October 22, 2004
Polite society anticipates Teresa's pizazz
(via my husband...we had a great time laughing at the article over IM)
Let's knock this crap off that "this is the most important election in our lifetimes"; they are all important. Just vote. Do a reasonably good job of knowing the issues, accept people who take a different view than you and then go take up rock polishing or go knit sweaters for the other 23 months in between the election season. Let's all go find a hobbies to keep us busy for Gods' sake.
Do blankets count? I've knitted a couple of those lately.
Although Nietzsche invented the word "Übermensch," it's a word, not a character. Superman's creators Siegel and Shuster were not educated men, so it's unlikely that they knew much about Nietzsche.
OTOH, it is highly likely that Siegel and Shuster were heavily influenced by a 1930 Philip Wylie novel called GLADIATOR:
"The parallels are obvious: Both Hugo Danner and Clark Kent grow up in rural small-town America, possessing powers far beyond the common mortal; both are imbued, from an early age, with a profound sense of fairness and justice; and they hide their respective secrets from the world at large. The resemblance is even more obvious when you consider the original 1930s conception of Superman [which was far weaker than later incarnations of the character]. Their powers are the same: great strength, skin so tough that it can withstand just about anything short of an explosive artillery shell, and the ability to jump so high and so far that it almost gives the impression of flight. And both, despite their superhuman status, espouse a political philosophy that celebrates the common human being over capitalist elites."
[The early Superman has been described as a super-FDR - a costumed socialist activist. This political aspect was gone by the time the character attained iconic status in the 40s.]
Nonetheless, the superhero concept as we know it today was invented by Siegel and Shuster. The individual ingredients (superpowers, costume, secret identity) had all been done before, but it was S&S that combined them into a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Some claim that gods and demigod heroes like Hercules were the first "superheroes," but they lack the total package embodied by Superman.
There's a new book that I'm going to try to buy ASAP, MEN OF TOMORROW, that goes into detail about the birth of the superhero genre. What excites me about the book is that it's the first history of comics to look into the Jewish roots of the majority of American superhero creators. The children of Yiddish-speaking immigrants created icons for all Americans - and the world. The Nazis hated the American Superman because he was the creation of Jews.
MORE TO GROK:
My mother-in-law emailed a Cardinals representative last week and the woman called her back. They talked a bit, and then the woman passed on the fact that there are two brothers in Iraq who are definitely rooting for the Cards. Legend has it that Pujols said that he would hit a homer for the boys...and his first at bat was a homer. Not too shabby.
My husband has been at war for over nine months.
Last night I watched Courage Under Fire again. I haven't seen it since that day in ROTC, and I was reminded of what drew me to the movie in the first place: it was the day I knew I wanted to be an Army wife. I wanted to take care of a Soldier, through good times and bad, and support him as he served our great country. I wanted to try my best to be a combat multiplier during difficult times and to do my small part to sacrifice for what I believe in. I figured I could do a better job than Denzel's wife in the movie.
Of course, I already had my Soldier picked out.
Truthfully, these nine months have been surprisingly fast and relatively painlessly. There are times that are nervewracking and times that are lonely, but for the most part the deployment has been easier than I expected. Of course, the fact that I support the mission has been a big help: I suppose being a war cheerleader is a good quality when your husband is at war.
There's a nasty rumor going around that my husband is coming home on R&R sometime next week. I won't believe it until I catch a whiff of motor pool and Iraq funk in our home, but I've started getting emotionally ready for his visit. I'm anxious to catch up on the last nine months of his life, for conversations have been few and far between. I'm ready to put my combat multiplier skills back to use in a face-to-face setting.
I hope my husband gives me a good NCOER.
October 21, 2004
I feel so sorry for that girl.
I keep calling MO and my husband's absentee ballot still hasn't arrived. The woman who works in the office has been great, and we've been discussing different options to make sure that he can vote. But I'm getting nervous!
