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November 18, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No biting, you slouch.

Plot suited for some dark novel. A futuristic video game. A slasher horror film.

A dark place where residents realize they are helpless against menacing outside forces determined to destroy them without mercy.

Ordinary people up against sinister forces…

man and woman in shadows and trailer The Big Combo/Allied Artists/US PD:, no cr notice/

That’s slouching close enough.(USPD/

“Something wicked this way comes.” No rare theme in life or literature.

A line from Shakespeare’s Act IV of Macbeth: “By the pricking of my thumbs / Something wicked this way comes.”

Also the title of Ray Bradbury’s 1962 allegory novel of good and evil, belief and fears, and the conflicting natures of good and evil that exist in humans.(novel’s summary and more here)

Wickedness: much depends on personal viewpoint and beliefs.

What entertains one, infuriates another. Death? Even that. One cherishes life, the other seeks its’ end.

Wickedly impossible to mediate between absolute polar opposites.

Elegant sophisticated woman.1926. First National/USPD:,no CR/

Oh, dear. More ragamuffins at the door? How many poor relatives must we be expected to introduce to society? (First Nat./USPD/

France, of the wicked can-can, broad tolerance, and open-ended thinking has always been the sophisticated darling.

Big time connections to this area since Texas (1685), like NOLA (New France) and Florida(1562), were French at one time or another.

Paris. We awkwardly arrived like country cousins on their doorstep for decades.

Looking for style, grace, and manners.

Sending the young to be polished and educated in the finer things. To knock the rough edges off.

The City of Light. Few places more watched for fashion and trends.

THE source of romance, love, and all things beautiful.

woman unchained. 1945 French Resistance Group Poster, Paris. Liberation of the City/NARA/USPD/

1945 French Resistance Group Poster, Paris. Liberation of the City.(USPD/

Paris has seen dark wicked times before. She did not relinquish her ideals. Unbowed. Her free soul, never defeated.

She did not stand alone. She does not now, so they say.

After all, according to Clause 5 of NATO Treaty, an attack on France is an attack on the US.

What about the simple platitudes?

“Actions speak louder than words”.

“A friend in need is a friend indeed.” (Ben Franklin, that old friend of France)

Vintage dancer. Dolores Costello. Ziegfeld Girl.1922-24. Johnson 18885-1971/LoC/

Looks can be deceiving. WIcked is as wicked does.  (Johnson/LoC/USPD/

So, odd the news anchors now breathless babble of

Heads buried in the sands.

vintage bathing beauties ( Photo by Wilheim Dreesen, 1891-1895/USPD/

Exercise is a healthy distraction. How about a long distance swim? (USPD/

There must be something between the mind numbing wickedness and the mind dulling idiotic.

  • Consider not slouching with The Paris Review’s “Yeats’ ‘Second Coming’ – Our most thoroughly Pillaged Poem” (April 7, 2015. “What rough beast, its’ hour come at last, slouches…”)
  • Collect some background information with Thomas Jefferson as he deals with the Trivoli pirates or examine a woman’s view of the French revolution (Sculptor Madam Tussaud tries to survive the chaos and keep her wax museum business alive.)
  • Dream with Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra with the battles, romance, legends, ghosts, and treasures
  • Ponder the age-old “fair, not fair”/”equal, more equal” in Orwell’s 1945 political allegory Animal Farm.
  • Mull over the nature of man with free books by Project Gutenberg.

Wickedly charmed while trying to make sense of the current reality.


Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Worth a glance and a thought:

Oh, it never hurts to find a sunny spot, dream of life more simple and maybe how to get back there.






