Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Good (Text) Book

While doing some homework this afternoon, I noticed a lot of scribblings in my rhetoric textbook. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that someone had blacked out all of the Es in "BCE." For the uninitiated, "BCE" stands for "Before Common Era," a secularization of "BC." Historians apparently noted that "BC" and "AD" (itself replaced by "CE") are a little too Christian for a world calendar, so they substituted them. And as is the usual practice in Louisiana, the evangelical Jesus freaks defaced my textbook just to show the world like to mark things. Just like the beast!

Thus sayeth the Lord: "She who writeth in ye margin shall ascend to heaven" (Scribbler 10:16) Posted by Hello

Click the above pic to enlarge it. It looks like that kind of perfect handwriting you see in ads that are made to look like they have handwriting on them. What you see is what I saw, and has not been altered in any way. I don't know who scribbled out the portion on the left-hand page, but I make it out to say, "When the world DIDN'T EXIST!" referring to the line "Around the tenth century B.C.E."

Even better, on page 43, this brave crusader crossed out "damning" in a sentence. Then she wrote "lindseybizilia @ hotmail" on the margin next to it. I take no responsibility for any hijinks that occur from that disclosure...I'll just say, to each their own, even if it makes my textbook hard to read.

Whatever happened to faith being a personal thing?

Friday, September 10, 2004

A military funeral

Joe's funeral card Posted by Hello

Today was the day they buried my friend Joe Thibodeaux, the local soldier who was killed in Iraq. As a veteran funeral-goer, I find that every service I attend falls into one of three categories:

1) The old funeral--at this service, someone lived to a very old age and death isn't entirely unexpected. People in this category are often terminally ill or otherwise lost it many years prior.

2) The "it-was-just-their-time" funeral--these people are often cut down in late adulthood (or even young adulthood) as a result of some short-term disease. Though the cause of death often takes hold quickly, it does give the victims enough time to come to terms with dying.

3) The "tragic" funeral--people who just plain SHOULD NOT BE DEAD. The decedent is usually young and dies in an accident of some sort or homicide/suicide. In this situation, a funeral service is the saddest; mourners really mourn and people really cry. Some are simply too shocked to express emotion. When military service or other heroics are involved, people cope by reflecting on the heroism and nobility of the cause of death.

Joe's funeral was most definitely a type three. It brought together several members of my graduating class in a tearful high school reunion. The service was conducted very well, with a wake at the funeral-home chapel. At 10:45, we all joined a motorcade to the church for the funeral itself. As we passed Lafayette High School, we were met with this:

LHS students greet the motorcade Posted by Hello

The entire student body, along with a 100-foot-high American flag and a Bette Midler medley, greeted us along both sides of the street. This picture doesn't do it justice; this was really AMAZING. During my time at LHS, we had greeted funeral motorcades more than once; but never with the reverence and the pomp that met us today. It was elaborate without being gaudy, and the students (for the most part) showed respect.

The church service was held at Holy Cross Catholic Church and was well-done. Joe's older brother Max, himself a soldier based in Washington D.C., gave the sole eulogy. He said that Joe was a kid who found happiness in "a fast car and having someone to hold." Max also told of the infant Joe's "ability to climb out of windows" and his ability to create a diversion so that he could do so. Joe, he said, was one who always lived at home yet yearned for something bigger. He joined the U.S. Army in 2000, quickly becoming a crack sharpshooter. He had even hoped to enter the Olympics as a marksman, I read later. Max delivered the eulogy dressed in full military brass and contained himself well, though he broke down at the end.

Afterwards, Joe was laid to rest in a part of the Lafayette Memorial Park cemetery reserved for veterans:

Joe is laid to rest Posted by Hello

Joe received full military honors, including "Taps" and a six-gun salute. The American flag draping his coffin was folded into a triangle and handed to his grieving parents, along with his uniform set in a triangular frame. He received two military honors posthumously: a Silver Star and a promotion to Corporal.

Even after the service was officially concluded, virtually no one moved. Never have I seen everyone gathered around a funeral tent remain static as long as we all did. Even though we were all sweating buckets in the high-noon Louisiana humidity, we all wanted to stay for just 10 more minutes and say goodbye to Joe Thibodeaux. Rest in peace, man. We love you.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

An easy question for once

Today I accessed this site from a university computer, and it looked completely different. To be specific, I'm used to Not Right About Anything being black with white text and a larger light-green font for headings. But on this computer, the site was white with black text, and the headers were small with bold black lettering, almost like the standard text. The site it most closely resembled was Zac Attack. Does anyone else out there see it that way? And what causes such a metamorphosis?