Monday, December 31, 2007

Donne Too Soon

Good day to all the brainy, beautiful and stylish readers of my little 'blog. It's New Year's Eve and there is great potential for mischief, drug abuse and sex for tonight, which is how I like to celebrate taking one step closer to the grave; either my birthday or New Year's. Of course, every day is a step closer to the horizontal underground, but one can't celebrate every day, now can one.

Nope, this is special. It's a great opportunity to reflect on the past year, particularly to mourn those who didn't make it. First and foremost on my mind is Kurt Vonnegut. We never met, yet I feel his absence as if a member of my family died. But he had a good life, and not one that ended while still young. A lot of young people bought it in 2007, long before they had to. The 899 American servicemen and women who died in Iraq come to mind. I'm reminded of what House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said about those deaths. He referred to the 3,774 deaths in Iraq as an "investment" and a "small price if we're able to stop al Qaeda." Remarks like that make me hate Republicans. It's not just the callousness itself, or the way he tried to play down all those deaths and injuries for political reasons. No, what really gets under my skin is the reference to stopping al Qaeda. Iraq, everyone should know by now, had nothing to do with al Qaeda. Boehner knows this, but he continues to lie anyway. Sunni and Shia violence is one major cause, as is the Taliban in Afghanistan. And many of the insurgents are fighting against the US occupation of Iraq. So the men and women who died over there weren't fighting the people who were responsible for 9/11. They were over there fighting because Bush lied his ass off to get is into Iraq. Boehner and countless other dipshits use fear to manipulate's mainly a Republican thing.

Anyway, enough about that. Actually, one more thing. I was watching the news yesterday and my father told me about something that General David H. Petraeus (the man in charge of all coalition forces) said when asked about progress in Iraq. He quoted John Donne, the poet, and said, "Any man's death diminishes me." That comes from Donne's Meditation XVII. The paragraph goes as follows:

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

My father and I are both romantics, which can be an exhausting way to go through life, but it's a price worth paying. We all have plenty of time to be dead after we die. My father was so moved in the telling of this story that he wept. We're both inclined to let a well-crafted poem get to us, especially the works of Longfellow and Donne. It was a profoundly moving and powerful (and beautiful) thing for the general to have said.

So I suppose it would be appropriate for me to post my New Year's resolution, since part of this time of year is looking back, but the other part is looking forward. I have two resolutions. The first one is to kick my addiction to painkillers like Vicodin, which will be brutally hard, but for many reasons it needs to be done. My second resolution is to get off my ass and visit Prince Edward Island, Canada, where my grandmother once owned a farm. I've never been up there at all.

Finally, a message to Chica. I've tried Risperdal and had a very unpleasant experience; aches and pains and a general feeling like I had influenza. But people respond very differently.

Happy New Year Everyone!


Matt Hurley said...

Your lying is hilarious. Boehner didn't say that the death of American soldiers was an investment that would be worth it if we were able to rid ourselves of al Qaeda, he said that the finaincial appropriations we have been spending would be looked upon as having been worth it if we were able to rid ourselves of al Qaeda. You socialist-athiests have a real problem with the truth...

Darren W. Lyle said...

You're wrong. Here's the transcript of what he said in context. Republicans wouldn't know the truth if it shit on their heads.

BLITZER: Mr. Leader, here’s the question. How much longer will U.S. taxpayers have to shell out $2 billion a week or $3 billion a week as some now are suggesting the cost is going to endure? The loss in blood, the Americans who are killed every month, how much longer do you think this commitment, this military commitment is going to require?

BOEHNER: I think General Petraeus outlined it pretty clearly. We’re making success. We need to firm up those successes. We need to continue our effort here because, Wolf, long term, the investment that we’re making today will be a small price if we’re able to stop al Qaeda here, if we’re able to stabilize the Middle East, it’s not only going to be a small price for the near future, but think about the future for our kids and their kids.

Apocalypse Cow said...

Hey Matt, since I have no qualms about not being nice, unlike Darren, let me say this:

Go have buttsex with God.

Chica. said...

Now, now, boys. It's a New Year.

However, I agree with Darren and AC. Republicans are shitheads. ;-)~

Chica. said...

Oh! Happy New Year, Darren! Good luck on your devilish endeavors. *wicked grin*