Discussion:
"Ideas of March" poetry discussion
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George J. Dance
2019-01-05 16:30:03 UTC
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Ideas of March
[sung to a Sousa beat]
===Text restored===

Ideas of March
[sung to a Sousa beat]

Shuffling off to Babylon to be born
again, in knife-sharp lines of infantry,
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
the dead, to feel the baking heat or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore
and blinds the eyes -- Just marching onward -- Just
the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
that gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.

===
Ooh, goody! A spanking... I mean, a poetry discussion!
Shuffling off to Babylon to be born
Shuffling to a march tempo? Nothing like having the image and the meter correspond.
No, no; you're supposed to sing the thing in a march tempo. I even have the tune, which thankfully, given my voice, I can't sing onto an mp3). These guys are marching, in the sense they're still walking in rhythm, but they're "shuffling".
The resemblance to "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" is too noticeable to have been accidental.
It wasn't accidental; but it's trivial, in that it has nothing to do with the song.
Why marching off to war should be compared to beginning a theater company's beginning a road tour after having folded on Broadway (my understanding of the phrase's origin), is anybody's guess.
I actually got the phrase from the song, which isn't about that at all, but no matter; The line came into my head decades ago, on rereading Yeats's line about "slouching towards Bethlehem" - just a memorable phrase in search of a poem.
again, in knife-sharp lines of infantry,
Wouldn't being "born again in Babylon" constitute a conversion to Islam? Or are you claiming that our soldiers morph into religious zealots because you believe the War on Terrorism derives from religious motivations on the U.S.'s part?
Or the "machines" of religious zealots. You can't deny that religious zealotry is a big factor in the various U.S./Islam conflicts, including the Iraqi invasion.
I suppose "knife-sharp lines" could apply to soldiers marching in parade formation -- although the I see the overall shape as being rectangular.
Well, I've got these guys marching up to and into Baghdad, in narrower columns - by 2's or 3's. That's probably counter-factual - most likely they were driven up in trucks - but having them march makes for a more dramatic poem. "Driving up to Babylon" just didn't work.
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
Nothing like shooting for the obvious.
It's wasn't 'obvious' to me whether the soldiers were marching in solitude, or in the middle of, as part of, a war machine. That's one reason for mentioning the tanks and artillery. The other is put the reader in the right frame of mind for the next line.

Interesting words I haven't used in my (kept) poetry, and a rather clever near-rhyme (-REE).
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
Soldiers seen as a "lean green fighting machine"... who'dda thunk?
It isn't an original observation that soldiers are taught to act like machines, rather than thinking human beings - nor did (do) I claim it is. It's in there because it says something true and important about these soldiers in the poem.
the dead, to feel the baking heat or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore
and blinds the eyes --
Liquid pores (allowing the slightly nonsensical metaphor) would seem prohibitive to the caking of dust motes, but... whatever.
Have you never done any physical work on a hot day, in a dusty place? First, your pores start to sweat, and then the sweat mixes with dust - you end up with the shit all over your exposed skin. Is "cakes" the wrong word? I dunno - I like how it went with "baking" - not important wordplay, but such things amuse me when I'm writing.
I'm just wondering how blocked skin pores can cause blindness.
I think you've misread. The blowing dust is caking on their skin and blinding their eyes; they're two different effects of it.
Just marching onward -- Just
Damn! You snipped the line for sense, but that means you sacrificed my most important visual effect in the whole thing: sticking the word "Just" out on the poem's extreme right. IMO, it's the most important word in the poem, and the key to understanding it.
the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Arrgh! matey -- they be sailin' off to settle an old score!
Many if not most of the Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq saw it as vengeance for 9/11. Maybe you're too young to remember all that, but it's not something to trivialize. Bush got his war because Americans saw it as "vengeance" - fighting back - and therefore not aggression, but justice. "Just the thought of vengeance" (= the thought of vengeance is just) is what powers the war machine.
Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
Ah! The introduction of cloying sentimentality -- how appropriate for the Hallmark Card version of an anti-war poem.
Mothers lose their children in wartime, and houses are burned - that's another unavoidable fact of war. I don't think it's too "cloying" or "sentimental" to at least mention it.
by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
that gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
So we kill their fathers, which begets them killing our sons... which begets their sons killing the fathers of the ensuing generation... and war becomes a neverending vicious circle...
Sure; but it stretches back into the past as well as the future. The American soldiers killed the Muslim fathers because Muslim terrorists killed Americans in 9/11; Muslim terrorists killed Americans because Americans killed thousands in Iraq War I and the subsequent bombings of Baghdad; and so on in that direction.
Like playing Tit for Tat.
Like the Hatfields and McCoys. No bad guys, no evil empire or race - only people motivated by the same idea: getting revenge is getting justice.
Enough of this senseless killing! Let's all lay down our sword and shield, run off to Canada and sing "Kumbaya."
I wish; but I don't expect all humanity to change because of one poem. If even one person understands it, and gets the conclusion, that would be a win for me.
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
Condemning men who answer the Country's call to Hell? That's it bit steep, isn't it, George?
Yes, it is; and it's a controversial line. Remember, though, that I don't believe in an afterlife. The Hell I'm referring to is the one the soldiers found in Baghdad over the next decade.
Is that what you'd tell the parents of a soldier who died in Vietnam?
More likely in that case, since a lot of the Nam soldiers were draftees:

"I'm sorry your government sent your child into Hell and then got him killed."
NancyGene
2019-01-05 16:53:49 UTC
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Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
George J. Dance
2019-01-05 18:58:03 UTC
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Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
NancyGene
2019-01-05 21:04:01 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
If you state a statistic, it should be correct. See:
https://www.vvof.org/factsvnv.htm
http://www.uswardogs.org/vietnam-statistics/

There are many other sites that say the same thing.
George J. Dance
2019-01-05 21:24:41 UTC
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Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
If you state a statistic, it should be correct.
What are you calling "incorrect" about the statement you quoted?
Post by NancyGene
https://www.vvof.org/factsvnv.htm
http://www.uswardogs.org/vietnam-statistics/
"25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees."

I'll repeat: a lot of the Nam soldiers were draftees.
General Zod
2019-01-05 21:53:57 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
If you state a statistic, it should be correct.
What are you calling "incorrect" about the statement you quoted?
Post by NancyGene
https://www.vvof.org/factsvnv.htm
http://www.uswardogs.org/vietnam-statistics/
"25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees."
I'll repeat: a lot of the Nam soldiers were draftees.
That seems like a lot of fighters in the 'Nam....
George J. Dance
2019-01-05 23:13:51 UTC
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Post by General Zod
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
If you state a statistic, it should be correct.
What are you calling "incorrect" about the statement you quoted?
Post by NancyGene
https://www.vvof.org/factsvnv.htm
http://www.uswardogs.org/vietnam-statistics/
"25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees."
I'll repeat: a lot of the Nam soldiers were draftees.
That seems like a lot of fighters in the 'Nam....
Yeah, but that was over a period of years. I don't think there were 2,500,000 U.S. troops in South Vietnam at any one time (but we'll see what NastyGene has to say about that).
Michael Pendragon
2019-01-06 01:05:04 UTC
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Post by General Zod
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
If you state a statistic, it should be correct.
What are you calling "incorrect" about the statement you quoted?
Post by NancyGene
https://www.vvof.org/factsvnv.htm
http://www.uswardogs.org/vietnam-statistics/
"25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees."
I'll repeat: a lot of the Nam soldiers were draftees.
That seems like a lot of fighters in the 'Nam....
Did blinks, farts, and resumes his slack-jawed stare...
George J. Dance
2019-01-07 21:59:27 UTC
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Post by Michael Pendragon
Did blinks, farts, and resumes his slack-jawed stare...
^^^^^^^ This looks like the reason Pigdragon wants more poetry discussions.
NancyGene
2019-01-05 22:52:25 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
If you state a statistic, it should be correct.
What are you calling "incorrect" about the statement you quoted?
Post by NancyGene
https://www.vvof.org/factsvnv.htm
http://www.uswardogs.org/vietnam-statistics/
"25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees."
I'll repeat: a lot of the Nam soldiers were draftees.
You are doing Dockery-speak. "A lot" of the whole of something is not 25%. If you answered 25 out of 100 questions correctly, would your teacher say that you got "a lot" of them right? If you were going to say what you did, you should have looked up how many were actually drafted.
George J. Dance
2019-01-05 23:10:20 UTC
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Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
If you state a statistic, it should be correct.
What are you calling "incorrect" about the statement you quoted?
Post by NancyGene
https://www.vvof.org/factsvnv.htm
http://www.uswardogs.org/vietnam-statistics/
"25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees."
I'll repeat: a lot of the Nam soldiers were draftees.
You are doing Dockery-speak. "A lot" of the whole of something is not 25%.
You're confusing "a lot" with "most" or "much". "A lot" means a large number or amount.

(It's things like this that make me wonder what your first language is, BTW.)
Post by NancyGene
If you answered 25 out of 100 questions correctly, would your teacher say that you got "a lot" of them right?
No. OTOH, if a terrorist attack killed 600,000 people in a city of 2 million, I would say that a lot of people had died - and let you insist it wasn't all that many,
Post by NancyGene
If you were going to say what you did, you should have looked up how many were actually drafted.
For heaven's sake, why?
NancyGene
2019-01-06 00:34:09 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
You are doing Dockery-speak. "A lot" of the whole of something is not 25%.
You're confusing "a lot" with "most" or "much". "A lot" means a large number or amount.
No, you are the one who is confusing the meaning of "a lot." We were not the one who used those words in the first place.
Post by George J. Dance
(It's things like this that make me wonder what your first language is, BTW.)
We know that your first language is double-speak.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
If you answered 25 out of 100 questions correctly, would your teacher say that you got "a lot" of them right?
No. OTOH, if a terrorist attack killed 600,000 people in a city of 2 million, I would say that a lot of people had died - and let you insist it wasn't all that many,
Right there is a Dunce-shift. Changing the argument just enough so that it is no longer the original argument.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
If you were going to say what you did, you should have looked up how many were actually drafted.
For heaven's sake, why?
Because what you wrote made it sound as if many more people were draftees than were...draftees. To avoid people misconstruing your meaning, it would have helped to have said that 25% were drafted and the rest enlisted.
George J. Dance
2019-01-07 21:46:05 UTC
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Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
You are doing Dockery-speak. "A lot" of the whole of something is not 25%.
You're confusing "a lot" with "most" or "much". "A lot" means a large number or amount.
No, you are the one who is confusing the meaning of "a lot."
Don't play IKYABWAI. A "lot" means what I said it did:

"7. : a considerable quantity or extent"

Half a million people is a lot of people. Nothing to do with fractions or percentages.

A lot of American teenagers went to Woodstock. It was only a tiny percentage of American teenagers, but it was a lot of teenagers.
Post by NancyGene
We were not the one who used those words in the first place.
You were the one who decided to make it the subject of discussion. Take responsibility.
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
(It's things like this that make me wonder what your first language is, BTW.)
We know that your first language is double-speak.
That's an untrue (hence unsupported) allegation. I'd ask for an apology if I cared.
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
If you answered 25 out of 100 questions correctly, would your teacher say that you got "a lot" of them right?
No. OTOH, if a terrorist attack killed 600,000 people in a city of 2 million, I would say that a lot of people had died - and let you insist it wasn't all that many,
Right there is a Dunce-shift. Changing the argument just enough so that it is no longer the original argument.
Are you really too ignorant to see that it's just an analogy, like the "25 questions" one you just made? Well, it was; and a closer one than yours. (600,000 is much closer to the number of draftees in Nam than the "25" in yours.)
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
If you were going to say what you did, you should have looked up how many were actually drafted.
For heaven's sake, why?
Because what you wrote made it sound as if many more people were draftees than were...draftees.
Earth to NG: the number of people who were draftees were exactly as many as the number who were draftees. You're writing nonsense.
Post by NancyGene
To avoid people misconstruing your meaning, it would have helped to have said that 25% were drafted and the rest enlisted.
Look, if you thought I was saying they were all draftees (and that's something that <cough>a lot</cough> an unspecified number of Americans believe), then the correct stat should be mentioned. You mentioned it. We even have a nice website where all those stats are summarized. But we disagree on the meaning of a word I used; that's also part of the record. Peachy. Let's move on.
Michael Pendragon
2019-01-06 03:00:26 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
If you state a statistic, it should be correct.
What are you calling "incorrect" about the statement you quoted?
Post by NancyGene
https://www.vvof.org/factsvnv.htm
http://www.uswardogs.org/vietnam-statistics/
"25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees."
I'll repeat: a lot of the Nam soldiers were draftees.
You are doing Dockery-speak. "A lot" of the whole of something is not 25%.
You're confusing "a lot" with "most" or "much". "A lot" means a large number or amount.
That is true. However, the implication one got from your statement was that it signified "most."
Post by George J. Dance
(It's things like this that make me wonder what your first language is, BTW.)
You aren't addressing Kosher Piglet, here. NancyGene's proficiency with the language is most impressive. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that she was an author, a scholar, or an educator.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
If you answered 25 out of 100 questions correctly, would your teacher say that you got "a lot" of them right?
No. OTOH, if a terrorist attack killed 600,000 people in a city of 2 million, I would say that a lot of people had died - and let you insist it wasn't all that many,
Of course, the qualifying factor in this is the context. 600,000 deaths from a terrorist attack would be record breakingly high. 600,000 out of 2 million would constitute a percentage between a fourth and a third of the population -- still shockingly high for a terrorist attack. Selling 600,000 copies of a book out of a print-run of 2 million would be decidedly low.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
If you were going to say what you did, you should have looked up how many were actually drafted.
For heaven's sake, why?
For accuracy's sake, of course.
NancyGene
2019-01-07 19:56:10 UTC
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Post by Michael Pendragon
You aren't addressing Kosher Piglet, here. NancyGene's proficiency with the language is most impressive. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that she was an author, a scholar, or an educator.
Thank you, Michael. Very kind of you.
George J. Dance
2019-01-07 20:30:07 UTC
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Post by NancyGene
Post by Michael Pendragon
You aren't addressing Kosher Piglet, here. NancyGene's proficiency with the language is most impressive. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that she was an author, a scholar, or an educator.
Thank you, Michael. Very kind of you.
Did you suck him off under a sheet for that, NG?
George J. Dance
2019-01-08 15:40:09 UTC
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Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
If you state a statistic, it should be correct.
What are you calling "incorrect" about the statement you quoted?
Post by NancyGene
https://www.vvof.org/factsvnv.htm
http://www.uswardogs.org/vietnam-statistics/
"25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees."
I'll repeat: a lot of the Nam soldiers were draftees.
You are doing Dockery-speak. "A lot" of the whole of something is not 25%.
You're confusing "a lot" with "most" or "much". "A lot" means a large number or amount.
That is true. However, the implication one got from your statement was that it signified "most."
BZZT! You mean, "the inference one got ..." There was no such implication on my part. What NG got from it would have been their inference.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
(It's things like this that make me wonder what your first language is, BTW.)
You aren't addressing Kosher Piglet, here. NancyGene's proficiency with the language is most impressive. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that she was an author, a scholar, or an educator.
As ggary ggarbage used to pontificate here, "Consider the source of all the comments."
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
If you answered 25 out of 100 questions correctly, would your teacher say that you got "a lot" of them right?
No. OTOH, if a terrorist attack killed 600,000 people in a city of 2 million, I would say that a lot of people had died - and let you insist it wasn't all that many,
Of course, the qualifying factor in this is the context. 600,000 deaths from a terrorist attack would be record breakingly high. 600,000 out of 2 million would constitute a percentage between a fourth and a third of the population -- still shockingly high for a terrorist attack. Selling 600,000 copies of a book out of a print-run of 2 million would be decidedly low.
But (and remember, we're debating semantics) that would still be a lot of books.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
If you were going to say what you did, you should have looked up how many were actually drafted.
For heaven's sake, why?
For accuracy's sake, of course.
BZZT! Given what you're saying, you mean, "For precision's sake ..."

There was nothing inaccurate about my statement, period. NG's only complaint is that it was imprecise (while I'm doubting any need for precision).

That makes two words you've used incorrectly in this post, "implication" and "accuracy". I may have to start archiving a list of "Words that Pigdragon uses incorrectly".
Coco DeSockmonkey
2019-01-08 16:12:14 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
If you state a statistic, it should be correct.
What are you calling "incorrect" about the statement you quoted?
Post by NancyGene
https://www.vvof.org/factsvnv.htm
http://www.uswardogs.org/vietnam-statistics/
"25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees."
I'll repeat: a lot of the Nam soldiers were draftees.
You are doing Dockery-speak. "A lot" of the whole of something is not 25%.
You're confusing "a lot" with "most" or "much". "A lot" means a large number or amount.
That is true. However, the implication one got from your statement was that it signified "most."
BZZT! You mean, "the inference one got ..." There was no such implication on my part. What NG got from it would have been their inference.
The implication is in your statement. NG got what your statement implied.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
(It's things like this that make me wonder what your first language is, BTW.)
You aren't addressing Kosher Piglet, here. NancyGene's proficiency with the language is most impressive. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that she was an author, a scholar, or an educator.
As ggary ggarbage used to pontificate here, "Consider the source of all the comments."
In this case, the source is one of your (many) betters. You'd do well to consider that fact.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
If you answered 25 out of 100 questions correctly, would your teacher say that you got "a lot" of them right?
No. OTOH, if a terrorist attack killed 600,000 people in a city of 2 million, I would say that a lot of people had died - and let you insist it wasn't all that many,
Of course, the qualifying factor in this is the context. 600,000 deaths from a terrorist attack would be record breakingly high. 600,000 out of 2 million would constitute a percentage between a fourth and a third of the population -- still shockingly high for a terrorist attack. Selling 600,000 copies of a book out of a print-run of 2 million would be decidedly low.
But (and remember, we're debating semantics) that would still be a lot of books.
Which is precisely why statements *cannot* be considered out of context.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
If you were going to say what you did, you should have looked up how many were actually drafted.
For heaven's sake, why?
For accuracy's sake, of course.
BZZT! Given what you're saying, you mean, "For precision's sake ..."
No, for the sake of accuracy.

Again, consider the context: the point is not that you should provide exact numbers, but that you didn't bother to check your facts before posting them.
Post by George J. Dance
There was nothing inaccurate about my statement, period. NG's only complaint is that it was imprecise (while I'm doubting any need for precision).
Again, no one claimed that your statement was inaccurate. Had it proven to be such, you can be sure that one of us would have wiped your nose in it.

The point is that you didn't bother to fact-check prior to posting, and your "facts" are nothing more than guesses on your part and consequently, are not to be taken at face value.

Everything you claim must be subsequently investigated and cross-checked by your readers; which reflects poorly upon statements as a whole.

In short, you can't be trusted.
Post by George J. Dance
That makes two words you've used incorrectly in this post, "implication" and "accuracy". I may have to start archiving a list of "Words that Pigdragon uses incorrectly".
Sorry, Dunce. Both words were used correctly (as explained above). In both cases, you've chosen to "misunderstand" the concepts being expressed.
Michael Pendragon
2019-01-06 01:04:03 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
If you state a statistic, it should be correct.
What are you calling "incorrect" about the statement you quoted?
She's calling *your* statement incorrect, Dunce.
George J. Dance
2019-01-06 01:48:43 UTC
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Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
If you state a statistic, it should be correct.
What are you calling "incorrect" about the statement you quoted?
She's calling *your* statement incorrect, Dunce.
Yes, Pigletdragon; we know what statement she's called incorrect.
George J. Dance
2019-01-07 21:57:34 UTC
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Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
If you state a statistic, it should be correct.
What are you calling "incorrect" about the statement you quoted?
She's calling *your* statement incorrect, Dunce.
<sigh> Yes, Pigdragon: is calling this statement of mine incorrect:

"More likely in that case, since a lot of the Nam soldiers were draftees".

That's the statement NG quoted; and it's the only statement NG quoted. They quoted a statement and they called the *same* statement incorrect.

Did you have trouble understanding that? (If so, how would you hope to be able to understand a poem?)

Or did you just feel like pointing out the obvious? (If so, what exactly are you whining about respecting the tanks and artillery in my poem?)
General Zod
2019-01-13 03:09:55 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Post by NancyGene
Twenty-five percent of the people who served during the Vietnam war were draftees. Please use correct statistics for your arguments.
The percentage is not relevant to my so-called "argument," but I'd still like to see your cite for that claim.
Indeed...…......
Will Dockery
2019-01-09 00:09:36 UTC
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Interesting discussion, fellows.

:)
Michael Pendragon
2019-01-05 19:36:31 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Ideas of March
[sung to a Sousa beat]
===Text restored===
Ideas of March
[sung to a Sousa beat]
Shuffling off to Babylon to be born
again, in knife-sharp lines of infantry,
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
the dead, to feel the baking heat or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore
and blinds the eyes -- Just marching onward -- Just
the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
that gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
===
Ooh, goody! A spanking... I mean, a poetry discussion!
Shuffling off to Babylon to be born
Shuffling to a march tempo? Nothing like having the image and the meter correspond.
No, no; you're supposed to sing the thing in a march tempo. I even have the tune, which thankfully, given my voice, I can't sing onto an mp3). These guys are marching, in the sense they're still walking in rhythm, but they're "shuffling".
shuffle
verb

1) Walk by dragging one's feet along or without lifting them fully from the ground.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/shuffle

You have a funny idea of what constitutes marching.
Post by George J. Dance
The resemblance to "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" is too noticeable to have been accidental.
It wasn't accidental; but it's trivial, in that it has nothing to do with the song.
So the resemblance to the song "wasn't accidental" but "it has nothing to do with the song"?

That's Dunce logic for you!
Post by George J. Dance
Why marching off to war should be compared to beginning a theater company's beginning a road tour after having folded on Broadway (my understanding of the phrase's origin), is anybody's guess.
I actually got the phrase from the song, which isn't about that at all, but no matter; The line came into my head decades ago, on rereading Yeats's line about "slouching towards Bethlehem" - just a memorable phrase in search of a poem.
Whether the song is about that or not is arguable. What the explanations proffered on the internet fail to take into account is that the film it appeared in, "42nd Street," is about... Broadway.

The songwriters incorporated a Broadway phrase into their song -- which was sung by Broadway performers who would have spoken in Broadway-oriented phrases.

As to your "memorable phrase," it's still in search of a poem. It certainly doesn't fit in an antiwar piece.
Post by George J. Dance
again, in knife-sharp lines of infantry,
Wouldn't being "born again in Babylon" constitute a conversion to Islam? Or are you claiming that our soldiers morph into religious zealots because you believe the War on Terrorism derives from religious motivations on the U.S.'s part?
Or the "machines" of religious zealots. You can't deny that religious zealotry is a big factor in the various U.S./Islam conflicts, including the Iraqi invasion.
You're nuts.

I was in New York City on the morning September 11, 2001. Had you lived through that experience, you'd know damned well that nobody gives a flying f__k about Islamic religious beliefs.
Post by George J. Dance
I suppose "knife-sharp lines" could apply to soldiers marching in parade formation -- although the I see the overall shape as being rectangular.
Well, I've got these guys marching up to and into Baghdad, in narrower columns - by 2's or 3's. That's probably counter-factual - most likely they were driven up in trucks - but having them march makes for a more dramatic poem. "Driving up to Babylon" just didn't work.
Narrow columns aren't used in precision marching displays. That's the formation a platoon takes when simply moving from one post to another... and for which "knife-sharp lines" would hardly apply. It's more of a trudge than a march.
Post by George J. Dance
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
Nothing like shooting for the obvious.
It's wasn't 'obvious' to me whether the soldiers were marching in solitude, or in the middle of, as part of, a war machine. That's one reason for mentioning the tanks and artillery. The other is put the reader in the right frame of mind for the next line.
An invading army in a modern day war is going to pass tanks and artillery at some point in their march.
Post by George J. Dance
Interesting words I haven't used in my (kept) poetry, and a rather clever near-rhyme (-REE).
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
Soldiers seen as a "lean green fighting machine"... who'dda thunk?
It isn't an original observation that soldiers are taught to act like machines, rather than thinking human beings - nor did (do) I claim it is. It's in there because it says something true and important about these soldiers in the poem.
Yes, and that's the problem. Your poem has nothing to say apart from repeating a couple of peacenik tropes that it would be mercifully politge to refer to as clichés.
Post by George J. Dance
the dead, to feel the baking heat or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore
and blinds the eyes --
Liquid pores (allowing the slightly nonsensical metaphor) would seem prohibitive to the caking of dust motes, but... whatever.
Have you never done any physical work on a hot day, in a dusty place?
Plenty.
Post by George J. Dance
First, your pores start to sweat, and then the sweat mixes with dust - you end up with the shit all over your exposed skin. Is "cakes" the wrong word? I dunno
Well, I do -- and it is.
Post by George J. Dance
- I like how it went with "baking" - not important wordplay, but such things amuse me when I'm writing.
For "wordplay" to work it's got to do more than just produce a random internal rhyme -- their meanings actually have to correspond to, and play off of, one another.
Post by George J. Dance
I'm just wondering how blocked skin pores can cause blindness.
I think you've misread. The blowing dust is caking on their skin and blinding their eyes; they're two different effects of it.
I'm afraid that you've miswritten.

You wrote that "the baking heat or the dust that cakes itself in every liquid pore and blinds the eyes." If the dust is performing two separate tasks, your sentence needs to separate them. As written, the dust forms cakes in pores causing temporary blindness.

Here's an easy means of correctly punctuating your poetry: write it out in sentence form and punctuate it as if it were a sentence:

"No pause to mourn the dead, to feel the baking heat, or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore, or blinds the eyes..."
Post by George J. Dance
Just marching onward -- Just
Damn! You snipped the line for sense, but that means you sacrificed my most important visual effect in the whole thing: sticking the word "Just" out on the poem's extreme right. IMO, it's the most important word in the poem, and the key to understanding it.
Sticking the word out like a proverbial sore thumb renders the meaning unclear enough for the read for the reader to consider the alternate meaning that their cause is just. Since the soldiers most likely believe this, while the poet obviously doesn't, the temporary ambiguity *should* serve as good poetic effect. Unfortunately, such is not the case here.

The problem is that the remainder of the poem is such a hackneyed piece of recycled bleeding-heart imagery that any satirical wit the juxtaposition of alternate meanings might have produced is thoroughly wasted.
Post by George J. Dance
the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Arrgh! matey -- they be sailin' off to settle an old score!
Many if not most of the Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq saw it as vengeance for 9/11. Maybe you're too young to remember all that, but it's not something to trivialize.
How young do you think I am, Gramps?

I was 36-year old (almost 37) and working in Manhattan on the morning of 9/11.
Post by George J. Dance
Bush got his war because Americans saw it as "vengeance" - fighting back - and therefore not aggression, but justice. "Just the thought of vengeance" (= the thought of vengeance is just) is what powers the war machine.
You're dead wrong.

There was a pervading sense of unreality that morning. We stared at the breaking news images on our computer screens in disbelief. We heard that the Pentagon had been hit as well and that a hi-jacked jet had crashed in Pennsylvania. Then came an announcement to abandon our building (a "landmark" and potential target). Electricity was soon shut off and television and internet were down. Everyone was massing in the streets, walking blindly forward with no destination -- as the tunnels had been closed. Some of people were covered from head to toe in gray dust from the mix of smoke, concrete and human ashes that permeated the air downtown. Military jets were zipping by overhead, and it felt like we'd just been transported back to London during the Blitz. Some people pulled battery operated radios out and people gathered around to listen to spurious reports and theories about how the next wave of the attack would be coming via a wave of car bombs both in the City and in the suburbs.

