News, Weather, Mozart, Sports, Eurovision Love Ænema & Perverted Videogames from Vleeptron

NGO_Vleeptron (aka "Bob from Massachusetts") recently featured LIVE on BBC WORLD SERVICE, heard briefly by Gazillions!!!

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Location: Great Boreal Deciduous Hardwood Forest, New England, United States

old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

26 September 2005

Ramadan Kareem / Ramadan Mubarak

Hi everybody, this is Rachel the Teenage Amish Beaver. I'm on Planet Yobbo with my friends Lenny and Spike. They picked me up in Pennsylvania when I was hitchhiking to New York. Then they hacked into the Zeta Beam and made it take us to Planet Yobbo, which is the absolutely most awesome place in Dwingeloo-2.

(Ciudad Vleeptron sort of sucks. All they ever have for music is Kurt Weill and Alban Berg operas and Charles Ives music. There's something wrong with the Vleeptron Dude, I think.)

I just want to remind you all that Ramadan starts on Tuesday 4 October. It is the Holy Month for Muslims. There 's a very big Muslim community in Yobbo City. Wer have 26 Mosques. The guys from North Africa pronounce that mos-KAY.

Please if your neighbor is Muslim, wish her, wish him, wish them, wish you, wish me






CAPTIN BEEHEART HAS TO piss sometime WHEN He goes upstairs to use MY MOMS BATHROOM, shONEN KNIFE will be PLAYING THOSE BAbez r HOT


maybe JNATHAN RICHMAN & the Burning Sensations will shOW UP AND SING HE called on my MOMS CEL PHONE from earth COLLET, that call will COST SOME $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

WHEN Hed drive down the Street in his
HE waas ONLY 5 FOOT 2
GRLS COULD not resist his stare
pablo picasso was Never called an ASSHOLE
not like you



THIS IS THE DISNEY MEMORIAL ORGY FROM AROUND 1969 BY ARTIST WALLY WOOD FOR PAUL KRASSNERS MAG THE REALISt ah shit the Crappy Free Image Software is all fucked up, we cant post anything but some kinda SausaGES just go HERE

THEn CLIQUEZ ICE POUR mas K Humungouser und groffer mitt ALLES IST KLAR

everybody GO SEE BROKEBACK MOUNTain in DECEMBER Larry mcmurtry married annie pROULX and they had TwinS 2 COWboys yippie yuppie TY YI UH-OH

everybodY COME TO PLANET YOBbo instead of DUMB VLEEPTRON. YOU CANT Do shit thats Fun on VLEEPTRON dont lissen to that VLEEPTRON DUDE he is a lying-ass boGUS MOTHERFUCKER. CAPTAIN BEEFHEART + The MAGIC BAND r playing in MY MOMS BASEMENT all week in YOBBO CITY

25 September 2005

special for Our Man On ye Grounde in Helvetia

TOP: First page of Canterbury Tales, Kelmscott Chaucer. Gift (1971) of Mrs. Howard J. Sachs in memory of Howard J. Sachs, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts USA.

BOTTOM: Illustration for "The Frankelyns Tale" of The Canterbury Tales, by William Morris (typography and book design) and (Sir) Edward Burne-Jones (woodcut illustrations), for their Kelmscott Chaucer (1896). From the Gareth and Janet Dunleavy Chaucer Collection, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire USA.

WHAN THAT Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,

Rats, Spider Women, Nazis, Torturers, Hairdressers, Jews: Film As Weapon

In a strange and beautiful novel by Manuel Puig, and the film made from "Kiss of the Spider Woman" ("El beso de la mujer arana"), a gay hairdresser and a Marxist revolutionary are cellmates in an Argentine prison during the brutal military junta of the 1970s. (The hairdresser's crime is being a homosexual.)

To pass the time, calm the fear, and ease the pain after the revolutionary's daily torture sessions, the hairdesser tells him stories from a beautiful, romantic old movie he dimly remembers from his childhood.

It was an old black-and-white movie his mother took him to see. It told of a beautiful, mysterious woman and a brave, handsome young Army officer in Paris during World War II. The woman was a spy for a dangerous underground of evil, bearded gangsters who were always committing vile crimes while they hid in the night shadows.

The hairdresser is completely innocent of politics and history. He has no idea what the movie was about. He just remembers how romantic it all seemed in the dark Buenos Aires theater so long ago.

But it slowly dawns on the tortured revolutionary, with horror and disgust, that the hairdresser is telling him beautiful love stories about handsome Nazi heroes. And the evil underground gangsters are Jews. The hairdresser's mom had taken the little boy to see antisemitic Nazi propaganda movies exported to Argentina during the War.

Fritz Hippler, director of the Nazi propaganda film "The Eternal Jew" ("der Ewige Jude") died in May 2002. (Vleeptron approves; what took him so long?) In the previous post about the literature and cinema of Rats, Hippler's "The Eternal Jew" was notorious for its equating rats and Jews with cinematic cross-cuts/montage.

The illustration is a poster for the showing of "der Ewige Jude" in Vienna in 1938.

An English translation of an essay by Hippler on "Film as a Weapon," for a Nazi publication for propagandists, is posted on a Calvin College website. Calvin College is a Dutch Reformed Church college in Michigan, the alma mater of the screenwriter and director Paul Schrader ("Taxi Driver," "Hard Core," "Blue Collar," "Light Sleeper"). From a Protestant perspective, Calvin does a lot of deep thinking and fine teaching about the human troubles of Planet Earth.

Not everyone on the Web thinks badly of Hippler. These odd people
Germanic Cultural, Racial and Spiritual Preservation
(a lot of American high school students seem to hang here)

thought he was a great visionary artist, and mourn his passing in the Google summary. To read more of their encomium, you'll have to log in.


Monday 11 December 2000

Nazi hate film maker
looks back with some regrets

by Adam Tanner

BERCHTESGADEN, Germany -- When the Nazi leadership wanted to prepare the German public for the brutality of the Holocaust, it commissioned the anti-Semitic movie "The Eternal Jew," the most notorious hate film ever made.

The man who made that film, Fritz Hippler, today sits in a hospital room in the Alpine town of Berchtesgaden, his window overlooking the mountain where Adolf Hitler built his Eagle's Nest residence. Saying he may die soon, the 91-year-old agreed to discuss the film and his life in which he served as an ardent Nazi party member and head of Germany's propaganda film department.

"After all the bloodshed took place, I fully believe that the film can be considered a milestone on the road to the Holocaust," he said in slow, measured speech.

"I am ashamed for many things but I cannot be ashamed about this thing," he said. "They were not killed because of my intentions, my will or my order." He took a long pause, and a awkward silence filled his private hospital room. His mind drifted from the reality of his own poor health to the haunting memories of the Third Reich.

Head of Reich's Film Department

During the crucial first part of World War Two from 1939 to 1943, Hippler exercised significant power as head of the Propaganda Ministry's film department, shaping what newsreels and feature films Germans saw. Photos from those years show a dashing, good looking man with neat, slicked-back hair in his 30s, one who by his own description was brash and self-confident.

[photo] Goebbels
A month after Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Hippler's direct boss, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, (left) asked him to film scenes from the Jewish ghetto in Lodz, Poland, that became the core of The Eternal Jew.

In perhaps its most famous scene the film -- which called itself a documentary showing 'Jews as they really are' -- compared the migration of rats with those of Jews, showing close ups of hordes of rats scurrying about.

"I just did what Goebbels told me. I didn't want to debate this topic with Goebbels because it would have been useless," Hippler said. "Of course I didn't feel that one could compare Jews with rats." Another scene, aiming at showing how Jews could easily mask their background in European society, shows Jews wearing traditional dress and curly locks, and then the same people, smiling and clean shaven, dressed in suits and ties.

