Finish your cake, those who fly in super-class~~you have a date with a very sharp blade~~very soon!!


Her last cake eaten, at people’s expense, Marie Antoinette faces the judgment of Madame La Guillotine, and directly after, and far more importantly, of her Divine Maker.  Revolutions are invariably begun over matters of apparent triviality~~by catalysts seemingly altogether silly~~ but when seen in retrospect~~they are merely the needed match on the dry kindling of societal despair and hardened discontent.

Today, we rely, without much direct comment, upon The Spectator, as the points, by their writers made, appear to us, Res Ipsa.  The enemy of the peoples of America and the developed West is not the right or the left, but rather the members of the permanent, single, political super-class, that connives to divide the people and put them off the scent of the real enemy, which is that very political super-class.

A revolution is coming to the West~~it cannot be stopped–only the match is needed to fire the dried kindling.

WE ask, today~~when is an issue not about that which, at first blush, it appears to be about?  When is it, instead, a catalyst for seething anger wrought by decades of collective, repeated and deliberate governmental action in defiance of the will of the people?  All of the people~~absent the tiny super-class.

For now, we read in The Spectator, of France~~we wonder whennot if, a similar note will be written about the Americans?

In point of fact, let this very note be about the Americans.  To those men who went to university to learn how to think properly, that which follows from The Spectator already is about America.


The Spectator

Why France’s gay marriage debate has started to look like a revolution.

The bitter battle over gay marriage is a symptom of a broken political system

Paris: Revolutions are often sparked by an unexpected shock to an already weakened regime. As commentators in France remark not only on the crisis engulfing François Hollande’s government but also on the apparent death-rattle of the country’s entire political system, it could be that his flagship policy of legalising gay marriage — or rather, the gigantic public reaction against it, unique in Europe — will be the last straw that breaks the Fifth -Republic’s back.

Opposition to the bill has electrified the middle classes, the young and much of provincial France. On Sunday 24 March, in the freezing cold, the 4km stretch from the Arche de la Défense to the Arc de Triomphe was full of people protesting against the bill. On 13 January, also chilly, the Champ de Mars was similarly crammed. When Johnny Hallyday or the World Cup got crowds like that, people talked of two million. But the police, evidently acting under political orders, have claimed that both demonstrations — which are without doubt the largest public movements in French history — garnered a few hundred thousand at most. Credible accusations surfaced in Le Figaro on Monday night that the film taken from police helicopters on 24 March and released by the Prefecture has been manipulated to reduce the apparent numbers of demonstrators.

Such lies are the sign of a rotten regime. Outbursts such as that of Elie Peillon, the son of the Minister of Education, who on 13 January tweeted that ‘those gits’ demonstrating should be publicly hanged, make Marie-Antoinette’s seem delicate by comparison. Had the mobilisation in Paris taken place in Tahrir Square, the world’s media would be unanimous that a ‘French spring’ was about to sweep away an outdated power structure, especially since the demonstrations (including the daily ones held throughout last week, which culminated in a massive impromptu rally of 270,000 people on Sunday afternoon) are attended by an overwhelming number of people in their late teens and early twenties.

By the same token, had the Moscow security forces tear-gassed children and mothers — as the CRS did on the Champs Elysées on 24 March — or had they dragged away by their necks youngsters who were peacefully sitting on the lawn after the demo — as the riot police did on the night of 18 April — then the worldwide moral policemen on CNN would be frantically firing their rhetorical revolvers. Such repression would be interpreted as a sign that the regime was desperate. Indeed, had the Ukrainian police removed the ‘tent village’ which formed in central Kiev at the time of the Orange Revolution in 2004 — as the Paris police bundled more than 60 anti-gay marriage campers into detention on the night of 14 April — then one suspects that Nato tanks would have rolled over the Dnieper to their rescue. A dozen people were even booked by the police for wearing anti-gay-marriage T-shirts in the Luxembourg gardens, where they were having a picnic, on the grounds that this constituted an unauthorised political assembly.

The government may have rushed the gay marriage law through parliament on Tuesday to try to take the wind out of the sails of this mass movement, but police paranoia of this kind is surely a sign that the French political system is terminally sick. The historical background certainly confirms this. For more than 30 years, every French government has lost every election. With a single exception, you have to be over 50 today to have voted in the last election, in 1978, when the incumbent majority held on to power: Nicolas Sarkozy managed to get a conservative majority re-elected in 2007 only because he profiled himself, dishonestly, as a new broom and as a rebel against the roi fainéant, his former mentor Jacques Chirac. Add to this the fact that in 2005 the referendum on the European constitution produced a ‘no ‘vote — that is, a disavowal of the entire political establishment — and you are confronted with a bitter reality: the French electorate hates its politicians and takes every chance to vote against them.

François Hollande’s election last May was therefore not a victory but only his predecessor’s defeat. He was elected with 48 per cent of the votes, if you include spoilt and invalid ballots, and 39 per cent of the registered voters. His election was especially unimpressive considering the widespread revulsion at Sarkozy’s personal bling and at his betrayal of his own voters. But even so, Hollande’s catastrophic poll rating has broken all records. When in March he became the most unpopular president after ten months in office, his rating stood at 31 per cent. Now it is 26 per cent.

‘It’s wonderfully waspish.’

‘It’s wonderfully waspish.’

The immediate cause of the crisis lies in the dramatic alienation of sections of the electorate who voted for Hollande in May. The overseas populations of the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean, and regions like Brittany where the left is as deeply entrenched as in Scotland, are in revolt over gay marriage: the largest French daily, Ouest-France, based in Rennes, has turned against Hollande on the issue. In addition, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the crypto-communist who ensured Hollande’s election by throwing his support behind him immediately after the first round last May, has now violently abandoned him, albeit over economic policy.

But the deeper explanation for the strength of feeling lies in the fact that, in French law, marriage is indissociable from the right to start a family. There is currently no gay adoption in France and no access for gays or lesbians to medically assisted procreation. These have been legalised to general indifference in Britain, but they are regarded as unacceptable by many in France and as an intolerable attack on the rights of the child. The marches against gay marriage are therefore really marches in favour of the traditional family — and in favour of that ‘normality’ which Hollande promised to bring to presidency but which he has betrayed in favour of the interests of a tiny minority. (Sunday’s demonstration in favour of gay marriage at the Bastille garnered but a few thousand militants.) Even Le Monde admits that normally unpolitical people have been politicised by this issue, to their own and everyone else’s surprise.  The 50 per cent of French people polled who say they are in favour of gay marriage evidently do not know what is in the new law, because 56 to 58 per cent say they oppose gay adoption..

The issue, in other words, has touched a nerve in France, a country divided between a globalist elite and a conservative nation, part of which still believes in the family and the state. Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s philandering while head of the IMF revolted many French people precisely because such behaviour seemed to embody the deep link between international economic liberalism and moral collapse. Hollande’s economic orthodoxy (austerity to save the euro) coupled with his support for gay marriage seems but a softer version of the same phenomenon — as does the recent and severely damaging revelation that the former Budget Minister had a secret bank account in Switzerland (and then lied about it).

The disillusionment with Hollande is also acute because this ‘socialist’ President is such an obvious copy of his ‘conservative’ predecessor (just as all presidents since Giscard have been carbon copies of him). Hollande, who campaigned against austerity before the election only to introduce it immediately after, recalls Sarkozy, who was elected with the votes of the radical right only to appoint prominent leftists as ministers in his Blairite ‘big tent’ government. The military adventure in Mali is Hollande’s Libya.

This similarity between the two men throws into the sharpest possible light the systemic crisis of which the endless changes of governmental majority are the symptom: France, like the rest of Europe and much of the industrial world, is governed by one single political superclass which straddles not only nation-states but also left and right. EU politicians spend more time seeing each other than their own voters, while the range of policies actually at stake at any election narrows with each one. This is why voters systematically reject their leaders, and this is why the young have been so massively present in the marches. Such a situation cannot last.

John Laughland is Director of Studies at the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris.

We thank John Laughland and The Spectator and cease here to quote them.

Rejoice and Glad!!



John Daniel Begg


Washington DC

Monday, 29th April, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013

Off our Rockers!!`~~~ We happily visit a wonderful New Curiosity shop~~~~filled with young American artisans whose passion is their work~~whose work is their passion!!!


Lovey and I arrive at the 31st annual Smithsonian Craft Show at the National Building Museum at Washington.

The Smithsonian Craft Show at the National Building Museum 25th to 28th April, 2013, so, so briefly with us,  is a must see.


Mr. George Pearlman

Saint George Pottery

Saint George, ME

Phone:  207-372-9671

Mr. Pearlman has some magnificent pottery on display at the Craft Fair!

The remarkable exhibition reminds us that there are Americans doing useful and productive work altogether unrelated to politics, war, terror and the other, related lunacies, of our era.


Lovey and I have found our seats for the show~~such comfort and relaxation–off our rockers are we!!


The rocker man himself:

Mr. Joe Graham

Jefferson, OH


Get off your rocker and call Joe Graham and buy a couple!!

The, now, once more,  fully mobile, New American Work World Project here progresses this day to a place, in which, people actually do things of consequence with their days and create beauty with their hands.

This continues our saga of discovery as to how the Americans, always a self-sufficient lot, are most diligently finding new, and beautiful, ways to make a living despite the continuing fallout from the economic mayhem unleashed by the Great Panic of 2008~~and finding happiness in the process!!

Bravo, Americans!!

The Smithsonian Craft Show at the National Building Museum 25th to 28th April, 2013 at Washington, takes visitors on a visit of over 120 exhibit booths, in which are found crafts and hand-made creations that  are an inspiration in our world of  habituating synthetic communications that so lacks the real, the tactile and the functional.



Miss Nebiur Arellano

Bethesda, MD


Nebiur creates beautiful decorative fibers, some of which were on display.  Very remarkable!!

I understand from a girlfriend at the IRS who is well in a position to well know, that more and more Americans are self-employed.  Doing what, she has wondered?  I had no answer until today.  Now I know.  Many are doing marvelous and creative things with their days, making things of beauty, functionality and grace.


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Mr. David Bryce~~~above

Fly Creek Studio

Great Barrington, MA


Very interesting ceramics~~well done!

More remarkable yet, all these artisans at the Craft Show, seen happy!!  How many people in America are happy in their daily enterprise?  I suspect we visited with a fair degree of the total percentage of those who are happy at Washington that day at the Craft Show.  Washington men are not happy.  These artisans are happy~~their happiness was palpable!!!

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Life with the gourds~~a fascination!!

Steven & Maribeth Radtke

Vincent Vangourd

Monroe, GA


I assure you categorically that nobody else at Washington enjoys their work.  We have touched on this before~~if you do that which you love, you have added 5 extra days to your week.  Love is never work.  A job is never love.  Seek out your passion, your love~~ and you won’t ever work again. Most impressive of all in our visit was to see that happiness and fervor their work arouses in the artisans.

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Beautiful ceramics with an Asian twist!

Mr. Cliff Lee

Lee Gallery

Stevens, PA


They are Happy!!  Jesus Lord above!!

These exhibitions have been going on for 31 years and, until today, were unknown to us.  If you cannot see this year’s show, please make note to see the show next Spring.


 The man from ME, George Pearlman and his pottery!!~~above

Mr. George Pearlman

Saint George Pottery

Saint George, ME

Phone:  207-372-9671



Mr. Greg Klassen~~just above

Furniture maker extraordinaire!!  Remarkable young man~~marvelous furniture~~Greg drove out with his precious cargo~to include a young daughter~~from Seattle for the show!!

Lyden, WA



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Eric Serritella~~unique ceramics~~Trompe L’oeil~~Eric fools the eye with pieces that are made of ceramics yet look like natural wood~~Lovey and I had our eyes fooled~~and pleased!!~~just above and below….

Mr. Eric Serritella

Carrboro, NC


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Miss Lucy Dierks~fine porcelains of interest–above

Norfolk, VA


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Mr. Michael Mikula~~Magical Glass works!!~~above

M.J. Mikula Glass

Cleveland, OH



Bravo, Americans!!

The Smithsonian Craft Show at the National Building Museum 25th to 28th April, 2013, so briefly with us, is a must, must see.


Lovey finds~~love herself~~and hats~~ at the show~~courtesy of a most  talented hatter, Mr. Ignatius Creegan.  Meanwhile, Mr. Ignatius Creegan and I discuss hatting, those mischievous Jesuits, and his ambitious expansion plans~~to include men’s hatting!!  In three shots above.

