IMOTA # 10 Clint Eastwood

Hollywood great Clint Eastwood, who was born this date in 1930, is a softly speaking icon of modern Western masculinity.

For his wonderful words, I name him an Indigenous Man Of The Anglosphere (IMOTA):

“I’m just a kid – I’ve got a lot of stuff to do yet.”

“Let’s not go and ruin it by thinking too much.”

“If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.”

“They say all marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning.”

“We boil at different degrees.”

“Man becomes his most creative during war.”

“There’s a rebel lying deep in my soul.”

“Men must know their limitations.”

“I keep working because I learn something new all the time.”

“My whole life has been one big improvisation.”

God Bless Clint Eastwood

Geoff Fox, 31 May, 2023, Down Under

Previous men named as IMOTA are:

  1. John Wycliffe
  2. Douglas MacArthur
  3. George Pell
  4. R.S. Thomas
  5. Donald Trump
  6. John Barrymore
  7. William Shatner
  8. Thomas Jefferson
  9. Count Basie

The Fabric Of Society #1 Freedom

I am a libertarian.

To me, freedom looks like the essential glue or fabric for society.

(An alternative view would be to say that the dichotomy of Freedom well balanced with Discipline (FbD) is what holds us together.)

But today, on my birthday, I speculate that my poet’s etymological analysis of the word “freedom” can give us both freedom and discipline in one. To do this I first suggest that the roots of the word “freedom” can lead us to call it the home or homes where we can feel free.

This might not actually be what happened in the evolution of language.

But I think it is is worth embracing because I believe it represents what we need.

It’s my birthday.

I am a poet.

So I am taking liberties with in offering this explanation of “freedom”, which literalists might dislike but others might enjoy.

For me, the word “freedom” combines the adjective “free” with the Latin word “domus” or home to mean a home where someone can feel free.

This works for me as the FbD I mentioned above.

Freedom balanced with discipline.

Homes are, or were, most commonly (like the homes I grew up in, first in Canberra, then in Melbourne) heterosexual places where parents raised kids. So there had to be rules.

One online etymological source says that the word “freedom” comes from the Old English “free” and “doom” meaning “regulation” or “statute”. Meaning, I presume, “no regulations”, “no statutes” or what some might call “anarchy”.

I prefer my flight of fancy in going back to the Latin which I studied in my youth for ten years. Maybe “domus” is where “doom” came from.

So, now, on my birthday, I feel I can say:

“Freedom is the home(s) where we feel free.”

A personal definition.

Humane.

Non-authoritarian.

Who agrees?

Geoff Fox, 23rd May, 2023, Down Under

PS I thank the United States Of America for how much help I can get online in artistically pursuing this idea and other libertarian ideas from so many of America’s wonderful freedom lovers like Tulsi Gabbard.

The above piece of word art is a photograph of Tulsi authored by Tulsi with words added by me. This resulting piece of word art is published by me under a GNU Free Documentation License, version 1.2.

IWOTA #5 Mary Astor

Actress and novelist Mary Astor was born on May 3rd, 1906.

I have no hesitation in calling her a gifted English language wordsmith and therefore an important Indigenous Woman Of The Anglosphere. (IWOTA)

At Astor’s first screen test, director Lillian Gish was so impressed by the teenager’s recitation of Shakespeare that Lillian shot 1,000 feet of footage.

In making the 1941 movie “The Great Lie”, Bette Davis insisted that a difficult to cast role be given to Astor because Davis liked to work with good actresses who would bring out the best in her. Astor understood this type of risk taking, as opposed to dull self-protective caution, later writing: “Our security must be threatened in order for us to appreciate it.”

In addition, Davis was sufficiently impressed by Astor’s mind that Davis got together with her to rewrite their dialogue. Davis told Astor that “it’s up to us to rewrite this piece of junk to make it more interesting.” Astor won the movie’s only award, the supporting actress Oscar for her portrayal of pianist Sandra Kovak. In her acceptance speech, Astor thanked Bette Davis and Tchaikovsky. Astor and Davis met through that movie and remained good friends.

In the same year, in John Huston’s “The Maltese Falcon”, Astor played opposite Humphrey Bogart as the femme fatale Brigid O’Shaughnessy. 

Words she wrote in 1971 may explain why she was so good at that role in the less “liberated” 1940’s : “Sex as something beautiful may soon disappear. Once it was a knife so finely honed the edge was invisible until it was touched and then it cut deep. Now it is so blunt that it merely bruises and leaves ugly marks.”

She also showed deep social and human insight in writing about nationhood and people: “A person without a memory is either a child or an amnesiac. A country without a memory is neither a child nor an amnesiac, but neither is it a country.”

Mary Astor, an actress revered by many who love film and a quality thinker way past her youth.

And a bona fide babe.

Geoff Fox, 3rd May, 2023, Down Under

Mystery Women #1 Greta Garbo

Who can make sense of Greta Garbo?

She died 23 years ago today.

She told us: “I like the sea; we understand one another. It is always yearning, sighing for something it cannot have; and so am I.”

and

“Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.”

Who can make sense of Greta Garbo?

Greta Garbo was born Swedish and became an American movie star.

Did she become American?

Geoff Fox, 15th April, 2023, Down Under

Women For Freedom #26 Maria Tallchief

Maria Tallchief of the Osage Indian Nation died on this date in 2013. She had revolutionised ballet in America with her athleticism, commitment and skill. She was known for “dazzling audiences with her speed, energy and fire” and an “electrifying passion.”

Artistic Director, Ashley Wheater said of Tallchief, “there is a burning passion she brought to her dancing ………. she was consumed both inside and out. She was not just a great dancer, but a real artist …….. who brought her personality to bear on the dancing.”

Maria’s mother took the family to California so Maria and her sister, Marjorie, could learn to dance and strive to be among the best in the world. “Being a ballerina,” said Maria later on, “is like being a five-star general.”

In New York, she became America’s first major Prima Ballerina.

“A ballerina ” she said, ” takes steps given to her and makes them her own. Each individual brings something different to the same role.”

In Maria’s America, freedom, family and disciplined effort worked out fine.

Geoff Fox, 11th April, 2023, Down Under