Sunday Reads: All of you. They all looked alike, just one face. And it was very young.

Good Morning

February is one of the best months on TCM…the title of this post is a line from the movie Twelve O’Clock High (1949).

It is the first scene after the real footage of bombing raids shot by both the US allies and German combat film during the war. One of the administrators is drunk, and talking about all the letters he has written to the families of the airmen who have died. There have been so many of them….

Major Harvey Stovall: That is not why I am drunk tonight. I got drunk because I am confused. I was thinking, which is a thing a man should not do, and all at once I couldn’t remember what any of them looked like. I, I couldn’t see their faces, Bishop, Cobb, Wilson, Zimmy, all of them. All of you. They all looked alike, just one face. And it was very young. It confused me. I think I shall stay drunk until I’m not confused anymore.

“And it was very young.” That one sentence made me cry….78b85ed95ea84893a3e8ec6d7d08c150

Last night, this film from 1949 about World War II, something that I have seen so many times before…I even own the DVD.  For some reason that one line hit me more this viewing than all the other times I have seen this movie.  Why?

I don’t know…It is strange. Well, my grandfather was a mechanic on those planes during the war, so I guess that is why I always was fond of that movie. There was a connection to it.

You can see some more color pictures here: World War II in Color: American Bombers and Their Crews, 1942 | LIFE.com

As a jumping off point for countless bombing runs, including many in broad daylight, the United States Army Air Forces (the predecessor of the U.S. Air Force) set up bases in England during the war. In 1942, LIFE’s Margaret Bourke-White spent time with the Bomber Command — an assignment that LIFE shared with its readers in an October 1942 feature notable, although hardly surprising, all these years later for its triumphant tone:

Photographer Margaret Bourke-White with the U.S. Bomber Command in England, 1942.

Photographer Margaret Bourke-White with the U.S. Bomber Command in England, 1942.

The most potent U.S. force to hit the Nazis so far in this war is the Bomber Command, stationed in England. Operating Flying Fortresses, it is making attacks on German-occupied Europe as frequently as weather and operating conditions permit. To date, all the raids have been tremendously successful. From 25,000 feet, it has given a superb exhibition of precision bombing by hitting German factories, airfields, ships and oil refineries on the nose. In two months of operations, it has shot down more than 100 German fighters, lost less than six of its own bombers.

[NOTE: As the war dragged on, the bombers and their crews out of England would, inevitably, face steeper and more dramatic losses. On October 14, 1943, for example — “Black Thursday” — nearly 600 crew members and 60 Flying Fortresses were lost in a single raid against a ball-bearing factory in Schweinfurt, Germany.]

To photograph Bomber Command, LIFE sent photographer Margaret Bourke-White to the headquarters of Brigadier general Ira. C. Eaker, commander in chief of Bomber Command, and to one of the secret airfields from which the Flying Fortresses operate…. Miss Bourke-White’s pictures arrived in the U.S. just when the Bomber Command was making its biggest sorties.  Flying Fortresses roared out over the Channel and attacked German industries in the Lille region. Another group of six Fortresses a few days before dropped 600-lb. bombs directly on the German airfield at St. Omer, France. On the way home they were attached by 35 crack Nazi pursuits. When the brief fight was over, at least 13 Germans were plunging earthward and the six Fortresses were sailing on. Another time a Fortress came back to England with one motor shot away, one disabled, a third missing badly, and with 12 cannon holes and 2,000 machine-gun holes in the fuselage. Still other squadrons of Fortresses scored better than 70 percent hits in their first two weeks of bombing operations over Europe. “Fantastic accuracy,” said the British.

Bomber Command was ready. It was confident that although still small, it would grow and grow, and as it grew, the intensity and terribleness of the attack on Germany would grow with it, until the skies of Europe would be blacked and its earth furrowed with American bombs.

ae702404db74e34e7802d146375025f7 Fasten your seatbelts! by Walter BaumhoferAlright, now for this morning’s links:

Celebrity fight between rapper DMX, George Zimmerman called off | Reuters

The celebrity boxing match between rapper DMX and acquitted Florida killer George Zimmerman has been called off, its promoter said on Saturday after threats were made against him.

