Monday, January 20, 2020

Somewhere in downtown Brooklyn past

Where this was is a bit of a mystery. It's somewhere in the downtown Brooklyn end of the #12 Dekalb Ave. line. Nothing along Court Street matches any of these buildings which presently has buildings from around the time this photo was taken. Could be along Cadman Plaza west in what is today a park and the buildings in this photo long since disappeared by eminent domain. Then this could be a colorized tribute to a vanished neighborhood.

Original B&W photo from NYC, colorizing it is my own work.

Donald Cavaioli

Sunday, January 19, 2020

YouTuber Brandon F's Farbtastic Woke Sermon

Indeed, one would be hard pressed to find a YouTube content creator more eloquent and verbose the Brandon F. His channel usually features military history subjects which are interesting even if he tends to sperg out on the "farb" he finds regarding his subject du jour. Farb, of course, a word Brandon tends to perhaps overuse, is a historical reenactor's term for anything not exactly historically accurate down to the molecular level in terms of uniforms and weaponry. But as they say, spergs are gonna sperg.

So we come to his recent upload of the second part of his grand review of the movie The Patriot and here he not only waxes eloquent but feels compelled to pontificate a grand sermon on the evils of slavery in the colonies but to spend and entire 57 minutes and 2 seconds of being repeatedly kicked in the groin by gassing over scenes that were probably all said about 10 or 15 minutes or so of the 2 hour and 45 minute movie. For most mundane mortals, myself included, a 5-7 minute oration on the immorality of slavery and the positive depiction of it at a prima facia glance as somewhat callous and in poor taste would suffice. However, Brandon, are you not familiar with the term poetic license or the concept of suspending disbelief in fiction or how about chill out, man, it's only a movie, not a f&#*@^% historical documentary, you tool?

However, we do learn soon enough that the black men and women on the farm of Benjamin Martin (played by Mel Gibson) are in fact freedmen and women working as hired hands. Something over which Brandon proceeds to beat his chest in outrage as he does not believe slaves were ever manumitted. I suppose in all his research on the proper way to wear a cocked hat, which mundane dullards erroneously refer to as a "tricorn hat", the correct pronunciation of "huzzah" as "hoo-zay" he somehow missed that even Thomas Jefferson had freed his slaves in his will as had some other slave owners. Something known to any school child.

That the other character, Charlotte (Joely Richardson) has a well dressed house slave, has two homes or how the extras playing the field slaves are dressed and stand has no deeper significance as a social statement and is not the main plot of the movie. They're just extras acting as background characters, of course they don't have lines and neither do the white extras. And Charlotte is herself a secondary character and only part of a sub plot, you pretentious twit.

Further, I should hate to see the apoplectic fit that would be induced were I to inform him that there were even black men who owned black African slaves. Or that horror of horrors, slavery has been practiced all over the world by all races and civilizations since the dawn of H. Sapiens and even still is today in some places in the world *cough* North Africa, Islamic State *cough*. The little fellow might have a stroke for heaven sake!

Moreover, Brandon takes particular umbrage at Benjamin Martin working his own fields! Next to a black man as if they were on friendly terms! Brandon, old bean, I do suggest you consider the image of manhood prevalent at the time not only of bucks and blades but of the American yeoman who worked his own fields with a latent Cincinnatus homage there. Sure there were gentleman farmers who never touched a plow but there is some historical references to landowners who would occasionally do some of their own work in the fields or around the farm if only for appearance sake. The actions and attitudes of Benjamin Martin may be unusually progressive for the time, extremely rare, but not wholly impossible. Not everybody thought slavery was a great thing in those days and perhaps only a relative few, but not all white people looked down upon black people. And by the way, the character of Benjamin Martin, although based on the historical person, Francis Marion is not meant to exactly be Francis Marion, based on being the operative term here. Recall, it's only a movie, you twit.

Although Marion Francis' deeds in life both good and bad are matters of historical fact, his misdeeds may be noted as such and rightly condemned but still they now belong to history. For all Brandon's posturing, it is a false dichotomy to claim it is moral relativity for recognizing it as such. A cheap way of instilling guilt in all who refuse to continually flog the shade of Francis Marion for his long dead sins and to make modern Americans continue to wear the hair shirt of slavery that ended 154 years ago. Besides, who Marion Francis was and whatever dark and malevolent nature he was possessed of is utterly irrelevant to the movie The Patriot or the protagonist. Benjamin Martin. The point of the movie was the story of a man seeking revenge during the American Revolution, not about rehabilitating Francis Marion and the institution of slavery. Focus, Brandon, focus.

