Author Archives: alan

Surfing Dolphins

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This dolphins turned up off Sennen Cove Cornwall England

One of the dolphins leaps clear of the sea. Picture: Malcolm BarradellCommon dolphins are one of four species regular seen around the Cornish coast. In recent weeks, pods of up to 150 individuals have been seen on the south coast at Porthleven and off the Lizard peninsula.

 

One of the dolphins rides in on a wave. Picture: Malcolm BarradellRead more:

The dolphins were pictured swimming in the waves just beyond where the stunned surfers were watching. They also put on a spectacular acrobatic display as they leapt from the water.

Read more at http://www.cornwalllive.com/dolphins-ride-waves-and-leap-in-the-air-astounding-surfers-off-sennen-cove-in-cornwall/story-30263928-detail/story.html#AdpsJOZHB6CZkAPG.99

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Amazing Power Of Dogs

  1. Your Dog’s Ability To See Ultraviolet Light Let’s Them See What You Can’t

While this supercharged nose can be used to help out humans, dogs also take advantage of this power for less heroic purposes. Have you ever come home from the grocery store with one of your dog’s favorite treats? The second you walk in that door, you are at the mercy of your dog’s nose and no packaging is going to thwart their ability. They can tell the moment their favorite food is nearby and they don’t waste a second looking for it!

2. The Detection Of Illness In Sick Humans

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A dog’s nose may be good for sniffing out a hidden treat, but they also use their super hero sniffing ability to help us humans. Amazingly, dogs, both with and without training, are able to detect illness in their human companions. While some dogs require formal training, like those trained to warn their owner about an oncoming epileptic seizure, other dogs can warn of us changes in our body due to illness, like cancer.

There are countless stories of dogs that have picked up on biological changes in the body resulting in cancer. Knowing that something is off, these dogs often persistently draw attention to a certain body part until their owner can no longer ignore the signs they are sending.

3. The Ability To READ YOUR MIND!!!

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Okay, dogs can’t actually read your mind per say, but they are pretty darn good at reading your behaviour and making inferences about your future actions based on it. The reason for this is dogs use eye contact and follow their human’s gaze to determine what their owners are thinking. They’re so good at it that you don’t even have to say a word and your dog will often know what your next move is.

If you ask us, it seems like this ability is heightened when something unpleasant for the dog is about to happen, such as being given a bath. The second they see you look at them, then the bathtub or towel, they’re hightailing it out of there!

4. Prediction Of Natural Disasters

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This is one of your dog’s more spooky super powers, as researchers today are still unsure about exactly how it works. After every natural disaster, stories begin to pop up about people who were warned about the upcoming event by their pet’s unusual behaviour.

Researchers are not yet sure exactly how dogs, and other animals, are able to sense natural disasters before they happen, but there are a few theories. Some believe that they can sense chemical changes in groundwater that occur before earthquakes, while others believe that they can hear very low-frequency rumbles created by natural occurrences, such as earthquakes or volcanoes. These are also numerous researchers who believe that dogs use their strong sense of smell to detect changes in the air before disaster strikes. Either way, if you start to notice your dog acting weird, you might want to check the weather channel.

5. Finding The Way Home Without A Map

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For those of you who are chronically lost, even with the help of modern technology, this is one doggie super power you might wish you had. Dogs are often able to find their way home, even from long distances.

The crazy thing about this is that dogs don’t need to have walked the route before to be able to find their way back, so how do they do it? Not surprisingly, a lot of this internal GPS is due to dog’s keen sense of smell. If your dog is in familiar territory, they are able to follow their own trail back home. Don’t worry though; your lost pup will do just as well in an unfamiliar territory by keeping a nose out for familiar scents. Once they identify a familiar scent, they are able to follow it until they find another familiar scent, eventually making their way home

6. And Last, But Not least, The Ability To See Their Own Farts

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Source: Dog Shaming

I’m really not quite sure when this super power would ever come in handy, but it certainly would be entertaining. For some reason, researchers from the Rochester Institute of Technology were curious to see how dog’s brains reacted when they were exposed to the sight of gases from their owner, a stranger, other dogs, and themselves. From their spot in the MRI machine beside a window, the dogs observed the gases being released in the next room and when their own farts were released, their brain lit up. Interestingly, this didn’t happen when they saw the gases of their owner, a stranger, or another dog!

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So there you have it, six amazing dog super powers that humans would only dream of having. While some may be more entertaining than others, you never know when one of them might come in handy.

Now the real question is, will your dog use these powers for good or for evil? Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

 One Of The World’s Oldest Breeds Might Be At Risk Of Extinction

One Of The World’s Oldest Breeds Might Be At Risk Of Extinction
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The kennel’s owner is Myrna Shiboleth, a celebrated breeder of the Canaan dog, and she’s worked hard to ensure the breed’s survival. Ever since moving to Israel from the United States nearly 46 years ago, she’s raised hundreds of Canaan dogs, a significant percentage of the breed’s population.

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The Canaan dog is one of the oldest dog breeds known, having existed at least since biblical times, and earned special honor as the national dog of Israel. As Shiboleth points out, the Canaan dog is a natural breed, its DNA and make-up the same as it was before the animal was ever domesticated. Consequently, the Canaan dog is relatively free of the health and genetic problems afflicting newer breeds. Unfortunately, there is pressure on the Canaan dog because of the breed’s small surviving population. That pressure is sure to worsen if Shiboleth can’t find a new home to nurture the breed.

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In the 1970s Shiboleth settled west of Jerusalem, on buildings unused since the early 20th century British occupation, to start her kennel. “We were looking for a place that wouldn’t bother anyone, that was isolated,” Shibboleth said. “The place had been abandoned since the British left.” She’s lived on the property ever since, which didn’t even have electricity or running water for her first 17 years on the property.

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According to the Israel Land Authority, the property is owned by the state, and was never officially open for settlement. Six years ago, ILA land inspectors asked the residents to leave, but because of their refusal, the ILA chose to take legal action. In 2011, the ILA sued Shibboleth and other residents on the site, demanding that they vacate. Recently, Jerusalem’s Magistrate Court ruled in favor of the ILA, and now Shibboleth, 13 other residents of the site, and the kennel have been evicted. They must leave the property by mid April.

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Shiboleth insists, “We never claimed to be the owners; we just wanted to live here.” Despite their best efforts over the years to arrange a rental agreement with the ILA, and a diligent effort to avoid altering the property, they were unable to settle their uncertain living situation. “Nobody asked us for rent; nobody was willing to talk to us at all,” Shiboleth said.

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Shibboleth is crowdfunding on gofundme.com in the hopes of paying off her legal fees and relocating her kennel. So far she’s raised over $18,000 of her $25,000 goal. She’s filing an appeal but isn’t optimistic about the outcome. Finding a new home is the priority.

Related: 11 Rare Dog Breeds That Are Totally Underrated

RELATED

11 Rare Dog Breeds That Are Totally Underrated

Shiboleth says the Canaan dog should be seen as an Israeli natural asset and contends that the government should invest in the preservation of the breed for coming generations, much like it protects other natural resources. As she puts it:

“This is one of the only breeds of dogs that still exists that is completely natural. We feel it’s very important to preserve them, because they are Israeli and because they are the original dog. This is the dog that existed for thousands of years, exactly as he is now.”

Dogs detect breast cancer from bandage: researchers

Mariëtte Le Roux
AFP

Assistant cynophilist Patrick Mairet, pictured in October 2016, and his dog Thor are part of the Kdog project, which aims to train dogs to detect breast cancer

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Assistant cynophilist Patrick Mairet, pictured in October 2016, and his dog Thor are part of the Kdog project, which aims to train dogs to detect breast cancer (AFP Photo/PASCAL LACHENAUD)

Paris (AFP) – Dogs can sniff out cancer from a piece of cloth which had touched the breast of a woman with a tumour, researchers said Friday, announcing the results of an unusual, but promising, diagnostic trial.

With just six months of training, a pair of German Shepherds became 100-percent accurate in their new role as breast cancer spotters, the team said.

The technique is simple, non-invasive and cheap, and may revolutionise cancer detection in countries where mammograms are hard to come by.

“In these countries, there are oncologists, there are surgeons, but in rural areas often there is limited access to diagnostics,” Isabelle Fromantin, who leads project Kdog, told journalists in Paris.

This means that “people arrive too late,” to receive life-saving treatment, she added. “If this works, we can roll it out rapidly.”

Working on the assumption that breast cancer cells have a distinguishing smell which sensitive dog noses will pick up, the team collected samples from 31 cancer patients.

These were pieces of bandage that patients had held against their affected breast.

With the help of canine specialist Jacky Experton, the team trained German Shepherds Thor and Nykios to recognise cancerous rags from non-cancerous ones.

“It is all based on game-playing” and reward, he explained.

After six months, the dogs were put to the test over several days in January and February this year.

This time, the researchers used 31 bandages from different cancer patients than those the dogs had been trained on.

One bandage was used per experiment, along with three samples from women with no cancer.

– Saving lives –

Each bandage was placed in a box with a large cone which the dogs could stick their noses into, sniffing at each in turn — four boxes per test.

The exercise was repeated once with each sample, meaning there were 62 individual responses from the dogs in all.

In the first round, the dogs detected 28 out of the 31 cancerous bandages — a 90-percent pass rate, the researchers announced.

On the second try, they scored 100 percent — sitting down in front of the box containing the cancerous sample with their muzzle pressed deep into the cone.

“There is technology that works very well, but sometimes simpler things, more obvious things, can also help,” said Amaury Martin of the Curie Institute, citing the many untested stories of dogs having detected cancer in their owners.

“Our aim was see if we can move from conventional wisdom to… real science, with all the clinical and research validation that this entails.”

This was the proof-of-concept phase of Kdog.

The next step will be a clinical trial with more patients and another two dogs, but the team is still in need of project funding.

The team believes that one day dogs may be replaced by “sniffing” machines, possibly armies of electronic diagnosticians dedicated to analysing samples that people far from clinics would send them by the post.

In the meantime, Experton said there is little danger of the trained dogs using their new-found skills to accost cancer sufferers outside the lab.

“These tests happen within a very specific work environment,” he explained. “In a different context, these dogs are unlikely to simply pounce on random people in the street.”

The team says it is the only one to work with breast cancer detection from skin-touch samples.

Other research projects are testing canines’ ability to smell different types of cancer in samples of the skin itself, blood or urine, even the air people exhale.

In France, the chances of surviving ten years after a breast cancer diagnosis is about 85 percent, compared to around 50 percent in poorer countries.

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Lee “Baby” Simms

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In 1968 Admiral Morrison was Commander In chief of Carrier Division Nine fighting the war in Vietnam. Clara Morrison was visiting the far east at the time and sent back gifts to us including a couple of Happi Coats, I gave one (pictured above) to Lee and we both wore them until they fell apart.

If you lived in San Diego back in 1968, and you listened to the radio, you must remember Lee “Baby” Simms, one of the top DJs of the time.

“This is K. Ceeee B. Q. Theeee number one radio station in San Diego, California.”  Lee jumped out of the radio and into your car with you. He was too cool for San Diego and he was almost part of the hit songs he spun.

Once I called in to request a song, and after a little bantering back and forth, we became good friends. I had asked him to play a Beatles tune, and at that time, I was fresh from Liverpool with a thick accent to match. During the course of the conversation, he said, “You sound like Paul McCartney.” I explained the acute differences or nuances in the degrees of Liverpooleese. John, Paul, and George all had the same accent, which was middle class rather than the distinct working-class brogue of Ringo. If you watch the movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” it is a tutorial on the genuinely hilarious expressions used by the lads and the rest of the cast, who in fact to a person all spoke with their real accents rather than an actor trying to sound like one.

For those who remember all of this, you will also remember that it was all on AM radio. FM  was still a thing of the future, and the recordings were decidedly limited when it came to listening quality.

One day Lee called me up and asked me to call in during the show and impersonate Paul McCartney. The next night, Lee made a big deal about how cool the new Beatles’ album was and that he was going to do a weekend-long Beatles marathon of all their songs. 

Together we pulled it off, he asking questions all about Liverpool, the Cavern club, and of course, the Beatles’ early days, which I not only knew, but as a lad of twelve, I saw the boys preform with a skiffle group called The Quarrymen before they even formed the Beatles.

For weeks and months after the show, people in Coronado were still talking about the time Paul McCartney called into KCBQ radio and spoke with Lee Baby Simms for an hour even waiting between commercials. I remained blissfully silent, and even though I wanted to tell everyone, it was more mysterious and exciting to keep the secret.

Ironically, when I did try to tell people that it was I and not Paul McCartney, they just would not believe me.

It saddens me deeply to report that Lee was diagnosed with stomach cancer and became so despondent that he took his own life.

“Goodnight sweet prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”

From: Hamlet. William Shakespeare.  April 1564 ? April 23, 1616.

It has been widely reported that radio legend Lee Baby Simms took his own life at his home in Walnut Creek, California on January 28, 2015. He had reportedly been diagnosed with cancer. Simms was 71.

One of the most colorful air personalities during the heyday of American rock and roll radio, Simms worked at 35 stations in 22 cities and found himself on the wrong end of a pink slip at least two dozen times.

Billboard magazine - August 20, 1966 (l-r:) Lee Simms & Woody Roberts
Billboard magazine – August 20, 1966 (l-r:) Lee & Woody
The Hartford Times - October 7, 1966
The Hartford Times – October 7, 1966
The Hartford Times - January 13, 1967
The Hartford Times - January 13, 1967
The Hartford Times – January 13, 1967
The Hartford Courant - July 8, 1967
The Hartford Courant – July 8, 1967

Like many of the stops in his radio career, Lee’s Hartford engagement lasted only a year. It’s worth noting that at first his crosstown competition was WDRC’s Ken Griffin (the man he replaced at WPOP) and, later, Joey Reynolds (another ex-WPOP Good Guy who was just as unpredictable and uncontrollable on the air). It made great listening for Connecticut teens

Click here to read a tribute to Lee Baby by West Coast broadcaster Ken Levine.

Click here to read a biography from Ted Webb’s Radio Years website.

Click here for an index of WPOP personalities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DOGS DON’T BITE

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“dogs never bite me,  just humans” 

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Jim Morrison Movie

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Jim Morrison: Back to the Sixties, Darkly :

Ultimate bad boy’s life story THE DOORS comes to the big screen

Danny Sugerman thought that then-hot disco king John Travolta might make a good Morrison. So he introduced him to the Doors–and he and Manzarek squirreled Travolta around town, taking him to places where the group had hung out. But the other Doors balked. (“John was a nice guy and all that. But he was too nice. He didn’t have Jim’s dangerous edge,” Krieger recalled.) When it became clear that all the rights couldn’t be acquired for Travolta to officially play Morrison, there were talks about Brian De Palma directing Travolta in a fictionalized project, like the thinly disguised Janis Joplin saga, “The Rose.”

Other film makers approached Harari and the Doors–and vice versa. Among them: Jonathan Taplin, Jerry Weintraub, Aaron Russo, Irving Azoff, Michael Mann, Francis Coppola and Martin Scorsese.

As all this was happening, a feature-length Doors documentary was in the works. (It was later abandoned because of efforts to make the feature.)

Morrison’s sister and her husband also announced their intention to make a Morrison movie. But first, stated Anne Morrison Graham and her then-husband, Alan Graham (no relation to Bill Graham), they would stage a rock opera in which seven actors would play various aspects of the Morrison persona. And they planned to make a 90-minute TV documentary.

The rock opera actually happened–at Gazzarri’s on the Sunset Strip, where the Doors had played 16 years earlier. Krieger still laughs about the night that two of the Morrison look-alikes showed up at a club where he was playing and got in a fight with each other.

Though the Grahams have since divorced, Alan Graham remains impassioned about one day making a film about his former brother-in-law. He has a company called Lizard King Productions–so named because of Morrison’s moniker as the Lizard King (from a Doors song). From time to time, Graham sends out announcements of pending projects. Currently in the works: the provocatively titled rock opera, “Who Killed Jim Morrison?”

Harari eventually dropped the option on “No One Here Gets Out Alive,” but he didn’t drop his interest. In 1985, he succeeded in acquiring the rights of the three Doors.

Then Tony Krantz and Tony Ludwig, of Creative Artists Agency, got the idea to bring rock promoter Bill Graham into the project–to deal with the Coursons and the Morrisons.

During the ’60s, the Doors often played Graham’s clubs in San Francisco and New York City. He still remembers their first show at Fillmore West in 1967, in which they were billed with the Jim Kweskin Jugband.

(The Doors were to have other memorable nights at Graham’s clubs–including the time Morrison showed up drunk at Winterland, took to the stage and started throwing the microphone around. At one point, it flew across the room, hit Graham and knocked him down.)

Graham eventually succeeded as a rock ‘n’ roll Henry Kissinger with the estate. “They were not against a movie coming out,” Graham explained. “They’re against the exploitation or the exaggeration of what really went down. After all, those children were reared by those people. The parents want to retain some dignity.

“It’s obvious that this wasn’t exactly Jack Armstrong who was coming through life in that turbulent time. We can’t whitewash Morrison, or Pam. But we want to respect them.”

As it turned out, there was an attempt at a whitewash when the Coursons tried, unsuccessfully, to invoke a clause that would have forbidden any depiction of their daughter using drugs. One stipulation they did get: Pamela Courson-Morrison cannot be depicted as having anything to do with Morrison’s death.

Then there is the contract stipulation involving the Morrisons: With the exception of a pivotal scene involving Jim’s childhood encounter with Indian shamanism, the parents cannot be depicted.

The Coursons and Morrisons also wanted–and got–assurances that the movie would not be an adaptation of “No One Here Gets Out Alive.”

Ironic footnote: eventually, the film makers bought the book’s research materials from co-author Jerry Hopkins. And Sugerman recently came aboard the film, as a consultant.

When all the rights were at last acquired in 1985, Harari put in a call to Oliver Stone’s agent. Would Stone be interested in scripting? On the very day Stone was scheduled to meet with Harari, Stone got the go-ahead to make “Platoon.” The next day he left for the Philippines.

From 1985 until the summer of 1987, the Doors project was at Columbia, under then-chairman Guy McElwaine. But when David Puttnam came to the studio, the project was dropped.

Within 24 hours, Harari got calls from United Artists and Warner Bros. He also got a call from Tony Ludwig, who had left CAA to become the president of Imagine Entertainment.

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MOVIE (Book Store) THEATER

100-Year-Old Theater Is Now A Bookstore And It’s Spectacular

When I die, you can just bury me here….

For the girl whose dream in life is to have an exact replica of the “Beauty and the Beast” library in her house, visiting this bookstore would be like letting a kid loose in a candy shop. El Ateneo Grand Splendid lives up to its name by being both grand in size, and splendid in decoration.

Grand Splendid was originally built in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a tango theater back in 1919. In 1929, it was converted into a cinema and then finally into the grand bookstore it is now in 2000.

 
 

The architect behind the renovation, Fernando Manzone, aimed to preserve the detailed elegance of the theater, from the ornate balconies to the colorfully frescoed ceiling.

 

The bookstore covers a sprawling 21,000 square feet, draws in more than a million tourists, and sells about 700,000 books every year. And while most of the titles are printed in Spanish, just marveling at the theater-turned-bookshop is worth a trip.

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MAD MIKE

Colonel  Mad Mike Hoare

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Michael Thomas Bernard Hoare, better known to the world as “Mad Mike”, was born in India in 1919. He spent his early days in India and was educated in England, but his blood was Irish. During World War 2 he served initially in the London Irish Rifles, became an expert in small arms, and then attended officer school. He then joined the Royal Armoured Corps as a 2nd lieutenant and in time headed east. He fought at the battle of Kohima in India, and in the Arakan, Burma. He was demobbed as major.
He completed his studies in London after the war and qualified as a chartered accountant. In 1948, now with a wife and child, he emigrated to Durban, South Africa. He made a good living in the motor business and ran safaris across the Kalahari to the Okavango Delta.
In 1961, after the Belgian Congo had become independent and the copper-rich province of Katanga had seceded from the Congo, Mike was recruited to assist Moise Tshombe of Katanga against the United Nations and Congolese forces, playing a minor role. When two of his men went missing, he mounted a patrol to locate the men, but found only their jeep.
In July 1964 after four years of uneasy independence, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was engulfed by a communist-inspired rebellion, which spread through the country with the speed and ferocity of a bush fire. The rebel soldiers, known as “Simbas”, struck terror into the hearts of civilians and national army alike, raping, looting and burning. Faced with this situation, Tshombe, on the advice of his South African aide, Jerry Puren, called Mike Hoare in again, and commissioned him to raise and lead a force of mercenary soldiers, to be called 5 Commando. Later Mike dubbed them the Wild Geese.
In 18 months Mike and his strike force liberated Stanleyville, freed many hundreds of European hostages, and finally restored law and order to the Congo. Mike led 5 Commando from July 1964 to December 1965. He was once called that “Mad Bloodhound Hoare” by an East Berlin broadcaster, because of his persistence in pursuing the enemy.

Before July 1964 Mike was virtually unknown, but 18 months later when he retired as Lt Colonel, he was one of the most famous mercenary leaders in the world. He had swept the Congo clean of savages, and made modern mercenary soldiering briefly but confusingly respectable. Hoare was quietly spoken, confident, cool, collected, charming in manner, boyish in looks, dapper in uniform, every inch the English officer and gentleman.

Mike was the technical advisor on the film “The Wild Geese” staring Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Roger Moore and a host of other stars. It is based on a novel by the Irish-born Rhodesia-based Daniel Carney. The film is accurate in detail and some say it was the best mercenary film ever made. The name “Wild Geese’ comes from the thousands of noble Irish mercenaries had fought in foreign armies in the 18th century, and they had called themselves ‘Wild Geese’.

In 1981, Hoare recruited a band of men and attempted a coup in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, but it failed and he and most of his men escaped by hijacking an airliner back to South Africa. They were all tried and given prison terms. Mike was released from prison on 7 May 1985 under an amnesty, having served 33 months of his ten-year sentence.

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A-8 Anchorage

Port Removes Debris from Former A-8 Anchorage

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Boats, tires, batteries, metal containers, engines, and other debris are being pulled to the surface in South San Diego Bay, thanks to the efforts of the Port of San Diego.

An estimated 50 tons of debris from the bottom of the bay is being recovered and removed from the area known as the A-8 Anchorage. 

The A-8 Anchorage was an unlimited, free anchorage established in the 1980s to accommodate up to 150 vessels at any one time. Unfortunately, over the years, many vessels within the anchorage area sank because of winds, storms, or simply because the vessels weren’t seaworthy. 

The $219,500 project is 100 percent grant funded:

A Port of San Diego tenant, Pacific Tugboat Service, was hired by the Port to handle the cleanup. Side-scan sonar was used to provide divers with a “road map” of the debris.

The first phase of the cleanup was initiated in 2008 with more than 315 tons of marine debris being removed from an 80-acre area using over $340,000 in grant funding and $50,000 from the Port of San Diego’s own Environmental Fund.

The current cleanup area expanded to 350-acres, all of which is within the Port of San Diego’s jurisdiction on San Diego Bay. 

Some of the debris recovered since 2008 includes: 75 sunken vessels, 50- and 25-ton barges, batteries, engines, generators, fuel and other storage tanks, bicycles, various electronics, and a bathtub.

A recent survey of the A-8 Anchorage and surrounding areas found an additional 950 debris items, resulting in the current cleanup efforts, which started in June 2013. The work is expected to be completed by September 30, 2013.

The A-8 cleanup effort demonstrates the Port’s role as a trustee of San Diego Bay to protect and improve the quality of San Diego Bay’s water. In addition, removal of the debris will benefit the Bay’s natural resources by improving water quality and reducing the possibility of entanglement for the Eastern Pacific green sea turtle and the fish in the Bay.

About the Port:

The Port of San Diego is the fourth largest of the 11 ports in California. It was created by the state legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested millions of dollars in public improvements in its five member cities – Chula VistaCoronadoImperial BeachNational City and San Diego.

The port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 20 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.

The Port of San Diego is an economic engine, an environmental steward of San Diego Bay and the surrounding tidelands, and a provider of community services and public safety.

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ODE TO LA WHILE THINKING ABOUT BRIAN JONES DECEASED

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Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones

 (28 February 1942 – 3 July 1969

I’m a resident of a city
They’ve just picked me to play
the Prince of Denmark

Poor Ophelia

All those ghosts he never saw
Floating to doom
On an iron candle

Come back, brave warrior
Do the dive
On another channel

Hot buttered pool
Where’s Marrakesh
Under the falls
the wild storm
where savages fell out
in late afternoon
monsters of rhythm

You’ve left your
Nothing
to compete w/
Silence

I hope you went out
Smiling
Like a child
Into the cool remnant
of a dream

The angel man
w/ Serpents competing
for his palms
& fingers
Finally claimed
This benevolent
Soul

Ophelia

Leaves, sodden
in silk

Chlorine
dream
mad stifled
Witness

The diving board, the plunge
The pool

You were a fighter
a damask musky muse

You were the bleached
Sun
for TV afternoon

horned-toads
maverick of a yellow spot

Look now to where it’s got
You

in meat heaven
w/ the cannibals
& jews

The gardener
Found
The body, rampant, Floating

Lucky Stiff
What is this green pale stuff
You’re made of

Poke holes in the goddess
Skin

Will he Stink
Carried heavenward
Thru the halls
of music

No Chance.

Requiem for a heavy
That smile
That porky satyr’s
leer
has leaped upward

into the loam

Jim Morrison  August 1969

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Coronado Clarion Autumn Issue (Front Cover)

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Angel’s Flight

gustavedore_raven6
The time you wait subtracts the joy 
Beheads the angels you destroy 
Angels fight, angels cry 
Angels dance and angels die

From: We Could Be So Good Together.  Jim Morrison

 

It is Sunday morning in late December of 1969,  I am riding shotgun in the Blue Lady and it is raining cats and dogs. Jim was at the zenith of his rock-idol period. His celestial sphere sat  directly above at High Noon.

He was also days-drunk but also acting like he was not. He was on automatic pilot stopping only to pass a bottle in a brown bag or to ask me for another cold beer sitting at my feet.  He switched between radio stations playing only driving rock, his own music, and the rest of the top songs of the day.

It would be a year before his Swan Dive in Miami, and as his own eerie lyrics so fatally predicted, this rock rebel, mischievous angel would tumble from the heavens. He would become mortal, never to fly again.

We cruised through downtown Los Angeles which at the time was still a colossal slum. A few years earlier, Bunker Hill sat in ruins peopled by the dregs of society,  once a fabulous district of old victorian mansions was now rapidly dissembling in  gruesome symbiosis. 

The beginnings of new Los Angeles skyline had now replaced a shameful “Bowery slum” with new high rises and a swanky convention center. In the surrounding streets, it was still “those dark satanic mills”.  The appalling living conditions were on par with any third world country.

I asked Jim if we could go see Angels Flight.  We pulled over to the curb and sat at the top of Bunker Hill watching the deluge. He looked at me for what seemed like an eternity.  Then he turned off the radio and said, “What did you say?”

I repeated, Angels Flight.  It’s around here somewhere, right?

I was puzzled that he seemed so surprised. Then he said ,”How could you possibly know about Angels Flight?” Now it was my turn to be surprised. Surely he had seen it in most gangster movies or detective shows in early Los Angeles film noir. It was seen in TV shows — Dragnet, Perry Mason, and movies like Kiss Me Deadly, and even very silly movies such as The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.

He listened intently as I rattled off the names of the very same films and TV series he also cherished as  much as any historian. We talked back and forth about gangsters,villains, and heroes, movies about cowboy legends, war heroes,  bad guys, and naughty  girls. 

“So where is Angels Flight?” I asked again.

We headed downtown where the rain was now hitting the streets like rapid gunfire with swift flowing gutters. Touch Me was blasting on the radio. The torrential gatling-gun-rain was louder.

We sat looking at Angels Flight or I should say, the site where it once rested. Jim looked over at me and said “Tt’s gone. They tore it down this summer.” We sat in silence, or to sharpen the point, “in rapt funeral amazement” .

We were both startled by the the absolute polar opposite mood we were dragged into. Scarborough Fair was playing in all its far too pleasant, feel good lyrics, “parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme”. We both contemplated visceral suicide. Jim changed the station, and soon we were released from the dreadful happiness and back to Steppenwolf’s Magic Carpet Ride’. We drove off singing at the top of our lungs in a desperate attempt to shake off the sickeningly sweet lyrics “Are you going to Scarborough Fair?”

Two years later Jim would be dead, but this memories are as vivid as they were on that day. Whenever I visit Los Angeles if I do not visit the new site it matters not for just being in proximity is as good as being there and those indelible remembrances prevail.

Twenty-seven years later in 1969, the funicular railway was  lovingly restored, then reopened to my delight. Just to see it running again is to take a trip back in time to the sweet never-to-be-seen-again era of silver and celluloid.

 

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OLD SCHOOL COOL

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EROTIC POLITICIANS

The Doors

Out of the vastness of the Los Angeles Forum, its 18,000 seats filled on a December Saturday night with the cream of LA’s teenybopper set, came the insolent cry. The Doors didn’t want to do their 1967 hit; not only had they just finished their first number, but onstage with them and their 32 amplifiers were a string sextet and a brass section ready to perform new Doors music.

They got through a few more numbers, but then, with the yelling getting louder, they acquiesced. A roar of cheers and instantly the arena was aglow with sparklers lit in literal tribute. The song over, and the kids shouting for more, lead singer Jim Morrison, in a loose black shirt and clinging black leather pants, came to the edge of the stage.

“Hey, man,” he said, his voice booming from the speakers on the ceiling. “Cut out that shit.” The crowd giggled.

“What are you all doing here?” he went on. No response.

“You want music?” A rousing yeah.

“Well, man, we can play music all night, but that’s not what you really want, you want something more, something greater than you’ve ever seen, right?”

“We want Mick Jagger,” someone shouted. 

“Light My Fire,” said someone else, to laughter.

It was a direct affront, but the Doors hadn’t seen it coming. That afternoon, before the concert, Morrison had said: “We’re into what these kids are into.” Driving home from rehearsal in his Mustang Shelby Cobra GT 500, he swept his arm wide to take in the low houses that stretched miles from the freeway to the Hollywood Hills. “We’re into LA. Here, kids live more freely and more powerfully than anywhere else, but it’s also where old people come to die. Kids know both and we express both.”

The teens had belonged to the Doors; their amalgam of sensuality and asceticism, mysticism and machine-like power had won these lushly beautifully children heart and soul, and the kids had made them the biggest American group in rock music. Now, at one of their biggest concerts, prelude to the biggest ever at New York’s Madison Square Garden in January, the kids dared laugh, even at Morrison. Not much, but they had begun.

The Doors started out in LA’s early hip scene in 1965. Morrison, then 22, son of a high-ranking navy official, met organist-pianist Ray Manzarek on the beach at Santa Monica while both were making experimental films at UCLA. Drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger became friends of Manzarek at one of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s first meditation centres in southern California. Named from a line of Morrison’s poetry – “There are things that are known and things that are unknown; in between are doors” – by early 1966 they had their first date, playing for $35 a week at a tiny and now defunct club on Sunset Strip.

While on their second job as the house band at Whisky a Go Go, working behind dozens of groups they have now eclipsed, they began to build a following, playing blues and classic rock songs with a harsh and eerie stringency. 

“We were creating our music, ourselves, every night,” Morrison said, “starting with a few outlines, maybe a few words for a song that gradually accrued particles of meaning and movement. Sometimes we worked out in Venice, looking at the surf. We were together and it was good times.”

Their best songs, Crystal Ship, the diabolical The End and Light My Fire took shape in those early days while Morrison was developing the erotic style that has made him the group’s star and rock’s biggest sex symbol. He doesn’t fall off stages any more, but he writhes against the microphone stand, leaps from eyes-closed passivity into shrieking aggression, and moans sweet pain like a modern St Sebastian pierced by the arrows of angst and revelation.

Just about everybody takes him seriously: the New Haven police who last year arrested him for “giving an indecent or immoral exhibition”; the girls who rush the stage, sometimes only to get ashes flicked from his cigarette; and critics who rave in detail about “rock as ritual”. But no one takes Morrison as seriously as Morrison takes Morrison.

His stage manner, he said, unlike the acts of Elvis, Otis Redding, and Mick Jagger, with whom he is often compared, has a conscious purpose. Shyly, almost sleepily soft-spoken in private, he sees his public self as a new kind of poet-politician. “I’m not a new Elvis, though he’s my second favourite singer – Frank Sinatra is first. I just think I’m lucky I’ve found a perfect medium to express myself in,” he said during a rehearsal break, slouched tiredly in one of the Forum’s violently orange seats. Though handsome, with his pale green eyes and Renaissance prince hair, he has none of the decadent power captured in the spotligh

 

“Music, writing, theatre, action – I’m doing all those things. I like to write, I’m even publishing a book of my poems pretty soon, stuff I had that I realised wasn’t for music. But songs are special. I find that music liberates my imagination. When I sing my songs in public, that’s a dramatic act, not just acting as in theatre, but a social act, real action.

“Maybe you could call us erotic politicians. We’re a rock’n’roll band, a blues band, just a band, but that’s not all. A Doors concert is a public meeting called by us for a special kind of dramatic discussion and entertainment. When we perform, we’re participating in the creation of a world, and we celebrate that creation with the audience. It becomes the sculpture of bodies in action.

“That’s politics, but our power is sexual. We make concerts sexual politics. The sex starts out with just me, then moves out to include the charmed circle of musicians on stage. The music we make goes out to the audience and interacts with them, they go home and interact with the rest of reality, then I get it back by interacting with that reality, so the whole sex thing works out to be one big ball of fire.”

That analytical abandon was just right for the serious rock of the post Sgt Pepper era. After the album version of Light My Fire got heavy airplay on FM rock stations, Elektra released a shorter single that became a top 40 No 1. The Doors have followed it with a series of singles and two more albums. They have a quickly identifiable instrumental sound based on blues topped with Morrison’s strong voice and lyrics. Manzarek plays a rather dry organ, but Krieger is an aggressive guitarist and Densmore a solid and inventive drummer.

Yet as the kids in the Forum knew, they’ve never topped Light My Fire. The abandon has gotten more and more cerebral, the demonic pose more strained. The new music they wanted the crowd to like at the concert was abstract noise crashing behind a Morrison poem of meandering verbosity.

After the show, Morrison said it had been “great fun”, but the backstage party had a funereal air. And at times that afternoon, he showed that he knew their first rush of energy was running out. Success, he said, looking beat in the orange chair, had been nice. “When we had to carry our own equipment everywhere, we had no time to be creative. Now we can focus our energies more intensely.”

He squirmed a bit. “The trouble is that now we don’t see much of each other. We’re big time, we go on tours, record, and, in our free time, everybody splits off into their own scenes. When we record, we have to get all our ideas then, we can’t build them night after night like the club days. In the studio, creation is not so natural.

“I don’t know what will happen. I guess we’ll continue like this for a while. Then to get our vitality back, maybe we’ll have to get out of the whole business. Maybe we’ll all go off to an island by ourselves and start creating again.”

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ROYALTIES FROM THE TOMB

The-Doors-BillboardEven when rock stars create more-or-less conventional families, the lines of dynastic inheritance can still break down within a generation or two.

In theory, Jim Morrison, made the smart moves to ensure that his wealth – a “massive” $400,000 when he died in 1971 – transferred in an orderly fashion to his common-law wife Pamela Courson.

But because he and Courson died childless and she didn’t bother writing a will, control of his 25% stake in the Doors’ record sales and copyrights became contentious.

And now that the last of the first generation of caretakers is in her early 90s, the rights seem likely to accelerate their slide away from the people who knew and understood Morrison when he was alive.

The lesson for estate planners focused on the long term is clear: the first transfer is relatively easy to lock down, but the real work is in keeping things on track when the property shifts again decades down the road.

The truly long tail

Morrison’s lawyer is only accountable for part of the problem here.

Back in 1971, nobody predicted that the copyrights on the Doors song catalog would even still be an issue 43 years after the rock star himself was dead.

Under then-extant intellectual property law, Morrison’s lyrics would have stopped accruing royalties in 1996 and the challenge of assigning that income stream beyond that point would be academic.

However, unexpected extensions of the copyright period now mean that his literary estate remains active until at least 2041, which means putting plans in place to cover almost 40 years of further contingencies.

The legal landscape keeps changing, so the best an executor can really do is remain engaged and flexible enough to roll with unexpected developments.

A similar case can be made for the dynastic family as a moving target, and this is where Morrison should have gotten better advice.

His will left everything to Coulson, who only survived him by three years before a fatal overdose.

When her name showed up in Morrison’s will, his lawyer should have asked the follow-up questions: what happens if she dies, and does she have a will as well?

Evidently the conversation only got far enough to establish that if Coulson failed to outlive Morrison by longer than a few months, the songs and royalties they represent would revert to his brother and sister.

She survived long enough, so she inherited. But if anyone ever asked her about her own plans, nobody seems to have acted on the answers – the chain of succession died with her.
In the absence of a will, her parents inherited. His parents sued and received an ongoing stake in his legacy to ensure “parity.”

It’s clear from Morrison’s conscious decision to bypass his parents that he he didn’t want them to oversee his artistic posterity, while the Coulsons were practically strangers.

But because nobody sat down with Pamela before she died, those people ended up in control of his posthumous rights all the same.

Poetic justice or just random drift?

Doors devotees characterize Pamela’s father, who originally became artistic executor of the estate after she died, as the most eager to develop the Morrison mystique.

The Morrisons themselves seem to have been content to take a back seat and let the checks come in.

Either way, the only one of the original four parents left alive at this point is Coulson’s mother, Pearl.

She turns 91 in September, so the time left for her to weigh in on the estate is getting short. What happens when she dies?

Jim’s mom and dad have been gone since 2005 and 2008, respectively. Odds are good they bequeathed their share in the Doors to their surviving kids, which would mean the brother and sister are finally back in the loop.

On Pamela’s side, sister Judith is still alive and is likely to inherit when her mother dies.

However the beneficiaries weigh out, they’ll collectively be entitled to a 25% split of the Doors’ residual income streams alongside Robby Krieger, John Densmore and the late Ray Manzarek’s wife.

Based on a reported $3 million in annual record and download sales plus incidental publicity and memorabilia licensing, each quarter of the band may be worth $1 million a year at this point.

That’s not a tragedy, but as the slices get thinner, it becomes harder to align all the interests.

Krieger and Manzarek already alienated Densmore and the Morrison heirs by trying to cash in with a touring reunion act without consent from the other partners.

They were also eager to break Morrison’s long-standing edict against licensing the catalog to advertisers, even though the right commercial could easily quadruple or quintuple reported record sales revenue.

Apple and Mercedes were both interested in paying seven to eight figures for an ad, but both times the other partners shot the deal down as contrary to the band’s principles.

Does Jim Morrison’s sweetheart’s sister take his bohemian credo more seriously than cold hard cash? What about her kids, or his own nephews or nieces?

Sooner or later, the artistic vision that creates the music gets so diluted that entertainment becomes a business. When that happens here, you’ll hear “Riders on the Storm” and other songs used to sell cars and iPods.

And eventually, one or more interests will want to cash out for a lump sum. The more pieces the pie gets cut into, the harder it will be to negotiate a group deal – but it will get easier for an outsider to accumulate the rights piece by piece.

Unless members of the Morrison and Courson families make an effort to teach the heirs what the Lizard King wanted, he’s not going to get what he wanted.

Beyond the grave

Needless to say, Morrison could have exercised much stronger “dead hand” powers by putting his intellectual property into a trust.

That vehicle could have paid Pamela all of its income for as long as she was alive, but she wouldn’t have been able to direct its long-term strategy one way or another.

If Jim said his trust would always veto the rest of the band on licensing the songs, that’s what the trust would do.

And upon Pamela’s death, successor beneficiaries would be determined according to Jim’s dictates. Although we can’t know for sure, this would probably leave the income with his siblings today, bypassing both sets of parents and ultimately all of the Coursons.

The beneficiaries would be free to do as much or as little estate planning as they like in order to assign their own assets. The Doors lyrics would enjoy the closest thing to immortality the law allows.

And as the law changes, a well-constructed trust would be able to change with it while leaving its core mandate untouched.

If intellectual property protection stretches out even further, a Morrison trust would have the power to plan to be around in 2050 and beyond.

With the right trustees, the vehicle could also adapt to shifts in the marketing environment, sidestepping the land grab over “peripheral” merchandising that has troubled the Jimi Hendrix estate, for example.

There will probably be scenarios we don’t even know how to forecast yet, let alone manage. Jim Morrison couldn’t even see his wife’s death coming. A trust can evolve with the times.

UPDATE..

 Pearl “Penny” Courson

Passed away peacefully Friday July 11, 2014 at her home in Santa Barbara, CA after a long battle with cancer at the age of 90.

Born September 14, 1923 in Chicago, IL, Penny was the daughter of the late Paul Schmidt of Vienna, Austria and the late Margaret Jarvis Schmidt of Illinois.

She is survived by her daughter Judith Courson Burton, granddaughter Emily Burton and husband Chris McGillin, grandson James Burton and wife Deja Rabb Burton, and her great grandchildren Everett, Simone, and Colette. She was preceded in death by her daughter Pamela Courson Morrison and husband Columbus “Corky” Courson.

A child of the depression Penny overcame tough circumstances. After she married Corky they traveled the world. She was a connoisseur of the arts and worked as an interior designer. She was a homemaker and great cook who loved to entertain for family and friends. Penny was a staunch liberal with a feisty personality.

She loved her Bichon Frisé Lola and her dearest friend Jaime Camargo, who cared for her and her husband when they took ill.

Penny’s ashes will be interred next to the love of her life, her husband of 64 years. Memorial services will take place at the Santa Barbara Cemetery chapel on August 16th at 1pm.

In lieu of flowers please consider donating to the Jim Morrison Film Award at UCLA or The Santa Barbara Hospice, which was very helpful in her last days.

– See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newspress/obituary.aspx?pid=171936358#sthash.kvfsPYv7.dpuf

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YOU KNOW YOU GREW UP IN CORONADO WHEN – REDUX

We ran this story back in 2010 and much to my delight. Coronado’s who have left here never to return still read about the way we lived. As you will read in the story and the post’s and comments section, friends are still trying to locate each other to renew old memories of precious times gone by.

A.R. Graham (Editor)

YKYGUICW

YOU KNOW YOU GREW UP IN CORONADO WHEN

Excerpts from the Facebook blog exclusively for those of us who grew up in Coronado:

YKYGUICWhen…

Does anybody remember the reverend (I think it was Reverend Brown) of the Episcopal Church, when he dyed his hair blonde and bought a corvette? This was probably back in the 50s? He was the talk of the town. That was my church growing up — still a beautiful church. – Maureen Rutherford Nieland

That’s a hoot! We could have used him over at Graham Memorial. Carson was like a raven.  – Suzi Lewis

Oh, I remember him driving that car around town, LOL! – Helen Nichols Murphy Battleson

 

 

John
N/Ax
jonnybvd@gmail.com
68.7.250.52
I’m looking to get a hold of Ken Brown, thanks!

 

Ken Brown
800ozbrown@gmail.com
75.16.34.40
Would you believe….for the 50th CHS reunion the ‘Centaurs’ put it together one more time. Drew Gallahar (Base & Vocals/Santee) coordinated a rehearsal studio in San Diego. Surprisingly to us, sound was good and we decided to show up for the reunion. Good thing since Cliff Lenz and myself were in the class of ’64.

We had Bill Lamden (Sax,Flute,Base & Vocals/San Diego), Danny Orlino (Lead Guitar, Base & Vocals/ Guam), Ken Brown (Drums & Weird Noises/ Westlake Village), Drew Gallahar (Base, Guitar & Vocals) and the glue that brought us together, Mr. Cliff Lenz (Piano, Organ, Guitar, Base & Vocals/Seattle). We were extremely excited when Mike Seavello (Tambourine/San Diego) agreed to coordinate Sound, Equipment and our sanity checks.

For 50+ years out…. we didn’t sound bad and we all had a great time. Just wanted to thank all that supported our musical efforts throughout the years. They were glorious times for each of us and hope we represented good times for you as well.

Original Members:   Cliff Lenz: keyboards, lead guitar
Rick Thomas: lead guitar 
  Doug Johnson: bass 
  Pat Coleman: drums

“The Centaurs” by Cliff Lenz: Funny how a love affair with rock and roll and a seven year odyssey of performing, recording, road trips, and opening for some of the biggest names in rock can begin with just a casual meeting between two high school kids. In the fall of 1962, a classmate and friend of mine at Coronado High, Doug Johnson, said there was a new student named Rick Thomas who played electric guitar and that we should meet. I had a Les Paul Jr. and a breadbox size amp and thought that two guys could sound a lot more like the Ventures than just one guy. So I called Rick and we got together at Doug’s house with our guitars for a jam session. Miracle of miracles, we could actually play something together that didn’t sound half bad, the Venture’s tune “The McCoy”,  E, A, and B7th and lots of open string melody notes, but what the hell it was a start and it was a thrill. I’m sure that it’s a thrill for all young musicians who, never having played with someone else, experience for the first time what collaborative music making can be.

