Monday, February 1, 2010

How I Repelled the Advances of
Roman Catholic Pedophilic Priests

When, in Italy, nonne and nonni are at their wits' ends caring for their grandchildren whose father and mother are at the factory or office, they threaten their little hyperactive ones with this cutting admonition: “If you don't stop misbehaving, we'll call the Germans!” When, in New York, my Irishamerican grandmother or her husband lost their patience with me and my sister and brothers, they discouraged us with these words of caution: “If you don't stop showing bad manners, we'll send you to a school where the Irish Christian Brothers teach!” I often wonder whether it would have been more brainy to smack us on our backsides with a curt jolt to our overactive nervous systems instead of filling our tender sentiments with empty threats (I never studied with overtly sadistic clerics) that had no bases in reality and only occupied our minds with junk ideas—enough of them already! Why not tickling? Wouldn't that have done the trick? My parents and grandparents could have tickled my short-lived aggressiveness out of my nerve endings, and because I would have been in fits of hysterical laughter, I would never had been able to file a cease and desist order against them in juvenile court.

The centuries-old despotic streak of the Roman Catholic church (RCc) is well documented. Whether it be the cruelties authenticated during the Inquisition, or the blessings bestowed on nations stringently promoting colonial and imperialistic evildoing, or the collusion with the atrocious Nazi regime (Bavaria, Hitler's stomping grounds, is a citadel of Roman Catholicism) during World War II, or the gratuitous patronage offered to fascist military dictators in Southamerica, or..., there is no doubt that the RCc serves not always as an eleemosynary spiritual leader bent on encouraging the Christian virtues it so vociferously exacts others to simulate. Nothing and no one is perfect, you might say.

Nevertheless, we have an earnest discrepancy here when we set about finagling a logic which might in some determined fashion legitimize the actions of one of Christianity's most powerful spiritual institutions, and a divergence even its wishy-washy but authoritarian RCc archpriests and women servants married to God cannot contravene. Out of the mouths of pious religionists affiliated with the RCc, which I know best, there oodles a barrage of love, peace and hugs for all of us which does not trip the light fantastic with many of the actions of the RCc carried through during the two long millennia that it has subsisted.

Two direful personal observations taken from my university and military days come right away to my mind and these offer further cogent evidence that bear witness to the megascopic sanctimoniousness of the RCc. The first is its loathsome frame of mind with regard to women. Females are not only deprecated by RCc clerics themselves, the warped dogmas of the church's canons serve to handle women as second-class, docile laborers assigned to cook, clean and, above all, teach little Catholic rascals their catechisms and the Ten Commandments they will so diligently, so relentlessly disobey and then constantly seek forgiveness for their infringements of them. When I attended St. Bonaventure University, I was stunned one day in World History class when an often drunk Franciscan friar, nicknamed “The Spike” for his harshness, instructed the three female students in our class of thirty-five (set in alphabetical order by “The Spike”) to “occupy the front row, cross your legs, and close the Gates of Hell.” All the “Bonnie men” in the room ripped out with huge roars of laughter. The three ladies sat petrified in silence. At St. Bonaventure sadistic pranks were frequently perpetrated not only on female co-eds, even nuns who attended the learning “institution” were victimized by often drunk, childish “Bonnie men” trying desperately to be something they were not. If only James Joyce had attended St. Bonaventure University! His A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man would have enjoyed a slew of additional anecdotes testifying to the stupidity of untested, horny Roman Catholic boys endeavoring to be adult males.

It is late August 1967. I am sitting in a Continental airline's Boeing 707 at Travis Air Force Base, California set for takeoff to Saigon—via Guam and Manila. There is only one “class.” The whole plane is divided into two sections: one and the other of rows of three from forward to aft. Still, officers are at the front of the jet. I'm to the left, seated five or six rows from the front, in the middle. On my left, at the window seat, is a US Army chaplain. Captain. (Captain is the entry rank for lawyers, doctors, dentists and religious types into the US Army—those who have something to say to you and something to ask you to pay for! RHIP. Rank Has Its Privileges!) He tells me he is a Trappist monk on leave from his monastery “so I can go to Vietnam to help the boys.” We talk some in flight, but for the most part, like most of the others in the plane who are not drunk, we remain mostly mum about our feelings and are immersed in thoughts of what might befall us. We are told we are descending and will land at Guam for a fuel stop. As we touch down, I see to my left ranks and ranks of B-52 bombers! The sight is shocking. I give up counting—there are so many! The Trappist monk, to my amazement, is fanning crosses, is blessing the B-52s!

Then there was the Fourth Division's caput chaplain, a full-bird (chicken [sic]) colonel, Irishman from Brooklyn, New York. This person of grotesque appearance was a blustering, overbearing character who made no bones about pushing his Roman Catholicism wherever he visited throughout the Fourth Division's base camp. Every so often, in his freshly-starched fatigues and boots spit-shined by Vietnamese workers who were permitted to work in the BC for $1.00 a day, a polished chopper reserved for high-ranking officers would carry him to the battlefield to give general absolution to the troops. One day when I was jumping up and down with nervousness about an impending combat assault into unknown enemy territory, the chaplain's copter clock-clocked above and spiraled down to meet us at our “saddle up” area. About to be inserted first into a suspect enemy location in waves of three-a-breast Huey choppers, all members of my forward observer party then those of the infantry company to which we were attached were terribly anxious thinking whether or not we would jump into open fields and find ourselves on a “hot” LZ (landing zone). The warriorlike man of the cloth walked over to the largest group, and without saying a word or even asking if there might be any Roman Catholics there, put a purple sash (stole) around his neck and began absolving all in sight their sins—he too fanning crosses over the men! After confession, the colonel returned to base camp to count communion wafers for the next day's mass and then went on a priggish binge pulling Playboy centerfolds off the walls of soldiers' barracks! (Guess the name of the patron/patroness saint of the Artillery!)

A more contemporary transgression—that has caused the declining RCc not only outpourings of protest and has dishonored it irreparably demanding of it astounding accumulations of its wealth—is the scandal of pedophilia that has concerned an abundant number of its brothers and sisters and priests. Throughout the world, high-ranking RCc authorities have scurried to squelch the thousands and thousands of victims' revelations of maltreatment perpetrated by Roman Catholic churchmen and churchwomen. The RCc officials have offered the unfortunate characters monetary compensation if they waiver their legal claims and refuse to accept media coverage which might detail the events of their sexual abuses many of which were suffered at so tender an age, it would take a lifetime for them to come to grips with themselves and finally muster the courage to admit that which they were subjected to by the promiscuous religious associates of the RCc.

Papal crackerjacks of legalese have not been successful in crunching down the outrages caused by decades-old pedophilic dereliction in Ireland and the DisUnited States, but they have had success in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain where the RCc holds powerful sway in the media and political institutions. The “Devil” would need to be interviewed to determine the exact number of RCc clerics involved in sexual abuse among themselves and others not belonging to their religious secret club.
The thought of pedophilia at once brings a sense of repulsion to most individuals. This astonishment very often also provokes the curious to investigate the subject, and today there are innumerable websites where access to unnatural sex acts—even among animals—is casual for those who still do not own pedophilic predilections.

The repugnance for pedophilia is rooted in the notion that an unknowing, ingenuous child (boy or girl) is overwhelmed, seduced by a consenting adult (man or woman) who performs sexual acts that normally are the reserve of willing adults (mature individuals)—only. It is understood that a child is neither prepared nor competent enough emotionally to respond to the sexual inclinations of an adult who is both sexually more sophisticated and indeed more clever about the exigencies of life. In a pedophilic relationship, the child is someone who is initiated abruptly into the sexual rite without having the astuteness to say yes or no. Not only is the child's body invaded, his or her mind is interpenetrated by an individual whose lasciviousness is superimposed on the injured one by means of verbal deceit and trickery which could not have been contended by the minor.

When a priest or brother or sister engages in pedophilic matings, the disapprobation is magnified further. We do not expect those—for example, politicians—who constantly preach to us concerning our manners of performing, to flout the rules established for all of us to obey. We feel betrayed when they do so. We believe we have been duped. (The voting records of Northamericans testifies to the “faith” they hold in their politicians!) Ecclesiastical double crossing has encouraged many Roman Catholics to abandon the RCc, and today the RCc is in a scramble to recoup the religious formidableness it once possessed. (It took the RCc four-hundred years to accept the teachings of Galileo Galilei [1564-1642]! When will it permit gay and non-gay marriages among its spiritual leaders?)

Yet, there is another aspect concerning religious pedophilia which should be mentioned. A youngster who is inveigled by a clergyman or clergywoman is approached by an individual who is a symbol of an institutionalized say-so, dominance. The brother or sister or priest is garbed in those robes which relate to a two-millennia tradition that basks in an almost universal acquiescence. It is often easier for an ecclesiastic, whether male or female, to lure because he or she is propped up with a visible assurance that is spontaneous—as when a police official flashes his badge before us and wants to see our documents or a pregnant woman requests a seat on a bus. A child can be more easily overpowered sexually by a pedophilic reverend than by an old man or woman, with children as their preferred sexual object, sitting on a park bench. Consequently, mothers and fathers of children, who frequent Roman Catholic religious and social activities, must be cautious. Kids are not to be left alone with brothers, nuns and/or priests. Beware of the confessional. Many, many sexual impieties have been committed in confessional boxes.

From when I was a boy of twelve years (1957) to that of being a young adult of twenty-one (1966), I lived the most dramatic and depressing time of my life. For it was during that period that I had to succumb to the pedagogy of the Roman Catholic church dictated to me by priests and an occasional nun. I recall suffering enormously trying to understand why I had to accept various nonsensical precepts—merely obligated to believe them as a matter of faith. This tore at my intellectual faculties strenuously primarily because I felt alone, with no one to sync with my notions. It was a joyous day for me when I was “let out” of St. Bonaventure University's internment camp of Roman Catholic religious dogma. (See St. Bonaventure University: A Gulag of Militaristic, Sexual & Philosophical Indoctrination on

I have reported the five Irishamerican Roman Catholic priests, who I believe approached me seeking illicit sexual relations, to Barbara Blaine and David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( not because I was victimized by them, I was not, but because my “testimony” might help others who reluctantly could have been their sexual prey. I support the efforts of SNAP, and I am perspicacious enough to know that the RCc does not hold the registered trademark on pedophilia—nevertheless, many of its members are foremost practitioners of sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object.

Why did I not become pedophilic quarry for the priests who were my instructors for almost a decade? There are two main reasons. The first regards the respect for women which, inadvertently, was the norm in my upbringing. My mother, some aunts and older female cousins held positions of authority in public and private organizations in New York, and these “role models” encouraged me, at a very early age, to come to expect that women were, like men, held in high regard by society in general. It was a terrible awakening for me when, in later years, I would come to learn that women did not enjoy the high esteem that many of my family members experienced working as professionals and managers in the not-terribly-so feminist 1950s. However, from 1957 to 1966 I carried with me the idea that gentlewomen were on an even par with gentlemen socially, politically and economically. Therefore, their role and my part to be with them, was what I envisioned for myself as I grew older.

Secondly, my sexual disposition is decidedly focused on females. There are a number of reasons for this. One in particular is the fact that when I was a small boy, five girls, who shared an apartment with their widowed mother and lived directly above my family, took an interest in me and frequently served as my babysitter. I received their affection and goodwill and I recollect best that time when I reflect on a passage from my manuscript, Why I Live Beyond the DisUnited States of Northamerica:

...I was in the back seat of the car with three of the sisters.
The girls were all modestly dressed and wore pants or shifts
over their drying bathing suits. Their lightweight summer wear,
colorful blouses and tee-shirts, let me view their anatomy with
intense interest, and I remember peeking at the depression
between one of the girl's breasts—made visible by her wearing
of a loosely-fitted shirt top—and taking peeps to take in
more of this lass sitting closest to the window on the right
side in the rear of what was, I can only guess now, a Ford
automobile. Or, was it a Chevrolet?
I was fascinated by the mounds of flesh protruding from
the chests of these girl-women. I counted ten “lumps” under
the cotton clothing covering the bosoms of the five sisters.
I would never have dared to make an effort to touch these
enormous, marshmallowy-like protrusions which I did not
even know incorporated—on their tips—protuberances,
lactiferous ducts of the girls' mammary glands, which opened
and from which their milk would one day be drawn to nurture
baby girls and baby boys. I know not why I did not make
real this cogent want. The wish to do so, however, was
embedded obsessively in my boyish desire, and in the years
to come would torment me excruciatingly. My day would
come, but I had to wait for it. I sank back down into the
seat of the car, into a sort of puerile puzzlement. I was too
green indeed to murmur the smooth, silver-tongued word
Overwhelmed in the simplemindedness of my callow
singularity, there was nothing for me to do but absorb the
sensory voluptuousness that spun around me lodged there
in the back part of that Ford—or Chevy. Women's breasts
and pretty dresses and wavy hair were not the only
impressions that landed ingratiatingly on my organ of
thought left there to commingle ultimately with a lifelong
peppering of imprecise feelings which, in toto, would
constitute that what I am.
For instance, there were scents to get a whiff of. Suntan
lotions. Lipsticks. Deodorants. Nail polishes. Makeup.
The odor that swelled out from an opened handbag.
Chewing gum. Hair that had been shampooed at the showers
along the beach. Perfume? I can't remember. But I do recall,
later in life, I could be strolling down a street in Caracas
or Rome and if a woman passed me by, buzzing away
and leaving me in the downdraft of her perfume or makeup
foundation, a precise fragrance, I could be drawn back
twenty—even thirty—years to a place in time and space and
to a woman I desired and loved. I could see her face and
easily summon up the surroundings of a room, a restaurant
where we shared the joy of being together.
As we traveled home to Brooklyn, a myriad of aromas were
fanned about my face, from all directions. From time to time,
they coalesced to create one unique trail of a pleasant
air that swept through my nostrils and stimulated me
into a goofy self-satisfaction. Otherwise, one outstanding
redolence, perhaps a maquillage or a sticky aerosol used
to hold hair in place, would impress me and I would
download this smell into my personal cornucopia where
it rested with the many others—gleeful reminders to me
of the distinctions possessed, I assumed, by whichever
member of the gentle sex.
And Music!!! To this day, I possess almost perfect images
of the radio's speaker with a chromed grill protecting it
and the two black knobs flanking it: one for tuning and
the other for volume/on/off. Under one nub there was a
metal ring that could be manipulated to control the tone
and vary it from high to low. The antenna was on the left
side fender of the car and through it a hodgepodge of
popular music waved through the car to the merriment
of all of us. One girl snapped her fingers. Another kept
time to the Music by tapping her foot. A couple of sisters
sang. One clapped to the beat. When a song faded away,
the girl in the “shotgun” seat immediately turned the
tuning knob searching to come up with another hit record
for us to sing and hum within our ecstasy which was
enclosed in the closed quarters of an automobile and not in
the open space of, for example, a dance floor. I cannot
construct a list of the songs I heard that evening coming
home from the cool beach and then flowing happily into
the sweltering streets of Brooklyn. It surely was not the
rock n' roll era. In those days Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald,
Frankie Lane, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee,
Louis Armstrong and a host of other post-World War II
musical phenomena held sway in the recording industry.
And today, when I hear the Music of these hall-of-famers,
I wonder if it was their songs we had enjoyed in that car
returning to 310 Devoe Street on a sultry summer's night.
Jerking home—with the shifting of gears—to Brooklyn in the
congested beach traffic and yearning earnestly that I could
remain forever in the bosom of my five-member
sisterhood—all of whom I thralled at my beck and
call!--it would have been preposterous to think that I
could ever have roused in my mind the idea that Woman
and Music would come to be such an integral component
of my essence and abide in my psyche for the rest of
my life. There was no way for me to guess my forthcoming
and I unquestionably could not even have rationalized,
at my tender age, that I, too, would one day flourish to be
as complete as were the five girls with me in the car. I was
a boy being bombarded by bevies of empirical impressions
which I was powerless to categorize or interpret.
The way home was closing the more on Williamsburg.
The mademoiselles were fretting about the swelter,
foreseeing doing something more tantalizing after, and
trying their best to make the time flash by faster. Naturally,
I was delighted with the delay. Nothing in this world had
been before more pleasing to me than being now with my
five young unmarried women. I had it in my heart to stay
in saecula saeculorum in this serendipitous state. I was bent
upon nailing this splendid time to the wall—to keep it there.
I selfishly sought to pickle myself in the juices of this
thrilling companionship trusting that it would be conserved
for my eternity.
Maybe about an hour before getting to our destination—my
sunburnt skin and beginning-to-growl stomach had levied on
me an-end-of-the-day drowsiness and I had perched my
head on the top of the front seat—that inamorata, closest
to the window (was her name Pat?), took me into her arms
and laid my boyishness on the cushioning of her bosom!
I limpened in the tenderness of her geniality. Her smells
enveloped me right off. I was wrapped in that field of
energy that emanated from her flesh and blood, and as
tickled pink as a piglet in a pigpen, I curled up cozily and
every once in a while switched the position of my head
in order to find an even softer place amongst her doughy
front or to sample the texture—to see if it was equal to
the other portions—of another part of her two breasts.
Never once did the desire to quaff upon her cross my
mind. I did not seek nutrients. Eating was the last thing
on my mind. I craved emotional contentment. And I
was filling myself up with barrows of it. There was
nothing that could have made me happier than this
sensation of proximity to a woman. I could not doze off...

There was no way a male religionist—wreaking of cigarette smoke, dressed in black, the sleeves of his cassock snowed upon with chalk dusk, his breath bringing on the smells of beer or whisky, his skin coarse—was going to come so near to me where he might attempt to entice me into joining in with him in the performance of salacious sex acts. Amen!!!

Authored by Anthony St. John
1 February MMX
Calenzano, Italia

* * *

Friday, January 1, 2010

What I Am
Most Proud Of...

I write well.

I write poetry.

I appreciate Beethoven.

I prize many varieties of music.

I enjoy reading the English version of
Marcel Proust's
A la recherche du temps perdu
translated by G K Scott Moncrieff.

David Hume is my preferred philosopher.

I am indebted to Jean-Paul Sartre and Bertrand Russell.

I delight in the company of others.

I can make people laugh.

I use public transport exclusively.

I was interviewed by Larry King.

I have not been in the DisUnited States of Northamerica since 31 December 1975.

I am an atheist.

I was born in Brooklyn, New York.

I did not permit the Roman Catholic church to quash me physically
or intellectually.

I have kissed three Italian princesses:
La Principessa Marcella Borghese, La Principessa Giorgiana Corsini, and
La Principessa Fiona Corsini.

I did not murder when I was an artillery officer in Vietnam.

I fight with my words not my fists.
I am TheWordWarrior!

I admire beautiful women.

When I watch a sporting event, I mute the sound.

I renounced my DisUnited States' citizenship.

I am a mitigated Marxist.

My electric bill is the lowest in my apartment building.

I read at least four or five or six or seven books at a time.

I possess a built-in instinct for what is insincere.

I have refused to recognize the three medals I was awarded for service in Vietnam.

I relish cigars.

I survived an airplane crash.

I listen to classical music ( and
every day.

I outlasted two armed robberies.

Every time I encounter an Italian priest or sister,
I ask them if Hell is big enough to accommodate 57,000,000 Italians.

I pulled through two 122mm Chinese rocket attacks on the Cambodian-Laotian borders.

I outlived assorted mortar barrages in Vietnam.

I understand the Venezuelan people.

I have two doctors: Dr Diet & Dr Repose.

I comprehend the Italians.

I am a fan of Roger Federer but hope he has no “stupid” or criminal skeletons in his closet!

I walk as much as I can.

I bicycle for pleasure.

I suggest that young children be disciplined by tickling them—not
slugging them.

I was discharged by the State of Florida's
Division of Family Services because I refused to swindle
Afroamericans living in the ghetto of Fort Lauderdale
where I served as a social worker.

I was a journalist for three newspapers.

I was a copy editor for Venezuela's English-speaking daily.

My sensitivity for people's suffering and the incredulity I possess in watching them do all they can to worsen their condition.

My respect for Nature.

I do not own a motor vehicle.

My will to preserve the natural resources I depend upon.

My hope in the future.

My utilization of the computer and Internet.

The varied work experiences I have had in my life.

The extensive listing of subjects that influence my reading.

I have no respect for Tony Blair, John Bolton, Thomas Friedman, Francis Fukuyama, Al Gore, Stanley Hoffmann, Samuel Huntington, Robert Kagan, John Kerry, Henry Kissinger, Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, John McCain, Norman Podhoretz, George Will, Paul Wolfowitz,...and others of this ilk.

I admire Daniel Bell, Fausto Bertinotti, Hugo Chávez, Noam Chomsky, Hillary Clinton, Paul A Cohen, Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Dawkins, Simone de Beauvoir, Barbara Dorris, Vittoria Franco, Eric Hobsbawn, Martin Jacques, Peter Lavelle, Karl Marx, Alain Minc, Robert Reich, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Ségolène Royal, Edward W Said, Israel Shamir, Peter Singer, Sun Tzu, Gore Vidal, Oscar Wilde, Howard Zinn,...among others.

Updated: 29 December 2009
Anthony St. John:

* * *
Lamento per L’Europa

Terra del Sole Calante

Calderone ribollente in famelica disperazione
Per ritrovare i sapori del Passato.
Tu cerchi di proiettarti in avanti
Sull’energia della Tua logica
E di speranze non ancora idealizzate.
Tu invochi la Tua storia
Per rinvigorire le Tue fantasie.
Ti avvinghi stretta al Tuo orgoglioso io
Screpolato e corroso dalle intemperie.
Ti sforzi di far crescere nuovi fiori
Dalla putredine delle Tue tormentate memorie.
I Tuoi giovani, annusati da squadre di cani al guinzaglio,
Violentano-odiano nei Tuoi stadi
Strisciati con allettamenti elettronici
A premere morbidi e colorati bottoni di plastica.
I Tuoi vecchi serpeggiano stancamente verso ministeri della sanità in rovina
Dove i medici si trastullano con i moduli
E riempiono schedine del totocalcio.
I Tuoi vicini dell’Est—
Arroganti, sordidi—
Si aggrappano a Te
Pretendendo rudemente ciò che bramano e credono dovuto.
Tu, Europa, siedi imbalsamata—
Impregnata dei succhi del Tuo spregevole tempo che fu.
I Tuoi politici dilettanti spiegano bandiere
E i loro poteri vergognano—
Questo Nostro mondo.

Anthony St. John
A Lament for Europe

Land of the Setting Sun
Caldron simmering in hungering desperation
To regain the smacks of the Past.
You seek to lunge ahead
On the energy of Your logic
And hopes not yet lionized.
You call upon Your histories
To lend strength to Your phantasies.
You coil up hard on Your proud self
Wrinkled and weather-beaten.
You struggle to nurture new flowers
On the dry rot of Your haunted memories.
Your youth, sniffed upon by strapped canine squads,
Rape-hate in Your stadiums
Striped with electronic rejoinders
To press softly-pliant, gaily-tinged plastic buttons.
Your elderly curl their ways to bankrupt health ministries
Where physicians fool with forms
And fill in football pools.
Your neighbors to the East—
Brazen, sordid—
Yank towards You
Roughly extracting for exacting theirs craved for.
You, Europe, sit pickled—
Soused in the juices of Your scummy heretofore.
Your dabblers in politics set flags unfurled
And their powers shame—
This Our world.

Anthony St. John

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Plastic Flowers for Italians
Butchered in Auto Accidents

Just as in any other Christian, particularly Roman Catholic, nation where religion molds overly the social, economic and political mores of its inhabitants, there is a premium especially, in Italy, on objects that reflect miserableness whether they be crucifixes, hermetically-sealed glass coffins containing dead-for-centuries holy people, statues dripping with blood, priests with holes in their hands, bleeding sacred infinitum. From my perspective, these symbols prompt the Italians I live with to accommodate a unique disposition that induces them to lament. And they do it so well! But what is worse, Italians expect you to join in with them in sharing happenings which, in other cultures, might not be thought of as being edifying. Italians want to be felt sorry for. The “catch-22” here is that if you do commiserate, you are doing yourself a good deed, and for that you should be thankful to the Italians for this blessed opportunity. An Italian will not thank you. You must thank him or her. By giving thanks, you submit. Nothing pleases the racist Italians more than your recognition of their quasi-fascist sense of superiority, their contrived haughtiness. Half of the Italians live in the 1930s; the other half live in the 1960s. These desperate souls are struggling in vain to be something they are not without acknowledging the dreadfully tragic consequences of their actions which are often violent and self-destructive.

It is customary to see plastic containers or milk cartons holding flowers attached to poles or fences near to where an automobile or motorcycle mishap killed an often inebriated or doped Italian causal agent. Years ago there used to be real flowers in these make-shift recipients, but today they are plastic and in some places, where collisions are frequent, ten to fifteen bouquets might be visualized in rows—propped up there sometimes for years, the artificial floral arrangements now blanched by the sun and covered with the soot and grime from passing buses, trucks, cars, scooters and even, on occasion, horse-drawn carriages.

One late morning in Sesto Fiorentino, I approached the bus stop where I was to wait to travel on to Firenze. About four or five metres beyond, I could see a young woman kneeling down and preparing to set up a composition of “live” flowers which laid on the pavement in rolled newspaper pages right next to her. I went over.

“May I ask what you are doing, please?”

She looked up startled and responded compactly, but very softly:

“I'm composing these flowers for my brother.”

“Your brother?” I quizzed.

“Yes. He was killed here four years ago in a motorcycle accident.
I come here every month with flowers for him.”

I told her I was very sorry and she nodded her appreciation very demurely.

She was a comely individual and exceptionally sensitive in the way she expressed herself.

I wanted to do something for her.

I changed the tone of my voice somewhat to express my seriousness.

“Do you really think your brother would want you to be here so sad
commemorating his brutal death again and again and again?
Don't you think he would want you to go on with your life--
to be happy, to be free from the gloominess this tragedy causes you?”

In an instant, she burst out sobbing.

Her face was red as a beet.

I put my hand on her shoulder to soothe her.

Suddenly, she stood up.
As if she had been regenerated.
She closed in on me and abruptly hugged me almost violently.
“Thank you.”

She walked away.

The flowers remained on the sidewalk.

I refused to call after her.

When she turned out of sight at the corner,
I picked up the flowers.

I returned to the bus stop.

I waited for a beautiful woman to pass by,
and when one did, I presented the beauties to her.

She was taken aback.

“For me?”

“Of course!”

“But why?”

“You are beautiful!”

Her face was red as a beet, too.

* * *

Authored by Anthony St. John
15 December 2009
Calenzano, Italy

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Anthony St. John, TheWordWarrior

Anthony St. John, TheWordWarrior
Why I Pity
John McCain, John Kerry &
Al Gore

I was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, watched games at Ebbets Field, and first baseman Gil Hodges (number 14) was my hero. A mythical being charges you with a sense of hope in some future which you know nothing about except that it is coming. You desire to imitate your hero because his past brought him to a hereafter you might also want to savor. Above all, a hero is doing something appreciated by all, and we look up to him or her with respect and admiration. It is natural to want to be like them.
Of course, there is the allure of the game before us in the stadium, on TV, or on the Internet. The contest gives a sense of security. The regulations are fixed and one cannot contest the umpire or referee. We can cheat on our income tax returns, we can talk a cop out of giving us a ticket, we can lie and call in sick when we are not—but on the field, on the court, the ref is high-and-mighty. At the game, we more or less feel that things will be managed in a logical, fair-and-square manner. Just the opposite of our material lives. And we want our heroes to be not only extraordinary in the ways they entertain us, we also wish that they play by the rules so that they appear impeccable in our phantasy worlds.

It is undignified that we make heroes of sport figures more than we do of writers, scientists, philosophers, physicians, poets or others who might be actually doing more to benefit our time to come than one making a winning jump shot at the buzzer. We are significantly more precarious in our outlooks on life than we are fixed contentedly in them. Sport suffices to fill some inexplicable gap germane to our dire straits.

Naturally, sports are more useful than street fights or warfare. Sports serve to distract us from the tedium of our lives, and when we sit down in a stadium or colosseum to enjoy a sporting event, we enter into the spirits of our heroes and become oblivious to the difficulties we are experiencing at home or in the office. The Greeks were the first to elaborate on this relevancy. Of course, it is not the responsibility of sport to encourage us to read a book or attend a symphony. We should likewise recognize that players are stressing both their bodies and intelligences to limits most of us fail to come near to doing so. This is one of the reasons we applaud them.

In this article, I wish to discuss that which is not heroic. And more, I wish to expand on the consequences of making something larger-than-life out of something crass and perverted: in other words, I want to zero in on an enormous distortion of The Truth that I witnessed during the Vietnam “War” and the consequences of its calamitous aftermath which still haunt the psyches of the citizenry belonging to the DisUnited States of Northamerica.

No military maneuver, whether it be a Brobdingnagian battle or a single incursion, will succeed without a network of an indefinite quantity of materiel backing up its soldiery. Soldiers need to eat, sleep, be medicated, be entertained, be paid... An army that is furnished to the hilt stands a better chance of winning the group action than one which is wanting in giving its troops that what they require. The DisUnited States of Northamerica is an illusionist at offering the world the idea that it is so well-equipped it might dot the globe with its state of the art weaponry and most modern ground forces. There is no doubt that the DUS has been successful in the past (World War I and World War II) in supplying its troops with an adequate amount of provisions to get the war job done, but Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan have corroborated the notion that the most sophisticated armaments and the most galactic dollar investment are not the sure bets they were before. And because the DUS's forces are scattered among almost eight-hundred bases throughout our terrestrial planet, their supply networks today are less efficient and, indeed, less agile when responding on the pickup. (The Art of War by Sun Tzu!)
My case in point, notwithstanding, is the Vietnam “War,” or better said the Vietnam Debacle. From its inception this military police action was haunted with doubt and confusion about its intended purpose and eventual outcome. The DUS was split sometimes violently as the intervention protracted itself for many years. Apart from the deaths (58,209) and wounded (304,704), the emotional scars caused by the conflict are still ostensible today even so two other foolish expeditionary penetrations divide the DUS and stress its financial stability dangerously. There is in the air the horrible idea that a war, whatever one, has to be won in order to “correct” the failure, the defeat, sustained in Vietnam still trivialized by hawkish elements with the repugnant word “Nam.”

But what put one of the many monkeys on the DUS armed forces' back during the Vietnam conflict was the new conception of an air force, army and navy force fed to new recruits and seasoned lifers alike and boosted vigorously by an ex-president of the Ford Motor Company, the Vietnam era's budget-minded paper pusher and corporate plumber Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara. RMcN fought hard to bring DUS forces into the managerial world making them parts of his enormous hydraulic-like system, yet he miscalculated so miserably not only what it meant to be a soldier, he actually envisioned the instauration of a new type of warrior thus opening the door to the creation of the modern electronic fighter—to the delight of anti-DUS guerilla elements located everywhere, naturally. If protesters objected to RMcN's orders, they were quickly flushed down his drain. His pipe dream eventually clogged the entire defence scheme and even today the DUS's military complex is staggering about perplexedly in an embarrassing confusion to the delight of not only ferocious radicals, even old World War II friends are busting their guts laughing at the absurd performance.

Our Southeast Asian forces were so top-heavy with business-like paperwork and administrative rigmarole, soldiers were constricted to do everything but what their mission intended them to accomplish: to soldier! As a junior officer, I was expected to learn something about everything. We were to participate in community affairs near our duty stations. We were encouraged to further our studies by mail at some university if we expected to gain rank. We were assigned to attend courses which had nothing to do with soldiering but did enhance our managerial potential. After Officer Basic Course I was assigned to teach in a missile training battalion, but when I was sent to Vietnam I was attached to a field artillery outfit—with the “guns” as a redleg would say. I had forgotten how to “lay the battery” by the time I was assigned to the Fourth Division in Pleiku by the Divarty full-bird CO, Colonel McAllister. RMcN wanted managerial clones to robotize the Art of Warfare. Being able to bomb the world to smithereens was the armed forces' logic for being superior to all other opponents.

I want to relate something now again that has shocked so many people before who have listened to me say it. It regards the logistical formation of forces in the Fourth Division (Pleiku, Vietnam) when I languished in it from August 1967 to the first part of 1968. At Pleiku was located the Snowflake Division's base camp—on the outskirts of the poverty-stricken Asian city. Citizens from Pleiku lined up each morning to be searched before being admitted to the Bravo Charlie to clean quarters, work in the kitchen, shine boots, run errands, clean tanks and jeeps, etc. The BC was a city in itself. About 20,000 inhabitants or so. The commanding officer of the base camp was a major general, two stars, named Peers. The BC was a beehive of activity as soldiers performed carbon-papered administrative chores, prepared hot meals for the troops on the battlefield, maintained helicopters and aerial observation planes, operated the PX, doctored the sick and other words, a BC was the backbone of an organization which existed to execute the Vietnam mission. For every man in the field, there were seven or eight backing him up in BC. Individuals serving in BC were sarcastically called “base camp warriors” because the BC was rarely attacked by an enemy which was largely composed of guerilla forces. General Peers once had to order all arms locked up in BC because drunken Snowflake Division troops were shooting themselves and their comrades so often! A shot in the calf was called The Million Dollar Wound inasmuch as it would keep you out of the field. In Bravo Charlie, then, was the place to be if you had to serve in Vietnam.

The place where supply sergeants could steal left and right. Where stolen guns and rifles could be sent home to National Guard armories and then sold to paramilitary kooks in the DUS. Where Afroamericans, who often comprised 30-40% of infantry companies in the field, could be threatened with battlefield duty if they misbehaved. Where officers connived for their next duty station and higher rank. Where extra R&Rs were bargained for. Where soldiers received care for unheard of strains of syphillis. Where sergeants re-upped two or three times more to pilfer more. Where sergeants from the south of the DUS had cocktail parties for weeks celebrating the deaths of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. Where sundry packs for grunts in the field were stolen and sold on the black market. Where division brass were entertained by Vietnamese-French prostitutes flown in from Saigon dressed in Red Cross uniforms. (RHIP: Rank Has Its Privileges!) Where graft and corruption went amuck. BC was such a disgusting pisshole, I preferred to be on the battlefield.

On the field of battle you did not have to shave or take a shower for a week or so. You might find a cobra or a bamboo pit viper in your hootch one morning. You could get malaria in the Central Highlands. If you did not take your anti-malaria pills to get out of field duty, you might end up in a tank filled with huge chunks of ice. Your armpits were bleached white from the salt tablets you were taking. Maybe 40% of your artillery rounds were duds. Your M-16 worked like a piece of junk, and you would wish you had an AK-47 like the LRRPs (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol scouts). You might go without supplies for a couple of days because helicopters could not land on the mountain top where you were dug in. You might be killed by an errant US Army artillery round or the door-gunner of a Huey helicopter or a 750-pound bomb dropped from a US Air Force jet. You could be drenched by monsoon rains beating down incessantly for eighteen hours a day, and then go to sleep with rain-soaked boots on. You might get a “Dear John” letter. Your feet could ache with jungle rot. Without sundry packs, you could clean your teeth with salt and use leaves instead of toilet paper. Where officers were called by their first names and where they would be murdered later on in the “war” by fraggings. Officers and enlisted ones were not of the same mindset. Humping with the grunts on the battlefield did not endear you to the base camp warriors; no, they just kept thanking their lucky stars they were not in your boots. In the field you could lose your body, but in Bravo Charlie you could lose your soul.

Believe me when I say I never saw a journalist or photographer when I humped with my FO (artillery forward observer) party (recon sergeant and telephone operator) and with the grunts in the jungles bordering Cambodia and Laos. (Artillery types, although they advanced with the grunts, were not entitled to receive the Combat Infantryman's Badge or something analogous to it.) Division SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) prohibited non-combatants from going to the field. If a combat photographer came to the battlefield, he (not “she”!) did it after the smoke had cleared and with permission. In BC you could find reps from print and TV organizations representing the world's media conglomerates. They were carefully controlled and buttered up ridiculously—naturally. The United States Army was fanatically media-conscious in Southeast Asia, had been in the past, and continues to be so today. Horrendous crimes committed by DUS troops against the inhabitants of their host country were swept under the public relations rug with the complaisance of the media.

Al Gore served as an Army photographer. His mother is remembered for whip-cracking the career of her senatorial husband, and when Al was up to the political gainsay himself she coached him so: “Al, SMILE, RELAX & ATTACK!” Those words served the calling of her husband and would suffice for the election campaign of her dearly beloved son when he sought the highest political position existing in the the DisUnited States of Northamerica. AG's mother had as a mission the swearing in of her son as a President of the DisUnited States—that task which she had not been able to accomplish for her husband. Al smiled and smiled and smiled. A good guy. And, oh, don't you forget it, a war veteran—not a Vietnam “War” veteran! AG did not need to brag about his military “service.” There were staff members to remind obeying journalists that AG wore his Army uniform proudly and served his country patriotically—something which the sons of editors of National Review did not! Politicians serving their country had PT-109 on their minds and still remember today how military service blessed JFK's chances of becoming a president. It was rare to see politicians' sons on the battlefield. They served in the logistical rear, base camp, where William F Buckley, Jr—even Gore Vidal—and others of this ilk could once be found. AG got away with not serving in the field but to his credit he did not brag about his Vietnam days inordinately. We cannot call him a hero!
Two-faced John Kerry did. Listen to what this insincere, hollow one said after his tour of duty in Vietnam when he served as leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War: “They...raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up [sic] bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion [sic] reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.” All of this is true. I can verify that DUS troops in Vietnam on very, very many occasions acted with criminal intent. They disgraced themselves and their country and did not help the DUS to honor its name nor its intentions such as they were. (How long would you trust your child with Lieutenant William Calley?) The worst, nonetheless, was accomplished by B-52 airstrikes that carpet-bombed to their deaths hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Most citizens of the DUS do not want to face up to these facts. They prefer to wrap themselves in their red, white and blue flags and deny historical facts. So be it. I can only say that those who lost their beloved ones in DUS bombings (The Americans are a wonderful people—if they aren't bombing you!) have not forgotten and will never do so. Hypocrites such as John Kerry are out for themselves and not Justice.

Well, then. Double-tongued John Kerry, who once harangued DUS involvement in the Vietnam Debacle, in 2004, accepting the nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention, did not present himself as the leader of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, but did boast that he was a proud veteran of that war and announced to the crowds, hawkishly, that he was “reporting for duty!” He even had film clips of his Vietnam “War” experiences. How he ever staged that is something that perplexes me. Did he pay the Viet Cong to act out for him? Deceitful JK criticized the Vietnam Debacle and then used it to promote his political fortune. He wanted his cake and wanted to eat it, too! What's wrong with that? Nothing! Would it not be difficult to find an American who did not think his political representatives were two-faced liars! Why should JK be credited with speaking coherently and honestly to his constituents? Citizens of the DUS expect their politicians to lie. Why should we think JK would even consider speaking The Truth to them? JK lost. He is a loser. He looked to wiggle his way to success. Not very elegant. Not in the least uplifting. We cannot call him a hero!
John McCain graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1958. He was ranked 894 out of a class of 899—a perfect tally for anyone wanting to be President of the United States! This Navy brat had a lot to live up to: both his grandfather and father were four-star admirals in the US Navy. JMcC was a hotheaded boozer and party boy at the Academy, and later in flight school, was famous more for the planes he crashed than he was remembered for his flying dexterity. In Vietnam he distinguished himself by accomplishing bombing missions against an enemy that possessed no air force capable of retaliating against him or his confrères. There is no record of him shooting down an enemy aircraft! When he was shot down, he was cared for, cured and eventually returned to the DUS after being used as a bargaining chip with bets being placed on his grandfather and father's high naval rank. He was not slaughtered as he had massacred Vietnamese women and children from the air. JMcC claims he sustained injuries in a Vietnamese POW camp that have remained with him since, yet he was able to pass physicals that returned him to full flight status after his much-publicized incarceration. It would be difficult to prove the extent of JMcC's POW sufferings; he has stated that he was in solitary confinement for two years. Yet it would be equally arduous to believe him because, after all, he is a DUS politician and qualifies himself as being an underhanded pathological prevaricator. And he speaks through his teeth! Not very refined. We cannot call him a hero!

The Truth-O-Meter tells it all! But why are Northamericans so afraid to face the music sounding off against their maliciousness and conceit? Better worded, why would the Northamerican community and their associates vie so vehemently to cultivate reputations of being bullies and self-righteous fanatics? To scare others into submission? Because they possess such a boorish view of human nature and contend with it to dominate and contain it? For the fight per se? Due to the fact that they are overanxious, endangered? Seeing that they lack confidence in themselves, they demur? It is difficult to join a debate which delves into the inner core of the Northamerican psyche. There is trepidation to do so. It is much easier to skirt issues without going all out trying to resolve them. Have you ever heard of a give-and-take entitled “What It Means to Be a Northamerican?” Who would sponsor that? Goldman Sachs?

What is clearer to the observer who does not belong to the Northamerican community than it might be to the Northamericans themselves, is the fact that there exists a huge amount of hostility directed at the DisUnited States, and in recent years it has crystallized beyond anyone's expectations. This has been achieved, in grand part, by the exponential utilization of the electronic communications' revolution now in rapid forward motion. The DUS is regarded as the prima facie of modernity and “progress.” It is alluded to continually as being the most powerful, most influential nation on Earth. As such, granted, it will bear the gratuitous criticism of others for being exaggeratedly proud and self-confident as a res publica even when it might not desire to be so. But those who cannot enjoy the material resources of the DUS and are violent in their attacks against the excessive and unconscionable modus vivendi of many Northamericans, are not uniting under the banner of enviousness but are singling out Northamericans for their human wickedness and abandonment of those ideals—generosity, justice, global fraternity, respect, to name a few—which others who tend to have not see in others who indeed have too much of. For many observers of the Northamerican scene, it appears that Northamericans cheat and steal Mondays through Fridays, and on Saturdays and Sundays ask forgiveness for their sins before beginning all over again on Monday morning. Citizens of the DisUnited States are loathed in all parts of the world, and in their inebriated amour propre, they refuse to perceive this actuality. Rather, they trust, quite remarkably, that their path is the one all should travel and they hold fast to the notion that they should be simulated.

It is therefore quite logical for Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCain to position themselves within the realm of The Untruth instead of The Truth. They feel obliged, as political representatives of their people, to cater to their constituents' weird opinions of themselves, and if a question of morality does spring up, the most convenient alibi is that they must follow the herd's quest, “in this our glorified democracy which abides by the wishes of the people.” Those people, almost most of them, clamored to have the murderer, William Calley, released, pardoned from his guilty conviction for the assassination of innocent children, women and elderly folk during the My Lai massacre. “Rusty,” today, cannot sleep and is haunted by the memories of his killing spree. (Some weeks after the My Lai massacre, I was assigned to the 11th Infantry Brigade [Americal Division] and served as the Brigade Artillery liaison officer for Colonel Oran K Henderson, the commander of the AO in which the butchery befell the innocent Vietnamese villagers. Colonel Henderson, then on the BG [brigadier general] list, was later accused by some of ordering the carnage, but was vindicated in court-martial proceedings. In the mornings, I flew with him in his spic n' span “C&C ship” (Command & Control Huey helicopter) to survey our AO. He was hung over every time and what I remember most about him was his ordering our copter pilots to ascend as quickly as possible to a 3,000-foot altitude so that we could be out of small arms fire! Never once did he offer his C&C ship as a MEDIVAC for infantry troops blown to bits by booby traps [90% of which were US ordnance!] in the heavily mine-infested My Lai AO. Colin Powell, who also served in the same AO, never went to bat to seek Justice for the victims of the My Lai mass murder.)

Might is right? When you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow? The hatred of the Northamerican people has no terminus ad quem. Any faction which disagrees with them is subject to the most vociferous, antagonistic charges, and these intolerable ones, these fanatics stew in the sauces of their self-righteousness and misconception. What hope is there for them.

I feel discomforted for Al Gore, John Kerry and John McCain. They are intellectual cowards. They are pathetic. They possess not the gumption to go beyond. To lead their fellow countrymen to a new order that would bring respect and admiration to cause the DisUnited States to be regarded as a competent, mature real thing throughout the act as beacons of Justice and peace for all the globe to steer set the pace for the implementation of a world order equitable and worthy of being imitated by be, simply, authentic leaders and not mendacious crowd followers.

Authored by Anthony St. John
1 December 2009
Calenzano, Italia

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