Saturday, September 07, 2002
- THE ROAD NOT TAKEN -
I will never be a sophisticated liar, the way my grandfather was. He was a cosmopolitan, founder of a chain of ladies fashion stores, a deadly charmer, and an Italian sportscars fetishist. Most of all he was the first adult to inspire me with a clear sense of personal destination. I remember going on a fishing trip with him in the midst of winter. After a long windswept day, I was able to bring in my first pike, a trophy that I would take home with me to show to my parents. As we returned to my grandfather's place to wait for my parents to pick me up, the servant had taken in the days quarry, and by mistake had gutted the fish that I had caught. After going through the initial shock and disappointment, my grandfather came up with a bright idea: he had the fish’ head reattached with iron wire, and the body ptched up with needle and thread. His clever action offered me a great consolation prize, and a recouped photo opportunity. My vision of the hunter, home from the hill, was reinstated.
My grandfather has not been my mentor in deception, but in retrospect I've learnt that he was a smooth and cunning manipulator, who executed iron reigns on his large family and family business.
I have done some research as to the lives and mores of cheats, charmers and charismatic liars. Conclusion: deceit and charm are the Siamese twins of social warfare:
- How far do we have to go in teaching moral values to our children? Since it’s a widely substantiated fact that the scheming charmer has a smooth career path paved out for him? -
M o d e l h o n e s t y
All toddlers lie, and "they lie very nicely," quips Dr. Kang Lee, a developmental psychologist at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, who has studying the development of lying in children for five years.
Lying comes easy. Even for parents. A survey of 1,000 reported in "The Day America Told the Truth (Prentice Hall, 19.95) found 91 percent lie routinely and 59 percent admitted lying regularly to their kids. Children are perceptive and soon learn that dishonesty is acceptable if their parents are dishonest. Children learn from small acts. Consider those times when a solicitor calls and you say your husband is out when he is actually watching TV.
'Some children get very confused when they hear a parent tell a falsehood, warns J.van Horn, associate professor of family sociology at Penn State University, 'Make honesty your policy.. A child reared in an atmosphere of honesty absorbs that as a value. If you slip, own up to it. That will encourage your child to follow suit.'
- The English have a bent for competitive lying, the site mentioned below is just one of the most prominent ‘Lying Contests’ that I located. From sitcoms and detective series that I’ve witnessed over many years I have to conclude that the English are prolific scholars of deceptive schemes –
L i a r s C o n t e s t
Since 1923, the Thistle public house in Daltry, Scotland has been home to the Annual Liars’ Contest, where participants compete in exaggeration, misinformation and inveiglement.
[The greatest liar of all time]
By common acclaim (or rather, by his own claim), the title of 'Greatest Liar in the World' was bestowed upon Fraser Patrick McInnon, who won eight consecutive titles in the first eight years of the contest. He announced his retirement (and simultaneously secured his eighth title) in 1930 with the now-legendary words 'I regret I cannot enter the contest this year, as I cannot tell a lie.'
The contest was cancelled in 1936 and also postponed during the Second World War, resuming again in 1949, so the 2000 contest was the 68th. Naturally, given the nature of the event, 2000 was chosen as the centenary year.
- Was Sir John a con man, in fact did he exist at all? –
T h e r i d d l e r
Says Giles Milton, historical writer:"If archaeologists can unravel the lifestyle of Palaeolithic man from a couple of teeth and the odd jawbone, I felt sure I could learn something about Sir John from the sixty-one leaves of vellum and the handful of documents that have survived the centuries."
Sir John Mandeville was the alleged author of one of the most famous early-renaissance books. From about 1350 to 1800, his "The Travels of Sir John Mandeville" was incredibly popular and influential, rivaling the Bible and Euclid's Elements. Then, about 1800, scholars began to question whether "Mandeville wrote Mandeville" -- or indeed whether there ever was such a man.
Giles Milton had a hunch that the extant writings of Mandeville contain hidden riddles. Therefore, Milton traveled throughout Asia, hoping to see something that would stand out as a landmark that had been mentioned in the form of a riddle in Mandeville's manuscript.
