Posts Tagged war
Many people remember Albert Einstein as the father of modern zoology, the inventor of the Kangol hat and the guy who posed for all of those Apple ads, but he was so much more. He invented the Theory of Relativity, which outlawed marriage between a brother and sister, and came up with a formula for a diet soft drink so tasty it could not be distinguished from a regular cola. He inspired many great leaders, including fight promoter Don King, who borrowed his trademark hairstyle as homage to the fallen scientist.
Einstein made many speeches. Often, they were in front of audiences, but he was also extremely talented at communicating with animals and once did an hour-long speech on hypothetical calculus to a teary-eyed den of mountain lions on the outskirts of Inner Mongolia. Probably Einstein’s most famous speech is the one he gave to Congress in March of 1937. Communism, fascism and fashion trends like the jaunty mustache were on the march in Europe and China had been broken by a band of willful 6 year-olds who had gained access to the top shelf of the cabinet in the dining room. Einstein saw what the world was becoming and issued this dire warning to the elected representatives of the people of the United States.
“My fellow Americans. Today I come to philosophize with a hammer instead of a Bunsen burner. My mind, weakened and tainted by the impurity of booze and fast women, is still capable of envisioning a way in which our world cane become a better world for our children. And our children’s children. And their children. Along with their great grandchildren. And the children who emerge from the wombs of those children. On and on south of heaven.”
“Where was I? Ah… A man becomes preeminent; he is expected to have enthusiasms. (Pause) Enthusiasms (Longer pause) Enthusiasms. (Really long pause) What are mine? What draws my admiration? What is that which brings me joy? (Pulls out a baseball bat and holds it over his head) Socialism! Godless, freedom killing, spirit destroying, human-bondage creating, wealth redistributing, nation wrecking, mind-erasing socialism. I dream every night of dragging the rich landowners into the street and stomping their faces into hamburger. But all this is not important. Today, I am here to talk about peace.”
“Many people have predicted that World War III would be really bad. Terrible. Awful. I mean, really bad. As a really, extremely smart person, I want to be clear that I too agree that war would cause both death and destruction. Because I am smart, I am able to go into a laboratory and build a portal into the future. I have done this. I have seen things. Bad things. Bats eating the gizzards of children. Children feeding children to other children. And why? War! War, ladies and gentlemen…what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again y’all!” (Members of Congress shout “Good God” in unison)
“As I emerged from the portal, a giant talking eagle perched on my shoulder and whispered into my ear. Eagles are wise birds. They are the only animal in nature besides man that are capable of taking vast fields of energy, converting them into laser form and using them to melt the faces of their rivals. This wise old bird told me something I’ll never forget. Here is what he said…
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. And I know not what weapons World War IV will be fought with, but chances are after the whole destruction of society bit plays itself out, humans will be able to once again be able to rearm and create shiny new weapons of doom in order to fight World War V.”
“And I know not what weapons World War V will be fought with, but I’m assuming at this point, for World War VI, humans would be advanced enough to create giant clouds of ice that would rain flesh severing hail on all the cities of the people they hate the most. And if World War VI be fought that way, World War VII probably will be fought by cybernetic beings capable of flaying the flesh off of an entire nation with the blink of an eye.”
“And if World War VIII is fought that way, aliens will probably come into the picture for World War IX because earth is the only planet remaining in the universe that has water, an element vital in the creation of alien hover boards and automated Chinese food buffets. And World War X will probably be fought in space by planet-sized computers.”
“This will lead to World Wars XI though XVI, which will use technology that is so advanced my eagle brain and mouth are not capable of articulating what will happen. But, seriously…it will be awful. Not kidding.”
“World War XVII will actually be a period of 1000 years of peace intended to cause great suffering among the billions of people who seem to rejoice at killing billions of other people. Then, the great peace will be broken by World War XVIII, a reenactment of World War VII performed by a group of talented actors in the foothills of North Carolina. It will initially be meant to entertain survivalists and other fans of war, but it will morph into a 10 yearlong brutal, barbaric struggle control of a picture of actor Henry Winkler.”
“World War IXX will be fought from flying cars equipped with Gatling guns. World War XX, The Platinum Anniversary War, will be the war to end all wars because Romans only came up with numbers up to twenty.”
“And this is why I, as probably the smartest person you will ever come in contact, with urge you to stop making other people die. Because even if they are complete idiots, they can still recognize both pain and the absence of being alive. And no one deserves that. Even Germans.”
If you’ve been anywhere near a television over the past 3 months, you’ve probably heard the name Mike Trout. No, it’s not a dish at your local Red Lobster or the brother of Kurt Vonnegut’s most famous recurring character, rather Mike Trout is a professional baseball player for the Anaheim Angels. He has put up legendary numbers since being called up to the Major Leagues and has some fans thinking he might be this generation’s Bryce Harper. Here are a few things you might not know about Mike Trout….
Mike Trout hit .413 in the month of July making him the first person with an artificial lung to hit .400 for a full month since Claudell Washington did it in 1807.
Mike Trout is the uncle of legendary Hollywood actress Farrah Fawcett.
Mike Trout is the first baseball player in history to score three times on the same play.
Mike Trout has hit 16 homeruns in 2012, more than any other major leaguer since Henry Aaron hit 17 in 1956.
Mike Trout played his entire high school junior season covered in maple syrup.
If you say Mike Trout three times in front of a mirror, you turn into famed novelist Toni Morrison.
Mike Trout is the son of former major league pitcher Steve Trout.
Mike Trout posthumously won the 1976 Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of demented news anchor Howard Beale in Sidney Lumet’s classic film Network.
Mike Trout has more RBIs this month than all 44 U.S. Presidents COMBINED
It is a state law in New Jersey that if a catcher catches Mike Trout stealing second base he is to be fined a thousand dollars and can face up to six months in prison.
