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Everything posted by bignosedcopperking

  1. 24 (2001)

    Thanks, for the information. When I remarked "2001" I meant that it has been around for 4 years and I just got around to looking closely at it. Now I guess I got to check out Alias. Jose.
  2. 24 (2001)

    There was a marathon of this on Sunday on A&E that lasted until Tuesday. On Sunday I was hooked by the first show. Again, I'm surprised and ashamed that I missed something so good for so long. The story line was the one about the terrorist plot to meltdown all the nuclear reactors. I managed to watch until they are very close to finding the override. I'll just say that the suspense is unbelievable. The feeling I got watching it was "I don't deserve watching this show because it is just too good ... How is it possible that in our world today, this is allowed to make money?" So what season was that story line I described? Wow, 2001! Jose Gainza.
  3. O. Henry research question

    I must recommend "The Ransom of Little Red Chief". This one made me laugh very enthusiastically. Jose Gainza.
  4. O. Henry research question

    What made you cry--the fact that the painting accomlished its medical purpose, or that the painter achieved a selfish piece of work? Though his act is benevolence and love, it is more a form of integrity, a way of sticking to his principles: "I hate silly superstitions... and how can people depend on them so?" I like the entire juxtaposition of an old artist who has defaulted on his talent and two young talented, struggling artists, facing the danger of too short a life and misery so early. By the painter's action, the young ones will have the opportunity to live a fulfilled life. Jose Gainza.
  5. I will share my writings with this forum

    I wrote this poem for my brother and his fiancee who are getting hitched tomorrow. I do wish him happiness, I just don't get this Catholic church thing. It would confound me even more if he and his girl are moved by this poem: The Prize of Reflection—By Jose Gainza I sought through her the power of reflection … I, through him, myself outside of me … She’s the copy that exists beyond my will … I, like him, have made myself perfection … She’s the mirror that can make me delight see … He—we—are strong by our own will … ................................We have grown, ............... We are two and alone; ............................... We have seen ............... What our true love does mean. What I see in her is my good attainment … He has struggled, oh so hard, to win this day … She has withstood the tempting from them all … Looking in him is such great entertainment … Kissing her becomes a pride-filled play … I won him by still staying on the ball … ...............................We have known; ............... So then we two are prone ................................To be keen ................To maintain our love clean.
  6. Plot idea: Christian serial killer

    It will definately be intriguing and an Objectivist writer would only be able to bear writing it, if he gave the story a hero. But still, the investigation of such a degree of psychosis involved in the killing of innocent children would be torture. Victor Hugo did something similar with his last play, Torquemada, about exactly that subject: a serial killer. The protagonist is the grand inquisitor, Torquemada. This will be hard to find but a big university library should have it in a collected works of his. It is a quick read and very entertaining. The scene with the pope is one of the funniest things I have ever read. There is no hero is Torquemada as it is a tragedy. Ironically, Torquemada is a psychotic with integrity. And his commitment to his values is the only admirable quality about him, and how he squeezes by as a tragic hero. But he is a monster. So the plot idea that you pose desperately needs a good hero for a man with a benevolent philosophy and sense of life to bear writing it. The philosophical value is something that you will get in writing it, i.e., the investigation into the psychology of applying the Catholic principles, and exposing the horror that must ensue if they are to be followed. I too wonder how someone can get married, for example in a Catholic church, and yet not live one's life strictly according to that code, i.e., living according to morally eclectic "principles". Jose Gainza.
  7. I will share my writings with this forum

