Tomorrow is Veterans Day, and Kate has the day off school, so her dad is taking her to see “The Incredibles.” Grrrr. I guess I’ll take her for the dollar-theater screening in eight weeks or so. I’m starting to feel the cosmic pain of the sole breadwinner.
Not that I am complaining. Life is just easier when one person has the homefront well in hand. During our married life’s next-to-last incarnation, I was that person. Now it’s Alan. It works. It’s just new to me.
I guess I should spend some time in mournful contemplation of the price of liberty. My dad escaped WWII unscathed, while Alan’s got the shit shot out of him — three Purple Hearts and a long stint in VA rehab. My brother slipped Vietnam’s net in his own way (never mind, although I think it was more honorable than George Bush’s) and I’m glad he did. Tomorrow we’ll surely hear about our current war, and that’s fine, but if anyone calls it “Operation Iraqi Freedom” I’m going to reach for my pistol. I hate these latter-day marketing names for what boils down to the same old stuff: Bullets tear through human flesh for good and bad reasons, and people die. Call it what it is. There are only three letters.
I don’t keep track of my stats anymore, so I don’t know how my traffic will fare on a day many people stay away from work. I have no idea how many people use NN.C as a time-waster on the job and how many check in from home, but if you stop by, feel free to leave a Veterans Day comment. I’ll be thinking of my few appearances at last summer’s History of War class at the U of M. My attendance coincided with WWI’s battles, and there’s one to queer you on the whole idea of fighting it out.
Did Zell Miller really call Maureen Dowd a “hussy”? My God, he is a lame duck.
Joe said on November 10, 2004 at 8:58 pm
How long will it be until people lay off Bush and his National guard day’s? The man served his country, He flew a extremly dangerous airplane, His training was geared toward defeating the USSR,if they attacked through Germany,which was a real threat at the time. You Libs are just going to have to face facts. YOU LOST. GET OVER IT.
Greetings from Auburn,
brian said on November 10, 2004 at 9:20 pm
Regarding the latest bit of Zell-otry, you HAVE listened to the Imus show before, yes? Hardly the minute goes by that the I-man doesn’t refer to someone or other as a “horrible human being”, or a “disgrace”, or “loon” or…. or a “hussy”, for that matter! It is the essence of the show to be a bit “out there” there; in fact the joke really works when he has some poor NBC national correspondant on the phone, who has to maintain some measure of ‘professional discretion’ – while Imus merrily provokes and entices them toward a horrible INdiscrestion!
Anyway – Nance’s reference to the war in Iraq touches on something that I’ve been genuinely intrigued/troubled by, ever since the professionally produced videos of knifed beheadings of non-combatants began coming our way.
Short version: where does human civilization come from? What underpins it? – and a concurrent observation – human civilization is genuinely fragile. It is a banality to say it, but the truth of this really, truly struck me, over the past year and a half.
Maybe that is one of the main things the “greatest generation” really KNEW, and we of later generations only think we know. All wars – the just ones and the unjust ones – are what lie just beneath human civilization; they are what occur when human rationality (or mercy, or community) break down….Going to war always starts as someone’s idea of a “controlled burn” – a burn of our civilized moorings – with the belief that the burn will not overwhelm us altogether; that we will be in some way BETTER OFF after the “controlled burn” (in the case of an elective war), or that we simply have no choice (as in the second world war) and have to engage in it or be incinerated anyway.
I find it increasingly amazing how civilization actually works, and how much of it depends on some mix of shared myth, faith, or trust.
Think of the essential anarchy depicted in shows like Nance’s The Wire.
How civilized are we?
Suze said on November 11, 2004 at 1:10 am
Probably the Democrats will lay off Bush’s lame-ass Guard “day’s” (do they teach spelling at Auburn?) about the time the Republicans quit blaming everything they don’t like on Bill Clinton. In other words, never.
We hate Bush. We always will. Get over it.
ashley said on November 11, 2004 at 3:05 am
Back in the ’70s, we used to see tons of footage from Vietnam, with Walter Cronkite warning us beforehand if it was too graphic.
Now, we are essentially forbidden from seeing any of this, except for beheadings live on the internet.
By depersonalizing war, we are trying to make it less abominable. I have two purple hearts and two coffin flags for my father and my uncle. We need to make people realize that war is real, that it is not civil, and that is to be avoided at all costs.
elaine said on November 11, 2004 at 6:27 am
To all of my ancestors who served, a toast to your bravery.
That said, Nance, what gives? I used to enjoy reading your blog and the comments from fellow readers, but since a few weeks ago it appears you’ve been overrun by garden-variety unibrows – so common in these parts – emboldened by what they perceive as a mandate to raise their scraped knuckles off the ground and beat senseless anyone who strays from their narrow party line. Usually if I want to read that kind of dreck, I log on to the semi-literate discussion board at the JG.
danno said on November 11, 2004 at 8:12 am
Amen Elaine!!!!!!!! So true about the JG and the recent slew of Bush ‘ho’s!! I can see them all dreaming of what they will name after ‘W’, perhaps Iraq will become Bushland and its capital of Dubya??
