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Everything posted by AMERICONORMAN

  1. Have we posted any Wafa Sultan footage here? If we have, then I take this opportunity to remind you of this. Today is the first time I have ever heard this woman speak. It was like hearing a sacred poem. Wafa Sultan
  2. This was a rather enjoyable movie; it seemed like it was only an hour long. Though it continues to remind me how we should have dealt with the Soviets once and for all before World War II, though America was not morally ready. But it reminds me that the fight is essentially at home, teaching America to learn the history of its greatness, and its moral certainty. Without that, the government will always be lying to its citizens for the motives of its wars, appeasing enemies militarily, and engaging in covert half-assness.
  3. One of my favorite movies of all time. Though, I've seen it a few times, I still don't know if V was a double identity for another character or simply V.
  4. Thanks for recommending this book. It looks very very interesting and approachable.
  5. Kipling's IF draws one's imagination to those times when life gets very difficult, when one loses alot, and when one triumphs by surpassing against bad odds. It covers the psychological realms, the material or financial realms, the physical realm of simple action--it says that one can be happy even if you are Roark in a quarry, and you can be deserving of pride, joy, and admiration--even like that, the earth is awesome, even in its greatest pains. Yes, I could see Roark giving this to Dominique, and telling her how wrong she is. I think a poem like this given to Dominique very early, would have killed the novel; she would not be able to resist. If Roark were a poet! No, but more realistically, how would Dominique react to such a gesture from Roark? How about if he gave it to her at Kiki Holcombe's party, some time after the first sex scene? She would have thrown it in his face. It would have merely reinforced what he already knew: that it would be a long struggle, that she would fight him with all her might, that she did not believe him, that the world would tempt him to betray his convictions--and win. She would have thrown it in his face, but she would have taken the comfort, and be encouraged by the thought that he knew what they were about to endure--and he still wanted her. And so in the last verse it prescribes the following: To be heroic among the masses, to seeing men for their true worth, if you can withstand malice, if you can always be happy alone, if you don't waste your time and do what is worthy--the implication is selfishness, to the point that by this prescription you own the entire earth and its meaning, and you embody the ideal of being man, you define man. Your are released into manhood, my son, or my girl. Dominique, you are still immature. To what extent is this true? Yes, Dominique is not ready for Roark, and Roark is already a complete man--yes, she has to grow. But look at that, more than ten years, of a life that is driven by dealing with the act of loving Roark for the first time.
  6. Thanks. "Rational" is too broad a term. I suppose I mean objective versus relative, because there are so many particulars one can fill in for the general feeling. So how do we know what Ayn Rand will fill in? Who's right? Is it possible for any one to feel joy, for example in Albinoni's Adagio, as opposed to the inescapable deep sadness that I feel? Just to reiterate and clarify, my main point was simply that the standards available for art are much more objective in novel writing, even poetry, than in music, so that it is very hard to judge what Ayn Rand would like because of the nature of music, and our knowledge of its power, physiologically, psychologically, etc.
  7. Thanks. I am currently preparing to read Victor Hugo's Cromwell.
  8. Philosophy of Objectivism, Lecture 11, '76 Q: Who are your favorite poets? A: Generally, I'm not an admirer of poetry, and find it impossible to discuss. My reaction is based solely on sense of life. I have few theories about it. My favorite poets are Alexander Blok, an untranslatable Russian whose sense of life is ghastly, but who is a magnificent poet, and Swinburne, who is also a magnificent poet with a malevolent sense of life. I like a few Rudyard Kipling poems very much, both in form and content. Strangely enough, I truly love "If." The moderns have made a bromide out of it. I've seen it framed and sold in the five-and-ten. If a poem can survive that, it's great. "If" has helped me sometimes in depressed moments, and I hope it does the same for you. I also like "When Earth's Lat Picture Is Painted," which is a magnificent poem qua poetry. ----------------------- I'm not musical at all, but from the little I understand it cannot be judged rationally for the reasons discussed in the Romantic Manifesto. So yes, Sense of Life is the only standard for the layman--what sounds in which combination express the idea of man's happiness on earth, man's free will, man's basic goodness, man's ability to know the world, etc.? Hence, only her husband would know what sounds move her in the right way. It makes sense to me. Judging poetry is much more rational because it is literature, but still, it is related to music because the sounds of words are essential to poetry's power. I know of one modern poet who wrote a book about how certain words starting with certain letters have innate moods associated with them, and so the book is compiled of a series of unintelligible poems. Needless to say, this guy is wrong. But he's sort of on the right track. First, one has to challenge the various types of poems of the ages, from sonnets to odes, and to explain why, objectively, do they stand and should stand and why the various forms possess the power that they do. Yes, one should look closely at words, their meaning, and their sounds, and their relation to mood. But there's so much more involved, and in my research, I don't think anyone has come close to accomplishing such an enterprise. So I believe that one has a better chance of sharing with Ayn Rand a poem that she will like, than with music, but still the chances are still slim because, at this point, sense of life is primarily involved in evaluating a poem as good or bad. Just because a poem fits the classical rules does not mean Ayn Rand will like it. So I believe that if one wrote a novel, or discovered an obscure novel that Ayn Rand never heard about, and one had studied it, and identified it as Romantic with a good plot and a profound theme, one could be much more certain that she would appreciate the gift, because thanks to her, the objectivie standard is now available, and one knows what her likes and dislikes specifically are. I recently read a great Canadian novel, Barometer Rising, which Ayn Rand said was: the best first novel she had ever read. It was only after knowing this that I could see why she would love it. But I doubt I would have seen this, had she not said so of this novel. The clue would have been in the characters of the hero and heroine, and in what it seems to say about man's fate and happiness, but seeing it in the plot would have been difficult. Well, I still haven't studied the plot. Yes, it was engaging, but I have not tracked the logical sequence of events. I save that task for much later. Those are my thoughts.