It felt like Armageddon. I didn't know if I'd ever see, or even get a chance to say "goodbye" over the phone to my family again -- or if they would soon be under attack as well.

The feelings of fear and utter helplessness that we felt that morning are what fueled the soldiers who served us in the war. Yes, we were angry, but vengeance was only a minor motivation. We wanted to make our homeland safe again -- to ensure that there would never be another day like 9/11.
Post by George J. Dance
Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
Ah! The introduction of cloying sentimentality -- how appropriate for the Hallmark Card version of an anti-war poem.
Mothers lose their children in wartime, and houses are burned - that's another unavoidable fact of war. I don't think it's too "cloying" or "sentimental" to at least mention it.
That depends on *how* it's introduced, and how openly the poet displays his heart on his sleeve.
Post by George J. Dance
by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
that gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
So we kill their fathers, which begets them killing our sons... which begets their sons killing the fathers of the ensuing generation... and war becomes a neverending vicious circle...
Sure; but it stretches back into the past as well as the future. The American soldiers killed the Muslim fathers because Muslim terrorists killed Americans in 9/11; Muslim terrorists killed Americans because Americans killed thousands in Iraq War I and the subsequent bombings of Baghdad; and so on in that direction.
Your opinion of Americans is insulting, Dunce.

Our two tallest buildings in NYC and our Pentagon were destroyed, and 1,000s of Americans killed. Here's the stats from Wikipedia:

"During the September 11 attacks of 2001, 2,996 people were killed (including the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured.[1][2] These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.[3][4] The attacks were the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941."

The war on terror is to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again.
Post by George J. Dance
Like playing Tit for Tat.
Like the Hatfields and McCoys. No bad guys, no evil empire or race - only people motivated by the same idea: getting revenge is getting justice.
You're clueless.

The Islamic terrorists have sworn a "jihad" against American, and boasting of our immanent "extermination." This isn't about vengeance or justice: it's a matter of survival.
Post by George J. Dance
Enough of this senseless killing! Let's all lay down our sword and shield, run off to Canada and sing "Kumbaya."
I wish; but I don't expect all humanity to change because of one poem. If even one person understands it, and gets the conclusion, that would be a win for me.
Naturally you'd miss the sarcasm in my remark.
Post by George J. Dance
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
Condemning men who answer the Country's call to Hell? That's it bit steep, isn't it, George?
Yes, it is; and it's a controversial line. Remember, though, that I don't believe in an afterlife. The Hell I'm referring to is the one the soldiers found in Baghdad over the next decade.
What you believe and what beliefs you've expressed in the poem are two different things. You cannot expect readers to know that you're an atheist and are only speaking about a metaphorical Hell (which, btw, would be written in lower case).
Post by George J. Dance
Is that what you'd tell the parents of a soldier who died in Vietnam?
"I'm sorry your government sent your child into Hell and then got him killed."
Try it sometime, and see if you're able to walk away without a black eye and a split lip.
George J. Dance
2019-01-05 22:59:45 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Ideas of March
[sung to a Sousa beat]
===Text restored===
Ideas of March
[sung to a Sousa beat]
Shuffling off to Babylon to be born
again, in knife-sharp lines of infantry,
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
the dead, to feel the baking heat or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore
and blinds the eyes -- Just marching onward -- Just
the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
that gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
===
Ooh, goody! A spanking... I mean, a poetry discussion!
Shuffling off to Babylon to be born
Shuffling to a march tempo? Nothing like having the image and the meter correspond.
No, no; you're supposed to sing the thing in a march tempo. I even have the tune, which thankfully, given my voice, I can't sing onto an mp3). These guys are marching, in the sense they're still walking in rhythm, but they're "shuffling".
shuffle
verb
1) Walk by dragging one's feet along or without lifting them fully from the ground.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/shuffle
You have a funny idea of what constitutes marching.
Well, I've actually never marched for 330 miles (the distance from Basra to Baghdad). Have you?

But I'd expect the troops at the end of a 330-mile forced march to be dragging their feet.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
The resemblance to "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" is too noticeable to have been accidental.
It wasn't accidental; but it's trivial, in that it has nothing to do with the song.
So the resemblance to the song "wasn't accidental" but "it has nothing to do with the song"?
Correct. The line is not accidentally in the poem, but the subject and theme of the poem have nothing to do with those of the song.
Post by Michael Pendragon
That's Dunce logic for you!
Post by George J. Dance
Why marching off to war should be compared to beginning a theater company's beginning a road tour after having folded on Broadway (my understanding of the phrase's origin), is anybody's guess.
I actually got the phrase from the song, which isn't about that at all, but no matter; The line came into my head decades ago, on rereading Yeats's line about "slouching towards Bethlehem" - just a memorable phrase in search of a poem.
Whether the song is about that or not is arguable.
No, it isn't, dumbass. The song is about honeymooning in Niagara Falls.
https://www.csus.edu/indiv/c/craftg/histhrs%20169/shuffle%20off%20to%20buffalo.pdf
Post by Michael Pendragon
What the explanations proffered on the internet fail to take into account is that the film it appeared in, "42nd Street," is about... Broadway.
The songwriters incorporated a Broadway phrase into their song -- which was sung by Broadway performers who would have spoken in Broadway-oriented phrases.
As to your "memorable phrase," it's still in search of a poem.
Wrong again. It's been in a poem for over a decade.
Post by Michael Pendragon
It certainly doesn't fit in an antiwar piece.
Thanks for your opinion, but I think it fits just fine.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
again, in knife-sharp lines of infantry,
Wouldn't being "born again in Babylon" constitute a conversion to Islam? Or are you claiming that our soldiers morph into religious zealots because you believe the War on Terrorism derives from religious motivations on the U.S.'s part?
Or the "machines" of religious zealots. You can't deny that religious zealotry is a big factor in the various U.S./Islam conflicts, including the Iraqi invasion.
You're nuts.
You're trolling (again).
Post by Michael Pendragon
I was in New York City on the morning September 11, 2001. Had you lived through that experience, you'd know damned well that nobody gives a flying f__k about Islamic religious beliefs.
And if you'd been in Baghdad for the preceding 8 years, and lived through that, you'd know damned well that "nobody" over there gives a flying fuck about American beliefs.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
I suppose "knife-sharp lines" could apply to soldiers marching in parade formation -- although the I see the overall shape as being rectangular.
Well, I've got these guys marching up to and into Baghdad, in narrower columns - by 2's or 3's. That's probably counter-factual - most likely they were driven up in trucks - but having them march makes for a more dramatic poem. "Driving up to Babylon" just didn't work.
Narrow columns aren't used in precision marching displays. That's the formation a platoon takes when simply moving from one post to another...
This is a 300-mile march on a highway that is also being used to transport "tanks" and "altillery" - it would not look like this:
https://www.alamy.com/the-us-marine-corps-silent-drill-platoon-performs-precision-marching-and-rifle-drill-movements-during-a-salute-to-service-halftime-show-at-a-carolina-panthers-vs-miami-dolphins-game-at-the-bank-of-america-stadium-charlotte-nc-nov-13-2017-throughout-the-year-sdp-performs-at-numerous-large-scale-events-across-the-country-and-abroad-official-marine-corps-photo-by-cpl-damon-mcleanreleased-image183949483.html

and for which "knife-sharp lines" would hardly apply. It's more of a trudge than a march.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
Nothing like shooting for the obvious.
It's wasn't 'obvious' to me whether the soldiers were marching in solitude, or in the middle of, as part of, a war machine. That's one reason for mentioning the tanks and artillery. The other is put the reader in the right frame of mind for the next line.
An invading army in a modern day war is going to pass tanks and artillery at some point in their march.
Why do you think I put them in? "Infantry" alone doesn't tell you it's an "invading army in a modern day war" - adding "tanks" and "artillery" helps supply that information.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Interesting words I haven't used in my (kept) poetry, and a rather clever near-rhyme (-REE).
That was the other reason, of course.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
Soldiers seen as a "lean green fighting machine"... who'dda thunk?
It isn't an original observation that soldiers are taught to act like machines, rather than thinking human beings - nor did (do) I claim it is. It's in there because it says something true and important about these soldiers in the poem.
Yes, and that's the problem. Your poem has nothing to say apart from repeating a couple of peacenik tropes
You're only up to line 4, remember? But go ahead: where are these "peacenik tropes"?
Post by Michael Pendragon
that it would be mercifully politge to refer to as clichés.
Mentioning weapons in a war poem is worse than "clichés"? I seem to remember your poem about the feasting horse having cannon in it. Have you taken your own advice and cut those out?
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
the dead, to feel the baking heat or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore
and blinds the eyes --
Liquid pores (allowing the slightly nonsensical metaphor) would seem prohibitive to the caking of dust motes, but... whatever.
Have you never done any physical work on a hot day, in a dusty place?
Plenty.
Post by George J. Dance
First, your pores start to sweat, and then the sweat mixes with dust - you end up with the shit all over your exposed skin. Is "cakes" the wrong word? I dunno
Well, I do -- and it is.
"to cover something with a thick layer of something soft that becomes hard when it dries. Her shoes were caked with mud." No, looks right to me.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
- I like how it went with "baking" - not important wordplay, but such things amuse me when I'm writing.
For "wordplay" to work it's got to do more than just produce a random internal rhyme
"Internal rhyme" had nothing to do with it.

-- their meanings actually have to correspond to, and play off of, one another.

bingo!
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
I'm just wondering how blocked skin pores can cause blindness.
I think you've misread. The blowing dust is caking on their skin and blinding their eyes; they're two different effects of it.
I'm afraid that you've miswritten.
I'm afraid that you're wrong.
Post by Michael Pendragon
You wrote that "the baking heat or the dust that cakes itself in every liquid pore and blinds the eyes." If the dust is performing two separate tasks, your sentence needs to separate them. As written, the dust forms cakes in pores causing temporary blindness.
The separate tasks are separated, by line breaks. However, I'll consider adding commas at the end of those lines.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Here's an easy means of correctly punctuating your poetry: write it out in sentence form and punctuate it as if it were a sentence
Yes, Michael; I think that's what we all do. Then, though, comes the matter of putting it back into lines, at which point a lot of end-line punctuation is dropped. However, I can't see a problem with two commas here.
Post by Michael Pendragon
"No pause to mourn the dead, to feel the baking heat, or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore, or blinds the eyes..."
I don't like the second "or" - the dust does both - and I'd put the first comma after "dust" - but that is constructive. So even if we get nowhere else, this has been worth it.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Just marching onward -- Just
Damn! You snipped the line for sense, but that means you sacrificed my most important visual effect in the whole thing: sticking the word "Just" out on the poem's extreme right. IMO, it's the most important word in the poem, and the key to understanding it.
Sticking the word out like a proverbial sore thumb renders the meaning unclear enough for the read for the reader to consider the alternate meaning that their cause is just. Since the soldiers most likely believe this, while the poet obviously doesn't, the temporary ambiguity *should* serve as good poetic effect. Unfortunately, such is not the case here.
The problem is that the remainder of the poem is such a hackneyed piece of recycled bleeding-heart imagery that any satirical wit the juxtaposition of alternate meanings might have produced is thoroughly wasted.
I'm not after satirical wit; this isn't a satire, a parody, or a comedy piece.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Arrgh! matey -- they be sailin' off to settle an old score!
Many if not most of the Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq saw it as vengeance for 9/11. Maybe you're too young to remember all that, but it's not something to trivialize.
How young do you think I am, Gramps?
Sometimes I'm sure you're only 11. But your comments up above ("I was in New York City" etc.) tell me you not only understand what I said about vengeance being the motivator - you feel it yourself. So why were you making fun of the idea?
Post by Michael Pendragon
I was 36-year old (almost 37) and working in Manhattan on the morning of 9/11.
Post by George J. Dance
Bush got his war because Americans saw it as "vengeance" - fighting back - and therefore not aggression, but justice. "Just the thought of vengeance" (= the thought of vengeance is just) is what powers the war machine.
You're dead wrong.
There was a pervading sense of unreality that morning. We stared at the breaking news images on our computer screens in disbelief. We heard that the Pentagon had been hit as well and that a hi-jacked jet had crashed in Pennsylvania. Then came an announcement to abandon our building (a "landmark" and potential target). Electricity was soon shut off and television and internet were down. Everyone was massing in the streets, walking blindly forward with no destination -- as the tunnels had been closed. Some of people were covered from head to toe in gray dust from the mix of smoke, concrete and human ashes that permeated the air downtown. Military jets were zipping by overhead, and it felt like we'd just been transported back to London during the Blitz. Some people pulled battery operated radios out and people gathered around to listen to spurious reports and theories about how the next wave of the attack would be coming via a wave of car bombs both in the City and in the suburbs.
It felt like Armageddon. I didn't know if I'd ever see, or even get a chance to say "goodbye" over the phone to my family again -- or if they would soon be under attack as well.
I think people felt that way all over the continent, BTW. No one knew if there's be another strike, or where it would occur.
Post by Michael Pendragon
The feelings of fear and utter helplessness that we felt that morning are what fueled the soldiers who served us in the war. Yes, we were angry, but vengeance was only a minor motivation. We wanted to make our homeland safe again -- to ensure that there would never be another day like 9/11.
As the Washington Post put it in a September 11 editorial: "The country responded [to the Pearl Harbor attack] without panic but with an iron determination to defend itself and punish the aggressors. The response today must be as decisive ..." - defense and punishment seen as not only equivalent, but part of a single "determination."

And as the cliche goes: "We didn't start it, but we will finish it." If "finishing it" meant keeping the country safe, that would be nonsense; that doesn't end. No, "finish it" is all about punishment - vengeance.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
Ah! The introduction of cloying sentimentality -- how appropriate for the Hallmark Card version of an anti-war poem.
Mothers lose their children in wartime, and houses are burned - that's another unavoidable fact of war. I don't think it's too "cloying" or "sentimental" to at least mention it.
That depends on *how* it's introduced, and how openly the poet displays his heart on his sleeve.
In this case, the troops pass by the weeping mother and the burnt houses, without noticing them, and that's it. Of course you wouldn't know that when you read the line.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
[who] gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
So we kill their fathers, which begets them killing our sons... which begets their sons killing the fathers of the ensuing generation... and war becomes a neverending vicious circle...
Sure; but it stretches back into the past as well as the future. The American soldiers killed the Muslim fathers because Muslim terrorists killed Americans in 9/11; Muslim terrorists killed Americans because Americans killed thousands in Iraq War I and the subsequent bombings of Baghdad; and so on in that direction.
Your opinion of Americans is insulting, Dunce.
I think they're essentially no different from Canadians, or anyone else in the world FTM. I understand that you might consider that insulting.
Post by Michael Pendragon
"During the September 11 attacks of 2001, 2,996 people were killed (including the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured.[1][2] These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.[3][4] The attacks were the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941."
Yes, Michael; not something to joke about, as you were doing earlier with your "Ahhhr matey" schtick.
Post by Michael Pendragon
The war on terror is to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again.
You really think the wars in Iraq (3 times now), Libya, Syria, and now Yemen have made America safer than it was before then? I'd call you nuts, but that might sound like an IKYABWAI.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Like playing Tit for Tat.
Like the Hatfields and McCoys. No bad guys, no evil empire or race - only people motivated by the same idea: getting revenge is getting justice.
You're clueless.
Yet you're the one who thinks invading other countries makes the U.S. safer: "War is peace," and all that. (BTW, do you know what book that slogan came from?)
Post by Michael Pendragon
The Islamic terrorists have sworn a "jihad" against American, and boasting of our immanent "extermination." This isn't about vengeance or justice: it's a matter of survival.
And what do you think they're motivated by?
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Enough of this senseless killing! Let's all lay down our sword and shield, run off to Canada and sing "Kumbaya."
I wish; but I don't expect all humanity to change because of one poem. If even one person understands it, and gets the conclusion, that would be a win for me.
Naturally you'd miss the sarcasm in my remark.
Or just not give a fuck.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
Condemning men who answer the Country's call to Hell? That's it bit steep, isn't it, George?
Yes, it is; and it's a controversial line. Remember, though, that I don't believe in an afterlife. The Hell I'm referring to is the one the soldiers found in Baghdad over the next decade.
What you believe and what beliefs you've expressed in the poem are two different things.
You cannot expect readers to know that you're an atheist and are only speaking about a metaphorical Hell (which, btw, would be written in lower case).
Yes, I do like the idea of lower case. It fits with the allusion:

"“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” - William Tecumseh Sherman.

That's 2 constructive suggestions from you, 2 more than I'd hoped for. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Michael Pendragon
2019-01-06 02:51:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Ideas of March
[sung to a Sousa beat]
===Text restored===
Ideas of March
[sung to a Sousa beat]
Shuffling off to Babylon to be born
again, in knife-sharp lines of infantry,
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
the dead, to feel the baking heat or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore
and blinds the eyes -- Just marching onward -- Just
the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
that gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
===
Ooh, goody! A spanking... I mean, a poetry discussion!
Shuffling off to Babylon to be born
Shuffling to a march tempo? Nothing like having the image and the meter correspond.
No, no; you're supposed to sing the thing in a march tempo. I even have the tune, which thankfully, given my voice, I can't sing onto an mp3). These guys are marching, in the sense they're still walking in rhythm, but they're "shuffling".
shuffle
verb
1) Walk by dragging one's feet along or without lifting them fully from the ground.
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/shuffle
You have a funny idea of what constitutes marching.
Well, I've actually never marched for 330 miles (the distance from Basra to Baghdad). Have you?
But I'd expect the troops at the end of a 330-mile forced march to be dragging their feet.
You seem to have left the "Basra" starting point out of your poem, Dunce.

But even if the troops in question were shuffling along on a 330-mile march, dragging their feet to a Sousa marching tune, they wouldn't simultaneously be it in "knife-sharp lines."

It's time to stop arguing and face facts:

Your army is either marching in well-regimented lines with knife-like precision, or they are shuffling along and dragging their feet. Having them do both makes your poem read like self-contradictory nonsense.

If you wish to improve your poem, swallow your misplaced sense of pride, select on image, and stick with it.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
The resemblance to "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" is too noticeable to have been accidental.
It wasn't accidental; but it's trivial, in that it has nothing to do with the song.
So the resemblance to the song "wasn't accidental" but "it has nothing to do with the song"?
Correct. The line is not accidentally in the poem, but the subject and theme of the poem have nothing to do with those of the song.
Post by Michael Pendragon
That's Dunce logic for you!
Again, this is the time for you to make another call: you can either have what appears to be an unrelated song reference in your poem, or you can change a word or two so that the line no longer evokes the song. Since you claim there is no connection between your poem and the song, the choice should be obvious.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Why marching off to war should be compared to beginning a theater company's beginning a road tour after having folded on Broadway (my understanding of the phrase's origin), is anybody's guess.
I actually got the phrase from the song, which isn't about that at all, but no matter; The line came into my head decades ago, on rereading Yeats's line about "slouching towards Bethlehem" - just a memorable phrase in search of a poem.
Whether the song is about that or not is arguable.
No, it isn't, dumbass. The song is about honeymooning in Niagara Falls.
https://www.csus.edu/indiv/c/craftg/histhrs%20169/shuffle%20off%20to%20buffalo.pdf
As noted below (you really need to read through a post prior to responding), the honeymooning couple are Broadway performers. It's a witty passage in the song. After Niagara Falls (a symbolic counterpart to the Broadway show) the couple will "shuffle off to Buffalo, " taking their show (marriage) on the road (of life).
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
What the explanations proffered on the internet fail to take into account is that the film it appeared in, "42nd Street," is about... Broadway.
The songwriters incorporated a Broadway phrase into their song -- which was sung by Broadway performers who would have spoken in Broadway-oriented phrases.
As to your "memorable phrase," it's still in search of a poem.
Wrong again. It's been in a poem for over a decade.
I am not denying that your piece of antiwar doggerel is a poem. It is. It's not a very good poem, but it's a poem nonetheless.

I am saying that it needs to find a poem that it actually has some relevance to.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
It certainly doesn't fit in an antiwar piece.
Thanks for your opinion, but I think it fits just fine.
For this reader, it conjures up the image of soldiers, with top hat in one hand and walking stick in the other, doing a song and dance number. Since this is obvious not the sort of image you want your to create, it is only to your benefit to remove the intentionally-unrelated reference.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
again, in knife-sharp lines of infantry,
Wouldn't being "born again in Babylon" constitute a conversion to Islam? Or are you claiming that our soldiers morph into religious zealots because you believe the War on Terrorism derives from religious motivations on the U.S.'s part?
Or the "machines" of religious zealots. You can't deny that religious zealotry is a big factor in the various U.S./Islam conflicts, including the Iraqi invasion.
You're nuts.
You're trolling (again).
No, George. Americans are not warlike, vindictive people (to my unending chagrin). The majority of us are mealy-mouthed liberals who (like several NY newspaper articles at the time) used the terrorist attack to ask themselves "Why do they hate us?" and "What can we do to appease them?"

Americans all want world peace, an end to hunger and disease, and shiny happy people (of all races and religions) holding hands. But we also want to protect our homes and families, and if that means going to war against terror-supporting regimes, so be it.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
I was in New York City on the morning September 11, 2001. Had you lived through that experience, you'd know damned well that nobody gives a flying f__k about Islamic religious beliefs.
And if you'd been in Baghdad for the preceding 8 years, and lived through that, you'd know damned well that "nobody" over there gives a flying fuck about American beliefs.
Except that they do. They call us "The Great Satan" and blame us for the "Cancer that is Israel"s not having been eradicated by them in the Six-Day War.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
I suppose "knife-sharp lines" could apply to soldiers marching in parade formation -- although the I see the overall shape as being rectangular.
Well, I've got these guys marching up to and into Baghdad, in narrower columns - by 2's or 3's. That's probably counter-factual - most likely they were driven up in trucks - but having them march makes for a more dramatic poem. "Driving up to Babylon" just didn't work.
Narrow columns aren't used in precision marching displays. That's the formation a platoon takes when simply moving from one post to another...
You neglected to mention the distance in your poem as well.

And, again, if it's a 300-mile march, the "knife-like" precision of the marchers sounds ridiculous.

I'm not trying to bust your balls here -- any literate person reading your poem is going to be struck by that discrepancy.
Post by George J. Dance
https://www.alamy.com/the-us-marine-corps-silent-drill-platoon-performs-precision-marching-and-rifle-drill-movements-during-a-salute-to-service-halftime-show-at-a-carolina-panthers-vs-miami-dolphins-game-at-the-bank-of-america-stadium-charlotte-nc-nov-13-2017-throughout-the-year-sdp-performs-at-numerous-large-scale-events-across-the-country-and-abroad-official-marine-corps-photo-by-cpl-damon-mcleanreleased-image183949483.html
Unfortunately, that's precisely what your "knife-sharp lines" imply.
Post by George J. Dance
and for which "knife-sharp lines" would hardly apply. It's more of a trudge than a march.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
Nothing like shooting for the obvious.
It's wasn't 'obvious' to me whether the soldiers were marching in solitude, or in the middle of, as part of, a war machine. That's one reason for mentioning the tanks and artillery. The other is put the reader in the right frame of mind for the next line.
An invading army in a modern day war is going to pass tanks and artillery at some point in their march.
Why do you think I put them in? "Infantry" alone doesn't tell you it's an "invading army in a modern day war" - adding "tanks" and "artillery" helps supply that information.
Soldiers marching through Babylon to a Sousa tune are probably *not* going to be of the Iraqi variety.

In any case, this is one of your poem's lesser evils. My point is that instead of simply noted that they see "tanks" and "artillery," you might (just might) describe these in interesting, novel, or even metaphoric terms.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Interesting words I haven't used in my (kept) poetry, and a rather clever near-rhyme (-REE).
That was the other reason, of course.
I don't even know what "(-REE)" rhyme you're referring to. The near-rhyme in question is that of "baking"/"cakes" (How-ja do? How-ja do? How-ja do?).
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
Soldiers seen as a "lean green fighting machine"... who'dda thunk?
It isn't an original observation that soldiers are taught to act like machines, rather than thinking human beings - nor did (do) I claim it is. It's in there because it says something true and important about these soldiers in the poem.
Yes, and that's the problem. Your poem has nothing to say apart from repeating a couple of peacenik tropes
You're only up to line 4, remember? But go ahead: where are these "peacenik tropes"?
I cite lines 9-14.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
that it would be mercifully politge to refer to as clichés.
Mentioning weapons in a war poem is worse than "clichés"? I seem to remember your poem about the feasting horse having cannon in it. Have you taken your own advice and cut those out?
Once again, you are playing the dunce in order to evade the issue.

My statement that "Your poem has nothing to say..." refers to your *entire poem,* not just to lines 1-4.

If your only message is that war engenders war, violence begets violence, vengeance begets vengeance, etc., you are simply repeating clichéd peacenik tropes.

"Holy War," for example, attacks the lack of logic in the Islamist position that they are waging a "holy" war -- and destroys the concept of the jihadist as a heroic warrior by pointing out the inherent cowardice of his acts. You may take offense at its angry, war hawk stance, but you're supposed to (it's meant as a wake-up slap in the fact to bleeding heart pissabeds like yourself), but its message is clear, consistent, and wholly original:

Fresh blood still bathes the bomb-scarred street
Where Islam's sheet-clad "martyrs" meet
To chant their savage creed of hate
And dance in Allah's name.

Children with uzis brandished high
Raise vengeful jihads to the sky,
And long to be the next to die
As if it were a game.

Black hearts that beat without a trace
Of human feeling, honor, grace;
Black hoods and burqas hide a face
That bears no trace of shame.

In Syria, Iraq, Iran
From Palestine to Pakistan
Their right to call themselves a "man"
They never shall reclaim.

They claim they kill with Allah's hand
Destroy and maim at His command,
When God has purged the Holy Land
Let Islam bear the blame!
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
the dead, to feel the baking heat or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore
and blinds the eyes --
Liquid pores (allowing the slightly nonsensical metaphor) would seem prohibitive to the caking of dust motes, but... whatever.
Have you never done any physical work on a hot day, in a dusty place?
Plenty.
Post by George J. Dance
First, your pores start to sweat, and then the sweat mixes with dust - you end up with the shit all over your exposed skin. Is "cakes" the wrong word? I dunno
Well, I do -- and it is.
"to cover something with a thick layer of something soft that becomes hard when it dries. Her shoes were caked with mud." No, looks right to me.
Her shoes are not "liquid pores," George.

Imagine tossing dust into a bucket of water. You're going to have a bucket of wet slop, not *dried* earth.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
- I like how it went with "baking" - not important wordplay, but such things amuse me when I'm writing.
For "wordplay" to work it's got to do more than just produce a random internal rhyme
"Internal rhyme" had nothing to do with it.
I stand corrected. Try this: Wordplay has to do *something*... *anything*... in order to be worthy of that name.
Post by George J. Dance
-- their meanings actually have to correspond to, and play off of, one another.
bingo!
Regarding the definition of "wordplay," yes. Regarding the supposed "wordplay" in your "bakey-cakey" poem? Nah.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
I'm just wondering how blocked skin pores can cause blindness.
I think you've misread. The blowing dust is caking on their skin and blinding their eyes; they're two different effects of it.
I'm afraid that you've miswritten.
I'm afraid that you're wrong.
Post by Michael Pendragon
You wrote that "the baking heat or the dust that cakes itself in every liquid pore and blinds the eyes." If the dust is performing two separate tasks, your sentence needs to separate them. As written, the dust forms cakes in pores causing temporary blindness.
The separate tasks are separated, by line breaks. However, I'll consider adding commas at the end of those lines.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Here's an easy means of correctly punctuating your poetry: write it out in sentence form and punctuate it as if it were a sentence
Yes, Michael; I think that's what we all do. Then, though, comes the matter of putting it back into lines, at which point a lot of end-line punctuation is dropped. However, I can't see a problem with two commas here.
It's a simple matter of clarity.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
"No pause to mourn the dead, to feel the baking heat, or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore, or blinds the eyes..."
I don't like the second "or" - the dust does both - and I'd put the first comma after "dust" - but that is constructive. So even if we get nowhere else, this has been worth it.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Just marching onward -- Just
Damn! You snipped the line for sense, but that means you sacrificed my most important visual effect in the whole thing: sticking the word "Just" out on the poem's extreme right. IMO, it's the most important word in the poem, and the key to understanding it.
Sticking the word out like a proverbial sore thumb renders the meaning unclear enough for the read for the reader to consider the alternate meaning that their cause is just. Since the soldiers most likely believe this, while the poet obviously doesn't, the temporary ambiguity *should* serve as good poetic effect. Unfortunately, such is not the case here.
The problem is that the remainder of the poem is such a hackneyed piece of recycled bleeding-heart imagery that any satirical wit the juxtaposition of alternate meanings might have produced is thoroughly wasted.
I'm not after satirical wit; this isn't a satire, a parody, or a comedy piece.
But you are attempting a satirical stance in the poems closing passages by contrasting the soldiers' "Ideas of March" (yuk! yuk!) with the maudlin images of weeping mothers and children, etc.

