Do you like soccer (or, as the rest of the world calls it, football)? Dirk does in a big way, and it has become a family affair.

Dirk's son Roland and 2 friends have started Legend Soccer Company,  developing innovative, sustainable soccer gear (and only soccer gear). Learn about Legend Soccer Company at the link above. Dirk not only endorses Legend Soccer, he's involved with it - "and not only because Roland is my son."

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Old 02-02-2017, 09:53 PM   #1
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Default Responses to the first DBC Q&A

This is the thread where we're going to post all of Dirk's responses to your questions. As he is able to complete each batch, I'll get them posted below.

There will be no comments on this thread, this is for just reading through the questions and Dirk's responses to them. I'll post individual threads for each questioner, so y'all can discuss each set of questions without getting one mixed up with a half dozen others...

And a bit of explanation - a Mea Culpa, if you will:

Yes, the unexpectedly severe weather in the western US and unrelated technical issues did negatively impact the execution of this first-time-ever effort. But my choices in setup and execution also created obstacles that I had not foreseen. Next time we do this it won't be anywhere near a holiday, for one thing... So your continued patience as Dirk finishes each batch of questions will be greatly appreciated - and you won't be disappointed in the results.

We learned a lot in our inaugural Q&A, and next time will be even better.

So on with the show...

Originally Posted by Anneg1026
Anneg1026 asks:

Hello Dirk

I have two questions, if that's OK.

1. What kind of music do you listen to? Favorite songs?

2. Out of all the characters you've played, which one is your favorite and/or the most fun to play?

Thank you for your time, and have a great day!

Anne G.

1. 2. Music was my first passion. My father had a musical bent, played the piano, wrote a few songs, organized little concerts in our home growing up. He and my mother came home one night after going out for an evening to the sound of me, age 6, playing Mary Had A Little Lamb on the piano. The baby sitter had taught it to me. Piano lessons immediately followed. My Dad and I played duets. I had a gift for improvising. I loved to just sit at the piano and 'tinkle', make up my own music. I started playing trombone when I was about 12. In High School a friend and I formed a Dixieland Band. Imagine that! This during the time Elvis and Rock and Roll was all the rage. (I've always been out of step with 'mainstream' society.) We were quite good. Piano, drums, clarinet, trombone, trumpet (my friend...who was very good), saxophone. We recorded ourselves and I have a (very poor quality) recording of us playing about three tunes. My trumpet playing friend cleaned up the old tapes and put them on CD. When I heard it, it brought me to tears. Because we were so good....stuck there in the middle Montana in a little cowtown...and didn't realize it. In college I played football and another player, who became my best friend, was a world class trumpet player. Yup. We formed a "dance band". In College. This....as The Beatles were sweeping the Nation. Always too early or too late. Needless to say, there weren't a lot of gigs for us. My trumpet friend, Tom Skoog, later played with a famous Dixieland Band in Seattle. I was to join them (f1970) but went to New York with $500. and a suitcase to check it out as an actor. Promising to be back in a month or so after the money ran out and I got tired of sleeping on couches. Everything went wrong and I ended up starring on Broadway. And never returned to Seattle and the Dixieland Band. And became an actor instead. All of which is to say....I love any and all kinds of Jazz. Truth is I love all quality music. I studied music in college, music theory, and my original dream was to be a composer/jazz trombone player. That also went south and I ended up doing lots of theater in college....where the girls were!

I love opera. Classical...Mozart, Bach...who wrote every chord combination there is, the Shakespeare of Music, Beethoven...and all those romantic, mad Russians.

I love, love, am crazy about....dancing. If the music 'speaks' to me. I used to dance with my sons, when they were little guys, in the mornings as I cooked their breakfast and they got dressed. Always, always, there was music playing when they got up. Lots of Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole...one of my favorites. And Kid Ory, Satchmo, King Oliver....and of course Rock and Roll. Anything that is good. Disco didn't do it for me and Rap I don't consider music and certainly un-danceable. No melody. No chord progressions. Just chanting and rhythm. Tribal.

So my original dreams were all about music and acting was really an accident.

So your simple question really opened up a part of my life that I could write an entire book about.

The last time I played my trombone was with Conrad Janis and The Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band. 1987 or maybe '88? Dudley Moore, Bea Arthur, Jackie Cooper, Jack Lemon....all sat in with the group, as did I for 2 numbers...in a TV special called This Joint is Jumpin'. It took me months to get my lips in shape to play (I hadn't played since '70) and after the TV gig I put horn down and haven't played since. Life. It is hard for me to listen to Jazz now as I wonder what might have been....next time ask an easy question.

2. Hamlet. Off-Broadway. 1987. with Rita Gam as Gertrude and Douglas Watson as Claudius and my wife Toni Hudson as Ophelia. I haven't been the same since.
On TV...the role would be in Pilot called..."Trench Coat In Paradise..
In the movies...that's easy: Character called "Harry Smilac" in BODY SLAM. Check it out!

Originally Posted by moonlustere
moonlustere asks:

Just a couple of queries....
Did you feel any of the earthquakes that hit this year?
What is your favorite form or type of dance you like to be a participant?
Are you coaching soccer for kids in the future?

Earthquakes? Didn't feel a thing. Unless you mean Trump's election...and I helped create that one.

I'll dance to anything that 'speaks' to me. Lately I have to dance alone...and do so in my home. Or where ever I bump into a song that just needs to be danced to. You know I once danced with Fred Astaire. When he played my Dad on BSG. But that's another book. He was a great human being and could almost keep up with me on the dance floor. Ahem.

I don't coach soccer. My son Roland is a GREAT coach. Played in Belgium and England awhile ago. I watch a lot of soccer/football. And never miss a match Roland or my other son George play in. I go to Roland's team, that he coaches, go to all their matches. Ridiculous. I'm a soccer junkie.

Originally Posted by MissBenedict
MissBenedict asks:

Hello Dirk,
First of all, thanks a lot for your great work

Here are my questions :
1. Can we expect a new book (soon?)?
2. Do you collect something?
3. What kind of television shows/series/movies do you like yourself to watch?

1. Book? I have writer's block. I can barely write a shopping list. This little bit of typing I'm doing now is causing me to sweat. My entire life changed in '95. I became single parent. Not living in big home in Santa Monica, CA, but in a little log cabin in Montana. No wife. Just me and my two little boys. Age, then, 5 and 7. I have never been the same.

So the past 25 years are the real story of my life. The real 'meat' of my life, but it is beyond me to write about, for a multitude of reasons. I have written several plays and screenplays. The gather dust and soon will be fire starters. I can't stand the idea of writing something that will go through endless rejection, as did all my previous efforts.

I am either ahead of my time or behind it...both probably. Anyway...if we tell the truth, it can get you in a lot of trouble and I've had enough of that for three lifetimes.

Both of the books I wrote that were published (I have one written in '94 that sits on my shelves...all 350 pages), went through years of rejection by endless publishers. Confessions of A Kamikaze Cowboy was burned by the first publisher when he actuallay found out what it was about; the AMA came after him (and me but I didn't care); Sugar lobby threatened; all over a little book about....FOOD!

2. I collect memories.

3. I watch soccer on TV or Politics. That's about it. Can't stand what has happened to mainstream TV. But then it is a reflection of today's society. Remember I'm the guy who had one of his dearly beloved characters, Lt. Starbuck, castrated....to be made palatable for today's viewers. Full disclosure: I am a bit of an ID Discovery addict. Love to solve those real life murder mysteries.

Originally Posted by MacroVal
MacroVal asks:

Hello Mr. Benedict,
All your years of eating Macro, what has been the most delicious Macro dish/meal you have had? And/or you, yourself have made?
Thanks, Val
DB: I suppose I could say a meal cooked by Aveline Kushi in '75 at her and Michio's home in Brookline, MA. I can't remember it in detail, only that it has never been forgotten.

The real answer is that as time has passed my 'favorite' meal has become simpler and simpler. I did reality TV show where the contestants were denied food...except oatmeal and rice and beans. Little did they know that ... that is what I live on, what I eat as my most favorite food. 60-70% of what I eat is whole grains: brown rice, millet, kasha, wheat, oats, barley. 20% beans...all kinds; 10% vegetables and now and then some nuts or fish.

