Thursday, July 26, 2018

Banjaxed V Gobsmacked

After very difficult, five day negotiations the least favorite member of the Angelic Host and your correspondent have finally achieved a template for progress that relies primarily on that theory of weather systems that begins with the beautiful suggestion that a Butterfly alighting upon a Lotus bloom in Kyoto will have an effect upon the weather in Los Angeles. A holistic approach that accepts uncertainty and which produces such ideas as a "20% chance of showers." As an example of this template, the Nodding Donkey has been given a 10% chance of ever being anything other than a ridiculously heavy weight which occasionally has to be moved. The furnace has a 2% chance of being useful. Rototillers 7.5% chance. All of which means a useful theory for the Great Barn Tidy Up is developing, and that's at least 80% of the battle.

And for those who may have begun to wonder whether I have been lost to a dementia, consider the alternatives for a reasonably active geriatric who's been pretty much banjaxed since the November of 2016.  Some will insist that gobsmacked is the better expression, but it does seem that a person can only really be gobsmacked maybe ten or fifteen times in a lifetime otherwise it could be that there might be something slightly wrong with a person who's constantly being gobsmacked by one thing or another. Banjaxed, on the other hand, is in many ways a less startled, more enduring word. No surprise you're late to work because the alarm clock was banjaxed.  At the same time ‘Many of the best experiences of life, as well as some of the worst, have come about as a result of being banjaxed.’ Not sure who wrote it, but I kind of know what it means and there's a 52% chance it means what I think it means.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Gibbon and Madison

Always worth wondering where Madison got his aversion to Factions as an obvious means to organize multiple and disparate ideas into constructive, useful, gentlemanly debates. And the answer might have to do with Gibbon's Decline and Fall. At the end of the work Gibbon makes an attempt to tell his reader why the Roman Empire Fell. Like all honest men he explained that he couldn't really think of a hard and fast reason, rather he understood it as a series of failures. One of those failures, and I'll have to paraphrase because it's alluded to throughout the book, was the capacity of powerful people in their single minded pursuit of their own interests to lose touch with the source of their power, which is a vibrant, cooperating society that daily welcomes the future as a wealth of possibilities.

The result of self interest for Rome was a corruption of a shared idea of the Empire, and indeed factions within the empire became so besotted by the possibilities of winning points for their own side they totally forgot that beyond their borders other societies were way more cohesive, a great deal more enthusiastic and not so convinced of their own society's invulnerability. An Eastern Emperor, for example, became so enraged and threatened by the incredible successes and popularity of his much feted admiral who'd won several important battles at sea that instead of rewarding the man for enhancing the Empire, securing it against foreign enemies, the Emperor had the man disposed of. Don't know about you, but I hear echoes of this kind of blinkered selfishness that becomes outright destruction.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Pests

Fortunately I spotted a posse harassing the Hosta blooms in the late afternoon yesterday, and like anyone else who struggles with Juveniliustrochilidaphobia my immediate instinct was to remain indoors for the next couple of weeks, but being a bold and often Bolshevik sort of male of our own species this morning I chose instead to dress accordingly. No white, no red, no blue, nothing flashy, and I wore a brown oil stained trousers to protect my peaky white blotchy legs. Luckily the morning was cloudy with showers which is not an ideal condition for the boisterous and out of control, murderous little vandals that pass for the youth of Hummingbird, but unluckily it did mean I was reduced to wrenching some sort of order back into the barn and this meant enduring the ordeal of sharing time with my least favorite member of the Angelic Host, who for some unknown reason decided to remain in residence here rather than get the first bus to Washington DC, he'd be a shoe-in for the current administration.

At issue between us today was the mechanism for a Nodding Donkey, two ancient rototillers, a wheel barrow wheel and a gas furnace with an air conditioner unit which would have been run by a compressor in a heat pump..... I finally came out said "What are these things doing in the barn?" But it's always the same with the Angel of Greed, he declares himself entirely innocent and blames me. "They didn't cost you anything and you never know they could be useful for something." And it's that sort of temptation that often makes me wonder whether the Angel of Greed is one of those fallen Angels who just gloms off others. Then in a somewhat sneering manner he said, "There was a time when you had no problem lifting the Nodding Donkey." "That's exactly my point," I shot back. "It's time to get rid of almost everything in the barn." And we both agreed that I'm looking at some kind of winter project, certainly not something any one in their right mind would even think about doing until something like January, maybe February 2021...

