Sunday, May 15, 2011

Majestic Huntly, on a rainy Sunday, before and after closing time

Alright, I'm a crummy photographer. But how can Paul Scott and so many other members of the Aucklintelligenstia continue to sneer at the little coal town on the Waikato, when the mixture of chimneysmoke, diesel fumes, and toi toi spores can give the evening light such sutble modulations, as it glances off the muddy river? Beats me. How did the sneerers lose their sense of the exotic? Would they also sneer at Coleridge's Xanadu?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No it is still stink.

5:49 pm  
Blogger AngonaMM said...

I fully support your case for the raising of Huntly's poopular status. Being a South Islander, perhaps Reefton is a sister town to Huntly. I always liked Rftn (often maligned for its weather) for its mixture of coal smoke, drifting mist, abandoned coal tunnels and raging open fires (of hospitable urban-hippie types in miners' bungalows).

7:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huntly is a hell hole.

8:31 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Sherry said...
" I fully support your case for the raising of Huntly's popular status. Being a South Islander, perhaps Reefton is a sister town to Huntly. I always liked Rftn (often maligned for its weather) for its mixture of coal smoke, drifting mist, abandoned coal tunnels and raging open fires (of hospitable urban-hippie types in miners' bungalows..."

That's what attracted Leicester Kyle (poet, amateur scientist and and retired priest) to go down to live near there.

3:37 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Paul Scott values only the obvious. he would never qualify to be a "pylon poet".

3:39 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

I thought of buying a house in Huntly on the basis that house prices might be cheaper there. All I need is library, a Chess Club, and some way to get to second hand book shops (and my chess club).

No l'iery p'ele like Maps or JR or whoever never ring me or communicate (Maps you are bad you rarely even reply to emails...cut back on the Tramadol for God's sake! Even Ted cuts me out by having one of these goddam new fangled cell phones. Never hear form Titus himself, he has disappeared to another of these unfashionable places (which is a good thing in one way I suppose)...or any beautiful women...tragic life I lead...); up so it doesn't matter I can make friends with the local cleaner or an ex miner or the local psychotic dwarf.

Are all these people actually doing things? living in fact? Can we call it living?

The awful irony of the age of communications electronics (a field I was in, traitor that I was) when no bastard talks to any other bastard. In the 50s when I was young people used to talk to each other and write letters.

There was decency and goodness.

4:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has it ever occurred to you people that by briefly visiting and passing through and romanticising in passing towns like Reefton and Huntly YOU might be part of a decadent metropolitan intelligentsia? Think about it. Would any genuine Huntly-born or Reefton-born man or woman wax lyrical about Kubla Khan and Xanadu when they looked at their hometown? Noooo...

8:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS this may be of interest re the last post

In February 1861, just weeks after Louisiana seceded from the Union, Randall Lee Gibson enlisted as a private in a state army regiment. The son of a wealthy sugar planter and valedictorian of Yale’s Class of 1853, Gibson had long supported secession. Conflict was inevitable, he believed, not because of states’ rights or the propriety or necessity of slavery. Rather, a war would be fought over the inexorable gulf between whites and blacks, or what he called “the most enlightened race” and “the most degraded of all the races of men.” Because Northern abolitionists were forcing the South to recognize “the political, civil, and social equality of all the races of men,” Gibson wrote, the South was compelled to enjoy “independence out of the Union.” (Read Randall Lee Gibson’s article, “Our Federal Union.”)

Courtesy of Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University
Randall Lee Gibson at Yale.The notion that war turned on a question of black and white as opposed to slavery and freedom was hardly an intuitive position for Gibson or for the South. Although Southern society was premised on slavery, the line between black and white had always been permeable. Since the 17th century, people descended from African slaves had been assimilating into white communities. It was a great migration that was covered up even as it was happening, its reach extending into the most unlikely corners of the South: although Randall Gibson was committed to a hardline ideology of racial difference, this secret narrative of the American experience was his family’s story.

