Saturday: Hili dialogue

April 30, 2022 • 4:05 am

PCC(E) is docking in Marrakesh, so another brief post.

In Dobrzyn, Hili is contemplative

Kulka: Do you think it will get better?

Hili: Only pessimists can rejoice that they were wrong.


Kulka: Czy sądzisz, że będzie lepiej?

Hili: Tylko pesymiści mogą się cieszyć z tego, że byli w błędzie.

Readers of certain age (many of you, I suspect) will undoubtedly have had this tune in their head at the mention of Marrakesh above. This version is a Crosby-Nash duo:

15 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1789 – On the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington takes the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.

    1897 – J. J. Thomson of the Cavendish Laboratory announces his discovery of the electron as a subatomic particle, over 1,800 times smaller than a proton (in the atomic nucleus), at a lecture at the Royal Institution in London.

    1905 – Albert Einstein completes his doctoral thesis at the University of Zurich.

    1939 – NBC inaugurates its regularly scheduled television service in New York City, broadcasting President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s N.Y. World’s Fair opening day ceremonial address.

    1943 – World War II: The British submarine HMS Seraph surfaces near Huelva to cast adrift a dead man dressed as a courier and carrying false invasion plans. – A new film about the episode, Operation Mincemeat has had good reviews, I think.

    1963 – The Bristol Bus Boycott is held in Bristol to protest the Bristol Omnibus Company’s refusal to employ Black or Asian bus crews, drawing national attention to racial discrimination in the United Kingdom.

    1973 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard Nixon announces that White House Counsel John Dean has been fired and that other top aides, most notably H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, have resigned.

    1980 – The Iranian Embassy siege begins in London.

    2008 – Two skeletal remains found near Yekaterinburg, Russia are confirmed by Russian scientists to be the remains of Alexei and Anastasia, two of the children of the last Tsar of Russia, whose entire family was executed at Yekaterinburg by the Bolsheviks.

    Births: As well as a bunch of dead royal dudes…

    1777 – Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician and physicist (d. 1855)

    1866 – Mary Haviland Stilwell Kuesel, American pioneer dentist (d. 1936)

    1877 – Alice B. Toklas, American memoirist (d. 1967)

    1896 – Reverend Gary Davis, American singer and guitarist (d. 1972)

    1938 – Larry Niven, American author and screenwriter

    1954 – Jane Campion, New Zealand director, producer, and screenwriter – recent winner of the Academy Award for Best Director for The Power of the Dog

    1975 – Johnny Galecki, American actor – And it all started with a big bang…

    Those who turned up their toes:
    1865 – Robert FitzRoy, English admiral, meteorologist, and politician, 2nd Governor of New Zealand (b. 1805) – later regretted the role he played in facilitating Darwin’s formulation of the theory of evolution.

    1883 – Édouard Manet, French painter (b. 1832)

    1900 – Casey Jones, American railroad engineer (b. 1863)

    1943 – Beatrice Webb, English sociologist and economist (b. 1858)

    1983 – Muddy Waters, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and bandleader (b. 1913)

    1994 – Richard Scarry, American author and illustrator (b. 1919) – Farewell to Busytown…

    2015 – Ben E. King, American singer-songwriter and producer (b. 1938)

    1. Thanks again Jezgrove, for doing the daily vitals while Jerry is adrift. Re 1963 bus boycott, i interpreted Fiona Hill, in her recently published autobiography/political commentary book, “There Is Nothing for You Here” as saying that race has been much less of an issue for discrimination than class, place, or accent in the UK. Other thoughts on that from UK commenters?

      1. Thanks for your kind words, Jim.

        The demographics and history of racial minorities in the UK are very unlike those of the US. According to the 2011 census the demographic split was: White: 87.2%; Black/African/Caribbean British: 3%; Indian/British: 2.3%; Pakistani/British: 1.9%; Mixed race: 2%; Other: 3.7%. And of course the Black British population are here through choice and not as the result of emancipation from enforced enslavement.

