"When an old and distinguished person speaks to you, listen to him carefully and with respect – but do not believe him. Never put your trust in anything but your own intellect. Your elder, no matter whether he has gray hair or lost his hair, no matter whether he is a Nobel Laureate, may be wrong... So you must always be skeptical – always think for yourself." --Linus Pauling
On the bill were two double-features: Two Robert Mitchum movies consisting of Bandido (1956) and The Wonderful Country (1959); followed by two 'B' westerns directed by William Witney, Santa Fe Passage (1955) and Stranger At My Door (1956).
All four films were just okay, but Quentin Tarantino introduced the second pair and I shook hands and exchanged a few minor words with him. Go me.
I also watched The Patriot. This is the summer blockbuster of 2000 starring Mel Gibson that boiled the American Revolution down to a rather boring story of revenge. The six episode Ken Burns style documentary called Liberty!: The American Revolution is coming through Netflix in the next couple days, in order that sanity can be restored.
The American Revolution is becoming a minor obsession for me. Soon I'll be reading biographies of the founding fathers, histories, etc. For insight into the religious beliefs of the founders of our nation, you could do much worse than pick up Thomas Paine: The Collected Writings published by The Library Of America. There's a reason why this country has a separation of church and state, and Paine was huge influence on Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, and later Lincoln.
What else am I reading now? In addition to items mentioned recently; the new Stephenson of course, in addition to selected works of Shakespeare, Bernard Shaw's plays Pygmalion and Man And Superman; and Neil Gaiman's graphic novel in eight parts .1602, which recasts the superheroes of the Silver Age as Elizabethan era characters. It actually works much better than it sounds.
Looking over my blog, what shines most brightly is my utter lack of discipline and almost perfect inability to express what I mean. Bah. All it means is that I need to write more. Has there ever been a time in my life when I didn't need to write MORE? Accurate assessment of this mess indicates that I need to write about TEN TIMES MORE than I do now just to get a tenth of what I write at an acceptable level.
This by the way is why I will never have children. There is not enough room in my life for children AND the ideas I want to have AND the places I want to go AND the drugs I want to take AND the drinks I want to consume AND the women I want to... AND. AND. AND. Mine shall be a life devoted to romance.
The inside of my head is a jungle, a thick tangle of concepts and memories and ambitions. I need to beat through all of that with every stroke of the pen or keyboard to get to something that no one's ever seen, that I can't even guess at the nature of. What is it? Fuck if I know, but it's in there. I know it, and so does everyone else apparently. Even strangers, damn them.