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  1. Hunter, Thanks for your comments. I welcome comments from everyone so don't be shy, people. The concrete theme was to dramatize the issue of people who love someone but who are too afraid to say it, to express it, to go after. In my experience in observing people, I fear that too many people suffer from this problem. More abstractly, one has to answer why? What is it that people fear about themselves? Are they undeserving of the beloved? Is it fear of commitment? The sense of some personal moral imperfection will have an influence no matter what is the concrete motivation of being so "chicken shyt". For example, the problem with Dominique Francon is her fear of the world, and her metaphysical pessimism. But note how she acts masochistically, for example, in sleeping with Peter Keating. How could a woman punish herself so much? Why would she? Which is why the last Monodnack Valley scene is so touching and moving. Now about Nathan Brand. Yes, the parallels with Ayn Rand's lifestyle is obvious and I can't deny that there are any. And I wouldn't have come up with the idea if it wasn't for reading Nathaniel Branden's book. However, Alicia O'Connor in this story is not Ayn Rand no matter how similar they are. It's my way of respecting her and not insulting her memory with my ignorance. For those that are intimate with the life of Ayn Rand, the tribute is obvious in the usage of the name Alicia O'Connor. Using that name gives me a liberating literary license. Note that I called what most people would assume is the Fountainhead, The First Hander. You can assume Cyrrus O'Connor is Frank O'Connor, and I chose Cyrrus because that is the name of the character Ayn Rand fell in love with as a child, when reading The Mysterious Valley. Nathan Brand seems obvious. But I chose Brand more for the character from Ibsen's play, BRAND, whose motto is "All or nothing". Now, since I wanted to make the story as short as possible, and I knew I would post it for an Objectivist audience, using the parallel to Ayn Rand's life was very useful. The woman who owned the dress could have been the inventor of the lightbulb, but I preferred to pay tribute to Ayn Rand. The story takes place in Toronto. My problem was how to get that Ayn Rand dress from California to Toronto and over more than half a century. Nathaniel Branden grew up in the Greater Toronto Area. To use Ayn Rand as a character and her life as story action properly and with doing Ayn Rand justice, has been a riddle for many years now. "Alicia O'Connor" was is my best solution so far. Ayn Rand was born Alissa Rosenbaum, changed her name to Ayn Rand, and married Frank O'Connor (THE ACTOR). Junius Junius.
  2. The idea arose because I AM SO SO IN LOVE. However, I did write it quick and so I have noticed some shortcmoings in the execution but the idea is wonderful. The last line is purely subjective, yet it does not have to be, but I mean it. That's it: I mean it. Please go ahead and comment on the technical aspects because, since I predicted that no one else would, I had planned to expose my own flaws (if only to show people the writinng process). Yes, of course, the foreigners to Objectivism would not get it--but that's why I posted it here. Actually, to be technical, the story arose because I wanted a woman to get an amazing (second-hand) dress unbeknownst to her, and be devastated by the revelation, yet to be later comforted by the truth of it belonging once to a heroic woman ... Ayn Rand was an easy parallel ... the cheating part I just needed to add ... whether I connected the two situations properly I cannot confirm for definate. Junius Junius. Now for the continuation of the story: .....The video of the wedding does show and presents the wedding vows of Natalia. You must know what made Diego cry so much and at all. You must experience the words that explained her deepest hunger, the words that validated Diego's one long year desire ... What must be revealed is that for some weeks Natalia insisted that Diego suck her neck every morning to renew his initial bruise from their first time. Though Diego could not guess the real reason, he realized such upon her first kiss upon their "wedding alter": Natalia: Gold does not adorn my throat. Pearls do not bedeck my neck. Diamonds do not emblazon my neck. Every morning I have asked you to bejewel my throat. Every morning I have asked you to sustain this bruise. Oh, the violence that your teeth and lips denote. Oh, the tablet that I am and that you choose. Why this cruelty I demand, you ask? … As the broadcast of our love filled play; As the adornment from our life-long pact; As a memento of what lovers do all day. How’s this a symbol of a marriage bright? It’s the symbol of your special right, That would mean betrayal if not done by you. It’s a reminder of why I love you. Why dare I wear it on this wedding day? To show our audience that love cannot wait— To proclaim your title on this sacred day— To exhibit what will be our fate. Friends, you wonder why his neck is bare? It’s how I planned it with conscious care. My bruise connotes our forever-dare, And all the joys, burdens, and toil we’ll bear. Watch me seal it with my mouth and swear With violent bruising on his neck so fair. Americo, Try not to post if you have nothing to say. If you regret your words regret it before it is too late. Moderators, please obey Americo and delete his post. And if so, delete this one too. Americo, send me any comments in personal message if you wish. Junius Junius.
  3. Have you tried just kissing her, showing your hunger? A kiss could be "magical". A kiss can be more intoxicating than the alcohol that she indulges in every weekend. Most people want the other to make the first move, which is often the cause of much unneeded frustration. Get her addicted to your manliness. Often times people drink because they are lonely. And they often drink in social setting because those people bore them. Next time you see her give her a look like you've never given her before, and when you notice the change in her face, just do it ....
  4. THE RUINED DRESS—By Junius Junius Natalia Brown cried that night, though she managed to avoid it for the twelve hours prior. It was just past four in the afternoon when she was told by Diego of his news. Her affection for him struck her only in sparing moments so that she usually forgot those seldom, too seldom, moments of longing. And so she accepted his news with a military indifference, like a General who is told by his man that the enemy city has been nuked. She smiled as an effort to express her relief that he had moved on to someone else. Despite her insistence that he not waste his time, he had persisted for a whole year in trying to conquer her. He left love poems he had penned outside her townhouse door, and roses of all colours, packages with garments the he wanted to see her wear (like a silver silk scarf that caressed her cheek) though she only wore them inside her home. Her first instinct was always to throw away the gifts and send him e-mails of scornful reproach. She only succeeded in sending him polite e-mails reminding him of her wish not to be pampered, not to be shown his affection. It was after a week of every morning finding a VHS movie outside on her doorstep that she sent him the following e-mail: Since we work together and we both love our jobs, it is unavoidable that we see each other. But we will no longer chat like friends. We will say ‘hello—how are you—good-bye. We will discuss only what our work requires. And besides, I’ve moved past VHS long ago. Diego was devastated but he accepted it, though hope still lingered somewhere inside him, for there was a quality in the way she gazed at him still that still fanned his flame for her. One Monday after work, she bought a VCR again, and over dinner watched the movie Crime and Punishment. She found herself crying at the part where Raskolnkov’s beloved is waiting for him, living nearby in Siberia. She was reminded of the dress she had stolen for her prom and that she had never been caught. It occurred to her that perhaps this was the reason why for eight years since, she had never fallen in love. And then she grew angry and muttered, “How dare he?” On Tuesday she hurried home to watch Camille. And she ordered a pizza instead of cooking. She was surprised that she was touched by the idea, that even though this prostitute died, she died knowing that someone could love her. But soon Natalia said, “How dare he?” On Wednesday she watched Notre Dame de Paris. She felt a choking in her throat at the image of Quasimodo’s warped skeleton embracing that of his Esmeralda in their tomb, to which he snuck into after her death. It was an ever so touching symbol of eternal love. “God damn you,” she whispered. She grew colder and colder towards Diego at work, which saddened him greatly but he persisted to her doorstep every early morning still. On Thursday she saw Cyrano de Bergerac and was furious at Cyrano for not telling Roxanne the whole truth, right then and there on the battlefield. And she predicted that Cyrano would never tell her. And when he declared his love under the tree, and as he swung his sword at his tormentors in the air, and as his last breath slipped away, she said, “You deserve it, fool.” Though tears streamed down her cheeks. On Friday she saw Ninotchka and found the fate of the communist belle too unrealistic. She chuckled. But on Saturday, she fell in love with Mulligan of An American in Paris, and when it had ended, after the long celebratory dance of love for love’s sake, she danced to some mysterious music within her. And when she imagined the face of Diego, she stopped and went to bed. On Sunday she was angered even before she put the movie into the VCR because it was a 1980’s version of Zorro. And declared, “I don’t need saving.” But she watched it anyway. On Monday it was the last straw. By the time Rourke of The First Hander leaves his beloved’s room after the violent act of ownership, she turned off the VCR, despite the happy trembling within her. And she said, “you wish.” And in that moment she sent him the aforementioned nasty e-mail. A week later he was waiting for her outside her town house, with a big smile on his face. He reported that he had just finished a short novel. He had written it for her. It was a modern adaptation of Don Carlos by Schiller, but he made Carlos choose love over the ideal of liberty, making Carlos the protagonist once again, instead of Schiller’s Posa. He did not tell her this but she had read