Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Cherry Tree Died

Contrived narratives have a way of taking on a life of their own. 

Politics is by no means the exclusive realm of contrived narratives. But, in the Colonel's not-so-humble opinion, politicians and their handlers have elevated the practice to an expressionist art form.

Like most expressionist art, contrived narratives are appreciated from a disinterested distance; not bearing up well under close scrutiny.

In full disclosure, the Colonel has been a purposeful practitioner of the contrived narrative his own self.

He told every military unit or civilian organization he ever led that they were the "best."  He said it often enough and with enough sincerity that his subordinates actually began to believe it; act it; live it.  

The Colonel even began to believe his own contrived narratives -- to this day he holds the unshakable belief that he commanded the best rifle company and the best infantry battalion in the Marine Corps.

The most effective contrived narratives develop their own immunity to metrics -- believers bind blindly, proudly perpetuating perfidy, oblivious to any facts to the contrary.

A carefully crafted contrived narrative can be found at the inception of every armed conflict between two or more nations.  A contrived narrative formed the basis for the American colonial revolution against the British, the American wars with Mexico and Spain, the American war with itself, two wars against German hedgemonism, two interventions in Asian civil wars, numerous interventions in Latin America, numerous interventions in the Middle East, and, most recently, the insipid American war on a tactic (terrorism).

Politicians ride contrived narratives, most often about themselves, into office, and once in office, almost always fall prey to a prideful perniciousness perpetrated by a narcissistic belief in their own infallibility to rally sycophantic believers to yet more contrived narratives.

The current occupant of the Oval Office is but the latest in a long line of contrived narrative riders, and the Benghazi bungle invites the close scrutiny that exposes expressionist art as nothing more than marginally talented obfuscation.

As he left office at the end of his two terms as the first President of our nascent constitutional republic, George Washington warned against entangling alliances abroad and, by implication, against intervention in the affairs of other nations.

His advice was ignored by nearly every American president who succeeded him.

George Washington is perhaps best known for the quote (part of his own handlers' contrived narrative) that resonates from our childhoods:

"I cannot tell a [contrived narrative]."


Monday, October 15, 2012

Eggs Etouffee, Anyone?

The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda cooked fried eggs for the Colonel's breakfast yesterday morning. 

Remarkable, why, you ask?

Well, if you were ever lucky enough to have visited Eegeebeegee -- capital of the Tallahatchie Free State -- and were even luckier to have been invited into the Colonel's humble abode without first being challenged for the security countersign at gunpoint, you would have undoubtedly noted the sign prominently posted at the entrance to one of the Colonel's Lady's least favorite rooms:

"The only reason I have this kitchen is it came with the house."

Even more remarkable is the consumption of a breakfast meal by the Colonel. 

Unless you count his ritual morning-kick-starting three mugs of coffee.

And, given the strength and thickness of the Colonel's morning joe, one might very well count it so.

The Colonel, and spare him the lecture on it being the most important meal of the day, has never been much of a breakfast eater. 

Unless there was chocolate cake or a slice of pie left over from the night before. 

However, that may be changing.

As the thousands of you who regularly imbibe of the literary libations ladled out liberally, if irregularly, on posts hereon will remember, the Colonel has a burgeoning hen herd extant upon the domesticated portion of his vast, mostly wild, holdings here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere. 

Said hen herd has grown from an inauspicious beginning wherein the hen (note singular form of the female fowl noun) was greatly outnumbered by roosters.  The comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda has been relieved of all chick-sexing duties following that near derailment of the entire egg-production enterprise.  The Colonel's hen herd now numbers fourteen, and one cock-eyed top-kick rooster -- Smedley.   

And one side-kick rooster, Mason, who seems to be growing into his role as -- ahem -- heir apparent to the duties and responsibilities of top-kick rooster.

Did you know that a chicken hen lays an egg..., every day?

A dozen + fresh eggs are collected daily from the Colonel's critter-proof chicken coop.

