Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891


Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

A Letter To The Editor & A Letter From The Editor

Penned upon the 6th of August, 2006

From the desk of Brigadier-General Mortimer “Ol’ Jaundiced� Shepstone, for the attention of the probable somdomites at FRILLYSHIRT.

Dear Sir,

The state of the Empire is appalling, abominable and, to a Bovril War veteran such as myself, simply disappointing. Not sixty years ago I fought to protect Britain from the threat of Ukrainian small-croppers residing in northern Swaziland; now I can’t turn around without seeing young couples engaging in acts of intimacy in the privacy of their own homes. Is this what we sacrificed our nation’s best and brightest young men for? I can assure you that it is not. Those brave soldiers died that we may prove our courage, determination and delusion that shortsightedness, anger and insecurity about our national identity are the same as rationality, shrewd planning and ideal masculine behaviour.

And what are we to make of the government’s intentions in implementing this new tax plan? The public will not accept our captains of business and industry being sucked dry to pay for such wasteful trivialities as universal services and welfare. It’s as if they want to punish success! And by “punish” I mean “take a minimal fraction of financial prosperity in order to pay for the continuation and expansion of the very social structure which makes that prosperity at all possible”.

The Good Lord no more wants the poor to be cared for than He wants women to have full legal citizenship (and, needless to say, I disapprove of such Lesbianism, and shall be finishing my sandwich in the yard.) After all, as I’m sure we all remember from Chapel in our Eton days, Christ himself was the owner of several jute-orchards and poorhouses, and in fact one of the signatories of the 1823 Master and Servant Act. I would provide sensible, logical arguments to support my position further, but it would only give the Liberals more encouragement.

Your humble and obliging social better,
Brigadier-General Mortimer “Ol’ Jaundiced� Shepstone

The next war began, my ship sailed with battle orders writ in red;
In five long years of bullets and shells we left ten million dead.
The few returned to old Piccadily, we limped around Leicester Square.
The world was busy rebuilding itself, the architects could not care.

But how could we know, when I was young, all the changes that were to come?
All the photos in the wallets on the battlefield and now the terror of the scientific sun.
There was masters an’ servants an’ servants an’ dogs, they taught you how to touch your cap.
But through strikes an’ famine an’ war an’ peace, England never closed this gap.
The Clash, Something About England

Can there be any possible justification for war anymore? For thousands, even millions of people cut down, torn apart, and countless more destroyed psychologically? For the fortunes spent having ours and theirs slaughter themselves and destroy as much property as they can, while at home so many still go without enough food and shelter and good education? The Second World War killed sixty-two million people – sixty-two million! Sixty-two alone would be too many! What lets us think this is a reasonable solution to anything? Pig-ignorance? Stupid pride, greed and anger masquerading as strategy? Or even haughty manipulation masquerading as democracy?

As the chance of a real threat of invasion dwindles to nothing (the Second World War notable as an exception and also as, again, stupidly preventable; ), it seems our desire to throw our money and our youth into every far-off skirmish only increases. Oddly we seem far less keen to put as much effort into diplomacy, into building bonds between peoples and nations, and into spreading stability and quality of life. Modern militarist thought insists it is spreading democracy – but democracy is not simply a structure of government. Democracy, as they say, is something you taste in the coffee, and also see in the clean water and medicine. Democracy is the life of peace, all war is anathema to it. Rule by the People cannot coexist with Massacre of the People.

Humanity must recognise its common needs and throw its all into the pursuit of peace. If we continue as we are, I fear there will only be more blood on the ground, more families and communities and nations torn apart irreparably, love and fairness and culture thrown aside in an endless moment of rage – and univeral death by the mushroom cloud or the ruined earth before we take the chance to redeem ourselves.

If you so desire, you may follow any commentary upon this missive with the aid of our “RSS-O-Matic” apparatus.

Neither remarks nor trackings-back are currently permitted, so as to focus your attention better upon the wisdom herein.

Further remarks are not permitted.