peter pumpkinhead

…”Let him jump so that he will fill the sacks along his back bone with air and then he can not go deep to die”….”I want to see him and to touch him and to tell him he is my fortune”….”Let him think I am more man than I am, and I will be so”….( Hemingway, Old Man and the Sea ) Yes, Rick Rick Perry is fighting the sharks off to preserve his treasured marlin, fighting off the liberals, the gays and other predatory fish lurking on the bottom of the ocean. Its another version of the old man in the sky. Its the old man in the sea.

For Rick Perry, it comes down to an interpretation of Jesus and God; with Perry holding an almost obsessive belief that he is the “chosen” by god, the elect, to deliver America, or at least true Americans from oppression and inaugurate a utopian New Jerusalem. An Elmer Gantry? Mencken said that all men are frauds, and only some will admit it….

---On the 50th anniversary of its release, many of the same issues addressed in Elmer Gantry, Richard Brooks’ 1960 adaptation of the Sinclair Lewis novel, are very much a part of the current debate between aggressive people of faith and the more secularly oriented segments of society. Front and center in the narrative is a display of Christian organization leaders engaging in shameless self-promotion, bitter turf battles, frenzied attempts to influence public policy and hypocrisy in the conduct of their personal lives which seem at odds with the person for whom their dogma is named. However, I think it’s interesting to note that unlike the works of celebrated contemporary atheists such as Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens, Elmer Gantry ultimately honors the underlying religious principles that most of the characters observe only in the breach.--- Read More:


Rick Perry, you know that Texas guy that’s trying to get the Republican nomination for President, well apparently he’s more hated than Rebecca Black if you can believe that – at least on YouTube that is.

For quite a while now, the Rebecca Black train wreck song “Friday” was the most hated song on YouTube with more than a quarter of a million “dislikes.” But now the fortunate Governor of Texas has taken that title away from Black with his latest video “Strong” where he’s shaming the country for allowing Gays to serve in the military….

---“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.” – Ernest Hemingway--- Read More:

The problem of course is Perry’s reactionary position as righteous valet, gatekeeper for the old man in the sky theory. What Harold Bloom would call a disseminator of sophisticated fairy tales. There are complex forces at work that cannot, in spite of advances in physics, be accounted for, so there is plenty benefit of doubt to share even for a Hitchens. But Perry, like most shamsters has appropriated faith into the realm where he is an implied channel for a source of power. Its the enforcing of the personified god catering to fear, the circling the wagons mechanism of the cerebral cortex confronted with anxiety and stress, circling the boats to fight off the sharks.

---He blames Obama for the "war on religion" and promises to "fight against liberal attack on our religious heritage." It's funny: He's the one who sounds mighty hateful. The ad is aimed at conservative voters in Iowa, but has been viewed on YouTube almost 750,000 times. Online, where the heathens congregate, the reaction has been mostly negative, with the video--- Read More:

…In the video, Perry is trying to look all cowboyish by wearing a tan coat and walking through the woods and lambasting the country by saying there’s got to be something wrong when gays can serve openly in the military and kids can’t celebrate Christmas in school. As of this posting, Perry’s video has more than 355,000 dislikes, far eclipsing Blacks mere quarter of a million – and Perry was able to do it in only a few days where it took weeks for Black to get that distinction….Oh, and who ever was in charge of his wardrobe for the commercial sure went to great lengths to make sure that he was wearing a coat very similar to the one that the late Heath Ledger wore in that gay classic – Brokeback Mountain. Read More:http

Behind all the liberty and freedom capitalist rhetoric of Perry, is in essence, a totalitarian message of denying individual right to affirm independence, a woman’s right to control her body, and a suggestion that it is preferable to be imprisoned by rules others such as himself will devise. America as golden ghetto.


When it finally gets dark, however, Santiago can’t see Havana. He tells God he still owes him many prayers that he will say when he’s not too tired, and he wonders if he “violated” his luck when he went too far out to sea. He again apologizes to the marlin for killing it, and promises to fight off the sharks even if it kills him. Around 10pm, he sees the glow of the harbor….Around midnight, a pack of sharks attacks the skiff.
Santiago uses all his strength to fight them off with his oar and club, and finally, when those have been lost, he breaks off the tiller of his skiff and uses that to club the sharks. But by the time he kills or drives off all the sharks, no meat remains on the marlin….

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The tale is about pride and humility, hopefulness versus regret, and the battle between usefulness and the creeping infirmity of age. But mostly, I think, it’s about fate versus choice.

Santiago, the old man played by Spencer Tracy — who looks about as Cuban as I do Japanese — does not listen to the taunts of the villagers that he is unlucky, because to him it is preferable to be prepared and experienced and decisive than to trust to blind luck.

He does not, however, deny the existence of luck. When the boy (Felipe Pazos), who used to fish with him but was ordered by his parents to find a more lucrative captain, expresses a desire to rejoin Santiago, the old man refuses. You have a lucky boat, he says, and should stay with it.

But for him, the old fisherman would rather spend months going out to sea every day doing things the right way and come back empty-handed, than to rely on fate to deliver him a daily bounty. Better to starve with honor than look to the heavens for your reward.

After it becomes clear that his trip will become a disaster, Santiago blames not God or the fish — whom he calls his “brother” — but himself. I went out too far, he says, knowing that his pride would not let him cut his line and let the great fish go. Now his hands are rent from grasping the line for days on end, he is nearly dead from exhaustion and sunstroke, and has lost most of his good fishing lines, his harpoon and even his sturdy knife.

In the end the man is defeated, but not broken. Because man can never truly be defeated, he ponders, merely destroyed. The fact that he was willing to risk all, and lose it, in pursuit of the catch of a lifetime lends him glory that an easy victory never could. Read More:

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