NEW YORK CITIERS

NEW YORK CITIERS

Citizens of New York state are New Yorkers, but an odd breed of beings are New York Citiers. This has always been the case, noted during the American Revolution and through the Constitutional period. Three examples provide this distinction – the separation of New York Citiers from other Americans – and tell that New York Citiers are selfish, irrational, duplicitous, depraved and unreformable.

In 1775 New York Citiers were conflicted about the Britain and King or Americans and freedom. No one wanted to stand in one camp or the other: “…it had to receive the rebel generals on the same day that it must welcome back from a visit to England its royal governor…Fortunately, they landed there several hours apart, so that “the volunteer companies raised for the express purpose of rebellion,” as the loyalist judge, Thomas Jones, put it, “the members of the Provincial Congress….the parsons of the dissenting meetinghouses, with all the leaders and partisans of faction and rebellion,” would meet the generals at four in the afternoon, and conduct them to Leonard Lispenard’s house, “amidst repeated shouts and huzzas,” and, at nine o’clock, “the members of his Majesty’s Council, the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General…the Clergymen of the Church of England,” and so on, all the dignified, respectable, highly placed officials, “with a numerous train of his Majesty’s loyal and well affected subjects,” could meet the Governor and conduct him, “with universal shouts of applause,” to the residence of Hugh Wallace, Esq. “But strange to relate… those very people who attended the rebel Generals in the morning… and now, one and all, joined in the Governor’s train and with the loudest acclamations… welcomed him back to the colony…What a farce! What cursed hypocrisy!”

Christopher Ward, The War of the Revolution, NY, MacMillan, p. 102.

New York City was the last place on the original 13 states that the British occupied. The British liked the place and left their mark, concealing the abhorrent, sinful and arrogant attitudes and moods of the people existing in that place. I often wonder whether the negotiators of the 1783 Treaty of Paris did not make a mistake: Leave the British in possession of New York City in exchange for giving the United States of America Canada.

Of course, no one would trade New York City for twenty-five cents, so neither the Canadians nor the British would go for it today. New York City has one major drawback, its people:

“With all the opulence and splendor of this city, there is very little good breeding to be found. We have been treated with an assiduous respect. But I have not seen one real gentlemen, one well-bred man, since I came to town. At their entertainments there is no conversation that is agreeable.

There is no modesty, no attention to one another. They talk very loud, very fast and all together. If they ask you a question, before you can utter three words of your answer, they will break out upon you again, and talk again.

Page Smith, John Adams, NY, Doubleday, 1962, vol. 1, p. 166.

As stated, the primary economic activity of New York Citiers is talk, from any man or woman from that place. Americans get to experience New York City on TV every minute of every day. Almost every New York City journalist asks a very imperfect question and the interviewee guesses at the desired answer. The journalist, in New York Citier fashion just like John Adams reported, interrupts and sometimes answers his own question while arguing with the interviewee and asking another imperfect question. In that process a few dozen cliches, slogans and homilies, are spit out in an attempt to direct the interviewee onto the politically correct answer. New York Citiers are obviously eager to tell their individual stories to captive audiences and interviewees, silent and not heard. Any interviewee who doesn’t comply with these broadcast rules is never interviewed again.

But talk is cheap, especially today when mouths are disconnected from brains frequently addled by chemicals or sheer ignorance. Excessive jabbering on TV comes from great insecurity, much like rulers of a totalitarian society: “…no matter how enlightened, [they] will never surrender – a constantly exercise – their power to hector, warn, and admonish, in brief to pester and bore their helpless subjects.” (Adam Ulam, The Fall of the American University, N.Y., The Library Press, 1972, p. 170.)

Other than what New York Citiers chatter about incessantly today, like each of them is living in a Woody Allen movie, they were obsessively nonsensical in the 1780s. James Madison wrote George Washington a letter discussing the suitability of New York City as the capital of the United States, but he kept referring to the people of that place:

It seems to be particularly essential that an eye should be had in all our public arrangements to the accommodation of the Western Country, which perhaps cannot be sufficiently gratified at any rate, but which might be furnished with new fuel to its jealousy by being summoned to the sea-shore & almost at one end of the Continent. There are reasons, but of too confidential a nature for any other than verbal communication which make it of crucial importance…

The extreme eccentricity of [New York City] will certainly in my opinion being on a premature and consequently an improper choice. This policy [Capital of New York City] is avowed by some of the sticklers for this place, and is known to prevail with the bulk of them. People from the interior…will never patiently repeat their trips to this remote situation…

Papers of James Madison, vol 12, p. 343, August 24, 1788.