I figured it was more along those lines, and not the crap about “money not being everything.”

Looks like the US is not the only country getting hit by major snow storms: At least seven dead, 1,000 injured as heavy snow hits Japan

The heaviest snow in two decades has struck Tokyo and other areas across Japan, leaving at least seven people dead and more than 1,000 injured.

Up to 27 centimetres of snow was recorded in Tokyo by late Saturday, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years, according to meteorologists.

The storm hit Tokyo on the eve of its gubernatorial election. Observers say the heavy snowfall may affect voter turnout in the city of 13 million people.

tumblr_mjv6a44M6k1s4c1kfo2_r1_500On the new-earth front…check it out…Scientists find 800,000-year-old footprints in UK

They were a British family on a day out — almost a million years ago.

Archaeologists announced Friday that they have discovered human footprints in England that are between 800,000 and 1 million years old — the most ancient found outside Africa, and the earliest evidence of human life in northern Europe.

[…]

British Museum archaeologist Nick Ashton said the discovery — recounted in detail in the journal PLOS ONE — was “a tangible link to our earliest human relatives.”

Preserved in layers of silt and sand for hundreds of millennia before being exposed by the tide last year, the prints give a vivid glimpse of some of our most ancient ancestors. They were left by a group, including at least two children and one adult male. They could have been be a family foraging on the banks of a river scientists think may be the ancient Thames, beside grasslands where bison, mammoth, hippos and rhinoceros roamed.

Lots more at the link. Pictures here: 800,000-Year-Old Human Footprints Found In England, Extinct Hominid Species Was ‘Fully Bipedal’ [PHOTO]

prints

tumblr_mntl580kDP1s4c1kfo2_r1_500In Tampa Florida, specifically West Tampa, a little scheme is being put together. The mayor is working to rid the area of the “projects” and “relocate” the residents….I don’t know, when I saw this in the news it made me laugh in a sarcastic way. Tampa officials unveil draft plan to redevelop area west of Hillsborough River | Tampa Bay Times

“This is big,” Buckhorn said of the transformation envisioned for 120 acres west of the river and north of Interstate 275. “This is bodacious. This is exciting. This will be a game-changer.”

The proposed “West River” plan would start with demolishing the World War II-era public housing at North Boulevard Homes. The imposing concrete-block apartments would be replaced by a more traditional neighborhood with walkable streets.

A total of 820 apartments would be bulldozed, making way for more than 1,600 new townhomes and apartments. The new housing would include both subsidized housing and units that sell or rent for market rates. With more working- and middle-class residents, businesses on Main Street should see more customers, officials say.

e32714ccc0cf5dbc79bfd7d3b7c66e23“Market rates?”  The thing that gets me is that there is very little outrage over this proposed “bodacious” project.  Not that new homes is something way overdue, but the idea that the people living there are going to be kicked out…with no real guarantee of a place to live, that is worrisome.

But all this is too premature. There is no “funding” yet, so no big deal right now…

The rest of the links in quick fashion:

Charlie Chaplin’s only novel to be released

A virtually unknown novel by Charlie Chaplin — the only book the silent film comic ever wrote — is being made public for the first time.

“Footlights”, which will be unveiled in London later Tuesday, was written by Chaplin in 1948 and later transformed into his film “Limelight”, in which a washed-out clown saves a dancer from suicide.

The book is being published in English by the Cineteca di Bologna, an Italian film restoration institute which has been working with Chaplin biographer David Robinson on reconstructing drafts found in the Chaplin archives.

[…]

a79a5ec49845f4080726eee2d6391aedAccording to Robinson, the relationship between drunken clown and desperate ballerina in the much later “Footlights” was likely inspired by his meeting with legendary Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky in 1916.

The Cinetaca describes Chaplin’s “vivid, idiosyncratic” writing style which, “unadulterated by editors, moves freely from the baldly colloquial to moments of rich imagery and Dickensian description.