Smiling Prisoners

"It seems like they are happy, but they are all Nazi prisoners, and their smiling in the pictures does not show inner happiness, but was just a way of saying 'cheese'," Hippler said. The film later includes a segment of a speech in which Hitler warns that war would lead to the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe. Hippler's footage also shows Jews slaughtering cattle, scenes that prompted Goebbels to write: "Such brutishness makes you recoil with horror. The Jewish race must be annihilated."

With the Fuehrer's backing, the film was widely shown during the winter of 1940-41. In his private diary, Goebbels praised Hippler for his work. Today Hippler says Goebbels was the real film maker and that the propaganda minister exploited his documentary footage of Jewish life in Poland to his own ends.

"This film from its conception was under Goebbels's hand, and was the most miserable piece in a long string of anti-Semitic mistakes," Hippler told Reuters. "It upsets me greatly that Goebbels used my name for the credits."

Ewige Jude

Yet Hippler stayed quiet at the time and only complained after the war. Today The Eternal Jew is banned in Germany, although a few stores sell bootleg videos of it.

"Elderly people who lived in those times like to watch these old films," said one such Berlin dealer as he showed off a large collection of Nazi-era videos in the back room of his store.

A True Believer

Hippler makes no bones about his full backing for the Nazi programme. He was an early member of the party, joining in 1926. "For me it was important at that time to realise the pure ideas of National Socialism," said Hippler.

"For me, anti-Semitism was a by-product of National Socialism that one had to accept and could accept because anti-Semitism has a long tradition in Europe.

"Should I ... have fought a useless, senseless struggle against anti-Semitism? Should I have hindered the arrival of new, and clean (Nazi) structures?"

During the war, Hippler said he had heard but did not believe news about the Holocaust. "We heard a lot of news and absolute lies from the Allies. It was really hard to find out the truth in all this mass of information," he said. "We, all Germans, could not believe that these rumours were really true."

"When I filmed the pictures in the ghettos, there was no talk of Auschwitz or other horrible names we know today that we have heard so many times," he added.

But Hippler, like so many Germans from that era, denies personal responsibility on the road to the Holocaust.

"I, like many other people, was helpless to do something decisive to help the Jews," he said. "In many clashes with Jewish people I was standing against the mob when they were plundering.

"I know that probably all Jews have a bad opinion about me," he continued. "But on a personal level I have had no problems especially with my very old friends Goldenberg and Lowenthal and some others who warmly greeted me when they first saw me after the war. "They understood that I did not have any direct initiative in making the movie."

After the collapse of the Third Reich, Hippler was jailed for two years as a war criminal, then moved to idyllic Berchtesgaden in Bavaria where his wife ran a travel agency. The pair lived quietly for decades. Sitting in a chair dressed with a blue robe and covered by a blanket, Hippler is contradictory in assessing his life.

"If it were possible to annul everything (about the film) I would," he said. "Terrible things happened and I had many sleepless nights because of this."

But later, when talking about his life's greatest regret, he gave a surprising answer. "There are many possibilities. Perhaps it's that I could not care for my mother 100 percent as I could have," he said. "If someone asks me if I could go back in time and do something differently, I would say I would do it exactly the same."

© 2000 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Rattus norvegicus: Hamelin, Herzog's gift to Delft, Nazis, psycho Japanese doctors

Click for larger and clearer.

Time Magazine (USA)
Thursday 20 March 2003

That Old Feeling: Rats!
Richard Corliss tries purging
a primal fear with this tribute
to Nature's creepiest creatures

by Richard Corliss

In 1995, on my first visit to Hong Kong, I was taken to dinner by Tony Rayns, distinguished film critic and all-round lover of things and people Asian. He chose a restaurant so far from the center of town that we had to take a subway and a taxi, then walk for a few blocks. Tony's habit with his favorite food joints is to befriend the staff so completely -- woo them with his knowledge of their language and cuisine -- that he virtually becomes one of them, and dines with them. So there we were, in the grimy restaurant basement, feasting on raw fish (I am not bold but I am reckless) and ripe film anecdotes.

Toward the end of the main course, Tony looked behind me and said, "Oh, look. There's a large rat in the corner." I did not look. I also did not care to be nibbled by an Asian rat. With as much subtlety as I could muster, I raised my legs and eased them onto the seat of an empty chair at our table. The conversation continued -- Tony eloquent, me distracted -- until, over desert, he glanced beyond me again. "The rat?" I asked apprehensively. "No," Tony said brightly. "His bigger brother."

I hate rats. I say that easily, and have said it for decades, as millions would, without much reflection. I hold many maverick opinions, but in this one I have confidence that the world agrees with me. Hatred is an apparently natural human reaction to these creeping, creepy vermin.

Why? Why the gonadal clutch at the sight of a rat? Perhaps because rats spread disease, poison food, inflict harm. Perhaps it is the rat's ugly disposition, his relentlessness, his avidity to devour anything, including his fellows: "were he not a cannibal," William Faulkner wrote in "The Reivers," "he would long since have inherited the earth." Perhaps it is the educated surmise that in large cities the rat population equals or exceeds the human. I have the notion of a subversive, subterranean army, in numbers that can be reduced but never eliminated, with a voracious appetite matched by their cunning, liable to strike at any time and for no reason. Rats are nature's tiny terrorists.

And they give me the willies. Always have, since as a kid I read Henry Kuttner's short story, "The Graveyard Rats," and perused Hans Zinsser's quirky study of the Black Plague, "Rats, Lice and History" (I concentrated on the rat chapters). Still do. I shudder at the memory of rat visions I never experienced but only heard about: like my wife's visit in the 70s to an exterminator's shop in Les Halles, with the largest rats hung in the window as mink stoles might be at a furrier's; or our friend Davie Lerner's tale of lifting the lid of his basement toilet and finding a rat attempting to scale the porcelain sides.

Nor can I forget the story told by a one-time acquaintance who in the late 60s had been the assistant manager of Broadway's De Mille Theatre, where a nest of rats lurked. One afternoon, he recalled with much amusement, he led a birthday contingent of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' children and their friends to the theater's most rodent-infested section ...

Rats in films have a special immediacy for me. I wonder if they are crawling through the movie house as well as on-screen. (Why did William Castle, the old entrepreneur of many in-theater shock gimmicks, never make a rat movie and let some of his critters loose in the Bijou?) When the feral crap-classic "Willard" came out in 1971, I was obliged to review it, but the sight of those rampaging rodents, even as they devoured Ernest Borgnine's hairy carcass, stoked now-and-then nightmares.

I confess there's nothing logical about my fear and loathing of the world's Bens and Templetons. I have never been directly menaced by a rat -- never found one staring at me on my pillow as I awoke, or leaping out of a trash can as I opened it, or marshaling his brethren into a teeming back-alley street gang. I also know that whatever their shock value, I'm bigger; they can't step on me. ("You ever wonder how it would be," a character in Stephen King's "Graveyard Shift" muses, "if we was little and they were big -- ") I know too that they are as likely to scurry away from me as I am to freeze at their sight.

That is, I think I know. I am reminded of the conversation of two policeman in "Ben," the 1972 sequel to the original "Willard," as they approach a house full of malevolent rats. "Give them a chance and they'll always run away from you," one cop says complacently, and the other replies, "I know that, and you know that, but do they know that?"

All of which makes a delicious ordeal of my current assignment: to connect my abhorrence of rats with some comments on the new remake of "Willard." I offer this column to you, dear reader, as a microcosm of horror, and a diversion from the greater atrocity unfolding on your TV screens this week.


