Tag Archives: beatnikhiway.com

Norman J. Olson a few more poems and artwork

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Norman J. Olson a few more poems and artwork

Norman J. Olson a few more poems and art

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Published on Apr 22, 2014

https://www.dropbox.com/…/b26agv6…/my%20movie%202.mp4…

a brief poetry reading and art by Minnesota small press poet and artist Norman J. Olson

imcd45ages                                                                         imcdeages

olson3

Three Grandmas Smoke Weed For The First Time And It’s Hilarious

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Three Grandmas Smoke Weed For The First Time And It’s Hilarious

Three Grandmas Smoke Weed For The First Time And It’s Hilarious

If you’ve ever wondered what 3 grandmas high on weed might look like, look no further! Paula, Dorothea and Deirdre had never tried weed before, but the Cut Video Youtube channel gathered them together in Washington state, where recreational marijuana use…

BIG BROTHER

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New police radars can ‘see’ inside homes

Radar devices allowing officers to detect movement through walls have been secretly used by at least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies over the last two years. VPC

At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies quietly deployed radars that let them effectively see inside homes, with little notice to the courts or the public.

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WASHINGTON — At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.

Those agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, began deploying the radar systems more than two years ago with little notice to the courts and no public disclosure of when or how they would be used. The technology raises legal and privacy issues because the U.S. Supreme Court has said officers generally cannot use high-tech sensors to tell them about the inside of a person’s house without first obtaining a search warrant.

The radars work like finely tuned motion detectors, using radio waves to zero in on movements as slight as human breathing from a distance of more than 50 feet. They can detect whether anyone is inside of a house, where they are and whether they are moving.

The RANGE-R handheld radar is used by dozens of U.S. law enforcement agencies to help detect movement inside buildings. See how it works in this video provided by L-3 Communications VPC

Current and former federal officials say the information is critical for keeping officers safe if they need to storm buildings or rescue hostages. But privacy advocates and judges have nonetheless expressed concern about the circumstances in which law enforcement agencies may be using the radars — and the fact that they have so far done so without public scrutiny.

“The idea that the government can send signals through the wall of your house to figure out what’s inside is problematic,” said Christopher Soghoian, the American Civil Liberties Union’s principal technologist. “Technologies that allow the police to look inside of a home are among the intrusive tools that police have.”

Agents’ use of the radars was largely unknown until December, when a federal appeals court in Denver said officers had used one before they entered a house to arrest a man wanted for violating his parole. The judges expressed alarm that agents had used the new technology without a search warrant, warning that “the government’s warrantless use of such a powerful tool to search inside homes poses grave Fourth Amendment questions.”

By then, however, the technology was hardly new. Federal contract records show the Marshals Service began buying the radars in 2012, and has so far spent at least $180,000 on them.

Justice Department spokesman Patrick Rodenbush said officials are reviewing the court’s decision. He said the Marshals Service “routinely pursues and arrests violent offenders based on pre-established probable cause in arrest warrants” for serious crimes.

The device the Marshals Service and others are using, known as the Range-R, looks like a sophisticated stud-finder. Its display shows whether it has detected movement on the other side of a wall and, if so, how far away it is — but it does not show a picture of what’s happening inside. The Range-R’s maker, L-3 Communications, estimates it has sold about 200 devices to 50 law enforcement agencies at a cost of about $6,000 each.

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Other radar devices have far more advanced capabilities, including three-dimensional displays of where people are located inside a building, according to marketing materials from their manufacturers. One is capable of being mounted on a drone. And the Justice Department has funded research to develop systems that can map the interiors of buildings and locate the people within them.

The radars were first designed for use in Iraq and Afghanistan. They represent the latest example of battlefield technology finding its way home to civilian policing and bringing complex legal questions with it.

Those concerns are especially thorny when it comes to technology that lets the police determine what’s happening inside someone’s home. The Supreme Court ruled in 2001 that the Constitution generally bars police from scanning the outside of a house with a thermal camera unless they have a warrant, and specifically noted that the rule would apply to radar-based systems that were then being developed.

In 2013, the court limited police’s ability to have a drug dog sniff the outside of homes. The core of the Fourth Amendment, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, is “the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion.”

Still, the radars appear to have drawn little scrutiny from state or federal courts. The federal appeals court’s decision published last month was apparently the first by an appellate court to reference the technology or its implications.

That case began when a fugitive-hunting task force headed by the U.S. Marshals Service tracked a man named Steven Denson, wanted for violating his parole, to a house in Wichita. Before they forced the door open, Deputy U.S. Marshal Josh Mofftestified, he used a Range-R to detect that someone was inside.

Moff’s report made no mention of the radar; it said only that officers “developed reasonable suspicion that Denson was in the residence.”

Agents arrested Denson for the parole violation and charged him with illegally possessing two firearms they found inside. The agents had a warrant for Denson’s arrest but did not have a search warrant. Denson’s lawyer sought to have the guns charge thrown out, in part because the search began with the warrantless use of the radar device.

Three judges on the federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the search, and Denson’s conviction, on other grounds. Still, the judges wrote, they had “little doubt that the radar device deployed here will soon generate many questions for this court.”

But privacy advocates said they see more immediate questions, including how judges could be surprised by technology that has been in agents’ hands for at least two years. “The problem isn’t that the police have this. The issue isn’t the technology; the issue is always about how you use it and what the safeguards are,” said Hanni Fakhoury, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The Marshals Service has faced criticism for concealing other surveillance tools. Last year, the ACLU obtained an e-mail from a Sarasota, Fla., police sergeant asking officers from another department not to reveal that they had received information from a cellphone-monitoring tool known as a stingray. “In the past, and at the request of the U.S. Marshals, the investigative means utilized to locate the suspect have not been revealed,” he wrote, suggesting that officers instead say they had received help from “a confidential source.”

William Sorukas, a former supervisor of the Marshals Service’s domestic investigations arm, said deputies are not instructed to conceal the agency’s high-tech tools, but they also know not to advertise them. “If you disclose a technology or a method or a source, you’re telling the bad guys along with everyone else,” he said.

Follow investigative reporter Brad Heath on Brad HeathBrad 

COOL PEOPLE – Grateful Dead reuniting for 50th-anniversary shows and iconic photos by Jim Marshall

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Grateful Dead reuniting for 50th-anniversary shows
By Todd Leopold, CNN
Updated 1549 GMT (2349 HKT) January 16, 2015

141017123036-greatful-dead-sf-horizontal-large-galleryThe Grateful Dead in San Francisco in the 1960s. From left, Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir, Ron McKernan, Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh.

Story highlights
The Grateful Dead is reuniting for three concerts
The legendary rock group formed 50 years ago in San Francisco
(CNN)The Grateful Dead is planning on making one final splash — or should that be “Ripple”?

