Category Archives: Uncategorized

his name is joe │ installment 7

 False Impressions

The Captor was notoriously known as a prevaricating master whose craft was rooted in the putting on of affected displays, choreographed verisimilitudes, and dissembling orchestrations; which were altogether performed to disarm, induce, and beguile the full contingent of SOF’s whom he was considering to entrap under the guise of an honorable Assignment. While the SOF was under the spell or at least fixated upon the Captor’s bizarre interviewing antics and his suspiciously ingratiating performances, their gravitas would, by degrees, wane-off and dissipate, leaving their guard down. Each SOF soon felt as though they were welcomed into the fold where they were sure to be treated as a favored son or daughter, as the case might be, within the pale of the Captor’s “empire” or feudatory sway. The Captor was quick to instruct the seasoned recruits on the best way to flatter him; and then he gave each SOF the opportunity ingratiate themselves to, or wax-on their own luster upon, his indecorous crown by having to openly swear their allegiance to him.

It seemed to Joe and his Band that it was best to humor the Captor because he was the gatekeeper or ex officio of their fortunes, their freedom and their lives. Though in truth, the Captor’s aims were cloaked by any number of shrouded provisos that contained conditions which remained subject to the interpretation of his self-interest, and which were limited exclusively to the product of his narrow wants and needs, money and perversions, the wanton pillars supporting his control. Grandiose overtures notwithstanding, each SOF was instructed not to meditate too vigorously over the particulars of prospering within his realm because each SOF could take stock (worthless in any currency) in the self-proclamations of the Captor, for seldom does one find goodness in great men. Likewise, by the strange accent of the Captor’s own bias he makes an insistent recommendation of himself, declaring that he is a man of excellent repute and impeccable character equal to the dash and mystique of a self-styled mafiesque “Godfather”. And according to Joe, the Captor would routinely step into his alter-ego role with seamless dexterity; and vaunt his character with veiled threats, vague promises, and sexual innuendo’s.

Hazed Alike

The Captor’s carefully constructed dramatizations were designed to challenge his quarry, while they were distracted by their own eager attempt to secure an Assignment. It was altogether incumbent for each SOF to deny the self-evidence of the Captor’s candid pretensions, which are ominously couched in the custom of his intemperate speech; and in the jaw-dropping nonplus moment of the event, the hapless SOF would necessarily concede to the dumbfounding charade. Given the absence of any comparable experience to which an SOF might consult their scruples, notwithstanding their own best self-defense against the acceptance of an ill-fated Assignment, the innocent victim, or SOF, including Joe, were unable to give weight to their skepticism; and instead, choses by default to buy-in to the assurance of the Captor’s provisional veracity, much to their unimaginable chagrin. Joe’s Band entered as distinguished SOF’s turned ultra-elite, or rather ultra-degraded SOF’s, by a vicious one-man hazing extravaganza, of the psychopathic kind.  During the flagrant ordeal the Captor specifically instructed each one of Joe’s Band, in their turn, including Joe himself, with a highly elaborate premeditated scene of rampant histrionics mixed in with a cacophany of his well-rehearsed though seemingly disparate schtick, which was made to look like impromptu remarks of the perspicacious kind, in order to; in effect, warn each member of Joe’s Band of just how ingenius he thought he was.  The warning, level to an axomatic threat, was for each member of Joe’s Band not to forget that for future purposes it was taboo to question the Captor’s veracity, and the such should never be challenged either by confrontation or insinuation for fear of offering an untenable offense that invites, or rather provokes, an unlooked for reprisal of devastating proportions.

Unbeknownst to the any of the SOF’s, however, the barbed hooks of base servitude, choked with dread, and fraught with despair, are all inexorably predestined to become inextricably set fast to the Captor’s patently casuistic designs and suspicious policies, which were wholly bereft of any hope for alleviation.  It was folly and otherwise moot for the SOF’s to assume even the slightest notion or slenderest chance of entertaining the prospect of reclaiming their freedom, especially after they have mortified themselves by surrendering up their military services to the morbid dictates of their new master. The policy throughout the Captor’s “empire” was marked by the avarice of his unilateral appropriations, the insolence that accompanied the abuse of his office; and the whole was stamped with rough-hewn ambition colored by corruption. Likened to the fervor of a religious fundamentalist, or fanatic heretic; though religion was otherwise just a foil to advance the Captor’s agenda, did the Captor ever lose sight of his public projection; namely, that if enforceable appropriations were the effect and safeguard, venality was the cause and supply, of his no-nonsense persona.

 

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his name is joe │ installment 6

Deceptive Interviews

Typically, as Joe described, the exhaustive and epic interview process began with an initial interview between a carefully screened U.S. Special Operations Force member or (“SOF”) and the Captor.  The process was as formulaic in its methodology, from the perspective of the subject SOF, as it was duplicitous in regards to its maniacal objectives from the vantage of the Captor. The interviews have, over many years, included many of Joe’s SOF’s, became so adulterated in an of themselves by the Captor that it was uniformly performed and perpetrated more as a means to gage the level of susceptibility or control potential that the Captor might be able to exercise over each SOF than it was to sift for the optimal strategic military fit.  As much as Joe and his Band were qualified to carry out any mission put to them, they were as likely to be chosen for their altruistic spirit and battle-hardened mettle because there loyalty to their superior would be adament; and Joe was the exemplar of loyalty.  This so-called interview process; or aplty put, interrogation was designed to be objectively and subjectively tested and measured in terms of the SOF’s level of enthusiasm, ability and ambition to succeed in whatsoever the over-arching mission demanded, which remains to be one of today’s most distinguishable military honors. However, due to the skewing and wholesale vitiation of the process by the Captor, who patently disregarded all time-honored protocols, the unmitigated cross-examination inevitably digressed into a series of debauched allusions couched in cryptic double-entendres. The transliteration of which converted into the only language the Captor understood, which was that of greed, power, money and fearsome control.  It was clear that the control factor stemmed from a viral strain of narcissim that could not tolerate the slightest specter of a slight, much less an injury; be as it may, the insecurity of the Captor reeked of unstintable paranoia.