Oh, yeah... lose the title.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Arrgh! matey -- they be sailin' off to settle an old score!
Many if not most of the Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq saw it as vengeance for 9/11. Maybe you're too young to remember all that, but it's not something to trivialize.
How young do you think I am, Gramps?
Sometimes I'm sure you're only 11. But your comments up above ("I was in New York City" etc.) tell me you not only understand what I said about vengeance being the motivator - you feel it yourself. So why were you making fun of the idea?
Then you need to go back and reread it. I am worried about there being other, similar attacks. I am worried about a bomb taking out the Lincoln Tunnel while I'm commuting through it, or about a terror cell opening fire in the middle of Times Square during my lunch break, or a hundred similar scenarios that I'm surprised haven't already happened a dozen time over. I'm worried about my wife's safety when she's taking a bus uptown to her dance classes. I'm worried about terrorist breaking into the Hebrew schools my children attend, or taking out my in-laws' Temple.

What I want is the peace and sense of security that existed before 9/11 -- and that will only be returned when the terrorists have been destroyed (whether through violence, education, or a combination of the same).
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
I was 36-year old (almost 37) and working in Manhattan on the morning of 9/11.
Post by George J. Dance
Bush got his war because Americans saw it as "vengeance" - fighting back - and therefore not aggression, but justice. "Just the thought of vengeance" (= the thought of vengeance is just) is what powers the war machine.
You're dead wrong.
There was a pervading sense of unreality that morning. We stared at the breaking news images on our computer screens in disbelief. We heard that the Pentagon had been hit as well and that a hi-jacked jet had crashed in Pennsylvania. Then came an announcement to abandon our building (a "landmark" and potential target). Electricity was soon shut off and television and internet were down. Everyone was massing in the streets, walking blindly forward with no destination -- as the tunnels had been closed. Some of people were covered from head to toe in gray dust from the mix of smoke, concrete and human ashes that permeated the air downtown. Military jets were zipping by overhead, and it felt like we'd just been transported back to London during the Blitz. Some people pulled battery operated radios out and people gathered around to listen to spurious reports and theories about how the next wave of the attack would be coming via a wave of car bombs both in the City and in the suburbs.
It felt like Armageddon. I didn't know if I'd ever see, or even get a chance to say "goodbye" over the phone to my family again -- or if they would soon be under attack as well.
I think people felt that way all over the continent, BTW. No one knew if there's be another strike, or where it would occur.
That's right.

And we still don't know if, when, or where the next strike will be.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
The feelings of fear and utter helplessness that we felt that morning are what fueled the soldiers who served us in the war. Yes, we were angry, but vengeance was only a minor motivation. We wanted to make our homeland safe again -- to ensure that there would never be another day like 9/11.
As the Washington Post put it in a September 11 editorial: "The country responded [to the Pearl Harbor attack] without panic but with an iron determination to defend itself and punish the aggressors. The response today must be as decisive ..." - defense and punishment seen as not only equivalent, but part of a single "determination."
I'm not claiming to be a saint. I'd certainly relish the prospect of Iran, Iraq, Syria and their non-Jewish environs going up in a farmscape of mushroom clouds. But I'd also be almost as willing to coexist peacefully with them.

However, the defense of innocent Americans from homeland terrorist attacks was, and remains, the primary justification for the War on Terror.
Post by George J. Dance
And as the cliche goes: "We didn't start it, but we will finish it." If "finishing it" meant keeping the country safe, that would be nonsense; that doesn't end. No, "finish it" is all about punishment - vengeance.
That was not our stance.

Politically, my views correspond to those of Machiavelli. The primary duty of a monarch (or a President) is the safety of his people. How he achieves that safety will depend on the aggressiveness of his country's attackers. If ISIL were to sincerely extend an olive branch, I would accept it (albeit warily).

Just as I have always been open to accepting a sincere token of peace from both the Turd and yourself.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
Ah! The introduction of cloying sentimentality -- how appropriate for the Hallmark Card version of an anti-war poem.
Mothers lose their children in wartime, and houses are burned - that's another unavoidable fact of war. I don't think it's too "cloying" or "sentimental" to at least mention it.
That depends on *how* it's introduced, and how openly the poet displays his heart on his sleeve.
In this case, the troops pass by the weeping mother and the burnt houses, without noticing them, and that's it. Of course you wouldn't know that when you read the line.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
[who] gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
So we kill their fathers, which begets them killing our sons... which begets their sons killing the fathers of the ensuing generation... and war becomes a neverending vicious circle...
Sure; but it stretches back into the past as well as the future. The American soldiers killed the Muslim fathers because Muslim terrorists killed Americans in 9/11; Muslim terrorists killed Americans because Americans killed thousands in Iraq War I and the subsequent bombings of Baghdad; and so on in that direction.
Your opinion of Americans is insulting, Dunce.
I think they're essentially no different from Canadians, or anyone else in the world FTM. I understand that you might consider that insulting.
I should hope that in this regard, the majority of human beings held similar beliefs. What I find insulting is your depiction of Americans as vengeful savages.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
"During the September 11 attacks of 2001, 2,996 people were killed (including the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured.[1][2] These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.[3][4] The attacks were the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941."
Yes, Michael; not something to joke about, as you were doing earlier with your "Ahhhr matey" schtick.
I was making fun of your word choice -- and letting you hear how it came across. Hopefully, you will correct that flaw as well.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
The war on terror is to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again.
You really think the wars in Iraq (3 times now), Libya, Syria, and now Yemen have made America safer than it was before then? I'd call you nuts, but that might sound like an IKYABWAI.
Safer, yes. As safe as we had been in the past, no.

However, when what are essentially third world countries are busy protecting themselves from an invasion, they have far less time and resources with which to conduct terrorist attacks.

So, yes -- I think that if there had been no War on Terror the death toll among American Civilians would have been astronomical at this point.



"The current situation of Afghanistan is related to a big cause - that is the destruction of America," he added.

"The plan is going ahead and God willing it is being implemented, but it is a huge task beyond the will and comprehension of human beings. If God's help is with us this will happen within a short period of time.

"Keep in mind this prediction. This is not a matter of weapons. We are hopeful for God's help. The real matter is the extinction of America. And, God willing, it (America) will fall to the ground." -- Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, 11/15/2001

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1362463/Taliban-leader-vows-to-destroy-America.html
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Like playing Tit for Tat.
Like the Hatfields and McCoys. No bad guys, no evil empire or race - only people motivated by the same idea: getting revenge is getting justice.
You're clueless.
Yet you're the one who thinks invading other countries makes the U.S. safer: "War is peace," and all that. (BTW, do you know what book that slogan came from?)
Yes, I've read Orwell.

I'm also aware of "Peace Is Our Profession" from "Dr. Strangelove."

However, when the enemy is crashing jet planes filled with American passengers into American buildings and the Pentagon, there are only two options: Fight or wait in fear for the next attack... and the next... and the next... and the next...
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
The Islamic terrorists have sworn a "jihad" against American, and boasting of our immanent "extermination." This isn't about vengeance or justice: it's a matter of survival.
And what do you think they're motivated by?
Fear for themselves. Fear for the safety of their loved ones.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Enough of this senseless killing! Let's all lay down our sword and shield, run off to Canada and sing "Kumbaya."
I wish; but I don't expect all humanity to change because of one poem. If even one person understands it, and gets the conclusion, that would be a win for me.
Naturally you'd miss the sarcasm in my remark.
Or just not give a fuck.
Right.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
Condemning men who answer the Country's call to Hell? That's it bit steep, isn't it, George?
Yes, it is; and it's a controversial line. Remember, though, that I don't believe in an afterlife. The Hell I'm referring to is the one the soldiers found in Baghdad over the next decade.
What you believe and what beliefs you've expressed in the poem are two different things.
You cannot expect readers to know that you're an atheist and are only speaking about a metaphorical Hell (which, btw, would be written in lower case).
"“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” - William Tecumseh Sherman.
That's 2 constructive suggestions from you, 2 more than I'd hoped for. Thank you for reading and commenting.
That's two that your wounded sense of pride allows you to accept. There is a lot more that you could take from my comments which would prove to your poem's benefit.
George J. Dance
2019-01-07 23:10:34 UTC
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Post by Michael Pendragon
You seem to have left the "Basra" starting point out of your poem, Dunce.
Yes, Pigdragon; I left "Baghdad" and "Iraq" out of the poem, too. I thought "Babylon" in this context would identify the war - and it has for every reader, including you. There is absolutely no reason to mention "Basra."
Post by Michael Pendragon
But even if the troops in question were shuffling along on a 330-mile march, dragging their feet to a Sousa marching tune
Once again, they are not marching to a "tune" of any kind. The tune is the tune to which the sonnet is to be sung (a la Lindsay).
Post by Michael Pendragon
, they wouldn't simultaneously be it in "knife-sharp lines."
Your army is either marching in well-regimented lines with knife-like precision, or they are shuffling along and dragging their feet. Having them do both makes your poem read like self-contradictory nonsense.
Oh, come on! Just because they're tired does not mean they're going to break formation and wandering along like a walkathon. They're tired (which "shuffling" tells you), but they're still marching in good order (which "knife-sharp lines" tells you). There's nothing "self-contradictory" about that.
Post by Michael Pendragon
If you wish to improve your poem, swallow your misplaced sense of pride, select on image, and stick with it.
What the hell are you talking about? My poem was written and published a decade ago; why would I want to "improve" it 10 years later?
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
That's Dunce logic for you!
Typical: you don't understand something so you have to pretend you're too good to understand it. Let me explain:

"Shuffle off to Buffalo" is a commonly used phrase up here. It means "going to the U.S" to do something (like drinking, back in the day) or get something, from Black Friday bargains to health care. It has nothing to do with the song, any more than "kill two birds with one stone" has to do with throwing rocks at birds in flight. Understand now?
Post by Michael Pendragon
Again, this is the time for you to make another call: you can either have what appears to be an unrelated song reference in your poem, or you can change a word or two so that the line no longer evokes the song. Since you claim there is no connection between your poem and the song, the choice should be obvious.
Sure, Pigdragon: I could replace the line with

300 miles from Basra to Baghdad,

Guess what? That's not an improvement; in fact, it sucks. I'm sticking with the lines that work.
Post by Michael Pendragon
As noted below (you really need to read through a post prior to responding),
So you really like that line I told you; thanks for the flattery. You still have to learn how to use it.
Post by Michael Pendragon
the honeymooning couple are Broadway performers. It's a witty passage in the song. After Niagara Falls (a symbolic counterpart to the Broadway show) the couple will "shuffle off to Buffalo, " taking their show (marriage) on the road (of life).
So:, *someone* might read L1 and think of Broadway. That isn't a bad thing. War is dramatic. Warzones are even called "theatres". And thinking of the soldiers as actors (as I am for the first time) suggests Shakespeare's famous line. All good allusions, as far as I can see.
Post by Michael Pendragon
I am not denying that your piece of antiwar doggerel is a poem. It is. It's not a very good poem, but it's a poem nonetheless.
It's a poem that a magazine editor found "good" enough to publish. I don't think ignorant insults like "antiwar doggerel" make you right and him wrong.
Post by Michael Pendragon
I am saying that it needs to find a poem that it actually has some relevance to.
It's completely relevant: The troops are "shuffling off" (which indicates how they're walking; see above) "to Babylon" (which indicates that this is happening in Iraq).
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
It certainly doesn't fit in an antiwar piece.
Thanks for your opinion, but I think it fits just fine.
For this reader, it conjures up the image of soldiers, with top hat in one hand and walking stick in the other, doing a song and dance number. Since this is obvious not the sort of image you want your to create, it is only to your benefit to remove the intentionally-unrelated reference.
Even if the Broadway connotation it suggest that the soldiers are actors in a drama: Who but you would imagine actors, playing soldiers in a play, with a "top hat in one hand and walking stick in the other, doing a song and dance number"?

It really looks like you're trying to trash the poem for reasons other than its content.

<political rant snipped>
Post by Michael Pendragon
You neglected to mention the distance in your poem as well.
"300 miles from Basra to Baghdad," still sucks as a substitute.
Post by Michael Pendragon
And, again, if it's a 300-mile march, the "knife-like" precision of the marchers sounds ridiculous.
You said that; I answered it. Your repeating it adds nothing but clutter.
Post by Michael Pendragon
I'm not trying to bust your balls here -- any literate person reading your poem is going to be struck by that discrepancy.
You said that; I answered it. Your repeating it adds nothing but clutter.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Unfortunately, that's precisely what your "knife-sharp lines" imply.
So: you say you got the idea that those soldiers (dressed, according to you, in top hats and carrying walking sticks) were in a parade? Seriously?
Post by Michael Pendragon
and for which "knife-sharp lines" would hardly apply. It's more of a trudge than a march.
"Trudge - walk slowly and with heavy steps, typically because of exhaustion or harsh conditions."

Sounds like "shuffling to me."

</LL 1-2>
Michael Pendragon
2019-01-08 04:41:53 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
<LL 1-2>
Post by Michael Pendragon
You seem to have left the "Basra" starting point out of your poem, Dunce.
Yes, Pigdragon; I left "Baghdad" and "Iraq" out of the poem, too. I thought "Babylon" in this context would identify the war - and it has for every reader, including you. There is absolutely no reason to mention "Basra."
There is if you expect any readers to know that the soldiers are completing a 300-mile march.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
But even if the troops in question were shuffling along on a 330-mile march, dragging their feet to a Sousa marching tune
Once again, they are not marching to a "tune" of any kind. The tune is the tune to which the sonnet is to be sung (a la Lindsay).
I realize that. The various components of a poem should, at very least, be congruent.

If the poem is read (or sung) to a marching tune (technically a march tempo as you don't name a specific Sousa tune), then the soldiers should be marching.

If they're going to be shuffling along, you should sing it to the tune of "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee."

If they've been trudging wearily for 300-plus miles, then the tempo should reflect this be being slow and lethargic.

Every *part* of a poem -- every word, every nuance, every rhyme, rhythm, metaphor, simile, beat -- *must* contribute to the *effect* of the poem as a whole.

You've got a poem that's to be recited to a march tempo, lines of soldiers marching in "knife-like" precision while simultaneously "shuffling" along at the completion of a 300 mile march.

The parts are at odds with one another -- and a poem divided against it self is hackneyed, amateurish tripe.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
, they wouldn't simultaneously be it in "knife-sharp lines."
Your army is either marching in well-regimented lines with knife-like precision, or they are shuffling along and dragging their feet. Having them do both makes your poem read like self-contradictory nonsense.
Oh, come on! Just because they're tired does not mean they're going to break formation and wandering along like a walkathon. They're tired (which "shuffling" tells you), but they're still marching in good order (which "knife-sharp lines" tells you). There's nothing "self-contradictory" about that.
"Watch them shufflin' along.
See them shufflin' along.
Go take your best gal,
Your real pal,
Go down to the levee, I said to the levee
Join that shufflin' throng,
Hear that music and song.
It's simply great, mate,
Waitin' on the levee,
Waitin' for the Robert E. Lee."

Ah, weep no more my Mammy!
Listen to me -- I'm your little baby.
They may have burned our home to the ground,
And blown Daddy to Kingdom Come...
But Mammy, I'm joinin' a gang, my Mammy...
I may just be a kid in rags today,
But every dog is bound to have his day...
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
If you wish to improve your poem, swallow your misplaced sense of pride, select on image, and stick with it.
What the hell are you talking about? My poem was written and published a decade ago; why would I want to "improve" it 10 years later?
Because, as is, it's unadulterated twaddle.

If you follow my advice you might be able to salvage it into something readable.

Of course it will never be a great poem -- the basic concept is too trite and bleeding hearted sentiments too hokey -- but it could nevertheless be a helluva lot better than it is.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
That's Dunce logic for you!
"Shuffle off to Buffalo" is a commonly used phrase up here. It means "going to the U.S" to do something (like drinking, back in the day) or get something, from Black Friday bargains to health care. It has nothing to do with the song, any more than "kill two birds with one stone" has to do with throwing rocks at birds in flight. Understand now?
No. It doesn't matter what they say in Canuckland. "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" is a famous song from a famous movie and Broadway show. And when you allude to famous song, readers are going to thing of that song and wonder why of troupe of Broadway hoofers are shuffling (a dance step) off the stage and going on tour (or, if one can't see beyond the plot, on their honeymoon).

It's got nothing to do with troops in Iraq. It's got nothing to do with the war. Even your explanation that it's a local Canuck phrase for going drinking in the States has nothing to do with the Iraq war.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Again, this is the time for you to make another call: you can either have what appears to be an unrelated song reference in your poem, or you can change a word or two so that the line no longer evokes the song. Since you claim there is no connection between your poem and the song, the choice should be obvious.
Sure, Pigdragon: I could replace the line with
300 miles from Basra to Baghdad,
Guess what? That's not an improvement; in fact, it sucks. I'm sticking with the lines that work.
It's a step in the right direction.

That said, your poem will always suck. It will always suck because it has nothing to say other than the clichéd and idiotically simplistic popular sentiment that "War is Hell" and "violence begets violence" and that we should all join hands and cry for all the homeless mothers and ragtag orphans of this world, and join hands across the Continents, and sing out a rousing chorus of "It's a Small World After All"!

But if you ever do manage to achieve some semblance of consistency in it, you'll just be a sucky poet (as opposed to incompetent, sucky poet).
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
As noted below (you really need to read through a post prior to responding),
So you really like that line I told you; thanks for the flattery. You still have to learn how to use it.
I've told you that a dozen times or more in the past. As per usual, you're second handing your betters.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
the honeymooning couple are Broadway performers. It's a witty passage in the song. After Niagara Falls (a symbolic counterpart to the Broadway show) the couple will "shuffle off to Buffalo, " taking their show (marriage) on the road (of life).
So:, *someone* might read L1 and think of Broadway. That isn't a bad thing. War is dramatic. Warzones are even called "theatres". And thinking of the soldiers as actors (as I am for the first time) suggests Shakespeare's famous line. All good allusions, as far as I can see.
OMFG.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
I am not denying that your piece of antiwar doggerel is a poem. It is. It's not a very good poem, but it's a poem nonetheless.
It's a poem that a magazine editor found "good" enough to publish. I don't think ignorant insults like "antiwar doggerel" make you right and him wrong.
Dunce, Dunce, Dunce... all sorts of crap gets published.

Your poem is a mess. It can be cleaned up, and made presentable.

Or it can remain in its present form as a testament to your incompetence. That's your call. I've done all I can here.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
I am saying that it needs to find a poem that it actually has some relevance to.
It's completely relevant: The troops are "shuffling off" (which indicates how they're walking; see above) "to Babylon" (which indicates that this is happening in Iraq).
I see... set up a straw man argument (that I don't realize that the war is in Iraq) and shoot it down. Then convince yourself that the problems have been, if not solved, at least dismissed. Then stick you head back up your ass and dream about what a great writer you are.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
It certainly doesn't fit in an antiwar piece.
Thanks for your opinion, but I think it fits just fine.
For this reader, it conjures up the image of soldiers, with top hat in one hand and walking stick in the other, doing a song and dance number. Since this is obvious not the sort of image you want your to create, it is only to your benefit to remove the intentionally-unrelated reference.
Even if the Broadway connotation it suggest that the soldiers are actors in a drama: Who but you would imagine actors, playing soldiers in a play, with a "top hat in one hand and walking stick in the other, doing a song and dance number"?
Because that is *how* one usually does the Shuffle Off to Buffalo routine.
Post by George J. Dance
It really looks like you're trying to trash the poem for reasons other than its content.
Ingrate.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
You neglected to mention the distance in your poem as well.
"300 miles from Basra to Baghdad," still sucks as a substitute.
Post by Michael Pendragon
And, again, if it's a 300-mile march, the "knife-like" precision of the marchers sounds ridiculous.
You said that; I answered it. Your repeating it adds nothing but clutter.
Post by Michael Pendragon
I'm not trying to bust your balls here -- any literate person reading your poem is going to be struck by that discrepancy.
You said that; I answered it. Your repeating it adds nothing but clutter.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Unfortunately, that's precisely what your "knife-sharp lines" imply.
So: you say you got the idea that those soldiers (dressed, according to you, in top hats and carrying walking sticks) were in a parade? Seriously?
Post by Michael Pendragon
and for which "knife-sharp lines" would hardly apply. It's more of a trudge than a march.
"Trudge - walk slowly and with heavy steps, typically because of exhaustion or harsh conditions."
Sounds like "shuffling to me."
Not in "knife like" precision, and not to be recited to a random John Phillip Sousa marching tune.

Consistency is of the utmost importance in poetry. Learn this.
George J. Dance
2019-01-08 13:55:51 UTC
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<LL 3-4>

<L3>
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by George J. Dance
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
Nothing like shooting for the obvious.
It's wasn't 'obvious' to me whether the soldiers were marching in solitude, or in the middle of, as part of, a war machine. That's one reason for mentioning the tanks and artillery. The other is put the reader in the right frame of mind for the next line.
An invading army in a modern day war is going to pass tanks and artillery at some point in their march.
Why do you think I put them in? "Infantry" alone doesn't tell you it's an "invading army in a modern day war" - adding "tanks" and "artillery" helps supply that information.
Soldiers marching through Babylon to a Sousa tune are probably *not* going to be of the Iraqi variety.
Neither were Tamerlane's soldiers; but this is not Tamerlane's army, either: He had no tanks. "Tanks and artillery" aren't just images (something for the reader to see), but "tanks" gives additional information: the soldiers are marching in modern times. I'm using one word to tell the reader when, just as I used one word "Babylon" to tell the reader where.
Post by Michael Pendragon
In any case, this is one of your poem's lesser evils. My point is that instead of simply noted that they see "tanks" and "artillery," you might (just might) describe these in interesting, novel, or even metaphoric terms.
The word "tank" is sufficient to give me an image of a tank (artillery less so, but it tells me this there's more machinery than just tanks in the convoy. I even visualize warplanes flying above, even though they're not mentioned. I have to go with what I get, as a reader, from the poem.

On the other hand, last night I tried using metaphorical descriptions - "they march past towering death-machines of steel" - and it was clear to me that's the wrong approach: rather than giving the reader more information, allowing him to see what's going on here, they just add a layer of confusion.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Interesting words I haven't used in my (kept) poetry, and a rather clever near-rhyme (-REE).
That was the other reason, of course.
I don't even know what "(-REE)" rhyme you're referring to.
The end-rhyme ("infantry-artillery") of course. I called it a near-rhyme because I'd pronounce "infantry" the way you pronounce "defecate" or "suicide", with no stress on the third syllable. I've heard it pronounced with stress ("Infant-tree"), in song, before, though I don't expect every reader to do that for me. I do want the reader to get used to the idea of near-rhyme, simply to allow him to accept the all-important "children / kill them" rhyme later.
Post by Michael Pendragon
The near-rhyme in question is that of "baking"/"cakes" (How-ja do? How-ja do? How-ja do?).
I hope that wasn't the only rhyme you spotted in the thing. It's a sonnet; all the lines rhyme.

<L5>
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by George J. Dance
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
Soldiers seen as a "lean green fighting machine"... who'dda thunk?
It isn't an original observation that soldiers are taught to act like machines, rather than thinking human beings - nor did (do) I claim it is. It's in there because it says something true and important about these soldiers in the poem.
Yes, and that's the problem. Your poem has nothing to say apart from repeating a couple of peacenik tropes
You're only up to line 4, remember? But go ahead: where are these "peacenik tropes"?
I cite lines 9-14.
We'll get to those. In the meantime: how is calling the soldiers "machinery" a 'peacenik' trope. It's not a value, judgement, just a statement of fact, that soldiers are taught to act like machines - automatically, on command - rather than thinking beings, stopping to evaluate what they're doing. Evaluating, philosophical soldiers are of no use.

