Time for something new on Merchants Of Air. I mean, we already did songs for Christmas, Valentine's Day, the LGBT community and many more but we can't make up lists forever, or can we?
Well, today I'll start with a brand new list-series: 10 Songs for whatever is relevant that day. Here is how it works: I go to Wikipedia, click on the current day and see if there is anything interesting to be found. Can be a historic event, a holiday, the birth of a certain person... Anything.
We start with Gordo, one of the first squirrel monkeys that was launched into space on this day in 1958. The rocket would travel over 1,500 miles and reach a height of 310 miles (500 km) before returning to Earth and landing in the South Atlantic. A technical malfunction prevented the capsule's parachute from opening and, despite a short search, neither Gordo's body nor the vessel were ever recovered.
I'm not really sure what this song by German singer-songwriter/rapper Clueso is about but it feels like he created his own 'Major Tom'. Yet, a little research and the accompanying video tell me that Clueso knew quite well who Gordo was, even though the video shows a chimp, not a squirrel monkey. We'll forgive him...
Ok, technically I'm making a mistake here because a squirrel monkey is not an ape but I don't think Gordo will mind. I think his brain was occupied with "what the fuck is going on here???". Anyway. this is also a little tribute to Stephen Samuel Gordon, a British poet and MC, better known as Spaceape. Gordon passed away in 2014 after a battle against a rare form of cancer.
And then I typed "Space Monkey" into YouTube's google search. Apparently, there are more original ideas for a song title than this one. We found 'Space Monkey' songs from alternative rockers Placebo, punk diva Patti Smith, psych-trance knobtwisters Mad Scientist and Lunarave and drum & bass gurus Ed Rush & Optical. You can find many more on YouTube too, most of them in the electronic scenes.
There are also a bunch of bands named Space Monkey or using the words somewhere in their band names. For this list, we picked an eighties synthpop act, founded by Paul Goodchild. More a solo act than a band, Goodchild recruited members from Bow Wow Wow, Mike and the Mechanics and Wham's back-up band. There, now you know that.
There is also a Space Monkey in Cleveland and they play some neat and groovy stoner rock. There debut album was released last year and this tune, 'Smoke', is an awesome track, certainly suited for the stoner rockers reading this list.
This one popped up on YouTube and it's way too awesome not to be on this list. A little research taught me that this tune was released in 1961 when launching animals into space was the next big thing. The Scott Bros apparently released another 45" single before forever fading into obscurity.
Borgloon, een bijna pittoresk stukje Belgisch Limburg, dat op zich al behoorlijk pittoresk is, is in de ban van een heus schandaal. De laatste keer dat Limburg in het nationale nieuws kwam, lag Steve Stevaert in het kanaal. En ja, er zijn ook die twee voetbalploegen die af en toe van zich laten horen maar algemeen beschouwd is Limburg door de gemiddelde nieuwssite of krant al even onbekend als voor de gemiddelde NMBS-topman. Voor de rest van Vlaanderen boert Limburg maar lekker voort zonder dat we daar teveel aandacht aan moeten besteden, zolang ze ons maar voorzien van die lekkere Jonagold appeltjes. Er zijn véél Jonagold appeltjes in Borgloon, iets waar niemand een probleem mee lijkt te hebben. Er hangt ook een gekruisigde koe in een kerkje, iets waar sommigen dan weer wél een probleem mee lijken te hebben.
Wat is er precies aan de hand?
Wel, er is een kunstenaar die een gekruisigde koe heeft opgehangen in een kerkje. Het is geen echte koe denk ik, want Gaia is nergens te bespeuren. Rondom de koe is vrolijk met melk rondgestrooid. Het geheel schijnt een aanklacht te zijn tegen onze consumptiemaatschappij, iets wat kunstenaars graag als excuus gebruiken om zichzelf kunstenaar te noemen. Het stadsbestuur vindt het allemaal OK en het bisdom heeft haar handen te vol met kinderklootjes om zich met die stomme koe te gaan moeien. Daarbij, een melkkoe als symbool is een katholieke kerk is eigenlijk nog niet eens zo onrealistisch, of wel? Toch zijn er mensen die er wel een probleem mee hebben, de arme schapen Gods die vinden dat het geheel een belediging is voor hun geloof. In dat opzicht past het geheel perfect in de hedendaagse "ik ben beleeeeeeedigt" rage (ja, dat woord is express foutief geschreven).
Waarom moei ik me ermee?
