Monday, December 22, 2008
Cold Coffee/War, Native Americans and Robert Ludlum
Holidays a-comin'. Gifts a-givin'. Egg nog a-drinkin'. Credit card companies a-owin'.
On a complete, and I mean starkly contrasted, subject, I found out an interesting tidbit about my manager the other day. As it turns out, when he was younger, he was held prisoner by communist Russians during the Cold War. How did this come up, you probably didn't ask? Simple. I was on the verge of finishing "Watchmen", which graphic novel I recommend everyone in two to three worlds to read because Alan Moore is one of the greatest writers of all time (it's the only graphic novel of Time Magazine's 100 greatest novels ever), and one of the primary plot elements in the story is the Cold War. America and Russia are on the verge of playing chicken sh** against each other with nuclear missiles and millions of people's lives while the story plays out. So, being the curious and information-hungry person that I am, I asked my co-worker and intellectual salon participant [Fred] a bit about the Cold War, and he told me to ask my manager because he has first hand experience.
I was told that my manager explained that, whilst he was in his prison cell, Communist guards gave him cold coffee. So, in order to warm it up, he cut open electrical wires and warmed his coffee with electricity. I never got a chance to ask him how this process was performed, but there you have it. Warming your coffee with electrical wiring. For some reason, everytime I think of this, I imagine the coffee tasting "pewter-y". Yes....pewter. The color that street lamps put out. The color of corrugated metal. Pewter. I don't know. I can taste pewter, or I remember a taste and imagine that that's what the color pewter would taste like. But I digress. In the future I must ask him about his early life. I'm sure he has stories upon stories.
In other news, apparently my co-worker [Ron], the carpet salesman who works upstairs, is a big-budget espionage novel fan. Big-budget like the works of Robert Ludlum, Ted Bell, probably Ian Fleming and the like. If you've read the post I wrote long ago, you'd see that I like the book and film franchise "The Bourne Identity" a lot, but I cannot get into the international, clean-cut, women-magnetic spy thingy. A super-stunning woman who is completely willing to do whatever the protagonist wants everytime out of sheer sexual throb for him, super intelligent bad guys that he outsmarts everytime, no wear or tear on his chiseled face and perfect abs even though they age and experience realistically traumatic events; I can't continue to read this stuff on a regular basis. Give me abstract, intelligent and possibly moral stories about underdogs or the cultured and bright dregs of society. Give me Chuck Palahniuk, Paul Auster, (now) Alan Moore, Agatha Christie and some other authors of the like.
But anyway, almost everytime I see this guy, he reminds me that I should pick up and read "The Matarese Circle", another novel by Ludlum. I'm, of course, completely willing to try it out, but I must first finish "Last of the Mohicans". I told him this, and he told me that I should dump that crap and head straight for Ludlum first thing. Now, everytime he comes around, I (jokingly) call him a racist for expecting me to throw away a narrative about a Native American tribe for some militaristic white writer who was quite well off financially from cashing in on the the adventurous, international, well-trained American modern warrior. Not happening. Of course, "Last of the Mohicans" itself was written by a white guy and is titled contrary to the fact that there are plenty of Mohicans living today, but, in the toss up of half-truth, I'd rather go where attention to the subject makes some sort of slight difference.