it and was moved at his ambition, and at the fulfillment of her need to see Carlos’ better choice upon her reading Schiller’s version. She sent him the following e-mail: Thank you, Diego. It was beautiful. However, I must insist that it is never going to happen. We cannot be. Though no one has ever performed such a grand affectionate gesture for me. Though hope still lingered somewhere within him, he was resolved to let her go. If that story would not conquer her, then nothing he could do could. But the next day she looked at him with a mysterious gaze like he never thought he would ever see. But she just walked past him. He would let her go no matter the torture that her gaze enacted. It was one of those first spring nights, blessed by a gentle breeze, and the glow of the full moon. That, and the memory of her gaze filled him with an erotic intoxication, which he needed to dilute. He chose beer. And he travelled from bar to bar. When last call passed and he had to leave his last bar, he thought that he would be saved from the betrayal that he had been ready to commit for some hours now. And then he saw her. She had short black hair and tight jeans. He offered to recite her one of his poems, and she asked him to take a walk with her. She subsequently invited him to her place and he accepted. The next time he saw Natalia at work he took her aside. “I don’t blame you Natalia, dear. It is not your fault. But I’ve betrayed you … yes, what you’ve meant to me all this year, my sacred longing. I was with a strange girl the other night. I was very drunk but that is no excuse. I didn’t enter her; I did not climax; I couldn’t get hard. Yes, I was too drunk—but more, it was the knowledge that how you looked earlier that day was what first filled me with such erotic intoxication. … and so often does … how the mere dream of your scent, or of some garment that you’ve worn drives me mad with frustrating hunger. I’m sorry. You’re the only one I need … thus will I be forever tortured.” “It’s honourable what you are attempting but there is no need.” And she walked away seemingly with indifference. That night they both cried lying in separate beds. And then it occurred to Diego that if his hope was at all valid, and if their love was really true, then she must have surely been crying at this hour too. He needed to know. He dressed. He rang her doorbell for an hour. And she heard every ring with a certainty of who it was. But she was honest and angry. And then she answered the door. Her eyes were swollen from tears. And she saw that his were too. “You love me!” he exclaimed. “I believe you,” she answered. “Only you,” he declared. And he kissed her passionately. And they ascended the steps to her bed. And he cried at the fulfillment of his most violent longing. And she laughed in her newfound-happiness. In the morning she asked him to marry her and he accepted. It was to be a simple and small wedding but the dress she wanted cost ten thousand dollars, though it was simple, though too expensive for her budget. It was by Armani and of the softest, pearly silk. It went just passed her knees but the cut at the side went up to her hip. It had no back, and a collar around her neck held up the front. And she looked stunning in it, no veil, just her luscious wavy black hair let loose. She would not, could not, buy the dress and she placated her desire with the thought of the dress’ imperfection, in that, she wanted cleavage shown so that a thick web united with the collar, revealing her naked skin. He mother noticed that though she was happy to be marrying Diego, a melancholy over the dress still lingered in her soul. Nadine, her mother, made it a habit to shop at Goodwill for used books. Very often she found some great deals. One day, nearing the wedding day, she entered the store to find two long rows of wedding gowns at the front entrance. She browsed through the racks; she couldn’t help it. Then she saw it. It was just like her precious daughter wanted. Except this one had the web for naked cleavage. It was destiny. The dress cost one hundred dollars. She looked at the tag and saw the letters “A.O” along with a year, “1928,” and a place, “Hollywood, California”. Nadine thought to herself: It’s impeccable, though. I must buy it. But if she knows it’s second-hand, she’ll never stand for it, no matter how perfect it is. I found it in a boutique in Montreal—that’s it. She’ll be so excited she won’t ask anything further … just my wedding gift … Nadine learned that there was a celebrated Tango competition being held in Montreal. And this is where she told Natalia she was going. So for that weekend Natalia did not meet or talk to her mother. Nadine exposed herself again on Monday and met her daughter for brunch. She entered the café with a large, flat, green box. Natalia could not touch her food once she saw the dress. And she asked no questions, or rather, she was satisfied that it was found in a Montreal boutique. The following were the vows two Saturday’s later: Diego: “My first few years as an adult were torture because I was in love with a girl named Rachel, who never loved me, and who left me all alone. But I was a child then still. And when I grew up, having left that infatuation go, I began to deserve the happiness that is you. And then you came into my life … and I had the courage to look into your eyes, and to see that you were like me—and my new and genuine reason for being. I don’t need to promise my loyalty. Even the idea of my betrayal is impossible. I am yours forever.” Natalia surprised Diego with her vows in verse, which are too precious to reveal right now, except that it must be mentioned that Diego did cry because of the sudden experience of the contrast with that year he wooed her, and that year she hurt him so, and now she was now declaring her love in language that, for the moment, seemed too good to be true, except for the gaze that sanctified it as reality. They only succeeded in staying at the reception for an hour. Their hotel room was too persistent a beckoning scream. When Natalia returned from her Miami honeymoon, she had lunch with her mother. She insisted that Nadine give her the address of the gown’s boutique so she could send them pictures and a thank you note. After several unsuccessful lies, Nadine broke down with the truth. Natalia was speechless except for the following question, “Second-hand?” Natalia explained the origin of the dress to Diego and promised not to let it upset her marriage. But Diego had noticed that he had begun to live with a stranger. She came and went but showed no affection, and hardly noticed him. After a week he could not stand it any longer. He played the role of detective. He went to the Goodwill head offices and asked for the origin of that dress. The donor was a man named Samson Brand. The dress belonged to his grandfather from California and he had it inherited upon his death, along with a letter explaining the criminal way it had reached the hands of Nathan Brand, his grandpa. Diego was shocked but he knew that the story would help his wife. Diego left Samson Brand immediately and rushed home to inform his wife of his news: the dress’ real origin. However, he was shocked at the spectacle that awaited him when he entered his living room. Natalia was stretched out on the sofa, wearing her wedding dress, watching some movie. She was recklessly swirling a glass of red wine, and Diego could not miss the trail of red spots that descended from her breasts to her navel. He couldn’t help but chuckle at the irony, though it was regrettable because of what he was about to tell her. “The dress is ruined,” he commented. “It doesn’t matter; it’s not mine.” “But you look so beautiful in it. We didn’t even take it off the first time of our wedding night.” “That was before I knew.” “I know where it came from.” “I don’t care.” “I think you will.” “It won’t make a difference.” “Can I tell you the story?” “Sure,” she drawled. “It comes all the way from California. A high school teacher here inherited it in Toronto. He is homosexual so he will never have use for it, he says. His name is Samson Brand. Does the name sound familiar to you?” “No.” “I didn’t think it would. Samson is the grandson of Nathan Brand. He was once a protégé of a great writer.” “Let me guess, Alicia O’Connor,” she chuckled sarcastically. Diego laughed at her naiveté, which she mistook for recognition of the impossible. She let him continue. “He was once the student of a great female writer. She was an immigrant from Russia with a dream of writing for the movies. Almost immediately during her stay in California Cecil B. DeMille gave her her first break. He taught her some important elements about writing. She would grow to write one of the greatest novels ever written, about a hero with a severe integrity. After this, Nathan Brand came into her life. But during her early struggle she met an actor during the making of King of Kings. She pursued him. She thought that she would lose him forever. And then she ran into him in a public library all by chance. It was an unending Romance. “So she welcomes Nathan into her family. He becomes the protégé of her ground breaking philosophy … they become lovers … the husband consents … but Nathan betrayed her.” “How?” “He fell in love with an ordinary woman after he had already declared his love for his teacher. The deceit goes on for too long until he gathers up the courage to tell her the truth. But he predicts that she will disown him. So he goes into her closet and takes a box with him, as a memento; an act he did instinctually; a motive unconscious. Inside is her wedding dress … the dress she wore to marry Cyrus O’Connor … the dress that she designed and made herself … the dress that showed off her fantastic legs … and the dress he slid off of her on the first night of their married bliss … the dress she wore to marry the man who would love her enough, and to realize her value enough, to let her free to investigate a potential greater happiness than the one she found with him.” “And when Nathan told her?” “She disowned him.” “What was her name?” “Alicia O’Connor.” “What? … I didn’t know that about her; I never looked into her biography. I just read her fiction and philosophic papers.” “I know. You have just spilled wine on the dress of the author of THE FIRST HANDER.” After the honour of owning that dress had settled within her, she took off the dress very delicately, and folded it back in the box. Then she stood before him naked, ready, and once more his most precious, magnificent wife. “Who owns me?” she asked I DO.
