I’ll be a Welshman

“If all our medicines were thrown into the sea, it would be better for us, and worse for all the fishes.”

The motto, I believe, is from Oliver Wendell Holmes, Senior, not to be confused with Oliver Wendell Holmes, Junior. That is to say, the doctor and author of The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, and not the jurisprude. My mama, who was the daughter of Oliver Wilbur Holmes (and the illustrious Annie Graham!) liked to quote it. Now, she was a nurse, indeed a ward matron, and knew whereof she spoke. Avoid medication, she advised, and moreover:

“Never put anything in your ear smaller than your elbow.”

She had other bonmots, but they were more eccentric. The general purport was, leave well enough alone, and be patient in waiting for the heat death of the universe.

Another word for this is, “conservative.” As I have pointed out myself, the more one knows about a subject, the more conservative one becomes towards it. Conversely, the less one knows, the more liberal he becomes, and inclined to embrace “progress” and “reforms.” Even a Communist may prove a very conservative stamp collector, once he learns something about philately. It’s only economics he knows nothing about.

This is a universal principle. Everyone knows something about something, and is very backward on that which he knows. The one exception may be journalists, who know nothing about anything, and are therefore liberal all round.

Now, what has this to do with Welshmen? Very little, I suspect. But it is Saint David’s Day (a.k.a. St Taffy’s) though the fact isn’t mentioned in my Saint Andrew’s Missal. And here I am in your presence again, after an unwanted holiday, during which I passed through the various rings of cybernetic hell. I promised to be back by the first of March, and here I am with dragons: Bwahaha!

I will take the Dydd Gŵyl Dewi for a name day, though truth to tell, I was not named for a Cymri, but for King David of Alba, in the 800th year of his decease. (I would mention the Psalmist, but have no dates.) Everyone should have a name day, which is why it is so important to name your children after Christian saints, not stars of stage and screen. Too, one should try to spell them properly, in at least one language.

And everyone should be allowed some self-indulgence on his name day.

Truth to tell: I’m a little dazed after my recent experience of this world in which, “everything is changing.” Hence the incoherence of my philosophy today (with apologies to Al-Ghazali). But my main point stands, and pray for all the fishes.