Archive for the ‘Arts & Letters’ Category

A Christmas Present Memory

January 18, 2018

   

THIS STARTED IT ALL…

   Some years back, I received a Christmas gift from a relative who really knew my tastes and proclivities.  She sent me something I had never seen before, nor even imagined existed: an electric Martini shaker/stirrer machine; without doubt the most decadent toy I ever owned.

   Naturally, I had my doubts about the gadget, but after studying the little booklet that came with it, I fell to the happy task of testing out the machine… and it worked wonderfully!

   I never enjoyed such expertly mixed Martinis as this machine cranked out. And it had two settings, which I gleefully tested out: Shaken to icy perfection or stirred to a gentle clearness like a gem. And you know what? I hated the damn thing.

   Along about my 4th Martini I had an insight. The machine, with all it precision expertise, had made me unnecessary. Yes, I measured the gin, bitters, ice, and vermouth – but then the device yanked me out of the most physical part of the process. I’d lost the tactile connection of manually working the alchemy of mixing a cocktail. And with my new toy, the cocktails always came out perfect.

   How very dull!

   True, a bartender at a saloon also removes me from the process – but when the barman turns out a perfect Martini, I can tell him “thanks.” I can express my appreciation to a fellow human being – verbally as well as financially. And I always retain the memory of a happy moment when a fellow aficionado worked his or her wonder for me. But how does one thank a gizmo? Do I call the factory to thank the person who runs the machines that make the machine? A person I will never see. Do I give the thing a thimble of oil and say “Have one with me”?

   Using the machine, made me feel dehumanized. I saw nothing good in a device that invariably whips up drink after drink without a misstep.

   Hell, I even cherish the bad Martinis I have had. Like the time in 1982 when I sauntered into a dive bar in lower Manhattan around the corner from a long gone Job Lot store. This place served shots and chasers. And the price fit a young man’s budget. A shot of Barton’s Reserve Rye with a ginger ale back cost – ready? – 75¢. You read that right. Three quarters of a dollar. Counting for inflation, in today’s coin of the realm that comes to $1.96. Good luck finding prices like that today.

   Well, I frequented this goodly establishment from time to time. And one day, as the barman saw me and reached for the rye, I upset the local ecosystem by asking for a Dry Martini, straight up with an olive.

   The barman just stood there looking at me.

   He said nothing. He just looked and looked.

   Then he squinted and asked me, “You sure you have the right place, buddy?”

I said yes, and I felt like having Dry Martini, straight up with an olive.

   To this day I swear I saw a tear forming in the corner of his one good eye.

   “Buddy, you know how long I been slinging drinks here? Nearly 40 years and nobody, but nobody ever asked me for a Dry Martini, straight up with an olive. Or a twist. Or a dash of bitters. Nobody. I waited and waited, but long about the Korean War truce I gave up hope. Some bars just serve shots and a chaser. I resigned myself to my fate. And now you come here.”

   Then he stood mute again for a moment. Silently, he reached under the bar. My life flashed before my eyes for I knew what awaited me. In a saloon like that I would either get a Louisville Slugger or a sawed-off shotgun.

   But the barman did something I had never before seen him do. He smiled. And he came up with a classic V-shaped cocktail glass. True, it had a layer of grime on it but the sentimental fool had clearly kept it there just waiting for me. And now, after cleaning the glass to a shine, he paused a moment, knowing that he would now make that long-dreamt of Dry Martini.

   He really dug the moment! With the greatest of care, he measured out the gin and then poured it into a cocktail shaker that had probably sat on a shelf since Prohibition. Then he added exactly the right amount of dry vermouth to make a classic Martini. And from god knows where the old codger produced a bottle of Angostura Bitters and carefully plopped in two drops. Then he placed the cap on the shaker and shook with all the pent up energy he had harbored lo those many years waiting for this moment.

   After the requisite number of jiggles, he unsealed the cap from the shaker and poured the drink into the glass with a sacramental, almost priestly air. And he added an olive then slid the drink over to me. He awaited my approval. I sipped. And told him what I thought: “Excellent blending!” and he beamed! “And if you remember to use ice next time, it will be even better!”

