Saturday, May 5, 2012

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

Tonight's sky should have one of those occasional celestial displays : the largest moon of the year, as it will be full and nearly the closest to Earth it gets.

Naked eye and binocular astronomy is always rewarding and can be deeply moving when you realize what it is you are seeing.

Franco Zeffirelli's glorious "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" is a reminder -- if one were needed -- how rewarding the simplest things and the faith that goes with them can be.

I don't know how much longer this HD internet version will be available from YouTube, as I'm sure the copyright bots are busy scouring the web for violations. But I hadn't seen the movie in 40 years, and it was an extraordinary experience to see it again today.

No matter how lapsed we may be, the stories of the Saints, particularly St. Francis for me, can still inspire and uplift.


  1. Che,
    This has nothing to do with your post, which is lovely, but with a strange (or not so strange) story about a police department deliberately feeding drugs to Occupy people. It appears that the Occupiers are an easy target, being mostly jobless and poor, to be incentivized to take part in the cops' "drug recognition study"; a person is invited to participate, and given drugs as well as some "payment" such as food or cigs. The participants are then studied so the cops can learn to recognize signs of insobriety and then dumped back on the streets. Along the way, a urine sample is collected - and you have to wonder how long it will take for these samples to show up as "evidence" against the Occupiers. Other assorted ideas spring to mind: keeping the protesters too stoned to bother anyone, getting people hooked on various shit, and of course, the obvious - what if what the cops are giving them is not just weed, but laced with something else?

    Jonathan Turley guest article which includes a link to the 35-minute video:

    Here is a shorter RT interview with one of the producers of the original video:


  2. Oh, PS, Che,

    Be sure to read the comments section on the Turley article; some very good stuff in there.


  3. Teri,

    I saw the video a while ago, and it was... unsettling to say the least.

    The idea that the police are actively recruiting vulnerable people and feeding them drugs to "study" them has been around in one form or another for some time now, but this is the first case I can recall where there is documentary evidence. The cops involved seem to be proud of themselves, too. After all, they got a grant and such to do what they are doing.

    I could be wrong, but it seems to me the Occupy context is simply a matter of convenience on the knowledge that there are plenty of vulnerable targets around.

    What gets me is the willingness of those targets to go with the cops to engage in this "study." What?! How is it that these people are so naive as to do such a thing?

    That's what I want to know.

  4. Yeah, that gets me too. I mean, how dumb do you have to be to take drugs offered by a cop? Besides, after what the cops have been doing to the Occupies all over the country, why would these people voluntarily go anywhere with them? And how dumb do you have to be to think you can outsmart the guys who already have all the equipment, manpower, and money if you're spacing out on the old ganja all the time? Yeah, yeah, legalization and all that, but the truth is, stoned people don't get much done and are not that interesting to talk to. And can't plan anything for jackshit. And maybe that's what the cops are hoping for....their own little "keep 'em too stoned to storm the Bastille" thing.

  5. My instinct is pretty much the same as yours: this may be an effort to disable the Occupy movement through keeping the participants too stoned to function (thus the real motive of the "study," eh? Who wouldn't give a grant for that?)

    Still the question remains. Are these people so naive (or needy?) that they trust the police in Minneapolis who are driving them out the airport for cripesake (quite a distance from downtown) to get high? I mean, WTF?

    Dudes, do you have any functioning brain cells left?