  5. SOME INITIAL THOUGHTS ON LOVE AND SEX AND HOMOSEXUALITY: ‘ “Rationality” is a broad abstraction. Now we must learn more fully how to apply it to the concrete choices of human life. We must study the derivative virtues (and values) recognized by the Objectivist ethics. ‘Since these virtues are expressions of rationality, they are logically interconnected, both in theory and in practice. None can be validated in isolation, apart from the others; nor can a man practice any one of them consistently while defaulting on the others. In defining a series of virtues, Ayn Rand is abstracting, separating out for the purposes of specialized study elements of a single whole. What she seeks to clarify by this means, however, is the whole. The Objectivist ethics upholds not disconnected rules, but an integrated way of life, every aspect of which entails all the others’ (Leonard Peikoff in the opening of Chapter 8 of Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand). How does one arrive at conclusions, such as, “All acts of sex between two males are evil;” or, “Only sex between a man and a woman is good”? Before one can validate that sex is good between a man and a woman, one must answer what makes a man or woman, a human being, good. The evaluation of the entity that acts is more fundamental than the evaluation of the action of that entity. Sex, proper, is a consequence of a rational code of morality. If one understands a rational ethics but one’s morality fails to live up to it, then one’s sex life will necessarily be handicapped. Is it even proper for men and women to have sex? Maybe people shouldn’t have sex if they love each other because it degrades them to animalistic level. Or, maybe they should have sex but only if they are not in love. A good man (a rational-selfish man) must have sex with a moral equal. Sex is a recognition and expression that one is good and the world is benevolent. As the most intense and joyous pleasure possible to humans, it is a reward one shares with one who feels as great as you and is as great as you. Anything less will not bring you the thrill that a good man is promised by nature. The Rules of Masturbation: 1. One should never masturbate only to satisfy an “itch”. 2. One should never masturbate if one wants to stop some feeling of guilt, boredom, hate, fear. 3. One should never masturbate fantasizing about different women, or several women at once. 4. One should never masturbate when thinking about a lower animal or a close blood relative. 5. One should only masturbate as a response to a recognition of one’s self-esteem. 6. One should only masturbate when fantasizing about someone one loves. 7. One can masturbate if one is practicing to improve in sex. 8. One can fantasize about a stranger, when practicing, so long as one is single, and one doesn’t know that the stranger’s moral worth is less than yours. 9. Never stick a your finger up your anus. 10. Do not masturbate while fantasizing about illegal rape, or sado-masochism, and all other acts forbidden in a rational sexual relationship. I think that much of the above points are valid if only as guides to improve one’s sex life. But there is certainly a morality to masturbation, it occurs to me. No other form of masturbation compares to the one where you fantasize about the person you love the most. I suspect that homosexuals can masturbate in response to an attraction to their own beautiful body. I don’t think heterosexuals are capable of this; they need a fantasy of someone of the opposite sex. But is it immoral for a homosexual to masturbate in this way? Is it immoral for a homosexual to masturbate at all, even if fantasizing about another male—or is he exiled from the realm even of masturbation because he is gay? Those who think that homosexuality is immoral may very well think that homosexual masturbation is immoral. Or does the immorality, for these critics, arise only when one gay has sex with another gay, even if it is just simultaneous masturbation? But for these critics, certainly felacio and anal penetration is immoral. What leads a rational straight man to want sex? Among other things: 1. Efficaciousness in his work. 2. Success in the market place. 3. A healthy dynamic of a group of friends. 4. Access to and experience of good art. 5. An evaluation of the universe as benevolent. 6. An evaluation of himself as worthy of the central values he does possess. Observe that the “drive” to sex for a primitive tribal Indian is much different than a rational man in an industrialized city. What “drives” a man to sex is not his recognition that he is a male and that he should have sex with a female. Humans are more complex and spiritual than that. The “drive” first and foremost comes, in adults, by his self-esteem and his benevolent universe premise, and some specific trigger event that symbolizes such principles. Masturbation is not immoral. But sex with another is much more enjoyable than sole-masturbation. It is the choice in another that heightens one’s sexual drive to its utmost (in the context of the individual): when one finds one’s psychological and moral mirror. Very early in life, a human will program his consciousness to what gender he will be attracted to. But just because a man is heterosexual does not guarantee that he deserves sex. There are more essential things that make one worthy, as listed above, such as efficaciousness in one’s central purpose. A heterosexual man can still be good and middle-aged and never have had sex with another because he never has found his feminine equal. A homosexual male can very well experience this type of long-term celibacy, which may be rare but not immoral and still living a fully rational life. It would be an injustice to insist that a homosexual (a man with sexual desire for other males), who has never had sex (for example), who is efficacious in his central purpose, successful in the market place, has a good group of friends and family, is able to experience good art frequently, evaluates himself as worthy of possessing the values he does possess, and who evaluates the universe as benevolent (as being one where such values and such level of character is possible)—to sacrifice the need that ensues because of his worthiness, so that he can get therapy, repress his metaphysical human need, so he can re-unite with his pre-determined sexual nature. Granted that given the nature of human biology and anatomy, heterosexual sex will be more enjoyable and represent a more fulfilling life. A homosexual cannot reach that sexual level that a rational egoistic heterosexual can experience … but he can still be good and still experience a rewarding and fulfilling sex life. Junius Junius.
  6. It is becoming more and more evident that you suffer from Platonism. It seems that you would think that Hank Reardern was immoral until he finally joined the strike because he could have changed his mind before hand. I don't think the issue of errors of knowledge and evasion is clear to you. In the example of homosexuality that I used the homosexual would be suffering from an error of knowledge; and a worse form of it than even Hank Rearden experienced. But because my homosexual has not reached your ideal of perfection, though he has not evaded on this issue, he must be immoral. And so anyone who is not a Leonard Peikoff or an Ayn Rand, even if it is just a matter of not knowing certain principles or even a certain methodology, is immoral because he "will not" match your impossible dream (given the context). It seems that you're playing chess with this issue of homosexuality. Perhaps Objectivism should advocate a form of eugenics to ensure a timely and necessary plateau of moral perfection for everyone. Junius Junius.