    Mother, May I? By Jose Gainza Stern mother, don’t you know ............... I want your girl? If you knew what we unfurl, And how I treat your girl, And how she makes me dance and twirl— Oh, how your tears would flow. You would be weeping, you should know, Not in terror but in fright Of our love like dynamite, That could blow your mores away— Prehistoric as they are, so blown away. Stern mother, you should know I need your girl! I need her sacred pearl, For its scent does make me whirl; But one reason why I love your lovely girl— And I go “woh … ah … woh …” When I penetrate her core—oh! And her nails sink in my back As we engage our lust attack, Sending fire through our blood, Making “heaven” seem like mud. Deaf mother, you should hear ............... Your baby scream ............... While both eyes of hers do gleam, Intermittent, as she does scream, As I fulfill her grandest dream. It’s not the nightmare of her fear But the worship of my dear. I bestow her with my kisses of delight, And she bites me with a justice, Oh, so right. She endures the countless rounds of our affair But too often she just has to pull my hair. Snotty mother, you should smell .............. Our aftermath … .............. But I’ll spare you from that path, And just say that she does make me take a bath. And please don’t think I utter this with wrath. But there is still more to tell. And I have so much more to sell. I declare that I loved my prior gals, So much so, that I’m the envy of my pals. Coz I’m pure beyond belief and quite honest; And brilliant, funny, charming—go, do test. Blind mother, you should see ............... How much we do! Everything that lovers do and often do: Debates of life, jokes, inductions so much new; Sports we’ve played and fights ensue Coz we’re growing, and enjoying, and we’re free. Yes, we’re lovers, but we’re friends—don’t you see? There’s true love that keeps us hungry and content; So much joy from life that we shall not repent. I have seen her naked body but her soul Is so also, and is pure, in our control. Sweet mother, don’t you know ............... How nice I feel? When I rub her back, and legs, and seal The comfort that is ours—and yes, it’s real. Layer upon layer of her soul I learned to peel. All four oceans of her soul I fought to row. And her heart I won by stealing Cupid’s bow. We cuddle as a movie flashes in the dark. And we picnic, munching tasties in the park. I am hers, and she is mine, as you have yours. So correct and change your “godly”, stupid mores!
  8. Obscure Victor Hugo

    I just bought a complete works of O. Henry, 8 book set, blue hard cover, first printing (I believe). Very good price. I am all excited. I read a couple of stories and giggled very much. I'm looking forward to delving into them once I, sadly, get over the shame of a wild night out. I suppose there's not much better to cheer one up than some O. Henry stories. I'm addicted to used bookstores.
  9. The Poetry Of Brian Faulkner

    Brian: Wow! It was so beautiful. So inspiring. A tribute to the eternal youth of man, as best exemplified in a deeply romantic relationship. A nice balance of adult rational serious traits; and the free acceptance of pleasure, and pleasure in the struggle despite bothersome other people. I'm tempted to send a link to my brother who is getting married in a Catholic church at the beginning of the next month. I don't know whether he deserves to read it. Or I'm worried that it might cause him some allergic reaction.
  10. Poetry and Rap

    I actually do dream of a day when I will walk the streets and be able to catch a street poet at every corner, "singing" his poems at every corner. This is why I like the genre of rap. Because of the potential it suggests. I like Eminem's talent, for example, though not his world view, though he is better in values than the gangster rappers. What I can't help not evade is a personal talent, exhibited in the spontaneous-on-the-spot creations, that these rappers show. It is a medium to spread the right message to the populace; but more, it is a medium by which to bring more joy to a poet's house, and our city streets. Poetry should be spoken aloud. Rap does that. A better rapper, with better values and a more musical ear, can do this better. Obviously more of these types of artists with the right values and the appropriate talent are needed. For example, the fact that our value system challenges the majority of peoples' values suggests that there is ample material from which to gather inspiration. I just today discovered this "rapper". He's university eductated. My local free paper ( recently had a write up on him. I looked him up and was impressed with what I read. This is the type of person I was thinking about. But you will find audio samples on his web site and I can't speak for them. I can't because currently my audio is not working on my computer, that fills me with a rage that I have to suppress for the time being. So I hope Baba in audio lives up to his verses. He may not share the exact same values, from what I've read, but they are good enough to notice his literary talent. I thought that making this topic will inspire people of our values to write and recite poetry. Also to take an interest in current rap, and look into it, to see what can be done to help get the right message across. Big Nose.
  11. Poetry and Rap

    I was glad with all the responses generate by this topic. I've been very busy this last week so I haven't had time to think about rap and poetry. This upcoming week should be better. Thanks anyways, Big Nose.
  12. Fiction versus The Real Thing

