Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ragin’ Cajun

Al Copeland

Al Copeland lost his battle against cancer on March 23, 2008.  He was a true original, we’ll miss ya Al.

George Bernard Shaw

G.B Shaw

Forget about likes and dislikes. They are of no consequence. Just do what must be done. This may not be happiness but it is greatness. – George Bernard Shaw

I Miss Angie

A distinct flavor of my grandmother’s pasta fagioli ran over my taste buds today. Nobody made it like Gram. In fact, no one – no, not even my wife or mom – could cook like Angie, just ask Susan. Gram lived to the ripe old age of 95. I’m convinced it was her liberal -LIBERAL – use of olive oil. Her eggplant parmigiana was other worldly. I’m convinced she could give her meatball recipe to anyone but nobody could duplicate the way hers tasted. Oh yeah, and garlic. It could go into anything.

Susan and I lived with Angie for a few months when we came back up from Philly. I will never forget how she cursed the hours Susan worked. She’d sit by the front picture window and look for the bus to pull up to the bus stop. “Ah, va a Napoli” or some similar Italian expression she’d say as she shuffled off to get dinner on the table. Old fashioned, but her own woman.

She was literally one in a million. I miss you Gram.

Acting Not Copying

Just read a blurb about Cate Blanchett getting early Oscar buzz for her portrayal of Bob Dylan.  You read that right, actress portraying Dylan.  The flick isn’t out yet, I’m sure she does a fine job.

But I’m sick of portrayals being widely praised, to the point where the last 3 Oscars for Lead Actor and last 2 Oscars for Lead Actress went to people portraying some historical figure.  Idi Amin, Truman Capote, Ray Charles, Queen Elizabeth II and June Carter Cash.

Give me an Alonzo or Maximus any day.  That’s acting, creating a character out of whole cloth.  I appreciate biographical stuff, but the ultimate form of acting is creating a fantasy.  That’s why we typically see movies, escapism.  So let’s get back to honoring the actors that take us somewhere we’ve never been before.

Are We Going Nuclear?

Three years ago I wrote my thoughts on the a sort of endgame for the war on terror. I argued it would “end” (terror will always be with us, we’re human and that won’t change) sooner rather than later with a nuclear strike.

Well, there was a story out a day or two ago about the US military “losing track” of several ballistic missiles. I saw the headline, glanced at the article and moved on. Too much work, soccer practice planning etc. (gets back to my thoughts on “what was it like during…).

Today I read this observation in the Atlantic Free Press which tries to connect the dots a bit.  Are we positioning the weaponry at Barkdale for future use?  Let’s stay tuned.

Go For It Michel!

Awesome stuff

War Is Hell. Or Why My Lai Always Confused Me

War is Hell. – Gen. William T. Sherman

Years ago when reading and learning about the Vietnam War, I was struck over the historical revulsion to the My Lai massacre. I bet you could examine any war and find a similar event or events. What struck me was the outrage directed at the men involved. We all know what happened was horrific, assuming you’re a moral person. But I was puzzled over the surprise that it happened at all.

What I understood at a young age was that these actions did not take place in a vacuum. They took place during a guerilla war. Stand in the boots of a bunch of 19, 20, hell even 30, 35 year old soldiers fighting a ghost. The enemy is there, the enemy is gone. These people are friendly, no the just set us up for an ambush. And on and on.

Existing under these conditions seems likely to produce behavior exactly like that which took hold in My Lai. Maybe not full time. But certainly it would produce, at minimum, short violent convulsions like My Lai, if for nothing more than releasing the crushing fear of your own mortality that shadows you through every rice paddy in Vietnam or dusty road in Iraq. I would like to think I would know good from evil, but I’m not going to deceive myself. It would become blurry at best certain moments. And that’s all it takes.

Here’s a quote from Gen. Colin Powell that gets right to the heart of the matter, “”I mean, I was in a unit [the Americal Division] that was responsible for My Lai. I got there after My Lai happened. So, in war, these sorts of horrible things happen every now and again, but they are still to be deplored.” (emphasis mine)

This article got me to thinking again about soldiers, fighting, and the transformation to killers. Unfortunately, I think it’s inevitable for survival in situations like this. So long as people thousands of miles away commit young men and women to war, it will always devolve into kill or be killed.  So let’s squelch the outrage.  It’s happened before, it’s happening now, and it will happen in every future war.

So while those of us out of harms way can continue to “deplore” such behavior, it won’t change a thing.  It’s human nature.  As long as we fight wars, deplorable things will continue to happen.  Let’s just drop the feigned outrage.