With yellow guy, whom Bart insists on taking with him on walks
Some readers have asked about Bart the Dog, he’s fine thanks. He’s getting old fast and he can’t hear anymore and I’m fairly certain he doesn’t see much either, but otherwise, he has a good, comfortable life and he’s well loved. He would be better loved if he didn’t snore so loud at night, but he is loved.
He has his own blog by the way. http://dogmabybart.blogspot.com/
'Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem to be confidences or sides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profound thought or passion sleeps as in a mine until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart. Emerson
300 quotes from Emerson
To view more Emerson quotes or read a life background on Emerson please visit the books blog spot. We update the blog bi-monthly emersonsaidit.blogspot.com
What Love is…..
You may call God love, you may call God goodness. But the best name for God is compassion. Meister Eckhart
WHAT SHE DID FOR HIM.
A very short story by
John William Tuohy
He wanted everyday to be a brisk autumn afternoon, the sun setting to a perfect pitch of comfortable grey and soft blue and delightful and refreshing red. And because of that, he looked on this hot and humid July day as an annoying, tactless intruder. In fact, everything about that day annoyed him, not a lot, but enough to ever so slightly alter his naturally happy disposition a few inches closer to cranky.
As they strolled down the street, she could sense his mood. She could sense almost everything about.
He frowned at the bits and pieces of trash strewn in the streets gutter and he shook his head in disapproval of the type of people who would toss it there. Then a cloud floated in front of the sun, blocking its rays and he raised his eyes to the cloud in a way meant to imply to the cloud that he was displeased with it.
“Stupid cloud” he mumbled but loud enough for the cloud and her to hear.
“Look” she said pointing to the gutter.
He stopped and looked and seeing nothing he asked “What?”
“The dandelion” she said. “It grew from a crack in the sidewalk. Look at how pretty it is. Look at the colors”
He looked but didn’t see the dandelion because it didn’t matter. There would be other dandelions. What mattered is that she saw in him a man who would like to know about tenacious dandelions that grow out of sidewalks, a man who would appreciate brilliant colors. What mattered was that when he, in this dark mood of his, saw only litter in the gutter, she saw flowers. And that was why he loved.
A Light Left On
In the evening we came back
Into our yellow room,
For a moment taken aback
To find the light left on,
Falling on silent flowers,
Table, book, empty chair
While we had gone elsewhere,
Had been away for hours.
When we came home together
We found the inside weather.
All of our love unended
The quiet light demanded,
And we gave, in a look
At yellow walls and open book.
The deepest world we share
And do not talk about
But have to have, was there,
And by that light found out.
May Sarton is the pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton (May 3, 1912 – July 16, 1995), a poet, novelist and memoirist. Despite the quality of some of her many novels and poems, May Sarton's best and most enduring work probably lies in her journals and memoirs, particularly Plant Dreaming Deep (about her early years at Nelson, ca. 1958-68), Journal of a Solitude (1972-1973, often considered her best), The House by the Sea (1974-1976), Recovering (1978-1979) and At Seventy (1982-1983). In these fragile, rambling and honest accounts of her solitary life, she deals with such issues as ageing, isolation, solitude, friendship, love and relationships, lesbianism, self-doubt, success and failure, envy, gratitude for life's simple pleasures, love of nature (particularly of flowers), the changing seasons, spirituality and, importantly, the constant struggles of a creative life. Sarton's later journals are not of the same quality, as she endeavoured to keep writing through ill health and by dictation. Although many of her earlier works, such as Encounter in April, contain vivid erotic female imagery, May Sarton often emphasized in her journals that she didn't see herself as a "lesbian" writer, instead wanting to touch on what is universally human about love in all its manifestations
My wife and I have crazy busy schedules so for the past couple of years we set aside Friday nights for ourselves. We stay home, order Chinese and watch a movie. But with the summer we’ve decided to switch the Chinese food for glutton free pizza and pasta (with an antipasto for starters) at a local place called The Roma, where they have outside dinning.
WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A
Good words to have……………..
Belated \bih-LAY-tud\ 1: delayed beyond the usual time 2: existing or appearing past the normal or proper time. Long ago, there was a verb belate, which meant "to make late." From the beginning, belate tended to mostly turn up in the form of its past participle belated. Eventually, belate itself fell out of use, leaving behind belated as an adjective that preserved the original notion of delay. As you may have guessed, belate and its descendant belated derive from the adjective late; belate was formed by simply combining the prefix be- ("to cause to be") with late. Belated was also once used in the sense "overtaken by night," as in "belated travelers seeking lodging for the night." This sense was in fact the first meaning of the adjective but it too fell out of use.
KARMA FINDS FRANNY GLASS
A short story
John William Tuohy
Speeding out of her buildings garage in the East Seventies and then racing her Lamborghini over the George Washington Bridge, Franny Glass found it amusing that Zooey Salinger considered her an absolute dearest friend. Actually, Zooey was being too kind when she exaggerated those words on the finely engraved invitation. The truth was, she saw Franny Glass for what Fanny was, transparent and shallow. Everyone else in their tribe saw her the same way, but, in fairness, that was also how they viewed Zooey Glass and themselves as well. It is how these people are.
Compounding Zooey’s intense dislike of her absolute dearest friend Franny Glass, was the awkward fact that Zooey and everyone within their small universe, knew that Franny had been sleeping with her husband, Zen Salinger, a partner in Salinger, Sacco & Vanzetti, mergers, acquisitions and promotions a specialty.
She also knew, again as did everyone else, that it was Franny who had been the defacto cause for Zen’s fatal coronary in flagrante delicto. Of course, the pending federal indictment and the certain RICO conviction that would follow and then Zen’s mandatory sudden disappearance with the cash in the firms escrow accounts, may well have played a role in his unexpected early demise as well. But, for the time being, gossip being what it is, everyone, simply everyone, was blaming Franny for his death. What Zooey didn’t know, was that it had been such a dreadful experience for Franny, (Zen Salinger dying at the grand finale, not the sex, which was not in the least grand) that she more or less absolutely sworn off sex with married men for an indeterminate amount of time.
All that was behind them now and Franny found it reassuring that the permanently oblivious Zooey Salinger should invite her to a reception at her woodsy-leafy Litchfield place on Pilgrim Way to meet the enlightened Maharishi Yogi Barish.
When Fanny arrived, Zooey planned to take her by the hand and waltz her from one end of her spacious home to the other, making small talk, the only kind of talk these people really know, making sure that everyone, simply everyone saw that they were the dearest and closets of friends. Zooey had no choice in this really. The day would come when she would carry on with someone else man, or woman, and would be found out, for these people always find out, and life would go on as before. She would not be cut out or cut off. She had to ensure that, not only for herself but for all those others in this special tribe they belonged too.
So Franny accepted Zooey’s invitation. Driving at break-neck speed through the Connecticut countryside, Franny was, despite her near complete unreflective nature, somewhat concerned that she lived alone and that age 35, marriage was not on the horizon, circumference, radius or any other Goddamn celestial acronym. She reasoned it away. “A little solitude” she thought “never hurt anyone. Emily Dickinson lived alone and she wrote some of the most moving um….what did she write? Was it science fiction?
Something like that. Anyway, they were some of the best whatever they were type of stories the world has ever known...a lot of them became movies.”
She also recalled that Emily Dickenson went stark raving, barking mad and ended her life in a mental asylum so she decided to think about something else.
Tossing her phone into oxblood Versace bag, she brought the car to a screeching halt
and waited for the wrought iron gates to Zooey Salinger’s estate to open and then raced the car up the gravel drive.
