Thursday, January 31, 2008

A whYkid's Guide to Enlightenment

Popular culture dominates the whYkids’ realm and souses our minds. This certainly is not a new manifestation for the youth culture – Fitzgerald had his Jazz Age, Kesey had his era of groovy, etc. – but it certainly feels like pop culture has crested. It’s no longer utilized as a narcissistic escape; pop culture now trumps both high culture and arch culture in terms of forcing itself upon the modern youth’s development. Recognizing movie quotes from Adam Sandler movies and rattling off lyrics from Jay-Z’s early albums establishes a whYkid’s au courant credentials, much more so than being able to name a country in South America. Recognizing a sonata by Chopin probably will never be considered cool again – but pointing out that the actor who played Borat is engaged to the crazy redhead from Wedding Crashers certainly is. Being defined as indie, as in dependent musical tastes found via independent labels, is cooler. And being so well-versed in the fashion twists of the emo subculture that you can blather on about the gel integrity of the faux-hawk haircut cannot be anything but the coolest.

Ron Burgundy and Abe Lincoln are equals for the modern youth who seeks to be well-rounded. By constantly being bombarded by the hip and the now, pop culture has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. It’s beyond one channel, one magazine, or one label by now – pop culture is the new oral history (in terms of historical solidity), as everything a whYkid does or desires to do must be related to something we’ve seen, read, or listened to for it to be considered genuine or real. Trends don’t end anymore, they swell across e-America like the Mongols spread across Eurasia, branching out into a multitude of subgenres and nuances only fat, bald music executives and thirteen-year old girls can follow. The seeds planted by MTV twenty-five years ago have sprouted into a Laguna Beach rainforest of fleeting glitz and shameless self-promotion, where paper paparazzi tigers stalk willing victims with golden hair and vintage purses, where the founders of MySpace and Facebook are viewed as baboon oracles of self-presentation, and David Hasslehoffs long thought dead swing again from hanging YouTube vines. If that analogy disturbs you – as it should – try to remember that things could be worse. At least the two Coreys have been regulated to the minor leagues of VH1 in the yawning Tens of the new millennia.

Has it always been like this? Who am I to say it hasn’t? We only live once, and thus, only develop in one generational era. As an amateur scholar who dabbles in social history though, I have to believe that this glut and superabundance directly results from the excess of the 1980’s. Stupid Brat Pack with their stupid cocaine abuse and their stupid electric mullets and their stupid synthesized rock. I thought the whole Seattle grunge gig killed off all that ardor for excess circa 1991 … but then along came the internet, and quicker than HST rambled into bat country, a whole new threshold for mass media consumption sprung an e-moonbow of instant gratification and catalogued information. All glamour, no tangibility or substance. This is more than just another scrap in humanity’s social indulgences, however; it’s also a scientific statement on an already known natural law. Gravity does not function in reverse: what goes up must come down, but what goes down does not have to come up.

I’d explain what the hell that even means, but I need to check out if the rumor about Radiohead releasing their catalogue on iTunes is true or not. I’ve downloaded 4,347 songs in preparation for the deployment, and am always scrounging the music library for more.

Nothing says legit like a diverse music library. And you’re damn sure LT G be legit, yo. Trend on.

Monday, January 28, 2008

In My Army ...

The gripe: A military tradition as time-honored as dehumanizing the enemy, as expected as giving your rifle a feminine name and persona, and as innate in the soldier’s soul as feeling abandoned by the kinsmen they fight for. After all, you don’t worry about the soldiers who bitch, you worry about the ones who aren’t bitching. Such comprehension doesn’t change the fact that bullshit always rolls downhill - or that at the platoon level, said bullshit rolls in like a crashing avalanche, steadily progressing in size and strength, arriving with a reeking stench of mundane regulations and asinine humorlessness.

With that analogy in mind, I bring to light a sampling of the current gripes of the Gravediggers. Stoicism certainly has its’ time and its’ place, and that is usually out of the wire. In the wire, though, venting catapults itself into even the hardiest of hearts in this man’s Army. Let’s just say that if LT G were Lord Protectorate G of the Desert Cavalry of Pure Raw Awesomeness, things would be a little different. Gathered over the course of assorted grievance councils, usually held in the post-mission unwinding that occur on the combat outpost’s front stoop over some cigarettes and profanity-laced jokes, this is how things should be – and would be, in my Army…

-- I’d be able to be a scout platoon leader for the next 20 years.

-- The electronic leash commonly referred to as a radio would only work once every hour, for only one minute, and CPT Whiteback and Headquarters would be cool with such.

-- SSG Bulldog’s poker games with some of the other NCOs would end just before I burst through their door with the latest Frago, instead of having just begun.

