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And So it Goes

Speaker 1

Speaker 1
Hello, aloha and mahalo. It is Monday, September 11, day of remembrance for all of us.

Speaker 1
My name is Thomas Farley, F-A-R-L-E-Y-I have a friend who is is dying and he has been dying for many years, but it is certainly the end of the line.

Speaker 1
It will be the end of the line very soon for him, it seems, unless there’s some miraculous intervention from beyond science.

Speaker 1
I and he’s a good man. He doesn’t deserve to die, die poorly like this. I would not trade places with him. I envy him, though, in a way, with the enormous amount of resources that he’s been able to get to apply to his condition. He has a physical disease.

Speaker 1
He has a number of things wrong with them, but they are in the end, all physical.

Speaker 1
He’s had good insurance with Kaiser and I’m sure some of his own money. Similarly, I’ve had good insurance plans and money and I’m actually paid out of pocket for nearly all of my mental health treatment because compared with physical diseases, you cannot get seen by a doctor routinely enough to do any good in mental health. For a psychiatrist. Well, he has Kaiser. I think under Kaiser, probably you wouldn’t be able to see a doctor psychiatrist more than once every couple of months.

Speaker 1
Instead, you’re kicked down to therapists and technicians. So I’ve always paid out of pocket for regular psychiatric treatment.

Speaker 1
So that’s one big difference between mental health and physical health. Another is that routinely, for years now, most of the major insurance companies have provided a 24 hours nurse talk line so that you can talk to a nurse at any time of day except that. And I’ve talked to these nurses on these health lines before. They say they’ve never, ever had a psych nurse assigned to one of these 24 hours help lines. They could have a psych nurse, a telephone line in addition to the physical, the regular RNS.

Speaker 1
They could have that. These groups, Intermountain, Southwest, Kaiser, multibillion dollar corporations, they could pay for a 24 hours psych nurse telephone line so he wouldn’t wind up at the emergency room or some other place victim of suicide. But they don’t because mental health does not exist for these people. They talk about these institutions, talk about the rising rate of suicide, and isn’t that awful? But they won’t fund for it.

Speaker 1
They will not fund for it. They will instead give out some pity, some false pity and give some money to other groups, other agencies that are working on the problem, but they themselves don’t participate. And in the last few years, we’ve all seen how they want to really focus. They really want to throw everybody into two categories that of depression or anxiety. And if you’re not in that category, then good luck to you.

Speaker 1
I don’t want to dwell on my particular problem, although I’ll just say that it’s severe insomnia and nightmares and yeah, you hear about research, say, into PTSD and related, but it’s not really in my opinion. And I’ve been almost become a professional consultant on this subject since I so much want to get better. And I’ve tried everything. So I’ve become sort of an expert on what’s current, and I’ve done everything, including electroshock, or ECT as it’s politely called. Electroconvulsive therapy didn’t work for me, paid for all that out of pocket.

Speaker 1
Physical diseases, especially the physical diseases that happen to a lot of people, that Big Pharma has a market for. Those seem hopeful. As far as research getting spent, I know there’s some incurable, seemingly incurable problems like autism, and so there’s just major diseases, although autism goes to great deal of mental health fields, so it’s inherently not going to see the amount of research or funding to begin with. My friend has got all of these resources now available to him as far as end of life treatments and hospice, just like my parents had hospice and people willing to help stepping in. And there’s nothing for end of life, for mental health problems.

Speaker 1
My condition is not livable, and all I get in a response as far as end of life is that it can’t be that bad.

Speaker 1
And I sometimes say, yeah, you’re right, it’s not that bad. It’s a hell of a lot worse. You live with this, you live with this. But it’s a mental health problem that they can’t capture with a microscope or a thermometer going up or down, or blood pressure they can measure or blood they can sample. They just have to take the word of the patient, and our word doesn’t mean a damn thing.

Speaker 1
And I feel for people with mental health problems that are not as articulate or verbal as I am, that can’t express themselves or they express the hell they’re going through. They really have. That just I can’t imagine the misery funding needs to be addressed for my friend. There’s all sorts of patient advocates available for him. He’s actually had genetic engineering things done for him at Stanford Hospital.