   His mistake crushed him. He took back the drink before I’d finished half of it and replaced it with a jigger of Barton’s Reserve rye with a ginger back and we never spoke of that moment again. But damn it, that inept cocktail still stands as the single best bad Martini I would ever have. I have had so many Martinis that I cannot count them. But never did I have one made with such loving care and hope and expectation. Not once did anyone come close to putting in the feeling that this grizzled, one-eyed barman poured into the drink. I shall always remember it with an unmatched fondness.

   Now I ask you. Can a machine do that?

   So I packed my new Martini machine into its box where it remained until the next wedding rolled around. I knew some young inexperienced couple just starting out in life will need a measure of perfection as they face disillusion and and the inevitable let-downs in that first year of marriage. And for newlyweds, a dingus that delivers a perfectly turned out stiff drink will provide more joy than any pressure cooker or crock pot.

   I got a lovely thank you letter from the newlyweds.

   I read it while sipping a dry Martini I could’ve shaken a bit more, one that I went too heavy on the bitters with. But what can we expect from a human in place of a machine? And I fixed the shortcomings with the next cocktail. And the one after that…

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It Is All Scripted, Folks.

December 2, 2017

The Today Show Announcing The End Of Matt Lauer


How moving, how touching earlier this week to see the forlorn and chapfallen Women of The Today Show speaking from the heart about the pain, desolation, and sorrow they experienced upon learning – just moments before airtime – the shocking news that their beloved Matt Lauer lost his job. 

Yes, the words poured right from their lachrymose little hearts… or… the calculating hearts of the network bosses who slapped these mushy sentiments onto the studio TelePrompTers…
… as the revealing photograph above shows.

Believe NOTHING these TV people present.
As I keep pointing out: it is ALL scripted and approved. 

Everything you see on television – from The Today Show in the morning, to those Late-Nite “comedians” with their political commentary – is scripted and delivered to you by actors trained to make it look spontaneous. That is what actors do.
During my days as a press agent, I routinely saw my own copy from my press releases presented word for word on the air as spontaneous banter between the anchor and the “reporter” covering the story.

With billions of dollars at stake – do you seriously think that these media conglomerates would leave these things to chance? It is all show-biz, folks.

Stop The Fear!

October 13, 2017

For FRIDAY the THIRTEENTH – and ALL YEAR LONG:
“The most destructive emotion in the universe is fear. Fear is the greatest killer that we know. Fear can stop your heart as quick as a bullet. Fear can stop any function of the body, the emotions or the mind. And an extraordinary paroxysm of fear or of terror can accomplish almost as much damage within the body of a human being as the release of a hydrogen bomb.

“Fear, as the ancients all pointed out, is that emotion which creates a relation of negation by means of which the individual is open to everything that is bad. Everything that is weak. Everything that is wrong. There is nothing that can create a criminal more rapidly than fear, even though he may be full of bravado about it. There is nothing that can cause us to compromise our ethics any more rapidly than fear. There is nothing that can destroy our integration, our orientation in life, more rapidly than fear. And according to most psychics who have explored the invisible constitution of man, fear destroys all the natural defense mechanisms of the magnetic field against the possibilities of obsession, the possibilities of infection by bacterial organisms, or the possibilities of contagion. And these fear motives also destroy the power of the body to take in energy by closing, compressing the various channels through which vitality can reach the body. Therefore fear completely enervates in time. It leads to all kinds of desperate actions and usually causes the individual to multiply his karma many fold very quickly. If therefore a person is fearful he becomes wide open to every negative factor of life, the universe around him and the pressures of his own personality within him. Fear lowers his defenses and his resistances. And when anything becomes the object of fear, the individual who is frightened is defeated – then and there.
“Consequently, fear will help to intensify any type of psychotic situation. As surely as fear is the great destroyer, faith is the universal medicine. Fear is the poison and faith is the remedy for nearly every situation that can arise.” – Manly P. Hall

OPEN YOUR EYES

UNMASKING FEAR
Originally published in 1919, this book tells how to SHED FEAR that is planted in our lives by people who seek to control us. Newly edited with a fresh introduction that puts the book in its historical context while showing why it is important even today! If you have any desire to live a life FREE of FEAR, then this classic book is the book to read! Get one for yourself and get some for your friends. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS EVER PUBLISHED! And now, thanks to MOJO BROS. CLASSIC EDITIONS, it is back again. And considering the state of the world today, it is here just in time.