The venerable San Francisco band is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its formation with a three-day stand at Chicago’s Soldier Field on July 3, 4 and 5, it said in a news release. The band’s last concert took place there 20 years ago.

The four original surviving members — Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir — will take part, along with Phish’s Trey Anastasio and longtime Dead pal Bruce Hornsby. Keyboardist Jeff Chimenti is also participating.

Guitarist Jerry Garcia died in 1995. The band has also lost other members, including Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, a singer, organist and harmonica player who died in 1973, and keyboardist Keith Godchaux, who died in 1980.

Many of Jim Marshall’s photographs have become iconic, but even more — such as those from the book “The Haight” — have rarely been seen. Here, Jimi Hendrix is shown playing in San Francisco’s Winterland ballroom, 1968.

Grateful Dead: The Long Strange Trip Begins

You can’t talk about Jim’s massive and influential coverage of seminal San Francisco bands without focusing on his work with the Grateful Dead.

And you don’t have to be a Deadhead, Fellow Traveler, Merry Pranskter, aging hippie, boomer or any other member of the gigantic global tribe that avidly follows the band — and its myriad offshoots today — to appreciate the magnitude of The Dead’s importance, then and now.

Since I, once again, came very late to the party and (full disclosure) respect but don’t exactly “get” all things Dead, I have relied on the stalwart photo research of JMPLLC archivist and Dead photographer extraordinaire in his own right Jay Blakesberg. Kudos also must go to my wonderful partner and longtime Dead fan, Dan Sullivan, for his research, insights and caption support.

According to Jay, who shot his first Grateful Dead Show at the Meadowlands in 1978 and has poured over hundreds, if not thousands, of Jim’s Grateful Dead images in the JMP archive, “The first photos of Jim’s I saw as a teenager were of the Grateful Dead playing live on Haight St. on the inside of the Live/Dead album.  So all these years later when I got a chance to look at his proofs from that concert, for example,  it was interesting to note how few shots of the band there really were among all the frames.

“I know from shooting the band so much over the years myself that you maybe had five minutes of their full attention before they would start goofing off just to torture you.  They really just didn’t care about their image much, it seemed, and so you had to be really quick and patient.  I can only imagine what it must have been like for Jim, like herding kittens or something.

“And I also think that maybe Jim was looking at the events the Dead played from a historical perspective, there were so many great shots of the crowd from the top of a Victorian.  Jim was capturing the scope of the moment even though he probably wasn’t there on assignment or getting paid.

“Did he know it was going to be viewed 30-40 years later as this incredible moment in history?  Probably not, it’s just the way he shot and he probably thought to himself,  “I’ve got enough shots of the band, I just got them yesterday.  Maybe it was sort of a ‘been there, done that’ feeling and he was more intrigued with the scene around them.”

Speaking of the scene around them in the early days, the band was nothing if not a lightning rod for authority and its more tyrannical side … as it was for all those who opposed that authority.  One of the more perfect early examples is the Dead’s 1967 drug bust at the band’s house and headquarters at 710 Ashbury St.

Here’s drummer Mickey Hart’s recollections as told toSpin magazine in a Q&A from 2009:

“Q: I recently re-read an article about the infamous drug bust at the Grateful Dead house in 1967.  What’s it like to look back on those days in San Francisco?

“A: We were kids doing what kids do — and we were set up!  Not that there wasn’t a lot of dope in the house, but the inspector actually planted the stuff that they arrested us for.  They could have gone into our cabinet and found a whole bunch of it.  We were set up, but it made us famous.  Getting busted was the best thing that ever happened to us.  We made headlines.  It certainly didn’t stop our way of life — in a way, it validated it.  We thought that these people really violated our sanctity.  We didn’t take it sitting down.  So I look back on it and go, ‘Wow, that was really fun.’ “

And here’s a link to a a rather low-fi video of the press conference where Grateful Dead manager Danny Rifkin (that’s the Dead’s manager Rock Scully to his right) makes a rather eloquent case for the band and against fear tactics.  It’s amazing this argument is still raging nearly 45 years later.

Lately It Occurs to Me

Truckin’

Truckin’ got my chips cashed in. Keep truckin’, like the do-dah man
Together, more or less in line, just keep truckin’ on.

Arrows of neon and flashing marquees out on Main Street.
Chicago, New York, Detroit and it’s all on the same street.
Your typical city involved in a typical daydream
Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings.

Dallas, got a soft machine; Houston, too close to New Orleans;
New York’s got the ways and means; but just won’t let you be.

Most of the cats that you meet on the streets speak of true love,
Most of the time they’re sittin’ and cryin’ at home.
One of these days they know they gotta get goin’
Out of the door and down on the streets all alone.

Truckin’, like the do-dah man. Once told me “You got to play your hand”
Sometimes your cards ain’t worth a damn, if you don’t lay’em down,

Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me What a long, strange trip it’s been.

What in the world ever became of sweet Jane?
She lost her sparkle, you know she isn’t the same
Livin’ on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine,
All a friend can say is “Ain’t it a shame?”

Truckin’, up to Buffalo. Been thinkin’, you got to mellow slow
Takes time, you pick a place to go, and just keep truckin’ on.

Sittin’ and starin’ out of the hotel window.
Got a tip they’re gonna kick the door in again
I’d like to get some sleep before I travel,
But if you got a warrant, I guess you’re gonna come in.

Busted, down on Bourbon Street, Set up, like a bowling pin.
Knocked down, it get’s to wearin’ thin. They just won’t let you be.

You’re sick of hanging around and you’d like to travel;
Get tired of traveling and you want to settle down.
I guess they can’t revoke your soul for tryin’,
Get out of the door and light out and look all around.

Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me, What a long strange trip it’s been.

Truckin’, I’m a goin’ home, Whoa whoa baby, back where I belong,
Back home, sit down and patch my bones, and get back truckin’ home.

The band, commonly known as “the Dead,” formed in San Francisco in 1965, part of that city’s growing rock ‘n’ roll counterculture scene along with Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Charlatans. It developed a hardcore fanbase of Deadheads thanks to tireless touring and a close-knit, open-minded culture.

Its songs include “Ripple,” “Uncle John’s Band,” “Truckin’,” “Box of Rain” and “Touch of Grey.” The latter is the Dead’s only Top 10 hit.

“It is with respect and gratitude that we reconvene the Dead one last time to celebrate — not merely the band’s legacy, but also the community that we’ve been playing to, and with, for 50 years,” Lesh said in the news release. “Wave that flag, wave it wide and high.”

More information can be found at dead50.net.

