Pour a Sip

George KGeorge K Super ModeratorPosts: 8,829 Senior Member
edited August 12 in The Lodge #1

For V.S. Naipaul, perhaps the most elegant writer of prose in English in the last fifty or so years.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-people-naipaul/nobel-prize-winning-author-v-s-naipaul-dies-aged-85-bbc-idUSKBN1KW0MX

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/11/obituaries/vs-naipaul-dead-author-nobel-prize.html?action=click&module=RelatedCoverage&pgtype=Article&region=Footer

An appraisal: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/12/books/vs-naipaul-appraisal.html?hpw&rref=books&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

I particularly like "Guerrillas", which managed to ****-off both lefties and righties by exposing their hypocrisies. I met him through mutual acquaintances in Buenos Aires in the early 1970s. He quite literally had to sneak out of town in the dead of night after publishing a piece in the English language Buenos Aires Herald in which he referred to Evita Peron's "fellatio red lips" as the main source of her appeal.

Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.

Replies

  • sherbsherb Senior Member Posts: 2,180 Senior Member

    You have led the life, mon ami.

  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 8,829 Senior Member

    A fringe benefit of my job.

    Being tear gassed in Pakistan by riot police, shot at by a dimwitted sentry on a Paraguayan road who had no fuel for his lantern because his Capitan used the unit funds to build his house and being named by a Maoist German radical group as the director of covert U.S. military activities in northern Europe and Scandinavia because my unclassified bio showed that I served in the Army were some of the less glamorous bennies.

    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 5,616 Senior Member

    Maoist Germans. That’s the kind of stuff that is stranger than fiction.

  • creekyguycreekyguy Posts: 145 Senior Member
    edited August 13 #5

    Covert military activities in Scandinavia!? Sinking Russian submarines? Weaponizing Reindeer? Spey rods that convert to rifles? The mind boggles.
    Well now, in this day and age, that accusation is as good as real evidence.

    You know, its always good when people think you may be deadly. Like when when you have a cousin in the mob.

  • creekyguycreekyguy Posts: 145 Senior Member

    @Shawn C. said:
    Maoist Germans. That’s the kind of stuff that is stranger than fiction.

    Uhh, Karl Marx was German all the way. They are never happy it seems.

  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 8,829 Senior Member

    People who think politics are crazy now don'y know about or remember the '60s and '70s. When I was in Sweden other crazy stuff besides being accused by German Maoists happened (aside - that was because I was the only Embassy officer whose published biography showed military service. In 1976 or so the Biographic Registry became LOU - semi-classified - and no longer a public document).

    The Embassy and U.S. trade Center, where I worked, often were picketed by anti Viet Nam war protesters who declared themselves "the Swedish Branch of the Viet Cong". Being Swedes, though, they were polite and did not make it personal. They allowed us to come and go peacefully and some would exchange greetings - "good morning, good evening, have a nice weekend". In retrospect it all seems a little surreal.

    Another time Swedish intelligence picked-up information that a terrorist cell (it may have been the Japanese Red Army, I do not remember) had infiltrated Sweden and was out to kill or kidnap diplomats from several nations, including the U.S. The police did not have the manpower to extend protection. Instead they encouraged us to arm ourselves, and notified Stockholm gun dealers that anyone with a diplomatic passport from the affected countries could buy weapons with no additional licensing or paperwork. I picked up a vintage pocketable Belgian Melior, a .380 I think, that I had for years and never fired except at targets.

    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • creekyguycreekyguy Posts: 145 Senior Member

    @George K said:
    People who think politics are crazy now don'y know about or remember the '60s and '70s.

    That reminds me of the great Loyalty Oath controversy of about 1950 or so at UC Berkeley. I was in grade school, but even then wondered what the point was if a true atheist commie agent would certainly sign it with glee. It was satirized in Catch 22 even.

  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 21,721 Senior Member
    edited August 14 #10

    ""good morning, good evening, have a nice weekend" Followed by you Yankee Imperialist Dog!

    Why is it this whole thing sounds like a scene from "One Two Three?"

    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 8,829 Senior Member

    @jbilly said:

    @George K said:
    A fringe benefit of my job.

    Being tear gassed in Pakistan by riot police, shot at by a dimwitted sentry on a Paraguayan road who had no fuel for his lantern because his Capitan used the unit funds to build his house and being named by a Maoist German radical group as the director of covert U.S. military activities in northern Europe and Scandinavia because my unclassified bio showed that I served in the Army were some of the less glamorous bennies.

    All those who think George wasn't a spy raise your hand.

    No hands up I see

    I put-up with ignorant or paranoid suspicion my entire Foreign Service career. It doesn't bother me here. In any event I am far too lazy, and valued my personal and family life far too much to work both cover and real jobs as intelligence officers under even the lightest of cover must do. :)

    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • Green Mt BoyGreen Mt Boy Senior Member Posts: 682 Senior Member

    My uncle-my father’s sister’s husband, Mark Wyatt, was in the CIA. Growing up we were told he was in the Foreign Service. After he left The Company he was open about his service. I remember visiting him after he retired and he was entertaining a Russian defector who had been in the states for some time. The guy looked and acted totally American-he ran the BBQ grill like a pro-but his thick accent gave him away.

    See: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._Mark_Wyatt

  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 8,829 Senior Member

    The article makes a very common error that even journalists who should know better perpetuate. Your uncle was a CIA officer, not an agent. Depending on his specific job he may have "ran" that is, managed, "agents" or "assets", who were locals who were either paid to betray their countries or did it for political or ideological reasons, or third country nationals who did it for money or political reasons.

    The idea of paying people to commit treason was reason enough for me never to work for "the Company" or other agencies that dare not speak their names.

    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • Green Mt BoyGreen Mt Boy Senior Member Posts: 682 Senior Member

    Yes, he was an officer. When he retired he was the equivalent to a brigadier general. Note that he did a stint in Saigon. He never said what he did and I didn’t ask.

  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 8,829 Senior Member

    I'm not sure what their PER system is like. The FS system for officers is military-style up or out because of time in class. I retired as the equivalent of another old colonel/GS-15 who did not make the cut to brigadier/SCS. To use our jargon, "I got TIC'd" (ticked).

    When I was in the Army in Viet Nam in 1966-67 as an E-3/4 my uncle, a retired Army mustang **** major. worked for "USAID" in Saigon. He lived in a high rise building in the first two or three floors of which lived young German nurses under some sort or foreign aid program. When this became known, often when an officer or senior NCO in my battalion was sent to Saigon I was requested to accompany him as an aide, driver or interpreter, having had a whole three weeks of Vietnamese language training.. The deal was that I would get them a date with a a German nurse and they would not bother me until we had to go back to the field.

    My uncle and I had lots of good times at various clubs and restaurants. I asked him why he, a career quartermaster corps NCO and officer, had so many friends who were Americans who were vague about what they did and Brit ex-military counter-insurgency experts who had served during the Malaysian insurgency. He would smile and change the subject.

    Years later when we both were retired he told me what I long had realized, that he went from the Army to the CIA. We were discussing Frank Snepp's book and it turned out I knew the last station chief n Saigon. He had been the station chief in Buenos Aires, my first post (1970-1972). He was a hard core cold warrior, a naturalized Hungarian who fled Hungary after the failed 1956 uprising. The story of how he made his mark within the Agency is for another day, otherwise this post would exceed Kanman proportions.

    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 8,829 Senior Member

    The **** above is for c-u-m. Apparently the new software does not recognize Latin terms commonly used in English. :)

    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.

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