Adonis Diaries

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Jack London: precursor of what life should be for a healthy and adventurous person

I watched a documentary on Jack London, the precursor of what life should be for a healthy and adventurous person.

He died at the age of 40 (1917) from renal failure: He was a heavy drinker (he is remembered in alcoholic anonymous for saying “I can quit anytime I want”) and the treatment on mercury products in his long sea trip in the Pacific Ocean poisoned his blood.

During my 2 years stint in San Francisco, I had the opportunity to read most of the books of the local authors: Jack London, Steinbeck, Henry Miller, Kerouac, Burroughs, Mark Twain….

Jack London wrote many novels and articles: The Apostate on the life of poor children in the beginning of the 20th century (an autobiography too), Call of the Wild, White fang, East side of London (an excellent precursor for  George Orwell’s Out in Paris and London) of the life of homeless and the life of miners, and many novels on his sea voyage.

He worked since the age of 14 to supplement his family needs in various menial jobs in the industry. He was such a hard worker that the owner dismissed 2 employees who earned $40 each and paid London only $30.

London lead the life of the homeless who traveled about the USA on foot and cargo trains and was jailed a month for homelessness.

He joined the Socialist Party and was a leading voice and wrote many articles on the situation in the USA and harangued the people everywhere he was.

At the age of 20, he joined about 1,000 adventurers during the Gold Rush in Alaska and noticed that the loners eventually died and survival is by connecting and making friends.

He was the first ecologically minded person in running his farm (no fertilizers) and even his pigs were sheltered in stone houses (Pig Castle).

He was the first who began producing long movies, 7 of them, before Hollywood existed.

Jack married twice and had 2 daughters from the first marriage: His first wife divorced him after he spent an entire year covering the Russian/Japanese war in 1905. The Japanese were about to execute him when President Roosevelt warned Japan that the USA might engage in the war if London is Not released.

The second wife Charmaine joined him in all his adventure and wrote diaries of the trip around the world in sea. London acquired a Kodak 3 and took abundant pictures everywhere he went and joined them in his books: These pictures are a history of the end of the 20th century and all these aborigine people he met in Polynesia and the islands in the Pacific Ocean.

 

The precursor of everything that a healthy and adventurous person can do in a short life: Jack London

I watched a documentary on Jack London, the precursor of what life should be for a healthy and adventurous person.

He was Not a wanted child and his mother tried to commit suicide when she was pregnant with him. He died at the age of 40 (1917) from renal failure: He was a heavy drinker (he is remembered in alcoholic anonymous session for saying “I can quit anytime I want”).  He suffered many ailments in his long sea trip in the Pacific Ocean, malaria, lack of vitamins, and the treatment on mercury products poisoned his blood. He and his second wife Charmaine had to shorten their round the world adventure and get treatment in Sidney.

During my 2 years stint in San Francisco and the Bay Area, I had the opportunity to read most of the books of the local authors: Jack London, Steinbeck, Henry Miller, Kerouac, Burroughs, Mark Twain….

Jack London wrote many novels and articles: The Apostate on the life of poor children in the beginning of the 20th century (an autobiography too), Call of the Wild, White fang, East End of London during the depression in 1903 (an excellent precursor for what George Orwell will expand on in Out in Paris and London, Animal Farm… of the life of homeless and the life of miners. And many novels on his sea voyage.

He worked since the age of 14 to supplement his family needs in various menial jobs in the industry. He was such a hard worker that the owner dismissed 2 employees who earned $40 each and paid London only $30.

At 16, he traded with illegal products after purchasing a canoe for $300 lent by his half sister. With plenty of hard cash, he got addicted to spend nights in bars. London lead the life of the homeless who travelled about the USA on foot and cargo trains and was jailed a month for homelessness.

He joined the Socialist Party and was a leading voice and wrote many articles on the situation in the USA and harangued the people everywhere he was. He sided with the Russian uprising in 1905.

At the age of 20, he joined about 1,000 adventurers during the Gold Rush in Alaska and noticed that the loners eventually died and survival is by connecting and making friends.

On his first attempt to the deep sea, his schooner leaked badly and the crew of 6 had to land in Hawaii for repair and refurbishing jobs.  Jack had to learn on board how to navigate from books he had on the boat because the designated captain turned out to be Not knowledgeable in deep sea. London took to surfing while waiting for the boat to be ready. He was welcomed by the US expatriate as a hero.

