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comment by AnSionnachRua
AnSionnachRua  ·  423 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 22, 2017

So St Patrick's Day was interesting, for lack of a better word. It was pissing rain all day, but my townsfolk are hardy people, and that wasn't to stop us (most towns in the county‚Äč ended up postponing their parades til this weekend). I was at the front in my bare feet, chattering with cold and trying not to look too awkward as I waved and smiled at people. The advantage to being first was that I was first out of the rain and promptly ran back home for a hot whiskey (Bushmills, hot water, sugar, a slice of lemon speared with cloves).

Work that night was insane for a few hours and then quietened down nicely. After-work pints were never as well-needed. Then more painting at the sister's house on Saturday, then back to the pub.

I feel like I'm hardly getting anything done, and yet I'm quite busy, time-wise.

Skype call incoming from an old friend so I'll finish this later, in the meantime here's the cat:

So, while _refugee_ has been creating books, I've been busy destroying one:

I found a copy of this book in the pub, of all places, and knew I'd finally found the ideal hidden-flask-book. Don't fret; I bought a used copy on Amazon, and I did read this before I started cutting into it. It's almost finished; just a lick of glue is needed on the inside to keep the pages together. It started off as very precise work with a scalpel, and eventually descended into me hacking away trying to make the flask fit; I had left enough room at the beginning, but the sides started to taper downward as I cut in. So it's rather messy, but it should be okay.

I've been reading Gavin Maxwell's A Reed Shaken by the Wind, written in the 1950s about his travels through the marshes in eastern Iraq (which I'm led to believe have since been drained) and his time with the Ma'dan peoples (who presumably have consequently been displaced). They lived in reed huts and their main income came from weaving mats, but interestingly‚Äč they raised water buffalo - never for their meat, but for their dung, which had a plethora of uses including as fuel. He describes how they would spend hours harvesting hashish - not wacky tobaccy but the buffaloes' fodder, which prompted me to look the word up. It turns out that the word 'assassin' comes from the Arabic for 'hashish-users'. From

    assassin (n.)

    1530s (in Anglo-Latin from mid-13c.), via French and Italian, from Arabic hashishiyyin "hashish-users," plural of hashishiyy, from the source of hashish.

    A fanatical Ismaili Muslim sect of the mountains of Lebanon in the time of the Crusades, under leadership of the "Old Man of the Mountains" (translates Arabic shaik-al-jibal, name applied to Hasan ibu-al-Sabbah), they had a reputation for murdering opposing leaders after intoxicating themselves by eating hashish. The plural suffix -in was mistaken in Europe for part of the word (compare Bedouin). Middle English had the word as hassais (mid-14c.), from Old French hassasis, assasis, which is from the Arabic word.

And now it's well past my bedtime!

kleinbl00  ·  423 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Worthy of note, "hashishiyyin" is a sobriquet along the lines of "dirty hippy" or "filthy stoner" as the Fedeyeen were legit not-fucking-around terrorists who lasted as long as they did and shaped Islamic society as much as they did through seriously ruthless, underhanded asymmetrical warfare.

    Hashish or Hashisha is the Arabic word for hemp, which is latinized cannabis sativa. Its variety is Indian hemp or Cannabis Indica, have been known and used in the Near East since ancient times as a drug with intoxicating effects. The earliest express mention of the word hashish contained in "at-Tadhkirah fi'l Khilaf" by Abu Ishaq ash-Shirazi (d. 476/1083). The use of hashish grew in Syria, Egypt and other Muslim countries during 12th and 13th centuries among the inferior strata of society. Numerous tracts were compiled by Muslim authors, describing that the use of hashish would effect on the users' morality and religion. Consequently, the users of hashishqualified for a inferior social and moral status, similarly to that of a mulhida, or heretic in religion. Neither the Ismailis of Syria nor the contemporary non-Ismaili Muslim texts, which were rigorous towards the Ismailis, ever attested to the use of hashish among the Nizari Ismailis.

Most any "secret sect of killer monks deep in the mountains" paradigm you've ever read or watched is the echoes of the fear of the Nizari fedayeen ("those who sacrifice themselves"). They were pretty much the world's premier terrorist organization for about a hundred years.