Barry said on November 11, 2004 at 9:16 am
Joe made an innocent error, a punctuation error, not–as you wrongly stated–a spelling error. Don’t be so mean.
No, wait, g’head, keep showing your meanness. You’ll keep losing elections. [Insert evil laughter here.]
Joe said on November 11, 2004 at 9:50 am
Thanks for the back up. I never said I blamed Clinton for anything,just stating a fact about a guy who served his country. I do not hate anyone. I do disagree with some. How ever it dosn’t surprise me that the political party that is supose to be about peace and love and understanding can only say they HATE someone.
Also special thanks to N Nall for having this blog I always enjoy her writing although I don’t always agree with her.
N- the offer to go flying some time still stands.
4dbirds said on November 11, 2004 at 10:13 am
I’m a veteran and a liberal. I loved being in the army. Some of the finest people on the earth are serving our country in the military. That said, there is something fishy about W’s stint in the Guard. It appears he started out gung-ho but something happened and he lost interest. Although he wasn’t prosecuted either through the judicial or admin branch, his records shows a steady decline in performance and a lack of service. At the very least he wasted the time and money of the American taxpayer. Heck, I’m even willing to give him a break since he was young and the war was a crock. The thing to do now, what an honorable person would do is admit to their youthful failings and not cover it up. “W” can’t do that. He has a lifetime history of messing things up and then cutting out. I’ll make a prediction. Since he’s not terribly bright and certainly not insightful or responsible, some scandal or shameful thing is going to cloud W’s second term. Will I delight in it? Being the meanie liberal than I am, you betcha.
Danny said on November 11, 2004 at 10:50 am
Like most blogs with a somewhat political slant, patrons tend to like it long as EVERYONE agrees with them. They feel safe and affirmed in their points of view. But, ultimately, one tends to get soft in the head, this mental impotence brought on by increasingly incestuous group-think. The result when confronted with opposing points of view? Frequent use of perjoratives in absence of having anything of consequence to say.
This is why Elaine and danno are so quick to slander. It is why Ashley can say inane things like how I “publicly besmirched [his] masculinity” by assuming his name belonged to that of a female (a valid assumption that had more than a 99% chance of being correct). Or that my “moral values don’t extend to the idea that Ashley could be a male name.” (Or deny that he told me to “go f myself” when he did, in fact.)
Can you here me, oh, elite party of tolerance and intelligence?! You three have behaved like idiots and hypocrites in these instances. Note, I did NOT say that you ARE idiots and hypocrites, just that you behaved as such. Which is better than any benefit of doubt you accord me.
I would like to think better of you. Though I am conservative and disagree with some of your political views, I try to show you respect.
Danny said on November 11, 2004 at 11:06 am
4dbirds, congratualtions on your service. I thank you for it.
On Bush, I too agree he ducked ‘Nam. But one thing I did find refreshing in his comments over the last few months was his praise of Kerry’s service. He called it “honorable” on more than one occasion and in at least one interview I saw, he stated that he considered John Kerry’s service “more honorable” than his own.
Carmella said on November 11, 2004 at 11:13 am
Well said, Joe from Auburn!
Carmella said on November 11, 2004 at 11:13 am
Well said, Joe from Auburn!
Jill said on November 11, 2004 at 11:34 am
As a veteran who served active-duty smack dab between the Gulf Wars, I’ll be spending today at work, using nn.c as a time-waster. Occasionally, I check the site from home but wasting time at home seems, well, a waste.
As for you other numbskulls, can we PLEASE talk about something else? Regardless of your political leanings, your rhetoric is tedious.
Connie said on November 11, 2004 at 11:42 am
OK, I am changing the subject.
Nancy, I too am the working breadwinner with a stay at home husband. We’ve been doing this for over 7 years now, and even with a now 17 yr old, we love it. He does all the school stuff that I hate to do, like last night’s winter athlete parent’s meeting.
So why do so many people (including my dad!) think this is just too wierd for words?
Back to Veteran’s Day and the other topic at hand: My DH is a Viet Nam combat vet, with purple heart, bronze star, etc. He was one of those drafted 19 yr olds. He manages a discussion group of about 300 vets who all served at some point in the same unit. The election discussion on that list was amazing to me. I will never understand how so many of the Viet Nam veterans could be so critical of Kerry’s Viet Nam experience.
The Other James said on November 11, 2004 at 12:31 pm
“Veterans’ Day” … hmmmmm. As Kurt Vonnegut pointed out, November 11 is supposed to be Armistice Day. But the dead don’t vote, and the living do, so naturally the dead were stolen from again.