Taking her place among the very landed gentry, she sat shoeless on the silk Zarcharakian rug, sipping a Chateau Lafite and stealthily dripping a drop or two on the carpet because….well just because, that’s why. It is just the way these people are.
There was Zooey Salinger, clad in black Michael Kors One-Shoulder. It was so last season. But, then again, Franny reasoned, Zooey was so last season. She was calling everyone to attention. Standing beside her was a short, swarthy little man dressed in white linen robes and fitted with a Buddha belly. So this was him, thought Franny.
“I like the long flowing white silk robes” she said to herself “Nice effect and so very de riguor for any savior and/or mystique” She noted his salt and pepper beard and his strategically designed mop of hair. “Micelle of Paris” she though “No one else is that good”
Everyone feigned rapt attention as a smiling and crying Zooey once again launched into another retelling of how this little man, the Maharishi Yogi Barish, the Wise Child, entered her life.
It started with a death, but then again, most things about Zooey revolved around death in one way or another. First, it was Zen and then Seymour, her toy Shiatsu, the canine in-residence until last fall last autumn when he went out the window at the Salinger’s Park Avenue place, falling Nine Stories to his death. Actually, it wasn’t the fall that killed him. He survived the fall. What killed him were the giant hooves of a team of hansom cab horses as they pulled away to show another tourist from Wichita dubious wonders of Central Park at night.
As one can imagine, the death just absolutely mortified poor Zooey, coming in the wake of Zen’s death. She was beside herself with grief and not one of her three analysts, the Freudian, the Jungian or even the Mime therapist could pull her from her sorrow. Well the Jungian probably could have, but he insisted she do it herself.
The situation worsened after rumor started that it was not suicide and that perhaps Seymour had been pushed. It was the talk of the summer people at the Hamptons but not of the summer people at Newport because they play tennis.
It was about that time that Dede Bradley came back from Europe, because she was always coming back from somewhere, and was bursting, simply bursting with the news of the Marharishi Yogi Barish who was taking London by storm. Dede told Muffin Walsh who told Geno the hair sculptor who repeated everything he heard anyway, thank God and that was how Zooey heard all about the wonders of the little man.
A the Marharishi Yogi Barish estate in London, Zooey was fairly certain she was in London, she didn’t handle those details, she found her scrawny naked body lathered in tea oils and saturated rose infused yogurt.
By weeks end, the Marharishi inserted in her, among other things, the spirit of Seymour the Shiatsu which assured Zooey that he had not taken his own life nor had he been pushed from the ledge. Rather, as she would later recall, again and again and again, for enthralled hairdressers from Park Avenue to Palm Beach...she didn’t do Aspen because it’s so...so...so...not New York and the people are so...so not New York, that the spirit of Seymour the Shiatsu said he had fallen from that of that window because he a brain the size of a walnut. She was also mentioned, quite often, that Seymour the Shiatsu spoke English. Everyone was so delighted for her.
The Marharishi Yogi Bera was, proclaimed Zooey to all the right people who had gathered in her bar sized living room that autumn, a spiritual genius and all agreed with a hardy burst of applause. Of course, to these people, anyone who had an occasional reflection on the meaning of life beyond Town & Country, was a spiritual genius because, argued many, these people had no souls.
When Zooey was finished gushing on about the little man, the little man spoke, whispered really, whispered and smiled and babbled on for twenty minutes speaking psycho-social babble gibberish intertwined with most of the keywords needed to create spiritual hogwash. It was, thought Franny Glass who was there to judge the performance, a cellular performance.
It was only kismet that Zooey should invite Franny to heat Yogi Bera. Her firm, Salinger, Sacco & Vanzetti, mergers, acquisitions and promotions a specialty, had been watching this little man and was impressed with what they saw and what they saw was money and the potential for more money.
Franny had hired Hal Martini ‘Olive’ Lipchitz everyone’s favorite P.I and learned that the Marharishi Yogi Bera was a fourth generation East-ender from Londoner whose true name was Rajesh Gupta Barish, the western equivalent of Joe Smith. He was raised vaguely Hindu but he had absolutely no interest in the faith because its deep, beautifully simple doctrines confused him.
The firm’s data analysis experts...their term for computer hackers...had determined that the Marharishi Yogi Bera liquid assets were in access to one hundred and fifty million. There was the clothing line, Yogi for Young Kids, and an airline, Flying Carpet Airlines with hubs in New Delhi and Hanoi. There was the Happy Hindu Hotel chain with locations throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. There was the equally profitable Curry Up and Eat! Restaurant chain, assorted real estate holdings, which included an off- shore casino in the Caribbean and a nut farm in Brazil.
The Yogi had everything a money hungry yogi could want. Everything except the vast richness of America. The problem was that the Marharishi was a European phenomenon and what he needed was a single magic bullet that would shoot open the golden gates of the land of milk and honey.
It was an odd twist of fate, kismet if you will, that the Maharishi’s magic bullet to America came in the form of the spirit of Seymour the Shiatsu. Zooey Salinger had introduced the Yogi correctly. She waited for the late fall, that special magical time between the closing of the summer places and the arrival of the first dividend checks from those offshore investments that nice people did not discuss. not without a lawyer present, anyway.
Zooey made sure the yogi had face time, a favorite expression of these people, with that smart-alecky Carlo Saint John River from The New Yorker and of course, Thomas Wentworth Higginson from Charge, Style and Life Magazine just absolutely had to have his ten minutes.
By the end of the month, the Marharishi Yogi Barish was famous in America and so was his ‘Self-Help and Actualization Movement’, or ‘SHAM’. Although it was all explained in his 125 page, ghost written book, The Way of the Christian-Hindu Pilgrim, the basis for SHAM was taken from the Yogi code of life, ‘To know nothing is to know bliss’. The concept was fusion, Judeo Christianity and Hindu principles and that the Yogi had gotten the idea after eating at the Paris French-Chinese restaurant Chinois. When asked if the book was henotheistic, the Yogi replied no, it was for homosexuals as well.
So, now the grinning Guru had every intention of quadrupling his cash by taking his show to the states and lifting cash from the pockets of the fad happy-spiritually starved Americans and the senior partners at Salinger, Sacco & Vanzetti, mergers, acquisitions and promotions a specialty, believed they could help the Yogi with that conquest.
So while the firm wanted his business, Franny needed his business. The remaining partners of Salinger, Sacco & Vanzetti, or more specifically the wives of the remaining partners, the ones huddled in the corner throwing her death-stares, believed that Franny should have been boiled in oil for sexing Zen Salinger to death. Barring death by oil, they made it very clear to their husbands that Franny Glass must go.
Yes, the end was near and Franny Glass, a born survivor, could smell it in the air, and it troubled her. She felt vulnerable, a new sensation for her. That was why she had given herself that ‘A little solitude and Emily Dickinson lived alone’ pep talk on the way up to Connecticut.
He drooled for her. “Hello my lovely” leered the Yogi to Franny when she managed to push, shove and elbow her way up to him. Franny, who stood just over 5’10 with in her Stu Weitzman heels, thought it was rude that the Marharishi, who was surrounded by two massive former Mossad men, did not stand when he met her. Staring at him, she realized he was standing. Franny smiled her best heartwarming smile and handed the little man one of her plasma designed translucent plastic business cards.
