Wednesday, March 22, 2006

An Incredibly Sad Song

The Green Fields of France

Well, how do you do, Private William McBride,
Do you mind if I sit down here by your graveside?
And rest for awhile in the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day, and I'm nearly done.
And I see by your gravestone you were only 19
When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916,
Well, I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Or, Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?

Did they Beat the drum slowly, did the play the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fir o'er you as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some loyal heart is your memory enshrined?
And, though you died back in 1916,
To that loyal heart are you forever 19?
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Forever enshrined behind some glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn and tattered and stained,
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?

The sun's shining down on these green fields of France;
The warm wind blows gently, and the red poppies dance.
The trenches have vanished long under the plow;
No gas and no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard that's still No Man's Land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man.
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned.

And I can't help but wonder, no Willie McBride,
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you "The Cause?"
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain,
For Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Get back to me when you have the cure for cancer

The exercise in mediocrity and shallowness that is the university newspaper is doing a series of articles about the different religious groups and organizations around campus. In the inaugural column they are talking about something called BASIC. Basically (hehe) it's a nice little organization that exploits the fragile situation that many freshmen find themselves in. They target these kids and get them to show up to the lame meetings with the retarded "christian" rock band (an oxy-moron if I ever heard one.) Some get the hell out, some stick around for the food and punch, some get sucked in.

Anyway, the part that got my attention was one kid at the end equated his evangelism with "sharing the cure for cancer." No. No. Shit no. It's not the same as a cure for cancer. If one was so inclined, one could make the argument that evangelism is the exact opposite of disseminating a cure for one of the biggest killers in this country. How much human misery has sprouted from evangelical religion* in the past few thousand years? How many people have been killed, raped, beaten, tortured, etc. in the name of the spreading the word of the christian god?* How many cultures and lives have been ruined by missionaries and their backers? If anything, evangelism is running a close second to money as the root of all evil.

Not to mention that these freaky uber-nuts are just plain fucking creepy. "Do you have a personal relationship with the lord?" If I was interested in one I would have surrendered my spiritual cherry to him a long time ago. Piss off, nutjob. And don't come back until you actually got the cure for cancer.

* Disclaimer: Yes, I realize that there are countless folks who count themselves as christians who don't cause all that much trouble. If you are one of this vast, near invisible, silent majority I recognize that you are not evil and/or schizophrenic. Willfully delusional, maybe. But not evil.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Four Down, Three to Go

So I probably won't be getting any hits from Antarctica, but last year, against all odds I triumphed with at least one hit from each of the populated continents (science teams and penguins don't count does not a populated continent make.)

Will I make it repeat? Can my infrequent, mostly not all that insightful, captain obvious blatherings cause enough people from far-away places to stumble on my little corner of the internet looking for naked pictures of Sabine Ehrenfeld and/or Pamela Anderson?

Only time will tell.