Speaker 1
There’s been housing available for family and relatives nearby, just on and on and on. And I am glad that he’s had that care. It’s extended his life for many, many years. It’s just there is no equivalent in mental health for this. And it just devalue you.

Speaker 1
It devalues a person over and over and over again. You’re not worth it. And if you want something done, you got to pay for it yourself, because we can’t see it, so we don’t think it’s a problem. I’ll give you a simple example of how much I often have needed a patient advocate to deal with people just on the phone, for example. One of the things that really induces my nightmares is being a mean person and having to argue endlessly.

Speaker 1
And if anybody’s dealt with any customer support, any healthcare organization over the last many years, you’ll know that it is impossible sometimes to get across what you’re trying to say to a person that keeps falling back on a script will not transfer you to a supervisor about the websites and email addresses that they hand out that don’t work, telephone numbers they never call to make sure that they actually work. It just goes on and on. Well, that all forces me to get service, forces me to be a mean person with these people. And I don’t want to be a mean person. It’s toxic.

Speaker 1
It’s toxic to everybody, but especially in my condition. And I can’t tell them that that just engendering more and more nightmares. And it would be great if I had a patient advocate that would be able to speak for me and would be able to sit for hours and hours on a phone trying to get something arranged and it’s just not possible, not even with paying for it out of pocket. These people don’t exist. And it is very frustrating every step of the way you’re told that your condition doesn’t mean anything and it is indescribable as I try to make myself, as I try to make other people comfortable with me.

Speaker 1
You can’t mention, for example, that you have violent nightmares anymore. They’ll call the cops on you.

Speaker 1
People today are so scared by corporate media that they associate mental health with violence when in fact the mental health are far more likely to be victims of crimes than actually committing the crime. But corporate media doesn’t want to hear that. And it is the more and more I try to make other people comfortable around me, the less credibility I have, the more well spoken I am, the less people think there’s anything wrong. If I keep up appearances, then just what’s the problem? And I’ll try to say, well, how many times do you have to watch your mother or your best friend get chainsawed to death?

Speaker 1
Well, it’s not real. No, it actually feels real. And shock after shock and this has been going on since 1988 with me and it just breaks you down. I probably have less than 4 hours of sleep every night and tell you this is how these professionals, they just want a measurement. How many hours of sleep are you getting?

Speaker 1
And their limited thinking is insane. Well, four or 5 hours, it doesn’t matter. It’s the quality of sleep. It’s all broken up. I’m pacing around at 233 30 in the morning, waking up every other half hour.

Speaker 1
It’s the quality of sleep. But they can’t measure that. They have to rely on your word. And your word doesn’t count. Your word doesn’t mean a damn thing.

Speaker 1
Well, we’re sorry for you, but there’s no at this point I’ve tried literally everything, including, like I said, ECT. And that program when it first came out, using the Apple Watch, which is a dedicated Apple Watch and a dedicated iPhone that goes with it called nightwear. I’ve written a multi part review on YouTube about it that also failed.

Speaker 1
But in the end in the end, my friend has a ton of services he’s going to have measured, respectful, end of life experience, I guess you would call it. But no, I’m going to have to take care of things myself. And it’s tragic, but it’s consistent with the disregard that mental health gets in this country. I’m not sure it’s that much better anywhere else, and I don’t have any suggestions other than fund, but it’s all about money, and so I just don’t especially Intermountain. They’re an incredibly toxic group, incredibly damaging to mental health people.

Speaker 1
And you can read on my website,, what they did to me, how they treated me. I think a real fundamental problem in healthcare is how the line personnel, or the people responding to their Twitter and social accounts have no idea what duty of care means. We are patients first and then customers. This is not a typical industry where you have a customer. No, we’re patients first.

Speaker 1
When you extend the duty of care, if you have to explain what duty of care means to somebody picking up the phone, they need some real training or they need some days in the hospital tending to patients. Once you accept the duty of care, again, it’s just not my dad was a brilliant physician, brilliant doctor, and his colleagues were all well mannered, neat, professional, all of them caring. And they accepted the responsibility for a patient once they took them on. And once a system takes them on, like Inner Mountain or Kaiser or what have you, that duty of care is extended. That umbrella applies to everybody under their name.

