How to cope with American election day: 2 approaches

Step one: Drink, continue step one during all other steps.

step 2: play serene music and burn incense or something.

step 3: play videogames until result, or at least till when result is probable. In keeping with your declining motorskills (see step 1) and general state of apprehension that repititive grinding from that rpg you’ve been playing that you’ve been putting off is recommended. Compared to the election it shouldn’t feel monotonous and pointless at all.

step 4. Watch result.

Step 5. feel happy or sad depending upon the victory or defeat of your preffered candidate.

step 6. feel shame that you felt happy or sad for one of these shitheads.

step 7. check social media. Because well your going to anyway.

step 8. And this one’s important…..get off social media, it’s not going to help you.

and here’s where you can go one of two directions for the rest of the day/electoral period: wallowing and denial/repression let’s start with wallowing which we’ll call option A.

Option A. Wallowing in fatalisim, nihilisim, misery and despair. Now the intinct is to do this on social media via memes and run of the mill rant posts and article links but everyone will be doing that and your insight into how everything is shit is unique so it should be conveyed in a unique way……and THEN posted to social media because misery loves company as much as Trump loves attention and Hilary loves power (aka far more thanĀ  anyone loves you). Now what I want you to do is go outside, feel the sun (if it’s sunny) on your face, the wind in your hair, watch the leaves rustle in the breeze, contemplate flowers and beauty and art, listen to the birds, the rain (if it’s raining) and beautiful music and contrast all these with the political developments and realities to which you have just borne witness. realise all beauty is transient. Watch the election coverage again breifly. Compose Japanese (“style”) death poetry. post to social media, bask in the accolades. reflect on the transience and emtyness of fame, repeat.

Option B. shut out the world, eat ice cream from the container and watch a ghibli movie…..or three.

 

YOU CAN"T TOUCH ME IN MY FLYING CASTLE WORLD!!!!! *cries*
YOU CAN”T TOUCH ME IN MY FLYING CASTLE WORLD!!!!! *sobs into ice cream*

Snakes on a cage.

Why!?
Why!?

Some days ago now I watched the movie Outcast with my brother Nathan late at night on the Netflix. The film starred Nicholas Cage and Hayden Christensen as (ex?) templar knights in China. It is as you would expect one of the worst acted movies I’ve ever seen. Also ex templar turned mysterious bandit Nicholas Cage (like anyone cares what the qoute unqoute characters name is) when he gets reintroduced after severel years has snakes on his arms like thier gauntlets or something (kinda thought he was going to start punching people…..with snakes!) for his whole prolonged reintroduction scene. He just walks around with snakes on his arms and dangling over his fists and everyone acts like it’s nothing (the camera knows it’s weird though it zooms up on them a few times) and then thier gone. No-one ever mentions them again, in fact no-one ever mentions them at all. He also decides that the appropriate voice for a templar turned bandit living in medieval China is the most over the top growly Carribean pirate stereotype accent…….because reasons………….

Samuel Runge and the pipe dream of safety and sense

About 2 weeks ago at my work for the dole at a store, I did soceity a great service and by that I don’t mean my contributions at said store and necesarily self-flaggelation for being impertinent enough to be unemployed (I mean these go without saying) but I personally disposed of 3 dreaded dragons before they could do further damage to the good citizens of Sydney and all in the shadows (or you know the backsection of said store, much the same, I’m basically batman). I am speaking of course of three cursed tomes each more dreadful than the last.

The first such foe to catch my eye was a book on “healing and Autism” (thats the actual title) co-written by celebrity Jenny Mccarthy and some Dr. It promises advise on a wide range of other diagnosis such as ADHD (wish I could come up with a better example, my memory is failing me) as well obvously as other parts of the autistic spectrum. I should mention at this point for those who are unaware that I was diagnosed with aspergis as a child. After disposing of this beast of pseudo-science I then faced the high dragon itself………….

Cursed tomes 2 & 3 made cursed tome 1 seem benign by comparison despite my personal skin in the game. Tome the 2nd, the aforementioned high dragon to tome 1’s more common beast of pseudo-science was more pamphlet than tome in truth (like a pocket high dragon, a sort of pocket monster, a……..look it’s basically a high level Dragonite, that’s clearly where this was going) but perhaps all the dealier for it’s portability and ease of reference. it’s title was basically and I shit thee not “homeopathy for emergencies”…………and if the reasons for concern there are not abundantly obvious to you than I’m afraid courtesy of your mother not heeding cursed tome the 1st you came down with a serious case of stupid as a result of a childhood injection.

