Ernie Pyle: “War makes strange giant creatures out of us little routine men who inhabit the earth.”

April 10, 2008

 

 

 

 

I wanted to share a bit about a ‘hero’ of mine (for lack of better words).  I am a student of journalism and love the work and character of Ernie Pyle.  Ernie Pyle was a journalist most influential in his coverage of the front lines of World War II. 

            Pyle started as a roving reporter traveling and writing to his readers sharing his experiences abroad.  Pyle was also an aviation reporter in the early days of flight.

            The reason Pyle was so loved by his readers was the personal approach he took in his reporting and interviewing.  He was soft spoken and a great listener and his interviewees very easily opened up to him.  In his personal style of writing he set his readers in the same place and experience he was witnessing himself.  His vivid, intimate reporting style found its highest purpose in war corresponding. 

            With the war taking place overseas many families were sending their sons, brothers and husbands to far away places and wanted to feel connected to them.  Pyle provided that connection. 

            Pyle’s reporting was more intimate and more focused on the daily lives of the troops than it was on the victories, movements and generals.  He would often comment on the strangeness of war.  Those back in the U.S. needed that connection to their loved ones.

            While reporting on the war Pyle lived and traveled with the troops on the front lines.  Pyle and the troops developed a affectionate relationship.

            Reporting on the front lines has its risks and after doing tours in Italy, Africa and all over Europe Pyle went on to report on the war in the Pacific and was killed by a Japanese machinegun bullet that went through his helmet.  At the time of his death, Pyle was so loved by the American public that it is felt by many that his death overshadowed the death of President Roosevelt just six days before.

            You must read his work.  Here are some samples:

           

                                   “This One is Captian Waskow”

                                   “A Dreadful Masterpiece”

                                   “The God-Damned Infantry”

 

 

Advertisements

Favre Retires: Football will never be the same

March 7, 2008

The inevitable has happened; Brett Favre has retired.  We knew it would one day happen but could not dream of the day it would.  I remember at final game of last season watching Favre getting emotion on the sidelines as the commentators in the box speculated his retirement.  I have to admit I too believed it and was getting a bit emotional myself.  Then he returned for this 2007 season, and what a season!

            For me Favre is the epitome of everything that is good and true football.  He was a17 year veteran who played like a kid at a schoolyard.  I loved that when on the field he could do the seemingly impossible.  Classic Favre meant throwing off his back foot, throwing or shoveling while completely wrapped by defender and sending the ball into the tiniest of holes and the greatest of distances.  I loved to watch football because he loved to play it and he was made to play it

            He has also become a legend in his own time with John Madden singing his praises and stories of his feats spreading across the nation.  One of my favorites is when I heard that Favre’s strenght in throwing the football breaks the fingers of rookie wide-receivers at training camp.  I also like the one that goes: You know you’re in Green Bay when 95 percent of women and 78 percent of men

admit they would cheat on their spouse for Brett Favre.  What are your favorites? 

            I loved watching Favre play and it was perfect that he played for a good olde team like the Packers.  It had always been a dream and goal of mine to go the Green Bay and see Brett Favre and the Packers play at Lambeau Field in the winter.  Sadly, I have lost the chance to realize that dream, but I am grateful for what I did have.  What of Favre I did have the chance to experience.  I was always amazed when watching a game being played at Green Bay they would show live footage of the downtown at game time and there would not even be a stray dog.  My hope is that he remains in football as coach, commentator, something.

  Some of his records:

Most Associated Press MVP awards-3

Most seasons w/30+ touchdown passes-8

Most consecutive 3000yd passing seasons-16

Most consecutive playoff games w/ touchdown pass-18

Most career games w/ at least 3 touchdown passes-63

Most regular-season wins by starting quarterback-160

Most consecutive starts by quarterback-253

Most interceptions thrown-288

Most passing touchdowns-442

Most pass completions-5,377

Most pass attempts-8,758

Most career passing yards-61,655


Anxious anticipation

February 28, 2008

American automotive enthusiasts and especially Chevy enthusiasts are living exciting and anxious times.  For five years we have been without the Camaro, without Chevy Muscle.  It has been trying times.  But in recent years we have seen glimmers of hope: MUSCLE IS BACK! 

