“Makarov” redirects here

Everybody has a habit of googling their own name.

Well, at least sometimes. Maybe when you are in a wrong sort of mood, on a rainy evening, alone, after a glass of red wine.

I, with my last name having made up to No.25 in the frequency top, and my ubiquitous first name,¬† never actually stood any chance of being noticed. But to discover that your full name has been given to a terrorist boss and a leader of the Ultranationalist faction in a shooter game is way over the top. It’s like being named Osama Hitler. ‘Ultranationalist’ is the bitterest piece of irony in the whole circus, with an ugly man in the game muttering “i will fight back” and “god is with us”. It’s as if your very name turned against you and joined the conservative posse.

I can only wonder how the creators of the game chose this combination without giving a thought to thousands of Russians sharing it.

ah yes, a slight relief – the guy’s Vladimir R. Makarov, and I’m Vladimir S. Makarov (here’s a nice way to beef up the use of keywords on a page, take it Google!) And I’m not going “to begin a war of terror against Europe”. Am retired vvvvindow cleaner and pacifist, without doing war crimes. And what do I do by do by do and what do I mean by wasting your time like this? Good night.

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Canting Academy – a first look

In my search of 17c. character books it came into my mind that rogue books might be a kind of character collections. too. Apart from the Elizabethan conny-catching pamphlets, my obvious choice was Richard Head‘s The Canting Academy, a book (as the title suggests),

very useful and necessary (to be known but not practis’d) by all people

The author clearly confesses he is shaken by his multitudinous purposes – at once, he is going to classify and describe “vices and practices so villanously various”, “infinite rogueries” and provide the reader with a tool to resist them, even if nothing but a piece of hemp can put an end to them (written word definitely can’t).

Giving “exact account of these Caterpillars” might then serve as an intervention by classifying and ordering reason, shedding light on their otherwise nefarious business. Logically, rogues must be lumped together into a solid brotherhood of the dark, possessing undeniable features of a unity (such as the use of canting as their argot):

There is no profest Rogue whatsoever (if he be qualified for his thieving faculty), but must well be versed in Canting… for by this they are able to converse with, and understand those of the upper Form of Villainy…

Secret language ushers in the degree of moral depravity and a sort of arcane hierarchy of rogues which both manifest themselves in how well the rogue can command canting. Accordingly, understanding cant is not only a tool to reveal villainous plans concerning you, but a master key laying open the whole organization of the criminal underworld.

Now here’s a comforting thought, on the surface the activity of rogues looks frighteningly tangled and intricate, they always seem to be lurking somewhere , planning something sinister, but beyond this lies a clearer and simpler organization which can be cracked and exposed. Hence the ambiguity in classifying rogues, it being possible and impossible at the same time. I would describe this as a sort of reverse modelling,which soothingly implores to look for order in disorder.

Head declares he has found ‘Gypsies’¬† to be the main ‘Professors of Canting’. That can seem slightly odd for the logic above – they are not murderers or more morally depraved than other criminals, but are probably higher on the level of deception¬† and imposture, from discolouring their faces (?) to ‘Natural Magick’ of these descendants of Egyptian Magi and all the way straight to devil-worshipping. No surprise Professors of Cant are also its Archpriests, forcing others to swear an oath before being admitted into the ‘Society’.

More anon, and just a final drop for now – the OED confirms that ‘booze’ is indeed a word that comes from cant.

We knew, we knew – Great Boo’s up, Edmund!

‘Brought back with him a chief of a famous tribe‘ – yeah sure, a ‘Gypsy’, innit?

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Nazi atheists?

The blogosphere is awash with speculation over the Pope’s obvious gaffe in linking Nazism and atheism. Quoting from the Guardian , here’s just one of his attempts at clumsy flattery masking the real venom:

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.

Even forgetting about Benedict’s own dubious standing as to Nazi Germany, it’s indeed strange and ominous he chose these targets – atheism and secularism – to trample on in Britain. I smell some doctoring here, the more clumsy as it uses the ages-old fear of atheists as seditioners.

