“One way to predict the future is to cheat. This method has many advantages. It works. You can test it, so that makes it scientific. Lots of people will believe the evidence of their own eyes, unaware that eyes tell lies and you’ll never catch a competent charlatan in the act of cheating.”
Pratchett, Terry. The Globe: The Science of Discworld II: A Novel . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
TODAY FROM AMERICA:
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES WHILE SLOGGING THROUGH THE GREAT PANDEMIC OF 2020.
It was a balmy night in the Enchanted Forest. Naida and I sat in our respective recliners facing the TV. I was naked but for the swim trunks I had worn all day and Naida was dressed in shorts and a T-shirt. We were attempting to find something to watch until it was time to sleep. In other words, to sleep with our eyes open before having to close them. We decided on something called Night Club Scandal a 1937 movie starring John Barrymore. Its opening scene showed Barrymore standing over the body of his wife whom he had just killed. Naida soon fell asleep in her chair and I went back to reading my latest novel leaving the movie flickering in the background and the 1930s patter rumbling in my ears. John Barrymore was caught in the end, I think.
That night, I suffered the second of the horrid dreams that kept me awake and moaning most of the night, the first of which I wrote about here a few weeks ago. Throughout my life I always fought back, sometimes effectively and sometimes not, against the threats posed in the nightmares but not during these last two. Two weeks ago it was stark terror and fear that immobilized me. Last night it was absolute helplessness first at the destruction of my home and happiness and then to fight off the creeping hands searching my body as I began to try to restore my life.
In the morning, I tried to figure out what was happening with these dreams. It seemed appropriate to set my mind to it, after all I had little enough to do otherwise. My first thought, as one might imagine, was that these dreams were harbingers of the inevitable arrival of death. In the past, when confronted with these night time stories, I could fight against them because tomorrow was another day and my fears could be confronted. But, at my age, Mister Death no longer seems satisfied to leave too many more tomorrows for me to wrestle with my fears. At first this bit of infantile self psychoanalysis seemed to fit the bill. Then, I remembered that I had taken a swig of NyQuil before going to bed on each of the evenings.
Dextromethorphan (DMX), one of NyQuil’s three active ingredients, has mind-altering effects. Lot’s of kids use it to get high and drug-stores often prohibit people from purchasing too much of it at a time. So, perhaps, that may be the cause and not that silly existential pseudo-psychiatric stuff. But, I seem to recall taking NyQuil on other nights without similar effects. Then again, my previous nightmare occurred on the first day of the last Central Valley heatwave and yesterday the most recent one began. Could my overheated imagination merely have been a response to my overheated body? As I have written often whenever I have rambled off into some adolescent level philosophical speculation, who cares? Anyway, although the cause of the dreams may remain a mystery, trying to solve that mystery at least allowed me to spend my time writing this and avoid watching The Great Escape for the umpteenth time.
Speaking of heat waves, it was in the mid-90s at 10 AM this morning when I left the house to swim in the pool. The swim was enjoyable and after which, I went for a long walk through the Enchanted Forest. In New York where I grew up, temperatures in the 90s were often accompanied also by humidity in the 90s. To anyone walking along the City’s sidewalk death appeared imminent before one could walk from one telephone pole to the next. Here in the Great Valley the air is bone dry. Walking in the Enchanted Forest shaded by the giant trees felt like I was covered in a warm blanket on a cool evening. It was delightful. There was a slight breeze. I decided to sit for a while on one of the benches along the path in order to enjoy the comforting warmth of the air and the beauty of the forest.
(Naida wanted me to make sure I point out that my hair is not white. It is actually quite dark. Its blond hue is only an effect of the sunlight. As one can tell I wear my hair in a popular Age of Quarantine style called the Albert Einstein Do.)
That evening, we watched a Nina Foch festival on TCM — yes, Nina Foch. At about 10:30 the temperature outside had dropped to 95 degrees. Cool enough to take the dog for his evening walk.
