Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Revisiting World War I—so much history- so much time

Nothing like discussing World War I biplanes, rebellions in Kenya and General John "Black Jack" Pershing’s lack of presidential achievement all over cold beer and other fine beverages at Kirby’s, this last Sunday. The four panellists we’ve come to know by their World War I skills came out once again to discuss the important aspects of the war we used to call “The Great War,” before people started to number them. They came to swill suds and bring the intellectual view point to the yearning masses on the causes and results of World War I.
Our guests as usual were Paul Harvey Oswald, Casher O’Niell, Kenya Blue and me, Red Rob Blogger. While sitting around the table, Paul began a conversation on the biplanes used in World War I.

Paul Harvey Oswald: Biplanes did mostly recognisance missions. They made maps of battle fields. Later they tried using pistols and then machine guns. At first the machine gun would hit the airplane blades. Then Roland Georges Garros came up with a idea to synchronize the engine to the machine gun so the bullets always went through the blades and never hit them.

Red Rob Blogger: I can’t imagine trying to fire a machine gun while the propeller blades are going by. You had to know that they would eventually get ruined.

Casher O'Neill: Reminds me of the Indiana Jones movie where Sean Connery shot the tail off the airplane he was in. Gotta be careful firing a gun that's faster than your own reaction time.
Paul Harvey Oswald: It was all a blur (the propeller). Anthony Fokker actually put such gear into use. It was called "interrupter gear."

Red Rob Blogger: Baron Manfred von Richthofen was considered an honourable soldier by many people on both sides. He supposedly shot down 80 planes. I like that his out fit was known as the "Flying Circus."

Paul Harvey Oswald: They say he would not shoot a person once they were down.

Cashier O'Neill: Von Richthofen was an "old school" soldier that believed in honourable battle. And speaking of "Larger Than Life" World War I military heroes, I was always fascinated by "Black Jack" Pershing. I have always wondered why World War I didn't put Pershing in the White House, the way The Revolutionary War put George Washington in the White House, The Civil War put Ulysses Grant in the White House, The Spanish America War put Teddy Roosevelt in the White House:

Red Bob Blogger: The War of 1812 and the Battle Of New Orleans put Andrew Jackson in the White House.

Paul Harvey Oswald: World War II put Eisenhower in the White House.

Cashier O'Neill: Exactly. I mean Pershing was the great American General of the Great War, so why didn't he get to be President? From what I have gleaned from what I have read in various articles and books, Pershing would except his party's nomination, but would not seek it. He was a Republican and said he would not seek it. But Pershing was tied too closely with Democrat Woodrow Wilson for the Republicans to completely trust. Ironically, the Republicans nominated Warren G. Harding as their candidate in 1920, Harding won, and until George W. Bush, most historians agree Harding was the worst President in the history of the United States.

Red Bob Blogger: I was once asked by one of my middle school students if I like war, since I teach so much about it. "NO" I said. In ancient times the winners of a war looted and raped women. They took all that had value and destroyed what they didn't take. They killed anyone they didn't take as a slave. The losers lost everything.
(Latter). Hey look at the TV! I think that rock group called is Hozier. 

Did they just say her name was Mary J Blige?

Cashier O'Neill: Yes. She is considered the best RB singer of all time. (A little later we saw Florence + The Machine on the TV.) 

Kenya Blue: I'm planning to visit California where I will see some  internment camps for Japanese in World War II, in Sausalito, CA.

Cashier O'Neill: They had a camp like that in Oklahoma.

Kenya Blue: There were 2,000 to 3,000 African troops involved in WWI. There was also the Maji Maji Rebellion.[1]
There was as faction of Christian guerrillas that were told that they would not die if they where shot with a bullet if they had faith in their religion. It was all a matter of euphoria that motivated those people to fight.
Germany and Belgium made most advances in Africa. The Belgians wanted theCongo (today known as Democratic Republic of the Congo). The Cong had coco, rubber and titanium.

Seated here are Kenya Blue, Paul Harvey OswaldRed Rob Blogger and Casher O’Niell.

Our first product placement: Deep Eddy Lemon Flavoured Vodka. Paul Kroeker was our bar tender that day. He didn't turn the bottle front ways so we could see the label, but that is OK, we hate commercials anyway.

[1] The Maji Maji Rebellion, sometimes called the Maji Maji War (Swahili: Vita vya Maji Maji), was an armed rebellion against German colonial rule in German East Africa (modern-day Tanzania). The war was triggered by a German policy designed to force the indigenous population to grow cotton for export, and lasted from 1905 to 1907.

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