The Captor attempted to determine if an SOF was predisposed to venality in order that he may, with some crude tempting, control the subject SOF through financial means, of the false-positive kind; which was no more than a perverted device used to debase the candidate while satisfying the Captor’s twistedly narcissistic and over-inflated sense of self-importance. The Captor did this because he needed to feed his narcissism with adulation; whether procured by an inconvenient purchase, or by the preferred method of a threat, and when necessary a dastardly illicit action. This was not unlike the character traits of a Caligula or Göring in psychopathic terms; and not far from the resemblance of a Nero or Mussolini in terms of goal orientation; and this was all compounded by a insuperable degree of paranoia level to the ilk of an Alexander or Stalin; and what’s more, he was devoid of anything resembling remorse, which ranks on par with a Genghis or Hitler; but in all events he is unrivaled in the annals of history when it comes to narcissism.

The Captor would attempt to corrupt the candidates by subtle insinuations in order to establish, by a reluctant affirmation on the part of each SOF, some common ground for an unequal contest for control. From that point on the selection process was so distorted from the intended objective, and by degrees of calculated manipulation matched with histrionic productions the Captor channeled Joe and his Band to acquiesce to the notion that an allegiance to money was catalytic to the meaning of life; and because he was the quintessential mammonite that that allegiance should accrue to him. There was nothing to do for Joe and his Band but indulge the Captor’s blind obsession and move-on. Joe and his Band felt they could placate the Captor so long as they could serve their country in the manner consistent with their patriotism, and pay no mind to the ravings of a mistrusted lunatic. There was no concerted effort to challenge or question the “powers-to-be” on how or why the Captor, a person of title, wealth and station was allowed to pursue an agenda so foreign to common sense or contrary to patriotic objectives and national security. The assumption by Joe and the constituents of his Band was that if “Uncle Sam” deemed it necessary to grant a free-license to the Captor to exercise his prerogative, so to speak.  Though at the time it was unbeknownst to the “Powers” that the Captor was a full-fledged psychopath masquerading as a man of action, competence, and confidence: emphasis on confidence, meaning “confidence-man”; than such a granting was not to be second-guessed Joe or anyone else, although in private much talk ensued for the sake of duty. Given that the “Powers” were content in their choice, or better said the choice was foisted upon them and it was easier to accept the self-appointment to Office by the Captor, in the name of “free-enterprise and commerce” then to challenge his indomitable will.  So long as Joe and his Band accomplished the missions there was no need to deal with the Captor.

The Captor sat seated secure in his elevated-station, proceeded to pursue his agenda and determine which of the SOF’s to recruit for his purpose. The litmus test was his oblique interpretation of the maleability of character regarding each SOF; and that his assessment would be reduced to a “label” that he would affix onto if not ingrain into each SOF by incendiary declarations and vile pronouncements that he would repeat ad-nauseam until the subject SOF would relent to his driving insistence. Of course the Captor’s psychological profiling of the various SOF’s was predicated on his own warped thinking; but that was of no consequence to the Captor because he proceeded with unabashed determination to justify his sorry conclusions, without an inkling that every SOF was on to him. Central to his interrogations was the drive to exploit the financial motivations and conditions of each SOF (financial ailing or not, with ailing far and away being the preferred choice for the Captor’s control purposes), because a want of money by an SOF was tantamount to a victim in the making. The Captor would effectively assign or insist that each SOF adopt a moral aptitude in-line with his diseased expectations so that each SOF might better resemble a countenance that telegraphed a tractable resignation to his will.

Then perchance the Captor might have the thrilling opportunity to degrade the SOF to a condition of shameful disgrace, to an extent far enough a healthy level of esteem that they might abandon the greater portion of their own self-respect, and truckle to his unreasonable demands to the point where defeatism takes hold in the hopes of complete ruin.  That, when taken together withal and tested against the litmus of his discretion did determine the outcome of the interview and seal the fate of the subject SOF.  If accepted by the Captor, the SOF was then seductively introduced to an entirely different atmosphere of fugacious hospitality that was soon eclipsed by rampant hostility, and by Kafkaesque gradations the hirelings, each in their turn, would be unceremoniously initiated, deprecated, and inculcated to the stifling machinations of the Captor’s oppressive, austere and convulsive world. As for Joe, the life-style adjustment was made all the more complicated and difficult, having previously subscribed himself to the mirage; nay, the pursuit of a Capraesque existence wrapped up in an American flag. Every SOF was invariably deprived of the common decency to participate in any forum or military setting by which they could, or might be encouraged to, advance their ideas and inclinations. Furthermore, the Captor warned each SOF never to exercise their edifying capacity in order to  criticize him, constructively or otherwise; and they were emphatically prohibited from ever venturing upon their courage to be observant of his maneuverings, much less adopt a creative stance if they knew what was good for them.  Instead, the Captor flagrantly flouted the Lady-of-Justice, yet deigned to preserve the name of justice though without the substantive prerequisite of human rights; and inasmuch dared to indulge the license of it without the temper of or respect for humanity at large.

