About Me

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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

iN a fOG. lOVING THE fOG i'M iN

All this interest in somehow quantifying the ephemeral essence of the mind. What a fog.
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.

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