  9. Either Leonard Peikoff or a peer who is a romantic novelist too and we consult regularly for decades as we learn more and more about literature and romanticism, so that we discuss all the great writers together. Like I would have liked to have received a phone call from her when she read Rostand's essay on Zola in his early career. I don't know whether she read this, but I am confident that she must have had to. I have no idea how to find this essay right now, I've just heard about it but I would love to read it. I would like to be the friend who trades book reports with her.
  10. Affleck on SNL transformed Ben Affleck, for me, into an acting God. I saw so many possibilities. There were many flaws in his Olbermann (though I've never seen Olbermann), but there were flaws because very often Affleck messed up the lines--though made up for it quickly-and then, messed them up again, but again so subtely. Overall, he triumphed. And in that triumph I saw that Ben could do a strong, heroic, British accent--and that it was natural. In a movie, Mr. Affleck, would never ever ever be seen making those mistakes. Thus, in that moment, he became the next James Bond for me. He has the looks, and the tall, robust, body. As you can see, Jude Law is too skinny and may never live up to the part. And then---and then: Ben Affleck was the UPS delivery boy. Oh my god! It was not an attractive persona. However, Affleck pulled it off with masterful skill. I did not know that his acting repertoire had that in him, in addition! I am convinced that the boy can do anything, and by virtue of best-friend-association, so could Matt Damon. I love Ben Affleck again. No, no, not in the James Franco way--but as an actor and as a human being, who added to the transforming of my life with his Good Will Hunting so many important years ago. Ben Affleck: thank you for existing ... Jose Gainza.
  11. Very touching and clever, even the one-block style was clever. Ha!
  12. Marshall’s Face Book Crime By Jose Gainza It was an action immediate and instinctive. Justin Walking printed the Internet page. Its dominant object was a beautiful male face, only the head, small, smiling, and beautiful. It was the picture of a black and white sketch. Justin knew that its creator was ignoble enough to have spent too many hours working towards his final draft. It was the cover of a Face Book photo album of a certain Marshall Brigadeiro. It was the first document Justin printed and his primary evidentiary document. The date of printing could be found at the bottom of each page, along with the originating web address. This document would show to the potential arbitrators that on this date and time, this image appeared publicly for all the world to witness; in case Marshall was suddenly tempted to delete the picture in question to evade prosecution. Justin sat there certain that Marshall would never close the exhibit of his sketch, even if facing the electric chair. Justin had already named Marshall Brigadeiro as cocky, daring, mouthy, insolent, disobedient, childish. This natural, almost innocent, attitude of Marshall aroused in Justin a ferocious anger, that stormed within him, but which he would never allow another human to witness. The printing of this document represented for Justin the opportunity to end this attitude of Marshall’s once he received what Justin had in store for him, the thrashing to Marshall’s honor. At the end he would stand before the spectacle of Marshall on his knees begging for forgiveness, Justin pointing at Marshall in mockery, like the deities at Prometheus bound … Marshall in tears. Justin opened the album and printed this new web page, made up of ten identical photos, like the cover photo, and felt an instinctive anger and condemnation for Marshall’s superfluity, though he really did not know the meaning behind it. And yet, the picture impressed Justin because the sketch was good, and Justin was one to know, because Justin was an artist, and he hadn’t known that Marshall was this type of artist too. But that did not excuse Marshall from what he had done: exhibiting this sketch to the world as his property—he even signed it—when the source of it Justin knew came from somewhere else. The album’s title was: Marshall’s First Adult Drawing. What made it worse was what Marshall wrote as his own commentary to his creation: When I was fourteen I proudly discovered that I could draw, which eliminated a prior shame in my mediocrity. So I began to draw a few sketches. Though I delighted in my new ability, I soon lost enjoyment in the effort it took to produce a complete sketch. I soon accepted the possibility that I would never draw another thing for the rest of my life. I am now twenty four and have stumbled across this creature who is the cause for my spirit’s revolution. All of him makes me giddy and delighted in the uniqueness of his harmony. I drew a picture of him. It took me twenty tries. One day soon I will post a real picture of my first reaction to the sketch’s completion. Justin was appalled that Marshall could be so daring, and decided that he too would use a public forum—for justice. And despite spending some time projecting how hard or how easy it must have been for Marshall to complete the portrait, Justin knew that he would take Marshall on the television show, Judge Jacqueline Cubana, which was a popular, nationally broadcasted television show on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. *** Three days later, a Wednesday, Marshall got up from his large wooden dinner table, stopping work on his second sketch of Justin because he needed a short break from sitting and arching over. He