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November 2010

Veterans Tribute

UsflagIn honor of Veterans' Day, I'd like to re-post a poem I originally posted back in 2005, and reiterate our thanks to all those who have served, and are currently serving, our nation.


Quietly you've all turned gray
You did your job, you saved our way.
Our life and freedom you've preserved
We thank you less than you deserve.
You've never boasted, bragged, or asked
for adulation for your past.
You did the job you knew was right,
and quietly you cry at night
for bodies maimed and comrades lost
for sights beyond our furthest thoughts.
For what you've lived and felt and seen,
For what the cost of freedom means
You leave us blessed with every breath,
that cost you arms and legs and death.
You won the worst and greatest war -
We owe you more, we owe you more.
Thank you for your wondrous feats:
For hope, and speech and quiet streets.
For worship as we choose to pray,
For preservation of our way.
Before you go we need to show
that in your silence we still know
what accomplished and what you did
for who we are and how we live.

Thank you.

November 5th

Helen & Joe November 5th has always been a big day in my family, because it marks my parents' wedding anniversary. They tied the knot on November 5, 1955, which means today is their 55th. How amazing is that?! 

(Incidentally, November 5, 1955 is also the day that Marty McFly went back to in Back to the Future.)

But November 5th has additional historical significance, as I learned recently in a Boston Public Library newsletter: it marks the date of a major holiday formerly celebrated in Boston, Pope Night.

In the years prior to the American Revolution, this day was traditionally marked by political upheaval. Young men carrying "giant effigies of the Devil, the Pope, and current political scapegoats" paraded through the streets, harrassing passersby. At nightfall rival gangs from the North and South Ends brawled in the streets. It was the New World version of Guy Fawkes Day in Britain, which celebrated the November 5th anniversary of an attempted plot by Catholic conspirators to overthrow the Protestant King James.

According to historians,

"Part of the appeal of “Pope-Night” in New England, with its strict Puritan traditions, was that it allowed youths to go wild for one day—to make noise, demand money, and have a feast of their own. They could get away with that behavior on the 5th of November because it was patriotic disorder, aimed at the enemies of their country and religion."

Pope Night became an occasion to protest Crown officials, the epitome of the political movement that eventually led to the American Revolution (after which, the tradition died away).

So, whether you are celebrating an Anniversary, a moment in SciFi history, or your own political convictions, Happy November 5th.




Blogging, Boston, and CityVoter's A-List

Boston A List CityVoter has finally launched a Boston edition of its popular City Guides, and the polls are open to vote for the top area businesses on The Boston A-List. The site provides point-of-sale, mobile, on-air, and online ways for local businesses to connect with the community, and in turn provides a wealth of information for consumers, in the form of "best of" lists and deals for products and services around town. With its polls, widgets, reviews, badges, and Facebook/Twitter integration, CityVoter is poised to ride the wave of location-based social media.

I'm excited and flattered to announce that I've been nominated as one of the Best Local Bloggers (and would be grateful if you would consider casting a vote for me at http://ctvr.us/culture).

If you're new to CultureJunkie, here's the backstory: I started blogging five years ago so that I could speak intelligently about the channel to my marketing clients. And I found that I really enjoy doing it...it's a creative outlet that allows me to focus on some of the things that interest me - like technology, art, architecture, food, travel - and the cultural impact they have on us. What's more, I meet interesting people from all over the world through my blog.

Here are some of my favorite posts from in and around Boston; I hope you enjoy them.

And remember: today is election day. Don't forget to vote! :)