Chwarel Penrhyn, Bethesda – Newyddion bendigedig. Great UNESCO news today …

Welsh Slate Landscape

The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales has become the UK’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site, having been granted the accolade today, at the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee.

Penrhyn Slate Quarry – one of the quarries included in the accolade

Penrhyn’! The blood, sweat and tears of this quarry is in my DNA – what would my paternal ancestors think!

Here be humans!

A stylized representation of human lineages 50,000 years ago (excludes more distant ones, such as the “Hobbits” of Flores)

GREAT ARTICLE. FASCINATING. “Even the canonical “Out of Africa“ migration itself has turned out to be less neat and tidy than we all thought”Great piece – See Razib Khan article on…

All non-Africans share ancestry that dates back to a single tiny human population of 1,000 to 10,000 people which flourished 60,000 years ago, and exploded across Eurasia and Australia in a single sweep.

As for the native white Welsh speaking Cymro Celt from NW Wales, my own DNA link goes back to one of two daughters of a Mother who lived in what is today southern France about 20,000 years ago. I share my DNA with about 350 million Europeans ... distant cousins! 
The natives of the Andaman Islands are much more genetically similar to a Swede than they are to any African population – incredible.
I find this paragraph mind-blowing: Outside Africa, whether you are an indigenous Australian, Amazonian native or a German burgher, fully 90-99% of your ancestry derives from a single ancestral human population pulse 60,000 years ago. Somehow, an isolated African tribe of 1,000 to 10,000 people, who became genetically homogenous due to their initial small population size, swept across Eurasia. By 50,000 years ago, they reached Australia. They had replaced the last Neanderthals and Denisovans by 40,000 years ago, if not earlier. They even migrated to North and South America 15,000 years ago. 
And this one more disturbing! Because these are brand new finds, there is not yet consensus about these fossils. Some researchers want to call “Dragon Man” Homo longi (龙, pronounced lóng, being Chinese for dragon), a new human species, and assert its features mean it is more closely related to modern humans than Neanderthals. Though Chris Stringer dismisses any bias in the Chinese researchers, I can't help but discern a drive here to establish precedence for China as one of the major hearths of modern humans, perhaps a matter of external pressure from the Xi regime.*

What thou lovest well remains …

What thou lovest well remains,
                                                  the rest is dross
What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov’st well is thy true heritage … 

What thou lov’st well shall not be reft from thee ..

But to have done instead of not doing
                     this is not vanity
To have, with decency, knocked
That a Blunt should open
               To have gathered from the air a live tradition
or from a fine old eye the unconquered flame
This is not vanity.
         Here error is all in the not done,
all in the diffidence that faltered … 

from Ezra Pound’s Canto LXXXI 
116 sections to the cantos, written between 1915 – 1962 and first published from 1922 onwards.

Ezra Pound – now there’s a contradictory, flawed individual, is ever there was one! But what a creative talent, like many giants of our literary and music world, indeed the arts in general. (I’ll return to this theme in the future). An admirer of fascism (the Italian version) and an anti-Semite. T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ (widely regarded as one of the most important poems of the 20th century) would not have seen the light of day without Ezra’s awesome editing – and that’s another story! Some would argue that he co-authored ‘Wasteland.’

Are these words from Canto 116 a sort of confession?

I have brought the great ball of crystal,
                                               who can lift it?
Can you enter the great acorn of light?

          but the beauty is not the madness
Tho my errors and wrecks lie about me

                              and I cannot make it cohere

If love be not in the house there is nothing,

The voice of famine unheard.

How came beauty against this blackness,
Twice beauty under the elms

You cannot write the history of twentieth century literature without giving Pound a starring role,” writes Daniel Swift. Look behind any significant work of 20th Century literature, and there lurks Pound. He co-edited T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” and helped e.e. Cummings develop his signature style. He mentored Ernest Hemingway and arranged for the publication of James Joyce’s work. T.E. Lawrence solicited from Pound advice on writing Seven Pillars of Wisdom; heiress-activist Nancy Cunard sparred with Pound over politics. There’s scarcely an American or British literary figure of the early 20th Century on whom Pound didn’t leave a mark.

Hated by many in the US establishment, remarkably, the Library of Congress awarded Pound the Bollingen prize for The Pisan Cantos in 1949.

The Bollingen Prize for Poetry is a literary honor bestowed on an American poet in recognition of the best book of new verse within the last two years, or for lifetime achievement. It is awarded every two years by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University. In fact it was the inaugural prize, chosen by a jury of Fellows in American Letters of the Library of Congress, to five them their full name.

A “backward regime” 2001. USA?

 The Taliban’s backwards regime was no match for the cruise missiles and B-52s of America's military colossus 
Taliban 2018
Thank you Bush & Blair et al -  Twenty years after the Americans and their NATO allies first arrived and raised such high hopes among many Afghans, they are now faced with the prospect of rearming and a return to the anarchy and civil war of the 1990s.

I will continue to bear witness.

I have always borne witness …

Priests and theologians have a right to offer their opinion, 
and even a ‘duty to be a warning,’ when people’s spiritual and
psychological well-being is in danger from someone
or something.

Indeed, if they aspire to follow the teaching of the
‘real Jesus’, they are under an obligation to do so.
If a priest or a preacher becomes upset, anxious and even 
angry about the immorality of his or her religion, they share
the fate to soldiers, for example, during the Viet Nam war, 
who felt impelled to speak out about the atrocities they had
witnessed. Many soldiers were sent to a psychiatrist who 
would be expected to help them be strong enough to return to
committing atrocities.
Similarly, people defend the behaviour of their ‘God’, even 
when that behaviour is evil and destructive! What’s more, 
they treat such behaviour as normal, and even ethically    
permissible. Some call this behaviour ‘Bible Study!”
I call such normality, a ‘malignant normality,’ a 
spiritual illness, that is deeply destructive, not only to an 
individual’s general well-being and spiritual health, but also to
his or her family and society as a whole. 

I have always borne witness to the fact that such behaviour 
is not normal. It is abnormal. (More about my stance, my 
rubicon of July 2011, to come) 

Sadly, many theologians and clerics have become 
complicit in maintaining this ‘malignant normality’ and its
psychopathic God. 
John Martin’s ‘Sodom & Gomorrah’ 1852

The original Zarathustra has a lot to answer for, although our media would be lost without their favourite god or idol.

The original Zarathustra (Century7/6BC)

1 Posited the distinction between Good and Evil
2 The meaning of the world as a Moral Event.
This war between good and evil first emerged as a separation/disjunction of an archaic deity called Ahura Mazda into Vohu and Angro.

So, we see a world consisting of: 1 An ethical opposition and 2 A metaphysical opposition, between contradictory principles of existence. 

And thus a makeshift regime(s) of Good and Evil becomes the reality and meaning of the world.

Such a regime is neither 1 An endless Heraclitean opposition, nor 2 An alchemical marriage. What we have instead is a war of attrition, an endless battle, a focus on winning or losing. 
Zarathustra or Zoroaster
Nietzsche has a different take on Zarathustra, creating his very antithesis: 'And thus they parted from one another, the old man and Zarathustra, laughing as two boys laugh. But when Zarathustra was alone, he spoke thus to his heart: "Could it be possible! This old saint has not heard in his forest that God is dead!"