I scanned it very breifly and it seemed at least as bad as the title suggests. Curiously the cover made reference to some of the serious conditions it would detail “treatment” of within, which included Syphilis. Treatments (not necesarily for Syphilis, didn’t check) included the use of hellabore, which is poison and by that I don’t mean like most medication dangerous in high doses (though obviously depending on the dose that is how poison works there is still a functional distinction) I mean poison, well known for that. I believe some ancient cultures did appropriate it for medical use and with some effect but even then with serious caution and this along with syphilis (a serious and still very much extant condition but one with a distinctly old timey vibe) and the seeming adherence to the miasma theory of disease (yep…….miasma, the dominant pre-germ theory…..if I’d looked properly I probably would have found reference to the body’s humours (almost certainly spelling that wrong, can’t be arsed to check).

Anyway needless to say if some idiot decided to treat a serious or life threatening illness with “basically just water” or worse you know……poison (probably statistically negligible amounts but I don’t trust this book nor those who put into practice with deciding how much that is, I’d rather no poison thanks). That person could actually die. I regret not purchasing the book myeself but I would have to wait till the end of the day and I was not going to let this out of my site, no way that was going on the shelves. Homeopathy for emergencies…………….

We now come to a danger of a different sought (this one with pictures!)…..ideological and 6 million jews agree (or would if they……you know could……) it’s at least as dangerous as the former. In the depths of a kids display panel in the store’s booksection (ok their really isn’t any depth, it’s a shelf, work with me here) next to a bunch of brightly illustrated books for small children was an epic novel (the third volume in a saga) entitled “lebensraum!” and subtitled “the dream of land and peace” my curiosity piqued I picked it up thinking this can’t possibly be what it looks like…….and now we both know that it was.

Right (wing) there among the children’s picture books facing you standing on an eye-level end of alcove display in a charity shelf was a nazi apologist novel written by a prominent holocaust denier whose very title is a reference to the excuse for basically unprecedented mass murder and whose implementation formed a key role in said murder and deportation of millions of east europeans. “Lebensraum: the dream of land andpeace”……in reply to whose title I will now attempt paraphrase Tacitus: Romans. Deserts. Peace. Anyone who purchased this for the kiddies (maybe that can pass it around at scouts….) was in for a rapid and shocking awakening (kinda like operation Barbarossa) at least you would hope………..naturally I thought getting rid of it to be in the organization’s best interest, not a good thing for PR, or so you’d hope.

nothing out of place here, anthropomorphic bears build nests, bob builds things, children rescue animals, freinds exchange secrets (presumably not about the Holocaust being a lie) and the master race acquires "living space".
nothing out of place here, anthropomorphic bears build nests, bob builds things, children rescue animals, freinds exchange secrets (presumably not about the Holocaust being a lie) and the master race acquires “living space”.

One final question remains (ok many questions remain, shut up, it’s a rhetorical device), who donated it and WHY!? was it a joke or is this part of an elaborate plan to distribute Nazi propaganda. *insert Pauline Hanson joke here*. Of course disposing of books was a beloved hobby of the Nazis, so the irony on my part is palpable (and dare I say pulpable……..I’m not sorry) so we can reasonably ask who the real villain is here, the Nazis or your freindly neighbourhood book binner……..wait……..This has been Samuel Runge not the hero you deserve (I’m way too good for you people) but the one you’ve got signing off.

The life of saint Brutus, patron saint of credulity and public speaking.

Many years ago when I did the unit Ciceronian Rome I recall proffesor Hilard likening Plutarchs life of Brutus to a hagiography (loosely translated it means life of a holy person, a sub-genre of biography meant to extoll the virtues of its subject, usually to an extreme degree). No section demonstrates his point more, at least to me than Putarchs account of Brutus’s destruction of the city on Xanthus:

“Brutus, on the other hand [as opposed to Cassius, Pollox to Brutus’s Castor as the twin gods of libertas], demanded money and troops from the people of Lycia [civil wars be expensive]. Naucrates, the popular leader, responded by persuading the cities to revolt…………he [Brutus] forced the most warlike of them to take refuge in the city of Xanthus, and then beseiged it……………After this the Xanthians made a sortie at night and set fire to some of the seige-engines, but they were seen by the Romans and forced back to the walls. Then, when a strong wind began to blow the flames back towards the battlements and some of the adjoining houses caught fire, Brutus, who was afraid that the whole city would be destroyed, ordered his men to help put out the blaze.

