Thursday, July 31, 2014


Israel-HAMAS: The West has to become balanced in all conflicts in the world.

This is the most important document on the Gaza war waged by Israel against Hamas. It is not entirely in agreement with what I may think on some issues but this presentation – in English first and in French second – is primordial to understand how France and the world are going awry right now.

This document which is in Open Access (originally published by Mediapart, only concerns the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza but it could be widened to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, but it could also be valid for the world at large for other conflicts and points of tension that have been dealt with by the West with an obvious bias for one side, even if it is the losing side, and then reverting their failed support into hate for the winner, no matter what the stakes of the said conflict may be.

The best case in that line is the hostility of the West against the legal government of Sri Lanka because they ended up in three years a terrorist conflict that had been going on for thirty years on their territory. The west had always supported LTTE – and then the fuzzy and fluid “Tamils” when LTTE was classified a terrorist organization by UN and most countries in the world – against the government of Sri Lanka.

Instead of helping to find a solution in a conflict, at times as old as several centuries, the West takes one side and then blows on the embers and burning coals for the fire to catch and topple over the side they have not chosen.

This has to stop, this has to come to an end. The West is not the biased umpire of the world, in fact the biased cop(per) of all nations and continents.

Olliergues, July 31, 2014

Publisher: Mediapart

Publication Date: Jul 31, 2014

Research Interests:


Pat Mills hates British generals and arms industrialists, but he likes British politicians


The title may let you think the subject of the volume is the famous Great Mutiny and you would be totally mistaken. It only concerns the seven opening episodes. It is an event that only lasted a few days in September 1917 in the back camp of Etaples. It was started by the Scots reacting violently at the killing of one of them by the Military Police. The English, Australians and New Zealanders joined in after a while to free the prisoners detained in the detention camp waiting for their being shot by a firing squad. Charley joins this action because a friend of his, Weepers, is in that “detained situation.” Then they refuse to drill and have a giant sit in. They were helped in this action by the deserters who are living underground near by in some cave known as the Sanctuary, led by Blue, essentially.

Apparently that sit-in blocked all operations in France on the English side and menaced the planned offensive in Passchendaele. The main Head Quarters tell the local Officer to yield on the demands of the rank and file. This leads to going back to business but without the strictest and most difficult drilling actions and leisure restrictions. Apparently the prisoners were not recaptured and fired, though Charley helps one to get to the underground Sanctuary. We have no indication on what happened to the others. In the mean time an agent of the secret intelligence of the armed forces has arrived and he has only one objective: to catch the leaders of the mutiny, that is to say the main leaders of the Sanctuary, the deserters’ camp. That enables one soldier to give precisions about the way the French repressed a similar mutiny:

“His friend Blue told him [Charley] about the French mutiny. . . it began a few months earlier after the slaughter of thousands pof French troops in the most horrendous offensive of the war.
Fifty four French divisions refused to fight. The revolt was ruthlmessly crushed. A battalion was sent into no man’s land and was massacred by its own artillery.
Decimation was used as a punishment. . .  one soldier in ten taken away and shot”

And that is all. In the context it is obvious the English are being rational and very gentle, considering what the French did. The point is the English did not do better. But we definitely lack details. Note along that line this volume publishes in its introduction a French soldier song of the time attributed to “Paul Vaillant-Couturier, considered the author of the controversial song ‘La Chanson de Lorette’. A French author, journalist and politician, he edited the ommunist newspaper L’Humanité in the 1920s.” This is ,a little short when Wikipedia is a lot more precise: “He was editor in chief of the communist newspaper L'Humanité from April 1926 to September 1929, then again from May 1934 (officially from July 1935) to his sudden death in 1937.”

When Charley arrives in Sanctuary with Weepers he finds himself trapped by the arrival of the special intelligence agent led by a fink who is trying to settle some accounts with Blue because Blue prevented him, with Charley, from killing one Military Police in the mutiny. Charley manages to escape because Blue took off and led the “hunting party” after him. We do not know and are not told what happened to him.

The rest of the volume is dedicated again to sliced up battlefield experience.

To vary the pleasures and entertainments, maybe also the points of view, I mean the positions from which the war is seen, Charley joins the stretcher carriers, a very dangerous position. His choice is made after Jonesey let himself be blown up by a German shell because he cannot forgive himself for having been in the firing squad back in the training camp of Etaples and having shot to death several British soldiers accused of various crimes with no defense and no appeal. We note here what I have just said is never said by the author as if he considered military justice to be an acceptable rule to be played by and respected. Charley wants to save some lives.

On his team he meets Jack Masterson who is from the wealthy classes but does not want to speak about it. Once again the author alludes to the dialect of these upper class people but does not give the slightest element of it: Jack sounds posh. Why isn’t he an officer?” he asks and the answer is: “Something to do with his fmaily. Jack doesn’t like to talk about it.” We are obliged to imagine what it is to “sound posh” since we are not provided with an example.

In fact Jack will say a few things about his motivations: his father is an ammunition industrialist and he is making a fortune from the war, and he is even selling ammunitions to the Germans via neutral countries. Jack enlisted as a rank and file and is serving as a stretcher carrier to save some of the lives his father is killing. Actually he will identify one shell from his father and that shell will kill him. That is dramatic for sure but highly improbable. The fact that industrialists made fortunes out of the war is not the “fault” of these industrialists. It is the fault of the politicians who decided to have the war and who decided to make it last as long as possible. And that’s the real shortcoming of the comic strip: it never really attacks the politicians, the governments, the whatever and whoever were the real masters of this war. He never goes beyond generals and industrialists, in other words the technicians and engineers of the war.

