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23 March 2015


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Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your kind words.



Thank you for this and the posts you have done in the past.

Richard sale

Babak Makkinejad

For all the grumpy old men:


By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,

By this still hearth, among these barren crags,

Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole

Unequal laws unto a savage race,

That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink

Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd

Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those

That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when

Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades

Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;

For always roaming with a hungry heart

Much have I seen and known; cities of men

And manners, climates, councils, governments,

Myself not least, but honour'd of them all;

And drunk delight of battle with my peers,

Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.

I am a part of all that I have met;

Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'

Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades

For ever and forever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!

As tho' to breathe were life! Life piled on life

Were all too little, and of one to me

Little remains: but every hour is saved

From that eternal silence, something more,

A bringer of new things; and vile it were

For some three suns to store and hoard myself,

And this gray spirit yearning in desire

To follow knowledge like a sinking star,

Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus,

To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle,—

Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil

This labour, by slow prudence to make mild

A rugged people, and thro' soft degrees

Subdue them to the useful and the good.

Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere

Of common duties, decent not to fail

In offices of tenderness, and pay

Meet adoration to my household gods,

When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:

There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,

Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me—

That ever with a frolic welcome took

The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed

Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;

Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;

Death closes all: but something ere the end,

Some work of noble note, may yet be done,

Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:

The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep

Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,

'T is not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


Richard Sale,

In this vein, I happened upon a remark on a completely separate blog about two or three months ago that crowed 'Boy, MRW really put Richard Sale in his place'.

I was thunderstruck.

I've been waiting for the opportunity to say that If I did anything like this--I don't know what the poster was talking about, and the thread was too old to find out--I *apologize from the bottom of my heart* because (1) my specific respect for your writing, but more importantly your thinking, predates Colonel Lang's blog by at least two decades, and (2) your musings on death above notwithstanding, you have made a difference in people's lives. You will remain throughout history a cog in Caspar Weinberg's tale of things. But for me, it will be your UPI reports, which I actively sought out, and your book TRAITORS, which for me was also a manual for life around me.


I'm stealing this one. ;-) Brilliant observation.


I wish I had the links, but Swiss child development experts discovered that young children (under five) exposed to Schumann's music from birth can have their IQs raised by up to 30 points. Take it as a duly noted; I can't give you the proof.

Also, while on the topic of Swiss child development experts, they use cursive writing to change a child's developmental problems. Thought that was interesting, since our current US educators seem intent on obliterating it. Apparently, they start by having the child write large loops on lined sheets for pages and pages--the goal being to replicate the connected loops consistently over time and space--to develop a fluidity before they change their handwriting.


We don't respect age in this country. That's one good thing the Chinese will bring us.


Completely OT, completely.

"short of going out in an exuberant blaze of glory."

Remember the fires that engulfed the outskirts of LA around 1992? They required flying in firefighters from all over the western half of the US. One reporter whose father lived in that area managed to get past the cordon to check on his aging father and evacuate him.

The reporter found him on the roof reciting King Lear at the top of his lungs while the flames leapt up the side of the house. He had always wanted to be a stage actor but had to choose accounting many decades ago to feed his family. And he yelled to his son that if he was going to die, he was going to die doing what he always wanted to do.

The reporter got his father off the roof with the help of a firetruck bucket.


C'mon Richard, it's not twilight. It's one eye shut and your index finger tapping the table.


Richard I mainly remember his Homo Ludens, but it seems I may have a look at his Damaged World, see below.

Auschwitz? ...

Here is Johan Huizinga on Google translate, scroll down to Last Years:


There is not much on the use of this town as prison camp, but a little here:

Very, very short look at fact and fictions around Johan Huzinga:


"The Germans arrested him in 1942 and, after a number of months in a prison camp, gave him house arrest until his death in early 1945.

While forbidden to leave his house, he wrote the manuscript of his last book, published posthumously in the latter part of 1945, entitled "Geschonden Wereld", [Damaged World], a moving and incredibly courageous analysis of Western Europe under the German occupation and, more importantly, a strikingly clear forecast of future developments."


written when he was 24 published 9 yrs later. Looked it up. DAMN!


maybe because we don't grow up, we senesce.



Thank you for your very apt contribution of this poem to the comment thread.

The poet can distill and articulate the movements of the soul in ways difficult of attainment to those not so gifted. And yet, in this even they sometimes struggle. Here are some lines from T.S.Eliot's Four Quartets, one of my favorite works, that are perhaps relevant to those of us feeling the approach of age:

“So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years-

Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l'entre deux guerres-

Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholy new start, and a different kind of failure

Because one has only learnt to get the better of words

For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which

One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture

Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate,

With shabby equipment always deteriorating

In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,

Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer

By strength and submission, has already been discovered

Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope

To emulate - but there is no competition -

There is only the fight to recover what has been lost

And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions

That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.

For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.”

Babak Makkinejad

I noticed that young female products of US High Schools had the same cursive style; almost like they rolled off assembly line.

It must be the result of all that emphasis on molding the children of immigrants into newly minted Americans.

Babak Makkinejad

The world is filled with such men who did not have the courage of their dreams and chose the safe path - as it appeared to them.

Years later, they try to realize their dream, after the children are gone and they are left with an "aged wife" - to no avail.

They paint and only their daughters will hang those paintings on the walls of their houses.

They take courses in History or Literature with little profit - they are no longer in possession of that spirit in which Love & Truth were indistinguishable and finding the "meaning of "meaning" " meant something.


dear MRW,

I never felt that you had insulted me. I admire your comments on the site, and the criticisms of some make me more careful to take into account the feelings or you and others.

I write as I do to try and make my own life more sense. What I feel as a man and try to put in my emails. I try to write what I do because I have experience as human being.

Your praise has made my soul full of joy.

I will remember it.

Richard Sale

And you have nothihg to apologize for.


My writing in the above is riddled with stupidities,

I write as I do to make more clear the meaning of my own experience. Hazlitt praised Montaigne for putting in prose what he felt as a man.

that is my ideal as well. I never know what I think until I write it in words.

So I apologize for botching up the praise I meant to send you.



That is extremely well put.

Thank you,



A photo in now way conveys any reality.

Richard Sale

We are ruled by images most of which are unsound and meaningless.

Richard Sale


Thank you, William, for always being generous to me.]



Maybe you are right. one can still resist.


Babak Makkinejad

Thank you.


This is a jewel of an anecdote. Packs the punch of a good poem. Thanks for it.


Absolutely. You're just perusing, contemplating your next move.

Medicine Man

TTG: I'm not of the selfie generation but I do wish I was in the habit of carrying a camera. One hobby I've taken up in recent years is bird watching and if I had a camera I'd have a few pictures to share with the people here.

Every spring the ducks and geese return to my neighborhood to breed and raise their young in the local pond. The geese in particular like to roam the area, frequently settling into the nearby schoolyard to forage and loiter. As is typical for wild geese, they are not at all intimidated by the primary-school children, and the children are apparently fast enough learners that they know not to hassle the geese. I'm pretty sure that many of the same geese return every year and that they come with their extended families; several generations will congregate in order to raise their young. There was one time in particular I saw the geese gathering up their goslings to leave the schoolyard. There were 9-10 goslings gathered into a mob with an adult goose at each compass point in a perfect diamond-shaped formation.

As I watched them go, I thought "the geese have a militia". Had I a camera I would have taken a picture and sent it to Col. Lang with a quip about a two-by-two cover formation.

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