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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Reminiscence time

Since childhood, my heroes have been models of virtue and goodness like no other... Heck, we are talking about "honest-to-God-goodness" here - goodness that goes above and way beyond the call of duty, as far as being "basically and fundamentally good" goes!

CAPTAIN AMERICA displayed that in the most convincing way during what was to be his very last mano-a-mano with his arch-nemesis Red Skull... Both survived (quite improbably too) through the many decades that separate us from the end of World War II. Actually, the gap is narrower - this being a story dating from the late eighties that I am recalling here - but it is still a good 40 years that have not taken their toll as they should have on Cap and his foe... Both benefited from an ever-ballooning period of time spent in "suspended animation" as time goes by; such is the "Marvel way"... Red Skull is, at that point, just a little older - and that is still in way too good a shape to be deemed "realistic" in any way! A mere semblance of realism is achieved -for once- with the absence of over-the-top action though... And so, in this final confrontation, we have no fisticuffs but only tough talk. One-sided tough talk, as it is - as Red Skull is the one doing all the talking here. He spews out all the hatred he has in his heart still, in most over-dramatic fashion (he is subbing for Hitler, after all...) and, at the end of the distasteful diatribe, he is highly disturbed but not surprised one bit to see a very telling expression on the Captain's face; one of sadness and pity - not hatred, at all. "And so you win one final victory over me," says Red Skull at the sight of this...
How much more saintly can one get, in the land of super-heroics, to not hate one's hateful enemy and actually feel sorry for him as he is still spouting out all of his venom in your face? That's my kind of hero - the one who, even if unconsciously, does as Jesus says - love your enemies, for if you love your friends, what's the merit in that? Loving one's enemies is a true accomplishment - and I will admit right here and now that I seldom accomplish it. But I have, sometimes...

AQUAMAN did one better though by forgiving his very own murderous wretched half-brother. There is nothing worse than your own flesh-and-blood turning out to be your most mortal enemy of all... This is, verily, the ultimate betrayal and the type of adversary that can and even should instill in you the most bitter feelings that lead to wishes of exacting revenge and setting the score "right"... Again, that is Biblical - God Told us that "man's enemy will be his own family - those closer to him". In this case, the enemy has for a name "Orm Marius"; and he is a true worm indeed - in order to get on par with his Sea King bro, he dabbles in the occult and becomes the "Ocean Master" more than in name only, finally, if only because these are ancient Atlantean magicks that we are talking about here... He truly becomes an abomination, that is what he becomes! On par with something H.P. Lovecraft would affectionate, maybe... Nothing more than that, I tell you! But I digress...
Aquaman had previously underestimated the "threat" that his hateful half-brother represented - even though, now, in revisionistic fashion, it is known that "Atlantis will always be fought over by two brothers" - it is both the destiny and the curse that befalls those born with ties to the fabled continent (at least, in this fictional take on the myth here, it is...!)
And at the height of their epic conflict, Aquaman recognizes in his heart that he does still have love for his half-brother, somewhere stashed away in the recesses of a forgotten childhood - Orm being in many ways the only family he has anymore. And it is that brotherly love that defeats the magic spun forth by the wicked Orm in a horrid attempt to destroy his own half-brother, the only family he too has anymore... That is indeed even better than Captain America's saintly behaviour in the face of utter hatred - this is lyricism in action and all-encompassing forgiveness!
How can I be expected to behave likewise - how can anybody "real" be expected to? In real life, it simply is never as easy as that...
Fictional characters have advantages that we do not wield, and those are not super powers either! Quite obviously, they can do "the right thing" with far greater ease than any one of us possibly can...

Nowadays, heroes like this are perceived as "passé" - they are labeled as "whitebread" and bland. Everyone wants to see a hero "with an edge" instead - who makes no quarters and asks for none. Both of these heroes have actually followed that trend - they toughened up, to keep pace with the competition; the Wolverines, Batmen and other weirdoes like them, out there...
Only that arachnid guy is allowed to be such a sappy loser behind the mask - the coolness of his mask and costume off-shoot any adverse effects that his having a CONSCIENCE might have on sales, success and overall popularity!
Arachnid guy lost his dear beloved Aunt May too - I do believe! Unless the auntie has been resurrected, through some foreseeable, totally unrealistic "retcon" - the likes of which only occur in soap-operas, comic-books and bad nighttime/primetime dramas!
In real life, you lose someone, it is done - final.
Until O Dia Do Juiz that is - it is done.
We will never again see that person in the same context as before - we will only see them again on that Day - when we will all see each other again...
Each day that goes by, we get closer to that Day - and yes, we shall see if there will be such a Day or not -soon enough- unbelievers! ;)
For the believers among you - there can be no doubt.
And there isn't any for me.
That is why I welcome any new bit of evidence that comes my way as CONFIRMATION of what I already knew before...
Not as anything else!
Check out the link supplied here today...
Let it be the beginning of a process that leads to BELIEVING, at last, for the unbelievers out there who might chance upon this...
See you all in 24! ;)