Madison is not the sort of person to come out and complain in a letter. He’s willing to voice reasons and reactions to New York City in a personal meeting, but he couldn’t avoid noting the extreme eccentricity present in 1788. It’s more true today. It is a place that derives all the benefits of having 33,000 police officers on its force. How have those cops done? Street crime is down, but in New York City white collar crime is unknown. Did Wall Street executives always comply with all laws, from 2005-2010?

If New York City is the center of journalism, what did journalists do over the last ten years to uncover and report the greatest financial crimes committed since the 1920s? Have any articles examined or explained high speed trading strategies, and how those programs are analogous to “pooling” arrangements made by Wall Street traders 90 years ago? Has anyone ever noticed that in his book on the Great Depression, John Kenneth Galbraith has a chapter entitled, “In Goldman Sachs We Trust,” and why is anyone trusting that institution and those people these days? New York City may be the center of advertising, but does anyone want to watch ads today? Larry and Darin did a lot better than the guys on “Madmen.”

In the early 1970s Richard Nixon brought the country to its knees by depleting trust and confidence in government. In the last ten years through Wall Street New York Citiers have attacked America and Americans, and afterward seeking protection in security laws, in privilege and immunity, in trade secrets and confidence as well as a financial mafia pledged to silence. Trust and confidence nationwide remain uneasy. Any investor would have been better off investing with the mob, than with most institutions on Wall Street. New York Citiers turned their private exposure into public obligations through the obscenely wild expansion of debt and using the Federal Reserve balance sheet. This is the status of New York Citiers, nothing to applaud and everything to detest – pride and arrogance in their insularity. It has been a problem for this country since the founding.

 

Advertisements

WEEDS & SLEEPING

These subjects, seemingly unrelated, have one commonality as sore spots for human beings.

WEEDS

Once before in Hawksex I mentioned I was a weeder. Weed the ground completely by removing as much of the weed and root as possible. Revisit the ground with a weed killer – Roundup is good because sprayed on new growth, the chemical is absorbed into the plant’s roots killing them. Repeat the spraying until the unwanted plant is dead and must be removed or it disappears.

We had a gardener who showed up with his machines and noisily blew the hell out of the garden. Earlier this year we let the blow and go guy go. The air is now less polluted; there is no noise. AND THERE ARE MANY FEWER WEEDS. I calculate how many weeds there are by the areas that had weeds and each area was weeded completely, every year. Throughout the year, the weeds grew back, and more weeding needed doing. This year there are no weeds in many areas of the garden; total weeds are down 95 percent. I attribute the lack of weeds to removing the gardener’s blower – there is no windstorm hitting the ground every week and introducing whichever seeds, spores or cuttings from one area to another.

Hence, to reduce weeds: 

Weed an area completely. Use chemical sprays on unwanted new growth in that area specifically and judiciously. Use those sprays quickly on tenacious plants like poison oak.

Do not use a blower of any type in the garden.

Use a broom, dust pan and rake, which is better exercise without much noise.

SLEEPING

I was in a profession once, and I had trouble sleeping. Alcohol was good and an accepted supplement of that profession to handle the stress and to help sleep. But booze began interrupting sleep. I had that habit, addiction, complex long after the need for it disappeared. I drank and wasn’t sleeping well. I was growing old, fat, ugly and stupid. One night before Thanksgiving, I got very sick to my stomach, and I stopped drinking.

What virtue! I’m such a good boy.

But sleep remained a problem, and I refused to take drugs or aids. Not sleeping makes me prone to long colds. Healthwise, it is necessary that I sleep.

First, it is necessary to each human being to learn to relax. Each person will do it differently, but nobody is praying, mediating or moving when relaxing. At the end of the 10 or 15 minute session in a chair, on a bed or on the floor, your mind, your state of being, is different. 

