Friday, July 08, 2005

Yes, Ange, "no pieties," and perhaps "no bona fides" as well -- that expresses fairly well why I've blanked every time I've considered posting since Thursday morning. Say more? No. Sometimes, just -- no.


And as much as any death anywhere in the name of, among other abstractions, faith or nation is a death that does not occur in the world we wish to build (confusion of tenses = the best I can do), the person that I am cannot help be hit, not harder, but at a particular angle, by the death on February 8 of Jason Tharp, whose (presently unnamed) drill instructor appears to have thought it more important that the 19-year old Marine recruit learn to swim than that he not drown. That, at least, is my understanding from accounts that I have read or heard. According to the same AP/CNN story, the investigation so far has judged his death "accidental, but preventable," and continues:

"Additionally, the Marine Corps investigation recommended disciplinary action to be taken against three other Marine instructors for other incidents involving Tharp a day before he died. The other Marines include a swimming instructor who threatened Tharp with tossing him into the pool if he did not go into the pool on his own, a drill instructor who grabbed Tharp and struck him on his forearm and a training officer who saw Tharp being struck and did not report it."

Further information here, including a link to a story that reproduces passages from Stark's letters home, recently released by his parents. He had apparently enlisted as a way to raise money to study art, and quickly realized that he had made a mistake.


I will have to find another day and another way to express the distinct but also visceral form of disgust that grips me whenever I hear coverage, even or especially of the balanced variety, of the educational debate over "intelligent design." Listen to the Maryland highschool students quoted near the beginning of the piece, and despair. Then listen to the pastor interviewed a bit later, and rage.


Here in our United States, we mock and destroy the unfit and unwilling, the better to raise a force to protect the right of some to claim that we are all made in the divine image.


If there must be Christianity, let more of it be of the less-worldly, turn-of-the-century (19th/20th) sort expressed by Amos R. Wells, the author of Social Evenings (see previous post). The United Society of Christian Endeavorers, of which Wells was an engine, may have had some early influence on the AA movement, but the pages I have seen seem sketchy and unreliable, so no link. However, "Things," the poem of his found at the bottom of the homepage of a Lutheran thrift store in Clifton, Texas, may not be my cup of tea, prosodically speaking, but is singularly apropos to the material burden I am laboring under now. And here is the text of Photographic Courtship, a 1902 one-act musical by Wells, with music (not reproduced) by one Thomas Martin Towne. Again, not exactly Der Zar laesst sich photographieren, but certain quatrains of "We guess it won't be bad by half," the second song down, have their charm, as young lovers Mehitable and Obadiah sing:

A modern husband, modern wife,
We'll order spick-and-spandy,
A folding-pocket-Kodak life,
With daylight catridge handy.


At a loss as to what to make of an email that appeared today, purporting to invite me to contribute to The Huffington Post.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?