Posts Tagged ‘Books’
Posted in Movies, tagged Books, Detectives, Ethel Kennedy, Investigations, Justice, Law, Mark Fuhrman, Martha Moxley, Michael Skakel, Money, Movies, Murder, Political Connections, Power on November 28, 2012 | 2 Comments »
On Mischief Night, eve of Halloween, October 30, 1975, Martha Moxley was murdered in the backyard of her house in the neighborhood of Belle Haven—one of America’s most affluent communities—in Greenwich, Connecticut. Her murder remained unsolved for 22 years after Mark Fuhrman, a former LAPD detective decided to investigate the case with his partner Stephen Weeks with the purpose of writing a book.
With the support of retired detective Steve Carroll who was in charge of the investigation in the seventies, they discovered the criminal and a network of power and money to cover the murder.
Mark Fuhrman’s 1998 book “Murder in Greenwich” named Michael Skakel as the murderer and pointed out many mistakes the police had made in investigating the crime. Mark Fuhrman, former detective of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is known for his part in the investigation of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman and his subsequent felony conviction for perjury. The “N” word—nigger— followed him like a ghost for years, until he fought his inner demons and decided to make a new life in Idaho writing books and hosting talk radio.
His book served as the source for a 2002 American television film with the same title directed by Tom McLoughlin and played by Christopher Meloni as Mark Fuhrman and Maggie Grace as Martha Moxley. “Power, privilege, and wealth can buy everything but the truth.” This powerful motion picture depicts the true story of the Moxley/Skakel case. It dramatically unveils the mystery surrounding the story of Martha Moxley, 15-year-old girl murdered in Greenwich in the 1970s, her murder going unsolved for 25 years.
Martha Moxley was killed on October 30, 1975 with a six-iron golf club. Her pants and underwear were pulled down, but she had not been sexually assaulted. Michael Skakel is the nephew of Ethel Skakel Kennedy, the widow of late U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy. He was sentenced to 20 years to life on July 10, 2001. Skakel’s first parole hearing was heard on October 24, 2012 and was denied. He remains in prison at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, CT. Skakel’s next parole hearing is scheduled for October 2017.
Two former students of a drug rehab center, which Michael Skakel attended in 1978, testified that they heard Skakel confess to killing Moxley with a golf club after she refused to have sexual intercourse with him. He then bragged, “I’m going to get away with murder. I’m a Kennedy.”
Some people think that because they have money, prestige, power or political connections, they can do just about anything and get away with it. Such was the case of Michael Skakel related to the powerful Kennedy clan. He, like Richard Nixon, learned the lesson that sooner or later, the long arm of the law will stretch out and reach them.
I streamed this powerful motion picture last night in my computer via Netflix. It captured my attention to such a degree, that I decided to research the case and share it with you today. The popular expression that “the law is the dark shadow of justice” is not written in stone. Sometimes it’s just a literary illusion.
The fact of the matter is that nobody is above the law. The days of absolute monarchy is over. There’s a guy in Syria having a hard time understanding this legal construct. Good Day.
Yesterday afternoon, during a strong tropical cloudburst, and casually surfing the Web, I stumbled upon an interesting blog post written by S.L. Hoffan. Mr. Hoffan is a blogger, copyeditor and proofreader in the Washington, D.C. area. He’s the author of the blog dubbed, Eagle-Eyed Editor.
In his own words, “I blog about anything involving books, authors, writing, editing, proofreading and social media. Visit Eagle-Eyed Editor often to laugh and learn!” I’ve visited his blog now and then, and most of the time, I have a good read. He mixes content with good humor, which I certainly appreciate. In order to be healthy you need to laugh. No doubt about that; just ask your doc.
In one of his posts, Hoffman came up with an interesting list of literary quotations about books, writers and writing which I enjoyed. Some of them are genuinely witty, while others, well…, I could just brush off. Understanding that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, I decided to include all of his selections to share with you guys today. Pick the ones you like and delete the ones you dislike. Deal? Here we go.
- Groucho Marx — “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
- Neil Gaiman — “You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is that we notice when we’re doing it.”
- Henry Rollins — “I’ve always seen it as the role of an artist to drag his inside out, give the audience all you’ve got. Writers, actors, singers, all good artists do the same. It isn’t supposed to be easy.”
- Toni Morrison — “The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power.”
- Beverly Cleary — “Writers are good at plucking out what they need here and there.”
- C.S. Lewis — “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
- Madeleine L’Engle — “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
- Salman Rushdie — “A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it or offer your own version in return.”
- Steven Wright — “I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.”