Here I might add Brandon's mention of the historical Marion executing slaves found guilty of carrying provisions or gathering intelligence, working or fighting for the enemy (the British). However, even a white American colonist found guilty of the same would likewise have been executed because this was called being a collaborator, spy or traitor- something of a no-no in wartime. A little factoid Brandon seems to have overlooked during his witch hunt for racism which eclipses his previous exhortations of not judging the past when he demonstrated a commendable measure of probity. But when the topic of slavery and racism rears its ugly head, the liberal narrative of the evil white man over truth bursts forth, denials of the same not withstanding and topped off with feigned display of dismay at being impaled on the horns of a moral dilemma. Medice, cura te ipsum.

However, one must keep up appearances and burnish our goodwhite anti-racism credentials, of course. Respectability amongst one's fellow Bay Staters is of paramount importance, you know. So who wouldn't accept the word of an activist non-profit, the Equal Justice Initiative whose stock and trade is race baiting as to be kinda unreliable and claims of lynchings and their causes as being because a black man simply smiled at a white woman may, er, be somewhat exaggerated(?) as to be blowing smoke up your ass makes no nevermind. Maybe the Equal Justice Initiative is sorta full of bullshit and not a objective source of information? No! Forward, comrade forward! Good Sir Brandon has a holy crusade to fight and a noble sermon to preach! African Americans are most fortunate to have such a white wordsmith and master of righteous indignation speak out for them on the horrors of white people and black people getting along with each other at an improbable wedding.

Oh and by the way, old sport; what do lynchings between 1877 and 1950 have to do with colonial era slavery and racism? Just thought you'd throw that in to further gild an already badly over gilded lily? Or just padding out the content?

Be that as it may, Brandon rests comfortably in the singularly liberal notion that only, only in these United States of all places on earth past or present was the absolute worst form slavery ever employed with only black Africans of all humanity ever placed in bondage. And presumably all these Africans captured and placed in chains by white Europeans and Americans only according the the leftist holy Gospels of Alex Haley and Howard Zinn. I am sure that were Brandon to read these words, he would sniff disdainfully that he never said exactly those words and technically, he would be correct. But his statements about the horrors of American slavery without any comparison with other instances of contemporaneous slavery demonstrates either ignorance of the subject or a willful attempt to create this impression by lifting it out of context.

But not Brandon for whom political correctness ultimately supersedes historical facts inconvenient to the modern progressive narrative should he find the two crossing paths. For Brandon F is truly a most servile courtier to the great Woke Zeitgeist, ever watchful for even the spectral evidence of racism. And as ever sensitive to the insidious attempt to cynically hide it behind a facade of faux friendliness towards black people, or to note the appalling scene of a white landowner plowing his fields, blatantly displaying toxic masculinity to the horror and dismay of liberal goodwhites.

In the end, this video was an extravaganza of insufferable virtue signalling, a colossal neon sign surmounted by bright flashing lights announcing in blinding letters: "I so totally denounce slavery as a very bad thing and I am implacably against racism in all its forms and manifestations no matter how trivial". 57 minutes and 2 seconds of being figuratively beaten over the head by bloviating platitudes, pointless digressions and tiresome non-sequiturs such as the percentage of the population who were slaves and endless repeating of the same scenes and same histrionics ad nauseum. 7 minutes at most would have sufficed if Brandon stayed on point. However, the depiction of slaves or black extras in the background in the movie were not germane to the plot and it would be understandable if the director and producers would like to avoid controversy and so tread lightly on the subject. Something an overly literal Aspie cannot fathom any more than he could poetic license. Thus the witchfinder general digs deeply far and wide to dredge up all that can be sarcastically stretched beyond the break point as evidence of racism which he presents in excruciating detail.

