Monday, May 25, 2009

Twitter Twatter: Memorial Day

West Point - 1911

I was lying in bed this morning thinking about (David) Dwight Eisenhower and West Point. I realized I didn't know where he stood in his graduating class at West Point (upper half,) but a lot of shifting thought like "If you are going to go to West Point, and you become a general, then what luck to stumble into a World War to show your skills. And yes, "luck," because many never see battle on that scale. When George Patton was facing multiple reprimands and being held back, he agonized over lost opportunity in terms of where he would stand in history and not being able to fulfill his destiny. Eisenhower served in two world wars.

I did a little homework on Eisenhower this morning. His West Point graduating class of 1915 was called the class "that the stars fell on." Of it's 164 graduating members, 59 became generals: the highest number ever recorded in one class in West Point's history. I also didn't know he injured his knee playing football there.

I have no idea why Eisenhower came to mind, or West Point, over say...Eisenhower's affair with Kay Summersby during the war, or the ambition it takes to claw through Army hierarchy to general, or how often ambition is overlooked in seeking the Presidential seat in government. People rarely think of Abe Lincoln as anything other than Father Abraham, but he was consumed with ambition and the fear he wouldn't reach his goals. I think it safe to say any man that seeks power at this level is consumed with the desire to win.

From West Point I thought about generals who became President. Twelve of them. Washington, Harrison, Taylor, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, Eisenhower, Jackson, Pierce and Andrew Johnson. Two Whigs, Three Democrats, Seven Republicans.

"The jellybeans are mine. ALL MINE! brarahhahaha."

And from generals who become Presidents, I then had this visual image of Dick Cheney in a wheelchair at the Inauguration, and how other people jumped on that one, screaming "Doctor Strangelove!" which of course is exactly what I thought. The movie's full title is Doctor Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. What a grave fear I felt knowing Cheney could be President. Who remembers Alexander Haig rushing into a news conference after Reagan was shot declaring, "I'm in charge here," when he was anything but. George Bush the Elder was in charge, as Vice-President, as every schoolboy knows. Haig later complained "I'm being undermined by weenies and second-rate hambones." His insecurities and low self-esteem doomed his future, and that one gaffe became the defining moment of his career.

The Alien Hand Syndrome

And this is why I wonder what value Twitter has to me, holding my thoughts to 140 characters, including spaces. How do you contain the wandering mind which can be a compost pail of mishmashed thoughts. Throw them on the heap. See what they make. Think how crazed men can become in suppressing their desires in meeting the strangleholds of duty and hierarchy.

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Blogger Cyndy said...

I don't have Twitter so I'm obviously not qualified to have an opinion, but it seems to me that Twitter was not really designed for writers and thinkers. It reminds me of a modern day version of Morse code or CB radio or something where you let the world at large know what's up with you right this second. But again, I don't really know what I'm talking about here. I wonder how many characters were in this comment?

8:59 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Oh! A beautiful fabulous, absolutely Cube-ist post!

No way you could ever, not EVER, put into a twitter the way you think, Cube. I think twitter is about something different than this; it's a different way of networking.

I LOVED this post - thank you for making me think about things I would never have entertained. Generals and ambition and U.S. presidents, and Alexander Haig. OMG.

Enjoy the cool rainy day, Cube. Keep writing at length or not so much. Just keep writing.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

I almost missed this post - personally, I don't think of Cheney as the villain everyone else does. I think all Presidents have to have a bit of villainy in them to do the job right. Cheney is just more overt about it. Others are better at keeping from us what we don't need/want to know.

As far as twitter, I almost sent you an email about how slow and terrible their platform is when trying to log in & post.

4:00 PM  

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