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Friday, January 12, 2007

*** TLB Prime Lyrical Sounds ***

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And now all I can suggest is... Listen to the music... And be serene...! - L.P.
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Myspace Layouts for Myspace :: Music Video Codes





Yeah - by God,
she may have finally "gotten it" now!
It's about time too! *lol*


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Thursday, January 11, 2007

thursday thunder - redux

While in Australia the forces of law, order & justice seized a record stash of ecstasy and other "baddies" (as opposed to "goodies" - get it?) - in Baltimore these days, it is getting to be quite pathetic... I will blog about that again soon - but I had to have a little fun first (hey - scribes have original ways to seek for fun; creative ways; productive ways; heck, they are quite simply additional venues for us to put on display our sardonic wit! Okay?) and so I just had to try and forget my woes and have fun with this newsflash: Baltimore police released a DVD in 2005 called "Keep Talking." The DVD, which was distributed around the city, was designed to counter a DVD made by drug dealers titled "Stop Snitching." The latter street video was made to discourage residents from talking to police (!).

Wow - wow - wow.
Drug dealers are so filthy rich that they are making DVDs now?
What else can they afford to finance in the wondrous world of media and art, I wonder?


For starters, let us just imagine, here and now, the creative process behind THAT little gem titled "Stop Snitching" - shall we?
The casting alone must have been a most fascinating thing to behold...
I guess it was all the drug lords' girlfriends and grilfriends' girlfriends (oh - what a typo I just made - so good, I left it in there! "Grillfriends" they are, I guess!) and never was such an assemblage of classless hoes ever seen before... Unless it is for any of the videos shot by either Aguilera, Spears, Onna or that Brooke chick...
Next: the non-speaking parts! One needs some "background dwellers" in these sort of things, you know what I mean? People from the streets, for realism's sake! Those who hooked on the stuff; hookers; those who are selling the stuff; more hookers; those who want in on this stuff; and did I mention hookers already? "I guess I should speak of "walkers" instead - street lingo, which obfuscates things to the utmost, is such a wonderful thing - is it not? As if streetwise punks and punkettes actually want their street talk to be rated PG-13...
But I digress!
I am a scribe - so I can imagine they wrote some sketchy sort of "plot" for this thing - hmm? At least that? Maybe not... Some dialogue must have been "written" or merely suggested to the main protagonists - most probably by the director of this wasteful production! Lines such as "don't snitch - you #itch!" are a must in this kind of thing - after all, the "message" is all that counts here... And the message must get through to the audience! At all costs! Maybe other lines to make that clear could be the following I just thought of...
Snitching will not be tolerated - you snitch, you lose! You sneeze, you lose! You do both - we bruise and abuse you! Any questions?
Cops give you donuts... We mean, peanuts! Yeah... And we offer you free samples from all of our wonderful products and all derivatives thereof! You get into the habit, it'll cost you... But it sure will feel much better, when you're high, than it will feel when you're hanging with the pigs! So, which is best - eh?

And what if we offer you something for your silence, eh? Sure beats the hell out of suffering, beatings, amputing and bleedings for snitching - don't you agree, pal?
I imagine the message gatting through loud and clear there... Monster hit, I'm sure...
Expect a sequel: "Stop Snitching II: The Bewitching!"
I wonder, though, who else will be concocting specially-themed DVDs, now that the druggies have broken the barrier between creativity in video productions and outright visceral threats to one and all, merging the two in such a symbiotic way...!

Loan sharks? Working title for their DVD: "Pay Back - NOW - You do owe me like that!" (Aye, tis loosely based on Ludacris' Get Back song... Sing it to the tune of it now! ;)

Spin doctors? Working title: "Believe In What We Say - Not In What We Do!"

Legal crooks? Working title: "This is a legal scam - we are your only recourse if you want to be supplied with the documents officially recognized by our equally-crooked government... Under these terms, you must accept our excessive fees and pay them, with interest, upon reception of our billing - or we'll sue. At your service..." (A bit long - but they always talk too much, so...)