There is no reason to live a life of  fear! Wake up to the way orthodox religion & Other “Powers That Be” control the population THROUGH FEAR! An invaluable treatise, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to lead a free, independent life. A life WITHOUT FEAR! While some people will no doubt be offended and shocked by this book’s stance against organized religion seeking to control our lives, while those who use fear themselves will attempt to squelch this book by misrepresenting the contents and belittling it, this book bravely exposes the way the manipulators of fear seek to hold onto power by any means necessary. Beware of those who would mislead you about this! Fear is all they have and they will use fear to stop YOU from reading this liberating book. The new introduction puts the book in its historical context and shows why it is still relevant to us today.


CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY!

Click this Image To Read About The Book

 

 

Media Silly Season Again… And Again…

August 16, 2017

No, Trump did not “embolden” the people who protested the removal of a statue of Gen. Lee in Charlottesville.
These are the same people who have, for years, been howling about the Confederate flag.

They have been here, and “emboldened” for decades.
Remember how active they were when Obama was president?

Now a few of them make the news again and people run around in fear and terror all across the nation.
This is just an eruption of something that erupts whenever there is a slow news cycle.
The month of August, as many of you know, is called THE SILLY SEASON by news media because STUPID stories get blown out of proportion.
This is one of them.
No, nazis are not everywhere in our nation running things with impunity (as one person told me)
No, we are not getting invaded by nazis.
SO FAR THIS YEAR:

First everyone was afraid of RUSSIA
Then everyone was afraid of NORTH KOREA
Now everyone is afraid of NAZIS
Soon we will all be told to fear some new DISEASE like, oh… PLAGUE!

==========

News exists TO SCARE US.
It is that simple.
When we are scared, people don’t think. And that fear makes us ADDICTED to the news.

Now About Charlottesville:

There are so few of these reactionaries who fetishize the Civil War that THEY PROTEST OUT OF FRUSTRATION at having no power.
People who have power do not MARCH IN PROTEST.
That is what made THIS from CONGRESSMEMBERS so goddamn stupid:

The most powerful people in America – hold a protest…

Members of congress are among the most powerful people in America. They don’t need to have PROTESTS.
Do Hedge-Fund managers protest?
Do Insurance Company CEOs protest?
Does Big Pharma protest?
Doe the Defense Contractors protest?
Does The NY Stock Exchange protest?
Do Bankers protest?
Do News Media Executives protest?
Does Jeff Bezos protest?

Do Hospital CEOs protest?
Do Lobbyists protest?
Do the Koch Brothers march in the streets?
Does Henry Kissinger pretest?
Get the picture?
ALWAYS REMEMBER: The people who march and demonstrate WHATEVER THE CAUSE are doing so because they lack power. This is a way to try to assert power and gain more. The real power sits back and dreams of new ways to control you and me. And as we see, it works very well for them.
=====
btw: THIS is the original flag of the Confederate State of America.

There were two more flags, none of which are are the one the enraged POWERLESS people fight over.

THIS is  The Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia…

 FIGHT FEAR!

SO: When you suddenly find yourself afraid of something that didn’t scare you a week ago ask:

1) WHO PUT THIS FEAR INTO YOUR MIND?
2) WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM?

You will keep your sanity that way…

Do not let your fears become your thoughts…

There is nothing new about the Power Structure keeping people in fear.
It is the basis of almost all advertising.
It is what MEDIA does to make sure you keep tuning in.
They LIVE to whip up hysteria.
Long ago, a book was written about this and it is back!

Click this Image To Read About The Book

This 1919 book is now reissued with new introductions by… ME.
There is no reason to live your life in fear!
Wake up to the way orthodox religion, the corporate media and Other “Powers That Be” control the population THROUGH FEAR!
An invaluable treatise, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to lead a free, independent life. A life WITHOUT FEAR! While some people will no doubt be offended and shocked by this book’s stance against organized religion seeking to control our lives, while those who use fear themselves will attempt to squelch this book, by misrepresenting the contents and belittling it, this book bravely exposes the way the manipulators of fear seek to hold onto power by any means necessary. 
Beware of those who would mislead you about this!
Fear is all they have and they will use fear to stop YOU from reading this liberating book.
The new introduction puts the book in its historical context and shows why it is still relevant today.
UNMASKING FEAR! Click HERE!