“Franny Glass, Costello, Lansky, Siegel and Accardo” he said reading the card aloud. He looked over Franny again and stopped giggling. He leaned in close and lowered his voice to a barely audible whisper and said in a distinct British working class accent “I have the letters you sent to my general manager. But caw blimey girl, had we knewed you looked as you do I woulda called” and then, effortlessly returning to his high pitched south Asian dialect, he said loudly, “You must come to my new ashram”
The Marharishi Yogi International Academy of Meditation was, the Yogi’s financial advisors advised him, the strategically right thing to do. If he intended to conquer America, he would have to give the Yanks what they expected. What they expected was for all of their Marharishi’s to fit their version of authenticity. Their version of authenticity for Marharishi’s everywhere demanded that they lived in Ashrams in India.
So, after they slowly explained to the Marharishi what an ashram is, a buyer was dispatched eastward to purchase a 2,000-acre former maize plantation along the edge of Lake Vembanad in Duta, Arunachal Pradesh, in the easternmost tip of India, under the snow peaked Himalaya Mountains, where Bhutan and Tibet meet.
Franny Glass arrived at Tezpur Airport after a grueling 15-hour, seven thousand mile flight. She had her Henk luggage tossed into the back of a rented ancient Russian made Orbita and started the 200-mile ride north to the Yogi’s ashram.
Five hours after she left the airport, Franny Glass arrived at the ashram, her nerves shattered. The Russian made car had come equipped with a tape deck, circa 1972. After a couple of hours of silence, Franny slammed in an ancient eight track she found in the backseat, a Russian made tape, Yuri Popinov sings Elvis. She turned the volume up all the way and listened to Yuri’s very enthusiastic rendition of A hunk a Bunk of burning Funk and then the tape got stuck.
She hit it, several times but all that did was to make it louder. After a half hour, she kicked it, she spat on it and she threatened it with an injunction. Nothing worked. For the next three and half hours the lyrics “I’m a hunk a bunk a burning funk….yeahhhh!... I’m a hunk a bunk a burning funk….yeahhhh!...” played over and over and over and over again, sung in English in a thick Russian accent set at full volume. By the time she arrived at the ashram, Franny was temporarily deaf, spoke with a distinct Russian accent and had developed an eye twitch.
In stark contrast to the majestic but rugged mountain that surrounded it on every side, the ashram had a by-design laid-back feel to it. To ensure that the local smell of wet mud, cow dung and burning garbage didn’t disturb the nasal sensitive westerners, every two hours, the ashram staff would spray vast amounts of floral aromas and pleasant spicy scents into the air. Meals were prepared by a Parisian chef and each guest cottage was built with a private plunge pool and came equipped with an 88- inch television theater set.
In her massive and beautifully appointed room, Franny found scented candles flickering in the near darkness as magnificently beautiful and uncomfortably sensual Asian women with almond eyes, almost seductively asked Franny to disrobe so she could begin the ayurveda treatment. Surprised but intrigued, Franny slowly undressed and as directed lay face down, across a solid oak table. Slowly and methodically, the beautiful woman with the almond eyes slathered oil, infused with pungent herbs, along the length of Franny Glass’s slender milky white body.
About a half hour after the treatment began, the Marharishi Yogi Barish wordlessly slithered into the room, leaving his two bodyguards waiting outside. The women with the almond eyes slipped quietly outside. He then disrobed and reached out to Franny’s prone body in a way she would have never expected. Feeling the light nudging on her ribs, she lifted her head from her forearms. When her eyes focused, she wondered how that ugly fat mouse crawled so far up the table. Then she refocused. A few seconds later, her curled fist landed in the Marharishi’s groin with a sickening snapping sound. The little bearded man’s eyes immediately turned inward towards his nose. Sucking in an enormous amount of air as he fell to his knees he uttered, squealed really, one word “okay”
Franny leaped from the table and frantically wiped the oil and honey from her body and dressed just as the Yogi dragged himself to his feet. My goodness what magnificent legs she has was the last thought that went through his tiny brain before Franny’s karate kick to his forehead knocked him unconscious.
Dashing out the door, she slowed considerably as she passed the solemn sun-glassed bodyguards, slipped into the ancient Russian Orbita, whispered a her version of a quick but silent prayer that it would start, smiled at the guards when it did and with Yuri Popinov happily singing away, she sped out of the complex and down the Burma Road.
When the Marharishi awoke, he had a severe headache and the sinking suspicion that his advances had not gone over well with the American woman. Worse, if word of his behavior reached the right New York circles and then the press, he was ruined.
He called for his guards. “Find her! Bring her back!” he ordered, “Offer her a free week at the Ashram”
As the guard rushed towards the door, he reconsidered “No, wait. Offer her 50 percent off a half week at the Ashram”. A moment later, as the guards were about to peel away in a black Mercedes with tinted windows, he stopped them again “Make that, ten percent off her bar bill! Now go! Find her!”
When Franny looked into her rear view mirror, one of the few times in her life that she had actually used the device, she spotted the black Mercedes pulling out of the ashram gate and closing in on her fast. The Russian clunker strained to hit a top speed of fifty miles an hour and when it did it shook violently, reconsidered exerting itself, and slipped slowly into second gear.
Franny spotted a cut off from the road that disappeared down a slope. Turning a violent left that nearly toppled her car, she sped down the narrowing road. Moments later, the Marharishi guards, up the main road. sped past her.
Franny kept driving down the road until it turned into what she assumed correctly was a cow path, which is why it was odd that she should have been surprised to see that large black and white cow, running towards her.
Kharaab Kismet hated that cow. He suspected the cow hated him as well, but that was not what had ignited his complete contempt toward the ugly beast. Theirs had always been a complicated, rocky relationship largely because, as cows, go this one was as savvy and spiteful as it was ornery. This is why Kharaab was certain it had trounced into his neighbors tea rows on purpose, performing a sort of bovine ballet as it crushed hundreds of the neatly aligned rows of the precious mint under its mud-caked hooves before the performance ended and she was led away.
The local magistrate determined that Kharaab’s cow had caused $600 worth of damage to the neighbor’s crop. In a good year, a very good year, Kharaab earned $450. In a bad year, which was most years, he earned half that amount. To pay for the damages he would have to sell his tiny patch of land that sat aside the Apatani River and without his land, he had nothing. So the cow, the symbol of abundance, had taken everything he had.
With that recent torrid history in mind, it made sense to Kharaab Kismet to kill that goddamn cow and then, since he had nothing left to live for or to live on, he decided that he would kill himself as well.
He was slightly concerned about how he would kill himself with the wooden club, the only thing he owned resembling a weapon. He was new to suicide. Certainly, beating oneself to death would be very painful and take a long time but he elected to deal with issue when he got to it.
Of course, there was another issue. There always is. Kharaab was a devout Hindu it was wrong to kill a cow, even that smirking weasel that had caused him so much misery and shame because, Lord Krishna appeared on earth as a cow. But, thought Kharaab with a twinge of guilt, not even the great and mighty Lord Krishna would save this cow from his wrath.
Walking about behind the arrogant grazing cow, Kharaab raised the wooden club up over his eyes and screamed “Krishna!” His eyes were opened wide with murderous rage.
The cow’s eyes were opened wide in terror. Nobody’s fool, the cow ran before Kharaab could lower the killing blow. Up the cow path it scurried, running, in as much as cows can run, for dear life itself.
Kharaab didn’t give chase. He tossed the club aside and let out a long miserable sigh. He could not go through with it. He didn’t have it in him to murder a living thing, even that miserable beast of a cow that deserved so much to die.