Ignatius Creegan & Rod Givens

Ignatius Hats

Pertersburg, VA



Fascinating Jewelry made~~of gold and iron!!

Pat Flynn

High Falls, NY



Mrs. Jenifer Green of Jenifer and Don Green~~furniture makers–superlatives~~and beeswax candles!! ~~Above directly and below.

Jennifer and Don Green

Delhi, NY


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Mr. Tim Arnold–pictured just above twice times–Nashville Woodman sans pareil~~~who was showing a collection of Shaker boxes~~ Mr. Arnold very well knows the difference between pure homemade white and impure store-bought brown~~but wonders~~aloud~~how I do~~my being nothing but~~very obvious~~Yankee.

Mr. Tim Arnold

Saw Dust Company

Nashville, TN




We, very unhappily,  bid Mr. George Pearlman of Saint George, ME, goodnight and good luck with his superlative pottery enterprise.

Lovey and I are most edified to be able to step into the Building Museum and find~~not historical relics~~but rather live Americans, busy as bees making beautiful things with their hands and removed altogether from the madness of Washington, in most particular, and of electronic modernity, in general.  These guys actually do something with their days~~something that matters.  We both admire and envy them!!

There are many more artisans to see and stories to hear at the Show~~go and see them~~go and hear them.  Sites of baskets, glass works and rugs.  Our day was full and our tummies empty, as we did not even stop for lunch, we were so enthralled with our visitation!!

Rejoice and Glad!!



John Daniel Begg


Washington DC

Thursday, 25th April, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013


BYE..BUT.. FOR..NOW…Mr.  JOE GRAHAM–we are going to buy 2 of these magic ROCKERS!!

We, reluctantly, bid the rocker man, Mr. Joe Graham, and the craft show, adieu.



Teen Phenomenon, Mario Gutierrez, brings forward 2012 Kentucky Derby winner ”I’ll Have Another,” following the thrilling opening anthem and glorious parade, to ready his mount to enter the starter’s gate, from there, springing whence, to wear Derby Roses, just minutes later…  derby12-7sMario’s most worthy, cunning, veteran opponent, Mike Smith, shown aboard Bodiemiester, who lead from the gate jump, appeared a sure winner deep and  late into the home lane, but, Mario’s horse brought forth such a breathtaking foot of acceleration, that in 2 jumps, Mike was past and his horse beaten:   Mike looks up in shock and awe~~~


That Magnificent Impossibility~~here, achieved!!

My dears, when I was young, long, long, years now, I had but 2 ambitions~~to be a great writer and an even better race rider.  Few get to live their dreams~~most of us are relegated to watching, in grief and some sadness, as others realize our dreams for us.

Before the savage combat, the Derby is led off, at parade to the post, by a song that, if it does not bring a tear to the eye, is evidence prima facie of one’s having no heart or emotion of any kind.  Attend~~

“My Old Kentucky Home” lyrics

State Song of Kentucky – Contemporary lyrics (1986)
Originally by Stephen Foster
The sun shines bright in My Old Kentucky Home,
‘Tis summer, the people are gay;
The corn-top’s ripe and the meadow’s in the bloom
While the birds make music all the day.
The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,
All merry, all happy and bright;
By ‘n’ by hard times comes a knocking at the door,
Then My Old Kentucky Home, good night!
Weep no more my lady
Oh weep no more today;
We will sing one song
For My Old Kentucky Home
For My Old Kentucky Home, far away.


Blood on the turf~~blood on the saddle~~

~~be it running in tumult and sweet triumph~~in fully extended  motion~~~or spilt in painful passion~~is royal, noble, pure, blue blood come Derby day~~

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The great John Steinbeck described the Kentucky Derby as “one of the most beautiful and violent and satisfying things” he had ever experienced.

That Magnificent Impossibility Looms May 4, 2013.

The Kentucky Derby, run first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs beneath the Twin Spires, is what the irrepressible horseman and social gadabout John Daniel Begg long ago christened~~ “That Magnificent Impossibility.”  This year, That Magnificent Impossibility looms May 4, 2013.

The Kentucky Derby is, beyond argument, the most enchanting of all social and sporting events in the American calendar.  It is over in 2 minutes.  The Derby  is colorful, dramatic, thrilling, awe-inspiring and absolutely impossible to suss out.

The horses who compete in the Derby are babies~~the race is limited to 3 year olds~~but many are not even full that tender age.  All thoroughbreds have their birthday on January 1st, so, conceivably, a horse could be one minute old in real life and yet a full year old the next minute.  Conversely, one would like one’s horse born as early on New Year’s Day as possible~~just a minute past the champagne.  Both outcomes are unlikely as the foaling cycle is Spring~~but when in Spring is important~~one will have a “young three” or an “old three,” dependent upon one’s luck.

The difference of a few months is terribly important as the horses running in Derby are well off of being fully mature~~an age reached at full 4 years~~and many are just coming into themselves~~while others developed very young, already made their flash in the pan, and are already past their prime periods. They peaked too soon.


As with everything else of consequence with the Americans, The  Derby~~child of the English~~Dar~~BY~~called after Lord Dar~~BY~~~ well before we were born a nation, is imitative of the English version of things.  Here, Her Majesty appears keen of intent on taking her flyers at Epson with quite a good deal of seriousness.  Bravo, Mam!!


Lamentably, things here seem to have come a cropper for Queen, as she appears very much vexed by the outcome of a race in which she had taken, a quite serious, flyer.  So sorry, Mam.

Called, appropriately, The Sport of Kings, horse racing in America, and for that matter in England, is nevertheless  dominated on the one end by very poor men with holes in their soles, who support the business on the gray days of winter and on through the year.  At the high-end, by the silk hat crowd, who, in America and England, come out for the big dances–most notably~~the senior prom~~the one that counts~~~The Kentucky Derby here and The Epson Dar~BY over the waters..

On first Saturday, May, deep within the American middle orders, men of modest ambition and riches, and yet, far, far, worse taste in suits than their English cousins, succumb to Derby fever and That Magnificent Imposibility~~~some such~~

**********Credits~~The Kentucky Derby Museum and Derby Central*****************

US Presidents are fans of the Kentucky Derby

Posted: October 2nd, 2012

Download & Share our PRESIDENTS AT THE DERBY Infographic! 

The Kentucky Derby is rich in tradition and can be considered one of our nation’s greatest sporting events. So great, in fact, several of our nation’s Presidents have attended the Derby, one while in office. The Derby ties run even deeper when we examine details of those Presidential race fans visits. Here are some facts about our Commanders in Chief you might not know: Harry Truman

  • Kentucky Governor Earle Clements invited the President to attend the 75th running of the Derby in 1949. In a letter declining the invitation, Truman stated that he would like to attend “another Kentucky Derby” someday, because it was a spectacle he had enjoyed in the past. (Truman Library, President’s Personal File (PPF) 3550)
  • In a letter to a Kentucky friend, Truman pays tribute to the Derby as one of several great Kentucky traditions, although he does not mention attending the event. (Truman Library, President’s Personal File (PPF) 2575)
  • A pair of “Kentucky Derby cups” were presented to the President and the First Lady around March of 1952. (Truman Library, President’s Personal File (PPF) 9-G)

Lyndon Johnson

  • Senator Lyndon Johnson described his visit to the 1952 Kentucky Derby as “my day off”. (Louisville Courier-Journal, 5/4/1952)
  • Johnson in 1952: As Senator attending the Derby, he was said to be “uncommunicative” saying “I’m not talking. This is my day off.” (1993 Kentucky Derby Souvenir Magazine)

Richard Nixon

  • Nixon in 1968: attended the champagne toast for the winners with Kentucky Governor Louis B. Nunn and Churchill Downs President Wathen Knebelkamp. (1993 Kentucky Derby Souvenir Magazine)
  • Nixon in 1969: Several accounts say that he was touting the eventual winner Majestic Prince, which hailed from Nixon’s native California. As Majestic Prince crossed the finish line, Nixon apparently yelled, “He won, he won!” (1993 Kentucky Derby Souvenir Magazine)
  • When Nixon attended in 1969, it was not immediately known whether or not he placed a bet on a horse. He said he would “take the California horse” (Courier-Journal, 5/4/1969)
  • Nixon in 1969: He said, “I’m going to savor this race, Kentucky style” when asked whether or not he would try a mint julep. His usual drink was Scotch and soda. (Courier-Journal, 5/4/1969)
  • Nixon in 1969: He watched the sixth race on Derby Day with California Governor Ronald Reagan. (Courier-Journal, 5/4/1969)
  • Nixon in 1969: There are conflicting reports as to whether or not Nixon actually bet. In 1978, John V. Brennan, assistant to Nixon, claimed someone else placed a bet on Majestic Prince and gave the ticket to Nixon. (1993 Kentucky Derby Souvenir Magazine)
  • Nixon in 1969: “Security was tight from the spires on down to the tulip beds and over in the barn area. Secret Service men, whose serious mien was indistinguishable from that of the normal race track player, inconspicuously infiltrated Churchill Downs long before Richard Nixon became the first President of the United States to witness the Kentucky Derby. Louisville police, Kentucky state police, National Guard troops, Churchill Downs security guards, and Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau agents co-ordinated security efforts with walkie-talkies to insure protection, not only of the President, but of the Republican governors whose spring conference in Lexington was concluded the day before the Kentucky Derby.” (Jim Bolus, Derby Fever)

Gerald Ford

  • Gerald Ford has attended more Derbys than any former president with his wife, Betty. He stated that Genuine Risk was his favorite Derby winner. In 1989, said “We’ve always been thrilled with the excitement of the Kentucky Derby. It is one of the great American sporting events.” (1993 Kentucky Derby Souvenir Magazine)

Jimmy Carter

  • Carter in 1983: spent a lot of time with Kentucky breeder Tom Gentry. On Derby Day, Gentry lost Laffit Pincay, Jr. as the rider for Flag Admiral in the fourth race. Carter accompanied Gentry to the jockeys’ room to find a replacement rider. Apparently, Carter impressed many in the jocks’ room with his command of Spanish. (1993 Souvenir Magazine)
  • Carter in 1983: Dale Sights, Kentucky State Racing Commission member and Carter’s host for the Derby, stated that the former president accompanied Gentry to the paddock to help saddle Flag Admiral for the fourth race. Carter supposedly gave jockey Jorge Velasquez instructions on how to ride the race “and the race worked out exactly the way he told him to ride it.” (1993 Souvenir Magazine)
  • Carter in 1983: apparently had placed a bet on Flag Admiral on Derby Day. The colt ran in the Preakness two weeks later with Carter as part owner. Apparently, Carter stipulated that any financial gain from the investment go the Carter Library in Atlanta. (1993 Souvenir Magazine)

George H.W. Bush

  • George H.W. Bush attended the Derby in 1993, 1995 and 2000. In 1995, he bet on two horses for the Derby but kept his picks to himself. (Lexington Herald-Leader, 5/7/1995)
  • George H.W. Bush in 1993: wore a red, white and blue tie with stars, stripes and a Texas longhorn. His pick for the race was Personal Hope because the owners, Lee and Debi Lewis, were from Lubbock, Texas. (Personal Hope finished 4th.) Bush presented the trophy for the Churchill Downs Handicap. (Blood-Horse, 5/8/1993)
  • George H.W. Bush in 1993: Apparently had been betting and losing all day but said he would “…make it all back in the Derby.” He didn’t, as he bet on Union City, which finished 15th. (Jim Bolus, Derby Fever)
  • George H.W. Bush in 2000: Won big by betting on his friend Will Farish’s horse, Secret Status, in the Oaks; declined to say whether or not he placed a Derby bet saying “Don’t ask, don’t tell”. (The Courier-Journal, 5/7/2000)

Bill Clinton

  • Clinton in 1994: Clinton never attended but was the first president to call and congratulate the winner of the Derby (Go for Gin, 1994). (Jim Bolus, Derby Fever)

George W. Bush

  • George W. Bush in 2000: Attended as Texas governor; appeared in the paddock and made a presentation in the winner’s circle; dined in the Skye Terrace with his father, former president George H.W. Bush; said to press “I don’t think I’ll be wagering too much. This is a great day. It’s a spectacle.” (The Blood Horse, 5/13/2000)
  • George W. Bush in 2000: “I’m really glad I came. The energy of the crowd is magnificent, the horses are beautiful. It’s a fantastic experience.” (Thoroughbred Times, 5/13/2000)
  • George W. Bush in 2000: “I’m not a good bettor-I’m not against betting-I’m just against losing money, especially my own. You should have seen me 20 years ago. I would have been betting and drinking out here all day.” (Thoroughbred Times, 5/13/2000)
  • George W. Bush in 2000: Said he did not bet, but if had it would have been on The Deputy, which was “an interesting story”. (The Courier-Journal, 5/7/2000)
  • **********Credits~~The Kentucky Derby Museum and Derby Central*****************

I am asked the winner of this year’s Magnificent Impossibility, and very appropriately so, as I thought that name of it!!

