Random Sunday Blather
Our life together could be said to be astonishingly soporific (perhaps more so for our visitors than for us), but we like it that way. We have reached an age where most surprises tend to be of the unpleasant variety (annoyances minor and major); we still do enjoy agreeable surprises, but they represent a distinct minority of the overall class of amazements, and so are the more welcome for their rare occurrence.
I have lately been wondering why I do not suffer from what is called "cabin fever"; I spend almost every hour inside our mobile home, essentially living in what might be described as a warren (this may be why I identify so closely with mice). It does have the appearance of a tunnel with various recesses, except for the windows through which I peer as I pass them. My only reasonable conclusion is that cabin fever is a condition that I cannot afford to suffer if I wish to lead a happy life.
War, it seems sad to say, is for some reason part of our primitive makeup - when we live in peace, we sublimate our need for war by means of the outlets of sports and the reenactments of past battles. Despite the fact that natural disasters are a perfectly good means of limiting population overage, it appears that we humans are not satisfied with that but must indulge our primal urge to slaughter. It is to be devoutly hoped that our species may someday become civilized enough to move beyond that, and develop the means by which we can play well with others.
Bonnie has shared a few jokes with me, engendered by her choice of tv viewing for this afternoon (Barbarians on the History Channel):
"What battle cries did the Saxons shout as they attacked the Picts?"
"Take your Pict!"
"Go for the Pict of the crop!"
And the Pict battle cry?
"Blood your axe on the Saxon!"
Okay. We'll stop now. Please don't throw anything, you'll only damage your screen.
I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe--"That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure.
From "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" by Henry David Thoreau
Substitute "Iraqi" for "Mexican" and this becomes a very timely quotation.
A couple more items of note before we publish the puzzle -
Kathy has written a very moving and eloquent entry on what it means to be a small-town American, to revere flag and country, and to experience the emotions that arise when someone we may have known is taken suddenly from us in war. Thank you, Kathy, and be assured that we will NEVER FORGET.
When Carl Sagan was alive, we were attentive readers and viewers of any appearance of his, particularly the PBS series Cosmos. He was known as a popularizer of science, but beyond that, he was a serious and dedicated proponent of rationalism. There is a contemporary scientist who, although speaking in his own unique fashion, wears the mantle of popularizer and rationalist quite well. His name is Neil deGrasse Tyson, and it is well worth anyone's time to expose themselves to his enthusiasm for the scientific. Here is a short article that we found highly enjoyable and would like to share.
This word search was designed for a particular person whom some of you may recognize, hence some of the peculiar search terms.
For everyone, we wish happiness and
Bonnie and Walt