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Very Likely Yes

I guess you actually have to occasionally answer the telephone on the off chance it's one of those surveys that grant an opportunity to combine your opinion with the opinion of others and contribute to an Opinion Poll. It was in the early 1990's when I was last asked to contributed to an Opinion Poll, something about NAFTA. The questions were so simplistic I had a poor reaction to being treated like a halfwit and when the survey taker finally suggested I should just answer the question with a yes or no I was hung up on. For reasons that totally escape me I remember the exchange with a degree of clarity. When I got off the phone, the Artist had suggested I might like to lie down for a bit.

An Opinion Poll I'd wish to participate in would contain no question such as "Do you think NAFTA is a good idea?" with option of either saying yes or no. However, an Opinion Poll which first asked how much I knew about NAFTA, where I got my information about NAFTA from and then suggested I give a rough précis of how NAFTA would work, that's what I call a request for an Opinion. But if today I was asked "Has the former Soviet Union's Comintern finally discovered the honey pot that produced a bridgehead in the United States and is that bridgehead the GOP and can we anticipate another aggressive reach for territory by the Russian State before the USA's November Midterms and will there be a pogrom of suspected US assets within Russian State?" Then the answer is "Very Likely Yes."

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Helsinki

In 1943 Stalin officially dissolved the Comintern so as to make nice with his allies Roosevelt and Churchill. The Comintern can politely be thought of as Leninist outreach with strings attached soon followed by a power hungry and pragmatic iron fist. Meanwhile there's Finland, which in 2015 ranked top in the world for Human Capital, education and stuff, and was rated the Most Stable country in the Index of Fragile States for the years 2011-2016, in 2018 the index rewarded the USA with the status of Most Worsened.  So it's a good day to talk about the word Bromance. It's a relatively recent introduction to the English Language. We're talking the 1990's, early 2000's. The definition includes "non-sexual," so it's not about boys banging boys or wrestling in leotards. But the definition does include the word  "homosocial," which means it has to do with some kind of relationships between boys. In the old days, and we're talking the good old days, a bromance was usually referred to as a Romantic Friendship, and in the good old days the word Romantic and Friendship when both were applied to boys raised eyebrows all over the place, made boys blush, and any suggestion that a homosocial relationship between boys was intense and/or emotional resulted in deep dives into sacred texts for suitable punishment, followed by reeducation and possible jail time. My first point would be why invent the word Bromance when Romantic Friendship covers the whole area of discourse perfectly. The obvious answer, we boys are very fragile and we need our own word that doesn't sound sissy when we're conjoined in the task of sighting our AR 15's.

My second point has to do with Tyrants, from the old Greek word meaning an absolute ruler upon whom there are no restrictions. Picture if you will a Romantic Friendship, or a Bromance, between two Tyrants. Not easy to do. Real Tyrants tend toward an attitude that eschews anything that might be tainted by personal weakness, something like trust is out of the question, what Tyrants prefer is complete pathological control over any relationship. To find a better understanding it might be necessary to go to another aspect of the homosocial which has to do with the relationship between Master and Apprentice, more recently framed in the fruitier terms of Mentor and Mentee. Generally in this relationship the Master regards the Apprentice as a hapless idiot but useful, he makes the tea, fetches the wrench, carries the bag and as long as he does so he might learn something about plumbing or delivering milk, or whatever. The Apprentice on the other hand regards the Master in a more adoring manner, not so much a God who must be obeyed, rather an Apprentice's passion is a deep, purring admiration for his master. The other thing to recall is that as far back as the 1920's the Soviet Comintern was very busy in the USA and in Europe endeavoring to undermine the very idea of Democracy. They had big plans for the USA. Back then US industrial unions were deemed unfruitful, too middle class, self interested and dull, it was the founder of the AFL Sam Gompers with his suspicion of politicians and socialism and his acceptance of "the business of business is business" that defined US labor best, still does. So for paradise to happen in the USA it was a Race War the pragmatists in the Comintern wanted. We snowflakes of course would have been sent the Gulags of the Midwest.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Circumstantial Evidence