  1. Carrie Rubin / Nov 18 2015 1:59 pm

    Paris will always have a special place in my heart given my year as an au pair girl there many moons ago. I was lucky enough to return there last March for a few days. I have to admit, I was more on guard than I was the other times I’ve been there, but it’s a visual feast of a city, and I would go back in a heartbeat.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 18 2015 6:36 pm

      In past years, you could feel pretty comfortable traveling if you made a conscious effort to not stick out as a tourist in the local crowd and stayed away from the high profile tourist hotels. Now the game has change. Ordinary neighborhoods and non-tourist events are targets. Still, if I had time and money, I’d travel there. Their tourist industry/economy will suffer badly – another fall out from terrorism. Experiences abroad certainly give a wider perspective and view of the world and an individual’s place in it. Maybe learn to appreciate what is important and what is given. Hearts and strength to one of our oldest allies and ancestral homeland to many. Thanks for singing along

      Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres / Nov 18 2015 2:03 pm

    I just listened to clips of Josh Earnest this morning. He sounds like a blithering idiot. Unfortunately, he’s parroting the President. “Bomb ’em all” is not a rational response. On the other hand, saying “We’ll just let in the women and children” isn’t rational, either, when one of the suicide bombers who blew herself up in Paris this morning… Well, “herself” says it all.

    When I lived in Liberia, political campaigns were noted for occasions of child sacrifice to gain power over rivals. Limbs of dead children spread around villages wasn’t unknown. It was evil, pure and simple. Evil still stalks, and those who seek to deny it are powerless against it.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 18 2015 6:51 pm

      If one refused to recognize the basic motivation/cause, only more tragedy will occur. This is an ancient conflict with totally opposite views of life and death. Sec. State Kerry (today): It’s not cartoons, or videos motivating them, it’s their ideology: convert or die. Preaching tolerance, understanding, kindness, peace and love ain’t gonna change any minds there.
      Our planes are instructed to back off so civilian drivers in ISIS military supply convoys won’t be harmed, yet the other side, straps bombs on women and tosses them out front.
      You know that old “those that don’t know history are bound to repeat it?” Well, those that don’t know the facts of the past have no chance of understanding the events of their present world.
      (And “evil” is so not PC these days…although “Christian values” is trotted out for political reasons/shaming more and more.) Your last sentence is the reality that must be faced. Thanks for the astute remark


      • shoreacres / Nov 19 2015 3:42 am

        I can’t believe it. I follow a Dutch fellow who’s attuned to all things Liberia, and in his Twitter feed today …. well, take a look at what is the top post right now, about ritual killings. It’s still going on.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 19 2015 3:01 pm

          Can’t get it to open up yet, but what many in this country do not understand is that life here is very different/sheltered from life elsewhere. Travel is always a reality check. Nothing like feeling the rumble of going past, “police” in black combat garb holding big AKs on most corners and seeing barbed wire around university to make one blink and say “wait a minute” only to have local residents shrug and say that’s just normal and a part of everyday life.
          Slavery, barbaric practices,total intolerance of differing religions/politics resulting in killings – all still out there. Stick heads in sand, but they all still exist. Residents here need to stop looking at the rest of the world thinking it’s just like here. (Sigh.I’ll have to get back on Twitter sooner or later) Thanks for adding this


  3. Kate Crimmins / Nov 18 2015 2:29 pm

    “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping!” I’m sorry but that line made me laugh. It does happen you know. Can’t believe you aren’t bummed about Charlie Sheen. Perhaps this whole thing is so scary we just don’t know how to react. Popular opinion is flip-flopping almost daily. Dead child on beach — we gotta help them. Bomb explodes — not welcome in my country. I don’t know the answer. I’m trying to focus on very basic ethics.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 18 2015 7:00 pm

      Shopping is so much more fun. Retail business are bound to be really concerned about how this will all impact the seasonal gift gorging. Not to mention the travel/tourist industries. Economic damage to France is a big result of terror.
      Hey, did come up with one strategy: let’s trap and cargo ship all those extra wild hogs/boars and drop them in Syria. It would be kindness and sort of repatriating them as many are Russian Boar stock to start with. Maybe? Oh, ok, back to the online catalogues….
      Thanks for stirring in a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  4. easyweimaraner / Nov 18 2015 2:41 pm

    we will keep on the sunny side… at least we try it :o)


  5. betterphotos4you / Nov 18 2015 2:57 pm

    Hello Phil,
    Thank you for always posting wonderful (Work) hmmm, I always like the SUNNY side, warms these BONES


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 19 2015 1:59 am

      And there you are soaking in the rays and wisdom from that. Cool. (If only that hobby would spread around the world there might be some hope for resolutions.) Thanks for eggactly perfect sunnyside-up comment


  6. Seumas Gallacher / Nov 18 2015 3:03 pm

    ..terrific post, thanks 🙂


  7. betterphotos4you / Nov 18 2015 3:39 pm

    Hello Philosopher Have you seen this LINK//WEB page about Humour and why people LOVE Hamilton


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 19 2015 2:02 am

      Careful – that looks so idyllic and peaceful you may want to keep it a secret! (But I’m googling the route HA!) Thanks for adding a bit of beauty. We can all use more of that right now.


