The Bow and Grimace: Exploring the Human Side of a Globalized World
Omnifactual and omnibiased, satirical and sentimental, simple and passionate. Wanderers describes the world from where they stand. Trying to remind everyone that all news comes from someone. Why not just admit it?
Monday, October 31, 2005
La vie quotidienne.....Joyeux Halloween.....
Thanks to Fanfan's friend who saw some musicians playing in the Jardin de Tuilereis we were given a flyer to go see these Italians playing Russian/Eastern European type music (It reminded me of the music from Life is a Miracle).
They didn't speak any French and a little English. They announced all of their songs in Italian, and I, being spiritually Italian, screamed a bunch of random Italian words like "Mi piacce" (I don't know how to spell that, or if it's right) and "Grazie a mille!"
The group was called Gueippecourto.
As a side note, this is the only bar in Paris that I've found that has Duvel. If anyone else in Paris likes Belgian beers, go to this bar (which I don't remember the name of). It's number 6 Rue de Victoria, close to the Hotel de Ville.
I bought these guys CD, so I'll post the songs later. Until then, here are the videos (sorry they're a little dark):
I don't know what the situation in the states is right now, but the word on the rue is that an announcement will be made in about 4 hours concerning a CIA leak investigation.
Regardless of who is indicted or not indicted, the real issue is that there is still a war that a lot of us don't believe in. True, there may be good that comes of it (a democratic Iraq) and no one will ever know if it would have come about otherwise, but the fact is that this war has made Americans less safe, billions of dollars are being poured out, and we have now lost 2,008 soldiers.
I say this again, as I've said before, this is not a partisan issue. Not just for what is happening in now, but for all other battles in the future, we have to realize that war is less and less efective. I'm not saying this because I am a "liberal", I'm saying it because I'm a person. My life is being put in danger by people that have the ability to go to war in my name.
Whether you're liberal, conservative, or ....oh that's all there is, right?..... you have to admit this is a little bit freaky. It's an article from The Onion that was written before 9-11, at Bush's first inauguration.
Here are some quotes
"During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years."
"Bush swore to do 'everything in [his] power' to undo the damage wrought by Clinton's two terms in office, including selling off the national parks to developers."
"Continued Bush: 'John Ashcroft will be invaluable in healing the terrible wedge President Clinton drove between church and state.'"
"On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession..."
"Turning to the subject of the environment, Bush said he will do whatever it takes to undo the tremendous damage not done by the Clinton Administration to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He assured citizens that he will follow through on his campaign promise to open the 1.5 million acre refuge's coastal plain to oil drilling..."
Benin Cyprus Namibia El Salvador Cape Verde France Australia South Africa Bosnia and Herzegovina Jamaica Mauritius South Korea Japan Mali Hong Kong Spain Costa Rica Italy Macedonia
The B&G doesn't want to discriminate against people from, say, Mali (we're big fans of Rokia Traoré) or Bosnia and Herzegovina (some of us have visited, and you're very nice people), but you know America's wicked coolness deserves more spots than you.
Come on we're America.
We at The B&G have read up on this whole Democracy thing, and we realize that, essentially it came as a result of the spreading of information to the common man as a result of technological advances in printing between the 15th and 18th centuries that made the production of large amounts of written material cheaper and thusly more widespread. We recognize the distinct and inseperable connection between the press and democracy.
For instance, look at the origin of our name. Mr. Joseph Addison is one of the forerunners of modern journalism.
So, congratulations America on a job well done. Keep on moving up that chart. We'll show Denmark how it's done! We'll be that beacon of hope for the rest of the world. Fear not World! Fear not!
Oh crap...wait a minute...something's not right here.
La vie quotidienne parisienne...Is that a tower in your pants?
Click photo to play video....
It's something mystifying to many Americans, I think. I remember walking out of the metro in Rome and seeing the Coliseum, unlike any photo I had ever seen, with taxi cabs wizzing by and businessmen walking briskly while talking on cell phones.
