It should not have fallen upon me to edit and reissue the 1602 Anti-Machiavel. Machiavelli is the father of modern political science, he's sometimes called the father of the Enlightenment, it's not an academic issue, it has real-world consequences, whether he was right or not. I never had an interest in Machiavelli, but when I found this book I said this is really important, it's the most comprehensive rebuttal to Machiavelli and it's effectively out of circulation.
So naturally in the course of editing and publishing it, and researching for the introduction, I asked myself "why is this book not more widely known?" And the answer is that academics do not care whether or not Machiavelli was right, they care about other things, mostly their careers appeasing power. Is it useful to have people think Machiavelli was right? This indifference to truth has very great consequences. Some of the neocons, the people responsible for 9/11, even say Machiavelli did not go far enough. They are even more severe in their application of power. So you can think that experts are reliable, but in every field I've investigated, they are all lying on the most fundamental, foundational issues.
Ten years or so ago my mom went to South Africa, and she got two shots with three or four different things in them, yellow fever and some other things (yellow fever, tuberculosis and such are not capitalized, but COVID-19 is in ALL CAPS because it's TERRIFYING). The next day she was in the hospital close to death, she says she's never been that sick in her life. She was in hospital four days and missed two weeks of work. They *did a blood test* and told her it was a tick-borne illness, it had nothing to do with the shots. I have never been able to persuade her that it wasn't a coincidence, it was the shots that made her sick, but the doctors have a financial incentive to cover it up. She has been jabbed twice for COVID, and will no doubt get a third and fourth shot.
More accessible Eliot, from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, which inspired the musical Cats (which I can't vouch for). It's children's verse but still technically adept, virtuosic really.
Time and the bell have buried the day,
the black cloud carries the sun away.
Not the best of all possible readings, but not a bad one. This I would assert is the best poem of the twentieth century in English.
This book was a thirty-year project, the author was an art history professor but he learned Sanskrit and Greek, and compared the texts. He discusses how the Greek Miracle was considerably more Eastern than has been represented.
Three of my favorite artists are female surrealists whom I hadn't heard of until a few years ago, despite having an interest in surrealism from my teens. They were all trained by Max Ernst.
Remedios Varo, The Creation of Birds
For a time Roy Buchanan and Danny Gatton lived together in Nashville. He actually didn't kill himself, he was beaten to death in jail by the police after a public drunkenness arrest.
The greatest guitar player that ever lived, there is no one even close to the same ballpark. They call him The Humbler. And he blew his brains out in the garage. The music business went on.
I think Toole was the most gifted novelist in English in the twentieth century, miles ahead of Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Joyce or anyone else. He was somewhat pretentious, and took his book to Simon and Schuster, the premier publisher at the time, thinking it worthy of no less.
He was put under the editorship of a man called Gottlieb, who admitted Toole was very talented, even more talented than Gottlieb, but there was a problem. Two of the characters, Gus Levy and Mrs. Levy (whose first name is never disclosed), were less-than-reverential, even satirical representations of Mr. Gottlieb's tribe. So he tried to persuade Toole to remove the characters, but Toole thought they were important. He was dangled along for a while, and began having trouble with his mental state. It is not outside the realm of possibility that he was poisoned or influenced in some covert way, he was that talented, rather like Edgar Allan Poe. They even pulled a villainous move, they gave Toole's plot to another writer who published a novel that effectively prevented the book from being accepted elsewhere. If you want the story of this, look up the book The Butterfly in the Typewriter.
He eventually committed suicide, and his mother, an eccentric grande dame with disappointed artistic ambitions, sent the manuscript to publisher after publisher, only to have it returned. Eventually she went to the office of Walker Percy at Louisiana State University, and demanded that he read it. He was completely overwhelmed, and when it was finally published under the august auspices of Louisiana State University Press, it won the Pulitzer.
It's sad to think what we lost, and then think how many times has something like this happened? Another example is Sixto Rodriguez, who made a great record in 1970, and someone pulled the plug on distribution, they buried it. It was smuggled out to South Africa, where it became a hit, unbeknownst to the world as the apartheid regime was pretty severe about information getting out. Finally, that too got out; some people think it was buried because Rodriguez was of Hispanic origin, but I think they didn't want competition for Dylan, or they didn't want someone of Dylan's status who would be unpredictable. It's hard to imagine why they shut it down. There's a good documentary on him called Searching for Sugar Man.
This is a documentary on Toole on Youtube, but when I post it here it says "playback on other websites has been disabled," something I've never seen before.
I used to run Turner Classics on the television nonstop, in the room adjacent to my work space. One day I stopped to watch the Mexican Spitfire movies, and I was impressed by an actor called Leon Errol, who plays a few different roles in the films. One of the roles is Lord Epping, who owns and embodies a distillery. He was from Australia. An unrecognized genius. The Mexican Spitfire is Carmelita, an exuberant, combative woman who marries into an Anglo family.
I was fortunate to see Jerry sing this twice, out of a total of eight times he performed it. He played it a couple times in 1986, before he went into a coma, then revived it shortly before his death at 53. Yeah, he's only 52 in this video, and he looks... You're getting a lot of Jerry here, but I know his catalog inside and out, from the age of fifteen I saw this guy as God incarnate. You won't find anyone with greater intelligence or power of concentration.