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Everything posted by bignosedcopperking

  1. Sangue de Galo Goals

    I have written a book of fiction. It is a novelette and you can purchase it here. Its most interesting aspect in my opinion is the ingenuity of the plot in relation to a very simple story that serves as my story’s basis. One day I found on the internet some information related to a national Portuguese folk tale. Not only do the French associate themselves with the rooster (or cock) as their symbol. The Portuguese do too. At a time in history where the neighbors, Portugal and Spain, share animosity against each other, along with a natural suspicion; one day a Spaniard walks into a Portuguese town, Barcelos. A serious crime is committed. The townspeople come to believe that the Spanish stranger is the guilty party. They prepare to hang him. The accused has an opportunity to see the sentencing judge. He pleads his innocence. There is a cock in the room. In one version I read, the cock is dead and cooked. Either, way, the accused, a little bit mystical, declares that if that cock releases his morning song, then it means that he is innocent. Lo and behold, the cock sings. The Spaniard is set free. There was a seed for a story. Buy now. It's price is quite fair. I wanted to make it set in Toronto and in modern day. Last summer the Portuguese and Italians clashed violently over World Cup soccer in my city. The incidents were few but still they are important and suggestive of something that may very well be part of the downfall of a city. The story would touch on this issue but the central purpose would be to present this old legend from Portugal in a new and interesting way. So in what way would the accused of my story be a new comer to Toronto? What would be the crime and how serious would it be? Who would be the cock? What does it mean to be a cock? How would the singing of a cock be the cause of the acquittal of an accused, in a modern day metropolis, where alarm clocks replace his song, and where the advancements in genetic science and animal husbandry are causing a job shortage for an animal like the cock. I chose to make the main characters soccer players. And I chose to have the events revolve around their involvement in soccer. I chose to have a professional soccer club named The Toronto Cocks. In reviewing the work I have given the various sections headlines in my mind, or rather, in my journal. I decided to share this private estate to serve as an interesting prelude to what you will encounter when you chose to experience my story. (To those of you who are familiar with some of the fiction I have written and posted on this forum, I will assure you that this story is not a romance love story; neither between a man and a woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and woman). Behold the headlines below: 1. How the wine maker, Luis Galo, immigrated to Ontario. 2. How great grandson, Mike Galo, became a Toronto Cock. 3. Mike Galo’s best friend’s secret. 4. Tiago Viera on Honesty, Purpose, and Justice. 5. The grand legacy of Sangue de Galo. 6. The renunciation of Sangue de Galo over a glass of wine. 7. The consequences of organized crime. 8. Mike Galo and his Don Juan lust. 9. Mike Galo’s cock dance. 10. A suspicious looking Italian becomes a cock. 11. For the love of the game and a name. 12. How much does friendship cost in gold? 13. Who’s the bigger man? 14. Father’s news causes strife. 15. A virtuous game is played. 16. Who’s the better man? 17. Forced retirement. 18. Just hanging. 19. A Cock’s swansong. The title of this story is Sangue de Galo Goals. ‘Sangue’ means blood. ‘Galo’ means cock or rooster. “Even the devastation wrought by the shenanigans of organized crime could not stop the emergence of the greatness of the Galo family of Portugal. Their efficacious talents amidst the challenges of life, such as in agriculture, spread even into the world of professional soccer. Would this family remain unbeatable? And if they were to be defeated, would it be at the hands of another person or party, or would it arise from some defect within man’s soul? Would their defeat or triumph be considered a phenomenon of some collective, the family, or would it be a phenomenon of the individual? This is the fate you will discover when you enter into the world of Sangue de Galo Goals, and meet the likes of Mike Galo and Tiago Viera, bosom buddies encountering the challenges to man’s destiny." (Descpription originally found at Lulu dot com. You will be able to preview 7 pages of the story by me, Jose Gainza, at Thank you very much. Jose Gainza.
  2. Mother of Sorrows

    I have not had time to read through the debate and commentary about your story. But I did read it and have a little something to say. The style was good. The story? Well, the build up was good. I would have been disappointed if the mother's grief at the end were merely due to the neighbor not liking her dish. It was too much a surprise and shock, since from what I read, the neighbor could have very well enjoyed the dish. But I don't think that was the motive of the throw up; it wasn't his culinary judgment. The man was prejudiced to latin women. That was the point of the story. This realization brings relief to pain of witnessing the woman cry believing that the man simply hated the dish. But no, the man is merely a bigot. Jose.
  3. Sangue de Galo Goals

    Just so you know, the book is currently not available at Lulu. I will be working on the second edition soon and would like to add and introduction page and and appendix. My thanks to those who did purchase it. Jose Gainza.
  4. Jolie confirmed as playing Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged Movie

    When the feature film finally comes out this 16 year old boy will be ideal for the role of Ragnar. Everytime I watch Canadian Idol (the Canadian version of American Idol), I say, "Holy Ragnar". Check out the links to familiarize yourself with him. He seems to be an intelligent, wise, independent, pride, fearless, happy boy. And his face is so harmonious and magnificent in that Norman type of way, and when he smiles he shines. So, wherever Galt is, I say come to Toronto and steal him soon. Jaydee Bixby smaller picture Jaydee Bixby bigger picture Find interview with Jaydee Jaydee Bixby on You Tube Thanks, Jose Gainza
  5. Ratatouille (2007)

    I took my mother, who is arguably the best Ecuadorian cook in Toronto, to see this movie on Saturday. She liked it. And I know this because she didn't fall asleep like she can easily do while watching a movie that she doesn't find interesting. Her only complaint was that it was about rats, which was not a very apetizing spectacle. I agree. I took a moment to explain that that makes the movie more dramatic because of course rats in a kitchen is a huge taboo, and so to make a rat a chef was quite clever. It was a very inspiring movie because i related with Remy. As a writer I am convinced that anyone can learn how to write, similar to Gusteau's motto. I believe Miss Rand believed this too, though we would both agree that the task is very hard, as she explains in Hailey's speech. And I'm sure that to many people Ayn Rand fans can be seen as rats, especially those who try to apply her ideas to business and other areas of life. To have the rats in Ratatouille end up being a positive force at the end was a sweet experience. We're the people who believe that everyone can think, and yet we're seen as if we can't think, as if we're just dirty pests, and yet our creations are often wondrous and clean because we actually care about what clean thinking is. Jose.
  6. Atlas Shrugged Movie On Hold