I hope these people are right!
October 20, 2004
The scene in the subway train was one of the most moving things I've seen in a long time.
To me, there's nothing more American than a superhero, an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances who struggles to do what's right no matter what the cost. Superman is of course my favorite, but Spiderman is very dear to my heart as well. I'm ignorant as to the origins of the comic book superheroes; maybe some of my comic-knowing readers can help me: are superheroes American in origin?
I will be surprised if they aren't.
He wasn't that amused. "I get the parody," he said, "but it's a little sensitive for me."
I thought it was in appallingly bad taste.
October 19, 2004
I haven't allowed myself to get confident about the election. In fact, I'm pretty freaking scared. I don't care about what the polls say; I'm freaked out about what happens on 2 November. I keep thinking about what Whittle said:
I fear the consequences of abandoning personal responsibility. I fear the self-hatred and nihilism that grows among the pampered, the narcissistic and the uninformed. These are things to be feared greatly. They have brought down entire civilizations and led to dark ages that have cost this species very dearly. I think we stand at such a point today, and this election -- win or lose -- will not determine the outcome...although it might give us some indication of how sick or healthy we are at this pivotal moment in history.
I fear that my blog-reading has insulated me from just how sick our country is right now. I surround myself with informed people who understand that we're in a post-9/11 world, so I was completely taken aback when someone spouted DU-esque nonsense about how the war in Iraq is a distraction (oh wait, that's not just from the DU; the Democrat candidate says the same thing.) And I'm afraid that there are a lot more like that out there.
And I have seen the eternal Idiotarian hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.
We need to win this election. I know our country has survived worse, but we are at a crossroads and we need to take the right path. I'm not confident at all that we will. I hope I'm wrong.
MORE TO GROK:
I printed out this article at work and mentioned to my co-workers how amazing I thought it was that LT A intends to stay in the Army despite his injuries. They retorted that he must be really brainwashed, that he wasn't "fighting for his country" but for lies, and that someday I would see just how brainwashed people like my husband really are. I had to leave the office, I was so disgusted. I can't believe someone would say that to my face, completely unprovoked. I'm proud of our friend for standing up for what he believes in; if they disagree, they can politely nod and keep their opinions to themselves, like I do all the freaking time here at work. What is wrong with these people?
Nope, still seething over an hour later. Where's the puppy photo?
October 18, 2004
Chapter 13: Classification/Division starts with Act 2 from Shakespeare's As You Like It, the "all the world's a stage" monologue. The following is a "question on meaning and technique":
4. What characteristics typify the soldier? Are these characteristics typical of soldiers today? Why or why not?
OK, here's what Shakespeare wrote:
Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the 'pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth.
Maybe someone else can help me decipher that, because I am not completely sure what the heck the old bard was saying. I've never been a huge Shakespeare fan. The reason I even stumbled across this question is because I absentmindedly flipped open the instructor's manual during breakfast last week and found the jaw-dropper sample response to what typifies a soldier. This is the instructor's manual answer to question #4:
The soldier is swaggeringly masculine, wearing a bristly beard and uttering swear words. He is also ambitious to earn some honor on the battlefield, even if doing so means death. Yes, soldiers today--especially regiments like the marines--are seen as having considerable "machismo." However, many young people today hate the army because it represents war, which is no longer a chance for honor but rather for annihilation of the human race.
You have to learn to laugh at stuff like that...otherwise you'll cry your eyes out.
I hate this f-ing textbook.
My test scores: 98, 96, 93, and 96%.
And I still don't have any faith in opinion polling.
We also had a comical moment when we tried to go to a Polish grocery store. Apparently you can't go into the store carrying any bags, because a security guard came chasing after us as soon as we walked in. As he barked at us, we looked at him and said, "English? Deutsch?" Apparently he didn't speak either, but he decided to help us out by speaking in v-e-r-y slow Polish. Ha.
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