Phillip Hughes

ফিলিপ হিউজেস: যাকে আউট করতে পারবে না আর কোনো বোলার

মাইকেল ক্লার্কের ইনজুরি কারণে ভারতের বিপক্ষে আসন্ন টেস্ট সিরিজে ফিলিপ হিউজেসের খেলা প্রায় নিশ্চিত। অস্ট্রেলিয়ার হয়ে সীমিত ওভারের ক্রিকেটেও রানের ধারায় ছিলেন, তাই তার ভারতের বিপক্ষে টেস্ট দলে ফিরে আসা শুধুমাত্র সময়ের ব্যাপার তখন।

আবুধাবিতে ফটোগ্রাফি অফ দ্য ইয়ারে জায়গা করে নিয়েছিল ফিলিপ হিউজেসের ছবিটি

শেফিল্ড-শিল্ডের ম্যাচে নিউ সাউথ ওয়েলসের হয়ে অসাধারণ ব্যাট করছিলেন হিউজেস। মধ্যাহ্ন বিরতির পর যখন ব্যাট করছেন তখন তার নামের পাশে অপরাজিত ৬৩ রান লেখা। এমন সময় শেন অ্যাবোটের হঠাৎ লাফিয়ে উঠা বলে হুক করতে গিয়ে ব্যাটে-বলে ঠিকমতো সংযোগ করতে পারলেন না হিউজেস। মাথায় হেলমেট থাকা সত্ত্বেও বল এসে সোজা আঘাত হানলো তার কানের একটু নিচে ঘাড়ের অংশটায়। এরপর হাঁটুর উপর ভর দিয়ে কয়েক সেকেন্ড দাঁড়িয়ে ছিলেন। বিপক্ষ দলের সবাই যখন তার দিকে ছুটে আসছে ততক্ষণে মাটিতে লুটিয়ে পড়লেন হিউজেস। সাথে সাথে অজ্ঞান হয়ে যাওয়ার কারণে তাকে নিয়ে যাওয়া হল সিডনির সেন্ট ভিনসেন্ট হসপিটালে।

হুক করতে গিয়ে বলটি হেলমেট মিস করে ঘাড়ে লাগার পর পরে যান হিউজেস

সেখানে দুইদিন কোমায় থাকার পর নিজের ২৬তম জন্মদিনের দু’দিন আগে পৃথিবীর মায়া ছেড়ে চলে গিয়েছিলেন ফিলিপ হিউজেস। ক্রিকেট বিশ্বকে থমকে দিয়ে অকালেই ঝড়ে পড়েন তরুণ এই ক্রিকেটার। ভারতের বিপক্ষে মাইকেল ক্লার্কের জায়গায় তার খেলার কথার ছিল। সেই মাইকেল ক্লার্কই তার মৃত্যুর পর তার বদলে বক্তব্য রাখেন অশ্রুসিক্ত চোখে।

বোলার শেন অ্যাবোটের স্বাভাবিক হতে অনেকদিন সময় লেগেছিল, দুর্দান্ত ফর্মে থাকা মিচেল জনসনও খেই হারিয়ে ফেললেন। পুরো ক্রিকেট বিশ্বে শোকের কালোছায়া এসে ঢেকে দিয়েছিল। সাউথ অস্ট্রেলিয়া বনাম নিউ সাউথ ওয়েলসের ম্যাচটি ঐখানেই সমাপ্ত ঘোষণা করা হয়। শেফিল্ড-শিল্ডের চলতি দুটি ম্যাচও দিনশেষে সমাপ্ত ঘোষণা করা হয়। ফিলিপ হিউজেসের মৃত্যুতে পাকিস্তান বনাম নিউজিল্যান্ডের টেস্টের তৃতীয় দিন স্থগিত করা হয়। পরদিন খেলতে নেমে নিউজিল্যান্ডের বোলাররা কোনো ব্যাটসম্যানকে বাউন্স বল দেননি। এমনকি উইকেট শিকারের পর উদযাপনও করেনি ব্ল্যাক ক্যাপসরা।

ফিলিপ হিউজেসের মৃত্যুতে নীরবতা পালন করছেন নিউজিল্যান্ডের ক্রিকেটাররা

পিছিয়ে দেয়া হয়েছিলো ভারত বনাম অস্ট্রেলিয়া সিরিজও। সিরিজটি যখন অনুষ্ঠিত হয় তখনো ক্রিকেটারদের স্মরণে ছিলো ফিলিপ হিউজেস। স্টিভ স্মিথ, মাইকেল ক্লার্ক এবং ডেভিড ওয়ার্নাররা যখনই ব্যাট করার সময় ৬৩ রানে আসতেন, তখন স্মরণ করতেন হিউজেসকে।

ফিলিপ হিউজেসের ক্রিকেট ক্যারিয়ার অন্য আট-দশজন ক্রিকেটারের মতো নয়। নিউ সাউথ ওয়েলসের ম্যাকভিলেতে এক গরীব কলা চাষির ঘরে জন্ম হিউজেসের। ক্রিকেটার হতে না পারলে হয়তো ঐ পেশাটাই বেছে নিতে হতো তাকে। কিন্তু হিউজেস মেতে থাকতেন ব্যাট বল নিয়ে। মূলত ব্যাটিংটাই তার পছন্দের ছিল, সময় পেলেই ব্যাট হাতে নেমে যেতেন নেট প্র্যাকটিসে।

বাবার সাথে ফিলিপ হিউজেস

ক্রিকেটে তার হাতেখড়ি একেবারে ছোট বয়সেই। মাত্র ১২ বছর বয়সে ম্যাকভিল ক্রিকেট ক্লাবে শতক হাঁকান। এরপর ১৭ বছর বয়সে ম্যাকভিল ছেড়ে সিডনিতে পাড়ি জমান ভালো কিছু করার প্রত্যয়ে। ২০০৬-০৭ মৌসুমে ওয়েস্টার্ন সাবার্বস ডিস্ট্রিক্ট ক্রিকেট ক্লাবের হয়ে খেলতে সিডনি যান। সেখানে সিডনি গ্রেড ক্রিকেটে খেলেন হিউজেস। অভিষেক ম্যাচেই খেলেন অপরাজিত ১৪১ রানের দুর্দান্ত ইনিংস।

খুব দ্রুত উন্নতি করতে থাকা হিউজেস ২০০৮ সালে অনুর্ধ্ব-১৯ বিশ্বকাপে অস্ট্রেলিয়ার প্রতিনিধিত্ব করেন। এর আগেই প্রথম শ্রেণীর ক্রিকেটে নিউ সাউথ ওয়েলসের হয়ে অভিষেক ঘটেছিল তার। মাত্র ১৮ বৎসর ৩৫৫ দিনে নিউ সাউথ ওয়েলসের সিনিয়র টিমে জায়গা করে নেন তিনি। মাইকেল ক্লার্কের পর সবচেয়ে কম বয়সী ক্রিকেটার হিসাবে নিউ সাউথ ওয়েলসের হয়ে খেলেন হিউজেস। নিজের প্রথম মৌসুমেই ৬২.১১ ব্যাটিং গড়ে করেন ৫৫৯ রান।

ধারাবাহিক সাফল্যের কারণে কাউন্টি চ্যাম্পিয়নশিপে মিডলসেক্সের হয়ে খেলার জন্য ডাক পান হিউজেস। সেখানে গিয়ে মাত্র ৩ ম্যাচে ১৪৩.৫০ ব্যাটিং গড়ে করেন ৫৭৪ রান। ঐ মৌসুমে সারির বিপক্ষে খেলেন ১৯৫ রানের দুর্দান্ত ইনিংস যেটা তাকে আলোচনায় নিয়ে আসে। অল্পদিনেই নির্বাচকদের নজর কাড়েন ফিলিপ হিউজেস।

ম্যাথিউ হেইডেনের অবসরের কারণে ব্যাগি গ্রিন ক্যাপ পেয়ে যান মাত্র ২০ বছর বয়সেই। দক্ষিণ আফ্রিকার বিপক্ষে অভিষেক ইনিংসে ডেইল স্টেইনের বলে আউট হয়ে ফিরেন কোনো রান না করেই। কিন্তু “মেঘ দেখে কেউ করিসনে ভয়, আড়ালে তার সূর্য হাসে। হারা শশীর হারা হাসি অন্ধকারেই ফিরে আসে।”সত্যেন্দ্রনাথের লেখা এই দুটো লাইন যেন ফিলিপ হিউজেসের জন্যই। প্রথম ইনিংসে শূন্য রানে ফিরে যাওয়ার পর তিনি খেলেন ৭৫ রানের অসাধারণ দ্বিতীয় ইনিংস। ২০০৯ সালের ৬ই মার্চ অনুষ্ঠিত দ্বিতীয় টেস্টের জন্য তুলে রেখেছিলেন আসল চমক। ডেইল স্টেইন, মরনে মরকেল, মাখায়া এনটিনি এবং জ্যাক ক্যালিসদের নিয়ে গড়া দুর্ধর্ষ প্রোটিয়া বোলিং লাইনআপকে নাস্তানাবুদ করে ডারবান টেস্টের প্রথম ইনিংসে করেন ১৫১ বলে ১১৫ রান। যার মধ্যে ৮৮ রান এসেছিল শুধুমাত্র বাউন্ডারি থেকেই।

ডারবানে দ্বিতীয় ইনিংসে শতক হাঁকানোর পর উদযাপন করছেন ফিলিপ হিউজেস

১০ই মার্চে ডারবান টেস্টের দ্বিতীয় ইনিংসেও শতক হাঁকান ফিলিপ হিউজেস। এইবার কিছুটা রক্ষণাত্মক ভঙ্গীতে খেলে করেন ১৬০ রান। এতে করেই রেকর্ডবুকে নিজের নাম তুলে নেন হিউজেস। সবচেয়ে কমবয়সী ব্যাটসম্যান হিসাবে টেস্ট ম্যাচের দুই ইনিংসেই শতক হাঁকান এই তরুণ ক্রিকেটার। মাত্র ২০ বৎসর ৯৮ দিনে এই রেকর্ড গড়েন তিনি। এর আগে হ্যাডলি ১৯৩০ সালে ২০ বৎসর ২৬৭ দিনে দুই ইনিংসেই শতক হাঁকিয়েছিলেন।

ফিলিপ হিউজেস রেকর্ড বুকে নিজের নাম লেখাতে পছন্দ করেন বলেই হয়তো অভিষেক ম্যাচেই নিজের নামের পাশে তিন সংখ্যার রান যোগ করেন। শ্রীলঙ্কার বিপক্ষে অভিষেক ওয়ানডে ম্যাচে খেলেছিলেন ১১২ রানের এক দুর্দান্ত ইনিংস। প্রথম এবং একমাত্র অস্ট্রেলিয়ান ক্রিকেটার হিসাবে ওয়ানডে অভিষেকে শতক হাঁকান হিউজেস। শ্রীলঙ্কার বিপক্ষে ঐ সিরিজের ৫ম ম্যাচেও খেলেন ১৩৮ রানের দারুণ এক ইনিংস।

অভিষেক ওয়ানডেতে শতক হাঁকানোর পর উদযাপন করছেন ফিলিপ হিউজেস

২০১৪ সালের নভেম্বরে যখন চলে যান না ফেরার দেশে, তার কয়েক মাস আগেও নতুন রেকর্ডের জন্ম দিয়েছেন হিউজেস। লিস্ট-এ ক্রিকেটে প্রথম অজি ব্যাটসম্যান হিসেবে শতক হাঁকিয়েছেন দক্ষিণ আফ্রিকা ‘এ’ দলের বিপক্ষে। ১৫১ বলে অপরাজিত ২০২ রানের ইনিংস খেলেন তিনি। ক্রিকেটকে দেওয়ার মতো ফিলিপ হিউজেসের ভাণ্ডারে নিশ্চয়ই আরো অনেক কিছুই ছিল। কিন্তু মৃত্যুর কাছে হার মানতে হয় সদাহাস্য ফিলিপ জোয়েল হিউজেসের।

