Saturday, July 20, 2002

Circular No 36

Newsletter for past alumni of The Abbey School, Mt. St. Benedict, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.

, 20 July 2002. Circular No.36
Dear friends now a few lines on a friendly exchange:
Hola Ladislao,
Te voy a escribir esta nota en Trinitario pa hecha vainas.
First of all, please send me dee Mount website and email addresses of them "Mount Boys" who was der between 1953 and 1958. I takin dee liberty of copying my brudas and Urbano on this note since I bin keepin in touch with Urbano on and off for years. When we did live in Caracas the Venezuelan contingency of jodedores would meet every month (almost). Dee lot included Urbano, Isaias, Castro brothers (Pedro, Reinaldo, Timino), Lipavski, Gerardo Most (alias Csabita), Pradita, Myron Lew, Kecskemeti, Azier Atela, and a few more I cyant recall right now. In fact, Fada Bernard (alias Bobo) made it to Venezuela on a couple of occasions in dose ole days to join we for dinner. About five years ago in Maracaibo I ran into a lawyer named Echeverria who tole me he went to Mount. I believe he because he crooked like hell. I was just dong der a few weeks ago and I had lunch wid Myron in Caracas. I called Isaias Facheg and spoke wid he. Dat fella does be a bisy docta and he gettin ole fa so. Urbano was out of dee country so I didn't see he. I livin in Baton Rouge and have bin here for 12 years now. Brian still livin in Valencia, and Christian been in Oklahoma now for more dan turtee years.
When I saw Myron in Caracas he mentioned dat he visited Mount last year wid one of his sons. He tole me dat dee place was run dong and almost abandun. I heard dat in dee later years dee place became a drug rehab center. Dee jail, on dee hill finally turned into someting useful. Anyway, I does be workin at LSU doin petroleum research an lookin for oil in Louisiana. Perhaps, Christian and Brian will update you for dee newsletter, but dem not as verbose as me so I doubt it. My university email is
Anyway, it's a pleasure gettin in touch wid ya.
Best wishes,
Don Goddard
Hello Tony,
I was at Mount from 1953 to 1959 when I left to go to school in The States. My brothers Brian and Donald had left a year earlier.
I presently live in Edmond, Oklahoma.
I have been enjoying the web site and thought that I would share some old photos that I had scanned in to my computer.
The web site brought back many fond memories.
Many thanks to you and Ladislao.
Christian Goddard
Thanks for a chance to go down memory lane and I´ll be sending interesting notes to you soon but for now I have an important project meeting with the Polar group and need to get going; so until later on today,
Gracias & saludos, Brian Goddard
Continuing the Who is Where, thanks to Roger Henderson:
John Thavenot lives in Australia
God Bless


