Monday July 8, 2019
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RARE OPENING SIDEBAR:
The US National Women's Soccer Team won the 2019 World Cup. I think the only group of humans on the planet who wanted them to win were Americans.
We got our wish.
Congrats to the USA Women.
END RARE OPENING SIDEBAR
- There is a 21st century need for people like me to pre-game events, statements, actions, feats or fails; building them to a fever pitch that often dissipates like fireworks in the wind: After they've launched and exploded there is nothing left but the night sky.
- Donald Trump's Independence Day speech last week is as good an example as we have had in a while.
- The genesis of the event appears to have been Trump's attendance in Paris in July 2017 at the annual Bastille Day parade as the guest of French President Emmanuel Macron. As an aside, both men were fairly new to their jobs.
- Bastille Day, according to Wikipedia,
is the anniversary of [the] Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, a turning point of the French Revolution, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790.
- Hands up if you believe the concept of "storming the Bastille" in 1789 Paris is more exciting than 56 old White guys in wool suits signing a piece of paper 13 years earlier in Philadelphia.
- That, in a nutshell, is the difference in WOW level between the massive parade that so stirred Trump in Paris and the benign 4th of July speech he gave between raindrops on the National Mall last week.
- From the howls of outrage we heard in the runup to Trump's speech you might have thought that as part of the showmanship, Trump was going to literally tear up a copy of the U.S. Constitution - something he has been accused of doing symbolically since his earliest Executive Orders.
- Was he going to veer off his prepared remarks and launch into a Fake News, Enemy-of-the -People, Lock-Her-Up, Democrats-Want-Open-Borders rant?
- Well, he didn't.
- Other than missing by a little over a hundred years on the date of the first airport (oldest still in operation? College Park, Maryland 1909), and about three dozen years on the date of the War of 1812 (during which Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the Star Spangled Banner) the speech was perfectly fine.
- Here's that portion of the text via USA Today:
"Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rocket's red glare it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant."
- This immediately drew comparisons to that famous scene in National Lampoon's Animal House:
D-Day: [to Bluto] War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.
Bluto: What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Otter: [to Boon] Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.
- Although "ramming the ramparts" gets some style points from me, Trump blamed a teleprompter fail for him having to ad lib.
- Even without Sean Spicer to kick around, there doesn't appear to have been a big argument over crowd size. There were reports that the Republican National Committee was having trouble unloading tickets to the VIP section, but it appeared to be full, and the crowds along the reflecting pool seemed pretty big to me.
- In spite of the weather going from dicey to awful, the people who know about these things found a hole in the storms during which Trump could speak, planes could do their flyovers, and no one in the audience was in danger of being struck by lightning.
- All of that was trivial in the face of the dark and dire predictions of the optics of tanks and armored personnel carriers on the National Mall.
- Trump's speech was fine but, like the fireworks, faded into the night sky. No harm done.
- As for me, I would have voted for bringing back the Beach Boys.
- Good Vibrations.
- On the Secret Decoder Ring Page today: Links to an article about the signers of the Declaration of Independence, to Bastille Day, and to the Beach Boys.
The Mullfoto is the thinnest possible link to the Declaration of Independence.
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