The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Oh, Canada! #1


Alberta, 1916

6 comments :

ido said...

First Nations tribal symbol resembling the Indic swastika.

swac said...

There are a few Swastika teams out there. I've seen old photos of a local team here in Nova Scotia. Darn that Hitler for ruining a perfectly good pictogram.

mauser98 said...

they are hockey team from Swastika, Ontario. not indians

John said...

There's a short strip of 5 or 6 1920's-vintage store fronts on Middlesex Ave in Medford, MA (pizza shop, Brazilian market, dry cleaner, etc.) that I pass several times a week on my way in and out of Boston. The cornice along the front of the building is decorated with 10 or 12 little pre-cast concrete swastikas - maybe 15 x 15 inches - up above the corners of the windows. I am sure it struck the architect/builder as a pleasing little piece of decoration. I sometimes wonder if anyone ever sees them today.

saber tooth owl said...

The swastika was also used on the unit patch of the 45th Infantry Division, part of the Oklahoma National Guard. When Hitler came to power in the 1930s, they changed the division patch.

Since it was an Oklahoma unit, I assume the swastika had origins in that State's Indian population.

Or Native American, or whatever their whining spokesmen prefer this week.

Ray McCallum said...

Wow saber tooth owl, it isn't enough that First Nations struggle with innuendos, generalizations, and urban legends about their culture. To make a statement about whining Indians is as broad a generalization you can make.

As far as the swastika symbol is concerned with First Nations, its origins is recent and among all First Nations. Historically it was found on some pottery in the south west, probably dating back 400 to six hundred years. Its meaning is lost, but its design was later adopted in the early nineteen hundreds. It was referred to as the running wheel and the symbol represented good luck.

Whether or not this same concept was adopted by the Oklahoma National guard lies with them. After the second world war the swastika image virtually disappeared in First Nation communities across Canada. For your information as many as 85 percent of the males in many First Nations communities served in both world wars. That is the highest average on any nation on the planet.