Thursday, November 16, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
POLL: 2008 NOMINEEDemocrats' choice for 2008 presidential nominee:
This just in from CNN
Sen. Hillary Clinton: 28%
Sen. Barack Obama: 17%
Al Gore: 13%
John Edwards: 13%
Sen. John Kerry: 12%
Sen. Evan Bayh: 2%
Sen. Joe Biden: 2%
Sen. Russell Feingold: 2%
Gov. Bill Richardson: 2%
Gov. Tom Vilsack: 1%
Source: Opinion Research Corp. interviews with 472 registered Democratic voters October 27-29. Sampling error: +/-4.5% pts
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
" My dear young friend, the only chance for peace that we will ever have in this world will be when we become more evolved and the only way that man can evolve is for him first to become "in-volved". He must be able and willing to focus his mind inward to learn to understand his own actions and feelings truly and objectively
and only then will he be able to truly understand others.
Until we can truly understand each other, there is no hope for peace in the world"
Almost like Diogenes, and his search for an honest man, I have been looking for some sign of evolution since my first meeting with Mr. Tata and like the Atenian philosopher I'm still looking. If there are any at all (and perhaps the Dalai Lama, Ghandi and a few others might ) but it seems hard for me to believe that I would find someone who is truly in-volved in politics today. The very things that draw people to political life in this century would probably repel the "in-volved" person.
TERRELL, Tex., Nov. 6 — A prosecutor in this North Texas town killed himself Sunday as the police tried to arrest him on charges of soliciting sex over the Internet from a person he thought was a 13-year-old boy.
The prosecutor, Louis Conradt Jr., 56, had been caught in a sting operation set up by Dateline NBC, the television news magazine, and an Internet watchdog group called Perverted Justice. An NBC camera crew was outside the house to film the scene when the fatal shot was fired.
How far will the media go to get a story? Or make one?
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
"ASHEVILLE, N.C., Oct. 28 — In their push to win back control of the House, Democrats have turned to conservative and moderate candidates who fit the profiles of their districts more closely than the profile of the national party."
I guess this proves that "winning is everything"
Friday, October 27, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
- Who posted lately
- How many posts he/she has contributed
- How many times his/her posts have been viewed
- How many comments have been made to his/her entries.
The most popular entry of the week, which was posted by the champ mentioned above, Consisted of "And Boom"
The comments were
- "boom, boom, boom"
- "WAIT,WRONG STEVE"
- "bam, ops thats that other guy"
When I first entered cyberspace, I thought that it would be an exciting adventure in discovery, dialogue and community instead I find "jackass forever"
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Ever wondered:"What do they do with all that money?"
Here's a clue.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
After a day of BushSpeak, Korean Bomb & the Foley Follies.
This was a wonderful segue.
When I first started watching the video I felt a little uneasy, like "Oh god, this is goy is going to make a fool of himself" but then it happened! People came and kept coming. Getting hugs, giving hugs. It was truly inspiring!
Give somebody a hug today
Thursday, October 05, 2006
2) The pronunciation of the salutation "Mister" by someone who lisps.
But they were true and inspiring "Once upon a time"
Sunday, October 01, 2006
The corruptive influence of power and the inevitable result. Six terms made Foley think he was invinceable.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
In Politics as usual it's "Business as usual" Chafee is to the Republicans what Strom Thurmond was to the Deomcrats.
He's a good guy. Even if the Democrats won the majority in the Senate, would they know what to do with it?
"A pox on both their houses"
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Next, my wife brought home "Everyman" by Phillip Roth who, according to Wikipedia "is arguably one of the most decorated writers of his era (circa 1934- til present) "Everyman", like "Memories of My Melancholy Whores" by Marquez is a story of aging and death but where Marquez retains a light and humorous approach to the subject throughout his story, Roth's Everyman is crammed with pain, pessimism and death. Updike's opus "Bech at Bay" was published in 1998 when the poet was the author was only 66. Perhaps we can excuse the rather sophomoric tone of the book to the writer's youth. Since then he has written several more books including "Villages" which I read last year and found little in it of interest.
Three authors, close in age, writing about the same issues, contrasting styles and viewpoints but in the end sharing a common preoccupation with their loss of powers and virility. Roth's character still trying to seduce young women from the steps of his nursing home, Updike's Beth starting a new family with his 30-something partner and Gabriel Marquez finally consummating his affair with his melancholy virgin whore on his 91st birthday.
Since I'm a contemporary of all three authors, I can relate directly to their situations. The invisibility, frustration and impotence of humoristicly named "Golden Years". Do we not "Go gentle into that good night" or adjust, accept and ..."fade away..."?
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
T.S. Elliot, was certainly one of the greatest poets of the 20thth Century along with W.H. Auden, Allen Ginsburg, Ezra Pound, Ted Hughes, Langston Hughes, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robert Frost , Dylan Thomas,and a.e.Cummings.
