by dubby riley

by dubby riley, a loose fitting scholar

Friday, 31 December 2010

The implications are startling

I've promised to condense the review of My Magpie Fuller's essay called The Great Lawsuit into six pieces. So this will be the final here. But what I want to do is suggest that for those really interested in this material, especially in the esoteric topic of Sacred Feminine, that you go get your fill on the new blog.

Just so this doesn't end too simply though I'll deduce by way of bullets, the conclusion of this series.

  • Margaret Fuller wrote in a time that was barbaric and primitive compared to the "collective consciousness" of today
  • Still, she spoke from an elevated viewpoint
  • On the surface the material seemed to be about feminism and rights of women
  • I contend that something else lies below the surface of her words
  • A male centric religion pervades the landscape of human myth
  • The spirit which seems to inform the planet looks a whole lot more feminine than male
Now, what you'll see from this point forward, for those brave souls who will join us over in You Talkin Me?, is a new dimension to the story.  I suggest there is a technique to help anyone who is interested in transcending limitations that is ancient and astounding. It is in our bodies but it isn't in our bodies. It requires concentration but you shouldn't concentrate. It will set you free but you'll decide to stay close to the center.

This won't be me making this stuff up. Just me sharing resources. I'll reveal a pass to a new world. Called the Mysterious Female.


Sunday, 26 December 2010

So what does it all mean?

This will be the easiest of the five posts so far, in the series about Maggie Fuller's essay The Great Lawsuit. Today is December 26, 2010, the day after a shining day of remembrance in an unusually dramatic unfolding of consciousness. I'm not sure I've ever been as positive that I have all the information I need to make the right choices. This morning it occurred to me that I still need a little "bolstering" when it comes to making the exact right choice and that at this point I feel as if I will resist the right choice often because of my weakness of flesh. But the important thing is that I've decided to accept reinforcement by that capacity which stands by me always in the face of whichever decision I make.

Sex is certainly part of this thing. And we are certainly animals. Stripped of everything, we'll get cold when temperatures fall and hungry when we haven't eaten. The spark which torches everything that burns in us doesn't allow us any rest from protecting it. We'll do about anything to stay alive. And the males seem to have a second flame which drives reproduction. Add that all together and there is no wonder wars are what comes of all that.

But here is the beauty. The happy little trees in the picture. We've evolved to a point that our cumulative consciousness is taking over. Ha! I laugh with a thunder that can shake the universe! WE IS IT.

When I wonder aloud whether the human species will survive, it is just a small boy in a huge playground, pushing his truck through the sand. Squirrels and skunk are watching with full armor. Somewhere the boy's mother holds him safely in her protection, just as a hen sits on her eggs. Will Gaia do less?

And even if we humans draw the final straw so the last piece of ice falls into rising oceans or the last cheetah dies or a shrinking top soil no longer supports fruits or vegetables or some new stinking fuel raises the stakes of insanity of so called "religious" wars, truly fought over love of money--surely that spark which fires the torch of all life will burn in some new undiscovered breast of being.

And it will be by this power of Mother that we'll learn to take care of all our sisters and homies alike. Good Will Toward Men...and WoMEN. Peace

Saturday, 18 December 2010

The Great Lawsuit by Margaret Fuller

This is the fourth piece in what shall be six parts. If you've come fresh to the blog, you may want to read the previous other three short articles which have lead to this. But I'll try to write it as a review which can stand on its own. The problem is that Margaret Fuller's depth is extreme. And the "juice" of her commentary is thick with tree sap which could stop a freight train if it were gathered as a wall. Yes, the essence of the treatise is a nectar, but the energy which pushed it to the surface is powered by a sense of urgency. That momentum has a tendency to detract from the delicate nuance which is embedded in "folds" of the sauce. I've seen other cooks do the same thing, not allowing the original flavor to just permeate the taste buds because technique got in the way.

So I'll lay her words before you and invite you to savor those flavors that your taste buds crave.

Toward the beginning of Maggie Fuller's essay, written in 1843 she refers to the state of human culture with an analogy from Jonathan Swift and his satire Gulliver's Travels.

Such marks have been left by the footsteps of man, whenever he has made his way through the wilderness of men. And whenever the pygmies stepped in one of these, they felt dilate within the breast somewhat that promised larger stature and purer blood. They were tempted to forsake their evil ways, to forsake the side of selfish personal existence, of decrepit skepticism, and covetousness of corruptible possessions. Conviction flowed in upon them. They, too raised the cry; God is living, all is his, and all created beings are brothers, for they are his children. These were the triumphant moments; but as we have said, man slept and selfishness awoke.
Soon after she makes a distinction between three possible ways that "perfection can be sought." The first is intellect, the second is experience and then as to the third way, she says this about the "true" way:

You would not learn through them (she is talking about the first two, intellect and experience), but express through them a higher knowledge. In quietness, yield thy soul to the casual soul.

Any person who has experienced the "off body" sensation of meditation or prayer may resonate with that peaceful little snack. Yes, we can think an issue into the ground and we can learn stuff the hard way by the school of "getting the crap beat out of us." But when a voice from within talks to us, it comes on little lambs feet.

Then she blesses us with a fair prophesy:

Yet something new shall presently be shown of the life of man, for hearts crave it now, if minds do not know how to ask it.

and how shall this take place? improvement in the daughters will best aid the reformation of the sons of this age

and why or what would be the need for this?

everything has been done that inherited depravity could, to hinder the promise of heaven from its fulfillment

We should have every arbitrary barrier thrown down. We would have every path laid open to woman as freely as to man. Were this done, and a slight temporary fermentation allowed to subside, we believe that the Divine would ascend into nature to a height unknown in the history of past ages, and nature, thus instructed, would regulate the spheres not only so as to avoid collision, but to bring forth ravishing harmony.
Soon, Maggie explains how she was given a chance. Her father treated her as an equal and afforded her to be educated without any hindrance or suppression. But because of her freedom, she learned to seek a higher wisdom, but not as a religious female but as the "transparent eyeball" which Emerson describes:

This self dependence, which was honored in me, is deprecated as a fault in most women. They are taught to learn their rule from without, not to unfold it from within
She clothes the following with symbolism about a "holy" male child but really she is talking about mankind as a species:

...that woman may not have been born for him alone, but have come from heaven, a commissioned soul, a messenger of truth and love
and a few pages later this biting reality

Ye cannot believe it, men; but the only reason why women ever assume what is more appropriate to you, is because you prevent them from finding out what is fit for themselves.
But remember gentle reader, that she doesn't rebuke men or women because this is purely about rights of either gender but because she wants us to come in direct contact with our true higher self, God--

We are pleased that women should write and speak, if they feel the need of it, from having something to tell; but silence for a hundred years would be as well, if that silence be from divine command, and not from man's tradition

as later she explains the purpose for the female perspective:

...all her thoughts may turn to the centre, and by steadfast contemplation enter into the secret of truth and love, use it for the use of men, instead of a chosen few, and interpret through it all the forms of life

Finally toward the end of the essay, she builds a climax, though a subtle one. She speaks of a "plant-like gentleness," development of energy, and "inward" tendency to

...bring the world more thoroughly and deeply into harmony with her nature

She invites us to be "children of one spirit" and perpetual "learners of the word and doers thereof, not "hearers" only. She praises an unnamed writer in the New York Pathfinder who views woman from the soul and not from society who speaks of feminine nature as the harmonizer of the "vehement elements" who called it "lyrical"--the inspiring and inspired apprehensiveness of her being.

Making comparison of woman to the greek Gods of Muse (song and poetry) and Minerva (wisdom), she says the genius of woman is electrical in movement, intuitive in function and spiritual in tendency. The she continues:

More native to her is it to be the living model of the artist and....more native to inspire and receive the poem than to create it

and the difference between how men and women may react or dwell in these forces?

...modified in her as woman, it flows, it breathes, it sings, rather than deposits soil, or finishes work, and that which is especially feminine flushes in blossom the face of earth, and pervades like air and water all this seeming solid globe, daily renewing and purifying its life.
Where she leads us is to understand that if we were to allow this Divine Feminine to have free reign (though she never uses those words) it would lead to a "harmony with the central soul." Soon you see her use the word "Unity."