 

“Never Let Fear Go To Waste” – Corporate Motto

April 18, 2017
Remember when I said that because of the 19 months of intense fear and hysteria deliberately aimed at the American people during the election… it would not be over on election day? By now, it is as clear as a country stream that I was right.
Far too many people allowed themselves to get habituated to the election cycle’s media onslaught of fear, rage, and hysteria and now they just cannot let it go.
They have accepted the fear and rage, they have internalized it. For many Americans, fear and rage are here to stay.
Ever see people who, 25 years after a divorce, still obsess on and on about an ex? That is the condition of many people now. And the whole Russia panic stems from that. Somebody “other” must be to blame because I AM GOOD.
That 19 month orgy of election fear and rage was a calculated, sadistic thing done to Americans for the gain of a small group of people. And if only a small percentage of the public became deranged in the face of this constant barrage of fear and rage, that amounts to millions of people.
We were played.
We were tortured.
We were mind-fucked.
For 19 months.
Prisons are forbidden to do these things to inmates. But corporate media does it to us all. And we are considered “free”.
Corporations make money from fear. Whether they sell us deodorant, guns, or war… fear to them means money in the bank.
“News” ratings (which translate to dollars) skyrocket in war time. You think, knowing that, that media corporations leave war to mere chance?
Yes, America endured a well-coordinated brainwashing for 19 months. And casualties were not just inevitable, they were desired!  Keeping people like this means money. Media barons knew full well that many people cannot walk away from that kind of brainwashing intact. Remember this when you see people who idolize a candidate – and refuse to let go. Saying such insane things as “he” or “she” is THE REAL PRESIDENT.
TV producers and their partners in advertising live to erase reality and replace it with an illusion that benefits their corporations.  And they are highly rewarded for this action.
Why do you suppose someone like Rachel Maddow insists on pushing unproven “reality” theories on her viewers five nights a week? Maddow has 30,000 reasons for doing this – every day.
And she is not alone. We have no idea who writes the things she, and others of her odious ilk, deliver into our homes. We know nothing about these people who continue the fear and rage that was stoked during the election.Nothing except the clear fact that they feed on the fear and rage like vampires feeding on our blood. They live for this. That is their job.

News today has become that guy in the saloon who eggs on two drunks till they beat each other senseless. Nothing ever happens to him, though. Today, international news in American media boils down to that guy saying, “Are you gonna take that from him?”
We desperately need free universal mental health care in this country because we have media corporations dedicated to messing with our minds.
We need it to cope with and repair the damage inflicted by corporate media.
Whether media corporations do this stuff to get us to crave a useless product or they do it to get us to accept the latest war – they are screwing with our minds in an unethical and immoral – but highly profitable way.
And the society we now live in is the result.
——

                             OPEN YOUR EYES

Originally published in 1919, this book tells how to SHED FEAR that is planted in our lives by people who seek to control us. Newly edited with a fresh introduction that puts the book in its historical context while showing why it is important even today! If you have any desire to live a life FREE of FEAR, then this classic book is the book to read! Get one for yourself and get some for your friends. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS EVER PUBLISHED! And now, thanks to MOJO BROS. CLASSIC EDITIONS, it is back again. And considering the state of the world today, it is here just in time.

There is no reason to live a life of  fear! Wake up to the way orthodox religion & Other “Powers That Be” control the population THROUGH FEAR! An invaluable treatise, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to lead a free, independent life. A life WITHOUT FEAR! While some people will no doubt be offended and shocked by this book’s stance against organized religion seeking to control our lives, while those who use fear themselves will attempt to squelch this book by misrepresenting the contents and belittling it, this book bravely exposes the way the manipulators of fear seek to hold onto power by any means necessary. Beware of those who would mislead you about this! Fear is all they have and they will use fear to stop YOU from reading this liberating book. The new introduction puts the book in its historical context and shows why it is still relevant to us today.

