The Infinite Echo

B. Thomas Cooper is a freelance journalist, photographer, blogger and historian. Topics include Political Commentary, Satire and History

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Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ernest Hemingway, American Literary Icon

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

"In Africa a thing is true at first light, and a lie by noon and you have no more respect for it than for the lovely, perfect weed-fringed lake you see across the sun-baked salt plain. You have walked across that plain in the morning and you know that no such lake is there. But now it is there absolutely true, beautiful and believable."
-Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway, an American literary icon, whose life, was as extraordinary as his writing. Born in July of 1899, Hemingway is credited by many with having changed the voice of literature in twentieth century America. His passion was ever present, his words revealing. An avid outdoorsman and adventurer, Ernest brought his world into our world, he brought his adventures into our living rooms, and together we shared the pain and loss dominant in his writing.

He wrote many unforgettable novels, including A Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and the fictional memoir, True at First Light, but it was his classic novella, The Old Man and the Sea, which earned him his Pulitzer Prize in 1953, defining Hemingway and his unique style of writing.

Ernest Hemingway always seemed to be searching for something, a search which would lead him to France in his youth and later Africa, where he hunted wild game, finding inspiration for some of his most intriguing stories. While on safari, Hemingway contracted dysentery, which nearly cost him his life. He was seriously mauled lion hunting, survived two plane crashes, and once shot himself in the foot while deep-sea fishing.

Unfortunately, the one killer Hemingway could not overcome was mental illness. Years of alcoholism and a lifetime of self abuse eventually took its toll, ravaging his body and his mind. Mental illness is a lonely road, and one which Ernest was increasingly unable to navigate. On July 2nd, 1961 Hemingway ended his life with a shotgun. At age sixty-one, Ernest Hemingway was gone.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

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Friday, February 08, 2008

John McCain, Ronald Reagan and Other Disturbing Thoughts

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

This shouldn’t surprise any of you, but I grew up in Arizona. As such, I know crashing your fighter jet onto the deck of an aircraft carrier does not make you a hero. That’s just what John McCain did. I can still recall the images of the carnage there on the deck of the Intrepid. McCain was unable to match the damage done previously by Japanese Kamikaze pilots, but he certainly gave it the ol’ college try. Just a little straight talk.

If that wasn’t disturbing enough, he then managed to get “shot down”. I wasn’t there when it happened, so I won’t dispute the details, but if I were looking for someone to pilot something as important as our country, I certainly wouldn’t turn to John McCain based on his flight record. The man was an iffy pilot. Oh, and by the way… he hasn’t been much of a senator either.

John McCain - Reagan Republican

However, in defense of McCain, I understand why he is on the outs with the neo- conservatives. You see, John McCain sometimes lives in Arizona. Not nearly as much as most residents, but he has spent some time in the valley. In fact, his office is just up the street from mine.

That’s 16th Street, a major artery running through downtown Phoenix. It is one of the oldest roads in the valley. When I was a kid, 16th was lined with large ditches, dug by Mexican laborers over a century ago. The ditches are gone now. The Mexicans are not. Oh, this may be a big deal to some idiot jackass racist Republican, but to me, they are my neighbors.

As you may know, I attended an appearance by Bill Clinton at Grady Gammage Auditorium on the ASU campus in downtown Tempe last week. What you probably don’t know is that the auditorium was built above the ruins of an old Mexican village called San Pablo.

In simple words, this was all part of Mexico not too many years ago. When some fool pops off about “sending them home” I can’t stop laughing. I ‘d be willing to bet any of you idiots my neighbors bloodline goes back further than yours does. This is home for these people, and has been for centuries. Your relatives picked up and left home. They’re relatives did not. Now you want them to leave? Kiss my ass!

And such is the rub for John McCain. He has lived in Arizona long enough, and represented these people long enough to know that every word I’ve written is true.

The problem is further compounded when Ronald Reagan is brought into the picture. You see, the neo- cons love the ‘Gipper, but isn’t he most heralded for urging the so called ‘bad guys to “tear down that wall”? How can a good ‘Reagan republican’ support the building of another Iron Curtain, this one in our own back yard? No really, I kid you not… right through back yards. Right through gardens and neighborhoods. Right through towns. Just like the Iron Curtain in Russia, with one distinct difference. Like the dicks we are, ours will be bigger.

As predicted, the Mexicans are beginning to pack up and "go home". The apartments, once full of Mexicans, lay vacant. No more tenants, no more tamale lady, no more customers buying cerveza and lottery tickets from the bodega on the corner. The local economy has bellied up, thank you very much! And this is just the beginning, mi amigos. If the Republicans have it their way, it won’t be long until Phoenix can’t afford a bano to piss in.

But what does some dork who flunked geography care? He thinks the Mexicans are taking away jobs. He thinks he should have the option to pick onions for a living. Now he does. Flunky has no concept. Flunky has never even been to a border town. He just hates Mexicans. In fact, I’ve met plenty of people like Flunky. Most have little if any understanding. They are ignorant trash.

So what is John McCain to do? Supplicate the neo- cons who already despise him? A real war hero would stick to his guns, and McCain may have the ammo to take on his detractors. Still, it’s apt to get downright nasty, if it hasn’t already. John McCain is in the fight of his life… against his fellow republicans.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Sound Foundation Entertainment - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Sound&Recording - Skate the Razor - Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

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