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Sorry for the delay – got a little busy with this whole war thing for a while.
Now, where were we?
The Literatti are atwitter...:
Uncut edition of Kerouac's 'On The Road' issued 50 years laterThe original having been just too spicy for the masses, circa 1960. One wonders how many would have followed that pied piper had they heard the actual song.
Now, 50 years on, the tale of disaffected youth struggling to find a place in post-war America is to be re-released in its original form, unedited, cruder and more erotic, and with the real names of Kerouac's traveling companions restored.
Beat generation figures such as poet Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and writer William S. Burroughs appear in the novel under their real names instead of their familiar pseudonyms of Carlo Marx, Dean Moriarty and Old Bull Lee.
Other details, such as episodes detailing characters' homosexuality or attraction to underage girls are also back in.
Let the man of learning, the man of lettered leisure, beware of that queer and cheap temptation to pose to himself and to others as a cynic, as the man who has outgrown emotions and beliefs, the man to whom good and evil are as one. The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer.
-- Theodore Roosevelt, Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, France April 23, 1910
As they made their way back from the restrooms the line began to move slowly forward. In one of his more observant moments he noticed the expressions on faces remained unchanged from the dull disinterest displayed prior to this small display of progress. He scanned about 20 faces after making that observation to ensure he hadn't simply drawn a conclusion based on what he expected to be the case, but (while acknowledging that his sample was finite) he determined that with unanimity the individuals in line appeared to be about as excited as a group inbound to a license branch, or perhaps even traffic court.
Make that one exception...
"Ohhh wonderful, you've returned just in time" She said with a smile and a small wave, "we're on our way at last."
"Well then," he replied, "thank you for watching the boy."
"Not a problem at all." She replied, waving him off. "Boys need watching. That's been true for years. This one had allowed his shirt to come un-tucked a bit there in the back. I had him correct the infraction."
"She combed my hair, too" the boy whispered, in a tone that left no doubt whether the action met his approval. His hand, consciously or not, began pulling at his shirt, drawing it upward but not completely out of his pants.
"Well then, hopefully we'll pass the scrutiny of the guards." The old man tried to deliver his thought without sarcasm, and offered a conspiratorial wink.
"I should hope so." She replied. "'A Free Society has no place for those who can't follow even the simplest of rules'" She added, reverting to political cliche - albeit a current one.
Surprise! More developments in the Beauchamp story.
Or perhaps not surprised.
But here's what I noticed in the DFAC today: young faces. Young determined faces. Not much older (but far wiser and much more mature) than the crowd at a high school lunch room. You can tell without asking what these guys think. They look you in the eye. And if you can stand to look back you'll see into the eyes of the undefeated. There is no quit here, no early out, no cut and run. These are young men with an ugly job, America's finest sent to do our worst and best, and they make me feel old and inspired all at the same time.Has that changed? You asked.
So here is the first impression of your fine young sons: They walk straight and tall with heads held high in this war-torn world, in this sagging land. I wish you who can only read of defeat trumpeted in your newspapers or on your TVs could have walked among them and seen this for yourselves.
There is nothing new under the sun...
There are many men who feel a kind of twisted pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt. There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes to second achievement....but there has been much water under the bridge...
-- Roosevelt, the Sorbonne
"And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women...
"Iraqis should be doing that!"
-- Senator John Kerry on U.S. troops in Iraq, December, 2006
"...so we’ve got to get the job done there, and that requires us to have enough troops that we are not just air raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there [Afghanistan]," Obama said.
Campaign spokesman Reid Cherlin said Obama was not endorsing the current Bush policy, which consists solely of air raids and bombing of civilians.
-- Senator Barack Obama on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, August, 2007
Let's pause for entertainment news. Movies to watch for in 2009:
A half-century after Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" crashed through the literary establishment's blockade and accelerated into history as the most influential novel of its generation, the book finally is making its journey to film.One wonders if the homosexuality and pedophilia will be considered "too racy" for 21st-century audiences.
And the long, strange trip is scheduled to pass through Cincinnati.
A source close to the production says director Walter Salles ("The Motorcycle Diaries") plans to film a major portion of "On the Road" in the Cincinnati area. Francis Ford Coppola, best known for "The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now," is producing the movie, set to go before cameras next year.
And you just can't make this stuff up:
Beat poet Anne Waldman, a professor at Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colo., said Kerouac's influence remains immeasurable.Elsewhere:
GI Joe is a real American hero -- and that might be a bit of problem for both Paramount Pictures and Hasbro.
Overseas, the view is even more dire. "Not only is there worldwide support for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, but there also is considerable opposition to U.S. and NATO operations in Afghanistan," the Pew Global Attitudes Project found in June.
Rob Moore, Paramount's president-worldwide marketing and distribution, said, "Until there's a [locked] script, I don't think you can really comment on what the international reaction will be. In 'Bourne Ultimatum,' you have the story of what is essentially an American spy. But the characterization of the military and the CIA is: They're the bad guys. In any event, there are parts of the world where it's an issue, like Western Europe, and parts where it isn't, like the U.K., Australia and Asia."
