Date of publication: 2017-08-31 09:54
Happily the town was familiar to me, and with my luggage I proceeded on foot up Chowringhee until I had found the old Raj hostelry called the Great Eastern, its air swished by rusting oil-sputter fans from high cracked-plaster ceilings. Now a government hotel, it was also booked out for the Republic of India’s governing elite but I knew I’d have a chance there. Theatrically declaiming my plight at the counter, the governor of the State of Kerala stepped forward to say he would share a room with his deputy, surrendering his own quarters to “our foreign guest.” This is the sort of thing that only happens in that country why I have loved India so intensely.
I doubt it actually started then, but I recall from my childhood in the ’sixties the drumroll building for “relevance.” Those with incorrect (. non-Left) views were deemed irrelevant, and sometimes shouted down. But most were just ignored.
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Compliant, complaisant, acquiescent. Docile, submissive, ingratiating. Servile, tractable, obsequious. Ever deferential, glad to be of use. This is what my fellow Canadians have become, though we were not in the past, according to my elders (now mostly dead). When unreasonable demands were made upon them, their inclination was to stiffly resist. Ours is to be chumps, patsies, dupes, treacle saps. In our vanity we think that we are “nice” people, and celebrate our own gormlessness.
I present the Four Horsemen in this rather Florentine way, to end on the surprise of “sedition.” In the revelation to John, on Patmos, the one thing clear is that they ride out on horses “white, red, black, and pale.” I think then as now the association of pale was with ghostly, “ghastly,” not beige. This last harbinger of pestilence and death is followed by Hades, with jaws yawning to receive the slain. Note that what may merely kill us, is nothing to that death behind death.
From other sources, I must vindicate the reputation of octopodes as talkers. The Darwinoids assume the ability to change colours through intricate patterns in a sudden spectacular way (so that an octopus may disappear without moving) was some evolutionary development for camouflage. But it is also their method of communication. Though solitary by disposition, a travelling octopus can hold one conversation with his swim-mate to the right, another unrelated with his swim-mate on the left flashing his chromatophores distinctly to each, by way of rhetorical emphasis. (Our politicians have a more primitive form of this ability.)
The will to rebellion lies behind both. The rebellion is against God. The tyrant, as the rebel, seeks for himself a power to which he was never entitled. For justice requires deference to the Lord, in all times and from all stations. The loss of this deference atheism, in a word must necessarily involve the loss of all natural order.
And a goose. No, no, gentle reader: not a gander, and most certainly not a gosling, but a full-fledged, thoughtful and courageous Barnacle Goose. It will be the symbol of my gallant Regressive Party: the steadfast goose, on guard against any sort of innovation.