In some places it's called Tradecraft, and you go to school to learn it. There's homework, books to read, tests, field trips and everything. The art of the Honey Trap is more than likely on the syllabus, and you might even learn that this art is not all about what's politely called a romantic liaison. Rather, honey is better thought of as Temptation, and we people are prone to all sorts of temptation. The secret is little by little, slowly, slowly, insight by insight until all of a sudden there's a hook in the flesh and the subject is pulled into what should be if properly done an invisible net. Call it seduction, if you like. In the end the art of the Honey Trap works on that part of each of us which has to do with cognition, the processes by which we understand ourselves in relationship to the world, a judgment that usually requires a half truth or two to combat dissonance so as to make any one of us feel better about ourselves, believing down right lies can make us feel wonderful. And here, you may have an Asset in your net and your opposite number in Tradecraft will be on the hunt for what has often been called a Traitor, which sadly in a US court of law is an offence that requires a mens rea, the act is not culpable unless intent can be proved.

Once in the net some will flop about, fall prey to doubt. Some might realize the net and try to escape. But early on in the process of developing an Asset you'll learn to recognize signs of anything like integrity in your subject, and in discussions with others of your kind you'll come to a decision about whether the effort and resources spent is worth it. So if you're looking for art here, you'll find it in those first impression of your subject. Does he lie easily? Does he think he's cleverer than others? Does he have an unreasonably high opinion of himself? Is he more creepy than he is slimy, or is he just a maggot head? It's kind of like a really well researched personality test for a total bounder and utter rotter. Old hands of course have the quick and ready eye, they can spot them at the other end of the bar. And if your subject has potential, you make room in the filing cabinet, you open a file, you gather your clan to find out as much as you can. Little by little, slowly, slowly you recruit your volunteer so that one day you might get a pat on the head for having mastered your cynical craft. It's a job, some do it for war, some do it for world peace, most do it because it's more fun than betting on Cockroach Races.

Friday, July 13, 2018

King Lear.

I don't know about King Lear. He was very, very old certainly, he preferred flattery to anything remotely associated with honesty, and he got terribly aggravated when one of his three daughters, the one named Cordelia, instead of flattering him to get her share of his kingdom like his other two daughters, chose to speak the truth when her father asked her to tell him how much she loved him and what a brilliant person he was. And too there was a whole thing with slimy, ambitious boy courtiers plotting, and as the King lost his influence he had nowhere to go. Flatterers were all about flattery and they were entirely unreliable scoundrels who were only interested in their careers. The old fool's last hope was with Cordelia who'd been honest with him, otherwise he was just old, unwanted and dotty, an all round whining pain in the neck with absolutely nothing useful to contribute. Oddly, I feel that way sometimes too, it's the Bean Beetle.

But the thing is, in my view, toward the end of the story Lear began to realize that he might have made a mistake, he died of grief clutching Cordelia's hanged corpse. Not sure our very own King Lear is emotionally capable of that. The point is Shakespeare's King Lear was a story, designed to entertain, tug at the heart strings, teach a lesson, send the audience home nodding their heads wisely. The reality of course is always a little different. In exile Napoleon didn't really think he'd made any mistakes, it was his destiny, he'd been chosen. Herr Hitler, for his part, preferred to believe that his people were just not worthy of his unique variety of extraordinary genius, they had failed him, so it was entirely their fault, not his. Meanwhile for our own King Lear there's still a month or so to go before his courtiers think in terms of adopting "Russia – our sacred state, Russia – our beloved country. A mighty will, a great glory – Yours forever for all time!" as their anthem. There's a line in there somewhere, that goes "From the Southern Seas to the Polar Islands."

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Doublethink

 "Air Strip One" was Oceania's name for the British Isles in Orwell's 1984. "It was a nice day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen." Some might recall the story, and the first line of the story. Of the many interpretations of clocks striking thirteen the one that lasts is not that somehow the clocks had been set to military time, rather that something fundamental had changed. Everything that had preceded was suddenly in question and normal was soon to be rewritten.

