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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

There's Just More History All The Time!

I'm still thrashing around in history here. I remember being assigned to take photos of a bonfire in 1967 and the flame got taller and taller and started looking like a roaring tiger or devil on one side. Here, I'll show you:

The proof looked like this after friend Carra doodled and captioned on it. She thought a gate to hell got opened. Her sister said, "Yeah, you wish !" Thing is, this --happily with the exception of 20-foot-tall flames-- was how parties often looked, even indoors, in 1967.

I'd generally go in, wave and say hello to the great fug of smoke, then head for the kitchen. In 1967, just like now, the kitchen was not only the heart of every home, it was also the mind. In late evening, in late '60s kitchens, the drugs of choice were espresso and Kahlua. Intellectual discussions distanced themselves from living room fugs because patchouli is quite flammable.  Transcription is available if I can just access the correct neural pathways. Yes, there's one:

"Ok, ok, Anatole France says, 'If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it's still a foolish thing'."

"Of course, but he would have to concede it is also an amazing coincidence."

"Semantic conflict! Like saying you saved up to buy a quarter-horse because you couldn't afford a whole one."

"There were beautiful horses at the last demonstration."

"Mounted police?

"Yeah."

"Where do they put the sirens on those poor things?"

"Oh man, you're so right-brained!"

"What?"

"It's like rubber gloves. You go wash dishes and find two right gloves, so you turn one inside out and it becomes a left glove."

"That works?"

"Yeah, really!"

"So could we do that with, like, Congress?"

"Oh wow."

"Congress is a male-dominated citadel, no chance."

"Beg to differ. Citadel can be either gender."

"Meaning?"

"Well, it can be a fort, which is masculine, or..."

"Fortress! That's feminine!"

"Far out!"

The kitchen circle may have been small but its membership was prestigious, portable.  It can be accessed from infinite points in space and time, which is why we have memories. Not much point in history without memory. This means each mind in each life-form contains an index of spacetime coordinates, without which neither present nor future would exist because there'd be no point of reference or definition. In other words, no point.

I am now in another kitchen, 48 years in the future of 1967, and I got into my toybox again to hold artifacts in front of this webcam. This one is an old gift from a thespian and vocalist who steadfastly believed in a project she worked on so many years ago, a show about the future that did not merely outline shapes of things to come but also maintained the final frontier contained whole new possibilities of existence. Yes, it's addressed to Geo. with "love".


Oh, go ahead and say it: Uhura is my secret pal !!!

28 comments:

  1. Wasn't it great to solve all the world's problems in one intellectual discussion? We knew so much then. What happened?

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    1. It WAS great, Emma, such an adventure. Some of us used the learning experience to good advantage; some of us became the people we complained about. All of us had fun.

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  2. I remember being so much smarter than I am now...sigh. Time is a confusing thing isn't it? Today is yesterdays future and tomorrows history. Rather hard to live 'in the moment'.

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    1. Somebody must have convinced us back then that the "moment' was everywhere, because that's where we still look for it. Still turns up sometimes.

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  3. The conversations in kitchens... I'm going to have to remember that "quarter horse" joke as I just talking with my secretary about how they're in the market for a horse for her daughter... That might make horses appear more affordable (do they only eat 1/4 of the hay and oats? :)

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    1. I may have made that one up, Sage, but you're sure welcome to it! In fact, with "1/4 of the hay and oats", you earned it.

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  4. If 50,000,000 people say a foolish thing, it might even be democracy at work!

    Ah! "The moon's a window to window."

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    1. Democracy always starts at ground level and works its way up. And yes, we look into the universe while it looks into us.

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  5. Kitchens were and are the very best places. Converations with flavour.

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    1. We should take measureless pride in being one of those generations that changed the world from our kitchen tables. But then, maybe they all do.

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  6. Strange how 'heaven' came out as a second 'window'.

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    1. I like both versions, Tom, and reflect no disturbance in meaning.

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  7. We've grown older in kitchens. I wonder if we have grown wiser, so much has been said in kitchens.

    And your secret pal is stellar.

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    1. I believe we've grown wiser --that's what kitchens are about. And yes, "stellar" is the perfect word for Nichelle.

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  8. This is brilliant...no wonderful...no I mean I really enjoyed reading this. I don't want to go overboard with my praise but I can't help it. I am stealing the quarter horse joke.

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    1. Kind John, thanks! My joke is meant to be shared freely --I think all jokes are.

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  9. Ah, the glib sureties of youth, as we discussed (and solved!) the problems of the world over endless cups of coffee, or sang about them with guitars and tambourines in hand. Those were the days. We thought we knew all the answers, but the truth is, we didn't even know all the questions. Still don't. But I wouldn't trade in my memories of those "enlightening" discussions we used to have for anything. Heck, after a glass or two of wine, I might even get dragged into similar conversations today, especially when our kids are visiting. See, now they know all the answers...

    Another terrific post, dude.

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    1. Thanks Susan. Certainly some enthusiasms have remained the same, others evened out --good thing too. I just wonder where all the scads of friends went, and if Carra would still sign her name on the devil's bum.

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  10. Ah - the kitchen: yes, one heart of the party (there were always two hearts) - now and then. And the discussion you quote above hasn't change that much, only now one can add (history): "Remember those horses with police on it? I was so frightened, because they seemed huge as mountains." (I met them in Hanover, we did a peaceful demonstration against the very right-wing NPD - then the police on horses came, they shouted from above 'Go away quicker, you fools!" - and then the demonstrators, who were in the act of going away, turned round like one wave back and started to fight).
    The idea with the rubber gloves is ingenious - I always give the advice to buy really, really large ones (leaving no way of excuses for men) - it is so practical too when the telephone rings: you can easily slip out of them.
    And then: what is Right or Wrong? :-)

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    1. Dear Brigitta,
      Yes, Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands --not a political force that brooked much in the way of criticism or discussion. I can only imagine what you were up against in Hanover. The world was our classroom, wasn't it? I hope we keep learning, like you have --brava!

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    2. Just to make sure: the police protected those NPD-people, not us. It was a peaceful demonstration against those eternal yesterday's people who never learned from the past .

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    3. Understood. What is it about such groups that makes them think a fair and just future can be chased away with horses?

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  11. Turning Congress inside out sounds like a good idea. Uhura would approve.

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    1. Indeed, her character had subtlety. In STNextGen., all problems were solved by Geordi (Sacramento kid) rerouting all power to the main deflector dish.

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  12. Funny what you can see in shapes like that. I had an art teacher once who would have us paint shapeless watercolors and then outline with a black marker whatever we'd seen in the vision. It was fun and really brought out the creativity. Also, that's so cool that you know Miss beautiful Nyota Uhura from Star Trek. Her role on that show was extremely important.

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    1. Those are among my favorite art exercises too, Amy. I must confess I'm not really well-acquainted with Nichelle Nichols, but I've had a crush on her since 1966. One of my son's work and hers coincide several times a year so he asked her to inscribe a photo for me. Still, writing "Love" was her idea.

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  13. Kitchens and/or fires seem to instigate parties. When I say 'and fires' this is because we have a Rayburn- kitchens on fire are exciting but not always welcome for social gatherings. Fugs it up, you might say.
    Good choice of celebrity crush :-)

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    1. Thank you Lisa! But we must allow for the 1960s. People were easier-going and not so hung up on details as they are now. We often rented lodgings without checking if they were on fire or not. Folks are more particular now. And yes, Ms. Nichols has long been one of my heroes.

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