Category Archives: by lex

Hard to read

By lex, on September 11th, 2007

Long, and heartrending. Difficult.

But necessary:

At fifteen seconds after 9:41 A.M., on September 11, 2001, a photographer named Richard Drew took a picture of a man falling through the sky — falling through time as well as through space. The picture went all around the world, and then disappeared, as if we willed it away. One of the most famous photographs in human history became an unmarked grave, and the man buried inside its frame — the Falling Man — became the Unknown Soldier in a war whose end we have not yet seen. Richard Drew’s photograph is all we know of him, and yet all we know of him becomes a measure of what we know of ourselves. The picture is his cenotaph, and like the monuments dedicated to the memory of unknown soliders everywhere, it asks that we look at it, and make one simple acknowledgment.

That we have known who the Falling Man is all along.

There are no pictures. But you should nevertheless bear witness, you owe it to yourself.

After all, the Falling Man is you.

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Happy Birthday, America!

By lex, on July 4th, 2009

Hard times 233 years ago today. By the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, the colonies that would become the United States of America had been at war with the center of the metropolitan empire for over a year, reeling from defeat to retreat in the field, and managing only the not inconsequential feat of avoiding detailed destruction. Perhaps if the Brits had ever gotten around to scribbling down their own constitution in one spot, an awful lot of confusion about the rights of Parliament to levy taxes upon the crown’s overseas possessions could have been avoided. Perhaps not.

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Father’s Day

By lex, on June 19th, 2006

Weather perfect of course, and the only thing to be lamented was the all-too-frequent reminders from th’ingrateful children that school was out, summer was here and what had I planned for Monday?

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This Day

By lex, on June 6th, 2011

Sixty-seven years ago.

This Day 062011

From Ronald Reagan’s “Boys of Point du Hoc” speech:

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It was 25 years ago today…

By lex, on May 25th, 2007

That the sh!t hit the fleet *.

It was 25 years ago today...

After torturing the plebes one last time on Herndon, we’d had a week’s worth of fin de siecle parties on and around the campus – the “N” dance for varsity athletes over at Hubbard Hall, where the crew team tormented themselves for most of the year, was a highlight – it was the only affair in the Yard that served champagne, as I recall. Tropical whites and tiki torches reflected the Severn River. With all of the beautiful young men and women, it had the feeling of a movie set from the 1940′s, the “before” picture setting the left bookend to an unknowable “after” – an “after” whose ghostly contours are now, after 25 years, growing daily more distinct.

Finally the preparations were complete it was time to mill around smartly outside as the underclasses marched to the stadium to bid us farewell with ever-descending degrees of sincerity; the second class with whom we had become fast friends, the youngsters who still eyed us with all the caution that one uses around a biting dog that wags its tail, the plebes with a cordial loathing. A rustling in the seats as we sat down, an interminable speech or two – brave new world, sea lines of communication, the defense of the republic from the Soviet Menace, etc. Then, finally, graduation and commissioning of the top 10% in order of class rank, the rest of us alphabetically (your correspondent was solidly in the top 90% of his class). Hats up (and down, it turns out). The fat gold bar of an ensign replacing the thin one of a first class midshipman.

The smiles and handshakes after, the promises to keep in touch, that we’d see each other in the fleet. Promises we sometimes kept, but the tendency of things is always towards disorder, towards chaos. There would in any case be new loyalties to supercede that sacred word “classmate” – a word that had gotten us all through a difficult four years. There would be roommates, wingmen, squadron mates, messmates, shipmates, service buddies, Marines, dogs and finally, sojers.

Today we head down to the university campus to see our replacements join the line, NROTC midshipmen from the local universities: SDSU, UCSD, USD and Point Loma Nazarene. Three young people that we have fed and entertained for the last three years will be commissioned, two will change uniforms entirely. Our young man will lead the color guard, having exchanged the two diagonal stripes of a midshipman second class on his shoulder boards with the single, thin, horizontal stripe of a first class midshipman .

The cycle continues.

* 08-08-2018 Link Gone; no replacement found (Was Lex Post Midshipmen from 06-21-2004– Ed.

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Adventures in domesticity

By lex, on May 13th, 2007

It will not have escaped the astute observer that today is Mother’s Day, in consequence of which the All-Girl Spending Team was permitted to lay abed this morning, ditching out of our quotidian obligations of a Sunday – it is hoped that this will not be held against us in time.

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Light Weekend

By lex, on June 11th, 2011

Was unable to access the blog this AM during the customary hours of, well: Blogging. Spent half the morning trying to figure it out, and half the rest exchanging barbs with my hosting service. Then I had to fly. Had to. Five times, in the event. Which, even for a skydog like your host, is laying it on a bit thick. The first four were nobbut 30 minute learn-to-flies, and the last a dogfight. My man was six feet six and I had misgivings, but he managed to fold himself into the cramped back seat of the Mighty Varga, even if he had to go barefoot to do so.

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