Thursday, December 20, 2007

(229) Twin Peaks: The way of the head and the way of the heart. Worlds in Harmony

In September 2006 I recalled Charles Ingram´s plan to journey on behalf of the Charity SENSE to visit His Holiness, The Dalai Lama at his base in Northern India.
I reaffirmed it on September 14th by checking at his site, and in reply to an e mail, even mentioned it to him.
I knew that he had raised funds for Charities through various endeavours, including journeying to Maccu Picchu. I myself had sponsored him running the 2006 London Flora Marathon to raise funds for SENSE.

On September 13th 2006 I had been thinking about the war between science and spirituality, and had affirmed to myself that, perhaps, Love lay at the apex of each!?

Alternate ways to the same truth!?

I may be wrong. I claim to be neither sage nor guru.

In an e mail to Ingram on the morning of September 15th (my son´s birthday)

I mentioned this idea.

He cynically responded that, after his treatment at the hands of Celador, he thought that it was more likely to be love of money which lay at the peak. Then he set off for the Himalayan foothills of India.

On the afternoon of September 14th a bookshop in town rang to say that a school textbook for my son had just arrived. So we decided to tie in picking it up with a vist to a nearby Morroccan restaurant.

In the bookshop window

I noticed there were a few books on display under the heading Spirituality and Growth.
Five were by The Dalai Lama. I was unaware that he was an author, although not wholly surprised.

One was entitled Mundos en Armonia (Worlds in Harmony) It was subtitled Dialogues on Compassionate Action .

I bought a copy. Then, immediately above I noticed a section headed Ensayo (Trial or Experiment in Spanish).

I noted there a book in Spanish by Charles van Doren. The name jumped out at me as he was the guy played by Ralph Fiennes in Robert Redford´s 1994 film, Quiz Show.

The film is the depiction of a true story from 1959 where the makers of a TV quiz show gave contestant van Doren the answers to some of the questions he was to face. I had never come before across his name in any other context.

The title read Brevia historia de Saber. I opened it to see that it was a Spanish translation of van Doren´s History of Knowledge, a book that I had never heard of and certainly did not know he had authored.

His book was published in 1991, but this translation, by Claudia Casanova for Planeta, was only published in January 2006.

For Charles van Doren, the scandal was that the cheating was ORGANISED by the TV Show´s makers themselves.

Charles Ingram had been (falsely) done by the makers of his show for cheating for his own benefit. They thereby made a fortune for themselves.

After the scandal, van Doren had continued to work as a distinguished academic, even editing the Encyclopedia Brittanica, but for many years he used a nom-de-plume.

The bookshop´s window altered every week;

(as this photo of a chap altering it makes clearer)

this was only a very temporary alignment of works in the window.

Also, earlier that week I had begun to publicise my (still very far from complete) Coincidence Diary Blog, even posting on September 13th (under a nom-de-plume) a reference to it at the website when somebody had mentioned that they had just spotted that the latest Millionaire? winner had the first name of Ingram!

He posted that this was like one of Plaskett´s bloody coincidences! (I had already teased them all by posting a few there.)
I had also around then informed various people, e.g. Jonathan Rowson, James Sorrie, Dr Roderick Main, that I had commenced this blog.

We emerged from the restaurant to find that I had been given a parking fine for placing the car outside a clinic for mental health. The fine I received stated that I was not allowed to park there as my vehicle displayed no notice that I was so authorised.

I heard around this time that Chris Tarrant and wife, Ingrid, were appearing in TV ads in the UK as a promotion for Nintendo. In them he forgets her wedding anniversary and is banished to the couch. The ads were part of Tarrant´s support of National Brain Fitness Week.

"It's time to get your brains in gear for National Brain Fitness Week, taking place from 11th – 17th September 2006. Fronted by the grand quizmaster himself, Chris Tarrant and supported by Heyday, Nintendo and The Science Museum, National Brain Fitness Week aims to help people understand how the brain affects everything they do – then take action to improve the fitness of their own brains."
On the day Brain Fitness Week began, reports appeared in the press that Tarrant´s wife was unhappy with him for canoodling with a blonde in a local bar.

On the day the Week ended, Tarrant announced that his 15 year marriage was over due to his 7 year relationship with a trustee of a Charity for victims of brain injury of which he was Patron: Headway.

On Sep 19th I chanced upon this from a SUN webchat with Tarrant which had occurred on the 15th -

Which of all the WWTBAM contestants you've had in front of you has been the most memorable? James Sorrie, Northampton

That’s really hard because there’s so many. Probably my favourite of all time is Colin Halley, the window cleaner. He was this wonderful human being. You never expected him to even win a quid... He was just extraordinary and he went home with £125,000... everyone loved him. And also probably Judith Keppel – the show’s first millionaire. That was just the most amazing night. And this guy this week won a million, he’s called Ingram.
That’s the funniest thing. I’ve now written out two separate cheques for £1million to two people called Ingram in the last five years on that show.
Sadly only one of the cheques will be cashed. What a weird coincidence though!
In response to a question about Ingram at the same webchat Tarrant referred to him as a bloody cheat.

