16 DEC - 24 DEC   2012

16 DEC 2012 21:06

you're lying in bed at the Courtyard Hotel. the thick pillows of the Courtyard Hotel support your head. the children are in the bath. [having no bath, you come to the Courtyard Hotel, Dar es Salaam for the children to have a bath] P is asleep. it feels like the middle of the night. [how many times have you had that feeling] you're so tired all day your mouth and your jaws especially were struggling to make Swahili sounds. English sounds were also hard to make. you've woken up a little [now] and you're hoping the tiredness underneath will rise up and surround you and you will quickly be asleep without reading page after page of Life: A User's Manual, containing page after page describing in the most detailed manner: domestic interiors in a Paris apartment building. you're too tired to watch al-jazeera on the wall mounted flat screen TV with the glowing red LED. tomorrow you're catching a bus in the morning from Ubungo [bus station]. [the thought of Ubungo bus station fills your mind, a muddy lot under the spell of constant immanent departure] you set the alarm for 3. the time: saa kumi na nusu tells us it is really still the tail end of the night, before even alfajiri the lightening of pre dawn. night fades into day sharply / imperceptibly at saa kumi na mbili, giving way to dawn, and an hour of the morning is already elapsed when we record saa moja of the new day. you rode into Mtwara this morning around 6.30. while you were waiting for a bajaj with S, two old women came up the road with hoes on their heads. they had finished - the way that cowherd talked about his morning now: he did not consider 7 o clock to be the morning, he was saying - the morning was gone by then. that was a bitter person. these two people, by contrast, with hoes on their heads, seemed free of bitterness. they were chatting on their way back from the fields at 6.30 in the morning, their work of cultivation done. of course you can't have the slightest certainty - any more than [in the case of] those 2 men paddling across the wide calm expanse of the bay at Miseti - chatting to each other from one canoe to the other as they quietly paddled them in together from wherever they had been on the sea. you don't know [you have no idea if they were at peace]

cap chepeo already tayari tuhuma accusation, suspicion, reproach -tikisa to move, shake (up), vibrate -nasa to hold, trap -naswa to be trapped, held (detained) -andaa to prepare [eg -andaa shamba] kilimo (vi-) agriculture, farming -ongoza to guide, direct, lead -burudika to be refreshed, entertained, to relax eg burudika na coca cola ovyo carelessly eg usitupe takataka ovyo ujenzi construction, building, architecture aubergine birinjani kunde cowpea rangi ya kunde brown ajali accident, fate -epusha avoid, rescue et epusha ajali akili mind, intelligence, knowledge firewood kuni msingi foundation, base eg shule ya msingi - primary school onyo advice, warning hairuhusiwi it is not permitted dongo (ma-) earth, soil tope (ma-) mud muhogo cassava msikiti mosque

saa 6.30 mchana = 12.30 arrive 6. kamili [ie at the bus station in Lushoto prior to departure] arr. 1 jioni ie 7pm [ie in Dar es Salaam]

17 DEC 2012

you're lying in a damp bed at Mambo Viewpoint in the mountains above Lushoto after travelling all day, from Dar es Salaam. you're high up and a cold wind blows in the tent, flapping the canvas sheeting. the sheets have been put on the beds damp [or the sheets have absorbed moisture from the damp atmosphere] and the blankets are musty. you're tired but you can't sleep. it is dispiriting to come to this cold damp place after so many hours travelling across the country in the heat. the owner's dog died last week when it fell over a cliff. the owner seemed concerned but relatively impassive. perhaps he wished to avoid sentimentality or upsetting the children. there is no hot water in the tents. an airplane is heard high overhead. the wind continues. p is sleeping after condemning this supposed luxury tent. maybe you can move into a house. or you suppose you will leave. but where to?

kiota cha ndege nest ______ kisambara uzainuka zeze good morning mzainuka zeze good morning (to more than one person) tizainuka wedi good morning to you (reply) ___ njozi njema good dream(s) njozi (n n) dream, vision wingu mawingu cloud (s) kigongo kimoja one stick of firewood kibiriti match __