Seldom bread, refined flour.

I eat very simple day in and day out. Miso and natto in morning.

Maybe bowl of soba or rice cream.

Nothing until later in day. Then stir fried rice (kale, tofu, collard greens, onion, carrot, maybe aduki beans, black beans). As soon as I'm done writing this I will have several bowls of lentil/wheat soup that I made several days ago and have been eating on. Almost gone. Always cooked with kombu. It is 6:30p.m. I ate natto and miso soup at 9:30 a.m. Simple, simple, simple. And most important...delicious. It is what I want, what I crave.

I wish I had time to explain this but I addressed it in Confessions of K.C. back in '84 when I wrote it. How one's taste buds change. Spices, sauces, constant variety....all because people have lost their true sense of taste. The NEED extreme food so that they can taste....something!

I haven't had animal food or dairy for about 45 years. My, my. Or sugar. Very little flour products. I thought I'd be dead in 10 days when I stopped eating bacon and burgers and steaks. How little I knew. The most important thing about my journey in the world of food....is that sons speak for me. Simply by showing up. They grew up at the mercy of their Dad and his way of eating and it didn't take them long to notice that they didn't have all the maladies of their friends as they went from tots to teen-agers to young men.

The youth of today are old beyond their years. Junk Food Mentality.

The only real solution is to just say 'no' to what is advertised on TV.

In Natto I trust. If everyone had a bowl of Miso soup in the morning instead of a donut and/or cup of coffee...well, never mind. That will never happen.

My sons are my gift to the world and my final statement, my real statement.

The rest is Waiting for Godot....

Originally Posted by Michele Ann
Michele Ann asks:


What's your favorite holiday and why?
Favorite place you've traveled?
What's the greatest joy you obtain when you write?

1. I don't take Holidays. More correctly, my life has been a "holiday". With a lot of catastrophe's enroute.

My three sons and I went through Europe in '04. About 6 weeks. Too much fun. But other than that, I haven't had what people would call a "vacation" for 30 years. I took a couple when I was married...you HAVE to when you are married. I've been all over the world, but always in connection to a 'job'. Of course I also have never had a 'real job' so go figure. It's hard to explain. Who said, "if you do what you love for a living; you'll never have to work". ?? Or something like that. Acting was a great way to make a living; (IF you can make a living) and I (almost) would have done The A Team for nothing. If you can find someone to pay you for doing something that you think is "fun"...well then why would you take a vacation.

I love New Zealand...but then it is VERY similar to where I live in Montana. So maybe that's it.

I dreamed of living in Africa... Capetown, after several visits to S.A. and Zimbabwe. I think everyone who visits Africa for any length of time is smitten. It is too dangerous for me now....I can't run as fast as I used to. No kidding...you want to be mobile. I have many wonderful memories of Zimbabwe and S.A. And used to have friends there, in S.A., they are now all in London or Brussels.

First time I visited California, Santa Monica, in '66 to meet my then fiance's parents...I thought it was heaven. I still believe it , Southern California, has the best climate in the world. How wonderful I got to make TV shows there 30 years ago. Now...either I'm too old; or it is too crowded; or both. I don't have enough time left on the planet to spend 2 hrs. a day just GETTING SOMEWHERE.

And don't tell anyone...but I am living in the most beautiful part of the last best place.

I'm off to Eurpoe in 3 wks. (for 3 days...about as long as I can stand being away) and when I return, each and every time, I get down on my hands and knees and kiss the ground I live on.
When I was young I had wanderlust. I've been to every state in USA. 30 or 40 countries. And now it takes MONEY, or a beautiful woman, or better yet, a beautiful woman with money, to get me off my property.

The word "recluse" isn't far wrong in describing me.

Joy when writing? Oh man. This is not a simple question.

One of the chapters in an unpublished book I wrote addresses this. I will send it to my webmaster and have him post it. From Where...God only Knows..is the name of the chapter.

Because when I write, and maybe it is same for many writers, the trick is to get out of the way and let instinct or spirit take over. In my two books...when I glance at them (which I never do anymore), I wonder how in the hell I wrote them. Thinking, "I could never write that."

