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  • mistermuse 12:01 am on June 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , David McCullough, , flight, , , , , Kismet, , , Orville Wright, , , rhymes, , Wilbur Wright, William Howard Taft   

    LET US TURN BACK TO THE WRIGHT, BROTHERS AND SISTERS 

    PROLOGUE:
    We had to go ahead and discover everything for ourselves.
    –Orville Wright, 1901

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Friends, Readers, Countrymen —

    If you have spent many a sleepless night
    tossing and turning ’til dawn’s early light,
    wondering if I’d e’er host another post,
    take such worries off thy plate — they’re toast.

    Yes, Brothers and Sisters, thy long wait is o’er.
    I’m back, and who of you could ask for more
    although I must confess
    that most may ask for less. 😦

    Never-the-less, Brothers and Sisters,
    it is written in the stars that I must return to the scene of my rhymes and other crimes. It’s Kismet.

    Notwithstanding the never-the-less, Brothers and Sisters, I digress.
    I come here not to berhyme the Wrights, but to praise them.

    Thus this follow-up to my May 17 post, THE DAY THE WRIGHTS DONE ME WRONG, because, by ancient axiom, it’s the Wright thing to do (If at first you don’t succeed, fly, fly again). And if this discourse has the unintended consequence of being the sleep-aid you need to catch up on those zzzzz, the added benefit comes at no extra charge.

    But I doubt that will be the case with THE WRIGHT BROTHERS, which, it so happens, is the title of a book I just finished reading (by my favorite historian, David McCullough). It’s no less than you’d expect from a Pulitzer Prize winning author: a masterful biography which (quoting from the dust cover) “draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including personal diaries, notebooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence, to tell the human side of a profoundly American story.”

    The Wrights spent years of trial and air working to construct the world’s first ‘aeroplane,’ but as reader Don Frankel noted on May 17, America paid scant attention even after their successful first flight Dec. 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (and Don wasn’t just whistling Dixie in his comment). Finally, in 1906, after numerous improvements (including a more powerful engine) and many test flights, “much of the scientific world and the press [began] to change their perspective on the brothers”, and they started to attract commercial and government–especially French, not American– interest.

    To the latter point, President (and fellow Ohioan) Wm. Howard Taft spoke as follows in presenting the two brothers with Gold Medals on June 10, 1909, in Washington D.C.:

    I esteem it a great honor and an opportunity to present these medals to you as an evidence of what you have done. I am so glad–perhaps at a delayed hour–to show that in America it is not true that “a prophet is not without honor save in his own country.” It is especially gratifying thus to note a great step in human discovery by paying honor to men who bear it so modestly. You made this discovery by a course that we of America like to feel is distinctly American–by keeping your noses right at the job until you had accomplished what you had determined to do.

    There are many stories within the story of THE WRIGHT BROTHERS, many twists and turns and mishaps along the way. The Wrights weren’t ‘stick’ figures with no interests and little to commend beyond their mechanical genius. Wilbur, for example, wrote home from France in 1906 of long walks and “the great buildings and art treasures of Paris, revealing as he never had–or had call to–the extent of his interest in architecture and painting.”

    Read this bio and you will surely be taken along for the ride, as was I, by “the human side of a profoundly American story” of two men most of us know only from dry history books.

    So fasten your life jackets and come fly with me.

    EPILOGUE:
    We dared to hope we had invented something that would bring lasting peace to the Earth. But we were wrong. We underestimated man’s capacity to hate and to corrupt good means for an evil end. –Orville Wright, 1943 (during WWII)

     

     
    • Carmen 12:50 am on June 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      A timely subject, Mr. Muse. . I’m flying from Melbourne, Australia to Halifax, Nova Scotia on Friday. :). Those Wright Brothers started somethin’, eh?

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:15 am on June 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        It certainly sounds Wright that from Down Under, there’s hardly anywhere to go but up…so have a safe flight home, Carmen. I’ll look forward to reading all about your trip if you post it on your blog.

        Like

    • calmkate 4:31 am on June 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      lol love your opening poem and your review sounds interesting but … 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:53 am on June 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        No buts about it, Kate — my reviews are always interesting (except when they’re not). 😦

        Liked by 2 people

        • calmkate 7:26 pm on June 13, 2018 Permalink

          except the topic holds no interest for me .. but as you wrote it I still read it 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    • Silver Screenings 10:12 am on June 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Re: Orville Wright’s 1943 quote – ain’t it the truth! As I read your last post on the Wright Bros., I thought, “In a few short years, folks would be arming this marvellous invention in an effort to kill more people.”

