Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Dogs, rats and bears

Keen-eyed readers will notice that, after a brief reappearance, the blog stopped again . This is because we were in Southern Spain seeing my son and grandson there, and making efforts to sort out our financial stuff with people who understand English and American taxes, as well as Spanish ones..
But now I am back in the Land of the Fields. When the dogs saw us again, they went crazy with either delight or relief.
A bishop I know thinks they have no souls. If they don´t have souls, then souls are unnecessary. Who knows how much dogs know or feel? The chickens were only mildly cheered by our return.
While in Malaga, I bought a copy of The Plague, by Camus. It must be at least 40 years since I read it. It is still a great and disturbing book, but now I found myself now more conscious and rather critical of the sometimes stilted translation.
But the message is as potent as ever. The plague of the title is, as we all know, a metaphor for political extremism, in this case Nazism. The disease - bubonic plague - occupies, then isolates Oran, in Algeria, as did the Germans in France during the Second World War.
It doesn´t take a leap of imagination to transfer the situation to that of America now. Most of the rest of the world now regards the States as an area under intellectual quarantine. The hopeful news is that in the States, one can see signs of the Neocon malaise finally going into recession. Soon, perhaps, it will be just another ugly footnote in history. But, as Camus ends the book by saying, the rats will still be there, waiting.
Maybe I should apologise for adding more words to the pile about the appalling Bush and his gang, but it is important.
The news, while we were in Malaga was mostly about the Engish schoolteacher lady who allowed her class in The Sudan to name a Teddy Bear Mohammed. She was lucky to get out with her life. As someone on the BBC remarked, if the loonies had known that Ted´s full chosen name was Mohammed the Pooh, her head would have been rolling in the Sudan sand by now.
We get the politicians, and the religions, we deserve.

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