sâmbătă, 6 mai 2023

Beat the Devil by Claud Cockburn, publishing under the pseudonym James Helvick, because in the McCarthy years publishers avoided writers with previous communist activity, and Claud Cockburn had been an agitator - 8 out of 10


Beat the Devil by Claud Cockburn, publishing under the pseudonym James Helvick, because in the McCarthy years publishers avoided writers with previous communist activity, and Claud Cockburn had been an agitator

8 out of 10



Under normal circumstances, I would avoid at all costs a communist agitator, and since the writer had been one, Beat the Devil would be on the black list – anathema, just as it happens in America now, the red states, such as Florida, which has a mini-Trump at the helm, who wants to be president and thus he attacks Disney, woke culture and offers red meat to the crowd of cult members that want MAGA forever, with all the scandal involving porn stars, cheating charities, using extortion on Zelenski, starting the attack on the Capitol hill, and singing with the felons that participated in the insurrection, to name just a few – but I only found about his history after watching the John Huston and Humphrey Bogart film, which also stars Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley, Peter Lorre and Jennifer Jones


However, we are living in interesting times – on CNN, they used to have a China correspondent that quoted in their promos the proverb ‘may you live in interesting times’, only our greatest philosopher, Constantin Noica has taken down proverbs, which could proffer so much nonsense, or get the falsehoods established as wisdom…’appearances deceive’ goes one and that is so far from the truth, since when you see someone begging on the street, you must not think Prince and Pauper, fairy tales and a tycoon hiding in rags, it is someone with issues and problems http://realini.blogspot.com/2015/01/book-of-wisdom-by-constantin-noica.html and the list is long, continuing with ‘opposites attract’ which is false per se, and if taken as an incentive, it means so many broken marriages

Think of Blink – the Power of Thinking Without Thinking http://realini.blogspot.com/2013/05/blink-power-of-thinking-without.html by luminary Malcolm Gladwell, explaining how The Thin Slicing theory works, with the background of millennia of ‘fight or flight’, and how it operates in fields like medicine, where it saves lives, war, where it wins battles, if not wars, in art, where you could read about the Getty museum and the ‘ancient Greek statues’, or the proportion of very tall CEOs at the top of business and the Harding Effect, which goes back to a lousy president, nonetheless dozens of times better than Trump


Speaking of that, Beat the Devil is about scoundrels, that have nothing to show when placed against the biggest fraud in the world, the one who climbed to the top, to become the most powerful creature, and the most astounding crook in history…the characters of Beat The Devil want to get to Africa and take possession of the uranium deposits that had been so valuable – they still are, one habit of the candidate for the top job on the planet in 2024 is to keep saying ‘he does not use the N word, there are two N words one must not use, and one is nuclear’ and he keeps talking about it, proving continuously how dangerous he is…


Writers can be awesome as creators and terrible as human beings – the fact that Claud Cockburn had been a commie agitator is loathsome, and here is a joke to make it not more palatable, but more jestful –‘who is not a commie when young, has no heart, who is still a commie when old has no brain’ only heart has nothing to do it, it is true in both cases, young, old and all ages that to be a commie is gruesome, and I know it, we lived through it and I risked my life to try and change it in 1989, as this page from the Newsweek covering the events proves it http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/03/realini-in-newsweek-participant-in.html

Intellectuals by Paul Johnson details how great writers have been marvelous when thinking of Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy, A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen, and we could name Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Jacques Rousseau…the latter has abandoned his (were they more than eight, I wonder) children at the door of the orphanage, in an age when nine out of ten died in the situation (come to think of it, in his defense, maybe seven out of eight dies anyway, orphanage or not) http://realini.blogspot.com/2014/06/intellectuals-by-paul-johnson.html


Beat The Devil has some wonderful quotes, gems – as in The Third Man by Graham Greene ‘In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce…The cuckoo clock” http://realini.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-third-man-by-graham-greene.html - one musing on time ‘the Swiss manufacture it, the French hoard it, Italians squander it, Americans say it is money, Hindus say it is nothing, and I say it is a crook’ “Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour…Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute…That's relativity’ says Albert Einstein

What is more, time is an essential component in reaching Peak Experience, Being in The Zone, as it is detailed, explained in the life-changing Flow http://realini.blogspot.com/2016/10/flow-by-mihaly-csikszentmihalyi-this-is.html by the co-founder of Positive Psychology Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi – time is relative when you reach zenith, as examples – a ballerina that reaches Flow, when on stage, feels her minute there is like a week or more, whereas the brain surgeon who had been operating asks for lunch and is told this is already evening now, he has had such an intense experience in the operating room, ten hours felt like one


Seneca, one of the greatest thinkers of humanity, a wondrous Stoic, analyzed the life span, said that we have enough time in our lives, even if most or all complain, it is just that we treat as an insignificant commodity, we behave as if it is endless http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/03/on-leisure-aka-de-otio-by-senecawith.html and this is the problem, when we say we ‘have some time to kill’, we should instead use the memento mori aka remember you are mortal, the words whispered in the ear of a Roman dignitary, so that he could keep a sense of proportion, but useful in trying to use life and have as much flow as possible

Beat the Devil made me think of The Screwtape Letters http://realini.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-screwtape-letters-by-c-s-lewis-in.html by CS Lewis, albeit there is nothing – or so little I did not notice it – about the ‘real’ devil, the one that the Bible or other holy books present…it I a metaphor maybe, the notion that crooks are inspired by the devil, and their victims should try and Beat the Devil…I recommend this special technique and if you want the secret, call me http://realini.blogspot.com/2022/02/unique-in-world.html?q=unique+in+the+world

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