- Deep South, United States
- Consultant, inventor, mentor, chess coach,. Current projects involve No Till Farming and staving off blindness due to cataracts among other projects. I also do confidential ghost writing (without taking any published credit. My current blindness makes me put this on hold for a while. I should have one eye working again in about four months. Fact, fiction, all subjects considered. I have heard My daughter Jennifer is alive. I would love it if she were to contact me here. I understand she would like to know me. I have sent a message by circuitous route. I can only hope. My posted Email works as well. We have four decades to catch up on.
This blog has been up for more than a year. The intent was to generate dialogues about serious problems and ideas. It has been almost exclusively a monologue. I have not been looking for large numbers of participants.
I would be quite happy with a few dozen imaginative, creative, thoughtful and inventive people who wish to address serious problems and issues. If anyone has any ideas about how to attract such a talented group I will certainly pay attention. I am not as computer conversant as I would wish. Anyone who could help in this regard would find me receptive to sharing my skills in other areas.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Everybody is interested in the numbers, and the curves and if this median value were reduced and so on. I too, transiently toy with these notions. But it really draws attention away from other qualities that count far more.
John Nash saw patterns that would never be apparent to me. He paid dearly.
What I often see are the mistakes or oddities, the anachronisms, or just sometimes things jarringly out of place, even when I am not conversant with the subject. I'm not searching for them. Often I'm not even paying attention. They just seem to jump out at me from nowhere. The movies will provide an example or two.
Before my encroaching blindness, I happened to see a fine movie, "O Brother, Where Art Thou," based substantially on Homer's great epic adventure of Ulysses. Who knows? Maybe a little Virgil slipped in there too. But now it is set in the deep and enduring Depression of the United States. A time of great adventure and tragedy. A time when eugenics and other forms of badly disguised hatreds were really growing like crabgrass.
But in this particular confection of a movie, there was never a pinch of despair, let alone the heaping cup put into The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck.
I remember having a bit of reverie about Shaw and Twain in each of their depictions of Joan of Arc, and how their sharp contrasts in style and content spoke volumes of the authors. I know not how these thoughts came at this time.
And the translations into the movies! How breathtaking, each for entirely different reasons. The Joans. Would anyone ever keep up with these Joans? Perhaps, but it certainly seems improbable while I am watching either one of them. Since these two black and white movies, I have perhaps seen half a dozen sumptuous productions with lavish sets, vivid color, and in several languages. But never has Widmark's Dauphin been surpassed.
I love it when I don't quite pay attention, when my mind wanders in six or eight different directions, but none of it is strenuous, like a dream, sometimes sensibly illogical.
Now we have our three boys -- no criminals here. No vicious desperadoes. No ghastly gangsters. Just Preening Pup with a great pelt of pride and counterfeit perspicacity, and his associates Pack Dog and Goofy.
They have just opportunistically absconded with some one's idling auto, care free as gamboling jackals. No pressing goals. No gut wrenching hunger. Just living, sniffing, scratching, being the beings they be.
Suddenly one detects the faintest musical scent wafting in the breeze. A scream of a bark bursts from him. The nominal leader of the pack stops the car, Pack Dog bursts into the woods, with the other two bringing up the rear, fully trusting Pack Dog's instincts, with no thought of why.
I too, in the darkness, in that theater of like-mindlessness am no longer in idle reverie. My attention is riveted on the Sirens. I am totally had. My main brain, in it's separate head, has taken full command. My eyes are glazed with the approaching blazing beauty.
Then suddenly, that earthen jug of moonshine, with it's little xxx's, erasing the universal XXX permeating the entire substance of my being, shattered the dream, like a clattering alarm with it's scintillating shards of reality, like Mom yelling the Hell to pay if breakfast gets cold in my slumber.
Angrily, I silently stormed to breakfast, deliberately obliterating the rest of the dream, refusing then to take it in little pieces. I said quietly to Mom, behind the counter,
"A tub please."
"Yes. Please slime it lightly with the lubricant."
"Some butter will be fine."
I sat in the lobby, reading a book. Gum popping, teen-aged Mom, nothing to do, was uncharacteristically curious.
"Not going to watch the movie?"
"Next showing. Missed a scene."
"No shit?" she blurted without thinking, then looked worried. I put her at her ease,
"Yes shit. Some shit with little x's made me miss a scene."
It now dawned on her, I was perhaps more than a little weird.
It dawned on me too.
"Look. The movie is a work of art. One scene has a defect. I have to prepare not to notice it. Sort of like restoring a great masterpiece." I searched for a way to put it in language she would apprehend. "Pretend some idiot flicked some snot on your Marilyn Monroe Calendar. It would no longer be a work of art would it? You would have to carefully fix it before you could once again fully appreciate it."
"What's a Marilyn Monroe Calendar?"
"Sort of like a Madonna Poster, only better."
Now she knew I was nuts. I read.
Half a book later, I saw the scene intact, snot carefully ignored. What a dream! And the jug would have worked with only a glimmer of it in shot five of the scene, in some weeds by the bank of the river.
But how incredible! The pairing of the Sirens with our young dogs, each a dead match. And the culminating illusion!