Voor één keertje voel ik me een volledig onpartijdige toezichter. Ik ben niet gelovig, om maar eens een understatement te gebruiken. Ik luister af en toe wel eens naar "Satanische" muziek, ik stel me ernstige vragen bij de bijbel én ik eet wel eens garnalen. Daarnaast zijn beeldende kunsternaars meestal ook niet mijn vrienden. Ik snap geen hol van beeldende kunst. Hier op de hoek van de straat staat een gigantisch wit en ietwat afgeplat hoofd in het ijle te staren. Het ding lijkt nergens op. Ik had op die plek veel liever een prachtige treurwilg zien staan, om maar een voorbeeld te geven. Dus neen, kunstenaars en Christelijken komen niet echt in mijn vriendenkring voor waardoor ik in deze kwestie niet automatisch een kant kies.
Wat is Kuttekoven?
Kuttekoven is één van de zovele Belgische dorpen en gehuchten met een ietwat ongebruikelijke naam. De naam komt van Cuttinchoven (voor het eerste vermeld in het jaar 1213), wat dan weer komt van boer Cotte, een Frankische boer die daar een hoeve had. Het is een deelgemeente van Borgloon, waar blijkbaar iemand zetelt die een beetje kunst in zijn gemeente wil brengen. Volgens sommige schepenen en burgemeesters is kunst immers goed voor het socio-economische gelaat van een stad. Eén van die kunstwerkjes, tentoongesteld in de Sint-Jan-Baptistkerk, komt van de hand van beeldhouwer Herck en wordt dolenthousiast op luid boegeroep onthaald. Het is blasfemie, eerroof en het past qua kleurenpalet niet bij de glas-in-lood ramen.
Het werkje heet "The Holy Cow" en teistert inmiddels de hele buurt. Men heeft geprobeerd het neer te halen door de touwen door te snijden, men heeft brand gesticht én men heeft geprotesteerd, zowel met spandoeken als via sociale media. Het leek wel een soort light-versie van de beeldenstorm, anno 2017. Mijnheer Herck voelt zich wellicht een soort Banksy, trots dat hij de rotte Jonagold appelen in de maatschappij openbaart en verrast door de woedende reacties van een handvol fundamentalistische pro-life aanhangers, onder leiding van ene mijnheer Goethals. Die mijnheer Goethals is ook actief bij "Helpers of God’s Precious Infants" en de anti-cultuurmarxistische beweging ‘Pro Familia’. Het klinkt allemaal een beetje bijbelgordel-Amerikaans, maar het bijft Kuttekoven.
Wie is hier nu de debiel?
Misschien had mijnheer Herck moeten weten dat het kruisigen van een gipsen koe in een nog niet ontwijde kerk enkele gefronste wenkbrauwen zou opleveren. Misschien rekende de kunstenaar zelfs op deze protesten en op de daarbijhorende journalistieke interesse. Blasfemistische Bella zal hem ongetwijfeld enkele nieuwe artistieke opdrachten hebben opgeleverd, alsook een sappige passage in zijn toekomstige memoires. De foetusbrigade aan de andere kant had misschien beter ingezien dat mijnheer Herck dankzij hun protesten een beetje beroemder is geworden en dat Bella wellicht zeer binnenkort in een stad met een iets mider hilarische naam komt te hangen. Ik ben er nu al vrij zeker van dat er een t-shirt lijn komt met de foto van "The Holy Cow", althans, dat zou ik doen moest ik ofwel mijnheer Herck ofwel een opportunistische zakenman zijn. Mijnheer Herck, moest u pas na het lezen van deze passage op dat idee komen, voor mij een XL graag, zwart.
Ik vind het kunstwerk eigenlijk nog wel iets hebben. Voor één keer begrijp ik wat de kunstenaar wil zeggen met zijn werk. Het zou een perfecte platenhoes zijn voor een band als Amenra of Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore. Het is een sterk symbool en lekker controversieel. Geen wonder dat de kapstokhaters hier een hekel aan hebben. Anderzijds hebben die me dan wel weer aan het lachen gekregen. Het protest moest een soort "Greenpeace-actie" worden, gebaseerd op sereniteit en gebed. Moesten ze nu effectief met de Harald Of Free Enterprise de kerk aan diggelen hebben geramd, dan zou ondertekende onder de indruk zijn, maar neen, ze kwamen bidden.
Jezus vernielde de kramen van handelaars aan de kerk omdat ze religie koppelden aan winstbejag. Het Katholieke forum gaat een beetje staan bidden omdat zij vinden dat Jezus beledigd is. Mag Jezus zelf beslissen of hij zich beledigd voelt of niet? En zoja, zou die jullie dan niet een stevige oorvijg geven omdat jullie zijn leer verkocht hebben aan een bende pedofiele randdebielen, en omdat er betere dingen te doen zijn op zondagmiddag? Ga eens een dagje voorlezen in een bejaardentehuis of een mandje broodjes brengen naar een groepje daklozen, om maar een voorbeeld te geven. Maar neen, jullie bidden liever voor eerherstel. Wel, bid dan maar eens voor eerherstel voor de homo sapiens want zo te zien gaat er niemand van ons naar de hemel.