The next day, it was over 100 degrees outside when I woke up at about 10:30 in the morning. I had missed my slotted pool time so I spent another hour or so lying in my bed playing with my iPhone until the dog came upstairs started barking at me to let me know that I should stop lazing around and begin my day — a day that promised even less interest than usual.
Apparently, the SF Bay area had an East-Coast type of lightning storm that drove its citizens out into the night with their smart-phones to photograph, post on social media and record for all time the singular event of the lightning displays. We East-Coasters were somewhat blasé about night time spectacles of lightning and thunder having experienced them on almost a weekly basis every summer. I loved them — the crashes of thunder so loud it would shake the house and the tingling on your skin as the flash of lightning tears through the sky. All the sounds and lights of a war among the gods without the slaughter. The next morning in the silence, as you read the morning newspaper, there was the inevitable story about some guy trying to get a last round of golf in before the storm broke getting fried on the fairway by a bolt of lightning. Ah, those were the days.
(It looks to me a bit like a skeleton with a sword confronting a dragon)
The lightning storm passed over the Enchanted Forest last night, the dog crept under the bed and shook in fear, and Naida, unable to sleep with the noise and flashes of lightning laid in bed and stared at the ceiling. I slept through it all. Too bad, I would have liked to have experienced it. A welcome break to six months of social distancing — even the end of the world would be a welcome break.
The next day was even warmer with a lightly overcast sky. Naida accompanied me to swim. Then I left to visit with HRM in the Golden Hills. He cooked me a lunch of pasta and meat sauce. That night, we watched the opening night of the Democratic Convention and cheered Michelle Obama. Let us hope this pandemic inspired unconventional convention marks the beginning of a new way to hold political conventions.
Two days have gone by. The temperature remains in the 100s. Today, the air quality was worsened by the annual burning of California. We have watched two more days of the Democratic Convention. The fear that our democratic republic is at risk was palpable. After the convention ended and the commentators and pundits signed off, we turned to TCH with was featuring the movies of Delores Del Rio. I skipped it and went to bed.
The next day air quality was worse (AQI 253. Hazardous). Now and then I would look up from my computer screen and stare out through the sliding glass doors of the studio at the sickly yellow aspect of scene outside. I skipped swimming again due to effect on my throat and lungs of the air now polluted with the smoke and ash particles from the nearby fires.
A few well forgotten days later, the Air Quality Index appeared low enough for Naida and I to go outside and chance an early morning swim in the pool. It was delightful. Along with my session in the massage chair, shower, lounging around in bed and a brief nap, it was 3:30 before I returned downstairs for lunch. That, I consider, is an ideal way to spend a morning.
Well, that about does it for this post. Not too much excitement to mark these days of our quarantine. That’s most likely the reason why I spent most of my time these past few weeks writing and obsessively adding those lengthy portions of this post below. We, all of us I imagine, are destined to sit here in our homes watching with horror and disgust on electronic media the passing of perhaps the most consequential, challenging and dangerous time in the history of our species. And, for most of us, we feel helpless to do anything about it except to vote for people we do not really know in the hope that they somehow may be able to draw us back from the precipice.
Nevertheless, no matter how grim or not our future may appear remember always to enjoy your days. We have few other options.
We are seeing something new, the final victory of the streaming society over American politics, the end of political conventions as we knew them. Good. That method of demonstrating the will of the party served its purpose. That purpose was to reward the party faithful and to promote the fiction that the candidate was chosen by the will of the rank and file of the party. In fact, the candidate was chosen during the primaries. The convention is not an election but coronation of that candidate who has raised the most money and has the cleverest media experts. In the future, instead of a trip to some far off city somewhere, the reward to the party faithful will be an appearance in a political music video.