    I was thinking of this recently. I thought it strange that Hollywood would let it be made. It would be too much of a threat. It would represent the birth of Romanticism in film. Hollywood is so Naturalist. And deeper than that, an Atlas movie would challenge the philosophies of Hollywood. We probably just need to get some Japanese artists to make it in Anime. Can someone explain this 'distribution' aspect of the movie industry to me. I've heard of this recently. What's the problem? Jose.
  7. I don't get the keeping it private method at all. As a gay guy, who has never really been in a great relationship yet, I can project the "keeping it private' method sometimes, but that would be only because I might be afraid of being beat up in some neighbourhoods. But if I were straight, I cannot think of a circumstance in which I would want to hide my affection. As I used to tell my first love: this earth is mine too. But as a gay guy I can respect my potential partner's timidity, and accept it for a long time. This would be with someone who is not yet comfortable with his sexuality in public, but who is totally 'obsessed' with me. It's kind of like Rearden and Dagny. For example, there's one guy I was close with some years ago, and who I wanted to be very close with. I knew that if a relationship with me was known to certain people, he would be shunned by his friends, perhaps beat up by his father, give his mother a heart attack, bring shame to his brother. I would have kept it private for some time because the main value would be having him, not showing off that i have him to the public. But eventually over time the guy would have to grow in courage. Or another example, gay or straight, let's say you or your beloved is famous. Then keeping it private might be in your best interest. otherwise, other people should consider themselves fortunate to witness my displays of romantic happiness, and me and my beloved should be proud of displaying that kind of happiness. kind of like Monodnack Valley to the kid on the bike. Jose.
  8. House (2004)

    Last Tuesday we saw the season finale of House. It was a huge surprise. I'll ruin it for you because shame on you for not having watched it. And if you live in Canada, shame on you twice, because Global showed it again last night at 2000 hours. Just kidding; but I will ruin it: Foreman, Cameron, and Chase leave the hospital. Duh! Why didn't I predict that, perhaps being off by a season or two? It didn't cross my mind. Of course! It's a student hospital; the three were there to learn from House. They must eventually leave if House is any good. House doesn't need a teaching assistant. We can still have story lines with the three that left but it's not necessary. We want three new types of characters to foil and highlight other facets of Gregory House. What type of moral characters are those who left, and what types can we now expect as possibilities? The show can outdo Law and Order perhaps in years on the air. House can even leave Princeton and the show will still be House. I perhaps don't envy the writers now having so many options in front of them. Unless they have already decided where they are going for the next few seasons, I expect it to be hard to choose. I really appreciated House's reaction. It shows his genuine passion for his art, his self-sufficient ego. And it shows that he really is a happy man deep inside, except for the physical pain which haunts him, and his capacity for nihilism. His misanthrope, for example, is not a tragic flaw that will promise his doom, it is merely a symptom of something very curable. Anyways, some thoughts to end the season ... Jose.
  9. I will share my writings with this forum

    I know What I Want I want this city filled with freedom true, Its song sung from the tower tops, Its echo carried to me by the breeze. I want men to produce fearless, with ease. I want men to ascend and not atone. I want men to unite yet stand alone. And I want you. I want to know the truth to set me free, Its force to break the chains of faith and doubt; That the path I walk and each step is right. I want my logic to lay bare the sight Of a joy that’s found in this work, in life, On an earth to make home despite its strife. And I want you. I want my body clean that I’ve made for you, And my body healed that I’ve made for me, And the strength to endure your blessed charm. I want the coolness to accept when your words harm. I want to harness the energy of your spirit. I want to live in the universe of your spirit. And I want you. I want to remain loyal to my soul, To possess and enrich something mine, To own and exhibit the beauty of me, Of a man who merely wishes to be free. I want the sun to wake us with its luster From our rooftop bed the stage of our rapture. And I want you. I want the harmony of your precious face, And those ocean eyes to add me to their innocence, And the lankiness of you to devour, And the themes you admit to devour. I want this dream to transform into existence. I want my love to submit to your persistence. And I want you. Jose Gainza