Now he would have to live with his actions; the contemplation of taking a sacred life was an affront to the great Lord Krishna. He, Kharaab Kismet, whose existence on this earth meant nothing, had spat in the eye of the magnificent and giving Krishna and he was ashamed. So Kharaab Kismet, this good and decent man with the broken heart and the empty stomach, fell to his knees and lowered his head and spoke to the Lord Krishna. Praying aloud, he said, “I fear my anger has driven you, oh great and merciful Krishna, the essence of my very soul and the purpose of my life, further from me and without you, your humble servant is nothing. Forgive me Krishna.”
Krishna, who is a basically good-natured type god, in as far as gods go these days, heard his servant’s heart-felt words and smiled upon him. The cow hit the fan and every other part of Franny’s front engine, killing itself and the car in a single head-to-head blow.
Hearing the crash and the mandatory screams of frustration, from both Franny and the cow, Kharaab rose to his feet and climbed the knoll and looked down at the crash site. Realizing that the car had killed the beast, he broke down in tears of joy. The Lord Krishna, in all his greatness, had heard his prayers and had forgiven him. Better yet, that bastard cow was dead and he hadn’t done it. Tears of joy; great unadulterated, wonderful joy, streamed down his wonderfully weather beaten face.
“Krishna!” He cried as he fell to his knees “Krishna!”
“Let’s not cry over spilt milk” said Franny as she climbed from the wreck and lit a Gitane.
She disdainfully inspected the considerable damage to the cars mostly tin engine and then looked full circle at the endless miles of Himalayan vastness and asked, “Is there a Hertz around here?”
Kharaab shrugged in reply.
“El…el…” she groped for the words “El caro rento”
He shrugged again
“Oh honestly” she fumed lighting a second Gigante to accompany the first “Why can’t you people learn English?”
“I speak English, Mame,” he said in flawless English
“They why didn’t you answer me?” she demanded, also in English
“I don’t speak Spanish Mame,” he said, again using English.
Franny was completely confused and decided not to follow up on that angle. “Well where can I rent a car?” she said exasperated
“At the Tezpur Airport in Assam” he answered pointing over the mountain towards Assam
“That’s where I rented this car” she fumed
“So you can see then, I am correct, it is a very good place to rent cars Mame”
“Would you drive me there?” She asked “I’ll pay you”
Kharaab pulled himself to his feet “I have no car Madam”
“Then how do you get around?” She didn’t believe him. He pointed to the dead cow
“Look” she paused, handed him one of her plasma business cards, and extended her hand “Franny Glass, merger, acquisitions and accounts management…what’s your name?”
Kharaab was fascinated with the card. Like half the people in his village, he was illiterate so the words on the card didn’t matter but he had never seen anything like it. Franny withdrew her hand since he hadn’t accepted it and asked again, “What’s your name? Kay es su namo?“
“Kharaab” he answered still looking at the card
“Well listen Carlton, what’s it worth to you?”
Kharaab returned the card with a sad smile. “I can’t afford it, Madam, I’m sorry”
“No, you idiot not the card…the cow thingy…how much for the cow?”
“The cow is sacred to us. In India we call it the gift of Avataar”
“In Manhattan we call it sirloin. How much?”
Kharaab thought it was amusing but odd that the people in Manhattan named their cows and then continued “The cow’s dung is worth a fortune. It is used as an insecticide, a source of fuel and a fertilizer….and then there are the dairy products”
“My God” Franny said appalled “You mean you people use cow dung as a dairy product?” she waved off the thought “No don’t tell me…look Carol, I’m sorry I killed your little” she turned and looked at the animal’s corpse because she couldn’t remembered what they called those things “Bull cow friend or whatever ….but it was Krishna’s fault. He ran out in front of my car after escaping from the… a...a….um…” again a word escaped her “a bunch of cows where he belonged!" She was dialing her phone and waiting for the signal to connect
"Not a bunch, Madam, a herd", he corrected her respectfully.
"Heard of what?" she asked, her eyes glued to the phone screen
"Herd of cows, Madam"
"Of course I've heard of cows."
"No, a cow herd."
"No, a cow herd."
"What do I care what a cow heard?” She said peering up on the road for the Yogi’s thugs, “I have no secrets to keep from a cow! Look Caribbean, I’ll pay for your little friend but don’t try to milk me on this one”
He considered the vaguely sexual physical act of milking a cow and pondered what his ancestors were really thinking when they explored that option. He was jolted out of his thoughtful trance by the sound of Franny’s snapping fingers under his long, thin nose.
“They moved my eyes up here, buddy boy” she said, “Look. Carmichael…I ….”
“Kharaab” he said respectfully
“Whatever” she said disrespectfully “I won’t take any bull”
“I don’t want to give you a bull, Madam,” he said completely confused
“Well don’t,” she repeated busily digging through her purse.
“I don’t even have a bull,” he said to himself because New York had picked up and was busy making arrangements to bring her home. The bad news was New York wouldn’t be able to get her another car out of the valley until the following morning. The good news was, well actually, there wasn’t any good news.
She slammed the phone closed and looked around the barren hills. “Look, crabby,” she said to Kharaab “Is there a Hilton or anything resembling a hotel around here?”
“Yes” answered Kharaab cheerfully. It wasn’t often he knew the answer to two questions in row “I am told there is a very fine hotel at the Tezpur Airport in Assam….very fine a Motel Six”
Franny, who was at least a full foot taller than Kharaab blew a ring smoke in his face and said quietly “Don’t bust my balls or I swear to God you’ll join your little friend over there”
Despite what he suspected might be a hostile attitude from the American, Kharaab invited her to his humble home to spend the night because she had nowhere else to go. It is the Indian way.
He prepared a reasonably good, if spicy but bland dinner of seasoned rice with bamboo shoots and local herbs, a pile of leafy vegetables and maize with eggs, all washed down with Apong, the local drink made from rice and millet.
Franny, who had not eaten that day and was very hungry, had noted the sparseness of the food and noted again that Kharaab took less food for himself than he had given to her.
“Thank you Kharaab” said Franny Glass when the modest meal ended. There was nothing unusual in the words themselves. It was only unusual that she meant it.
“I should tell you, Karuba, there are men after me. They want to harm me. I’ll go up and sleep in the car, if I stay here, you could be harmed”
The near constant smile fell from his face and Kharaab looked her in the eyes for the first time “You are a guest in my home. No harm will come to you that will not befall me first” and then the smile returned to his face and for the first time Franny Glass smiled at him as well.
“Thank you Kharaab” she said quietly, this time with a smile.
When night fell, Kharaab took a thin, musty blanket from the shed and set on the ground. The lady would have the bed for the evening. He would sleep out under the canopy of stars that shone a brilliant bright blue against the black sky. In so long as gallant souls like Kharaab Kismet roam the earth, the last faint lights of chivalry will never die.
Although she didn’t understand why he did it, Kharaab’s sacrifice wasn’t lost on Franny Glass, an unusual moment of cogniscence for her, but then again the experience of having someone act decently without cause, was new to her. Before she turned in for the night she said “Sleep well Kharaab”
“I doubt it,” he whispered back
Franny slept well. In fact, she couldn’t recall when she had last slept o well and woken up so refreshed and relaxed. Maybe it was brisk mountain air, the dose of healthy food or the unbelievable beauty around her that she was noticing for the first time since she’d arrived.
She joked with Kharaab as he prepared them a traditional breakfast of warm rice, stuffed paratha bread that Franny recognized as crepes, cold butter, cooked spicy aloo sabzi and unsweetened milk. It had been over a decade since Franny had sat and eaten a full breakfast and when it was over, she did something she rarely ever did, she relaxed. She lay back on the ground and stared up at the mountain peaks.