We started practicing on a weekly basis putting a repertoire together. Pat Coleman became our first drummer and we enlisted Doug Johnson to play bass. Having no prior musical experience, it was a little too much for Doug and he politely resigned from the band after a few weeks. Not long thereafter the (now) trio was asked about playing for an after-football game dance. Assistant Principal, Mr. Oliver, wanted to make an announcement over the school PA that a band would be performing but we didn’t have a name. He actually suggested we call ourselves Rick and the Shaws or Cliff and the Dwellers!We had been thinking about possible names. At the time, the Air Force had rolled out its new ballistic missile, the Atlas Centaur – That’s It! Call ourselves the Centaurs and every time they fire one of those babies off, we get free publicity. It was decision time in the principal’s office, and so the group was officially launched with Mr. Oliver’s announcement that the “Centaurs” would be playing that night. I think we had maybe fifteen tunes and played everyone of them three times, but we made it through the gig without a single tomato flying toward the stage. Another thrill and we were hooked.

The new venture would include the frequent addition and deletion of personnel. (This is not necessarily in chronological order).We added a girl singer, Clair Carlson, and saxophonist, Randy Chilton. Kenny Brown became our new drummer with the prettiest pearl Ludwig drum set in San Diego. Drew Gallahar (a guitarist and trumpet player in the CHS stage band) joined us on bass. I got a Fender Strat and Bandmaster amp. Not to be outdone, Rick got a Fender Jaguar and Showman 15 amp and a Fender reverb unit! We got the gig as the house band at what would become the legendary Downwind Club – the Junior Officer’s Club on North Island where we played for six years barely keeping our heads above the oceans of beer served every Sunday. A wonderful saxophonist from La Jolla, Bill Lamden, replaced Chilton. For a time, Janie Seiner was our vocalist. There were dances, concerts, and car shows all over San Diego, and we even played for a change-of-command party at North Island with more captains and admirals than you could count. A major thrill was recording a couple of surf tunes in the United Artists Studio in Hollywood, a session that was produced by Joe Saracino, who had been the producer of the Ventures. We also played on the Sunset Strip in the summer of ’66 in the same club where the Doors became famous.

Rick left the group late in ’66 and was replaced by Danny Orlino. The rest of us were now at San Diego State and Danny was still at CHS. He was a truly gifted player. Bob Demmon, longtime CHS band director and rock guitarist with the famous surf group, the Astronauts, once told me that Danny was maybe the finest guitarist he had ever known personally. I now doubled on guitar and organ. I think we were the first rock group in San Diego to use a cut down Hammond. The keyboards were in one box and the guts in another for portability. I also invested in a Leslie speaker, which really enhanced our sound.

From ’62 to ’67, the music had morphed from Pop to Surf to R&B to Psychedelic. We now had a new chick singer, Linda Morrison (she lived in San Diego), a great talent who became a real driving force with her powerful vocals. Not bad to look at either. She later became Miss San Diego. Steve Kilajanski took over on sax for awhile. We also now had an agency booking engagements for us, Allied Artists of San Diego, and we joined the musicians’ union. Kenny Brown became our manager giving way to several new drummers, all excellent players – Kenny Pernicano, Rick Cutler, the late Paul Bleifuss (formerly with the great S.D. band, the Impalas), Carl Spiron (who played with one of San Diego’s all time great groups, Sandi and the Accents/Classics), and later Terry Thomas.

With great reluctance in 1969, I left my last band (Bright Morning) and my long-time guitar buddy Danny Orlino to head north to go to graduate school at the University of Washington. Danny left San Diego and has been a famous guitarist and singer in Guam for many years. Kenny Brown converted his band manager skills and keen business sense into a successful real estate and property management career in the Los Angeles area. Bill Lamden became a dentist. Drew Gallahar still has his hands all over guitars but now he makes them. He’s a guitar builder at the Blue Guitar in Mission Valley. I had a 20-year career as a television producer and the host of “Seattle Today” on the NBC affiliate in Seattle, but I was also composing and performing music at the same time. Along the way I received an Emmy for composing the theme music for the Phil Donahue Show. I have returned to music as a guitar and piano teacher in the Seattle area. Sadly, Rick Thomas died of cancer in 2004 after a career as an electrical systems maintenance engineer. I visited him in Chico, CA a few months before he passed away. We got out the guitars and played and reminisced. A few months after he died, his parents sent me his guitar, which I will always treasure. It’s an uncommon Fender model called the Coronado.

Thanks to all those of you who listened and danced to our music over the years. It was a great party! (Cliff Lenz, co-founder/leader- the Centaurs)


“The Centaurs” by Ken Brown: The Centaurs rock ‘n’ roll band from Coronado during the 60s meant something special because “The Centaurs” were part of the 60s Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution. I can remember an article in the Coronado Islander, our high school paper, which pictured the Centaurs success on par with the Beatles. They were riding high and so were we. When you are young, talented, and restless, the imagination becomes your reality. We were on top of the world, our world, and it was great fun for all who participated. We went from playing at Sea World to the Downwind Club to All Night High School Parties to our own Dance concerts. A highlight was the Centaurs opening for ‘The Doors’ at Balboa Stadium. The participants had their own special role for they too were part of the 60s Rock ‘n’ Roll Revolution.

I can safely say that I would not trade a moment of this musical bonanza for any other. We were living life at a fast pace with all the trimmings. Local people knew we were the Centaurs. We carried it wherever we went. We were young talented musicians (all in the local musicians’ union) who had set a new stage and pace for rock and roll. We had the 62 + 64 Chevy 327 Impalas, the Delorean, the Lotus ,and Hemi engines, and a bunch of other hot cars of the time. The Centaurs were sexy with strapping lads and foxy singers. If you were not in the ‘mood’ before our event inevitably you left in the ‘mood’. And that’s my point.

During our 25th Centaur Reunion at the Coronado Women’s Club, we had an array of people, some family, others were supporters with their special memories of what “The Centaurs” did for them. We brought the new 60s sound to Coronado and all its surroundings. We opened the musical doors for our generation. We may have never competed with the Beatles, but we sure promoted their music, along with the Rolling Stones, and a whole lot more Legendary Rock Bands of our time. Can’t have much more fun than that because “We lived the Dream”. (Ken Brown, Drummer and Business Manager of “The Centaurs” and “Framework” from Coronado)

After publishing we received this great comment from Cliff Lenz, original member of The Centaurs:

Thanks for putting the Centaurs in the Rock ‘n’ Roll issue of the Coronado Clarion. (And first up no less!) A side note to the article I thought you’d be interested in- my father was a navy officer- graduated in the same class as Admiral Stephen Morrison from the Naval Academy (class of ’41). They were life long friends and ended up retiring together in Coronado. When I found out that he was the father of Jim….I was excited about the opportunity to ask him about his superstar son. However, my mother warned me to never bring the subject up with his parents as he was persona non grata within the family. The picture of the Admiral in the Academy ’41 Yearbook looks like Jim with a flat-top!

Another sidebar- We opened for the Doors in the old Balboa Stadium in July ’68. Amazing concert- 25,000 stoned/screaming fans. Years later Oliver Stone comes out with “The Doors” with Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison. My stock went up with my two sons when I told them that their dad’s band opened for a Doors concert in San Diego. A few years later my son, at the University of Oregon, told me that he was walking to class with a girl friend and the movie came up in the conversation.
Trying to impress her he reported that his dad had a band that opened for the Doors at a big stadium concert. She said: “Cool, My dad was actually in the Doors!” Turns out she (believe her first name was Kelly) was the daughter of drummer John Densmore!
As they say- small world.
Thanks again for the inclusion of my old band in your magazine- I dearly miss those days……… Coronado and the music of the ’60’s.

Regards,
Cliff Lenz

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The Night of the Lizard King

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The Night Of The Lizard King

A Ghost Rock Opera in three acts

Written By: Alan Graham

 

ACT I

SCENE I. Pacific ocean

Dec 7th 1941

Enter Admiral Morrison singing.

 

ADMIRAL

Grandma love a sailor
who sailed the frozen sea.
Grandpa was a whaler
And he took me on his knee.

He said, “Son, I’m going crazy
From livin’ on the land.
Got to find my shipmates
And walk on foreign sands.”

This old man was graceful
With silver in his smile.
He smoked a briar pipe and
He walked four country miles.

Singing songs of shady sisters
And old time liberty.
Songs of love and songs of death
And songs to set men free.

Yea!

I’ve got three ships and sixteen men,
A course for ports unread.
I’ll stand at mast, let north winds blow
Till half of us are dead.

Land ho!

Well, if I get my hands on a dollar bill,
Gonna buy a bottle and drink my fill.
If I get my hands on a number five,
Gonna skin that little girl alive.

If I get my hand on a number two,
Come back home and marry you, marry you, marry you.
Alright!

Land ho!

 

Work In Progress

 

 

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Florence Jenkins

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Florence Foster Jenkins, born Nascina Florence Foster (July 19, 1868 – November 26, 1944), was an American socialite and amateur soprano who was known and mocked for her flamboyant performance costumes and notably poor singing ability.

Despite (or perhaps due to) her technical incompetence, she became a prominent musical cult figure in New York City during the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s. Cole PorterEnrico Caruso, and other celebrities were loyal fans. The poet William Meredith wrote that what Jenkins provided ” … was never exactly an aesthetic experience, or only to the degree that an early Christian among the lions provided aesthetic experience; it was chiefly immolatory, and Madame Jenkins was always eaten, in the end.”

Nascina Florence Foster was born July 19, 1868, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Charles Dorrance Foster (1836–1909), an attorney and scion of a wealthy land-owning Pennsylvania family. Her mother was Mary Jane Hoagland (1851–1930).[2][3][4][5][6] Her one sibling, a younger sister named Lillian, died at the age of 8 in 1883.[7][8]

Foster said she first became aware of her lifelong passion for public performance when she was seven years old.[6] A talented pianist, she performed in her youth at society functions as “Little Miss Foster”,[1] and gave a recital at the White House during the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes.[6] After graduating from high school, she expressed a desire to study music in Europe. When her father refused to grant his permission—or the necessary funds—she eloped with Dr. Frank Thornton Jenkins (1852–1917) to Philadelphia, where they married in 1885.[8] The following year, after learning that she had contracted syphilis from her husband, she terminated their relationship and reportedly never spoke of him again. Years later, Florence asserted that a divorce decree had been granted on March 24, 1902, although no documentation of that proceeding has ever surfaced.[9] She retained the Jenkins surname for the remainder of her life.

After an arm injury ended her career aspirations as a pianist, Jenkins gave piano lessons in Philadelphia to support herself; but around 1900, she moved with her mother to New York City.[6] In 1909, Jenkins met a British Shakespearean actor named St. Clair Bayfield, and they began a vaguely-defined cohabitation relationship that continued the rest of her life.[10] Upon her father’s death later that year,[8] Jenkins became the beneficiary of a sizable trust, and resolved to resume her musical career as a singer, with Bayfield as her manager.[11] She began taking voice lessons and immersed herself in wealthy New York City society, joining dozens of social clubs. As the “chairman of music” for many of these organizations, she began producing lavish tableaux vivants—popular diversions in social circles of that era.[1] It was said that in each of these productions, Jenkins would invariably cast herself as the main character in the final tableau, wearing an elaborate costume of her own design.[6] In a widely republished photograph, Jenkins poses in a costume, complete with angelic wings, from her tableau inspired by Howard Chandler Christy‘s painting Stephen Foster and the Angel of Inspiration.[12]

Jenkins began giving private vocal recitals in 1912, when she was in her early forties.[11] In 1917, she became founder and “President Soprano Hostess” of her own social organization, the Verdi Club,[2][13] dedicated to “fostering a love and patronage of Grand Opera in English”. Its membership quickly swelled to over 400; honorary members included Enrico Caruso.[1] When Jenkins’ mother died in 1930, additional financial resources became available for the expansion and promotion of her singing career.

According to published reviews and other contemporary accounts, Jenkins’ talent at the piano did not translate well to her singing. She is described as having great difficulty with such basic vocal skills as pitchrhythm, and sustaining notes and phrases.[15] In recordings, her accompanist Cosmé McMoon can be heard making adjustments to compensate for her constant tempo variations and rhythmic mistakes,[16] but there was little he could do to conceal her inaccurate intonation. She was consistently flat, and sometimes deviated from the proper pitch by as much as a semitone. Her diction was similarly substandard, particularly with foreign-language lyrics. The technically challenging songs she selected, well beyond her ability and vocal range, emphasized these deficiencies.[15] The opera impresario Ira Siff dubbed her “the anti-Callas.” “Jenkins was exquisitely bad”, he said, “so bad that it added up to quite a good evening of theater … She would stray from the original music, and do insightful and instinctual things with her voice, but in a terribly distorted way. There was no end to the horribleness … They say Cole Porter had to bang his cane into his foot in order not to laugh out loud when she sang. She was that bad.”[10] Nevertheless, Porter rarely missed a recital.[17]

The question of whether “Lady Florence”—as she liked to be called, and often signed her autographs[10]—was in on the joke, or honestly believed she had vocal talent, remains a matter of debate. On the one hand, she compared herself favorably to the renowned sopranos Frieda Hempel and Luisa Tetrazzini, and seemed oblivious to the abundant audience laughter during her performances.[18] Her loyal friends endeavored to disguise the laughter with cheers and applause; and they often described her technique to curious inquirers in “intentionally ambiguous” terms—for example, “her singing at its finest suggests the untrammeled swoop of some great bird”—which served only to intensify public curiosity.[19] On the other, Jenkins refused to share her talents with the general public, and was clearly aware of her detractors. “People may say I can’t sing,” she once remarked to a friend, “but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.”[1] She went to great lengths to control access to her rare recitals, which took place at her apartment, in small clubs, and once each October in the Grand Ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Attendance, by personal invitation only, was restricted to her loyal clubwomen and a select few others. Jenkins handled distribution of the coveted tickets herself, carefully excluding strangers, particularly music critics. Favorable articles and bland reviews, published in specialty music publications such as The Musical Courier, were most likely written by her friends, or herself.[6] Despite her careful efforts to insulate her singing from public exposure, a preponderance of contemporary opinion favored the view that Jenkins’ self-delusion was genuine. “Florence didn’t think she was pulling anyone’s leg,” said opera historian Albert Innaurato. “She was compos mentis, not a lunatic. She was a very proper, complex individual.”[10]

Her recitals featured arias from the standard operatic repertoire by MozartVerdi, and Johann Strauss (all well beyond her technical ability); lieder by BrahmsValverde‘s “Clavelitos” (“Little Carnations”, a favorite encore); and songs composed by herself and McMoon.[1] As in her tableaux, she designed her own elaborate costumes, often involving wings, tinsel, and flowers, to complement her performances. During “Clavelitos”, she would throw flowers into the audience from a basket (on one occasion, she hurled the basket as well) while fluttering a fan.[20] After one “Clavelitos” performance, the audience cheered so loudly that Jenkins asked the audience to return the flowers; she replaced them in her basket and performed the song again.

Once, when a taxi in which she was riding collided with another car, Jenkins let out a high-pitched scream. Upon arriving home, she went immediately to her piano and confirmed (at least to herself) that the note she had screamed was the fabled “F above high C”—a pitch she had never before been able to reach. Overjoyed, she refused to press charges against either involved party, and even sent the taxi driver a box of expensive cigars.[21][10] McMoon said neither he “nor anyone else” ever heard her actually sing a high F, however.[17]

At the age of 76, Jenkins finally yielded to public demand and booked Carnegie Hall for a general-admission performance on October 25, 1944.[15] Tickets for the event sold out weeks in advance; the demand was such that an estimated 2,000 people were turned away at the door.[17] Numerous celebrities attended, including Porter, Marge ChampionGian Carlo MenottiKitty Carlisle and Lily Pons with her husband, Andre Kostelanetz, who composed a song for the recital. McMoon later recalled an “especially noteworthy” moment: “[When she sang] ‘If my silhouette does not convince you yet/My figure surely will’ [from Adele’s aria in Die Fledermaus], she put her hands righteously to her hips and went into a circular dance that was the most ludicrous thing I have ever seen. And created a pandemonium in the place. One famous actress had to be carried out of her box because she became so hysterical.”[18]

Since ticket distribution was out of Jenkins’ control for the first time, mockers, scoffers, and critics could no longer be kept at bay. The following morning’s newspapers were filled with scathing, sarcastic reviews that devastated Jenkins, according to Bayfield.[6] “[Mrs. Jenkins] has a great voice,” wrote the New York Sun critic. “In fact, she can sing everything except notes … Much of her singing was hopelessly lacking in a semblance of pitch, but the further a note was from its proper elevation the more the audience laughed and applauded.” The New York Post was even less charitable: “Lady Florence … indulged last night in one of the weirdest mass jokes New York has ever seen.”

Five days after the concert, Jenkins suffered a heart attack while shopping at G. Schirmer‘s music store, and died a month later on November 26, 1944, at her Manhattan residence, the Hotel Seymour. She was buried next to her father in the family crypt in Pennsylvania.  

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A Man/Woman To Go To The Well With By: Alan Graham

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One of the most poignant lines from the old country song “Old dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine” by Tom T. Hall song “Friends are hard to find, when they discover that your down”, is quite often so, especially in times of crisis.  It is only the fully faithful who can, and do, hang in there with you in your time of need. Others have their own problems and certainly do not want to take on another burden, so, they move away or ignore it so it will go away on it’s own.

The old saying “He is a man to go to the well with” is someone originally meant to literally accompany someone outside the safety of a stockade or safe perimeter in a time of siege during the days of Indian warfare. So a man you could or would GO TO THE WELL WITH was someone you had the utmost confidence in, admiration and highest regard for – often a highly trusted longtime friend.

I am blessed to have several  friends of such noble pedigree, and one in particular is actually “A Woman To Go To The Well With”.

Three times she has saved my life, literally, and continues to watch over me often preventing me from going in the wrong direction and steering me away from potential missteps.

If you are lucky enough to have even one such loving loyal friend, treasure them and always remember, that this precious soul is “true like ice, like fire” as solid as ice and  like an eternal flame that can never be extinguished. 

Old Dogs And Children And Watermelon Wine Written By: Tom T. Hall

How old do you think I am he said I said well I didn’t know
He said I turned sixty five about eleven months ago
I was sittin’ in Miami pourin’ blended whiskey down
When this old gray black gentleman was cleanin’ up the lounge
There wasn’t anyone around ‘cept this old man and me
The guy who ran the bar was watching Iron sides on TV
Uninvited he sat down and opened up his mind
On old dogs and children and watermelon wine
Ever had a drink of watermelon wine he asked
He told me all about it though I didn’t answer back
Ain’t but three things in this world that’s worth a solitary dime
But old dogs and children and watermelon wineHe said women think about they selves when menfolk ain’t around
And friends are hard to find when they discover that you’re down
He said I tried it all when I was young and in my natural prime
Now it’s old dogs and children and watermelon wine
Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes
God bless little children while they’re still too young to hate
When he moved away I found my pen and copied down that line
Bout old dogs and children and watermelon wineI had to catch a plane up to Atlanta that next day As I left for my room I saw him pickin’ up my change
That night I dreamed in peaceful sleep of shady summertime
Of old dogs and children and watermelon wine
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Restaurant Row

Showing regret for making the wrong decision is no longer a behavioral trait exclusive to humans, as rats too feel sorry for not making the right choice, a new study suggests.

As part of the study, researchers conducted a task named “Restaurant Row,” in which they allowed rats to enter chambers containing different food options. And, as the rats were given only a limited amount of time to make a choice, they would sometimes pick a bad meal over a good one, and then look back at the chamber with the food they liked and be prepared to wait longer for another chance to sample their desired food.

 “It’s like waiting in line at a restaurant,” David Redish, a neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and the study’s senior author, said in a statement.”If the line is too long at the Chinese food restaurant, then you give up and go to the Indian food restaurant across the street.”
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Other mammals could also have the ability to regret, because they have similar brain structures as rats and humans, the study finds. Photo: Reuters 

According to the study, published in Nature Neuroscience on Sunday, the rats’ willingness to wait for their ideal choice implied that they had individual preferences. In addition, the researchers also examined the rats’ brain activity, which helped them conclude that the animals indeed experienced regret over the decisions they made while choosing their food.

“In humans, a part of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex is active during regret. We found in rats that recognized they had made a mistake, indicators in the orbitofrontal cortex represented the missed opportunity,” Redish said. “Interestingly, the rat’s orbitofrontal cortex represented what the rat should have done, not the missed reward. This makes sense because you don’t regret the thing you didn’t get, you regret the thing you didn’t do.”

The researchers believe that the study’s findings will help them better understand why humans act a certain way and how the feeling of regret affects their decision making. The researchers also said that other mammals may also have the ability to feel regret because they have brain structures similar to those of rats and humans, LiveScience reported.

“Regret is the recognition that you made a mistake, that if you had done something else, you would have been better off,” Redish said. “The difficult part of this study was separating regret from disappointment, which is when things aren’t as good as you would have hoped. The key to distinguishing between the two was letting the rats choose what to do.”

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NAUGHTY! NASTY! NIKE & MIKEY

 An Editorial By: Alan Graham

Recently I bought some sweat pants and I chose NIKE only because they were on sale, a great deal I thought until that is, a friend said “You bought NIKE ?”.

And why not? said I.

My friend looked at me quizzically, haven’t you heard, anyone who loves dogs will never by NIKE ever again because of Michael Vic?. 

I had forgotten that in one of the most craven maneuvers in modern times NIKE had made a deal with the DEVIL, namely one Michael Vic. Nike re-signed Philadelphia Eagles quarterback  to an endorsement deal, nearly four years after dropping him amid his legal troubles.

Being a dog lover I was deeply angered to see such a low life being rewarded after a slap on the wrist.

I have vowed never to by NIKE products, and urge all those who love animals to BOYCOT and to spread the word, and even though it has been forgotten by many, these monstrous acts are still being perpetrated.

I will never forgive Vick for his callous treatment of defenseless animals and I urge everyone to do the same.

Boycott Nike. Just do it. Here are some ways to take action:

1. Let Nike know you disapprove of their decision to endorse Michael Vick. There is a Facebook page dedicated to the cause with over 14,000 supporters.

Call Nike: 800-344-6453. Choose option 5, then option 9. 

2. Let the New York Jets hear your voice. Make your opinion matter. Contact a NY Jets representative at 800-469-5387 or at their Florham Park training facility at 973-549-4800. 

3. Buy elsewhere. The sportswear, sportsgear, and athletic shoe trade is a billion dollar industry with stiff competitors. There is a plethora of impressive, quality gear that can be purchased without the weight of ethical guilt. There are many deserving companies engaging in hard work that deserve our support. Support companies that endorse fair market practices and decent role models. Do your research. Stand behind positive energy and good vibes. 

4. Explain your consumer choices to your children. Teach them consumer power young. Arm them with the information to understand the dangers in putting your money behind poor leadership. Be your child’s own role model of leadership and intelligence. 

5. End animal abuse. Donate your time or money to your local animal shelter. Eleventh Hour Rescue is an admirable local organization. Buy the organization’s shirts that benefit charity rather than Nike shirts. Consider fostering a pet, donating pet food, or rescuing an abused animal.

 

 

 

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A Diamond In The Heart

My own medical report  By. Alan Graham.

 

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If you had a heart attack in the 1950s, the average doctor was ill equipped treat it. Back then, doctors knew very little about how to treat heart attacks and as a consequence, could do very little to save patients lives.
My Coronado practitioner Dr. James Mushovic, (Merlin) once told me ” All we did back then was make them as comfortable as possible by leaving them in a darkened room surrounded by ice packs, short of that, it was pretty much wait and see if they recovered, or not
Today we are lucky to live in a time where futuristic advances in heart surgery and treatment are beyond amazing.

It is 10 am on Saturday morning and a group of San Diego’s finest heart specialist are in video conference. What follows is a discussion/lecture concerning the newest advances in surgery such as atrial fibrillation (AFib) from cardiovascular surgeons and other heart specialists. AFib symptoms, diagnosis and advanced treatment options, including minimally invasive procedures designed to reduce the high risk of stroke associated with the condition. The old school heart surgeons are now a thing of the past, light years away in fact.


I had a heart attack in 2006 and was lucky enough to be in the care of Dr. Bruce Kimura  a Coronado heart specialist. At that time my old country doctor, James Mushovic, told me that Dr. Kimura was the best he had ever seen and that I could not be in better hands. He was part of the respected Dr. Paul Phillips’ team, and as Dr. Mushovic had predicted, he would become on of the top heart specialists in the country.

Fast forward to today, and I find myself in need of a serious tune up to my 1944 model ailing heart.  When I told Dr William B. Davis my country doctor  for seen years, without a word he wrote a referral for Dr Ali Salmi, and the San diego Heart and Vascular Associates saying  “This team is Nuli Secondi” (second to none.)

Enter Dr. Ali Salami, another brilliant heart surgeon, who is now part of the same team. The procedure was flawless, with a top team of professionals  preparing me, I felt like a VIP.  

After my having an angiogram, Dr Salami found that the main artery had a 90% blockage; and when he tried to implant a stent, the blockage was impossible to penerate without “heavy equipment”.  (I had awful visions of being assaulted by a forty-foot drill operated by the angry visage of my dead mother-in-law.)

 Dr. (Mr. Cool) Salami assured me matter of factly that it would be “a piece of cake.” He has cause to be so confident because of a sterling track record of successful procedures with advanced breakthrough technologies. 

With my fears now assuaged, I am comfortable knowing I am in the hands of the very best healthcare team anywhere in the world.

The reality is, however, potentially rather grim especially at my age, 72 years old. The chances of cardiac arrest under anesthetic is very possible. In the face of this, I have requested that a DNR  (do not resuscitate) be in place before surgery. I jokingly say “I do not want to come out of surgery talking like Rain Man”

I have visited with my priest and  received three oils: the Oil of Catechumens (“Oleum Catechumenorum” or “Oleum Sanctorum“), the Oil of the Infirm (“Oleum Infirmorum“), and Holy Chrism (“Sacrum Chrisma“). So I am now in  state of peaceful bliss and have made peace within myself through my faith in God and the support of some very special people who love me as much as I do them. May God bless us all.

Today I received a phone call from a dear sweet friend Alvaro. He had called to tell me he was praying for me and wished me “God speed.” After whining on in the most fatalistic tone about not wanting to be resuscitated should things go wrong during surgery, Alvaro simply said, ” Well, you should think about living until you are 90 or 100 years old.”

His tone was matter of fact. No nonsense, good, old-fashioned FAITH was his message, and it hit me like a ton of bricks how I was rather pessimistic about life when I should be celebrating every waking hour.

When I hung up, I felt  wonderfully happy and absolutely renewed, and now I see things in a very different way thanks to some wise words from a very wise young man.  Thank you, Alvaro.

The main right ventricle to my heart is so calcified that it cannot be penetrated by the normal use of a wire, so you all know the drill (another silly joke). Sometime in the next week or so, I will undergo a complex procedure with a special device for drilling at at angle using a razorback diamond drill hence, A Diamond In The Heart. and to make it even more interesting the operation will be done at a brand new facility UCSD Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center in La Jolla, CA.

When things could not look more rosy, enter Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud, an Irishman (obvious Irish joke) who is Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine, Director of Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center-Medicine, and Director of Interventional Cardiology. He is board-certified in cardiovascular medicine and interventional cardiology, and has extensive experience in complex coronary, renal, lower extremity and carotid interventions.

Under Dr. Mahmud’s leadership, the Interventional Cardiology program is among the largest academic interventional programs in the western United States. Dr. Mahmud directs the interventional clinical trials center; his research interests include investigational pharmacotherapies and devices used in cardiovascular interventions.

Dr. Mahmud completed fellowships in coronary and peripheral vascular interventions at Emory University in Atlanta and cardiovascular medicine at UC San Diego. He completed his internal medicine residency at UC San Diego and earned his medical degree at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

Dr. Mahmud is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Society of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions. He has been voted one of the top physicians in San Diego by the San Diego county medical society and among the top 1 percent of interventional cardiologists in the nation by US News and World Report.

Dr. Mahmud is a Professor of Medicine at UCSD and Director, Cardiovascular Catheterization Laboratory and Interventional Cardiology at UCSD Medical Center. He has been honored with the Laennec Society Young Clinician Award from the American Heart Association and chosen as one of America’s Top Physicians each year from 2003 through 2009 by the Consumer Research Council. He is a Fellow of the Society of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, a Fellow of the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions, and a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

UPDATE:

The Dynamic Dou Dr Sharmi Mahmud and Dr Ali Salami, have just charted a new map of every single river and stream in the entire Amazon, and at the very same moment drilled out every single one of my calcified arteries and I feel like a new man. 

After the procedure, Dr. Mahmud came to visit me, and as we chatted, it occurred to me that because the operation was so successful I felt compelled to tell him that he and Dr. Salami were so very good at this that they more than likely could get a job at any hospital. Dr Mahmud stared at me for a minute, then he said he would talk to Dr Salami, and perhaps they should both go for an interview together. I do hope they follow up because we need all the heart surgeons we can get.

Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud 

Dr. William B. Davis

Dr. Paul Philips

Dr Ali Salami

Dr Bruce Kimura

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As the arteries grow hard, the heart grows soft. – H.L. Mencken
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Posted in Clarion Autumn 2016, Clarion Causes | 1 Comment

John Marston 1576 – 1634 William Shakespeare 1564 – 1616

Woodcut
The Life of John Marston (1576-1634)

 

Freevill (to Franceschina): Go; y’are grown a punk rampant.

If your only exposure to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli film version, then you have been deceived! The language in the film is not 100% Shakespearean. In the case of the “punk rampant.” The phrase is actually from The Dutch Courtesan by John Marston, 1605: So it is authentically of Shakespeare’s era (or a tad later) and not Zeffirelli’s. But how modern is it! “Punk Rampant!” could describe any number of contemporary scurvy knaves.

John Marston married Mary Wilkes, daughter of one of the royal chaplains, and Ben Jonson said that ” Marston wrote his father-in-law’s preachings, and his father-in-law his sermons.” His first work was The Metamorphosis of Pigmalions Image, and certaine Satyres (1598). “Pigmalion” is an erotic poem in the metre of Venus and Adonis, and Joseph Hall attached a rather clumsy epigram to every copy that was exposed for sale in Cambridge. In the same year Marston published, under the pseudonym of W. Kinsayder, already employed in the earlier volume, his Scourge of Villanie, eleven satires, in the sixth of which he asserted that Pigmalion was intended to parody the amorous poetry of the time. Both this volume and its predecessor were burnt by order of the archbishop of Canterbury. The satires, in which Marston avowedly took Persius as his model, are coarse and vigorous. In addition to a general attack on the vices of his age he avenges himself on Joseph Hall who had assailed him in Virgidemiae.

He had a great reputation among his contemporaries. John Weever couples his name with Ben Jonson’s in an epigram; Francis Meres in Palladis tamia (1598) mentions him among the satirists; a long passage is devoted to “Monsieur Kinsayder” in the Return from Parnassus (1606), and Dr Brinsley Nicholson has suggested that Furor poeticus in that piece may be a satirical portrait of him. But his invective by its general tone, goes far to justify Mr W. J. Courthope’s1 judgment that “it is likely enough that in seeming to satirize the world without him, he is usually holding up the mirror to his own prurient mind.”

On the 28th of September 1599 Henslowe notices in his diary that he lent “unto Mr Maxton, the new poete, the sum of forty shillings,” as an advance on a play which is not named. Another hand has amended “Maxton” to” Mastone.” The earliest plays to which Marston’s name is attached are The History of Antonio and Mellida. The First Part; and Antonio’s Revenge. The Second Part (both entered at Stationers’ Hall in 1601 and printed 1602). The second part is preceded by a prologue which, in its gloomy forecast of the play, moved the admiration of Charles Lamb, who also compares the situation of Andrugio and Lucia to Lear and Kent, but the scene which he quotes gives a misleading idea of the play and of the general tenor of Marston’s work.

The melodrama and the exaggerated expression of these two plays offered an opportunity to Ben Jonson, who had already twice ridiculed Marston, and now pilloried him as Crispinus in The Poetaster (1600). The quarrel was patched up, for Marston dedicated his Malcontent (1604) to Jonson, and in the next year he prefixed commendatory verses to Sejanus. Far greater restraint is shown in The Malcontent than in the earlier plays. It was printed twice in 1604, the second time with additions by John Webster. The Dutch Courtezan (1605) and Parasitaster, or the Fawne (1606) followed. In 1605 Eastward Hoe, a gay comedy of London life, which gave offence to the king’s Scottish friends, caused the playwrights concerned in its production — Marston, Chapman and Jonson — to be imprisoned at the instance of Sir James Murray.

The Wonder of Women, or the Tragedie of Sophonisba (1606), seems to have been put forward by Marston as a model of what could be accomplished in tragedy. In the preface he mocks at those authors who make a parade of their authorities and their learning, and the next play, What you Will(printed 1607; but probably written much earlier), contains a further attack on Jonson. The tragedy of The Insatiate Countesse was printed in 1613, and again, this time anonymously, in 1616. It was not included in the collected edition of Marston’s plays in 1633, and in the Duke of Devonshire’s library there is a copy bearing the name of William Barksteed, the author of the poems, Myrrha, the Mother of Adonis (1607), and Hiren and the Fair Greek (1611). The piece contains many passages superior to anything to be found in Marston’s well-authenticated plays, and Mr A. H. Bullen suggests that it may be Barksteed’s version of an earlier one drafted by Marston.

The character and history of Isabella are taken chiefly from “The Disordered Lyfe of the Countess of Celant” in William Paynter’s Palace of Pleasure, derived eventually from Bandello. There is no certain evidence of Marston’s authorship in Histriomastix (printed 1610, but probably produced before 1599), or in Jacke Drums Entertainement, or the Comedie of Pasquil and Katherine (1616), though he probably had a hand in both. Mr R. Boyle (Englische Studien, vol. xxx., 1901), in a critical study of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, assigns to Marston’s hand the whole of the action dealing with Hector, with the prologue and epilogue, and attributes to him the bombast and coarseness in the last scenes of the play.

It will be seen that his undoubted dramatic work was completed in 1607. It is uncertain at what time he exchanged professions, but in 1616 he was presented to the living of Christchurch, Hampshire. He formally resigned his charge in 1631, and when his works were collected in 1633 the publisher, William Sheares, stated that the author “in his autumn and declining age” was living “far distant from this place.” Nevertheless he died in London, in the parish of Aldermanbury, on the 25th of June 1634. He was buried in the Temple Church.

Marston’s works were first published in 1633, once anonymously as Tragedies and Comedies, and then in the same year as Workes of Mr John Marston. The Works of John Marston (3 vols.) were reprinted by Mr J. O. Halliwell (Phillipps) in 1856, and again by Mr. A. H. Bullen (3 vols.) in 1887. His Poems (2 vols.) were edited by Dr A. B. Grosart in 1879. 

JOHN MARSTON, English dramatist and satirist, eldest son of John Marston of Coventry, at one time lecturer of the Middle Temple, was born in 1575, or early in 1576. Swinburne notes his affinities with Italian literature, which may be partially explained by his parentage, for his mother was the daughter of an Italian physician, Andrew Guarsi. He entered Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1592, taking his B.A. degree in 1594. The elder Marston in his will expresses regret that his son, to whom he left his law-books and the furniture of his rooms in the Temple, had not been willing to follow his profession..

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John Clare Poet 1793–1864

John Clare was born into a peasant family in Helpston, England. Although he was the son of illiterate parents, Clare received some formal schooling. While earning money through such manual labor as ploughing and threshing, he published several volumes of poetry, including Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery. After suffering from delusions, Clare was admitted to an insane asylum where he spent the final 20 years of his life.
 I AM
 I am—yet what I am none cares or knows; 
My friends forsake me like a memory lost: 
I am the self-consumer of my woes— 
They rise and vanish in oblivious host, 
Like shadows in love’s frenzied stifled throes 
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed 
Into the nothingness of scorn and noise, 
Into the living sea of waking dreams, 
Where there is neither sense of life or joys, 
But the vast shipwreck of my life’s esteems; 
Even the dearest that I loved the best 
Are strange—nay, rather, stranger than the rest. 
I long for scenes where man hath never trod 
A place where woman never smiled or wept 
There to abide with my Creator, God, 
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept, 
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie 
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.
First Love

I ne’er was struck before that hour 

   With love so sudden and so sweet, 
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower 
   And stole my heart away complete. 
My face turned pale as deadly pale, 
   My legs refused to walk away, 
And when she looked, what could I ail? 
   My life and all seemed turned to clay. 
And then my blood rushed to my face 
   And took my eyesight quite away, 
The trees and bushes round the place 
   Seemed midnight at noonday. 
I could not see a single thing, 
   Words from my eyes did start— 
They spoke as chords do from the string, 
   And blood burnt round my heart. 
Are flowers the winter’s choice? 
   Is love’s bed always snow? 
She seemed to hear my silent voice, 
   Not love’s appeals to know.
I never saw so sweet a face 
   As that I stood before. 
My heart has left its dwelling-place 
   And can return no more. 
THE DYING CHILD
He could not die when trees were green, 
         For he loved the time too well. 
His little hands, when flowers were seen, 
         Were held for the bluebell, 
         As he was carried o’er the green. 
His eye glanced at the white-nosed bee; 
         He knew those children of the spring: 
When he was well and on the lea 
         He held one in his hands to sing, 
         Which filled his heart with glee. 
Infants, the children of the spring! 
         How can an infant die 
When butterflies are on the wing, 
         Green grass, and such a sky? 
         How can they die at spring? 
He held his hands for daisies white, 
         And then for violets blue, 
And took them all to bed at night 
         That in the green fields grew, 
         As childhood’s sweet delight. 
And then he shut his little eyes, 
         And flowers would notice not; 
Birds’ nests and eggs caused no surprise, 
         He now no blossoms got; 
         They met with plaintive sighs. 
When winter came and blasts did sigh, 
         And bare were plain and tree, 
As he for ease in bed did lie 
         His soul seemed with the free, 
         He died so quietly.
I HID MY LOVE
I hid my love when young till I 
Couldn’t bear the buzzing of a fly; 
I hid my love to my despite 
Till I could not bear to look at light: 
I dare not gaze upon her face 
But left her memory in each place; 
Where’er I saw a wild flower lie 
I kissed and bade my love good-bye. 
I met her in the greenest dells, 
Where dewdrops pearl the wood bluebells; 
The lost breeze kissed her bright blue eye, 
The bee kissed and went singing by, 
A sunbeam found a passage there, 
A gold chain round her neck so fair; 
As secret as the wild bee’s song 
She lay there all the summer long. 
I hid my love in field and town 
Till e’en the breeze would knock me down; 
The bees seemed singing ballads o’er, 
The fly’s bass turned a lion’s roar; 
And even silence found a tongue, 
To haunt me all the summer long; 
The riddle nature could not prove 
Was nothing else but secret love. 
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John Donne Poet 1572–1631

John Donne’s standing as a great English poet, and one of the greatest writers of English prose, is now assured. However, it has been confirmed only in the early 20th century. The history of Donne’s reputation is the most remarkable of any major writer in English; no other body of great poetry has fallen so far from favor for so long and been generally condemned as inept and crude. In Donne’s own day his poetry was highly prized among the small circle of his admirers, who read it as it was circulated in manuscript, and in his later years he gained wide fame as a preacher. For some 30 years after his death successive editions of his verse stamped his powerful influence upon English poets. During the Restoration his writing went out of fashion and remained so for several centuries. Throughout the 18th century, and for much of the 19th century, he was little read and scarcely appreciated. Commentators followed Samuel Johnson in dismissing his work as no more than frigidly ingenious and metrically uncouth. Some scribbled notes by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Charles Lamb‘s copy of Donne’s poems make a testimony of admiration rare in the early 19th century. Robert Browning became a known (and wondered-at) enthusiast of Donne, but it was not until the end of the 1800s that Donne’s poetry was eagerly taken up by a growing band of avant-garde readers and writers. His prose remained largely unnoticed until 1919.

In the first two decades of the 20th century Donne’s poetry was decisively rehabilitated. Its extraordinary appeal to modern readers throws light on the Modernist movement, as well as on our intuitive response to our own times. Donne may no longer be the cult figure he became in the 1920s and 1930s, when T. S. Eliot and William Butler Yeats, among others, discovered in his poetry the peculiar fusion of intellect and passion and the alert contemporariness which they aspired to in their own art. He is not a poet for all tastes and times; yet for many readers Donne remains what Ben Jonson judged him: “the first poet in the world in some things.” His poems continue to engage the attention and challenge the experience of readers who come to him afresh. His high place in the pantheon of the English poets now seems secure.

Donne’s love poetry was written nearly four hundred years ago; yet one reason for its appeal is that it speaks to us as directly and urgently as if we overhear a present confidence. For instance, a lover who is about to board ship for a long voyage turns back to share a last intimacy with his mistress: “Here take my picture” (Elegy 5). Two lovers who have turned their backs upon a threatening world in “The Good Morrow” celebrate their discovery of a new world in each other:

Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,

Let maps to others, worlds on worlds have shown,

Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.

In “The Flea” an importunate lover points out a flea that has been sucking his mistress’s blood and now jumps to suck his; he tries to prevent his mistress from crushing it:

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,

Where we almost, nay more than married are.

This flea is you and I, and this

Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is;

Though parents grudge, and you, we’ are met,

And cloistered in these living walls of jet.

This poem moves forward as a kind of dramatic argument in which the chance discovery of the flea itself becomes the means by which they work out the true end of their love. The incessant play of a skeptical intelligence gives even these love poems the style of impassioned reasoning.

The poetry inhabits an exhilaratingly unpredictable world in which wariness and quick wits are at a premium. The more perilous the encounters of clandestine lovers, the greater zest they have for their pleasures, whether they seek to outwit the disapproving world, or a jealous husband, or a forbidding and deeply suspicious father, as in Elegy 4

, “The Perfume” 

Though he had wont to search with glazed eyes,

As though he came to kill a cockatrice,

Though he have oft sworn, that he would remove

Thy beauty’s beauty, and food of our love,

Hope of his goods, if I with thee were seen,

Yet close and secret, as our souls, we have been.

Exploiting and being exploited are taken as conditions of nature, which we share on equal terms with the beasts of the jungle and the ocean. In “Metempsychosis” a whale and a holder of great office behave in precisely the same way:

 

He hunts not fish, but as an officer,

Stays in his court, as his own net, and there

All suitors of all sorts themselves enthral;

So on his back lies this whale wantoning,

And in his gulf-like throat, sucks everything

That passeth near.

Donne characterizes our natural life in the world as a condition of flux and momentariness, which we may nonetheless turn to our advantage, as in “Woman’s Constancy“:

Now thou hast loved me one whole day,

Tomorrow when thou leav’st, what wilt thou say?

…………………………………..

Vain lunatic, against these ‘scapes I could

Dispute, and conquer, if I would,

Which I abstain to do,

For by tomorrow, I may think so too.

In such a predicament our judgment of the world around us can have no absolute force but may at best measure people’s endeavors relative to each other, as Donne points out in “Metempsychosis”: 

There’s nothing simply good, nor ill alone,

Of every quality comparison,

The only measure is, and judge, opinion.

The tension of the poetry comes from the pull of divergent impulses in the argument itself. In “A Valediction: Of my Name in the Window,” the lover’s name scratched in his mistress’s window ought to serve as a talisman to keep her chaste; but then, as he explains to her, it may instead be an unwilling witness to her infidelity:

When thy inconsiderate hand

Flings ope this casement, with my trembling name,

To look on one, whose wit or land,

New battery to thy heart may frame,

Then think this name alive, and that thou thus

In it offend’st my Genius.

So complex or downright contradictory is our state that quite opposite possibilities must be allowed for within the scope of a single assertion, as in Satire 3: “Kind pity chokes my spleen; brave scorn forbids / Those tears to issue which swell my eye-lids.”

The opening lines of Satire 3 confront us with a bizarre medley of moral questions: Should the corrupted state of religion prompt our anger or our grief? What devotion do we owe to religion, and which religion may claim our devotion? May the pagan philosophers be saved before Christian believers? What obligation of piety do children owe to their fathers in return for their religious upbringing? Then we get a quick review of issues such as the participation of Englishmen in foreign wars, colonizing expeditions, the Spanish auto-da-fé, and brawls over women or honor in the London streets. The drift of Donne’s argument holds all these concerns together and brings them to bear upon the divisions of Christendom that lead men to conclude that any worldly cause must be more worthy of their devotion than the pursuit of a true Christian life. The mode of reasoning is characteristic: Donne calls in a variety of circumstances, weighing one area of concern against another so that we may appraise the present claim in relation to a whole range of unlike possibilities: “Is not this excuse for mere contraries, / Equally strong; cannot both sides say so?” The movement of the poem amounts to a sifting of the relative claims on our devotion that commonly distract us from our absolute obligation to seek the truth.

Some of Donne’s sharpest insights into erotic experience, as his insights into social motives, follow out his sense of the bodily prompting of our most compelling urges, which are thus wholly subject to the momentary state of the physical organism itself. In “Farewell to Love” the end that lovers so passionately pursue loses its attraction at once when they have gained it:

Being had, enjoying it decays:

And thence,

What before pleased them all, takes but one sense,

And that so lamely, as it leaves behind

A kind of sorrowing dullness to the mind.

