Four films from the DC Mall “Screen on the Green” do echo my own past

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The Smithsonian and Park Service has sponsored a “Screen on the Green” series in Washington. The Monday evening series started July 21.

I believe I’ve seen all of these four in the distant past, but they deserve some comment.

The Karate Kid” (1984, Columbia, dir, John Avidsen) presents Rakph Macchio as a teen who moves to California from New Jersey and is bullied by the beach set, and is taught some karate moves, and life lessons, by Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita).  I think that I saw this in the old Northtown Mall in Dallas in an old dollar house run by AMC.

Lover Come Back” (1961, Universal, dir. Delbert Mann) pits Rock Hudson and Doris Day against one another as advertising executives in rival agencies, where subtrefuge forces them into the inevitable relationship.  This is said to be the archtype situation comedy, where women need lies and men need taming,  Rock Hudson, for all his posturing in the 50s with his artificially buffed chest, wound up dying of AIDSs in the 80s and bringing people out of the closet.  I believe I saw this film at a “group activity” when I was a patient a NIH in the fall of 1962, in an auditorium in the hospital (account on Jan 14, 2014 here).  I didn’t like its silliness and the way it made “men” look.  I seem to remember an embarrassing shower or nude scene.   In any event, conservative writer George Gilder (“Men and Marriage”) would approve of this movie.

Key Largo” (1948. dir. John Huston, Warner Brothers), has Frank McCloud (Humphrey Bogart) visits a Florida hotel owned by the widow (Lauren Becall) of a buddy who had died in WWII.  As a hurricane approaches, the hotel is taken over by mobsters, a plot that previews more modern home invasion movies.  But the film explores other issues, including wartime or battle cowardice and treatment of native Americans (Seminoles), as well as Frank’s tendency to remain unable to act when necessary.

A Soldier’s Story” (1984, Norman Jewison, Columbia) has an African-American officer i(Howard E. Rollins Jr.) investigate the  homicide of an unpopular mixed-race drill sergeant (Adolph Ceasar).  I believe that I saw that film in Dallas that year.   This is a very different film from “Soldier’s Girl” (2003), see Fab. 28, 2014).

(Published Monday Aug. 4, 2014, at 11 PM EDT).

 

“Introduction to Remote Viewing”, classroom video from Monroe Institute near Charlottesville, VA

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The Monroe Institute (20 miles south of Charlottesville VA off of US 29 on Roberts Mountain, on a private estate) and the Foundation for Global Humanity offer a 75 minute video on DVD “Introduction to Remote Viewing“, with Skip Atwater and Paul Elder as the presenters.

The presentation is in several separate classroom sessions, with clients sitting at tables.

A remote viewing session requires the viewer, a monitor, and later the judge.

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Students were asked to view objects known to the staff from photographs in sealed envelopes.  The objects were a wide variety of things,  Some were unusual buildings (like a column in Africa, an unusual upside office structure in Europe), one was a wreck of several small canoes in France, one was on Mars, and one appeared to be a bizarre railroad junction, perhaps from a futuristic model railroad.

The presenters said that the military and CIA use remote viewing for intelligence, and police use it to locate kidnap victims or perpetrators.

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(Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 1 PM, EDT)

Update: Sept. 29 (Re. Jan 14, 2015)

The best legitimate YouTube link from the Monroe Institute now seems to be this.

The Monroe Institute runs one-day free programs at the retreat center on one Saturday about every two months in the warmer months.  You have to get there on time, and it’s on top of a mountain after a dirt road. Otherwise, the programs require quite a time and money commitment.

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The retreat center is shown above.  The main headquarters are farther down the mountain and reachable on paved road.  There are dormitories at the main location (possibly at the retreat, too).

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There is also an interesting stone monolith (Aug. 23, 2014 visit).

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There are many stories of people learning astral projection there. Here is a typical story from Japan, link.

As for my own “views” of other worlds (in “dreams”) I can report this:  Generally, there are lots of railroad trams, few private vehicles.  There are lots of dormitories and communal spaces, and large cities seem to be under domes or synedoches, probably protection from radiation common with smaller M-stars.  Few, if any people, live in single-family homes.  There is a lot of low-lying real estate and lots of waterfront, rather like Dubai.  Society seems to be segmented into different communities where different techologies are available.  That is what I “see”.  I wonder if others report the same thing.  More details to come later.

(Monroe Institute just told me by phone that the Oct. 11, 2014 session is full, Next one-day session probably isn’t until spring, because mountain road is usually snowed in during winter.)

QA session for “Alive Inside”, documentary about helping people with dementia with music on iPods

IMG_0555 Regarding the new film “Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory“:  I have a number of short clips from the Q&A session Friday July 25, 2014 at the Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington DC, from director Michael Rossato-Bennett and founder of “Music & Memory”, Dan Cohen. Some of the questioning became quite emotional. Clip 1 Clip 2 Clip 3 Clip 4 Clip 5Clip 6 Clip 7 Clip 8 Clip 9 Clip 10 Clip 11 Published Saturday July 26, 2014 at 11:30 AM EDT.

“Do Ask, Do Tell: Conscripted”: Film proposal

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Do Ask, Do Tell: Conscripted” is currently my most important film treatment of my three DADT books.

The basic set-up is that “Bill” (me) suddenly wakes up in a barren room, and is processed by a sequence of young-men, into an apprenticeship experience in a small “extraterrestrial” world.  While he is going through a certain kind of purgatory, he will wind up in the position of judging which (additional) young men become angels.  He may be able to return to Earth, but it will soon undergo tribulations.

At first, he doesn’t know where he is.  This could be end-of-life (a near-death experience), or a job interview, or jail, or some kind of apprenticeship.   While he reminisces or daydreams, the other men decipher his story.  He settles into a community, one of several on a space station constructed on Titan, a moon of Saturn. He gradually gets to show what he can do (music is central to the effort), and will be tested before returning to Earth, as will the men who tend to him.

The film has a variety of constructs, and it’s helpful to consider them separately.

Construct Set I: Storytelling layers.

The “immediately reality” of life on the spaceship is shown through sepia tones of reduced color sensitivity and unusual hues (as for plants), as might be found on another planet.  Bill may experience this layer with partial color-blindness.

The “true history” layer is Bill’s own historical backstory, and is shown in full color.   The “true history” is known to other “angels” (or “candidates”) through Bill’s own social media.  The story became known through legal proceedings on Earth necessary after Bill’s own “fantasy” (screenplay), “The Sub”, created a disruption when he was substitute teaching.

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The “fantasy” layer is Bill’s own screenplay, “The Sub”, and is shown in black and white,  It was considered disturbing in large part because it shows Bill’s fantasy of a “peak experience” in conjunction with a brief homosexual relationship.  (There are details on March 6, 2014 in my “Do Ask, Do Tell Notes blog here, and the “behind the scenes” secrets will be explored in the screenplay.) The lead “angel”, named “Brutus”, believes he is the “Clark Kent-like” character in the screenplay.  Brutus can read the screenplay through telepahty, and another character,  Timo, has the technology to translate the telepathic materials to digital video, but only in black and white.

Construct Set II:  The Communities

The  “angels” have a base on Titan, with a power plant, hospital, their own living quarters, and space port.  The geography of Titan, with methane lakes, is presented.

Attached to Titan is a long, more or less rectangular and two-sided rama, or Post.  It has a variety of communities where residents (other captured humans) live and train new arrivals, such as

(1) The modern city Urbana

(2) The 1950world

(3) The 1900 world

(4)  The 1775 world

(5) The BC world  (the model layout has a Middle Ages world, and an 1850 world, too(

Two railroads and one regular road with tram run through the communities.  There is also an underground monorail set up as a Mobius Strip.  Candidates can cross the Strip rail and sometimes experience themselves as they were at earlier points in their lives.

There is also a “Core” tunnel, where an initiate is placed before release into training, for testing of his resolve.

Construct III: The characters

The movie does center around “Bill”, and an angel “Brutus”.

There are several other strong young adult male characters who interact with Bill, and seem to be “candidates”.  “Randall” apparently lives and works in “The City”.  The other characters work in the other communities, about two per area.

Each community has permanent residents (only a few of whom were “abducted” recently from Earth, according to rumor)  who seem to have children but who live in larger social units than nuclear families.  Most of them see Bill (and the angel candidates) as a bit privileged and potentially as having authority over them.  A woman. Tovina, in the 1900-level community, will develop a certain “romance” and Bill will be surprised at his receptivity.  There seems to be a small birth rate, enough to sustain a small “planet” population to support the angels’ efforts.  Most feel they live in an authoritarian environment and tend to be obedient. Some of the children may be intended to become angels and have “powers” when they visit Earth!