[Jack says:] “My father owns the factory that makes them. He’s a munitions baron. . . a pedlar in death. He’s the only one who’ll get fat out of this war. Him and the worms. “
[Charley says:] Nothing wrong in making a bit pof a profit, Jack.
[Author’s caption] One famous British arms manufacturer made 34 million pounds profit out of the war.
[Jack says:] No? what about British companies selling war materials to the Germans through neutral countries?
[Charley says:] I don’t believe that!
[Jack says:] It’s true. That’s why I am stretcher bearer. . . So I can clear up a little of the mess Dad’s making!”

We can note that more than 75 years after the war, and today one hundred years after it, the author considers it still taboo to give the name of the industrialist. We can also note the politicians who authorized the exporting of ammunitions and arms to neutral countries knowing it was for the Germans are not even alluded to. That’s the kind of element that completely makes the comic strip fictional if not even fictitious, and that is regrettable.

At one time a plane crashes in no man’s land. The pilot is killed but the observer is alive. Charley decides to save him, Fred Green, and he ends taking him behind the lines to some dressing station. He has to cross a point known as Hell-Fire Corner that is shelled and bombed constantly. The two of them are the victims of a close by shell? Fred Green survives but Charley disappears. We have then an episode in which Fred Green visits the place where it happened in 1982 and in the course of this visit he recuperates from his deeper memory the name Charley gave him just before the explosion: Charley Bourne, and he finds out his name is not on any memorial or on any list of the victims of the particular battle fought here. But Fred Green refuses to find out if Charley Bourne is still alive, not to see him old. Such an episode is trying to build the story as if it were a true story. But many details are absent that make the story vague and fictitious if not even dubious. And the reaction of the older Fred Green is unimaginable and in a way extremely self-centered.

In the same battle the episode with a German prisoner is strongly anti-German and strongly distasteful. Not because it is a German soldier who is at stake but because similar episodes must have occurred daily on all sides of the front and only a German episode of the type is reported and when something that could be similar on the English side, though we have not followed any English soldier as a prisoner on the German side, which reduces us to an English soldier mistreating a German prisoner, it is presented in such a way that there is an excuse for it. In this present case there is no excuse whatsoever except – though it’s not mentioned – the fear of this German soldier being accused of fraternizing with an English soldier by the Germans who liberated him and took over Charley, and these German soldiers did not make any prisoners, so why did the German ex-prisoner prevented his German “colleagues” from dealing with Charley and submitted him to a very humiliating treatment? Charley’s reaction when the English took over again is absolutely absurd and inhumane. He is a stretcher carrier and as such is not supposed to carry or use arms and yet he takes a bayonet and kills the German ex-prisoner and prisoner again on the spot for the humiliation he submitted him to, a humiliation that saved Charley’s life.

By the way in 1982, Fred Green is looking for Charley (whose proper name he cannot yet remember) as being a member of “a Cockney regiment” but we have never been given anything like the real cockney dialect.

The episode on the battle of Cambrai in which an important formation of tanks actually break through the German lines and come to the very outskirts of Cambrai after an important advance, states the battle is lost because the cavalry arrives and pretends to have orders from higher up command not to go after the Germans who are routed. That is in November 1917 when the Russian front has been liberated of its war duties due to the stepping out of the war by Lenin. You can imagine the reinforcements that are arriving from the Eastern front

This book comes to a close with another nasty remarks about officers. The scholar Charley had defended against a bully a few volumes back has become Charley’s commanding officer. When Charley finds out on his first meeting with him he exclaims: “Blimey! It’s the scholar! How are you mate?” And the response of the Scholar turned officer is “I’ll have none of that ‘mate’ stuff. You’ll forget we were in the ranks together. I hold his Majesty’s commission. Now it’s ‘Sir’. Understood?”

The author of this comic strip is systematically trying to force us into believing that the main culprits in that war were officers and no one else, because they were both socially condescending and highly incompetent. He even quotes Winston Chruchilm to support his point:

Winston Churchill wrote that tanks could have stopped the carnage of the trenches. . . “If only the generals had not been content to fight machine-gun bullets with the breasts of gallant men, and think that was waging war.”

And Charley is ordered to become a sniper.

The last box of this volume introduces us to “the best runner in the regiment” on the German side, a rare moment when we cross the front lines, and this runner is “Corporal Adolf Hitler”. Isn’t that a treat and a coincidence?

This seems to mean that British generals will never be better than German officers or leaders in the future, even if they win now, because the German leaders are not coming from the elite of society but from the rank and file of runners and other dangerous positions in the war itself. They have experienced courage as a daily counterbalance to danger and fear in daily missions.

That’s not the case of British generals, at least in World War One.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Age and profiling have changed the scene of serial killers.


This film was important when it came out in 1980. We were just before the AIDS pandemic hit the world. In New York the gay scene had crossed the line of simple ordinary cruising to enter the hard line of sado maso sex, leather paraphernalia and a certain amount of constraint, force, violence, etc., what some call authoritarian gay sex. In that scene criminal violence is then a lot more difficult to trace and find out because it does not stand out “like a sore thumb” but gets blended in the surrounding violence.

One serial killer is running on that stage in New York and to pick him, to find him out a cop has to be sent undercover. He is young, handsome, not gay at all, and yet he is going to get into the gay business. He finds out that this cruising is first of all attractive because it deals with feelings that are not satisfied otherwise: love, friendship, equal force and equal power. It is more some accompliceship than real sensation or emotion. The lovers meet halfway in the project of being as strong as the other, of submitting the other and be submitted to the other by this other precisely. This narcissistic fascination, this love for the other who is my equal and to whom I must submit to be his equal because he submits to me to be my equal – submission, domination and yet total communion and equality.