Speaker 1
Well, that’s enough for now. I wish I could give you some hope, but there really isn’t any. Not at least for people with my condition. And I think that they would actually prefer a lot of us just to die off so they don’t have to deal with them. I think that’s what’s going on with a lot of the homeless, with mental health problems.

Speaker 1
It’s just get these people off the books and we can go back to treating people for just anxiety and depression and everybody else is on their own.

Speaker 1
But if you know more about the subject, let me know. But there’s no dignity in this, not for people with mental health.

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Repost: Hoping This Helps Someone Somewhere

No matter how difficult your situation is, I hope you find peace.


NightWare Review Part One (internal link)

NightWare Review – Part Two (internal link)

NightWare Review – Part Three (internal link)

NightWare Review – Part Four (internal link)

NightWare Review – Part Five – Final (internal link)

My first suicide attempt (internal link)

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Repost of Nightmare Review Part Four

I continue to be sad over how little these posts have been viewed. Hence, the repost. I’m fairly confident that if I paid to advertise then their reach would be extended. I’m willing to think about that because this is a life or death matter but there is no certainty that it would help. And although these are fairly negative posts, any sponsored or promoted ad is generally met with skepticism. I wish you peace.

It’s not working for me. But you should try it in case it helps you. $7,000 but if it is life or death, well . . .

NightWare Review – Part One (internal link)

NightWare Review – Part Two (internal link)

NightWare Review – Part Three (internal link)

NightWare Review – Part Five – Final (internal link)

Unedited transcript:

Hi, this is Thomas Farley. I hope you are well, or at least getting better. My nightmares are definitely back fullblown. They never really went away. I continued to wake up scared, extremely stressful dreams just not with the imagery of the past.

But again, the nightmares have always come back no matter what medicine is applied. So it’s very hard to tell day to day, week to week. Sometimes. Are they away permanently or are they coming back? And obviously I would wake up very scared.

There has been some horrible imagery, but not violent. But I’d look at the device and my heart rate is normal. And so it’s obviously not activating on events that are incredibly murderously devastating to me, especially still not able to activate it doesn’t do one of these so called interventions within the first 30 minutes of going to sleep. And that continues to be a big problem. And the company, as I’ve said in times past, refused to modify anything without FDA approval.

Or at least they say that they can’t do anything about their program unless they get FDA approval. I did try to attempt suicide about ten days ago. You can read it on my blog. I don’t know what went wrong. I’m still trying to figure out my place in this world.

Of course, if you are suicidal, if you’ve been going through this for decades, you just have to try this NightWare program. You don’t have any choice. Get the money and try it. As for me, I don’t know my place in the world anymore, so I’m just wandering around again with my interest in hobbies and just miserable sleep. The suppression of the nightmares.

If anything did happen, I certainly didn’t do anything to improve my sleep. You would think that with the suppression or elimination for a while that my sleep would improve. It’s gotten worse and I doubt I’m getting more than 6 hours of sleep, but total doesn’t matter. It’s the quality of sleep. It’s horrible.

It’s fractured, it’s just beat up. It’s filled with these bad dreams. So again, I don’t know. The psychiatrist recommends. I’ve asked for a sleep physiologist to talk to.

Next step. She again talks about medicine, but I want to get off this medicine treadmill. They just put you on one after another, and whenever they fail, it’s increased dosage or decreased dosage or in combination with other medicines. It goes on and on and on, and we have to get somebody honest about saying maybe this is terminal, it’s chronic. It’s over.

That’s it. But nobody’s saying that I included that really on my own. I don’t know what I’m doing anymore other than just complaining, and that makes me sick. So I don’t know what to tell you. I really don’t.

If you’ve got something worth hanging in for, definitely do that.

No, I can’t manage your life. I don’t know you’ll. All I can do is feel sorry for you. And I’m really hopeful that things get better for you and I don’t know it’s definitely not working? That’s the bottom line.

