Short Story Review: “The Lake” by Ray Bradbury

Short Story Review: “The Lake” by Ray Bradbury

The Lake” is a work of beauty—a short story of the highest order. It elevates the reader, transporting him to a golden place. It’s about your first love—your first death. It’s a Mona Lisa, set to words.

Everyone should read this story.

It was written by Ray Bradbury in 1944. It’s semi-autobiographical, based on an encounter that Bradbury had as a child. He later said that “The Lake” was a pivotal work –  the story that made him realize he was a great writer. The story that gave him the confidence to continue.

Bradbury (at 2:25 of the video): “When I finished the short story, I burst into in tears. I realized that after ten years of writing, I’d finally written something beautiful.”

Plot Summary

We meet a young boy in love with a young girl – his first “crush.” Together, they build sand castles on the beach: she half and he half. But one day, the girl drowns. She leaves the boy wondering where she went: What is death? Why do young people die?

Years later, the boy (now a man) returns to the spot of her death. He finds a sand castle, half finished. She’s been there, leaving a powerful metaphor of her death.

Your first love is like a sand castle; it’s a thing of beauty, yet destined to be washed away.

Excerpts

The book is full of beautiful lines:

All the hot dog stands were boarded up with strips of golden planking, sealing in the mustard, onions, meat odors of the long, joyful summer. It was like nailing summer into a series of coffins.

I love the simile—closing up a hot dog stand on the beach is like “nailing summer into a series of coffins.” I remember when I used to eat hot dogs as a child. They were glorious, the most perfect of foods.

As adults, we know that hot dogs are garbage…but don’t tell that to a child.

Being alone is a newness to a twelve-year-old child. He is so used to people about. The only way he can be alone is in his mind. There are so many people around, telling children what to do, how to do, that a boy has to run off down a beach, even if it’s only in his head, to get by himself in his own world.

Do you remember being alone as a child?  I remember how powerless I felt. Yet at the same time, it was magical. As Bradbury points out, there was a “newness.” The solitude of youth is like a playground, a place for your thoughts to run free.

Water is like a magician. Sawing you in half. It feels as if you were cut in two, part of you, the lower part, sugar, melting, dissolving away.

Children are fascinated with the beach. They understand a golden quality, a magical element. Bradbury captures it well. Water that’s “melting” and “dissolving away.” Cutting you in half…

I was only twelve. But I know how much I loved her. It was that love that comes before all significance of body and morals. It was that love that is no more bad than wind and sea and sand lying side by side forever.

The beauty of your first love. No explanation, no justification. A girl that embodies human perfection – you love her so much that it hurts. It’s like a flower that’s unfolding, painful yet glorious: the most beautiful love you can feel.

Your first love is a sand castle that lives in your mind.

I was grown. But she has not changed. She is still small. She is still young. Death does not permit growth or change. She still has golden hair. She will be forever young and I will love her forever, oh God, I will love her forever.

The irony of those that die young. They suffer a bitter fate. Yet they are forever young in our minds, immortal…always strong, always healthy.

There, at the water’s edge, lay a sand castle, only half-built. Just like Tally and I used to build them. She half and I half…I built the rest up very slowly, then I turned away and walked off, so as to not watch it crumble in the waves, as all things crumble.

Love is the pinnacle of emotions. But what makes it beautiful is not strength; it’s weakness. Love is temporal and random.  A fleeting emotion. So when we find it, almost by accident, we clutch at it. For a moment we’re elevated and we touch the golden wings.

Your first love will always be, in many ways, your greatest love.

Summary

I recommend this short story. Ray Bradbury is famous for his science fiction, but stories like “The Lake” show him to be much more; he was a teacher of humanity, a spiritual guide on the highway of life. He was an American treasure.

See Related Material: Book Review: Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun

The Most Important Index Card in the World

The Most Important Index Card in the World

On the adult male, the average foreskin is equivalent in size to a 3 X 5 index card. Think about that a moment – let it ruminate. I’ll wait for you…

Ok, now ask yourself a question: do you think it’s meaningless? Follow your gut, listen to your heart…what do they tell you? It should be obvious.

Do you have any meaningless parts of your body? Your liver, your kidneys, your eyelids…of course not. Everything is there for a reason. Everything has a function. Everything has a purpose. Everything is playing a part in survival and – perhaps more importantly – in pleasure.

