Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Ain’t no party like a Solstice party, ’cause a Solstice party don’t stop!

Other than the freaks here at Stonehenge, no one really makes much of a fuss about the Summer Solstice.  Considering the importance the ancients placed on this annual solar event, History’s original summer blockbusters if you will, you would think that something would carry over.  When you consider how Christmas co-opted much of the traditions of the Winter Solstice, the lack of Summer Solstice play seems  even more perplexing.  I suppose with the Solstice falling between two of the Summer’s biggest holidays, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, things are just too crowded.  Or maybe it is because there are too many people like myself, who are just too damned tired from the getting up with the Sun at 5 AM (I’m very photo-sensitive.)  Still, if fuckin’ Cinco de Mayo can gain the legitimate, drink-your-face-off, party status it has accrued over the past decade or so, I see no reason why we can’t go buck-wild in honor of the longest day of the year, when the Great Ball of Fire makes his longest appearance at our daily Northern People Party (The Sun is just pissah at a party, what with his funny anecdotes and all; he just lights up the room – heyoooooh!)

OK! Off to go mix up a big pitcher of 100 proof vodka and Sunny Delight ®.

So Happy Summer Solstice, Party People!

While brevity is not one of my strong suits, I shall try to keep my commentary on the last half of the summer short and sweet – so short and sweet, in fact, that my observations and opinions on some noteworthy events from the last half of the summer shall be presented in the form of little poems. Enjoy the shortness and the sweetness, but take some wet-naps: they’re sticky.

July 18th: The Dark Knight opens world-wide.

Heath Ledger’s creepily awesome performance

In The Dark Knight was great;

Makes me hope that the Dead can see what’s going on down here…

…Except for when I masturbate.

July 24th: Barack Obama speaks in Berlin, in front of 200,000.

Obama is admired around the world;

And somehow this is bad to think?

Perhaps they’re putting stupid,

In water half the people drink.

July 29th: A 5.4 earthquake hits the Los Angeles area.

The Earth shook below

The Hollywood Hills.

How long will it be

Till the Big One that kills?

July 29th: SIRIUS and XM satellite radios merge after over 17 months of government review. It took less than one year to approve the Exxon/Mobil merger.

SIRIUS and XM

Could finally unite,

In spite of the Radio’s

Political fight.

August 7th: Brett Favre is traded from the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets.

I woke in the morning,

And Favre was a Jet.

If only I’d placed,

That 100 to 1 bet.

August 8th: John Edwards admits to having an affair with his videographer.

Affairs in remission,

Are not all that bad,

According to Edwards,

The Cad of All Cads.

August 8th: The Opening Ceremonies commence the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

The Opening Ceremony,

Was remarkably done.

China showed what can happen

When working as one.

August 13th: Michael Phelps wins a record eighth gold medal in a single Olympics.

Phelps upon winning, 

Eight medals of gold,

Is a Hero of Heroes,

His feats to behold.

August 15th: Mike and the Mad Dog (Chris Russo) officially end their historic, 19 year run as one of America’s preeminent sports-talk teams.

An end of the era that was

Mike and the Dog on ‘The FAN’.

Now Chris leaves for SIRIUS,

To be the one Man.

August 24th: The Summer Olympics conclude with the Closing Ceremony. The United States finish second in the gold count with 36, to China’s 51.

Hats off to China,

And all their medals of shining gold.

And not too bad for Team USA,

All of whom play without being told.

August 27th: Barack Obama accepts the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

For people who say,

“Well what will he change?”

Please pay attention,

It’s not all that strange.

September 4th: John McCain accepts the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

This convention is nonsense;

Its delegates creepy.

Social fluff and no issues,

Put me to sleepy.

September 4th:The 2008 NFL season officially kicks off with the Superbowl Champion NY Giants hosting the Washington Redskins.

Football has started,

Our Nation’s true past-time.

Now 31 teams hope for

Better than last time.

“I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.” – Thomas Jefferson

Good morning to you all, the wonderful people who spend some of your precious time here, fielding kicks from the Monday Morning Punter. I would like to wish everyone a very safe and very happy 4th of July. And a very happy birthday to the United States of America, as she celebrates 232 years of sovereignty after declaring her independence from Great Britain. Not a day goes by without me taking a pause to appreciate the good fortune we all have to call America our nation and our home. And I also am constantly cognizant of just how remarkable and unlikely the founding of this country really was. Perhaps never in the history of the world was a pen mightier than when it touched the parchment that became The Declaration of Independence.

William Kristol, conservative columnist for the New York Times and founder and editor of The Weekly Standard wrote a fantastic editorial this week about the 4th of July and the Declaration of Independence. I would like to point out that I pretty much am diametrically opposed to everything William Kristol stands for politically. But here at the Monday Morning Punter we recognize that most conservatives have America’s best interests at heart, the same way most liberals do. The two ideologies simply have different perspectives on how to tend to America’s fire of Liberty. And every so often, these two visions converge; as is the case in Kristol’s piece here. This is when America is at her glorious best. Please give it a read if you get a chance.

The Choice They Made by William Kristol

The Declaration of Independence

Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

In trying to find the right words for me to properly articulate the poignancy of Barack Obama being the presumptive Democratic nominee for President of The United States – the first person of African heritage to do so in the history of so called “Western” civilization – I had a moment of serendipitous fortune when I came across my senior project from college. It was an examination of Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, juxtaposed with the autobiography (as told to Alex Haley) the film was based upon. A shoutout goes to Professor Gallagher at Lehigh and his great class, ‘Reel American History’ (linked in the blogroll on the right).  My project can be found here at:http://www.lehigh.edu/%7Eineng/jace/jace-title.html

In one of the more memorable scenes from the film, the camera follows Malcolm en route to Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom on that fateful day in February of 1965, as Sam Cooke’s amazing opus, A Change Is Gonna Come, plays in its entirety. I was reminded how this song is so moving and has such significance, especially in light of today marking 40 years since Robert F. Kennedy had his life taken. Cooke himself lost his life to violence in 1964. He was only 33, and did not live long enough to see A Change Is Gonna Come released, and later go on to be considered one of the greatest songs ever written.

Another moment of pure serendipity will come on August 28th of this year, the 45th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, when Barack Obama gives his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, in Denver, Colorado. In many ways, so much of Dr. King’s vision will be realized at that moment, regardless of what happens in November.

In the dark days of the 1960s, when it appeared that the forces of evil and intolerance would prevail, and the great leaders of the day were being cut down before our eyes, the seeds of a brighter and better America were sown. And in the following four decades, while it appeared that the progress was too slow, or that racism in America was simply lurking invisible in our institutions, a whole new generation of Americans gave birth to another, a generation that values other people not based on the color of their skin, but on the quality of their soul. Bigotry and ignorance of course still live; but the signs that their coming death is imminent are everywhere. Young people, progressives, and minority voters are energized like never before, and their will to realize the great promise of America has manifested itself into the largest and most effective grassroots political organization this country has ever witnessed. And meanwhile, those who ignorantly adhere to a biased and intolerant vision of our society are being increasingly marginalized and put in their proper place – often by their own children and grandchildren. Yes, our generation is absolutely the most colorblind of any before it, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our parents for that.

The struggle is far from over; but it is definitely appropriate to pause and savor this moment, and realize that the future is always bright and that night is darkest before the dawn. Men like Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Malcolm X, and many like them, gave their lives in the struggle to make America a better nation. They died not knowing whether or not such a sacrifice would bear fruit. Sam Cooke sang:

“There been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able to carry on
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come. Oh yes it will.”

Somewhere, Sam, Bobby, Malcolm, and Dr. King are together, smiling.