I have not been in battle (knock on wood) so have limited credibility, but it seems to me that for every war hero who does something fanatical (like charging a machine gun nest) and survives, there are a thousand would-be heroes who are flat out killed, but we only hear about the one survivor (partially due to propaganda). So the last thing I would ever do if an army of soldiers was passing by my house is race out with a gun and fire at said army (being part of a militia might be one thing, but an individual and overt act is quite another). Yet, here is a German soldier’s diary excerpt from the Battle of the Frontiers in World War I, compliments of history.com: “Nothing more terrible could be imagined….We advanced much too fast—a civilian fired at us—he was immediately shot—we were ordered to attack the enemy flank in a forest of beeches—we lost our direction—the men were done for—the enemy opened fire—shells came down on us like hail.” I truly wonder what that unfortunate civilian was thinking. Had he given up hope? Was he suicidal anyway? Did he have a fleeting moment of invincibility? A burst of desperation? One of my favorite lines about war is from The Civil War (Ken Burns), who quoted someone: “War is all hell.” I can’t think of a worse human instinct than war, especially since it is so often “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.”
I hate writing manually. First, I have truly awful handwriting, handwriting that is so bad that I once had to stay several weeks after school to practice. But the thing is, it didn’t get any better, and even when I try very hard to write carefully (for applications and such), it still is often indecipherable. Second, it is slow and laborious (at least for me) to write.
But I love typing. I always have. Along with Film Study and Senior Health, I thought typing was the most valuable class I took in High School. And these past few months, I’ve really come to enjoy putting my thoughts down on this blog/journal. Will these words have any great importance tomorrow? Will my kids or grandkids sit down and read these decades from now? Heck no! My grandpa took months to record his life story on audio tapes before he died, and although the family cherishes them to this day no one has actually listened to them – they just sit in a dusty shoebox in someone’s closet (I don’t even know who has them anymore 🙂 ). The reality is, *I* will probably never read any of these words again.
But I am enjoying this. It is fun. Ronald Reagan always like journaling because it helped crystalize his thoughts, and my doctor recommended a journal as I recovered from illness since it transfers stress from our brain to paper.
The New Yorker runs a weekly contest where they publish a cartoon/panel and anyone can post a/the caption for it. The winner’s caption is published. Because they receive 1000s of entries, they whittle it down by allowing voters to vote 1 of 3 ways on cartoons – not funny, somewhat funny, funny. I often review 50-100, and it is fun. I’ve noticed that many people have the same idea, and maybe 1 in 20 is funny. I like captions that are relevant today, succinct, encompass all the details in the cartoon, and catch me by surprise. For example, in one it appears thats the knight is talking but many people quoted the dragon or had too long a caption. I tend to vote everything somewhat funny, the 1 or 2 I like I mark as funny, and inappropriate ones (maybe 1 or 2) not funny. There are more than a few slogans regarding Trump. :). The contest is hard! It is not easy to capture someone else’s sketch in a humorous way in just a few words.