Categories
Narrative/Journal nostalgia Uncategorized

Evening At Home

Stumbled on this little gem, brewing in the depths of my “drafts” folder, one of 119 forgotten or half-realized old posts. You deserve to read it. It deserves to be read

Watching Wonder Woman with my wife–stir fry & folding TV trays in the living room.Ares

Her: (dismissively) I’m not fully buying Remus Lupin as “Ares, God of War”

Me: (distractedly, Gal Gadot is on the screen) Can’t wait until the Lupine bloom.

Her: What?!

Me: Huh?

Her: David Thewlis. He’s too wistful to be a twisted Greek God of War.

Me: Oh. You knew it would be him, though? Famous actor with a phony limp, helping out our heroes for no reason? If he wasn’t the bad guy, it’s a throwaway role and  they would have hired a cheaper actor. Besides, he rocks a cool look for a villain.

Her: (Incredulous look.)

Me: My grandfather rocked that look as long as I knew him. Mustache, a boar’s bristle brush, and a dab of pomade.

Grandpa 1981ish Crop
This old guy kicked furious Nazi ass. What have you done with your life?

Her: What’s a boar’s bristle brush? Is that really a thing?

Me: Exactly, but that’s what the hipsters say I should have–along with something called beard oil–in my daily beard maintenance ritual.

Her: You don’t even have a daily washing ritual.

Me: Right. All that fussing is anathema to the purpose of facial hair. I’ve51hj0uQBLoL._AC_ got a free range beard. My grandfather looked sharp, though. Business suits at work, cardigan sweaters at home. Knee-high dress socks, even with shorts. In the garden he looked just like Higgins from Magnum, P.I.–the real Magnum, P.I. with the moustache and Higgins isn’t some pleasant, pint-sized blonde.

Her: It sounds like he stuck in the 1940’s and just stayed there.

Me: Exactly. He nailed it early. Kept it nailed. Like Higgins–they both kicked Nazi ass in Africa.

Her: Except Higgins wasn’t real.

Me: He was based on a real person. Probably my grandfather.

Her: (shakes her head) Are we dull? Is this–we’re dull, aren’t we?

Me: Not a chance. We have inconspicuous depths is all.

Categories
Commentary Yinzerism/Pittsburgh Advocacy

You Made This.

How does this happen? 14 Months Ago White Supremacists Marched Through Charlottesville, Virginia chanting “Jews will not replace us” and President of The United States Donald Trump chastised those who called the vile bastards out, saying “THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES,” encouraging and validating far right extremists of every ilk. Today, in the wake of yet another tragic instance of hate and violence, he reads words of shock and indignation from a teleprompter and wonders how this could happen. This is Trump’s America, and if you support him, his race-baiting dog whistles, and his brand of vitriolic hate-mongering, THIS IS YOUR AMERICA. You made this.

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Photo I Like Uncategorized

Don’t Be Sheep

…Be this guy.

august-landmesser-almanya-1936

I didn’t come up with this. It’s from a meme, and it is one of the best. More timely now than ever.

Categories
Commentary

OVERLORD! The Day That Changed The World

ww2_dday_landing
http://hottytoddy.com/2014/06/05/larry-wells-salute-to-d-day-70th-anniversary/

It can be argued that the Germans were already doomed; they just didn’t know it yet.  Morally bereft, overextended, overconfident, and reaping the seeds sown by poking the Russian bear to their north and east, the “Thousand-Year Reich” would not last a decade. For millions, it could not end soon enough.  Despite its losses in Africa, the defeat of its axis partner, Italy, and the terrible grinding will of the Soviets, who had clearly shown they would fight not only to the last man, but to the last woman and child, the Nazi war machine in the spring of 1944 could still muster terrible destructive force–and millions still languished under the twisted, genocidal psychopathy of Adolf Hitler and his minions.  They had to be stopped.

And they would be.  Seventy years ago today American, British, and Canadian forces slogged onto the heavily fortified beaches of Normandy, France under a withering firestorm and into the arms of mayhem and, for many, death.  I can’t imagine it.  YOU can’t imagine it.  Steven Spielberg might have come close, albeit on a very small scale, in the opening  moments of Saving Private Ryan–the clip below is not for folks prone to nightmares.

Over a third of the men in the first wave of the assault were dead within the first hour–many in the first two minutes.  Immediately besieged by an onslaught of machine gun fire, many saved themselves by jumping from their landing craft into the churning waters, only to drown under the weight of their equipment.  Those who found purchase in the waves faced a virtual wall of gunfire, artillery, and mines placed amidst carefully arranged obstacles.

omahaThe survivors in the surf now faced a thousand feet of beach, all of it in the gun sights of those fortified German emplacements in the bluffs above. It must have been impossible for some of them to believe, but within eleven months Hitler would be dead, and the German war machine in ruins. Much of the fiercest fighting of the war remained–not just in Europe, but in the Pacific, as well–but D-Day was the real beginning of the end.

But I’m not here to teach you a history lesson that hundred have done before me, each a hundred times better than I could–and all of it a simple google search away.   You can manage that yourself. I’m just here to remind you what was given, freely and willingly.  And if you’re lucky enough to know a some surly old codger who spent some time in uniform back in the day, today would be an excellent time to pat him on the back.

As I write this, I find that my words are inadequate–better to show.  This collection of photos is excellent, especially for the somewhat rare color pictures that are included.  I find that the black and white pictures that were standard in that time create a certain disconnect, the shades of grey in some senses otherworldly in their starkness.

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/06/remembering_d-day_66_years_ago.html

 

 

Categories
Commentary Uncategorized

Quotes From The Other Side #1: Bill Bennett

It has been suggested that my quotes reflect too closely my social, philosophical, and cultural sensibilities…so I’ve decided to start a sibling column of quotes from folks who make me just a wee bit queasy.  It wasn’t all that hard to find a place to start…..

“I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose — you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.”

William J. Bennett, arch-conservative former Secretary of Education, Anti-Drug zealot, degenerate gambler, and author of “THE BOOK OF VIRTUES,”

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Quote Uncategorized

Best Damn Quotes #2 Walter Sobchak

“Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.”

–Walter Sobchak, The Big Lebowski, by Joel and Ethan Coen, played by John Goodman

WalterAFP