During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was–but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasureable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me–upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain–upon the bleak walls–upon the vacant eye-like windows–upon a few rank sedges–and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees–with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium–the bitter lapse into everyday life–the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart–an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime.
Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher (1839)
A Letter from Fidel Castro to U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
November 6, 1940
EXCERPT from Shaun Usher’s book Letters of Note, a spectacular collection of more than 125 letters from history—the brightest and best, the most notorious, and the endearingly everyday.
In November 1940, thirteen years before spearheading the revolution that would ultimately see him replace dictator Fulgencio Batista as leader of Cuba, a teenage Fidel Castro—aged fourteen, not twelve as he inaccurately claimed—wrote a somewhat cheeky letter to the then president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and asked him for some money: a $10 bill, to be precise. Some time later, he received a standard reply from officials. His request for cash had fallen on deaf ears, as had his offer to reveal the whereabouts of Cuba’s largest iron mines. Young Castro’s priceless letter was rediscovered in 1977 by specialists at the National Archives and Records Administration.
Santiago de Cuba
Nov 6 1940 Mr Franklin Roosvelt, President of the United States.
My good friend Roosvelt I don’t know very English, but I know as much as write to you.
I like to hear the radio, and I am very happy, because I heard in it, that you will be President for a new (periodo).
I am twelve years old. I am a boy but I think very much but I do not think that I am writing to the President of the United States.
If you like, give me a ten dollars bill green american, in the letter, because never, I have not seen a ten dollars bill green american and I would like to have one of them.
My address is:
Sr Fidel Castro Colegio de Dolores Santiago de Cuba Oriente Cuba
I don’t know very English but I know very much Spanish and I suppose you don’t know very Spanish but you know very English because you are American but I am not American.
(Thank you very much) Good by. Your friend,
(Signed) Fidel Castro
If you want iron to make your sheaps ships I will show to you the bigest (minas) of iron of the land. They are in Mayari Oriente Cuba.
An IMDb title search of “JonBenet” reveals over 100 entries. Of those, 15 or so are movies or miniseries. That’s nearly one a year since she died. And a new one is coming in 2017.
The story is that this young daughter of rich parents, involved in the pageant circuit (which is a whole different bag of creepy), was found dead in her home on Christmas in 1996. There was a ransom note at the scene, and the death was ruled a homicide owing to the circumstances – strangulation and a blow to the head. Her mother was blamed. So was her nine-year-old brother. So was her father. So was the housekeeper, a handful of strangers, and even Santa Claus. For real, the dude who played Santa at a party got dragged into the whole debacle. None were ever found guilty, none matched DNA evidence at the scene. The crime is still unsolved. Case closed for now? Nah!
Year after year, people keep ushering out new movies, books, miniseries, and special episodes of shit like Dateline in order to dig this up like a time capsule full of half-assed theories and random speculation, because isn’t this story great? At this point, there’s an entire industry of filmmakers who could probably retire thanks to the death of a six-year-old. It’s the best thing that ever happened to them.
If that sounds pessimistic, you have to take into account the fact that there is no new evidence. Each new movie or miniseries isn’t providing new insight; it’s taking old shit and old opinions and trying to mold a pile of turds into a chocolate mousse.
Ecstasy is only recognizable when one has experienced pain. Beauty only exists when set against ugliness. Peace is not appreciated without war ahead of it. How we wish that life could support only the good. But it vanishes when its opposite no longer exists as a setting. It is a white marble on unmelting snow.
Shaun Usher, Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Circulation
March Book Photo Challenge; Day 19:
Author - Edgar Allan Poe. His lovely and dreary short stories and poems got me through middle school. I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t good his amazing literature. Thank you.
**all pictures from weheartit.com**