Monday, August 18, 2014

Tal Riff on Kites : the chiringa !

Some late night writing of Pop's that I found in his pre-stroke emails. 

"It gave me the idea of teaching prisoners to make the little Chiringa* folded paper kite, which they could fly up and over the high prison walls. This idea didn't come about; a victim of worries of untrustworthiness and abuses (which did seem not completely unreasonable) but also, perhaps an underlying thought, a primary punishment, the loss of freedom in both spirit and substance.
It's something perhaps still possible in a more gentle and generous time.

This kite suggestion or proposal is something which might come to fruition on the web, reaching such a big audience..

Another kite-related thought, unrealized, in this similar subversive vein, one which has yet to see the the light of day: plans for a simple paper kite, in the shape and three-dimensional rendering of an old fashioned bomb. Black, with a yellow "Have a Happy Day, smiling face image" on it---which I imagined as anonymous “lesson,” several of these Happy Day Bomb kites flown  over small town centers (parks), the insurgent flyer catching the end of the kites flying string, high in a tree limb.

I see this as bringing to light a very emotional response from viewers, a consciousness-raising, for several quite different viewers both good and evil, The good response: "My god, will you look at that," The evil, calling the sheriff, “Hey "get that damn thing down from there.

Raising the question, “How's it feel to think of bombs raining down on your little community, pretty much anywhere throughout our United States.

Still, I don't “rightly know” as we say here and there, that this is an acceptable project for me to suggest: I've fairly frequently been asked to put well-meaning social messages on kites (a save the whales kite, for example and advertising (which I never seriously considered, although it’s a common practice).  

I've always turned to the thought that kites should remain in a kind of primary, pure formsomething beautiful flying in the sky."

* What might a Chiringa folded kite look like folks ? Any idea ? - Lissa  Verbank , 2014 

found this : "la chiringa es diferente al papalote o cometa, la chringa es hecha solo de papel, no tiene armazon de madera" . Lissa guessing translation : la chiringa is made only with paper and doesn't have wooden "bones".    
So still looking for a picture of just what this Cuban kite called a chiringa looks like !  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tal Humor : On Collecting

"One is nice. Shows interest and that you have a eye. Two ? Its just a pair, Bruce. Three ? Now you are getting started !  If you want someone to take you seriously, to take your collection seriously, these are the first three rules, a beginning collector must follow. "

Another nugget of Tal humor that came to Bruce as he packed up yet a third copy of this or that. 

Verbank, August 2014 

Tal Humor : Brigadier Generals

Bruce George is here in Verbank helping us pack up and he is a goldmine of Tal Humour. 

One that I liked : Pop answering Bruce when he asked him how he wanted his beard trimmed : "Like an artist ? Or an insurance salesman ?" 

Pop replied : "Neither ! I wanna look like a fuckin brigadier general !" 

Bruce persevered : "Like from the Civil War ? " You got it ! he replied " 

Having been a second lieutenant in the Signal Core in the fifties and sixties, stationed in Fort Riley Kansas with BIg Red One, Pop had unexpected affection for his days in the Army.

He was famous for having lost his rifle in his first week as an enlisted man. He wasn't issued a second one. As second lieutenant, his responsibilities included drilling the guys during parade. Apparently the first time he went out to this chore, not one man followed his instruction. So thereafter, his Sargent did all the marching orders and Pop was relieved from that duty for the rest of his career and could concentrate solely on filmmaking AND writing speeches for brigadier generals. Aha moment ! So that's how we get to the "brigadier general" ! 

He ended up being discharged as a Captain. 

Post-stroke, as his left brain spun out of control, he believed he was preparing to reintegrate and participate in building the "New Army ". 

One idea was for a "Green Core " where the military helped needy farmers with their crops.

Another : military cemeteries with spots for both enlisted parents. 

Pop was very concerned that children that had lost both parents would have to travel to two different places to visit the family grave. This last one he told all his aides in Manhattan ! Many of whom had a spouse or family in Iraq or Afghanistan.

His heart was in the right place My mother and I would say apologizing to yet another person recounting this each morning ! 

Verbank, 2014