Last Days of Summer (2013) - Part 2/3

» This page is PART TWO, continued from » Part One. This entry was split into THREE pages in order to adhere to principles of web site optimization. Here you go...

And Jesse was a Navy seal .. just like those guys in the Captain Phillips movie. Go Jesse! =)

JD Salinger (1919-2010)» Conspiracy Theories & Salinger

Speaking of conspiracy theories .. the movie on Salinger is coming out any day now ..

.. about the guy who wrote Catcher in the Rye, which features a conspiracy theory all its own.

Most interesting however, are the books that Salinger left to be published, beginning 2015. I cannot even imagine what goodies they might contain.

That girl who dropped out of Yale to become his lover/disciple .. said he wrote every day.

He was 53, she » 18. Wow. That's kinda salacious. I dont think either was married at the time, but I'm not sure.

They call it an affair, but it may actually just be two writers shackin' up. No?

Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951. Salinger's last book was published in 1963 (.. same year, coincidently, that Kennedy was killed). Salinger died in 2010. Dude, that's almost 50 years worth of writing.

Must say that I find it 'curious' .. that the Salinger film uses a quote from George Orwell .. to describe Salinger, saying »

» "Writing a book is a horrible exhausting struggle; one would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon (.. whom one can neither resist nor understand) .. and Salinger had demons."

So .. how will the nation commemorate the JFK anniversary? With an Oliver Stone marathon? Yes, Warner Bros is going to re-release JFK in theaters.

Oh! Looks like Oliver Stone is thinking about doing a biopic on Martin Luther King with Jamie Foxx and Spielberg. I would like to see that, yes. Oliver Stone could really get off the porch on that one.

I went to some Film School classes at USC with the Film School girl .. and in Film School circles, Oliver Stone is known as a master of conveying emotion thru the use of soundtrack and audio and audio effects [.. an angry lion roars! ].

I got respect for Foxx after I saw him in Ray. An impressive performance. He pulled it off.

I was introduced to a sense of the Culture-of-the-JFK-Age (zeitgest) by reading Epstein's bio on Dylan .. which starts about the time that Dylan himself arrived in NYC (in January, 1961) .. only a few years before the shooting.

» World War 1 + 1 Century = 2014 + The Trial of Josef K

Another zeitgeisty anniversary coming up is next year » the 100-year anniversary of World War I. (.. which began in July, 1914) .. the same time (almost to the day) that Kafka started writing » The Trial (.. which Le Monde ranks #3 in their list of the Best Books of the Entire Freaking Century).


••• today's entry continues here below •••

The Trial [ of Josef K ] was written in 1914 + 15, but not published until 1925, the year after Kafka died.

Reflections in AutumnKafka told his home boy to burn all his works. Kafka's buddy [ Max "the Torch" Brod ] went against the expressed wishes of his friend, Franz. Aintcha glad?

What would yoga be without Kafka? =)

The story in the book has nothing to do with the First World War .. but I am curious if a reader might be able to intuit insights or signs or signals or tells ..

.. that the author realized (was aware, was conscious) .. that it had already arrived. And what effect that might be having on him. On his soul.

» But First

But before I get any further into that .. I first need to convert the previous entry into Moveable Type pages, which requires an extended period of focused concentration .. cuz you can't quit halfway thru.

Rainy Day on a Red BenchI usually go for it with a cup of coffee on an empty stomach .. put down my head and plow. Tedious.

From rough estimates, it looks like a 3-page entry. The uncompressed HTML sitting on my laptop is 210-KB. The compressed version sitting in the Rad server (downtown Chicago) is 67-KB.

I have never let the home-page grow this big before (800-MB, compressed, with 700-MB worth of gfx). And I'm not quite done.

It is considerably easier to work in Dreamweaver .. than in the Moveable Type back-end. So the longer I go, the better for me. (But the convervion to Moveable Type suks more.)

Okay, now that that's done. That entry turned out to be four pages .. my third 4-page entry. And yes, the conversion did suk very badly.

If you think about it .. the other movable type (the one with no 'e' inserted before the 'a') .. represents the previous global information revolution. Johannes Gutenberg (1395-1468) and his wonderful printing press (1450).