 Our hero worked in the Ministry of Truth, and there was a moment when he reckoned there was a chance at love, but that was taken from him by deception, and at the end of the story following a very painful visit to the Ministry of Love our hero was reduced to facing his greatest fear, there was no alternative he was in love with Big Brother. Either way, double-think, being able to believe in two contrary things at the same time without being aware of the conflict, is already alive and well. Maybe the clocks are striking thirteen.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Soccer

Your correspondent might not remember where he was when anything important happened like Kennedy and Martin Luther King being shot or the moon landing but for some reason he does remember where he was when the English Soccer Team last won the World Cup. The English Team had defeated Germany. Can't remember the minor details, but I do remember accidently hearing the results of the game in the earpiece of a hand made crystal radio that was sometimes able to receive the BBC World Service so long as the wire mosquito netting that functioned as the radio's aerial was properly located for radio waves and incorrectly located for keeping the Mosquito at bay, a happenstance described as wanton vandalism which under questioning required truly gymnastic explanations from me. I tried everything from blaming others to falling off chairs, without any kind of success and then it hit me. Meekly and with a little foot pointing, I handed over the precious radio and explained that I was listening out for the results of the World Cup Final.

"Who Won?" was the obvious question and reaching into the wealth of English History and tradition with as much pride as I could put into my shinny little eyes I answered "England!" It was a rock of ages moment. With all my faults and desperate flaws I was a patriot doing what patriots do, rooting for the team, hell bent on victory no matter the personal cost. "What was the Score?" At a young age a person gets a reputation and mine was far from fair. "England Four, Germany Two." In my reply I put a slight cross in my eye, an innuendo wrapped up in a sinister suggestion that my inquisitor might not be all in for England, a foreign grandmother, an aunt who married an Italian, possibly a Baptist or a Catholic, a fifth columnist in English ranks. But desperate times require certain often unappealing and sometimes loathsome tactics. Had my inquisitor known I'd been trying to hear if Bob Dylan and the Band singing Rainy Day Woman had made it to the BBC's half hour pop music program when the program was rudely interrupted by an unhealthy wave of nationalistic fever things might have gone poorly for me. Yes indeed, back when I was a callow youth I'd have been prime material for a job as legal advisor to the current administration.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Pindar

I was going to talk about boys dressing up in leotards, embracing each other, grunting and rolling around on rubber mats. I'm sure it's perfectly natural yet I remain of the opinion that it should be an activity reserved for the privacy of a bedroom and not something that requires not only a coach but also locker rooms, community showers, universities and spectators. Fortunately the morning was cool enough for Compost Piles so I was able to discuss the matter with Pindar, the Poet from Thebes, whose odes to the Gods and to Olympian Athletes are difficult to tell apart.

He reminded me that in his day there were no leotards, boys wrestled naked for the edification of older men. The thing about Pindar is his degree of faith in the capacity of us people to achieve a degree of harmony through the grace of the gods. We come into the world as sinners and are free to chose but it's the gods who reward and doing stuff like lying or making things up or not following the facts so as to fool the gods is not only a grave, grave long term error, it's also unsporting. The sad fact is that it's always rather boring when Pindar starts preaching. Some of us had to wait for the Romans before we could do things like toss people into cages full of hungry Lions.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Bees

The Celts had high regard for Bees. One of the more soothing understandings had to do with the relationship between Bees and the Other World. There was no escape, you had to tell Bees everything. Most important, if someone died you had to tell the Bees before the funeral otherwise all hell broke loose. It was the Roman occupations and Christian missions which melded many of the old ideas into new ideas. But up there in the higher, harder lands "If you wanted to know what the Druids knew, you asked the Bees." Must have been a secret knowledge. Some of the early Irish Christian saints for purposes of evangelism held to the idea that it was the Bee that carried the soul to heaven. Either way, in them old Celtic days I'd imagine if you died of a Bee sting you'd clearly done something very wrong indeed.

The Other World exists between the ears. The Celts reckoned that through trances you could get closer to it, and here mead was quite useful. The more you lived in the Other World, the more familiar you became with it. Astral Travel, despite its inherent duality, is another way of looking at it. You went to a place and a part of you leaves your body, goes wandering into bold new frontiers, a Star Trek for the more emotional, less reasonable ambitions. From my own perspective this area of contemplation has become a sleep aid. You can stop the spinning mind with a story that takes you to the same place where it finds the same patterns and you do what Mockingbirds do to song, you extemporize the noises of narrative. Nothing too exciting or stressful to the imagination, that does no good. Nor can it be boring or dutiful, because you have to look forward to it and no one looks forward to counting Sheep. Trust me, it gets easier with practice, years and years and years of practice.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Citizen

Those of us who researched their Citizenship Test soon found out that some questions were very frequently answered incorrectly. One such question was "Who makes the laws?" Despite twenty years of living in the United States, reading the news, becoming furious around the subject of rightward leaning politicians, deciding Bill Clinton's Democratic Party was a traitor to the working class, my instincts well tuned to flash-lights instead of torches, gas instead of petrol, my instinct also suggested the answer to this question was, "The Supreme Court." The correct answer to this question however, is "The Congress makes the laws."