It's like taking dictation from on High. So the "joy" is that 'time' doesn't exist. I have 'written' for 8 hours at a stretch and when coming out of the trance it feels like 15 minutes. The terrible thing about this is that one, if he is honest, can't take 'credit' for it, but merely admit to being the vessel through which the words flowed.

I think we should live our lives like this. I try to. Which means my life is very spontaneous, which means I don't have many friends, especially girl friends, because I can't....that dreaded word...."commit". I don't KNOW where I'll be tomorrow. What I have done today has nothing to do with, or very little, with what I had thought I'd be doing when I got up.

My life is a tangent, you could say; and I write the same way. Which is scary, 'cuz it's trusting in 'life' or The Universe, or fate that things will work out. For instance my three sons and I went through Europe for weeks with almost no PLANS. I know of no other human beings with whom I could do that.

"Where are we going to stay when were in Rome?"

"When are we going to BE in Rome?"

"Where are we going to have dinner?"

When I was dating, it was difficult. You have to have a schedule!

My life as a tangent; I started out a musician, ended up an actor, then a writer, then neither but a stay at home dad, then directed a film...

One thing has just led to another, which I think is true of all lives, but maybe I've been more flexible in recognizing the nudge from The Universe and going with it.

Of course if you dream is to be Rich and Famous...really Famous...you can't do what I did, can't live as I do.

You have got to COMMIT to LA and The Business and not leave to cook miso soup and oatmeal for your sons in a log cabin in Montana for 20 years.

I'm sorry....what was the question?

Never mind. I do have to go water the rosemary bush.

Originally Posted by ItsJustMe
ItsJustMe asks:

Ok...here we go....
1. Why were there some actors in multiple roles in the A-Team show? Nobody else wanted to join?
Like Ismael Carlo....he was in "A small and deadly war", "The only church in town"," A lease with an option to kill" and "Sheriffs of Rivertown"...
Or Jack Ging...in "A small and deadly war" , "Bad time on the border" and of course later as Fullbright .

2.I've heard you are a fan of Borussia Dortmund...I grew up near Dortmund, so I am a fan as well. Now I am living in Idaho...
Do you still watch games of the BVB and if so...where ?? ESPN? I have to listen to those games on the radio because I dont know where to watch them...so any tip?

3. in the episode "Quarterback sneak" why were the Germans played by Americans? (I mean the small parts....like the guy who sais he is sweating....he used the word Schweissing...and that word doesnt exist )
Why not hire Germans to do those small parts?


DB: 1: They used the same actors, whenever possible because the producers (and the cast) liked them. We liked them because A: they were good. B: They were never 'problems'...actors can be difficult, or haven't you heard? C: It was very hard to do our show...we worked very, very fast and with little, and sometimes no, rehearsal. There are a lot of actors who simply can't (couldn't) keep up with the pace.
2. I made a film in Germany and lived in Dortmund for about 4 or 5 weeks. I went to a lot of BVB matches and became enamored. I still follow them and they are my favorite team in Bundesliga. Premiere League is my favorite league and the one I watch the most, however. I have (still) some BVB memorabilia. (Keychains, shirts, hats..) I watch BVB on BEIN sports.
3. Americans playing Germans??? How dare we? That would require acting...and Lord knows The A Team was not about that. They didn't even hire a real ladies man to play a ladies man. Or a real crazy person to play a real crazy person. And would you believe it...Mr. T doesn't really growl all the time? "Schweissing" isn't a real word??? (It should be.)
Well...The A Team wasn't a 'real' show. It was all very much like playing Cowboys and Indians; Cops and Robbers, when I was 10 years old. Which was long ago and before I started schweissing.

