Sep 10, 2005

Chapter 39


Lancaster down. Resolute, NorthWest Territories
The crew walked away, laughing.
Construction of the Distant Early Warning Line

Resolute Bay
NorthWest Territories
Nov. 13, 1949

….I am writing this quickly because there is an airplane coming in for emergency medical evac – Leonard’s brother is very sick and they have to get him out of here, so I will be able to send this letter with the aircrew who will mail it for me.
We may have to get out of here by the 21st because the R.C.A.F. says they can send a plane to pick us up before then but maybe not later. Maybe to the end of November, but they are not sure the weather will hold, and they are having too many planes go down.
There is another job I want to get to – it’s for the U.S.A.F. at Eureka Bay, 600 miles north of Resolute and only 200 miles from the North Pole. It is the last piece of land between here and the Pole, after that it is all ice. The U.S.A.F. are in a very big hurry to get a building up; they want volunteers from Resolute to go there for five to seven days to finish it; and we would each get $80 for the week, which is very good pay.
So I signed up and the U.S.A.F. sent in three air force planes and one took the first run to Eureka okay but when they took off to come back, the plane would not climb, it was covered in ice, and they flew about a mile and then crashed into a hill.
Some of the guys got cold feet for the next flight. But the second plane took off from Resolute and went north and they got to Eureka but the weather closed in and they could not see the ground so they turned around and came back here, they could still not see but we heard them circling and so we went and filled empty coffee cans with kerosene and a roll of toilet paper in each one as a wick, and then we put them on the ice in two rows and lit them – looked just like a real runway lit up with flares. They landed okay and had hardly any fuel left, maybe 5 minutes more and they would have gone down. So some more guys got cold feet. So this morning the third plane tried and they got to Eureka but crashed while landing, the plane is totally wrecked, so the U.S.A.F. were not happy because they lost two of the three airplanes in the first two days. So I did not get to go yet, and they said they are lacking aircrews to come here. It’s not popular with the aircrews to fly up here. So now there’s only a few of us waiting to go to Eureka but the R.C.A.F. says if we don’t get back to Resolute in five days it may be too late for them to pick us up here.

There’s more gravel that snow here and it was 28 below and of course that lovely wind which makes it seem so much colder. I had a high fever for a few days but I did not stop working. When I get home I will have to hunt a deer or two so tell them to keep space in the food locker. Also if you could call Donald’s wife at 227R to tell her he is okay but he is too damn lazy to write.

P.S. (Later) Another plane tried to go to Eureka but could not make it and came back, so the U.S.A.F. has called it off until next year. The weather is closing in bad so the R.C.A.F. sent a North Star to get us out of here but two hours north of Churchill it lost power in one engine and had to go back to Churchill, so they are calling in another plane to come tomorrow morning. Then they will need two more flights to get us all out, if they can land, so I don’t know which plane I will be on. We are burning kerosene in coffee cans a lot now so if there is plane up there circling around trying to find us, they will look down and see those two rows of fire showing where to land. The aircrews really appreciate it; everything else is in darkness.
This will be my last letter; will be home soon.
Ronald Edward Dawson (my father)

--------------- aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ---------------


This is Inter-mission. Visibility is low; the End Game has started and they changed all the rules again, and the disease wants to make me a passenger in my own life. I will wait and see if this squall is fixing to be a storm. The sky is turning greenish brown. A wind begins to howl. The water looks black. I hate the ocean in a storm.

From Curtis:
In military academy courses for counter-intelligence agents, all the wars of history are studied; all the weapons, all the strategies, all that happens to who wins and to who loses, and how it starts up again in almost every generation since Cain killed Abel and put up a fence.

Situation: It’s the mid-1970’s. The Cold War is a real war. You are captain of a Soviet Typhoon Class nuclear sub, 38,000 tons displacement, the largest submarine ever built. You can stay completely submerged for up to one entire year, and you can launch, while underwater, twenty SSN-20 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, each with 10 thermonuclear warheads, a total of 200 nuclear explosions, each one hundreds of times more powerful than the bomb that vaporized Hiroshima. Your mission is to get through North America’s defence system and decapitate America – incinerate Washington D.C. and other centers of decision-making, so fast that they cannot react; America’s Doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction would be by-passed, like the Maginot Line.

Where will you take your submarine to launch World War III? Where is the best launching place to destroy America in a surprise nuclear attack?