Then her crescendo builds:

It is therefore that I would have woman lay aside all thought, such as she habitually cherishes, of being taught and led by men. I would have her, like the Indian girl, dedicate herself to the Sun, the Sun of Truth, and go no where if his beams did not make clear the path. I would have her free from compromise, from complaisance, from helplessness, because I would have her good enough and strong enough to love one and all beings, from the fulness, not the poverty of being.


But men do not look at both sides, and women must leave off aksing them and being influenced by them, but retire within themselves, and explore the groundwork of being till they find their peculiar secret.

A full page before the completion of her essay, I think we find her most potent instructions to women and men who will seek the Divine Feminine. She instructs us to:

meditate in virgin loneliness

and then we will have the benefit of "the all-kindly, patient Earth-Spirit."

Friday, 17 December 2010


This is the third part in a chapter I'm composing about the Divine Feminine. If you've followed the first two installments, you know that after reading and thinking about Margaret Fuller's essay, published in The Dial, entitled The Great Lawsuit, I decided to review her treatise.

Forgive me for taking the long way to getting back to Fuller's essay but I'm trying to let the ocean current take you on this same ride. For us to speed comfortably along on the wave, we must be well aware of the undercurrents.

This is taken from a very interesting website: 

Because God as father has become an over literalized metaphor, the symbol of God as mother is eclipsed. The problem lies not in the fact that male metaphors are used for God, but that they are used exclusively and literally. 

Religion means different things to different people if we were to sample definitions. It has become very popular to say, "I'm not religious but I'm SPIRITUAL," or perhaps even more in vogue is the expression that "I identify less with organized religion than with a purely spiritual approach to God and the Universe."

There are several possible root words for religion. The most standard is RELIGO from religare, meaning to bind fast, though Cicero believed the word came from relegere, meaning to read again. I want to propose that it is a combination of both but I'd like to dissect the root words further.

Quick searches almost universally tell us that the Latin LIGO means to tie. But there are other meanings. Unite, fasten, wrap. To "re" wrap or reunite or refasten or to re "tie" our connection to God, seems very different to me than to "Bind Fast." Although when I think about reuniting with God and if I allow myself to think of God as the balancing force of the universe, as the healing power of everything, and not necessarily as a "creator," then I DO want to be bound fast with such a force.

Cicero's definition to read again then will mean what I just described, to re "acquire the word," or rethink my connection. As it turns out I've lived my life wondering about my connection to God so in a sense I'm in a constant state of re "reading," all that has been laid at my feet to help me answer my own question "Who Am I?"

If we follow the etymology of the word religion then we may see the direct link to what I often describe as the point of any practice of spirituality, which is to "commune" with God. To connect, to be connected, to be whole, to have unity, to be the I AM. In this state of blissful communion, we may discover we have powers to be joyful, to heal, to see more clearly, to perceive from a higher vantage point. So really then, we don't have to make a distinction between spirituality and religion, that is if we accept this definition of religion.

But because of the practices of religion and not the meaning behind the religions themselves we have come to think of religion as something else than having a direct connection to God. And it may be those practices themselves which have also distorted our view of who and what God is.

I've promised to keep these posts to short manageable bites. So I'll leave you now with only this much. But I'm encouraged by what I'm finding in religious texts to suggest that they weren't originally written as directories for "boys clubs" and God wasn't originally depicted as a male. Or I should say the texts are open to different translations.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Boys will be boys. God the Mother

This is a complicated story. So ingrained in the human psyche is this issue that one must seek understanding from a place in our minds which supersedes intelligence. To call it an issue is also a mistake. This isn't an issue. It is a matter of evolution. And it is sad to think that we haven't reached a point in evolution in the system we have inherited and contributed to  (obviously--because if we had we wouldn't be here)--to have fully integrated the force we'll tag as yin (feminine, nurturing, energy, as opposed to its opposite-masculine, power-seeking energy).

I believe we have some kind of lopsided paradigm regarding masculine and feminine energy,   There IS some accumulation of excess Yang predominating our culture or at least there is an operating force which has us all in the grip of a troubled world which seems to emanate from some dark stirring power which is violent and not nurturing energy. It is as if we are all victims of a messed up "operating system."

