Smithsonian Folklife, focuses on Peru

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On Wednesday, July 1, I visited the outdoor portion of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival at 3rd St and the Mall in Washington, focusing on Peru.  Most of the scenic photography was in the Native American museum nearby (account here).  The outdoor portion (except for food) had been closed Saturday by expectation of storms and lightning.

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There were demonstrations on how crafts were made, including a fishing rod.  It was apparent that there is a lot of manual labor (it would have pleased my father) in the native post-Inca lifestyle.

There was also a folk music “square dance”.

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(Published: Thursday, July 2, 2015, 11:45 AM EDT)

“Die in” demonstration for “United We Dream” for Undocumented “Queer and Trans people”

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I did visit the “United We Dream” and “Operation Break the Cage” demonstration today in Washington DC at 16th and H Sts NW near Lafayette Park and the White House.  The demonstrated was billed as somewhat radical, “for undocumented queer and trans people” subject to deportation

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Clip 3  “We have nothing to lose but our shame”; “It is our duty to love and protect each other”

Clip 4  Stonewall was started by a trans woman

Clip 5   Break the Cage

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The “die in” was a spectacle.

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(Published Tuesday June 30, 2015, 6:30 PM EDT)

“Rise: The Promise of My Brother’s Keeper”: Director QA and Panel Discussion at Newseum

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Rise: The Promise of My Brother’s Keeper”  (Discovery Channel) had an extensive QA at the Newseum in Washington DC on June 18  The film by Dawn Porter will air on the OWN network Sunday night June 21.

Part 1

Part 2 (Be real)

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6 (technology)

Part 7 (my question about volunteer mentor suitability across class and race)

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

(Published Saturday June 20, 2015 at 11 AM)

Character list for screenplay “Do Ask, Do Tell: Conscripted”

Here is a list of characters in my screenplay treatment and script “Do Ask, Do Tell: Conscripted”  (July 17, 2014):

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Name Gender.DOB physical identification location, category role, access
Bill Ldzet M, 1943 elderly me 3-1900, abductee trainee, source of narrative, intended return
Randall M, 1995 Undergrad student, philosophy 78,200,32,103-104-90 0-station, abductee angel cand; interviewer, reviewer
Brutus M,1995 video artist, possibly alien 79(?), 195,31,102-104-0 0-station, alien angel, telepathic, reviewer
Adam M,1989 physicist, part of Bill backstory-S 70, 160, 30, 103-104-70 1-city, abductee angel cand, reviewer
Ricky M, 1948 prole immaterial 3-1900, abductee cook, housekeeper; interviewer

(Published, Thursday June 18, 2015 at 4:30 PM EDT)

 

“Angel’s Brother”: the UFO abductions in the novel

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Throughout “Angel’s Brother” there are references to a supposed accident where the character Ali Mogul lost his long legs in an auto accident collision with a landing UFO, but that stays in the “fact or fiction” realm.

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But there are four “real” abductions”.  Randy “goes” up in Chapter 16 and has a pretty good introduction to it from Finland, coming down in Russia;  Sal gets it early in Chapter 15 and gets taken from Greece back to Texas.  Bill, having transformed himself and escaping, gets a UFO ride in Chapter 26, and in Chapter 27, the last, they all take the Angels’ space shuttle to Titan.

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Wednesday, I did drive through some of the Richmond VA suburb of Glen Allen (formerly Hungary), which is immediately west of I-95 and N or 295, and E of US 33 (Staples Mill Road).  One of the more intriguing sightings in the mid-Atlantic happened in June 1990, according to this link.  I believe it happened more or less around the Mountain Road area (an ironic name), veering off to the NW, past the Virginia Randolph house.  The sightings may have continued down into NW Richmond, along Staples Mill, apparently to about where Anthem Blue Cross is today — I spent a weekend there working gathering data for a company buyout back in 1989.  Nearby was the (at the time) affiliated “The Computer Company” in a warehouse-like brick building.  It’s ironic that an incident like this would happen so close to the site of a provocative work experience in my own career.

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Back in 1992, I visited a rural area slightly east of I-81 near Wytheville, VA, where supposedly there were sightings in the late 80s, maybe connected to Brown Mountain 70 miles S in North Carolina, which I want to visit.

(Published: Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 11:50 PM EDT)

“A Separate Peace”, novel by John Knowles and the 1972 Film, a tale about “upward affiliation”

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I haven’t seen many films twice, but “A Separate Peace“, directed by Larry Peerce, had special importance, as I saw it during that period I was working for the government and living “near home” in 1972, and then again after moving away for my “Second Coming” in 1973.

In fact, I read the paperback of the novel by John Knowles (1959, Secker and Warburg).  I particularly remember when (first-person observer)  Gene “jousts” the limb when he and his best friend, Finny, are climbing the tree.  Gene (Parker Stevenson in the film) worshiped his friend (John Heyl)  with a process that I often call “upward affiliation“.  The incident seemed to come from a momentary compulsive urge.

Finny gets a broken thigh, and normally should have healed OK, and still trusts and loves his friend. But an unusual medical tragedy ensues; he gets an embolism, which travels to his heart or lung and it kills him.  This was medicine in the 50s and 60s.  Today, they usually prevent this with blood thinners.

In my own life, I made a “separate peace” regarding in own “inequality”.  I lived separately and productively.  But eventually others do come knocking.

The film (Paramount) can be rented on YouTube for $2.99.

