Go Down, Moses

My experiment to read old classics has back fired. Instead of finding a story that was mesmerizing, and intriquing I have to proclaim, that my latest read by William Faulkner is a giant bunker-buster. It took me three days to read through the chapter titled ‘Bear’, and it made no sense at all. I am reading words but comprehending zero. I will finish the read this week, but I will also give it one star because, after several chapters the story line is still not clear, and the characters not very well defined. The spoken language of niggerese only adds to the confusion. Maybe it is because I am not that familiar with the history of the period but this story is leaving me empty. I cannot recommend Go Down, Moses to anyone. At this point I will never recommend anything written by William Faulkner. */* * * * *

Faulkner’s writing style is to write a line then to define the scene by several more lines in many different ways. It is a pattern he uses throughout the story. He does well by his first showing of the idea but then goes overboard by redefining and reiterating the same scene in so many intellectual ways as to become boring. Most chapters could be just as effective by cutting them by two thirds. I had to look in my dictionary several times to define the words he used. He is a master of finding words to define explicit ideas, but in my case he left me wondering if I was so deficient in vocabulary as to not be worthy of this level of story telling. * / * * * * * Boo Hissss!

Wild Idea

A strange question came to mind while listening to a recent newscast. When people speak of diversity and inclusion just what do they mean? What is included in diversity? Are they speaking of race, gender, ethnicity, wealth, religion, medical condition, or political ideology? When we say we must expand diversity what do we mean?

For fun I researched a few ideas. Like how many races worldwide, now many countries, how many religions, how many political ideologies? The mathematical combinations becomes astronomical.

Specific DivisionNumber
Countries in World39—–195
Sexual Orientations9 ??????
Language Spoken12—-7100

In order to estimate the totality of what is included in diversity I would multiply these six numerical divisions by them selves or to put into a mathematical form

Diversity = (195 x 10 x 4000 x 9 x 650 x 7100) = 31,941 x 10 to the tenth power

or, if i multiply the most common diversities factors

Diversity = ( 39 x 10 x 12 x 9 x 8 x 12) = 4,043,520 diverse combinations

This number of combinations is so huge that diversity becomes unimaginable.

So what do we really mean by diversity, and why is it important? I’d say that Disney Studios should define it as bankruptcy, and as far as importance to Disney I’d say it isn’t important at all. If a company goes bankrupt because they try to write stories or remake movies based on diversity that diversity is absolutely not important.

In my estimation the leaders of Disney who have embraced trying to maximize diversity into their casts are nothing more than numbskulls. When I look at the number of possibilities to make something diverse I would select the first number of actors who fit the characters in the scenario and go with it. There would be a ninety percent chance that the cast would be as diverse as the population of the world. Forcing diversity into a story line that takes place in a specific region of the world could make no sense at all. For instance, casting blacks into a story that occurs in Ancient China would make no sense at all. Casting lily white people as black slaves, or American Indians in a story about the French revolution would be equally stupid. Entertainment companies that use diversity as a mainline premise for casting characters is nothing short of lunacy.

Why is there so much pressure on us to make everything diverse? This movement is being led by the same people who are leading us into communism. They have been trying their damndest to convert us into a stupid failed ideology by using any kind of idea they think can divide and conquer.

When we finally convince them that diversity is a bad idea they will reach into their cauldron of evil ideas to sell us something new, but I assure you it won’t be anything new. It will be another failed idea with a new coat of paint. A simpler way to say it is ‘lipstick on a pig.’

Reignited Memories

The human brain works in mysterious ways. Last week my grandson called to tell us that his motorhome trip to Zion Park was terminated by a tire blowout on I-57 not thirty miles from home. It happened on an outside lane during heavy traffic, and he had to pull onto the left side shoulder. The tire change would have to be done with his ass hanging out into the fast lane. He opted for safety and called for help. Traffic backed up and the Cops called the freeway emergency trucks to tow him off the road into an accident investigation area.

All week my mind has been sending me messages about roadside dilemmas that I experienced with the family campers. In 1980 we owned a 1978 GMC van with a 405 cu in engine that had horsepower to spare. We pulled a 18 foot long Skamper camping trailer which opened up to 26 feet. We named the trailer ‘G4″, the “G” stood for “Gypsy”, and the four meant it was the our fourth camper. There is a separate story attached to each of the G series outfits, and this one will concentrate on the biggest travel trip our family of five took. That year I had accumulated over eighty hours of uncompensated work time and asked my boss if I could add the time to my three week vacation, and miraculously he agreed.

Barb and I planned to explore the National Parks of the west. My part involved getting the van and the trailer ready. Caution urged me to re-lube the trailer hubs which I did, but this meant I had to remove the wheels first. My trailer manual told me to tighten the lug nuts on the wheels, and to retighten them after a thousand miles on the road. Barb’s part was to cook meals that we could freeze and keep frozen for at least three weeks. This took a big load off her having to cook in camp. We left on a Saturday morning and headed north on I-94.

We planned a route that would take us to Theodore Roosevelt, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Mount Rainier, Olympia, Lassen, Redwoods, Sequoia, Yosemite, and finally the Grand Canyon, an aggressive schedule for sure. In the beginning we dreamed of staying days at each park, but that changed quickly as we realized to make it we would have to drive 500 miles every single day. When we arrived at Mount Rainier I made a decision to camp more and drive less. One of the biggest impressions we came home with were the trees along the West coast. At Mount Rainier my son and I took an after supper hike up a trail that spiraled upward. What impressed me most was the physical size of the trees growing there. From the road, or from a distance the trees look small, but from the ground they look like they extend to heaven, and a girth of five feet at the base was a baby. When we finally arrived in Redwood territory, the trees on Mount Rainier were truly babies. The girth of the General Sherman tree is at least twenty five feet, and he is at least three hundred feet tall. I never saw any greenery on this redwood because it was so high up.

