Hawley is a writer. His books are
highly eclectic. He has written about 16th-century East Asian history,
19th-century Korean-American relations, Olympic sprinting and land
speed racing and a circus elephant named Topsy who was electrocuted in
1903. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.
|THE ABRAMS BROTHERS
August 26, 2011
Here’s a shot of the Abrams Brothers of Kingston, Ontario,
performing on August 21, 2011 at Snow Road Station north of Highway 7. That's
James on the fiddle (he's just out of high school; starting Queen's U. in
Sept.), his older brother John on the guitar (starting 2nd year at Queen's,
majoring in English and film studies), and cousin Eli at the right on bass.
These guys are young but they've been performing for a decade and it shows:
They're great.. If you don't know about them yet, stop by their website here and check out
their cover of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" on Youtube. Note: Their
live performances of this song are even better now, two years later--better
than Coldplay's original, in my opinion.
The energy they bring to it will blow you away. They have a bunch of original
songs too on their new album, Northern Redemption. I particularly like
"While You Sleep," written by Chris Brown of Wolfe Island,
who also produced Northern Redemption.
Click on the photo to watch The Abrams Brothers' version of Cold Play's "Viva la Vida."
|INSIDE NORTH KOREA
August 4, 2011
Here is a link to a series of photos in The Atlantic
magazine that were taken earlier this year by AP photographer David
Guttenfelder. There is nothing in the
way of poverty in them--almost everything Guttenfelder was allowed to
photograph appears to have been orchestrated by his NORK handlers. The images
nevertheless have a otherworldly strangeness about them and are definitely
AMERICAN COALITION OF THE LAZY
Lazy. The label has been used for centuries to deride those
afflicted with a handicap and to deny them their rights. So says Bill Shank,
chairman of the American Coalition of the Lazy, or AMCOL, a national
organization lobbying to have laziness classified as a special disability
qualifying for enhanced welfare payments.
“Laziness is not a lifestyle choice,” says Shank. “It’s the
way we were born and we can’t just snap our fingers and change. It’s society
that has to change. That’s why AMCOL was founded: to push for the stigmatizing
and the discrimination to end. We are coming out of the closet in record
numbers, and we’re saying, ‘We’re here, we’re lazy and we’re proud.’ Americans
have to deal with it. Americans have to stop beating us down and give us our fair
“It’s all about fairness,” agrees AMCOL community organizer
Tyler Weems. “We have members barely scraping by on their welfare checks. In
the black community, young women routinely have multiple children out of
wedlock and through such enterprise increase their welfare payments and achieve
a better standard of living. But for us, our disability blocks us from this
avenue of advancement. We are too lazy to raise children. And so we are forced
to get by on what the government gives us, which currently is not nearly
enough. It only pays for rent and food and utilities and just a few little
extras. What about annual holidays? What about eating out, big-screen TVs,
prostitutes, trips to the casino? We are denied these basic human rights simply
because we are lazy.”
Virtually unknown until recently, AMCOL moved into the
national spotlight last year with Lazy Pride marches in LA, Sacramento and San
Francisco. These were followed by a Let's-Celebrate-Laziness event at UC
Berkeley, with all classes cancelled so that students could loll about. A Lazy
Pride Sleep-In to promote unity is
scheduled for Oceanside
later this week. The event is being organized by AMCOL’s Hispanic wing.
“Membership is skyrocketing,” says Weems, who places the
organization’s numbers at over five million. He concedes, however, that this is
a rough estimate only. “We don’t actually keep membership records,” he says.
“But I can tell you that our numbers are definitely growing. I am hearing from
people all over the country who are coming out of the closet to celebrate their
laziness and to demand their fair share.”
AMCOL’s website, under construction since early 2008, should
further enhance the organization's exposure. It is slated for completion in
The fight for fair treatment for the energy-challenged, as
some preferred to be called, has now shifted to Capitol Hill. In a surprise
move on Monday that has rocked Washington
circles, Reps. Jeannette Snorky (D-Cal) and Abel Smellie (D-NY) have stepped
forward to co-sponsor a bill to add laziness to the Congress Disability Act,
the so-called Snorky-Smellie Amendment.
“Social justice,” said Snorky when contacted for comment.
“Fairness and equality. Diversity. Global warming.”
“A chicken in every pot,” added Smellie.
“It’s an encouraging sign,” says AMCOL chairman Bill Shank.
“And we are tremendously grateful to Representatives Smellie and Snorky. But
it’s just a first step. Next we need to push for bigger welfare payments. It’s
going to be a dogfight. The right-wingers are going to get up to their old
partisan tricks. But we are on the side of right. We will prevail.”
Copyright � 2011 Samuel Hawley
WHY YES. . .
February 14, 2011
. . . I did just have my hair done.
DUNG HOTEL. . .
February 14, 2011
. . . the place to
Chi Minh City.
MONKEYS MAKE FIRE?
February 13, 2011
During a trip to Ubud on the island
of Bali, I made several visits to the
“Monkey Forest” at the south end of town to
watch the Balinese macaques. They are a delightfully rambunctious group,
grabbing visitor’s bags and water bottles, chasing one another about, diving
into a little pond and sneaking up on each other underwater.
On my second visit to the Monkey Forest
I wandered away from the central area where most people congregate and stumbled
on a somewhat more subdued troop of macaques that particularly caught my
interest. A number of them were fooling around with stones they had gathered,
clutching them in their arms, scraping them back and forth on the concrete walkway
and tapping them against each other. It was curious behavior that I have since
learned has been identified as “stone play” by researchers studying macaques in
same macaques that have learned from one another to wash their food and soak in
hot springs in winter.