T.S. Elliot, more than any of the others successfully conveyed the "angst und drang" of the century. Tedious frivolity and meanlingless communication were frequent subjects of his poems but there was as well a strong trace of Buddhist feeling to most of his latter works.
Ginsburg conveyed the desperate frustration and sadness of his era in "Howl".
Auden suggested the ennui of the pre-war era.
No one, so far has suggested nominees for the "20 th Century Poets Hall of Fame"
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Jeremiah Compton, a high school junior who plays in a local metal-and-punk band, agreed. "It's just that we're bored and expressing our right,"
HS students in Brattleboro VT. are doing hula hoop & more w/o clothing.
Another generation of hipsters, laid low by the ironies of consumerism."
That about says it all folks. Except for another view of the tattoos; one from a guy who spent a couple of years taking photographs of tattooed and scarified people in Africa, Polynesia, America and Europe. I haven't seen his book yet but I can imagine it and I was impressed by a remark he made on Public Radio when asked if he had
any idea people mutilated their bodies and he said that it was all about "affiliation". Anybody remember the Mexican-American street gangs of East L.A. where every member had diy tattos on his hands and fingers?
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
The lengths humans will go to in order to find some recognition are truly amazing. Most of the world's political assasins were motivated by their need for recognition. Remember Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinkley etc.?
Was the White House involved in this?
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Today when I drove by, the farm was gone and bulldozers were grading the ground for the construction of more temples of the Church of Consumerism. It happened so fast that it had a major effect on my mood. I got a bad case of the "There They Go Again Blues". Pretty soon the whole country is going to be one huge shopping mall; from "Sea to Shining Sea". Mile after mile of Borders, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy and Burger Kings, Circuit City, Cosco, Compuserve, & on and on.
"All the lonely people, where do they all come from" They'll shop 'til they drop and then get up and shop some more. Trying so hard to fill the emptiness of their lives with all the shit they don't need and can't afford.
"That one don't work? Okay, try this Visa, I just got it the other day.
I got more than twenty cards and I'm maxed out on fifteen but I just gotta have that phone with the vibrator attachment"
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
"Why We Never Got to the Chapter on Nostalgia... by austinslin
I used to by radio shows on tape when I was in elementary school. Radio shows from the 1930s, 1940s like The Shadow, Arch Obler's Lights Out, Suspense---I suppose I had leanings toward the creepier serials..."
I replied:"I heard all the shows: The Shadow, Jack Armstong, The Green Hornet, Lux Radio Theater, Grand Central Station, The Theater Guild on the Air etc./i] lying on my stomach, in the dark, listening to the Radio!
We didn't have tape then and television was still an S.F. fantasy.
What I miss is the opportunity to imagine. Visualising what "The Green Hornet" and his car looked like and what kind of a kid "Kato" was.
I think we lost a lot when we got "Radio with pictures" (aka TV)
My kids and now my grandchildren missed the chance to excercise their imaginations.
To make them stonger and more powerful. To "see" things in their heads instead of in "Living Color" on a 44 inch screen.
They were "the good old days" and I miss them a lot (and not just for the radio shows)"
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
"MySpace.com is facing a new threat on Capitol Hill.
MySpace and other social-networking sites like LiveJournal.com and Facebook are the potential targets for a proposed federal law that would effectively require most schools and libraries to render those Web sites inaccessible to minors, an age group that includes some of the category's most ardent users. "and "that's a broad category that covers far more than social-networking sites such as Friendster and Google's Orkut.com. It would also sweep in a wide range of interactive Web sites and services, including Blogger.com, AOL and Yahoo's instant-messaging features."
"Israel puts another 10,000 troops into Lebanon and the Lebanese are using bulldozers to bury their dead.
Israeli commandos raid hospital in Baalbek"
and the "beat" goes on...
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Where it's always green and peaceful. A place to ride, walk or cruise. No hurry (you're not allowed to go more than 6 miles an hour. (in a barge-cycles can go faster if they want) There are cafes and restaurants along the way and the local wines are truly special and cheap!
It's called the "Canal du Midi" and if you want to experience the best of France This is the place!.
It was built in the 17th century and for about two hundred years was the main commercial thoroughfare linking the southern ports of the Atlantic with the Mediterranean. Toulouse is the midpoint between the two and a good place to start your voyage either in a barge or a bike. That's where we started on July 1st.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
"Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Dan Rather was a young man of 22 and perhaps like me at that time, not quite convinced of his mortality and sure that he would never get old. Now both Rather and I are well passed the "three score and ten" mark, wondering how we got this far.Some say that he should walk away gracefully - quit while he's ahead but I know he wants to have that "last hurrah" and not just "fade away" as Douglas McArthur described the demise of old soldiers.