 

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his name is joe │ installment 5

 Immoral Victimization

During Joe’s near 15 years of captive service, as a Special Operations Commando in the “Shadow-Military”, where his life during those years was nothing short of a uniform yet various scene of persecution. The Captor, a Chief Officer, being first among his maniacal peers certainly did out-Herod his contemporaries, both in the cruel contrivances of his mandates and the rigor of their painful executions. The insufficient term of a second or two was assigned for the conversion of all military personnel to adjure to his way of thinking or be discharged summarily, or suffer some other perilous affront. Yet, if a Service-person, whomsoever, still connived at their precarious stay, were systematically deprived, under the Captor’s peremptory yoke, not only of the benefits of society and military honors, but of the common birthright of their humanity and dignity by stripping the Service-person of their God-given immunities.

The premeditated or spontaneous intentions of each mischievous taunt, menacing display, terroristic threat, and heinous act served as the ingredients of a promiscuous alchemy for the production and deliverance of terror and tribute. Each concocted manipulation was especially prepared and calculated, to astonish the particular vulnerabilities and sensibilities of each and every Service-person, with devastatingly grievous offenses in order to best achieve the effects of fear and abhorrence, the vulgar parents of control. And if a Service-person could not read the Captor’s mind as to what he wanted, than the Captor would gratuitously give that service-person a piece of his mind, while he went out of his mind, as he remonstrated the Service-person for not paying him any mind. In Joe’s case the draconian policies instituted by the Captor ruined, stole, destroyed, and robbed him and his family of every measure of happiness possible; and instead, replaced their happiness with perpetual fear, dread, nightmares, anxiety, exasperation, hopelessness, abandonment: because their lives, their fortunes, and their liberties were ever on the verge of annihilation.

 

Wealth Factor

The gravitational pull that the Captor, a man of contrived-wealth, abrogated-power and funded-influence, has on the common man, and no less on Officials of every stripe, is not to be underestimated. The outcome of a contest between the wealthy Captor and a disadvantaged Service-person, as in the case of Joe and his Band, will, without a saving intervention, fell to the wealthy Captor. The rhetoric or even the lies of the wealthy Captor was often times more persuasive than the truth or the solid evidence of a disadvantaged Service-person in whatever equal contest that arose between the two such contenders. The greatest obstacle that Joe had in his contest with the Captor was that Joe, constrained as he was, has to muster his abilities to advance mountainous truths and granite proofs against the hollow rhetoric and shadowlike plausibility of the Captor; and with that defeat the Captor on the field of honor.  Joe had to compensate for the Captor’s overwhelming influence that he used to mesmerize sympathizers with his specious speechcraft; backed by his ability to distribute wealth, deliver power, and dispense influence in order to gain undue support for his case.

Joe has witnessed several persons of high-military title that personally knew both the Captor and himself, where the Captor had damaged, taken advantage of, reneged on promises, behaved hostilely toward, even threatened such said persons. Those very same persons have also fully sympathized with Joe and enthusiastically embraced the merits of his case; still, they found it easier to side with the Captor, if only passively, due to his wealth position and the Captor knew this to be the case and depended on it. That aspect of reality was genuinely frustrating for Joe and it shows just how people will casts their allegiances for, as well as align their own interests with that of a wealthy person of the caliber of the Captor, even if it comes at Hero’s expense, making Joe a double victim. People seemed to have forgotten that the Captor obtained his wealth with anything but generosity; whereas the disadvantaged Service-person, such as Joe, has given all he has to so many, time and again. Also, the Captor has confused the material wealth of a person with the human value of a person; and the measure of all people, in the Captor’s estimation, is reduced to a simple function of their material wealth as measured in dollars. Furthermore, the Captor would claim his brutal antics were a sign of his eccentricity that is expected to be excused because of his wealth; whereas his behaviors would otherwise be certified that of an insane person, had it not been for his wealth.

 

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his name is joe │installment 4

Patriotic Contrivances

Whenever the Captor would descend to the narrow and peevish character of a disputant, he is easily provoked to supply the defect of argument by the plentitude of power. Furthermore, and by way of example, he brutally chastised Joe and Joe’s faithful patriots sans mercy, who exceeded the calculus of results with less cost than expected. Nevertheless, and without as much as a blush the Captor patently carried out his signature gambits, larded with malice and thickened with envy, over all his alliances such that he invariably resorts to double-dealing, subversive tactics, and violates the “covenants of salt” no matter how inviolate, consecrated, or contracted. All that was expected to be preserved in “good faith” was actually intended to be spoiled and subsequently despoiled by the Captor. Peace and toleration, and above all, respect for others, more especially toward the “Dedicated Few”, has never been a virtue of the Captor, the ubiquitous author of all Joe’s and his Bands’ miseries and travails. In the case of the “Entrapped”, meaning Joe and his Band, the zeal or gratitude of the Captor had promised to their valor the patriotic rewards customarily subscribed in the course of outstanding service to a level commensurate to their heroic achievements, was unilaterally dishonored.

