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Not Rance…

I am not Rance, although that would explain why I never have any time to post here. I was not aware of his blog; I enjoyed reading it and thank Maximum Leader for drawing it to my attention.


On Homer…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been a little caught up in thinking about the Trojan War. Why? Well, there has been lots of hubub around the movie and it got your Maximum Leader to thinking that he ought to re-read “The Illiad.” (NB: Your Maximum Leader has not yet seen the film.)

Your Maximum Leader must make a confession. He last read “The Illiad” in high school. He did read excerpts and passages in college. But the first (and so far only) time he read the whole epic was in high school. It has always been on his list of books to re-read. But he never made time.

He is making time now. And let him tell you some of his thoughts.

Achilles isn’t as much of a whiner as your Maximum Leader remembered. When he first read the poem he was convinced that the only two worthwhile characters in the work were Hector and Odysseus. And while he still thinks that Hector and Odysseus are the two most noble characters. Achilles is getting a makeover in his mind. Achilles is a bit sulky. But he is being wronged all the time by Aggamemnon. Who wouldn’t be a little sulky if you were the bravest warrior on your side (leading the most ferocious fighters on your side, the Myrimidons) and you were always being shortchanged on booty and prizes? Your Maximum Leader might get a little sulky even. Achilles is a proud man who’s ego is being constantly bruised by a lesser man - who happens to be the King.

Menalaus is coming off as much more of a wussy than your Maximum Leader recalled. He seems to be a weak-willed pawn in Aggamemnon’s game. He doesn’t seem terribly wronged by the fact that it was his wife that was stolen away by Paris.

Paris still strikes your Maximum Leader as a pansy-assed wussy who can start a war, but is too much of a pretty-boy coward to fight.

Hector and Odysseus are still great.

Aggamemnon is a greedy, self-serving tyrant who is really starting to annoy your Maximum Leader.

And one more thought… Your Maximum Leader is reading two copies of “The Illiad” more or less simultaneously. One is a rendering as epic poem, the other a rendering in prose. Wow! What a difference it makes. While your Maximum Leader reads the prose ersion much faster, the respects the poetic rendering a lot. It makes you really respect the talents of the translator. Your Maxmimum Leader is sure the poetry is so much harder to get right than the prose. It is an impressive accomplishment.

Carry on.

When you are feeling down about Iraq…

Its good to know that there are sites like this and this that give you a greater perspective (from somebody on the ground in IRAQ)about the good things that the United States is doing there.

Back to the Trenches


Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was just reading about how there all sorts of hullabalou in LA about the author of the Rance Blog.

Your Maximum Leader guesses that Rance is none other than our own Minister of Propaganda!

Carry on.

… a little too ironic

A guy named Kim with a last name pronounced “Twat”.


Isn’t it Ironic…

That a GUY named KIM is making fun of names in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings?

or am I the only one getting a chuckle out of this…?

back to the trenches

Eric Idle Tune

Everyone here is a Python fan. Here is Eric Idle’s newest little tune. I don’t think the Maximum Leader will like it as much as the Kissenger song (or the lunberjack song - he seems to have an odd affinity for that ditty and frequently sings it while violating Deuteronomy’s instructions by donning traditional Scottish garb).

I think that the Memorial Fits… here is why

The difference I think is the perception of the viewer. I think that comparing the WW2 Memorial with the Vietnam & Korean memorials is comparing apples & oranges.

The Vietnam and Korean memorials are viewed in a “war is bad”, “anti-war”, and a “no war is a good war” light. We “lost” the Vietnam War and most people feel like it was unnecessary. The Korean War is our “forgotten war” and one that was never brought to conclusion. Both these memorials capture that sentiment and do so beautifully.

Enter the WW2 memorial.
This was a “good” war that had to be fought. The war was fought all over the globe and there was DEFINATELY a winner. It was costly in military, material, and civilian terms but there was no way to avoid it and it had to have been fought.
How do you capture all of aspects of WW2 in one memorial? I would argue that you can’t.
Do you spend the effort on memorializing the dead? The holocaust? The civilian casualties? The triumph of good over evil?

