Comments kaput?

November 18, 2003 at 9:52 pm | In yulelogStories | 3 Comments

While others are putting comments in, my comments function seems to be imploding. Three comments in the last little while, and they’re not showing up. Maybe tomorrow?

Testing, testing, over and definitely out

November 18, 2003 at 9:20 pm | In yulelogStories | 2 Comments

Irrespective of today’s interesting international political developments, which may be much more important to blog about, it’s a “me me me” moment just now. I’m upset by the self-diagnostic tests that Chris Locke has been pointing to. First there was the which happy bunny are you? test that pegged me as “cute but psychotic.” To hell with that, I am not cute. Handsome, maybe. Manly even, especially in my dominatrix suit with add-on body-hair options, but “cute”? Nuh-uh. Then there was the more recent Personality Disorder Test. In keeping with my usual scientific approach, I answered “yes” to every question and ended up well and truly psychotic. Then I thought, “the truth will set you free,” and decided to play straight. But I still came out crazy, which might mean that this particular Truth’s sense of freedom wears a straightjacket. Or that the test is as idiotic as I suspected.

Rageboy has put a comment box (back) on his blog, which I guess means that I could just tell him outright that the test stinks. However, I have the impression he thinks I’m an idiot, so I won’t say so there, and instead say my unpeaceful piece here: these tests are stupid. Firstly, too many questions start with “Do you believe…?” “Do you prefer…?” “Do you tend…?” Talk about subjective airy-fairyness! But it’s worse than that: even the “objective” questions (“Do you find it hard to concentrate on one thing for a long time?”) are idiotic because it depends on what time of day, what time of month, and what the ages of your children are when you’re being asked the question! As IF it were the case that people are so bereft of imagination as to be unable to place themselves into these various situations: Is your appearance considered eccentric by other people? Well, yes, that mustard smeared along my lower arm might be considered a trifle eccentric since it doesn’t match the rest of my clown outfit, but I was distracted making the vinaigrette when one of my kids needed help with the formula for the area of a trapezoid. Are there really still people who cling to notions of eccentric appearance, with today’s abundance of body-piercings, butt-crack exposing clothing on outrageously fat people, and personal choices regarding stepping outside of the branding net? If I’m branded I’m normal, if I’m not, I’m ….? What’s eccentric here?

Or how about this stupid question: “Do you take actions without thinking about the consequences?” As in, do you defend your ideals regardless of “safety”? Or are you a political weasel? Let’s see, I guess it’s more “normal” to be a weasel. Or, “Do you sometimes profit at the expense of others, without being bothered by the pain or damage you may cause them?” Let’s see, if you answer truthfully — namely “yes” because you, yes YOU YOU YOU — are profitting daily from the pain of others as you shop at the big box store and drive your stinking SUV, you’ll instantly slide into some pseudo-“schizoid” category. But if you LIE — if you’re a weasel, in other words, or if you’re so deluded as to be unable to recognize your culpability in the global scheme of things — you will come out a saint of normality.

It’s bloody hopeless!

“Do you consider your needs to be more important to you [sic; emphasis added] than the needs of others?” Please, please: what honest person could possibly answer anything but “yes” to this? “Oh no, mater, honestly, I don’t consider my needs more important to me than the needs of my evil careless boss or my ingrate kids or the stupid neighbour across the street who endlessly worries his yard at every free moment but still manages to make it look like vanilla out of a bottle.” At least my yard looks like interesting trash!

“Do your moods fluctuate a lot?” Duh. No. I. am. robotic. I. never. have. mood.swings. beep beep.

“Are you prone to bouts of anger?” Actually, I am assiduous in taking my Evening Primrose Oil, which is a boon to anyone plagued by PMS, but yes, I do have bouts of anger. I just have to read the fcuking papers to have one. Or take a dumb test like this. Or read about “anger management,” another idiotic thing.

