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A Brit a Day [#398]


My teenage daughter plays a game with her friends that goes roughly like this–they each have their laptops and start on a webpage with headlines like Yahoo! News. The game is to see who can get from that page to a reference to Hitler in the least clicks. They can’t use a search engine, just mouse clicks. It’s a tasteless premise, but kind of amazing because it never takes very long.

I bring this up because, as one of my friends says, I need you to walk with me here. The lyrics of a passage from ‘3rd Planet’ on Modest Mouse’s the moon and antarctica are the only words that will speak for me today, but Modest Mouse is a thoroughly American indie band. ‘3rd Planet’ was written by Isaac Brock, portions of whose life sound like a Thomas Hardy novel…..
When his mother’s house flooded she was forced to move in to her new husband’s trailer where there was no room for Brock, so he stayed behind. He lived on the second floor of the flooded home until he was evicted by the police. After a period of living in a friend’s basement, he moved into a shed he built on the land next to his mother and stepfather’s trailer. [wikipedia]
…..but otherwise, there’s no British connection.
That’s Isaac Brock the living. Major General Isaac Brock, who died from a bullet to the heart in upper Canada in the War of 1812, was born in Guernsey and died a hero of the British Army. You can read more about him here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Brock
THAT Isaac Brock is our Brit of the Day. The rest is just a device for me to be able to make you read this bit of [American indie] poetry by the other Isaac Brock–
Your heart felt good.
It was drippin’ pitch and made of wood.
And your hands and knees,
Felt cold and wet on the grass beneath,
While outside naked, shiverin’, looking blue,
From the cold sunlight that’s reflected off the moon
And baby cum angels fly around you,
Reminding you that we used to be three and not two,
And that’s how the world began.
And that’s how the world will end.
Why is this verse speaking my heart’s song today? You won’t learn that just by walking with me, for I can’t quite explain it. I can tell you this–The daughter I mentioned above is leaving home on Thursday for her first major adventure away from us. She’s going to Europe for 9 days. I’m excited for her, I’m scared for her, I’m in denial that I’m scared or that she might be scared. I just want everything to be great. I want her to be there and be totally in the moment, and at the same time, I want her to be back home, safe, with the trip as just a fantastic memory. I want to stop worrying about Libya and remembering Pan Am Flight 103. ‘3rd Planet’ is one of those songs that just hurts so good, and it’s good to hurt a little, just for today.

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