Our society has removed many taboos, sexual and otherwise but one of the new taboos is the obscenity of old age. It just isn't something to be exposed in public but instead hidden away and never mentioned in our polite, politically correct society. One day soon, people will be tested annually after the age of seventy or so and when found lacking in the abilities and faculties necessary for a dynamic and "productive" life style they will be confined in appropriate premises for their own and society's good.
I remember watching Marciano knock out Jersey Joe Walcott in the first round of their final bout. It was sad. Jersey Joe should have quit a winner.
Good luck Dan
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
It really is all about the evolutionary process. Some of us are endowed with expanded capacities for mathematical thought and the superior ability to deal with spatial relations and something like geographical orientation. Men are supposed to be able to deal with map reversals and other similar cinquefoil/visual experiences better than women. But- the truth is that some men are better at some things than others, (Duh!)
and some women do the map thing a lot better than most men.
The sectors in the brain that control humor, creativity and compassion are very probably located in the same lob of the brain. It is quite likely that the development of these sectors was very different in the various sub-species that constituted the main stream of human development. In a few sectors of a few sub-species, the "creative/compassion/humor" lobe developed at a much faster rate than with other sub-specicies. In the European sub-species, this might have resulted in a bio-genetic strain that resulted in a division of cultures. The sub-species, who had a higher development of the Creative/Compassionate/Perceptive lobe were those who rose to the higher strata of the socio-economic ladder. The others were relegated to the "Peasant" level. The peasant, never understood or appreciated the "absurdity" of his position, the others (nobles, priests etc.) exploited. The peasant with a real sense of humor was truly "a hair in the soup"
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
My father, was an interesting and somewhat enigmatic character. Jovial and sardonic, sentimental but never demonstrative. I brought him home from the hospital after a month's stay and the death of my stepmother. He was barely able to climb the stairs to his bedroom but after he sat down on his bed, in the room he'd shared with his wife of forty years, he caught his breath and then said "If I let myself, I would be feeling really miserable right now"
He had been driving to my house for dinner when he had a head-on collision with someone who was driving the wrong way on a free-way exit. My stepmother was thrown through the windshield and suffered severe head injuries. She never regained consciousness, and died in a coma a month later.
I'm still not able to understand how or what I felt. Even though she had been the instrument of my parent's separation and divorce when I was a boy, I had become very fond of Claire and in some ways her death affected me more than my father's. That was partly because I was indirectly responsible for her death.
Three months before her death, Claire told me that she had decided to leave my father. She could no longer put up with his abusive behavior and the heavy drinking that caused it. During most of their marriage, my father had been "on the wagon" and as far as any of us knew he didn't drink for more than twenty years but after his sixtieth birthday, he retired and his children were out of the nest, he lost his focus- golf and household chores wasn't enough of an outlet for his creative energies. He began drinking again. At first it was almost moderate but soon it became heavy. I told Claire that she couldn't leave him now because he really needed her and that she had to pay her dues for all the good years they'd had together. Maybe if I hadn't convinced her not to leave her husband she'd still be alive.
When he was drinking, the cruel and bitter side of his nature became exposed. He would attack anyone available at the least excuse. Once, when I came home from Italy for my mother's funeral, I stayed with my father and Claire. The night after I arrived, we went to a dinner party at a neighbor's. When we got back to our house, my father started taunting me because he said I was "sulking". He knew the difference between sulking and grieving but he chose not to understand so he kept on bugging me until finally I said "Hey lay off. I'm upset about my mother's death it was a complete shock. She was only 53. I didn't know she'd been sick"
Then he did his tough guy thing, something he learned from Bogart movies and he said " I say she's dead and the hell with it" I got up and punched him in the mouth.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Who Was Christopher Columbus Smith?
When my Aunt Polly gave me The Lincoln Cane , she told me how she had sent private detectives back to the
I tried various genealogy sites on the Web and never found a trace anywhere but finally, I submitted my DNA sample to FamilyTreeDNA and received their report .The main part consists of a section devoted to:
RECENT ANCESTRAL ORIGINS (RAO)
“The results…show the ancestral origin of those you match or nearly match in the RAO.
The ancestral origin is provided by each testee and is only as accurate as the testee’s knowledge…
“Exact matches show people who are the closest to you genetically. The Ancestral Origin shows where they have reported to have lived…”
(i.e., people with identical 12 Marker DENA Configurations to mine)
RUTLEDGE, Edward de Wolfe
“ Ellis Quitman
“ Michael Edward
“ Kenneth Jack
“ George W.
“ Ethan Taylor
“ John David
“ Ronald Gary
“ John Duane
“ Noah R.
“ Larry D.