The Riddle and the Knight: In search of Sir John Mandeville, The World’s Greatest Traveler
By Giles Milton – Strauss Farrar & Roux 2001
- Every enthusiasts’ or hobbyists’ gathering is rife with lies and tall tales, as an avid fisherman I should know. Apparently boaters make no exception to this rule -
L y i n g b o a t e r
‘It’s important to be sincere.. even if you don’t really mean it’ – Richard Nixon
Pope Barrow of the American Whitewater Affiliation wonders if boaters are the worlds greatest liars
‘I thought I was a class V liar myself. I thought I was Pinocchio in a kayak. But that was all just ego inflation. My balloon has now really been popped. I recently realized that the boating world is full of liars way more inventive than I could ever be.’
B r a i n d a m a g e
- The 9-11 disaster has unleashed a deluge of conspiracy theories, this site explores the premise: ‘Bin Laden and his associates may have sustained brain damage due to substance addiction’
‘Consider the fact that the three most destructive terrorists of the 20th century were addicts: Adolf Hitler, amphetamine addict; Joseph Stalin, alcoholic; Mao Tse Tung, addicted to barbiturates. An obvious question is, why would those behind the atrocities of September 11 be any different?’
- No known liar can incense people more than Bill Clinton, argueably the most agile and cunning liar in recent political history. Even today myriads of ranting and rabid sites are dedicated to his political heritage of meanderings and evasion -
S l i c k W i l l i e
Poll and poll after poll tells us that a sample (didn't ask me) populace thinks the president's (job) performance is stellar; confession after confession from former female employees tells us that his after hours (sexual) performance is dismal. Exposing himself to women during government (Arkansas and DC incidents) business meetings is hardly the chief executive's main role. If Slick Willie could get laid at home, maybe he wouldn't travel by night. Are you listening, Hitlery? Pleading and begging for it is very unseemly; maybe he needs a First Prostitute to replace the First Lady? A real sure thing, that will keep his wandering genitals at home, where they belong. Where's Elena Bobbitt and her knife when the country really needs them?
P o o r F r e d
- Queen Caroline’s last words about her son: the lying Frederick, Prince of Wales aka ‘Poor Fred’ (1707-1751) -
‘Frederick Louis was the eldest son of George II and his wife Caroline of Ansbach, and was the father of George III. Having been educated in Hanover, finally Frederick was brought to England in 1728 and since then had been a source of trouble for his parents.’
‘On 20 November 1737, Queen Caroline died. In life, she is reputed to have said of her eldest son, "My dear first born is the greatest ass, and the greatest liar, and the greatest canaille, and the greatest beast, in the whole world, and I most heartily wish he was out of it." As she lay on her death bed, she is reported as saying, "At least I shall have one comfort in having my eyes eternally closed - I shall never see that monster again." The king refused to allow Frederick to see his mother before she died, saying to Lord Hervey, "Bid him go about his business for his poor mother is not in a condition to see him act his false, whining, cringing tricks now, nor am I in a humour to bear his impertinence; and bid him trouble me with no more messages, but get out of my house.’
P e t l i a r
- If you are too crude a liar yourself, hire a professional - Meet Bush’ Whitehouse spokesman Ari Fleischer -
‘Like any skilled craftsman, Fleischer has a variety of techniques at his disposal. The first is the one he used to such great effect at Ways and Means: He cuts off the question with a blunt, factual assertion. Sometimes the assertion is an outright lie; sometimes it's on the edge. But in either case the intent is to deceive--to define a legitimate question as based on false premises and, therefore, illegitimate. Fleischer does this so well, in part because of his breathtaking audacity: Rather than tell a little fib--i.e., attacking the facts most open to interpretation in a reporter's query--he often tells a big one, challenging the question in a way the reporter could not possibly anticipate. Then there's his delivery: Fleischer radiates boundless certainty, recounting even his wildest fibs in the matter-of-fact, slightly patronizing tone you would use to explain, say, the changing of the seasons to a child. He neither under-emotes (which would appear robotic) nor overemotes (which would appear defensive) but seems at all times so natural that one wonders if somehow he has convinced himself of his own untruths.’
posted by Walter at 9/07/2002
Thursday, September 05, 2002
T r u e o r f a l s e ? - Tall Tales revisited
Next week the 9-11 Twin Towers attack in NYC will be commemorated. In the aftermath of the disaster many tall tales and rumors have been disseminated, and continue to be spread to date. Perhaps one does recall the picture of a man standing on a World Trade Center observation deck, moments before one the hijacked planes hit. Rumor had it that the picture was retrieved from a camera salvaged from the Ground Zero location. The photo was a fake, just like the story of a man said to have ridden down with rubble from the 82nd floor, and surviving with only a broken leg.