            Almost since the Camaro’s discontinuation in 2002 there has been speculation, rumors and prayers for its return.  When the Camaro was discontinued it was vastly out performing everything in its class and price range.  It was a hard loss.  

            Then Chevy lifted our spirits when they announced their intention to revive the Camaro and revealed its concept which blew everyone away.  That all seems so long ago.  We have been anxiously waiting for years.  We have seen the car and our mouths are watering, our hearts are yearning and people have begun saving for the day it arrives at the dealers.  There is even a countdown to the beginning of production of the Camaros.  As the time draws nearer the more anxious I get. 

            This whole thing reminds me of the stories I have heard about the secrecy and pride in the unveiling of the original classic cars such as when Chevy unveiled its new design and engine (the small-block that changed the world) in 1955.  It set a date, closed the curtains of the showroom and kept the cars covered until that date.  The car was highly anticipated and it proved well worth it.

            This new Camaro is now also highly anticipated and it appears it will be well worth the wait.  In the midst of the anticipation every enthusiast is scrounging for any and all information, photographs and videos of the testing models of the car.  Magazines and web sites have spies searching and chasing its development.  Citizens are reporting sightings.  And now magazines are calling for the citizens to keep their eyes pealed in search of an opportunity to photograph the Camaro (if you have the opportunity be sure to take those photos).  Some of the latest photos came when someone one the street spotted a Camaro in camouflage being transported on the back of a diesel.  It was on its way north to Alaska for cold weather testing (from what I heard).

            Recently official photos have been released (without the camouflage) to provide a better look.  It is gorgeous in white. Check out this link

            Part of the speculation surrounding the Camaro is: why is it taking so long to go into production.  Part of the answer is that it is a completely new car (unlike the new Mustang or Challenger which are built upon previously existing designs).  Also, its performance is being vigorously tested and tuned.  Also, Chevy is working to keep the Camaro in the hands the everyday people and your average car guy.  An example of this is that they are working to get a five star safety rating in  order to keep insurance costs down.

            As the wait continues we must remember that when the first Camaro came out in 1967 it was three years after most of the other muscle cars hit the streets (the 4-4-2, the GTO and the Mustang), and still was able to astonish and compete.    

           


February 21, 2008

The other day I got to witness the birth of a newly independent nation on the other side of the Earth when Kosovo announced its independence from Serbia and the parades and celebrations of its people filled the streets. The images of the joy and celebration were especially touching. To be able to see and share in the excitement of that population’s first taste of liberty after fighting for it so long for it allowed me to live in a small way what is so deeply important to our character as a people.

Watching the news on the television and seeing the large colorful photographs on the front pages of the newspapers for the next couple of days brought hope for the young democracy moving to the brighter future they have longer for and a reminiscence of our own history fighting for what is right and free. The images brought to mind old photographs of the celebrations within this nation after fighting for what was most precious to Americans in wars such as World War I and World War II.

The images of Kosovo’s celebrating were very bright and filled with red both on television and in the headlines. The red came from the flags being waved: the flag of their providence, their new nation and of the United States. It brought me warmth and peace to see our flags being waved by the hands of those excited and newly free people. At a time when the world seems to be against America it is nice to see our flag is still cherished by those who truly love freedom and

justice, by those who fully understand

the value of it having lived without it.

The headline that was my favorite was the one announcing America’s support for the new nation proving that America remains a friend to those who value freedom and is willing to defend those friends. The day we are no longer friends to those and are unwilling to defend them is the day we cease to be America. O’ we may still be The United States of America and we may still be called “Americans” but we would no longer truly be Americans. 


For old times’ sake

February 11, 2008

A look back at company logos and their origins… very cool.

Check out the Nokia one… they used to sell what?!