This side is actually not explored enough in this film, except of course occasionally when the undercover cop meets with his next door neighbor the playwright. But that is little and it will end badly anyway because in such a situation jealousy and possessiveness are the two main characteristics of some couples who cannot accept any intruder, in spite of the fact that the gay bars are necessarily open stages and open situations. For some to get into a relation is also to get out of all opportunities to meet with another possible relation, the rejection of any promiscuity. That is not typical of the gay scene but men have not been used to being dominated by their partners for something like 300,000 years like women. Such situations can become very nasty.

The film exploits another line without giving all the details. The serial killer was rejected by a father who, we understand, refused his gay orientation and required that he should change orientation in order to be given the support he wants. Unluckily it is suggested that the father has been dead for ten years. Hard on the chap who has not been able to prove himself to his father and is out in the wild without a father behind him, except as a phantasm to whom he writes hundred of letters, every week or so, without sending them, of course.

Then we enter the field of perversion, rather simple actually, maybe too simple. He uses his sexual orientation to capture a prey, has sex with, complete or partial sex, it does not matter, and then he kills his prey who “made him do this.” It sounds simple because it is not explored enough. It is true we were in 1980 and that was a long time before profiling became popular, a long time before “Criminal Minds.” It will excuse the lack of expertise with DNA too.

The subject was interesting, but the treatment has aged a lot and appears today rather simple if not superficial or just plain provocative, though the provocation has completely gotten out of the picture for us today.



Lavaudieu vaut le déplacement mais avec un bon guide


Le livre est capital pour qui veut comprendre un peu cette abbaye, et en commençant par comprendre son histoire. L’auteur clarifie nettement les dates de construction, extensions, reconstructions, restaurations, etc. Elle fait aussi un très bon travail sur la présentation des peintures et en particulier des styles. Elle repère nettement le roman ancien, l’influence byzantine, puis les évolutions du roman plus récent et du gothique. Elle poursuit le voyage historique après le Moyen Age jusqu’à aujourd’hui. Quelques photos de l’abbaye avant sa restauration montrent l’état de délabrement dans lequel elle était et quelques remarques sur le pillage du site laissent entendre que les pertes ont été énormes sans qu’elles soient réellement quantifiées ou évaluées. Cette église n’avait ni le statut d’une cathédrale, ni le statut d’une basilique. Elle n’était qu’une église paroissiale après le Révolution Française et relevait donc de la gestion ou de la non-gestion municipale.

Le livre donne un grand nombre de photos et en particulier de toutes les sculptures et peintures qu’elle commente ou décrit. C’est là aussi un outil indispensable pour mieux comprendre la logique de cette église, de cette abbaye. On pourrait longuement commenter le cloître par exemple ou toutes les peintures car il y a encore beaucoup à dire après la présentation d’Anne Courtillé. Loin de là mon désir. Je vais plutôt m’attacher à quelques éléments qu’elle ne semble pas avoir vus, en particulier dans la symbolique romane.

Par exemple, elle cite un grand nombre d’éléments ternaires qui s’appuient sur une référence à la Trinité chrétienne. Elle asserte que le Christ de la Théophanie du réfectoire « tient de la main gauche : une combinaison du sceptre impérial à l’aigle et du sceptre consulaire romain ; on y voit trois oiseaux  qui ajouteraient à la souveraineté la Trinité, à rapprocher des trois doigts de la bénédiction trinitaire. » (page 46) Or quand on regarde justement ce Christ et sa bénédiction, on remarque que sa main n’a qu’une esquisse de pouce et trois doigts, mais que seule deux doigts sont tendus pour bénir. Il y a là une contradiction entre le texte et l’image, même si d’une certaine façon, Anne Courtillé ne dit pas que le Christ bénit de trois doigts. On pourrait citer de nombreux autres cas où le Christ ne bénit que de deux doigts, comme par exemple dans la chapelle de Pignols.

Anne Courtillé décrit le Tétramorphe autour du Christ et très justement attribue l’homme à Mattieu, le lion à Marc, le taureau à Luc et l’aigle à Jean. Mais elle ne précise pas la profondeur de ce Tétramorphe qui plonge ses racines dans l’Ancien Testament et elle assume que tout le monde comprend la richesse de cette symbolique. Précisons. Ces quatre évangélistes sont identifiés comme les quatre vivants d’Ezéchiel :

« Au centre encore, apparaissaient quatre animaux, dont l'aspect avait une ressemblance humaine.
Chacun d'eux avait quatre faces, et chacun avait quatre ailes.
Leurs pieds étaient droits, et la plante de leurs pieds était comme celle du pied d'un veau, ils étincelaient comme de l'airain poli.
Ils avaient des mains d'homme sous les ailes à leurs quatre côtés; et tous les quatre avaient leurs faces et leurs ailes.
Leurs ailes étaient jointes l'une à l'autre; ils ne se tournaient point en marchant, mais chacun marchait droit devant soi.
10 Quand à la figure de leurs faces, ils avaient tous une face d'homme, tous quatre une face de lion à droite, tous quatre une face de bœuf à gauche, et tous quatre une face d'aigle. » (Segond, Ezéchiel 1:5-10)

Et cela est en contradiction avec le même Ezéchiel dans son chapitre dix :

« 14 Chacun avait quatre faces; la face du premier était une face de chérubin, la face du second une face d'homme, celle du troisième une face de lion, et celle du quatrième une face d'aigle. » (Segond, Ezéchiel 10:14)

Et cela est encore en contradiction avec l’Apocalypse de Jean :