That aside on June 26, 2020, I posted the following in Daily Kos:
“I am not so sanguine about the military or Trump’s quiescence should he lose in November. So far, we have received many public comments from retired members of the military General Staff objecting to one or another action of He Who Believes He is the American Dear Leader as well as one or two current members of the General Staff and perhaps from a few lower officers on loan to the administration that have publicly protested specific actions of the administration. I seem to recall, however, that someone once pointed out that it is not the Generals that lead the coups, but the colonels leading elite fighting units. Be that as it may, I would expect Trump would rely more on his irregular troops, the KKK, Boogaloo Boys, and the like. But, of course, I am exaggerating. But, again, if in November 2016 someone said that by 2020 we would have become the laughing stock of the world, seen tens of thousands of our citizens die from administrative incompetence, and millions of Americans out of work, they would have been criticized for exaggerating also. Didn’t Maya Angelou or was it Disraeli say something like, ‘Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.’”
On July 9 while commenting on the Supreme Court’s decisions reaffirming the right of both States and Congress to investigate potential malfeasance of a sitting President, I wrote in Daily Kos:
“I suspect that since the decisions seem to clearly indicate that in the long term Trump is facing the destruction of his business empire and possible jail time for himself and members of his family, he will eventually recognize that he has no other option than to attempt to cling to his power by any means possible leading to a looming constitutional crisis should the coming election not go his way.”
Still later on July 26, I stated in the same venue:
“History is rife with countries and their militaries’ commitment and loyalty to a specific organizing principle only to have that commitment and more importantly their understanding of the organizing principle to be confused as a result of disagreement over its meanings. Today, the politics in America is only too often a disagreement over the meaning of provisions in the document.”
On the very next day, in commenting on the shocking report from the Transition Integrity Project I opined:
“There are those who have recommended taking to the streets to attempt to forestall the looming catastrophe others believe the opposite. This may be the greatest public crisis any of us my experience in our lives. Is sitting back and seeing how it all turns out an option? What do you think the individual should or can do now? What will you do?”
A significant number of comments and responses to all these posts seemed to run the gamut from “It could not happen here” to confidence that he would leave or the military would evict him. Since then, Trump claimed that he reserves to himself the right to decide if the election results are valid, has sent unidentified military troops into cities to put down constitutionally protected protests, has built a wall around the White House, and suborned the US Post Office to take steps to limit the effectiveness of mail in votes in Democratic and people of color voting areas. Each of those actions were met with surprise by the media and the leaders of the Democratic Party. Given the numbers of people opposed to the ambitions this dictator wannabe and who love this country isn’t there someone with enough insight to not be taken by surprise by his all too predicable initiatives to retain power and who is able to propose actions for the rest of us to take beyond just get out and vote?
MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:
From Chiang Mai Thailand — March 2010
“This and that from re Thai r ment. March 17, 2010
For the past three or four days the burning of the rice stubble and out of control grass fires in the area have left me with a sore throat and burning eyes. The sky is a hazy grey and the sun baleful…Of course it is not baleful at all. The particulate matter in the air just interferes with the blue portion of the light spectrum leaving the sun to appear a hazy red. I guess baleful is more poetic.
It seems Poets and those who make money off them (does anyone make money off of poetry? Did they ever? Is Rap poetry?) often claim poetry is some form of truth-telling. Baloney (or bologna or even salami) poets, like the adjectives they use, are accomplished liars. Think about it, poetry began as some sycophants telling lies to flatter the proto-biker gangs that ruled the cave with terror and rape. Did you ever notice most legends about heroes or even about the Volk are glorification of rape, slaughter robbery, lying and corruption by the worthless and unproductive of the peaceful and productive. I have never heard of a poem or legend glorifying a guy who grows a great zucchini or who invented the vibrator. The only positive legend I can think of is the one about the guy bringing fire to the people. But he was really only a sneak thief and liar and probably deserved to be chained to a rock and have birds tear out his liver for all eternity.