19 DEC 2012

you're lying on your back in bed. youre under a conical roof of poles and plaster. all around one side - the side where your feet are pointing - windows open on the darkness. all you can see is the reflection of an arm and part of a coloured spread in patch of light. beyond the windows there is an overhang of the thatched eaves, then a short area of grass, then the ground drops away - on and off all day you were looking out over the plains and mountains to the north. sheets of rain from the flat bases of the clouds below would slant down on the surface covered in sparse trees, mountains, or red soil. sun would come to bake the earth then slant through mist in the evening. the clouds cast shadows on the mountains seemingly rucked up in a fabric, turning the green to black. clouds could be seen to boil up in the plain air and pour in, smothering the house and the trees and bushes in thick mist. the scale and banality of that performance - an amalgam of the sublime and the everyday - have appeared to be having an effect on everybody, as if we were in an extraordinary exhibition. in some unusual exhibitions, in which you are onlookers and listeners, there can be a sense that you are all involved in an extraordinary moment, tempting you to engage - perhaps by a direct address, a smile or a shake of the head - with your fellow listeners and viewers - as if to recognize together the uniqueness of a collective experience - such moments are quiet: no speaking , no contact, perhaps one or two people are writing a note or they are recording a video or an audio clip on their device - but the great majority of what is going on, eschewing the contact momentarily envisaged, yearned for: slipping aside on an improvised signal to engage your neighbour in a speechless sexual exchange - suspended - is going on in a quiet almost we can say: business like or simple formal manner: a process of exposure and unresolved excitation of which the end and the origin are fully or essentially unknown. think about that. something like that: some people were painting or reading: some were washing and hanging clothes out to dry, pointing out some detail of the view at that moment - some bird or some butterfly - with their voices strangely dispersed in the air before them - perhaps because of the vast aperture there. you moved here from your cold damp tents and were able to air your damp things and make a fire of sticks in the stove. a person expands in these conditions, of course - such a constricted monotone person becomes colourful, quite open, light - it's obvious - just like anemones or gelatinous organisms covered by the tide. before that and each time you really have no sense that such a conversion can take place. social movements. sexual movements. everyone is asleep around you. the morning when you woke it was cold. the wind was still blowing hard and the mountain top was covered in mist. you bathed from a bucket. S and M were looking at sunbirds [description of how Ndege, whose name means bird, planted the garden at Mambo viewpoint after rooting out the wattle and planted indigenous plants by getting local people looking for work to come with a plant; how he arranged for plants with different depths of labiate flowers to be planted to attract different species of sunbirds: the smaller Variable and the larger Malachite] but S was in bed unhappy. at breakfast you had a terse conversation in semi public. the sun broke through the clouds and a pattern was set up of irridescent birds passing back and forth from perches in vegetation. P saw a big bright green chameleon and M filmed it in motion [for s|n]. its remarkable movements delight and animate the viewer. the chameleon sits typically on the edge of vegetation where sunlight is sufficient to enable its color changes, as you have been told. this one was on a castor plant. you're tired. tomorrow you will get up at 6 and somebody will come to show you birds in this area, which is remarkable for its diversity of habitats and species. everybody is asleep around you or beside you. you too are tired. you're tired too.

19 DEC 2012

you're sitting outside the Fix House at Mambo Viewpoint, waiting for the cloud to blow over. one moment the plain is open, crossed by sheets of rain or cloud shadows. the next moment a mass of grey and white cloud and mist covers the mountain tip, broken by clips of filtered sun. the leaves of the eucalyptus clatter together and release their scent. birds have left the area except for a few distant calls or excerpts of song. the floor of the plain is red to yellow soil, partially, very sparsely or sometimes thickly covered by woody vegetation like clumps of hair glued to the scalp of a mask. yellowish or reddish tracks traverse the floor in series of tight or loose meanders in the way of a hair [on a plate or a sheet]. in other areas eg near a lake the margins are much smoother: light, bright green, with a thin umber fringe by the water: a beach or rocks, shingle or dark sand, or silt. in the middle to far distance, a few glints of light are reflections off metal roofs or glass. washing has been hung over the low wooden railing of sticks held to the tops of posts with bent rusted nails: light and dark grey, brown and black, black socks and shirts with a grey and a blue pair of trousers and a faded green and brown green and white striped pants. a little rain falls on the page and the ink spreads into a drop of water. you go in. _________

put Hermann and Willie Buhler in touch around fuel logs

bird song including tanzanian species at

List of birds seen |Shagayu Forest | 20 DEC 2012

Fülleborn's Boubou
Black Saw-wing
African Dusky Flycatcher
White-Tailed Crested Flycatcher
African Yellow White-Eye
Bar-throated Apalis
Black-backed Puffback
White-statted Robin
Fork-tailed Drongo
Usambara Double-Collared Sunbird
Cinnamon-Chested Bee-eater
Hartlaub's Turaco