      The biography sounds fascinating. Thanks for the recommendation!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:28 pm on June 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        You’re more than welcome, SS. As for the quote, “ain’t it the truth” indeed.What an ugly and beautiful mixed bag of a world this is!

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 11:02 am on June 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Isn’t that last quote the truth? And the brothers Wright never even heard of Facebook.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Don Frankel 8:49 am on June 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That’s a great book Muse. I was amazed at all the things they had to develop in order to figure how to take flight. It is an amazing story. But I still can’t get over how they are flying just about everyday in Dayton and the only person who wrote about it was a traveling bee salesman in his little magazine which would be a the equivalent of a blog today.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 9:29 am on June 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I’m glad you mentioned the bee magazine, Don — it’s the perfect example of how under-appreciated and almost ignored the Wrights were when you consider the game-changing nature of their accomplishment. The failure to recognize what seems so obvious reminds me of the old saying, IF IT WAS A SNAKE, IT WOULD HAVE BIT YOU.

        Liked by 1 person

    • chattykerry 9:21 am on June 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I am going to work at the airport today and I will consider the amazing achievements of the Wright brothers as I attempt to deal airlines and passengers who think they are riding a Greyhound bus…😁😁

      Liked by 3 people

    • barkinginthedark 6:51 pm on August 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Orville’s regret is too sad…to see your marvelous invention being employed to kill…too sad. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:08 pm on August 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      “We underestimated man’s capacity to hate and to corrupt good means for an evil end.” Today, Orville’s 1943 quote has an even wider application than airplanes, as (courtesy of Donald Trump) democracy itself is being corrupted for an evil end.

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:02 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Kismet, , , Narcissus, , ,   

    RHYMES AT RANDOM 

    In a comment to my last post (CERF’S UP), I raised the possibility of re-publishing several of my poetic baubles from THE RANDOM HOUSE TREASURY OF LIGHT VERSE. Generous soul that I am, suppose I add a bonus of bangles and beads to the baubles….for man does not live by words alone, but with the inspiration of Blyth spirit beautifully begetting beguiling music, without which our Kismet (fate) would be drab indeed:

    Yes, my friends, I have rhymes — or, conversely, should I say….

    And now, having strung my lead-in out this far / I wish upon a wishing star / to make appear my Random rhymes / from the pages of bygone times. / These rhymes abode in poems four / nothing less and nothing more / but not having used up all my string / I’ll save one of the poems for my next post-ing:

    LOVER BOY

    Narcissus was too perfect for sex or pelf —
    He longed only to gaze in love at himself….
    The moral of which is that, even in myths,
    Too much reflection may be your nemesis.

    THE BOOK OF WISDOM

    Thou shalt not commit adultery;
    Nor shalt thou covet thy neighbor’s spouse.
    Shouldst thou succumbeth to temptation,
    Thou shalt not do it in thy neighbor’s house.

    CONCEIVABLY, THE COMPLEAT HISTORY OF HUMAN SEX

    Adam and Eve,
    I believe,
    Were the start of it.

    Everyone since,
    I’m convinced,
    Played a part in it.

    NOTE: Ann Blyth, who played Marsinah (daughter of The Poet, played by Howard Keel) in the film version of Kismet, is one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

     

     

     
    • calmkate 1:14 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      nice poetry, thanks 🙂
      the shortest poem I know
      FLEAS
      Adam had ’em

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:02 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Adam must have been quite the dog
      For fleas to go for him whole hog.
      😦

      Like

    • linnetmoss 7:16 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Haha! I had to look up “pelf” to see if it meant what I thought 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:01 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I came across the word many years ago, but I don’t remember where — probably in something written by someone like Noel Coward. For the benefit of those who don’t know Coward, he was a sophisticated English playwright and composer, and “pelf” means money or riches.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Ricardo 2:08 am on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Was trying to figure out which of my childhood cartoon characters was fond of saying “Gadzooks,” so I Googled it and came upon its etymology instead: “Dictionary references date gadzooks as far back as the late 1600s as a shortening of “by God’s hooks,” a reference to the nails on Christ’s cross.”