My response is that the best 3-year-old under tack in America is a girl, who will run in Girl’s Derby 3rd May despite her having all good chance to best the boys in the main event Saturday, 4th May.   That tender, effortless giant-killer is owned by the Saudi Prince Abdullah and her name is Emollient.
Just watch her break from the far post, under the wiley veteran Mike Smith, who has a swell hand with the ladies, and simply glide to the lead and never look back~~she wins with consummate ease–watch the grace of her stride, her rhythm, her action, her motion.  Remarkable.  Remarkable.  Her only trouble in Girl’s Derby will come from another ace filly, Dreaming of Julia, but I am afraid Julia is out-gunned here, on the basis of this race~~~
 As for the Derby, there is some interest for the ladies as, at the moment, my pick is My Lute, who will be piloted by the very capable, and patient, Rosie Napravnik, who, if she comes a winner, will be the first girl jockette to take home Derby Roses in history~~either here or home in Her Majesty’s lush green grasses.   So, there is something for everyone Derby weekend, week hence.
 Will our Rosie wear Derby Roses?
Above~~Le Gran Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, a Longchamps, a Paris~~so brilliantly, so ferociously, so savagely, fast.  So exhilarating.  So terrifying.  So terribly dangerous.  Mr. Steinbeck was right to remark~~~”one of the most beautiful and violent and satisfying things” he had ever experienced.
Let us pray that it be God’s will that all who race and ride be spared the violent savagery that can, and does, attend this most beautiful of God’s Sports, even as many others have not been so spared in the going of ~~that happy, colorful event, that beautiful race~~That Magnificent Impossibility.


My Lute has been preparing well, and very quickly, over the Downs for weeks now, which is well and good as that is a tricky old course which needs familiarity for success.  In addition, My Lute has the very capable services of Rosie Napravnik, on Derby Day, 4th May.  Can Rosie and My Lute bring home Derby Roses and vanquish That Magnificent Impossibility?

I say, yes, Sir, I think so, Sir!!

John Daniel Begg


Washington DC

Tuesday, 23rd April, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013


Carlo and the politicians

They thought they were the Kings of America–say, now, how about a Brooklyn Bridge–or two–for you–I can get it–just for you–wholesale?


Italian immigrant Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Tebaldo Ponzi sold golden dreams to the unwary.

Politicians, just as Carlo, sell dreams to the greedy, the hopeful and the desperate.  Many do buy the dreams and the flashy sales receipts cause Carlo and the politicians to boast to themselves that they are both ardently loved and very clever.  Both sorts of confidence men end up disappointed far more than do their victims, as, they discover, always too late, that the product they hawk is but a Brilliant Mistake.

From electoral confidence games to financial confidence men, American history is the story of men who think they know America but who end up buying themselves, not, as they misguidedly think, selling to others, Brooklyn Bridges of varying lengths, shapes and sizes.  Each shares this common delusion:

He thought he was the King of America

He thought he was the King of America
Where they pour Coca Cola just like vintage wine
Now I try hard not to become hysterical
But I’m not sure if I am laughing or crying
I wish that I could push a button
And talk in the past and not the present tense
And watch this hurtin’ feeling disappear
Like it was common sense
It was a fine idea at the time
Now it’s a brilliant mistake

She said that she was working for the ABC News
It was as much of the alphabet as she knew how to use
Her perfume was unspeakable
It lingered in the air
Like her artificial laughter
Her mementos of affairs
“Oh” I said “I see you know him”
“Isn’t that very fortunate for you”
And she showed me his calling card
He came third or fourth and there were more than one or two
He was a fine idea at the time
Now he’s a brilliant mistake

He thought he was the King of America

But it was just a boulevard of broken dreams

A trick they do with mirrors and with chemicals
The words of love in whispers
And the axe of love in screams
I wish that I could push a button
And talk in the past and not the present tense
And watch this lovin’ feeling disappear
Like it was common sense
I was a fine idea at the time
Now I’m a brilliant mistake


From Mr. Elvis Costello’s Brilliant Mistake

Mr. Begg, Mr. Begg!! What if all the politicians in the entire world are poisoned to death tonight~~who will lead us tomorrow???

images (44)

The Dickensian Fagin’s youthful pickpockets and ghetto defendants, if successful, grew to become Prime Ministers and Presidents!  Ahh, Oui bien~~~~youth and ambition for better!!   Such ambitious boys, these, Sir!!

This morning’s coffee klatch conversation of interest comes here, from me to you, my dears:

The duties of a later-day essayist and satirist are never easy. The days are long and hard and the questions put to me, by friend and foe alike, often quixotic.  The remuneration, unremarkable.  Unremarkable.

In that context, a hysterical call from a passionate lady in Seattle was received by me this past night~~comme ca:

Mr. Begg, Mr., Begg, is that Mr. Begg?
For now, we’ll say yes, my dear, for now~~how can I be of solace to you?
Mr. Begg, it says on the television that all the politicians are being poisoned.
ALL of them?
So it seems.
I AM all ears, my dear.
Mr. Begg, if all of the politicians are poisoned in their sleep tonight and die, how would we survive?
What I mean is, if all the politicians were all poisoned in their sleep tonight what would happen?
Relax, sweetheart, their replacements wait, panting, to crawl over the bodies of the dead and assume command.
But, what if it kept happening?
What kept happening, my dear?
That every night, all the politicians were poisoned in their sleep.
ALL of them?
Yes, all of them, and what if it kept happening and happening to their replacements as well, every single, solitary, night?
ALL of them, EVERY night?
Yes, what would you say to that?
Yes, Mr. Begg, what if every politician all over the world were poisoned at night, every night, until there were no more politicians at all~~anywhere?
NONE at all, anywhere—in the world?
Yes, Sir—all gone—what would you say?
Yes, Sir, you.
I would have to say~~PLEASE, JESUS!!!
And, after that what would you say, Sir?
You’re the one on the line—it’s just you and I—she’d turned a rude and sarcastic little thing at this juncture.
Well dear, I would then have to say, THANK YOU, JESUS!!
But Mr. Begg, if the all the politicians in the whole wide world kept getting poisoned in their sleep ever night, who would lead us?
Yes, Sir, who would lead us?
Miss, you are a confused girl. Come, knell next to me, close your eyes and pray.
Why? Please UN-confuse me~~Mr. Begg.
You think politicians LEAD us?
Don’t they?
No, dear~~they BLEED us!!
How so?
How so? They are thieves~~they steal your money and party with it. They are petty criminals~~pickpockets~~street hoodlums~~worse so, than prostitutes.
Prostitutes, Sir?
I said, Prostitutes and I meant prostitutes—these girls are of a higher moral fiber than are politicians.
They are, Sir?
They are, Miss.
I didn’t know, Sir.
Miss—prostitutes offer a tangible, tactile~~yes~~ touchable, product for an agreed price. Politicians offer no product at all at an exorbitant price.
All of them, Sir~~all politicians are worse so than common street walkers?
Yes, my dear, ALL of them.
But they say they are PUBLIC SERVANTS, Mr. Begg.
Do they, now?
They do!
Do you, Miss, feel as though you are being served~~and lead? That they are as servants to you~~as well as leaders?
Well, no, in fact, they live like the King and Queen and I like their servant.
You do?
I do.
Well done, Missy~~nicely done~~you’ve solved your own riddle~~off to bed with you!
I can sleep tight, Mr. Begg?
Tight as a teenager, sweetheart, tight as a teenager.
Mr. Begg~~Sir, if all this comes to pass, will you~~Sir~~stand forward and lead us to a Great Religious Awakening in America?
Yes, Sir~~you, Sir.
Please, Sir!!
Darling, I am not fond of poison.
We will keep you alive~~Sir.
So you say~~now. But if this is some Heavenly Sent tooth fairy poisoning the politicians, why would that angel, spare me, dear?
Because we need you, Sir~~you are funny and honest.
You, Sir.
I regret I cannot be a candidate.
Why not, Sir~~you’d be letting the people down
Well, they are used to that, aren’t they?
We can all have our dreams, can’t we, sir?
Of course you may, my dear, and I my own dreams.
Which for you Sir?
Yes, Sir~~of what will you dream~~Sir?
I will dream of the poison angel or tooth~~fairy or whomsoever he may be, poisoning as you say, all the politicians in the entire world, every night until naught is left at all~~ Ah~Men.
What a sweet dream, Mr. Begg
You betcha, bebe!!
Nite~~nite, Sir.
Nite~nite, angel.

angelsIdle angels

Idle and mischievous little angels, plot all sorts of naughty bits.  These frisky Cherubs plot to poison politicians all over the entire world!!  My Heavens, me!!

This, here related, all made a long night of very sweet dreams and this morning~~HEY PRESTO!!~~comes Bonnie, bounding in, with the early post~~~

We are much indebted this early morn to and their Mr Barry Hankins, whose book is featured in the following excerpt.

We think the table is set for another such Great Religious Awakening in America as that described by our Mr Hankins for a number of compelling reasons.
For instance, as we will see in our note from Mr. Hankins, all the ingredients are set out now, as were then, earlier in history, by him well related to us, on the American table for such a feast.  The people are lonely, frightened, cast adrift, leaderless, rudderless, irreligious and noticeably very, very sad.
We notice, in any case, that the American people are very, very sad.  Sorely vexed are they.  Do you notice this?  Oh!!~~why not??
This sadness is, as, the lawyer boys mumble to themselves, Res Ipsa–a cute turn of phrase that can be translated from the Latin in any number of ways, depending upon context and, for us, in the present context, means self-manifest.
Yes, that’s right, America’s profound sadness is~~self-manifest.
Put another way, we all got da blues.  Da Blues~~with a terrible frown.
The ingredients all present at the table, all America needs is a good cook to roll the dough.
To anticipate what will happen today when the feast is prepared, let us be entertained by what happened at a fest similar, in the American past~~comme ca:
We commence to quote from our morning note from our friends at and their Mr. Hankins until noted by us, quoting ceased:
In today’s encore selection — prior to the American Revolution, the British had forbidden the colonists from moving beyond the Appalachian mountains. With American independence, the metaphorical floodgates were opened and there was a massive westward migration of Americans. But this migration had a cost — the wholesale disruption of the support provided by family, community and church, and the loneliness and alienation of the frontier. For Protestant church leaders in the East, who were already under assault from the deism of the American intellectual elite, this disruption in church membership was a crisis, and they began to form missionary societies and use revivals to take the gospel to the West. With this came a pivotal moment in American history — the Great Revival of 1801 and the Second Great Awakening:
“[Encouraged by the smaller but successful Gasper River revival in 1800, Barton] Stone announced a sacramental service for August 6, 1801. While he surely believed that people would come, neither he nor anyone else could possibly have been prepared for the response that ensued. Eye­witness accounts estimated that between 10,000 and 25,000 people came to Cane Ridge. At the time there were only a quarter-million peo­ple in all of Kentucky and only 1800 in Lexington, Kentucky’s largest city. Technically this was a Presbyterian meeting, but there were many Baptists and Methodists present, including preachers from those denominations. Preaching stands were erected at several points across the camp-meeting field so that several preachers could speak at once to separate audiences. Hundreds were converted, either for the first time in their lives or as part of what Protestants often called a rededication.
“James Finley, who would later become a Methodist minister, was one of those converted at Cane Ridge, and his story was not unusual. He was 21 years of age at the time, the wayward son of a Princeton-trained Presbyterian minister. He had drifted off to the frontier and taken to drinking, dancing, and assorted other activities, all considered serious sins in the Protestant faith of the time. He went to Cane Ridge merely to observe the excitement, being determined not be drawn in. He was also an educated young man, and the frontier emotionalism of revivals was not for him. As he watched hundreds of people shrieking and gyrating in spiritual agony, he was deeply moved and felt physically weak.
“He rushed first to the woods, then to a tavern, where he took a stiff drink to calm himself. He returned to the meeting and walked again among the people caught up in revival, feeling the weight of his own sins pressing on his conscience. After a nearly sleepless night in a haystack, the next day he headed for home. Along the way he stopped in a woods to pray and fell to the ground, unable to move. Neighbors found him, took him to a nearby home and put him to bed. When he awoke, he reported, he felt spiritual release and was able to continue his journey home with the assurance that his sins were forgiven. Finley’s is just one of the more vivid and detailed accounts of conversion at Cane Ridge. Another account has Rachel Martin entering into what was called ‘catalepsy.’ She lay in bed for nine days without moving, speak­ing, or eating before gaining spiritual release and conversion.
“When the revival was completed, it was referred to widely as the greatest outpouring of the Holy Spirit since Pentecost in the first cen­tury, when St. Peter and the other apostles preached and saw thousands converted to the new faith. Stone himself … wrote a treatise describing in system­atic fashion some of the emotional gyrations that people experienced during the revival. In addition to Rachel Martin’s catalepsy, he cata­logued these as spiritual exercises: ‘the falling exercise, jerking exer­cise, dancing exercise, barking exercise, laughing exercise, running exercise, and singing exercise.’ Such emotional responses have made it very difficult to evaluate the Cane Ridge revival, and many of these physical manifestations were viewed unfavorably even by contempo­raries. Hardly anyone in that day or since can be objective about such things.
“As one might guess, those who opposed the revivals used the ‘barking exercise’ to argue that these meetings were excessive. Accounts of that particular exercise described people in the throes of spiritual agony rocking back and forth, causing grunts and groans. The faster they rocked, the louder and more staccato the noise, until it even­tually sounded like a bark. Critics also pointed out that along with the spiritual experiences were other more sensate and sensory excesses. Specifically, there was a good deal of alcohol consumed by those who came to the revivals more out of carnal than spiritual curiosity. Huck­sters sold whisky from wagons on the outskirts of the encampment. Moreover, for those who attended primarily to be part of a good party, there were sexual liaisons, leading some to claim that more souls were conceived than saved. While revivals were almost always emotional affairs with crying, shouting, and sometimes falling, excesses such as barking and treeing the devil, often cited to discredit the revivals, were limited. With the possible exception of the early meetings, they never became regular features of the Second Great Awakening. …
“Cane Ridge set off waves of revivals that would last for years, and this Great Revival is generally regarded as the beginning of the Second Great Awakening.”

