Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Pantheon

LT G, on finding immortality through death, rather than around it:

Whether we like it or not, life is as temporary and as fleeting as that corporeal feeling a young child gets on Saturday mornings, literally swelling with the happiness and freedom possibility yields. I'm no mad scientist, and I offer no magic potion that counters this very basic truth. But immortality does exist for those brave enough to claim it. For those dumb enough to make a dash for it. For those lucky enough to comprehend it.

It is in this vain of thought - a thought, by the way, that is not nearly as morbid as it may appear upon first read - that I bring you the examples of IT; a Pantheon of Rockin’ Heroes we all should celebrate and canonize. It may appear that this is a random list, with a random number of members, with random tangents entwined randomly. Well … that’s the point. Random is good. Because if greatness is anything, it is random. These individuals did more than Embrace the Suck, and went beyond discovering that Happiness is Diggity. They evolved into the walking manifestation of the Toro, waving the red cape of history, deftly toying with the raging bull of existence. Some eventually felt the horns’ gore, some did not, but that’s not the point. The point is that at one time, even if it was for just one illustrious moment, they were completely and utterly in charge and brimming with anticipation, shunning the reactionary nature of their human brethren. (Cue awesomely 80’s glam rock anthem, “The Final Countdown,” by Europe.)

18-Randolph Childress – Pure swagger. A Wake Forest baller small in stature, bursting with pride and confidence. The Tar Heel player whose ankles were nearly broken trying to keep up with his killer crossover is still getting waved back up by Childress, and is still stuck on the ground hopelessly, fifteen years after the conference title game in question.

17-Ron Burgundy – Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe diversity is an old wooden ship, from the Civil War era …

16- Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte I – Deserves recognition for being the only man in history more vain than Thomas Jefferson, Prince of Agraria. Respect.

15- Cleisthenes – The godfather of Athens. He rocked the Spartans, ousted the oligarchs, seized power for himself -- and then he willingly handed over demokratia to the masses. In classic political study circles, there is only one word for this: Pimpin.’

14- David Hackworth – A soldier's soldier, and the type boat-rockin' officer the Army needs more of, especially right now. Further, he single-handedly would be able to destroy the metrosexual movement spreading across America like the black plague if he were still alive.

13-Gambit- The X-Men cartoon revolutionized my youth. No longer would I be content to be just another sprite suckling off the world’s metaphorical tit until I grew weary of the polluted milk only to realize that my deathbed was near so it was time to embrace God ‘just in case.’ I was going to transcend that. Furthermore, one errant day during my novice training, I dressed up as Gambit, trench coat and all. Then I accidentally hit Momma G in the eye with a flying ace of spades. I still feel bad about that.

12—Tupac Shakur – I realize I’m prone to romanticism, especially when martyrdom is involved (blame that damned Celtic blood), but ‘Pac’s eternal duality strikes a chord in all young American males who feel caged by their surroundings, no matter what those surroundings may be. Just because it comes in gangsta’ rap form doesn’t change the broad appeal of his message. He had groupies but hoped for one love, he screamed Thug Life but cried when he was alone in jail, he wrote elegant poetry but also sang “Hit Em Up.” Complexity shatters labels; always has, always will.

11- Ernest Hemingway – All that is Man. ‘Nuff said.

10- Wonder Woman- True, she is one of only two women on the list, and no, it’s not to avoid a discrimination lawsuit. One, she’s the most dominant force on the planet and two, she does it all in a very revealing bathing suit. Thank you Wonder Woman, for making puberty just a little easier. God bless your Amazonian soul.

9- Hot Rod- From the Transformers. Granted, when he inherits the Matrix and becomes Rodimus Prime, he starts to suck, but before that he is sweeter than a gallon of Carolina Nestea. Not to mention being a turbo-revving young punk voiced by Judd Nelson. You can’t go wrong when you bring the Brat Pack together with choppy Japanese animation.

8- Senator Barack Obama – I’ll spare you a political diatribe, and simply state that if you can’t recognize the vital importance of hope and change in modern American government as personified by this man, I sincerely recommend taking a cyanide pill to cleanse you of your rampant cynicism. It’s the only remedy. (I’m kidding, of course … mainly because I get the feeling the vast majority of my readers are proud conservatives.)