    I wanted to say that I appreciate the answers to the initial question. I haven't had the chance to think about these issues because I've been crazy busy. But this upcoming week I should be able to think about this issue of Dominique.
  13. Literarily, since Rand is a Romantic Realist (by her definitions), and since Howard Roark is a supreme lover of life, reason, individuality, and beautiful originality, what better person to make his struggle more dramatic than to make him fall in love with Dominique Francon. This is why The Fountainhead epitomizes the Romantic love story in the context of the the history of Romanticism. What better way to make Roark's struggle more suspenseful and interesting than to make him fall in love with a negater of this earth. She would prefer not to negate it. But given the specimens of human beings that she encounters on this earth--too bad one only has a sample of the people one meets in one's life time to judge human nature by--she has come to conclude that a hero like Roark is impossible. Thus she deems Roark a freak and concludes that his struggle is doomed ... and she loves him too much to witness it. She wants to horde Howard Roark, she wants him all to herself, and she won't share him with anyone else because she could not bear to share her pearl before swine. So if the world is going to destroy him, she could not let that happen, she will be the one to destroy him ... thus it is her way to have him all alone. It is a good thing that her and Roark share the same metaphysics for this is what saves her in the end. If Dominique started with a Platonic-Cartesian metaphysics, she would have been destroyed. And yet because of her social metaphysics, she unknowingly smuggles in a Platonic metaphysics: by expelling Roark beyond this earth, beyond the people she has encountered, thus giving them too much metaphysical importance. So the discussion starter is in the form of a question. This is all great in fiction but can one really fall in love today or tomorrow with a woman or man like this? Has anyone here fallen in love with their own Dominique? Can pursuing such a woman, or waiting for such a woman, be a recipe for a successful and happy love life? Granted that the "malevolent" beloved has to change but is the tortuous struggle "waiting" for her worth it and moral? And so should one discard any woman or man who consciously believes that the world is metaphysically, hopelessly filled with blackguards? Sincerely, Big Nose.
  14. The Poetry Of Brian Faulkner

    Allah Is Afraid was daring and proud. Muffin Maker was cute and happy. Big Nose.
  15. Poetry and Rap

    One of the local free daily papers (magazines), has a discussion forum. The author of the following views had some interesting thoughts on the nature of free-style rap in relation to poetry and even psycho-epistemology. Maybe, some of you will register and help change my city and my country ... when you have time ... and probably just want to rant and attack. They even have a blog section.
  16. The Lion in Winter (1968)

    I think Anthony Hopkins is one of the best actors who ever lived. And so when I saw him in this film one day on t.v. I just had to watch. I only saw parts of the movie. And I recently bought the movie, used, to take a closer look at it but haven't watched it again yet. However, I remember being very impressed by the acting. I really found enjoyable the remnant affection between the Katherine and O'Toole. There was something very cute and amusing about it. We'll see when I see it again. Big Nose.
  17. Fiction versus The Real Thing

    Since I started the topic, I would like to say thanks for all the answers and the discussion. I am currently re-reading parts of The Fountainhead for a personal paper, and in the course of that I will give my opinions in the upcoming days. thanks. Big Nose.
  18. Fiction versus The Real Thing

    I don't mean that one should *look* for obstacles. I mean, if one were to run into someone, who because of her soul, poses such obstacles. Given that Ayn Rand has existed, wouldn't it be simpler than Roark's situation, to eliminate the obstacles of her soul? You make it sound, that if you meet a girl like Dominique she is completely hopeless and should be discarded. And I doubt, given that Dominique is an archetype, that one can find a woman with such sever conflicts. But given that one finds a woman with the same philosophical errors as Dominique, would it be wrong to try to change her so that one can have her? If her philosophy is badm that may make her a bad candidate for Romance. But what one initially falls in love with is the sense of life. A moral man who meets his "Dominique" would have to know what a sense of life is--and how to help his beloved translate that into a conscious philosophy. This attempt would not be immoral, given that the man is willing to pursue her. Big Nose.
  19. Fiction versus The Real Thing

    Thank-you all for the three varying angles on the subject. I hope to hear more. Oliver will make me think about the issue while thinking also about Atlas, while I have currently exclusively only considered The Fountainhead. Betsy, that is a good point. I must just say that I didn't consider her a second-hander when I said she suffered from social metaphysics. I meant that she shares the Aristotelian metaphysical axioms. She accepts that existence exists, that A is A, that Consciousness exists. And she accepts causality and free will. But when it has come for her to evaluating man's metaphysical nature, because she has been limited to only the men she has encountered in her "induction", she has come to the conclusion that men will always choose evil. Yes, she has had herself to look at, but her goodness will just have made her a freak. And then she meets Roark which totally shakes her world. Perhaps the idea of SM is not that clear to me yet. I will look it up. Michelle, thanks for the Dr. Peikoff information. But it is still possible for him to be wrong. And you did not reveal some reasons as to why Dominique is a warning and not someone to pursue romantically. And this implication that a Romantic character should not be emulated while Naturalist character is meant to be emulated, is bothersome. Surely all Miss Rand's characters are Romantic and surely the archetype of Toohey should not be emulated. But Roark and Galt should be emulated to the best of one's ability (i.e. in a first-hand manner). What you imply is, just because Dominique is an archetype, if we encounter one like her today, then she should not be pursued. I'm still not satisfied.
  20. Ayn Rand's view of love?