Author: Barry Hankins
Title: The Second Great Awakening and The Transcendentalists
Publisher: Greenwood Press Publishing Group, Inc.
Date: Copyright 2004 by Barry Hankins
Pages: 10-12

We are much indebted to for their note to us today in the early post.  Likewsise so to

The Second Great Awakening and the Transcendentalists (Greenwood Guides to Historic Events 1500-1900)

by Barry Hankins by Greenwood

if you wish to read further: Buy Now



We are much indebted, and thankful, to for their early morning note to us today. Likewise so to Mr. Barry Hankins for his excerpt from his book.  We wish both of our contributors great success in this and all their future enterprises!  

We now note our quoting, of these fine friends, ceased.
 Americans, my dears~~the table is set, the ingredients, ready, for a new Great American Religious Awakening.

Rejoice and Glad!!



John Daniel Begg


Washington DC

Thursday, 18th April, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013

Even deep within the American “Boo~boi~sie,” “On one issue, at least, men and women agree: they both distrust women.”

images (43)

Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956)

Yesterday, a dear friend took severe umbrage to my, quite lovely, I think, homage to Picasso, she considering it a “triviality” to write of great art at a time when everybody else is talking about someone’s being careless with matches at Boston~~The Irish~~with them up there, it’s all down to the drink, always–we know this, Johnnie-Boy.”

Despite knowing that I am not a reporter, or a detective,  and that I never watch, listen, read or discuss day-to-day news, my friend was insistent that “we find out who was guilty at Boston and why they did it.”

We must, mustn’t we~~said she heatedly!!!~~moreover, she was adamant that I must become personally involved in the investigation~obstensibly because the more the hens who coo, scratch and cackle in the estate fourth, the nearer we are, dear–to~~ what exactly~~~a resolution, dear??

I tried to calm her down~that didn’t work~~I turned to Henry Louis for guidance.  He had this to say:

“Civilization, in fact, grows more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. Wars are no longer waged by the will of superior men, capable of judging dispassionately and intelligently the causes behind them and the effects flowing out of them. They are now begun by first throwing a mob into a panic; they are ended only when it has spent its feline fury.”

Bonnie has fetched me this morning’s post.  I am startled by one letter.  As good Catholics, we must take exception to Mr. Mencken’s note today.  That said, we must also say “Well, Sir, there is something to that, isn’t there?”

As a nationally syndicated columnist and book author, he famously spoke out against Christian Sciencesocial stigmafakeryChristian radicalismreligious belief (and as a fervent nonbeliever, against the very notion of a deity), osteopathyantievolutionismchiropractic, and the “Booboisie”, his word for the ignorant middle classes.[21][22][23] In 1926, he deliberately had himself arrested for selling an issue of The American Mercury that was banned in Boston under the Comstock laws.[24] Mencken heaped scorn not only on the public officials he disliked, but also on the contemporary state of American elective politics itself. In 1931 the Arkansas legislature passed a motion to pray for Mencken’s soul after he had called the state the “apex of moronia”.[25]

 “On one issue, at least, men and women agree: they both distrust women.”

Well said, but it is today’s note that leaves me unsettled, Henry Louis:

Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on “I am not too sure.”

~~H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

Mr. Mencken was German, drank, and was from Baltimore~~so, we must make substantial allowances on all those counts ~~for his behaviour and opinions.

Still and all, how can a Catholic disparage moral certainty–more so~~disparage even the need of it?  I cannot remember, but perhaps he was, a Democrat~~~now that would explain a great deal more~~although Bonnie says, “no, no, no, Sir, I don’t think he was that at all, Sir–I think he detested politics–all of them–just like you, Sir.”

Seems Bonnie likes ole Mencken~~after all, he thought up this prescient quip, of which, she assures, our guest was writing of the Democrats and their gnawing concerns, tossing them, deep into the night:

“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

Whoa–ahh–Bonnie girl is right as rain–I have always told her “All governments–all of them, are by nature, fascistic.”  Seems ole H.L. agrees with me, agreeable chap, he:

“All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man: its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him. If it be aristocratic in organization, then it seeks to protect the man who is superior only in law against the man who is superior in fact; if it be democratic, then it seeks to protect the man who is inferior in every way against both. One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives. The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.”

