“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Lots of the television channels are showing old war movies today.  Things like Wake Island, The Dawn Patrol, Sgt. York, The Red Badge of Courage.

But I've always thought this little clip from the old movie Blade Runner was a better acknowledgment of the holiday.

22 comments:

  1. Harry,


    (captaincrunch)


    Yeah' I first saw Blade Runner when it first came out. Its a classic.

    I also have 'seen things' that most would not understand. I have a really good memory (sometimes too good) and sometimes I just sit and drink coffee and think. I feel as if I have lived two lifetimes worth. I have no family (except for my mother) and so that allows my mind to wander more than most men.
    I also get "mentally cluasterphobic" when I am around too many people. The concerns over the latest music band or the trivial concerns over some kind of sport like Baseball or Football does not amuse me as well.

    This morning we have had some warm tropical rain come in and its really, really quiet outside except for some birds. This is the time when I am at peace the most. I think at some point I would fair well living away from society but that point is a ways off. For now though I will enjoy what I have. Later this morning, I may go surf for awhile before the crowds get to the beach (and not the beach I used to work on)




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    1. There are a some people I know via the internet who understand that clip. It's the best verbalization of a certain aspect of some military service, for some people.

      I guess you are feeling kind of bewildered right now. It's a big change when you go from a job you have had awhile to "who knows?" It's an opportunity to change things for the better but it's unsettling as well.

      Going out for a bit and enjoying the sport you put so much time into sounds like a good way to celebrate the day. I am not sure what I am going to do. I got up at four a.m. to watch "The Dawn Patrol." It came out in 1938 and is one of the first films I remember seeing as a kid. It had a lot to do with me wanting to be a pilot. Then I balanced a bank statement, went out on the porch for awhile, tried to go back to bed, got back up....

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  2. Movies sound like a good way to relax. I hope to get in a run and work with Francie before working this afternoon.

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    1. Lisa I watched The Dawn Patrol at 4.a.m. this morning. Don't know what I will do the rest of the day. I hope you and your horse get a chance to spend some time together. Elizabeth has to keep Seamus at a stable but it is only a few miles from her house so she goes out in the evenings.

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  3. As long as I won't be going out and about today, I thought I would spend time working on my family history. Seems like a good way to remember.

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    1. My mom is a big genealogist. She drives us absolutely insane with demands for little writing projects on our own children and spouses. My grandma was the same. I guess it is a pretty intense endeavor.

      I know all the military information on male members of the family back to the revolutionary war. My daughter is named after an ancestor who died in 1842.

      Memorial Day would be an appropriate time to work on your family history because unlike the guy in the clip, at least your ancestors won't be forgotten because they are no longer with us.

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  4. It's funny how things come in clumps. "Bladerunner" now there's a movie I know backwards and yet haven't thought of in years. Then in the space of two days it comes up as topic in two different blog posts from two different blogs.

    Oh well Happy Memorial Day!!!

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    1. synchronicity. I believe in it.

      It's been a very relaxing day. I hope yours was too.

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  5. The 'tears in the rain' speech was mostly ad-libbed by Hauer. The reference to the 'Tannhauser Gate' has been picked up and appears in several other sci-fi movies as a place of some epic future battle. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tannhauser_Gate )

    Great speech from a (usually) great movie (depending on which version you watch.).

    Off topic, but the great question in Blade Runner has always been - was Deckard a replicant as well? I believe the answer is yes.

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    1. I never thought about it. I guess it would fit but if that was the case they should have left more "bread crumbs" for people like me.

      I think this clip is appropriate for memorial day on a number of different levels. One of them is that in the movie the replicant soldiers are just engineered to die so they won't be a nuisance. In our own society, the government just lets the VA gaff them off until they die and won't be a nuisance.

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    2. The big tip off, depends on the version you saw. I dont know how well you remember the movie, but you remember that the other Blade Runner, Gaff, was always making little figurines out of bits of foil? At the end of the movie, as Rachel and Deckard are leaving the building Deckard finds a little foil unicorn...showing that Gaff had been there. Earlier, Deckard had been dreaming about unicorns. Since replicants have implanted memories, the suggestion here is that Gaff knew what Deckard had been dreaming about because Deckard was a replicant. A bit of dialog was also cut from most versions of the movie: when Roy Batty dies on the rooftop and police finally show up, Gaff yells to Deckard "You've done a man's job! But are you sure youre a man? Its so hard to tell these days!" There are a few other hints..replicants are big on photos, and Deckards piano is covered with them. After giving Rachel the Voight-Kampff test at Tyrell HQ, she asks Deckard if he's ever taken it himself. Lotsa little suggestions. There is always enough evidence that it can go either way with no definitive answer but im pretty sure he was a replicant. The whole point of this ambiguity was to make the viewer ask what exactly is the nature of being human. A great movie.