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You’re Not Worth a Minute

You, I’m going to try to limit my remarks right now to something very specific. And that is a fundamental problem with health care today. And that is a completely solvable, a easy to do solution that nobody wants to do, nobody cares enough to do it. And that is repeatedly. Over the last several years, I’ve encountered healthcare organizations, medical groups, the line personnel, the staff handing out telephone numbers that they’ve never tried before, or websites that they give out the URLs, and yet they don’t test them to see if they’re working, or they never try to register as a patient.

They’re usually looking inward at their own system. And particularly with telephone numbers, you have people that are sitting, working a desk for 8 hours a day, and they’re handing out these telephone numbers, not knowing if they work or not. And you comment on that and they say they’ll make a note to their supervisor, which is absolutely bizarre. Any small business that I’ve ever been, if somebody reported a problem with the phone number, they would call it up immediately. And they don’t do that in healthcare.

It’s not their problem, the person handing out the numbers, it’s the supervisor’s problem who doesn’t want to be told what to do. That never gets done. It’s all crazy talk. I just spent ten minutes on the crisis line with this woman who kept giving me this telephone number that she’s never dialed. She was saying that these people are staffed during the day up to like 08:00 at night.

I came back and said, well actually I’ve called them several times at two in the morning and they’re there. And she said she would make a note about it, blah blah blah. And I said, well that’s not getting you anywhere. She came back a little later and said, yes, my supervisor says that’s the telephone number. And I said, well have you actually called it?

Somebody needs to call it. You’re saying it’s not staffed? Maybe the telephone line is broken, maybe it is staffed, you don’t know. Why doesn’t anybody take 1 minute to call to verify this telephone number or this website that you’re turning patients to people that need help?

I said if you’re trying to fight me on this, because this is what she did for about ten minutes, I said you’re fighting against common sense. There’s no business that would operate like this except when you get to health care. They just simply do not want to call. They don’t care enough to call. They demonstrate this complete lack of caring by saying you’re not worth 1 minute.

“I’ve got other things to do other than check on the help numbers that I’m giving out to people. I don’t know if they work or not, but I’ve never tested them myself.” So the mental care industry, when you have to argue with people about something that simple, these people are, they have nobody testing the system. Frequently they give out these websites to patients. There’s all sorts of problems when a patient tries to move through the system.

But the person at the desk, she’s never registered herself. Her supervisor has never gone through the system. They just hand them out.

For any other business, Amazon FedEx, Whatever. I know they’re not perfect, but you know that if a customer calls in and says, I’ve got a problem with the website, somebody will at least look at it, even if they don’t respond to you. But, I mean, they’ll look at it because it means a loss of sales.

Here, they can’t make any money off of you when you call a help line.

It’s a failure to understand duty of care. In particular. If you have to explain what duty of care means to anybody working in the medical field, then everything’s lost. Everything is lost. And I did get transferred to this number.

Long story short, this person transferred me from this number to the number that she said wasn’t staffed. And in fact, there is somebody working now, so at least she knows that and the number is correct. But I had to really fight to get that far, and it just continues. We say we want to help, but not help you enough to actually make sure a telephone number works. That’s what you’re worth in mental health today.


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These Are the People I Deal With

I don’t expect anyone to read this except for search. And I don’t expect anyone to sympathize with my complaints, either, because this is the way the world is arranged. I’ve was raised to be a nice person but there are too many mean people to overcome. This is not something I can win. And, given my constant nightmares since 1988, not something I can cope with.


This weekend at a community picnic, I was introduced to an old cowboy who asked me what I did for work. I told him that I work part time online, at which point the conversation quickly drifted south because of him. He told me that the greatest computer was between our two ears, the human brain. And I said, I agree with that.

He then went on with a whole series of statements and questions that were aggressively going after. I think I think when I start talking about computers and what I do online, it’s so far out of reach of most people that they think that I’m trying to be smarter than them, or somehow they feel inferior. I think that’s a great deal of it. They have an inferiority complex to anybody that’s working with computers. They act as if I’m trying to prove that I’m smarter than them, when in fact, I usually don’t start the conversation at all because I’m so far out of reach with what I’m doing, with what most other people do that it’s not even worth bothering to talk about.

