Sunday, November 22, 2015

52 Years On

Where I Was

I was in 5th Grade, attending St. Mary Parish Catholic School in Derby, Kansas. The teachers and principals were almost all nuns in those days, probably belonging to the Religious Sisters of Mercy, although I was too young in those days to know that there was more than one kind of nun.
May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963

It was Friday afternoon, not long after lunch when Sr. Kathleen, our principal, interrupted classes with an announcement that the president had been shot. Of course the class I was in joined in a prayer immediately. I don't really recall whether we were able to get back to our schoolwork.

Approximately an hour later, she came on the intercom again, her voice choked with emotion, to let us know that the president had died.

My only other strong recollection is of the TV being on constantly at my house, up to and including Kennedy's funeral. There was an air of unreality about it all, for someone my age. I didn't really understand how something like this could happen in our supposedly "modern" times.

In the fullness of time, of course, I came to know that Kennedy was a deeply flawed man, and in most important respects an ineffective president. The event that dominated my adolescence (Vietnam) began largely due to his fecklessness.

All of that aside, though, I still mourn the untimely death of the only Catholic president in our nation's history.

Speaking of Politics...

"We don't need no steenkin' Republicans!"

I try to stay away from overtly political stuff on the weekends, but every once in awhile there is a provocation so egregious that I can't just let it go.

I have often said that if you scratch
a progressive you will find a rigid totalitarian underneath, but they're usually savvy enough to at least give lip service to the notion that there might be two sides to some issues.

Speaking in North Charleston, South Carolina yesterday, Hillary Clinton let the mask drop for just a moment. She made it plain that the people she recently described as the enemies she is proudest to have made actually have no place in our politics. She told her audience that there were all sorts of wonderful things Democrats would do for them if "Republicans would just get out of the way."

To which the only possible civilized response is: Fuck you, you black-eyed skank!

"You are incorrigible."

I never saw any upside to being corrigible...

I Can't Even

All things considered, yesterday wasn't a great day of college football outcomes for me. For starters, Notre Dame beat Boston College in Boston (at Fenway Park, no less), although that is somewhat bittersweet for me since BC is also a Catholic institution.

Are you shitting me, Notre Dame?

I thought the uniforms the Irish wore for the game were hideous, though. The helmet was okay, I suppose, though the tradition of there being no logo on the Notre Dame helmet should be respected.

The monochrome green uniforms were ghastly. Supposedly, the color was "inspired" by the Green Monster at Fenway. If that is so, perhaps someone can explain to me why you'd want to use something on the opposition's field as the basis for your look. Makes no sense. Especially since the green on the uniforms doesn't match the green on the wall. Ten Our Fathers and ten Hail Marys, Notre Dame. And a promise not to do it again.

Iowa won again to clinch a spot in the Big Ten championship game, which will make Hawkeye fans insufferable for another week at least. Nebraska didn't play, but they'll face Iowa in Lincoln next Friday. No matter who wins that one, I'll have at least one obnoxious fan base to avoid.

Iowa State blew a 21-point halftime lead and lost to Kansas State 38-35 on a last-second field goal. It wasn't the first time such a fate befell the Cyclones this season. They fired the coach after the game. Not a classy move, ISU.

My newly-adopted Black Knights from Army lost to Rutgers, but at least the despicable Kansas Jayhawks lost in satisfying fashion. They still haven't won a game this season...

Compare and Contrast

From the incisive pen of Mike Ramirez, whose editorial cartoons you should read regularly, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Over the course of my life, I have learned to take most biographical information about public figures with a lick of salt. That has been especially true with JFK, who for many years after his death was still the subject of mostly worshipful press coverage.

That said, I'm reasonably confident that I can trust the multiple sources who wrote that Kennedy's favorite song was the 16th century English folk ballad "Greensleeves."

Today's send-off is a marvelous a capella performance of the song by The King's Singers. It was recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London on September 13, 2008. Enjoy...

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