Bicycle Diaries: September 2009

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9.11.09 & 11.11.1918

Today is the 9th anniversary of 9.11. The very fact I don't have to explain these two numbers reflects the enormity of the attacks particularly in how they changed our lives as well as the world around us.

There is another aspect of this enormity. For there are as many meanings of 9.11 (here as well) as there are people who have felt the impact of the attacks over the last seven years. For example, I photographed this painting by Mirshakarov Akmal during a trip to Tajikistan in 2002. It is his response to 9.11. It alone shows that any attempt I could make to capture the meanings of this event would fall woefully short of the mark.

I've decided to let the enormity of 9.11 speak for itself rather than adding to all words that will be written about it today. What little I will add, can be summed by Wilfred Owen, the most famous of the WWI English trench poets. In the Preface to his book, Poems, Owen wrote,
This book is not about heroes.
English Poetry is not yet fit to speak of them.
Nor is it about deeds or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, dominion or power, except War.
Above all, this book is not concerned with Poetry.
The subject of it is War, and the pity of War.
The Poetry is in the pity.
Yet these elegies are not to this generation,
This is in no sense consolatory.

They may be to the next.
All the poet can do to-day is to warn.
That is why the true Poets must be truthful.
If I thought the letter of this book would last,
I might have used proper names; but if the spirit of it survives Prussia, --
my ambition and those names will be content; for they will have
achieved themselves fresher fields than Flanders.

Owen was killed in action on 4 November 1918 during the crossing of the Sambre-Oise Canal, exactly one week (almost to the hour - the eleventh) before the signing of the Armistice. His mother received the telegram informing her of his death on Armistice Day, as the church bells were ringing out in celebration. He is buried at Ors Communal Cemetery.

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The proper anti-freeze...

for Chicago

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5 year old girl killed...

by cager
last night

From The Chicago Breaking News Center,
A 5-year-old girl riding her bicycle was struck and killed Sunday evening by a vehicle exiting a West Rogers Park alley, police said.

The girl, Ester Kenig, was riding her bicycle in the 6100 block of North Sacramento Ave. at about 5:30 p.m. when she was struck by the emerging vehicle, police said.

Ester was rushed to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, where she was later pronounced dead, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

The driver, who remained at the scene after the collision, had not received any charges or traffic citations as of late Sunday, police spokeswoman Antoinette Ursitti said.

An autopsy on the girl is scheduled for Monday morning.

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Why be conservative?


I don’t have much faith in my fellow man. In fact, my own conservatism has much to do with the fact that I reject the entire notion of human improvement altogether. Grandiose liberal efforts do not work, not because they are simply led by the wrong kind of men, but because they are led by men, period. “Progressivism” is a great idea. But most progressives can’t balance their checkbooks much less create nirvana. “Feminism” sounds swell. Too bad females are most cruel to other women. “Multiculturalism” is well intentioned. Yet it seems every time different cultures cohabitate it creates more friction than friendship.

I’m a mess too ... I’m awful with money, eat poorly, drink too much and don’t spend enough time with friends and family. But then again, most of those same friends and family are guilty of the same flaws and faults.

Jack Hunter
August 09, 2009

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Chicago bikewinter approaches

and with it
our 10th Anniversary

To get things rolling, we're aiming to encourage ALL fair-weather bikers within our propaganda's grasp to stay in the saddle through the longest, coldest nights. We'll meet on Tuesday, 22 September, 7 p.m. at the newer Billy Goat - 309 W. Washington (a nod to BW winter meetings of the past), directly following the One Million Less Cars Rally.

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