Some characters from Bill’s past appear (at least one is an angel candidate, in the 1775 commune). They are contemporaries of Bill but can become “younger” by crossing the monorail at certain places.

There is an issue of what peer characters could be “candidates” at other communities.  Most peers have some of Bill”s personality issues:  physical inertia, schizoid, judgmentalism, some issues with focus or regimentation, fantasy.  They probably aren’t quite as close as Bill to the edge between “divergence” and “factionless”.  But they may be even more sensitive than Bill to some other issues with the angels: like fleeting powers (telepathy, telekenesis, maybe rare teleportation).  They could be of varied age, gender and race.

Construct IV:  Communications:

The other characters (mostly young adults expecting to become “angels”) have various was of communication.  Some of it is the typical Internet and mobile phone technology, with super command of programming.  But some of it is also telepathy.  Because (as in “Angel’s Brother”) telepathy can communicate deeper consciousness and the “free will” track of another, it has more effect in enabling an individual candidate angel to oppose entropy, even without reproducing conventionally.  Therefore, the candidate angel might remain young much longer/

More on plot:

The “life story” of Bill has its own ironies, twists and turns.  Bill comes to expect that the “angels” will help him solve it, and explain some of the hidden mysteries (or at least coincidences) behind some of the incidents.

The movie actually starts with the embedded screenplay “The Sub” and carries it to the point that Bill has a cardiac arrest while substitute-teaching PE and trying to play softball (after just batting).  He “comes to” in sepia color in the patient room, but that is in the hospital om Titan, where the “real” Brutus sees him,.  But there is another character, Randall,  in charge of his case, and apparently just another “candidate” for the angelic host.  Randall lives in the “urban” community and is somewhat advantaged.  Another character of some interest, TomPom, lives in a more “primitive” community than where Bill is sent.

Bill travels to the infirmary or the headquarters a few times by underground monorail, where he cannot see the layout of the place at first.  The entire set-up is a little bit like a military base, in that when someone lives there and is trained, he gradually sees more of it, although always being marches back to the “company area” (like in Army Basic — hence the title of the film).  As he goes to different training assignments, he can travel above ground and see the progress of the place.  He has to accept a more “regimented” and simplified way of life, resembling both military basic training but also life in an “intentional community”.

In time, he learns he has to have heart surgery, to cure the problem that he suspected in his own screenplay (which in the fiction setting he dies).  It will be of the keyhole laproscopic variety, to reduce the impact on his body, so that the “tribunal” session at the end is as effective as possible.

As he passes through the training sessions, he meets a few people from his past, especially when he gives a piano concert, shortly before the final “tribunals”.  At least two of them sharing the experience of “looking younger” after transiting the Mobius element of the monorail .

The final “tribunal” (mentioned in his own book as a hazing ceremony at William and Mary back in 1961) will put the “angelic contestants” and Bill through the same rituals.  Bill will prove that he can “perform” with Tovina and provide the community with progeny, before he can go back, to find a world that has indeed been changed.

(First published Thursday, July 17, 2014, at 11:55 PM EDT; to be continued).

“Angel’s Brother”: My current novel manuscript

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My most recent novel manuscript, and I think the most promising, is “Angel’s Brother“,  a science fiction story that brings “us” into hands-on contact with angels and aliens, who turn out to be the same, more or less.  Sometimes, you have to be your brother’s keeper!

The action is all on Earth, except for a space ship and space station on Titan, at the very end.  There is no attempt to present an extra-solar planet civilization, although that could be a sequel (maybe along the lines of “Prescience”).

Most of the action is told through the eyes of two major characters: Sal Garcia, 20, a junior ROTC college student in Dallas, and Randy Ephraim, about 40, a high school history teacher with a wife and three kids, one of them “adopted”.  Sal will gradually discover that he is to become an “angel”, and, so to speak, Randy is the big brother (though still just a mortal).  Then there is “Bill”, (me), who first is known through his writings on the Internet, and whose deeper writings that, along with “remote viewing”, point Randy toward the “point of contact”.  And there are some characters from other manuscripts, like falling (or fallen) angels Frankie and his predecessor Femeri, and Ali Mogul, the retired FBI agent married to a surgeon who discovers the “new disease”, which propagates a virus that transmits the ability to become an “angel”.

Randy’s job as a teacher is a cover, as he also “stomps” as a liaison for the CIA, as a followup to an earlier career in military intelligence himself.  Randy goes on trips to pick up and send back “evidence” from tipsters, while as Sal hacks his work, and then tracks it back to other characters, whose past activities track amazingly to manuscripts developed by “Bill”.

I thought that the idea of telling a story like this through the eyes of someone “you look up to” (upward affiliation, again) was interesting.  I began to see this around 2002 or so watching WB’s “Smallville”, where we do learn the story through Clark Kent’s eyes, and he isn’t completely sure who he is during the earlier years (where the episodes and basic story line were more compelling and mysterious).

I started the original manuscript in 2007, and it had 42 chapters, with Randy running around the world several times.  The second half of the book somewhat paralleled the latter part of “Tribunal and Rapture II”.  I later decided to simplify the book to make it more manageable, to 27 chapters.

Synopsis by Chapter:

Part 1: First Movement:: “Friends”   (starts in May)

Exposition:

Chapter 1:   “Polish Epiphany”   (2 sections)

Randy has been called away from his AP History teaching job in Dallas for a trip to Germany and then Auschwitz in Poland.  As the book opens, he is touring the outdoor site of the infamous concentration camp when Sal approaches him.  They share a cab ride back.  Sal describes what he knows about Bill

Chapter 2: “History Teacher:

Randy reads his own history on his tablet, after learning that “Bill”, who had generated a tip, was a memoirist.  He looks at his own history in the Army, his heterosexual initiation in Basic, intelligence school, his own skipping out on a second male initiation which he misses, his marrying Erin, adopting Dick, then having his own kids.  He hasn’t been interrupted much in the past few years to play G-man.  He looks at himself in the mirror.  He still thinks he is kind-of-perfect.  He measures himself mentally against what he remembers from Sal.  He became a history teacher (after a year as a sub for “show”) while still working for the agency on special projects.

(Hooks): Randy also recalls how he learned that a mystery real estate agent had introduced him to his current wife; his boss at the CIA has learned that she is the same agent who had worked with Bill decades before when he got into trouble with his condo.  Randy wonders why this matters and if it connects to Sal, who had been in his class once a couple years back (before his adoptive family took him to Wisconsin).

Randy adopts a boy from a “green boss’s” family when he marries almost on day 1, and that makes him more interested in women, as it costs him less.

Also, explain how Erin (Randy’s wife) as a nurse moved into contact tracing, setting her up to anticipate the coming epidemic.  (2014/11/16).

Randy, though knowing less about Bill than Sal, is puzzled about what happened when Bill was subbing, since Randy had subbed himself before becoming a “real teacher”.

Chapter 3:  “History Student”

Sal goes to a gay bar in Amsterdam, and while playing with a cat, an eskimo-looking man named Irku contacts him, not wanting to dance.  Irku is accompanies by Tovina.  He shows Sal an unusual tablet computer.

Sal recalls his own history.  He was born in South Texas, became multilingual very early, and is thankful that he looks white while identified as Hispanic.   He is adopted by a family in Wisconsin but the father’s business often has Sal in Texas.  At 14, he visited a church near the Gulf where the Virgin Mary appeared, and then very quickly went into puberty with his teen growth spurt.  He took a pal Rusty on a hike in the Gaudalupe Mountains in Big Bend.  They both got sick, mysteriously.  Sal recovered quickly during the trip, but the friend was left a diabetic.

Sal would have a photographic memory and learn about 8 difficult languages.

Sal also meets with Lurku in a bar in Amsterdam, but doesn’t see Randy.  Sal explains how his hacking escalated.  Then Sal recalls how he met Matt on Popo in Mexico, and got that idea from Bill

Sal also reviews one big legal hack, of one of Bill’s early real estate closings.  The closers works for the CIA.

Chapter 4:  “The Lapp” (2 sections)

Randy gets instructions to go to St. Petersburg.  Despite the anti-gay environment, he enterains himself in a porn shop, and then goes to the Hermitage to get contact intructions.  He then rents a car and drives north, into the lake country near the Finnish border.  Intelligence had been passed years ago through a steganographic hack on one of Bill’s websites.

