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Omar's Diary to 26th November 2023

The Observer, Abbasids, Celebrity (Ughhhh) and the town's Christmas fair

By Alan RussellPublished 3 months ago 5 min read

What with the onset of the winter Man Servant and I have had plenty of time at the weekends to catch up with the Sunday newspapers. Sadly, I cannot claim that they are what used to be called “broadsheets” such as The Sunday Times and The Observer used to be. They have all converted to tabloid. Such a downgrade of quality.

If we have The Observer the first article we always read is the restaurant reviews by Jay Rayner. Man Servant says that if this is particularly acidic and excoriating about a venue then he knows that the rest of the paper will be interesting. We also enjoy reading William Keegan with his half page articles on the economy. He makes economics understandable.

Earlier this month after the outbreak of the ongoing war between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip there was a piece in The Observer about how the study of history in that region is slowly disappearing from school curriculums. The reason stated was that it was too difficult a subject to teach.

What a great shame. The result of this will be a further depletion of this country’s collective canon of knowledge and therefore understanding of the world beyond our shores will become Anglocentric. It has not been correct to say "Eurocentric" since June 2016.

Both Man Servant and I appreciate that the region is a hotbed of problems that can so easily spill over into wider conflicts but it is also important to be aware of what the region has contributed to the wider world over the centuries.

One musical instrument that is taken for granted as being a purely Western invention is the guitar in all of its present manifestations. Its backstory illustrates another side to slavery under the Abbasids in Baghdad.

Ziryab was born during the very early years of the caliphate. His father was a slave at court. Through a process of education, Ziryab became a polymath, man of letters, astronomer, fashion designer and a musician. He even co wrote music and lyrics with his father who was a court musician. Ziryab decided one day he had had enough of Baghdad and travelled to the most westerly part of the empire, Spain. There he established himself at court and while he was there added a sixth string to the lute which became the forerunner of the modern guitar we know today.

Upward social mobility has been around for a long time.

Ziryab 789 - 857 No Ziryab no Rock n Roll

Not a bad curriculum vitae of achievements for the son of a slave back in Baghdad and without him there may never have been rock n roll 800 years later in the world.

We also read how a so called “celebrity” is claiming that all the accusations against him are part of a wider conspiracy. He claims it is controlled by the vested interests of the mainstream media, big pharma and the political elite. He is entitled to his opinion in this society of free speech but his words have to carry a massive caveat.

Take Downing Street, the centre of the British Government where Larry lives. That reminds me, it is about time he had a new servant as the present one has been there about a year. Based on recent history that is quite a long residency so we can expect a change soon. Sorry, I digressed. There are constant leaks from within those walls. All of them have some intention behind them. They could be a way of be testing out ideas on the voters. Or they could happen because of pure malice.

Based on that example I would like to ask the “celebrity”, such a debased word these days, under investigation I would like to ask him a question. That is "Why with such a wide range of alleged conspiracists allegedly working against him no one within it has become disgruntled and released emails, texts and WhatsApp messages to bring the conspiracy crashing down?" As he has no proof his claims are an prime example of an unadulterated ad hominem.

Similarly in America someone is claiming election fraud as a result of a conspiracy. So far they have not been able to produce any hard evidence to the courts, senate and congressional committees to that effect. And even more importantly to the media aka the fourth estate. If there was such evidence available they would relish publishing it.

A celebrity is someone who spends more than two hours a day doing their hair. The phrase "Profoundly shallow" comes to mind.

On a lighter note, the Servants went to the local town earlier today to attend the Christmas Fair marking the start of the festivities. They had a good look at the stalls lining the High Street. Man Servant remarked how nice it was that they did not encounter the smell of bratwurst being cooked until they got to the end of the street near the church.

I wonder if bratwurst is made from small naughty servants?

Apparently everyone was happy and friendly apart from one very young girl who was only just walking. The sight of people on stilts, others dressed up as elves and Santa himself was just too much for her. She was inconsolable from the stress of everything and hugged her teddy bear suffocatingly.

Santa passing through Ringwood - he did not show up on the NASA tracker today

I heard they stopped for some hot drinks. Lady Servant had her favourite which is chai latte while Man Servant had a frothy cappuccino. Man Servant had to restrain Lady Servant from asking the young man who served them how he made his froth for the coffee. Personally, I think it was a perfectly reasonable question. If a servant was serving me some froth I woukd insist on knowing how it was made and where it came from.


About the Creator

Alan Russell

When you read my words they may not be perfect but I hope they:

1. Engage you

2. Entertain you

3. At least make you smile (Omar's Diaries) or

4. Think about this crazy world we live in and

5. Never accept anything at face value

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  • Salman siddique3 months ago

    i'll have to read all parts of it

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