On Death Row

Composite blog consisting of notes, reflections, weird jokes, trip reports and amusing stories from the death row; some personal, some told and some fabricated, I have to reckon!

BEWARE!! This is neither a porno nor a politically correct site... more probably is a highly misanthropic and overtly cynical terminal account

Ridendo castigat mores, that I freely translate as ”humor improves behavior” , not that I believe, but it sounds nice!

3
Oct
2018

Ludwig  II of Bavaria, the sad gay, the mad sire or neither one? 1

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Dear Danarel,

I really don’t know if the king was really sad. I am being only at the beginning of my acquaintance with him which I doubt will develop conspicuously counting that he died in controversial circumstances in 1886. Spirits I like but spiritism was never my cup of tea. However, his violent death disturbed me a lot. What brought me to him was the knowledge that he was the creator of three outstanding castles belonging to what the architectural discourse calls a “folly”. The most famous folly was a virtual one which broke into common knowledge in 1927 and stayed, thanks to Orson Welles, whose character Kane, built Xanadu, inspired by the palace with the same name of Kublai Khan, the Mongol Chinese emperor (1260-1294 C.E.). The palace was depicted by Marco Polo, who, without being a true liar was a guy endowed with abundant imagination. So, a folly is an ambitious building, vaguely inspired by an artistic style, often by many styles and frequently beyond any stylistic recognition, here and there amusing and often of striking ugliness. The lack of correspondence between the outer style of the building and the interior’s partition and design  is a quasi-general characteristic of “follies”.  The  king built some three of these follies which were anything but ugly, spent into the projects all his immense fortune, got bankrupt and only bankruptcy and especially an  untimely death, impeached him to continue into his insane ventures and build some  other castles. He was one of the greatest world “folly” himself. He displayed  concomitantly or alternatively keen intelligence, replete culture, creative cum bizarre aesthetic drives, enormous infantilism, huge interest in music and theater, null political concern, generosity and financial irresponsibility, and worst of all, unassumed homosexuality! Read More

16
Oct
2018

Ludwig II of Bavaria, the sad gay, the mad sire or neither one? 2

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Dear Danarel,

With respect I inform you that everything I wrote until here was a vague, partially exact, introduction. The script completely changed when I reached the grounds of the Linderhof palace. My old dream  was not to assert  the  existence of follies, which is the normal state of the world, it was to come nose to nose, eskimo style,  with a BUILT one. I do not care about other follies; religious, politic or Read More

26
Oct
2018

Ludwig II of Bavaria, the sad gay, the mad sire or neither one? 3

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Dear Danarel,

 

The next day I went to visit the NEUSCHWANSTEIN *, the castle of doom which the king left, as convicted madman,  to mysteriously expire  a couple of days later at the age of 42. Again, I had to meander on zigzag roads, through alpine valleys in one of the most bucolic lands I have been in my life, near the border with Austria. The great chance that accompanied me during my whole life  thanks to you, my revered guardian angel, operated once more and I was not admitted in the castle. It was overbooked until evening (6000 thousand heads a day) and I wasn’t ready  to go back to Bad Tolz during night time for a bushel of gold. I didn’t know then that I was lucky but I discovered it when I began to read the story of this maddest of all dear Ludwig projects. So, after I attacked the steep slope of the path leading to the top of the hill where I got in some thirty minutes, partially wet and totally free of incipient heart attack signals, I got confronted with a contraption that was as different from  Linderhof as a slap from a kiss. But let’s get afar of metaphors and tell what it is because what it was supposed to be is just history. Well, it is a historicist contraption. Some German folks, not all, but many of those who had the means decided in the 19th century that the architecture of their time was not smart enough and that they had to take inspiration, somewhere in the past. Read More

26
Feb
2019

A journey in the remote vicinity, 1

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Dear Danarel,

 

Often we are unable to tell the way hours are noticed on the top of our watch’screen:  roman, Arabs numerals, the entire sequence or only four figures, even digits and so on. In a little classic book, Voyage Around My Room” (Voyage autour de ma chambre), Xavier de Maistre, a French military and writer, native of Savoy at a moment (1794) that this land was neither Italy nor France, and who will finish his life as a Russian general, tells the experience he had during one month, when he was under home arrest as consequence of a banal and victim-less duel. He, according to his whims and state  of awareness explored his one room home, its objects, the various views, the shadows, the scents, the lights, the paths, the corners, the spaces and masses in one word the meaning of parts and the significance of  whole. He is delighted to discover a whole New World. It is true that he doesn’t say a word of cockroaches, ants, mosquito, flies, spiders, millipedes, fleas and louses or other semi-domestic arthropods (?) which at that pre-pesticide times would be abundantly present and familiar  in any human, aristocratic included, habitat. Read More

26
Feb
2019

A journey in the remote vicinity, 2

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Dear Danarel,

 