Gibson’s siblings proudly traced their ancestry to a prosperous farmer in the South Carolina backcountry named Gideon Gibson. What they didn’t know was that when he first arrived in the colony in the 1730s, he was a free man of color. At the time the legislature thought he had come there to plot a slave revolt. The governor demanded a personal audience with him and learned that he was a skilled tradesman, had a white wife and had owned land and slaves in Virginia and North Carolina. Declaring the Gibsons to be “not Negroes nor Slaves but Free people,” the governor granted them hundreds of acres of land. The Gibsons soon married into their Welsh and Scots-Irish community along the frontier separating South Carolina’s coastal plantations from Indian country. It did not matter if the Gibsons were black or white — they were planters.

Courtesy of Cowan’s Auctions, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio
Hart Gibson, Randall’s brother, in Confederate cavalry uniform.The Gibsons were hardly alone in their journey from black to white. Hundreds of families of color had gained their freedom in the colonial era because they had English mothers, and within a generation or two, they could claim to be white. Their claims were supported by law, which never drew the color line at “one drop” of African ancestry in the antebellum era. Most Southern states followed a one-quarter or one-eighth rule: anyone with a black grandparent or great-grandparent was legally black, and those with more remote ancestry were legally white. Antebellum South Carolina, though, never had a legal definition of race. “It may be well and proper,” a state judge and leading defender of slavery wrote in 1835, “that a man of worth, honesty, industry and respectability, should have the rank of a white man, while a vagabond of the same degree of blood should be confined to the inferior caste.” Preserving the institution of slavery mattered far more than preserving the purity of white “blood.” As long as people who claimed to be white were productive members of society — in effect, supporting the prevailing order — it made little sense to mandate a stricter measure of race.

8:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

continued -

When the Gibsons moved west in the 1790s, they had money and land and slaves, but professed to know very little about their history, explaining a tendency towards dark complexion with vague accounts of Gypsy or Portuguese roots. They soon epitomized the manners and attitudes of the planter aristocracy. Randall Gibson grew up shuttling between a family mansion in Lexington, Ky., where his mother was from, and Live Oak, a sugar plantation in Terrebonne Parish, La., where his father had sought his fortune. He knew the family’s slaves well and often asked after them in his letters home from Yale, referring to them always as “servants.” Gibson’s father, a Whig and longtime supporter of “the Great Compromiser” Henry Clay, gave significant responsibility to his slaves, hiring no outside overseers. Indeed, Tobias Gibson repeatedly expressed dismay at the institution. “I am in conscience opposed to slavery,” he wrote. “I don’t like it and the older I get the worse it seems.” Such sentiment provided an easy way for him to feel virtuous about his way of life — disliking slavery made him an enlightened master.

Enlisting in the Louisiana army represented a humbling new start for Randall Gibson. At Yale he had been lionized by his classmates, the flower of a select group of Southerners walking in the footsteps of John C. Calhoun and Judah P. Benjamin. Gibson had thought of himself and his peers as the nation’s great hope, an educated brotherhood that could guide the country through sectional crisis. The years that followed his graduation, however, were full of disappointment. He studied law, only to decide that he did not wish to practice. After traveling around Europe, he bought a sugar cane plantation near his father’s land southwest of New Orleans, but could not make a profit and found the neighbors distasteful.

Almost as soon as Gibson returned to Louisiana from Yale, he embraced an uncompromising Southern position on slavery, declaring his opinions to be “as decided as if I were a member of Congress.” This was a predictable stance: without a fortune or connections to the primarily Northern-born merchant elite in New Orleans, Gibson could not afford to take an unpopular political stance. At the same time, he became convinced that “Southern society is based, its life and soul are staked, upon the inequality of the races, not only its aims, its expansion and progress, but its very existence.”

8:56 pm  
Blogger maps said...

Hi Sherry,

I only been to Reefton for a night, and there was a brawl on the street outside the motel where I stayed. Apart from that memorable
event I didn't get much sense of the town, but I did notice a School of Mines building: is that a functioning institution, or a sort of museum, like the old School of Mines at Thames?

I suppose one difference between Reefton and Huntly would be the Tainui presence in Huntly: the historic Lake Waahi marae and the new outlier of the Tainui wananga based (I think) down the road in Ngaruawahia give the town focuses beyond that huge power mill.