Other Surnames 12
In light of these preliminary findings I think it might be reasonable to assume that:
- My great-grandfather’s real name was not “Christopher Columbus Smith”
- His real name might easily have been Rutledge
- His origins were probably pure “Celtic”
After the results of my DNA analysis was published on the FamilyTree DNA website,
I received an e-mail from John D. Rutledge who is one of the “Exact Matches” I have mentioned previously. Mr. Rutledge offered to exchange the Rutledge family information, his “GEDCOM” file, with information I could provide about our family
In examining the Rutledge history, I discovered one “Edward Augustus Rutledge” who was born in 1827 and has no history other than the date of his birth and the names of his parents. I have assumed that “C.C. Smith” was born sometime around 1830, which would have made him about 36 when he knew Mr. Lincoln and about fifty when my grandfather, Ned C. Smith was born (I ‘guesstimate’ that to be around 1880).
It is possible that “Edward Augustus Rutledge” might have been my great-grandfather’s
“real” or original name before he changed it.
I have ordered additional tests (25 markers) from FamilTreeDNA in the hope that these will further clarify things but I’m realistic about what to expect. It could remain a mystery forever. But it is an interesting story.
One last bit of trivia: Abe Lincoln’s first and some say “true” love was:
Anne Rutledge. She died before she and Abe could marry.
Comments, questions and complaints should be addressed to me at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, May 20, 2006
My grandfather's mother probably died when he was born, my father's mother as well, my mother put me and my three brothers out to surrogates when we were born and never even tried to reclaim my youngest brother until she sent me to Philadelphia to fetch him when he was three and I was ten.
Later, I got married and my wife went back to work when our first-born was two weeks old and I was making over $100K a year in London in 1975.
Her mother put her out to live with her grandmother for the first three years.
Can you see some kind of a pattern here?
The relationship between mother and child is "primordial" it over rides virtually every thing- genetics, environment - all of it.
You can not ignore it and you can't overcome it.
I am the sum of everything I have experienced, learned and inherited but most of all the sum product of my first two years. If my mother rejected me then- I am (most likely) crippled for life.
Mothers; do you realize the terrible responsibility that is yours? My great-grandmother never had a choice about pregnancy, but my mother did and my wife was totally in control of her situation. She chose to pursue a rather nebulous "career" rather than spend time with her new-born child. Which ring of hell is reserved for women like that?
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
After reading this Sunday's edition of the NYT , I have come to the conclusion that the Age of Shlicking has arrived. "Shlicking" is no longer unusual or remarkable, now it is the norm for business and social intercourse.
The "honor"of being the pioneer of the Age of Shlicking must go to Ex-Pres. Bill Clinton (AKA. "Shlick Willie") who set the ball rolling with his famous or rather infamous statement "I did not have sex with that woman" Thus helping horny adolescents and others avoid pre-marital sex by turning the whole concept of sex upside down.
However, the 42nd President preceded the greatest "Shlicker" of our age, George W. Bush. If Clinton took "one small step" on the path to shlickerdom, his successor has already run a marathon. As the chief executive and official role model of his country, "W" has gone where no man has gone before. He has made shlicking an established method of communication and negotiation. He shows us the way. It's ironic that he's appointed Mr. Snow as his Press Secretary. Now the Press Conferences will all be "Snow Jobs"
In the "Sunday Styles" section of this weekend's Beth Landman writes about the new phenomenon of "emotional support dogs" Ms. Blandon writes that notwithstanding Health Dept. Rules that prohibit pets in NYC restaurants "At "French Roast", on upper Broadway,... Two women sat down to brunch with dogs in tow: a golden retriever and a Yorkie toted in a bag"
The restaurant manager, Gil Ohana, explained "They both said that their animals were emotional service dogs...One of them (the women not the dogs) actually carried a doctor's letter"
Ms. Behan explains "The increasing appearance of pets whose owners say they are needed for emotional support in restaurants- as well as on airplanes, in offices and even in health saps goes back to a 2003 Dept. Of Transport ruling . It clarified policies regarding disabled passengers on airplanes, stating that animals used to aid people with emotional ailments like... Anxiety should be given the same access and privileges as animals helping people with physical disabilities like blindness or deafness. Later in her article "Wagging the Dog and the Finger", Ms.Landman
describes how a tenant lawyer's client "is a recovering alcoholic and apart from her pet , all her other friends are drinkers" So she needs to have her dog in an apartment in a building that does not allow animals.
For further reading on this subject consult: "On Bullshit" by Harry G. Frankfurt, (Princeton University Press-January 10, 2005) Available from Amazon for $9.95)
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Last summer, David took a trip to Australia. He did some surfing near Sidney at Bondi and Bronte and after a week of beer, sun and “The Nude Surfing Festival”, he headed
For the Blue and Snowy Mountains and the Outback.