This situation requires that we all spend a little time with it and consider how we can help. For the sake of our children and grand kids, for the sake of the planet, actually for the sake of business and especially small businesses, and for happy families everywhere to include the 90% of the world population that probably has no chance in Hell of seeing these is time for us to seek the Divine Feminine. She will provide the solution for everything. She operates at the deepest roots of our planet if not universe. You don't need to go far to find her. She's inside you. She's inside me. She's easy to spot. Half of us are even more connected to her, because (you--the half I'm speaking of) are female.

HER FAULT, Margaret Fuller
It all started when I happened to read The Great Lawsuit by Margaret Fuller, written in 1843 and published first in the Transcendentalist chronicle, The Dial.

Let me put Margaret Fuller's essay in perspective. When she wrote the essay from her location up around Concord, Massachusettes, half the country still held slaves. The slave trade from Africa had stopped by then, but when Fuller wrote The Great Lawsuit, Thomas Jefferson's legacy of owning slaves and making babies with them (you don't know the story of Sally Hemings?--then after this, go read about it. One of these days I'll write the review for The Hemingses of Monticello) was still fresh. It wouldn't be for another twenty years that it became criminal to hold slaves. I will say this once, and move on. We still hold women as slaves. We still have not learned to fully empower the Mother of all humanity and the planet, let's call her Gaia. 

The era then was sort of an "in between" time. The early modern era had passed and we were in the later modern era. The industrial revolution was taking place, on the heels of the French Revolution. Some would have said it was the Age of Enlightenment or the age of reason. In many ways, the new civilized thinking of that day was enlightened, compared to let's say...the dark ages. 

And there were changes in the midst of many people of the time for women. Great things. I would say that both Sally Hemings and Margaret Fuller were hopeful that things would soon be different, not only in America but all the world, for women.

I will also sneak this in here and be done with it. Fuller, herself, doesn't go in this direction because she didn't even realize how much it has to do with everything. But our male centric religions, which depict God as a man and give very little credence to the significance of other living things besides humans (and yes my lovely readers, we're talking Judaism, Christianity and Islam--all offering up praise to the most high Macho Guru King of the Sky--the Godmeister) are a big part of the problem. I'm not saying to ditch them and let's go get some new Gods (necessarily, though there may be a valid argument there), but we can make a place for the Divine Feminine right smack dab in the middle of those old stodgy religions. That's right--let's stir them up a little and put a face lift on them. Like the Jeez himself said, "I have not come to change a letter of the law." 

Left Over Baggage
Here is some wisdom from the age of enlightenment from one of our most cherished voices of the modern essay, Rousseau:

A woman’s education must therefore be planned in relation to man.  To be pleasing in his sight, to win his respect and love, to train him in childhood, to tend him in manhood, to counsel and console, to make his life pleasant and happy, these are the duties of women for all time and this is what she should be taught while she is young.

And this was even from a few years after Fuller had died, from around 1870, both also written by our more evolved brethren from across the Atlantic:

Beauty has claims for which she fights
At ease with winning arms
The women who want women’s rights
Want mostly, women's charms.'
Punch, 1870

‘The best mothers, wives, and managers of households, know little or nothing of sexual indulgences.
Love of home, children, and domestic duties are the only passions they feel.’
William Acton, 1870s

Now all of that nonsense (above to include Rousseau who I like but he too was a victim of this nasty cold we can't seem to get rid of, our inability to connect to the feminine channel of the planet--Gaia) seems to be simply male bigotry and ignorance. I'm just trying to put in perspective what Maggie Fuller was up against when she bravely set down her treatise to help people understand what we're missing by keeping women in chains. 

But there is more. So much more to her essay. It is about energy, love, sexuality, power, yin/yang, how Shiva and Shakti can really get it on, and the future of humanity. By the way, regarding the future of humanity, we are doomed if we don't soon figure this thing out. I'm not exaggerating in the least. Doomed. Like, Adios Humans. Time to go. We the undersigned (meaning the rest of the living planet outside of the Human Race) have decided we've had enough of you and your violent destructive ways. We petition the highest powers of the Universe to remove you from our home. We don't want you around any more. Bye-bye.