He meets Lurku in a shed, and sees an odd assortment of hardware, including very old computers without graphics.  He’s also given an sample to carry back, of a rare element, astatine, which is in an unusual stable form.

(Hook): Lurku mentions the hack of a website (Bill’s) that predicts re-emergence of Russian aggression near Finland, and again this seems related to Sal.  Will Russia become a bigger enemy again than radical Islam, and if so, why?  Or do the Russians know some game-changing technological secret?

Randy is chased as he leaves Russia and gets into Finland.  His bosses back at the CIA think that Finland will be Russia’s next victim after the Ukraine, but even that is a diversion.

Chapter 5:  “Family Background”

Sal is spending a weekend at home (from his sudden field trip and school in Texas)  in Wisconsin.  His younger sister was said to be slain in the spirit but is still sick, and Sal finds out she got altitude sickness on a church retreat in Colorado.

Sal also contemplates his attitude toward his Hispanic ancestry but white appearance, and wonders why ROTC sent him on “vacation”. He still doubts “they” know the angel “Matt” (new).

Chapter 6 :  “The Lake”

Listening to the insistence of his wife Erin and Dick, Randy takes his family on a  vacation from Dallas to the northern woods in Minnesota as school ends.  He’s glad to have his family unplugged.  A vicious computer virus that frames users for child porn has been running loose in the country.

Randy wonders if a computer hack reported in the media has any connection to the “dud” he picked up in Finland.  Randy makes the connection because of Bill’s paranoia about being framed, as indicated on Bill’s own published writings.

In the meantime, Sal has called Randy (perplexing Erin) and told him he will attend the Army language school in San Francisco, not to study but to teach a class.  Sal will look further into Bill’s background to clues to his own experience in the SW mountains.

Chapter 7 :  “Looks like a Scottish Castle”

Randy, through snooping, learns that Bill was given his own mystery load (the astatine) when visiting the Yucca Mountain area.  Bill gets a traffic ticket from an OK cop that seems bogus.  Bill seems to be on the way to a place called “The Academy”, actually predicted in his own secret writings.

Chapter 8:  “Academy”

Randy arrives at the Academy, near Abilene TX  and debriefs Frankie before finding Bill.  Frankie will explain why Bill was on a “vacation” picking up “goodies” (for “Special Troops”), and that Bill can “get what he wants” here.

Chapter 9: “Visiting prof”

Sal also visits the Academy. He teaches a two-day language course (interpreting Chinese from intonation).   He visits one student, Amos (son of Ali) who had been caught in a bizarre computer “thoughtcrime”, and that provides an entry into discussing Bill’s life and writings.  He’s told that the staff wants Bill to learn to swim again.

Sal learns about how Bill wound up at the Academy after being chased out of his home with “mom” s she recovered, partly because of his web activity.  He had been “homeless” so the Academy seemed like the best possible new life.

Chapter 10:  “More Family Trips” (2 sections)

Having turned in final grades, Randy makes a quick overrnighter to Washington to  meet with Qulller, his interim boss at the CIA.  Quiller wonders about his marriage, which might ordinarily be none of his boss’s business.  Randy mentions the trip to Minnesota and they talk about the computer viruses, then real viruses.  Quiller encourages Randy to make a trip to the high country.

Quiller doesn’t explain the intelligence that has come from other agencies, who share more data now in this NSA-driven, post 9/11 world, but they do talk about the CDC.  After all, Randy had become an academic himself, post military.   This is not like other bioweapons.  They needed stompers to get this one out, someone to talk to real people and bring them in.

Randy takes his family to Leadville, CO, goes to the opera, and sees some of the people who have been getting sick.  Many, especially the men, develop curious gray lesions on their lower legs, which go bald.

CDC has said that their prognosis isn’t good.  Most of them get hallunciations that they are someone else, but die of cardiac arrest in a week or so,  So far, there are clusters, mainly in higher altitude areas, but a few even in mountainous areas in Appalachia.

When Randy talks to the people, he finds a curious speculation that mountaintop removal could be a good thing.

He wonders what Sal must have found out about Bill’s writings, and begins to sense a point to it.

Chapter 11:  Song of Solomon (Following Sept, 2 sect)

As his senior year starts, Sal and Rusty arrange a little hazing session for the plebes.  It’s still illegal.  but fun and often done.

Sal notes that even with the repeal of DADT he doesn’t have the right to talk about what he likes on the Internet.  He’s pretty well figured out Bill’s story on the web.  He also found out about the ingot of astatine that Randy had transported while at Academy. So he calls Randy and offers to help, but wants Randy to be more “honest”.

Randy is still trying to solve his slowly lessening passion for his wife.

Development:

Chapter 12 : Erotica I;

Randy spots Sal playing chess with Wilson, “the greatest of all time”, outdoors in the Cedar Springs area of Dallas.

Randy meets Sal in a gay bar in Dallas.  They dance. The next day, they drive out to Abilene and the Academy, as if Randy could “go home” with him at the Academy.

Sal shares his hacking.  He has gotten a hold of one of Lurku’s old computers with special links.   Randy sees how much Sal has found out about his work by hacking. Randy becomes intimate, initiating a back rub through the shirt at first.  Eventually, they wind up in bed.

Chapter 13: Dead Reckoning

Quiller calls Randy by Skype in Dallas, and quizzes him more on how much he’s picked up from Sal’s hack of Bill.

Randy is having to approach his family problems and is noticing the barest traces of lesions on his lower legs.  Maybe. He thinks “I’m still good.”

Chapter 14: Bilbao and homage to Guggenheim, 3 sections (2 somewhat separate)

After seeing his own son off to a science fair and pep-talking is history students (and parents at PTA), Randy flies to Bilbao.  On the streets, after visiting a drop in a bar (one of Lurku’s associates, maybe) with the remaining codes of Sal’s hack, he mugged, left with a harmonica, containing yellow and black powder, and two small ingots that had held the material, stuffed into his socks around his ankles.

He then meets Sal for a bike ride in the Netherlands, and they spend a night together.  Sal, who notices everything, notices changes in his legs.

Chapter 15: Lionsgate

Sal visits Toby, Shelia, and Matt (other characters in Bill’s stuff) at the Lions Gate in Greece, and then goes up (after a chess game).  He winds up at Big Bend.

Chapter 16:  Archangelsk Variation

Randy meets Lurku in Finland, follows a treasure hunt, and in October snow, goes up.  He has intense dreams about his activity with Sal, but of mainly being held.  He wakes up in Russia, Archangelsk, with a chess board in front of him, and notes his own deterioration.

Recapitulation:

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Chapter 17:  Shavedown  (2 separate parts)

Back in Dallas, for classes, Sal gets debriefed by his ROTC commander Mertz, who is concerned about his visibility.

Sal goes to a “health fair” and sees Matt, super-tall, and already a “new angel” (June 9).  Matt tells Sal that he (Matt) is the character in Bill’s “Ran on the Snow” document who gets “murdered” by an encounter with Bill in the desert.  To prevent more stuff in Bill’s writings from coming true, Matt wants Sal to intervene, and give Bill “what he wants” (so that he will “go away”).

Sal drives out to Academy quickly, and tracks down Bill, in his room, but only after reserving a motel.  Sal stops at a convenience store and asks Bill to pick up an odd oil product, which might normally not be carried.  Bill somehow thinks it is like a prescription and he doesn’t pay for the item.  They go to the motel, and gradually become intimate.  After some time, Sal undresses Bill, gives him a full body rub, and then shaves Bill’s chest.  Bill climaxes.  Sall suggests Bill go back to the room.  Bill then goes out to the convenience store to find more items and notices (as in the rear view mirror) his appearance has changed.  He is “younger” in several aspects.  He goes back to the store and buys some rolaids (contraband at the Academy, which is a bit like the military).   After he leaves, police cars chase him. He is arrested.  He checks himself in a mirror and thinks he looks young, but he cannot see himself in jail (a first time ever).

Chapter 18: “Family Bed”  (3 sections)

Randy makes one last attempt to have a real experience with Erin,  Next day, she confronts him, and Randy admits he is distracted by younger men.  He admits to being intimate with Sal,  Erin wants the marriage to end.

Randy meets with Bill, finally, after Frankie has bailed Bill out of jail.   They talk about “erotic royalty”, and what that would mean for “society”.    Randy has only glimpsed Bull as an old man in previous visits and notes that he looks “younger” to him, but maybe not in desirable ways.

Randy reports to DC and has various medical tests.  His own legs are “attenuating”.

