Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Several Random Thoughts Signifying Nothing

The Von Schprock College of Selective Knowledge

If I ever found an institution of higher learning:

The English Department will offer a course entitled "Rock 'n' Roll Grammar" which attempts to establish grammatical rules for popular music lyrics from the early 1950s to the present. A week will be spent on the Hip Hop genre alone. Expect a class devoted entirely to unraveling the group America's famous line from A Horse With No Name, "'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain."

The History Department will offer a course entitled "The Tarantino Timeline" which examines the events leading up to the conclusion of World War II and the conditions prevalent in the pre-civil war South. 

Course suggestions are welcome.


Mystery Photo ID'ed

I've noticed the above photograph floating around the internet. Obviously it's Robert DeNiro and Brenda Vacarro pictured with their love child, circa 1972. To the right is General Zod.

CORRECTION: Oops. My bad. It's a picture of the Marathon Bombers' parents with Baby Suspect Number One. 

To the right is General Zod.


This Must Stop!

Reminders of how old I am must stop. I'm reading Robert Caro's The Passage of Power from his biographical series, The Years of Lyndon Johnson. Okay, when I was a kid, Johnson was the president, right? This old dude who was always on the news, got me? Well guess what. When that old man assumed the presidency after JFK was assassinated, he was two years younger than I am now!


Not Their Finest Hour

I just finished Churchill's Memoirs of World War II, which is an abridgment of a much larger work. The reader quickly finds Sir Winston a very easy man to like, his writing is outstanding and often quite witty, and it's fascinating to get a view of WWII from one of its main actors. He sets the stage by beginning his story at the conclusion of World War I (some historians consider both wars one very big one with an uneasy break in the middle) and guides the reader through the politics and prosecution of the war with all the logistical headaches that go with it. You may be surprised that he is very gracious and fair to Neville Chamberlain, and in general he tries quite hard to see contrary points of view even when completely sure that his way would have been best. 

But, boy, did Stalin play the Western powers. Played us all for chumps. We had to deal with him, we had to help Russia, but in the end he took us for all we were worth. Churchill could never get the upper hand. As evil as he was, sometimes you've got to give the devil his due.