Second, I try to structure my day so I can get ready for bed and sleep, at the same time. I’m a lark – early to bed, early to rise. My sleeping patterns over the years have not been consistent. Once, I never had trouble getting to sleep; I do now, but I’m not awake at 1:00 a.m. Still, I need more than six hours. I try to avoid arguments in person or on the phone. I try to avoid people who push obnoxious behaviors, or tell their stupidities or who are otherwise grating.

Third, since sleep is not automatic and troubling, I have to play games with myself. The games are a very individual activity, and for this article none come to mind. But the fact that I know I have to play games and change to rules is not troubling. I just do it, and live on.

Four, the bedroom and sleep are two things over which most human beings have complete control. Tell yourself you are in command. I set the environment to my liking. What sort of person are you? I’m a words person. When young, I liked to be read to and fall asleep. There’s no parent to read to me, but there are substitutes with a change of the medium: TV and film. I need films where seeing is not necessary. I want a story conveyed by recognizable characters.

“Murder She Wrote” once put me to sleep. The hocus-pocus of “Perry Mason” was good, but is now irritating. Currently, “The Untouchables” (1958-1961) zone me out. And the movies. Mostly from the 1930s and 1940s. I know the movies, but rather than watch the change of scenes, I attempt to play out the scenes in my imagination, while hearing the dialogue. It is exhausting, but I am sleeping without chemicals – just a little electricity at non-peak hours.

Hearing and not seeing sometimes brings new awareness of a movie. William Powell in “The Thin Man” opens the door and greets,

POWELL: McCaulley, how are you? Come in. Have a seat.

Powell closes door, walks to bar. McCaulley greets Powell.

POWELL: What are you drinking?

McCAULLEY: Nothing for me, thanks.

POWELL: That’s a mistake…

Summing Up

SUMMING UP

The Summing Up, Somerset Maugham, was written when the author was in his sixties before World War Two. It is a book of interest by a capable writer who can develop a point without being realistic or accurate in his assessments. Consider his analysis of being old:

“For the complete life, the perfect pattern, includes old age as well as youth and maturity. The beauty of a morning and the radiance of noon are good, but it would be a very silly person who drew the curtains and turned on the light in order to shut out the tranquility of the evening. Old age has its pleasures, which, though different, are not less than the pleasures of youth. The philosophers have always told us that we are the slaves of our passions, and is it so small a thing to be liberated from their sway? The fool’s old age will be foolish, but so was his youth… It is true that the old man will no longer be able to climb an Alp or tumble a pretty girl on a bed; it is true that he can no longer arouse the concupiscence of others. It is something to be free from the pangs of unrequited love and the torment of jealously. It is something that envy, which so often poisons youth, should be assuaged by the extinction of desire. But these are negative compensations; the old age has positive compensations also. Paradoxical as it may sound it has more time. …Old age is ready to undertake tasks that youth shirked because they would take too long. In old age the taste improves, and it is possible to enjoy art and literature without the personal bias that in youth warps the judgment. It has the satisfaction of its own fulfillment. It is liberated from the trammels of human egoism; free at last, the soul delights in the passing moment, but does not bid it away. It has completed the pattern.

(Penguin Books, NY, 1963, p. 190-191)

Maugham is very hopeful about what lies ahead (lived into his nineties), but fears and forces of age are to be observed. Loss of energy, loss of ability, loss of senses are major deficits in any human being, whether young and old. They are common with age. There may seem to be more time, but remember each act takes longer. Secondary symptoms accompany these deficiencies: loss of confidence, reduced sense of fitting in, being inflexible and frequently misunderstanding.

Maugham writes about a small percentage of people when he assumes as a person ages responsibilities, hatreds, prejudices and states of mind can change more easily. Age frequently ossifies points of view, sets biases, and gives obligations an anchor while limiting choices, augmenting burdens and submitting to predilection. The long and short of Maugham’s aging theory is, success in fulfilling it for all people happens long before they reach old age. If persons have no ability or inclination to change or learn from life and its experiences at 20 years or at 40 years, it can be assumed that people will not change at 60 years or at 80 years. Will people “undertake tasks that youth shirked because they would take too long?” Are persons with no sense of passion and no desire capable of mastering new learning, seeing new perspectives on life, and taking new efforts to reach satisfaction?

It is more likely that most elderly will disappear quietly, except they vote. They get the most benefits from the government; they claim they have contributed and they are owed. That is true if they remain active. If they are passive and do nothing for themselves, for Americans and the country, that is the worst result. The old can participate and become elders – have a satisfactory life in old age, but that is a role to be earned.