“For a setting, he looked back to London and the music halls of his first professional years, an enchanted period in which he had broken out of the deprivations of his childhood to discover, progressively, his unique gifts as entertainer and communicator,” the institute said in a statement.

“But this retrospect also recalled the painful insecurity of an uneducated, uncultured boy launched into the world of success”, and the clown’s expressions of despair at losing the world’s respect and admiration likely reflected Chaplin’s own feelings as his popularity dwindled.

283384f73086b642a1b508ccaef39ed5The book can be found here: Libri, DVD & Gadgets – Cinestore

The New York Times says the book will also be available at amazon.com.

Did y’all see the Pussy Riot interview with Colbert? Pussy Riot Gives the Funniest, Best Colbert Report Interview Ever | Mediaite

It really was a great interview, and funny that after it got so much press this happened:  Pussy Riot members announce split with freed duo

Members of Pussy Riot’s collective published a letter Wednesday in which they distanced themselves from Nadezhda “Nadya” Tolokonnikova and Maria “Masha” Alekhina and said “they are no longer Pussy Riot.”

“It is no secret that Masha and Nadia are no longer members of the group,” six anonymous members of the group wrote on their blog, “and they will no longer take part in radical actionism.”

They said they said they were “very pleased” with Tolokonnikova’s and Alekhina’s release from prison, and proud of their resistance against the ordeals they suffered, but said the collective could not support the inclusion of “institutionalized defenders of prisoners’ rights.”

7f9fe9822578e05057b7f2b73b58bf22Yup, the two women who were imprisoned for the band, got kicked out of the band.

“Yes, we have lost two friends, two ideological teammates, but the world has acquired two brave human rights defenders — fighters for the rights of Russian prisoners.”

Wow. That was a shitty way to tell the two to go chase themselves…personally I think Masha and Nadia should have told the group “Let’s blouse!” a lot earlier. 59 Quick Slang Phrases From The 1920s We Should Start Using Again | Thought Catalog

“Go chase yourself!”: “Get out of here!”

“Let’s blouse!”: “Let’s blow this popsicle stand!”

And now a few geeky links:

Scientists create bone-like material that is lighter than water but as strong as steel

Here’s How Many LEGO Bricks It Would Take to Build 17 Famous Movie Houses

4e25d0e368cd0247624b2d93f4685864Norse Rune code cracked

A scholar of the University of Oslo has cracked one of the rune codes used by the Vikings, revealing they were sending each other messages such as ‘Kiss me’.

For those of you who liked Breaking Bad: Starz Green-Lights Gritty Ballet Drama — Vulture

Starz has officially green-lighted its gritty ballet drama Flesh and Bone, the network announced today. The show, created by Breaking Bad‘s Moira Walley-Beckett, follows Claire, a gifted young ballet dancer with a dark, self-destructive past who is a new member of a rigorous New York ballet company.

This caught my eye, you should get a kick out of it: 12 Ridiculous Anti-Woman Myths From The Dark Ages That Conservatives STILL Believe

Have you ever been reading or watching a report about a conservative man who said something so incredibly backwards  that you swore he was living in the Dark Ages? Well, you’re not so very far from wrong. 5f7c886b5e09136b8546194c0a9e74deThe Dark Ages were dark partly because education was discouraged and science was suspect, leading to some astoundingly silly things being taken for fact. Like, for example, that the heart was the seat of intelligence. Or that frogs spontaneously generated from mud. As fun as those sort of ideas are to explore, this article will be dealing with beliefs about that strange and inscrutable being: Woman.

Finally, if you are into the Schadenfreude, you can get a few thrills tonight during the figure skating events on the Olympics.  Or…you can just take a look here a few falls…watch them go sailing right out there: The 9 Most Epic Olympic Figure Skating Wipeouts Ever

Y’all have a good day, and share what you are reading about today.


42 Comments on “Sunday Reads: All of you. They all looked alike, just one face. And it was very young.”

  1. Morning everyone…

    There’s some bad weather heading our way, so keep an eye on it.