Frequent answer: James Bay. (Go past Killiniq and Ungava Bay and turn left – it’s down at the bottom of Hudson’s Bay – you can’t miss it. Completely undefended by Canada. Piece of cake.) Bvvvvvvvooooooo

James Bay? Our James Bay? Our pure, pristine, beautiful James Bay?
The place to start WWIII? It has come to this? Man has invented his doom.

Don’t get up, gentlemen, I was only passing through. The whole nuclear holocaust thing is above my pay grade. I tend to shy away from activities that involve talking reasonably about hydrogen bombs. So I’ll be on my way. Nice meeting you. Bye now. Have a nice day and a Happy Nuclear Dream War. I’m out of here.

Dear Readers: I am cutting you adrift too. You are on your own. Do not attempt to walk south carrying your I-pod, Blackberry, Apple portable, 55 inch Home Entertainment screen, and your copy of Unidimensional Man. Cut and paste is all I will do from now on. I have taken my own perception and shrivelled it to the size of a pea and cast it into the deep pool of permanent self-denial. You, too, probably have a major Killiniq Island in your life. Embrace your inner Killiniq Island.
Remember, none of these events are connected. It’s all happenstance. All co-incidence. The government needed the people to get off the island, and by spectacular co-incidence, they wanted to get off the island. No connection there. On Killiniq Island, there is no such thing as cause and effect. It’s all random. It is Heisenberg’s Principle of Uncertainty – maybe water will flow uphill tomorrow after the sun rises in the West. Can you guarantee that this will not happen? No you cannot. So after you abolish the laws of nature as much as you have abolished the laws of Man and God, then come and see me and we will roll the dice. You have nothing to lose except your freedom. Some things are worth fighting for.
If someone asks, tell them you knew me as silent, but things have changed. Tell them, thanks for all the fish, and the plywood violin.
I will cut and paste a bunch of random stuff here to make it look like I am doing something, when the nurse comes around with her clipboard. Idleness is godlessness. Almost everything is godless, according to the godless.

E-mail to Mark Sandiford
Beachwalker Films
Prince Edward Island

Dear Mr. Sandiford,

I got a copy of your film about Zebedee Nungak’s Qallunaat Studies Institute. It is a classic for future ages and I look forward to plagiarising from it substantially. National Film Board employees interrogated me about my understanding of Bergman’s Persona, and the repetition of that long monologue – (they were also thrilled that I knew the name of the third grip in the making of Battleship Potemkin) - - they nervously guided me through the secret door in the McGill metro station, to the tunnel leading to the vast caverns underneath Mount Royal, where the Canadiana archives are kept by a priesthood of chanting cultists, many of whom have not seen daylight since the 1960’s. In these caverns measureless to man, I briefly glimpsed several sacred altars – one with a copy of Mon Uncle Antoine, and another with a copy of Kamouraska; two of the best Quebec feature films, kept hidden from view for decades; and then of course don’t get me started about “I am a Hotel” - the best music video ever made; 18 minutes of pure Cohen; and it has been out of circulation for half a generation.
“Shakespeare is out of print.” “Bible publisher sued by the Estates of Mark, Mathew, Luke and John, represented by Sony Entertainment.”

So I am proud that I liberated one DVD of “Qallunaat – Why White People are Funny.” It’s like finding Moses’ second stone tablet with the Commandments from 11 to 20 and then at the bottom it says “To Be Continued”.

The wolf is in the henhouse. And everyone is yelling: “Which side are you on?” If you can’t beat them, join them. And then beat them. Guess who is coming for dinner.
I got invited to a war simulation in the U.S.A. as Guest Belligerent.
They shall learn to fear Arsen Kazbeki! They will regret the insolence of Empire. Let the people decide!

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: The War of 1812. This time, Canada takes the gloves off. Amphibious landing at Myrtle Beach.

Curtis figures we should send the boys back into the ‘Nam to mop up the few remaining Commies and get them to make running shoes for us. (Is yolking. For to laff.)
Even the questions on the security forms are the same as in the 1950’s and the McCarthy era (but the answers have changed)

Q. Name and address
A. You called me, I did not call you, so you know how to find me. The perks better be good. Like I told your boss, I can’t be bought. But I can be rented.