got up and stretched ferociously. Soon he walked swiftly out of his apartment, and skipped cat-like down the stairs. He fetched his mail. He was surprised to find what appeared to be an official document. He opened it while mechanically walking up the stairs, still reading, then passing his threshold to lounge his back on his sofa. It was an invitation from the CBC on behalf of JJC to appear in court on the following Thursday to defend himself against charges of the theft of intellectual property and defamation of character to the person of Justin Walking. He read it and tossed it onto the floor, rose from the couch, and leaped towards his kitchen table to complete his latest drawing with a greater and new determination. He drew for hours. He met the dawn. Upon completion, he walked over to his computer and surfed the net to his Face Book account. For a moment he was tempted to delete the picture but decided it unnecessary. For a moment he was tempted to publish his latest sketch as an act of defiance against his beloved—but he knew that it would be his closing argument. He published the promised photograph where he appeared a man who has seen the ultimate light, in the midst of Justin’s precious face. His commentary: I looked like this a few moments after I finished my first adult drawing. The consequence is the genuine love on my face. Marshall knew therefore that he would be met by Justin’s face of scorn on the day of the trial. “Oh well,” he concluded. *** Outside the studio room Justin awaited the defendant’s arrival. He kept his face intransigently scornful to avoid being caught otherwise by the damned one. Strangers shuffled past him in the busy hallway, and every one who turned the corner was confronted with the expression on his face, some actually wondering whether the emotion was directed at them, causing fear in some, amusement or bewilderment in others. It was a look pseudo-psychopathic. The defendant arrived. Marshall walked past Justin with direct eyes and a sardonic grin; Justin kissed his teeth in annoyance. Judge Cubana was a redhead of Cuban descent, confident, proud, vocal, daring, with a facility for irony. She was anxious to try the case, intrigued by the importance of the charge and yet the seemingly harmless act. Was this animosity genuine? She just had to know. When she first laid eyes upon Justin and Marshall, she was stunned for a moment at the extent of their beauty. Soon she managed to speak. “Good day, folks ... Justin, you are suing Marshall for the offense of theft of intellectual property and defamation of character. You are not suing him for any money but oddly you want him to give you a drawing he created as recompense. So tell me your side of the story. Explain to me the theft of intellectual property part.” “I would like to submit, Judge, three documents.” The court officer handed the file to the judge. She thumbed through them and Justin continued, “Exhibit A is the profile page of Marshall’s Face Book account where my picture stands out. Exhibit B is that picture full-sized. C is the print out of a photo album opened with ten identical photos or sketches of me.” “You drew this, Marshall?” asked Cubana rhetorically then nodded for Justin to continue. “Simply, I never gave Marshall permission to publish my picture anywhere. This photo still appears on his Face Book.” “Still?” asked the judge in a raspy voice, somewhat amused, somewhat surprised. She used her laptop to confirm this fact herself. And she seemed to browse other items, and gave Marshall a coquettish smile, probably when she found the picture of Marshall when done his sketch. “Continue, Justin.” “Notice that in the commentary for the sketch in question, Marshall states it took twenty sketches to achieve his final draft. He could not have done so without saving or printing the picture from which he copied his sketch, and contemplating it for days. He did not draw it in one day. He hasn’t a photographic memory. His sketch is very competent but it would have been impossible without my original photograph, which he stole from Face Book. The original is still there.” “They are the same. Mr. Brigadeiro, some questions. Did you save the original picture electronically?” “Yes.” “Did you print it?” “Yes.” “How many hours did you spend?” “About 72 hours.” “That’s quite long and arduous.” “I am not an artist. I’m a novelist.” “Have you published any novels?” “No.” “Have you completed any?” “Three.” “Good. What led you to sketch Justin?” “Simply, I deeply love his beauty. It is best to start drawing again with an exciting subject.” “Question one: did Marshall have the right to save it? Question two: Justin, if he didn’t save it on his computer, or print it, but just toured your account, spending maybe an hour or so contemplating and drawing it, would you have charged him the same?” “No. He would be thus different.” “So Justin, explain to me this ‘defamation of character’.” “It took him too long. I know he’s not an artist. To publish his sketch of me and admit that it took him so long implies that I would approve of such an action, that I would not be insulted by such affection for me. What if someone you had no interest in gave you an expensive diamond necklace? If he had futilely expressed his romantic interest in you, but you shunned him already, what would be the meaning of that necklace then? If he had announced that he gave you that necklace for the whole world to know, would that not be an offense? If I let the sketch in question remain on his site, will that not make me an accomplice to his love? If I let him keep that sketch of his to contemplate at his leisure would it not be