Tuesday, December 21, 2004

A Slice from the HunkerDown

HunkerDown ... a good name for a town in a future history novel, maybe. Or just the place I'm in. You pick. Perspective is where you find it. ;-) I've found countless things I could have blogged on in the last five days, but either everyone else was blogging about them, or I didn't think them worth the bits flying through the ether.

So here's the slice from my HunkerDown for today. As I mentioned in comments down-blog I had to bite the bullet and see the CPA for the mess of a tax situation I find myself in again. If you ask I'll give details, but I don't think I need to since most of us in the US are used to the thuggishness of the breed of theives called Tax Collectors. I think they used to be called "revenuers", eh?

So I did that. Saw the nice old man who is going to make it "all clear" for me. Then I went to the local jazz club where Mr. Keys tunes piano once a week, and we eat lunch as part of the deal. It's very laid back and "civilized". We read. We eat. He tunes. We leave a tip. While there we get to read the NY Times and the LA Times and I found one of the people I would nominate for a member of the planetary consortium, another one of my Persons of the Year: George L. Campbell, linguist extraordinary. I found him on the obituary page of the LA Times. (his photo left, not my CPA... LOL!)

I'm going to give you a login and password from BugMeNot.com, because I really, really want you read this man's 1/3 page obit. I don't know why I didn't know about him. But I'm adding him to my list for The Consortium because this is the kind of person I think should be running the Happy Planet. Someone with a brain that makes mine look like an ancephalitic infant's brain.
"Campbell, who was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records during the 1980s as one of the world's greatest living linguists, could speak and write fluently in at least 44 languages and had a working knowledge of about 20 others.

He was the author of "The Compendium of the World's Languages," a two-volume work that includes articles on more than 250 tongues, along with a summary of each language's geographic location, its relation to other languages and the number of speakers.

As British author Anthony Burgess noted in a 1991 review of the compendium, Campbell had a ways to go to master the world's thousand-odd languages but was a "genuine polyglot" nonetheless. Burgess predicted that the book, which he said had been "created out of a few mouthfuls of air," would be "a lifelong delight.""

George L. Campbell died at 92.
Sucks to be us, eh? Maybe it's just me. I have a reverse Midas touch. LOL.

As I was sitting in Steamer's (the jazz club) reading this, my heart and mind sang together and cried out at the same time wondering why human beings don't understand about who we could be choosing as wise counsel on a continent-level, world-level. I don't get it. I may never get it. I don't know why men like George Campbell are not the "leaders" of the world, except I sorta do, because if I had that kind of genius, I wouldn't want to be involved with the insanity either. I would say, "no thanks".

Please try this login and password and read. From BugMeNot.com: login: fortheloveofbug password: menot.com I think the print version has more info, but even so, it's a good read. George L. Campbell, 92; Fluent in More Than 40 Languages

Muscle and political power don't impress me. Human brains and minds like this do. Mother Universe love you, George, all along your way.