He was dispatched in 1913 to cover the revolution in Mexico and he changed side by supporting the intervention of Big Brother to institute Law and order and aided the US oil companies. He was heavily criticized for lambasting the Mexican guerrillas as assassins and war mongers. He had to resign from the Socialist Party.

He was the first ecologically minded person in running his farm (no fertilizers) and even his animals were sheltered in stone houses (Pig Castle). He was the first who began producing long movies, 7 of them, before Hollywood existed.

Jack married twice and had 2 daughters from the first marriage: His first wife divorced him after he spent an entire year covering the Russian/Japanese war in 1905. The Japanese were about to execute him when President Roosevelt warned Japan that the USA might engage in the war if London is Not released.

The second wife Charmaine joined him in all his adventure and wrote diaries of the trip around the world in sea and published them. She lost two in childbirth. The documentary didn’t tell what happened to Charmaine after Jack’s death.

London acquired a Kodak 3 and took abundant pictures everywhere he went and joined them in his books: These pictures are a history of the end of the 20th century and all these aborigine people he met in Polynesia and the islands in the Pacific Ocean.

He visited the island where Melville spent a long time (there were 12,000 people and when London landed, only a dozen lived in the village). He visited the tomb of Stevenson, another famous adventure precursor.

His publisher MacMillan refused to publish a photo of his smiling wife next to a naked aborigine and Jack wrote to him: “This is my wife, this is my photo, get on with it” And the picture was published.

At will, all Fire (July 17, 2009)

 

            There was a time, not that long ago, and still going strong into the 21st century, some people labeled themselves “White Race”.  Most of them had not skin that white and the color of the eyes were not that blue at all.  Most of them were not that tall: they were downright pigmies; they smelt like pork and were scared of water to wash body and cloth.  A few could read the “Bible” but most were practically illiterate; they were good obeying orders in ruthless military organizations. The one practical task they were proficient in was happy triggers; they didn’t even need to shoot accurately.

            There are horror stories of genocide against the “heathen and uncivilized people” in all of the America, north, middle, and south, and in the pacific Islands.  Those people, the “barbarous”, were indiscriminately shot at and wiped out.  Darwin reported in his “Voyage of a naturalist around the world” that he was shocked when he witnessed the killing of all women above 20 years of age; the soldiers of the expedition in Argentina replied “What else can we do? Those savages have so many babies.”

            M.H. Long reported how the Indians of “Terre de feu” in the extreme part of Argentina (Patagonia) were exterminated so that sheep could be raised and fatten the white “latifundists” of the haciendas. The Scottish Mac Lean was called “Red Pig” by the Indians for the mass slaughter he undertook without any remorse.  The white mercenaries wiped off 400 Tehuelches Indians in the Onas region who were assembled in a night party to seal off an agreement.  Captain Pedro de Valdivia tried to repeat this kind of “business” in Chili but he and all his 120 soldiers were massacred.

            The “famous” authors were no less racist in their reporting or writing.  Jules Verne never missed a good shooting spree story at savages; in “Five weeks in balloon” they are shooting at the African negros from the top of a balloon; in “The children of captain Grant” they are shooting at will on Maoris in New Guinea from the top of rocky hills; in “The travel around the world in 80 days” they are killing the Sioux Indians from the doors of moving wagons; in “From Earth to the moon” they are annihilating the Seminole Indians; in “Mathias Sandorf” the savage Senoussis of Libya are exterminated.

            Jack London reported several such genocides in his Great North and the South Seas novellas. You find a typical illiterate mariner, null in everything except in aiming accurately; he is perched up on the mast of a schooner and just happily never missing a shot; after killing over 100 Islanders he comes down to the acclaim of a hero.

            The genocides to savages resumed in the 20th century.  The military regime in Brazil massacred the “Indians” of the Amazon Forest because they shamed the Nation. The Palestinian people in this century were claimed not to exist and everything was done to efface their identity so that the Zionist movement to get established in Palestine.