Do they not even look at what they're passing by? I think, Do they realize that it's THE coliseum?
Now, here I am in Paris. At the very least, twice a day I pass by the Eiffel Tower, and less and less do I pay attention.
This is just a little disclaimer to go along with the temporal lobe visions article and the 21st century spontaneous generation article. The disclaimer is that we here at The Bow and Grimace aren't atheists, and we aren't hostile to an idea of God, whether it be Christian, Islamic, or Zoroastrian.
On top of that, we don't believe that science is contrary to religion, which is the point from which most of our sardonic language concerning religion is found. If there is a God that created the universe, then the closest study of Him should be science, and the laws of nature should be our model for religion.It’s easy to see how so many laws of religion correlate with laws of nature (that includes human nature).There is a distinct order/organization of things, and that’s why breaking that harmony by smiting, coveting, etc. is bad.
We are cleary, though, doubters of specific doctrines—such as Christianity, but so were some of Jesus’ disciples and members of his family. Again, keep in mind we are not CONTRE these doctrines, though we may have a specific distaste for the way some people choose to translate the fundamental texts of these denominations.
Here are some important questions:
Either we have the idea of the word "just" completely wrong, or God is not just, no?
How is it just to create a race, to give them the "choice" to follow you, but condemn them to hell for not being your disciples? Is that really a choice? Who would actually choose hell?
Why aren't we all given an equal chance to understand the demands of God in the first place?
Why is it that two people can read the same text and extrapolate two completely different meanings from the texts?
Many would say we just don’t have faith, but can someone be convinced to truly have faith in something he doesn’t believe in? (Which, by the way, is what you believe if you believe if you want to use government to make laws prohibiting things forbidden in your religion).
Those just being the tip of the iceberg, we must also clarify that we are also completely against the idea that religions are bad and/or corrupt.Whether good is done in the name of Jesus, Yahweh, Bono, or chemical chance, it is still good.We believe that the image as presented by the media of religion (all of them) and the people who participate therein is not an accurate portrait.Take for example the Vietnamese soldier Sen. McCain spoke of recently.
We believe in God, but if anything we believe there is truth in almost every religion’s teachings.If one looks at the big picture, they’re not all that different.The point is always the same.
We believe in God, we just don’t know what to call him.
Bill Hicks always sums it up best. Note, however, we're not as bitter as Bill Hicks. In fact, we hope that nobody is as bitter as Bill Hicks. Just listen to his talk about dinosaurs (VERY explicit and offensive, yet funny, content).
We encourage all of you to check this out. More so, post this code to your site for a counter. Furthermore, if you want, they'll set up an LED sign on the main street of your neighborhood, if you so choose.
We hope that people reading this, don't see this as a partisan issue. This war is a mess. It's disgusting, and it's dangerous. On top of that our military budget is ludicrous. All the peace-junkies and all God's Christian soldiers should do what they can to end this.
Liberty Sandwich: Freedom fries wasn't the first idotic and useless name change the United States has ever had.
I find this terribly interesting. Many will remember when France refused to support the US invasion of Iraq and the ridiculous name change that ensued, "freedom fries" being the most well known (along with the lesser known freedom doors, freedom kissing, freedom tickler, freedom language, etc.). People seem to think that changing the name of a food is going to detract from the credibility of a movement or a country.
Anyhow, this was not the first time Americans had faught fire with foolishness. During World War I, the American spirit triumphed once again over another more menacing enemy by renaming sauerkraut --> Liberty Cabbage, Hamburger --> Liberty Sandwich, and German measels --> Liberty measles.
I don't mention this just to be cute; I mention it because it illustrates a very interesting phenomenon. I have both my girlfriend and another good Swedish friend of mine on seperate occasions question my use of certain words:
The first was over a year ago, I was speaking with my friend Anna about cinema, and I said, "I love that film." Anna chuckled to herself when I said it. When I asked her why, she said, "I just think it's interesting how much you love everything. In Swedish, we hesitate to say we 'love' something and reserve it only for occassions when the feeling is powerful." I paused. She wasn't being condescending, just mentioning how she felt about it. She then asked, "What do you say when you really love something?"