-- Not everything that ever occurred in the entire country of Iraq would be an immediate emergency. Mesopotamia has been at war with itself for at least two millennia. Seriously, what’s the big deal if I need another 20 minutes to finish dispatching my vehicles? What’s the freakin’ rush?

-- The meat-eaters would outnumber the leaf-eaters 16:1, instead of the way it is, which has leaf-eaters outnumbering the meat-eaters 16:1. (Think dinosaurs and evolution if you’re failing to grasp the awe-inspiring depth of this analogy. Then relate to the military branches, and you’ll be golden.)

-- Garrison regulations would’ve stayed back in Hawaii; combat regulations would only exist here. As a result, I wouldn’t have to live in a world of cafeteria combat, where a manatee pushing a lottery ball with its’ nose randomly chooses when and where soldiers should’ve employed kinetic force, and when and where they shouldn’t have. (I.E. abusing all that is hindsight and retrospective from behind a desk, where the only thing to fear is carpal tunnel syndrome and great joy occurs in crushing the occasional cheeky junior officer who thinks he knows everything.)

-- (*Some*) staff officers would have a little comprehension of history, and realize that “winning over hearts and minds” is more than just a poor choice of words when discussing the local population’s temperament towards American military forces in their country. I sarcastically suggested they watch Platoon during one of their meetings instead of arguing about the color scheme and numbers on a PowerPoint slide. No word yet as to whether my proposal gained any support.

-- CPT Whiteback’s computer conference calls with Squadron wouldn’t be the most unintentionally hilarious thing this side of SPC Doc’s propensity for rummaging through trash. I like to laugh, but listening to one of those things caused me to laugh for all the wrong reasons.

-- The punkass pogue warrant officer who barked at my soldiers at the chow hall on the FOB for not having haircuts, needing showers, and wearing their Army-issued fleeces over their uniform after we rolled back after fifteen straight days of patrolling would still be eating mud, three days later after it happened. If I hadn’t stayed back with SFC Big Country to check on the maintenance of our vehicles, such would’ve occurred. Seriously, when I find out who you are, Fuckstick, I will systematically destroy everything you hold dear, and do so rockin’ my fleece and eating a bowl of mint ice cream while my Joes giggle hysterically as they watch in the distance.

-- (*Some*) Field grade officers would have more serious things to worry about during a war than the size of PV2 Van Wilder’s moustache, or LT G’s wear of the Army-issued fleece cap during the day while off-duty. (Hey, I’m a skinny guy. I get cold easily.) Like, oh I don’t know, ensuring that the Iraqi Police have an equal balance of Sunnis and Shi’as on their force to avoid allegations of corruption. That might a good place to start.

-- Other units would stick to their own showers, and not take our hot water when we finally do get back to the FOB. However, if this changed, I wouldn’t have had the pleasure to witness SFC Big Country turn off the hot water heater while four Grunts showered in our stalls, so perhaps this was worth it. Check that. The high-pitched shrills that resulted definitely were worth the sacrifice.

-- I wouldn’t see the same brain-dead “source” walk in to the combat outpost every day, feeding us the same crap over and over again, just so he can get some snack food and a warm place to stay for a few hours. Actually, I can sympathize with the source, living in a third world country clearly sucks. My ire lies with our intel geeks who continually fall for his ploys, and end up convincing higher to send us out pursuing wild, unsubstantiated rumors, instead of building up rapports with the locals in our AO like we’re supposed to.

-- I could sleep for more than two hours in a row without waking up in a panicked frenzy, checking to ensure that the batteries to my radio haven’t died.

-- The dog and pony shows that inevitably occur whenever anyone with any rank whatsoever swings by (always during the day, and never too early in the morning, by the way) wouldn’t be painful, nor uncomfortable, nor throw a monkey wrench the size of an orangutan into current operations. (And yes, the simile zoo of animal analogies in this gripe is intentional, and being abused to illustrate the cattle-car nature of the military bureaucracy.)

-- 12 hours of a bureaucratic trail of tears and papercuts would not be what sends a detainee to jail; finding a freakin’ Soviet-era sniper rifle in his backyard in a water pipe would be enough.

-- Instead of a Stryker, I’d be able to drive around Anu al-Verona in an up-armored version of Rufus, my 1974 baby blue Volkswagon Bus, defiantly blaring the hippie proclamations of Bob Marley and giving the Hawaiian shaka’ to the local populace. Talk about legit.

-- I would never go to bed weary and sore and drained, absolutely convinced that the details of me and my men’s lives were nothing more than a PowerPoint slide being passed up the chain-of-command on memory drives. Not even our own presentation. Just one little slide. This happens at least once a week.