    By Jose Gainza Literature is not merely entertainment, though it can be and should be entertaining. A story can inspire in the reader great emotion and it can transport him, in his imagination, to a realm not like the one in which he lives existentially. A story can inspire this emotion either through the action or the ideas presented by its text; in most cases. Though this emotional reaction occurs, this is not the primary purpose of literature. The novel was born out of stage drama. Tragedy, for example, in Ancient Greece, allowed the spectator to purge sorrow, guilt, anger from his soul, as Aristotle says in his Poetics. Though Tragedy can accomplish this, this too is not the primary function of literature. It may seem petty to point out that literature uses words but the phenomenon of words and their nature holds the key to the true function of literature. In the life of a man words are not just written on paper or spoken aloud. They are psychological entities that serve as tools of human consciousness in order for it to achieve cognition about experience in the world; ultimately to remain living and living long range. Some of us fail and some of us succeed. We do not all always succeed. Concepts, ideas, allow us to identify reality in the most genial way. If living long-range via concepts is what life is all about then why do we need some writer’s words organized in the form of a story to inspire our imagination to see humans struggle for values in our consciousness, which is the same thing we are doing anyway existentially? Why do we need to “escape” into our own souls and dreams? There’s an obvious difference between life-struggle in existence and in the imagination of consciousness: and that is time. The conquest of your beloved in real life can take years, decades even. While reading a story the reader will experience the conquest of one character’s beloved in the time it takes to read the story, from some hours to some days, to some weeks (though in story-time it may be years as well). The human importance of literature is found in the experience of going through the story, either as the reader or the writer. To see human achievement in microcosm is the crux of the value of the story experience. You will admit of the thrill, for good or for bad, of seeing the characters of the story you are reading succeed or fail. Why this thrill? Because you know, at least subconsciously, that long-term value struggle is what your life and all human life is essentially about. The conclusion of a story will leave you with a sense of hope or a sense of doom. While you are still under the “spell” of the story, the conclusion of a story will confirm or deny whether success in life is possible to you. That is the underlying source of whatever emotion you are left feeling. I must tell you at this point that the reader will never experience the same thrill in reading a competent story as the thrill of the writing of it experienced by its creator. To illustrate the point, imagine what you imagine (as a reader) in your consciousness and what the writer does. First of all, the former is not possible without the latter. Second, the writer sees a “movie” in his head, and has to choose the words, and organization of words that will best assist the (archetypical) reader in imagining the closest reproduction of that movie originally within the writer’s consciousness. In other words, the dream that the writer inspires in your consciousness will not be an exact replica of the original dream of the writer, symbolized by his story. But this is not something to lament; it is merely the nature of the reality of writing fiction. To the extent that it is possible with words on paper, the better writer will make you experience his same dream (movie) the closest he can to the best of his ability. The Ancient Greek theatre was a lesson in imagination, or it was a mass celebration of the phenomenon of imagination. Previous to the theatre there was Homer, but his success as a story teller was only possible because he wrote about what his fans already had imagined in the form of the oral tales about their religion. Oral tales lack consistency and permanence. The original artist cannot be original in this way. The theatre allowed all the spectators to begin to see the exact same thing: the stage performance. Compared to their bare imaginations, with the theatre they did not have to imagine as much. The product of imagination, the dream, was provided primarily by the artist. For the spectator, this is more restful. The spectator will still witness the spectacle of value-struggle that he needs as a human being but with not as much effort from his imagination, thanks to the stage performance; the spectacle no longer a dream of consciousness but a reality of existence and sense. Perhaps, and probably very much so, people’s imagination (the show inside their heads) is much better than the stage performance. I cannot say for certain. However, I do know that knowing the craft of drama, and the principles of drama, allow the artist (the story teller) to communicate his dream more effectively than most. He becomes a rare type of man to the public. The spectators’ subconscious artistry, his dreams and his day dreams, may be very competent and exciting. But they are subconscious and not as frequent. There is a very real need for a story teller. Observe: today we spend billions of dollars on the movie industry. In Ancient times people would gather at a special place just to see the show; nowhere near the vividness and realism of today’s movies or our stage plays. With the novel we begin to have the mastery of the dramatist combined with the ease and luxury of staying in bed (if we want to). Though more effort is demanded of our imagination, our effort becomes easy to exert when guided by the excellence of the literary artist. And with movies the charm of the theatre is brought to our bedrooms (if we want), and at our convenience. Do you see the beauty in this luxury! The theatre, the novel, and the movie all serve the same human need: they show us human value struggle. Between the novel, the play, and the movie, the latter two are more passive, while the novel is more active; this is from the perspective of the viewer/consumer. They are all literary art, their method being the telling of a story. A novel organizes its paragraphs in such a way as to inspire an accurate replica within the consumer’s imagination (consciousness). (Usually once achieved the first time in a focused state, the reader will see the same vision every time he returns to that scene). The consumer’s senses are pulled inside (if you like) to sense the dream inspired by the words of the creator. The more effort and focus from the consumer, the more real and permanent the dream becomes. The producers of plays and movies bring the attention of man’s senses back outwards to their more natural and leisurely state. The level of realism of a play on the stage will still require effort from man’s rational faculty to assist the senses to suspend their disbelief. Yet when the actor runs across the stage and falls at the feet of his beloved, it is easier to comprehend than to read the words: Francisco swiftly crossed the room to fall on his knees before her, pleading for forgiveness … With the movies human consciousness witnesses precise, almost metaphysical realism. The motion picture of a movie becomes an incredible substitute for reality, the natural object of our consciousness. The consumer becomes the most real first hand witness of the lover falling on his knees. Implicit in all human action is philosophy. The aspect of philosophy which is most commonly observable in human action is morality or ethics. A code of morality is a code of values to guide man’s choices and actions, the choices and actions that determine the purpose and the course of his life (Ayn Rand). Men do have conscious moral values and will consciously act according to their beliefs. A man with conscious moral principles can act against them. The scenes in which he does act against them, is an instance of him acting on an implicit moral code, one that is in conflict with his conscious one. The Christian priest is a well-known example of a man with conscious moral motivation. Imagine the scene of this priest, who a few scenes earlier preached about celibacy and the impurity of sex, fall in love at first sight and feeling sexual hunger. Now imagine that same priest a couple of scenes later allow that woman to seduce him. Or imagine him allowing himself to be seduced, not by his beloved but by some woman he cannot love, the pope’s courtesan, or a leper. All these actions represent implicit moral beliefs different to the ones that he originally preached. As long as a writer is able to depict human action in a believable form via inspiration, he does not have to be conscious of his morals or of philosophy. The implicit moral implications of the actions he re-creates are what will keep the consumer interested, thus the reader does not have to be conscious of his morality either; because he is human, he will at least feel the implications. Relevant is the field of knowledge with which the writer views the “human condition”. The impact on the reader will differ whether the writer is a philosopher, a religionist, a psychologist, a sociologist, or an anthropologist. We hope that the writer is a philosopher, or at least a psychologist. Without this level of understanding, the writer is to that extent limited in terms of his originality and variety. There is an inherent richness with philosophy when applied to characterization. Philosophy is the mover of history. The different character types are only mastered with the knowledge of an historian of philosophy who possesses a philosophic intellect. Knowledge of psychology as well will allow you to apply the moral type you choose to depict to the specific character you want to draw. At this point of my writing career it is hard to imagine a writer writing from any other resource. I know that you do not have to be an expert in the career field of the character you choose. You do need to know enough about it to make the character and the background believable. You need to be an independent learner. You do have to study the field enough for your imagination to integrate it into your story. But this is not difficult. Most men can learn one career. Many too can learn a few in a life time. If you know philosophy, if you have a good epistemology, you can learn any subject and any business. Philosophy can be seen in any career. Business is itself an aspect of morality. Ethics does have something to say about it—for good or for bad: there’s Hank Rearden and Thomas Edison and then there’s Scrooge. I said that literature provides for human life the example of seeing human value struggle concretized. This is one of the central issues of philosophy. Even religion has an appraisal of human long-range life. The difference between a naturalist and a romanticist can be seen in the source of their creations. All writers are re-creating, imitating human life in their stories. This re-creation cannot take place without the writer calling upon his first hand experience in life. The subconscious does not forget. One’s conscious mind is that which thinks, feels, values in any given point in time. The subconscious is that which is not in focal awareness at any given point in time. So that if one is focused on this paragraph and this field of focus is what one is currently conscious of, then the subconscious is the paragraphs before it. The subconscious doesn’t forget: every perception, every thought, every emotion, perhaps every dream, is stored in one’s subconscious. The problem arises in accessing the material stored in there. If one has integrated an efficient and organized storage system, then retrieval will be easier, effortless, and quick to that extent. If you can observe this to be true, then you can also easily observe that one’s imagination, one’s day dreams, and dreams, are produced from the material stored in one’s subconscious. I have a much easier time describing Toronto on paper than I do New York City because I have lived in it all my life. However, New York is easier to describe than Atlanta because New York is so famous that I’ve seen so much of it on television and in the movies. Atlanta I have nothing to say about. However, I know that I can do a competent job describing New York if I were to study it in books of all sorts. This is because human imagination is able to use my experience in a big city like Toronto, to imagine the New York I would have read about in books. But if you live in New York, and you have studied its geography, history, architecture, politics, and lived in