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Silent Sunday

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Silent Sunday

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Neruda

Until I saw Neruda, I had no idea what a selfish jerk poet cum senator Pablo Neruda was. I just thought he wrote beautiful romantic poetry. He was also a senator for the Communist party and gave a controversial speech against the Chilean president. In response, the president orders Neruda’s arrest and the libertine churl goes underground.

The film isn’t exactly a biopic as it’s told completely from the point of view of  Oscar Peluchonneau, a police officer played by Gael García Bernal, who’s the Ahab to Neruda’s white whale. This police officer imagined that his real father was a legendary police officer and he wants to prove himself by capturing Neruda. Throughout the film the officer narrates and comments on Neruda and waxes eloquently on the pursuit’s significance.

I had no interest in Neruda who had no concern for his friends who were risking their lives to keep him safe. If he felt like a walk to the local brothel, he’d go no matter how that might expose both him and his friends.

I found the central character obnoxious and the voice overs were soon annoying. I so disliked Neruda, who was full of hot air in his political career, with little real concern for the poor people he grew up with that I’m not sure anything could make me like the film. However, it did win the 2017 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film so some writers did like it.

Silent Sunday

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What a Week

I’m thankful to have had a good week with my classes. We’re reading Anne Frank’s diary and discussing it in class. The students ‘ discussions are good and they make excellent points and ask each other thoughtful questions.

Tonight three friends and I went to the only Irish pub in Jinan. I had “bangers and mash” — for the first time since we don’t call sausages “bangers: and my family never had sausages and mashed potatoes as a meal. It wasn’t bad, but the pub, which is in a mall, has more of a family restaurant feel.

The week has been rough in other ways. With three teachers arriving about three weeks late, the start of the semester has been quite rocky. It’s been very difficult for them to settle in. China isn’t at all what they’ve expected.

On top of that the ESL Director came to visit this week, to make sure all was well with the newcomers. Well, it wasn’t and there’s been a lot of stress as he’s not authorized to spend extra money to provide better housing or what have you. In addition, there’s some problems with the curriculum with the other Chinese school. The stress got to him. He’s wound up in the hospital with a cerebral hemorrhage. He’s had some memory loss and can’t read. It sounds like it’ll be a while before he can leave the hospital and go back home.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Atop

 

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Atop?

I found it intriguing that there’s nothing atop this man’s shoulders.

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Other Weekly Photo Challenge photos:

DOT Complaint Form

From time to time, I wonder what Air Canada has done with my suitcase. It’s been about two months since they damaged it. After reading The Cranky Flyer, I learned that you can file a complaint about an airline with the US Department of Transportation. Just click here.

I’ve filed a complaint and hope to see some action.

That @#@! Walt Disney!

I learned about this in my Introduction to Technology class, but Adam Conover explains the public domain issue more concisely and with wit.

Another Reading

https://vimeo.com/peopleshistory/kevin-coval-nelson-algren-chicago

Here’s another reading of Algren’s poetic Chicago: City on the Make.

Chicago: City on the Make

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Nelson Algren blew me away with his powerful poetic prose in Chicago: City on the Make. I expected it to be a novel, but it isn’t. It’s a prose poem essay that packs a lot of history and observation into very well written essays on the city. Written in the 6o’s, Chicago: City on the Make brought old Chicago, one that’s grittier and livelier to life. Algren’s Chicago was getting softened up, suburbanized almost when he wrote the book. Now downtown at least is like a lot of cities, though the neighborhoods are quite individual.

The book’s a must-read for people who know the city and want to learn more. The 50th Anniversary edition that I read has a lot of good annotations, but there were some references that weren’t covered that I had to use Bing to find.

Half-way through the book, I emailed a friend who teaches a unit on Chicago in her high school urging her to add at least a few chapters from the book to the class reading list.

Here are a few quotations from a book that’s full of great passages:

“Yet once you’ve come to be part of this particular patch, you’ll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real.”

“…a city that was to live by night after the wilderness had passed. A city that was to forge out of steel and blood-red neon its own peculiar wilderness.”

“It’s the place built out of Man’s ceaseless failure to overcome himself. Out of Man’s endless war against himself we build our successes as well as our failures. Making it the city of all cities most like Man himself— loneliest creation of all this very old poor earth.”

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