Comments or suggestions: Gerard Van der Leun
The Man Who Loved Not Wisely But At Least Twice

Call him Carl.

Many, many years ago I founded and ran my second magazine in San Francisco. In time, I sold my share out to my partner and, flush with cash for the first time in my life, decided to move to New England with my then live-in love whom I shall always think of as "The Socialite." The Socialite's family was one of the 500 and, although fallen on hard times, they retained their position within high Eastern society because of their illustrious name. Their family seat was in Newport, Rhode Island, and The Socialite would, years later, live there with her husband and their daughters. I think about her from time to time and saw her once five years ago. She'd turned into her mother -- slim, patrician, and slightly nuts.

But this is not about her, or those white nights, or even the oh-so-social summers at Bailey's Beach. This is about Carl, the most unwise lover I ever met. I'm telling you


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 29, 2005 10:18 PM | Comments (12)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Silhouettes

Off the beach and beyond the reef where the breakers slash,
two ships scud in silhouette, struggling towards safe harbors
over sheets of burnished pewter as the rogue wave rises.

The small town's ordered lawns, spattered
with deserted wives and businessmen,
make calm ponds of green, of vacant thoughts of green,
bordered by a planked path that curves
between the grass and the clean and sifted sand.

Once off the path our steps were quick
among the shells of ancient crabs,
the finer grind of granite,
the grey grains of bone and pearl;
among the buried beach glass, the shards
of broken promises and lives,
that, concealed beneath the wave smoothed surface,
would slash a foot set wrong an inch.
And so along the long sands we stepped,
hunched against our wind-tossed histories,
and hurried homeward in the afternoon.

Our pace, pressured as a drunken tambourine,
beat to the sound's small tide that,
cupping emerald seagrass in soft hands,
swelled within the water
as your breasts might when,
caressed by languid fingers
in a careless night, rise
in a rage of heat, up over rocks, and rip salt-flamed
all walls to ruined rubble, and remove
all drowned and rusted monuments to navigation,
that once out of chains the soul chimes
to free the fettered mind from memory that it sing,
and louder sing, until light is taken out of dark,
drowning all of was to raise in dawn what is,
that trumpets scorch the stones and scatter then,
like ancient bones tossed into ash, all the past
lashed onto the slow sea swell withdrawing ,
drowning them down in the eel's dank lair,
into that damp oblivion the stars create
by shining on the waters of the moon.

To drown in one great wave the shore,
the grass, and all the waste of was.
To leave the past annihilate,
as waves once spent, forget their water,
erasing footprints, ash and embers,
single feathers curved for flight,
become glass shadows on the tide moist grass,
or fading fog on silver plashed,
or the listless lift of empty hands,
or the dream sealed in the stone.

(Her skin glowing with a scatter of stars,
the untraced map of forsaken constellations.
Her taste, the tang of seafoam and copper fading
into blue behind the high cirrus.
Her kisses like the pale glimmer of cave fish
born to blindness in the caverns of the sea.
Her thoughts, pale flickers of farewell.)

On the horizon, two trim ships,
their sails set full in silhouette,
merged, and then passed,
and then sailed into the distances

and drowned.

                                    --Crystal Cove, Laguna Beach 2005

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 27, 2005 3:58 PM | Comments (4)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Closing Time

She was cruising down the Big Sur coast,
Looking for a little romance.
I was walking the edge of Highway One,
Hoping for a second chance.

She pulled that Ford to the side of the road.
I opened the door, got in.
Said, "My name's Adam, baby. What's yours?"
She said, "They call me Original Sin."


