Literary Musings || Joseph Brodsky & my night at the Russian Samovar


Some thing I wrote on my other blog you may like

Originally posted on MovingWithTheMystery:

994163489-1-bigDuring the gripping cold of January nights this year, I lost myself in Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. On a June night a few months later, I’d find myself in a similar predicament. This time around, it wouldn’t be the extreme cold gripping the North-East or relentlessly nipping at the heels of  of Ivan Denisovich. No matter where I turned last night whether to the poetry of  Joseph Brodsky or the memories of the white piano belting at the Russian Samovar. I was overwhelmed with euphonious melodies.

To ears without any training in Russian, almost every song sounds like either the famed Katyusha song at one end of the spectrum or Dark eyes at the other. It isn’t too much of a stretch though to find the longing in both poet and song, for resolution, for love, for a home. Under the dictates of my creative…

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My Fellow Bloggers, We are part of the Problem (1)

This post was inspired by a conversation with the lovely author of

In biology it’s called a signal transduction cascade. One molecule attaches to a receptor. The receptor undergoes some change triggering a large response inside the cell Whole pathways of genes can be turned on or off. I don’t want to go into G proteins and Ca2+ ion influx and the ramification on kinases or phosphatases. What I want to stress is that it all starts out with one small molecule, one signal which gets amplified.

During the course of the day many significant events happen around the world. Depending on a few criteria certain stories are chosen. I talked about this briefly in my post from a week and change ago: What Looking for an Angles means for Social Discussion. To recap, I brought up the “propaganda model”. The propaganda model views the private media as businesses interested in the sale of a product (readers and audiences) to other businesses (advertisers) rather than that of quality news to the public.


The size and profit-seeking imperative of dominant media corporations create a bias. Since media outlets are large corporations or part of conglomerates the information presented to the public will be biased with respect to these interests. 

Funding generated through advertising. There is fierce competition throughout the media to attract advertisers; a newspaper which gets less advertising than its competitors is at a serious disadvantage. The news is “filler” to get privileged readers to see the advertisements. Stories that conflict with their “buying mood”, along with information that presents a picture of the world that collides with advertisers’ interests are not given much attention. 

The mass media are drawn into a symbiotic relationship with powerful sources of information by economic necessity and reciprocity of interest. Business corporations and trade organizations are also trusted sources of stories considered newsworthy. Editors and journalists who offend these powerful news sources, perhaps by questioning the veracity or bias of the furnished material, can be threatened with the denial of access to their media life-blood – fresh news.



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Bloggers have an interesting role to play in the transduction of information. Sometimes we are, whether consciously or unconsciously part of the problem. By the way, when I talk of blogger I include myself as well. The media turns our attention towards a certain depiction of the truth. We (bloggers) go on to talk about it quite often in a reactionary way. We can polarize a lot of public reactions. We are an important stop in the signal transduction cascade. I feel the picture to the left summarizes a lot of what I mean to say.

I would like to give you an example from my observations and you can tell me what you think.

Example 1: Objectification

Objectification is big in the news. There are so many articles printed on sexual objectification. One common feature they each share is that while they may acknowledge the complexity of the issue they cannot and do not delve into the social, political, biological and economic realities involved in such a large issue. Furthermore, it’s never mentions that sexual objectification is just one of many forms of objectification. No one mentions how we objectify the innocent victims of drone strikes, or the prisoners that make the large prisoner industrial complex run, or minorities, or people of certain classes, etc. We are only “allowed” to talk about sexual objectification, and when we do so we have to talk about it in such a way as to not account for the diversity of people culture and other factors. In effect, our collective cultural cherry-picking is never mentioned.

Let’s Continue this conversation

I thought that now that I have introduced the outlines of my thinking. I can come back and further elaborate and give you more examples and the fruits of my musings. Meanwhile please leave your thoughts and comments.

Chaning Tatum And Jonah Hill 22 Jump Street Photocall

My LGBT Friends – Let’s Us Talk About the Reality of Words and The Jonah Hill Incident

I will get write (this is a pun) into it.

Words can hurt us deeply. Everybody regardless of age, gender, race, religion has experienced being hurt by words. As someone with writes, I have great respect for words, and it is because of that respect that I wanted to write this post. I wanted to raise a question.

The Setup & Question


Chaning Tatum And Jonah Hill 22 Jump Street PhotocallLast week Jonah Hill hurled Anti-gay slurs at a Paparazzo.  To recap what happened, Mr Hill was being followed be a group of paparazzi in the Larchmont neighborhood of Los Angeles over the weekend. In the minute-long clip, the actor can be seen walking down the street with a friend wearing a T-shirt, floral board shorts and sneakers. At one point, one of the photographer’s points out his attire, saying: “I like the shorts though, bro. They are pretty sexy.” The photographers continue to follow Hill and, before parting ways, one paparazzo tells him, “Have a good day. Enjoy.” Hill then apparently replies: “Suck my dick, you faggot.”

The puzzling case is that Mr Hill, has come out as a support of LGBT peoople. Last November, he tweeted a photo of himself wearing a shirt reading “Love Conquers Hate” in Russian ahead of the Sochi Olympics. “I have tons of gay friends, gay family members. It’s like saying, why do you think people should breathe?” he told E! News. “I support anybody doing whatever they want to do to be who they are.” This sets an interesting question: Are words themselves  homophobic or the intention ?

This is not a question I have an answer to, which is why I want your opinion. Faggot in every instance of use isn’t homophobic, and the use of the word is not an indication of someone being homophobic. But that’s just my opinion. In the heat of the moment when someone is instigating me, I think it is unfair to judge what I or anyone else would have to say.

I believe that the context dictates whether a word is anti gay or racist. According to Hill, the photographer had been following him around all day, saying hurtful things about him and his family. I can understand why Mr Hill apologized, but I wonder what kind of precedent it sets. It seems that now a day if you are a famous person or public figure you have to be 100% under control of your emotions and the words you say. Which isn’t how human beings are. I saw two guys crash into each other the other day, and as one guys get’s out of his car to survey the damage he says:  That Fucking cocksucker! In that moment I do not think he is being anti homophobic. I think anyone well verse enough in speaking any language can make any word hurtful.

Curse words, swear words, just plain words themselves can be suffused with many shades of meaning.