appeasement of his terrorism?” The judge interrupted. “The issue here is whether he had the right to save your picture, Justin? Did you give a copyright notice for the source picture?” “No.” “You should have.” “Are you saying it’s my fault?” “We live in a world of piracy, darling. Yes, you should have given notice.” “But I want that sketch!” “I don’t think I can award that to you, Justin. Justin, did you take that source picture of you yourself? Or did someone else take it of you?” “A friend took it of me.” “Did you ask permission of your friend to post the photo?” “No! I don’t even have to ask my friend.” “I believe you … It’s still an original artistic creation by Marshall. All you would have done is press the camera button. It’s Marshall’s property. If you had posted a copyright notice, it may have been different. All I can do at this point is to make the issue clear. Do you, Justin, at this point want to declare that you never want Marshall to save or print any photos he finds of you on the Internet?” “I do not want Marshall to ever save or print any photos he finds of me on the Internet.” “Do you, Marshall, acknowledge Justin’s wish and agree to abide by it?” “I regrettably do, Judge.” “Does that satisfy you, Justin?” “I want that sketch!” “I’m not going to steal his sketch to give to you, Justin. As to the defamation of character aspect, I will do one more thing for you, Justin. I will ask you the following question: do you ever want Marshall to declare his love for you to the public in any manner whatsoever?” “I do not want Marshall to declare his love for me in any manner whatsoever.” “Marshall, do you acknowledge his wish and agree to abide by it?” “I do.” “So before I declare this case closed, I will allow Marshall to speak. But before that, I would like to ask a question to you, Justin … Are you gay?” “That’s irrelevant!” “If you are then you must be impressed by Marshall’s beauty.” “I’m not.” “Justin, are you attracted to Marshall?” “Judge!” “I had to ask. You don’t have to answer. This case has already been decided. Marshall, anything else to add?” “Yes … I’m willing to give it to Justin.” “What?” the judge asked in bewilderment. “It’s true.” “Why?” asked the judge. “Because I don’t think I want it anymore. I expected him to be flattered. I thought it would show him I’m willing to adopt his interests, especially the important ones. It was a delusion on my part.” “Are you saying you don’t love him?” “Seems I never did.” “What! And the poetry! And the stories you’ve written with me obviously as the muse!” “Those were impetuous, infatuated.” Justin remained dumbfounded for a moment and the judge began to chuckle. “In fact,” continued Marshall, “Besides removing the picture from my Face Book, I’m even willing to give him my latest sketch.” Marshall pulled out the paper sheet from his folder and displayed it to the judge. “Let me see that!” It was Justin. “Please submit that to me!” ordered the judge. The court officer gave it to the judge. “You want to give this to Justin?” She was obviously moved tremendously by the new drawing. “Yes.” “Let me ask you this, Marshall: In creating this did you have to look at any of Justin’s pictures.” “No.” “But Marshall, this may be considered a public declaration of love to Justin, which you have already promised you wouldn’t do. After all, we are on national television.” “It’s up to you Judge.” “I will agree that you give him the first sketch since that is what this case is all about. But I will have Justin see this new sketch and if he wants it he can have it.” The court officer retrieved the sketch from the judge and handed it over to Justin. Almost immediately upon seeing it Justin suddenly lowered his head, and exhaled noticeably through his nose, shrugging his shoulders slightly. He had to gather the strength to look at it again. And when he did, after a moment, his face was deep red, and he had tears in his eyes. Marshall said, “What the hell, Justin?” “You did this?” asked Justin a little bit choked up, looking at the new drawing of him by Marshall in full pose. “Yes.” answered Marshall solemnly. “I didn’t know,” said Justin. “Would you like to keep it?” asked the judge. “No. I would like Marshall to keep it.” And Justin stormed out of the courtroom. The judge let out a loud and enthusiastic laugh and declared, “This case is dismissed! I wish you all the best, Marshall Brigadeiro. You better hurry.” “Thank you.” And Marshall stormed out of the courtroom too, running, with a silly grin on his face. THE END
  13. Thanks Adrock for your comments. A few things: 1. Now that I explained the origin of the description of the eyes, how else would you describe those eyes? What's a more original way or use of language? 2. I would like to know what indicates that my vocabulary is poor. Did I use too many words, and so I am unfamiliar with words that would allow me to use less? What? I will admit that describing faces is hard for me, so maybe when I described the elder's drawing? 3. Please elaborate on what style and form I should have used or not used. 4. My "contrived" dialogue suggests that real people wouldn't talk like that. The appropriateness of that evaluation depends on that. Or "contrived" can mean that it didn't come naturally to me--well, it did. 5. So what is it exactly? My creativity is stifled because I'm following some thematic formula that I got from Ayn Rand? Really? Explain that. My story is thematically formulaic because the characters are happy, daring, and they achieve their values at the end, i.e., fall in love? Where have you ever seen such a situation in fiction, by the way? Well, thanks for reading my piece.