Today is a situation that the Boomer and more recent generations must face, and it might be considered a joke like an earlier incident. Miley Cyrus did a skit. Apparently everyone was offended, but what is disgusting about it? I’ve not seen but heard about it. [My eyes are too sensitive. Having written a long novel about the Nixon years in Berkeley, I’ve seen more than I can imagine, about anatomy, bodies and activities arising from each.] About the skit Mothers and Fathers, throughout America deplore that it was broadcast without any rating: INAPPROPRIATE FOR TEENAGERS AND CHILDREN WHO WILL SEE IT ON THE INTERNET. Someone asked why the MTV producers allowed it on the air?

Is this the first time parents have talked to their kids about sex, love, life, drugs and the commercialism about all those topics? If it happened this morning and this week, it is too late. The idea that Miley Cyrus has presented a defining moment in American history is nonsense. As part of raising children, parents have the responsibility to be parents, just like all other animals do, and teach the young what is important, how to act, what to do, and how to get and use protection against culture and society. The skit is not Pearl Harbor, 9-1-1, or The Free Speech Movement.

Did Cyrus do this out of the blue? NO, she grew up with it. Remember Bill and Monica, a couple that will live in celebrity, in notoriety, in infamy. There were cigars, the acts and gyrations, no “sex-with-that-woman” and the other lies, the blue dress. Front page news for a few years, and Bill Clinton was a punch line while arguing that he had prerogatives, privileges and immunities to lie in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a third woman he victimized. The women were right; Bill was wrong, as is reflected in the large settlement he paid. However, the third woman was referred to generously by Clinton supporters as trailer trash. Apparently any woman bringing a sexual harassment charge against Bill was trailer trash, and no one defended those women; no one complained about the belittling, mocking, deriding “the third woman” or “that woman,” either. Just throw those women and all other like women under the bus. I wonder if the women who were subjected to Bob Filner’s (San Diego mayor) advances, affections and moves should be so labeled. Filner complained he was targeted in Republican San Diego because he is a Democrat.

There was some hope after Bill and Monica. Apparently Al Gore had indiscretions, and his wife, Tipper, divorced the asshole. I voted for Al, but in one way, I’m happy he lost: Any politician who can’t keep his indiscretions confidential should not be president. It is said that the French nation laughs at American shock and dismay that our politicians have affairs. That is incorrect. The French laugh because American politicians are indiscrete and like to be found with their pants down.

So what of the skit that Cyrus acted. First, there are no lies and no lawsuit; anything she did is less serious. Second, it is probably bad entertainment just like it was bad news 15 years ago. Third, if the content was all right for America in 1997, what is the difference in 2013? PBS, NBC, CBS, ABC, cable news and (All the news that is fit to print) The New York Times versus MTV, today? It is sour grapes that MTV did it first. Fourth, if the perpetrators and the acts themselves were not condemned in 1997, why are people spouting off, hypocritically, today?

What does this have to do with age? Reason, judgment, logic, thinking don’t improve with age unless each human being reflects, thinks and knows. A twenty year old can know as much as a sixty year old. Memories and memory don’t always play well in human beings, young, middle aged or old. Why cringe at sex today and yet when younger, not be startled or alarmed by lies, lawsuits, sex and abuse of power in 1997? I don’t condone Miley Cyrus, but I’m not shocked or surprised anyone would overlook the chance to do her skit. Anything to keep the name before the public benefits her. However, gaining a name by being a-serial-killer-want-to-be-musician appears to be the limit.

Charles Manson didn’t have the charisma, the savoir faire or grace to use older words. He didn’t talk well; he was a poor singer; he danced badly, he sneered when he smiled. He lacked the cherished traits to pass and get the attention and love from other human beings. Anyone who can do those needs no talent, no training, no ability and no mind. Just show the audience you’re willing to do anything to get the face and name into lights, on TV, before the public, on the Internet – chatter, sing, smile and dance senselessly.

Being old only allows people to forget what happened 15, 33, 50 years ago; there is no virtue or benefit in a poor memory or an inability to communicate accurately or with wisdom. Some people were causal 15 years ago, and are shocked today, and Americans may only say, we have learned nothing over the course of our lives. We should know our reactions to the Cyrus skit should not now be astonishment and horror. That should have happened in 1997 and 1998. Today we be ashamed.