- W. Somerset Maugham — “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are.”
- Alexander Pope — “True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, as those who move easiest have learned to dance.”
- Maynard James Keenan — “For me, life is writing and I can do it anywhere. It doesn’t matter where I am. I listen. I write. I live.”
In my humble opinion, quotation #12 is the cherry on the cake. If writing, books, and writers are your cup of tea—have a good time! Good Day.
Linda Leinen is a thought-provoking blogger who authors the literary-oriented blog, The Task at Hand. She writes one blog post per week. I can’t emphasize enough how wonderful her works is; you should read it to convince yourself how good she really is.
In her excellent article dubbed, Chase Jarvis & A New Paradigm, Linda includes a few lines of a poem written by Rudyard Kipling which captivated me. Kipling was a blur in my mind, so I Googled the name to refresh my memory. I was interested in reading the full poem. Sure enough, I obtained the information I was looking for, and a lot more I might add.
- How the Whale Got His Throat
- How the Camel Hot His Hump
- How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin
- How the Leopard Got His Skin
- The Elephant’s Child
- The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo
- The Beginning of the Armadillos
- How the First Letter was Written
- How the Alphabet was Made
- The Crab that Played With the Sea
- The Cat that Walked by Himself
- The Butterfly that Stamped
The fifth story of the book—The Elephant’s Child—is where you will find the full poem that I mentioned before. I could not resist the temptation of sharing it with you. I firmly believe that great literature should be shared.
I Keep six honest serving-men:
(They taught me all I knew)
Their names are What and Where and When
And How and Why and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.
I let them rest from nine till five.
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men:
But different folk have different views:
I know a person small–
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!
She sends ‘em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes–
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!
Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India, and was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.
Of the city where he was born—Bombay— he wrote:
Mother of Cities to me,
For I was born in her gate,
Between the palms and the sea,
Where the world-end steamers wait.
It is to be noted that Bombay is presently called Mumbai.
According to Bernice M. Murphy, “Kipling’s parents considered themselves ‘Anglo-Indians’ (a term used in the 19th century for people of British origin living in India) and so too would their son, though he spent the bulk of his life elsewhere. Complex issues of identity and national allegiance would become prominent features in his fiction.”
Kipling referred to such conflicts; for example: “In the afternoon heats before we took our sleep, she (the Portuguese ayah or nanny) or Meeta (the Hindu bearer, or male attendant) would tell us stories and Indian nursery songs all unforgotten, and we were sent into the dining-room after we had been dressed, with the caution ‘Speak English now to Papa and Mamma.’ So one spoke ‘English’, haltingly translated out of the vernacular idiom that one thought and dreamed in”.
Before I finish this story of Kipling’s honest serving men, I would like to include an interesting aspect of the life of this remarkable writer. It is related to his use of the Nazi swastika.
Many older editions of Rudyard Kipling’s books have a swastika printed on their covers associated with a picture of an elephant carrying a lotus flower. Since the 1930s this has raised the suspicion of Kipling being a Nazi-sympathizer, which is not true at all. Kipling used the swastika as it was an Indian sun symbol conferring good luck and well-being. He used the swastika symbol in both right—and left-facing orientations, and it was in general use at the time. Even before the Nazis came to power, Kipling ordered the engraver to remove it from the printing block so that he should not be thought of as supporting them.
And now you know the story behind the “six honest serving men” of Rudyard Kipling. Adieu!
“Writing is like playing an instrument by ear. You don’t know why it sounds good, you don’t know how you’re capable of making it sound good, you just do.”—Cristian Mihai
I found Cristian Mihai by accident on the Web. No that’s not right, let me correct it. Cristian Mihai found me by placing an avatar indicating he liked several of my snapshots. Out of curiosity, I clicked his avatar and opened an amazing treasure of words, ideas, styles, messages and books. I found the vibrating work of a young Romanian writer who writes in English from a place called Constanta.
Without a shadow of doubt, Mihai is a seasoned word warrior ready to do battle in the arena we call publishing. His books are growing in popularity even as we speak.
This is how Mihai defines himself: “Cristian Mihai (born 25 December 1990) grew up in Constanta, Romania. And he’s still growing up, or at least trying to. Sometimes he writes. Sometimes he gets lucky and writes something good. He can’t, however, draw a straight line. No matter how much he tries. Not even with a ruler. And, please, don’t ever ask him to sing.”
