Posted in Internet, Movies, Political, Televison, Uncategorized

D-Day June 6 1944 – 70 Years Later

1dday4The world has a short memory and an even shorter attention span.

June 6, 1944, 70 years ago the Allied Forces landed on the beaches of Normandy. It was supposed to be June 5, 1944, but weather delayed it.

Every year we remember those who fought for us. There’s pomp and ceremony and we say we care.

But what about the rest of the year?
Should veterans have to fight for food, shelter, care, and support?
Should we still keep fighting, in wars, in our own countries, among ourselves?
More than 40% don’t vote in North America. We’re so used to our freedoms we take them for granted. We will stay in line for a sale or tickets or waiting for a new product, but don’t take 5 minutes to vote. I know, I voted this morning, it took under 5 minutes; people wait in line at drive-thrus longer than that to get coffee or a burger. I really don’t get it.

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Into The Jaws of Death, Robert F. Sargent

Many died that day and for the months after as they fought to take back German-occupied Western Europe and tried and succeeded in turning the tides of the war.

Many call them heroes, but I think most of them didn’t think of themselves that way, they were doing their duty, carrying out orders.
Like police officers and firefighters, soldiers serve their country and its citizens by putting their lives on the line. We see it as brave, they see it as a job, that someone must protect, serve, save, and defend.
Maybe that’s what makes them truly heroes, that they don’t do it to be heroes.

The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Overlord (with the naval aspect codenamed Operation Neptune) is still the largest seaborne invasion in history. Many movies, books, TV shows, songs, etc. have come from that day. Obviously many aren’t factual, after all, history is written by the winners, but still interesting.

It wasn’t until 1997 that the undersea documentation of the D-Day assault were looked at in a historically significant way, sadly, by then, there was erosion and reclamation by the sea. First underwater archaeological study and surveys in 2000.

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They found some interesting information and artefacts as well as some discrepancies.
To this day, small pieces of history haunt the shores and seas of Normandy, a bizarre reminder that history should be remembered, all those who fought, honoured.

I was thinking, if they tried to do something like this today social media would probably tell the German forces every move, how many troops, ships, planes…there would be pictures of parachutes and tweets and pix of where they were landing, people updating their Facebook status and Vine vids…Instagrammers would briefly interrupt posting pix of food to tell where and how many allied forces were and what they were wearing.1dday6 And many, many memes.

We still don’t know the exact number that died during the Allied invasion. 14 years ago Carol Tuckwiller, a former librarian was assigned the significant mission of identifying every Allied soldier who died on June 6, 1944.
She spent over six years searching through records and evidence, contacting sources, etc., eventually giving up not because all soldiers were accounted for, but she ran out of credible information.

So 70 years later and 1dday8out of more than 150,000 warriors who went in that day, no one knows for sure how many died. But her work brought many names of fallen soldiers into the historical records and onto plaques and made us realize there were more lives lost than we had understood.

Despite the glossy ceremonies under sun upon sand we must always remember the price of war and the higher price of oppression.
Lives lost, futures stolen, dignity torn asunder, money and power the tyrannical rulers…we could be talking about 70 years ago or any day in various parts of the world, sadly, too little has changed.

Politicians make hypocritical speeches about how much our veterans mean to us while many veterans struggle just to get by in their day-to-day lives.

Those who once stormed the beaches to fight the enemy and liberate oppressed people now have to storm their own governments for the care and attention they should receive with thanks for their valiant service.

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Some of the best images of the D-Day invasion are from Canadian war artist, Orville Fisher (the 3 paintings pictured above, please check out his other work, truly, truly amazing).

I doubt the significance of the weathered faces and stiff bodies of the remaining veterans is lost on them or us; make no mistake, most will not be here to celebrate 75 years after D-Day.
We must then remember for them.

Posted in Books, Movies, Uncategorized

1…2…A Million Ways To Die In The West

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There is nothing in this film that will cure cancer…solve world hunger…bring about world peace. But it can make you laugh and isn’t that always a step in the right direction?

I’d like to formally apologize to those who had to be in the same theater with me while I was watching it; I like to laugh and this did it for me, big time.

The odd part was there was a disproportionate amount of older people in the theater, as in well over 60, even 70 and they were laughing, a lot. Sadly they also talk a lot during movies and tend to do so loudly. ‘What’s that, what did he say? Did he say Stephen Foster? Didn’t he do a lot of songs in our day?’ Geez, how old were those people? But they did laugh hardest at the naughtier parts. Cool.

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Seth MacFarlane is a savant with voice work, really, a wonder to listen to. I find him hilarious, twisted, conscientious, brilliant, creative, cute as a button, although arguably not an actor with a wide range, but who knows what the future brings.

I think surrounding yourself with talent like Neil Patrick Harris, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, Amanda Seyfried, Rex Linn, etc. helps in some respects, but also shines a spotlight. Yet for me, MacFarlane‘s enthusiasm for his subject matter and his stunning comedic skills override any drawbacks.

Obviously meant to pay homage to old Westerns and Blazing Saddles and just as unrealistic. Where Brooks trail-blazed, MacFarlane and fellow writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild have to do some rehash slinging slashing. You’d think relentlessly infantile would get old yet, no, fresh as a well-placed daisy. And Brooks was doing all this before MacFarlane and friends were even born…I think this will one day be seen as a classic.

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The best bit for me was definitely MacFarlane‘s diatribe about how people die in the Old West. I don’t know if this was intended, but it made me think of all the ways to die now that they didn’t have then. WiFi waves, cars (worse than that, drivers), Ebola, MERS, SARS, Avian/bird flu, AIDS, GMOs, asteroids (sure, the video game as well), planes, weapons of mass destruction, plastic islands in the ocean, pollution, ozone depletion, and lucky for us, still guns and corrupt politicians, some things never change…

As for the bored part, look what we have and people still say they’re bored. I guess life isn’t necessarily better, just different.

Too many funny moments without reciting the whole movie which sadly I can probably do.

Here’s a link to my review of the book cause I feel like I’m having a moment of deja vu… https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/10/a-million-ways-to-die-in-the-west/

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As with all MacFarlane works there were some messages hidden among the endlessly silly filth…

  • Don’t keep chasing someone who doesn’t love you for you. Relationships should be reciprocal.

  • Brains can win the day. So can poison.

  • And it’s our expectations of any time or place that shape our enjoyment, for however long we have.

I love the anachronisms and the contemporary feel of this, it adds layers to an already riotously rootin’ tootin’ good time.

See if you can pick out Ryan Reynolds and Jamie Foxx in their brief, but overtly shining moments in ye olde limelight. And Christopher Lloyd was pure Christopher LloydGreat Scot!

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Patrick Stewart voicing the sheep was hilarious. What a trip!

I think I’ll have the Moustache song in my head forever, gee, thanks. Even catchier than A Million Ways To Die by Alan Jackson and that’s sayin’ somethin’.

Even as it was ending I was thinking, again! again!

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People die at the Fair…