it long enough, then you will have an extraordinary and rich source of data stored in your subconscious to produce a remarkable re-creation. So much for the idea that first hand human experience is the original source of imagination. All writers begin the creative process at the same point by calling on their experience in life, but some end up going further than others. All considerate writers will get to the point of saying about life: this is the way people are today according to standard X, X standing for whatever field of science on human nature that the writer feels at home with. The writer can be a sociologist or a psychologist, among other things. He can also be a philosopher. To the extent that your field of science allows for change, i.e., improvement or degradation, is the extent that a writer can say about life: this is the way people could be according to standard X; I don’t have to write about how people are merely. Most people one has observed may be neurotics, but if one has knowledge of what psychological health is, then one has the material for writing about how men could be, and perhaps should be. And if one has a historical perspective of philosophy as a science then the variety of “could be`s” becomes a multiplicity, even having an impact on the multiplicity of potential psychologies. It is by philosophy that one will begin to develop philosophical absolutes, and definite convictions on ethics. One can then have a moral ideal as one’s could be. This moral “could be” becomes a should be. In the moral realm a writer can re-create a variety of moral archetypes in his story. When he champions one moral archetype, when the events of the story leads to a theme that favors one moral code, a writer is proclaiming what he believes human character should be like, his code of moral values serving as the standard. Character motivation can be evaluated on a few levels at least. A homely woman sits at her window every afternoon watching the activity of the street. Is her motivation unconscious, mainly a biological reaction to her satiety from lunch, so that she could digest her food, as a break, before she goes back to her household chores, which she does everyday, as she has done for several years now, as she will probably do for the next 20 to 30 years more? Does a beautiful man walk by everyday and is it her habit to watch him walk by in her timidity? Does she like the sounds of the city, has she evaluated city life intellectually, and does she do this as a sort of ritual of something quite profound and important? There is no limit to the length of a novel. One does not know at the outset how many pages it will be made of. One may have a rough estimate but one will not know for sure until the last edit is complete. In this way a novel may seem organic and living: it will have as many parts as its nature requires, and as many pages as it needs. But the author is the creator of this literary creature, and ultimately he is in control of its final structure. The creator’s purpose, the creator’s theme, will determine the structure of the novel: form follows function. A good writer has a conscious theme, maybe not in the beginning stages of the writing process, but certainly towards the end of the novel’s completion. Either his theme will pull the action and style towards it; or it will be reached after the quest for it. In the latter case more effort will be involved by the author in the editing stages of the novel. The theme of a novel is the essential or central message that the author intends to express by the action of the story, or the message he succeeds in expressing regardless of his conscious intention. A theme can be philosophical. A story can express ideas such as: that existence has primacy over consciousness; what the true nature of logic is, and how it is genial to man; what the correct moral code is for men to follow; whether a certain nation is the best to have ever been established, and why; whether a certain type of poetry is more effective than another. Each of the above themes represents a topic within one of the five branches of philosophy, namely, Metaphysics, Epistemology, Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics (Art), respectively. And within those branches there is a multiplicity of topics, of leaves (if you like). Philosophy is the source of any literary work of art, whether the author knows it or not. A man’s subconscious version of philosophy is the means by which he selects the various aspects of a novel. The only seeming escape from philosophy by a novel is to have the novel merely discuss a purely intellectual-scientific endeavor. Imagine a chronicle of the purely scientific thought processes of Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity. Let’s not be concerned with his family affairs, his loves, his business affairs, his travels, his friendships. Let’s describe the step-by-step logical process that he went through. Let’s assume he had no stumbling blocks, that he never got stuck. Who would find this interesting? The only type of person would be the physics enthusiast who has struggled along this same path, that Newton has not struggled with. It is the enthusiast’s own struggle in contrast to Newton’s “breeze”, by which the enthusiast will marvel at Newton’s achievement. Remember, the social significance of Newton’s work cannot be discussed by the author in this context, for that would be politics. We are concerned merely with the orchestra within Newton’s mind. Now let’s assume that Newton does encounter intellectual road blocks on his logical path to discovering his theory. This is more interesting. There is a sort of conflict here. How will Newton overcome his road blocks? First of all, that is unmistakably an epistemological issue. We’re back to philosophy again. But that will not be as interesting as bringing in the “personal” life of Newton into the picture. For what would be at stake if Newton fails? If he doesn’t solve the problem soon, he may lose his beloved, for she will grow impatient and desperate. Perhaps his reputation will be sullied. Perhaps his children will go hungry. Perhaps he will commit suicide, out of frustration, or carelessly by forgetting to eat and sleep. A man cannot escape philosophy in real life. An author cannot escape it in his writing of a story. Whatever theme you choose to write about, your story should seek to express. You do this primarily with Action. “Actions speak louder than words”. You can do this also with dialogue that explicitly expresses your theme. Or you can also do this by your narrative where the author speaks about his theme. Action is the most revealing, though. If in everyday life your actions imply your philosophy, then a novel can and should do the same with its characters. A female top executive of one of the leading auto parts makers in the world decides to leave her job to run for the Prime Minister ship of Canada. Her intelligence and her experience in the business world have led her to believe that there is something terribly wrong with the world. As a very able woman, she thinks she can do something to fix things. So she gets into politics. Two motives come to me at the moment: either it is her opportunity to give back to society for being a billionaire, or it is the audacity and excitement of being able to solve complicated problems to create a better world for her and her loved ones to live in. She begins with one party and then soon changes parties. Her explicit and expressed motive was that the former party conflicted with her code of moral values. She is a woman of integrity. And then a couple of years later, she announces that she is leaving politics to go back to run her father’s business. Perhaps she has observed the political stage and is now disgusted. Perhaps she only entered politics to investigate about what future policies might be enacted to affect the livelihood of her business. Perhaps she thinks that she can do a better job in fixing the world by helping her global business to succeed. Perhaps, the story is one of a woman who was in a mid-life crisis uncertain of whether she really loves her business, or whether she merely got into it originally to follow in her father’s footsteps and her political “experiment” is her way of trying to decide the issue. Now she knows she loves her factory, and the daughter has returned home. The action in this scenario is straight out of the headlines. I doubt the climax of her story has come yet. But if we get answers to some of the questions just posed, we will be able to predict what she probably or necessarily will do. When it happens, we will able to understand her journey by answering such questions. The point is that a man’s morality is a crucial psychological factor. His code of values is his motive power that pulls him forth into his destiny, and explains his decisions and actions. So the same goes in the universe of a fiction story. A story writer should know his code of ethics, should know of the science of ethics, and should choose character decisions and actions that express his moral theme, ultimately. A story should have a plot. A plot is a logical sequence of events leading to the resolution of a climax (Ayn Rand). I hope that you choose ethical themes; they are the most fruitful. You will want your hero to succeed. You will want him to succeed by his moral code, thus his success confirms yours; gives primarily to you, the writer, fuel to live long range. You will not want the achievement to come easy. You will want him to struggle. For me as the writer this is the way to move forward, it is psychologically thrilling. It will have a similar impact on most fan-readers. The story will end too quickly otherwise; i.e., the writing process and the consumer’s entertainment. You will want to establish the characters’ value purposes early because you need that for the comprehension of your climax. A good novel does not really begin to get exciting, relative to the last half of the book, until the first many chapters meant to establish the situation. Imagine the difference between a dog walking to the shore, and then a man walking to the shore. Now imagine just the man walking there without obstacles. Unless the scenery is breathtaking it is not that interesting. Now add a sudden rain storm, or an earthquake, or a car accident. Now imagine a mugger or a rapist as the antagonist. Now imagine his beloved interfering, or an attractive woman who is not his beloved. Or imagine his enemy is his obstacle. Or imagine his best friend is his obstacle who is acting as his enemy unwittingly, or even out of betrayal. The geographical location of the end of a man’s journey is insignificant without human moral values that it symbolizes. And neither is the accomplishment of a task, such as repairing a shipwrecked ship. So you want a hero who is motivated by his own moral values. This is what he wants to achieve in the story, in that fictional universe. The objects serve merely as background (realism or believability) and symbolism. You want the hero to have an antagonist with opposing values, either an enemy or a friend in a conflict of values. You want to set up the central conflict between the protagonist (the hero) and the antagonist (villain or friend). Then you want them to clash. You want to present the spectacle of this crash. And then you want to show whose values won out in the end. This is Romantic Novel writing. Writing short stories is not the proper long term purpose of a writer. Short stories serve the following functions: literary training and incidental, though important artistic amusement (for example, something a writer writes as a break while he is in the process of writing something really grand) A short story cannot fulfill the expression of a moral theme. It can only express aspects of it. You have to be much more selective in choosing the action. You’ll probably start with something too grand in your mind and have to break it down, cut it. This is the hard part of the writing and it takes place primarily in the mind. In this light a novel seems easier because you don’t have to do the cutting; the problem in the novel being its execution, the act of writing something so long, with so much detail, and very purposeful. A short story can be very beautiful, very poetic even. This will be accomplished by the style of it, because the action cannot do it alone; there’s not enough room for the action to live in. Though a short story may be very beautiful, it will never be as beautiful as a novel well done. If you want to portray the beauty of a man in a painting, you do not paint a portrait of his lips and nose merely, but rather of the entire face, even the throat and neck. Jose Gainza, April 2007
  11. Stephen's Health

