I pledge allegiance to the what the hell?

Idolator found this sucker:

'Got the devil on my shoulder...'

I would, of course, be quite happy to take the Jonas Brothers over the real thing at this point. But does said real thing have to imitate Cheney’s ‘I’m going to lurk here like the puppetmaster for a while’ pose while he’s at it?

[UPDATE: WHOA, never mind. Just found something even better:

Bunny love

It…says so much.]


Meanwhile, for all you Bauhaus/Love and Rockets fans…

David J’s best of LA. You know, I’m still annoyed I’ve never seen him do one of his solo sets. I need to fix that. (One of my greatest concert regrets: missing a small show at the Roxy or Whisky back in 1992. Opening act? PJ Harvey. You KNOW that ruled.) Much as I love the work of all four members of Bauhaus, collectively or individually, David’s work has always seemed the most underrated seemingly by intent, a deceptive downplaying of flash in favor of his calmly artistic presentation of style and self. I strongly suggest checking out his homepage, where among other things he’s started to stream a variety of rarities and experiments; meanwhile, his latest project, a musical based on the life of Edie Sedgwick called Silver for Gold, has just finished an initial LA run with plans to go off-Broadway in the future.

Nothing more much than this to say in this post, so as a bonus, the fun video for his almost solo hit back in 1990 “I’ll Be Your Chauffeur.” There’s something sweetly breezy about the visuals here, matching the enjoyable song equally well. The album it’s from, Songs From Another Season, is one of those understated delights that I forget how much I enjoy until I give it another listen. (You can find my AMG mutterings from some years back here.)

Anyway, the video:

Think not of the body count, but of those gone

Elsewhere, you will read and hear quite a bit about a certain figure reached in terms of certain casualties in a certain country. Set that aside.

Instead, I direct your attention to something else, related to that of course but much more than that. It’s a collection of pieces over at the LA Times where staff writers and photographers talk about military members they met and knew, either briefly or over a period of time, who are now gone.

I have said, quite simply and forthrightly over the years, that we must remember the dead — and that the dead are not simply those who have served in our military. The exact number is and will forever be in dispute but many, many thousands more have died in Iraq for no reason other than being born, raised and having lived there. This is always best remembered, no matter what angle you come from, or what you conclude, or you think our presence or absence would have changed that. I could say more but again, set that aside.

Turn instead to the stories I’ve linked — and note. The men you see talked about there, the men and women who are writing about them, neither are caricatures nor stereotypes. The servicemen are neither paragons of righteousness nor blood-soaked meatheads. The reporters are neither aggressive crusaders for truth nor tools of a mass media conspiracy.

No, they are human, and they are there, and they talk and think and differ and agree, and some are there because of one thing and some for another. The servicemen may have guns but they have brains and souls. The reporters may not fight but they put themselves at risk — and they too have brains and souls. Do I mention one group and your hackles rise? Do I mention another and cause scorn? If so, why so? At what do you react? An objective truth you somehow possess, or a perception based on indirect experience?

These are pat statements on my part, cliches, obvious observations. I pretend nothing in them of remarkable depth or insight. And I fall prey to errors and quick judgments as much as anyone, there is no excusing of that here. There is however a reminder:

Remember the dead. Remember the living who speak about them here. Create no plaster saints, no effigies to burn. No whitewashing, no tarring and feathering.

The numbers will yet rise. And that is all that can be concluded.

[UPDATE: The New York Times has a piece in a similar fashion, though in this case drawing on a variety of blog posts and letters from six soldiers now passed. Read, reflect, remember.]

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