“Do you often feel like people are saying negative things about you behind your back?” Do I feel? Feel they are? Hey, I know they are. It’s a given, isn’t it, that if you’re writing a blog off the top of your head some person is going to say, “what a jerk”? And what’s often? Once a day? Twice? Once a month? A year? Doesn’t it depend on how good my memory is? So if I have a very good memory and a very keen visual imagination and I can remember things better than you brain-dead moron can, that makes me a psycho? And you normal? Come on!

But actually I answered “no” to that question, because — as the test told me — I’m anti-social and therefore don’t give a hoot about what other people think.

“Do you …see things in black and white terms?” Are you kidding, I live in grey on grey. I differentiate between the lettuce leaves I toss for that salad that got me smeared with Dijon mustard up to my elbow. Morons.

Am I uninterested in the feelings of others? Mostly. Yup. Why should I care? What others are we talking about, exactly? I mean, if I cared about the feelings of others, how could I continue to live in this exploiting environment? (See the question re. profitting at the expense of others, above.) I care very very much about some people concretely, and I care about all people abstractly. I just don’t care about you concretely.

Do people have trouble following my train of thought? I sure as hell hope so. I don’t want to sound like my neighbours with their endless supply of yard-vanilla.

Are you quick to anger when expectations aren’t met? Which expectation? That I can eat at least one lousy meal in peace, without feeling like a hunted animal? Or have a shower when I want one? Well, what do you think you’re going to feel about your expectations if you have young children and your life is momentarily GONE, as in: sacrificed. One of the truly woof-woof-nearly-new-agey experiences I’m having lately is that I do sometimes get 5 minutes to myself because the kids are getting older. Hurray. Again: it’s a stupid question ’cause it has no context. It purports to be abstract, but it can’t be, ’cause it’s a sociological/psychological question, and everything in questions of that nature depends on CONTEXT. If you want abstract, you have to know logic. And this test is sadly bereft of logic.

Do I intentionally injure myself? I have my poisons, yes. I indulge in weaknesses. But that’s because I’m normal, and not some freaking abnormal ram-rod straight fascist. I admit to my human weaknesses and frailties. So what?

“Do you consider yourself having a strong love for approval and praise?” Is this really English? Are they just looking for variants of the “Do you believe, do you believe, do you believe?” opener? Oh yeah, I believe, I believe.

That’s what this silly test is. Stupid new American religion. Get your 15 minutes of testing fame, and make it into an eternity of labelled salvation. Dumb.

Have I had recurrent thoughts of suicide? Again, this is the “superior imagination and memory” pitfall question. What context are we talking about? Thoughts of suicide when I was really sad, like when I lived in Boston? Working my soul down to my soles as an adjunct professor without prospects? Well, duh, that was depressing and according to the Red Line advert I read, I was clinically depressed. So do I include that and answer “yes,” or ignore it and lie by answering “no,” because I don’t feel like doing myself in just now, at this time? I mean, what level of truth are they interested in here?

Here’s a good one: “Have you ever been in jail or done something that you could be put in jail for?” Which state of the union? Huh? Which century? Which country? Which sex??? Hey, in Nigeria I could probably be stoned to death for things I’ve done. Again: where’s the context? How about asking the question, “To what extent have you internalised the Polizei in your life?”

Now, this test is going to tell me I’m anti-social. Well, I’m not. I’m just a whole lot smarter than the idiots who thought this stupid test up!!

Do other people accuse me of being self-centered? Well, they would if I were to let the idiots get to know me. As it is, I screen very very carefully.

Anyway, let’s cut to the chase. When I score my results and look at the categories, I have to laugh out loud. Schizotypal, for example, is a riot. The description starts, “Many believe that schizotypal blahblahblah…” So here we are back to “belief.” Give me a break. This “personality disorder” is supposed to represent “mild schizophrenia.” How in hell’s bells name can a personality disorder represent another personality disorder? People with this mythical disorder of representation often have “elaborate and difficult to follow” speech. No, that’s completely wrong. People with this “disorder” just have better vision.