“The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”

~~~there is something in that, Henry Louis, yes, Sir, there is.


H. L. Mencken House
Date (c. 1965)
Description H. L. Mencken’s brother, August, stands in front of the Mencken house at 1524 Hollins Street, Baltimore.



John Daniel Begg


Washington DC

Tuesday, 16th April, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013

Henry Louis, universal disparager, of all Heavenly Gods and Earthly Political  Tin Gods, was cute and all, but where, I wonder, did he end up after he’d downed his last, long glass….Inherit333-1

 Mencken is fictionalized in the play Inherit the Wind as the cynical sarcastic atheist E.K. Hornbeck (right), seen here as played by Gene Kelly in the Hollywood film version. On the left is Henry Drummond, based onClarence Darrow and portrayed by Spencer Tracy.

“Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.”

Henry Louis, for your sake, I hope Jesus is a German from Baltimore who likes his glass and has a sense of humour.

“ Life is too short to be little. ” — Benjamin Disraeli


Gjon Mili—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Françoise Gilot, Picasso’s lover for 10 years, with their young son, Claude. She holds drawings of the boy by Picasso. Vallauris, France, 1949.
The dove of peace

Read more:

The little flowers



The old beggar and a boy~~Period Bleu



Le Gourmet–Greedy little child–Periodo Azul

Today, we at, are, in awe appropriate entertained, by the work of one of the world’s great men, Picasso.  We are also chastened and bewildered by his own description of what has come to be called his Blue Period.  At later reflecting that period, the great man had this to say about art:

Art Emanates From Pain and Sadness

Gosh, guys, we hope not all art, as we have late-later-life pretensions here in that direction and we are not fond of pain or sadness–at all.  That said, this is not about us, this is about Picasso, now represented in some of our favorite selections, with requisite citations to follow,  comme ca;


The poor ones at the seaside–Period Bleu

Picasso’s Blue Period

click here for illustrated version of this article

The Blue Period (1901-1904) has long been considered Picasso’s first true evolution as an artist in creating a manner of his own. Beginning with several paintings that memorialized the recent suicide of his friend Casagemas, the artist’s themes grew somber and dark, and he implemented a palette consisting almost exclusively of shades of blue. The monochromatic use of blue was fairly standard in symbolist painting in Western Europe, often related to representations of melancholy or hopelessness. The figures in his works were often depicted as Bohemian-type outcasts, which happened to be the life that Picasso was leading himself, poor and far away from his family. Some examples of his subjects included beggars, prostitutes, the disabled, circus performers as well as some of his penniless friends. The Blue Period dramatizes the artist as an outcast from society and the theme of this era in Picasso’s career owes much to the eighteen-nineties when the idea of the artist as l’homme maudit, happy and dissociated from ordinary life but superior to it, was created in Western Europe.

The nearly exclusive use of blue during this time period has never been satisfactorily explained but there have been many assumptions:
This period was triggered by the unfortunate fate of his best friend Casegemas who was rejected by a girl with whom he was infatuated, attempted to kill her and ultimately took his own life. Picasso stated, “It was thinking about Casagemas that got me started painting in blue.”

It was believed that Picasso was merely inspired (or uninspired depending on your take) by his living situation, as well as being unrecognized and in extreme poverty. One of his closest friends Sabartés wrote, “Picasso believed Art to [be] the son of Sadness and Suffering…that sadness lent itself to meditation and that suffering was fundamental to life…If we demand sincerity of an artist, we must remember that sincerity is not to be found outside the realm of grief.”

The use of blue has also been attributed to the fact that Picasso was too poor to buy any other colors as well his habit of working at night by lamplight.
Famous Psychologist Carl Jung once regarded this as evidence of incipient schizophrenia.
Picasso may have had some subconscious influences from Spanish religious paintings, which often depicted agonized martyrs with their waxen faces stained with tears and bodies streaked with blood.

It’s widely believed that the origins were much more complex and connected with Picasso’s artistic aims as blue was rich in associations and a favorite among many artists of the time. Picasso produced many famous works that are truly
indicative of his presumed meanings. Most historians and critics would agree that the key painting of this
time was La Vie. The work contains a deep sense of melancholy and has given rise to more mystification
than any other early work by this artist. Scholars agree that the painting is unmistakably allegorical and
scholars feel that this particular subject matter may be referencing the responsibilities of daily life, the incompatibility of sexual love, and the struggles behind artistic creativity. The pessimistic outlook is further captivated by the use of the cold, bleak, blue tones. An interesting subtopic is the fact that this artistic masterpiece was intended as a self-portrait. X-ray analysis reveals that the central figure was originally Picasso, further evidenced by the preliminary drawings created in preparation for the painting itself. The recent advancement of x-ray analysis is crucial in uncovering hidden intentions and original concepts of famous paintings of the past. This development in technology is further illustrated and highlights another famous work by Picasso during this time.

The Old Guitarist is another example of Picasso evoking portrayals of the impoverished underclass in a predominantly blue tone. Relatively recent advancements including x-radiographs and infrared reflectograms have allowed researchers at the Art Institute of Chicago find clues to both the origin and meaning of the underlying groundwork. Within some sketches and letters that Picasso had sent to friend before the completion of The Old Guitarist, certain hidden elements showed an uncanny resemblance to the ideas described and sketches drawn in those very letters. There were two main compositions that were discovered beneath the final draft of his masterpiece.

Through analysis, the first composition appears to feature a mother and child with the mother’s right arm extended behind the child, which matches up with one of the sketches in the letters. In addition, there are also heads of both a calf and a cow with the cow apparently
licking the calf’s head. This appears to be exactly what Picasso was describing in his letter but nobody
knows why he abandoned the initial painting even though the idea was worth mentioning to a friend.
In the second composition, a comparison between the hidden elements underneath The Old Guitarist
and a sketch that Picasso had just recently done was made. This pose of an imploring woman with outstretched arms can also be viewed from x-ray analysis. Scholars suggest that this particular composition was probably more closely linked to this drawing due to the obvious intent to depict an underclass citizen with a guitar.

Works Cited

Blunt, Anthony and Phoebe Pool. Picasso: The Formative Years. New York: New York 
Graphic Society, 1962.

Richardson, John. A Life of Picasso: Volume 1 1881-1906. New York: Random House,

Internet Sources

Mood of a Painting <;

Picasso: The Early Years, 1892-1906 <;

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)<;

Revealing Picasso

Back to 2004 Contents – Next

Picasso was a short little fella, 5’4″, with a remarkable and unimaginably long name–even for the Spanish–you know–they want all their Saints covered to protect the young `ins!!

We will now close up today with a useful quickie biography with all our thanks to IMD mini-bios, citation to follow below: 

2.PabloPicasso-Le-Moulin-de-la-Galette-1900Le Moulin de la Galette 1900


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Date of Birth

25 October 1881Málaga, Andalucía, Spain

Date of Death

8 April 1973, Mougins, Alpes-Maritimes, France (lung and heart failure)

Birth Name

Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Crispin Crispiniano de la Sentissima Trinidad Ruiz Blasco Picasso y Lopez


5′ 4″ (1.63 m)

Mini Biography

Pablo Picasso, one of the most recognized figures of the 20th century art who co-created such styles as Cubism and Surrealism, was also among most innovative, influential, and prolific artists of all time.

He was born Pablo Ruiz Picasso on October 6, 1881, in Malaga, Spain. He was the first child of Jose Ruiz y Blasco and Maria Picasso y Lopez. His father was an artist and professor of art at the School of Fine Arts, and also a curator of museum in Malaga, Spain. Picasso began studying art under his father’s tutelage, continued at the Academy of Arts in Madrid for a year, and went on his ingenious explorations of the new horizons. He went to Paris in 1901 and found the environment conducive for his experiments with new art styles. Gertrude SteinGuillaume Apollinaire, and André Breton were among his friends and collectors.

Constantly updating his style from the Blue Period, to the Rose Period, to the African-influenced Period, to Cubism, to Realism and Surrealism he was a pioneer with a hand in every art movement of the 20th century. He made some softer and neo-classic artworks during his cooperation with the Russian Ballet of Sergei Diaghilev in Paris. In 1917 Picasso joined the Russian Ballet on tour in Rome, Italy. There he fell in love with Olga Khokhlova, a classical ballerina from the Russian nobility (her father was a General to the Russian Tsar Nickolas II). Picasso painted Olga as a Spanish girl in his painting “Olga Khokhlova in Mantilla” to convince his parents for their blessing, and his idea worked. Picasso and Olga Khokhlova wed in Paris, in 1918, and had one son, Paolo. After their marriage, Olga’s high society lifestyle clashed with Picasso’s bohemian manners. They separated in 1935, but remained officially married until her death in 1954. Meanwhile, his most famous lovers, Marie Therese Walter and Dora Maar, were also his inspirational models for a series of experimental portraits.


Two Women Running on the Beach~~~The Race 1922

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Picasso was a pacifist. His outcry for peace was expressed in large-scale painting Guernica (1937), created after the German bombing of this Spanish city. This powerful composition, showing the brutal inhumanity of war, became his most famous work and turned him into a political celebrity. In 1940 Picasso applied for French citizenship, but was denied it, and remained Spanish. Protected by his fame, he was untouchable even to the Nazis in the occupied Paris. A skillful self-promoter, he used politics, eccentricity, and provocation as a selling tool. Sarcastic harlequin and dominating minotaur were his personal symbols, frequently used in his artworks. His life turned into a PR campaign, playing with scandals; viciousness to his own children, exaggerated virility and beastly treatment of his women. However, he was forgiven by the public. Even his membership in the Communist party and his controversial comments about Joseph Stalin, who awarded Picasso the Stalin Prize for Peace in 1950, were ignored by his admirers. His life-long extraordinary artistic dialogue with Henri Matisse took a form of a “visual conversation” and exchange of their paintings with mutual respect. After WWII he returned to “classical” style and created the “Dove of Peace”.

An innovator and a multi-faceted personality, Picasso dominated the 20th century Western Art, spreading his influence beyond art into many aspects of culture and life. In his several film appearances Picasso always played himself. His lifestyle remained as bohemian and vivacious as it was in his youth. Picasso died in style while entertaining his guests at a dinner party, on April 8, 1973, in Mouglins, in southeastern France. Picasso’s last words were “Drink to me, drink to my health, you know I can’t drink any more.” He was interred at Castle Vauvenargues’ park, in Vauvenargues, Bouches-du-Rhone, in the South of France.

Pablo Picasso’s paintings rank among the most expensive artwork in the world, establishing a price record with $104 million sale of “Garson a la pipe” in 2004. Picasso produced over 13 thousand paintings or designs, 100,000 prints and engravings, 34 thousand book illustrations and 300 sculptures, becoming the most prolific artist ever.

IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Shelokhonov

Intimacy familial

Periodo Azul




Garçon à la Pipe“1905–while, not technically,  Periodo Azul, it sure fits the mood for us.



We very much doubt that Picasso ever heard the words of the Prime Minister at our caption.  Nevertheless, we are sanguine that the painter would agree with that PM:

“Life is too short to be little.”

Motivated by burning desire for greatness, haunted day by day with rejection, near-starvation and despondence, Picasso swung for the bleachers and made of his life one of the most memorable home-runs of human history.

Never for Picasso was the middlin’ way–never for him mediocrity.

Be inspired!!  All of us have in us the seeds of greatness placed there by Lord Jesus.  Seek out the seeds.  Do not let anyone tell you it is too late a week–even if he be the Bard himself in this tete a tete on aged dreams and giving up one’s aspirations:


Flowers in a vase


Act 2, Scene 3


O good old man, how well in thee appears
The constant service of the antique world,
When service sweat for duty, not for meed.
Thou art not for the fashion of these times,
Where none will sweat but for promotion,
And having that do choke their service up
Even with the having. It is not so with thee.
But, poor old man, thou prun’st a rotten tree
That cannot so much as a blossom yield
In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry.
But come thy ways. We’ll go along together,
And ere we have thy youthful wages spent,
We’ll light upon some settled low content.
Master, go on, and I will follow thee
To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.
From seventeen years till now almost fourscore
Here livèd I, but now live here no more.
At seventeen years, many their fortunes seek,
But at fourscore, it is too late a week.
Yet fortune cannot recompense me better
Than to die well, and not my master’s debtor.
It is never too long a week for the seeds of greatness to burst forth in remarkable bloom.
Picasso never gave up, thinking it for him too long a week–nor did Mr Churchill, another great Prime Minister who exhorted his countrymen in their darkest hour of life and death with Mr. Hitler:

Comédie Humaine

October 29, 1941

Harrow School

When Churchill visited Harrow on October 29 to hear the traditional songs again, he discovered that an additional verse had been added to one of them. It ran:

“Not less we praise in darker days
The leader of our nation,
And Churchill’s name shall win acclaim
From each new generation.
For you have power in danger’s hour
Our freedom to defend, Sir!
Though long the fight we know that right
Will triumph in the end, Sir!