বিদায়ের আগে হিউজেস অজিদের হয়ে ২৬টি টেস্টে ৩২.৬৫ ব্যাটিং গড়ে করেন ১,৫৩৫ রান। ৩টি শতক এবং ৭টি অর্ধশত রানের ইনিংস ছিল তার ক্যারিয়ারে।

হিউজেস ২৫টি ওয়ানডে ম্যাচে ৩৫.৯১ ব্যাটিং গড়ে ২টি শতক এবং দ্বিগুণ অর্ধশতকের সাহায্যে করেন ৮২৬ রান। বয়স ছাব্বিশের কোঠা স্পর্শ না করতে পারলেও হিউজেসের প্রথম শ্রেণীর ক্রিকেটে শতকের সংখ্যা ঠিক ২৬টি! প্রথম শ্রেণীর ক্রিকেটে ১১৪ ম্যাচে ৪৬.৫১ ব্যাটিং গড়ে তার রান ৯,০২৩, রয়েছে ২৬টি শতক এবং ৪৬টি অর্ধশতক।

ফিলিপ হিউজেস, তোমায় ভোলেনি ক্রিকেটপ্রেমীরা

স্বল্প জীবনের ক্ষুদ্র ক্যারিয়ারের সাফল্যে ‘লিটল ডন’ নামেও আখ্যা পেয়েছিলেন হিউজেস। ৮ বছর আগে তার অভিষেক সিরিজ শেষে গণমাধ্যমে বলাবলি হচ্ছিল, অস্ট্রেলিয়া পরবর্তী ১০ বছরের জন্য চিন্তামুক্ত। ওপেনিংয়ের দায়িত্বটা নিশ্চিন্তে সঁপে দেয়া যায় হিউজেসের কাঁধে। কিন্তু কে জানত, মাত্র বছর পাঁচেক পরেই তাদেরকেই প্রকাশ করতে হবে হিউজেসের শেষযাত্রার খবর।

ফিলিপ হিউজেস যুগ যুগ ধরে ৬৩ রানে অপরাজিত থাকবেন, যাকে আউট করতে পারবেন না আর কোনো বোলার। কাকতালীয় হলেও সত্য, ফিলিপ হিউজেসের প্রথম শ্রেণীর ক্রিকেটে সর্বোচ্চ ২৪৩ রানের ইনিংসটিতে তিনি ছিলেন অপরাজিত। লিস্ট-এ তে ২০২ রানের ইনিংসটিতেও ছিলেন অপরাজিত। এমনকি টি-টুয়েন্টিতেও ছিল তার ৮৭ রানের অপরাজিত ইনিংস।

শুধুমাত্র জীবনের কাছেই হার মেনেছিলেন ফিলিপ জোয়েল হিউজেস।

তথ্যসূত্র

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phillip_Hughes

Benjamin Franklin wasn’t a natural talent.

Here’s how he taught himself to write

February 21, 2017

Benjamin Franklin may be the most prolific man in all of American history.

In his New York Times bestselling Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, Walter Isaacson writes of Franklin:

[He was] the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become.

Franklin’s literal rags-to-riches story is jam-packed with insights on writing and a better life.

Born into poverty with 16 siblings, Franklin dropped out of school at age 10. How did Benjamin Franklin go from primary school dropout to the most accomplished American in all of history?

I wanted to find out.

In my own quest to teach myself how to write, I dug into Franklin’s autobiography. Guess what? He wasn’t born with it. By his late twenties, Franklin had become independently wealthy through his publications of the Pennsylvania Gazette and his famed Poor Richard’s Almanack.

Yet, as a teenager, Franklin was not good at writing. Determined to improve but with no teachers and no money, he decided to teach himself.

His autobiography tells exactly how he did it.

Most writing advice today sucks. It’s face-palm bad. Internet forums are infected with impractical advice like “just read more” or “keep trying kiddo!” Franklin’s advice, written almost 200 years ago, is the cure. He offers specific, actionable, and immediate steps you can use to start improving your writing today.

Let’s dig in.

1. Dissect and reconstruct

At age 16, Ben realized he’s bad at writing. His spelling and grammar were good, but: “I fell far short in elegance of expression, in method and in perspicuity…”

(“Perspicuity” means “clarity.” I didn’t know it either.)

Determined to improve, Ben dug into one of his favorite magazines, The Spectator:

I took some of the papers, and, making short hints of the sentiment in each sentence, laid them by a few days, and then, without looking at the book, try’d to compleat the papers again, by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should come to hand. Then I compared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them.

Wow, that’s some practical advice. Here it is in checklist format:

  • Find an example of good writing and jot short notes for each sentence.
  • Put the notes aside and come back in a few days.
  • Try to “rewrite” the piece in your own words, using just your notes.
  • Compare with the original and correct your faults.

2. Convert to poetry (and back again)

Next, Franklin tackled his mastery of the English vocabulary.

He used a technique that all master learners—be they soccer players, mathematicians, or Wall Street traders—understand. To accelerate learning, add artificial constraints. Lose your hands and you shall learn to type with your feet.

Franklin recognized writing poetry can accelerate his development as a writer:

But I found I wanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them, which I thought I should have acquired before that time if I had gone on making verses; since the continual occasion for words of the same import, but of different length, to suit the measure, or of different sound for the rhyme, would have laid me under a constant necessity of searching for variety, and also have tended to fix that variety in my mind, and make me master of it.

But not satisfied with just an idea (something I always stress here), he makes it into an actionable exercise:

Therefore I took some of the tales and turned them into verse; and, after a time, when I had pretty well forgotten the prose, turned them back again.

