March 18, 1915, Turks stop British/ANZAC forces at Chanakale. Long live the spirit of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk!
I went to a school where we kept rifles in our rooms. Nobody ever died. West Point.
Parkland was the Dallas hospital where John F. Kennedy died. Trauma Room 1.
Political blood money murders our children. N.R.A.
Is the United States Congress a terrorist organization? If not, why not?
Do not think yourself better
because you burn up friends and enemies
with long-range missiles without ever seeing what you have done
CHANT TO BE USED IN PROCESSIONS AROUND A SITE WITH FURNACES
by Thomas Merton, 1961
How we made them sleep and purified them
How we perfectly cleaned up the people and worked a big heater
I was the commander I made improvements and installed a guaranteed system taking account of human weakness I purified and I remained decent
How I commanded I made cleaning appointments and then I made the travellers sleep and after that I made soap
I was born into a Catholic family but as these people were not going to need a priest I did not become a priest I installed a perfectly good machine it gave satisfaction to many
When trains arrived the soiled passengers received appointments for fun in the bathroom they did not guess
It was a very big bathroom for two thousand people it awaited arrival and they arrived safely
There would be an orchestra of merry widows not all the time much art
If they arrived at all they would be given a greeting card to send home taken care of with good jobs wishing you would come to our joke
Another improvement I made was I built the chambers for two thousand invitations at a time the naked votaries were disinfected with Zyklon B
Children of tender age were always invited by reason of their youth they were unable to work they were marked out for play
They were washed like the others and more than the others
Very frequently women would hide their children in the piles of clothing but of course when we came to find them we would send the children into the chamber to be bathed
How I often commanded and made improvements and sealed the door on top there were flowers the men came with crystals
I guaranteed always the crystal parlour
I guaranteed the chamber and it was sealed you could see through portholes
They waited for the shower it was not hot water that came through vents though efficient winds gave full satisfaction portholes showed this
The satisfied all ran together to the doors awaiting arrival it was guaranteed they made ends meet
How I could tell by their cries that love came to a full stop I found the ones I had made clean after about a half hour Jewish male inmates then worked up nice they had rubber boots in return for adequate food I could not guess their appetite
Those at the door were taken apart out of a fully stopped love for rubber male inmates strategic hair and teeth being used later for defence
Then the males removed all clean love rings and made away with happy gold
A big new firm promoted steel forks operating on a cylinder they got the contract and with faultless workmanship delivered very fast goods
How I commanded and made soap 12 pounds fat 10 quarts water 8 ounces to a pound of caustic soda but it was hard to find any fat
"For transporting the customers we suggest using light carts on wheels a drawing is submitted"
"We acknowledge four steady furnaces and an emergency guarantee"
“I am a big new commander operating on a cylinder I elevate the purified materials boil for 2 to 3 hours and then cool"
For putting them into a test fragrance I suggested an express elevator operated by the latest cylinder it was guaranteed
Their love was fully stopped by our perfected ovens but the love rings were salvaged
Thanks to the satisfaction of male inmates operating the heaters without need of compensation our guests were warmed
All the while I had obeyed perfectly
So I was hanged in a commanding position with a full view of the site plant and grounds
You smile at my career but you would do as I did if you knew yourself and dared
In my days we worked hard we saw what we did our self sacrifice was conscientious and complete our work was faultless and detailed
Do not think yourself better because you burn up friends and enemies with long-range missiles without ever seeing what you have done
Thomas Merton, 1961
JULY 16, 1945
ALAMAGORDO, NEW MEXICO
Hey Hey Hey Goodbye!
To Extremely Patriotic NFL Football Fans:
The American flag “symbolizes” the nation, nothing more, nothing less. The nation exists as a “real” democratic republic, not because of its symbolic cloth flag but because of its written Constitution. Among many other things, this Constitution guarantees:
If this is true…
Who are you to restrict, in any manner, those “rights” by claiming that, in your collective opinion, kneeling NFL football players somehow disrespect the flag and by extension the United States military? The kneeling athletes have a grievance against the government, not the Constitution, not the military, not the nation and certainly not you, the fans that partially pay their salaries. They grieve for their fellow citizens who are denied the full and rightful measure of constitutional protections. In short, their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Your espousing a massive boycott because of imagined slights against the military is unseemly, divisive and defamatory to the protestors and the Constitution itself. If you don’t like kneeling then counter-protest the kneelers by standing on your seats or on your heads.
Despite the Pentagon’s saber-rattling use of ear-impairing fighter jet flyovers, midfield-targeted parachute assaults and field-length flag-unfurlings, football remains a mere game, a lucrative business, yes, but at heart a game. And definitely not a war game. And definitely not some fascist exercise in public patriotism. So far, no loyalty oaths are needed to buy tickets. For some, it seems a pity that superior athletic skill can also accompany well-developed social consciences.
During the heydays of the US-induced South American juntas, the football (soccer) stadiums were used as venues for the mass slaughter of dissenters. Remember this. Then remember our constitutional guarantees. And then applaud those who are demanding that ALL citizens be treated equally under the law.