Isn't that a nice picture? That is me, checking out the test copy of the book I wrote. Don't worry. This article is not going to be a self indulgent rant about what a brilliant literary genius I am. This is not even going to be another hidden promo for 'Cecilia's World', which you can now purchase by clicking here. That is not the kind of person I am.
Actually, in this article I would like to share my experiences as a debuting novelist. I'd like to share the euphoria and the hardships of writing. I want to offer some tips and tricks to help you if you decide to walk the same path. That, plus, I want to remind myself of how I can do better next time. After all, don't we all strive to improve ourselves?
1. If it's easy, you're doing it wrong
A bunch of months ago, I decided that it was time to write that damn book I have been thinking about for forty years. So I started writing and for months I dwelled in an imaginary world, filled with music and humor. Then, one day, my wife said, "Serge, there is something wrong. In this chapter, the father is a benign man but a few chapters further, he's an absolute cunt of a man." Those are not her exact words by the way. But she was right, I had completely changed the man's character. Fuck, shit, ass. Luckily, the problem was solved quickly by using a simple literary trick: creativity.
It is a good thing to have someone to support you and to correct these errors. Being a writer, you will quickly get caught up in your own story. You want to work towards finishing the book, without having to read large parts again and again. But, tiny things can unexpectedly alter your story, like the music you're playing or a movie you watched between writing sessions. An immediate test reader can solve that problem before it becomes a big one. That person can also correct typos and other spelling errors. My wife often does that in real time when I'm engaged in a writing session. Allow at least one person to do that from time to time, even if it slows down the writing process. Not only will you feel better because most of the errors are gone, but it will also improve your writing skills. In time, you will make less mistakes and thus become a better writer.
Because, believe me, unless you're writing a haiku book for infants, typos and errors will occur. I mean, I just misspelled the word 'errors' while writing this paragraph. Google told me that it was wrong, which is a good thing. Yet, don't just trust on Google to fix all your errors. You need a human for this job and you need to be thankful for that. After all, that person dramatically improved your chances of delivering a best seller.
2. Dare to dream...
Interview yourself as if Conan O'Brien would interview you. Or imagine yourself at an autograph session at a massive book event. Or, if you want, imagine yourself in the gutter, homeless and undiscovered until the coroner finds a copy of your masterpiece in your pocket, reads it and publishes it, eventually providing your long lost family with plenty of royalties from the movies and merchandising. After all, many geniuses have been discovered after their death, no?
No, I'm not telling you to write a book and go lay in the gutter and wait for the sweet embrace of death. That would be silly. I'm just saying that you should dare to dream. At night, or whenever you have the time, do that little interview or read that imaginary book review. It will send some dopamine to your brains which makes you feel good. While writing 'Cecilia's World' I did that from time to time and it was fun. In one of those fantasising sessions I even got to meet Neil deGrasse Tyson. Even in my mind, he wouldn't shut up, but that's ok. He doesn't know.
3. ...and prepare to be disappointed
Just like this murderous demon in squirrel uniform, tiny things will fuck you up. No, for real. After checking and approving the test version, we still found some typos and errors. If you're going into this business on your own, or even with the help of some test reading volunteers, these things will happen. Only if you work with a professional publishing company, you can expect perfection. That is why you'll get only 30% of the profit your book makes. Then again, 30% with a pro could become more than the 85% if you go independent. They simply have the better tools, the better contacts and the bigger events.
About those tiny errors: it's a lot harder to discover them on screen than on paper. We'll get them out by the time we need to do a reprint, if we need to do a reprint. It was a bit disappointing but I guess that is the price you have to pay for independence. Besides, only errors give you the opportunity to learn.
4. Technically, it's almost rocket science.
Here is a picture of a calm evening sky. It's here because you will want to watch it from time to time while reading the following text. What comes next can be utterly confusing and quite possibly it won't even help because it'll just lead you to reading even more confusing stuff. The technicality of publishing a book is brain mangling, to say the least. I'll try to sum up some pros and cons, a few things that I have learned while publishing 'Cecilia's World' but from there you're on your own.
a. A book is not an ebook
When 'Cecilia's World' was finished, I thought I could now quickly transfer the whole thing into both a book and an ebook. I had decided beforehand that the physical copies would come in an A5 format so I had based all of my writing on that. For the printed version, that worked perfectly, although there are a few things. For starters, you'll probably have to deliver the whole thing to the printers as a PDF. They will not do anything, not check, not correct, nothing. They'll only print your book. Be sure to ask for a test print. In my case, I did get some advice on the cover but that's mostly because the rest was ok. Why? We followed a few guidelines which we found on the internet:
-Black is not always black. In computer code, there are different blacks with some of them being printed as dark grey. Be sure to have maximum saturation on your text.
-Also be sure to make outlines. This way the result will be the same as on your computer screen.
-Do not add the cover to the PDF. You'll have to make a separate PDF for the cover.