I have asked several people how many kisses were in the end of that scene. No one I have asked ever got the right answer. There were no kisses. None. And that is as it should be. A kiss would have brought some sense of resolution, some tangible satisfaction. That is not what the Sirens were about.
True beauty is in our minds, and can't be erased if we don't let it. Trachtenberg invented a wonderful math for children amid the horrors of a death camp. It was his refuge. His salvation.
Within every hag or doddering homeless bum still resides the soul of a child. All the beauty that ever was is still there, right below the graffitti of age. You fight the dying of the light! If you don't the young will kill you a little at a time because you are so ready to go along with it. Let us not be lemmings. Even old life is a great gift. And as someone said a couple thousand years ago, Cut them some slack! They are clueless.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
It turns out that there are a number of survivors still living, some of them living with ages in the triple digits, having been older children during the epidemic when they contracted the disease. Our astute and sophisticated medical establishment apparently was not particularly interested in this fact until very recently. A fact which fails to surprise me.
Now though, the interest is keen. These unusually healthy and robust elders in our midst are now the objects of considerable attention, and are being gleefully probed for their blood in the very real hope and prospect that antibodies can be mass produced that will afford real protection even before a new outbreak gets out of control.
But frankly, I wonder how good it is for these centenarians to be jabbed for these samples.
The current procedure throughout the world is, a chicken or two in an industrial chicken house is positive for the virus, wipe out the infected chicken and the whole damn chicken house, many thousands of apparently healthy chickens. Destroyed. Buried. Burned. Who takes these losses? The farmer. Sort of gives him some incentive to button his lip and hope for the best, doesn't it?
I wonder if it would not be a good idea, the next time their is an outbreak, to let it run its' course through a very, very, very quarantined chicken house. Actually take the very best care of those chickens! (No, I don't mean to treat the stricken ones in any way.) I just mean, feed them excellent rations and very good water, remove all corpses promptly, and see how many survivors there are.
Let us say that out of 10,000 chickens, 100 survived. Now you have a hundred chickens you could poke with needles to get some samples to make a vaccine with which a pharmaceutical company could them make billions of dollars. Ah, the wonders of private enterprise!
OR, you could even breed those survivor chickens, ultimately producing tens of thousands, even eventually millions or even billions of chickens, which were totally immune, not only to the deadly virulent strain, but also to a great variety of other common influenza's. Apparently these aged survivors have, more often than not , not subsequently been troubled by colds or flu that they noticed. In other words, the original infection seems to have made the survivors a LOT healthier. Would it not be nice if we could make the entire chicken population of the planet much, much hardier and less prone to disease in general.
Naw, couldn't work. Otherwise, one of those experts with all that formal training, all those diplomas and honors,in cooperation with all the high ranking health organization bureaucrats with their unique expertize om writing protocols and edicts and regulations... they would have already thought of it. Certainly, no self-taught bumpkin from the middle of nowhere could ever come up with anything valuable. What would people think?
Brilliant people down through the centuries
have had a strong tendency to be unsound of
personality. They become a little bonkers. It is almost inevitable I think. I am not talking about run-of-the-mill Mensa members here. Those I speak of are really quite alone, surrounded by "normals" who live almost totally as they are conditioned by their social jungle.
These isolated wretches truly do see things that others do not see. And these things are not always hallucinations, although sometimes, in an attempt to make sense out of nonsense, some desparate wishful thinking will actually result in becoming a little delusional.
I could give countless examples throughout the centuries. And I could give countless examples just relating to me alone. It is frustrating to be alone. No, frustrating is not near strong enough a term. I don't know if there is a strong enough term. It is an aloneness that cannot be assuaged, only endured. I was attracted to this place because I got a sense that there was just a scintilla more sense in the comments than could be found in general in the blogosphere.
Mr. Bellows and his cadre are to be complimented on several counts.
First, the general quality and the effort and workmanship that has gone into the essays.
Second, the absolute patience with which they except the utter drivel that characterizes, unfortunately, the majority of the comments. But I can tell that they too are having some morale problems that are hard to overcome.
I can tell this because they regurgitate with the frequency of a bulemic. Something is telling them that they are not really taken seriously at all. That they are casting the best pearls they are able to produce, before mostly swine, metaphorically speaking.
They can tell, I am quite sure, that most of the readership are nothing more than jabbering dillitantes, amateurs, dabblers, in no sense connecting the thoughts and information they have so conveniently been provided, and with those thoughts, generating new and valuable ideas. I exclude a half dozen or so of you from these caustic remarks. I honor you and your efforts.
To the trolls among you, in spite of occasional vestiges of ability, you are quite unredeemable.
When I started my blog a few years ago, I envisioned a thinktank to attract really serious seminal thinkers who really wanted to address the most pressing problems for the species, and all life on the planet. A pretty tall order. And an abysmal failure.
I experimented. I put a lovely Siren in the foyer to attract intellects, because all the intellects I have met in my life, all ten of them that I have stumbled across and who made themselves visible to me, in almost seven decades, have been, down deep, pretty sexy, and lovers of beauty for the sake of beauty alone.