Have you seen any of the writings the late Leicester Kyle produced about Buller? He was something of a Buller nationalist, I think...

3:14 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maps vs Kiwibloggers in the comments thread


10:01 am  
Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

Can't speak for Huntly, but one thing that can be said about Coleridge's Xanadu is that people don't sneer at it nearly enough.

11:53 am  
Blogger Skyler said...

I thought you were a Romantic, Giovanni?

2:30 pm  
Blogger Skyler said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:30 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

To sneer at Coleridge or at 'Kubla Kahn' is to demonstrates a huge ignorance of literature and a pathetic and hopeless inability to think or feel.

Such as person is eternally and sadly a "Persona non grata". Clearly Not some one with whom to discuss literature or art.

6:02 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Xanadu - Kubla Khan a poem
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(for Tiso and his ilk)

Kubla Khan

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me
That with music loud and long
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

6:03 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

'Christabel' is a great poem also.

6:06 pm  
Blogger Skyler said...

Harsh words, Richard. What about Giovanni's love of Oriosto?

6:10 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Tiso has a very "simple philosophy of life". For example he denies the clear possibility that 9/11 was in "inside job", and he well knows it could have been.

Tiso clearly hasn't studied the truth criteria for (epistemological) Knowledge, including the Gettier objections etc...

6:36 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

John Ashbery mentioned Ariosto in a poem and Bill Direen has also read him with great gusto so I will concede hat Dr G Tiso must have something of an "ear" )...(Obviously I cant read it in Italian as Professor Giovanni can)...

But this may be so, perhaps I was rash and a little harsh.

But I doubt if he has ever seriously considered deeply The Question of Evil.

6:42 pm  
Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

But I doubt if he has ever seriously considered deeply The Question of Evil.

I'm not sure where you get that I deny the possibility that 9/11 is an inside job - probably from inside your own head. What I have done is reject the particular inside job theory of Mr Gage et al, but for that what you need to consider is The Question of Stupid. Which I have done, very deeply.

As for Coleridge, well, de gustibus I suppose. I remain firm in my conviction that his poetic (as opposed to critical) work is vastly overrated, and that he's certainly not worthy of sitting on the same shelf as an Ariosto.

7:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Italian cultural chauvinism!

11:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha ha MASSIVE debate at Kiwiblog between Maps and some ACT Party staffers it's all about MARX!

1:02 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Italian chavs? Didn't know they existed ha

1:03 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Comrade Tiso takes everything so seriously!! I thought he would be is being silly buggers all the time when I said "The Question of Evil"...

Coleridge is a good poet, an important thinker, Kublai Kahn isn't his best work. But the whole question of his worth needs to eb examined in the wider context of the history of poetry. Ariosto was a different time and wrote a very different kind of poetry. He was perhaps of a naive age.

As a teenager I was powerfully affected by that poem (as well as of course "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner") and many of Keats and Wordsworth as well as possibly Blake. Keats was my favourite and R A K Mason.

I've never read Ariosto.I cant place the Ashbery ref rot him it was kind of en passant in "America" or "Youth" which are in his book 'A Tennis Court Oath'

By chance I just saw ref to something Yeats (via Pater) said re the (not known if "true") portrait of Ariosto in "Romantic Image" by Frank Kermode. He is talking of Yeat's ideal image of the artist. The blank eyes and so on! But Titian's supposed portrait has no effect on me...but for Yeats the idea of true poetical art was "... characterless; or of Titian's portrait of 'Ariosto' where the face is like some vessel soon to be full of wine...'The girl's lack of character, the 'emptiness' of Ariosto's face, are emblems of the tragic art Yeats wants...."

Here is Ashbery:

Soonest Mended

Barely tolerated, living on the margin
In our technological society, we were always having to be rescued
On the brink of destruction, like heroines in Orlando Furioso
Before it was time to start all over again.
There would be thunder in the bushes, a rustling of coils,
And Angelica, in the Ingres painting, was considering
The colorful but small monster near her toe, as though wondering
whether forgetting
The whole thing might not, in the end, be the only solution.
And then there always came a time when
Happy Hooligan in his rusted green automobile
Came plowing down the course, just to make sure everything was O.K.,
Only by that time we were in another chapter and confused
About how to receive this latest piece of information.
Was it information?

6:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why the fuck so many comments about four photos?

Haven't some of you people got something better to do with your lives?

Did like the poem by Richard Taylor though. He's mad as a snake sometimes but has a finely crazy turn of phrase in that bacon and eggs poem!

8:22 pm  
Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

Why the fuck so many comments about four photos?

Haven't some of you people got something better to do with your lives?

Given that you felt compelled to comment on the number of comments about four photos, I think you may want to worry about where your own life is going.

8:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude. I was being joyously self-referentially postmodern! Don't take it the wrong way!

Rockin' on to 27...

9:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS Can anyone believe fuckin' Chris Trotter
Calling the budget a moderately good hand...

Isn't he SUPPOSED to be on the LEFT???????

9:14 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Anon - well, we should maybe be concentrating on the question of - well in the next post maps talks about anti-traveling - something I am also interested in. Giovanni blasted Coleridge (referenced by Maps) I counter blasted (half seriously as Giovanni and I and other had had a huge argument about, well it was around certain theories of what happened on 9/11 - the insane anti-Semitic and other conspiracy people out-shouted the more rational (!) or the more rationally insane ones such as me. In any case it got very heated and bustly and turbid and turbulent and then I realized that really it (I mean the Coleridgean war and the whole vexed question of Romanticism and Symbolisme versus Classicism (and Postmodernist Existentialistical Stupidical and Ontological Huntlyism etc)…) was all a bit trivial especially as Senor Tiso was getting rather irate and, well, he is a very serious and deeply troubled, but undoubtedly, a passionate and sincere man, I believe; and so I lightened (or inflamed!) it all up with the famous joke that Maps once made to me. Ergo.

Turning to face me in a (supposed) interview):

"And what do you think of the question of evil?"

Which surprised me and (after my initial shock of awful recognition) caused considerable amusement to us both.

This then became a kind of mantra... people become "evil"... Evil became a term of endearment but it all slowly lost its impact, as Maps grew more and more philosophic and angrily serious in his terrible and bitter drive towards the cold Moscow of his search for political power. Witness his terrific and almost suicidal battles right now on Kiwi Blog. Always such a search begins innocently as a search for Higher Truth or Goodness, but dark Nature corrupts Man by its terrible force.

My own jokes are often from Dudley Moore and Peter Cook's rather risqué "Derek and Clive" series.

The trouble is I forget that other people don't necessarily know that series. After all I am 63 and recall vividly the Goonshow on Radio, in that wonderful time when there was no Television to corrupt our lives. So I could make a Goonshow joke, thinking everyone understood and they would be baffled and I would be baffled that they were so baffled.

Get to my age and time just jumps around and indeed I move in kind of constant "flow" so I soon forget what I have or haven't said. Yesterday is as vivid or perhaps less so than say day in 1955 or 1981.

I can understand Giovanni getting a bit annoyed though...I have to concede I say things on here that my daughters wouldn't let me say!! And I say a lot of stupid things for sure but that is me I seem to just ramble on whatever...Can't seem to fix the problem!! Maybe I never grew up...

As one gets older one relishes any chance to be "naughty", and to be a Toad of Toad Hall. Maybe in order to catch up with all those powerless times of one's life!! All very Freudian I suppose.

I like that Comrade Marshall Tito does but he does get very grumpy or maybe that is his way of taking the piss also...

He is very intense and intelligent and fiery young man, I am a decayed old dodderer squatting in an estaminet (whatever that is!) or wheezing or listening to the rats' feet over broken glass, or something of that ilk. (Naughty old T S Toad!).

7:06 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Actually I had to stop up rat holes in my own house but lately the rats seem to have gone. Do they hibernate in winter? I believe they are quite intelligent mammals.

