assorted rants, creative writing, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy

Wandering Through the Graveyard, Yeah, the Bell Tolls for Me

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They say, “Ask not for whom the bell tolls.”  I used to be able to hear various church bell cotillions growing up, but today the only things I hear from my surroundings are the various airport noises, police and fire sirens, and the tornado siren that goes off every Wednesday at noon.  Perhaps the church bell cotillions have gone out of style, in much the same way as we try to distance ourselves from the natural rhythm of death and dying.  In Victorian times, death was up close and personal and in your face.  There were no nursing homes to warehouse the elderly, and for the most part, when one got seriously ill or injured, death came quickly, usually either on the spot or at home.  There were no fire squads or life-flights or trauma units to tend to the catastrophically injured.  People didn’t linger on in cancer wards or on machines in intensive care units, sequestered off to die, far away from prying eyes.  You just bit the big one wherever you happened to be.

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Maybe some Metallica, cranked up, would help.  I doubt it.

Infants and children died at an alarming rate as well, which begs the question, how emotionally invested were parents in their children?  I could see the temptation in those days to keep loved ones at arm’s length rather than to dare to get too close, but I’m emotionally distant to begin with.  I don’t like getting too close to anyone even if I am somewhat confident of their continued longevity.

Wallie

I do think that this mother was very close to her departed six-year old Wallie.  This headstone is both unique, and to me, rather sad.

Maybe wandering through a graveyard is macabre, and certain graveyards have a sort of a creepy vibe to them, but others are pleasant to wander through.  I’ve always found the Marion Cemetery to be a fascinating and aesthetically pleasant place to wander about, at least in the daytime.  I’d like to go back again with an empty memory card and several hours to simply take pics and read the headstones and try to visualize the people whose lives were behind them.

There are graveyards closer to my house, but there’s something intriguing knowing that I have relatives buried in the ones up in Marion County.  Some of my relatives’ graves are marked, but some aren’t, and most, I’d have fun finding.  I have yet to find the numerous relatives of mine that are buried in Marion Cemetery, but I also have to remember that place is massive- it covers hundreds of acres and goes back to before the Civil War.   When I took this batch of pics I was mostly wandering through the Civil War era sections of the cemetery.  It was cold that day and after about two hours I’d pretty much gone through my memory card (I have a bigger memory card now) and my joints’ tolerance for cold and damp. I’ve not done much traipsing about in other parts of it.  Yet.

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Amos Kling was Florence Harding’s father. His obelisk is rather impressive, but I didn’t step back and get a pic of the whole thing.

I’m still amazed at how much money people had to have spent on some of these monuments.  Either Marion County was a far more opulent place back in the 19th and early 20th centuries (I’m guessing this one) or people spent a lot more scratch on the dead than they do now.  Maybe it was both.

I do know there are a good number of unmarked graves even in the Marion Cemetery which is the largest (and highest dollar real estate) cemetery in Marion County.  Whether poverty is the main reason behind that. or indifference, I don’t know.  I know some people die and nobody really cares too much about remembering them, but in the end how many people really are remembered for long, and how long do those stone monuments last?  Many of them from the 1880’s and earlier are almost beyond deciphering.

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This one always intrigued me- is it an idealized image of the deceased or a heavenly specter, or both?

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I think they were referring to the building being built.  Still funny though.

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assorted rants, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy, political commentary

“Less Than Optimal,” Liar, Liar, and Uncommon Sense

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Straight from the mouth of our “less than optimal” illegitimate president.

Jim Carrey starred in a movie a number of years ago called Liar, Liar in which his character’s (who was a habitual liar) son’s birthday wish was that he couldn’t lie for 24 hours.  I think it would be hilarious if something to that effect happened to Obama- if he had to tell the truth out loud, without a teleprompter, to the American people, for 24 hours.  If he couldn’t evade questioning, and if he was compelled to blurt out the truth, I can only imagine the tales that would be told.  (After all, truth is generally stranger than fiction.) I can only dream of the wave of vindication that would be enjoyed by thinking people (to borrow from Rush Limbaugh,) all across the fruited plain.

Oh, the sweet sound of the truth setting this country free from the entanglement, ineptitude, and tyranny of the corrupt and debauched Obama regime.

Of course, the Liar, Liar movie is fiction, and Obama is too morally bankrupt and caught up in his own delusions to ever admit to the truth, but envisioning Obama as the Liar, Liar instead of Jim Carrey might be even funnier, and a hell of a lot more gratifying to those of us who have seen through his deception from the beginning.

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Knowing how many states are in the United States is a good start.