Joe and his Band were typically flushed with success in the most dangerous of covert operations, no matter the charge, no matter how the beam turned the scales of war or conflict, they always remained eager for more serviceable action and dutiful challenge. Yet the recognitions due, of the recommendable type, for the benefit of Joe and his Band by the Captor were, without exception, dubiously guided and treacherously translated, by the temperament of his manners and prejudice, into a growing string of inconvenient obligations that had to be clipped in his skewed estimation. But by the Captor’s subtle policy of temporization by equivocation, he turned his debt of laudable praises for Joe and his Band into arraignments against them, and all recognitions owed to them were paid from the treasury of his avaricious repertoire; denominated in recanting’s, reneging’s, reductions, retractions, revisions, rackets and rampages that he might indefinitely postpone, if not altogether extinguish, the recognized service and personal accomplishments won and deserved. Neither civilians nor the military for that matter can trust the Captor’s representations based on his hollow-promises; as all of the heroic performances are alike absorbed into his private fortune without the Captor having the slightest intent to honor his word. Insofar as the Commendations were concerned, they were withheld, but the perils were escalated and uniformly sabotaged with malcontent. All that was left was the prospect of undue exposure to destruction, which was conveniently laid open to Joe and his Band.

Temporizer Extraordinaire

The abstract art of stalling for time to gain advantage, otherwise known as temporization, has been perfected by the Captor. He invariably orchestrates a full scale production that incorporates a seemingly haphazard entanglement of commotions within the set-piece of his dealings; wherein he formulates a host of relevant complexities, masterminded and unctuously, delivered in an obfuscated ad hoc fashion in order to induce, cultivate, persuade, negotiate, deceive, rope in, and finesse the opponent for the sake of gaining leverage. On a sudden the Captor’s ulterior motives become quite transparent in all its sundry manifestations where he would: re-posture to refashion, manipulate to alter, improvise to jeopardize, bluff to reframe, threaten to compel, coerce to begrudge, and finally renegotiate the terms of whatever the subject bargain may be, using that newly acquired leverage. All of the foregoing confirms, beyond a doubt, the tell-tale signs of a psychopath.

This sequence of bad faith tactics typifies the Captor’s strategic mobilization of disparate coordinations, which is universally applied to all of his business and personal dealings so that he can deliberately arrange in order to rearrange, for his undivided advantage, both the implicit and explicit terms of the so-called bargain. However, in-time, these unsuspecting governmental and military Officials inevitably become pressured into accepting terms that insult the integrity of the arrangement or bargain, as it was first produced and proposed by the Captor; and subsequently relied on, insofar as to be duly accepted by the Officials at-large. The Captor then proceeds at a glacial pace with numerous fits and starts woven into the equation as if to indefinitely extend the proposed time-frame of the subject transaction or mission. This construct is aided by the indecent arts of duplicity, leverage and craft, as well as other schemes, prearranged or improvised, to buy time. This desultory process matched with disjointed execution caused the upper echelon Officials and Ministerial agents, with whom the Captor would deal, to have their expectations uniformly vexed into a unnerving runaway case of urgency fueled by panic, which in turn would elevated to exasperating desperation, which history teaches us will predictably descend to contemptuous submission to a forced acceptance of terms far more onerous than those originally proposed by the Captor.

The Captor’s formulaic policy of serving his insatiable greed for fortune and adulation; these overarching objectives and warped principles were the ruling passions of his life, were expedited by the tactical agents of temporization and intimidation; collectively, his control mechanisms. The resentment on the part of the Officials would invariably rise to a level of extreme dismay, their confidences of which were commonly retailed to Joe with all deliberate circumspection as well as with all the inherent complex histories and circumstances in-tact. This is because Joe too had been one of those unfortunate military Officials who were beguiled in much the same fashion; and Joe, wary of the intrigues witnessed with discernment far more occurrences than anyone else. Therefore, Joe can lay claim to the congruency of his empathy to that of his compassion in terms replete with an overcompensating mutuality of incidents and effects, which gained him the trust of many Officials in connection with the Captor. Joe is most able, by experience and interest, to articulate and palpably commiserate in-kind with the same appreciable confidence given to himself by other injured Officials. The Captor, so captivated by his smugness, remains, woefully oblivious or perpetual in-denial; as Joe and his Band of hero’s prefers to have it, for a time, until such time that the “Temporizer” is temporized, and in the doing, hung by his own petard.

 

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his name is joe │ installment 3

Impervious Integrity

This scene of havoc and destitution left Joe and his platoon little to hope for and much to fear from their flagitious Captor, a cross between an over-manipulative Scrooge by preference and an ultra-controlling Machiavellian by policy. Joe and his platoon, on the other hand, come nearer to correspondence to that of Charles Dickens’ Cratchit in circumstance and a Washingtonian by emulation−so be it; but in the case of their pure and proper humanity having so recently been re-established on the looming ruins of their Captor’s ill-fated despotism, the duties of their former occupations and employments did tremble precariously on the edge of a precipice where it was impossible to recede, dangerous to stand, dreadful to fall.  Although the manifold inconvenience of their daunting responsibilities were aggravated by the sublime character of the love they had, but could not embrace, respecting their grieving families and steadfast friends, they nevertheless resolved to adhere to their moral and religious principles rather than to be drawn within the lineaments of their Captor’s evil doings, at any price.

In all their perilous events, they absorbed with unheralded dignity the exponential costs that suffering brings; and counterwise, rejected out of hand, a slew of temptations that were intended to compromise one against the another for mere relief or advantage.  If Joe were to recount the all too regular stories exampling their impervious integrity, the circumstantial parallels would be a tedious repetition of the same causes and effects.  Joe explained to me that though he remained conscious of his office, and considerate of the expectations of his fellow comrades, he could never be seduced from the standard of his integrity to register the unbowlderized litany of abuses sustained by himself and his band-of-brothers.  His reasoning was that he did not want a misconstruction put on the telling, because it might act as a subtle solicitation for glory−or worse, work as an importunate plea for the repugnant notion of sympathy or its damnable relation, pity.