And, given that the investment cost in chicken feed and construction materials for the Colonel's critter-proof chicken coop make each egg worth just slightly more than their weight in silver bullion, not one egg goes to waste.  

The Colonel is fast becoming the Benjamin Buford Blue of eggs.  Much like Forrest Gump's shrimp-cook savant army buddy, the Colonel knows all the different ways to prepare eggs for human consumption.  

Fried eggs.

Scrambled eggs.

Poached eggs.

Boiled eggs.

Two-egg omelets.

Three-egg omelets.

Fried eggs on toast.

Rocky Balboa eggs.

Papal eggs (Eggs Benedict)

Deviled eggs.

The Colonel's cholesterol count has spiked a good hundred points, but at least the cookware he bought his curiously not-so-appreciative bride for their 35th wedding anniversary is finally getting used.         

Monday, October 08, 2012

Not Meant to Be

Some things are just not meant to be.  No matter how much we want them to be. 

For example, the Colonel would have preferred to have exceeded his physical stature limit by three or four inches.

Not meant to be.

The Colonel would have liked to have maintained the fine crop of hair that once, long ago in the halcyon days of his youth, covered his now quite bald pate.

Not meant to be.

The Ole Miss Rebels would have liked to have won an SEC football game last season.

Not meant to be.

The Rebels would like to win an SEC football game this season.

Not meant to be.

Sometimes nature rules.  Sometimes nurture rules.

With regard to the Colonel's lack of height and hair, clearly nature is in charge.

Nurture is clearly the over-riding factor with regard to the Colonel's beloved Rebels' gridiron grief.

Oh, new Head Coach Hugh Freeze is doing a fine job of reviving a spirit of competitiveness in a team which at its nadir last year was clearly afraid to hit or be hit, even in games against perennial featherweights like Vandy and Mississippi State. 

And, new Athletic Director Ross Bjork has brought an infectious, youthful enthusiasm to a job once held by a colorless purveyor of incompetent cronyism.

But, there is no passion in the stands.  

Passionate fans nurture a college football team.

But, passionate fans need a reason to leave the comfort and cheer of a well-appointed, well-supplied tailgate to fill an uncomfortable stadium and nurture their team with cheers.

At Ole Miss, we once had a reason.


But, step by step, every vestige of tradition has been stripped away in the name of political correctness.  Flags, songs, and a mascot have been deemed inappropriate by a minority of elitist (little s) socialists who would impose their hyper-sensitive, narrow-minded, racist, bigoted views on the majority, in the name of their perverted definition of racism and bigotry. 

The result is that a fan base that once filled a stadium and revelled in traditions unique to Ole Miss, regardless the outcome of the game, now trudges half-heartedly into and half-fills a stadium with an atmosphere devoid of anything that distinguishes it from any other college game-day experience.

Bland is an overstatement.

There is a cynically concerted effort to replace the true Ole Miss traditions with new ones.  As if new traditions can be manufactured and instituted like so many political slogans.

The problem is there will always be a small minority who will take offense at ANY tradition.

Some day that small minority, which derives its sense of self-worth from its hyper-sensitivity and elitist narcissism, will decide that the new mascot, Rebel Black Bear, which they themselves foisted upon the unwilling majority, is in fact insensitive or bigoted or in some way politically incorrect.

Some day that small minority, which derives its happiness from the unhappiness of others, will determine that the new concept of "Locking the Vaught" (as yet to find traction among Rebel Nation) is in fact insensitive or not inclusive. 

Even the century-old Hotty Toddy cheer is in the cross-hairs.

Following the end of Saturday's game against new SEC member Texas A & M, the pitiful few Ole Miss faithful who braved the chilling wind and rain watched silently as the Aggies came from behind to win.  

We also enviously watched as a passionate A & M fan base celebrate the win with traditional songs and cheers. 

Here's hoping the Aggies can keep the tradition-killing socialists at bay.

At Ole Miss (and, it won't be long before even that nick-name is deemed inappropriate), it isn't meant to be.