» The Sun Sets on the Old World
Barbara Tuchman (1912-1989) was only two years old when the guns began to thunder in August of 1914.
I have a hard-back copy sitting here that a friend loaned me. The opening paragraph reads »
» So gorgeous was the spectacle on the May morning of 1910 when nine kings rode in the funeral of Edward VII of England that the crowd, waiting in hushed and black-clad awe, could not keep back gasps of admiration.
In scarlet and blue and green and purple, three by three the sovereigns rode through the palace gates, with plumed helmets, gold braid, crimson sashes, and jeweled orders flashing in the sun.
Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered together in one place and, of its kind, the last.
The muffled tongue of Big Ben tolled nine by the clock as the cortege left the palace, but on history's clock it was sunset, and the sun of the old world was setting in a dying blaze of splendor never to be seen again.
The book is 450 pages .. if you're interested in reading the rest of this Pulitzer Prize winner (1963).
On the subject of how Europe went to war in 1914, here is another good book
Barbara Tuchman » the Writer
As a writer, Barbara Tuchman is very much about » narrative drive ..
.. which does not strike me as too terribly difficult when you are talking about the first month of WW1.
But yes .. you definitely get that impression from reading her. Her propulsive sense of narrative drive that gives her writing its distinctive flavor.
[ Her most thought-provoking quote is » here. ]
In the future, tho, I should probably try an entry with that propulsive narrative drive. I know how to do that. But you need the right subject. You know .. history-shaping shit.
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••• today's entry continues here below •••
I feel the same about friends » better a few really good friends .. than many not-so-great ones. Feel me?
» NY Times
Update August 6 » Lookie here » the NY Times published an article on the Guns of August.
I love the NY Times .. the stuff they publish.
I once knew this very Jewish guy who worked at a nuke plant in south-eastern Pennsylvania ..
.. whose idea of Nirvana consisted of » "coffee with a bagel with lox and cream cheese and the New York Times" on Sunday morning aboard his boat docked there in nearby Maryland.
His eyes would glaze over as he reminisced.
.. then maybe our leaders will see the cautionary tale and be inspired to not be so stupid as they were back then .. not so very long ago.
I am talking about shit that affects us-the-people more than it does them-the-decision-makers. Feel me?
That's why I am waving this thing over here by this pretty girl (.. who I will introduce to you shortly) .. cuz it has a better chance of being seen over here. <end nytimes article update of august 6>
» Manh(A)ttan | 13-Part Mini-Series
Speaking of pretty girls and cautionary tales and potential bang for our children's generation and Pulitzer Prize winners and big guns echo'ing from the past ..
Consult your local programming.
The first episode air'ed just a few days ago (on July 27). Episode 2 will air the week beginning August 3rd.
.. about the life of » J Robert Oppenheimer .. the father of the atomic bomb.
That book also won a Pulitzer (2006).
With those two items as my tone-setters .. let's shift gears and change the subject.
» First Ever Scheduled Publishing Entry
The Moveable Type publishing software that I use .. that I have been using for most of the site's twelve or thirteen years .. offers the following options (three) to control the "Publishing Status" of your entries »
- Unpublished (Draft)
For the longest time, the only option I ever selected was » published. Only recently have I begun to make use of the first option listed there » Unpublished (Draft) .. to create some pre-configured templates. But NEVER have I used the last » Scheduled.
That means that the little picture of the clock becomes a green check-mark.
I have already configured the setting. Past tense. It was easy enough.
So, even if I die before then .. it will still publish » at the appointed time.
I certainly have no reason to doubt that the featured will work as designed .. but since I have never actually USED it before .. I am naturally skeptical.
Come August 1st, at 8:01 AM (Chicago time) is when I will learn if the software does indeed perform as I expect it to. Because that is the time when I set the entry to publish.
But today is July 29, so I need to get busy .. now that the clock is ticking .. and I have so little time. Self-imposed dead-line.
First let me give you an intimate peek at the backend of Movable Type ..
.. where I craft my sometimes sullen art.
Now that I have shown you mine .. show me yours.
It can be both fun and rewarding .. to explore new avenues. To "walk naked at the edge of a lunar landscape," as Sophy says.
Anyway .. this is not what I am going to discuss in this entry. No.
Rather, I am going to talk about » flirting. Flirtng in the Digital Age.
But I told you that story about enabling the 'Scheduled' publishing status option ..
.. because, in crafting this entry, I can feel myself using creative muscles that I have » never used before.
Or perhaps I am using them in new combinations .. sort of like the way the brain learns new things.
However you might prefer to couch what I am saying .. the experience comes with the feeling that you might find something DIFFERENT FROM what you expected to find.
Tho certainly, that, in itself, is no reason to fear the new experience.