Our prime text is "The Rat: A Perverse Miscellany," written and designed by Barbara Hodgson, and recommended unreservedly to ratophobes and ratophiles alike. (Are there rat lovers? Oh, yes. Check the websites. One of them has a photo of a rat suckling at a woman's breast. And may I say, for all of us, "Jeeesh!"?)

In Hodgson's handsome paperback -- handsome, that is, to those who don't mind hundreds of rodents pictured around the margins of the text -- you will find rat facts and myths from around the world. You will visit the Jain temple at Deshnoke, its floor carpeted with rats revered by the locals, and Alberta, Canada, which prides itself on being the world's only rat-free province. (Did Tom Green never try infesting the place?) You will learn of such extermination devices as the Ratapault: "heaves its victims as far as 15 metres into a waiting bucket."

Ratteurateurs will rejoice in Hodgson's compendium of rat lit, from the 20th century masters such as Lawrence Durrell, Georges Bataille, Gunter Grass, H.P. Lovecraft (whose "The Rats in the Walls" is the finest depiction I know of rat-anxiety) and Jerzy Kosinski (whose "The Painted Bird" includes an especially gruesome devouring by rats) back to the earliest English use of the word -- "No-one can rest, with rats out at night" -- in William Langland's "Piers Plowman." The year was 1378.

Two years earlier (July 22, 1376, the legend goes), in a town near Hanover, Germany, the millennium's most famous rat story was hatched. Hamelin was overrun by a nuisance of pestilential proportions. Robert Browning would later describe the situation in inspired doggerel, suitable for consumption by (and scaring of) children:

They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats ...
Anything like the sound of a rat
Makes my heart go pit-a-pat!

Like Heaven's surrogate, a stranger appears in their midst, to promise the miserly burghers to rid the town of rats -- for 1000 guilders. The Mayor and the Corporation agree, or say they do. The Pied Piper is as good as he word: he plays a few shrill notes, and every rat dives suicidally into the River Weser. Finally, though, the Browning version of "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" is a fable not of rats' evil but of man's venality. The Mayor refuses to pay the Piper. And the Verminator, like Pan or Peter Pan, leads the town's children away from their irresponsible parents -- into a mountain, gone forever.

Rats in literature are frequently the messengers or minions of infernal beasts, as in "Dracula." For other 19th century writers, particularly journalists, rats were the expression of man's bestiality to man. When Charles Dickens came to Manhattan, in 1842, he was appalled by the conditions in the Tombs, a Manhattan prison, where the corpses of detainees are left to rot, and a man "is half-eaten by rats in an hour's time."

The severest circumstances can heighten ingenuity and lessen dietary scruples. After the Battle of Gettysburg, a group of captured Rebel soldiers was held at Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island. Here is a recollection of one prisoner, Captain John S. Swann: "Not long after my arrival I heard a cry "Rat call! Rat call!" ... A number of prisoners were moving and some running up near the partition, over which a sergeant was standing and presently he began throwing rats down. The prisoners scrambled for the rats like school boys for apples.... Of course but few were lucky enough to get a rat. The rats were cleaned, put in salt water a while and fried. Their flesh was tender and not unpleasant to the taste."

And what if rats are the tasters, not the tastees? That's the purring motor behind "The Graveyard Rats," the begetter of my pre-teen rat-reticence. In his first published story (the March 1936 issue of Weird Tales), Kuttner relates the grim saga of Masson -- caretaker of an ancient Salem cemetery -- and his battle with the creatures who keep stealing coffin treasures (diamond stickpins, cufflinks and the occasional laboratory corpse) that Masson wants for his own. One night he opens a coffin to see that the rats have just dragged a corpse through the gnawed-out end of a coffin. Grabbing a flashlight, he follows the cadaver and its verminous thieves into the cemetery's tunnels, when ...

"Agonizing pain shot through his leg. He felt sharp teeth sink into his flesh, and kicked out frantically. There was a shrill squealing and the scurry of many feet. Flashing the light behind him, Masson caught his breath in a sob of fear as he saw a dozen great rats watching him intently, their slitted eyes glittering in the light. They were great misshapen things, as large as cats, and behind them he caught a glimpse of a dark shape that stirred and moved swiftly aside into the shadow; and he shuddered at the unbelievable size of the thing."

But I can quote no more. Find it, read it and soil yourself with fright.

ROOM 101

In the 20th century, the great literary anatomizer of rats was Eric Blair, who wrote as George Orwell. Rats find him, or he them, in his memoirs of public school days, of service in the Burmese police, of indigency in Paris and London. "Animal Farm," his parable of Soviet Communism, begins with a supposedly egalitarian society, but even in the rosy dawn of socialism rats are the natural enemy and victim of dogs and cats.

In "Homage to Catalonia," a vibrant recollection of fighting for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, Orwell's revulsion for rats reflects his growing disillusion with Iberian Communism. He writes of a barn where he and his squad waited to attack the fascists: "the place was alive with rats. The filthy brutes came swarming out of the ground on every side. If there is one thing I hate more than another it is a rat running over me in the darkness. However, I had the satisfaction of catching one of them a good punch that sent him flying."

These recollections are similar to those of the Civil War soldiers: in dire circumstances, the rat is likely to be man's first companion and adversary. But the idea of rat -- as that thing that goes scratch in the night, as the lurking evil -- can be more terrifying than the grinding reality in an enforced community of rat and man. Orwell dramatized this in "1984," when the hero Winston Smith must face his worst fear in an interrogation session with his torturer O'Brien. He must enter Room 101, which is literally a rats' nest.

"'The worst thing in the world,' said O'Brien, 'varies from individual to individual ... In your case,' said O'Brien, 'the worst thing in the world happens to be rats.'

"... the cage with the rats was not two metres away from him. They were enormous rats. They were at the age when a rat's muzzle grows blunt and fierce and his fur brown instead of grey.

"'The rat,' said O'Brien, still addressing his invisible audience, 'although a rodent, is carnivorous. You are aware of that. You will have heard of the things that happen in the poor quarters of this town. In some streets a woman dare not leave her baby alone in the house, even for five minutes. The rats are certain to attack it. Within quite a small time they will strip it to the bones. They also attack sick or dying people. They show astonishing intelligence in knowing when a human being is helpless.

... "'When I press this other lever, the door of the cage will slide up. These starving brutes will shoot out of it like bullets. Have you ever seen a rat leap through the air? They will leap on to your face and bore straight into it. Sometimes they attack the eyes first. Sometimes they burrow through the cheeks and devour the tongue.'

"The wire door was a couple of hand-spans from his face. The rats knew what was coming now. One of them was leaping up and down, the other, an old scaly grandfather of the sewers, stood up, with his pink hands against the bars, and fiercely sniffed the air. Winston could see the whiskers and the yellow teeth. Again the black panic took hold of him. He was blind, helpless, mindless."


I don't recall any trauma-inducing rat movies from my youth, but watching them now can leaves wounds on my inner child. Sitting deep in my seat for the new "Willard," I was edgy from the film's first line" a Mother Bates-type voice shouting, "Willard, there are rats in the basement!" Willard (Crispin Glover) treads downstairs looking for rats. He dutifully sets traps. Later, he hears them all snap shut, but when he checks he sees that all are empty. Then the critters scuttle into view.