Part II: Second Movement: Interlude

Chapter 19:  “Westover”

Randy and Sal, reasonably dressed, meet at the outdoor Westover Market in Arlington VA to trade notes.   Sal gives Randy hacked copies of the most critical parts of Bill’s manuscripts, for Randy to check out.

Randy checks his son Dick into a private school., and they meet Erik.

The Interlude 1 would present Bill’s writings of Ali Mogul, and how his surgeon wife discovered the virus. But Sal can’t view Bill’s potential for the illegal relationship.   Sal did find writings about the birth of Matt.

Chapter 20:  “Intentional Community:

Randy goes to Faber, VA, near Charlottesville, to recreate Ali’s remote viewing experience of the “angels”.  He realizes he can do so now because he has found a real life person likely to become an angel (Sal).  He also undergoes “baptism”, along with a view of a moneyless society.

Particularly,  he also sees the details of Ali Mogul’s heart attack, that led to his wife’s exposing the intelligence about the new “virus” that can transmit identities (June 9).

Then he views the story of Matt, back to his birth, and then the gentle encounters, progressive.   Bill had already started to look “younger” in the rv’s.  The music for the viewing has to actually incite emotion the way Bill experienced it with classical music.

Chapter 21:  “Night Initiation and Immolation Scene” (many sections)

Upon instruction (from Faber), Randy travels to a hilly area in Wisconsin with multiple bike trails and tunnels, for an “initiation”

Just before he “dives in”, Randy reviews more material from Sal, giving the history of Matt (Prologues in Bill’s novel) who may be an “original” angel after all.

Matt and Femeri appears, and then so does Frankie, who turns “old”.  Bill appears to be “young” again.   Sal starts to “do” Randy but “spares” him and turns attention to “Wilson”.  Randy then “satisfies” Bill.   Bill and Femeri float thorugh the air as “roving eyes” but then Bill falls to the ground,. to be rescued by Tovina, while Femeri goes up and exploded (which did not happen to Sal and Randy).

As Bill and Tovina return to civilization, they go to a fast food restaurant, where they hear the first media reports of evacuation of high altitude areas because of the “new disease”.  Sal comes in to greet them.

There is an interlude 3 where Bill’s imagined encounter with Matt is shown, in rv, but at the immolation Matt appears and resists letting Randy (even him) view it.  He also views Matt’s and then Bill’s past lives here (the original prelude).

Part 3: Finale: Brothers:

Chapter 22: Divorce Chapter

Erin confronts Randy again, demands alimony, but then notices the changes in bis body,

Chapter 23:  Mountaintop removed

Randy has noticed a slight lesion even on Dick, and tries and experiment, motivated by Sal’s earlier life.  He takes Dick to moderate elevation, to a strip mine.  Dick improved.

One night, Randy goes to the bars in DC.  He comes back and finds Dick has been kidnapped.   Maybe that was to protect him, even though he already got over the “virus”.

Chapter 24:  Stay out of Jail  (4 sections)

Cpt. Mears questions Sal about his conduct — hacking and hazing, now that DADT is gone.  There’s a discussion of whether this is really about DADT.

Sal visits Bill, who is held without bail on what seems like a trivial charge.  He’s no “Charles Severance”.  Sal wonders if Randy could help with bail.  Sal confirms that Bill still “looks young”.

Randy has taken leave from his teaching job with move to DC, although a “long term sub” (Wilson) was put in his place.  A principal notices what happened to Wilson in the immolation and decides to be helpful.  They find a clue to help Randy find Dick.

But Randy was briefly in Wisconsin, looking for clues near the immolation scene.  Sal joins hin there.

Myers calls in Sal again.   Sal has taken “the test” by poking his ankle.  Myers tellls Sal he won’t get a commission but can do the same work as a civilian.  It’s like DADT,  Is this because Sal is no longer completely “human”?

Chapter 25: Fair trial (and maybe Fair Use)

Sal, by agreement with Myers, testifies against Bill in the shoplifting case.  But Bill does a shape-shifter duirng the trial and “goes up” in front of everyone.

Chapter 26: Rescue

They go to Big Bend and find Dick unharmed and well. Dick says “he went up” for about a day.   Dick looks a little “younger”:

News reports of evacuations increase.

The sub who provided the clue to find Dick gets in legal trouble himself,  but provides another clue as to where “it” will happen.

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Chapter 27:

Randy goes on one more road trip: to Wisconsin to get all the remaining secrets of “Bill’s novel”, and then to a mountaintop-removed mine in W Va, where they all assemble to go to Titan. Frankie (once a partner of Bill) has to wonder if he will get arrested first, just as in Bill’s book. He’s no longer “desirable” as an angel.

Bill remains an “old soul”, and then so does Randy, but Sal is an angel. Ther’es a question as to who got to go up as an “angel” besides Sal  But both Bill and Randy are saved in some sense by being an angel’s “brother”.

Note: Some chapters could well be broken into smaller chapters, to make each chapter center around one scene or at least one concept. These would include Chapters 10,  17, 21, and especially 24 .

The novel describes two characters who are employed in some way in clandestine service, including the CIA.   Yet, here, there is non of the stuff you usually see in the movies, with station chiefs recruiting nationals, no drones, no assassinations, relatively little violence.  It’s mostly about solving a mystery — which in this case affect the whole future of mankind.  Maybe someone working there will chuckle if he or she finds it, or maybe he or she will think it’s closer to the real CIA than how Hollywood usually presents it.

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Just remember, the CIA building at Langley was built the same year I graduated from high school, 1961.
(First posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 11:45 PM )

Some performances at the Folklife Festival in Washington DC (China, Kenya)

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I made a few short videos Friday and Saturday at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the Mall in Washington DC.

From China:

 

and this followup”

From Kenya:

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some disco dancing:

 

 

On the way, a man played Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” at the Ballston Metro stop.

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The same theme starts the finale of the Symphony #3.

Returning, a man played jazz on an electric Casio, outside the Smithsonian stop:

I do pay performers in public places if they play so that I can record. At the Smithsonian, the man refused to play for another person until that person donated. That seems fair enough in a free market.

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“Prescience” as a sequel to Titanium: what happens to the abductees after UFO’s land (and they must live on another planet)

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In July 2003, shortly before moving back to northern Virginia, I vetted a treatment for a proposed screenplay to be called “Prescience” to the Minneapolis Screenwriting Group.

The idea had come to me in a dream, where a boulder lands to Earth near Fort Worth, TX; it turns out to be a spaceship, and there are gradual and then rapid consequences that the media (and only then the government) have to face.  But it’s a lot more subtle than the 1996 film “Independence Day”,  Maybe your most recent look at Earth won’t be your last.

After I wrote the screenplay “Titanium” (June 12), I decided that “Prescience” could be construed as a sequel to Titanium, as part of a film franchise.  I wrote about 60 pages of script, which does not quite match the original treatment, below.

In the screnplay, Eric accompanies Bill on the spaceship, and seems to have the telepathic ability to connect to the inhabitants of Earth,  instantly, faster than speed of light, because consciousness can pervade space-time.  And most of Earth has been zapped by EMP attacks, and people are trying to migrate to the few areas where the standard of living is still reasonable (like Singapore).  That would make a third movie.

Bill has a two-room apartment inside a “synecdoche” on the outskirts of the central city in the new planet, Arinelle, which is tidally locked around its parent star.  That means that all civilization is in a strip through the twilight zone, and a train (not exactly a “snowpiercer”) runs around it, among several different kingdoms that represent the same general geography with different stages of time.  “Cleveland” has 50s-era technology, “Clyde” is like 1900, and “Williams” is earlier than 1800.   Bill is forced to travel through these places and prove that he can function in these societies, that have karma-systems (kike intentional communities) and don’t have money.

There are other hidden transits among the kingdoms, such as through the cold night zone, and another through the steamy ocean on the hot side.  Bill wants to get his music back.  It has been brought on the spacehsip, and is brought to him through the transit passages.  But the romanticism of the music provides an emotional shock to the residents of the pre-1800 world.   it also turns out to be a “crime” when a more modern piano is brought to that world.

Various other people Bill befriends are tested.

In Bill’s apartment (which he uses only when he arrives and again toward the end), there are two computers, one which can view Earth with a telepathic connection (set up by Eric) digitized; it even has the remnants of Facebook and of Bill’s old blogs;  the other computer is tied to Arinelle’s networks and only a few privileged communities have access to social media.  Bill has that access only temporarily.

At the end of the movie, Arinelle will be threatened by an approaching brown dwarf, and the inhabitants will all move to Earth, for good.