-If you want a white sheet in between chapters, you'll have to add a blank page. As I mentioned before, the printers will not do that automatically.
-The cover has to be in a high resolution, otherwise it will come out blurry.
-Watch out for automatic page numbers. In 'Cecilia's World' the foreword is on page 2 and the first chapter on page 3. We did not find this tip on the internet.
-Do NOT use enters for page breaks. That is a hefty no-no. Your software has a function for that.
In all, it's best to practice a bit with your text editing software. I have used Openoffice and a trial version of Adobe Illustrator. Others will use Word or even others. You'll need to become familiar with the program you use. Smashwords, the platform where the digital version 'Cecilia's World' is published on, has an excellent Style Guide that has helped me a lot (click here).
Ebooks work very differently than books. In a paper version, you could actually work with enters instead of page breaks but if you do that with an ebook, the whole thing will look weird. Furthermore, ereader users can change the font and the text height, so they won't always look the same. Therefore, page breaks, remember those words.
Perhaps this should have been the very first tip on this whole article, but start with a completely blank page. Do not add any formatting before the actual text is written. It will only complicate things. Oh, and no double spaces behind dots at the end of a sentence. Apparently that's a no-no.
b. It's not a cover until the fat lady sings.
So you've written and formatted your book, now it's time to work on the cover. Hell is about to break loose. You will have to deliver a PDF and again, that differs from book to ebook.
Ebook: JPG of front and back in decent resolution is ok. You can upload those separately.
Book: Yeah, but there is that little thing called 'spine', that thing on the side with your name and the title of the book. That is going to be nasty, because it raises a lot of questions.
1. How wide does it have to be?
You'll have to ask the printers because that depends on the number of pages and thickness of the paper. For a 355 pages book like mine, the spine had to be 1.90cm wide.
2. How do I press that between the front and page pages?
You'll need a decent photo editing software. Photoshop did the trick for me, along of course with a very good friend who's good at this kind of stuff. He only had to start over twice.
3. Will it make me insane?
Yeah, and there will be more.
Like, make sure that there are a few centimeters of blank space around the artwork, plus a few millimeters of outlines. No text or important parts of the photograph near the edges. They might become folded over or cut away, depending on the format of the whole thing. That is why you should always ask for a test print.
Right, that should cover that. Or maybe not. I can only give advice for books with text only. If you want to publish a photo book or one with drawings you might want to carefully read the Smashwords Style Guide (here), and/or find more help. I checked into that, it's confusing as hell.
5. Now go sell books and become rich
So you did everything I told you to do, including searching for other advice, and you are ready to sell your writings to the masses.
How to do that?
For my ebook, I worked with Smashwords and I'm quite pleased with them. You can upload your text as a .txt file, plus the covers and they'll do the rest. You can also do an interview, which is fun, and add the necessary links in your author profile. Then they will publish the thing and you'll see it appear on a multitude of ebook distributors. They also have a Premium Status for books which will get your book to most major platforms. To receive that status, your book has to apply to the guidelines which should be rather easy if you follow the aforementioned tips and tricks.
There are other providers too. BookBaby is probably the most popular and they can help you with printed versions too. You can also go directly to Kindle or Kobo. That is up to you. Be sure to check the internet for alternatives that might suit you better. Smashwords did the trick for me personally, but I can imagine not everyone being happy with their service. They are quite strict in their guidelines, but I guess that only helps improve the overall quality.
Then there are the physical copies. I can only tell you what I did do sell them. I promoted them here on Merchants Of Air. I used social media and my network of artists, agencies and friends. I'll have a book launch with Urall, Stratosphere & Thisquietarmy (check) coming up and I'm looking into some other possibilities. Just use your resources, that's all I can say about that.
Right, that's enough. Now go write your bestseller.
Article by Wagner Hertzog
Nicolae Ceaușescu was the brutal and hostile dictator of communist Romania, from 1965 to 1989, when he was forcefully deposed by a popular revolution, and sentenced to death along with his wife. Getting involved in communism while he was very young, slowly Ceaușescu rose through the ranks of the communist party, assuming power when Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, then political leader of Romania, died in 1965.
Initially not a harsh leader himself – on the contrary, gaining some popularity for taking apparently popular stances –, within some years of government, Nicolae Ceaușescu proved to be a cruel and perfidious tyrant, eager to implement severe and aggressive measures to restrict the population. Consolidating a political police named Securitate, Ceaușescu managed to control literally everything within the country’s borders, and rapidly suppressed freedom of expression, freedom of the press, political opposition and consolidated a centralized control of the means of production, which would eventually took Romania to the verge of collapse.