Borderline: characterised by mood instability and poor self-image. As far as I can tell, this again is a byproduct of being able to see things a bit more clearly than all the other drones. Who wouldn’t get depressed? The “diagnosis” also says we think in “black and white” terms, which is completely wrong in my case. There is nothing black and white to determine here. This test is crap, end of story.

Narcissist: choosy about choosing friends. Duh. Sounds like a plus as far as I can tell, given all the stupidos out there. We have difficulty maintaining longterm relationships. Good riddance, I say, especially if it’s a relationship with this idiotic typically American-media-tised therapy culture.

High on antisocial. Ah yes, poison of choice.

Now here’s the key: if you change your gender on this question, it will alter the results slightly, but not significantly. If, however, you answer the final question “no” instead of “yes,” you’re magically dubbed much more normal than if you answer “yes.” What is the last question?

“Were your parents cold and distant or treated you negatively when you were growing up?”

This means that if your parents were actually nice people who never made you crazy, you are magically given a leg-up to normality. (And as a survivor of truly off-the-charts parents, I can tell you I’m jealous of your normality. See, I’m normal; I can admit to it.) If you are in denial and lie about your parents having been nice people when in fact they were not, you will also be dubbed more normal than truth-tellers: that is, liers or people in denial “win.” If, however, you know the evil truth, if you have an inkling of the deformations that were performed on you in this “civilising” process called becoming “normal,” you will be classified as …abnormal.

Therapy culture: it’s the new Old Time Religion, very modern! Once you’ve borne witness, you get this “snapshot,” this crummy 15-minute version of your eternal self, and that’s your new faith. Sing it: Psycho am I, this I know, ’cause the tester tells me so…. Just don’t really rock the machine.

Beam me up, Scotty.

(PS: After reading Mike Golby’s wonderful comment on Chris Locke’s blog, I added my own two cents after all. So put “no self-control” on my list of sins. See if I care. Moron.)

Recent additions

November 18, 2003 at 7:13 pm | In yulelogStories | 2 Comments

I’d like to alert readers to some blogroll additions. Yesterday I added Maria Benet of Alembic — highly recommended, go read her. I also pointed to Katy’s I am eating my husband’s soul, whose humour is in the tradition of Alfred Jarry‘s Pere Ubu creations (meaning: truly absurd and completely anti-social), and I’ve added her to the blogroll because I believe in keeping people confused (I mean, does it make sense to have Katy and …ooh, Netfuture on the same list? No? Good!), and a mystery blog, Fundelupa, about whose author I know nothing except that s/he probably knows Hungarian, which is highly recommendable all in itself. The only Hungarian I know is, roughly phonetically, “Czokol megga tseggum, te mayum,” which, as I said is reeee-aaly phonetic, but was told in 1975 or so (before you were born, before I was born, in fact) means, “Kiss my ass, you monkey.” Which is not what I want to say to Fundelupa, I’m just trying to impress him/her with my international linguistic skill. Bwahaha. (That’s French for heeheehee.) Fundelupa has very cool links, to newsitems about Tholos in London and Vienna, and similar stuff. Hip.

Something Funny

November 17, 2003 at 10:47 pm | In yulelogStories | 3 Comments

I think it’s massively funny. You might not, but thanks to Dave Pollard for the link to I am eating my husband’s soul, the blog of a woman who calls herself Katy. An excerpt:

Last night we had dinner at Curt and Sarah’s house, who are long-time friends of Eric’s.

Often I sense hostility and something else… befuddlement?… when I am around Eric’s friends.