7-Robin Hood- Face it – no weapon is cooler than a bow and arrow, not even the claymore. Well, maybe a mace, but that’s different. And the whole ‘robbing the rich to give to the poor’ gig may be directly responsible for Karl Marx. Or Trotsky, at least. And no, I can’t prove that last statement with anything resembling fact. He also had a thing for sassy spitfires, which I can … empathize with.

6- Jim Morrison – The Lizard King himself, crooning ballad after ballad about the coming End and the rivers of sadness and the killers on the road, and exploring the outer wilds of all that is bizarre, prosaic, and …

5-Padraig Pearse- Yeah, he was an impractical poet who got in way over his head with the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916. He still deserves credit for backing up his haughty words and proclamations with direct action. That doesn’t happen very much anymore.

4- Captain Jack Sparrow-A drunk, swashbuckling madman whose sole goals in life were self-aggrandizement and finding a horizon to be alone. Never has a dastardly anti-hero been so outrageously awesome. Or stylish.

3- Grace O’Malley- Let’s get this straight. She’s Irish, she’s a pirate queen, and she pillaged the British? What a woman. Damn you Father Time, for bearing me half-a-millennia too late.

2- Gandhi- You can’t argue with success. And while his non-violent agitation campaign would never work in my crusade against modern American excess, one still has to give mad props to India’s founding father. And indeed, the rumors are true; props are best when angry.

1- Muhammad Ali- You are, kind Sir, very much the Greatest. And you knew it. And you let everyone else know it. Sniff. The Holy Trifecta of IT.


Anonymous said...

"Here be ghosts that I have raised this Christmastide, ghosts of dead men that have bequeathed a trust to us living men. Ghosts are troublesome things in a house or in a family, as we knew even before Ibsen taught us. There is only one way to appease a ghost. You must do the thing it asks you. The ghosts of a nation sometimes ask very big things and they must be appeased, whatever the cost." Patrick Pearse, "On Christmas Day", 1915; Conor Cruise O'Brien "Ancestral Voices" (1994)
Lt., my reason for hope is affirmed by young men such as yourself. Thank you.

Gambit said...

"Ahh, de good ol' days, when dis thief's only concern was the big score. Tell me, Vuio, how'd you and I ever get involved in dis whole Hero Gig?"

Anonymous said...

Literate, articulate, intelligent and outstanding. Get your men home safe (and you too).
BTW, COL's love pop culture references, they just can't pick TUPAC out of a lineup if their life depended on it.
V/r, Baghdad '07 "Faugh al Ballah!"

Mom said...

Dear Son,

Coincidentally, just minutes before I went to the computer and read "The Pantheon", Pa had called and quoted Invictus to me, applicable to each of your eighteen:

It matters not how strait the gate
How charged with punishments
the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.
Invictus, William Henley

Great work (though I may need to watch "Anchorman" again to more fully appreciate Ron Burgundy's "unconquerable soul"! Tee Hee!)

Much love.

Anonymous said...

Lt G, you and each of the Gravediggers have IT and are Rockin' Heroes. Thanks for another great post.

Anonymous said...

I quote no. 8 on your Pantheon of Rockin' Heroes:"I remembered a young man in East Moline named Seamus Ahern who was on his way to Iraq-the desire he had to serve his country, the look of pride and apprehension on the face of his father...The audacity of hope. That was the best of the American spirit, I thought-having the audacity to believe despite all the evidence to the contrary that we could restore a sense of community to a nation torn by conflict; the gall to believe that despite personal setbacks...we had some control-and therefore responsibility-over our own fate."Barack Obama

Grandpa said...

I was told by my grandmother that I was a decendent of Granuaile. I took the story with a "grain of salt", until I read that one of Granuaile's family line was "Loftus", which was my great grandmothers maiden name. Grannuaile's castle still stands on the cliffs of Clew Bay uninhabited. By the way if you should not forget Cincinnatus for your list. I would not include Sen. Obama...YET. There should be deeds to point to that inspire. Not to mention he has to meet your stated criteria of "finding immortality through death, rather than around it".

Mezzo SF said...

*Most* excellent list, indeed.

Praying for you & your guys out there.

Lee said...

Found your blog today, and have read all of your posts thus far. You have a tremendous talant. So keep yer head down, listen to your NCO's (we know...), be well, and come home to your family.

Vaya con Dios, Amigo.

Capt said...

