May 21, 2013
.... and for today's reading enjoyment, I give you a beauty that made me smile today.....
Romantics By Lisel Mueller b. 1924
Johannes Brahms and
The modern biographers worry
“how far it went,” their tender friendship.
They wonder just what it means
when he writes he thinks of her constantly,
his guardian angel, beloved friend.
The modern biographers ask
the rude, irrelevant question
of our age, as if the event
of two bodies meshing together
establishes the degree of love,
forgetting how softly Eros walked
in the nineteenth-century, how a hand
held overlong or a gaze anchored
in someone’s eyes could unseat a heart,
and nuances of address not known
in our egalitarian language
could make the redolent air
tremble and shimmer with the heat
of possibility. Each time I hear
the Intermezzi, sad
and lavish in their tenderness,
I imagine the two of them
sitting in a garden
among late-blooming roses
and dark cascades of leaves,
letting the landscape speak for them,
leaving us nothing to overhear.
April 24, 2013
... a few days ago I was watching a documentary on the Military Channel and something happened that I still am having trouble getting to grips with..... the documentary was regarding the terrorist attacks in India and it focused on the excellent work that their elite special forces, the Black Cats, carried out...
... as part of the interviews during the documentary, an English business man who had been a guest in one of the hotels under siege said, "When I heard the shooting and knew that the terrorists were in the hotel going room to room, my very first thought - and all I could think about - is how much it is going to hurt when I get shot.... I was terrified at the thought." ..... I cannot imagine that mindset..... even now, days after the fact, I am still trying to process that man's thoughts.....
... the reason that I am so confused is that my initial reaction to his statement was so completely different..... as soon as his words escaped the speakers on my television, I was appalled...... I thought to myself, why would you just wait to die?.... I tried to imagine myself in his situation, and it became very real to me...... the disturbing part to me is that I thought, "there are terrorists going room to room killing people.... how do I use surprise and whatever is in my room to take away his weapon and kill him?" .......
.. I am still trying to figure out why my reaction was so different..... is there something innately more aggressive about my personality?.... do I have a greater will to live?..... is it because of my training in the military that I have this mindset, or was the mindset in place before I joined the Corps?..... did my parents raise me to be more independent and proactive?..... have I seen too many James Bond, John Wayne, and Superhero movies?..... is the psychology of Americanism such that will not roll over and play dead?...... am I some sort of archaic monster with too much ego, an overinflated sense of self-confidence, and an overload of testosterone?........
... I don't know the answer, but the question continues to fill me with a sense of uncertainty....
.... what would you do?..... would you grab a lamp and go down swinging?.... or would you huddle in the bathroom waiting patiently in horror to be shot?.....
No way I would just sit around and wait for some moron with an AK-47 to plug me. I'd sooner stab him in the eyeballs.
A broken chunk of mirror glass makes a fine weapon. When there is nothing else to hand, improvise.Hell raised by Elisson on April 24, 2013 07:43 AM
No way I go down without a fightHell raised by sherlock on April 24, 2013 07:48 AM
... agreed, gentlemen..... but the real question is, why are we like that?..... and what makes us choose to take a different path than that English businessman?....
As someone who has struggled with self-loathing with a botched suicide in her past... There is no way in hell I'm going to be a victim. I will find a way to fight.
My mind is boggled that I seem to be bi-polar in my thinking!Hell raised by writersblock on April 24, 2013 08:00 AM
No way I would go down hiding and not fighting... The bastards may kill me but I will take as much of them with me as I can...Hell raised by Richmond on April 24, 2013 08:27 AM
I'm with everyone else. My problem might be... well, what exactly CAN I do to try and take them out? That would occupy my time rather than thinking "gee this will hurt".
In a hotel room there is nowhere to hide. Hollow doors and drywall are not going to stop bullets. (Hollywood could be accused of endangering people by portraying walls and doors stopping bullets)
I don't understand passive personalities like that man in the show. Then again I don't understand most people in the world and I have pretty much resigned myself to knowing my brain works completely contrary to nearly everyone else ;)Hell raised by Teresa on April 24, 2013 09:10 AM
Hell yes I'm hiding.... behind the door with a whatever/anything heavy I can find at hand.
To sit there and wait for death is absurd.
Always remember a bic pen to an artery is as good as a shotgun blast to the chest.
Where that sit and die attitude comes from I cannot even fathom, and its just me, throw a signifcant other or god forbid a child of mine in with that mix and there would be at least 20 seconds of total hell for whoever came through that door.
That last situation would be where I would go from survival to being a "good soldier". Meaning I'm expendable but they are not.Hell raised by Ironnerd on April 24, 2013 09:11 AM
If I was cornered in my room, it would be very likely I would fight back although one can never say with absolute certainty how one will react and then act in the face of such a threat. I have fought back many times before, in life threatening situations, so am pretty much convinced I would do so again but note, I did say if cornered in my room. The truly smart thing to do, if possible, would be to escape detection either by hiding (and I do not mean under your bed or in any other useless place) or actually getting away from the danger in the face of such a situation. If your very first thought was that you should wait in hiding, to surprise the terrorists, take one out, grab his weapon and kill the others, yes - you have been idolizing John Wayne or Bruce Willis way too much. I base that statement on years of experience. If you can avoid a confrontation it is better to do so in such a situation. If you cannot avoid it, then fighting is the only response I see as feasible.