The Animal Slaves

November 16, 2003 at 12:31 am | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on The Animal Slaves

After my last post, I had to play the Animal Slaves. Elizabeth Fischer is the most amazing vocalist, and Rachel Melas on bass is fantastic. And giving the guy in this trio his due, Ross Hales on drums is excellent, keeps it steady. Guest guitarists on Animal Slaves (on MO-DA-MU records, 1984) are Elaine Steff, Harris van Berkel, Neal Osborne, and David Phyall. It’s only a 45 — not even an LP — but shit, this record is good. It makes me glad that I was just young enough to catch punk, which was angry, me-me-me, but also had enough strength on its good days to turn that rage into political insight. And on that note, here are a couple of the other songs from this album (see my previous post for the lyrics to Scratching Hives):

Contrary to Rumour

Contrary to rumour I’m not a junkie, I nod off to contemplate myself,
And I still have all the original pictures on the floor,
And I’m mashing my feet into the glass.
When you think of me think of two people — myself, and the driver within.
How would you like to have someone stumbling all over your tender organs with her dirty feet.
There is someone living my life and I don’t know her.
Do you want her, I don’t want her.
Take all my pictures and letters away.
Contrary to rumour I’m cold sober, in a rage deluding myself with the golden glow of self-confidence.
It kills the pain of seeing yourself.

That’s on side two. Side one includes:

Wasting Time

Carving corners, corrosive introspection, allusions delusions, illusionary fusions.
In order of importance one two three discreet collusion.
Tete-a-tete metric, find the sceptic.
Moving targets bent on cremation. Crabapple tenants always eat together.
Infamous infested with the seeds of corruption and wasting time with numbers.
Fellow pharmacists wired for hire, narcotic toiletries to pass the time.
Gnawing on bones in the interest of justice, stuffing the holes with a good time.
Coffeecup warriors with character references, complex conmen crying crocodile tears.
Young yearn flounder. Talk about it. Passing sentences, proscribing programs of social protest. Talk about it.


Man from Glad

The newspaper is reading me, it tells me what I want to be.
What I don’t know is not good for me, I bought myself a policy.
God lives on a rack at the supermarket, dispences advice for trading stamps.
A friend indeed is a friend in bed, that is what the good book said.
I’m so happy, I’m fine. The television tells the time.
Time for breakfast, time for bath, time to meet the man from glad.
I’m so glad.
Before I go to bed at night I give thanks with all my might for the arrid desert in my head.
What I don’t know won’t kill me dead.

It’s hard to convey just how good these songs are if you can’t hear Elizabeth Fischer‘s voice or Rachel Melas‘s bass (yes, and Ross Hales‘s drums) because the meaning of the words is modulated and changed by the expressiveness of the voice and the pacing of bass and drums. One of the key things that expressionism strives for — and sometimes achieves — is letting a mimetic moment escape the control of language (and I’m including art and technology as language): at its best, expression becomes an in-your-face moment unmediated by your ability to harness that objective otherness into something you can handle/ sort/ classify/ …control. It instead touches you there, someplace other than language, which can be a very dangerous place. (At its worst, it’s bathos, schlock, and kitsch, but Animal Slaves didn’t have that problem.) That’s probably why Plato counselled against poets and theatre: he suspected that theatrical expressiveness could cut the binding consensus, the web, the matrix of agreed upon convention, the convention that says that I am a sovereign subject while everything around me is (to me) an object. The kind of mimesis I’m talking about is not a case of one subject coolly imitating another subject (and thereby making that subject into an object, an Other); real theatre transforms you-the-subject. You get knocked off your throne for a few seconds, you get to freefall into the other, you get to experience alterity. Animal Slaves manages this, and then — because this is 80s punk, and it’s Canadian, on the Pacific fringe of punk Vancouver — they raise the curtain on a social theatre, brilliantly.

For Fischer’s voice, for example, imagine a cross between Marianne Faithful at her most edgy, add a late 1940s film noir movie diva voice at its most paranoid (think Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard), and then mix in the breathy orgasmic strains of a little bird dying a little death. That’s Fischer’s voice. And the bass! Controllers everywhere must be spinning in their graves, bwahaha!