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 23, 2005 8:33 AM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Consulting the Oracle

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 22, 2005 7:19 PM | QuickLink: Permalink

I WILL BE ON RETREAT for eight to ten days, so there won't be any new entries during that time. If you'd like, here's a selection of essays from my archives that seem, at least to me, to have some value beyond the moment they were written. Almost all of what I write here and publish here is a first draft so they will have all the flaws commonly found in such essays. This is not, I hasten to add, a digest of the Digest. Only things selected on the run from the archives -- which are, to say the least, chaotic:


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 10, 2005 7:01 PM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Thoughts While Waking, Showering and Shaving

While I Was Sleeping

BEING NO LONGER COMPELLED to follow every trend of pop music, I missed the moment when the ability to actually sing was removed as a basic requirement for performance, adulation and success. This is not to say I was deaf to the merger of street-corner doo-wop with "doing the dozens" that occurred somewhere during the time when break-dancing on stained cardboard was the money-raising rage on New York streets. Neither was I deaf to the Punk Rock triumph when the ability to play the electric guitar well was deemed to exist once one had learned three, and only three, chords. Nor did I neglect to notice the rise of Rap from it's origin in failed grammar classes in our more deeply disturbed schools of the inner cities.

But everyone has to sleep sometime and while I was sleeping it seems that the ability to sing was tossed out right behind the three chords. The result, if various television and radio spots and commercials are to be credited, is that pop music has become the apotheosis of affirmative entertainment action. No talent other than an obsessive loggorhea of doggerel seems to be required. Song itself has been effectively banished.


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 10, 2005 9:26 AM | Comments (2)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Blog Suite

When I write blog
I am moved by strange whistles and wear a hat

When I write blog
I am the hunter. My prey leaps out from where it
hid, beguiling me with gestures

When I write blog
all may command me, yet I am in command of all who do

When I write blog
I am guided by voices descending from the naked air

When I write blog
A revelation of movement comes to me. They wake now.
Now they want to work or look around. Now they want
drunkenness and heavy food. Now they contrive to love.

When I write blog
I bring the sailor home from the sea. In the back of
my car he fingers the pelt of his maiden

When I write blog
I watch for stragglers in the urban order of things.

When I write blog
I end the only lit and waitful things in miles of
darkened houses

-- Apologies to Lew Welch who disappeared. (Wherever he may be, God rest and keep his Beat soul.)

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 3, 2005 5:21 PM | Comments (3)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Itunes and Apple Come Out as Anti-American and Anti-God

OF THE MANY MILLIONS OF SONGS AVAILABLE ON ITUNES, it is more than just an accident that this one is being given away free at present in the "Alternative" category** : When The President Talks To God

When the president talks to God
Does he ever think that maybe he's not?
That that voice is just inside his head
When he kneels next to the presidential bed
Does he ever smell his own bullshit
When the president talks to God?

At the link above are the complete lyrics to this jejune and uninspired rant that catalogs the ever-revolving whines of the "oppressed" lunatics that pass themselves off as a genuine opposition party. We expect this from them. They literally have nothing else to offer other than unceasing blather in the same well-worn ruts. It's one thing to sell this song, but it is quite another to pander to these sentiments by giving them away in the midst of millions of others that you sell for 99 cents. That's not marketing, that's a statement of corporate policy.


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 2, 2005 3:33 PM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink

Avalon, Catalina Island, 01/02/03

In these five years in what I've spent and earned:
Time does not finish a poem.
Upon the old amusement pier I watch
The creeping darkness gather in the west.
Above the giant funhouse and the ghosts
I hear the seagulls call. They're going west
Toward some great Catalina of a dream
Out where the poem ends.
                                             But does it end?
The birds are still in flight. Believe the birds."

-- Jack Spicer, Imaginary Elegies, 1950-55

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 2, 2005 1:40 PM | Comments (1)  | QuickLink: Permalink
Pix and Fonts Newspapers Won't Make It

GLENN REYNOLDS points to the now common tale of newspaper circulation woes published today in the Wall Street Journal: "Newspaper Circulation Continues Decline, Forcing Tough Decisions." The article cites the new numbers coming out on the decline in newspapers circulations across the board that are dire enough to be called hemorrhagic. And while it is obvious that something has to be done to stop the bleeding, everything that is being done seems to open the vein wider.

You know this if you still take and are paying at least passing attention to your local newspaper. It has, you've probably noticed, become more colorful and jazzy in the last few years. It has gone from "Just give the news please" to "Here's a lot of nifty color pictures, graphs, and charts and other PIX along with a fresh selection from our bottomless FONTS collection." I call this the PIX & FONTS DAILY -- a way of presenting something that is supposed to be a "paper on which is printed the news" as a dog's dinner of "Graphics Gone Wild." Pulling the news out of this fornication festival of visual white noise is becoming, really, far too much of a chore. And yet the papers, scared out of being themselves by television news, persist in trying to reinvent themselves as TV news that doesn't move and has no sound.