TO GET YOUR COPY CLICK HERE or Click the image

       Click this Image To Read About The Book

Family Dysfunction Persisted

March 21, 2017

As you may have heard by now, noted literary lion Chelsea Clinton has published a new book.
With a speed of hand that would shame Mickey Spillane or Edgar Wallace, the Great Weird Hope of the Clinton dynasty got a book deal (the favored corporate method for bribing people in political life) and in doing so she inadvertently shows us how untreated child-abuse travels through the generations.

The book bears the name SHE PERSISTED, a PR phrase coined to promote another book deal – that one for the already wealthy Senator Elizabeth Warren.

In the Clinton Clan, persisting has a perverse history.

By now, who doesn’t know the story of Hillary as a 4 year-old getting thrown out of the house by her abusive mother? The child had endured taunting from bullies in the park, as most children do, and so she ran home to her mother for comfort and succor. What did this FOUR YEAR-OLD CHILD get instead? As Hillary compulsively relates it over and over again, even 65 years later, her mother had the love and foresight and compassion to… throw her out of the house.
Mother Rodham blamed little Hillary for the situation, said she “gave up” and called her daughter a coward who she would not welcome in the home until THE BABY dealt with the tormentors.
Slam went the door. Does anyone, other than Hillary, really believe this callous treatment had a salubrious effect on the child?

Hillary Clinton has, for the past 65 years, related that story with pride. She says it shaped her character. Well, yes, it did. But not the way she seems to think. To Hillary Clinton, giving up means losing mother’s love and – more to the point – getting kicked out of the house. One can only imagine the depths of fear and anxiety – Separation Anxiety – this “loving mother” sparked in her infant child.

As Dr. Gabor Maté notes: “In an anecdote related by the former Secretary of State herself as an example of salutary character building, four-year-old Hillary runs into her home to escape neighbourhood bullies. ‘There is no room for cowards in this house,’ says her mother, sending the child out into the street to face her tormentors. The real message was: ‘Do not feel or show your pain. You are on your own.’ Over six decades later the candidate hides her pneumonia even from her doctor and from those closest to her. Repeatedly she has overlooked her husband’s outlandish infidelities, defending him against disgrace— no doubt suppressing her own emotional turmoil in the process.”
(Emphasis added)

Hillary Clinton has never received treatment for this early-childhood trauma – and to me, every single time she relates the story she presents a 4 year-old’s repressed cry for help. To this day, Clinton shows an irrational view of the world as a place populated by “bullies” who she, and she alone, MUST stop. She even cited this as her Raison D’être for seeking the Presidency upon receiving the democratic nomination.

And then, in her own words, spoken in her first speech after losing the election, Hillary Clinton had one strong message:

For Mrs. Clinton, 65 years after her mother terrorized her by throwing her out of the only home she knew, giving up – no matter how useless the fight may be – means the loss of love and home.
Sheer stubbornness has become a virtue in Hillary-Land. What manner of person NEVER concedes loss? Or error? Or understands the pragmatic need for a strategic concession to an opponent? I’ll tell you what manner of person: A DANGEROUS PERSON.

Untreated family abuse wends its way down through the ensuing generations. So it came as no surprise to me to see that Chelsea Clinton, an adult-child who owes everything she ever got to her parents, also carries this mania. And in the aftermath of her mother’s embarrassing election loss to a known “bully” and TV game-show host, it falls upon the adult-child to become the mother Hillary wanted but never had. Thus the topic of Chelsea’s new book fits right into mommy’s mania – as the cover makes crystal clear:

The child taking care of the needs of the mother perverts the natural flow of life. Yet this child – at age 35 – has made a career of just that. Making speeches for mother (and in a subtle way sabotaging her in the process – displaying resentment) and even talking of entering politics herself – a clear attempt by a chile to vindicate the family after repeated losses and scandals. I mean, let’s face it, after seeing the sheer hell that BOTH her parents underwent, what child would say “THAT’S the career for me!”? Would Chuck Wepner, Jr. ever consider boxing? Hell, even the NIXON off-spring knew better…

Does Chelsea really see stubbornness as a virtue? Or has she taken up the call simply to soothe her wounded mother? And for god sake WHY peddle this swill to CHILDREN? Can this adult-child not relate her feelings to grown people? I see it as bad enough when family abuse gets passed on through the generations. But to deliberately pass it on to children one does not even know becomes a form of mass abuse. All to justify a mother who has long had the time and ample financial resources to GET THERAPY and change the warped view of the world she brags about carrying… ONE speech to Wall Street would have paid for Hillary’s therapy and then some.