I did consider going to live in Huntly but it is still a bit far from Auckland. I should be able to make money on my house though, as Huntly is probably not very fashionable locale! I'd rather live in Ponsonby of course. (Maps romantically thinks I chose to live in working class area!! No way!! )

I just read some interviews with the eccentric artists Gilbert and George (now Gilbert was from Italy but his language is a variant of Italian I forget Prof. Gio might know)- really interesting and sometimes very funny (interviews, part of a series with artists), interesting they live with a huge income in a working class area of London, and they love it.

I loved the YouTube of them doing their living sculpture and playing the music to "Underneath the Arches". It recalled me to Gavin Bryars and Tom Waits doing the recording of the (real) tramp in "Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet"

7:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giovanni/Richard. You're not a psychopath. I'm not either, despite being once diagnosed as one. I'm a loner and a solipsist and have a hard time with empathy and understanding that other people are real and have feelings.

But I've never intentionally hurt anyone. I have, however, been in a relationship with a genuine psychopath. They do not suffer from any sort of self-doubts or have the slightest concern for other people, and neither do they worry about how others perceive them. If you worry you might be a psychopath, you're definitely not one.

11:41 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giovanni/Richard. You're not a psychopath. I'm not either, despite being once diagnosed as one. I'm a loner and a solipsist and have a hard time with empathy and understanding that other people are real and have feelings.

But I've never intentionally hurt anyone. I have, however, been in a relationship with a genuine psychopath. They do not suffer from any sort of self-doubts or have the slightest concern for other people, and neither do they worry about how others perceive them. If you worry you might be a psychopath, you're definitely not one.


Well I am deeply relieved! We (Giovanni and I) are relatively sane!

I was about to get the number 54 bus to Golders Green "And by the time I'd finished I slaughtered 30,000 of them. The power of television..."

3:18 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Just joking. Seriously, I appreciate what you are saying.

I am neurasthenic or I have generalized anxiety etc but I am otherwise pretty good and have been able to have several jobs, raise a family and all the rest. I am more or less retired now.

As teenager I was very introverted, and I am interested in explicating my experiences in those days maybe to help others who might be like me. Some get suicidal.

But I will cover that slowly on my own Blog which is not discursive necessarily, however.

I don't dislike Giovanni, just think he is a bit too serious. But maybe hat is a good thing. He certainly has a good heart and s very intelligent and clearly quite gifted.

Actually I am glad he raised the attack against Gage or whoever he was (not that I thought all his ideas were wrong, but the anti-Semites and the others are often pretty crazy))...we all had a huge argument but my own views got distorted perhaps by others with malicious designs against my integrity and there was some animosity directed mostly versus GT but it was all in the heat of battle so to speak....and these days most battles (especially online) are fortunately bloodless!!

I am probably a bit too silly and old and doddery too laid back.

3:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Richard. I just try to reassure. After all. I've BEEN there!

PS Is there any way the destructive episodes (self-?) can be reversed?

Medication, meditations, etc

Edgar Stott Clinic

4:54 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

"Thanks Richard. I just try to reassure. After all. I've BEEN there!

PS Is there any way the destructive episodes (self-?) can be reversed?

Medication, meditations, etc

Edgar Stott Clinic"

I'm not self-destructive. But thanks for your comments!

11:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus has come, few were saved, even less noticed his presence, but May 21st was still Judgement Day. If you are reading this blog, then you were not saved by Jesus in the Second Coming, and have been left behind during the End of Days. There are just five months remaining until the End of The World on October 21 2011. Prepare yourself for the End Times now by stocking up on water, canned goods, and appropriate clothing before the End of The World.

How to Prepare for the Apocalypse
You can prepare for the Apocalypse, now that the Rapture has come and gone, by acknowledging that you have been missed in the Second Coming of Jesus. There were millions saved that went unnoticed on May 21st, but the signs that Jesus is back until the End of the World will soon become much more evident as time goes on.

12:46 am  
Anonymous Edgar Stott Clinic said...

Richard Taylor. It is often very hard for one to know one is not self-destructive/a psychopath without outside intervention.

Google my clinic/service if you like.

Help is there.

The past CAN be reversed.

Edgar Stott
Edgar Stott Clinic

12:32 am  

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