Whew. I feel better. See? Venting can be therapeutic. We all have our outlets. Rock stars have heroin, soccer moms have Oprah, even my golden retriever back home barks at ducks to relieve stress. All I need is a warm cup of coffee, a computer to vomit my raving brain into, and fifteen minutes of freedom. I’m good now, thanks for making it this far. I appreciate it, and certainly hope you aren’t one of the individuals I railed against above. That would be … awkward.

Just so you know, I’m still going to castrate that warrant officer when we return to the FOB.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dead Guy Poem (2)

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose –
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!
O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath –
America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of gangster death
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain –
All, all the stretch of these great green states –
And make America again!


Langston Hughes, from “Let America Be America Again”

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 …
Immaculate.

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.


Monday, January 21, 2008

The Great Dragunov Jigsaw Puzzle

“Hey, LT.” SSG Boondock’s rapid banter rose above the incessant prattling of four Iraqi women, upset at being shepherded out of their house in the desert orange dawn. “You’ll want to check this out.”

I left the terp Billy the Kid with the locals, and followed SSG Boondock’s lead around the corner of the house – a mud hut, really, only consisting of two small rooms that supposedly housed two military-aged males, one of the men’s mother, three younger women, and four children. We were operating in the farmland outskirts of Anu al-Verona, acting on a tip one of the local Sheiks had provided us about a new family in his area possibly housing insurgents. The information relayed to us had been flimsy at best, and that combined with the unabated exhaustion that comes after an all-night OP immediately transitions into a predawn raid, left the majority of the Gravediggers impatient, annoyed, and eager to get back to the combat outpost. All we had found of note thus far had been a litany of poorly-threaded blankets, some homemade herb the grandmother claimed helped the children with their many illnesses, and a torn Van Halen tee shirt that SPC Big Ern thought he had owned in 1987 when he sported a mullet and drove a pesticide truck for a living.

SGT Axel and PV2 Das Boot awaited our arrival on the backside of the mud hut. They stood next to a well, from which a water pipe emerged, connecting to the residence in question. Through the eyes of a green lieutenant, everything looked about as normal as an Iraqi hellhole can look. They didn’t exactly cover what happened next in ROTC, you know?

“Watch this, Sir,” SSG Boondock said, not breaking stride in his steps. He raised his arms at the center of the water pipe to grasp it, stood up on his tip toes, and tilted the pipe towards PV2 Das Boot. “Reach in there,” he instructed the young private.

The soldier did as he was told. “There’s hay in here, Sergeant,” he said.

“Reach deeper.”

A look of confusion crossed PV2 Das Boot’s face as he strained his reach further into the pipe. Confusion subsequently developed into bewilderment. He pulled out an elongated piece of metal, approximately eight inches long and three inches in diameter, that glinted alluringly in the arriving daylight. It shined with polish and showed no signs of rust or neglect.

SSG Boondock and I spoke concurrently. “Mother fuckers,” I said, while SSG Boondock said, perhaps just as eloquently but definitely more accurately, “a mother fucking bolt.”

The next half-hour passed as a blur. With the discovery of the rifle bolt, I unleashed my platoon’s rejuvenated energy and instinctive hunting skills upon the mud hut. The two men, who had already been separated, simply hung their heads in resignation when I showed them the metal piece. Billy the Kid laughed in their faces and told me that they knew better than to claim ignorance at this point. The rest of the family quietly stood off to the side and gathered around a homemade fire in a barrel as we ransacked – as gently as possible, I may add – through their personal belongings, unearthing a trigger assembly, five ammo magazines, and at least 100 7.62mm rounds in a carefully dug cubby hole found underneath a rug. CPL Spot unwrapped the mother-load that had been buried even deeper in the water pipe – a Russian-made Dragunov sniper rifle, carefully wrapped up in dishtowels and very recently cleaned. SFC Big Country’s brow was still furrowed, though, when I suggested that we were nearing the end of the search. “We’re still missing the stock,” he said, racking his mind for potential hiding spots we had overlooked.

“Damn it,” he continued, stalking over to the barrel where the family huddled around the fire for warmth. He shooed them away, and doused the flames with water from his Camelbak.

“What the hell are you doing?” I asked, walking up behind him.

He smirked, and reached a burly Midwestern paw into the barrel, pulling out a very charred but still recognizable homemade wooden rifle stock. I shook my head in disbelief, as Billy the Kid started grilling the grandmother. She smiled and shrugged her shoulders.

“A mother’s instincts protecting her son?” I asked the terp, when he finished.

“Yes,” he answered. “Crazy female.”