 

MY OUTLOOK

I watch the world daily, and sometimes doubt whether the sun will rise tomorrow. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be so bad. Each day world wide seems a catastrophe. The reasons are primarily – too many people live on Earth – with much better communications so we learn everything immediately – we see indicators of disaster in our own society.

About 200 years ago in 1815 Mt. Tambora in Indonesia erupted, and in 1816 the United States had a year without summer. It snowed in New England in July; no one knew why. Today that eruption would be on the news and INSTANT CONCERN! Prices for agricultural prices would rise; other commodities would rise or fall. Vacation plans would change – no surf, no sun, no sand. Humans would lose a season of bikini fashions. More fabric would be used go ward off the cold.

Academians, journalists and analysts, chattering away, would make projections, forecasts and predications. Some might blame man for the geological disaster, like the actor who blamed the Haitian earthquake on global warming. Other people would say it’s God’s punishment. Many would say or imply this is a new situation – it has never happened before. All those people are WRONG – talk is frequently WRONG. Those people make livings from WRONGNESS.

Disasters have happened before, whatever the force or the cause: God, gravity, geology or Gaia. This planet is not stable; the weather is not predictable, for five days let alone temperatures in 100 years. Human beings cannot survive without struggle. Some disasters in the past killed only a few human beings: 1857 quake along the San Andres Fault; the 1809 New Madrid earthquake; the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980. Change the time or the location (a little) and Los Angeles could be devastated by the southern San Andres Fault moving; the Mississippi River Valley would be greatly altered by a 9.0 earthquake. If Mt. Raneir, 150 miles north of Helens, goes, wipe Seattle from the map.

The disaster themselves seem horrible, but worse today everyone in the world would see it and the aftermath on TV or the Internet. We saw the aftermath of the Indonesians 2004 earthquake/tsunami and the 2011 Japan earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster. Seeing it in real time is significant, but doesn’t make the reporting better: There are still the questions: “How do you feel?” “What were you thinking?” “Were you scared?”

A neighbor was holding a video camera during a 1994 earthquake, and he yelled, “Holy Shit!” I believe that is a legitimate response to any disaster and as an answer to any of those questions. But the TV stations didn’t want to report it. Newspapers tried to make the news fit.

Man made disasters could have been avoided without misses. No way. There has been the easy reporting of global warming and scores of incidences and thousands of theories coming from scientists seeking government research money. It’s a disaster, theoretically in 100 years, provided the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse don’t show up. I notice there is little research to prevent that appearance.

Since 1994, Rwanda, Clinton didn’t see it, sorry. Didn’t see Darfur/Sudan, sorry; missed the USS Cole, sorry. Bush 9-11, who’s calling, huh? Why fight in Afghanistan, Duh? WMD, Iraq war, Huh? The corrupt narco state of Afghanistan is no worse than Chicago, Obama, 2009.

I Will Bear Witness – Criticism

I WILL BEAR WITNESS

     Victor Klemperer

This Diary (1933-1945) was written by a Protestant who had converted from Judaism. Victor married a Protestant and was a professor of literature teaching at a University in Dresden until 1935. He was thoroughly a liberal German; he admits he would not be Jewish except that he was compelled to be one by the Nazis. If Klemperer is a familiar name, it is due to Otto Klemperer, the great Twentieth Century conductor and Victor’s cousin. Victor, thereby, was an uncle to Otto Klemperer’s son, Werner Klemperer, Colonel Klink of “Hogan’s Heroes.” 

Although somewhat uneven, the Diary of 1000 pages, is compelling. The first impression of the Nazis was their obscurantism. Anything Nazi morons could not understand (Einstein’s physics) they labeled Jewish and non-Germanic. They sought a Teutonic/Aryan paradise among descendants of Poles and Slavs, populations which moved west after the Germanic tribes (Lombards, Franks and Goths) who had fought the Romans and moved south and west. Based upon this mogrel genetic heritage, the Nazis wished for a people of one biological substance of Gothic purity. The premises of the Nazi system were fairytales and nonsense. A remnant of reason and fact was the spark that kept Klemperer, his wife, Jews, non-believers and others not deluded by cuckoo-cloud deliriums. None of the Nazi opponents realized what Hugh Trevor-Roper knew: “facts don’t trouble the bigot and the crank.”