You say you've been in the navy, so you must have gone through boot camp. I haven't, but I've known plenty, from my father down, who've told me about it; and I've read about it. Boot camp is designed to train the soldier not to think - to act all day long as directed, often on pointless tasks. A solder in boot camp - spends his day is trained to not act independently, so that he'll be trained not to think independently. A good soldier has to be a machine, all of his actions driven by what he's commanded to do, and *not* by his own wants, beliefs and feelings.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Once again, you are playing the dunce in order to evade the issue.
My statement that "Your poem has nothing to say..." refers to your *entire poem,* not just to lines 1-4.
If your only message is that war engenders war, violence begets violence, vengeance begets vengeance, etc., you are simply repeating clichéd peacenik tropes.
Then we'll look at those "tropes" when we get to the sestet.

snip
George J. Dance
2019-01-08 14:21:58 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
<LL 3-4>
<L3>
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by George J. Dance
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
Nothing like shooting for the obvious.
It's wasn't 'obvious' to me whether the soldiers were marching in solitude, or in the middle of, as part of, a war machine. That's one reason for mentioning the tanks and artillery. The other is put the reader in the right frame of mind for the next line.
An invading army in a modern day war is going to pass tanks and artillery at some point in their march.
Why do you think I put them in? "Infantry" alone doesn't tell you it's an "invading army in a modern day war" - adding "tanks" and "artillery" helps supply that information.
Soldiers marching through Babylon to a Sousa tune are probably *not* going to be of the Iraqi variety.
Neither were Tamerlane's soldiers; but this is not Tamerlane's army, either: He had no tanks. "Tanks and artillery" aren't just images (something for the reader to see), but "tanks" gives additional information: the soldiers are marching in modern times. I'm using one word to tell the reader when, just as I used one word "Babylon" to tell the reader where.
Post by Michael Pendragon
In any case, this is one of your poem's lesser evils. My point is that instead of simply noted that they see "tanks" and "artillery," you might (just might) describe these in interesting, novel, or even metaphoric terms.
The word "tank" is sufficient to give me an image of a tank (artillery less so, but it tells me this there's more machinery than just tanks in the convoy. I even visualize warplanes flying above, even though they're not mentioned. I have to go with what I get, as a reader, from the poem.
On the other hand, last night I tried using metaphorical descriptions - "they march past towering death-machines of steel" - and it was clear to me that's the wrong approach: rather than giving the reader more information, allowing him to see what's going on here, they just add a layer of confusion.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Interesting words I haven't used in my (kept) poetry, and a rather clever near-rhyme (-REE).
That was the other reason, of course.
I don't even know what "(-REE)" rhyme you're referring to.
The end-rhyme ("infantry-artillery") of course. I called it a near-rhyme because I'd pronounce "infantry" the way you pronounce "defecate" or "suicide", with no stress on the third syllable. I've heard it pronounced with stress ("Infant-tree"), in song, before, though I don't expect every reader to do that for me. I do want the reader to get used to the idea of near-rhyme, simply to allow him to accept the all-important "children / kill them" rhyme later.
Post by Michael Pendragon
The near-rhyme in question is that of "baking"/"cakes" (How-ja do? How-ja do? How-ja do?).
I hope that wasn't the only rhyme you spotted in the thing. It's a sonnet; all the lines rhyme.
<L5>
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by George J. Dance
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
Soldiers seen as a "lean green fighting machine"... who'dda thunk?
It isn't an original observation that soldiers are taught to act like machines, rather than thinking human beings - nor did (do) I claim it is. It's in there because it says something true and important about these soldiers in the poem.
Yes, and that's the problem. Your poem has nothing to say apart from repeating a couple of peacenik tropes
You're only up to line 4, remember? But go ahead: where are these "peacenik tropes"?
I cite lines 9-14.
We'll get to those. In the meantime: how is calling the soldiers "machinery" a 'peacenik' trope. It's not a value, judgement, just a statement of fact, that soldiers are taught to act like machines - automatically, on command - rather than thinking beings, stopping to evaluate what they're doing. Evaluating, philosophical soldiers are of no use.
You say you've been in the navy, so you must have gone through boot camp. I haven't, but I've known plenty, from my father down, who've told me about it; and I've read about it. Boot camp is designed to train the soldier not to think - to act all day long as directed, often on pointless tasks. A solder in boot camp - spends his day is trained to not act independently, so that he'll be trained not to think independently. A good soldier has to be a machine, all of his actions driven by what he's commanded to do, and *not* by his own wants, beliefs and feelings.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Once again, you are playing the dunce in order to evade the issue.
My statement that "Your poem has nothing to say..." refers to your *entire poem,* not just to lines 1-4.
If your only message is that war engenders war, violence begets violence, vengeance begets vengeance, etc., you are simply repeating clichéd peacenik tropes.
Then we'll look at those "tropes" when we get to the sestet.
snip
Michael Pendragon
2019-01-08 15:23:24 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
<LL 3-4>
<L3>
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by George J. Dance
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
Nothing like shooting for the obvious.
It's wasn't 'obvious' to me whether the soldiers were marching in solitude, or in the middle of, as part of, a war machine. That's one reason for mentioning the tanks and artillery. The other is put the reader in the right frame of mind for the next line.
An invading army in a modern day war is going to pass tanks and artillery at some point in their march.
Why do you think I put them in? "Infantry" alone doesn't tell you it's an "invading army in a modern day war" - adding "tanks" and "artillery" helps supply that information.
Soldiers marching through Babylon to a Sousa tune are probably *not* going to be of the Iraqi variety.
Neither were Tamerlane's soldiers; but this is not Tamerlane's army, either: He had no tanks. "Tanks and artillery" aren't just images (something for the reader to see), but "tanks" gives additional information: the soldiers are marching in modern times. I'm using one word to tell the reader when, just as I used one word "Babylon" to tell the reader where.
I get that. However, the phrase "tanks and artillery" provides a perfunctory image that every reader is going to naturally going to associate with new footage of the Iraq war whether you mention them or not.

I'm asking you to take it a half-step further and to provide a description of the tanks (preferably anthropomorphic); some word that brings the tanks to life. Psst sleeping tanks, parade rest tanks, robot tanks, waiting tanks, smoking tanks, gathered tanks, etc.

Perfection lies in the details, to paraphrase Da Vinci; and the addition of a descriptive word that personifies an inanimate tank is what separates good poetry from hackwork.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
In any case, this is one of your poem's lesser evils. My point is that instead of simply noted that they see "tanks" and "artillery," you might (just might) describe these in interesting, novel, or even metaphoric terms.
The word "tank" is sufficient to give me an image of a tank (artillery less so, but it tells me this there's more machinery than just tanks in the convoy. I even visualize warplanes flying above, even though they're not mentioned. I have to go with what I get, as a reader, from the poem.
We've all seen the news footage. If you're just going to point out some of the common images from the 6 o'clock news, why should we bother with your poem? A picture is worth a thousand words, and the news actually shows us the tanks and artillery.
Post by George J. Dance
On the other hand, last night I tried using metaphorical descriptions - "they march past towering death-machines of steel" - and it was clear to me that's the wrong approach: rather than giving the reader more information, allowing him to see what's going on here, they just add a layer of confusion.
This approach is similar to your strawman arguments: in this instance, you've taken my suggestion to extremes, gone way over the top, and decided that it's too much.

I dislike pretentious descriptions (probably even more than you do), and my own poetry is stripped to such a level of straightforward simplicity (at least from a linguistic standpoint) that some readers have dismissed it Victorian children's verse.

As noted above, I would simply note that the tanks were "watching" or "waiting" or that the artillery was "poised" -- simple descriptions that personify the images, transforming them into metaphoric soldiers.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Interesting words I haven't used in my (kept) poetry, and a rather clever near-rhyme (-REE).
That was the other reason, of course.
I don't even know what "(-REE)" rhyme you're referring to.
The end-rhyme ("infantry-artillery") of course. I called it a near-rhyme because I'd pronounce "infantry" the way you pronounce "defecate" or "suicide", with no stress on the third syllable. I've heard it pronounced with stress ("Infant-tree"), in song, before, though I don't expect every reader to do that for me. I do want the reader to get used to the idea of near-rhyme, simply to allow him to accept the all-important "children / kill them" rhyme later.
Post by Michael Pendragon
The near-rhyme in question is that of "baking"/"cakes" (How-ja do? How-ja do? How-ja do?).
I hope that wasn't the only rhyme you spotted in the thing. It's a sonnet; all the lines rhyme.
You might hope it's the only *forced* rhyme I'd spotted.

The rhymes ending with "to one another" and "well" are also forced, but unlike "baking"/"cakes," they aren't forced to the point of nonsense (they merely serve as "filler").
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by George J. Dance
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
Soldiers seen as a "lean green fighting machine"... who'dda thunk?
It isn't an original observation that soldiers are taught to act like machines, rather than thinking human beings - nor did (do) I claim it is. It's in there because it says something true and important about these soldiers in the poem.
Yes, and that's the problem. Your poem has nothing to say apart from repeating a couple of peacenik tropes
You're only up to line 4, remember? But go ahead: where are these "peacenik tropes"?
I cite lines 9-14.
We'll get to those. In the meantime: how is calling the soldiers "machinery" a 'peacenik' trope. It's not a value, judgement, just a statement of fact, that soldiers are taught to act like machines - automatically, on command - rather than thinking beings, stopping to evaluate what they're doing. Evaluating, philosophical soldiers are of no use.
Yes, soldiers are trained to think and act like machines.

The description is apt. It's also overused.
Post by George J. Dance
You say you've been in the navy, so you must have gone through boot camp. I haven't, but I've known plenty, from my father down, who've told me about it; and I've read about it. Boot camp is designed to train the soldier not to think - to act all day long as directed, often on pointless tasks. A solder in boot camp - spends his day is trained to not act independently, so that he'll be trained not to think independently. A good soldier has to be a machine, all of his actions driven by what he's commanded to do, and *not* by his own wants, beliefs and feelings.
That is very true -- even a bit of an understatement. Boot camp is not only calculated to destroy one's sense of individuality, but it consequently deprives one of his sense of humanity as well. A soldier can kill because he has been dehumanized.

However, this is old hat. It's been done before and done much better.

If you want to add yet another poem to this genre, that's fine. But give me something more. Add an extra dimension to their machine precision -- a new insight into their psychology -- a new perspective on the process of dehumanization.

Your contrasting the robotic "killing machine" with the sobbing mothers and ragged children is clichéd, sentimental (in the worst possible sense), and trite.

Compare your soldier vs mothers and children contrast with the following passage on the dehumanization of soldiers:

"Our thoughts are clay, they are moulded with the changes of the days;--when we are resting they are good; under fire, they are dead. Fields of craters within and without."

With one line, Erich Maria Remarque just blew your entire poem into the literary dustbin.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Once again, you are playing the dunce in order to evade the issue.
My statement that "Your poem has nothing to say..." refers to your *entire poem,* not just to lines 1-4.
If your only message is that war engenders war, violence begets violence, vengeance begets vengeance, etc., you are simply repeating clichéd peacenik tropes.
Then we'll look at those "tropes" when we get to the sestet.
snip
George J. Dance
2019-01-08 17:14:09 UTC
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Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
I'm not after satirical wit; this isn't a satire, a parody, or a comedy piece.
But you are attempting a satirical stance in the poems closing passages by contrasting the soldiers' "Ideas of March" (yuk! yuk!) with the maudlin images of weeping mothers and children, etc.
I admit that the sestet begins on a maudlin note: the mother's not just "weeping" but beside a "burnt hut", while the children are "ragged." Not cloying - these are just things the soldiers notice - but it's there in LL 9-10.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Oh, yeah... lose the title.
The title's not the best part, but, as I said, the poem's been published.
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the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Arrgh! matey -- they be sailin' off to settle an old score!
Many if not most of the Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq saw it as vengeance for 9/11. Maybe you're too young to remember all that, but it's not something to trivialize.
How young do you think I am, Gramps?
Sometimes I'm sure you're only 11. But your comments up above ("I was in New York City" etc.) tell me you not only understand what I said about vengeance being the motivator - you feel it yourself. So why were you making fun of the idea?
Then you need to go back and reread it. I am worried about there being other, similar attacks. I am worried about a bomb taking out the Lincoln Tunnel while I'm commuting through it, or about a terror cell opening fire in the middle of Times Square during my lunch break, or a hundred similar scenarios that I'm surprised haven't already happened a dozen time over. I'm worried about my wife's safety when she's taking a bus uptown to her dance classes. I'm worried about terrorist breaking into the Hebrew schools my children attend, or taking out my in-laws' Temple.
What I want is the peace and sense of security that existed before 9/11 -- and that will only be returned when the terrorists have been destroyed (whether through violence, education, or a combination of the same).
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Post by Michael Pendragon
I was 36-year old (almost 37) and working in Manhattan on the morning of 9/11.
Post by George J. Dance
Bush got his war because Americans saw it as "vengeance" - fighting back - and therefore not aggression, but justice. "Just the thought of vengeance" (= the thought of vengeance is just) is what powers the war machine.
You're dead wrong.
There was a pervading sense of unreality that morning. We stared at the breaking news images on our computer screens in disbelief. We heard that the Pentagon had been hit as well and that a hi-jacked jet had crashed in Pennsylvania. Then came an announcement to abandon our building (a "landmark" and potential target). Electricity was soon shut off and television and internet were down. Everyone was massing in the streets, walking blindly forward with no destination -- as the tunnels had been closed. Some of people were covered from head to toe in gray dust from the mix of smoke, concrete and human ashes that permeated the air downtown. Military jets were zipping by overhead, and it felt like we'd just been transported back to London during the Blitz. Some people pulled battery operated radios out and people gathered around to listen to spurious reports and theories about how the next wave of the attack would be coming via a wave of car bombs both in the City and in the suburbs.
It felt like Armageddon. I didn't know if I'd ever see, or even get a chance to say "goodbye" over the phone to my family again -- or if they would soon be under attack as well.
I think people felt that way all over the continent, BTW. No one knew if there's be another strike, or where it would occur.
That's right.
And we still don't know if, when, or where the next strike will be.
So we need "war" so we'll be safe. As I said, that sounds like Orwellian double-speak, something a politician like John McCain would've said: But if it works on the people, it is a powerful way of getting the country behind a war: Make people believe those protesting the war, not the war itself, is the real threat.
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The feelings of fear and utter helplessness that we felt that morning are what fueled the soldiers who served us in the war. Yes, we were angry, but vengeance was only a minor motivation. We wanted to make our homeland safe again -- to ensure that there would never be another day like 9/11.
As the Washington Post put it in a September 11 editorial: "The country responded [to the Pearl Harbor attack] without panic but with an iron determination to defend itself and punish the aggressors. The response today must be as decisive ..." - defense and punishment seen as not only equivalent, but part of a single "determination."
I'm not claiming to be a saint. I'd certainly relish the prospect of Iran, Iraq, Syria and their non-Jewish environs going up in a farmscape of mushroom clouds. But I'd also be almost as willing to coexist peacefully with them.
However, the defense of innocent Americans from homeland terrorist attacks was, and remains, the primary justification for the War on Terror.
Post by George J. Dance
And as the cliche goes: "We didn't start it, but we will finish it." If "finishing it" meant keeping the country safe, that would be nonsense; that doesn't end. No, "finish it" is all about punishment - vengeance.
That was not our stance.
It is a popular slogan. I remember watching a video of a poet whose name escapes me: he was a famous baseball TV commentator, in St. Louis or something, who was brought back in to read his 9/11 poem before a game. He got good applause at the end, but the only applause that interrupted his speech was in response to that slogan which he'd put into the poem.

I don't think anyone who wants a war is motivated only by their desire for peace and security; that anyone lacks a desire to punish the person who "punished" him first. That would be a saint, and, as you've admitted, Americans aren't saints. None of us are.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Politically, my views correspond to those of Machiavelli. The primary duty of a monarch (or a President) is the safety of his people. How he achieves that safety will depend on the aggressiveness of his country's attackers. If ISIL were to sincerely extend an olive branch, I would accept it (albeit warily).
Just as I have always been open to accepting a sincere token of peace from both the Turd and yourself.
Good analogy: you say you just want peace, and that's all you're fighting for, but your slogans - "Dunce must die!" for example - bely your speeches.
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Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
Ah! The introduction of cloying sentimentality -- how appropriate for the Hallmark Card version of an anti-war poem.
Mothers lose their children in wartime, and houses are burned - that's another unavoidable fact of war. I don't think it's too "cloying" or "sentimental" to at least mention it.
That depends on *how* it's introduced, and how openly the poet displays his heart on his sleeve.
The soldiers walk by them, see them, and look away - "eyes forward, not to note". No sentimentality - well, maybe a little, as I admitted - but not "too much."
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by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
[who] gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
So we kill their fathers, which begets them killing our sons... which begets their sons killing the fathers of the ensuing generation... and war becomes a neverending vicious circle...
Yes. Why? Because the children are the same people as the soldiers, motivated by the same thing. War is an eternal tragedy, probably the most important one after that of death.

I consider LL 11-12 the most important part of the poem, and L 12 the best line. It's an actual quote, BTW.

Time and Newsweek had reporters in Baghdad shortly after the capture: they were interviewing Iraqis, asking them what they thought of the invasion, and getting the same comments: We hated Saddam, thank you America for getting rid of him, blah, blah... But one of the reporters also asked a 12 year-old child, and L 12 is the child's answer.

Given the 2003-2013 insurgency, I think the adults were dissembling while the child didn't know how to do that.
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Sure; but it stretches back into the past as well as the future. The American soldiers killed the Muslim fathers because Muslim terrorists killed Americans in 9/11; Muslim terrorists killed Americans because Americans killed thousands in Iraq War I and the subsequent bombings of Baghdad; and so on in that direction.
Your opinion of Americans is insulting, Dunce.
I think they're essentially no different from Canadians, or anyone else in the world FTM. I understand that you might consider that insulting.
I should hope that in this regard, the majority of human beings held similar beliefs. What I find insulting is your depiction of Americans as vengeful savages.
If it's "savage", that's only in the sense that we're all savages. If someone fucks with me, I don't just want them to stop - I don't even want restitution for their fucking - I want to fuck them back. I'm not insulting myself by saying that.
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"During the September 11 attacks of 2001, 2,996 people were killed (including the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured.[1][2] These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.[3][4] The attacks were the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941."
Yes, we know about that. Do you have comparable stats for the U.S. bombing of Iraq that preceded it? Let NG have fun doing that, but here's a few to give you an indication:

"When Bush entered the White House, the US (with help from the UK) was bombing Iraq an average of three times a week. In 1999, the US spent $1 billion dropping bombs in Iraq; in 2000, that number was up to $1.4 billion."

9/11 did not start the cycle.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Yes, Michael; not something to joke about, as you were doing earlier with your "Ahhhr matey" schtick.
I was making fun of your word choice -- and letting you hear how it came across. Hopefully, you will correct that flaw as well.
Well, that's helpful. You wanted the word "vengeance" out of the poem; you want something like:

Just / the cause of world peace to be theirs once more.

Nope.
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The war on terror is to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again.
You really think the wars in Iraq (3 times now), Libya, Syria, and now Yemen have made America safer than it was before then? I'd call you nuts, but that might sound like an IKYABWAI.
Safer, yes. As safe as we had been in the past, no.
However, when what are essentially third world countries are busy protecting themselves from an invasion, they have far less time and resources with which to conduct terrorist attacks.
So, yes -- I think that if there had been no War on Terror the death toll among American Civilians would have been astronomical at this point.
"War is peace" again.
Post by Michael Pendragon
"The current situation of Afghanistan is related to a big cause - that is the destruction of America," he added.
"The plan is going ahead and God willing it is being implemented, but it is a huge task beyond the will and comprehension of human beings. If God's help is with us this will happen within a short period of time.
"Keep in mind this prediction. This is not a matter of weapons. We are hopeful for God's help. The real matter is the extinction of America. And, God willing, it (America) will fall to the ground." -- Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, 11/15/2001
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1362463/Taliban-leader-vows-to-destroy-America.html
So there's religious zealots on both sides, backed by people who are convinced that "extinction" of the other side is the only way they'll ever have peace and security.
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Like playing Tit for Tat.
Like the Hatfields and McCoys. No bad guys, no evil empire or race - only people motivated by the same idea: getting revenge is getting justice.
You're clueless.
Yet you're the one who thinks invading other countries makes the U.S. safer: "War is peace," and all that. (BTW, do you know what book that slogan came from?)
Yes, I've read Orwell.
I'm also aware of "Peace Is Our Profession" from "Dr. Strangelove."
I'm not.
Post by Michael Pendragon
However, when the enemy is crashing jet planes filled with American passengers into American buildings and the Pentagon, there are only two options: Fight or wait in fear for the next attack... and the next... and the next... and the next...
So what is the only option when the "enemy" is dropping bombs on buildings full of your people "three times a week"?

To get back to the poem: I don't see the "children" as any different from the soldiers, in motivation. That's the only message in the poem (and of course it's one you disagree with): they're the same.
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The Islamic terrorists have sworn a "jihad" against American, and boasting of our immanent "extermination." This isn't about vengeance or justice: it's a matter of survival.
And what do you think they're motivated by?
Fear for themselves. Fear for the safety of their loved ones.
Just like the Americans supporting the War on Terror, IOW.
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Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
Condemning men who answer the Country's call to Hell? That's it bit steep, isn't it, George?
Yes, it is; and it's a controversial line. Remember, though, that I don't believe in an afterlife. The Hell I'm referring to is the one the soldiers found in Baghdad over the next decade.
What you believe and what beliefs you've expressed in the poem are two different things.
You cannot expect readers to know that you're an atheist and are only speaking about a metaphorical Hell (which, btw, would be written in lower case).
"“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” - William Tecumseh Sherman.
I guess the lack of comment means that Pigdragon found Sherman's "shrieks and groans too, not to mention his use of the word "vengeance", too cloying and Hallmarky.
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That's 2 constructive suggestions from you, 2 more than I'd hoped for. Thank you for reading and commenting.
That's two that your wounded sense of pride allows you to accept. There is a lot more that you could take from my comments which would prove to your poem's benefit.
That just sounds like repeating yourself; you're supposed to have someone else from your team chime in with it about now.

(Notice that even after the slurping you gave the "scholar" and "educator" NG, they couldn't be bothered to reciprocate?)
Coco DeSockmonkey
2019-01-08 21:38:58 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
I'm not after satirical wit; this isn't a satire, a parody, or a comedy piece.
But you are attempting a satirical stance in the poems closing passages by contrasting the soldiers' "Ideas of March" (yuk! yuk!) with the maudlin images of weeping mothers and children, etc.
I admit that the sestet begins on a maudlin note: the mother's not just "weeping" but beside a "burnt hut", while the children are "ragged." Not cloying - these are just things the soldiers notice - but it's there in LL 9-10.
No, it's what you're specifically pointing out to the readers that the soldiers notice as they march with their dust-blinded "eyes forward" (consistency).
Not only are they "blind" to the suffering around them, but they don't even register it mentally, as you state that their only thought is of vengeance.

You are dragging out the weeping mother and homeless orphans to show the face of the innocent human victims (Cue "Hearts & Flowers") that the machine-like soldiers are destroying.
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Post by Michael Pendragon
Oh, yeah... lose the title.
The title's not the best part, but, as I said, the poem's been published.
So what? Poe revised his poetry for subsequent publications. I've revised several of my published poems as well.

You posted it here for comments and criticism, so you should be amenable to revision.

The title is... poorly chosen.

Punny titles should be limited to lite verse. And "Ideas of March" fails as a pun for the following reasons: 1) while it creates a loosely homonymic variation of an immediately recognizable line from "Julius Caesar," neither the play as a whole, nor the line alluded to have anything to do with the poem; and 2) while the phrase "Ideas of March" is incorrect English. A proper piece of wordplay should confine itself to proper grammar. No one says, "Hey, I have some ideas of march today, so I think I'll go out for a hike."
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the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Arrgh! matey -- they be sailin' off to settle an old score!
Many if not most of the Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq saw it as vengeance for 9/11. Maybe you're too young to remember all that, but it's not something to trivialize.
How young do you think I am, Gramps?
Sometimes I'm sure you're only 11. But your comments up above ("I was in New York City" etc.) tell me you not only understand what I said about vengeance being the motivator - you feel it yourself. So why were you making fun of the idea?
Then you need to go back and reread it. I am worried about there being other, similar attacks. I am worried about a bomb taking out the Lincoln Tunnel while I'm commuting through it, or about a terror cell opening fire in the middle of Times Square during my lunch break, or a hundred similar scenarios that I'm surprised haven't already happened a dozen time over. I'm worried about my wife's safety when she's taking a bus uptown to her dance classes. I'm worried about terrorist breaking into the Hebrew schools my children attend, or taking out my in-laws' Temple.
What I want is the peace and sense of security that existed before 9/11 -- and that will only be returned when the terrorists have been destroyed (whether through violence, education, or a combination of the same).
Post by George J. Dance
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I was 36-year old (almost 37) and working in Manhattan on the morning of 9/11.
Post by George J. Dance
Bush got his war because Americans saw it as "vengeance" - fighting back - and therefore not aggression, but justice. "Just the thought of vengeance" (= the thought of vengeance is just) is what powers the war machine.
You're dead wrong.
There was a pervading sense of unreality that morning. We stared at the breaking news images on our computer screens in disbelief. We heard that the Pentagon had been hit as well and that a hi-jacked jet had crashed in Pennsylvania. Then came an announcement to abandon our building (a "landmark" and potential target). Electricity was soon shut off and television and internet were down. Everyone was massing in the streets, walking blindly forward with no destination -- as the tunnels had been closed. Some of people were covered from head to toe in gray dust from the mix of smoke, concrete and human ashes that permeated the air downtown. Military jets were zipping by overhead, and it felt like we'd just been transported back to London during the Blitz. Some people pulled battery operated radios out and people gathered around to listen to spurious reports and theories about how the next wave of the attack would be coming via a wave of car bombs both in the City and in the suburbs.
It felt like Armageddon. I didn't know if I'd ever see, or even get a chance to say "goodbye" over the phone to my family again -- or if they would soon be under attack as well.
I think people felt that way all over the continent, BTW. No one knew if there's be another strike, or where it would occur.
That's right.
And we still don't know if, when, or where the next strike will be.
So we need "war" so we'll be safe. As I said, that sounds like Orwellian double-speak, something a politician like John McCain would've said: But if it works on the people, it is a powerful way of getting the country behind a war: Make people believe those protesting the war, not the war itself, is the real threat.
Except that it isn't Orwellian double-speak, but Machiavellian political philosophy. If a foreign power poses a legitimate threat to your country, the surest way to end that threat is to eliminate the threatening party. Historical, we need only to look to the third Punic War and ask ourselves if Rome was ever bothered by Carthage again.

War will only end when *all* of the world's people receive a high enough level of education to question the religious and cultural myths that had been instilled in them in their formative years. Educating third world where women are denied a formal education and men are inculcated into the propagandist belief that it is sweet and fitting to die in the name of Mohammed, and where censorship blocks any opposing ideas from being voiced or heard, will certainly prove difficult, if not impossible.

Former President Bush had the right idea in overthrowing the existing regimes and replacing them with limited Democracies wherein the people could be brought up to the standard of 21st Century thought. However, the slave mentality has been so strongly inculcated in many of the Arabic people that it may take several generations to undo.
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The feelings of fear and utter helplessness that we felt that morning are what fueled the soldiers who served us in the war. Yes, we were angry, but vengeance was only a minor motivation. We wanted to make our homeland safe again -- to ensure that there would never be another day like 9/11.
As the Washington Post put it in a September 11 editorial: "The country responded [to the Pearl Harbor attack] without panic but with an iron determination to defend itself and punish the aggressors. The response today must be as decisive ..." - defense and punishment seen as not only equivalent, but part of a single "determination."
I'm not claiming to be a saint. I'd certainly relish the prospect of Iran, Iraq, Syria and their non-Jewish environs going up in a farmscape of mushroom clouds. But I'd also be almost as willing to coexist peacefully with them.
However, the defense of innocent Americans from homeland terrorist attacks was, and remains, the primary justification for the War on Terror.
Post by George J. Dance
And as the cliche goes: "We didn't start it, but we will finish it." If "finishing it" meant keeping the country safe, that would be nonsense; that doesn't end. No, "finish it" is all about punishment - vengeance.
That was not our stance.
It is a popular slogan. I remember watching a video of a poet whose name escapes me: he was a famous baseball TV commentator, in St. Louis or something, who was brought back in to read his 9/11 poem before a game. He got good applause at the end, but the only applause that interrupted his speech was in response to that slogan which he'd put into the poem.
I'm unfamiliar with sports, and with the poem. I do know that sports events are not run by the Government.
Post by George J. Dance
I don't think anyone who wants a war is motivated only by their desire for peace and security; that anyone lacks a desire to punish the person who "punished" him first. That would be a saint, and, as you've admitted, Americans aren't saints. None of us are.
That's true. But the operative word in your statement is "only." People are complex beings and experience many, often conflicting, emotions and desires.

The operative word in my statement (quoted above) is "primary."

Our primary motive for the War on Terror is to eliminate the threat that terrorism poses to our lives, and to the lives of those we love. That I would also take extreme delight in torturing Islamist "Freedom Fighters" to death, would be icing on the cake -- and a desire that I would readily forego if it were deemed to America's advantage.
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Politically, my views correspond to those of Machiavelli. The primary duty of a monarch (or a President) is the safety of his people. How he achieves that safety will depend on the aggressiveness of his country's attackers. If ISIL were to sincerely extend an olive branch, I would accept it (albeit warily).
Just as I have always been open to accepting a sincere token of peace from both the Turd and yourself.
Good analogy: you say you just want peace, and that's all you're fighting for, but your slogans - "Dunce must die!" for example - bely your speeches.
Life isn't always so cut and dried as one would like.