  14. So why "don't take this the wrong way ..."? Either you're right or I'm wrong, either you have a better understanding of my piece or you don't understand it, either it's good or it's bad, either your reaction is objective or subjective. Don't worry about my feelings. If I have the courage to post my stuff on a public forum then I'm ready for what ever comes in terms of evalutions. I do, however, thank you for saying so much. I'll have to look into it, therefore. Just because I chose not to name my characters and used words that draw emphasis to their age difference (which is really not that much, a matter of 5 years or so), should not make it creepy. That, however, can be taken as insulting if you are suggesting something criminal or perverted. So, the use of "elder" and "youngster" is humorous in how I use it, because as your comment illustrates, it suggests a very wide age gap. And yet, 5 years can be a huge age gap, intellectually, and yet some men in their early twenties are much more wise than some men in their thirties or their sixties. In my mind, though I don't say it, the elder and the youngster are perfect for each other. Why can't his lines work, why can't his act work, in real life to attract the youngster? Why do they have to lead to a negative outcome? And why can't you just tell some stranger what they make you feel, why can't you just compliment their beauty, and why do they have to ironically have a cesspool as a soul? So needless to say, I thought the dialogue was good. Something personal. I have had romantic interests in men of all ages over the last ten years. Men older than me are disappointing, men my same age too, younger men of course. But some young ones have proven extremely enticing due to their precociousness and their seriousness for ideas. Some men of all ages, have shown signs of romantic interest, but still fear the world. Few men are blunt enough for me. I am a very blunt person, and I think most people should be. My dialogue does have a bluntness to it. But I can be subtle, though that was far from my intention here. So Myself, thanks for you bluntness, and for allowing me to express myself further. The story does rely on an element of "love at first sight" and if you don't believe it in their dialogue and the action that occurs in a fifteen to twenty-five minute train ride, then you won't fall for the ending. But in such a short piece you can't really establish much. So call it its weakness if you will. But I wasn't going to write twenty pages on this one event. That wasn't my intention. Now I must speak about "metaphysical commandment". Yes, that is exactly what the elder felt; and that is what men are capable of feeling. I understand what that phrase means and so I used it. The beauty is such that it is as if he has no choice to speak the way he does, as if he were commanded by something cosmically powerful. That would be the needs of his own soul--which turn out to be right in the end. On My Voice. I'm quite proud of my voice. It has improved substantially over the years. It is a first hand voice, for the most part. (I don't think, Myself, you like my voice. Perhaps one day you will). I must say however, that, stylistically, I would like to improve much. It's true, I'm not completely satisfied. But improvement is easy. The remark about English not being my Native language, I've heard before. I don't really know what to say to that. I speak English and always have, and I use it as best I know how. What does Native English look like? What are the grammatic rules to follow, what are some? Where am I being a complete Spaniard, or illiterate? Please someone tell me the rules of writing a good short story. I would really like to know. For the record, I understand Objectivism quite well. I know what I'm doing in my long-term learning of it. I know what I need to do for myself. I am conscious of not using phrases I don't understand. I try not to. There is not one in this story that I do not understand. (I think my defense is longer than the actual story in question). No, plot is not the intention of this tale. It can't be. I don't think I've read a short story with a good plot. Good characterization, I've seen--but never plot. Style, yes, of course! In other words, you can't do much with a short story; you're better off writing a novel (if the characters, ideas, and course of actions are that important to you). So the point of my story, how it was born, from whence it germinated: was the last action, the youngster pinning the elder against the pillar ... and then kissing him: fulfilling the elder's rightful desire. That was it. I succeeded. I thought that was quite clever. A violent action transforming into the height of benevolence, and a style of praise that is conventionally seen as "creepy" turning out to be seductive. That's my world. About the "psychotic" eyes of the youngster. I apologize, and I will admit, that THAT was subjective and code to someone real. I had a certain vision in my mind. There is someone who exists in this world that expresses his eyes that way sometimes. He is tremendously beautiful, and so when he does this it can be frightening or disturbing, but they make him more beautiful if that's possible. This action of his eyes is one of his great physical idiosyncrasies, that make him unique in the realm that is relevant to him. So that explains that. That the elder received that sort of look is important, because in that moment he saw his "muse" that more beautiful, just like that, just that quickly, and they are telling of this youngster's character (well at least to me). But I explain this already. So this part of the story, objectively speaking, is merely a description of how the guy looks, and that's it, so that you can see with me. Anything else--I already apologized--is my own private Idaho. To the general audience: Now lastly, I must address the issue of homosexuality, which straight men have to experience in what I write. I empathize with that. I understand very well what a straight man must feel when my men are romantic--it goes against something very deep. And you are right in feeling that--because you are straight and women are metaphsyically awesome (as are straight men). You can only assuage that by focusing primarily on the literary merits of my work. But I do believe and hope that it is possible for a great majority of men to experience how touching and beautiful it is when my type of men do unite. I cannot see how a straight gay writer can escape including homosexual situations in his writing--at this point I would see it as denying himself at the deepest and most important level, denying the realm from which his art necessarily has to originate. He would have to do it at least sometimes. I don't know of any homosexual Objectivist who's a Romantic writer, who is strong enough to exclude it totally in a work. If he exits, I would like to know how he succeeded. So, I hope I have defended my work successfully in all your eyes, and I look forward to "meeting" someone who is willing to evaluate me in a positive light. Thanks, Jose Gainza.