I could go on - but this is enough satire to keep anyone in stitches already, I do believe...
Hmm - careful where you wind up, if stitches is the operative word though... Crooked and wicked ones are plentiful in those areas as well, as we all know...

Ahh - yes, this sort of exercise is good for the ol' bereaved brain, I tell ya!
See you for a new installment of TLB Prime Lyrical Sounds... next!
(I never referred to it as such before? Well, I just did now! Tis my prerogative, verily! Live with it! Or... go blog yourself! Hmm... That sounded... interesting! *LOL* ;)

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

wednesday weirdness - the comeback tour

A long-awaited return, I do believe... I've had requests, see...? Lest those were just "the voices" again...? Yikes! As long as they tell me to blog and not to blow up, things will be okay I guess... *LOL*
I am jesting about the "voices", of course - just making it crystal clear before my detractors use it as "evidence" against me!
And so, now, we will run through some news items from recent newsmakers and reliable news sources... Only the weird ones need apply though! "Weird stuff", as good ol' Johnny used to say... Somehow, at the end of the show, one was always partially disappointed for the "stuff" in question wasn't that weird at all... Maybe I can avoid the partial part and *completely disappoint* instead, eh? Would you like that? Huh? *LOL*
Just teasing now...
Joking around like this is good therapy - one forgets the crying on the inside that way - capisce? Try it sometime... When it is required...

First item that jumped at me during the pre-selection of this round of weirdness was the news that a U.S. senator is pushing for a "faster release" of Nazi-era documents, from Germany... Any slower than this one cannot possibly get, indeed... The war has been over for how many years again? Un calcul rapide... closing in on 70 years now? Getting there anyway... I guess that the good senator wants to see these documents before he gets laid to rest - hence, his pushing so hard for their release, before he pushes daisies himself! More power to you, Senator Biden, in your bid for this - if not for re-election too!

Next - violent reactions to Saddam Hussein's death... But in Detroit, of all places! Gee, I never knew that the motor city's riff-raff had such poor taste... I bet they do though - they like Hall & Oates down there, don't they? Motown records too? They claim to be "hockeytown USA" - when it makes little sense... And one can suppose that seeing their Tigers being eaten alive by BIRDS and "poor Saddam" getting to hang in the same year was way too much for their fragile psyche... They had to lash out! And they did... The carnage results makes no doubt: three Shiite mosques and nine businesses owned by the community there were vandalized... Well, what did Shiites expect? Dancing in the streets and passing out candy, in celebration of Saddam's execution, was in poor taste indeed... Personally, I know many jerks who would CLEANSE THE PLANET by passing on - like, NOW! If I learned of their passing, I would not dance nor hand out candy, to no one! I mean, come on; I don't even do it on the insipid "festivities" on all-hallows' eve! What I would do is breathe a sigh of relief - and say "one less creep around" or something to that effect! Ultimately, I would pity my enemy - as I pity already Gourgen Sevantsian and that Feste Orsino Relhes I mentioned recently here... And others, "too many to list" (sheesh - sounds like the disclaimer on the classic Star Wars figures packaging! *LOL*) - yes, I pity them all! I act like my heroes do, in that regard... More on that on Saturday's blog... ;)

Finally, the last bit of weirdness collected for this edition of "weirdness wednesday" comes from Down Under! No, it is not any lamentation concerning the daughter of one Crocodile Hunter who did not mourn properly to give in to the lure and temptations of instant fame and equally instant gratifications... Rather, it is about a whole lot of substances that usually assist those with fame to cope - or brings instant gratification to whomever! Not to say that the Hunter heiress will ever partake of those things... Still, they are amply available in her country too - as police found an astronomical amount of chemicals that are used to mass-produce those ecstasy tablets certain teens are so fond of... We are talking about five-hundred gallons and a street value of nothing less than four-hundred and twenty million dollars! This huge bust, in Sydney, followed a smaller one near Melbourne days earlier... Gee - how long will these druggies be allowed to sell their crap around like this? Stay tuned for more druggie-bashing though, as tomorrow's post will be extremely funny in that regard too...! ;)

Check out the luminous comments section for all the source data!

See - I fear no one and am happy to oblige any "dare" - on the spot!
Ah - if only all my enemies were like that... ;)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

two for tuesday

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Once again, right here on The Luminous Blog! (No matter where else you may be reading this, through whatever RSS feed it may be, I pleaded before and I'll plead once again -for the benefit of those who missed it the first time- please comment on the original site ONLY - capisce?)

And so, here today, two takes on the same subject... A subject that is, alas, dear to my heart these days-weeks-months... And that subject is... grief.