Q. Do you advocate the overthrow of the U.S. Government by subversion or violence?
A. Subversion.

Q. How long do you plan to stay in the U.S.A.?
A. As long as it takes, Baby. As long as it takes.

Q. Have you ever been convicted in a court of law?
A. She told our story so well, the judge had tears in his eyes. It was the best acting I had ever seen. We went from being villains to being victims; and she made it seem like a combination of Mother Theresa, chocolate ice cream, and Eternal Truth. I think if she had, at that moment, been offered a ticker-tape parade through the financial district, with her waving to the crowd from a Cadillac convertible, with police escort and marching bands, it would have set off celebrations and riots throughout the city. But she walked out the door and did not even look back.
Later I heard that the judge resigned the next day and moved to an obscure fishing village on the coast of Brazil, working as deck-hand on local fishing boats, living in a small thatched-roof hut on a rock over-looking the ocean. On certain nights, he perches on the rock and howls at the moon. She’s done that to a lot of people. I expect that soon they will be speaking a language that no one else understands. And then she will send them their marching orders. And some home-made cookies. Innocent as can be.

If you are assigned to any specific project, information will then be revealed to you on a need-to-know basis.

A. Well lah-di-dah. You be some fancy folks from the big city. You gonna’ tell me what you think I need to know, but not what I know I need to know? Are you trying to get me killed? You don’t even know what I do, or why. The need-to-know is mostly on your side. Something is happening and you don’t know what it is. There is a piece missing in your jigsaw puzzle. You think I can tell you where it went. Without that, you would not give me the time of day. This seems to be a case of mistaken identity. I suggest you return to your regular suppliers. I am not the android you are looking for.

Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn’t because I didn’t know enough

It was because I knew too much

Think twice, that’s my only advice

Q. In 175 words or less, define totalitarianism.

A. The secret police brought the poet in, and took him directly to Stalin’s office. Stalin said: “Ah, the poet, bringing culture to the New Soviet Man. I have heard about you often. Here, I have a copy of one of your poems. Please read it to me.”
Stalin handed him a sheet of paper and the poet began to read:

“Scowling, clinging to the bricks, his fat fingers like maggots,
He oozed his way up the wall of the fortress
And crowned himself the all-Mighty
But mere victory was not enough for his lust
He needed to taste each murder slowly
Like a sweet berry crushed between his lips…”

Stalin interrupted, asking, “and you wrote this?”

The poet said “Yes.”

“You are a sweet berry.” Stalin pulled a revolver out of his desk drawer, and shot the poet in the head.


Now go back in, and try to remember why we came. This is the end of the Inter-Mission.

Make sound:eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Next chapter: “a return to normalcy”. – plea from Warren Harding.
“Would you please stop screwing around?” – plea from Obama.

We have nothing to fear except the often fatal idea that we have nothing to fear. – That guy who married but could not satisfy Eleanor.

Hahahahahaha! Effective Control. I’ll have to remember to use that on the next Franklin Expedition. “We have Effective Control. We know what we are doing. Now carry these books across the Arctic.”
The sinking of the Titanic from the point of view of the iceberg. Why didn’t the iceberg just get out of the way? It had Effective Control, and it liked the way things were going.

Those looks of seething contempt that I get in some neighborhoods. Is it something I said? Or is it what I’ve got? Or is it who I am? You should specify just exactly what it is that incites your totalitarian lust. You can’t just point your finger at someone all day long without saying why.

You actually think you are in control? Well bless my soul, I think you are crazy.

Crazy gnarls barklay YouTube video.

Make sound: eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


Jimi Hendrix was an American artist, partly Black, partly Cherokee; entirely American. He changed the meaning of “electric guitar”. He created a burning guitar version of America’s national anthem. He thought it was very beautiful; he thought his version of the Star Spangled Banner was a salute to America, as it is meant to be, from an unexpected source.

Instead, the response he got was tens of thousands of hate letters, and a Congressional recommendation that the law be changed to make it illegal for people like that to “insult” the anthem or the flag.

Before he became known, Jimi Hendrix was in the 101st Airborne, the elite of the U.S. Army. He had the courage to jump out of airplanes at night, at low altitude, into the jungles of America’s enemies, and then he had the even greater courage to stand on stage in the very centre of American culture, and shred all previous notions of just how far it goes. He placed himself in harm’s way to defend his country and then he placed himself in harm’s way to defend his culture, his art form. He has every right to play the national anthem, and as soldiers, you will stand at attention during this video. If you can’t bring yourself to salute him, because you disapprove of him as a person, then you have forgotten what the Cold War was about. We were on the side of freedom. How we live our freedom is not your choice.
Jimi Hendrix died for our sins. We are proud that he was one of us.
Stand and salute, Curtis, and all your soldiers. One warrior to another. Equal in freedom.

Oh say, can you see?

Jimi Hendrix - Star Spangled Banner

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