A good beginning to a medium-spooky movie. Willard finds that one of the invaders, a white rat, seems brighter than the others, a leader; Willard calls him Socrates. The lad also finds a huge brown rat (Gambian, if you care to adopt one) whom he names Ben, for Big Ben. Soon Willard leads his brood into a revenger's tragedy against his sadistic nemesis Mr. Martin (R. Lee Ermey). He packs them in a satchel, takes them to Martin's garage and in a trice they've gnawed through the bottom of the wooden door and demolished Martin's beloved sports car. Pursued by a neighborhood mutt, Willard impulsively tosses the dog into the satchel, but shortly opens it and allows the dog to escape unharmed.

The PG-13 horror-movie code apparently ordains that canines may not be devoured alive by rats. Ah, but felines... Later, an anxious Willard tosses a cat into his house. The cat is pursued by Ben and his carrion legion; it jumps to the top of a china cabinet, whose legs the rats methodically gnaw away. Down goes the cat toward the floor and the eager incisors of a hundred ravenous rodents. (Stay tuned for word of the ultimate cat-rat movie, "Men Behind the Sun.")

By this part of the movie, I had ceased being a pathetic ratophobe test case and was now only an interested observer. Allow me to explain. For me, the frightening thing about rats is their movement: fast and furtive, out of nowhere, into my path. (No, the rat would say, "my path"). This flash of motion jolts my sluggish nervous system, like a shock cut in a horror movie. I know I'm not at serious risk; it just takes a scary second for my brain to tell my body. And once I know the creature is there, on screen or on the street, I can accommodate myself to a general unease. So my favorite parts of "Willard" are the early scenes, when I tested my reactions against director Glen Morgan's timing -- his ability to send a rat across my field of vision without my being prepared for it.

After that, the game was not Beware of the Rats but Spot the Movie References. The main ones are two Hitchcock films: "Psycho" (Norman and Mother Bates, the creepy house, the corpse-love) and "The Birds." In a passing pretty moment, one rat after another climbs up the back of a couch and perches there, like the crows massing on the "Birds" jungle gym. This is the prelude to the eat-the-bad-guy moment, which is muddied rather than enhanced by too many digitally applied rats. But then, horror movies, like comedies, rarely end as exciting as they begin. It's the nature of the genre.

The film's genuine oddness derives mostly from the presence and performance of Glover, eccentric actor extraordinaire. Curiously unlined and young-looking at 38, he portrays Willard as daft from those first steps downstairs; he already lives in the basement of his derangement. For a foretaste of his Willard, check out his playing of the title character in the recent film adaptation of Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener." And for hints to Glover's own mindset, do search out his book "Rat Catching," a kind of brilliant-child's defacing of an 1896 English work, "Studies in the Art of Rat-Catching." It's mental deconstruction as its most instructive.


Here are ten rat movies, memorable for good reasons and bad, and researched mostly in the quivering gut of my recollection:

10. "L'age d'or" by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali, 1930. Scorpions battle a rat.

9. "The Abominable Doctor Phibes" directed by Robert Fuest, 1971. Rats attack a pilot in his, er, cockpit.

8. "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" directed by Robert Aldrich, 1962. The revelation of a rat on a silver platter struck the teen me as a major Hollywood shock, and a significant breach of movie decorum -- because, unlike the corpse in "Diabolique" or the mommy-mummy in "Psycho," the awful dead thing was real.

7. "The Great Conqueror's Concubine" by Stephen Shin, 1994. Toward the start of this 3hr. imperial epic, the fabulous Gong Li and the nearly-so Rosamund Kwan are bathing in a large wooden vat. Rosamund screams when she spots a large rat swimming toward her. With a what's-the-big-whoop shrug, the Gongster grabs the rodent and tosses it out of the vat. Watching this scene, strong men across Asia fell in love.

6. "Truly Madly Deeply" by Anthony Minghella, 1991. It was supposed to be a tender post-mortem love story: a Brit "Ghost" for grownups. To me, it was a documentary about rat infestation: the huge creatures keep crawling over Juliet Stephenson's bed. (Minghella says he based the incident on the actress' testimony about her own apartment. But still ...)

5. Francis Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula," 1992. Van Helsing locates the vampire seemingly sleeping against a wall. The caped figure metamorphoses into a thousand rats, which collapse en masse to the floor and rush toward Van Helsing.

4. "Nosferatu the Vampyr" by Werner Herzog, 1979. They're everywhere! everywhere! (And they were, too: Herzog let loose 15,000 rats in the medieval town of Delft, and not all were recovered.) In one memorable scene, a couple surrounded by rats resolutely finishes an al-fresco lunch before the creatures clamber up the table legs to devour the leftovers. Most "Dracula" movies underline the demon's infectious sexuality. Herzog's, like F.W. Murnau's 1922 original, emphasizes the charnel aspect. As incarnated by Klaus Kinski, this Dracula is a true rat-man.

3. "Rats -- the Movie" by James M. Felter. I haven't seen this documentary; I can't swear it was ever released. But the "exhaustive synopsis" on its website suggests a horrifically edifying experience. A study of the rat problem in Washington, D.C., the movie begins on Willard Street (no kidding!) and "an ill-maintained and misused dumpster" that "becomes a Mecca for hordes of hungry vermin. Squeaks and squeals punctuate the social positioning and frenetic acrobatics that fuel a universal cultural phobia: the night is coming alive with RATS." Some of the neighborhood's homeless are used to them: "They crawl right up over your head to get inside those blankets on a cold night. They won't bother you a bit -- just crawl in and try to keep warm -- just like you. And when you move they just scamper out." Let's go, PBS. Show this soon on "The American Experience."

2. "The Men Behind the Sun" by T.F. Mous (Mou Tunfei), 1988. The most notorious fiction film about rats, though they appear only briefly. Based on the true, and truly deeply mad, experiments by the Japanese physician Shiro Ishii and Squadron 731 in Manchuria during the Japanese occupation of China, this solemn Taiwan-Mainland co-production includes some mighty grisly scenes: of a man whose intestines explode out his anus (faked), of a dead boy slit open to have his organs removed (supposedly using a child who had died the day before). But the big one is when a live cat is thrown into a room filled with hundreds of rats, and eaten alive by the devouring horde. The doctor looks on and offers this moral: "A small rat can beat a cat. Fleas and germs can defeat bombers and guns. This is the basic theory behind 731."

Quizzed in 1991 about this two-minute scene by critic Donato Totaro, Mous replied: "I know the English love animals -- I like animals too. As the director, that scene has a meaning -- it's up to you to discover what it means." He squirmed and added, "I'd like to change the subject, if at all possible." No question that Mous meant "Men Behind the Sun" as a serious indictment of Japan's wartime outrages. Also no question that the cat-rat scene could bring pleasure only to sadists ... and rats. But if the latter keep watching the film, they'll get a jolt. At the end, the same creatures who devoured the cat get set on fire and burned alive. Interestingly, not many viewers have complained about the wanton destruction of all those rats.

1. "Der Ewige Jude" / "The Eternal Jew" by Fritz Hippler, 1940. The vilest of all Nazi anti-Jewish hate films. The entire "documentary" is revolting: it finds Jews ugly, unclean, pestilential, and hopes the German moviegoer will too. In the most infamous sequence, shots of rats are intercut with scenes of Jewish life, as the narration reads: "Wherever rats appear they bring ruin, by destroying mankind's goods and foodstuffs. In this way, they spread disease, plague, leprosy, typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery, and so on. They are cunning, cowardly, and cruel, and are found mostly in large packs. Among the animals, they represent the rudiment of an insidious and underground destruction -- just like the Jews among human beings." It is a mark of the popular view of rats that, of all the egregious lies spread in "The Eternal Jew," this is the one to stick for more than 60 years.

