Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

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Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:35 pm

Did you ever know the author Jim Harrison? It looks like he lived in Livingston, Montana or thereabouts and I thought perhaps you might have met.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by nafod » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:42 pm

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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:52 pm

I don't know what that means, and I doubt Cahill does either.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by seeahill » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:56 am

Yes, I knew Jim. We were friends for a couple of decades.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by DrDonkeyLove... » Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:49 pm

Since this is Timmy Q&A time,

You have on the ground knowledgez about Jonestown and wrote about it in one of your books.

I'm wondering if you've listened to his story on the Martyr Made podcast with Darryl Cooper. I started listening on the recommendation of someone on FB without paying much attention to what I was getting into.

I did NOT expect the story of Jim Jones complete with the sounds of his dying followers in the background. TBH I can't listen to it all at once but I'm hooked and will stay with it till the end of the story wherever it goes. Cooper has a rambling way about him and I'm comfortable with that so far.

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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:44 pm

seeahill wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:56 am
Yes, I knew Jim. We were friends for a couple of decades.
And he didn't teach you anything about writing in that whole time? That's what I'm grappling with. I mean surely, he could've given you SOME pointers?
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by seeahill » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:51 am

DrDonkeyLove... wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:49 pm
Since this is Timmy Q&A time,

You have on the ground knowledgez about Jonestown and wrote about it in one of your books.

I'm wondering if you've listened to his story on the Martyr Made podcast with Darryl Cooper. I started listening on the recommendation of someone on FB without paying much attention to what I was getting into.

I did NOT expect the story of Jim Jones complete with the sounds of his dying followers in the background. TBH I can't listen to it all at once but I'm hooked and will stay with it till the end of the story wherever it goes. Cooper has a rambling way about him and I'm comfortable with that so far.
Yes, I was there days after the deaths. No, I haven't listened to the podcast. Jonestown was a dark story. 1000 dead bodies. You don't forget. I don't particularly want to relive it.

Jones taped everything in Jonestown and I knew about the tapes. The FBI had them for years. A writer named Julia Sheeres listened to them a few years ago and wrote a book called "A Thousand Lives." Recommended if you're interested in how this could happen.

But what struck me is that she used the released FBI tapes to document what was going on when people were dying. If you look back to my story, written and published only weeks after the event, you'll see that my reporting of what was said at that time mirrors the tapes.

Of course I was talking to survivors only a few days after the event. They all said pretty much the same thing.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by Schlegel » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:36 pm

I was struck recently when I read a bit more about Jonestown how so much of the commentary I have seen over the years concentrates on the Christian cult aspects and minimizes to invisibility the devotion to communism. Seems to me the reality was more like hard-core communist dictatorship with a coat of Christianity paint. One more Marxist utopia, complete with the customary armed guards to shoot you if you try to escape.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:18 pm

No really, Cahill. He didn't ever sit you down and give you some tips to improve your writing? Something to kind of give you a little guidance?
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by seeahill » Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:02 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:18 pm
No really, Cahill. He didn't ever sit you down and give you some tips to improve your writing? Something to kind of give you a little guidance?
Jim thought critics were vermin and best ignored.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:43 pm

Which of his works do you think would serve as a good introduction? Also, what was he like?
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by seeahill » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:47 pm

I'll make some other recommendations --- including some wonderful poetry --- but start with Jim's 1979 breakthrough book, Legends of the Fall. It is composed of three novellas. Here's a review.

http://movies2.nytimes.com/books/98/11/ ... gends.html
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by Gav » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:14 pm

Tim, is it true you did a marathon with an extremely good looking Englishman that ended up in hospital and nearly suffocated?
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:38 pm

seeahill wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:47 pm
I'll make some other recommendations --- including some wonderful poetry --- but start with Jim's 1979 breakthrough book, Legends of the Fall. It is composed of three novellas. Here's a review.

http://movies2.nytimes.com/books/98/11/ ... gends.html
Alright, added to my list. It better not be like the gay movie tho. So what was he like?
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by seeahill » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:20 pm

Jim grew in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. A country kid. Blinded himself in one eye in some careless accident as a kid. He didn't "identify" as an Indian, but there was a good deal of Native American heritage. He fished nearly every day in the summers, hunted birds in season. As far as I knew, he never hunted deer, elk or antelope.