When the man entered the property, Franny noticed that Kharaab’s hands were trembling and he would not raise his eyes to look at the unhappy visitors as they spoke in a language she didn’t understand. She was pretty sure it wasn’t Spanish or Russian. Maybe Chinese.
The man left as abruptly and as unhappily as he had arrived and in his dark and gloomy wake stood Kharaab who slowly drew back his head and sucked in a deep, long breath and then closed his eyes and lowered his chin to his chest.
Franny stood to her feet and walked over to where he was standing and placed a hand on his arm “What is Kharaab? What’s wrong? Who was that man? What did he say to you?”
They walked silently to the river’s edge and washed the morning plates and as they did, Kharaab told Franny about that horrible cow and his neighbor’s field and the magistrate’s decision and how his neighbor, the gloomy man who had just left, had come to evict Kharaab from his land. This tiny patch of earth that had been the home of his father’s father and his father’s father before that. When the story ended, Kharaab lowered his head in defeat and after a long silence, Franny said “Wow..…you mean that cows name wasn’t Krishna?”
That evening after a supper of a mild meat and vegetable dish cooked in yogurt and flavored with fragrant spices, Franny asked Kharaab “How much do I owe you for the cow”
Kharaab smiled warmly at the American. Hers was a noble spirit he thought. Like him she was poor, in fact, he recalled, she was so poor that when they first met, she tried to sell him a plastic card with writing on it.
“We are the humble of the earth” he smiled “We owe each other only our kindness”
“All right you bastard, you won. I’ll pay out” Franny barked as she took out her checkbook
“Now I’m going to assume that cow thing was a Holstein or Goldstein or whatever those things are, right? So what’s the value on that? Six? Seven grand?”
“Well” said Kharaab thoughtfully because he had no idea about what the hell she was talking about.
“All right! All right!” she snapped, “Seven five and that’s it. Now since...um…cowing or whatever it’s called….is your primary source of income which is just a screaming endorsement to bring back vocational training in my opinion, you’ll need to get back on your bare feet, so that’s another year or so to train the new cow to…do whatever you two do together….so what will you gross this year? Twelve, fifteen grand? We’ll call it an even 13 five, how’s that? I’ll toss in another five for stress, trauma and turmoil and….” She said handing him the check form the Bank of New York for twenty-six thousand dollars “That’s that”
Although at the time, handing over the check was a spur of the moment-never-to-be-repeated act of generosity on Franny’s part; her accountants later labeled it a legitimate travel and business expense and wrote it off of her taxes. It wasn’t all that much money anyway, not in the larger scheme and not when you considered the thirty-five thousand it cost to charter the private helicopter that flew her out of Kharaab’s back yard the next morning.
In the end, maybe Franny Glass really was, at her core, a very bad person, although if you were to ask her if she was, she would say it wasn’t so. And she would say it wasn’t so because she could recall once, during a fleeting moment in time, in a place that didn’t matter, the great and merciful Krishna had tested the goodness of Franny Glass’s soul, and for a brief and glorious moment, Franny Glass was a powerful and great spirit filled with goodness, kindness, decency and all those other wonderful but sadly rare things that occasionally allow a mere mortal to stand with the gods.OR, IN OTHER WORDS..................
What Light Through Yonder Window Breaks?
Romeo & Juliet, Act 2 Scene 2,
Spoken by Romeo
Visit our Shakespeare Blog at the address below
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, ’tis not to me she speaks:
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!
Here’s a Sample chapter from my book on the bootlegger
Epilogue: The Pardon
In 1962, just two days before he was to be deported from the United States to a jail cell in England, John Factor was granted a Presidential Pardon by John F. Kennedy.
• • •
Shortly after Roger Touhy was out of the way, the Chicago mob saw fit to push Factor out of the Stardust casino and place the operation into the steady hands of Moe Dalitz. But when the facts behind the transaction hit the media-that John Factor had sold one of the largest and most profitable casinos in the world for the paltry sum of $15 milllion-Attorney General Robert Kennedy ordered an investigation into the sale. The United States Internal Revenue Service along with the State of Nevada Gaming Commission started a joint investigation into the Stardust sale.
The joint force intended to call Factor in for questioning. However they were beaten to the punch when the Los Angeles Office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) suddenly ordered him in to show due cause why he shouldn't be deported to England where he was still a wanted felon. The INS had now decided, based on Jake's arrest and conviction in 1942 for fraud, that he was an undesirable alien. At seventy years of age, John Factor, who had lived in America since at least 1919, was being ordered out of the country.
The problem was that the INS had never closed its record on Factor since he entered the country through Mexico after the British stock swindle. It was a minor, white lie that kept the record open. Jake had told the INS at the border that he had been born in England while their records said he was born in Poland and the INS could prove it. Unable to show due cause why he shouldn't be deported, Factor was ordered to surrender to the INS on December 25, 1962, at which point he would be arrested and deported to Poland.
At the time, Poland was a backward, war-torn country, crushed under the iron-fisted rule of the Russian Communist Party. The conditions in Poland caused Factor to fight hard to prove to the government that he was, in fact, a British citizen. The problem with sending Jake to Britain was that his conviction for stock fraud remained in force. The second he landed at Heathrow, he'd be jailed. Adding to Factor's woes was the ongoing IRS investigation into payment of his back taxes for the years 1935 through 1939. The government wanted Factor to explain where he received $479,093.27 in income, and Factor couldn't remember. If he was deported, the Government would impound his holdings, which Factor estimated to be $13 million, until the matter was settled, which meant that he would leave the country the way he came in, penniless.16
The only thing that could save Factor from deportation was death or a miracle. The miracle came straight from the White House in the form of a pardon.
Presidential pardons, the last imperial power of the Executive Office, have long been the golden parachute for the mob's monied elite looking to avoid deportation, obtain a position in the casino business or a labor union, or to help muscle their way into a legitimate enterprise.
Abusing the pardon privilege has had a torrid and often astounding history, even on a state level. In the early 1920s, Illinois' incredibly corrupt Governor, Len Small, sold an estimated 500 pardons before he was indicted and chased from office. Small's broker on the pardon deals was a union extortionist named "Umbrella Mike" Boyle, a bigwig in the Electrical Workers Union. Among Boyle's clients was Spike O'Donnell, who started the great Chicago beer wars of 1926 upon his release.
In the 1970s, when federal prosecutors tried to deport southwestern Pennsylvania mob boss, John S. LaRocca, Governor John Fine pardoned the alleged godfather of corruption along with his capo, Frank Rosa. Later, Governor George Earle pardoned Mafia bosses Joe Luciano, Luigi Quaranta and alleged Caporegime Nicholas Piccolo. He also pardoned Frank "Binkie" Palermo, allegedly a made member of the Mafia; Felix Bocchiccio, a fight fixer; Leo Kamminski and Louie Barish, suspected mob members.
One of the most outrageous pardons on record belongs to Harry Truman who pardoned "Ice Pick" Danny Motto, a labor thug in the Gambino family. He had been convicted of wartime racketeering and as a result, Danny the Ice Pick wasn't allowed to hold an "elective" office in New York's Bakers Union local 350, a 900-member local which he terrorized from 1939 until his death in the 1980s. Motto's 1947 federal racketeering charge, plus a previous one for murder, gave the Justice Department due cause to deport him.
However, at the last moment, after deportation had been ordered, Truman granted a pardon and the deportation was canceled. The man who worked behind the scenes on Motto's behalf was his lawyer, Herb Itkin. Itkin was a shadowy figure with unspecified connections to Naval Intelligence and later to the CIA. It was Itkin who introduced New York's mayoral administration (under John Lindsay) to labor mobster and loan shark Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corralo, who was also Danny Motto's boss. That meeting would eventually lead to the James Marcus scandal of 1966.
Truman also pardoned many felons from the Boss Pendergast political machine. More than half of those pardoned were convicted of interfering with a citizen's right to vote, or, in other words, were members of Owney Madden's goon squads.
And now it was John F. Kennedy's turn. During his brief presidency, Kennedy issued 472 pardons, more than any chief executive before or since. About half of these appear to be questionable, at best.
On November 26, 1962, Attorney General Robert Kennedy did something unusual: he changed the laws that govern presidential pardons. It was unusual because the fourteen sets of rules, all advisory in nature that govern presidential pardons, have seldom been tampered with, since they were written in 1893.
The change that Kennedy made in the rules,17 only sixteen days before John Factor was pardoned, allowed all pardon requests to go directly to the White House and then to the Justice Department, and not the other way around.
A few days after Kennedy changed the rules for pardons, an alcoholic Chicago hood named Chuckie English, a former 42 Gang member and bodyguard to Sam Giancana, strolled out of the Amory Lounge and leaned up against the FBI observation car parked just across the street from the tavern. The agents reported, "English is bemoaning the fact that the federal government is closing in on the organization and nothing can be done about it. He made several bad remarks about the Kennedy administration and pointed out that the Attorney General raising money for the Cuba invaders makes Chicago's syndicate look like amateurs."
Business executives and CEOs across the country were whispering the same thing. Many of the executives were amazed to find themselves talking on the phone with the Attorney General of the United States and were even more amazed at what they heard. Kennedy operated shamelessly. He told businesses he wanted money for the Bay of Pigs program, and reminded them that they had either pending contracts before the government or criminal cases before the Justice Department. Before they could respond, Kennedy again mentioned the fund to free the Cubans, and hung up.
John Factor also knew about the fund to free the Cubans. In fact he threw $25,000 into the project and later explained to a curious press corp that James Roosevelt, the problem child of the clan, had approached him about the donation.18
Factor had already given Kennedy $25,000 to help retire his campaign debt and his wife gave several thousand more. Despite the endless rumors to the contrary, Factor denied that he had given $1,000,000 to the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation19 as well.
Miraculously, on December 24, 1962, after Factor's contribution to the Bay of Pigs fund, President John F. Kennedy signed a presidential pardon for Factor for the mail fraud conviction. As a result the deportation proceeding against him was dismissed. For mob watchers and law enforcement employees, who had put so much faith in Robert Kennedy's war on crime, Jake the Barber's presidential pardon fell from the skies like a bolt of lightning.
It was never made clear if Kennedy's actions also killed the investigation of Factor's dealing in the Stardust but one way or the other, that investigation was closed.
Factor always denied that the mob used pressure with the White House to win him his pardon but in mid-1963, while Jake was trying to gain control of the National Life Insurance Company of America and was buying up the company's shares at $125 each; he sold 400 shares to Murray Humpreys at $20 each. Factor's loss was $105 per share. Humpreys then sold the shares back to Factor for $125 a share, making him $42,000 richer in one day.
As far as the Hump's unusual and creative stock transaction with Jake20 the Barber was concerned, the government decided that it was a taxable exchange "for services rendered" and sent capital gains tax bills to both of them.
A presidential pardon was good but just to be sure, on July 16, 1963, in Los Angeles, John Factor, the poor kid from the ghettos of Chicago, raised a slightly shaking hand and along with a dozen other more recent arrivals took the oath of citizenship of the United States of America. "I'm the luckiest man alive, “he said and he was probably right.
16. If his wife, Rella, went with him, he would have been more fortunate; the INS estimated her wealth to be, in 1960, $40 million.
17. The rules that govern federal pardons are just those...rules...not laws. They can be made, broken or ignored by the President. All of these rules are simply procedural in nature. Pardons are the last imperial power of the presidency, and aside from the few pardons that have outraged Americans, such as Jimmy Hoffa's highly questionable pardon, the practice goes on, unregulated.
18. James Roosevelt, then a member of Congress, strongly supported Factor's bid for a Presidential Pardon as well.
19. The Foundation refused this writer access to their records and refused to deny or confirm that Factor donated money to its treasury. The reader should note that the Foundation is a privately held trust; it does not have to account for its spending or explain salaries given to its executives, many of whom are, and have been members of the Kennedy family.
20. In 1960 an FBI informant, believed to be Jimmy "The Turk" recorded Humpreys and Joey Glimco discussing Roger Touhy's murder, a month after it happened. Humpreys said, "But this Factor, he's a dirty cocksucker...here's a guy I've always gone along with. We go ahead, and we do it, originally, and I wouldn't...so he says, ok...200,000." It’s not clear from the transcripts if Humpreys was referring to a payment from Factor to him of $200,000 to murder Touhy. Humpreys added, "I had to give the cocksucker ten thousand dollars."
Here’s a sample chapter from my book “On the Waterfront: The Making of a Great American Film”
THE CINEMATOGRAPHY OF BORIS KAUFMAN
The films Cinematographer would be the talented, highly respected and legendary Boris Kaufman who had been hired by Kazan after a recommendation by filmmaker Willard Van Dyke. Schulberg said,
"Boris was a great artist. He did a beautiful job under difficult conditions. The weather was cold and overcast. We rushed to shoot the film in 35 days. Cheap is fast. Every day costs money. Spiegel, the producer, was on Kazan's tail to go faster. We were pleased by the way, the film turned out. Everybody was against it. We overcame all the obstacles.” 48
Kaufman strongly believed that image and theme in a film must be united and that belief is displayed in the visual continuity from scene to scene, all of it flawless, which was the cinematographer’s primary concern. Since Kazan shot Waterfront in story sequence, (Shooting each scene as the viewer would see it) continuity became a lesser issue for Kaufman, freeing him to concentrate on constancy in lighting, an ongoing problem in outside, winter shooting so to get evenly defused lighting, Kaufman had the crew burn trashcans with dried wood (less smoke).
Throughout each of the three parts of the film, Kazan and Kaufman used camera angles that emphasize entrapment, solidified by the setting of laundry hanging on lines, which form diagonals that intrude on human space, alleyways with blinding lights and diffused lighting that emphasizes moral confusion.
One of the better moments of camera styling in the film, in this case taking precedence over acting and scripting, is the fantastic scene where Terry confesses his role in Joey Doyle’s murder to Edie. The viewer doesn’t hear the confession or Edie response because Kazan allowed it to be drowned out by the scream like whistle from a nearby ship, in effect, drowned out by the waterfront as was the life of Joey Doyle. The viewer hears one of two words but the scene is impressionistic, relying on the depth of the actors reactions to the words, the acting accentuated by the sounding of a pounding press machine somewhere in the background. Edie leaves Terry alone on a hell like pile of black rocks, a flame of fire shooting into the sky in the background.