Chinese Restaurant

The writing’s on the wall, I’m waiting for the fall.
Fifteen years of slinging hash, fifteen years behind a bar, fifteen years of singing in a Chinese restaurant.
Pink cheeks glowing in the firelight, imaginary demons to fight.
Protect the right of the white to turn daylight into night.
Monkey see, monkey do, I smear my chest with a jar of goo.
I pound my chest, I howl my thanks, I leave my organs to the organ banks.
What was once good has turned to dust. You made a religion of rust.
Thanks to you what was once blue has turned into a ball of glue.

It was a great moment of expression, I’m thinking to myself nostalgically: a certain kind of 80s punk, in an ex-colonial outpost, still oddly far from the looming cynicism produced by corporate capitalism and instant cooptation through advertising, not yet enmeshed by MTV…. Real theatre, not predigested scripts.

Bah, nostalgia….


Hidden, crouching

November 15, 2003 at 8:37 pm | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on Hidden, crouching

I went to Chinatown this afternoon to buy Emma some “kung-fu” slippers. She needs a pair of simple black “shoes” for some performances.

I’m so tired. Well, not really tired as much as … affectively frozen? There’s a great Joni Mitchell song on Hejira:

Dora says, “Have children!”
Mama and Betsy say — “Find yourself a charity.
Help the needy and the crippled
Or put some time into Ecology.”
Well, there’s a wide wide world of noble causes
And lovely landscapes to discover
But all I want to do, right now
Is ….find another lover!
Song for Sharon

Being an experienced married woman who can get all the lovin’ she needs, I don’t need any Hejira on that count: it’s not another lover I want. What I desire is a long conversation with an old friend who will gossip with me about all the compass points in our lives. Yes! I want to trash him or her, take that one apart, put that one together, speculate about this one, tut-tut about that one. I’m really fed up with scratching at my own hives or reading about the cyberhives of my virtual friends. I need blood. Fresh, warm, blood that means something to me.

The Animal Slaves, another great 80s bandVancouver local, too — had a song called Scratching Hives which echoes in a concrete bunker that’s really cold, but really real:

Let’s hear it for the easy solutions that present themselves effortlessly as whispered platitudes
Insidiously convincing, carefully blanketing self-conceived madness.
I give you my madness, parttake [sic] of it freely,
like medicine gone bad it cures nothing.
If ingested thoughtlessly it poisons absolutely all imagined invalids with real illness.
With the trembling of the knees, with the rolling of the eyes, with delusions of grandiose largesse of the spirit,
with lascivious hiccups of empty air I amuse the allergic by scratching my hives.
It manifests it self as the uncontrollable urge to flap one’s lips around well-constructed phrases,
to spew forth infesting like germs through saliva with the vapors with the bends, with the nasty humors.

Sometimes writing just isn’t enough to get out of it, sometimes you want …a chat.

Revenge of the vegetables, or: Death by tubers

November 13, 2003 at 1:57 pm | In yulelogStories | 11 Comments

One of my friends, a mother of 3, became deathly ill with “morning sickness” (which lasted all day) during every pregnancy, while I never got sick. We were pregnant around the same times for our first 2 (my only 2), and I researched around a bit to figure out why she was feeling so extremely awful. The best thing I found was Margie Profet’s startling new idea about morning sickness, published (around 1994?) in the New York Times and elsewhere, and subsequently posted to the web: vegetables and other foods contain so many naturally-occuring toxic substances that a woman’s “morning sickness” is a way of stopping her from eating these things since they could hurt her baby.

I hadn’t given these ideas much thought until yesterday, when I was nearly prostrate from an attack of root vegetables.

I have to conclude that, aside from carrots, I hate most root vegetables, and they hate me. If vegetables have a high success rate for soaking up toxins, root vegetables probably have the highest since they’re stuck in dirt most of the time.

The whole crazy thing started because we felt it was important to prepare more vegetarian dishes to encourage healthier eating by our children. Hence, I dug out my old falling-apart edition of Anna Thomas’s The Vegetarian Epicure, both volumes, trying to find recipes that sounded appetizing.