As to your death, "the charm's wound up." Any wish to remove it at this point would prove dangerous (even deadly) to yours truly. We'll both just have to accept the fact that your death is immanent.
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Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
Ah! The introduction of cloying sentimentality -- how appropriate for the Hallmark Card version of an anti-war poem.
Mothers lose their children in wartime, and houses are burned - that's another unavoidable fact of war. I don't think it's too "cloying" or "sentimental" to at least mention it.
That depends on *how* it's introduced, and how openly the poet displays his heart on his sleeve.
The soldiers walk by them, see them, and look away - "eyes forward, not to note". No sentimentality - well, maybe a little, as I admitted - but not "too much."
Mothers and orphans, Dunce! Mothers and orphans! I'm surprised one of the soldiers didn't kick a dead puppy out of his path.
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by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
[who] gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
So we kill their fathers, which begets them killing our sons... which begets their sons killing the fathers of the ensuing generation... and war becomes a neverending vicious circle...
Yes. Why? Because the children are the same people as the soldiers, motivated by the same thing. War is an eternal tragedy, probably the most important one after that of death.
Except that American soldiers are *primarily* interested in making America safe again. And that by overthrowing Islamist regimes and reeducating the Arabic people along humanitarian lines we might stop the circle in its tracks.
Post by George J. Dance
I consider LL 11-12 the most important part of the poem, and L 12 the best line. It's an actual quote, BTW.
Time and Newsweek had reporters in Baghdad shortly after the capture: they were interviewing Iraqis, asking them what they thought of the invasion, and getting the same comments: We hated Saddam, thank you America for getting rid of him, blah, blah... But one of the reporters also asked a 12 year-old child, and L 12 is the child's answer.
Yes, that sounds familiar. Remember as well that this is the same culture that was proud to photograph their babies holding uzi's or wearing exploding vests; a culture where the highest thing a parent can wish for their child is that he die killing Infidels in the name of Allah.

And FWIW, the "Death to America" slogans were prevalent back in Khomeini's reign in the 1970s and 80s... long before any there were any weeping mothers and homeless orphans to cry "vengeance!"
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Given the 2003-2013 insurgency, I think the adults were dissembling while the child didn't know how to do that.
Again, life isn't so cut and dried. I doubt that this woman had anything to do with the death of this man's father:
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Sure; but it stretches back into the past as well as the future. The American soldiers killed the Muslim fathers because Muslim terrorists killed Americans in 9/11; Muslim terrorists killed Americans because Americans killed thousands in Iraq War I and the subsequent bombings of Baghdad; and so on in that direction.
Your opinion of Americans is insulting, Dunce.
I think they're essentially no different from Canadians, or anyone else in the world FTM. I understand that you might consider that insulting.
I should hope that in this regard, the majority of human beings held similar beliefs. What I find insulting is your depiction of Americans as vengeful savages.
If it's "savage", that's only in the sense that we're all savages. If someone fucks with me, I don't just want them to stop - I don't even want restitution for their fucking - I want to fuck them back. I'm not insulting myself by saying that.
We're savages if we allow the primitive desire for revenge to become our overriding emotion/motivation for war.
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"During the September 11 attacks of 2001, 2,996 people were killed (including the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured.[1][2] These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.[3][4] The attacks were the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941."
"When Bush entered the White House, the US (with help from the UK) was bombing Iraq an average of three times a week. In 1999, the US spent $1 billion dropping bombs in Iraq; in 2000, that number was up to $1.4 billion."
Tsk, tsk, tsk... this has nothing to do with your claim that America's primary motive is based on vengeance.

The causes of the various wars/military actions in the Middle are long and complex... however they can all be ultimately traced back to the Arab League's refusal to recognize the existence of Israel and their collective vow to destroy this "cancer" in their midst. Which stems from the religious intolerance inherent in the Islamic faith.

This is ultimately a religious war, and it will continue until education breaks the stranglehold of religious prejudice that infects the Islamist mind.
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9/11 did not start the cycle.
Of course not. But as your sports hero noted, it fueled America's desire to bring the cycle to an end.
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Yes, Michael; not something to joke about, as you were doing earlier with your "Ahhhr matey" schtick.
I was making fun of your word choice -- and letting you hear how it came across. Hopefully, you will correct that flaw as well.
Just / the cause of world peace to be theirs once more.
Nope.
No. The offending phrase is "to be theirs" which sounds archaic in a pirate-like way.

And while we're on the topic, "The thought of vengeance" is mildly redundant, with "thought of" being unnecessary filler.
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The war on terror is to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again.
You really think the wars in Iraq (3 times now), Libya, Syria, and now Yemen have made America safer than it was before then? I'd call you nuts, but that might sound like an IKYABWAI.
Safer, yes. As safe as we had been in the past, no.
However, when what are essentially third world countries are busy protecting themselves from an invasion, they have far less time and resources with which to conduct terrorist attacks.
So, yes -- I think that if there had been no War on Terror the death toll among American Civilians would have been astronomical at this point.
"War is peace" again.
No. Victory brings peace.
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"The current situation of Afghanistan is related to a big cause - that is the destruction of America," he added.
"The plan is going ahead and God willing it is being implemented, but it is a huge task beyond the will and comprehension of human beings. If God's help is with us this will happen within a short period of time.
"Keep in mind this prediction. This is not a matter of weapons. We are hopeful for God's help. The real matter is the extinction of America. And, God willing, it (America) will fall to the ground." -- Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, 11/15/2001
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1362463/Taliban-leader-vows-to-destroy-America.html
So there's religious zealots on both sides, backed by people who are convinced that "extinction" of the other side is the only way they'll ever have peace and security.
Not really. As per usual you've taken my statement to an unrealistic extreme in order to create a strawman to knock down.

First off, Americans are largely humanists who entertain a vaguely defined notion that there is a God and an Afterlife. They attend whatever church their parents did, if at all, for the social and communal feelings it affords.

Secondly, most Americans (especially the more religious ones) are namby-pamby bleeding hearts who spend their lives mewling and puking about world peace and universal harmony. They referred to the War on Terror as "Bush's War," and whined about the poor Palestinians as though they were closet terrorists.

I think the vast majority of Americans would support our withdrawing our troops from the Middle East entirely... and wonder what we've done to make the hate us the next time they strike.

As to my beliefs: they are that the threat to American safety must be eradicated. If that means genocide, so be it. *However,* I would prefer that we eradicate the barbaric ignorance that pervades throughout the Islamist countries and that we are able to educate the various Arab peoples so that they, too, will see the fallacy of *all* organized religions, and will adopt a humanistic approach to life.
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Like playing Tit for Tat.
Like the Hatfields and McCoys. No bad guys, no evil empire or race - only people motivated by the same idea: getting revenge is getting justice.
You're clueless.
Yet you're the one who thinks invading other countries makes the U.S. safer: "War is peace," and all that. (BTW, do you know what book that slogan came from?)
Yes, I've read Orwell.
I'm also aware of "Peace Is Our Profession" from "Dr. Strangelove."
I'm not.
You haven't seen "Dr. Strangelove???"

https://sites.google.com/a/depauw.edu/dr-strangelove/historical-context
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Post by Michael Pendragon
However, when the enemy is crashing jet planes filled with American passengers into American buildings and the Pentagon, there are only two options: Fight or wait in fear for the next attack... and the next... and the next... and the next...
So what is the only option when the "enemy" is dropping bombs on buildings full of your people "three times a week"?
That would depend on who one's enemy is, how powerful one's enemy is, and why one's enemy has seen fit to drop the bombs.

In the case of a Super Power dropping bombs a a Third World Stinkhole, I would say that the best course of action would be unconditional surrender.
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To get back to the poem: I don't see the "children" as any different from the soldiers, in motivation. That's the only message in the poem (and of course it's one you disagree with): they're the same.
I understand your point; and I think it's a cliché.
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The Islamic terrorists have sworn a "jihad" against American, and boasting of our immanent "extermination." This isn't about vengeance or justice: it's a matter of survival.
And what do you think they're motivated by?
Fear for themselves. Fear for the safety of their loved ones.
Just like the Americans supporting the War on Terror, IOW.
Oh, I thought you were still referring to the Americans. My bad.

I think that Islamists are motivated by religious intolerance coupled with the legitimate fear amongst their rulers that the economic prosperity enjoyed by a Domocracy (Israel) inspire their subjects to establish similar governments.
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Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
Condemning men who answer the Country's call to Hell? That's it bit steep, isn't it, George?
Yes, it is; and it's a controversial line. Remember, though, that I don't believe in an afterlife. The Hell I'm referring to is the one the soldiers found in Baghdad over the next decade.
What you believe and what beliefs you've expressed in the poem are two different things.
You cannot expect readers to know that you're an atheist and are only speaking about a metaphorical Hell (which, btw, would be written in lower case).
"“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell.” - William Tecumseh Sherman.
I guess the lack of comment means that Pigdragon found Sherman's "shrieks and groans too, not to mention his use of the word "vengeance", too cloying and Hallmarky.
What did you expect me to say? I'm sure that war is hell.
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That's 2 constructive suggestions from you, 2 more than I'd hoped for. Thank you for reading and commenting.
That's two that your wounded sense of pride allows you to accept. There is a lot more that you could take from my comments which would prove to your poem's benefit.
That just sounds like repeating yourself; you're supposed to have someone else from your team chime in with it about now.
I was actually repeating some of the wording of your statement, to better express my point.

This is not a "team" assault on your poem, George. You had asked for comment and criticism, and you have received comment and criticism.

I have answered you honestly, and without any ulterior motive (apart the obvious amusement of watching the little puffs of smoke coming out of your ears).

I have pulled no punches, nor have I "softened" the blow by adopting a conciliatory tone. I have told your why your poem failed to work for me, and have explained why it would similarly fail for anyone who pays it any degree of scrutiny.
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(Notice that even after the slurping you gave the "scholar" and "educator" NG, they couldn't be bothered to reciprocate?)
No reciprocation is expected.

This is a place of discussion, not a circle jerk.
George J. Dance
2019-02-11 12:02:49 UTC
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I'm not after satirical wit; this isn't a satire, a parody, or a comedy piece.
But you are attempting a satirical stance in the poems closing passages by contrasting the soldiers' "Ideas of March" (yuk! yuk!) with the maudlin images of weeping mothers and children, etc.
I admit that the sestet begins on a maudlin note: the mother's not just "weeping" but beside a "burnt hut", while the children are "ragged." Not cloying - these are just things the soldiers notice - but it's there in LL 9-10.
No, it's what you're specifically pointing out to the readers that the soldiers notice as they march with their dust-blinded "eyes forward" (consistency).
Not only are they "blind" to the suffering around them, but they don't even register it mentally, as you state that their only thought is of vengeance.
You are dragging out the weeping mother and homeless orphans to show the face of the innocent human victims (Cue "Hearts & Flowers") that the machine-like soldiers are destroying.
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Oh, yeah... lose the title.
The title's not the best part, but, as I said, the poem's been published.
So what? Poe revised his poetry for subsequent publications. I've revised several of my published poems as well.
You posted it here for comments and criticism, so you should be amenable to revision.
The title is... poorly chosen.
Punny titles should be limited to lite verse. And "Ideas of March" fails as a pun for the following reasons: 1) while it creates a loosely homonymic variation of an immediately recognizable line from "Julius Caesar," neither the play as a whole, nor the line alluded to have anything to do with the poem; and 2) while the phrase "Ideas of March" is incorrect English. A proper piece of wordplay should confine itself to proper grammar. No one says, "Hey, I have some ideas of march today, so I think I'll go out for a hike."
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the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Arrgh! matey -- they be sailin' off to settle an old score!
Many if not most of the Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq saw it as vengeance for 9/11. Maybe you're too young to remember all that, but it's not something to trivialize.
How young do you think I am, Gramps?
Sometimes I'm sure you're only 11. But your comments up above ("I was in New York City" etc.) tell me you not only understand what I said about vengeance being the motivator - you feel it yourself. So why were you making fun of the idea?
Then you need to go back and reread it. I am worried about there being other, similar attacks. I am worried about a bomb taking out the Lincoln Tunnel while I'm commuting through it, or about a terror cell opening fire in the middle of Times Square during my lunch break, or a hundred similar scenarios that I'm surprised haven't already happened a dozen time over. I'm worried about my wife's safety when she's taking a bus uptown to her dance classes. I'm worried about terrorist breaking into the Hebrew schools my children attend, or taking out my in-laws' Temple.
What I want is the peace and sense of security that existed before 9/11 -- and that will only be returned when the terrorists have been destroyed (whether through violence, education, or a combination of the same).
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I was 36-year old (almost 37) and working in Manhattan on the morning of 9/11.
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Bush got his war because Americans saw it as "vengeance" - fighting back - and therefore not aggression, but justice. "Just the thought of vengeance" (= the thought of vengeance is just) is what powers the war machine.
You're dead wrong.
There was a pervading sense of unreality that morning. We stared at the breaking news images on our computer screens in disbelief. We heard that the Pentagon had been hit as well and that a hi-jacked jet had crashed in Pennsylvania. Then came an announcement to abandon our building (a "landmark" and potential target). Electricity was soon shut off and television and internet were down. Everyone was massing in the streets, walking blindly forward with no destination -- as the tunnels had been closed. Some of people were covered from head to toe in gray dust from the mix of smoke, concrete and human ashes that permeated the air downtown. Military jets were zipping by overhead, and it felt like we'd just been transported back to London during the Blitz. Some people pulled battery operated radios out and people gathered around to listen to spurious reports and theories about how the next wave of the attack would be coming via a wave of car bombs both in the City and in the suburbs.
It felt like Armageddon. I didn't know if I'd ever see, or even get a chance to say "goodbye" over the phone to my family again -- or if they would soon be under attack as well.
I think people felt that way all over the continent, BTW. No one knew if there's be another strike, or where it would occur.
That's right.
And we still don't know if, when, or where the next strike will be.
So we need "war" so we'll be safe. As I said, that sounds like Orwellian double-speak, something a politician like John McCain would've said: But if it works on the people, it is a powerful way of getting the country behind a war: Make people believe those protesting the war, not the war itself, is the real threat.
Except that it isn't Orwellian double-speak, but Machiavellian political philosophy. If a foreign power poses a legitimate threat to your country, the surest way to end that threat is to eliminate the threatening party. Historical, we need only to look to the third Punic War and ask ourselves if Rome was ever bothered by Carthage again.
War will only end when *all* of the world's people receive a high enough level of education to question the religious and cultural myths that had been instilled in them in their formative years. Educating third world where women are denied a formal education and men are inculcated into the propagandist belief that it is sweet and fitting to die in the name of Mohammed, and where censorship blocks any opposing ideas from being voiced or heard, will certainly prove difficult, if not impossible.
Former President Bush had the right idea in overthrowing the existing regimes and replacing them with limited Democracies wherein the people could be brought up to the standard of 21st Century thought. However, the slave mentality has been so strongly inculcated in many of the Arabic people that it may take several generations to undo.
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The feelings of fear and utter helplessness that we felt that morning are what fueled the soldiers who served us in the war. Yes, we were angry, but vengeance was only a minor motivation. We wanted to make our homeland safe again -- to ensure that there would never be another day like 9/11.
As the Washington Post put it in a September 11 editorial: "The country responded [to the Pearl Harbor attack] without panic but with an iron determination to defend itself and punish the aggressors. The response today must be as decisive ..." - defense and punishment seen as not only equivalent, but part of a single "determination."
I'm not claiming to be a saint. I'd certainly relish the prospect of Iran, Iraq, Syria and their non-Jewish environs going up in a farmscape of mushroom clouds. But I'd also be almost as willing to coexist peacefully with them.
However, the defense of innocent Americans from homeland terrorist attacks was, and remains, the primary justification for the War on Terror.
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And as the cliche goes: "We didn't start it, but we will finish it." If "finishing it" meant keeping the country safe, that would be nonsense; that doesn't end. No, "finish it" is all about punishment - vengeance.
That was not our stance.
It is a popular slogan. I remember watching a video of a poet whose name escapes me: he was a famous baseball TV commentator, in St. Louis or something, who was brought back in to read his 9/11 poem before a game. He got good applause at the end, but the only applause that interrupted his speech was in response to that slogan which he'd put into the poem.
I'm unfamiliar with sports, and with the poem. I do know that sports events are not run by the Government.
Post by George J. Dance
I don't think anyone who wants a war is motivated only by their desire for peace and security; that anyone lacks a desire to punish the person who "punished" him first. That would be a saint, and, as you've admitted, Americans aren't saints. None of us are.
That's true. But the operative word in your statement is "only." People are complex beings and experience many, often conflicting, emotions and desires.
The operative word in my statement (quoted above) is "primary."
Our primary motive for the War on Terror is to eliminate the threat that terrorism poses to our lives, and to the lives of those we love. That I would also take extreme delight in torturing Islamist "Freedom Fighters" to death, would be icing on the cake -- and a desire that I would readily forego if it were deemed to America's advantage.
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Politically, my views correspond to those of Machiavelli. The primary duty of a monarch (or a President) is the safety of his people. How he achieves that safety will depend on the aggressiveness of his country's attackers. If ISIL were to sincerely extend an olive branch, I would accept it (albeit warily).
Just as I have always been open to accepting a sincere token of peace from both the Turd and yourself.
Good analogy: you say you just want peace, and that's all you're fighting for, but your slogans - "Dunce must die!" for example - bely your speeches.
Life isn't always so cut and dried as one would like.
As to your death, "the charm's wound up." Any wish to remove it at this point would prove dangerous (even deadly) to yours truly. We'll both just have to accept the fact that your death is immanent.
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Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
Ah! The introduction of cloying sentimentality -- how appropriate for the Hallmark Card version of an anti-war poem.
Mothers lose their children in wartime, and houses are burned - that's another unavoidable fact of war. I don't think it's too "cloying" or "sentimental" to at least mention it.
That depends on *how* it's introduced, and how openly the poet displays his heart on his sleeve.
The soldiers walk by them, see them, and look away - "eyes forward, not to note". No sentimentality - well, maybe a little, as I admitted - but not "too much."
Mothers and orphans, Dunce! Mothers and orphans! I'm surprised one of the soldiers didn't kick a dead puppy out of his path.
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by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
[who] gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
So we kill their fathers, which begets them killing our sons... which begets their sons killing the fathers of the ensuing generation... and war becomes a neverending vicious circle...
Yes. Why? Because the children are the same people as the soldiers, motivated by the same thing. War is an eternal tragedy, probably the most important one after that of death.
Except that American soldiers are *primarily* interested in making America safe again. And that by overthrowing Islamist regimes and reeducating the Arabic people along humanitarian lines we might stop the circle in its tracks.
Post by George J. Dance
I consider LL 11-12 the most important part of the poem, and L 12 the best line. It's an actual quote, BTW.
Time and Newsweek had reporters in Baghdad shortly after the capture: they were interviewing Iraqis, asking them what they thought of the invasion, and getting the same comments: We hated Saddam, thank you America for getting rid of him, blah, blah... But one of the reporters also asked a 12 year-old child, and L 12 is the child's answer.
Yes, that sounds familiar. Remember as well that this is the same culture that was proud to photograph their babies holding uzi's or wearing exploding vests; a culture where the highest thing a parent can wish for their child is that he die killing Infidels in the name of Allah.
And FWIW, the "Death to America" slogans were prevalent back in Khomeini's reign in the 1970s and 80s... long before any there were any weeping mothers and homeless orphans to cry "vengeance!"
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Given the 2003-2013 insurgency, I think the adults were dissembling while the child didn't know how to do that.
https://warsclerotic.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/rehana.png
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Sure; but it stretches back into the past as well as the future. The American soldiers killed the Muslim fathers because Muslim terrorists killed Americans in 9/11; Muslim terrorists killed Americans because Americans killed thousands in Iraq War I and the subsequent bombings of Baghdad; and so on in that direction.
Your opinion of Americans is insulting, Dunce.
I think they're essentially no different from Canadians, or anyone else in the world FTM. I understand that you might consider that insulting.
I should hope that in this regard, the majority of human beings held similar beliefs. What I find insulting is your depiction of Americans as vengeful savages.
If it's "savage", that's only in the sense that we're all savages. If someone fucks with me, I don't just want them to stop - I don't even want restitution for their fucking - I want to fuck them back. I'm not insulting myself by saying that.
We're savages if we allow the primitive desire for revenge to become our overriding emotion/motivation for war.
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"During the September 11 attacks of 2001, 2,996 people were killed (including the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured.[1][2] These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.[3][4] The attacks were the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941."
"When Bush entered the White House, the US (with help from the UK) was bombing Iraq an average of three times a week. In 1999, the US spent $1 billion dropping bombs in Iraq; in 2000, that number was up to $1.4 billion."
Tsk, tsk, tsk... this has nothing to do with your claim that America's primary motive is based on vengeance.
The causes of the various wars/military actions in the Middle are long and complex... however they can all be ultimately traced back to the Arab League's refusal to recognize the existence of Israel and their collective vow to destroy this "cancer" in their midst. Which stems from the religious intolerance inherent in the Islamic faith.
This is ultimately a religious war, and it will continue until education breaks the stranglehold of religious prejudice that infects the Islamist mind.
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9/11 did not start the cycle.
Of course not. But as your sports hero noted, it fueled America's desire to bring the cycle to an end.
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Yes, Michael; not something to joke about, as you were doing earlier with your "Ahhhr matey" schtick.
I was making fun of your word choice -- and letting you hear how it came across. Hopefully, you will correct that flaw as well.
Just / the cause of world peace to be theirs once more.
Nope.
No. The offending phrase is "to be theirs" which sounds archaic in a pirate-like way.
And while we're on the topic, "The thought of vengeance" is mildly redundant, with "thought of" being unnecessary filler.
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The war on terror is to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again.
You really think the wars in Iraq (3 times now), Libya, Syria, and now Yemen have made America safer than it was before then? I'd call you nuts, but that might sound like an IKYABWAI.
Safer, yes. As safe as we had been in the past, no.
However, when what are essentially third world countries are busy protecting themselves from an invasion, they have far less time and resources with which to conduct terrorist attacks.
So, yes -- I think that if there had been no War on Terror the death toll among American Civilians would have been astronomical at this point.
"War is peace" again.
No. Victory brings peace.
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"The current situation of Afghanistan is related to a big cause - that is the destruction of America," he added.
"The plan is going ahead and God willing it is being implemented, but it is a huge task beyond the will and comprehension of human beings. If God's help is with us this will happen within a short period of time.
"Keep in mind this prediction. This is not a matter of weapons. We are hopeful for God's help. The real matter is the extinction of America. And, God willing, it (America) will fall to the ground." -- Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, 11/15/2001
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1362463/Taliban-leader-vows-to-destroy-America.html
So there's religious zealots on both sides, backed by people who are convinced that "extinction" of the other side is the only way they'll ever have peace and security.
Not really. As per usual you've taken my statement to an unrealistic extreme in order to create a strawman to knock down.
First off, Americans are largely humanists who entertain a vaguely defined notion that there is a God and an Afterlife. They attend whatever church their parents did, if at all, for the social and communal feelings it affords.
Secondly, most Americans (especially the more religious ones) are namby-pamby bleeding hearts who spend their lives mewling and puking about world peace and universal harmony. They referred to the War on Terror as "Bush's War," and whined about the poor Palestinians as though they were closet terrorists.
I think the vast majority of Americans would support our withdrawing our troops from the Middle East entirely... and wonder what we've done to make the hate us the next time they strike.
As to my beliefs: they are that the threat to American safety must be eradicated. If that means genocide, so be it. *However,* I would prefer that we eradicate the barbaric ignorance that pervades throughout the Islamist countries and that we are able to educate the various Arab peoples so that they, too, will see the fallacy of *all* organized religions, and will adopt a humanistic approach to life.
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Like playing Tit for Tat.
Like the Hatfields and McCoys. No bad guys, no evil empire or race - only people motivated by the same idea: getting revenge is getting justice.
You're clueless.
Yet you're the one who thinks invading other countries makes the U.S. safer: "War is peace," and all that. (BTW, do you know what book that slogan came from?)
Yes, I've read Orwell.
I'm also aware of "Peace Is Our Profession" from "Dr. Strangelove."
I'm not.
You haven't seen "Dr. Strangelove???"
https://sites.google.com/a/depauw.edu/dr-strangelove/historical-context
Yes, Pedodragon, I've heard of the movie, what it's about, and that it's a 2-dimensional cartoon (even with the live actors). And as someone who experienced the "historical context" first-hand, I don't need to hear about that, either.
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However, when the enemy is crashing jet planes filled with American passengers into American buildings and the Pentagon, there are only two options: Fight or wait in fear for the next attack... and the next... and the next... and the next...
So what is the only option when the "enemy" is dropping bombs on buildings full of your people "three times a week"?
That would depend on who one's enemy is, how powerful one's enemy is, and why one's enemy has seen fit to drop the bombs.
But you'd just leap to conclusions about all that, just as you did with 9/11, wouldn't you?
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In the case of a Super Power dropping bombs a a Third World Stinkhole, I would say that the best course of action would be unconditional surrender.
So you're not even thinking about the "enemy" bombing you; You're just imagining yourself bombing them. No wonder you thought of "unconditional surrender" in that case.
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To get back to the poem: I don't see the "children" as any different from the soldiers, in motivation. That's the only message in the poem (and of course it's one you disagree with): they're the same.
I understand your point; and I think it's a cliché.
While I think yours is a caricature, or cartoon, of reality. Whatever.
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The Islamic terrorists have sworn a "jihad" against American, and boasting of our immanent "extermination." This isn't about vengeance or justice: it's a matter of survival.
And what do you think they're motivated by?
Fear for themselves. Fear for the safety of their loved ones.
Just like the Americans supporting the War on Terror, IOW.
Oh, I thought you were still referring to the Americans.
Then you're confused again. I clearly asked you what you thought the "Islamic" side was motivated by.
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I think that Islamists are motivated by religious intolerance coupled with the legitimate fear amongst their rulers that the economic prosperity enjoyed by a Domocracy (Israel) inspire their subjects to establish similar governments.
I'm sure there *are* Islamists on that side motivated by hate and destruction, just as there are Christianists on the other motivated by the same. But it's not a popular message, as you've noted wrt Americans. If you're going to recruit, it's far better to appeal to "Fear for themselves" and "Fear for the safety of their loved ones."
Michael Pendragon
2019-02-11 15:26:25 UTC
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You haven't seen "Dr. Strangelove???"
https://sites.google.com/a/depauw.edu/dr-strangelove/historical-context
Yes, Pedodragon, I've heard of the movie, what it's about, and that it's a 2-dimensional cartoon (even with the live actors). And as someone who experienced the "historical context" first-hand, I don't need to hear about that, either.
It's a justly celebrated cinematic masterpiece which you missed my reference to.
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Post by Michael Pendragon
However, when the enemy is crashing jet planes filled with American passengers into American buildings and the Pentagon, there are only two options: Fight or wait in fear for the next attack... and the next... and the next... and the next...
So what is the only option when the "enemy" is dropping bombs on buildings full of your people "three times a week"?
That would depend on who one's enemy is, how powerful one's enemy is, and why one's enemy has seen fit to drop the bombs.
But you'd just leap to conclusions about all that, just as you did with 9/11, wouldn't you?
I just said that it would be dependent upon circumstance. You really do need to brush up on your reading comprehension, Dunce.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Coco DeSockmonkey
In the case of a Super Power dropping bombs a a Third World Stinkhole, I would say that the best course of action would be unconditional surrender.
So you're not even thinking about the "enemy" bombing you; You're just imagining yourself bombing them. No wonder you thought of "unconditional surrender" in that case.
Why do you presuppose so much, Dunce?