"ok sana, baba"


20 DEC 2012

you're lying in bed on your back in Fixhouse looking up at the conical roof. the spaces between the poles supporting the thatched roof of fix-house have been filled in with chicken wire and burlap sacks and plastered by slinging the render at the substrate [Hermann told you]. so the fixhouse roof is simply and even elegantly sealed with white painted plaster and holds warmth from the small Polish stove. the bathroom, which is part of fixhouse, has a plain thatched roof and wind blows through it so the bathroom is cold. tomorrow is S's birthday. P brough wrapping paper from the market [in fact the stationery shop] in Mtwara in bright shiny silver and red, and Imani gave sasha a present wrapped in pink. P found a caard with a naive drawing of a Variable Sunbird in coloured inks. it makes a pile on the foot of S's bed. everybody is in bed under blankets. the wind has come up again outside. this morning was the firest clear down since we have been here, with sheets and shifting patches of haze or concentrations of light in certain areas. distances were uncertain. Mount Kilimanjaro in the far distance appeared very clear and sharp with the remaining snow sparkling on its cap. the mountains closer up were blurred and still in partial darkness. the vastness of the plain, reaching across the arbitrary border into Kenya, perplexes the viewer, appearing ot show too much and too little. S expected to see elephants in the ______ National Park; everybody smiled. but something about the clarity and sheer scope of the view seems to imply unrestricted visibility. the eyes, meanwhile, flooded with such an image, so vast and so unstable, shift uncertainly from point to point [cp the eye of the chameleon] - one snag to the next in a sea of light. clumsily adjusting focus, much as a camera etends and retracts its lens as it tracks the terrain before it. now it is all dark from where you are lying. from last night the stars have been visible, with a partial moon, and in counterpoint: the cities of the plain: so many specks of light thrown down in a cluster: here and there across the inconceivable vastness of the plane [sic] - its mountains like fabric over some underlying limbs or improbably configured bodies - you have not red the book by Cormac McCarthy [which begins: or checked if its title is a quote, or from where - but the basic nature of the habitation visible on the spread out plain below this escarpment, which is a mythical drop - the quality and fact of the existences of those households in loose clusters amounting to a few hundred maybe - these cities - miji - in miniature: vijiji - astound us in their simplicity. today we were walking in the Forest of Shagayu, where we saw many birds we would not have know without Anthony, our guide. Anthony ws not able to identify many calls. certainly he was unable to do what Huruma could do - our guide in Udzungwa who could converse with the birds quite simply and effectively by whistling through his teeth. Anthony, however, could identify the local birds and he was a strong advocate of the forest, at the same time as being as if pre-tuned to the pressures and problems of local people, struggling to stary warm and cook their food. with him we were able to see the birds listed below [above] of which several, starred in the list [!], are endemic to the Usambara Mountains, where for example it is uniquely possible for the Usambara Two-collared Sunbird to be seen: feeding from the orange tubular flowers, like honeysuckle, of a certain creeper, draping the [we can say: architecture of that huge] tree in hanging curtains of stems and flowers something like decorative nets of LEDs.

LIST above

you walked a long way and you're tired now

d-light solar light

drawing of a circle with one radius pointing to 5.30


List of Birds Seen on a walk from Mambo Viewpoint down past the Ndege place across open country in the hope of spotting the rare Taita Falcon on its nest

Cape Robin-Chat
Cinnamon Bracken Warbler
Dark-Capped Bulbul or Black-Eyed Bulbul (former Common Bulbul)
Pin-tailed Whydah
Streaked Seed-Eater

21 DEC 2012

Irente nightfall

you're lying in bed in a room at Irente Farm on the Irente Biodiversity Reserve outside Lushoto. you came down from Mambo / Mtae at 1900m: it's warm. you're lying in the warm air with windows wide open, listening to the night insects. you and S went out and recorded the insects starting at dusk, along with the calls of cows and some last people, in the overgrown field up behind this house.

