Helping my cousin

Sometimes I’m annoyed by her

But now she’s a poorer soul

I have to care for her like I

Do with a sick animal, giving

Her what I feel is needed for

Her every now and then to

Save her from herself, praying

To God to help all of us today.

Advertisements

Interest in imperfection

As I get older, I realise that some things are way more interesting for their flaws rather than their virtues. The what could-have beens and why-did-it-happens of the world. The dark side of everything. The hidden face of a good image.

 

I could be becoming more realistic and less inclined to put something on a pedestal for whatever reason and factor. That doesn’t lessen the fascination though it can intensify it in a way. Imperfection isn’t bad. Mistakes happen though I myself find it hard to admit too.

 

Sometimes a mishap can be more charming than glamour. Though it doesn’t make for good advertising, it can be oddly fascinating when it comes to understanding how and why┬áit went wrong. What went wrong in an otherwise idyllic place.

 

There’s also novelty to imperfection and a desire to understand its woes and shortcomings. An awareness of what’s really going on even beyond international headlines. It’s a cultivated interest so to speak because it takes time to understand, if not appreciate those.

 

But it’s good to want to learn more so imperfections are the best places to start.

The other dark side of Germany

No doubt that xenophobic nationalism and immigration woes are problems in Germany though what isn’t well known outside of German-speaking and perhaps Dutch speaking circles is that Germany and a few others aren’t that dog friendly.

 

But not necessarily for reasons people expect it to be. They have a problem with dog poisoning and it’s constantly in the news (though I might be wrong about that). There’s even an anti-bait app to help dog owners avoid such traps.

 

As I brought up an example before, if Britney Spears or Rihanna lived there and got their pets attacked that would bring a lot of attention to that problem and would predictably cause a lot of outrage. It would be so high-profile that one wonders what’s wrong.

 

I won’t be surprised if there are organisations that are trying to curb or report these. And that there were attempts to take down the antidog site Gegenhund down before. That’s a big deal over there and something that shouldn’t be taken so lightly.

The English Shakespeare spoke

There’s been a lot of debate over what the English accent used to sound like in Elizabethan times but there’s some consensus that it would’ve sounded closer to that of contemporary Irish English but also those of more isolated communities like in Tangiers and Appalachian mountains which were Westernised in the 17th century.

 

Being kept apart made it easier to preserve such features. Someone had an anecdote about an anthropologist studying the accents of its people who occupied that place since the 1600s and 1700s prior to the popularisation of television.

 

Given that America and Ireland were subjected to English colonisation in the 16th to 18th centuries, it wouldn’t be surprising that those dialects retained the Elizabethan rhoticity to a greater extent than in much of Britain.

 

There are some exceptions but it’s consistent with how changes in English coincided with the rise of the British Empire. Both Australia and New Zealand were founded at a much later date and are as non-rhotic as present day Britain is.

 

Which explains why they speak the way they do.

Vikings in the British Isles

The Vikings were what others would call invading Norsemen though some of them settled in colonies and in the general British Isles. In Ireland, Oxmantown was originally known as East Man’s Town or something in the line of that.

 

Unsurprisingly Ireland was settled by Vikings and so were Scotland, England and Isle of Man. Most especially Northern England and Scotland given their proximity to Norway and Denmark.

 

Shetland Orkney used to belong to Norway. There was a recent study stating that in one of these islands, 27 % of the menfolk have Scandinavian chromosomes (to be fair, around 30 % or more in England have Germanic DNA owing to Lowlanders and Danes).

 

In a few other, older studies there were findings indicating that 44 % of Shetlanders and 30 % of Orcadians were equally descended from Norse men and women. Opposed to the Hebrides where there’s only 15 % of that DNA.

 

Back to Dublin ,there was a sample where the Scandinavia ancestry is stated to be around 34.8 %. It could be smaller than than when taken generally but it does indicate a substantial influence, both genetically and culturally.

 

Links:

 

http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v95/n2/full/6800661a.html

http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/v14/n12/full/5201709a.html

The West Coast

The part of America (and the rest of the Americas) that faces the Pacific Ocean. It is for some reason where America’s massive film industry’s centered there. There’s also a notable independent comics industry, which coincided with the hippie subculture when it peaked.

 

It’s safe to say that it’s the place where you’ll find large concentrations of Asian Americans. It makes sense given the location. Predictably Los Angeles’s Forever 21 was founded by Korean immigrants.

 

Not to mention a substantial Latino population though in general it’s the fastest growing (and assimilating) population throughout America due to its proximity to the South. Their influence is permeating there with varying degrees of bilingualism between English and Spanish.

 

 

Deep South

The Deep South is pretty much the American South proper. The cliches are the (vanishing) Everglades, a history rooted in slavery and mountain rednecks. That’s true to a certain point despite hosting a number of dubious celebrities, corporations like Kentucky Fried Chicken and people no different from anybody else.

 

There are a number of African American communities there though in isolated, insular communities like the Gullah the culture’s closer to colonial era African Americans and to some extent, their pre-colonial counterparts as well.

 

The Everglades are a classic though disappearing feature if it weren’t for reckless industrialisation. Unsurprisingly there are efforts to maintain and keep whatever is left of the Everglades and some are planning on creating new marshes for other animals to thrive in.

 

There are also stray dogs there, albeit increasingly in numbers since prior decades before thanks to disasters like economic meltdowns and Hurricane Katrina though who knows if their numbers have subsided or not. Some even say that they’re worse than bears and wolves.

 

I even have relatives there who came here to the Philippines before though I’d have to go there to know it for real.