Upon seeing the announcement of this book, I got hit with a wave of sadness. I hoped that Chelsea’s children don’t face similar horrendous abuse. Considering that the abuse has gotten mythologized as “character building,” will Chelsea take the chance to throw her own children out of the house at age 4? Will she do as her grandmother did, and make a mother’s love conditional

If Chelsea sees the delusion of stubbornness as a virtue, and sees it as good enough to spread to countless unknown children through her book – I wonder how she sees her own children? And their children after her? Where does it end. When she has a son, will she name him SUE?

Well, that comprises the problem which the Clintons must one day face. OUR problem, I see as more alarming: We as a nation must learn to stop electing to positions of power those damaged people who still suffer under the weight of untreated childhood abuse. But because of the alarming rate of abuse in America, such wounded and deluded people resonate with the bulk of our neighbors. Possibly even you… or me.

1955’s TRIAL… Nothing New Under The Sun

February 18, 2017

trialtc

This post concerns a rarely seen film. A powerful film; which may explain why it rarely got shown since its release in 1955. New to home video, it dealt with a topical subject when made. And, sadly, the raw ugly truth it conveys about American life remains topical over 60 years later.

triallc41

As noted thousands of years ago “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Specific issues may change, but society always remains the same, explosive powder keg awaiting a match, often applied by the very people who trick us into believing they want to help us or lead us. Left and Right will mean nothing if the powder keg blows up. And someone always profits from the blast.

In the film TRIAL, each extreme gets revealed as equally deadly when a town becomes a pressure cooker of conflict over a seeming murder.

triallc3

The story seems deceptively simple: A sheltered law professor with no experience beyond a classroom gets caught up in the real world – and learns that he knows almost nothing about the real practice of law.  If you think America today with its political opportunists who say one thing but do another, who spread racism for profit in new – this film from 1955 (though set in 1947) will show you that nothing has changed. Including those “tolerant liberals” who, inside, harbor just as much prejudice as any klansman.

All sorts of people get involved in a racially charged murder case for all manner of personal profit. We gradually discover that each character has a personal axe to grind: Holding on to a law professor job. Running for governor. Keeping real estate values high. Remaining police chief. Proving himself above racism. And, most deadly, changing society at any cost. As the story unfolds, each character willingly – eagerly! – turns up the heat under the pressure cooker to further his own needs.

trialstill2

This tension creates a crackling, powerful film about extremists of all sorts. Some elements in the film will seem quaint now, but substitute modern groups like the DNC – who want their way regardless of the consequences – and it still works. What kind of a group will gladly cause horrific damage just so they can proclaim “WE TOLD YOU SO” in order to raise money for themselves?
See what I mean? Still works today.

Opportunists willing to destroy everything and anyone to promote themselves have always operated freely among us. Sometimes they win. Sometimes they get opposed successfully. But first we must know them when we encounter them; something not always so easy to see.  When our passions get roused, when we believe that we can clearly tell the “good” people from the “bad,” then we make ourselves ripe for the picking. We blindly give those with ulterior motives the power to manipulate us.

As the lead character says early on: “I learned a long time ago that when someone says ‘decide right now’ that that’s the time to take your time.” He knows this. Does he do it?

Fundamentally, this film presents a cautionary tale about the difference between knowing the right thing and doing the right thing. Passion and certainty cloud the mind. Whether in the courtroom or the bedroom. This film could easily get set in today’s America, using any “populist” movement in place of that shown from the 1940s. As one character slyly notes, “never trust anyone”. Especially those you consider leaders. You may not really know what goals they have dedicated themselves to.

angel_blake_jail

Little wonder TRIAL never made it to home video till 2014. It says things which even today most people just refuse to hear.