Originally Posted by Nance
Nance asks:
Dear Dirk,

Thank you so much for giving us the chance to set up this Q&A on the board. Really cool! I hope you will have as much fun with this as we are having right now.
I think the best way to start this thing is by just asking away. So, thatís what Iíll doÖ

Topic 1:
Now this topic may seem a bit obscure and I probably could find the answer on the web somewhere, but thatís nowhere as much fun as asking you.
During the first season of the A-team (Vegas episode), the way you wrap the rifle strap around your arm before Ďtaking aimí caught my eye. Throughout the series you are the only one who does so and it looks like you donít even think about it, even when shooting Ďfrom the hipí. This had me puzzled because the cast members with actual military experience leave it dangling about. I asked my dad, who has served in the Dutch army during the 80s but he looked at me like I was an idiot ha-ha. So, no help there.
I did some research and found that it has something to do with stability? Bear in mind that I have zero experience with actual firearms, but in archery the quest for stability throughout the shot cycle is a perpetual one. Hence my interest in this.

Does it make a difference in the sight picture or stability? Were you taught to shoot like this or is it something you picked up along the way?

Topic 2:
This one is inspired by a topic on the board and the way your fictional military career has never really taken off. A Lieutenant in the 70s, still one in the 80ís... You should have been a General by now! We wondered if that was a stipulation in your contracts? Wahaha oh my, Iím such an awful woman.

Alright, getting back in serious mode. My question is this: Do you feel as though you fell into the type casting trap after the big success of for example Battlestar Galactica? As I was writing this I kept thinking that you are just very recognizable. Your movements etc. are very much like a signature. Maybe thatís what makes you stand out?

My cheeks are hurting from grinning so much. Thank you again for your willingness to participate. I will eagerly await your response.

From the Netherlands and with lots of love


DB: Well you answered your own question. (Thank you.) I did it instinctively. Wrapped the shoulder strap of rifle around my elbow for stability. I used to do that when hunting deer and elk and rabbits and....etc. growing up in Montana. And of course, I was always looking for stability...notice how I wrapped my elbow around the girls waist whilst moving in for the kill...er, smooch. All in the name of stability. I am, by nature, a waffler and will take stability anywhere I can get it. Even from a scotch bottle from time to time.
I was type-cast. Which would have been fine, if they, (PC Hollywood writers) hadn't quit writing the lovable scoundrel/con-men I was type-cast as playing. That character disappeared from the TV screens of America with me.
Lt. Templeton Peck, AKA Faceman and Lt. Starbuck....may the rest in peace. Like my career.
To show you how stuck I was with regard to promotion in rank...in 2010 I played..."Columbo" (the TV guy) on stage, touring UK for 5 months. That would be Lieutenant Columbo, as you may remember.

Originally Posted by flyngirl5
flyngirl5 asks:
Dear Dirk,

Thanks so much for doing this. We know how much you appreciate your fans, and believe me, we love you right back!

Here are my questions:
  • Why did you want to become a pilot, and/or what do you love most about flying? (Did you actually fly the seaplane while filming the movie "Alaska"?)
  • You have led an extraordinary life. As you've written in your books, and mentioned in interviews, many of your personal and professional experiences weren't planned; they just sort of fell into place... I think a lot of us can relate to that. If you could relive just one of those experiences, knowing what you know now, what would it be? What (if anything) might you do differently?
  • OK, just for fun... Imagine you have been granted a day of freedom. Tomorrow morning you have no commitments; you will wake up with unlimited resources, anywhere in the world you want to be. You can choose any one living person, outside your immediate family, to spend this day with you. Where, how, and with whom will you spend the day?
Thanks again for indulging us! Wishing you a very happy holiday season.

All my love,
Erin (Flyngirl5) - xoxo

DB: 1. With my Starbuck Money I bought a brand new Porsche 911 Targa. (1980) I got a lot of speeding tickets, driving back and forth between Hollywood and Montana. In '81, in the middle of Nevada, south of Ely, on US 93 I was stopped (by a police helicopter) going 113 miles an hour. Safely so, but the laws the law. As I was getting my ticket, and lecture I noticed an airplane flying overhead. And I had the thought..."No speed limits up there?" When I got to Montana I immediately took flying lessons. Fell in love with the FREEDOM of it, and in 3 months had my ticket. (October 8th, 1981) In 1982 I bought my beloved Cessna Turbo 182 RG. (N2294R). I was addicted and flew myself every where for many years to come and became quite adept at it.
Yes, I did take instruction in The Super Cub Float Plane in ALASKA and did my own flying.
Charlton Heston (even) was quite impressed. I told him it was nothing compared to him and his Chariot!

