Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Victorian Values.

Cold, cold, I watched them build

the pigsty; looking like some scene

from “in the bleak midwinter.” Bleak

of all modern conveniences we

may have done better not to invent;

they had wood and coal, and oil

for lamps; no electric then, and gas

lamps only lit the cities, piped and

retorted from coal. The arrival of

crude oil may have saved the whale

in its millions from the lamps; powered

both the first and second leg of the

war of the worlds. Those clever

Germans made their fuel from coal -

ersatz, they called it, a substitute,

drawn into fraction in great plants in the

Ruhr; that flame of industry blown-up

and blown out by a million defecating

lancasters, or so the noise must have

seemed. Ever since, the third leg has

limped through good times and richer

ones, for the few who don’t really care.

We all blame the governments, who now

pick at the lining of their empty pockets

and beg each other to lend a few quid,

dollars, euros or gold pieces that should

be silver, and thirty in their number,

since that is the going rate for betrayal.

Christopher James Rhodes.

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