This has been a constant theme in my exploration of Sophy's lunar landscapes. » "Whoa. I never expected to find you here."
.. titled » Not Talking About Writing. Which was also something a new thing for me.
Entries like that .. where it can be dfficult to restrain the ego .. always involve an inner struggle for me.
This is another topic entirely, and one which I am not prepared to discuss now. (And maybe never.)
But you want to embrace the vitality and aliveness and humanity that an honest conveying of personality can bring, without sounding like an ego maniac. No mean feat to straddle that fence.
But my point is that, for me, the stars need to align .. before I go there. And then, when I go, I go hard. I throw down hard and fast. Cuz that's just how it works for me. Perhaps because the stars align for only a short time. Strike while the iron is hot.
So setting the entry to publish on August 1st raises the expectations .. rather high. The writer, the artist, in order to keep growing .. needs to keep EXCEEDING his previous best.
And there is a part of me that doubts I can exceed what I did in the Writing entry. Which did indeed challenge me. And surprise me.
And while I may indeed be a recognized expert in the field of » flirting ..
.. I still know more about » Writing. I know what you are thinking » "Dont let that stop you."
Sure. Easy for you to say. But this is really an entry » about a girl.
You know who I'm talking about .. the girl who works over at Yahoo Finance. Yeah, the blond. The hottie. The smart, educated hottie .. who seems at home in an environment typically dominated by males.
Dude, is it just me .. or is she not very sexy? I realize that everybody has different thngs that float their boat. Their love boat. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So it is certainly possible that I am seeing things that others don't. (Tho I cannot understand how others don't see what I see.)
When I first saw her there at Yahoo Finance, I thought » "That girl is too hot to be taken seriously .. in the world of » Financial reporting. Dominated by men. Smart men. Unsexy, smart men."
But she proved me wrong. I'll admit it. (Good for her. Not many prove me wrong.)
Another 'problem' I am finding .. is working with the images, with the screenshots (of video). Specially the ones with eye contact. That definitely fucks with me. One in particular.
It's kinda like being in two different states of consciousness at the same time. If such a thing is possible.
Oh, sh1t .. 1 just blew out my 'eye' key. Th1s suks.
Okay, back. I downloaded and installed this (open source) software called » AutoHotkey. The short version » I am now typing the letter 'i' by hitting the 'CapsLock' key. Weird, but getting used to it.
And yes, when I hold down the 'Shift' key .. I get a capital i » I (.. when I hit CapsLock). Like magic.
But I am now seeing that .. this CapsLock key is not exactly the smoothest, either.
It's not a real quest, I guess, without a periodic challenge. A test. A multi-headed monster. Straight from the land of Myth.
Compared to being in the zone for creative writing .. the shift that is reuired to deal effectively with technical problems such as these .. that is difficult.
It challenges me. Because the mind-set that is required there is SO DIFFERENT FROM what is necessary to enter the creative flow.
And you are not sure that you can return to where you were (creatively). Heck, you are not even sure that you can enter the letter 'i' on your keyboard. (Without having to paste it in, which could not suck more.)
But it is similar to basketball practice .. where you run down to the half-court line and hurry back .. in that » the quicker you can do this reflects positively on your potential on the court (.. with a basketball in your hands). .
» Private Party at the Castle
Now, may I have your attention please .. ladies and gentlemen. The rest of today's entry is for only person .. so we must ask you to leave. Thank you.
The king has an intimate little gathering scheduled for this evening. So if the castle be rocking .. don't you bother come knocking.
For all is well, my friend, in many-towered Camelot. »
This entry remains a work-in-progress. To be cont'd ...
If this thing works as planned .. which will be fun to see if it does ..
.. if it works, then I will begin porting in what I have already written (.. on the homepage).
And moving each group of themes to their own, separate pages.
Who knows how high the number might go? .. when the writer is (truly) inspired.
I will admit that .. it can be difficult to subdue your strongest desires when you are with someone who really-really » turns you on.
But .. many women have told me that going slow in the beginning is what really works best for them.
Now, I am not saying that you can compare what I am doing right here, with this preliminary-introductory page with the idea of foreplay (.. tho obviously you can).
Because Hemingway hates the introductory "scroll-work". No. Rather » he starts you out right in the middle of his story. » "Then she said, "Quick! Pull down your pants!"
Which means I would need to start my entry .. actually flirting with you [ "Dont just TELL me about it, dude. SHOW me what you mean." ]
And this I can do.
Watch me work. (Might wanna look around for something sturdy to grab hold of.)
Because Hemingway would start the entry on the next page (.. with no foreplay).
Okay, I have also set page #2 to post at the same time as page 1/x. After it actually publishes, I will return to give you the link.
Here it is » Flirting in the Digital Age - Part 2/x.
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