Mary said on November 11, 2004 at 12:44 pm
I’m with you Other James. We should contemplate the cost of war and the end of war today. No question those who fought deserve respect, but finding our way to peace would be a real tribute to all soldiers, living and dead.
Danny said on November 11, 2004 at 2:19 pm
“The best diplomat that I know is a fully-loaded phaser bank.” — Lt. Cdr. Montgomery Scott
4dbirds said on November 11, 2004 at 6:44 pm
Of course W could be gracious in his ‘praise’ of Kerry’s military service. He had his Swift Boat Veterans doing his muck work. That’s his M.O.. Stay above it all while others savage his opponent. Remember McCain’s black love child?
Richard N. / Toronto said on November 11, 2004 at 6:55 pm
In the other English-speaking countries today is Remembrance Day. Of Canada’s 10 provinces, only 2 (Quebec and Ontario) don’t mandate it as a holiday – so I’m at work.
The two World Wars were big for Canada. But I’m in a kind of sandwich generation – though in my early 50s now, my parents were ‘way too young to participate in WWII. My mother’s dad had bad hearing and served as one of two air-raid wardens in the microscopic crossroads hamlet he lived in. My father’s dad was actually a reserve officer at the war’s outbreak but served the entire war, without promotion, at a supply depot homeside, when our overseas forces were screaming for men. Not coincidentally, he died 12 years after the war’s end of alcoholism.
But I had one great-uncle whom I idolized. Though he didn’t do much with his life afterwards – he was a farmhand – he landed at Dieppe with his regiment (doesn’t mean anything to Americans, I know, but it was huge to us), won the Military Medal (equivalent to Silver Star), and spent the rest of the war in a POW camp. Never talked about it, and of course he’s gone now.
A couple of random thoughts on NN’s post. I know it’s typical of middle-aged men to read a lot of military history (why is that?) so, well, I conform to type. And I too have noticed the tendentious names given to military operations in recent decades. Even a small-scale Canadian reserve op was called something like STAUNCH GUARDIAN.
Montgomery’s big push through the Lowlands was called MARKET GARDEN, for gosh sake. It’s just a code name. Yes, I know about OVERLORD and ANVIL – but they were codenames, for ease of reference, not marketing packages.
The other thing was about what war is. This great quote came from The New Yorker of all places: “And the point we might still take from the First World War is the old one that wars are always, in Lincoln�s perfectly chosen word, astounding. They produce results that we can hardly imagine when they start. It is not that wars are always wrong. It is that wars are always wars, good for destroying things that must be destroyed, as in 1864 or 1944, but useless for doing anything more, and no good at all for doing cultural work: saving the national honor, proving that we�re not a second-rate power, avenging old humiliations, demonstrating resolve, or any of the rest of the empty vocabulary of self-improvement through mutual slaughter.”
Best wishes to all,
Richard in Toronto
Nance said on November 11, 2004 at 8:14 pm
Thanks, Richard, for the view from the G.W.N. And that’s a lovely quote from Lincoln.
ashley said on November 12, 2004 at 3:46 am
From Danny: “Though I am conservative and disagree with some of your political views, I try to show you respect.”
Is that why you called me a woman?
I tried to leave this alone, but you just remind me so much of W.
You refused to admit that you made a mistake (assuming I was a woman), let alone apologize for it.
You weren’t intellectually curious. Note that when you mouse-over my name, you see the domain ashleymorris.com. You could have gone there and seen for yourself that I have a Y chromosome, but that would be like W reading a newspaper. (When I moused over your name, I saw aol.com. ‘Nuff said.)
Then you take offense that someone insulted you, when you started the (flame) war.
danno said on November 12, 2004 at 8:34 am
Amen to Ashley. Let it go Danny.
Danny said on November 12, 2004 at 9:17 am
I will let it go. Ashley, sorry if I offended you. It was an honest mistake. But I really did think you were telling me to go f- myself because your post seemed in reply to mine and then you followed on with the comment about how massively large your penis was. You have to admit that under those circumstances, it would be easy to assume you were a troll.
As far as the aol address goes, everyone needs a spam collection box, n’est-ce pas?
juan said on November 13, 2004 at 11:12 am
Maureen Dowd is one fine looking liberal hussy.
I’d put her right behind Katie Couric on my laminated liberal lust list.
brian stouder said on November 13, 2004 at 11:23 am
>>Maureen Dowd is one fine looking liberal hussy.
Gimme Katrina vanden Heuvel….
but maybe we can all agree that the finest of fine looking liberal hussies, is our own blogger-in-chief, good ol’ Nance!
Danny said on November 13, 2004 at 11:43 am
Ya know, Nance probably won’t see that ’till Monday, brian.
Up until recently, I thought she was more a fine centrist hussy. 😉