Foreshadowing is also sprinkled liberally in the film, all of done without dialogue and left only to Kaufman camera work. Kazan uses the foreshadowing in Joey Doyle’s death scene by having
Doyle leans out of his apartment window to answer Terry Malloy’s call from the street, a call that will eventually lead to his death. It is used a second time later in the film when Terry leans out of Edie’s window to answer a dark call from the street, which leads to the discovery of his brother’s corpse. The tilt to the roof to Doyle’s apartment reveals that Joey is in trouble (although this simply happened and not scripted)
Again, he uses a macabre foreshadowing for the death of Kayo Dugan who wishes that the dockworkers could unload crates of Irish whiskey instead of bananas, which they unload every day. The day a ship finally arrives with a cargo of Irish whiskey is the day the gang murders Dugan on the job—by dropping a crate of whiskey on his head. He also uses the dead Joey Doyle’s leather jacket to signal both death and resurrection. After Joey Doyle’s murder, Pops Doyle gives Joey’s jacket to Dugan, suggesting that perhaps now Dugan has a mark on him. After Dugan’s murder, the jacket is given back to Edie who give the jacket to Terry who does not wear it, perhaps out of guilt. Only when he exonerates his guilt by testifying, in the final scene at the docks, does he wear Joey’s jacket. One area of the film that made Spiegel happy was the cost of film. The film is shot in black and white for its realism and social class and because Italian neo-realism, began to dictate an expectation that black and white was somehow more appropriate for social realism than color was.
It was effective for all of those reasons, but it was also cost effective. One of the original reasons the film was shot without color was that there had been a hope that Zanuck, whom they wanted to finance the film, would envision another Grapes of Wrath, one of the most successful films Hollywood had ever produced.
Oddly, moviegoers today view black and white as too realistic which was the mood that Kaufman wanted, he preferred black and white to color because he believed it better brought across the concept that the director and screenwriter had in mind. Black and white also gave Kaufman wider exposure latitude, and the ability to work in unprepared locations where he frequently used long shot, deep focus photography that situated the workmen versus the harbor.
Kaufman used low angle versus high angle shots of the various characters. Terry Malloy, as an example, is never shot against an open sky until he makes the decision to challenge Johnny Friendly. After that, he is joined with Father Barry against the sky whenever he attempts to inspire workers to make spiritual choices.
The garish lighting in the back alley when Terry discovers his murdered brother effectively expresses the good/evil polarity of Terry’s situation at that point in the narrative and the scene prior to that, when Terry and Edie are almost run down by a truck has a Film noir lighting scheme.
The gangsters and their world are depicted with high contrast, low-key photography, again reminiscent of film noir style. Kazan and Kaufman used suggestive framing when Malden as Father Barry, is lifted from the cargo hold with Kayo Duggan’s corpse, above the men, towards heaven as if Duggan reward for his testimony and Barry’s reward for his sermon, are to be brought into heaven. (in reality, it was the only way out of the cargo hold, the exit door to the hold was too narrow to lift the body through)
Kaufman preferred early morning and late afternoon shooting. It gave him natural light sources such as soft shadows and dimly lit objects would be better the black and white hues in the film stock.
Clear days were better for Kaufman to create the films distant shots because the natural light and distance would smooth over the harsher edges of the object, but clear days were far and few between during the short time that the crew was in Hoboken. Conversely, Kaufman preferred cloudy days to shot the actors close up, when the defused lighting would better bring across the actors features.
Although the camera work is one of the key elements to films success
It’s presence in such abbreviated form shows that it has been given short shrift, along with makeup, lighting, and costume design.
Kazan stressed actors-on-screen over camera work, he wanted the actors work to be the center of the film, not Kaufman’s camera angles, as a result, while there is some wonderful camera work by Kaufman, intense close up’s or dramatic long shots are rare. The most frequent shot in the film are two-shot angles (Two actors in one shot at midrange) or in wider shots to show the characters positioning which Kazan used show the dynamics of the waterfront hierarchy. Johnny Friendly is usually shown in alone with his men in the background. As the film progresses, Terry Malloy, who is at first shot close to Friendly and his men, is gradually (starting with his condemnation to the cargo holds by Friendly for missing Kayo Duggan’s testimony) between the Friendly gang and the longshoremen.
Waterfront’s Art and Set Director was Canadian Richard Day, who had begun his film career in 1918 under the director Erich von Stroheim and would win, in the total of his career, seven Oscars for art direction and set design. Day’s cathedral alter set for the 1928 film, The Wedding March, was so beautiful that the films cinematographer Hal Mohr, asked that it be kept up after filming so he could use the set for his own wedding. Day had worked with Kazan on Streetcar but in his work on Waterfront, he created and discovered locations that captured the psychological and physical needs of the film. In Day’s locations, after working closely with Boris Kaufman and Kazan, the city is confined in fences and walls and as a result, the charters are confined, their city is a dingy, dangerous place filled with threatening alleyways, crowded spaces and lights that pierce and blind the cast and the viewer. Space is intruded upon by fog and steam engulfs the streets and set the tone for the characters state of mind. The Hoboken Day delivers sees Manhattan across the river as almost a golden city far beyond the reach of these mere longshoremen who exist in near poverty and filth. Almost all of Kaufman’s distant shots are of an open space (And usually aerial) from the rooftop of Terry’s apartment house. Those shot, always leaving a romantic image, suggest escape if only temporary, from the problems on the dirty streets below.
AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM AND LLR BOOKS.COM
This policy could be the key to making the freelance economy work
There's a certain view of the future of the economy in Silicon Valley that envisions people working independently of companies.
It's a freelancer model wherein people and their skills are portable. They move from company to company, plugging in their skills for a few hours or days at a time, then move on to the next project.
The problem with this plan is that it's hard to support yourself on a freelance income, particularly if you do low-skill jobs like delivery, driving, or house cleaning.
People who make an average or below-average hourly wage need the benefits generally tied to employment, such as health insurance and retirement savings.
Last week, venture capitalist Simon Rothman said there should be a "third class of worker," neither employee nor totally independent. This class of worker would get benefits from another entity that wasn't her employer.
But there might be an even better, simpler way: a universal basic income, or UBI.
What is UBI?
Universal basic income is exactly what it sounds like.
Every person — well, usually every person below a certain income threshold — gets a basic amount of money handed to them on a regular basis without question or direction. Typically the government is the one to make the payments
(Yes, that means raising taxes.) It's essentially getting paid for living in a place or being a citizen. It's not a lot — just enough for a person to scrape by. Almost everyone will still need a job to maintain their standard of living. But it's a regular payment that everyone can count on for the basic necessities in life, even if for some reason they find themselves unable to find enough, or any, work.
In the freelance economy, independent contractors could use their UBI funds to pay for their healthcare and start contributing a predictable amount to their savings. Their skills could be used exactly where and when they were needed most. Employers wouldn't need to be tied to a heavy, broken employment system. They could be light and nimble and pivot as many times as needed. Everyone might be better off.
Is there any proof that this works?
Studies about UBI are hard to do, because simply handing money to people is such a politically fraught topic. But the research that has been done on it shows that it doesn't actually reduce employment much for primary earners. People still want to work. It does reduce poverty and may contribute to better health and social outcomes.
An experiment in Canada in the 1970s seems to suggest that people living with a guaranteed income are healthier. An experiment in India found that poor households with a UBI used it to pay down debt and increase their savings rate. The India experiment showed that people who received this regular cash were more likely to work. And more likely to work for themselves.
"Cash grants led to an increase in own-account work, and a relative switch from wage labour to own-account farming and small-scale business," the paper said.
How would you pay for it?
UBI is expensive, but not impossible to afford.
Economist John Quiggin did some back-of-the-envelope calculations a couple of years ago and figured out how much taxes would go up by (emphasis added):
Depending on the design of the tax scales and the mix between income and other taxes, the marginal rate for the average worker would probably be around 40 per cent, and with a moderately progressive tax scale, lots of workers would be paying marginal rates above 50 per cent.
