“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Viktor Silo said...

It is with great sadness that we learn that a friend of and contributor to the Elephant Bar, Viktor Silo, has passed.

This is a repost of some of the comments made by Viktor and from some of those here that knew him.

On the blog Viktor was a serious man with strong convictions, sound ideas and insights.

He was gracious when we disagreed, complimentary when we didn't, and always respectful. One never had a hint that he was seriously ill until the last couple of weeks when Viktor shared with us his final challenge. He handled the challenge in a way that we all wish we can do when our time comes.

I wish his family well in their time of sadness and grief.

Viktor will be missed.

viktor silo said...

Allen said:


Our acquaintance has been far too short. You have supplied an oasis in the desert. Be certain, you will be remembered.

As you will be, too, my friend.

If at any point you need an ear, you have may personal e-mail account.

That is generous of you, Allen, thank you.

See you on the other side, my friend :D

As long as Sister is not the gatekeeper. :)

Keep fighting the good fight.

Rufus said:

It was an Honor, Sir. May God bless you, and your family.

Rufus, you old goat, I never expected to see you here.

As I have said before, my hat is off to any man who has been in a firefight on behalf of his country. I am in your debt, Sir.

The Honor is mine, Rufus.

My best to you.

MeLoDy said:


It was nice of you drop by, MeLoDy. Thank you.

My best to you, also.

What is "Occupation" said:

peace and strength...

Don't let the bastards get you down, WiO.

Deuce said " One of my failings in life has been a quick draw. I should have fought less and listened more." Sage advice, WiO.

Keep well.

Quirk said;

...still expect to have you at this year's Bosco Awards at the EB.

Some of your best stuff will be highlighted.

That is what I am afraid of.


November 10, 2010 4:00 PM

No posts.


  1. No Man is an Island

    No man is an island, entire of itself
    every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
    if a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were,
    as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were
    any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind
    and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
    it tolls for thee.

    -- John Donne

  2. Obviously it seems to be a hard post for everyone to comment on.

    I must say, though, the surprised reaction Viktor gave from his bar mates concerns and compassion really puzzled me. I'm not sure of the history that went on here but I'm pretty sure it goes back far in time.

    Viktor if you're reading this it doesn't matter what went on within these walls. What matters is that in the end the people you thought were strangers, the people you thought wouldn't care enough to stop by and express their concerns are really people you obviously acquired some type of relationship with. Except that and take it with you because sometimes the ones that you can't see or hear are the ones you might be closest with.

    It just fucking sucks. I had bad news yesterday, too. My cousins husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He is 41. Her mother died in April.

  3. My dad died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 54.

  4. I was just talking with my wife about my old friend Ann. Her father was my mom's boss for awhile. We were friends forever. Her brother was a doc. He and Ann both died of some rare autoimmune disease that comes on a little later in life. Ann had a heart lung transplant that worked, but then in her garden she had some reaction to pollen and that was the end. Another friend died recently of Lou Gerig's disease. His daughter was in the women's NBA. I've lost so many from my high school class I almost feel ashamed hanging around. But then maybe things aren't what they seem.

  5. And then George Remington of the painter/sculptor fame, his uncle, my insurance guy got killed on his Harley by a drunk driver recently. It's like, I don't know anyone in Moscow any longer. Nick the Bartender is gone too. And Tex, and a bunch of others. But maybe things aren't what they seem.

    On the other end of the scale, my remaining aunt just turned 100.

  6. Yep, tough fight, Mel. That's for sure.

    Depends on what kind of pancreatic cancer, too.

    There's 2 types. One more aggressive than the other. My dad had the more aggressive one.

    Also depends how early or late in stage it is when you catch it. My dad caught it too late.

  7. Yep, both of my grandparents are doing fairly well. Both just turned 90.

  8. Life is a crap-shoot, basically.

    You can control it to a degree but then there's a lot of unknowns out there.

  9. I'm not sure which one he has. I also read that the cancer is very hard to detect and is usually caught in stage four. I don't know what stage he is in but only had a slight pain in his back when he went to the doctors. And after a battery of tests right up until the last biopsy the doctor wasn't convinced it was cancer.

    I'm sorry to hear that your dad died.

  10. She made her husband go to the doctors because a psychic told her that something was wrong with his kidneys, liver or maybe lower back and he had better get it checked out. Three days later the pain came.

    Talk about a crap-shoot.

  11. Then there's my friend Madge, open heart surgery, and my dad's former secretary, one eyed, and now one legged, that I see out at the Casino. I go over and talk with her, in her wheel chair, she is in surprising good spirits.

    Ah hell, I've said it before, ad nauseum, I think we're all beginners here, all of us, just beginners, and that once a human soul is created it cannot be destroyed, and that the dove flies through the darkness, which always recedes, and the darkness is the mystery of God, and mercy, kindness, pity, peace and love, dear love, these things last, being positive, all the bad vanishes, and this from William Blake, and these positives may go to build up the other world.

    But why things have to be as they are sometimes, distressing, I don't know.

    I'm sorry you've down, Melody, I've been feeling that way myself. You're not that way very often. And I hope things go well with you and yours.

    Same to you Sam that things go well with you and yours.

  12. I've got to write a letter to my friend Wayne, who is having trouble. He has lost some of his big leases and is having trouble. They and we go back over 100 years. It is my time to help him, as he has me in the past. He got married late, has two children. I've been thinking for days how I might help, and have come up with something of a plan.

    Take care you two.

  13. Thanks, Mel and Bob.

    My dad's first thought that there was something wrong was when he couldn't drink anymore. Couldn't have a beer or a wine. Made him feel sick. Which was highly unusual. 3 or 4 days after this event, still not being able to drink, he was dropping me off at the train station on my way to work.

    I looked over at him in the car. The whites of his eyes were all yellow. Jaundice had set in. I said, you need to go see the doctor right now. So he did. Same thing as you. Hard to diagnose. At first they thought he had 'hep c'. But tests all negative for that. Finally x-rayed him and the tumor showed up on that.

  14. Timing's got a lot to do with it.

    My dad, on one of his trips to visit me in Perth, on the way home back to Seattle, decided to stop in Tasmania for a couple of days just to check it out.

    Standing in front of this cafe in Port Arthur, real early in the morning, waiting for his tour bus to show up.

    Pouring down rain, cafe wasn't quite open yet. Waitresses took pity and brought him inside and gave him a cup of coffee and paper.

    2 weeks later, about the same time of day, the Port Arthur massacre started in that very same cafe.

    Dad reflecting back, said those nice waitresses that brought him in and gave him the paper probably aren't alive anymore.

    Yes, timing's got a lot to do with it.

  15. As it goes for Viktor, it shall go for us all.

    We all share the common joys of life and the sorrow of having to leave. One day, alll that was once important, is no longer.

    Some of us believe and pray that life is but a stage and there is more to follow. Some of us wish it were so but do not share the faith.

    We all share sorrow. That is the common price that life demands.

  16. Deuce:
    We all share the common joys of life and the sorrow of having to leave. One day, alll that was once important, is no longer.

    We begin life with the whole world before us. We end it chained to the space of a bed. All that really matters is the life between.

    …If to conquer love, has tried,
    To conquer grief, tries more, as all things prove;
    For grief indeed is love and grief beside…
    ___Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Sonnets from the Portuguese, #35