Like all of the work that I’m doing with AI and Chat right now. And it’s very discouraging because I had a friend say to me recently that it was possibly economic, because not everybody can afford a computer or the resources that I have, and that’s not really the case at all. I should probably stop at this point and refresh everyone’s memory that early on, before the Internet went commercial, back in about 94, 95, with the advent of Mosaic. Mosaic was the first graphical based Internet browser that you could see images with that became relatable to people. Images provided a boost to advertising, but librarians had been on computerizing, their catalog, card catalogs, for years before.

And so when personal computers came out, they started populating libraries with them. Especially, really around 84, when IBM came out with its own personal computer for the masses. There was this Charlie Chaplin advertising campaign that was hugely successful. But years before, Apple had been trying really, really hard to place computers in the school to get these lucrative contracts, and they did a good job. They started about 1980 with the Apple II.

So by the end of the 80s, computers were basically in every library and school. And so everyone’s had an opportunity since then to use computers in one way or another. Night school classes, adult education classes since really the late 80s, early ninety s. And I’ve actually been on computers since 1978. Over 40 years.

Everybody’s had a chance. But an idiot like this that I was talking to, he doesn’t want to go to the library. I’m sure he hasn’t been to the library in decades. He probably can’t remember when he checked out a library book last. I have many computers.

I think I have two desktops, two laptops, two tablets. I also have a library card from Pahrump. A library card from Goldfield and a library card from Tonopah. And I am in those libraries, actively. I’m checking out books.

All of those libraries have a computer. I think it’s just laziness on most people’s part and not having an interest. It’s easier to put down somebody for what they do than to ask about it or just say simply nothing at all. These are the people that drive me crazy. There’s so much amazing stuff going on and I don’t mind if they’re not interested, but it’s the librarians that I’m infuriated with.

They’re the gatekeepers in education and they don’t want to know about Chat or AI. So it’s not really economic. It is a deliberate decision on many people’s part not to engage, not to learn, to let the things go by. And people that are actually interested, that are burning to create, that are trying new things, that are experimenting with new things, those are people that are something to be put down on because I think it might remind them of how little they want to know, how content they are with their own little world. And that’s fine as long as you don’t go out and bully people or put people down.

This is the way I can make some money. I can make this money part time. I’m doing a good service and yet I have people people commenting who don’t even know the basics of writing and business writing.

Self-sustaining freelance writers are maybe four or 5% of the population. That’s it. Everybody else is doing a second 3rd, 4th job to enable their hobby or their passion the and as far as nonfiction writing goes, nobody understands that. As far as business SEO, there’s nobody that I know, haven’t known for a couple of decades that has any idea of what I’m doing. But if they ask, if I try to explain, it’s just an immediate putting down of what I do.

It’s just this prejudice against the unknown, which is really the root cause. If you don’t know something, if somebody knows something you don’t, you don’t want to hear it. Instead of asking questions about it or letting it go, they want to put it down because they’re bullies. That’s all they can do. They’re trolls.

And maybe it reminds them of the fact that they’re dead to the world, that they have no interest in inquiry.

Anyway, I just wanted to put down what I have to deal with almost every day in my effort to be creative. I really have to keep it hidden. Can’t discuss it because it’s like we’re going back to the Dark Ages. One idiot, in fact, who’s in charge of something historical, he was talking about computer literacy, computer literacy in such a way that I asked him this:

You’re not holding out computer illiteracy as a point of pride, are you? And this guy’s a former engineer and he thought about it and said, that’s a good question, actually. I am. This is a living, breathing, talking luddite. He doesn’t want to learn.

He wants to put down people for learning. We’re going to go back 300 years into the Dark Ages when people were prosecuted and killed for trying to learn things, for trying to advance science. We’re going to try to discredit them. Or Mao’s Cultural Revolution, in which anybody with higher learning or higher ambition was killed. That’s what we’re going to get.

