will brady's ruminations
Robin Hood | A hero for our time?
| Bill and I watched the 'Kevin Costner' version of Robin Hood recently, which led to a discussion about whether or not his is a story that "fits" for our time | Certainly, the idea of an ethical gent wronged by power-crazed creeps who got into power by underhanded means, and who eventually has his come-uppance against them, has a visceral appeal |
This got me to wondering what was documented about the varied depictions and characterizations of the Middle Age British Isle folk hero that have been presented throughout time | So I googled Robin Hood |
Perhaps not surprising, I fould far too much to seriously review |
There were three sites, however, that warrant special note |
| Nearly all the articles on this site are written by Allen W. Wright, an independent scholar who has spoken at several international academic conferences on the outlaw legend | This site and its creator were featured on the TV documentary Robin Hood: The First Outlaw Hero | Designed to be used by most anyone interested in the Legend of Robin Hood, from the young kid who first hears of him in a bedtime story, to scholars | Quite extensive, pleasant to look at and relatively easy to use given the wealth of inof provided |
Legends in Movies
| missGien.net is a personal website planned and devloped by a Dutch homemaker with extensive interests including website design [the site provides an excellent example of her skills] arthurian legend, the amesbury archer, batavians, celts 'n' stuff, stone age building, archeology and faith | Robin Hood is but one of the tales she reviews | While the rest of her site is
off topic, I've included it because it's so extensive on her chosen subjects and ~ franly, they all interest me |
Robin Hood and His Adventures
by Paul Creswick | This is the 1903 interpretation of the Robin Hood legend illustrated by NC Wyeth, who also did the illustration you see at the top of this entry |
As to the query I'd posed at the begining of this, well, yes, I think bringing this particular legend back to life at this time warrants some serious thought | But who would that be? Hmmm | That too, needs an answer |
LIFE IN THE NUCLEAR SHADOW
When living down river
from a nuclear power plant, even one that been "decommissioned", a person can develop a curious disconnect about its even being there | Generally, something quite odd has to occur to shake me from that torpor | Last night was one such night | Mind you, it wasn't the most dramatic of circumstances, just that it was noticable | The lights over the plant, closed now for a couple of years, were illuminating the sky ~ quite brightly |
On camera, even playing with the exposure levels, nothing seems too terribly amiss | the red dot in the right of the lower picture only a channel marker bouy warning of the edge of shallow waters | But then, I don't have the most advanced equipment in the world | It was much brighter over the plant when actually standing there | So I took a chance and played around with Photoshop to come up with the black and white grainy image above | Using only minimal manipulation, I was able to bring up the outline of the hill that normally blocks the main buildings and the Dome | The Winter picture behind it shows the actual location of the old power plant, the dome hidden in that picture as well |
I don't ever expect to find out what strange maneuvers were taking place up there | Hell, even before 9-11, and before the Decommissioning us locals were never told anything of the comings and goings of the place | Now it's even more heavily guarded | Still has spent fuel rods, so I expect it ought to be well secured | But changes from the routine do give one pause |
By the way, the barge and crane in the middle of the river were here last winter, off-loading nuclear waste from the site | One day, inexplicably, it was gone | We were told it went to South Carolina for, um, long term storage |
What does a homeless man carry with him?
Hardly anything |
Then again, it is the most important set of belongings in the world |
We owe a debt to Moyra Peralta
for both sharing her poignant images and bringing the netherworld of the disenfranchised souls she consorts with closer to our own | Chances are strong that few homeless people would so openly bare their most private selves to strangers | And far too many of us would never stop to ask | Two worlds, walking past one another every day, one world ~ fragile and spare ~ seen only in periphery, forgotten after walking on | The other ~ constantly thrust in their faces ~brash, uncaring and unrelenting | Thank you, Moyra for your work |
WHAT OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT?