Yet the poet never gives the impression of forcing a doctrine upon experience. On the contrary, his skepticism sums up his sense of the way the world works.

Donne’s love poetry expresses a variety of amorous experiences that are often startlingly unlike each other, or even contradictory in their implications. In “The Anniversary” he is not just being inconsistent when he moves from a justification of frequent changes of partners to celebrate a mutual attachment that is simply not subject to time, alteration, appetite, or the sheer pull of other worldly enticements:

All kings, and all their favourites,

All glory of honours, beauties, wits,

The sun itself, which makes times, as they pass,

Is elder by a year, now, than it was

When thou and I first one another saw:

All other things, to their destruction draw,

Only our love hath, nor decay;

This, no tomorrow hath, nor yesterday,

Running it never runs from us away,

But truly keeps his first, last, everlasting day.

The triumph the lovers proclaim here defies the state of flux it affirms.

Some of Donne’s finest love poems, such as “A Valediction: forbidding Mourning,” prescribe the condition of a mutual attachment that time and distance cannot diminish:

Dull sublunary lovers’ love

(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit

Absence, because it doth remove

Those things which elemented it.

 

But we by a love, so much refined,

That our selves know not what it is,

Inter-assured of the mind,

Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Donne finds some striking images to define this state in which two people remain wholly one while they are separated. Their souls are not divided but expanded by the distance between them, “Like gold to airy thinness beat”; or they move in response to each other as the legs of twin compasses, whose fixed foot keeps the moving foot steadfast in its path:

Such wilt thou be to me, who must

Like th’ other foot obliquely run;

Thy firmness makes my circle just,

And makes me end, where I begun.

A supple argument unfolds with lyric grace.

It must be borne in mind that the poems editors group together were not necessarily produced thus. Donne did not write for publication. No more than seven poems and a bit of another poem were published during his lifetime, and only two of these publications were authorized by him. The poems he released were passed around in manuscript and transcribed by his admirers singly or in gatherings. Some of these copies have survived. When the first printed edition of his poems was published in 1633, two years after his death, the haphazard arrangement of the poems gave no clue to the order of their composition. Many modern editions of the poetry impose categorical divisions that are unlikely to correspond to the order of writing, separating the love poetry from the satires and the religious poetry, the verse letters from the epithalamiums and funeral poems. No more than a handful of Donne’s poems can be dated with certainty. The Elegies and Satires are likely to have been written in the early 1590s. “Metempsychosis” is dated 16 August 1601. The two memorial Anniversaries for the death of Elizabeth Drury were certainly written in 1611 and 1612; and the funeral elegy on Prince Henry must have been written in 1612. The Songs and Sonnets were evidently not conceived as a single body of love verses and do not appear so in early manuscript collections. Donne may well have composed them at intervals and in unlike situations over some twenty years of his poetic career. Some of them may even have overlapped with his best-known religious poems, which are likely to have been written about 1609, before he took holy orders.

Poems so vividly individuated invite attention to the circumstances that shaped them. Yet we have no warrant to read Donne’s poetry as a record of his life or the expression of his inner disquiets. Donne’s career and personality are nonetheless arresting in themselves, and they cannot be kept wholly separate from the general thrust of his writing, for which they at least provide a living context. Donne was born in London between 24 January and 19 June 1572 into the precarious world of English recusant Catholicism, whose perils his family well knew. His father, John Donne, was an ironmonger. His mother, Elizabeth (Heywood) Donne, a lifelong Catholic, was the greatniece of the martyred Sir Thomas More. His uncle Jasper Heywood headed an underground Jesuit mission in England from 1581 to 1583 and, when he was caught, was imprisoned and then exiled; Donne’s younger brother, Henry, died from the plague in 1593 while being held in Newgate Prison for harboring a seminary priest. Yet at some time in his young manhood Donne himself converted to Anglicanism and never went back on that reasoned decision. Though he was a tradesman, Donne’s father claimed descent from the Herbert family, and his mother was the daughter of John Heywood, epigrammatist and author of interludes. Donne’s father died in January 1576, and within six months Elizabeth Donne had married John Syminges, an Oxford-educated physician with a practice in London. In October 1584 Donne entered Hart Hall, Oxford, where he remained for about three years. Though no records of his attendance at Cambridge are extant, he may have gone on to study there as well and may have accompanied his uncle Jasper Heywood on a trip to Paris and Antwerp during this time. It is known that he entered Lincoln’s Inn in May 1592, after at least a year of preliminary study at Thavies Inn, and was at least nominally a student of English law for two or more years. After sailing as a gentleman adventurer with the English expeditions to Cadiz and the Azores in 1596 and 1597, he entered the service of Sir Thomas Egerton, the lord keeper of England. As Egerton’s highly valued secretary he developed the keen interest in statecraft and foreign affairs that he retained throughout his life.

His place in the Egerton household also brought him into acquaintance with Egerton’s domestic circle. Egerton’s brother-in-law was Sir George More, parliamentary representative for Surrey, whose family seat was Loseley House near Guildford in Surrey. More came up to London for an autumn sitting of Parliament in 1601, bringing with him his daughter Ann, then seventeen. Ann More and Donne may well have met and fallen in love during some earlier visit to the Egerton household; they were clandestinely married in December 1601 in a ceremony arranged with the help of a small group of Donne’s friends. Some months elapsed before Donne dared to break the news to the girl’s father, by letter, provoking a violent response. Donne and his helpful friends were briefly imprisoned, and More set out to get the marriage annulled, demanding that Egerton dismiss his amorous secretary.

The marriage was eventually upheld; indeed, More became reconciled to it and to his son-in-law, but Donne lost his job in 1602 and did not find regular employment again until he took holy orders more than twelve years later. Throughout his middle years he and his wife brought up an ever-increasing family with the aid of relatives, friends, and patrons, and on the uncertain income he could bring in by polemical hackwork and the like. His anxious attempts to gain secular employment in the queen’s household in Ireland, or with the Virginia Company, all came to nothing, and he seized the opportunity to accompany Sir Robert Drury on a diplomatic mission in France in 1612. From these frustrated years came most of the verse letters, funeral poems, epithalamiums, and holy sonnets, as well as the prose treatises Biathanatos (1647), Pseudo-Martyr (1610), and Ignatius his Conclave (1611).

In the writing of Donne’s middle years, skepticism darkened into a foreboding of imminent ruin. Such poems as the two memorial Anniversaries and “To the Countess of Salisbury” register an accelerating decline of our nature and condition in a cosmos that is itself disintegrating. In “The First Anniversary” the poet declares,

mankind decays so soon,

We’ are scarce our fathers’ shadows cast at noon.

…………………………………

And freely men confess that this world’s spent,

When in the planets, and the firmament

They seek so many new; they see that this

Is crumbled out again to his atomies.

‘Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone.

Donne contends that at this late stage of creation we exhibit a pitiful falling off from the early state of humankind:

There is not now that mankind, which was then,

When as the sun, and man, did seem to strive,

(Joint tenants of the world) who should survive.

…………………………………..

Where is this mankind now? who lives to age,

Fit to be made Methusalem his page?

Alas, we scarce live long enough to try

Whether a true made clock run right, or lie.

Our attempts to know the world by means of our natural powers are inevitably misconceived. For we seek to order a degenerating cosmos with our decaying faculties and to impose a stable pattern upon a condition of continual flux that we cannot even adequately measure, as Donne claims in “The Second Anniversary”:

And what essential joy canst thou expect

Here upon earth? what permanent effect

Of transitory causes? Dost thou love

Beauty? (and beauty worthiest is to move)

Poor cozened cozener, that she, and that thou,

Which did begin to love, are neither now;

You are both fluid, changed since yesterday;

Next day repairs, (but ill) last day’s decay.

Nor are, (although the river keep the name)

Yesterday’s waters, and today’s the same.

So flows her face, and thine eyes, neither now

That saint, nor pilgrim, which your loving vow

Concerned, remains; but whilst you think you be

Constant, you’are hourly in inconstancy.

In this condition of gathering uncertainty the very latest of our so-called discoveries are likely to be the most unsettling, as shown in these lines from “The First Anniversary”:

And new philosophy calls all in doubt,

The element of fire is quite put out;

The sun is lost, and th’earth, and no man’s wit

Can well direct him where to look for it.

Yet Donne is not counseling despair here. On the contrary, the Anniversaries offer a sure way out of spiritual dilemma: “thou hast but one way, not to admit / The world’s infection, to be none of it” (“The First Anniversary”). Moreover, the poems propose that a countering force is at work that resists the world’s frantic rush toward its own ruin. Such amendment of corruption is the true purpose of our worldly being: “our business is, to rectify / Nature, to what she was” (“To Sir Edward Herbert, at Juliers”). But in the present state of the world, and ourselves, the task becomes heroic and calls for a singular resolution.

The verse letters and funeral poems celebrate those qualities of their subjects that stand against the general lapse toward chaos: “Be more than man, or thou’art less than an ant” (“The First Anniversary”). The foremost of these qualities must be innocence itself, for that is just the condition which Adam and Eve forfeited at the Fall. As an innocent person presents a pattern of our uncorrupted state, so an innocent death is an ambiguous event; for in itself it is no death at all; yet in its effects it reenacts the primal calamity. Elizabeth Drury’s departure from the world left us dying but also better aware of our true state, as depicted in “The First Anniversary”:

This world, in that great earthquake languished,

For in a common bath of tears it bled,

Which drew the strongest vital spirits out

But succoured them with a perplexed doubt,

Whether the world did lose, or gain in this.

With the loss of her preserving balm the world falls sick and dies, even putrefies, leaving the poet only the task of anatomizing it so as to demonstrate its corruption. Donne uncompromisingly carries this complex conceit of an innocent death right through the two anniversary poems for Elizabeth Drury, disregarding the practical disadvantage that he is thus led to attribute a great deal to a young girl he had not even met. Ben Jonson assured William Drummond “That Donne’s Anniversary was profane and full of blasphemies,” and said “That he told Mr. Donne, if it had been written of the Virgin Mary it had been something; to which he answered that he described The Idea of a woman and not as she was.

Donne does not seek to celebrate a uniquely miraculous nature or a transcendental virtue. He shows us how an innocent young girl effectively embodied in her own human nature the qualities that alone preserve the natural creation and why her death reenacts the withdrawal of those qualities from the world. He pointedly declines to take the girl for an emanation of the divine spirit, another Beatrice who rose above the flesh in her life and transcends the world finally in her death. On the contrary, Elizabeth Drury is celebrated for human excellences that are spiritually refined in themselves. She was a being in whom body and spirit were at one.

Most of the people Donne praised, alive or dead, were past the age of innocence. Yet the burden of the Anniversary poems is that Elizabeth Drury’s death has shown us all how to resist the corrupting force of the world. A tried election of virtue is possible, though rarely achieved, which resists the common depravity of the Fall. Donne consoles a mourning woman with the conceit that she now incorporates her dead companion’s virtues with her own, and has thus acquired the power to preserve both their beings from corruption: “You that are she and you, that’s double she” (“To the Countess of Bedford”). He claims that a woman embodies all virtue in herself and sustains the world, so that “others’ good reflects but back your light” (“To the Countess of Huntingdon”). He excoriates a blind world that unknowingly owes what little vitality it still retains to the virtue of a few moral prodigies who mediate Christ’s own virtue, having the quasi-alchemic power to turn “Leaden and iron wills to good” and make “even sinful flesh like his” (“Resurrection, Imperfect”). Such virtuous beings rectify nature to what it was in their own bodies, so interfusing sense and spirit as to make an intelligent organism of the body itself, as depicted in “The Second Anniversary”:

we understood

Her by her sight, her pure and eloquent blood

Spoke in her cheeks, and so distinctly wrought,

That one might almost say, her body thought.

These poems of Donne’s middle years are less frequently read than the rest of his work, and they have struck readers as perversely obscure and odd. There is clearly some justification for that response, as seen in these lines from “The Second Anniversary”:

Immortal Maid, who though thy would’st refuse

The name of mother, be unto my Muse

A father, since her chaste ambition is,

Yearly to bring forth such a child as this.

The poems flaunt their creator’s unconcern with decorum to the point of shocking their readers. In his funeral poems Donne harps on decay and maggots, even venturing satiric asides as he contemplates bodily corruption: “Think thee a prince, who of themselves create / Worms which insensibly devour their state” (“The Second Anniversary”). He shows by the analogy of a beheaded man how it is that our dead world still appears to have life and movement (“The Second Anniversary”); he compares the soul in the newborn infant body with a “stubborn sullen anchorite” who sits “fixed to a pillar, or a grave / … / Bedded, and bathed in all his ordures” (“The Second Anniversary”); he develops in curious detail the conceit that virtuous men are clocks and that the late John Harrington, second Lord of Exton, was a public clock (“Obsequies to the Lord Harrington”). Such unsettling idiosyncrasy is too persistent to be merely wanton or sensational. It subverts our conventional proprieties in the interest of a radical order of truth.

Donne’s reluctance to become a priest, as he was several times urged to do, does not argue a lack of faith. The religious poems he wrote years before he took orders dramatically suggest that his doubts concerned his own unworthiness, his sense that he could not possibly merit God’s grace, as seen in these lines from Divine Meditations 4

Yet grace, if thou repent, thou canst not lack;

But who shall give thee that grace to begin?

Oh make thyself with holy mourning black,

And red with blushing, as thou art with sin.

These Divine Meditations, or Holy Sonnets, make a universal drama of religious life, in which every moment may confront us with the final annulment of time: “What if this present were the world’s last night?” (Divine Meditations 13 ). In Divine Meditations 10the prospect of a present entry upon eternity also calls for a showdown with ourselves and with the exemplary events that bring time and the timeless together in one order:

Mark in my heart, O soul, where thou dost dwell,

The picture of Christ crucified, and tell

Whether that countenance can thee affright.

Christ’s double nature, as God and man at once, assures his power to transform events in time; and it also confirms our power to outbrave our last enemy: “Death be not proud, though some have called thee / Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so.” The ringing rhetoric sustains a mighty shout of defiance in Divine Meditations 7, proclaiming the possibility of a heroic triumph snatched from likely defeat:

At the round earth’s imagined corners, blow

Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise

From death, you numberless infinities

Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go.

Such a magnificent declamation gives our moral life the grandeur of a universal drama that is perpetually reenacted; it sets the trumpets blowing here and now to proclaim the sudden irruption of the Day of Judgment.

The poet is always fearfully aware that we cannot command such triumphs for ourselves, and that we may have part in them at all only by submitting ourselves to a course of repentance that will open us to God’s grace at last. In Divine Meditations 1 he states,

But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space,

For, if above all these, my sins abound,

‘Tis late to ask abundance of thy grace,

When we are there; here on this lowly ground,

Teach me how to repent.

The present moment may define us forever. We make our predicament immediate by imagining ourselves in mortal sickness, or at the point of final judgment, brining ourselves sharply up against a reality that our daily lives obscure from us:

I run to death, and death meets me as fast,

And all my pleasures are like yesterday,

I dare not move my dim eyes any way,

Despair behind, and death before doth cast

Such terror.

These Divine Meditations make self-recognition a necessary means to grace. They dramatize the spiritual dilemma of errant creatures who need God’s grace in order that they may deserve it; for we must fall into sin and merit death even though our redemption is at hand; yet we cannot even begin to repent without grace. The poems open the sinner to God, imploring God’s forceful intervention by the sinner’s willing acknowledgment of the need for a drastic onslaught upon his present hardened state, as in Divine Meditations 

Batter my heart, three-personed God; for, you

As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;

That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend

Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.

The force of the petition measures the dire extremity of his struggle with himself and with God’s adversary. Donne pleads with God that he too has an interest in this contention for the sinner’s soul: “Lest the world, flesh, yea Devil put thee out” ( Divine Meditations 17). The drama brings home to the poet the enormity of his ingratitude to his Redeemer, confronting him bodily with the irony of Christ’s self-humiliation for us. In Divine Meditations 11 Donne wonders why the sinner should not suffer Christ’s injuries in his own person:

Spit in my face ye Jews, and pierce my side,

Buffet, and scoff, scourge, and crucify me,

For I have sinned, and sinned, and only he,

Who could do no iniquity, hath died.

On the death of his wife in 1617 Donne’s poetic response in Divine Meditations 17 was movingly restrained and dignified:

Since she whom I loved hath paid her last debt

To nature, and to hers, and my good is dead,

And her soul early into heaven ravished,

Wholly in heavenly things my mind is set.

He turns his worldly loss to an occasion of final good in that he now finds only one sure way to be reunited with her. She becomes the means by which Christ woos his soul toward a remarriage in heaven: “But why should I beg more love, when as thou / Dost woo my soul for hers; offering all thine.”

Donne’s religious poems turn upon a paradox that is central to the hope for eternal life: Christ’s sacrificing himself to save mankind. God’s regimen is paradoxical, and in Divine Meditations 13 Donne sees no impropriety in entreating Christ with the casuistry he had used on his “profane mistreses” when he assured them that only the ugly lack compassion:

so I say to thee,

To wicked spirits are horrid shapes assigned,

This beauteous form assures a piteous mind.

In Divine Meditations 18 he resolves his search for the true Church in a still bolder sexual paradox, petitioning Christ as a “kind husband” to betray his spouse to our view so that the poet’s amorous soul may “court thy mild dove”: “Who is most true, and pleasing to thee, then / When she’is embraced and open to most men.” The apparent indecorum of making the true Church a whore and Christ her complaisant husband at least startles us into recognizing Christ’s own catholicity. The paradox brings out a truth about Christ’s Church that may well be shocking to those who uphold a sectarian exclusiveness.

Wit becomes the means by which the poet discovers the working of Providence in the casual traffic of the world. A journey westward from one friend’s house to another over Easter 1613 brings home to Donne the general aberration of nature that prompts us to put pleasure before our due devotion to Christ. We ought to be heading east at Easter so as to contemplate and share Christ’s suffering; and in summoning up that event to his mind’s eye, he recognizes the shocking paradox of the ignominious death of God upon a Cross: “Could I behold those hands, which span the poles, / And turn all spheres at once, pierced with those holes?” (“Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward“). An image of Christ’s degradation is directly imposed upon an image of God’s omnipotence. We see that the event itself has a double force, being at once the catastrophic consequence of our sin and the ultimate assurance of God’s saving love. The poet’s very journey west may be providential if it brings him to a penitent recognition of his present unworthiness to gaze directly upon Christ:

O Saviour, as thou hang’st upon the tree;

I turn my back to thee, but to receive

Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.

O think me worth thine anger, punish me,

Burn off my rusts, and my deformity,

Restore thine image, so much, by thy grace,

That thou mayest know me, and I’ll turn my face.

A serious illness that Donne suffered in 1623 produced a still more startling poetic effect. In “Hymn to God, my God, in my Sickness” the poet presents his recumbent body as a flat map over which the doctors pore like navigators to discover some passage through present dangers to tranquil waters; and he ponders his own destination as if he himself is a vessel that may reach the desirable places of the world only by negotiating some painful straits:

Is the Pacific Sea my home? Or are

The eastern riches? Is Jerusalem?

Anyan, and Magellan, and Gibraltar,

All straits, and none but straits, are ways to them.

By this self-questioning he brings himself to understand that his suffering may itself be a blessing, since he shares the condition of a world in which our ultimate bliss must be won through well-endured hardship. The physical symptoms of his illness become the signs of his salvation: “So, in his purple wrapped receive me Lord, / By these his thorns give me his other crown.” The images that make him one with Christ in his suffering transform those pangs into reassurance. The flushed face of the fevered man replicates Christ’s bloodied flesh, which is also the purple robe of Christ’s saving dominion; the sufferer’s spasms of pain become the thorns of Christ’s crown, which is also a true crown of glory. By intertwining Christ’s agony and loving power with the circumstances of his own desperate illness, Donne identifies the travails of a holy death with Christ’s anguish on the Cross, making such a death a means to bliss. His witty conceit seeks to catch the working of Providence itself, which shapes our human accidents in the pattern of timeless truth.

In Donne’s poetry, language may catch the presence of God in our human dealings. The pun on the poet’s name in “A Hymn to God the Father” registers the distance that the poet’s sins have put between himself and God, with new kinds of sin pressing forward as fast as God forgives those already confessed: “When thou hast done, thou hast not done, / For, I have more.” Then the puns on “sun” and “Donne” resolve these sinful anxieties themselves:

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun

My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;

But swear by thy self, that at my death thy son

Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;

And, having done that, thou hast done,

I fear no more.

For this poet such coincidences of words and ideas are not mere accidents to be juggled with in jest. They mark precisely the working of Providence within the order of nature.

The transformation of Jack Donne the rake into the Reverend Dr. Donne, dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, no longer seems bizarre. To impose such clear-cut categories upon a man’s career may be to take too rigid a view of human nature. That the poet of the Elegiesand Songs and Sonnets is also the author of the Devotions and the sermons need not indicate some profound spiritual upheaval. One reason for the appeal of Donne in modern times is that he confronts us with the complexity of our own natures.

Donne took holy orders in January 1615, having been persuaded by King James himself of his fitness for a ministry “to which he was, and appeared, very unwilling, apprehending it (such was his mistaking modesty) to be too weighty for his abilities.” So writes his first biographer, Izaak Walton, who had known him well and often heard him preach. Once committed to the Church, Donne devoted himself to it totally, and his life thereafter becomes a record of incumbencies held and sermons preached.

His wife died in childbirth in 1617. He was elected dean of St. Paul’s in November 1621, and he became the most celebrated cleric of his age, preaching frequently before the king at court as well as at St. Paul’s and other churches. One hundred and sixty of his sermons have survived. The few religious poems he wrote after he became a priest show no falling off in imaginative power, yet the calling of his later years committed him to prose, and the artistry of his Devotions and sermons at least matches the artistry of his poems.

The magnificent prose of Donne’s Devotions embodies a way of thinking that gives it both its character and its power. The impassioned development of a thought through metaphor sets up links and correspondences that are caught in the structure of the sentences themselves, as witnessed in this prayer, number 20 in Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

:

I am come by thy goodness, to the use of thine ordinary means for my body, to wash away those peccant humours, that endangered it. I have, O Lord, a Riverin my body, but a Sea in my soul, and a Sea swollen into the depth of a Deluge, above the sea. Thou hast raised up certain hills in me heretofore, by which I might have stood safe, from these inundations of sin … and to the top of all these hills, thou has brought me heretofore; but this Deluge, this inundation, is got above all my Hills; and I have sinned and sinned, and multiplied sin to sin, after all these thy assistances against sin, and where is there water enough to wash away this Deluge?

The highly dramatic counterpointing of the syntax follows out an elaborate pattern of understanding. This set of twenty-three Devotions presents a prime example of the attempt to find an eternal significance in the natural occurrences of the world, even such a down-to-earth proceeding as a forced evacuation of the bowels to relieve a physical malady.

Donne wrote his Devotions in his convalescence from a protracted bout of relapsing fever that brought him very near to death in November and December 1623. He plots in formal stages the day-to-day physical progress of the illness, discovering in it nothing less than a universal pattern of ruin and (as it turns out) recovery. By taking his own constitution for a little world that reproduces the economy of the larger world, he works out in elaborate detail the correspondence between his present predicament and the disordered state of nature. As his illness is no mere physical accident but the embodiment of a spiritual condition, so the whole of nature itself now decays in consequence of reiterated sin. At the very nadir of his being Donne contemplates the prospect of his imminent death, as well as the final ruination of the world, by occasion of the death of another human being whose funeral bell he hears tolling close at hand. The celebrated passage from number 17 in Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions gains power in its context:

Perchance he for whom this Bell tolls, may be so ill, as that he knows not it tollsfor him; And perchance I may think my self so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that. The Church is Catholic, universal, so are all her Actions; Allthat she does, belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me … who bends not his ear to any bell, which upon any occasion rings? But who can remove it from that bell, which is passing a piece of himself out of this world? No Man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a Clod be washed away by the Sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a Promontory were, as well as if a Manor of thy friends, or of thine own were; Any Man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

It is thus harrowingly brought home to him that his own predicament is not particular to himself but shared with the whole of nature. All funeral bells toll for us all, as well as for our dying world.

However, the sudden and unexpected remission of his fear also realizes a spiritual truth. A countermovement against the rush to ruin may save us and the world if we will sustain it in our lives. Christ’s blood can counteract the seas of sin that threaten to inundate the world. In one man’s extremity the universal design of Providential love discloses itself, and Donne’s formal meditation on his sickness stands as a powerfully sustained feat of thinking that discovers the coherence of God’s creation in the very fortuities that seem to deny it.

The publication in 1919 of Donne’s Sermons: Selected Passages, edited by Logan Pearsall Smith, came as a revelation to its readers, not least those who had little taste for sermons. John Bailey, writing in the Quarterly Review (April 1920), found in these extracts “the very genius of oratory … a masterpiece of English prose.” Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, in Studies in Literature (1920), judged the sermons to include “the most magnificent prose ever uttered from an English pulpit, if not the most magnificent prose ever spoken in our tongue.”

Donne’s best-known sermon, Deaths Duell (1632), is his last one, which he preached at court just a month before he expired. He was already visibly dying, and this sermon is often taken to seal his long preoccupation with death. In fact it celebrates a triumph over death that is confirmed by the Resurrection of Christ. Donne draws out three distinct senses of his text from Psalm 68, “And unto God the Lord belong the issues Of death.” God has power to bring about our deliverance from death; our deliverance in death (by his care for us in the hour and manner of our death); and our deliverance by means ofdeath (through Christ’s sacrifice of himself for us). By examining each of these senses in turn, Donne shows that they finally cohere in Christ’s life. The sermon culminates in a meditation upon Christ’s last hours and sufferings, inviting the reader to acquiesce in oneness with Christ’s own condition, just because he is the second Adam, who redeems the sin of the first:

There we leave you, in that blessed dependency, to hang upon him, that hangs upon the cross. There bathe in his tears, there suck at his wounds, and lie down in peace in his grave, till he vouchsafe you a Resurrection, and an ascension into that Kingdom which he hath purchased for you, with the inestimable price of his incorruptible blood.

Over a literary career of some forty years Donne moved from skeptical naturalism to a conviction of the shaping presence of the divine spirit in the natural creation. Yet his mature understanding did not contradict his earlier vision. He simply came to anticipate a Providential disposition in the restless whirl of the world. The amorous adventurer nurtured the dean of St. Paul’s.
— A. J. Smith, University of Southampton

 

 

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Henri Michaux Poet 1899–1984

Henri_Michaux

Henri Michaux died in Paris in 1984 at the age of 85.

Michaux is a poet of unique style, one that is particularly difficult to pinpoint. He most closely resembles the surrealists, but cannot even accurately be grouped with them. Frederic Sepher pointed out that much of his poetry reads like short stories, although most of it does rhyme. He stated that while Michaux is probably the “least lyric of all contemporary French poets,” and employs few metaphors, “he is brilliantly imaginative, inventive and rythmic. He even verges on the musical in his haunting, desperate litanies with their repetitions and developments.”

Haunting, too, is Michaux’s emphasis on “the strangeness of natural things and the naturalness of strange things,” as Andre Gide once described Michaux’s philosophy. Like Swift, Flaubert, and Lautreament, Michaux created imaginery lands inhabited by equally chimerical creatures. The royal spider, the Hacs, the Emanglons, and the Gaurs are just a few of the inhabitants in what are considered his best works, including Voyage en Grande Garbagne, Au Pays de la magie, and Ici, Poddema. These creatures are portrayed as being more real than human beings. So are their worlds seen as being far less fantastic and less absurd than the one in which Michaux himself lives. As a Times Literary Supplement critic put it, “It is surprising how true much of his poetry is even at the most superficial level.” What has really happened in the thirty-odd years since the publication of Voyage en Grande Garbagne seems more strange than what is in the book, the critic asserted.

Michaux’s world is filled with aggression and hostility. Through his writings he emphasizes fears and anxieties that are most often suppressed by others. As Sepher pointed out, Michaux’s poetry is a form of self-analysis: it exorcises the terrible demons that reside within him. And to absorb blows that life meant for him, he invented a character named Plume. Plume is a weak, pathetic, yet humorous person, resembling Charlie Chaplin, who is constantly being bullied by his more intrepid associates. He embodies the weakness Michaux sees in himself, and in all men.

Michaux’s works are imbued with a sense of alienation not only from others, but from himself as well. He warns that twentieth-century life is dangerous: one must be perpetually on guard for it is too easy to lose oneself, a frightening feeling he often describes. There is an ever-present conflict between one’s inner and outer lives. Michaux contends that by developing stringent social mores that lead to the suppression of the individual by society, it is man himself who is responsible for this conflict. But man’s condition is not hopeless. Michaux combats his own struggle between inner thoughts and the outside world by practicing strict self control, and with a sense of humor that is “one of his most salient characteristics,” as Sepher observed.

While Michaux’s writings are read worldwide and his poetry is currently popular among young people in France, the man himself remains somewhat of an enigma. Introverted and introspective, Michaux has screened much of his private life, especially his early years, from public view. It is known, however, that he felt alienated from his parents from the beginning. He voraciously read the works of mystics, and later was influenced by the writings of Lautreament, Ruysbroeck, Kafka, and Ernst Hello. He also painted, inspired by the modernist artists, most notably Paul Klee.

In his youth, Michaux had hoped to join the priesthood but was dissuaded from doing so by his father. Instead, he pursued medical studies but eventually abandoned them to sail with the merchant marines. As a sailor, Michaux traveled to the United States, South America, and England, and later, on his own, to Asia, where he accumulated material used in writing travel books, such as Ecuador and Un barbare en Asie. But the travels he described were not all physical: even then, Michaux also wrote of the journeys within himself. In New Republic, a critic commented: “Coming upon Ecuador today one cannot, except by an act of imagination, appreciate the revolutionary thing it was when it was first published, nor the risk that Michaux took in those days. But the risk and the kind of adventure in which he engaged deserves to be compared with that of other great innovative writers of our time. Like them, he is powerful, incomplete, shifting, strangely satisfying and dissatisfying.”

Like Aldous Huxley, Michaux experimented with hallucinogenic drugs, primarily mescaline, in exploration of his inner self and of further awareness. He was fifty-seven when he embarked on his first drug-induced voyage. At sixty-seven he gave up drugs at his doctor’s advice, believing he had already experienced all that he could with them anyway. Some of his experiences are mirrored in The Major Ordeals of the Mind and the Countless Minor Ones, Miserable Miracle, L’Infini turbulent, Connaissance par les gouffres, and L’Espace du dedans. The latter is “not the kind of book to be read from cover to cover, but one to be dipped into, a little at a time,” a Times Literary Supplement critic noted. Michaux’s “poetry is the result of exploring and, in its most liberal sense, analysing the ‘space within’, the infinite universe of the inner self where the galaxies move and revolve according to laws whose mathematics may be forever beyond our comprehension.”

In recent years, Michaux has devoted most of his talents to painting. That, for him, is another form of exorcism. He has said that he can better express himself through this medium. Many of his books include original drawings and paintings.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
In English (see also below):

Ecuador: journal de voyage, [France], 1929, revised edition, Gallimard, 1968, translation by Robin Magowan published as Ecuador: A Travel Journal, University of Washington Press, 1968.
Un barbare en Asie (travel notes), Gallimard, 1933, revised edition, Gallimard, 1967, translation by Sylvia Beach published as A Barbarian in Asia, New Directions, 1949.
L’Espace du dedans (poetry), Gallimard, 1944, revised and enlarged edition, 1966 , translation by Richard Ellmann published as Selected Writings: The Space Within, New Directions, 1951.
(Self-illustrated) Miserable miracle, Rocher, 1956, revised and enlarged edition, Gallimard, 1972, translation by Louise Varese published as Miserable Miracle: Mescaline, City Lights, 1963.
L’Infini turbulent, Mercure, 1957, revised and enlarged edition, Gallimard, 1967 , translation by Michael Fineberg published as Infinite Turbulence, Calder & Boyars, 1975.
Connaissance par les gouffres, Gallimard, 1961, revised edition, Gallimard, 1967, translation by Haakon Chevalier published as Light Through Darkness, Orion Press, 1963.
Les Grandes Epreuves de l’esprit et les innombrables petites (autobiography), Gallimard, 1966, translation by Richard Howard published as The Major Ordeals of the Mind and the Countless Minor Ones, Harcourt, 1974.
Michaux , translation from the French by Teo Savory, bilingual edition, Unicorn Press, 1967.
Peter Broome, editor, Au pays de la magie (text in French; introduction and commentaries in English), Athlone Press, 1977.
Henri Michaux, A Selection, translated by Michael Fineberg, Embers (Norwich), 1979.
Ideograms in China, translated by Gustaf Sobin, New Directions (New York, NY), 1984.
A Barbarian in Asia, translated by Sylvia Beach, New Directions, 1986.
By Surprise, translated by Randolph Hough, Hanuman (New York City), 1987.
Meidosems: Poems and Lithographs, translated by Elizabeth R. Jackson, Moving Parts Press (Santa Cruz, CA), 1992.
Spaced, Displaced, translated by David and Helen Constantine, Bloodaxe (Newcastle Upon Tyne), 1992.
David Ball, editor and translator, Darkness Moves: An Henri Michaux Anthology, 1927-1984, University of California Press, 1994.
Henri Michaux: Whitechapel Art Gallery, 19 February-25 April 1999, Whitechapel Art Gallery (London, England), 1999.
Oeuvres Completes, II, Gallimard (Paris, France), 2001.
Someone Wants to Steal My Name: And Other Poems, Cleveland State University Poetry Center (Cleveland, OH), 2003.
Other:

Mes proprietes (poetry and prose), J. D. Fourcade, 1929.
La Nuit remu (poetry), Gallimard, 1935, revised edition, 1967.
Voyage en Grande Garbagne, Gallimard, 1941.
Liberte d’action (poetry), Fontane, 1945.
Ici, Poddema (excerpt from Livre du voyager; also see below), Mermod (Lausanne, Switzerland), 1946.
Epreuves, exorcismes, 1940-44 (poetry; title means “Tests, Exorcisms”), Gallimard, 1946.
Rene Bertele, editor, Henri Michaux, Seghers, 1946, revised and enlarged edition, 1957.
Peintures et dessins, Editions du point du jour, 1946.
Nous deux encore, Lanbert, 1948.
Arriver a se reveiller, L’Air du temps, 1948.
Henri Michaux, P. Drouin, 1948.
Ailleurs (poetry), Gallimard, 1948, revised edition, 1969.
La Vie dans les plis (poetry), Gallimard, 1949, new edition, 1965.
Passages, 1937-1950, Gallimard, 1950, revised and enlarged edition, NRF, 1963.
(Self-illustrated) Mouvements (poetry), Gallimard, 1951.
Nouvelles de l’etranger, Mercure, 1952.
Face aux verrous (poetry; title means “Facing the Bolts”), Gallimard, 1954 , revised edition, 1967.
Quatre cents hommes en croix, P. Bettencourt, 1956.
Plume; precede de Lointaine interieur (poetry), Gallimard, 1957, revised edition, 1967.
(Self-illustrated) Paix dans les brisements (poetry), Flinker, 1959.
Galerie Daniel Cordier, compiler, Henri Michaux, [Paris], 1959.
La Psilocybine, [Paris], 1960.
Situations-gouffres, [Paris], 1960.
Vents et poussieres, 1955-1962, Flinker, 1962.
Henri Michaux, oeuvres recentes, presented by Cordier, text by Genevieve Bonnefoi, [Paris], 1962.
Vers la completude (poetry), GLM, 1966.
L’Espace du dedans, pages choisies (1927-1959), Gallimard, 1966; Henri Michaux, [Paris], 1966.
Bertele, compiler, Parcours: Suite de douze eaux-fortes originales, Le Point cardinal, 1966.
K. Leonard, editor and compiler, Henri Michaux, [London], 1968.
Facons d’endormi, facons d’eveille, Gallimard, 1969.
Poteaux d’angle, Herne, 1971.
En revant a partir de peintures enigmatiques, Fata Morgana (Montpellier, France), 1972.
Emergence-resurgences, Skira, 1972.
Quand tombent les toits (play), GLM, 1973.
Moments; traversees du temps (poetry), Gallimard, 1973.
Bras casse, Fata morgana, 1973.
Par la voie des rythmes, Fata morgana, 1974.
Ideogrammes en Chine, Fata morgana, 1975.
Moriturus, Fata morgana, 1976.
Choix de poemes, Gallimard, 1976.
A Distance: Poemes, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1997.
Oeuvres Completes, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1998.
A la Minute que J’Eclate: Quarante-tros lettres a Herman Closson, D. Devillez (Bruxelles, Belgium), 1999.
Sitot Lus: Letters a Franz Hellens, 1922-1952, Fayrad (Paris, France), 1999.
Also author of Livre du voyager, Ailleurs, Liberte d’action (title means “Freedom of Action”), 1947, and of poetry includingQue je fus, 1927, Un Certain Plume, 1931, and Apparitions, 1946. Exhibition catalogs: Asger Oluf Jorn, editor, Henri Michaux, Silkeborg Museum (Denmark), 1962;Amsterdam. Stedelijk Museum. Henri Michaux, Staatsdrukkerij, 1964; Henri Michaux, Musee national d’art moderne (Paris), 1965; Henri Michaux: choix d’oeuvres des annees 1946-1966, Le Point cardinal, 1967; Michaux a Venezia centro internazionale delle arti e del costume, Palazzo Grassi, 1967, Rizzoli grafica (Milan), 1967; Exposition Henri Michaux: peintures, 1946-67, text by Bonnefoi, [Rouen, France], 1968; Henri Michaux, bilingual edition, W. Girardet, 1969; Henri Michaux, Kestner Gesellschaft, 1972; Henri Michaux: oeuvres nouvelles, 26 novembre 1974-fin janvier 1975, Le Point cardinal, 1974.
FURTHER READINGS
BOOKS

Bowie, Malcolm, Henri Michaux: A Study of His Literary Works, Clarendon Press, 1973.
Broome, Peter, Henri Michaux, Athlone Press, 1977.
Durrell, Lawrence, Henri Michaux: The Poet of Supreme Solipsism, Delos Press (Birmingham), 1990.
Edson, Laurie, Henri Michaux and the Poetics of Movement, ANLibri, 1985.
La Charite, Virginia A., Henri Michaux, Twayne (Boston, MA), 1977.
Leonhard, Kurt, Henri Michaux, translated by Anthony Kitzinger, Thames & Hudson, 1968.
Michaux, Henri, The Major Ordeals of the Mind and Countless Minor Ones, translated by Richard Howard, Harcourt, 1974.
Shepler, Frederic Joseph, Creatures Within: Imaginary Beings in the Work of Henri Michaux, Physsardt (Bloomington, IN), 1977.
Velinsky, L.A., From the Gloom of Today to the New Greatness of Man: Itinerary by Henri Michaux, Builder of New Poetry, Vantage Press (New York City), 1977.
PERIODICALS

L’Express, January 5-11, 1970; Times Literary Supplement, September 25, 1970, August 6, 1971, May 4, 1973, February 15, 1976; Modern Language Journal, October, 1970; Choice, November, 1970, October, 1974; Art in America, March, 1971; Books Abroad, winter, 1974; Encounter, July, 1977; World Literature Today, winter, 1977; Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 8, Gale, 1978.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Gale, Volume 8, 1978, Volume 19, 1981; Chicago Tribune, October 23, 1984;Times (London), October 25, 1984.

Posted in Clarion Autumn 2016, Clarion Causes | Leave a comment

Alfred Corn – Poet

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It is my honor and privilege to present Alfred Corn, the great American poet and essayist.
Mr Corn was asked by J.D.M.P.S to write a poem in remembrance of Jim Morrison and we are delighted with his submission.
The true Jim Morrison fan has read every single word of Jim’s writings, so “Stranger” is nothing less than poetic scripture lovingly crafted using Morrison’s own repository then presented to delight us one and all.

A. R. Graham.

Stranger


For Jim Morrison


Wilderness scout unaware a sidewinder
during the night has slipped into the tent: he rolls
over onto a two-point bite through his T-shirt.
*
Adam woke one morning to a missing rib.
Eva appeared. Snake eyes: a knowing apple
later, the pair denuded of their innocence
joined wounds and became one flesh again,
though it severed them forever from their garden.
*
Prometheus, Firebringer, chained
to the gods-ordained rock, in agonic
dialogue with a vulture, whose box-cutter
beak finds a way through the ribcage
to dig out chunks of liver. Bright sunrise
to warm sunset: the thief of heat and light
lives as carrion for his winged tormentor.
*
Spear-wound through which the dying Master’s
blood and water poured: in the epilogue
it served (“Put your fingers in the hole”)
as court evidence to doubting Thomas.
Who wouldn’t do it, choked up, and believed.
And Paul’s equivalent? Even during a feast
of friends, he felt a “thorn in his side,” a burr
under the saddle that pricks and gives no rest.
*
Jim, my frontman! We won’t find a Fender burning
at your side. You light a fire in the chest’s beating
hearth, exacerbating a stab wound nothing
will ever stanch. Both entrance and exit,
a door of perception. Go in, strut a little hour
on the stage, be their Dionysus: twice born,
ripped from a mother’s womb and housed
in Zeus’s side until gestation was done. Wasted,
you wanted not this numbed-out cage of ours
but infinite, eternal room. Death’s got that.
It stretched its arms outward to a T, the crossbar
calling you to break into an amniotic otherland
where laughter and soft lies couldn’t wake you.
The embers are with us now, electric, ravaging.
Ah but you: wandering the wilderness like Cain
on your stone highway to the end of the night.

American author Alfred Corn has published ten books of poems, including Stake: Selected Poems, 1972-1992 (1999) and, most recently, Unions (2014). He has also published a novel, Part of His Story, a study of prosody The Poem’s Heartbeat, and two collections of critical essays, The Metamorphoses of Metaphor and Atlas: Selected Essays, 1989-2007. His second novel, Miranda’s Book, will be published in late 2014.

As a graduate student in French literature, he received a Fulbright Fellowship to study for a year in Paris. For his poetry, he has received Guggenheim, NEA, and NYFA fellowships, an Award in Literature from the Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, and the Dillon, Blumenthal, and Levinson Prizes from Poetry magazine. 

For many years he taught in the Graduate Writing Program at Columbia University and held visiting posts at UCLA, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma State, and Yale. 

His book reviews have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Nation, the New Republic, the Hudson Review, and Poetry London. He also writes art criticism for Art in America and ARTnews magazines. 

In 2001 Abrams published Aaron Rose Photographs, for which he supplied the introduction. In 2003 he was a fellow of the Rockefeller Study and Conference Center at Bellagio, Lake Como, and for 2004-2005, he held the Amy Clampitt residency in Lenox, Massachusetts. From 2005 to 2011 he lived mostly in London, teaching a course for the Poetry School, and one for the Arvon Foundation. His play, Lowell’s Bedlam, premiered at Pentameters Theatre in London in 2011. In 2012, he was a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, working on a translation of the Duino Elegies, and in 2013 Clare Hall made him a Life Fellow. In 2014 he won the international Andersen Prize, awarded for a fairy tale, by the Comune di Sestri Levante in Italy. 
Corn lives in Rhode Island and spends part of every year in the UK.

Posted in Clarion Autumn 2016, Clarion Rock | Leave a comment

MORRISON HOTEL/Hard Rock Cafe by The Doors

MORRISON HOTEL/Hard Rock Cafe by The Doors

(1970/Electra Records, NY).


The album’s front and back covers, as photographed on December 17th, 1969 in Los Angeles by Henry Diltz with art direction by Gary Burden. 


Here’s the front cover of the album, the Door’s fifth album, released in 1970. The members of the band are, from left to right, Ray Manzarek (piano, organ), Robbie Krieger (guiter), Jim Morrison (vocals), and John Densmore (drums).



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz)


This is where the cover was photographed: 1246 South Hope Street, Los Angeles. At the time the building was a low-rent hotel for transients called “The Morrison Hotel.” It has been closed for several years.



Here it is PopSpotted – with the album cover placed in the exact position where the photo was taken.



And the same view, but from a wider angle; click to enlarge.





TO give you a view of how big the hotel was, here’s the former Morrison Hotel from across the street. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)





Here’s an aeriel view from Bing’s bird’s eye view.




The hotel was located in downtown Los Angeles. Here’s where that is in relation to Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the Pacific Ocean. Downtown LA is having a resurgence now, but for many years was overshadowed by the glamourous parts of Los Angeles nearer the ocean.




A few days before the shoot, Ray Manzarek and his wife were cruising through the neighboorhood looking for funky locations for the photoshoot, when they spotted the hotel. They recommended to the group that the cover shot be be taken there.

When the entourage arrived several days later, the desk clerk told the photographer that the group would not be allowed into the building for any photos. So the band took some photos outside while while they figured out how to take a picture incorporating the Morrison Hotel sign in the front window. Here’s one in the doorway.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


And another version from a different angle.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


The photographer, Henry Diltz, covered the scene from many different angles in pursuit of the perfect picture. Here’s Jim Morrison posing out front.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


This is a close-up of the sign in the front window. I doubt there were mints under the pillows.