I have just listened to Senator Obama's victory speech in South Carolina and I must admit that I am greatly moved. I applaud, therefore, your naming him to your list of heroes. Nevertheless, in the great American spirit of bi-partisanship, I must nominate to your list a member of the loyal opposition, Senator John McCain, who said as follows:

"Glory is not a conceit. It is not a declaration for valor. Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely and who rely on you in return".

And, in regards to a matter he knows a great deal about:

"War is wretched beyond complete description, and only a fool or a fraud could sentimentalize its cruel reality."

The courage of you and your men, LT, humbles me each day.

DoubleTapper said...

I'm continuing to enjoy your blog. I check for updates daily!

This may be a little off topic but, what's with the 72 virgins anyway? Has anyone ever seen them?

I've been around and I know what their ideal woman looks like. Yuck!

I've got a better offer for them. Don't blow yourself up. Repent, and come visit us in Israel.

Here are 72 of our finest waiting to show you true paradise. No painful suicide required!


Anonymous said...

haha, there's that cocky swagger i remember from back in the day?

and who's this "grandpa" hating on Obama, pretending to be the Admiral? I think he needs to take your prescribed remedy for cynicism.

keep up the good work, man.

Anonymous said...

nevermind the question mark above, i'm an idiot

Grandpa said...

Grandpa is a retired recipient of Medicare, who was involved in the civil rights movement all through the ‘60’s, a former Trotskyite, a counselor for draft evaders during the Vietnam fiasco. Someone who is still appalled at the slaughter in its aftermath, politically somewhere along then line of Christopher Hitchens and Senator Joe Lieberman. The point I was making I thought was fairly obvious, while Senator Obama is both telegenic and a great orator, (someone who I believe will someday be President, if not now but someday, considering his youth.) He has no real “story”, no history of “overcoming”. Unlike Justice Thomas, had a normal middle class life. We are in the age of Television, where appearance trumps substance. Abraham Lincoln could never hope to be President today, too ugly, Taft, way too fat. I have yet to find any of Obama’s position papers on line. Oh and by the way believed that invading Iraq was the right thing to do, and establishing a working society an imperative.

Lt. G, please feel free to delete this post if I stepped over the line, and in any way threatened the integrity of your blog. I do not want or expect to see politics become an issue here. What is important is what you see and report, your feelings and thoughts, as much as is permissible under the USCMJ.

Anonymous said...

uh, Yeah, that's uCMJ... no "S" in there Gramps. As for rambling on in someone elses house, not cool.

CoCo said...

Ah yes, finally a post reminiscent of the "big brother" I know and love. I've been keeping up with the blog, and gotta tell ya, sometimes the inexplicable you-ness I'm used to gets buried beneath a bunch of jargon and description of a world I'm a million miles away from.
Very refreshed to hear some of the old G. Miss you tons weirdo.


Mike said...

Final Countdown? Great choice. Was my music selection when I was finishing my epic struggle to eat a six pack and a pound from Taco John's in one sitting. (Did it without breaking a sweat.)

Gambit was the best and most awesome member of the X-Men. Period. Plus he had a thing for Rogue, who, in the cartoon anyway, was the hottest chick.

Hack would indeed be able to stop the growing tide of metrosexualism. The boogeyman checks under his bed for Chuck Norris, Chuck Norris checks under his bed for Hack.

jb said...

18 made me actually spit coffee on my screen. Genius. Oh, and 8? I preceive that you are perceptive.

jb said...

17, not 18, duh.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/28/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

mutt said...

Grace Omalley And Hack!? AND a kind word about Obama!!?? AND the Easter Rising??!
WWHD is a thing I ask meself, now & then.
Tell you what, you'd be home & this bunch would be sweating trial.
I follow events in Ire from this perch:
Keep yer powder dry, Lt. We need you & the Gravediggers in good shape to help rebuild our Country.....
You ever get to see "The Wind in the Barley"? Concerns events in Ireland, 1919-23. It has a scene of a IRA column, marching in the fog, on the way to settle some English hash. they are singng a marching tune, about Grace Omalley, in Celtic- a tune hundreds of years old, & covered by Sinead on her all Gaelic alblum....heck of a tune to toss in your mix....
Love, & respect, Mutt

maeniel said...

pure stuff. envy yr expression and realisation, trades off with situation i guess. thx tho.

BrianFH said...
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