Archive for November, 2007

Autumn in Chota

Monday, November 26th, 2007

We went to Chota last week, over in East Tennessee, near Maryville, where we got married, and I took this picture. Yeah, I tweaked the colors a little bit, but not that much. Besides, that’s really how it looked to my inner (completely sober/straight) eye. Of course I was wearing shades, but our eyes could just as easily report how things look wearing shades, as what they report now, which, for all we know, is how things look when shades are worn by the intelligent species residing on one of the planets traversing around Alpha Centauri.

Norman Mailer, R.I.P.

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Norman Mailer has been a hero of mine for most of my adult life. I’ve read most of his voluminous output over the years, and loved it, by and large, although it’s been awhile since I’ve read anything of his. Now, when we are all reflecting on his legacy, I find myself agreeing with this guy.

I took Mailer very seriously. I made attempts to live by his philosophical pronouncements, but he was so wrong about so much of it. For example:

1. Cancer is caused by some kind of psychic repression, the lineaments of which only Mailer himself understood.

2. Sex is all about manhood and courage and testing oneself against the great mystery of woman, and any sex that is not exactly and only that will give you cancer.

3. All technology is the work of the Devil; computers, synthetic fibers, modern architecture, Xerox machines, LSD, you name it, and partaking of it will give you cancer.

4. There is something purifying about violence, even of the most egregious, psychopathic sort.

Now, of course, there are bits of truths in all that, and God bless Norman for beating us over the head with them. I have to admit I have learned valuable stuff from him, but I’m not sure it makes up for the unfortunate karma accumulated by swallowing too literal an interpretation of his gospels.

Here’s my list, in order of my estimation, of his books that I have read:

The Executioner’s Song

Harlot’s Ghost

Armies of the Night

Ancient Evenings

The Naked and the Dead

The Gospel According to the Son

An American Dream

Deer Park

Advertisements for Myself

The Prisoner of Sex

Oswald’s Tale: An American Mystery

The Barbary Shore

Why Are We in Vietnam?

I could be wrong, but I don’t expect to ever read or re-read anything by him ever again.

Right Again

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Al Qaeda has been defeated. There is no civil war. Iraq is in process of becoming the most stable, the most democratic, the most unified between Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish, nation in the Middle East, except for Israel. Will there be any acknowledgement of this? No, of course not. Not that the war is over. Far from it. This is just an initial skirmish, albeit a remarkably successful one. George W. Bush will be remembered as one of our greatest Presidents. I was right about Apple stock, and I’m right about this.