The sections on pop culture have become popsier. The sections on the home have become homier. Large headlines have become larger, pull-quotes more numerous until they march across the page like some many infolet islands. If it has a comics sections more panels have come in and it has probably expanded to two pages jammed with gag strips but fewer continuing story strips. The front page, especially above the fold, has become not a quick scan of the important and interesting news of the day before, but a kind of carny display of fascinating featurettes you will find inside if you will only ("Please!") take the time to read them.


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 2, 2005 6:52 AM | Comments (7)  | QuickLink: Permalink
The Passion of the Pope

[Republished without revision from March 7, 2005]

MORE FEARFUL NOW THAN DEATH, to those fortunate enough to live in the First World, is a long decay before death. We fear mortality but we fear a long morbidity before mortality more.

Living wills. Increases in approved euthanasia in many nations. Personal hordes of pills, "just in case." "Senior care" warehouses to sustain us; to fill us with tubes and place us in a bed that monitors our internals that the least little slide towards death triggers alarms and the staff scuttles in to haul our shattered bodies back again. Rinse and repeat until our 'living' will or tired family frees us. All these are our shared horror show of which we know but seldom speak.

We live more and more, but more and more we do not know how to die.

To teach us this thing the Pope will now enact the lesson, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear. His is the ancient church that, teaching First Things in ways many now no longer care to hear, teaches us now about Last Things in ways that many fear to learn. And it is the leader of that Church who, as he


Posted by Vanderleun Apr 2, 2005 12:22 AM | Comments (23)  | QuickLink: Permalink
New York Times Picks Up Borders CEO Letter


Click to enlarge.

Covering the web-wide kerfuffle and building blogger-led boycott of Borders since our publication of the Borders CEO's personal letter to leading bloggers yesterday (See item directly below this one.) the opening text reads:

Borders Blasts Back On Controversial Cartoons
Published: March 31, 2006

Filed at 11:59 p.m. ETNew York, Mar. 31 - Gregory Josefowicz, the combative chairman of Borders Books, blasted back at his on-line critics today in a scathing on-line letter singling out right-wing blogger Charles Johnson of "Little Green Footballs".

FULL STORE AT: Borders Blasts Back On Controversial Cartoons

Posted by Vanderleun Apr 1, 2005 8:11 AM | Comments (10)  | QuickLink: Permalink
G2E Media GmbH




By Mail: Gerard Van der Leun | 6616-D Clark Road #176 | Paradise, CA 95969

Your Shower Is Lame, Your Dishwasher Doesn’t Work, and Your Clothes are Dirty

It’s not just about the showerhead.
The water pressure in our homes and apartments has been gradually getting worse for two decades, thanks to EPA mandates on state and local governments. This has meant that even with a good showerhead, the shower is not as good as it might be. It also means that less water is running through our pipes, causing lines to clog and homes to stink just slightly like the sewer. This problem is much more difficult to fix, especially because plumbers are forbidden by law from hacking your water pressure. | Foundation for Economic Education [HT: Never Yet Melted]

In 2016 the Western political system had a stroke.

The American political system is operating in the curious condition of being an impaired state.
It's not really thinking -- about China, Russia, Syria, Kurdistan. It's not really thinking about anything except half remembered slogans from 1968. Like a person afflicted by a stroke, it can't take a consistent view of external reality because it's regressing into atavisms by a loss of brain function. Impaired

Fake News. At the same time of the political putsch, the mainstream media outlets,

in particular the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and the major networks, via broadcasts and social media, began an orchestrated campaign of defamation and delegitimization.
The crazier and more diverse the media mythologies, the better. Melania Trump was a former call girl and illegal alien. Ivanka Trump was peddling her business wares from the West Wing. Jared Kushner was a profiteering collusionist. Steve Bannon was a racist, Sebastian Gorka an unrepentant Nazi. Baron Trump was a spoiled, autistic child. The late elder Trump had run a racist campaign for mayor. And on and on. Resistance & Regime Change: Any Means Necessary – Lies, Leaks, Violence | National Review

Crime simply does not pay as well as politics or banking.