 

Shocking Ramifications

After many intolerable years of having to endure an all-consuming captivity that comprehended the fairest parts of their livelihood’s, and with no little apprehension, and with almost as many years of planning, they achieved the daunting prospect of an incomparably daring escape from their Captor who imprisoned them to his will.  Since their escape, Joe’s venerable psychologist unequivocally denominated both the categorization of their Captor as a “psychopath”, and the frightful predicament of their captivity as a “modern-day concentration camp”; based on Joe’s candid summarization to him, wherefore Joe described in plain terms their episodic ordeal.  Like the protagonist in Homer’s “Odysseus”, they too returned home bewildered strangers to their families, after they have suffered the slings and arrows of their outrageous fortune, and no less their own, is for them, the most painful shock that their flesh was ever air to.  They have much to protect, enormities to salvage, horrific memories to erase and even more to fill, forgotten bridges to rediscover, sad conditions to improve, confusions to enlighten, their children to re-ingratiate, filial bonds to repair, marriages to reconstruct, and they can ill afford a question to themselves as whether “to be or not to be”: never to shuffle off their mortal coil upon their own permission.  Their families’ sufferings during the forced interregnum of their domestic life, which occurred during the span between the vitality of our stolen prime and the milestone in-sight of their respective jubilee’s, has been commended to the hallowed scales of law and equity for its recalibration, and their overdue rectification. Withal Joe and his band-of-brothers shall abide the determination of law, and at the same time fight for the dearest of human rights, freedom and property; and as for the enmity of his former Captor, he shall never again exclude his band-of-brothers, or anyone, from the universal benefits of peace, toleration, and respect.

 

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his name is joe │ installment 2

 Freedom Commandeered

The patrimony of our domestic happiness redounds to us in a civilized age fortified by justice, liberty, and civil freedoms. These endowments have been perfected by the recognition of our inalienable rights, which was comprehended and bravely established, in letters patent, by our Founding Fathers. The pride of citizenship and common dignity can be measured alternatively, as it were, by private judgment according to the definite rule of law, or by the standard of ethics employed in both civil and corporate governance; or, more so, by the degree of patriotism that accords the common defense of our country. These cherished constructs of our civilization invite the interpolation of overarching ideals that are guided by a number of factors, including: the influence of pure reason, the manner of our ingrained traditions; and the luxury to accept and embrace each other’s individualistic propensities, without fear of ridicule or chastisement.

The nominal precepts denominated above underscore and give expression to freedom; and not just for freedom’s sake; but for whom freedom frees, and what it means to those who lose, want or have their freedom taken, a fortiori restored. The interpretations, iterations and modalities of freedom proliferate within the various streams of communication that allow for unfettered and exemplary human intercourse. Freedom, in and of itself, exists within, and defines withal, the imperfect hope of a free society. A free society shall, in its own course, nourish the will, fortify the strength, and lift up the spirits of each member thereof in order that each constituent may indulge the privilege of license and liberty, thusly afforded. This Constitutional right (though I deem it a privilege) was and continues to be, no doubt, paid for in patriotic blood, so that every generation, heretofore and henceforth, may live free to pursue their dreams and fulfill their happy aspirations.

Howsoever Joe and his band-of-brothers entered the fray of uncertainty, they proudly mantled the heritage of their country’s hard-won license and liberties upon their honor as they took up our respected charges, as befitting their duty.  Their blind obediance and loyalty were nevertheless compromised by this roguish Captor, a duplicitous patriot doubling as a profiteer, whose dissembling pretenses were entirely self-serving.  Unbeknownst to the commanders at-large, of every rank and stripe, Joe and is platoon were unceremoniously waylaid and carried off by this pestiferous Captor, who sought to appropriate from them their dream for a better life for themselves and their families.  Each one of them was interviewed and singled-out for a specific purpose, only to be rudely vitiated, and then suffer the unwarranted breach of the Captor’s hollow promises, followed by a ruthless subjugation to impossibly hard conditions.  They were uniformly denied their liberties in order to satisfy his own nefarius designs of extortion, plunder and rapine; and yet they swore amongst ourselves that they would one day band together and expose this infiltrating charlatan who finagled and cajouled his way into the  upper echelons of power, and exact upon him the full measure of his just deserts in accordance with his perpetrations.

Because, it can be argued that any member of a free society can just as easily suffer the same brand of criminal extortion level to the measure of their own dreams; if the would-be perpetrator, exampled by their former Captor, is not checked in his career.  They, unfortunately, were uniformly deprived of the patrimony that is the stars and stripes, the very fabric of freedom, by an overbearing, far-reaching confidence man, their Captor, who posed as the deadly occupying force in their lives. He is the archetypal con-man, a rival for history’s most notorious villains, through and through. By way of characterization, this villain is so overweening with effusive impunity, and so vulgar with his spewing confidence, that he cannot avoid parading his con-artistry skills to the point where he cons himself more than he cons anyone else; giving him the confidence to con others into believing that the lies he conned himself into believing are believable.