  7. I don't know if people have referred to this talk during this thread previously but in "Love, Sex, and Romance" (available at The Ayn Rand Bookstore), Dr. Peikoff clearly says that Homosexuality (in good people) is abnormal but not immoral. He claims to know perfectly moral people who are homosexual. A form of homosexuality that he doesn't see as immoral is one where you have a boy who is very intellectual in an environment where such intellectuality is not admired by his classmate, etc. Eventually he meets another boy who is also intellectual and who accepts his intellectuality. The gay boy falls in love, and sometimes both boys are gay. Now this is just a pattern that he has encountered but the roots of the homosexuality is formed in early childhood. I know of a guy who is gay who was traumatized by both parents at an early age and family members in regards to the issue of sex, very very early. One of those parents is not to blame because of the abuse (in various forms) that he/she experienced in his/her own early life. This friend of mine early in life experienced attraction to both sexes. But early in life there was a predominant attraction to boys. He can identify now that he repressed his homosexuality because his fear of peers, society and family members. When he was 14 he saw for the first time a beautiful blonde Italian across the gymnasium, and it was then that he knew for sure, though he still repressed his feeling for four years. At 19 he accepted his sexuality and pursued the boy, who was by then his best friend after four years of estrangment. That relationship ended tragically but it taught him a great lesson in courage. Now he is a confident and charismatic (homosexual) who is among the most brilliant people I have ever encountered. For all I know he is not immoral. I certainly cannot call his homosexuality an immorality, given what he has revealed to me. Junius Junius. John Ridpath in a question and answer period during one of his taped lectures, I believe it is The Morality of Capitalism (but correct me if I'm wrong), where he is asked about homosexuality. He does not believe it is immoral. Though, he sees it more as a tragedy, where the men/women will never experience life and sex as it can and should be. John Ridpath is not gay. I know that Ridpath has a sympathy for people who are still guided by their sense of life, and encourages that they study philosophy so that they can fix the errors and problems that they must have initiated when they were not in full control of their consciousness. Very few people reach the level of psychological health that men like Peikoff, Binswanger, Brook, and Ridpath, et al., achieve. I just recalled that in the Peikoff lecture aformentioned, he does say that he is convinced that there is no psychologist living today who can cure homosexuality, and there won't be one for a long time to come. Junius Junius.
  8. Hello: People on this forum are very interested in the middle-east, Islam, and terrorism. That's great. I have a request to ask. I don't know much about what the Islamic teaching is. I'm sure I can search for answers on the internet. But I was wondering if people on this forum can tell me what it is. There is a rare and unique perspective that people on this forum can give me. The recent controversy about the Mohammed cartoon is outrageous. Now I want to write my own work of art, my own short story, satirizing Mohammed. This is why I need the information I ask for. Besides this specific purpose of beginning this topic, afterwards this thread can serve for people to discuss the vices and virtues of the Islamic Faith. Thanks, Junius Junius
  9. Actually I would greatly prefer if John Ridpath doesn't get too involved, as I've been eagerly waiting the completion of his book on intellectual history, the history of ideas, for several years now, since his retirement. That book will be the best thing he could do to spread the right ideas in Canada and the World. Junius Junius.
  10. Literarily it is great basis for an intriguing story. We accept a Quasimodo, a Gwinplaine. Freaks make for good characters, because it isolates the volitional character. On the premise that gayness is non-volitional, it is obvious atmosphere for tremendous social obstacles, moral, and social. It is a basis for a hero, despite this thing that most of these "freaks" are afraid of and ashamed of. Look at what gayness did to a genius like Wilde. What a story? It may not be good ground work for an Objectivist story, unless the author is himself gay, but it can definately make for good romanticism and romantic-realism. An obvious theme: My sexuality does not make me who I am--that I kick ass as a prosecutor or jet plane fighter or boxer or hockey player or oil man--does. But I am disturbed by sudden trend of gay characters. Most stories are not good enough. But I want more gay stories out there as a slap in the face at those damn Christian Religionists. I love to hear them speak from the bible, so amusing, and almost so pitiful. To all, use your literary principles, as best you know them, and in your own mind outline a story with gay characters--can it not be intriguing, interesting, and serious? Junius Junius.
  11. The short stories I write currently are exercises, though the best I could do during the period I allow them, in mastering the art of the short story. There is a principle of Poe, in his discussion on Hawthornes twice told tales. For him the goal of a story is about the effect one wants to make on the reader. This is a very helpful principle at least to get the story on paper. Then you got Ayn Rand's few lines in The Art of Fiction saying that a short story deals with one issue. But to develop a system of appropriate issues is quite difficult. And in order to come up with first-hand writing principled exclusively for short stories is to write them, which is helpful certainly to the serious writer of short stories. Which is what I'm currently working on. I plan to have dozens of stories collected and then go back and ask the same type of question to myself on my own writing as the one you just asked. This story was inspired by a story by Leonard Q. Ross called THE PATH THROUGH THE CEMETERY. This is often how my story ideas arise. I read another author and I want my own version. In that story there is a cossack afraid to travel through a cemetery. We know not why. But at a bar he is coaxed and told that he will be paid if he does. He is given a sword that he must plunge into the ground and in the morning the payer will retrieve it as proof. He does this but filled with dread. The sword is plunged through his coat and he thus is stuck. He dies there but he did it. So my story is the benevolent version of that story. I knew early when structuring the story, that I wanted Hammer not to be cowardly afraid of a cemetery, and not to lose a human being buried there, but something so unexpected, as mourning for an inanimate object yet so precious because it is the product of one's consciousness. I had to make the reader believe that Rebecca was an actual human and beloved. I knew I wanted the guy to be rich. And I knew the place in Toronto where I wanted the cemetery to be. Then my imagination did the rest. A general guide for my short story writing is to have dynamic characters, a character who will change in the end, on some moral issue, and yet have it in as few pages as possible. That is my challenge. Maybe, maybe, I will come to know first hand that it is impossible in a short story and the result will only be sketches. But I have to know that myself. There are parts that could be dramatized and thus the story would be longer. But my goal right now is to write stories of about 10 pages which is what I usually need, and also to write stories of about 2000 words so I could maybe get them published eventually. So maybe others can give me suggestions. Perhaps a sort of workshop will ensue. I write stories right now as evidence gathering for future data analysis and induction for principles on short story writing, which does not really exist from an Objectivist standpoint. It's a very complex endeavour. Junius Junius.
