Theodore Roosevelt

…and why he’s so fucking badass.

He was a sickly little kid.  Asthmatic, got sick a lot.  But instead of staying in bed all the time, do you know what he did?  He learned to box.  He killed and caught animals to learn about them.  While he was in college, he boxed and rowed.  When he graduated, a doctor advised him to avoid strenuous activity due to serious heart problems.  Did Roosevelt do it?  No.  Obviously.

He got married.  Come on, what girl in their right mind wouldn’t marry someone so badass?  Two days after his daughter was born, his wife died.  His mother died on the same day in the same house.  Did Roosevelt do what any normal man would do and become consumed with grief?  No.  He became a cowboy, instead.

Then there was a war.  Did Roosevelt run and hide?  No.  He practically singlehandedly instructed the US Navy and said “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one.”  The dude welcomed war.  That’s fucking hardcore.

He formed the First United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment.  How did he do so?  He called in his old cowboy buddies.  They were referred to as the Rough Riders.  Do you know what Roosevelt did with the Rough Riders?  He took them to Cuba to fight the Spanish.  They arrived just in time to march up a huge fucking hill to go kill some Spaniards.  He led them up this hill on foot.  He was in the very lead, and I imagine he was thinking something along the lines of “If you guys don’t want to kick some ass, go ahead and stay behind, but I’m gonna go and bash some heads in.”

He was nominated for the Medal of Honor after the war.  He was declined.  Why?  Because he spoke out openly about the war.  As it is, he was awarded the Medal of Honor after he died.  His son won one posthumously, too.  His awesomeness was passed on to his offspring, clearly.

Roosevelt then went on to become the governor of New York.  Then he became Vice President to President McKinley.  You know what he said in a speech when he was campaigning for President?  “Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far.”  In other words, “Shut your face and grab a weapon, and you will kick ass.  Not as much as me of course.”

While Roosevelt was Vice President, President McKinley was shot, right here in Buffalo.  Sucks.  Roosevelt was told that McKinley would recover, and Roosevelt went camping with his family.  Then, McKinley died.  Roosevelt was President.

What happened during his Presidency can be summed up easily: he broke up the trusts, he started the conservation movements, he made the Navy bigger, he ended a war he wasn’t even involved in, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, he cut a fucking hole through Panama, he put Lincoln on the penny, and he became the first President to learn judo.

That’s right.  He has both the Medal of Honor and the Nobel Peace Prize.  One award essentially for being violent, and the other for being peacefully.  What did you expect from Roosevelt?  Nothing less, I would assume.

After he left office, he went on a safari in Africa.  He went on a safari in the name of science, or so it’s said.  Between Roosevelt and his companions, they killed and trapped approximately 11,397 animals.  Around 300 of them were eaten.  The rest were sent to the Smithsonian, and many of them were then passed on to other museums.  You know, since there were duplicates.  Roosevelt killed shit in the name of science.

When he returned to the States, he was shot by a bartender while campaigning.  The bullet pierced his steel eyeglass case and the 50 page speech in his pocket and lodged in his chest.  Since he knew his shit, he was able to determine that it was not a lethal wound and did not go to a hospital right away.  Instead, he went out and gave his 90-minute speech, bleeding through his shirt the whole time.  The bullet ended up being too dangerous to remove and instead was left inside him.

After that, he went to South America.  He got malaria and a bad leg wound.  He was seriously fucking sick, but I don’t really feel like describing the whole thing.  Look it up on Wikipedia if you wish.  When he finally died, Woodrow Wilson’s Vice President said “Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight.”  Fucking agreed.

So now you see why President Theodore Roosevelt was so fucking hardcore.  What I want to know is “Why aren’t we taught about any of this in history class?”  Seriously.  I used Wikipedia for this whole thing.  I learned next to none of it in school.  PEOPLE NEED TO BE TOLD OF THIS MAN’S MOST EPIC BADASSERY.