The Captor successfully underwrote his prodigious rise in prosperity to a height beyond the reach of his own ability; funded, in great part, by his wholesale extortion of Joe’s and his band’s superior know-how and profitable exertions derived from their extreme sacrifices. Yet their arduous labors and exemplifications were, in-time, contrived for the undoing rather than to sustain a mocked-allegiance to this despicable tyrant.  They excelled in the practice of what is meant to be a true parergon; always exceeding the expectation, but not without a red-herring skillfully deployed, though subtlety advertised, for their collective escape, God willing. The execution of their designs demanded an audacious dethroning of the tyrant, as it were, by ceremoniously ungilding his lies, to expose the base depravity of this monstrous despot; who established himself, and operated within, the plain sight of accomplished society.

The Captor relished to withhold their liberties and savored to restrict their freedoms, upon pain of death and worse, for his sole enjoyment, leaving them bereft of their dignity and stripped of their honor as dutiful soldiers.  And by a plethora of calculated schemes the Captor managed to separate them from their expectations, and imprison us in a condition that was too horrible for Joe to recall, and even more infested with consternations to believe. Nevertheless, their adamant patriotism remained steeled in tradition, and their eternal hopes lay indelibly tempered in unshakable faith. Once imprisoned to his treatment with their freedom commandeered, his insatiable appetite to devour their humanization, a custom emblematic his modus operandi, worked to defraud them out of their just patrimony, with unconscionable duplicity: a crime tantamount to nothing less than hi-jacking the sanctity of the American dream.

 

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his name is joe │ installment 1

Communicating Experience

Words, no matter how we color or accentuate them, are in and of themselves, at times, a woefully inadequate agent or disadvantaged surrogate for communicating the experience of experience to others who have not had the experience; especially those touching war.  For most people words are employed, usually by default, often by choice, and sometimes by necessity for translating experience to others through the prism of languaged communication that is, however, wont to distort, refract and otherwise obliquely reflect experiences.  For the most part, anytime anyone wishes to give expression to experience, experience must be reduced to words; the reservoir of which is compiled and catalogued in languages, and configurable to the common practice of relating experiences, and no less adaptable for the conveyance of one’s thoughts, as far as words will allow.  I shall use words built upon words to unpack the experiences of one certain Joe, a former Prisoner-of-War, a Hero’s Hero. Suffice it to say that words alone can, at best, dispense a cursory justice to the experiences experienced by Joe, my closest friend, whose anonymity is as costly to risk as it is beneficial to insure. In order to relate Joe’s extraordinary experience I shall endeavor to transfer the eidetic accounts locked in Joe’s memory; so that others can appreciate, incorporate, absorb, and validate his salutary dedication to Flag and Country: not for himself, but for those he served with; and by this narrative, I present Joe’s story. Mine is the honor to serve Joe and all whom he represents.

As for me the challenge to communicate effectively, and no less faithfully, is as daunting in scope due to myriad complexities, as it is singular in content due to the voluminous particularities; but in all events, an esteemed privilege conferred on me by Joe. How might I effectively describe Joe’s experiences, such as: What it is like to be cheated out of a life’s worth of hoped for memories? What it is like to be subjected to ’round-the-clock forced labor? What it is like to be forcibly separated from your family and friends for nearly a half-generation? What it is like to be someone’s prisoner or slave? What does the experience feel like to have your enemy threaten your life, and the lives of your children, while you remain a P.O.W.? What about being hectored with torments like destroying all that you own, all you long and dream for – like going home to your wife and children? What does the experience feel like to watch your fellow comrades suffer similar consequences with nothing to offer each other but the faint mutuality of empathetic commiseration? What it is like to fail the one you love without recourse to remedy? What it is like to have the horrors of war foisted into your experiences that reshape, redefine and haunt your life forever?

Joe is constrained by the moral imperative attendant to conscious duty that cries out for the retailing of the immeasurable sufferings endured by his fellow veterans (alive and passed), and the counter-poising pain concomitant with his recalling, reliving and recounting of unspeakable atrocities. The gauntlet that Joe has chosen to run carries with it the potential for him to incur an utterly complete emotional and mental melt-down, as he traverses anxiously up the Everest of his fears fearing his sanity will be swallowed up by an irreparable case of post-traumatic-syndrome, before he can top the summit of his daunting expedition. Insofar as the scores of enlistees that were charged to Joe’s command or consigned to his refuge under the title of P.O.W., as the case turned awry, now, look to Joe again to recruit the command of his voice to tell their story. They themselves cannot bear the burden or sustain, with any confidence, a lucid coherence with the staying power enough to effectively communicate their horrific experiences to a candid world; whether for their own relief and due justice, and as much for their fallen brethren—the source of their festering wounds—wounds that bleed out what little hope remains.

The entirety of Joe’s existence has reached a culminating point where he feels he must enter the breach once more and persuade, and even convince others of their histories. The accounts of Joe’s testimony; are for naught, save the telling, the conveying, and the communicating of their collective experiences regarding their notorious Captor – the perpetrator of great sufferings and untold miseries. So there stands Joe, stepping out from the ranks of this Band-of-Brothers, women included, shall disappoint the avarice, or at least the peculation, of their implacable foe. Nevertheless, Joe aims to succeed as well as help those who cannot help themselves in this regard, for he shall not relent until the Captor who plied the age-old tactic of divide and conquer is thoroughly subdued. If Joe appears alone it is because his supporters are behind him, hidden in single file, ready to fan out to show their strength and resolve, and reclaim their own dignity that was stolen from them by a most roguish evil-doer—whom Joe stickles not to aver that such-a-one is cater-cousin to Lucifer. The day is coming when this Band-of-Brothers shall celebrate their liberation and denounce this fiend who worships perpetually at the Temple of Mammon, which he, the Captor, is nowhere to be discovered in the Book of Life.