  15. A RIDE TO KIPLING By Jose Gainza The train pushed him westward across Toronto. The train sped forth and rattled, periodically swaying playfully from side to side … and stopping at and leaving Broadview … leaving Yonge … leaving Bathurst. A man, approaching thirty, sat on a pair of seats facing west, earnestly reading a book of scholarly essays on subjects related to his favorite novel. He looked some years younger than he actually was with a pretty, Southern European face, and long brown hair tied in a ponytail underneath a black tuque. A long black leather coat hugged his body. His head bowed down as he read and the ideas entering his mind from the book on his lap were very entertaining to him—thus he did not notice how many people exited or boarded his car, or what they looked like. Spontaneously, he happened to look up just as the train was leaving Bathurst station. A young man, likely in his early twenties, sat at a pair of seats facing east. He wore a pair of black archaic basketball high-tops, and along his legs hung a pair of comfortably fitting, faded, black denim trousers, in the punk rock style (except that they were not too tight). He wore a black hooded sweat top, with its hood serving as a halo for his very pretty face, which shot his face into relief it seemed. The older fellow dropped his book. Its thud caused the younger one to stare at him with a subtle smile. The elder stared at him too. The youngster’s eyes were penetrating, like that of some religious fanatic, or even those of some psychopath—but this is how he looked at people and he lived with a benevolent spirit—and they captivated the elder, holding him almost frozen. They were light eyes, perhaps hazel. And so, they stared at each other for a long moment. Soon the youngster’s eyes widened as if to demand, “What do you want?” “I can’t let you go,” answered the elder. The youngster’s narrow eyes narrowed further, “What do you mean?” “You’re tremendously beautiful.” He said it simply. “It’s a big city; there are many.” “But in this moment I am deciding to talk to you. I don’t want you to walk off this train without me ensuring that you are aware of my existence. It feels right now like a metaphysical commandment.” The youngster allowed himself a wide grin, lips slightly curling at the sides, his upper body suddenly loose as if floating—and then he stiffened up again and wore the face of a military cadet standing on guard. “That’s nice,” he said it simply and looked away out the window right next to him on his right, into the darkness of the underground walls, periodic lights flashing by. After a few minutes of silence, the elder asked, “Are you a student? What are you all about?” “That’s a very personal question.” “I bet you’re an artist; a painter or an animator.” “How did you guess that?” “Your fingers have pencil stains.” “Observant.” “What’s the latest thing you have drawn?” “I really shouldn’t be talking to you.” “That’s painful.” “You’ll cope.” “Will you forbid me to draw you? I need to keep you in some way.” The elder asked this instantaneously. “Uh … uh … no … as long as we don’t have to talk and I don’t have to look at you.” “It’ll have to do.” The youngster looked away out the same window. The elder put away his book of essays in his bag, and then pulled out a small notebook from his coat pocket and began drawing with a black gel pen. He had to settle for sketching mostly the youngster’s profile. The elder captured a symmetrical nose and the long, thin framing, curved brow around his eye. He captured the long thin upper lip and the plump lower one, which was emphasized by the lump of skin around his teeth. He captured the pronounced chin that did not, however, extend much past his lips, and the dimple that was trying to hide as he looked out the window. The youngster would not dare to look at the elder, or to move his face, and the elder did not know whether the immobility was due to discomfort, or the responsibility and desire of posing as a muse. Time flew and soon they had reached the end of the line, Kipling station. As the youngster rose from his seat, he darted his eyes a few times at the elder as if in disbelief that he had actually gone through with sketching him. He then exited the car and the elder followed. Both knew that the elder would follow him for a time and attempt to talk again. The youngster began to walk quickly along the platform and so did the elder in response. Suddenly the youngster turned around to face his pursuer. They stood facing each other, the elder smirking, and the youngster with eyes narrow seeming in reproach. “Let me see it.” asked the youngster. “I rather not.” said the elder. “Don’t I have a right?” “I don’t think so.” “Don’t you want to impress me?” “Very much.” “Let me see it.” “I don’t want you to see it.” “Is it amateurish? Is that why?” “Yes.” “Let me see it!” “No!” The youngster grasped at the notebook still in the elder’s hand—but it was pulled away quickly. He reached for it a few times and then it shot upwards over the elder’s head, as the elder taunted him in this way. “Let me see it!” “No!” Suddenly the impatient youngster overtook the elder with an unexpected strength and agility, and pinned him against a pillar. Their faces were an inch a way and the youngster grunted in a mock menace, “Let me see it.” And then he snatched the notebook from the other with his left hand, as his right forearm on the other’s throat held him immobile. Still in this position, and after looking at the drawing for a moment, he looked at the elder and the elder looked at him—though still in this submissive position— with confidence in the upcoming verdict. The elder enjoyed being pinned this way by this particular man; a part of him wanted it to last forever. “It’s good. It’s beautiful,” said the youngster. “I see.” “Thank—,” and the youngster gave the elder a peck on his lips, “—you.” When the youngster removed his forearm from the elder’s throat, the elder, in his liberty, embraced the youngster himself in return, and engaged with him in a long passionate kiss. THE END