            In the summer of 2009 the Israeli army ordered its soldiers to shoot at will in Gaza on the basis that Palestinian civilians, especially children, were all enemies.  The whole western States, backed by the UN, agreed that the liberation of a single Israeli soldier was worth the atrocities that the one million and a half Palestinians in Gaza had to submit to.  The same savage atrocities recurred previously in Lebanon in July 2006; Israel waged war for 33 days to “liberate two dead Israeli prisoners”.  For a single Israeli prisoner the western Sates are backing genocide while over 12,000 Palestinian prisoners without trial for years are fair play in their views.

            Those racist States claim that they will sit on the right side of their God; they will; but their God’s location is in hell.  All atrocities demand revenge; it is the next generations that will pay the bill with high interest.

San Francisco: Soothing recollections May 31, 2009

The trip to San Francisco from Oklahoma to attend the Human Factors convention lasted almost 3 days and I spent my money on junk food. This is a period I’m still not ready to face much less to write about but I finally came around to tell it. Suffice to admit that I roomed with my adviser in the hotel and that he woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me that my snoring was loud.

After the convention was over, I was on the verge of joining the file of the homeless. I stayed at the studio of a referral that I got in Norman for one night in Ashbury Heights. I had later many occasions to walk this famous street during the period when the hippies selected it as headquarter for their movement.

The next morning I was feeling sick because of too much nervous tension. I called my cousin Nassif in Vancouver and all that I got was a reprimand “Adonis, you are always in trouble”. I called Ali who was working in Canada but he had no referrals in San Francisco to stay over. I used an old number of Ali’s in Houston and it seems that this number connect him everywhere he relocates.

I know that I slept one night at an Algerian student who was the manager of the restaurant “Marrakech” that served Moroccan dishes; it was one of the longest nights and the most nerve wracking wait for this Algerian student to show up and pick me up.

It was a cold night and I waited for over three hours sitting on my suitcase wondering if he is ever going to show up. I had nowhere to go and no money for any decent lodging facility.  The next day I slept at a hostel for foreign student visitors for two nights in Downtown San Francisco.

The Algerian student referred me to two Spanish students living in a foggy neighborhood; the fog enveloped this quarter 20 hours a day. I had shelter for a week at the foreign students from Spain and they were very nice.

I managed to be hired in a full-service retirement hotel, for room and board in exchange of 4 hours work a day. The Spanish students could not believe that I landed a job that quickly. I accepted all the overtime I could get in all the departments, until I was offered the job of assistant to the manager three weeks later.  I was fooled by the offer of $1,200 a month which turned out to be less than $900 after all kinds of deductions but I fulfilled my “word” to stay a whole year in that position.

My cousin Patrick visited me once when he was attending a conference in San Francisco for the anesthesiologists. I enjoyed my stay in this lovely city of San Francisco and visited frequently all its parks and waterfronts and beaches, carrying a book with me.

I had also located a nearby covered swimming pool that I patronized three times a week.  I had the opportunity to tour the neighboring towns around San Francisco with co-workers and a French older woman called Michelle that I helped secure a part-time position at the Hotel.  The red headed Michelle carried all her belonging in the trunk of her small beat up car and she invited me on her many excursions out of town.

I saw many famous locations because I was responsible for arranging tours to the elder residents and I was to be part of the trip for supervision purposes.  The City offered a van with a driver and we toured San Francisco once a week and I took pictures and described the tour in the monthly promotional brochure along with the monthly events in the Hotel.

I was caring for elder persons, mostly ladies, but in my state of confusion for my future and frustration in not finding within my spirit of what I loved to do for a job didn’t leave much space in my soul for sincere compassion.  Practically, I cared better than most of the managerial staff because I was new to this environment of human spiritual misery and I was highly respected by the “clients”.

The retirees knew of my higher education but never asked me “why are you working in such an institution with your degree?”; it is as people in the US are accustomed to seeing all kinds of individuals working temporary jobs that turned out to be more permanent than proclaimed.

One elder man of over 80 of age, tall and of powerful constitution, committed suicide a week after his “incarceration” by falling in a stairwell from the eighth floor.  Many of the elder ladies whom I cared for passed away during my job but I was not shaken emotionally, or that what I thought at the time.