I'm the NRA and I vote
but I don't ~and won't~ vote according to the dictates of a tight knit cabal carrying on like rabid dogs in suits telling me how to vote | I'm capable of making my vote decisions on my own | Some of those decisions, will be identical | Others are definitely not |
NRA's central office has been sending poltical literature to members' mailboxes with the frequency and scope of a virulent e-mail SPAM campaign | And little of it has anything to do with why I originally joined, that is, to support protection of my Second Amendment rights |
NRA execs are out of line when screaming about tax change proposals [then again, they may be more likely to pay something if Dubya's kindness to the rich is rescinded | the average Joe members that comprise the member rank and file don't fit in those tax brackets
And it's insulting to hear them defending Dubya's casual assaults on the environment | The NRA is comprised of gun owners, some of whom are hunters and conservationists | I'd venture to guess that among the top dogs, they may be hunters, but they don't speak like conservationists |
"I'm the NRA" because I hunt and firearms are one tool that comes in helpful in that ancient survival art | "I'm the NRA" because I support the right to keep and bear arms and am comforted that the average citizenry could form a militia in the event that some nascent dictatorship would try weaken our nation by taking away our rights | And I suspect free speech would go first, before they took away the firearms | And when campaign materials come so blatently one-sided, I feel free speech slipping away already |
So my comment to the NRA's leadership group is this: Get back to the basics | Continue to speak for responible firearms ownership and the right to keep things that way | Continue the hunter and firearms safety competitions | We need them around | But Shut up
already on the off-topic opinions and keep them out of the mail | I'll just be throwing them away |
LOCAL SCENE || CONCEPTUAL ART?
The East Haddam Swing Bridge
has been undergoing a "sheathing" if you will | At first, I'm tempted to say that it's some knock-off of the conceptual artist Christo's
work but, in fact, it is not | No, what we have here is that the bridge is getting a fresh paint job | To do this first requires removing the old paint, lead based, presumably so the job has to be done with care |
Hence, the whole thing gets covered up a section at a time so the workers can then do what they need to to scrape down the thing and repaint it | The color won't be changing | and hopefully the whole thing will be completed before the bridge's centennial (in 2012-2013)
In thr meantime, our town gets a short lived conceptual art phenom and most likely a much cheaper rate than Christo's Gates Project in New York City's Central Park
will cost |
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
My friend Alice Earl
sent me a copy of a letter from the Springfield [MA] Republican, first published on 10 oct 04 | A reverse endorsement, if you would | Given Dubya's veiled reference to overturning Roe v Wade
in the last debate, the following is all the more relevant | It raises the question of what, exactly does Dubya mean when he says he's "pro life"? |
BUSH'S PRO-LIFE POSITIONS
AT ODDS WITH WAR POLICY
A pro-life philosophy requires that we be attentive to the sick, the homeless, the poor and to innocent victims of war.
President Bush presided over a massive execuition schedule when he was governor of Texas. More people were executed during his reign as governor than at any other time, in any state in the history of America. Is this pro-life?
He has sent young Americans to their death in Iraq on the false statement that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Now wwe know, from our own inspectors, that there were no such weapons. Is this pro-life?
Meanwhile, Bush has instituted programs to develop additional weapons of mass destruction including mini-nuclear bombs for use in future wars. Is this pro-life?
More that 20,000 soldiers have been air evacuated out of Iraq due to medical or psychiatric injuries. The press generally counts only the United States military deaths, over 1,000 thus far. Many thousands of Iraquis have died, mostly innocent civilians, most of them women and childre. Is this pro-life?
Bush has refused to sign a treaty banning land mines, most of whose victims are children. Is this pro-life?
Bush has turned a blind eye to fratracidal wars, famine and disease in Africa. Is this pro-life?
Life does not end at birth. We have to respect and care for those already born, the sick, the children, the homeless, the mentally ill, the poor without health insurance, the elderly and those no longer able to work. Bush has diverted billions upon billions of dollars that could have been used to help those innocent groups in order to pursue his own unnecessary and vicious war. This, I fear, is only the beginning of Bush's pro-death tirade if he is re-elected. I'm voting pro-life in November. I'm voting against Bush.
Martin J. Markey
Staying on topic, but away a bit from the abortion issue, I find the analysis from both Green Voicemail and Steve Gilliard's News Blog worthwhile reads on where Dubya seems to be headed and the inherent contradictions in his debate points | And for a breath of fresh air in the Bush coverage, I feel awakened by Chris Elliot's recent column "Talking about vision" |
| Nobody here either | But somebody's been there | This site developed by a Dutch designer is a relaxing romp after numbing the brain watching the presidential debates [so, which of 'em really seemed presidential to you?]