Mihai prefers to write fiction novels and short stories. At his young age he has written the following books:
I. Short Stories
- Remember ($2.99)
- A Sad, Sad Symphony ($2.99)
- One (Free)
- Mememto Mori (Free)
- Crossroads (Free)
- Mr. Nobody (Free)
- The Writer ($4.99)
- Jazz ($2.99)
Oh, before I go on, let me add that Mihai is also a blogger and a photographer. The name of his blog is, you guessed it, Cristian Mihai.
If you want to contact him, he has included a Contact Form where you can communicate with the writer. This is how he addresses the Contact Form: “If there’s anything you might want to share with me, including love/hate mail, interesting information, some long and/or complicated words, feel free to use the contact form below.” I think it’s a neat way to keep in contact with his readers; this creates a tight bond which benefits both parties, the reader and the writer.
Please allow me to share with you an extract of a blog post written by Mr. Mihai. It will give you a taste of his writing style. The name of the blog post is The Portrait of a Writer.
I began writing in my most vulnerable years. I was dumb and arrogant, as most teenagers seem to be, and I did my best to pour greatness into every sentence I wrote. But I was also lying to myself, writing about what I didn’t know, pretending to know, and I got caught and people could see that I wasn’t willing to let them in – I was building this wall to protect my true self from anyone who would be searching for it behind my words. There was nothing that belonged to me in the stories I wrote.
There’s this poem by a Romanian poet, Mihai Eminescu. It’s called To My Critics, and the last verses go like this:
It is easy to write verses
Out of nothing but the word.
All we are doing are self-portraits. As simple as that. We accumulate knowledge and wisdom and power, and we get our hearts broken, and we write. We write for others to absorb what took us so long to understand.
Maybe this is the big difference, the so-called rift between commercial and literary fiction. There are writers and there are storytellers.
Storytellers weave beautiful, intricate stories. They carefully build settings, masterfully sculpt characters. Their stories make use of the reader’s imagination – they make him dream. And then there’s the other class, the ones who make us feel.
Ever read a paragraph of wonderful prose? Just words that seem to melt together to form a hint of perfection? An almost divine symphony that leaves you wanting for more? One word after another slowly unveiling the pale grandeur of the human mind. That can’t be made into a movie. It’s not a visual experience, it’s not a tangible universe that’s being described.
There are those who are willing to shut out the world and rummage through their minds for memories they wish they had forgotten. The good and the bad, the tragedies, the pain, the bitter melancholy that engulfs all moments of happiness. By being alone, even in the most crowded of places, an artist is capable of understanding the world around him. All that he has gained, all that he has observed, lies behind a wall. He can jump over it and find the much-needed inspiration to create art, or he can choose to write words.
There’s this wall. And there’s the artist on the other side. He just has to jump.”
This young Romanian writer has developed the writing skills to make you feel and that is why I got hooked to his words. After I finish writing this blog post, I intend to download his book “The Writer”. I know deep inside it will be a great read. My Kindle is waiting patiently by my side.
I agree with Mihai when he made the distinction between writers that make you release your imagination into the wild, and others that make you feel. I prefer the latter. The first ones aim at your head—ideas—, the second group aims at your heart—emotions.
Good Day and enjoy your reading whatever it might be.
Several months ago, I read a fascinating book written by a Methodist globe-trotter missionary. His name is George Amos Miller and the title of his book, written in 1919, is Prowling About Panama. Other books written by Mr. Miller are: China Inside Out (1917), Interesting Manila Historical Narratives Concerning the Pearl of the Orient, Missionary Morale, Problems of the Town Church, Some Outdoor Prayers (1911), and “Paulino”: A tale of the Philippines. These books can be read on the Internet free of charge.
While enjoying this book about Panama, written at the turn of the century, I jotted down some notes which I found intellectually arousing, being a Panamanian myself. Below are tids and bits about Panama written by an insightful and keen observer of everything that surrounded him to the most insignificant detail. His observation, although written in 1919, are still valid to this very day.
“Panama is the great American curiosity shop. The first city founded by explorers in the New World, the oldest town in America inhabited by white men, the most conglomerate mixture of humanity on earth are in Panama. The bloodiest tale of modern history, the most story of American exploration, the greatest engineering achievement of man all center in Panama.
Panama has fifteen hundred miles of coast line to explore with something new to every mile. It was on the Isthmus of Panama, that the American slave trade began and was continued for 300 years. In 1853, the high-water mark was reached, when 66 million dollars were carried across to the Atlantic Side and shipped to New York.
There is no possible human shade or tint that is absent here. The Anglo-Saxons are white, more or less. The Jamaicans are black, mostly. The Panamanian is most often a soft and pleasing brown, done in a number of wholly unmatchable tints. And the natives from these many sunny countries round about are of every known color-tone, from chrome yellow to Paris Green. This is the human kaleidoscope of the earth: shake it up and you will get a different result every time.