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    3. I never gave any of those nuances any thought but I see how they could all be construed to support that premise. That's a movie that is hard to nail down, and it doesn't help that there were different versions floating around.

      One of the things I remember was the giant talking advertisements. Those seemed very futuristic then, but if you go into any store today, there they are, shilling mouthwash and vitamins.

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  6. Harry, Thank you for your service to our country. I know you had friends who never returned home.

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  7. G'day Harry,

    Is Memorial Day the US equivalent of ANZAC Day ? In it's early years ANZAC day was to remember the fallen in that campaign, but after WW2 it has evolved as a time to honour all fallen and surviving service men & women from all of Australia's campaigns from the Boer war to Afghanistan.

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    1. It's that kind of a day. I know the British Empire initiated the poppies people wear after the poem "In Flanders Field." and we do the poppy thing also, doubtless copied from the Empire.

      You mentioned once that the Australians are not big fans of Winston's. I would guess Gallipoli figures into that. I had plenty of time to see the straits and the areas where that was fought. Somebody was not thinking when that was planned. I read the standard text on the battle and they laid it off to Army vrs. Navy conflicts.

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    2. That started the dislike of Churchill, what cemented the feeling was what happened in WW2. When Japan attacked throughout the Pacific Prime Minister Curtin agreed with Churchill that the Australian Army's I Corps – centred on the 6th and 7th Infantry Divisions – would be transferred from North Africa to the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command, in the Netherlands East Indies. Singapore fell to Japanese control on 15 February 1942, which was regarded as Australia's worst military disaster since Gallipolli. The entire 8th Division was taken into captivity, a total of about 15,384 men, although Major-General Bennett managed to escape. However Churchill attempted to divert I Corps troop convoy to reinforce British troops in Burma, without Australian approval. The Burma campaign was another disaster and we would most likely have lost both divisions, leaving Australia essentially defenceless with only our Militia left to defend us from what looked like a Japanese invasion.PM Curtin insisted that the Corps return to Australia,and this enraged Churchill. The Japanese threat was further underlined on 19 February, when Japan bombed Darwin, the first of many air raids on northern Australia.

      This marked the end of Australia's defence relationship with England, from that time onwards we have developed our close ties with the US. England was prepared to sacrifice Australia in order to keep control of India & Burma and Australians have never forgotten that.

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    3. I never really thought of that. Nor, to tell the truth, did I know the whole story. Most of what I had read just said the Australians brought their troops home from the Western Deserts to defend against the Japanese. I knew Churchill played things with a high hand. He was a realist though and the only one of the Western leaders who clearly realized that the Russians at the time were not our pals. I guess he had good and bad traits. I can hardly blame Australians for being mad about not letting their soldiers come defend their own country. I know from several histories I've read that there were many in the U.S. Government who did not want to send air assets or troops to Australia because they figured the Japanese were going to overrun it. The military here felt that if Australia went, we wouldn't have any place to use as a staging area for the Pacific War. It must have been tough to be an Australian then, because the Japanese were particularly brutal to "European" civilians they got their hands on. Strange, the Japanese are nothing like that today, I lived there for 13 months and I know what happened during the war but it's hard to connect the Japanese of the war period with the people I met in the 80's.

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  8. By campaign I mean the Gallipoli campaign of 1915.

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    1. Interesting place. There are still sunken wrecks of barges off the beaches, steam launches laden with ammo and old rifles, and all manner of things just off shore. You can dive it, but it's illegal to remove anything.

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  9. We used to go to a park called Memorial Park. They had speakers, and troops would fly jets, and jump from parachutes. The kids loved it!

    Now my family always wants to hold the May Birthday parties on Memorial Day. It kind of messes with the other tradition, but oh well.

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    1. We always used to go to Beale Air Force Base for Memorial Day. I think it is long since closed down now and doesn't exist anymore.

      There is a Ranger base two counties over, and I used to take my kids there on Memorial Day. They had activities for the children and they gave everybody hot dogs and cokes. It was wildly popular. Once the kids grew up, we stopped going. I can see how the weekend would be a good day for birthday parties, life gets chaotic and you just have to juggle it as best you can.

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