Brothers Duncan(evsky) not posing in southern Russia but in Duncan, South Carolina the town in which these displaced Scotsmen all were born – Bill, Esso Gas Station owner; Linder, WW II veteran; Roy, Wrangler Jeans Manufacturer; Mac Clifford Duncan, WWII Army Air Corps Veteran (CBI, China, Burma, India) and a member of 10th ABCD and the 14th Air Force “Flying Tigers” (flying over the “Hump”) … baby brother Mac died this past fall…amazing fellows whom we all miss.
“To be a woman is a great adventure;
To drive men mad is a heroic thing.”
― Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago
Method Actor Marlon Brando contended that each soul on earth is an actor, no exceptions. I agree. However, comedian Gene Wilder, once known as Jerome Silberman, speaks of his own switch from the life of a thespian to quality (?) time spent authoring novels. The former Willy Wonka expresses his distaste for “watching the bombings, shooting, killing, swearing and 3-D. I get 52 scripts per year sent to me. If it’s something wonderful, I’ll do it. But I don’t get anything like that.” I just finished reading all about the exceptional comic (who concocted his stage name via a combination of “Gene” from Thomas Wolfe’s novel “Look Homeward, Angel” and “Wilder” borrowed from playwright Thornton Wilder who wrote “Our Town“!) in a senior citizens’ localized periodical this evening. The columnist is Marshall Jay Kaplan who enhances his published articles with pen-and-ink caricatures of each featured celebrity he interviews. And, hey, I’m just lost out here among the stars which are poised high beyond my rear picture window and PIN(-terested) to the dark sky while I am dressed as a Russian Cossack at the moment–my new James Dean sweatshirt pulled over a 3/4 length nightgown, and I’m feeling additionally grateful for leggings stuffed into fuzzy slouchy sleep-boots as I ruffle my gnarly hands through my mop of frizzy hair, and I hover over my keyboard within a refrigerated den which possesses only one heating vent. I AM Dr. Zhivago living out a frigid nightmare in Siberia while growing a mustache. Winter in Indiana!
I often wonder why I DO sit in the dark pondering the ins and outs of the Facebook phenomenon which is totally a microcosm of the real world, if there is such a thing as a real world–or are we simply shadows on an allegorical cave wall? I sound like Plato! I look up “microcosm” in the worn, tattered dictionary tossed onto the floor now for the nearly 10 years duration of my own writing efforts (haven’t cleaned or organized my house in as many years nor thrown out expired medicines or coupons!), attempts which have produced mixed results in my pounding head–from suffering through meaningless book fairs and quirky outside judgments to euphoric moments of honest appreciation from whatever readership I mustered. Book writing ain’t for sissies! It’s a competitive yet stale and snarky and flaky profession. Ah! Found it! Preferred definition of “microcosm” is “a miniature representation”. Oddly, the next meaning –ranking second– reads “mankind viewed as the epitome of the universe”, so that is perplexing. Or is it? How can one singular word have two such divergent denotations?
Does anybody else feel that television monitors, movie screens or googling for photographs, music, and information via a keyboard (which sends commands to a computerized virtual version of this spinning, damaged globe) might be the only means of connecting with some semblance of the human race? Whom do we find? Whiners, braggarts, one-upmanship specialists, misogynists, homophobes, phonies, lonely people, intellectuals, show-boaters, bigots, sensationalists, trolls, heroes, cowards, stalkers, informants, beef-cakers, cheese-cakers, peace-makers, alarmists, toadies, activists, liars, BS-ers, smart alecs, poets, blow-hards, blow-offers, educators, pompous peacocks, flatterers, sincerely kind individuals, enablers, bullies, crusaders, con artists, religious zealots, networkers, obnoxious advertisers, pip-squeaks, snake-charmers, truth-tellers, red-necks, high schoolish argumentative debaters, falsifiers, paid-off politicians, healers, the reticent, the shy, charlatans, givers and takers. But one finds those types in any walk of life in real time and face to face!
Why should I do this? Who the Hell cares? Finding currently that I lack the verve for eulogizing a memorable and impressive deceased 94 year-old paternal uncle the news of whose death reached me in a curiously circuitous route (which miffs me incredibly) yet having begun a tribute column which will mean little to those who did not know him, I shuffle through rough draft soft copies strewn all about the room and underfoot and retrieve what I commenced a month ago by entering his name in the search engine. I eventually posted on my personal and up front blog what I consider to be a terrific piece instead–on the monumental importance of and necessity for animal welfare and animal rights, but felt I neither could (in all good conscience) submit it to either a local online news blog nor my local newspaper, because I have lived in a farm town since birth and I would seem holier than thou and preachy. Inspired by fortuitous circumstances worthy of another column one day I entitled the entry “Farewell to Meat Cleavers“, and it became a decided hit with disembodied global readers who pored over it and heartily approved. Go figure.
If Godfather Brando is correct, should each of us honor the actor harbored within ourselves as we attempt to communicate and to function in this ever more disconnected world? Should we cater to what we believe an “audience” might want and might respond to…with their hearts or their monetary donations or their votes or their fickleness or whatever? Wouldn’t it amaze us to find out that we could indeed be ourselves and achieve a surprising harmony with others and find peace of mind resulting from naturalness and its effortless and welcome acceptance?
I think that I wish to resume normal living patterns. I have sweated enough blood and tears in the past relatively productive decade to last me for a lifetime, but there could be a “Hoosier” return to still another classic Russian novel (we certainly need lots more of those) looming on my… literary horizon. All I need to do is to change my name to Susinsky Sextovian and invent a heavily populated, contrived, brooding, hysterical, overwrought cast of characters rivalling those lengthy lists found in “War and Peace“, “Crime and Punishment“, and “The Brothers Dostoyevsky –whoops, KARAMAZOV” combined. However, I require a bankroll of rubles in order to self-publish (EVERYONE DOES THAT in Warsaw, Indiana just up the road) OR mind-blowing chutzpah to blow my own vain horn, so somebody somewhere ante up and provide some $$$$$, i. e. sufficient support up front at long last. In this ferociously capitalistic country, ya gotta pay to play. Hey, I might become uncorked and eager once again to share my profound thoughts and recommended remedies for a saner universe!
Now PUTIN this in your pipe and smoke it! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night–from Russia with love! “Schastlivogo Rozhdestva!” (translation available upon request)