  12. At least I'm going after perfection .... This is how the close to the very ending reads: "It was here where I am standing now, where they have transplanted this large tree, exactly here, where she lay when I last saw her … Rebecca. This is where my office was. I had an office here. My Uncle gave it to me." He pointed south, "There was Swiss Chalet." He pointed north, "There was a loading bay." He pointed east, "There was the pharmacy." He pointed just below him. "There was an elevator that took one to all three basement levels." "Here, below me there was a staircase that led up to the public washrooms when I was a boy. I had them relocated and I converted the space into my office, my get away. That is where I left her." It is wrong, this is how it should read. To those who are not from Toronto, it really makes no difference, but I want it to read as it should, north should be south: "It was here where I am standing now, where they have transplanted this large tree, exactly here, where she lay when I last saw her … Rebecca. This is where my office was. I had an office here. My Uncle gave it to me." He pointed north, "There was Swiss Chalet." He pointed south, "There was a loading bay." He pointed east, "There was the pharmacy." He pointed just below him. "There was an elevator that took one to all three basement levels." "Here, below me there was a staircase that led up to the public washrooms when I was a boy. I had them relocated and I converted the space into my office, my get away. That is where I left her." .... Junius Junius Mod's note: Junius, I incorporated the change. I undertstand that it is convenient to put a version here and then make changes. However, I recommend you do the drafts "outside" if you know it's just a draft and you aren't specifically seeking feedback. You could do the following: create a PM to yourself and Save it. That will keep it in the forum, let you preview the formatting, and let you edit, while it remains private. - softwareNerd
  13. I was reading my story on this forum--which is a neat way to read it--and I realized several minor mistakes that may be momentarily confusing for the reader. So here is the corrected version. I hope that the moderators can delete the former one, and keep this one only. I apologize for any confusion. Junius Junius Hammer's Grave Loss—By Junius Junius Goodwin Centre was destroyed in a terrorist attack on Toronto by a Muslim Terrorist Group. The target was an office of the Universal Weapon Inspectors. The twenty story tower where they had their office was valuable property located near one of the wealthiest and oldest parts of town. Bloor and Sherbourne was an illustrative landscape. North of Bloor a bridge runs across Rosedale Valley Road below it, allowing for Sherbourne to continue to the north. North of the bridge is the community of Rosedale, where large expensive houses are scattered throughout a slithering road system. South of the bridge is a tremendous block, St. Jamestown, that is jailed in by Howard on the North (just south of Bloor), Sherbourne on the west, Wellesley on the south, and Parliament on the east. The prisoners of the block are several large, tall apartment towers: see them white with orange or blue or brown or green bands. They were built in the seventies and have become rundown since. Witness: crime, substance addiction, poverty, savage values, and notably, the pool of street gangs. North of the bridge are some of the elite of our city. The bridge serves more to separate than to connect the two unlike classes. It almost reminds the poor class of the abyss that they must cross before they shoot out of where they were born; or perhaps, to remind the rich class of the abyss even they can fall into. But the rich class is not responsible for the poverty of the poor class; maybe, only in part as they are taxpayers and voters, and should have been fighting harder against the "liberal" legislators of the past forty years, at least. The tower's neighborhood was important to describe. What is also important left to mention, and emphasize, is that gangs breed in St. Jamestown. There are other districts: Rexdale in the north-north west, Jane and Finch (east of that), west Lakeshore in the far south west, and Malvern at the farthest east. In 2005 the gun-murder rate was fifty; today, 2018, it is past two hundred. I wholeheartedly don't think that there is essentially a difference between gangsters like the ones popularly identified in connection with rap music—and Al Capone or Butch Cassidy and his Sundance; and more importantly, there is essentially no difference between these thugs and Islamic Terrorists. The land-ruins of the Goodwin Centre Tower were very valuable. It was still in the downtown core, just blocks from the famous Yonge Street, on the busiest subway line running below it. The view from some of its high floors, to the south of the skyline, was still spectacular. The owners, the Good family, decided they would sell it, as a decisive move to pump a new vitality, revenue, into their investments, for the long term health of the Goodwin Corporate entity. There were many prospective buyers, a long, eager line that extended to even Donald Trump in New York—but in the first decade of the millennium there was a gargantuan soar in gang gun-murders, motivated by rivalry for leadership and prestige. They were not your Italian Mafiosi, not Russian, Albanian, Asian, nor Latin. They were white kids, just as there were black kids; it really had nothing to do with the color of these criminals' skins. The decadence of music history really had nothing to do with this new gang phenomenon. It is true that too many of the members listened to rap music—but this is not a primary cause of the murderous phenomenon, though it doesn't help. I doubt they would be no different if they listened to jazz—the lyrics do make a difference—so let's make them people jazz fanatics, who happen to kill without conscience. Their music should no more be essential to their killer motivations, than pasta and red wine were to a John Gotti or a Lucky Luciano. The same savages even existed in the colonial towns of American Independence, a good cause if there ever was one. Today it is just easier to operate criminally and "profit" financially. Recall that the murder rate in Toronto, by 2010, soared to close to 200, gradually increasing yearly since 2005. Then, it was realized that something had to be done. It would take years to stop something so bad and with so much momentum. The Canadian government had already banned all hand guns, including those of collectors. Since the seventies public funding to police, army, and courts were eclipsed compared to social spending such as Universal public healthcare, education, and welfare. It was clear in 2005 that the first few things to do were to higher and train new police, lawyers, and judges. City Hall, Queens Park, and Parliament Hill were starting to do that … but time is time. One influential city councilor and president of the New Democratic Party of Canada (the welfare-statist party), had a great idea. This would be his contribution to the gun problem. He proposed the establishment of a new urban cemetery that would belong to all Torontonians for one specific purpose. It was to be the civic burial ground for victims of gun violence. It was to be publicly funded by the taxpayers of Toronto. It was predicted that most of the persons buried there would be young black youth from the city project neighborhoods. However, if the victim was a wife shot by her husband for trying to leave the physically abusive relationship, then she unquestionably had the civic right to be buried there. It had to be located somewhere downtown, because downtown is where all Torontonians from Morningside drive to Martin Grove, and the Islands to Steeles in the north, have the right to call home—coz it is what all the world sees on postcards. Lo, an excerpt from the lobbying website: Imagine, sympathize with the agony of a mother of a murdered son. The poor mother, living in the ghetto, Could not afford the plot of her son. Imagine another mother who lost her son when he was driving home drunk. Imagine she is a wealthy lawyer. Imagine the solace that she has When she can walk to the gardened grave … for a visit. It is something our innocent mother has not. A thug killed her thug—the thugs of society and its disenfranchisement, poverty, and injustice. Citizens, rise up and push to erect the Solace Cemetery! City Hall loved the idea. They passed it. But where would they get the downtown land? There is only one cemetery that is said to be downtown and this is on Parliament running east. It is called St. James Cemetery. The politicians wanted something in this area. And then that tragic day of January 12, 2010 happened. Al-Qeada reached Goodwin Centre. The entire complex crashed into dust and smoke. A young beautiful wealthy man received a phone call at his Greek Villa in Athens from his cousin in Toronto. "All of it?" "All of it. She couldn't be saved in time—it's not my fault." "I know. It's mine for leaving her behind." This man, Hammer Good, wept for an entire week. He knew he had lost his beloved in the explosion. He could not get her back, no matter how much he tried. Though Hammer is wealthy, he is also talented and a champion of Laissez-faire Capitalism and Individual Rights. So why did he support this whole nonsense about a Solace Cemetery in his backyard? It was because of the pearl he had lost in the rubble. A cemetery there, where the two had spent so much time, was the quintessential symbol of the tragic loss he had suffered. His gesture was not philanthropic, except for philanthropy as a gift to his own tortured soul. His life would never be the same. After losing Rebecca, he gave up his central purpose in life, his planned career. He became a wanderer, roaming around the city, becoming known at bars, coffee shops, malls and parks. He became quite popular in his neighborhood of Bloor and Sherbourne. When the proposal, a year after the explosion, was made known, he backed it with full force. He convinced his Uncles to give a discount to the city. He was present at all the neighborhood meetings about the matter. He wrote eloquent articles about the matter in the newspapers, even when City Hall announced it would raise property taxes and add a one percent city wide sales tax to pay for the project. At the risk of sounding malevolent, I have to tell you that the city bought it. But think about it, if only to attain the sanity of understanding a cause of this evil. Take one example of one of those tragic murders. The time is Boxing Day 2005, and the place, busy Yonge and Dundas. Outside a large shoe store two groups of young gang youth started firing at each other. None of the thugs die. Who dies? In the crossfire, a beautiful, intelligent, athletic, precocious girl of fifteen is stolen away from her family and from her right on this earth. That was the message to the city that something had to be done. This sense of the city assisted Hammer's cause. He helped bring into existence Solace Cemetery at Bloor and Sherbourne, to replace the building that once housed his office; the cemetery that soon became a popular tourist attraction. But he never ever stepped one foot in it, in the five years that followed its establishment. He would not dare to see the grave of the thing he once loved most in life, Rebecca, glorious Rebecca, complete, beautiful, moral Rebecca. For him the place was the Rebecca Cemetery. Only to him, for no one ever even knew that she existed. He wanted to surprise everyone with her magnificent existence. As the years went by he did ask himself if he was ready yet to enter. His melancholy could not last forever, he told himself. During those sad years, he learned what it really meant to be Byronic, an attitude to life that previously he had valued as silly and childish. It is the feeling of one person representing the entire reason for living—and its loss. It is a most glorious "altruism", seeming proper due to