However the Lycians were suddenly seized with a terrible and indescribable [the word your looking for here Plutarch is incomprehensible, because you know your explanation doesn’t make sense] mood of despair, which can best be defined as a passionate longing for death. Every inhabitant of the city, women and children, free men and slaves, people of every age and condition hurled missiles from the walls at the Romans[ almost as if they were being besieged by them or something…..], as they struggled to help the citizens to overcome the flames; and meanwhile the Xanthians with thier own hands brought up reeds, wood, and every kind of inflammable material and so spread the fire throughout the city, feeding it with all the fuel they could find and doing everything possible to increase the strength and fury of the conflagration. As the fire rushed onwards, encircled the city on every side, and wrapped it in a sheet of flame, Brutus in deep distress rode round the walls, and in his eagerness to help [himself to the town treasury] implored the Xanthians with outstretched hands to spare themselves and save their city. Not a soul listened to him, but men and women alike sought only for the means to destroy themselves, so that even the little children with cries and shrieks leaped into the flames or flung themselves headlong from the walls, or offered themselves up to thier fathers swords, baring thier throats and begging them to strike[ Everyone’s a critic eh Brutus? chin up old boy I’m sure not everyone wants to kill themselves when you start speaking]…………..he [who else but the worlds best motivational speaker…..] also proclaimed that a reward would be given to any soldier who succeeded in saving a Lycian. All but one hundred and fifty, we are told[ these three words being the key to this whole story], escaped the Romans’ efforts to save them[ for the slave market]. So it came about, after a long lapse of time, that the Xanthians had the courage to repeat the disaster which thier ancestors had suffered, as though they were fulfilling some predestined cycle of destruction: for the same people in the time of the Persian Empire had likewise burned down thier city and destroyed themselves.

Soon afterwards, when Brutus found that the city of Patara was offering a stout resistance to him, he hesitated to attack it and was at a loss what to do next, for fear that the people might be seized by the same frenzy as the Xanthians[ you know and kill themselves before we can kill them, no fun that way, also apparently mass suicide is contageous now and Brutus’s army is the carrier, funny that.].” – Plutarch, life of Brutus, 30-32.

……….So the whole community (the non-Xanthian lycian rebels presumably joined in out of a sense of politeness to thier hosts) spent a couple of centuries building up the courage to collectively kill themselves, took them a while, life must just have been a touch too alluring before Brutus extolled it’s virtues. So apparently the best explanation for events is a long delayed but inevitable repitition of a dubious strory from herodotus, I’ve heard of history repeating but not this literally…….historians however they literally (and literarially….) repeat all the time, apparently sometimes when the truth is awkward. Well Herodotus, you may be known as the father of history and the father of lies but don’t you worry for imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (I think that is still the case when whats imitated is insincerity………) and the kids are doing you proud!

Anyway I hope the likely truth of what happened at Xanthus is plain from the above but in case it needs to be hammered home, it is not unusual for citizens and soldiers in ancient times to you know seek to repulse an attempt by a BESEIGING ARMY to enter the city/approach the battlements in force, indeed it’s pretty much the go to response even if said beseiger asked really nicely and insisted they were here to help (liberate us from our gold) which I very much doubt they did. That a fire broke out during hostilities and spread to the city is about the only believable part of this story, that stuff happened and often the besiging army would seek to take advantage of such a distraction/hinderance by launching an attack, a massacre of the populace would then ensue. That is what is probably going on here but in a particularly clumsy attempt to avoid tarnishing Saint Brutus with involvement in a massacre we have this ridiculous story, which to me doesn’t actually make Brutus look compassionate and merciful, just bipolar and a bit nuts. He is beseiging them, they are his enemy, he has had his soldiers kill them before and will order mass killing again, yet one day he sees an oppurtunity for victory and decides that he now runs the local, somewhat numerous heavily armed fire department………..Finally it is interesting to note that during incidents like the “mass suicide” at Xanthus and Cassius’s sack of Rhodes (when Cassius a mere demi-god to Brutus’s full deity of libertas massacres people no-one calls it a spontaneous mass-suicide bonfire party, don’t worry Cassius no-one ever invites me to those either) the so-called liberators would have killed many times more people than the triumvirs in thier infamous proscriptions, yet unlike them are seldom called on it. but then they killed rich and aristocratic Romans and worse……confiscated thier property (gasp!) whereas the libertors just happened to be in the neighbourhood when the local subjects drank the coolaid.

No Caesar, don't do it you have so much to live for, let us help you with our magical healing daggers!
No Caesar, don’t do it you have so much to live for, let us help you with our magical healing daggers!

Regards,
Samuel.