August 6th, 2005

breaking bad

Steady on, old man!

Guess who wrote this erotic paean to the men of Tahiti. It gives me nice mental pictures: 'the trunk of a noble tree embraced by a delicate creeper'

"The common people of Tahiti, when working, keep the upper part of their bodies quite naked; and it is then that they are seen to advantage. They are very tall, broad- shouldered, athletic, and well-proportioned. A white man bathing by the side of a Tahitian, was like a plant bleached by the gardener's art compared with a fine dark green one growing vigorously in the open fields. Most of the men are tattooed, and the ornaments follow the curvature of the body so gracefully, that they have a very elegant effect. One common pattern, varying in its details, is somewhat like the crown of a palm-tree. It springs from the central line of the back, and gracefully curls round both sides. The simile may be a fanciful one, but I thought the body of a man thus ornamented was like the trunk of a noble tree embraced by a delicate creeper."
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breaking bad

Robin Cook

I can't believe Robin Cook has gone. He was one of the most intelligent men in politics, with good intuition. Not attractive to the average voter alas, but I liked him a lot. I would have voted for him as leader of the Labour Party in the nineties, and I would have stayed a member if he'd been leader. However, the Labour party may not have acheived such good electoral results with him in charge. This is very sad.

srk posts a link to this great speech.

"Ironically, it is only because Iraq's military forces are so weak that we can even contemplate its invasion. Some advocates of conflict claim that Saddam's forces are so weak, so demoralised and so badly equipped that the war will be over in a few days. We cannot base our military strategy on the assumption that Saddam is weak and at the same time justify pre-emptive action on the claim that he is a threat. Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term—namely a credible device capable of being delivered against a strategic city target."

kalypso_v posts a nice anecdote.

Who would have believed he would go before Mo Mowlam, another excellent politician.