I no longer care that the blog is a failure. That it is now just a storage room, a filing cabinet for regurgitations of posts elsewhere which I have transferred, posts which I thought that perhaps a few of my grandchildren might enjoy, should they by luck or other chance event, turn out not to be aliens.
I do not wish to sound pessimistic here. It is my guess that at least half of them have an even chance, much above the chances for most. I cling to that and thank my very lucky stars that of the children and grandchildren I know of, I am at about that fifty-fifty rate or better. A blessing upon me, and my blessings upon them.
My Honey and I have many cats, and too many dogs as well. Uncritical children who will not grow up. We cannot afford them and cannot afford to part with them. My dogs are mostly brilliant, as dogs go. Our cats range from witless to incredibly sophisticated. These animals have provided us with what old people in general have least. Regular daily affection, touching, caring, dependence and need. We are useful to them when the rest of society has relegated us to the trash heap as obsolete.
My other pets are in my Dojo, where I teach chess. I do not do so to make strong chess players. It is just a vehicle to help young people become better people. I spend perhaps half my time talking about other subjects, and about life in general.
On Monday, after about four years of training, one of my most advanced students, who went to Russia and several other countries to test his new chess skills, clearly one of the strogest two or three players ever to have evolved out of my tutelage, was dishonorably discharged from my Dojo, failed in the course, and discharged from my life. I hold no hope that he is any more redeemable than was Bobby Fischer. An evil little twerp, with greatness in him which never saw the light of day. A stunted freak of a man, whose monumental talent ultimately did injury to the world of chess. There was in him, no honor. I will list no other Grandmaster whores and failures. But let me honor the greats for a moment. Spassky! Benko! Tal! Botvinnik! Korchnoi! Reshevsky! Larsen! And Waitzkin! What a well rounded young fellow. I have had the pleasure of watching all these greats in action except Botvinnik, whose games too were true art.
These men make me truly sorry I played no tournament chess until I was in my forties, and that I had been teaching all comers for a quarter century by then, and continued to do so even while competing. The kiss of death. But I wouldn't trade any of it. No take backs. No regrets. No blunders, without a new lesson learned. No if only's.
Chess. My refuge, my solace, my food, my dream. Thank you.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Not good to use a work Email for personal use.
1. Not really private whatever the illusion.
2. Can be construed (any time an employer wishes to) as an improper use of employer property.
Feeling really blue right now. Not much fit to fight the good fight at the moment, so let me illustrate something related to the above.
In the evolution of cell phones, executives everywhere, (private institutions and corporations and even public institutions like colleges and universities), who have phones provided to them by their employers, have suddenly been descended upon by the rabid dogs of the IRS, who waited quietly without a bark or growl, just waiting and drooling, until the practice was virtually universal.
Now, thoroughly anonymous thugs within the bowels of this "service" have descended like the Sword of Damocles on everyone "guilty" of this practice, saying, if the individual cannot demonstrate that a call was business related on their business phone, paid for by their employer, that this call is personal, and that the value of the call is income and must be declared as such, and TAXED. A multi billion dollar windfall for the government. And entirely unassailable tax LAW.
We can't blame this on any of our carpetbagging, earmarking, trough snuffling swine in public office. This is internal administrative money generating "creativity." But do you think anyone in the IRS is going to check the phone records of IRS employees, going back ten years, as the IRS is allowed to do? I'll give odds that won't happen.
So now, billions of hours and billions of dollars will be squandered in a mountain of extra paperwork for everyone with a phone provided by an employer. Logging the nature of every call.
"Hi honey, how was Tommy's visit to the doctor?" Log it! It's taxable.
"Did you hear what those Mutherfuggers at the IRS just did?" Log it! It's taxable.
Now son, I want you to get a big logbook, and note the time and date of sending me this address. Make it the most expensive logbook you can find. And save the receipt. It is a logically a deductible expense.
But now let us confuse things a bit more. How are things going on the job? Okay now, did this response, have any effect on your sending me your work address? That was your entire message.
Oops, that's personal.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
"ANTHROPOSITOR â€” OLDBOGEYDOG
1. d4____________ g6
You know waaaaay too much!
My greatest hope lies in a monumental blunder on your part. I used to play chess on pogo games a lot. You can set the game timer to get an edge for yourself. My favorite was 15/3 for 15 minutes per player and 3 seconds added for a move. The 3 seconds was my edge for the end game. I'd get down to a half a minute to go and the opponent would get complacent with a lead and make mistakes thinking the game was over while I'd move fast and get some ugly fork or pawn promotion.
I think I'm going to have a tough time making that happen here!"
"O mischief, thou art swift to enter in the thoughts of desperate men.
I attend a great purge. My driver is gone. My key retainers, gone. But I stand now, feet solidly planted, with no retreat in them. My sword may be broken, but my dagger is dipped in venom.
Those who wish only for blunders from the besieged King, beset on all sides, serve themselves not.
If there is no Regent on this field but me, then sink to your knees, put your forehead in the bloody mud and retire from this battle. Then rise and be my jester when I return from my joust with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and gird myself to do battle with the god of Presbyteria.
ANTHROPOSITOR â€” OLDBOGEYDOG
1. d4____________ g6