Thursday, November 25, 2010

Deep In The Kobold Warrens...

...The Blog hungers.

[Scene: A kitchen in the Warrens. Enter two panicky Kobold Blog-Herders.]

First Blog-Herder: Ohgodohgodohgodohgod - it's hungering! Do something!

Second Blog-Herder: Find it something to eat!

[They rummage through various cupboards, fridges, pantries, freezers, coolers, store-rooms, butteries, cellars, sideboards, and so on]

Second Blog-Herder: Aha! We could toss it a musical interlude or two!

First Blog-Herder: Won't work - it'll just be hungry again in a day or so. Should we fry it up a nice Catullus poem, or something like that?

Second Blog-Herder: Takes too long - that thing is ravenous (you could put some out to thaw, though - we haven't had any Catullus in a long time. Am I actually speaking in parentheses? I am! Cooooool...). Hey look! We've got half a barrel of Edmonton Oilers material - we could whip that up in a jiffy!

First Blog-Herder: Ennh, it's not very nutritious, especially right now.

Second Blog-Herder: Some Millwall, then?

First Blog-Herder: Better, but still - same problem. [wanders into cooler] Hey look! We've still got that pot of snark we made this summer and never used! You remember - the one with the ESPN guy who wrote the column about how the main problem with sports these days is that athletes don't hate each other enough, the column in which he completely screwed up the anecdote about Ted Williams! That one!

Second Blog-Herder: Ooh, I remember that - that was good snark! Well-researched, if I recall. Let's save that one for a special occasion, like next week.

First Blog-Herder: Ok. Hmm, what's in this jar marked "Use only on Fridays"?

Second Blog-Herder: Who cares, it's Thursday. [wanders into larder] Oh, here we go - I've got just the thing! [emerges from larder bearing bag labelled "Emergency Blog Food"]

First Blog-Herder: What's in that?

Second Blog-Herder: A slow loris being tickled.

First Blog Herder: Perrrfect.

[Exeunt. End Scene]

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11th

Ortona, Italy, December 1943. (National Archives of Canada, PA-136332)

The temptation, of course, is to try to say something meaningful, but I think instead I will simply let Lt. Col. McCrae take it from here:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Update: Also, go here and watch the video. You will probably want kleenex.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

'Bout Damn Time

As you are no doubt aware, if you follow the sport of hockey at all, last night marked the first inductions to the Hockey Hall of Fame of female players, namely Angela James and Cammi Granato. This has prompted a mild outbreak of hooting and feces-throwing in comments sections around the interwebs, but most people that I've read seem to recognize the inductions of James and Granato for what they are: thoroughly deserved and completely unimpeachable.

The question now, I think, revolves around who the next women inducted to the Hall as players will be. Hayley Wickenheiser, whenever she decided to call it a day, is probably automatic, and I've heard Manon Rhéaume's name out there as well. Angela Ruggiero deserves some consideration, I would think, and I'm sure I've left some out.

I would like to make a humble suggestion on this subject, however. In the photograph above, sitting in the front row at the viewer's far left, is a woman named Hilda Ranscombe, star of the Preston Rivulettes. The Rivulettes were basically the Edmonton Grads of womens' ice hockey, dominating the game during its first heyday in the 1930s. I will at this point cede the floor to this superb article on the topic of the Rivulettes and womens' hockey between the wars.

Let me close by saying merely that Hilda Ranscombe, among several other female players from that era, would be an admirable addition to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Eight And One-Half Minutes...

...And worth every second. Here's Mr. Springsteen at the height of his powers (Tom Morello's pretty good too):

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Omar Khadr Situation

And so we have a resolution, of a sort, to the whole Omar Khadr affair, which featured successive Canadian governments boldly and decisively aided and abetted in the torture and prolonged incarceration, without trial, of a juvenile Canadian citizen.

Oh, Omar Khadr got his trial in the end. And therein he was given a choice: Admit to being a war criminal, plead guilty, and be free man in a few years, or contes the trial and spend the rest of his life in prison (anybody who thinks the possibility of acquittal was greater than zero is deplorably naive). And hey, look, he admitted to being a war criminal and pled guilty! Well shit, I'm convinced!

Of course, the fact that Omar Khadr was physically, mentally, and emotionally tortured before being put though a judicial process that would give Josef Stalin pause for thought in no way reduces the magnitude of the tragedy that has befallen the family of Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer. Compassion for Khadr does not in the slightest degree preclude or prevent compassion for them.

Anyway, I have very little more to say about it, particularly given the volume of material out there on the case already. Here are a couple of good reads, though:

"America rewrites the laws of war for Omar Khadr" from The Guardian.

"Khadr case: This is war, not a war crime" from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald.

As one of Khadr's lawyers put it, accurately and succinctly, "fundamental principles of law and due process were long since abandoned in Omar's case."