History

vladimir putin from the sidelines of history

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many years ago, 2002 to be exact, i made a trip to mainland china. it was one of those two week deals where if it’s tuesday it must be shanghai type things. all in all very interesting especially the great wall. however, there were a couple of “incidents” that sort of stand out. one concerning vladimir putin and i’m still really not sure what was up with the other one.

first off, during the trip we stayed in xian for a few days. a lovely very old walled city with a moat around it. that would be in the really old part of town. we were on our way to see the terra cotta warriors outside the city. a truly wonderful experience if you get the chance to do so. on the way there we stopped at a factory that made small terra cotta figurines of the actual warriors, horses, and such at the site.

while at the terra cotta factory there was a guy standing around with big sony video camera on a tripod. i went up and started talking to him about his camera. he had an odd accent. turns out he was a russian tv news photographer or that was his story. he said they were doing “set ups” as putin was visiting the factory the next day before he went to see the actual warrior site. i didn’t speak to the talking head that was with him. anyways, after chatting with the ruskie and getting him to pose for some video i wondered off taking more video of the factory. suddenly, this extremely nice looking chinese babe came out of nowhere like a sudden heart attack and asked me in very good english if i’m getting some nice pictures. this kinda freaked me out. who was she? where did she come from? i said yeah and blew her off. i think she may have been chinese langley. did she and the chinese think i was cia as well?

yes, well, then it got a bit weirder.

later that day we were at the terra cotta digs when 3 guys in very bad suits walked past us. i immediately made them for russians. one of them stopped turned around and gave me the eye for a minute or two. guess he had heard about me from someone at the terra cotta factory. or something. i ignored him. putin was to be at the site as well the next day. so i guess they were just some more russian “cultural” folks checking stuff out in advance. did the russians think i was cia too? what was going on? we heard a day or so later the chinese closed the place for 3 hours so putin could look at the shit by himself and not be disturbed. i hope he had a grand time.

several days later we were in guilin. a lovely spot in south china almost to the north vietnam border. the main touristy thing there is a four hour boat ride down the li river. wonderful scenery. amazing stuff.

after a long day of sightseeing, dinner, and probably too much beer we went to a chinese stage show in the hotel where we were staying. a nice show and more beer. however, i had a hard time staying awake.

after the we show got in the elevator to go up to our room. two nicely dressed westerners get in too. for some reason we are the only people in the elevator. which was very weird because of the number of people who had been watching the show and were now heading back to their rooms in the hotel. we get up to our floor. the men stayed in the elevator and as we get out one of them says, in an aussie or british accent, good night, john. yeah, no shit. i had never seen those guys before. i just ignored them and kept on walking. however, i was jolted.

very spooky and strange and the last time on the trip that i noticed anyone taking any interest in me in a langley sort of way. i had completely forgotten this little incident until i was reading some old emails. even now it seems very bizarre. we were at least 600 miles from xian and the russian, chinese terra cotta warrior deal. now out of nowhere i had british MI6(?) guys wishing me a good night. hmm…odd…very odd.

this originally appeared here in july of 2014. with all the stuff going on about and putin and you know who, i thought it would be nice to re-visit the post.

jmh

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vladimir putin: from the side lines of history

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many years ago, 2002 to be exact, i made a trip to mainland china. it was one of those two week deals where if it’s tuesday it must be shanghai type things. all in all very interesting especially the great wall. however, there were a couple of “incidents”that sort of stand out. one concerning vladimir putin and i’m still really not sure what was up with the other one.

first off, during the trip we stayed in xian for a few days. a lovely very old walled city with a moat around it. that would be in the really old part of town. we were on our way to see the terra cotta warriors outside the city. a truly wonderful experience if you get the chance to do so. on the way there we stopped at a factory that made small terra cotta figurines of the actual warriors, horses, and such at the site.