the power of one's love and the moment when it sends you into the abyss. A new girlfriend tried to console him but it was not the same. Not even existential love and sex made sense without the existence of Rebecca. How strange. But since he was a happy man, still somewhere in his soul, he worked on a pleasant relationship, even when the sadness lurked around him. His exaggerated effort had the excuse that they were from different worlds, different careers; he an artist, she a computer engineer and whiz kid. Thus there was an obvious gulf, an obvious excuse, for a comfortable distance between them. What he liked about her was that when he couldn't stand anymore basking in her love and affection, she was fine with it, and was content with working with her mysterious gadgets. He once grew the suspicion that she was hacking into government systems, but it was just a hunch, perhaps more a confidence of her computer savvy than hunch. She was brilliant and he appreciated her empathy towards him. She knew when they met that he had suffered a great loss and was still healing. She was willing to live with his moods. What also kept him loving her was that she was still tolerable of his life as a wanderer. Though he would not cheat on her, he demanded that he go where he wanted and when he wanted. She accepted so long as he had him when she had him. He frequented the Groundhog Pub just a few steps east of the old ruins and the new cemetery, usually with a pint of Guinness in his hands. On Friday nights you could hear him sing karaoke, popular songs of lamentation. He was not turning into a drunkard; he just had lost his central purpose, and felt too lost. He did not know what now to do, for, Rebecca was his centre of balance. The process used to be learning so much from her all those hours that he had once spent contemplating her. He used to once re-create her in his mind for his sole enjoyment. He even decided what she wore, how she wore her hair, the music she listened to, and the subjects of her thought. He caressed every plain, fold, and crease of her. The love he had for her was akin to the love a god has for his creations. The cemetery was popular in the neighborhood, and its design made it so. It was a rectangle and at each corner a line was paved to the corner opposite; such was the x-shaped walkway system. There was an entrance at each corner and it served as a short cut for those walking from the area of the Rogers building to the restaurants and shops at Bloor; or those walking from St. Jamestown towards Yonge. It was a good place, due its high walls and consequent seclusion, for drug-users to ingest their drug choice, or highballs to swig from their flasks, or the odd couple to romance, or the teenagers to congregate—and several times people even came to pay tribute to the victims of gun violence. That was the intention of this cemetery. The occupants were exclusively those persons killed in relation to gun violence. That was a strict policy at City Hall. But everyone in the neighborhood used this park for something. But not Hammer Good. The fact found its way through the neighborhood gossip, some believing that he was superstitious and was afraid of cemeteries. Others more sympathetic thought that perhaps he lost someone to gun violence, perhaps he/she is buried there. Sufficed to say, he did not reveal any clues about his real motive for avoidance. One night, after his sixth pint of Guinness, a fellow patron, an acquaintance, Paul Cooper, approached him. "Hammer—you're sure hammering back those pints." "Guinness is my favorite brew." "Do you want to go the cemetery and smoke a spliff?" "I never step foot in that cemetery." "But it's the best place to chill." "No." "It's there—or nothing." "Big threat! I'm rich, remember?" "Okay. Sally, give me another pint of Canadian … so what's the deal with you and the cemetery?" "I don't like to talk about it." "Afraid of monsters?" "Nothing." "You don't like to walk where the dead are laid?" "Nothing." "Is someone you love buried there?" "Nothing." "I'm sorry. But it's just a place. The soul dies with the body. There's nothing there but tombstones, bones, and fertile soil." "That's it!" Hammer got up. "Thanks for ruining my Guinness experience. You can have it!" And he threw the contents of his pint into Paul's face and walked out of the bar. A week soon after that Hammer's girl began to get an interest in the culture of street gangs. A close friend from University lost a younger brother in a drive-by of a rival gang to the one he belonged to. She knew the boy when he was younger, and loved his charm and enthusiasm, as he was a boy with much intellectual promise; surprised she was to hear him running with the wrong crowd and devastated when she heard the news of his murder. Consequently she was reading books on organized crime and gang-rap culture. One day she insisted that he accompany her into the cemetery as she was then ready to look at the faces on the pictures on the plastic laminated posters, telling the story of each victim, next to each tombstone. He immediately refused. She insisted again. She made it clear how important it was to her. But he wouldn't let up. "If something happened to someone you know, if he's buried there, I want to help you deal with it." "It's not that … I just can't go in. My family used to own that building." "But you were the one who pushed for the cemetery's establishment!" "Yes. I know. I still can't go in." "Fine! We're broken up until I get a phone call from you telling me that we will go in." "Fine." It took him a week to call her. He told her to meet him in the area of the grounds about one hundred feet from Huntley Street on the horizontal axis, and about fifty feet on the vertical axis from Bloor. They were to meet at six in the evening. The park was well lit. It was not frightening at all. She passed by several people and they did not look frightening. She had entered through the northeast entrance, and had reached mid point, when she got off the pathway and walked directly west. She could not spot him. She circled the general vicinity a few times, and then she heard sobbing but there was no one to be seen every place she turned. She listened closer and then looked up. Hammer was up in a tree, sitting on a branch, sobbing. She waited until he stopped, and then he saw her. He stood up, and with one arm held the rising Bark for support, and screamed at her. "I told you I couldn't do it." "I see … Will you now explain this to me?" “It was here where I am standing now, where they have transplanted this large tree, exactly here, where she lay when I last saw her … Rebecca. This is where my office was. I had an office here. My Uncle gave it to me.” He pointed north, “There was Swiss Chalet.” He pointed south, “There was a loading bay.” He pointed east, “There was the pharmacy.” He pointed just below him. “There was an elevator that took one to all three basement levels.” “Here, below me there was a staircase that led up to the public washrooms when I was a boy. I had them relocated and I converted the space into my office, my get away. That is where I left her.” Though she was a bit jealous, she let him continue. "You may not know that I fell in love with a man once. It was not a homosexual thing. It was the love of men fighting the same war, and the same specific battle. He was a writer. He worked at the Burger King. He left too quickly. We're still in touch. What is important about him is that he inspired me to discover what I really wanted to do. I wanted to write … you didn't know that, eh? … He taught me the basic principles and then he left me all alone to write. I did that. Five years I wrote! I began to outline, then construct, then to write my first novel. It was magnificent. It was special. It would have stood the test of time. And I wrote it. It was finished. But once it was finished I had to leave it alone. I had to let my mind rest before I went to the last and final edit before I got it published. So I went to Greece for a couple of weeks." "And this Rebecca?" "She stayed here." "She was in your office when the explosion occurred?" "Yes." "She was probably there reading your novel?" "No!" He looked at her a little puzzled. "My novel was about a dancer who is too flamboyant for the people of her valley. It is because no one can really understand her inner core, because most men and women, and those people in that valley, had no time to learn that art. It is about the struggle for her to win their attention, to get them to take a vacation from their passions, their careers … to take a course in dance with her …Her name was Rebecca and so was the title… I forgot my hard copy rushing to the airport … My cousin was supposed to rescue it but his work postponed his mission. He was the only person who knew about her and he vowed never to tell a soul before I did. The computer is ruined. I lost Rebecca." His girl laughed. And when she stopped she climbed the tree to him. "Do you still have the hard drive?" "Yes. I've taken it to experts and they can't retrieve the file." "I'm an expert too." "Do you think you can?" "I believe so." "It's nice to tell someone. Nobody knows but you about Rebecca." "I hope I can help the world learn about her." "I hope you can." "And if I can't, consider the loss romantic drama applied to your own life. At the worst possible moment, when the achievement that took all from you, when it is ready to be bare beautiful before the world—it is destroyed. It would be magnificently heroic for you to overcome. I know a little about the writing process. You must be so intimate with the structure and the theme and the characterizations. You have it within you to rebuild. You may even make it more beautiful. The experience of writing it is done, you own it, and it will always remain inside you. Take some time to refine your literary and philosophic principles—you should be able to re-create something even more beautiful. But I will do my best." "I didn't look at the situation that way. I was still in mourning all these years." "I will do my best. There is still much for me to profit by, by saving your masterpiece from the grave of electronica. If you don't have to re-write it, then that is more happy times we will spend together. Perhaps I can even deserve to be the muse of your next great work." "I love you. I've never told you that ... Let's dance!" They jumped off the tree branch they were standing on, landed with agility on the grass, and then began to dance a happy Salsa. THE END
  14. If it were a longer story I would have given the other side. I believe that, at least I am not convinced otherwise, that even by Objectivist standards, it is proper (morally) to write a short story about an evil person-AN LEAVE IT AT THAT. A reason I think this, is that a short story is limited and thus its theme is limited, one can only concretize an abstraction not too abstract. Even if the the theme is, getting away with a crime, it doesn't mean it is improper. There is a positive moral action: the security officer is capable and does (too late) provide the solution to the problem which gave James the opportunity. It is an indictment of human ignorance as an opportunity for crime. Yes, if longer, I probably wouldn't have the guy going so far without being caught in life. But I know I won't get there. A line I should add is at the very end. Something about the most recent political crime that the duo committ as governors. Maybe I should include a few lines about the moral opposition in regards to that crime, forboding criminal charges. I do envision the couple as a political conspiracy to gain power, with evil values guiding them. When I decide on that, I suppose it would be fine to post it as an addendum to the story. Junius. P.S. In Toronto these recent months it was a long summer with many spring type days into September and October. And the winter has been mild, not much snow, and not yet those arctic biting days--there's been many I guess "Vancouver like Winter days". But the fresh air is still very welcome.