Almost a year has passed since I came down here at your Head Master’s kind invitation in order to cheer myself and cheer the hearts of a few of my friends by singing some of our own songs. The ten months that have passed have seen very terrible catastrophic events in the world – ups and downs, misfortunes – but can anyone sitting here this afternoon, this October afternoon, not feel deeply thankful for what has happened in the time that has passed and for the very great improvement in the position of our country and of our home? Why, when I was here last time we were quite alone, desperately alone, and we had been so for five or six months. We were poorly armed. We are not so poorly armed today; but then we were very poorly armed. We had the unmeasured menace of the enemy and their air attack still beating upon us, and you yourselves had had experience of this attack; and I expect you are beginning to feel impatient that there has been this long lull with nothing particular turning up!

But we must learn to be equally good at what is short and sharp and what is long and tough. It is generally said that the British are often better at the last. They do not expect to move from crisis to crisis; they do not always expect that each day will bring up some noble chance of war; but when they very slowly make up their minds that the thing has to be done and the job put through and finished, then, even if it takes months – if it takes years – they do it.

Another lesson I think we may take, just throwing our minds back to our meeting here ten months ago and now, is that appearances are often very deceptive, and as Kipling well says, we must “…meet with Triumph and Disaster. And treat those two impostors just the same.”

You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period – I am addressing myself to the School – surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated.

Very different is the mood today. Britain, other nations thought, had drawn a sponge across her slate. But instead our country stood in the gap. There was no flinching and no thought of giving in; and by what seemed almost a miracle to those outside these Islands, though we ourselves never doubted it, we now find ourselves in a position where I say that we can be sure that we have only to persevere to conquer.

You sang here a verse of a School Song: you sang that extra verse written in my honour, which I was very greatly complimented by and which you have repeated today. But there is one word in it I want to alter – I wanted to do so last year, but I did not venture to. It is the line: “Not less we praise in darker days.”

I have obtained the Head Master’s permission to alter darker to sterner. “Not less we praise in sterner days.”

Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days – the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.

“Never give in, never, never, never, never.”
Buste de Femme~~Jaqueline
So, now, at our end today, what do we take away–four great men–four great admonitions:
“Art Emanates From Pain and Sadness”~~~Senor Picasso
“Life is too short to be little.”~~Benjamin Disraeli
“At seventeen years, many their fortunes seek,
But at fourscore, it is too late a week.
Yet fortune cannot recompense me better
Than to die well, and not my master’s debtor.”~~~the Bard
“Never give in, never, never, never, never.”~~Mr. Churchill
AND..this last, as a second helping, from again~~~ Senor Picasso~~~
“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.”~~Pablo Picasso, painter, and sculptor (1881-1973)
What are all these men, in different ways, telling us?  They are telling us that life is terribly hard work, that success is not easily won, that the road is long, that it is not a straight and narrow and easy path and, perhaps above all that~~~~
There is HOPE!!!Image
A Blue dove
Swing, dears, for the bleachers!!  Always for the bleachers!!  Your Creator made all of you to be great.
Seek out greatness!!



John Daniel Begg


Washington DC

Tuesday, 16th April, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013

Young girl with a dove.

Any wedding bells between these two today would require a High Court inquest and dispensation, but in simpler, less flagrant times, the groom was described simply as “sexually confused”. Anyway, it was speed that killed them both–they just drove far too fast–it just couldn’t last.







Anna Maria Pierangeli–Una bella Italiana–in truth girls, only dago girls can bring off clothes like this, even if she was “from the south” as Nana Maternal would say very disapprovingly–if you are not of the blood, don’t even bother to try–as, in frustration, you will cry, cry, cry.  All night.

As Lovey demands to know, angrily, and loudly, how an Argentinian can come to wear Saint Peter’s shoes and Bobby Jones’ green club coat–both in the same year, I have slipped away to write you dears and to say that–I am certainly not confused as to what I think about Anna Maria.  Momma, mia!!

I think it was Scott Fitzgerald who wrote of the glittery ones that they are “The beautiful and the dammed.”  As we at Washington, “Hollywood for ugly people”, envy and admire the glittery ones, a reading of their lives does give one pause–are any of them–ever–happy? If no, what is it, of its very nature, that is so fundamentally injurious to man to be a glittery one?

And if there is something fundamentally flawed with being a glittery one, why do we all day-dream about being one?

There follows a useful snapshot of the life of one such beautiful and dammed, Anna Maria Pierangeli–Una bella Italiana whose life was yet another of those ceaseless motor car crashes in slow, and then fast and still faster, motion, in the glittery world.


Momma. mia. Momma

Poor dear.

Our snapshot of her life is brought to us today, on a rainy day at Augusta National by our most kind friends at Glamour Girls whose motto is that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Well, well. my, my.

Glamour Girls is actually incorrect about their motto–as some of God’s Children are beautiful undeniable. The issue, Girls, in the beholder’s eye, is not beauty itself but in what manner the beautiful one lives her life.

We are, nevertheless, most indebted to Glamour Girls for their work on the life and times of one such beautiful one and here quote them until noted by us ceased quoting:


Anna Maria Pierangeli)
19 June 32 is born in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy, to Luigi Pierangeli, an architect and constructional engineer, and his wife, Enrica Romiti. Her twin sister, Maria Luisa, will grow up to become actress Marisa Pavan.
35 moves with her family to Rome
49 is spotted by famous Italian actor Vittorio DeSica on the Via Veneto in Rome and is cast for the upcoming Domani e troppo tardi. Director Leonide Moguy will become a lifelong fatherly friend of hers. Her mother Enrica approves.
  attends art school in Rome
January 50 young scriptwriter Stewart Stern casts her for the upcoming Teresa, to be filmed on location in Rome; they will become friends
June 50 travels with her mother to the States for location shooting for Teresa. MGM producer Arthur Loew renames her Pier Angeli.
19 June 50 during a dinner dance at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, she meets her further husband, singer Vic Damone
  returns for a short time to Italy for Moguy’s Domani e un altro giorno
  attends the Venice International Film Festival and is awarded the Best Italian Female Award
51 settles with her family in Brentwood, California. Stern introduces her to Arthur Loew, Jr., 28-year-old son of the MGM boss. They start to date; he takes her to the Mocambo and to Ciro’s.
March 51 is signed to a five-year contract by MGM at a salary of $1,600 per month
  young actress Debbie Reynolds becomes her closest friend
Summer 51 young actor John Barrymore, Jr., falls for her and starts taking Italian lessons
  young actor Richard Anderson escorts her on studio dates
  dates Australian actor Brandon Toomey
  Marlon Brando takes her out
June 51 celebrates her 19th birthday with a quiet party at home and with her special favorite, young actor Richard Anderson
July 51 there is gossip that she may have secretly married Francesco Matarazzo, a young Brazilian nobleman
  is off to Tunis and Sicily for location filming of The Light Touch. Afterwards the Pierangelis return to Rome.
12 October 51 raises the Italian flag at Los Angeles City Hall on Columbus Day
Early 52 is off to Munich, Germany, and Salzburg, Austria, for the filming of The Devil Makes Three. Some scenes are filmed in Hitler’s bombed-out Berghof in Berchtesgaden.
  Vic Damone, who’s in the military service in Germany, visits her in Munich
  is heralded to be in the upcoming Romeo and Juliet with Marlon Brando
April 52 attends an industry luncheon where MGM’s Dore Schary introduces Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands to Hollywood
  replaces Ava Gardner in Sombrero, filmed on location in Mexico City. Miguel Aleman, Jr., the son of Mexico’s president, becomes her escort during her stay.
July 52 meets Kirk Douglas while filming The Story of Three Loves; he’s 16 years her senior
  becomes good friends with young actress Leslie Caron
Summer 52 becomes a twosome with Kirk Douglas. Damone becomes a frequent guest to the Pierangeli household.
  dates actor John Ericson, Brazilian diplomat Raoul de Surandel, and Jim Lillburn, the brother of Maureen O’Hara
September 52 returns with her family to Italy to film The Flame and the Flesh on location in Naples and Positano. Kirk, who’s in Italy for the filming of Ulysses, shows up to see her.
  doesn’t keep her promise to meet Kirk in Venice
  there are rumors of a romance with her co-star in The Flame and the Flesh, Carlos Thompson
November 52 attends the Italian Film Awards in Rome with Kirk
  there are rumors that she and Kirk might be secretly engaged
22 November 52 is on the cover of Picturegoer 
  meets Kirk at the Rome airport. On their way to Paris, they spend a night in Shannon, Ireland.
  with fellow actors Debbie Reynolds and Carleton Carpenter, she’s on a month-long publicity tour of South America
Early 53 secretly enters the love nest of Kirk and his new flame, Anne Buydens, in Porto Ercole, Italy, and leaves an inscribed photo of her on his bedside table
May 53 visits Kirk on the set of Ulysses in Rome
May 53 she and Kirk Douglas have decided their age difference means too much for anything like marriage
  begins dating Vic Damone
End May 53 travels with her mother to London and checks into the Savoy. Actor Carlos Thompson takes her out.
June 53 Kirk flies in for her 21st birthday celebration and takes her to Mayfair’s posh Le Caprice restaurant, where he presents her with a Bulgari diamond engagement ring. Afterwards she refuses to see him until the end of the year.
End July 53 returns with her mother to the States
End 53 travels with her family to Paris for the filming of Mam’zelle Nitouche
  attends the Tuesday night gourmet dinner at Maxim’s, where a lasagna is named in honor of her film. Kirk flies in to be with her for New Year’s Eve.
31 December 53 celebrates with Kirk at a party at the Tour d’Argent restaurant, overlooking Notre Dame in Paris. Afterwards she gives back his engagement ring.
January 54 returns to California
  attends Nat King Cole’s opening at Ciro’s with recording agent Bobby Weiss
February 54 dates young dancer-actor Tommy Rall
  Prince Mahmoud Pahlevi, the brother of the Shah of Iran, escorts her to Ciro’s
c. March 54 tries to make up with Kirk again, but he refuses
April 54 is off to New York City to promote The Flame and the Flesh and has a date with the ex of Gene Tierney, fashion designer Oleg Cassini
End April 54 attends a Wild West party at Ciro’s with magazine editor Gloria Votsis, Lance Fuller, and Alan Pearl
May 54 becomes hysterical when she learns about Kirk’s marriage to Anne Buydens
June 54 singer Eddie Fisher takes her and Anna Maria Alberghetti to dinner at LaRue’s
Mid-June 54 meets James Dean on the Warner Brothers lot. She’s filming The Silver Chalice, and he’s in East of Eden. Dean’s agent suggests he date her for publicity purposes.
17 June 54 attends Eddie Fisher’s opening at the Coconut Grove, the night Debbie Reynolds falls for Fisher
19 June 54 on her birthday, Dean presents her with a gold bracelet and necklace
  moves with her family into a new home at 115000 Sunset Boulevard
  Dean becomes a frequent guest at her family’s house
  she and Dean are often at the Villa Capri, her favorite restaurant. They buy friendship rings at a Beverly Hills jewelry store.
  Dean takes her to dinner at Frascati’s to meet his father and stepmother
  often spends her weekends at the Arrowhead Springs Hotel
July 54 is over her heartbreak about Kirk Douglas
12 July 54 is on the cover of Life to promote MGM’s upcoming Green Mansions
  her mother discovers that she and Dean are lovers. She disapproves and approaches Jack Warner to put an end to it. Warner immediately tells Dean “stop fuckin’ that broad.”
  her mother changes their phone number to get rid of Dean and puts Pier under house arrest
10 August 54 in their first public appearance, she and Dean attend a celebrity screening of Gone with the Wind. Afterwards they go to Ciro’s. Columnist Sheila Graham shows her dislike of this alliance.
20 August 54 attends Tony Martin’s opening at Ciro’s without an escort, even though Dean’s in town
End August 54 good-byes Dean at the Los Angeles airport. Dean asks her to marry him in New York City, but Pier refuses to elope.
  attends Sonja Henie’s party without a date
  her mother forces her to decide between her or Dean. Pier succumbs to her mother, and Dean escorts Terry Moore to the premiere of Sabrina.
29 September 54 returns to Dean as her escort for the premiere of A Star Is Born at the Pantages Theatre
1 October 54 meets Vic Damone while visiting Debbie Reynolds on the set of Hit the Deck. Afterwards he takes her to the retake room, and they dance to “September Song,” which will become their “signature tune.” He proposes, and a day later, she agrees. Dean is floored when he learns the news.
  is up for a part in Giant, but Elsa Cardenas is chosen
End October 54 she and Vic attend a party given for producer Joe Pasternak at the Coconut Grove
November 54 dress designer Helen Rose gives a bridal shower for her. Jane Powell and Debbie Reynolds attend.
  she and Vic find a house high in Beverly Glen Canyon
24 November 54 marries Vic at St. Timothy’s Roman Catholic Church in Hollywood. Her sister Marisa is maid of honor; actress Taina Elg is one of four bridesmaids. The reception is held at the Bel-Air Hotel. Dore Schary, Vincente Minnelli, Arthur Freed, the Jack Bennys, Danny Thomas, Cyd Charisse, Ann Blyth and her husband, Richard Egan, the John Ericsons, Debby Reynolds, Richard Anderson, Russ Tamblyn, Anne Jeffreys and her husband, and Joanne Rio are among the guests.
25 November 54 honeymoons in Las Vegas, where Vic will open his show on December 1
Mid-December 54 her sister Marisa and restaurateur Pep De Lucia welcome her and Vic back at the Los Angeles airport
Christmas 54 the Damones are in Miami, Florida
31 December 54 the Damones are in Havana, Cuba
Early 55 Vic suggests that she cut her hair short
January 55 Vic announces she’s pregnant
27 February 55 during a flight from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, she’s severely injured when the plane hits turbulence. Upon landing, she is rushed to Desert Hospital.
Early April 55 leaves the hospital on crutches
  the Damones move into a Colonial-style, two-story, ten-room house at 959 Somera Road, West Los Angeles
  presents her husband with a silver Ford Thunderbird
May 55 misses her baby shower when she’s rushed to Cedars of Lebanon Hospital; it turns out to be a false alarm
21 / 22 August 55 her son Perry Rocco Luigi Farinola Damone is born at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. Singer Perry Como is chosen godfather; her sister Marisa, his godmother.
September 55 visits her husband at the Sands in Las Vegas, where he performs