Photographer Henry Diltz is on the left side of this photo taken from a documentary featuring the shoot made years later in the Morrison Hotel lobby (see Addendum for more info). To the right is Gary Burden the art director. They worked together on many albums in the 1960’s to 1970’s. More on them later.

In between them is the front desk. Back when they were photographing the Doors, when they saw the desk clerk leave for a break, they quickly got the Doors to rush into the hotel and pose, looking out the front window under the “Morrison Hotel” sign. Diltz managed to shoot a roll, starting at the window then moving back across the street and using a telephoto. Then they left and the security guard never knew the photo shoot had taken place.



(still shot from the DVD “Under the Covers.” See Addendum for more info.) 


Here’s the first photo taken, as the Doors are sneaking in to take their places.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


First, Ray and Jim show up.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Then Robbie and John show up.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Gary Burden, the art director, also shows up in the background. Can you see him?



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Here he is in close-up.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


That’s Gary Burden on the left with with Mama Cass and Henry Diltz from back in the day



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Now Gary has left and Henry Diltz is close to the cover shot, going now for a straight-on shot.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Bingo! Here’s the final shot: One of the most perfect “form-and-function” rock shots ever – perfectly composed for an album cover, complete with cool typeface, not to mention the name of the lead singer built in!



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


I liked it so much, I’m going to show it to you again with a circle showing the reflection of the photographer, Henry Diltz.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


If you go to Google Images and search for “1246 South Hope Street,” this great photo from that era pops up on several websites, but there is no mention as to its origin. It looks like it came from Henry Diltz’ photo session, except that: 1) the venetian blinds in the window are at the level from after the photoshoot, 2) there is no “rooms $2.50 sign” in the window, and 3) most vividly, the shadows from the sign in the “greenish” picture are very pronounced), so it most likely was taken on a different occasion by a different person.



(photo origin unknown) 


Here’s a shot from Henry Diltz’s session from about the same place (taken off a computer monitor). Notice that the venetian blinds are lower.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Here’s the cover shot inserted into the older photo. The venetian blinds have ben pulled up to get a clear shot of the hotel name.




So, with the cover shot complete, then the guys decide to drive around and find a place get a beer, since it’s daytime and they are rock stars. They go a few blocks and – lo and behold – look what they wander upon …a bar called, fortuitously, the Hard Rock Cafe.

The restaurant chain named The Hard Rock Cafe would later take it’s name from this album. One can only wonder though, where the name “hard rock” came from to the owner of this low-rent cafe near skid row Los Angeles. Hard labor? Hard rock to blast to make the highway? The denizens of this bar don’t seem like Zeppelin fans…though ya never know.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


The Doors show up.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Let’s backtrack a little: The corner is the southwest corner of East 5th Street and Wall Street, Los Angeles; about 8 blocks from The Morrison Hotel.




Here’s a panorama of the corner. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)





And here, I’ve overlayed the back of the album cover over the scene as shot by Google Street Maps.




(interior photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


So if we follow the band into the bar, you see this stool…



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


..That’s the one the drummer John Densmore is sitting on in the double-wide inner sleeve photo.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


And if we pull the camera back a little, we can see the whole center gatefold of the album. Looks like the boys have ordered some of the beverage du jour. (Well, I woke up this morning and got myself a beeeeerrr!)



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


It also looks like Jim even ordered a bag of chips for the guys.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Here are some more outtakes from the bar shoot…



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


…and another…



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


…and another. This time, one of the guys from the bar gets in on the shot.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


He clearly does not mind being in the spotlight.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


The beers having been consumed, the guys walk back outside.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


…followed by their new friend, who unfortunately, didn’t know how to play an instrument, and missed his opportunity for rock immortality.



(photo: (c) Henry Diltz) 


Here’s where all that took place: the Hard Rock in relation to the Morrison Hotel.




Well, that’s all folks! If you want to buy any of these photos, call up The Morrison Hotel gallery, Henry Diltz’s rock photography store at 124 Prince Street in Soho, New York (pictured below), or visit the store online at MorrisonHotel.com.




Even the front window looks like the old album cover. Fun to take your photo in front of and to email your fellow Doors fans back home.






Addendum 1: The front cover of UNDER THE COVERS, a DVD by photographer Henry Diltz and art director Gary Burden featuring the behind-the-scenes stories of taking the photographs and designing the covers for many of the iconic albums covers of the 60’s and 70’s. It’s available through most online DVD stores.




The back cover to Under the Covers listing many of the albums featured in the video documentary.




Addendum 2: Some ads from the time of the album’s release.





Posted in Clarion Autumn 2016, Clarion Rock | Leave a comment

Shakespeare allusions in Jim Morrison`s poetry

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Jim Morrison (1943-1971) was one of the most educated and well-read poets of his time. He was interested in Greek drama and Artaud theater and just the theater concept in itself. A born poet, signer and actor Morrison managed to reveal his talents while working as a frontman of The Doors. He didn`t just sing but acted trying this or that role of a shaman-poet, of a Greek god Dyonis, of a mythic Lizard King. Morrison was a real poet-performer, he created his own tragedy in his mind and through his poetry he dramatized his inner feelings and emotions.

Though Morrison preferred the epic theater of Brecht and the Theater of Cruelty of Artaud to traditional theater associated with Shakespeare for the latter lacks the possibility of involving the spectator into the action as a participant of a certain rite, Morrison respected greatly Shakespeare`s works and while reading Wilderness we can`t but find lots of Shakespeare allusions in his poetry.

In Ode to LA while thinking of Brian Jones, Deceased Morrison writes:

I’m a resident of a city
They’ve just picked me to play
the Prince of Denmark…

The poet feels himself a Hamlet – and that may seem old-fashioned and even banal but the thing is that the existential problem of to-be-or-not-to-be is actually the only one worth mentioning in poetry. Death may surely be called one of the central problems in Morrison`s poetry. Morrison as a true visionary poet forsaw lots of things and predicted his own death. He died a very young man at the age of 27. Image of death, the end, appears throughout his poetry. A poet feeling his end too close couln`t but asked himself whether the life was worth living, whether the life was worth being a sacrifice for a revealed truth:

…You’ve left your
Nothing
to compete w/
Silence…

Ode to LA is devoted to Brian Jones, a rock musician (The Rolling Stones) whosemysterious death in a swimming pool influenced Morrison and provoked him to writing a poem languorous with images of water, pools, trampling board and dead bodies:

…Poor Ophelia

All those ghosts he never saw
Floating to doom
On an iron candle

Come back, brave warrior
Do the dive
On another channel

Hot buttered pool
Where’s Marrakesh
Under the falls
the wild storm
where savages fell out
in late afternoon
monsters of rhythm…

Shakespeare`s Ophelia may have some resemblence to Brian Jones and even to Morrison`s own death as he died in a bathroom in Paris in 1971. The official version was heart attack. Applying Morrison`s death to the poem makes the latter twice more terrifying:

Ophelia

Leaves, sodden
in silk

Chlorine
dream
mad stifled
Witness

The diving board, the plunge
The pool

You were a fighter
a damask musky muse

You were the bleached
Sun
for TV afternoon

horned-toads
maverick of a yellow spot

Look now to where it’s got
You

in meat heaven
w/the cannibals
& jews

The gardener
Found
The body, rampant, Floating

Lucky Stiff
What is this green pale stuff
You’re made of

Poke holes in the goddess
Skin

Will he Stink
Carried heavenward
Thru the halls
of music

No chance.

Requiem for a heavy
That smile
That porky satyr’s
leer
has leaped upward

into the loam

Another important image in Morrison`s poetry is the Far Arden. Far Arden is known to the reader from Shakespeare`s As You Like It. In Morrison`s poetry Far Arden symbolizes freedom, joy and music, it is a mystic forest where songs and dances rule:

Ladies & gentlemen:
please attend carefully to these words & events
It’s your last chance, our last hope.
In this womb or tomb, we’re free of the
swarming streets.
The black fever which rages is safely
out those doors
My friends & I come from
Far Arden w/dances, &
new music
Everywhere followers accure
to our procession.
Tales of Kings, gods, warriors
and lovers dangled like
jewels for your careless pleasure

(he enters stage)

The poet tries a role of a middle age minstrel, a vagabond, a wanderer, who chose his life be an ever feast of life. Tales of kings and queens attract Morrison`s imagination. He admires the illusion of harmony in Shakespeare`s world:

Under the moon
Beneath the stars
They reel & dance
The young folk

Led to the Lake
by a King & Queen

O, I want to be there
I want us to be there
Beside the lake
Beneath the moon
Cool & swollen
dripping its hot
liquor

(Signals)

A poet of the XXth century, when a man was left alone, when the death of the god was officially proclaimed and life was changed for existence with no aim in life, Shakespeare`s Far Arden stands for middle age utopia, a world of fiction and illusions, a beautiful forest where young folk sing and dance and the poet would gladly plump for this world of dreams.

Traditionally Shakespeare`s images are reflected intertextually in the works of the poets of the following centuries. Morrison as a poet of tradition contributed this tendency greatly. He interpreted Shakespeare`s images through his own scope of vision of a poet born in the XXth century whose poetic style was worked out on the base of existential philosophy combined with the tradition of visionary poets, Indian religion and American avant-garde of the 1950-60s.

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COOLEST ROCK-n-ROLL ARCHIVE ON EARTH

Take a trip down memory lane with Coronado Rock-n-Roll archivist John Moore.

SOURCES

The San Diego Concert Archive was created through extensive research of the following newspapers, fanzines and weekly periodicals: The San Diego Door/Teaspoon, The San Diego Union, The San Diego Evening Tribune, The San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego State University Daily Aztec, The San Diego Reader, Quasi-Substitute, Snare, Kicks and SLAMM.

LIBRARIES
San Diego Central Library, San Diego Historical Society Research Archives and San Diego State University Love Library.

SPECIAL THANKS 
Laurie Henderson, Joseph Garcia, Paul Wultz, Tom Sims, Bart Mendoza, Jake Tison, Cesar Guizar, Larry Harmon, Phil Galloway, Andrea Soldi, Ken Langford, Doug Schlar, Jesse Adriance and Eric Rife.

EMAIL
sdconcertarchive@aol.com

ADDRESS
Send photos, posters, flyers and tickets to: 

Jon Moore
PO Box 83931
San Diego, CA 92138 

SUBMISSIONS
Submissions are welcome and will be posted anonymously to protect the privacy of the donor. Please contact us with details regarding your pre-2000 San Diego concert memorabilia.

WEBSITE
This site was created, and is maintained, 100% gratis by Hesh One.

COPYRIGHT
Jon Moore Presents: San Diego Concert Archive © 1992-2004 Jon Moore. Advanced written consent is needed to reproduce any information or image from this website.

 

CONCERT TICKETS

Before barcodes and holograms, promoters often spent as much time decorating their tickets as they did with their posters and handbills. Even with their minimal amount of information, tickets provide an important part in the documentation of the San Diego music scene.

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CONCERT FLYERS

Flyers have always been an inexpensive and effective way to promote a concert. Some are as basic as simple hand-scrawled information on a sheet of paper while others are detailed and sophisticated pieces of art.

CONCERT POSTERS

From the colorful psychedelic hand-screened images of the 1960s and 1970s, to today’s offset press high tech printing capabilities, rock posters have always been on the cutting edge of modern graphic art, simultaneously capturing a moment of San Diego’s music scene on a piece of poster board.

 

 

 

VENUES

There have been many places for bands to play around San Diego… Some have come and gone and others have stuck around.  Here’s a sample of some of the most popular ones.

4th & B Street 
345 B Street, Downtown
Black Crowes, Gov’t Mule, Chris Isaak

Abbey Road
3117 University Avenue, North Park
Zeros, Hitmakers, Penetrators

Adams Avenue Theater 
3325 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights
REM, Anthrax, Dead Kennedy’s

Arena, The 
8th & Harbor Street, Downtown
Elvis Presley

Aztec Bowl/Cox Arena
5500 Canyon Crest Drive, SDSU Campus, College Area
Grateful Dead, The Police, A Tribe Called Quest

Bacchanal/Reptile House/Sound FX 
8022 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Kearney Mesa
Muddy Waters, Bonnie Raitt, Garth Brooks

Backdoor, The 
5500 Campanile Drive, SDSU Campus, College Area
Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Captain Beefheart

Balboa Bowl/Starlight Bowl 
2005 Panamerican Road, Balboa Park
Kingston Trio, Rolling Stones, Peter, Paul & Mary

Balboa Park Club
2150 Panamerican Road West, Balboa Park
Little Richard, Ike & Tina Turner

Balboa Stadium
1405 Park Boulevard, San Diego High School, Balboa Park
The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors

Belly Up Tavern
143 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter

Bodies
6149 University Avenue, Rolando
Meat Puppets, Lucy’s fur Coat, No Knife

Bostonia Ballroom
1340 Broadway, El Cajon
Bill Monroe, Johnny Cash, Rose Maddox

‘Canes
3105 Ocean Front Walk, Mission Beach
Candlebox, Snoop Dog

Cal Western
3900 Lomaland Drive, Point Loma Nazarene College
Derek & the Dominos, Moody Blues, Steve Miller Band

California Theatre
1122 4th Avenue, Downtown
Cheap Trick, Devo, Motorhead

Candy Company
7711 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area
Lightin’ Hopkins, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott

Carpenter’s Hall
23rd & Broadway, Downtown
Bad Brains, Corrosion of Conformity

Casbah
2501 Kettner Boulevard, 2812 Kettner Boulevard, Middletown
Rocket from the Crypt, Melvins

Cinnamon Cinder
7578 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area
The Knack, Sonny & Cher

Civic Theatre
202 C Street, Downtown
Bob Marley, The Eagles, Kinks

Club 860
860 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach
Blind Melon, Stone Temple Pilots, White Zombie

Community Concourse
202 C Street, Downtown
Beach Boys, Janis Joplin, Jeff Beck

Convention Hall
202 C Street, Downtown
Rolling Stones, Allman Bros.

Coors Amphitheatre
2050 Otay Valley Road, Chula Vista
Elton John, Dave Matthews, Phish

Copley Symphony Hall/Fox Theater 
750 B Street, Downtown
Sting, Elvis Costello, James Taylor

Cox Arena/Aztec Bowl 
5500 Campanile Drive, SDSU Campus, College Area
Pearl Jam, Eric Clapton, Aerosmith

Earth
1165 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach
Ravi Shankar, Procol Harum, Boz Scaggs

El Cortez Hotel
702 Ash Street, Downtown
Joan Baez

Devore Stadium
900 Otay Lakes Road, Southwestern College, Chula Vista
Grateful Dead, Blues Traveler

Fairmont Hall
3760 Fairmount Avenue, City Heights
Minor Threat, Cramps, T.S.O.L

Fox Theater/Copley Symphony Hall 
750 B Street, Downtown
Thin Lizzy, Tubes, Ozzy Osbourne

Golden Hall
202 C Street, Downtown
Pink Floyd, The Clash, Rush

Hahn Cosmopolitan Theatre
444 4th Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter Downtown
Jeff Buckley

Heritage Coffee House
3842 Mission Boulevard, Mission Beach
Tom Waits

Hippodrome
Front & G Street, Downtown
Velvet Underground, Maya, Bo Diddley

Iguanas
Pueblo Amigo Shopping Center, Tijuana, Mexico
Nirvana, Hole, Mother Love Bone

International Blend/Kings Road Cafe
4034 30th Street, University Heights
The Untouchables

In The Alley
340 East Grand Avenue, Escondido, CA
Tim Buckley, Tom Waits

Jack Murphy Stadium
4994 Friars Road, Mission Valley
Def Leppard, U2, Rolling Stones

Jackie Robinson YMCA
151 YMCA Way, National City
Final Conflict, The Descendents, D.I.,

Java Joe’s
1956 Bacon Street, Ocean Beach
Gregory Page, Steve Poltz, Jason Mraz

JJ’s/Palace, The 
4025 Pacific Highway, Midway
New York Dolls

Kings Road Café/International Blend
4034 30th Street, Normal Heights
Bad Brains, Redd Cross

La Paloma Theatre 
471 First Street, Encinitas
Jerry Garcia, Jimmy Cliff, Ramones

Mission Beach Ballroom
Address Unknown, Mission Beach
Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry

North Park Lions Club
3927 Utah Street, North Park
Germs, Misfits, XTC

Occam’s Razor
6559 El Cajon Boulevard, College Area
Hedy West

Open Air Theatre SDSU
5500 Campanile Dr. SDSU Campus, College Area
Oingo Boingo, Madonna, The Smiths

Pacific Ballroom/Trianon 
1106 Broadway Street, Downtown
Sam Cooke, The Drifters, BB King

Pacific Square Theater
Ash Street & Pacific Highway, Middle Town
Glen Miller Orchestra

Palace, The/JJ’s
4025 Pacific Highway, Midway
Albert King

Palisades Theater
2838 University Avenue, North Park
7 Seconds, Bad Religion

Peterson Gym SDSU
55th Street & Montezuma Street, SDSU Campus, College Area
Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, Peter, Paul & Mary

The Power House
1550 North Magnolia Avenue, El Cajon
Sonny & Cher

Reptile House/Bacchanal/Sound FX 
8022 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Kearney Mesa
Hunters & Collectors

Rock Palace
3465 El Cajon Blvd, University Heights
Crawdaddy’s, Tex and the Horseheads

Rodeo
8980 Via La Jolla, La Jolla
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fishbone

Roxy Theater
4642 Cass Street, Pacific Beach
Peter Tosh, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed

Russ Auditorium
1405 Park Boulevard, Balboa Park
Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington

San Diego Sports Arena 
3500 Sports Arena Boulevard, Midway
Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix

Sign of the Sun
4701 College Drive, College Area
Mississippi John Hurt, New Lost City Ramblers

Silverado Ballroom
Euclid Avenue & University Avenue, Rolando
The Gayniters

Skeleton Club
202 Market Street, 921 4th Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter Downtown
The Wierdos, The Hitmakers, The Go-Go’s

Soma
5305 Metro Street, 555 Union Street, Linda Vista
Blink 182, Sublime, Unwritten Law

Sound FX/Reptile House/Bacchanal
8022 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Kearney Mesa
Lemonheads, Tori Amos, Sara Mc Lachlan

Spirit, The 
1130 Buenos Avenue, Bay Park
Violent Femmes, 10,000 Maniacs, Butthole Surfers

Spreckels Theater
121 Broadway Street, Downtown
Sheryl Crow, Hootie & the Blowfish

Starlight bowl/Balboa Park Bowl 
2005 Panamerican Road, Balboa Park
Jerry Garcia Band

State Theater
4712 El Cajon Boulevard, Normal Heights
7 Seconds

Stratus
9630 Campo Road, Spring Valley
Jane’s Addiction

Sweetwater Ballroom
24th & Highland Avenue, National City
Jackie Wilson

Texas Tea House
4970 Voltair Street, Ocean Beach
Unwritten Law

Trianon/Pacific Ballroom
1106 Broadway, Downtown
Woody Herman, Spade Cooley

Tuesdays
211 West G Street, Downtown
Linda Ronstadt, Dan Hicks

U.C.S.D. Gym
9500 Gilman Drive, U.C.S.D. Campus, La Jolla
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys

U.S.D. Gym
5998 Alcala Park, University of San Diego, Linda Vista
Marvin Gaye, Jose Feliciano, James Cotton Blues Band

United Fruit Company/University Ballroom 
4009 Central Avenue, Normal Heights
Flying Burrito Bros.

Wabash Hall
3855 Wabash Avenue, North Park
Samhain, Social Distortion, Bad Religion

War Memorial Building
Balboa Park
Ike & Tina Turner

Westgate Park 
Fashion Valley
Dave Clark Five

White Whale
5520 La Jolla Boulevard, La Jolla
Steven Stills

The Wizard 
3117 University Avenue, North Park
The Puppies, Trowers

World Beat Center 
1845 Hancock Street, 2100 Park Boulevard, Balboa Park
Beck, Unwritten Law

Winters 
5880 El Cajon Boulevard, Rolando
Pearl Jam

Zebra Club
560 5th Avenue, Downtown
The Crawdaddys, The Dinette’s

 

 

Posted in Clarion Autumn 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coronado Clarion Front Cover Summer Edition 2016

Clarion-front-cover-Summer-2016

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

RAIN DANCING

“Life isn’t how to survive the storm, it’s about how to dance in the rain.”

Unknown-2 Unknown-1 Unknown 3aff21f993c2c0c3ea5ccf88c3d854ea img-thing jim-morrison-dancing-front 1968-clevelandpublicauditorium

 

 

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Claudio Parentela


INTRODUCING  CLAUDIO PARANTELA

JIM8 JIM7 JIM6 JIM5 JIM4 JIM3 JIM2 JIM1

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WILLIAM BLAKE – JIM MORRISON

THE POET BEHIND THE DOORS: JIM MORRISON’S POETRY AND THE 1960S COUNTERCULUTRAL MOVEMENT

Steven Andrew Erkel, B.A. Thesis Advisor: Ricardo L. Ortiz, Ph.D ABSTRACT

While there has been a wealth of literature on Jim Morrison, the lead singer of the Doors, little work has actually been done to engage in a serious critical study of his poetry and lyrics. As a result, critics have continually misrepresented his work (usually linking it to a drug culture), the poetic tradition from which he built, and, most importantly, his place within the context of the 1960s. Looking at both his poetry and his lyrics, this thesis begins to discover reasons for Morrison’s fractured relationship with his generation. This relationship can be better understood by examining Morrison’s work alongside two cultural phenomena that were incredibly popular during the 1960s: Eastern religion and also communal living. While, on the one hand, Morrison uncompromisingly insisted upon individuality, allowing people to become the creators of their own reality through their imagination, the spiritual practice of Eastern religion and the material practice of communal living on the other hand insisted upon people following specific creeds and doctrines to reach a higher level of spiritual cognition and/or inner peace. By understanding the reasons for this fractured relationship, we can not only better understand the context of “Five to One” and his notorious 1969 concert in Miami – two instances where Morrison insults his generation for their lack of willpower and their enslavement to a fixed system of order – but we can also see that Morrison himself was highly aware that his core message that he preached throughout his career (1966-71) was radically opposed to the messages and visions embraced by his generation.

Take the highway to the end of the night

End of the night
End of the night
Take a journey to the bright midnight End of the night
End of the night

Realms of Bliss Realms of Light

– Jim Morrison, “End of the Night,”
Jim Morrison – undoubtedly one of the most celebrated performers of the Rock era, one of its most successful songwriters, and one of its most charismatic figures – has since his death in 1971 invited discussions from critics and fans regarding his life, work, and impact on the radical decade of the 1960s.1

While Morrison always considered himself to be a poet, the vast majority of

critics of his work have never taken into account his poetry, instead choosing to base

their examination on Morrison’s myth or legend, concepts which have little

resemblance to who Morrison actually was or what he tried to accomplish. Perhaps this

“myth” began in 1980, when Danny Sugerman, an assistant to Morrison and former

manager of the Doors, wrote in the Foreword to No One Here Gets Out Alive: “Jim Morrison was a god.” poses an inherent problem: Jim Morrison was not a god nor did he see himself as one.

Sections of this thesis appeared in another essay entitled “Fanny Howe and Jim Morrison: A Vision

Beyond the Senses.” The sections of that essay that appear in this thesis have since been modified and expanded.

In his introduction to The Doors: The Complete Lyrics, Sugerman contradicts (or corrects) his earlier remarks on Morrison, writing: “Jim Morrison didn’t want to be a god” 

However innocent this line may be, I argue it What is more troubling, indeed, is that these lines were written in the first major biography on Morrison, and have reached more than a million readers.

Not surprisingly, then, Sugerman’s perception of Morrison in No One Here Gets Out Alive has become a catalyst for other critics and fans to propel the “Morrison
myth.” Like Sugerman, Wallace Fowlie, the late professor at Duke University, refers
to Morrison as the Greek figure “kuros” (Fowlie 105). William Cook, who responds to Fowlie’s remarks here, argues that: Fowlie ignores the literary qualities of [Morrison’s] poetry. Like most people that encountered Morrison, either through books or in person, Fowlie never seems to get past the myth. In view of this unfortunate aspect of his discussion of Morrison’s poetry, his approach is neither scholarly nor enlightening 

For the best biography on Jim Morrison, see Jerry Prochnicky and James Riordan’s Break on Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison. In the opening pages of their biography, they recognize the decades of writing that fabricated the Morrison myth. As they write:  I’ve learned the hard way that it’s not easy to separate truth from myth and the bigger the legend the more difficult it becomes. All good myths soon become self-perpetuating and each person who recounts them tends to add a little something of his or her own. Add this to the fact that there are a host of people out there consciously perpetrating the Morrison myth for their own financial gain, and the maze because a considerable one. The funny thing is that Morrison never needed exaggeration. His truth is indeed far stranger than the fiction that has grown up around him.

Nonetheless, the passage of twenty years [the book was written in 1981, twenty years after Morrison’s death] has clouded the issues and led to many obstacles – lost documents, an absence of witnesses, selective memory, and even worse, creative memory – people remembering what they wish would’ve happened instead of what actually did 

Fowlie further writes:
As far as I can ascertain, it is not the name of a god, or even a minor god. It is a general term designating in Greek a young man, an adolescent: kuros […] The word is applied to a youth attractive to men and women. At times it is in praise of beauty. At other times it is hurled almost as a curse at those youths who insolently torment older people. This name I suggest as representative of the nonhypocritical innocence of Jim when he was not aware of the power of his appearance and his personality (Fowlie 105).

While I would not suggest that Fowlie’s “approach is neither scholarly nor enlightening,” as it is the first piece of scholarship to at least engage with Morrison’s poetry, I agree with Cook that “by concentrating on the myth of Morrison” in this instance, Fowlie’s work continues to propel the Morrison myth, rather than engaging in a serious academic analysis on the “literary qualities of” Morrison’s “poetry.” In other words, by continuing a dialogue that fosters the Morrison myth, Fowlie has failed – and, in so doing, has encouraged others to follow in his path – to judge Morrison based on the platform upon which Morrison invited his readers to judge him, his poetry.

Take, for instance, three other prominent books on Morrison – John Densmore’s

Riders on the Storm: My Life With Jim Morrison and the Doors (1991); Patricia

Kennealy’s Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison (1992); and Ray

Manzarek’s Light My Fire: My Life With the Doors (1998) – which have all taken the

form of a memoir. While these authors’ personal narratives of Morrison and the Doors

are clearly worth sharing with the public, the overwhelming amount of literature on

Morrison has taken a variety of similar forms, but none of which has sought to examine

 his poetry and lyrics.

Far too much has been written on Morrison’s life, his relationship with the Doors, and his myth; by extension, far too little has been written on Morrison’s poetry

Prochnicky and Riordan support this argument, writing:
The image Jim Morrison created for the media was considerably different from the real person. The press saw the side of Morrison that best suited their needs. Predictably, their accounts were steeped in paradox: Writers praised the emotional insights in Morrison’s lyrics and then criticized him for trying to be a poet. The press called him ‘King of Orgasmic Rock’ and attacked him for being pretentious. They praised him for the fusion of rock and drama that The Doors created and then put him down for carrying it too far. They hailed him as the chief shaman of new religion and then questioned his sanity for taking himself too seriously  and lyrics. We cannot understand Morrison, his lyrics and his poetry, his life, his understanding of the human form, and his relationship with the 1960s countercultural movement – areas in which Morrison critics have continually tried but failed to understand – unless we begin to extract Morrison the “poet” from how decades of critics and fans have seen him, and begin to have a serious examination of his poetry and lyrics. Strictly as a poet, Morrison’s place in history remains to be seen, not because his lyrics and poetry are not worthy of critical study, but because critics and fans have only engaged with his legacy through the lens of his celebrity.

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

William Blake 1757-1827.

A Poison Tree

 BY  WILLIAM BLAKE

I was angry with my friend; 
I told my wrath, my wrath did end. 
I was angry with my foe: 
I told it not, my wrath did grow. 
And I waterd it in fears, 
Night & morning with my tears: 
And I sunned it with smiles, 
And with soft deceitful wiles. 
And it grew both day and night. 
Till it bore an apple bright. 
And my foe beheld it shine, 
And he knew that it was mine. 
And into my garden stole, 
When the night had veild the pole; 
In the morning glad I see; 
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.
 william_blake_quote

William Blake was born in London on November 28, 1757, to James, a hosier, and Catherine Blake. Two of his six siblings died in infancy. From early childhood, Blake spoke of having visions—at four he saw God “put his head to the window”; around age nine, while walking through the countryside, he saw a tree filled with angels. Although his parents tried to discourage him from “lying,” they did observe that he was different from his peers and did not force him to attend conventional school. He learned to read and write at home. At age ten, Blake expressed a wish to become a painter, so his parents sent him to drawing school. Two years later, Blake began writing poetry. When he turned fourteen, he apprenticed with an engraver because art school proved too costly. One of Blake’s assignments as apprentice was to sketch the tombs at Westminster Abbey, exposing him to a variety of Gothic styles from which he would draw inspiration throughout his career. After his seven-year term ended, he studied briefly at the Royal Academy.

In 1782, he married an illiterate woman named Catherine Boucher. Blake taught her to read and to write, and also instructed her in draftsmanship. Later, she helped him print the illuminated poetry for which he is remembered today; the couple had no children. In 1784 he set up a printshop with a friend and former fellow apprentice, James Parker, but this venture failed after several years. For the remainder of his life, Blake made a meager living as an engraver and illustrator for books and magazines. In addition to his wife, Blake also began training his younger brother Robert in drawing, painting, and engraving. Robert fell ill during the winter of 1787 and succumbed, probably to consumption. As Robert died, Blake saw his brother’s spirit rise up through the ceiling, “clapping its hands for joy.” He believed that Robert’s spirit continued to visit him and later claimed that in a dream Robert taught him the printing method that he used in Songs of Innocence and other “illuminated” works.

Blake’s first printed work, Poetical Sketches (1783), is a collection of apprentice verse, mostly imitating classical models. The poems protest against war, tyranny, and King George III’s treatment of the American colonies. He published his most popular collection, Songs of Innocence, in 1789 and followed it, in 1794, with Songs of Experience. Some readers interpret Songs of Innocence in a straightforward fashion, considering it primarily a children’s book, but others have found hints at parody or critique in its seemingly naive and simple lyrics. Both books of Songs were printed in an illustrated format reminiscent of illuminated manuscripts. The text and illustrations were printed from copper plates, and each picture was finished by hand in watercolors.

Blake was a nonconformist who associated with some of the leading radical thinkers of his day, such as Thomas Paine and Mary Wollstonecraft. In defiance of 18th-century neoclassical conventions, he privileged imagination over reason in the creation of both his poetry and images, asserting that ideal forms should be constructed not from observations of nature but from inner visions. He declared in one poem, “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s.” Works such as “The French Revolution” (1791), “America, a Prophecy” (1793), “Visions of the Daughters of Albion” (1793), and “Europe, a Prophecy” (1794) express his opposition to the English monarchy, and to 18th-century political and social tyranny in general. Theological tyranny is the subject of The Book of Urizen (1794). In the prose work The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790-93), he satirized oppressive authority in church and state, as well as the works of Emanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish philosopher whose ideas once attracted his interest.

In 1800 Blake moved to the seacoast town of Felpham, where he lived and worked until 1803 under the patronage of William Hayley. He taught himself Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Italian, so that he could read classical works in their original language. In Felpham he experienced profound spiritual insights that prepared him for his mature work, the great visionary epics written and etched between about 1804 and 1820. Milton (1804-08), Vala, or The Four Zoas (1797; rewritten after 1800), and Jerusalem (1804-20) have neither traditional plot, characters, rhyme, nor meter. They envision a new and higher kind of innocence, the human spirit triumphant over reason.

Blake believed that his poetry could be read and understood by common people, but he was determined not to sacrifice his vision in order to become popular. In 1808 he exhibited some of his watercolors at the Royal Academy, and in May of 1809 he exhibited his works at his brother James’s house. Some of those who saw the exhibit praised Blake’s artistry, but others thought the paintings “hideous” and more than a few called him insane. Blake’s poetry was not well known by the general public, but he was mentioned in A Biographical Dictionary of the Living Authors of Great Britain and Ireland, published in 1816. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who had been lent a copy of Songs of Innocence and of Experience, considered Blake a “man of Genius,” and Wordsworthmade his own copies of several songs. Charles Lamb sent a copy of “The Chimney Sweeper” from Songs of Innocence to James Montgomery for his Chimney-Sweeper’s Friend, and Climbing Boys’ Album (1824), and Robert Southey (who, like Wordsworth, considered Blake insane) attended Blake’s exhibition and included the “Mad Song” from Poetical Sketches in his miscellany, The Doctor (1834-1837).

Blake’s final years, spent in great poverty, were cheered by the admiring friendship of a group of younger artists who called themselves “the Ancients.” In 1818 he met John Linnell, a young artist who helped him financially and also helped to create new interest in his work. It was Linnell who, in 1825, commissioned him to design illustrations for Dante‘s Divine Comedy, the cycle of drawings that Blake worked on until his death in 1827.

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

THE RAVEN

BY EDGAR ALLEN POE

January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849

gustavedore_raven


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, 

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore— 
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, 
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. 
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door— 
            Only this and nothing more.” 
    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; 
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. 
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow 
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore— 
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore— 
            Nameless here for evermore. 
    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain 
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; 
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating 
    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door— 
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;— 
            This it is and nothing more.” 
    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, 
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; 
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, 
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, 
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;— 
            Darkness there and nothing more. 
    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, 
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; 
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, 
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?” 
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”— 
            Merely this and nothing more. 
    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, 
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. 
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice; 
      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore— 
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;— 
            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!” 
    Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, 
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore; 
    Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; 
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door— 
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door— 
            Perched, and sat, and nothing more. 
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, 
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, 
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven, 
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore— 
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!” 
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” 
    Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, 
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore; 
    For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being 
    Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door— 
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, 
            With such name as “Nevermore.” 
    But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only 
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. 
    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered— 
    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before— 
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.” 
            Then the bird said “Nevermore.” 
    Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, 
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store 
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster 
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore— 
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore 
            Of ‘Never—nevermore’.” 
    But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, 
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door; 
    Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking 
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore— 
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore 
            Meant in croaking “Nevermore.” 
    This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing 
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core; 
    This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining 
    On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er, 
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er, 
            She shall press, ah, nevermore! 
    Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer 
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. 
    “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee 
    Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore; 
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!” 
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” 
    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!— 
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, 
    Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted— 
    On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore— 
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!” 
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” 
    “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil! 
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore— 
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, 
    It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore— 
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.” 
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” 
    “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting— 
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore! 
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! 
    Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door! 
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” 
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” 
    And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting 
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; 
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming, 
    And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; 
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor 
            Shall be lifted—nevermore!                                                                                                            
 

gustavedore_raven23 gustavedore_raven22 gustavedore_raven19 gustavedore_raven17 gustavedore_raven15 gustavedore_raven14 gustavedore_raven13 gustavedore_raven12


gustavedore_raven9 gustavedore_raven24 gustavedore_raven8 gustavedore_raven6 gustavedore_raven5 gustavedore_raven4 gustavedore_raven3 gustavedore_raven2 gustavedore_raven1

Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

POETS KENNETH PATCHEN & JIM MORRISON

Jazz got into poet Michael C. Ford’s blood at an early age and it’s been flowing there ever since.

The 43-year-old Chicago native recalls listening to singer June Christy on the radio at age 9, and standing outside Zardi’s at 12, hearing “brass waterfalls” soar from the band of Stan Kenton, “whose ghost is still one of my heroes.”

But it was experiences at 15 that started Ford on a lifelong romance with words and music. A man named Jack Hampton began presenting jazz at the Crenshaw Theatre on Crenshaw Boulevard, where Ford used to see such films as “Between Midnight and Dawn” and “Gun Crazy.”

Sometimes there would be poets on the bill as well. Ford heard writers such as Kenneth Patchen, Kenneth Rexroth and Ken Nordine reading their poetry, accompanied by such musicians as Shorty Rogers, Art Pepper and Teddy Edwards. He was immediately inspired.

Poet Michael C. Ford remembers Kenneth Patchen. He came down from San Francisco, along with Allyn Ferguson’s Chamber Jazz Sextet in his West L.A. apartment that he dubbed “an alchemist’s cave where quality lead is turned into fool’s gold.” “Ferguson’s charts were designed for Patchen’s poetry. The band started, then Patchen walked out in a red tux coat, sat down on a bar stool with his work on a music stand and just cooked . It was unbelievable. I realized that was what I wanted to do.”

Ford, who was first influenced by poets like Dylan Thomas, started writing as a teen-ager and was first published in Germany in 1962. But he didn’t stick with it, and didn’t write much between 1963-69. Instead, he played bass with jazz-influenced rockers like pianist Ray Manzarek (the Doors) and drummer Ed Cassidy (Spirit) and traveled. He also “schlepped scenery” for John Houseman’s Theatre Group at UCLA Extension, a job he got through Oscar-winning actor F. Murray Abraham, and where he met poet/musician Jim Morrison.

After his debut reading with Morrison and Michael McClure at the Cinematique 16 Theatre on the Sunset Strip in 1969, Ford began writing with a passion. Since 1970, he’s published at least one volume a year–from large, fold-out “broadsides” to small, staple-bound “chapbooks.” He’s also conducted numerous teaching seminars and workshops in Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. For the past five years, he has been San Joaquin County coordinator of California Poets-in-the-schools, a seminar-for-teachers program under the auspices of the Humanities Department at San Francisco State University. Here he gives teachers ideas on how to help students “find new ways that will allow them to find some avenue of (written) self-expression.”

Despite his jazz roots, Ford doesn’t consider himself a jazz poet. “I’m glad I’m not (that limited),” he said. “I tend to go for something more inside. Everything I write comes through a very complicated, multi-layered funnel of the poetic imagination.”

Some of Ford’s poems center on jazz personalities like Art Pepper, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and Bobby Troup. Others, such “Virgin River Gorge,” which alludes to the sound of five trombones in describing a river’s roar, reveal that the writer’s musical experiences from the late ’50s-early ’60s are freely scattered throughout his work.

“Yes, I use that music as part of my image life,” he said. “There’s a whole era of piano bars and jazz clubs that’s got to be remembered, and people are too willing to say goodby to it.”

He reads his poetry tonight ()at McCabe’s in a reunion with McClure, and Sunday at the Lhasa Club, where he’ll work in between screenings of “The Jazz Tapes,” which features greats Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Lester Young and Count Basie. Ford has also just released a debut spoken word LP, “Language Commando” (Freeway Records), which he describes as “a cross section of pop culture images with some of the past tense.”

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Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

THE LIVERPOOL PIES

If you’ve ever been driving along the M57 and noticed ‘The Pies The Pies’ written on a motorway bridge, you were probably a bit confused (and hungry. ) 

But 30 years after their name first started appearing on motorway bridges all around the north west, The Pies have finally released their debut album.

In case you didn’t already know, The Pies are a Liverpool band who somehow managed to become a phenomenon without anyone knowing what they actually do.

Giant graffiti spelling the word pies on the Mersey tunnel ventilation shaft at Birkenhead
Giant graffiti spelling the word pies on the Mersey tunnel ventilation shaft at Birkenhead

Formed in the late 80s and regulars on the Liverpool music scene, the original Pies split around 1993 After an ill-fated US tour.

The original graffiti was painted on a bridge above the M57 after the band said they ‘became stuck’ on the bridge and ‘didn’t know what else to do.’

The Pies graffiti on the M6

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Ashley Martin formed a new line-up around 2000 and even performed on top of Walton Prison. 

He told the BBC: “The M57 is the famous one, ‘The Pies The Pies’ was basically because we got stuck on the bridge and we didn’t know what to do, so we wrote The Pies again.

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

A Death In Paris (1971) By: A. R. Graham

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A Play in three acts’

Act 1.

Scene One.

The deck of an American world war two aircraft carrier The Bon Homme Richard (Bonnie Dick).

The heavily decorated ships Captain stands alone looking out at a tempest tossed ocean as the wind, rain, and lightening process.

He turns to the audience and begins a  mournful soliloquy on loss of blood and treasure.

He ends with…

“I wish I could have told him in the living years”

fade to black.

Scene 2.

A brief silence ensues broken by the strained bursts of discordant violins,  followed by   a single male voice reciting (not singing) the lyrics to Gershwin’s… (I love Paris  every moment, every moment of the year)…

Lights up on Jim Morrison standing alone, dressed in a cap and gown at his high school graduation day ceremony.

Enter stage left Pamela carrying a black box from which she produces a rolled parchment and a silver dagger.

Above them on the god walk appears the apparition of  Jean Paul Marat and Charlotte Corday deeply embroiled in a mime heated argument.

Corday waves aloft a document a “Last Will and Testimony” in fact.

Marat call out to Morrison “Aidez-moi, ma chère amie!”

The stage fractures left and as the lights are slowly dimming on Jim and Pamela, Corday, using the silver dagger, points an accusing finger at Pamela…

A didgeridoo vibrates loudly as the right side of the stage illuminates to a winters day in Per La Chaise Cemetery…..

two grave diggers are excavating a tomb…

fade to black.. 

 

Work In Progress.

 

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BEAT COP By: Alan Graham

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What if every single minute of your day was knowing that you were in grave danger from someone who wanted to kill you. Every time you left your house for work that you may not come home, and that the people you love, and who love you, will never get to see you ever again. 

This is the horizon that our military faces as they lay their lives on the line for the rest of us who wallow in freedom and security. 

This is also the the same dreadful landscape that the average beat cop patrols 24/7  as they go about their duties serving and protecting the property and lives of their communities.

Coronado to the eye, appears to be Mayberry RFD the television show from the 1950s in a wonderful idilic community where everyone is happy and the biggest crime in killing time.  However, the average Coronado cop faces the very same violent dynamic as the inner city cop does.

crimestoppers 2007 (5)

The cop who gave you a speeding ticket and the you now despise, more than likely prevented you from causing an accident, or worse. When you make ill informed or rash statements about cops, or say “all cops are this or that” it would do you good to remember that a Police officers life is fraught with never-ending stress which is often compounded by disrespect of the people they serve and protect.

So, the next time you come into contact with a police officer, before you get in his/her face, please remember that they suffer the very same ups and downs or hopes and fears that we all do, the only difference being that they do not get to say what they think to you, but you get to say whatever you want to them, while they must remain calm and courteous  at all times.

Coronado cops are some of the finest of our great nation and they deserve the appreciation and deep respect for laying their lives on the line every day for all of us.

Law enforcement officers recognize that stress is part of the profession and working conditions. In the past, police culture did not recognize stress as a problem affecting their officers. However, there is now plenty of evidence and research showing that unmanaged stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What many officers might not be aware of is the long-term effects of chronic fatigue and the relationship between stress and fatigue. Not getting enough rest and not eating properly in order to fuel the body can increase the effects of fatigue. Being fatigued on-duty causes many issues, such as poor decision making and other cognitive task difficulties.

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When stress is preventing normal sleep times (6 to 8 hours, recommended), an officer can quickly encounter sleep deprivation. A study conducted in 2011 compared the effects of sleep deprivation to excessive drinking of alcohol and found the effects on a driver were very similar.

Both sleep deprivation and alcohol caused impaired speech, inability to balance, impaired eye-hand coordination, and falling asleep behind the wheel (Senjo, 2011). When officers are constantly fatigued after their shift, they often do not find the time to unwind, change gears, and enjoy their time off away from the job.

Even with the current departmental manpower issues caused by the current economic times, already overworked officers continue to work double shifts, special patrol details, and second jobs. Studies have shown that fatigued officers have performance issues on and off duty. Officers are willing to sacrifice their health and safety by accepting the increase workload to provide the extra income for their families, despite the warning signs caused by working while fatigued.

It is the responsibility of elected officials and senior law enforcement officers to bring reasonable balance through policies that are supported by research. Recent studies show that police culture still supports the mentality that working more is better for your career, despite the data that chronic fatigue causes serious performance and health issues.

Please let the Coronado police officer you meet know how much you truly appreciate the excellent services which they provide to us all.

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Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Intimacy

By: Alan Graham

the-wind-in-the-willows

One of the most tragic stories concerning intimacy in humans is the forlorn tale of sadness concerning the lack of such between Kenneth Grahame the writer of Wind in the Willows, and his son Alistair.

All the gold on earth cannot bring joy if that “caring gene” does not exist within oneself, but to decry or to indict someone for not displaying it to others is a lesson in futility.

They, as do we all, come hard wired from the womb/factory, be it eye, hair, or skin color, angry, sad, depressed or happy, the human is delivered as surely as a car from the factory, with preset conditions, and some run smoothly while others malfunction or breakdown often.

‘Monday’s Child,’ a poem/nursery rhyme which dates back to the early 1500s is illustrative of the different types of personalities, sad, happy, angry, worried, all dictated by the genetic code issued in the womb at the moment of conception.

Tragedy in the Willows

Hidden in a quiet corner of Oxford, in the shadow of medieval St Cross Church, stands a moving pair of gravestones. 

In one of them lies one of the most beloved names in English literature, Kenneth Grahame, writer of The Wind in The Willows, the bewitching riverbank tale of Mole, Ratty and Toad of Toad Hall. In the other lies his son, Alastair, nicknamed Mouse.