2. What would I do differently. This is a pointless thing to ponder. And I never do it. But for you....I would not have become an actor. It was a waste of my real talent(s). Anyway, it was never my intention, never my dream, to be an actor so, had I the chance to do it over again....I'd have stayed in Seattle, after college, and played Jazz music...and see where that led.

3. You are going too think I'm being obtuse: Everyday of my life is a day of 'freedom', as described by you: 'no commitments can be anywhere you (I) want to be...' I am where I want to be...if I wanted to, I could be living in Africa or Hollywood or...Butte (I've thought about that a lot). Granted, I have traveled the world a bit and learned that where ever I am; is where I want to be. From childhood, and I thought everyone over one was like this for many years until learning otherwise over time, from childhood I was happy doing whatever I was doing; with whom I was doing it, even (especially) if doing it alone. I would soon learn that many people are worried that they are not where the 'action' is; not at THE party; not hanging with the really, really cool people; not starring in the right movie. Always discontent. I have always been content in my own skin. It must be my DNA, cuz, from birth, from my earliest conscious moments/memories (and had I time and space I could share them), I was happy. Unlike many actors I met in my life; I didn't hate where I grew up (a little 'hick' town in Montana) and yearned to get out and go to where the real action , the real excitement was, i.e New York, Los Angeles, Paris, New Orleans, Hawaii. I loved growing up where I was and left not out of discontent but because I was 'curious' about the world beyond the horizon.
This quality has saved me. Most actors who had the success I had, would be suicidal to have lived their lives as I have the past 20 years. To go from TV Star to cooking, cleaning, picking up and dropping off; to go from living in mini-mansion in California to living in 900 sq. ft. cabin in Montana; to go from hob-nobbing with celebrities to parent teachers meetings...this is a segue that lets you know the truth about your Self.

The last 20 years of my life have been the best 20 years, if I was forced to choose, and the most difficult and the most rewarding. The only years of which I am truly proud of my performance during them and for which, if the world were fair, they would give Oscars.
Unfortunately, and this again would take a book, there is no one with whom I would want to share my days of 'freedom'. As one gets older, one becomes more and more selective. I can tell in the first 5 minutes of a conversation, if I am talking to a person with whom I want to spend any time. They would have to enjoy the smell of a fine cigar...which right away limits the number of people who would like to hang out in my company. The cigar, by the way, comes in handy as an excuse as to why I can't come to your party.
"I'd love to come to dinner, of course you do know I am a smoker".
"Oh, no. I'm sorry there is no smoking in our home."
"Darn. That's such shame. It would have been fun."
"But, but, but...you can go outside and smoke...."
"You mean in the rain..the snow, the sleet...with the dogs, the refuse and irredeemables...?"
And so it goes.
I haven't been to anyone's home for... years.
I hate sugar and love cigars. Most people love ice cream (or anything with sugar) and loathe cigars.
What I love to do, and seldom get to anymore...is dance. When I was dating...taking a lady dancing was my favorite thing to do.
And now the sun is setting and the lake is starting to shimmer, the soup to simmer and I must go.

Ro83 asks:

Is there any possibility for The Great Dilemma to be published?

Thanks so much for doing this, Dirk.
DB: Oh, I wish you hadn't asked. It is on my Bucket List. I should write an Introduction to it and try to get it published. It probably isn't what you expect it to be, given the excerpt I use from it in my book. I wish my Father had written more, as did he I am sure. I guess the apple doesn't fall very far, as there are those that wish I would write more. I can't go into that write (right) now. My Father also jotted down 'ideas' as they came to him when he was at home. I have many memories of him lying in front of the fire, lost in thought, or playing checkers with me, or listening to music...which we did a lot...and suddenly going to a drawer by the fireplace wall, taking out an index card from a box kept in that drawer; writing something down on the card, putting it in the box, which was really a "card file", and going back to whatever he had been doing. He was a philosopher by nature and constantly thinking, another trait I inherited. He had a "business" card that read; George E. Niewoehner; and underneath, "Philosopher and Wit."