Anyway, I can really get fired up and distracted on any discussion of politics, and anyone who knows me on any level has probably already figured out how much I loathe Obama.  It would be different if he hadn’t cheated to get where he is.  It would be different if he didn’t make such a concerted effort to do exactly the wrong thing- all the time, every time.   I do find it a bit pathetic that the only time Obama has ever shown any inkling of being the least bit hawkish it is in an effort to help his al-Quida and Muslim Brotherhood friends.  Never mind all the Christians that got killed in that Egyptian mess.  Never mind all the Americans who were killed in Benghazi.   Obama’s all about his home boys, and it shows.

Middle Easterners of various factions and stripes have been killing each other for thousands of years.  Since the only thing that’s consistent in the Middle East is (with the exception of maybe Israel) they hate Americans, why not just let them kill each other, because that’s what they want to do anyway, and cut ourselves out as the middleman?

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My apologies to Sir Winston Churchill, but yes, Obama’s that bad.  He’s bad enough that he eclipses the dismal failures of the previous Worst President Ever in a grandiose, epic failure tsunami that I never would have believed possible, except for I’m observing it now as I speak.

Jimmy Carter subscribed (and still does) to most of the same bad ideology that Obama espouses, but with an important difference: motive.  I don’t think Jimmy Carter has the same destructive, anti-American, malicious motives as Obama.  Carter’s not in it (intentionally, anyway) to destroy the economy, to race-bait, to manufacture poverty, or to create division.  I think he just has the old-time thickheaded liberal ideology that followed FDR- that whole delusion of “government for the common good” mess.

However, one does not bring about prosperity by spreading the misery out more widely, which is the idiocy of the “old school” liberal argument.  Prosperity is brought about by spreading around the prosperity (i.e. free market economics) as Reagan rightfully observed in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Obama doesn’t want to bring anyone prosperity, except for him and his cronies.  He is all about the oligarchy- a handful of elites with all the wealth and power, stealing from those who produce the wealth to give to themselves and to others unwilling to work to bring about that wealth.

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It’s not too late to send him back.

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assorted rants, creative writing, gratuitous self pity, historical interest, misanthropy

Middle Age, The World’s End, and a Farewell to the Courtesy

 THE-WORLDS-END

I love British humor, especially when it’s from the same minds that brought us Shaun of the Dead.  The World’s End was a bit different than what I expected in that it sort of hit close to home.  It was funny in that way peculiar to the Brits, but it also made me think. Here you have a guy (Gary King) wanting to re-live his one top-of-the-world halcyon moment- and you almost have to hand it to someone who has been able to keep that joie de vivre of youth alive past age 40.  I think the whole joie de vivre concept went down the drain for me pretty much by 21, and it was gone for good after my divorce.

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In the movie you discover that Gary King’s friends are a lot like me: washed out, sold out, burned out and resigned to the fact that the best of life is far behind them.  Gary hadn’t changed, but his friends had.   The world around them had changed too, thanks to the blue-blooded alien robots.  Orderliness, conformity, blah, blah, blah.  The difficult thing is that the older we get, the more we buy the neat and tidy, bland, unexciting life, even when it goes to extremes.

There is something to be said for responsibility and routine and stability.  Those things are boring, but at least they’re somewhat predictable and safe.  44 is a long, long way from 17.  I know better than to dream lofty dreams or to expect anything better than the status quo.  The saying that, “A young person wants a the world and a new BMW, but I’d be happy with just a good BM,” is pretty much true for me.

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I’m pretty sure the 1986 me would have drooled over this.

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2013 me is a lot more realistic.

I think for me the aggravating thing is that as far as I know, I’ve never had that top-of-the-world halcyon moment, and I’d probably not know it when or if I ever did- or ever will.

The sad part is I can identify with the blue-blooded robots- going through the motions, blending into a bland world of blasé days, one indistinguishable from the next, keeping things orderly and tidy and boring until one day you sort of drop dead.  Sometimes I think I dropped dead years ago, but just forgot to fall over.

On another tangent, the city of Marion lost an historical landmark, if you can call a motel turned cathouse an historical landmark.

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In 1960-whatever it was a nice little roadside motel with a pool and everything.

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In 2006 it was a pay-by-the-hour cathouse.

It was a little bit sad to see what was left of the Courtesy bulldozed over, although I think the only purpose it had served for the last couple of years was as a crack house.  The only thing is that half of the town or more would have to be bulldozed if they wanted to eliminate all the crack houses.

The main take-home I got from The World’s End is that you can’t really go home again, and you can’t really ever re-live your glory days, and I never really had any to begin with.  Perhaps my mistake is that I have to go back home again from time to time and what I see depresses me even though I don’t live in that sphere anymore.

I think that’s why my sisters avoid going to Mom and Dad’s like the plague.  That feeling of being misplaced and out of time is disconcerting enough, but add opening up the old wounds and bad memories and rivalries and so forth, and it can be downright abysmal.  Sometimes I don’t understand why I go back as often as I do, but then I remember that my son and my granddaughter still live there.  I can’t demand that my family meet me where I am, even if they could.

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I leave with the philosophical observation of the day.

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