Hmmm..you are probably wondering if I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or if there is trouble in paradise. Well, neither really, a slight cold and a rampant allergic reaction to the air pollution has diminished my normal sunny disposition and after all think about what one could say about paradise if one did not exaggerate the annoying minutiae of existence. “Today I sat on a cloud, played my harp and was happy,” “Today I sat on a cloud, played my harp and was happy” and so on. Not only would that be intolerably boring but insufferably smug. On the other hand, “Today, I sat on a cloud, played my harp and was happy until a god-dammed fly started buzzing around my head and landed on my nose”. Now I can sit back and say to myself, “It serves you right you smug bastard” (I like the word “smug”).
Now where am I going with this? I intended to write that my illness and allergies have restricted me to spending most of my time in my bedroom which has air-conditioning.
Mac’s (I have settled on Mac as his name) father has taken over the day-to-day chore of entertaining both children. As a result little of interest to me and I assume you has occurred since I last wrote. I don’t even have a new photograph of insufferably cute children to annoy you with. But I did locate the attached advertisement that may amuse you.
And here I thought crack was just a cheap high.
FROM MY JOURNAL LEADING UP TO POST:
MONDAY, MARCH 15, 2010 9AM
Took Hayden and Mac/Max to school, gassed up car, had coffee with Mac/Max father. Yesterday went to Night Safari, Hayden running around from exhibit to exhibit not remaining before any for more than a second or two, Mac/Max cried throughout the visit, I believe because he was frightened by a peacock on the path, father quiet and withdrawn as usual and me truly dying from the heat.
Did some research on Braudel yesterday. His view on capitalism is similar but far better developed than mine. What surprised me, although it shouldn’t be so, was the resistance by traditional economists to his conclusions. Basically, he separates “Capitalism” and “Capitalists” from “Free Markets” and “Competition.” His claim is that, “Capitalism” is a social phenomena that predates the rise of the “Free Market” in 14-15 century Italy.
“Capitalism” as he defines it is the search for the highest rates of returns and is not connected to or based upon a particular means of production. And usually the highest returns are produced by monopoly (or price-fixing). Capitalists will resist competition to the last penny.
My aphorisms written to Gates and Schatzman in recent emails:
“You can lead a horse to honey but you must account for the bees” and;
“It is easier to get Mc Donald‘s to sell more Chicken McNuggets then to get a power company to close down a single coal-fired power plant”
In part, attempt to address a practical response to this phenomena. (although more accurately is addresses the problem of vested interests).
COMMENTS ON POST:
roses are red
violets are blue
what a remarkable guy
for the zucchini he grew.
he sautéed it in butter
gave some to the poor
but really a fool.
Ok, try one about the vibrator.
she stuck it inside
then licked it with glee,
i only wish that
it could have been me.
WHAT DONALD TRUMP’S SISTER, MARYANNE TRUMP BARRY, SAYS ABOUT HIM IN PRIVATE:
1. “He’s a clown,” Maryanne is quoted saying, according to a copy of the book reviewed by VICE News. Maryanne dismisses his then-burgeoning presidential campaign in 2015 as preposterous, saying: “This will never happen.” (Vice)
2.“He’s using your father’s memory for political purposes,” Maryanne is quoted as telling her niece Mary Trump. “And that’s a sin.” (Vice)
3.“We talked about how his reputation as a faded reality star and failed businessman would doom his run,” Mary writes about one private conversation with her aunt. “‘Does anybody even believe the bullshit that he’s a self-made man? What has he even accomplished on his own?’ I asked.”
“‘Well,’ Maryanne said, as dry as the Sahara, ‘he has five bankruptcies.’” (Vice)
4.“White evangelicals started endorsing him,” Mary Trump writes. “Maryanne, a devout Catholic ever since her conversion five decades earlier, was incensed. ‘What the fuck is wrong with them?’ she said. ‘The only time Donald went to church was when the cameras were there. He has no principles. None!” (Vice)
5.Maryanne Trump Barry was serving as a federal judge when she heard her brother, President Trump, suggest on Fox News, “Maybe I’ll have to put her at the border” amid a wave of refugees entering the United States. At the time, children were being separated from their parents and put in cramped quarters while court hearings dragged on.