Michelangelo's David (1501-1504)Note that Botticelli was born in 1445. Leonardo, 1452. Michelangelo, 1475. Raphael 1483. Titian 1488.

Folks say that the printing press was a key factor in paving the way out of the Dark Ages and led directly to the Renaissance.

So it would seem that we need wealthy patrons like the Medici to find and sponsor the Michelangelo's of » Renaissance 2.0 .. of the Digital Renaissance ..

the Leonardo's .. the Brunellesci's .. the gifted .. no matter how temperamental they might be.

» Breaching the Debt Ceiling Really Catastrophic?

Last autumn (2012, while reflecting on my time spent incarcerated, and in an admittedly 'altered' state of consciousness) I wrote »

"If I was selected to fight a battle .. in which the fate of mankind [ and more importantly, my ego ] rested on the outcome .. and I was allowed to choose the day .. I would choose the day of the October full moon." </2012_quote>

Wolf Howling at the Full MoonThis year, the October full moon falls on the 18th .. the timing of which I can't help but find curious ..

.. cuz Jack Lew says that our government will hit its borrowing limit on the 17th ..

.. and that breaching it would be » "unthinkable" and "catastrophic" and "unimaginable" and would cause "irrevocable damage" (more).

No, I did not have the nation's finances in mind when I wrote that sentence. Not hardly. But the timing does seem like a curious coincidence.

Since the 18th is a Friday, I am curious why Jack picked the 17th for his drop-dead date. Is he saying that there are bills we can pay on Thursday, but not Friday? We have that kind of resolution? (to the day). Myself, I woulda picked Friday the 18th.

Sometimes I write things that I don't know why I wrote them .. other than, at the time, they seemed like the right thing to do .. like something needed to be said.

Sometimes I wonder myself at why I wrote some of the things I did. Sometimes we just need to trust our intuition.

Now, I dont think that anybody feels we will really default on our debt obligations .. tho nobody seems able to point to a viable path forward .. other than » austerity. And perhaps the damage has already been done.

» Social Chaos & Martial Law

Ignorance is strength. War is Peace. Freedom is slavery. Says George OrwellIn January of this year, I wrote » If I wanted to take over the country, here is what I would do »

  1. get my buddies in congress to thwart raising the national debt ceiling on October 1st (.. to cause financial chaos).
  2. make friends with influential people in the military.
  3. pay thugs and goons to blow shit up, creating a need for martial law. </january_quote>

When exploring divisive political issues, I try to put myself into the shoes of each side .. to feel what they feel and see how they see the world. This is the best way to see the places where they agree and where they differ.

This is how I came up with my 3-step guide that you see reproduced above [.. by putting myself into the shoes of another and try to anticipate how they might respond, which requires compassion ].

When I wrote those three steps, I remember thinking how » you have to make a stand here .. that if you wait, things will only get worse (.. if you find yourself on this particular side of the debate). Like it's now or never.

It was the same feeling I had rock-climbing .. that I was losing strength by the second, so the best course of action was to take a few deep breaths and go for it .. no matter how impossible (or scary) the move might have looked. Otherwise failure is assured.

(Some people might call that » going for broke.)

Korean Coast at Night » Otherworldly

Martial law was in effect when our nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine pulled into Korea for a few days. (You probably shaved with part of my submarine this morning.)

They told us » "Dude, Martial law is in effect here between midnight and 4AM. The ROK Marines are under orders to shoot anybody found on the streets between those hours. And these guys dont play around. So if you get your ass shot, it's your own damn fault." (Only they didnt say 'dude'.)

Nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine underwayKorea was the most otherworldly visual of my life .. coming in at night like that ..

.. the way the steep islands rose up out of the water all around us like that .. and disappeared into the low-hanging clouds ..

.. after you have seen NOTHING for the last few months .. except that too-ugly pale-green that the Navy uses .. because no other person on the face of the planet would ever want it. They neednt worry anyone will try to steal their green paint.

Pretty much *any* visual sight where you get to breath honest-to-God, real (un-refurbished, non-diesel scented) air .. and can see more than 20-meters .. can be somewhat overwhelming .. after months without.