Here it is again:

  • Take your prose and convert it to poetry.
  • Wait a few days.
  • Convert your poetry back into prose.

Repeat regularly (and vary the limitations) to see impressive gains in writing ability.

3. Understand structure

Now proficient in crafting sentences and selecting words, Franklin turns to the overall structure of his writing:

I also sometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and after some weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order, before I began to form the full sentences and compleat the paper. This was to teach me method in the arrangement of thoughts.

Again, in bite-sized instructions:

  • Take your notes from exercise number one and jumble them up.
  • Wait a few weeks.
  • Reassemble the sentences as best as you can.
  • Get feedback by comparing to the original.

This exercise teaches writers to see and understand structure and how to create it, forcing them to constantly train and stretch the mental muscle responsible for organizing thoughts on the page.

4. The secret sauce

That’s plenty to work on already, but there’s one last ingredient to the Benjamin Franklin’s success formula.

Franklin’s secret sauce:

My time for these exercises and for reading was at night, after work or before it began in the morning, or on Sundays, when I contrived to be in the printing-house alone, evading as much as I could the common attendance on public worship…

Franklin would surely tell you this: all his advice is useless without the secret sauce.

And the secret sauce is obsession. An obsession with what he loved to write and loved to read, and an obsession with his goal to improve each and every day of his life.

How Did Nietzsche Become the Most Misunderstood & Bastardized Philosopher

A Video from Slate Explains

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

Is there a more misunderstood philosopher than Friedrich Nietzsche? Granted, the question makes two assumptions: 1) That people read philosophy 2) That people read Friedrich Nietzsche. Perhaps neither of these things is widely true. Many people get their philosophy from film and television: Good Will Hunting, True Detective, Coming to America…. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. I don’t read medical books. Most of my knowledge of medicine comes from hospital dramas. (If you ever hear me make unsourced medical claims, please remind me of this.)

But back to Nietzsche…. If few people read philosophy in general and Nietzsche in particular, why is his name so well-known, why are his ideas so badly mangled? Because some of the people who read a little Nietzsche write films and television shows. In many of them, he emerges as a twisted nihilist with no scruples and little regard for human life. In the most infamous case of Nietzsche-twisting, the philosopher’s sister extracted from his books what she wanted them to say, which sounded very much like the ideas of the Nazis who later quoted him.

Nietzsche’s mastery of the aphorism and his fiercely polemical nature have made him supremely quotable: “God is dead,” “What does not kill us, makes us stronger.” And so on. Bring the context of these statements to bear and they sound nothing like what we have imagined. The video above from Shon Arieh-Lerer and Daniel Hubbard explains how Nietzsche became “the most absurdly bastardized philosopher in Hollywood.” It leads with a tellingly hilarious clip from The Sopranos in which A.J. calls the philosopher “Niche” and Tony tells him, “even if God is dead, you’re still gonna kiss his ass.”

We might half expect Tony to embrace the German philosopher. The way Nietzsche’s been interpreted seems to justify the principles of sociopaths. This should not be so. “In reality,” the video’s producers write at Slate, “Nietzsche was a very subtle thinker.” The two biggest misconceptions about Nietzsche, that he was a nihilist and an anti-Semite, get his philosophy grievously wrong. Nietzsche “wrote letters to his family and friends telling them to stop being anti-Semitic” (and calling anti-Semites “aborted fetuses.”) He famously broke off his intense friendship with Richard Wagner in part because of Wagner’s anti-Semitism. His work is not kind to Judaism, but he rages against anti-Semitism.

Far from endorsing nihilist ideas, Nietzsche feared their rise and consequences. So how did he become “a darling of Nazis and sad teenagers?” The caricature arose in part because readers from his day to ours have, like Tony Soprano, found his complete and total rejection of Judeo-Christian morality too shocking to get beyond, mischaracterizing it as tantamount to the rejection of all human values. On the contrary, Nietzsche argued for the “revaluation” of values, “the exact opposite of what one might expect,” he wrote,” not at all sad and gloomy, but much more like a new and barely describable type of light, happiness, relief, amusement, encouragement, dawn.”

Of course, the fact that Nietzsche—or a butchered version thereof—was co-opted by the Nazis did more to sully his name than anything he actually wrote. “By the time Nietzsche made his way into American pop culture,” says Arieh-Lerer, “we were predisposed to getting him wrong.” Nietzsche may have had some strange quasi-mystical conceptions, and he believed in a definite hierarchy of cultures, but he was not a racist or a psychopath. He has been as misunderstood as many of the sad teenagers who love him. Perhaps you will be moved to read him for yourself after seeing his rehabilitation above. If so, we can point you toward online editions of nearly all of his books here.

Related Content:

What Did Nietzsche Really Mean When He Wrote “God is Dead”?

Download Walter Kaufmann’s Lectures on Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre & Modern Thought (1960)

The Digital Nietzsche: Download Nietzsche’s Major Works as Free eBooks

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Bruce Lee’s Never Before Revealed Letters to Himself About Authenticity

Bruce Lee’s Never Before Revealed Letters to Himself About Authenticity, Personal Development, and the Measure of Success

“Where some people have a self, most people have a void, because they are too busy in wasting their vital creative energy to project themselves as this or that, dedicating their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like rather than actualizing their potentiality as a human being.”

“This is the entire essence of life: Who are you? What are you?” So wrote young Leo Tolstoy in his diary of moral development. Bruce Lee (November 27, 1940–July 20, 1973) was around Tolstoy’s age when he turned to this central question of existence more than a century later and approached it with the same subtleness of insight and sincerity of spirit with which he approached all of life.

Bruce Lee (Photograph courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)Bruce Lee (Photograph courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)

Revered by generations as the greatest martial artist in popular culture, Lee is increasingly being recognized as the unheralded philosopher that he was, from his famous metaphor for resilience to his recently revealed unpublished writings on willpower, imagination, and confidence. But his most intently philosophical work was the personal credo statement he wrote in the final year of his life, at the age of thirty-one, as a series of letters to himself under the heading “In My Own Process.” The piece underwent nine drafts, never finished and never published, which I’m delighted to share for the first time with special permission from Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, and the Bruce Lee Foundation.

