What Has Happened to Oleg Sentsov?

In two years, Trump has arranged two of the most bizarre summits in the world:

  • with Kim Jong Un, a brutal dictator, who he made seem, according to The Economist (10 June 2018) “warm, jovial, and eminently reasonable.” The Economist maintains Kim Jong Un “ought to be at The Hague.”
  • with Putin in Helsinki, a “one-on-one” which offered Putin “the chance to be seen as a global statesman, an equal with the President of the United States, the leader of a country whose participation was needed to solve just about every pressing world problem.” (Joshua Yaffa in The New Yorker, 16 July 2018)

In the meantime, what has happened to Oleg Sentsov, who was jailed as a “terrorist” for “protesting against Vladimir Putin’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the war Russia’s president unleashed in eastern Ukraine four years ago” (The Economist, 10 June 2018)? No one knows. Here’s the latest article self found about him; it was almost a month ago, in The Guardian.

Trump instead calls for Russia to be allowed back into the G7, which expelled it “for the seizure of Crimea.” According to Trump, that “happened a while ago.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Visayan Islands in the Late Sixteenth Century

The inhabitants of the Visayan Islands in the central Philippines were named “Pintados” by the Spanish because their skin was covered with tattoos. The first to describe them was a missionary named Loarca:

The women are extremely lewd, and they even encourage their own daughters to a life of unchastity; so that there is nothing so vile for the latter that they cannot do it before their mothers, since they incur no punishment.

And then the Catholic church came along, and put an end to the Visayan women’s lewd ways.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Historical Fiction: Novel-in-Progress

from p. 4:

  • Spain had already begun exhibiting the first signs of exhaustion, its sulky mind tossing and turning, preferring already the deep, fathomless sleep of history’s graveyard to the turbulence of exploration.

The Bataan Peninsula, 1942

Looking through her bookshelves, self never runs short of reading material.

Reading Face of Empire: United States-Philippine Relations, 1898 – 1946, by Frank Hindman-Golay:

On January 1942, “a quartermaster inventory revealed that food stocked on the peninsula comprised a thirty-day supply of unbalanced rations for one-hundred thousand men . . . This shortfall was serious enough, but it was compounded by the existence of eighty-thousand USAFFE troops and twenty-six thousand civilians on Bataan . . . The success of Japanese arms in the first month of the war left little prospect that USAFFE could be supplied from the outside. On January 5, MacArthur ordered the troops and civilians on Bataan reduced to half-rations. At this rate, the USAFFE stocks would be exhausted in less than two months . . .

“. . .  most critical was the failure to deal with malaria. One medical officer serving on Bataan later estimated that 95 percent of all those on the peninsula during the first quarter of 1942 contracted the disease.

“To prevent the debilitating consequences of this mosquito-carried disease, the entire defense force should have been taking quinine or some substitute drug. But the supply of such drugs on Bataan was so short that they were reserved for the treatment of active cases of malaria. As a result, the rate of infection increased steadily as the disease was transmitted from those already infected.

In late March, General Wainwright “reported to Washington that food on Bataan would last only until April “at one-third ration, poorly balanced and very deficient in vitamins . . . The troops will be starved into submission.”

The Bataan peninsula fell in April 1942. Corregidor was able to hold on one month longer. There were 12,000 people on Corregidor, as opposed to 100,000-plus on the Bataan Peninsula. And when Bataan fell, this is how the people on Corregidor knew it: there was a deathly silence from across the water, instead of the constant sound of artillery barrages. And then smoke began to rise.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: TEAL

Love this prompt from Cee Neuner!

DSCN0247

A collection of short stories by the great Wakako Yamauchi who passed away recently. Her own art is on the cover. Edited by Lillian Howan, published by Hawai’i University Press.

DSCN0240

Bought from a Tibetan vendor in Dharamsala: “This will make you strong like _____!” said the vendor to me. Forget which Hindu god has the lightning bolt.

DSCN0237

College-age self and Dear Departed Dad

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Delights of Beginning a new du Maurier

The seven-year-old’s guardian has taken him to gawk at the body of a hanged man. It’s been four weeks, self can only imagine the smell.

She’s still only on p. 1 of My Cousin Rachel:

“There you are, Philip,” he said. “It’s what we all come to in the end. Some upon a battlefield, some in bed, others according to their destiny. There’s no escape. You can’t learn the lesson too young. But this is how a felon dies.”

OUTSTANDING.

Kudos, Daphne du Maurier. So many kudos.

Stay tuned.

Once Again, a du Maurier Story

Self wonders if she took 10 days (longer than her usual) to get through Would Everybody Stop? because she so loved the feeling of knowing My Cousin Rachel was up next.

Anyhoo, here she is, on p. 1!

And God she loves the du Maurier world, a world where even a man hanging dead for three weeks earns this description: “The rain had rotted his breeches, if not his body, and strips of worsted drooped from his swollen limbs like pulpy paper.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

My Cousin Rachel: First Sentence

Self is thrilled, absolutely thrilled to begin her third du Maurier novel: My Cousin Rachel.

The ‘woke’ first sentence:

  • They used to hang men at Four Turnings in the old days.

LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

Stay tuned.

 

My Cousin Rachel, The Door

Almost to the end of Jenny Allen’s Would Everybody Please Stop?

It’s been a very enjoyable read. Humor — don’t we all need it?

Self was supposed to read My Cousin Rachel right after she finished Jamaica Inn but Jamaica Inn left her nerves in tatters, so she decided to go for light reading, then return to My Cousin Rachel.

After My Cousin Rachel is The Door, by Magda Szabo. Self knows almost nothing about this book, so she decided to look up some reviews on goodreads. And here’s a sentence about what The Door is about:

  • A stylishly told tale which recounts a strange relationship built up over 20 years between a writer and her housekeeper.

My goodness! Magda Szabo got away with writing about that? It could almost be a du Maurier, except that The Door doesn’t sound as if there are any men in it.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

George Orwell, Visionary?

If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it . . .  If public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.

— George Orwell, “Freedom of the Park” (published Dec. 7, 1945)

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