  15. A Power Play of Early Days—By Junius Junius There were many things he could do with a computer. He needed speed, memory and power. He needed to communicate with many people, needed to keep updated with the important events of the world, needed to engage in his many philosophical forums. He needed space to store his many essays, essays on political thought, history, economics, finance, business, governance, philosophy, treatises on acquiring power; letters to the many people of influence he would have to contact, letters to the editors … He needed space to store pictures because one single picture, as you may know, speaks a thousand words—it helps get the point across, though it still is not an argument, despite the fools who do tend to get duped. He needed to store his music, the music that he would come to love, on his journey up to power, and would accentuate that force. His computer would be his centre of power over his life’s struggle. James Connors knew fifteen years earlier, when he was fifteen, that he wanted political power. He wanted to run things. He wanted to influence the laws, the economy, even the values of an entire country. He used get tingly all over, as he learned about the old ones—Pericles, Alexander, Caesar, Pope Clement V, Luther, Elizabeth, Ferdinand, Medici, Cromwell, Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Napoleon, MacDonald, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton … just a random list but men who shared one attribute for sure: power. His computer shut off on its own, without his will or intention, as he looked through the computer advertisements on the website of Best Buy. This was an on-going problem. It was time for a new computer long ago, as he predicted an acute increase in his literary industry and multi-media needs. This power supply problem was the nail in the coffin of his procrastination. It was just the same; he didn’t really need to find out the prices today, for he could not yet afford a new computer. He had debt; a student loan, credit cards already at maximum capacity for living his life of endless study and social networking. He already worked full time at a Starbucks, from seven in the morning to three (afternoon). He could have acquired a job with more responsibility and demand, but he enjoyed the getting off at three and having the rest of his day for real work, adding to his political philosophy and his social skills. But since he needed a computer it was time to take a break and to get a second job, until he saved enough for a computer. The Interrupters Group was a telemarketing firm, located in the office tower of Goodwin Centre, a landmark at Bloor and Sherbourne. This company occupied the floors two, six, and seven. On the seventh floor they satisfied their contract with Rogers Communications, taking marketing surveys, and acting as a customer service help arm. This is where James Connors got a job, working from 5:30 pm to 11:30 pm. He knew that working this shift, Monday to Friday, could be endured for a month, nothing more, and hopefully not that long. On his first day, he went to Goodwin Centre straight from his Starbucks at College and Yonge. He figured he would eat well and read a bit before his shift. He went into the Burger King in the mall attached to the tower, and ate a double Whopper with fries and strawberry milkshake. Shortly after he had finished he walked through a corridor in between Goodwill and Pharma Plus, and into the office tower’s lobby. He was a little impatient to go that way because he suddenly got the urge to use the washroom. There at a marble desk giving the atmosphere a nice feng shui aura, was a security officer in black uniform. He was a tall young black man, very muscular, your typical Moorish stallion. James approached him. “Officer, I was wondering if you could tell me if there is in this building any restroom that is single and can lock, you know, a handi-cap washroom or something?” “I don’t know if I should say. I advise you to use the restroom on your floor. What floor are you on?” “Seven … listen, I got time to kill before I start my shift and I really want to take a shit. But I predict it is going to be one of those long but pleasant craps, I thought I would read today’s Dose, and take my sweet little time—it’s my first day today, I want to be as comfortable as possible.” “You work for Interruptions?” “Yes.” “There is a handi-cap washroom on the 17th floor—but don’t make a mess coz that’s the one I like to use.” “Thank you. How long can I access this floor?” “This building and the elevator are access card only from 6 pm to 7:30 am. About a half an hour later he was finished his crap. He was curious whether he could access his floor, seven, via the stairs. But even before that, since he was already so high, he decided to walk up the stairs until the end, and see what he discovers. He discovered that people sign in when they access the door at the top that says only authorized personnel allowed, because there was a white board with names of people and times of in and out. What was more interesting was that floor nineteen was accessible because it was a “crossover” floor, which was a fire precaution. He began his descent to floor seven, and noticed that floor sixteen was a “crossover”, as was ten and five. None of these floors had single lockable washrooms. So he could not access the seventh floor via the stairs, in case he wanted to use floor seventeen on his break, and get back on his floor, since he did not have an elevator access card. He walked down the stairs and exited into a white vestibule. Next to the door he came out of there was a door that lead to the underground, and a door that led into the lobby. He entered the lobby and saw another security officer sitting at the marble desk, a big hefty, mean looking white woman in her early thirties, with shaved head. He made a right and pressed the elevator button. His work floor was four rows of a series of black computers, brand new it seemed, still clean, the latest flat screen monitors, a slender but very suitable hard drive, and a sleek physiology sensitive keyboard. He was impressed. His job consisted of calling people at random selected by the computer system, and to conduct a survey, and enter the data into the computer database. The process was endurable as the new computer he had to work with was a constant reminder of why he was there. At one point very early into his shift, he was reproached by a supervisor and told to wear his tie. At another time a young black girl, was aggressively arguing with another supervisor, making claims of harassment and discrimination. There was one guy who spoke too loud but everybody else had to adjust to his volume because he was the leading surveyor. And at one point he heard one of his neighbours talk to another neighbour about how great these new computers were, that they were state of the art, super fast, super storage capacity, super memory, and super reliability. He estimated that they had cost no less than five thousand dollars. This caught his attention for he only expected to spend half of that, though, he would probably have to get on a payment plan. When it was time for his fifteen-minute break, he used the stairs to descend to the lobby, but when he reached the ground floor reached a grey and white hallway, that bewildered him. He heard noises and the sound of the elevator beep and realized that he had used the other stair door this time, and he was at the east stair door on the ground floor. When he returned from his break at seven thirty, he called for an elevator and waited. He noticed a small black bubble in the ceiling above him and it was a discreet camera. He looked at the elevator displays, and saw that a middle elevator was coming down. When it opened a cleaner came out with a mop and bucket and James tried to get in but the cleaner stopped him. “’Dees elevater ees no for jou. No work teel next morni. Tree and fife for cleaner only.” By this James gathered that these two elevators were for cleaner use only until the next morning. James found it unusual that the cleaner immediately got back in the elevator, pressed a button and the doors closed—but he noticed that the cleaner did not have to use a card. There were six elevators in total, three on each side, north and south. The two middle elevators did not require an access card to operate them. They were turned off when the cleaners were done for the night, and turned on again by security in the morning. So James went back to work. When he finished his shift, he caressed the computer hard drive tenderly, put on his coat and left the office. A group of people squished into the elevator and descended. When James exited the elevator, he noticed that both the middle elevators were not turned off on the ground floor as he expected. He looked at the displays for their whereabouts. They were on the tenth floor. Within an instant he had made the connection that he could access that floor. He would investigate tomorrow. As he walked onto Bloor Street he suddenly got the urge to take another crap. Where could he go? He went in the mall and used the one at Burger King. It was disgustingly filthy. But he had to go and did. The next day when he finished work, he used the stairs and ascended to the tenth floor, opened the