1828. E. Leslie uses the word cupcake for the first time.
Obviously not too much of note happened that year. Other contenders for news story of the year 1828 were Brazil and Argentina recognized the independence of Uruguay and Kaspar Hauser the feral wolf-boy was found roaming the woods of Nuremberg, Germany.
TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:
Today at breakfast while reading the Bangkok Post, I came across a review of the Nobel Prize in literature winning, South African author J.M.Coetzee‘s latest novel. It seems to be another of his semi-autobiographical novels; a format appears the current rage among serious writers. Bolanno and Vollman among others have made careers out of it. I call this the double lie format. First the author makes up the story of his own life that he wants you to believe. Then he makes up the people and their stories about observing the made up life of the author.
In his novel Coetzee invents a series of interviews with people (mostly women) asking them to give their recollections of Coetzee during that period in his life just before he began to become famous.
They mainly express the distress of the author’s friends and family at his indolent and unproductive lifestyle as an unlicensed tutor and lay about. The women often describe affairs that they had with the budding author or affairs that they knew about. As with love affairs in general, they usually proved unsatisfactory for everyone, those involved as well as for those merely observing. ( As Prince Humperdinck in the Princess Bride observes,”You truly love each other and so you might have been truly happy. Not one couple in a century has that chance, no matter what the story books say. And so I think no man in a century will suffer as greatly as you will.”)
After achieving his first success, Coetzee gets a job as a temporary lecturer at a local university and promptly begins another unhappy affair with one of his students or another lecturer (I do not recall which and it really doesn’t matter since one way or the other it was inevitable).
Unlike his fictional character, Coetzee himself has been described as:
“… a man of almost monkish self-discipline and dedication. He does not drink, smoke or eat meat. He cycles vast distances to keep fit and spends at least an hour at his writing-desk each morning, seven days a week. A colleague who has worked with him for more than a decade claims to have seen him laugh just once. An acquaintance has attended several dinner parties where Coetzee has uttered not a single word.”
What this all brings to my mind is not that artists tend to be incorrigibly self-indulgent and ego-maniacal, but only that what is written, sung, photographed or constructed is just the story, the truth is usually what has been left out.
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:
Yesterday Bill arrived in Thailand. I met him and Gary in The Outskirts of Hell (known locally as Pattaya) and had dinner at a Sizzler Steak House in the local shopping mall. The dinner was actually quite good. After dinner we went to visit the famous Walking Street of Pattaya where I saw things that one does not normally see in one’s day. This led me to surmise that the difference between heaven and hell is the difference between ignorance and knowledge and between boredom and experience.
PAPA JOE’S TALES AND FABLES:
Sometimes poetry can bubble up from the depths of despair. This from Irwin:
“Friday i came out of the bank. there was a man who came into the lobby and then went outside. i don’t know how to describe him except to say he looked scruffily dressed and reminded me of a former city councilperson who was one of the last white faces in Santa Ana government; outside of the long-time city manager who lives in Coto de Caza as does the former mayor who now is the right hand man at the irvine Company. i got the distinct feeling this fellow was either going to rob Citibank or was waiting for me so when i got into the oyonemobile i locked the doors started the car and drove away.
Yesterday morning i went to the market and was waiting at the fish counter (dover sole $9.99 a pound) when the guy came in and peered into the red meat display. When he left, i breathed a sigh of relief. When i checked out of the market and got to my car i could see him at the end of the parking lot next to the small free-standing building which houses “drs. r us.” Who is this guy and am i really seeing him again and again? i quickly drove away.
Today i thought about it a lot. i was thinking that maybe it was “death” following me around and checking me out. What i had to keep death away i don’t know but i suspect it was those adolescent tendencies of mine that when confronted i have just a few choices, to whine, freeze and/or make it to the closest door. What kept death at arms reach? Surely death could appreciate and have a real taste for a coward. Did he just decide that it wasn’t my time or that I was the wrong person?
At 2:30 am, i couldn’t sleep so i checked my email. i received an email from a former county CEO. In it he explained that he didn’t know what day or time it was; that his three year old romance ended when the woman died in their bed at the age of 37. i guess Mr. Death found somebody; hopefully it wasn’t in place of me by mistake. i have enough bad karma on my conscience.”
a. Wisdom from The Princess Bride:
Inigo Montoya: ” Is very strange. I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it’s over, I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.”
Westley: “Have you ever considered piracy?”
b. From God’s mouth to your ears:
“And so humankind became abundant on the earth.
And daughters were born to them.
The sons of God saw that the daughters of humankind were good.
And they took for themselves any women they chose.
The sons of God had sex with the daughters of humankind.
Yahweh saw that the wrongdoing of humankind was abundant on the earth, and their thoughts were only toward wrongdoing at all times.
And he regretted having made humankind on earth, and it pained his heart.
And Yahweh said, ‘I will wipe out humankind from the face of the earth. Humans, animals, creatures, and birds. For I regret having made them.'”
From this I deduce that God is Sicilian. See below.
“I don’t want any woman other than my Ninetta, and if they [her family] don’t let me marry her, I’ll have to kill some people.”
Sicilian Mafia Boss Salvatore Riina’s statement on love Sicilian style.
Note: in most other cultures frustrated love often ends in suicide. See Romeo and Juliet.