Listado: C36.xls

Photo: Police headquarters

Column: 020630 wvb semen makes
'Semen makes women feel good' - By Wayne Brown

Sunday, June 30, 2002
READING The New York Times online is often depressing: all those infantile and cannily profitable chest-thumpings by George W Bush. But sometimes it can be intriguing. Take last Thursday.
For starters, there was a colour close-up of Russia's leggy blonde pin-up Anna Kournikova kissing fellow-Russian Tatiana Panova on the mouth at the end of their Women's Singles first round match at Wimbledon (Panova won) -- a photo with a startling Sapphic kick, as erotic as it was unexpected. (What are the scandal rags going to make of that one, I wonder?)
And then there was this science report, eye-catchingly slugged as "Semen Makes Women Feel Good". It read in part:
"Hormones in semen may help to ease female depression, because women whose partners don't use condoms are less likely to feel down. Scientists at the State University of New York suspect the mood-altering hormones are absorbed through the vagina and make women feel good, but they stressed that their results are not an excuse for unprotected sex.
"The researchers assessed the moods of 300 female students using a standard questionnaire. A score of more than 17 was considered moderately depressed. Women whose partners never used condoms scored about eight on the test, while those who never had sex without condoms scored 11.3. Women who weren't having sex at all scored about 13.5.
"...the results are not a complete surprise because scientists know that semen contains several mood-altering hormones, including testosterone. 'Some of these have been detected in a woman's blood within hours of exposure to semen,' the paper reported.
As you would expect, the "Times" saved the story's punch line for last. It read: "The scientists suspect semen will have the same effect on women regardless of how they are exposed to it." This of course was the paper's tight-lipped way (w-e-l-l) of referring to ejaculation in oral or anal intercourse (there being no recorded instance, so far as I know, of women taking semen intravenously).
Seriously, though. What's remarkable about this is the unflagging ingenuity of the Goddess of Evolution in securing human compliance with Her first commandment: "Perpetuate the Species." Not content with making the sexual drive all-powerful, indeed often ruinously so --consider the damaged laymen's lives and wrecked clerics' careers now bedeviling (sic!) American Catholicism -- it turns out that She also took pains to add a post-coital filip specifically designed to diminish the appeal of non-reproductive sex, whether the latter's achieved by condom or coitus interruptus. Semen absorbed by the woman's body acts as an 'upper'!
This story brought to mind another science report, which I came across back in the mid-80s and repeated en passant in this space recently. That story began by asking the question: Ever wonder why a woman's antibodies don't treat male sperm as a foreign substance and attack and kill them right there in the vagina?
Except to militant feminists, the answer was delightful: because the woman's system produces a set of fake antibodies specifically programmed to make a big show of attacking the sperm, so that, lulled into a false sense of security, the real antibodies are not activated.
It's hard to imagine a more piquant example of human beings being used by an impersonal force (in this case, generation) for its own ends: women's bodies inveigled into tricking their own defences into quiescence. Talk about the essential traitor being within the gates!
But back to the semen story. (I mean, what a gauche slug: Semen Makes Women Feel Good!)
It seemed the sort of information that every good fiction writer should have. So when the denizens of the Observer Fiction Writing Workshop met informally the following evening to bid farewell to one of their number, I passed it on. They were men and women whose names will be familiar to those who read this paper's Arts Magazine -- Lenny Burke, PetaGaye Donnestad, Ashley Gambrill, Bill Hainsley, Gwyneth Moore, Charmaine Morris, Kim Robinson, Sharon Leach -- and they got a lot of mileage out of it. In particular, this columnist was intrigued by how many of the women present agreed that it 'explained everything!'
What exactly 'everything' was, I didn't ask.
I don't know when you're reading this, dear reader, but I assume it's late, because this morning is World Cup morning, Germany-Brazil (pronounced Brah-zeel in these parts); and who except a politician would read the papers when the World Cup final, Germany-Brazil's, going on? Sport at the highest international level, sport riveting the attention of billions of viewers the world over, as the World Cup does, is one of the rare glories of our global civilization, and it seems to me somehow ominous that the United States, the sole superpower, is also just about the sole nation on earth to be quite uninterested in -- indeed, ignorant of -- it.
One man-in-the-street respondent on CNN wondered if it was a baseball tournament. Another, claiming to have actually heard of the World Cup, opined that it had 'something to do with jogging'. But it's the response of educated Americans to the World Cup (what one wag writing in Newsweek called 'The Rest-of-the-World Cup') that's intriguing. Too informed to be unaware of it, and of the US's odd-man-out status in relation to it, they nonetheless waver among a largely unarticulated self-doubt, a besieged insistence on 'America's' superiority, and a snide and mean attempt to belittle what's become the great game of life in our time.
Even such a sophisticated columnist as The New York Times' William Safire can be made uncomfortable, and not a little unpleasant, by contemplation of the World Cup.
Safire is, of course, never uninformative; and from his column 'The Politics of Futbol', we learn
(1) That the word 'soccer' derived from the second syllable in 'association football' .
(2) That the World Cup is played, always, halfway between US presidential elections. (So what?)
(3) That the game first came to the attention of the CIA during the Kennedy administration, when US satellite surveillance showed that a playing field, obviously not a baseball diamond, had been created near some unexplained facilities in Cuba. That recreational facility, they deduced, could only be a soccer field, 'which strongly suggested the presence of Russian workers -- a deduction that led to the Cuban missile crisis.'
So far so good. But then Safire turns silly.
"US foreign-policy makers, though patriots all," he avers, "hoped fervently from the start that the US team would make a respectable showing but not win. This lust to lose ... is based strictly on our national interest. If the US had come out of nowhere to defeat the best of all the nations of the world, such a triumph, in this year, would have been a psychological bummer for the rest of the world and thus a diplomatic disaster for us.
"Here we are, the locomotive of the world economy, the unipolar bear, a hyperbolic hyperpower bestriding the earth like a Colossus --do we have to win every hand, rake in every pot, block every competitor's goal? Let some other nation's screaming populace get a kick out of the kicking game."
Oh yeah?
Any third former would understand such a show of condescension for what it is: 'sour grapes', the lash of the excluded.
There's something barbaric about your 'America', Mr Safire -- something quite apart from your lust to own guns and your perennial, inconsolable need to 'kick butt' -- that marks you out as essentially a pariah among the civilised nations of the world.
How come y'all don't have a clue, Billy Boy, about what's riveting the rest of the world to their TV sets this morning -- World Cup morning?

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