  16. To Generalissimo J.E. Franco and Liberty By Jose Gainza The happy cry of longing that erupts within my chest. The battle cry of protest damning burdens without Right. The vision of my country that is free to do its best. The vision of a garden where our sacred men unite. The splendor of our orchard we will grow with blessed fruit. Our thought to change our earth and strengthen body. Our choices and convictions to endure our joy pursuit. The expression of our interest and our duty. The embracing of our freedom and our promise. And the kissing-pinching of a wealth we will procure. And the dancing ‘round the malice we dismiss. Here’s our treasure chest of Justice we have promised to ensure. With a treasury of goodwill we are arming our proud men. By the training of conviction we are marching to our glory. Shedding sweat, toil, and blood, we are cheering on our men … We are standing there among them enduring the same story. We are fighting for our freedom. We are risking all our lots. We are leaving our beloveds. We are changing family. We are wounding and re-wounding. We may lose our very lives. But we march on with Conviction, Yes, we march on amidst the smoke, We march on past the stench of war, We march on past the graves. We march on past our brothers, And we march amongst them too. We’d save our would-be brothers if they didn’t hunt us too. But we kill the tyrant’s longing. We kill our freedom-takers. We defend our ancient rights. We ensure man’s paradise. On this quest you bravely joined me, You have heard my distant call. You have come to set me free to set you free. You dare join me in this coming steady brawl. You have understood my aim devotedly. You have grasped the sacred method of my way. You have known that this is what it means to Be. You know now; thinking thus you can’t delay. As an artist you have been you own creator. You’ve grown white-envy for this earth and how she wills. You have sworn to move her too, be her creator. To have her serve you; serve by your own will. And so you satisfy your joy and make her new. You beautify the earth and ways of people. You inspire men to see the freakish godly few. Your spirit gleams golden forth, beyond the people. We fight for this, us two. We’ve lived alone for it so long. We wait and wait to do our thing. We leave the folks and make our earth alone. We leave the folks to remake our sacred forms. You’ve done it there; I’ve done it here. Now you join me on this enterprise with love. And for that we fight our war— To remake our world anew our way! I do welcome you my mate.
  17. I watch too much tv as it is but this is one of those shows that when I watched it it was interesting and when I heard and read about it, it was very exciting, had better promise than The Apprentice. And most recently I heard one of the Dragons, Kevin O'Leary, speak very sincerely and confidently in an interview about the economy from a laissez faire standpoint. It was unbelievable. He runs an investment company it seems. The Dragons' Profiles
  18. Very nice. First time I heard anything by you. You're talented. You still seem a little too shy but I'm sure you'll get over that over time. The important thing is that it was a really nice tune. I wonder, if you were to put words to that, what types of things would you like to say? It could certainly be a song about a love relationship. But I'm sure there could be other things to express by it. So I envision myself walking alone in some desolate and peaceful place at night, I take note of the colour of my environment, I acknowledge myself as existing among it, and then this music starts to play expressing a confident and fearless spirit, peaceful and serene yet awaiting something intense to come around the corner. I don't know ... Thanks. Jose.
  19. I would just like to add that I don't really like smoking except with alcohol. After a few beers, a cigarette is very pleasurable. After a couple of glasses of whisky a smoke is lovely. After a glass of wine, it should be a sin, but it can still be quite pleasurable. If one doesn't drink a lot, then the risk is quite little. To take away this freedom from me, more than the pleasure of smoking, has really angered me and it will take years to get over, years because it opens up intellectually the degree of my "enslavement" in a big city I love. Don't worry, the bar owners tend to feel the same way. But I got a solution. I will share it in the future because it involves a fiction story that I may or may not write. jose.
  20. This link might be of interest to you: A former Romantic Realism forum.
  21. Ayn Rand projects a universe that is benevolent, happy, fulfilling, grand, etc. A very positive place. But such is not the way we find our present time, such is not how Ayn Rand found her time, such is not how the men living during the World Wars found there time. If one had to look at the world one could not say that it was mostly a great place, to say it was would not be being realistic. So how can Ayn Rand dare to call herself a Realist? Because happiness, success, fulfillment is observable within the souls of individuals. There may not be many but it is possible, it possible theoretically in all men because a rational code of values is possible to all men, though few men achieve it. It is her philosophy or sense of life that allows her to call herself a realist in conjunction with being a romantic. The naturalists are born from the realism of Balzac and Flaubert and they record a dark view of their time and they write about their time. There main focus is to be journalists and to be true to "reality". But Ayn Rand sees something different than them whe she looks at reality, especially within her own soul. Naturalists, for good or for bad, do not believe that men are in control of their destinies, they say so explicitly. A romantic shows the value choices and consequent choices of action that men make, for good or for bad. Roskolnikov (Crime and Punishment) is clearly driven by himself and his mistaken explicit philosophy. Do you know what is the final final fate of Roskolnikov, and do you know whether he is responsible for that final fate? Is it good or is it bad? Dostoevsky is a Romantic primarily because a man like Roskolnikov is guided by his own will. Ayn Rand called Joseph Conrad a Romantic-Realist, by the way? How is that so? I'm still working on that answer. This Romantic-Realist question is much more difficult than understanding the Romantic question. Ayn Rand hardly discussses the former, except for giving what amounts to mere definitions. Which means you have to look for the demonstration with your own eyes. Jose.