Over the years, Mark Robson proved himself a serious film director and the novelist/screenwriter Don Mankiewicz, son of Herman, had solid credentials as well. Mankiewicz lived a long life, till 2015, so he must have seen the situations in his story played out over and over and over.

TRAIL deceives. This film looks like one thing (another courtroom drama, though an excellent, realistic one) yet, like the events depicted, TRIAL really shows another thing. Glenn Ford performs at his best here as the Ivory Tower lawyer who gets, reluctantly, a taste of the real world. Katy Jurado again plays her patented “suffering Mexican mother,” Rafael Campos appears as the young man who might have… or perhaps not…
Of particular note to me: The cinematography of Robert Surtees. It heightens the proceedings with some genuine surprises. Juano Hernandez as the judge performs up to his usual high standards and excels as a man who faces heat from all sides. Arthur Kennedy snared an Oscar® nomination for playing the smartest man in the room. Perhaps too damn smart…

trial_feb-18-2017-3-31-28-pm

I consider TRIAL worth seeing to understand much of today’s events, for it presents a warning against extremism when it comes cloaked in virtue. Don’t all extremists believe they alone know the “truth”?

Always question. Always look deeper. Never call anything true for no other reason than it comforts you or reinforces your beliefs.

Do so, and you likely don’t know any more than the people who pull the strings on the puppets want you to know. Consider instead the very real possibility that you, yourself, represent the main puppet.

Keep your eye on the prize and you’ll always lose sight of everything else.

 

A Manhattan Christmas Story

December 21, 2016

rockefeller-tree

NOTE: Not long ago we received this memory from an unnamed Hell’s Kitchen writer, who assures us that his neighbors all pass him on the street every day… without ever seeing him.

When my kids were little, long before I became what I am now, which is a booze-hound, Christmas time was always something special. It still is special for me ‘cause they haven’t yet closed down all the soup kitchens. The City Fathers missed a couple of soup kitchens in their drive to improve the quality of life in this town by killing off everybody who doesn’t work three jobs and make a hundred grand a year just to pay the rent. So I can still look forward to a meal of turkey with trimmings in some church basement somewhere. Along with the food, the do-gooders give us bums little Christmas presents. It’s nice. Don’t you like getting presents? I do. Last year I got some Old Spice and a soap on a rope. It was green and shaped like a seahorse. I liked the way it smelled. But I accidentally left my soap hanging in the rooming house bathroom down the hall one day and that was the last I saw of it. I don’t know why, but when I found the soap was gone I cried like a baby for two hours. And I never cry. A stupid piece of cheap soap. Archie the bartender who took the pledge was right. Booze does turn your brain to mush.

It was Christmas time and I ran out of money again. A card game this time. Looking for free things to do, I thought it might be fun to see the tree at Rockefeller Center. I usually enjoy the colored lights and all the happy kids giggling and acting like, well, like happy kids. So yesterday, even though I had no money to speak of, I left my room and headed over there. In the daylight you could see that this was one hell of a big tree. Why’d they go kill it? I stood in the part of the plaza they call the Channel Gardens cause on one side is a British building and on the other side is a French building. I was looking at the tree when I noticed this woman with her son. The kid was about six, I guess, no more than seven, and the woman had him bundled all up like he was Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon even though it wasn’t really so cold out. It couldn’t have been cold cause I was there and I don’t own a coat. That’s why I’m inside today, writing this. Today it’s freezing out. And I don’t own a coat. So this woman has her kid by the hand and says, “look, Lawrence, look at the nice tree. It’s beautiful isn’t it.” She wasn’t so much asking him as she was telling him. Surprisingly, the kid said “no.”

“But it is beautiful,” the mama said, giving the kid a little tap on the back of the head.

“It is not,” the boy insisted.

“Yes it is,” she said, giving him a harder tap.

“I don’t like it.”

“Yes you do!”

This time she gave the kid a clip on the head so hard that I could feel it. The boy wobbled a bit but held his ground.

“It isn’t beautiful! It stinks!”

“It is beautiful!” she says then CRACK! a tremendous shot across the back of the kid’s head. In my day, I seen prize fighters kiss the canvas on less.

“Isn’t mommy right? Isn’t the tree beautiful?”