« Le premier être vivant est semblable à un lion, le second être vivant est semblable à un veau, le troisième être vivant a la face d'un homme, et le quatrième être vivant est semblable à un aigle qui vole. » (Segond, Apocalypse de Jean, 4:7)

En fait ce Tétramorphe doit être attribué à Saint Jérôme :

« C'est Saint Jérôme (au Ve siècle) qui a proposé de se baser sur le début de chacun des évangiles pour associer un évangéliste à une des créatures:
·       comme l'Évangile selon Matthieu commence par la généalogie de Jésus, Saint Jérôme lui a attribué l'homme
·       comme l'Évangile selon Marc commence par la prédication de Jean-Baptiste dans le désert, Saint Jérôme lui a attribué le lion, animal du désert.
·       comme l'Évangile selon Luc commence dans le temple de Jérusalem, Saint Jérôme lui a attribué le taureau, animal que l'on offrait souvent en sacrifice dans le temple.
·       comme l'Évangile selon Jean commence par une introduction très philosophique, Saint Jérôme lui a attribué l'aigle qui vole très haut dans le ciel. » (Pasteur Marc Pernot,

Cela est important car la symbolique de l’église de Lavaudieu est ternaire de bien des façons : d’abord les trois travées de la nef, puis les symboliques ternaires que l’on retrouve dans de nombreuses peintures de l’église, les trois oiseaux du sceptre du Christ, la Vierge et ses deux anges en triptyque, les trois arbres du chapiteau d’Adam et Eve, les trois acteurs de la crucifixion de la nef, Jésus au centre, Marie et Jean de chaque côté en triptyque à nouveau. Je pense aussi au Ravissement de Marie Madelaine où celle-ci ets prise entre deux anges, en triptyque donc à nouveau. Cette trinité est fondamentale pour les Chrétiens mais elle est associée au nombre quatre qui est à la fois les quatre évangélistes, les cadres vivants du Tétramorphe, mais aussi quatre représente la crucifixion et cela explique alors les autres éléments de la Crucifixion de l’église. Outre le triptyque du Christ on a à gauche la Dormition de la Vierge avec trois personnages, Pierre, Paul et Jean. Il n’y a pas à s’étonner de la présence de Paul qui n’était en rien un apôtre désigné par Jésus, et il ne s’était pas encore auto-déclaré apôtre des gentils (ou goyim) : c’est une réécriture postérieure. A ce moment-là Saul est encore un légionnaire romain. Ce sont ces détails que ne donne pas Anne Courtillé, et c’est regrettable. On voit que dans cette Dormition les trois officiants font un groupe de quatre avec la Vierge et on a alors la mort dans ce symbole quaternaire. De l’autre côté et en parfaite symétrie on a la crucifixion de Saint André et les trois tortionnaires qui l’attache à sa croix. On a alors le groupe ternaire qui fait avec Saint André un groupe quaternaire qui signifie la mort à nouveau. En dessous à gauche on a trois personnages auréolés qui exorcisent un démon d’un quatrième personnage non auréolé : ici le groupe ternaire permet d’arracher le diable ou le démon du quatrième personnage, le pêcheur, personnage quaternaire car porteur du démon. A droite on a trois personnages auréolés.

Cette dynamique de la symbolique romane est ignorée d’Anne Courtillé et elle manque alors une autre dynamique symbolique qui vient des grandes profondeurs de l’Ancien Testament. Dieu est l’alpha et l’oméga, dieu est le commencement et la fin, Dieu est le temps entre ces deux points, et Dieu est l’éternité atemporelle avant et après ces deux limites. Cette symbolique de l’alpha et de l’oméga est extrêmement présente dans la tradition bénédictine. Ce sont les Bénédictins qui ont christianisés l’Irlande et ils en ont ramenés des motifs décoratifs fondamentaux présents à Lavaudieu bien sûr. L’alpha grec est un simple croisement, mais un alpha ouvert à droite et un alpha ouvert à gauche, se superposant, forment un oméga. Ce croisement de l’alpha et de l’oméga se retrouve partout. Par exemple sur le chapiteau page 33 ou une tête d’homme est au centre de deux alphas entrecroisés en un entrelacs qui est l’ébauche d’un oméga. Cela ne peut être que le fils de l’homme, cet homme qui contient le début et la fin de tous les temps de dieu.

Mais passons au transept et ses chapiteaux. Côté nord de la pile sud-ouest, Adam et Eve. A gauche d’Adam une torsade, force de la terre s’élevant vers le ciel, entre Adam et Eve le serpent torsadé sur son arbre, à droite d’Eve des plantes feuilles tombantes. Eve a les pieds bien plantés sur terre. Elle pêche par impossibilité ou refus de s’élever, tandis qu’Adam a les pieds touchant à peine la terre et les genoux fléchis. Il tombe par la faute d’Eve. C’est l’alpha du commencement. Côté est de la pile deux oiseaux, les serres bien accrochées à la terre, leurs ailes centrales croisées, incapables de s’envoler. Traversons en X le transept et sur le chapiteau sud de la colonne nord-est nous avons un roi encadré de deux lances pointées vers le ciel, symbole de l’élévation vers ce ciel, doublé sur la face est de ce chapiteau d’un homme accroupi dont la tête est un oméga, l’oméga de la fin, de l’homme de péché faisant face à son dieu de jugement. Passons à la pile nord-ouest. Côté sud, deux bêtes de types lézards, la tête à terre, ont leurs cous croisés, écho des oiseaux de tout à l’heure, mais ils sont redoublés de deux bêtes en arrière dressées vers le ciel. Côté est d’abord deux anneaux entrelacés et formant un huit, deux croix détourées côte à côte, puis un entrelacement de lignes géométriques dominent chaque face de ce chapiteau. Le huit est le symbole du Christ qui tire ainsi l’homme de sa terre et l’élève vers le ciel. Si on traverse en diagonale on arrive à la pile sud-est dont le chapiteau nord est une tête de vieillard qui semble avoir une immense moustache largement arquée vers le haut de chaque côté. Mais en fait il s’agit de deux filets d’eau sortant des commissures de la bouche et remontant vers le ciel. Il s’agit donc de l’image celtique de deux hommes crachant un flot d’eau que l’on peut trouver à Saint Pierre d’Arlanc, mais réduit à un seul et dont les filets d’eau remontent vers le ciel. Le Christ ne supprime pas les croyances anciennes mais les modifie et leur donne une perspective divine. Il est l’intermédiaire entre l’alpha du début et l’oméga de la fin.

