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Oh, yeah.

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November 1, 2004

On All Souls’ Eve. Avram Grumer annotates Rudyard Kipling. “Suffer not the old King: for we know the breed.”

Digby nails the self-regard of insiders who never threw a hat over a fence in their life.

John-Paul Spiro says: “I don’t just want him to ‘win.’ I want him to be President.”

The Rude Pundit points out that Kerry is a superhero.

John Kerry for President. Not just “anybody but Bush,” but a man of substance who just might become a great American President.

Dare to hope, and (in the best two words of the New Testament) fear not. [09:10 PM]

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Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on On All Souls' Eve.:

Kimberly ::: (view all by) ::: November 01, 2004, 11:25 PM:


Oh, yes, yes, yes and yes, Patrick. And yes again, with a loud, loud cheer. The more I read, the more I learn (in the way of real, actual facts, mind), the more convinced I become. I'm a convert, and not just because of the Ohmigod The Election Is Tomorrow butterflies, but because of that other, lighter, tear-gland tickling feeling in my throat and behind my eyes when I think about a Kerry presidency.

My ten-year-old son, Dylan, is a convert. After watching much of the PBS special that was on tonight and begging to stay up later to watch more (of a DOCUMENTARY, about PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES), Dylan (who is growing out his hair) said, "Do I have young John Kerry hair?" And he postured as if John Kerry is a rock-star.

My husband is a convert. We would be voting democrat anyway, not in an Anyone-But-Bush way, but rather in an A-Democratic-Administration-Will-Appoint-Better-Judges-and-Agency-Heads sort of way.

My admiration for John Kerry is a different animal than my usual, often unshakeable democratic loyalty. It's different. He is a good man, with the courage to stand up for his convictions when they are unpopular, because they are just.

I guess I just needed to read this post to figure out what that teary, slightly fluttery feeling is. It's hope. I believe in John Kerry.

I'm really sorry about the long, rambling, first post ever; I lurk for months, then delurk for one moment and spew my guts all over. One last, hopefully premonitory, bit: Before bed, Dylan said (while preening in the glory of Kerry-hair), "And when I grow up I'll be a great president, too."

[lurking again]

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 12:29 AM:

I'm painfully cautious about indulging in hero worship.

Letting primate big male worship get the best of you . . . well, it doesn't sit well. Fear of looking the sucker should something go amiss, maybe, or of in any way appearing like the glurge-oozing zombies who gush about Bush at rallies.

That said, I hope Kerry kicks ass, starting tommorrow at the polls, and then during Bush's lame duck months, and then for (at least) the next four years.

He will have to be a hero, just to get things done. Cleaning up the god-awful mess Bush and his cronies have left will itself be a Herculean task. Calming the hate-maddened soreheads and ideologues will take great skill.


ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 06:07 AM:

Good lord. I thought I knew quite a bit of Kipling, but I'd never come across that one before - makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.
I will file it along with Macaulay's "Naseby", the core of the Great Charter ("To no man will we sell, to none delay, to none deny justice or right"), and the Declaration of Arbroath - and the final few chapters of Ken Macleod's "The Star Fraction", for that matter - under "Stuff that makes me feel patriotic in a good way, and that would, in an ideal Britain, form the basis of our government." (This notional file is extensively crosslinked to the US Bill of Rights, Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, and the oratory of Martin Luther King, Jr, under the heading "Foreigners, but they had the right idea.")

ken ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 06:49 AM:

Oy! Americans! Get up and vote!

And thanks for the Kipling. (I probably have read it before having a couple of copies of his complete verse - but there's such a lot of it I can't remember!)

Apropos of nothing much, it seems to be a development of something from the Bible, in 1 Samuel chapter 8, where the people ask the prophet Samuel to get them a king:

Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, "This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your menservants and maidservants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day."

TomB ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:11 AM:

"Do I have young John Kerry hair?" And he postured as if John Kerry is a rock-star.

Oh yes, that's good. Please delurk more often. In the 1970s, when many prominent musicians were speaking out against the war in Vietnam, John Kerry joined them, speaking as a returning vet. So he's not exactly a rock star, but he's right up there with them. Seeing Carole King on the campaign trail with him, early in the primaries when there was little hope, made it clear.

It's All Souls Day. I'm going to dress in black, remember the dead, and go to the polls. Hopefully together we can drive away the evil power that possesses our country.

Clark E Myers ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 11:15 AM:

I'd think anybody who finds the Kipling new should look at (obsSF) Heads to the Storm and A Separate Star but then I would wouldn't I.

Andrew Gray ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 12:25 PM:

The Kipling is really quite wonderful; I'm impressed. I've noted before that some of it rings true more now than it has for a while; must start looking at it again... (There's a complete collection here if people want to follow through... but copies of the complete verse are cheap, anyhow).
And, of course...

Common Form:
If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.

ajay ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 01:01 PM:

Or better still, his "Epitaph for a Statesman":

I could not dig; I dared not rob;
Therefore I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What lies will serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?

The line between Kipling and the war poets is largely artificial. I don't think Kipling could have mustered the psychotic energy of "The Kiss" -

To these I turn, in these I trust—
Brother Lead and Sister Steel.
To his blind power I make appeal,
I guard her beauty clean from rust.

but his antiwar poetry, as well as "Ubique", match Sassoon at least.

But I don't want this to turn into a Kipling-swapping thread; well, I do, but it could be a bit of a bore for other guests here. The anthologies look interesting. I'll check them out; thanks. (The last SF I bought was due to a rec on this site - "The Atrocity Archives" by Charles Stross - and that paid off, no error, so I might do that again.)

Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: November 02, 2004, 10:32 PM:

Kerry had been in a garage band...