Eventually he had a chance to spend some time with an Aborigine tribe and learn a little about their lives and customs and listen to their stories. Storytelling is as old as the Aborigine culture itself dating back more than forty thousand years. David had the privlege of listening to Aboriginal storytellers, who, by their words and actions bring the
Listener into the story, that is, they listen and visualize the story and become a part of the
Process of storytelling. These gifted people have a charisma that captivates their audience
With their words and actions and their facial expressions. This has been the true essence of storytelling in every culture.
David made friends with one of the Storytellers he met in the Outback, his name was Jimmie Taylor and he was a “Keeper of the Stories” and very proficient at his vocation. After participating in a few of Jimmie’s sessions, David told Jimmie how much he had enjoyed the stories and asked if Jimmie would be willing to record a few into David’s iPod. Jimmie was reluctant at first but gradually he understood how much this meant to David so he eventually agreed. David took the iPod from around his neck and gave it Jimmie after explaining how to operate it.
Jimmie took it and went back to his hut.
The next evening, Jimmie went to the place where David was staying and when he saw David he took the iPod from his neck and handed it to David and said “I’m sorry David but I couldn’t tell your machine any stories. I know how it works; I sang a song into it and it played back the words of my song but it didn’t understand the song and it wasn’t my voice that I heard. It could record things but it couldn’t see me and the way I moved my hands when I told about the flying birds or the kangaroo jumping on the anthill. It didn’t understand what I meant and it couldn’t tell me with its eyes that it understood or even liked my story. It couldn’t tell me when to slow down or explain something. It couldn’t laugh or sing or cry at my stories. I can’t tell stories to this iPod."
Tonight I watched a telecast from "Austin City Limits". Two musicians I've never heard of before and both of them -
First, Ben Folds and his group did some cool stuff with a couple of low key "Welcome to My Famly" numbers and then at the end of the set, Ben Folds started conducting the audience in a choral sing-a-long that raised the energy levels to the roof and left the audience applauding and screaming for "MORE!"
The audience were the star performers and they couldn't let it stop.
Then, Ray La Montagne came on and did a couple of songs solo, that were more than a little derivative- of Dylan but when he teamed up with a local string quartet - "Tosca" it was like sounds I'd never heard in my life.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
A.E. : So your saying in your book that all music has a "national accent" give me an example
Fosco: Ok let's take the German composers- Beethoven and Wagner as examples. Listen to their music, like "Eroica" and "Parsifal" and compare it with the Russians. Tchaikovsky and Borodin. The Germans evoke visions of beer and sausages with the Russians it's vodka and blinis. Even a little familiarity with the two languages will allow you to hear the rhythms of speech in the music and vice versa. When I listened to recordings of Hitler's speeches as a child I always heard Wagner.
A.E. :What about American music, how does it reflect our language or does it?
Fosco: Certo! Of course. The truly American composers like Copeland, Bernstein, Gershwin , Ellington are as American as apple pie and the slurred, rapid speech of the American city street
and country furrow is deep in all their music. Like you say in this country, "You can get the boy out of the country but you can't take out the country boy" Or something like that.
A.E.:How about the Asian countries?
Fosco: That's even more closely connected, especially in China and the other countries who have tonal languages.
A.E.: Can you explain to our readers what a "tonal" language is for those who are not familiar with the term?
Fosco: Certo! In Chinese, the tone, whether rising, falling etc. will determine the meaning of the word. "Ma" for instance, can mean "horse", "mother" or a curse, depending on the tone you give it. So the language is inherently musical - much more than Italian even though westerners might not recognize it easily.
Man learned to make music before there was language. They've found musical instruments that date back 50,000 years. So it's true that music came first. Maybe we could have evolved like birds, with music- songs & whistles being our main means of communication. Just imagine that.
A.E. That's really fascinating Professor, I'm definitely looking forward to reading your book and I know our readers will be to.
Fosco: Certo! I hope so. I need to sell at least 10,000 copies just to cover the advance.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Thursday, May 04, 2006
- Making my own travel arrangements and bypassing the travel agents
- Photo processing (No film or film processing)
- Mail Delivery (e-mail - no stamps or envelopes- no postman)
- Health services (Diagnosing and prescribing for my own illnesses)
- Greeting Cards ( no cards to buy, no stamps or envelopes)
- Overseas Phone Calls at one-tenth of the price I was paying just a few years ago
There's more but it's enough evidence to show that Toffler's thesis is valid.
We are moving into a new era and for once in a long time I feel a little more optimistic about the future. Knowledge is power and each of us has the power to create a new kind of wealth for ourselves and our families.
Will this put more money in our pockets? Not directly, but it will allow us to create a better life style than we now can in a traditional cash economy and at the same time it could offer more in the way of "self-esteem" than most of us get out of the "nine-to-five" we're holding down to pay the mortgage.
Make a list of the things you are doing and what you could do to live better independently.
Share it with others here on the web and with your friends.
