Ahoy mates, today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day!
T’ help you sail through t’ day, your buckos at Urbanagora wanted t’ link t’ some booty. Click here. And here. Garrrrr, here be an English t’ Pirate translator. And, here be a funny picture o’ a pirate keyboard (from Engadget)
Editors Note: This is reposted from a previous Talk Like A Pirate Day
I asked a friend and mentor of mine who blogs as Grumblebear if I could run a recent post of his on Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer.” He graciously consented, and because of his familiarity with the piece, I’m hoping he will stop by Urbanagora and respond to your comments. Thanks again, Grumblebear!
Mark Twain has always been my favorite philosopher, and his short story “The War Prayer“, my favorite.
During the Vietnam War, I quoted it extensively and even did readings of it at anti-war gatherings. It is one of the most powerful statements against war and jingoism ever written, and it is as relevant today as it ever has been.
Now, thanks to the Internet, Twain’s magnificent work (relatively unknown before) is enjoying a much wider popularity than ever before, with a number of sites and pages dedicated to it. The newest of these, thewarprayer.com, put together by our friend Markos Kounalakis at the Washington Monthly is quite amazing:
(h/t Mike Finnigan at C&L)
Here’s Kevin Drum’s intro to the film from WM:
In 1904, disgusted by the aftermath of the Spanish-American War and the
subsequent Philippine-American War, Mark Twain wrote a short anti-war prose poem called “The War Prayer.” His family begged him not to publish it, his friends
advised him to bury it, and his publisher rejected it, thinking it too
inflammatory for the times. Twain agreed, but instructed that it be published
after his death, saying famously:
None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.
“The War Prayer” was eventually published after World War I, when its
message was more in tune with the times. Washington Monthly’s publisher, Markos
Kounalakis, who was affected by Twain’s words when he covered the war in
Yugoslavia in the early 90s, made “The War Prayer” into a short video for
release last Memorial Day, and today we’re reprising it. It features stunning
illustrations by Akis Dimitrakopoulos and is narrated by Peter Coyote, Lawrence
Ferlinghetti, and Erik Bauersfeld.
Recently a friend of Urbanagora, Chris at the Outside Report, had a series of posts on things he loved from the 1980s and 1990s, including a list of the best theme songs. As is typical, I agreed with most of his analysis, particularly on the rockin‘ Gummy Bears theme song. However, he left off his list the greatest theme song ever, “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” from Cheers. To Chris’s credit, Cheers was included in his rebuttal list. Enjoy:
Also, for my fellow Cheers fans, here’s a collection of Norm Peterson quotes.
Gotta bill hours, but here’s a thread to discuss today’s big news. I’m ashamed of this, but I’m torn. I’m completely supportive of gay rights, but part of me wishes this could have waited until after the election. I intend to post at some point on how the gay rights movement has botched this cause from the beginning, in a discussion of “pragmatic progressivism.”
Today I thought of one of my favorite songwriters, Warren Zevon. I did a quick YouTube search and found a video of Zevon doing Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner. If you’ve heard of Zevon, you’re probably most familiar with either his hit Lawyers, Guns and Money or Werewolves of London. I like those too, but this has always been my favorite:
Today is the 25th anniversary of one of baseballs most famous tirades. *Language Warning*
Here’s the background from the YouTube clip:
On April 29, 1983, during Lee Elia’s tenure as the Cubs’ manager, the Cubs suffered a one-run home loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. After the game, he lashed out at Cubs fans for their fair weather support of the team. (Their consistent booing and heckling at Wrigley completely unnerved Elia.) A member of the press secretly recorded this “off-the-record” session with reporters.
Today’s new Washington Post – ABC News Poll is very bad news for the Clinton campaign.
Her unfavorable numbers have jumped from 40% in January to a record high 54%. How can any of her surrogates make an argument based on electability while holding a straight face.
This is simple math: 100-54 = 4 years of John McCain.
One of the most stark changes in Clinton’s numbers is the dramatic fall in the honest/trustworthy metric. As reported by the WaPo:
Clinton is viewed as “honest and trustworthy” by just 39 percent of Americans, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, compared with 52 percent in May 2006. Nearly six in 10 said in the new poll that she is not honest and trustworthy.
Bosnia + her recent negativity (perception she’ll say anything to win) + increased awareness of Mark Penn’s Duplicity + increased discussion of past dishonesty by both Clintons + unanswered questions in tax returns (it doesn’t seem like public service = $100 million).
In other news, the Huffington Post may now be discussing the next phase in the elitism message, if it sticks. Apparently in 1995, while talking about working class whites, Hillary Clinton said “Screw ‘em” in a meeting.
Progressive Media USA has created its first ad against the GOPs favorite fusty contrarian, John McCain.
“Same Old Politics.” Initial caps are probably because the word “Old” is so important. I’m surprised they were this subtle. I’ll bet someone wanted to toss OLD up in all caps, italicized with a double underline, perhaps on a scroll.
You are in the forest and come to a fork in the road. One path leads to salvation and the other to damnation. There are two men standing just before the fork in the road. You know that one always tells the truth and one always lies, but you do not know which of the men is the honest man and which is the dishonest man.
You can ask the men one question, and one question only to determine which path you should take. What question do you ask?