However two rumors have been substantiated by US authorities:
-A United Airlines pilot who instructed his passengers on how to foil a hijacking, just four days after the attack.
-A pair of severed hands, bound together with plastic handcuffs, found by rescue workers on the roof of one of the buildings near Ground Zero.
T i t a n T a l e s
This year has already seen the 100th anniversary of the perishing of the ‘Titanic’ on April 14th 1912. The plight of the Titanic has been well documented, but even today new facts continue to be shed, facts that are constantly scrutinized and x-rayed by the Titanic Historical Society Inc.
An obituary featured on their site states:
‘The Titanic Historical Society mourns the loss of Winnifred (Quick) Van Tongerloo formerly of Warren, Michigan who died at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing on July 4, 2002. She was one of the four remaining known Titanic survivors. There is one left in the US and two in Britain, all are ladies’
Still remaining survivors of the disaster are:
Lillian Gertrude Asplund, Born 10/21/1906, age on Titanic 5 1/2 years old,
Class 3rd, Lifeboat #4, age now 91, Residence: Massachusetts, USA
Eliza Gladys Milvina Dean, Born 2/2/1912, age on Titanic 10 weeks old,
Class 3rd, Lifeboat #C, age now 86, Residence: England
Barbara J. West, Born c. 1908, Age on Titanic 3 1/2 years old, Class 2nd,
Lifeboat ?, age now 89, Residence: England
One of the rumors that has been proven true among the many phantoms of fact brought forth by the survivors, and subsequent media reporting of the disaster:
The Dead Man With The Ladies Handbag
There were many tragic stories that came from the recovery of the dead by the cable ship MacKay Bennett. However there is one story about the body of a man that was found holding a ladies handbag. It’s also a tragic one.
The story is of John Henry Chapman, known in the list of retrieved bodies as NO. 17. It reads: "Male. Estimated age, 30-40. Hair, dark. Effects - .../... Lady's handbag."
John Henry Chapman was of British origin, but had left Cornwall in 1906 and emigrated to Canada. He later moved to America, where he settled in Spokane, Washington State. Here he was employed at the local cemetery. In 1911, however, Chapman decided to return to his native England, in order to marry his childhood sweetheart, Sarah Elizabeth Lawry. They were wed on December 26th, but obviously John felt their home should be in Spokane. On April 10th 1912, they boarded the R.M.S. Titanic as second class passengers, and evidence strongly indicates that they were at each other's sides until the end. Sarah was never found. John's body was found, his hand still clinging to a lady's handbag... His real age was 30 years
There remains a poignant beauty to faction; when myth and substance merge, and begin to shape the contours of legend. Spread the tale (-): firstname.lastname@example.org
posted by Walter at 9/05/2002
While browsing through the stack of magazines that I’ve kept over many years,
I cut, pasted and restructured some of the editorial hyperboles that they contain into revamped prose:
‘The old man is part of the group’ said Marcellin, ‘He is the interpreter of messages from the world of spirits, Bakolo has worked hard for us – he has stopped a storm. When you want the rain, he says, it is easy – you take some leaves and throw them in water and at once there is rain. But it’s lots of work to stop a storm; you put leaves in a string round your waist and you think with all you know, with all your strength, it’s like a fever in the head.’
‘He ended up throwing his track suit, training shoes and bag into the crowd as well. Every item was ripped apart by the frenzied crowd. ‘I figured I could do without the excess luggage, we all enjoyed it, and the crowd enjoyed it too.’