[SB made drawings from memory in AUG 2014]

.. now the insects have taken over the night. it rained just before you arrived: the red roads were dark and full of puddles. the grasses and the myriad [!] foliage of Lushoto is wet and lush and the insects in it are producing luxuriant sound[s]. S[h] was 10 today. we went to try to see the rare Taita Falcon at its nest hole in the cliff below Mambo Viewpoint. we saw it in a tree. infinitely wary and alone, you thought, watching it rise in spirals in front of the grey and red cliff, until you lost it. somebody said there were 50 pairs known, but that may not be accurate. certainly there is only one pair around here. the main population, such as it is, is around Mt Taita in Kenya. then you came down the long rough road from Mambo and had salad and bread and jam for lunch. you walked in the woods looking at indigenous trees. the manager of the Irente Reserve has been ringing non-native trees to kill them. you have been told he has been blocking roads through the forest which are used by people to reach their homes. you don't know if this is true. he lives in a big house across the way with a roof cantilevered out over a wide proch, white buttresses, handsome proportions. you haven't met him. he may be away. M ws photographing a swallow tailed flycatcher on a nest made of plastic bags. P spotted it over the road on the way to the bee house. the beekeeper was away and the beehouse was shut. really it was the building used by a beekeepers' society, with the aim of promoting moveable frame hives. you could see what looked like their extracting room, with a table equipped with a sieve and a wire gauze funnel in the window, perhaps to allow occasional bees caught in the supers to go out. you're tired. on the side of the building a sign said:

Mchungaji wa nyuki analeta Utamu na Mwanga what is this? mwanga mwanga (mianga) is Light mwanga wa jua is sunshine mwanga is also a word for wizard the beekeeper brings sweetness and light! this could only be written by a beekeeper or perhaps a society of beekeepers another sign on the front of the building says simply Nyuki ni Mali [the Bee is Wealth] this could also be translated as: a bee is property. this sign could be a statement about beekeeping for income generation; or it could be designed to challenge the idea that bees and honey are common property resources; so it could be a kind of manifesto for enclosure. it could be both. it's fair to say I have no idea. everybody suddenly got very tired and lay down and went to sleep immediately. youre tired too. tomorrow you are going back to Dar es Salaam. the Ibariki Tanzania bus was full. the Shambalai bus leaves at noon. youre tired. sleep.

22 DEC 2012

youre lying in bed in the early morning at Irente Farm. night insects, birds and people coughing are heard, followed by a period of quiet. the period of lightening - alfajiri - is short by comparison with the Northern hemisphere. in the same way the dusk. after all those camping trips in Catalunya you instinctively expect the dusk to go on and on, with the light imperceptibly fading. on Summer nights in the mountains of Catalunya the nights themselves hardly fade to dark. every time that period of easing: the pause in activity when dusk occurs in Mtwara Tanzania, you expect it to stretch out. instead the light goes down quickly to dark and you are in the warm night before you know it. now it is light a dove is heard with its gentle accelerating call. you look out through the mesh of the open window with its green painted casement into the big trees of Irente Farm, some of which are labelled: the Wild Banana with its red rib and translucent bright light green leaves the size of persons. the Cape Fig or the Pigeonwood, the Quinine Tree which does not produce quinine. the quinine tree which does produce quinine was brought from Peru in the 1600s by the Spanish [we are told in the booklet]. there is a plantation of them at Shakhrani. of course the quinine tree made possible the so called penetrations by Northern people into the rich Southern region without suffering the malaria that continues to dominate areas such as Mtwara, or even Lushoto, up in the mountains, to a lesser extent. you are going to Dar es Salaam today and tomorrow morning you will fly to London. you will arrive on Christmas Eve.

There are 683 different species and subspecies of trees in total mountainous area of 325,000 hectares! (Compare this with just 55 trees species in Europe north of the Alps). Furthermore much of the life here is unique to the area - it occurs nowhere else. Of the 684 tree species, 169 species are endemic (24.8% endemism rate). Of the 11 chameleon species, 7 are endemic (63.6%) and amongst milipedes there is 76% endemism! A veritable Galapagos! [bold] That is why at Irente we have a policy of Biodiversity restoration or reforestation with native tree species [/bold].
Sunbirds at Irente [TBC]:

Amethyst sunbird
Eastern Olive Sunbird
Scarlet-chested Sunbird
(Variable sunbird)
(Collared sunbird)


