The Man Who Quit Money

Daniel Suelo lives without money. Is it possible? Yes, indeed. First, he changed his name from Shellabarger to Suelo, which in Spanish means ground/soil. Then, he put his driving license and passport in the trash and started a new life. He lived in tents, isolated communities… Now, in a cavern. He cooks in a hand made broiler, normally dead animals that he find in the roads, and bathe in a cove. Sometimes he writes in a blog – Zero Currency – when some tourist lends him a laptop.

The power of War Poetry

Men of arms must read poetry, and they do. The American military study Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sasson, Rupert Brooke e Rosenberg. War poetry have a tremendous impact in the formation of good soldiers. A young Sargent from Oregon said  “we fell what Owen writes, we can build a mental image of death.” This type of poetry describes war as divine liberation, as a sacrifice, as a metal cleanup. The death of the authors in the battlefield reinforces this feelings – Owen and Rosenberg died in 1918 during the IWW. Artistic variants can represent a good tool in the shaping of the soldiers, extolling the patriotism, heroism and glorious death.

Wilfred Owen

Dulce et Decorum est, by Owen


How Hollywood Projects Foreign Policy

Sally Totman shows to us the impact of Hollywood Cinematographic Industry in the projection of the American foreign policy, analyzing various cases: North Korea, Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Syria,  Iraq and Libya. Interesting reading after the “Dear America” post!

Caesar: life of a colossus, by Adrian Goldsworthy

Caius Julius Caeser is a real colossus. Probably, he is the most famous figure of the ancient history. Remarkable politician and  military genius. He conquered Gaul and returned to Rome as an emperor and, at the same time, Consul of Rome. His political status were unusual, a “republican emperor”. Unusual is the right word. Why did he forgive his old Roman enemies, Brutus and Cicero, those who organize his assassination in the Senate. Brutus keeps a secret, he was probably son of the “colossus”. Actually, some say that the last words of Caeser were “Et tu, Brute“. I know that the forgiveness of Caeser is also connect to the search of political support. He achieved that goal, becoming dictator for life. Adrian Goldsworthy describes Caeser has the politician and general, concentrating his research in the life of the man who changed the Roman political constitution. Caeser was not a real emperor, but he started something similar. Even in the beginning of the XX century, the title of the European emperors, like Czar and Kaiser, wore directly derived from Caeser. Goldsworthy brings in this book a very interesting subject. Was Caeser an amoral character? He forgave old enemies and local tribesmen, but was also cruel and very pragmatic about power and insubordination. Goldsworthy give us a good starting point for a deep reflection.

Poems by Wilfred Owen

Let the boy try along this bayonet-blade

How cold steel is, and keen with hunger of blood;

Blue with all malice, like a madman’s flash;

And thinly drawn with famishing for flesh. 

Books: Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad

“Never see him! I saw him clearly then. I shall see this eloquent phantom as long as I live, and I shall see her too, a tragic and familiar shade, resembling in this gesture another one, tragic also, and bedecked with powerless charms, stretching bare brown arms over the glitter of the infernal stream, the stream of darkness.” 

Books: Common Sense, by Thomas Paine

Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”

Books: Sunset Park, by Paul Auster

“Her name is Pilar Sanchez, and he met her six months ago in a public park, a purely accidental meeting late one Saturday afternoon in the middle of May, the unlikeliest of unlike encounters. She was sitting on the grass reading a book, and not ten feet away from her he too was sitting on the grass reading a book, which happened to be the same book as hers, the same book in an identical soft-cover edition, The Great Gatsby, which he was reading for the third time since his father gave it to him as a present on his sixteenth birthday.”   

When the love story begins with a book, everything is prettier.

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