writeby

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About writeby

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  • Birthday 07/16/1952

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  • Location Salt Lake City (by way of Florida)
  • Interests Geez. Short answer: the universe.
  1. Life and Values

    Erskine was right. Here's why: There is such a thing as "civic duty,"--ill-named to be sure--that could be called the _rights obligation_ of every member of a free society. This rights obligation would not be to any one individual's rights, but to the *principle* of individual rights--an allegiance to rights themselves (and by extension, an allegiance to one's life). In practice this would require the reporting of crimes in progress, the testifying as a witness against criminals, &c. These are in fact the requirements for protecting one's life; so if there is any "necessity component" here, it is the necessary requirement of human life itself. Not acting in this context is in fact _acting_ *against* the principle of rights--and one's own life--just as not reporting a traitor would be in fact betraying one's country and putting one's life & liberty at risk. It is, in the same way, our allegiance to the principle of human life that must motivate our action, such principle the basis of our allegiance to our own life. In saving the human before the beloved pet, our life becomes the goal of our action. Not the life of another nor some abstraction. And then it follows that such action is required, is a moral obligation. The lead in was posted on HBL, as I'm sure Stephen will recognize. HB did not dispute it; nor did anyone else. So I'm not going to debate this. It is correct. Figure it out. Erskine was right.
  2. Jokes

    Loved the quotes. OK, jokes. Right. (Thanks go to my best friend, Erskine, for passing this one on to me.) A man comes into the ER and yells "My wife's going to have her baby in the cab!" I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady's dress, and began to take off her underwear. Suddenly I noticed that there are several cabs, and I was in the wrong one. Also worth passing on (Thanks, Sandra K): A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced the altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted. "Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am." The woman replied, "You are in a hot air balloon approximately 30 feet above the ground. You are between 40 and 41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west longitude." "You must be a republican, "said the balloonist. "I am," said the woman." "How did you know?" "Well", answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct, but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I am still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help so far." The woman below responded. "You must be a democrat." "I am" replied the balloonist, "but how did you know?" "Well," said the woman, "You don't know where you are or where you are going. You have risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise which you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solveyour problem. The fact is you are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but now, somehow, it's my fault.
  3. The theme: "I think perhaps we want a more conscious life" (180). The central conflict: "...Maire Bruin was slim as Carol, and larger-eyed, and her voice was a morning bell. In her, Carol lived, and on her lifting voice was transported from this sleepy small-town husband and all the rows of polite parents to the stilly loft of a thatched cottage where in green dimness, beside a window caressed by linden branches, she bent over a chronicle of twilight women and the ancient gods. " 'Well--gosh--nice kid played that girl--good looker,' said [her husband]" (192). I would rank Main Street in a group a couple of notches below Ayn Rand's novels, keeping company--if not quite equal in stature--with Dostoyevsky's Crime, Hugo's Toilers and Hawthorne's Letter. Indeed, I would even venture so far as to say that Street bears an unmistakable resemblance to We the Living but without AR's politically profound insights; and to The Fountainhead but without her revolutionary ethics. On a hill by the Mississippi...a girl stood in relief against the cornflower blue of a Northern sky...A breeze which had crossed a thousand miles of wheat-lands bellied her taffeta skirt in a line so graceful, so full of animation and moving beauty, that the heart of a chance watcher on the lower road tightened to wistfulness over her quality of suspended freedom. She lifted her arms, she leaned back against the wind, her skirt dipped and flared, a lock blew wild. A girl on a hilltop; credulous...young; drinking the air as she longed to drink life. It is Carol Milford, fleeing for an hour from Blodgett College (1). What MS lacks to elevate itself in equality with Crime, Toilers & Letter is the grand view of Romanticism; with Living, that and the depth of AR's realism, i.e., her objectivity; with TF, her philosophical genius & and her ruthlessly Romantic style. But Street does not lack the breadth of universality, with which all great novels are imbued. Main Street is also a breath of fresh air. It's a New York City Checker taxi cab -- boxy, solid, reliable -- with a precisely accurate meter ticking off the fare and driven by a quick witted but uneducated guy who talks gruffly but won't ever take you for a ride; who knows all the side streets and all the angles but always travels the avenues; who wouldn't splash mud on a whore but would be happy to beat senseless a society dame. Street has, make no mistake, many faults. Where Lewis errs is through sloppy associations, much like that taxi driver's; his is not a novel of tightly knit integrations but a burlap bag, sturdy material yet coarse, loosely woven. For instance, Lewis assumes that capitalism, particularly standardization, creates an unthinking populace. The assembly line stamps each mind with uniform thought. An unending conveyor belt of human minds molded into the iron of immovable conformity and orotund mediocrity. And beneath the metallic evenness of that surface, the passive, lazy souls of men and women too frozen by self-loathing to aspire to anything except a cheerful mendacity, a self-righteous pettiness, an earnest envy and a boredom they hysterically attempt to conceal from themselves but to which they are also all too happy to surrender. Not a straight Marxist line, though; he portrays his men as volitional in both consciousness and existence. So much more vicious their flaws. Lewis' Good, in turn, is a hodgepodge of courage, integrity, strength, the Romanticism of the clever, the graceful, the not-everyday. His literary voice has a tone that's a kind of lofty friendliness, only just spotted with stains of altruism. But a personal altruism, a selfish altruism whereby one acquires "spiritual" yet earthily relevant values from one's "investments." I haven't read Arrowsmith; but I suspect by that time Lewis was quite embittered -- the literary world of his time proving too much like a Gopher Prairie. I suspect his perceptiveness turned into a harping, hectoring harangue. With the stains no longer spots on, but the dye of, his cloth of Good. Yet, in Main Street Lewis comes close to finding the beginnings of the thread of truth, which he nonetheless never unravels; never follows below the surface texture of diligent dullness and satisfied stupidity. And that's a tragedy. More so because of his acquaintance later with Ayn Rand. The tragedy being that it was too late. He, like his heroine Carol, having been absorbed by the quivering, creeping, mucous muck of Gopher Praire. If you have not read Main Street, I would ask you to recall the value you received from the novels mentioned above. A lion's share of that value awaits you in Lewis' novel.
  4. Jokes