Were I living in a third-world stinkhole and being bombed by a superpower, I would advocate that my country's potentate surrender unconditionally ASAP.
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Post by Coco DeSockmonkey
Post by George J. Dance
To get back to the poem: I don't see the "children" as any different from the soldiers, in motivation. That's the only message in the poem (and of course it's one you disagree with): they're the same.
I understand your point; and I think it's a cliché.
While I think yours is a caricature, or cartoon, of reality. Whatever.
You were the one posting your poem here for C&C. I have provided both. Nor all your whininess nor "wit" shall lure be back to cancel half a line.
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Post by Michael Pendragon
The Islamic terrorists have sworn a "jihad" against American, and boasting of our immanent "extermination." This isn't about vengeance or justice: it's a matter of survival.
And what do you think they're motivated by?
Fear for themselves. Fear for the safety of their loved ones.
Just like the Americans supporting the War on Terror, IOW.
Oh, I thought you were still referring to the Americans.
Then you're confused again. I clearly asked you what you thought the "Islamic" side was motivated by.
Clear to you; not clear to me. No matter.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Coco DeSockmonkey
I think that Islamists are motivated by religious intolerance coupled with the legitimate fear amongst their rulers that the economic prosperity enjoyed by a Domocracy (Israel) inspire their subjects to establish similar governments.
I'm sure there *are* Islamists on that side motivated by hate and destruction, just as there are Christianists on the other motivated by the same. But it's not a popular message, as you've noted wrt Americans. If you're going to recruit, it's far better to appeal to "Fear for themselves" and "Fear for the safety of their loved ones."
I'm not going to recruit anyone, Dunce.

And as to the issue of fear for oneself and one's loved ones, the government didn't have to say a word to bring this about. I was in New York City on 9-11. I experienced the fear independently of any government "propaganda."

Your having seen reports on the television is far removed from having actually been there. You can never know what those of us who were caught in it experienced.
Zod
2019-02-12 00:42:01 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
I'm not after satirical wit; this isn't a satire, a parody, or a comedy piece.
But you are attempting a satirical stance in the poems closing passages by contrasting the soldiers' "Ideas of March" (yuk! yuk!) with the maudlin images of weeping mothers and children, etc.
I admit that the sestet begins on a maudlin note: the mother's not just "weeping" but beside a "burnt hut", while the children are "ragged." Not cloying - these are just things the soldiers notice - but it's there in LL 9-10.
No, it's what you're specifically pointing out to the readers that the soldiers notice as they march with their dust-blinded "eyes forward" (consistency).
Not only are they "blind" to the suffering around them, but they don't even register it mentally, as you state that their only thought is of vengeance.
You are dragging out the weeping mother and homeless orphans to show the face of the innocent human victims (Cue "Hearts & Flowers") that the machine-like soldiers are destroying.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Oh, yeah... lose the title.
The title's not the best part, but, as I said, the poem's been published.
So what? Poe revised his poetry for subsequent publications. I've revised several of my published poems as well.
You posted it here for comments and criticism, so you should be amenable to revision.
The title is... poorly chosen.
Punny titles should be limited to lite verse. And "Ideas of March" fails as a pun for the following reasons: 1) while it creates a loosely homonymic variation of an immediately recognizable line from "Julius Caesar," neither the play as a whole, nor the line alluded to have anything to do with the poem; and 2) while the phrase "Ideas of March" is incorrect English. A proper piece of wordplay should confine itself to proper grammar. No one says, "Hey, I have some ideas of march today, so I think I'll go out for a hike."
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the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Arrgh! matey -- they be sailin' off to settle an old score!
Many if not most of the Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq saw it as vengeance for 9/11. Maybe you're too young to remember all that, but it's not something to trivialize.
How young do you think I am, Gramps?
Sometimes I'm sure you're only 11. But your comments up above ("I was in New York City" etc.) tell me you not only understand what I said about vengeance being the motivator - you feel it yourself. So why were you making fun of the idea?
Then you need to go back and reread it. I am worried about there being other, similar attacks. I am worried about a bomb taking out the Lincoln Tunnel while I'm commuting through it, or about a terror cell opening fire in the middle of Times Square during my lunch break, or a hundred similar scenarios that I'm surprised haven't already happened a dozen time over. I'm worried about my wife's safety when she's taking a bus uptown to her dance classes. I'm worried about terrorist breaking into the Hebrew schools my children attend, or taking out my in-laws' Temple.
What I want is the peace and sense of security that existed before 9/11 -- and that will only be returned when the terrorists have been destroyed (whether through violence, education, or a combination of the same).
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
I was 36-year old (almost 37) and working in Manhattan on the morning of 9/11.
Post by George J. Dance
Bush got his war because Americans saw it as "vengeance" - fighting back - and therefore not aggression, but justice. "Just the thought of vengeance" (= the thought of vengeance is just) is what powers the war machine.
You're dead wrong.
There was a pervading sense of unreality that morning. We stared at the breaking news images on our computer screens in disbelief. We heard that the Pentagon had been hit as well and that a hi-jacked jet had crashed in Pennsylvania. Then came an announcement to abandon our building (a "landmark" and potential target). Electricity was soon shut off and television and internet were down. Everyone was massing in the streets, walking blindly forward with no destination -- as the tunnels had been closed. Some of people were covered from head to toe in gray dust from the mix of smoke, concrete and human ashes that permeated the air downtown. Military jets were zipping by overhead, and it felt like we'd just been transported back to London during the Blitz. Some people pulled battery operated radios out and people gathered around to listen to spurious reports and theories about how the next wave of the attack would be coming via a wave of car bombs both in the City and in the suburbs.
It felt like Armageddon. I didn't know if I'd ever see, or even get a chance to say "goodbye" over the phone to my family again -- or if they would soon be under attack as well.
I think people felt that way all over the continent, BTW. No one knew if there's be another strike, or where it would occur.
That's right.
And we still don't know if, when, or where the next strike will be.
So we need "war" so we'll be safe. As I said, that sounds like Orwellian double-speak, something a politician like John McCain would've said: But if it works on the people, it is a powerful way of getting the country behind a war: Make people believe those protesting the war, not the war itself, is the real threat.
Except that it isn't Orwellian double-speak, but Machiavellian political philosophy. If a foreign power poses a legitimate threat to your country, the surest way to end that threat is to eliminate the threatening party. Historical, we need only to look to the third Punic War and ask ourselves if Rome was ever bothered by Carthage again.
War will only end when *all* of the world's people receive a high enough level of education to question the religious and cultural myths that had been instilled in them in their formative years. Educating third world where women are denied a formal education and men are inculcated into the propagandist belief that it is sweet and fitting to die in the name of Mohammed, and where censorship blocks any opposing ideas from being voiced or heard, will certainly prove difficult, if not impossible.
Former President Bush had the right idea in overthrowing the existing regimes and replacing them with limited Democracies wherein the people could be brought up to the standard of 21st Century thought. However, the slave mentality has been so strongly inculcated in many of the Arabic people that it may take several generations to undo.
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Post by Michael Pendragon
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The feelings of fear and utter helplessness that we felt that morning are what fueled the soldiers who served us in the war. Yes, we were angry, but vengeance was only a minor motivation. We wanted to make our homeland safe again -- to ensure that there would never be another day like 9/11.
As the Washington Post put it in a September 11 editorial: "The country responded [to the Pearl Harbor attack] without panic but with an iron determination to defend itself and punish the aggressors. The response today must be as decisive ..." - defense and punishment seen as not only equivalent, but part of a single "determination."
I'm not claiming to be a saint. I'd certainly relish the prospect of Iran, Iraq, Syria and their non-Jewish environs going up in a farmscape of mushroom clouds. But I'd also be almost as willing to coexist peacefully with them.
However, the defense of innocent Americans from homeland terrorist attacks was, and remains, the primary justification for the War on Terror.
Post by George J. Dance
And as the cliche goes: "We didn't start it, but we will finish it." If "finishing it" meant keeping the country safe, that would be nonsense; that doesn't end. No, "finish it" is all about punishment - vengeance.
That was not our stance.
It is a popular slogan. I remember watching a video of a poet whose name escapes me: he was a famous baseball TV commentator, in St. Louis or something, who was brought back in to read his 9/11 poem before a game. He got good applause at the end, but the only applause that interrupted his speech was in response to that slogan which he'd put into the poem.
I'm unfamiliar with sports, and with the poem. I do know that sports events are not run by the Government.
Post by George J. Dance
I don't think anyone who wants a war is motivated only by their desire for peace and security; that anyone lacks a desire to punish the person who "punished" him first. That would be a saint, and, as you've admitted, Americans aren't saints. None of us are.
That's true. But the operative word in your statement is "only." People are complex beings and experience many, often conflicting, emotions and desires.
The operative word in my statement (quoted above) is "primary."
Our primary motive for the War on Terror is to eliminate the threat that terrorism poses to our lives, and to the lives of those we love. That I would also take extreme delight in torturing Islamist "Freedom Fighters" to death, would be icing on the cake -- and a desire that I would readily forego if it were deemed to America's advantage.
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Post by Michael Pendragon
Politically, my views correspond to those of Machiavelli. The primary duty of a monarch (or a President) is the safety of his people. How he achieves that safety will depend on the aggressiveness of his country's attackers. If ISIL were to sincerely extend an olive branch, I would accept it (albeit warily).
Just as I have always been open to accepting a sincere token of peace from both the Turd and yourself.
Good analogy: you say you just want peace, and that's all you're fighting for, but your slogans - "Dunce must die!" for example - bely your speeches.
Life isn't always so cut and dried as one would like.
As to your death, "the charm's wound up." Any wish to remove it at this point would prove dangerous (even deadly) to yours truly. We'll both just have to accept the fact that your death is immanent.
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Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
Ah! The introduction of cloying sentimentality -- how appropriate for the Hallmark Card version of an anti-war poem.
Mothers lose their children in wartime, and houses are burned - that's another unavoidable fact of war. I don't think it's too "cloying" or "sentimental" to at least mention it.
That depends on *how* it's introduced, and how openly the poet displays his heart on his sleeve.
The soldiers walk by them, see them, and look away - "eyes forward, not to note". No sentimentality - well, maybe a little, as I admitted - but not "too much."
Mothers and orphans, Dunce! Mothers and orphans! I'm surprised one of the soldiers didn't kick a dead puppy out of his path.
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by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
[who] gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
So we kill their fathers, which begets them killing our sons... which begets their sons killing the fathers of the ensuing generation... and war becomes a neverending vicious circle...
Yes. Why? Because the children are the same people as the soldiers, motivated by the same thing. War is an eternal tragedy, probably the most important one after that of death.
Except that American soldiers are *primarily* interested in making America safe again. And that by overthrowing Islamist regimes and reeducating the Arabic people along humanitarian lines we might stop the circle in its tracks.
Post by George J. Dance
I consider LL 11-12 the most important part of the poem, and L 12 the best line. It's an actual quote, BTW.
Time and Newsweek had reporters in Baghdad shortly after the capture: they were interviewing Iraqis, asking them what they thought of the invasion, and getting the same comments: We hated Saddam, thank you America for getting rid of him, blah, blah... But one of the reporters also asked a 12 year-old child, and L 12 is the child's answer.
Yes, that sounds familiar. Remember as well that this is the same culture that was proud to photograph their babies holding uzi's or wearing exploding vests; a culture where the highest thing a parent can wish for their child is that he die killing Infidels in the name of Allah.
And FWIW, the "Death to America" slogans were prevalent back in Khomeini's reign in the 1970s and 80s... long before any there were any weeping mothers and homeless orphans to cry "vengeance!"
Post by George J. Dance
Given the 2003-2013 insurgency, I think the adults were dissembling while the child didn't know how to do that.
https://warsclerotic.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/rehana.png
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Sure; but it stretches back into the past as well as the future. The American soldiers killed the Muslim fathers because Muslim terrorists killed Americans in 9/11; Muslim terrorists killed Americans because Americans killed thousands in Iraq War I and the subsequent bombings of Baghdad; and so on in that direction.
Your opinion of Americans is insulting, Dunce.
I think they're essentially no different from Canadians, or anyone else in the world FTM. I understand that you might consider that insulting.
I should hope that in this regard, the majority of human beings held similar beliefs. What I find insulting is your depiction of Americans as vengeful savages.
If it's "savage", that's only in the sense that we're all savages. If someone fucks with me, I don't just want them to stop - I don't even want restitution for their fucking - I want to fuck them back. I'm not insulting myself by saying that.
We're savages if we allow the primitive desire for revenge to become our overriding emotion/motivation for war.
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"During the September 11 attacks of 2001, 2,996 people were killed (including the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured.[1][2] These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.[3][4] The attacks were the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941."
"When Bush entered the White House, the US (with help from the UK) was bombing Iraq an average of three times a week. In 1999, the US spent $1 billion dropping bombs in Iraq; in 2000, that number was up to $1.4 billion."
Tsk, tsk, tsk... this has nothing to do with your claim that America's primary motive is based on vengeance.
The causes of the various wars/military actions in the Middle are long and complex... however they can all be ultimately traced back to the Arab League's refusal to recognize the existence of Israel and their collective vow to destroy this "cancer" in their midst. Which stems from the religious intolerance inherent in the Islamic faith.
This is ultimately a religious war, and it will continue until education breaks the stranglehold of religious prejudice that infects the Islamist mind.
Post by George J. Dance
9/11 did not start the cycle.
Of course not. But as your sports hero noted, it fueled America's desire to bring the cycle to an end.
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Yes, Michael; not something to joke about, as you were doing earlier with your "Ahhhr matey" schtick.
I was making fun of your word choice -- and letting you hear how it came across. Hopefully, you will correct that flaw as well.
Just / the cause of world peace to be theirs once more.
Nope.
No. The offending phrase is "to be theirs" which sounds archaic in a pirate-like way.
And while we're on the topic, "The thought of vengeance" is mildly redundant, with "thought of" being unnecessary filler.
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The war on terror is to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again.
You really think the wars in Iraq (3 times now), Libya, Syria, and now Yemen have made America safer than it was before then? I'd call you nuts, but that might sound like an IKYABWAI.
Safer, yes. As safe as we had been in the past, no.
However, when what are essentially third world countries are busy protecting themselves from an invasion, they have far less time and resources with which to conduct terrorist attacks.
So, yes -- I think that if there had been no War on Terror the death toll among American Civilians would have been astronomical at this point.
"War is peace" again.
No. Victory brings peace.
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
"The current situation of Afghanistan is related to a big cause - that is the destruction of America," he added.
"The plan is going ahead and God willing it is being implemented, but it is a huge task beyond the will and comprehension of human beings. If God's help is with us this will happen within a short period of time.
"Keep in mind this prediction. This is not a matter of weapons. We are hopeful for God's help. The real matter is the extinction of America. And, God willing, it (America) will fall to the ground." -- Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, 11/15/2001
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1362463/Taliban-leader-vows-to-destroy-America.html
So there's religious zealots on both sides, backed by people who are convinced that "extinction" of the other side is the only way they'll ever have peace and security.
Not really. As per usual you've taken my statement to an unrealistic extreme in order to create a strawman to knock down.
First off, Americans are largely humanists who entertain a vaguely defined notion that there is a God and an Afterlife. They attend whatever church their parents did, if at all, for the social and communal feelings it affords.
Secondly, most Americans (especially the more religious ones) are namby-pamby bleeding hearts who spend their lives mewling and puking about world peace and universal harmony. They referred to the War on Terror as "Bush's War," and whined about the poor Palestinians as though they were closet terrorists.
I think the vast majority of Americans would support our withdrawing our troops from the Middle East entirely... and wonder what we've done to make the hate us the next time they strike.
As to my beliefs: they are that the threat to American safety must be eradicated. If that means genocide, so be it. *However,* I would prefer that we eradicate the barbaric ignorance that pervades throughout the Islamist countries and that we are able to educate the various Arab peoples so that they, too, will see the fallacy of *all* organized religions, and will adopt a humanistic approach to life.
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Like playing Tit for Tat.
Like the Hatfields and McCoys. No bad guys, no evil empire or race - only people motivated by the same idea: getting revenge is getting justice.
You're clueless.
Yet you're the one who thinks invading other countries makes the U.S. safer: "War is peace," and all that. (BTW, do you know what book that slogan came from?)
Yes, I've read Orwell.
I'm also aware of "Peace Is Our Profession" from "Dr. Strangelove."
I'm not.
You haven't seen "Dr. Strangelove???"
https://sites.google.com/a/depauw.edu/dr-strangelove/historical-context
Yes, Pedodragon, I've heard of the movie, what it's about, and that it's a 2-dimensional cartoon (even with the live actors). And as someone who experienced the "historical context" first-hand, I don't need to hear about that, either.
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Post by Michael Pendragon
However, when the enemy is crashing jet planes filled with American passengers into American buildings and the Pentagon, there are only two options: Fight or wait in fear for the next attack... and the next... and the next... and the next...
So what is the only option when the "enemy" is dropping bombs on buildings full of your people "three times a week"?
That would depend on who one's enemy is, how powerful one's enemy is, and why one's enemy has seen fit to drop the bombs.
But you'd just leap to conclusions about all that, just as you did with 9/11, wouldn't you?
Post by Coco DeSockmonkey
In the case of a Super Power dropping bombs a a Third World Stinkhole, I would say that the best course of action would be unconditional surrender.
So you're not even thinking about the "enemy" bombing you; You're just imagining yourself bombing them. No wonder you thought of "unconditional surrender" in that case.
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Post by George J. Dance
To get back to the poem: I don't see the "children" as any different from the soldiers, in motivation. That's the only message in the poem (and of course it's one you disagree with): they're the same.
I understand your point; and I think it's a cliché.
While I think yours is a caricature, or cartoon, of reality. Whatever.
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The Islamic terrorists have sworn a "jihad" against American, and boasting of our immanent "extermination." This isn't about vengeance or justice: it's a matter of survival.
And what do you think they're motivated by?
Fear for themselves. Fear for the safety of their loved ones.
Just like the Americans supporting the War on Terror, IOW.
Oh, I thought you were still referring to the Americans.
Then you're confused again. I clearly asked you what you thought the "Islamic" side was motivated by.
Post by Coco DeSockmonkey
I think that Islamists are motivated by religious intolerance coupled with the legitimate fear amongst their rulers that the economic prosperity enjoyed by a Domocracy (Israel) inspire their subjects to establish similar governments.
I'm sure there *are* Islamists on that side motivated by hate and destruction, just as there are Christianists on the other motivated by the same. But it's not a popular message, as you've noted wrt Americans. If you're going to recruit, it's far better to appeal to "Fear for themselves" and "Fear for the safety of their loved ones."
Interesting....
r***@gmail.com
2019-03-05 16:30:58 UTC
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I'm not after satirical wit; this isn't a satire, a parody, or a comedy piece.
But you are attempting a satirical stance in the poems closing passages by contrasting the soldiers' "Ideas of March" (yuk! yuk!) with the maudlin images of weeping mothers and children, etc.
I admit that the sestet begins on a maudlin note: the mother's not just "weeping" but beside a "burnt hut", while the children are "ragged." Not cloying - these are just things the soldiers notice - but it's there in LL 9-10.
No, it's what you're specifically pointing out to the readers that the soldiers notice as they march with their dust-blinded "eyes forward" (consistency).
Not only are they "blind" to the suffering around them, but they don't even register it mentally, as you state that their only thought is of vengeance.
You are dragging out the weeping mother and homeless orphans to show the face of the innocent human victims (Cue "Hearts & Flowers") that the machine-like soldiers are destroying.
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Post by Michael Pendragon
Oh, yeah... lose the title.
The title's not the best part, but, as I said, the poem's been published.
So what? Poe revised his poetry for subsequent publications. I've revised several of my published poems as well.
You posted it here for comments and criticism, so you should be amenable to revision.
The title is... poorly chosen.
Punny titles should be limited to lite verse. And "Ideas of March" fails as a pun for the following reasons: 1) while it creates a loosely homonymic variation of an immediately recognizable line from "Julius Caesar," neither the play as a whole, nor the line alluded to have anything to do with the poem; and 2) while the phrase "Ideas of March" is incorrect English. A proper piece of wordplay should confine itself to proper grammar. No one says, "Hey, I have some ideas of march today, so I think I'll go out for a hike."
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the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Arrgh! matey -- they be sailin' off to settle an old score!
Many if not most of the Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq saw it as vengeance for 9/11. Maybe you're too young to remember all that, but it's not something to trivialize.
How young do you think I am, Gramps?
Sometimes I'm sure you're only 11. But your comments up above ("I was in New York City" etc.) tell me you not only understand what I said about vengeance being the motivator - you feel it yourself. So why were you making fun of the idea?
Then you need to go back and reread it. I am worried about there being other, similar attacks. I am worried about a bomb taking out the Lincoln Tunnel while I'm commuting through it, or about a terror cell opening fire in the middle of Times Square during my lunch break, or a hundred similar scenarios that I'm surprised haven't already happened a dozen time over. I'm worried about my wife's safety when she's taking a bus uptown to her dance classes. I'm worried about terrorist breaking into the Hebrew schools my children attend, or taking out my in-laws' Temple.
What I want is the peace and sense of security that existed before 9/11 -- and that will only be returned when the terrorists have been destroyed (whether through violence, education, or a combination of the same).
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Post by Michael Pendragon
I was 36-year old (almost 37) and working in Manhattan on the morning of 9/11.
Post by George J. Dance
Bush got his war because Americans saw it as "vengeance" - fighting back - and therefore not aggression, but justice. "Just the thought of vengeance" (= the thought of vengeance is just) is what powers the war machine.
You're dead wrong.
There was a pervading sense of unreality that morning. We stared at the breaking news images on our computer screens in disbelief. We heard that the Pentagon had been hit as well and that a hi-jacked jet had crashed in Pennsylvania. Then came an announcement to abandon our building (a "landmark" and potential target). Electricity was soon shut off and television and internet were down. Everyone was massing in the streets, walking blindly forward with no destination -- as the tunnels had been closed. Some of people were covered from head to toe in gray dust from the mix of smoke, concrete and human ashes that permeated the air downtown. Military jets were zipping by overhead, and it felt like we'd just been transported back to London during the Blitz. Some people pulled battery operated radios out and people gathered around to listen to spurious reports and theories about how the next wave of the attack would be coming via a wave of car bombs both in the City and in the suburbs.
It felt like Armageddon. I didn't know if I'd ever see, or even get a chance to say "goodbye" over the phone to my family again -- or if they would soon be under attack as well.
I think people felt that way all over the continent, BTW. No one knew if there's be another strike, or where it would occur.
That's right.
And we still don't know if, when, or where the next strike will be.
So we need "war" so we'll be safe. As I said, that sounds like Orwellian double-speak, something a politician like John McCain would've said: But if it works on the people, it is a powerful way of getting the country behind a war: Make people believe those protesting the war, not the war itself, is the real threat.
Except that it isn't Orwellian double-speak, but Machiavellian political philosophy. If a foreign power poses a legitimate threat to your country, the surest way to end that threat is to eliminate the threatening party. Historical, we need only to look to the third Punic War and ask ourselves if Rome was ever bothered by Carthage again.
War will only end when *all* of the world's people receive a high enough level of education to question the religious and cultural myths that had been instilled in them in their formative years. Educating third world where women are denied a formal education and men are inculcated into the propagandist belief that it is sweet and fitting to die in the name of Mohammed, and where censorship blocks any opposing ideas from being voiced or heard, will certainly prove difficult, if not impossible.
Former President Bush had the right idea in overthrowing the existing regimes and replacing them with limited Democracies wherein the people could be brought up to the standard of 21st Century thought. However, the slave mentality has been so strongly inculcated in many of the Arabic people that it may take several generations to undo.
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The feelings of fear and utter helplessness that we felt that morning are what fueled the soldiers who served us in the war. Yes, we were angry, but vengeance was only a minor motivation. We wanted to make our homeland safe again -- to ensure that there would never be another day like 9/11.
As the Washington Post put it in a September 11 editorial: "The country responded [to the Pearl Harbor attack] without panic but with an iron determination to defend itself and punish the aggressors. The response today must be as decisive ..." - defense and punishment seen as not only equivalent, but part of a single "determination."
I'm not claiming to be a saint. I'd certainly relish the prospect of Iran, Iraq, Syria and their non-Jewish environs going up in a farmscape of mushroom clouds. But I'd also be almost as willing to coexist peacefully with them.
However, the defense of innocent Americans from homeland terrorist attacks was, and remains, the primary justification for the War on Terror.
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And as the cliche goes: "We didn't start it, but we will finish it." If "finishing it" meant keeping the country safe, that would be nonsense; that doesn't end. No, "finish it" is all about punishment - vengeance.
That was not our stance.
It is a popular slogan. I remember watching a video of a poet whose name escapes me: he was a famous baseball TV commentator, in St. Louis or something, who was brought back in to read his 9/11 poem before a game. He got good applause at the end, but the only applause that interrupted his speech was in response to that slogan which he'd put into the poem.
I'm unfamiliar with sports, and with the poem. I do know that sports events are not run by the Government.
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I don't think anyone who wants a war is motivated only by their desire for peace and security; that anyone lacks a desire to punish the person who "punished" him first. That would be a saint, and, as you've admitted, Americans aren't saints. None of us are.
That's true. But the operative word in your statement is "only." People are complex beings and experience many, often conflicting, emotions and desires.
The operative word in my statement (quoted above) is "primary."
Our primary motive for the War on Terror is to eliminate the threat that terrorism poses to our lives, and to the lives of those we love. That I would also take extreme delight in torturing Islamist "Freedom Fighters" to death, would be icing on the cake -- and a desire that I would readily forego if it were deemed to America's advantage.
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Politically, my views correspond to those of Machiavelli. The primary duty of a monarch (or a President) is the safety of his people. How he achieves that safety will depend on the aggressiveness of his country's attackers. If ISIL were to sincerely extend an olive branch, I would accept it (albeit warily).
Just as I have always been open to accepting a sincere token of peace from both the Turd and yourself.
Good analogy: you say you just want peace, and that's all you're fighting for, but your slogans - "Dunce must die!" for example - bely your speeches.
Life isn't always so cut and dried as one would like.
As to your death, "the charm's wound up." Any wish to remove it at this point would prove dangerous (even deadly) to yours truly. We'll both just have to accept the fact that your death is immanent.
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Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
Ah! The introduction of cloying sentimentality -- how appropriate for the Hallmark Card version of an anti-war poem.
Mothers lose their children in wartime, and houses are burned - that's another unavoidable fact of war. I don't think it's too "cloying" or "sentimental" to at least mention it.
That depends on *how* it's introduced, and how openly the poet displays his heart on his sleeve.
The soldiers walk by them, see them, and look away - "eyes forward, not to note". No sentimentality - well, maybe a little, as I admitted - but not "too much."
Mothers and orphans, Dunce! Mothers and orphans! I'm surprised one of the soldiers didn't kick a dead puppy out of his path.
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by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
[who] gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
So we kill their fathers, which begets them killing our sons... which begets their sons killing the fathers of the ensuing generation... and war becomes a neverending vicious circle...
Yes. Why? Because the children are the same people as the soldiers, motivated by the same thing. War is an eternal tragedy, probably the most important one after that of death.
Except that American soldiers are *primarily* interested in making America safe again. And that by overthrowing Islamist regimes and reeducating the Arabic people along humanitarian lines we might stop the circle in its tracks.
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I consider LL 11-12 the most important part of the poem, and L 12 the best line. It's an actual quote, BTW.
Time and Newsweek had reporters in Baghdad shortly after the capture: they were interviewing Iraqis, asking them what they thought of the invasion, and getting the same comments: We hated Saddam, thank you America for getting rid of him, blah, blah... But one of the reporters also asked a 12 year-old child, and L 12 is the child's answer.
Yes, that sounds familiar. Remember as well that this is the same culture that was proud to photograph their babies holding uzi's or wearing exploding vests; a culture where the highest thing a parent can wish for their child is that he die killing Infidels in the name of Allah.
And FWIW, the "Death to America" slogans were prevalent back in Khomeini's reign in the 1970s and 80s... long before any there were any weeping mothers and homeless orphans to cry "vengeance!"
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Given the 2003-2013 insurgency, I think the adults were dissembling while the child didn't know how to do that.
https://warsclerotic.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/rehana.png
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Sure; but it stretches back into the past as well as the future. The American soldiers killed the Muslim fathers because Muslim terrorists killed Americans in 9/11; Muslim terrorists killed Americans because Americans killed thousands in Iraq War I and the subsequent bombings of Baghdad; and so on in that direction.
Your opinion of Americans is insulting, Dunce.
I think they're essentially no different from Canadians, or anyone else in the world FTM. I understand that you might consider that insulting.
I should hope that in this regard, the majority of human beings held similar beliefs. What I find insulting is your depiction of Americans as vengeful savages.
If it's "savage", that's only in the sense that we're all savages. If someone fucks with me, I don't just want them to stop - I don't even want restitution for their fucking - I want to fuck them back. I'm not insulting myself by saying that.
We're savages if we allow the primitive desire for revenge to become our overriding emotion/motivation for war.
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"During the September 11 attacks of 2001, 2,996 people were killed (including the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured.[1][2] These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.[3][4] The attacks were the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941."
"When Bush entered the White House, the US (with help from the UK) was bombing Iraq an average of three times a week. In 1999, the US spent $1 billion dropping bombs in Iraq; in 2000, that number was up to $1.4 billion."
Tsk, tsk, tsk... this has nothing to do with your claim that America's primary motive is based on vengeance.
The causes of the various wars/military actions in the Middle are long and complex... however they can all be ultimately traced back to the Arab League's refusal to recognize the existence of Israel and their collective vow to destroy this "cancer" in their midst. Which stems from the religious intolerance inherent in the Islamic faith.
This is ultimately a religious war, and it will continue until education breaks the stranglehold of religious prejudice that infects the Islamist mind.
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9/11 did not start the cycle.
Of course not. But as your sports hero noted, it fueled America's desire to bring the cycle to an end.
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Yes, Michael; not something to joke about, as you were doing earlier with your "Ahhhr matey" schtick.
I was making fun of your word choice -- and letting you hear how it came across. Hopefully, you will correct that flaw as well.
Just / the cause of world peace to be theirs once more.
Nope.
No. The offending phrase is "to be theirs" which sounds archaic in a pirate-like way.
And while we're on the topic, "The thought of vengeance" is mildly redundant, with "thought of" being unnecessary filler.
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The war on terror is to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again.
You really think the wars in Iraq (3 times now), Libya, Syria, and now Yemen have made America safer than it was before then? I'd call you nuts, but that might sound like an IKYABWAI.
Safer, yes. As safe as we had been in the past, no.
However, when what are essentially third world countries are busy protecting themselves from an invasion, they have far less time and resources with which to conduct terrorist attacks.
So, yes -- I think that if there had been no War on Terror the death toll among American Civilians would have been astronomical at this point.
"War is peace" again.
No. Victory brings peace.
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"The current situation of Afghanistan is related to a big cause - that is the destruction of America," he added.
"The plan is going ahead and God willing it is being implemented, but it is a huge task beyond the will and comprehension of human beings. If God's help is with us this will happen within a short period of time.
"Keep in mind this prediction. This is not a matter of weapons. We are hopeful for God's help. The real matter is the extinction of America. And, God willing, it (America) will fall to the ground." -- Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, 11/15/2001
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1362463/Taliban-leader-vows-to-destroy-America.html
So there's religious zealots on both sides, backed by people who are convinced that "extinction" of the other side is the only way they'll ever have peace and security.
Not really. As per usual you've taken my statement to an unrealistic extreme in order to create a strawman to knock down.
First off, Americans are largely humanists who entertain a vaguely defined notion that there is a God and an Afterlife. They attend whatever church their parents did, if at all, for the social and communal feelings it affords.
Secondly, most Americans (especially the more religious ones) are namby-pamby bleeding hearts who spend their lives mewling and puking about world peace and universal harmony. They referred to the War on Terror as "Bush's War," and whined about the poor Palestinians as though they were closet terrorists.
I think the vast majority of Americans would support our withdrawing our troops from the Middle East entirely... and wonder what we've done to make the hate us the next time they strike.
As to my beliefs: they are that the threat to American safety must be eradicated. If that means genocide, so be it. *However,* I would prefer that we eradicate the barbaric ignorance that pervades throughout the Islamist countries and that we are able to educate the various Arab peoples so that they, too, will see the fallacy of *all* organized religions, and will adopt a humanistic approach to life.
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Like playing Tit for Tat.
Like the Hatfields and McCoys. No bad guys, no evil empire or race - only people motivated by the same idea: getting revenge is getting justice.
You're clueless.
Yet you're the one who thinks invading other countries makes the U.S. safer: "War is peace," and all that. (BTW, do you know what book that slogan came from?)
Yes, I've read Orwell.
I'm also aware of "Peace Is Our Profession" from "Dr. Strangelove."
I'm not.
You haven't seen "Dr. Strangelove???"
https://sites.google.com/a/depauw.edu/dr-strangelove/historical-context
Yes, Pedodragon, I've heard of the movie, what it's about, and that it's a 2-dimensional cartoon (even with the live actors). And as someone who experienced the "historical context" first-hand, I don't need to hear about that, either.
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However, when the enemy is crashing jet planes filled with American passengers into American buildings and the Pentagon, there are only two options: Fight or wait in fear for the next attack... and the next... and the next... and the next...
So what is the only option when the "enemy" is dropping bombs on buildings full of your people "three times a week"?
That would depend on who one's enemy is, how powerful one's enemy is, and why one's enemy has seen fit to drop the bombs.
But you'd just leap to conclusions about all that, just as you did with 9/11, wouldn't you?
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In the case of a Super Power dropping bombs a a Third World Stinkhole, I would say that the best course of action would be unconditional surrender.
So you're not even thinking about the "enemy" bombing you; You're just imagining yourself bombing them. No wonder you thought of "unconditional surrender" in that case.
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To get back to the poem: I don't see the "children" as any different from the soldiers, in motivation. That's the only message in the poem (and of course it's one you disagree with): they're the same.
I understand your point; and I think it's a cliché.
While I think yours is a caricature, or cartoon, of reality. Whatever.
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The Islamic terrorists have sworn a "jihad" against American, and boasting of our immanent "extermination." This isn't about vengeance or justice: it's a matter of survival.
And what do you think they're motivated by?
Fear for themselves. Fear for the safety of their loved ones.
Just like the Americans supporting the War on Terror, IOW.
Oh, I thought you were still referring to the Americans.
Then you're confused again. I clearly asked you what you thought the "Islamic" side was motivated by.
Post by Coco DeSockmonkey
I think that Islamists are motivated by religious intolerance coupled with the legitimate fear amongst their rulers that the economic prosperity enjoyed by a Domocracy (Israel) inspire their subjects to establish similar governments.
I'm sure there *are* Islamists on that side motivated by hate and destruction, just as there are Christianists on the other motivated by the same. But it's not a popular message, as you've noted wrt Americans. If you're going to recruit, it's far better to appeal to "Fear for themselves" and "Fear for the safety of their loved ones."
Interesting....
The Blackbird was my favorite plane,
I wish it could start again and gain,
And there’s altitude within my heart,
And An engine that would like to start...
General Zod
2019-03-05 22:51:25 UTC
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Interesting read....


