The Merchant Marine
By Edgar A. Guest
We seldom get their names,
In spite of all they do.
They're merely mentioned in the press
As members of the crew
Yet they're the men whose courage,
Arms and clothes, equips and feeds,
The boys in every battle zone
Who do the glorious deeds?
We speak of them as merchantmen,
Yet when they once set out,
No matter where their course may run,
Death follows them about
They're stalked by death from port to port,
When once the anchor is weighed,
From master down to cabin boy.
They're sailors unafraid,
They know the lurking submarines,
They've seen them break the wave.
And still with little means to fight,
The cruel odds they brave,
Sometimes they are struck in the dead of night,
And into rafts they fall -
And drift about and pray to god,
To save them all.
We think of them as merchantmen,
But when the war is won,
They too must share the pride,
For duty nobly done,
And when the world is free once more,
And home the boys from sea,
When from the foxholes come,
The lads with us once more to be
When from the skies the boys slip down
Let all remember then,
The courage of the Yankee youth,
Who sailed as merchantmen?
The kids had a two-hour delay going to school in the morning, which put my schedule into a total spin -- though there is something rather fun about starting the morning being trounced at Lord of the Rings Monopoly because of a hotel on Bag End even though you own Mount Doom. It's inevitable when this happens:
After walking son #2 to school, I tried to get back on track, but I am afraid I owe a great many notes and stuff. My two articles for TrekToday were both interesting: Alexander Siddig on Syriana, suddenly being discovered as a "grownup" movie actor and trying to juggle what it means to be an Arab actor and what it means to be an English actor in Hollywood, and Tim Gaskill announcing that barring some kind of intervention, StarTrek.com will shut down at the end of this month, an apparent victim of the Viacom-CBS split. (No, I don't know who you can e-mail/call/write to protest this. *g*)
Husband brought me the special edition DVD of Cinderella Man, with Russell Crowe's documentary on Jim Braddock and all kinds of other goodies, but I haven't see any of it yet because he also brought home Fantastic Four and I was outvoted on which we should watch. FF was cute, reasonably entertaining, but I'm not devastated that I didn't see it on the big screen. Ioan Gryffudd and Jessica Alba were charming together -- I like them both very much, from Horatio Hornblower and Dark Angel respectively -- and the rest of the cast was fun too, particularly Michael Chiklis, but every time I watch a superhero movie, it just reconfirms my sense that superhero movies are really not my thing, whether it's Spider-Man or X-Men or Batman -- one viewing is nearly always enough for me even if there's some actor or some 'ship I really love in the film. I wonder why Smallville seems to be an exception...well, maybe TV is different, because I adore the Adam West Batman.
Speaking of TV, I reclaimed ours to watch Boston Legal, a show which jumps the shark every single week and has redeemed itself in my eyes by the time Denny and Alan light up their cigars no matter what. There is something courageous about taking a deadly serious child kidnapping plot and interspersing it with UTTER CRACK. The cast this season is phenomenal; I really like Julie Bowen, and Shatner, Spader, Bergen, Auberjonois and Valley continue to be wonderful playing off one another. (Okay, I could lose the first year associates, but that's the writing more than the actors.)
I was joking a couple of weeks ago about how Alan and Denny would have bondage after Denny told Alan to tie himself to him to avoid suicidal night terrors, but they started the episode with it! And then they ended up rolling around on the floor together. Okay, not quite the right way but really close. The paintball storyline was perfect crack of the sort that only Shatner (who hosts paintball charity events) could possibly pull off, but it was actually achingly sweet when Alan gave the victim a check with the announcement that Denny means more to him than his principles...sweeter than the mother/child reunion in the kidnapping storyline, because who can take seriously a plot in which a lawyer masquerading as an FBI agent CHOPS OFF A PRIEST'S FINGERS?
The humor in that plot bordered on the sick...there was a real child-killer and a real victimized child, and we were getting police department impotence played for laughs. It was more comfortable to laugh listening to Denny blaming the poor for not getting out of New Orleans. I say again, this show needs to decide whether it wants to be comedy or drama because the unholy hybridization cuts into both the humor AND the drama too much of the time. Even so, as long as Denny embarrasses himself by announcing too loudly that he and Alan are sleeping together and the episode ends with them trying to decide whether to spend yet another night in the same bed, I'm there.
I have more Gettysburg photos, which are perhaps somewhat appropriate for Pearl Harbor Day, but I wanted to show off my morning snow. Wednesday I have a dermatologist appointment at which he may or may not want to cut off a mole on my neck, so I may or may not be in pain tomorrow...part of me just wants to get it over with and is hoping he will do it tomorrow because given my family history, I am sure it has to go.