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2003 Treatment for “Prescience”:
*

Logline:

A teenage computer hacker learns of an upcoming alien attack and prepares himself and his friends only to survive it. The aliens save them for a final, utopian experiment.

Treatment:

*

ERIC STONE, a precious high school senior who impresses adults whom he meets at a local Unitarian church, is playing with his web server at home when he deciphers messages that predict an incoming alien attack.

*

In the mean time, there is a media report that all of the electronics in a particular well-to-do neighborhood is out, as if by an e-bomb.

*

He has a part-time job fixing computers at homes and visits BILL LDZETT, an elderly gay man, at his high rise apartment building. He has met Bill at the Unitarian church and whimsically promised Bill a swimming lesson.

*
At Bill’s place, they calculate the arrival of the first spaceship and then go to the apartment solarium (and natatorium) and spot a shooting star in the evening sky that may be the craft.
*
(Note: to fit TR, he might have made a visit to Bill a few years ago and be older now at the time of the attack. He might have heard about Bill’s jailing for involvement with a minor.)
*
Next day, right after the stock market closes, the craft lands in a major suburb, slowly, looking first like an asteroid with the fiery tale on the wrong side.
*
Within a few hours people who watched the event are streaming into hospital emergency rooms blind. Authorities go into the nearby neighborhoods and find many of the residents dead, many of them already transforming into “grays.” Some of them had started transforming a few days before with massive hair loss.
*
CNN covers this for a while, and then in many sections of the country there are complete power blackouts.
*
Eric deciphers a message on his computer warning him that he will go blind soon unless he meets one of the aliens at a bar. He is to bring along a friends whom he has told about the message. He is surprised that bars will even be open after this catastrophe and uses a fake id to get in.
*
He meets the alien, KAL, who is a super tall but good looking man (according to Bill’s ideas), who takes him and Bill into the space ship in a special private chopper. KAL also has the fake id.
*
Inside they are met by rather human looking people, who tell him that they can keep their sight if they move to another planet. They will go on a reconnaissance and Bill and Eric will get to pick whom they bring. Eric will not be able to bring his younger sister, who also went blind. But on the new planet they will have to fit in to the social order there.
*
They go clubbing and shopping—the stores are open again but the markets aren’t nobody knows when there will be another attack. Then there is a second attack in another city, so many people, going blind, line up to be on the ship.
*
Once on board, they are given medical examinations and put to sleep for the journey.
*
Once they reach the new planet about 80 LY away, they are put on a streetcar train. Though they were sleeping, they seem to have aged about 8 years. They view scenery that rather resembles a mix of AmErica in the 50s with Soviet-Style housing complexes very much crowded into the cities. They have a decent reception with rather simple Asian-like food (though some rather bizarre creatures) and Eric gives the swimming lesson. He is already “maturing.”
*
They are told they are going to a place called “Baltimore” but when they arrive they find no city, just a run-down factory place. The people are segregated into groups. Kal takes Eric to go with him but sends Bill and a young woman together on an older train to a rickety farm, with a girl friend MALI. Bill is told he will have to earn his place and “pay his dues” first.
*
There is a political system based on meritocracy, but no fiat money (at least on top). The most talented young adults live in the cities, in segregated housing. Gays are accepted and somewhat treasured. They go to the areas around Baltimore to do their menial work (“pay your dues”), but otherwise work on technology. Only the people who live in “Urbana” and visit either “Baltimore” or “Grand Rapids” get to use technology (and “Grand Rapids” is a kind of military “special training company”). Baltimore is on a seacoast, inundated with canals, and said to be susceptible of once in an epoch storms; Urbana is a more high-rise city on safer and higher if unspectacular ground. Once a year members vote on 80% who stay. (You can’t vote for yourself.) The others must go to the countryside (next paragraph) and must be married and be ready to have kids, lest they become “grays.” The music at “Metropolis” (Urbana) follows that of pop stars and lacks the recesses of western classical music. The “best” people come in once a month and take away the “losers” to the camps.
*
The society has experimented with family values. It used to be that only residents of Urbana had children, and they still do, hoping for the “best children.” But the birth rate was too low, so the second line class at Baltimore is encouraged now to be fecund. Since a lot of the residents are rather unattractive and viewed as rejects, they still have a hard time maintaining a population. There are rumors that family life is better, after all, on the
frontier, “on the outside,” where people live in small, primitive communities (and must function in families or else become grays.)
*
The train takes them to a quaint residential community where there are no modern conveniences, no electricity, except at one community center, where they can communicate with the central “Urbana” (Baltimore is just a shell) and the galactic community. Residents are assigned tasks. Bill develops a good social reputation with his piano playing and starts composing a legacy of western-style classical music. Gradually they turn into people who look like Grays unless they succeed in familial relationships, and Bill and Mali become intimate enough for her to get pregnant. Not only does Bill keep his sight but he starts looking younger and becoming more competent at manly things. Eric gets to go back to Urbana to be part of the ruling class (though he will live in or commute from the housing complexes in “Grand Rapids” as a kind of Apprentice). The best parties, though, and break dances are in Urbana (the 50s complex) and people seem to be graded on how they come off in the break dances, that are a bit like the Mayan ball games. So Eric will be part of the middle class.
*
Bill finds Tobey and finds out he is an angel. Non-angels have to have training to qualify.
*
Bill finds out that some of the “heterosexuals with families” live around vacant Baltimore, in suburbs, without too much technology while they raise kids. If they had the kids young enough, they can go back to Urbana as desirable adults. Bill finds he will get a chance to make it as a family man in Baltimore burbs.
*
Bill gets to make trips to Baltimore Center to visit Eric with “glances”, kind of like visiting a friend who got to go to a better school. Eric attracted to Bill’s love of music, which he misses at Urbana. But he also learns of the Dark Side, a wasteland outside of the farm communities where the truly incompetent are discarded like Spartan rejects.
*
Eric is prospering, and finds out more about what happens to the “losers” – they are turned out to keep to their own kind so they do not burden the “freedom” of the “angels.” But angelic status is hard to keep, and the people in the countryside outside Baltimore have recently been allowed to change fiat money. When people get kicked out they sometimes are treated to a “break dance” ritual for ultimate pleasure, but Bill watches this rather than experiences, and finds it unsatisfactory to watch fallen men get defrocked.
*
There are communities set in different times – Truman, Clyde and Williams. People get sent back to earlier times to avoid being made into grays; but Bill decides he can bring some of his music into earlier times. There are also sports rivalries among the time-provinces.
*
Bill eventually gets sent to Grand Rapids anyway, for some special training, where he sees failures being turned out to survive alone in the neo-mountains until they die. There is a bit of a real city here, with some technology. Here Bill learns how it works in Urbana, and is worried about what is happening to Eric. For example, residents rate each other once a month, and the “best” men do the raids to ship the losers to Baltimore or sometimes Grand Rapids. Eric got to be on the aggressive side of one of the raids. But Bill wonders what will happen to Eric at tribulations. Kal, it seems, has failed his own tribulation and been sent to Grand Rapids to live (he doesn’t get pass privileges to Urbana like Eric).. Bill sees him, as rather barren now.
*
Bill helps Kal escape back to his own “Baltimore” suburban commune, where Kal takes a liking to Mali before disintegrating and dying. Also, Bill now learns how the colonies around “Balimore” turn the “failures” into grays rather than letting them perish in the wildnerness, because the nearby climate is milder. But before becoming grays, some of the “failures,” after finding out about the rural civilization outside the cities, decide they want to secede and build another city without technology but completely based on money. This has been going on for some time, and Bill finds out that the civilization “on the outside” is a bit more advanced than he had heard. (There is a parallel to being inside an asylum!) This is kind of the exurban culture that is willing to go back to a “natural” way of living that doesn’t depend on cities. There are questions about why money isn’t extended to the cities, and the argument is that money alone would corrupt the deeper meaning of merit. But the immediate suburbs around Baltimore are for successful or “functionable” “families” who can return to Urbana. The colonies extend quite far into the countryside in a grid with a number of other towns, like on a board game.
*
(dream add-on): Bill learns that he can get back to Urbana by passing trials. Eric is being expected to pass them. It is a circular Fermi-like track, some of it underground and underwater, with various physical tests like swimming and getting out of a kayak. Bill has trouble, stops at a writing camp, then opts out (“quits”) and views his performance on a theater screen, and then prepares to see what has happened back home (limited perhaps by General relativity).
*
Bill shows that the social order on this Mini-Earth are a projection of his own thoughts from back home. So in a way, even his intentions, without direct aggression, became “harmful” just as a thought experiment.
*
He also learns now, from Kal, that the new earth is going to be approached by a brown dwarf, that gets more visible every night.
*
A year later they (he and Mali) have a child, PAUL, thoroughly normal and human, and Bill wants to him back to earth. This is so even after the view earth and see if it set back 200 years by e-bombs set off by the grays. (They have a faster-than-light i.t.) Eric has now grown into manhood himself, when he visits, reigniting old gay feelings. Eric shows him what has happened to many of the immigrants. They have become grays. Finally, he is shown how to dial in to find out what has happened on earth. What he sees does not make him want to return. The good people escaped, and what is left are grays. They seemed to have gotten that way by a virus that dulled them. Then it is apparent that this “Earth 2” is a cut-down replica society where only the “best” can lead a creative life.
*
The brown dwarf passes, Baltimore is flooded, but the Atlantis-like Urbana is destroyed.
Bill will move back to “Baltimore” and help “rebuild” it and fit into a Utopian society, but with one catch. His taste for music is left behind, to entertain the grays. He no longer has his musical gifts. The society of perfect men that he serves is one of simple rituals and aestheticism, and that is all that is left for him to live for. But now, without a functioning Urbana, their society starts to fall apart. Only a few characters, like Eric and Kal, can hold together. The rule was: People who “fail” there get sent to the countryside to prove they can make it in family life or become grays. Now Eric’s time as a “chosen one” will end soon and he would have to go to the country and prove himself. Now, he is valued by other Chosen Ones since he had survived the cataclysm without ill effects. But Eric has been working on his escape to go back to Earth, although there is no way he could make it without aging. He undergoes a “tribunal” and partially survives it (even he could become a Gray otherwise), but escapes anyway.
*
Bill and Mali reconcile themselves to building a new home life for Paul, and maybe they can start over in this simpler planet.
*
ADD ON:
*
Eric might have been a younger friend of Matthiias, saw him go up. Maybe a son of Erin.
Eric might stop on Titan before journey to other planet.
*