    Don't forget who Dominique is, her individuality. She is the only daughter to a widowed architect, so she has had ample opportunity to understand the aesthetic of architecture. Notice that she knows Howard Roark's work in relation to his soul better than anyone. Notice that she fell in love with Howard Roark even before she saw him; this is the whole beauty of the plot. If she was just an staunch advocate of Individual Rights and property rights, this would not have automatically made Roark fall in love with her. That she understands HIM, does. And vice versa, he understands her battle with the world better than anyone. Big Nose.
  21. I like "My precious" ... even in public introduced with a seemingly cocky smirk, with a glance to Precious as if one were glancing at not god but some earned life source. Like, "there's my gold mine" or something. Jose Gainza.
  22. House

    From a huge fan of television I must recommend this show highly. It is up there with law and order. Dr. House is a delight to watch, despite his flaws, though his flaws give him space to grow as a character. He is a man embittered by a ignorant culture and hopeless medical industry. His commitment to his job and his willingness to break the rules, and his essential role in the hospital, make his character very delightful. I love the fact that the show focuses on one case for the entire show. I too took sometime to get into it. But I was hooked by the end of the first episode I watched. This years season's finale was a treasure. Jose Gainza.

    My apologies: "Admirer" is not spelled "Admirerer" And the subject is "short stories" and not "poetry" when I say what I cannot readily publish here for free (in the preface). (I just realized there is not editing function) Jose Gainza

