fpb: (Athena of Pireus)
For me, personally, the final evidence of the guilt of British criminal Hanratty, of anarchist Nicola Sacco. and of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg - however different the circumstances - have been a personal shock. They are the undeniable proof that people can lie even in the face of death and eternity, that claims of innocence from the scaffold are no more reliable than from any other point. The case of Sacco's fellow-accused Bartolomeo Vanzetti seems even darker: he was probably himself innocent, but he knew that Sacco was guilty as Hell, and he deliberately died with a lie on his lips, for the sake of his imagined revolution. (And to add a further taste of futility to his false sacrifice, the historical fact is that the only party who benefited from his and Sacco's executions were the Communists, who had organized all the protests against their executions, and who were sworn enemies of Vanzetti's Anarchists and would have murdered him a good deal more nastily if he had ever fallen into their hands.) But perhaps the most significant of these is the lie of Hanratty, because that had nothing of the ideological justifications of Vanzetti and the Rosenbergs. Hanratty was not fighting for any "cause", however bad: he was a rapist and murderer with no ulterior motives. And he declared his innocence right to the point of death with a passionate intensity that deceived generations of activists including myself.
fpb: (Default)
I understand being banned from the LJs of people whom I have called fifty kinds of scoundrel and whose mental deficiencies I have analyzed at length. And I can, with a little effort, understand the people who have been the innocent witnesses of arguments in their comments pages. But why on the face of God's green Earth should I be banned from the LJ of someone with whom I have never quarrelled, in none of whose comments pages I have been rude to anyone, and - to cap everything - whom I have repeatedly described as both vastly talented and luminously beautiful? Should I have implied that she looks like a hag? Only that would happen not to be true...
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Of all the things I hate about running your own house, mouse infestations are what I hate the most. Not the mice themselves, but the means you have to use to get rid of them. I had hoped two years ago to have seen an end to it, but recently I had evidence of more visitations. A certain amount of poison feed seemed to have dealt with that. But a few days ago I heard the distinctive rustle, and today I saw with my own eyes one of the culprits in the kitchen, which is of course the last place where you want to see a mouse. Unfortunately, the way I had available to deal with the problem - left over from two years back - is the cruellest of all the traps: the glue trap. There is nothing pleasant about having to take away a tiny, desperately squealing creature, stuck in a devil's brew and mad with terror. Mice, when helpless, are very appealing. But people like me are in no position to excuse them; if the place is not made unwelcome to mice, not only is your health and food at risk, but you are in danger of opening it to rats - which is plain ruination. And yet... if I could have seen a way to keep the pathetic robber in a cage without inviting any of his mates or finding out too late that it was pregnant (at which they are very efficient), I likely enough would have kept it.

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