Beats
*
Pre – Eric helps Bill (virus infection danger to others – stake) on computer
Situation – Eric predicts, sees spacecraft land, will go blind himself (grays, blind) (stake – grow to body concern) unless he meets Kal. Kal recounts some history of Bill (music)
Opportunity – Mormon-like space travel with Kal, separated from Bill and Tove to planet. Kal promises Bill that Eric will be cured of diabetes if left alone
Sent to training in Grand Rapids (to be the elite man – stake), Bill sent to farm Eric must qualify for the upper class and be cured of diabetes, Bill has to prove family solidarity
Recognition – Tove has baby, stillborn because Bill didn’t love her enough. Bill in “dark session” (ability to adapt – stake) where his male buddy rejects him, but Bill takes new girl friend and travels to Grand Rapids to be with Eric, who has grown in glory. Eric learns that Kal has been “threatened”
They travel to Urbana and see Kal get kicked out (bald in legs)
Bill and Mali have a kid and have gotten socialized in the “capitalist” section with Bill’s music (stake)
Crisis – Eric must go to country to prove self—because he doesn’t want the ritual.
It’s better to go back to earth – but he has to have tribunal anyway. He can raise Bill’s kid on Earth as Bill dies.
*
Note:
*
Mathematics is the one subject that cannot change from one planet to the next (except for spherical geometry, a little).

©Copyright 2003/2005 by Bill Boushka

(Published Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 11 PM EDT)

 

Another writeup of my “Rain on the Snow” and “Tribunal and Rapture” novel sequence

 

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found another writeup (dating from late 2005, about the time of the first melt-down of my substitute teaching) of two of my novel sketches, and it tracks pretty close to what I put down for “Tribunal and Rapture “, 2nd version on April 29, 2014, and “Rain on the Snow” on May 13.  The “Rain on the Snow” idea would occur first in this concept,

Don’t expect to find the plot synopses (Wikipedia style) to be exact, but the overall stories and characters pretty much match. I’m posting it here for further reference.  I’ll soon get to the stuff that I am really the most “serious” about.

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Novel 1: Rain on the Snow

 

The book has a two-movement “Beethoven 31st Sonata” structure of a sonata (a development of many characters who crisscross) and a “Tema con Variozioni” where one character Bill goes through an Academy and then prison experience to train him for the Purification. He escapes and will change forever. The book takes several characters through the plot-structure “beat” process (Setup, opportunity, plan change, point of no return, crisis or setback, “payoff” resolution or staging for next story). Up to five major characters are protagonists of the novel and have major personal outcomes.

 

The novel traces the development of two angels, Matt and Tobey, whose paths gradually cross because of familial associations. Matt will be the son of Naomi, who has another son, Ethan, in the early 1980s. She buys a Dallas condo from a middle aged gay man, Bill, who then moves away. Her husband becomes ill and mysteriously leaves, but then another midwife and former prostitute, Tovina, arrives to shepherd through the birth of Matt, which happens at an undetermined time in the late 1980s. She goes through job loss (as a teacher and then fitness instructor) that brings her into contact with a former student, Josh, who becomes a hotshot young lawyer.  Josh has connections to a fallen “angel” Femeri, from Russia, who has hired a former but now ex-gay boyfriend of Bill to help build a series of re-education camps around the country for the Purification.

 

Tobey has grown up in the Pacific northwest, has jetsetting parents. He has overcome childhood leukemia miraculously and starts developing unusual intellectual powers while maintaining basic good (but not supernatural) physical fitness. Matt, on the otherhand, grows to great height and is taken by angels to Titan, the outpost in the solar system to bridge the physical world of Man with higher beings of God and Urantia.  He returns to earth and finishes high school and college while “adopted” with a Mormon family in Utah.

 

Bill’s life has picked up with the publication of a book “Do Ask Do Tell” in which he (with an autobiographical perspective) examines the civil rights issues for homosexuals on a libertarian perspective, and the counterargument that heterosexual institutions provide a socialization which enables most people to take care of others and deal with hardships by forcing them to accept a certain faith when they have children. Tobey, in grad school, comes into his life, and draws Bill into the clutches of Femeri, somewhat out of belief that he is helping Bill find a new life after job loss and personal family catastrophe.

 

The second half of the book takes him to the Academy in West Texas, where he gradually comes into contact with Matt. Finally, he has an intimate encounter with Matt,  (questionable due to Josh’s manipulations of the records), in which Matt dies (he breaks the rules) but Bill takes on some of his characteristics, and oddly some of Tobey. Bill has also learned about the secret (but not hacker-proof) stories about the new “disease.” Bill gradually reverts, is arrested, and sent to prison. In jail he has “therapy” but Tovina arrives for conjugal visits, which cause him to change again into a disguise. In the meantime, Tobey goes to Titan for a quick registration visit for his angelic training. Tobey comes back as Bill is staging a breakout of prison in Arizona.  Bill escapes to a secret camp in Wisconsin where he undergoes secret initiation rites that he has dreaded all of his life. But he changes permanently into one of the 144000 even though he is not supposed to be able to.

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Novel 2: Tribunal and Rapture

 

This sequel is told through the eyes of one of the perpetrators of the Academy, an African American West Point grunt named Ali, who had been one of the first blacks to really do well at West Point in the 60s. His legs were burned in a raid in Vietnam in the 70s, and then amputated after an auto accident in Montana in the late 1970s near a religious commune. He believes that the accident was a collision with a UFO. The following synopsis dates back to 2001 and may not fit exactly the other novels with character names, etc. This is still being worked out.

 

Premise:  American society is quickly and progressively threatened by a new virus that reincarnates the “souls” of those religiously “chosen” in Biblical times and overlays these “souls” onto current victims, while at the same time these same entities provide at last a way for today’s “chosen people” to escape to other worlds. In particular, a retiring African American FBI agent seeks to rebuild his own family so that he can escape, while (in a layered plot) an aging homosexual man, recruited into training for homeland defense in the trying days to come, stumbles onto tasting again his biological youth.  While both social collectivism (particularly communism) and excess individualism have reduced “traditional family values,” escape from societal collapse might depend upon rebuilding the idea of family and lineage within a closed escape environment.

 

Plot Synopsis

 

The hero is a religious 60-year-old African-American, Ali Mogul, who approaches the end of a long career as a decorated (and twice badly wounded) Army officer, defense contractor, and FBI sleuth. He has become separated from his wife and estranged from his rather sissy-boy son because the “real life” associated with family performance seems mundane compared to the disconnected creativity that he discovers in those he investigates and that he would like to develop within himself.