Bruce Lee (Photograph courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)

The timing of “In My Own Process” is also significant, for Lee began writing it at a pivotal point in his life. After years of being sidelined by the Hollywood studio system, which continued to cast Caucasian actors to play Asian lead characters, Lee finally got his big break and was cast as the lead in Enter the Dragon, the script for which he helped write. But when Warner Brothers pushed to cut out all the philosophy and turn the film into a mindless action movie, Lee refused to show up on set in protest — he firmly believed that the kung fu was merely the vehicle for the deeper philosophical message, rather than the philosophy being a distraction from the kung fu, as Warner Brothers implied.

Well aware that his principles could cost him the fulfillment of his lifelong dream, he stood his ground. After a two-week standstill, the studio relented and let Lee keep the philosophical elements, so production began.

Bruce Lee on set (Photograph courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)

In the midst of this busiest and most tumultuous period of his career, Lee made deliberate time for self-reflection in drafting his credo. It was in these letters to himself, written in his third language over the course of several months on a colorful variety of stationery, that he arrived at the concept of being an “artist of life.” In them, he examines with great simplicity and wisdom some of the most elemental questions of existence. Decades before the Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert made his memorable assertion that “human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished,” Lee considers with acute self-awareness the mutability of what we experience as the “self.” Echoing the poet Laura Riding’s conviction that “nothing is really important but being oneself,” he maintains through the various revisions that all knowledge is self-knowledge — the seedbed of his oft-cited assertion that “the greatest help is self-help” — and that personal authenticity is the object of life and the only real measure of success.

“In My Own Process,” Draft 1 (Courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)

In the first draft, he writes:

Any attempt to write a somewhat meaningful article — or else why write it at all — on how I, Bruce Lee by name, emotionally feel or how my instinctive honest reaction toward circumstances is no easy task. Why? Because I am a changing as well as an ever-growing man. Thus what I held true a couple of months ago might not [be] the same now.

“In My Own Process,” Draft 2 (Courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)

In the second draft, after relaying the difficulty of conducting this self-examination in the midst of his grueling work schedule, he insists on the importance of personal authenticity above all else and considers the vital difference between what Hannah Arendt called being vs. appearing and Kahlil Gibran contrasted as the seeming self vs. the authentic self. Lee writes:

Of course, this writing can be made less demanding should I allow myself to indulge in the standard manipulating game of role playing, but my responsibility to myself disallows that… I do want to be honest, that is the least a human being can do… I have always been a martial artist by choice, an actor by profession, but above all, am actualizing myself someday to be an artist of life. Yes, there is a difference between self-actualization and self-image actualization.

“In My Own Process,” Draft 3 (Courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)

In the third draft, he considers our chronic fear of the unfamiliar in a sentiment of particular poignancy at this political moment:

Among people, a great majority don’t feel comfortable at all with the unknown — that is anything foreign that threatens their protected daily mould — so for the sake of their security, they construct chosen patterns to justify.

“In My Own Process,” Draft 4 (Courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)

In the fourth draft, Lee turns to the perpetual evolution of personhood, which renders the idea of static self-definition unnecessary and unhelpful:

I have come to accept life as a process, and am satisfied that in my ever-going process, I am constantly discovering, expanding, finding the cause of my ignorance, in martial art and especially in life. In short, to be real…

“In My Own Process,” Draft 5 (Courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)

In the fifth draft, the revisits the inherent paradox of the quest to define himself and his process:

I don’t believe in the manipulation game of creating a self image robot.

“In My Own Process,” Draft 6 (Courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)

“In My Own Process,” Draft 7 (Courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)

In the seventh draft, he echoes Walt Whitman’s incantation to “re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book,” and writes in a passage of especial relevance to our present epidemic of unquestioned “alternative facts”:

Surely we all admit that we are intelligent beings, though in reality we are being crammed with ready-made facts handed down to us ever since [childhood]. Some of us even went through college but something is the matter because … some of these facts are examined in the form of self-inquiry, but in most cases we accept most of these facts unexamined.

[…]

We possess a pair of eyes to help us to observe as well as to discover, yet most of us simply do not see in the true sense of the word. However, when it comes to observing faults in others, most of us are are quick to react with condemnation. But what about looking inwardly for a change? To personally examine who we really are and what we are, our merits as well as our faults — in short, to see oneself as [one] is for once and to take responsibility [for] oneself.

“In My Own Process,” Draft 8 (Courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)

In the penultimate draft, he turns from the intellectual dimension of self-knowledge to its emotional rewards:

I am happy because I am daily growing and honestly not knowing where the limit will yet lie. To be certain, every day can be a revelation or a new discovery. However, the most satisfaction is yet to come to hear another human being say, “Hey, here is something real.”

He touches on the deeper significance martial art held for him as a spiritual practice and not the merely the decorative performance Hollywood made it out to be:

By martial art I mean, like any art, an unrestricted expression of our individual soul… The human soul is what interests me. I live to express myself freely in creation.

Bruce Lee (Photograph courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)

Lee’s reflection on what it means to be a great actor applies equally to every art, as well as to the art of life itself:

An actor, a good actor that is, not the shallow stereotyped artist, is an ever-growing process of learning, expansion and constant discoveries… To be of quality in acting means … lots of painful hard work and lots of undivided dedication to practicing what one believes.

“In My Own Process,” Draft 9 (Courtesy of the Bruce Lee Foundation archive)

In the ninth and last draft — which is still a draft, for his untimely death intercepted the completion of the piece — Lee reassembles the mosaic of the intellectual, spiritual, and emotional dimensions of selfhood, and returns to his central ethos of personal authenticity:

Where some people have a self, most people have a void, because they are too busy in wasting their vital creative energy to project themselves as this or that, dedicating their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like rather than actualizing their potentiality as a human being, a sort of “being” vs. having — that is, we do not “have” mind, we are simply mind. We are what we are.