Being a rude dictator with no real political or administrative skills, Ceaușescu’s government proved to be disastrous for Romanians. Increased corruption, economic inefficiency, catastrophic financial decisions and an intransigent rule more preoccupied on its authoritarian and repressive stance, as the basic means to secure his unlimited and unrestricted power, caused the country to experience a horrendous and abject decline. As a result, the quality of living for the Romanian population, as a whole, suffered a dramatic downfall. As an obvious consequence, basic goods like food, medication and hygiene products entered a period of severe shortage, which threatened to disintegrate the country completely.
Like these measures weren’t terrible enough, Ceaușescu always increased the level of brutality and repression. The cult of personality promoted around him also increased dramatically over the years. His birthday was considered a national holiday, and Romanians forcibly had to smile all day long, since appearing sorrowful on this day was something too dangerous to contemplate. So the population in general had to fake a level of happiness they didn’t really felt, only to survive.
In 1989, the Romanian population had become saturated with the oppressive effects of a terrible, inhumane and dogmatic tyranny. Freedom was something they simply didn’t have, to such an extent that people really wanted to rebel, feeling apathy at the best possible evaluation, concerning the possibility of state reprimand. Like a pressure cooker ready to explode, people simply wanted to get rid of the regime. They couldn’t endure oppression anymore. When Ceaușescu did his final speech, which entered history, as the crowd openly manifested scorn and aversion towards him, screaming, interrupting and explicitly disobeying him – with the exception of people in the front row, composed of members from the communist party, strategically placed there to appear that Ceaușescu had, at least, some level of popular support –, it became obvious that the complete dissatisfaction and the total rejection the population felt towards him was too dangerous to be faced directly. Ceaușescu, like the coward dictator that he was, searched for shelter in the government building, along with his security personnel. Nevertheless, the popular agitation that soon followed was easily repressed by the state apparatus.
The revolution that started some days earlier in Timișoara – which Ceaușescu mentioned in his last speech –, evolved to a national conflagration. Then, millions of Romanians, encouraged by the fact that so many of their comrades were eager to fight, became determined to overthrown the tyrannical regime, and to depose the dictator. Soon after, the situation escalated to such a dramatic extent that even the armed forces didn’t have the courage to face the anger of the populace, and the commandeers-in-chief rapidly switched sides, doesn’t even trying to save Ceaușescu and the old regime, that seemed destined to be disintegrated by the popular upheaval.
When the insurgents invaded the government building, Ceaușescu and his wife managed to escape by helicopter. Nevertheless, they were eventually captured by the police, and handled over to the military. After a puppet trial, both were killed together by a firing squad. It was the end of communist rule in Romania, and communism then was turned illegal.
With a mediocre theoretical view of communism, that was never taken seriously by the intellectual elite, Ceaușescu was, at the best possible evaluation, a terribly insignificant individual, that, as a statesman, was a vehemently incompetent politician, whose greatest “quality” as a dictator was his authoritarianism, that managed to project only suffering, misery and poverty over the nation. His insignificant legacy, practically nothing to the Romanian population and to the nation as a whole, is reduced to a sordid past, that no one is interested to revive or to remember.
Article by Wagner Hertzog
For those who may not know, Lee Harvey Oswald was the man considered to be the assassin of former US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. But was he in fact the man who killed the former American president, committing the most controversial murder of the 20th century? The most probable answer to this question is no. Definitely, its completely implausible to think Lee Harvey Oswald has anything to do with the murder of JFK. For this question, just allow me to affirm that 75% of Americans do not believe Oswald was responsible for the murder. Or, at least, that he acted alone.
The fact that all independent investigations conducted by the respective agencies, namely the Dallas Police Department, the FBI, the Warren Commission, the Secret Service, and the Assembly Murder Investigation Committee all came exactly to the same conclusion points only to an obvious but very disturbing fact: a conspiracy of enormous proportions, capable of encompassing all spheres of power, at the municipal, state and federal levels, which is not something implausible to think. Therefore, those who wanted President Kennedy's death were individuals who inhabited the top of the governmental pyramid, having at their disposal full powers and ample resources to plan and to execute one of the largest and most controversial conspiracies of the 20th century. However, even though the plan as a whole presented severe discrepancies, at every stage of their proceedings, on one point they were perfect: they found in Lee Harvey Oswald the most convincing and persuasive of all scapegoats. A man who not only fit in with all the arduous demands of the task, but, in a short time, defined for himself a past that was perfectly aligned with all the risks and consequences of what would become the most conspicuous, sordid and intricate plot of all time.
Why Lee Harvey Oswald?