 

After an older alleged sex criminal whom Ali had helped apprehend escapes from an Arizona prison by inciting violence at a work detail, another informant (Frank L’Istesso) from a civilian defense training academy invites Ali to join a clandestine intelligence school (in Virginia) where law enforcement, intelligence and military officers learn to use extrasensory perception and remote viewing to investigate possible terrorist threats.

 

During his first viewing he learns that the real threat really derives from the tribulation processes roughly like those in the Bible. Startled that his own “faith” and personhood will be challenged, he first throws up and then capitulates with a major heart attack.  He had gotten himself into psychic intelligence as a kind of self-indulgence.  Now, facing mandatory coronary bypass surgery and recuperation, he realizes that he must rebuild his small family, not just to survive, but to understand his first viewing.

 

His Caucasian ex-wife, an accomplished orthopedic surgeon, has learned of a major public health threat, a new virus that gives its victims very bizarre psychic properties before they die and selects its victims in a way that it threatens the demographic stability of American society.  (It prefers victims with poor peripheral circulation, like diabetics, and is much more prevalent in high-altitude areas.) She takes a break from hospital duty and decides to invite Ali back into her home and help him recuperate. (He has to persuade her to take his new career interest seriously, and as deserving of personal respect more than love.) Ali revs up and starts recovering (like David Letterman), desiring again to “escape” from the taming influence of “family” and go back into the world and investigate the threat on his own. He sneaks out from his ex-wife’s house in Alexandria, Va. and travels on the Acela to New York to meet his son, who has reformed and transformed himself from childishness and aimless compulsive criminality to being able to help others now through newfound mechanical cleverness—hacking  “legally: and secretly into the PC’s of other private citizens as well as large institutions.  Rebuilding communication with his son (who had almost been killed in the 9-11 attacks) is a first step in realizing his own epiphany.

 

His encounter with his changing son highlights his focus on how he would spend the rest of his life if his world of relative freedom really does go to “hell and a handbasket” because of unstoppable terrorist attacks or this new biological epidemic threat.  He would face some choices: re-connect with his family and live through that, return to his religious (Assemblies of God) faith as rather literally interpreted, or participate in the power struggle of those officials who would hunker down and plan surreptitiously to seize power in a society, paralyzed by martial law, that is “easier” to rule. Now he is suspicious that there are people like that; over the years he has sometimes been like that himself, just as more recently has come to discover “pleasures” of living outside of himself.  He will sink into a quicksand created by those others whom he has come to emulate because of his own ennui over conventional life.  And, going through his own investigative files (which he rescues after his own condo is burglarized) he finds plenty of evidence that the “old men” running the remote viewing school are on to real threats, however self-serving their personal motives. So Ali’s “problem” (in novel plot skeleton terms) comes in to focus: to given himself a valid “purpose” (participation in either “saving the world” for escaping from it), he needs to rebuild his family; the converse is also true. And he needs a purpose to survive (even “religiously”) at all.

 

His son’s efforts point him back to his own files as a former investigator, particularly the stories of the disappearance of the toddler son (Matthias) of a (female) health club fitness instructor (Kelly Skiis) and of the apparent criminal sexual encounter, some years later, between a middle aged colleague (Bill Ldzett) and a vivacious Smallville-like “superman” pubescent teen who may after all be Kelly’s son, returned after a mysterious “abduction” and two-year disappearance.  Bill’s “personnel” records had built up during his stay at “The Academy,” a network of largely privately funded training and living centers to house “asset persons” (or “civilian reservists”) who will keep the country going after expected and unpreventable terrorist attacks.  Ldzett’s own encapsulated “Ghost” story is that of an anti-hero escaping from his own character weakness (lack of empathy for others and a predilection for living “third person” in his own fantasy world), threatened with firing and unemployment, getting a “job” as an Academy trainee through reviving a personal connection with Frank L’Istesso, a former boy friend who had become ex-gay in the military himself and then helped start the “Academy” as a private businessman after leaving the military (when the “gay” problem catches up with him under “don’t ask, don’t tell”). Ldzett has encountered and become involved with the teen friend (that is, probably Kelly’s son) through his misadventures at the Academy, been arrested and prosecuted, sent to prison in the high country in northern Arizona, and through his own ability to tease the homosexual fantasies of other prisoners, overcome “all odds” and escaped.  But during the escape Bill has transformed or disguised himself as a younger person and taken on a girl friend, Tovina who, with her motorcycle,  had helped with his escape. Before his “employment,” sex crime and imprisonment, Bill had built up some amateurish notoriety as a writer pushing for a constitutional convention or town-hall to discuss a new Bill of Rights.

 

The Bill of Rights convention, having percolated for two years among interested third parties, is actually coming off, and provides Ali Mogul with the opportunity to network with old friends (especially Frank L’Istesso and a graduate student, Tobey Strickland, who had befriend Bill and helped promote some of Bill’s ideas) and solve the “mystery” as to whether the remote viewings really mean the coming tribulations and as to how to escape. Mogul goes through some “terror-related” misadventures on his odyssey to Minnesota: a train wreck (when Tobey finds him), a construction accident in Pittsburgh (where Frankie is now working), a major security mishap on his flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul (when he isn’t supposed to fly so soon after coronary surgery). His wife, Ellie joins him in the Twin Cities and they all adjourn to a college “fraternity house” belonging to Tobey.  Ali and Ellie reconsummate their relationship for the first time in ten years, while Bill, apparently in disguise, and Frankie appear.

 

Ali will have the legal duty to get Bill arrested and returned to prison if Bill “tells” who he really is.  As the congregated acquaintances bridge the tensions among themselves and put their heads together and hack further into Academy records, they decide to visit a series of sites to look for “clues” that confirm their worst fears: that “angels” from Revelations will capture the personalities of many male persons, leading to the tribulations and the end of modern civilization, but that an escape to a new civilization (facilitated by “miracle” technology available through the angels to those who meet religious requirements) on another planet will be possible. For Ali, the clues and capabilities are in his own life to understand something like this.  For example, Ali recalls  the modern physics and engineering courses way back at West Point and then at war colleges, and reconciles this Wissenschaft with the Assemblies of God religious training (including speaking in tongues) that forces appreciation of a kind of aesthetic realism as well as the selective theology surrounding the “rapture” and the remote viewing. But the most important evidence comes from the story of superboy Matthias Skiis (who had died after the sexual encounter with Bill), as he has actually been to Purgatory and seen what tribulations are coming, as well as confirming that our recent technology came, not from extraterrestrials in the usual sense (“Roswell”) but from the “144000” angels who commute between our world and “Urantia.”  There is also “Second Kind” evidence of “angel visits” related now to what he saw in the initial remote viewings: that very ancient societies (back to Atlantis) had information technology superior to ours but kept it within their priesthoods and conveyed it to the “masses” through ingenious mechanical technology with devices such as astrolabes (and monuments constructed as “computers”).   Ali comes to understand that his eligibility to “escape” will depend on his ability to participate again in a closed society that will for some generations depend on blood family dynamics and propagation, and that this ukase will be even more critical for Bill.  He makes a deal with Bill that Bill can go on the ship (and escape arrest as a fugitive from prison) if he proves that he can “perform” with Tovina and potentially father a child.

 

By now the nation is disintegrating as the news of the epidemic spreads and mass evacuations of higher-altitude areas where infections are common proceed.  The “tag team” meets victims (and  spouses) of the disease victims, and recognizes now how the disease has personally affected them, all of this providing and ante-climax. Frankie helps Bill, Ali, and others “escape” to the spaceship site at a major strip mine in West Virginia, but, having hijacked a train during the final race for the launch site, is arrested and kept behind to live in an unpromising world—a disappointing but deserved end for a character who as a young man had been almost as gifted as Matthias, without having (like the Clark Kent character) the advantage of indirect extraterrestrial lineage.  Ali will take his reconstituted family into space because there is no other future, and Bill will get to go now once (on the last night of their “road trip” when a “first experience” provides a personal point of recognition)  he has proven that he can procreate and start a family, however late in life.  The ship takes off and makes a 24-hour journey to Saturn’s moon, Titan, which, at the end of the novel, the characters learn has always been synonymous with Purgatory.  During the “transoceanic length flight” angelic medical technicians determine that Tovina is indeed pregnant with Bill’s child.  The journey to one other reachable civilization some dozens of light-years away¾angels can get them close to Einstein’s limit of light speed but they don’t violate the laws of physics and “uncertain” causality¾ will require families to be able to carry on lineage for a generation while living in a closed space environment, yet ironically none of the major characters escaping had established lineage until near the time of their group departure.

Below, agent’s critique of “Tribunal and Rapture”, 2002.