That may be the way to look at something like the Clinton Foundation and, coming soon, the Obama Foundation.
These are not explicitly criminal organizations, but they certainly play outside the spirit of the laws. Obama is out of office and prohibited from running again, but he still controls the Democratic party. The Clintons would be in charge, if not for the fact that the voters took their under boss out in the Tuesday Night Massacre, otherwise known as the presidential election. Even so, the Clinton Family is still a player. Late Phase Capitalism | The Z Blog

Bodymore, Murderville”

Most whites have become habituated to the reality of life in this part of the world.
Everyone, white and black, knows the reality on the street. The blacks with anything on the ball do exactly like the whites and that’s put distance between themselves and the black ghetto. That does not stop the Progressive maniacs from ranting about racism, but they do it from high up in the towers of their whites-only neighborhoods. As a result, no one hears them and so they can be ignored. The Killing Season | The Z Blog

New Blog Arriving Soon

Some have asked, "Gee whiz, Unca Gerard, where is that thar new blog you keeps a promisin'?"

I am hoping for sometime tonight. Hoping. We've been having some issues getting this winged dinosaur landed.

Drink Tea


Drink tea, together with your friends; pay attention to the tea, and to your friends, and pay attention to your friends paying attention to the tea. Therein lies the meaning of life. The Essence of Peopling

We would love to cut a deal with the noble indigenous peoples across the Earth—

you can have your Navajo panties and aboriginal dot paintings and every last freaking burrito on the planet so long as you give us back our computers and cell phones and cars and indoor plumbing and electricity and air conditioners. Deal?

If people go their separate ways such a divorce would be an astonishing defeat for the Left.

As late as 2016 it was possible to imagine an America led to a "progressive" future by Hillary Clinton;
an EU guiding all of Europe to a similar destiny and the G20 taking the whole world to the same destination. Indeed everyone told they were fated to follow an Arc of History. Yet after Brexit, Trump and G-Zero it is no longer possible to visualize this outcome. A blue-red division would confirm the failure to create a "progressive" world. No conceivable rollback will ever put Humpty Dumpty together again. Opportunity

Trump, Julius Caesar, and killing tyrants

The Roman lower classes, with whom Caesar was popular, became enraged that a small group of aristocrats had sacrificed Caesar. -- neoneocon

Execute Trump? Nah, You First.

Draining the swamp means not only ejecting Trump from the presidency,
but also bringing himself and everyone assisting in his agenda up on charges of treason. They must be convicted (there is little room to doubt their guilt). And then — upon receiving guilty verdicts — they must all be executed under the law. Impeachment Is No Longer Enough; Donald Trump Must Face Justice | HuffPost [Retreived from GoogleCache after it was expunged from the Huffington Post]

A bee in her bonnet


Thousands of bees took over a car in the UK and beekeepers are struggling to make them leave -
At first it wasn't clear why the bees chose the blue Nissan car and he and a colleague were trying to determine whether this was just a temporary stop or a new nesting site. But as the bees moved to the inside of the bonnet, filling every nook and cranny, things got more serious. "They're building a lot of wax in there now, and of course once they start doing that, they're reluctant to leave it, because it's the start of building a house. They put a lot of effort into producing the wax," Coulson told Hull Daily Mail. "I've got a feeling this might be their chosen permanent home."

[Bumped] "They send one of ours to the hospital, we send two of theirs to the morgue."

Baseball Shooter a Big Wake-Up Call for the Left | Roger L. SimonRobespierre is alive and well in 2017 USA.

This pathetic character in Alexandria is, now was, the left's ungoverned id. By any means necessary -- that's for sure. They will undoubtedly try to shove him under the rug as quickly as possible, just one more aberrant individual to be forgotten, just one obscure Bernie volunteer gone bad. Sanders did his best to separate himself within minutes of the revelation. Yes, it's undoubtedly true that this was just one rotten apple, but it's also true that only five years ago Bernie was recommending Venezuela -- now ground zero for starvation, kidnapping and murder -- as a path for us to emulate.