    OK, ya'll twisted my arm. ~~~~~~~ Alexander Haig interviewed on Hannity and Combs, 9/27/03 6:03PM: "Sometimes foreign policy requires some contradictions, but it won't work unless they are very well thought out." ~~~~~~~ Alcohol and calculus don't mix. Never drink and derive. ~~~~~~~ FIREARMS REFRESHER COURSE 1. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone. 2. Glock: The original point and click interface. 3. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words. 4. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday. 5. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive. 6. 911 - government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer. ~~~~~~~ "I believe totally in a Capitalist System, I only wish that someone would try it" -Frank Lloyd Wright ~~~~~~~ "I've put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries over what I meant, and that's the only way of ensuring one's immortality." -- James Joyce "Why don't you write books people can read?" -- Nora Joyce, to her husband James ~~~~~~~ "You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Berra ~~~~~~~ "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser." ~ Paul Newman ~~~~~~~ "He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know." - Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) ~~~~~~~ "All right everyone, line up alphabetically according to your height." "Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa." "Mr. that boy couldn't hit the ground if he fell out of an airplane." "There comes a time in every man's life, and I've had plenty of them." "The trick is growing up without growing old." --Casey Stengel ~~~~~~~ "A capable orchestra concealed in a bower of wistaria played with sufficient judgment to make the art of music probable and the art of conversation possible." - O. Henry
  5. Indoor house plants

    Whatever you do, don't over-water. More house plants die from too much care than from too little. I have the easiest to grow - philodendrons. Water 'em once a week, Miracle Grow once a year and forget 'em. I do have a Snake plant, some ivy -- can't recall it's name -- and some soft palms (my own name). As you can tell, I don't spend much time on the names. Being here in the desert -- coming from lush FL - I absolutely need my plants. I love seeing things grow. And my favorite color is green.
  6. Jokes

    Made me laugh to tears, too, when I first heard it. Glad it help to cheer your day. Here's another one - again, thanks to Edward: Dear Friends: (sic) It is with the saddest heart I pass on the following: Please join me in remembering a great icon. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71. Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The gravesite was piled high with flours. As long-time friend, Aunt Jemima, delivered the eulogy, describing Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very "smart" cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, even still, he was a crusty old man and was considered a roll model for millions. Toward the end it was thought he would rise again, but alas, he was no tart. Doughboy is survived by his wife, Play Dough; two children, John Dough and Jane Dough; plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart. The funeral was held at 3:50 for about twenty minutes.
  7. "YOU CAME ALONG"

    Well done, Bill. Lizabeth Scott is one of my heart throbs; and this film, something special - the first one I saw her in. Outstanding review. Thank you.
  8. Kelly - O'Connor - Reynolds
  9. To Have and Have Not (1944)

    Me neither. But give me yum-yum anytime! Barbara Stanwyck was a babe-o-rama in that flick; and I defy anyone to show me any other woman with legs that matched hers. Betty who? Miss Stanwyck would have made a brilliant Dominique.
  10. Jokes

    With apologies to Edward, from whom I got this joke. And take note, all who say that it's a myth cats are smart. EXCERPTS FROM A DOG'S DIARY 8:00 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE! 9:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE! 9:40 am - OH BOY! A WALK! MY FAVORITE! 10:30 am - OH BOY! A CAR RIDE! MY FAVORITE! 11:30 am - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE! 12:00 noon - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE! 1:00 pm - OH BOY! THE YARD! MY FAVORITE! 1:30 pm - ooooooo. bath. bummer. 4:00 pm - OH BOY! THE KIDS! MY FAVORITE! 5:00 PM - OH BOY! DOG FOOD! MY FAVORITE! 5:30 PM - OH BOY! MOM! MY FAVORITE! EXCERPTS FROM A CAT'S DIARY DAY 752 - My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant. DAY 761 - Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded, must try this at the top of the stairs. In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair...must try this on their bed. DAY 765 - Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body, in attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was...Hmmm. Not working according to plan. DAY 768 - I am finally aware of how sadistic they are. For no good reason I was chosen for the water torture. This time however it included a burning foamy chemical called "shampoo." What sick minds could invent such a liquid. My only consolation is the piece of thumb still stuck between my teeth. DAY 771 - There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the foul odor of what they call "pizza." More importantly I overheard that my confinement was due to MY power of "allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage. DAY 774 - I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit. The bird on the other hand has got to be an informant, and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room his safety is assured. But I can wait, it is only a matter of time...
  11. New Book to Rate

    A Town Like Alice (a.k.a. The Legacy)
  12. October Sky

    If you liked the film -- get the book. It's even better.
  13. Life and Values

    The fact that it's my life that is here important to me - not that of a stranger. No, you never met THE Rocky. That was Rocky II -- and Apollo & Roark. I've got a family tree if you'd like.
  14. Life and Values

    (btw cats aren't very smart, so you might want to look into dogs for some real animal companionship )? That is a myth spread by doggies.
  15. Life and Values

    Granted. But morally obligated? I have done the saving bit once, at some minor risk. So I do know my "moods" wouldn't sway me in certain scenarios. But that's still up to a point. And there's no moral obligation, in my mind, still.