It won't help with the problem of Bush's deficit spending but it could make you feel a little better
Friday, April 28, 2006
Until today, all of my efforts have been in vain. I knew there were significant differences besides language and ethnic influences but every time I tried to describe them I came up short.
Then, I wanted to demonstrate the different way the English and French designed their gardens.
I googled "Jardins Francais" and "English Gardens" and you can see what I got above.
Both are typical examples of contemporary gardens in England and France. Could there be any greater contrast in style, aesthetics and philosophy?
The French gardens are amazing examples of an attempt at the control and subduing of nature.
The man made constructions and elements dominate the garden. Plant life becomes a very secondary element. In the English garden the natural elements dominate completely and there is very little intrusion of artificial elements.
Now, if we apply these ideas to other elements of the two cultures...(hmm!)
Tune in tomorrow
Friday, April 21, 2006
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Storytelling is an interactive art form whereas writing is not. The Storyteller is constantly interacting with his audience – modifying his tone, rhythm, his language and style to the reaction of the listeners. He will even change his story for the benefit of his listeners. ”You’re not interesting in how stars are born? Okay, how about the land of the giant grasshoppers?”
There are certain special talents or aptitudes that a good Storyteller needs to successful.
He needs to have good memory , a powerful imagination, a good sense of humor, a “good ear” and the ability to mimic. He also needs patience and a genuine love of his craft. Storytelling must be a vocation not just an occupation.
I began Storytelling when I was a small boy, entertaining family and friends with stories of mine and others’ adventures. Making up stories about the world around me and what I believed to be the reasons for why and how people did the things they did. People enjoyed my stories and I was happy when they were but it wasn’t enough. Storytelling wasn’t the pathway to glory and I wanted to be rich and famous with my picture on the cover of Time Magazine. I wanted to be a famous writer. So I wrote stories but they never worked the way my Storytelling did. The words just sat on the page and nobody really enjoyed them because I couldn’t interact with my audience, gauging their moods and modifying my delivery and content as I went along. Storytellers never tell the same story twice unless they’re performing for small children .
So I gave up a writing career and tried acting but I was never satisfied just telling other people’s stories.
"Myth is about the unknown; it is about that for which initially we have no words. Myth therefore looks into the heart of the great silence..(and) myth is not a story for its own sake.
It shows how we should behave.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Art Buchwald, like his contemporary Jonathan Winters, who paralled his career in many ways, was a Marine veteran of WW II, a "bon vivant" and a monumental ball buster. Art talks about himself as a funny man, a guy who was blessed with the ability to make people laugh and made a deliberate decison to be a funny man at the age of eight when he realized that he had the gift and it was one worth having. I discovered my own "talent" when I was six or so. Ten years after Art, but I was a delayed "prodigy", born 10 years after Art and Jonathan. We all "did our time" in the "Corps" and notwithstanding a real pride in our survival, we knew that we weren't real Marine material- not like Ollie North or Ira Hayes but we also understood that because we had all come through the same rites of passage, we were brothers, part of the "few good men" that comprise the Corps. Like it or love it but you can never leave it, it's part of you, like your own skin or your family.
Art has decided not to undergo the dyalisis that his doctors have told him could lengthen his life but instead to end his days in a Washington hospice where friends come to visit and he can finish his days in peace and happiness.
It's real"death with dignity"and I admire my friend greatly. I hope I can do it myself when the time comes. He's eighty- I'm still eight years behind. Just like WWII, by the time I was old enough to join up, it was already over.
Here's to you Art and you too Jonathan. The only thing we have to fear are the men and women without a sense of humor.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
"... when I've been asked if I think Hillary Clinton can win a general election campaign, I've always answered yes. I figure if she can win over Republican senators (and Bush staffers), she can probably win over 30,000 more voters in Ohio.
She's also got a key voting bloc disposed in her favor. Ten percent of the electorate are what Pew Research Center pollsters call pro-government conservatives: mostly white, working-class women who attend church weekly but support government welfare programs. Only 12 percent of these voters supported John Kerry in 2004, but 51 percent say they have a positive view of Clinton. These voters alone could put her over the top.
But campaigns reveal character, and force us to adjust our views. The Dubai ports deal — a politically unpopular measure that almost all experts agree was justified on the merits — was a test of character. John McCain and Chuck Hagel passed. Clinton, though, joined the ranks of the nakedly ambitious demagogues.
Clinton didn't seem to mind when officials of the United Arab Emirates kicked in up to a million dollars into her husband's presidential library. She didn't seem alarmed when Dubai poured at least $450,000 into her family bank accounts through her husband's speaking business. She didn't object when the Clinton administration approved a deal for a Chinese government firm to run the Port of Long Beach. But when the Dubai ports deal set off Know-Nothing mobs, she made sure she had the biggest pitchfork.
"The White House is trying to hand over U.S. ports," Clinton charged.
