Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Mer de Glace

Inventing Ourselves
I find people interesting who invent professions for themselves. Like the first guy to ever call himself a “motivational” speaker--or was it a woman. Now they’re thick as hops; the funniest one to me is the man with the massive head, Tony Robbins, all teeth and head like John Kerry. This big-headed fop is all enthusiasm and gung-ho into nothing. Nothing from nothing to Tony equals millions of bucks in his many offshore bank accounts. I like Tony because he wears a perpetual microphone coming from his ear to over his mouth when he’s motivating and I suppose he pushes it back out of the way when he’s eating, drinking, or making love—you think he does his motivational bullwrangling while he’s banging his “many” [I’m simply making an assumption] babes, babes easily motivated by bank account statements and a Hollywood Hills address?

I’m watching guys who make their livings diving into water wells up on Mont Blanc, a truly magnificently beautiful mountain—covered with glaciers, the biggest being the Mer de Glace. These dudes are looking for lakes beneath these glaciers, huge bodies of melted snow waters that have fallen through the cracks of the glaciers to gather under them; hidden lakes, they’re called. They are dangerous in that with the changing climates (which Exxon-Mobil scientists laugh at), these glaciers are melting faster than they ever have, meaning if they thin out on the level of one of these hidden lakes, the lake could blow free of the ice and go crashing down into the valleys below, crashing and leveling villages and towns—the last one of these bursting in 1892 at Saint Gervais Spa, wiping the spa off the face of the earth (it was rebuilt) and killing hundreds of guests and locals.

Mont Blanc is still a beautiful mountain, even with men invading its insides, one a glacier laboratory built by an energy company in the center of the mountain under one of its glaciers—a laboratory of tunnels and levels in the bowels of the mountain.

Over three hundred people a day are climbing to the summit of Mont Blanc these days. God, it seems like most people besides me have tons of plenty of Moulah, money; money enough to burn on climbing Mont Blanc. Man making Mont Blanc one of his toys. But it is a dangerous toy. Should one of those hidden lakes burst while 300 climbers are on top the mountain, they would be sucked into the sink hole caused by the lake’s blowing out the side of the mountain underneath the summit to flood away down the mountain in a boiling of ice and water.

Mont Blanc is still a beautiful mountain, especially when seen from the high road that runs over the Cote d’Azure over to Marseilles and on to Italy.

My brother once owned a Mont Blanc fountain pen and I must admit it was quite a pleasure to write with—it definitely was a writing instrument. My brother inherited his love of fine writing instruments from our father, a handwriting nut. I was once given a counterfeit Mont Blanc pen by a printer I worked with when I worked at Time Inc. It looked exactly like a Mont Blanc, except it was a ballpoint.

One of my favorite pens I ever owned was one of the old Art Deco pens Parker retroed in the 70s and was called Big Red, a red and black enamel pen that was the cat’s meow for me.

When I was a kid in grade school we still used ink pens and had inkwells in our desks and we bought Squibb bottles of blue or black ink and put them in those inkwells and my pen in the early grades was an Esterbrook. It was green. It leaked. It was always leaking on my shirts. My dad wore a plastic sheath in his shirt pocket that held his fountain pens, his everyday ones, not his pride and joys—he kept those in their cases in the drawer in his chest of drawers where he kept his treasures, his cartwheel silver dollars (Morgans and Peace Dollars), his collection of mechanical banks, and his diamond stick pin. My dad was a dandy when he was in his teens; wore silk shirts, tennis flannels, Florsheim shoes, and Italian silk cravats held in place by his diamond stick pin. Sometimes my dad wore that stick pin in the lapel of his suit jackets.

I remember the first bottle India ink I had to buy. It was for an art class. Once back in the seventies, I met a poet in the Ear Inn in downtown Manhattan who was living off his part of his family's fortune, a fortune made in the ink business—his family’s brand of India ink was the best in the business.

Ink pens are fading from memory. Wooden-lead numbered pencils have already faded from my memory. I used to have an electric pencil sharpener. I threw that out 5 years ago. I hadn’t used it in 5 years by then. I look around me now and see no wooden-lead pencils; in fact, I see no pencil of any kind. Only ballpoints. I have tons of ballpoints in pencil holders and stuff on my desks. I used to have tons of pencils in mugs and jars and stuff on my desks back in those famous days of yesteryear when you always had to have a pencil--and all men carried pockets knives that came in handy when you needed to sharpen your pencils. My dad was a carpenter so he used pencils constantly while building houses.

Pencil that into your thoughts.

for The Daily Growler

The Mer de Sangre

From Editor and Publisher:
With four more deaths reported today, at least 2,939 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to the Associated Press count. The AP count is six higher than the Defense Department's tally, which often gets updated.

The most often cited number for those killed in America on Sept. 11, 2001, is 2,973, leaving the Iraq tally just 34 short.

At the current rate, the 9/11 number will be eclipsed within a week.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Iraq, 22,229 U.S. service members have been wounded, according to a Defense Department tally.

Another 352 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan.

Revenge is so sweet. Pappy Bush has been revenged; the Bush Family Empire is several millions richer than before this War on Terrerism; and, we need only 34 more kids to die to equal those heroes who died in the collapse of the WTC two towers plus the unexplained falling of two other buildings in the complex. Cowards rule us. An AWOL spoiled rich brat and his WWII coward Pappy who bailed out of his plane leaving some of his flight crew still on board the burning plane--a captain of an airplane is the same as a captain of a ship--airplanes were once called "airships"--he must be the last off his sinking vessel. Cowards rule us. In order to keep us under control, these cowards have to keep bullying us into fear situations, thereby projecting their cowardice and wimpness onto those of us who keep enduring in spite of all the handicaps we must overcome due to these rich fools's war of Terrerism, which is actually a worldwide crusade to control the remaining oil reserves going on the theory that those who control all the energy can easily control the world.

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