My brother Jim acknowledges Veterans Day by recalling the outpouring of creative energy from artists following the conflict.
World War I and its attendant abominations unleashed humanity's creative spirit like no other event in prior history, as writers and musicians and filmmakers and poets tried to come to grips with the horror that they had witnessed or experienced directly. "All Quiet On The Western Front," both novel and film, comes immediately to mind, and perhaps the same for "A Farewell To Arms," and Kubrick's "Paths of Glory" among many others.
Some of the greatest poetry in English also came from that war, from Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke and Robert Graves and most especially from Wilfred Owen, who was killed in action on November 4, 1918, a week before the Armistice that gave its name to the first incarnation of this holiday. Owen's best poem is perhaps this one, "Dulce Et Decorum Est," the ironic title coming from a line from the Roman poet Horace. It translates as "It is sweet and fitting": - the rest of the line being "pro patria mori", "to die for one's country." In the poem, Owen relates a poison gas attack that he had survived but that one of his comrades had not. It is as gut-wrenching as it is powerful, and since it deserves to be heard even more than read, I am including an audio from the Poetry Foundation in the first comment space below the text.
It is this that we should reflect upon today, realizing that every war has and has had its own peculiar horrors. Would that 1918's original Armistice Day had truly closed a war so terrible that such a conflict would never be repeated...
Dulce Et Decorum Est
by Wilfred Owen
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori
Such terrible beauty. Such a terrible waste.
Just in time for Christmas, folks:
Get a load of the commercial ...
Dang, now I want one.
For those of you who are still not aware, "Orange man bad!" is a way of poking fun at leftists who frequently call President Trump orange.
The "Orange Man" meme is derived from the alt-right's ongoing "NPC" gag.
“NPC means ‘nonplayable character’ or ‘nonplayer character.’ It’s a term, borrowed from the world of video games, for a character that is controlled by the computer rather than by a player. An NPC often advances the game’s plot by saying scripted lines, or assisting the playable characters in some way,” the New York Times said Tuesday.
Right-wing meme magicians have flooded Twitter with the NPC meme, parroting leftist talking points from accounts with grey-clad, stone faced avatars, infuriating the “social justice” crowd.
I did my best to warn Arizona:
I could have added more to the list after it was published because freaky things kept coming out about her.
She's as flaky as they come. She was up against Martha McSally, a highly respected congresswoman and Air Force Veteran who was the first female commander of a USAF fighter squadron.
Republican Doug Ducey won a second term as governor of Arizona by more than 300,000 votes, yet McSally loses to a verifiable kook?
What the heck happened here? Was there still bad blood left over from the primary?
I like this a lot: