Bob's Christmas Bulletin...(Final report for 2011)

The Pipe changes tone as hand is lifted or lowered

A Bosun's Mate (junior) "piping" a senior official aboard a warship.
A Bosun's Mate (junior) "piping" a senior official aboard a warship.

See y'all in 2012

*The Boson... *Christopher Hitchens Leaves Us... *The UK and France Shape-Up... *Real Christmas Spirit

For simple old me, a “bosun” was spelled like that - with a “u” - and simply meant one of the senior “lower deck” officers (non-commissioned) in the Royal Navy who had a whistle, or pipe, named after him. This bosun was usually a man of some mass - a characteristic of bosuns and bosons, but he needed little explanation to the world at large.

Now the boson on everyone’s lips is spelled with an “o” - two, in fact, and is the most elusive creation since the Pimpernel turned scarlet.

Some faces this month at CERN (in English - the European Center for Nuclear Research) may have been a little red, if not quite scarlet, as the Higgs Boson failed to actually appear, yet some “spikes” in the recording apparatus may have suggested they were around.

The Boson has been christened the “God Particle” by writers and those who should know better, although explaining the Higgs (for short) is proving as difficult as delineating the Almighty.

We need to find this shy chap and soon, otherwise physics as we understand it today may have to be torn apart and rewritten.

And that for me is all I have to say on the subject, as read as I might, I still don’t have a clue what a Higgs - or any other boson - actually is, I just hope the scientists at the particle accelerator (Large Hadron Collider) get one or two for Christmas and shut up about the silly things! Lordy, wasn’t science more fun when we just had molecules and atoms?

Christopher Hitchens Leaves Us. Is there a burly ghost jittering around in limbo somewhere wondering what comes next for a life-time atheist?

For sure the Pearly Gates are well and truly locked, and even Hades might be reluctant to admit a non-believer who denied God but appointed George Bush as his earthly guru. No use appealing to Allah if he’s looking on, either; Hitchens backed Bush’s policies in Iraq…I suppose an Englishman living in Texas during the Bush years had little choice if he didn’t want to be “convinced” by a coterie of blokes with suntanned necks smelling of cow shit.

His work “God is Not Great,” (2007) attracted a maelstrom of controversy; he remained a non-believer, even as he lay dying of cancer, asking friends and well wishers, “Not to bother a deaf Heaven with Bootless Cries” (on his behalf). It is often said, smugly, “There are no atheist in the trenches.” I am always gratified to find this is untrue and many lifetime pagans (including my beloved mum) do not turn to any deity even as their last moments are here.

Hitchens was a man of the flesh alright. He traveled the world sampling its delights and reporting on the less fortunate. As a young reporter in London, he raged against Vietnam yet, later, embraced the Iraq conflict. Once exposed to the US life he embraced it, becoming a US Citizen in 2007. One can’t help thinking he must have had good security in his house in Texas as he espoused his atheistic belief….gay antichrists aren’t going to win any popularity contests in the Lone Star State!

Although he was undoubtedly a great writer and raconteur, I wasn’t particularly impressed with Hitchens. He had every advantage, from Oxford, to being embraced by the London Newspaper Fraternity; his travels enabled him to write about the world’s disenfranchised, but he did so from a position of superiority. His admiration of the doltish Bush; his apparent bi-sexuality and sexual appetites were a huge yawn. His death at 62 must have pleased many opponents within and even without the church.

The “Froggies,” and the “Rosbifs” shape-up! The French and the British have never really liked one another. The French resent the fact that Europe - and the world - have adopted English as the language of commerce instead of their own, dear, glottal tongue. The British find the French cold, superior and unfriendly on the whole and ungrateful for all the allies did for them in the great wars.

So it was some delight the French were able to hurl accusations at the British for using their veto and not going along with the French/German plans to write a new treaty and rescue the Euro - which Britain wisely stayed out of.

The British, with joy, reacted predictable and the rhetoric has heated up in a few days to even include phrases mentioning “war.”

That would be interesting. Both countries have tiny armed forces and equipment these days and it’s hard to see anyone nuking Paris or London…maybe some well organized frog racing could solve the issues? Something needs to be done because France’s Sarkozy goes for reelection in a couple of months and the spat threatens to split Britain’s’ coalition government with its Tory Euro-skeptic PM - David Cameron, and its Liberal pro-Europe VP, Nick Clegg.