Interviewed shortly before his death last year by Adam Tanner, Hippler went the only-following-orders route: "I just did what Goebbels told me. I didn't want to debate this topic with Goebbels because it would have been useless. Of course I didn't feel that one could compare Jews with rats." Of course he didn't. But rather than debate the subject, Hippler went ahead and fashioned one of the most odious films ever to stain celluloid.


On September 11, 2001, New York City was attacked by vermin 500 feet up. That was novel. We are used to pests scurrying below eye-level: on subway tracks, down our alleys, through the flowerbeds in front of the Plaza Hotel. The largest rat I've ever seen in person was trying to squeeze into a crack in the Time + Life Building on 50th Street.

I occasionally see rats in my Manhattan neighborhood, Tribeca. A flourishing family lives in a building on Worth Street between West Broadway and Hudson. Once a rat scurried under my feet as I walked by the house with my wife and our friend Jim Hoberman. Since then, I've noticed them quite a few times; they seem to know of my scholarly interest and emerge to perform. One evening not long ago, after I rode past in a taxi without seeing the usual occupants, I stepped out at the end of the block and nearly trod on a dead rat by the curb.

Rats, like humans, like good food. When the posh restaurant Bouley was housed in the building adjoining ours, and the staff refused to keep their garbage properly encased in metal cans, Tribeca got a much larger, plumper, more sauntering species of rodent: gourmet rats. (Was David Bouley breeding them for feeding his customers?) I have often seen rats scurry from a cellar in a house between restaurants on Greenwich Street, and from beneath the flower boxes outside the Odeon Cafeteria into the gutter.

Do rats have the same fondness for children? That suspicion keeps the Pied Piper exterminators busy around Public School 234 -- where late one night I saw a swarm of them crossing Greenwich Street toward that building -- and around Washington Market Park, where the occasional sight of a dead rat is both encouraging (the poison is working) and revolting (ugh! a dead rat!). The nearest greenery to my home is Duane Park, a triangular sliver that is much admired by architecture historian Paul Goldberger, and which faces the high-rise residence of AOL Time Warner boss Dick Parsons. There I sometimes hear the rustle, see the slinking of rats. But the more evident marauder is pigeons, thanks to the sandwich crusts left by lunchers and the feed spread by misguided bird fanciers. One summer afternoon I saw, twice, pigeons hop from the ground onto lunchers' laps to peck and pilfer their food.

The existence of rats in Tribeca long predates the neighborhood's recent flourishing into the upper-middle-class. In the 19th century the area was known as Washington Market; butter-and-egg businesses, vegetable wholesalers, meat packers guaranteed an underground economy of rodents. The New Yorker reporter Joseph Mitchell wrote about them in his classic 1945 essay "Rats on the Waterfront" -- required reading for a lonely night when the floorboards start creaking. (Try finishing this sentence without slipping deeper under the covers: "a stableboy tried to kill a rat with a mop; it darted up the mop handle ...") Much of Mitchell's piece is set in Washington Market and its northern sibling, Gansevoort Market: "Before this part of the market was abandoned, in 1942, the rats practically had charge of it. Some of them nested in the drawers of desks. When the drawers were pulled open, they leapt out, snarling."

I'm 46 years beyond my first reading of "The Graveyard Rats." Yet these creatures still snarl in my dreams. And now that I've unburdened myself of my phobia, Doctor, do you think I'll sleep soundly any time soon? Or could it be that, these days and nights, rats are not what worry a Lefty peacenik like me?

24 September 2005

more filched Hindu Astrology -- Rahu & Ketu, the Invisible Planets

Avatars of the Sun, Moon, the Planets visible to the Unaided Eye,
the Invisible Planets Rahu and Ketu,
responsible for Solar Eclipses.
(Click on image for larger, clearer.)


Rahu and Ketu --
The Invisible Planets

Why do Hindus believe that the mythological demons
Rahu and Ketu cause solar eclipses?

In Hindu mythology there is a wonderful story that describes how the gods and the demons once formed an alliance to produce a nectar that could give them immortality. This is the story of the churning of the milk-ocean and the descent of Lord Visnu as the Kurma avatara, the divine tortoise. When the nectar that was churned from this ocean was being served to the gods, a demon, disguised as a god, sat between the Sun and the Moon in an attempt to procure the nectar. When he was detected by the Sun and the Moon, Lord Visnu immediately severed his head from his body. Unfortunately, it was not fast enough, for the demon had already tasted a small quantity of the nectar and had become immortal. Ever since, this demon is said to wreak vengeance on the Sun and Moon whenever they come near. The head of this great demon is known as Rahu and his tail is known as Ketu.

In Hindu astrology Rahu and Ketu are known as two invisible planets. They are enemies of the Sun and the Moon, who at certain times of the year (during conjunction or opposition) swallow the Sun or the Moon causing either a solar or a lunar eclipse. In Sanskrit this is known as grahanam or seizing.

What perhaps sounds like a childish story is a powerful metaphor for what actually happens when an eclipse takes place. Rahu and Ketu are the astronomical points in the sky respectively called the north and south lunar nodes.

To the observer on earth, the paths of the sun and the moon appear to be two great circles projected on the celestial sphere (see the diagram). The sun’s path, the solar ecliptic, makes a complete revolution in one year. At the same time, the moon’s circular path is completed in about one month. Every month the moon will overtake the sun which moves more slowly. This is called new moon or in Sanskrit, amavasya. Usually the moon’s path passes above or below the sun’s path and no eclipse occurs. But, periodically the moon overtakes the sun at the place where their paths intersect. This causes the sun or the moon to be hidden from the earth’s view and is thus called a solar or lunar eclipse. These places of intersection are the north and south lunar nodes, or as they are referred to in Hindu mythology, Rahu and Ketu. Therefore, in the symbolic language of mythology, Rahu and Ketu are said to "swallow up" the Sun and the Moon. The ancient Hindu observers of the sky were aware of the cause of the solar and lunar eclipses and so described the process in the language of metaphor.

filched intro to Hindu / Vedic Astrology

The Hindu/Vedic Zodiac

"This curiosity [Astrology] flourishes, and stimulates one to learn Astronomy ... Now, this Astrology is a foolish Daughter ... But dear Lord, what would happen to her Mother, the highly reasonable Astronomy, if she did not have this foolish Daughter? The world, after all, is much more foolish, indeed is so foolish, that this old sensible Mother Astronomy is talked into things and lied to as a result of her Daughter's foolish pranks ...

"The mathematician's pay would be so low, that the Mother would starve, if the Daughter did not earn anything. If formerly no one had been foolish enough to hope to learn of the future from the sky, then, Herr Astronomer, you would not have gotten so clever as to think that the course of the heavens should be made known for God's honor and glory. In fact, you would have known nothing of the course of the heavens."

-- Johannes Kepler




Vedic Astrology is the ancient Indian science of astrology perfected over 7000 years ago. Earliest mentions of Vedic astrology come in the Vedas, preceded by details of this divine science being revealed by lord Shiva to his spouse goddess Parvati.

According to many other sources Vedic astrology was never created by human and rather was revealed to mankind by lord Brahma who in his infinite wisdom is the only god amongst gods and humans to truly know the future.

On earth Vedic astrology as many people know has been perfected & interpreted by great astrologers like Vaharamihira, Sage Jaimini, Kalidasa and many great saints & holy person.

Amongst other amazing aspect about Vedic astrology, the most impressive is the Dasa System (Exclusive to Hindu Astrology) where predetermined periods are designated to the nine planets and a detailed interpretation is available at birth.

Besides the Nakshtra interpretation is the most superior and sophisticated method of interpretations. Vedic system is also the only reliable system to offer remedies to malefic planets, which has its first mention in the Atharva Veda.