Next blog--spotting the Divine Feminine in religion

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Divine Feminine

Nestled somewhere in this next group of blogs will be the review of Margaret Fuller's essay named The Great Lawsuit. Originally I set out to merely to discuss the article which she originally published in the transcendentalist periodical, called The Dial but the task grew to include a considerable amount of study and contemplation of a bunch of other material.

Since I've subtitled this site Bite Size Pieces, it would be unfair to the reader to be served a huge banquet as if it were an appetizer. Therefore, each of the forthcoming hors d'oeuvres will have one delicious flavor in common, but shall be designed to not overburden your digestive system.

Since James Lovelock published the Gaia Hypothesis in the early 1970s, it has been a popular hobby by progressive thinkers to hold the planet and the intricate connection of all things in greater esteem. We now widely consider the elements of Yin and Yang as necessary forces to be balanced in nature. And yet, a huge percentage of those same thinkers, perhaps even practitioners of Tai Chi or Yoga, also hold fast to a male centric religion, such as Christianity, Muslim or Judaism.

In these next few blog posts I will suggest that it is our religious heritage which holds us back from our true highest self.  Primarily because our ankles are so solidly entrenched in the concrete of these religions, that we can't fly to the height of our potential.  We have not yet fully embraced the beauty and energy of  the force which will be required to set us free.

This first installment will be especially short and sweet. So I'll leave you now with the most sumptuous flavor our physical senses will ever know. She is the Sacred Feminine. She enters through our heart center and is accessible to all of us, full time. I hope your appetite is whetted.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Fuze--Deceptive Marketing

From the start I want to say that my overall impression of Fuze, the drink line which is now owned  by Coca Cola isn't THAT bad. There are some good things to report. I occasionally drink them, under certain circumstances. But I just thought you may like to know a few facts.

While we were at the Lake last weekend we went to buy a few refreshing beverages to go with a pear, cheese and bread lunch we planned to picnic on in our car, overlooking picturesque Lake of the Ozarks in Camdenton, Missouri.

My daughter grabbed a sugared drink and I noticed the pomegranate and Acai Berry drink from Fuze. Really no different than expected consumer behavior, I assumed the product had pomegranate and Acai Berry as ingredients. After all, it is named THAT!

I know quite a bit about the superfoods category. I've been to Peru and know more than a casual researcher would understand about the Acai Berry story. It is found at the top of very high palm trees in the Amazon and really does seem to possess some incredible health benefits. Pomegranate too is another superfood and both are known to be loaded with antioxidants and free radicals.

Long story short folks, there aint any pomegranate or acai berry in the Fuze drink. I called the company when I couldn't tell which ingredient in the label contained either product. They are only there in spirit. Artificial flavoring. Zero, nada, no percentage, zippo, negatory, pomegranate and acai berry have left the building!

I wondered too about the 10 calorie claim per serving and quickly learned that it was achieved with minimal apple juice but mostly sweetened with sucrolose (marketed as Splenda) and in more quantity acesulfame potasium. Both are questionable as safe, in spite of what food manufacturers want you to believe. As I understand it, both are not allowed to be used as ingredients in foods or drinks in Europe because the consumers there feel enough testing hasn't been done and there is enough evidence to wonder if they aren't down right dangerous.

I use those products in moderation but mostly avoid them.

The taste of the drink is fine. It does make you feel as if it is a healthy drink, though that is probably just the effect of marketing. These drinks by Fuze have several categories, such as Slenderize and sports drinks. They're priced at about $1.50 per drink, which as this category of drink goes, they're pretty toward the bottom of the price structure, which can be pushing $3 by some competitors.

Tip:  What I do when I want my fix for this kind of thing is I buy the little packets of sugarfree drink mixes. I like the ones from Ocean Spray, although they're probably no healthier than the rest and they also contain aspartame and acesulfame potasium. I mix the packet with an EXTRA glass of water to dilute the sweetener and then I add one cup of apple juice. I do all this for two main reasons. It gives me my sweet fix and it is inexpensive while still offering me some real juice in my drink. By doing what I described, I'm able to prepare the drink for about 10 cents a serving and am refreshed after a long run or a hot day.

