1. I finished the HBO series The Pacific last night. I’ve been watching this, and Ken Burns’ Civil War, and a doco about Gallipoli, and the tv series Rome, and a doco about the current conflict in Afghanistan. And here’s the thing.
No matter what the tech level is, at some point one bunch of guys (and it is almost ALWAYS guys) has to run at another bunch of guys while the air between them is full of deadly weapons. We try to reduce the amount that this needs to happen, with aerial bombardment, artillery, trenches, mines, defenses, what-have-you. But at some point …. At some point, a bunch of guys has to run at another bunch of guys. And at that point, to hesitate or stop is immediate death. The only chance of living is to finish the charge.
I find this fact to be horrifying, tear-inducing, admirable, insane, an act of supreme will, a mindless act of obedience, a mass of contradictions. I have trouble reconciling my intellectual appreciation of particularly innovative tactics with my emotional horror at the butchery. It’s kind of a mess.
One buncha guys running at another. It’s madness.
2. M got a Junior Electrician kit from our friends. We started working through the exercises. Then I excused myself for no more than ten minutes, tops. When I came back he’d wired the batteries in parallel and hooked up a motor and a switch. Without looking at any instructions. Idek.
3. Dear Sugar has a column I like up at The Daily Rumpus. My favorite phrase is “So buck the fuck up.” Because, yes, most relationship failures are a two-way street. (Not all, yes, I know.) And while focusing on what the other person could do better it’s also necessary to ponder your own glass house.
4. The first skating lesson for the kids was today. It went quite well, and some old friends of the kids who we haven’t seen in a while are also taking the class, so that’s good.
5. It’s time for my mother to head to the airport. The children are laying on her to get her to stay.