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Inkworld vs. Inkdeath

This has been on ongoing controversy in the world of the fandom.  Which title would it be?  Inkworld or Inkdeath?  I found out today that finally it has been freaking resolved.  ABOUT FREAKING TIME.  It’s Inkdeath.  AND there’s a cover for it.  AND it’s going to be released this October.  Good stuff, eh?

Obviously I have not updated my Book & Movie Releases page since April.  So, I fixed that up.  I AM SO BEHIND ON EVERYTHING.  There’s a giant list of books that came out months ago that I’ve yet to read.  I need to catch up.  And soon.

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox has snuck up on me.  It’s coming out in 11 days.  Holy crap.  Is that enough time for me to reread the previous 5?  I hope so.

You Get a History Lesson Today

Why do you get a history lesson today? Because I said so, and because I feel it’s important.  This is one of those awesome, interesting things of history that seems to be not taught in schools. Which is complete bull shit.

The Battle of Cable Street (or the Cable Street Riot)

London, 1936. October 4th, a Sunday. The British Union of Fascists are having a march through the East End of London, a heavily Jewish community. Lead by Oswald Mosley, the fascists march, wearing uniforms based on the Blackshirts. The anti-fascists (mostly Jewish, socialist, Irish and communist groups) form barricades and road blocks on Cable St. The police accompany the march, knowing there will be violence. The anti-fascists (over 300,000 civilians), throw stones and broken glass, fight with their own fists, repeating the mantra “They Shall Not Pass.” The police attempt to fight back using their batons. Their brutality only makes the anti-fascists fight back harder. By late afternoon, the fascists are escorted away from East End by the police. The civilians have won Cable Street.

It was symbolic. It wasn’t just the stopping of a march. It was a strike against fascism. A strike by the common people. An eyewitness of the battle said, “I shall never forget that as long as I live, how working-class people could get together to oppose the evil of racism.”

This is something that could be done now. No more useless online petitions, no more sitting back and watching as everything happens. So many people are discontent with how things are run here, particularly in America. So why don’t they do something about it instead of sitting on their asses and bitching? I don’t know. We need a revolution, a rebellion. It won’t be long.

My theory? America is the new Roman Empire. There will be a societal collapse in our future, likely soon. The glue is weakened and the stones are coming up from the streets. The French Revolution all over again. Who throws the first stone though?

OK, history rant over. I’m linking to the song that inspired this. http://www.allthelyrics.com/song/447536/ Great song, great moment in history.

History

I am a complete history geek. It has come to my attention many times in recent and not-so-recent years that a lot of people are of the mind frame of “Oh, history is boring, it doesn’t matter. It’s just a bunch of dead guys, what’s so great about them?” I heard one of the best rebuttals to that “bunch of dead guys” comment from my dad not long ago. “Never forget that those ‘dead guys’ were once alive.”

And he’s right. They were just as alive as you and me. Part of the reason, I think, why so many people find history “boring and useless” is because we’re so far removed from it. We aren’t given anything we can relate to.  The way history is taught in most places is absolutely appalling.  Being told to read out of a textbook and do definitions is not history.  History should be told as a series of stories.  How every event leads to another.  All the people as characters, all the events as a plot.  But would most teachers ever do that?  No.  Because that’s not good for the “OMFG standardized tests!”  I hate the education system.

Coexist

By now, even those of you living under a rock should have heard of the Coexist campaign. If you haven’t, you may have seen their logo as a bumper sticker or a button or something. Usually, it looks something like this: I’ve been seeing a lot of these stickers around, and I decided to check it out today. It’s a pretty noble concept. This, the most simplified version of the logo, only shows the symbols of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity (in that order). There are a lot of different versions that people have made themselves.

I rather like this one. I’m not sure why. It’s just…different. Islam, Hindu, Judaism, peace, Taoism/Confucianism, Christianity.

This one is also very common for bumper stickers. Islam, peace, male/female, Judaism, Wicca/Pagan/Bah’ai (my apologies if I spelled that wrong), Taoism/Confucianism.

This one has the explanations underneath, but they might be a little hard to read. Islam, Buddhism, Science, Judaism, Paganism, Wiccan, Christian. I like how this one shows how science and religion can coexist as well as regular religions. They don’t have to be two completely separate entities in our lives. I’ll get more into that later.