Among this group of Ubud macaques, however, was one young
fellow whose behavior seemed to be more than just play. He sat on the ground by
himself, holding one stone in his foot while he tapped it repeatedly with
another. Positioned on the lower stone, directly beside the point on it he
where was striking, was a bit of dry grass which he held in place with his
foot. I don’t know much about wilderness survival skills, but it looked exactly
like he was trying to start a fire by striking two stones together to send
sparks into tinder. He kept this up for several minutes, stopping occasionally
to reposition the grass. Then he carried his two stones to a new spot, picked
up a bit of dried leaf, positioned it on his lower stone in exactly the same
manner and began to tap again.
This monkey tapped without let-up for the entire thirty
minutes that I watched him from no more than three feet away, and was always
careful to hold some dried grass or leaf beside the impact point between his
two stones. If this behavior catches on—and another young monkey nearby was
doing the same thing, but more clumsily and without any tinder—someday an Ubud
macaque may just figure out how to make fire!
SOME OF THE OLDER
INHABITANTS OF THE MONKEY FOREST. . .
February 13, 2011
. . .
are admittedly jaded.
|SINGAPORE WANT AD
February 13, 2011
Sinatra said: "My
kind of town. . ."
AN ALIEN ABDUCTEE IN
February 13, 2011
summer of 2007 my
wife and I spent a memorable vacation in Vietnam
that included a week on Phu Quoc island in the South
China Sea. Now, we’ve traveled in Asia
quite a bit and have had the pleasure of meeting a variety of
people, locals and expats alike. Awaiting us on Phu Quoc, however, was
very special indeed.
scene was set at our
hotel, the Tropicana Resort, at the end of a perpetually flooded lane
negotiated by wading. Then there was the Gop Gio Restaurant down the
“grilled kangaroo,” “deep fried sea horse,” “drilled vegetable,” and
this faded into the
background, however, the morning when an elderly Australian of French
extraction wandered into the Tropicana’s restaurant from his place down
beach. He was married to a Vietnamese woman and lived on Phu Quoc, and
frequented the Tropicana in search of chess partners. In the course of
wide-ranging conversations I learned that he had taken up residence on
some years previously to escape the hounding of fans of a book he had
about some sort of prophecy. I assumed he was spinning a tale, and so
press him for more information. At our final meeting, however, he made
of writing down his name, “Michel Desmarquet,” on a scrap of paper,
the enigmatic word “Thiaoouba.” “Look it up on the internet,” he said.
don’t tell anyone I’m here!”
wife and I left Phu Quoc
wondering about Michel. He was likeable, not a blow-hard, and we wanted
believe him. But surely his claim of being a popular author in hiding
good to be true. Upon returning to Seoul
and Googling his name and “Thiaoouba,” however, we discovered that what
was not just true, but only the beginning of a truly fantastic tale.
June 26, 1987, Michel
was taken by aliens from his home in Australia
to their luminous world
of Thiaoouba, a category nine planet, the most superior category of
civilization in our galaxy. During his nine-day visit the Thiaooubans,
led by an
individual named Thao, instructed Michel on all manner of subjects: how
Earth was populated 1.35 million years ago by beings from the planet
Bakaratini; how the pyramids are actually devices for communicating
cosmos; how other planets have destroyed themselves by technology run
how the theory of evolution is wrong; and many other things.
of the Thiaooubans, Michel began writing a book about his experiences
being returned to the Earth. It was published six years later as Abduction to
the Ninth Planet, later reissued under the title Thiaoouba Prophecy.
It is a
premier alien abduction account salted with a compelling amount of
detail. The length of a Thiaoouban year, we learn, is 333 days, divided
periods known as karses; Michel’s weight on Thiaoouba was 47 kg. as
70 kg. on Earth; Thiaooubans wear clothes that match the color of their
they subsist on a drink called hydromel, a half glass every two days;
toilets that vaporize waste as it exits the body, a device that Michel
would zap his privates.
however, is more
than just an extra-terrestrial travelogue. It is a guide for the
as Michel describes it, lays ahead for us humans, from our current
category one civilization, the “category of sorrow,” to a paradisiacal
nine world such as enjoyed by the Thiaooubans. It is a journey toward
enlightenment that the Thiaooubans, through Michel, want to teach us
take. Indeed, they have been trying to teach us for thousands of years:
according to Michel, Jesus was a Thiaoouban—who incidentally lies
rest, as they say, is
history. Abduction to
the Ninth Planet became an international bestseller,
into Spanish, Greek, Japanese, German, Russian, and several other
Thiaoouba grew into something of a New Age religion. Fans began
more information—and Michel began to feel the pressures of fame.
the late 1990s, he turned his back on everything, rejecting the
that his book, which condemns materialism, had ironically brought him.
turned over everything to a proxy and retired to Phu Quoc, where he
am I spilling the beans
on Michel’s whereabouts after he told me not to reveal his location?
was the one thing Michel may not have been entirely truthful about. I
discovered on the internet a three-part interview he has done for
the cameras overlooking that same beach where I met him last summer.
seems, had been sending out feelers on that scrap of paper he gave me.
creator of the Thiaoouba Prophecy is ready to be found.
Copyright � 2008
KOREA WELCOMES THE WORLD...
February 13, 2011
copyright � Samuel Hawley 2013