"We cannot afford to surrender our port operations to foreign governments," she roared.
"We cannot cede sovereignty over critical infrastructure like our ports," she insisted.
All of these statements were deliberately misleading, since there was never any question of ceding sovereignty or security. They played to the rawest form of xenophobia.
The consequences for the war on terror will be significant. As David Ignatius wrote in The Washington Post, the government of Dubai has done what we've asked all Arab governments to do. It has challenged Al Qaeda; supported U.S. forces; modernized the educational system to combat extremism. It even gave $100 million in hurricane relief.
But my subject is Clinton's political prospects. This episode — which combines buckraking with pandering — brings back the Clinton years at their worst: the me-me-me selfishness, the occasional presumption that humanity exists to serve Team Clinton.
It also shows Clinton doesn't understand her political weaknesses. First, nobody, not even among her friends, is totally sure she actually believes in anything, or whether she just coldly calculates political advantage. This episode reinforces that sense.
Second, Clinton is the only presidential candidate who does not offer a break from the current polarization and bitter partisanship. A McCain or Mark Warner presidency would shuffle the political deck. But if Clinton is elected, American politics over the next years will be as brutal and stagnant as now. The 1960's Bush-Clinton psychodrama would go on and on.
A lot of the bitterness would not be Clinton's fault. But over the past weeks, she has shown that far from behaving in an unorthodox manner, or flummoxing hatred, she is happy to be a crude partisan, and egg on prejudice and paranoia.
In the short run, Clinton did the popular thing. But over the long run, people vote on character. After a rehabilitating few years, Hillary Clinton just reminded us of her ugly side.
* Copyright 2006The New York Times Company
Friday, March 03, 2006
What if it was really about hooking up with a country that has never been too comfortable with Islam? Something like the alliance between the USSR and Nazi Germany in the thirties. Obviously the sweetheart deal for Atomic energy smells just a little off but maybe there's a lot more behind than we realize . Now , what's George going to in Pakistan next week or hasn't he thought that far ahead?
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Thursday, February 23, 2006
After recovering from an attack of severe jingoitis brought on by massive exposure to the propaganda and spin of all sides of the American political spectrum. I recovered my senses , calmed my jerking knees and asked myself what the hell is going on here?
On the surface, it appeared as if the usual suspects, the DNC, led by Lady Hillary, the lord Frist and other members of the opposition were launching a frontal attack on the supposedly fraudulent and evil intentions of George II (aka "Mad King George") but stop,
and ask yourself. What's all this fuss all about anyway?
Foreign companies are already managing "the majority of key U.S. ports." And by the way, what exact links did the UAE government have to 9/11?
The answer my friend, is written in the wind .
I think it's just "Politics as usual", both Republican and Democratic legislators (Yup, that what they call 'em) are jumping on the jingo bandwagon. Everybody's draping themselves in the stars & stripes and singing "God Bless America" with everything they've got.
At a time when the greatest issues of our times are being deliberately ignored by almost everyone in Washington. The Port Issue is a no-brainer. "Arab terrorists are taking over our ports" "Call out the Marines, man the barricades, battle stations everyone!"
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Yesterday, I packed my gear and headed out to McKinney Park, only a 20 minute drive from home. When I got there and inquired about the retreat at the Park Office, no one knew anything about and they had nothing in their computer about the Plum Village Group. However, someone by the name of “Ted Miliken” had reserved the dining hall and three shelters for the weekend. I assumed that Mr. Milliken was one of the group leaders and settled down to wait his arrival. I’d been waiting about half an hour in the office when a Park Ranger told me that they would be closing in a few minutes and would I like to take the keys for the shelters and wait for the group there. By this time it was around five p.m., and according to the preregistration confirmation e-mail , check-in was scheduled between 3:00 and 5:00.
I decided to check out the shelters and wait for the others up at the site. So I drove up to the shelters.
We are having a very sudden and dramatic cold snap in Austin; the temperature was hovering around 40 deg.. and the wind chill factor made it feel like 25. The shelters were very spartan the bunks had plywood boards for mattresses, there was no heating and although the screened windows were completely shuttered- the wind whistled through the shacks with a menacing moan.
I waited in my truck until a little before 6:00 p.m. without seeing another soul and then returned to the closed park office where I met the Park Hosts who were just starting their evening checkup and lock-down. I told them my story which sounded a little crazy when I told it, we all had a good laugh and then I handed over the keys to the shelters, got in my truck and went home.
Once home, I checked my e-mail for some notice of cancellation or postponement and after I found nothing I rechecked the preregistration e-mail. It included a list of things to bring and not to bring (no radios, CD players or hair dryers) and directions to “McKinney Roughs Park”. There are two Mckinney State Parks near Austin; one is about six miles from my house and is in Travis County - that’s McKinney Falls Park and that’s where I had just returned from. The other, about 20 miles from home and in Bastrop County is McKinney Roughs and that’s where they were holding the retreat.