    When I got to David Veksler's current forum, the most notable person on that forum, at that time was Stephen Speicher. He was remarkable, for me, because of his obvious great great knowledge of Objectivism. That was a rare find, at least for me at that point. I was soon surprised that I had never heard of him before. But he was very easy to get to know by his posts. Then he started his own forum, which was a big relief. It was a place for Ayn Rand FANS. His moderation set really high standards, but it guaranteed that the quality was very high. For that I am very grateful. Except for what he wrote, I did not know Stephen, but I got to now a considerable amount. One of the notable things that I loved about him was his ability to point you to the Ayn Rand text for the issue you were concerned about. Another thing that I must respect him for is his view that homosexuality was not immoral. Simply, way back 10 years ago when I first got into Objectivism I used to fear that I could not adopt the philosophy and still be who I am. There seemed to be a conflict there. I soon found out there wasn't. However, more recently Mr. Speicher has left me, on this forum, and another, a load of information and leads for me to investigate the issue properly (since I still don't have an answer to the issue that satisfies me). But enough about that. Over the years I will have to re-read some of his posts to get to know Stephen more. Also, my knowledge of science is not very impressive. When I get the time, I am glad that I will be able to learn from Stephen given that his work in science is a large part of the legacy that he leaves behind. An important thing that I must thank Stephen for is that he has provided me with a forum in which to publish my work of fiction and poetry. If you google my name, you'll quickly find a link to this forum, and for that I am grateful. One thing that I love to see in this world is a couple who is deeply, sincerely, passionately, youthfully in love, and who have been together for a long time. There have been many asides in posts by Stephen and Betsy that suggest that such was the relationship that they have, like anecdotes from their life together, information about their family, express reference to their love, a detail about going sailing, etc. To witness such a phenomenon is inspiring and hope giving. Thank you Stephen. I would like to give my sincere condolences to Betsy Speicher. Thank you too. Jose Gainza.
  12. Privacy at Sea