  22. There is a difference between Romanticism and Romantic-realism in fiction. First though, the difference between romanticism and naturalism in fiction is the metaphysical outlook of the total, whether the artist can succeed in communicating such an outlook clearly. In naturalism the author presents a world in which men are pushed forward by some non-volitional means, biology, fate, emotions, etc. In romanticism the men are pulled by their own values, there is something they are after. So in naturalism, an author is satisfied by averaging out the types of men as he has observed them in experience, that is the key. Whether they are not killed at the end is a different matter. In romanticism an author looks at the men he has observed in his own experience but decides to present men according to more fundamental standards such as philosophy, and will focus on unusual types of men that are not typically observed in the real world. Men CAN act this way for these motives, even if none I have observed have ever done so. But why be limited to experience only when you have the power of philosophy and ethics to draw characters more readily, hence one is guided by the ought to be or ought NOT to be. How well a writer succeeds at presenting a universe by the total work in which men are governed by free will will classify him as a romantic. A romantic realistic is concerned with the men and issues of his own time. As far as I have come to understand it, romantic realism cannot be set in the distant past. I have never encountered it in the specimens available. Ayn Rand is a romantic-realist but has never set anything in the past. I think with Hugo we only have Les Miserables and Toilers of the Sea (the latter I forget when exactly it is set). Joseph Conrad does set his works in his own time and writes about the issues of his own time. Dostoevsky, I can't recall exactly. Put yourself in the position of the reader: it will be more valuable to him to have a romantic story set in his time dealing with the issues that concern him or are really affecting society, for example slavery and monarchy are universal issues but do not concern us today. The author himself is the ultimate consumer though, and it is of more value to the author to re-create a better world in a novel set in his own time. The question arises: if you are romantic you will tend to write about universal philosphic issues--if they are universal issues then they apply always--so why set them in the past? This doesn't mean that an writer must only write works set in his own time. If no one has ever written a great romantic work set during the American Revolution then it is perfectly valid to set one in that period, for example, and there must be countless of other examples. In today's world the most important thing that we need is Romanticism in the context of Romanticism versus Romantic-Realism. So I encourage the world to becomes romantic artists.
  23. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- [You can listen to me read this poem here.]
  24. My Bed-Ego—By Jose Gainza As the exigency of breath to my blood stream, And the urgency of beats to my heart; The balance of sun and the void scream, Keeping me cool with warm heart— And the demand of my feet on the ground, Not water, not air, but a floor; How critically our clothes must abound On our limbs, as our pelt, as we roar— As the exigency of light for our sight; And the acuteness of eyes for good sleep; And the demand that our words denote right, So that knowledge we can fulfill deep— As the crisis commands that we judge The bully of self-immolation, and desecration; As the promise requires no goodness shall budge: The happiness—enactment of self-recreation— As the exigency of mine is the course When impatient dream calls on my pen, And the code of my soul ruptures with force To a realm of the good happy men— Then when Facts announce where I am, And the beacon exposes my soul’s loneliness, Even amongst folks that are good as I am— There, injustice gives glow to my still loneliness. My exigent Attainment demands I forge by my will a symbol of need: My lighthouse in these stormy lands, My creature who grew of the same spirit seed. By the air of this earth, and the breath of my breast! By my titanic thoughts, and the health of my head! By the joy from it all, and the towers we best, I demand it exigent you be my bed-fountainhead … ------------------------------------------------------------- [You can listen to me read this poem here] --------------------------------------------------------------- Your Love: A Bullet in My Heart—By Jose Gainza Within my blood flow’s quintessence, My bloody core, my living heart, I dreamed a slug as my death sentence … But my life did not depart. A bullet of a gangster’s gun, A kid who struts to tribal beats, Did try to make my life undone, Did try to end my quill penned beats. Thus, some portend of my coming doom; And others, of a long won life. Some speak of rivalry in bloom, But I predict a loving strife. You see, I felt the bullet in my heart; A pain still lingered even when awake. But I did welcome this sweet hurt, And thus its joy I can’t forsake. Joy! Yes, joy the bullet drew. I shall not fear this dream. This missile is a sign of you; A wound, a whisper of my dream. The pain was sharp but tickled. My body weak in bed it lay, Even as blood outside me trickled. So I wanted, needed you to stay: You are this silver slug inside of me: My heart’s a wolf hungry for you: A marksman’s goal turned into me: My single heart thus welcomes you … ----------------------------------------------- [You can listen to me read this poem here]
  25. You can listen to me reading this poem here
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