He was a drinker. Usually vodka on the rocks at the local bar he favored. That's where we'd usually meet up, just after he got off the river. Jim was also a gourmand of note. His New Yorker article, A Really Big Lunch, was about a meal in Paris that ran to 37 courses all prepared by a three star Michelin chef. Mario Batali, who often visited Jim in Montana, was another of the diners.

Jim had a strange rasping gargle of a voice and clung to his country upbringing. But he knew wines and, in his later years, could afford the best. He liked to cook and was very good at it.

Early on, before Legends of the Fall, in 1979, he was poor and being chased around be the IRS because he hadn't paid taxes in 10 years. It was hard enough to support his wife and daughter on what he made as a poet and sparsely published writer. He didn't see why he should pay taxes on his meager earnings.

Jim was also a womanizer but he was married to the same woman for almost 50 years.

We didn't talk about writing. In my experience, writers don't talk about the craft. They talk about how the publisher or producer screwed them on the last deal. The only time I ever heard Jim ever talk about one of his books was when he said he'd set himself a challenging task. He wanted to write a book from a woman's point of view. Some women said he nailed the voice, others didn't think so. I wouldn't know. The book is called Dalva. Only one of the 39 or so that he wrote.

Jim was funny and he liked to laugh. His appetites were outsized. He had no pretension to him. If you didn't know who he was and happened to meet him, you might think, "strange one eyed Indian. Nice guy. Funny. Knows his hunting and fishing." You wouldn't realize you were talking to one of America's greatest writers.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by seeahill » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:35 pm

Schlegel wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:36 pm
I was struck recently when I read a bit more about Jonestown how so much of the commentary I have seen over the years concentrates on the Christian cult aspects and minimizes to invisibility the devotion to communism. Seems to me the reality was more like hard-core communist dictatorship with a coat of Christianity paint. One more Marxist utopia, complete with the customary armed guards to shoot you if you try to escape.
That's true, but I have different take. Back in the day, I had a lot of experience reporting on cults and I realized it really didn't matter what their political stance was. Tony Alamo, the disgraced pastor who died in jail after being sentenced to over 700 years on child molestation charges was a fervent right winger. (I know because I joined the Alamo cult on a journalistic assignment.) In any case, in my opinion, the mark of a destructive cult is totalitarianism. It doesn't matter if it comes from the right or the left or from some theological stance.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:38 pm

seeahill wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:20 pm
Jim grew in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. A country kid. Blinded himself in one eye in some careless accident as a kid. He didn't "identify" as an Indian, but there was a good deal of Native American heritage. He fished nearly every day in the summers, hunted birds in season. As far as I knew, he never hunted deer, elk or antelope.

He was a drinker. Usually vodka on the rocks at the local bar he favored. That's where we'd usually meet up, just after he got off the river. Jim was also a gourmand of note. His New Yorker article, A Really Big Lunch, was about a meal in Paris that ran to 37 courses all prepared by a three star Michelin chef. Mario Batali, who often visited Jim in Montana, was another of the diners.

Jim had a strange rasping gargle of a voice and clung to his country upbringing. But he knew wines and, in his later years, could afford the best. He liked to cook and was very good at it.

Early on, before Legends of the Fall, in 1979, he was poor and being chased around be the IRS because he hadn't paid taxes in 10 years. It was hard enough to support his wife and daughter on what he made as a poet and sparsely published writer. He didn't see why he should pay taxes on his meager earnings.

Jim was also a womanizer but he was married to the same woman for almost 50 years.

We didn't talk about writing. In my experience, writers don't talk about the craft. They talk about how the publisher or producer screwed them on the last deal. The only time I ever heard Jim ever talk about one of his books was when he said he'd set himself a challenging task. He wanted to write a book from a woman's point of view. Some women said he nailed the voice, others didn't think so. I wouldn't know. The book is called Dalva. Only one of the 39 or so that he wrote.