    I'm sorry! I mean stanza 2, lines 5-8. Jose.
  13. Privacy at Sea

    Privacy at Sea Saturday, March 17, 2007 Friend: She walked alone along the beach on Monday night, her head bowed low to read a sheet of paper, held afloat by two cupped hands. Sometimes the sheet caused her to peer straight out ahead into the distance, perhaps into the depths of her imagination to recall a face, to hold a hand. There were moments when she looked up to see the stars, perhaps to seem like twinkles from some eyes. Sometimes she kissed the moon, and so cast away the stars from within her glance. One time perchance she had to dance with the beaming beacon-tower; so forceful was the letter that she spun around in hand, her head cackling at the sky, her hair caressing the sea-breeze with affection. And then she walked away, her feet playing with the sand. On Tuesday morn the dawn was seen full-force, the waves were roaring calm, the breeze was a promise of some ecstasy, as the seabirds began to moan, as the fishermen roamed near and off to the horizon, as if they caused the sun to rise. When the sky grew blue a blade of silver could be seen out at sea. It was a yacht painted chrome. Soon it anchored some miles away and seven men soon began to carry a rowboat onto the shore. They carried guitars, an according, and a saxophone, all wrapped up in cases. They approached the Vespa Scooter shop on the main boulevard, hiring one for each. Six of them seemed eager to allow the seventh one, a young man—fully dressed in a white suit, with no shirt, and a white panama hat—to choose the first motorcycle that he wanted. Their instruments strapped to their back, they sped away to mingle with the town. On Wednesday morn the Marine Time News had an article on page three about a troupe of jazz players. They were called the Marine Terrace Gang. They were apropos for writing successful popular songs based on the works of the great romantic poets; this band able to make translations from the German, French, Italian, and Spanish. They were in this Greek town until sometime Saturday evening, when they would set off to the islands of Portugal. They were asked to stay until a last show on Saturday. The article mentioned how they booked a gig at Club Arete for that first night merely to pay for the accommodations when picking up the Captain’s fiancée, and that was it. But they were asked to stay. The picture reveals that the Captain is the man in white suit in the middle of seven smiling men, arm in arm, their glasses of whisky dangling in between. Every morn the sea greeted the dawn in its style of that day. Every morn there was a little write-up of the Marine Terrace Gang in the Marine Time News, every morn in a different styled pen. Every day the news was good. Very early this morning the Captain and his gang walked along the beach. He shook each of his men’s hands, giving each a bill of money as he did it, to soon watch them in the little boat rowing to the yacht. Soon lights were seen from the yacht. And the captain began to walk to and fro amidst the sand. His feet inadvertently sprayed the sand up. And then he seemed to take note of his tossing of the sand with his feet. He stood in place, one leg began to wiggle slowly and steady. His head began to nod in a circular movement. He stood still. Then he began to tap dance, fighting with the sand—heeling it, kicking it, and stomping. His rhythm could be heard by his faint scratching of the sand with the leather of his soles. But very soon a female voice began to scream joyously, “Romano! Romano!” It was her. The Monday Night Woman, the lonely lover. She ran to the man in white. He caught her and spun her around with glee. When they stopped and stood to face each other, it seemed that she was ready to begin to once more tell him of her love, but he kissed her too quickly with one passionate kiss. And then he put his pointed finger to her lips. They turned to face the black horizon, in solemn silence, and the light which was the captain’s yacht. Soon the whining from guitars could be heard echoing from the sea, answered by the joyous call of a man-made brass conch. Sailors’ love songs were the crying from that ship. The lovers seemed in that moment like two islands of consciousness alone to face existence and its flux and song. And then the music stopped. She seemed to love this surprise hired gesture from his band. She kissed him passionately. As well he kissed her so. And then the fool stopped her again, just like when he muted her throat some moments ago, damming her declarations of love. But he was no fool. And he did not speak—he sang. His three stanzas are easy to remember. Their eyes were locked together. And at the twilight serene, When we along the deserted shore, When deep from the sea, from its force, Sailors’ ballads struggle forth, While the sea kisses softly the sand And the moon wounds the darkness with light, And the breeze is the whispered breath Of sweet aromas and dew. And seeing your eyes moist by tenderness That opens to my smitten soul your sky, Ecstatic with love and sweetness, With gentle and eager submission; Magic, love lending to their beauty, And my ego detaining the soar To where it found its dream Now certain of the sayings I once dreamt. And inhaling your perfumed aroma, Amidst murmurs, to remove your dress, As I penetrate into your thoughts of love, As I count from your breast the beats, Exhaling my infinite passion, Tender sighs, languid moans, While sucking your nectar provokes Your tender smile, half-open lips. Eyes still locked, they were silent for a moment. And then I saw consciousness transform into existence. I saw the images of the verse, made from the lines from his lips, turn into the action of his body. Soon I saw her naked flesh, and his teeth soon biting into it. It seemed as if the three of us were dancing with the sea, our vision spinning with the world. I could not look away. I knew what they were doing was their form of blessedness. I turned my head away. I rose from my hammock and walked up to the main boulevard. When my feet hit the boardwalk, I had the sudden urge to return. I named it. I told myself that I deserved to be there too, enjoying the breeze. I asked myself why their act of love had to take precedent over my time at peace with the sea. I had slept there every night this whole month so far. All the solemn contemplations I had! All the final answers to life’s hard questions finally achieved. I did not return. I knew also that I was jealous of the man and hungry for his woman. I returned home to settle for sweet dreams. Good night my friend. Yours Truly, Marino Bambino. P.S. The poem the man in white recited was not his original. It was his English translation of a poem by the nineteenth century Spanish Romantic poet, Jose Espronceda, called “Fragmento” (Fragment). The Captain’s was a good translation. Below I have included for you, my dear friend, Jose’s original. Y a la luz del crepusculo serena, Solos vagar por la desierta playa, Cuando alla, mar adentro, en su faena, Cantos de amor el marinero ensaya, Y besa blandamente el mar la arena, La luna en calma al horizonte raya, Y la brisa, que timida suspira, Dulces aromas y frescor respira. Y humedos ver sus ojos de tenura, Que abren al alma enamorada un cielo, Extaticos de amor y de dulzura Con blando, vago y doloroso anhelo; Magia el amor prestando a su hermosura, Y el pensamiento deteniendo el vuelo Alli donde encontro la fantasia Ciertas las dichas que sono algun dia. Y respirar su perfumado aliento, Y al rumor palpitar de sus vestidos, Penetrar su amoroso pensamiento Y contar de su pecho los latidos, Exhalar de infinito sentimiento Tiernos suspiros, languidos gemidos, Mientras a libar sus nectars provoca Blanda sonrisa en la entreabierta boca. For you information, my friend, “Y” is pronounced like a long English “e”; “ll” is pronounced like an English “j”. An “h” is usually silent because a Spanish “j” sounds like and English “h”. And a “g” can sound silent too. Otherwise, you would pronounce the words just like you would read in English or French. THE END JOSE GAINZA
  14. Privacy at Sea