I have this Card File in my possession. It contains hundreds of his 'ideas', thoughts, musings. Reading it is like listening to a person think. It, like The Great Dilemma, should be published in some form or another.

The Great Dilemma is a political treatise laying out a way by which we could avoid the constant growth of Federal Gov't. All Government really. It is "libertarian" I suppose one could say. What is unique about it is it not only discusses why government was never meant to intrude into our lives such as it has, but HOW to stop it from doing so...via The House and Senate. Very difficult to explain. It uses detailed graphs showing how it could/can be done. He wrote most of this during the winter of 1961, which he spent in Cooke City, Montana. A more remote place you can not imagine. Especially in the winter. You needed a four wheel drive vehicle to get in and out. And the winter of '61 was particularly cold and deep.

I remember how excited he was when it all came together and he was finished. He was in midst of looking for a publisher when he was killed. It is amazing that he was writing this some 55 years ago as it is more applicable now than it was then as the growth of Big Government has proceeded exactly say wrote it would.

I agree with the introductions main thrust that the truth is "we", The People, don't really want, deserve, nor can handle......"Freedom". We constantly bemoan its loss and scream at the top of our lungs how we want it....but truth is...we don't. Were a magic wand waved and we could have our precious Freedom...in the very next breath we would start passing laws to restrict/limit it. All for very good reasons. In a free country there would be no anti-smoking laws, or limits on 'free speech'. The First Amendment doesn't say we are all free to state our opinions....UNLESS they are disagreeable, hateful or unpopular...then we need shut up. Which is the case in America today. We have Free Speech as long as we say "nice" things. The Left, for lack of the true descriptive phrase, would like to pass a law making it illegal to disagree with the idea that man-caused Global Warming is a fact. And in truth have done so at most Universities and Colleges in America. So much for Free Speech.

We all want to get rid of Big Government except when it is Big Government that WE like, or aids us. For example, many (most) Farmers are Conservative and/or Republican and against the Growing Welfare State....but the biggest welfare recipients per capita in my state of Montana are.....Farmers and don't even think about getting rid of that Gov't subsidy.

People don't really want freedom they just want to talk as if they do. So The Great Dilemma was a plan to Free People in spite of Themselves. Pretty wonderful.

The thing I missed most about my Dad was talking with him about any and every thing. From all viewpoints of an idea. It is still my favorite thing to do but alas not a pastime that is much done anymore. I grew up in a time and place when sitting around the cook stove, on ranches, and sharing stories and opinions was considered entertainment. Pre TV; and waaaaaay before all the Social Media where no one talks to any one about anything except the latest Celebrity i.e Kardashian escapade.

elainesteel asks:

Hi Dirk,

Thanks for doing this.

Q1, You're quoted as saying you're happy to share what you know or think you know about finding some serenity in this lifetime. What would be you're biggest advice?

Q2, What do you do with the majority of your time at home?

Q3, What would you consider to be the most important thing for anyone starting out with macrobiotics to know/bear in mind/adhere to/start off with?
1. Serenity. I recommend Lagavulin single malt scotch. 4 shots an evening taken with an Arturo Fuente Double Chateau cigar. In lieu of that;

Give up chaotic eating. No extremes, like all forms of simple SUGAR. (Fructose, Corn Syrup, etc.) Meat. Corporate food of all kinds...fast food; pre-cooked; packaged.

Go into the kitchen and prepare your own food. We all know how drugs, cocaine, meth, etc. rattle the brain, well the same is true of all food, and drugs are just an extreme form of food.

If you eat chaotically your life will be chaos. Grabbing "a bite to eat" at some fast food drive-thru is deadly to any kind of inner peace. Simple food, slows the metabolism down. Stills the mind. All religions have had some form of dietary regimens...and for a very good reason. And preparing your own food is taking control of our life in more ways than you can imagine.

One can have serenity in the midst of the noisiest city in the world and not have it living in the most remote and quiet spot on earth. This is all discussed in my book in depth. In fact, I wrote my book so I wouldn't have to answer questions like this any more in my life. A rule which I now have broken but NOW I'm done.

Changing my way of eating changed my life...and eventually my death.