(Published Saturday, June 6,  2015, 4:45 PM EDT)

 

“Angel’s Brother” (i)FAQ

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I’m opening a new page to pose some “infrequently asked questions” about the plot and concept of my novel “Angel’s Brother”.

(1)  Is the character Bill Ldzett “you”, and exactly what happens in the physical transformations that he undergoes in the latter chapters of the novel?

Yes (or “yeth”) Bill is based on “me”.  Bill is a pivot point character, someone not self-qualified for angelhood, but almost, a kind of shaman, with a touch of arsenic, both metal and non-metal.  Perhaps his physical transformations are a generalization of trans-genderism.  Bill’s writings guide the fibbies in their understanding of the coming “alien” invasion which has set up shop in a station on Titan (moon of Saturn).

After Sal (who has become an angel but doesn’t quite know it for sure yet) shaves Bill down in a motel room near the Academy (in West Texas), Bill’s body undergoes further spontaneous change.  The “moon-face” is something that could happen from steroids. He looks like a younger man for a while, and enjoys rejuvenation.  He inadvertently steals some sundries from a nearby convenience store, and suddenly finds the sheriff is after him.  Apparently, the appearance didn’t fool the cops.

He is out on bond, and goes to the “immolation” in Wisconsin, where he meets up with (finally) an arranged girl friend. Tovina.  But during the ceremony, he learns to tumble (like learning to swim and “arch his back”, he thinks), and seems to fly over the ceremony, with his “beady, roving eye” (referring to the 50s horror film “The Crawling Eye” — Bill seems obscured by a cloud at times, and although there are no decapitations, other people are affected by the rituals — maybe a taste of “Invasion of the Animal People“, too).

Back at his trial in Texas, he goes bonkers again after conviction, and escapes, winding up in a sanctuary in the Davis Mountains in West Texas before being brought back for the UFO departure from West Virginia (over a scalped mountaintop) at the end.

(2) What causes the EMP effects?

Because the virus that transmits identities embeds a micro black hole, which can evaporate, there are effects on surrounding areas sometimes.  The convenience store has a breakdown when Bill visits it the second time (a factor in the testimony).  Sal reports that newer computers have become unstable and a couple of power glitches have happened at Academy when he visits.  But after the immolation, there is widespread damage to power systems and electronics in western Wisconsin to Minneapolis, and then sporadically town to Texas.  Repairs for people take some weeks.

Then the outages get larger, about the time the first “flight” leaves to take the candidates to Titan,

(3) Doesn’t the novel show the “strong” (young adults able to become angels) escaping while the “weak” perish?  Isn’t this a socially hostile message for a novel?

You could raise that question about the NBC series “Revolution“.  In the world that follows (where the country breaks down into separate republics) some people do well, others don’t, in a new order, that is low-tech, some new leaders emerge.  But I don’t show that here.  In the longer version of the novel, many of the characters join a public trek from high altitudes East, and stop at recovery or aid centers.  I don’t show that in the current version, but do refer to it.

But it’s true that many people infected by the “virus”, which first surfaces in the Colorado high country, deteriorate and perish.  But this is what happens with epidemics.  What’s different is that this virus seems to discriminate on who it likes.

It does seem, though, that the “angels” are losing interest in reproduction, and are more concerned with developing supernatural virue in young adults who already exist.  That is indeed a bias.

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(4) Most of the evidence that attracts the CIA and other intelligence services seems to be obtained by hacking Bill’s unpublished writings (first by Sal, then Randy after he learns how).  Is this supported by any real evidence?

Randy is sent on the trip to meet Sal in Poland (as the book starts), and then go to St. Petersburg, Russia, and then the Finnish border area, both sides, near sites where the former Soviet Union kept unusual nuclear waste.  (This idea has appeared in other films, like The Return (2003)). Randy is given an artifact by a kind of double agent, and the artifact is sent to the US nuclear waste facility. Bill is given the clandestine task of transporting a tiny sample to the Academy in Texas.  That sample seems to confer “powers” to Bill later, and possibly Sal.

There is some concern in some intelligence circles that Putin could become aggressive against Finland.  The only hack on one of my sites in 2002 left jibberish on my file about this area of the world, and it has never been explained.

(5) What would happen to “ordinary people” in the US after the UFO landing and takeoff at the end?

Various areas of the country are put out of function by the loss of electricity, but some areas are OK.  The government had already started evacuating some mountain areas because of the “virus” before the EMP’s hit near the end.  Randy encounters one of these evacuation centers near the Academy briefly in Chapter 26.

In such a world, the US could dissolve (as it does in the NBC “Revolution”) or there might be efforts to resettle people and have others “host” them.  As with Chekhov, people would have to go on living.

People would tend to believe in the “angels” as a source of religious authority, and tend to believe that their lives were no longer in their own hands, much as was the case in ancient times.

 

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(6) What’s the overall strategy for hacking into Bill’s manuscripts and putting together the pieces?

Sal, as an undergraduate, has been hired by the “CIA” to hack them. Later Randy (actually an agent, post-military) learns to hack, partly from Sal, and finds more.  Later a lot of backstories emerge from conversations with Amos, Frankie (head of the Academy), Ali, and the Toby and Shelia (supposedly “parents” of Matt, the one proven ET angel at the time of the novel).

(Published: Friday, May 29, 2015, 4 PM EDT)

(Major update: June 5, 2015, 8:30 PM EDT)

 

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