“All he wants to do is appeal to his base,” Barry said in a conversation secretly recorded by her niece, Mary L. Trump. “He has no principles. None. None. And his base, I mean my God, if you were a religious person, you want to help people. Not do this.”
Barry, 83, was aghast at how her 74-year-old brother operated as president. “His goddamned tweet and lying, oh my God,” she said. “I’m talking too freely, but you know. The change of stories. The lack of preparation. The lying. Holy shit.”
Lamenting “what they’re doing with kids at the border,” she guessed her brother “hasn’t read my immigration opinions” in court cases. In one case, she berated a judge for failing to treat an asylum applicant respectfully.
“What has he read?” Mary Trump asked her aunt.
“No. He doesn’t read,” Barry responded. (Washington Post)
A. Peter on Top:
Peter Grenell has just published a book entitled, THE GREAT EXPERIMENT: Freedom, Greed, and Racism in America. It can be obtained from Amazon Books. If you wish to understand what greed and racism have been doing to our nation read this book. It combines history with the insights of some of the worlds greatest minds in a well written easy to read story.
Peter writes in his introduction:
“Racism and economic inequality have been embedded in our, and are intimately linked society from America’s beginnings and are intimately linked. America’s political, economic and social structures have been profoundly influenced by an insatiable urge to obtain wealth, from early settlers to the present. Together with an ultra-individualism and a predilection for beliefs not based on facts that Kurt Anderson has called ‘Fantasyland,’ and enhanced most recently under the regime pathologically narcissistic, authoritarian, psychopathic and racist president, racism and inequality are directly responsible for today’s perilous conditions.”
B. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:
“ If I were a purveyor of conspiracy theories like Limbaugh, Alex Jones, Russia, and the Committees to re-elect Trump, I could say that Trump created and released the virus in order to decimate the minority groups who oppose him and eventually declare a state of emergency so that he could eliminate the 2020 election and rule by martial law. Of course, I would not do that.”
C. Today’s Poem:
BY CRISOSTO APACHE
The submarine’s inside was dim.
— Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, tr. by Will Petersen
in my youth, I hitched a ride to San Diego, across
chirping desert and distant night, I gazed upon a slow-moving
dark, encasing a convex cerulean cavity
each night, I stood beneath the sky for hours mesmerized
at the perplex reformatory, twinkling lights of broken
glass fragments spreading against a glistening sunset
a faceless man behind a lost reflection of glass
at a drive-up window informs me,
too bad, you know nothing of your own past
how far will I walk against the night?
conforming to a captivity I had never realized
some years later, under the kitchen table, they all huddle,
as the rampage continues toward the back of the house,
a clash of debris from the other room recoils
and broken sounds escape the barricade of doors
I remember I returned in 1970,
all they remember is me sitting at the edge of my bed,
with the war still in my hands
Crisosto Apache is originally from Mescalero, New Mexico, on the Mescalero Apache Reservation. He is Mescalero Apache, Chiricahua Apache, and Diné (Navajo) of the ‘Áshįįhí (Salt Clan] born for the Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House Clan). He earned an MFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Apache currently lives in the Denver metro area with his spouse, where he teaches writing at various colleges and continues his advocacy work for the Native American LGBTQ / ‘two spirit’ identity. (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/crisosto-apache)
D. Tuckahoe Joe’s Blog of the Week: SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE.
There are some blog sites I bookmark intending to come back to them now and then especially when I tire of my diet of fantasy and history novel. Alas, although some of them I return to often, others not so much. Sadly, SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE (https://sententiaeantiquae.com/about/) is one of the latter. Sadly, I say not only because I do not refer to it often, but also because, as a blog posted by lovers of classical literature, there are few who are interested in the subject at all. Perhaps, it is due to the loss of those who can read the tales in the original Latin and Greek. Whatever the reason, I for one, even though I cannot read in the original languages, enjoy now and then dipping into classical as well as ancient Irish and other Celtic literature. In the post below Aeneas describes the sorrowful state of Polyphemus following his run in with Ulysses. The author of the blog describes Virgil’s Aeneid as, “The world’s finest piece of propaganda literature,” because it was written specifically to give the upstart Romans an ancestry linked to the glories of ancient Greek culture described by Homer in the Iliad and the Odyssey.