........
Will Dockery
2019-01-09 22:48:33 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
I'm not after satirical wit; this isn't a satire, a parody, or a comedy piece.
Either way, it reads well.
Will Dockery
2019-02-15 19:33:45 UTC
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Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
I'm not after satirical wit; this isn't a satire, a parody, or a comedy piece.
But you are attempting a satirical stance in the poems closing passages by
contrasting the soldiers' "Ideas of March" (yuk! yuk!) with the maudlin
images of weeping mothers and children, etc.
I admit that the sestet begins on a maudlin note: the mother's not just
"weeping" but beside a "burnt hut", while the children are "ragged." Not
cloying - these are just things the soldiers notice - but it's there in LL
9-10.
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Oh, yeah... lose the title.
The title's not the best part, but, as I said, the poem's been published.
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the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Arrgh! matey -- they be sailin' off to settle an old score!
Many if not most of the Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq
saw it as vengeance for 9/11. Maybe you're too young to remember all
that, but it's not something to trivialize.
How young do you think I am, Gramps?
Sometimes I'm sure you're only 11. But your comments up above ("I was in
New York City" etc.) tell me you not only understand what I said about
vengeance being the motivator - you feel it yourself. So why were you
making fun of the idea?
Then you need to go back and reread it. I am worried about there being
other, similar attacks. I am worried about a bomb taking out the Lincoln
Tunnel while I'm commuting through it, or about a terror cell opening fire
in the middle of Times Square during my lunch break, or a hundred similar
scenarios that I'm surprised haven't already happened a dozen time over.
I'm worried about my wife's safety when she's taking a bus uptown to her
dance classes. I'm worried about terrorist breaking into the Hebrew
schools my children attend, or taking out my in-laws' Temple.
What I want is the peace and sense of security that existed before 9/11 --
and that will only be returned when the terrorists have been destroyed
(whether through violence, education, or a combination of the same).
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I was 36-year old (almost 37) and working in Manhattan on the morning of 9/11.
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Bush got his war because Americans saw it as "vengeance" - fighting
back - and therefore not aggression, but justice. "Just the thought
of vengeance" (= the thought of vengeance is just) is what powers
the war machine.
You're dead wrong.
There was a pervading sense of unreality that morning. We stared at
the breaking news images on our computer screens in disbelief. We
heard that the Pentagon had been hit as well and that a hi-jacked jet
had crashed in Pennsylvania. Then came an announcement to abandon our
building (a "landmark" and potential target). Electricity was soon
shut off and television and internet were down. Everyone was massing
in the streets, walking blindly forward with no destination -- as the
tunnels had been closed. Some of people were covered from head to toe
in gray dust from the mix of smoke, concrete and human ashes that
permeated the air downtown. Military jets were zipping by overhead,
and it felt like we'd just been transported back to London during the
Blitz. Some people pulled battery operated radios out and people
gathered around to listen to spurious reports and theories about how
the next wave of the attack would be coming via a wave of car bombs
both in the City and in the suburbs.
It felt like Armageddon. I didn't know if I'd ever see, or even get a
chance to say "goodbye" over the phone to my family again -- or if
they would soon be under attack as well.
I think people felt that way all over the continent, BTW. No one knew if
there's be another strike, or where it would occur.
That's right.
And we still don't know if, when, or where the next strike will be.
So we need "war" so we'll be safe. As I said, that sounds like Orwellian
double-speak, something a politician like John McCain would've said: But if
it works on the people, it is a powerful way of getting the country behind a
war: Make people believe those protesting the war, not the war itself, is
the real threat.
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The feelings of fear and utter helplessness that we felt that morning
are what fueled the soldiers who served us in the war. Yes, we were
angry, but vengeance was only a minor motivation. We wanted to make
our homeland safe again -- to ensure that there would never be another
day like 9/11.
As the Washington Post put it in a September 11 editorial: "The country
responded [to the Pearl Harbor attack] without panic but with an iron
determination to defend itself and punish the aggressors. The response
today must be as decisive ..." - defense and punishment seen as not only
equivalent, but part of a single "determination."
I'm not claiming to be a saint. I'd certainly relish the prospect of
Iran, Iraq, Syria and their non-Jewish environs going up in a farmscape of
mushroom clouds. But I'd also be almost as willing to coexist peacefully
with them.
However, the defense of innocent Americans from homeland terrorist attacks
was, and remains, the primary justification for the War on Terror.
Post by George J. Dance
And as the cliche goes: "We didn't start it, but we will finish it." If
"finishing it" meant keeping the country safe, that would be nonsense;
that doesn't end. No, "finish it" is all about punishment - vengeance.
That was not our stance.
It is a popular slogan. I remember watching a video of a poet whose name
escapes me: he was a famous baseball TV commentator, in St. Louis or
something, who was brought back in to read his 9/11 poem before a game. He
got good applause at the end, but the only applause that interrupted his
speech was in response to that slogan which he'd put into the poem.

I don't think anyone who wants a war is motivated only by their desire for
peace and security; that anyone lacks a desire to punish the person who
"punished" him first. That would be a saint, and, as you've admitted,
Americans aren't saints. None of us are.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Politically, my views correspond to those of Machiavelli. The primary
duty of a monarch (or a President) is the safety of his people. How he
achieves that safety will depend on the aggressiveness of his country's
attackers. If ISIL were to sincerely extend an olive branch, I would
accept it (albeit warily).
Just as I have always been open to accepting a sincere token of peace from
both the Turd and yourself.
Good analogy: you say you just want peace, and that's all you're fighting
for, but your slogans - "Dunce must die!" for example - bely your speeches.
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Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
Ah! The introduction of cloying sentimentality -- how appropriate
for the Hallmark Card version of an anti-war poem.
Mothers lose their children in wartime, and houses are burned -
that's another unavoidable fact of war. I don't think it's too
"cloying" or "sentimental" to at least mention it.
That depends on *how* it's introduced, and how openly the poet
displays his heart on his sleeve.
The soldiers walk by them, see them, and look away - "eyes forward, not to
note". No sentimentality - well, maybe a little, as I admitted - but not
"too much."
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by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
[who] gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
So we kill their fathers, which begets them killing our sons...
which begets their sons killing the fathers of the ensuing
generation... and war becomes a neverending vicious circle...
Yes. Why? Because the children are the same people as the soldiers,
motivated by the same thing. War is an eternal tragedy, probably the most
important one after that of death.

I consider LL 11-12 the most important part of the poem, and L 12 the best
line. It's an actual quote, BTW.

Time and Newsweek had reporters in Baghdad shortly after the capture: they
were interviewing Iraqis, asking them what they thought of the invasion, and
getting the same comments: We hated Saddam, thank you America for getting
rid of him, blah, blah... But one of the reporters also asked a 12 year-old
child, and L 12 is the child's answer.

Given the 2003-2013 insurgency, I think the adults were dissembling while
the child didn't know how to do that.
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Sure; but it stretches back into the past as well as the future. The
American soldiers killed the Muslim fathers because Muslim
terrorists killed Americans in 9/11; Muslim terrorists killed
Americans because Americans killed thousands in Iraq War I and the
subsequent bombings of Baghdad; and so on in that direction.
Your opinion of Americans is insulting, Dunce.
I think they're essentially no different from Canadians, or anyone else
in the world FTM. I understand that you might consider that insulting.
I should hope that in this regard, the majority of human beings held
similar beliefs. What I find insulting is your depiction of Americans as
vengeful savages.
If it's "savage", that's only in the sense that we're all savages. If
someone fucks with me, I don't just want them to stop - I don't even want
restitution for their fucking - I want to fuck them back. I'm not insulting
myself by saying that.
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Our two tallest buildings in NYC and our Pentagon were destroyed, and
"During the September 11 attacks of 2001, 2,996 people were killed
(including the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured.[1][2]
These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the
terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding
area, and 125 at the Pentagon.[3][4] The attacks were the deadliest
terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign
attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on
December 7, 1941."
Yes, we know about that. Do you have comparable stats for the U.S. bombing
of Iraq that preceded it? Let NG have fun doing that, but here's a few to
give you an indication:

"When Bush entered the White House, the US (with help from the UK) was
bombing Iraq an average of three times a week. In 1999, the US spent $1
billion dropping bombs in Iraq; in 2000, that number was up to $1.4
billion."

9/11 did not start the cycle.
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Post by George J. Dance
Yes, Michael; not something to joke about, as you were doing earlier
with your "Ahhhr matey" schtick.
I was making fun of your word choice -- and letting you hear how it came
across. Hopefully, you will correct that flaw as well.
Well, that's helpful. You wanted the word "vengeance" out of the poem; you
want something like:

Just / the cause of world peace to be theirs once more.

Nope.
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The war on terror is to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again.
You really think the wars in Iraq (3 times now), Libya, Syria, and now
Yemen have made America safer than it was before then? I'd call you
nuts, but that might sound like an IKYABWAI.
Safer, yes. As safe as we had been in the past, no.
However, when what are essentially third world countries are busy
protecting themselves from an invasion, they have far less time and
resources with which to conduct terrorist attacks.
So, yes -- I think that if there had been no War on Terror the death toll
among American Civilians would have been astronomical at this point.
"War is peace" again.
Post by Michael Pendragon
"The current situation of Afghanistan is related to a big cause - that is
the destruction of America," he added.
"The plan is going ahead and God willing it is being implemented, but it
is a huge task beyond the will and comprehension of human beings. If God's
help is with us this will happen within a short period of time.
"Keep in mind this prediction. This is not a matter of weapons. We are
hopeful for God's help. The real matter is the extinction of America. And,
God willing, it (America) will fall to the ground." -- Taliban leader
Mullah Mohammed Omar, 11/15/2001
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1362463/Taliban-leader-vows-to-destroy-America.html
So there's religious zealots on both sides, backed by people who are
convinced that "extinction" of the other side is the only way they'll ever
have peace and security.
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Like playing Tit for Tat.
Like the Hatfields and McCoys. No bad guys, no evil empire or race -
only people motivated by the same idea: getting revenge is getting
justice.
You're clueless.
Yet you're the one who thinks invading other countries makes the U.S.
safer: "War is peace," and all that. (BTW, do you know what book that
slogan came from?)
Yes, I've read Orwell.
I'm also aware of "Peace Is Our Profession" from "Dr. Strangelove."
I'm not.
Post by Michael Pendragon
However, when the enemy is crashing jet planes filled with American
passengers into American buildings and the Pentagon, there are only two
options: Fight or wait in fear for the next attack... and the next... and
the next... and the next...
So what is the only option when the "enemy" is dropping bombs on buildings
full of your people "three times a week"?

To get back to the poem: I don't see the "children" as any different from
the soldiers, in motivation. That's the only message in the poem (and of
course it's one you disagree with): they're the same.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
The Islamic terrorists have sworn a "jihad" against American, and
boasting of our immanent "extermination." This isn't about vengeance
or justice: it's a matter of survival.
And what do you think they're motivated by?
Fear for themselves. Fear for the safety of their loved ones.
Just like the Americans supporting the War on Terror, IOW.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by George J. Dance
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
Condemning men who answer the Country's call to Hell? That's it
bit steep, isn't it, George?
Yes, it is; and it's a controversial line. Remember, though, that I
don't believe in an afterlife. The Hell I'm referring to is the one
the soldiers found in Baghdad over the next decade.
What you believe and what beliefs you've expressed in the poem are two
different things.
You cannot expect readers to know that you're an atheist and are only
speaking about a metaphorical Hell (which, btw, would be written in
lower case).
"“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks
and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more
desolation. War is hell.” - William Tecumseh Sherman.
I guess the lack of comment means that Pigdragon found Sherman's "shrieks
and groans too, not to mention his use of the word "vengeance", too cloying
and Hallmarky.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
That's 2 constructive suggestions from you, 2 more than I'd hoped for.
Thank you for reading and commenting.
That's two that your wounded sense of pride allows you to accept. There
is a lot more that you could take from my comments which would prove to
your poem's benefit.
That just sounds like repeating yourself; you're supposed to have someone
else from your team chime in with it about now.

(Notice that even after the slurping you gave the "scholar" and "educator"
NG, they couldn't be bothered to reciprocate?)

----------------------------------------------------------------

A good read, and informative.
Blackbeard
2019-03-06 03:04:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
I'm not after satirical wit; this isn't a satire, a parody, or a comedy piece.
But you are attempting a satirical stance in the poems closing passages by
contrasting the soldiers' "Ideas of March" (yuk! yuk!) with the maudlin
images of weeping mothers and children, etc.
I admit that the sestet begins on a maudlin note: the mother's not just
"weeping" but beside a "burnt hut", while the children are "ragged." Not
cloying - these are just things the soldiers notice - but it's there in LL
9-10.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Oh, yeah... lose the title.
The title's not the best part, but, as I said, the poem's been published.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by George J. Dance
the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Arrgh! matey -- they be sailin' off to settle an old score!
Many if not most of the Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq
saw it as vengeance for 9/11. Maybe you're too young to remember all
that, but it's not something to trivialize.
How young do you think I am, Gramps?
Sometimes I'm sure you're only 11. But your comments up above ("I was in
New York City" etc.) tell me you not only understand what I said about
vengeance being the motivator - you feel it yourself. So why were you
making fun of the idea?
Then you need to go back and reread it. I am worried about there being
other, similar attacks. I am worried about a bomb taking out the Lincoln
Tunnel while I'm commuting through it, or about a terror cell opening fire
in the middle of Times Square during my lunch break, or a hundred similar
scenarios that I'm surprised haven't already happened a dozen time over.
I'm worried about my wife's safety when she's taking a bus uptown to her
dance classes. I'm worried about terrorist breaking into the Hebrew
schools my children attend, or taking out my in-laws' Temple.
What I want is the peace and sense of security that existed before 9/11 --
and that will only be returned when the terrorists have been destroyed
(whether through violence, education, or a combination of the same).
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
I was 36-year old (almost 37) and working in Manhattan on the morning of 9/11.
Post by George J. Dance
Bush got his war because Americans saw it as "vengeance" - fighting
back - and therefore not aggression, but justice. "Just the thought
of vengeance" (= the thought of vengeance is just) is what powers
the war machine.
You're dead wrong.
There was a pervading sense of unreality that morning. We stared at
the breaking news images on our computer screens in disbelief. We
heard that the Pentagon had been hit as well and that a hi-jacked jet
had crashed in Pennsylvania. Then came an announcement to abandon our
building (a "landmark" and potential target). Electricity was soon
shut off and television and internet were down. Everyone was massing
in the streets, walking blindly forward with no destination -- as the
tunnels had been closed. Some of people were covered from head to toe
in gray dust from the mix of smoke, concrete and human ashes that
permeated the air downtown. Military jets were zipping by overhead,
and it felt like we'd just been transported back to London during the
Blitz. Some people pulled battery operated radios out and people
gathered around to listen to spurious reports and theories about how
the next wave of the attack would be coming via a wave of car bombs
both in the City and in the suburbs.
It felt like Armageddon. I didn't know if I'd ever see, or even get a
chance to say "goodbye" over the phone to my family again -- or if
they would soon be under attack as well.
I think people felt that way all over the continent, BTW. No one knew if
there's be another strike, or where it would occur.
That's right.
And we still don't know if, when, or where the next strike will be.
So we need "war" so we'll be safe. As I said, that sounds like Orwellian
double-speak, something a politician like John McCain would've said: But if
it works on the people, it is a powerful way of getting the country behind a
war: Make people believe those protesting the war, not the war itself, is
the real threat.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
The feelings of fear and utter helplessness that we felt that morning
are what fueled the soldiers who served us in the war. Yes, we were
angry, but vengeance was only a minor motivation. We wanted to make
our homeland safe again -- to ensure that there would never be another
day like 9/11.
As the Washington Post put it in a September 11 editorial: "The country
responded [to the Pearl Harbor attack] without panic but with an iron
determination to defend itself and punish the aggressors. The response
today must be as decisive ..." - defense and punishment seen as not only
equivalent, but part of a single "determination."
I'm not claiming to be a saint. I'd certainly relish the prospect of
Iran, Iraq, Syria and their non-Jewish environs going up in a farmscape of
mushroom clouds. But I'd also be almost as willing to coexist peacefully
with them.
However, the defense of innocent Americans from homeland terrorist attacks
was, and remains, the primary justification for the War on Terror.
Post by George J. Dance
And as the cliche goes: "We didn't start it, but we will finish it." If
"finishing it" meant keeping the country safe, that would be nonsense;
that doesn't end. No, "finish it" is all about punishment - vengeance.
That was not our stance.
It is a popular slogan. I remember watching a video of a poet whose name
escapes me: he was a famous baseball TV commentator, in St. Louis or
something, who was brought back in to read his 9/11 poem before a game. He
got good applause at the end, but the only applause that interrupted his
speech was in response to that slogan which he'd put into the poem.
I don't think anyone who wants a war is motivated only by their desire for
peace and security; that anyone lacks a desire to punish the person who
"punished" him first. That would be a saint, and, as you've admitted,
Americans aren't saints. None of us are.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Politically, my views correspond to those of Machiavelli. The primary
duty of a monarch (or a President) is the safety of his people. How he
achieves that safety will depend on the aggressiveness of his country's
attackers. If ISIL were to sincerely extend an olive branch, I would
accept it (albeit warily).
Just as I have always been open to accepting a sincere token of peace from
both the Turd and yourself.
Good analogy: you say you just want peace, and that's all you're fighting
for, but your slogans - "Dunce must die!" for example - bely your speeches.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by George J. Dance
Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
Ah! The introduction of cloying sentimentality -- how appropriate
for the Hallmark Card version of an anti-war poem.
Mothers lose their children in wartime, and houses are burned -
that's another unavoidable fact of war. I don't think it's too
"cloying" or "sentimental" to at least mention it.
That depends on *how* it's introduced, and how openly the poet
displays his heart on his sleeve.
The soldiers walk by them, see them, and look away - "eyes forward, not to
note". No sentimentality - well, maybe a little, as I admitted - but not
"too much."
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by George J. Dance
by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
[who] gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
So we kill their fathers, which begets them killing our sons...
which begets their sons killing the fathers of the ensuing
generation... and war becomes a neverending vicious circle...
Yes. Why? Because the children are the same people as the soldiers,
motivated by the same thing. War is an eternal tragedy, probably the most
important one after that of death.
I consider LL 11-12 the most important part of the poem, and L 12 the best
line. It's an actual quote, BTW.
Time and Newsweek had reporters in Baghdad shortly after the capture: they
were interviewing Iraqis, asking them what they thought of the invasion, and
getting the same comments: We hated Saddam, thank you America for getting
rid of him, blah, blah... But one of the reporters also asked a 12 year-old
child, and L 12 is the child's answer.
Given the 2003-2013 insurgency, I think the adults were dissembling while
the child didn't know how to do that.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Sure; but it stretches back into the past as well as the future. The
American soldiers killed the Muslim fathers because Muslim
terrorists killed Americans in 9/11; Muslim terrorists killed
Americans because Americans killed thousands in Iraq War I and the
subsequent bombings of Baghdad; and so on in that direction.
Your opinion of Americans is insulting, Dunce.
I think they're essentially no different from Canadians, or anyone else
in the world FTM. I understand that you might consider that insulting.
I should hope that in this regard, the majority of human beings held
similar beliefs. What I find insulting is your depiction of Americans as
vengeful savages.
If it's "savage", that's only in the sense that we're all savages. If
someone fucks with me, I don't just want them to stop - I don't even want
restitution for their fucking - I want to fuck them back. I'm not insulting
myself by saying that.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Our two tallest buildings in NYC and our Pentagon were destroyed, and
"During the September 11 attacks of 2001, 2,996 people were killed
(including the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured.[1][2]
These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the
terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding
area, and 125 at the Pentagon.[3][4] The attacks were the deadliest
terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign
attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on
December 7, 1941."
Yes, we know about that. Do you have comparable stats for the U.S. bombing
of Iraq that preceded it? Let NG have fun doing that, but here's a few to
"When Bush entered the White House, the US (with help from the UK) was
bombing Iraq an average of three times a week. In 1999, the US spent $1
billion dropping bombs in Iraq; in 2000, that number was up to $1.4
billion."
9/11 did not start the cycle.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Yes, Michael; not something to joke about, as you were doing earlier
with your "Ahhhr matey" schtick.
I was making fun of your word choice -- and letting you hear how it came
across. Hopefully, you will correct that flaw as well.
Well, that's helpful. You wanted the word "vengeance" out of the poem; you
Just / the cause of world peace to be theirs once more.
Nope.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
The war on terror is to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again.
You really think the wars in Iraq (3 times now), Libya, Syria, and now
Yemen have made America safer than it was before then? I'd call you
nuts, but that might sound like an IKYABWAI.
Safer, yes. As safe as we had been in the past, no.
However, when what are essentially third world countries are busy
protecting themselves from an invasion, they have far less time and
resources with which to conduct terrorist attacks.
So, yes -- I think that if there had been no War on Terror the death toll
among American Civilians would have been astronomical at this point.
"War is peace" again.
Post by Michael Pendragon
"The current situation of Afghanistan is related to a big cause - that is
the destruction of America," he added.
"The plan is going ahead and God willing it is being implemented, but it
is a huge task beyond the will and comprehension of human beings. If God's
help is with us this will happen within a short period of time.
"Keep in mind this prediction. This is not a matter of weapons. We are
hopeful for God's help. The real matter is the extinction of America. And,
God willing, it (America) will fall to the ground." -- Taliban leader
Mullah Mohammed Omar, 11/15/2001
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1362463/Taliban-leader-vows-to-destroy-America.html
So there's religious zealots on both sides, backed by people who are
convinced that "extinction" of the other side is the only way they'll ever
have peace and security.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Like playing Tit for Tat.
Like the Hatfields and McCoys. No bad guys, no evil empire or race -
only people motivated by the same idea: getting revenge is getting
justice.
You're clueless.
Yet you're the one who thinks invading other countries makes the U.S.
safer: "War is peace," and all that. (BTW, do you know what book that
slogan came from?)
Yes, I've read Orwell.
I'm also aware of "Peace Is Our Profession" from "Dr. Strangelove."
I'm not.
Post by Michael Pendragon
However, when the enemy is crashing jet planes filled with American
passengers into American buildings and the Pentagon, there are only two
options: Fight or wait in fear for the next attack... and the next... and
the next... and the next...
So what is the only option when the "enemy" is dropping bombs on buildings
full of your people "three times a week"?
To get back to the poem: I don't see the "children" as any different from
the soldiers, in motivation. That's the only message in the poem (and of
course it's one you disagree with): they're the same.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
The Islamic terrorists have sworn a "jihad" against American, and
boasting of our immanent "extermination." This isn't about vengeance
or justice: it's a matter of survival.
And what do you think they're motivated by?
Fear for themselves. Fear for the safety of their loved ones.
Just like the Americans supporting the War on Terror, IOW.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
Post by George J. Dance
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
Condemning men who answer the Country's call to Hell? That's it
bit steep, isn't it, George?
Yes, it is; and it's a controversial line. Remember, though, that I
don't believe in an afterlife. The Hell I'm referring to is the one
the soldiers found in Baghdad over the next decade.
What you believe and what beliefs you've expressed in the poem are two
different things.
You cannot expect readers to know that you're an atheist and are only
speaking about a metaphorical Hell (which, btw, would be written in
lower case).
"“It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks
and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more
desolation. War is hell.” - William Tecumseh Sherman.
I guess the lack of comment means that Pigdragon found Sherman's "shrieks
and groans too, not to mention his use of the word "vengeance", too cloying
and Hallmarky.
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by George J. Dance
That's 2 constructive suggestions from you, 2 more than I'd hoped for.
Thank you for reading and commenting.
That's two that your wounded sense of pride allows you to accept. There
is a lot more that you could take from my comments which would prove to
your poem's benefit.
That just sounds like repeating yourself; you're supposed to have someone
else from your team chime in with it about now.
(Notice that even after the slurping you gave the "scholar" and "educator"
NG, they couldn't be bothered to reciprocate?)
----------------------------------------------------------------
A good read, and informative.
Indeed.......