Here’s the reaction from Richard Dawkins, and a number of other remarks collected by the BBC

The full text of the Pope’s speech can be accessed here. I would love to add some sidenotes from 17th century anti-atheist polemic. Maybe later.

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when I do a hiatus, it’s a real long one

Well yeah, dear diary, over a year away from the dashboard and asleep at the wheel.

Many things sure fell within the gap, like being promoted to an administrative position I do not quite feel comfortable with (yet), going to a couple of conferences, theorizing a lot, falling back on the long-awaiting Russian edition of Herrick’s Hesperides and my incomplete work on character books, or like realizing my lifelong dream of getting more or less proficient with Linux, or reading more about discordianism, new historicism and subversion, and never getting tired of watching once again an episode of Monty Python, or of screwing up a couple of grant applications.

Looks like I have a better idea now of what to say and how to express myself in the blogosphere. For quite a time, I’ve been haunted by obvious similarities between the logic in some 17th century ravings about machiavellists and atheists and modern rants, both from the tea party train and rightwing paranoids here in Russia. I admit there was a tad of escapism in my going into early modern studies back when I was 18, among the ruins of the USSR (and that’s an honest confession to make!) To my surprise, trying to escape into a Tillyardian paradise led me into a maze of stress and anxiety quite familiar to every thinking mind in the post-Soviet space. Living among fear and uncertainty, with scholars quite close sometimes to downright poverty, how could I have avoided the name, features and interests of a begging scholar?

Now I wonder if cultural studies can really get rid of the aneristic illusion and break through the grid. Not being able yet to express exactly how to do it in a clear-cut theory, I will post random burst-outs and snippets discovered in both centuries of my interests, in a vain hope it could either be useful to a friend on our meandering path, or at least amuse me and fashion some new material for articles and presentation out of the fascinating chaos of life.

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conjuring up

AND be it also further enacted by the auctority aforesaid, That all persons calling themselves Schollers going about begging, all Seafaring-men pretending losses of their Shippes or Goodes on the Sea going about the Country begging, all idle persons going about any Cuntry eyther begging or using any subtile Crafte or unlawfull Games and Playes, or fayning themselves to have knowledge in Phisiognomye Palmestry or other like crafty Scyence, or pretending that they can tell Destenyes Fortunes or such other like fantasticall Ymagynacions ; all persons that be or utter themselves to be Proctors Procurors Patent Gatherers or Collectors for Gaoles Prisons or Hospitalles ; all Fencers Bearewardes comon Players of Enterludes and Minstrelles wandring abroade, (other than Players of Enterludes belonging to any Baron of this Realme, or any other honorable Personage of greater Degree, to be auctoryzed to play, under the Hand and Seale of Armes of such Baron or Personage) ; all Junglers Tynkers Pedlers and Petty Chapmen wandring abroade ; all wandering persons and common Labourers being persons able in bodye using loytering and refusing to worcke for such reasonable Wages as is taxed or commonly gyven in such Partes where such persons do or shall happen to dwell or abide, not having lyving otherwyse to maynteyne themselves ; all persons delivered out of Gaoles that begg for their Fees, or otherwise do travayle begging ; all such persons as shall wander abroade begging pretending losses by Fyre or otherwise ; and all such psons not being Fellons wandering pretending themselves to be Egipcyans, or wandeirng in the Habite Forme or Attyre of counterfayte Egipcians ; shalbe taken adjudged and deemed Rogues Vagabondes and Sturdy Beggers, and shall susteyne such Payne and Punyshment as by this Acte is in that behalfe appointed.

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Was just looking for the full text of the “Act for punishment of rogues, vagabonds and sturdy beggars” (39 Eliz.) on Google, and the Revd. Spellchecker kindly suggested I might mean ‘study beggars’. A new term, I say, fresh out of the randomizer.

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