Ed Harris in Westworld, Ed Harris in Walker

If you enjoy Ed Harris in Westworld, as I do, you may be curious to just have a look at his role in Walker (1987) in which he plays a similarly attired character:

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Harris plays the real life William Walker who went down to Nicaragua with some armed guys and declared himself president there from 1856-1857.

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I went down to Nicaragua and visited some of the places Walker shot up.

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I tell the story of Walker, and of Nicaragua, and of the troubled film

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in my book, THE WONDER TRAIL: True Stories From Los Angeles To The End Of The World

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available at Amazon or your local indie bookstore.  You’ll enjoy it.

 

 


Westworld semi-theory

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SPOILER warning


Arnold

Bernard

Charlie

Dolores

Elsie

The order in which they were made?


A Visit To LACMA

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This bro is from Egypt in the late 3rd-4th century

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Very cool video installation by Brigitte Zieger called Shooting Wallpaper:

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Here is No-Tin:

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painted by Henry Inman around 1832.

Henry Inman

Henry Inman

I’ve always thought this one is kind of cool:

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Frans Post of the Netherlands painting Brazil in 1655.  The frame feels wrong.

Take a look at this one:

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Then learn the story:

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surfboard

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Sometimes, don’t you feel like this mammoth?

Learn more about California in:

Japan

Available at Amazon or your local indie bookstore.


The Canny Admirals

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Found this picture of John McCain Sr. (the Senator’s grandfather) and William “Bull” Halsey on Wiki while looking up something or another.

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Here’s McCain Sr and Junior (the Senator’s dad) at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay.  McCain Sr. dropped dead four days later.

 


The writing process


Holiday Gift Guide

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On display at the National Building Museum, thanks reader Melissa L!

Our number one pick is: THE WONDER TRAIL: True Stories From Los Angeles To the End of The World, available at Amazon or your local indie bookstore.  You’ll enjoy it.

Other items we enjoyed this year and can endorse:

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Not exactly a steal at $299 but if Tony Robbins is to believed it’s very important for your lymph nodes to be shaken.  We’ve found it stimulating!

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Treat yourself or a loved one to a Coyuchi towel? ($48)

 

 

 

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For the California adventurer, we recommend Tom Harrison maps? ($8.95)

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Or perhaps a Delorme atlas?:

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But really, what you want is:

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Thoughts of a Philosophical Fighter Pilot

Remember this guy?  For some reason or another I bought this pamphlet of a speech he gave at King’s College, London, November 1993:

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Stockdale was a 38 year old naval aviator when he got sent to Stanford for two years of study.  He was pretty bored until a professor handed him a copy of The Enchiridion, a collection of the teachings of Epictetus.

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What does Epictetus teach?

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He taught how to play the game of life with perspective:game-of-life

an A-4

an A-4

Five years later, this is what happened to Stockdale:

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Stockdale was wrong about how long he’d be there.  He was there for 7 1/2 years, much of it in solitary confinement:

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How did he spend his time?  Well, for one thing he constructed a sliderule in his mind from equations tapped to him in code through a concrete wall::

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A bigger collection of Stockdale’s speeches and essays:

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where he distills what he learned through his prison experience down to “one all-purpose idea, plus a few corollaries”:

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What he has to say about public virtue is distressing as I watch the future president:

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A badass:

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Recommend Courage Under Fire, which costs five bucks or $3.85 on Kindle.  Thoughts Of A Philosophical Fighter Pilot is for the serious Stockdale student.

I think you can appreciate the greatness of Stockdale and also find this funny:

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/joyride-with-perot/n10313

Coverage of another philosophical fighter pilot, John Boyd, here.