De même la sirène d’Anne Courtillé (page 32) n’est dans l’art roman qu’une évolution double, un croisement de deux symboliques : d’une part l’Atalante grecque qui est une femme qui refuse le mariage (on retrouve d’ailleurs la trinité des trois pommes d’or des Hespérides qui perdront Atalante dans sa course contre ses prétendants), et d’autre part les sheela-na-gig irlandaises qui sont elles aussi des femmes qui pour présenter leur vulves largement ouvertes croisent leurs bras et leurs jambes et forment un oméga ou deux alphas si vous préférez, ce qui ne changent rien puisque l’alpha et l’oméga sont inséparables. La sirène du Cloître est ce double symbole de la fertilité sexuelle et du vœu de chasteté. Notez d’ailleurs que cette sirène n’a que trois doigts et un pouce à chaque main. Trinité quaternaire si j’ose dire. Les aigles aux ailes croisées dans l’église reprennent ainsi ce motif tout comme les animaux enchevêtrés d’un trinitaire quaternaire.

On pourrait aussi signaler comment les trois travées de la nef, donc trois arches portées par quatre piliers sont aussi une telle association de trois et quatre, et pourtant c’est un tout petit peu plus compliqué car la dernière travée avant le transept est plus grande et contient dans son arche une ouverture en forme d’arche elle-même, et ce de chaque côté. Cela alors fait que trois arches portées par quatre piliers contiennent une quatrième arche, celle de la crucifixion et l’immense peinture de celle-ci justement au-dessus de l’arche qui ouvre sur le tansept et donc sur le chœur au-delà. Mais la symbolique est plus complexe encore car les deux côtés s’ajoutent. Trois et trois font donc six, le nombre de la sagesse de Salomon ou de l’étoile de David, et Jésus est de la tribu de David. Mais quatre piliers et quatre piliers, deux fois la crucifixion, font huit, tient justement l’oméga, et huit c’est le symbole de la résurrection, de la seconde venue, du jugement dernier, de l’apocalypse. Comme tout se tient. Et on voit alors que si on compte les fenêtres dans la troisième travée, on a alors quatre arches et quatre arches et on a à nouveau la résurrection, la seconde venue, l’apocalypse contenue dans le premier huit, le premier oméga.

Et Anne Courtillé aurait alors compris la dimension symbolique de la Mort Noire. Cette mort noire porte six flèches dans chaque main, deux fois le nombre de Salomon. A sa droite – et notre gauche – douze flèches ont été décochées et donc douze victimes de cette mort noire. De l’autre côté treize flèches et treize victimes de cette mort noire. Douze ce sont les personnes présentes à la Cène après le départ du prétendu traitre Judas et treize c’est les mêmes avec le prétendu traitre Judas, celui qui trahira Jésus pour de l’argent et qui entraînera sa mort aux mains des Juifs du temple détenteur de la sagesse de Salomon. Notons que douze est le bon nombre, le nombre des bons, car à la droite de la mort noire. Par contre treize est le mauvais nombre car à la gauche de la mort noire. Cette symbolique gauche-droite doit bien sûr être prise pour les personnages représentés dans les peintures et non pour nous. Le treizième convive était l’agent de la mort imposé par les prêtres du Temple à ce Jésus qui leur faisait de l’ombre et à ses disciples. Remarquons que l’on a ici un élément d’antisémitisme conforme à la version officielle en ce temps-là que Judas était le traitre. Mais on sait aussi que sans Judas Jésus n’aurait jamais été arrêté ni crucifié, d’où la thèse que Jésus qui, de par son père savait tout, a choisi Judas pour qu’il permette par sa « trahison » que la prophétie s’accomplisse, que la crucifixion et la passion aient bien lieu, que l  a résurrection et notre salut puissent devenir réalité.

On pourrait ajouter de nombreux autres éléments dans cette symblique numérique qu’Anne Courtillé ignore totalement. Une église romane, et ce jusqu’au 14ème siècle, cela se perdra progressivement à partir du 15ème siècle, est commandée par un commanditaire qui donne l’événement qu’il veut voir représenté dans l’église. Le maître d’œuvre qu’on appellerait architecte aujourd’hui traduit cela en un ou plusieurs chiffres puis en figures géométriques qu’il entrecroise et entrelace, au sol et en hauteur et dans toute la décoration. Cela donne la symbolique de l’église. La Chaise Dieu est une église de l’apocalypse. Lavaudieu est plus modeste et est une église de la crucifixion vue comme le triomphe de la Trinité. La résurrection, la seconde venue, l’apocalypse ne sont que dans le lointain. On est résolument entre l’alpha d’Adam et Eve et l’oméga d’une fin du temps encore loin de nous, et donc dans l’obligation de conformer nos vies aux commandements de Dieu.