door, and saw the doors of the offices and heard the quiet. The lights were off in both of the elevators he had come up to investigate. This wasn’t a good sign. He went into one and pressed seventeen but the button light did not turn on, and the elevator did not move. He tried the other one, though hopeless as it was. But it worked. This one must be faulty, he thought. The light stayed and the elevator ascended to seventeen. He took out a Dose from his bag and sat down to read. A half hour later, he got into the elevator and took it back to ten, but not before trying to see if the elevator would work on seven too. It did but he left the elevator on ten. He remembered the camera recording entrance to the elevators, so he used the stairs, found the vestibule of the first day, knowing that a guard might be in the lobby, and a camera might catch him, he took the other door to basement one level. On that level there was the ramp and he ascended it and found himself on Huntley Street. He went north to Bloor, turned right and walked to Sherbourne station. So every night after work he walked to the tenth floor and took his elevator to the seventeenth floor, and he read his Dose. He did wonder how long it would last before the elevator was fixed. He did fear that a security officer would notice the elevator moving when it wasn’t supposed to be moving—but he took his chances thinking that the worst that would happen is that he gets banned from the building. He liked the feeling of getting away with something. Several days later, he did not have to go to the washroom after his shift. And it was a nice night, and he wanted to advance in his reading of Machiavelli’s Discourses, so he sat at the steps of the office building on Bloor Street with his book. He put up his green hood, and used a mini light to see the pages. He was happily reading along when a manager and a supervisor on his floor, came out and were talking loudly and unaware of his presence almost, nor his identity unrecognizable because of his hood. They were talking engrossed about number totals and percentages, when the girl, the supervisor, exclaimed to the man, the manager, “You didn’t close the door!” “I know.” “But all those computers!” “I hardly ever close it. And besides you can’t get on that floor without a card.” “What if security steals a computer?’ “They won’t do that!” “Boy, you’re not cynical.” “I believe there’s a little good in everyone.” “Oh well, it’s your ass.” And they walked east towards Sherbourne Station. James sat there nodding his head and thinking. He chuckled and then let out the following, “Fools.” The next day, James got off work at the coffee shop early, and went to an army surplus store on downtown Yonge. There he found a big black bag made of canvass, nearing the size of a hockey bag. He bought that and a green army blanket. The knapsack that he walked into the store with was empty for the purpose of putting the new bag tightly away. Then he went to work at Interruptions. He worked diligently that day. A supervisor kept hinting that they are always looking for people to promote. He made it clear that he had no interest in being a supervisor or something there but that he appreciated her compliments. He looked around the room periodically trying to spot any hidden cameras. He found none. He was confident that there were none. The telemarketer was the sole tenant on this floor, and they rented only one room, for the special purpose of this special contract with Rogers. The hallways weren’t clean, there were ceiling tiles missing, scratches, and cracks on the wall. There were a series of bright blue doors that seemed to add up to one big tenant. It seemed that this big tenant moved out sometime ago, and only the telemarketer had any interest in renting on that floor. There were no cameras. This room seemed like it was just a temporary space. He did here rumours that they were expanding on other floors. And then the shift ended. This day, he used the washroom on his floor to take a crap after work. About a half hour later, he walked up to the sixteenth floor and sat on the steps waiting, and listening. No cautious sounds were heard. At twelve thirty he began to descend to the tenth floor. The two middle elevators were there with lights off. It was the southern elevator, number five, and he went inside and pressed number seven. It moved. The elevator door opened onto seven. His large green hood made his identity stealth enough. The fool had left the door wide open again. At the threshold, he shouted. No one answered. He walked around the small space just in case. No one was there. He picked the cleanest, shiniest computer there. He took out the black bag from his knapsack and opened it. He laid out the blanket. He put the hard drive on it and wrapped it. Then he put the monitor atop of the covered that, and covered that. He put the bundle into the black bag and then slipped the keyboard in and zipped up the bag. As he exited the office, his glove covered hand, shut the door. He checked if it was locked. It was. One did not even have to turn a key; the door just needed to be shut. He took the elevator back to floor ten. It is true that the tall black security officer noticed as he walked by the elevators on the ground floor, that elevator number five moved from floor eight to nine to ten; his glimpse caught the indication at eight and not before. He called for another elevator to go check floor ten. Meanwhile, James Connor had just opened the east stair door, and hurried down the stairs to the well terminus. He was at the grey and white hallway again, and then opened the door on his right. At basement one there was the pay booth and the attendant. He went to basement level two and proceeded to the south west exit, attached to a thirty story apartment building, and exited on Huntley street. He crossed the street and descended the steps onto Jarvis. He walked south along the Rogers Building and headed towards Wellesley station. The next day, Goodwin Property Management received a report from security: Elevator number five cannot be turned off except by turning off the power completely. It along with elevator number two has a single keyhole on the top of the control panel. On elevator number two this keyhole can be turned by the key; on five it cannot. Consequently the cleaners are in the habit of keeping elevator number five in service mode so that the elevator does not operate at random with the other elevators on automatic. But any floor can still be accessed with this elevator. Keep in mind that floor ten is a cross over floor and can be accessed by any person exiting from the stairs on any floor. Until this problem is fixed, it is advised that the power be turned off completely on this elevator, when it is not in use. James was fortunate in choosing his time. For if he had waited past one in the morning, the security guard would have found this door open and closed it. The security guard found the door in question open on several other occasions, and would just close it, and note it in his report. This was a good thing. It is clear that full responsibility for granting James, the thief, opportunity lies solely on the neglectful manager, who was unwilling to make the simple gesture of pulling a doorknob closed. James Connor went back to work for another week and then quit. When the computer was hooked up and running he began to write more industriously. A computer hacker can, to this day, perhaps find traces on that mysterious computer of an apt excerpt of James perhaps from one of his journals. It is a citizen’s responsibility to take advantage of mediocrity; this way, mediocrity will be forced to shape up. A woman holds her purse on a crowded bus, wide open, with a roll of bills in the wide open—what do you do? You take it in stealth—that will teach her not to trust so easily. If the populous are asking for an erroneous and destructive government policy, expressed in popular culture and the market, and they vote for the foolish legislator—if they’ve been doing it for decades—what do you do? You give them what they want; they deserve the inevitable … that way some generation will finally learn the grand lesson of the initial and costly error. If taxpayers give me a treasury, and don’t ask too many questions; if I can use a popular cause as an excuse for starting a campaign, and I can get my friends in business paid; if can regulate an industry and take advantage of the disruption in my own private way; if I’m part of the corruption, and yet the good legislator must delve into it, in order to fix it—what do I do? I open a bank account in the Bahamas. James Conner acquired this computer when he was thirty. We know his ambition. Today he is in his fifties and he now resides in a town not too far from Toronto. This very moment he is sleeping comfortably in a king size bed next to his beautiful wife. The bed is in a modestly big house in Ottawa, twenty-four Sussex drive. But James Conner is not the Prime Minister. The beautiful woman next to him is, Connie Conner; first elected female Prime Minister of Canada. James Conner has been her most loyal political advisor since the earliest days of her political career. He met her on line participating in a political forum. THE END.
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