Very similar to the previous one, but it switches Pagan and Buddhism.

As you can see, they’re all a little different, but they all carry the same message. Religious (and scientific) peace and tolerance. But what if we took it into more than just religion? What if we could have every part of our lives in coexistance?

Science and religion.

Mathematics and art.

Nature and technology.

The past and the future.

Hell, maybe even Microsoft and Apple.

…No, not Microsoft and Apple. Some healthy competition is good. Even if it results in gladiatorial fights to the death.

But, really.  Why shouldn’t we?  Peace and balance are good.  Equilibrium.  Homeostasis.  It’s all good stuff.  And now I sound like a hippie naming off drugs.  Damn.

Another Philosophical Tangent

Oh my, here I go again.  I was checking James Owen’s blog today.  http://coppervale.livejournal.com/  Why?  Because I’m an Internet addict, but that’s a tale for another post.  I see he’d made another memorable post yesterday.  I’ll paste it in here:

“There’s a metaphor that I’ve assembled (in bits and pieces) from several friends and mentors, which I call The Synchronicity Freeway.

The Synchronicity Freeway is very, very central to my life, and how I live it.

Things happen the way they are supposed to, guided (or driven, or whatever word fits here for you – many do), and it’s not our job to try to work out every little detail along the way – because we can’t see everything. Not even a fraction of everything.

A mentor once described his version of the SF as riding in a car that he had no control over. He didn’t control the speed, the direction, or the destination. His job, he said, was just to keep the windshield clear.

Inspiration; spirit; the universe; God; whatever you want to call it, I believe there is something greater than us that we can tune into as we move through our lives. And it can be done (sometimes) as well by not focusing or pressing for a solution or direction or stability of any kind – but by simply being receptive. By accepting, calmly, even subconsciously, that something more appropriate is in the offing.

By, basically, keeping the windshield clear.

I’ve had as many positive things in my life happen by NOT doing things as by actively seeking them; and more by NOT struggling against the bad things that have happened – but instead letting them flow over me, confident in the fact that The Synchronicity Freeway moves as it moves, and I’ll see what I need to see. As long as I keep the windshield clear.”

I’ve never thought of it that way, but it makes sense.  Just keep looking forward and keep a vigilant eye and things won’t catch you by surprise.  Too often, we let ourselves get distracted, or we spend too much time looking back at the past.  I know I’m particularly susceptible to the latter.  Maybe it’s time to just face things as they come.

Learn

I’m going to add something to my Live, Laugh, Love post from yesterday. Hopefully, this one won’t be as long-winded.

Learn:

This is a big world. It’s getting smaller by the day. Everyday, we discover new things, meet new people, come up with new ideas, and slowly decrease what’s unknown about our world. And even with all this going on, there’s still so much that we, individually, don’t know. We have all these excellent opportunities, and we just pass them up. I’ve never been able to do that. I’ve always wanted to know new things. I’ve never understood the mentality of those who didn’t. It just doesn’t make sense. Why wouldn’t you want to know more about the world, the people in it, and what goes on around you?

The attitude of ignorance present in so many people needs to stop. We need to take it upon ourselves to teach ourselves what we’re interested in, if no one else will. We’re not going to be told what to be interested in, of course, and our interests vary greatly from person to person. That’s why some people enjoy school and some don’t. I’ve always liked it because I can be interested in just about anything.

We have so many amazing resources at our fingertips. Books and the Internet are the first that come to mind, obviously. Never ever underestimate the information held within your local library. You’d be surprised at what you might find hidden deep within the shelves you’ve never explored before. And Google. I can see why Google has it’s own freaking religion. It’s incredible. You can search for anything that could possibly come to your mind and find thousands, if not millions, of results taking you to websites with what you want to learn about.

Learning isn’t all about reading books and articles. That type of learning isn’t good for everyone. Get out there and talk to people. Ask questions. Try things and experiment. We learn more from our own mistakes than we ever could from someone else’s.

Go out and learn something new. I promise it won’t hurt.