This article from Tom Junod of Esquire
This article has a summary of some of the best backpacking trips in the National Park System. http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/15/travel/guided-backpacking-national-parks/index.html
I’m 23 years old and not much wisdom comes with those years. I have my opinions, I cast my vote, but I mostly just try to listen, cultivate as much culture , knowledge, and news as I can, and maybe some form of synthesis will eventually develop.
I went and had coffee with a Dean/professor about 2 month ago. 66 years young and yet, he still has that inner-child dancing within himself. He’s one of the reasons I want to teach. After interning in Corporate America for a semester, I knew that my inner child would slowly diminish in that cubicle. That I’d only be wanting the days to go by faster, not getting much out of those days, just getting through them.
I told Dr. Ray about my excitement for bringing history to life to others and he recommended the film Jonah Who Will be 25 in the Year 2000. It was made in 1976 in Switzerland. He told me to seek out this clip of Marco teaching his first lesson on YouTube. I think all of us wish we could have a first day like this, with a Cleaver and blood sausages to illustrate Time and the historic figures that allowed historians to see the bends in them.
Here is what Pauline Kael of the New Yorker had to say about it:
“There are eight key characters in Jonah, all in their twenties or thirties, and all seeking solutions to the problems brought to general consciousness by the events of 1968. Not one of them is a comfortable bourgeois; they’re the sort of fantasists and obsessives who were considered marginal before 1968…Each of the eight characters is a utopian of some sort, except for the disillusioned former activist, Max..Each of these people is autonomous, looks for his own answers, and acts upon them, and together, the film suggests, they can give birth to a Jonah who will have the acumen to connect their visions..Miou-Miou‘s the most purely enjoyable person in the movie. This tumble-dried blonde, the Brigitte Bardot the cat dragged in, doesn’t look as if she could be an actress, but she certainly is…Marie has a friend in France, Old Charles, a retired railroad worker, to whom she brings stolen groceries; he is played by the veteran French character actor Raymond Bussières, familiar from Casque d’or and films by Clouzot and René Clair. Together, Miou-Miou and Bussières act out fantasies in brief set pieces..The whole film is designed as a collection of little routines..Jonah is so ingeniously constructed that one can enjoy it the way one enjoyed Renoir‘s egalitarian films of the thirties, relating to each character in turn. ”
I feel that the characters in this film have much in common with myself. We’re both looking for our place in the world, a way we can positively contribute to the world around us. This theme has aged well, and I would love to organize a G-Soma viewing.
Would anyone be up for a viewing next Wednesday, July 18th? The film is on VHS and if you have a VHS player handy, I would love to share this film with some like minded individuals.
Take care and look forward to meeting fellow G-Soma’ers. And if you don’t have a VHS but are willing to host a viewing, I’m sure we could track down a VHS player at the nearest thrift store.
Perhaps in contrast to the last post I thought I would post this beautiful letter from Ronald Reagan to his son. (Though I never thought I’d post something from Reagan…) I guess it is also apropos of Father’s Day yesterday.
Days before 26-year-old Michael Reagan’s wedding in June of 1971, would-be U.S. President Ronald Reagan sent him this thoughtful and strikingly honest letter of marital advice, found in Reagan: A Life In Letters:
Enclosed is the item I mentioned (with which goes a torn up IOU). I could stop here but I won’t.
You’ve heard all the jokes that have been rousted around by all the “unhappy marrieds” and cynics. Now, in case no one has suggested it, there is another viewpoint. You have entered into the most meaningful relationship there is in all human life. It can be whatever you decide to make it.
Some men feel their masculinity can only be proven if they play out in their own life all the locker-room stories, smugly confident that what a wife doesn’t know won’t hurt her. The truth is, somehow, way down inside, without her ever finding lipstick on the collar or catching a man in the flimsy excuse of where he was till three A.M., a wife does know, and with that knowing, some of the magic of this relationship disappears. There are more men griping about marriage who kicked the whole thing away themselves than there can ever be wives deserving of blame. There is an old law of physics that you can only get out of a thing as much as you put in it. The man who puts into the marriage only half of what he owns will get that out. Sure, there will be moments when you will see someone or think back to an earlier time and you will be challenged to see if you can still make the grade, but let me tell you how really great is the challenge of proving your masculinity and charm with one woman for the rest of your life. Any man can find a twerp here and there who will go along with cheating, and it doesn’t take all that much manhood. It does take quite a man to remain attractive and to be loved by a woman who has heard him snore, seen him unshaven, tended him while he was sick and washed his dirty underwear. Do that and keep her still feeling a warm glow and you will know some very beautiful music. If you truly love a girl, you shouldn’t ever want her to feel, when she sees you greet a secretary or a girl you both know, that humiliation of wondering if she was someone who caused you to be late coming home, nor should you want any other woman to be able to meet your wife and know she was smiling behind her eyes as she looked at her, the woman you love, remembering this was the woman you rejected even momentarily for her favors.
Mike, you know better than many what an unhappy home is and what it can do to others. Now you have a chance to make it come out the way it should. There is no greater happiness for a man than approaching a door at the end of a day knowing someone on the other side of that door is waiting for the sound of his footsteps.
P.S. You’ll never get in trouble if you say “I love you” at least once a day.
This feature from Esquire has the least apt subtitle I can imagine for it. They might as well have called it “Why We Cheat: A Guide to Virtue and Compassion”. Every word of the article was a physically oppressive experience, and I finished it sputtering with anger, shock, and an overwhelming motivation to make sure I raise my kid to be something, anything, better than this.