Good grief, not again - I can almost hear some of you say it!
Bear with me - this is beautiful!

First, lyrical poetry on the subject courtesy of a great wise friend of mine, Mr. Mark Dohle of Augusta, GA, USA.
I had to make this available to my Blogger faithful! ;)
They are worthier than the other gang, the original audience for the following masterful poetry...

Talk on Grief

We all begin life fresh,
We are born,
Some into loving homes, others not,
Some have parents that support them,
Others into abusive households,

Men and women passing on what they were taught,
Unable to break the cycle.
Perhaps the majority land somewhere in the middle;

With parents who are good, but struggle with responsibilities overwhelming,
Perhaps the beginning the most difficult.


In any case we are all on a journey,

We are pilgrims

Moving forward on the road of life,

Being a pilgrim simply means that our trip is temporary,

We are impermanent, as least as far as this world knows,

Our journey has a beginning an and end,

Some roads are very long; others stop soon after they start,

In the long run it does not matter, one day we all arrive,

When either in childhood, youth, young adulthood, middle age, old age,

Our number is called and we take our leave.


We start off with family,

At least most of us do,

Some lives start out collecting grief the way others collect stamps,

They can pile up early,

Stealing childhood,

Making adults out of little ones

Grief does that

Its lessons harsh at times

Something those who or on the road long enough learn,

None are exempt.

Grief is our companion on our journey, our pilgrimage.


Many ways to feel grief,
What is often the most potent, wounding, gut wrenching,
Is the loss of a loved one.
So as we journey,
One by one we leave the road,
As the years pile up we become more alone,
Death becomes our companion
Any naïveté about it gone, sooner for some than others.


Grief is private,

There is no one way to do it,

Or show it,
And certainly no preconceived length to experiencing it.

For some the death of a close friend is more devastating than the passing of a parent,

For others the loss of mother and father is life shattering,

Worst of all, and perhaps the loneliest, is the loss of a child yet in its mother’s womb.

That loss can be the worst, since many don’t understand the deep inner void,

Left by the child already known and loved by the mother.

Her own flesh.


One day a middle aged woman came into the store,

We talked,

She told me how years ago she lost her baby before its term ran out,

My remark was,

“I would think it takes a long time to get over something like that”,

She looked at me,

Cried,

And said few understand that, how could I.

Well I lost a brother three days after birth,

I never saw him,

He was named Michael,

My mother seemed so sad when she told me of his death,
When I was nine years old.
But as the years go by, I seem to miss him more,

The “what ifs” are many, and they grow stronger each year.

She smiled, understanding and we parted,

But I have not forgotten this after all these years.


In times of grief, faith is also present,

Experienced as a burden by some,

Comfort gone,

Yet faith in God there, a response needed.

Some curse God,

Yell, scream, and the tears fall like a torrent,
Which is one way to respond,

An ok way,

Intense emotions needs to be expressed,

Who better than with God,

God takes our love, our pain, our rage, and yes even at times our hate,

He takes us, embraces us, and journeys with us,
Until healing that has already begun, can at last be felt.


When we love, the other lives in us,

Fills us,

Gives joy and meaning too much of our lives,

Parents, spouses, friends, brothers and sisters,

All are loved

We are filled with our love of others.

Because we are pilgrims a grim price must be paid,

One I feel is well worth it,

Each death brings an inner void,

That is never really filled,

Since our relationships with them have yet to be fulfilled.

We can forget as the years flow by, for long periods of time,

But a song,

An expression on the face of another,

A laugh,

A movie perhaps brings the memory back,

Perhaps the pain is less, but none the less there;
Along with melancholy perhaps and joy.


From my own experience it is best to simply embrace the pain,

Fighting it just make the struggle last longer.

Emotions heal,

Like a raging river they sometimes burst forth,

And unless bitterness takes over healing is possible.

The feeling of bitterness is normal,

Become bitter is a choice,

It fruits only deepening the experience that bitterness brings.


Parents know the price that is paid by simply being parents,

One friend told me that he loves his children so much that it hurts,

He had eight children, now only seven,

One died,

Only in her twenties,

He found her body,

His grief overwhelming

Now many years later he still feels the loss,

The bitterness gone,

Only a longing to one day to once again see his beloved daughter,

Who was a poet,

Kind and loving,

Who left many bereft of her life’s enriching presence.