Meanwhile there was the issue of "What does the rule of law mean?" An obvious answer, "Depends on the color of your skin, who you know and how rich you are." Then there was, "Why did the Pilgrim father's come to America?" There are a number of obvious answers to this question, but a passing grade requires the answer to have something to do with freedom to practice their own interpretation of the Sacred Texts. All the same, when the youth in the cowboy boots announced that I'd passed my Citizenship Test, I felt kind of pleased with myself, almost as though I'd joined some kind of Secret Society for people who were really good at BS. But, it's the same the whole world over, so love it or leave it I guess.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Birds and Bees

Birds and Bees, a rich tapestry. You got the annual flowers, the likes of Zinnia, Cosmos, Cleome and others with names that go in one ear and out the other to give comfort to the soul and the Butterflies and do right by the pollinators through the hot months. Not so many Honey Bees, but there's the Little Bumble Bee, the solitary Mason Bee and someone else whose tiny legs are so fat with pollen it's a marvel they can fly. Then you got the loitering Goldfinch, a street corner gang, sitting along the garden fence waiting for Tomato blooms to achieve perfection so they can swoop down and rob those blooms of any chance of achieving fruit. I imagine it's a delicacy in their community. Makes a gardener think seriously in terms of something like a Raptor, a pocket Falcon of some sort. I have read that high humidity and still air can also foil the Tomato bloom, if so not sure what to do about that.

And given the current conditions in the outdoors nor is an un-paired boy Summer Tanager any kind of boon to the dour calmness of being which so essential to a functioning  and balanced gardener. Every year it's the same, there's always one. Tanagers are amongst other things Bee Eaters, they have the stubby sharply pointed beak, and if you happen to be an attached boy Summer Tanager with responsibilities you're inclined toward a shady perch from which to keep an eye on the annual blooms. Straight as an arrow you'll dart like a red flash and there'll be one less pollinator in the world. But if you're an un-paired boy Summer Tanager your passion around fruiting becomes such that you'll sit high in the top branches and fill the air with a sound so monotonously grating you can pretty much turn a struggling gardener into a blithering pile of overheated raw nerves. And no good letting off steam by shouting, just seems to encourage them and you can lose the false teeth in your Beans.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Biscuit

Years ago your correspondent was what they call a floater. The more puerile might raise a nostril, but being a floater for Co-Op Milk was noble work. You turned up at 3 am, and if any of the fifteen odd milkmen failed to show, you had to get hold of the milkman's delivery logbook and do their milk round. Once, maybe twice a week, sometimes for weeks on end you'd get a milk round, otherwise your main job was making tea for the supervisor, running the Bedford TK to deliver to schools, canteens and the university, hosing down the milk yard and arranging empty milk crates. One of the problems of being a floater was you never got to learn a milk round with any great intimacy and of the 365 or 366 days in the year the only day you got off was Christmas day. At the same time, more often than not, you'd be on your walk home by around 6 am.

Most milkmen kept the information concerning their milk round in their heads rather than in their logbooks, which meant that most logbooks were pretty much useless except for working out the order of the deliver round. The office had a master list of customers associated with each round, so at least when you left  the milk yard you had rough idea of how many milk bottles went on which doorstep and how many crates went into which corner shop. One much older milkman had a logbook that was entirely devoid of any entries, except for one. The address was a corner shop and news agent in the older part of the city. In large letters the entry read, 'Biscuit.' And Lo it was one of those small overweight harmless looking friendly dogs with a wagging tail and a smile on its tongue that would waddle in your direction, and if you were carrying a crate of milk and if you didn't give it a biscuit it would grab your trouser leg in its jaws and was almost impossible to politely shake off. My own equally unhelpful contribution to that particular logbooks sole entry was '---in bowl on shelf by door.'