Jim was funny and he liked to laugh. His appetites were outsized. He had no pretension to him. If you didn't know who he was and happened to meet him, you might think, "strange one eyed Indian. Nice guy. Funny. Knows his hunting and fishing." You wouldn't realize you were talking to one of America's greatest writers.
Very interesting, thanks for writing that up. Did you have help? Interestingly enough the book that got me on this topic, and made me ask you, was Dalva.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:41 pm

seeahill wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:35 pm
Schlegel wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:36 pm
I was struck recently when I read a bit more about Jonestown how so much of the commentary I have seen over the years concentrates on the Christian cult aspects and minimizes to invisibility the devotion to communism. Seems to me the reality was more like hard-core communist dictatorship with a coat of Christianity paint. One more Marxist utopia, complete with the customary armed guards to shoot you if you try to escape.
That's true, but I have different take. Back in the day, I had a lot of experience reporting on cults and I realized it really didn't matter what their political stance was. Tony Alamo, the disgraced pastor who died in jail after being sentenced to over 700 years on child molestation charges was a fervent right winger. (I know because I joined the Alamo cult on a journalistic assignment.) In any case, in my opinion, the mark of a destructive cult is totalitarianism. It doesn't matter if it comes from the right or the left or from some theological stance.
When I was a grizzly at the University of Montana I was a student of Robert Balch, who is sorta well known as the preeminent expert on the Heaven's Gate suicide cult. He also did a lot of work on Aryan Nations. Anyway, his view was that the term "cult" is automatically pejorative, but if one were to define them, it's by their "totalistic" approach where the teaching, whatever it is, extends into every aspect of the members' lives and controls everything basic like diet, sex, sleep, clothing, etc. In my experience, largely true.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by Schlegel » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:58 am

seeahill wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:35 pm
Schlegel wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:36 pm
I was struck recently when I read a bit more about Jonestown how so much of the commentary I have seen over the years concentrates on the Christian cult aspects and minimizes to invisibility the devotion to communism. Seems to me the reality was more like hard-core communist dictatorship with a coat of Christianity paint. One more Marxist utopia, complete with the customary armed guards to shoot you if you try to escape.
That's true, but I have different take. Back in the day, I had a lot of experience reporting on cults and I realized it really didn't matter what their political stance was. Tony Alamo, the disgraced pastor who died in jail after being sentenced to over 700 years on child molestation charges was a fervent right winger. (I know because I joined the Alamo cult on a journalistic assignment.) In any case, in my opinion, the mark of a destructive cult is totalitarianism. It doesn't matter if it comes from the right or the left or from some theological stance.
You are right...the far right and far left are weirdly similar in actual action in their final hours but then Communism is itself essentially alwsys a destructive cult by your definition.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by Schlegel » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:02 am

I have an old college buddy who was a religion major, specializing in "new religious movements" so after many conversations with him I notice when there's a divergence between what a group considers important and how society describes them.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by seeahill » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:27 pm

Gav wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:14 pm
Tim, is it true you did a marathon with an extremely good looking Englishman that ended up in hospital and nearly suffocated?
Yes. The incredibly handsome Englishman was very lazy and finished the Dublin marathon in less than four hours while I was willing to work at it for a 6 full hours. I was unaware that that suave Englishman, a James Bond type for sure, ended up in the hospital. I wonder if it had anything to do with the traditional post-race visit to the Guinness brewery.
Last edited by seeahill on Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by seeahill » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:39 pm

Schlegel wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:02 am
I have an old college buddy who was a religion major, specializing in "new religious movements" so after many conversations with him I notice when there's a divergence between what a group considers important and how society describes them.
I think your friend is right. But what the group/cult/sect finds important is often something that society at large finds aborrent. "God has commanded we hold puppy stomping ceremonies every Wednesday. You hate us for that? It's a sacrament and you are violating our freedom of religion." That helps the group in two ways. First, it reinforces one of the aims of totalitarian groups by giving them the impression that they must band together against the hatred and fear of the outside world. It's a glue that holds a totalitarian society together. Secondly, it almost forces members of the group to cut ties with the outside world: with family, and former friends, and lovers. That way members don't hear alternate views and then begin questioning the tenets of the group.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by syaigh » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:28 pm

As evidenced by the internet, there is a large percentage of the population that prefers to live in an echo chamber.
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Re: Hey Cahill, gotta question for ya.

Post by Turdacious » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:38 pm

seeahill wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:27 pm
Gav wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:14 pm
Tim, is it true you did a marathon with an extremely good looking Englishman that ended up in hospital and nearly suffocated?
Yes. The incredibly handsome Englishman was very lazy and finished the Dublin marathon in less than four hours while I was willing to work at it for a 6 full hours. I was unaware that that suave Englishman, a James Bond type for sure, ended up in the hospital. I wonder if it had anything to do with the traditional post-race visit to the Guinness brewery.
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