What could be more comforting? — father and son resting together by an ancient church nestling beside the River Thames, the setting for Grahame’s gentle masterpiece.

Cold relationship: Kenneth Grahame often ignored pleas to visit his son Alastair at boarding school – and never recovered when he committed suicide aged just 19

And yet, look closer at those graves, and a tragic tale begins to emerge. Kenneth Grahame died in 1932, a broken-hearted man of 73, who hadn’t written anything of note since The Wind in The Willows was published in 1908. 

The reason for his heartbreak lies next to him — Mouse committed suicide 12 years before his father’s death, aged only 19.

Despite a glittering education at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, Mouse, a frail child, blind in one eye, was of a fragile, nervous disposition. His father’s immense fame — and unrealistic expectations of his son — didn’t make things any easier.

And so, one evening in May 1920, after dining in Christ Church’s 16th century hall, Mouse strolled down to the Thames — home of Ratty, Toad and Mole. And there he lay down on the railway track running across Port Meadow and awaited the train that would end his misery. 

Now this sad tale of tortured paternal love has come to the surface once more, with this week’s sale of a signed first edition of The Wind in The Willows for £40,000 — five times the estimate.

The dedicatee of the book is Ruth Ward, a childhood friend of Mouse. Also in this week’s sale is a rare picture of Mouse — a chubby-cheeked cherub of a boy — and several letters to Ruth Ward from the writer’s wife, Elspeth.

Writing in 1908, Elspeth says: ‘I thought you might like perhaps better than anything else a new book that Mouse’s Daddy has just written, so I asked him for one for your birthday present. I want to know how you like it. Mouse is having it read to him every evening and is greatly pleased with it.’

The letter paints a picture of a close young family — Mouse was eight at the time — but the sad truth is that, despite the enormous success of The Wind In The Willows, the Grahame household was not happy.

For all his fame and fortune, Grahame remained a tortured soul until his death. Several weeks after his funeral, his coffin was moved to the Oxford cemetery from its grave in Pangbourne, Berks.

Grahame was born in 1859 in Edinburgh to an aristocratic, failed lawyer, whose love for poetry was defeated by his love for vintage claret. The drinking only intensified when Grahame’s mother, Bessie, died soon after the birth of his brother, Roland. 

Grahame was only five — his place in the world grew even more insecure when, weeks after the death, his father moved the family to Cookham Dene in Berkshire on the banks of the Thames. Grahame clung to the river for the rest of his life.

The young Grahame excelled at school and was set for high academic honours when another hammer blow struck. The family finances had dwindled so much that he was forced straight into work at the Bank of England. 

For the next 30 years, he toiled away at the Bank, retiring as its Secretary in 1908, the year of The Wind in The Willows. Throughout his career, he had published children’s books and a memoir of childhood — sales were good, and Grahame was well-known before his worldwide smash hit was published. 

Still a favourite: Kenneth Grahame’s tails of Mole, Toad and Ratty have engrossed children for generations

Despite his eligibility as a literary banker, Grahame remained awkward in the company of the opposite sex. It wasn’t until he was 40 that he married Elspeth Thomson. For all her devotion to him, he remained a distant figure, incapable of demonstrating love.

The same emotional constipation condemned his relationship with poor Mouse, born in 1900. A little premature, Mouse was blind in his right eye; the other had a severe squint.

As an only child, Mouse was subjected to extreme, uncritical affection from his mother, and absurdly high academic expectations from his father. It didn’t help that Elspeth was growing increasingly miserable, taking to her bed for much of the day.

By the time he was three and a half, in a haunting prophecy of his death, Mouse amused himself playing a game of lying in front of speeding cars to bring them screeching to a halt. When he was given his presents on his fourth birthday, rather than enjoying them, he set about repacking them in complete silence.

All the while, though, this sad, pressured little boy was inadvertently helping the creation of one of the great children’s books, a book which is full of a brand of carefree happiness that always dodged Mouse himself. 

Grahame was inspired to write The Wind In The Willows by the bedtime stories he read his son. One evening, when Mouse was four, his parents were due to go out for dinner. Waiting for her husband in the hall, Elspeth sent the maid for him.

‘He’s with Master Mouse, madam,’ said Louise, the maid, ‘He’s telling him some ditty about a toad.’ Grahame took to transcribing verbatim accounts of the stories, written in the same baby-talk that he had told them. ‘The Mole saved up al is money and went and bought a motor car… Mr Mole has been goin the pace since he first went [on] his simple boatin spedishin wif the Water Rat.’

The publication of The Wind in The Willows, though, did nothing to stop the boy’s awful downward trajectory. 

Bullied at Rugby School, Mouse was transferred to Eton. There, too, he suffered because of his disastrously superior attitude. He left the school to be privately tutored in Surrey. 

His eyesight worsening, and his nerves still tattered, it was a broken, miserable Mouse, then, that turned up at Christ Church in 1918. He failed his scripture, Greek and Latin exams three times over the next year. In 1919, his tutor wrote the words ‘Pass or go’ next to his name in the college records; if he failed the exam again, he would have to leave.

He had made no friends and joined no social clubs. It had all got too much for him. At that last dinner in Christ Church Hall, he downed a glass of port. An undergraduate sitting next to him said later, ‘I had not known him do [this] before.’

Mouse then trudged off across Port Meadow towards the railway track. When his decapitated body was found the next day, his pockets were crammed with religious books for his dreaded scripture exam. 

His death did at least bring one consolation; in recognition of his suffering, Oxford University, for the first time, made special provision for disabled students.

On May 12, 1920, Mouse’s 20th birthday, he was buried in Holywell Cemetery next to St Cross Church. His father scattered lilies of the valley over the coffin. 

And 12 years later, the shattered genius who wrote The Wind in The Willows was buried beside the doomed little boy who had inspired him.

Cold relationship: 

Kenneth Grahame often ignored pleas to visit his son Alastair at boarding school – and never recovered when he committed suicide aged just 19

article-1332808-05F5F5EA0000044D-388_224x423 article-1332808-0C37E967000005DC-715_224x423

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Summer 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Intimacy and Tragedy

In one of them lies one of the most beloved names in English literature, Kenneth Grahame, writer of The Wind In The Willows, the bewitching riverbank tale of Mole, Ratty and Toad of Toad Hall. In the other lies his son, Alastair, always nicknamed Mouse.

What could be more comforting — father and son resting together by an ancient church ­nestling beside the River Thames, the setting for Grahame’s gentle masterpiece.

Cold relationship: Kenneth Grahame often ignored pleas to visit his son Alastair at boarding school – and never recovered when he committed suicide aged just 19

And yet, look closer at those graves, and a tragic tale begins to emerge. Kenneth Grahame died in 1932, a broken-hearted man of 73, who hadn’t written anything of note since The Wind In The Willows was published in 1908. 

The reason for his heartbreak lies next to him — Mouse committed suicide 12 years before his father’s death, aged only 19.

Despite a glittering education at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, Mouse, a frail child, blind in one eye, was of a fragile, nervous disposition. His father’s immense fame — and unrealistic expectations of his son — didn’t make things any easier.

And so, one evening in May 1920, after dining in Christ Church’s 16th century hall, Mouse strolled down to the Thames — home of Ratty, Toad and Mole. And there he lay down on the railway track running across Port Meadow and awaited the train that would end his misery. 

Now this sad tale of tortured paternal love has come to the surface once more, with this week’s sale of a signed first edition of The Wind In The Willows for £40,000 — five times the estimate.

The dedicatee of the book is Ruth Ward, a childhood friend of Mouse. Also in this week’s sale is a rare picture of Mouse — a chubby-cheeked cherub of a boy — and several letters to Ruth Ward from the writer’s wife, Elspeth.

‘I thought you might like a new book that Mouse’s Daddy has just written. I want to know how you like it. Mouse is having it read to him every evening and is greatly pleased with it’

Writing in 1908, Elspeth says: ‘I thought you might like perhaps ­better than anything else a new book that Mouse’s Daddy has just written, so I asked him for one for your birthday present. I want to know how you like it. Mouse is having it read to him every evening and is greatly pleased with it.’

The letter paints a picture of a close, young family — Mouse was eight at the time — but the sad truth is that, despite the enormous success of The Wind In The Willows, the ­Grahame household was not happy.

For all his fame and fortune, Grahame remained a tortured soul until his death. Several weeks after his funeral, his coffin was moved to the Oxford cemetery from its grave in Pangbourne, Berks.

Grahame was born in 1859 in Edinburgh to an aristocratic, failed lawyer, whose love for poetry was defeated by his love for vintage claret. The drinking only intensified when Grahame’s mother, Bessie, died soon after the birth of his brother, Roland. 

Grahame was only five — his place in the world grew even more insecure when, weeks after the death, his father moved the family to Cookham Dene in Berkshire on the banks of the Thames. Grahame clung to the river for the rest of his life.

The young Grahame excelled at school and was set for high academic honours when another hammer blow struck. The family finances had dwindled so much that he was forced straight into work at the Bank of England. 

For the next 30 years, he toiled away at the Bank, retiring as its Secretary in 1908, the year of The Wind In The ­Willows. Throughout his career, he had published children’s books and a memoir of childhood — sales were good, and Grahame was well-known before his worldwide smash hit was published. 

 
Still a favourite: Kenneth Grahame's tails of Mole, Toad and Ratty have engrossed children for generations

Still a favourite: Kenneth Grahame’s tails of Mole, Toad and Ratty have engrossed children for generations

Despite his eligibility as a literary banker, Grahame remained awkward in the company of the opposite sex. It wasn’t until he was 40 that he married Elspeth Thomson. For all her devotion to him, he remained a distant figure, incapable of demonstrating love.

The same emotional constipation condemned his relationship with poor Mouse, born in 1900. A little premature, Mouse was blind in his right eye; the other had a severe squint.

As an only child, Mouse was subjected to extreme, uncritical affection from his mother, and absurdly high academic expectations from his father. It didn’t help that Elspeth was growing increasingly miserable taking to her bed for much of the day.

By the time he was three and a half, in a haunting prophecy of his death, Mouse amused himself playing a game of lying in front of speeding cars to bring them screeching to a halt. When he was given his presents on his fourth birthday, rather than enjoying them, he set about repacking them in ­complete silence.

All the while, though, this sad, ­pressured little boy was inadvertently helping the creation of one of the great children’s books, a book which is full of a brand of carefree happiness that always dodged Mouse himself. 

Grahame was inspired to write The Wind In The Willows by the bedtime stories he read his son. One evening, when Mouse was four, his parents were due to go out for dinner. Waiting for her husband in the hall, Elspeth sent the maid for him.

‘He’s with Master Mouse, madam,’ said Louise, the maid, ‘He’s telling him some ditty about a toad.’ Grahame took to transcribing verbatim accounts of the stories, written in the same baby-talk that he had told them. ‘The Mole saved up al is money and went and bought a motor car… Mr Mole has been goin the pace since he first went [on] his simple boatin spedishin wif the Water Rat.’

The publication of The Wind In The Willows, though, did nothing to stop the boy’s awful downward trajectory. 

Bullied at Rugby School, Mouse was transferred to Eton. There, too, he suffered because of his disastrously superior attitude. He left the school to be privately tutored in Surrey. 

His eyesight worsening, and his nerves still tattered, it was a broken, miserable Mouse, then, that turned up at Christ Church in 1918. He failed his scripture, Greek and Latin exams three times over the next year. In 1919, his tutor wrote the words ‘Pass or go’ next to his name in the college records; if he failed the exam again, he would have to leave.

He had made no friends and joined no social clubs. It had all got too much for him. At that last dinner in Christ Church Hall, he downed a glass of port. An undergraduate sitting next to him said later, ‘I had not known him do [this] before.’

Mouse then trudged off across Port Meadow towards the railway track. When his decapitated body was found the next day, his pockets were crammed with religious books for his dreaded scripture exam. 

His death did at least bring one ­consolation; in recognition of his ­suffering, Oxford University, for the first time, made special provision for disabled students.

On May 12, 1920, Mouse’s 20th ­birthday, he was buried in Holywell Cemetery next to St Cross Church. His father scattered lilies of the valley over the coffin. 

And 12 years later, the shattered genius who wrote The Wind In The Willows was buried beside the doomed little boy who had inspired him.

article-1332808-05F5F5EA0000044D-388_224x423article-1332808-0C37E967000005DC-715_224x423

Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

The Wind in the Willows

the-wind-in-the-willows A twelve part series written by: Alan Graham

Part One: Flash

Inspired by his own bedtime stories which he told to his son, Kenneth Grahame published the classic book of children’s stories. One of the most beloved names in English literature, the author  of The Wind In The Willows, the bewitching riverbank tale of Mole, Ratty and Toad of Toad Hall.

 This story is strictly about Mole and in particular about my analysis and subsequently my hypothesis of his behavior.  

Mole has a sudden case of spring fever, gives up on his house-cleaning, and wanders in the fields and meadows. He finds himself by a river (he has been such a stay-at-home that he has never seen it before) and meets the Water Rat, who invites Mole into his boat, something else he has never seen before. “Believe me, my young friend,” Rat says dreamily, “there is nothing —absolutely nothing —half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

A world of friendships, the joy of carefree wandering, of picnicking, and playing has opened for Mole. Half way through the book, the Mole, the Water Rat and the Badger go to Toad Hall to try to help their friend Mr. Toad who has a bad habit of reckless driving. Toad has quite a few adventures. His irresponsible living and extravagance lead to the loss of his home to the barbaric stouts and weasels. The four friends go to battle to regain Toad Hall. The book ends with a banquet where all the friends rejoice at Toad’s return.

Mole is literally on a manic ride and his character is merely a reflection of anyone who suffers from extreme manic episodes without interlude.  

In real life, certain manics (I will call this 0ne “Flash”) do not suffer from the rise and fall, or the highs and lows, they are actually highly motivated and they really get shit  done.

Flash to observers, especially those closest to him, generates a turbulence of manic enthusiasm, which to all intents and purposes looks chaotic, showing wild and apparently deranged excitement.  When the pace is utterly manic, he appears frenzied, intense, and ready to break apart or explode at any second.

 Throughout history, it has been the this very same behavior that has achieved great successes, built great empires and won great battles. By going beyond the limits, exploding the norms, or to dream the impossible dream, is to embark on some exhilarating and mysterious adventure in some far off land where the future is uncertain.
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In the story Toad goes off the deep end when he discovers “The Motorcar” then embarkes on “Mr Toads Wild Ride” through the countryside, passing Ratty’s house, aggravating policemen and terrifying a farmer and his sheep. Making a right turn,  and heading for the docks  but quickly making a sharp turn in a different direction and enter a warehouse full of barrels and crates containing explosives.
Arriving at a Pub in the wrong side of town he meets up with some barbaric stouts and weasels.  He is hustled out of his car and his stately home “Toad Hall”.  His reputation lies in ruins and when things could not get much worse,  he is arrested for driving while under the influence. 

 When all looks bleak a remarkable reversal of fortune occurs and Flash/Toad’s life is restored once again into a state of  natures perfect order and pleasant bliss . V

The mystical digression at the center of the book “The Piper at the gates of dawn” The god of nature in the form of Pan is a pagan myth, and shows us a quartet of endearing characters, friends with real virtues contributing to each other’s moral growth.

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RARE ALICE

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‘Extremely rare’: A first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Books specialist Francis Wahlgren on a remarkable true first edition published in 1865 — one of only 23 surviving copies

‘This is a true first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,’ says Francis Wahlgren, Christie’s International Director of Science & Books, of an original 1865 edition of the Lewis Carroll fantasy that went on to become one of the most famous works in children’s literature. It will be offered in a stand-alone sale taking place at 12pm on 16 June, immediately following the Books & Manuscripts auction at Christie’s New York.

A lecturer in mathematics at Oxford, Carroll’s real passion was for storytelling, says Wahlgren. ‘This copy (estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000) is interesting because we can trace its history back to the Oxford days,’ he notes. ‘It was given to a little girl by her father, who had a position at Oxford, and it stayed with her for her entire life.’

The story of the 1865 edition begins on 4 July 1862 when Charles Dodgson (alias Lewis Carroll), along with a friend The Rev Robinson Duckworth, took the three daughters of Dean Liddell of Christ Church, Oxford — Lorina, Alice and Edith — on a boat trip on the Thames. During the afternoon he related the first parts of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, the precursor to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. On their return, Alice asked him to write down the story.

Working with renowned illustrator John Tenniel of Punch magazine, Lewis Carroll developed the elements of the story into this book. Three years later, during June 1865, the first edition was printed with the intention to have Macmillan & Co. of London publish it on 4 July 1865. Lewis Carroll requested 50 advance copies to give away. A few days later Carroll heard from Tenniel that he was ‘entirely dissatisfied with the printing of the pictures.’ Carroll withdrew the entire edition of 2000 and asked for the advance copies he had sent to be returned.

Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge (‘Lewis Carroll’), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. London: [The Clarendon Press for] Macmillan, 1865. 42 wood-engraved illustrations by the Dalziel brothers after John Tenniel. Original publisher’s red cloth decorated in gilt, original endpapers with Burn bindery ticket on rear pastedown. Estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000. This work is offered on 16 June at Christie’s New York

 ‘Seeing an 1865 Alice is a very special thing,’ Wahlgren continues. ‘There are only 23 surviving copies, of which all but five are in public institutions.’ This edition has remained remarkably intact over the intervening 150 years since its publication, and still features its original binding, binder’s ticket and title page. ‘It has the original integrity which any collector really values,’ Wahlgren adds. It is one of ten surviving copies still in original red cloth, only two of which are in private hands, the other described as ‘heavily worn’.

This copy was given by Lewis Carroll to George William Kitchin, a colleague of Carroll’s at Christ Church, and Secretary of the School Book Committee for the University Press. Kitchin later gave the book to his daughter Alexandra (‘Xie’) Rhoda Kitchin (born 1864), who was one of Carroll’s favourite photographic models. The book is accompanied by an original photograph of her taken by Lewis Carroll. She sold the copy at auction in 1925, but, sadly, died on the day of the sale.

‘This book is extremely rare,’ says Wahlgren, ‘and really epitomises why I do my job and why I’m here at Christie’s.’ 

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

FAREWELL TO A FALLEN HERO

By Alan Graham

On Friday May 13th 2016 the world focused it’s attention on the city of  Coronado California.

Sacred Heart catholic church live streamed the mass joining the entire world’s news networks as they covered the awesome but bittersweet funeral mass.

As I walked in the crowds waiting for the funeral procession, I was transported by to those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” when patriotism was ever present and citizens held their heads high with pride.

When I first came to Coronado in 1967 I found myself in “Mayberry RFD”. It was not uncommon to see women dressed formerly (pillbox hat, white gloves and perfectly quaffed) even if they were just  going to Coro-mart or Free Brothers Market. It was also a time when kids called adults Sir or Ma’am. 

I am sad to say the old traditions of formality, manners, we now live in the age of the selfie. 

During the mass the camera panned the pews, a lady in a glaring fire engine red hat stood apart from the entire congregation, for she had come there to be seen, not to pay respect. (“look at my fabulous hat do I look like a model or a movie star”)

In the meantime, the mother of Navy SEAL Charles Keating IV, killed fighting ISIS in Iraq, spoke about her son’s life and death Wednesday.

Krista Keating-Joseph said she had a sick feeling about her son Charlie the night before the news broke, perhaps a mother’s intuition.

“I woke up in the morning and saw one U.S. soldier was killed and I knew it was him,” she said.

Keating, a 31-year-old Navy petty officer 1st Class, died Tuesday about 14 miles north of Mosul in a complicated attack launched by 125 ISIS fighters, Pentagon officials said. Keating was part of a small force sent to fend off the attack.

Navy SEAL Killed in ‘Well-Planned’ ISIS Attack

[DGO] Navy SEAL Killed in 'Well-Planned' ISIS Attack

Keating-Joseph said he was mortally wounded by a bullet that slipped under his body armor.

She enjoyed a close relationship with the son she called Charlie, even though her marriage to his father broke up when he was just 3. From her home in Ponte Vedra, Florida, she described Keating as wanting to protect and save people.

“I’m so proud of him,” Keating-Joseph said. “He’s my hero, he’s our family’s hero.”

“The sad thing is he could have done so much more had he lived a little longer,” she added.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Charles Keating IV, 31, died while serving as part of a quick-reaction force (QRF) in Tel Askuf. The Coronado-based U.S. Navy SEAL was part of a rescue effort at the time of his death, officials confirmed. NBC 7’s Nicole Gomez reports. (Published Wednesday, May 4, 2016)

Keating-Joseph is proud of the way Charlie lived his life, his bravery in battle and love of country.

“I will never forget his 150-percent attitude, his positive attitude, his million-dollar smile, his eyes that twinkle,” she said. “He made everyone his best friend.”

Now it is her turn to be strong as she brings him home.

Keating-Joseph said it was her son’s wish to be buried as closely as possible to Coronado Amphibious Naval Base in San Diego, California. He wanted to be near his beloved SEAL Team One, she said, instead of Arlington National Cemetery.

The journey to bring Keating home began Thursday. His mother and the rest of the family were on their way to Dover Air Force Base, where they will receive the fallen SEAL’s body Friday morning. Funeral services are planned for May 12.

A grandson of an Arizona financier involved in the 1980s savings and loan scandal, Keating is the third U.S. service member to be killed in combat in Iraq since U.S. forces returned there in 2014.

In addition to the American quick-reaction force on the ground, 31 American aircraft — including 29 warplanes and two drones — launched 11 airstrikes, killing 58 ISIS fighters, according to Pentagon officials.

Two medical helicopters were struck by ISIS ground fire. The aircraft returned safely to base, according to Col. Steve Warren, the U.S. military’s main spokesman in Baghdad.

 The Other Hero.
James “Derick” Lovelace was also a hero even though he had not yet graduated from seal team training his level of dedication and commitment was deeply fervent. He did not die in combat serving his country, one the less to his loved ones, he died a hero.
 

 In this undated photo released by the Naval Special Warfare Center shows Seaman James Derek Lovelace.

A 21-year-old Navy SEAL trainee died last week during his first week of basic training in Coronado, California, a Navy spokesman said.

Seaman James “Derek” Lovelace was pulled out of the pool Friday after showing signs he was having difficulty while treading in a camouflage uniform and a dive mask, Naval Special Warfare Center spokesman Lt. Trevor Davids said.

Lovelace lost consciousness after being pulled out of the pool and was taken to a civilian hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Davids said Tuesday. The death was first reported by NBC News and The Virginian-Pilot.

The exact cause of the death is unknown, and Navy officials are investigating, Davids said.

Lovelace was in his first week of training as a SEAL trainee after joining the Navy about six months ago, Davids said. The exercise is designed to assess students’ competency, confidence and safety in the water, according to the Navy.

Lovelace was born in Germany, and he dreamed of becoming a SEAL, according to a death announcement from Whitehurst Powell Funeral Home and Southern Heritage Crematory in his home town of Crestview, Florida.

He enjoyed any activity on the water and played baseball at Crestview High School and Faulkner State Community College in Bay Minette, Alabama, according to the death announcement. Lovelace joined the Navy and graduated basic training on Jan. 28, 2016, in Great Lakes, Illinois. His awards and decorations include the National Defense Ribbon and Sharpshooter Pistol Qualification.

“I don’t know what to say. He was wonderful,” his sobbing grandmother, Jan Pugh, told The Virginian-Pilot. “It was a dream he was chasing out there. He was determined to become a SEAL . We are all just in shock.”

His mother, Katie Lovelace, died in June 2015 at the age of 44, according to the two media outlets. He is survived by his father and two sisters.

Final arrangements are pending.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of SN Lovelace,” said Capt. Jay Hennessey, commanding officer of the Naval Special Warfare Center. “Though Derek was very new to our community, he selflessly answered his nation’s call to defend freedom and protect this country. He will be sorely missed. We share in his family’s grief from this great loss.”

The death comes only days after another Coronado-based SEAL – Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Charles Keating IV – was shot and killed during a gunbattle involving Islamic State fighters in Iraq. Naval Special Warfare will hold a private memorial service for Keating on Thursday for his family, friends and fellow SEAL team member, followed by a private funeral on Friday.

A special procession in Coronado will also be held Friday that will be open to the public. Keating will be buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

 
Work In Progress……….
Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

STARVING CANCER

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In the early 20th century, the German biochemist Otto Warburg believed that tumors could be

Today Boveri is celebrated for discovering the origins of cancer, but another German scientist, Otto Warburg, was studying sea-urchin eggs around the same time as Boveri. His research, too, was hailed as a major breakthrough in our understanding of cancer. But in the following decades, Warburg’s discovery would largely disappear from the cancer narrative, his contributions considered so negligible that they were left out of textbooks altogether.

Unlike Boveri, Warburg wasn’t interested in the chromosomes of sea-urchin eggs. Rather, Warburg was focused on energy, specifically on how the eggs fueled their growth. By the time Warburg turned his attention from sea-urchin cells to the cells of a rat tumor, in 1923, he knew that sea-urchin eggs increased their oxygen consumption significantly as they grew, so he expected to see a similar need for extra oxygen in the rat tumor. Instead, the cancer cells fueled their growth by swallowing up enormous amounts of glucose (blood sugar) and breaking it down without oxygen. The result made no sense. Oxygen-fueled reactions are a much more efficient way of turning food into energy, and there was plenty of oxygen available for the cancer cells to use. But when Warburg tested additional tumors, including ones from humans, he saw the same effect every time. The cancer cells were ravenous for glucose.

Warburg’s discovery, later named the Warburg effect, is estimated to occur in up to 80 percent of cancers. It is so fundamental to most cancers that a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, which has emerged as an important tool in the staging and diagnosis of cancer, works simply by revealing the places in the body where cells are consuming extra glucose. In many cases, the more glucose a tumor consumes, the worse a patient’s prognosis.

In the years following his breakthrough, Warburg became convinced that the Warburg effect occurs because cells are unable to use oxygen properly and that this damaged respiration is, in effect, the starting point of cancer. Well into the 1950s, this theory — which Warburg believed in until his death in 1970 but never proved — remained an important subject of debate within the field. And then, more quickly than anyone could have anticipated, the debate ended. In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick pieced together the structure of the DNA molecule and set the stage for the triumph of molecular biology’s gene-centered approach to cancer. In the following decades, scientists came to regard cancer as a disease governed by mutated genes, which drive cells into a state of relentless division and proliferation. The metabolic catalysts that Warburg spent his career analyzing began to be referred to as “housekeeping enzymes” — necessary to keep a cell going but largely irrelevant to the deeper story of cancer.

“It was a stampede,” says Thomas Seyfried, a biologist at Boston College, of the move to molecular biology. “Warburg was dropped like a hot potato.” There was every reason to think that Warburg would remain at best a footnote in the history of cancer research. (As Dominic D’Agostino, an associate professor at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, told me, “The book that my students have to use for their cancer biology course has no mention of cancer metabolism.”) But over the past decade, and the past five years in particular, something unexpected happened: Those housekeeping enzymes have again become one of the most promising areas of cancer research. Scientists now wonder if metabolism could prove to be the long-sought “Achilles’ heel” of cancer, a common weak point in a disease that manifests itself in so many different forms.

There are typically many mutations in a single cancer. But there are a limited number of ways that the body can produce energy and support rapid growth. Cancer cells rely on these fuels in a way that healthy cells don’t. The hope of scientists at the forefront of the Warburg revival is that they will be able to slow — or even stop — tumors by disrupting one or more of the many chemical reactions a cell uses to proliferate, and, in the process, starve cancer cells of the nutrients they desperately need to grow.

Even James Watson, one of the fathers of molecular biology, is convinced that targeting metabolism is a more promising avenue in current cancer research than gene-centered approaches. At his office at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Long Island, Watson, 88, sat beneath one of the original sketches of the DNA molecule and told me that locating the genes that cause cancer has been “remarkably unhelpful” — the belief that sequencing your DNA is going to extend your life “a cruel illusion.” If he were going into cancer research today, Watson said, he would study biochemistry rather than molecular biology.

“I never thought, until about two months ago, I’d ever have to learn the Krebs cycle,” he said, referring to the reactions, familiar to most high-school biology students, by which a cell powers itself. “Now I realize I have to.”

Born in 1883 into the illustrious Warburg family, Otto Warburg was raised to be a science prodigy. His father, Emil, was one of Germany’s leading physicists, and many of the world’s greatest physicists and chemists, including Albert Einstein and Max Planck, were friends of the family. (When Warburg enlisted in the military during World War I, Einstein sent him a letter urging him to come home for the sake of science.) Those men had explained the mysteries of the universe with a handful of fundamental laws, and the young Warburg came to believe he could bring that same elegant simplicity and clarity to the workings of life. Long before his death, Warburg was considered perhaps the greatest biochemist of the 20th century, a man whose research was vital to our understanding not only of cancer but also of respiration and photosynthesis. In 1931 he won the Nobel Prize for his work on respiration, and he was considered for the award on two other occasions — each time for a different discovery. Records indicate that he would have won in 1944, had the Nazis not forbidden the acceptance of the Nobel by German citizens.

That Warburg was able to live in Germany and continue his research throughout World War II, despite having Jewish ancestry and most likely being gay, speaks to the German obsession with cancer in the first half of the 20th century. At the time, cancer was more prevalent in Germany than in almost any other nation. According to the Stanford historian Robert Proctor, by the 1920s Germany’s escalating cancer rates had become a “major scandal.” A number of top Nazis, including Hitler, are believed to have harbored a particular dread of the disease; Hitler and Joseph Goebbels took the time to discuss new advances in cancer research in the hours leading up to the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Whether Hitler was personally aware of Warburg’s research is unknown, but one of Warburg’s former colleagues wrote that several sources told him that “Hitler’s entourage” became convinced that “Warburg was the only scientist who offered a serious hope of producing a cure for cancer one day.”

Although many Jewish scientists fled Germany during the 1930s, Warburg chose to remain. According to his biographer, the Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Hans Krebs, who worked in Warburg’s lab, “science was the dominant emotion” of Warburg’s adult life, “virtually subjugating all other emotions.” In Krebs’s telling, Warburg spent years building a small team of specially trained technicians who knew how to run his experiments, and he feared that his mission to defeat cancer would be set back significantly if he had to start over. But after the war, Warburg fired all the technicians, suspecting that they had reported his criticisms of the Third Reich to the Gestapo. Warburg’s reckless decision to stay in Nazi Germany most likely came down to his astonishing ego. (Upon learning he had won the Nobel Prize, Warburg’s response was, “It’s high time.”)

“Modesty was not a virtue of Otto Warburg,” says George Klein, a 90-year-old cancer researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. As a young man, Klein was asked to send cancer cells to Warburg’s lab. A number of years later, Klein’s boss approached Warburg for a recommendation on Klein’s behalf. “George Klein has made a very important contribution to cancer research,” Warburg wrote. “He has sent me the cells with which I have solved the cancer problem.” Klein also recalls the lecture Warburg gave in Stockholm in 1950 at the 50th anniversary of the Nobel Prize. Warburg drew four diagrams on a blackboard explaining the Warburg effect, and then told the members of the audience that they represented all that they needed to know about the biochemistry of cancer.

Warburg was so monumentally stubborn that he refused to use the word “mitochondria,” even after it had been widely accepted as the name for the tiny structures that power cells. Instead Warburg persisted in calling them “grana,” the term he came up with when he identified those structures as the site of cellular respiration. Few things would have been more upsetting to him than the thought of Nazi thugs chasing him out of the beautiful Berlin institute, modeled after a country manor and built specifically for him. After the war, the Russians approached Warburg and offered to erect a new institute in Moscow. Klein recalls that Warburg told them with great pride that both Hitler and Stalin had failed to move him. As Warburg explained to his sister: “Ich war vor Hitler da” — “I was here before Hitler.”

Imagine two engines, the one being driven by complete and the other by incomplete combustion of coal,” Warburg wrote in 1956, responding to a criticism of his hypothesis that cancer is a problem of energy. “A man who knows nothing at all about engines, their structure and their purpose may discover the difference. He may, for example, smell it.”

The “complete combustion,” in Warburg’s analogy, is respiration. The “incomplete combustion,” turning nutrients into energy without oxygen, is known as fermentation. Fermentation provides a useful backup when oxygen can’t reach cells quickly enough to keep up with demand. (Our muscle cells turn to fermentation during intense exercise.) Warburg thought that defects prevent cancer cells from being able to use respiration, but scientists now widely agree that this is wrong. A growing tumor can be thought of as a construction site, and as today’s researchers explain it, the Warburg effect opens the gates for more and more trucks to deliver building materials (in the form of glucose molecules) to make “daughter” cells.

If this theory can explain the “why” of the Warburg effect, it still leaves the more pressing question of what, exactly, sets a cell on the path to the Warburg effect and cancer. Scientists at several of the nation’s top cancer hospitals have spearheaded the Warburg revival, in hopes of finding the answer. These researchers, typically molecular biologists by training, have turned to metabolism and the Warburg effect because their own research led each of them to the same conclusion: A number of the cancer-causing genes that have long been known for their role in cell division also regulate cells’ consumption of nutrients.

Craig Thompson, the president and chief executive of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, has been among the most outspoken proponents of this renewed focus on metabolism. In Thompson’s analogy, the Warburg effect can be thought of as a social failure: a breakdown of the nutrient-sharing agreement that single-celled organisms signed when they joined forces to become multicellular organisms. His research showed that cells need to receive instructions from other cells to eat, just as they require instructions from other cells to divide. Thompson hypothesized that if he could identify the mutations that lead a cell to eat more glucose than it should, it would go a long way toward explaining how the Warburg effect and cancer begin. But Thompson’s search for those mutations didn’t lead to an entirely new discovery. Instead, it led him to AKT, a gene already well known to molecular biologists for its role in promoting cell division. Thompson now believes AKT plays an even more fundamental role in metabolism.

The protein created by AKT is part of a chain of signaling proteins that is mutated in up to 80 percent of all cancers. Thompson says that once these proteins go into overdrive, a cell no longer worries about signals from other cells to eat; it instead stuffs itself with glucose. Thompson discovered he could induce the “full Warburg effect” simply by placing an activated AKT protein into a normal cell. When that happens, Thompson says, the cells begin to do what every single-celled organism will do in the presence of food: eat as much as it can and make as many copies of itself as possible. When Thompson presents his research to high-school students, he shows them a slide of mold spreading across a piece of bread. The slide’s heading — “Everyone’s first cancer experiment” — recalls Warburg’s observation that cancer cells will carry out fermentation at almost the same rate of wildly growing yeasts.

Just as Thompson has redefined the role of AKT, Chi Van Dang, director of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, has helped lead the cancer world to an appreciation of how one widely studied gene can profoundly influence a tumor’s metabolism. In 1997, Dang became one of the first scientists to connect molecular biology to the science of cellular metabolism when he demonstrated that MYC — a so-called regulator gene well known for its role in cell proliferation — directly targets an enzyme that can turn on the Warburg effect. Dang recalls that other researchers were skeptical of his interest in a housekeeping enzyme, but he stuck with it because he came to appreciate something critical: Cancer cells can’t stop eating.

Unlike healthy cells, growing cancer cells are missing the internal feedback loops that are designed to conserve resources when food isn’t available. They’re “addicted to nutrients,” Dang says; when they can’t consume enough, they begin to die. The addiction to nutrients explains why changes to metabolic pathways are so common and tend to arise first as a cell progresses toward cancer: It’s not that other types of alterations can’t arise first, but rather that, when they do, the incipient tumors lack the access to the nutrients they need to grow. Dang uses the analogy of a work crew trying to put up a building. “If you don’t have enough cement, and you try to put a lot of bricks together, you’re going to collapse,” he says.

Metabolism-centered therapies have produced some tantalizing successes. Agios Pharmaceuticals, a company co-founded by Thompson, is now testing a drug that treats cases of acute myelogenous leukemia that have been resistant to other therapies by inhibiting the mutated versions of the metabolic enzyme IDH 2. In clinical trials of the Agios drug, nearly 40 percent of patients who carry these mutations are experiencing at least partial remissions.

Researchers working in a lab run by Peter Pedersen, a professor of biochemistry at Johns Hopkins, discovered that a compound known as 3-bromopyruvate can block energy production in cancer cells and, at least in rats and rabbits, wipe out advanced liver cancer. (Trials of the drug have yet to begin.) At Penn, Dang and his colleagues are now trying to block multiple metabolic pathways at the same time. In mice, this two-pronged approach has been able to shrink some tumors without debilitating side effects. Dang says the hope is not necessarily to find a cure but rather to keep cancer at bay in a “smoldering quiet state,” much as patients treat their hypertension.

Warburg, too, appreciated that a tumor’s dependence upon a steady flow of nutrients might eventually prove to be its fatal weakness. Long after his initial discovery of the Warburg effect, he continued to research the enzymes involved in fermentation and to explore the possibility of blocking the process in cancer cells. The challenge Warburg faced then is the same one that metabolism researchers face today: Cancer is an incredibly persistent foe. Blocking one metabolic pathway has been shown to slow down and even stop tumor growth in some cases, but tumors tend to find another way. “You block glucose, they use glutamine,” Dang says, in reference to another primary fuel used by cancers. “You block glucose and glutamine, they might be able to use fatty acids. We don’t know yet.”

Given Warburg’s own story of historical neglect, it’s fitting that what may turn out to be one of the most promising cancer metabolism drugs has been sitting in plain sight for decades. That drug, metformin, is already widely prescribed to decrease the glucose in the blood of diabetics (76.9 million metformin prescriptions were filled in the United States in 2014). In the years ahead, it’s likely to be used to treat — or at least to prevent — some cancers. Because metformin can influence a number of metabolic pathways, the precise mechanism by which it achieves its anticancer effects remains a source of debate. But the results of numerous epidemiological studies have been striking. Diabetics taking metformin seem to be significantly less likely to develop cancer than diabetics who don’t — and significantly less likely to die from the disease when they do.

Near the end of his life, Warburg grew obsessed with his diet. He believed that most cancer was preventable and thought that chemicals added to food and used in agriculture could cause tumors by interfering with respiration. He stopped eating bread unless it was baked in his own home. He would drink milk only if it came from a special herd of cows, and used a centrifuge at his lab to make his cream and butter.

Warburg’s personal diet is unlikely to become a path to prevention. But the Warburg revival has allowed researchers to develop a hypothesis for how the diets that are linked to our obesity and diabetes epidemics — specifically, sugar-heavy diets that can result in permanently elevated levels of the hormone insulin — may also be driving cells to the Warburg effect and cancer.

The insulin hypothesis can be traced to the research of Lewis Cantley, the director of the Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medical College. In the 1980s, Cantley discovered how insulin, which is released by the pancreas and tells cells to take up glucose, influences what happens inside a cell. Cantley now refers to insulin and a closely related hormone, IGF-1 (insulinlike growth factor 1), as “the champion” activators of metabolic proteins linked to cancer. He’s beginning to see evidence, he says, that in some cases, “it really is insulin itself that’s getting the tumor started.” One way to think about the Warburg effect, says Cantley, is as the insulin, or IGF-1, signaling pathway “gone awry — it’s cells behaving as though insulin were telling it to take up glucose all the time and to grow.” Cantley, who avoids eating sugar as much as he can, is currently studying the effects of diet on mice that have the mutations that are commonly found in colorectal and other cancers. He says that the effects of a sugary diet on colorectal, breast and other cancer models “looks very impressive” and “rather scary.”

Elevated insulin is also strongly associated with obesity, which is expected soon to overtake smoking as the leading cause of preventable cancer. Cancers linked to obesity and diabetes have more receptors for insulin and IGF-1, and people with defective IGF-1 receptors appear to be nearly immune to cancer. Retrospective studies, which look back at patient histories, suggest that many people who develop colorectal, pancreatic or breast cancer have elevated insulin levels before diagnosis. It’s perhaps not entirely surprising, then, that when researchers want to grow breast-cancer cells in the lab, they add insulin to the tissue culture. When they remove the insulin, the cancer cells die.

“I think there’s no doubt that insulin is pro-cancer,” Watson says, with respect to the link between obesity, diabetes and cancer. “It’s as good a hypothesis as we have now.” Watson takes metformin for cancer prevention; among its many effects, metformin works to lower insulin levels. Not every cancer researcher, however, is convinced of the role of insulin and IGF-1 in cancer. Robert Weinberg, a researcher at M.I.T.’s Whitehead Institute who pioneered the discovery of cancer-causing genes in the ’80s, has remained somewhat cool to certain aspects of the cancer-metabolism revival. Weinberg says that there isn’t yet enough evidence to know whether the levels of insulin and IGF-1 present in obese people are sufficient to trigger the Warburg effect. “It’s a hypothesis,” Weinberg says. “I don’t know if it’s right or wrong.”

During Warburg’s lifetime, insulin’s effects on metabolic pathways were even less well understood. But given his ego, it’s highly unlikely that he would have considered the possibility that anything other than damaged respiration could cause cancer. He died sure that he was right about the disease. Warburg framed a quote from Max Planck and hung it above his desk: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die.”

 

Posted in Clarion Autumn 2016, Clarion Causes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coronado Clarion Autumn Issue 2016 (back cover)

OLD SCHOOL COOL

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Posted in Clarion Autumn 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

JIM MORRISON CAVE

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Public access to a popular hiking destination known as the Jim Morrison Cave has been closed after California State Parks officials said the graffiti is out of control.

The Corral Canyon Cave is deep in the mountains of Malibu Creek State Park. The cave was named after the Doors’ frontman who has never actually stepped foot in it.

 

Craig Sap, district superintendent for state parks, said the graffiti has become a growing problem.

“Typically, people will be arrested, cited and booked. The restitution is very substantial. It can be up to several to $10,000 per incident,” he said.

As the Eyewitness News crew ventured to the cave, a park ranger found a group from Texas packing three cans of spray paint. They said they wanted to honor a woman’s son who died last year. They received a citation.

Park rangers said social media posts are inspiring others to leave their mark on the cave. Now that it’s off-limits, the state will spend about $40,000 to scrub off all the graffiti. But vandals have aimed outside of the cave as well.

“Several hundred a week are heading up there. Most of them aren’t engaging in this activity – just a few. But those few have done substantial damage,” Sap said.

Parks reps aren’t sure when the cave will reopen to the public, but the graffiti problem doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Jim Morrison’s Mythical Cave Closed Over Doors-Inspired Graffiti

As the Doors song goes, this is the end.

Fans of the band who have marked up a scenic cave on the California coast with psychedelic graffiti will have to find another place to spray out their love for frontman Jim Morrison. It has closed indefinitely for cleanup.

The trend began with a social media myth that the singer wrote songs in Corral Canyon Cave in Malibu Creek State Park.

Remembering Jim Morrison: 10 Classic Tracks By The Doors Revisited

It was always a popular hiking spot for nature lovers seeking sweeping views of the surrounding scenery and always had some vandalism, but it has spiraled out of control in the past year.

The cave now looks almost tie-dyed with multicolored swirls inside and out. Doors lyrics such as “love me 2 times” and “try to set the night on fire” are scrawled on its walls. There also are declarations like “Use your third eye” and “Try LSD,” along with more crude tags.

The problem is the combination of tags and hashtags, with people putting pictures of the “Jim Morrison cave” on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, though he never wrote a known word there.

Doors Members Robby Krieger and John Densmore Reunite for All-Star Tribute to Ray Manzarek

“It exploded over last summer, and graffiti has been increasing ever since,” California State Parks District Superintendent Craig Sap told the Los Angeles Times. “People are posting pictures of the cave 30 or 40 times a day.”

Approaching the cave, you can almost expect to catch someone ready to mark it, Supervising Ranger Lindsey Templeton said.

“We come in and we hear shaking cans,” Templeton said. “It’s like fish in a barrel.”

The now-closed cave will be blasted with walnut shells, which will clean off the graffiti without damaging the rock walls. The cleanup will cost $40,000, and there’s no word on when hikers can head back to it.

It’s a misdemeanor to go to the cave, with a fine of nearly $400, and a felony to spray-paint on it.

 
Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

HOT, SEXY, DEAD

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Kelly’s mother picked up the phone for the fifth time that night. It was for sixteen-year-old Kelly.

“Who’s speaking?” the mother asked.

“Eddie,” the boy answered.

“I’ve got it,” Kelly shouted.

When Kelly hung up the phone, her mother inquired, “Who’s Eddie?”

“A friend,” Kelly replied.

“Where’s he from?” She didn’t like the sound of the accent.

“Oh, I think he’s from Spain,” Kelly said and slid out of the den.

Puerto Rican, the mother worried. Just what she wanted for her blond-haired, green-eyed daughter. The next day, she was cleaning Kelly’s room. In a small wooden frame on the bureau was a picture of a young man. His hair was long and curly. He wore no shirt. His arms were spread out as if he were being crucified.

When Kelly arrived at her Long Island home that afternoon, her mother confronted her with the picture, “Is this the animal you’re going out with?” she asked.

Kelly glanced at the picture and laughed. “Mom, that’s Jim Morrison. From the Doors. A band,” she said, tripping upstairs to her room. “And he’s dead anyway,” Kelly continued as her mother stood in the door-way, still waving the picture. Kelly was relieved that she hadn’t noticed the other pictures of Morrison on her fireplace mantle.