  8. Robin King / Nov 18 2015 4:22 pm

    Once again, no words. I just did a sweep of the various international news agencies for what mass violence/death occurred in Africa/South America/Asia in the past 24 hours. NONE of it turned up in the news I’ve seen on TV, and I surf through 9 channels so I can get a broad mix of perspectives. Supposedly, the attention span of a gnat is .210005 of a second. I think gnats have bettered us there. Toss in affiliations, politics, priorities, on-air cost per second, pressure from advertisers, etc. and things get worse. This morning our local Very Important Breaking News lead off with how a regional mall wouldn’t allow kids to sit in Santa’s lap unless the parents (or whoever) purchased pricey pix and how the mall changed its mind. In the scheme of things and considering how many people were slaughtered around the world last night, it’s moderately comforting to know that a significant human right of free lap-sitting has been restored. It’s good, sure! No one should have to pay to sit on Santa’s lap! But the lead story??? Up next was how a local high school (along with a college in Maryland) would be closed bec a student was running loose with a gun. Or something. I didn’t get the facts straight bec they were missing; it’s an on-going, confusing story, something that the news folks love and hate at the same time. Anyway, they had their priorities: Santa always wins.

    Slightly lighter note, I live near Lafayette’s Brandywine headquarters. His place was furnished beautifully and outfitted much better than Washington’s (walking distance away). I grew up feeling like he and his nation were part of our family — maybe bec we toured his house so often — the part that came from France and was waaaaaay cooler than we were.

    Sorry about the long post. Skewed news is a pet-peeve, had a loved one in the business and the power of the various “machines” behind what we hear/see worries me almost as reality does. Also sorry if there are typos here. Mila’s dancing on the keyboard.
    Powerful post, as always! 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 19 2015 1:39 am

      Oh, let’s see. Recent leading “News”:Adele’s new release leaked, but her Radio City Music Hall concert rocked, Clinton goes after Laugh Factory Comedians for making fun at her, Some are mad because all the actresses on Hollywood Reporter Roundhouse are white, CDC says there’s and STD epidemic, Drug companies are upset because viagra for women isn’t selling well, and best of all: President Obama is “fantasizing about owning an NBA team once he leaves office. All real headlines.
      Send in the clowns. Distract. Distract! (Saw that Santa story on TV. Are they handing out scholarships/subsidies to poor kids? Only fair.)
      I bet it does drive you close to insane. THe US public is being fed highly manipulated/closely managed “news” and they know few will bother to look further than the mush brain stuff offered.
      Mila has the right idea. Dance your fears and unhappiness away (Wait that was actually another real news headline about Michele and a group of kids/young adults/groups invited to the White House for a Broadway workshop – with real celebrity singers and participants – 2 days ago! Come on get happy!) Happy feet.
      (Oh, Lafayette was quite an elegant figure. Lots of stories with that colorful guy. Brandywine is a beautiful area – would love to see his home. Sigh. Cool history. Mila, send her out for pictures! Thanks for keeping things dancing along


  9. sportsattitudes / Nov 18 2015 5:04 pm

    I was reviewing my USA Today “Top Stories” feed a couple of days after the attack on Paris and came across what was actually an editorial by a fellow named David Deptula, who at the time I didn’t know from Charlie Sheen. He was advocating bombing where ever we think the Islamic State is located (I haven’t seen a map with borders yet…) and if innocents were caught up in it…well, that’s the breaks because the greater good is being served by ending this once and for all. Once again an article about fighting ghosts, about bombing ideology…which to me makes things worse. But the best part was when I “Googled” David Deptula and found he is a retired Lt. Gen. who not only appears often on CNN…but is barred from doing business with the Government until next year because he used his influence to keep a dying intelligence program alive, disobeying rules that require senior officers to stay clear of such involvement after uniformed service ends. He agreed to pay $125,000 to the Dept. of Justice over the matter but admits no wrongdoing. He also was found to have 125 classified documents on his personal laptop but didn’t know they were illegal to have…or even there. That’s a guy whose opinion I think I’ll skip regarding future military actions. Everyone continue to be on the lookout for so-called experts the media serves up to us who have “solutions.”