    In stanza 1, from the fifth line to the eighth, the literal translation is thus: Love gave your beauty magic And thought detained the voyage To where it found fantasy True were the sayings that sounded one day. This is just for your information, since it matters little that Romano's translation be exact, exact, to the story. Jose.
  15. Privacy at Sea

    It is important that Marino Bambino is writing of this episode he has witnessed, the episode of the lovers alone, and their coming together. The timing of him writing this letter is important. I want it to be immediate, after seeing the episode. I want it to be part of the therapy of having to live without her. Who he is writing to is not as important as that he is writing to someone, someone to whom he is willing to inform of his romantic frustrations. "Friend" may seem an unusual way to address one's intimate friend--you would assume that both friends would know it and not have to state it--but it emphasizes, makes the ceremonial the common way, by always defining the relationship. It would be better if the letter was an e-mail. It would be better if he sent it then and there, so that he could not take it back. Because in that letter he could have, hypothetically, included the information that he had the urge to kill that man, and take that woman. That would then be evidence if he went through with that urge. But this story ends benevolently in that context. He did not harm them. He left them to their privacy and to their happiness. Because perhaps we have here a clue to finding a solution to this instance of conflict of men's interests. Marino has a right to that beach. So does Romano and his babe. If we could seat them down at a table to argue the matter we could come to the conclusion that who ever is going to use the place to maximize his own happiness best, deserves the land. Kind of like applying John Locke to beach property rights. I should adjust the style to reflect this explicitly. Give more of Marino's philosophy in this matter. His real motive becomes the theme more. I need to put Marino Bambino explicitly at the computer writing this letter (e-mail) to his friend. I need to add the line, "I will be shutting down soon," meaning turning off his computer. The unfocused reader might get from this that he will be emotionally shutting down, losing it over this girl. But no, taking himself to the philosophical level, making a new connection (beach property rights), becomes a proud achievement as reinforcements against the "terror" of romantic frustration. I need to include his philosophical dialogue. And I need to say that he thought about it first. He did not immediately go to the computer, perhaps he reclined on a sofa, looked up at the ceiling, allowed himself to experience the loss, and to solve it rationally, fighting the urge to recall the woman's beauty. Once the initial pain went away he was able take delight in solving a problem. A problem that people should know about. So he has to tell his friend. Not only is it his way of taking his mind off the woman. He sincerely would like to share it with his friend, because the friend might be at the park tomorrow, see a woman playing with her loud but cute child, while one is trying to tackle one of the Existentialists, and her delight keeps interrupting his grasp of nothingness. He could very well get up and inform the woman that she is interrupting his philosophic process, perhaps she would go away. The woman could very well respond by saying that, "I'm doing you an amazing service, Sir. You don't need Kierkegaard." And then she could add, "I don't see why anyone would read that stuff, unless you wanted to get in someone's pants. Is that what you are trying to do with me. Can't you see that I have a daughter, and that I'm too old for you." Thus she would embarass Marino's friend, who would have missed the absurdity of what she was saying, and scare him away, leaving her that patch of park to herself; all the while being satisfied in saving her daughter the traumatizing experience of seeing that philosopher's name on the cover of that book, so early in life. However, if he was reading another philosopher, or if his thought processes were at a crucial step, that important moment where the thought demands that one grasp it or risk losing it all together, but confident that if one grasps it it will be earth shattering; if he was doing so, then he might be in the right. He would have to take the time to save what he was thinking to go back to it once he explained to the mother of the importance of his success at solving the problem, that it was genial to even her life. That the constant interruptions from her precious daughter would simply be intolerable, and that he recommends that she go push her daughter on the swings about two hundred metres yonder. Perhaps she would go. So who is happier, the couple or Marino? Since the couple's love is genuine and strong, then it would obviously be they, if they were being sexual at the beach. Jose Gainza.
  16. The Job Killers

    I have decided that I am going to make the effort to use the word "genial" more often. When I watch a good movie a common expression I use is "Cool!" But it's not right. I don't mean cool. I mean genial. It's better than cool, it's genial. The story you told was genial. Thanks. The second definition in my dictionary reads: "favorable for life or growth" Jose.
  17. Privacy at Sea