But Korea at night .. I was genuinely overwhelmed, yes. With both the subtlety (very quiet) and the intensity of the otherworldliness. Hard to describe, but definitely a » "Whoa. We're not in Kansas any more."

I realized that I could not take in the whole experience in the few minutes I had [ » "Dawg, come on up here! You gotta see this." ]

So I intentionally took a mental-picture-image of that visual (because it was so cool) .. so I could examine more closely, later. And now seems to be 'later'. =)

Prostitution was legal there in Korea. That was something of a culture shock » "I love you long-time, Sailor Boy."

"How much does your love cost, pretty Korean girl?" =)

» America's Day of Reckoning Imminent?

Uh, I apologize for getting sidetracked there in Korea. We were talking about martial law & the government.

Olympus Has FallenBut let us return to the latest crisis in our seemingly endless series .. of political / socioeconomic dysfunction.

Now you guys are making it seem like October 17 is our economic » Day of Reckoning.

[ Tho some argue that we might have another week or two of wriggle room. ]

Wall Street and the market seems bored to tears. Like they're saying » "Dude, we have seen this movie before .. and every time we do, the markets always rally nicely afterwards." Heck, some even claim that the default is no big deal.

I do not think the Republicans are really crazy (.. like many claim). No. Rather I feel they are ACTING LIKE a crazy person (.. and they are doing a marvelous job) ..

.. because everybody knows that when a crazy person is walking around waving a grenade .. people take notice .. and the squeaky wheel gets the grea$e.

A previous president famously said » "Read. My. Lips." Obama said » "No negotiation" .. with anyone waving a live grenade near the hostage economy.

JFK at Dealey Plaza Dallas Texas November 22, 1963 .. minutes before his assassinationCertainly makes for compelling drama. No? Is America's day-of-reckoning imminent?

» Subtle JFK Reminder | 11-22=drop-dead date

Update - seems the Republicans have proposed to raise the debt ceiling until November 22 ..

.. which is the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination. They crack me up, sometimes .. with their less-than-subtle imagery.

I mean, the Republicans could have picked *any* day .. but they picked the 22nd of November.

Somehow my sense of their message is » "This is a threat you should take seriously .. more seriously than JFK did."

Recall how Ted Kennedy's endorsement-of-Obama was the thing that put Obama over (the Machine). So there seems to exist a Kennedy-Obama connection .. to some degree.

Note also that Obama's signature piece of legislation, the Health Care bill, was something that Ted Kennedy had been working on for many years.

My friends who know programming (far better than myself) tell me that one studly programmer can be worth ten (or more) mediocre programmers. At the time, his claim seemed farfatched. But now, maybe, not so much.

Does it not seem like Obamacare is being being funded disproportionately on the backs of the young?

U.S. National Debt at 17 Trillion dollars and risingHavent we loaded their backs with enough financial obligations?

By the way .. we passed the 17 Trillion mark .. in case anybody cares.

I know .. that it is » just numbers .. on a make-believe spreadsheet .. where the Fed enters numbers on a key-board and voila! » mo' money!

The Fed has invented a new type of economy .. called » The Keystroke Economy.

So the numbers don't really mean anything any more, right? (Smoke-n-mirrors.)

My point is, however » it doesnt lOOk good. Especially when the kids keep getting crushed .. and the rich get richer. Fabulously rich.

Does that not seem downright immoral?

» Stendhal Captures the Dissatisfaction with the Current System

I am reading Stendhal (Henri Beyle) » Le Rouge et Le Noir. It was the same thing then (1830) » "Everything for me and mine. The rest of you can go fuck yourselves."

To be honest, it is blowing my mind a little. This Julien Sorel dude.

Stendhal (Henri Beyle) 1783-1842I actually went to Stendhal to analyze his style and technique ..

.. because he is known as a 'master-of-characterization' ..

.. but I am not sure exactly what they mean by that.

Intuitively, I feel that 'characterization' is » how you put things. How you 'characterize' them. (Tho I am not sure.)

With my own writing, I notice that I do indeed have a way of putting things.