‘She lied, Matt knew. She lied about her weight, lied about her implants, lied about her business engagements, and lied unflinchingly all the way through lunch. Wiles and femininity go together like lager and lime, he thought.’
‘I felt bad, like the enemy of history. All the gorgeousness of sea and sky mocked me as I stared at the sand between my toes, fiddled with my new ring and agreed with myself that I was shamefully mad.’
‘My high points? Yeah. I was stuck on Final Doom. Demons to the left, mutants to the right.. Oh shit, and that time when Yoshimitsu came at me, I laid him out with one punch, and kicked his face in.’
‘As the steam drips from the overhead pipes and the pile of discarded clothes grows in the corner Jurgi said ‘This club brings out all the best from Sub, Plaztic, and G-Ha, it’s is the exact opposite of shiny club bras’
‘Way in the Seventies I smoked dope in my Volkswagen with my disco-loving girlfriend in the slums of Beverly Hills. But listen, the Gene Simmons tongue thing: fake. That’s a totally fake tongue.’
‘Lord Cholmondeley, hungover and recovering from the night before, suggested they go to his country house. He said they should meet at Battersea Heliport. She threw on a Galliano, threw a tiara in her bag and headed off, sleepless and shoeless, to catch her helicopter. On the way they drank champagne and smoked cigarettes, and landed at Haughton Hall, went out into the gardens with a Sea Breeze, peacocks and white deer all around them, the sun setting and the moon rising.’
‘He talks to the disaffected, should-know better kids in California who are turning to white supremacy like it’s just another MTV generation lifestyle option.’ The observer wonders why one has to go through all that trouble to meet a legend race.’
‘He explores our deepest responses and impulses. What does it mean when a person blushes? According to psychoanalysts it shows a desire to expose their genitals.’
‘People have read a lot of bad things about me in the press. ‘I came from a dysfunctional family, and for a long time I didn’t even know who I was.’ She uncrosses her arms and throws her hands up in the air. Her voice gets high and squeaky. ‘I mean really, where is the Baby-Daddy discount? I never got a a chance to talk to my dad about everything before he was killed’ She continues in a soft and subdued voice: ‘The person I am is the person I depend on. I depend on me. If you think I’m the worst person in the world, you are probably right.’
'With the full moon on the 2nd and generous Jupiter looking over your shoulder, brace yourself for Cupid’s arrows! The Capricorn and Taurean love machines will come hurtling down to your door. With Mercury falling, erase your unfortunate past from gloom and feast on unharnessed energy. Around the 17th you may be prepared to raid the comedy section of your videostore, and share your bed and bank account with the same person. By the end of October you should be ready to move into a league of your own.'
Try it yourself - Great fun! –
posted by Walter at 9/05/2002
Tuesday, September 03, 2002
From ‘Le Voyage’ by Charles Baudelaire – First stanza
For the child, in love with globe, and stamps,
the universe equals his vast appetite.
Ah! How great the world is in the light of the lamps!
In the eyes of memory, how small and slight!
We yearn for what we cannot have. While we try to rekindle lost memories, seek to achieve inner peace or attempt to rid ourselves from existential ennui, yearning becomes our constant companion and driving force.
It’s a mind’s subconscious ticker tape, beaming a non-stop amalgam of passion, melancholia and purposeful intent. 24 hrs a day.
Yearning in Abkhazia
Murat Yagan, who was born in Abkhazia. The region, tucked into a corner of Georgia on the shores of the Black Sea, is famous for its long-lived Circassian people, its traditions of honor, hospitality and chivalry, and for a philosophy called "Kebzeh."
Yagan, now 87, is working to preserve Kebzeh for future generations, and to help it spread beyond Abkhazia's borders.
Yagan, says Kebzeh could be of immense value to the world. The tradition stresses a rigorous program of character building. Yagan as a youth learned martial arts, horsemanship, and rules of civility, manners and etiquette.
"It is based on... universal values," says Vyacheslav Chirikhba, an Abkhazian diplomat. "The respect for elders, respect for women. A person is regarded as someone who is a member of society, rather than as a completely isolated individual."
Says Yagan: "Yearning,is the only means to elevate human motivation from survival to ascension in the direction of an unknown better."