In the 8th grade, Mike Trout’s track coach timed him running the 100-yard dash in 4.7 seconds. At the time he ran it, he was in a coma.
Mike Trout’s first major league hit came against Confederate Civil War General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Mike Trout once plucked a dying sparrow out of midair on his way from first to home on a single.
Mike Trout was born with 14 fingers on his right hand.
If Mike Trout continues on his current pace, he will have played in more consecutive games than Cal Ripken by 2017.
Mike Trout is the son of former major league star Vada Pinson.
If Mike Trout left Houston traveling at 20 miles per hour he would in Seattle within two hours.
Mike Trout has been cited by William Faulkner as the major influence behind the novel Absalom! Absalom!
Mike Trout was born without a ribcage.
Mike Trout is the first major leaguer to have no vowels in his first or last name.
Mike Trout is the great-grandson of former U.S. Senator Charles de Gaulle.
The second song on the record “Carnal Forge” is one of the more lyrically challenging songs I’ve encountered. When I first got a copy of the record, I sat there with a dictionary for an hour trying to figure out what on earth Carcass was talking about. Jeff Walker is known for having a remarkable vocabulary and this song proves it. Unless you scored in the top one percentile on your college boards, you are going to need help with a few of the words he uses. As a service to our readership with IQs below 160, I took the lyrics and clarified them a bit.
(A massacre that takes many different forms)
(A vulgar, disgusting display of death)
Sublime enmangling steelbath
(A glorious, destructive bath)
Of escheated atrocities
(Of things lost to the State through terrible acts)
Enigmatic longanimity of ruminent mass graves
(Quiet graves that show a mysterious ability to suffer without sound)
Meritorious victory, into body-bags now scraped…
(A great win worthy of recognition that is shown by a high body count)
(The authority and power of piles of dead bodies)
The dead regorged
(The dead shot out of their graves)
Osculatory majestic wrath
(A union of beautiful anger)
This carnal forge
(Human forms beaten and molded like a blacksmith working with metal)
Desensitized – to perspicuous horror
(No longer able to feel the awfulness of horror)
Dehumanized – fresh cannon fodder…
(Humans reduced to objects and killed on the battlefield)
(Something awful being praised for its greatness)
(An obvious massacre)
Dehumanized – cannon fodder
(Murder in a way that is clean and neat)
(Murder made holy)
Desensitized – to genocide
(No longer capable of feeling what is wrong with mass murder)
(Piles of dead bodies ruling over the land)
(Death shot upwards)
(Being drenched with blood)
(Bloodshed and death turned into something else)
In the cold, callous dignity of the mass grave…
(Respectful mass graves without feeling)
(Violence taking different forms and leading to a massacre)
Cruel, mendacious creed
(Evil, lying system of belief)
Sublime, murderous bloodbath
Of fiscal atrocities
(A massacre having to do with money)
Inexorable mettle in redolent consommé
(Unstoppable courage blended into a pleasant smelling soup)
An opprobious crucible of molten human waste…
(A disgraceful furnace of melting bodies)
(Bodies piled up to the sky)
(Endlessly shot upwards)
The smelting butchery
(A process of separating metals, a process of slaughtering animals)
Of the carnal forge
Desensitized – to pragmatic murder
(No longer feeling the horror of murder which is committed for practical purposes)
Dehumanized – into cannon fodder…
(Turned into non-human form and destroyed without feeling)
“Carnal Forge” is a searing study of the horrific nature of war. The whole “war is bad” theme has been done to death in heavy metal, but through the use of clever language and Joycean puns, Carcass is able to breathe life into a hackneyed lyrical concept. The major motif in the song is the monstrous merger between mechanized and human form. The effect is that the listener has a difficult time distinguishing between the two. This melding of forms stresses the concept of dehumanization in an even more immediate way. When Walker sings of “inexorable mettle in redolent consommé” he is giving the image of a soup made from mettle (courage) but also a soup made from metal (the human form turned into scrap). “Fiscal atrocities” means the destruction of capital, but also is meant to imply physical atrocity (the destruction of the human form). In these puns, we see a world where the lines blur between the animate and inanimate. When this line is obliterated, so are we. Our willingness to see humans as objects makes it possible for us to murder those who share our likeness. It is in the Carnal Forge of war that our human characteristics are lost.
The ultimate irony of this destruction through desensitization is that it is so engrained in some circles that it is not greeted with horror. Instead, it is celebrated. Soldiers who return are feted with parades; those who do not are given dignified, stately memorials. The dead do not care about these things. They do not care about the flags that cover their caskets, they are not interested in the soldiers firing skyward in their honor, and they do not gaze proudly at their names etched into stone walls. They cease to feel anything in the name of country or God or safety or resources or land or whatever-reason-was-given-to-them as they take their final journey into endless night.
There is no honor in death. The dead only know coldness and silence. Yet through a stroke of pure madness, many believe that the great wrongs that have been committed can be righted through ceremony. The louder we shout our love for the soldiers, the easier it is to forget the great waste of life that has been sacrificed in our names. Even the veneration of the dead is an act of objectification that makes future suffering more possible and even more likely.
Remembrance of their anguish does not wipe the slate clean. It is not for them; it is for us. A genuine act of contrition would be to create a world where massacres are entirely unacceptable, no matter who commits them. We do not live in that world. Instead, we live in a world where idle actions and traditions absolve us of our responsibility to stop the madness of war.
(Special thanks to Metal Matt Longo for his brilliant edit of this. Thanks to his fine work this article is being simulcast by the good folks over at MindOverMetal.org. Stop on by. Tell’em Keith sent ya!)