The next day I went to Marseille and for three days I lived at l’Estaque, a terminal,  far north-west suburb, in a street called Montée des Usines (uphill factories lane something)! The factories are gone (to China with love!) but the windy, tilted path is still    under the protection of the picturesque and chalky Chaine de l’Estaque hills. My place with a gorgeous view on the blue sea lashed by silver streaks was an ancient worker’s flat,  that metamorphosed  into an Airbnb, another American devilry to ruin the European hostelry. Close to it   a narrow flight of stairs was leading to the sea level. I took it for the Saturday morning market expecting to find a sea food bonanza. I didn’t. One stand was selling big oysters for a record low price. It was useless to resist and after I bought for a record low price (I am sliding into cheapness, am I not?) a fine knife I kept them for two days in the refrigerator. Then,  I proceeded to open them, an operation that demands a complete mental control even for a great aficionado who alas, practiced rarely during the last years. Inopportunely, I began to be busy with parasite thoughts about a serious intoxication which can lead to grave, noxious indigestion or some first class hepatitis. Concomitantly,  the threat of a  possible frightful cut in the center of the palm, was viciously flashing  somewhere in the back of the mind.   Nothing occurred, but I promised myself to avoid in the future buying oysters that were too big and too cheap and to eat the animal not later than ten minutes after acquisition. Read More

13
Mar
2019

Ciangăï, Adjudeni et un peu de géographie familiale

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Cher Danarel,

 

C’est la troisième fois que je me penche sur cette histoire en tentant  d’améliorer aussi bien l’habit que la structure. Je n’arrive pas m’abstenir d’ajouter des adagios plus ou moins réels.  A l’origine le morceau fut une feuille de route, le numéro onze, a l’intention de mes enfants  et éventuellement de mes amis. Il y a des  doutes qu’elle ait atteint sa cible mais je n’ai pas la moindre intention de pousser les soins de beauté ou les amendements narratifs jusqu’au bout. Le petit voyage qui fait le sujet de cette feuille provoqua une montée en surface de souvenirs  de mon enfance à cause d’une rencontre privilégié avec des êtres excellents  et des lieux familiers qui ressemblaient étonnement a ceux que j’ai connu et que j’ai aimé jadis (y compris ma ville natale où la rivière, débordant de temps en temps,   arborait le nom infamant de « Cacaina », autrement dit La Merdeuse !). Quoique je suis conscient qu’il s’agit en grande partie d’une échappée onirique je compte sur vous mon ange patron de me garder jusqu’à la fin à l’abri des misérables cauchemars actuels parmi lesquels les tendances  « d’oestrogéniser » le langage ou d’appeler les scélérats voyous « jeunes »,  ne sont pas les moindres. Ha !ha ! Enfin, retournons a notre feuille de route rétrospective. Read More

6
Apr
2019

At Murmansk, between atomic shadows and the midnight sun

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Dear Danarel,

 

There are few places that I liked in my rare peregrinations out of the beaten paths as much as Murmansk. In spite of its privileged location at the convergence between the narrow and long Kola bay, a diverticulum of the Barents’ sea   and the mouth of the Tuloma river and notwithstanding the rich, deep green expanses, forests and wild plant grow,   surrounding it like the mane of a domestic lion – the wild ones cannot afford such a bushy glory – the city is of outstanding ugliness.   Seen from the air or easiest on the map, it appears to follow the eastern shore of the bay and has the shape of a sausage or, if you are a vegetarian, of this ubiquitous, partially flattened and partially inflated, Russian pancake draniki made of grated potatoes.  I am not extremely fond of lengthy cities with weak eccentric center in spite of the fact that I could easily reach this one from my home by foot in less than fifteen minutes. Read More

28
May
2019

Marrakech, heaven can wait

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Dear guardian angel,

 

I traveled to Morocco in a sleuth mood.  Only a bloodhound could be so sharp to find the exact things I was looking for not because they were too few, but because they were too many! The first target was the Read More

7
Jul
2019

Tel Gezer, a proto-Zionist invasion of Palestine?***

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Dear Danarel,

 


I just don’t know where and how to shelve this story: a parody, an allegory, a phantasmagoria or an anamorphism, you know this kind of image that becomes visible only if seen under a certain angle. But it traveled so much and so long between the Imperator and myself that I had time to forget both genre and intention, so please, – take it as it is. Underneath  comes an anamorphic  clip for an art lover of sorts! https://on-death-row.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Anamorphic-Illusion.mp4

My son, a distinguished Apple corporation soldier, came for a vacation in fatherland or motherland, it depends of who speaks the speech, together with family. Despite his drift during the last years into other lanes and horizons his attaches to  origins are still strong and often funny. They lead sometimes to an uncontrolled preparation of hummus with tahini that may accommodate a glorious team of construction workers. Do you know many people, exempt of little, partially inoffensive, manias?

Eager to provide some food for soul, even if according to Yuval Harari’s sharp thinking, this  last commodity does not really exist, I volunteered to guide the party, three children, two parents and an old man, that being me, at two of the most enticing spots of the entity known today as Israel. These were the arched pool of Ramla commissioned  by the legendary Abbasid Calif Haroun al Rashid (one the famous heroes of the Arabian Nights)  in 789 and the archaeological site of the Canaanite town  at Tel Gezer. Read More