    PREFACE: I have recently learned and taken command of the art of short story writing. I now plan to write a book of short stories ... because I need to start getting paid. I now plan to investigate how I can get published and get paid. Unless, I realize that it is hopeless I cannot publish many poems here, since when the subject story gets published I would like the paying buyer to get the first "printing". However, since Stephen Speicher has posted the information on Ayn Rand's library auction, I must pay such a gesture with a gesture of my own, i.e., a short story. That such an even (auction) is taking place is spectacular and I only regret that I'm still a poor twenty something unable to take advantage of such a thing. However, it is such a grand coincidence that such an event is coming just after I finished a story (not the one below) about a writer addicted to used books who is eventually wooed through his commitment to his addiction. I hope you all enjoy the following story. It is about the daily torments of a struggling novelist. Jose Gainza. BRICKLEY’S SECRET ADMIRERER—By Jose Gainza Michael Brickley stood in the morning sunlight at his balcony looking at the twenty-four hour supermarket below. At Bloor and Spadina Streets there was a Confederation Supermarket. This intersection of Toronto was a special one; it seemed like the heart of the city. Spadina was the longest of three streets where a streetcar line ran north to south. And it was there on Bloor where the subway Greenline found a midpoint station. Including the descent on the elevator, the supermarket would take a mere three blocks to reach. Like many other obligatory moments, he wished that he could send “someone” to do his shopping. If only he could afford such a luxury. Michael did earn money, though. He could afford his rent, he usually ate well, he rode a skinny green motor scooter, he went out every Thursday for drinks with friends, and he had an adequate collection of clothes. Michael was succeeding in his career, slowly, but succeeding. His short stories had found a moderate syndication around several North American magazines. He was not world famous but the publishing world would soon begin to notice him. But inside the big red refrigerator there was only a one-month-old bottle of beer and an almost empty tub of cottage cheese. It was appropriate that there was no light shining on his naked chest from the refrigerator, for there was no food to shed light on. Michael closed the refrigerator and added the word “bulbs” to his grocery list. His hunger was suppressed by the smell of a rotting tuna can in the trash, a trash overflowing, all because a man with a pen could not will the trip down the common hallway to dispose of it. He had not woken up hungry but exhilarated and anxious to return to the writing taken away from him by the black out of the exhaustion of the previous night. He woke up on the floor. His pen had made a small green stain on the carpet. He drank a glass of water and went immediately to continue work on Chapter eleven of his novel, working title: The Ghost Liberator of America. The month was a hard one. He felt himself speeding down two treacherous roads at the same time. There was the part, in fiction, where the ghost chides Jefferson for owning slaves; he could hardly wait to reach Washington to receive the surrender from the red coats. There was, in ethics, the approach towards the kernel, the key, to the validation of the concept of human rights. In his mind art was clashing with philosophy. It was a consolation that art was a part of philosophy and that rights was a central theme of his novel. The really difficult operation was the jumping from one task to another like a jungle man might swing from vine to vine. While philosophy and fiction duelled, household chores waited patiently and with assurance. He looked around at his apartment. His baby blue tracksuit was the crest atop a layer of denim jeans, atop scattered patches of undergarments, and multi-coloured t-shirts. The reality of this magnificent man-made mountain suddenly struck him. For a moment he felt dread. He checked his laundry cupboard. He added “detergent-bleach” to his shopping list, and “get roll of quarters”. He saw himself in the mirror and smiled at the definition of his chest but grimaced at the realization of an expanding stomach. He marched to his clothes chest and opened his shirt drawer. All that was available was a flimsy white tank top. “This will do,” he said with a smile. A month earlier he had been turned away from the supermarket by a security officer for attempting to enter shirtless. “But sir,” the security officer then explained, “how would you feel if a hairy, fat, hunchback attempted the same thing?” This placated Michael. His shirt on, he went to the bathroom to brush his teeth. The tube of paste was at its last and final fold and accessible spot of paste. It was a relief to clean his teeth; it loosened his jaw. He washed his face and hands but there were no clean cloth towels with which to dry himself; there was no toilet paper. He dried his hands on his black hair thus combing it somewhat but sufficiently, and let the air take care of his face. More items were added to the shopping list. He sat down on a chair to put on his running shoes on bare feet, legs prominent because of denim shorts. Suddenly he began to muse about his story –“ just a few hours and I can get back to it!” He wanted to get back to the agony and the ecstasy—to the struggle for proper characterization—to the scenes on the Potomac River, the rich plantations of Virginia, the bustling town of Richmond, to Governor Jefferson, to Lafayette and Washington, to the enticing debate throughout eighteenth century America. Then it struck him. He decided that he would need to add the Constitutional Convention. The whole plot would have to be redesigned. The ghost would debate with so many more men, and he would live for so many more years. Then Michael saw his running shoes again and remembered his immediate purpose. And he was caught by such a violent anger that almost brought him to his knees, because his body had previously suffered a sudden fatigue when the value was to just go shopping. But he soon found strength and thought it silly to let his passion overwhelm him. He would have to wait about one half hour and then, during laundry, he could think about his novel’s re-organization. And in a few hours he