Finally it seems clear after 57 minutes and 2 seconds of my life which I will never get back, that the base motivation for this spectacular of historical filibuster is as much Brandon F's being an Anglophile deeply offended at the bad guy depiction of the British soldiers, which even when I watched this movie found to be rather over the top and silly, as is his penchant for insipid hand waving virtue signalling. If so, I would more respect the intellectual honesty of Brandon starting his rant in high dudgeon with a statement of his taking deep umbrage at the beastly portrayal of his beloved redcoats. Then I might better tolerate the pedantic, long winded, cringe inducing sermon about the evils of slavery and racism. Yeah, slavery was morally wrong and it's a good thing that it was abolished. I get it.

Believe it or not, I actually like Brandon F's other videos. I'm just a bit disappointed with this particular clunker and hope in future he confines himself to nit-picking about uniforms with his characteristic erudite sarcasm and calling everything farb. Huzzah!

Donald Cavaioli

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Single Image

Still working on a few things, other projects and such but I will have something to write about tomorrow. I always have something to write about. Taciturnity is not one of my faults or virtues as the case may be. The above photo is my own and this angel graces Lutheran All-Faiths cemetery in Middle Village, NY.

Donald Cavaioli

Friday, January 17, 2020

More colorized photos

Been busy so just this quickie post today of a recolored photo.

A PCC car in the bottle green livery of the NYC Board of Transportation, of the 7th Avenue line at its terminal at 20th Street and 7th Ave ca late 1940's to early 1951. Due to wartime shortages of building materials and supplies, the buildings around the city got a bit shabby looking as did the city's trolley fleet. The original B&W photo was from NYC

Donald Cavaioli

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Civil War Generals in color

Union General Daruis N. Couch looking a bit pale. But as previously noted when colorizing mid to late 19th century photos, the negative emulsion has some issue reacting to some colors of light, blue I think it was, which affects the gray scale and in turn the colorizing app. Original Brady-Handy B&W photo from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Will New York's Off-Shore Windmill Program Break Records or Just Break Wind?

If a group of people lack the ability to engage in abstract thought, the intellectual acumen for new and innovative ideas and the individualistic creativity to pioneer new technologies or are just corrupt grifters all that's left to them is to take already invented older, obsolete technologies and claim them to be exciting new inventions. Either that, or in their re-invention of the wheel, they breathlessly announce that they have succeeded in making it rounder than it was before. Such people not of the grifter mold typically end up as bureaucrats, politicians or professional activists as they're not intelligent or talented enough or simply too much a borderline personality for any meaningful, productive form of employment.

But as always, the reality of these fabulous new/antiquated miracle technologies almost never lives up to the hype which is the grifter's stock and trade and leaves the other idiots to make feeble excuses for their failures while still pretending their perpetual motion machines can really work. But the grifter, crony capitalists and activist/NGO honchos profits, the rank and file SJW activist gets his good feels, the bureaucrats and politicians declare success and move on to another great idea. So as far as the ruling class and elite are concerned, it's a win-win even if we the proles get stuck paying for their fiasco and see our quality of life further decline. But as our rulers hate us, we count for nothing so they really don't care what happens to us except that we pay their taxes and obey their speech and thought codes.

So we come to this opinion piece from the Gotham Gazette by Liz Burdock and Jay Borkland entitled: "As New York's Ambitious Energy Plan Breaks Offshore Wind Records, Report Identifies Challenges and Opportunities" published August 7, 2019

That windmills as a power source for machinery was long ago replaced as inefficient due to the losses involved in converting wind energy into usable work energy makes no impact on our mastermind planners. The salesmen of General Electric and Siemens thinks wind turbines (which they happen to manufacture, by the way) are the thing, everyone should buy them (with generous government subsidies, thank you very much) and our politicians, after accepting some nice campaign donations and other under the table goodies heartily agree (please clap). They work as long as the wind is blowing within an operational range or the temperature isn't too low otherwise they're just useless, gargantuan monuments to liberal imbecility and ruling class perfidy.

Just as the solar panel, the first commercially available version of which was patented in 1885 has not and may never will exceed 10% or 20% efficiency directly converting sunlight to usable electricity. There are physical limits to the photoelectric effect. That and solar panels appear to have trouble providing electricity at night (or overcast days) for reasons enviro-liberals and greenies have yet to explain. Don't panic, more government research grants are on the way.

