’greed is good’ which ironically was meant to be a social commentary not a paragon of virtue to business men of the time. The concept of hard work or keeping your head down seems a long lost concept to younger generations. Such behaviour is fine during peace time but during times of conflict or regime change these types become liabilities. However in Britain this will never truly come to pass unlike other areas of the world and thus the self-centred and egotistical will thrive.

I don’t agree with these life lessons but it seems they are sadly becoming true nowadays. Hopefully the next generation will be different.

This is meant to be satirical but in hindsight satire and banter are just two sides of the same coin: the former is pseudo-intellectual while the latter is pseudo-wit.

Apparently pouring water into my ear is not advisable though it has soothed the pain tremendously. Just feels a bit like that ‘stuffy head’ sensation you get with a cold although I do feel very tired though. Not that anyone cares. It is all pointless. I will just lie around again today as nothing can be achieved. Another wasted day of life giving others even more of a head start in securing power and respect without earning it with long term effort. It’s better perhaps if I don’t leave the house from now on and let the world get on with it.

A companion piece regarding the advantages of introverts over extroverts is also available: https://ramblingatthebridgehead.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/real-life-lessons-be-introvert-not-extrovert/

Happiness Week: Review

So they say if you behave happy then you will become happy. Did it work?

…No not really but then it is something you have to do continuously for a long time until it becomes second, then first, nature so it should come as no spurise a single week had minimal effect.

The cat is named. It sits over my shoulder as I type this watching the flicking lights of the screen.

My knuckles have calloused over. The skin is finally healing progressively without the threat of splitting and bleeding as it had done.

The inevitable things happened where they had to happen. I saw the headstrong laid low by their frail flesh. The strong cower due to weak wills that led them to commit to no action. Those who consider life a game to have revealed their strategies and those who wished for eternal balance discovering for themselves what an ephemeral thing it is, requiring unending attendance at every moment, to maintain.

I have things to do but I put them off because the consequences are definitive and lifelong effecting.More minor things I have attended to instead when there was no need. Procrastination…

And I also did this quiz. Idealism and pessimism are but two sides of the same coin. One seeing all as good while the other sees it all as bad. At my core I am an idealist however but I do wish I could temper it with logic. I see things logically but my heart often overrules my mind in personal matters.

http://www.playbuzz.com/josephinemayfield10/which-keirsey-personality-type-are-you

You’re an Idealist! Idealists are abstract and compassionate day dreamers, activists, writers, diplomats, counsellors and healers. You’re the magician or medicine man of all the personality types. You’re a deeply emotional and abstract thinker with cooperative and communitarian goals. You long for deep, meaningful relationships and you constantly contemplate how you can help the common good. You’re guided by strong personal ethics, and you often have an ideology, cause, or way of viewing the world that you take very seriously. You’re easy going until someone challenges your values, at which point you can be the fiercest of opponents. At heart, you’re a natural healer with a great depth of empathy for those around you. As an Idealist, you’re in impressive company! Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Princess Diana, and Oprah are all famous examples of Idealists!

A number of who were killed… But then being an idealist means not seeing the clear and present danger I suppose or being so open to accepting others that you in no way protect yourself.


What will I write about next? A food review? Prehaps finally get around to reviewing something literary again as I haven’t done that for a long time now. Prehaps a padding ‘short movie reviews’ entry. We will have to see. Don’t pretend like you are excited as I get no feedback about any of these posts usually.