We left Mount Rainier and headed for Olympia NP, but it was one of the parks I opted to pass by in order to have more quality time. We moved down the Oregon coast and stopped at several beach camp grounds along the way. We even made an emergency visit to a dentist for Barb. In southern Oregon we crossed over the mountains toward Crater lake on Lassen NP. The passage was a twisty windy two lane mountain road. They posted a rule that if you were holding up more than two cars you were to pull over and allow them to pass. I spent a good part of the ride pulling over. We finally reached Interstate 5 at 4 p.m. and there was still another hundred miles to Crater Lake. I made another decision to pass this up in favor of moving on toward the Redwoods. We boogied south on the I-five. About a half hour into the ride, I felt the van suddenly jump-up and land hard. I looked into my rear view mirror and saw a rooster tail of sparks flying off the trailer. I slowed and pulled off to a stop. The Trailer was sitting very low on the passenger side. I looked around and could not tell immediately what had happened. Then I saw it, one of the wheels on the low side was gone. It dawned on me, I never re-tightened the lug nuts. The twisty curvy mountain road had worked the nuts loose on this one wheel and it finally came off the hub. The bump I felt was the free spinning tire hitting the trailer frame to get loose. I never found the wheel. There we were in the boondocks of Northern California with one trailer wheel and four lug nuts short. Thankfully, I had a spare wheel, and I stole one lug nut from each of the remaining wheels to get back on the road. Within minutes of rolling again I sensed a new problem, I smelled rubber burning. This time I crawled under the trailer to see what was happening. When the wheel lifted the trailer to escape it came down hard and the impact of the hub against the concrete road bent the axle. The tire was rubbing on the frame and melting. We limped into a small town, probably Redding, and found a camp ground. It was Friday evening by that time, and finding help to fix the axle was nonexistent until Monday. Luckily, I was able to find a shop that could do the job, but it would take two days. We left the trailer with the fixer and checked into a motel. We spent the time sight seeing the area.

Since this event came to mind, I have recalled three more break down stories on our vacation trips pulling a camper. It has been fifty to fifty-five years that this event was tucked into the folds of my brain, and it took Jerry’s unfortunate breakdown to trigger the memory.

We drove over eight thousand miles during our five week National Park Tour and arrived home physically tired but very refreshed with memories that have lasted a lifetime. I want to do it again, but this time without the trailer, and not constrained by a five week time limit.

Ancient Authors

School days left me void of literature. I keep hearing about friends who read books during their early school years and even had required book lists to work from. I do not remember having such an assignment. Today, and for the past forty years I have given myself a challenge to read fifty-two books a year. To keep things interesting, I mix up fiction with non-fiction. The non-fiction category is not my favorite, but I endure it nevertheless. Then comes fiction, and I have often spoken about John Steinbeck being my favorite author. He wrote about the Great Depression and the times he lived, and I find that hearing his descriptions fascinating. Another favorite author is James Michener, who based his fiction on real history and included genealogy, geology, astronomy, astrology, ancestry, and much more in describing the era of his work. His stories were never short.

When I browse my library for material it is very easy to stay in the new fiction genre. After a few of these reads they begin to sound alike, so the next time I will head for the stacks to find an author whose name I know, but have never read. This time I decided to check out William Faulkner. His works were published in the forties, and fifties. I selected a volume which has his first four works combined into one volume. I’m reading Go Down, Moses. I suspect this story would be banned by most schools because of the use of the word ‘nigger’ to describe former black slaves who were working as free men but living like slaves in abject poverty. Faulkner does a credible job of formalizing the pronunciation of the black vocabulary, but it is not easy to read. Combine that with the very small print used to fit the four novels into one volume of 1072 pages, and it is slow and hard to comprehend.

At this point in the book I am still unable to formulate whether I like the story or the writing. I will endure this first work and move on to the next one just to save a trip to the library.

A Snake in the Grass

Today, I finally attacked a flower bed in front of the house. It had suckers growing out of the day lily clumps that were three feet tall. As I cleared the area and got a view of the apple tree four feet away I was startled by the sight of a garter snake. It lay all twisted along the roots of the tree. I decided to leave it alone. It hadn’t moved and as I inspected it more closely, I saw it was wounded. He/she/it had a very large laceration across it’s body. Most likely he/she/it tangled with a weed whip used by the lawn service to trim the borders.

I made a fatal mistake and showed the critter to Lovely who immediately wanted me to execute the poor thing. I calmed her by telling her that he/she/it was wounded and probably wouldn’t make it through the night. Later in the day, my grandson came to tell me that he was startled by a snake that crossed his path at the side of the house as he spoke to a friend on the phone. I guess he/she/it isn’t mortally wounded after all.

I’ll have to set a trap to catch this poor reptile and take him ten miles from home to let him out in the wild. I did that earlier this spring. I caught he/she/it] bare handed and put he/she/it in a box. I walked he/she/it a hundred yards into the wetland behind the house where I shook he/she/it out of the box and wished he/she/it good luck on a new life. A month later he/she/it was back in my yard right next to the back door. I never mentioned that to Lovely.

Wish me luck, I think I’ll need it to trap he/she/it, and take a ride to the forest preserve.