DEP 09:15
taxi at 6.45


Ruskin Cars 0207 708 4444

front of your bus at Lushoto bus station

22 [sic] *23* DEC 2012

youre lying in bed at the Courtyard Hotel, Dar es Salaam - you're tired. your head hurts slightly and you feel a little sick. everybody's asleep. it's hot in Dar es Salaam. the rain came to the outlying villages, filling low places in the land with standing water. as you came to the city the traffic gradually brought you to a standstill. the Shambalai bus was good but hard to ride on. noisy and rough. you slept a little. somebody was sitting on your armrest. you were holding some pots. you ate rice and vegetable curry. and dal in the courtyard in the semi darkness. you have come all the way down from that terrace in the mountain with sunbirds feeding. tomorrow morning you will go to the airport. something about riding past all those houses and fields, all those places exhausts you. it tires a person deeply, making it hard to form syllables or to wait for something. sleep.

[link to takeoff and landing]

22 [sic] *23* DEC 2012

youre in seat 38B next to the window seat. you've just taken off from Julius Nyerere International Airport. from the window you can see the coastline north of Dar es Salaam: the turquoise reefs of the West Indian Ocean and the meanders of a muddy river leading in to a lagoon. then everything is swallowed in grey white cloud. now already you are approaching the top of this pile of cloud: the cloud layer drops away beneath you and the light blue sky opens above you, streaked with skeins [?] of cirrus [?] cloud, with single clumps of cumulus [?] cloud below dotted across above what now open as the plains of Northern Tanzania - the very tip of the wing is visible with a light, and 7 ailerons [?] - little spikes projecting rearwards, and of course the flaps - the elevators [?] on the rear of the wing. the window has dried. you have entered the area of permanent sun / night above the cloud layer - above the lower cloud layer. you are passing through further layers of unfocused hazy cirrus; blurred, etiolated grey-white skeins [?] - various layers and levels of cloud formations at different altitudes appear to shift relation to each other in parallax - in the distance, truly [?] massive cumuli [?] rise as mountainous, bossed and lobed formations highly textured, shaded and closely modelled in shades of white and pale grey with rose and silver tints. elsewhere, a plateau of thick creamy cloud in the form of beatern eggwhites is sperad out as if with a spatula broken by various pocks [?], fissures and cliff-like vertices. these formations appear repeatedly now, as curious agglomerations of quite different from and texture between and connecting the classic shapes of puffed cloud stacked and dolloped with, as you know, flat bases, drifting, sailing etc above the plain in an otherwise clear hot blue white sky. a vegetarian breakfast has been given to you in adcance and now coffee. the coffee is sloshing in the cup: very fluid, slightly oily on the surface, very close to spilling. drink some. a person submits to being closely managed on an aircraft like this. it spilled, forming a light brown running pool. drink it. the food in the foil box is spaghetti. that surprised you. you used to eat spaghetti for breakfast all the time but not for a while. a few years have passed since your spaghetti breakfast days. how about you? are you eating spaghetti for breakfast? now and then?

[now and then]