 

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Miguel de Cervantes’ Lessons in Life and Love Applied to the Modern World

In Don Quixote’s Impossible Dream

Though previously acknowledged herein, I cannot overstate my gratitude to the supplier of the thematic framework through which I could beget my own dear iteration of humanity’s common experiences.  I quote Cervantes often, indeed, for it was apropos; he is credited with writing, among other works, the first modern novel and we know it, The Ingenious Nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, and it is arguably the best novel ever written, a play within a play. For that and more, I envy him a due homage and respectfully respond in the manner of a quest within a quest. In so much as I recognize his alter-ego in Don Quixote, as a then modern-day Francis of Assisi; who too, could reason through the zeitgeist hypocrisy of his age, in the manner of a Christ figure.

The indomitable Cervantes was a Spanish nobleman of secondary royalty, a valiant soldier, and a grievously wounded war veteran cum enslaved emissary, following his capture by Algerian corsairs. His culmination of experiences led to a prolific though commercially unsuccessful career as a playwright, novelist and poet that consequenced his excommunication by the Spanish Inquisition, adding drear to his woefulness. These testaments of his reversals taught him, in part, to portray the human spirit in the mode of his aforementioned picaresque novel; predicated on his imaginations, brought to life in the character Don Quixote that called into question the normative incongruities that belied the ethos of the “Spanish Inquisition”, on both aesthetic and intellectual terms. Cervantes subjects Don Quixote to [mis]adventures thick with ordeals couched in anguish and torment that worked as a proxy to describe Cervantes’ sufferings; the strain of which I am too familiar with, having my own storied “adventures”. However, like Cervantes and Quixote I resurrected from the ashes of burning oppression and despair, in the manner of the proverbial Phoenix, imbued with a profound source of inspiration from which to write about my own self-metamorphosis. Needless to say, I am deeply empathetic to Cervantes’ altogether personal transformation; caused, perforce, by an inconsolable level of ruinous dehumanization and abyssal despair by virtue of a malicious campaign; waged by those who wielded, indiscriminately, their unchecked authority. Don Quixote’s voice resounds through the ages speaking the “truth” for anyone and everyone who has ever suffered political, social, religious, or any other form of persecution or suppressive adversity.  This truth of Cervantes metamorphosis, per se, is what spoke to me in terms deeply personal and served as the underlying thematic cadence that marched me through hell’s gates and back.  Cervantes’s greatest work has helped to lift his nation, his religion, and for that matter all nations and religions, and quite possibly the collective consciousness of the world, by teaching us to reach for the “stars”; and that questing, above all, matters most—and no less for the most famous quixotic knight errant—Don Quixote.

I would be remiss to a fault not to acknowledge translators of that opus, including Charles Jervas, Tobias Smollett, Samuel Putnam, J. M. Cohen, Walter Starkie, Burton Raffel, John D. Rutherford, and most recently Edith Grossman. Each in turn honored the work with their respective translations to English, a supreme tribute in and of itself to the original.  Many have contributed by adapting the story for the stage and later the silver screen, and so I owe thanks to the talents of Dale Wasserman for his book, Joe Darion for his lyrics, and Mitch Leigh for his music for the award-winning musical and film productions of Man of La Mancha. The show in its various guises has thrilled audiences around the world with a host of memorable performances given by an iconic cast of performers.  With respect to languages, I have chosen English, my native tongue, though Cervantes’s story was written in Spanish; and no other language other than Spanish can capture the sublime preciseness of the subtle nuances spread throughout his masterwork. Many of the words and phrases used throughout my work come from other languages (primarily Latin, French, Greek, Italian and German) that have gradually become accepted into the English language over time; and out of respect, I have left the Spanish language, by and large, reserved to Cervantes. However, I do note in my annotations and glossary section, in many cases, the origin language of those once foreign words that I have taken the liberty to use, as it took a world of languages for me to properly address the genius of Cervantes’s singular work.

In fine, this opus stands as a candid testimony of my especial gratitude for which I recognize upon my parents, while also demonstrating to my children a bevy of adoptable precepts, well-trodden, for a happy life; and, perchance to unite my family and friends, both in practice and spirit, by the notion that we can never overdignify an unqualified charitable respect for one another. Now to the purpose of this metaphrastic interpretation enciphered in an excursive tribute, which is tethered gravitationally to its primary antecedent, like to a celestial system, orbiting about a common center; my life’s denouement, which expresses the inexpressible love embedded in my soul for the one I love. In full-view of that love I have faithfully set down in uncut words this valentine dedicated to my indescribable Dulcinea, for whom I take a privileged care to describe—that the entire world shall know her now and forever. My Dulcinea has provided me with nothing less than the truest and deepest inspiration for the idiosyncratic impartment of my soul, duly delivered in this love-poem. Had it not been for her, I would, undoubtedly still be tilting at windmills.

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Appreciation for Sacrifice

It was love at first sight when my wife and I met some 20 years ago.  To bring the point home, on our first date I promised I would write and dedicate a book to her that would describe the entirety of my singular love for her, my eternal soul-mate.  She eagerly absorbed every word that I said, because the words were ours – it was about us. She chimed in with perfect pitch and we harmonized our feelings, our beliefs, our souls; it was magical.  Our connection was kinetic our potential unlimited; and somehow we knew we had to make this dream a reality.  There was one caveat about the book, however, in that I qualified my promise with the delivery thereof to be 20 years hence.  I explained that it would take all of those 20 years to translate and to project into words all that had just transpired between us at the instant “Love” had christened us eternal soul-mates.

