How His Omega Precedes His Alpha (By Virtue of a Dormitive Virtue)

Until he overlooked the fact that some of his tiles were about to be surrounded, Old Ardle had been playing a bit above his usual standard. I don’t say that he was on his way to victory, merely that defeat, though very likely judging from the early arrangement of tiles, was not likely to be so comprehensive as heretofore.

Incidentally, here is a pic of Old Ardle (black) insouciant in the face of defeat:

Old Ardle, insouciant in the face of defeat.

The encirclement of the Black Cameltonian’s stones occurred after this manner: Old Ardle had been attempting to encircle a small company of the Poor Little Cypriot’s, which the PLC had defended by “extending the line.” But then the PLC, rather than “extend the line” again, played inside. Old Ardle gave him one of those “What-did-you-do-that-for?” looks and resumed the sleepwalk encircling manoeuvre. It would have been a beautiful thing to do, had he been awake to the fact that his supporting forces had no more than one liberty. The PLC took the liberty to deprive them of theirs and into captivity they tramped.

There was a moment when it looked as if Old Ardle might take captivity captive for he did not give up but ordered the Cameltonian forces to attempt to break in behind the Cypriot lines (see right side of the board in the photo). The PLC therefore had to engage in a shoring-up operation in one theatre, while working on a larger encirclement in another, an encirclement which eventually secured his own flank (top of board in the photo) and sent a larger number of Cameltonians into captivity.

Finally, Old Ardle busied himself strengthening his line instead of grabbing what remained of the diminishing spaces in the centre of the board and so got squeezed.

The flaw in OA’s game is this, that the end cometh before his beginning hath properly started, hence the sobriquet “OA”: his Omega comes before his Alpha has got going.

As today was a bank holiday here in Nippon (National Socialist Foundation Day or something) “David English House” was shut and so the PLC did not have to scoot off to play snakes and ladders and cards with the kids. Instead, as both he and Old Ardle had got a bit peckish and also a bit tired of sitting in the Blue Flat Cafe, they headed over to Mollie Malones for fish-n-chips, a couple of beers and a chinwag.

The other day I downloaded Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil and, as I mentioned to Old Ardle, I was amused to see that Old Nietzsche, at least in the translation that I am reading, refered to Immanuel Kant as “Old Kant”:

A time came when people rubbed their foreheads, and they still rub them today. People had been dreaming, and first and foremost – old Kant. “By means of a means” – he had said, or at least meant to say. But, is that an answer? An explanation? Or is it not rather merely a repetition of the question? How does opium induce sleep? “By means of a means,” namely the virtus dormitiva, replies the doctor Moliere, Quia est in eo virtus dormitiva, Cujus est natura sensus assoupire.

There is much sterner meat to feed on in Beyond Good and Evil. Consider this:

Eventually under very peaceful conditions, there is less and less occasion or need to educate one’s feelings in severity, even severity in justice begins to trouble the conscience; a stern and lofty nobility and self-responsibility is received almost as an offence and awakens mistrust, ‘the lamb’, even more ‘the sheep’, is held in higher and higher respect. There comes a point of morbid mellowing and over-tenderness in the history of society at which it takes the side even of him who harms it, the criminal, and does so honestly and wholeheartedly. Punishment: that seems somehow unfair… ‘To administer punishment is itself dreadful!’ – with this question herd morality, the morality of timidity, draws its ultimate conclusion.

Supposing all danger, the cause of fear, could be abolished, this morality would herewith also be abolished: it would no longer be necessary, it would no longer regard itself as necessary! He who examines the conscience of the present-day European will have to extract from a thousand moral recesses and hiding-places always the same imperative, the imperative of herd timidity: ‘we wish that there will one day no longer be anything to fear!’ One day – everywhere in Europe, the way and will to that day is called ‘progress’.
Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

The old Strict and Particular Baptist ministers whose sermons I used to hear of a Sunday (until by virtue of a dormative virtue I dozed off…) would preach from time to time from the tenth verse of the thirteenth chapter of the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel:

BECAUSE, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace…

By now, by virtue of that seemingly universal dormitive virtue, the PLC and Old Ardle, began to flag and fail and feel that their natural senses were assoupiring… and so they went their several ways home to partake of their several suppers in the several bosoms of their several families.


  1. Ich bin noch jung an Jahren,
    Ich bin noch weit vom Tod,
    Und hab’ doch schon erfahren
    Des Volkes bitt’re Not.
    Und ob mein Glück mich freue,
    Mein Herz vergißt dich nie.
    |: Ich diene dir in Treue,
    Du braune Kompanie! 😐

    Schon mancher ist gefallen
    Von unserm Hitlerkorps;
    Die Glocken hör ich schallen
    Und heb’ den Arm empor.
    Ich schwöre und erneue
    Den Schwur, den Wessel schrie:
    |: Ich diene dir in Treue,
    Du braune Kompanie! 😐

    So will ich wacker streiten
    Bis an das blut’ge End,
    Daß einst in fernen Zeiten
    Mein Deutschland Fried fänd’,
    Und daß einst Rosen streue
    Der Sieg, den Gott uns lieh.
    |: Drum dien’ ich dir in Treue,
    Du braune Kompanie! 😐

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