There actually isn’t much in those two books if you want to eat low on the glycemic index, or avoid masses of butter or cheese, as Thomas unfortunately goes high on the refined sugars, brown sugars, molasses, and dairy fats. I did find a “Winter Vegetable Stew” recipe that sounded moderately appetising (with “only” 9 tablespoons of butter), and ran to our local store to inquire about parsnips and turnips, two vegetables I never eat (and never will again), and about which I know nothing. I learned that parsnips are long, with a fat end and a skinny end, and that turnips are round. Both seem sort of whitish.

Carrots, which I do like (and which weren’t part of this recipe) can be eaten raw. This relates to my new theory of palatability of vegetables. If I like it raw, I’ll tolerate it cooked. If I can’t stand it raw, chances are it’s not going to agree with me cooked.

I would rather not eat raw turnips. Or potatoes. Or parsnips. Radishes give me heartburn. Celery root typically is an exception (along with carrots): I like it raw (shredded, with apple, in a mayonnaise dressing) and cooked (similar prep). But I think that pretty much adumbrates my repertoire of root veggies.

An hour after a hearty serving of this aforementioned carrot-free Winter Vegetable Stew, I thought my head would explode. After that my insides began to feel inflamed. Imagine a really bad hangover. That’s how I felt within hours of eating this meal.

I finally knew what it must be like to have an extreme case of “morning sickness” — at midnight, and at a far remove from pregnancy, too. This morning I looked like a survivor of poisoning.

Later this afternoon I am going to dump the leftovers onto the compost. And Anna Thomas, you can stick that parsnip where the sun don’t shine.

Impediments to dating, or: “tired of the narcissism”

November 11, 2003 at 10:35 pm | In yulelogStories | Comments Off on Impediments to dating, or: “tired of the narcissism”

Interesting series of articles about being single in Victoria — challenges, pitfalls, and rewards (or at least occasional slim pickings) — in this week’s Monday Magazine. I liked the “Sex and the Single Parent” piece, as well as “Table for Eight,” which profiled Diane Lair’s Four Plus Four Dining Club. Everybody everywhere seems to complain about dating; I guess the DIY trend hasn’t taken hold in sex…. That’s probably why it’s called mating.

Through a glass darkly

November 10, 2003 at 8:57 pm | In yulelogStories | 5 Comments

Last night was the 65th anniversary of Kristallnacht. Victoria’s Jewish community had a special commemorative event at the main synagogue (at Blanshard & Pandora). Perhaps I should have made the effort, but I didn’t go because I’m so lazy about evening events. It’s nearly impossible to pry me out of my house after dark, I don’t like gatherings or congregations of whatever variety, and I especially avoid religious ones — going to any place of worship usually distresses me, and I don’t do it unless I have to (for a funeral, say). This aversion undoubtedly has its basis in my total ignorance of religious practice — I have never gone to any church or temple or anything in my life (except for a funeral or two, and maybe one wedding) — and it’s getting worse as I age since I feel increasingly uncharitable toward both the worshippers and their leaders. Therefore, if I can’t feel at home intellectually in a community, how could I possibly subscribe to it as a community? This is my dilemma. No church, no coven, no temple, no groovy nuttin’, not for me, mater. And I’m not even off to play the grand piano… I just don’t join. But enough about me. Even though I didn’t go to Victoria’s little service, I checked Google News. I am virtually keeping on top of things, and some of what I see is ugly indeed. The Jerusalem Post reports on a brawl breaking out in Vienna (Vienna!, ha!, why am I not surprised?) between observers of a Kristallnacht commemoration and pro-Palestinian-rights protesters. There’s mention of Martin Hohmann’s recent benighted — and possibly evil — remarks in Germany about the alleged role of Jews in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. There wasn’t a whole lot in the US press about Hohmann. Too bad, really, because he’s a young guy actively bowdlerising history, and it behooves us to keep track of this kind of stuff and to shine some light on it. Hohmann used language in a particularly German way. His remarks hinged on the word Taetervolk. A Tat is a deed, an act. A Taeter is a person who does a deed, and it usually has pejorative meaning: a murderer, for example, is a Taeter, a culprit, a criminal, a perpetrator. As for Volk, well, everyone knows that one: a people. Hohmann said that Jews could be considered a Taetervolk in the sense that Germans could be considered a Taetervolk, but only because neither one is really a Taetervolk and it’s silly to think of them in those terms. Huh? In other words, let’s get Germans off the “collective guilt” hook by showing how inappropriate it is to ascribe the word Taetervolk to anyone …while at the same time conveniently slurring the allegedly non-Taetervolk with the epithet of the …well, of the Taeter. What’s troubling about Hohmann’s use of the word Taetervolk is that it’s a typical German omnibus word, the kind exploited so well by the Nazis: like Sippenhaft or Endloesung or any number of German words — Schadenfreude, anyone? — it’s the coupling of two or more words to create one, a coupling which produces a short-circuit in thinking. If you have a convenient word like Endloesung (Final solution), you’re tempted not to think about its full implications. You’re not asked to take it apart, to deconstruct it. It is in a sense a perfect “1984”-type language, orwellian in its easyspeak. In that sense, to my mind, Martin Hohmann was showing his deep Nazi roots by using that one little word. At least he was censured, and the German army general who praised his speech was fired outright. And then there are things I find amidst all the downers that cheer me up.