But just say the word "free" like "free energy" or other free stuff and lefties and liberals go into a swoon then storm the manufacturers, eager to buy with other people's money.

The main problem with these "renewable" energy sources besides being expensive, not cost effective, lagging behind in energy density compared to fossil fuel driven source and needing government subsidies to be economically viable is that their power output cannot follow the load. That is, the generated power from wind turbines and solar panels when at maximum output cannot be increased to keep pace with consumer demand. And it must be noted that their maximum output can vary even being somewhat lower than average. So unless there is some other steam driven generator as a backup or some other place to buy electricity from in a pinch (which drives spot power prices through the roof), there could be more than a few blackouts. The to add more fuel to the fire- If we replace all internal combustion engine cars to electric vehicles, even if a small percentage, there are no magical electricity elves to upgrade the grid or provide more power for all the extra appliances loading the grid.

However, if one were to pose this question to the compos mentis of the green left, they would be certain that the laws of physics were struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional and racist. Greenie watermelons appear to believe perpetual motion machines are entirely possible if scientists and engineer were given enough grant money. Moar money always fixes everything in progressive liberal land, ya know.

But hold on now! Batteries! That's the ticket! So there's this physicist guy, Mark P. Mills who did the math for how long it would take Elon Musks' Gigafactory to build the batteries that would store energy to power the entire U.S. for 2 days and that would be, according to him, about a thousand years. So maybe not batteries then.

Ok, wait, there's other schemes like pumped storage although how much water and tanks to hold it that would take and how much energy would be lost in the process of conversion doesn't make it look any better. So if anyone realistically wants to believe we can completely do away with all hydrocarbon and nuclear power without returning to a 18th century lifestyle, then pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable as we're in for a very long wait.

But all will not be lost. The elite city of  Manhattan, the grand luxury product city of Bloomberg's wet dreams (and parts of that chic designer label called by mortals Brooklyn) will have sufficient power as our ruling godlings and elites, unlike the masses of unwashed plebes and slaves in the lower order outer boroughs, are too "woke" and too important to do without.

However, back to the real world with its real presently technology and real physical laws.

It's a fool's errand to bet on some future technology that will solve all the present shortcomings of so-called renewable energy sources based on a presently unknown paradigm and that is impossible to know if it will ever be invented or not. Just as it is simple minded and naive to accept the doomsday scenarios being spun not by scientists, but activists, NGOs, politicians, bureaucrats and corporations who stand to make a lot of money from it.  And idiotic beyond description to believe the liars, hypocrites, and grifters with their perpetual motion machine solution in search of a problem to solve.

How can anyone take seriously the calls by UN bureaucrats and their pet government scientists that we the unwashed masses must accept the denigration of our standard of living, having scarcity foisted on us by a hoard of people who jet off in an armada of airliners to different exotic locales for COP meetings every year. People who demand we give up eating meat and becoming vegans or eating bugs to ostensibly save the planet but never miss a good cheeseburger themselves, even at fast food places they malign like Burger King. Or famous politicians and activists who never miss an opportunity to read us the riot act about our massive "carbon footprint", profligate energy consumption or rising sea levels but who buy very expensive and high energy consumption ocean front homes. Hypocrisy never wore such an insufferably smug and ingratiating mantle.

No, Liz and Jay, aside from the record amount of tax dollars that will be wasted in a fraudulent scheme, no new ground nor records will be broken here but only the wind broken from your unctuous and insipid work of propaganda.

Donald Cavaioli

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A Strange Dream, Part 2: Mr. Xe and me

And now for something completely different.
Fun with fiction. To continue my narrative of a dream I recently had where I found myself at Nier's Tavern. Not today's Nier's but as it looked in photos taken around 1900 and as often in real life hanging out with people you'd never expect to meet. The best part about drinking in a dream is you never really get drunk and it doesn't cost anything so you could spend as much money as your subconscious supplies you with.

Part 2: Mr. Xe and me

Talk about the old one of these things is not like the others: A modern world leader in modern clothing in an old neighborhood bar set in 1900. Then again, I seemed to be wearing my usual and also modern attire. But being a dream, this is all characters and imagery conjured up by my own subconscious mind. Being a lucid dream, it was a chance to gain access to thought processes and memories outside the reach of the waking mind and who knows what insights that could bring.

