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Showing posts from May, 2011

Memorial of Forever?

So, it's Memorial Day this Monday. It always makes me think of my dad, who served in the Vietnam War, attaining the rank of sergeant. He was drafted. He didn't want to be there.
When I was younger, he and I got into a conversation about military service. Well, I say "conversation," but it was more like an argument. He'd served in a war, seen combat, and sounded very proud of it. He thought I should be proud to follow in his footsteps and do the same thing, should the need arise (i.e. a return of the draft). I told him how, frankly, such a situation scared me, and how I also didn't idealize war, and how even though some of them have been necessary, they aren't really something that humanity should be proud of. That set him off. We didn't really resolve it.
Years later, dying of cancer that he blamed on Agent Orange (not the decades of smoking four packs a day), dad would rage against the government for drafting him, "taking [him] away from [his] hom…

"I Have Seen the Eternal Footman"

The lastest Vanity Fair piece by Christopher Hitchens really struck a chord with myself and others. Hitchens, for those who are unaware, is one of the world's best writers, thinkers and debaters (even if everyone does not always agree with his principles or beliefs). He is also in the midst of stage IV cancer, diagnosed last summer, and it would appear to be getting the better of him (as cancer unfortunately often does).

I found the following passage of his latest piece particularly moving:

A Bit of Song & Dance

After a day of Ebertfest this year, Chaz Ebert cut loose at Bentley's Pub in downtown Champaign with a little karaoke...