We at dedicate ourselves to follow the principals of Vedic Astrology without diluting or mining the procedures to give you the best interpretations under the Vedic astrology to the best of our ability.

What is a house?

According to older Hindu texts, the words signs and houses fall on each other, but the count of the signs is always made from Aries which is the first sign. If we say a planet is in the first sign, it means that he is in Aries. If we say, it is in the fifth sign, it will be in Leo. If we say, it is in the twelfth sign, it will be in Pisces because Pisces is the last and the twelfth sign. We must remember that when referring to a sign we always count Aries as the first and then proceed in the regular order of the signs.

But a house begins from the ascendant. We must first know which is the sign ascending at the particular moment at a particular place. The Earth is globular. It is like a globe with the sky all around. There is no part of the sky which is not to the east of any locality of the Earth. We can explain this further by giving a practical example. The Sun always appears to be somewhere on the ecliptic. In fact, he is not on the ecliptic; it is the Earth which is on the ecliptic and as viewed from the Earth, the Sun appears to be in line with some place on the ecliptic. Now this Sun at any time appears in the east, in some part or the other of the Earth. So we may state that as the zodiac is a circular ring in the skies, though in fact it is elliptic, going all round, some part of the ring, i.e., the zodiac is on the eastern horizon somewhere.

Now suppose that at a particular time the sign Leo is rising at the eastern horizon. Then Leo will constitute the first house Virgo the second house, Libra the third house, Scorpio the fourth house, Sagittarius the fifth house, Capricorn the sixth house Aquarius the seventh house, Pisces the eighth house, Aries the ninth house, Taurus the tenth house, Gemini the Eleventh house and Cancer the twelfth house. Now suppose that the Sun is n Aquarius. So we say the Sun is in the seventh house or setting in the western horizon.

If suppose Scorpio was rising at New Delhi. Then Scorpio will be the first house, Sagittarius the second house. Capricorn the third house and so on; and the Sun being in Aquarius he will be in the fourth house.

The following signs being in opposition at 180º, to each other are called opposition signs:

Aries is in opposition to Libra and Libra to Aries
Taurus is in opposition to Scorpio and Scorpio to Taurus
Gemini is in opposition to Sagittarius and Sagittarius to Gemini
Cancer is in opposition to Capricorn and Capricorn to Cancer
Leo is in opposition to Aquarius and Aquarius in Leo
Virgo is in opposition to Pisces and Pisces to Virgo

So we must remember that the sign rising to the east at a particular time depends upon the time, date, month, year and the longitude and latitude of the place.

The latitude is very important because the duration of a sign rising differs from latitude to latitude.

Basic result of birth in various houses are:


Mercury House

In the First house. * Cheerful, humorous, well read, clever, many enemies, learned, fond of occult studies and astronomy, witty, influential, intellectual, respected, long-lived, love of literature and poetry.

Second house. * Learned in religious and philosophical lore, sweet speech, good conversationalist, humorous, clever many children, determined, fine manners, captivating look, self-acquisition, wealthy, careful, thrifty, clever in earning money.

Third house. * Daughter, happy mother, clever, cruel, loved by fair sex, tactful, diplomatic, discretion, bold, sensible.

Fourth house. * Learned, agriculturist, good mother, unhappy, skilled in conjuring tricks, obliging, cultured, affectionate, popular, inclined to pursue literary activities.

Fifth house. * Showy, learned, quarrelsome, danger to maternal uncles, parents sickly, good administrative capacity, fond of good furniture and dress, respect from moneyed men, ministerial office, executive ability, speculative, scholar, vain, danger to father, combative.

Sixth house. * Respected, interrupted education, subordinate officer, executive capacity, quarrelsome, showy, dissimulation, losses in money peevish, bigoted, troubles in the feet and toes.

Seventh house. * Diplomatic, interesting literary ability early in life and success through it, early marriage, wife handsome, dutiful and short-tempered, breaks in education, learned in astrology, astronomy and mathematics, success in trade, successful, dashing, gay, skilful, religious, charitable, strong body.

Eighth house. * Long life, landed estate, easy access to anything desired, grief through domestics, obliging, few issues, many lands, famous, respected, ill-health.

Ninth house. * Highly educated, musician, many children, obliging, licentious, philosophical, lover of literature, creative mind, inquisitive, scientific-minded, popular, well known.

Tenth house. * Determined, fortunate, enjoyments in life, intelligent, bad sight, active, cheerful, charitable, able, philanthropic.

Eleventh house. * Wealthy, happy, mathematical faculty, good astrologer, many friends among famous men, many lands, logical and scientific, success in trade.

Twelfth house. * Philosophical, intelligent, worried, adulterous, obliging, capricious, wayward, narrow-minded, gifted, despondent, passionate, few children, lacking in opportunities, danger to mother.

Mars House

In the First house. * Hot constitution, scars in the body, pilfering habits, big navel, early danger to father, reddish complexion, active, adventurous, powerful and low-minded.

Second house. * Quarrelsome, extravagant, harsh speech, adulterous, short-tempered, wasteful, sharp-tongued, broken education, satirical, large patrimony, bad-tempered, aggressive, unpopular and awkward.

Third house. * Pioneering, few brothers, sex-morals weak, courageous, intelligent, reckless, adventurous, short-tempered, unprincipled, easy morals, unpopular.

Fourth house. * Sickly mother, quarrels, unhappy home life, danger to father, domestic quarrels and conveyances, uncomfortable, coarse, brutal, tyrannical, vulgar.

Fifth house. * Unpopular, no issues, ambitious, intelligent persevering, unhappy, bold, unprincipled, decisive.

Sixth house. * Successful, good lands, rich success over enemies, intelligent, political success, powerful, worry from near relations.

Seventh house. * Two wives or friction with wife, dropsy, rash speculations, unsuccessful, intelligent, tactless, stubborn idiosyncratic, peevish, passionate, tension in married life.

Eighth house. * Short life, few children, danger to maternal uncles, widower later, hater of relations, bad sight, extramarital relations.

Ninth house. * Unkind worldly, successful trader, loss from agriculture, sickly father, naval merchant, dependent life, self-seeking, acute, stubborn, impetuous, logical.

Tenth house. * Founder of institutions and towns, energetic, adventurous, wealthy, active, healthy, famous, self made man, good agriculturist, good profits, clever, successful loved by relations, decisive.

Eleventh house. * Learned, educated, wealthy, influential property, crafty, happy, commanding.

Twelfth house. * Unsuccessful, poor, rotten body, unpopular, incendiary diseases, suffering, stumbling, active, fruitless, liable to fraud and deception, dishonest, unseen, impediments, deformed eyes.

Ketu House

In the first house. * Emaciated figure, weak constitution, much perspiration, weak-hearted, slender, piles, sexual indulgence, diplomatic.

Second house. * Bad speaker, quiet, quick in perception, peevish, hard-hearted, thrifty and economical.

Third house. * Adventurous, strong, artistic, wealthy, popular.

Fourth house. * Quarrelsome, licentious, weak, fear of poisons.

Fifth house. * Liberal, loss of children, sinful, immoral if afflicted.

Sixth house. * Fond of adultery, good conversationalist, licentious, venereal complaints, learned.

Seventh house. * Passionate, sinful, connections with widows, sickly wife.

Eighth house. * Senseless, obscure, dull, sanguine complexion, piles and similar troubles.

Ninth house. * Short-sighted, sinful, untruthful, thrifty, many children, good wife.

Tenth house. * Fertile brain, happy, religious, pilgrimage to sacred rivers and places, fond of scriptures.

