March 19th, 2010
Friend and poet Michael Gushue reports this alleged lost scene from the Citizen Kane script:
Kane stands with his butler/factotum, Raymond in the family tomb. His only son, Charles Foster Kane II, is dead at the age of 31. The year is 1938, and workmen are setting a slab on the grave.
After they leave, Kane looks at the simple inscriptions on the crypts of his father, mother and son.
Above the blank space reserved for him, is an inscription on an ornate, ancient wall imported from Persia.
Kane translates for Raymond (bored and couldn’t care less):
The drunkenness of youth
Has passed like a fever
And yet I saw many things
Seeing my glory in the days of my glory
I thought my power eternal
And the days of my life
Fixed surely in the years
But a whisper came to me
From Him who dies not
I called my tributary kings together
And those who were proud rulers under me
I opened the boxes of my treasure to them, saying
“Take hills of gold, mountains of silver
And give me one more day upon the earth”
But they stood silent
Looking upon the ground
So that I died
And Death came to sit upon my throne
O sons of men
You see a stranger upon the road
You call to him and he does not stop
He is your life
Walking towards time
Hurrying to meet the kings of India and China
O sons of men
You are caught in the web of the world
And the spider
Nothing waits behind it
Where are the men with towering hopes?
They have changed places with owls
Owls who lived in tombs
And now inhabit a palace
We live in affluence
And are blind to where we are
Our concerns and feuds
Fill our time every day
You must ask yourself
What is the worth?
March 18th, 2010
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more remarkable interview from Washington.
This sad concession signals the death of the movement for health care reform in D.C that began during the Long Campaign and then crested — Who knew? — with Obama’s inauguration.
Poor Dennis looks dead on his feet.
This comes against news stories in the past two weeks reporting that Obama made explicit promises to the insurance companies last summer to reject a bill with a public plan.
The other shoe will drop with the hopeless wars, leaving Obama toast. Romney seems a shoe-in as successor.
Then we revisit Highway 61.
I was talking to someone in Dennis K’s office Thursday, suggesting that he might be more effective in Ohio, as a governor, working the angle he repeatedly holds hope out for in the interview here.
If he thought the same, his argument for voting Yes here would falter. He could go out with a significant NO, like Eliot Richardson and Wm Ruckelshaus in 1973, and use it as a rallying cry back home.
But I guess Dennis still thinks there is a reason to be in Washington. He chairs an important subcommittee. Although that comes and goes with the Donkey majority, and the latter is hardly a clinch in November.
It’s March 2010. Do you know where your future is?
March 16th, 2010
It has begun.
What the Dice Man has joined may none put asunder.
If your brakes don’t work, smile as you go under.
What’s he building in there?
This is actually a conversion of a screenplay, the antepenultimate, my fifth, from 2005, into a novel. Thought about doing it before. Now it seems to have gone and …
The opening paragraph seems to be:
In June 2004, after five Medecins Sans Frontieres were found murdered in the middle of nowhere in Afghanistan, Aaron called, for the first time since coming to New York with Maya. Long out of touch had been the pattern of a friendship born and first aborted in Texas, then again at Duke, before settling down to disjointed maturity during years of criss-crossing work overseas. Since the rebirth of History the routine had been that to meet for coffee one went to Baghdad or Bosnia or Berlin.
That, or perhaps:
He would miss his turn.
And so on to the end.
If we shall suppose that writing lengthy bits that no one shall ever read is one of those offenses which, in the providence of Dog, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both Yea and Ney this terrible task as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living Dog always ascribe to Him?
Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of lore may speedily pass away.
Yet, if Dog wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the pen man’s sore head and hands and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the quill shall be paid by another drawn by the horde, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, “The judgments of the lord are true and righteous altogether.”
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as Dog gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
March 11th, 2010
President Sarkozy of France proposes to move the body from Lourmain, the little town where Camus tried to live and work in peace during his last decade, in the south, to the Pantheon in Paris. The notion seems to have caused a nasty stir.