I think that I read most of the famous authors who lived in and around San Francisco. I had a Mexican girlfriend. (You may read my post in the addendum to my introspection “Chica Lupita”)

I have toured Marin County, the forest of the highest Red trees, ventured to Monterrey, Big Sur, Little Sur, Carmel, and all the environs.  There was old Jake who was a gambling addict; he used to receive invitations from the casinos for free rooms in Reno.  I joined him twice because he needed company.

I played little and ate a lot; food and drinks were cheap and in abundance, and enjoyed looking at pretty servers too.  We traveled on two occasions as a group in a van belonging to an employee and spent glorious days up north and tasted wine in wine counties and farmhouses.

I recall that I had an interview for a job in statistical analysis and had to board several ferries to reach destination; luckily, I didn’t get the job but it was a good exposure for various transport facilities. All in all, my stay in San Francisco was the loveliest and most enriching experience in the US.

During my stay in San Francisco I took the bus Greyhound to Boulder because my adviser sent me a letter that he was to deliver part of my dissertation to the convention of Human Factors Society and I wanted to attend it. It was a long trip of two days and we passed through Salt Lake City and I visited the temple of the Mormons.

There was snow and the University of Boulder was lovely. During the second day of the convention my advisor failed to show up and I had no copy of my dissertation and I felt frustrated for not being prepared to deliver anything even though I was invited by the chairperson of the session to do it.  I had the opportunity to tour Denver by night and boarded the spacious and large bus that crosses Main Street.

The return trip was long. A week later I was to battle a discrimination case.  There was this girl who claimed that I harassed her sexually and the case was dropped after weeks of hassles; she had no one to testify on her behalf.  The girl was pissed off that I got the position of assistant to the manager. I had no hints of the power struggle that went on before I arrived to this hotel.  I wanted to resign but the manager convinced me that when I finish the whole year then I would be eligible for unemployment benefits of around $450 a month.

I finished the year and started to look for a steady job commensurate to my education.  I thus patronized an office on Van Ness Road that was funded by the City and aided with unemployment cases, such as writing CVs and how to tailor make your resume, and checking on the latest openings for work.  In one of my posts titled “Are you searching for a job?” I wrote:

“I recall that in 1991 the US was in serious recession during the Bush Sr. Administration and jobs were frighteningly scarce.  I had graduated with a PhD degree in Industrial/Human Factors engineering and missed better periods for hiring academicians.

I was working as assistant to manager at a retirement community in Downtown San Francisco and visited an employment center on Van ness Road. It was a center meant to help you out rewrite your CV for the nth time anytime you wanted to apply for the scarce job announcements posted in the center.

People swarmed this center just to feel busy and serious about searching for a job but not that hot for finding one.  I guess the center was one of the hundreds of facilities with the sole purpose to blaming the citizens for failure to doing their due diligence and compete since no one is about to beg you to work for them.  If you failed to re-write your CV and spent more money on useless stamps per day then you are not making good use of this “valuable” help facility.

This was the period when ridiculous denials were the custom of the land. For example, this custodian at NASA who claims that he is contributing to sending astronauts to the moon; or redefining their jobs as sanitation “engineering”.  I recall that I was forced to accept a job cleaning and vacuuming the main library while working on my dissertation.

I fooled my spirit into believing that as long as I am doing my job perfectly and with excitement then I am learning the value of a job well done, sort as a training period for toughening my character.  A state of denial is not a bad reaction; it is successive states of denials that can be deleterious to your development”.

I was very curious and enjoyed being among crowds; I attended the public events such as Shakespeare in the park, the free open concerts, joined the homosexual yearly celebrations, and the Latinos Days of Independence.  Unfortunately, I was mugged on a wonderful evening 50 feet from my hotel and I was hospitalized.  I never believed that I might be a statistics. Nobody in the hotel heard anything or even noticed what happened when I returned from the hospital.

I refrained from going out for three weeks.  Walking in San Francisco even during the day was no pleasure anymore: there were too many beggars along the streets and they were not a peaceful lot.  I was glad to move to Washington DC for a change but no city compares to San Fran in variety, beauty, and recreational facilities.

I never walked as much as my two years stay in San Fran.  This was a wonderful period when I devoured all kinds of books on a daily basis; I had the pleasure to be acquainted with most of the famous Bay Areas authors from Henry Miller, to John Steinbeck, to Jack London, and the Beatnik movement.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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