you're passing mount kilimanjaro now - you're eating your food. you're eating your spaghetti. below[,] each cloud has a clearly defined dark grey shadow on the varied plain below - the plains of Kenya now - plains and hills - colours: red, green, grey, whitish. clouds white. sky: light blue. the light inside the cabin muted by contrast: levels low; again tired, maybe affected by the insect spray before take-off. the pasta is greyish. the cake, with its moist white flanks and soft yellowish crust on top in a thin plastic wrapper, appears greyish white, witha greyish top, darkening as it slopes slightly away: the coffee is cold now, quite still in the bottom of the cup with a ________ around it. the red berry jam, with a bright red and pink graphic on the foil: also strangely muted, as if faded. all of these foods and packets are slightly desaturated, brightness down, contrast down, [as if by grief? or other loss, or in sympathy with audio attenuation] in a grey plastic tray. the spaghetti has little strips of yellow pepper and red onion in a sweaty oily sauce. drink some orange juice. juice work ltd is in Manchester. you can contact them on 0161 945 8887. Red Berry Rapture Fruit Jam is made (surprisingly perhaps) in INTERNATIONAL DAIRY PRODUCTS (T) LTD. they are in Arusha, and can be contacted on 0754 420293 or or by post at PO Box 7109 ARUSHA TZ. Flora Medium Fat SPREAD contains cow's milk and soya. there is a text so small it cannot be read and a picture of a white heart on a read ground flanked by 2 shapes, perhaps knife and fork. the familiar blue and yellowish green heart motif surrounds the Flora logo with a yellowish-white ground evoking butter. there is an unmarked roll in a plastic wrapper with a clammy yet papery texture suggesting a damp wasps nest, and a faint chemical taste. that taste is masked by the berry jam. you're getting tired. have some fruit. there's a little plastic pot of fruit. have that. it has the number of the seat next to yours on the lid on a blue sticker with serial number EB1176 and another, lighter sticker. try eating that. one chunk of pineapple, 3 chunks of watermelon, 3 chunks of mango with a little juice and some seeds of passion fruit, with their slippery sperm like quality. the cake can be ripped by its plastic wrapper with a strong tearing motion. the inside of the wrapper is beaded with condensation, ________; the top humid, slightly viscous, taste sweet, pores small, all gone. what's left? the bun, with a bite out of it. the jice work orange juice from concentrate. best before 32 DEC 12 serve chilled. that taste or orange juice from concentrate - slightly acrid. there is one homogenized low fat strawberry yoghurt left. produced by ASAS DAIRIES LTD of IRINGA. the foil cover shows a Holstein cow in a fenced enclosure before red roofed barns or houses with a snow capped mountain in the ground, too pointed to be Kilimanjaro. ASAS DAIRIES LTD can be contacted at PO BOX 562 IRINGA or online at info Finally, Milk Maid Tastes like fresh milk - long life skimmed mil with no milk fat is made in the UK. no contact details. you hope that yoghurt is ok. you wish you hadn't eaten it. one time before after a BA flight you had a massive allergic reaction: your body was covered in welts. you wondered if it was a yoghurt you ate then. you hope the contents of this yoghurt do no cause you to break out in welts. you feel uneasy, slightly sick. you were uneasy, slightly hungry, so you ate that yoghurt. you ate all that food except the bun and the milk. you wish you hadn't. you wish you'd left the whole tray and gone hungry. how tired you are. all your dreams and ambitions - all your hopes and emerging plans, it feels like - have faded after eating that. when you eat materials of that kind your plans and dreams wither. suddenly they seem far from workable, and in any case, meaningless. the spirit of resistance is extinguished. this kind of food is a trojan horse, introducing malignancy directly into the belly of the host that ingests it. you sit here with these materials in your insides, feeling worse and worse. the next thing is the so called entertainments menu. that menu consists of the mental analogues of that meal you have just eaten. after watching that, the reprogramming process will be complete. you will truly be ready for descent. 'We have commenced our descent towards London Heathrow," the voice will say. you will be tired. your spirits will be low. you will be neutralised. the person in front of you is watching a film set in a gamelike environment. a man is taking over a space station by deploying succubus-like creatures from his palm, accompanied by an accomplice carrying an inviting cake, her breasts modelled as globes protruding from a thin tight sheath. men in suits have entered a diner. after a fruitless conversation with a mendacious oriental type, they discover dishes full of writhing creatures and disembodies organs. when the mood in the joint turns nasty, they shoot and bludgeon their way out with a frying pan. their nemesis, the bad biker, reappears, confronting them with more obscene mental products. etc. all the time the yogurt is fermenting in your stomach, your imagination is an easy target for these materials. you are separated by 3 rows from your family. another family, with a tall assertive male, is close to you. they laugh among themselves, consolidating a pre christmas pact of dominance and degradation. your spirits sink lower and your body, roughly jolted and blasted forward, is full of discomfort and dis-ease. you are not above the clouds, it turns out: you are in a flickering mass of high cloud cover, producing a claustrophoc sensation even as you cruise at an altitude of 18 thousand feet above mean sea level. the man in front has paused his show at a frame of a man listening on a corded telephone. he wears a classically sober suit and funereal black tie. his face, as he listens, is grim. the man in front has sunk into a deep sleep, his hand folded across his shirt: white, with a thin, well-spaced, dark stripe. you rise above the cloud.