I mean, for example, when I put John Boehner behind the wheel of Thelma & Louise's convertible on October 17th (.. as you will see very shortly) ..

.. pointing threateningly toward the abyss .. and have him say, "You think I won't drive this b*tch off the cliff?" ..

.. that (.. if indeed that is akin to Stendhal's famous 'characterization' .. then that seems to come from somewhere beyond me.

Yes, that does feel sophisticated. Imaging. In that sense, I often surprise myself.

But I may be talking about something else .. because soon as I got into the Red & the Black, I stopped looking for 'characterization' .. because of the similarities between then and now.

Sometimes you will notice that I even write (remark) » "Where does this stuff come from?!" .. as tho it is freaking me out.

I can feel many thoughts stirring on this subject, but they, for now, seem elusive. (Or maybe I am just not supposed to write them, yet.)

Here's what I can say on the topic (of what I am talking about) » "Big Brother vs the First Amendment" is a 'characterization'. No? "Tell me, sir .. how would you characterize thus-n-so?"

The Red and the Black by Stendhal (1830)Anyway, now that I am reading Le Rouge et Le Noir (.. to try to see for myself Stendhal's famous 'characterization' in action) ..

.. I can see that Stendhal captures the dissatisfaction with the socioeconomic system and that it resonates so remarkably well ..

.. with the very same issues that we here in the States (and in other places, too) have been so frustrated over.

In the end, Stendhal shows how the rich-n-powerful conspire to combine forces and trick-fuck young Julien. He dies badly. Now what did you expect?

I must say .. that I resonate somewhat with young Julien, looking for opportunities that are both challenging and rewarding ..

.. tho not necessarily one that is conventional .. myself having begun on the military track, and later finding the spiritual .. exactly opposite of Julien.

And the one that I would argue is more common today. By far. Times change, I guess.

The Red and the Black is one of the » Greatest 100 Books of All Time (in any language). Ever.

And I bet most people would place his novel closer to the top of that list than the bottom.

» Thelma & Louise Revving the Engine at T-Minus-99 on October 16

I can almost see John Boehner sitting in the driver's seat of Thelma & Louise's convertible, pointing toward the precipice, saying » "You think I won't drive this b*tch off the cliff? Think again."

Thelma & Louise | directed by Ridley ScottAnd the guy sitting in the passenger seat calls out (to the Press assembled nearby) »

"Yeah, it would be better than life in Obama's socialist world."

.. which could be viewed as hypocritical, coming from a person who is piggy-backing on his wife's blue-chip health care plan ..

.. the one from Goldman ("Vampire Squid") Sachs .. which must be even better than the one he gets from the senate. (Dang!)

But hey, be honest, we would all piggy-back .. if we could, no? Tho I do not think I would then have the balls .. to call for the denial of health care to those less fortunate.

No, I am pretty sure that my cojones are not that big. Because of the appearance that would convey.

» The Need to Manage Appearances

In nuclear power, one of my more 'motivated' bosses (and partner-in-other-shit) said » "In addition to doing our jobs and not fucking up, we also need to manage appearances and manage our bosses." ]

So it seems to me that Ted is slipping in 'managing_appearances' category .. because that does not look good.

I saw you talking to some CiNO's recently .. you know » Christian in Name Only .. but Scripture is clear about God's position on how the poor are treated.

And He says to those who wage war on the poor (.. let me paraphrase in contemporary vernacular you will more readily grasp) » "Your ass will be left in the lurch."

Word to the wise, dawg. The word is defined here » lurch. [ Seems that Eric Cantor must have missed my memo. Too bad for him. ]

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant on the Hudson River 30 miles north of NYCIf Ted were working for my old nuclear boss, my boss would call him in ..

.. close the door and chew his ass .. gnaw on it for a while.

Whether it *is* good or not .. each citizen will render their own opinion, I'm sure.

But the appearance, anyway .. is one of » cold-hearted, uncaring hypocrisy .. like you are waging war on the poor.

Your own people are saying it (.. cuz they don't want any of your lightning bolts getting off on them).

