June 1st, 2005

krazy koati

Let me take you down

In the news, the Liverpool orphanage whose name inspired the Beatles' ``Strawberry Fields Forever'' closed yesterday, in line with a Social Services national policy of placing children with families or in smaller institutions. As a child John Lennon played with friends at the Strawberry Field home. In other news, it turns out ``Strawberry Fields Forever'' drew its name from an actual place John Lennon hung around as a child. I had assumed it was just a collection of pleasant syllables that gained the faintest menace if you said them right.

A team of climbers from the National University of Singapore yesterday reached the summit of Mount Everest, which they're claiming as a first for a ``university-based team from Southeast Asia''. There's another Singaporean team hoping to reach the summit, without bottled oxygen, before 3 June when Mount Everest closes for the monsoon season.

Trivia: Auguste Comte's reform ``Calendrier Positiviste'' dedicated June to the abstract concept of domesticity, and the concrete person of Saint Paul. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, E.G. Richards.

Currently Reading: Commune 2000 AD, Mack Reynolds. Set in the same hastily assembled utopian, I guess, world of Ability Quotient. In the year 2000 the stupidest anthropology doctorate ever is assigned to examine the communes. It seems people are inexplicably dropping out of the society in which 90 percent of the population is permanently unemployable and living on a monthly cash ration large enough to buy most anything they need, and start little cliques supported by their welfare funds nominally dedicated to Greek Revivals or nudism or whatever, but mostly dedicated to having joyless sex every 3,000 words.

It's pro forma in a book like this for the protagonist to be a schlub, and yeah, people can be quite oblivious outside their academic specialties (his is supposedly Aztec communal groups at the time of Spanish contact), but any chance I had of believing Ted Swain had a mind was obliterated when he wandered up to the front lobby of the Lesbos commune and asked the woman why she was so resistant to the idea of him joining.