The Grateful Dead and Bob Weir’s long strange trip

That ’60s show: What American high school students dressed like in 1969

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When students (and teachers) turned on, tuned in, and dropped classes

by Chris Wild

Woodside High, California.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

The latest rule in girls’ high school
fashion is that there isn’t any.
LIFE MAGAZINE, 1969

Left to right: Pam Pepin, Pat Auvenshine and Kim Robertson, at Corona del Mar High School in California.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

Rooted in the the early 1960s “Beat Generation,” hippies were about freedom — of expression, of living and, of course, of love.

When it came to style, this meant individuality and customization over mass production: long hair for men, little makeup for women, bras optional. By 1967, a raft of publications and handbooks explained exactly how to dress like a hippie. Ruth Bronsteen’s “The Hippy’s Handbook” even included graphics on how to rock the look.

But in 1969, the year of these photographs, hippie fashion was evolving from counter culture to, well, culture. And young people were informing the change. Most of the students you see here are wearing off-the-shelf fashions — still recognizably hippie, but more homogenized.

Being a hippy was safe, but somehow not as free.

A Southern California high school student walks toward her classmates while wearing the “Mini Jupe” skirt.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

Guess what, I might be the first hippie pinup girl.
JANIS JOPLIN

High schooler Lenore Reday stops traffic while wearing a bell-bottomed jumpsuit, in Newport Beach, California.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

Beverly High School classmates.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

Southern California high school students wear hippie fashion, in California.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

Southern California high school student wear Bermuda overalls.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

Students of Woodside High wearing hippie fashion, such as ponchos, boots and sandals, in California.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

High Schooler Nina Nalhaus wears wool pants and a homemade jacket at high school, in Denver, Colorado.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

Beverly Hills high school student Erica Farber wears a checker and tiered outfit as she walks with a young man.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

High school student band, in California.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

High school student wears hippie fashion consisting of bell bottoms and boots.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

High school student Rosemary Shoong.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

Southern California high schooler wearing a buckskin vest.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

High school student wearing an old-fashioned tapestry skirt and wool shawl.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

High School teacher Sandy Brockman wearing a bold print hippie-style dress, in Denver, Colorado.

IMAGE: ARTHUR SCHATZ/ TIME INC/GETTY IMAGES

  • Research:Amanda Uren
  • Text andcuration:Chris Wild

HIWAY AMERICA -The Low Line, A Park in an Abandoned Manhattan Subway Station

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The Low Line, A Park in an Abandoned Manhattan Subway Station

The Delancey Street Subway Low Line Park

The Delancey Street Subway Low Line Park

The Delancey Street Subway Low Line Park

The Delancey Underground project is a proposal to build a city park in the abandoned underground Delancey Street trolley terminal in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a “Low Line” to the city’s famous  High Line elevated park (see our photos of the High Line). The core of the proposal is a clever lighting system that would pipe sunlight down into the park with fiber optics and mirrors, allowing plants to grow underground. The Delancey Underground project is by architect James Ramsey of RAAD Studio, Dan Barasch of PopTech, and money manager R. Boykin Curry IV. See Inhabitat’s writeup on the project for more photos and info.

Here’s what the Delancey Street trolley terminal looks like now (after 60 years of disuse).

The Delancey Street Subway Low Line Park

via New York Magazine, Inhabitat New York City and Doobybrain.com

architectural renderings by The Delancey Underground project, photo by Danny Fuchs

Where Death Shaped the Beats

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Where Death Shaped the Beats

John Cohen/Getty Images

The Beat writers, from left, Jack Kerouac, Lucien Carr and Allen Ginsberg in 1959. More Photos »

  • THE scene of the crime, Riverside Park at the foot of West 115th Street, is in full spring bloom, carpeted in the butter-colored flowers of lesser celandine. It was here 68 years ago, on a slope descending to the moonlit Hudson River, that Lucien Carr, 19, the Beat Generation’s charismatic, callow swami, buried a knife in the heart of David Kammerer, 33, his besotted, dauntless hometown stalker.
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A map of the Columbia University area with key locations involved in David Kammerer’s death. More Photos »

Carr is often characterized as muse to the Beats, but he was more than that. Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were acolytes, captivated by Carr’s profane rants about bourgeois culture and the path to transcendence through pure creative expression — his “New Vision,” after “A Vision” by Yeats.

Carr’s “honor slaying” of Kammerer, as The Daily News called it, served as an emotional fulcrum forthe group a decade before Kerouac, Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs published their seminal works; the violent death in their midst lent credibility to the tortured-soul narrative they yearned for.

Columbia University was critical to that narrative, and its Beaux-Arts campus is featured in a film now in production, “Kill Your Darlings,” starring Daniel Radcliffe as Ginsberg. The university stood as a kind of crucible for the Beats, who were emerging “like a wild seed in a city garden,” wrote the Beat historian Bill Morgan. Many of their haunts in Morningside Heights remain (all within a few blocks of the 116th Street subway station on Broadway), including the venerable dorms where they lived — Hartley and what is now Wallach. Any pilgrim’s archeological Beat tour, inspired by the movie or not, must begin with the university itself, a useful antagonist in the iconoclasts’ quest for artistic self-actualization.

“They all loved to feel they were sleeping in the camp of the enemy somehow,” said Ben Marcus, a novelist and associate professor at Columbia’s School of the Arts. “As much as universities should be cauldrons of creativity and breeding grounds for new creative activity, the Beats needed to feel that they were being stifled by forces at the university.”

They seemed to enjoy the idea, he added, “that these forces were straitjacketing them, whether it was true or not.”

“Kill Your Darlings,” from Killer Films, an independent production company, tells a version of the story that can also be found in “And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks,” a roman à clef written in 1945 by Kerouac and Burroughs but unpublished until 2008. (The title was derived from an apocryphal story concerning a radio newscast about a zoo fire.) In addition to Mr. Radcliffe, shedding his Harry Potter guise to play Ginsberg, the film stars Michael C. Hall, the agreeable serial killer Dexter on Showtime, as Kammerer; Jack Huston, from HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” as Kerouac; and a relative unknown, Dane DeHaan, as Carr.

Kammerer’s pederastic interest in Carr began when Kammerer was Carr’s Boy Scout leader in St. Louis, where both came from privileged backgrounds, according to Mr. Morgan’s “I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg.”

Carr was a boy Aphrodite. In “Hippos” Kerouac called the Carr character “the kind of boy literary fags write sonnets to, which start out, ‘O raven-haired Grecian lad….’ ”

Kammerer, a whiskered redhead, taught physical education and English at Washington University. In about 1940, when Carr was 15, his mother, Marion, discovered a cache of “desperate” letters from the older man, according to James Campbell’s “This Is the Beat Generation.” She sent him to boarding school in Chicago, but Kammerer trailed him there — and then to Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.; Bowdoin College in Maine; and, finally, Columbia.