I instructed the Gravediggers to start policing up the hut and blindfold the two detainees while I inventoried our bounty; SFC Big Country walked back to his Stryker to update Headquarters. As SSG Boondock and SGT Axel led the two men away, I snuck a glance towards the family left behind to clean up after our spontaneous foray. The grandmother stared stonily off in the distance, seemingly oblivious to her departing son, his friend, and the incurring Americans. Two of the younger women fought back tears, while the third walked back inside, nursing the youngest of the children. The other three children wept openly, and one of them tried to run after our detainees, before the women collectively scooped him up.

As we walked back to my Stryker, the sniper rifle and accessory parts in hand, I looked over at Billy the Kid. “I feel kind of bad, you know? These guys are probably just stooges, trying to make some money.” I nodded back at the women and the children. “I mean, it’s not like this is their fault. How are they going to support themselves now?”

He looked at me skeptically. “Do not feel bad, LT. They should not have bred with stupid mother fuckers.”

You don’t always have to use big words or utilize profound analogies to articulate a philosophical known.


Dead Guy Quote (7)

"We’re all scared. You hid in that ditch because you think there’s still hope. But Blithe, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function. Without mercy. Without compassion. Without remorse. All war depends upon it." – CPT Ronald Spiers

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dead Guy Quote (6)

"Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it." -- Malcolm X

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Gravediggers Photo Essay (1)










I'm a giver. Thus, I can't limit my e-war journal to just the literate.


From top to bottom:
1) Sunset in Mesopotamia. A little birdie told me sunsets are profound and emotionally-stirring.
2) SFC Big Country (left) and LT G chillax at a local Sheik's house.
3) SSG Boondock (left) and SSG Bulldog smokin' and jokin.'
4) Enthralled by the mandatory videos put out by the Department of the Army.
5) PV2 Van Wilder helps PV2 Das Boot put on his gear.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Anarchy in the U.S.A.

Anarchy has always been an essential streak in the American psyche, and the verity that it’s fading may be the strongest evidence yet that our country needs stimulation.

Does that statement surprise you? Did you write off all of these words as some romanticized, populist tribute to nationalism and xenophobia? I could understand if you have – between the haughty subtitle and my omnipotent soldierisms, that reaction is probably an inevitability. And yet …

Like most good patriots, I have an anarchist in me aching to blow up something, anything, that can be described as important, historical, or even remotely attractive. I believe that’s the Minuteman in us lashing out – part of us hates any person, ideology, or institution that would ever dare impose on the most beautiful of concepts: liberty. Thomas Jefferson famously stated that every generation needs a new revolution, and while that might get expensive, we’d at least maintain our freedoms. (If only through continued relenting of them followed by continued rediscovery of them.)

But I’m no Nihilist; I know there are essential truths and base morals, even if they do take a lot of suffering and anguish to find and comprehend them. Furthermore, just because I understand the temptations of anarchy doesn’t mean I’d ever advocate it. It’s really more than unrealistic, it’s silly. This isn’t some small Incan village, or some town hall in Vermont. We’re the most powerful industrial nation in a world continually devoted to globalism. No government at all? No power or control at all? Replace your “u” with “dys,” and now add in the “topia.” Have you people ever seen Mad Max? We’d all be trapped in a landscape where the Latin Kings, the Italian Mob, and Pacman Jones’ entourage engaged in shootouts over the wave pool at water adventure theme parks. Not a good place to be, and don’t get me started on what that would do your local Krispy Kreme franchise.

Tyranny continues to be an ever-present threat, though. Only an active and politically-conscious citizenry can combat it, and anarchic tendencies of disengagement is the ultimate trump card for those on the side of liberty and freedom. Viva la Revolutionaries, if not the Revolution itself – history can only handle so many fights at a time. The Revolutionary can’t help when and where he is and isn’t born. There’s always a fight worth fighting, whether it’s pure in nature or not. Our grandparents had such an overwhelmingly clear and just cause to fight in World War II, that Americans tend to measure all causes by that impossibly translucent calling. History shows us that causes are hardly ever that obvious. Nothing since has been, at least. So it’s up to the individual to make do with what history yields him or her, and seek out something noble in an otherwise ignoble world.

Did I really just reference Thomas Jefferson, Mad Max, and the Latin Kings in the same rambling expose with a subject matter of anarchy?

Huh. I may need a beer.

Dead Guy Poem (1)

There’s an old adage that says if you die with your eyes open, you probably deserved it.

No argument here.


What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
- Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, -
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls’ brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

-- Wilfred Owen, “Anthem for Doomed Youth”

Friday, January 4, 2008

Still Alive Lady Quote (1)

"Boys, there are three types of people in this world: People who talk about things, people who talk about other people, and people who talk about ideas. Unless you want to be simpleton or a fool, you will talk about ideas." – Momma G, relayed to two G sons whenever we boarded the gossip train in the years between 1989 and 2001.

Dead Guy Quote (5)

"Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies." – Bobby Kennedy