But Mr. Goldner said Hasbro is sensitive to the current world climate. "We'll weigh our options. Clearly we do a lot of work on consumer insight."
Looking at America from Iraq:
Rep. John Murtha, an influential Pennsylvania lawmaker and outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, said today Marines had “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” after allegedly responding to a roadside bomb ambush that killed a Marine during a patrol in Haditha, Iraq, Nov. 19.July, 2007:
Throughout this Haditha investigation our family has believed in the innocence of our son L/Cpl Justin Sharratt, we knew he was innocent. There are things I do not understand and I would like to find the answers. We do not seek revenge, but we would like to see justice. In a conversation with Congressman John Murtha, my questions still remain unanswered. With the help of the American people, I hope to find justice.August , 2007:
On Wednesday morning, July 17th I spoke with Congressman John Murtha via telephone from his Washington, DC office.
I questioned Congressman Murtha as to his statements of 17 May 2006. On national television, in front of millions of Americans, he stated “Marines killed innocent civilians in cold blood.” I asked him why he denied these Marines their Constitutional rights of due process and the presumption of innocence. Again the Congressman used his experience to side step the answer. Mr. Murtha stated his intentions were to point out the stress our military was under in Iraq. He replied we would not win the hearts of the Iraqi people by killing women and children. I again snapped, “Our Haditha Marines have not been convicted of killing innocents and are innocent until proven guilty.”
"You have served as a Marine infantryman in Iraq where our nation is fighting a shadowy enemy who hides among the innocent people, does not comply with any aspect of the law of war, and routinely targets and intentionally draws fire toward civilians," Mattis wrote in his decision.
"Operational, moral and legal imperatives demand that we Marines stay true to our own standards and maintain compliance with the law of war in this morally bruising environment," he said.
"With the dismissal of these charges, you may fairly conclude that you did your best to live up to the standards ... In the face of life or death decisions made by you in a matter of seconds in combat."
--Lieutenant General James N. Mattis to L/Cpl Justin Sharratt
But do I still support the individual men and women who have given so much to serve their country?Daily Kos:
No. I think they’re a bunch of idiots. I also think they’re morally retarded. Because they sign a contract that says they will kill whoever you tell me to kill. And that is morally retarded.
When it comes to training killing machines, the military really does create “an Army of one.”Bill O'Reilly:
The list of serial killers and mass murderers borne from the military is astounding.
As you may know, we've exposed the far-left Daily Kos web site as being a hate enterprise and have questioned why the Democratic presidential candidates are speaking at its convention, thereby putting a stamp of approval on hate.At the convention:
Now remember, the next president of the United States may be speaking before a group that allows and encourages the lowest form of discourse, threats, defamation, rank hatred. Never before in our country's history has this happened and the reason it is happening is because much of the media sympathizes with the far left and legitimizes its extreme hatred.
"Talking Points" would like to repeat, if a very public presidential candidate spoke before a far right hate group, that candidate would be fried by the media. But not a negative word about the Kos situation from the press. Figure it out.
As the Military and Progressives panel came to an end, a young man in uniform stood up to argue that the surge was working, and cutting down on Iraqi casualties. The moderator largely freaked out. When other members of the panel tried to answer his question, he demanded they “stand down.” He demanded the questioner give his name, the name of his commander, and the name of his unit. And then he closed the panel, no answer offered or allowed, and stalked off the stage.
Let's make this simple. In these peoples' minds there are two types of model veterans.
The Jake Barnes:
Barnes suffered an injury during World War I which makes him unable to consummate a sexual relationship with Brett Ashley, who was widowed when her husband was killed during the war.And the Boo Radleys:
Boo is infamous for the rumors that abound about him in Maycomb County as a result of his reclusiveness, the most famous being that he once stabbed his father in the leg on an impulse, and that he sneaks out of the house every night, eats squirrels and cats and lurks outside people's houses.Note that both are fictional (a trait they share in common with the Scott Thomas Beauchamp of current and popular myth)...
There are two types of Iraq war veterans that have a tremendous appeal to the anti-war crowd - the fictional and the dead..
A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticise work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life's realities - all these are marks, not as the possessor would fain to think, of superiority but of weakness. They mark the men unfit to bear their part painfully in the stern strife of living, who seek, in the affection of contempt for the achievements of others, to hide from others and from themselves in their own weakness. The role is easy; there is none easier...
-- Roosevelt, The Sorbonne
The story continues here.
Ack! up late reading again :) Thanks for the link to the Sorbonne speech. I'll have to finish reading it later, but I did sneek a peek at the last paragraph. TR would be pounding on that podium for emphasis today, no?Posted by Lisa in DC at August 22, 2007 04:18 AM
Superb writing today Sir! As usual.Posted by Lucille at August 22, 2007 02:30 PM
Excellent series, loved the lines threaded through the posts. Thanks for the latest (to me) on the TNR story. Pride does go before a fall, doesn't it?Posted by Barb at August 23, 2007 04:57 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(3) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)