Following on their first two albums dealing with adolescence (Boy) and spirituality (October), U2′s third studio album turned political in 1983 with War. Besides the album title, songs like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “New Year’s Day” issue their comment on the world at the time, when Bono said, “War seemed to be the motif for 1982. Everywhere you looked, from the Falklands to the Middle East and South Africa, there was war. By calling the album War we’re giving people a slap in the face and at the same time getting away from the cozy image a lot of people have of U2.”
Today is Remembrance Day, and for the occasion, I’ve resurrected the oldest draft post in my arsenal… from back in 2004. I began with an idea jotted down and then thought it would be better left until the whole Iraq thing cooled down… but of course you know how that’s gone. Opening the post up for the first time in (literally) years, I see I hadn’t written as much as I thought I had, but the gist of an idea is there, and it’s percolated for some time now.
Sometimes you pick up the most interesting tidbits in unexpected places. Like when you’re watching The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos, and Valerie Bertinelli is on to talk about her new book, Losing It: And Gaining My Life Back One Pound at a Time, and they get sidetracked. Follow the links to see the video and learn that Schneider’s moustache on One Day at a Time was glued on every week. Then they get onto politics.
VB: I’m already in trouble, some people don’t even want to read my book because I say one bad thing about George Bush.
This is the second week of Advent, the theme being peace. I’m feeling few words at the moment, but with the help of some images, here’s the converted equivalent of about 6,200.
USAF Convair B-36 Peacemaker — 1946, cost: US$4.1 Million
Four bomb bays capable of carrying 86,000 pounds of bombs; six remote-controlled retractable gun turrets plus fixed nose and tail turrets with with two 20mm cannons per turret for a total of 16 cannons.
Colt .45 Peacemaker — 1873, cost: US$17.00
The Colt Peacemaker became known as “the gun that won the West”, a .45-caliber firearm with six revolving cylinders, hence the nickname “six-shooter.”
Remembrance Day coincides with this week’s hymn selection for my ongoing series, “Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth.” The choice was easy, almost a foregone conclusion: O God, Our Help in Ages Past. I am, however, happy about the conclusion and very glad to be able to feature it today. The “Father of English Hymnody” Isaac Watts composed this hymn in 1719 with words from Psalm 90 and music by William Croft (“Ste. Anne”, 1708)… a tune that has been borrowed from by both Handel and Bach.