We’re going to go back to the Dark Ages and then we’re going to take 300 years to come back again. At the end of the Dark Ages, they had to reinvent all the math that the Greeks had done, what, 1500 or  2000 years before, because people were criticized and killed for trying to learn new things. And now we have people writing about chat and AI who don’t actually use it, haven’t experimented with it, but don’t want to learn. They just want to put it down. So it’s frustrating, but that’s the world we live in.


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Goldfield Days Coming Up

August 5, 6, and 7th. I’ll be showing at a place called The Stop on the North side of town.  That building fills in the models below. Green screen video booth for free. Real people from rural America. And real fun!

And the following 25 year old answering machine tape from Amy speaks to all people of all times with a universal message: “We gotta have fun!”

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A Free Speech Poster for Sale at etsy

Free speech is protected speech. Speech that does not immediately threaten bodily harm is protected. Mark the word immediate. There must be a clear and present danger, something so imminent that 911 must be called immediately. Like reporting that guy yelling ‘Fire’ in a crowded movie theatre when no fire exists.

Not sure about calling 911? Then no emergency exists. The _possibility_ of future harm by someone’s words is for the courts and others to decide, not you. The Black Panthers, the Weathermen, the SDS, and all manner of leftist organizations have all practiced incendiary speech as was their right. The Panthers often were openly armed on public streets.

Free speech is for everybody.

There are exceptions to free speech. Some of these are slander and libel and the violent overthrow of the government. But all of these are extremely difficult to adjudicate and most will not come close to the bright line test that exists with a clear and present danger. Besides, we live our lives by the rule and not the exception. Today, some want to make the exception the rule. Not so fast, buddy. The writers of the Constitution anticipated your type a long time ago.

It bothers me immensely that people like Tom Hayden (Mr. Jane Fonda) and Angela Davis became celebrities after fully participating in groups more violent than Q Anon or the Proud Boys have ever been. In the case of Hayden, he rose to prominence in politics despite strong support for the Viet Cong while our boys were dying in Vietnam. A shotgun belonging to Angela Davis wound up taped to an Oakland judge’s neck so he could be taken hostage. He later died in that crime. No matter, she later became a media and academic darling.

Despite a climate of extreme violence, there was more free speech in the 1960s and early 1970s than there was today. No one retreated from words back then, even with the Kennedys assassinated, King assassinated, Malcom assassinated, Wallace shot down and crippled, those four Kent State students murdered by the National Guard, with the Viet Nam war raging, no one retreated from strong speech. No one associated debate or contention with someone going out to a shopping mall and opening fire.

Gunmen like that are simply crazy and are not the reason to shut down argument about any subject you can’t argue. A senator recently question a woman giving testimony about the rights of the transgender community. She wouldn’t respond to his questions, saying that inquiries like his incited violence. At one point she started reading statistics about suicide in the trans community, the only response she deemed appropriate to a polite and civil line of questioning. We can no longer debate or we call the cops to back off the questioner.

I’ve put up a digital download poster reflecting these thoughts at Etsy for a bare minimum of five dollars. Sorry it can’t be in hardcopy this but postage _alone_ for a poster is 13.50 through the USPS and closer to $20.00 when mailed from a printer. It’s a racket. Down below is a full size image. Maybe you can print it out that way. Double click.

Here’s a link to the listing:

Woody Guthrie had the best approach to totalitarianism: use words _and_ music:


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The Spy Who Came in From the Cold: Book versus Movie Script

A novel and its screenplay well demonstrate the skills of revising and editing. A book must be pared down to fit a film’s run length and to eliminate much of the scene setting in a novel done with words and not visual cues. A terrific author, a terrific scriptwriter.

Script by Paul Dehn

“Paul Dehn (pronounced “Dane”; 5 November 1912 – 30 September 1976) was a British screenwriter, best known for Goldfinger, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Planet of the Apes sequels and Murder on the Orient Express. . . .” (external link)

Girl: “How can you turn the world upside down? What rules are you playing?

Leamas: “There’s only one rule — expediency. Mundt gives London what it wants so Fidelier dies and Mundt lives. It was a foul, foul operation but it paid off.”

Girl: “Who for?”

Leamas: “What the hell do you think spies are? Moral philosophers measuring everything they do against the word of God or Karl Marx? They’re not.