After living for almost three years in the Soviet Union, and having absorbed - and nauseated - the Bolshevik philosophy, being a former Marine, Oswald was a very disturbed young boy, deeply resentful of American politics. With a somber personality, sometimes arrogant and furious, Oswald, with his authoritarian and egocentric character, was a man hated and feared by his neighbors, and despised by his co-religionists. Nevertheless, Oswald had dubious connections with the CIA that until today have never been properly clarified. Besides this part of his life being terribly nebulous, and being fully enveloped in, at the very least, recalcitrant doubts, everything is done so that the truth does not become known. Conveniently, two days after assassinating President John F. Kennedy, Oswald, while being transferred from the Dallas Police Headquarters to the penitentiary, was assassinated by Jack Ruby, a nightclub owner. Oswald's murder was broadcast on national television, seen by millions of people just as it happened, due to the television channels that covered his transfer. For his part, Oswald left life to enter an infamous chapter of history.
Dubious, ambiguous and debatable investigations
The fact that the Warren Commission deliberately intimidated, neglected, and threatened witnesses whose testimonies did not support the theory of the lone shooter is at least intriguing. A factor that was never properly clarified but constantly ignored and conveniently swept under the rug. Another issue that could never be fully elucidated was the trajectory of the projectiles that shot the then President Kennedy, completely incongruous with the place where Lee Harvey Oswald was in the final and fateful moment of the tragic incident. This fact shows the inherent and eventful evidence that presents Oswald not only as a strategic scapegoat, but also as a mindful pawn, ready to be sacrificed as an ingenious part of a sinister plan.
What I think is one of the most interest facts to investigate about this exceedingly intriguing case is how much Oswald knew. He really knew something about the conspiracy? Or he was completely ignorant about it? He was fooled to participate in it? He knew some details about the plot, and was then deceived by other plot members, who were already planning, behind his back, to eliminate him in the first place? What is really necessary to comprehend is how much involved he was in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
And let's not forget that when talking about Lee Harvey Oswald, we are talking about a young boy, who was only 24 years old when he died. Who has seen things that no one will ever see, and heard things that no one will ever hear. In a single moment, I believe Oswald is innocent throughout this story, but to believe that he acted alone is to accept what they really want to make us think. It is to accept passively a historical exaggeration and an immeasurable mistake, which only propagates the defamation of a lie that never had all of its points properly connected.
Article by Wagner Hertzog
In the current state of affairs, what is going on between North Korea and the United States summarizes a belligerent tension that has been going on since the end of the Korean War. A war that, in theory, never ended, since North and South Korea haven’t signed a peace treaty. In 1953, the two countries agreed upon an armistice. But as Kim Jong-un intensely expands his range on power, the United States plays an attentive role against the communist regime, ready to defend its allies – Japan and South Korea – if the government in Pyongyang dares to commit any type of aggression. So the USA would be ready to defend them, and to retaliate.
With North Korea developing its nuclear program, they pose as a direct potential threat to their neighboring countries. This is a potentially problematic situation, as military tests with missiles had already invaded the maritime and air space of Japan and South Korean in several occasions. With one of the largest militaries in the world, North Korea is not a power to be despised or underestimated. Nevertheless, despite the projected initial difficulties, it is quite obvious that, in any prospective scenario concerning a possible war, the United States would emerge victorious. A conflict would be so damaging, that it will inevitably result in the total obliteration of the Pyongyang regime. The entire Korean Peninsula, as an obvious consequence, would then be guided and directed by the Seoul government. As a consequence, Korean unification would inevitably be the final outcome of the war.
The problematic role of China in the conflict is another major issue. While they are trying to intervene and to intermediate peaceful negotiations, Beijing haven’t supported the USA in any way. On the contrary: they haven’t ceased to do business with North Korea, and imposed only a limited joint of restrictions. But in a general evaluation, their relation continues in the same path as always. Nevertheless, it’s quite clear that China wants to avoid friction with the Pyongyang regime, one of their best clients and commercial partners.
This raises another important question: in the case of a war, in what side Russia and China would stand? It’s difficult to say, but quite obviously, they would support North Korea. In what grounds, or in what basis, it’s impossible to say precisely. If only logistically – which would be improbable –, this would not undermine the American possibilities of victory. But with a wide open military support, this implicates in an overall exchange of scenarios, and the conflict could escalate into a third World War.
Speculations apart, there is hope of a peaceful solution? It’s impossible to affirm precisely. But as the tension escalates strongly and disproportionately on both sides, it becomes inevitable to think that eventually the war of Korea would inevitably resume, which is something terrifying to think. We have two opposite forces, with two completely different objectives and agendas. For Pyongyang, the main goal seems to secure the survival of the regime. For the USA, the principal objective is to guarantee the security and the regional integrity of its two main Asian allies, and, as a natural consequence, the salutary principles of democracy.
As the tension explodes, and China tries to remain neutral, but pending more to the North Korean side, the world still doesn’t know precisely how to evaluate or what to think about this scenario. The ideal is that no war would be deflagrated. But we don’t live in an ideal world.