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 19 2015 1:25 am

      All the news outlets/media are scraping up/grabbing anyone who is willing to talk. How authoritative, how credible doesn’t seem to matter as long as they have a talking head when they need one. The news is carefully managed (how many stories are just reassembled AP news – ever looked?) so it is important to read widely from broad range of sources including foreign ones to attempt to get an actual picture of any situation – prime sources on the ground are probably the most reliable.
      This conflict is decades – centuries old. Two totally differing points of view with one willing to compromise and show tolerance and extremists on the other side insisting no, it is change to their view or die. Difficult and complex. PErhaps the best that can be hoped for a settlement like one finally agreed upon by Richard the Lionhearted and Saladin ( what was that? about 1191-92?). Basically each man noted respect for the other and both groups went to their corners and decided to leave each other alone for a while (for the benefit of the ordinary people on both sides.) But that was before the internet, FB, trash talking and boasting by texts, YouTube gloating, and instant “news” reports. With the world now seeming so much smaller – less space between – some cease of hostilities may not be so easy. And then there’s the religious/philosophical pressures and mandates.
      Solution? Only a fool would say he knows the answer.
      Thanks for adding your report – hadn’t ever heard of that one. But the more information gathered, the better. Appreciate you tossing that in.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Robin King / Nov 18 2015 6:13 pm

    Me, again. A friend who’s on Facebook just shared this with me. It’s TRENDING right now, so big news, very important:

    “The Big Bang Theory: Characters Amy and Sheldon to Get Intimate in Upcoming Episode, Showrunner Says” I wonder if Santa’s in the episode, too?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 18 2015 6:25 pm

      Shiny beads for the simple. Trinkets for the children. (And some these are the ones they want us to pay a free-for them college education for…when they couldn’t be bothered to learn solid, factual, relevant material in high school…like basic reading, math, geography and history – all of which would be really useful to understand events right now…hey they should teach all that stuff in college, right – so that’s why it’s a kid’s “right” to free college education…but so many other more interesting courses that will be totally useless after graduation….we should be pleased to pay)
      Guess they’d only care about this story as a dog is involved. (Awwww. Cute. So sad….next? Yes, I’m so annoyed.)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. marthaschaefer / Nov 18 2015 6:52 pm

    As usual, very well said Phil. Thank you for the perspective.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 19 2015 2:08 am

      Staying steady and logical in the face of an event with so much emotion isn’t easy, but people need to try. Thanks for pacing along

      Liked by 1 person

  12. EllaDee / Nov 19 2015 4:16 am

    And the craziness inspires more… this morning i read this…… about our local Sydney shopping centre.

    “A man has been caught with a sub-machinegun in his bag at a major shopping centre in Sydney’s inner west, police say.As shoppers were heading to Marrickville Metro at lunchtime on Wednesday, the man travelled to the shopping centre by taxi with a Thompson-brand fully automatic sub-machine gun,148 rounds of .22 calibre ammunition and 44 shotgun shells.”

    Self-imposed media blackout is calling me.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 19 2015 3:06 pm

      Like you say – the weak minded quickly pick up the tune. Those who overly criticize the courageous police units need to go sit quietly in a closet right now and think a bit.
      You are right, time to shift: sunny day, music, dog nanny duties (the German is here briefly again…I must keep them off my feet). Thanks for checking by here


  13. Kourtney Heintz / Nov 21 2015 11:07 pm

    Tragedy brings out the best and worst I guess. It reveals inner strength and also absolute pettiness.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 23 2015 2:09 pm

      So odd crisis seems to spark people one way or the other. Then again, humans are basically odd? Thanks for stepping over to chat ( and hope there’s no more unplanned slip and slide for you!)



  1. No biting, you slouch. | Elements Hyperlocal Journalism Photo-blog

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