Meanwhile, googling Kristallnacht, I came across an article describing a petition to Britain’s Homes & Gardens not to withdraw from internet access a 1938 article showcasing Hitler’s private residence. As a shelter-magazine slut, I naturally had to check this out. The entire Homes & Gardens article is posted on The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies website, and it’s a doozy. What’s really horrifying is how little the language has changed — chronicles of the homes of today’s rich & famous still feature the same breathless prose.
The article starts here as follows:

It is over twelve years since Herr Hitler fixed on the site of his one and only home. It had to be close to the Austrian border, barely ten miles from Mozart’s own medieval Salzburg.

English can be so much more “civilised” than German, can’t it? No omnibus words here. But it’s still a load of crap.


A life-long vegetarian at table, Hitler’s kitchen plots are both varied and heavy on produce. Even in his meatless diet, Hitler is something of a gourmet – as Sir John Simon and Mr. Anthony Eden were surprised to note when they dined with him at the Presidial Palace at Berlin. His Bavarian chef, Herr Kannenberg, contrives an imposing array of vegetarian dishes, savoury and rich, pleasing to the eye as well as to the palate, and all conforming to the dietic standards which Hitler exacts. But at Haus Wachenfeld he keeps a generous table for guests of normal tastes. Here bons viceteurs like Field-Marshals G�ring and von Blumberg and Joachim von Ribbentrop will forgather at dinner. Elaborate dishes like …[illegible] and …[trout dish] will then be served with fine wine and liquors of von Ribbentrop’s expert choosing. Cigars and cigarettes are duly lighted at this terrace feast – though Hitler himself never smokes, nor does he take alcohol in any form.
All visitors are shown their host’s model kennels, where he breeds magnificent Alsatians. Some of his pedigree pets are allowed the run of the house, especially on days when Herr Hitler gives a “Fun Fair” to the local children. On such a day, when State affairs are over, the Squire himself, attended by some of his guests, will stroll through the woods into hamlets above and below. There rustics sit at cottage doors, carving trinkets and toys in wood, ivory and bone. It is then the little ones are invited to the house. Coffee, cakes, fruits and sweets are laid out for them on trestle tables in the grassy orchards. The Frauen Goebbels and G�ring, in dainty Bavarian dress, arrange dances and folk-songs while the bolder spirits are given joy-rides in Herr Hitler’s private aeroplane.

No doubt the tables were always laid with fine crystal…

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