Also on the 19th James (who is a club chessplayer and with whom I had exchanged comments at, but whom I met for the first time at the studios in Nov 2004 when I was a player and he 2nd reserve - see Entries 224, 189 and 186) e mailed me to say that he had just had a call from Celador to say he was through to the last 50 candidates for a show to be recorded on Sep 27th.
He e mailed me on the 25th to say that he was on.

I had left a copy of Coincidences for Tarrant when appearing on his show in 2000.
... ... ...
I note -

a) Ensayo means trial, attempt, or essay. Of these three direct translations, essay is the broadest and most profound definition.

Essay is closely related to assay, which in turn, also describes the word ensayo well. Assay is the process of checking or appraising the state of affairs or a certain entity.

Trial is the general world for the act of trying anything. It is also used in criminal law, but Trial in the ensayo context means the testing of a particular tool, principle, or application so as to properly evaluate its results.

Ensayo is also closely related to practice, or the process of learning something to be better at it.

Given that same definition, ensayo directly translates to rehearsal as well.

The Millionaire Three were tried for the offence of attempting to defraud Tarrant himself into signing away £1,000,000.

b) The name of the translator of van Doren´s History of Knowledge is Casanova.
The translation was for a company called ´Planet´.

c) " The grand quizmaster himself... "
I am a grandmaster.

d) The day after I conclude that Science and Religion each have at their summit the same thing, Love, I am fined for parking outside a clinic for the Mentally Ill as I lack the proper authorisation to be there.

e) Tarrant was Patron of a Charity for people with brain injuries called HEADWAY. The story breaks of his having an affair with a woman trustee of the Charity prompting HEADWAY to ask for and receive his resignation.

f) Tarrant and his wife appear in a TV commercial to promote a Nintendo product as part of National Brain Fitness Week.
In it she banishes him from their bed to a couch because he has forgotten their wedding anniversary.
In reality, during just this week, he is banished and his marriage publicly falls apart.

At the month´s end I mentioned these events in an e mail to Ingram, who reacted with surprise: he had been unaware of them.
I responded that was proof enough that he had spent the previous two weeks in the Himalayan foothills, for he would have to be almost the only person in the country who needed to be informed!

On December 16th 2006 my wife and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary.
Ironically, I was to discover the next day at a chess tournament 50 miles away in Cieza that although Fiona had told me to check the Murcian chess calendar in the hope that I might spot the occasional less well-advertised local one day or weekend event, I had managed to overlook that on December 16th there had been a chess tournament held at the foot of our road in Santa Lucia, Cartagena, 60 metres or so from my front door!

This was a tournament organised by "Neighbours Against Drugs".
Although they had organised many other events, this was their only chess tournament.

It was held under the auspices of a local community association.

When told next day of this event "... in Santa Lucia", I spoke of the idiocy of overlooking a tournament in the very road in which one lived, although I was using that as a figure of speech and was then uncertain of the precise venue.

Yet it turned out that that was indeed exactly the road in which it was held!

It was remarked by fellow Grand Masters in Cieza that I had remembered the more important thing.

g) James Sorrie had expressed interest in my coincidences when I met him in Nov 2004 at the WWTBAM? studios. I later sent him some (See Entry 224).

He then asks a question which prompts Tarrant to mention Ingram and comment on the wierd coincidence.

h) And this on the day Charles set off for His Holiness and Christopher´s wife was hysterical over his affair.

i) Sorrie himself then again gets on the show, and again fails to make it to the hot seat.

j) As Ingram nears The Dalai Lama, Tarrant, for the first time in his life, has to confront headlines in which he is (accurately) described as a "cheat".

k) It was only some days after I had begun the first draft of this entry, and under the same heading that it now has, that the significance of the names of the two Charities struck me. Tarrant was the Patron of HEADWAY, a Charity for victims of brain injury.

Ingram raised money for SENSE, a Charity for those who suffered various degrees of combined deafness and blindness.
I used money given to me by Tarrant for successfully answering some Quiz questions he had posed me to sponsor Ingram as he raised money for SENSE.
Ingram was raising money via an organisation called Charity Challenge.

l) Also -
Twin Peaks....
As I conclude that the traditional enemies of science and religion may be no more than two different paths to the same truth, Tarrant comments on the coincidence of his writing out, on a show that aired that week, a second cheque for £1,000,000 to an Ingram.

Also, in the week that Ingram set off to the foothills of the highest mountain, another Ingram is presented with the highest prize Tarrant may bestow.

A family name is given; a formal appellation.

But the christian name is chosen.

Ingram means ´ignorant´.
... ... ...

In an interview he gave within a year of the Ingrams´conviction, Tarrant said, to icBerks, that he would play himself in any film of the crime, but the reality would be hard to improve upon.
He added that he might like to do a bit of acting in the future, "... perhaps in a soap opera as a gangster...", as a shift from his ´Mr NiceGuy´ image, and had already received a few such offers.
He said that he would be trying a few things over the next couple of years.

He reiterated contemplating such a move in 2009 -
... ... ...

Re verdicts, consider also

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