Evidently, in any case, a war would be a disastrous achievement. Despite the fact that it would bring about an inevitable result concerning the end of the totalitarian Pyongyang regime, and a closure to the situation in the Korean peninsula, the carnage that would come out as a consequence of the war – taking into consideration the fact that modern weapons and nuclear ballistics contains a massive power of obliteration, way more horrendous and destructive than in the fifties, when the belligerent tensions between the two countries had begun – would probably be unprecedented for any outcome in a military conflict.
It’s impossible to say or to evaluate precisely what would be North Korea’s next move. But by judging the behavior of its dictator, Kim Jong-un, possibly everything beyond ambitious and arrogant.
A prose poem by Wagner Hertzog
The unforgettable glorious ocean of infinite winters is the pale endless extension of a cold anesthesia, that seeks between the worlds of a ludicrous barrier the solid eyes of justice that perpetuates a lonely calmness within my soul, easily conflagrating worlds of undefined reason over a conscience of undying virulence. Nevertheless, these winds never flow over infamous temples of occasional glories.
Parallel to these monuments of stolen voices, ignored statues of confused chaos swallows laws made of lethargy, the static apathy of an infamy produced by late storms of anger and drowsiness. Where they will go, and with what specific purpose?
Since these days of infinite deception forgive the impetus of the black wind declining over the dying repentance of my mortal anxiety, I renounce the anticipation of my general irritability. Resounding over a dark sentiment of incongruous stigma, my position will be forever restored by the dark winds of my eyes.
In all of this tiredness, the evasive subtleties of an ineffable cold keep worlds of unreality distant of a sincerity that never existed. And what can I reclaim, besides the fact that today is incredibly cold? And has always been so terribly cold and perpetually empty.
Horrendous days of tumultuous forgotten beauties from sleepy times were ostensibly obliterated by the simple exhaustion of existence. Rationalizing in the evident storm of an invisible possibility that keeps my mind dormant and distant, the shadows in the vicinities of an infinite horizon soon demanded the world that I inhabit to be converted to smoke. If I align myself to the exact intolerance system that is inherently attached to my life, I will never be the same person again. But I certainly don’t have to think about these ordinary ambitions. I would never see the spring of a lifetime attached to the essence of a primitive deception again.
The sky that I hide behind the oceans of my fears would never be taught in public schools.
A prose poem by Wagner Hertzog
Virulent days always begin in a sordid discrepancy of nature.
What am I doing here? These reckless days soon will be distinguished in the vicinities of my overwhelming sickness, where there is no peace, and the painful intensity of my improbable journey are eager to be fulfilled by dark and violent impulses.
Some days could be higher, but my soul is lower than its antagonistic paradox. Only a few days before, and this system of inadvertent sleepers, on the colorful tangential zone of a never-ending humane sagacity, would definitely fade away. And this eyes, impregnated with
genuine vivacity, would soon demand real life over its horizon of false condolences.
The different days can only make sense when survival is on the crest of a wave that never sleeps. If I survive on this rainy day, how can I be deeply distinct from everybody that I know?
It's cold outside and it rains. These falling achievements of mine do not contribute to anything, to revive entirely the integrity of my soul. Thus, this falling world is restricted to several zones of dying rivalry.
Every day empires in my eyes contemplate ruins and precipices of no absolute value. Impregnated with deterioration, in every empty day, an immense darkness, and the most horrifying silence of all, is afraid of everything that I consider essential to keep living. So, silent days gets stronger, and silent days pass away, at the funereal corridors of all the empty hours.
I do not want to contemplate anything, but I can always remember sincerely the corrosive unhappiness of the intermittent days of obliteration under my eyes. And I only forget the primordial suffering and the monotonous silence that seems to be everywhere inside this invisible line of misery. Everyone is expected to control the situation, and eventually, every day will be contemplated by surreal flames of agony and flagrant declarations of hostilities. But a cold darkness engraving abysses in foreign territories will acknowledge the deleterious campaign of a defying allegiance of barbaric truculence, for all of us to see.
The days do not come out of nowhere, and as I proclaim, we can expect normal principles to die first. And they shall become the engine capable of virtually expanding the rise of exhaustive memories, the bad weather of all the things that I could forget without leaving home today. Maybe I should not have left home.
All this rain is the phantom of a soul that never goes away. And it seems that the days, in their inability to remain irresolute, forgot to soften the spurious inclinations of the variations of all seconds which does not allow the maintenance of a machine that never ends life in a human scene. Or the trail of useless days that never inhabits the empty ruins of my heart will only listen to the prejudices of my words? As a matter of fact, before this day is finished, I have to recollect the dubious certainty of my invisible existence.
A prose poem by Wagner Hertzog
For the vast majority of people, time runs in a normal conjuncture, but for me, it moves in the opposite direction. It always ran backwards, but I really can’t explain this dubious and unprecedented infamy.