If you haven't seen the research about aspartame, acesulfame potasium or sucrolose, I recommend you let your fingers do some googling.


Justice--Blind or Just Not WANT to see the truth?

I'll try to keep this review short. It is a story of frustration.

I'm a business owner and a property owner in downtown Springfield, MO. On Halloween this year an unnamed bandit fractured my front door. There was a witness and the police apprehended the suspect who admitted to breaking my glass.

I was called immediately and asked if I wanted to press charges. Of course I did. I knew this was going to be quite an expense.

I waited weeks to receive some notice after my initial call to the prosecutor the following week after the incident. "No you shouldn't have to try to recuperate your costs," I was told by the assistant at the Country prosecutor's office, "We have a victim's restitution program. Wait to hear from us before doing anything like filing a small claim."

"GREAT!," I thought. Finally something makes sense about the law and being a landlord. I've had lots of experience as a property owner as I used to own apartment complexes and other rentals. My overall experience dealing with the courts and criminal activity by my renters hasn't been pleasant. The courts often seem to treat the landlord poorly and the renter with a strange lenience.

As I said, weeks had gone by and I decided I needed to learn what was happening. As it turns out the policeman had estimated the cost of repairs of my door at $400 and so the case would go to municipal court and not County. The city municipal court does not have a victim's restitution program so I was advised to seek whatever damages on my own, either through small claims court or hire an attorney and pursue it as a civil matter.

"But wait," I informed them, "the damages came to over $500 and I have all the receipts."

"Oh, I see," said the administrative person at the municipal court prosecutor's office.

It took another week to follow up with all the different phone numbers including several people in investigations at the police force, several administrative people at both county and city prosecutor's offices. Finally from Sgt. Smith who heads up investigations at the Springfield Police force I was told that the administrative people at the courts don't know what they're talking about and he went on to explain to me what a frustration it is for him because he often gets angry calls from people who were misinformed by the courts.

It requires that the damages exceed $750 to be a felony when it comes to property damage. $500 is the cut-off for theft and burglary. So NO, it will stay at the municipal court.

"So as a victim then," I asked, does it seem fair that the criminal can go breaking out glass doors and not be responsible to pay back for damages?

Sgt. Smith went on to calmly explain that I should just go see the prosecutor and explain that I'd like to seek restitution for PROBATION and the criminal would more than likely have to reimburse me for my deductible before being released from probation.

"Wow, what a relief," I thought. Grateful again for a chance to be reimbursed I called the same lady I've been dealing with at municipal court who explained to me that once Sgt. Smith knew that damages exceeded $500 that the case would probably be transferred to County and the victim's restitution program would be available for me.

WRONG. At municipal court they explained that I couldn't see the prosecutor and they seldom seek restitution. My only option was to fax over the receipts and those receipts will be presented to the judge and at the judge's discretion, they may be entered and used as a factor in the judges sentence.

The administrator at the court also explained that the police force doesn't know what they're talking about. Interesting that the police force said the same about the prosecutor's office. In the meantime, I'm likely to not be reimbursed and have spent hours just to learn the procedure.

Will justice be served? At this point I feel as if I've done something wrong. Each time I talk with people in charge of dealing with my case I get the impression that I'm a nuisance and it is people like me who make their job unpleasant.

To a certain extent, at each crossroads, I felt victim to a prank like this:

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Harry and David Pears

I've heard it from sooooo many people that Harry and David pears are yackity yack so delicious. I've had them myself when someone has been suckered in to the marketing and sent them to us as Christmas presents. And I will say, to receive them as Christmas presents, they're lovely and I'm always very appreciative of the givers generosity. But the fact is--they're pears. Bought right and sliced at the right time you can enjoy a nearly perfect pear from your local supplier of pears--usually.

