Photographs. Anecdotes. And observations on Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The cut-up truth of the absurdity of War.

The Finnish people now have a chance
to withdraw from their hateful partnership,
after the privations of life in Nazi internment camps
and the terrors of a “hell train” on which they left the Reich

while a record night attack by the RAF which hit Stuttgart, Munich
and other targets with more than 1,000 four engine
bombers carrying 3600 tons of bombs,
hinder sappers struggling to clear the debris

when two star players on Bloomfield high school's
1934 state champion football team
are together again in a war prison camp in Germany

unbeknownst to them a Detroit obstetrician is convicted
of conspiracy to violate the war time espionage act,
None of the foe found in the "Ghost City"

all the while the county game warden has been setting traps
during the last few weeks to catch the rabbits
that threaten to be pesty later on,
Forces listed “one elephant”
among the supplies and equipment taken from the enemy.

A Mopping up party was clearing
the last hold outs
from the last dug outs
on one of the marshall islands:

As a fuse was set to discharge the demolitions
a man came running out with his hands held high
"don’t shoot, Ive got a brother in brooklyn.”

Today, variable cloudiness
occasional rain;
Tonight and friday, variable cloudiness
occasional rain, somewhat colder.

Excerpts spliced and pasted from Passaic, NJ's "The Herald News."
March 16th, 1944

Monday, March 21, 2011

Those damn Luddites.

"The original Luddites would answer that we are human. Getting past the myth and seeing their protest more clearly is a reminder that it’s possible to live well with technology—but only if we continually question the ways it shapes our lives. It’s about small things, like now and then cutting the cord, shutting down the smartphone and going out for a walk. But it needs to be about big things, too, like standing up against technologies that put money or convenience above other human values. If we don’t want to become, as Carlyle warned, “mechanical in head and in heart,” it may help, every now and then, to ask which of our modern machines General and Eliza Ludd would choose to break. And which they would use to break them."

Excerpt from an article by Richard Conniff: "King Ludd's War."
Smithsoniam, March 2011.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The miracle of Eucalyptus oil.

Vendor: "There's many advantages to the use of Eucalyptus oil. It helps with head aches, general muscle pain, and it works as a flea repellant."

Customer: "So, what does it do to fleas?"

Vendor: "Once you put it on your cat or dog, the flea smells it, doesn't like the smell, then dies."

Customer: "Let me go ahead and buy that 20ounce bottle"