General Zod
2019-02-15 02:56:06 UTC
Reply
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Still a good read... ...
Will Dockery
2019-01-05 20:52:16 UTC
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Just at a quick glance here on the mobile gizmo, looks like an interesting discussion.
Will Dockery
2019-01-05 23:01:23 UTC
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Still quite a few, though.
Will Dockery
2019-01-05 23:19:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Heh... definitely wait for NG to make a proclamation.

😀
George J. Dance
2019-01-05 23:59:01 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Will Dockery
Heh... definitely wait for NG to make a proclamation.
Like their one about 100% of Carver High School graduates (other than you and Zod of course) being dead or in prison?
NancyGene
2019-01-06 00:26:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Will Dockery
Heh... definitely wait for NG to make a proclamation.
Like their one about 100% of Carver High School graduates (other than you and Zod of course) being dead or in prison?
Did didn't go to Carver H.S., and it hasn't yet been proven that Did isn't dead. He sure looks and writes dead.
George J. Dance
2019-01-06 02:20:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Will Dockery
Heh... definitely wait for NG to make a proclamation.
Like their one about 100% of Carver High School graduates (other than you and Zod of course) being dead or in prison?
Did didn't go to Carver H.S.
So you're saying all of them except Will are dead or in prison.
Post by NancyGene
and it hasn't yet been proven that Did isn't dead.
OTOH, we do know that NancyGene is dead; right?
Will Dockery
2019-01-06 02:39:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Zod is very much alive and well. In fact, he joined several of us at Waffle House last night, where he made several sketches.

I photographed a couple of those, which I will post at the a.a.p.c. Facebook page, now.

:)
General Zod
2019-01-06 02:48:35 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Will Dockery
Zod is very much alive and well. In fact, he joined several of us at Waffle House last night, where he made several sketches.
I photographed a couple of those, which I will post at the a.a.p.c. Facebook page, now.
:)
Fun night... …. a lot of coffee.....
Will Dockery
2019-01-06 05:17:54 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by General Zod
Post by Will Dockery
Zod is very much alive and well. In fact, he joined several of us at Waffle House last night, where he made several sketches.
I photographed a couple of those, which I will post at the a.a.p.c. Facebook page, now.
:)
Fun night... …. a lot of coffee.....
Some good sketches also:

Loading Image...

Carruthers

Loading Image...

Patricia
Michael Pendragon
2019-01-06 07:37:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Will Dockery
Post by General Zod
Post by Will Dockery
Zod is very much alive and well. In fact, he joined several of us at Waffle House last night, where he made several sketches.
I photographed a couple of those, which I will post at the a.a.p.c. Facebook page, now.
:)
Fun night... …. a lot of coffee.....
https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/49668465_10157220768309363_7639925226700013568_n.jpg?_nc_cat=108&_nc_ht=scontent-atl3-1.xx&oh=53ed1a7fb85b3c0501b9442cc2318097&oe=5C9346B6
Carruthers
https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/49429032_10157220768359363_9177967661236092928_n.jpg?_nc_cat=105&_nc_ht=scontent-atl3-1.xx&oh=0dd05609dc6dc43d8c99f474d4eb6116&oe=5CCAA187
Patricia
His drawing skills are on a par with those of a slightly promising 10-year old.
Will Dockery
2019-01-06 19:09:26 UTC
Reply
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Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by Will Dockery
https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/49668465_10157220768309363_7639925226700013568_n.jpg?_nc_cat=108&_nc_ht=scontent-atl3-1.xx&oh=53ed1a7fb85b3c0501b9442cc2318097&oe=5C9346B6
Carruthers
https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/49429032_10157220768359363_9177967661236092928_n.jpg?_nc_cat=105&_nc_ht=scontent-atl3-1.xx&oh=0dd05609dc6dc43d8c99f474d4eb6116&oe=5CCAA187
Patricia
His drawing skills are on a par
Remember, "Art is subjective".

:)
General Zod
2019-01-06 22:25:30 UTC
Reply
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Post by Will Dockery
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by Will Dockery
https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/49668465_10157220768309363_7639925226700013568_n.jpg?_nc_cat=108&_nc_ht=scontent-atl3-1.xx&oh=53ed1a7fb85b3c0501b9442cc2318097&oe=5C9346B6
Carruthers
https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/49429032_10157220768359363_9177967661236092928_n.jpg?_nc_cat=105&_nc_ht=scontent-atl3-1.xx&oh=0dd05609dc6dc43d8c99f474d4eb6116&oe=5CCAA187
Patricia
His drawing skills are on a par
Remember, "Art is subjective".
:)
Exactly...................

To each his own............................
r***@gmail.com
2019-01-06 06:47:37 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Will Dockery
Heh... definitely wait for NG to make a proclamation.
Like their one about 100% of Carver High School graduates (other than you and Zod of course) being dead or in prison?
Did didn't go to Carver H.S., and it hasn't yet been proven that Did isn't dead. He sure looks and writes dead.
I’ve been out of the circle
jerk for a while— who’s Did?
Michael Pendragon
2019-01-06 07:37:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Will Dockery
Heh... definitely wait for NG to make a proclamation.
Like their one about 100% of Carver High School graduates (other than you and Zod of course) being dead or in prison?
Did didn't go to Carver H.S., and it hasn't yet been proven that Did isn't dead. He sure looks and writes dead.
I’ve been out of the circle
jerk for a while— who’s Did?
Did's the new nickname Turd (formerly known as Will) gave to Zod.
r***@gmail.com
2019-01-06 21:20:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Will Dockery
Heh... definitely wait for NG to make a proclamation.
Like their one about 100% of Carver High School graduates (other than you and Zod of course) being dead or in prison?
Did didn't go to Carver H.S., and it hasn't yet been proven that Did isn't dead. He sure looks and writes dead.
I’ve been out of the circle
jerk for a while— who’s Did?
Did's the new nickname Turd (formerly known as Will) gave to Zod.
Yeah, thanks for that.
George J. Dance
2019-01-07 20:54:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Will Dockery
Heh... definitely wait for NG to make a proclamation.
Like their one about 100% of Carver High School graduates (other than you and Zod of course) being dead or in prison?
Did didn't go to Carver H.S., and it hasn't yet been proven that Did isn't dead. He sure looks and writes dead.
I’ve been out of the circle
jerk for a while— who’s Did?
Did's the new nickname Turd (formerly known as Will) gave to Zod.
Yeah, thanks for that.
Great. I apologize if I've been sounding antagonistic; that's because of whom I've been talking to on the group, I suppose. There really is nothing personal in it. I was a bit miffed when you started another group, but I thought it through and decided

(1) it's no different from me going off to write on my poetry blog or wiki;

(2) it could actually a good thing for aapc. Giving the "team" most actively pushing the flamewarfare somewhere else to go and something else to do, means less of that here, in theory.

But of course, Michael wouldn't leave; he's been running around here all summer and fall in his Cerberus costume with the 2 empty heads flapping on his shoulders, and with mini-ME and the fake(s) trotting along behind. And now NG's back doing their Bob Rivers impersonation. Oh, well; it can still happen.

Do me a favor and read the poem in the OP and, if you have any thoughts, feel free to post them in the thread. I'm going through my old poems for my next book, and I welcome suggestions on them, even if I do veto most of those.
Will Dockery
2019-01-07 21:35:40 UTC
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Michael "gay lame" Pendragon knows that a private, non-archived poetry group unavailable on search engines is pretty much a waste of time.

We have to give him that much credit for being that much more intelligent than the other trolls.

😊
General Zod
2019-01-08 00:02:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Will Dockery
Michael "gay lame" Pendragon knows that a private, non-archived poetry group unavailable on search engines is pretty much a waste of time.
We have to give him that much credit for being that much more intelligent than the other trolls.
😊
Like when a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound when nobody is there to hear it............?
Zod
2019-01-08 05:45:29 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Will Dockery
Heh... definitely wait for NG to make a proclamation.
Like their one about 100% of Carver High School graduates (other than you and Zod of course) being dead or in prison?
Did didn't go to Carver H.S., and it hasn't yet been proven that Did isn't dead. He sure looks and writes dead.
I’ve been out of the circle
jerk for a while— who’s Did?
Did's the new nickname Turd (formerly known as Will) gave to Zod.
Yeah, thanks for that.
Great. I apologize if I've been sounding antagonistic; that's because of whom I've been talking to on the group, I suppose. There really is nothing personal in it. I was a bit miffed when you started another group, but I thought it through and decided
(1) it's no different from me going off to write on my poetry blog or wiki;
(2) it could actually a good thing for aapc. Giving the "team" most actively pushing the flamewarfare somewhere else to go and something else to do, means less of that here, in theory.
But of course, Michael wouldn't leave; he's been running around here all summer and fall in his Cerberus costume with the 2 empty heads flapping on his shoulders, and with mini-ME and the fake(s) trotting along behind. And now NG's back doing their Bob Rivers impersonation. Oh, well; it can still happen.
Do me a favor and read the poem in the OP and, if you have any thoughts, feel free to post them in the thread. I'm going through my old poems for my next book, and I welcome suggestions on them, even if I do veto most of those.
Interesting thread...…………..
George J. Dance
2019-01-08 14:17:43 UTC
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Post by Zod
Post by George J. Dance
Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Will Dockery
Heh... definitely wait for NG to make a proclamation.
Like their one about 100% of Carver High School graduates (other than you and Zod of course) being dead or in prison?
Did didn't go to Carver H.S., and it hasn't yet been proven that Did isn't dead. He sure looks and writes dead.
I’ve been out of the circle
jerk for a while— who’s Did?
Did's the new nickname Turd (formerly known as Will) gave to Zod.
Yeah, thanks for that.
Great. I apologize if I've been sounding antagonistic; that's because of whom I've been talking to on the group, I suppose. There really is nothing personal in it. I was a bit miffed when you started another group, but I thought it through and decided
(1) it's no different from me going off to write on my poetry blog or wiki;
(2) it could actually a good thing for aapc. Giving the "team" most actively pushing the flamewarfare somewhere else to go and something else to do, means less of that here, in theory.
But of course, Michael wouldn't leave; he's been running around here all summer and fall in his Cerberus costume with the 2 empty heads flapping on his shoulders, and with mini-ME and the fake(s) trotting along behind. And now NG's back doing their Bob Rivers impersonation. Oh, well; it can still happen.
Do me a favor and read the poem in the OP and, if you have any thoughts, feel free to post them in the thread. I'm going through my old poems for my next book, and I welcome suggestions on them, even if I do veto most of those.
Interesting thread...…………..
Thanks, Zod. I do want those suggestions, but I'm also trying to explain what I was thinking and doing when I wrote the poem. It's something I wasn't allowed to do back when I first posted it - "Don't defend your own work" was a mantra then - so it's fun to that now, a decade later, when I've got over all my feelings about 'creating' the poem, and am able to just look at it as a reader myself.
General Zod
2019-01-09 00:19:35 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Post by Zod
Post by George J. Dance
Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by Michael Pendragon
Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Will Dockery
Heh... definitely wait for NG to make a proclamation.
Like their one about 100% of Carver High School graduates (other than you and Zod of course) being dead or in prison?
Did didn't go to Carver H.S., and it hasn't yet been proven that Did isn't dead. He sure looks and writes dead.
I’ve been out of the circle
jerk for a while— who’s Did?
Did's the new nickname Turd (formerly known as Will) gave to Zod.
Yeah, thanks for that.
Great. I apologize if I've been sounding antagonistic; that's because of whom I've been talking to on the group, I suppose. There really is nothing personal in it. I was a bit miffed when you started another group, but I thought it through and decided
(1) it's no different from me going off to write on my poetry blog or wiki;
(2) it could actually a good thing for aapc. Giving the "team" most actively pushing the flamewarfare somewhere else to go and something else to do, means less of that here, in theory.
But of course, Michael wouldn't leave; he's been running around here all summer and fall in his Cerberus costume with the 2 empty heads flapping on his shoulders, and with mini-ME and the fake(s) trotting along behind. And now NG's back doing their Bob Rivers impersonation. Oh, well; it can still happen.
Do me a favor and read the poem in the OP and, if you have any thoughts, feel free to post them in the thread. I'm going through my old poems for my next book, and I welcome suggestions on them, even if I do veto most of those.
Interesting thread...…………..
Thanks, Zod. I do want those suggestions, but I'm also trying to explain what I was thinking and doing when I wrote the poem. It's something I wasn't allowed to do back when I first posted it - "Don't defend your own work" was a mantra then - so it's fun to that now, a decade later, when I've got over all my feelings about 'creating' the poem, and am able to just look at it as a reader myself.
I am mulling it over....................
George J. Dance
2019-01-06 19:47:28 UTC
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Post by r***@gmail.com
Post by NancyGene
Post by George J. Dance
Post by Will Dockery
Heh... definitely wait for NG to make a proclamation.
Like their one about 100% of Carver High School graduates (other than you and Zod of course) being dead or in prison?
Did didn't go to Carver H.S., and it hasn't yet been proven that Did isn't dead. He sure looks and writes dead.
I’ve been out of the circle
jerk for a while— who’s Did?
At one point, Will and min-ME were using autocorrect on their gizmos, with sometimes hilarious results. "Did" for "Zod" was the funniest one that happened to Will; so of course Michael and NG can't stop talking about it.
Zod
2019-01-06 08:16:46 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Ideas of March
[sung to a Sousa beat]
===Text restored===
Ideas of March
[sung to a Sousa beat]
Shuffling off to Babylon to be born
again, in knife-sharp lines of infantry,
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
the dead, to feel the baking heat or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore
and blinds the eyes -- Just marching onward -- Just
the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
that gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
===
Ooh, goody! A spanking... I mean, a poetry discussion!
Shuffling off to Babylon to be born
Shuffling to a march tempo? Nothing like having the image and the meter correspond.
No, no; you're supposed to sing the thing in a march tempo. I even have the tune, which thankfully, given my voice, I can't sing onto an mp3). These guys are marching, in the sense they're still walking in rhythm, but they're "shuffling".
The resemblance to "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" is too noticeable to have been accidental.
It wasn't accidental; but it's trivial, in that it has nothing to do with the song.
Why marching off to war should be compared to beginning a theater company's beginning a road tour after having folded on Broadway (my understanding of the phrase's origin), is anybody's guess.
I actually got the phrase from the song, which isn't about that at all, but no matter; The line came into my head decades ago, on rereading Yeats's line about "slouching towards Bethlehem" - just a memorable phrase in search of a poem.
again, in knife-sharp lines of infantry,
Wouldn't being "born again in Babylon" constitute a conversion to Islam? Or are you claiming that our soldiers morph into religious zealots because you believe the War on Terrorism derives from religious motivations on the U.S.'s part?
Or the "machines" of religious zealots. You can't deny that religious zealotry is a big factor in the various U.S./Islam conflicts, including the Iraqi invasion.
I suppose "knife-sharp lines" could apply to soldiers marching in parade formation -- although the I see the overall shape as being rectangular.
Well, I've got these guys marching up to and into Baghdad, in narrower columns - by 2's or 3's. That's probably counter-factual - most likely they were driven up in trucks - but having them march makes for a more dramatic poem. "Driving up to Babylon" just didn't work.
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
Nothing like shooting for the obvious.
It's wasn't 'obvious' to me whether the soldiers were marching in solitude, or in the middle of, as part of, a war machine. That's one reason for mentioning the tanks and artillery. The other is put the reader in the right frame of mind for the next line.
Interesting words I haven't used in my (kept) poetry, and a rather clever near-rhyme (-REE).
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
Soldiers seen as a "lean green fighting machine"... who'dda thunk?
It isn't an original observation that soldiers are taught to act like machines, rather than thinking human beings - nor did (do) I claim it is. It's in there because it says something true and important about these soldiers in the poem.
the dead, to feel the baking heat or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore
and blinds the eyes --
Liquid pores (allowing the slightly nonsensical metaphor) would seem prohibitive to the caking of dust motes, but... whatever.
Have you never done any physical work on a hot day, in a dusty place? First, your pores start to sweat, and then the sweat mixes with dust - you end up with the shit all over your exposed skin. Is "cakes" the wrong word? I dunno - I like how it went with "baking" - not important wordplay, but such things amuse me when I'm writing.
I'm just wondering how blocked skin pores can cause blindness.
I think you've misread. The blowing dust is caking on their skin and blinding their eyes; they're two different effects of it.
Just marching onward -- Just
Damn! You snipped the line for sense, but that means you sacrificed my most important visual effect in the whole thing: sticking the word "Just" out on the poem's extreme right. IMO, it's the most important word in the poem, and the key to understanding it.
the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Arrgh! matey -- they be sailin' off to settle an old score!
Many if not most of the Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq saw it as vengeance for 9/11. Maybe you're too young to remember all that, but it's not something to trivialize. Bush got his war because Americans saw it as "vengeance" - fighting back - and therefore not aggression, but justice. "Just the thought of vengeance" (= the thought of vengeance is just) is what powers the war machine.
Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
Ah! The introduction of cloying sentimentality -- how appropriate for the Hallmark Card version of an anti-war poem.
Mothers lose their children in wartime, and houses are burned - that's another unavoidable fact of war. I don't think it's too "cloying" or "sentimental" to at least mention it.
by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
that gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
So we kill their fathers, which begets them killing our sons... which begets their sons killing the fathers of the ensuing generation... and war becomes a neverending vicious circle...
Sure; but it stretches back into the past as well as the future. The American soldiers killed the Muslim fathers because Muslim terrorists killed Americans in 9/11; Muslim terrorists killed Americans because Americans killed thousands in Iraq War I and the subsequent bombings of Baghdad; and so on in that direction.
Like playing Tit for Tat.
Like the Hatfields and McCoys. No bad guys, no evil empire or race - only people motivated by the same idea: getting revenge is getting justice.
Enough of this senseless killing! Let's all lay down our sword and shield, run off to Canada and sing "Kumbaya."
I wish; but I don't expect all humanity to change because of one poem. If even one person understands it, and gets the conclusion, that would be a win for me.
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
Condemning men who answer the Country's call to Hell? That's it bit steep, isn't it, George?
Yes, it is; and it's a controversial line. Remember, though, that I don't believe in an afterlife. The Hell I'm referring to is the one the soldiers found in Baghdad over the next decade.
Is that what you'd tell the parents of a soldier who died in Vietnam?
"I'm sorry your government sent your child into Hell and then got him killed."
Fabulous...……………..
Will Dockery
2019-01-07 22:36:49 UTC
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Exactly.

He didn't become known as Michael "gay lame" Pendragon for nothing.

😊
Will Dockery
2019-01-08 03:35:33 UTC
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FWIW, a fan fine poem, my opinion.
General Zod
2019-01-08 05:03:30 UTC
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Post by George J. Dance
Ideas of March
[sung to a Sousa beat]
===Text restored===
Ideas of March
[sung to a Sousa beat]
Shuffling off to Babylon to be born
again, in knife-sharp lines of infantry,
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
the dead, to feel the baking heat or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore
and blinds the eyes -- Just marching onward -- Just
the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
that gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
===
Ooh, goody! A spanking... I mean, a poetry discussion!
Shuffling off to Babylon to be born
Shuffling to a march tempo? Nothing like having the image and the meter correspond.
No, no; you're supposed to sing the thing in a march tempo. I even have the tune, which thankfully, given my voice, I can't sing onto an mp3). These guys are marching, in the sense they're still walking in rhythm, but they're "shuffling".
The resemblance to "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" is too noticeable to have been accidental.
It wasn't accidental; but it's trivial, in that it has nothing to do with the song.
Why marching off to war should be compared to beginning a theater company's beginning a road tour after having folded on Broadway (my understanding of the phrase's origin), is anybody's guess.
I actually got the phrase from the song, which isn't about that at all, but no matter; The line came into my head decades ago, on rereading Yeats's line about "slouching towards Bethlehem" - just a memorable phrase in search of a poem.
again, in knife-sharp lines of infantry,
Wouldn't being "born again in Babylon" constitute a conversion to Islam? Or are you claiming that our soldiers morph into religious zealots because you believe the War on Terrorism derives from religious motivations on the U.S.'s part?
Or the "machines" of religious zealots. You can't deny that religious zealotry is a big factor in the various U.S./Islam conflicts, including the Iraqi invasion.
I suppose "knife-sharp lines" could apply to soldiers marching in parade formation -- although the I see the overall shape as being rectangular.
Well, I've got these guys marching up to and into Baghdad, in narrower columns - by 2's or 3's. That's probably counter-factual - most likely they were driven up in trucks - but having them march makes for a more dramatic poem. "Driving up to Babylon" just didn't work.
they march past tanks and massed artillery,
Nothing like shooting for the obvious.
It's wasn't 'obvious' to me whether the soldiers were marching in solitude, or in the middle of, as part of, a war machine. That's one reason for mentioning the tanks and artillery. The other is put the reader in the right frame of mind for the next line.
Interesting words I haven't used in my (kept) poetry, and a rather clever near-rhyme (-REE).
machinery themselves -- No pause to mourn
Soldiers seen as a "lean green fighting machine"... who'dda thunk?
It isn't an original observation that soldiers are taught to act like machines, rather than thinking human beings - nor did (do) I claim it is. It's in there because it says something true and important about these soldiers in the poem.
the dead, to feel the baking heat or the dust
that cakes itself in every liquid pore
and blinds the eyes --
Liquid pores (allowing the slightly nonsensical metaphor) would seem prohibitive to the caking of dust motes, but... whatever.
Have you never done any physical work on a hot day, in a dusty place? First, your pores start to sweat, and then the sweat mixes with dust - you end up with the shit all over your exposed skin. Is "cakes" the wrong word? I dunno - I like how it went with "baking" - not important wordplay, but such things amuse me when I'm writing.
I'm just wondering how blocked skin pores can cause blindness.
I think you've misread. The blowing dust is caking on their skin and blinding their eyes; they're two different effects of it.
Just marching onward -- Just
Damn! You snipped the line for sense, but that means you sacrificed my most important visual effect in the whole thing: sticking the word "Just" out on the poem's extreme right. IMO, it's the most important word in the poem, and the key to understanding it.
the thought of vengeance to be theirs once more --
Arrgh! matey -- they be sailin' off to settle an old score!
Many if not most of the Americans who supported the invasion of Iraq saw it as vengeance for 9/11. Maybe you're too young to remember all that, but it's not something to trivialize. Bush got his war because Americans saw it as "vengeance" - fighting back - and therefore not aggression, but justice. "Just the thought of vengeance" (= the thought of vengeance is just) is what powers the war machine.
Eyes forward, not to note the weeping mother
Ah! The introduction of cloying sentimentality -- how appropriate for the Hallmark Card version of an anti-war poem.
Mothers lose their children in wartime, and houses are burned - that's another unavoidable fact of war. I don't think it's too "cloying" or "sentimental" to at least mention it.
by the burned hut, or spy the ragged children
that gather in gangs, whispering to one another,
"They killed my father; one day I will kill them" --
So we kill their fathers, which begets them killing our sons... which begets their sons killing the fathers of the ensuing generation... and war becomes a neverending vicious circle...
Sure; but it stretches back into the past as well as the future. The American soldiers killed the Muslim fathers because Muslim terrorists killed Americans in 9/11; Muslim terrorists killed Americans because Americans killed thousands in Iraq War I and the subsequent bombings of Baghdad; and so on in that direction.
Like playing Tit for Tat.
Like the Hatfields and McCoys. No bad guys, no evil empire or race - only people motivated by the same idea: getting revenge is getting justice.
Enough of this senseless killing! Let's all lay down our sword and shield, run off to Canada and sing "Kumbaya."
I wish; but I don't expect all humanity to change because of one poem. If even one person understands it, and gets the conclusion, that would be a win for me.
Forward they march, to serve their country well,
to die again, and be reborn in Hell.
Condemning men who answer the Country's call to Hell? That's it bit steep, isn't it, George?
Yes, it is; and it's a controversial line. Remember, though, that I don't believe in an afterlife. The Hell I'm referring to is the one the soldiers found in Baghdad over the next decade.
Is that what you'd tell the parents of a soldier who died in Vietnam?
"I'm sorry your government sent your child into Hell and then got him killed."
Outstanding...………..
Will Dockery
2019-01-09 03:46:47 UTC
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Interesting discussion, fellows.

😊
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