Waterfalls

It’s late  and I was nodding  out  surfing the channels -really, who watches these shows?  Some guy fishing?  If you like fishing, I can almost understand that, some outdoor pursuits are nice just  because they get you out of doors, but watching it  on TV – incomprehensible.

waterfall

But, the point is,  I was nodding  out and there is a blog left unwritten, my daily promise to myself, my daily gift to the dozen or so people who readi it, and I didn’t have a theme.  That is, of course, the hardest part.

My wife  suggested waterfalls, because she just saw some list about the world’s top ten waterfalls, which is kind of meaningless to me because my favorite waterfalls tend to be small ones, out of the way ones, ones with no people around.

Waterfalls are nice, because they make the air feel fresh.  It’s hard to feel lethargic, or negative, when the air is literally, and I literally mean literally, charged.  If you go to Niagara, or one of the other  big ones, you can stand at a distance and watch the water crashing, and it inspires awe, but awe does not make the world go round.  If you know of a waterfall, deep in the woods where nobody goes, you can sit there and watch the water fall and meditate, or you can go stand under it, and feel the power massaging your head.

I really don’t have that much I have to say about waterfalls tonight.  But, I’m over 250 words and I’ll write again tomorrow.

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Respect for Colin Kaepernick

I don’t follow  American football, so I don’t know if  Colin Kaepernick is a good quarterback or a bad quarterback.  I don’t care.  It took guts to not stand  for the national anthem and he was right  to do it.

colin kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick

Of course,  it was for a good cause: to draw attention to police  killings of black people.  It’s a cause that should not be ignored and it is shocking that, despite the fact that it’s been  going  on for a long time, nothing still is being done.
Beyond that, though, I just don’t see why a sporting event should be a nationalist rally.  In a stadium  of 60-80,000 spectators, there are bound to be a few hundred who are not American, for starters.

You don’t sing the national anthem before the start of a rock concert, or before watching a film, so why before a football game?  Does one have to be patriotic to enjoy a game?

I’m glad I no no longer live in the U.S.  Although the Czech Republic is a sports mad country, you’re not likely to hear the national anthem except during international competitions, and then only if they win.  You also don’t see the flag thrown in your face everywhere.  They put little ones on the front of the trams on national holidays, but politicians don’t use massive ones as backdrops for their political rallies like  they  do in the U.S.

In fact, I think the  U.S. is in a league of its own when it comes to flag worship.  And it’s a big problem.

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Time Travel

Stargate is a TV show I should like.  I love science fiction, and I have no problem with the overly pat premise of having found a portal and going through it to other planets all the time.  There’s just something about  it that rubs me the wrong way.  Maybe because they’ve got these away missions to unexplored  planets where our objective should be, if we have any objective at  all beyond pure research, to establish friendly relations, and yet they move in, armed to the teeth with late 20th weaponry.  Even Kirk was more diplomatic than that.

The other thing is that it’s just shot too  damned  dark.  Hurts my eyes, strains my brain, depresses my mood.  That seems to be the modern way, though.  Zombie movies, werewolf movies, post-apocalyptic shitstorms, all that stuff is shot dark, and lots of the action, it seems, takes place in cellars or caves.
Watched a pretty  good sci-fi action adventure on the movie channel today, though.  Retro, with Jim Belushi as a crazed killer and one woman running away  from him stumbles into the lab where a scientist (working entirely on his own in the middle of the desert) has just invented time travel and he sends her back 10 minutes in time but it makes the situation worse and more people  get  killed so he sends her back again…and again, and you can see where this is going.

At first, I thought I had a pattern figured out, that if you only go back into a short way, then it’s a drama, an action adventure like this, whereas if you go centuries back like Bill and Ted or Time Bandits, then it’s probably a comedy, but I  realized pretty quick that didn’t  pan  out.  The greatest short term time travel movie of  all  time has got to be Groundhog Day, because that’s the greatest movie of all movies of  all  time,  and that’s a comedy.  12 Monkeys and the Terminator movies had people returning from a future that was far enough out that is was unrecognizable, and  those weren’t comedies.
Can’t think of any great dramatic films where they went back centuries right off the top of my head, but Dr. Who does it all the time.  So, basically, everything works.  If the story’s good, it’s all good.

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Quality or Quantity

Hoo boy, it was a hot day today, the air was as still as a lion, stalking.  Even the shadows were in retreat, form the glaring, oppressive heat. There  was no  relief.  So, I didn’t go out much.
I stayed in, smoked a couple  of joints, spent a lot  of  time watching bad TV and browsing facebook, but  I did have one  big accomplishment.  I finished a poem I’ve been  working  on for a while and, while it  might not quite have the dramatic flair I thought  it would, it comes very  close to what I actually  wanted to say, so good enough.  They don’t always  do that.

After I finished, I started going back through the poems I’ve written over the last month  or so, putting together a playlist for next month’s Alchemy reading (Monday, Sept. 5th, Napa Bar in Malastrana, for any Prague residents reading this), and I found three I’ll definitely use, a couple I quite like and will use if there’s  enough time, four or five I want to save and  may put in my next book but not really  top of the line, or maybe would require too much explanation, and about a dozen which, O.K, they may live for  ever on facebook but it’s probably just as well for  the collective reputation of 21st century literature if they are subsumed  in the ocean of data and  never  noticed again.

