memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Archive for the ‘current affairs’ Category

Opiate of the People

Towards the end of the 19th century (earth-time) a German Jew called Karl Marx, a political philosopher who was living in London, wrote Das Kapital which was to become one of the foundation stones of Communism. In this book which was basically an attack on Capitalism, one of the many quotable aphorisms is: Religion is the opiate of the People.



Now at the beginning of the 21st century might we suggest one changes this to: Football is the opiate of the People.

Football, in case anyone reading this is from another System in the Galaxy , is a game where twenty two grown men are paid mind-bogglingly huge sums of money to kick a ball around a field for ninety of their earth minutes.

I know, I know … go figure, there’s no accounting for taste, is there? But you will really fall out of your chairs when I inform your Excellencies that this, often unedifying spectacle of testosterone fuelled louts throwing tantrums when they lose, can be watched by up to a billion natives of this planet.

This inspection team is nearing completion of its assignment (there are just a couple of belief-systems we need to look at again in the eastern part of the planet) then we’re done here.


Our recommendation is that the classification of this world should be downgraded

from C (promising) to C- (disappointing).

Death on the roads


The statistics of deaths caused by road accidents in Portugal are heart-wrenchingly high.

A bad year will have about 2000 people losing their lives (needlessly) on the roads of this country.

(That’s more than the combined NATO forces’ annual mortality rate in Afghanistan).

Time to get real

While the agents of these accidents are largely men

The victims are mixed,

Women, old people and children.

So if you are planning to drive this Xmas please


to avoid occasions like this:



Out of kilter

The rich are getting richer

The poor are getting poorer

Something is out of kilter

The last type-writer

20th November 2012

Today the last type-writer to be manufactured in Britain came off the assembly line – and can you guess where it’s going?

 Straight into a museum.

Irony of ironies!

Ever since the 18th century in Britain inventors had devised various kinds of «writing machines»

It wasn’t until Remington, then a manufacturer of sewing machines, signed an agreement with a patent holder in the 1870s that the Sholes and Glidden Type-writer was born, coining the name and the QWERTY layout that would prove so universal.

I shall miss the tap-tap-tappedy-tap-click-whirr-zing of a busy office

The plonk-plonk of the crypto novelist

In the attic

Typing out his unpublished

Work of genius

I shall miss the Dear Sir

Yours faithfully

And the Dear Mr. Jones

Yours sincerely

That comfortable pedant’s

Paradise of grammatical



It’s the End of an Era


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