Kelly will tell anyone who asks that her favorite group is the Doors. She even bought Eddie-from-Spain a black T-shirt with her favorite picture of Morrison on the front. Kelly can’t always name any of the Doors’ songs, but if you sing one, she’ll know it.

Just why Kelly’s into Jim Morrison is difficult to explain, but there’s no doubt that she and most of her friends can recite, in great detail, the story of his life. Their talk centers on the drinking, the drugs, the performances that ended in near riots. An arrest in Las Vegas for a fight with a cop. Trouble on an airplane bound for Phoenix, resulting with Morrison in hand-cuffs. An onstage bus in New Haven for rapping about a backstage confrontation with police. And the most famous bust of all, his arrest after a show in Miami on several counts of indecent exposure and lewd and lascivious behavior. Most of these teenagers couldn’t care less whether Morrison actually exposed himself or not; they simply adore the fact he would even think of doing it. The new generation of Doors fans, many of whom were in kindergarten when the band peaked in the late Sixties, is attracted to Morrison’s unabashed sexiness, the lure of his voice and the hot, ornery lyrics. A song like “The End,” in which Morrison, in an Oedipal rage, screams, “Father, I want to kill you/Mother, I want to fuck you,” is heady stuff for a seventeen-year-old. To these kids, Morrison’s mystique is simply that whatever he did, it was something they’ve been told is wrong. And for that they love him.

The extraordinary distance between his life, his stardom and their own youth likely fuels the worship: maybe if these kids saw Morrison today, they wouldn’t be so certain all his activities were godlike. But in death, he remains their ageless hero, the biggest of them all.

“It’s amazing,” says Bryn Bridenthal, vice-president of public relations for Elektra/Asylum Records, the Doors’ label. “The group is bigger now than when Morrison was alive. We’ve sold more Doors records this year than in any year since they were first released.”

The statistics are impressive. Every album in the Doors catalog, for instance, doubled or tripled its sales in 1980 over the previous year. Aided by Elektra’s decision to drop the list price of The Doors, Waiting for the Sun and The Soft Parade from $8.98 to $5.98, kids all over America began scooping up the old records. In fact, of twelve Doors albums, ten have now been certified gold or platinum.

“The Doors’ catalog is an amazing success,” affirms Joe Smith, chairman of Elektra Records. “No group that isn’t around anymore has sold that well for us.”

The Morrison revival began about three years ago and has grown from a modest renaissance into a landslide. Though the roots of this posthumous popularity are not perfectly clear, music-industry executives tend to trace its origins to the 1979 release of Francis Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, which prominently featured “The End.” This unexpected bit of reexposure was soon followed by the appearance of An American Prayer, an album of Morrison reading his own poetry (recorded in 1971) with instrumental backing added years later by the remaining Doors. Though sales were poor, it stirred further interest in this disembodied voice, this done from the past. But the big push came with the publication of a Morrison biography. No One Here Gets Out Alive, by Daniel Sugerman and Jerry Hopkins. To date, 740,000 trade and mass-market-paper-back copies have been printed, and the book made the best-seller lists. Its last chapter, which raises numerous questions about the circumstances of Morrison’s death and the disposition of his remains, is just the sort of dark, eerie, mysterious tale that tends to set impressionable minds dreaming.

Soon, FM stations were sneaking the Doors back onto their playlists. Together, the renewed airplay and the lowered LP prices had the kids buying Doors discs in sufficient quantity to put three of them on the charts again. A phenomenon was reborn.

“It’s a whole new audience,” says Bob Gelms, music director of WXRT in Chicago. His station, along with many other FM rock outlets, is playing Doors songs with the frequency of many current popular bands. As Ted Edwards, music director at WCOZ in Boston, points out, many younger kids are hearing the Doors for the first time.

“The Doors sound perfect next to Van Halen,” says Hugh Surratt, music director of KMET in Los Angeles. “We treat them as a very viable part of our programming. It’s amazing a band like that has gone on for so long. It’s as if they’re still recording. It says something for their durability and for the cyclical nature of things. Everything comes back around.”

Yet all this chronology, all these facts and figures pall beside the most important aspect of Morrison Resurrectus: the need today for kids — perhaps for us all — to have an idol who isn’t squeaky clean. Someone rebellious, someone with a smirk that’s more cynical than mean, someone whose sexiness is based on steamy eroticism, not all-American good looks. James Dean, not Shaun Cassidy; handsome with problems gets them always.

 

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dead Good

By : Alan Graham

Unknown

  • Dead Good
    In Liverpoolease the phrase “Dedd Gudd” means exceptionally good.
    Jim Morrison was Dedd Gudd, for sure, but he was also Dedd Gudd in a different way.
    Listening to the Doors music is “Dedd Gudd,” but when people in the music industry say it, their
    meaning is literal, since Jim’s death meant a perpetual harvest or “movable feast” would ensue
    when it came to the sale of records and other ancillary items which soon surpassed profits even
    at the height of career.
    Dead Rock stars are worth far more dead than they are alive. Prince died suddenly on April 21st, 2016 and by April 25th, you could not find a single song for sale anywhere. The diminutive music icon’s material had become pure uranium almost overnight.
    Prince had been in a long standing battle royal about retaining ownership and control of his music. Unlike most other artists, he had succeeded in wresting that power from the notorious record executives before he died, much to their chagrin. In their minds, having long used the industry’s standing practice of “creative book-keeping” to pillage and loot the earnings of their artist/clients, the artist’s rightful reclamation of creative control amounted to theft by an
    indentured servant.
    Jim Morrison’s estate was looted by his accountant Bob Green, his fellow band members and most everyone who knew or worked with him when he was alive. Today Jim Morrison and the Doors music is King all over the world and anything and everything relating to Jim Morrison is considered to be on a par with rare iconic collectables.

The relentless fascination and dedication to Jim Morrison is illustrated  perfectly in the following story.

Public access to a popular hiking destination known as the Jim Morrison Cave has been closed after California State Parks officials said the graffiti is out of control.

The Corral Canyon Cave is deep in the mountains of Malibu Creek State Park. The cave was named after the Doors’ frontman who has never actually stepped foot in it.

 

Craig Sap, district superintendent for state parks, said the graffiti has become a growing problem.

“Typically, people will be arrested, cited and booked. The restitution is very substantial. It can be up to several to $10,000 per incident,” he said.

As the Eyewitness News crew ventured to the cave, a park ranger found a group from Texas packing three cans of spray paint. They said they wanted to honor a woman’s son who died last year. They received a citation.

Park rangers said social media posts are inspiring others to leave their mark on the cave. Now that it’s off-limits, the state will spend about $40,000 to scrub off all the graffiti. But vandals have aimed outside of the cave as well.

“Several hundred a week are heading up there. Most of them aren’t engaging in this activity – just a few. But those few have done substantial damage,” Sap said.

Parks reps aren’t sure when the cave will reopen to the public, but the graffiti problem

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images-6images-5 images-4 images-3 images-2 images-1 images Unknown-1 Unknown

 

 

 

 

 

Work In Progress:

 

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

Horse hairdresser

Horse 
 A horse clipper has become a UK sensation because of her serious horse clipping skills.

She trims complex medieval designs into the animals for her clients. 

And the horses she works on always look fabulous:

 Melody Hames, 27, began clipping her own pet pony at the age of 12, and is now an absolute pro at it.

She had to trim her pony frequently because it suffered from a condition called cushings, causing it to have a thick woolly coat which doesn’t change in the warmer season.

Beyonce horse

She set up shop in 2013 and business has been booming ever since.

She used to do normal clippings, but has expanded her horizons after getting quirky requests from clients.

Explaining how she decides patterns, she said: ‘Often I will visualise it in my head and clarify it with a quick look at related objects which in turn can create new ideas and viewpoints.

“I sketched out different shapes for castles and also for the armour clip as I knew I wanted a specific kind of style castle and sword.

“This helps me visualise in my head and I run with it from there.

Melody Hames

“I use a wide range of blades and clippers, I have blades and clippers to suit pretty much every situation, and ever breed as well as coat type.

“No stencils have been used to date or CGIs here – all hand crafted, it’s very much like a craft to me that only comes with experience and practice.”

Her designs, some which she draws freehand, take from 30 minutes to eight or nine hours to do.

She is most proud of her castle design, which she did over a few days.

Horse

She continued: “I would work for as long as it took though, over the space of days, to suit the horse.

“The castle is important to me as it kick started the larger scale custom clipping and gave me something to really work at. It got me a lot of attention.

“This season my favourite has been the Armour De L’Amore clip as it’s on my personal horse Romeo and I have worked over time to build him up.

“Now he stands unaltered with complete trust while I work which has been a challenge as he’s was a very nervous character and still is but he trusts me and it’s a great feeling.”

 
Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

PANHANDLE

Lowell Senior Panhandling To Help Pay Way To Medical School

Eighteen-year-old Emily Stutz started an online fundraising page to help her raise money for her education. Stutz says she has not yet decided where she will attend school in the fall.

 

The senior wrote that while she has the academic credentials to study psychology on a pre-medical track, she does not have the finances to make it happen.

Stutz, a Lowell High School senior, says she has maintained a 4.0-4.5 GPA for the last four years, has volunteered for organizations and worked three part-time jobs.

After applying at several schools, Stutz said she has been offered between $11,000-$18,000 in financial aid. But she still needs additional finances to attend the universities she hopes to attend.

“My parents have had immense financial struggles and simply cannot come up with $20,000-$30,000 a year, nor are they able to cosign a loan for me,” Stutz wrote on her fundraising page. “I have no other adults in my life who are able to cosign and I am at a loss. I see my dream of becoming a doctor slip further and further away as the days pass by so I’ve decided I am going to do whatever it will take to get myself to college.

That’s where her plan for panhandling comes in.

“If people will give to the ‘homeless’ panhandlers then maybe they will consider sparing a dollar or some change to an aspiring doctor who has all the academic, but no financial means to attend college,” wrote Stutz. “Anything helps at this point!”

Stutz posted on Saturday that she spent her first day asking for money outside Target in Lowell, calling it “extremely successful.”

She shared a photo of herself holding a sign that says “H.S. Senior. No $ for college. Anything Helps.”

In addition, her online fundraising page has surpassed $1,200.

“As an old Tanzanian proverb says, ‘Little by little, a little becomes a lot,’” Stutz wrote.

Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think

By Tim Urban

The first day I was in second grade, I came to school and noticed that there was a new, very pretty girl in the class—someone who hadn’t been there the previous two years. Her name was Alana and within an hour, she was everything to me.

When you’re seven, there aren’t really any actionable steps you can take when you’re in love with someone. You’re not even sure what you want from the situation. There’s just this amorphous yearning that’s a part of your life, and that’s that.

But for me, it became suddenly relevant a few months later, when during recess one day, one of the girls in the class started asking each of the boys, “Who do youuu want to marry?” When she asked me, it was a no-brainer. “Alana.”

Disaster.

I was still new to being a human and didn’t realize that the only socially acceptable answer was, “No one.”

The second I answered, the heinous girl ran toward other students, telling each one, “Tim said he wants to marry Alana!” Each person she told covered their mouth with uncontrollable laughter. I was finished. Life was over.

The news quickly got back to Alana herself, who stayed as far away from me as possible for days after. If she knew what a restraining order was, she’d have taken one out.

This horrifying experience taught me a critical life lesson—it can be mortally dangerous to be yourself, and you should exercise extreme social caution at all times.

Now this sounds like something only a traumatized second grader would think, but the weird thing, and the topic of this post, is that this lesson isn’t just limited to me and my debacle of a childhood—it’s a defining paranoia of the human species. We share a collective insanity that pervades human cultures throughout the world:

An irrational and unproductive obsession with what other people think of us.

Evolution does everything for a reason, and to understand the origin of this particular insanity, let’s back up for a minute to 50,000BC in Ethiopia, where your Great2,000 Grandfather lived as part of a small tribe.

Back then, being part of a tribe was critical to survival. A tribe meant food and protection in a time when neither was easy to come by. So for your Great2,000 Grandfather, almost nothing in the world was more important than being accepted by his fellow tribe members, especially those in positions of authority. Fitting in with those around him and pleasing those above him meant he could stay in the tribe, and about the worst nightmare he could imagine would be people in the tribe starting to whisper about how annoying or unproductive or weird he was—because if enough people disapproved of him, his ranking within the tribe would drop, and if it got really bad, he’d be kicked out altogether and left for dead. He also knew that if he ever embarrassed himself by pursuing a girl in the tribe and being rejected, she’d tell the other girls about it—not only would he have blown his chance with that girl, but he might never have a mate at all now because every girl that would ever be in his life knew about his lame, failed attempt. Being socially accepted was everything.

Because of this, humans evolved an over-the-top obsession with what others thought of them—a craving for social approval and admiration, and a paralyzing fear of being disliked. Let’s call that obsession a human’s Social Survival Mammoth. It looks something like this:

Mammoth

Your Great2,000 Grandfather’s Social Survival Mammoth was central to his ability to endure and thrive. It was simple—keep the mammoth well fed with social approval and pay close attention to its overwhelming fears of nonacceptance, and you’ll be fine.

And that was all well and fine in 50,000BC. And 30,000BC. And 10,000BC. But something funny has happened for humans in the last 10,000 years—their civilization has dramatically changed. Sudden, quick change is something civilization has the ability to do, and the reason that can be awkward is that our evolutionary biology can’t move nearly as fast. So while for most of history, both our social structure and our biology evolved and adjusted at a snail’s pace together, civilization has recently developed the speed capabilities of a hare while our biology has continued snailing along.

Our bodies and minds are built to live in a tribe in 50,000BC, which leaves modern humans with a number of unfortunate traits, one of which is a fixation with tribal-style social survival in a world where social survival is no longer a real concept. We’re all here in 2014, accompanied by a large, hungry, and easily freaked-out woolly mammoth who still thinks it’s 50,000BC.

Why else would you try on four outfits and still not be sure what to wear before going out?

Trying on Shirts

 

Trying on ShirtsTrying on Shirts

Trying on Shirts

The mammoth’s nightmares about romantic rejection made your ancestors cautious and savvy, but in today’s world, it just makes you a coward:

Pursuing a Girl

Pursuing a Girl

Pursuing a Girl

Pursuing a Girl

Pursuing a Girl

And don’t even get the mammoth started on the terror of artistic risks:

Karaoke

singing 2

The mammoth’s hurricane of fear of social disapproval plays a factor in most parts of most people’s lives. It’s what makes you feel weird about going to a restaurant or a movie alone; it’s what makes parents care a little too much about where their child goes to college; it’s what makes you pass up a career you’d love in favor of a more lucrative career you’re lukewarm about; it’s what makes you get married before you’re ready to a person you’re not in love with.

And while keeping your highly insecure Social Survival Mammoth feeling calm and safe takes a lot of work, that’s only one half of your responsibilities. The mammoth also needs to be fed regularly and robustly—with praise, approval, and the feeling of being on the right side of any social or moral dichotomy.

Why else would you be such an image-crafting douchebag on Facebook?

Or brag when you’re out with friends even though you always regret it later?

Brag

Society has evolved to accommodate this mammoth-feeding frenzy, inventing things like accolades and titles and the concept of prestige in order to keep our mammoths satisfied—and often to incentivize people to do meaningless jobs and live unfulfilling lives they wouldn’t otherwise consider taking part in.

Above all, mammoths want to fit in—that’s what tribespeople had always needed to do so that’s how they’re programmed. Mammoths look around at society to figure out what they’re supposed to do, and when it becomes clear, they jump right in. Just look at any two college fraternity pictures taken ten years apart:

frat

Or all those subcultures where every single person has one of the same three socially-acceptable advanced degrees:

Diploma

Diploma

Sometimes, a mammoth’s focus isn’t on wider society as much as it’s on winning the approval of a Puppet Master in your life. A Puppet Master is a person or group of people whose opinion matters so much to you that they’re essentially running your life. A Puppet Master is often a parent, or maybe your significant other, or sometimes an alpha member of your group of friends. A Puppet Master can be a person you look up to who you don’t know very well—maybe even a celebrity you’ve never met—or a group of people you hold in especially high regard.

We crave the Puppet Master’s approval more than anyone’s, and we’re so horrified at the thought of upsetting the Puppet Master or feeling their nonacceptance or ridicule that we’ll do anything to avoid it. When we get to this toxic state in our relationship with a Puppet Master, that person’s presence hangs over our entire decision-making process and pulls the strings of our opinions and our moral voice.

puppet master

With so much thought and energy dedicated to the mammoth’s needs, you often end up neglecting someone else in your brain, someone all the way at the center—your Authentic Voice.

AV

Your Authentic Voice, somewhere in there, knows all about you. In contrast to the black-and-white simplicity of the Social Survival Mammoth, your Authentic Voice is complex, sometimes hazy, constantly evolving, and unafraid. Your AV has its own, nuanced moral code, formed by experience, reflection, and its own personal take on compassion and integrity. It knows how you feel deep down about things like money and family and marriage, and it knows which kinds of people, topics of interest, and types of activities you truly enjoy, and which you don’t. Your AV knows that it doesn’t know how your life will or should play out, but it tends to have a strong hunch about the right step to take next.

And while the mammoth looks only to the outside world in its decision-making process, your Authentic Voice uses the outside world to learn and gather information, but when it’s time for a decision, it has all the tools it needs right there in the core of your brain.

Your AV is also someone the mammoth tends to ignore entirely. A strong opinion from a confident person in the outside world? The mammoth is all ears. But a passionate plea from your AV is largely dismissed until someone else validates it.

And since our 50,000-year-old brains are wired to give the mammoth a whole lot of sway in things, your Authentic Voice starts to feel like it’s irrelevant. Which makes it shrink and fade and lose motivation.

 

Eventually, a mammoth-run person can lose touch with their AV entirely.

In tribal times, AVs often spent their lives in quiet obscurity, and this was largely okay. Life was simple, and conformity was the goal—and the mammoth had conformity covered just fine.

But in today’s large, complex world of varying cultures and personalities and opportunities and options, losing touch with your AV is dangerous. When you don’t know who you are, the only decision-making mechanism you’re left with is the crude and outdated needs and emotions of your mammoth. When it comes to the most personal questions, instead of digging deep into the foggy center of what you really believe in to find clarity, you’ll look to others for the answers. Who you are becomes some blend of the strongest opinions around you.

Losing touch with your AV also makes you fragile, because when your identity is built on the approval of others, being criticized or rejected by others really hurts. A bad break-up is painful for everyone, but it stings in a much deeper place for a mammoth-run person than for a person with a strong AV. A strong AV makes a stable core, and after a break-up, that core is still holding firm—but since the acceptance of others is all a mammoth-run person has, being dumped by a person who knows you well is a far more shattering experience.

Likewise, you know those people who react to being criticized by coming back with a nasty low-blow? Those tend to be severely mammoth-run people, and criticism makes them so mad because mammoths cannot handle criticism.

Low Blow

Low BlowAV

Low Blow

Low Blow

At this point, the mission should be clear—we need to figure out a way to override the wiring of our brain and tame the mammoth. That’s the only way to take our lives back.

Part 2: Taming the Mammoth

Some people are born with a reasonably tame mammoth or raised with parenting that helps keep the mammoth in check. Others die without ever reining their mammoth in at all, spending their whole lives at its whim. Most of us are somewhere in the middle—we’ve got control of our mammoth in certain areas of our lives while it wreaks havoc in others. Being run by your mammoth doesn’t make you a bad or weak person—it just means you haven’t yet figured out how to get a grip on it. You might not even be aware that you have a mammoth at all or of the extent to which your Authentic Voice has been silenced.

Whatever your situation, there are three steps to getting your mammoth under your control:

Step 1: Examine Yourself

The first step to improving things is a clear and honest assessment of what’s going on in your head, and there are three parts of this:

1) Get to know your Authentic Voice

meet AV

This doesn’t sound that hard, but it is. It takes some serious reflection to sift through the webs of other people’s thoughts and opinions and figure out who the real you actually is. You spend time with a lot of people—which of them do you actually like the most? How do you spend your leisure time, and do you truly enjoy all parts of it? Is there anything you regularly spend money on that you don’t feel that comfortable with? How does your gut really feel about your job and relationship status? What’s your true political opinion? Do you even care? Do you pretend to care about things you don’t just to have an opinion? Do you secretly have an opinion on a political or moral issue you don’t ever voice because people you know will be outraged?

There are cliché phrases for this process—”soul-searching” or “finding yourself”—but that’s exactly what needs to happen. Maybe you can reflect on this from whatever chair you’re sitting in right now or from some other part of your normal life—or maybe you need to go somewhere far away, by yourself, and step out of your life in order to effectively examine it. Either way, you’ve got to figure out what actually matters to you and start being proud of whoever your Authentic Voice is.

2) Figure out where the mammoth is hiding

mammoth hiding

Most of the time a mammoth is in control of a person, the person’s not really aware of it. But you can’t make progress if you’re not crystal clear about where the biggest problem areas are.

The most obvious way to find the mammoth is to figure out where your fear is—where are you most susceptible to shame or embarrassment? What parts of your life do you think about and a dreadful, sinking feeling washes over you? Where does the prospect of failure seem like a nightmare? What are you too timid to publicly try even though you know you’re good at it? If you were giving advice to yourself, which parts of your life would clearly need a change that you’re avoiding acting on right now?

The second place a mammoth hides is in the way-too-good feelings you get from feeling accepted or on a pedestal over other people. Are you a serious pleaser at work or in your relationship? Are you terrified of disappointing your parents and do you choose making them proud over aiming to gratify yourself? Do you get too excited about being associated with prestigious things or care too much about status? Do you brag more than you should?

A third area the mammoth is present is anywhere you don’t feel comfortable making a decision without “permission” or approval from others. Do you have opinions you’re regurgitating from someone else’s mouth, which you’re comfortable having now that you know that person has them? When you introduce your new girlfriend or boyfriend to your friends or family for the first time, can those people’s reaction to your new person fundamentally change your feelings for him/her? Is there a Puppet Master in your life? If so, who, and why?

3) Decide where the mammoth needs to be ousted

ousted

It’s not realistic to kick the mammoth entirely out of your head—you’re a human and humans have mammoths in their head, period. The thing we all need to do is carve out certain sacred areas of our lives that must be in the hands of the AV and free of mammoth influence. There are obvious areas that need to be made part of the AV’s domain like your choice of life partner, your career path, and the way you raise your kids. Others are personal—it comes down to the question, “In which parts of your life must you be entirely true to yourself?”

 

Step 2: Gather Courage by Internalizing that the Mammoth Has a Low IQ

Real Woolly Mammoths were unimpressive enough to go extinct, and Social Survival Mammoths aren’t any better. Despite the fact that they haunt us so, our mammoths are dumb, primitive creatures who have no understanding of the modern world. Deeply understanding this—and internalizing it—is a key step to taming yours. There are two major reasons not to take your mammoth seriously:

1) The mammoth’s fears are totally irrational.

5 things the Mammoth is incorrect about:

→ Everyone is talking about me and my life and just think how much everyone will be talking about it if I do this risky or weird thing.

Here’s how the mammoth thinks things are:

circles

Here’s how things actually are:

Circle

No one really cares that much about what you’re doing. People are highly self-absorbed.

→ If I try really hard, I can please everyone.

Yes, maybe in a 40-person tribe with a unified culture. But in today’s world, no matter who you are, a bunch of people will like you and a bunch of other people won’t. Being approved of by one type of person means turning another off. So obsessing over fitting in with any one group is illogical, especially if that group isn’t really who you are. You’ll do all that work, and meanwhile, your actual favorite people are off being friends with each other somewhere else.

→ Being disapproved of or looked down upon or shit-talked about has real consequences in my life.

Anyone who disapproves of who you’re being or what you’re doing isn’t even in the same room with you 99.7% of the time. It’s a classic mammoth mistake to fabricate a vision of future social consequences that is way worse than what actually ends up happening—which is usually nothing at all.

→ Really judgy people matter.

Here’s how judgy people function: They’re highly mammoth-controlled and become good friends with and date other judgy people who are also highly mammoth-controlled. One of the primary activities they do together is talk shit about whoever’s not with them—maybe they feel some jealousy, and eye-rolling disapproval helps them flip the script and feel less jealous, or maybe they’re not jealous and use someone as a vehicle for bathing in schadenfreude—but whatever the underlying feeling, the judging serves to feed their hungry mammoth.

eating words 1

eating words 2

eating words 3

When people shit-talk, they set up a category division of which they’re always on the right side. They do this to prop themselves up on a pedestal that their mammoth can chomp away on.

Being the material a judgy person uses to feel good about themselves is a fairly infuriating thought—but it has no actual consequences and it’s clearly all much more about the judgy person and their mammoth problem than it is about you. If you find yourself making decisions partially based on not being talked badly about by a judgy person, think hard about what’s actually going on and stop.

→ I’m a bad person if I disappoint or offend the person/people who love me and have invested so much in me.

No. You’re not a bad person for being whoever your Authentic Voice is in your one life. This is one of those simple things—if they truly selflessly love you, they will for sure come around and accept everything once they see that you’re happy. If you’re happy and they still don’t come around, here’s what’s happening: their strong feelings about who you should be or what you should do are their mammoth talking, and their main motivation is worrying about how it’ll “look” to other people who know them. They’re allowing their mammoth to override their love for you, and they should be adamantly ignored.

Two other reasons why the mammoth’s fearful obsession with social approval makes no sense:

A) You live here:

Earth

So who gives a fuck about anything?

B) You and everyone you know are going to die. Kind of soon.

die

So like…yeah.

The mammoth’s fears being irrational is one reason the mammoth has a low IQ. Here’s the second:

2) The mammoth’s efforts are counterproductive. 

The irony of the whole thing is that the obsessive lumbering mammoth isn’t even good at his job. His methods of winning approval may have been effective in simpler times, but today, they’re transparent and off-putting. The modern world is an AV’s world, and if the mammoth wants to thrive socially, he should do the thing that scares him most—let the AV take over. Here’s why:

AVs are interesting. Mammoths are boring. Every AV is unique and complex, which is inherently interesting. Mammoths are all the same—they copy and conform, and their motives aren’t based on anything authentic or real, just on doing what they think they’re supposed to do. That’s supremely boring.

AVs lead. Mammoths follow. Leadership is natural for most AVs, because they draw their thoughts and opinions from an original place, which gives them an original angle. And if they’re smart and innovative enough, they can change things in the world and invent things that disrupt the status quo. If you give someone a paintbrush and an empty canvas, they might not paint something good—but they’ll change the canvas in one way or another.

Mammoths, on the other hand, follow—by definition. That’s what they were built to do—blend in and follow the leader. The last thing a mammoth is going to do is change the status quo because it’s trying so hard to be the status quo. When you give someone a paintbrush and canvas, but the paint is the same exact color as the canvas, they can paint all they want, but they won’t change anything.

People gravitate toward AVs, not mammoths. The only time a mammoth-crazed person is appealing on a first date is when they’re on the date with another mammoth-crazed person. People with a strong AV see through mammoth-controlled people and aren’t attracted to them. A friend of mine was dating a great on-paper guy awhile back but broke things off because she couldn’t quite fall for him. She tried to articulate why, saying he wasn’t weird or special enough—he seemed like “just one of the guys.” In other words, he was being run too much by a mammoth.

This also holds among friends or colleagues, where AV-run people are more respected and more magnetic—not because there’s necessarily anything extraordinary about them, but because people respect someone with the strength of character to have tamed their mammoth. 

Step 3: Start Being Yourself

This post was all fun and games until “start being yourself” came into the picture. Up to now, this has been an interesting reflection into why humans care so much what other people think, why that’s bad, how it’s a problem in your life, and why there’s no good reason it should continue to plague you. But actually doing something after you finish reading this article is a whole different thing. That takes more than reflection—it takes some courage.

toe in water

But courage against what, exactly? As we’ve discussed, there’s no actual danger involved in being yourself—more than anything, it just takes an Emperor Has No Clothes epiphany, which is as simple as this:

Almost nothing you’re socially scared of is actually scary.

Absorbing this thought will diminish the fear that you feel, and without fear, the mammoth loses some power.

medium mammoth

With a weakened mammoth, it becomes possible to begin standing up for who you are and even making some bold changes—and when you watch those changes turn out well for you with few negative consequences and no regrets, it reinforces the epiphany and an empowered AV becomes a habit. Your mammoth has now lost its ability to pull the strings, and it’s tamed.

small mammoth

The mammoth is still with you—it’ll always be with you—but you’ll have an easier time ignoring or overruling it when it speaks up or acts out, because the AV is the alpha dog now. You can start to relish the feeling of being viewed as weird or inappropriate or confusing to people, and society becomes your playground and blank canvas, not something to grovel before and hope for acceptance from.

Making this shift isn’t easy for anyone, but it’s worth obsessing over. Your Authentic Voice has been given one life—and it’s your job to make sure it gets the opportunity to live it.

Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

OLD SCHOOL

By: Alan Graham

macys1906

As a life long shopper at Macy’s department store, I have always been satisfied with the quality of the clothing and the affordability of such. However of late I am sadly disappointed generally by the level of service everywhere I go, in every store, no matter where I shop.

I am “OLD FASHIONED” and proud to be so, because old fashioned is old world, and old world in my world, RULES.

Gone is the ethic of, “Pride in my work” or “Honesty is the best policy” it has been replaced with  snappish, sharp, blunt even abbreviated service. In the fast paced world of today,  old school, charming and quaint are mere distant memories of those halcyon days.

A Gentleman’s Gentleman:

Enter Raymond, (he prefers Ray) a salesman in the men’s clothing department at the San Diego Ca. Horton Plaza Macy’s store. In London in the 1890s he would have played the role of a gentleman’s gentleman, someone who took care a wealthy man’s every single need from head to toe. 

Macy’s ALWAYS has a sale or special promotion and some super bargains so I almost never shop elsewhere. It is a bit of a struggle to get the right sizes for me, often I would get the arm or leg length wrong and would have to return to exchange the item. When I leave it in the hands of Ray, he makes it look easy and I enjoy stress free shopping which makes the rest of my day a breeze. 

Go see Ray and tell him you would like the same level of, professionalism, politeness, and experience that I received and I guarantee you that he will not only achieve, but he will excel. 

Posted in Clarion Causes, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

CHINESE WISDOM

Submitted By: 

Knight Kroger

According to Confucius and other Chinese philosophers, we shouldn’t be looking for our essential self, let alone seeking to embrace it, because there is no true, unified self to begin with. As Confucius understood, human beings are messy, multidimensional creatures, a jumble of conflicting emotions and capabilities living in a messy, ever-changing world. We are who we are by constantly reacting to one another. Looking within is dangerous.

Instead of struggling to be authentic, Confucius proposed another approach: “as if” rituals, that is, rituals meant to break us out of our own reality for a moment. These rituals are the very opposite of authenticity—and that’s what makes them work. We break from who we are when we note the unproductive patterns we’ve fallen into and actively work to shift them—“as if” we were different people in that moment.

When you hear your girlfriend at the door and make yourself go to greet her instead of sitting there absorbed in your iPhone, you are creating a break. When you make a point of ignoring your mother’s harping and solicit her guidance, you are recognizing that both of you are constantly shifting and changing and capable of bringing out other parts of each other. Instead of being stuck in the roles of nagging mother and put-upon child, you have behaved “as if” you were someone else. It turns out that being insincere, being untrue to ourselves, helps us to grow.

Confucius lectures students in a silk painting from around the Song dynasty (960-1279).
“But if there’s no true self and I’m always changing,” more than one student has asked, “how can I decide on the career that’s right for me?” Today’s students want a plan for their future, which makes sense. Their high-school activities—AP classes, varsity soccer, the service trip to Haiti—were aimed at the goal of college admission, and they believe that a clear road map will help them to take the next step toward a fulfilling and profitable career.

Here again Chinese philosophy offers an alternative, rooted in the idea that the world is a glorious mess.

Consider Mencius, a Confucian philosopher who saw the world as anything but stable. Hard work does not necessarily lead to prosperity. Bad deeds will not necessarily be punished. There are no guarantees. Mencius advocated thinking not in terms of making decisions but of setting trajectories in motion.

Imagine a student who has decided he wants to become a diplomat. He’s always been great at mediating conflicts among his peers. He was involved in Model U.N. in high school, the international section is his favorite part of the newspaper, and he’s become pretty fluent in Spanish. He knows that majoring in international relations and taking his junior year abroad in Spain will give him the experiences that will propel him toward that career in diplomacy.

So he goes off to Spain, but after a month falls ill with a severe respiratory virus that lands him in the hospital. It is his first experience of hospitalization, and it plants a seed: He becomes curious about how and why doctors and hospitals do what they do.

Things can now go one of two ways. He can remain wedded to his long-term plan and let that interest in health care die out. The hospital experience will make for a few good stories for his friends, but it won’t interfere with his plan to take the diplomatic world by storm. Or he can keep diving into his new obsession, reading everything he can, maybe making friends with some of the young residents on his medical team, and eventually return to the U.S. and devote himself to a health-care field instead.

None of this has anything to do with the fact that he was in Spain; it’s just that one series of experiences led to another and opened up things to him that weren’t part of the plan. There’s nothing wrong with spending a year in Madrid or majoring in international relations. But there is something wrong with going abroad as part of a plan that fits in with a vision of who you already are and where you’re going.

Concrete, defined plans for life are abstract because they are made for a self who is abstract: a future self that you imagine based on a snapshot of yourself now. You are confined to what is in the best interests of the person you happen to be right now—not of the person you will become.

Mencius encourages us to think of life not in terms of decisions but as a series of ruptures that lead us from one thing to another. He would say to the students of today and their anxious parents: Live with a constant awareness of the ever-changing world and your ever-shifting self. Train your mind to stay open and constantly take into account all the complex stuff that is you.

But how do you train your mind to stay open, you ask? Zhuangzi, another ancient Chinese philosopher, has the answer: Make a point of breaking out of your limited perspective every day. Live spontaneously at every moment.

But don’t we do that already? We live in a culture that positively reveres spontaneity. We find predictability boring. We chafe at rules. We admire the free thinker, the person who dares to be different, the lone genius who dropped out of college on a whim and founded a startup.

But spontaneity, for Zhuangzi, wasn’t about doing whatever you want whenever you want. What we call spontaneity, he would call the unfettered expression of desires, and there’s no way anyone can embrace that sort of a life all of the time.

Zhuangzi embraced “trained spontaneity.” When you train yourself to play the piano or learn tennis, trying to reach a joyful place where you can play a Mozart sonata or gracefully arc a lob, you are following his advice. You are putting effort into reaching a moment when your mind does not get in the way. You are training yourself not to fall into the trap of seeing yourself through one fixed perspective. You are training yourself to spot the shifts that make for an expansive life.

Doing this doesn’t require formal mastery of an activity; it can happen in everyday life, too. Take a walk with someone very different from you: a toddler, your grandmother or even a dog. Notice that they experience the walk differently from you: The toddler stops to gaze at every rock; your grandmother, an avid gardener, names every flower she sees; the dog tunes into a world of scent.

Realize that each of us moves through a narrow set of instincts. One of them has to do with how we define ourselves: This is what I’m good at, this is what I’m doing to build my life toward the future; these are my leisure activities, which I fit in on the weekends.

But there’s a reason that so many Nobel Prize winners are also musicians, artists, actors, dancers and writers, just as there’s a reason why Steve Jobs drew on his knowledge of calligraphy, which he’d studied in college, when he designed his iconic typography for the Apple computer. It isn’t that diverse activities, so unconnected from the primary work of scientists, help them to loosen up. It’s that a breadth of experiences and perspectives helps break them out of their pathways and see new connections and opportunities everywhere.

With this kind of trained spontaneity, you become able to make connections so that you’re not even waiting for those breaks. In fact, you create the conditions in which they will happen. And you are no longer attempting to fit the diverse experiences you have into a definition of who you are. You are training yourself to see your life as a constant flow of possibilities.

But possibilities, in and of themselves, are not enough. As the Chinese philosopher Xunzi would implore us to remember, what’s most important is what we do with them.

Consider how many of today’s students were raised: Their talents were identified early. They were “athletic,” “good at math,” “a natural at the violin.” Soon enough, they were winnowed into a stream that would allow those talents to flourish. They learned to stick with what they were good at. Over the years, it became instinctive to sideline the interests for which they didn’t show a natural aptitude.

Xunzi argues that we should not think of the self as something to be accepted—gifts, flaws and all. He would argue instead that we should think of the self as a project. Through experiences, we can train ourselves to construct a self utterly different from—and better than—whatever self we thought we were.

A man we know was diagnosed as dyslexic at a very young age. Because of this diagnosis, he became determined to train himself to understand the complexity of languages and sentence structure. He eventually mastered Sanskrit, one of the world’s most difficult languages.

As Xunzi reminds us, nothing is natural. The talents and weaknesses we are born with get in the way if we allow them to determine what we can and cannot do. The only thing you really need to be good at is the ability to train yourself to get better.

We have seen the practical effect of Chinese philosophy among students who have opened themselves to these ideas. There’s the young man who excelled at math and came to Harvard expecting to major in economics, since it played to his strengths, until a semester of foreign language led to travel abroad and new interests; he ended up in a graduate program in East Asian studies instead.

There’s the student who mapped out a career as a scholar in Asian philosophy until his work in music and computing allowed him to develop a new form of electronic instrument, so he founded a company to manufacture it.

Then there’s the young woman who agonized over taking a job on Wall Street because she had planned since high school to work on maternal health issues. She accepted the offer and discovered that working in finance was exactly the “break” she needed.

All of the changes in the lives of these young people came about not through assuming they knew their talents and following a trajectory, but through deliberately breaking with what they thought they knew about themselves. “All I know is America, and I should just experience what it’s like to live somewhere else,” one student told us. “I’m curious about modern dance even though it will have nothing to do with medical school,” said another. “I’ve never been good at languages, but I’m going to take Italian this semester and just see what happens.”

The students we know who have taken these teachings to heart are not expecting that a new interest will necessarily lead to a new direction or a new career. For them, the goal is simply to break from what they think they know about themselves.

So if you want not only to be successful but also to live a good life, consider these subversive lessons of Chinese philosophy: Don’t try to discover your authentic self; don’t be confined by what you are good at or what you love. And do a lot of pretending. We could all benefit from a little more insincerity.

Dr. Puett is a professor of Chinese history at Harvard University. Dr. Gross-Loh is the author of “Parenting Without Borders.” This essay is adapted from their new book, “The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life,” published next week by Simon & Schuster.

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

THE ILLUSTRATED LADY

Written by:  Alan R. Graham.

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All day long, she processes legal documents concerning the most awful transactions between human beings in the dreary proceedings of the restraining order. Esperanza looks ten years younger than he real age, no doubt from clean living. Even now, she does not drink or smoke and her only vice is the adoration of Rock ‘n’ Roll music.

 
We will call her Esperanza Rosas (Hope Roses). A ‘soul child’ blessed with sweet innocence and an unbound adoration for music.
 
She loves to go to concerts of the top Rock and Roll Stars (those still living), and celebrates their artistry like a true fan.
 
I call her “The Illustrated Lady” because she bears rather unusual tattoos, ones that are the names of songs – “I Can See Clearly,” “Let It Be,” “Three Little Birds,” others – all songs of joy and peace.
 
I told her about the book “The Illustrated Man,” written by Ray Bradbury. It became a movie of the same name, starring Rod Steiger, and the plot was dark and foreboding. 
 
The Illustrated Man is classic Bradbury, a collection of eighteen startling visions of humankind’s destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin, visions as keen as the tattooist’s needle and as colorful as the inks that indelibly stain the body. The images, ideas, sounds and scents that abound in this phantasmagoric sideshow are provocative and powerful: the mournful cries of celestial travelers cast out cruelly into a vast space of stars and blackness, the sight of gray dust settling over a forgotten outpost on a road leading nowhere, the pungent odor of Jupiter on a returning father’s clothing. Here living cities take their vengeance, technology awakens the most primal natural instincts, Martian invasions are foiled by the good life and the glad hand, and dreams are carried aloft in junkyard rockets.
 
Esperanza’s tattoos are the polar opposite of that grim tale; they signal only happiness and pure unadulterated bliss.
 
The tiny bit of sadness etched on her sweet soul is barely visible as she deals with the worst scenarios of terrible conflict between neighbors, friends, and family members. All of this she can rise above because she is steeled with her own passion and drive to accomplish her coolest quest, to see Elton John LIVE in Las Vegas.
 
Hope Roses Rocks.

 

Unknown

Afterthoughts:

I sent the rough draft of the article for Hope’s approval before publishing and I received the following response “…

Hi Alan,

Thank you for the rough draft. I enjoyed the article and thank you for not using my real name.
I do approve. That’s very kind of you to say those things and it’s a nice change to meet someone as insightful as yourself to see beyond yourself and the issues that brought you to my window.
Most people who come in are already an emotional wreck and can’t see further than themselves and that’s okay. I get my joy from helping them, to calm them, to empower themselves, to make sure they leave my window with more knowledge and inner strength to deal with whatever their issues might be.
But I could never do that without the passion for music to therapeutically get me through my day so I can help them help themselves. It was a pleasure meeting you. 
As I write this, Moon Shadow comes on the radio. That one might be my next tattoo!
When we were kids, my sister used to sing this to me. It was her favorite song.
She has since passed.
There are no coincidences. 
Ciao 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Where Is The Blue Lady?

  1. 1967 Shelby GT500 in Nightmist Blue.

In April of 1967 there were few rock stars in America bigger than The Doors’ singer and songwriter, Jim Morrison. Seemingly appearing out of nowhere, Jim and his band mates were riding the crest of a mighty wave as their debut album, The Doors, had gone gold and its second single, the contagious Light My Fire, was the number one song in America.

Owing to the fact that that this was his record label’s first chart-topper, Elektra Records founder and President, Jac Holzman, decided to offer each band member any gift they wanted as a reward. Keyboardist Ray Manzerak and guitarist Robbie Krieger opted for state-of-the-art reel-to-reel tape recorders, and drummer John Densmore chose a horse.

What did Morrison want? He knew he wanted a car, but didn’t know what kind. That is, until he saw the Shelby Mustang GT350 owned by his hair stylist (and future Manson Family murder victim), Jay Sebring. Jim thought the car looked both classy and brutal, and asked Holzman for one. Holzman agreed and did one better, buying Jim a brand new, Nightmist Blue 1967 Shelby GT500.

The car was christened “The Blue Lady” by Morrison’s friend, Babe Hill; it was named after a character in a screenplay Morrison had been working on. Jim’s Shelby was equipped with a 428 Police Interceptor powerplant with dual quad Holley carburetors and a four-speed manual transmission. The car was unusual in a number of ways, as it had a parchment interior in lieu of the black more commonly found with Nightmist Blue cars.

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It also lacked the bumper-to-bumper Le Mans stripe that most Shelbys had draped across the top. It had the rare 10-spoke wheels, and was not equipped with air conditioning. As an early production car, it also differed from the GT500 norm by having large, round, twin fog lights paired close together in the center of the grille. Later cars had smaller, rectangular lights towards the outer corners of the grille to comply with Federal vehicle regulations.

Equipped as it was, Jim’s GT500 packed 335 horsepower at 5,400 rpm, and 420 lb-ft of torque at3,200 rpm. This was good for a consistent 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds and a standing quarter mile of 15.0 seconds at 95 mph. Heady stuff for 1967.

Jim was fond of the prodigious output, and often liked to use its full potential in less than lawful ways racing around the canyons of the Hollywood Hills at breakneck speeds. Seeing Jim at gas stations pumping high-test into The Blue Lady was likely a fairly common sight around Los Angeles, as the car only averaged 10 mpg, and likely far less given his driving habits.

A troubled artistic genius, Jim was known to be a hard drinker, and as we all know that does not mix well with cars. As such, The Blue Lady suffered many accidents during his ownership. In each case, Jim managed to plow down a part of the Los Angeles scenery and walk away unscathed, only to report the car stolen later and have it repaired. One such incident allegedly involved Jim running down some young trees right in front of a police station.

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In the Spring of 1969, Jim and his friends Babe Hill, Frank Lisciandro, and Paul Ferrara decamped to the desert near Palm Springs to shoot what was essentially an extended trailer for a feature film that Jim intended to direct and star in. The movie was to be called Highway, but was later changed to HWY: An American Pastoral.

It told the story of a psychopathic hitchhiker who kills a man that gives him a ride, and then steals his car. Not surprisingly, the vehicle in the film happens to be one 1967 Nightmist Blue Shelby GT500. The movie was shot over a period of several weeks in 35mm, and was later edited into a one-hour demonstration of what the feature could be. Jim appears in the film with very long hair and a thick beard, and persists in thrashing the Shelby along dirt roads and desert locales, doing donuts and indulging in general automotive mayhem.

Not long after HWY was shot, something happened to Jim’s Shelby. Friends of his have differing recollections and summations as to what transpired. According to some, one evening in the Fall of 1969 Jim was driving recklessly and ran into a telephone pole on Sunset Boulevard. After inspecting the damage, Jim wandered off on foot to a favorite bar for the rest of the night.