L’Abbaye de Lavaudieu était ainsi une église du célibat charismatique qui faisait des religieuses les épouses du Christ, épouses dans sa mission, épouses dans sa Passion, épouse dans sa Crucifixion, et épouses dans sa Résurrection le septième jour de la Semaine Sainte comme première étape vers la Résurrection des morts pour le Jugement Dernier lors de la Deuxième Venue du Christ. On pourrait donc dire que cette église est une église Christique dans ce sens précis de l’hymen charismatique. Voyez comment Hildegarde von Bingen en parle et vous comprendrez la profondeur de cette symbolique.

« Ô douceur de Ton amour,
Ô douceur de Ton étreinte,
Garde-nous pures et vierges !
Nées de boue et de poussière,
Nées au cœur du péché d’Eve,
Résister est difficile
Tentation au goût de pomme !
Soutiens-nous, Christ Rédempteur,
De l’ardent feu de te suivre !
Il est dur de t’imiter
Prises à notre malheur,
Immaculé innocent
Toi, le souverain des anges !
Tu trouveras le joyau
En plein cœur de la souillure !
Epoux et consolateur
Par la croix tu nous donnas
L’extase de t’invoquer ! »

Je conclurai en disant qu’Anne Courtillé manque une dimension essentielle de l’art roman de Lavaudieu car elle ignore la vie réelle des religieuses bénédictines de ce temps-là. Quand elle écrit : « Les moniales étaient souvent issues de milieux aisés, et sans doute dotées d’un minimum de culture » elle ignore que les filles de ces familles aisées, disons de la noblesse ou de la petite noblesse, recevait dans leur famille et souvent dans une institution religieuse une éducation, la plupart du temps religieuse d’ailleurs. Et l’institution bénédictine était une telle institution dédiée au savoir, et en premier lieu au savoir religieux. La remarque d’Anne Courtillé est donc globalement méprisante pour les Bénédictins et ces femmes qui trouvaient dans la fonction moniale bénédictine une façon d’échapper à l’asservissement, matrimonial celui-ci.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014


From Al Pacino to Oriental gardens, a few fruits and some vegetables for your evening repast


A long but actively entertaining film, though it has no real suspense since we know the end will be gory and glorious, for LAPD of course.

You take too actors that are so close physically that you can hardly make out who is the cop and who is the thief. They also behave so much the same way that you can’t even distinguish their shadows or their outlines on the blue sky of LA.

You just have to follow the action and action there is with a tremendous number of collateral victims and collateral damage. The more broken glass and the more banged up metal, the better and the only thing that does not crash in that film is a plane or a helicopter, but apart from those and ships everything else crashes at one time or other in the action.

So take it the way it comes and let yourself go into this action that has been copied a lot. Some scenes are so common that even “Prison Break” used them and, true enough, rejuvenated them a little. It is like the shower scene of “Psycho.” It has been used so much that the descent of it is more important than all the plays by Shakespeare, Marlowe and Ben Jonson thrown together on the table. Though I must admit there are not very many prostitutes in this film.

Well, we can’t have them all, after all.



This book is essentially a book of pictures of Al Pacino in most of his films, with a very short introduction, a full filmography up to 2009, and that’s all. They probably were very obsessed by “The Godfather.”

Was Al Pacino that important in American cinema? Probably by the number of films but many of these films are just good thrillers and they will not change the world, neither will Al Pacino even if he was in some films that were ahead of their times. “The Godfather” for sure in exploring the ruining of a young promising man by the Italian mafia. “Cruising” too on the gay issue in 1980. Just to give two examples. There are a few more.

The book is good because of the numerous pictures but it is nothing but a book of pictures, so do not expect a full analysis of the actor’s style, of the topics of his films, etc.



Il s’agit d’un livre pratique. Il ne faut donc pas lui demander plus qu’il ne peut donner.

Il est extrêmement bien informé sur les fruits et les légumes, leurs valeurs nutritives, leurs valeurs vitaminiques, et aussi leurs défauts et leurs mauvais côtés. Pour les gens qui veulent varier leur nourriture, cela est indispensable. Manger des légumes et des fruits est une bonne chose à condition que ce ne soient pas toujours les mêmes légumes et les mêmes fruits. Le livre donnera beaucoup d’idées.

Cependant il ne prend pas en compte leur prix et le livre est alors terriblement déficient car bien des gens ne pourront pas acheter des fraises, des framboises, des myrtilles, des groseilles, etc. On touche alors à un autre problème : celui de la culture. Quand je vois le nombre de plantes à fleurs sur les balcons des maisons et des appartements en ville je suis toujours étonné qu’il n’y ait pas un groseillier, une paire de fraisiers, etc. Les fruits, et les légumes, cultivés sur son balcon sont bien meilleurs que ceux achetés au marché, qui ont été cueillis souvent plusieurs jours, voire une semaine avant leur arrivée à l’étal, alors que ceux que vous cultivez sur votre balcon ou même votre rebord de fenêtre vous pouvez les cueillir juste avant de les manger. Et ne parlons pas de quelques navets ou rutabagas, salades ou laitues.

Raison de plus si vous avez un jardin. Les fleurs c’est beau mais les fraises et les légumes c’est bon. Il me semble cependant que les citadins ont comme une petite paresse devant le travail régulier que même un seul fraisier demande.

Le livre parle par contre des conditionnements des fruits et légumes disponibles sur le marché, de frais à en conserve ou conservés sous vide, voire congelés. On remarquera que le livre ne vous donne aucun conseil de conservation au-delà du frigo ou du congélateur. Il est économique et même très économe d’acheter des fruits ou des légumes quand ils sont en pleine saison et donc bon marché et d’en faire des confitures, des conserves, et pas seulement du congelé, pour la basse saison, l’hiver par exemple.