Eleventh house. * Humorous, witty, licentious, intelligent, wealthy.

Twelfth house. * Capricious, unsettled mind, foreign residence, attracted to servile classes, much traveling, licentious, spiritual knowledge.

Rahu House

In the Ascendant. * Obliging, sympathetic, abortion, courageous, sickly wife or husband.

Second house. * Poor and more than one wife if afflicted, dark complexion, diseased face, peevish, luxurious dinners.

Third house. * Few children, wealthy, bold, adventurous, courageous, good gymnastic, many relations.

Fourth house. * Liaison with women of easy virtue, subordinate, proficient in European languages.

Fifth house. * Childless, flatulent, tyrannical, polite, narrow-minded and hard-hearted.

Sixth house. * Enjoyment, venereal complaints, no enemies, many cousins.

Seventh house. * Wife suffering from menstrual disorders, widow or divorcee connection, diabetes, luxurious food, unhappy.

Eighth house. * Vicious, degraded, quarrelsome, narrow-mined, immoral, adulterous.

Ninth house. * A puppet in the hands of the wife, impolite, uncharitable, emaciated waist, loose morals.

Tenth house. * Intimacy with widows, taste in poetry and literature, good artist, traveler, learned.

Eleventh house. * Wealthy, influential among lower castes, many children, good agriculturist.

Twelfth house. * Deformed, few children, defective sight, very many losses, saintly.

SOMEONE FOR EVERYBODY!!! Vleeptron swallows the Cookie, so you don't have to!

A Hindu Wedding Ceremony is held in the evening or night, on a date and time which is deemed auspicious -- after duly consulting almanacs and the horoscopes of the partners to be. It is usually a culmination of a series of related ceremonies such as sangeet (a gathering of family and friends to sing and dance -- celebrating the coming together of two families.) For the Wedding itself a mandap is erected -- a sort of elaborately decorated tent, and a "havan" is lit -- sacred fire for sanctity and purification inside the mundap. The pundit -- a high caste Brahmin, now, solemnizes the contract by reciting and getting the couple to recite Vedic hymns from our 7000 year old Aryan ancestry. This is followed by (or can be accompanied by) feasting, music and celebratory shows for the guests.

Hmmmmm ... It's possible the e-mail Spam that led me to click on this website can be traced to one of my Internet Relay Chat (IRC) relapses, in which I hopped the Zeta Beam to #Bangalore (on Undernet -- I think I lost my wristwatch there, if you find it, pls etc.), a city in India I'm quite fascinated with. And you should be interested in it too, if you have a Computer and a Future. (If you don't have a computer, how the hell did you get here?)

Part of the Vleeptron NGO Mission is to bring peace between A-Bomb Pakistan and A-Bomb India -- before they exchange A-Bombs -- and to bring peace to the never-ending ethnic war in Sri Lanka -- the legendary Island of Serendip, where many believe the Garden of Eden was, and where, more recently, Suicide Bombing was invented.

Almost everything in is News To Me. So rather than be accused of being an Ignorant Westerner making disrespectful fun of the customs of other peoples -- I Am Not, but permit me please to smile a little at the Chasm of My Own Ignorance -- Vleeptron will just run the text of this website stet [just as it came up on my screen]. Pretty much. Res ipse loquitur.

What little I know about the Caste System of India comes from the Hollywood movie "Ghandi," and other dubious and questionable Disney-like sources. This is the first time I've ever come across the actual Names of the Castes of India.

(Ghandi was trying to eliminate the Caste System and its built-in bigotry, prejudice and discrimination. Obviously he failed at that. Throwing the British Empire out of India/Pakistan without resorting to a single act of political violence was the best he could do.)

If ANYONE from the Subcontinent should wander into the Akira Kurasawa Zeta Beam Drome and read this, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT giving Vleeptron (moi) a little (or a lot of) Information about these religions, these Castes, these Ethnicities, these Courtship and Marriage Customs, etc. etc.

It's all Greek to me! (But the Greeks, naturally, have to say: It's all Chinese to me!)

btw Bob is Happily Married and is NOT looking for another wife, or two other wives, or three or four (polygamy). Likewise, I'm pretty sure SWMBO is not looking for another husband, or two or three more (polyandry -- still common in some Himalayan societies). But if you're a

[ ] Female seeking

(2) (3) (4) (5) (6) Males to Marry

Vleeptron has maybe steered you to the Right Place!


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Shaadi Success

Pooja & Rajiv's story,
23rd November 2003


VLEEPTRON FRUSTRATION: We can't seem to filch the foto of Pooja (she's hot!) and Rajiv. If you want to see the Happy Couple, go here:


Here's our story.... First of all, I thank Shaadi team for helping us to find each other. I, Rajiv found my life partner(soulmate and friend) Pooja, through My profile was posted on mid August of 2003. And within 15 days, our marriage was fixed. Our marriage was solemnized at Guruvayur, Kerala on 28th September. My wife was in US and I was in India. And we spoke only two times. Those conversations was enough for me to understand Pooja. She is my everything and it is who helped me in finding her. She is the one I was looking for and my dream came true. Pooja: For me, now Rajiv is my everything. I never met someone who is so loving and caring. He is to me God's Gift. And it is Shaadi who helped me in finding him. Thank you Shaadi team members for your co-operation. Rajiv: Thank you again for bringing us together. We wish you all the best. Rajiv & Pooja Nair

Team Congratulates Pooja and Rajiv....
Wishing you both a happy future!


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thanks of a grateful nation / never have so many been so fucked over by so few who never served

In the depths of the Great Depression in 1932, police and Army soldiers (under the command of General Douglas MacArthur) forceably evict World War One veterans from their "Hooverville" camp in Washington DC, where they had marched to demand pension "bonuses" the US government had promised them. (Unnamed Associated Press photographer)

Rudyard Kipling (1892)

I WENT into a public 'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, " We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, go away " ;
But it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, wait outside ";
But it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tide
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap.
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "
But it's " Thin red line of 'eroes " when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes, " when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble
in the wind
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble
in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "
But it's " Saviour of 'is country " when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An 'Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

Crummy Old Wine Part 4 of 4: Bob Mirrors Himself

Vietnam War era draft card (USA Selective Service System)

Cordite Masthead
<---- Justin Lowe reviews Chris Mansell | Kieran Mangan reviews 'Undead' ---->
Robert Merkin: "Draft Dodgers & Veterans"

DP: In terms of the draft -- in the US, was it based on birthdays? This is my understanding of the way they did it in Australia at the time (my father narrowly missed being called up - i think it was a matter of days). It seems to me this is an even more profound aspect of the whole "living dead" thing - that your status as a 'zombie' is predicated on your day of birth ... do you think a whole generation was/is in effect a generation of zombies?

RM: Oh, okay, the draft. Well, that was one fucked up way to round up a lot of testicular-Americans for universal military service ...

... by the time it got around to me, it had become a miserable sieve of loopholes that pretty much let anyone from the upper-middle class and the Caucasian part of town duck service if he wanted to; only the rural poor and the urban blacks and Hispanics were getting on the busses with regularity. These weren't issues during World War II. The problem, of course, was that by Vietnam, nobody wanted to go. (During WWII, nobody wanted to be left behind in civilian clothes.)

The month after I was drafted, the system shifted to a birthday lottery. Me, I was having family troubles (throughout history the recruiter's best friend), and I was not at all inspired with college, which until the birthday lottery was the white boy's easy exemption ticket. I'd started working as a reporter for a big-city newspaper already, and just didn't want to fight the draft by staying in college anymore. When thousands of people are dying needlessly every week a half a world away, it just seems a sort of absurd response to sign up for Restoration and Jacobean Tragedy. I was 22 when I was drafted; my nickname in basic training was "old man."