The Beats began to form during Carr’s first semester there. He and Ginsberg, a freshman from New Jersey, lived in an overflow dorm at the nearby Union Theological Seminary. At Christmastime in 1943, according to Mr. Campbell’s book, Ginsberg heard Brahms wafting from Carr’s room and knocked to find out who was listening to the music he loved. Ginsberg was smitten. In his journal, he called Carr his first love and “sweet vision.”

That winter Carr introduced Ginsberg to Kammerer and Burroughs, who had been schoolmates in St. Louis and were neighbors in Greenwich Village.

Kerouac, another Columbian, was ushered in a few months later when he met Carr at the West End, the saloon at 2911 Broadway, a 60-yard dash away from Columbia’s College Walk. (Kerouac initially found Carr to be pretentious and obnoxious, although he used a more vulgar description in “Vanity of Duluoz,” another of Kerouac’s gauzy autobiographical novels.)

By then Ginsberg and Carr were living at Lucien Carr  at 404 West 115th Street (now a parking lot). Kammerer was an occasional visitor, sometimes stealing in through the fire escape to watch Carr sleep, according to an often-repeated anecdote in Beat biographies, including Mr. Morgan’s “Beat Generation in New York: A Walking Tour of Jack Kerouac’s City.” Kerouac stayed with his girlfriend, Edie Parker, in Apartment 62 at 421 West 118th Street, a plaster-frosted walkup off Amsterdam Avenue.

In August 1944 Kerouac and Carr schemed a Merchant Marine adventure to France, where — in the midst of war — they had an irrational plan to retrace the Paris footsteps of the 19th-century poet Arthur Rimbaud, whom Carr regarded as a doppelganger.

The plan fell apart on Aug. 13, when they got drunk and were late getting to their ship, and the men rued their broken dream that night at the West End (now called Havana Central at the West End). Kerouac left Carr at midnight and crossed paths on campus near St. Paul’s Chapel with Kammerer, Carr’s relentless birddog.

Kammerer asked his usual question: “Where’s Lucien?”

Kerouac sent him to the West End.

“And I watch him rush off to his death,” Kerouac wrote in “Duluoz.”

Kammerer and Carr left the bar at 3 a.m. New York was sweltering, and they toddled downhill to Riverside Park for cool air.

An account of the crime in The New York Times at the time explained that Kammerer made “an offensive proposal.” The article continued:

“Carr said that he rejected it indignantly and that a fight ensued. Carr, a slight youth, 5 feet 9 tall and weighing 140 pounds, was no match for the burly former physical education instructor, who was 6 feet tall and weighed about 185 pounds.”

“In desperation,” the account added, “Carr pulled out of his pocket his Boy Scout knife, a relic of his boyhood, and plunged the blade twice in rapid succession into Kammerer’s chest.”

Had Carr run to the police, he probably would have been hailed as a hero against a pervert. But he did something quite different.

He rolled the body to the river’s edge, bound the limbs with shoe laces, stuffed rocks in the pockets, and watched his longtime lurker sink.

Carr hurried to Greenwich Village and reported his deed to Burroughs, who advised him to tell the police he was the victim of a sex fiend. Instead Carr woke Kerouac, who recounted that eye-opener in “Duluoz”:

“Well,” Carr said, “I disposed of the old man last night.”

He didn’t seem nettled. As much as anything, Carr seemed satisfied, by all accounts, that he had finally done something noteworthy. The two men walked up West 118th Street to Morningside Park, where Carr buried Kammerer’s eyeglasses, which he had pocketed as evidence of his feat.

He and Kerouac traipsed about Manhattan, dropping the Boy Scout knife in a subway grate on 125th Street. They visited the Museum of Modern Art, a hot dog stand in Times Square and a cinema where they watched “The Four Feathers.”

Carr finally walked into the district attorney’s office and announced the killing. Prosecutors thought he was crazy — “the imaginings of an overstrained mind,” The Times wrote. Carr sat there reading Yeats, to the bewilderment of police officers and crime reporters.

The police were convinced only when Carr led them to the buried glasses the next day, at about the time Kammerer’s body bobbed up off West 108th Street.

A week after the killing Ginsberg wrote the poem “Hymn to the Virgin,” which hinted at a complex relationship. Written to Carr in Kammerer’s voice, it begins, “Thou who art afraid to have me, lest thou lose me.” (Two months after the death Ginsberg took an apartment at 627 West 115th Street, about a hundred paces from the death site.)

Carr pleaded guilty to manslaughter. A judge had mercy on “young, good-looking Lucien,” as The Times called him, and sent Carr to the Elmira Reformatory, not prison. (Burroughs and Kerouac were confined briefly as accessories. While he was jailed Kerouac was escorted by the police to his courthouse wedding with Parker, and the newlyweds later moved to another Morningside Heights Beat pad, at 419 West 115th Street.)

Carr returned to New York after 18 months away and joined United Press (later United Press International), beginning a 47-year career there. (He had three sons with his first wife, Francesca von Hartz, including the novelist Caleb Carr.) He remained close to Ginsberg and Kerouac, even as he tried to scrub himself from Beat history. He insisted that Ginsberg remove his name from the dedication of “Howl,” and the publication of “Hippos” waited until after Carr died in 2005.

An archive of letters and postcards to Carr at Columbia’s Butler Library shows that Kerouac and Ginsberg continued to solicit his approval long after they became famous writers — Ginsberg in intimate, lyrical letters and Kerouac in wisecracking postcards.

Yet in his journal (published in his “Book of Martyrdom and Artifice”) Ginsberg wrote of Carr: “He must prove that he is a genius. He cannot do so in creative labor — for he has not the patience, says he, nor the time, says he, nor the occasion, says he. None of these reasons is correct. He seems not to have the talent.”

Carr certainly was a talented editor. A 2003 history of United Press International called him “the soul of the news service.” He did not talk about his life among the Beats or his crime, and former colleagues say Carr would have been livid about “Kill Your Darlings.”

Joseph A. Gambardello, a longtime newspaper editor, was a protégé of Carr’s at U.P.I. in the mid-1970s, when the news service was based in the Daily News Building on East 42nd Street.

“When I met him he was a hard-drinking, hardworking journalist,” Mr. Gambardello said. “He did not come across as a pretentious jackass at all.” He added, “The person I had read about with Kerouac and Ginsberg didn’t exist anymore.”

Carr occasionally sent Mr. Gambardello to Louie’s East, an adjacent bar, to fetch a “Lou Carr Special” — a lot of vodka, a little Coke.