Castles made of air breath in the vast mountains of my static disease. You may think that you know something that you actually mismanage, but that's how things work for me. All the people, when they go to sleep, they normally wake up in a vicissitude of corrupted thoughts. But for me, this is so different. You really don’t understand, when I say otherwise. But this is my peaceful correlation of soul harmonies, declaring the aggrandizing features of my sensible desires.
I wake up, I always agree the day before my sincere observations of life. So while most people go towards a futile sense of progress, so to speak, I make a retrograde move. Yes, the perpetual return to a world that seeks no sincerity, and no individual introspection.
But without individual introspection, I prefer to disappear.
The so-called modern world utilizes people with very specific purposes. But I live relatively happy without all the affliction of material inclinations. This morning, when I woke up, the sun seemed to be too comprehensible for me to see. The world and its aggressive patterns are not debatable when we speak the language of its moribund system.
The ordinary things I usually do every morning when I want to express myself are definitely not highlighted at the sadness of my symbolic and flammable virtues. Only when I left the permanent residence of my sentimental recollection of deceptions I understood the generosity of patience. Actually, I don’t want to assist my emotional rapture in the other side of my disdainful moments of wandering bravery. When I left the house of my hyperbolic sufficiency, the sun was greater than ever. I've been avoiding the aggression of reality for a while. This empty world of mine seems to be getting bored and suspicious. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to look mischievous or prejudiced. For everyone, time just goes on, while, for me, it goes in the opposite direction. I'm getting impatient with time. My life is becoming strict, and more and more violent and severe. I am getting more cynical, because, as I have already reported, for me, time goes the other way. Time for me is persistently looking backwards, while, for conventional people, it simply follows the ordinary mode.
A prose poem by Wagner Hertzog
I remember waking up with a bizarre intensity in the middle of the night, but it did not take me too long to reconsider the mutation of my normal dreams in a quiet ordinary night. Inside my mind, this is something so extravagant, that I should participate in the conflagration of my own delights. I quickly tried to lie down and sit back and close my eyes, but then I started to feel shadows of disdain over the emptiness of my moral oceans of fraternity.
The days will pass me by indefinitely, with a strong moral support from the eternity of a nature that sleeps endlessly. Increasingly stronger, more sinister, more desperate and progressively more and more acute and intermittent, the storm in this ravenous world is something diluted upon the mindful horizon of my definitively persistent nature, as if someone was becoming invisible in the ruins of a colossal stature. Realizing that something morbid was happening in the gloom of night, I quickly got up, took a flashlight, and left the crystal house of the controversial fog of my life. Towards the hidden place of my intense immensity, I saw the fire palace where everything that had sustained the frailty of my somnolence immediately abandoned the pinnacle of mortality.
In the back of the house where I lived I saw one hundred eyes right in front of my fearful days of pleasurable respectability, an extensive demonstration of stupor, where all sorts of questionable men, with equally frightening and macabre designs, gathered and often spawned a corpse sometimes, but never before the sentimental fate of a genuine agony.
With fear and temerity, these days without reason aren’t the fulfillment of an ambiguous decline. I approached, not knowing exactly who or what I would face, and I was careful not to draw attention, illuminating what I have to see only a few meters in front of me, being very cautious with the darkness around me. But when I reached the empty streets of life at midnight, at first, I saw nothing. And then I started looking better, but after a few minutes I found nothing. I began to think then that I had arrived too late, and that I should start looking for an entirely new aspect of my interior soul, and then I began to think properly. When the prospective victim had managed to escape, I was trapped in the wrong place, and the fragile skylight that inexplicably disappeared drove me directly to the surreal palace of desire. If I had gone somewhere else, there had been no attempted plausibility to stand before the true aphorism of my belief. I saw someone screaming for no clear motive.
I left, relatively pleased to think that the garden of justice where I used to walk had probably been given to invisible thoughts. Then, I walked towards the house, going directly to get out of the journey of my interior solitude, and then I heard someone behind the predatory confinement of my hostility. I could have heard something being taken away, evidently looking with killing eyes behind my back. One more afternoon of empty shadows was enough to create this fulfilling perception of agony. When I heard the sky of torment looking upon my omniscient anxiety, I suddenly knew everything was over. My heart quickened, my mouth dried, an unrepentant and overwhelming anxiety washed over me. Someone was obviously trying to deprive me from the distant path of my lugubrious shadows. Not knowing what to do, not knowing whether to run or to confront this lancinating creation of reason, I decided to sleep over the horizon of my distant planets.
I'm pretty sure I left my reality unconscious, but I do not know for how long. I couldn’t feel, nor speak, nor see. After some relatively disoriented time and wondering what kind of ponderable omniscience I should start over my personal condolences, my senses all reacted, without any practical results. After a while, I began to suspect that some substance must have been injected into me, for I felt relatively lethargic. Soon I began to feel a draft of cold air, and I realized that I must be in some sort of basement. Then someone must have turned on the light, for I saw a chink of light under the blindfold that I should be wearing.