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Pacem in Terris

mcmurdoI took this picture at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica around 3 a.m.  on December 25, 1966 as  some of my shipmates and I made our way back from the McMurdo “Playboy Club” to the U.S.S. Atka, a Navy icebreaker that no longer exists.  Given the other military options available to young men on that date, it was not a bad place to be.  This rather surreal tableaux of drunken comraderie  illustrates, I think, a dirty little secret known to all men and a few women and that is that men–especially hetrosexual men who have worked, lived and played together under difficult circumstances–love each other best.


Comment from Taylor Brook
Time: December 31, 2009, 1:54 pm

Hmmm… I must say I find this last sentence offensive.

Besides, how does this have anything to do with music?

Comment from Steve Layton
Time: December 31, 2009, 5:35 pm

You seem to be in good company, Taylor:

Comment from Jerry Bowles
Time: January 1, 2010, 9:12 pm

Offending people is one of my best things. Why else would I have a blog? Actually, I can’t look at that picture without thinking of Rautavarra or John Luther Adams or even Ralph Vaughan Williams so it does have some musical connection for me. Obviously, you’re too young to have attended a reunion of guys who tromped through the frozen, deadly Ardennes together or held the line at Khe Sahn. I’m trying to figure out which part offended you–the simple observation that men bond strongly under extreme conditions–or the possible implication that hetrosexual-style male love (which I’m sure many gay men also experience) has a purity that isn’t conflicted by thepolitics of male-female and male-male sexual relationships? Maybe I’ll start a sociology blog. In any event, if you want to read something truly offensive, try the first and final paragraph of this little epic I wrote a few months ago for my political blog.

Comment from zeno
Time: January 4, 2010, 3:31 pm

Last week, I was strangely moved and positively provoked by Jerry’s final sentence.

His picture also immediately made me think of this dissimilar artist video fragment from a longer video work by Guido Van der Werve; which I didn’t want to link to last week as it would have distracted from the original post.

Several of you who watch videos might have already seen this.

Happy New Year.

Comment from Taylor Brook
Time: January 18, 2010, 7:14 pm

hi Jerry et al,

sorry to take so long to check back on this… if you are still interested, what I was offended by was the part about how heterosexual men having a particular way of binding together from hard times. I may be too young to have had a reunion of this kind, but I have worked as a treeplanter in the northern Canada every spring/summer for the past six years and I would like to think that the females and homosexuals in the work camps with me were unable to experience the bonding from being together through some extremely tough times together. So, as a queer person I find it to be insulting.

Comment from zeno
Time: January 19, 2010, 1:10 pm

Thanks Taylor. I think that the difficult circumstances that Jerry was referring to was warfare and especially the Vietnam war. Today more women and probably more gays/queers are serving in the military, and face warfare up close.

Personally, I hope that violent warfare will become an archaic practice within a few generations (along with the abolition of absolute poverty.)

Of course, I am not trying to answer for Jerry.