Sunday, 11 November 2018

The Last Time That The US Came Uninvited to France

I sat and read over various comments by French President Macron today.  A day or two ago, he was suggesting that the EU needed to build up an Army to handle the potential threat one day from Russia, China or the US (hinting that we might invade).

Twice, the US has come over to France.

The first time, we were invited.  It was one of those grave and serious moments when a worn out British and French Army could not mount some major attack and end World War I.  You can go over the list of battles and the change of the war from the moment of doesn't matter.  It ended in roughly eighteen months, and we quietly packed up and left.  We didn't stay.....we had no need to stay.

The second time, we were not invited.  To be honest, the French government in 1944 was dominated by the Germans, and there just wasn't going to be an invitation.

So we came on landing craft....upon a beach or two, and left young dead American GI's there upon the beach.  To be kinda honest, we ensured that there were a lot more dead German GI's than American ones. 

We didn't stick around the beach much or have a chance to really mingle with local Normandy folks (things were pressing for time and movement).

In six to eight weeks, we'd kinda crossed the French countryside....met a number of French people who seemed to want to hug us, offer up plenty of wine, and shed some tears over what had to be done.  For this type of need rough men who are capable of going out into the night, and stormy weather....with a preoccupation to settle wrongs.  It's hard to find men like this, but we seem to have found enough to do the job.

When 1945 ended, the beaches of Normandy were silent....graves were dug....and memorials were being prepared. 

To be honest, I've traveled around a fair bit of Europe, and found that around regular working-class French folks....we Americans tend to be more like them....than our Brit cousins.  Course, with the French intellectual's not the same story. 

I look upon Macron's commentary as one delivered by someone with a political agenda and hyped to send a message.  The general public trend for Macron?  It's spiraled down since the election and he able has a 25-percent approval rating in the country. 

I think we can mostly all assure Macron....we have no real intentions of invading France.  Yeah, if some Nazi folks were to show up and things were going badly for the French....we'd probably find more landing craft, and stage another landing at Normandy, if required. 

Upon Reaching Age Sixty

I've made it to sixty years old.  There are ten things that I've come to observe....particularly over the past forty-odd years:

1.  There's probably five-percent of population reading, watching or listening to seventy hours per week of political drama via TV, radio, or internet.  These folks can name more political and journalist figures than Bible characters, and live/breathe by the actions that occur each single day. 

2.  The Braves can have a payroll of 82-million and yet still not make it to the World Series.

3.   You'd be better off spending six months in some Air Conditioning school, or plumber qualification course.....than attending most university degree programs (unless engineering or medical).  There are people actually borrowing in the range of $80,000 for a four-degree in English literature. 

4.  There's at least sixty hours a day via various networks on TV.....telling you something about the President of the United States.  In 1976, it might have been sixty minutes per day with the options that you had.

5.  In 1973, you tended to get the best low-down on local politics either at the barbershop or general store.  Today, the barber is usually some lady who wants to chat about the View, or man-problems.....with the general stores mostly all shut down.

6.  County fairs are still the best place to drop off a 12-year old kid for the afternoon, but he'll need $30 instead of $6.

7.  As a kid, there was one single McDonalds existing within a 25-mile radius.  Today, there's close to twelve of them.

8.  There's at least 300 women appearing on the various TV networks who I would deem harlot, jezebel, slut or 'loose woman'.....and no one says much about the increasing number.

9.  Around 1977, out of the Huntsville could end up on a plane with 80-percent of the seats empty.  Today, most every single is filled.....course, you can still only go to Atlanta, Dallas or Chicago. And it's still curious that a can of Coke at the airport can run in the range of four dollars. 

10.  Probably the best burgers ever made, in the history of man, were produced at the Florence Pool Hall, on East Tennessee Street.  Whatever the mystery ingredient still unknown. 

Me and Musicals

Most Alabama guys are lucky in their life to have avoided any attendance at musicals or operas.....that's my humble opinion.  I've been more or less dragged off to five musicals in my life, which two were probably worth the effort, and the rest were something 'less than enjoyable'. 

So this past weekend, I ended up at the another musical.  The catch here, which I felt real positive about....this was 'Bat Out of Hell', which was supposed to feature a lot of Meatloaf's music (from the late 1970s).  It's a memorable album, which I tend to rate as one of the ten best albums overall to listen to. 

My wife and I showed up in Gelsenkirchen (2.5 hours north of the house) and had a whole weekend planned out of this. 

The musical?  It was basically a bastardization effort and they used maybe five or six of his tunes, then threw in some tunes for the musical to work.  Their background story?  Destruction of the Earth, a bunch of young punks, some romance between teens, some fighting with the authorities, and then some wrap-up.....with this Meatloaf music in the background.  I's pretty weird.

If they'd just come out and done twelve to fourteen of his tunes with no theatrics or jumping would have been a fine show.  But they just couldn't do that. 

The audience?  Well....Saturday evening and only three-quarters of the seats filled.  Probably at least a hundred seats empty. 

Not to complain or nothing, but if you spoke up about some opera business in Alabama, it means you'd be going off to Nashville, and attending the Grand Ole Oprey, with some five-star tunes.  Here?  It's mostly some kind of tale over woes, marginal music, and a bunch of skipping around the stage.