  is considered for a part in Diane, which eventually goes to her sister Marisa
  doesn’t cry when she learns about Dean’s death in a road accident
  is off to London for the filming of Port Afrique, where she replaces Kathryn Grayson. Perry is left with a nurse. During the filming, thieves rob her Belgravia hotel suite and take her jewelry, worth $28,000.
End November 55 the Damones announce they are expecting their second child in June
December 55 loses her baby
31 December 55 she and Vic spend New Year’s Eve on a flight delayed for Los Angeles
? the family moves to Moraga Drive in Bel Air
March 56 is considered for Gigi but looses to Leslie Caron
July 56 is on the cover of Life again
  is off to St. Tropez, in the south of France, for the filming of The Vintage. With location filming finished, the Damones reunite in Paris.
August 56 her continued ill health has her friends worried
September 56 she and Damone have the “House of the Month”
June 57 does advertising for Lustre-Creme Shampoo
July 57 obtains release from her MGM contract. Her friend Anna Maria Alberghetti pleads with her not to.
August 57 becomes the godmother of her sister’s newborn son, Jean Claude
October 57 joins the William Morris Agency
58 flirts with her director in TV’s “Bernadette,” Claudio Guzman, despite the fact that he’s married to her friend Anna Maria Alberghetti
  her marriage begins to deteriorate
  becomes a good friend of actress Anna Kashfi, the ex of Marlon Brando
26 February 58 looks like “an old world painting in grey” when attending the Golden Globes ceremonies at the Coconut Grove
2 April 58 attends the premiere of Merry Andrew at the Pantages Theater
June 58 has her appendix removed at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital
August 58 separates from Damone
10 November 58 files for divorce, charging Vic with mental cruelty and seeking custody of her son
18 December 58 wins an interlocutory degree. She gets the house, Perry, and 25% of her former husband’s gross income
  is considered for the TV adaptation of The Moon and Sixpence opposite Laurence Olivier
December 58 there are rumors that she is having an affair with bit-player and TV actor Yale Wexler
April 59 flies to London via Copenhagen and defies the court order not to remove her son from the States. In London she checks into the Dorchester Hotel. Afterwards she’s off to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands for the filming of SOS Pacific.
  develops a close relationship with her SOS Pacific co-star Guy Green
  is off to London to finish SOS Pacific and to film The Angry Silence
September 59 returns to Hollywood
October 59 is considered for the title role in Salambo; the part eventually goes to Jeanne Valerie
  sees John Barrymore, Jr., again
24 December 59 her divorce decree becomes final
60 she and her son are back in Rome. They settle in Port Ercole.
January 60 will star opposite German O.W. Fischer in Heinrich Schliemann, directed by J. Lee Thompson
June 60 is off to the Berlin Film Festival for the screening of The Angry Silence
July 60 has an affair with Italian actor Maurizio Arena. His fiancée, starlet Lorella De Luca, attempts suicide.
Summer 60 is off to Morocco for the filming of The Last Days of Sodom and Gomorrah. Afterwards in Rome, she gives a dinner party inviting all of the lovers she had during the filming. Stewart Granger isn’t invited.
October 60 has an affair with French actor Christian Pezey
  has an affair with younger actor Fabrizio Capucci
  is about town with film director Stelvio Rossi
  Roman playboy Gianfranco Piacentini becomes her frequent escort
Mid-61 at Cinecitta, she’s introduced to film composer Armando Trovajoli; he’s 14 years her senior.
14 February 62 marries Trovajoli at Kensington’s registrar’s office. The reception is held at the Kensington Palace Hotel. She presents him with a Mercedes.
14 February 62 marries Italian bandleader Armando Trovajoli in London
  the Trovajolis settle in a luxurious apartment on the Via Polibo in Rome
  she starts drinking
8 January 63 her son Howard Andrew George Rugantino is born at the Royal Northern Hospital in London
  splits her time between Porto Ercole and Rome
64 films The Battle of the Bulge on location in Spain
  her former husband, Vic Damone, abducts their son Perry in New York City. She follows Vic to California and sues him.
January 65 the court gives her custody of Perry for ten months of the year. She takes her boy back to Rome.
  Trovajoli announces that he is leaving her
September 65 the Trovajolis separate. They’ll never divorce.
66 sends Perry to Los Angeles to live with his father and Vic’s new wife, actress Judith Rawlins. Perry enrolls at the Brentwood Military Academy.
  becomes even more promiscuous and is seen with the personalities of the underground of Roman cinema
  for some weeks she moves in with journalist Ivano Davoli
67-68 a wealthy businessman keeps her a prisoner in his Rome apartment for almost two years
68 leaves her son Andrew with her mother in London
69 is off to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for the filming of the X-rated Addio Alexandra
Christmas 69 stays in Madrid, Spain, after the filming of Las Endemoniadas
Early 70 returns to Rome and finds the Italian tax authorities waiting for her. She retreats to a modest three-room apartment on the Via Castel S, Elia, where she starts to suffer panic attacks.
  is diagnosed as clinically depressed and treated with electric shocks at the Clinica al Belvedere Montello in Rome
Spring 70 goes to Paris and her friend Fred Sahebjam, a former Ambassador of Iran, puts her into the rehabilitation clinic La Dauberie. She and Sahebjam become close.
December 70 returns to California and moves in with Vic, who recently separated from Judith Rawlins. They spend the holidays in Las Vegas, where Vic’s performing.
January 71 moves in with her old drama coach at MGM, Helena Sorrell
  hopes for a part in the upcoming The Godfather
  her friend, former actress Norma Eberhard Dauphin, introduces her to a close friend, Dr. Ramon Spritzler
  moves in with Sidney Cooperman, a wealthy manufacturer of kitchen equipment
19 June 71 celebrates her 39th birthday at the Rococco in Woodland Hills
  moves out on Cooperman and returns to Helena Sorrell
  is filming Octaman in Griffith Park in Los Angeles. With her salary of $5,000, she buys a car for Perry.
9 September 71 calls Dr. Spritzler and asks him to come to her apartment. She’s very irrational and agitated, so he gives her an injection of Compazine to calm her down.
10 September 71 Dr. Spritzler finds her dead in her apartment and phones Norma Eberhard and Macdonald Carey, who drop by immediately. Her family learns about her death in Rueil Malmaison, France, and fly in. There will be rumors that Pier was in love with Spritzler. Pier’s family will remain convinced that her death is due to Spritzler’s administration of Compazine.
  her agent, Walter Kohner, gets her a part in TV’s “Bonanza,” but she’ll never know 
14 September 71 her funeral service is held at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. Vic Damone, her son Perry, Norma Eberhard, Dr. Ramon Spritzler, Liza Minelli, and the families of Kirk Douglas and Louis Jordan attend.
  is interred at the Cimitière des Bulvis in Rueil Malmaison, France
Pier Angeli, A Fragile Life by Jane Allen, PhotoplayMotion PictureScreenlandSilver Screen
Recommended Books:
Pier Angeli: A Fragile Life by Jane Allen

Dedicated to Pier Angeli
Pier Angeli Multimedia
Find A Grave


We thank Glamour Girls for their outline of the life of a very pretty little thing–tiny really, who was, most assuredly of the colony of the beautiful and the dammed, and here cease to quote our Glamour Girls.


Requiescat in pace, Anna Maria Pierangeli




John Daniel Begg


Washington DC

Sunday, 14th April, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013

“Begg—you must put yourself to drinking more and thinking less.” ‘In coelo quies’—“In Heaven there is rest.”

Chatterton 1856 by Henry Wallis 1830-1916 Chatterton 1856

Painted By

Henry Wallis

Chatterton is Wallis’s earliest and most famous work. The picture created a sensation when it was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1856, accompanied by the following quotation from Marlowe:

Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight

And burned is Apollo’s laurel bough.

Ruskin described the work in his Academy Notes as ‘faultless and wonderful’.

Thomas Chatterton (1752-70) was an 18th Century poet, a Romantic figure whose melancholy temperament and early suicide captured the imagination of numerous artists and writers. He is best known for a collection of poems, written in the name of Thomas Rowley, a 15th Century monk, which he copied onto parchment and passed off as mediaeval manuscripts. Having abandoned his first job working in a scrivener’s office he struggled to earn a living as a poet. In June 1770 he moved to an attic room at 39 Brooke Street, where he lived on the verge of starvation until, in August of that year, at the age of only seventeen, he poisoned himself with arsenic. Condemned in his lifetime as a forger by influential figures such as the writer Horace Walpole (1717-97), he was later elevated to the status of tragic hero by the French poet Alfred de Vigny (1797-1863).

Wallis may have intended the picture as a criticism of society’s treatment of artists, since his next picture of note, The Stonebreaker (1858, Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery), is one of the most forceful examples of social realism in Pre-Raphaelite art. The painting alludes to the idea of the artist as a martyr of society through the Christ-like pose and the torn sheets of poetry on the floor. The pale light of dawn shines through the casement window, illuminating the poet’s serene features and livid flesh. The harsh lighting, vibrant colours and lifeless hand and arm increase the emotional impact of the scene. A phial of poison on the floor indicates the method of suicide. Following the Pre-Raphaelite credo of truth to nature, Wallis has attempted to recreate the same attic room in Gray’s Inn where Chatterton had killed himself. The model for the figure was the novelist George Meredith (1828-1909), then aged about 28. Two years later Wallis eloped with Meredith’s wife, a daughter of the novelist Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866).

Two preparatory drawings exist for the picture, both in the Tate collection (Tate and

Further reading:
Leslie Parris, Ed., The Pre-Raphaelites, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1984, reprinted 1994, pp.142-144, reproduced p.143, in colour.
Elizabeth Prettejohn, The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites, London 2000, pp.192-3, reproduced p.193, in colour.
Christopher Wood, The Pre-Raphaelites, London 1994, pp.61-4, reproduced p.68, in colour.

Frances Fowle
December 2000

At very least, dears, the Americans can today all relate personally to this next painting, Mariana, seized as she was by Her Majesty’s government to satisfy a tax lien, the money subsequently squandered on various trivialities of government.

Mariana 1851 by Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829-1896



Painted by

Date 1851
Medium Oil paint on mahogany
Dimensions support: 597 x 495 x 15 mm frame: 876 x 767 x 55 mm
Accepted by HM Government in lieu of tax and allocated to the Tate Gallery 1999

When it was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1851 this picture was accompanied by the following lines from Tennyson’s Mariana (1830):

She only said, ‘My life is dreary,

He cometh not,’ she said;

She said, ‘I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!’

Tennyson’s poem was inspired by the character of Mariana in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. Rejected by her fiancé, Angelo, after her dowry was lost in a shipwreck, she leads a lonely existence in a moated grange. She is still in love with Angelo – now Deputy to the Duke of Vienna – and longs to be reunited with him.

In the picture the autumn leaves scattered on the ground mark the passage of time. Mariana has been working at some embroidery and pauses to stretch her back. Her longing for Angelo is suggested by her pose and the needle thrust fiercely into her embroidery. The stained-glass windows in front of her show the Annunciation, contrasting the Virgin’s fulfilment with Mariana’s frustration and longing. Millais copied the scene from the window of the Chapel of Merton College, Oxford. However, the heraldic design appears to have been his own invention.

The motto ‘In coelo quies’ means ‘In Heaven there is rest’ and clearly refers to Mariana’s desire to be dead. The snowdrop symbolises ‘consolation’ and is also the birthday flower for 20 January, St Agnes’ Eve, when young girls put herbs in their shoes and pray to St Agnes to send them a vision of their future husband. It may also refer indirectly to John Keats’s narrative  poem The Eve of St Agnes, which, like Tennyson’s Mariana, is also concerned with the theme of yearning. The mouse in the right foreground is Tennyson’s mouse that ‘Behind the mouldering wainscot shriek’d, | Or from the crevice peer’d about’. The miniature altar in the background, decorated with a small triptych, and a silver casket, may refer to Tennyson’s other poem on the same theme, Mariana in the South, in which Mariana prays desperately to the Virgin Mary.

Millais may have intended the picture to complement Holman Hunt’s Claudio and Isabella(1850, Tate N03447), a scene also taken from Measure for Measure. But as a subject from Tennyson the picture acquired a certain topically, since Tennyson was made Poet Laureate in November 1850.

Further reading:
Leslie Parris (ed.), The Pre-Raphaelites, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery 1984, reprinted 1994, no.35, pp.89-90, reproduced p.90.
Elisabeth Prette john, The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites, London 2000, pp.11-13, reproduced p.10, in colour.

Frances Fowle
December 2000

Yesterday, in the sunshine fulgent, Lovey and I visited Mr. Jefferson, his splendid cherry blossoms, the National Gallery, the Pre-Raphaelites and the third great love of my life, my Impressionists painters of France.

At school, quite a long while ago now, a kindly but sheepish Dr. West took severe umbrage to a blue-paper examination booklet in which I had been instructed to tell Dr. West all that I had learned from him about the Pre-Raphaelites.

I had written this in my blue-paper examination booklet and returned it to Dr West:

“The Pre-Raphaelites were annoyingly pretentious men, who fancied themselves Impressionists but, lacking any talent, sought to put the viewer off the scent by employing color so extraordinarily vivid as to confuse people into thinking that remarkably vivid color meant talent must be there, when it simply was not.”

Dr. West, a fan of these Pre-Raphaelites, concocted to flag me with an F in his course—an absurdity that troubled me not about myself, but troubled me rather so about Dr. West, who would have to defend this absurdity in front of the Dean of Men for Arts and Letters, a certain Dr. Morin.

This was dicey business, again, not for me, but for West, as Morin, as his name suggests, was an Irishman who suffered grievous the Irishman’s Disease, and invariably had a sore head, resultant of that affliction.

I got to our little meeting first.  Morin greeted me, if that serves as the correct word, by saying:

Why are you causing heartburn to a harmless fellow like West?

I, Sir?

You, Sir.

I simply wrote the truth, Sir, didn’t you read it?

I never read anything—I don’t have to –I am, after all, Dean of Men for Arts and Letters.

You, Sir?

I, Sir.

Anyway, I simply wrote the truth, Sir, about the Pre-Raphaelites.

