David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

11 August 2014

Bombers Seek Justice

Following on from yesterday's post about QCs and SCs, among other matters, today it has been three QCs and one SC closer to home - most of Team bLOGOS/HA HA are supporters of the Bombers (Essendon Footbal Club) - as we watched together the opening presentations of the extraordinary Federal Court battle between the Bombers and ASADA broadcast live on Australian TV.

Neil Young QC for the Essendon Footbal Club
Peter Hanks SC lead counsel for James Hird
David Grace QC for the 34 Bombers players
Tom Howe QC lead counsel for ASADA

These contestants' representatives certainly knew their brief much better than QC George Brandis did his meta- business.

Being LOGOphiles and LOLphiles, we listened with a lulling rapture to their strange-poetry of the Law.

Three terms or phrases stuck :
1. over-reach (by the anti-doping authority)
2. the Latin equivalent of that : ultra vires (‘beyond powers’)

3. And we jotted this one down as we heard it - clever lawyer, leaving such a clear image to his last sentence. Mr Howe QC : "Indeed, your honour, the expression 'nonsense on stilts' comes to mind."

None of us knew that expression, but we all liked it. Our illustrator immediately set-about (see below) as others turned to Google. Turns out it is the sort of phrase one who has read Law might well recall, by the admirable Jeremy Bentham.

Jeremy Bentham by Henry William Pickersgill (detail)
full image HERE
Jeremy Bentham (February1748 – June 1832) was a British philosopher, jurist, and social reformer. He is regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism.

Bentham became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism. He advocated individual and economic freedom, the separation of church and state, freedom of expression, equal rights for women, the right to divorce, and the decriminalising of homosexual acts. He called for the abolition of slavery, the abolition of the death penalty, and the abolition of physical punishment, including that of children. He has also become known in recent years as an early advocate of animal rights. Though strongly in favour of the extension of individual legal rights, he opposed the idea of natural law and natural rights, calling them "nonsense upon stilts".   
- Wikipedia

What rough beast is this then, approaching us on stilts? Tis ideoMAN. That mighty Sherrin-headed Bomber fan!


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