Mais là le livre est franchement déficient car il n’envisage en rien les avantages de la cuisson ou conservation par micro-ondes. Surprenant car le micro-onde ne cuit pas à la chaleur et il stérilise bactéries et autres parasites vivants provoquant le pourrissement des conserves, légumes ou fruit, raison de plus viandes, de façon absolue et en des temps de cuisson défiant toute concurrence, sans monter en chaleur au-delà de 90 ou 100 degrés, donc en ne détruisant pas une bonne partie du goût, de la texture et des valeurs vitaminiques. De plus la stérilisation des conserves en bocaux de verre est infiniment plus efficace et durable aux micro-ondes que tout ce que l’on peut imaginer par la chaleur.

Ce livre contient donc beaucoup d’informations de base mais n’a pas encore intégré les méthodes modernes de préparation et de conservation. Il semble s’être arrêté à la chaleur (ça c’est vieux) et à la congélation (ça remonte à disons vingt ou trente ans pour la plupart des ménages français.

Peut donc mieux faire.



This book is a mine of information about all or nearly all vegetables coming from the Orient, I mean here essentially Asia, china and Japan among some other countries. The range of vegetables you can find is enormous and the book gives all you can and must know on their description, the way you can cultivate them, what you can harvest in them, what you can do with each element you harvest from the leaves and the blooms to the roots and the fruits.

Some of these vegetables used to be common in Europe like collards and kale, remained common in America, though as for the two I have just quoted, for Blacks, probably a heritage from Slavery. These vegetables are becoming trendy today, or are becoming trendy again. The point is you cannot very easily, and for some you cannot at all, find the seeds or the tubers, or whatever is necessary to start growing them in some countries in Europe or in simple round-the corner gardening store.

But the book is far even more interesting since it gives great detail about the various cultivating methods in Asia and particularly the use of terraces in gardens to avoid erosion and retain water, and another technique we hardly practice in Europe: the alternation of various vegetables in the same plot, some that grow fast, in a few weeks like lettuces, and some that grow slowly like turnips or other roots, including carrots.

If that type of cultivation is practiced there is a great advantage with it because it can prevent or contain some diseases or parasites. The book also explains some irrigation and drainage techniques used in some rather dry or over-wet conditions.

I would recommend this book to people who are slightly adventure-minded and creative in their intercourse with vegetables in their gardens and on their dinner table. These vegetables may make their gardens and their dinner tables rather sexy.



Slice it up and you can say anything since there is no logic any more


Back to the front means back to the sliced up story with no unity, no objective and no real ideology. Before leaving London for instance, Charley bangs up his brother-in-law he finds involved in an Royal Air Force petrol stealing operation with the accompliceship of a pilot who crashes his plane on a tree so that the petrol can be stolen (note this is absolutely improbable). Charley is satisfied with banging up his brother-in-law and sending him to hospital instead of reporting him as he should have done. There is in this vignette or cameo a very sad element that the author did not exploit, ,probably such a scam never existed. Charley is in fact becoming an accomplice of the crime which is pure high treason. That makes the comic strip difficult to believe: too much suspension of disbelief.

This volume, back at the front, is centered on Captain Snell who has taken over Charley’s company. This officer is a bad officer. We learn later that he is the son of a mine-owning family in Wales and he has had some experience as a mine engineer in South African mines, in other words mines with black slaves rather than unionized workers. But there is no depth in the characterization of that man and in the pranks some men, Charley among others, are performing. A bad officer is a bad officer. It is slightly vain if you just play the Mickey out of him, now and then.

So this volume is an exploded plate of comic shrapnel and we are reduced to looking for interesting elements. There are a few because there always are a few gems in a cesspool of mud and muck, in a shell hole, be it only the rotting bodies at the bottom of it since they are the martyrs of this absurd war.

Captain Snell tells Charley, who he has turned into his servant, one night at dinner: “Speak properly, Bourne! I find your cockney accent rather GRATING!” Finally a mention of cockney, the particular dialect of London’s East End. But never in the whole comic strip have I found any use, let alone systematic use, of cockney. Actually Charley had said just before, a remark that prompted Captain Snell’s reaction: “Pudding coming up in a tick, Sir!” The use of “tick” is by far not even a cockney specialty. That’s a real problem in this comic strip. The language is standard English, British English if you please, and nothing but a popular brand of some Queen’s English or Oxford English. We do not see, hear or feel the various dialects of these Britishers who come from all over the British Isles. A lot there is missing. Where is your research Sir, Mister Pat Mills?

In the same way, the officers are supposed to speak the type of language that is aristocratic in words, sounds and sentences, never do so. It is extremely rare for us to find one allusion to this aristocratic language of officers and their aristocratic origins. I found one instance page “unnumbered,” episode “unnumbered,” find it if you can: “Raathaar! They won’t stand a chaaance against county men!” That is rather little and officers speak just the same language as even Charley from the London East End.

A quick meeting with some Australians, before they are blown into smithereens on the next page by some bomb, tells us they call this war THE BUTCHER’S PICNIC.But that is rather little. It goes along with reading the name of the city of Ypres “Wipers,” but once again that is little. Linguistically that comic strip is not believable: it does not really reflect the linguistic situation in the British army in this World War One. Even the few German or French phrases used here and there are not exactly correct or accurate and they are anyway anecdotic.

But the slicing up of the story leads the author to a very repetitive cyclical humdrum ritual of giving over and over again some details from previous episodes necessary in a new episode for us to understand. In other words the episodes were published as a serial and the comic book has not even been corrected of these repetitive and now useless rituals. If the comic strip had been conceived to be published as a book, it would have been one thousand percent better to have these recalling notes as footnotes at the bottom of a box or of a page, but not in the main captions of the boxes themselves. The way things are presented sounds very opportunistic as for publishing the book and in the end it is amateurish.