We went to the Lake of the Ozarks for our annual Christmas shopping trip. We love to sit at the fire pit at the Lodge of the Four Seasons and just relax and read, go to dinner and do some shopping. We usually go to Harry and David's Outlet store for a little "silly" extravagance like some Moose Munch or chocolate covered cherries. I must admit, even those purchases are not advisable, but as I said, for a rare treat (as in spoiling ourselves by paying mostly for the marketing of a product and not actually for an advisable purchase), a few extra dollars spent sometimes seems worth it while you sit by a fire and savor a chocolate or a truffle.

This year my daughter had decided she wanted a Harry and David pear instead of sweets. I didn't resist but simply said no problem. I guessed the pear would be $5 and told wife and daughter that.

"No way," said the wise shopper who manages our household expenses. Maybe $5 for two."

"Keep dreaming," I assured her.

When we got to Harry and David there was only one single pear ($4.95). And lots of boxes of the "Award Winning" Riviera or Scam Delicious or whatever they're called. I've poured over their marketing materials before and read the full description of their pears and methods and stories of why and what for and who screwed who to make a pear so plump and pregnant and blah blah blah. The boxes ranged between $26.95 to $34.95. The lower end hadn't been selected as the prize winners and may have some blemishes. The $34.95 were the juiciest most pregnant and had been sired by the Great Kahoona Himself, Mr. Harrier David Thanthou.

I knew my only choice was to purchase a box of pears or your honorable reviewer would suffer the consequences for the next half of his aging life, so the $26.95 pears it was. That is about $3.50 a pear or $7 for a pair.

Please don't bother to write about the reason you think Harry and David pears deserve their reputation. Emerson (I explained to the lady who was giving the free samples of the yogurt covered pretzels about my Emerson story but had to finally add Ralph Waldo because his last name alone didn't ring any bells) would save a pear on his writing desk, because he knew that there was a right time to slice one. I know that too and have sliced many a beautiful ripe pear from Safeway or Dillon's or farmer's market (best choice) and always can't say enough about the fruit. I love the drip, the creamy texture, the syrupy flavor, the nearly absence of waste (ever notice how there is so much less core to a pear than an apple?).

Yes, Harry's pears are good (usually, though I've just read dozens of reviews of negative experiences). But folks, they aint five dollars good. Ours were mediocre and now I'm stuck with six other ones to go with the pears we have already in our fruit bowl from before our trip (which I'm ready to taste test next to Tom, Dick's or Harry's with confidence that our .50 pears will be as good if sliced at the right time.

The free apples in the hotel were much superior but Lord Bless me if I had suggested we have the free apples with the hard Romano cheese we bought and crusty bread.

David's Hairy marketing is as good as it comes. Their pears--not so much.

Friday, 3 December 2010

No Money Blues

This asks you for a bunch of faith for the first 3 minutes. Even after that, only if you go along with the gag, you might not want to hang past 5 minutes, but I hung in there for the full 8. To do that means you sit like a good theater goer and read all the pretty type after the film. At 7:32 I figured, well I've given them my full attention till now. What is anohter 20 seconds, but GODdddddd it was torturous most of the way thru.
Winston Dubby Riley December 3 at 12:47pm
but as a short film it has some very nice elements. i have to say overall, treating it as a product, it's worth its place in the tubisphere (if this is a new word, i'm on record of calling it that first).

  • and there is nothing funny about having no money. trust me
    7 minutes ago · 
  • Winston Dubby Riley oh, sorry, the most important observation. the music is the point, which is tucked away in there, ready to be missed altogether because of the character we are led to disapprove of

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Nowhere Boy--My Take

After watching Nowhere Boy, the film about a teenage John Lennon, I felt the rush of two prevalent emotions. The first one is a surprising thought. "He was a good boy!"

I've STUDIED Lennon like a constellation that has never been out of my view...a science project that I ran full force into instead of away from. John Lennon's importance in modern culture has always seemed significant to me, a guiding force which McCartney can't claim "in solo" really because it was Lennon who provided the place for Paul. I have never been able to sit still without immersing myself in the psychology and sociology of our cherished rock star. I didn't expect to be surprised.