The Nature of Yearning
There is a loneliness in the masses of humans that scares me sometimes. To walk a crowded street may seem horrible and frightening compared to the serene beauty of Nature. When sadness grabs hold of my soul I seek the calm solitude of the forest or the streaming water. There I can rest and let Nature's unconscious patterns sweep into me and fill me with an incomparable calm. Amongst the trees, or close to the water, I feel safe and my thoughts adapt to the rhythmic flow of life around me. The languid motion of foliage or the neverending chaos of water can amaze me for hours and leave nothing but calm and beauty in my soul. Those are the times I am filled with the yearning and the poetry of Nature itself.
Torgny Bjers – ENCYCLOPAEDIA KARDIA – Nature of Yearning
"All the activities of life seem merely expedient — only a shadow play without substance. I am suffering within my skin, within the hollows of my skull. I yearn to live with purpose, yet my eyes are too coated to perceive worthwhile purposes in the 'get up/go to work/come home/eat/watch television/go to bed humdrum.' I ask others why they are doing what they are doing. After they say they are making a living or starting their kids through the same ultimate process, I ask them again. Then they say they don't know!
‘On love and lust’
Love does not depend on reciprocation. Its nature is permanence, a quality of our immortal soul. Love does not need to get anything or any response—it is self-sustaining.
If we say we love someone, mate with them and after a time there are no feelings of inner fulfillment, we have been immersed in lust, not the permanence of love. We have only been depending on the partner to fill our sense needs.
Real human love manifests at the time on our spiritual path when we begin to care about others as well as ourselves. People whose consciousness is centered on their sense gratification will not be able to experience an interchange of love with another person.
Yearning for America
Excerpt from a letter to the editor – Wall Street Journal May 23, 2002-09-03
‘More importantly, people around the world yearn to hear American music, to see American videos, to understand American ideals, to glimpse American freedom, and to taste a better life.
Nothing frightens the followers of Osama bin Laden more than the dissemination of American ideas; why should we stand in the way?’
‘The Femme Fatale has just one chink in the armour of her self regard. Deep down, she knows the men in her life are all scumbags, and that her success will last only as long as her beauty. She yearns to find a strong but decent guy who will see through to her inner self - a yearning sometimes strong enough to make her throw caution (and common sense) to the winds.’
We may conclude from the ‘evidence’ that I gathered that ‘The Yearning’ offers only open ends. It knows victor nor loser, and holds reciprocation constantly at bay.
Yearning is the thread of exploration that we cling to until our death.
Baudelaire is resolute in his last stanza of ‘Le Voyage’:
Pour out your poison, and dissolve our fears!
Its fire so burns our minds, we yearn, it’s true,
to plunge to the Void’s depths, Heaven or Hell, who cares?
Into the Unknown’s depths, to find the n e w .
posted by Walter at 9/03/2002
Monday, September 02, 2002
Meet Edith Brigitta Fahrenkrog: Founder and Director of the International Partnership Agency bearing her name with offices in Frankfurt, London, Paris and New York.
‘Matching the right partners is my business, personal individual assistance is my service, confidence is my highest priority’.
‘EBF - Worldwide clients are distinct, elegant, successful, well-traveled individuals of all ages. They are notable in their professions and life experiences - among them are directors of international companies, world leaders, entrepreneurs of diverse, influential industries, humanitarian pioneers, well-respected medical and academic professionals, recognized models and accomplished artists.’
From the EBF - Worldwide base of clients I matched two likely partnerships. It is said that good neighbors make good friends, however most of EBF’ clients consider themselves global citizens who expect to find an alluring international partner. The profiles that Fahrenkrog’ supplies, are rife with the archetypes and fairy-tale locales that tabloid dreams are made of. Only royalty need apply-
[A] BRILLIANT AMERICAN BUSINESSMAN...