When he returned, the car was gone; ostensibly towed away by the police. Others suggest that Jim left the car in long-term parking at LAX for an extended period of time during a concert tour, and when he returned it had been towed and sold at public auction. Still others contend that Jim totaled the car in some feat of misadventure, and that it was crushed for scrap. Although none of these stories have been, or can be verified, three things are certain: 1) Jim was never seen driving the Shelby after that Fall; 2) For the duration of his time living in Los Angeles, he was seen driving a variety of rental cars; 3) The car has been missing ever since.

Many a car collector in the past has set out to track down a significant lost car with the intention of restoring it to its former glory. But values of vintage Shelby Mustangs are at an all time high, and interest in Jim Morrison has never been stronger. Couple that with auction prices of cars formerly owned by iconic figures reaching stratospheric levels (such as we have seen with the recent sales of Steve McQueen’s automobiles) then it should be no great surprise that at this very moment, there are literally dozens of people actively on the trail of what could potentially be the most valuable Shelby of all.

According to the California DMV, “The Blue Lady” was last recorded with the state on April 30, 1969. Its ownership was listed as James Douglas Morrison, care of Johnson/Harband, the accounting firm that handled The Doors’ finances. Amateur Blue Lady sleuths who have contacted the firm, now known as Johnson/Harbrand/Foster/Davis, have been greeted with something less than enthusiasm when discussing the car on the record. But they have suggested that they get the feeling the firm is, in fact, holding back some pertinent information.

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KEEP YOUR NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE

By: Alan Graham

“Keep your nose to the grindstone”

Meaning:  Apply yourself conscientiously to your work.

Origin

There are two rival explanations as to the origin of this phrase. One is that it comes from the supposed habit of millers who checked that the stones used for grinding cereal weren’t overheating by putting their nose to the stone in order to smell any burning. The other is that it comes from the practice of knife grinders when sharpening blades to bend over the stone, or even to lie flat on their fronts, with their faces near the grindstone in order to hold the blades against the stone.

Left quote
The miller’s tale might have worked for Chaucer, but it doesn’t help here.
right quote
All the evidence is against the miller’s tale. Firstly, the stones used by millers were commonly called millstones, not grindstones. The two terms were sometimes interchanged but the distinction between the two was made at least as early as 1400, when this line was printed in Turnament Totenham:

“Ther was gryndulstones in gravy, And mylstones in mawmany.”

The Middle English language there is difficult to interpret but it certainly shows the grindstones and millstones as being distinct from each other. If the derivation was from milling we would expect the phrase to be ‘nose to the millstone’.

A second point in favour of the tool sharpening derivation is that all the early citations refer to holding someone’s nose to the grindstone as a form of punishment. This is more in keeping with the notion of the continuous hard labour implicit in being strapped to one’s bench than it is to the occasional sniffing of ground flour by a miller. 

nose to the grindstone

The first known citation is John Frith’s A mirrour or glasse to know thyselfe, 1532:

“This Text holdeth their noses so hard to the grindstone, that it clean disfigureth their faces.”

The phrase appears in print at various dates since the 16th century. It was well-enough known in rural USA in the early 20th century for this picture, which alludes to the ‘holding someone’s nose to the grindstone’ version of the phrase, to have been staged as a joke (circa 1910).

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LOST LIZARD RECORDINGS

By Al Graham

The audio isn’t the best, it frequently cuts out because of failing batteries, every once in a while someone talks over it, and because it’s recorded on a cassette player with the sound coming through The Doorsamplifiers at times it sounds like a parody of The Doors especially some of Jim Morrison’s singing. But it fills a hole in The Doors history giving us a document of what The Doors performance in Dallas on December 11, 1970, which was the second from last night The Doors would perform live with Jim Morrison.

The show was taped by Jim Bayliss who drove overnight to make the concert, he snuck his tape recorder in in a knapsack, and was able to capture four songs “Palace in the Canyon”, “L.A. Woman”, “Riders on the Storm” both of which would have been new to the audience as The Doors were still in the process of recording the “L.A. Woman” album, and “The End”. You can listen to the entirety of Bayliss’ tape in the video with this article.

Bayliss who has posted a review of the concert on Mild Equator in which he describes the atmosphere of the show, how the auditorium seemed to have been built as an opera house with an orchestra pit, large cushioned seats, and “operatic balconies”. Frisbees where flying around the room, he noticed a buxom young lady making her way up the aisle, a guy at the front row who was talking up a girl and was either John Densmore or someone who could have passed for him. The opening act was a band named The Courtship who played for about a half hour before The Doors came on. The band played “Roadhouse Blues”, “Crawling King Snake” and “Ship of Fools” before starting the Morrison poem/song “Palace in the Canyon” which is the point Bayliss turned on his tape recorder. You can read Bayliss’ full review at the Mild Equator website.

The tape became known because Bayliss first posted the “Palace in the Canyon” fragment on Youtube on February 18, it was linked to on the Freedom Man forum where Chris Simondet noticed it and did some research and was able to find Bayliss and got the tape digitized at his expense and sent a copy to The Doors (Simondet is a researcher who can find tapes and films of bands even with little information and a 40 year cold trail. If you have something that may be of interest or need researched you can find Simondet on Facebook). With the 50th anniversary of the release of The Doors first album coming up in January 2017 might this be something The Doors will be able to re-master and release for that anniversary?

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Caring Cop

PhoenixCop

A homeless man, huddled on a sidewalk in the heart of Phoenix, wasn’t hurting anyone, but he was apparently a bother to people coming and going from a gas station. When police arrived to address the situation, one officer sensed something familiar about the man. Upon closer inspection, the officer realized what he had and dropped to his knees in front of stunned onlookers.

Raymond Celaya happened to be in the area Friday afternoon, and rather than intervening in the situation, he stood back and recorded what he witnessed. Phoenix Police Officer Mark Valenzuela had approached the unidentified homeless man with a question, when he immediately took notice of what stunned him about the man’s feet.

They were bare, and it was cold outside, even for the typically mild Arizona city. But with no shoes or socks, he had walked his feet raw, and he couldn’t go another step. Valenzuela thought something was very familiar to him when he looked at the homeless man’s feet.

While it’s common for the homeless to be without proper shoes, Valenzela realized at that moment that he had pair of shoes that might fit this man, who had a much greater need for them. He grabbed the practically new footwear from his patrol car, but he didn’t just simply hand them to the homeless man. What he did next was a true act of selfless love for a stranger.

 

The officer asked the vagrant to have a seat on the back of his car and told him to get comfortable. He knelt before the needy man and dressed his feet in a warm pair of socks he had for him, before sliding each new shoe on the man’s feet. He took special care to make sure they fit him well and that they were comfortable. They didn’t just suffice, the shoes were his exact size.

The grateful homeless man reached into his pocket and grabbed a few bucks to give to the caring cop for the shoes. Officer Valenzuela told him that the gift didn’t come from him and that all glory goes to God. “He was just very thankful. I could see a little bit of money in his pocket, he had some dollar bills and some change,” the kindhearted cop explained. “He wanted to pay me for the shoes and I just told him they were a gift from God.”

The shoes are a gift from God, as it’s not a coincidence that the right size was in the car of the cop who came to the scene that day. The officer’s servant heart is also a gift from God, and the homeless man offering to pay him is a sign of gratitude, which is one of the greatest gifts one can be blessed with. The officer did not only warm this man’s feet, he warmed his soul and let him know he’s not alone in this life.

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Another One Bites The Dust

By: Alan Graham

Unknown images

Keith Emerson Dead From Gunshot To Head In Apparent Suicide

On their official Facebook site, the band wrote, “We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, aged 71. We ask that the family’s privacy and grief be respected.” Band member Carl Palmer stated on his personal page, “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, Keith Emerson.” 

Palmer went on to call his bandmate “a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come. He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz. I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humor, compelling showmanship, and dedication to his musical craft. I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did, together.” Gossip Cop has reached out to the band’s management regarding the situation, but we have yet to hear back.

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THE FIFTH BEATLE

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 By: A. R. Graham

The so-called ‘Fifth Beatle’ signed the band (then minus Ringo) in 1962 and introduced lavish arrangements into their songs.

George Martin, the “Fifth Beatle” and British treasure who signed the Fab Four to a label contract when no one else would, produced virtually all their songs and introduced lavish arrangements into “Yesterday” and “A Day in the Life,” has died. He was 90.

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr shared the news on Twitter, writing “Peace and love… George will be missed.” A Universal Music Group spokesperson confirmed Martin’s death, though details are not yet clear.

The producer, executive, arranger, musician and British knight was behind a whopping 23 No. 1 singles in the U.S. and 30 in the U.K.

As head of EMI’s Parlophone Records, which in its early years concentrated on jazz and comedy, Martin was on the lookout for a rock act when he met Beatles manager Brian Epstein in February 1962. Every other British label had passed on signing the foursome — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best.

Martin called their demo made for Decca Records a month earlier “rather unpromising,” but there was something about those Lennon-McCartney harmonies, so he scheduled The Beatles for a recording session at EMI’s Abbey Road studios in June. He liked what he heard and signed them up. (The Hollies would later join Parlophone as well.)

Martin chose not to promote one of them as the frontman, suggested they replace Best (Starr came on board) and allowed them to record their own material. Their first single, “Love Me Do,” peaked at No. 17 on the British charts.

For The Beatles’ first U.S. single, “Please Please Me,” in November 1962, he convinced the boys to speed up the tempo. It proved to be a smash hit. “Gentlemen, you have just made your first No. 1 record,” he memorably told them from the control room.

Martin also served as The Beatles’ arranger. He suggested strings be added to “Yesterday,” which would become one of the most covered songs of all time, and conducted the string section for “Eleanor Rigby.” He played piano on “In My Life” and composed its harpsichord section; was responsible for the breathtaking orchestral windup in “A Day in the Life;” and used backward tapes to help shape the psychedelic elements of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Martin described his relationship with The Beatles in his 1979 book, All You Need Is Ears.

“I must emphasize that it was a team effort,” Martin wrote. “Without my instruments and scoring, very many of the records would not have sounded as they do. Whether they would have been any better, I cannot say. They might have been. That is not modesty on my part; it is an attempt to give a factual picture of the relationship.”

Martin received an Academy Award nomination for best music, scoring of music, adaptation or treatment for The Beatles’ 1964 classic film A Hard Day’s Night, directed by Richard Lester; arranged the score for their 1968 animated movie Yellow Submarine; and scored, with Paul and Linda McCartney, the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die.

He also worked on such film as Crooks Anonymous (1962), The Family Way (1966) and Pulp(1972), which starred Michael Caine and Mickey Rooney.

In 2006, Martin remixed, along with his son Giles Martin, the music for Love, the Cirque du Soleil production that celebrated Beatles music in conjunction with Apple Corps. It included a new orchestral song, written by Martin, for a solo version of Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

Martin also produced for Cilla Black (for her hit song “Alfie”), Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Mahavishnu Orchestra, America, Jeff Beck, Cheap Trick, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Kenny Rogers, Neil Sedaka, Jimmy Webb, Dire Straits, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Meat Loaf, Carly Simon, Celine Dion and Kate Bush, among others.

Martin was knighted in 1996 (a year before McCartney received the honor) and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

Martin was born on Jan. 3, 1926, in Highbury, London. He received a few piano lessons as a child but mostly learned to play by himself and had “fantasies about being the next Rachmaninoff.”

Martin entered the Royal Navy, and after leaving the service in 1947, he received a government grant to study music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, a London college, where he learned composition, orchestration and how to play the oboe.

Martin said he decided to pick up the oboe because he figured it could help him earn a living, and indeed, it helped him score a job producing classical baroque recordings at Parlophone, run by Oscar Preuss.

Martin became the head of A&R in 1955 when Preuss retired and found success with such comedy records as Peter Ustinov’s 1952 novelty record “Mock Mozart” (Anthony Hopkins played harpsichord on one song) and worked with Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Lennon, a big comedy fan, surely was impressed by this facet of Martin’s career.

In 1962, under the pseudonym Ray Cathode, Martin put out an electronic dance single, “Time Beat,” recorded at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, which fueled his desire to find a rock ’n’ roll group with whom to work.

In 1963, records produced by Martin spent 37 weeks at No. 1 in the U.K.

He left EMI in 1965 but continued to work in a freelance capacity, producing The Beatles’ final album release, Abbey Road. (Phil Spector took over, for the most part, on the Let It Be album and documentary.) He opened the AIR recording studios in London and the Caribbean and attracted such artists as The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and The Police to record.

Martin’s work with McCartney also included producing his albums Tug of War (1982), Pipes of Peace (1983) — which featured McCartney collaborations with Wonder and Michael Jackson — and Flaming Pie (1997). Along with his longtime engineer Geoff Emerick, Martin oversaw postproduction on an eight-track analog-mixing desk for platinum-selling compilations like Live at the BBC and Anthology, which featured unreleased songs “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love.”

Martin wrote three books, including his 1979 autobiography, All You Need Is Love, co-written with Jeremy Hornsby. He produced and hosted The Rhythm of Life, a BBC documentary series that highlighted artists and discussed musical compositions, and the 2011 documentary Produced by George Martin gained worldwide acclaim, offering an insider’s peak into the producer’s life.

In 1997, Martin rerecorded Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind,” originally written by John and Bernie Taupin about Marilyn Monroe but retooled as a tribute to Princess Diana. The song became the second best-selling single in history, and Martin called it “probably my last single. It’s not a bad one to go out on.”

A year later, Martin’s produced the album In My Life, on which artists and actors covered songs in The Beatles catalog; Robin Williams and Bobby McFerrin provided the vocals on “Come Together.”

Martin married Sheena Chisholm, whom he had met in the service, on his 22nd birthday in 1948, and after they divorced, wed Judy Lockhart-Smith, a Parlophone secretary, in 1966.

In addition to his son Giles, survivors include his other children Alexis, Gregory and Lucy

Posted in Clarion Rock, Summer 2016 | Leave a comment

BOY JESUS

the-young-messiah

There are many movies being made by Hollywood nowadays but only a handful of them are considered gems by movie critics. The “cynical” movie reviewer Joseph Farah did not think that he would like “The Young Messiah” directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh and co-written with his wife Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh, but he liked it so much that he actually watched it three times already.

Farah did not want to dish out any spoilers, because he really wants people to watch the movie for themselves in theatres. What he did say, however, was how brilliantly the movie was executed.

“I’m just going to tell you it is faithful to the time period, it is gorgeously filmed, it is extraordinarily well acted, and the story is utterly amazing, endearing and inspiring,” he gushed. “Though the story is obviously extra-biblical, its spirit is in harmony with the message of the Scriptures.”

He also raved about the performance of the young lead Adam Greaves-Neal. He called the boy a “star” who delivered an “unforgettable” portrayal.

What impressed Farah even more was how the movie was made despite the difficulties it faced. “Nowrasteh had many doors slammed in his face. Money was tight. There were many roadblocks and obstacles to overcome to get the picture made and released in a big nationwide opening next month,” he wrote.

Still, the couple persevered in order to share with the world the early years of Christ. “I can’t wait for more people to see it and to learn of its effect on our culture,” he said. “It’s a powerful movie. I can’t say enough about it.”

“The Young Messiah” will make its way to cinemas on March 11.

“It’s a fictional interpretation of what it must have been like for the 7-year-old Jesus to learn His destiny,” he wrote for WND. “It starts in Egypt, where Jesus spent His early years. We often forget about that time because the Bible offers little in the way of detail about it. Later, we follow Jesus, Mary and Joseph as they travel back to their home in Nazareth.”

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ON A MISSION FROM GOD

BY: ALAN GRAHAM.

original

I was having a garage sale on the corner of third and Orange when I saw a woman staring at a Jim Morrison T-Shirt I was selling. I asked her if she knew who he was and she told me a most heartwarming story.

When she was nine years old she was so imbued with the music of the Doors she convinced her mother that she should take her to see them when they came to play the Sports Arena in San Diego. I have heard  many tales of young fans but none ever this young.

The concert ended leaving the mother bewildered by her child’s passion for this deeply complex music, but leaving the child even more consumed by the hypnotic lure of the mysterious/dangerous lyrics plus the spellbinding voice of Jim Morrison.

As we talked it became evident that this was no ordinary woman, in fact she was Dr. Patricia Aubanel M.D. world renowned interventional cardiologist, indeed, and she was talking to me about my late brother in law Jim Morrison.

As the conversation progressed we talked of the many things we had in common even though we came from polar opposite stations in life, we spoke as if we had known each other for all our lives.

Then the most stunning and thrilling piece of information knocked me to my knees with joy and happiness. Dr. Patricia Aubanel M.D. world renowned interventional cardiologist was also at the bedside of my heroin in her last days Mother Teresa.

To my great sadness I had heard that this great soul had made  comments about how her work was “all for naught” and she would die believing this sad conclusion.

Happily it turns out that it was utterly false, and for me most gratifying because I remember the story she told about her visions, including one of herself conversing with Christ on the Cross.

Her confessor, Father Celeste Van Exem, was convinced that her mystical experiences were genuine. “[Her] union with Our Lord has been continual and so deep and violent that rapture does not seem very far,” he commented. Teresa later wrote simply, “Jesus gave Himself to me.”

Always there will be uncertainty in the minds of people about the faith of Mother Teresa,  but there is NO doubt in the mind of Dr Aubanel, “Mother Teresa was faithful until the very end, her commitment to her faith and her life’s work never wavered”

We promised to meet again and I would interview her, The Doctor and I parted ways and after she had gone I felt the presence of Jesus combined with a deep but intangible spiritual sediment lingering in the morning sunrise.

Baja California has many sons and daughters to be proud of, great athletes, media personalities, politicians, scientist and excellent medical professionals. One of the most outstanding personalities in the region is Dr. Patricia Aubanel M.D. world renowned interventional cardiologist. Patricia Aubanel was born in Tijuana, daughter of two great personalities in Baja California, Dr. Gustavo Aubanel and Misses Luisa Riedel Aubanel. Her parents participated actively in regional politics, Dr. Gustavo was the first mayor of Tijuana after years of advocacy for Baja California to be recognized as a free state.

At the age of seven she decided she wanted to become a doctor, but it wasn’t until years later when she was in Pennsylvania for additional training when she found her true passion, the reason why her heart beats a little faster, her life’s mission, the practice of interventional cardiology.After earning her medical degree, Dr. Aubanel later attended Miami University and prepared to pass her medical licensing.“It was like going to medical school all over again,” she says. She did her residency in internal medicine at Boston University and was trained in interventional cardiology at Harvard’s Mass General Hospital. A few years later, she returned to the West Coast as a doctor at the internationally renowned Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation in La Jolla, California, where she served as a Fellow for Dr. Richard Schatz.

Her time spent in training with Dr. Schatz was transcendental to her life and to her future patients, it would revolutionize the way cardiologist would practice medicine in Mexico; due to the fact she was among the first doctors in the world, and the only non-U.S. doctor, to be trained in the stent. Mexico’s first experience with the stent was in 1990, when it was implanted at the National Institute of Cardiology; tellingly, it received approval in Mexico five years before the FDA approved it in the U.S. Dr. Aubanel would spend five years training thousands of doctors on both sides of the border on how to apply the new procedure.

The stent is a tube designed to be inserted into a vessel or passageway to keep it open. Stents are inserted into narrowed coronary arteries to help keep them open after a procedure called balloon angioplasty. The stent then allows the normal flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.

She has worked with many high profile individuals, but perhaps her most well know patient was Mother Teresa of Calcutta, catholic nun with a mission to help the impoverish. The nun was spending a fair amount of time in Tijuana working with the poor but her health was failing, so the bishop approached the doctor to asses Mother Teresa. At the time Dr. Aubanel was very busy working in Mexico as well in the USA. Seeing patients at Hospital del Prado in Tijuana and performing surgery and receiving advanced training at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla. In 1990 she created a private coronary and intensive care unit in Tijuana; it was the first of its kind in the state of Baja California.

She did Mother Teresa’s assessment at Hospital del Prado. “Mother Teresa are you ready to die? Asked the good doctor, have you fulfilled your mission on earth?’ She said no. She told her that before she died she wanted to go to China. She had tried before but the government hadn’t cooperated. “Can you help me get to China?” she asked Dr. Aubanel.Yes, but first there was work to be done.

After Dr. Aubanel evaluated Mother Teresa, the treatment of choice was decided, she concluded that she would open Mother Teresa’s vessel with the employment of the stent. But a complication existed Mother Teresa’s age, she was 81 at the time, she had bad over all health and she was not considered a good candidate for a stent. And a final barrier:

Mother Teresa didn’t want to be treated at Scripps Clinic, because she considered Scripps a clinic for millionaires She wanted the procedure done in Tijuana. She explained that they didn’t have the facilities,” she says. Mother Teresa responded: “What about your people? You need to take care of your people.” Dr. Aubanel gave her many reasons, all legitimate: she didn’t have the time right now to undertake such a big commitment, nor did she have the funds to build a coronary center in Tijuana. Mother Teresa wasn’t buying it. “You don’t need money, you need faith.” That day Dr. Aubanel made a commitment to herself and to Mother Teresa, to open a special center to treat the thousands of people of Tijuana with coronary and vascular complications. Mother Teresa requested that there be a chapel and said she’d be there for the first mass. “That way,” Dr. Aubanel explained, “the Institute would be blessed forever and she’d pray for every patient.” The operation was a success.

Since then Dr. Aubanel has offered many conferences in distant parts of the world; she has won many acknowledgments, including women of the year 1992, in the United States a foundation in Washington D.C awarded her again women of the year, for Latin women in the United States. She has also been awarded by the medical consumer research counsel to be one of the best doctors in the continent; she has been the only Mexican to be awarded this honor.

If you where to ask what makes Dr. Aubanel an extraordinary woman, and there is no doubt that she is, all those who know her would answer, that her compassion for others, her kindness to her patients, and strong values, make all her knowledge pale in comparison to the warmth of her nature and great spirit.

Great things are achieve when people invest time and effort in helping their fellow man, and don’t see illnesses, finances or stepping stones in order to accomplish a goal, an example of commitment to her patients can truly be said about Dr. Aubanel she has dedicated her life to saving and protecting the quality of life of thousands of individuals over the world. Now a day’ she has a passionate new project, the research and application of evolutionary use of stem cells. The most incredible aspect is that we are not inventing anything; it’s all nature, a Gift of God! As Mother Teresa would say.

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ALIVE & WELL?????????

VIDEO: Jim Morrison found ALIVE in New York, new shock claim

DOORS frontman Jim Morrison faked his death and is living homeless in New York, a filmmaker claims.

Videos of an ageing, bearded hippy singing, citing poetry and performing the Lizard King’s trademark dance have emerged online.The vagrant insists his name is Richard and refuses to confirm or deny he is Morrison – who supposedly died aged 27 on July 3, 1971.

But an amateur cameraman has followed “Richard” for seven years – and released footage he believes proves Morrison lives.

Homeless man Richard is supposedly Jim MorrisonSGLOOKALIKE: Homeless Richard (left) is a looks similar to Jim Morrison 

“You can’t hide the voice”

Josh Hicks

The Light My Fire singer – who would be 71 if he were alive – was reportedly found dead in the bath of an apartment in Paris, France.

He was said to have died of heart failure after years of abusing booze and drugs.

But conspiracy theorists have long claimed he faked his death and has been sighted in many places – from the Bahamas to Paris and Oregon in the US – since.

YouTube videographer Brokkenstar begun documenting the Morrison doppleganger – who appears to have a similar taste for alcohol and cigarettes – in 2009.

Seven videos chart an apparent friendship with the hairy hobo – who he calls Jim throughout.

Jim Morrison and Richard pulling a similar dead-eyed stareSGDEAD RINGER: It’s easy to see why people think Richard is the Lizard King

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Summer Edition 2016 Back cover

summer-of-love-ron-magnes

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Poet On The Bridge

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The City of Seattle wants to pay someone $10,000 to live part time in the Fremont Bridge’s northwest tower and write poetry… this is not a joke. Via the Seattle PI,

“The poet or writer selected for the Fremont Bridge post will be expected to produce at least one work that can be presented by the city. (Office of Arts & Culture spokeswoman Calandra ) Childers said that could be a spoken-word piece, an essay or a collection of poetry, or something different.

“Childers said the hope is that the artist’s time on the bridge will help the rest of us understand its place in Seattle life.”

The poet cannot actually live in the bridge… the room where the “living” would take place is not well heated and there is no running water.

But, that’s not all. The city is also looking to pay $15,000 to an artist who works with light. The artist is supposed to add “light-based work to the bridge”—slightly less ridiculous.

The Seattle Department of Transportation must put 1 percent of new construction budget toward public art. Usually, that money is used to pay for pieces of public art around Seattle. Or, it’s simply integrated in building design.

So, if you are interested in living in a bridge and writing a poem about Seattle, the deadline for applications is February 16th.

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Strange Tales of Jim Morrison, Part Three

Strange Tales of Jim Morrison, Part Three

By: Zack Kopp

In which your reporter was graced with an audience by email and Skype a few years ago with the esteemed Alan Graham, former agent provocateur of Larry Flynt, and benefited from renewed contact with that worthy, brother in law of Jim Morrison and faithful defender of his good name against a sensationalistic media.

His Brother’s Keeper

Over the last fifty-eight or so years, expatriate Englishman Alan Graham, who now lives in the San Diego area, had first-hand experience of a number of pop-cultural hot-points—he witnessed the Beatles’ hometown heyday via their lunchtime sessions at the Cavern Club on Matthew Street in Liverpool, England; became brother in law to American poet and rock and roll superstar Jim Morrison of the Doors; served as assistant and spokesman for Hustler publisher Larry Flynt; was falsely accused of making a bomb threat against former U.S. president Ronald Reagan—and those are only the standouts. Graham was lucky or fated bystander to multiple noteworthy people and events in the latter portion of the 20th century. For the record, Mr. Graham has categorically denied all of Floyd Bocox’s allegations. After I finished the first draft of this article, I reestablished contact with the esteemed Mr. Graham, living witness of multiple cultural flashpoints in the onngoing war between freedom and control, living icon of a strain in recent United States history which, in this reporter’s opinion, has yet to be properly esteemed in the public record.

Alan Graham

After moving to London, where his brother, John, was managing the rock group Johnny Kidd and the Pirates (of “Shakin’ All Over” and “I’ll Never Get Over You” fame), Graham met his American girlfriend, Anne Morrison, daughter of a career Navy man, Admiral George Stephen Morrison. Graham married Anne in 1967, which was being touted in newspapers as the “summer of love,” and shortly after they married, Anne’s brother, Jim, became incredibly famous as the vocalist and frontman for a rock group based in Los Angeles called the Doors well known for its provocative anthems about breaking through to the other side and getting higher. Jim was touted in the press as an “erotic politician.” Contrary to this volatile, dangerous image, the Jim Morrison Alan Graham knew and loved was his friend, his wife’s brother, and the son of her family. All his recollections of Jim are colored by this affinity, even those concerning Jim’s penchant to upset his own apple cart periodically. “On Thanksgiving morning, 1969, Anne, [Jim’s brother] Andy, and I drove from Coronado to Jim’s house in the Hollywood hills. We brought a big cooked turkey and spent the day visiting with Jim and his ‘girlfriend,’ Pam Courson, until a simmering feud from the night before suddenly erupted into a knockdown, drag out fight. In the movie, The Doors, Oliver Stone cut and pasted that scene from my manuscript with another piece of mine entitled The Japanese Restaurant.”
Alan Graham2 When Jim died young of apparent heart failure in 1971, after the conclusion of his trial for indecent exposure while onstage in Miami and the completion of what turned out to be the last Doors album, L.A. Woman, rumors appeared in the mainstream press that he had faked his death, something he’d reportedly spoken of wanting to do in the past. Graham agrees this is possible, if unlikely.  “In this day and age, I don’t know . . . The only person who knows is Pamela Courson (who died of a drug overdose in 1974). Don’t forget the body was put on ice overnight. The morgues were closed. It was left on Saturday and Sunday night till Monday morning and his body was really blue. She never saw it. Nobody saw that body till it came from the morgue in the coffin, ready for the funeral. Pamela wouldn’t look at it. Nobody looked at it. The likelihood that it could’ve been somebody else is extremely high and Morrison could’ve seen it and went into hiding and said this is my chance to get away from . . . his life and the people around him.”

At the time we first spoke, Graham had no patience for things like the “Jim Morrison’s baby scam” being perpetrated by Lorraine Widen and her son, soundalike Cliff Morrison who refuses to consent to a DNA test to prove Jim’s paternity, supposedly because he’d rather “let people decide for themselves,” nor the ongoing exposure of fraudulence conducted by Cliff’s former manager Floyd Bocox—but without any feeling of malice or offense, both of these derivative outgrowths are simply beneath his notice. “You know I heard Cliff’s actually come to believe the whole fantasy now. To him it’s not even a scam anymore, but for her, it’s the worst possible form of child abuse.” Graham hosts a podcast called “House of Detention” on the Ghost Radio Network, and his Ghost Radio International Paranormal Investigation Team (GRIPIT) regularly tracks down and investigates opportunists claiming to be the real Jim Morrison or his son or his daughter. Notably, Doors guitarist Robby Krieger’s son, Waylon, has played bass and guitar in Cliff Morrison’s Lizard Sun band as well as supporting his father (the author of “Light My Fire”) on guitar and vocals at several tribute appearances.
Cliff and his mother, Lorraine Widen, who claims to have had an affair with Jim, are by no means alone in their attempt to assert a connection with Morrison after formal declaration of his death. Every identifiable aspect of a rock star like Jim Morrison is parceled out and marketed as a signature trait for the fans’ efficient consumption, and after Jim dies or disappears, anything can happen to the image he left in the world. Oregon rodeo website owner Gerald Pitts claims to be Jim Morrison’s agent. He even claims to have convinced former Doors Robby Krieger and John Densmore that his “client” (a rancher named Jim Loyer, owner of the Jim Morrison Sanctuary Rach, who has long since denied any connection with Gerald Pitts) is Morrisonand to have almost arranged a Doors reunion, only to have been prevented by evil genius Ray Manzarek, who “want(s) to see Jim personally and Jim will not tolerate it. He wants to work through his agent. So, when that game started, I knew there was no use for him to come over here because if he came over to meet with me, he’d want to go up and talk to Jim on his own and I’d be left out of the project.” (In other words, demand proof and the deal’s off).

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British author David Icke, who believes the world to be controlled by extraterrestrial reptilians disguised as kings and queens and presidents, has proposed Jim was an experimental individual in the service of these reptile overlords, since Morrison wrote a few songs about lizards. Once you get fame in America, the purpose is feeding the fame. Personal truths can be toys in the hands of a self-devouring cannibal like that. Jim’s immediate relatives, the likeliest authorities on who he really was, have remained aloof from biographical representations of their deceased loved one because they feel themselves bound by a military code of privacy and decency, and as a result, have generally been excluded from the manipulation of Jim’s image since his departure from the public eye. As evidenced by the role he played as consultant in the making of Oliver Stone’s film, The Doors, Alan Graham has been steadfast in his efforts as the “odd man in” to redeem Jim Morrison’s image. In addition to co-producing with Anne a four-phase documentary project about Jim called Poeté Somnolant  “Sleeping Poet” (Sylvester Stallone and John Travolta both vied unsuccessfully for the starring role), Graham has written a book called I Remember Jim Morrison intended to include the humanizing element noticeably absent from bestselling portrayals of Jim like the one in Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman’s No One Here gets Out Alive, and counteract all the attempts to sensationalize the dark side of Jim’s image as rock god dead by misadventure.
Graham’s wild years outlived dear lost brother Jim. During Hustler publisher Larry Flynt’s fifteen minutes of infamy in the 1980s Graham served as Flynt’s assistant, his unspecified job to provide a kind of buffer zone between Flynt and the general public during a time when the outlaw publisher felt especially sensitive. Flynt said he felt his stay at the U.S. Medical Centre For Prisoners for contempt of court and desecration of the U.S. flag was “cruel and unusual punishment,” since he was not receiving adequate medication and food (he had refused prison food after reportedly surviving a poisoning attempt, and was striking for better conditions). At the time, it was Graham’s assignment to make a statement to the press, and he told them, “Someone in the kitchen informed him that [the food] was tainted, and he refused it.” Next Flynt stated,  in an impromptu jailhouse phone interview with CNN, “I have confessed to putting a contract out on President Reagan’s life—I want to kill him,” adding, “I have threatened to kill both federal judges who have sentenced me . . . I’ve threatened to kill at least a half dozen employees at the prison in Butler. I just got 152 days in the hole for hitting a priest between the eyes with an orange.”

Graham prevented Flynt from carrying out any of his wild threats, and further, he kept the many different species of predators away such as con men, ex-military now-mercenary operatives, hookers, hit men, hustlers, liars, thieves, lawyers, mental cases, and all manner of misfits away.  Eventually he was examined by a psychiatrist, who deemed him incompetent; and as a consequence, a conservatorship petition was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming the publisher suffered from a mental illness “consistent only with an irrational drive to destroy or lose all his holdings” and that he had “drained the company of millions of dollars in cash for bizarre and imprudent personal expenditures.” Somewhere in all this uproar, two former security guards of Flynt’s told federal authorities they believed Graham was “behind the bombings” presumably referring to the bomb threat against Reagan, which he successfully dismissed as a fantastic story, though it provided a convenient hook for Bocox’s statement in an interview years later that Graham was “known for making bomb threats.”

Alan was consulted during the creation of Milos Forman’s film, The People vs. Larry Flynt, concerning Flynt’s much-publicized mental breakdown in 1984, one result of which was his spontaneous contrariness in court on Flynt’s part to stump. This served to flummox the jury in his trial for slandering Jerry Falwell, during which period Graham served as his aide under the codename, “Captain Pink.” As can be seen in the transcript of Flynt’s deposition, his own behavior seems more that of the crafty antagonist than an addled bumbler, while leaving ample room for potential disqualification as testimony due to certain anomalies. Says Graham, “I thought that the movie told the story very well from a chronological standpoint but missed many of details of the real story. A reporter asked [Larry] why Captain Pink aka Alan Graham was not in the movie and he said (with a smile, “I didn’t know how to explain him” What he meant was I would show things that might detract from his slightly sanatized version of what went down, and the ‘Adventures of Captain’ was a story all to itself.”

And it’s a story only he can tell, currently languishing in Google docs of old newspaper clippings from Springfield, MO., where much of the action took place, and other parts of the US landscape, where Alan Graham ended up after his rocket ride from the Beatles birthplace through the heart of Los Angeles and the myth of the American night with Lizard King Jim Morrison to the self-made Nebuchadnezar of sleaze and free speech, Larry Flynt. Mister Graham is uniquely positioned as a living case history of the evolution of organic expression in media and culture over the last sixty years in American culture, a process which, in this reporter’s opinion, has not yet been properly charted. Captain Pink is hard at work. He is currently hard at a memoir about his madcap career under Flynt subsequent to his recovery from cruel treatment of him and his wife by a greedy robber baron, about which unconscionable state of affairs he’s filming a documentary for eventual dissemination as a reality show, and written an article called “The Asshole Of The Century,” referring to said robber-baron, which will precede the documentary/reality show’s release. Alan and Anne were divorced in 1986, but his time as James Douglas Morrison’s brother in law has obviously left an indelible impression on Graham despite the years he spent as aide and mouthpiece for the erratic, colorful Flynt after Jim’s passing. Graham has always been bothered by the grossly inadequate portrait of Jim Morrison that has been growing in the public eye all these years. Says his sister, Norma, “After reading each and every book, I would call Alan and ask him, ’Is this true or fiction?’ His reply would always be the same. ‘Norma it is lies, all lies. Nobody outside the Morrison family ever knew the real Jim. One day when the time is right, I am going to write my own book and tell it like it really was, who the real Jim Morrison was’. Like a mantra he would repeat, ‘One day when the time is right I will tell it like it really was’.”

I remember book cover (eng) 800

With the Admiral’s death in 2008, the time was finally right. Graham’s I Remember Jim Morrison stands forth as the only retrospective on Jim Morrison with a tangible core of emotional obligation to its subject. Where other biographers are moved to turn Jim’s story into a train wreck and charge admission, Alan Graham’s inspiration is to commemorate the emotional effect of their time together. “More than forty books have been published about him, and each one reveals nothing more than the last. The reason for this is because no one in the Morrison clan has ever revealed the true details (nor will they ever) about Jim’s life inside the family. My personal account of these events provides rare glimpses and intimate insights into the other side of Jim Morrison and the people who loved him.” Graham’s book is highly recommended, as is the subsequently released Before the Beatles were Famous, detailing his years around the corner from ground zero of the beginning of the Beatles’ worldwide breakout, at the Cavern Club, on Matthew Street in Liverpool. Certain persons are fated as witnesses to certain events, friends and family of certain culturally impactive people, and participants in certain feelings, which are singular unto their times while being noteworthy in timeless fashion. After playing witness to the Beatles and the Doors, Alan Graham manifested his own manic jester persona to culminate his personal expression of the time in his years as Larry Flynt’s attache. This reporter was fortunate enough to witness a glimpse of this opus in progress entitled “Larry Flynt and the Lizard King” (Flynt’s drug-addicted ex-wife Althea was a known Doors obsessive; the chapter concerns Althea’s efforts to produce Graham and his first wife Anna’s play, “Morrison: A Rock Opera” for the big screen), surely only a taste of what’s to come, besides the gems already published. Keep

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ZOOMTOWN

 ZOOMTOWN  – The Rock Opera

 Alan Graham  – Composer     

Words and Music Copyright  January 1st 2016

 

Cast Of Characters:

Wiltz and Waltz

The Two Zooms

Pop The Cop

The Quiet Girl

Big Fat Yellow Man

The Wobble Girl

Ugly Sisters: Tera, Dac, and Tyl.

Moonshine Bonnie

Jack The Black

Quick Nick

Lonely Boy

Pop The Cop

The Sideways Gang

Frankie Setback and the Ghost Cowboys

Banger Banger Dan

Banger Banger Dan Jr,

 Mrs Lucy Banger Banger

The Royal Waiter, Singer, Lawyer, Painter,

Wall Eyed Wilf  Wolf

The Hoodlum Cowboy Priest

Chessy Bessie

The Tree Killer

Zoomtown Dog Band

Zoomtown Cat Orchestra

MacFrankie Setback

”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””

Music By: Alan Graham

Musical Director:  Chad Watson

Animation: Rachel Battleson.

Overture: Zoomtown

Songs:

  1. Jack The Black
  2. Sideways Gang Opus
  3. Zooming
  4. The Royal Ballad
  5. The Quiet Girl Sonata
  6. Frankie Setback Is Back
  7. The Sad Girl Ballad In Plain D
  8. Tinsel Rain
  9. Redneck Blues For Mandolin
  10. Memory Lane
  11. Pop The Cop

 

Auguries of Innocence

BY WILLIAM BLAKE

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr’ all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear
A Skylark wounded in the wing
A Cherubim does cease to sing
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright
Every Wolfs & Lions howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul
The wild deer, wandring here & there
Keeps the Human Soul from Care
The Lamb misusd breeds Public Strife
And yet forgives the Butchers knife
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that wont Believe
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spiders enmity
He who torments the Chafers Sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar
The Beggars Dog & Widows Cat
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat
The Gnat that sings his Summers Song
Poison gets from Slanders tongue
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envys Foot
The poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artists Jealousy
The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags
Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags
A Truth thats told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent
It is right it should be so
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made & Born were hands
Every Farmer Understands
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity
This is caught by Females bright
And returnd to its own delight
The Bleat the Bark Bellow & Roar
Are Waves that Beat on Heavens Shore
The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
Writes Revenge in realms of Death
The Beggars Rags fluttering in Air
Does to Rags the Heavens tear
The Soldier armd with Sword & Gun
Palsied strikes the Summers Sun
The poor Mans Farthing is worth more
Than all the Gold on Africs Shore
One Mite wrung from the Labrers hands
Shall buy & sell the Misers Lands
Or if protected from on high
Does that whole Nation sell & buy
He who mocks the Infants Faith
Shall be mockd in Age & Death
He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
The rotting Grave shall neer get out
He who respects the Infants faith
Triumphs over Hell & Death
The Childs Toys & the Old Mans Reasons
Are the Fruits of the Two seasons
The Questioner who sits so sly
Shall never know how to Reply
He who replies to words of Doubt
Doth put the Light of Knowledge out
The Strongest Poison ever known
Came from Caesars Laurel Crown
Nought can Deform the Human Race
Like to the Armours iron brace
When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow
To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow
A Riddle or the Crickets Cry
Is to Doubt a fit Reply
The Emmets Inch & Eagles Mile
Make Lame Philosophy to smile
He who Doubts from what he sees
Will neer Believe do what you Please
If the Sun & Moon should Doubt
Theyd immediately Go out
To be in a Passion you Good may Do
But no Good if a Passion is in you
The Whore & Gambler by the State
Licencd build that Nations Fate
The Harlots cry from Street to Street
Shall weave Old Englands winding Sheet
The Winners Shout the Losers Curse
Dance before dead Englands Hearse
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro the Eye
Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light
God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day

Work In Progress………..

 

 

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Like Melting Snow

By: Alan Graham

Work In Progress…

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David Bowie and Glenn Frey are now headlining in Rock-n-Roll Heaven. Two rockers dead within the same month is a major bummer for me; and so I indulge in a mournful but sweet celebration by playing their music and remembering those magnificent days of my young life.

Bob Dylan’s beautiful but sad ballad “Bob Dylan’s Dream” captures the same wistful remembrance of friends, lost never to be seen again, and that wishful dream wherein friends never part and endless joy abounds.

“Bob Dylan’s Dream”

While riding on a train goin’ west
I fell asleep for to take my a rest
I dreamed a dream that made me sad
Concerning myself and the first few friends I had.
With half-damp eyes I stared to the room
Where my friends and I spent many an afternoon
Where we together weathered many a storm
Laughin’ and singing ’till the early hours of the morn’.By the old wooden stove where our hats was hung
Our words were told, our songs were songs
Where we longed for nothin’ and were satisfied
Joking and talking about the world outside.

With haunted hearts through the heat and cold
We never thought we could ever get very old
We thought we could sit forever in fun
Our chances really was a million to one.

As easy it was to tell black from white
It was all that easy to tell wrong from right
And our choices they were few and the thought never hit
That the one road we traveled would ever shatter and split.

How many a year has passed and gone
Many a gamble has been lost and won
And many a road taken by many a first friend
And each one I’ve never seen again.

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
That we could sit simply in that room again
Ten thousand dollars at the drop of a hat
I’d give it all gladly if our lives could be like that.

 

The bitter-sweet Irish ballads “Carrickfergus” and “The Parting Glass” are also time travel machines to a long ago time and place.

I wish I was in Carrickfergus
Only for nights in Ballygrand
I would swim over the deepest ocean
Only for nights in Ballygrand
But the sea is wide and I cannot swim over
And neither have I the wings to fly
I wish I had a handsome boatsman
To ferry me over my love and I

(This verse is only sung on the “40 Years” CD)
My childhood days bring back sad reflections
Of happy times there spent so long ago
My boyhood friends and my own relations
Have all past on now with the melting snow
So I’ll spend my days in this endless roving
Soft is the grass and shore, my bed is free
Oh to be home now in carrickfergus
On the long road down to the salty sea

Now in Kilkenny it is reported
On marble stone there as black as ink
With gold and silver I would support her
But I’ll sing no more now til I get a drink
Cause I’m drunk today and I’m seldom sober
A handsome rover from town to town
Ah but I’m sick now my days are numbered
Come all me young men and lay me down
Come all me young men and lay me down.

The Parting Glass

Of all the money that e’er I had
I spent it in good company
And all the harm I’ve ever done
Alas, it was to none but me

And all I’ve done for want of wit
To memory now I can’t recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be to you all

So fill to me the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befalls
Then gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

Of all the comrades that e’er I had
They’re sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts that e’er I had
They’d wish me one more day to stay

But since it fell into my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

But since it fell into my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I’ll gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

So fill to me the parting glass
And drink a health whate’er befalls
Then gently rise and softly call
“Good night and joy be to you all”

Good night and joy be to you all

 
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The Manic Ride

By: Alan Graham.

I have witnessed up close the terror of the  Manic Ride several times in my life.

For more than thirty years I have counseled many people from all walks of life including, friends, business associates, plus several high profile Hollywood celebrities.

The behavior is profoundly disturbing, almost impossible to curb, and as a consequence all, family members close friends and all people who come in contact with the subject are deeply and irreversibly change. It is similar to a haunting, an exorcism, or serious trauma, and even the most loving person is transformed from sweet to angry or hostile on this awful ride through a hellish landscape.

Manic depression, is a disorienting condition that causes extreme shifts in mood. Like riding a slow-motion roller coaster, patients may spend weeks feeling like they’re on top of the world before plunging into a relentless depression. The length of each high and low varies greatly from person to person. In any given year, this disorder affects more than 2% of American adults.

If someone who is suffering with this condition also happens to be a total asshole, then they become a colossal asshole on steroids.

Which brings me to the subject of ‘ASSHOLE OF THE CENTURY’ A.K.A Ledyard Hakes of Coronado Ca.

To earn the ignoble title of Asshole Of The Century  (A.H.O.T.C.) one must be a really big asshole, No, a colossal asshole, and the subject of this story is just that, a lower than whale-shit, self centered, greedy, mean spirited short assed asshole.  

