Posts Tagged ‘El Salvador’

Putin for President?

June 19, 2017

untitledPutin and Oliver Stone

Last night’s TV watching is what I could do with every night. Forget about all those Master Chefs or Building UK modern houses, or even those new  incomprehensible English crime shows, which are so lost in loud music and serious and significant sideway cast glances by  main actors, that any attention the viewer had intended to give, is soon surrendered over to despair. The Putin- Oliver Stone interview was rivetingly watchable. Not a stir-fry in sight nor a double glazed window. A different kettle of fish.

Of course, Oliver Stone is not known for loving the Republican side of US politics. His keen-eyed  movies and scripts never fail to impress those who are  inclined to be cynical about much of what the US is purporting to stand for. i.e. ” US style  Democracy.” A short version of which is, ‘if you are not with us you are against us,’ and we will hunt/bomb you down mercilessly, and find ways to fill up more of our privately run prisons. I suspect that Oliver Stone might well have been put under scrutiny in the US more than once.

There is a bit of a story attached to Oliver Stone. We actually met him many years ago. Our daughter was working for RoadShow which at the time of the mid eighties promoted and featured upcoming movies. Our daughter, Susanna, was charged with people associated with a particular upcoming movie, to be looked after. This often included booking accommodation for interstate or overseas people associated with a newly released movie. It was a demanding job but she was very good at it. During the mid eighties, one of those overseas guests was Oliver Stone who had just finished making ‘El Salvador.’

We had already seen  Midnight Express of which the script was written by Oliver Stone in the late seventies. At the time that movie was already controversial and even banned in Turkey. With the arrival of El Salvador in 1986, his skill as both scriptwriting and film producer were already well established. We we were not al all familiar with many films but we did go to movies occasionally. Our daughter managed to sometimes get free tickets and so it was with the  showing of El Salvador at a theatre in Paddington, of which I have forgotten it’s name. Perhaps it was called The Dandy, or some similar silly name. Both our daughter and us decided to see that movie on a weekday. A normal day.

As we queued up for the tickets, Susanna was poked in the ribs by someone behind her. When she turned around, her gaze was met by Oliver Stone whom she apparently had me at the Roadshow office several times already.  She laughed and after a bit of a talk with him, introduced us to  him. “These are my parents, Helvi and Gerard”, she must have said. The exact details of word order might well have been a bit different.  It could just as easily have been; “This is Oliver Stone, these are my parents.” It has been so many years ago! We shook hands, he had large hands.

Anyway, we sauntered in. ( ‘sauntering in,’ is what people do, slowly entering cinemas or church services but not train carriages. We ‘enter or push into’ rail carriages. The movie was very terrifying of how things can go so badly wrong from one moment to the other. We exited the cinema in a haze of incredulity. How could that have happened?  We did not see Oliver Stone ever again, except through his movies. He must have got out earlier. He perhaps wanted to find out how his movie was received in Australia with a different audience.

The interview with Putin is what really made me ponder the pity of it all. Why not have a Putin for US president? Such erudite reasoning. Oh, those direct answers. No aggrandisement nor pursing of lips. And above all, his understanding of the US. At one stage seemingly knowing more about US trade deficits than even Oliver Stone.

On the other hand, Oliver Stone does enjoy the freedom of critical  exposing the US in his movies. We know so little about Russia, much of it mangled by US propaganda. I was in Russia for a short period and loved it.

Even so,  a Putin for US president would be a way forward compared with the present one.

Canonisation for all.

May 29, 2014
Our young family in Holland 1975-76

Our young family in Holland 1975-76

Sorry to be harping on about the Pius X11 hiccupping event. It will soon come to pass. The writing is so much better as a catharsis than any medication. Talk about medication. Was the cod liver oil also in demand in Australia during or after the war? I actually quite like it and it is now not all that easy to get except in tablet form encased in some kind of solidified jelly. A bottle of cheap as chips pure cod liver without any nonsense is another item of the past that one can miss and wish for endlessly. H is forever telling me; what is your point of slipping and sliding around on what has passed? Get on with it! Go and vacuum something, anything.

It is just that I keenly remember an event that occurred in the Bolzano area of Italy. I have spent some time there but not during the Pius X11 hiccupping. That was yet to come some years later. Of course, while expert specialists and not so expert charlatans were trying the many cures on the pope, hundreds of canonisation claims were queuing up in the Papal corridors of The Vatican. It went on for many months and rumors were starting to emerge of a new pope waiting around in Lucifer’s garden. A chimney sweep was being engaged! An ominous sign, handpicked from the best available in Austria, fluent in Italian as well as possessing a deft all encompassing sweeping movement of his right arm.

Bressanone

Bressanone

However, a father from the village of Bolzano’s Bressanone had lost his wife during childbirth of his daughter. Some eight years later he tragically also lost his little girl from an essential illness.

A building of a dam necessitated the removal of the local cemetery to higher grounds just when the Wisteria and Seringa were at their highest and best. Their mauve fragrances greeting the graveyard visitors even from mountain villages miles away. All the relatives still alive disinterred the remains of their loving but dearly departed to take to the new cemetery higher up. The father found his wife’s remains all but dust but when prising open the lid from his daughter’s small casket he was greeted by the fresh fragrance of the roses she was buried with. Her child body still warm and with a roseate glow around her cheeks. The flowers still alive clutched between her arms resting serenely and beatific on her white dress.

The father decided then to make amends to his sins long hidden from his youth and only ever confessed to his wife during a flush of southern passion and who then died so tragically near nine months later. His daughter surely deserved sainthood. He took to taking the casket held is his lap by train to Rome. He had written by hand a sixty page letter attributing her perfect remains as proof of sainthood already there but not conferred.

Alas, he was joined by many from around the world in the Vatican’s corridors normally reserved for sauntering of mitre wearing cardinals and High Officials. Their weary faces all grimed from dust of week long journeys. There were many canonisation applicants from Bolivia, El Salvador, The Antilles and other numerous very catholic but evil dictator led countries. Many from Spain and Italy as well. In fact, the caskets, shrouds and many other reliquiae were littering the corridors to such an extend it was spilling over into a courtyard over which a tarpaulin was hung.

The Pius X11 hiccupping was still ongoing and cardinals hardly bothered even looking up, let alone had a look at this poor father’s small coffin. Canonisation was at a standstill.

I have till now not ever heard what happened. Indeed, even with memory still strong (thanks to the cod liver oil) I am not so sure if this event really took place or is it something stored and taken out of mind’s waste paper basket?

I have yet to hear of canonisation of a live person. Have you?