Pouring over Rolling Stone interviews, traveling to the Television and Radio Museum in New York City to spend two days watching and listening to rare TV and radio interviews, reading full biographies and devouring everything by Lennon himself including his books, his art, his cartoons, and his songs, I was crushed when I heard the news he was shot. We wouldn't get to meet after all.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought he could have been a good boy when he was 15, 16 and 17. Of course he was a troubled lad and a brute. I wasn't surprised by the portrayal of a young Lennon's anger. To see him as a gang leader, or as the roguish class clown, even as a stylish dresser in vest and tie, none of that came as a surprise. But a good boy? And I mean GOOD by the true definition of the term. A person capable of caring for other people, in spite of his outward rebelliousness. That was a surprise.

Granted, the screenplay by Matt Greenhalgh was based on the memoirs of Julie Baird, John Lennon's sister, who we barely see on the fringes at his mother's flat in Liverpool. So these stories are biased and filled with a scent of sweetness which could be exagerated. The accurateness of the film is somewhat debated in fact. But as an acute observer of John's life and details, I feel confident that mostly, the story is authentic.

The other sensation I have as I walk away from the Moxie is how lucky we are in Springfield to have access to such a theater. The Moxie is the only theater in Springfield for "small," artsy, foreign or alternative films, and with all the comforts of big theaters, including comfortable padded seats and traditional theater popcorn and candy. Plus the Moxie has beer, wine, gourmet sodas and delicious baked snacks such as gewey chocolate brownies and butterscotch coconut cookies.

This isn't a blow by blow of the movie. Just a few nuggets for the reader.

As a feature film, this is the directorial debut for the (female) Sam Taylor-Wood. She has produced art with Nowhere Boy in that the film entices. It is wonderful that we are informed by the story but it is even better that the film makes us ache. No doubt, many of we Beatles lovers ventured to the theater as we would have to an historical documentary, but Taylor-Wood layered her canvas with nuance and texture.

Like anyone who has bothered to learn more about Lennon than just listening to his songs, I was already well familiar with Lennon's Aunt Mimi and how he was deprived of knowing his mother Julia before he was in his teens. But the dreamlike quality of emotion, the mystique of sensuality, these sensations could only come from personal experience, and Taylor-Wood provided that. Peaking into the reality of Lennon's boyhood, for instance how Julia pulls the "man-boy" closer to him while they're laying down listening to music and we watch him wonder where to put his hand--you almost feel as if you're intruding at an awkward moment.

Aaron Johnson plays Lennon and you ak yourself "could Lennon have been so charismatic?" Johnson is a superstar in the making. He grabs you and takes you with him. You get the feeling you'd gladly go pickyback riding with the boy, his attraction is that powerful.

Obviously, the director thought so too because at 42 years old, she left her husband and married then 19 year old Johnson, with a detour, sometime between the start of filming and when they were married, to make a child. I imagine that relationship between older woman and younger man helped design the architecture of the dramatization of Julia and John. I think it helped smudge the edges enough to provide that surreal mood. Here's actress Anne-Marie Duff, who played Julia, Lennon's care free mom who comes roaring back in to his life when he was 15. She nails the part of a wreckless female who could have just as easily been a hippie at Woodstock leaving a small child to fend for itself while she looked for the next group to party with. She talks about some of that nuance:

Kristin Scott Thomas plays Lennon's Aunt Mimi and she deserves much acclaim for the stiff, chain smoking guardian she portrays. Between Johnson's strength of tragic hero and Thomas's acting, the film stands as a tribute to actors' ability to keep an audience in the grip of the story. Here's Thomas in an interview about the film:

With Nowhere Boy you won't be served delicious Beatles music and page after page of nostalgic photography. You are there when John first meets Paul (played by Thomas Brodie Sangster, best known for his roles as a small boy in Love Actually, Nanny McPhee, and The Last Legion) and a little later when he is impressed by the guitar skills of George Harrison, and when they first play as the Quarrymen and when they get the telegram that they're off to Germany for the start of their famous careers. You delight to be involved in all of that. But you get to enjoy those moments, unlike how you've learned all the "dry" material which has informed you about a young Lennon up to now.

I enjoyed the film, as you may be able to tell. If you get a chance to see it in Springfield, it shows through December 2 at the Moxie.

The Moxie is at 
431 S. Jefferson, #108, Springfield, MO 65806  •  417.429.0800