        I believe Fiona Hills’ father was a coal miner (as was mine before he turned to acting), so class is probably embedded in her (and my) “lived experience” as the kids say. So perhaps I’m biased when I think that you’re correct in saying that class has traditionally been a bigger factor for the British (compare the way the British in India regarded a Maharaja versus an ordinary Indian citizen, for example).

        Certainly, in the Victorian era there was a great deal of antipathy towards the (white) urban working class and the language of scholars venturing into inner city slums was strikingly similar to that of anthropologists going to study the inhabitants of “the dark continent”. (That said, the attitude to impoverished workers in rural England was very different and much more sympathetic.)

        At present, the lowest educational attainment amongst all combinations of ethnic groups is achieved by white boys from the “Traveller of Irish Heritage” group who were eligible for free school meals. (The eligibility of pupils for free school meals is used as a proxy for poverty in British education statistics.)

        Naturally, none of the above is to deny the existence of racism in the UK.

        1. Thank you for the very helpful reply, Jez. I will maybe push “da roolz” domination boundary a little bit in that it seems to be a relatively quiet day. Yes, Fiona’s father was a coal miner..third generation i think..who lost his job when the mines closed and she was a kid. But both he and her mother took advantage of retraining that was on offer or at least paid for by the government. They both ended up with jobs in healthcare – he a porter at the local hospital; she (her mother) a nurse there. Fiona and her sister took advantage of every opportunity to advance, including attending exchange programs, extracurricula training opportunities and working odd jobs. She had an interview for oxbridge, but was rebuffed by other students and some interviewers as soon as she spoke, as her working class, northeast accent identified her as “other”. That is, it wasn’t the accent itself but the connection of the accent to place and working class. She did get into St Andrews and then onto Harvard through government sponsored international exchange. She identifies barriers rather than solid brick walls. One of my British engineering colleagues at NASA made me aware of the working class accent issue some years ago as he suffered, as Fiona would, as a working class student at university in England and throughout graduate school. I had never really thought about accent in my U.S. college other than how interesting it was to hear one of our philosophy major classmates from the very rural mountains of southwest Virginia say “epistemology”….or another in her very, very, rural Georgia accent say just about anything. I never asked them about discrimination, but they were both extremely successful academically…though as I said, I cannot speak as to whether they felt or experienced any barriers. Since she had experience on both the U.S. and U.K. Fiona does a contrast and compare of her observations of barriers in each and the impacts on a rise in populism in both countries.

  2. From a police protocol of the Russians arrested by militiamen outside the Kremlin 🇷🇺:
    “…the detainees were holding invisible posters with anti-government slogans.”

    Somewhere the ghost of George Orwell is sitting up, blinking in astonishment and struggling to find words …

  3. I guess that I am of that certain age…the song immediately came to mind as I read the word Marakesh. Thanks for the memory video to kick off Saturday morning here on the East coast U.S. I am enjoying this week of our host being on Eastern Atlantic time and first commenters from UK and Europe.

  4. Is anyone planning to do a Caturday post?
    Absolute shedload of feline fun in this thread on Tw*tt*r
    Under the heading of

    “give me the smartest kitten you’ve got,” i said, “because it definitely won’t be like keeping a velociraptor occupied six hours a goddamn day”

    Which does rather make me wonder, how did juvenile velociraptors get “inducted” (if that’s the word) into the packs that are evidenced by footprint trails and tooth-marked bones?

  5. Damn those invisible posters. The one on the left is particularly bad. And I’m sure there’s a spelling mistake on the right-hand one?

  6. I would be slightly surprised if PCC(E) was actually docking in Marrakesh. Its about 100 miles inland.

  7. Ever since I was much younger, all I can think of when I hear of Marrakesh is that it’s the only place Belloq would have been able to sell the idol he stole from Indiana Jones at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost ark.

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