Just finished China Miéville’s The City and the City, a very satisfying, even inspiring, book, rich with metaphor and symbolism. It is like a film noir, set in a mythical Eastern European city — I’m convinced it is partly based on Prague — where populations living in mutually incompatible paradlgms “unsee” each other.
The beauty of this idea is that, (quite beyond the metaphor,) it could be almost any *real* city; with populations that are utterly invisible to one another. Old and young, rlch and poor, leftist and fascist, black and white: there are, in fact, far too many axes of unseeing in our everyday lives…
It would be great if everyone was as lucky as I was today when unboxing a Fedex carton containing a used manual typewriter. The typical horror stories of rattling loose pieces and totally broken machines could be greatly reduced in number if people were careful packers, like the “secretagent” who sold me this beautiful old typer!
Last year at Readercon, there was an emotional dust-up over a sordid harassment incident, in addition to a scary and unexpected medical emergency for one of our favorite editors. At this year’s Readercon, we were spared this additional drama, and found ourselves sailing through a very mellow and enjoyable con.
Of course, it was great to catch up with other fans and pros, like Alan Hanscomb, who finished his novel Sharon of Two Salems, and Mark Borok, Dianne Weinstein, and the whole Readercon gang; and also great to make some new acquaintances, like some writer named Seamus who was wearing a little black straw fedora, and a couple of mathematics and linguistics-loving commedia dell’arte performers.
Most surprising for me perhaps, was to hijack a moment of John Shirley’s time, reminiscing about his gigs at CBGBs back in 1980, where I saw him stripped to the waist and flailing around like a maniac singing “I am electricity!” Now that was a memorable night. Probably Shirley will scratch his head and wonder just who the heck I am and how I knew him well enough to be on the guest list… but I was gracious enough not to mention in public some of the other crazy shit that we both witnessed in Greenwich Village back then. Like Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer’s apprentice, those were some nutty times…
So where did we go from here? Yes, the panel sessions.
On June 19th, 1963, Valentina Tereshkova returned to earth after three days and 49 orbits. making her the first woman to travel in outer space.
Her landing near Baevo, Altai was quite rough. Since the parachute canopy was huge and lines very long, there was hardly any way to control it as she hit the ground.
I had to stand on my head for a little bit,” Tereshkova recalled. “Finally I unstrapped the parachute but ended up with a big bruise on my nose. I landed on my back. Some people ran up to me and tried to help. The spacecraft was 400 meters away. A jet came in an hour, two parachutists descended. In three hours, I was on the phone with Khruschev, reporting the successful completion of the flight.”
Yes, Tereshkova is made of the right stuff!
The details of her landing remind me very much of the landing sequence in the film, Baikonur, in which a French cosmonaut lands in the Kazakh steppe and is found by a local villager. An interesting movie that you might want to watch.
Unfortunately, owing to the tragic death of Yuri Gagarin in 1968, Tereshova was ordered never to fly again, either as cosmonaut or pilot.
Now that we are vegetarian, Sophia invents some interesting dishes just for fun.
This alien platter is a weird masterpiece! A bizzare bitter melon, with a texture like an alien lizard, is hollowed out and stuffed with mashed purple sweet potatoes & bamboo shoots, then baked crispy with red Korean chilis that we dried from our garden. Tastes good, too!
Great book launch at the Harvard Science Center yesterday, featuring Jeremy Scahill on his new book, Dirty Wars. After his excellent work on exposing Erik Prince’s fiendish company Blackwater, Scahill pursued the covert wars, targeted killings, and drone wars that the U.S. engages in around the world. In his speech, Scahill said that he started out in journalism by pestering Amy Goodman constantly, offering to feed her cat, wash her car, etc, if only she’d take him on as an intern at Democracy Now. It got to point where Amy had to choose between taking out a restraining order on him, or letting him join the team.
Good thing she brought him on board, because Scahill’s journalism (for the Nation, Democracy Now, and other agencies) has been courageous, hard-hitting, and shining with moral clarity. Scahill’s field work in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia shows the sort of backbone we wish other journalists would emulate, so we can finally kick the host of ass-kissing slime-bags who have been posing as journalists (shall cite as an example, Judith Miller or Tucker Carlson?) out on the curb.
If anything will save us from the lying obfuscations of the so-called “main stream media” it will be a new generation of real journalists, who aren’t afraid to reveal the truth and who are persistent enough to be heard. Right on, Jeremy! You deserved a standing ovation! Now if only the power-mongers and their cringing sycophants can be pried away from those kill lists and drone buttons, we can move on to a better, more humane future.
I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between Jung and Freud, especially from the perspective of Jung, as related in Memories, Dreams, Reflections. There are certainly plenty of outsider opinions: ranging from the breezy website where I found this odd photo of the two men on safari in sub-Saharan Africa, to the mystical musings of Miguel Serrano in The Hermetic Circle.
Just how did Jung reflect on Freud’s obsession with sexuality? What was the meaning of Jung’s dream, as a result of which he discovered the collective unconscious? And above all, what about the bog mummies and the two skulls?
All of these are answered in Jung’s own words. Though you will hear them in my voice, as I read most of Chapter 5 from Jung’s classic memoir, and which I dedicate to my lovely wife, BwukGwei, (who asked me to make more recordings!).
Hope you will enjoy it too!
|Jung on Freud (47:21), Diamond Bay Radio, Jan 2013
download mp3 (45MB)