Dazed and Confused

“Boredom is an unpleasant emotion that people try to avoid. And in materially impoverished cultures which the classic honor-based cultures tend to be there do not exist the variety of distractions we have come to rely on to alleviate us from its throes. In conditions of general material deprivation, people tend to find in other people and themselves, rather than things, the means to banish boredom, for people are not as rare as things But people as a general matter are not interesting either unless they can be provided with qualities that will make them so…..Competition, contention, conviviality generate that capacity.”


William Ian Miller, Humiliation and other Essays on Honor, Social Discomfort, and Violence.

The Flipper: Lights Sound

I am an abject failure at bothering to write up what I spend my time researching. Really got to improve my game somewhat. Below a somewhat off topic remark on King Kong at New Savannah. Bit sloppy, clean it up and extend it after the holiday season. Start actually discussing what I am interested in and what I have been looking at. Its been somewhat absent from the blog so far.

“The abduction motif in particular has a relationship with philosophy and folktales or elite and popular culture. It has ‘traditionally’ been important to determining concepts like animal or ‘man-like’.

Its been missed in a lot of discussion on such things. Isolated research cultures.

The lines appear to be more vague and anxious than historians often suggest at times. But they are often looking at more formal authorized compositions that are perhaps more guarded than other forms of story- telling that have more room to play.

It also seems to stand on its own and make sense without recourse to the legal philosophy.

If the theme is culturally specific raises the question what else is it in the cultural pattern that allows folk to be mindful of the theme.

Would also be interesting determining what the pattern was that allows for the emotional connection made.

Difficult to sort and date the moves but the density of distribution of the abduction motif makes it easier than other examples that appear to contain the same folk/elite elements.

Its a significant motif and a very twisty turny yarn”

An ‘Academy of Revolting ‘

“Up above My Head I hear Music in the Air. That Makes Me Know There’s A Party Somewhere…”

When civil dudgeon first grew high,

And men fell out, they knew not why;

When hard words, jealousies, and fears

Set folks together by the ears,

And made them fight, like mad or drunk,

For dame Religion as for Punk;

Whose honesty they all durst swear for,

Tho’ not a man of them knew wherefore:


I should have been looking at an ethnic slur on the Dutch, which was used as an attempt to substantiate a late dating for the arrival of the frog in Ireland (spare the details ), got distracted, but not a huge amount of papers on the use of the frog as an ethnic from of abuse. Post reformation history of this Irish miracle is somewhat thin on the ground as well. Frog in Ireland does seem something of a counter reformation creature with a creatively contrived back history. Certainly the texts exploring its history and miraculous status and back history all seem to explode at this point in translation from Latin to English.

Found this book instead searching for on a text with a similar name on the earlier treatment on the Dutch I was trying to find on archive org (E.E.B. tomorrow should have it). The heading to the post comes from the text I was originally looking for.


Samuel Butler, Hudibras: with variorum notes selected principally from Grey and Nash, 1859

These Days


Reflecting on the subject. I thought starting a couple of more blogs was too much to keep this one going.

For some reason I find it useful to have a place just to occasional write un -proofed unstructured nonsense. Useful for some reason I should really keep it private as errors I make writing on the hoof do look seriously stupid. But it is a part of what I am. Don’t want to use any text on sight, don’t want to use music or unstructured thought on the other so still need a space for that.

Main reason for abandonment was I like the way photographs look, on different site formats. But that’s a simple fix (edit. Done).

I think rather than abandon blog, abandon reading professional knowledge sites with a strong science emphasis for a while, have an uninterrupted spell in the wilderness, well away from the professional thinker and its culture. Way outside of my cultural comfort zone.

Always been a huge distraction from research. Such a contested and policed area of knowledge, difficult to play here and make a mess. Form in lots of aspects of these subjects historical still lies in darkness.

Way in

End the blog with a re- post ‘Way In’ from Byssus Threads


My introduction in ‘About’ is somewhat terse. Need to expand it beyond the existing “Got a camera. Learning how to take pictures.”

Pictures are taken on the daily exercise regime I have to do, standard Scottish curse of a seriously bad vascular system. I walk much slower than I did in the past, started noticing the world around me more and walking the same routes started to notice things I would like to get a picture of.

The pictures tend to be taken on the routes I walk within an hour of home.


The main reason in getting a camera was simply to motivate me to get out walking over the winter for required amount of time. But I also want to illustrate my other research interests, tentatively taking messy steps here, will avoid doing that here in future but will use this place Being Out of Time, to start playing with drawing text and images together.

I mostly look at subjects which are sometimes termed folk biology. But classificatory systems and belief form my major interests here. But somewhat eclectic range from medieval wild men to man like apes of late 17th century thought, barnacle geese and faeries. Chance e-mail reminded me of a slightly different subject I had recently photographed that is vaguely connected. So may take a slight excursion into body snatching and fear of the ‘burkers.’ Look at the cultural and social basis that forms anxiety in regard to medicine and its practitioners.

Keep this space free of text and the more ‘boring’ stuff. These are the spaces and the environment in which I dream and form ideas.

Closing the Door


Byssus Is shutting its doors and moving on. Thanks for reading! Site was always a serious mess, writing on the hoof which is not helpful for readers. Was always more useful for myself as a means of taking notes. Un- proofed dyslexic writing is seriously messy.

Keeping on theme for this place thought I would close with a tenuously related picture (doorman of the Western Bar).

I will be messily experimenting further with text and images here in future. Although unlike Byssus the site will contain proofed and hopefully coherent work, picking up on themes crudely sketched here alongside snap shots of text and image.

Pictures of the environment in which I live here . Edinburgh’s ‘Pubic Triangle’ (above) is five minutes straight down the road from my home and the last place to get a well lite shot at night on the way home from the City center. But may use it at some-point when I look at culturally symbolic aspects of identity.

Pictures are the experimental and messy part, learning on the hoof here and just started taking pictures last month. Early days. No such excuses with research. Been doing it for long enough but seriously bad at writing up.

News From Sick Britania: Poor Bodies


Of learning and Well-being

“It is still possible to avoid legal action if you make a re-payment arrangement. Failure to contact your Housing Officer or clear your arrears will result in the Council taking court action against you. ….. If you have children in youre household we may also inform Children Services.”


A recent letter for £250 worth of rent arrears sent to a family in desperate financial straights by a social landlord in South Ayrshire. South Ayrshire Councils Executive Director for Care, Learning and Wellbeing suggested that as a landlord it acted as a ‘corporate parent’ for children who are not homeless and residing in one of their houses. But as Giles Peaker at Nearly Legal notes this is a rather imaginative and inventive explanation.

The inclusion of the reference to referral to Child services appears to have no legal or practical basis and looks little more than an attempt to place families under considerable amounts of stress in an effort to obtain payment by threat. The threat being pay up or we will take you’re children into care.

The ploy also appears to be spreading.


Nearly Legal, Demanding Money with Menaces


Homeless Man, Edinburgh