Well, that’s where you went off the rails—that’s where you went wrong.

There, Sir?

Just there, Sir.

Begg—the truth is something you studied at Seminary—this is University!

Oh, I see, Sir.

Well, done, Begg—now how do we square things with West?

Well, Sir, we simply ask him how, and if, he can refute my proposition.

Which proposition, Begg?

My proposition that:

“The Pre-Raphaelites were annoyingly pretentious men, who fancied themselves Impressionists but, lacking any talent, sought to put the viewer off the scent by employing color so extraordinarily vivid as to confuse people into thinking that remarkably vivid color meant talent must be there, when it simply is not.”

Begg, you need to drink more and think less.

I, Sir?

You, Sir.

I’ll try, Sir.

Well done, Begg, nicely done—now—I’ll handle West, you leave now.

I’m off, sir.

Off with you then, Sir—and Begg—please consider the feelings of these sheepish sorts—that’s why they go into academe after all, isn’t it—they can’t face the world.

Quite so, Sir.

Quite so—try to be sensitive—seems West actually likes these–what do they call them–Pre-Raphaelites?  What an odd thing to do—call yourself a Pre-Raphaelites—wonder what that means.

He does, Sir.

Who does what, Begg?

West does, Sir—likes them—these Pre-Raphaelites.  They image themselves to be Impressionists, I think, Sir.

He does?  They do?

Seems so, Sir—I will try to consider these things—others men’s feelings.


I’ll do, Sir.

Well done, Begg—now off with you.

Thank you, Sir.

And, Begg– you must put yourself to drinking more and thinking less”

Right away, Sir, directly I leave here, Sir.

I aced the class—got an A— and a round compliment, in class, from West for my “prescience” concerning these Pre-Raphaelites.

I can’t help but dwell, now late in life, on the notion that I had somehow hurt West’s feelings.

At the time, young and intemperate, I didn’t consider men’s feelings.  Steeled in the rigors of seminary school, I sought out the truth and hung the consequences.

Now, I’m an old softy, I guess.

All I learned at university  that I can fit in the glass of life is down to Morin—I did as directed—and now understand that it was he, not I, who deserved formal recognition for his “prescience”—what most men ought to do is to drink more and think less.

It was with this in mind that I took Lovey to visit the Pre-Raphaelites at the National Gallery, where it seems they are doing a road show for sometime here at Washington.

Quite luckily, I discovered before getting to the Gallery that Lovey, as did West, and, I take it others, has not herself seen through the glare of the supra-natural coloration vivid, to the dearth of talent that lurks below, in the work of these Pre-Raphaelites.

I like ‘em, says Lovey.

I see. Says I.  I see.

We paid a brief visit to our Mr. Jefferson prior to going to the Gallery after, at which, I politely indulged Lovey’s drinking in her Pre-Raphaelites with enduring and admirable patience—and for doing so was rewarded with my favorite treat at the Gallery—my Impressionists French!!

Before the Gallery, Lovey and I visit Mr. Jefferson and his blooms–kind gifts of the Empress Nipponese.

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Before the Gallery, when we had visited Mr. Jefferson’s townhouse at his Tidal Basin,  we drank deep of his gorgeous spring cherry blossoms—a gift to him from the Empress Nipponese.  Simply wonderful blooms.

Lovey remarked that the Empress Nipponese “must be most kindly disposed to Mr. Jefferson to give him such beauties as these for his basin.”

“I am quite sure they are close friends, Lovey,” I assured her.

Now, Jesus—I get my just desserts!

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After Mr. Jefferson, his blooms, Lovey’s Pre-Raphaelites and my Impressionists, it had all made to a long day and I took Lovey home and gave her a champagne cocktail.

Lovey is no sort of drinker and was soon drowsy from that elixir.  I took her to her bed.

She looked at me and said, “are you happy with me, darling—do I make you peaceful, restful?”

As with so many today, most particularly the very young, Lovey is not of a consecutive frame of mind, an oversight of mental discipline in those lacking the consecutive that I find often beneficial and useful, as those who are not of a consecutive frame of mind are rather easy to evade and confuse.

I petted her head and kissed her and said “Darling… ‘In coelo quies’”

“What does that mean, Thurston?”

Lovey, it just means ‘In Heaven there is rest’

“What a wonderful thought after a wonderful day with my favorite Pre-Raphaelites” smiled Lovey as she drifted off.

And it is—a wonderful thought.  And, it was—a wonderful day.

‘In coelo quies’—‘In Heaven there is rest’

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John Daniel Begg


Washington DC

Friday, 12th April, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013

Appropriately, then, we look above for our answers to the inexplicable. Where do you seek your answers to the inexplicable?



Madonna and Child with St Anne appearing to St Anthony of Padua St Charles St Carlo Borromeo and St Philip of Neri 1760


Egidio dall Olio

Saint Anthony of Padua, patron of hopeless, lost and despairing cause, looked to God and His Blessed Mother for explanations of that which is, inexplicable, to man.

Appropriately, then, we look above for our answers to the inexplicable.  Where do you seek your answers to the inexplicable?

We are most thankful to both and William K. Klingaman and Nicholas P. Klingaman for their inspiring book, quoted here until noted ceased quoting about an occurrence in 1815 that changed the entire world in one day.One of the messages we take from that which follows is that man controls a great deal less having to do with his own life than man has nowadays persuaded himself, in some quarters at least, to think and believe.

To our story….


 Mount Tambora Volcano, Sumbawa Island, Indonesia

In today’s selection — in 1815, the deadliest and most powerful volcanic eruption in human history exploded out of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, sending ash eighteen miles into the sky and quickly causing the death of ninety thousand in Indonesia alone. The residue of this volcano quickly circled the earth, dimming sunlight and dramatically lowering temperatures around the globe. This in turn damaged crops and economies around the world and left 1816 to be remembered as the year without a summer:

“Just before sunset on April 5, 1815, a massive explosion shook the volcanic island of Sumbawa in the Indonesian archi­pelago. For two hours, a stream of lava erupted from Mount Tam­bora, the highest peak in the region, sending a plume of ash eighteen miles into the sky. More than eight hundred miles away, Thomas Stamford Raf­fles, the lieutenant-governor of Java, heard the blast at his residence and assumed it came from cannon firing in the distance. …

“Around seven o’clock on the evening of April 10, Mount Tambora erupted once again, this time far more violently. Three columns of flaming lava shot into the air, meeting briefly at their peak in what one eyewitness termed ‘a troubled confused manner.’ Almost im­mediately the entire mountain appeared to be consumed by liquid fire, a fountain of ash, water, and molten rock shooting in every direction. Pumice stones — some walnut-sized but others twice the size of a man’s fist — rained down upon the village of Sanggar, nineteen miles away. After an hour, so much ash and dust had been hurled into the atmosphere that darkness hid the fiery mountaintop from view.

“As the ash clouds thickened, hot lava racing down the moun­tain slope heated the air above it to thousands of degrees. The air quickly rose, leaving behind a vacuum into which cooler air rushed from all directions. The resulting whirlwind tore up trees by the roots and swept up men, cattle, and horses. Virtually every house in Sanggar was flattened. The village of Tambora, closer to the vol­cano, vanished under a flood of pumice. Cascading lava slammed into the ocean, destroying all aquatic life in its path, and creating tsunamis nearly fifteen feet high which swept away everything within their reach. Violent explosions from the reaction of lava with cold seawater threw even greater quantities of ash into the atmo­sphere, and created vast fields of pumice stones along the shore­line. … [Soon], Tambora’s umbrella ash cloud extended for more than three hundred miles at its widest point. … Twenty-four hours after Tambora erupted, the ash cloud had expanded to cover an area approximately the size of Australia. …

“By the time the volcano finally subsided, Tambora had released an estimated one hundred cubic kilometers of molten rock as ash and pumice — enough to cover a square area one hundred miles on each side to a depth of almost twelve feet — making it the largest known volcanic eruption in the past 2,000 years. Geologists mea­sure eruptions by the Volcanic Explosivity Index, which uses whole numbers from 0 to 8 to rate the relative amount of ash, dust, and sulphur a volcano throws into the atmosphere. Like the Richter Scale for earthquakes, each step along the Explosivity Index is equal to a tenfold increase in the magnitude of the eruption. Tambora merits an Index score of 7, making the eruption approxi­mately one thousand times more powerful than the Icelandic vol­cano Eyjafjallajokull, which disrupted trans-Atlantic air travel in 2010 but rated only a 4; one hundred times stronger than Mount St. Helens (a 5); and ten times more powerful than Krakatoa (a 6). Only four other eruptions in the last hundred centuries have reached a score of 7. …

“It was also by far the deadliest eruption in recorded history. … Before the eruption, more than twelve thousand natives lived in the immediate vicinity of Tambora. They never had a chance to escape. Nearly all of them died within the first twenty-four hours, mostly from ash falls and pyroclastic flows — rapidly moving streams of partially liquefied rock and superheated gas at temperatures up to 1,000 degrees, hot enough to melt glass. Carbonized remains of villagers caught unaware were buried beneath the lava; fewer than one hundred people survived. …

“In the end, perhaps another seventy to eighty thousand people died from starvation or disease caused by the eruption, bringing the death toll to nearly ninety thousand in Indonesia alone. No other volcanic explosion in history has come close to wreaking di­saster of that magnitude.

“And yet there would be more casualties from Tambora. In addition to millions of tons of ash, the force of the eruption threw 55 million tons of sulfur-dioxide gas more than twenty miles into the air, into the stratosphere. There, the sulfur dioxide rapidly combined with readily available hydroxide gas — which, in liquid form, is commonly known as hydrogen peroxide — to form more than 100 million tons of sulfuric acid.”

Author: William K. Klingaman and Nicholas P. Klingaman

Title: The Year Without a Summer

Publisher: St Matin’s Press

Date: Copyright 2013 by William K. Klingaman and Nicholas P. Klingaman

Pages: 1, 7-8, 12-13, 15

The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History

by William K. Klingaman by St. Martin’s Press

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We are most thankful to both and William K. Klingaman and Nicholas P. Klingaman for their inspiring book, quoted here and, now noted ceased quoting, about an occurrence in 1815 that changed the entire world in one day.


One of the messages we take from what we just read is that man controls a great deal less having to do with his own life than man has nowadays persuaded himself, in some quarters at least, to think and believe.


Today, man, in his vanity, is very often heard to say that man controls the weather and roils the seas.  We hope this little story will both educate and serve to temper man’s vanity respecting just how much of his life he does, in fact, control and govern, at all.


We are inclined here to look heavenward for our explanations and not to man’s pretensions, his charts and his graphs.

Appropriately, then, we look above for our answers to the inexplicable.  Where do you seek your answers to the inexplicable?



John Daniel Begg


Washington DC

Easter  Wednesday,  2rd April, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013

The Box: Part One: Do you have a rich daddy to fall back on—well—you’d best have?


Berlin Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse

Lou Reed – Men Of Good Fortune


Lou Reed – Men of Good Fortune Lyrics

Artist: Lou Reed

Album: Berlin 1973

Genre: Rock

  • Songwriters: Chris Wolstenholme, Dominic Howard, Matthew Bellamy

 Men of good fortune 

Often cause empires to fall
While men of poor beginnings
Often can’t do anything at all

The rich son waits for his father to die
The poor just drink and cry
And me, I just don’t care at all

Men of good fortune
Very often can’t do a thing
While men of poor beginnings
Often can do anything

At heart, they try to act like a man
Handle things the best way they can
They have no rich daddy to fall back on

Men of good fortune
Often cause empires to fall
While men of poor beginnings
Often can’t do anything at all

It takes money to make money they say
Look at the fords, but didn’t they start that way
Anyway, it makes no difference to me

Men of good fortune
Often wish that they could die
While men of poor beginnings
Want what they have and to get it they’ll die

All those great things that live has to give
They wanna have money and live
But me, I just don’t care at all

Men of good fortune
Men of poor beginnings
Men of good fortune
Men of poor beginnings

Men of good fortune
Men of poor beginnings
Men of good fortune
Men of poor beginnings

While it may appear to you, dears, shall we say, quixotic, of me to connect young Lou’s nihilistic anthem about rich boys and poor boys from 1973, to Ole Uncle Bennie and the boys at the Fed this very day, we all now live in the same box—yes, all of us.

Yes, dears, Ole Uncle Bennie, Lou, me and you—into the same crackerjack box go all of us.   Huit clos.  No exit.  A closed-door with no exit.  No way out for any of us.

People wonder—how can the stock exchange go up at a time of economic devastation and no GDP?  It’s simple—stock equities are a barometer of inflation and serve as valuation ballast against it.

When the dam breaks, the cradle will fall—and it must at some point, and then, well–it’s curtains.

Political candidates, those silly boys, forever on the fiddle, make silly noises about tweaking the system here and there and all will be OK again.

The hyena class at Washington exhorts us to balance the books–or just stop spending money—or spend even more money!!–a scruffy little fella called Krugman is a prime proponent of this last-listed frivolity—but then Nana maternal always said that Princeton was a playboy school.  But it really doesn’t matter which card we draw guys—all this misses the point, entirely.

The Americans—and the world by logical extrapolation—are in a box with no exit.

Uncle Bennie actually must continue to buy worthless paper with worthless dollars and all the Americans must continue to pretend that their money—derived from labor, inheritance, investment, crime, what have you, is real.  To do otherwise would be far worse than the current calamity wrought by Uncle Ben and the boys.

To admit that the money we use to live on has no value of any kind at all is a confession no penitent would dare make and no priest would dare to hear.

We will continue the story of the Box in further parts to come shortly.



John Daniel Begg


Washington DC

Easter Tuesday,  2nd April, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013