He had gotten over Rimbaud.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: April 11, 2012

An article on Friday about the 1944 killing of David Kammerer by the Beat Generation figure Lucien Carr misspelled the given name of Carr’s mother, who discovered “desperate” letters from Kammerer to her son, according to “This Is the Beat Generation” by James Campbell. She was Marion Gratz Carr, not Marian. And a correction in this space on Saturday misspelled the surname of one of the two authors of a screenplay, “Kill Your Darlings” that is based on the killing. He is John Krokidas, not Krokidis. (Austin Bunn is his co-writer.)

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: April 7, 2012

An article on Friday about the 1944 killing of David Kammerer by the Beat Generation figure Lucien Carr misidentified the source of a screenplay based on the killing. The screenplay, “Kill Your Darlings,” now in production, was written by John Krokidas and Austin Bunn. They did not adapt it from “And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks,” a roman à clef written in 1945 by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs that tells a similar version of the killing.

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

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iXS3mages

Press Freedom at the Lowest Level in a Decade

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Hover over a country below to view its press freedom score.*

Green = Free
Yellow = Partly Free
Purple = Not Free    

* Score out of 100. The lower the score, the better the press freedom status.

CLICK HERE for booklet.

Only 1 in 7 people live in a country with a ‘free’ press.

Global press freedom has fallen to its lowest level in over a decade, according to the latest edition of Freedom House’s press freedom survey. The decline was driven in part by major regression in several Middle Eastern states, including Egypt, Libya, and Jordan; marked setbacks in Turkey, Ukraine, and a number of countries in East Africa; and deterioration in the relatively open media environment of the United States.

Freedom of the Press 2014 found that despite positive developments in a number of countries, most notably in sub-Saharan Africa, the dominant trends were reflected in setbacks in every other region.

TABLE OF COUNTRIES:
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  Press Release
  Press Release (Russian)
Map of Press Freedom
Overview Essay
Overview Essay (Russian)
Methodology
  Charts and Graphs
  Acknowledgements

Click on the second tab below for reports on individual countries and territories. Territories are identified with asterisks.

THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A FUCK

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THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A FUCK

 

In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things. And those fucks I have not given have made all the difference.

People often say the key to confidence and success in life is to simply “not give a fuck.” Indeed, we often refer to the strongest, most admirable people we know in terms of their lack of fucks given. Like “Oh, look at Susie working weekends again, she doesn’t give a fuck.” Or “Did you hear that Tom called the company president an asshole and still got a raise anyway? Holy shit, that dude does not give a fuck.” Or “Jason got up and ended his date with Cindy after 20 minutes. He said he wasn’t going to listen to her bullshit anymore. Man, that guy does not give a fuck.”

Chances are you know somebody in your life who, at one time or another, did not give a fuck and went on to accomplish amazing feats. Perhaps there was a time in your life where you simply did not give a fuck and excelled to some extraordinary heights. I know for myself, quitting my day job in finance after only six weeks and telling my boss that I was going to start selling dating advice online ranks pretty high up there in my own “didn’t give a fuck” hall of fame. Same with deciding tosell most of my possessions and move to South America. Fucks given? None. Just went and did it.

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Now, while not giving a fuck may seem simple on the surface, it’s a whole new bag of burritos under the hood. I don’t even know what that sentence means, but I don’t give a fuck. A bag of burritos sounds awesome, so let’s just go with it.

The point is, most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given. We give a fuck about the rude gas station attendant who gave us too many nickels. We give a fuck when a show we liked was canceled on TV. We give a fuck when our coworkers don’t bother asking us about our awesome weekend. We give a fuck when it’s raining and we were supposed to go jogging in the morning.

Fucks given everywhere. Strewn about like seeds in mother-fucking spring time. And for what purpose? For what reason? Convenience? Easy comforts? A pat on the fucking back maybe?

This is the problem, my friend.

Because when we give too many fucks, when we choose to give a fuck about everything, then we feel as though we are perpetually entitled to feel comfortable and happy at all times, that’s when life fucks us.

Indeed, the ability to reserve our fucks for only the most fuckworthy of situations would surely make life a hell of a lot easier. Failure would be less terrifying. Rejection less painful. Unpleasant necessities more pleasant and the unsavory shit sandwiches a little bit more savory. I mean, if we could only give a few less fucks, or a few more consciously-directed fucks, then life would feel pretty fucking easy.

What we don’t realize is that there is a fine art of non-fuck-giving. People aren’t just born not giving a fuck. In fact, we’re born giving way too many fucks. Ever watch a kid cry his eyes out because his hat is the wrong shade of blue? Exactly. Fuck that kid.

Developing the ability to control and manage the fucks you give is the essence of strength and integrity. We must craft and hone our lack of fuckery over the course of years and decades. Like a fine wine, our fucks must age into a fine vintage, only uncorked and given on the most special fucking occasions.

This may sound easy. But it is not. Most of us, most of the time, get sucked in by life’s mean trivialities, steamrolled by its unimportant dramas; we live and die by the sidenotes and distractions and vicissitudes that suck the fucks out of us likeSasha Grey in the middle of a gangbang.

This is no way to live, man. So stop fucking around. Get your fucks together. And here, allow me to fucking show you.

SUBTLETY #1: NOT GIVING A FUCK DOES NOT MEAN BEING INDIFFERENT; IT MEANS BEING COMFORTABLE WITH BEING DIFFERENT

When most people envision giving no fucks whatsoever, they envision a kind of perfect and serene indifference to everything, a calm that weathers all storms.

This is misguided. There’s absolutely nothing admirable or confident about indifference. People who are indifferent are lame and scared. They’re couch potatoes and internet trolls. In fact, indifferent people often attempt to be indifferent because in reality they actually give too many fucks. They are afraid of the world and the repercussions of their own choices. Therefore, they make none. They hide in a grey emotionless pit of their own making, self-absorbed and self-pitied, perpetually distracting themselves from this unfortunate thing demanding their time and energy called life.

My mother was recently screwed out of a large chunk of money by a close friend of hers. Had I been indifferent, I would have shrugged my shoulders, sipped some mocha and downloaded another season of The Wire. Sorry mom.

But instead, I was indignant. I was pissed off. I said, “No, screw that mom, we’re going to lawyer the fuck up and go after this asshole. Why? Because I don’t give a fuck. I will ruin this guy’s life if I have to.”

This illustrates the first subtlety about not giving a fuck. When we say, “Damn, watch out, Mark Manson just don’t give a fuck,” we don’t mean that Mark Manson doesn’t care about anything; on the contrary, what we mean is that Mark Manson doesn’t care about adversity in the face of his goals, he doesn’t care about pissing some people off to do what he feels is right or important or noble. What we mean is that Mark Manson is the type of guy who would write about himself in third person and use the word ‘fuck’ in an article 127 different times just because he thought it was the right thing to do. He just doesn’t give a fuck.