would be free to travel back three centuries into fiction. He left his apartment but soon returned after reaching street level already because he had carelessly and unnecessarily forgotten his accurate list. And he made himself re-ascend ten stories because memorizing the list was a task that he just preferred not to do and didn’t. He would need that list to avoid an extra trip later in the week or even that same day, depending on the missing item. The supermarket was on the south side of Bloor Street. Michael waited on the north to cross. It would be easier to make an illegal crossing than to walk a block to the next set of traffic lights. Because it was morning rush hour, and Bloor was one of the busiest streets in the Canada, there were hardly any crossing gaps. Michael bit his lip in anger because a gap seemed impossible. In that moment he damned city planners for failing to build a bridge right there on the spot where Michael was impatiently standing. He spoke thus to himself, “This anger must stop! … Face the facts … open your eyes and find the gap.” Once the orange Cadillac passed him westward and the soda pop truck passed him eastward, he galloped forth before a blue Ferrari or a black mini van could hit him. He landed on the South side to find a solitary old man with eyes closed as if meditating. He wore a well-worn brown suit, with a cream shirt with wide-open collars. He may have been a vagrant. He passed him intent on the immediate desire to fetch a shopping cart. Searching in his pocket for a quarter dollar coin, he only found five nickels. But the lock mechanism could only be released with a quarter coin deposit. He damned the engineer for not making the cart lock mechanism versatile enough to take his nickels too. And then he damned the thieves of history, the archetype-thief, for making society such that precautions must be taken as safeguards against them, i.e., locks on shopping carts. The old man had finished with his meditation. “Excuse me, sir, I’ll trade you five nickels for a quarter.” “Sorry man, I’ll trade you five dollies for a fin.” “I just need a quarter to get a cart!” “So use two baskets!” Michael then looked at the man with eyes of scorn, squinting, “Thanks for the advice,” but he said it in a tone as if he was calling the old man a blackguard. He entered the store and marched past the security officer who had refused him entry that once. Michael smiled. The guard noticed that though the tank top revealed much of Michael’s form it just passed the standard of acceptable. Michael walked towards a young male cashier with long golden hair. “Give me a quarter for my nickels,” ordered Mr. Brickley. But the cashier was not one who took arbitrary orders with an obedient smile and bow. The boy smiled. “Sorry, sir, but I can’t open the register except if you purchase something.” “But I need the quarter so I could make a very large purchase.” “Presumably sir—but still …” So Mr. Brickley resorted to buying a packet of gum. When he was at the exit door, he caught in the background the following exchange: “Hello, son. I’m sorry, I know that you can’t open the register unless I buy something but can you please make an exception?” “No I can’t Mam! What I can do is trade you four of my own quarters for your dollar. Here.” “Why thank you so much. That is so nice of you.” Michael uttered some vulgarity under his breath and exited to fetch his shopping cart. The old vagrant was at this point preaching some sermon to the passing cars. Michael grinned at his sight. He achieved his shopping cart. On his way in his eyes met the old man’s. The man stood staring at him like a bull would to his matador. Michael had no time to fight; he went inside and began to shop. Michael let himself feel his appetite. He recalled the smell of bacon (it was soon added to his cart). He would then need pancake batter, eggs, milk … orange juice … He fetched his laundry supplies and light bulbs … Fruit were necessary as a quick meal, along with vegetables, cookies, ice cream … Coffee! … Spinach for his energy drink … When he reached the checkout lines, he was puzzled at the length of the lines that stretched from seven to nine carts each. It was as if his time tormentors had sent a swarm of pests out of secret doorways. Only three cash registers were being used, and only two were available to Michael because he did not want to deal with the smiling boy again. And he damned the free market for its law of the profit motive. As he waited in line he did not even dare to think about his story as to not further stretch his stress. Finally his turn was approaching, just as soon as the old woman in the walker was finished. But every item she placed on the conveyor belt seemed to Michael like a cosmic eternity. And every stretch of her arm seemed as if it would take the time a rock would take to reach the sun if thrown by the hand of man. Michael helped the woman empty her filled cart onto the belt. The woman expressed excitement at this gesture and the speed of his hands. She gasped and placed her hand to her heart in admiration, and it seemed as if a tear might roll down her cheek. “Thank you! Thank you, so much.” Michael merely smiled. And he remembered her voice. This was the woman who took his quarters from the golden haired boy. Fortunately it was now her turn to pay. She counted the one hundred fifty-two dollars and sixty-three cents as if she were counting one million dollars. And then the female Asian cashier spoke thus on the speaker phone, “Can I get a bag carry out at cashier number two … just wait a moment, sir, until her help arrives.” He merely smiled. Eternal minutes passed, then the phone rang. It seemed to Michael the Asian girl was speaking to the store manager, “Yes, Mr. Bob … a big shipment? Now? … I’ll do what I can.” She did not have to say anything to Michael; he knew. He asked the old woman where she needed the bags to be taken. There was a taxicab waiting outside. Suddenly, Michael took all ten bags with both his hands, with a rare Herculean might. He walked fighting the strain in his face. His arm muscles showed prominence, his chest seemed like steel, and a few drops of sweat appeared on his temples. He grunted at the cashier, “Ring my things through—I’ll be right back.” He saw the taxi. A woman came out and opened the trunk. He placed the old woman’s bags inside. He wished the beneficiary a good day as if he said nothing, and rushed back to the cash