With that, I found myself at a loss for words, because my answer was, "Well, we just say, I really love that film or person. Then we spend time trying to convince the other person that we mean it."
The other instance was only last week when Fanfan asked me how she can be so sure that I love her if I love everything. I found myself stumbling awkwardly through a French explanation that I really loved her, and that the other things don't compare to her.
In both French and Chinese (as well as Swedish, I believe), the phrase I love you translates to "I like you." If that doesn't show the significance of the word "love," I don't know what does.
If you're wondering what the connection is to our obsession for renaming things by replacing certain words with "freedom" or "liberty," it's because we've denegrated the word by using constantly without any sense of gravity, largely as a consequence of the "Brand America" program. Let's look at the list of everyday words that have had their weight relegated by flippant use:
The list goes on.
The point here is that naming a bird a fish only diminshes the swimming ability of the fish.
Covering the frontier With pretty straight lines Splitting open the terrain With a fence and “no crossing” signs Color inside the box And give your people a name Tell them your color’s fair And your purpose the same
Old helmets Propped in painted flower pots Like lines from a prayer Sewn into rope and tied into knots The people sat quiet Under the gallows at noon The past swayed calm in the breeze Singing, “see ya’ soon”
Promises from a souk With its fingers crossed Built a kingdom Every day that it lost An empire Of swallowed motivation For the listless and quiet, One beautiful nation
A foreign addiction Is a heroine for all She feeds the poor On the floor of a Berlin bathroom stall Peddler and addict meet On Dublin’s O’Connell St. To feed the children In Mazar-e Sharif
Liberty Enlightening the World Took a new name She realized the danger Of Lady Lazarus’ claims If the Colossus were to stand For any certainty A less proactive tag fits Like the Statue of Liberty
Give her your tired And your poor For we the people Haven’t the time anymore And as for huddled masses’ Will to breath free Give a man the breath And he’ll stick his chest out for all to see
Times have changed The winds have turned against US here Now the tempest-tossed Press their gale of inalienable fear There’s smoke on the horizon Of the dawn’s early light From sea to shining sea In the home of the brave, they’re ready to fight
This land is our land Standing with clinched fists We the people Hold our breath for the next hit and miss We’ve painted the Blue Ridge And the amber ways of grain We’ve told them what’s fair And expect the others not to do the same
A nation of refugees Closed the door behind them And colored in the frontier Red, white and blue, with a solid black trim Gave themselves a name Called themselves “The Free” And drew pretty straight lines As far as the eye can see
Those wacky black people: The Human Development Report released the same time Katrina hits....
I’m not really happy about this, but I’m going to have to raise a really serious issue here.It was just yesterday that I was steam cleaning my beret and smoking a cigarette (that was a French joke, get it?) when the name Amartya Sen popped into my head.I don’t remember my stream of consciousness, but it went something like --> beret --> cigarette --> smoke --> Katrina --> oh CRAP! American democracy is in flames!
I promise I’m not prone to overreactions like this, but I just can’t shake this itching feeling that something’s very, very wrong.Wait!All of you who are thinking, that’s not anything new, please just wait.To me, this might just be an example of how horribly wrong things are.
The Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen popped into my head because one of the arguments—if not the argument—in his book Development as Freedom, which is essentially that famines don’t happen in democratic countries.Now, I know we don’t have a famine in the US right now, and I’m not saying that we’re not a democracy (that’s a topic for another article).My focus is on Sen’s reason for why democracies don’t experience famines: accountability.
