Thomas Wictor

Muse: inspiration, creative influence, stimulus

Muse: inspiration, creative influence, stimulus

A muse is what motivates you to create. In Greek mythology, the Muses were the goddesses of inspiration in literature, science, and the arts. They were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Hesiod wrote that there were nine Muses.

Calliope - epic poetry, symbolized by a writing tablet

Clio - history, symbolized by a scroll

Euterpe - lyric poetry, symbolized by an aulos or Greek flute

Thalia - comedy and pastoral poetry, symbolized by a comic mask

Melpomene - tragedy, symbolized by a tragic mask

Terpsichore - dance, symbolized by a lyre

Erato - love poetry, symbolized by a cithara or Greek lyre

Polyhymnia - sacred poetry, symbolized by a veil

Urania - astronomy, symbolized by a globe and compass

My favorite Greek muse is Terpsichore. I’ve always had a thing for dancers. It’s no mystery why. John Singer Sargent and I had longings. His muse was an Italian girl named Rosina Ferrara, who lived on the island of Capri.


Sargent and I were constrained by our upbringings, and we wished we’d had different lives. Dancers symbolized a freedom and earthiness that was denied us.

For two years, my writing muse was Israel.

A muse is benign

I’ve lost count of the times that Jewish people and Israelis have called me a Nazi because I support Donald Trump. Recently I’ve had to block Jewish people on Twitter because of their implacable hostility.

As I enter the final years of my life, I need rationality, calmness, and minimal stress. I have severe osteoarthritis of the spine and right hip. Stress makes the pain unbearable. Two nights ago my demented feral cats got out of the house by pulling down a screen over an open window. They went onto the roof, jumped down to the ground, and then panicked. It took me eight hours to capture them.

That was the fourth time they’d gotten out. People told me that they’d always come home, but what happens is that when they go outside, they revert, so they don’t recognize me or their house. I have to physically corner them and pick them up.

My batteries are almost flat.

A muse is respectful

Not a day goes by without a Jewish person demanding that I clarify my statements.

The way I live my life is that those with whom I interact accumulate a reservoir of goodwill. I don’t wake up every morning with amnesia that makes me view all people as strangers who have to show me their bona fides again. Nobody is required to prove the correctness of their thoughts to me. If I decide to have a relationship with someone, I take them as they are. Period.

This is not how most people do business, which is why I’m a hermit. But I enjoy solitude. My life is a calm harbor, free from drama. Rudeness and belligerence are not signs of caring. They’re disrespectful.

A muse embraces life

Both of my parents had death wishes. Therefore they died. Badly, and over protracted periods.



I’ve paid my dues when it comes to trying to help those who are conflicted about living. They can’t be reached. As my parents died, they lashed out and were self-pitying and unbelievably abusive. The doctor who treats me for Meniere’s disease said that stress exacerbates the symptoms more than anything else.

When I go on social media, it’s always the same. Too many Jewish people and Israelis are in cages, running on gerbils’ wheel. Nothing changes.

a. Look what they’ve done to us now!
b. Why won’t the UN treat us fairly?
c. This person is a Jew-hater.
d. The Palestinians are depraved.

Yes, yes, yes, and yes. What are you doing about it? Zilch. Just bitching.

People tell me in plain language, “We do this because it’s who we are.”

I’ve seen firsthand how a refusal to change leads to utter disaster. Nobody can say that I didn’t try to bring about a change, but now I’m being called a Nazi. Again and again and again.

An unexpected muse

What inspires me most is improvement. I can’t imagine wanting to take on the task of improving the Middle East. Turkey was once held up as a paragon of success and rationality.

Can Dündar is editor-in-chief of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet. Before he was sentenced to five years and ten months in prison for revealing that the Turkish government was shipping arms to rebels in Syria, Dündar barely escaped being murdered by Murat Şahin, who shouted “Traitor!” and fired a pistol at him.

Unarmed, Dündar’s wife Hilke and Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Muharrem Erkek restrained the would-be murderer until plainclothes police arrested him.

Israel and Turkey are very similar. A large percentage of the populations are ruled by violent emotions.

Below is what I prefer: Saudi Special Forces guarding Syrian Kurdish human-rights activist and co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Assembly Heysem Menai, on his visit to the virulently anti-Saudi, anti-Wahhabist Sunni Arab Shammar tribe.

Those Saudi soldiers see the big picture. They would never call me a Nazi.

I admire them because they don’t take anything personally. Also, the Saudis refuse to let others rule them. It appears that major Saudi military reforms began in 2003. Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud was so ill during the final eight years of his life that he was unable to fulfill his duties. My guess is that Abdul Rahman bin Abdulaziz as Deputy Defense Minister began the transformation of the armed forces, aided by Khaled bin Sultan as Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation and General Inspector for Military Affairs.

Abdul Rahman bin Abdulaziz is a graduate of the California Military Academy, while Khaled bin Sultan graduated from the British Sandhurst Military Academy and the US Air Force Air War College. He also studied at the US Army Command and General Staff College.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud became Defense Minister in 2011, and then his visionary son Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud assumed the post on January 23, 2015.

A muse brings you happiness

I simply can’t convince angry Jewish and Israeli people to refrain from insulting me. Their politics take precedence over everything. That’s fine. But actions have consequences. I’ll always support Israel.

From afar. I have no obligation to absorb hate from people for whom I pinned a giant target on my back.


My new muse makes it tolerable. Here’s video of a Saudi AC-130A firing two 40mm cannons at the Islamic State in Manbij, Syria.

A tactical unit is “an organization of troops, aircraft, or ships that is intended to serve as a single unit in combat. It may include service units required for its direct support.”

The red arrows are vehicles, and the green arrow is a campfire.


American AC-130s use 40mm ammunition manufactured during World War II. It looks like the Saudis have new, much more powerful high-explosive incendiary (HEI) rounds. They totally destroyed the tactical unit, and then they fired on the burning chunks just to make sure.


Exceptional marksmanship. Sixteen rounds were expended.

The Saudi AC-130As operate in total secrecy. The only way to prove that they exist is the cannons’ rate of fire in videos. American AC-130s are not capable of laying down so many rounds in so short a time, because US gunships have only one 40mm cannon. In videos with sound, you can clearly hear two guns firing.

People argue with me all the time about this. They spin hilarious theories.

All to avoid having to credit the Saudis with skill and honor.