2. Like my Father....I reflect. Think. Meditation you could call it. Connecting to something beyond me. I find joy in the most mundane tasks. Seemingly mundane, but in fact deeply rewarding. All the work I do on my property...keeps me fit; teaches me to be self-reliant....I go to bed tired and at peace. i could write an entire book on Zen and The Art of Splitting Wood. Splitting wood, and stacking it, is an activity that happens on many levels, like the art of cooking;; or writing, or making love for that matter. And now I've lost you....I think I've lost myself. Not really. But this is not the place for discussion of the spiritual aspects of all human activity. Or is it?

3. Come on now. I'm going to assume you haven't read my book. Read it. After reading it, if you still can ask this question then you are beyond saving. You have lost the ability to think; lost your sense of adventure; lost your curiosity. I was given much less to go on when I launched into exploration of what "macrobiotics" was all about and how to put it into practice. I was given a two page pamphlet and a big of rice and some aduki beans. By Gloria Swanson and Bill Dufty, one evening, after having dinner with them in their beautiful apartment in New York City. I was soooooo curious. It wasn't easy but it was never boring. And it led me to where I am now. Fit enough to chop wood; hike the mountains of Montana and even chase the ladies, sans drugs.

joy baker asks:

This is the first time I have done this so please bear with me.
Q1- when are you going to write the rest of your life story for us?
Q2- how is your sons company doing? Love the website for it.

Thank you for your fantastic site - John and Dirk.
With love
1. Probably never. There are too many people that would be upset by it...and it would only open me up to too many questions and of course irritate a lot of people, as the Truth always does. And I don't need that at this stage of my life. In short: I just don't see the point of doing it. Plus....it is hard work. For me, writing is. Because it involves endless re-writing. Answering these questions is painful because I want to re-write all my answers and get it right, better, correct, which I am not allowing myself to do....for reasons to lengthy to go into but mainly just the matter of time. I love to write but find it impossible to just "dash it off". And a book about the last 20 years would be very painful to put down on paper as my style, my nature, is to just tell it all and I'm not sure I want to do that with these decades...the best, most important, interesting decades of my life. The 20 years in which, unike those before, I take some pride in what I accomplished. I have done what very, very few in my position have done. Of course no one wants to hear about a Man who raised his children as a single parent. Did all those traditional women's jobs...cooking, cleaning, dusting, mopping, washing clothes, folding, picking up and dropping off...PLUS doing all the traditional Male roles. While I was doing it, most of my friends were Single Moms...who had endless empathy from everyone; fund raisers; TV shows about them...when I mentioned I too was a Single Parent...I got nothing, it being assumed...I meant just that I was divorced and had my children every other weekend, or some such. I'm not sure the public of today wants to hear what I have to say about contemporary child rearing and who is and isn't doing it.

I just had a phone call and have lost my mojo. To say nothing of my train of thought. Alas. But perhaps it's just as well. I'm not sure I answered your question but my heart was in the right place...I meant to. I thank you for your interest and who knows...I may do it yet.

2. My son Roland's company, along with his partner Sean Person, is called Legend Soccer and is doing FANTASTIC. I am not allowed to say more. Roland has issued gag order to dear ol' Dad. Stay tuned to their website.

And Thank John for "our" site. As I do. It is all due to him.

Ojai22 asks:


1. Do you mind saying which of your ancestors were the first to come to the States?

2. Would you consider, or is it possible, for you and Dwight to do a commentary for the A-TEAM?
1. August Niewoehner, my Great Grandfather, from Germany, near Essen, came to America in mid 1880's Settled eventually in North Dakota. Where my Grandfather was born....Roland Niewoehner.

2. Dwight and I would love to share our wit and wackiness for a commentary on The A Team...it is that Universal Studios has absolutely no interest to have us to it. Stunning. But if you can catch Dwight and I and one of the conventions we do together....we do it all, and then some, during or Q & A sessions. Not sure how much longer he and I will be doing shows, and it is hard to schedule them together, so if you hear we are doing one...I hope you'll come and share some laughter (and tears?) with us.
See Dirk's appearance schedule here: Appearances

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