Since early childhood I have had a difficulty in recognizing errors in math and I’ve always been one of the world’s worst proofreaders (Spell check was created for me). Now at my advanced age, my hearing is somewhat impaired, I can’t read anything but super size type without glasses and short-term memory is virtually nonexistent.
When I woke up around four a.m. this morning , I realized that the windows of my mind are badly fogged. I am missing a good portion of the information I’m exposed to but up until now, I have been unaware of the degree of my disability or “challenge" as we say in the 21st century
The good news is that I’m now fully aware of my limitations. The question is what am I going to do about it? I obviously need to read and check everything very carefully and try to position myself to hear what people are saying but what about memory? How do I compensate for that? How can I be sure to remember all the things that I forget?
It is “Bleak Mid-Winter” in my heart and I’m not sure that Spring will come again.
Last week a friend forwarded me an e-mail about a Buddhist weekend retreat to be held at a local State Park. Both the subject of the Retreat Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment and the sponsoring group were of interest to me so I pre-registered online.
Yesterday, I packed my gear and headed out to McKinney Park, only a 20 minute drive from home. When I got there and inquired about the retreat at the Park Office, no one knew anything about and they had nothing in their computer about the Plum Village Group. However, someone by the name of Ted Miliken had reserved the dining hall and three shelters for the weekend. I assumed that Mr. Milliken was one of the group leaders and settled down to wait his arrival. Id been waiting about half an hour in the office when a Park Ranger told me that they would be closing in a few minutes and would I like to take the keys for the shelters and wait for the group there. By this time it was around five p.m., and according to the preregistration confirmation e-mail , check-in was scheduled between 3:00 and 5:00.
I decided to check out the shelters and wait for the others up at the site and drove up to the shelters. We were having a very sudden and dramatic cold snap in Austin; the temperature was hovering around 40 deg.. and the wind chill factor made it feel like 25. The shelters were very spartan the bunks had plywood boards for mattresses, there was no heating and although the screened windows were completely shuttered- the wind whistled through the shacks with a menacing moan.
I waited in my truck until a little before 6:00 p.m. without seeing another soul and then returned to the closed park office where I met the Park Hosts who were just starting their evening checkup and lock-down. I told them my story which sounded a little crazy when I told it, we all had a good laugh and then I handed over the keys to the shelters, got in my truck and went home.
Once home, I checked my e-mail for some notice of cancellation or postponement and after I found nothing I rechecked the preregistration e-mail. It included a list of things to bring and not to bring (no radios, CD players or hair dryers) and directions to McKinney Roughs Park. There are two Mckinney State Parks near Austin; one is about six miles from my house and is in Travis County - thats McKinney Falls Park and thats where I had just returned from. The other, about 20 miles from home and in Bastrop County is McKinney Roughs and thats where they were holding the retreat.
Since early childhood I have had a difficulty in recognizing errors in math and Ive always been one of the worlds worst proofreaders (Spell check was created for me). Now at my advanced age, my hearing is somewhat impaired, I cant read anything but super size type without glasses and short-term memory is virtually nonexistent.
When I woke up around four a.m. this morning , I realized that the windows of my mind are badly fogged. I am missing a good portion of the information Im exposed to but up until now, I have been unaware of the degree of my disability or challenge as we say in the 21st century
The good news is that Im now fully aware of my limitations. The question is what am I going to do about it? I obviously need to read and check everything very carefully and try to position myself to hear what people are saying but what about memory? How do I compensate for that? How can I be sure to remember all the things that I forget?
It is the Bleak Mid-Winter in my heart and Im not sure that Spring will come again.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
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But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
(Now am I free to be poetical?)
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father's trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the "
Sunday, January 29, 2006
OK, so he's an actor and actors imitate other people but you have to admit that Brad's talent is really special. I'll confess to doing the same thing in my younger, evil youth. It is the most effective seduction tool known to man (or woman). Just "mirror" the person you want and 9 out of 10, you're home! "Gotcha"!
Is it just flattery? Imitation being the most sincere form of flattery?
No, it's something much more. It's a way of showing someone that you really approve of them and the way they look, dress or act. It always produces a very warm, fuzzy feeling of security that just naturally opens the door to intimacy. (sexual and otherwise)
So the next time you're having trouble with your partner, get a pair of sunglasses just like her's and change your hairstyle.
Friday, January 27, 2006
People born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature. They have a deep sense of loyalty, are honest, and inspire other people¡¦s confidence because they know how to keep secrets. But Dog People are somewhat selfish, terribly stubborn, and eccentric. They care little for wealth, yet somehow always seem to have money. They can be cold emotionally and sometimes distant at parties. They can find fault with many things and are noted for their sharp tongues. Dog people make good leaders.