Sen points out how in countries like South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Botswana over a period of about fifteen years there was an actual decrease in food production—a 58 percent decrease in the case of Singapore—yet there was no visible sign of increased hunger within those countries over that time.Next, he describes both Sudan and Burkina Faso’s increase in food production—a 29.4 percent increase for the latter—while both countries experienced significant mounting of hunger within their populations (176).A couple of pages later in another similar example he says, “Had the governments [of these countries] not failed to undertake timely action, they would have been under severe criticism and pressure from the opposition and would have gotten plenty of flak from newspapers” (179)
I hope this is becoming a little bit clearer.The key to efficient government—one which is constantly pressured in order to meet the needs of it’s population—is accountability.Yet, fast-forward about a month after Katrina—you know that disaster where the dispossessed pony judge blew his second chance and, seemingly, Bush’s mandate for putting his buddies in positions that aren’t “Ambassador to Monaco”—and Bush goes and nominates Harriet Miers. In spite of this, many people still consider criticism of governement policies to be "anti-American."
Let me clarify one point, people are going to think I'm exaggerating, and I'm not. I honestly believe that if we let our officials continue to wiggle-waggle all the time without being accountable, we will be in trouble. I don't think a lot of Americans realize just how much the outside world is watching, but they are. The Katrina coverage here in Europe was extensive. I heard an English reporter and a Dutch reporter both questioning, "How can this happen in the United States?" I saw images on the nightly news in France of hords of blacks living on a debris strewn stretch of highway, and the reporter said, "You see these images, and not knowing it's America, you would think it's Liberia."
When I thought about Sen the first time, I put down my beret and did a google search "Amartya Sen Katrina," and I'll be damned if I didn't find an article by Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, author of Globalization and Its Discontents. He said:
The world has been horrified at America’s response to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in New Orleans. Four years after the terrorist attacks of September 2001, and with billions of dollars allegedly spent on “preparedness” for another emergency, America has shown the world that it was not prepared—even for an event that came with ample warning.
The difference between the tsunami in Asia last December and what is coming to be called the black tsunami in America—because it brought so much devastation to the poor, mostly black, people of Louisiana—is striking. The Asian disaster showed the ability of those affected to overcome long-standing rifts, as Aceh rebels put down their arms in common cause with the rest of Indonesia. By contrast, the disaster in New Orleans—and elsewhere along America’s Gulf Coast—exposed and aggravated such rifts.
I was in Thailand right after the tsunami, and I saw that country’s impressive response. The Thais flew consular and embassy officials to the affected areas, aware of the sense of helplessness among those stranded far from home. America kept foreign officials from coming to the aid of their nationals in New Orleans—embarrassed, perhaps, at what they would see.
America loses all credibility in the world when it doesn't practice what it preaches.
Here lies, dying, the poor, measly point of this article.Americans have to demand accountability from our government officials, because there is nothing to keep us from suffering the same fate as any other third world country…speaking of third world countries, did you know that in 1990 a black man in Harlem had less of a chance of living past 40 than men in Bangladesh?It’s true. More so, did you know that, ominously, the time that Katrina hit, the UN released it’s Human Development Report, in which the difference between races in the United States was one of the highlights, if that’s what you can call it? America ranks 10th on the HDR.
I hope more people are starting to see that this can be helped, and should be. As one analysis of Sen's work in regards to Katrina puts it:
However, contra Sen’s caution, his remarks are celebrated as proof from authority that liberal democracy can prevent all disasters. In extremis, the argument is even heard that a free press and an informed citizenry make technical early warning systems redundant. Transferred to the economic sphere, international assistance analysts have investigated how a private insurance market could supplement and even supplant state provision of famine relief and other emergency logistics. The default option becomes blithely optimistic neglect. What need for mass evacuation plans when most people have cars, can buy bus tickets, and are kept informed by commercial television news?
I’ll finish this rant here, but I'm going to give y'all some delicious links before I go:
Revelation for the day....to be expounded on later...
Have you ever wondered why people having near death experiences never see anything but "the light?"
In all of our prelimenary searches, we've found no accounts of biforcated tongues, fire, cold coffee, or even wet blankets. All accounts point to out-of-body experiences, bright lights, etc.
