11 November 2015

Various Writings are Meshed Into One Post That I Hope You Find Palatable, Numerous Topics Are Explored

From 'Odd Man Out" directed by Carol Reed
There's nothing to compare with the feeling of coming down the escalator to the subway platform and seeing your train waiting and running to it and then for the door to close in your face before you can board. So for want of a few seconds you get to spend 15 minutes in the station. You feel life draining away from your being and a quarter hour of you life is gone. You further realize that it means 15 minutes less time at home.

This happened to me last week but it wasn't the worst part of my day. That came when three co workers, teachers mind you, discussed in depth their astrological signs and what moon or sun or asteroid was rising when they were born. Presumably the people speaking attended a university though whether they learned anything is an open question. Maybe they also believe in reading tea leaves, tarot cards crystal balls and Ouija boards. I have a theory that anytime someone seriously discusses astrology a scientist somewhere sheds a tear.

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I abet the knowing the lost people of my ever widening death defying land grab those who calculated their sin in dollars and wiped out a generation of innocents. My sins expand in my wake and I look to the circular logic of the irrational liar who stalks your night. Leaving be the moments of clarity to shudder at the driving force behind ending all nasty covert clandestine capers. The lot of your life and the crying careening whispers from an almighty force. That is the heaven you deserve my pickled friend. On to yesterday and all the potential it suggests with hope for a better last month. On to other days and better ways and Shakespeare plays. MacBeth Ado About a Tempest Henry the Richard the Titus and Juliet of Venice the Shrew Lear Dream.

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I gamboled around the classroom a bubbling cauldron of energy weaving a lesson and dazzling students. I was a dervish of fun and a font of knowledge and ever understanding and giving. I was amazing. Students were delighted and excited and it was a beautiful demonstration of teaching. I smiled broadly and joked and poked and explained patiently. Wow wow wow. Who would have known that I was depressed? When class ended and the adrenaline had worn off I was back to the blackness and despair. The wrenching mental pain through which I looked at a world without hope. The automatic pilot was off.

Sunday I ran seven miles in 55 minutes and ten seconds. Not my best but not bad. I felt fantastic and could have run another two or three miles but had a basketball game to go to. I sat with a friend at the game and chatted and shared and cheered and marveled at young athletes. Then I went home and the pain washed over me and I slumped — mentally and emotionally and spiritually — so I watched a movie. It was a film I’d never seen before and it was fantastic (Odd Man Out (1947) directed by Carol Reed). I'd like to write about the film, to convey my feelings to share the experience of having watched it. Oh to encourage you dear reader to see it and then find out you enjoyed it. But I seldom write about films anymore. And. I don't. Know. Why. Lost the feel for it, I suppose.

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I just read A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Probably the third time. It get's better each. I love the film of the same name directed by Stanley Kubrick (1971). There is a sort of celebration of violence we participate in by enjoying the book and the movie but then we feel a shade of guilt for that enjoyment. That's one of the many levels upon which Burgess and Kubrick are so successful in their renderings. What I also love about both book and film is that the stories were clearly articulated by artists who reveled in what they were doing. The spirit and fun in the creativity of weaving this story are apparent. There can be a sort of joylessness in some stories that is strange, yet evident. When art feels like it was a chore to produce rather than an orgasmic expression of vision, well it suffers quite a bit doesn't it? (Note rhetorical question.)

Now I'm reading Notre Dame of Paris by Victor Hugo upon which the Hunchback of Notre Dame iterations are based. I'm given to understand that the book differs significantly in tone and events from the film versions, particularly the animated Disney version. I recently watched the 1939 film starring Maureen O"Hara (as it happened, a couple of days before she died), Edmond O"Brien, Thomas Mitchell and of course Charles Laughton. It inspired me to finally read the book. The film itself is perfectly okay I hope the book is even better.

Today is Veteran's Day, or as it was formally known, Armistice Day. It originally commemorated  the end of World War I (previously known as The Great War) which ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The peace was actually signed well before then but the warring parties agreed to continue fighting until 11:00 local time for symmetry's sake. Thus many thousands died even more needlessly than millions before in what was one of the most ridiculously unnecessary wars  in human history. Indeed many officers, despite knowing that the war was over, ordered and led one last attack in an effort to make a name for themselves and to enjoy one last taste of battle. Many soldiers paid for this lunacy and arrogance with their lives or by leaving various body parts in battlefields.

Anyway, happy(?) Veteran's Day. Thanksgiving is nigh.


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