Humanizing a Monster: The Saddest Scene in Latin Literature
As a high-school Latin teacher, I am tasked with guiding young minds through the world’s finest piece of propaganda literature, Vergil’s Aeneid. We read through substantial portions of the text in preparation for the AP Latin exam, but this reading is largely dictated by a syllabus of readings which do not include the part of the poem which I regard as the most emotionally affecting scene in all of Latin literature. This is the scene in which Aeneas describes his first glimpse of the cyclops Polyphemus:
“Hardly had he spoken, when we saw the pastor Polyphemus moving himself in a great mass among his flocks and seeking the well-known beach — a horrible monster, deformed, huge, whose eye had been taken. A broken pine guided his hand and firmed his step, while his woolly sheep kept him company; that was his one pleasure, the one solace in his suffering.” (Aeneid 3.655-661)
To be sure, Polyphemus is described as an object of horror, but lines 660-1 (ea sola voluptas solamenque mali) turn Polyphemus into an object of pity rather than revulsion. [Indeed, I think that this is intentional; throughout the poem, Ulysses is portrayed as an unequivocal villain, and Polyphemus can be read as one of his many victims here.] I made sure to include this scene on my class syllabus (though not required for the course), because I think that it is an excellent example of subtle psychological complexity on Vergil’s part. Yet, as I was discussing the scene with my students, it occurred to me that this complexity was not Vergil’s invention it all – Homer had already built this into the character of Polyphemus! In Odyssey Book IX, Odysseus is attempting to escape from Polyphemus’ cave by hiding on the underside of a ram, which is moving slowly in response to the burden. Polyphemus then addresses the ram:
“Oh gentle ram, why do you come from the cave behind the rest of the flock? You never before tarried behind the other sheep, but striding far before the others you snatched the mild blossoms, you came first to the banks of the rivers, and you ever desired first to return home in the evening. But now you are last by far. Are you worried about my eye, which that rotten bastard Noone and his awful friends took from me after wrecking my mind with wine – I do not say that he has escaped death. Would that you could be of one mind with me, and could tell me where that man has fled from my wrath. Once slain, his brain would drip through my cave here and there to the ground, and it would ease my heart from those troubles which that worthless bastard Noone gave me.” (Odyssey 9.446-460)
As horrifying as his earlier behavior had been, and as menacing as his threats to repaint his walls with Odysseus’ blood may sound, this speech is nevertheless given in the context of a much more deeply humanizing emotion: Polyphemus’ solicitous concern for his ram. He knows these animals, and evinces a tender regard for their well-being even in the midst of his own suffering. Indeed, this affectionate concern for his ram serves as a stark counterpoint to the actions of Odysseus, who throughout the poem shows no apparent serious regard for his companions. At no point in the poem does Odysseus show any outward emotional attachment to his men, and it is notable that even in his own tale of his sufferings, the loss of his men is primarily framed as something which happened to him. Polyphemus is thus portrayed as being, despite his monstrous qualities, a more compassionate figure than Odysseus.