If you want a real cause, campaign against the president of the United States. So far employed in a non-uniformed civilian job, he must stop saluting every uniformed person that twitches and every flag that flutters. It’s an egregious violation of flag etiquette and presumptuous to those who have earned the right to wear a military uniform and the privilege to salute.
James C. Ryan
October 26, 2017
What special affinities appeared to him to exist between the moon and woman?
“Her antiquity in preceding and surviving successive tellurian generations: her nocturnal predominance: her satellitic dependence: her luminary reflection: her constancy under all her phases, rising and setting by her appointed times, waxing and waning: the forced invariability of her aspect: her indeterminate response to inaffirmative interrogation: her potency over effluent and refluent waters: her power to enamour, to mortify, to invest with beauty, to render insane, to incite to and aid delinquency: the tranquil inscrutability of her visage: the terribility of her isolated dominant implacable resplendent propinquity: her omens of tempest and of calm: the stimulation of her light, her motion and her presence: the admonition of her craters, her arid seas, her silence: her splendour, when visible: her attraction, when invisible.”
James Joyce, Ulysses
ALL OF US FOREIGNERS
Once I pass’d through a populous city imprinting my brain for future use with its shows, architecture, customs, traditions…
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
The Congress of Vienna, 1814-1815, essentially a “gentlemen’s agreement” among the great powers in post-Napoleonic Europe, supposedly ushered in a century of world peace. The borders of European nations were finally settled. Of course, Europe’s wise gentlemen ignored the realities of freedom and democracy unleashed by the French Revolution. In their self-centered wisdom, they even restored the monarchies. Temporarily, the wise gentlemen of the world were relieved of their usual destructive cravings for power. But the people were not satiated from their yearnings for democracy, freedom and a better life. And these powerful forces, along with the regenerated cravings for power by the sons and grandsons of the wise gentlemen, would seed the fields of France for the disastrous explosion that came precisely one hundred years later. The aftershocks continue to this day. And while there may have been peace for the great nations and their “wise” progeny, there was neither peace nor prosperity for the people. Revolutions, economic depressions, untenable population growth, property seizures and subdivisions, exploding industrialization, relentless worker exploitation, and widespread and recurring crop failures resulted in a witches brew of fear, famine and dislocation. And during that so-called “century of peace” the people fled Europe, millions of them.
From 1815 to 1915, thirty million Europeans flooded into America, twenty-five million through the port of Whitman’s populous city, New York. The first deluge, 1840-1880, rose in the north: Germany, Austria, and Ireland. With the second, as the century turned, came hordes of Russian Jews and the Italians. By 1910, forty percent of the population of New York City was foreign-born. With over 5 million people, New York was bigger than the next three largest American cities combined: Chicago, Philadelphia and St. Louis. Fifty percent of New York City was of German and Irish born immigrants and their descendents. There were more people of Irish descent in New York City than the entire population of Dublin. And New York City had also become the third largest “German” city in the world. And nowhere were the powerful effects of this Irish-German juggernaut more directly felt than in The Bronx. The working-class Irish in southernmost Mott Haven section was bounded in the north by 149th Street. Beyond lay Melrose and Morrisania where the industrious Germans lived and prospered.
SHOUTS is a novel of love and war. It tells of a once-thriving, long-vanished urban immigrant society. I am a hybrid third-generation child of these Bronx people, an Irish-German American “mongrel.” And such mongrels are legion in America. German and Irish blood courses through the veins of almost 100 million of us. Indeed, America is a mongrel nation.
SHOUTS recreates the nature of that time when a century of world peace was shattered by an assassination in Sarajevo of an archduke and his wife on June 28, 1914. A month later the world went to war and in four years it had killed seventeen million of its citizens. Whatever innocence was left died too.
SHOUTS tells of the destructive forces of war on the home front. To the people, their hopes and dreams, their loves. To the community, to its economic and social achievements, and its reputation. And to democracy with its high-blown principles, its rock-solid protections, its fragility. How quickly things change. All that was once indisputably solid indeed can melt into air. Now, as then, we live in the stink and shadow of war. Now, as then, we struggle to confront the real relations with our fellow citizens of this world. Then, the danger was the Germans. Now, it is someone else.
In SHOUTS it is 1915 and the American melting pot has become a crucible. The Great War looms. You are in The Bronx, a bastion of ethnic German enterprise and struggling Irish laborers. German spies and saboteurs roam New York City. Firebrand Irish street corner orators denounce the “British” war. Paranoia and politics rage in the streets. Everyone’s patriotism is suspect. Mistrust and antagonism rule. The government cracks down and the social and economic fabric of the city begins to unravel.
This book is a romance, a written choir that sings, plays and shouts. It speaks as profusely as the people of that century-ago time spoke: priests and bartenders, boxers and violinists, politicians and longshoremen, brewmasters and spies. They shout out loud their stories, telling of their origins, their hopes, their fears, their dreams, their loves. While of Irish and German roots, these people stand for all the subsequent generations of races, colors and creeds who still come from distant lands to make new lives in America. They stand for all of us. We are their children. They live in our marrow. We are one with all distant lands, all of us Americans, all of us from some place else, all of us foreigners.
SHOUTS is available by clicking on amazon.com
CRITICAL PRAISE FOR JAMES RYAN'S SHOUTS