If anyone is misguided enough to think my opinion counts for anything, the EEC and the Euro were both a huge mistake and I have said that from the get-go (or soon afterwards). These nations have been comfortably at war and trade for 1000 years; writing a few lines on a treaty hasn’t made much difference to the mind set of the combatants…after all, trade itself is a conflict. Economists are united in claiming that the fate of the Euro would seem to be writ, despite all the conniving to save the banks: I can’t think top-heavy Europe itself will be long behind its currency before it shatters - the cracks are there already and widening.

So get ready, United States, we might need some help; this may leave Mr. Obama unimpressed, as he seems to dislike Britain, perhaps because his father was ill treated by our army during the Mau-Mau insurrections in the ‘50’s?

The Real Spirit of Christmas. I was watching “Flog It,” well known in Britain. A show where folks bring objects to be valued and then “flogged,” (sold) on auction.

An obviously working class woman had brought some small antique doctor’s paraphernalia in a rather nice case. She said she needed the money to go towards a saxophone for her daughter. The small kit was valued at 40 to 60 pounds, but in the event sold for nearly 400 pounds! Paul Martin, the presenter, asked her how she would spend the money. Her worn face shining, she said she would now be able to buy a better instrument for her daughter. Not a thing for herself. Somehow, this lovely, unselfish mother struck me right in the heart and I unashamedly cried tears of joy for her and the millions like her who have so little, but really appreciate it when their number comes up for once.

Then I though about the dark, lying and greedy faces of politicians and bankers, etc. Yes, they appropriate millions, but it is never enough. There can be no hell, because, if there were, we would smell the rancid pig meat as these swine burned eternally for their sins against their fellow man. Not one of them can ever express the sheer joy of the mother on TV, able for once to treat her daughter, her delight lighting up the whole show.

With that, have a good break and drink too much!!

Diogenes (Robert Challen de Mercer).


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Comments 18 comments

Hillbilly Zen profile image

Hillbilly Zen 4 years ago from Kentucky

As always, Bob, a thoroughly enjoyable and informative read. I now know that scientists have conjured up yet another mystery to justify their paychecks, that a very quirky gentleman has passed into the ether, and that politicians in your neck of the woods are just as snarky and silly as they are over here. I always suspected that hope sprang eternal beneath your cynical shell, and that has been confirmed as well. That shell cracked just enough to allow tears when a deserving soul caught a break.

Merry Christmas, Bob, and thank you for the gifts you leave for us on these pages.


diogenes 4 years ago

Hello Tammy: Glad you liked blog. I am tired of HP and it shows as i can't be bothered with researching anything. But its fun using HP for a blog like this, i don't expect it to earn any clicks, all a joke anyway. You have a good time too dear and we'll see ya soon Bobxox


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 4 years ago from Rural Arizona

Bob - On top of everything else going on they couldn't find the Higgs Boson? What will we do now?

I really enjoyed your humor in the hub. I would love to see some more hubs regarding your time living in Mexico.

Have a great Holiday season and looking forward to your next hub.


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey

A great year end wrap up with your usual wonderful way with the mother tongue-- you have a deft hand with the word pictures and a delightfully impish wit.... that said I too have a soft spot for bosun's mates.... my paternal grandfather was a Norwegian sailor who got shipwrecked stateside and joined the American navy in 1880. He ended up a bosun's mate and then was commissioned in the field during the Spanish American War and retired as a Lieutenant. What a guy he must have been. I never knew him. But I digress.... I share your pessimistic view of the Eurozone and your sympathy for those who having little materially know how to live better than those greedy Wall Street piggies because they know what really matters. Sooooooo have a lovely Christmas and as Tiny Tim( or more precisely Charled Dickens) said " God bless us every one"


Diogenes 4 years ago

Lovely and interesting comment robie. I have just watched two editions of "A Christmas Carol," which always brings a certain dampness to these cynical old eyes. The last was the musical with Kelsey Grammer as Scrooge. I miss him on TV.

