The Benevolent & Protective Brotherhood of Them What Has Been Shot At


“Ya don’t git combat pay ’cause ya don’t fight.”

My dad and I went to a military vehicle and gear ‘swapmeet’ one weekend and I came across a book that I just fell in love with.  I really like politically-oriented cartoons and art and this book struck many beautiful chords with me.  It’s called Up Front and its written and illustrated by WWII’s famous rank ‘n’ file cartoon genius, Bill Mauldin.  It was written in 1944 while Mauldin was in Italy and France.  It’s essentially a long political and social diatribe to accompany 161 of his cartoon drawings, all of which give voice to the sardonic vignettes of ‘dogface’ infantry soldiers.   

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Word of the Week: Umoja


Swahili (or Kiswahili) functioned in the 1960s & 1970s as a symbol of  ‘Pan-Africanism’ and was employed by Ron Karenga*  in the creation of the Kwanzaa holiday rituals.

In addition, Swahili now functions in US pop culture as a catch-all African language.  The words below reflect both of these tendencies. 

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Say “Ouistiti!” for the camera!

Charles Timoney gives the would-be traveller in France some sage advice in his,  Pardon my French: Unleash your Inner Gaul published in 2008.  Excerpted below is one of his finds:

Should you ever be asked by a French person to take their photo in front of some famous monument somewhere, there is no point in pointing their camera at them and saying brightly, “Say cheese!”  For a start, if you stand in front of a mirror and say cheese with a silly French accent, it will not produce the photogenic rictus that you were hoping for.  The main problem, however, is that a French tourist will not be expecting to be asked to say “cheese” because in France,when being photographed, people say “ouistiti!”  Like “cheese,” the success of the photograph depends on the accent used when saying the word.  If you sayouitsiti – it means “marmoset,” by the way [a very small monkey from Central & S. America – The D.] – in a flat English accent reminiscent of the cartoon dog Droopy [?], you will look thoroughly miserable in the photo.  If, on the other hand, you say it enthusiastically in a strong French accent, the two last syllables force your mouth sideways into a broad grin.  Just in case you are planning on asking a French person to take your photo one day, there is a slight chance that in place of ouistiti he may let his fondness for things culinary win through and ask you to say “omelette!”

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Saluton de Esperantio!

Kar-a amik-o!

Mi present-as al mi kia-n vizag-o-n vi far-os post la ricev-o de mi-a leter-o.  Vi rigard-os la sub-skrib-o-n kaj ek-kri-os: “Cu li perd-is la sag-o-n?  Je kia lingv-o li skrib-is?  Kio-n signif-as la foli-et-o, kiu-n li aldon-is al sia-a leter-o?”  Trankuil-ig-v, mi-a kar-a!  Mi-a sag-o, kiel mi almenau kred-as, est-as tut-e en ordo.

al – to;  kia – what kind;  vizag- – face;  far- – to make;  kaj – and;  ek- – out;  li – he;  perd- – lose;  sag- – wise;  je – in;  kio – what;  kiv – which;  don- – give;  si – self;  ig – cause;  -u – imperative;  kiel – as;  almenau – at least

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