you're over Sardinia. very bright: bright white cloud in a field over the grey blue sea, the sea's abrupt edge or with a pale ochre fringe of sand - the light and darker green of fields and woods, with grey and ochre lines of roads, or paths. you watched The Social Network, purporting to tell the story of the invention of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg - a Harvard undergraduate. the film depicts the Harvard campus where you spent time and describes the atmosphere of sexism, chauvinism and elitism that you remember in those places. it portrays the founding of The Facebook embedded in the relationship issues of the founder, a very clever young man with an element of emotional unresponsiveness. a continuous detachment marks his relationships on and off line - a detachment he is alert to but seemingly unable to disrupt. the film has an extra resonance, of course, from the rold of facebook in popular uprisings, confirming Mark the founder or co-founder's sense that it was unclear how big but also what facebook could be. the film, however, dwells in the legal conflicts between Mark, the founder, and his former only friend and co-founder and associate Eduardo, and two rowing brothers from a wealthy and privileged background who claime he had taken the idea from them. they all got a lot of money. the beginning of the film shows Mark's then girlfriend breaking off the relationship in response to his crassness and insensitivity, leading to a facebook precursor allowing male students to rank the sexual attractiveness of fellow women students: at the end of the film, Mark is seen submitting a friend request to this former girlfriend and repeatedly refreshing to see if she has accepted. in this sense, the film portrays a tragic incapacity. however, the normative behaviour of those involved in the early facebook, and the re-creation of those Harvard milieux combine to leave a bleak impression. such a place is a breeding ground of elitism, where elites literally go to breed. however some people withdraw, completely we can even say, from those people, those clubs and parties and mores, still the texture of those relations pervade the place. nobody can thrive in such a place who is not at some level in its alignment. the rest waste their breath manoeuvring against an impossible adversary: at once swollen with power and wealth and fantastically cunning and refined. it is hard to live among such a system: who wants to be full of hatred of the abusers at the same time as you are full of despair and self-recrimination that these abusers exceed you, as it feels, in every way. those Harvard men so called are repellent to observe but within their terms, which are the terms of that world, they are winners in every way: their size and the texture of their skin, their force and confidence are all admirable features for their kind. you really have no wish to satyrize them, you have no talent for it - you would only like to be elsewhere: among good people doing something good. education of that kind, of course, is a bitter deception,very difficult to critique, since even such an institution contains many folds: its single marxist professor - Professor Womack - from Oklahoma - its feminist professors Johnson, Jardine et al, once the tide has turned - etc - it's hard to critique in the sense the abuser is hard to come at: the abuser is motivated ultimately, of course, by a kind of incapacity to conduct their human relations in a positive way. such an educational institution is similarly armed with all kinds of meae culpae and every kind of disclaimer. nonetheless it takes young people and has its way. the Harvard experience is like a long airplane flight, in that way: the user's options are very limited; protest makes it even harder for the protester: they struggle to articulate their resistance to the proposals on offer. it's a privilege to be there. everyone is looking at them in turn: what is your problem, they are asking. at a place like Harvard University, the coded expressions of disdain for other groups or kinds of people or individuals reach a high level of refinement: this is what the user of such a system puts their heart and mind to, the way Mark Zuckerberg put his heart and mind to achieving compensation - the way in any colonial / caste system, with its endlessly rarefied stratifications: its faintest, mortifying sleights and its sudden outbreaks of systematic violence: its gang bangs and lynchings. what a place to put a young person! you may think. your interlocutor will slightly shake their head, in what amounts to a kind of genuine self-induced ignorance of everything you are referring to. in some way, it would be better if those interlocutors' mouths were actually dripping venom and blood, where they have been alternately poisoning and ingesting in a nutritive cycle the fluids in the bodies of their charges. a person of that young age as typically enters that kind of establishment is literally tender and juicy. the wealthy and powerful are attracted to them by pheromonal lures, as equally bees are drawn to sting where venom has been discharged. the whole campus of such an establishment is literally flushed with pheromonal mists and beaded with droplets of fresh venom, and the people in those systems, all the time they are taking care of everyday matters - which for the most part they are relieved from by servants and staff - are all the time sexually alert to a scarcely conceivable extent verging on delirium, and constantly preyed on and constructed as prey and bait. so a person lives in a frenzy of various mouthparts carrying out every kind of oral and aural exploitation. a person is vulnerable in such a situation: some more than others: some acutely: all to some extent: they are alone. their aloneness is acute and defies description. their linguistic faculties collapse frequently like highly trained athletes, who are famously prone to illness and debility. this forms the background to their learning about the world, delivered from a rostrum by some celebrity - with whom no direct contact is envisaged or generally allowed. this in turn is the ground on which they elaborate a working model of moral life.

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