Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Today is Tuesday, 24 November 2009.

Attention here has been focused on a pup with a heart problem, not the evil of the Karzai Crime Family, etc. The pup is well for the moment. However, she is 14, beyond the "use by" date for her breed, so ... every day is a far more cherished moment.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Today is Wednesday, 11 November 2009.

91 anniversary of Armistice Day.

Thanks, Belle Emily, for reminding me of this Mandy P. classic.

Pardon me, if you get that ref, but ... when i was a draft resister, it was not only to try to stop the killing of the Indochinese civilians and soldiers, but for the useless dying of the American soldiers.

I never hated the latter, nor wished them harm. Just wished to bring everyone home, alive.

One, has to, be, carefully, taught.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What it Is.

Today is: What it is.

This was a comment on blog today. Beautiful.

I left my heart in Amherst has left a new comment on your post "Today is Tuesday, 10 November 2009. “Obscurity of...":

“I am inexpressably sad for the friends and families who lost loved ones at Fort Hood.

I find Emily's words peaceful and somehow comforting, despite the last strange image of the moss at their lips.

[Well, I don’t get that moss thing either. And, I say this, as one of the very few males to have performed the play, The Belle of Amherst. And no, it wasn’t in drag: I just did it as a reading perf.]

I wish I understood more how such things happen; no, I wish others understood more clearly that violence and death never bring peace or fulfillment or joy. I can't imagine that they ever provide any satisfaction of any kind.

If only there was more tolerance and less anger in the world. We just have to keep trying, teaching our children, living by example.

There is a song from the musical South Pacific, "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught," that has always spoken to me. If we can teach hate and fear of those who are different, surely we can also teach acceptance and friendship.

I'll try to reserve my hatred for guns and bombs, not people.

My, but I do go on. Guess I'm just thinking "aloud" and I borrowed your forum. Excuse, please.”

From HH:

No excusing, please. This is not “my” forum. It’s for all. An agora. Forum is the Roman name, but agora is the Athenian name. A place of public assembly. And not just for guys who did military duty, as in ancient Athens. Let us recognize: we are all humans, comrades, citizens, Friends.

“We must love one another or we die”.
---Auden, “1 September 1939”.

And damn.

Trying to find the You Tube, for "We have to be" etc, but can't.

Any help out there?

Emily, or Obscurity?

Today is Tuesday, 10 November 2009.

“Obscurity of his very own”. A fine line.

Well, “gracious”, as my grandmother said.

The stupidity of guns. Let’s all thank the NRA, etc., You Know Whom You Are, for putting guns in the hands of this mentally ill guy, in, wouldn't one know, Texas.

Having been, forgive me, once upon a time, a “pastor”, “minister”, what have you, I have seen more than my share of the mentally ill, and I don’t want guns in their hands, any more than I want them in the hands of the purportedly sane.

Because, let’s face it: all of us get angry sometimes, and bad things can happen. So: no guns.

It’s a beautiful poem, the Lowell, and all I could think of at the moment. I’m so sad for all the families, as if that matters.

Now, if one thinks that obscure,

By Emily Dicksinson

I died for beauty but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.

He questioned softly why I failed?
"For beauty," I replied.
"And I for truth, the two are one;
We brethren are," he said.

And so, as kinsmen met a night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.

Friday, November 06, 2009

For the Union Dead

Today is Friday, 6 November 2009.

Whatever the reason, yesterday at Fort Hood.

For the Union Dead
by Robert Lowell

"Relinquunt Omnia Servare Rem Publicam."

The old South Boston Aquarium stands
in a Sahara of snow now. Its broken windows are boarded.
The bronze weathervane cod has lost half its scales.
The airy tanks are dry.

Once my nose crawled like a snail on the glass;
my hand tingled
to burst the bubbles
drifting from the noses of the cowed, compliant fish.

My hand draws back. I often sigh still
for the dark downward and vegetating kingdom
of the fish and reptile. One morning last March,
I pressed against the new barbed and galvanized

fence on the Boston Common. Behind their cage,
yellow dinosaur steamshovels were grunting
as they cropped up tons of mush and grass
to gouge their underworld garage.

Parking spaces luxuriate like civic
sandpiles in the heart of Boston.
A girdle of orange, Puritan-pumpkin colored girders
braces the tingling Statehouse,

shaking over the excavations, as it faces Colonel Shaw
and his bell-cheeked Negro infantry
on St. Gaudens' shaking Civil War relief,
propped by a plank splint against the garage's earthquake.

Two months after marching through Boston,
half the regiment was dead;
at the dedication,
William James could almost hear the bronze Negroes breathe.

Their monument sticks like a fishbone
in the city's throat.
Its Colonel is as lean
as a compass-needle.

He has an angry wrenlike vigilance,
a greyhound's gentle tautness;
he seems to wince at pleasure,
and suffocate for privacy.

He is out of bounds now. He rejoices in man's lovely,
peculiar power to choose life and die--
when he leads his black soldiers to death,
he cannot bend his back.

On a thousand small town New England greens,
the old white churches hold their air
of sparse, sincere rebellion; frayed flags
quilt the graveyards of the Grand Army of the Republic.

The stone statues of the abstract Union Soldier
grow slimmer and younger each year--
wasp-waisted, they doze over muskets
and muse through their sideburns . . .

Shaw's father wanted no monument
except the ditch,
where his son's body was thrown
and lost with his "niggers."

The ditch is nearer.
There are no statues for the last war here;
on Boylston Street, a commercial photograph
shows Hiroshima boiling

over a Mosler Safe, the "Rock of Ages"
that survived the blast. Space is nearer.
When I crouch to my television set,
the drained faces of Negro school-children rise like balloons.

Colonel Shaw
is riding on his bubble,
he waits
for the blessèd break.

The Aquarium is gone. Everywhere,
giant finned cars nose forward like fish;
a savage servility
slides by on grease.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Please Enlist

Today is Wednesday, 4 November 2009.


Just brought to my attention that this is the 20th anniversary of the debut of Wallace and Gromit.

Alas, all embedding of their original work is prohibited, so, herewith, a fan’s homage.

This one’s for Field Marshal Beth, Supremo of the Army of General Indignation.

The Poppy Is Also a Flower

Today is Wednesday, 4 November 2009.


I’m 57, and have had arthritis since I was 20. I love autumn, and, every October, the transition of seasons plays particular wicked with my joints, particularly my back. Who feels like writing? And now, I think of the Third World.

Chronic pain, which I have, to greater or lesser degree, about 66% of the day … for lack of a better word … “sucks”. There are meds I could take, which I choose not to at this time, due to side effects … but, the point is, I could take. In the Third World … lots of luck.

This year, we … us/US taxpayers … will spend more than $3 billion to eradicate the poppy fields of Afghanistan, which produce 80-90% of the world’s heroin.

In the Third World, in hospitals, painkillers are in short supply. Very frequently, patients must pay a bribe to receive them. Otherwise: agony.

In an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times several years ago, which I can’t find at the moment, the author suggested that, instead of eradicating the poppy fields, they be cultivated under international supervision, and processed into morphine, which would then be provided at very low cost to the Third World. Afghan farmers would prosper, and needless suffering in the Third World be lessened.

But where’s the fun in that?

Since the beginning of the USA/USE “intervention” in Afghanistan under the Carter regime, we’ve supported warlords who profit greatly from the heroin trade. No eradication program has ever worked. Perhaps … because it would harm “our” warlords?

A successful international poppies-for-medicine program would cut the warlords off at the knees. And then, where would Karzai etc. be? Where would (narco)state building be?