Yet, putting Odyssean knavery aside, I think that the lines in the Aeneid reflect a very close reading of the Odyssey. Polyphemus tells his ram that murdering Odysseus would alleviate the sufferings in his heart (κὰδ δέ κ᾽ ἐμὸν κῆρ λωφήσειε κακῶν), but once the ram has left the cave, he is deprived of his chance at attaining this relief. Consequently, it is literally true that his flocks are now his only comfort. So, while it may appear that the phrase “that was his one pleasure, his one solace in his suffering” (ea sola voluptas solamenque mali) is included simply to heighten the pathos of the scene and underscore the humanity of even a monster like Polyphemus, it turns out that this brilliant psychological conceit is deeply rooted in a few lines of Homer. (https://sententiaeantiquae.com/2017/03/05/humanizing-a-monster-the-saddest-scene-in-latin-literature/)
Note: The original Greek and Latin versions of quoted sections of the Aeneid and the Odyssey that appear in the original post have been omitted.
E. Giants of History: Burma Richard at the Kyaik-Tyo Pagoda:
More adventures of my friend Richard Diran. This time he visits Kyaik-Tyo Pagoda in Myanmar. There are about 2 million Mon in Burma, now renamed Myanmar. Promised by the British who the Mon assisted in their war against the invading Japanese, the Mon were betrayed. The prime minister of new state of Burma U Nu stated that no separate national rights should be contemplated which launched a war between the Mon and the Burmese government continues today.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Happy New Year Everyone. We just returned from Kyaik-Tyo Pagoda in the Mon Sate of Burma. Years ago I made the trek over the 33 hills to the base of the rock. At that time there were no foreigners as it was located in an insurgent area. The walk at that time was about 6 hours. One had to have special permission to visit. As you can see it is a huge boulder covered entirely in gold leaf many inches thick. This time my English friend and I had young muscular porters carry us pasha style in canvas slings which were attached to long thick bamboo poles up the mountain. Since it was the cold season there were at least 25 different varieties of moth including Saturnidae, Luna moths and some which were as metalic as silver. Nobody else stayed at our lodge so we had them set up a table for our dinner next to our rooms. At sunset a storm blew in and black clouds tumbled out of the sky above the red of the setting sun.
Posted by RICHARD K. DIRAN at 8:16 PM
F. Tales From 2010 — A Conversation with HRM
Once in 2010 when we lived in Chiang Mai Thailand Hayden told me some very interesting and disturbing things while we were eating dinner. He may have been making it all up as he often does but I will pass it on anyway.
He asked me how many daddies does he have. I responded “Why do you ask?” He said, “I used to have two and now I have three”. I asked “How was that?” He said, “You used to be one of my two daddies and now you are my grandfather. My third daddy has no hair”. I asked Haden if he knew the name of this daddy. He said, “Yes, Hazim”. I asked him if he knew where he lived, “Washington DC” Hayden answered. Then he said, “No South America”. Then he said, “He lives in Phattalung” and put his hand over his mouth like he said something he was not supposed to.
I pried a little more by asking if he visited Hazim in Phattalung. Hayden said he had. He also said that Hazim has a 5 year old girl living there also. He said that he sometimes rides on the motorcycle with Hazim when he is in Phattalung. I asked him if he liked Hazim. He said yes and that when he is six he is going to live with Hazim in Phattalung. “But you can come to visit,” he added.
1. Stross, Charles. The Delirium Brief: A Laundry Files Novel (p. 196). Tom Doherty Associates
“It’s insane, but no more insane than Japan shutting down its entire nuclear reactor fleet in the middle of a heat wave because an extreme tsunami washed over one plant, or the USA invading a noninvolved Middle Eastern nation because a gang of crazies from somewhere else knocked down two skyscrapers. In a sufficiently large crisis, sane and measured responses go out the window.”
2. Kristian Urquiza. Speech at the Democratic National Convention regarding her Trump supporting father who died from coronavirus.
“My fathers preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump.”
3. Letter from Ada Lovelace to mathematician Augustus De Morgan, 27 November 1840
“I am often reminded of certain spirits & fairies one reads of, who are at one’s elbow in one shape now, & the next minute in a form most dissimilar; and uncommonly deceptive, troublesome & tantalizing are the mathematical sprites & fairies sometimes; like the types I have found for them in the world of Fiction.”
MR. NEUTRAL GETS FED UP WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING :