Ellie’s Diary – 22 July 2016
Were getting a cat! I just found out about it. His name is Smoothy and he’s still too young to travel, but we’re going to pick him up sometime next month. He’s part Main Coon and I worry about that a little because those kats get so big.
I still haven’t heard anything from Hollywood, but I sent them my new head-shot.
I suppose it’s actually a body shot, but whatever. I submitted it with an idea for a movie script I’ve been thinking about. It’s called, “The Hound of the Basketballs.” I’d be the star, a hot private eye with a big heart who sniffs out clues. There would be minor roles for a few of my boyfriends, and maybe a cat or two thrown in for comic relief.
Déjà vu Again
At present in our country there is a general experience of suppressed panic: anxiety not only about the hydrogen bomb and the prospect of atomic war, but about uncontrolled inflation, unemployment, anxiety that our old values have deteriorated as our religions have eroded, about our disintegrating family structure, concern about pollution of the air, the oil crisis and infinitum. The mass of citizens react as a neurotic would react: we hasten to conceal the frightening facts with the handiest substitutes, which dull out anxiety and enable us temporarily to forget.
From: The Crises of freedom
Rollo May 1999
Misting rain this morning. Not much fun to walk around this afternoon. I’m trapped inside this seven foot square room. And there’s no bar in this hotel. One of the things I love best in Amsterdam is hanging out the hotel bar. One can sit in one place and meet people from everywhere and anywhere—most of them in a pretty good mood. War stories, laughter, lots of beer goes down. A good time had by all. Whatever. There was a Banksy exhibition within walking distance.
There was a line, about a dozen of us waiting to get in. Progress was slow. They prefer plastic in Amsterdam, people pay with cell phones even, god knows what, and it always seems complicated . . . slow. I finally make it to ticket counter and pay cash-takes about twenty seconds.
It was an experience to see the Banksys at their original scale which makes them even more impactful. I constant crowd of people milled around a labyrinth of halls with art work on both sides. I could hear these grunts from people, tiny little sounds with no attending thought of speech. A sort of muffled, “wow.”
I notice some are taking photos of the artwork and was shocked at first, until I thought about it. Yes. This is the beauty of his work – it’s on display. It’s on the streets. It’s free, and very good. Impactful. I’d never seen his oil paintings. They were interesting for a look or two. I’ve posted some photos below. Not very good shots, but I only had my cell phone.
I’d never seen his oil paintings before.
Although Banksy is active world wide, his work has never appeared on walls or streets in the Netherlands.
This is the English language version of our article published in LiberoReporter.
The Hiza Agre Fire Force Unit 80 is a Peshmerga unit holding a front line position on the outskirts of Mosul that is unique in a number of ways. Despite often being compelled to fight with weapons they have been able to capture from ISIS and despite being forced to fight in whatever equipment they can scrape together on their own – one fighter is routinely going into combat wearing bowling shoes – the men and women of this unit have been able to accomplish very much with very little.
The unit, starting with just a handful of combat veterans, has been able to train and deploy over 300 soldiers to participate in what is an existential battle against the Islamic State for many of them. And these new soldiers have more than proven…
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