Monday, July 2, 2018

Local Gossip

The Kitten was an infinitely better gardening companion when she was a kitten. Fond memories of her sniffing Beetles, she was fascinated by and a little nervous of Grasshoppers, marveled at the Zebra Tail Butterflies on the Coriander blooms. I remember her resting in dappled shade under a Squash leaf, she was panting from the excitement of it all. A most endearing little creature she was. Not these days. It's more like having a Wild Boar in the vegetable garden, no plant, insect or animal is safe from her except, I thought, Moles who appear to delight in raising her ire to the point where in pursuit of them she can pretty much dig up an Asparagus Crown, which is not an easy thing to do without a shovel or opposable thumbs. Certainly a noble cause, but no use explaining to her that many, many generations ago in the good old days when domestic pets where a protein source of last resort the cause against Moles was lost. The Moles and their allies in Madison Avenue won and ever since gardeners have been suckers for a snake oil salesman with a wheelbarrow organizer and life time guarantee on a Mole Trap.

I told the Kitten of a headmaster at one of those English Boarding schools who shared her absurd attitude to our subterranean overlords. In his private garden he had a Croquet Court, and if for one reason or another you're under the impression that Croquet is a frilly laces and cucumber sandwich game, please disabuse yourself. It's a blood sport of some sort with dangerous clubs and colorful wooden cannon balls and an understanding of grass as billiard table perfect. A Mole hill on his Croquet Court, especially on the Friday morning before he hosted the county's Croquet Tournament, would send the headmaster into apoplexy, and those of us who may occasionally and for no good reason have aggravated him just a little bit very quickly found themselves in Latin Detention. Don't know what it is about Latin teachers, my experience of them suggests they're very badly damaged people who should basically be put on a watch list of some sort. The Kitten took no notice of my assassination of her character and as I picked the last Bush Bean of an incredibly hot morning, there in her mouth was a Mole. Not a big Mole, a little smaller than my thumb, but a Mole nonetheless. On my way out of the garden with half a bucket of Beans, I'm pretty sure she called me an homunculus.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Civil Discourse

What do you do when one side chooses obedience to the rules of the game and the other side does not? There are lessons from military history. Agincourt, where the Longbow put an end to Chivalry. There's Chaka Zulu, who it's been argued changed warfare in Southern Africa from "ritualized taunts with minimal loss of life....to.....subjugation by slaughter." There's the First World War, were many a general insisted that "valor and a nation's fighting spirit" would defeat the machinegun, the tank and long range artillery. If there's a lesson, more likely it's a question, "What's winning worth to you?" And there's years and years of stuff about this from the Sufi Poets imploring princes, through the disciple Mark's "what does it gain a man..." and all the way up to a scandal worse than gerrymandering, the Australian cricketers outrageous cheating in their test match just this year against South Africa, no circle in hell low enough for the bowler Cameron Bancroft, one of those moments some of us wished we believed in the power of prayer. But sadly it's only Medieval Saints like Winfred who can get away with asking God to do things like cause the earth to open and swallow a ne'er-do-well. Which is why I'll certainly be wearing a necklace on her Feast Day, November 3rd. You never know it might work.

In the First World War, Lieutenant General Sir Charles Fergusson, commander of II Corps, said this about the German use of poison gas. "It is a cowardly form of warfare which does not commend itself to me or other English soldiers ... We cannot win this war unless we kill or incapacitate more of our enemies than they do of us, and if this can only be done by our copying the enemy in his choice of weapons, we must not refuse to do so." So there's that to contemplate while pondering the direction of civil discourse. Both Plato and Sartre had much to say about the beginning of things, ideas, especially books, bibles and commandments. Their mutual point being that once it was written, odds are it became a tombstone, flaws like worms eating it away. There are those who will say "Go high, when they go low," and then the Vikings sacked Lindisfarne, not for it's knowledge or learning, but for gold, silver and slaves. And always, always worth recalling the Battle of Maldon. A 991 Saxon defeat which for Saxon England heralded Danegeld, but which for Saxon Poets was something else, "There was shouting heaved up, and ravens circling, eagles eager for carrion—an uproar was on the earth." Every Saxon died bravely of course except for two, the Cameron Bancrofts of the Saxon world, Godwin and Godlat both ran away on the same horse..