A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004 :::
The Rhythm of Life

The cicadas have settled in for a long and rhythmic mating season. As with whales, the males in one area end up copying each other and so create a unique song. Kind of like the differences in lines you might hear in a disco or a country and western bar.

But already this mating season has had its victims. For some reason, a small group of cicadas fell out of a tree and landed right in front of the elevator at the Cleveland Park metro stop. One guy still had what it takes, and was giving his little all very loudly while flopping around. Had he been in good health, he could fly, sort of. But many of his attempts landed him on his back, and he spent as much effort trying to flip over as sing, but sing away he did. Still hoping for a little before his time was up. Another male very faintly tried to compete, while nearly all the others just lay there in the final throes of whatever afflicts cicadas. Suddenly, one began to move, a female, presumably, which somehow the loud guy noticed. He started buzzing even louder and desparately flopping over in her direction, while she walked in a straight line right past him. Whether she was too feeble to react properly, or whether she was in fact searching for a different male, is something God alone knows. The male lay on his back shrieking, and she kept on walking. What an intense snapshot of animal existence, and how powerful are the will to live and the will to procreate.

A helping hand to him might have been in order, putting him near the female, but neither he nor she probably had what it takes. Even if she deigned to say, "yes," cicada sex takes 3 to 4 hours, and these poor creatures had but a few more minutes on earth.

Nothing If Not Bold.

President Bush delivered his address yesterday at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA, which, as regular readers of this blog will know, is the "center of gravity" for the U.S. Army's institutional opposition to Donald Rumsfeld. It certainly was bold of him. But the speech offered nothing new on US policy, and reiterated many of the very ideas which the War College has been dissecting. As long as most people think he got into the war under false pretenses, it is hard to see how one speech is going to do it.

What is remarkable is how well our strategy against the insurgents is going. He did concentrate on that, apparently, but it was not emphasized in news reports this morning. This writer has only recently had time to pull it off the Web, and so will look at that with interest. It will be a pity if the various peoples of Iraq actually start to pull together just as the US rids itself of the only plausible candidate for seeing this thing through. But it will be his fault if it happens.

Off to lovely Wilmington for a week. Blogging as it can be done, probably every day.

Until then...
Look ahead to Memorial Day. It should be considered a patriotic duty to watch Saving Private Ryan, that great paen to the youngsters who made, and continue to make, our civilized life possible. There is a new DVD version out, with some attractive extras. And it is available in several forms at your local video place.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 5:09 PM



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