I have to say, I find it somewhat alarming and also somewhat amusing at how many say they would fight or are not going down without a fight when they do not know what else they might be able to do. It is all very macho but not very well thought out. It is just that there could be other options that would be better than fighting. If there are multiple terrorists coming for you, room to room, do you really think you are going to win if you engage them or that it would be better to die fighting them than to escape. If so, then tell me, if a fire were raging in your hotel and progressing toward your room, would you grab a blanket as a first resort and then try to snuff the flames or would you jump from the window to safety if possible. You really need to consider your options if you have any. You need to assess the situation in which you find yourself and then think over your options and select the best course of action and often need to do so very quickly.
I learned long ago that you need to assess every situation either before you react or while reacting and then change reaction to action - there is quite the difference. One keeps you under the control of the situation and one allows you to control the situation. I would then do what I thought best based upon my assessment. As I said though, if trapped, I would probably fight back. I have done it before and will do it again, if need be, to save my life or the lives of others.
Go to this link to watch a brief video, about an FBI agent who did not but should have assessed his situation before taking action. It may seem amusing but it is obvious he did not assess the situation and did not consider options. See:
Hell raised by Glenn B on April 24, 2013 09:28 AM
All the best,
... I agree with you completely, Glenn.... I remember being asked at a meritorious corporal board how we ensure a certain reaction will happen during combat and when clouded by the fog of war.... I rambled on about how one never knows how one will react until it actually happens.... when I finished, the SSGT said, "you should have answered that with one word...'training'"....
... I am simply saying that I cannot understand the mentality of someone who dwells on how much a wound is going to hurt rather than being proactive in the situation.... fight, hide, run.... anything is preferrable to standing around waiting your turn to be killed....
Glenn B. is probably right. You really can't be sure unless confronted with the problem, and that's a hell of a way to find out.
Overall, sitting around doing nothing, like the French sounds like a bad idea tho.Hell raised by Cappy on April 24, 2013 02:45 PM
It might be the training that puts you in that mindset. My first thought would be trying to escape. Not being able to escape, my second thought would be trying to find a place to hide so that he'd think the room empty. And if that wasn't it, it would be hiding somewhere, with something hopefully to defend myself, praying really hard, knowing I was about to die. In my mind it is simple. I'd be trying to do the flight as much as possible, because I would have decided I'd lose the fight... in that particular situation.Hell raised by Bou on April 24, 2013 08:00 PM
..... I say Cappy is right...... and while I still wish that Glenn's non-confrontational review is the right way of handling things, sometimes that is just not the case........ those folks in India were told to stay in their rooms........ still, it begs the question.......
... and yes, Bou, I admire your spunk....... the question remains..... what would drive us to be the people that we are today?...... is it instict?.... is it survival?...... is it training?...... is it the media?......... god, I wish that I knew....... all that remains is that I wish, every day, that I were a better man.....
I don't know. I think for me it's life experience. I took karate for years and I'd spar with all men as no women were really taking. It didn't matter how hard I trained, they were bigger and stronger. I realized that in a dangerous situation like in a parking lot, I had to strike only to be able to run. There is just no way in hell I can win a physical fight. Add a gun and I'm toast.
That doesn't mean I'm not going to try to get my strike in to make my escape, but I'm telling you now, I'd be trying to hide first. I feel certain.Hell raised by Bou on April 24, 2013 09:37 PM
All of this evadiding and hiding makes me numb.... YES you do that first but when you are in room 2207 and the exits are covered you have two chances fight or jump and splat from floor 22.
Why are there always nitpickers...scenario was hotel room wit bad guys. Three options die, shit your pants and die, or fight back. I suppose a fourth could happen which I likely would take shit your pants then fight back
Hotels don't provide any cover or hiding area. Most can. Be over watched from one spot even if they have L or X shaped layout.
Hunker down an get ready to tide the crazy train.Hell raised by ironnerd on April 25, 2013 05:00 AM
I'm with you, there is no way I would sit and wait for someone to kill me.
Sorry to be pragmatic, but the obvious starting point is to block the door by moving *ALL* the hotel room furniture against the door.
Most hotel rooms have a small entrance area near the door w/ bathroom entrance on one side & some kind of closet or hanging rack on the other. Stuff the desk, matress & boxspring up against that door, with anything else in the room behind or on top and the g*dd*mn buggers will lose interest in that room and move on.
They are already excited, and most have some kind of internal clock. No one in any given room is special; they want to get around and harm as many as possible. Use their impatience against them.
Best Regards,Hell raised by CAPT Mike on April 30, 2013 01:25 AM
I'm with Bou.
Being a 5/4", 115 lb. female, I'd be trying to disappear first. And go down fighting second.
I DO think it has at least something to do with being an American (the way we older Americans were brought up).
Also, this brings to mind how sad it makes me that kids in schools these days have to have hiding drills now along with the old fire and tornado drills.
« Shut the hell up!
March 11, 2013
.... not too bad for a blind man, if you ask me......
..... and being from East Tennessee, I consider myself both hillbilly AND just a little bit cultured........
One of the best bluegrass flat pickers around.Hell raised by denny on March 27, 2013 03:30 PM
.... amen, sir..... amen........ and you are not so bad yourself when it comes to fingerpicking.....
« Shut the hell up!