      Suffering succotash, as Sylvester the cat, one of my ‘gadzooks’ suspects, was also prone to saying.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:42 am on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I seen to recall a long-ago cartoon character saying “Gadzooks” too, Ricardo, but I had no better luck than you with a quick Google search. If any bounders or blighters out there remember who it was, please speak up or forever hold your Gadzooks.

        Like

    • RMW 2:54 pm on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Now I have to dust off my Kismet DVD from the back of the cabinet and pop it in my machine. I’ve been revisiting my musicals collection recently… that one will be next.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:49 pm on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I selected the two KISMET songs for this post based on how well they suited my purposes. I think the best songs in the show (or at least the ones I like best) are NOT SINCE NINEVEH, NIGHT OF MY NIGHTS, and THE OLIVE TREE. The only one that became a big hit was STRANGER IN PARADISE.

        Enjoy your DVD!

        Like

        • RMW 12:28 pm on June 7, 2017 Permalink

          Night of my Nights.. as sung by Richard Kiley, not the Damone movie version!

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 5:12 pm on June 7, 2017 Permalink

          You apparently have the original Broadway cast (including Kiley) on your DVD — I have the same on an LP album. Both Kiley and Damone sing the song well, but Kiley was also a distinguished actor, whereas Damone was strictly a pop singer whose acting left something to be desired, in my opinion.

          Liked by 1 person

    • intrepid8 11:21 pm on June 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You like Poetry. Have you ever read Pablo Neruda’s by any chance?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:10 am on June 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I have come across a poem or two of Neruda’s, but have not specifically sought his work out because my talent and tastes lead me in the direction of humorous and light verse, such as that of Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, Lewis Carroll and, of course, that “greatest of all humorists, Anonymous.” That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate serious poetry if it’s right down my alley, but my alley is relatively confined.

        Thank you for your comment.

        Like

    • Don Frankel 2:19 pm on June 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Muse I was thinking this music is really beautiful. Like some wonderful fate, like kismet. Then I realized it is Kismet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:46 pm on June 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Kismet has a storied history, Don. It was first produced on stage in New York in 1911 and on film in 1930 and again in 1942 starring Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich. The 1950s Broadway and Hollywood versions (starring Alfred Drake and Howard Keel, respectively) contain one of my all-time favorite musical scores.

        Like

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Charles Bukowski, , , , , , Faith Baldwin, Hans Christian Andesen, , , Kismet, , Martin Amis, , , , , Vincent Van Gough, William Faulkner   

    IT’S ABOUT TIME AGAIN 

    Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. –Faith Baldwin

    A year ago today, I published a post titled IT’S ABOUT TIME which, as it happens, was about time. That post featured songs about time, such as TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE (which is all about time playing the role of an impatient gadabout). For this year’s edition, with Daylight Saving Time coming up this upcoming weekend, I thought I’d save myself time by posting quotes, like the Baldwin above, that carry on the time theme (which almost rhymes with crime scene, which is a site where it is suspected a pun has been committed in bad Faith). So, without further ado, it’s time to get down to cases:

    Things money can’t buy: Time. Inner peace. Character. Manners. Respect. Morals. Trust. Patience. Class. Dignity. –Roy T. Bennett [almost identical with ‘Things on Trump’s Top Ten Never To Do list’]

    I have no faith in human perfectibility. Man is now only more active – not more wise – than he was 6,000 years ago. –Edgar Allan Poe [man “more active” in Poe’s time? Of course he was — humans had yet to become Couch Po(e)tatoes]

    Throughout history man’s inventions have been timesavers — then came television [100 years post-Poe]. –Evan Esar

    I’m afraid of time…I mean I’m afraid of not having enough time — time to understand people, how they really are, or to be understood myself. I’m afraid of the quick judgments or mistakes everybody makes. You can’t fix them without time. –Ann Brashares

    It is looking at things for a long time that ripens you and gives you a deeper meaning. –Vincent Van Gough

    I am almost a hundred years old; waiting for the end, and thinking about the beginning. There are things I need to tell you, but would you listen if I told you how quickly time passes? –Meg Rosoff

    The past is never dead. It’s not even past. –William Faulkner

    It takes a lifetime to die and no time at all. –Charles Bukowski

    And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit. –Martin Amis

    Enjoy life. There’s plenty of time to be dead. –Hans Christian Andersen

    Being with you and not being with you is the only way I have to measure time. –Jorge Luis Borges

