Monday, December 26, 2011


As we’re trying to extricate ourselves from Iraq & Afqanistan, it’s a good time to review our debacle of Vietnam. WHY VIETNAM? By Archimedes Patti, our guy who headed up the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) there, is a good way to hear the Why.
It all began in 1858 when France invaded Vietnam, which was their colony until the end of World War II. Ho Ch Minh put together a kind of government called Viet Minh, based in the North of the country, while the South was kind of governed by Bao Dai , who was a Royal Puppet of the French.
Ho & Archimedes had a good relationship as WWII wound down, Ho even based his constitution on ours. He claimed to be a Socialist but we were convinced he was a war mongering Communist. In reality, Russia & China did not trust Ho’s politics and probably wouldn’t have supported him. They were granted complete independence in 1954, with the defeat of the French by Ho’s guys. The country was divided into North & South. We started supporting the South in their civil war against the North.
We kept escalating with the assurance of our military we could clean it all up shortly. Well,finally, about 1969, Nixon said the US would avoid situations like Vietnam by limiting economic & military aid. The American masses marched & complained and in 1970 our senate passed a law barring military operations in Cambodia & aid to South Vietnam without congressional approval.
In retrospect, it is sad to conclude that if we had let Vietnam become independant from France & us, they would have ended up with a government which they now have, and avoided the carnage of 50,000 of our young soldiers and uncounted Vietnamese casualties. One of our tenants from Atelier One moved to ‘Nam a few years ago and is very happy with his situation.
What were we thinking? Well, we better get busy & keep building more atomic super submarines & billion dollar supersonic fighter jets so we can ferret out the bad guys (Religious fanatics) from their caves.
But don’t get me started.

Recently while sitting watching the sun rise with a steaming cup of espresso in our small cabin near the top of Donner Pass, a shaft of sunlight came near me and exposed thousands of micro things swirling & floating around me in the air. What I had perceived a few moments before as empty space in my living room was in reality a micro(or is it Macro?) universe of thousands of objects. Where there seemed to be no draft anywhere, eddies and streams of air swooshed around silently moving all these micro worlds in space, separated from each other by a million light years. When I moved, a swarm of intruders took flight and joined in the fracas. As soon as one would float off out of the light, it would become instantly invisible.
Don’t breath!, I shouldn’t have trimmed my nose hair the other day, as I needed a filter for all this matter.

I’ve been musically retarded in classical music most of this lifetime, except for a few areas like Dietrich Buxtehude, as I’ve had a vinyl of his organ music for decades. My daughter recently gave me a CD of his music which is becoming one of my favorites (Une alchimie musicale). He lived in the 1600's when real composers involved complex mathematics in their works. I had read from Gurdjieff that great artists always did something imperfect in a work as only God could create a perfect work of art (Except for humans, look at Gingrich). The following liner notes will clarify it for you:
“We may observe this by employing the numerlogical technique which consists in reducing a number superior to nine to another number between one and nine by adding the figure of the hundreds to that of the tens and that of the units (e.g. 121 reduced to 4 by the technique 1+2+1). Each of the four sections of the passacaglia is formed of thirty bars, always divided by a transitional bar (between the first and the second sections, then between the second and the third and finally between the third and the fourth), which gives us 120 bars + three transitional bars, making a grand total of 123 bars. If we reduce 123 (1+2+3) we obtain 6, and this is where our imperfection could reside. For if the composer had added a bar at the end (e.g. by means of a tonic pedal), we would have obtained a total of 124 bars, which reduces (1+2+4) to 7. And that total of 124 bars in triple time would have produced 372 beats, the reduction of which is 12 (3+7+2). Since 12 is the product of 3 and 4 and its reduction (1+2) equals 3, the result would have been too perfect!”
Well, of course. Anyone could see that. I wonder if Charlie Parker or Coltrane used that system?