Daily Archives: June 2, 2018

On Leonard and Leadership

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A leadership gene has been identified. It is documented that while leadership qualities can be learned, this gene can make the difference between success and failure in the leadership game, but how is leadership defined?

There are various kinds of leadership, and a variety of routes to success.

Some leaders come from humble beginnings, to arduously work their way to the summit, using a combination of wit and skill. Others inherit the mountain from their forbears.

“All roads lead to Rome.” This saying has been carried down to us from the 12th century, when Roman roads were straight, and radiated outwards from the centre, like the spokes of a wheel. Our history books tell of the days when Rome was the self-professed capital of the known world, leading by force.

My roads are twisted and of inconsistent width. Back in my teens, Leonard Cohen achieved success with his song, Suzanne, and along with millions of others, I have trailed behind him ever since. Surely this makes him a leader.

For almost 50 years his voice has comforted me. As I eat breakfast I hear him inside my head, singing a farewell song to Marianne or describing the life of a French Partisan. Sometimes he stands back, not wanting to hog my thoughts. Unselfishly, he lets Buffy Saint Marie step in, or Tracy Chapman tell her raw stories, or Roy Orbison with his hope, his brief joy and all of his pain. I enjoy these brief intermissions, but I always return to Leonard. While I chew my dinner he asks a lucky woman to dance him to the end of love. I want to tell him there is no end to love. In bed, I roll onto my side, preparing to sleep. He sings that it’s no way to say goodbye.

“Never goodbye, only goodnight,” whisper.

Millions of appreciative fans feel the same way about him. He touched our lives while he was with us, and he continues to do so after his death, so I say he is a leader. This post is about leadership, but it could be about any one of a thousand subjects which would always lead back to Leonard.

I’d like to commit to writing a Leonard Cohen post one day every week, highlighting a different song each time, but although he is always with me, it’s unlikely it will happen. So, no promises.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Does Anybody Know?



Can anybody out there explain this:

I checked my spam folder yesterday, and found 75 messages. 24 of them were average examples of the usual – weird stuff in response to a perfectly innocent post I wrote ages ago, called Self-Imprisonment. It was about anxiety and depression. If I’d realised that the title would attract so many sexual deviants I wouldn’t have given it that title.

The remaining 51 comments were all exactly the same – this single word with a question mark: – “What?”. They were responses to my replies to comments made on my posts – replies to all different commenters, on a range of my posts. This one word; “What?” has been dropping into my spam folder for a while – maybe weeks – I didn’t make a note of the dates, so I can’t be accurate. Almost all of them come from the same URL – one that takes me to a non-existent site.

Today, I got a notification –  for the first time, one slipped through the net. I clicked on the commenter’s URL, but he doesn’t have a blog.

My question is, WHY? Is it a case of crossed wires – i.e. notifications of my comments going to the wrong URL – or is it a troll?


P.S. Having written and posted this, I went back to my spam folder, and found 25 entries. 24 of them were just like those I described. They were all from the same URL. I’m not going to post a link, but just let you know that the URL began with http://www.SEXY – in uppercase letters.

Haha, Maybe that’s a clue to a conundrum which I have suddenly lost interest in 🙂