All posts by jboushka@aol.com

“Outbreak” (1995 film) and “The Hot Zone” (1994 book) prescient for “Ebola Bill”

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On a day when Ebola virus is big news, as a Texas hospital failed to hospitalize a patient who had traveled to Liberia, it’s well to remember one of the most important science-fiction films about something similar, “Outbreak“, by Wolfgang Petersen, in 1995, from WB.  I remember that this film was shown to honors and Advance Placement chemistry classes one time in the spring of 2005 when I was substitute teaching at West Potomac High School near Alexandria, VA, a curious artifact of my own history (more here).

There is also a TV mini-series, “Robin Cook’s Virus” (1995).

The film supposes that an Ebola-like disease in Africa (the Motaba River Valley in Congo) had been vanquished.  The virus has mutated to airborne form and accidentally been imported into Cedar Creek, CA in present day by a money.  And there is a government plot to destroy Cedar Creek with a bomb. The film ran longer than one block at school and seems like a strange fit for high school.

Of course, the classic book on Ebola is Robert Preston’s “The Hot Zone“, (Knopf) which covers the stories of some related viruses like Marburg.  It also covers Ebola Reston in 1989, which appeared among primates brought to northern Virginia but which did was not transmissible to humans.  I bought that book in the 90s at a book fair in the company cafeteria at work, which earned me the nickname “Ebola Bill”.  How prescient!

Laurie Garret’s “Coming Plague: Emerging Diseases in a World out of Balance” talked about Lassa Fever, Marburg and Ebola, detailing a European who survived Ebola in the bush but went totally bald.  There is also Judith Miller’s “Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War

On Anderson Cooper’s AC360 show on CNN today, David Quammer discussed his book “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic” (2013),  (NPR discussion) where he suggested that Ebola may be unlikely to become airborne, but it might be shed in body fluids before there are symptoms (which is true of HIV), but that would mean we need a much more sensitive test for the antigen.  Why not a Western Blot test?

(Published:  Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 at 11:30 PM EDT)

Past films titled “The Substitute” (about substitute teachers)

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I’ve talked here before about my screenplay short “The Sub”,  which I have embedded in a feature sci-fi script “Do Ask, Do Tell: Conscripted”.

There does exist a series of feature films titled something like “The Substitute”, about substitute teachers, some of them disturbing,

In 1993, Paramount released “The Substitute“, directed by Martin Donovan, written by Cynthia Verlaine.  This drama presents a femme fatale Laura Ellington (Amanda Donohoe) who takes a long term sub job.  Soon she is in an inappropriate situation with a teen male student and, with his efforts later, her long and dark past and fake identity unravel.

Lionsgate has a “franchise” called “Substitute 4” with Treat Williams (from “Everwood”).  The most important of the films is the last one, “Failure Is Not an Option”, where Treat plays a black-ops guy (for the CIA?) in South America and works as a history teacher in a military academy.  Will be recruit as a “stumper”?

What gets touchy is that the school itself becomes a front for a right wing plot to re-educate people for some kind of “revolution”, whether or not the power stays on.

LOTUS: Light of Truth Universal Shrine; “Many Paths, One Truth”

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The LOTUS Light of Truth Universal Shrine, of the Satchindananda Ashram at Yogaville VA, offers an introductory video depicting its construction from 1980-1986 (near the James River in Buckingham County).  The flood plain had to be elevated by earth moving from around the area.

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The video is supplemented by a DVD, sold in the gift shop, “Many Paths, One Truth: The 1977 Yoga Ecumenical Service“, a 25 minute service.  The point is made that it is not possible for every dogmatic religious belief system to be literally true.

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I appreciate the fact that the DVD comes with instructions as to how to release the disc properly!  Many commercial DVD’s are a struggle to release.

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(Published: Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 at 12:45 PM EDT)

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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