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Breaking completely from the historical and philosophical focus of this blog, I offer (via Bill Simmons of ESPN) the radio broadcast towards the end of the Honduran soccer match last night. Honduras qualified for the 2010 World Cup when the United States tied Costa Rica at the very end of their game:

In a desperate historical nod, here’s a link to the “Football War” between Honduras and El Salvador as a measure of the sport’s importance in Central America.

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This is everywhere. But that doesn’t make it wrong.

Via: The Internets.

Stephen thinks this isn’t funny. He’s probably right. But I laughed anyway.

Or maybe that should be Peeeete and Bruuuuce. Either way, ben just put this video up over at unfogged. And I’m stealing it, because It’s nice to feel good again about loving America. And sure, party-pooper, it might not last all that long. But I’ll just enjoy the moment, if it’s all the same to you. (Nice backdrop, by the way.)

Update: Well, so much for that. HBO insisted that YouTube pull down the video.

Update II: Video of the whole concert is available for free on HBO’s site. And before someone decides to call me a corporate whore for linking, let’s remember that HBO brought us The Wire. We still owe the network a little loyalty, don’t we?

Update III: Thanks to Drip in the comments, we’ve got new video posted above.

Via the super-cool litbrit at cogitamus.

If the vid pleases you, head over here. You’ll find lots more like it.

Via sociological images.

On this day in 1954, Senator Joseph McCarthy played a game of guilt by association. He attacked Joseph Welch, special counsel to the United States Army, suggesting that an associate at Welch’s white-shoe firm, Hale and Dorr, had ties to a Communist organization. McCarthy referred to Fred Fisher, who had, while in school, joined the Lawyers Guild, a group devoted to protecting civil liberties. In this case, though, unlike many other episodes during McCarthy’s reign of terror, somebody powerful pushed back. Welch replied to McCarthy:

Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

Television cameras captured the moment, reducing the jowly, sneering McCarthy in size. By refusing to back down, Welch unmasked McCarthy as a fraud and thug, a bully without any decency at all. The confrontation between the two men turned out to be the apogee of the 50s Red Scare.

In the above speech, which is long but worth the time, Obama appeals to graduating seniors to embrace public service. He asks them directly, personally, to forego the fruits of our “money culture.” And he draws on a classic Second Great Awakening formulation: individual salvation hinges on good works; community salvation rests on individuals sacrificing for the greater good. Even after seven years of kleptocracy, this speech makes me think that civic virtue might not be dead after all. That’s the audacity of hope talking, I know. I’ll get over it soon enough.

Seemingly less sexy than very stoned, Marilyn Monroe wished President Kennedy a “Happy Birthday” on this day in 1962. The performance, in Madison Square Garden, was Monroe’s last major public event before she died on August 5, 1962. For that and many other reasons, this video has always creeped me out, though you’re welcome to tell me in the comments what a tin ear I have for pop culture.

there was X. Also, because I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. I’m not sure why.

The Edge of the American West is unafraid to express its admiration for William Shatner: actor, singer, pitchman, philosopher, poet, and Canadian Jew.

Via the always excellent Cogitamus.

Malcolm X discusses race relations, seniority and the workings of the U.S. Senate, the limited power of the judiciary, and the classics of British literature.

Time to bring it all together: YouTube Monday, This Day in History, celebrating the New Deal, and probably some other things I can’t think of right now. How, you ask, will Ari pull off this masterful feat of EotAW synergy? By embedding a short for The Plow That Broke the Plains (see above) coupled with a quick discussion of the Dust Bowl’s nadir, Black Sunday, which happened on this day in 1935. I’m just that good, people; you’d better get used to it. Okay, I know, it wasn’t exactly a masterstroke. So how about an “A” for effort?

Don Worster, whose Dust Bowl remains, more than a quarter century later, a great book, writes that on April 14, 1935, “dawn came clear and rosy all across the plains.” By midday, though, the temperature had dropped close to 50 degrees. Birds seemed nervous, “as though fleeing from some unseen enemy.” Then, on the northern horizon there appeared a dark cloud, advancing slowly. For hours, the dust swirled so thick that people couldn’t see their hands in front of their faces. Black Sunday marked the last of the year’s storms, but the damage already was done: an epidemic, as respiratory infections afflicted people who “spat up clods of dirt” throughout the region; an economic catastrophe, as cattle and other livestock died off; and a social crisis, as depression descended on the Dust Bowl states.

All of which is a longwinded (forgive me) way of saying that if you haven’t seen Pare Lorentz’s The Plow that Broke the Plains, you really should. I’m trying to think if it’s my favorite documentary ever. Hmmm. My gut says yes. But that could be hunger talking; I haven’t eaten anything yet today. Regardless, Lorentz’s film, the first half of which you can see here, is wonderful: a poetic script that turns on repeated phrasing; Virgil Thomson’s modern score, a masterpiece of Americana that nods to folk music and spirituals; and haunting cinematography, the work of Paul Strand, Leo Hurwitz, Paul Ivano, and Ralph Steiner. And just who was able to assemble that much talent in one place at one time, you ask? The federal government, that’s who, specifically Rexford Tugwell’s Resettlement Administration, which the Roosevelt administration later folded into the Farm Security Administration.

Conspiracy of Beards, I’ve just learned, is an all-male choir in the Bay Area. They perform only Leonard Cohen’s compositions. And, given that I’m Canadian and almost painfully fond of Cohen (Must I, because of my national origin, love Leonard Cohen — who knows?), I thought I’d post the above vid. Stick around long enough to hear the singalong version of “Bird on a Wire.”

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