Anyway, the website: Nobody's here
AUTUMN COLOR BEGINS
This was once a home to beaver
, their mounded habitat lay close to the river's edge to the right of the little islet and just out of sight | They are gone now | Perhaps trapped out or [more likely
] freightened away by a bunch of dumb cityboys who were down here last summer | They were away from home playing Dukes of Hazzard
wreaking havoc with our local terrain rather than their own |
No lie! Late last August, I was standing at the same spot this picture was made from when suddenly two testosterone vehicles nimbly made their way down river toward the deep part | nestled in the bed of one of the trucks was a babe-magnet velveteen couch and a giant-sized ice cooler; I could see a keg tap even from that distance |
These guys seemed completely unaware of where they were headed | At first I said and did nothing | But when they got to the edge of the deep part, I yelled out,
"You boys crazy or just stupid
?" | They stopped right away but, it took them a moment to respond, wondering at first where I was calling from | "Drops off steep right there, you'll lose yer pretty truck
<--[Not to be dramatic, but what you see to the left would be easy to get out of compared to what they were in for]
The guy whose four-wheel behemoth was in front looks blank for a moment, then "I wondered why the bed was getting mucky
" and very slowly began edging back; a move made more difficult since his buddy's dirt grinder was right behind his |
I stood there as they slowly made their way back up the river | I was pretty sure these were the guys who ripped up a stream bed about a mile or so upriver ~ their vehicles certainly had the power to do that |
Now, my warning was not out of kindness but enlightened self interest | I wouldn't have felt bad had they gotten hopelessly stuck or had their overgrown Tonkas capsized into the river | It was deep there, but
they could have gotten themselves out alive without much trouble |
But the trucks ~ that's a different story | There is really no way to get in to salvage them from there | Their trucks would just have rotted | And we [the locals] would be stuck with the oil and gas sludge polluting a perfect fishing spot and swimming hole for who knows how long? |
I could have called the Game Warden, that is, if my own truck wasn't a mile away in the other direction, if I didn't have to drive to some other site to get cell phone reception | So they got away that time | But you know what? | I haven't seen them back | Which is fine | For I prefer the area to remain as pristine as this granitoid glacial erratic ~also along the path to the fishing spot ~ and not all cluttered with human detritus |
Pix Credits: The two local pics are my own | The vehicle stuck in the mud is adapted from something found at Lyons Design, the truck apparently known as "Mudzilla" | Don't get mne wrong here; I'm not opposed to monster trucks or all terrain vehicles | I believe that if they are to be used, they ought to be used responsibly | They make great farm and lumber operations tools | Gadding about aimlessly, tearing up fragile components of the landscape, is not what this entails | If you've got to use one for recreation, then show some good citizenship and get some area [maybe an old sand quarry, for example] designated for that purpose | But stop f***ing up the environment | The planet is our "house"; all of us have an obligation to keep it in shape |
TOO MUCH STUFF
"Do you have any megaphones?
" the lady asked as she was rounding the corner | Bruce and Buddy had only begun to unpack the merchandise they plan on selling in their booth and their
first customer was on hand | As it happened, they did | The lady's two daughters were on crew this year, and one was appointed coxswain
so she needed a megaphone | Turning around to open an elaborate enamelled trunk, Bruce pulled out two classic old cheerleader style megaphones marked "stephanie" and "janet" | The lady bought them both, a happy shopper indeed |
Anyway, this dream of starting up selling old stuff ["...that's antiques" sayeth the highbrow
] again has been in Bruce's mind for quite some time now |
I'm glad to see it realized once more | I believe that Buddy's doing this with him made it realizable |
And now, once begun, they both have a plausible excuse for the need to shop for more stuff |
They are doing this in the Essex - Saybrook Antiques Village
a group shop in Old Saybrook, CT on Rte 154 (I think) just before [or after, depending] the row of car and truck dealers on the way to [or from] Exit 2 on CT Route 9 | My part in all of this? | Well, I played the grunt, mover, carpenter, behind the scenes repairer of strange merch | As Dubya says, "It was hard work" |
The Conservative case against George Bush
gets thoughtfully analyzed at FreezerBox by William Bryk | Some quotes:
George W. Bush is no conservative, and his unprincipled abandonment of conservatism under the pressure of events is no statesmanship. The Republic would be well-served by his defeat this November.
American conservatives seek what Lord Acton called the highest political good: to secure liberty, which is the freedom to obey one's own will and conscience rather than the will and conscience of others. Any government, of any political shade, that erodes personal liberty in the name of social and economic progress must face a conservative's reasoned dissent, for allowing one to choose between right and wrong, between wisdom and foolishness, is the essential condition of human progress. Although sometimes the State has a duty to impose restrictions, such curbs on the liberty of the individual are analogous to a brace, crutch or bandage: However necessary in the moment, as they tend to weaken and to cramp, they are best removed as soon as possible. Thus American conservative politics championed private property, an institution sacred in itself and vital to the well-being of society. It favored limited government, balanced budgets, fiscal prudence and avoidance of foreign entanglements.