This is what is so admirable — no, not me, dumbass — the overcoming adversity stuff. The staring failure in the face and shoving your middle finger back at it. The people who don’t give a fuck about adversity or failure or embarrassing themselves or shitting the bed a few times. The people who just laugh and then do it anyway. Because they know it’s right. They know it’s more important than them and their own feelings and their own pride and their own needs. They say “Fuck it,” not to everything in life, but rather they say “Fuck it” to everything unimportant in life. They reserve their fucks for what truly fucking matters. Friends. Family. Purpose. Burritos. And an occasional lawsuit or two. And because of that, because they reserve their fucks for only the big things, the important things, people give a fuck about them in return.

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SUBTLETY #2: TO NOT GIVE A FUCK ABOUT ADVERSITY, YOU MUST FIRST GIVE A FUCK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN ADVERSITY

Eric Hoffer once wrote: “A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.”

The problem with people who hand out fucks like ice cream at a goddamn summer camp is that they don’t have anything more fuckworthy to dedicate their fucks to.

Think for a second. You’re at a grocery store. And there’s an elderly lady screaming at the cashier, berating him for not accepting her 30-cent coupon. Why does this lady give a fuck? It’s just 30 cents.

Well, I’ll tell you why. That old lady probably doesn’t have anything better to do with her days than to sit at home cutting out coupons all morning. She’s old and lonely. Her kids are dickheads and never visit. She hasn’t had sex in over 30 years. Her pension is on its last legs and she’s probably going to die in a diaper thinking she’s in Candyland. She can’t fart without extreme lower back pain. She can’t even watch TV for more than 15 minutes without falling asleep or forgetting the main plotline.

So she snips coupons. That’s all she’s got. It’s her and her damn coupons. All day, every day. It’s all she can give a fuck about because there is nothing else to give a fuck about. And so when that pimply-faced 17-year-old cashier refuses to accept one of them, when he defends his cash register’s purity the way knights used to defend maidens’ virginities, you can damn well bet granny is going to erupt and verbally hulk smash his fucking face in. Eighty years of fucks will rain down all at once, like a fiery hailstorm of “Back in my day” and “People used to show more respect” stories, boring the world around her to tears in her creaking and wobbly voice.

If you find yourself consistently giving too many fucks about trivial shit that bothers you — your ex-girlfriend’s new Facebook picture, how quickly the batteries die in the TV remote, missing out on yet another 2-for-1 sale on hand sanitizer — chances are you don’t have much going on in your life to give a legitimate fuck about. And that’s your real problem. Not the hand sanitizer.

Way too many fucks given.
Way too many fucks given.

In life, our fucks must be spent on something. There really is no such thing as not giving a fuck. The question is simply how we each choose to allot our fucks. You only get a limited amount of fucks to give over your lifetime, so you must spend them with care. As my father used to say, “Fucks don’t grow on trees, Mark.” OK, he never actually said that. But fuck it, pretend like he did. The point is that fucks have to be earned and then invested wisely. Fucks are cultivated like a beautiful fucking garden, where if you fuck shit up and the fucks get fucked, then you’ve fucking fucked your fucks all the fuck up.

SUBTLETY #3: WE ALL HAVE A LIMITED NUMBER OF FUCKS TO GIVE; PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE AND WHO YOU GIVE THEM TO

When we’re young, we have tons of energy. Everything is new and exciting. And everything seems to matter so much. Therefore, we give tons of fucks. We give a fuck about everything and everyone — about what people are saying about us, about whether that cute boy/girl called us back or not, about whether our socks match or not or what color our birthday balloon is.

As we get older, we gain experience and begin to notice that most of these things have little lasting impact on our lives. Those people’s opinions we cared about so much before have long been removed from our lives. We’ve found the love we need and so those embarrassing romantic rejections cease to mean much anymore. We realize how little people pay attention to the superficial details about us and we focus on doing things more for ourselves rather than for others.

Bunk Moreland, not giving a fuck since 2002.
Bunk Moreland, not giving a fuck since 2002.

Essentially, we become more selective about the fucks we’re willing to give. This is something called ‘maturity.’ It’s nice, you should try it sometime. Maturity is what happens when one learns to only give a fuck about what’s truly fuckworthy. As Bunk Moreland said in The Wire(which, fuck you, I still downloaded it) to his partner Detective McNulty: “That’s what you get for giving a fuck when it wasn’t your turn to give a fuck.”

Then, as we grow older and enter middle age, something else begins to change. Our energy levels drop. Our identities solidify. We know who we are and we no longer have a desire to change what now seems inevitable in our lives.

And in a strange way, this is liberating. We no longer need to give a fuck about everything. Life is just what it is. We accept it, warts and all. We realize that we’re never going to cure cancer or go to the moon or feel Jennifer Aniston’s tits. And that’s OK. Life fucking goes on. We now reserve our ever-dwindling fucks only for the most truly fuckworthy parts of our lives: our families, our best friends, our golf swing. And to our astonishment, this is enough. This simplification actually makes us really fucking happy.

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Then somehow, one day, much later, we wake up and we’re old. And along with our gum lines and our sex drive, our ability to give a fuck has receded to the point of non-existence. In the twilight of our days, we carry out a paradoxical existence where we no longer have the energy to give a fuck about the big things in life, and instead we must dedicate the few fucks we have left to the simple and mundane yet increasingly difficult aspects of our lives: where to eat lunch, doctors appointments for our creaky joints, 30-cent discounts at the supermarket, and driving without drifting to sleep and killing a parking lot full of orphans. You know, practical concerns.

HIWAY AMERICA-BISHOP CASTLE SAN ISABEL NATIONAL FOREST,RY,COLORADO

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Bishop Castle, San Isabel National Forest, Rye, Colorado

Bishop Castle is undoubtedly one of the craziest castles in the world, created by the one-man castle builder Jim Bishop. It’s an incredible place to get married or just to visit for inspiration.

Jim Bishop’s Dream

 

To a great extent, the construction of Bishop Castle has been fueled by creator Jim Bishop’s inveterate hatred of authority and his contempt for anyone willing to submit to that authority. He has spent years battling zoning, health, noise, and sales tax regulations in his ongoing quest to single-handedly expand and modify “the largest one-man construction project in the country, quite possibly the world,” all the while arguing that the government has “pulled a fast one on the americanSHEEPLE” by chiseling away at our constitutional rights through a monolithic global conspiracy. Along the way, certain neighbors have accused Jim of being a satanic presence for allowing rave parties in the castle, and at one point several years ago, he and his son even had to overcome fifteen felony charges in court for dispersing a large group of unruly wedding party guests with a shotgun.