If there had been no War and if the Nazis had remained in power, Germany would have become a second-rate power for its hard nose myths and failures to invest in basic research and to support academic and educational excellence. While being shunned, confined in a world of limited activity and losing library privileges,  Klemperer researched and wrote in his field. During impromptu searches and raids of his homes, Nazi goons would steal the obvious (food) and destroy the useful, cigarette wrapping papers, but leave Klemperer’s writings in tact. The reader suspects that Nazis could not read.

During those times he was forbidden to possess and read Nazi books like Mein Kampf, and biographies of Goering and Himmler. Yet he obtained and read each. He noted Hitler was an excellent orator – while speaking adding emotion but no substance, repeating himself and stating the most obvious by dramatic means. About Mein Kampf Klemperer reported what others like Heinrich Boll have observed. It is poorly written, a dictation put on paper by Rudolph Hess, Hitler’s prison mate.

The Diary gives insights about fighting boredom. Klemperer and his wife lived and as time went by,  there were many fewer opportunities to see friends, to keep their cat, drive until 1941, to enjoy peace and quiet, to reflect and to contemplate. Safety, food and health were primary concerns. Boredom was a psychological force telling them to die, go away, make a mistake so the Gestapo would arrest and dispose of them. During the War all Germans suffered from these deprivations, but Jews and individuals from mixed marriages endured them 12 years. Klemperer arrives at no conclusion to overcome boredom, except to survive. It is left to readers of the Diary to understand and make accommodations with existence to make their own lives worth while.

There are omissions and drawbacks in the Diary. Klemperer was mostly restricted in his movements. Background is missing. He tells little about the times in Dresden beyond his own observations. He includes very few jokes, ironies and humor, e.g. It is the Fourth Reich, and every German must answer in a questionnaire: “Were you arrested during the previous regime? If not, why?”

Klemperer also never loses his voice and position of status, professor and privilege. He should be treated especially. He notes benefiting from his standing. Many non-Jewish, non-compromised Germans give him preferences and perks. The reader can only guess about the man inside the status, privilege and exalted standing. It is difficult to determine if he survives because of ingrained wit, native intelligence and luck, or how non-Nazi Germans treat him or how Nazi society pegs him and he abides the rules.

Consequently when Klemperer writes, he rarely questions himself, how he has acted within his scope of Dresden society and among individuals he sees. This lack of perspective and withdrawal affects the writing. One notable exception is when Klemperer admits to stealing food from his housemates. In many ways, after reading the Diary of 12 years, Klemperer should be known to the reader beyond some of what he did to survive. He is not. One suspects details are unobserved and unwritten, but include trivialities which Klemperer longs for, going to the barber (wife, hair stylist). Why didn’t he cut his wife’s hair, and she his? No answer.

Early in the Diary Klemperer often raises a subject arising from circumstances, and doesn’t develop it. He either does not want to explain much or he pompously notes it to show off his intelligence. Later his analyses becomes more complete. He introduces hundreds of people. It is difficult to keep all of them straight or to follow tidbits of their stories as they happen, even when so and so is taken to Theresienstadt and to Auschwitz. Klemperer does not know what happens in Auschwitz except that going there [and to any Concentration Camp] means death. The Nazis maintained the pretense of normalcy and the façade of legality by issuing death certificates for some deportees. In the end the reader is left wondering what happened to people in the Diary, this person or that one in Dresden after the February 1945 bombing. The editor of the Diary should have cleared up some mysteries.

These weaknesses should not support any conclusion that this Diary should not be read. Klemperer wrote them and they were transported and preserved at great risk to everyone (Germans and mixed-marriage couples). They were written under conditions of physical hardship, sickness, lack of medical care, mental and physical distress and stress brought on by Nazi cruelty, being ordered to kill the pet cat, compelled to forced labor while in ill-health and always confronted with slow death by starvation, if not a quicker means by deportation. In the end any reader must conclude Klemperer did about as well as anyone could in surviving and in writing.

A sensation of reading the two volumes should be noted. The paperback is smaller, less weight and of smaller print. For ease of reading the hardbound books should be used, but the suffering and struggle on the pages can be physically reinforced by reading the paperbacks.