    Over the silent sands of time they go/lovers come/lovers go/and all that there is to know/lovers know/only lovers know. –“Sands Of Time” lyrics, from 1955 film KISMET

     

     

     
    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 2:02 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Loved the quotes, but I REALLY loved the video. Kismet is one of my favorite scores – only coincidentally the first professional show I ever saw (with Alfred Drake and the original cast!!!) – a gift from my wonderful mother when I was a theatre-obsessed youngster.
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:06 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I absolutely agree re KISMET. Not only is it one of my favorite scores, but one of my favorite musicals (the film version is highly underappreciated, in my opinion). I own the original Broadway cast album and film sound track album — both Alfred Drake and Howard Keel are magnificent!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 10:50 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink

          Back in my acting days my dream role was Lalume – but it was never produced during the years I was acting, so I didn’t even get to audition for it.

          I love everything about the show as well – and the Wright & Forrest lyrics for the Borodin source material were delightfully on the money. God bless my mother for insisting that my father pop for the tickets. I’m sure he thought they were a huge waste of money for kids (my next oldest brother was taken as well). In my case, obviously, nothing could have been farther from the truth. I can still recall almost every moment, decades later and can sing along with every song in the entire score.

          I had the original cast album as well, and played it often. Unfortunately, none of my albums made it through one of my many moves (early Beetle albums as well). I actually wept when I unpacked and realized they were missing – didn’t even have a list!
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 7:16 am on March 11, 2017 Permalink

          Love your ‘back’ story — thanks for taking time to share it.

          P.S. I dig your “father pop for the tickets” pun. Keep it up and one day you’ll become as notorious a punster as yours too-ly. 😦

          Like

    • scifihammy 5:37 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Seems like everything’s covered here – except Time on your hands. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:18 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        If you’re speaking of the song TIME ON MY HANDS, I’ll try to remember to include it in my 3/10/2018 post. It’s not that there wasn’t time to include it here or in my 3/10/16 post — it’s just that there are too many great ‘time’ songs to cover in two posts! 🙂

        P.S. As for “Time on your hands” personally, I don’t have any — at least, none EXTRA!

        Liked by 1 person

        • scifihammy 9:18 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink

          haha I was referring to your PS rather than the song, which I don’t know.
          Most of us don’t have enough Time, let alone any left over for our hands! 😀

          Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 6:37 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Tide doesn’t wait either. But this can’t be complete without.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:33 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks to CASABLANCA, “As Time Goes By” is probably the most famous ‘time’ song ever written. But I suspect few people know that the song wasn’t written for the movie — it first appeared in the 1931 theater musical EVERYBODY’S WELCOME. The composer, Herman Hupfeld, wrote over 100 songs, but this was his only big hit, and doubtless would have become long forgotten if not for CASABLANCA.

        Like

    • Garfield Hug 8:19 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      👍👍👍

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 10:59 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      But now the television has been supplanted by the computer, Sr. Muse, a device on which you can work and idle simultaneously.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:33 am on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        The difference is that I seldom fall asleep at my computer, but frequently do so watching TV. On the other hand, some people probably fall asleep reading my posts — maybe I should market my blog as a cure for insomnia.

        Like

    • D. Wallace Peach 12:25 pm on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the laughs. I get such a kick out of the quotes and the wry take on time. So many good ones, but I have to say the one by Hans Christian Andersen is my favorite. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:49 pm on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I must say this is probably one of the best batches of quotes I’ve ever put together…and speaking of “together,” I love the Jorge Luis Borges quote because, in its depth, it is to romance like love is to infatuation.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Carmen 1:54 pm on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      No one could fall asleep reading your posts, Mr. Muse! Too busy thinking! 🙂 Thanks for the music vids. . . I like the one from Casablanca, too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 3:14 pm on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Carmen. If my posts cause people to think, maybe it’s because they’re aimed higher than Trump’s half-cocked tweets….but then, I have an unfair advantage — I have a ‘refined’ (yet down-to-earth) audience.

      Like

    • BroadBlogs 9:02 pm on March 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You find the best quotes! Even when they’re a bit depressing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:05 am on March 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you. Some of the quotes are depressing (and some aren’t), but I always look for the best and wisest quotes relative to the subject matter of my post….and in this case, I wouldn’t have done the subject (TIME) justice if I’d left out the depressing ones.

      Like

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