What many people don’t know about Jim is that he has spent much of his life being humble, generous, and affable to friends, family, and strangers alike. He believes that giving to charity is a moral obligation, and the Bishop family applies this principle to real-world scenarios. The castle has functioned as a tax-exempt, non-profit entity since 1984. This means that a visit there is always free and open to the public. Of greater significance, Jim and his wife Phoebe run the Bishop Castle Non-Profit Charitable Foundation for New-Born Heart Surgery, which helps local families with medical expenses for young children who aren’t covered by insurance. Hence, donations and purchases from a gift shop the Bishop family built on castle grounds have paid for construction of the castle and treatment for children in need. In short, Jim is as complex as his creation.

The drive to Bishop Castle is a steadily curving incline along Highway 165, a road just southwest of Pueblo, Colorado that leads through dense stands of Ponderosa pine, broad meadows, and sharp ledges that open below to sweeping vistas of uncultivated ranch land. After several miles of steep road surrounded by thickening forest, visitors finally reach their destination at 9,000 feet above sea level in the thin Colorado air. Dozens of cars line the road, and scores of people stroll toward a thick barricade of trees penetrated by a dirt trail that passes a moat and a bridge Jim has been working on for the last several years. When jokingly asked if he’s planning on filling the moat with alligators when it’s finished, Jim says, “No, I think I’d fill it with lawyers, politicians, and bureaucrats, but that might backfire on me because they would probably promulgate in the sewage.”

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dragonJust a few hundred feet farther up the trail sits Bishop Castle. Jutting above the trees, a dragon’s head of charred silver cranes over the castle’s face, imaginary flames rolling from its forked tongue and flared nostrils. The castle itself, a throwback to the Middle Ages and a testament to human endurance, sprawls in unapologetic splendor across a wide expanse of gradually sloping open ground. Every stone and every inch of mortar seem to have been hurled into a conflation of ordered chaos on a massive scale by a man who has never once used a blueprint or floor plan, only his sheer force of will and self-described “God-given genius.” Close by, a chipmunk scurries from one empty food wrapper to another. Although engrossed in its reconnaissance, the animal seems a study in cautious indifference as it continually dodges tourists who are themselves preoccupied with finding the right camera angle from which to shoot a picture of the dragon.

Flying buttresses on every side of the structure anchor three floors, lending the castle an appearance of stability and Old World elegance. On the southeast corner, a column of 42 outer steps dropping from the third floor to the ground juts out at 60 degrees, so steep and with such short footing that a tow-headed 6-year-old girl brave enough to have dared a solo descent on her own has stalled midway. Sitting on a step and trembling uncontrollably, she shrieks over and over, “Daddy, I’m afraid!” The father climbs the steps cautiously, grabs her in one arm, and carries her down slowly, intently, all the while clutching the wrought-iron balustrade, and although his emotions are far more guarded, clearly, he’s scared, too. This is a moment both father and daughter will never forget. They will be forever bonded by an event inspired by an unforeseen challenge, and one must wonder how their memories will filter and reinterpret this experience over the passage of time.

Thirty feet from the base of the castle, Jim stands in the bed of an old pickup truck. His spine is curved from years of hauling an endless supply of boulders that have built his fame. He wears a faded black t-shirt that sports a logo of the castle. Over his heart, a blue inscription reads, “Jim, the Creator.” This man is a far cry from the sickly little 3rd grade boy he once was, the one with the big ears, big nose, and devastating kidney infection who never seemed to fit in anywhere and suffered perhaps the ultimate adolescent indignity—the indifference of others. Now, he’s the grand designer of his own destiny, the center of attention and the one who chooses sides in an adult schoolyard of his own making, and he sees his castle as a protective barrier that shields him from his most resilient opponent, a hostile government that thrives on assaulting individual liberties.

A screwdriver in his hand, Jim quietly examines the motor of a pulley system rigged firmly into the bed of the truck. At various intervals, small groups wander up to the vehicle as if by accident. Most visitors have heard stories that recount Jim’s eccentric behavior, and indeed, moments like this often inspire Jim to burst into explosive, unorthodox dialectic with anyone willing to endure his incendiary world view. Suddenly, he spins on the crowd with a fierce stare and strikes up a debate with a nervous tourist. He points his screwdriver directly at the man and poses a provocative and unexpected question:

Jim: Do you own your car? Do you actually think that you own your car?

Tourist: Yes.

Jim: No you don’t. You have a certificate of ownership, that’s all. The bank owns your car. Some bank up in Denver holds the title to your car.

Tourist: How do you mean?

Jim: Do you think I own this winch? I bought it with greenbacks. I don’t own it. It’s their money and their winch. They can come and take it any time they want to.

Tourist: So who does own the winch?

Jim: The World Bank owns everything. The Federal Reserve. They own everything. Roosevelt gave it to them in the 1930s. I don’t own that winch. I bought it with certificate of money; they own it. You know, nobody owns anything. They own every individual.

Tourist: But who exactly is “they”?

Jim: The Rothschilds, the rich people in England and Europe. The World Bank. The seven rich families of the world. And a lot of them are Jews. But Hitler handled them the wrong way. He didn’t need to murder them. Take advantage of them. They’re the money-mongers. They’re the money people. Use them. Put them to work.

Jim plunges his hands down toward the crowd. They’re thick with calluses and covered in grease. He shouts,

Shouldn’t our elected officials be competent, patriotic, responsible role models? None of them are. They’re all legal criminals! They’re legal but unlawful. That’s why I call them “legal criminals.” Dictators! But do they have hands like these? Do they? Guess what? This is my kingdom! That road down there’s my highway because of this castle. Isn’t it refreshing to have a dictator of policy by merit of hard work and the help of God? Not warfare, not politicking, not brown-nosing? Isn’t it nice to see a dictator with hands like these? HA HA HA HA HA!

bishop castle low angle

At this point, most of the people standing around the truck begin to disperse and head toward the castle. Jim goes back to work on the winch he claims he doesn’t own because he bought it with greenbacks. Still, legal tender plays a significant role in everyone’s life no matter how we perceive its symbolic import. It certainly helped shape Jim’s destiny. In 1959, when Jim was 15 years old and had just dropped out of high school, he gave his parents $450 he had earned from working odd jobs and convinced them to buy a two-and-a-half acre parcel of land in San Isabel National Forest, which is where the castle now sits. Hence, Jim’s youthful drive and instinctive desire for autonomy evolved into a life-long project that even he did not consider at the time of the purchase. His $450 investment, which probably seemed like a significant sum of money back then, has paid itself forward to every person who has visited the castle since.

stairwellTo explore this monumental construction project in thorough detail, visitors must choose between two available means of access. On the one hand, they can enter the bowels of the castle through a network of circular stairwells that spring from the bedrock of the ground floor. On the other hand, they can scale the outdoor steps. Most decide to first enter through the castle’s interior, probably because of the natural desire to be drawn into and through a labyrinth of shadowy mazes and spiraling ascents that promises danger and uncertainty. The indoor stairwells lead upward through two tall towers thrusting to the sky, one of which juts 160 feet into the air, above even the tallest of the surrounding trees. The higher one climbs in the castle, the fewer people he or she will encounter on the way up. In fact, many visitors refuse to travel beyond the spacious, comparatively safe, and well-lit third floor. The castle becomes a character test for every person who enters inside its walls, and it briefly divides certain families and friends in the process.