Our story begins on a sultry August night in Coronado California in the year 2013.

Some tenants awoke in the middle of the night to the smell of noxious gas fumes and by morning all tenants had left the building and  began assembling in the courtyard. The gas company was called but by the time they arrived the smell was gone and they failed  to find  a leak…..

 

Work In Progress…

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ANCIENT ARISTOCRATS

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A 2,400-year-old underground tomb complex, containing what appears to be an aristocratic family, has been discovered near the ancient city of Soloi in northern Cyprus.

The complex contains three burial chambers, two of which were intact while the third had been looted. In the unlooted chambers archaeologists found human remains as well as jewelry, figurines, weapons and a collection of 16 vessels used to serve people attending a “symposium,” an event in the ancient world where men drank, talked and enjoyed entertainment.

One of the chambers held an intricate gold wreath in the shape of an ivy plant. The wreath’s gold berries and thin gold leaves survived the passage of more than two millennia of time.
The artifacts found in the tomb complex reveal trade between the ancient people of Soloi and Athens said archaeologist Hazar Kaba, who studied the tomb complex as part of his doctoral dissertation at Ankara University in Turkey.

The remains of one of the metal vessels is seen here. It has an image of a bearded male. The remains of one of the metal vessels is seen here.  It has an image of a bearded male.

“This tomb complex surely proves that Soloi was in direct relationship with Athens, who was the naval power of the period,” Kaba said. “Soloi was supplying Athens with its rich timber and copper sources, and in return, was obtaining luxurious goods such as symposium vessels,” he said, noting that artists from Athens appear to have taken up residence in Soloi, influencing the design of the artifacts made there.

Kaba also found connections with other regions. For instance, some of the jewelry and symposium vessels were decorated with designs similar to those found in the Achaemenid (Persian) Empire, which controlled much of the Middle East at the time the complex was constructed.

The gold wreath looks like wreaths that were placed in the tombs of Macedonian aristocrats, he said. Some of the symposium vessels had been imported from Ionia — a region in what is now the west coast of Turkey — and Macedonia.

A few decades after the tombs were sealed off — between 400 and 350 B.C. — the Macedonians, under the leadership of Alexander the Great, would crush the Achaemenid Empire, conquering an area that stretched from the Balkans to Afghanistan.

Who was buried here?

One of the intact burial chambers contains the remains of a man, a woman and a little girl. Iron spearheads and a shield were buried with the man, Kaba said.

The second unlooted chamber contained the remains of a woman and a young girl, but no one else. The third chamber had been looted and was empty.

The people buried in the complex were likely from a wealthy aristocratic family, Kaba said. Right now researchers are trying to determine how the people buried in the complex were related to each other. “A DNA project is also running on the bones to identify the degree of kinship between the deceased,” Kaba said.

Kaba is in the process of publishing four articles that discuss finds from the tomb complex. Excavations at the complex took place between 2005 and 2006. Conservation and restoration of the artifacts is ongoing.

 

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RESCUE RACOON

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Last year, Nassau, Bahamas resident Rosie Kemp found a baby raccoon that had fallen out of a tree. The mother was nowhere to be found, so Kemp and her daughter Laura Young decided to adopt the little bandit and named her “Pumpkin.” Eventually, Pumpkin recovered from her injuries and moved in with Young and her husband.
“She instantly bonded with us and our two rescue dogs and follows me and our two dogs everywhere we go,” Young told The Dodo. “She now thinks she is a dog… she is able to play and be rough with them and she respects them when they have had enough.”

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PHONE SCAM

Unknown

 

By: Alan Graham

Recently I have been experiencing increased telemarketing calls for all sorts of dubious services and in particular one from a “computer virus expert.”

“

Someone who identifies himself as Cam, and bearing a pronounced Chinese accent, tells me that my computer has been infected with a “very bad virus”.



I have received the same call on many occasions. So I thought I would try something different in order to deter them from calling again.



“Do you deliver?” I asked.

“What?



“Do you deliver?” I asked again.



No. We can do it by phone”, he said, half confused.



I paused then said, “Okay! I’ll have Kung Pow Chicken and Sweet and Sour Pork.”



Now he was pausing, and I could hear him talking to someone else who was now saying to him, “What?”



Before he could answer I said, “And could I have six egg rolls too?”



He was trying to process the diabolically and deliberately confusing questions I had asked him. So I helped him along with the process by following up with, “How do I pay for this?” and then mercilessly offering a tantalizing array of opportunities for him to scam me, “Do you take Visa, American Express Gold Card, PayPal?”



He seemed so relieved and rather surprised that I had made it so easy for him, he blurted out, “GOLD CARD PREEZE”.

“

Once again, and with utter gleeful malice I asked, “How much will that be?”



He pretended to be calculating for a few moments, then said, $499.00.” 



Now I paused for a few moments. Then with my best Chinese accent I said,

”Wayrra mini? Dat too mush money for chicken an poke!”



”Too mush?”



”Sure, I can get it fo twenty dorras at another Chinese restaurant.”



Somehow at the last minute, it must have dawned on him that I was pranking him. He asked me if I was Chinese, and I said , “Yes, I am. Are you?”



He paused for a long time. Then he said , “No, I am from Scotrand.

I said, “Oh! I been to Scotrand once, it was crosed”

“

He paused again, then he hung up.

Check out this website for similar scams

http://www.whycall.me

 

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MESMERIZING MURMURATIONS

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Would you pull over your car just to watch some starlings? A gathering of only a few of these speckled, iridescent-black birds isn’t a very alluring sight—particularly in North America, where these birds are invaders. The European Starling was originally introduced here by a group of well-meaning Shakespeare enthusiasts in 1880, but many Americans now consider them to be pests that serve little purpose other than to dirty car windshields and destroy crops.
But Grainger Hunt, a senior scientist at the Peregrine Fund, tells a different story in Living Bird magazine. He marvels at the way thousands of the birds gather in flocks called murmurations. They are “a dazzling cloud, swirling, pulsating, drawing together to the thinnest of waists, then wildly twisting in pulses of enlargement and diminution,” he writes. It’s certainly worth stopping your car for, or stopping to watch a video like this one, a YouTube hit recorded over the River Shannon, Ireland:
Almost always, Hunt writes, these aerial spectacles are caused by a falcon near the edge of the flock. It turns out that the beauty of a murmuration’s movements often arises purely out of defense, as the starlings strive to put distance between themselves and the predator.

European Starlings can be noisy neighbors. Photo by Red~Star via Birdshare.So how do these masses of birds move so synchronously, swiftly, and gracefully? This isn’t an idle question—it has attracted the attention of physicists interested in how group behavior can spontaneously arise from many individuals at once. In 2010, Andrea Cavagna and colleagues at the National Council of Research and the University of Rome used advanced computational modeling and video analysis to study this question. They found that starling flocks model a complex physical phenomenon, seldom observed in physical and biological systems, known as scale-free correlation.

Surprising as it may be, flocks of birds are never led by a single individual. Even in the case of flocks of geese, which appear to have a leader, the movement of the flock is actually governed collectively by all of the flock members. But the remarkable thing about starling flocks is their fluidity of motion. As the researchers put it, “the group respond[s] as one” and “cannot be divided into independent subparts.”

When one starling changes direction or speed, each of the other birds in the flock responds to the change, and they do so nearly simultaneously regardless of the size of the flock. In essence, information moves across the flock very quickly and with nearly no degradation. The researchers describe it as a high signal-to-noise ratio.

This scale-free correlation allows starlings to greatly enhance what the researchers call “effective perceptive range,” which is another way of saying that a starling on one side of the flock can respond to what others are sensing all the way across the flock—a huge benefit for a starling trying to avoid a falcon.

Last week, a new study on starling flocks appeared in the journal PLOS Computational Biology. The researchers, led by George Young at Princeton, did their own analysis of murmuration images to see how the birds adjust to their flockmates. They determined that starlings in large flocks consistently coordinate their movements with their seven nearest neighbors. They also found that the shape of the flock, rather than the size, has the largest effect on this number; seven seems optimal for the tightly connected flocks that starlings are known for.

Imagine a game of telephone: one person passes a message along to the next person, who repeats it to another, and so on. For humans, the telephone message loses information very quickly—that’s what makes the game fun. The first finding, by Cavagna’s team, suggests that very little information is lost in a starling flock. The second finding, by Young’s team, suggests that starlings “play telephone” with their seven nearest neighbors. Somehow they are able to process messages from those seven neighbors all at once, and this is a part of their method for achieving scale-free correlation.

Still, neither finding explains how starlings are capable of such extraordinary collective responses. As the researchers admit, “How starlings achieve such a strong correlation remains a mystery to us.”

Murmurations remind us that nature’s beauty can take limitless forms, and can shock and inspire us. A number of commenters on the River Shannon video mention a feeling of connection that they experienced while watching the video. It’s as if seeing that synchrony, that seemingly perfect connection between each starling, also reminds us to value our connection to the world around us, for connection can be truly beautiful.

 

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QUANTUM COMPUTERS

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Quantum computers capable of doing far more complex calculations than current supercomputers may now become a reality following study
Computer scientists have described the breakthrough as ‘game-changing’
They created quantum bits, or qubits, on silicon to perform calculations

A major step towards building quantum computers capable of performing formidable calculations at a fraction of the speed of current machines has been achieved.
Computer scientists claim to have made a ‘game-changing leap’ by building a logic gate – a building block of a digital circuit – using the strange properties of subatomic particles in silicon.
They say these could eventually lead to new types of quantum microchips that would revolutionise the digital world.
Researchers have created the world’s first quantum logic gate on silicon (illustrated in an artist’s impression). They say it is a ‘game-changing’ step forward in the development of practical quantum computers

Researchers have created the world’s first quantum logic gate on silicon (illustrated in an artist’s impression). They say it is a ‘game-changing’ step forward in the development of practical quantum computers
Quantum computing takes advantage of the ability of subatomic particles to exist in more than one state at any time. For example, a photon can appear as both a wave and a particle.

In traditional computers available today, data is expressed in one of two states – known as binary bits – which are either a 1 or a 0.
GOOGLE AND NASA TEAM UP TO ON QUANTUM COMPUTING RESEARCH
Nasa, Google and the Universities Space Research Association have announced they are to install a new generation of quantum computers in their Artificial Intelligence laboratories.
They will use the D-Wave 2X systems which have a 1000 Qubit processor.
The system has twice as many qubits as the previous generation of quantum computers being used by the organisations, but need to operate at temperatures of -459°F.
There are aslo some doubts about how effective quantum computers currently are as some research has suggested they are currently not able to outperform traditional computers.
However, Google says quantum computing is a way of solving some of the more complex problems that current traditional computers struggle with.
They say these systems are better at dealing with ‘messy’ sources of data where it can be mislabelled, as information often is in the real world.
Writing on its blog, Google said: ‘Can we move these ideas from theory to practice, building real solutions on quantum hardware? Answering this question is what the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab is for.
‘We hope it helps researchers construct more efficient and more accurate models for everything from speech recognition, to web search, to protein folding.
‘We actually think quantum machine learning may provide the most creative problem-solving process under the known laws of physics.’
A quantum bit, or qubit as it is known, can exist in both of these states at once, meaning many computations can be performed in parallel. For example, two qubits can encode four different values while a three qubit system encodes eight different values.
This would allow new types of computers to be constructed that would far surpass the capabilities of modern super computers.
Professor Andrew Dzurak, director of the Australian National Fabrication Facility at the University of New South Wales, said: ‘We’ve demonstrated a two-qubit logic gate – the central building block of a quantum computer – and, significantly, done it in silicon.
‘Because we use essentially the same device technology as existing computer chips, we believe it will be much easier to manufacture a full-scale processor chip than for any of the leading designs, which rely on more exotic technologies.
‘This makes the building of a quantum computer much more feasible, since it is based on the same manufacturing technology as today’s computer industry.’
Until a few years ago quantum computers were little more than theoretical possibilities, but recent research has shown they could become a realistic proposition.
Both Google and Nasa have been developing a quantum computer as part of their artificial intelligence work.
However their D-Wave quantum computer needs to be kept at temperatures of around -273°C (-459°F).
The latest research by Professor Dzurak and his colleagues, which is published in the journal Nature, has shown it is possible to build them using more conventional materials like silicon.
Their work is the first time two qubits have been able to ‘talk’ to each other in a logic gate.
On traditional microchips, bits are typically stored on a pair of silicon transistors, one of which is switched on while the other is off.
Computers running using qubit based microchips would be able to perform complex calculations that current supercomputers struggle with, say researchers. Scientists at the Australian National Fabrication Facility at the University of New South Wales (pictured) have designed and built the world’s first two-qubit logic gate

Computers running using qubit based microchips would be able to perform complex calculations that current supercomputers struggle with, say researchers. Scientists at the Australian National Fabrication Facility at the University of New South Wales (pictured) have designed and built the world’s first two-qubit logic gate
In a quantum computer, data is encoded in the ‘spin’, or magnetic orientation, of individual electrons. Not only can they be in one of two ‘up’ or ‘down’ spin states, but also a superposition of both up and down.
The key step taken by the Australian scientists was to reconfigure traditional transistors so that they can work with qubits instead of bits.
Lead author Dr Menno Veldhorst, also from the University of New South Wales, said: ‘The silicon chip in your smartphone or tablet already has around one billion transistors on it, with each transistor less than 100 billionths of a metre in size.
‘We’ve morphed those silicon transistors into quantum bits by ensuring that each has only one electron associated with it.
Nasa’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory uses an enormous quantum computer built by D Wave which needs to be kept superchilled to temperatures just above absolute zero – around -459°F

Nasa’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory uses an enormous quantum computer built by D Wave which needs to be kept superchilled to temperatures just above absolute zero – around -459°F
‘We then store the binary code of 0 or 1 on the ‘spin’ of the electron, which is associated with the electron’s tiny magnetic field.’
The team has now taken out a patent on a full-scale quantum computer chip that could perform functions involving millions of qubits.
A practical quantum chip could have a huge impact in areas where classical computers face an uphill struggle.
These include weather forecasting, the stock market, drug development, code-breaking and encryption, and exploring the fundamental nature of the universe.

 

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HEART

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Number 80 with the ball is Kyle Chaboya.
He’s on the Calaveras High School football team.
And he had just scored a touchdown with the help of his teammates and players from the other team.

Kyle has cerebral palsy.
He uses a walker to get around.
During games he pushes it up and down the sidelines cheering his team on.

But he’d never actually been IN a game until this play.
He told the Calaveras Enterprise:

“It was awesome.
The whole team coming around me once I crossed the pylon, and realizing that my dream had come true, getting to step on the football field for the first time.
It’s awesome.”

It happened during Calaveres big game against their rival Brett Harte.

Calaveras had the ball on the one-yard line.
They brought in Kyle and then helped him cross the goal line while the Brett Harte players stood by and cheered.

The two coaches had talked about the play a couple of days before the game.

Calaveras head coach Jason Weatherby proposed the idea and Bret Harte head coach Casey Kester didn’t hesitate.

Kester told the Calaveras Enterprise:

“(Jason) proposed the idea and I readily accepted.
It’s the kind of thing that goes beyond the rivalry.”

I can’t stop smiling when I see these pictures of Kyle and the players helping him across the goal line.
Especially #45 with his fist up in the air.
They all look so happy.

Chaboya says:
“To be on this team is amazing.
It just means a lot to me.”

I found out about this story from Adrienne Steinebel.
She is the sister of the head coach for Calaveras High.
She told me it was a great story.
She was right.

She also added:
“Keep in mind that this community is still reeling from the Butte Fire.
(475 homes destroyed)
This is an amazing community that I’m proud to call my hometown.”

And I’m proud to tell the story.
As one player said:
“That (play) was just an amazing moment for Kyle) and for everyone on the team.
We’re a family and it’s an amazing feeling.”

Photos from Calaveras High School Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/Calaveras-HS-Football-249529531…/…/

And here’s a link to the story in the Calaveras Enterprise:
http://www.calaverasenterprise.com/…/article_f3b54db6-6623-…

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Lord Woodbine: The forgotten sixth Beatle

 

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A homeless black man lived under one of the arches near Waterloo station until about five years ago, when he and his box vanished. His name was Samuel (pronounced to rhyme with Danielle). Most of the time, he talked to himself or slept, but on some summer evenings he would start clapping and sing lines from songs by Marley or The Beatles, or reminisce about Liverpool, where he was born and raised. His deep voice rose from a reservoir of cigarette tar and pain. One story he returned to again and again was that of another Liverpudlian, the calypso singer, songwriter and music promoter Lord Woodbine. For Samuel, Woodbine was just one more talented black man, used then cast aside by the white world, just like those impoverished blues singers in New Orleans, and countless R&B, reggae and rap artists who never got their due: “Who know today that Woodbine, he make the Beatles. Who wants to know a black man did that?” Who, indeed.

When the lads were just starting out, dreaming, green and crazy about music, they, said Woodbine, “made themselves orphans, deliberately” and followed him like motherless chicks, hanging around the joints he either part-owned or played at, always trying to have a go on the steel pans. “Woodbine’s Boys”, they called them, Paul, John, George, Stuart Sutcliffe (bass player and “fifth Beatle”) and, after Woodbine persuaded them they needed a drummer, Pete Best.

Woodbine was not ambitious; The Beatles were, and like most young people, they were takers and triers. The Trinidadian helped guide them through their formative musical years, an inadvertent father figure, an accidental hero. They found each other – the uncut band-players, often unwashed too, getting acquainted with cannabis and their somewhat unconventional role model, who part-owned shebeens and strip clubs, ran up debts and loved making music. Speaking to the musician Tony Henry, the Welshman Allan Williams, the first promoter of the group, admitted that without his old business partner Woodbine, there would have been no Beatles. It was Williams who parted with the group just as they were beginning to get popular. Woodbine’s chicks flew away. Brian Epstein, their next father figure, stepped in and the rest is history.

Only one substantial article was ever written about Woodbine – by Henry in 1998. He managed to interview the man himself, who, even then, was reluctant to intrude into the established Beatles legend. Maybe it was pride or humility, or both, or that Woodbine didn’t want the whole black Liverpudlian contribution to The Beatles projected on to him. There were others, of whom more anon. There were some poignant moments in the interview when Woodbine couldn’t hold back his bruised feelings, his disappointment that he was so casually overlooked by his boys.

As the years went by he had to endure further indignities, reminders that he was Mr Nobody. The worst blow came in 1992 at the Liverpool Playhouse, where he was invited to see Imagine, a play about The Beatles. The backdrop was a photograph taken in 1960, at the Arnhem Memorial, Germany. In the original, Woodbine – who had hired the van – was in the photo with Allan and the band minus John, who stayed in the van because he was a pacifist. The Trinidadian had been airbrushed out: “It really hurt me. Maybe the great Beatle publicity machine did not want any black man associated with their boys.”

And it carries on. Woodbine is virtually absent from the many books on Beatlemania. Biopics are as myopic. There is an interminable line of films on The Beatles, the latest of which was the BBC’s Lennon Naked, with Christopher Eccleston playing Lennon in a white suit. Liam Gallagher is making the next Beatles movie. Will it drop in on Toxteth? Best not to hope, as many say in that part of Blighty.

Biographers have passed over the black Liverpudlian who inspired and supported the fledgling band. The role of Liverpool, too, is often underestimated. In 2002, McCartney told the Liverpudlian writer Paul Du Noyer: “Liverpool was a huge melting pot. And we took what we liked from it.” Various witnesses saw this happening. The black Liverpudlian band-leader George Dixon remembers the boys watching him and the guitarist Odie Taylor at the White House pub. The Nigerian-Liverpudlian singer Ramon Sugar Deen recalls the way their music developed: “I heard them jamming in the Cavern club and the rhythm had changed. They’d got some chords off Odie.”

Greg Wilson, an enthusiastic promoter of black music, believes it is impossible to determine “influences” on artistes, the mix inside them, how their own talent responded to the sounds and thoughts of others. However, in accounts of the Merseyside four, credit is always given to Motown, Ravi Shankar and individuals such as DJ Greg Wilson. Only the musicians of Liverpool 8 have no place in the narrative. They have been Tipp-Exed out. Woodbine was the first singer-songwriter Lennon and McCartney ever met, yet one writer said that the Trinidadian had only a “walk-on part” in The Beatles’ story.

Born in Trinidad in 1928, his real name was Harold Phillips. When only 14, he lied about his age and joined the RAF. After the war, he went back home and then retuned to England in 1948 on the famous SS Windrush, which carried the first boatful of hopeful West Indian immigrants to their motherland. Though they faced raw racism and hostility, most of these immigrants had spirit and song and a buoyancy that not even the bitter cold could drag down. Woodbine knew how to enjoy life, whatever it chucked at him. He was part of the first professional steel band in this country. They played in clubs and shebeens in Liverpool 8, where in the Eighties, race riots would erupt. He made up a delightful calypso about various characters named after cigarettes. His chums, probably as a joke, renamed him Lord Woodbine. It stuck.

He perished in a house fire in Toxteth with his wife 10 years ago this July. The inferno ended an extraordinary life. He was 72 and by all accounts as skint as he had always been, though generous till the end. In his time he had been a lorry driver, railway engineer, builder, decorator, shopkeeper, TV repairman, a barman, club owner, songwriter, singer and musical mentor.

In 1958 he was with the All-Steel Caribbean Band, led by a fellow Trinidadian, Gerry Gobin. At the Joker’s Club, where the band often played, the musicians noticed two white lads who seemed keen. They were Lennon and McCartney, wide-eyed and restless kids, like many others on rock and dole. The steel-pannists moved to the popular Jacaranda Club in Liverpool 1 and The Beatles followed. Gobin, unimpressed by their music, was initially irritated by these hangers-on. Candace Smith, then Gobin’s partner, was also suspicious of them: “Bloody white kids, trying to horn in on the black music scene.”

Marylee Smith, Jamaican, 81, used to visit her cousins in Liverpool. Interviewed for this article, she recalled Toxteth’s music scene then: “They was there all the time, you know, all the time, like they was looking for some black magic, pushing in, rough boys, unwashed sometimes. Jumping on to the stage, playing the pans like it was theirs. Some of us didn’t like that. But the musicians, they didn’t mind so much.” Woodbine was bohemian, free, left wing, incautious. He even had the boys performing in his strip club. It must have been madly exciting.

In 2008, McCartney recalled those times in Mojo magazine: “Liverpool being the first Caribbean settlement in the UK, we were very friendly with a lot of black guys – Lord Woodbine, Derry Wilkie, they were mates we hung out with.” More than that, actually. George Roberts, part Arab and another Liverpudlian promoter, observed that Paul and John not only liked being with people of colour, they were getting to know deep musical traditions and skills: “They had two passions. One was to learn authentic R&B and the other was to become famous. Lennon would never have got that in Menlove Avenue; McCartney would never have got R&B with his upright piano and dad.”

Other Toxteth musicians brought on the two wannabes. The Somali-Irish guitarist Vinnie Tow was seen showing John and Paul the seventh chord in the Chuck Berry style, says Roberts: “John was always asking Vinnie, ‘Show me this, show me that.'” The Guyanese guitarist Zancs Logie was another willing teacher. In 1995, Woodbine told Derek Murray, author of a forthcoming book on black music: “Zancs was always showing Lennon something. Until he died [1994] he was proud of how he taught Lennon to play guitar.” George Dixon thought The Beatles were “three-chord wonders. We were playing sophisticated 15-chord numbers. But The Beatles progressed and others didn’t so I admire them.”

Williams and Woodbine got The Beatles to Hamburg, then a happening place hungry for new talent. Williams had found some cash left behind in a club – instead of blowing it on themselves, they sent for the boys, shacked up in shabby rooms and got them bookings. The group fell out with Williams when they made a return trip to Hamburg and got bookings without giving him a cut. Later, as The Beatles found fortune and fame, people in Liverpool would say to Woodbine: “See your boys doing great, Woody”, and he did feel chuffed. He needed them less than they once needed him. That is a kind of victory.

That affection was not fully reciprocated. True, The Beatles always took a strong stand against racism. When he bumps into black Liverpudlians, Paul McCartney spontaneously remembers his “old friend Woodbine” and others. He has done an admirable amount for black and white musicians in his old city. But when Woodbine burnt to death in 2000, McCartney left it to his press office to issue a statement. The surviving band-members should have attended the funeral, or at least had a public memorial to honour the man. Better still, surely they should have seen him right when he was alive?

Fame brings all kinds of past and present hangers-on – people making wild claims of previous intimacies. Woodbine and the others who helped The Beatles never did. Their protégés were too busy, too wary, too rich, too famous to feel any sense of obligation to those who taught them to fly high with their musical wings. It is forgetfulness more than malice, but still can wound.

And so Woodbine’s becomes another sad story perhaps to turn into a blues song. Dr Helen Davies, lecturer in cultural studies, believes that he dramatises the way “‘authentic’ history is constructed. We see time and time again that the voices that are recorded are white, male and middle class.”

Not good enough, says the sociologist Max Farrar, who remembers the Toxteth clubs: “We were listening to black music – it was the start of the, some would say curious, some dubious, love affair that white people like me have with black people and the emancipatory culture they have created. It’s high time this debt was properly acknowledged.” If it was, we might get to celebrate Liverpool 8, its struggles, appeal, and the fantastic cross-cultural creativity that made The Beatles.

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TWO DADS

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When Todd Bachman’s daughter got married last weekend, he wanted to make sure that her stepfather was recognized at the wedding in some way. After all, her stepdad had helped raise her.

So when it came time to walk his daughter Brittany down the aisle, Bachman did something completely unexpected: He stopped the procession, ran to the front row and grabbed her stepdad Todd Cendrosky in order to share the honor of walking their daughter down the aisle.

The beautiful moment was captured by Ohio-based wedding photographer Delia D Blackburn, whose Facebook album of the Elyria, Ohio wedding has received more than one million “likes.”
“It was one of the most compassionate gestures toward a stepparent I’ve ever seen,” Blackburn told The Huffington Post. “The bride was in tears and overcome with emotion.” As the photos show, Cendrosky was as well.

In an interview with local news station WKYC-TV, the stepdad said he was totally taken aback by Bachman’s kind gesture.

“[He] came and grabbed my hand and said: ‘You worked as hard as I have. You’ll help us walk our daughter down the aisle,'” Cendrosky recalled. “I got weak in the knees and lost it. Nothing better in my life, the most impactful moment in my life.”
In the same interview with WKYC-TV, Bachman admitted he and Cendrosky hadn’t always gotten along. But extending the honor at the wedding just made sense.

“For me to thank him for all the years of helping raise our daughter wouldn’t be enough,” the biological dad said. “There is no better way to thank somebody than to assist me walking her down the aisle.”

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BLOOD MOON 2015


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BARKING DOG

Man Hears Barking Beneath Sidewalk, Finds Dog Buried Alive

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A pregnant dog who had been buried and left to die beneath the ground was able to make it out alive — all thanks to a kindhearted man who refused to ignore her cries for help.

The animal’s shocking ordeal began last Friday outside a housing unit in the Russian town of Voronezh in what some suspect was an act of cruel indifference. City workers had been called out to the spot to patch a section of sidewalk where a sinkhole had formed weeks earlier. In so doing, however, they somehow ended up entombing the dog in a cavity that remained under the building’s front steps.

She might never have been discovered if it weren’t for her refusal to be forgotten. In the days that followed, residents Vadim Rustam and his family were alarmed to hear the sound of barking below the freshly-laid bricks, so they appealed to the city’s housing authority for assistance.
After being told that nothing could be done to help, Rustam took matters into his own hands.

Without concern about undoing the recent repairs, he began prying up the bricks and digging through the sand beneath. And it’s a good thing that he did.

Amazingly, despite having spent two days without food or water all alone in the dark, the dog was still alive. Footage from the rescue shows Rustam pulling her to safety from her early grave.

While it remains unclear how the dog ended up in that predicament, and whether or not she’d been buried alive knowingly, she and her unborn puppies are alive today because of the actions Rustam took to save them.

The expectant-mother dog, believed to have been a stray, has since been placed under the care of a local animal rescue group. Thankfully, she is said to be doing well and will soon be made available for adoption.

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BRAIN CLEANING

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The brain can be a messy place. Thankfully, it has good plumbing: Scientists have just discovered a cleansing river inside the brain, a fluid stream that might be enlisted to flush away the buildup of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and other neurodegenerative disorders.

The researchers, based at the University of Rochester (U.R.), University of Oslo and Stony Brook University, describe this new system in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The study adds to the evidence that the star-shaped cells called astrocytes play a leading role in keeping the nervous system in good working order.

In most of the body, a network of vessels carry lymph, a fluid that removes excess plasma, dead blood cells, debris and other waste. But the brain is different. Instead of lymph, the brain is bathed in cerebrospinal fluid. For decades, however, neuroscientists have assumed that this fluid simply carries soluble waste by slowly diffusing through tissues, then shipping its cargo out of the nervous system and eventually into the body’s bloodstream. Determining what’s really going on has been impossible until recently.
In this study, researchers led by U.R. neuroscientist Maiken Nedergaard have identified a second, faster brain-cleansing system. Nedergaard an expert in non-neuronal brain cells called glia, has long suspected that these cells might play a role in brain cleansing.

Nedergaard and colleagues studied live mice with holes drilled into their skulls to gain an unobstructed view. To see how waste is carried by cerebrospinal fluid in a living mouse, they injected the mice with radioactive molecules that could be traced using laser-scanning technology.
The molecules’ journey began after being injected into the subarachnoid space, a cavity between membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The researchers observed that, like a river, cerebrospinal fluid carried these molecules rapidly along specific channels. Glial cells along the outside of arteries form these channels, creating a flume for cerebrospinal fluid that follows the brain’s blood vessels. In addition, the researchers found that these glial cells mediate the channel’s activity, assisting the flow of fluid through the channel.

From channels alongside arteries, the tracer-bearing fluid then passes through brain tissues. At the other end of tissues, it flows into similar channels along veins. The fluid follows these veins then either returns to the subarachnoid space, enters the bloodstream or eventually drains into the body’s lymphatic system. The researchers christened the network the “glymphatic” system, a nod to both glial cells and its functional similarity to the lymphatic system.

U.R. neuroscientist and lead author Jeff Iliff notes several surprises in the study: “I didn’t think we would see these jets of fluid going through the brain,” Iliff says. In addition, he explains that previous conception of cerebrospinal fluid’s role in waste removal suggested that the process was one-way, sending particle-carrying fluid from the brain into the body. Instead, they observed a recycling, as much as 40 percent of the fluid returned to the brain.

As a test of their work, the researchers injected proteins called amyloid beta into mice’s brains. In Alzheimer’s, this protein—present in all healthy brains—can accumulate and clump, developing into cell-damaging plaque. The researchers compared mice with a normal glymphatic system to those with a disabled gene that prevented glial cells from assisting in the fluid flow. They found that in the normal mice, the protein rapidly cleared from the brain along these channels, but amyloid removal diminished in the gene-altered animals.

Iliff hypothesizes that a faulty glymphatic system may bear the blame for the over-accumulation of proteins seen in Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s and other neurodegenerative disorders—and further study may even reveal a way to dispose of these clumps.

Jaleel Miyan, a neurobiologist at the University of Manchester in England who did not participate in this research, stressed the significance of this finding by characterizing the analogy with the lymphatic system as inadequate: “What they have demonstrated is actually far more extensive and important to CSF [cerebrospinal fluid] biology.” The study clarifies discrepancies in past research and may lead to a better understanding of the functioning of the glymphatic system as a possible cleanser of the neural toxins that inevitably accrete and do damage as we age.

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It Was Twenty Eight Years Ago Today

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..”Sling and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune”

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Last month, a wild elephant and two of his friends were attacked by poachers. Wounded by poisoned arrows, they trudged across the African landscape to the one place that could help them: the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT).

Though the wild elephant had never been a resident at DSWT, he knew elephants who had. He had mated with two former orphans who were raised at DSWT’s Ithumba Reintegration Centre, who now lead their own wild herd. In 2011, he fathered babies with them, whom DSWT named Mwende and Yetu.

And DSWT is certain he knew this group of humans meant help.

“We are sure that Mwende’s father knew that if they returned to the stockades they would get the help and treatment they needed because this continuously happens with the injured bulls in the north; they all come to Ithumba when in need, understanding that there they can be helped,” DWST wrote.

And while it might be surprising to imagine an elephant seeking out humans for help — especially when he had just been injured by people — it’s not unbelievable.

Elephants have remarkable spatial reasoning abilities and are able to craft detailed mental maps that help them navigate their territory. Considering their intelligence and high sociability, it’s possible that former orphans or elephants who have been treated by DSWT could have communicated that it was a place of safety.

“Every day, we are awed by Kenya’s wildlife,” DSWT said.

Fortunately, these elephants wound up in exactly the right place. Over several hours, the veterinary team sedated the three bulls and treated their arrow wounds, cleaning out the poisoned areas and filling them with antibiotics and protective clay.

And according to DWST, they’ve done quite well after their surgeries — and seem to be thankful.

“Mwende and Yetu’s dad has remained in the area with his friends and they have regularly been seen since undergoing treatment,” the rescuers wrote. “Thankfully all their wounds have healed beautifully so they have all made a full recovery,” they added.

If you’d like to help DWST care for more injured and orphaned elephants, you can make a donation online.

 

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STAND BY ME

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Tillie, an Irish setter and spaniel mix, and Phoebe, a basset hound, took off from their home in Vashon, Washington, on Sept. 7, owner B.J. Duft told ABC News. Duft said he he was throwing a party that day, and with all the activity, someone left the door open.

After a full week, Duft still hadn’t found his beloved pets. But then animal rescue organization Vashon Island Pet Protectors, which had posted about Tillie and Phoebe on its Facebook page, received a call from someone saying that for the past few days, a “reddish” dog had been coming up them on their property, then heading back into a ravine.

VIPP volunteers headed into that ravine, and found Tillie next to an old concrete cistern, volunteer Amy Carey told USA Today. Inside the concrete cistern was Phoebe, alive and well, but unable to get out.

The VIPP team was able to rescue both dogs and reunite them with Duft, who was “thrilled” to see them.

“It was very clear what Tillie had done,” Carey told ABC. “She had not left her friend’s side except for going up to the man’s house when he was there to try and get help for Phoebe.”

Duft, who said he ordered a dog collar with GPS to help prevent something like this from happening again, told the network he was “absolutely not surprised” that Tillie stood by her friend in the woods.

“She’s a very caring, loving and nurturing dog and the two of them are best friends,” he said.

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SAFE HARBOR

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Little blue strips are popping up all across the nation on curbs along many streets, but this is no coincidence. You see, there’s actually a purpose behind these lines. The reason is just so incredible, you may find one appearing right in front of your own home.

It’s called “The Safe Harbor Initiative,” and it’s been kicked off by a man named Anthony Welichko out of San Antonio, Texas. So, what exactly are these little blue lines? Well, as Welichko explains in his Facebook post:

To all law enforcement who see this line, know that the residents of this home appreciate your service and dedication to keeping the peace. Know that when you enter the neighborhood and see these lines that you are not alone or without “back-up.”
That’s right, these little blue strips along the curb are a show of solidarity that our citizens have with police. Specifically meaning that the people who live in the home directly in front of the mark on the curb have the officers’ backs, it’s a great way to show your support.
However, the blue lines aren’t meant for just police, as its purpose is two-fold.

“We do not need the media to make our voices of support for our police and emergency services heard ( though it would be nice),” Welichko went on to say. “Lastly, if you are in my neighborhood and mean to harm a member of law enforcement, know that decision may be hazardous to your health as someone has that officers back!”

It’s honestly quite a shame that our nation has devolved to the point where many have turned their backs on those who voluntarily risk their lives to serve and protect our communities. However, it’s becoming quite clear that many people here in America couldn’t feel any more differently and have began to show signs of support to let police know that people still do care and respect them.

For that reason, I may just be headed out to the curb this afternoon with some tape and can of blue spray paint. What do you think – do you see yourself taking place in The Safe Harbor Initiative?

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TONKA

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Tonka, a 7-year-old wombat, lost everything he ever knew: his home, his mom and any sense of stability in his life.

He was rescued by the Billabong Sanctuary, where he was diagnosed with depression — and ever since then, the one thing in the whole world that brings him the most comfort is his teddy bear.

Tonka was only a baby when his mom was tragically hit by a car, and he was taken in by the sanctuary in Townsville, Australia. In 2011, Billabong was hit by a cyclone and required massive repairs. All of this change and heartbreak was too much for sensitive Tonka. Now, back at the repaired sanctuary, the staff deals with Tonka’s depression the best they know how — with teddy bears.

“Animals that are clinically depressed likely have the same problems as do humans with the condition — the brains of all mammals are remarkably the same,” Kenneth B. Storey, a professor of biochemistry at Carleton University, told The Dodo.
Tonka is so attached to his stuffed friend that his comfort toy has to be replaced often, as he is constantly tearing holes through them. Occasionally, Tonka will even get a stuffed wombat, as his handler Samm Sherman posted about on her Instagram account.

Sherman, who has the most interaction with Tonka, is his best friend. A staff member at the sanctuary, she’s very affectionate with him and posts about him on her Instagram frequently with the endearing hashtag #mybestfriendisawombat.
Animals of course can’t tell us if they’re depressed, but evidence suggests that they most certainly do experience the blues.

“We measure interest in food that animals like a lot or in motivation for sexual activity. We also measure how they are interacting socially with other animals in the group, and changes in sleep patterns and daytime activities,” Olivier Berton of The University of Pennsylvania told National Geographic.

“Another behavior that has been used frequently to measure animal depression is whether they readily give up when exposed to a stressful situation,” he said.
We cannot know for sure exactly how Tonka feels, but at least his stuffed friends are able to bring him a little bit of joy.

 

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LET IT NOT BE

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A false story circulating this week claims that four sons of members of The Beatles have joined to form a band called “The Shoots.”
SATIRE
The false story claims that four sons of former members of The Beatles – James McCartney, Sean Lennon, Dhani Harrison, and Zak Starkey – have joined forces to form a band called The Shoots. The story, however, was published by the self-proclaimed satire website The Stately Harold.

A disclaimer on that website’s “About” page clearly states its attempt at publishing satire.

The Stately Harold is a satirical website. None of the stories have a grain of truth to them and the opinions do not belong to real people.

Besides the satirical nature of the article’s source, there have also been no such announcements by the sons of the former Beatles, two of whom are currently on tour. Zak Starkey is currently on tour with The Who, while Sean Lennon is also touring with The Goastt (The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger).

BOTTOM LINE

The sons of former Beatles members have not formed a band called The Shoots. The false report comes from a self-proclaimed satire website.

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FACES OR FLOWERS

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Human faces may hold more meaning for socially outgoing individuals than for their more introverted counterparts, a new study suggests.

The results show the brains of extroverts pay more attention to human faces than do introverts. In fact, introverts’ brains didn’t seem to distinguish between inanimate objects and human faces.

The findings might partly explain why extroverts are more motivated to seek the company of others than are introverts, or why a particularly shy person might rather hang out with a good book than a group of friends.
The study also adds weight to idea that underlying neural differences in people’s brains contribute to their personality.

“This is just one more piece of evidence to support the assertion that personality is not merely a psychology concept,” said study researcher Inna Fishman, of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, Calif. “There’s some broader foundation for the behavior that you see … implicating that there are neural bases for different personality types.”

Personality in the brain

There are many ways to describe someone’s character — from talkative to anxious to hardworking and organized. Psychologists have found that many traits often go together and have grouped these traits into five overarching categories — extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness/intellect.

Extroversion deals with the way people interact with others. Extroverts like to be around other people and generally enjoy social situations while introverts are the opposite. Previous studies have shown that people who are extroverted also tend to be more assertive, experiencemore positive feelings and get more out of rewards in general.

However, no one had looked to see whether extroverts are more sensitive to stimuli specifically related to social situations, such as faces.

To find out, Fishman and her colleagues recruited 28 participants ages 18 to 40 that ranged in personality from introverted to somewhat extroverted to very extroverted. Electrodes placed on the subjects’ scalps recorded the electrical activity in their brains, a technique known as electroencephalography, or EEG.

The researchers studied a particular change in the brain’s electrical activity known as P300. The change, which shows up as a deflection on a person’s EEG, can be elicited by certain tasks or by a change in the environment, such as when the room is very quiet and you all of a sudden hear a loud nose. The brains’ reaction occurs within 300 milliseconds, before the person is aware of the change.

To evoke P300, Fishman used a method known as the “oddball task” in which subjects see a series of very similar images, such as a bunch of blue cars, and then all of a sudden, a slightly different image appears, such as a red car.

In the current experiment, subjects saw a series of male faces and every so often a female face appeared. They were also shown pictures of purple flowers interspersed with pictures of yellow ones.

Faces or flowers?

The higher subjects had scored on a test for extroversion, the greater their P300 response was to human faces. In other words, extroverts pay more attention to human faces (P300 can be seen as an indicator of human attention, or how fast their brains’ noticed that something has changed.)

There was no link between scores on extroversion and the P300 response to flowers.

Introverts had very similar P300 responses to both human faces and to flowers.

“They just didn’t place a larger weight on social stimuli than they did on any other stimuli, of which flowers are one example,” Fishman said.

“[This] supports the claim that introverts, or their brains, might be indifferent to people — they can take them or leave them, so to speak. The introvert’s brain treats interactions with people the same way it treats encounters with other, non-human information, such as inanimate objects for example,” Fishman told LiveScience.

The results strongly suggest that human faces, or people in general, hold more significance for extroverts, or are more meaningful for them, Fishman said.

The study was presented in a poster session on Friday at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

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DOG MOMS

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RUDY’S RED WAGON

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By: Alan Graham.

Rudy is ninety eight years old, that’s fifteen in dog years. As you can imagine his engine is running a little slow these days.

Recently I saw him taking his owner for a walk and we stopped to chat. Rudy is now deaf and blind and seemed to be confused or disoriented, and it was only when I drew close to pet him that he recognized me and started wagging his tail.

His owner told me that Rudy was now bumping into trees and other objects, but he so loved his adventure walks it would be very hard to stop taking him out.

My wife told me she saw Rudy on one of his walks, but this time he was being carried by his owner. The little fella was still smelling the air and listening to familiar sounds and was quite content to carried around like a royal dog.

A few days later Rudy got a package and inside was a new Radio Flyer red wagon with air filled wheels to ensure a comfortable ride.

Now he rides around town like a dog Prince in his royal red wagon.

DCIM106GOPRO

DCIM106GOPRO

DCIM106GOPRO

DCIM106GOPRO

 

DCIM106GOPRO

DCIM106GOPRO

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DONALD JOHN TRUMP 44th US PRESIDENT

3

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SMART OCTOPI

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The first octopus genome is now fully sequenced, according to a new study in Nature. Scientists stitched together the complex genome of the California two-spot octopus, and analyzed 12 different tissues in search of the genes that allow these unique cephalopods to change skin color and control eight arms independently. The findings may help explain how an ancient, ocean-dwelling invertebrate evolved into one of the most intelligent species on the planet.

“The octopus appears to be utterly different from all other animals, even other molluscs, with its eight prehensile arms, its large brain and its clever problem-solving capabilities,” said Clifton Ragsdale, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago and coauthor on the study, in a prepared statement. “The late British zoologist Martin Wells said the octopus is an alien. In this sense, then, our paper describes the first sequenced genome from an alien.”

More Wine DNA Research Sheds Light On Why We Have Different Pinots

Aristotle was not enthusiastic about octopus intelligence. “The octopus is a stupid creature,” he wrote, “for it will approach a man’s hand if it be lowered in the water.” Nonetheless, we now know that octopuses are the most intelligent invertebrates on the planet—as demonstrated by real science as well as viral videos of whip-smart cephalopods escaping from jars. Since cephalopods have been around for at least 500 million years, scientist suspect that “they were the first intelligent beings on the planet,” said Sydney Brenner, Nobel Laureate and coauthor on the study, in a prepared statement.

But until now, we simply didn’t know much about octopus intelligence. Scientists already knew that they had enormous brains and way too many neurons, but nowadays experts agree that you don’t really know an organism until you’ve sequenced its genome. And it turns out that octopuses have weird genomes. The 2.7 billion base-pairs that make up the octopus genome look a lot like that of other invertebrates—except, mixed up.

“The octopus basically has a normal invertebrate genome that’s just been completely rearranged, like it’s been put into a blender and mixed,” said Caroline Albertin, a graduate student at the University of Chicago and coauthor on the study, in a prepared statement.

The octopus also has an abnormal number of genes controlling neuron development and interactions between neurons—processes likely associated with learning and intelligence. The octopus genome contains 168 of these special genes, known as protocadherins, twice the amount found in most mammals. Researchers suspect that the extra genes help bridge gaps between neurons, allowing octopuses to make better use of their complex, but limited nervous systems.

Taken together, scientists may be on the verge of finally understanding how a 500 million-year-old marine organism that lacks basic bone structure consistently ranks higher than most mammals when it comes to brain size, neuron count and learning ability. Perhaps with a little more time (and a little more science) we’ll eventually figure out that age old question—are you really smarter than an octopus?

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By Their Own Devises.