Not an easy task but most of the things I just mentioned are covered under other memorials.

I think that in the end, the monument pays tribute to the fallen, but just as importantly, validates and celebrates the victory all of the world’s survivors.

Back to the trenches….

WWII Memorial

I’ll reserve judgement until I see it for myself, but from what I hear the overall response is less than stellar.

Here’s an editorial from the post that pretty much typifies reactions to the WWII memorial. I’m torn on the subject. While it does look good in pictures, the most common criticism I hear is that it doesn’t connect with the visitor. The Vietnam memorial, and the Korean War Memorial are both very powerful for the visitor.

WWII represents the most important struggle in moddern times, and the seeming eternal theme of the modern world. The struggle against tyranny and opression. Yes, comming out of the Great Depression, the world was cynical, and things were not as black and white as they may seem in retrospect. But it’s hard toargue agains the evil that faced the world.

Comfort Women
The Bataan Death March
“The Final Solution”

and on and on

these represent evil pure and simple.

Yes, there was ambiguity, and attrocities were committed by the allies. Dresden for example. But that’s the nature of Total War. You can’t equate the Rooseveldt administration with the Nazi’s, or Imperial Japan.

But the task that generation faced, the sacrifices they made, and the success they achieved demand something special. An overblown, yet patriotic unfocused memorial just seems almost like an insult. I suppose a significant memorial is long overdue, and better this than nothing. Still, I wish they’d have gotten it right.

Memorial Day

For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here, in Normandy, the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

– President Ronald Reagan,

on the 40th anniversary of D-Day at Pointe du Hoc, France, June 6, 1984

Good editorial here on the “Greatest Generation” and the good fight they fought.


Yup… the big guy’s right, I’m a huge Tolkien fan. Currently watching the theatrical version of Return of the King again. I’ll probably post another review either here or at Scary Spasms, where I posted a review after the films came out.

I’ll second agreement with Mr. Du Toit’s rant on LotR. The blonde princess was way hotter. I’m not a big Liv Tyler fan. I look at her, and I see her dad. Although I like Aerosmith, Stephen Tyler is just freaky looking.

Du Toit on Lord of the Rings

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is a big Lord of the Rings fan. He has read the books. He has seen the movies. He loves it. (Although, perhaps not as much as the AirMarshal.) That said, your Maximum Leader also has sense of humour. He was over on Kim Du Toit’s site (looking for more skin and gun pics) and found Kim’s rant on “The Return of the King.”

Your Maximum Leader admits. He laughed a little bit reading it. And your Maximum Leader agrees with Kim on one point. If he was Aragorn, he would have gone after lusty blonde princess…

Carry on.


Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader’s hockey team could snag the best prospectout there. Really, it could happen.

But then again, the world could end tomorrow…

Carry on.


Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wants to congratulate Kilgore.

Your Maximum Leader will take a raincheck on the Glenfiddich on the rocks.

Carry on.


My wife and I have Verizon cell phones, largely because her father has been a Verizon employee. In general, I have been less than pleased with service… until I compare what we get with what friends with other providers get. I think my anticipated standards for how good cell phones should be are higher than industry standards. Based on comparison with friends on Sprint, AT&T and NexTel, Verizon is either as good or better than what they get. Fine.

But one thing consistantly pisses me off. I have an LG-4400 phone, which I like quite a bit. But the software on the phone has some serious bugs related to voicemail. So I’m on my office phone, when my wife calls me on cell. I can’t answer, so I note that she’s left me a voice mail, and wait until I finish business on the office phone. Then I try to call voice mail from the cell phone. It keeps kicking me out of my voice mail menu to tell me that one new voice mail has arrived. Duh. I’m trying to check the damn voice mail, but I freaking can’t because the freaking service keeps interupting my call to my mail box.

I know it’s just a software bug, but it pisses me off.

Update from your Maximum Leader: Your Maximum Leader uses Cingular and likes it…

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