They’re just a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards like me. Little men, drunkards, queers, henpecked husbands, civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives.

Do you think they sit like monks in a cell, balancing right against wrong? Yesterday I would have killed Mundt because I thought him evil and an enemy. But not today.

Today he is evil and my friend. London needs him. They need him so that the great, moronic masses you admire so much can sleep soundly in their flea-bitten beds again.

They need him for the safety of ordinary, crummy people like you and me.

Book by John le Carré

‘How can you turn the world upside down?’ Liz shouted suddenly. ‘Fiedler was kind and decent; he was only doing his job, and now you’ve killed him. Mundt is a spy and a traitor and you protect him. Mundt is a Nazi, do you know that? He hates Jews … what side are you on? How can you…?’

‘There’s only one law in this game,’ Leamas retorted. ‘Mundt is their man; he gives them what they need. That’s easy enough to understand, isn’t it? Leninism — the expediency of temporary alliances.

What do you think spies are: priests, saints and martyrs? They’re a squalid procession of vain fools, traitors too, yes; pansies, sadists and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten lives.

Do you think they sit like monks in London balancing the rights and wrongs? I’d have killed Mundt if I could, I hate his guts; but not now. It so happens that they need him.

They need him so that the great moronic mass that you admire can sleep soundly in their beds at night. They need him for the safety of ordinary, crummy people like you and me.’

Richard Burton at his best on film. A low key rant that rival’s Nicholson’s performance in A Few Good Men. (internal link)

art books non-fiction writing Thoughts on writing Uncategorized Writing by others

Kitsch-man as Tourist by Ludwig Giesz. And the Rise of the Selfie.

What is kitsch? Everything in the last town I lived in which was Las Vegas.

I know it when I see it.

I’ll leave a better definition to dictionaries and the great book KITSCH: The World of Bad Taste by Gillo Dorfles.

I’ve reprinted the start of two fascinating chapters from that book.

The background for this first selection is that author Gillo Dorfles in 1969 said Ludwig Giesz of the University of Heidelberg was the world’s greatest kitsch theorist.

Wow. My poor public school education. I didn’t know there were kitsch theorists.

Giesz describes kitsch-man. He describes me. “-)

Kitsch-man as Tourist by Ludwig Giesz

The term Kitschmensch (kitsch-man) which Hermann Broch uses, and which has cultural and philosophical overtones, as well as sociological and aesthetic ones, is considered by many critics to be too generic, too universal, to be used concretely in an analysis of kitsch objects. It is infinitely simple to list mass-produced articles in bad taste and without any artistic value, and to criticize their faults either kindly or mercilessly. There are countless albums and antholo­gies which serve this purpose.

Criticism – given that we are not prepared to limit ourselves merely to facetious remarks – is generally focused on the kitsch object. On the aesthetic level, people try to contrast kitsch and art, with the following results: kitsch is bad taste; kitsch is dilettantism; it is moreover without any originality, or else totally conventional; and it Is overloaded with rather primitive, affected and superficial attrac­tions. Given that the conclusion of all these collections of comments is the same – that kitsch is not art – it would be superfluous to quote any specific titles.

Academic art-historians often supplement this type of documenta­tion and commentary – ‘some of which is arch and euphoric, while some is witty and pedagogic, and therefore culturally depressive’ (‘serious’?) – with erudite information on the history of kitsch: e.g. notes on kitsch in the ancient world (Hellenic miniatures perhaps, or medieval devotional pictures, etc.).

All this reveals that the variation in taste over the centuries and from one cultural circle to another has been a serious handicap: when and where does kitsch begin? Let us quote the two extreme positions: a) kitsch has always existed or: b) kitsch was born in the second half of the nineteenth century (vulgarized Romanticism plus the emancipation of the petite bour­geoisie). At this juncture we reach point b): sociological considera­tions, and the following problem – isn’t kitsch perhaps a character­istic of every mass age, beginning with the age of Alexander and Roman Hellenism in the ancient world, down to the one-dimensional man of the mid-twentieth century?