I cogitated upon the incomprehensible universe of countless thoughts, spiritual stirrings, and fantastic imaginings over a 20 year period so I could set them down in the written work.  But first, I had to learn how to translate the language of the soul and transpose it with utter precision so as not to lose or deviate from the articulations pronounced by the soul.  This process or quest, as it were, required nothing short of a protracted and on-going inner-dialogue within the soul of myself; an odyssey of epic discovery involving sufferings and torments that I was, in time, able to vividly describe.  The result is my book “Don Quixote’s Impossible Dream”, which describes the manifestation of my unvitiated awareness, my expressed becoming, and ultimately my ability to reduce the language of my soul to writing.

In full appreciation of all my wife has had to endure through life, the full range of ups and downs, the myriad sacrifices, I recognized her sufferings that the veil of love can sometimes hide.  However, along the course of my journey I came to fully appreciate her sacrifices and sufferings.  This was the essence of her coming into being, into awareness; and because of my own conscious transcendental experience I was able to recognize her evolution through the same sort of process.  The recognition of which was mutual and as visceral as the love we felt when we first met; and at that point of recognition is when our love became complete.  It took all of 20 years; upon which, I presented her with the book I promised her on the day we met.

Imagine yourself attempting to describe or convey your love to the one you love in terms couched deep within the soul. My aim was to pierce the soul then delve deep into the richness that is love, with all manner of life’s joys and griefs in attendance; and, after 20 years of immersion into the soul, I emerged with my book in hand.  My promised dedication celebrates the richness of true love from its incipience; and since then, has aged beautifully, like a rare liquor; taking on the color and flavor of our marriage.

In order to frame my work I searched the cannon of western literature and there was but one choice that would do, one inspiration that I could frame the universality of ideals that suited my purpose; namely, Miguel de Cervantes’ epic, “The Ingenious Nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha”.  Regardless of how over-whelming all the culminating sufferings of life, the arduous trials, and the hopes dashed; which when taken together, may seem to conspire against love.  Not so, from the richness of suffering comes the ideals attending love are born and nurtured; surviving the suffering is the trick, but when love is ready to be harvested the sufferings cease.  To accomplish the discovery and proof of this truth I reached further, quested harder, as I resolved to extrapolate, dare and conclude what it means to reach the unreachable star that resides sequestered in the soul; and let the hidden light shine through.

Forgive the presumption; but I offer inspiration born of love, I bridge truth with hope, I explore the infinite, I conquer myself so that I may become unconquerable.  I bring the past and future into the present, I surrender in order to be, I challenge in order to know, and I know in order to be, I must surrender the challenge.

I kept my promise and delivered precisely as I described, with honor and truth as far as for my wife and no less for myself.  Mine delving into the soul with high-powered resolution, of the most granular kind, reveals the essence of love, marriage, family and life.  Fittingly, my wife in-turn re-gifted the book back to me as an expression of her love with the caveat that it be shared with others.

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Love is Answering the “Call to Destiny”

There has been much written on the subject of “destiny”.  Here is what William Shakespeare had to say about destiny:  “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”  Whereas Ralph Waldo Emerson characterized destiny as: “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”  The imponderability of destiny; at least for me, can be disambiguated by a syzygy of the term “will”: as in the will will will its destiny.

We are all subject to the “Called to Destiny”; whether or not to be, to do, or to act; and for this to happen we must rely on our will; which inspires, directs, and fulfills our destiny.  How do couples will their destiny successfully and continue to remain within the boundaries of compatibility, given the myriad contours of life that too often redirects one’s will; ergo, one’s destiny?  How can relationships survive the hazards, the temptations, the pangs that play against one’s will, one’s destiny?  The answer is that we must resolve to fortify our will, especially as the will is frail; and has been since the biblical “fall of man”.

Where can we find the strength to stay the course, and beat the odds such that we frail couples can remain compatible over time?  How can couples sustain their love for each other, and still thrive as individuals while simultaneously abiding to their solemn and irrevocable commitments to each other?  For some it is a matter of religious beliefs or constraints, for others it is a question of one’s moral compass or ethics, and for others it is a cost/benefit scenario, or any combination or degree thereof.  In all events, it is the will to fulfill one’s destiny that ensures the success of any relationship.  What is to be derived from that fulfillment?  It is a sustainable level of love and happiness that fuels the will towards that destiny (a destiny steeped in true-love); which again, circles back to love and happiness.  The cycle of will and destiny, love and happiness, becomes self-reinforcing―provided that each person in the relationship answer their personal “Call to Destiny”.  However, after you have answered the “Call to Destiny” as by your inner-voice; remember that that same inner-voice, from which the answer emanated, must be translated within the context of regular and open communication with the one you love, because the “Call to Destiny” is continuous and flowing.

Answering the “Call to Destiny” is like jumping into a river, a feat in and of itself for every couple.  If one of you remains put the river of life will pass that person by, and the other person will inevitably be carried along by life’s currents; and in-time you will lose sight of one another and the relationship dissolves.  If you both remain put than life will pass both of you by, which is a destiny unfulfilled.  Therefore it is important to recognize that the “Call to Destiny” must be answered with commensurate commitment equal to the flow of life; meaning, through the seasons of twists and turns, rapids and placidness, days and nights in order to build common experiences that act to bind both of you to one destiny indivisible and insoluble.

“Mindfully cognizant that to keep well the chaste heart

That I did win, I shalt not soon forget that she devised it so.”

In the words of Don Quixote, Man of La Mancha: “My destiny calls and I go.”

 

 

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