Here’s a short list of everything that’s in that “meaningless” foreskin:

  • Frenar Band – The frenar band is a group of soft ridges near the junction of the inner and outer foreskin. This region is the primary erogenous zone of the intact male body. Loss of this delicate belt of densely innervated, sexually responsive tissue reduces the fullness and intensity of sexual response.
  • Meissner’s Corpuscles – These are thousands of coiled fine-touch receptors. Also lost are branches of the dorsal nerve, and between 10,000 and 20,000 specialized erotogenic nerve endings of several types. Together these detect subtle changes in motion and temperature, as well as fine gradations in texture.
  • Frenulum – This is a highly erogenous V-shaped structure on the underside of the glans that tethers the foreskin. During circumcision it is frequently either amputated with the foreskin or severed, which destroys or diminishes its sexual and physiological functions.
  • Dartos Fascia – A temperature-sensitive smooth muscle sheath which lies between the outer layer of skin and the corpus cavernosa.
  • Immunological System – The soft mucosa (inner foreskin) contains its own immunological defense system which produces plasma cells. These cells secrete immunoglobulin antibodies as well as antibacterial and antiviral proteins, including the pathogen killing enzyme lysozyme.
  • Lymphatic Vessels – The loss of these vessels due to circumcision reduces the lymph flow within that part of the body’s immune system.
  • Estrogen Receptors – The presence of estrogen receptors within the foreskin has only recently been discovered. Their purpose is not yet understood and needs further study.
  • Apocrine Glands – These glands of the inner foreskin produce pheromones – nature’s powerful, silent, invisible behavioral signals to potential sexual partners. The effect of their absence on human sexuality has never been studied.
  • Sebaceous Glands – The sebaceous glands may lubricate and moisturize the foreskin and glans, which is normally a protected internal organ.
  • Langerhans Cells – These specialized epithelial cells are a component of the immune system in the penis.
  • Natural Glans Coloration – The natural coloration of the glans and inner foreskin (usually hidden and only visible to others when sexually aroused) is considerably more intense than the permanently exposed and keratinized coloration of a circumcised penis. The socio-biological function of this visual stimulus has never been studied.
  • Length and Circumference – Circumcision removes some of the length and girth of the penis – its double-layered wrapping of loose and usually overhanging foreskin is removed. A circumcised penis is truncated and thinner than it would have been if left intact.
  • Blood Vessels – Several feet of blood vessels, including the frenular artery and branches of the dorsal artery, are removed in circumcision. The loss of this rich vascularization interrupts normal blood flow to the shaft and glans of the penis, damaging the natural function of the penis and altering its development.
  • Dorsal Nerves – The terminal branch of the pudendal nerve connects to the skin of the penis, the prepuce, the corpora cavernosa, and the glans. Destruction of these nerves is a rare but devastating complication of circumcision. If cut during circumcision, the top two-thirds of the penis will be almost completely without sensation.

As you can see, the situation is grave. America’s problem is not Antifa riots or PBS funding. It’s the mutilation of our nation, the truncating of our sons. The stone-age cult of Judaism, transplanted to the modern world.

Fortunately, there is hope – foreskin restoration. The Major has taken the plunge and he has good news…pleasure CAN BE RESTORED. Yes, there is hope!!!

Businessman Crossing the Finish Line
Thank you, Major Styles! Thank you for teaching me about foreskin restoration!!!

What’s the purpose of life? For Major Styles, the answer is clear: whole body orgasms, multiple orgasms, a tidal wave of pleasure. In other words…the foreskin.

The most important index card in the world.

See Related Post: How I Restored My Foreskin

May the Stones Live Forever

May the Stones Live Forever

The Rolling Stones taking it to another level…the world is better with them in it. And “Tumbling Dice” is one of my favorite. The energy, the rock, the passion for life. That’s what it’s about. Reaching for the ring. Demanding the summit. Believing in a crazy dream when everybody doubts you.

You got to roll me and call me the tumbling dice…

“Tumbling Dice” from the Beacon Theater in New York City, 2006

Wo Yeah! (Wo, wo)
Women think I’m tasty, but they’re always tryin’ to waste me
And make me burn the candle right down,
But baby, baby, I don’t need no jewels in my crown.
Cause all you women is low down gamblers,
Cheatin’ like I don’t know how,
But baby, baby, there’s fever in the funk house now.
This low down bitchin’ got my poor feet a itchin’,
Don’t you know you know the duece is still wild.
Baby, I can’t stay, you got to roll me
And call me the tumblin’ dice.
Always in a hurry, I never stop to worry,
Don’t you see the time flashin’ by.
Honey, got no money,
I’m all sixes and sevens and nines.
Say now baby, I’m the rank outsider,
You can be my partner in crime.
But baby, I can’t stay,
You got to roll me and call me the tumblin’,
Roll me and call me the tumblin’ dice.
Oh, my, my, my, I’m the lone crap shooter,
Playin’ the field ev’ry night.
But baby, I can’t stay,
You got to roll me and call me the tumblin’ dice, (Call me the tumblin’)
Got to roll me (yayes), Got to roll me, Got to roll me (Oh yeah)
Got to roll me
Got to roll me (yeah)
Got to roll me (Keep on rolling)
Got to roll me (Keep on rolling)
Got to roll me (Keep on rolling)
Got to roll me
My baby, call me the tumblin’ dice, yeah
Got to roll me
Baby sweet as sugar (Got to roll me)
Yeah, my, my, my yeah (Got to roll me)
I went down baby, oh
Got to roll me (hit me)
Baby I’m down

McDonald’s in the US is Now a Political Indoctrination Chamber

McDonald’s in the US is Now a Political Indoctrination Chamber

Last month, I traveled to a McDonald’s in two separate countries – all in one day. In the morning, I was at a McDonald’s in the Caribbean. In the evening, I was at a McDonald’s in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The difference was striking.

