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All Quiet on the Western Front
Among the horrors and hypocrisy of the trenches
“War has ruined us for everything”
-Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
Paul Bäumer spends his days sitting in the trenches of the western front. His clothes are often dirty and blood-stained, but as he and his company withdraw from the gory scenes of the front, they are given clean clothes, just washed. Today, they are being inspected by the Kaiser; however, as he inspects, they realize he isn’t some large commander ready to lead troops into battle—he is a short and weak old man, sending Germany’s youth to die. In the novel, All Quiet on the Western Front, the hypocritical older generation told the youth that they were strong, and should fight—in reality, the youth were still too young to know how to fight, and their elders were using their strength as a tool to wage bloody wars. On the front and in the trenches, the youth was subjected to unimaginable horror. World War One was not a glorious battle, it was a slaughterhouse that sacrificed the lives of millions of young men. Paul and his comrades fight bravely for Germany, but Germany isn’t fighting for them.
The Vietnam War (also known as the Second Indochina War, or the American War in Vietnam) was a defining point in the Cold War for America. Today, I’m going to talk about the political situation of the 1960s, the Korean War, the Indochina wars, and ultimately how a major power lost to guerrilla fighters in a ruined nation.
Korea and American Military Doctrine
16 September, 1950. An American spearhead, led by units from the 70th tank battalion, raced north from the Pusan perimeter. They would soon meet up with marines that had landed in Seoul, retaking the city by the 25th. Within two months, NATO forces would reach the Chinese border, and in another, they’d be scrambling south away from Chinese troops. America has gotten too close to the fire, and the situation in Korea burned. As thousands of bodies stacked up along the 38th parallel, American officials realized their mistake: sending forces up to the Chinese border created a volatile situation.
Coming out of the Chinese Civil War, the PRC was aggressive and ready for war. America wouldn’t anger them again, so in Vietnam, they scaled up intervention over time. This generated hate of the war over time, so by time the draft came around, civilians were protesting. But even so, why did we lose? Well, that has to do with Vietnam’s recent history.
You, me , and our shared differences.
The Power of Diversity
What I try to tell young people is that if you come together with a mission, and it is grounded with love and a sense of community, you can make the impossible happen. ~John Lewis
I forget the exact date; it might have been May. I do remember it was hot out, maybe the hottest it had been so far that year, and I was walking down the street. Knowing me, It’s likely I was getting ice cream. Whatever the situation, I do remember seeing a Black Lives Matter sign. Then another, then another. It was mildly surprising at first, but I know Middlesex County is pretty liberal. Then again, the sign I happened to stop was in front of a big, expensive house owned by a white person. The whole neighborhood was pretty white; heck, the county is. That sign made me think. What even is diversity, anyway? It’s not an easy question to answer. I’ve found the very nature of diversity to be hard to discuss simply because it’s such a versatile word. Why does it matter that there is a sign saying Black Lives Matter, and does it matter where it is? I don’t have all of the answers here, but maybe I’ll shine some light on some of the meanings here.
Adapting to the Wild
My journey finding meaning through change
“It marked his adaptability, his capacity to adjust himself to changing conditions, the lack of which would have meant swift and terrible death.”
~Jack London (The Call of the Wild)
I’m going to give you my honest and full opinion about flags. Ready?
Most of them are bad. Some hurt my eyes. Many others are bland. The few times a country has a good flag, however, it almost always seems to follow a few essential rules. Today, I’ll share those guidelines with you, show you some bad flags, and show you good flags that break the rules. Let’s go!
This article is a ranking of the top five kingdoms in the Holy Roman Empire, or HRE. This is purely my personal opinion and has no actual system of ranking. Enjoy!
5: Electoral Palatinate
While not as much of a power as the other kingdoms in this list, the Electoral Palatinate was regionally powerful. It also played an important role in the Thirty Years War, a massive religious war that ignited in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. At its height, the Electoral Palatinate controlled much of the southern Rhineland and some of northern Bavaria.
The Art of Imperfection, on a Plate.
“There is no real beauty without some slight imperfection.”
Reaching perfection is just another version of giving up. When you say you’ve reached perfection, you stop striving for something better than what you have. I call my egg the “imperfect egg” because I know that I can always cook just a little bit better, especially with something as simple as an egg.