Complement with Lee on self-actualization and the crucial difference between pride and self-esteem and the philosophy and origin of his famous water metaphor, then hear Shannon Lee discuss her father’s work on “In My Own Process” with cohost Sharon Lee in this episode of the excellent Bruce Lee Podcast:

Story Of Reality

Image may contain: 1 person
 

I move from places to places. From villages to villages. Everyone calls me beggar Kulsum. You can call me too. No one knows from where I have come from. I never tell anyone who am I.

I had a mansion, surrounded by three ponds and four gardens. It was always hard to fall in sleep because the smell of the flowers was so strong at night. Often times I felt heaven is my home. And there was always my supportive husband.

Every morning I prepared uncountable cakes for him and he never let me to wear same saree more than a few times. I never allowed my maids to clean our in-houses; they were responsible for only outhouse.

I had passed forty seven years of our marriage life by making cakes, watering trees and wakening up at nights alone when he left for business in far places. I got married when I was ten; my husband was the only friend I had. I had passed my married life by making cakes and wondering at our beautiful gardens. My husband never let me feel alone in our child less life.

I remained happy in his light. One day I went to see one of my sick maids, there I accidently met a woman who was wearing the same wedding bangle I had. Eventually by my maid I found out that my husband kept his second marriage secret from me for twenty years. There he had two daughters and a son. I spent my nights by looking at his face and realized how much he had loved me. May be every day he thought to leave me, may be in every festival he wanted to spend his time with his new family, maybe he felt guilt when I put my right hand every night on his chest. ..

Because he had loved me and I was his only friend too. I wanted him to be happy without regret. I also wanted a happy memory of my very loving husband with our all ponds and gardens…I convinced one of my loyal maid to spread the news that I accidentally fell in river and swept away. She did it by the exchange of all my gold ornaments. You are talking to dead Umme Kulsum. She died twenty years ago. No one cried for her, neither I. Sometimes people ask me what they will do when I will die and what my last wish is. I said it to no one before you. If ever he arrives by searching me tell him I missed our home, gardens and him every single second of my life. But I wanted him to be free from my love.

His happiness is what I wanted if required by my life. And I do not regret what I had done. Sometimes in love you have to leave.

– Umme Kulsum

 
 

The Arrest

Anne Frank starts writing in her diary on her 13th birthday and also writes tales during the hiding period.

Anne Frank starts writing in her diary on her 13th birthday. She has no truly close friends to confide in, so in her diary she writes detailed letters to an imaginary girlfriend named Kitty.

Anne writes:

“I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but… it remains to be seen whether I really have talent.”

Anne Frank’s diary is published

Otto reads in Anne’s diary that she intended to publish a book after the war about her time in the secret annexe.

More…

Reactions to the diary

Otto received many letters after the publication of Anne’s diary.

More…

Online store

Buy the diary, other books, DVDs, museum catalogues and postcards!

To the online store

The last time she commits her feelings to paper is on August 1, 1944. Two years have passed and much has changed in her life. Those first few weeks after her birthday were “normal”: she went to school, worried about her report card, gossiped about her classmates… But by July 6 she has gone into hiding and is living in the Secret Annex with her parents and sister. A week later the Van Pels family arrives, and Fritz Pfeffer joins them all in November 1942.

A page from Anne’s diary

The long letters addressed to Kitty, the name she gave to her diary, are part of Anne’s diary from the very beginning. The diary becomes even more imporant to Anne during the hiding period, because she can entrust it with her innermost thoughts. On March 16, 1944, she realizes: The nicest part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feelings, otherwise I’d absolutely suffocate.”

 

During the hiding period, Anne does not only write in her diary. She also writes short stories. “A few weeks ago I started writing a story, something I made up from beginning to end, and I’ve enjoyed it so much that the products of my pen are piling up.” Some of her “Tales” she reads aloud to the people in hiding.

“Tales” book The table of contents of Anne’s ‘Tales” book, an account book in which she wrote short stories.

Besides her diary and the stories, Anne also writes her “favorite quotes” in a separate notebook. If she reads a sentence in a book and it makes an impression on her, she then copies it into that notebook. She gets the idea for doing this from her father. Sometimes, she reflects further about one of these “favorite quotes” by writing about it in her diary.

The notebook version is spread over several pages

The notebook version is spread over several pages, alongside simple doodles of a grave and male and female faces, possibly representing Oscar and Isola. An additional verse in the poem changed everything:

Had we not loved so well
Not loved at all
None would have tolled the bell
None borne the pall

Wilde’s cause and effect connection, between “we” loving so well and Isola’s death, had not been publicly recorded. Another unpublished fragment in the notebook was even more astonishing:

O bitter fate
When some long strangled memory of sin
Strikes with its poisoned knife into a heart
While she has slept at peace.

Those lines seem to have been moderated for the published version of Requiescat:

Coffin-board, heavy stone,
Lie on her breast
I vex my heart alone
She is at rest.

Close to the “O bitter fate” stanza in the notebook is another fragment:

The boy strangling the thing it loves

There are many references in Wilde’s works to “strangled” memories and killing the thing one loves. The latter phrase is used most famously in The Ballad of Reading Gaol, the poem inspired by Wilde’s prison sentence for gross indecency:

Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.

And later in the poem, when reflecting on an inmate hanged for murder:

But there were those amongst us all
Who walked with downcast head,
And knew that, had each got his due,
They should have died instead:
He had but killed a thing that lived,
Whilst they had killed the dead.

For he who sins a second time
Wakes a dead soul to pain,
And draws it from its spotted shroud,
And makes it bleed again,
And makes it bleed great gouts of blood,
And makes it bleed in vain!

