Tag Archives: abraham lincoln

Text of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

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Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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Pop Culture Mysteries – An Introduction

FROM THE DESK OF BOOKSHELF Q. BATTLER

World Renowned Poindexter, Reviewer of Books, Movies, and Cultural Happenings, Champion Yeti Fighter and Blogger-in-Chief of the Bookshelf Battle Blog

Dear 3.5 Readers,

Let’s face it.

I’m not a very important person.

Does that come as a shock? I’m sorry, but it’s true. (Oh, it didn’t come as a shock? Thanks, but play along anyway, OK?).

Out in the wide world, tragedy and terror loom large on the horizon, peaking their ugly faces out from every corner.

BQB's soap box

BQB’s soap box

Every day, people are being killed by hurricanes, blown away bytornados, zapped by lightning, swallowed whole by monsoons, kidnapped by pirates (the billowy shirt kind, not the Somali kind), burnt up in wildfires, or carried away by hideous hungry trolls.

And that’s just in the world outside. At home? Why, you could be moseying along, minding your own business and WAMMO! You spill your ice cold glass of Diet Shasta Orange, slip on the puddle, crack your knogan on the way down and it’s good night daisy.

Did you know the home is the number one place where an accident can happen?  Why, you could drown in a bucket, get a paper cut while opening bills and develop a raging staff infection, or do a jumping jack in an effort to get healthy only to lose your squash to the overhead ceiling fan.

I’m not even going to get into the invisible bacteria growing on your feet, the latest hybrid monkey/bird/alligator/giraffe flu virus outbreak to hit the headlines, how your golf game is going to be interrupted when a celebrity crashes a vintage World War II fighter jet right in the middle of your back swing, or god damn it, the literally millions upon millions of spiders that are crawling up your nose each and every night, laying eggs, and throwing a massive disco dance party in the epicenter of your brain.

I’m not not going to worry about any of that anymore and neither should you.

Why?

See the beginning of this tirade where I did or did not shock you when I informed you I am not an important person.

As such, I have no ability to do anything about the vast multitude of problems that plague the world like a bad haircut on yearbook photo day.

Could I run for and win an elected office and use my wit and wisdom to cure all of society’s ills?

No.

Why?

First, I hate to break it to you, but I’m not all that handsome. I know ladies, I know. I’m sorry to devastate you with this news.

What? You figured it out? All men who spend a lot of time blogging look like a cross between Gollum and a chupacabra? Well, hey, let’s not go that far…um…yeah yeah, all right, that’s fair.

Second, I’m not a gifted public speaker – partly because my tongue ends up tied in more knots than a bag of Rold’s Gold and partly because I speak the truth people need to listen to, not the BS that John Q. Public wants to hear.

Third, I can’t be bought by the man – unless the man represents a prominent book publisher. In that case, then yes sir, my character can die, be reborn, wear a pink tutu, and/or kiss a goat. Whatever you want, sir. You just tell me how hairy you want that goat to be.

The average politician has to be good looking and photogenic, with a million dollar toothy grin. He needs to speak eloquently, with the ability to charm the pants off the room and a soul dark enough to allow him to spoon feed a heaping helping of horse manure with a side of fries to the masses – extra chunky, just how the masses like it.

Yes, if you wish to become a politician, you’ll be forced to compromise your principles in the name of campaign contributions. Those boku bucks come with a zip string that gets attached to your back, allowing the donor to yank on it and force you to regurgitate his agenda, turning you into one great big walking, talking Chatty Kathy doll.

The common man who cares about the average joe has no place in today’s political system. I’m not taking a side here. Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, that weird party that insists on passing a law that would require everyone to wear shoes on their hands and walk upside down…they’re all just a bunch of heads attached to one great big bloated smelly hydra.

To quote the late great Douglas Adams of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame:

“The major problem – one of the major problems, for there are several – one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

Be honest folks, do you think good old Abraham “Born in a Log Cabin and Educated Myself by Candlelight” Lincoln could ever get elected today?

No. Those losers on twitter would have a field day with him:

Tonight on Campaign 2016 News Coverage - Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator.  Sure, he freed the slaves and held the union together - but can we really be expected to follow a man with a face that craggy?

Tonight on Campaign 2016 News Coverage – Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator. Sure, he freed the slaves and held the union together – but can we really be expected to follow a man with a face that craggy?

My friends, I guarantee you somewhere out there is an Abraham Lincoln-esque individual whose heart is in the right place, whose common sense and can do attitude could lead the world into a new dawn of peace and prosperity but….he’s too fat…too old…has a crooked nose, bad hair, a hella craggy face, or has been plagued by never-ending reports of a third grade scandal during which he picked a booger out of his schnozola and flicked it at an unsuspecting classmate who ended up traumatized for life.

In short, we’ve become a nation of dummies that focus on nothing but insignificant crap and then wonder why our leaders provide us with the same insignificant crap in return.

I don’t know. All I know is that our best possible leader has some problem that he knows the media would use to run roughshod over him and therefore he’s like, “Screw politics! I’m going to sell used Sonatas at the Hyundai dealership in Tulsa!”

“3.5 READERS: BQB – do you have a point?”

