Time to begin the begin

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

31 December 2012

We began the year with a bang. We are ending it with a whimper.

Time has not been on our side these past few days so that perforce we have had less chance to focus on Antigone1984.

The blog was launched experimentally in October 2011 and then formally on 1 January 2012. Since its inception we have published around 330 posts of varying length and seriousness. Readership has built up steadily worldwide and is continuing to grow.

If we are to pick out one egregious topic that has come up time again and again throughout the year, it has been the recourse to torture by supposedly civilized western democracies such as the United States and Britain.

The Greek tragedy was another recurring theme. And the butchery in Syria – ongoing as we write – while the world wrings its hands and looks away.

We are grateful to everyone who has helped to make the blog possible, not least our technical consultants. A big thank-you also to Allan Tomlins in Brussels for extending the readership by reblogging our posts on his network.

The following is the last stanza of the poem “Hellas” by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822):

“O Cease! must hate and death return?

Cease! must men kill and die?

Cease! drain not to its dregs the urn

Of bitter prophecy!

The world is weary of the past –

O might it die or rest at last!”

And so say all of us! 2012 was not a year to cherish long-term in the memory. The past, however, is another country. Let us lay it to rest. The past, by definition, does not exist. Rather than look back, through the eyes of the present let us fix our gaze firmly on the future.

Tomorrow sees the start of another year in the history of humanity – another chance for human kind to turn over a new leaf and right the wrongs of the past.

Let us go for it.  If not now, when? Time to start over. Time to begin the begin.

Bye, bye, 2012, it was no good to know ya!

Welcome in, 2013. We’re kinda hopin’ for something better from you. Don’t you dare let us down.

Let us end on an upbeat note with the words of the immortal bard that are traditionally sung on the last day of the year:


Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to min’ ?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And days o’ lang syne ?

We twa hae rin about the braes,

And pu’d the gowans fine;

But we’ve wandered monie a weary fit

Sin’ auld lang syne. 

We twa hae paidl’t i’ the burn,

Frae mornin’ sun till dine;

But seas between us braid hae roar’d

Sin’ auld lang syne.

And here’s a hand, my trusty fiere,

And gie’s a hand o’ thine ;

And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught

For auld lang syne. 

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp,

And surely I’ll be mine ;

And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet

For auld lang syne !

For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne,

We’ll tak a cup  o’ kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

“Auld Lang Syne” is a  poem written in 1788 by the Scottish poet Robert “Rabbie” Burns (1759-1796) on the basis of an old Scottish song. We have used the version included in the 1921 edition of “The Oxford Book of English Verse” edited by Arthur Quiller-Couch (1863-1944).  Musical interpretations are legion. For a typical rendering, readers could check out the following:

Auld Lang Syne


 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)

2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)

3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)

4. Capitalism in practice  (4 July 2012) 

5.Ladder  (21 June 2012)

 6. A tale of two cities (1)  (6 June 2012)

 7. A tale of two cities (2)  (7 June 2012)

 8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.


This entry was posted in Greece, Syria, Torture, UK, USA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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