Monday, May 24, 2010

By Laurence Alma-Tadema

If no one ever marries me,—
And I don't see why they should,
For nurse says I'm not pretty,
And I'm seldom very good—

If no one ever marries me
I shan't mind very much;
I shall buy a squirrel in a cage,
And a little rabbit-hutch:

I shall have a cottage near a wood,
And a pony all my own,
And a little lamb quite clean and tame,
That I can take to town:

And when I'm getting really old,—
At twenty-eight or nine—
I shall buy a little orphan-girl
And bring her up as mine.

Friday, May 7, 2010

on war and being old.

New York Times.
A 20
Lower left hand corner

An elderly woman glares at me accusingly from the picture. A sign proclaiming “Grammies against the War(s)” hanging from her neck. Well, this is bound to be interesting, I think to myself, and start reading. Turns out this woman along with other “Grammies” (some Grampies too) have gathered every single Wednesday since 2004 on a street corner in New York to protest the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The oldest among them is a 92-year-old woman.

Reading this article was like a punch in the stomach.

Why?

World war one – 116, 516
World War Two- 405, 399
Korean War- 54, 246
(http://www.abmc.gov/wardead/index.php)
Vietnam War- 58,193
Iraq War- 4,326
(http://www.npr.org/news/)
Afghanistan war- 948


Nope, these aren’t just fun little numbers I’m throwing at you to confuse you. These are casualty numbers. 92-year-old Grammy was 1-year-old baby when the craziness that is our current war state began. She has been witness to over 628,000 American deaths. My numbers have not even included some of the more minor operations that went on in between these wars nor do they reflect the whole body count. These numbers are one sided. The gravity that age gives to these situations is incredible. The scope that 92-year-old can provide is sobering. …. Yeah, that’s all I had to say.