register. The preacher in the brown suit was still facing the passing cars on Bloor with the excitement of an Evangelist. Mr. Brickley walked to the man with an air of surprise as he began to comprehend the man’s words: “Damn the politicians but damn the teachers! Damn the professors! These are the surgeons and nurses of the mutilations of the minds of our children. Look at all of you! You are losing the memory of your best—you are even killing the concept, it’s possibility. Jesus is not the devil—he is not the answer either. I preach neither side. I speak the creed of truth, I speak from human identity …” Several minutes ago, Michael had had the urge to punch this man in the face, and now he felt the need to embrace him in brotherly sympathy. Michael stood by the man facing east, and the man was unaware of him because he faced there too. Though preachers in the streets were not uncommon in Toronto, the only ones Michael ever heard were those speaking about human salvation through Christ. “ … I will admit that I fear one thing. I fear the rejecters of cities—they who flee into the lonely mountains. They are the cowards! Know! Open your eyes! See! That there is so much to fight for, so much to renovate, so much to build anew. How many geniuses have left our cities? They hoard their creations all for themselves! They hold within their souls the fire to burn away mediocrity and error, and enlighten our children. But they are leaving those children orphans, orphans from their eternal father: the guiding light of reason via the teachers among men. Do you know what I hate the most? I hate the artist! …” Up to this point Michael was very much interested in the man’s thoughts. But with the last four words he felt a sudden stab of revulsion and began to cross the street to the north side. At that moment the man caught sight of our exiting writer. “ … I hate that one right there, fleeing away, now in the middle of the street. He hears me! Look at that. Look at him frozen at his will on that yellow line, cars rushing by. He’s not scared. He knows that if he sticks to his spot, no car will hit him. But he does not cross back to listen to me closely, to study my teaching further. He thinks he knows it all already. But he listens. How do I know he is an artist? I’ve seen him walk these streets conscious of nothing but his purpose and his life. No one but an artist walks with that look. He’s happy but he’s not smiling; he won’t step on dog ###### but he won’t notice you. How selfish! I’ve seen him doodle in his notebooks at coffee shops’ windows; I’ve seen him in the park. And I know because I was a writer too … I can spot the pencil lead stained fingers. I wore them too…” Michael stood in the middle of the street, still, and staring at the man with an amused smirk. No cars would hit him because no car can travel safely on that middle line. “ …But I realized just in time that the artist has no right to pursue his passion … because we live in the era of the preacher. Let my grandchild paint pictures but make my brother teach my son. This is not the era of the happiness of the artist. This is not the time for ecstasy—it is the time for toil. Look how blind they become, these artists: walking the streets, hiding in their hovels, indulging and giving birth to beauty but pass me by—me!—me, the preacher of the truth, the prophet of the streets. Damn you! Damn you, you selfish misanthrope, hating mankind so much as to claim the right by your selfish action, to plot a story of struggle, deliverance and free will. But deliver your themes, spread it in our schools, but forget about the heroes that you paint!” Michael Brickley laughed aloud for a long moment. It was the release of the tension of the previous hour. The bags of groceries seemed much lighter as his chest heaved and his throat let out the proclamation of human glory. The man looked at Michael speechless, but with tears in his eyes, the type of eyes of a schoolboy who is not allowed to join some clique. Michael secretly and privately accepted the man’s ironic admiration. While standing there, motionless, watching the preacher from the middle of the street, no car stopped in fear. But when they saw him laugh, all cars stopped in sequence. Indeed it is unusual to find men laughing aloud in the middle of the street, with bags of groceries on each limb. He turned around and crossed north by the gap left to him by the stopped cars. He screamed across the street to the preacher: “I have no guilt … I love my work …” he purposefully paused to allow the man to hear his words, “… I will talk with you tomorrow.” Michael stopped damning those obstacles to his simple goal—because he had written agonizing volumes in the past and past those obstacles of present were small necessities that served his central purpose—and his hatred for household chores disappeared for the time being. Forty quarters jingled in his pockets, the sound of imminent cleanliness, as he walked swiftly towards his apartment building, the shrine of his creativity. THE END
  25. O. Henry research question

    So I read "Pimienta Pancakes," "By Courier," "The Last Leaf," and "Mammon and The Archer". Once again it happens that I find an old recommendation of Ayn Rand and feel amazed that I never took it for years. O. Henry is very very good. My favorite of the above, which so far is my absolute favorite (because I laughed so hard), is "By Courier". The courier makes the story with his adorability. His translations sound foreign and strange but they are so eloquent and really highlight the bruntness of love. Everytime the courier spoke I laughed in a very physical manner, almost paralysed. Yes, of course, Pimienta Pancakes is funny but not as funny for me as the last. The accents and dialects, their variety and flare, of O. Henry are very delightful. There is the vanity and jealousy of the loser, the cunning of the winner, and the "indigestion" of the loser--all combine to make it very amusing and delightful. The Last Leaf was sweet and inspiring but I will have to take a closer look to see exactly how it is his "best literarily". And "Mammon and The Archer" was a reinforcement of the old American spirit. I loved the integration of production and romance, kind of like the union between entertainment and intellectual profundity in art. The support of the elderly family member was a very dear gesture (committed to prove his point). Thanks for the recommendations, Jose Gainza.