He is a wonderful charming and fascinating gentleman (43/1.86) - a twinkle in his eyes...always - a great charismatic character, elegant and handsome. This man is the FOUNDER, PRESIDENT and CEO of his worldwide successful corporation. A leading personality, wellrespected as a global consultant and expert in strategic management, high finance and specific marketing in both business and goverment. He has a great zest for life, makes important decisions every day, goes straight to the point, but never forgets to be romantic. He is active, dynamic, loves sport activities (horseback riding, watersports, etc.) and is always a welcome member in the international High Society. A GENUINE MAN, generous, calm and secure. A considerate and caring man, who would love to share his life with the right woman. He will make her feel protected and adored... and he can live everywhere: "We will make this decision together!"...
[B] ITALIAN BEAUTY - BRIGHT, ELEGANT AND SIMPLY GORGEOUS . . .
...every man will be proud to have met this independent and quite enchanting lady - early 30`s, long blond hair, she is picture perfect in many ways - with a great zest for life. She has that "something special", she captivates her surroundings with her graceful, natural beauty, feminine charm and much more... A great sense of style, class and elegance are evident at the first glance. A happy character, she has achieved great success in her int`l career (own companies - but not consumed by them), she has traveled the world and now she is missing someone special with whom she can share and enjoy life! - This delightful, warm and adorable lady is from an excellent Northern Italian family background, fluent in several languages, a perfect hostess, she loves auctions, art, likes golf, horseback riding, ski, squash, etc. She is very openminded, generous, brings fun to those who know her - a real "FEMME DU MONDE" - she can live everywhere...
[A] SHE IS AN ENCHANTING BEAUTY . . .
...with her own TV-Show, a top journalist and a top model - instantly recognizable from the society pages. This young woman - late 20`s/180 - has set the standard of beauty worldwide. However, her qualities also include higher education (university degrees) and an interest in the arts, cultural events and humanitarian projects. She is very charming and charismatic while at the same time she possesses a natural "down to earth" attitude towards life. This special lady is warm, generous, with very high traditonal family values. She is involved in a variety of activities and she is a very happy and cheerful person...quite sportive, too. Having reached an important level in her career, her priority now is to find a man (age is not important) who will appreciate her feminine charm, warmth and sensitivity, with whom she can share life...
[B] HE IS A POWERFUL BUSINESSMAN IN THE FINANCIAL WORLD . . .
A citizen of the world - 43/1.80 - he resides in Monte Carlo and Switzerland. A leading personality, well respected as a consultant and global expert in strategic crisis management and investor relations. A fascinating strong man, very masculine, dark haired with green eyes, very elegant and handsome. He is a good listener, well balanced, has incredible charm - a twinkle in his eyes … always …, a wonderful man! He has a great zest for life, makes important decisions every day, goes straight to the point but never forgets to be romantic. He knows how to treat a woman and is a very considerate, gentle and generous man. Family life and his worldwide friends are very important to him. He loves golf, tennis, horseback riding, yachting, speedboats and more... The right woman in his life will be HIS "Princess", ... to give and take and laugh together...
posted by Walter at 9/02/2002
Sunday, September 01, 2002
‘Do you still worship me, Alexander?’ she murmured, as he could read her meaning in her softly pouting lips even though he could not hear the words. [ The rubber latex helmet, part of his bondage kit, blotted out his hearing.]
‘Do you like to be my slave, and be with me, watching me, all the time like this?’
‘There was a long pause, while Alexander considered his answer to these dire questions. He had to consider the rewards of being her constant companion, day and night, adoring her unattainable dominant beauty, against the terrible bondage restraints which his male virility had to endure at the price. Alexander could not speak, for his mouth was full of the huge gag, but by a Herculean effort he managed to nod his head slightly while his soulful eyes told the whole story. He would always worship her and want to be her unutterable slave.’
Thus ends ‘Slave Mistress’ a novella featured in ‘Bound’ an American bondage series. The cover illustration of which shows a man in a metal-head harness which blinds and gags him, and by which he is chained to the walls, hands and feet manacled and attached to an iron ball, while the haughty, disinterested beauty smokes a cigarette in a long holder and wears a kind of laced corset, ear-rings, headscarf and long black gloves.
- © Gillian Freeman From ‘The Undergrowth of Literature’ Gillian Freeman – Panther Modern Society 1967
posted by Walter at 9/01/2002