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November 16, 2016

A Smorgasbord: Cohen to Elections to Porcelain

Tom McLaughlin

Kuching, Malaysian Borneo – "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen is my favorite song. It was in my ‘20s and still is in my ‘60s. I like to listen to it while making love. It just brings something out in me in those intimate times.


I really like the lyrics: “and Jesus was a sailor/ when he walked across the water/and he spent a long time watching/ from his lonely wooden tower/ and when he knew for certain/only drowning men could see him/He said ‘All men will be sailors then/until the sea shall free them.’ It goes on for a few more verses and ends “For he's touched your perfect body with his mind.”


Cohen's lyrics and melody's bring back the era of peace, love and what should have been the American way. I haven't listened much to Cohen, always meant to, except for the other song "Hallelujah" which everybody knows. A lovely haunting piece. I will have to find one of his albums on iTunes and get reacquainted with him. I have a lot of listening ahead of me. But, without something to connect to, like making love, they will only be pieces to listen to, much like "Accu radio" which I play all day long.


Suriani and I gave our talk about Ali to the Sarawak Museum. She talked in Sarawak Malay and passed the microphone to me for English. We had only 11 people, but they were an awesome group.


Later that night, two heads of departments came over to the house and talked for about four hours. I stayed in bed watching movies and sort of half listened.


I let Suriani handle them. She was amazing on carrying the conversation (in Sarawak Malay) with our work. I am so proud of her.


They want us to work with them, on what I don't know. I will pass the research on to her. My work with Ali and "The History of Sarawak from Early Times to 1840" is finished and will be published. Time to move on to something else. We have a porcelain collection I need to research.


The election? I, like everyone else, backed Hillary Clinton. The problem was the Democrats didn't vote. From Milwaukee to Philadelphia to Miami and Cleveland, the city dwellers stayed home. Why the Black voters didn't turn out for Hillary like they did for Barack Obama will remain a mystery to me.


The Hispanic voter turned out in droves, but they could not compensate in numbers for the Black voters. We will now have four years of Republicanism and god only knows what that will bring. I don't think Donald Trump has a clue, either. Both Republican and Democrats should be scared. Probably his son-in-law will run things.


The boat races started this late this year at the beginning of the monsoon season. To recap, every year the state holds a regatta with boat racing. This year it's very late and runs into the rainy season where it storms 24/7 for about three months. Why they decided to have the contests this time of year is another mystery.


I am going to clear my desk of all research related papers, pack them away and start on the Chinese porcelain. Another fun and worthwhile project!


...Life is good. . . . .


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