Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

6:59 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
For Father's day I have a very simple blessing.

May all those born into this world be granted a father as good as mine.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cranky Overflow

10:31 PM Posted by Patrick 1 comment
My recent inability to get a job has been gnawing at me, like some small and exceedingly pugnacious animal. I think a large part of this stems from my knowledge that I wasted two years when I should have been looking for a job. Before the recession my inexperience would have meant little to the job seeking process; everyone was hiring. Now, instead of having the previous work experience that companies desire, I have never held an hourly job and have no way to separate myself from the teeming masses. If I could get to an interview I might stand a chance.

There is definite guilt present; this is all a result of my laziness and procrastination in prior years. I was remiss before, and now, when I really need it, I am unable to obtain gainful employment. Couple this with my current dissatisfaction with political realities and my general antipathy toward a sizable portion of people my age, and you get a stereotype a la Despair or the Onion; a disaffected and moody college student.

Oh, wait, add to the above the fact that I cannot win the weed battle in the garden. I have spent hours, enough time to sunburn my leathery, suntan lotion-coated, hide+ extra hours with shirt. There are still forests--FORESTS!--of weeds. Even my favourite tasks are turning futile. On top of that--oh yes, there's more!!--I have major writers block. I keep sitting down to write, but I never, usually (as any poor person reading this might have qualified), get more than a paragraph down.

And our water is salted and I can't seem to get hydrated while at home.

On the bright side, I have a tan, am not such a dangerous driver anymore, and have been doing plenty of German. I think I need to start going to ultimate frisbee; the exertion would be a good thing.

Sorry about all the whining, but I'm just tightly wound and cranky tonight. ;-p

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mutiny on the Bounty

11:29 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
We were watching Mutiny on the Bounty tonight, and Fatherman was wondering at the verity of the account and whether we knew what happened on Pitcairn Island. Being me, I had to research the truth. The account is not quite accurate. Christian was a fair and just leader, well regarded by most. But, one day, a member of the British contingent made a still. It all goes downhill from there, with christian getting killed trying to stop the fighting Brits and islanders. The ship did get burned, though.

That is not where I found the true discrepancies in the story.

Lieutenant William Bligh, as he was during the narrative, would be best described as a hero. Bligh was not a technically a member of the Royal Navy when he made the expedition, but was a merchant captain who agreed to take the mission.

The reason for the mutiny was not actually Bligh's cruelty--Bligh was uncommonly lenient when it came to punishment, preferring his sharp tongue to the whip--but the British sailors unwillingness to leave the pleasurable life of the Tahitian islands. Christian, a young, non-commissioned, officer, who had fallen in love with an islander and was weary of Bligh's razor wit--which purportedly focused in on him--was just a weak young man who lead a mutiny, not a hero.

The mutiny was not spur of the moment, but staged in the middle of the night; it was not to save a thirsty crewman, as depicted in the movie.

Bligh's journey, in an open boat, without charts, and without supplies, is a true story. The men who returned with Bligh all vouched for his character and attention to duty, casting the mutineers as libertines and traitors. Bligh was acquitted of any wrongdoing, commended for his ability, and given a new ship to complete the mission he set out for in the first place.

Bligh returned to Tahiti and retrieved the breadfruit, which, upon reaching Jamaica, the slaves he was fetching it for refused to eat it, rendering his pains...fruitless.

Bligh returned to England and was immediately promoted to captain; he then served with great distinction in the Napoleonic wars, successfully commanding three ships of the line; the Monarch, the Irresistible, and the Warrior. In 1805 he was appointed Governor of New South Wales, in order to deal with the rampant pirates and rum runners, which he did.

Bligh was then recalled to England, where, in 1811, he was to receive the post of Rear Admiral of the Blue; a position he held until he was promoted to Vice Admiral of the Blue: the sixth highest man in the Royal Navy.

Bligh was known as an enlightened, educated, man, with strong moral sensibilities. Not quite the movie monster, but we Americans love our rebels, and it really helps if they are rebelling against a monster.