Summing up the exercise, I’d say that a universal basic income of the type I’ve sketched out here is economically feasible, but not, in the current environment, politically sustainable. However, while economic feasibility is largely a matter of arithmetic, and therefore resistant to change, political sustainability is more mutable, and depends critically on the distributional questions I’ve elided so far. A shift of 10 per cent of national income away from working households might seem inconceivable, but of course that’s precisely what’s happened in the US over the last twenty or thirty years, except that the beneficiaries have not been the poor but the top 1 per cent. So, if that money were clawed back by the state, it could fund a UBI at no additional cost to the 99 per cent.
So this would be expensive.
But there's a way to do it that makes it expensive only for the wealthy. The wealthy, generally the economy's capital, are the ones who are advocating this shift in the economy in the first place.
Are they willing to fund this economic paradigm shift? The current political climate would suggest no. But the important thing to know is that it's economically feasible, if the political climate changes. Imagine a socialist state fueling the libertarian dream economy.
I LOVE ART
"Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.”
THE BOOK OF FUNNY, ODD AND INTERESTING THINGS THAT PEOPLE SAY
John William Tuohy
Insurance Company Reports
The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intention.
I thought my window was down but found it was up when I put my hand through it.
A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.
The guy was all over the place. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.
I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law and headed over the embankment.
The accident occured when I was attempting to bring my car out of a skid by steering it into the other vehicle.
I was driving my car out of the driveway in the usual manner, when it was struck by the other car in the same place it had been struck several times before.
I was on my way to the doctor's with rear-end trouble when my universal joint gave way, causing me to have an accident.
As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.
The telephone pole was approaching fast. I was attempting to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end.
To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian.
My car was legally parked as it backed into the other vehicle.
An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle and vanished.
When I saw I could not avoid a collision, I stepped on the gas and crashed into the other car.
The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran him over.
I saw the slow-moving, sad-faced old gentleman as he bounced off the hood of my car.
Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have.
The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.
"A pedestrian hit me and went under my car."
"The other car collided with mine without giving warning of its intention."
"I had been learning to drive with power steering. I turned the wheel to what I thought was enough and found myself in a different direction going the opposite way."
"Coming home, I drove into the wrong house and collided with a tree I don't have."
"I thought my window was down; but found it was up when I put my hand through it."
"No one was to blame for the accident, but it never would have happened if the other driver had been alert."
"The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran over him."
"I saw the slow-moving, sad-faced old gentleman as he bounced off the hood of my car."
"I had been driving for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident."
"I was taking my canary to the hospital. It got loose in the car and flew out the window. The next thing I saw was his rear end, and there was a crash."
"I was backing my car out of the driveway in the usual manner when it was struck by the other car in the same place where it had been struck several times before."
"The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth."
"The accident happened when the right door of a car came around the corner without giving a signal."
"I was thrown from my car as it left the road. I was later found in a ditch by some stray cows."
"I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection, a hedge sprung up, obscuring my vision."
"I was on the way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident."
"I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the road when I struck him."
"I told the police that I was not injured, but on removing my hat, I found that I had a fractured skull."
"My wench slipped, losing my balance, and I hurt my back."
"I was unable to stop in time, and my car crashed into the other vehicle. The driver and passengers then left immediately for a vacation with injuries."
"To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian."
"The accident occurred when I was attempting to bring my car out of a skid by steering it into the other vehicle."
"When I could not avoid a collision, I stepped on the gas and crashed into the other car."
"I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way."
"In my attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole."
"My car was legally parked as it backed into the other vehicle."
"As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident."
"The telephone pole was approaching fast. I was attempting to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end."
"A truck backed though my windshield and into my wife's face."
"I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment."
"The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him."
"An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle, and vanished."
"My finger hit the band saw, damaging it."
Architecture for the blog of it
Art for the Blog of It
Art for the Pop of it
Photography for the blog of it
Music for the Blog of it
Sculpture this and Sculpture that
The art of War (Propaganda art through the ages)
Album Art (Photographic arts)
Pulp Fiction Trash (The art of Pulp Fiction covers)
Admit it, you want to Read this Book (The art of Pulp Fiction covers)
The Godfather Trilogy BlogSpot
On the Waterfront: The Making of a great American Film
The Wee Book of Irish Recipes (Book support site)
Good chowda (New England foods)
Old New England Recipes (Book support site)
And I Love Clams (New England foods)
In Praise of the Rhode Island Wiener (New England foods)
Wicked Cool New England Recipes (New England foods)
Old New England Recipes (New England foods)
Foster Care new and Updates
Aging out of the system
Murder, Death and Abuse in the Foster Care system
Angel and Saints in the Foster Care System
The Foster Children’s Blogs
Foster Care Legislation
The Foster Children’s Bill of Right
Foster Kids own Story
The Adventures of Foster Kid.
Me vs. Diabetes (Diabetes education site)
The Quotable Helen Keller
Teddy Roosevelt's Letters to his children (Book support site)
The Quotable Machiavelli (Book support site)
Whatever you do, don't laugh
The Quotable Grouch Marx
A Big Blog of Irish Literature
The Wee Blog of Irish Jokes (Book support blog)
The Wee Blog of Irish Recipes
The Irish American Gangster
The Irish in their Own Words
When Washington Was Irish
The Wee Book of Irish Recipes (Book support site)
The Blogable Robert Frost
The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation
Holden Caulfield Blog Spot
The Quotable Oscar Wilde
NEW ENGLAND BLOGS
The Quotable Thoreau
Old New England Recipes
Wicked Cool New England Recipes
The New England Mafia
And I Love Clams
In Praise of the Rhode Island Wiener
The Connecticut History Blog
The Connecticut Irish
God, How I hated the 70s
Child of the Sixties Forever
The Kennedy’s in the 60’s
Music of the Sixties Forever
Elvis and Nixon at the White House (Book support site)
Beatles Fan Forever
Year One, 1955
Robert Kennedy in His Own Words
The 1980s were fun
The 1990s. The last decade.
The Russian Mafia
The American Jewish Gangster
The Mob in Hollywood
We Only Kill Each Other
Early Gangsters of New York City
Al Capone: Biography of a self-made Man
The Life and World of Al Capone
The Salerno Report
Guns and Glamour
The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
Recipes we would Die For
The Prohibition in Pictures
The Mob in Pictures
The Mob in Vegas
The Irish American Gangster
Roger Touhy Gangster
Chicago’s Mob Bosses
Chicago Gang Land: It Happened Here
Whacked: One Hundred years of Murder in Gangland
The Mob Across America
Mob Cops, Lawyers and Front Men
Shooting the Mob: Dutch Schultz
Bugsy& His Flamingo: The Testimony of Virginia Hill
After Valachi. Hearings before the US Senate on Organized Crime
Mob Buster: Report of Special Agent Virgil Peterson to the Kefauver Committee (Book support site)
The US Government’s Timeline of Organized Crime (Book support site)
The Kefauver Organized Crime Hearings (Book support site)
Joe Valachi's testimony on the Mafia (Book support site)
Mobsters in the News
Shooting the Mob: Dead Mobsters (Book support site)
The Stolen Years Full Text (Roger Touhy)
Mobsters in Black and White
Mafia Gangsters, Wiseguys and Goodfellas
Whacked: One Hundred Years of Murder and Mayhem in the Chicago Mob (Book support site)
Gangland Gaslight: The Killing of Rosy Rosenthal (Book support site)
The Best of the Mob Files Series (Book support site)
It’s All Greek Mythology to me
The Rarifieid Tribe
The Upscale Traveler
The Mish Mosh Blog
DC Behind the Monuments
When Washington Was Irish