I mean it worked gangbusters for Randolph Carter and I might yet run into Nyarlathotep. Now that would be cool.

I had brought up the topic of Hong Kong with my newfound drinking buddy so long as I was buying, Ping, and it seems to have struck a nerve.

Ping glowered at me then said "Hong Kong is just a bunch of wet behind the ears youngsters out to trash the place and tank their own economy. Sure, ya dumbasses, go wreck yer own economy ya spoiled brats. See if I care if you're all starving in the gutter. Hell, they'll all be begging me for help before long then I'll show 'em, those buncha prissy wisenheimers. Those kids got no respect for nothing, the little smug brats. Not their elders, not their government, not their people, nothing! Hell, the little bastards even took to calling me Winnie the Pooh, can ya believe it? Where's the respect?" Ping picked up his glass gesturing to Louie for a refill and the bartender disdainfully poured another double of scotch.

But Ping wasn't done yet, he drank the double in one gulp then ranted on "they got more and better stuff and more privileges than anyone else in all China but do they appreciate my generosity? Naw, they still whine like little bitches. I work my ass off making China a big deal on the world stage, ya think they'd be proud to be on my team? Naw, it's commie go home, we want democracy and those stupid five demands" Ping said in a mocking tone. He paused a moment before practically spitting out "Democracy, huh, yeah I got yer democracy for ya right here, champ" he said angrily grabbing his crotch. Ping took a deep breath, shook his head for a moment then continued more calmly "you know what it is? too much British influence on those jerks. Those goddamn limey pansies made those Honkies forget how to be Chinese, filled their heads up with western bullshit. So I try to do the right thing and bring 'em up to speed on how we do things in China, make real Chinese people outta them, ya know, slowly and bit by bit. I try to make it easy on them and they kick up a stink. And things just get worse. I almost had Taiwan back in the fold offering them the same one country, two systems 50 year deal, but now this donnybrook in Hong Kong just queered that deal but good."

This whole spiel was nothing more than I expected and nothing more than comments from 50 cent army trolls and nationalistic Chinese commenters summarized. I heaved a sigh of disappointment as there were no new insights, deeper thoughts and meanings to be found here. All that talk about the deeper thought processes of the subconscious, the hidden doors to new perceptions and enhanced creativity were all hogwash. At least in my case. It was all a mundane rehash of whatever news I read or watched and history I either read or saw in old photographs. Maybe I should just take it for what it seemed: A brief trip to a different era in a historic old bar if only in my own dream.

As I was thinking this, things in the bar seemed paused. Louie the bartender stared off into space as he polished a glass with a towel and Ping just sat there with a cigarette in his hand, also staring off into nothing and I just noticed the crumpled soft pack of Lucky Strikes on the bar in front of him. Maybe this is where the dream is supposed to end. I was about to leave when I had that feeling that I was missing or forgetting something and it seemed important. I had to give it one more try.

"Hey Ping, you can moan and groan all you want about Hongkongers but you know what? You screwed the situation up all by yourself" I said. He turned to me and snorted "heh, you treat punks like punks. What else are ya gonna do? " I chuckled warming to the debate. "Your ham handed reaction, having your bulls go full retard with the batons and tear gassing the whole city only solidified the opposition and the CCP mouthpieces' rhetoric only made Hongkongers more aware of just how different they are from the PRC" I said. "Ya treat cockroaches like cockroaches- stomp on 'em and fumigate the joint to get rid of them." Ping responded matter of fact.  I leaned forward towards Ping and continued. "Three kids shot and that other kid that fell to his death in that parking garage not only made martyrs but adds fuel to the conspiracy theory fire about other suicides of guys in black being police murder victims. It's almost gone too far to find any common ground anymore. The lines are drawn hard and fast. You could've had Lam completely withdraw that bill after the first demonstration and made the whole thing go away, but no. You just had to show 'em what a tough guy you are and now you've got an independence movement going from a small group to making more and more people more sympathetic to it or see it as a good option. Whatever else happens, those Hongkongers will probably forever remain a thorn in your side because they'll never forgive the PRC or forget this. Call them cockroaches and all you do is validate and affirm that mainlanders and Hongkongers are really two separate and distinct peoples."