Yes! Over a thousand words later, I have a point! I really do.

I DO NOT CARE ABOUT THAT WHICH I AM POWERLESS TO CHANGE.

And if you’re a follower of this blog, then chances are, you don’t either.  (Though if you do, you’re still more than welcome).

What do we do when we can’t change the sad state of affairs the world finds itself in?

We tune out and turn on the TV.

We pop in our earbuds and crank up the Top 40.

We purchase an overpriced bag of popcorn and take in the latest over the top, special effects laden blockbuster.

Hell, I heard a rumor that some people even poke their noses into a book once in awhile.

Pop culture. Open up our gobs and shovel it straight down to the deepest, darkest recesses of our bellies, Hollywood. We can’t get enough of it.

As the world gets worse and the average citizen becomes less able to change things thanks to Larry Lobbyist and Carl Corporation, we find our minds becoming more and more immersed in fictional, fantasy worlds – worlds where we can pretend we’re people that we are not, men and women we could never be, people with a voice, people who can make a difference…

…PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY MATTER!

I don’t know about you, but I devour pop culture like a fat guy at an All You Can Eat Big Mac Buffett because the worlds developed by artists are a thousand times better than the world I live in.

As fans of those worlds, do we matter?

Yes…and…no.

Yes, we matter because Hollywood will occasionally listen to us when we bitch about how they screwed the pooch with our favorite franchise, how they dropped the writing ball and steered our most beloved characters into an impermeable corner, or how sometimes they just do something out of left field (Dexter=Lumberjack??? Why???)

No, because like the other people that Holden Caulfield would call a bunch of phonies, Hollywood is also run by big corporations and CEOS who view you as one more schmuck to plunk down your cash and put your butt in a theater seat. Whether or not you are actually entertained is all too often an immaterial issue.

Can we change that?

No.

But we can ask those elusive questions – “WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN AND THE EVER IMPORTANT, WHY?”

What happened to Mr. and Mr. Brady’s first spouses?

How the hell do Doc and Marty know each other?

Why couldn’t Rose have just gotten on that damn lifeboat like she was told?

Why does Miley Cyrus insist on sticking out her tongue and making a face akin to a weasel suffering from an epileptic seizure?

What time is Hammer Time?

Questions. Like you, I have so, so very many questions about pop culture.

I want to take the plot holes of my favorite movies and TV shows and spackle them over with putty, apoxy, glue, and dare I say, the finest caulk in the land.

I want to analyze celebrity meltdowns and learn why fame, fortune, and adoration of the masses wasn’t enough to keep our favorite stars from hitting the silly sauce, popping the goofy pills, or getting on social media and ranting with all the eloquence of a bull roid raging its way through a china shop.

The long and skinny of it?

I want to learn as much as I possibly can about the fantasy worlds in which my mind temporarily resides from time to time because the powers that be have made the real world around me so utterly unbearable.

ALIEN JONES: Jumpin’ Jupiter, BQB. You sound like you’re reverting to that 1990’s phase where you wore nothing but flannel and played Smells Like Teen Spirit on a continuous loop.

BQB:  Not now, AJ.  I’m on a roll.

My friends, my followers, my 3.5 readers, my dear, dear Aunt Gertrude…it is my great honor to announce a new feature on the Bookshelf Battle Blog:

Pop Culture Mysteries.

I have questions about pop culture and I’m sure you do too.

To that end, I have retained the services of a hardboiled 1950’s Sam Spade-esque, film noir style private detective to investigate all the questions we have about our favorite movies, TV shows, music, and yes even books.

Stop by every week as Jake Hatcher, Official Bookshelf Battle Detective takes our questions, sniffs out the clues, snoops around the suspects, chases down the leads, and reports back here with his findings.

It’s going to be one helluva ride, readers. Along the way, we might even learn how a 1950’s sleuth ended up in modern times.

As we speak, Detective Hatcher is hot on the trail of the questions listed above and more are on the way.

For reasons that will soon be made clear, he has committed to investigate no less than one hundred pop culture mysteries for the benefit of my readers before he’ll be able to renegotiate his contract.

Do you have a pop culture mystery that my resident gumshoe needs to unravel?

Tweet it to @bookshelfbattle or leave it #popculturemysteries

Leave it in the comments or on my Google Plus page

You’ll have to use me as an intermediary because, you know, Jake’s from the 1950’s and is still getting up to speed on computers.

Noble readers, as always, thanks a million for stopping by.

I don’t know why, but I have a feeling in my gut that this feature will be the one that makes bookshelfbattle.com blow up.

ALIEN JONES: I have that feeling in my gut too. It’s the after shocks of that rancid seven layer dip you bought at the quick-stop and served during Scandal night.

BQB: Can you…not tell the audience that Scandal night is a regular thing at BQB HQ? Please? OK

AJ: What? The Yeti already knows. And everyone knows that the three forms of mass communication are telephone, telegraph, and tell-a-yeti.

BQB: He is a relentless gossip. It’s true.

Thanks folks. I’ll let Jake take it from here.  Stop by bookshelfbattle.com for the the first episode of POP CULTURE MYSTERIES!

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