In the days of its glory, Panama was a veritable Arabian Nights city with some 200 warehouses for the storage of stolen treasures. The tower was part of the cathedral, and the cathedral was one of three or four great churches.
The entire colonial program of Spain differed radically from that of the English in Canada or the United States in Hawaii or the Philippines. The leading motive of the Conquistadores was the love of gold. Plunder, rapine, and devastation followed in the trail of the adventurers who fought their way across Panama and conquered Peru.
Spanish colonial policies had small regard for the rights or development of the conquered. It was one of the viceroys of Mexico who said, ‘Let the people of these dominions learn, once and for all, that they were born to be silent and obey, and not to discuss nor have opinions in political affairs.’
There can be no radical change in these conditions until some new program of social uplift, educational progress, some spiritual life is introduced to cause a fresh reaction and begin a new life.
The Isthmus of Panama is the narrowest part of the connecting link of the continents, and here is the lowest point in the continental backbone. The Isthmus of Panama is a shoestring trying together two continents. Today Panama is on the direct line of travel between almost any two great cities at opposite ends of the earth. Melbourne and London, New York and Buenos Aires, Port-au-Spain, and Honolulu—draw the lines, and they all pass through Panama.
Panama’s 1,300 miles of coast bound a narrow empire, but an empire of wonderful possibilities. Her inexhaustible soil, her frequent rivers, her rich jungles, her broad savannas, her high mountains and dense forests, her mines and climate and rainfall, and a world market right at her doors—all that nature could do to lay the foundations of material wealth seems to have been done here.
There are more comfortable days in Panama, per year, than in New York. There is rarely a night when one cannot sleeping comfort. If there were nothing but the climate, there would be no reason for shunning Panama. By all the rules of the great game of getting rich, Panama ought to be both prosperous, and progressive. Seemingly every chance has come her way.
The unfortunate fact is that such modern conditions as exist in Panama today have largely been brought to her ready-made, which may be why she does not take more interest in them.
Possibly no place in the world shows more mixed blood than Panama. Shades and colors, and tints and tones there are, and blends indescribable and also impossible to analyze or trace.
Highly favored among the nations of the earth, this little country affords a strategic opportunity for the setting up of a national experiment in development and progress. If this undertaking is to succeed, there must be added to the large economic, social and strategic resources of the country, the element of a free spirit and an enlightened conscience. Out of these will come a sense of the dignity of labor, the worth-whileness of education, and the development of the now dormant resources of this beautiful land.”
These visionary words were written in 1919. You might think they were written by a journalist in yesterday’s paper. Okay, this is it for today. Seeya sometime. Good Day.
“What is this?
I live alone, wounded by iron,
Struck by a sword, tired of battle work,
Weary of blades, Often I see war,
Fight a fearsome foe, I crave no comfort,
That safety might come to me out of the war-strife
Before I among men perish completely,
But the forged brands strike me,
Hard-edged and fiercely sharp, the handwork of smiths,
They bite me in the stronghold, I must wait for
A more murderous meeting, Never a physician
In the battlefield could I find
One of those who with herbs healed wounds,
But my sword slashes grow greater
Through death blows day and night.”
Answer: The Shield
Source: The Adventure of English by Melvyn Bragg.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”—Apple’s Think Different brand image campaign by BTWA\Chiat\Day
A tribute to a visionary who left us too soon; there was so much more he could have done. We miss you Steve! Good Bye!
Nope, it’s not Valentine’s Day nor our Wedding Anniversary Day. It’s Love’s Day! Me thinks, Love Day should be every day of the year, because without this essential emotion, our world would be in a constant state of chaos till the end of time.
We love our family. We love our pets. We love our country. We love our work. We love our neighbors and friends. We love our planet. Yep, it’s the power of love that glues the Universe together.
Throughout the history of art, literature and theater, the themes of friendship and love have been the most prevalent in numerous compositions, including Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Plato’s The Symposium, these themes are recurrent as the main topics of discussion.
Plato considers love a necessity of life that enables “human being to acquire courage and happiness, in both life and death.” Aristotle and Plato believed that love leads a person to eudaimonia, or happiness. The latter thought love is the source of art, leading men to satisfy by the creation of beautiful forms their innate longing for the absolute beauty they can never possess. Wherever there is true love, you will find true beauty. The artistic world is full of examples.
I tried to capture the spirit of love with this minimalistic photographic composition. I hope you like it. It was fun doing it.