My (BMcC[18-11-46-503]) evocative images

For images, click here.

Other than chance encounters,
we can only encounter in reality,
what we have previously encountered in fantasy.
(Gordon Hirshhorn)

Ground manitainer transferring control to pilot of aircraft she has just completed moving out from its parking position.

"MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- There is a long and proud history between aircraft air crew and ground crew.... To quote Senior Master Sgt. Christopher McDonald, a proud F-16 Fighting Falcon crew chief upon his retirement in 2009, 'As a crew chief, I salute the pilot to release the aircraft to them, while letting them know that they are leaving with a good jet. When he returns that salute he is telling me that he will take good care of it and return it back safely. There is that kind of trust between the crew chief and the pilot.'... The salute also signifies a transfer of control, a change of command if you will, from ground crew to air crew; a symbolic salute from maintenance to say; 'Sir/Ma'am, you have the aircraft,' and a return salute stating; 'Roger, I have the aircraft.' (Air Force Reserve Command)

I never was in the militray and probably would not want to be because like in the civilian world, I would probably not be assigned to an appropriate position where I could give my best I've got and get to become the best I could become. The sorrow and the pity.

Over my life I have collected a few images which express my hopes of what would make life worth living in in a place worth living in, which, generally, I am not. (Simple, Yes?) Some of these images involve what I imagine the military world is or can be like. I am very favorably impressed, for instance, with what I have seen of the current head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley. Let me get to the above picture:

I need and hope for both closure and openness. "People" (←that obscenity) want to dump some of their crap on me that they don't want to soil themselves with but they do want the results. "Oh you don't have to do it now..." They do not understand: I want to get their monkey off my back ASAP to be able have openness of living without any roadblocks (roadblacks lives matters, there days?) stifling my way forward. I want to get it, i.e., them, done yesterday because yesterday is already been done and gone. But that's not applicable here. I want to have accomplished something that I find meaningful, not something they find meaningful and want me to find meaningful to make them feel more meaningful (or less meaningless) with themselves. The ground maintainer in the picture has completed preflight preparations for the plane to take off. She is signaling to the crew that everything is done and now it's their turn to go their way. The analog in my life would be for me to have had a meaningful-to-me (not just to the Them, task to do and have completed it. "You have the aircraft" (contrast with: "Good riddance!").

You have the aircraft

How good it is to have time without one of their monkeys on my back. Next thing would be to confirm that I have got away from their scope of power. Here I have a strictly auditory image. No picture. It comes from the Smithsonian Channel docudrama about the Mosad's capture of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina. After they got him, he agents felt under constant threat of being discovered and, presumably, Eichmann released. They had to get him back to Israel. The way they did this was that there was a special ElAl plane for a diplomatic group from Israel that had come for a special ceremony and the plane was going to take that group back to Israel. Th Modad team was to coordinate with the plane's departure. Long story short: They drug Mr. Eichmann and get him in a passenger seat on the plane. Cuatoms agents sweep the plane prior to authorizing departure. They explain to the agents that Eichmann is a steward on the flight team who had too much to drink celebrating his last nite in Buanos Aires. The customs agents are used to air crew personnel who celebrated too much on their last night before leaving their fair city. The plane gets authorization to fly. At a certain point, the Captain announces over the Public Address system:

"We have left Argentinean airspace."

That's my second image: They can't get me any more. I always liked the long flights to and from Japan when I went there in the 1980's (4 times), because it felt like time out of [real world] time. But of course it ended. My third image is "homecoming" ("Heimatruckkehr"). Not coming home to the residence of my biological progenitors, or anything in my empirical past like that. A homecoming to a home I would have liked to have come from and would look forward to (not dread or just tolerate) returning to. So here is my next image: the last scent (←felicitous typo[1]) of Jean Renoir's film "The Grand Illusion".

At some point I saw a film which expressed the hope I always at least pre-thematically had in life, Jean Renoir's: "The Grand Illusion" (1937). It is the story of two French officers who were prisoners of war in The War to End All Wars (World War I). Because they were officers, the story does not apply to myself, who was/am just a Zek.

"They are over the border. The war is over for them, and so much the better for them."

The two officers were treated admirably well by their German captors. But they were determined to escape. By hook and by crook, and one of them badly limping, as the film nears its end, the two comrades approach the Swiss border and if they make it across, safety. A German patrol spots them, and the soldiers raise their rifles and take aim at their two easy targets who are crossing a vast snow covered field with no border markings.

The soldiers' Officer commands: "Hold your fire! They are over the border. The war is over for them. And so much the better for them." The grand illusion. What I have always hoped: that my sufferings (among them, being subjected to unenlightenment (tenebrae mentium tenebra orbis) and testing on it by StP masters and their extramural avatars, would end before I ended and I would at last enjoy living before it was too late for me.[2]


I would like to live in the world of Michelangelo Antonioni's "Monica Vitti trilogy" films (L'Avventura, La Notte and L'Eclisse). And Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" (the problematic of the character: "Steiner") and "Last Year at Marienbad" and "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis" and.... Get the idea? A world in which existential issues such as the nature of empirical life and transcendental intersubjectiity and their relation with each other were thestuff of daily living among highly cultured persons. The ending of "L'avventura" is particularly meaningful for me here, and will lead to my naxt section of this page of images which are important for me.

Le Pavilion d'Une

Harvard Career Discovery project (1983) to design a building to house a single obscure rare book. My solution is a study space situated over the ruins of a Confederate mansion razed by General Sherman's army during what has been called "the first modern war" ("Marching through Georgia", although General Sherman reserved his greatest wrath for South Carolina which had started the Rebellion). The building has a large window, not visible here, facing West, looking out over the still standing chimney, to facilitate reflective thinking about The Decline of the West [Abendland], especially, postmodernism, while watching the sun go down. This is what I see Monica Vitti and Marcello Mastroianni doing in the above picture from L'Avventura. I made a VRML (Virtual Reality Markup Language) model of this building, ca. 1998). Following are two pictures of the building which show what is not visible in the above axonometric architectural drawing.

View entering the building:

View looking into the window that looks out onto the building rubble and burnt out chimney, to the West.

The VRML world differs in secondary characteristics from the architeturl design, primarily because rubble would hve been intractably difficult to render in VRML markup code. So in the VRML world, the rubble foundation is replaced by a shallow pool, and the chimney is replaced by a large Brancusi-ish sculpture. The buildins is set on a small plaza surrounded by a low wall, resembling the plaza around Yale's Beinecke Rare Book library, with trees and the horizon beyond. Still looking West, however, which is the important invariant.

On the desk is a lecturn with "the book". In the original VRML web page, the text of the book appeared in auxiliary HTML frames, and clicking on the pages of the picture of the book in the VRML mackup triggered scrolling of the book in its auxiliary frame. Windows Operating System software upgraded over the years and parts of the simulation stopped working. Thank you "progress". What book did I choose? you, my reader, can pick any book you like, for instnce, a Bible, or Leon Trotsky's speech in Copenhagen (Denmark) November 1932. I chose the Medieval morality play, "The Summoning of Everyman". Currently (+2021.08.19) I am reading Prof. Ronald Bruzina's "Edmund Husserl & Eugen Fink: Beginnings and ends in phenomenology 1928-1938" (Yale, 2004) and also looking forward to reading Fink and Martin Heidegger's Seminar on Heraclitus which I have mail ordered. But pick any book you like, as long as it has a reasonable chance of being life-transforing for you. The building is meant for thinking about the destiny of The West, which is in your thoughts and in which your destiny is, yes?

Tolle, lege.

A very different image

There is one other image which has stayed with me ever since I first saw it in Janson's "History of Art" book as an undergraduate at Yale {right). From the first time I saw this image it appealed to me, with its subtle eroticism. Not sexuality, which is instinctual reproduction of species life, but eroticism which is mindful connoisseurship of corpereity. It's very different from the famous Michelangelo statue of Michelangelo's David which I consider to be brutish, like male single gender public nudity "locker rooms".

There are many other images which I find evocative, including a few I myself have made (example: here). But this page boils it down to ones that are very important for me.  

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  1. At age 74+ years, I do not give a shit about misspelling words, so long the person I am addressing can understand what I am saying. Correct spelling is for petty prig school teaches who know nothing except to look to undotted 'i's and uncrossed 't's and who should mind their own business and respect their betters, especially: bow in respect before students who are more intelligent than they are, such as I was.
  2. There was a Japanese Buddhist monk who found the love of his life at about age 65 years. Not me.

BMcC signature seal stamp. Modelled on 18th century messenger's letter box in collection of Suntory Museum, Tokyo. Japanese write poems and prayers on slips of paper which they tie into knots like this shape although with longer legs. Prayers are often tied to branches of trees which can look like they are covered with snow. "Symbol of a symbol, image of an image, emerging from the destiny that is sinking into darkness...." (H. Broch, "The Sleepwalkers", p.648) Always remember. Add value. (This image created not later than 21 May 2003)Invenit et fecit

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2022-04-15 12:49:38