What's the importance of the question? (this isn't another question, it's just a rhetorical question so that we can explain why it's important) Well, the significance is that, if the light is heaven or purgatory or some other spiritual place, then that would mean that we are all going to heaven? If it's not spiritual, it has something to do with the temporal lobe in the brain.
We're not saying it does. We're just saying it might. We're not scientists, just amateurs.
Also, we're definitely not saying that the temporal lobe epilepsy might also explain religious encounters with God or giving birth to Jesus (this is not a reference to Mary, for, low, there were no gumshoes in the stable).
Sunday evening in Paris, the chilling drizzle ended. A Taiwanese girl and an American boy sat on a bench on the upper-level terrace of the Centre George Pompidou, waiting. Inside, someone looked closesly at a Dali and a group waited nervously for a small, metal scultpure of a man sitting motionless to jerk forward and sound the bell. Everyone would jump and laugh awkwardly once it happened.
The American boy was hungry, and he asked the Taiwanese girl what they were going to eat for dinner. She said they had steak, and he almost exploded with elation.
"Je veux steak, epinards, fromage avec baguette," he said, and she smiled. "Et pommes de terre."
"Comme tu veux, monsieur," she said.
"Et chocolat," he added.
A cold breeze gave the American boy chills, and the Taiwanese girl rubbed his arms up and down to warm him up. He wished he had worn a jacket and not just his plain old, forest-green shirt that made him look like a lumberjack.
What would a lumber-jack be doing at a modern art museum anyway?
The American asked the Taiwanese girl if they had time for him to take pictures. She said, "oui." The walked out on the platform and he made a joke about her being scared of heights. She glared at him and wandered down to the end of the platform while he took these pictures:
Then, the girl came back, and the American boy said, "J'ai pris des bons photos, ma petite." She smirked at his mock-ego.
They stood and looked at the sun, which sent streams of light from behind the clouds like water that sprays from a dam that was slowly breaking down.
The American boy took another picture, and the Taiwanese girl rolled her eyes, letting the boy know that pictures are great but if you keep taking them you're not going to be able to appreciate what you're taking pictures of. The American boy put the camera back in his bag, but he still wanted to take pictures.
The left after a couple of hours. They didn't say anything about wars or countries or race, like they were used to. The American boy said, "Je veux un grand steak," realizing he didn't know how to say steak in French.
Found, The incredible Hyde In a red light District Somewhere in Neverland
Bought two pairs of Sex with a pogo stick
Met an angel Who had bad reception Just south A faulty halo, I believe, Prayed for a new Messenger, Amen, With a new message
White knuckled Reluctantly fell Unconscious Briefly Dreamt about precision Was forced To run naked In the street that morning Because Tintin Smelt a rat Slid on ice In a snow storm In January Being lost somewhere Near November IV And saw D.E.A.T.H. In the post office Of a boot Looked around Regarded La dolce vita Over a cup Of espresso
Learned how to Speak With my hands Became quite evident That words most order often Not do be to need Correct To be understood Unless you’re Wearing a blindfold
Language is much more A movement Than a sound
Saw nothing but darkness Under the City of Lights And no one seemed to care
Discovered The satisfaction In disproving A stereotype Laid down in the park and watched them explode like fireworks making luminous willow tree branches the light reflecting from eyes of those who were, until recently, completely unknown to me Woke up inside a thirty year old morning that had yellowed like a dusty photograph from a newspaper clipping found in a box in the attic that’s new to whoever discovers it
stopped time on the edge of the earth looking back at the shadows of the midnattssol feeling the chill of a Scandinavian summer
it all comes at once, now, from sliding on marble streets in the stalking rain to the reign of self lost
to an Alchemist coaxing with jazz and vodka the unsuspecting youth and leaving them to a trumpeter in the square like the one near the ghost at another time and another place balancing over the pavement consumed by restful people in speeding cars
the fatigue the hunger for everything at once the creation the destruction the inexpressible, all-consuming passion that curls ones toes in his shoes that sends shivers that are almost painful the wanting to burst into pieces for want of showing some immense appreciation some absurd self-sacrifice for that one moment the one where we sat and felt truly comfortable
Nothing changes Though, Saint Mark Still Keeps watch over
The pigeons Who rob The jesters The speed remains
the tracks still echo with the thunder of the profound weight and purpose that he had when standing above the ocean with no one else for miles he screamed with all he had “I am! I am! Let me show you!” Only because he thought There must be a reason That today is the day no days would fit.