No deals can be made with God,

We must all drink the cup that is handed us,

Being pilgrims is what our life is about,

Our journey,

Our losses,

Our falling and rising,

Our keeping faith when all is dark,

Our support and patience with others, who are mourning,

Our forgiving others often with a great struggle,

Until God’s embrace, always there, becomes real,

Eternal,

As we too join those who have left pilgrimages before us.




And, secondly, grief as viewed by another true believer - or two...

Grief is neither an illness nor a pathological condition,
but rather a highly personal
and normal response
to life-changing events,
a natural process
that can lead to healing
and personal growth.
The transition through this difficult time
is the courageous journey.

-- Sandi Caplan and Gordon Lang, in
Grief's Courageous Journey: A Workbook


There are as many ways to cope and deal with bereavement as there are persons on the planet, surely... As many variations of the same sad song... I am just having a longer recital than most do nowadays, I guess...?!? Although...

Grief never ends, but it changes.
It is a passage, not a place to stay.
The sense of loss must give way
if we are to value the life that was lived.

– Author unknown
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Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday Mayhem

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Let's see now...
New York and New Jersey stink - but we all knew that already (New Yorkers - you will be reluctant to admit it and I would be remiss if I did not remind you that "I told you so" - but, the fact is that "I told you so" - indeed! You can profess to "loooove Nuuuuu Yerchh" all you want - we know it and you know it; deep down, it isn't even remotely true! If you'd make a bundle in a jiffy, you'd high-tail it out of there faster than I can drill into your cranium the mere CONCEPT that "New York Stinks"... But I digress once again...)

What else... Ah yes - the Birds!
Alas, it was they who were dead, not humans - proving once again that real life bites and can never be as blissful as cinema... Especially Hitchcockian film nirvana! But that is another story in itself...

Wow - two mysterious and freakish occurrences in less than 24 hours here...
The NY Stink that bothered everyone "where it all happens" so much (and destined to be more famous -or infamous really- than the blackout when S.o.S. was in town and the greatest collapse in major sports history -the Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series, opposite the determined and eventual World Champion Boston Red Sox!) and then there was the extremely mysterious Austin, Texas deaths of dozens of birds all over downtown... Pigeons, sparrows and grackles were found dead all along Congress Avenue, a main artery, and there seems to be no reason for their sudden dropping down dead from the sky...

There's never two without three... Deaths come in threes... And, as we know, "three's a crowd"... Still, the obvious third mystery around these days is the weather itself, evidently...! All over the east coast, January is feeling like late April - and that is very bizarre indeed!

Add a personal note to all this - me being in a funk, distraught for a thousand and one reasons it seems - and the apocalypse is actually a very *agréable ambiance* right at this moment, I'd dare to proclaim...!

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

subway synchronicity - a special edition of statistics sunday

...
Ah -on my way to work or, today, it would have to be to mass; for it is epiphany, duh!- I want to LEARN something! And not just waste my time observing each new passenger in public transportation (which is highly recommended - for both the environment as well as for alleviating those traffic woes!) wondering if the next one's going to be my all-new lifelong enemy...! Fortunately, one can learn several tidbits of fascinating information just riding the subway train - and you do not have to bring with you a portion of your encyclopedia to read during the long trip in order to do so either!

In the Montreal subway, for instance, the electronic board provided by Alstom Telecité is chock-full of interesting facts, anecdotes, trivia and even poetry for the subway users to read and partake of, instead of staring dumbly at each other...!

Alstom may be a French company but they are far from being behind the times at all... Sorry, American Pis!

A little sample of fascinating facts found on the electronic boards in various train wagons of the subway system:

If you are found to be among the lucky ones whose net worth is around 150,000$ or more (approximate number) you are then among the 10% richest among the world!
If you have 500,000$ or more in the bank, you're among the 1% richest...
Yes - that is in the whole wide world!

Germany is the country where sex education starts the earliest - children being educated in the facts of life as early as 13 years of age, I believe... (Lest it is... eleven?)
(Ten? 9...8...7...6...5...4..3...2...1...
Happy New Year?!?)

Speaking of happy (must be the synchronicity factor REALLY kicking in now...!)

Happy people get to be more creative
But angry people tend to have greater concentration to minute details and, thus, make more effective workers because of that - which must be why bosses are so cranky and obnoxious to you - because their job is to make you more effective as a direct result of antagonizing you!

I know that I can be extremely effective either way - for the only thing antagonizing or truly just annoying me at work is the rampant hypocrisy that I see there, down in the trenches mostly but, really, at all levels...

Thou ol'chums, co-workers of mine, verily I tell thee - love me, hate me or be indifferent to me... But you will never forget me! ;)



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