"Separate people?" Ping exclaimed incredulously. "Have a good look around, buddy boy. We're all Han Chinese, mainland and Hong Kong in case you haven't noticed. We're all of the same people no matter where in the world we are and China is all of our mother country. And we all belong to China- no exceptions. Those Hongkongers are a bunch of stuck-up snobs who think they're better than us on the mainland. What we're doing is knocking those brats down a peg, just teaching those snot-noses they're no better than we are, is all. Sooner or later, they'll get the picture and fall right in line. And the Taiwanese, they know they're Chinese and part of China. It's just a spat over politics and some old grudges from the 40's. In due time, bygones will be bygones and we'll get it all straightened out and they'll be back in the fold."

I heard Ping out but again, just the usual stuff anyone can get from the news. But most likely, the only argument in no greater depth or detail the PRC of the waking world has and not even a good argument at that. "In terms of this pan Chinese thing you're pushing, an analogy with Europe can be made. Just because Europeans are white Caucasians doesn't mean they are ethnically the same people. Europeans all have their own different nationalities with their own languages, history and cultures. Sure there are some commonalities aside from race such as Christendom, but the ethnic differences and long standing national rivalries are more and trump race alone. Even European Christendom, whatever is left as Europeans seem to have little use for religion anymore, is split between Catholic and various Protestant sects. And with Hong Kong, they've developed over time their own history and culture different and distinct from mainland China and use Cantonese as their primary language not the Mandarin of the mainland. The same can be said of the provinces which is why China since the time of the old emperors was called an empire and not a single nation. Wasn't Guangdong not too long ago protesting for independence among other things as there are occasional protests in other provinces too?"

"Who told you there's protests in Guangdong and other provinces?" Ping demanded. "Your media? You of all people should know your media is full of shit. But even if there were, just maybe were some noises being made here and there, well once in a while every family has their disagreements. And we'd appreciate it if you westerners would keep your noses out of our business and yer CIA would quit making trouble starting these protests and egging the malcontents on. Anyway what of it? You Americans protest and argue all the time and at the end of the day, you're still Americans. So same with us too. People just blowing off a little steam, nothing to it. We're all still Chinese at the end of the day. And the European Union?" Ping went on, "the only problem they have is they don't got a strong leader with some good lines of rhetoric to pull all the Europeans together. They need a guy like Putin instead of that washed up old hag, Merkel."

I had a good chuckle over this. "Ah, so how's your strong leadership and good lines of rhetoric working out for you in H.K.? I see videos of commie go home and Chinazi graffitti even some China go home. Or how about the time protestors stormed the Legco and graffittied all over the PRC symbols or when they were burning or tossing into the bay PRC flags? Yeah Ping, if you guys are a family, seems like Hongkongers view you as second cousins. What was that poll where 53% identify themselves as Hongkongers with 23% as Chinese or Chinese in Hong Kong and only 27% proud to be citizens of the PRC? And this poll was 6 months ago so I wonder how the numbers are now especially after the District Council elections. Now I'm just some outsider looking in and I've got no dog in this fight so for what it's worth, looks like a majority of Hongkongers are Han Chinese to be sure but they see themselves as Hongkongers first. Just as a Frenchman is a white Caucasian European just like a German, but he's still a Frenchman first and not a German. The harder you club 'em, the more Hongkongers will see themselves as their own ethnic group if not their own nationality. Face it Ping, you blew it."

Ping favored me with a look of disgust. "Whaddya mean I blew it?" He scoffed. "Whadda you know? You're a foreigner and don't know squat about Chinese people. I know my own people, how they think and how to handle them. The cops are arresting those rioting front line punks, thinning out their ranks and soon we'll have 'em all behind bars. The others don't want to get into trouble and will be too scared to try. The cops are even busting up the creeps who're collecting money and supplies for the rioters so soon all's there gonna be are the malcontents with their origami, Lennon walls and holding hands stuff. Nothing but pests walking around doing nothing. We pay no mind to their dumb demands and they'll see we mean business then they'll get bored and just go home. Problem solved." Ping said.

"I wouldn't be too sure of that if I were you, Ping" I said. "Maybe all you're doing is simply treating the symptoms, papering over the problem rather than addressing and curing the underlying problems. It's been what, about 7 months and the New Year's demonstrations were pretty big, probably as big as last June. So it looks like you've made no real progress, not even slowing it down, which still means you blew it." Both our glasses were empty so I called Louie over for refills.