This is what facebook has done for my writing, or this is what facebook has done to my  writing, and I prefer the article in the first part of this sentence.

Because the best way to write 3 good poems is to write a couple of dozen poems and then choose the best ones.  And, due to facebook, I am writing a lot more poems.  One rhyming tweet a day to promote this blog.  Frequent comments in rhyme, which sometimes are clever, but are almost always ignored, which is O.K., I’m aware of the fact but since it doesn’t cost anything, those rhymes generally come without effort, or deep thought  of any kind, and and it only takes a second to type it in, I just go for it.  Then there’s the Poems About Paintings page, which has slowed down to the point  I almost thought I was done. How many  poems can you write about trees, and flowers, and houses? But, I am not done, a couple popped up recently, and it may  be an infinite source of inspiration after all.

So, I’m writing a lot more poetry, I’m sure lots of other people are writing lots more poetry and, admittedly, they’re not all gems.  Poems are a little bit like UFO sightings. 95% of them are crap but, oh, those others…

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Earth-like Planets

I tend to get excited  when I  read the phrase ‘earth-like planet’ because I visualize one of the earth-like planets from Star Trek (because most were) where they had trees, and quaint, little villages, and lots of people walking around wearing togas or some damned thing.

Yet all scientists mean by  earth-like is  approximate size (which means  it’s probably  a rocky planet) and within its star’s Goldilocks  zone.  Proxima B (we’ve got to find a better  name than that -if it’s an earth-like planet,it deserves an earth-like name.  I suggest Audrey.) is indeed earth-like in size, just a wee bit bigger, and it is in its planets goldilocks zone although it is much, much closer to its sun than we are.  A year on Audrey is only 11 days.  But, it’s planet is a red dwarf, so it’s not as hot as ours, and it’s red, not yellow.

In summary, it’s years are only 11 days long, which is less earth-like than  Westeros, and everybody has a birthday every couple of weeks, and its sky is probably a different color (we’ve got a yellow  sun and a blue  sky, if they’ve got  a red sun, they must have a ____ sky, I’m  sure there’s a way  of mathematically working that out and you’d probably have to factor  in  the various elements in their atmosphere, if they have one, so  it could be any  color really, and they  might or  might not have water, but other than that, it’s very  earth-like.

I suppose it’s worth looking into  deeper,  in any event.

 

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Monkeys

I was  called a  ‘court monkey’ today for supporting Jill Stein, which  is an analogy I don’t quite understand.  It’s more the adjective than the noun that I object to.
Monkeys are awesome.  They are clever, they are communal, they are very  human like.  I know we are actually  apes, not  monkeys, but we’re all simians, so what the heck.

I remember in Malaysia I went  to a park  which  was famous for it’s monkeys.  First, I was having lunch at the cafe across from the park, and I was looking to not be sitting nearer to the outdoors.  A man was having a sandwich, put it down for a second, and a monkey swooped in and got it.  That’s pretty good thieving skills, but it’s nothing a gull can’t do, so doesn’t  actually imply intelligence.
Then, as I was going into the park, I noticed a sign: It is strictly forbidden to feed the monkeys inside the park,’ and right below the sign (still just outside the  park, mind you), there was a monkey with a begging look on his face that would make a hound dog proud.  I’m certain he knew what it said on the sign, but I don’t know how.

Then, inside the park, there was a pack of monkeys and an old man, seemingly a  local, who was yelling at them and waving his stick at them.  They retreated, back up a hillside, and  waited for him to leave, I swear I saw them laughing behind his back.

So, I like monkeys.  But  court monkey?  Piss off, dude.

 

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The Book of the Unknown

This is not a big news story, it will not change the world in any significant way, it won’t personally affect me, or probably anybody, very much, and yet it’s the kind of story which is of great interest to those who are interested in this kind of thing, which I am.

A Spanish publishing company is going to print an edition of the Vojnich Manuscript.  Up till now, there was exactly one copy of the Vojnich Manuscript in existence, and that is the Vojnich Manuscript; it’s like the Dead Sea Scrolls or the original copy of the Declaration of Independence or something.  It’s called the Vojnich Manuscript after the Polish bookseller who discovered it in 1912 in an old trunk in a Jesuit library near Rome.  It dates from some time before 1450, probably, and (get this, this is the important part) nobody knows what it says.  It’s not in any language known to mankind.  It’s something about plants, though, from the pictures.

It might be an apothecary’s guide, written in a secret code, or maybe written by somebody who wasn’t actually literate, but had seen people mucking about with these ‘letters’, and  just put  down some jund randomly, or maybe it  was aliens (aliens  are a possibility which can never be disproven.)

Anyway, I was getting excited, thinking how much I’d like to own a copy of this book I can’t read, until I saw that they’re just going to print about 900 copies, and tghey will cost  about 8,000 euros  each.

I think I’ll wait for  the movie.

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