Well, as Scrooge said...after his meetings with the spirits, "Happy Christmas!"


diogenes 4 years ago

They are still looking! I am still struggling to understand quantum mechanics and the exclusion theory, etc. It has been rewarding we are part of everything else in the universe...I wrote a poem to that effect instinctively some years ago. It's all still a great mystery I have enjoyed your articles and comments over the year and look forward to more...Bob


writeronline 4 years ago

What a fulsome Hub, sir. Who's hidden our Higgs Boson, and can we have it back please? Will Hitchens support for the Iraq War give him a bonus pass into heaven? (Bush always reckoned God was on their side in the Iraq Crusade, so who knows, political payola might be as effective a currency up there as it is down here...)Does anybody in England really give a toss about the Euro, or those damned Frogs? Something hitherto unconsidered in relation to Obama and the Mau Mau (sounds like an African drum group dunnit?) And a heartwarming tearjerker to finish. What more could a loyal reader ask? Except maybe, is Santa Claus real?

Looking forward to Bob's Bulletin Issue 1, 2012.

Have a festive season, Bob.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Thanks WOL, I have just enjoyed your latest hub. As for Christmas, no interest to me these days; family followed the four winds and I don't need all the gluttony. I don't think many have the festive spirit except for the kids in the UK this year and worse to follow I'm sure.

Se ya in 2012 Bob


stricktlydating profile image

stricktlydating 4 years ago from Australia

Best wishes for the new year Bob!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hiya SD: Same to you and may you keep those great articles coming in 2012...Bob


Sophia Angelique 4 years ago

Bob, I've currently living in Texas. Interesting place. In Houston, we have the biggest atheist meet-up group in the world (1500 and counting), and we have a gay mayor. We also have the biggest current nut case church guru - Joel Osteen.

Wonderful story about the saxophone daughter mother. I have to say I have also been touched in the last week - as you know.

I think the biggest issue is that so many people are treated like consumer objects - and don't even know it.

I thought the EEC was a really good idea in 1999. That's because it enabled me to use my German nationality to live in the UK. Of course, before that I got to live in the UK because I was under 25 or 26 or something. Can't remember. :)

That said, I always preferred the old currencies. They were so much more interesting - although I once paid a German cab driver hundred quid for a six quid ride by mistake. :(


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi babe: I imagine when you were 26 you would have been welcome anywhere red-blooded men lived!

I bet you wish you had that change now.

I guess Texas has changed muchly since I was there 26 years ago. Thanks for visit...Bob


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Very Interesting Bob! Wow - I had so many thoughts running through my head through the hub - and you ended with the story about the lady getting the instrument for her child. Now that, my friend, is a good holiday story!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 4 years ago from London, UK

140billion Euros are in the IMF fund and dozy devil still added £18billion to it. Yet, cutting the Winter Warmer for old pensioners by £50. I agree with you there can't a hell. It would be overrun. I can't understand why the Euro can't be changed back into the old currencies without the great drauma of provedence. They done the change without any great drama. So, what is there really behind it? Well, I better stop.

Have a lovely holiday and a wonderful New Year.


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 4 years ago from Isle of Man

I thoroughly enjoyed this hub and the way you seamlessly move from one topic to another. I like your choice of topics and how you go from millions being spent in pursuit of a "God Particle" to a privileged man who wrote about the underprivileged from a safe vantage point never getting his hands dirty to the war of attrition between Europeans who think they are fooling anyone by signing treaties that are not worth the paper they are written on to bringing it all down to a common denominator ...love. When we recognise love nothing else seems to matter and the story of that mother's love outshines everything else.

Thank you Bob and best wishes to you for a wonderful New Year.


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 4 years ago

OMG. you're a bush loving atheist?! that explains it all. just the same, I hope you have a happy new year and I'll miss you until 2012:) thanks for being one of the brighter spots of my 2011, Bob.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Thanks Real Housewife

Hello hello

Spirit Whisperer

Kim...A bush loving atheist? Mystifying. I do like a good bush, but i'm not thinking of George W.

Yes. SW A common themme among the literatti " Love above all."

Yes HH...Have you seen the train fare increases? Up to 10 times worse than Europe. Bob


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi Bob, Very interesting. :)

I just read your other recent 'news updates', too.

I cannot understand how the banks have managed to get away with whatever they did. It's a crazy, unfair world.

Christopher Hitchens ~ Only recently discovered him and think that the world will be the worse without him. A very entertaining and interesting man. I love to warch videos of his debates and I bought his controversial book. I didn't agree with him about the war, but I understood his explanation for supporting it. People were suffering in Iraq.

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