A friend of mine, a math professor, has shown me a paper from around 1995 which shows that the Vietnam birthday lottery draft was fundamentally misdesigned, favoring some birthdays, making others significantly more dangerous. I find the implications of that -- well, I don't know how I find them. First of all, I wasn't caught by the lottery, and never wanted to find out how February 5 would have fared. Then, to learn 25 years later that there was yet another dimension of unfairness and fatality to the draft -- lethal bigotry against every male born on 083, 111 and 264 rather than the lethal bigotry we'd all learned to be comfy with against blacks and Hispanics --

DP: What has been the reaction of veterans to your books? Do you find that they share your views? I think this quote from ZJ sums it up:

"We have no future as veterans. The only future we have is now, trapped between now and when we get out or when we die over there. After that we have no future. We'll be zombies. We'll be people who were supposed to have died. The living people who agreed to send us to the war won't want us around.”

RM: Thanks for plucking out what I suppose is my favorite piece of dialogue from ZJ. Moiself, though my own military experience was rather mild and safe, it has been my subsequent life challenge to transcend zombiedom, and even learn to have a good time. (My brief glimpse of the Life Australian was actually very helpful in this regard; America is a very puritanical society, as I'm sure you discovered.)

It pleases me that I served. The war itself, of course, was an abomination, but letting myself get drafted let me keep my big opinionated American mouth, vote and citizenship, and it also let me grow older without wondering what happened to the poor black or Hispanic kid whom they drafted in my place when I used some yuppie loophole to duck service. I don't like the "all-volunteer military" which has replaced even the miserably flawed draft. Now our most economically desperate and most disenfranchised children do our risking and dying for us; and consequently our political elite finds it much easier to engage us in even screwier wars.

It has surprised and pleased me that no veteran has ever complained about the book, and in fact I have had nothing but effusive compliments. One vet included a lovely fat marijuana cigarette in his fan letter. I suppose I had cosmic literary ambitions, but I was more than willing to settle just for a very precise and accurate historical account of soldiering during that war, of the feel and taste and sound of it; and I think that has touched my veteran readers more than the politics of it.

Robert Merkin: "Well we don't give a damn 'cause we done dead already."

(1) "As a little introduction to me and zombies"
(2) On Thomas Pynchon & Mass Hypnosis
(3) "Returning, We Hear the Larks"
(4) Draft Dodgers & Veterans

This entry was posted in the following categories: FEATURES
Home : Posted by david on August 18, 2003 08:21 PM. Site & contents © 2000-2005 Cordite Press Inc.

Crummy Old Wine Pt. 3 of 4: Bob mirrors himself

The WWI British soldier poet Isaac Rosenberg

Cordite Masthead
<---- Robert Merkin: “On Thomas Pynchon & Mass Hypnosis” | Justin Lowe reviews Michael Farrell ---->

Robert Merkin: “Returning, We Hear the Larks”

RM: This issue’s theme for Cordite is Zombie; and I have partially tried to drag it into matters regarding soldiers, and veterans who return home not yet dead but no longer fully alive. (An old student trick is to ignore any exam question you can't answer, and pretend you misunderstood the question, and merrily answer a different question that you can ...)

... In April, the Imperial War Museum in London ended a heartbreaking and magnificent exhibit, "Anthem for Doomed Youth," about the lives and poems of twelve British soldier poets of World War I. (The title is from a Wilfred Owen poem.) The exhibit lingers in cyberspace and I strongly recommend it to you and Cordite's readers:

I went a step beyond and bought the hardback book of the exhibit -- I was actually on the verge of running away from home to catch the exhibit while it lasted, but couldn't get away -- and the book is a gorgeous, loving piece of publishing which wraps some magnificent poetry, a body of striking poems far beyond those we are all dutifully taught in high school.

Some of these soldier poets, like Graves, survived the Great War and lived to ripe old ages. Isaac Rosenberg, a working-class lad who aspired to be a painter, was not one of them. He was one of the few of these poets who were not of England's aristocracy; his was a brief, unlucky, toxic, undernourished and hardscrabble life. A short young man, he was assigned to some freakish outfit called The Bantam Battalion. After the War, Sassoon edited his poems and saw to their publication.

"Returning, We Hear the Larks"
by Isaac Rosenberg (1890 - 1918)

Sombre the night is.
And though we have our lives, we know
What sinister threat lurks there.

Dragging these anguished limbs, we only know
This poison-blasted track opens on our camp --
On a little safe sleep.

But hark! joy -- joy -- strange joy.
Lo! heights of night ringing with unseen larks.
Music showering on our upturned list'ning faces.

Death could drop from the dark
As easily as song --
But song only dropped,
Like a blind man's dreams on the sand
By dangerous tides,
Like a girl's dark hair for she dreams no ruin lies there,
Or her kisses where a serpent hides.

War is the wholesale theft not just of life, but of all beauty, the wholesale theft of pleasure and ease. The soldiering experience begins instantly with a monastic cloistering, the theft of sex and the theft of the company of women. The official culture hails and praises the great, special experience of being without sex and without intimacy and without women, and though surrounded by men, the absolute denial of men as partners in sex and intimacy. Very few young men enjoy this strange culture or are grateful for this great, special experience.

I think perhaps we are somewhat uncomfortable with Life. It is so noisy and messy and wet, it threatens to make us pregnant or give us parasites, it threatens to overflow our little souls with passion and jealousy and rapture, none of which we can control or keep clean and sanitary. And so we manufacture experiences that steer us away from too much Life; and safely steer us toward Death. The military is a celebration of Death, the May Day of young beautiful faces that have stopped breathing.

A lot of literature, unfortunately, tends to heap unique, exquisite beauty and virtue on Dying Young; impressionable young readers are encouraged to think they are missing something, and have failed Truth and Beauty somehow, if they reach age 30 with all their limbs. I personally detest the literary shortcut of killing off Billy Budd or some doomed neuresthenic young aristrocrat in a ball gown. I think the great problem a writer has to somehow illuminate is the problem of what happens, and what we should do, if we accidentally manage to live and survive; because most people do live and survive, so most people are stuck with this embarrassing problem. I think it is detestable to encourage young people to think that the Triumph lies in sudden beautiful death at 22, or at Romeo's 15. Our job is to cling to life, aesthetically icky as success at age 46 may appear.

Here, let me interrupt myself to display my pathetic knowledge of things Australian. Conversations I had with Ozzies when I visited in '86 (Alice Springs, to see Halley's Comet) acquainted me with the ghastly experiences of Australian veterans after they'd fought in Vietnam. That, and what little I learned of the treatment of Russian vets of the Afghan occupation, deepened my beliefs about the common experiences of veterans -- that those who sent them to misbegotten wars are far more comfortable with the honored war dead than they are with living survivors. Probably because we choose, at our convenience, when to visit the graves of the dead, and we the living design our comforting rituals to remember them; but actual survivors are daily embarrassing and often uncooperative reminders of our social and political mistakes, and deeply unpleasant and disturbing reminders of our failures to adequately cherish and protect our young people.

Robert Merkin: "Well we don't give a damn 'cause we done dead already."

(1) "As a little introduction to me and zombies"
(2) On Thomas Pynchon & Mass Hypnosis
(3) "Returning, We Hear the Larks"
(4) Draft Dodgers & Veterans

This entry was posted in the following categories: FEATURES
Home : Posted by david on August 11, 2003 10:18 AM. Site & contents © 2000-2005 Cordite Press Inc.