Graham was involved with an artist …

Raymond Hitchcock: Lovers in the Poppyfields (1955)

… and it seemed like fun at the time. However, the lady had patterns (!). Her creativity (lost-) waxed and waned with the moon, or the tides, or (not putting too fine a point on it) her menstrual state.  The Chap somehow turned, during such seasons, from Adonis to Bluebeard. Partner artist’s manic creativity spiked high at those times, and for a Chap with survival in mind, rapid and adequate (even excessive) provision of the apparent creative necessaries – pencils, fabric, printing ink, et al. became a paramount issue. (Think 2 a.m. ice cream and pickles, for those inclined to procreation.) It worked, in its own way, and this chap had a fairly peaceful and happy life for a while.

So in later years, faced with a partner with similar mood swings, the Chap naturally fell back on previous experience, and brought home bales of cotton/polyester 36", boxes of #2s, and fresh squeegees. To which the new partner, in her own special way, said something to the effect of, WTF is this, I clearly asked for chocolate and Cabernet?

Which overall experience – fighting the last intimate personal relationship war rather than the present – was rather brought to mind by the newest proposed defense appropriations.

Previous conflicts, according to the Encyclopedia Hollywood and others, could readily – but with adequate cinematic struggle – be resolved by throwing at them sufficient floating metal, exploding things, and Ronald Reagan in a fighter plane. Recent conflicts, it seems, have lent themselves less to this approach, tending location-wise towards Places With Lots Of Sand or Places With Less Sand But Lots Of Rocks. Notably, unlike previous WWs, such locations tend to lack Big Floaty Metal Things With Bangy Bits – such as might be addressed by other Big Floaty Metal Things With Bangy Bits – or indeed even provide ready access to such Things. (Although where some of the Bangy Bits are detachable, there has been a degree of limited success, it is true, but the Floaty Things were not essential to this.) Indeed, few other countries concern themselves with such hardware – to the point that the USA has 12 of the Biggest Floaty Metal Things to, say, China’s 1 and India’s 3  … India?.

On the other hand, conflicts in such Sandy/Rocky regions apparently are more successfully addressed by Men With Beards In Camouflage With Hardware, typically bristling too with technology. The sort of men who seem to spend much of their time in remote places locating other Men With Beards for purposes not conducive to the other’s continued well-being,  and otherwise squatting to chat with villagers in their native language while installing water pumps and running multiple DDOS attacks.

Nevertheless, our defense strategy continues to emphasize, even increase, the fabric and pencils rather than the chocolate and Cabernet (as mentioned earlier – do try to keep up.) Rather a puzzle, really. Unless someone’s ego is more taken with the Big Shiny Stuff than the Grubby Effective Stuff? But this is a trillion-dollar global defense strategy – surely not.

There’s probably an equivalent to this in corporate governance and/or hi-tech. But that’s another thing, one best left to the other Chap.

Heh - don’t look at me!

.. and is it defense or defence?

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