Friday, May 28, 2010

We have a winner

"Man in Women's Clothing charged with Statutory Rape of 15yo Memphis boy" is most bizarre headline I've read this year.

Although... "Captain America arrested with Burrito in Pants" is very bizarre too.

Well what else is in the news? It's about to be Memorial Day, and we all know what that means. Hamburger buns are on sale at Kroger's. Must be some other reason for Memorial Day though... must search memory attic...

Charles Manson auditioned when they were casting the 'Monkees' show. "Hey hey we're the Mansons, and people say we murder around"... factually accurate, yet has squat to do with Memorial Day David.

Reason Germany still dominates Pharmaceutical industry is because in 19th century, synthetic dyes for textiles desperately needed. That's what started everything. Also, as part of the treaty ending WWI, France lost patent rights on the word Aspirin. Also, a very popular textile dye is a vivid red, made from crushed bugs. Well, that's factually accurate too David, and I'll be sure to tell the first person I meet who gives a crap, but we came to the memory attic looking for Memorial Day origins, remember?

Oh, here it is! It was right behind the stuff about Kidd and Culliford. Say did I ever tell you about those two? Focus David, focus...

Memorial Day is about honoring Americans who died in war, and so never lived to attain their full potential and live their full arc in this world. It's been expanded over decades to include appreciation for those who fought and returned.

Every nation looks for inspiration in the courage of its native born warriors. I suppose in the cases of France and Germany, this must be problematic, for very different reasons, but they handle it.

So, are American soldiers just singularly more brave, when compared with those of other nationalities? I don't much see how that could be. We have the blood of every nation in our veins, after all. I suppose it's noteworthy to state that while men do great feats of courage while defending native soil, many American combat deaths took place on land far from home.

There has been much American bravery in combat. Started with Valley Forge, daring Christmas attack on Trenton, forward through the terrible War Between Brothers to 2010. Sebastian Junger in latest book writes of time spent with our troops in Afghanistan, and seeing a soldier carry a wounded comrade more than a football field's length down a rocky slope, under enemy fire all the way.

Mostly, every American soldier fights for his buddies, same as all other soldiers probably, since the invention of flags. They fight far from home, in conflicts they didn't vote for, some times giving the last full measure of human devotion. They fight for their buddies, they fight to prove they were worthy members in the band of brothers, but in the back of their minds, way back in their minds when bullets are flying?

They fight for a crazy vague ideal, very new to human history really, totally alien to Alexander or Ceasar's troops. They fight believing they're citizens of a nation clumsily stumbling towards doing the right thing. Their birthright, the belief in a nation that wants to do right, but doesn't always understand at the moment what that is. For the buddies, for personal honor, for the crazy ideal they have fought, and many have died.

In this world where humans live, always reaching for the Eternal, there are a few shades of red more vivid than what crushed bugs can provide.

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