Intelligent Design: Spontaneous Generation for the Twenty-First Century
From the scientific powerhouse that brought us spontaneous generation (abiogenesis) and geocentric astronomy, religion has brought us the novel and revolutionary doctrine of intelligent design.After years of scientists ruling scientific research with an iron fist, God’s faithful have revolted and taken back what they believe was rightfully theirs: science.
I’m not going to go too deep into this, (1) for fear of getting caught repeating some of the clichéd criticisms of Intelligent Design—which is not to imply that Intelligent Design merits profound analysis (or even capital letters)—and (2) because I think evolution if trivial—I don’t care if we came from monkeys; we’re here now and we’ve got enough problems in the present to be worried about prehistory.
I must preface this by saying that I don’t oppose IntelDessin for any atheistic or agnostic reasons.
I believe in a God for exactly the same reason that IntelDessinists (Dessin being French for a sketch or drawing) believe that their concept should be taught in schools: that is the “first cause.” I personally can’t understand how something can come from nothing, so I believe that there is a higher creator.
I don’t, however, buy the other argument by IntelDessinists that the universe is too complex to just happen.I feel like that’s what one fruit fly said to the other in the laboratory, which is to say, (1) our time is so short on earth compared to the universe and (2) we are minuscule compared to the universe, so of course it seems huge and complex.Many people tend to look at the universe as follows:
1) The universe is remarkably complex
2) The possibilities that this system could happen by chance are like
a) a monkey with a type-writer accidentally writing Othello
b) a tornado building the EiffelTower
c) any other highly improbable (that’s to say “impossible”) scenario
However, I feel that it should be looked at as follows:
1)In the beginning there was a mass
2)Before that mass exploded, the possibilities were almost infinite
3)Each possibility as to what the result may be was infinitely improbable
4)The one that resulted was improbable, but not unlike the unlikelihood that every leaf has when it falls from a tree to settle in the spot that it does.
That said, I would like to present some simple, clear-cut reasons why IntelDessin should not be taught in science classes:
-There is no scientific debate around the world about IntelDessin, which is to say, if it was significant scientifically, then there would be talk in the international scientific community about it.Well, okay, so there’s talk, but it’s mostly, “Hey, have you heard what the Americans are thinking about teaching in their science classes?”More still, there are, I admit, some groups in the UK and Australia, trying to get intelligent design taught in schools, but they are unabashed creationists (unlike in the states, they try to mask it as science).
-I can meet the watchmaker.The idea I’ve already mentioned of the “first cause” is often explained using the analogy of the watchmaker.This analogy says:
§A watch is complex
§I don’t know who made the watch
§But I believe there is a watchmaker
The flaw with this analogy is that, well, if you really wanted to you could meet the watchmaker, though you may not be able to talk to him or her (my guess is that he or she is in a factory in Korea or China).Contrarily, you cannot meet God (in a strict, empirical fashion).
-Where’s the Intelligent Falling argument?If we start teaching IntelDessin, we’re going to have to teach (1) that a higher being guides electrons as they circle neutrons and protons (2) that a greater power sucks material into black holes (3) that gravity is no more than the Intelligent Designer’s finger on our heads (4) etc. (5) etc.Because, while gravity and atomic structure are theories just like evolution, they are considered fact.
Here’s a scenario for how intelligent design should be taught in school:
A teacher finishes a lesson on evolution (which normally takes, what? One or two days?), and a student raises his hand.
The teacher calls on the student.
“I believe that there is a higher force that created the world and the universe.I think that he created humans and guides evolution,” says the student. The teacher nods, “and?”
The student is quiet.
“That’s not the concern of evolution,” adds the teacher.“Evolution mentions nothing of how the world began.It only tries to decipher what happened afterwards.”
Creationism—that’s what IntelDessin is—and atheism—that’s not what science is—are debates for everyone to have outside of science class.
Go to onegoodmove to hear several interviews with Richard Dawkins, especially here (scroll to Sept. 18).
The Tea bag Divisions: A Ten Minute Play by William R. Cathcart
(It takes place an a stage with a doctor in a white coat sitting in a rolling chair with a folder on a long horizontal desk in front of him. The desk will latter be turned up right for the judge to sit in behind in a bar stool. The patient is in his mid-twenties to early forties, he sits in a stationary chair. The play begins in mid conversation.)
Eliot (a patient): …and then, the other day- my dog was struck by lightening.
Dr. Hulme: Ohh, come now such things aren’t impossible.
Eliot (a patient): It was through the window.
Dr. Hulme: Was it open.
Eliot (a patient): Yes?
Dr. Hulme: What was your dog’s name?
Eliot (a patient): Navy. A window Dr. Hulme, a window, not a skylight or even a door- and the thing is, I think it was a mistake, that it was supposed to be me.
Dr. Hulme: A mistake, interesting. He was a good dog? (Eliot nods affirmatively and the Doctor pauses in a sudden and peculiar manner, staring distantly off in space. Then his gaze returns just as sudden. His voice serious and louder)Have you tried religion?
Eliot: Not really.
Dr. Hulme: Perhaps we should assign a higher power to your misgivings.
Eliot: A higher power?
Dr. Hulme: Yes, any will due- Do you enjoy warm tea? We’ve a great response lately to Taoism- And of course Zoroastrianism- Wait, Charles have you checked your Randometer?
Eliot: Not today.
Dr. Hulme: (He grabs Eliot’s wrist looking at his watch, pressing it’s buttons with his thumb) Ahh, see here, you had a nice little streak going in the early nineties, looks like you’ve been paying for that lately, but your due here for some eventual luck.
Eliot: When do you think that might be.
Dr. Hulme: There’s really know way to be sure. But... (he picks up achart and manila folder and speaks while flipping through it)… going by this chart mailed to me by an anonymous- government- agency (he says this bobbing his head in a sing song voice like he’s said it a million time and like the patient knows what he’s talking about, and he then winks)… who’ve supposedly compromised God, that is after he was re-resurrected at the close of the post-modernism era- I’d say mid July.
Eliot: Mid July? (He looks confused) How exactly did they compromise him?
Dr. Hulme: It’s actually We, now to be secularly correct, not him, the United States Government won a very complicated kind of class action suit against God, which they filed back in the eighties. They sued We for being falsely monotheistic on grounds of the Trinity. It was real ugly, even got the pope to testify. They were gonna go after him on the whole Free Will dilemma, until they were discouraged by a series of minor earthquakes.
Eliot: You said Mid- July, Well What month is it now.
Dr. Hulme: Ahahh you’re having memory problems. (He reaches over and taps Eliot on the temple)
Dr. Hulme: Hmmm, (then shouting) Nurse, this man needs enema immediately and after that, a cat scan. (Two nurses male or female roll a stretcher in, grab him by him arms throw him face first onto the stretcher and tie down his arms, he is too confused to physically resist, but does so vocally,)
Eliot: (Shouting as they Roll him off) Dr. Hulme, please, tell me the month.
Dr. Hulme: (Shouting to Eliot being rolled off stage) Do I look like a calendar to you. (He then mumbles to himself as he takes off his white coat) Good question, good question. ( He is wearing a black tee shirt with the word October written across the front. He pulls a black robe and a grey wig out from under the desk and puts them on. Then he turns the desk upright pulls over a bar stool sits in the very high chair behind the desk and pulls out a gavel. Elliot is rushed back onto the stage and left in front of the judge, still tied down to the stretcher, on his stomach, his rear in angled slightly upward. He says nothing, there is an agreeable look on his face. The nurse approaches the bench)
Nurse: We’ve given him a 30ml dose of compliance, your honor, you have fifteen seconds.
