Verdi at his most sublime – Sit still, close your eyes and enjoy!

UCLA Verdi La Forza Del Destino – La vergine degli Angeli via @YouTube

And maybe absorb Baudelaire’s ‘Hymn’ before listening a second time?

To the all dear, to the all beautiful,
who fills my heart with clarity,
to the angel, to the immortal idol,
All hail, in immortality!
She flows through my reality,
air, mixed with the salt sea-swell:
into my soul’s ecstasy,
pours the essence of the eternal;
Ever-fresh sachet, that scents
the dear corner’s atmospheric light,
hidden smoke, of the burning censer,
in the secret paths of night.
How, incorruptible love,
to express your endless verities?
Grain of musk, unseen, above,
in the depths of my infinities!
To the all dear, to the all beautiful,
who is my joy, my health, my sanity,
to the angel, to the immortal idol,
All hail in immortality!

Giuseppe Verdi d 1851
Charles Baudelaire d 1867

Armaments 1933 – 2023 and nothing changes. ‘The necessity in the technique of armament salesmanship is the use of Press influence. The heavy sale of armaments depends upon the state of tension in international relations. Therefore public psychology must be kept nervous … ‘


The purchasers of armaments are Governments. The success of the business, therefore, depends upon persuading Governments to buy.

No Government wishes to spend money. Taxation is unpopular. But every Government will spend money on armaments if convinced that the expenditure is necessary for national defence.

Therefore the first things an armament firm must do is to convince Governments that its articles are indispensable for this purpose.

An armament firm produces a new type of death-dealing instrument and submits it to a Government. The instrument is costly. The Government knows that no rival Power possesses it, and turns it down. 

The armament firm is not discouraged. It knows that it has only to get one Government to buy the new type of death-dealer and immediately all governments will buy. Any War Minister who neglected to order the latest weapons in use would betray the sacred cause of national defence.

So the armament firm seeks out some Government which is nervous about the arms of some rival nation. “Take this new invention,” says the firm, “and you need fear your rival no longer.”

Or the firm seeks out some small nation just launching out in armaments expenditure, with a Government or ruler who will take pride in possessing the first of a new type of armament.

It does not matter how insignificant the Government is: once get the new invention on the market and no Government will dare to be without it.

But sometimes there is a difficulty. The Governments of small nations cannot afford to buy. So comes the second principle of armament selling: Governments must be lent money if necessary. That involves a close relationship with the banks.

It will be convenient, therefore, if armament directors happen to be bank directors; perhaps the armament firm will run a bank itself to facilitate the loan. The loan will be made on conditions that orders are placed with the firm. 

The next necessity in the technique of armament salesmanship is the use of Press influence. The heavy sale of armaments depends upon the state of tension in international relations. Therefore public psychology must be kept nervous. This not only involves making the Press of your own country suspicious of other countries: the Press of other countries must be nervous of the intentions of your country. 

Armament salesmanship therefore requires close connection with the Press. Own newspapers if you can. Some of your directors should certainly also be directors of newspapers. Don’t be too squeamish about the truth of your stories. Publicity knows no morals. Good business depends upon war scares. Foment them!

Fenner Brockway. The Bloody Traffic. London: Victor Gollancz, 1933. 28-31.

Our Western ‘leaders’? ‘Bitter fruits, cankered by lies.’

COURAGE (D H Lawrence)

What make People Unsatisfied is that they Accept Lies.

If People had Courage and refused Lies, and found out what they really felt and really meant and acted on it,

They would distil the essential oil out of every experience and like hazel nuts in autumn,
at last be sweet and sound.

And the young among the old would be as in the Hazel Woods of September nutting, gathering nuts of ripe experience.

As it is, all that the old can offer is sour, bitter fruits, cankered by lies.

The Way of All the Earth …

Trenches, trenches – You could lose your way! Of old Europe A scrap remains, Where in clouds of smoke, Towns burn … Now the ridge of the Crimea Grows dark. And I am leading a flock Of my own mourners.

(Sitting in the sled, setting out on the way of all the earth .. From The Instruction of Vladimir Monomakh for His Children – a quote to open an epic poem by Anna Akhmatova). The section ends with these words …

Already the distant thunder rumbles … And that which we call music Because we have no better name.

Can it save us?


War is no longer an instrument of foreign policy in ‘The West.’ War has become a national disease in most European countries. Its most popular variant is the virus popularly known as Russophobia. A virus far more dangerous than Covid19. Our leaders are not asleep in the valley, they are asleep in The Abyss. There is no beauty there, just horror.

Asleep in the Valley by Rimbaud

A small green valley where a slow stream flows
And leaves long strands of silver on the bright
Grass; from the mountaintop stream the Sun’s
Rays; they fill the hollow full of light.

A soldier, very young, lies open-mouthed,
A pillow made of fern beneath his head,
Asleep; stretched in the heavy undergrowth,
Pale in his warm, green, sun-soaked bed.

His feet among the flowers, he sleeps. His smile
Is like an infant’s – gentle, without guile.
Ah, Nature, keep him warm; he may catch cold.

The humming insects don’t disturb his rest;
He sleeps in sunlight, one hand on his breast;
At peace. In his side there are two red holes.

Arthur Rimbaud 1854 – 1891