Archive for May, 2011


Like the World’s Most Interesting Man–he who doesn’t always drink beer but when he does he drinks real beer–I don’t always listen to Country Music, but when I do, I listen to real Country Music. Artists like Ray and Merle and Mr. Cash and Willie–especially early Willie–and oldtimers pre-dating even them.

And Patsy.

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“Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.”

— VFW 2002 Memorial Day address

Isn’t Memorial Day supposed to be a solemn day?

How’d it get to be a big weekend of wayyyy too much drinking at the lake or at the back yard barbecue?

How’d it come to be a weekend of huge savings at the sale you just don’t wanna miss?

How’d it get to be a time for a little flag waving with those little flags that we provide to the little kids?

How’d it get to be a marathon weekend of endless reruns of every awful, heavily sanitized and propagandized movie glorifying war that Hollywood ever cranked out?

How’d it get to be a day for a few big-bang and often controversial media events in Washington, like Sarah Palin rolling in on the “Rolling Thunder” tide?

How’d it get to be five minutes of remembrance, or a time for the preacher to give an obligatory mention in his or her Sunday sermon?

Could they have picked a better weekend to roll out The Hangover Part II?

There was a time when red poppies were worn on clothing in honor of the day.

It was an idea conceived by Moina Michael in 1915 after her reading of the famous poem “In Flanders Fields.”
Michael was also inspired to pen a poem of her own:

We cherish too, the poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led,

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies

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No man is an island,’ Dr. Donne wrote, ‘intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod be washed away by the Sea, Europe is the less, as well is if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of they friends or of thine owne were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”

“Or to use another metaphor, humanity is like an enormous spider web, so that if you touch it somewhere, you set the whole thing trembling. . . .

“Sometime during the extraordinary week that followed the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, the newspapers carried the story that when that crusty old warhorse, Andrei Gromyko, signed the memorial volume at the United States Embassy in Moscow, there were tears in his eyes; and I do not think that you have to be either naive or sentimental to believe that they were real tears. Surely it was not that the Soviet Foreign Minister had any love for the young American President, but that he recognized that in some sense every man was diminished by that man’s death. In some sense I believe that the death of Kennedy was a kind of death for his enemies no less than for his countrymen. Just as John Donne believed that any man’s death, when we are confronted by it, reminds us of our common destiny as human beings: to be born, to live, to struggle a while, and finally to die. We are all of us in it together.

“Nor does it need anything as cataclysmic as the death of a President to remind us of this. As we move around this world and as we act with kindness, perhaps, or with indifference, or with hostility, toward the people we meet, we too are setting the great spider web a-tremble. The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt. Our lives are linked together. No man is an island.”

— From Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner (compiled and edited by George Connor)

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War chews up everything in its path and its path extends far and wide.

It always bears repeating that the media and political leaders always cite the number killed, which is always bad enough.

But please always remember that war takes its toll by leaving our young with no legs or arms, or brain damaged for life–thousands of Iraq vets have permanent brain damage and many are being fed and diapered by parents and will someday have to be fed and diapered as wards of the government. Thousands upon thousands of children have one parent or another killed or maimed or away for one tour of duty after another. And of course Post Traumatic Stress–what used to be called “shell shock” in your grandpa’s day–is a terrible destroyer in itself. War chews up minds as well as bodies, families as well as the warriors. Innocent men, women and children as well as combatants.

God help all those chewed up by war’s disaster .

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Yeah, yeah, we put up a lot of Mr. Dylan here at the blawg, but it’s his birthday week.

And anyway– this is probably our favorite music video of all time, and it just so happens that our favorite music video of all time is Mr. Dylan’s great and surreal musical memoir.

It’s such a great, trippy and dreamy song–and longtimers of the Jitterbug Cult know we love us songs that are dreamy and trippy here at the blawg that is saving the world now that the world has not yet ended.

BTW, enlarge the screen on the vid and see how many famous icons you spot, not counting Johnny Cash, John Lennon and Christ (and him crucified).

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No Arms, No Legs, No Worries

Nick Vujicic is jitterbugging through life with only a “chicken wing” to stand on.

Watch this 4 minutes and count your blessings . . . .

(Hat Tip: KG)

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HAT TIP: Nola’s Devotionals

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