Heap Earth Upon It

Wilde scholars have always known Oscar and Isola were close. There is a moving account of Oscar’s inconsolable grief following his sister’s death. As a child he frequently visited Isola’s grave, and decorated an envelope to preserve a lock of her hair, which he kept all his life. There’s also a description of Oscar in adulthood, recalling his sister “dancing like a golden sunbeam about the house”. In Wilde’s poem Requiescat (1881), written in memory of Isola, his love for her is palpable:

Tread lightly, she is near
Under the snow,
Speak gently, she can hear
The daisies grow.

All her bright golden hair
Tarnished with rust,
She that was young and fair
Fallen to dust.

Lily-like, white as snow,
She hardly knew
She was a woman, so
Sweetly she grew.

Coffin-board, heavy stone,
Lie on her breast,
I vex my heart alone,
She is at rest.

Peace, Peace, she cannot hear
Lyre or sonnet,
All my life’s buried here,
Heap earth upon it.

Avignon.

The Great Depression

 

The Great Depression (1929-39) was the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world. In the United States, the Great Depression began soon after the stock market crash of October 1929, which sent Wall Street into a panic and wiped out millions of investors. Over the next several years, consumer spending and investment dropped, causing steep declines in industrial output and rising levels of unemployment as failing companies laid off workers. By 1933, when the Great Depression reached its nadir, some 13 to 15 million Americans were unemployed and nearly half of the country’s banks had failed. Though the relief and reform measures put into place by President Franklin D. Roosevelt helped lessen the worst effects of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the economy would not fully turn around until after 1939, when World War II kicked American industry into high gear.

The American economy entered an ordinary recession during the summer of 1929, as consumer spending dropped and unsold goods began to pile up, slowing production. At the same time, stock prices continued to rise, and by the fall of that year had reached levels that could not be justified by anticipated future earnings. On October 24, 1929, the stock market bubble finally burst, as investors began dumping shares en masse. A record 12.9 million shares were traded that day, known as “Black Thursday.” Five days later, on “Black Tuesday” some 16 million shares were traded after another wave of panic swept Wall Street. Millions of shares ended up worthless, and those investors who had bought stocks “on margin” (with borrowed money) were wiped out completely.As consumer confidence vanished in the wake of the stock market crash, the downturn in spending and investment led factories and other businesses to slow down production and construction and begin firing their workers. For those who were lucky enough to remain employed, wages fell and buying power decreased. Many Americans forced to buy on credit fell into debt, and the number of foreclosures and repossessions climbed steadily. The adherence to the gold standard, which joined countries around the world in a fixed currency exchange, helped spread the Depression from the United States throughout the world, especially in Europe.
Despite assurances from President Herbert Hoover and other leaders that the crisis would run its course, matters continued to get worse over the next three years. By 1930, 4 million Americans looking for work could not find it; that number had risen to 6 million in 1931. Meanwhile, the country’s industrial production had dropped by half. Bread lines, soup kitchens and rising numbers of homeless people became more and more common in America’s towns and cities. Farmers (who had been struggling with their own economic depression for much of the 1920s due to drought and falling food prices) couldn’t afford to harvest their crops, and were forced to leave them rotting in the fields while people elsewhere starved.In the fall of 1930, the first of four waves of banking panics began, as large numbers of investors lost confidence in the solvency of their banks and demanded deposits in cash, forcing banks to liquidate loans in order to supplement their insufficient cash reserves on hand. Bank runs swept the United States again in the spring and fall of 1931 and the fall of 1932, and by early 1933 thousands of banks had closed their doors. In the face of this dire situation, Hoover’s administration tried supporting failing banks and other institutions with government loans; the idea was that the banks in turn would loan to businesses, which would be able to hire back their employees.
Hoover, a Republican who had formerly served as U.S. secretary of commerce, believed that government should not directly intervene in the economy, and that it did not have the responsibility to create jobs or provide economic relief for its citizens. In 1932, however, with the country mired in the depths of the Great Depression and some 13-15 million people (or more than 20 percent of the U.S. population at the time) unemployed, Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt won an overwhelming victory in the presidential election. By Inauguration Day (March 4, 1933), every U.S. state had ordered all remaining banks to close at the end of the fourth wave of banking panics, and the U.S. Treasury didn’t have enough cash to pay all government workers. Nonetheless, FDR (as he was known) projected a calm energy and optimism, famously declaring that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”Roosevelt took immediate action to address the country’s economic woes, first announcing a four-day “bank holiday” during which all banks would close so that Congress could pass reform legislation and reopen those banks determined to be sound. He also began addressing the public directly over the radio in a series of talks, and these so-called “fireside chats” went a long way towards restoring public confidence. During Roosevelt’s first 100 days in office, his administration passed legislation that aimed to stabilize industrial and agricultural production, create jobs and stimulate recovery. In addition, Roosevelt sought to reform the financial system, creating the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to protect depositors’ accounts and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate the stock market and prevent abuses of the kind that led to the 1929 crash.

Among the programs and institutions of the New Deal that aided in recovery from the Great Depression were the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which built dams and hydroelectric projects to control flooding and provide electric power to the impoverished Tennessee Valley region of the South, and the Works Project Administration (WPA), a permanent jobs program that employed 8.5 million people from 1935 to 1943. After showing early signs of recovery beginning in the spring of 1933, the economy continued to improve throughout the next three years, during which real GDP (adjusted for inflation) grew at an average rate of 9 percent per year. A sharp recession hit in 1937, caused in part by the Federal Reserve’s decision to increase its requirements for money in reserve. Though the economy began improving again in 1938, this second severe contraction reversed many of the gains in production and employment and prolonged the effects of the Great Depression through the end of the decade.

Depression-era hardships had fueled the rise of extremist political movements in various European countries, most notably that of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany. German aggression led war to break out in Europe in 1939, and the WPA turned its attention to strengthening the military infrastructure of the United States, even as the country maintained its neutrality. With Roosevelt’s decision to support Britain and France in the struggle against Germany and the other Axis Powers, defense manufacturing geared up, producing more and more private sector jobs. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 led to an American declaration of war, and the nation’s factories went back in full production mode. This expanding industrial production, as well as widespread conscription beginning in 1942, reduced the unemployment rate to below its pre-Depression level.

When the Great Depression began, the United States was the only industrialized country in the world without some form of unemployment insurance or social security. In 1935, Congress passed the Social Security Act, which for the first time provided Americans with unemployment, disability and pensions for old age.

Serial Killers | John Wayne Gacy – Killer Clown

John Gacy with Rosalynn Carter

This image to the left is of John Wayne Gacy, pictured here with Rosalynn Carter in 1978. Just looking at this photo one cannot begin to believe that this could be the same John Gacy who had already killed over 30 men before this photo was taken. In fact Rosalynn Carter who was the first lady at the time of this photograph even signed the picture “To John Gacy. Best Wishes Rosalynn Carter” and it gets better.
In this picture Gacy is wearing an “S” Pin. These are given to people who have been given special clearance by The United States Secret Service . As you can imagine they were a little embarrassed after it was discovered what Gacy really was.
John Wayne Gacy got the nick name “The Killer Clown” because he used to entertain local children in a clown suit. He used the name Pogo The Clown, but this clown was not all he seemed. The murders started in 1972 and continued up to 1978.

Gacy was married to Marlynn Myers in 1964 and her parents purchased a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) Franchise. Gacy became the manager of one of the outlets. Gacy was named outstanding Vice President of the Jaycees in 1967. It was around this time that Gacy started up a club in his basement, and used to invite young boys around, feed them up on alcohol and come onto them. By the end of 1968 Gacy had been arrested and convicted of Sodomy and was sentenced to 10 years in the Iowa State Penitentiary. [So much for the model citizen!]

His wife filed for divorce and he was paroled in 1970 after serving only 18 months. [Guess he was a model prisoner] In 1971 with some financial help from his mother Gacy purchased a house in Chicago. Under the floor of this house was a crawl space, four feet deep. Gacy kept trying to get it on with young boys, and was taken to court on two occasions in 1971 and 1972, for disorderly conduct and battery. Both times charges were dropped by Chicago Police. In June 1972 Gacy remarried.

Carole Hoff was an old teenage friend of Gacy’s and she and her two daughters moved in with Gacy. In 1975 Gacy started his own business, a construction company and around the same time his second marriage was on the rocks, after the couples sex life came to a halt and Carole found wallets with Young Men’s I.D’s in the house. Gacy was also bringing home Gay Porn. Needless to say the marriage was over, and they divorced in 1976.

It was from this point on, that the killing really increased. In 1977 a 19 year old man laid a complaint with Chicago Police, that Gacy had kidnapped him at gunpoint and forced him into sex and again Chicago Police took no action. In March 1978 Gacy lured another young man into his car and chloroformed him, then took him back to his house where he raped and tortured him then dumped him in a park. Police could not find the offender, but the young man remembered a black Oldsmobile, the Kennedy Expressway and some side streets. The victim did some detective work of his own and staked out the exit on the Kennedy Expressway. He saw the Oldsmobile and followed it to Gacy’s home. Police issued a warrant and arrested Gacy on July 15th.

As Gacy was awaiting trial for battery charges relating to this event a 15 year old boy disappeared from a Des Plaines Pharmacy where he worked on December the 11th 1978. He told a fellow employee he was going down the street to see some guy about a construction job. Gacy had been at the Pharmacy earlier, but denied this and talking to the boy, when police called the next day. But unlike the Chicago police force the Des Plaines police checked Gacy’s record and discovered he had been in prison for Sodomy.

Detectives searched Gacy’s home on December the 13th and found some really suspect stuff. Drivers Licences for other people, a 1975 high school class ring, some handcuffs, clothing too small for Gacy, a syringe, and a piece of two by four with holes drilled in the ends, and a receipt from the Pharmacy where the 15 year old had gone missing. They also smelt a foul odour coming from the crawlspace under the house. The ring was traced to John Szyc who disappeared in January 1977.

On December the 21st 1978, one of Gacy’s employees told police that Gacy had confessed to more then 30 murders. Police issued a second search warrant and returned to Gacy’s home. This time they searched the crawl space and found human bones. Gacy was informed he was to face murder charges and told investigators he was responsible for some 25 to 30 murders. He even drew them a diagram of the crawl space showing where the bodies were buried. Gacy then told how he would pick up male prostitutes and male teenage runaways then take them back to his house. Then he would handcuff them, and stuff clothing in their mouths, so their screams couldn’t be heard. Then he would choke them and sexually assault them. Gacy like Ted Bundy would keep the bodies, until they decomposed.

For 4 months they pulled human remains out of his crawlspace, and a total of 29 bodies were found in the crawlspace and his property. [He ran out of room in the crawlspace, so he buried them outside] The youngest victims were 14 years old. Gacy’s trial began in Chicago, on February the 6th 1980. He plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Gacy even claimed the deaths were accidental as part of erotic asphyxia, but of course he had already confessed. He even joked that the only thing he was guilty of was running a cemetery without a license. [Funny Guy!] He was found guilty on March the 13th and sentenced to death.

On May 10th 1994, Gacy was put to death by lethal injection at the Stateville Correctional Center. His last meal: One dozen deep fried shrimp, a bucket of original recipe chicken from [You guessed it] KFC and a pound of fresh strawberries and french fries. John Wayne Gacy’s last words “Kiss My Ass” His brain was removed after his execution and is in the possession of Dr Helen Morrison. Wonder if she keeps it on the mantelpiece……Read More On John Gacy

John Wayne Gacy Movies


Gacy “Gacy” 2003
The most prolific serial killer in American history, John Wayne Gacy (Mark Holton) kept his secret by appearing as a model citizen in his suburban Chicago neighborhood–even going so far as to volunteer as a clown at a local hospital. But as other side became known, a nation watched in horror as 30 brutal murders were traced back to Gacy, and the bodies were discovered in the crawlspace under his home. GACY is a disturbing account of the sickening deeds of this real life monster.