    National Weather Service

    WPC Winter Weather Forecasts

  2. janicen says:

    Great post, JJ. Thank you for sharing the line from Twelve O’Clock High. As I was reading it, I was remembering it. Some awesome writing right there.

    I did see the Colbert interview with Pussy Riot and it was awesome. I have to disagree with you about it being shitty of the rest of the group to kick them out. The group is supposed to be anonymous and once these women became known, they weren’t eligible, and the rest of the group is still in Putin’s Russia. Nadya and Masha are traveling the world and spreading the word about what’s happening in Russia, so they are more good to the group than if they were still in it. I think the only way Pussy Riot can keep doing what they are doing is by distancing themselves from Nadya and Masha, and remaining anonymous. If Putin knew who they were, there would be no more Pussy Riot.

    • RalphB says:

      When I first read about the Pussy Riot collective distancing themselves from Nadya and Masha, I thought it was the typical Left circular firing squad. But you have a point and I think you are correct.

    • Yeah, like Ralph I think you bring up a valid point there about the Pussy Riot.

  3. dakinikat says:

    My dad was a bombardier stationed in Ipswich during the war. He flew missions over NAZI Germany to bomb factories and railroad stations. He and his fellow crew members once flew a mission under Jimmy Stewart. The Kewl thing I remember is the diversity of his crew. He still loves these men–i think he is the last of them now–and has their picture sitting out on his bookcase along with the family pix. I hear his stories all the time now. My Nana saved his letters from him and he had them along with pictures of his training runs where they practiced on “targets” in Colorado and Texas. He was completely shaped by his experience.

    • RalphB says:

      My dad was a bomber pilot stationed in Britain during the war, though he would never talk about it. Mom said he was a completely changed person after the war. Maybe if he hadn’t been a hopeless alcoholic and had lived long enough, I could have heard some of his experiences.

    • janicen says:

      My dad was in the Army Air Corps as well. Lucky for him, the only duty he served overseas was training in Panama.

  4. RalphB says:

    Great post JJ. I love the Pussy Riot interview on Colbert! Those young women are fabulous.

    That housing story is the first time I’ve heard a government project referred to as “bodacious”. They are getting ahead of themselves.

  5. Fannie says:

    Seems like to me some Veterans are well cared for, and treated with respect, and provided with services. But not all are treated equally, as is the case of Madelyn “Lee” Taylor. She is a 74 year old US Navy veteran, who served during Vietnam Era:

    http://www.idadostatesman.com/2014/02/04/3007746/2-months-planning-3-hours-all.html

    She was arrested with 43 others who were protesting the Lynn Luker bill (HB427) that discriminates against gays. Lee was married to Jean Mixner, her wife died over a year ago, and the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery refuses to allow her wife to be buried next to her. I have been emailing, and will follow up Monday on calls to various Veterans Dept. on her behalf.

    I myself have done the census on several cemeteries in various states, and I have never heard of this kind of discrimination against veterans. There should be an outcry, but we are surrounded by Mormons, and they are running the show. Have you ever heard of such thing
    before?

  6. RalphB says:

    WaPo: Pete Sessions and the GOP’s ‘immoral’ conservatism

    “It is immoral.”

    That was the judgment of Rep. Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican and committee chairman, on the House floor this week. But the subject of his sermon wasn’t the Assad regime in Syria or human trafficking. What Sessions found immoral was the repugnant notion that the government would help Americans who lost their jobs and are looking for work. …

    Dana Milbank with a nice op-ed and a realistic view.

  7. RalphB says:

    Color me gobsmacked, Politico discovered someone who had something worthwhile to say.

    tbotp: Why Do Republicans Want Us to Work All the Time?

    … The best explanation for the advent of work without end, I now believe, is a failure of imagination. We’ve forgotten that the purpose of life is to be happy, and to pass that happiness on to future generations—not simply to keep acquiring more stuff. Our forebears understood that.