I reached over and took a lucky from Ping's pack of cigarettes, calmy lit it and took a deep drag. Ping stared daggers at me but that didn't bother me as I was starting to put it all together, this dream, so I continued on a new track. "Y'know, Ping, even though you blew it in Hong Kong up till now, you can still beat this pro democracy movement. In fact, I don't understand how you and your boys managed to overlook the solution because not only was it staring you right in the face but it's so damned easy too." Ping favored me with a nasty sort of smile and sarcastically said "oh yeah? So you've got it all figured out, donchya wise guy. Some nobody, a punk-assed street kid from Corona figured out something that guys with brains who run whole countries didn't. Well, okay then, Einstein, let's hear your big idea. I could use the laugh."  I now had the key part of the puzzle of the meaning of this dream, its interpretation.

"Like I said it's easy and the CCP already knows what it needs to know to break the pro democracy movement into atoms and have Han Chinese Hongkongers begging you to come in and save them. You give them their 5 demands. All of them free and clear with no strings attached." I said as I sipped the dream scotch with its ghostly flavor and warmth prodding me on. "Give them the full democracy with universal sufferage they want. Then use Marxist materialist dialectics to break them into pieces."

The look on Ping's face was priceless. I thought his jaw would hit the floor and the seconds it took for him to respond seemed like ages. "Are you outta yer mind? Give them cockroaches what they want? Use material dialectics against them?" He said sounding as if he were about to have a stroke. "So that's your big idea, eh?" He sneered. "Well, you'll have to have your state security boys to manage it but only very little, I could recommend a couple of books that'll help." I replied.

At that, Ping burst out laughing and then said "Sure, easy peasy, coming from some nobody putz. You know who you're talking to here? I'm university educated, well educated, champ, I wrote books on material dialectics, worked my way up through to the party to the top spot. No mean feat that, so I got book smarts and street smarts and you couldn't hold a candle to me on either. I run a whole country and you only run your mouth. You recommend books to me? As if." Ping sniffed disdainfully. Then smiling said "Y'know, I gotta hand it to you, you really gave me a good laugh there. Recommend a couple of books, gimme a break. Ever think of doing stand up cause you're one funny guy as ain't nobody gonna take you or your nonsense seriously."

"Ok, then", I replied. "So I gave you my answer but a big shot and a real mastermind like you is too good to hear me out. Alright tough guy, do it your way 'cause it's been working out so well having your cops go captain caveman on anything that moves. Good luck getting the Taiwanese to trust you enough to believe your one country two systems bullshit is on the level now. Good luck getting anyone else in the world to believe you're anything more than a neurotic thug with a thin skin. And see how much longer any of them will do business with a bunch of two-bit chiselers like you and the CCP. And so we're done here and I'll wish you all good day, good health and be on my way." I said as I finished my drink, got up and started to walk out.

"Hold it right there, pal!" Ping growled. "Sit down cause I ain't not done with you yet. You don't just call me out like that, call me a chiseler and then think you can just walk away like it was nothing." He said sounding good and angry, pointing his finger at me and almost jabbing me in the chest with it as he spoke. Almost there, I thought as I put on my best mocking tone and said "Aw, now the great Ping wants to hear what a nobody putz has to say? "C'mon" I said now sounding more serious. "You've dug yourself a hole and can't figure out how to stop digging. I had a boss back when I was a kid who told me you can either work smart or work like a dog and you, my man, aren't working smart and having a hard time even working like a dog."

"Bullshit" Ping shot back sounding amused. I just want you to explain this plan of your so I can make a jackass outta you by pointing out how wrong you are and how stupid your reasons are." He took a swig of scotch then grinning maliciously said "Go on, you got the floor now, wonderboy. Let's get this over with, shall we?"

And here I'll end part 2. Next I'll go into the scheme. So until next time which will be the last installment in this experiment in fiction.

Donald Cavaioli

Somewhere in downtown Brooklyn past

Where this was is a bit of a mystery. It's somewhere in the downtown Brooklyn end of the #12 Dekalb Ave. line. Nothing along Court St...