    SO WHAT’S THIS STORY ALL ABOUT? Why do you think Marino does not go to watch the band play, even after reading of them in the news story? We know that he never tells us that he has gone. But there is evidence to suggest that he has not. He has to refer to the newspaper. And he finds out who the man in white is from it. Either he does not have an interest in jazz bands, or there is something more important that is keeping him away from the club. But he describes how the beach is every morning? It should be evident that he has been waiting to see this woman once more. He hopes to catch her alone. Who is this woman? Why does he want her? We know that she is passionate. We know that she is emotional. We know that she can enjoy life with the innocence of a child. We don’t know much more, but we know that we want to know, as does Marino. Perhaps there is some significance in that she is willing to come to the beach at night all alone. Why is she all excited? Is she crazy? What's that paper all about? Is it a love letter? Is it good news? Did she get a promotion at work? Has she suddenly inherited a fortune? We surely want to know what she is reading. I'll tell you now that I knew what exactly the message in that paper was. Was it a poem--the poem? Good guess. No, it was merely the message from her beloved that he was coming to town on the next day. I actually envisioned it as a print out of an e-mail. She runs away and we know this is significant to Marino because he spends so much time in his letter describing her and he begins the letter with her as the subject. Why must the band’s arrival on shore be shown before we show the Captain and his beloved together? He must be introduced and given some sort of attractive attributes. We must move away from concern with the woman for a while. We must set up a situation. We must like someone else besides the woman. We like his dancing, his leadership, the way he dresses, the colour of his yacht; his command of respect. But Marino never goes to meet this man, or at least, he never tells us. And he didn’t; for he would come to know very easily that they are together. No, the embrace at the end must be a surprise. That Marino has begun his letter by introducing her, leads to the expectation that she will have some significance to the end of the story. Who is Marino? A man, who during the time of this situation, has an affection for the sea. He is also a man who can see a woman and know her immediately. He can see a certain type of man and like him immediately. He is observant. He is keen. What is Marino after in this story? Perhaps it is symbolized by being where he is—what is there to find in Greece? But we know immediately that he wants the woman. And then we know that he can admire the man. We know he wants the woman more. The climax is when he knows that he can’t have her because she is his, the Captain’s. It is him versus the Captain. What is the significance of the poem? It is part of Romano’s characterization. It reveals his musical talent. It reveals his romantic talent, in the colloquial sense. It reveals his power of seduction, his spontaneity, and his innocent sexual hunger. How is the story resolved? After the mystery is revealed, Marino is immediately presented with some choices: interrupt the romantic interlude, keep on watching, or walk away. The reason for his choice reveals the theme: the benevolence and rightness of giving people their share of privacy. It is what most men secretly long for and seek to maintain. Why is the Spanish original included? The story could actually end by mentioning in the P.S. that the song of the Captain was a translation of one of Espronceda’s poems—and that is it. To include both versions obviously allows the reader to enjoy the poem to the best of his ability and knowledge. The poem is about private moments by the sea among lovers, and the story dramatizes something similar. All together the reader should be left with a beautiful image and experience. Perhaps, to include both versions allows the reader to experience the poem even in Spanish. What also is achieved by the long and involved P.S. is to bring a greater sense of realism to the story, and more so, to its style. It further reveals the character of Marino, his considerateness of his friends, trying to give them the best experience possible for the information that he provides. ---------------------------------- Jose Gainza.
  18. Privacy at Sea

    By the way, the troupe when first walking ashore with the row boat overhead, one of them is carrying an "accordion" not an "according". Thanks.
  19. O. Henry's Full House (1952)

    Rogers Cable changed the channels. They took away two channels and gave me two more. AMC and BBC. I didn't know what AMC was but I soon found that they showed some very interesting and unusual programs, some movies I've never seen before, and never knew existed. So last Sunday I began to watch Angelina Jolie on the The Actor's Studio, and when that was done I cooked myself something. The interview with her was good because I never changed the channel fifteen slots upwards to AMC. At 7 pm I read on the tv listing on channel 5 "O. Henry's Full House." So I immediately changed to AMC and found "The Ransom of Red Chief". I love O. Henry, and Ransom is one of my favorites. The second one was The Gift of The Magi. These I did manage to record, though I would have loved to have seen The Last Leaf. The Last Leaf, The Cop and the Anthem, Clarion Call, are the other movies included in this series. I managed to record the last hour, but I don't know whether the commercials required editing of the action. But I will watch them again and compare them to the original story, and rate it after that. I was pleased though to see that the couple in The Gift of the Magi were young and beautiful. Marylin Monroe is featured in The Cop and the Anthem. Does anyone know of any other adaptations of O. Henry's stories? Jose.
  20. O. Henry Full House

    O. Henry Full House (1952)
  21. Induction vs. Deduction

    Betsy, I hope you find time to complete the presentation soon because I think I and the other members can benefit greatly from it. For me, it will hopefully point me in a more clear direction, because the only familiarity I have with induction is by listening a couple of times to Dr. Peikoff's first course. I'm currently reading Bacon's Organon but I'm reading like one might read a magazine, merely for pleasure and curiosity, on the bus, or over a meal, or while lounging on the couch, but not to study comprehensively right now--time, you know. Thanks, Jose.
  22. Induction vs. Deduction

    Thanks. But this question still remains in my mind: How much really--I mean really--does Aristotle owe to Plato? Perhaps a parallel: Ayn Rand in her early years seems to be quite influenced by Nietzsche--but how much really does she owe to Nietzsche? Does Aristotle's original achievement--regardless of what age he became essentially different from Plato--have much dependence on the erroneous notions of Plato? And here's another thing that has haunted me all these years: What were the effects on the rest of his epistemology and the rest of his derivative system of ARISTOTLE'S mistaken answer to the problem of universals? And perhaps this is the clue to the original answer: Did Plato evade in coming up with his theory of the problem of universals? Jose.
  23. Induction vs. Deduction

    Thanks for an answer. I understand what you say in the last part. I wonder if, in the act of learning logic as an adult, one would have to learn about the pre-conceptual generalizations of childhood. In this context, one would have to start with concept-formation. Would induction have to come first because of the fact of our pre-conceptual generalizations--in the presentation of the "ideal" logic text book? In the context of learning logic as an adult, nothing can possibly come before the learning of concept formation, no? And in this context, concepts are the necessary building blocks for the more complex inductive generalizations. I guess I'm asking for the outline of the best way to learn logic, hierarchically? I think Peikoff would significantly change a hypothetical book on logic, given his new understandings about induction, from the lecture on logic he once recorded. So, I guess I wonder what the outline of Binswanger's planned logic book would be? Jose.
  24. Induction vs. Deduction

    I haven't yet traced Plato's politics, ethics, and aesthetics back to his epistemology--but I assume that anyone who comes to the conclusions Plato has come to in the aforementioned areas, had to evade at some point. I don't think it was an error of knowledge on his part. But I can't say for sure. I would have to look a little into him to try to find somewhere where an evasion is clear. Thanks for the question. Jose.
  25. Induction vs. Deduction

    I have a question about induction here: Would a proper presentation of inductive logic require showing the relationship between Objectivist concept-formation and induction of wider propositions? The process of concept-formation is itself inductive, clearly so, so wouldn't induction of propositions have to reflect that more basic process, and at the same time depend on that basic process? I've wondered about this for years but haven't had time to look into it. I suppose this is why Miss Rand started her lessons in epistemology with the book ITOE, not because of the historical significance of the problem of universals, but because epistemologically one has to understand that before one understands clearly induction, which is necessary to understand the role and power of deduction. I once asked Dr. Ridpath what the difference between a Plato and an Ayn Rand were psycho-epistemology, since they were both major geniuses, and yet one was evil and one was good--so where was the error? Induction was the difference according to him about ten years ago. So, the core of goodness is to be a first-hander epistemologically. Any thoughts? Jose.