Greatest antitheft device when the thieves are millenials:

Man leads Jeffco deputies on low-speed chase in stolen flatbed truck after unable to get out of 1st gear The driver - later identified as 29-year-old Randy Dewayne Vert - refused to stop and continued driving south on Center Point Parkway, Christian said. Vert was apparently unfamiliar with the complexities of a modern manual transmission.

The natural impulse of a political system in institutional crisis is to dig in.

Too many institutions in the West remain decades after their birth, frozen in the moment of their creation.
NASA, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the university system and the United Nations rule us from the past. Public life has become a museum of memes from which nothing can escape without a mummy hand dragging the fugitive back into the darkened interior. It is perhaps no coincidence the two most popular leaders of the Western left, Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, might credibly impersonate Boris Karloff. They are here to lead us back to 1968. Stuck

The Japanese. Nuked Too Much... or Trying to Get Their Mouths Around Fujiyama Volcano Plate


We put Japan's most phallic-looking roast beef meal into our mouth at VolcanoKitchen | SoraNews24
Since we’d already become somewhat desensitized to the initially unsettling sensation of peeling strips of meat off the top of the shaft, we mercilessly crushed the egg, sending viscous, gooey liquid running down to the base of the meat rod.

The power of the press is a figment of the imagination -- humbug --

Oscar Diggs behind the curtain projecting the image of Oz the Great and Powerful!
The Internet did not kill the power of the newspapers. It was suicide. And not just because most of them had Marxist editorials, editors, and reporters. Newspapers lost their sense of community -- and their credibility -- when the heirs to hometown publishers didn't want the paper, sold it to a chain for $1,000 per subscriber to a chain -- Gannett, Knight-Ridder, Thomson -- and moved on. Don Surber: Craigslist killed newspapers

When terrorists enter your children’s school and begin to execute them...

will the gun ban (you favored) in school that prevented abiding staff and teachers from saving your child, come to mind as a good idea?
If the answer to any or all of these and many more reasonable questions, is 'yes,' then you may be a delusional liberal, and likely a coward, and almost as big a threat to our nation as the terrorists who are at war with us." - Morgan K. Freeberg

"Happy birthday, Mr. President...."


First truth which has been grounded into dust, must spring forth from the earth again.

At the present time . . .he who practices loving-kindness is esteemed and sought after, while he who champions the truth in word and in deed is persecuted and shunned. 
For men desire to base their affairs on everything except the one incorruptible truth which has been set down before us by God , and therefore these affairs have no permanent value . . . only when love and truth meet together, only when men come to understand that the highest act of loving-kindness is to bring men to know and practice the truth, only then will the marriage of love and truth produce that condition on earth in which everyone and everything will occupy the place which has been assigned to it by the will of God. Truth and Peace - Men Of The West

What happened to Nuclear Winter?


As the media glare faded, its robust scenario appeared less persuasive;
John Maddox, editor of Nature, repeatedly criticized its claims; within a year, Stephen Schneider, one of the leading figures in the climate model, began to speak of "nuclear autumn." It just didn't have the same ring. A final media embarrassment came in 1991, when Carl Sagan predicted on Nightline that Kuwaiti oil fires would produce a nuclear winter effect, causing a "year without a summer," and endangering crops around the world. Sagan stressed this outcome was so likely that "it should affect the war plans." None of it happened. Raconteur Report: Aliens Cause Global Warming by Michael Crichton

If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus.

I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks.
Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. - - Woodpile Report

Joe Biden’s niece dodges jail after $100K credit card scam

She walks on a major felony? Of course she did. And who believes she'll keep her end of the deal? In her defense, we're assured she's "a very complicated girl who has a lot of feelings and a lot of issues." Oh ... okay. That explains everything. Hugs from all the little people. Woodpile Report

Why is English so weirdly different from other languages?

There is exactly one language on Earth whose present tense requires a special ending only in the third‑person singular.
I’m writing in it. I talk, you talk, he/she talk-s – why just that? The present‑tense verbs of a normal language have either no endings or a bunch of different ones (Spanish: hablo, hablas, habla). And try naming another language where you have to slip do into sentences to negate or question something. Do you find that difficult? | Aeon Essays

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