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(Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 11:45 PM EDT)

Film treatment: “Two Road Trips”, based on the fiction section of my DADT III book

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The “Fiction” section of my “Do Ask, Do Tell III” book concludes with two short stories that present parallel road trips.  The first is called “Expedition“,  set in the Allegheny coal and strip mine country, and has a character like me about 28 years old; the second is called “The Ocelot the Way He Is“, and has me at my current age in present day, and is largely set on and near an “intentional community” in the Virginia Piedmont.

It would be natural to propose a two-part film based on this material, with each story taking 50-60 minutes.  I might have called this film “On the Road”, except for the fact that such a title has been used for a film about Jack Kerouac.  So I could call it “Two Road Trips“.   Or maybe I could title the entire work “The Home Team Bats Last“.

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The two stories in the book are preceded by a long chapter from my previously unpublished novel “The Proles” (March 25, 2014), depicting my 14-week experience in Army Basic training in 1968 after “volunteering” for the draft.  That section does not lend itself to film by itself, because there is no rooting interest involving other characters actually on site besides me (the novel has external characters who matter outside this chapter). But the period of my military service is important to connecting the two “road trips”.  So I pondered how I would present the relevant material in such a film.  I first thought the entire feature should have a 30-minute middle section, between the two road trips, with my narration, and showing the experience of Army Basic in fast images with relatively little dialogue.  But that setup would involve “author intrusion“. So I need a way to work the material back into the two real stories as flashback material.  And in film, the flashback may show “reality” as the narrator really experienced it in the past, but it must be clear how the other characters “on stage” understand the flashback material, and it must be material in some way to the overall plot.

The first of the two stories  is “Expedition“.  In 1972, “Bill” (Me at 28) attends a going-away-roast for a coworker Mark, whom Bill has admired with “upward affiliation” (today’s post on DADTNotes).  Then, to celebrate his own freedom from Mark’s influence, Bill heads (from a government Naval office in Washington DC) heads for Appalachia, where he will meet up with a former roommate from graduate school, Randy.   The two will tour the strip-mine country together, scarred by mountaintop removal. But Randy will have a surprise for Bill, a fiancee.

The second story is “The Ocelot the Way He Is” is in the book (Amazon).  starting on p. 281).  It is slightly longer but more complex.  In present day, Bill has put his dying mother (almost 100 years old)  into hospice. (In actual fact, she passed away at the end of 2010.)  That night, he goes to a piano concert given by a friend, whom he met at a local church, who is also a freshman in college somewhere in Virginia.  (I guess he will major in music, and he may resemble “Shane Lyons” [played by Timo Descamps]  from “Judas Kiss” a bit; he is charismatic and manipulative, but I wouldn’t say the negative things about the popular film character.) I called him Nolan, after the likable computer magnate [played by Gabriel Mann] in ABC’s “Revenge” — who is also charismatic, but quirky and manipulative.  You get the picture.)

Nolan’s grandfather keeps a hideway cabin for him in the Blue Ridge foothills, not so far from college, where Nolan works in his music and technology.   The cabin is near an intentional community, with its own cast of characters, just a short bike ride or hike from the cabin.  There’s some interesting stuff there, and a gym on the border of the property.

Nolan invites Bill on the road trip out to the cabin for the afternoon Saturday.  In the meantime, there is a threat of severe thunderstorms or tornadoes, severe space storms (like maybe a Carrington Event, with a coronal mass ejection expected to trigger northern lights all the way down to Florida Saturday night).   Bill gets specific directions by email Saturday morning, and then a mysterious visitor knocks on the door (David Lynch style) and makes a threat, and a strange phone call comes.  Bill finds that an computer flash drive has been left by the visitor at his porch, and wonders what is up.

Bill makes the visit, which involves some time recording his own music and making a visit to the intentional community, and, yes, the gym.  In time, it gets more intimate (maybe with a bit of the movie “Old Joy” as a clue.)  Nolan drives him home, where he finds his world in disaster, while he gets a call to the effect that mother has recovered.  The national disaster and Bill’s own situation now get into stuff that would amount to spoilers.

The question, however, is how to weave all the other background material into the two film parts.   And the best way is to work inside out.

In the first story, neither Mark nor Randy have themselves served in the military.  And neither know that Bill had been thrown out of William and Mary in 1961 as a freshman for saying he was gay.

But there is a small backstory where Bill had visited Mark’s apartment a few months before  (we’re back in 1972),  and Mark had demonstrated his own workout routines with free weights in the apartment. (That’s in the DADT III book on p. 54.) There had been a hint of intimacy, but nothing like what will happen in the second story.  At the going-away-bash, Mark remembers this, and recalls the section in Bill’s “Proles” manuscript where Bill had to work with very primitive workout equipment in Special Training Company while in Army Basic in 1968.  That in turn justifies a flashback, 2-3 minutes, of Bill’s whole experience with STC, including passing the PCPT, his direct commission application, and eventual interview.  Then later, after Randy surprises Bill with his fiancee and baby, Bill realizes he will have the motel room (in a small eastern Kentucky town) to himself.  There are other flashbacks (like the one time Bill was almost arrested in 1971 for trespassing on a stripmine) but then there is a dichotomy that, while Bill hasn’t grown up in a way to get married while Randy has, Bill at least did serve in the military.  Well, he “served without serving” and was sheltered away from combat.  (That stimulates another little flashback about the period in the Pentagon.)  Randy recalls how Bill dreaded the idea of being maimed in war, and how he had said he would never come back if that happened.  Randy, on the other hand, has to admit that he himself sidestepped the entire experience by staying in grad school and being “lucky” enough to get a job in college teaching.  Some more Army flashbacks occur, such as one where Bill learns that most of his Army buddies in Basic got infrantry — he’s practically the only one who escaped.  And he also recalls he left Basic in reasonably good shape for the one time in his life (flashback to a church softball game right after where Bill hits a homer).

In the “Ocelot” story, Nolan knows Bill’s history, having read Bill’s blogs and books.  The military issue has been fading somewhat from public scenery after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.  But when they get to the intentional community, where Nolan has an invitation to bring Bill to dinner, the subject of the military comes up, because an older man (also gay but somewhat “retired” even from gay life) challenges Bill as to whether he was a coward in the way he handled his military service.  The flashbacks here emphasize Bill’s transition from graduate school to the Army (the steps of losing your freedom), and then the periods after Basic.  The period of Bill’s induction had a curious incident, which fits into the theme about gymnasiums and weight lifting (which Nolan also does) — he had spent a night in a hotel in Richmond (put up by the Army) before being sworn in, and had another “roommate” who turned out to have been horribly scarred in the chest area by a chemistry lab accident in high school.

There are other flashbacks, such as Bill’s own period of heterosexual dating, which is compared to Randy’s in the first story.  Nolan has a relationship of sorts with a medical student named Brian, which is also (through videos at the cabin) worked into the story to make a point, particularly at the very end.

The film would require accurate makeup, to show Bill at different ages, not only in the obvious change over several decades between the two parts, but also the subtle changes in his appearance associated with his military service.   In this film, characters are not easily interchangeable as to qualities like race, age, and sexual orientation, since some specific sexual tensions are present in the second story.

At the very end, when the national catastrophe is now clear, there is also another “trick” where Bill can look back into Nolan’s life and solve one more erotic puzzle.

Oh, yes, this could become a “franchise” of two separate indie films.  At the “West End Cinema” the tagline is “All stories told here.”

(Published Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 11:45 PM, EDT)

AFI Docs QA notes: “Freedom Summer” documents the voter registration volunteer effort in Mississippi in 1964, resulting in tragedy

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AFI Silverdocs presented “Freedom Summer”, directed by Stanley Nelson, a film giving the history of the Freedom Summer volunteers who went down to Mississippi in the summer of 1964 to teach black voters how to overcome the state’s system designed to keep them away from the polls.  The violence in the area was shocking, and predicated on the fear among white families that property could be taken away from them if blacks got in office.  In fact, now Mississippu has the highest percentage of African Americans in office in any state.

The newspapers reported the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner.

On Sunday, June 22, 2014,  at the 4:15 PM showing at the Naval Archive in downtown Washington DC, The QA included five people, now in their 70s, who had volunteered that summer.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6


Part 7: One of the former volunteers notes that Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner did not voluntarily sacrifice their lives; they did not intend to be martyrs; “Their lives were taken”:

The film will air in the PBS American Experience series Tuesday June 24, 2014 on most PBS stations.

(Published: Monday, June 24, 2014, at 12:15 PM)

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