Finally, there is a tragic irony about the Diary. Several times Klemperer writes he will make so and so famous by writing the name down. If the Diary survived, each person would be known. The Diary was secured mostly by Anne-Marie. After the February 1945 bombing Klemperer and wife left and went to Bavaria on forged papers. The war ended with them in the American zone. Klemperer returned to Dresden in the Russian Zone, East Germany, retaking a University job until death in 1960. He published some academic works. The Preface to the Diary observes Klemperer’s reaction to a Russian Commissar after a 1945 interview, “just like a Gestapo agent.” The Diary was collected but remained unpublished because the Communists didn’t like it. It was published after German reunification in 1995. The persons in the Diary are thereby unfamous, and perhaps not likely to be known, ever. Readers do not know what happened to Anne-Marie, savior of the Diary: After the War Victor Klemperer make the mistake of living in the East under a system akin to Nazism.

 

 

FORWARD. Most Americans recognize FORWARD as the promotional, advertising slogan of MSNBC.

But they do not know what most Europeans know. FORWARD was the primary order of the Wehrmacht, Hitler’s Army, when German soldiers were killing women, children and the elderly. For instance, “Think forward, look forward, ride forward,” was the order of the day given to the German 1st Cavalry Division crossing into the Netherlands on May 10, 1940.

Forward was also on orders given to the Wehrmacht invading Russia on June 22, 1941.

See Yeide, Harry, FIGHTING PATTON, Zenith Press, Minneapolis, 2011, p. 60, 104.

The Nazis used FORWARD beyond military orders. On German Memorial Day, March 10, 1940, a newspaper headline read, OVER THE GRAVES FORWARD. see William L. Shirer, Berlin Diary, NY, Knopf, 1941, p. 296.

MSNBC should end its Wehrmacht slogan and apologize to the human race and specifically those who suffered under and who fought the Nazis.  

HAWK SEX

I like to garden without distraction. I can commune with plants, hear the animals and listen to the sounds of nature as my fingers touch the earth. Swainson hawks have returned; they are extending their range south of the San Gabriel Mountains. I wholeheartedly embrace their presence despite the local crows. They see a hawk and hound it, sometimes six to one hawk.

I chase the crows from the trees in the yard, and I believe the hawks know I am their friend. On Saturday in early March I was weeding in the afternoon – nose to earth, bucket, weeds and roots, and hawks. I heard a hawk scretch continually, five minutes, but I knew no crows caused it because they weren’t squawking themselves. The hawk was close, so I looked into a hundred foot pine, and realized, she’s a screamer.

She was hanging firmly onto the breach, and a male was hanging onto her. They were mating. I’ve been told that eagles do it airborne without parachutes, but hawks: Now I know among the claws, feathers and breaks . He seemed at it a while, so long that I looked at the weeding  and resumed. When I looked up they were side by side, collecting their thoughts, watching me, and long enough for the male to have a cigarette.

Male Hawk: The guy’s doing a good job weeding.

Female: It’s time for you to get your butt in gear.

Male: What are you yapping about? I just put my butt in gear, and you chirped through out.

Female: It’s time for you to build a nest!

The male did what every self-righteous-respecting member of his sex would do. He left.

Female: That’s didn’t go very well. I have to kick his butt!

She did.

FIVE WEEKS LATER, elsewhere in the yard, I was using a pole-cutter to trim bushes growing along a rim of a canyon. They had grown to ten feet and were competing with the planted shrubbery. At most I needed 15 minutes to finish the work. I made three cuts, and a large bird, a hawk landed in a Palos Verde tree [Cercidium] above my target area. From the lack of coloring, I figured it was the female. That tree grows like a pyrcantha, a thorn grows into a limb producing more thorns and branches as it lengthens. It is a drought plant.

If due north was 12:00 o’clock, the bird landed at 2:30. I stood at 9:00. As I made multiple cuts, the hawk bounced north and west – 1:00 o’clock. Twelve, eleven. I didn’t like the way she was looking at me. I stopped and thought, time to pick up my cuttings and go. I could complete the work in August. She had an interest other than my fair humor and good looks. She was ready to kick my butt, because she was likely guarding a nearby nest.

mue