The third floor has been the site of more than 160 weddings over the years, and it truly is something to behold. Scores of variously shaped but mostly arched windows dot the length of each wall, their stained glass artwork sometimes dark and foreboding, sometimes brighter and a bit more thought-provoking, like the image of a mysterious sorcerer holding a staff with a crystal ball mounted on the end, or the one of an eagle sailing over a Native American on a horse, with a header above the scene that reads, “I will live once as they once did, wild and free.”

bishop-castle-chapelA terrace surrounds the third floor. The walkways themselves are constructed of expanded metal while both the railings and supports are fashioned from Jim’s signature ornamental ironwork. The same floor has also been the nerve center for a host of all-night raves over the years, which has led to neighbors accusing Jim of harboring satanic forces. Ironically, when asked if he thinks letting ravers party in his castle all night is safe, Jim says, “The reason it’s fairly safe is because people can sense the danger. There’s no deception. Evil and the Devil only have power through deception. If people could see how evil the Devil is, they’d avoid the Devil, and they’d avoid deceivers.” All the same, some neighbors who especially hate the raves got a judge to issue a permanent injunction against them. Jim circumvented this problem by changing the name of the events to “private parties” since private parties aren’t illegal for someone with a 501(c)3 non-profit charter from the IRS.

sorcerer 3

walkwayHigher up, above the third floor, is where the real tests of courage take place, in remote corners of the castle designed to puzzle the will. Those who travel this far add compelling new chapters to their anthologies of fear. Most people traverse the walkways cautiously, muttering under their breath. Whether they venture only as far as the relative safety of the third floor or dare to scale a tower’s peak, they’re all afraid to one degree or another, but increased altitude breeds intense anxiety. They clutch the curled iron rails, hoping no one senses their distress, and they can’t help but wonder how something so immense and anomalous could have possibly been built in such a seemingly benign corner of the Colorado wilderness. They know they’re on their own up on these heights, and the uncertainty of the next moment keeps them vigilant. One particular section of the castle best defines this high strangeness. Jutting out into the sunlight, a lone walkway sways uncertainly from powerful wind gusts, and then it dead ends abruptly in midair.

bridge end

This forlorn passage to nowhere is probably as representative of Jim’s cynicism as any other location in America, if not more so. Outliers perceive conventional views differently because they don’t live in a conventional world. From an outlier’s vantage point, ritual and tradition appear as meaningless and dangerous distractions, as things to be scorned and avoided at all costs. They are byproducts of mind viruses that have been implanted in the American psyche by people in power who wish to shape and direct group behavior. In an environment like this, self-preservation requires a colder eye. The worst thing one can do is let manipulative control structures define cultural identity based on unwarranted consumer-driven obsessions tethered to the global economy.

Consequently, Jim doesn’t see much hope anymore in the American Dream, and beyond individual acts of decency and ambition, our destiny as a visionary nation of high ideals seems to have run its course. He believes we are being subsumed by a corporate police state that answers to global, not national, interests, and the citizenry is oblivious or indifferent to this sobering reality. He says,

There’s nothing united about the United States. We’re an offshore bankrupt corporation. Geographically, we’re a country. Politically and economically, we’re not. Our soldiers fight for a corporation, not a country. Our leaders are the warmongers. And what’s the big thing now? Football! Basketball! The World Series! Them are just games.

Of course everything’s just a game. This is just a game. But you ask yourself, who benefits? The people who benefit are the people forcing this one-world government. The World Bank. They got these bailouts, where they all got paid because they collect again because you signed the contract. All the mortgages were paid. If they’d have given us the money, we could have paid off our bad sub-prime houses and stuff and had money left over to stimulate the economy.

You ask yourself, who benefits? They got the Patriot Act. There’s nothing patriotic about the Patriot Act. Congress didn’t even read it, let alone write it. Cheney and the banksters wrote it. They got the NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act. They got the NSA, empowered that even more, where they can surveille everybody. They got multi-jurisdictional cops everywhere now. Any cop can pull you over for any reason. Everybody’s a terrorist because you used to be innocent until proven guilty. Now we’re all guilty until proven innocent because it makes money. See what’s going on?

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Looking down from the castle’s apex is a defining moment for the more ambitious guests. Perhaps only from here, from this sovereign perch, does Jim’s vision come into focus, and this view must have surprised him, too, at times, must have made him rethink who he was, penetrated deep into his wrought-iron and granite world of will and idea and somehow twisted the perception of his own monument into something even more bewildering and transcendent, beyond illness, pain, sorrow, and confusion, something timeless to the touch, sacred to the eye, an offering to the lonely hand of humanity that’s always reaching out for something it can never have, and now, here in the high and windy forest, the arches and walkways and stairways and towers and dragon and unsettled tourists converge in one man who, day and night, year after year, harvested boulders from the hills, carried or hoisted them into place with paternal care and Stone Age aggression, and grouted them tight with cement until he realized that he could never stop — one man built those towers, wrote his own legacy, and nurtured an inner rage that will likely follow him to his grave, pleased as he is with the redemptive art of construction, with the wonder of useful dreams made whole, the ones that should never die.

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Thoughts from the Lower East Side by Carlos Chagall

theCHIVE

Funny Photos and Funny Videos - Keep Calm and Chive On

S A V O I A

Curating all the best stories on the web.

The Family Kalamazoo

A genealogical site devoted to the history of the DeKorn and Zuidweg families of Kalamazoo and the Mulder family of Caledonia

Fiction All Day

Writing and Life ~ by David Ben-Ami

rajivchopra

A Gypsy, Bismillah & Esmerelda The Spider Sit With Yama At The Vaitarna

enriquesmassage

A great WordPress.com site

The Art Studio by Mark Moore

Where Imagination Becomes Realality

GUNNY.G: COCKED AND LOCKED ~ ONCE A BLOGGER ALWAYS A BLOGGER !

THE ORIGINAL/ONLY GUNNY G ! NEWS.VIEWS.HISTORY.POLITICS.CONTROVERSIAL.GOVERNMENT.LAW.MILITARY.ETC. ~ WHAT THE FOLKS OUT THERE ARE SAYING !

lizardpudding.com

Artwork By ISD

Happy Lessons

I love you!

Outlook in Life

... and it is ever changing

Erik Conover

storyteller

Ankit Mishra

Smile! Because You're Beautiful.. :)

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