The McDonald’s in the Caribbean was normal. People were ordering, eating food, chatting with one another. I didn’t have my camera, but it looked something like this:

mcdoanlds
In the Caribbean, you go to McDonald’s to eat food.

The McDonald’s in Fort Lauderdale had three televisions in the main serving area. One television had CNN, one had FOX and one had MSNBC. I didn’t have my camera, but it looked something like this:

tv mcd
In the US, you go to McDonald’s for political indoctrination.

The TV commentators were arguing with one another. Eventually, the patrons in the serving area began arguing; it was impossible to avoid, really. A disagreement broke out and I lost my appetite.

Why was there no television in the Caribbean McDonald’s, but there were three in the United States? Why are all the televisions in the US showing the news? Are they trying to keep the people informed or indoctrinated? I’m guessing the latter.

One thing is clear…America is under attack. The (((media))) wants to poison our minds. They want possession of our thoughts, to privatize our spirits. This is 1984, an Orwellian future that’s become the present.

Most Americans don’t realize that 24/7 public news is not common. In the US, the TV news is ubiquitous: at McDonald’s, the airport, the supermarket, etc. Conversely, most foreign countries are not subjected to this level of propaganda. And since most Americans do not own a passport or travel overseas, they’re unaware of this indoctrination tactic.

I worry for the nation. And while I support the surge in American nationalism, I think that we’ll be easy to manipulate. The more we stay confined to the United States, the easier it’ll be to fool us.

Memo to McDonald’s – I’m not loving it.

 

Photos of Dallas: Then and Now

Photos of Dallas: Then and Now

Here’s a photo of Dallas on the day JFK was shot dead (November 22nd, 1963):

jfk-photo

We see five young women in the front. They’re all skinny, dressed formally, and have a pleasant demeanor.

Fast forward 54 years…and here’s a photo of in Dallas in 2017:

fat_people

Sad! Texas was a great land. From its noble loins came the representatives of genius: Dwight Eisenhower, Robert Dennard, Jerry Jones, etc. The seeds of American greatness could be found in the lands of the lone state. And now, by 2030, 6 out of every 10 Texans will be overweight. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Never forget…the honorable person can be defiled. The virtuous can be soiled. The man of greatness, sucked into the vortex of evil. Always stay vigilant, my friends. Always keep your eyes peeled, looking for the potholes of disaster. Always sat awake…aware…battling the forces of darkness.

#Pray4Texas

 

 

 

RIP George “The Animal” Steele

RIP George “The Animal” Steele

George “The Animal” Steele will be missed.

If you grew up in the 1980s, you’ll remember his character on Saturday morning wrestling: the hairy back, the green tongue, the bald head. And who could forget his fondness for eating turnbuckles? He was a one-of-a kind “character,” in the truest sense of the word.

download
George “The Animal” Steele…about to grapple with Hulk Hogan for the title.

I had a chance to speak with Mr. Steele several times when I was working for a Pro Wrestling magazine. He was the opposite of his character. In real life, he had a Master’s Degree, was a devout Christian, and was a loving husband and father. He was far from the marauding beast he played on television.

gs
A picture of Jim Myers (“The Animal”) away from the squared circle. He was a devout Christian and was married for many years.

George (whose real name was Jim Myers) started in Professional Wrestling back in the early 70s. It  was a way to supplement his meager income as a high school teacher. He quickly moved up the ranks, eventually becoming a fixture of the business. He wrestled all the top stars: Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, etc. He rose in popularity to the point where, eventually, Hollywood came knocking. George had a significant part in the movie Ed Wood, where he played an actor in one of Wood’s films.

download-1
Jim Myers (AKA George “The Animal” Steele) in the movie Ed Wood.

George created his character on the road, adapting it to the cheers and boos of the crowd. In that way, his character was different than today’s wrestling performers – many of whom have gimmicks created for them by the WWE production department. George’s gimmick was unique, and it was the byproduct of his brilliant mind for effective performance art. He was equivalent to a great circus performer from a forgotten era.

George Steele was a  fantastic entertainer. But more importantly, he was a virtuous and honorable man.

RIP…George “The Animal” Steele.

Insult of the Week: You’re a Duck-Fornicating Heathen!

Insult of the Week: You’re a Duck-Fornicating Heathen!

Today’s insult comes from the novel Tai-Pan, written by James Clavell. The novel’s hero, Dirk Straun, calls out to a Chinese sailor:

“You’re a duck-fornicating heathen!”

The insult involves a little research. As rumor has it, some Chinese men like to fornicate with their pet ducks. The fetish was described in the quintessential study on human sexuality—Paolo Mantegazza’s, The Sexual Relations of Mankind. Mantegazza noted that Chinese men would receive fellatio from their pet ducks, even going so far as to strangulate them before ejaculation.

Now I have no way to confirm or deny these rumors. That being said, I think that it’s an appropriate moment for a culinary offering.

Peking duck anyone?

peking-dick
“Let’s get it on…” *Sung in Marvin Gaye style*