while at the terra cotta factory there was a guy standing around with big sony video camera on a tripod. i went up and started talking to him about his camera. he had an odd accent. turns out he was a russian tv news photographer or that was his story. he said they were doing “set ups” as putin was visiting the factory the next day before he went to see the actual warrior site. there was a talking head with him but i didn’t speak with him. anyways, after chatting with the ruskie and getting him to pose for some video i wondered off taking more video of the factory. suddenly this extremely nice looking chinese babe came out of nowhere like a sudden heart attack and asked me in very good english if i’m getting some nice pictures. this kinda freaked me out. who was she? where did she come from? i said yeah and blew her off. i think she may have been chinese langley. did she and the chinese think i was cia as well?

yes, well, then it got a bit weirder.

later that day we were at the terra cotta digs when 3 guys in very bad suits walked past us. i immediately made them for russians. one of them stopped turned around and gave me the eye for a minute or two. guess he had heard about me from someone at the terra cotta factory. or something. i ignored him. putin was to be at the site as well the next day. so i guess they were just some more russian “cultural” folks checking stuff out in advance. did the russians think i was cia too? what was going on? we heard a day or so later the chinese closed the place for 3 hours so putin could look at the shit by himself and not be disturbed. i hope he had a grand time.

several days later we were in guilin. a lovely spot in south china almost to the north vietnam border. the main touristy thing there is a four hour boat ride down the li river. wonderful scenery. amazing stuff.

after a long day of sightseeing, dinner, and probably too much beer we went to a chinese stage show in the hotel where we were staying. a nice show and more beer. however, i had a hard time staying awake.

after the we show got in the elevator to go up to our room. two nicely dressed westerners get in too. for some reason we are the only people in the elevator. which was very weird because of the number of people who had been watching the show and were now heading back to their rooms in the hotel. we get up to our floor. the men stayed in the elevator and as we get out one of them says, in an aussie or british accent, good night, john. yeah, no shit. i had never seen those guys before. i just ignored them and kept on walking. however, i was jolted.

very spooky and strange and the last time on the trip that i noticed anyone taking any interest in me in a langley sort of way. i had completely forgotten this little incident until i was reading some old emails. even now it seems very bizarre. we were at least 1,000 miles from xian and the russian, chinese terra cotta warrior deal. now out of nowhere i had british MI6(?) guys wishing me a good night. hmm…odd…very odd.

jmh

a little football & reflections on 11-22-63

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the historical day and week are almost upon us. that fifty years ago thing with bad back jack. an avid family footballer even with said bad back and all his other psychical and medical problems. he and elvis. a game of football at the drop of a hat. no, not together but they could have shared drug knowledge stuff and scripts if they had. yes, the world changed that afternoon 50 years ago. the biggest seismic event to proceed it was pearl harbor. i guess we’re still waiting for the next big one. yeah, of course, 9-11. although i’m almost to the jessie ventura state of mind on that event. i digress. no, more like hitting a patch of black ice on a mountain road late at night.

i was sorta looking forward to this 50th anniversary that began our slow ride to perdition. not anymore. the point being, all the network suits, ties, hacks, douche bags, hustlers, grifters, shysters, morons, pathetic con-men, long dead, or we thought they were, news hucksters, oliver stones, flacks, and just the general ass hats of society have ruined what should have been an attempt at some sort of closure for those of us who sat through that sad long four or five day TV weekend 50 years ago that forever changed us all. many of us out here in the once bucolic farmland hinterlands of the lotus land megalopolis who on sunday night just said, enough, then left the TV madness and packed a local movie house that was running ‘lawrence of arabia’. a very large standing room only crowd. maybe the fire marshall didn’t get the memo. or he was among us trying to hide out as well.

the same movie house that not that many years later turned into a porno palace and ran ‘deep throat’ all day and night for what seemed like months upon months. that sad lonely road to perdition. the road we’ve been on ever since that november long ago. a gloomy, dark, and rat infested highway deep into the very bowels of hell. yup, a sort of luke the drifter veer. though i think apt none the less.

something was written not long after the tragic event by someone who could actually write and hold a thought or two together penned: “johnny boy, we hardly knew ye.” and ourselves as well. after all these years we have no one to blame but ourselves.

jmh