Judge: Well done Ebert. (He says affectionately, then addresses Eliot judiciously.) What brings you to this courtroom, son.?
Eliot: I am here for enema, your honor.
Judge: Of course and so be it. Charles Pining Eliot you are sentenced to nine seconds of thoughtless silence.
Judge: 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.
Eliot: (Eliot looks around panicked) What time is it- Who am I.
Judge: Mr. Eliot you’ve just been received by psychological enema, do you have anything thing to say to your self.
Judge: Precisely. Your conscious self was just slaughtered for seven seconds
Eliot: Then why?
Judge: Because you were received by enema Mr. Eliot.
Judge: Yes, the eradication of the negligent erroneous mind association, the e.n.e.m.a. We had reason to believe that you weren’t keeping time Mr. Eliot, you were convicted on several counts of second person chronological negligence. (In a louder investigative tone) Mr. Eliot, what do you know about the year 1978, and the question why?
Eliot: Nothing your honor, I know nothing about that or anything else that is going on.
Judge: Mr. Eliot if you can not find it within your self to cooperate, this court will hold you to further contentment. 1978 and why just keep popping through your head, for absolutely no distinguishable reason, no TV commercial, catchy song, relevant birth date or definitive worldly disaster. Our mind police are working around the clock.
Eliot: Mind police? (a man and women dressed in black suits holding files and wearing sunglass walk from either side of the stage and stand next to the judge.)
Judge: We think it might be the answer to advertising, possibly even hair loss, obesity, and why suction cups fall off windows at unpredictable times, one random digit which always occurs in the mind.
Eliot: Wait, it was the year I lost my virginity, yes 1978, that was the year ha, haha haha.
Judge: (leaning down) To any sort of maternal figure?
Eliot: (emphatic) No.
Judge: Nonsense. (He turns to the female agent on his right) Officer Castration, what do have on Eliot’s virginity.
Officer Castration: Your Honor, we’ve checked our files, it appears that he never had virginity, nor is there any actual record of Mr. Eliot’s existence.
Judge: (to Officer Castration) Remarkable, call 1938- tell the Frenchmen he is correct. (He turns to Eliot.) I’m afraid there has been some sort of mistake. (He takes his wig off and climbs down.)
Eliot: What’s wrong, I don’t understand the problem Please tell me what is happening. (The doctor turns to him as he buttons his white coat.)
Dr. Hulme: Your subsistence Mr. Eliot. (The pulpit falls behind him back to its position as a desk; the female agent walks off stage. The doctor walks away from Eliot and sits down where he was at the beginning. Eliot turns to the audience and looks at them for three seconds as though they are a mirror. He looks back to the doctor with no idea what to expect. The doctor begins again in mid sentence just as the play began.) …accompanied with severe headaches and cold sweats. Tell me more about these visions, Mr. Elliot, are they discernable from reality?
I met a beautiful, intelligent Taiwanese girl named Fanfan when I was studying in Angers, France in 2004. That summer, I went back to the US to finish my last year of college, and she moved to Paris. Things blossomed, and a year later I moved to Paris to be with her. I studied philosophy, and she studied cultural mediation. After a year had passed and all of our money had run out, we moved to Taiwan. Fanfan worked as writer, teacher and French-Chinese translator. I taught English, worked as a freelance journalist and studied Mandarin. On the side, I study Chinese and Taiwanese history on my own, which is why I maintain this site, because the interaction it provides gives me a better understanding of these subjects as a whole. To be clear, I am not a professional, and I welcome comments and criticisms
....Oh, and I know I'm not the ONLY redhead in Taiwan, and I know that's a stupid name for a blog. This was meant to be a way for my family and friends to keep up with what I was doing, but it became much more....In the summer of 2009, we'll be moving to D.C., as I'll beginning a Master's in International Relations.