What is the relationship between industrialization, capitalism, and the kitsch and the transformation of the individual into a total consumer on the one hand, and the kitsch boom on the other? (The mass-production of kitsch articles involves limitless possibilities; the ‘revolt of the masses’ after the manner of Ortega y Gasset unleashes the phenomenon of ‘mass-taste’; the civilizing and cultural elites have lost contact with the public, hence the more or less unbridgeable gulf. [continues . . . ]

The tourist often ‘sees’ the landscape, and himself in the landscape, through the eye of the camera or cine-camera.


Tourism and Nature by Gillo Dorfles

Kitsch and tourism; two words which go nicely together. Why is every monument, every landscape, every object from folk lore in­stantly made kitsch by tourism? Why were travellers’ descriptions of the pre-tourist era never kitsch, even when they were inaccurate, absurd and incoherent?

Perhaps the explanation of the Verkitschung brought about by tourism is linked with this phenomenon’s ability to falsify and with its position as one of the most singular and degrading aspects of our age.

People who go to foreign countries knowing that they will not have to speak the language because the organization supplies them with interpreters who are sufficiently versed in the local tongue; people who travel through these countries with the sole intention of seeing the Famous Places; people who have prefabricated their (borrowed) feelings, their indignation, compassion and admiration in advance; people who take every feeling, myth, legend, piece of folklore for granted – such people come prepared.

Tourism is one of the most noisome aspects of a rite that transforms and mythicizes every event with which the individual comes into contact, once he has been drawn into the mythagogic ritual (the garlands of Honolulu, the gondolas on the Grand Canal, the Red­skins of the Grand Canyon, Scotsmen wearing the kilt).

We have to ask ourselves how the tourist can possibly believe that the Indians, with their tidy, clean feathers, are authentic? How can he delude himself that he is hearing the gondolier’s song or the Nea­politan boatman’s song? How is it that he doesn’t realize that the painter painting the Sacre Coeur in Paris is anything but a ‘genuine modern painter’; that the kilted Scotsman playing his bagpipes is simply advertising’s complement to the landscape?

Tourism has not spread everywhere, of course; not all the Navajos are shams, not all the gondoliers sing, and not all Scotsmen wear their kilts day and night. But we must point out that even when or if the tourist comes across authentic objects, people or events, he can, as if by magic, transform them ipso facto into a substitute for reality.

The charm of the carnival nights of Rio and their contagious frenzy are certainly irresistible attractions for the kitsch-man as tourist.

[continues . . .]

Editor’s note. As a discerning kitsch-man I recognize this drawing as modeled after Bridgett Bardot. Even I woud not expect to see a light skinned and pretend ingénue dancing on the streets of Rio. Folies Bergère perhaps if she wasn’t so short.




books Poetry Thoughts on writing Uncategorized

You, Darkness by Rainer Maria Rilke

A poem from the Book of Hours. Read by the amazingly talented Ghizela Rowe. Translator unknown. I’m a big fan of Rilke and I have numerous posts on him at this site. This is just one (internal link).

Given the often wide variations in translations to English, I assumed at first that a major problem in understanding Rilke was the language barrier.

I see, though, that German philosophers and theologians have an equally hard time in concluding what Rilke means.

Our bafflement at some of Rilke’s symbology perhaps echoes our bafflement when we wrestle with the meaning and the reasoning of God.

You, Darkness

by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926)

You Darkness, from whence I spring,
I love You more than all the fires
that fence the world;
for the fire encircles everyone,
but excludes You from their sight.

But Darkness draws everything to it:
shapes and flames, and animals….and myself.
How it unfolds them all!–
Man and Might–

It might be that a Great Power
moves in my vicinity.

I believe in Nights.
Nights are my Certainty.

Another translation, this time by David Whyte.

You, Darkness

by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875 – 1926)

You darkness from which I come,
I love you more than all the fires
that fence out the world,
for the fire makes a circle
for everyone
so that no one sees you anymore.
But darkness holds it all:
the shape and the flame,
the animal and myself,
how it holds them,
all powers, all sight —

and it is possible: its great strength
is breaking into my body.
I have faith in the night.