But the policies of this administration self-labeled "conservative" have little to do with the essence of tradition. Rather, they tend to centralize power in the hands of the government under the guise of patriotism. If nothing else, the Bush administration has thrown into question what being a conservative in America actually means.
Read the whole article...
"Steal a loaf of bread and you go to prison.
Steal a railroad and you go to congress."
- Mark Twain
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble,
finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly
and applying the wrong remedies."
- Groucho Marx -
"The solution to war; round up all the politicians and
generals, send them off to a stadium and let them battle
it out with giant socks full of horse manure."
"Religion, the last refuge of scoundrels."
Hard Working George
A one minute stump speech from the man who manages to stay busy [( expect] but... | Does this about sum up the Administration's plans for everything? | If you use dial-up this takes about 20 minutes (or longer) to upload |
is what I call this piece | based on a photo series I took at one of last Spring's game dinners at Moodus Sportsman's Club |
We're a small group | The membership now has a waiting list to join, and I'm okay with that | In the past two years we grew rapidly, simultaneous [or at least alongside of the expansion of our club's main building | The picture here peeks into the new kitchen, now finally up to code
, and with [for the first time] an indoor bathroom - heated, no less! | This makes for more comfortable guests at our four winter game dinners |
We still have our annual Shadbake in June [see the pix to the right - an example of how we cook the shad
] but it is the game dinners that are our, well, meat and potatoes feasts |
Now is the time of year we gather the harvest to feed everyone | Deer hunts, mushroom forays, waterfowl expeditions, and sometimes making sure the squirrel population doesn't overrun us | What I'm getting at is that we don't know exactly what the menu will have on it from year to year | But it's always good, and always plentiful |
A real miscellaney
| All over the place |
Kind of like the way my brain works |
Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial Sculpture Garden
| While doing a search for the late sculptor Heinz Warneke, I came across this site, a sculpture garden along the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's Fairmount Park | Warneke, incidentally, spent his latter years in East Haddam, CT |
| I've been following the progress of this site for some years now, only it was (until recently) known as Big Boote's Area 51 because one
of the things that Ray has an interest in is extraterrestrials | But that's only one interest | I do happen to agree with his point of view on a number of matters and I link the breadth of links he has on the topics he's interested in [grammer comment: ....in which he has an interest
Bartcop's Radio Show
| Alright, I don't know if there's an actual radio show by this name, but it's a fun satire site | Irreverent, funny, brash | Good company to keep when we're all hauled off to interment camps |
Hydrogen powered Chevy Truck
| Built with a minimal budget using existing technology by high school students in Arizona | Imagine what some socially responsible corporation with a billion dollar research budget ought to be able to come up with next to this |
USA Department of Interior Museum Program
| According to this website "The Department of the Interior is second only to the Smithsonian Institution in holding natural and cultural objects in trust for the American public | With over 145 million objects and documents, Interior's collections run the gamut from art to zoology
" | Does the rabid anti-art Congress know about this treasure? | The picture to the left is a rendering of the protest after Operal singer Marian Anderson was barred from singing at Constitution Hall by the Daugheters of the American Revolution in 1939 |
US Government opposes United Nation Resolution against tobacco controls
| Going against the agreements of 170 soverign nations, the US Government backs that corpornational confederacy of drug pushers known as the Tobacco Industry | According to an article in the Boston Globe [reprinted in the Agribusiness Examiner
The treaty is a real millstone for the United States. The problem is that the evil dictator killing millions is not Saddam Hussein. It is an industry run by madmen holed up in New York skyscrapers and corporate bunkers in Virginia and North Carolina. They have paid handsomely to assure that President Bush will not launch an attack. In the 2002 election cycle, big tobacco gave $6.4 million of its $8.1 million in contributions to Republicans. Philip Morris, the world's biggest cigarette exporter, paid $3.4 million to buy influence, with 80 percent of its contributions going to Republicans or the Republican Party.
So the ink had not even dried on the treaty when the US delegates started making noise that the Bush administration might not sign it. The U.S. health attache in Geneva, David Hohman, said the United States wants the treaty to allow a nation to opt out of provisions it finds objectionable. For the Bush administration, that means just about the whole treaty. There's more...