I suggest you live the way that the poor live for a while. It will change your mind, your view, your perspective, your opinion, your whole outlook.

I'm confident that Einstein would concur. Stendhal, too. Most certainly, John Bradford and Pope Francis. Mandela. Even Brad Bannon.

They call it » compassion. Whatever happened to compassionate conservatism?

I admit that I myself had little compassion for the poor .. "Get a job you lazy fuck!" .. until I got a taste of their life. My ass was rapidly recalibrated.

Christ the Redeemer | Rio de Janiero, BrazilDoes not Peter himself seem to suggest that the true Christian ..

.. should educate himself about social and moral issues?

i.e. » escape the world's corruption » moral excellence » get knowledge.

Notice how the word 'knowledge' there is used IN CONTEXT OF » moral excellence (which obviously includes » moral values) ..

.. and how this moral excellence plays off of (again, in the CONTEXT OF) » corruption-in-the-world. (That's here "in the world," as there's no corruption in heaven.)

How can the Christian hope to love his neighbor .. if he knows nothing about him .. specially not the hardships that he experiences daily? [ « Now there's a rhetorical question if ever I saw one. ]

The downright obscene level of corruption in our government .. suggests that maybe Christians arent doing a very good job of setting a moral standard .. no? [ Oh, could I meddle here. But I won't. ]

If however, you are getting all of your news and information from the SAME SOURCE .. uh, while that may indeed be fair, it is certainly not balanced. Feel me?

No, we dont demonize the rich. Rather we decry the unfair SYSTEM that gives them unfair advantages. Our system. We the people.

The SYSTEM our kids will inherit.

Speaking on the topic » appearence-of-hypocrisy .. I could not help but notice this paragraph:

» "Mary Cheney said she would continue to raise the matter. Reminded by a reporter that such criticism could complicate her sister's Senate campaign, Mary Cheney offered a clipped answer reminiscent of her father's terse style. 'Okay,' she said, before letting silence fill the air."

Wow. That is one tough girl. In a fight, you want her on your side. (Like a Jersey girl.)

She has conviction. If you think about it, it says a lot. A lot about a lot.

Gasps come from the group of spectators huddled nearby as Boehner guns the engine and the car lurches forward .. before grinding to a quick stop.

Boehner chuckles. (He can't help himself.) Sure, it's a bizarre thought .. but we're talking about bizarre threats.

If you dont want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying you want a country based on Christian Values, because you dont - Jimmy CarterTho I am not worried. No, sir. Because Jimmy Carter is still alive.

It's an intuitive thing. A dream I had ..

.. which suggests that any cataclymic or revolutionary shit won't go down until after Jimmy dies.

Like I said, it's just a dream .. so I wouldnt be too terribly concerned.

But .. if it happened *after* Jimmy dies .. yes, I would be looking more closely ..

.. specially if he dies on the Ides of March (.. the day of my dream) .. or under some curious circumstances.

Nothing against Jimmy, of course. Heck, I like Jimmy. I even respect him .. for his humanitarian work.

We were both Navy nuclear (.. no, not at the same time) .. tho he was an officer and I a mere, lowly enlisted person (.. reactor plant operator). Both the Dog and I. So I can relate to Jimmy.

I wonder if Jimmy has ever read The Prince .. and what he thought of Machiavelli's book (written 1513 but not published until 1532, 5 years after Machiavelli's death).

Oh. Update. Obama stood up to threats of Financial Armageddon and won. The Republicans came to with 99 minutes of initiating launch sequence (on October 17th).

Obama immediately gave a speech that said, "Nobody won," but everybody knows that is bullshit.

Ernest Hemingway's Passport Photo from 1923 (age 24)When I heard the speech, I thought about what Hemingway said of Fitzgerald in A Moveable Feast after Fitzgerald had written The Great Gatsby »

» "He wanted me to read the new book, The Great Gatsby, as soon as he could get his last and only copy back from someone he had loaned it to.

To hear him talk of it, you would never know how very good it was, except that he had the shyness that all non-conceited writers have when they have done something very fine, and I hoped that he would get the book quickly so that I might read it."

But speaking of Thelma & Louise...

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