Today is the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
Did Google go all out in celebration? Uhhh, no. But give them a break, bless their little Marxist hearts: they did celebrate Panama Independence Day earlier this month. So we know they’re not against nation-states, per se, just the one that was wealthy enough and entrepreneur-friendly enough to give Google life and possibility.
It is a steep learning curve, the paying off of crony politicians but they got it faster than Microsoft ever did. Witness the lack of anti-trust lawsuits of the kind that plagued Bill Gates; you can bet your bippy Google took lessons from that expensive ignorance. I hear they’re busy building their own navy so perhaps a little BHO birdie told ‘em something. The rest of us are busy too – guessing at the motives behind Obama’s determined effort to deep-six America’s military; all we know is the outcome does not bode well for either the military or for civilians. For now the flexing of Google’s military might takes the form of barges but even gianto Google accepts the fact that you have to start somewhere. Besides, best not to alarm us frogs in the pot.
Yesterday a reader sent a link to one of my favorite poems. An anti-war work, purportedly, though some say it’s really about sex, so who knows? In the end, it’s all about sex, innit?
This is my contribution to the USMC’s annual celebration, which is beginning to be not so much celebratory as bittersweet and looking backward at old glories. Tripoli is a bigger mess than ever and the halls of Montezuma are overrun with drug lords, much as parts of Luton are.
“The Naming of Parts” was written by a middling Brit poet during World War II. It’s part of a set, but this is the only one which ever sees the light of day very often because it’s the only one that even remotely participates in the light of being. The rest are too heavy-handed, though they have good moments.
For years I thought “The Naming of Parts” was a poem from, as the author says, “that 1914-18 thing”. Turns out he served in both, the second time around as a translator of Japanese. Perhaps it is born of his memories (shame) about his time as a POW during the First? Oh, wait – I forgot, it’s really about sex. Here you can see it in situ as it appeared in The New Statesman in 1942.
But before we get to the poem, let’s have a look at a real gun — oops, Marine Corps Drill
sergeants Instructors have been known to make recruits carry their “guns” in their hands, trousers undone, for the sin of calling their rifle a “gun”. Every vocation has mortal offenses and for jarheads, that is one.
So here’s a real
gun rifle, the much maligned AR-15.
This is not a USMC infantryman’s issue. That honor goes to a German gun, the H&K M27 AIR, which you see demonstrated here. The comments are worth perusing to get a feel for how much this German company is despised by American civilian gun owners. Anyone who reads gun forums understands the reasons they have for hating H&K. It has mostly to do with the perceived hubris and lack of genuine customer service for non-military customers. Somehow, I don’t see the two – “German-made” and “customer service” – connecting in any Venn diagram. But that’s me.
What is an AR 15, you ask? Here’s the man to tell you. Watch this for sexual references, of course:
Below the fold is the poem. I believe it was written for the Lee-Enfield since that was the standard issue British rifle from 1895 to 1957.
The setting is a country garden, which makes this the ideal anti-gun poem. Beauty and death, see? All those the killers with guns. (When you’re a thoroughly indoctrinated gun-hater, who knows from rifles or powder horns?)
Naming of Parts
To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
And to-day we have naming of parts.
This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.
This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.
And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it easing the Spring.
They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For to-day we have naming of parts.
For the usual socialist reasons, there are lots of study guides and analyses on line for Henry Reed’s poem.