    Perhaps the prospect that the Affordable Care Act would result in the reduction of working hours by a modest 2 percent might rekindle the old debate and resurrect the forgotten American Dream. We might even find in our recent history a more practical road to “full employment” and a sustainable alternative to perpetual economic growth. We might then rediscover what Whitman called “higher progress,” and spend less time banging the keyboards in our office cubicles and more time working on humanity—our families, our hobbies, our faiths. Even Republicans might enjoy that.

    • RalphB says:

      Yuck! That’s why I eat less meat than I used to and buy what I do eat from a store that rolls it’s own.

  8. RalphB says:

    Rude Pundit with some damned good advice.

    Democrats: Don’t Defend the CBO Report; Use It to Attack the GOP:

    Is this really that hard, Democrats? Really? Here ya go:

    The Congressional Budget Office said that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the deficit, allow sick people to stop working and concentrate on getting better, free up jobs for people who are looking for employment, cause a hike in wages for many people, and give people more spending money, which will, in the end, create more jobs.

    From page 125 of the CBO report: “On balance, CBO estimates that the ACA will boost overall demand for goods and services over the next few years because the people who will benefit from the expansion of Medicaid and from access to the exchange subsidies are predominantly in lower-income households and thus are likely to spend a considerable fraction of their additional resources on goods and services.”

    If that’s not clear enough, here’s page 126: “The expanded federal subsidies for health insurance will stimulate demand for goods and services, and that effect will mostly occur over the next few years. That increase in demand will induce some employers to hire more workers or to increase their employees’ hours during that period.”

    You got that? This is pretty much high school-level economics. …

  9. Fannie says:

    I am about tired of Rand Paul masturbating in public………….enough is enough. His latest wad
    was in regards to a demand that Democrats return the money raised by the “sexual predator” Bill Clinton. Not once does he use the term President Clinton, so here out I will.

    The last time I checked Monica was over the age of 18 when she engaged in oral sex with President Clinton. I have never seen any court papers that she has filed against him. I have seen a shit load of paper work to impeach President Clinton. So exactly what federal code/statute would Rand Paul be willing to bring to the attention of the court system? Rand needs to put his ……I mean his money where his mouth is.

    Back in 2006, there was one republican who engaged in sexual exploitation while serving in congress. He did indeed send emails to underage children, who were employed by congress as Page Boys, and Mark Foley. Congressman Foley induced and enticed young boys via email in which words, and images were used for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Why was it that Mark Foley and Congress denied the American people critical documents about this case. It’s the same reason that Sandusky got away with abuse, everybody decided to look the other way. We want congress and the republican party to pay up because they did nothing to protect under aged children and did not refer the case for Federal laws under title 18, Section 225 of the US code. We want the facts of that case.

    Rand Paul is spoon feeding his conservative right. He is doing dirty work not just to advance himself but his party. In other words get out there and HURT HILLARY, before she has even announced that she is running for office. He really doesn’t understand, that Hillary and President Clinton has put this behind them years ago. He thinks that by twisting and bringing out guilt, that she will shed some more tears, and that women won’t vote for her. I think that Hillary, as a Methodist, has prayed for help from time to time in her marriage. You know, it’s nothing less from heaven that they have continued on for another 20 years, of marriage. Why, because they communicate, and they understand each other, and they remain close as hell, and that fact right there eats at the very soul of Rand and his republican party. How dare God allow them to love each other for the rest of their lives. They have once again taken a knife, and tried to cut through their marriage, and they don’t even flinch or blink an eye when they do so. Next, he will try to put a gun to her mouth, in hopes that this will end their marriage. After all he voted against the Violence Against Women Act, that ought to tell you something about Rand.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Clinton have seen and been on many bumps on the road, Rand is not going to stop either one of them, nor will he slow them down.

    I’m sticking with Hillary, she knows when you’re hardest hit, when things really are worst, that you MUST NOT QUIT.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Sorry I haven’t been around today. I kind of took the day off. Thought you all might like this: Springsteen covers ACDC.

  11. bostonboomer says:

    For JJ:

  12. bostonboomer says:

    I just love that they cracked the rune code and one of the messages said “kiss me.” I love it!

  13. RalphB says:

    This post is just hilarious!