Another detail that is used only once, though it could have been used a lot more is Back Slang on page “unnumbered”, in episode “unnumbered.” The author gives us an explanation of course, plus an example so that we can enjoy the two bubbles using that back slang for the first time, and probably for the last time too. First the explanation and example:

“BACK-SLANG” was an INSULT language. The first letter of a word was put at the end and an “A” added. For example: fool – oolfa  chump – humpca.”

He forgot one thing and his description is deficient. Here is the best I have found, but there are many types of back-slang, this one is closest to the one Pat Mills uses.

There are many forms of back-slang but West Midlanders pride themselves as being aficionados. 
In this part of the country, as for others, back-slang consists of taking each first letter of a word and putting it at the end of that word. e.g. girl becomes irlg. 
Then a letter 'a' (pronounced ay) is added to the end of each word. 
Then, irlg becomes irlga (sounded as irlg-ay). 
For single letter words such as 'I' the 'ay' sound is simply added at the end of the word - Ia (I -ay). The letter 'a' itself just has another -ay sound added: a-ay. 
For you as 'posh girls' from West Sussex, back-slang would be: 
"Eway llaay omecay romefay Estway Ussexsay." (We all come from East Sussex). Note that I have used the 'ay' sound to help in speaking, although in writing, just a letter 'a' would usually suffice. The written message below contains the 'ay' sound to help you. 
Odgay, ouyay eallyray oday ucksay - utbay otna ustjay taay anguageslay!

Then the two bubbles:

“ottenra reepca! nowka hatwa ouya anca oda?”
“ticksa your cream cakes pua ourya ostrilna!”

You are totally justified in noticing the politeness of such insults and “ostrilna” is quite polite for what would really have been said but the expected word stating with “A” the back-slang word would have been more difficult to produce: “SSA-A.” With the pronunciation suggested by the description of back-slang I just gave it would have been easy to have “SSA-A” pronounced SSA-ay.” It would also have been more explicit with “SSHOLA-ay.” That’s surprising because that reveals the desire of the author to remain within some strict moral standards, even in simple language. He is writing for a family audience, or at least for children who are reading the comic strip within a family circle and under family scrutiny.

Now what is remarkable about this volume?

I will take only one instance to show how ambiguous everything is. Charley has been seen so far as a chap who helps the weaker. We are not surprised when an intellectual draftee (in other words someone who was a university student and who did not volunteer but waited for the draft to bring him in) is victimized and bullied by one brutal survivor of the Battle of the Somme because he did not volunteer and thus tried to dodge the military service everyone should have volunteered for. The bullying is extreme and Charley is getting in between the intellectual and the bully. We say or think that Charley is doing good and that the author is also doing good.

But the author chooses to turn the tables around. Here are the bubbles of this intellectual in the last episodes:

“I think you’re being too hard on Mister Snell, Charley. He’s been very helpful to me. He helped me fill my application to be an OFFICER.”
“Mister Snell feels. . . with my education. . . I’m destined for better things. Anyone can carry a rifle, but it takes someone with brains to be in charge. . . I’m more suited to commanding other people.”
“Now Grogan’s dead [Grogan was the bully] I can achieve my full potential.”
“Disgraceful behaviour! when I become an officer I won’t stand for that sort of things!”

Charley reacts twice to this discourse. The first time in his own mind:

“Maybe I was wrong about Grogan. Maybe the scholar needed a good hiding. And if I hadn’t interfered and protected him, Grogan would still be alive.”

And the second time aloud:

“You’re not an officer yet, Scholar, so shut up.”

That treatment is surprising because it seems to exonerate the bullies against intellectuals and to justify the bullying against intellectuals. This is definitely a caricature about intellectuals (and in this case a poet) in this WWI. Many poets actually enlisted and died on the front or were severely wounded, like for one French case Apollinaire. Maybe Pat Mills should check the following site: Lives of war poets of the First World War, and he would know that many poets fought and/or died in the war: Vera Brittain, Rupert Brooke, Eleanor Farjeon, Gilbert Frankau, Robert Graves, Julian Grenfell, Ivor Gurney, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, John McCrae, Henry Newbolt, Robert Nichols, Wilfred Owen, John Oxenham, Jessie Pope, Herbert Read, Isaac Rosenberg, Siegfried Sassoon, Owen Seaman, Alan Seeger, Charles Sorley, Muriel Stuart, Edward Thomas, Katharine Tynan, A G West.

 Most surviving intellectuals, poets, writers or others were severely against the war after it was concluded, some even turned communists because of it. But that did not mean they refused to do their “duty,” though I would consider deserting or dodging the draft would have been a politically correct position in front of this useless “Butcher’s Picnic.” The author here is ostracizing poets, intellectuals, is being hostile against them because of their education and nothing else. If it were a question of color of skin or ethnic origin, we would speak of racism. In this case is pure discrimination.

And it implies the idea that dodging the draft or deserting actually is not a conscientious objection act but nothing but high treason. Where is the author’s opposition to the war?

It is all the more surprising because the author pretended in the introduction of the first volume that the comic strip was against the war. It sounds as if the author were settling personal accounts or business. He is neither objective nor “politically correct” from his own point of view since he justifies the worst part of this war: the fact that any opposition was considered as treason, and since intellectuals were hostile to it around 1917 onward he depicts one intellectual as the vainest inhuman and inhumane condescending narrow mind with no different alternative. This comic strip was not good as for these details when it was first published, but it is very bad now in the 21st century.


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