When the boy didn’t answer, she lifted her hand again.

“It’s so beautiful, mommy,” he said like he really meant it.

“Don’t you just love it?”

“Yes mommy, I love it. I love it.”

“And do you love mommy?”

“Yes. I love mommy.”

She smiled and they went away, both of them happy. I’d hate to be around when this kid gets married. His wife cuddles up to him and coos, “do you love me?” and he says “I love you more than anything” then he proves it to her by belting her right in the sweetbreads. I only hope he finds somebody who’s into that kind of thing. There’s plenty of them out there.

I looked back at the tree, and so help me, now I didn’t think it was very beautiful. Then I cringed, almost feeling a swift hard smack on the back of my head. I turned around as fast as I could and went across the street and down the block to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I prayed for that kid.

Don’t Follow Blindly!

December 3, 2016
Much of the world hails Fidel Castro as a hero of freedom.
Here, he is reviled.
Much of the world considers Barack Obama to be a mad bomber – destroyer of people and nations.
But here he is considered a wonderful, intellectual progressive.
See how experience guides decisions?
What if Mr. Obama droned YOUR town?
What if Cuba sent much needed doctors into your town?
Nothing is as cut and dried as it appears on the surface. Or on a bumper sticker.
When American officials and the news media denounced Nelson Mandela as a bloodthirsty communist terrorist, the African continent knew who their friends were.
Cuban President Fidel Castro, right, and African leader Nelson Mandela gesture during the celebration of the

Cuban President Fidel Castro, right, and African leader Nelson Mandela gesture during the celebration of the “Day of the Revolution” in Matanzas Saturday, July 27, 1991. Cubans celebrate 38th anniversary of the revolution. (AP Photo/Alejandro Balaguer)

———–
News used to be called “The First Draft of History.”

Now? News is mostly thought-control which gets spoon-fed to us by multimillionaires on corporate payrolls. People like this, as many have now come to realize:

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Do you seriously believe that someone who gets paid $30,000 PER DAY (yes, PER DAY) has even the slightest interest in telling us the truth?
Never forget the old adage:

“Whose bread I eat, his song I sing.”

If an informed opinion differs from my own, I try to find out why.

THAT is why all through the election I posted my objections to electing Hillary Clinton and BEGGED her supporters to correct me. I did this time and again. I even offered to vote for Hillary if anyone could overcome HALF of my objections.

None so much as tried. In place of discussing my objections they merely insulted me in the most vile ways. Then the flew off into the Oppression Olympics, saying a person whom they glibly perceived as a well-off white male can NEVER “understand.” A convenient cop-out. And these are the self-described LIBERALS!

In 1964 humorist Jean Shepherd defined a SLOB as any person who doesn’t know the difference between thinking and believing. Shepherd wisely predicted that in the future such people will shut out all thoughts that do not conform to their beliefs. This is a perfect description of BIGOTRY.  The day which Shepherd predicted has indeed arrived. Political partisans have devolved into fundamentalist religious nuts. When I opposed Hillary, I was treated like a heretic who was charged with spitting on the Holy Books. The Ignorati have discovered politics and now bigotry reigns. You are either with them or you are EVIL.

Rev. Eliot’s Law #4:
Don’t believe what you are told to believe.

Natal Charts For The Candidates! Plus a FREE ONE For You!

October 28, 2016

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Holy cow! I knew that we had to keep the monks busy.
You know what they did now?
The monks at the academy broke open the mead and went to town.
They drew up natal charts for the four main presidential candidates!
Look at some of the results:
CLINTON: “You tend to be quiet, reserved, secretive…”
“At times, you have an annoying tendency to be self-righteous and preachy about your belief system. You… demand the right to be able to explore the entire world of experiences yourself. Remember to grant others the similar right — be tolerant, not dogmatic.”
TRUMP: “You love to be the center of attention and you want to appear strong, confident and dominant.”
And that’s just THE FIRST LINE!
They also did charts for Stein and Johnson.
Curious?
Get all four charts for a nominal fee – the monks now need to replenish the mead.
It’s not much. AND you can get a FREE chart for yourself if you want one.

Contact us HERE and say you want the Candidate Charts, plus one for you – just send your name and email address. We will send the details.