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Sunday, May 11, 2008

 

Mothers' Day 2008

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Shadow of the War * Richard Yates * Gettysburg Address *Music of Bach

April was unseasonably cool. May feels the same way; some days are almost wintry. This morning does not look encouraging for those planning an outdoor celebration for Mothers' Day. Might change later; hope it does.

Reading Richard Yates' short story about a soldier in another war in another time it struck me how some things have not changed during the intervening years since Vietnam. Soldiers still catch flights to leave for the war zone; the lucky ones receive tight hugs before walking through the gate. But it took a long time for the people to wake up to the truth about Vietnam. Despite President Bush's repeated attempts to justify the war in Iraq, few people believe him. Among presidential candidates, John McCain is gung ho about the war. Hillary Clinton, who had voted in favor of the Iraq War Resolution in 2002, is facing dwindling chances of sleeping next to the 'red phone'.

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From "The Right Thing", Richard Yates (1926-1992)
The Esquire Fiction Reader Vol.I edited by Rust Hills and Tom Jenks
© 1985 by Rust Hills
  • "When it was time to say goodbye at the gate to Terry's flight, Michael shook hands with him in a little excess of old soldier's heartiness: 'Well, stay loose, Terry. And keep a tight asshole.'

  • "Then Sarah opened her arms for him. She was taller than he was, but that didn't make it an awkward embrace. She held him, however briefly, in the way a man ought to be held before going to a war that nobody would ever understand."
Bush and Gettysburg Address

"When Bush tries to articulate a vision," Davis said, pausing to choose his words carefully, "he will butcher the Gettysburg Address. Obama, he will make an A&P grocery list sing."

Who said that ? Tom Davis "who chaired the NRCC for four years". Ah, the travails of the Republicans.

The sound of Bach is good for taking the mind off war, politicians and other unpleasant subjects. Helmuth Rilling on organ.

Track 3, Passacaglia and Fugue, for organ in C minor, BWV 582
Toccata and Fugue: A Bach Organ Work Selection
Denon Records, April 1995
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